Monday, December 31, 2007
It's been a tough, tough year. There have been blessings, for sure- Corryn's birth, Dave finishing residency, discovery and correction of Corryn's spinal cord defect with mostly smooth sailing, but most importantly, no lasting effects. There have been some difficulties- the furnace dying, Corryn's broken arm, the stress of the job search. The adjustment to 2 kids has been challenging for me, I will admit. Between the demands of small kids and Dave's work hours, it has often felt like there is simply not enough of me to go around.
Through it all, though, I have gained and ability and an immense appreciation for leaning on friends and family. Contrary to the American way, I learned how to ask for help- and in the process learned how much it adds to your life. It doesn't make you helpless or weak to ask for help- it makes you human and lessens your load. I've had loving ears on which to voice concerns, vent frustrations, cry, laugh- whatever was needed. We've been fed numerous times and had the house cleaned for us (thanks moms!!) There's simply no way we'd have made it through this year without the help of others.
I'm not making new year's resolutions. I'm just going to keep trying remember what I've learned from 2007. I'm learning to relax a bit with caring for 2 kids and in the process have been able to laugh with them more. Dave and I have leaned heavily on each other through it all and look forward to things settling some in the next year. We continue to lean on each other through the job search as we try to balance the wants, needs and dreams of all those involved with the available jobs.
At one time, I couldn't wait for this year to end. Now, as I think back on it, in many ways, I feel proud to have survived it, am thankful for the things I can take away from it and hope for a little less of a roller coaster next year.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
W: "Did we have a bad day yesterday? I thought we had a good day!"
D: "But I want to have the best day ever!"
W: "Well, what would make it the best day ever?"
D: "It would need to have more ice cream and cookies than yesterday did."
So, it's not about how well you get along with everyone, it's about how much sugar you got to eat.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
On a different note, the job search is still a big conundrum. There are some new developments with the job in Southern Illinois. Some things that were promised have now changed- including the offer of reimbursement for our trip there before Thanksgiving. And he wants us to make another trip for Dave to meet a few other people at the hospital. So, it has changed our thinking on that one a bit. Maybe it's a good thing that we didn't have a written contract. I'm trying so hard to take a "wait and see" approach on this, but it is hard.
And on one other note, twice today we have walked up on Corryn standing freely somewhere-as in, she didn't pull up on something and let go, she just stood up from the floor. Last night she was taking one step from one object to another. She's 11 months old today- sorry no picture today. I'll post one soon!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
And as for the job in Indiana... it just stalled. Not completely, but definitely stalled. They thought they had an anesthesia medical director hired, then didn't, then were talking about just subcontracting anesthesia instead of the hospital actually hiring them. Since they couldn't decide, they decided to hold off on staff job offers. Now they have someone they want for medical director and hope to have a written contract with them by January (note the importance of that written contract part- and the "hope to" part). Then, they'll be connecting the new medical director with the candidates for staff positions. This could easily take another month or two. That would put us into March- 6 months after the initial interview. But, it is a new hospital, so delays are inevitable.
How do you put a frustrated growl into writing?
The Southern Illinois job is the current top choice, but this dragging out of the written contract part has brought up some concerns. So, we continue to wallow around in the waiting game, when mentally, we are so beyond ready for it to be settled.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"I don't know."
"Did you ask her how old she was?"
And in being absolutely true to her nature, "No, I wasn't really interested."
Fair enough. Afterall, why bother if it isn't interesting?
Friday, November 30, 2007
Then, Corryn and I were going though. I didn't take her soft leather shoes off, so the same agent made me go back, take off her shoes and come back through the security screener thing.
So, apparently, happy, skipping 4 year old and infants with soft leather shoes on are now on the list of high risk fliers.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Since my last post, it's been a whirlwind. Here are the highlights:
--Dave was gone for 5 days on job interviews, leaving the girls and I behind. It was so stressful traveling multiple places with 2 small children that we decided for him to go it alone. I confirmed just how much less stressful it was to be left behind with small children by getting my 3rd case of mastitis this year. Yep, that was much less stressful.
--I had my GI appointment to follow up on the wheat/gluten sensitivity that I developed while I was pregnant with Corryn. It hasn't gone away and had a lot of indications of being Celiac Disease, so I felt like it was important to see whether it was or not. I had an intestinal biopsy 2 days after the appointment, then got the wonderful news earlier this week that it is not Celiac Disease. It is a gluten sensitivity, but I don't have to be as diligent about avoiding it as I would if it were Celiac.
--Dave got a job offer from a hospital in Southern Illinois. It's a great opportunity with someone he really clicked with personality-wise.
--Unwilling to accept a job offer from a place I hadn't seen, we made plans to adjust our travel-home-for-the-holidays plans so we could spend a few days in Illinois. Having done both staying home alone with small kids AND traveling mulitple places with them in one month, I say it's a toss up as to which is more stressful.
--Accepted the job offer!!!!! It isn't a done deal- there are still contract negotiations, but it feels like that isn't going to be a problem. Dave has given them his "wants" and no one has balked yet.
--Colds for everyone, except Corryn. Teething for her. And sheer hatred for her car seat, though that's nothing new. It's just highlighted by how much more time she's had to spend in it.
--Traveled home to Arkansas for family Thanksgiving. Being dairy free for Corryn and wheat free for me ensured that I did not overeat at either of the dinners we went to yesterday. We are in the south and the reigning philosophy is that there is very little that can't be made better by the addition of butter/cream/ bacon grease, though care was taken by some of the cooks to make things without any butter. I appreciated it a great deal. It was wonderful to see and spend time with family, though a little overwhelming for the little ones. OK, a lot overwhelming- there were a lot of tears and consoling involved. Everyone wanted to hold Corryn and she wanted no part of it whatsoever.
There's definite good in there, though in the whirlwind it hasn't all sunk in yet.
Now for a few days of downtime. We're at my mom's. I get to shower uninterrupted. I get to sit and read a magazine. I get to take naps. How heavenly is that?!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I wouldn't want to spend all my time there, it would undoubtedly get pretty lonely. But right now, after the day we've had, there is very little I wouldn't give to have a little time in that house in the woods.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Less than 2 weeks after figuring out how to crawl, she has moved on to pulling up to a standing position. She did this even before figuring out sitting very well. Her favorite place to practice this skill is on the edge of the slippery bathtub as I am taking a shower. This, of course, concerns me a bit. Maybe giving her a rawhide to chew instead of keeping them from her would occupy her long enough for me to take a shower.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The handblown glass structure from artist Dale Chihuly
The underside of the huge glass structure:
There was an amazing dinosaur display complete with several little play stations with terrain (caves & simulated water) and toy dinosaurs. They also had a dig site and a very well done scavenger hunt. Interestingly, they had a skull of a dinosaur with a brain tumor.
This is the closest that Dillon needs to be to driving for quite some time:
And as a great way to transition the kids out the door at closing time, they have a parade led by Rex the dinosaur down the spiral ramp straight to the front door. We had to give Dillon a lesson on safe flag waving after she accidently hit Corryn in the head. Corryn was understandably not amused by this.
Dillon has asked several times already to go back. We've promised her we will if we end up in Indiana. She's keeping her fingers crossed (OK, we are too, but as much for the museum as she is).
Saturday, September 22, 2007
What was it that finally prompted her to coordinate the separate erratic movements of the upper and lower halves of her body? Her beloved mom? A really interesting toy?
Nope-the dog's nasty rawhide.
No matter where I put them, she seems to have a radar for them and has managed to work her way toward them as she has been figuring out how to crawl. The dog doesn't help in that when I toss it somewhere else, so goes and gets it, then proudly brings it back to where it was-won't fetch anything else, mind you. She doesn't even care that Corryn plays with it. Corryn doens't care about the multitude of little pieces of flotsam and jetsom all over the carpet. For her, the rawhide is key.
So now you know how to motivate your teething baby to crawl. Forget teethers- throw a rawhide down on the floor!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
8 months old! I can't believe it! Isn't she a cutie? :)
She's trying really hard to crawl. She can get on her hands and knees & can even make a little forward progress with her legs. She can't quite coordinate this with the upper half yet though and ends up spinning around in a big circle a lot. She did manage several inches of going forward earlier, so I think she'll get it soon. She can sit independently for a few minutes, then topples over sideways.
She still loves to feel of hair, which means I have to keep the canopy thing on the backpack so that she doesn't jerk all the hair out of my head. The dog is now one of her favorite toys. Thank goodness she's so tolerant.
And she did beautifully flying- hardly a peep out of her the whole time we were on airplanes. Sleeping in several new places was not so much her idea of a good time, but we made it through.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I'm going through the pictures I took, but here's one the day we left- Dillon all twitterpated at the trip ahead. Note the oh-so-very-pink Barbie suitcase (nevermind the kid rarely plays with a Barbie...) and the sparkly shoes. In the suitcase? Various toys that never got a moment's attention plus a pair of sandals that never got worn. The providence of childhood- someone else worries about the fact that you'll need underwear for your trip while you focus on the fun stuff :)
Friday, September 14, 2007
Yesterday, we were pretending to talk to one another on the phone & I asked her what she'd be doing today. Her response was "I'm going to a fancy lunch where I won't be able to do anything fun."
At least she's mostly dressed her way- a yellow capri outfit, stripey yellow socks (though a different shade of yellow) and multi-colored sparkly shoes with dark brown bows.
It's good that we don't do these kind of lunches often- I'd never manage if I had to put this much energy into her attire everday. I'm more along the philosophy of mostly clean, mostly well- fitting- matching is far down the list.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
We're still in Indiana- arrived in Lafayette today after having spent the last 2 days in downtown Indianapolis. We were supposed to have gone to Vinceinnes for a job interview during that time, but the position was unexpectedly filled. So, as a "consolation prize," they put us up in the Embassy Suites in downtown Indianapolis. We visited the zoo and children's museum and are exhausted. We can't complain, though, we had a good time. I'll post pictures when we get back home.
Friday, September 07, 2007
--While it seems altruistic for Fisher Price to set up a play area in the airport, it is actually a not so cleverly disguised marketing ploy. Were it altruism, they would not have encased the oh-so-very interesting (albeit far too noisy) toys in a plastic display case, annoying both the 4 year old ("I want to see what they feel like!!"), as well as her parents since they have to answer numerous times why the case is there.
--The airport is so very interesting when you're an airplane-enthralled child. It ranks faaaaaaaarrrrr higher than eating. This means that when it comes time cope with some less-than-fun aspect of flying (like your little sister needing the window seat because of the car seat), you are too hungry to cope with this well and crying loudly seems the only reasonable option. Your parents find this to be beyond frustrating, but are at a loss of how to make it different- short of physically stuffing food into your mouth.
--It is difficult for both Dave and Dillon to fit in the airplane bathroom.
-- Even with what felt like a distinctly un-fun experience for the adults, being in the airport and on the airplane were Dillon's favorite, favorite, favorite activities and she can't wait to do it again.
So, here we are in Indiana, outside of Indianapolis. It's a nice place & I'd forgotten how nice Midwesterners are. Dave interviewed most of the day yesterday and is doing so part of today. We're planning to go into Indy some this weekend to do some touristy things. As neither of us are big-city people anymore, I'm sure it'll be fun for a while, then all that concrete and cars will get old and we'll start wanting something a little less crowded.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Well, Texas does market itself as being like a whole other country...
Friday, August 24, 2007
Why? Said with equal frequency to "Mom?"
What happens if you let go of the steering wheel while you are driving?
Would you run into that guard rail over there?
Would you get hurt if you went down that hill right there?
What if cars were meant to drive without someone steering them?
Why don't the people that make cars just put a sensor on the bottom to tell it where to go?
Dave recently picked up a book- The Ultimate Book of Useless Information. Somewhere in it was a tidbit that says the average 4 year old asks 437 questions a day.
I'm pretty sure we hit that by noon.
On the positive note- with her kind of thinking, she'll be the one that invents the flying cars we all thought we'd be riding in by the year 2000. It's a matter of me surviving the machine gun fire nature of those questions until then.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I'm a little more on time this month! She turned 7 months old yesterday.
First, the update- her arm is fine. She didn't use it for about 24 hours, then started using it normally. We saw the pedi ortho surgeon on friday who deemed us to be fine. They didn't even do repeat x-rays since she was using her arm just fine. Thank goodness.
So, here we are at 7 months old. She's very contemplative and gives everyone these pensive looks. She will smile at people but not freely- it's more of an earned thing. She was laying on her tummy on the floor the other day and was staring at her hand. I thought she had something in it, but she was actually just intently watching how her shadow moved when she moved her hand.
She still likes pretty much only me, but will tolerate other people for short periods of time. Playing with hair is a big favorite & Dillon has been the victim of this more than once. She's only mildly interested in eating, but stick a large cup of water in front of her and she'll nearly nearly knock it out of your hand to get a drink. Still not sitting independently, but is starting to scoot around the room. We're trying to get back in the habit of keeping the gate at the top of the stairs closed.
We soon get to see how she does traveling as we head to Indiana next month. Let's all pray it goes well...
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
So, after a couple of calls, we head to the pediatrician's clinic. Then to X-ray where the tech was initially less than gratious about having Dillon there. I, too, was guilty of being less than gratious as I snapped at her that I didn't plan on my infant getting injured today and didn't have a babysitter at my beck and call. She chilled out after that. Dave, as is always the case, was on call in the ICU- his first day in there and couldn't get away.
No obvious fracture on x-ray, but she won't use her left arm, so we are sent down to the ER to see the orthopedic surgery resident. They were kind enough to warn us that we would be waiting for "hours." Dave was able to join us briefly, I was able to reach my dear friend Juliana to come get Dillon & we were able to get some food.
Long story made shorter, 4 1/2 hours, 2 exams and 2 more x-rays later, the consensus was that no one was 100% sure what the injury was, but it wasn't limb-threatening, so we were sent home.
I just got a call from the resident we saw last night who consulted with the pediatric ortho surgeon. The feeling is that it is a fracture in the growth plate in her left upper arm. There is really nothing to be done except keep the arm pined at her side for a few days while her body creates new bone. No casting, no surgery. We follow up with the surgeon on friday.
Not sure how to approach this for the future with Dillon. Obviously, I need to not leave them alone together for a while. It was an accident, though I did spend the afternoon fighting being really angry at Dillon. I'm calmer now. Exhausted, but calmer, so hopefully I can be a bit more rational while I duct tape her hands together to keep her from hurting her sister again (I'm kidding of course...).
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
When I started dating Dave I knew he wanted to go back to school. Not long after we were married, it was decided-together- that it was medical school he wanted to pursue and so shortly after our first anniversary, he started back to school for a Bachelor's degree. Fast forward 11 years, 2400 miles worth of moves, $250,000 in student loans, 2 kids and here we are. Did I know what I was in for? Nope, no idea. Would I do it again? Absolutely not. Do I regret it? No, though it has been difficult beyond anything I would've imagined. The number of nights that he has fallen asleep within 1/2 hour of getting home are more than I can count.
But on the other hand, I've been witness to someone who dreamed something and against pretty siginicant odds, acheived that dream. Afterall, this is the guy that flunked out of college at 21 with a 0.6 GPA. Who goes to medical school after that?! He has such a passion and a talent for medicine that it truly would've been a loss for him to not be where he is today. I'm glad to have been part of the ride, being the support system. It's much easier to say that now that we are finally, finally here.
There is still the fellowship, but the job search has already started. We are headed to Indiana for 3 job interviews next month. It gives us hope that there really is a reward for the nose to the grindstone existence we've lived for the last 11 years.
An anesthesiologist. Wow.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Again I'm late with the birthday post. Just life right now, I suppose.
6 months old! She is quite "talkative" now, getting so loud sometimes that we have to yell to be heard over her. It annoys Dillon greatly that she has competiton for the talking time now :) She's rolling over quite well, though still likes to roll to her belly then fuss about being there. She is getting better about rolling herself places as well as lifting herself higher up on her arms. She's nowhere near crawling- or really sitting for that matter. When put in a sitting position she lasts for 0.5 seconds before falling to one side.
Still dislikes the car seat but is kind enough to give me about 20 minutes before expressing this full force. Dillon being beside her in the back seat helps, though once Corryn starts crying, Dillon covers both ears and is no help whatsoever. I'll even go so far as to say she makes it worse since she continues to ask questions in spite of the fact she can't hear the answers.
I feel like a whole new world has opened up for me since she's finally old enough to go in the backpack. This makes dinner prep a great deal safer since she was really grabbing at things on the stove. As for solids- she's had a few samples of things here and there but nothing consistent. Mostly she looks at me like I've put poop in her mouth :) She does love to drink water out of a sippy cup- or any other cup for that matter.
Anyway, though I'd post this picture since it's her normal state when she's awake- one or both fingers in her mouth. Doesn't seem to be teething- just has tasty fingers apparently :)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
After 11 years at this, these last days are dragging by. It would probably go faster if it wasn't such a huge event that we are so focused on, but it has been the focus of our lives for so long. I don't know that we could ignore the end looming near if we wanted to. But really, who wants to- we've worked so incredibly hard for this- it deserves to be anticipated!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
"Mom, you got Corryn to sleep and I got Baby Jo to sleep so that means that the moms get a day off!"
We'll just nevermind the fact that it was 8pm and the day was pretty much over. She gave me the day off anyway.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Meet Pipsqueak. We've been doing a riding class for young kids in lieu of gymnastics this summer. It operates far more on exposure to riding and caring for horses than actual correctness of technique. There's 2 kids in the class, so they each get to work on groming Pip, then leading him to the riding arena, then making a couple of loops around the arena. Needless to say, Dillon loves it. We usually end up spending extra time at the barn saying hello to all the horses. This program only runs through the fall, so we'll go back to gymanstics in the fall, but are enjoying this in the meantime.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Growing up, we had several wild blackberry bushes growing around the pond on our property. We would go pick enough to make a cobbler, plus enough to snack on as we fought off the stickers (and ticks and mosquitos...).
While on a walk this week, we discovered this bush with red and black berries. Dillon quickly gobbled up all the black ones, stopping only long enough to let me take this picture. It brought me back to my own childhood, eating wild berries freshly picked, outside in the sunshine. As it turns out, these are actually black raspberries rather than blackberries, but no matter.
It's long been my goal to give my children that element of my childhood- the simplicity of spending hours outside, learning and appreciating the gifts the earth. Dillon loves it- she takes a great deal of pride in identifying and eating the wild sorrel in our yard. We found a wild strawberry a couple of days ago that she quickly gobbled up. Since we found this bush, she asks every few hours throught the day if I think there are any more berries that are ripe and can we go check.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
This morning I took some store bought bubble solution, improved upon it a bit with some detergent, corn syrup and water, then we headed outside for some bubble blowing. It's amazing, the magic of bubbles. Dillon started jumping around to catch them, laughing. Corryn started laughing those great baby belly laughs at Dillon jumping around laughing. So, of course I was laughing at the two of them, which made them each laugh more. It was so simple, blowing bubbles, and such a great reminder of the joy of children.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Movie time is 4:00 at our house. This is one of our favorite movie time snacks as of late- chocolate popcorn. I pop the popcorn in a big pot on the stove, then pour the chocolate sauce over the top. We eat it with big spoons since it pretty sticky. Corryn almost managed to make it her first food a couple of days ago when she rather adeptly reached out, grabbed a handful and had it to her mouth faster than I could intervene. She knew she needed to get it to her mouth, but wasn't sure what to do from there, giving me time to act before it made actually into her mouth. :)
Anyway, chocolate popcorn:
1/2 -2/3 cup unpopped popcorn
Approx 1/3 c Blackstrap molassess
Some margarine (no butter due to the Corryn's dairy issues)
Heat together- I do it in the microwave for speed.
It's really good without being overly sweet plus has iron, calcium and potassium from the molassess, which alleviates some of the guilt :)
Friday, June 29, 2007
So I'm a little late posting this. Just been feeling a little stretched thin lately, so I'm doing my best.
Here she is at 5 months. She's very sweet and smiley, though either has a bit of a cold right now or is teething since she's been a real grumpy bear today complete with runny nose and drool.
She's figured out how to roll herself from back to stomach and can occasionally go back to her back, but mostly she prefers to roll to her stomach then lay there and fuss because she doesn't like being on her belly :) She's really watching me when I eat and even tries to grab for things, though I'd still like to hold off on solids a bit longer.
She still hates the car seat but adores her big sister. Dillon can get a laugh out of her faster than anyone can. Of course, Dillon loves this!
The moving trees are no longer entertaining her, so that's it for now.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This too shall pass...this too shall pass...
Friday, June 22, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
How very not fun.
Friday, June 15, 2007
What a relief- we're home! All is well. With the exception of the incredibly bland food, I have nothing but praise for our whole experiece, given the fact it was surgery on my infant. The pre-op staff was wonderful- a nurses's aide got Corryn to sleep by walking her around before her surgery, so she went back to the OR asleep. That was such a blessing for me. We had lots of visitors which really helped pass the time quickly. We got several pages during the surgery with "things are going well" kinds of updates. The ICU staff was great- her assessment one morning was notable for being "Cute, cute, cute!"
And above all else Corryn is doing great. It feels like a weight has been lifted off of all of us.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Thanks to all for thoughts and prayers- it is such a relief to be mostly through this!
Friday, June 08, 2007
She actually let me take her picture today!
Warm day today. Dillon went to a friend's house for a while while I took Corryn with me to a court appearance I had to make for a friend. Another friend took care of Corryn there at the courthouse while I testified, but poor baby ended up with 3 nasty black fly bites, including one on her eyelid. Stupid black flies.
Wednesday (the surgery day) looms ever closer....
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Then I check my email this morning to find an email from a friend directing me to this blog entry in which a mother is writing a letter to her daughter on her 18th birthday. That daughter sounds so very much like Dillon- minus the climibing to the top of the fridge to eat bananas part. It was a wonderful reminder that, as she makes the point, the qualities of thinking for herself and following her own path are not qualities that one develops suddenly as an adult- they are cultivated from childhood. Granted, they are much less polished in childhood, but this is where they start. I see passion and determination in Dillon. I see a person that is not going to do things just because other people are doing them- or even because someone else (including her parents) thinks she should. I see that quality of being able to think for herself that we as her parents want so much for her to have.
I'll admit, sometimes I do wish for that "good" kid- the one that obeys when I say to stop doing something that's annoying. Or worse yet, just not socially acceptable, but not otherwise harmful in any way. I sometimes wish she wasn't so persistent as to fight me every night for 3 years to brush her teeth. And sometimes I really, really do wish for an off button for all those questions. But mostly, when I can look at things outside of the moment, I can give those qualities some perspective, compare them to those same qualities she shares with her dad (proof they can be polished...) and understand that they will serve her well in life. She will be someone that can chose an unconventional path- much like her father (med school at 30 after flunking out of college at 21?!!!) and make it work for her.
I just pray I survive it.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Now, second of all, for those that are a little less attuned to the intricacies of body language, please understand that when a 4 year old is starting to melt down & her mother is physically down on her level in order to try to thwart said meltdown, that is NOT THE TIME to stop and ask her a bunch of questions about the baby in the sling. Yes, she is adorable, and under normal circumstances I enjoy being told so. But when a small child is starting to lose it, it's fairly obvious- especially when you've been gawking at us for the last several minutes, as I've seen the 2 people doing that have done this to me. Perhaps your parenting is very different than mine and you would handle the situation differently, but right then is not the time to try to sway me to your way of thinking. So, please don't be offended when I tell you as politely as I can muster at that point that I really need to give my attention to my child. I don't multitask very well and being as I signed on to the responsibilty to raise her to be a good citizen of the world, she's my priority.
Thank you for your understanding.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I vividly remember visiting the public library when I was a kid. I loved the quiet, the reverence for the books, the places the books took me. I remember loving to visit the library in school. Then college, though somehow all the required reading stole some of the joy of books. I think it was a solid year before I read anything other than magazines and those dreadful hospital policy & procedure manuals for my first nursing job.
But slowly, the love of books re-emerged. I started visiting the public library again, just wandering the aisles at first, then finally settling on a book. I sometimes had to limit myself- I read obsessively and will neglect other things in my life for the sake of finishing a well-written book. They have entertained me, moved me to tears, challenged my thinking and shaped who I am.
Then I had a child. And we read books. And she grew old enough to have opinions about books, so we started visiting our local library. Sometimes we go in with a topic for our book search, sometimes we go and simply pull interesting ones off the shelves. We've developed a relationship with the librarians who will sometimes suggest books because they think we'll enjoy them. They're usually correct. When Dillon commented once that girls couldn't be knights ( after seeing a picture of a girl in armour), the children's librarians had a list of "girl power" books to counter that assertation.
One of the first ways we dealt with getting Dillon ready for Corryn's surgery was to visit the library and ask for books about kids- specifically siblings- having to be in the hospital. It's the same way we helped prepare her for having a sibling. It works beautifully.
Thomas Jefferson was once quoted as saying, "I cannot live without books."
I understand that sentiment completely.
Happy Love Thursday- the last official one as it turns out.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Dillon asked the other night, "How come her cheeks just keep getting squishier and squishier?" Good ol' momma milk, honey :)
She turned 4 months old on Sunday. I have to admit that I like the 3 month plus stages better than the newborn. Not that I don't like the newborn part, but they are just sturdier and more interactive once they hit 3 months. She's starting to figure out rolling, which she kept doing as I was trying to get this picture yesterday. She's making all these great baby sounds. She's a pretty serious baby & will only give reserved smiles to strangers, though there are huge smiles and occasional laughter for Dave, Dillon and me. She loves watching Dillon. She's finally getting better with getting things to her mouth & doesn't hit herself in the face quite so much.
I think we finally figured out the food issues- cow milk, eggs and tree nuts. Between that and the wheat(actually probably gluten) intolerance I developed while pregnant, I have to be pretty creative about what I eat. But I know that in all likelihood her sensitivties are temporary & eating creatively isn't a bad thing. I've become a pretty good cook by having to work around these sensitivites (as well as the ones Dillon had at this same point). But that's a post for another day.
Happy 4 month birthday my little one!
Friday, May 18, 2007
Anyway- love is holding your sister's hand-
One of my favorite moments as of late was one day Corryn was on the floor and Dillon was sitting on her knees beside her, listening intently to a story being read. Corryn reached up in that erratic way she still does at 3 months old to grab Dillon's finger, but couldn't quite reach. Without ever looking down at her, Dillon put her hand down and a little closer to Corryn so she could grab hold. They stayed thay way through the end of the story.
We got lots of smiles in the grocery store yesterday as we did our shopping with Corryn in the sling and Dillon holding her hand. Made shopping a bit slower, but it didn't matter. I love that, at least for now, they both enjoy holding each other's hands. I pray that they always remember the importance of doing so.
So, Happy Love Thursday on friday! :)
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
He didn't have the heart to tell her that some of her animals may not be as appreciative of her arrangement as others.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Within a month of dating my husband, I knew I would marry him. Twelve years ago this coming Sunday, I did just that, on a very stormy day in a beautiful candlelit ceremony. Our vows were very traditional- for better for worse, in sickness and in health, 'till death do us part.
Shortly after our first anniversary, he went back to school in pursuit of admission to medical school & all that that entails. We committed to it together. At varying times it's been good, it's been interesting, and it's been dowright awful- but never has it been boring. During his internship year, there were times we were held together by a thread, but there was never a doubt it was there. As we look to a future in which the fruits of our many years of labor at this process are soon to pay off, we go together.
On our honeymoon, a waiter guessed we were newly married by our telltale shiny rings. It's so interesting looking at our rings now. Cleaned up, they're still shiny, but show the wear and tear of life- life shared with one you love.
Happy Love Thursday!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
D: Mom, as soon as you tell me it's time to be quiet, I will.
W: It's time to be quiet
D: Already it's time to be quiet?
W: Yes, already
D: OK, I'll be really quiet
D: Mom? Why do those clouds up there look like steam?
W: Remember quiet time?
D: Oh yeah, I'm going to be quiet
W: OK good
D: Why'd you say "OK good"?
W: Quiet time Dillon
D: I don't think I can be quiet for very long
W: (thinking REALLY???!!!) Well, let's try.
D: OK, I'll try to be quiet.
And then it happened. She fell asleep. Corryn stayed asleep.
Well, except for the so very soothing sounds of Norah Jones. It lasted for 30 whole minutes before Corryn woke up and started to fuss. I stopped, hoping to get to her before she woke Dillon, but no luck.
But it's ok, because it was 30 whole minutes of blessed silence.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
your father's willingness, without question, to volunteer to be on call at the hospital & up most of 40 straight hours so he could be present for your MRI and susequent neurosurgery appointment. It is also knowing to wait to ask your mother if she was OK after finding out you need spinal surgery because he knew she wasn't, but didn't want to be asked that in public where she'd start crying.
While not entirely happy for Love Thursday, I'm holding onto the positives.
And the comical-
Love is also letting your 4 year owner do this to you:
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Of course, there's the chance that it would cause no problems at all. But, if we wait and see and problems do occur, very often that function that was affected does not return, even with surgical un-tethering of the cord.
It's a fairly minor procedure in neurosurgical terms, but it's still neurosurgery. It isn't scheduled yet- we're working out some details, but the recommendation is that it's done before she starts crawling to make recovery easier. She has to stay more or less horizontal- not in a bed, horizontal is some way and it's easier before they gain the ability to pull up on things.
Dave & I are feeling as anyone would feel when their infant is facing surgery- worried, scared, stressed. Dillon's trying to figure it out, too as best a 4 year old can.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
The last few months have been challenging, not for any one single thing, but several. Certainly the transition to two kids alone can be hard, but I feel like we're getting there. It's been unexpectedly having to replace the furnace & having to borrow the money to do so. It's been what seems like one illness after another at our house- and a surgery on top of it. Dave had his nose fixed after living with it being virtually useless for years. It's a good thing, but it's still a recovery time. Corryn has some food sensitivies that I have yet to completely identify, so we have these days that she just screams inconsolably. It's been the never ending winter- and accompanying grayness- this year.
The list can go on, but who really wants to. The image represents what has gotten me through this. The flowers are from my mom who sent them under the guise of Easter, but I think it was most just because she loves me and wanted to cheer me up. It worked. They were beautiful!
Tea has been a mainstay for me since Corryn's birth. The warmth on these endless cold days, the fact I have to slow down to sip it- the forced "mommy break." Few days have passed without at least a couple of cups of tea.
Dave gave me the blue teapot years ago. Although I've long been a tea drinker, I used it mostly for decoration until just the last few years, I never really knew what to do with it, until I discovered just how wonderful it can be to have a pot of tea sitting there ready. Since then, I've used in regularly. In that time, I've had the joy of discovering that tea is so much more than you can buy at the grocery store. My friend Karen is so generous in sharing her incredible stash of teas, that I've gotten to taste and enjoy many kinds- along with the benefit of sharing it with a friend.
On Monday evening, a package arrived from Adagio teas, sent by Karen. It is was a brewing pot, 5 different kinds of teas and a small book with great photos explaining all about tea- greens, blacks, oolongs, white. I immediately tried it out and enjoyed a cup of herbal rooibos from Africa. Such a wonderful gift!
Last, it's the photos. I've also long enjoyed photography, but since getting the digital Nikon SLR back in the fall, it's really taken off for me. I've gotten the chance to take some maternity pictures of another friend, Cynthia- so much fun! So, I thought it perfect to pull it all together with this photo of some of the remaining flowers & the tea.
It's easy to lose yourself in the drudgery of life, especially when it all comes at you at once. I'm thankful to have found things to pull me through these times.
Happy Love Thursday!
Monday, April 16, 2007
D: "Momma- I don't think I'd like school. They do too much talking. I like gymnastics because we get to jump and do things."
I don't know if we've explained school this way or if she has just picked up this from friends that go to preschool. In either case, she's right, she'd have trouble with the sitting still and listening. She clearly doesn't have trouble learning, just sitting still to do so.
Friday, April 13, 2007
LATEST INDICATIONS ARE SHOWING A GROWING POTENTIAL FOR A MAJOR NOREASTER TO DEVELOP AND INTENSIFY ALONG OR OFF THE MID ATLANTIC COAST ON SUNDAY AND THEN STALL OFF THE SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND COAST EARLY NEXT WEEK.
IF THIS OCCURS THE POTENTIAL FOR COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF SNOW OR RAIN EXIST. VERY STRONG WINDS WOULD ALSO ACCOMPANY THIS STORM.
I've got to stop looking at weather forecasts.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I've already been crying about this one.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Living in a place where madness such as this occurs in April so that your husband can pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.
Seriously, I love living here, but snowfall in April? Well, not so much. 80 and sunny is more to my liking. But he is a very talented physician unlike most any other you meet. Maybe because he lived a little outside of the academic life before med school, maybe just because that's who he is. In any case, it's been quite ride pursuing this dream of his and I've been happy- overall- to join him on it.
Happy Love Thursday!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I think I'm going to cry.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Dillon said "Maybe she doesn't like having a greasy forehead!"
Now I know why Corryn fusses in the car seat. It isn't the straps or the not being held. It's the lanolin.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
...and letting her hold her baby sister all by herself because she's really shown she can be gentle and careful with her.
Happy Love Thursday!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
There are many problems with what she said. First and foremost, the diagnosis of SIDS is made when there is no other obvious cause of death. If the baby died of being overlain in bed with an adult, then it is not SIDS. So, don't blame SIDS on co-sleeping. There are studies out there that show that a baby is less likely to die of SIDS when co-sleeping, but with some searching, you can almost always find some study to validate what you believe. Second, it was just a completely inappropriate comment to make to someone with a new baby. If you don't agree with my parenting, fine, it's your prerogative. But, don't feed me a scare tactic as why your choice is better than mine.
Co-sleeping is an individual choice, I believe. Some people and some babies really do sleep better in separate spaces. I don't, nor do my children. I laid there and worried with Dillon because we were in separate spaces initially. I don't have to worry if Corryn is breathing- I can feel that she is. It isn't insurance against SIDS any more than a crib is. But it's the choice that we feel is best for our family and I feel like that should be respected just as I respect her choice- and anyone's choice- to do it differently.
I've been stewing over this ever since then and I really need to stop. This person is well-educated. She has a PhD in accounting. I've known her for a few years now and have never enjoyed her company, yet she almost seems to seek me out to talk to me. She's made inappropriate comments to me before- like telling me far too much about her marriage when I had only known her a few weeks. I feel like I probably handled it the best way possible, but it has still just crawled under my skin.
Maybe I can move on now.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Anyway, she's 2 months old! She's getting chubbier by the minute :) She's smiling like crazy (well, except yesterday), cooing and making all sorts of cute baby sounds. She looks like she's starting to try to reach for things, but most of the time ends up hitting herself in the head. She loves to watch Dillon and loves to be talked to- and carried around in the sling or front carrier. She'll only sleep if there's a warm body beside her, so the picture was taken in the 5 minutes between being put down and her realizing that the warm body was missing. It's one of those things that can be hard at the time (like when you want to take a shower longer than 5 minutes!) but that's mostly fine. I know I'll look back on it nostagically one day. Yeah for slings is all I can say to that.
We're all still adjusting and sometimes just surviving. Mastitis over the weekend and residency demands are not making the adjustment easier, but it's a joy to have had her join our lives. Dillon is enjoying being a big sister now, making it a frequent theme in her play with her toys.
I know, it all goes fast. I'm trying to remember that and focus on the better parts of life right now. It's hard sometimes, though, I have to say.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Friday evening I had a horrible headache. Saturday morning I woke up with a painful spot in my right breast and still had the headache and as an added bonus, fever. Not bad, 99.5, but just enough to feel miserable. This plagued me the whole weekend with my fever getting as high as 101.1. I so don't want antibiotics, given my ability to grow yeast. Dillon also woke up with a runny nose saturday morning- her third time since Corryn was born.
The fever is gone this morning, but I still hurt. As a second added bonus, I woke up to Dillon throwing up this morning. She laying on the couch now, enjoying the very rare treat of getting to watch TV and seems to be feeling a bit better.
Fortunately, Dave called in today to be able to take care of us. Unfortunately, he'll have to hear from his residency program director about how the residency program should be his top priority, not his family- and he'll have to extend a day at the end. I'll save my opinion about the paternalistic, demeaning nature of medical training for another day. I'll just express how thankful I am for a husband that does not bow to the demand of putting the residency first and is willing to put up with the flak he'll have to endure for being available to his family.