Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Again with this?

So I mentioned the P@xil was causing some weight gain, right? Well add on the general "holiday" feeling of the past few weeks (L's birthday, Halloween, call week/election clusterf&ck, travel, Thanksgiving) and that "some" has become the difference between fitting in my clothes...and not. When I weighed myself this morning I was 8 pounds up from my pre-P@xil weight---and that was in the past 12 weeks.

It just crept up, you know. A piece of candy here and there. A pumpkin beer with dinner. An extra afternoon snack. Cheese, crackers, cheese curls, wine, cocktails, tacos, french fries, and ETC.... I couldn't wear my non-stretchy jeans this Sunday. Then last night some black work pants I ordered in my "loose" size came in...and would NOT fit. I'm taking them back, I'm not about to waste $$ on pants that may or may not even look good when and if they ever fit, but I'm not really in the mood to buy a whole new sized up wardrobe either. I'm itchy and uncomfortable wearing tights and a stretchy dress today because I couldn't face the idea of pants this morning. But tights are also...tight.

I started thinking about doing low carb, or counting calories, or some other intensive change, but SHU's post (and especially the comments) has made me re-think this method. Sure, it WORKS to do a "re-set" and get the confidence boost of losing weight in a short time frame but unless I think of a long-term solution this is going to be a recurring problem. It already has been. I've written about this before...more than once!

And no "intuitive eating" doesn't really work for me (what does that even mean?) If I "listen to my body", I would be stuffing my face with cheez-its and spicy peanuts all the live-long day. I have to IGNORE my wants and focus on my body's NEEDS. Which is also going to mean feeling a little hungry some times, especially at bed time. I've gotten in the habit (AGAIN) of snacking after dinner. We eat at 6ish, and if I'm still awake at 9:30 or 10, I'm genuinely hungry again. And I'm decidedly NOT in the mood for carrots or apples, which I am all too happy to munch on at 11am or 3pm.

One thing that always works is just...going to bed. If I'm asleep by 9:30, I'm not snacking. And I'm never ever hungry in the morning, so its definitely not like I'm just shifting the snacks to a different time. Not buying things I want to snack on also works well. If here is no cheese, it won't end up in my belly. We need to throw away the candy (we bought WAY too much for Halloween and still have a ton left). Cutting out the drinking. Bringing snacks for work (like raw veggies, fruit, or a small portion of soup) so I'm not tempted to run down to the cafeteria or vending machine for french fries or chips.

We have 4 weeks before we go to MIL for 10 days, and eating & drinking are definitely NOT going to be "clean" for that time, so I want to get on track. Any other tips that work for you?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Backwards and Forwards

The rest of the weekend continued to be awesome. The birthday party/football game was fun---even though we left before half-time, noticing that all the kids were half-asleep (both of mine fell asleep on the way home). It was nice to socialize and do something brand new. The kids got to high-five all the players before they came out for the game, which was super cute and exciting for them.

Sunday I went for a solo run---for the first time in months! It was tough. I was sore from Bodypump on Saturday, and it took my legs a long long time to find my stride. But eventually I did, and I definitely have gotten faster. I can feel the muscles in my thigh being recruited to push my along as I pick up speed. It was fun.

I also did a lot of chores on Sunday---loads of laundry and loads of cooking. I took the boys to see a children's theater production that was really well done, and was a fun & special way to end the weekend. I had planned to go to bed early but G and I just kept talking (and drinking wine)---I guess I didn't want the holiday feeling to end.

This morning was rough. And today has been far from efficient. I'm getting my head back into it, checking things off my list, and working on #1 of the 2 papers I want to submit by year's end. I also wasted indulged lazed decided to spend some time catching up on the news & a whole slew of excellent blog posts that I tried to avoid all weekend.

Did Thanksgiving come early this year? It feels like it. I can't believe its "holiday season" already. I didn't get around to decorating. We will do it Saturday. I want the boys to participate. I'm again re-evaluating how I want to focus our energy for the holidays this year...definitely going with less emphasis on the material gifts for the kids and more on the idea of family/love/sharing/giving.

I think I've met my goal of posting here every working day so far. I'm not sure it has helped me reach my actual intention of improving my writing, making connections, and sharing insights here. A lot of my posts have been phoned-in, so to speak, just trying to get some words out so I can check the box. Yet, before the month I was checking in rarely with bullets and "quick updates", too. I'm not sure how to motivate myself to increase quality and quantity.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

The weekend has been mostly good so far. There were some....moments...on Thursday, where the kids were fighting/hitting/shouting and I lost it, and then I took it out some more on my husband, etc... But overall, we've been relaxing, playing games, eating yummy food, etc...

We had our "traditional" (i.e. we had it last year) Thanksgiving meal of roast chicken, buttermilk biscuits, roasted veggies & dessert. B and I made pumpkin Nutella bread and it was as good as it sounds. I don't really like turkey and even the smallest turkey is too big for the 4 of us, so the chicken is perfect.

I went to the gym this morning while G took the boys to B's karate class and breakfast. Now I'm at work waiting for the media to warm so I can feed some cells (I didn't want to wait another week to grow them up for some experiments I need for the paper I'm writing). Then I'll head to the grocery store. We have a birthday party for L's friend this evening that involves going to a college football game which starts at 7:30 (they didn't know the game time when they planned this & bought the tickets, it was only announced this week). Its L's best friend, and we really like the parents, so hopefully it'll be fun.

I want to get the tree put up this weekend, and the other holiday decorations. I'll cook for the week tomorrow, too, because we have a busy few days coming up. Its nice to have this pause in our lives to chill out for a few days.

Hope you are all having a relaxing long weekend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What I've Been Reading Lately

I've been reading a lot (as usual!)

Here's a rundown of what I've read in the past few months:

Intuition (Allegra Goodman): This was a book club read. We all found it sort of meh. The premise is really interesting--about scientific misconduct in an academic (life sciences) lab, and they got a lot right about the environment. But the character development was terrible, and I didn't care about anyone. Also she left the ending very vague, which sometimes works, but really didn't here.

The Secret History (Donna Tartt): Oh my. Don't bother. Tedious, long, hated every single character more and more as the book went on, and an undercurrent of creepiness that just made me feel gross reading it.

Sleeping Giants (Sylvain Neuvel): I surprisingly loved this! Sci-fi, and with an extremely wacky, out-there premise, but also good character development and relationships and a fast-moving plot. A quick read, and it looks like there is a sequel in the works.

A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles): I already mentioned how much I love this, but can I say it again? LOVE. Such witty, sharp writing. Interesting, lovable characters. And the book cemented my belief that the meaning of life (or at least the path the happiness) lies in finding a purpose, and making connections.  The backdrop of the Bolshevik revolution in Moscow added quite a bit of intrigue (and some education, on my part). 

A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry): This book was...not for me, at least not right now (sorry SHU!). It was long. So very very long. I read it off and on since September and JUST finished it. And it was, far and away, the most depressing book I have ever read. All the characters were just so pitiful. It just went from bad to worse...and then there was a faint glimmer of hope around 2/3 through, and I started really liking it...and then it all went to absolute utter shit. Don't get me wrong, it is interesting---there are a LOT of deep themes about the society of the time, politics, culture, love and friendship, privilege and bigotry---I think it'd make a great book club or classroom discussion (except for the length), but oh man, this is not what I needed at the moment, and it left me in despair, without even a flicker of hope for the world.

Library of Souls (Ransom Riggs): 3rd (and last?) in the Miss Peregrine's fantasy series. I like these, it was action-packed, moderately creepy and complex. There is a teen love story mixed in that straddled the line into cheesy at times, but overall good.

Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon): I tore through this short YA read in one day. It reminded me of a cross between Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park & Attachments...until the twist at the end. About young love, parent-child love, and what it means to be ALIVE. Recommend. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Today I am grateful for:
  • My super-warm sherpa-lined boots. No matter how cold it is, my feet are nice and toasty!
  • My early morning workouts. In and out & home for breakfast after a major calorie burn
  • A positive parent-teacher meeting. "B is a great kid, very polite and inquisitive" she started off. There were definitely things to work on ("following directions"), but its so nice to hear something good about your kid!
  • L and his goofy drama-queen self. He went to the doctor and got 2 shots yesterday. Oh man, the kid carried on ALL NIGHT as if he'd had his leg amputated. "But make sure you take my shirt of carefully" "But how am I going to sleep because my arm hurts" "OH you touched my arm where it hurts!"(when I barely grazed against him). It was so funny---until he woke me up at midnight because his arms hurt again. BUT I'm grateful that...
  • G was already up, just coming to bed, and took over, so I could go immediately back to sleep in the warm bed.

Monday, November 21, 2016

No sleep until...

We had our weekend away. It was mostly...challenging. The kids were in rare form---an 11 out of 10 on the grumpiness/uncooperative scale. The weather made a sudden turn for freezing and awful Sunday. As usual when we are somewhere new (especially with all 4 of us in one room), I slept like crap. I was SO TIRED when we got home yesterday evening (in an Uber, since we missed our train connection), yet we had to cook & prep lunches & get groceries because Monday always comes.

The bright spot was G & I getting to go on a date night Saturday night, while his cousin watched the boys and got them ready for bed. We did get home before they fell asleep, but we had fun. I drank one glass of wine too much because we just weren't ready to leave the restaurant, and I paid for it big time Sunday morning. We had some fun with the kids Saturday morning at the park, too, when it was warm and picturesque.

Today I am dragging. I've had a headache all day despite going to bed before 9 last night, after a simple meal and lots of hydration. Its cold & windy outside, though it looks like the sun came out. I have to go to a parent-teacher conference at B's school & then rush to go get him from aftercare, a mile away (G is taking L to his 5-year-old check up). I haven't been super at all productive.

Thankfully we have a HelloFresh delivery waiting on our doorstep for dinner (btw, if you want to try it out, email me & I can hook you up with a free box). I'm a little in love with the brainless approach to getting food on the table. I do pride myself with being good at pre-planning and re-using and being creative in the kitchen but one less thing these days is sometimes the difference between sanity and completely losing it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

So Little Time...

I feel super pressed for time the past few days. We are traveling for the weekend, leaving right after I finish a morning clinic and journal club presentation. I haven't packed; we haven't done laundry in a while. I went on a field trip with L this morning, we made it home in time to pick B up from school. I supervised homework & snacks and planted the tulip bulbs that probably won't grow because they were already starting to sprout from being indoors & too warm too long.

I also threw in some laundry. Now the boys are bugging me to play games, but I had to deal with some patient phone calls & I'm quickly writing this post before I change over the laundry. Then I have to walk the dog and start dinner & making lunches for tomorrow for the kids. And then pack.
(G is working late, which we had already planned, since I was not going to work today). And parcel out dog food & get things ready for the dog sitter.

Next week there are only 3 days of work, and I've got to finish the paper I'm writing, plus a pilot grant application, some experiments we are trying to optimize, and the usual clinical stuff. And B has half days all 3 days (though he'll go to aftercare) and I have to go try to reschedule the parent-teacher conference they scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 2pm because that is just not happening!

Add to that the fact that we've planned NOTHING for Thanksgiving---either the meal or the long weekend, and its suddenly "holiday season" and we have to start getting gifts for teachers, etc... as well as think of what to get for the kids! And B's birthday party is in a month, and I've thought of nothing except booking the venue (his karate/aftercare place). We need to get out invites, and first pick a theme, plan food/cake/activities.

Yes, this post is basically my to-do list for the next few weeks, and if it reads a bit frantic its because I'm feeling that way. Now to go try and focus on "games" while my mind keeps thinking of what needs to happen next!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Book with Many Faces

Aaagh Facebook. Of course, every blogger has to ponder their "relationship with social media" so indulge me for a minute.

I generally like FB. I like keeping up with long last family/friends, and getting "likes" on cute/funny kid pictures. I like being on top of local happenings. I love Love LOVE the BuyNothing Project, which is run as a FB group.

I've also been involved in some huge time-suck FB groups that don't bring anything valuable to my life other than distraction. I've had to unfriend/unfollow annoying random people. There is a friend of my mom's who comments on EVERY SINGLE POST I ever put up, even though I only met her once. And I've found myself at times in the quandary of wanting to share but feeling uncomfortable because of the whole friends of friends seeing my post situation, because I don't friend people I currently work with but am friends with some previous colleagues who are also friends with everyone I work with (get it?).

Around the middle of last week, I found FB to be a lifeline. I commiserated with like-minded friends about the election results, and we had some really interesting and nuanced discussions. I was grateful to see people post about concrete actions we could all take, opportunities to do some good in the world.

But by the end of the week, my lifeline began to feel more like an anchor weighing me down, when I was actually ready to resurface. I realized what an echo-chamber of outrage it had become. So much re-hashing of the same thing. So many empty pledges. Nothing that was increasing my understanding, or even strengthening my friendships (maybe the opposite?). Nothing that was bringing any value to my life at all (other than Joe Biden memes, which STILL crack me up and probably will forever).

I opted out for the weekend, and honestly, it was good for me. I'm back on this week, and definitely, I feel more drawn back in to drama.Most people get off FB for OPPOSING political views, but I'm being driven away by those with identical views...because echo chambers get really loud, and I think better in quiet.

I decided this morning to quit for the month. It'll actually be good to not have to deal with the holiday FOMO I always get when we spend a quiet holiday alone at home, which we are planning for Thanksgiving. I'll broadcast my thoughts only in long form, to selectively bore my loyal blog readers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Looking back

I have some weighty long posts I want to write but today is not that day. Honestly I haven't got much to say but I promised myself I'd write, so here I am.

I saw my therapist yesterday, for the first time in over 2 months. She was amazed at how much better I'm doing. I can hardly remember what a mess I was this summer. Oh wow, it was terrible. I'm so glad I'm back on solid ground.

I'm scared of being back there, having to start over. Not sure when/if I'll consider stopping the medication, even though there are some significant side effects. 

I submitted my 2nd grant today, as well as an IRB proposal. Next up: paper #1 (the plan is to submit 2 by the end of the year). I've also got a pilot grant (small, 3 page proposal) I want to submit, that's due in early December.

I've been more productive the past few months than I was in the past YEAR. In retrospect, I realize I was depressed for that whole year. Its hard to see when you're in it, but its so obvious looking back.

Monday, November 14, 2016


Back from my very short break. I also took a very short break from Facebook, which convinced me that I actually needed a longer break. I logged back in this morning and realized, after wasting way too much time scrolling and reading links and getting aggravated again, that I missed nothing of actual substance other than Joe Biden memes (which I will have to find some other way to hunt down, because they are hilarious).

The weekend was OK. There were good moments, like our fun and yummy date night dinner, my workouts, reading great books, playing board games with the kids. And there were meh moments, like B being sick and being a real pill all weekend, the freezing weather, realizing I forgot to cancel or modify our meal delivery for the week and that we were paying for and getting two meals I won't even eat (pork chops and steak).

I definitely need a take a step back from thinking/fretting/raging about politics and our country...for my mental and physical health. At the same time, I don't want to forget, or get complacent.  On the continuum between outrage and apathy, there is a healthy and sustainable place and I'm looking for it.

Being off FB, I didn't see the SNL performance until Sunday afternoon (and it definitely made me cry!) But before that, G had been playing music, and he was playing "Hallelujah", remarking that he'd never actually heard it before. I was flummoxed because he is a music buff and that song seems to be everywhere. It is one of my all time favorites and the haunting chords and lyrics really hit home for me right now. I played it on repeat all evening, so that L eventually began to sing along, though he heard it as "Halle---booo---yah".

Another week. Lets do it!

Friday, November 11, 2016

TGI f-ing F

Only 8.5 more hours until I sign out the service and walk out of here, to pick up B, walk the dog and finally finally sit down to a very very much needed glass of wine.

I am going off-line this weekend. I need a break. I vacillate between acceptance and anger (Noemi sums it up here). If you're ready to consider action read Cloud's thoughtful and logical action plan. I agree 100% with every word of it.

On the plus side: My grant is in great shape, and I'll be submitting for internal review today. Once I get the review back, I'll revise next week. The weekend is free! We have a sitter scheduled for Saturday. We haven't had a date night since August, so I'm very much looking forward to it. I have plans to work out both days and spend lots of time playing with the kids. B's into playing Monopoly now, and despite my issues with real estate moguls, I have to admit its pretty fun. Its going to be cool and sunny. We'll go to the library and the park. I'm going to bake something.

I'm still enjoying "A Gentleman in Moscow". Its not deep, but the language and the humor are charming and keeping drawing me in. Its a mostly happy book about human connections and finding your purpose, despite being set in a depressing political climate. My book club is going to see the movie of "A Man Called Ove" next week. I'm excited about this because 1) an outing! and 2) that story is so hopeful and soothing to my soul.

I hope you find something soothing to your soul this weekend. Back Monday.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Upside Down

Title reference

As a wise man said, the sun will come up. It might have, but I couldn't see it through the clouds because yesterday loomed dark and rainy. When I picked B up from aftercare, I told him (with a smile), that the world was crying. He asked, "is it because Donald Trump won?" And I laughed, and said "no, sometimes everyone just needs a good cry. And rain is good for the plants and the earth". And then it all came tumbling out...

"A said that Donald Trump was going to hurt people. B said we should kill him. C said he hates girls and wants to hurts girls. D's mommy cried so much, she was still crying when she dropped her off. E said she is sad about moving to Canada, F is worried his aunt will have to go to her other country..." and so on

We tried really hard to keep our kids feeling innocent and safe. We never discussed the disgusting things that were said in this election. We kept things general, and let them know who we supported, and generally why, but I didn't want to shake my boys' innocence that most people are good (and the bad guys go to jail). It was really hard to reconcile, but I think we made it work while still being honest.

Until yesterday. When I had to reassure B with what was mostly a pack of lies. Checks and balances (ha). He'll get good, smart people around him (hahaha). Maybe he'll learn and change and grow (HA!...but maybe?). Its only for four years (truth). And that OUR focus would remain on kindness, and learning, trying to help others, and having fun along the way. That his friends would be OK, because us...the grown ups in the neighborhood...love them all and will keep them safe.

And G and I talked more about this last night. This is OUR job. WE are the grown ups. We need to stand up, speak up, and fight for what we believe in...for ourselves and for our children. We are donating money, we'll be calling/emailing/writing our state and local representatives frequently. We are brainstorming places to volunteer our skills and time. We know we want to be more involved with the process than just showing up to vote next time.

I feel better today. A lot better, though there is still a deep undercurrent of sorrow and disappointment. Its helpful to have a plan and a focus for those feelings. The sun is up today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Like a slap in the face when you expected a kiss.


AKA what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck I can't even

AKA Like when you're all dressed up and excited for your anniversary dinner with America, thinking she's going to propose, and then she is all "we need to talk...its not you its me" and breezes out of there, leaving you with the check and no way home, devastated and betrayed.

AKA How do I explain this to my kids?

AKA Seriously...what the fuck? We must be living in the quite the bubble given how much this took everyone by surprise

AKA I don't actually want to move to Canada so what now?

AKA We didn't do enough. What can we do now? How can we stop this from happening again?

AKA How many days til I can have a cocktail? 

Hugs, hope, light and love to everyone. I will eventually be able to form more coherent sentences. Until then I am burying myself in work, and my kids, and really good books. Because life goes on, even when your heart is broken.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


While they no longer thought we were "boating" for "presents",  the boys were a little thrown off about going to the "bowling" (polling) place this morning.

I don't own a pantsuit. I showed up in sweaty post-work out gym clothes. We bundled the kids up in their PJs and stopped the whining temporarily with chocolate chip Clif bars and Doritos from the vending machine. We waited over an hour. I showed up to work tired, hungry, and 20 minutes late. But we did it.

B read out the names as I pushed the buttons and we both pushed the green VOTE button together at the end.

We voted our values--which include love and unity and equality and hard work and compromise. We believe a woman's place is anywhere she damn well wants to be and works hard enough to reach.  We believe in a leader we we are proud of and can explain to our children.

We are with her. And I'm so proud to have cast my ballot today. Lets make history.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday Morning

I have a long list of topics to write about, but most are weightier than I feel like tackling in between rounding & grant writing today.

I started my new schedule of early rising to work (more on that another day), and it went wonderfully, even though B did wake up in the middle of it and complained about being tired (I sent him back to bed, and then they both woke up 15 minutes late wanting breakfast). I'll have more time once they recalibrate from the time change, but I'll miss how EASY bedtime was last night.

I'm motivated to work hard by the goal of NOT working next weekend. I really want this grant to be 90% done by Friday at 5 pm so I can forget about it until I proofread and tweak minor things on Monday and then get it submitted by Tuesday. One can dream.

I've nearly decided to NOT watch election coverage tomorrow evening and just go to bed early and see the results when I wake up. I need to wake up extra early Wednesday anyways, and have a long day ahead. It won't be good for me to stay up fretting (and stress eating).

I am, however, excited to go vote. It never gets old, but it'll be particularly meaningful this time, I think. I'm definitely planning to take the kids, too.

Lunch is sounding good right now...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

24 Hours

The rest of yesterday ended up being quite rejuvenating. Almost luxurious. And it was 100% due to the unconditional understanding and support of my husband. He really (finally) seems to get how much call takes out of me, and how impossible it is for me to treat it as a normal weekend, where I jump back into the chores & childcare as soon as I walk through the door.

Yesterday, he took it all off my plate. And I was so grateful. The fact that I do this rarely makes it possible for us, of course. I have 6 weeks of weekdays on call, and even fewer weekends (because it doesn't make $en$e for full-time clinical providers to cancel 8 clinics during a week to do consults, they are only on the weekend rotation schedule)*

This was my 24 hours, beginning Saturday morning:

6:15 Wake up---drink coffee, shower, get ready, eat breakfast. Kids are sleeping.
7:30 Walk to work
8:00-10:00 Round on inpatients and consults. Plan to reconvene to see patient once out of OR, and new consults
10:00-12:00 Work on grant
12:00 get called about "bad news" situation
12:00-2:00 Deal with & deliver bad news, see new consult, patient out of OR
2:00-3:15 Get & eat lunch, write blog post, finish editing/cosigning resident & fellow notes
3:15 Leave hospital---find out husband & kids are out, go to grocery store & pharmacy for a couple of items
4:00 Get home. Change clothes. Text G to see when they are coming home but he doesn't respond so I think they may be on their way. Sit on couch and pick up new book.
4:00-5:00 Read book. Love it.
5:00-5:45 Walk & feed dog. Get text from G at 5:15 that they are heading home but may stop for dinner. I'm not hungry so I opt out.
5:45-6:45 Read some more.
6:45 They get home, all having eaten. BIG HUGS from kids.
6:45-8:00 Play with kids, get them ready for bed, deal with phone calls for work.
8:00-8:30 Make & eat dinner while G reads bedtime stories. Read more book. Obsessed.
8:30-9:00 Extended bedtime shenanigans. (hugs, sleep with me, water, etc...)
9:00-9:45 Hang out with G talking about day and shopping online for kids' shoes & coats, eat a dessert
9:45-10:15 Get ready, work phone calls, go to bed. Woken up once for work, and once for no reason.
5:00 Wake up and check time. Think about going for a run. Think about it for a minute...
6:15 Get up---kids are up already.

If I knew they weren't going to be home for hours, I would've opened up my laptop to do work. While simultaneously doing laundry. I thought they'd be home any minute so I wanted to steal a moment to relax. I don't regret it. When do I get to sit down in the middle of the day and read a book? It was amazing.

*I'm not "lucky" to have this schedule, it was a deliberate choice, and the trade-off is that my income is too low to even make it on those graphs you see if "physician income by specialty/gender/region/etc...".

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Its Sunny Outside

Um...that is literally the only positive thing I can think of right now. I feel a little fried. There weren't so many patients they were just...complex. Hard. Mentally & emotionally. Its hard for me not to get drawn in, and imagine myself on the other side. Its so so tough to give bad news.

On the plus side, I did NOT drown my sorrows in french fries (because they were out of french fries). I got a healthy brown rice bowl with chicken & vegetables instead. (Hopefully tomorrow there will be fries).

Also, in between some of the drama, I did manage to do some of the super-low-hanging-fruit of my grant prep. Super exciting things like "Facilities" and "Data Sharing Plan".  I wrote them all down and crossed them off just for the feeling of satisfaction.

Black pants sound like a good idea until I remember that I have a very very sheddy tan dog. Also I have been feeling pants-challenged. Other than jeans, finding pants that fit properly eludes me. I am wearing ill-fitting, but comfortable and properly hemmed, cream colored pants today and I just spilled curry sauce on them so oh well.

I might just sit here for a minute before I head home to deal with...everything else.

This is probably the lamest post ever.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Call Week Cluster$&#*

A call weekend/week is bad enough by itself but to top it off, next week we also have:
  • 2 days off of school for B (he will go to a "camp" at his aftercare place but it starts at 9)
  • End of Daylight Savings Time
  • A grant due on Friday
  • An abstract I'm writing with a fellow, due on Tuesday
  • G with work deadlines such that he'll have to work on the weekend and some evenings also
  • And oh yeah, the freaking ELECTION
 SO. There will be a lot of juggling and take out and a lot less routine and downtime then we are all used to.

The worst part of call for me is the uncertainty (and the sometimes overwhelming feeling of responsibility). I don't know what time I'll get home any day of the week. I don't know when I'll be woken up. Etc... Also there is a LOT more interpersonal challenge than I'm used to---talking to angry/upset/scared patients, dealing with trainees, negotiating with the primary team, nurses, and so on. My introverted self is FRIED by the end of the day.

To keep my sanity, I've got to focus on "self-care". I've come up with some goals:
  • Go to bed early! I've been terrible at this lately and paying for it. I am so tired today I can barely focus (I was woken up by something and couldn't go back to sleep last night, but I also went to bed later than I should have). I'll be much more focused, productive, and calm with enough rest
  • Fuel myself. I'm not one to "forget to eat"...EVER, but I sometimes don't make the time to eat right. I.e. grabbing junk (which recently has involved piles of leftover candy) instead of taking 2 minutes to scramble an egg or peel an orange. 
  • Exercise. This is tough. I have to go in early most days and it'll be hard to fit in, especially on the weekend. But I want to try to get ONE short run in this weekend, and make it to my workout class at least once this week. On top of that I'm going to make sure I walk---its supposed to be lovely weather and outside time is soothing for me. 
  • Plan & prep. I'm going to pick out my clothes tonight so I'm not fumbling around in the dark in the mornings. Its a bit challenging to find SEVEN professional yet comfortable outfits.  I already made our meal plan, and I'll complete the grocery list for G. I'm booking dog walking for every evening next week in case I'm home late.
  • Cut myself slack. Easy meals or take-out, messy house, screen time for the kids. I've basically told G I'll be out of the picture most of the weekend so he's planning to entertain the kids & get stuff done on his own.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Bigger Kids= (part 2)

Bigger worries

I think the fun way way outshadows the negative, but I do find my worries about my kids getting bigger and deeper as they move on to new stages

1) The stakes are higher. I struggle, I really do, with trying to find the right mix of encouragement vs. pushing. To instill the value of hard work and education and yet not drive them to hate school and homework at so early of an age. To make sure they explore there interests yet not push them to spend hours in activities they don't really enjoy.  I know these things will affect them throughout their lives, and I don't want to mess it up.

2) They remember everything. Seriously. You know when they are toddlers, and you have a bad day and maybe yell too much & the next day its all good again like it never happened? Its not like B holds a grudge, but he will remember and bring it up. Two weeks later. Two months later. Or when you promise you'll do something "someday" and hope they will conveniently forget it? They don't. Its all etched in there. Every good & bad experience. Sure he may not remember when he's 40, but he certainly will when he's 8.

3) They are out in the world. School is WAY different then daycare. You don't just walk in and hear about the day from the teacher. I usually pick B up from a whole different place (after care) and have NO IDEA what happened at school until he tells me...and while he seems to remember everything, relaying that information reliably is still quite tricky. He is with lots of different teachers and kids, some of who I've never met or seen. He had the same daycare teacher for years...and now he has a main teacher, substitutes, art teacher, gym teacher, spanish teacher, 6 different people that alternate picking him up and playing with him at aftercare, 2 karate instructors, etc...

4) And the world is judging them. We were in the same daycare since B was an infant. He's grown up there. The teachers see him as one of their own, and can compare him from year to year to see how he progressed. In school? He's one of many that just show up in September. They notice how he is different and have no frame of reference to how much improvement he has made or whether he may simply be having an off day. And little kids? They are ALL weird. They don't really think anything of their playmates idiosyncrasies. 6 year olds do, though. They notice & the judge & the tease & they exclude. We've only noted this on a very small scale so far, and it comes and goes (First day: A teased me and said we are not friends she doesn't like me. Next day: A and I played tag together and she is inviting me to her party and we are friends)

So yeah, its not all sunshine, but we're navigated the challenges as they come.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Bigger Kids= (part 1)

Bigger fun!

I really feel like we are in a sweet spot with our kids' ages. They are much more independent, yet still adorable and love to be with us. At 5 and nearly 7, our lives look so different then those oh-so-hard early years, for reasons expected & surprising.

1) Independence. They can play on their own or together for large stretches of times. This means we can do our own thing, or at least work together on chores instead of one person having to constantly be on "kid duty". Mornings are so much easier, too. They wake up and play until breakfast is ready. Then they go up themselves and brush teeth & change clothes & play until its time for school. They can go to the bathroom on their own, completely and totally.

I can't even express what a game-changer this is, in terms of being able to relax and enjoy our time together in addition to getting things done. There were several days this fall where I even worked from home while the kids were there! Without having to resort (too much) to screen time.

2) Actual fun. The things they want to do with us (and they still DO want to play with us, a lot) are actually fun! Playing boardgames like chess and checkers (we got rid of the inanity of CandyLand) is FUN for me. Racing each other at the park (and them actually winning sometimes even when I try), cooking/baking together when they actually can do things (they can crack eggs, level measuring cups, etc...), working on large (500 piece) puzzles, watching movies we ALL enjoy (though they mostly want to watch Lego Starwars yoda chronicles over and over). It helps that the two of us like different things, so I'll play chess and G will do legos (ugh).

3) Advanced thinking. Anticipating something and planning for it adds so much joy to the event. For L's birthday this year, B wanted to buy him a present with his own money, and picked a day he had off from school to go to the store. For the next few weeks, there were whispered conversations (because he just HAD to talk to me about the present when L was around), and giggling plans. B also helps me plan our weekends, meal plan (he'll look through cook books and show me things...they are usually deserts, but he gets the point). They both like looking at the calendar and counting down until fun events. And then they are able to remember details---more than I ever could---and live to relive our memories over and over, stretching out the enjoyment even more.

4) Challenging conversations. I actually love navigating their questions about politics, race, how babies get out, science, etc... They ask really interesting questions and demand an honest answer. I love being the one to shape their early views and get to hear their own (naive but thoughtful) perspective on things.

This is the part of parenting I'm best suited for and I'm loving and savoring it. I was not really a "baby mom" or a "toddler mom" and I have no idea how I'll feel about being the mom of a teen (ha ha, not "teen mom"), so I'm really glad we have a few more years in this little-big-kid stage.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


For some reason, I've always had this idea of November as a cold, dark, dreary & dingy grey month. In fact, at least where we live now, its quite lovely---full of sunshine, fall colors, crisp but not freezing weather, and plenty of fun. Its time to embrace November.

I have committed to blogging every weekday. I really can't promise to write on the weekends, because I don't want to create a reason to spend time on my computer when I'm actually trying for the opposite! Plus we are going away one weekend and I'm not planning on bringing my laptop to a fun weekend away. I'll blog this weekend, since I'm on call and will be spending time on my computer anyways.

That makes 22 posts this month, which isn't quite 30 but is a lot more than the 3 or so I wrote last month.

What November has in store for me:
  • Weekend/week on call coming up. Will be re-reading these posts to help keep in a positive mindset.
  • Election Day. We will all go to vote in the morning. The kids will get it this time instead of being disappointed in the lack of "boating" and "presents". 
  • Grant deadline
  • Date night! Sitter already booked. We haven't had a night out since AUGUST
  • Weekend away to visit G's cousins
  • Thanksgiving. we are laying low, just the 4 of us at home again. I'm not really into traditional Thanksgiving food (turkey/stuffing/cranberry/pumpkin pie/blah). but its fun to do it with the kids.
  • Hopefully: lots of runs, board games, reading (I'm ditching A Fine Balance, I haven't picked it up in over a week, and really need to read something good to get back in the reading habit)
Happy new month! See you tomorrow.