I’m attempting to embark upon a new blogging effort via Tumblr. It has a great mobile app and makes it easy to post short snippets on the go. Since I’m always on the go, I might actually post!
It’s a way for me to update family and friends on our goings on, keep in touch with the world, and record an accurate account of my day-to-day existence during this otherwise blurry, sleep-deprived period of life called residency, complicated AND made more wonderful by my husband and our 4 amazing kids. Here is the new site for anyone who would like to follow us at Oodles of Pho:
April 24, 2012 1 Comment
Jack has grown up by about 10 years in the past few months, or so it seems. He’s reading novels and biographies, teaching himself algebra and geometry, and continuing to be such an awesome kid all around. His brain baffles us constantly, and if you think I’m exaggerating, here ya go…the first 2 videos are of Jack doing algebra, then you can hear him reading MLK Jr’s biography:
When we were down in Florida, my little sister, Angela, joked (or so I thought) that Jack corrected one of her math homework problems. Somehow he taught himself the concepts and basics of algebra too. He started asking us questions about “the variable” when we got home, a concept I assume he got from Angela, or from reading her math books. Anyway, he is 100% accurate as long as the variable is <6. He is so smart is scares me sometimes.
Jack is also the most rewarding kid on the planet to parent. Travis and I have talked a lot lately about how proud of him we constantly are, and not because of how smart he is. He is loving, emotionally connected, and intuitive once you have “cracked his code.” By that I mean, he is not a kid who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s also not a kid who is going to love everyone he meets right off the bat. It’s almost like in some ways he is inherently mistrusting and disinterested in anyone who is not willing to WORK for a relationship with him. I think he feels like anyone worth his effort has to prove him/herself before Jack is going to invest anything, emotionally, in a relationship with them. It doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t, it just means he’s not gonna give it away easily.
He’s also an awesome, doting big brother to Griff. This baby has Jack wrapped around his finger:
February 29, 2012 8 Comments
The kids are growing up so fast and changing by the day. Griff is hardly a baby anymore – he’s doing all he can to keep up with the big kids. He’s running, talking, battling his siblings with light sabers, and showing early interest in potty training. Here are some pictures I’ll tuck away for his wedding rehearsal dinner! Picture #3 marks the historic “first potty fart.” We’re so proud…
Yes, he worked for that little “toot.”
In the hysterical picture below, he positioned his favorite rag, affectionately known around here as “Ugly Guy", on his new little potty. He thought that was hilarious, as did the rest of us.
Even funnier though was the sound effects he provided – the next picture shows Griff making farting noises for Ugly Guy. For a 14 month old, he has a funny little sense of potty humor.
February 19, 2012 1 Comment
As usual, I’m months behind on blogging. We finally got a vacation 2 weeks ago and flew down to Florida to see our families – it was awesome – so I wanted to post a few iphone pictures and video clips. The kids had a blast, we got to catch up with our parents and siblings, and Travis and I even got a date night. Speaking of, we just realized our unofficial anniversary (our dating-versary) of 17 years just passed on Friday!!! That’s craziness. Anyway, a big highlight was that my brothers, Alex and Jeremy, were down there with us and got to meet Griff for the first time. Jer took a job with an investment firm in Florida to be closer to family, so he lives about an hour from our parents “farm”, and Alex just flew in for the week from Louisiana, where he still works as an oil engineer (I forgot the fancy title). Here are some good pictures / video highlights:
My brother, Jeremy, and an ice cream monster:
An epic light saber battle (Shane and George):
The “little” boys playing games at my dad’s new frozen yogurt shop (my dad has strange hobbies that all involve lots of work:):
Angela reading stories to the kids before bed:
Shane and his hero, Uncle George, at Playmobile:
My mom and Griffin:
Shane on Scribbles with Angela:
Jack’s favorite thing to do was collect the chicken eggs each day with Angela:
My dad and Finely, working around the stables:
Uncle Jeremy braids a goat’s goatee:
Uncle Alex and Aunt Nastia rockin’ out to JUST DANCE on the Wii, with Fin getting in on the moves in the background:
Uncle Jer reads a bedtime story:
February 19, 2012 5 Comments
Look at me, 2 posts in a row!! That counts as a blogging streak.
So we got a puppy for Christmas. He’s pretty damn cute, although potty training has been painful thus far. He’s another French Bulldog, and happens to share a bio dad with Henny. We debated his name: Louis XIII, Napolean, Pepe, Pierre, etc, but we settled on a German name instead (we are in Milwaukee, afterall). Fritz. It kinda fits with Hendrick. And he kinda looks like a Fritz.
When Emilie and Cris were here, Cris (aka the Dog Whisperer) was giving us pointers on training. He reminded us we should choose a simple phrase we get the puppy used to hearing when he is peeing outside. Eventually, he begins to associate hearing that phrase with the urge to pee. The phrase could be something like “hurry up,” or “go potty.” But of course Travis couldn’t waste that kind of power on a benign command phrase. Nope. He decided ours would be “VIVA LA BLUE!” Apparently that’s the French national soccer team’s chant. I fought it, and then he threatened to make it “LET THEM EAT CAKE!” That’s a nerdy European history reference, in case you didn’t recall Marie Antoinette’s famous line. Since he’s home with the dog 70% more than I am, he knew he’d won this battle. So, somehow, I find myself outside with the peeing dog, hunching forward and whisper-shouting “Viva La Blue! Viva La Blue,” in attempt to avoid the neighbors hearing and realizing we’re even weirder than they already think!
Anyway, here are a few cute Christmas-time(ish) videos. This one is from a Christmas festival – kids are jumping on Santa’s big chair:
The next video is of Shane talking about Star Wars and Darth Vader, his favorite topic in the whole galaxy. We watched the entire original trilogy this week and, shockingly, the kids LOVED every second. I thought for sure they were too young, but Travis has been talking to them about this story for at least 3 years, so I guess they were mentally prepped. They each got a little something different out of the story – Shane is ALL ABOUT Darth Vader and the “light savers”, Finley loves Princess Leia, and Jack is interested in the concept of good versus evil.
Griffie kissing the new puppy:
Proof of Finley’s Christmas morning joy:
January 12, 2012 4 Comments
I’ve been busy as hell, but I LOVE what I’m doing right now – the patients, the diseases, the studying, the procedures, the variety, and the super smart colleagues with which I’m surrounding. I am happy with my professional life, but the problem of balance still exists. I knew it would, just didn’t think it’d still be to this extent. I’m working way too much. I hate that it’s not at all under my control, and usually also not completely predictable to me. Still a huge improvement over my intern year hours, but definitely not ideal. At least I wake up happy, enjoy my day, and come home happy. It’s better than coming home depressed and defeated, dreading the next day, crying on my way to and from work. When I think about it, intern year feels like it was SO long ago. I’m SO glad to have that behind us.
Residency is such a strange experience. It’s hard to fully explain it to people who aren’t in medicine because it truly is a subculture. As a universality in residency, we are constantly thrown into situations for which we feel inadequately prepared…to a degree that is almost unsafe. It’s about constantly pushing the envelope: that boundary between uncomfortable and unsafe, without getting too close to just uncomfortable but also staying just left of unsafe. It’s a tightrope. What it creates is a constant state of anxiety…and the embarrassing experience of going to lunch with your attending and a few co-residents when you take off your white coat and your little pill box falls out, dumping its propranolol contents all over the cafeteria floor for patients and colleagues to see. Good thing that didn’t happen to me:) Thankfully, the stakes are not as high as they were my intern year, when I was in the trenches caring for people on their death beds, where any slip in the wrong direction after 30hrs of sleeplessness could have been a medical error with huge repercussions. That was an unsustainable amount of stress for me and a burden I’m thankful is no longer mine. In derm, 98% of the time my decisions as a physician are not life or death. Put in more optimistic terms, while they cause significant distress and greatly impact quality of life, skin diseases rarely cause people to die (with some exceptions of course). In pessimistic terms, I’m more likely to cause my patients’ demise than the disease itself, by using potentially harmful meds that attempt to improve quality of life.
On a lighter note, being a derm resident comes with some fun perks…one of which is cosmetics workshop. Yes, I have fairly strong feelings about what the focus of cosmetic “medicine” has done to the public, as well as what cosmetic dermatology has done to the public’s image of my specialty. And yes, I swore I’d never partake in Botox. BUT, I did. I did it for the sake of my fellow residents’ education of course:). No, but seriously, it is the reality that this stuff is actually on my boards so I have to be proficient enough to pass, and I also acknowledge that sometimes “selling out to the man” (who pays well) can subsidize other things that I want to do in my future career (ie: work free STD clinics, volunteer my time at the VA and indigent clinics, etc).
I digress…anyway, over the weekend we injected each other’s faces, and the faces of willing friends and family members, with Botox and filler. I have to admit, we had fun. My program held a round of derm interviews 2 days later; we must’ve looked like the island of misfit derm residents because our Botox was “in transition.” I think half my face was paralyzed and I had a huge bruise on the other half. Aside from looking like a battered wife for a few days because of injection site bruising, I think it went well. I did learn, however, why I have such deep rhytides (wrinkles) in the first place…my dermatochalasis is so bad I have to contract my frontalis muscle just to elevate my eyes enough to have decent vision! So with those muscles paralyzed, I now need blepharoplasty! Of course, if my eyelids aren’t saggy anymore, my boobs will surely look out of place! LOL! And so it begins…(joking)
Before / After (I wish the picture quality were better – I took the afters just now at home in my kitchen with crappy lighting):
January 11, 2012 7 Comments
I SUCK at blogging. I just can’t seem to get back into a blogging routine. I can’t even believe how long it’s been since I last updated.
It’s kinda like getting a little out of touch with a close friend, then more time goes by and the space feels enormous, then MORE time elapses and the idea of the phone call to reestablish touch seems overwhelming. You build it up as if you need to carve out an entire night, so you keep looking for the perfect opportunity, and in the meantime, even MORE time passes. You get the point.
So, I’m just going to write like normal and not feel like I have to go back and rehash everything I sucked at documenting the first time around.
My kids are challenging yet incredible, my life is full, my job is amazing but ridiculously demanding, and my husband is my rock. Our Christmas was fantastic – we spent it with Travis’ family and our dear friends Chris & Emily (and their girls, Nova and Juneau).
Writing letters to Santa the night before Christmas:
Jack got the goldfish he begged Santa for:
Fin got a freakin puppy in place of the coal she really deserved (a puppy who is Henny’s 1/2 brother):
And Shane has slept with his “light saver” ever since he tore the package open (of all his gifts, the cheapest, simplest one is always the winner with him).
And Griff was cute as cute could be, even in spite of being sick on Christmas Eve. He was in a bit of a daze with all the commotion Christmas morning:
This is Henny’s little brother, Fritz:
I love this picture of Heather:
Someone’s gonna have to teach this dog how to walk!
I’m about to pass out – GI bug been ripping up this place for ~2wks now and I’m TIRED from the lack of sleep. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year! I’ll write more later…
January 4, 2012 11 Comments
n. 1) Utopia 2) A place where unicorns exist and lakes are made of chocolate 3) An alternate universe in which your parents answer “yes” to requests for twizzlers 100% of the time.
Not surprisingly, Finley has been living in fantasy land. She has named it “Alavafama.” According to Finley, both Halloween AND Christmas are celebrated every single day in Alavafama. She has tons of cats and kittens there, even her most special one named Filipe, and she gets to eat candy pretty much constantly. But the best part is her very agreeable mom who lives there. We hear about Alavafama so often that the boys even talk about it with her. I think she’s honestly made them jealous that she gets to go there all the time (in her crazy little noggin).
November 3, 2011 3 Comments
Hope yours was as fun as ours!
The most amazing part about Griff eating his first lollipop is that he had claws for hands – we put that thing in his mouth and he somehow ate the WHOLE thing without it ever once falling out, and without using any hands. I think he liked it!
October 31, 2011 2 Comments
These are a few weeks old. Griffie just turned 11 months old – I can’t believe how fast his babyhood has gone. Makes me sad.
October 30, 2011 3 Comments