Friday, August 30, 2013


Hannah likes to shriek. I mean ear piercing, make you deaf and drive you bonkers SHRIEK. Most of the time it is when she wants/needs things. I would bet 90% of her shrieking occurs when she is in her high chair and either A) wants more/different food or B) is done. As you can imagine, it is NOT an endearing behavior. We have tried to stop her shrieking. And it has decreased significantly but since she is non-verbal it really is her best, most effective form of communication. Unfortunately. If I fed her fruit and cheese all day long I think the shrieking would cease. But since that isn't going to happen I have been trying to teach her actual words and one signed word....MORE. 

And EUREKA! It finally worked. Read below. Start at the picture of Hannah signing "more"...

Oh he makes me laugh. Such a dreamer I married. I will take what I can get. And an occasional sign for "more" instead of a shriek is a definite WIN in my book. 

Out of the blue Charlotte told me, "I want to stay with my other parents. They want to play with me. I don't know why. So WEIRD!  Sooooo...goodbye!" And off she went. 

Weird indeed. Maybe her other parents will get her dressed too! Wouldn't that be lovely?

Unfortunately she returned a minute later to inform me, "My other parents aren't home. They are at the hospital getting the sickness out!" Hmmm. Sounds familiar. I think, my dear, you mean your other PARENT. Because YES he is at the hospital. Getting sickness out?! Not sure about that. But he did hold a retractor or two while the surgeon took out part of a colon. So that's something:) Close. The colon was probably sick...

And since I don't have a picture of our actual doctor-to-be this little doctor in training will have to do instead...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It has started...

Today Charlotte picked out her outfit and dressed herself. Which is a pretty common occurrence around here. She learned this invaluable skill sometime this summer. BUT today she got creative with her outfit!

She rebelled against my neatly arranged "sets" and created her own unique combination. When she saw this picture she pointed to all the different purple clothing items (including the snap bracelet) and proudly declared, "match, match, match, match, match!" Well kind of, sweetheart. And YES I allowed her out in public like this. For a couple of reasons. First, we were running late this morning (surprise!) and there was no time to change. And more importantly, though it pains me a little, I know it is important for her to learn independence and to feel proud of her (good) decisions. So I smiled and agreed that indeed she had "matched" her purples. 

Later she decided to accessorize with her sister's too small PURPLE headband.

Honestly I am surprised it has taken her this long to buck the system. Isaiah was picking out his own unique combinations at two years old. And quite frankly his outfits were far worse! The boy insisted on wearing one blue shoe with a blue sock and one camo shoe with a camo sock! Oh and his head gear was either: his bike helmet or swim goggles. No bike or pool required:)


So it begins again. The I-can-do-it-myself and I-know-better-than-mom stage. My baby is growing up. She is cutting the apron little thread at a time.  And I will embrace it (with a slightly pained smile on my face) because I know it is good for her. She is growing and learning just as she should. 

That being said, I do at times put my foot down and tell my children what to wear. Like on Sundays for church. Or holidays and special events. But even then I typically give them two acceptable outfits to choose from. And if they want to accessorize...then so be it! Because I am not about to make the clothing mole hill into a mountain! I have enough battles to fight and this is not one of them. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

You know you are a mom when...

Buying a new carseat is all you can talk about for days at a time. Because it is just that exciting! My poor husband is so tired of hearing about Hannah's new carseat. The other night I actually showed him a picture of the carseat I ordered. And he did his best to "ooh" and "aah" over it. He even managed to muster up the enthusiasm to ask me about the "features" I really like AND if there was another from a different angle. Bless him. He tried his hardest to relate to me and my over enthusiasm about this carseat that we are yet to receive in the mail. He gets an A for effort. Because truly the only two things he cared about were: do we need a new carseat (yes!) and how is its safety rating (great!)?

And here it is in all it's advertised glory. Sadly only one angle was available:( Oh this picture reminds me...upon seeing it he exclaimed, "Nice pattern. It will be cute for Hannah but very gender neutral for the future." Let it be known that in reality he couldn't care less what Hannah's carseat looks like. But the man knows how to speak my love language! And yes I did fall even more in love with him at that moment. 

See? Don't we look so excited about the new big girl carseat?! Ok ok. The smiles were really about the good hair day we were each having! Look at that fountain on my baby girl's head...ADORABLE if I do say so myself:) A pony tail and a pretty clippy a whole year sooner than her big sister ever managed! Big stuff around here. 

Speaking of her big sister, she has been dropping some real gems lately. Mostly related to my pouch of a tummy. She likes to rub it affectionately and ask me when the baby is going to come out. So endearing for this NOT pregnant mom. The other day she told me "your tummy is so fat you can have TWO babies in there!" Thank you dear heart. Oh and this morning as I was helping her get dressed she very seriously and with slight concern informed me that "Mama you look dirty. You need to shower." I must be really letting myself go these days if my 3 year old is noticing and concerned! Aak. Time to take it easy on the secret candy stash and focus on my personal hygiene:)

Update: It arrived! Oh the excitement. 

And just because I can hardly handle all this pony tail cuteness I just have to share this one too:)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ready. Set. Go.

I washed a few dishes this morning. Then Charlotte wanted to help. So I let her take over while I swept the dining room floor. Hannah was snacking at the time and appeared to making a mess quicker than I could clean up. When I checked in on Charlotte I discovered that she had unwashed all the dishes I had just washed...effectively unhelping me! I really wasn't too surprised by this outcome. I am hardly a rookie toddler mom anymore:)

It was at that moment I decided to throw the beans in with the tortellini to cook. Would it work? I didn't know. But it was a chance I was willing to take if it meant one less dish to wash. I live on the wild side, don't I?

The beans. Before their cooking experiment. 

Today Joe starts his surgery rotation. And though he and the kids are all still a little under the weather, we are feeling refreshed and ready to go. Bring it on surgery! BRING.IT.ON!! 

Or don't. That would fine too:) An easy rotation with lots of built in study time and weekends off. That would be lovely too. I mean its not like my husband wants to become a surgeon. 

Either way we are ready. Our dishes may not be washed. And our floors are certainly not clean. But mentally we are READY! Let's do this thing. 

Oh and for those inquisitive minds, cooking beans and tortellini together totally works! Winning already. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First the kids did this:
Yes, yes that is a picture of the picture I took on my camera. But I was far too busy watching my children sing "God is my best friend" to think to take a picture with my phone! I was completely enjoying their stellar performances. Charlotte smiled and sang most of the words and tried a few of the motions. Isaiah mouthed some of the words, smiled a tiny bit and mostly played with his contraband gold coins! That right there was a stellar performance for our spotlight avoiding children. And I loved it. Warmed my heart. 

And now they are off doing that:

Meanwhile Hannah and I are doing this:

Relaxing in the van. It is quite lovely. The doors are open and a nice breeze is coming through. However we did forget to discuss how long they plan on being on the river...and I have both our phones here with yes this could be interesting. 

I could get used to this whole day off thing! But. And that is a large and ominous BUT. Surgery rotation starts tomorrow. So I will plan on treasuring today and not expecting any repeat performances for another 8 weeks. If I expect the worst I can't be anything but pleasantly surprised when/if it isn't the worst. Right?! Ever the optimist. Not. 

October 19 is just around the riverbend.  Punny. I know:)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Another day another post...

This about sums up how we are feeling around here today. Two nights ago I stayed up way waaaaay too late. So last night I went to bed at a decent hour with the hopes of "catching up" on sleep. Which my educated self knows isn't actually possible. But I keep trying. It just wasn't meant to be. This poor girl was up barking that awful croupy cough all night. I was up with her every hour. From 4-5 AM we sat in the bathroom with the shower running. And finally after a good long while the bark-stridor cough eased up a tad and she fell back to sleep. A wheezy, restless sleep. And I finally relaxed enough to sleep myself. It was a long, sad night for both of us. 

And now if I can convince this one to take an early nap we could all get some much needed zzzzzs. I guess that is one perk of having Isaiah back in school. Nap time all around!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

First Grade

It was a bit hectic around here this morning. Things didn't go quite as planned. Really when do they ever?

Old peas and animal crackers and a used spoon in the peanut butter jar, really?!? I knew I should have packed his lunch last night:)
But we all made it. Isaiah has officially started his first day of FIRST GRADE! And the best part? Daddy has the day "off". Technically it is a study day (and he will be studying) but that allowed him to be involved! Yay. He did the drop off and I will do the pick up. I have to admit I felt kind of like a slacker mom not dropping him off myself. But it is so rare these days that Joe gets to be a part of these things. I let them have their moment. And from what I heard it went well. Isaiah was excited for school and they made it on time. A win for this family for sure. 

So now it is just me and the girls. I feel a little lost without my boy. And I was sadder than I thought I would be watching him leave for his first day. I kissed him (multiple times), hugged him, smiled and waved. All with that awful lump in my throat. I wasn't expecting that this year. Sure last year for kindergarten I cried like a baby. But I blamed that on my I-just-had-a-baby-two-weeks-ago-and-I-am-a-hormonal-wreck state. This year just seems so big and final. ALL day. Five days a week! 

And the girls are already lost without him. Charlotte has been a crying, whining, thumb sucking mess. And Hannah is definitely feeding off her sister's fragile emotional state and SCREAMING...a lot! Fun times all around. I know we will find our groove. We just aren't there yet. So for today we will cry and whine just a bit extra because we are missing our Isaiah Boy. 

Thankfully daddy is coming home for a lunch date with his girls! That should help our outlook greatly. 

Looky here. I did manage to make a cute photo prop for the first day...with my first grader's help!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

To sew or not to sew...

that is the question!

See this shirt? The blue one I wore for Isaiah's 4th birthday party. I chose it because it was Superman blue. Or something like that. 
And this dress....
Neither of them fit me well/right. Clearly the blue shirt is not flattering of the post-babies muffin top belly. Yikes! At the time I thought I looked good. And the dress is just a tad too big:( 

These two pieces of clothing have become my newest potential sewing project. The fact that they were my outfits for my kids' birthday parties in 2011 is total coincidence!

I am thinking about attaching the skirt of the dress to the shirt to make it a NEW dress of sorts. Oh and I would shorten the skirt a bit. 

A rough visual aide:
I promise it is the same blue shirt. One picture used a flash and the other didn't. Who knows. It's cute, right?! Especially if I had a chunky white necklace to go with it! Which I don't. But I could remedy that. Oh and of course I would attach the skirt just high enough to cover that 3 baby muffin top. 

So yay? Or nay? 

I really shouldn't be focusing on this. I have many things on my to-do list. Many things that should take priority over sewing for fun. Like packing my son's lunch for his first day of first grade tomorrow! Wow. Where did summer go?! Oh and I probably should make that cute "first day of school photo prop" that seems to be a parental requirement these days:) Maybe once those things are done I will reward myself with that cute white necklace....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

As I was making dinner yesterday I was able to have a much needed uninterrupted phone conversation with a friend. This wasn't your run of the mill "how's-life-what's-new-with-you" chat. No this was a "everything-in-life-is-hitting-the-fan-and-I-really-need-to-talk-to-someone-I-love-and-trust" conversation. Hannah was strapped into her high chair and happily snacking the late afternoon away. And her brother and sister were actually playing together. Getting along! It was my very own Monday miracle. 

But I knew it was too good to be true! Upon ending my conversation with a heavy heart for my friend, I found this:

Every single piece of clothing from Charlotte's dresser PLUS Isaiah's socks and undies!

They were very thorough! And then they decided to have a little more fun...

Guess who learned how to fold clothes last night?!? 

And today has just been one of those days in which nothing seems to be going right. In fact lots of little things keep going wrong. Well the hospital bill from Hannah's birth a year ago that we are still trying to sort out with the insurance company might be considered a big thing. But truly it is just money! Albeit a big sum of money:) So yeah a lot of little things that I didn't see coming that I have to sort out. Things that in the mean time are making me crabby. But then I think of my friend. And I would bet that she would LOVE for her biggest trouble right now to be figuring out an unpaid hospital bill. She would love to be crabby just because the day isn't going the way she planned and she has no more ice cream to wallow in because she ate it all last night. Or that her biggest concern is how she is going to catch up on dishes, laundry and put a hot meal on the table tonight. Yep. Suddenly my day isn't seeming so bad.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Last week of summer.

This is our last week of summer break. Isaiah starts school on Thursday. First grade! Eek! I had lots of fun summer-y things planned for us. And the weather is cooperating. High 80s and sunny. 

Unfortunately we have one down for the count at our house:

Fever since Saturday night:( So we are lying low and *trying* to enjoy our laid back, no real schedule last few summer days. I am still in my jammies. Lunch was more of a grazing buffet instead of an actual meal. That's how off our "schedule" we are! 

She did pop out of bed for an hour or so this morning. Thank you acetaminophen! While awake she created these masterpieces: 

Family portraits according to a 3 year old! I love them. Even if I do look a little scary in my portrait:) And now she is back down for nap. Maybe I should shower and get dressed?!  Maybe. We'll see. My expectations for myself are pretty low today. And I am ok with that. I would rather give out extra hugs, snuggles and kisses than worry about sticking to a schedule...or looking presentable;)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Embracing Call Weekends

Since we are at the very beginning of this medical journey I am far from an expert. [End preface]  This was our 4th consecutive weekend of Joe being "on call". Which is just a funny little euphuism for an additional long day at the hospital. Or not funny. Depending on your perspective:)  I personally am beginning to wonder what a real weekend is like. I kind of remember but it is becoming a somewhat faint memory...

I am quickly learning call days are much more tolerable if the kids and I have something fun planned. Otherwise the hours can seem endless. In my dream world we would have other med school families to commiserate with. But alas we don't. We have friends. But those friends generally operate on the typical M-F work schedule so we have some extra hours to fill sans company. And I have found it best if we find "soft landings" for those times. By definition a "soft landing" in my world is somewhere very kid friendly where the noise and ruckus we bring will be welcomed and not just tolerated.  Like playgrounds, splash pads, children's area at the library, the beach, and my new favorite...Walgreens. Odd I know. But I am nothing if not a little odd. 

Yesterday our soft landing was a "Community Carnival" at a local church. 

I drove by the church a couple days ago and saw their sign for the upcoming carnival. Immediately I filed away that little bit of information like a small golden treasure as I knew carnival day and call day coincided. I wasn't positive we would attend. But yesterday morning as I was getting all the kids out of the bath, putting away the clean dishes and throwing in a couple loads of laundry and it was still only 9:13 AM I made the game day decision that we WOULD in fact attend the carnival. Otherwise the day threatened to draaaaag on for.e.ever and ever!

And boy am I glad we went! It was a know for the 10 and under crowd:) Carnival games, bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals, photo booth, prizes and treats galore! We tried them all of course. Hot dogs, watermelon, sno cones, cotton candy and popcorn. Some treats we even had twice. 

Lots of noise and ruckus there! We almost blended in. Minor detail I did not take note of a few days back: the carnival was held at the local Chinese church. We were one of two...maybe three Caucasian families in attendance. Which ended up being a bonus for me as a single parent of 3 mobile children...they were much easier to spot in the crowd:)

Call day hours have never flown by faster or tasted as sweet as they did yesterday. Here's to hoping the next 2 weekends of this rotation - yep you guessed it both call weekends - are just as enjoyable! A girl can dream, can't she?!?

Saturday, August 17, 2013


That's about right! Plus I have this boy who can't aim to save his life sooooo my toilet gets scrubbed often:) And the sink? Well the blue globs of kid toothpaste drive me batty on a daily basis. 

Who knew having little kids would be the reason I have a clean bathroom?! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

The party + my pity party

Oh boy! I thought I needed an instruction manual for preparing for the party.  Nope. I actually needed the instruction manual for the party!

Here's how it went down. We arrive just as they are starting the first game. Isaiah excitedly joins in only to be tagged out almost immediately. He bursts into tears and runs back to me. For nearly the remainder of the party he sits with me watching the children play (a multitude of soccer games). I try to convince him to join again. The birthday boy's mom encourages him to rejoin. Even the housekeeper (nanny?!) tries to convince him. All to no avail. Plus with each encouragement he starts to cry again! At one point I got him to go down on the "field"....kind of. He sat in the corner furthest away from everyone and closest to the exit! And yet when I told him we should just leave he was adamant that we stay...despite appearing absolutely miserable!

It was 90 minutes of torture for both of us. And I truly didn't know how to handle the situation. Is forcing him to participate the right thing? Or do I allow him to sit it out? Do we stay or do we leave?!? It all started because he was frustrated that he lost. Losing is a part of life. And learning to handle being the loser is an important part of growing up. But should that lesson be learned in a stranger's backyard with all your future classmates as the audience?!? I still don't know. 

What I do know is that I was terribly embarrassed by his poor sportsmanship. And then I was ashamed that I was embarrassed of my own child.  At the same time my heart just broke for him. I wanted to pick him up, hug him and shield him from his pain. I wanted to cry with him. But I didn't. Instead I tried really hard to convince him to rejoin the group. I did what I thought was best in that moment despite feeling completely clueless. 

An instruction manual would have been nice. 

Then last night as I was explaining the party situation to my husband we were interrupted by a screeching baby and hungry kids. I got frustrated and gave up trying to explain it to him. Which got me thinking "doesn't matter if he knows or not anyways because he isn't the one doing the parenting. The one (maybe two) hours a day he sees the kids isn't exactly parenting."  Pity party. I know. But my mind went there. And quite frankly, lately it has been there more than I care to admit. 

Lately I have been wishing away this rotation. His first rotation. The six days a week with long ever changing/increasing hours is wearing me out. Plus this rotation is 8 weeks long. 8! Weeks! Which has felt like an eternity. But the rational side of me knows I shouldn't wish it away because he has a surgery rotation next. And I know (from experience) that surgeons' hours are worse. Much worse. So really I should be enjoying these 8 weeks and wishing the next 8 weeks stay far far away! 

And then thinking about rotations gets me thinking about the next 5 years of rotations we have ahead of us. And if I can't survive this very first rotation, how will I ever survive the next 60+ rotations?!? From what I hear the rotations during medical school are a cake walk compared to residency. So if I am already having a pity party...this is going south fast!

So there it is. My big ole pity party all because my son wouldn't play soccer at a birthday party. Dramatic much? Who me? Never!