Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sister wives.

Recently, a friend of mine joked, and asked if she could be my sister wife. Not that she finds Matt overly attractive. Or that she enjoys my presence so much that she'd like to live with me. It's because she recognizes that of the many, many stressors in my life, my marriage is not one of them. In fact, I believe she sees that my relationship is why I can do what I do on a daily basis.

Tonight, when I walked into the office I caught Matt in the act of writing on our new whiteboard family calendar (which just yesterday he had vehemently insisted was a ridiculous item as "this is the 21st Century, we can sync our schedules on our iPhones" thereby stating he would not be writing his appointments on it). I see him admiring his work, call him out on it, and he just turns to me and says in disbelief, "It's been almost 12 years since we started dating". Not only was he writing on this silly calendar of mine, but he was doing so to add our 12 year dating anniversary and our 6 year wedding anniversary. Two dates I completely forgot. I remembered Bunko, George's birthday, Valentine's day, but I forgot our anniversaries.

That man gets me. I continued to make fun of him, trying to force him to admit he enjoyed writing on the calendar. He just smiled. He just shrugged as I explained to him that I appreciate the effort, but he used the wrong color marker for his photo appointment. In his head, he's thinking "whatever, Erin, it doesn't matter" but he will try to abide by my neurotic ways. It's just easier that way. For everyone.

Everyday, we have moments like the calendar. Everyday, we could choose to argue over the little things. But everyday, we choose to find each others nuances funny. Cute. Unique. Part of the attraction. I am not saying we don't fight, or have disagreements. I'm just saying they are mostly futile when they happen, because we both know that ultimately we will do for the other whatever makes them happiest. Love is selfless.

And, after all. If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Monday, January 28, 2013


It was one of those "perfect storm" kind of days.  I was on Sunday back-up call, which means I hang out in the hospital for 24 hours, just in case the Medicine RIC or OB RIC gets too slammed or overwhelmed with admissions, calls, deliveries, codes, etc.  The hospital was steady, but not overwhelming, so I was trying to catch up on busy work.  A non-emergent primary cesarean was called.  The fellow never showed up.  The attended said, "You want to do it then?"  And I jumped on the opportunity to first assist and said, "Sure!"  Little did I know, he was actually asking me if I wanted to perform the actual procedure myself!  Honestly, I knew I made the right decision when I didn't even hesitate to agree to it.  A year ago, maybe even a month ago, I might have been too nervous, not felt ready, not been confident.  But yesterday, I could do it.

I scrubbed in, stood on the lead side of the table, and made my first abdominal incision into the skin. The procedure went smoothly from there.  We had baby out within 10 minutes of start time, and mom's skin closed back up with the hour. The nurses all congratulated me, and told me I looked like a natural. A few of them surprised to find out it was my first.  I had been toying with the idea of doing the OB fellowship and pursuing a career in Family Practice with Obstetrics, but the options are limited in Kansas City for this kind of practice.  Suddenly, I feel as though it might be the right path for me, despite the obstacles. Some days it is tempting to just work in urgent care 12-14 days a month and spend more time with my ever growing family.  Other days, I think about how the climate is changing in the field of obstetrics, and so many people are looking for midwives, or NP's, or going a different route than OBGyn, hoping for a more natural experience.  An OB fellowship trained Family Practitioner might be a great option!

I only have a year and a half left to decide.  Better hop to it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The cup spillith over.

I used to read.  I would sneak novels into school, and read them hidden in my desk during class in Junior high and High school.  Wonder if the teachers noticed.  They had to have noticed...they just didn't care, I was being quiet, which was rare.  I got A's.  Who cares.  I'd do this even in college a little bit.  But, by that point, mostly I just didn't go to class if I wasn't going to pay attention.  Somewhere between medical school and three children, I don't read anymore. I skim a few medical journal articles here and there, read my Epocrates, Dynamed, Up to Date and other little snippets from books that tell me how to treat patients. Otherwise, I don't even read these blog posts I am making.  And magazines?  Like fun, interesting magazines?  Do they still print those? No time.

I used to watch movies.  Loved to see them on the big screen.  I averaged at least 3 movies in the theater a month, starting in probably 4th grade.  And more like 7 movies a month with rentals included.  Remember Blockbuster Video? SRO? I even kept a blog listing every movie I'd seen with a one sentence review.  Part of my OCD is list-making.  Senior year of high school, I decided to list every single movie I had ever seen.  A lot of my class got involved; as I passed people in the halls, they might say, "How about 'She's All That', did you get that one!?" I even typed it up, I just found it in the closet that I spent the day organizing this weekend.  There were 813 movies on that list, and some had tally marks next to them, indicating the number of times I'd seen it.  The "infinity" sign was located next to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dirty Dancing and The Last Unicorn. Guess I couldn't keep track of those three. And, if I remember correctly this was my incomplete list, the updated file got destroyed before I could print it...pretty sure I was near 1,000 when all was said and done.  Again, this was Senior year of high school! Now, I might see a movie in the theater once every 2 months.  And a Redbox and a Netflix in about the same frequency, maybe getting up to one a month.  That makes an average of 2 movies a month now.  No time. No patience.

I used to download music, buy cd's, take an interest in bands.  Go to concerts!  Do people play live still?  I wouldn't know. I generally know what is playing on 96.5 between 5:30-8am and 4:30-8pm. I might even "Shazam" a song so that it will be stored in my phone, in case, on a whim, I decide to update the same playlist of approximately 50 songs that I've been running to for the past 4 years. Or, I buy it simply to make one of my iMovies.  That is all music is to me now.  Background noise.  No time. No patience. No interest.

I used to exercise.  In fact, working out was my livelihood for a while.  I was exercising, on the average, for 6 hours a day!  I did this for nearly 11 years.  I enjoyed it. I still enjoy it.  Would continue to do it today. Unfortunately, exercise requires time and let's not forget, energy.  Both of which, I tend to use for other things these days.  Namely, work and children. And from time to time, husband, friends, family. I still randomly get a run in, here and there.  Or a Jillian Michael work out video.  Or some crunches on my floor that my boys take as an invitation to doggy pile on mommy.  Or just a long nice walk. Or a swim in the Summertime.  No regular work outs, though. No time. No energy. No motivation.

My little sister used the analogy of a cup being too full instead of the usual analogy of I over-filled my plate.  Plates are misleading, if you stack it right, you can keep going forever.  Just ask Matt, he watched the Chinese do this sort of thing at the Pizza Hut buffets. Cups have a clear endpoint as to how much liquid you can pour into them. All my life, I have felt that I do nothing but pour into my glass.  I just pour, and pour, and pour, and pour.  I thought, huh?  I must have a damn big glass. Until recently, it dawned on me, I don't.  I have a very normal size glass.  Ok, maybe it is slightly above average, but either way, it's not endless.  It has a maximum.  A maximum I have hit on many an occasion, and then, it spillith over.  I lose my interest and time for reading, puzzles, movies, music, exercise, laundry, cleaning my house, cooking dinner, etc.  I used to carry the glass around all by myself, but now I pour quite a bit into Matt's cup.  And Kerry, our nanny, absorbs quite a bit.  We hired someone to clean the house.  My in-laws, siblings and parents still take a sip from me on a regular basis, keeping me functional. My glass gets full, so somethings have to go, and they just trickle away.  I don't even notice.  Or miss these things either.  I have replaced them with liquid much more valuable.  I think my glass is nearly full of gold. That is why, despite how my cup spillith over, I am quite happy. I guess that's what one calls a "well-balanced life".

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Middle One

I had a rare late start to my morning today.  I took the opportunity to drop my oldest off at school, which actually, is probably more mean than nice.  Though he loves school, I think he believes the change in routine means he will be missing a day with me, and gets clingy and sad when I try to leave him.  I then went back home to pick up Curtis.  I had decided the night before to take my pleasant, well-behaved, happy two-year old out to breakfast.  On a mom date.

You see, Curtis is so easy going. So laid back and go with the flow, he often gets neglected.  A true middle child. While Brock is throwing tantrums about what we are eating for dinner, crying, pacing about the house, taking up all Matt and I's attention, Curtis is blissfully and of course, in his unfailing "messy kid" fashion, sloppily eating away at his meal.  Just tonight, I asked Brock to pick up Matt's shoe and go kill the creepy cricket spider thing in the basement.  He picked up the shoe, then started freaking out about it, squealing that he is scared of bugs.  I then asked Curtis to do it.  He picked up the shoe. Smiled that devious, cute smile.  Then began stomping everything in sight...albeit missing the actual bug and managing to his Brock in the back, Matt in the shins, and attempting to bonk George's head which I deflected in the nick of time.

Somewhat recently, Curtis' language and vocabulary blossomed.  He regularly uses full sentences with real words, and occasionally mixes it with some random, adorable, creative jibberish. The other morning, as Matt was shaving in the bathroom, and I was trying to catch a few more minutes of shut eye, Curtis began repeating in a non-panicked manner, "Mommy, I stuck. Mommy, I STUCK. Mommy, mommy, MOMMY, mommy, I stuck.  I stuck. Mommy, I stuck." Finally, I look up to find him lying on his back on the floor with his pointer finger in the vent cover.  I walk over, and easily pull his finger out.  So easily, in fact, there is nearly no way it was possibly stuck. It required no maneuvering whatsoever to remove it. None. By this point, Matt had stepped out of the bathroom to see what was going on, and just laughed at his silly little boy, who was now up and resuming his daily activity of jumping on the pillows in our bedroom. Later that day, Curtis also got "stuck" with a pillow between his legs, and "stuck" on his regular dining table chair. He can also be caught saying, "what the heck" and "look at me" on a fairly regular basis.  And Matt and I generally make fun of his interpretation of "get up here" and "come on" which are "gup here" and "um on".

Matt and I also joke that Curtis will never lack friends.  He is our social butterfly.  He has begun to invite George to join him in play.  You can hear him calling, "Georgie! Georgie, come here" from almost any room in the house. George complies, you here giggles, babbling, happiness for a moment, and then, "no, no. Georgie."  And the baby crying.  Oh well.   George can fend for himself.  He may be only 11 months old, but just yesterday, he bit both of his brothers in self defense.  Someday, those 2 will be inseparable, and that day is not far away.

Lastly, no post dedicated to the wonderful traits of my sweet middle child is complete without the mention of his desirable, coveted-by-all-mother's sleeping habits.  I hosted a baby shower on Sunday at 1pm.  Matt was supposed to take the 3 boys away.  Curtis began showing the typical two-year old signs of nap time (frequent meltdowns, outbursts and an overall utter lack of reason or self-control) at 12:30p.  I decided, fine, just put him down for the nap, worst case he wakes up with everyone here, I think 22 women can handle one toddler.  Shower happened, food, drinks, presents.  Shower ended. The four o'clock hour was just around the corner, and who strolls down the steps?  A sleepy-headed Curtis. Totally clueless to the event that just happened, except that there are bowls of M&M's out, with in reach and available for the taking.
I would never claim him to be perfect.  He IS a two year old.  While out to breakfast, I was constantly aware that one wrong move could send him into that whirlwind of toddler-like emotion, anger, sadness, and screaming.  He is LOUD.  But, thankfully, chocolate milk buys a lot of time. 
No doubt, his cheerful demeanor, and cute little voice improved many a First Watch patron's breakfast.  He did not run around, jump on booths, or do anything overly annoying.  He just seemed curious, excited, and pleased to be joining his mother, alone, for breakfast.  I truly believe he could sense this morning was something special.  And despite, blending in, losing the spotlight, and being the easy-going middle child, he too is special.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

It's no secret.

So, I post a lot of pictures.  Most of which appear as though we have three well behaved boys who will stage for almost any photo...not true. They just have a great photographer for a dad, and an extremely persistent, photo-nazi of a mom. The secret is out, take a look for yourself.

If the above video does not work, try here:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

And you think I am laid back?

I grew up thinking that I was helping teach my little sister how to be excellent.  Constantly, pointing out things she could do better or differently.  It aggravated me that she did not stick to a sport or musical instrument long enough to become top performer. But what I think ended up happening, is that she taught me, how to not take everything so seriously.  She called me up a week ago, to ask if Matt could get her a photo of she and Neal, and the Krieger family from the wedding.  She honestly just wanted those 2 pictures, and trusted our opinion as to which ones would be the best.  Years ago, I would have had a problem with this, but now, I know, she truly does not care. I would have had to inspect every photo.  I would have hmm'ed and hawed over 2 or 3, trying to decide which was the best.  Leah will just throw on the first 4 clothing items she finds on her floor as an outfit for the day. People will compliment the look, she might even appear fashion forward!  This took no effort on her part.  On the other hand, I stress out that I can't find an outfit, because I haven't had the time to fold and put away everything, as well as hang the long sleeves with the long sleeves, the dresses with the dresses, and all in rainbow color order.  I can almost guarantee you, that when she has kids, they will not have coordinating pajamas on Easter and Christmas morning (except that I might buy them for her).  She let her bridesmaids all where different colored, different styled dresses and shoes. She just enjoyed herself on the party bus, did not care about photo ops, or creating the perfect picture/moment. She simply enjoyed her friends and family on the most beautiful day of her life.  And to her, this day was perfect.

I wish everything could be truly perfect.  I really do.  I know it's unrealistic.  As the saying goes, "you can never be over-dressed or over-educated".  This permeates into how I dress my children even.  I am hosting a baby shower, and I refuse to buy appetizers from Costco, they must be homemade. I didn't have time, so I had to order invites online, instead of personally making them.  Do you know how hard it was to convince myself that is was "OK" for someone else, somewhere in the world to be sending the same invites?  Every moment, every detail, every day does not have to be completely unique, or perfect.  Though it helps to always do your best, some days that is not possible.  Lately, most days it is not possible.  Therefore, I have adapted, and adopted a somewhat black and white view, all or nothing kind of thing.  Therefore, people mistake me as laid back.  When really, I have just surrendered for the time being.  For my health, as well as those around me.
The Kansas City Blazer team motto is "commitment to excellence".  I swam for this team for 11 years.  It did not help my personality disorder. In fact, I believe this to be part of my problem.  When I see a simple solution to improve one's life, I feel compelled to share this thought.  In my many years of living with this drive, and being reprimanded for improper use of my opinions, I have adapted. Some people even describe me as laid back.  I have learned to just be silent, until my thoughts are requested - in most cases.  I am by no means perfect. I slip up from time to time, and release my unsolicited, perhaps, unkind, observations.  Often, I have found, that my outlet is to instead provide examples of my own life decisions, mistakes, situations, stories, in hopes that one might see that they are not alone.  And, I believe that is how this blog was born.  So, that I may remember my many thoughts. Share my stories. Give my opinions.  And hurt no one by doing so.

For as long as I can remember, I have had the compulsion to say what I am thinking. At all times.  If I hold my tongue, it takes considerable thought and effort on my part.  For some reason, it has always been simplest to say what I mean, get it off my chest, and move on with my day.  Perhaps, I try to remember too much, or I have such an over-abundance of thought that expelling a few of them is  the  only way my mind can move on to other, more important items. I remember my mother, constantly counseling me, telling me that sometimes we don't need to express our opinions. She went on to explain that even if they are correct, or I perceive them as helpful, sometimes people just don't want to hear it. I may or may not, have been slapped on the face a couple times for my thoughts, observations and opinions about the way the household was being run, while growing up.  Though I was certain I was being helpful, I regularly hurt my siblings feelings with my remarks.  The only one who didn't seem to mind my candor, and perhaps found it amusing was my father.  He has quite the ability to let things roll off his back - a trait I acquired from him.
The baby is dressed in the same color scheme as I, his shorts match my shoes and earrings. This wasn't an accident.
Even on here, I am extremely censored.  There are things that "should not be publicized", perhaps considered taboo.  Though, with me, almost nothing is in that category.  I will share almost any detail that is asked of me.  I have no shame. I don't get offended. It is nearly impossible to hurt my feelings. I love criticism.  So, don't be fooled.  Just because I am silent, does not mean I don't care.  In fact, it's most likely, quite the opposite.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013.

In the past year, I welcomed a new son.  Far and above, my most favorite moment of 2012. He is beautiful.  He has made our home a happy one.  I completed my intern year of residency.  Matt received a promotion at work.  Matt's brother got married, they are happy.  My sister got married, they are really happy.  My brother got engaged, and they are happy.  Though the previous post might suggest otherwise, I only look back at 2012 fondly.  We did have a beloved pet pass away, and an amazing grandmother, time is healing those wounds. We have made some new friends, and become closer with our old. One of my best friends is expecting her first baby, and I get to host a shower. In the midst of a busy, busy, 2nd year of residency, the boys' had a great 2nd & 4th birthday.  We had a merry Christmas, despite my working 26 hours over Christmas day. We went to St. Louis for Easter. To Chicago for vacation. Visited the zoo countless times, went to the pool, enjoy the park on a weekly basis.

I am nothing but thankful for this past year.  I am thankful for every year.  I enjoy life, all the time - as long as I keep my "this too shall pass" attitude.  How can I not love it? At a moment's notice, my mother watched the boys so that Matt and I could enjoy New Year's dinner out with friends. She also came over and made a salad to go with my dinner tonight.  This is not a rare thing.  Even less rare is my in-laws stepping in to watch the boys at a moment's notice.  Without our family, Matt and I's relationship might be something different all-together. I saw my out of town best friend's daughter on her 1st birthday party. The entire family is healthy. I have the 3 most adorable, wonderful boys one could ask for; they are smart, happy, amazing...and they love their sleep. My husband is made of patience. And awesome. A talented photographer able to capture our entire life beautifully. I am confident, 2013 will be nothing but an improvement on the last 30 years I have been alive.  Cheers!