Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Heart of The Home

The weather has turned colder.

It snowed for the first time today.

And while that makes me cry a little (mostly on the inside) there is still happiness.

Happiness is the first fire of the year.

Happiness is literally having a hearth be the heart of the home.

This is the place that everyone gathers in the evening, snuggling around the fireplace with books. Warming our feet as we watch movies.

This makes me almost glad that it is winter. Not quite, but almost.

Go visit Leigh at Leigh vs Laundry for The Happiness Project and post a picture of something that makes you deliriously happy.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

A time out, of sorts

In the midst of everything, and I'm talking everything -commercialism, schedules, keeping-up-with-the-Jones, the holidays, finances, family, plans- in the midst of all this, I sometimes forget to take a breath, slow down, and think.

It's so easy for me to fall into my little pity parties, little moments of unhappiness that come so frequently and so subtly that I don't even recognize them for what they are.

I find myself thinking that maybe all I need to be happy is this one more thing, to make it to just the next milestone, to get to that next place in my life.

I mean, everyone else has a smart phone, a DSLR, a laptop. All it would take is a car with paint on it, a bigger kitchen, more storage, a new table, a bathtub that's not blue. The list goes on. If only I had this, that, or the other, then I could be happy.

All I need is to make it until I'm done with residency and then I can be happy. All I need is to make more money, and then I'll be happy. All I need is for my student loans to be paid off and then I can start being happy. All I need is to find a job after residency and finally, I can be happy. All I need is one more baby, and then, we can all just be happy.

These thoughts come and go with such frequency I hardly notice them and the accompanying emotions of unhappiness and discontent.

This Thanksgiving, I was missing my family so much that I started to fall into the little well of misery. Those little thoughts of "If only..." were there. If only I had a better job that I didn't work so much and had time to go to Utah. If only I had more money so I could afford to go to Utah. If only...And then I stopped. I stepped back and took a time-out of sorts.

I have a job.

I have a family.

I have family and friends to spend the holiday with.

After all, not everyone has a nice car or the latest electronic gadget. I get so weighed down by what "everyone else" has that I forget that it's not everyone else. It's not even mostly everyone. It's the few and the fortunate, a group that, even without all the shiny accessories, I belong to.

I'm not waiting until after residency to be happy. I will start being content now. After all, we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and love in our home, blessings that too many go without on a daily basis.

I'm embarrassed by how easily I get caught up in the shallowness of it all. Maybe what I actually need is the same thing my boys sometimes need - a time out. Time to stop, think about what I'm doing wrong, and how to fix it.

This weekend has been a good time out. As this next huge holiday rush comes up, and I feel those moments of "If only I could afford this" and "Why can I just have that," I'm hoping that I can remember to stop, step back, and remember, I have what I need.

Now is a good time to start being happy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My mind only works in bullet points

-I'm sure at some point I will be able to form complete thoughts.

-Not today.

-I forgot that Thanksgiving is this week.

-It has finally turned cold. But not snowing. Not yet.

-The time change was weeks ago and I'm still adjusting. Don't like getting home when it's pitch black.

-Monkey doesn't like it either. He falls asleep very early and is very cranky all the time. Well, at least all the time I'm home.

-Another holiday without my "big" family feels almost emotionally crushing. I'm glad I have my boys.

-It feels like every day I must remind myself to get up and keep going. Just that part is a lot of work.

-I'm doing pediatric anesthesia. I thought I would like it. I don't.

-I'm excited to do some baking. Assuming that I don't forget about Thanksgiving -again.

-I get Thanksgiving off. I'm very excited about that.

-I start in the ICU next month. Not excited about that.

-Where is the time doing? I keep thinking how can it be November already, and then I realize that November is almost over.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


It may be the worst kept secret around, but I am going crazy with keeping it. For more than a year, I have been distracted while I think about it. It sneaks into nearly all my thoughts and interferes with many of my dreams.

I am outright, full-blown baby hungry.

Monkey is now 4. Bug is now 8. And I'm ready for another one.

Oh, that it would be that easy.

It's times like this that make it easy to fall into my little pity parties about how difficult my life feels. But since I've made ever single informed decision along the way, I can't dwell on that. After all, we made the decision to go into medicine, where I'll be working 12-14 hour days for at least the next 2 1/2 years. We made the decision to move to Iowa, 1200 miles away from any family that could theoretically help take care of a new baby. We made the decision about dental school, which means Hubster starting his own strenuous academic career. We are a single income family and with loans harder and harder to come by, daycare may not be as feasible as it once was.

We're at a point in our lives where things are actually getting easier. Monkey starts kindergarten next year. Which means that both boys would be in school during the day and there wouldn't be any extra childcare costs. There are no more diapers, high chairs, cribs, late night feedings, sleep training, or temper tantrums.

And it just breaks my heart.

Sometimes I feel like I'm determined to make my life difficult. Why can't I just be content with what I have? Two healthy boys, the thought of them both being in school, the rhythm that we've fallen into over the last year.

After all, I hate being pregnant. I get very sick, I get fat, I never regain my pre-pregnancy body. I'm tired enough as it is. I'm never home as it is. I'm stressed enough as it is. Why would I do this to myself?

And then I realize that I don't really care. I know that we're meant to have a third child.

That, and there are babies everywhere. My sister, my cousin, and a good friend just had babies. Friends of mine are pregnant right and left. And the blogosphere is just full of babies. Babies, babies, babies, and babies!

Nearly every time I sit in our office, I think about how cute it would be as a nursery. I find myself thinking of names.

The boys overheard Hubster and I talking about this topic and became so excited. "Are we having a baby?!" they squealed. No, they were told, we're talking about the possibility of a baby. They were crestfallen, but it's good to know they're onboard with the idea. In fact, we all are.

Damn logistics.

Where we go from here, I'm not exactly sure. Do we take the plunge and hope the schedules and child care work themselves out? Do we postpone until our schedules and income are more condusive for another baby?

In the meantime, I'm storing away nursery color schemes and coveting every newborn I see.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just Before Bedtime

...this is what we were doing.

While it is definitely not conducive to sleepiness and quiet-time, it is definitely good for the heart.

I haven't laughed that hard in months, I'm ashamed to say. It took only a few minutes of swinging a pillow around and laughing hysterically to forget just for a moment that I was a grown-up with a job, responsibilities, and stresses in my life. To forget how stressful bedtime normally is, with the trying to get everyone pajamaed, brushed, washed, and tucked in at the end of a long day.

It was good to forget.

It was better to make those memories.

The boys giggling so hard they can't hold onto their pillows, everyone falling down.

These are the memories to hang on to. This is how bedtime should be.

Go visit Leigh vs. Laundry for The Happiness Project and post a photo of something that makes you deliriously happy.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

House Watching: Part 2

There are many people who enjoy people watching. And while I may have participated in this activity while stuck in airports, it's not something that I actually enjoy.

For me, I far prefer house watching.

Think of HGTV and Architectural Digest as my E! and People magazine. The local Parade of Homes is my Oscars.

Everyday as I drive to and from work, I look at the houses I pass. I have my favorites, the ones with clean lines, intricate details, and a modern but classic sensibility. There are the ones that intrigue me, the obviously historical and the extravagantly custom.

I watch them closely, always commenting to myself about changes.

Oh, look, they're putting in new windows.
I really like the changes in the flower beds.
That new door is very nice.

That's an interesting paint color choice.

I see the houses for sale and hope that families that love them move there. I get excited when I see the sold sign, because it means new changes will be taking place, and I slowly get to see the house take on the subtleties of the new owners' personality. I see sad for the houses that sit month after month on the market and wonder why.

I have been known to take detours on the way home to drive through neighborhoods full of beautiful homes.

I take photos of homes with unique colors and interesting architecture.

But no matter how beautiful the house, I'm always happiest to pull up to my very own home.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Life is No Grey's Anatomy

It has been a couple of down right crazy weeks. Long, long days at work, some very difficult cases, some difficult personalities, and a holiday.

I'm finally getting caught up, both at home and in the blogosphere. I need to take this opportunity to tell ya'll that I was the Blog of the Week over A Peek at Karen's World. Karen is one of my best blogging friends ever! And I just haven't had the chance to formally recognize the honor of being featured over at her amazing blog until now.

A Peek at Karen's World

Karen had made some reference to Grey's Anatomy, which was hilarious and at the same time caused at internal eye roll. Mostly because I sometimes wish my life was Grey's Anatomy.

I have to say it's been a very long time since I've watched Grey's Anatomy. I watched most of the first season, and then not much more. Actually, I don't watch any medically based shows- House, Scrubs, ER (when it was on), anything. First, because I do medicine all day long. The last thing I want to do is come home and watch TV shows about my job. And secondly, they don't always get it right. And it bothers me. But honestly, a show about a person getting paged 50 times through out the night and answering phone calls and writing for sleep medicine all night isn't really audience winning material.

Here are more ways that my life is not Grey's Anatomy...

-There is no McDreamy. Doctors look like normal people. In fact, since most of us were the geekiest of the geeky, most of us don't have the looks to grace the cover of any magazine.

-There is no sex. Residents are too busy, too stressed, and too tired. It's just plain impractical to think about meeting someone in the hospital for a little pow-wow in the call room. And I don't even have access to any storage closets.

-Most residents have relationships outside of the hospital. We are not sleeping with each other, with nurses, and certainly not with attendings.

-There is no McSteamy. Not that we don't all wish it. But there isn't.

-No one would ever, ever have to ask to me to go home more than once.

-We don't wear make-up. We don't have time, we don't care. (Okay, I take that back. I do put a little mascara on each morning. Since my eyes are the only part of my face that show.) I don't think I've seen a surgical resident wear make-up at the hospital.

-Each specialty works in their own part of the hospital. There is none of this running around, working in the NICU, working in the emergency room, etc. It just isn't done.

-Our scrubs don't fit nearly that nice.

When Grey's Anatomy first premiered, I was in medical school. We were all so excited. But after a while, nearly everyone I know stopped watching. As one good friend said:

"There was an episode when everyone was home...and it was still light outside. After that I was done."

Monday, November 1, 2010


Yesterday evening, in our living room, at 6 pm...

Yesterday night, in our living room, at 8 pm...

In between, two hours of delightful weather, ridiculously cute trick-or-treating, and overall wonderful memories.

I think it was a successful evening.