Category — Friends
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
This is a long overdue post…
We left a LOT in Colorado that we’ll miss. Not my job, but the people, our neighbors, the Colorado culture, the weather, the mountains, the natural beauty, our neighborhood, Jack’s school. The saddest goodbye though was when we said it to the Stickleys. Chris, Emily, Nova, and Juneau. They feel like family to us, and actually, now that they’re Finley’s Godparents, I guess they are. Our kids are like 1 cohesive little unit when they’re altogether and our friendship with Chris & Em means SO much to me and Travis. That goodbye really tore Finley up – she’s still recovering from it and asks about them all the time. Even Jack has been asking to go to Hawaii (where the Stickley’s are from and will be moving back to next summer) to see them. They have been such incredible friends to us. I can’t begin to describe how good of friends they are. They even devoted their Father’s Day to driving up to help us pack up the truck the weekend before we left for Wisconsin. Their friendship is probably the best thing of all that came from our time living in the awesome state of Colorado. Sappy, but true. We love you guys and miss you TONS!!
Most of these pictures are from Jack’s little bday party. He requested “party games,” so we did stuff like a fruit rollup eating contest, bobbing for apples, and other cheesy, wholesome games that families like mine and Emily’s grew up playing on made-up events like “Family Fun Days.” Speaking of…Travis and I recently decided we’re going to have an annual “Good Sports Day,” when we have the kids compete in athletic events and team building things. This was decided after Jack started telling us about the trophy collection he hopes to acquire some day! We’re going to design our own Good Family trophy collection – there’ll probably be lots of “most improved” awards! Haha!
July 19, 2011 3 Comments
Remember our gang of DC med school friends and spouses? Our group we jokingly now refer to as the Caca Crusaders? Well, we had a reunion this weekend in Denver. We hadn’t seen each other in a ridiculously long time but we were missing part of our gang (Dominique and Kevin + kids) so it wasn’t the same. But even so, and as usual, we had a blast! Sarah and Dave (and their little boys), and Brad and Melanie (and their little girls) all stayed at our house so we and our kids could catch up on all that’s happened in our lives since our last rendezvous out here.
Never mind that our kids were all feverish and sick, they had fun with each other too. The daddies got to drink beers, play with their iDevices, and talk technology while Mel, Sarah, and I sympathized with each other about the challenging juggling act required to be a mom doctor while maintaining a healthy marriage and some semblance of sanity on top of it all. After the weekend ended and we were left feeling the post-holiday blues again, Travis and I analyzed why we miss this group of friends so much now that we’re scattered around the country for our various residency programs. These are VERY unique friendships for us; each of these are couples with whom we partied and had a lot in common BEFORE we had kids. We became close friends because we were in unique circumstances in our 20’s – it wasn’t common where we went to medical school to be married, and our husbands have always gotten along like they were childhood friends. It was even LESS common where we went to med school to have kids as a female medical student, which we all did in our 4th years. So a lot happened in our 20’s and we stayed friends throughout. We, therefore, know each other in a very different context compared to the friendships we make these days, which are based mostly on having kids in common. We’ve watched each other through the transition from married life (and medical school) to parenthood (and residency).
People say college is a very defining time in a person’s life, and for me that was very much the case. However, for those of us in medicine, our 20’s are almost more defining. SO much changes about a person from the 1st year of medical school (when we’re green as hell and hopelessly idealistic) to residency (when we’re burned out and cynical), and even more changes happen from the relative carefree nature of married life to the ultimate responsibility of married life with kids. Put those 2 transitions together in the same timeframe and you’ve got a lot of major life events. In the case of the Caca Crusader couples, we all married right before starting medical school, had kids during medical school, and continued having kids in residency. That’s a lot of transitioning during what would already have been very defining and stressful periods of our adult lives.
Anyhoo, all that to say that our friendships with these couples have a very solid foundation. There’s something very re-centering about spending time with people that know you more deeply and with whom you have history. It’s refreshing, grounding, fun, and heavy all at once. We miss being able to see these friends on a weekly basis. We’ve helped each other through tough times since graduation – infertility, diagnoses, family struggles, marital challenges, regrets over career choices at some points and gratitude for our careers other points, failures, disappointments…and also celebrated with each other through huge successes, surprise pregnancies, adoptions, harrowing deliveries, new jobs, cross country moves, and the overall formation and growth of each of our beautiful families. I’m hopeful our kids will grow up knowing each other just as deeply and developing an even richer history than their parents’ have together, as it’s a unique experience our kids will have survived as well!
The Caca Gang (missing Dom & Kev’s kids, Cata, Tomas, and Francisca):
We braved the National Western Stockshow and the adults and (some of) the kids LOVED the rodeo…or “radio,” as Finley calls it. Here are some fun cowkid pics:
Apparently this is what cowgirls look like when they poop?!…
Jack and Ashlyn:
Sawyer to Shane: “Dude, go that way!”
Ashlyn, Jack, and Bryson trying to figure out how to hotwire the John Deer tractor:
As is evident in the pics, Jack LOVED sitting on the bull:
Please look at the pout-pout face on Jack in the next pic – Blub, Bluuub, Bluuuuuub! (Btw, if you got that reference, name the kid book)
Mel and Griffie:
Bryson and Finley being silly:
Griff-star being his cute little self:
In line with our traditions, here is our quote list from our 4th annual Caca Crusader reunion. Be warned, this is R-rated. We’re not exactly proper when it comes to language or content, but throw us all in a room together and we’re like freakin sailors!
1. Laurie to Sarah, who is furiously turning a light-up toy on and off: “What are you doing, checking to see if you have epilepsy?!”
2. Laurie to Travis (with a face of disgust): “Why don’t you go take a shower?” Travis: “Not everyone here took a shower today, okay?”
Laurie: “Yeah, well you’re the only one who looks like you could fry an egg on your head.”
SILENCE.…..”from all the GREASE?!”
3. Melanie: “Some lady at Monkey Bizness asked me if I was Finley’s mom. It was just easier to answer yes than to explain the situation.”
Laurie: “Wow, I can’t believe you claimed her!”
4. Travis (describing a catchphrase answer): “It’s like a cross between pants and a kilt.”
Brad (with a completely serious face): “Yeah, Kants.”
5. Finley: “I LOVE twayzey twitters.”
Melanie: “Is she talking about twitter?”
Travis: “No, she’s saying Crazy Critters.”
Finley: “I’m going to learn how to twitter soon.”
Travis: “I can only imagine the verbal diarrhea that will result.”
6. Laurie (to Travis, who’d just playfully thrown Griffin in the air): “Trav, you scared the shit out of him! He’s a f#*king newborn!”
7. Melanie, to Laurie in reference to her choice in husband, “I can’t believe you married this guy!”
Laurie: “I KNOW! I can’t believe no one objected at the wedding. What the hell kind of friends ARE you guys?!?”
8. Laurie (regarding Finley stealing a Payday candy bar from the Safeway): “She stole the candy, then flashed them her dimples.”
Brad : “I thought you said nipples!”
Sarah: “Me too!”
Travis: “No, then she’d be using her dad’s AND her mom’s tactic in the same offense!”
9. Melanie, to Laurie in reference to Henny: “He looks so sad!”
Laurie: “No he’s not, his face just looks like that.”
10. (In reference to the game of Wits&Wagers) Melanie (after accidentally seeing the answer): “Ok, I won’t vote.”
Travis: “It’s ok, your answer was too dumb to be included anyway.”
11. (Travis asking everyone to declare their Wits&Wagers points from the previous round) Travis: “Mel, how many?”
Travis: “haha! I know, I just wanted to hear you say it out loud!”
12. (In reference to the game of Wits&Wagers) Travis: “Which would you bet more on, the shaft or the balls?”
Melanie: “Oh, the shaft definitely. The balls are totally extraneous, they really just get in the way.”
Laurie: “Yeah, and you feel like you have to acknowledge them from time to time.”
Sarah: “Yeah, and they SMELL.”
Travis: “I guess Brad had quite a skewed view of the worth of his G-unit.”
13. Laurie (in reference to the YouTube sensation Antoine Dodson): “Wait, why did he go to an electronics show?”
Brad: “Because a bunch of nerds think he’s hilarious?!”
14. (On a walk, discussing a medical case involving pregnancy in the setting of a Mirena IUD in which the device was found stuck in the baby’s head at delivery – baby was fine once Mirena was removed, fyi) Laurie: “and we shall name her Mirena, we’ll call her Mira for short.”
Mel: “MIRA! As in, LOOK, there’s a F*&%ing Mirena stuck in her head!”
15. Travis to me and Mel: “girls, you’ve been nursing those drinks for awhile. What the hell?”
Me: “it’s Mel’s fault. I don’t want to seem like an alcoholic since I made mine twice as strong as hers and drank it twice as fast…but I do have twice as many kids, so I’m sure the math works out somehow!”
Catchphrase teams: the Taint Haters (girls) vs. the Maintaintenance (boys)
Travis’s definition: Maintaintenance: the process of maintaining the taint
Song: “The bed intruder” by Antoine Dodson. “Hide your kids, Hide your wife.”
Drink: “The Vagine” = vodka + Hendrick’s gin + tonic
January 17, 2011 6 Comments
I can’t believe I didn’t take a single picture to document it, but our really close friends, Sara and Kaakpema, threw us a beautiful baby shower last weekend at their gorgeous home. We are SO lucky to have such awesome friends. The icing on the cake was that my mom, Christy (my older sister), and Angela (my little sister) flew in for it. I’d worked until 12am the night before, so they’d gone to bed in our basement before I’d gotten home. I came downstairs the next morning to see them in the kitchen making breakfast for the kids and was TOTALLY confused and floored! I couldn’t figure out what was going on. It was the coolest surprise ever.
It’s funny, but the shower somehow helped make the whole “we’re really pregnant” thing a little more real to us. I keep thinking it’s going to hit us and we’re going to feel “ready,” but it’s still so surreal. Travis still has this look of shock and horror when he sees my profile and remembers I’m about to delivery a baby. I finished my final ER shift last night, so I’m sort of “off” for awhile – I’m on back-to-back derm elective months with my mentor. Since I have some book chapters that are written but not yet edited, I can use the time to finish those and get elective credit that way. I don’t have to be back in the hospital until Jan 23. I don’t want to think about that yet though. I just cannot process the fact that we’re going to have a newborn in 5.5 days or less! That is just wild. The kids are so cute and sweet with my belly – they rub it, kiss it, and talk about the baby all the time. I’d give the excitement and newness of having a new baby brother/sister about 2 days for them once Quatro is actually here;) I’m also kind of shocked that I went full-term. EVERYONE predicted I’d deliver early because of the stress, lack of sleep, and craziness of being a pregnant intern. But nope, my body once again proves it likes to hoard babies and NOT let them out…hence the scheduled section. I am HUGE (close to my pregnancy weight with Finley) and really would have been thrilled to be unpregnant about 2 weeks ago, but I’m also very grateful my Little Bun got a full cooking.
Anyway, we had an awesome little getaway to Keystone a few days ago with Kaakpema, Sara, and our friend Shane (affectionately known as “Big Shane” to my kids). Big Shane, Kaakp, and Travis are business partners and have some very exciting work in Africa as well as Colorado in the field of health IT. It’s so neat to finally see Travis engaged in work he feels passionate about, and it’s clear this is the field in which he was meant to work. He initially thought he went to medical school to be a clinician, but he’s realized his strengths and potential are far greater in health IT. His MD/MBA was the necessary educational path to open the doors he is now walking through, and Kaakpema and Shane are the perfect partners to balance him out. On a somewhat related note, my kids are obsessed with Big Shane – they adore him. Here is Big Shane with Little Shane (as my baby calls himself when in Big Shane’s presence):
We had a great time with everybody in Keystone! Like last year, I used this opportunity to snap some cute holiday pics of my babies (sans Quatro). Here are my favorites so far…please excuse the water mark on some of these; my lens needs cleaning and I don’t have time to edit the spots out.
Fin got some baby practice while we were in Keystone. You may remember our friends, Kaakpema and Sara, had a baby ~4 months ago. His name is Desmond, and he is ridiculously PRECIOUS! Fin was tickled pink to hold him and it gave us a glimpse into the overbearing “helpfulness” that will accompany her transition to being the big sister of a poor unfortunate soul;) Seriously though, she was so attentive to Baby Desmond and gentle with him – it was super cute.
Please ignore my man hands in the following pics. But they do match my hobbit feet, in case you were wondering.
The next 2 pictures cracks me up…they demonstrate Finley taking her duty as drool wiper VERY seriously.
The last picture is of Jack trying his hand at big brother to a teeny tiny baby again (it lasted all of 45 seconds, when he became bored and gently nudged the baby off his lap and back onto mine:) Shane, on the other hand, is rather indifferent to babies as it turns out! When asked if he wanted to hold the baby, he just responded “um, no thanks.” Uh oh.
November 23, 2010 10 Comments
As usual, I’m behind on life and have tons of photos to post before they all get lost. I finished nightfloat, so I’m trying to transition from vampire mode back to a day schedule. This month is going to be rough, which we’ve known it would be since Travis and I are both on the hospital wards until Oct 22. This is Travis LAST clinical month, probably EVER, which he is going to hate every second of but has to get through to fulfill med school requirements. He was traveling last week, and we were lucky enough to have my dad fly out to be with the kids since I was overnight at the hospital working nightfloat. My dad is the greatest, and the kids LOVED their time with him. It was a great distraction from Travis being away.
Every now and then we let them all sleep in the same bed – they love it. We’re considering bunking all the kids in a room together, or at least these 3, when we move to Milwaukee. We’ll see. This pic is from our hotel in New Mexico from a few weekends ago when we went to visit Jerry and Rebecca.
The rest of these are from an awesome day we had with the Stickley family celebrating June-Bug’s 3rd birthday. A lot of you know Emilie and Chris from the Vietnam adoption community / blogging world. They have become really dear friends of ours, IRL, since they moved to Colorado. Our kids absolutely adore each other, and Finley, in particular, is OBSESSED with the Stickley family. She asks for Nova and Juneau on an almost daily basis. Em did a military scholarship for medical school and is being deployed to Afghanistan this month, and Chris and the girls will be headed back to their homeland / dreamland, Hawaii where Chris is a professor. We are DEVASTATED to be saying goodbye, but it gives us an excuse to visit Hawaii when Emily gets back home. We’ll miss them SO much in the meantime. Here are some pics from our last day with them at Urban Farm – the kids all had a blast.
September 28, 2010 5 Comments
First of all, we launched our fall line of SkinnyKidz belts, meaning the remainder of last season’s styles are on clearance! REALLY cheap. Like, no profit but hoping they’ll sell so more people gain exposure to the product, cheap. Jena has done an amazing job keeping things moving and picking the cutest new styles. She’s also coordinated the next 2 charities, which are AWESOME organizations. Check out the new styles and the sale belts if you get a chance.
A little explanation of the video below, which probably doesn’t look like much to you but makes me roll around in laughter…we were at a mall playground the other day and there was a bully. He would stand on the highest point of a play structure, bate littler kids in, then push ‘em off or just get nasty with words and demands as they approached. The ultimate Napolean. I’ve said this before, but my 3 kids are usually like a little gang. They travel in a pack, they have each other’s backs, and they’re often in their own world even when there are tons of other kids to play with. They choose each other and they stick together. It’s so freakin cute how unified they are – best of friends and they have such cute little relationships with one another.
Anyway, Fin and Shane decided to take on the Playground Bully the other day. My kids don’t know what a gun is; we aren’t gun people or gun supporters. You’re shocked, I know. Seriously. But I say that because they invented this way to annoy the living shit out of the Playground Bully that totally looks like they’re pretending to shoot him, even though they don’t know what that means. They would point both fingers at him and say “be-ow, be-ow, be-ow” close enough to be insanely irritating, while never actually making contact with him. Travis and I were watching and just laughing our assess off while this went on for about 5 minutes (until the kid’s head nearly popped off and he almost just gave up the spot at the top of the structure). Finally, the kid got so frustrated he started to tattle to his mom. That’s the part I sort of caught on film – watch Shane start looking all nonchalant when he thinks he’s getting busted. It’s hilarious.
Today I felt almost like a normal person. I got home early, after a “short” work day, only 10.5hrs (as short as they can possibly be – happens when the starts align and no one tries to die on me). We went to City Park and took the kids on a pedal boat. It was EXHAUSTING, but really fun and great exercise. Then we visited our friends, Kaakpema and Sara, and met the cutest little peanut – their baby boy Desmond. He’s in the NICU, but doing really well and we all hope he’ll be home very soon. Fin stares at his picture constantly and Jack talks about meeting his “little buddy” often. Congrats to Sara and Kaakp on their adorable addition!
August 12, 2010 4 Comments
It’s finally here. All the dread in the world couldn’t keep it away I guess. My clinical responsibilities as an intern start on Wednesday of this week, and just to kick it off with a bang, my first call as an intern is on Thursday. I’m really not excited.
This was my last weekend off for the next several months, so we tried to make it count. We packed in a party with my program on Friday afternoon (our kids crashed it;), the Greek festival Friday evening, then Yiayia and I took the kids berry picking Saturday morning while Travis gave a big presentation to the ophthalmology department. We picked 10lbs of strawberries for ~$20, and we had a great time doing it. If you’re local, and you don’t know about Berry Patch Farms, you HAVE to check it out. Where else can you take a hayride out to pick berries, eat all you want in the fields, then come back and listen to a live bluegrass band while sitting in a rocking chair or eating lunch at a picnic table nearby?! Love that place. Later on Saturday, we took the kids to see Toy Story 3 in 3D, which was AWESOME. Then, today, Emilie and Chris came over with the girls and we set up their GIANT waterslide on our sidewalk just to provoke the HOA…it’s been awhile and we kinda miss the drama;)
It was a blast and Jack was especially wild about it!
Then we all headed up to Evergreen for the rodeo. My kids are big rodeo fans, and we turned Yiayia into a rodeo junkie too! Ya gotta love Colorado in the summer; I think there’s a rodeo in one town or another just about every weekend. How cute is little cowgirl Juneau:
Shane-Bug and Emilie:
Fin’s twin, but the sweet version, Nova:
Finley, of course, loves the music in between events the most. She was doing the most hysterical, funky little dance and then when everyone would cheer the next cowboy on, she’d assume the applause was for her! Ahh, my little girl.
So, it was a great weekend. We ended it with Yiayia taking Travis, the kids, and me to dinner for Father’s Day. I have 2 more days to savor before the real chaos begins. Our nanny situation is working out well so far. The kids are adjusting, but the stress on them has been coming out in other ways. For Fin, it means we’re back to FREQUENT wake-ups, on the order of 4-6/night. For Shane, it means when I’m home he perseverates and sounds like a broken record saying “mama, mama, mama, mama” until I feel like my head is going to pop off. Jack has sort of been a rockstar through the transition so far, but he’s always harder to read and a bit more subtle with his reactions to things like this. For example, his acropustulosis has been flaring…that’s also heat-related, but stress plays a part for sure.
I, on the other hand, am not so subtle with my emotions. I know I’ll be a wreck again by mid-week. I’m trying to take it all in very small pieces. This week, my goal is to make it to Friday without melting. I’m intentionally NOT thinking about how I’m going to survive the spring, leaving a newborn (in addition to my 3 other babies) to return to q3 overnight call in the ICU. I’m just not going there yet. First I have to get to Friday. I don’t get all of next weekend off, but I will get 1 day since my first call falls on Thursday (& next call is Monday). Wish me luck.
June 20, 2010 19 Comments
Calling all parents with young plumbers, you have another chance to win a crack-a-lacking solution (we watched Madagascar tonight;). Go check out Jena’s blog, Cute Covered, to enter the giveaway!
I’m totally and completely spent tonight. I’m flying solo while Travis and Kaakpema are on a business trip. I’ve been trying to keep the kids (and myself) VERY busy with big morning outings and lots of afternoon cooking projects. So far so good, but life would have been a lot easier if it hadn’t snowed here last night and today!! WTF?! Dude, I am ALL. FOR. global warming, and might just not recycle this week in protest of this weather. Just kidding, Jack would NEVER let me get away with throwing out plastic or paper.
I’m very behind on posts and pictures, so I’m just going to try to catch up in this post. Nick & Hillary (Shane’s godparents) were here visiting last week, and it was awesome to spend time with them. One of the reasons Milwaukee was so high on our rank list was because it’s only 1-1.5hrs from them (they’re in Chicago), and that’s essentially having family nearby for us. They’re sort of the ultimate friends when it comes to our kids, too, since they don’t have any (yet;) but love ours. So yeah, we love having them in town!!
We have known Nick & Hill for a long time; Nick and I were housemates in college and really close friends then, plus he knew Travis really well too (since we were practically doing a long-distance marriage at that point). Nick and Hillary started dating shortly after graduation. Then Nick moved down the street from me and Travis in DC and used to come over for dinner & drinks almost every night,and would often meet up with us for morning runs. Nick and Travis would go mountain biking on the weekends while I was studying (I was in med school then). At that time, Nick was rooming with another really good friend of ours who Travis and I grew up with (Sharyn – she was Travis’ next door neighbor until they left for college, but they both went to UF together too). I think Nick & Hill met Sharyn at our wedding. So anyway, we all used to hangout a lot and Hillary would visit frequently on breaks from her masters program. We had lots and lots of fun together. Ahh, those were the days. Where was I?? Oh yeah, catching up on pictures. Here are a few from their visit:
Last weekend we got to hangout with some really good friends of ours who live ~1:15 South of us. A lot of you know Emilie, Chris, Juneau, and Nova, and I’ve blogged about hanging out with them a bunch. They’re a really incredible family that we absolutely love to spend time with because we have tons of fun and it’s just such a natural friendship due to our personalities, interests, and similar family dynamics. This weekend we got to celebrate Nova’s 2nd birthday, which was precious. Emilie’s mom was in town, and it was AMAZING to have an extra set of hands; she totally played grandma to all of our kids that day / night! Em, Chris, Trav, and I got to watch some UFC fights while the kids watched Wall-E and snuggled on the couch with each other and their popcorn in the basement while Em’s mom took care of them. Sweeeeeet!
Jack had a great time at the Stickley’s house as his alter ego, Princess Jackie. He can’t resist when he comes across good dress up gear. I love this kid; he’s so much fun.
We’ve all always thought Finley and Nova have a slight resemblance. They have VERY similar hair, eye color, dimples, and skin tone. I’ve never seen Nova spit fire or bite anyone though. She’s 100% sweet, while our little one is more like the characters in those sour patch kid commercials;) Oh how Finley loves her “No-fa, Juneau, Em-uh-wee, and Cwis.”
May 12, 2010 4 Comments
Emilie already blogged about our weekend adventure, and I had to crack up when I read the part that likened it to a Griswald family vacation; it TOTALLY was! We pulled a “yeah, it might be 40 degrees with 40 mph winds, but we’re going to the Dunes, and you’re gonna love it, dammit!” It was an awesome weekend.
I can’t possible top Emilie’s recap, so I’ll just post some highlights. We drove a few hours to Alamosa, where we stayed in the trashiest, dirt cheap, pet-friendly hotel with an indoor waterpark…and our kids LOVED it. It was pretty perfect, especially since Henny got to come.
My kids on Chris’ back. He’s a baby whisperer.
All the kids, including Fin and Nova, went down this huge waterslide more than once:
We woke up on Saturday planning to spend the day hiking Great Sand Dunes National Park. Last time we were there, it was the end of May (Mother’s Day weekend). It was hot outside and Medano Creek was flowing and of ideal wading depth. Turns out, that’s not so much the case the first weekend of April. Who knew! But that morning in Alamosa, Travis took Hen outside, came back upstairs and announced to all of us that it was plenty warm and I should just wear capris instead of pants because I’d be hot. Big mistake…unless you like sand pelting your bare legs at 40mph (I’m not sure if I’m exaggerating, but that’s what it felt like). We pushed through and hiked to the 1st big dune. The kids were all whining and grumping that they were cold…or had sand in their eyes…or couldn’t feel their fingers or some bs like that;) Seriously, it was torturous, but we were determined to LOVE IT, dammit! It was pretty freaking comical, actually. And in retrospect, when I’m no longer being blasted by a sandstorm with a kid in 1 arm, another in a backpack, and a puppy under my armpit, it’s totally hilarious. I think Henny’s face here sums it all up the best:
Shane’s pained expression here is quite telling also:
Jack, Shane, and Juneau hiding from the wind and sand in Travis’ lap:
At the base of the dunes after sliding down on sleds:
Poor Henny made the mistake of sliding down a dune, only to have to work his way back up! Can you imagine how hard that would be if you had a droopy gut AND legs that were only 5” long?! Hahaha! He’s a trooper of a dog.
Chris, Travis, and Emilie, each with a kid in a backpack, trekking through the sand:
Hen-dog assessing the situation (check out his beautiful Frenchie bat ears that now stand up!):
T-bone assessing the situation:
These are the tallest dunes in North America, and we learned, firsthand, exactly how they formed – by relentless wind blowing sand across the San Luis Valley, sand that doesn’t stop blowing until it reaches the base of the San Luis mountains. It truly is an incredible natural landscape.
So after the Dunes, we headed to the MOST RANDOM, STRANGEST place in all of Colorado (or possibly the world): Colorado Gators Reptile Park. Littered with tires, wood, and swamp trash, there are ponds with alligators at a family run reptile farm. We fed some alligators and Finley held one (and proceeded to kiss it). The employee was so surprised by her fearlessness, he awarded her a Certificate of Bravery, which made her cry for some unknown reason. Seriously though, the gators mouth opened as a threat, and Fin was still trying to plant a kiss on it…until I told her it was going to bite her cute little face off! That hardly scared her though.
The gang feeding gators over a fence:
Travis’ face was so frozen he didn’t sense that his nose was dripping…so I caught it on camera to show him;) I’m just awesome like that.
We spent Easter Sunday at a gorgeous park with the breathtaking 14er, Mt. Blanca, in the background. Chris & Travis dropped me and Em off so we could hide the eggs (and freeze to death for our vacation choice…I was kinda worried they weren’t coming back;) while they drove around with the kids. Jack, Juneau, Shane, Fin, and Nova had a BLAST collecting eggs, but Finley got it in her paranoid little noggin that everyone was just out to steal hers. She only trusted me and screamed whenever anyone came close; she wouldn’t even let Travis get within 5 feet of her! It was HYSTERICAL. Paranoia is an awful condition…sometimes I worry about this child!
The kids looked so cute in their Easter outfits, but it was so cold we had to bundle them. By the time we were done with the layers, they sort of looked homeless. Here they are, lined up and ready for the egg hunt:
Toddlers are a strange breed of human being. Here’s Shane shooting bubbles into Finley’s mouth:
Nova looking adorable:
Finley, keeping a suspicious, watchful eye around her while bending down to pick up an egg:
We took our time coming home on Sunday afternoon. We stopped to eat along the way and Jack made the grossest concoction ever, but he proudly ate it. It was ice cream topped with, not nuts, not oreos, not sprinkles, but PEAS…and then olives and mushrooms. I told you the boy loves his veggies. I had to put a finger over my closed mouth to prevent my own ice cream from coming back up as I watched him gulp a mouth full.
Travis and I stopped at a few parks along the way home too. It was the most gorgeous day and the kids, Henny, Travis and I loved enjoying it outside.
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!
April 6, 2010 8 Comments
This has been the strangest day EVER; it was sunny, then it snowed these HUGE, gorgeous, chunky snowflakes, then it rained, and then it stayed light until 7pm because of the time change. To top it off, the kids and I didn’t leave the house and I was in my pajamas today until 5:30pm. Weird, as that is NOT something I ever do (not since post C-section spinal headache anyway). We were up past 2am last night hosting a little get-together with some neighbor friends to watch the Pacquiao – Clottey fight, and of course our kids didn’t sleep in this morning or anything. A quick story from our night: we planned wings and beer for fight night. Of course, we’re wing AND beer snobs, so they had to be specialty wings, and it had to be our favorite Colorado microbrew on draught.
So Travis got home with his beer for the kegerator, hooked it up, and watched the CO2 meter plummet instantly. Empty CO2 = non-pressurized kegerator = flat beer and non-functional tap. So no draught beer. Travis was devastated.
Then, the wings were cold by the time our friends were on their way over, so Travis said “I’ll just put them in the oven,” and he stuffed them in, still in their styrofoam boxes. I was BURNED out at this point from a really long day (8 mile run, lots of cleaning, etc), and so was he. So when I asked Trav, admittedly in a somewhat nagging tone, if styrofoam can go in the oven, he was annoyed and said it would be fine. So I let it go.
About 5 minutes later, I came downstairs and asked Travis if he’d lit a candle or something. He shrugged and said “no, but it smells like one.” I ran for the oven, and of course, the styrofoam had melted all over it. I threw a mini tantrum about the toxic chemicals that had, no doubt, absorbed into the wings, and we moved on.
Our friends got here, and 1 had brought a homemade pizza. He was so proud of it and told us how he’d spent several hours slaving over it and 3 others just like it. All fresh ingredients and made completely to perfection. All we had to do was put it in the oven. So Travis did that. Then we all went downstairs to play with the kids in the playroom, but Travis disappeared for a few minutes, so I ran upstairs to see what was up. I walked in, only to find him hunched over the oven in mourning, with the evidence all over his sauce-stained hands. He looked up with the most guilty face ever, I shot him the “I-know-you-killed-the-pizza” glare, and he told me “I don’t know what happened, it just lost integrity when I tried to take it out!” There were pizza guts ALL OVER the oven floor and the oven door. I watched Travis’ pathetic attempt to fit the puzzle pieces of crust back together, and then slap the cheese, chopped onions, green peppers, and pepperoni haphazardly back on top. Something just didn’t look quite right;) Wish I’d snapped the picture when Travis was still wearing the toppings on his arms:
I told him he had to go give our friend, John, the bad news. We did the nudge / shove, “you go do it,” “NO, YOU go do it!” Finally, Travis solemnly broke the news that he’d wrecked John’s masterful creation. Thankfully, John was a few drinks in and took it in stride. He was a really good sport about it, but we felt awful. Travis might be getting a pizza tray for his birthday (which is this week!). I tried to get him a kilt with his family’s tartan, but man skirts are freakin EXPENSIVE.
Anyway, in spite of its perils, last night was a good time! Lots of drinks, lots of laughs, and a good boxing match.
Speaking of Match, I am dying of anticipation right now. I was calm as a cucumber for most of application, interview, Match season, but I’ve actually been pretty anxious today. I am having horrifying flashbacks of last year’s shock and horror, when I got the email on Black Monday. “Black Monday” is the term used in medical education to refer to the Monday of Match Week, when applicants find out if we matched or not. Hopefully mine will not be “black” this year. The email does not contain any information other that to tell us “congrats,” or “sorry.” Details for those who match don’t come until envelope opening on Thursday of Match Week.
At this point, I am just feeling CRAZY for ever worrying over the order of my rank list. How presumptuous. Right now, I’m in the “bargaining” stage: “oh please, oh please let me match; I’ll be the best resident, I’ll never complain about work-life imbalance or having to live in a crappy city! I just want to be a dermatologist, I’ll go ANYwhere!” Seriously, Travis and I are just on edge waiting for that email tomorrow. We’ve both decided that if we get good news tomorrow, we’ll hit the ceiling, and enjoy the rest of the week when we get to find out WHERE I matched.
Our plan is to get up at the crack of dawn to do P90X, then maybe bundle the kids (tomorrow’s high is 50, but somehow it’s supposed to snow…only in Colorado;) and go for a run. For some reason, I just don’t want to be cooped up in the house waiting for the results. Travis doesn’t have to go to work & school until later in the day. We just have to be back 30 minutes after the email arrives for Shane’s speech therapy session. So that’s the plan. SO. MUCH. BUILD UP. And it’ll all be over in a matter of seconds, as soon as I open the email and read the 1st sentence.
Here are some funny videos that put a smile on my face. This is what happens as a result of our kids waking up and coming downstairs to find us doing P90X:
And this is Shane-bug counting away:
Wish me luck; tomorrow I’ll either find out I’m definitely going to be a dermatologist, or that I’m still just hopeful that someday a path into the field will present itself if I keep working for it. Big day, big day.
March 14, 2010 16 Comments