Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Remember when

Remember when Noah was a baby and he would sleep with his bum up in the air?
Just like this...
Except now he's 4 1/2.  4 3/4 to be exact.
And I still think it's cute.

When did my kids get so big - and old?  Yesterday it hit me that Alex is 2 1/2.  My baby.  Except she's not a baby.  WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND HERE?  I think I want it to stop.  

At least until we get through intern year...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Trial Run

Last week I had a couple of friends over, with their kids, to help with the wallpaper glue removal.  All the kids were playing outside - we had the sliding glass door open so we could hear them and keep an eye on them.  My friend was helping her son out the screen door when I heard her say, "Alex?!?"  I was up on the ladder but I turned and saw Alex running into the house.  She was white as a ghost and looked like she was crying but no sound was coming out.  I ran to her as fast as I could,  but before I got to her my little baby collapsed on the kitchen floor.  She passed out.  Right in front of my eyes.  For all you mothers out there, I don't think I need to explain the panic and terror I felt in that moment.  You can imagine.  

I grabbed her and picked her up and she immediately came to, with a loud cry.  I started inspecting her entire body for injury as I tried to calm and comfort her - my friends were interrogating the other kids, trying to determine what had happened to her, but no one had seen.  I could find nothing wrong with her except a red cheek.  Alex simply said she fell down.  I had her show me where.  

Soon she was calm and happy and acting normal.  I'd eliminated the initial fear of a concussion (or a brain injury) and determined that she passed out simply because she didn't take a breath when she was crying.  I know that happens, but she's never done it before.  

Paul was working in the ER that night.  I have his pager # but I have never used it.  Not once, even in medical school.  I thought about paging him right after Alex's fall but, like I said, she'd calmed down and seemed perfectly fine and I felt pretty confident that it was nothing serious.  So I didn't.  I was afraid if I paged him it would freak him out and he'd think one of the kids had died or something.

So Alex was fine, but I wasn't.  I couldn't stop shaking for the next couple of hours.  And when I put her to bed and she wanted me to lay by her longer, snuggle closer, squeeze tighter, and give more kisses I didn't hesitate or grow impatient.  I soaked it up.  I couldn't bring myself to leave her.  

That's when I paged Paul.  I needed to know - I needed my "diagnosis" confirmed.  By a professional.  So I got the card off the fridge, followed the instructions, and within 15 seconds Paul was calling the house.  The first words out of my mouth were, "Everything's ok."   
I told him what had happened, what I'd seen, what Alex said and did.  I answered all his questions.  And he agreed - she passed out because she didn't take a breath when she was crying (not a traumatic brain injury sustained while running and falling down in the grass in the backyard).  

He did tell me (just in case) to go check on her every couple of hours throughout the night to make sure she was still breathing.  Which I did, religiously.  At some point in the middle of the night I brought her to bed with me and snuggled her till morning.  

I decided this experience was a good "trial run."  Hopefully I never have to page Paul at the hospital again with an emergency.  But when I think about how many times Noah has split his head open in the first 4 years of his life, I know I probably will.  And now that I've done it once I feel a little better.  I know how the system works, I know Paul is not going to kill me for giving him a heart attack (he was glad that I'd paged) and I know I'll get a VERY quick response from him...because he knows I don't page him for nothing.  

As a sidenote, in case you didn't already pick up on this, this experience made me realize how much I take for granted.  It made me want to cherish every moment with my kids.  You hear stories all the time of people who have lost children during routine activities that we all do everyday: bathtime, playtime, mealtime.  Things can happen to children of the most vigilant parents.  I'm not advocating "hovering" and you can't live your life in fear.  But maybe I needed a little reminder.  A reminder to play with my kids a little more, to snuggle a little longer, to laugh with them a little louder.  A reminder to enjoy the little moments each day...because isn't that what life is all about?

And even though Alex is in the middle of the "terrible twos" and earning the label in every way, shape and form here are a few of the things that I LOVE about her right now:

 - that she loves to snuggle
 - her slobbery kisses that she gives so freely
 - the way she smiles at me when she says "I wuv you mommy"
 - that she sings all day long
 - how excited she gets about the littlest things
 - how much she loves and misses her daddy
 - that she always wants to be where Noah is
 - her sweet smile    
 - that she's tough
 - that she's loves "girly" things
 - how silly and playful she is
 - her laugh
I love you baby girl!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Livin on the edge...

the edge of our sanity.

It only took one bad day for me to realize how true this is.  That "bad day" was Friday.  I decided I'd better get my recently wallpaper-free walls "wiped down" and ready to paint, only to face a major setback.  As soon as I started wiping down the walls I realized they were still coated with a thick layer of glue and paste.  VERY discouraging, to say the least.  I wanted to sit down, surrounded by my bare, gluey, LARGE, vaulted walls and cry.  I didn't.  Instead, I did a lot of research online, trying to find a way around all the scraping.  No such thing.  The glue has got to be scraped or the paint will flake, peel and chip.  Not exactly the look I was going for...NEVER WALLPAPER YOUR WALLS.  EVER.  PLEASE.

Not long after this very disheartening news our fridge died.  DEAD. GONE.  PERMANENTLY.  The electrician verified this over the phone and told us to go get ourselves a new fridge.  LOVELY.  Because we have hundreds of dollars sitting in our account not being used for bills, mortgage, or groceries....?!?

At this point I did sit down and have a good cry.  (Did I mention we still don't have a working shower?)  I was an emotional basketcase the rest of the day.  Paul looked like he was about to explode when we realized we'd have to replace the fridge.  That night he said, "You know, if we didn't have kids we could commit a double suicide."  I laughed and cried at the same time.    

However, things got better, as they always do.  Our new fridge was delivered Saturday and that night I had a couple of friends come and help me scrape walls. 

The point is I really thought we were ok.  I thought I was actually doing pretty good.  You know tough strong, supportive, keeping it all together.  It didn't take much for me to unravel.  And that's when I realized how close to the edge we are living.

So, if you're wondering how we're doing...well that really just depends on the day : ) 

Ahhh, residency...

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Last week was a crazy week.  Paul was working in the MICU and I had way too much stuff going on with kids, church, appointments, errands, etc.  So I didn't allow myself to blog (meaning no posting on my blog - I still read everyone else's) for a whole week...and it was a little too easy.  My crazy week has come and gone (we survived) but I haven't blogged until now.  My excuse?  I'm dead tired.  By the time my kids are in bed and my responsibilities are taken care of for the day it's 10pm (on a good night) and I just don't have the energy.  I'd rather sit in front of the tv for an hour before I crawl into bed.  

Don't feel too bad for me though...much of my "dead tired"-ness has come from playing hard.  Lately we (me and the kids):

 - spent an afternoon with some friends at the local zoo.  really hot day, but really fun day

 - went to the free kids movie at the theater and saw a "Pirates" Veggietales movie.  The kids loved it and Alex did great

 - spent an entire day at an awesome waterpark with friends.  so fun

 -   celebrated our friend Sam's 6th birthday - it was a nonstop party, from the park to the waterslide.  awesome

And today I had 9 (yes 9) of my friends over at my house stripping wallpaper.  AND. IT'S. GONE.  All of it!!!  I seriously can't believe it, I think I'm still in shock - but so excited!  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how many kids were running around playing amidst the wallpaper-removing-chipotle-eating-chaos.  24.  Let me say that again for you.  TWENTY-FOUR KIDS.  (Can you believe we have that many kids between us?!?)  They did awesome and it was so fun!  Thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So this afternoon I cleaned like a madwoman, Paul cooked up a storm, and we had some friends over for dinner.  It was great : )

Paul left for work at 10:30 pm (which is right about when the kids finally settled down in their beds).  I had grand plans of washing down, spackling, sanding, and prepping the walls for paint...but here I am.  

Hey, at least I'm not sitting in front of the tv right now

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Conversations with Dad...and about Dad

Noah has become quite the phone-talker these days.  He gets upset if I answer it - but good luck getting him to hand it over!  He talks the ear off of whoever is on the other end of the line.  This is good if it's grandma calling...other people, not so much.

 A few months ago Noah refused to talk on the phone to anyone, for any reason, at any time.  So this is good for Paul (considering how often he is gone).     
The amount of talking Noah does is not so good for Paul (who usually calls home to check in and say hi with the spare 90 seconds he has managed to squeeze in somewhere between patients and pages at the hospital)
I caught Noah during a "goodnight" phone call from Daddy, who was on call.  The part I heard went something like this "...and then mom put me in time-out for 2 hours.  So, daddy, how was your day?"
P.S.  This is Noah's favorite spot in the house - leaning over the couch in the living room watching out the front window.  He tells me about all the cars that drive by (he really wants a convertible, a morotcycle, or an SUV - sorry buddy not gonna happen), he talks about our nice neighbor, Patty,  across the street and narrates all the things he imagines she's doing, and lately the kids love to pretend they've just seen daddy come home.  

Speaking of daddy coming home...anytime Alex asks for her daddy and he's not home she gets sad and insists that we sing, "I'm so glad when daddy comes home."  It's the only thing that cheers her up.  We're probably averaging about 3-5 times a day right now.
Alex was asking for her dad in the car the other day and this is how my conversation with the kids went:

Alex - I want Daddy
Mommy - Daddy's at work.  But he's going to try REALLY REALLY hard to get home and see you before you go to bed.  He really wants to
Noah - But sometimes he can't.  Huh, mom?
Mommy - Yeah that's right, sometimes he can't
Noah - Why?
Mommy - Because daddy is a doctor, and there are really sick people at the hospital who need daddy to take care of them
Noah - Mom, guess what?  When I'm a grown-up I'm going to be a doctor
Mommy - That's a good idea
Noah - Then I will be with daddy.  When I'm a grown-up.

(it made me want to cry but it was so sweet at the same time)

P.P.S.  Most of this happened last week, when Paul was in the MICU...That was a rough week.  He's working in the ER for the next 2 weeks and it hasn't been as bad - don't want to make things seem worse than they actually are : )


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Aiming high

When Paul got home tonight he said, "I have a new goal.  SURVIVE.  Survive this year.  With a job."    I think I talked to him for a whopping 10 minutes before he totally crashed - can't blame him, the poor guy's got to be up at 4am.

(sidenote: I think I've done enough blogging today to last me about a week.  which is good because this week I have to prepare my first YW lesson, write and help Noah prepare for his first primary talk, and write my own 15-min talk for church on sunday!!!!?!)

This just in

(Stolen) 4th of July Pictures
From one of my newest and awesomest friends Brooke!  (Who is, among other things an amazing photographer)  

All the Girls
Some of the kids
(Alex - 3rd row, far right, LOVE this picture)
(Noah - 4th row, far left)

Told you the food was yummy!

And no, that's not Noah on top of the waterslide - he can, however, be seen in the bottom far right picture, climbing the waterslide ladder.  This was his first and last attempt at the waterslide while the water was on.  Serious issues about water on his face. For Real.

Pretty good, huh?  Too bad I missed half the show standing on the other side of the house with Alex.

Thanks for the pics Brooke!  
And thanks for the fun everyone!  It was awesome - obviously : )

Here we go...

It's official.  Paul has started residency - the "real" part anyways.  
He actually started a few weeks ago but the first 2 weeks were orientation.  And then, as luck would have it, Paul was assigned to the "float" pool for the first 2 weeks. (Float = wear a pager, don't leave town, could be called in at anytime).  Of course, it being the first 2 weeks of residency, it was unlikely that he'd be called in...which was true of the first week.  Yesterday began Paul's 2nd week of float and he's covering for someone in the MICU (medical intensive care unit) all week.  After that he'll be in the ER for a month.  Then a month of ???  I can't remember what comes next.  I'm just trying to take it one day at a time right now.  

Intern year (first year of residency) is supposed to be the worst.  The worst part of this long road of medical education/training.  And we've been told to expect...the worst.  So now the  
  • huge learning curve
  • 80+ hour work weeks
  • working nights, holidays, weekends
  • 36-hour shifts
  • major stress
  • utter exhaustion
begin for Paul, and the
  • not a lot of help/breaks from the kids
  • no real "weekend" because it's all the same
  • church by myself with 2 kids
  • taking care of everything
  • stress and exhaustion
  • feeling like a single-mom
begins for me.  

I'd take my job ANYDAY over what Paul does.  I seriously don't know how he does it but I'm so grateful that he does!  I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now and I'm glad to be living this crazy life with him! (remind me later that I said that)

The kids already miss their daddy - but we're excited for you too.  And we'll be just fine : ) 

Love you Honey!  Can't wait to see you tonight (maybe...hopefully)!


We did celebrate the 4th of July too - I just don't have any picture of it.  Paul decided he better go into the hospital on Friday morning (even though he didn't officially start until Saturday) to get acclimated.  So the kids and I hit up the ward pancake breakfast on our own.  The scones were great and Noah got to ride his bike in the "parade" while Alex screamed her head off.  Later that afternoon we all (daddy too) went to a 4th of July Bash complete with: lots of friends, some really really yummy food, a park, a blow-up waterslide for the kids (which Noah refused to ride until the water was turned off), lots of fireworks (which made Alex scream), and lots of FUN!   

Life beyond potty-training

Last week we manged to...

 Take a much needed outing for FHE at a beautiful park.
The kids played in the sand,

played ball with dad,

and pretty much ran wild.

We spent one morning at the Nature Center with some friends.
We "hiked' to the park
got plenty of sun, and had a picnic lunch.
Noah and Adelyn have so much fun together.

Then, yesterday we went strawberry picking.

Noah was so proud of all the berries he picked (even though he wont eat them)
Alex didn't have much to show for herself except a full tummy
and a messy face.
Noah worked up a sweat and insisted on riding home with no shirt on.

So yes, there is life beyond the first few days of potty-training - not accident-free life, but life nonetheless.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I can talk about it now

Yes - we are potty-training.  We started on Monday.  I couldn't blog about it before today.  I thought about it, but the only thing I could think to say was !#@*
Just Kidding - sort of.
Here's the rundown:
  • Day 1:  mostly peeing all over the kitchen floor all day long, a few times getting to the potty fast enough to get the last of it in the potty.
  • Day 2:  more peeing on the floor, maybe half the time getting half the pee in the potty, and a couple of times getting all the pee in the potty
  • Day 3:  NO ACCIDENTS (YET)!  Alex has gone several times (#1 and #2) even initiating it herself a few times - and so far so good : )  We may have had a breakthrough here.
How do you like the pink potty?  I let her pick it out herself of course.  So for the past three days we've been playing on the kitchen floor, next to the pink potty, with Alex usually wearing nothing but undies.  We've done a lot of puzzles, coloring, books, matchbox cars with Noah, and movie watching (on the portable DVD player - she's not sitting on my couch yet).  And of course drinking lots of juice boxes and (occasionally) eating treats.  
It doesn't sound so bad, right?  Wrong.  Maybe it's just me but potty-training makes my blood pressure shoot through the roof!  I've been a basket-case for the past three days!  Paul thinks I just have unrealistic expectations.  Maybe I do.  I mean Alex is the one who wanted to do this - not me.  And what's this business about girls being easier than boys?!?  And WHO are these kids that practically potty-train themselves and just "get it" ?!?
Today has been good though.  Hopefully tomorrow she'll be doing well enough that we can venture out of the house.  We ALL need it!!!

I had to include these pictures (pre-potty-training) of the kids in there cute new undies from Grandma (see Alex above, and Noah below).  Noah was horrified at the thought of me taking his picture in nothing but his boxer briefs, but I was a mean mom and did it anyways...as he ran screaming from the room : )