Friday, December 31, 2010

Successes and Failures

With it being the very last day of 2010 and all, I thought that this would be a good time to review my goals for 2010 and see how I did.

(It's also the last Friday of the year, and the last Face It Friday. Karen and Jennee will be starting Project 52 on Monday, and I'm very excited!)

I'll admit it. There were things on my list that I could have done. I just didn't. I would think about them, and just not feel like doing them. In other words, I was lazy. But let's not focus on that.

So just how did I do in 2010? There was the initial goal making, and then my progress reports in February, April, and September. That's once each season-ish. And overall...

My 2010 To-Do List: The October/November/December Issue

-Lose 5 pounds by May 1st, then another 5 pounds by September 1st.

*Hysterical laughter* Okay, are we done?

Failure. A pretty miserable one at that. I don't think that I've lost a single pound. My scale is still hidden away in the back of my closet. I eye it suspiciously every time I catch a glimpse of it. I don't think I want to hear anything it has to tell me.

-Be able to touch my toes.
Success. But I have to keep at it more than I thought. If I go a couple weeks without stretching, I loose it.

-Get my passport.
Failure. This is one I thought a lot about, and just didn't go.

-Date night with Hubster once a month. 5/12
January: No. February: Yes. March:Yes. April: No. May: Yes. June: Yes. July: No. August: No. September: No. October: No. November: Yes. December: No.
We are terrible at this. I think I need to change my expectations about date night. Or just stop being so lazy and realize it's okay to leave the house on my days off.

-Pass the boards the first time.

-Use my crock pot (at least) once a month. 9/12
January: Barbecue chicken.
February: A whole chicken with red potatoes and carrots.
March: Blackberry-balsamic marinaded chicken.
April: Some weird taco-cheese-chili thing. I don't remember. I thought it was good.
May: Artichoke dip.
June: Pulled barbecued beef.
July: Barbecue chicken.
August: Nothing.
September: Chicken
October: Barbequed beef
November: Nada
December: Nope.

Success. At least I'm counting this as a success. I think that doing this the majority of the year is pretty good. I'm going to try to continue this, because it really does make easy meals.

-Finish moving in.
Success. When my mom visited me in September, we organized the basement, cleaned and painted the entire garage, and emptied nearly every box. It's been wonderful.

-Finish moving into this blog.
Failure. I've made some adjustments here and there, but my vision of a big blog make over just never happened. Although I must say that my blog transition I made one year ago was a great decision.

So grand total is: 4 successes and 4 failures. 50-50.

So I "failed" half my goals. But I still feel that 2010 was a successful year. And I've already got 4 goals ready to go for 2011!

Face it Friday Button

Thanks, Karen and Jennee for all the motivation!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 In Pictures

While 2010 felt quiet while it was happening, it was actually a very big year.

I passed Step 3 and finished intern year, Hubster applied to and got accepted into dental school, Bug found his courage, and Monkey started preschool.

Between all that, there were moments. Moments that I will probably remember more than the big events. At least I hope I do. Which is why I'm bringing you my favorite moments, captured by camera, of 2010.

There is no predetermined number, no even distribution of month or season. Just pictures that bring back the sweetest memories of this last year. And yes, there are all of my boys.

I'd love to have your input. Which is your favorite?










Let me know which one you like best.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

When the dream and the reality don't match

Do you ever have those plans that seem fabulous, brilliant, and down-right genius inside your head, but then are, well, not any of those things in reality?

That's how being a stay-at-home dad has been for Hubster.

When we started this whole journey, and I'm going way back here, back to just getting into medical school and still living in the west, we always knew there was a time that Hubster would probably not work and I would. When we knew we were moving to the Midwest and starting residency, it was an absolutely for sure thing. It made sense for our family. It needed to be done. And Hubster isn't one to complain. Ever.

I was so excited about the whole idea that finally, someone would be home with our children. There were many people who were envious of Hubster's opportunity to stay home. I was so thrilled (and envious myself) that I failed to notice that Hubster was not.

He's been staying home for over a year, and it's been difficult. First, it was just difficult for him. It was such a change of pace. He'd been working full time since he graduated high school. He'd been the provider. He'd had the social interaction that a job provides. And all of that just disappeared. So it was difficult.

Then it became difficult for me. I could see that he was unhappy. I could see that he was struggling. There was nothing I could do to fix it. I couldn't switch positions, no matter how much I might want to. And I so wanted him to be happy about being home, and the fact that he wasn't made me unhappy.

Now that Hubster knows he is going to dental school, now that he has something on the horizon, we've been able to be much more honest with each other about why things have been difficult.

Let me say that Hubster is a fabulous dad. He takes wonderful care of our boys. He does the dishes, the laundry, and most of the meals. But I could always tell that nearly every day was a challenge for him. And I've wondered why, why on earth should things be so difficult!

Now I'm going to go out and make blatantly wide generalizations here, but stick with me for a minute. As girls, for the most part, we assume that we are going to grow up, get married, have children, and run a house. Yes, we may have jobs and careers, but that is in addition to the traditional female roles. Growing up, everyone else assumes this. As females, we have an entire culture preparing us for those roles. Our mothers teach us how to cook, clean, organize, etc. We have bridal showers and baby showers were advice is given. There are entire magazines dedicated to assist and educate. We are surrounded by this.

For men, it's a very different culture. There are men who have mothers that teach them domestic skills, but it's more of a bonus than a necessity. Hubster was thrown into a setting that required a huge skill set that he just didn't have. Looking back, I realize how unfair it was of me to take him away from everything he knew, place him into a brand new role, and expect him to not only be happy with it, but to thrive.

Things are getting better. We're implementing systems. (Hubster cooks dinner, I do dinner dishes on days I'm home.) But to say that the whole thing has been this glorious thing would be dishonest.

It's not all bad, obviously. Hubster gets time with the boys. We've saved on daycare. I've learned a lot about being patient. Hubster's learned a lot about, well, being home. Like he says, "People think that being home is all wonderful, like a vacation. Actually, it's really hard work." Anyone can do this for a day, or even a few days, or a week. But it's the day in, day out, week after week, month after month that will get you.

Things haven't been perfect. And I'm sure that they are not just magically going to be. This is something we have to continue to work at. But we understand each other. We are there for each other. And we just ignore the dusting.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Happiness is...

Coming home from work in the gray early morning hours and driving through what was truly a winter wonderland.

Each branch and needle frosted in shimmery snow and ice.

I went home, loaded my boys in the car and then just drove.

Happiness is listening to them in the back seat, whispering how beautiful everything is.

I'm not really a winter person. But even I can admit, this was absolutely beautiful.

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


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Was...

Christmas was once again, spent at home with my precious family, instead of at the hospital...

Christmas was found in every corner of our home...

Christmas was Christmas Eve pajamas, then Christmas Eve stories around the tree...

Christmas was stockings stuffed and hung over the fireplace, waiting to be pounced on in the dark hours of Christmas morning...

Christmas was excitement and impatience...

Christmas was finally getting to open the presents that have been tempting them for days...

Christmas was traditional monkey bread from breakfast...

...and then traditional glazed ham and potatoes for dinner.

Christmas was sugar everywhere I looked...

Christmas was looking around and thinking I couldn't be happier...

Christmas was perfect.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I was working on a post, one about how stressful waiting can be.

Because that what our lives have been the last couple months. Waiting. Waiting to know what the future holds. Waiting to make plans. The kids waiting for Christmas. There has been a whole lot of waiting.

I hate waiting. I hate the feeling of putting our lives on hold. I hate waiting to start living our lives. Because this IS our life. Small and simple as it is. I don't want to keep waiting.

The waiting is stressful.

But the post that I was waiting to publish, well, I don't have to.

The waiting is over. Well, some of it.

Hubster found out today that he was accepted to dental school.

He called me into the office were we saw the word on his application: Admitted.

We hugged, jumped around like silly kids we actually are, and cried. This was the moment we were waiting for when two and a half years ago, Hubster decided to go back to school, work on some prerequisites, and start the whole process. This was the moment we were waiting for when we were dipping into our 401K to pay the extra tuition costs when he still needed two more classes and we couldn't get any student loans to pay for them (since Hubster already had two bachelors degrees and therefore didn't qualify.) This was the moment we were waiting for when we invested in a suit and Hubster went for his interview. This was the moment that we have been painfully waiting for every single day since then.

Exactly what this means for our future, I'm still in the process of wrapping my head around.

For now, what this means is that Hubster will start dental school in the fall.

And that the waiting is over.

For now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Happiness is...

Weekend breakfasts as a family.

Starting the day together is wonderful.

The waffles are pretty good too.

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


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Outing

What started out as a method to manage our budget has now become a favorite weekly tradition.

Each Sunday afternoon, we drive to down today to the public library.

We get to stroll through downtown, past the playground and fountains.

We return the stacks of books we enjoyed during the week. Bug and Monkey have decided they must take turns, returning the books one at a time. My apologies for anyone behind us at the book return slot.

We wander to the children's section (which by the way, has a special slide entrance.)

The boys hunt for books for the next week. Anything from picture books to magic books to all about dinosaurs. Or Monkey's favorite: Where's Waldo and I Spy books.

Most times, we also sit for afternoon story time.

Then, there is more hunting for books. Making sure we have the rest of the Magic Tree House books or that we've placed a hold on the next Rick Riordan book. We check out classic Disney movies.

There are usually so many other children there, playing with trains, reading stories, or doing the bead mazes, that there is almost no need to shush the boys. Almost.

Then there is the check-out, which Bug now manages by himself.

We then haul our books out to the car. And since our library has a 75 book limit (per card), it is very literally a haul out to the car.

This new little tradition not only mean that we haven't spent a dime at a book store in nearly a year, but that we have new books every night for story time.

Because there just can't be enough time spent like this.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A List of Annoyances

I know that things have been all merry and bright over here lately. But I'm going to digress today. Maybe it's my S.A.D flaring up. Maybe it's that I'm overly tired. Maybe it's because I've eaten too much white chocolate popcorn and am recovering from a sugar rush. But lately, a few things have been bothering me. Well, not so much bothering as they are annoying. Just little things, really, but things that I find myself thinking way too much about.

-The discontinuation of my favorite facial moisturizer. I've used Dove's facial moisturizer for years. It's cheap, it really works, and it has SPF 15 protection. Well, I guess I should say, "it had." Because Dove has stopped making it. I tried a couple of other lotions, but everything has made me very dry, my face start peeling, and I've broken out a lot lately. I need good moisturizer, I need SPF protection, and I have very sensitive skin apparently. Any suggestions?

-Styrofoam egg containers at Wal-Mart. Why does Wal-Mart use these instead of the traditional cardboard? We don't shop at Wal-Mart very frequently anymore, but there are times when it's just easier. And anytime we get eggs, they come in this new Styrofoam package. Which our recycling program does not accept. So I just have to throw it away. It drives me crazy.

-Captchas. Some people still have captchas on their blogs. I have such limited time to read and respond. The extra time is, well, annoying.

-Call. Maybe I'm growing soft. I haven't done a 30 hour shift since April, and doing them now just kills me. At midnight, I'm just fine. At 2 am, I'm starting to feel it. At 4 am, I'm really tired. And by 6 am, I'm slurring my speech and unable to walk a straight line. Let alone be coherent on rounds at 8 am. Yuck. And I have to do that 3 times next week. I'm definitely annoyed.

-Snow post-call. One of the only things worse than working 30 hours is having to dig your car out of the snow after 30 hours of work. Blah.

-Cord spaghetti at my computer. We have a ton of different USP connector cables. Ones for iPods, cameras, PDAs, game controllers, SD card readers, etc. I organize them, try taping them down, remove some. It doesn't matter. Two days later, I have an electronic cable rat's nest at my computer. I've given up.

There is nothing I can do about almost any of these things. I like to fix things, perfect things, work on things. Instead, I'm coping by being annoyed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Okay, Now It's Christmas

Decorating the tree is what starts the Christmas season for me. It doesn't matter if it's the day after Thanksgiving or a few day before December 25th. Once the tree goes up, then it's Christmas.

I love decorating the tree. It's the same ornaments year after year, but each tree feels special and unique.

Like most things, I want the tree decorating to be a family activity. Which is hard when you have a 1 precarious 7 foot tree, 100 glass balls, 6 tangled strands of lights, and 2 overly excitable boys.

Which is why we now have 5 glass balls and 100 shatterproof balls.

This is the point where I must let go of some of my obsessive, detail-loving ways. Because the boys just want to dive in and go for it. They don't care about my desire to have the ornaments spread evenly through the tree or to have a stylish arrangement of colors. They just want those balls on that tree right now!

So I let them.

This has become the tradition. They get to decorate to their hearts' content. Any ornament, any location. Which means that nearly all the ornaments end up on the same branch and only the bottom three feet are decorated.

They oh and ah and are ecstatic about their handiwork.

And then they go off to bed and I decorate the tree. I mean - I more evenly distribute the decorations. Just so that there are decorations near the top as well as the bottom. Nothing else.
(Well, almost nothing else.)

And when the boys wake up, they are just delighted by what a wonderful job they did!

Now it's Christmas.

Stop by Leigh vs. Laundry for The Happiness Project and post a photo (or two) of something that makes you divinely happy!