Letters to Scout
This is my venue to write letters to my beautiful surprise addition, my lovely daughter Scout. Due to the fact that she was unplanned, I was having a difficult time during the pregnancy. I was advised to write letters to her before she was born to help bond with her. These are the letters I started back then and continue now. She's here with us now and we couldn't ever imagine life without her.

We try to raise Scout as free-spirited as possible.


My name is Rae. I'm a nurse with an extreme case of wanderlust. I'm married to the man of my dreams, Alex. We currently live in a beautiful two flat in the most diverse neighborhood in Chicago. We live with our best friend Kyle, who is also Scout's godfather. We spend our time seeking out adventures, learning new hobbies, and wrangling our two year old on the city subway.

You can see my personal blog at: storyworthylife.tumblr.com

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August 14th
11:30 AM Central Standard Time
Scout,
Okay sweetest. I have some cool, yet a bit difficult news for you.
First off, I always want you to know that I love you so much. I could try to use words to describe it, but it’s laughable how words think they are always so powerful, when no combination of them written down can really, truly describe the way I feel about you when I look at you. These 6 months or so in Chicago have been amazing. I have only needed to work two 13 hour shifts a week, which leaves the other five days completely mommy and Scout time. We have gone on countless adventures and I have savored every moment. I love staying at home with you. I love hearing you yell "momma! Hey!" from your crib and I got in and pretend I don’t see you… in which you yell, while laughing: "I’m wight here!"
I love making you breakfast and talking about what you want to do for the day. I love cuddles, and letting you pick out your outfit- to which you will always  say: "I wanna pwitty dess" (a pretty dress). I love getting dressed because you will always compliment me on my clothing choice- even if it is just yoga pants. "I like your shirt! I love your shoes!" 
I love doing errands with you. I love when you wanna do something and I say “not right now..” to which you always reply in the cutest of voices: "so maybe later?"
I love when you watch a movie you always, always, ask "How bout Shwek?" And I say of course- because Shrek was my favorite movie long before you came along.
I love chasing you around at the park. I love when I put you to bed you always say "no the dinosaurs in my bed!" -but really you are fine as long as you have some books and your night light.
The point is- I love staying at home with you. I love being a mom. But as you may not know, my job the two days a week is killing me. I am burnt out beyond belief. I used to enjoy it more when I first started in 2010 but after I returned from being a travel nurse, it seemed like the whole place changed. I can’t tell if the place changed more, if I did more. But whatever the case is, I slowly began to feel so bitter about going into work. Bitterness turned into dread. My stomach would literally turn into knots while riding the el toward the hospital. Sometimes I would feel like I was going to throw up. I felt like there was minimal help for huge loads of work and I was actually scared I would lose my nursing license for a stupid reason because we were so busy. My “plan” for my career was much different than the way life currently is. So I started applying for another job- specifically a really cool sounding job with an outpatient company. I applied to that company four times within 7 months. In July, I got a call back from the company. The last few times I had spoken with them, I told them I was only interested in part-time. But in July when they called, I realized that the job was worth doing five full days a week. On top of that, I didn’t know how much longer I could stay sane doing my current job. So I pursued a full time position at this other company.
And guess what? I got it!!!Scout, you are looking at the Assertive Community Treatment Nurse for Thresholds.  To explain this job to you- I will just copy and paste my description that I posted on my social media site: “Thresholds is the largest and oldest provider of recovery services for those struggling with mental illness. Their slogan is to provide "healthcare, housing & hope." If you know me, you know I have a deep passion for overcoming homelessness and also a passion for the mentally ill. This job excites me! My job will include going into the office every morning with an amazing team of folks then we individually go out into our territory and visit our members- whether they live on the street, in a home, or are dealing on the corner. My territory is the south side of Chicago. So not only will I get to work for this amazing company but I will get to become more aware of the social issues that are plaguing this area and figure out what we can do to help. I will be seeing about 4-5 members daily then using the rest of my time to chart- whether in my office or at a coffee shop- or whatever. They are super flexible. So overall, I am ridiculously excited to get paid for doing outreach that I LOVE and often find myself doing anyway. I get to be a NURSE, counselor, and social worker.” 
Anyways Scout, I start on September 3rd, just a few short weeks away. I will be working Monday through Friday and every 6th weekend I will be on call. I”m sure this new position will bring with it many stories and lessons. I am so excited to do a job that I am passionate about again. I’m excited not to be anxious to go into work. This job feels like something I was created to do!
Even though this is an exciting time, it’s also a bittersweet time. Not spending the majority of my daily time with you is sad to me. But there is good news that makes me feel better about all this. You are going to be going to school!!! There’s a little school around the corner from us that is affordable and super cute. They speak in spanish and English so I think that will be awesome for you. Seeing as we have no friends with kids- you are super excited to be hanging out with children your own age. I know you will love it! Daddy’s work schedule is still part time so you won’t be in school full time everyday either. I think this is a time period in our life where we will need to make lots of adjustments- but I think that we will be glad that we made them.
One day Scout, when you are older, I want you to be proud of me. I want to have done things that you would want to tell your friends or future husband. I want you to think that turning out like me wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. It’s these thoughts that strive for me to be a better human, to make differences. So even though taking this position means I will be spending less time with you, you are still a huge reason why I took this job. I have a little two year old who looks up to me. I wanna make sure that when you tilt your head back and see me- you see the best version of me. Love you Scout.
-Mom.

Scout,

Okay sweetest. I have some cool, yet a bit difficult news for you.

First off, I always want you to know that I love you so much. I could try to use words to describe it, but it’s laughable how words think they are always so powerful, when no combination of them written down can really, truly describe the way I feel about you when I look at you.

These 6 months or so in Chicago have been amazing. I have only needed to work two 13 hour shifts a week, which leaves the other five days completely mommy and Scout time. We have gone on countless adventures and I have savored every moment. I love staying at home with you. I love hearing you yell "momma! Hey!" from your crib and I got in and pretend I don’t see you… in which you yell, while laughing: "I’m wight here!"

I love making you breakfast and talking about what you want to do for the day. I love cuddles, and letting you pick out your outfit- to which you will always  say: "I wanna pwitty dess" (a pretty dress). I love getting dressed because you will always compliment me on my clothing choice- even if it is just yoga pants. "I like your shirt! I love your shoes!"

I love doing errands with you. I love when you wanna do something and I say “not right now..” to which you always reply in the cutest of voices: "so maybe later?"

I love when you watch a movie you always, always, ask "How bout Shwek?" And I say of course- because Shrek was my favorite movie long before you came along.

I love chasing you around at the park. I love when I put you to bed you always say "no the dinosaurs in my bed!" -but really you are fine as long as you have some books and your night light.

The point is- I love staying at home with you. I love being a mom. But as you may not know, my job the two days a week is killing me. I am burnt out beyond belief. I used to enjoy it more when I first started in 2010 but after I returned from being a travel nurse, it seemed like the whole place changed. I can’t tell if the place changed more, if I did more. But whatever the case is, I slowly began to feel so bitter about going into work. Bitterness turned into dread. My stomach would literally turn into knots while riding the el toward the hospital. Sometimes I would feel like I was going to throw up. I felt like there was minimal help for huge loads of work and I was actually scared I would lose my nursing license for a stupid reason because we were so busy. My “plan” for my career was much different than the way life currently is. So I started applying for another job- specifically a really cool sounding job with an outpatient company. I applied to that company four times within 7 months. In July, I got a call back from the company. The last few times I had spoken with them, I told them I was only interested in part-time. But in July when they called, I realized that the job was worth doing five full days a week. On top of that, I didn’t know how much longer I could stay sane doing my current job. So I pursued a full time position at this other company.

And guess what?

I got it!!!

Scout, you are looking at the Assertive Community Treatment Nurse for Thresholds.  To explain this job to you- I will just copy and paste my description that I posted on my social media site:

Thresholds is the largest and oldest provider of recovery services for those struggling with mental illness. Their slogan is to provide "healthcare, housing & hope." If you know me, you know I have a deep passion for overcoming homelessness and also a passion for the mentally ill. This job excites me! My job will include going into the office every morning with an amazing team of folks then we individually go out into our territory and visit our members- whether they live on the street, in a home, or are dealing on the corner.
My territory is the south side of Chicago. So not only will I get to work for this amazing company but I will get to become more aware of the social issues that are plaguing this area and figure out what we can do to help. I will be seeing about 4-5 members daily then using the rest of my time to chart- whether in my office or at a coffee shop- or whatever. They are super flexible. So overall, I am ridiculously excited to get paid for doing outreach that I LOVE and often find myself doing anyway. I get to be a NURSE, counselor, and social worker.”

Anyways Scout, I start on September 3rd, just a few short weeks away. I will be working Monday through Friday and every 6th weekend I will be on call. I”m sure this new position will bring with it many stories and lessons. I am so excited to do a job that I am passionate about again. I’m excited not to be anxious to go into work. This job feels like something I was created to do!

Even though this is an exciting time, it’s also a bittersweet time. Not spending the majority of my daily time with you is sad to me. But there is good news that makes me feel better about all this.

You are going to be going to school!!! There’s a little school around the corner from us that is affordable and super cute. They speak in spanish and English so I think that will be awesome for you. Seeing as we have no friends with kids- you are super excited to be hanging out with children your own age. I know you will love it! Daddy’s work schedule is still part time so you won’t be in school full time everyday either. I think this is a time period in our life where we will need to make lots of adjustments- but I think that we will be glad that we made them.

One day Scout, when you are older, I want you to be proud of me. I want to have done things that you would want to tell your friends or future husband. I want you to think that turning out like me wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. It’s these thoughts that strive for me to be a better human, to make differences. So even though taking this position means I will be spending less time with you, you are still a huge reason why I took this job. I have a little two year old who looks up to me. I wanna make sure that when you tilt your head back and see me- you see the best version of me. Love you Scout.

-Mom.

Comments
June 30th
11:43 PM Central Standard Time

Scout,

It has not been an easy few months for your mama. I’ve been dealing with depression again, the kind that just forces you to stay in bed. I’ve been slowly battling against it on and off since being diagnosed with post-partum depression. I usually have multiple months of pure bliss then a few months of deep sadness. These months were the latter. I have been slowly trying to figure out how to stay social and stay a good mom when all I want to do is sleep and watch law and order svu reruns. (I think I always watch that show when I’m depressed because it’s okay to be depressed during it…)

However, I have been slowly getting better. The last few weeks I’ve been getting outside more and enjoying other people more. Your dad and you have always been my rock. The two people that know me and I don’t have to constantly explain myself to you guys.

Smack in the middle of all this, I got diagnosed with PCOS- which is a disease that not only messes with your hormones and makes you insulin-resistant, but also makes it really difficult to get pregnant. I sought help when i noticed I hadn’t ovulated for over 6 months. After lots of appointments and tests - PCOS was my new reality. An incurable life-long disease that seems like it is always fighting your body. It explained a lot. Why I could work out 4-5 times a week and eat healthy vegetarian food and barely lose a pound. The Doctor put me on metformin which is supposed to get my insulin back in check- so far it’s working well.

I have been very focused on the nutrition aspect of PCOS but completely ignoring the FERTILITY issue. I am blessed beyond words that I have a child already- but I don’t think I should need to apologize for the fact that I want more- desperately. Having fertility issues are hard- because you feel like your body is failing you at the one thing it was made to do.

And then on top of all that, last week- I did something bad to my back at work- I can barely move around without pretty severe pain. As Alex was drawing me a bath today I sat across from him and the bathroom and just started sobbing. I just wanted to say “eff you depression, eff you constant pain, eff you PCOS, and EFF you body that can’t even function properly- can’t even ovulate for God’s sake. What the hell.” but instead I just cried- the ridiculously embarrassing type of crying where you rub your snot all over your shirt because you are too tired to reach for the kleenex.

Scout, being your mom is the most amazing part of my life. I just so wanted you to have siblings and for your dad and I to have a huge family to have tickle fights with. When you picture your life in your head- it’s weird when it goes a drastically different way. But hey, that’s the story of my life. I didn’t want a baby when I got pregnant with you, and now I really want a baby, and I don’t even know if that will ever happen again. I guess this is when people laugh and say “ha- life’s a bitch!” Yeah, I don’t always feel like that- I usually don’t. But today- yeah- life’s quite a bitch.

Comments
February 28th
10:26 PM Central Standard Time

Scout, 

Here is a video of your first time at the pool! This is at our new (100% paid for) apartment complex provided by American Mobile. I have to admit, this travel nursing gig has been awesome so far. Three 12 hour night shifts a week; but every other moment is free time for us in sunny southern Florida. Housing and utilities are paid for and travel is reimbursed. It’s rough adjusting to a new work environment so quickly- (a got a 12 hour shift for training), and also it’s rough being away from family and friends. But we are still ecstatic about this, it feels surreal. Your dad and I will often look at each other and say: “Wow, we live in Florida.” Tomorrow we’re taking a day trip to Sanibel island and Thursday will bring something else fun. 

You have been so full of fantastic cuteness lately, that I’m trying to video tape more often. Woo hoo! 

Comments