Saturday, March 26, 2011


In conclusion to the previous post: Brock has become a "real boy". A hilarious little boy at that. This is best exemplified by his general behavior this evening. First, Curtis was getting a little upset because it was time for his evening nap, so I asked Matt where his paci was. Brock heard the word "paci" got really excited, yelled something about "his paci", then ran away. Now, it is important to remember that Brock has NEVER enjoyed the comforts of a binky, therefore, this behavior is completely random and unusual. As he dashed out of the room, Matt yelled to remind him that he doesn't have nor like pacifiers. A few seconds later, Brock sauntered back into the room, sucking on the hill-billy, buck-toothed pacifier gifted to Curtis as a joke, as if this was a very common and normal thing for him to do...seriously. Can 2 year olds be purposefully comedic already?
Then, around 6pm, he began begging to go "bye bye". (He has his mother's propensity toward cabin fever - we really can't stay in the house all day.) When his first attempts to get us to leave failed, he began giving us specific suggestions, such as, "I want to go to the store?", "go outside?" and though he didn't mention this one this time, it's not uncommon for him to suggest "starbuck?" Eventually, Matt realized he needed something from the hardware store and informed Brock that his wish was granted he can leave with him. Upon hearing the words, 'let's go bye bye', Brock jumped up, exclaimed, "my boots!" and began frantically searching for his newish yellow, rubber rain boots that he has maybe worn a total of...once. So, they proceeded to go to the hardware store, where Brock ran around in his yellow rubber boots, without socks. He disappeared from sight for a moment, only to reappear with a bag of candy that he thrust toward his father, and asked, "M and M's?"

In summary: my oldest baby boy asked to leave, inappropriately dressed himself, and manipulated his parents into giving him something he did not need, but wanted. Sounds like a little kid to me. I would like to add that I had my true "aha moment" on this topic, at the mall a couple nights ago when Brock saw a line of candy machines, and ran up to me and specifically asked for money. Yup, you heard that right, he said, "money, mama?" and proceeded to stick his cute little hands in my jean pockets to search for loose change!

Stop growing up! Pretty soon you are no longer going to think I am the most amazing person you have ever known. You will stop relying on me for anything. And you will think I am weird and annoying...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orangecots and Apple Hot Sauce

Now that Brock is two and a third years old, every book says he will be learning up to 10 words a day. Increasing his vocabulary by nearly 500 words or so by age three. What they don't tell you, is which words he will choose to repeat, what words he will remember, in what context he will use them, or that this process will make you, your friends, your family all laugh, hysterically, on a very regular basis.

Yesterday, Matt had a job interview. Therefore, I went to get Brock out of bed, instead of his father, as has been customary for the past few weeks. When I walked in, he instantly, in a very adorable, concerned 2 year old fashion asked, "Where's dada!?" I explained that his father was getting dress for an interview. A few moments later, as I am changing Brock's diaper, Matt walked in the room, all shaved and dressed in a suit. And then, "Ooooh, look cute." Really? Cute? I think he was probably going for a simple "good" or "professional", but hey, cute works too.

Also, as we are in the throws of March Madness, Brock can easily identify and pronounce the name of the sport of basketball. What he hasn't figured out is all the different teams and cheers, therefore, whenever a game is on, he yells, "Go Duke!" and "let's go, baby." I believe a certain great uncle may have provided some speech coaching...

Brock has also learned that NO ONE can resist it when he walks up to them and specifically addresses them by saying, "hold me hand, [insert name]." NO ONE. Usually, this leads to him taking your hand and guiding you to a food cabinet to try and obtain some candy, fruit snacks or "my choices". Apparently, my tactic to always present him with 2 or 3 choices that ARE NOT candy, has led him to believe that "my choices" are an actual thing.

He has also discovered the meaning of "right now". Though his use of these words is technically correct 100% of the time, it is not always necessary or appropriate, which makes it hilarious. My favorite use thus far: "I need chocolate, right now, momma". Really, Brock? You need chocolate right now? Or what? What will happen if you don't get chocolate right now? And where did you even learn the word chocolate!? I generally refer to chocolate candies by their brand name.

When he gets on the phone, he consistently tells the recipient, "good day, today". Also, when fake talking on the phone, he likes to describe to the receiver exactly what it is I am doing..."mommy doing dishes". He, of course, repeats like a parrot. This would be the perfect age to recreate those "Pearl" videos. Brock is young enough to still look and sound like a baby toddler, but has the pronunciation of most words down. Seriously, that little voice of his is adorable, so stnkin' cute! But seeing as Brock doesn't even have the attention span to finish a little cup of apple hot sauce, attempting a short video is ludacris.

PS - he pronounces the letter 'O' as "hoe"!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha, gets me everytime.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Baby Group

How has the 'Baby Group' managed to meet 4 times before I finally blogged about it!? Every holiday a small group of my fellow 2001 St. Teresa's High School grads meets with our 2010 babies (plus Brock, '08 and Henry '09). In fact, 4 of us went to Visitation grade school, and as of now, there is a chance all of our kiddos will go to Visitation as well! When I say that Kansas City borders on incestuous - I mean it.

The first event, and idea, was held by Courtney Vogtner, currently the only member with a daughter, Anna Grace. I hosted the Christmas meeting. Whitney Arthur, mother of Bobby (Curtis' bff) hosted a Valentine's party. And Meaghan Hagenhoff held the latest St.Patty's day event. Where I brought a surprise guest - a photographer (Matt)! Honestly, the day usually turns out to be quite chaotic. We all just try and keep our babies happy, dry and fed. While hoping that Brock and Henry aren't off causing too much trouble or destroying anything. Amidst all of that, we get in a bit of gossiping, and bit of advice/child rearing suggestions. You know, compare some notes. Show off our rapidly developing childrens' newest tricks. I usually get shown a couple rashes or asked a few medical type questions. And then we all part for nap time.
It's extremely hard to get 5 babies to pay attention to one person, and all be happy, and all look in one direction. We take a group picture of these days they will learn! But the order from left to right is: Bobby, Curtis, Teddy, Finn and Anna Grace.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Match

The original residency match post I had imagined writing was one of pure happiness, satisfaction and bragging. I was going to talk about how I had achieved my lifelong goal. That all my hard work, stress, interviews, networking, studying, etc lead me to exactly the position I wanted, in exactly the location I wanted. That I was done wondering what the future will hold. That I was absolutely and completely content. In fact, I had even begun to wonder what it was I WOULD be able to stress out about!? I have spent my entire life with some level of anxiety, first with swimming then med school, but with all that finished, I'd have to find something else. Training to qualify for the Boston Marathon maybe? Not.

Instead, I received an email that I will never forget: "We're sorry, you did not match to any position". This means, that I did not get into any of the OB/Gyn residencies that I ranked. Flabbergasted, I began, quite literally, scrambling to get my application materials back in order to send out the the 13 unfilled OB/Gyn positions left in the entire country. These spots got filled rather quickly. So I was forced on to Plan B...finding a spot in Kansas City. I found this spot in the wonderful Truman-Lakewood Family Medicine program which has ample opportunities in the field of Obstetrics. The people I talked to and met were great. The program is great. Everyone appeared content and motivated. I have nothing to complain about, and am thankful I found a spot. But I would be lying if I didn't say that I have been left with a bitter taste in my mouth.

This displaced anger and frustration of mine lies on The Match. This system which turns finding a residency spot into a game. No one can come out and say what they really think about a student or program, because it's a "violation". So we all meet. We all act perfect, and pretty and wonderful. We all make vague statements about how we really like each other. In fact, some of us go so far as to send an obviously extremely interested candidate a few letters stating, "You can be assured...we plan to rank you highly". But none of it is really true. What really happens is that candidates who look excellent on paper get ranked highest (unless they have some blindingly obvious personality problem) and the rest hope for the best, and for lady luck to fall on their side. The problem with this? It's not a game. This is my life. My future. My family's future.

Of course, I can not just blame The Match system. I could have studied harder. Took more tests. Done some research. Neglected my family. A lot of people (in fact, statistically, most people) will get their #1 or #2 choice. On paper, this system will continue to appear to be a fair, and proper way to deal with the mass amount of students graduating and residency spots opening. Unfortunately, this removes a bit of the human element. I complained of this system often in the last few months. A friend, who's husband went through the process a couple year's ago, put it well by saying, "I found it kind odd that as he advanced in his education, his direction in life became less predictable." Have I not earned to right to interview with someone, face to face, and be told honestly whether it works or not?

In real life, you interview. You get the job, great. You don't get the job, you move on. You continue this process until you find the right fit in the right career. You don't interview for a position as a swim coach, not get it, then say, oh, but I'll take the open basketball coaching spot.

Now that I am through venting, I want to say I am happy and will be happy. It is not in my nature to mope, regret, or dwell on the negatives of a paticular situation. I am so very thankful that I have a job next year, in medicine, in Kansas City. Near all of my more than incredible family and friends who made this match process, nay, the last 5 years possible. I will make the most of it. I will learn as much as I can, continue to grow, and lead, and become a fantastic physician. I will keep my mind open. Perhaps this is the path I was meant to take for a reason. Or perhaps, next year, an opportunity will show itself, and I will again be on the path towards becoming an OB/Gyn. Afterall, I am only 28 years old, what's a few more years of waiting?

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Scramble.

Twice now, I have gotten on this very computer and opened a document that has significantly changed my immediate future. Disappointing news is NEVER easy to digest. It makes you begin to think about all the little decisions you've made for the last 5 years. But for me, most of all, I feel as though I have let everyone down that is close to me.

I am surrounded by more love and support than I even know was possible. This entire process of medical school is very grueling, but I have never been too affected by it because there is always someone close by to watch my boys when I need it, make me dinner, help clean the house...In fact, my little sister was over when I received the news that I did not Match, and she immediately offered to take the boys so Matt and I could begin researching and planning for the Scramble.

So, I apologize for continuing to draw out this process - what should have been an 8 year endeavor, is quickly becoming 10 - but I promise, I will become a licensed physician someday. I just like to make things as difficult as possible, otherwise, what is there to be proud of?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Who's famous?

Looks like Curtis' baby announcement is getting some press! I mean, it's really just a photograph that Matt took for Emmy (the announcement's designer) to use as an example of her amazing abilities. But I am pretty sure people first see that ADORABLE baby, and assume it's the awesome printing that made him look so good...

...all around, I knew we were making the perfect baby announcement when Emmy, Matt and I put our heads together back in November for its' creation. I birthed the baby. Matt took the photo. Emmy made the backdrop. Teamwork.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pacifiers & Bear blankets.

Sickening. Sickening, I tell you. I have been through this once before, but it still amazes me the progress one tiny little human can make in just 4 months of existence. I nearly teared up while folding this last load of laundry. Partly due to the song playing in the background, but mostly due to the fact that half of it went to a pile to be packed away. Curtis doesn't even fit in 3-6 month clothing anymore. I was excited to have another boy in the exact same month, but because Winter has continued on, Curtis is 3 weeks older, and 3 pounds bigger, I have actually had to buy a few articles of clothing for him to last through these cold days. All of Brock's 6 months plus clothing are Spring/Summer, therefore shorts and t-shirts. Not appropriate during a wintery mix storm.

Curtis went from a ball of nerves, only able to eat, sleep and poop to a little baby full of personality, who has decided he will respond only to the name, "ZaCuk". (Seriously, we have tested this over and over, say "Curtis" and you get no recognition. Say "ZaCuk" or "ZaCutkis" and bam! Head turns immediately toward whichever direction the voice came from. Looks like Brock's language has inspired us all.)
Curtis is very nearly sitting on his own. And he is already trying REALLY hard to crawl. Unlike Brock who gave in to instant frustration (not sure where he got that trait?), he will lay on his belly and try, and try, and try, and try to get those arms and legs coordinated to reach whatever bait I have set before him while maintaining a smile. It takes quite a while for that child to reach his boiling point. And he is not stationary, by any means. Poor second child, I accidently let him fall off a chair weeks ago! How was I to know he would be able to rollover either way well before 3 months? If I lay him on his back on the floor play gym and leave to say, load the dishwasher, I always come back to find him a foot or so off of the mat. At this point, we need to start keeping an eye out for items small enough to choke a baby.

Speaking of choking a baby, Curtis puts everything in his mouth! His only goal in life, currently, is to reach for an object, grab hold of it, and instantly pull it to his mouth as quickly as possible. Brock had NO desire to put things in his mouth. Pretty sure we let him play with loose change. And Curtis is so sweet. He loves to be sung to sleep, while I rub his forhead, or stroke his cheek or hair. Though, this brings me to another frightening little habit Curtis has developed: burying his face to sleep. He absolutely must have something over his face, or at least covering part of his head to fall asleep (I find Matt napping with a pillow on his face, fairly often, so no mystery there.) In fact, Matt and I have an ongoing joke (which might be a little true) that Brock is his favorite because his personality so identically matches mine, and that Curtis is my favorite because his so identically matches Matt's. Though, when I look at it this way, I think to myself, what is wrong with Matt!? We are awful. No patience. Busy. Anxious. Stress-inducing. Demanding. Always right. Easily frustrated. He is a glutton for punishment.

Though, I don't really think it's too demanding to expect my husband to remember how much our child weighed, and how tall he was at his 4 month doctor's appointment...yet all he could tell me is that Curtis remains in the 90th %ile for weight (just under 17lbs) and is hovering somewhere in the 70's for height. I prefer specifics.

So, I guess that's our sweet, happy, 4 month old, Curtis in a nutshell.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hoop Fever.

My sister, Annora, a college ball player, convinced me to play basketball with her this Winter. She's been trying to get me to for a while, but I was pregnant until now. I, in turn convinced a couple of my STA classmates to join, so basically, it was a high school reunion group! Playing on this intramural basketball team affirmed my decision to quit all sports and stick with swimming way back when. It's sad, I know, but I have always kind of wondered if I made the right decision. I loved Soccer, Track, and Basketball. I was really good at Soccer, Track and Basketball. I was informed, long ago, by my high school swim coach, "Erin, you are an athlete, not a swimmer". Could I have been better, and achieved a higher level of competition on one of these sports? Maybe. Would I have enjoyed it more? Absolutely not.

Basketball, as I was reminded, is a CONTACT sport. Also, you rely on 4 other people to win. And, if you know me at all, you know I hate to be unnecessarily touched, and I am a control freak. This, in combination with my competitiveness nearly drained the game of any fun for me, nearly. I repeated to myself constantly: "this is just for fun", "doesn't matter if we win", "you can't cover the whole court", "these other girls are playing for fun, so the strongest players don't need to be in at all times". I had to keep myself from punching a few girls in the face, or kicking them in the shins - because they were playing dirty. I am as competitive as they come, but I REFUSE to play dirty. I don't fowl (on purpose), I don't draw fouls, I don't elbow people or grab t-shirts. I do let a few choice comments slip, but when someone purposefully trips you in an intramural basketball game, I think a certain name fits...

I started the season a bit timid, but finished strong. My cat-like reflexes made defense my strong end, but I did score a 3 pointer! My ball-handling and shooting skills did nothing but improve. My ability to remain passive and just enjoy the game for the sake of the game went nowhere, fast. I am still bitter about losing that last game (to play for 3rd place), and probably will be for the rest of my life. Cause that's the way I roll.

I plan to remain in good enough shape to do things like this whenever the opportunity arises. I hope I still have friends willing to do this as well. The competitor in me needs some face time every once in a while.