Thursday, December 30, 2010

Got to give credit...

...where credit is due.

The narcissist in me would like to claim the perfection that is our baby announcements and Christmas postcards as all my own. Alas, I can only stamp my name on the ideas behind their creation. I insisted on getting Curtis' announcements letter pressed. And if you know anything about letter press, you know that it is insanely expensive to get something custom made, as every component has to be hand set. Therefore, since Matt and I are not "made of money", (no matter how hard we try to think we are) I set to searching through site after site, dozens of Etsy listings and even looking into purchasing some sort of letter press to do it on my own. To send 100 announcements afforablely, I could find no solution, until Emmy came to visit the baby!

Turns out, our good friend Emmy Rice, freshly out of graphic design school, is beginning her own business, including the art of letter press! So, Matt offered his photography services in exchange for a discounted announcement. I merely showed her a few designs I'd come across in my extensive search for a cheap yet classy announcement, and she took care of the rest (though the photograph of Curtis is Matt's and I assembled them). I feel they truly reflect the perfection that I see in my newest baby boy.

*Don't forget, you can click on photos to enlarge!
As for our Christmas card, well, where do I even begin. For a little over a year now, I have been suggesting to Matt that I wanted a "family" picture that includes every member of the household (yes, that means pets as well.) But I wanted us all to be doing our own thing, you know, like a picture with more than one focal point. And I wanted it to be a little dark, or creepy; unnatural if you will. After months of blowing me off (and I say this in the lightest respect, as it is not uncommon for me to come up with off the wall ideas that probably should be ignored on a daily basis), something suddenly clicked, and I think it was that Matt had finally thought of the perfect photographer to pull it off; Chris Mullins.

So, a week or so before Christmas, the whole family joined in a group effort to recreate the chaos of our daily life. The secret to the photo? It is 4 seperate shots. I then took the picture file to my favorite, local, family-owned printing shop, Almar, and asked them to turn it into a postcard. I did type all the wording and the font, but that is all I can say about that. As I have said before, if I were to choose any other line of work, it would be designing invites, announcements, etc, I just enjoy the process and the product so immensly.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Food, family, friends, life lessons and presents!

The nice thing about a 2 year old, and a 7 week old for that matter, is that they still have no concept of quantity or quality as relates to Santa's gifts. In fact, Brock really didn't care for whom the gift was addressed, he just liked unwrapping them. Therefore, he opened all our little, family's gifts and left the morning feeling pretty satisfied. (I have begun to refer to Matt, Brock, Curtis as my "little" family, and my siblings and parents as my "big" family, obvious distinction, I think.) Also, children of this age have yet to developed the ability to desire something for more than 10 minutes. It's really easy to shop for someone who doesn't know they even "want" something until they get it. All of this made Christmas shopping pretty low on the stress-causing totem pole this year, thank goodness something was.
Overall, I'd say Christmas this year showed me that I can still be a good mother, wife, friend, hostess, sister, daughter, student, and person even if I let some of my controlling tendencies to the wayside. People still had fun at the Sweater party, despite the kitchen floor not being freshly swept and mopped. They also enjoyed the food despite it being made in the majority by my sister, Annora, or contributed from various sources. Family still enjoyed and appreciated their gifts despite the less than impressive wrapping job (I didn't even buy new paper this year! I am really slipping.) The boys still looked fine for church despite not being bathed immediately prior to the ceremony. And, with all that is on currently my plate, I was [nearly] fine with all these little details gone missing despite my OCD personality. I hope to continue to learn these little, life lessons forever - perhaps by the time I am 85 I will have finally learned how to just relax and say, f#*! it, I am sitting down.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best. Day. Ever.

I just got word that I finally PASSED my Step 2 boards! (I even did better than just pass, I got average.) What this means:
  • I WILL graduate in May. (Therefore, no matter what happens, residency or not, I WILL carry the title of Doctor. These past 4 years haven't been for nuthin'.)
  • When I am home, I get to relax, and just ENJOY my time with my boys!
  • I am happy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

NOT Pregnant.

What a relief. Seriously, I have said, "I am so glad I'm not pregnant" no less than 47 times since having Curtis...and he is only 43 days old.But my cousin Anna is. And I am very happy for her. And can't wait to meet the biscuit! Any day now I expect to hear some news...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Record Time

  • 27 minutes: Time it takes to get out of the house with 2 little boys prepared for 11 degree weather with a -7 windchill.
  • 32 minutes: Time is takes to drive from 70th street all the way to 290-sumthin and arrive at the Christmas tree farm.
  • 2 minutes: Time it takes to unload the boys from the car.
  • 4 seconds: Time it takes for Brock to panic because of the -7 windchill.
  • 3 minutes: Least amount of time it takes to get to the first patch of trees.
  • 1 minute (and 4 trees later): Time it takes to pick out a tree.
  • 1 minute: time is takes to cut down the tree.
  • 3 minutes: Time it takes to drag the tree to the isle and get to the indoors.
10 minutes= Total time spent outdoors, with record setting tree sequestering time. Seriously, I'm pretty sure Matt dropped that tree in less than 3 strokes of the saw. I am thinking he missed his calling and needs to get into lumber jacking competitions. Previous to this excursion, Brock had me convinced he was immune to the cold, as he regularly insisted we take walks in the December evenings. This bitter cold was even too much for him to handle. He honestly just panicked. Matt had to carry him to and from the car. Curtis caught a blow of wind to the face, and stayed buried in my chest from that point on...he ended up sleeping for nearly 5 hours. I think he decided it best to avoid experiencing life after that little trip.

Perhaps next year, we will get the tree a bit earlier in the month.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


So far, the hardest thing about interviewing for residencies was finding appropriate business attire that fits and looks good when you are 2 weeks postpartum. Yes, I went on an interview the day Curtis turned 2 weeks old. Thank goodness I have had practice leaving a newborn in another's care for an entire day, or that could have been a disaster!

After wrapping up the interview season, I will then rank my top residency choices. One of those programs will hopefully rank me. And then, in March, I will find out which programs match my rankings, thus revealing to me my location for the next 4 years. I cannot wait!

I have re-taken my board exam, and am awaiting scores for the next month or so. At this point, I just have 4 more rotations, then graduation in May. The end is totally, and completely in sight (after 5 years). A lot of hard work has gone into this degree, and I know it's worth it. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of my OB/gyn rotations. I am ecstatic that is my future career, and overwhelmed by the positive response I have received from family and friends. I would love to deliver all your babies!

Even after accomplishing all of this, I still just take things a day at a time.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

One Month

As I begin to write this note celebrating the one month mark of my second child, this one, same word comes to mind again and again. Perhaps I should switch to infatuated by, overflowing with love, consumed, engrossed, fascinated by, or my love abounds...for I have used the word obsessed when describing my children far too frequently. And I don't really feel like it captures my true attitude, feeling, whatever it is, toward them. And now that there are 2 babies!? You can imagine how bad it has become.

As long as I can remember, I've had this bizarre habit of rolling up and biting my tongue when holding or petting something adorable. As a child, it was mainly geared toward animals, especially baby animals, and it was glaringly obvious. As I have grown and matured, I am a bit more selective in who/what causes me to bite my tongue, and I have also learned to generally keep my mouth closed, or just clentch my teeth (the rolled tongue appears every so often, some things are just too extremely cute). Let me just say ever since Curtis' arrival my jaw has been really sore, my tongue is a bit raw, and I am fairly certain I now have micro-cracks in more than a couple teeth. It also takes quite a bit of self control to not squeeze the child to death; you just can't hug or kiss them hard enough.

My mother may or may not have taken me to see a psychiatrist as a youngster due to my "torturing & tormenting" of animals - as this is a well known trait in many psychopaths. Honestly, I don't think I was ever torturing them to actually cause harm, I just didn't know any other way to express my extreme love. (Okay, I'll be honest, I am also very antagonistic in nature, so I am sure some of my tormenting was to actually elicit a response, but that is a completely different issue.) And that is how I feel still, to this day. I have not yet figured out how to express my love to its' maximum potential. Though I have about a million things going on in my life, and a million things I still want to accomplish in life, I am currently (and I am guessing, always will be) consumed by my children.

After just 30 days of existence, Curtis has absolutely stolen my heart. I will never be the same person I was just one month ago. Outsiders see the tangible ways a child changes your life. They see you with your hands constantly full, and that the house is just that much messier, and spontaneously going out to eat has simply disappeared. They hear his adorable little warning cries, that say, "I am not really upset now, but absolutely will be in about 3 minutes if I don't get food or a diaper change." They can see his sporadic arm and leg movements, and the little kissy face he likes to make. They can watch him attempt to blow bubbles while he lies on the changing table. But these things are so minor compared to the changes that have taken place in my mind, in my soul really.

So this note that is an update on all Curtis has achieved, done, accomplished in one month is more than anyone could measure. He has changed me forever.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's December??

Yes, this photograph was taken today, December 2nd. I could have probably worn shorts and been perfectly comfortable for this walk. Tater wasn't even shaking. I love this weather. And if it didn't feel like my bladder and/or uterus was going to fall out, I would be getting back into running shape for sure. Oh yeah, and I have outlawed exercise until I take my exam on the 7th (this is both to minimize distraction, as well as allow my body to completely heal from that 9 and 1/2 pounder.)
Speaking of him, Curtis will be 4 weeks tomorrow, what!? The newborn stage I was so looking forward to, for nine LONG months is nearing an end. Babies grow so insanely fast. Not much for me to say about my wonderful little piglet. He is awake more and more during the day, making studying getting harder and harder, but he is getting cuter and cuter. This also means he is sleeping even more at night; at this point a 5 hour stretch is a guarantee, with 6.5 hours being the max (last night). I love so much about this boy, but I REALLY love that Brock loves him too. When Brock walks in the front door, he could care less about "mommy", he wants to know, "where's the Curkiss?" Adorable, absolutely adorable.

So, though I cannot believe it is December, for many reasons, I am excited for it. I think this will prove to be one of the most memorable and best months of my life.