Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Little laughs lately

We had to celebrate Levi again last night with even more (leftover) turtle cake. It would be a shame to not celebrate him on his actual birthday, right? Levi was of course very excited for more cake. And he seemed to have grasped the birthday party concept because he kept saying, "People coming. Turtle cake." I hated to crush his little dreams by telling him that no people were coming. But thankfully blowing out the birthday candle seemed like a sufficient consolation for our birthday boy:)

Last night as I was giving the girls their bedtime kisses and tucking them in one more time (because their daddy had already tucked them in for real) I mentioned to Charlotte that we need to make a few changes to our homeschooling. {Long story short: we've been cramming it ALL into the afternoons and it's left us both frustrated.} We talked about the new plan which included independent work time in the morning and setting goals:) At this point Hannah decided to join our conversation by informing us she has goals too! "Baby dolls. Paper airplanes. Barbie dolls." Those are her goals. Oh to be four! What fun goals. 

This morning (despite actually going to bed at a decent time) I was running late getting Isaiah to the bus stop. So late in fact that I skipped our neighborhood bus stop and drove directly to the next stop in the next neighborhood. And we were still late! Pulling up as kids were already loading onto the bus! Isaiah was quick to inform me, "Don't worry mom I can run fast!"  Bless his little heart. He's been running to catch buses and into school to beat the bell for years...all because his mom can't get her act together. But he's never once complained. And I love him for it! {I don't know what we are planning on doing next year for school for the kids but if it involves a non-homeschooling option for all of them I'm in trouble! The meme that says, "I'm not a morning bird. I'm not a night owl. I'm some sort of perpetually exhausted pigeon!" is ME!} 

The other day my dad brought in the mail and informed Charlotte that there was a letter for her. And then right before he handed it over he noticed that it was addressed to Charlotte Rose. There is no Charlotte Rose in this house. We have a Charlotte Esme. Hannah Rose is her little sister. So close. But not quite right. It made me chuckle a little. Then when I saw WHO the letter was from it made me laugh out loud because it came from a program Joe had registered Charlotte for...as Charlotte Rose! Ha. Better luck next time Joe:)

Sunday, January 29, 2017


My baby is two.

(Well technically he will be two in a couple hours but we celebrated tonight with friends AND he wore the shirt. So basically its official. He's a toddler. My baby isn't a baby anymore. And I'm not sure I'm okay with that. But that's another post for another day.)

He was so stinkin' cute tonight! He was loving all the attention while the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to him. And then getting to blow out the candle...oh my goodness he thought that was THE BEST THING EVER! And his daddy (who is finally done with trauma! Yippee!) indulged him by re-lighting it and letting him blow it out over and over and over and over and over again. Other highlights of Levi's big night include eating the turtle's candy eyeballs (he thought that was great!), opening presents (lots of turtles), and just being surrounded by a house full of people who love him. Which is pretty much the best feeling. All in all I'd say his "this in not a birthday party" birthday party was a big success! And since tomorrow is his actual birthday we get to celebrate all over again in the morning!!!

P.S. While I do my fair share of complaining about residency I sure am lucky to have all these wonderful people in my life. They love me and my kids so well. Thank you friends for coming and eating cake and ice cream with us.

P.P.S. Levi's birth story can be found HERE. And his first birthday HERE

Monday, January 23, 2017

Life with THIS toddler

The other day Joe came home from work and discovered our toilet paper roll haphazardly re-rolled next to our toilet in the master bathroom. He turned to me and asked how that happened. I just stood there and stared at him...I had no words. It was as if he hasn't been living in the same mad house run by tiny people as I have for the last decade. Because toddlers are a special kind of crazy and they will destroy your house faster than you can clean it up.  I did eventually kindly answer Joe with a simple "Levi". 

Levi the one that rules the roost at the moment with his endless adorable commands for all of his family members. "No do that" (in reference to diaper changes). "Mommy walk here." "No Hannah Wose!" "Cer-weal. Snack. Cer-weal!" "Put boots on!" "Sit down." "This one. This book!" "Magnatiles. Build house. Two houses. Magnatiles!"  And we are all wrapped around  his little finger and almost always follow his commands. This kid has got it made as the baby of the family. I mean if I really think about it his demands for two blankets, three doggy stuffed animals, two pillow pets, his light up musical monkey, dog lovey, AND ice water for nap and bedtime might be just a tad out of hand. Oh and the fact that he makes me carry each of these items out of his crib with him when he wakes up (and I do it!) is completely ridiculous.

And the whole situation is made even more ridiculous by this matrix-like maze Isaiah set up in the boys' room. Army crawling is my only option to the crib. So yup, I'm pretty sure unrolled and re-rolled toilet paper is the least of my concerns. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017


One of the things that has made this year of residency easier for me is the fact that I've been less lonely this year. And that's not because my husband is around more - because he hasn't been - he's actually been around less. Second year is notoriously more demanding for his residency program and that has proven true this year. And don't even get me started on the fact that his 9 hour shifts turned into 12 hour shifts this summer (because they are changing which hospitals they cover). Same number of shifts. More hours. Fun times. Ok. That was a tangent. The reason I've been less lonely is because I've had a couple ladies step in and help me. Spending time with me and the kids. They just jump in and do what we are doing. Nothing exciting. Just regular life stuff. Homeschooling. And field trips. And trick or treating. Even just stopping by and hanging out with us randomly throughout the week. They have stepped in and jumped right into my busy chaotic make-you-want-to-pull-your-hair-out (at times) life. They have physically and emotionally helped me with my children in more ways than I can count. And for that reason I often refer to them as my "co-parents". It's obviously not the same as having my children's actual co-parent around but it's a very close second! I'm so very thankful for their presence in our home and in our lives this year. I'm a happier, healthier mom because of them! And my kids adore both of them as well.  

In addition to having these amazing "co-parents" this year, we've been blessed with more families in the residency program. Just having other moms and kids to hang out with that understand has been HUGE for me and my kids this year. And as if all of that wasn't enough, Joe and I have been spoiled a couple times this past fall by residency people babysitting our kids for FREE so we could go on dates. DATES! We have gone on 3 actual dates in the last 3 months. That is completely unheard of for us and AMAZING!!! 

So much for me being the helpful person to other residency people...I think they have helped me WAY more than I've helped any of them. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

7QT r4

1. Joe started trauma. Blech. He's staying pretty upbeat about it. So that's good. We just miss seeing him. 

2. My parents finally arrived in Texas!!! 

3. Which means I'm basically chopped liver in 3 out of 4 of my children's eyes now. 

4. And I'm ok with that because it means I've managed to take a few naps AND read the entire book club book for this month. But now that I've finished the book (The Husband's Secret) I'm feeling a little lost. Like a good friend left town and I don't quite know what to do with myself. 

5. Last week Texas decided we should have a proper winter...for just a few days. We pulled out the jackets, hats and even mittens! (Which Levi called "socks") We had a fire daily and prayed for snow. But now it's warmed right up and we are back into our shorts and t-shirts and the central air is running. It was nice while it lasted. 

6. We babysat another resident's baby. And by "we" I mean Charlotte. She doted on him. Fed him. Held him. Played with him. She didn't want to go to bed because she just wanted to keep staring at him because he is "so cute!"  

7. The other day Hannah informed Joe that once he's done learning to be a doctor he can be a mailman. I think not! No more career changes allowed. When he is done training for this one he has to stick with it. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2016 in 12-ish Photos

Four years ago a year-in-review blog link-up got me started blogging and I was immediately hooked! I love blogging and documenting life (obviously), but this review might just be my favorite post of the year. I love seeing everything neat and tidy and summarized. Seeing my babies and family grow and change right before my eyes. An an entire year dwindled down to the biggest and best moments. And so I'm at it again. For each month I will include: 1 picture, a brief summary of the happenings, and a link (or two) to my top posts of the month. And by top posts I mean most visited. Not necessarily my best writing or most meaningful posts. But before I begin this year's review here are the reviews of the years past:


And so began the second half of the first year of residency. Blech. Joe was on trauma rotation for the entire month. Also known as the rotation in which the resident + the resident's family are traumatized by the relentless hours. And in this particular residency the rotation in which the residents aren't allowed to shave so my husband turned into a grizzly man. (So not my favorite!) My parents were staying with us for the entire month and I owe every ounce of sanity I had at the end of this particular month to them. The highlight of the month was by far OUR BABY TURNING ONE!! Joe missed Levi's actual birthday so we saved the cake for the day after his birthday. It was a short but lovely family celebration. Oh I guess I also finally documented my doctor visit from the fall. 


Trauma dragged on for the first two and half weeks of February. But with my parent's help we survived! And then we celebrated...by lighting an old Christmas tree on fire. The kids and I thought this was a great celebration. Joe on the other hand thought it was a lot of work for a very short celebration. By the end of this month I was starting to get my feet back under me (because the first 6 months of residency had really knocked me down) and I started blogging again. Life here in Texas was falling into a manageable rhythm.


Joe was on his OB rotation which was just the breather we needed as a family. His work schedule relented a little and he was even able to take an entire week off for the kids' Spring Break. The week started out lovely. Quality family time together at home + getting a few small projects done around the house. Charlotte learned to ride her bike without training wheels and we finally were able to enjoy bike rides as a family of 6. We decided to go camping for the second half of Joe's week off and it was THE WORST camping trip ever. So much vomit!!!  Also. Um...we never did pack that hurricane box. Oops. But I'm happy to say this school year I know without a doubt we are doing the right thing for each of our children. But I'm getting ahead of myself...


Life plugged along. Isaiah enjoyed participating in 5Ks with his school's running club. (He somehow even convinced me to do a race with him. It nearly killed me.)  Hannah started her first soccer season and despite her REALLY wanting to join a soccer team it was somewhat tortuous for all involved because we quickly discovered she doesn't actually like playing soccer. Lesson learned. I learned I PASSED my PA re-certification exam and no one was more surprised than yours truly!


Levi decided to finally start walking at 15 months old. And while it was super exciting and we all cheered along his efforts to wobble-walk, it was bittersweet for me. My baby was less of baby and suddenly more of a toddler. This was also the month of visitors. Joe's mom and sister came at the beginning of the month and my parent's came at the end. Charlotte danced in her second recital and LOVED it. And Joe and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary - which unfortunately ended in an argument and him leaving to work a night shift in the ER. Such is life. 

June is our month of celebrations. My birthday. End of another school year. Charlotte's 6th (Shopkin's themed) birthday. Isaiah's 9th birthday. And the most exciting celebration this year...the end of intern year!! We survived. And we celebrated all of these events accordingly. We enjoyed a little bit of Texas summer (ie at the pool!) and then the kids and I got out of dodge! I drove solo with the kids 1400 miles to spend a month "back home" with family and friends. And while traveling with my crew cross-country was daunting, it was completely worth it. 

This may have been our best month yet. Being away from residency and surrounded by family and friends that love and support us was exactly what the kids and I needed. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy traveling alone with the kids. We visited dozens of friends' and families' homes. These visits were absolutely a blessing to us, but also challenging at times with small children who are reluctant to eat "strange meals" and sleep in "strange beds". But I preserved and we had THE BEST time. We all missed Joe terribly, but knowing he was on a month of night shifts while we were away made it easier as well. Highlights of the month include: Isaiah & Charlotte going to summer camp with cousins, visiting my Grandparent's home "Up North", spending a week with our best friends, and just relaxing at my parent's house. I also started a blog house tour this month despite not being home:)


Leaving Minnesota to return to Texas was one of the hardest things I've done - emotionally and physically. The kids and I made the drive in two days with very few stops with one feverish child. Never again. To add insult to injury we arrived home and our A/C died. August in Texas is miserable without central air. We had to postpone Hannah's 4th birthday party due to our lack of a comfortable environment. Then I learned Hannah wouldn't be attending public preschool so I took the plunge and started homeschooling the girls while Isaiah continued at his public school. It was a whirlwind month. Lots of tears and frustration. But also exciting new beginnings. Beginnings like focusing my efforts on pouring my energy into residency people. Oh and Hannah started gymnastics (pictured above) - which seems to be a much better fit for her than soccer.


This picture is completely unrelated to our month. Other than it happened in September. Joe and the three big kids were playing in the boys' room when the kids came out and told me "Daddy's asleep. I don't know how he can sleep on the floor like that! It doesn't look comfortable." So I had to go take a peak and a picture:) And they are right. Doesn't look comfortable. Poor guy is exhausted. September...Charlotte lost her first tooth, Levi lost his beloved pacifier, the girls and I were trying to find our rhythm with homeschooling (some days were better than others!) and lastly I started exercising...for the first time in my life (basically).


We attempted once again to all things "Fall" in Texas's very un-autumn-like weather. Yuck. The "pumpkin patch" is miserable at 90+ degrees. And trick or treating in costumes is quite uncomfortable. The lack of actual Fall makes me a little homesick each year. Good thing Joe had a couple weekends off and we were able to go on a few family adventures...the zoo, a HUGE flea market, a night away at a hotel, exploring new towns and parks. Nothing extravagant, but still super fun. And this was the year I finally convinced my family to do themed costumes. Isaiah chose STAR WARS so while Joe was away at a conference in Las Vegas I kept busy creating our costumes. All in all a good month.


Gosh this was a busy month. We hosted Friendsgiving again this year for the residents. Instead of our modest 30-40 guests we had last year 70+ people showed up. Our house isn't THAT big, but we made it work and everyone had fun...I think:) The very next week we hosted a family reunion with cousins and aunts and uncles from all over the country! It was so much fun having family here. Especially because were able to celebrate Thanksgiving together as a family...after a lovely day at the beach boogie boarding of course. Somehow I neglected to blog the fact that Isaiah qualified for the State Mathlete competition (which will be in May). Oh and some other regular life stuff happened too! Like family pictures for our Christmas card (taken by another resident wife). That picture is probably my all time favorite!



And just like that it was the end of the year. Which means I spent too many hours cramming in all my required CME hours. I made it. We also had many parties and holiday festivities.  But the best was Christmas week having my brother and his family with us ALL WEEK. We have been spoiled with family time this winter. Joe had the week off too so he actually was able to join in the fun as well. Levi also decided to take off with his talking this month. He now repeats everything and speaks in command form. His favorite command is "No do that!" (in regards to diaper changes).