Nov 29, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

I know I sometimes use this blog as a sounding board for my complaints, but I really do have so much to be thankful for and Thanksgiving is always the perfect time to acknowledge a lot of the things that God has blessed me with in this life.

I am thankful for a healthy family.  It's so easy to take your (and your loved ones) good health for granted, but as I hear stories from Josh about extremely sick patients in the hospital or hear from friends that their family members are ill, or even worse, up in heaven because they were sick, I can't help but be so thankful that Josh, Ryan, and I are all healthy.  Or that all of our parents and siblings and for the most part extended families are healthy too.

I am thankful for Josh's job.  I may complain on occasion all the time about his work hours. I may complain that he had to work on Thanksgiving and even though Ryan and I did drop him off a Thanksgiving meal in an attempt to see him, unfortunately, he was in surgery.  I may complain that I sometimes feel like a single parent and like Josh is missing lots of important moments in our lives.  But, ultimately, I am SO thankful that he has this job at UMass.  There was a time this year when we weren't sure he would have any job at all and the fact that this opportunity opened up is undoubtedly a huge blessing from God.
Ice is cold!!
I am thankful for all the close friends here in Massachusetts that I have made in the last six months.  Friends that offer to open their homes to Ryan and I on holidays so that we aren't alone.  Friends that make us feel like family despite that fact that our family is 3,000 miles away.  Friends that check in on you when it's snowing because they know that you are freaking out about leaving the house in the snow.  Friends that listen to your fears, celebrate your successes, and always seem to be there when you need them.

Ryan and I celebrated with our friend Brooke's family on Thanksgiving.  We were so thankful that we didn't have to stay home alone despite Josh being at work on Thanksgiving.  Ryan and Brooke's daughter Reagan always have such a great time together.  They even had their own little Thanksgiving table all to themselves and while I'm not sure how much food was actually eaten by the two of them, they were fully entertained while us adults ate.  And, I'm fairly certain at one point I turned my head and saw Ryan feeding Reagan pie with her fork.  Toddlers.

My Mom said that when she saw these pictures, she thought the two of them looked like a little Indian and a Pilgrim.  Not planned at all, but too funny!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you were able to reflect on some of the rings you are thankful for in your life.  Now, on to Christmas!!!

Nov 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve & The First Snow

Well, I knew it was coming.  Winter that is.  At least my amazing sister-in-law had the foresight to send us some snow shovels and ice scrapers this week because it has been snowing all day long.  Apparently, Worcester is going to get somewhere around 5 inches of snow before it stops.  I tried to prepare for the storm by going to the grocery store to stock up on necessities, I got gas, and basically I felt as though I were prepping for Y2K all over again.  How am I going to get through the next six months?!?!

It was actually not a bad day to stay inside because I had a lot of baking to do for our Thanksgiving dinner plans tomorrow.  That is, of course, assuming Ryan and I actually make it there since it requires driving, ya know, in the snow.  Josh is on nights this whole week.  So he'll be getting off work tomorrow morning, sleeping all day, and heading back in to work around 5:30pm tomorrow night.  AKA: he will be missing Thanksgiving dinner.  Doctor life really stinks sometimes.  And he was especially thrilled that he had to shovel snow from behind the car in order to leave this evening.
Grenadian spices for my pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie
Eventually, I decided that Ryan and I should at least venture outside for a few minutes since it was the first snowfall of the year and the first time Ryan would actually get to see snow.  She thought the snow was pretty interesting, especially since she could eat it!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday tomorrow with friends and family.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 20, 2014

A Few Thoughts Regarding Winter

My friends would say that winter has not yet arrived here in Massachusetts, but my California soul says that Jack Frost got here last week.  Unfortunately, I am surely the one who is wrong here.  But when the high for the day is barely reaching the mid-30's and the low is somewhere in the teens,  I call that winter.
We haven't really seen snow on the ground yet, unless you count a VERY light dusting that we got last weekend which didn't stick around after the sun came up.  I have been not so secretly praying that the snow holds off for awhile forever.  A California girl can dream right?


The problem is I'm pretty terrified of driving in the snow.  I don't have much any experience driving in snow and ice and I'm pretty certain that I'm going to be bad at it.  I keep being told I need to invest in a shovel, an ice scraper, and sand bags to weigh the trunk of my car down.  Oh, and don't put my kid in the car while it's running if the exhaust pipe is covered.  Carbon Monoxide poisoning or something.  Who knew?!?!  There should seriously be a Driver's Ed class for inexperienced snow driving Moms or someone could get killed.

And can we just talk for a second about carseats in the winter.  Let me paint you a hilarious picture.  Me, trying to buckle my toddler into her carseat when she needs five, fourteen, twenty-three layers on to walk out the door but then it's necessary to strip twenty-one of those layers off before buckling her into the seat.  All while I'm doing some extremely unattractive Mom-version of the Harlem Shake trying not to freeze my Mom booty off in the process.

I also don't own gloves.  Not a problem if you don't mind losing your fingers to frostbite.

Beanie hat hair is R.E.A.L.L.Y. unattractive.

I appreciate the stores being cozy and warm when I walk in from the freezing cold outside.  What I don't appreciate is beginning to sweat five minutes later under my above mentioned 23 layers.  And then having to make the choice whether to drip in sweat or show off my beanie hat hair.  Both are undesirable options.

The streams where I run are now starting to freeze.  I've never seen that before in my life, a frozen body of water.   It's really strange.  Speaking of my trail-running, I'm pretty sure those days are VERY limited.  Once the snow hits, we're done.  And considering that we went yesterday and I'm pretty sure I almost froze Ryan's face off, for which I still feel bad about today, we may already be done.

Can somebody please send me a "How to Survive Winter" manual?  You might be saving lives.  Thanks.


The Frozen Momma in Massachusetts

Nov 8, 2014

True Life, I'm A Resident: Week of Vacation

It may seem from the rather infrequent posts that I write about life in residency that it is just the pits.  And while some weeks it really does feel like we are navigating the fire swamp, residency does have some pretty good perks.  Like paid vacation!  Josh had to pick three weeks of vacation back in April, so we kind of just picked random months spread throughout the entire year and today marks the beginning of his first entire week off since we started in July.

He has a full 9 days off and I have to say, we don't even know what to do with ourselves!  It's not just a vacation for him, but a vacation for me as well.  I have little to no help from Josh during the week and it's not often that we splurge for a baby sitter or that Josh even has time for us to go out together.  So having him home for a week provides such a nice break for me from solo child-rearing.

This break comes at a great time since Josh just finished his month of nights a week ago and has been in desperate need of a reboot.  He, of course, has some studying to do for the never-ending board exams that always seem to be looming in the not-so-distant future, but other than that, we are planning to relax and spend some quality family time together with little to no mention of doctors, hospitals, patients, and paperwork.  Talk about big plans! :)

So cheers to a full week with the all three of us!  May we make the most of it.

Nov 3, 2014

Ryan Cathleen: 15 & 16 Months

Today, Ryan is 16 months old.  Wow, we are quickly closing in on a year and a half.  Didn't she just turn 1?  Time is passing so quickly these days.  The past couple of months Ryan has just continued to grow and has become more fascinated with the world around her.  She is so curious, extremely observant, and quite social to the say the least.  My guess is she is weighing in just over 25lbs and still around 30 inches tall.

She gets in to everything and my only saving grace is that she is constantly talking (to herself) so I can usually catch her when she is up to no good pretty quickly.  She is definitely not the silent, sneaky type.  She also has decided that climbing into and onto things is pretty much the best thing ever.  It was a bit surprising to walk into the living room one day and see her walking across the couch.  Oy vey.

Her vocabulary continues to grow, slowly but surely.  She has added cup, no, yes, quack quack, and moo to her list of recognizable words.  I'm convinced that babies talking has to be the cutest thing ever.  Her first canine popped through this past month and I'm sure the other 3 are soon to follow.  At this point she has 13 teeth.  We made our first trip to the dentist in September.  THAT was a fun time. I can officially cross pediatric dentist off my list of things I'd ever want to do in my life.

She is still sleeping like a champ at night.  I moved her bedtime up to 7pm which didn't seem to change what time she woke up at all.  She was sleeping straight through until at least 7am, that is until Daylight Savings.  Hopefully we'll get back to our 7am wake up here soon.  Her naps are a different story.  In short, they suck.  Big time.  I am trying to transition her to one nap per day instead of two.  However, regardless of one or two naps, she's only napping about 50 minutes total per day.  I'm not sure if this is just a phase but since she has never been a great napper, at this point, I'm thinking it may just be her new normal.

We traveled to California during the last two months, Grampy and Grammy Fairman and my friend Alexa came to visit her in Massachusestts, she had her second Halloween, and other than a runny nose while she was cutting that canine, she's been super healthy.  However, she did start having breath holding spells in late September.  She basically holds her breath involuntarily when she's super upset and then literally passes out.  The first and second times that it happened we were in California, away from Dad.  Those were my scariest mommy moments to date.  But, apparently it's not entirely uncommon and she will likely grow out of it.  It's only happened one other time so I'm hoping it's not going to continue to be a regular occurrence.  Luckily, I don't have to leave her with others very often, however the church nursery workers were THRILLED when I told them that they need to watch out for this.  It's more common in strong-willed children.  That's my Ryan!
She may be strong-willed, but she is also ridiculously sweet and affectionate too.  She regularly gives hugs without being asked to as well as kisses.  She loves a good morning snuggle and to sit in your lap and read books.  Her smile is infectious and her laughter, contagious.  Life with this little girl is busy to say the least, but I can't imagine it without my best buddy.

Nov 2, 2014

Shake Your Tail Feathers

I hope everyone's Halloween was as fun and festive as ours was.  The weather here in Massachusetts was just perfect for Halloween, crisp and cool with a chill in the air.  Plus, my parents were still in town which made it all the more fun, especially since Josh had to work his last night of nights on Halloween so he was unable to partake in the Halloween events.  Always a bummer, but dare I say we are getting used to it?

I began thinking about what to dress Ryan up in for Halloween this year at the tail end of the summer.    Some would call that ridiculous, but I just say that I'm not a procrastinator, at least when it comes to outfitting my child in an adorable costume.  I scoured Pinterest and catalogs for the perfect costume.  I know I only have probably one, maybe two, more years that she will allow me to pick her costume so it had to be good.  Of all the adorable ideas I saw, my mind just kept going back to a peacock.  I know a peacock right?  Kind of random, but I found this amazing bustle peacock tutu from this Etsy Shop and I just had to run with it.  I also bought the headband from the same shop but the other pieces of Ry's costume all came from different places.  My vision of a purple, blue, and green peacock goddess came to life and I loved it!

Of course, photographing this little peahen proved to be extremely difficult.  She just wanted to strut around, so many of my pictures are action shots.  Oh well, tis life with a toddler.

We also went trick-or-treating at a shopping center near our house with a few of our other friends.  Many of the stores were participating so we got to walk in and out of them all and get candy.  It was actually perfect for Ryan because it was earlier in the day as opposed to night time and she had a blast.  She seemed a bit confused as to why all of the kids were dressed up in weird costumes.  I wondered why she didn't seem to mind hers and then I remembered, tutus and headbands are just par for the course in this household. :)  As for the getting candy part?  Well she totally figured that out after a couple of stores.  It was adorable.

Halloween 2014 was totally a success and I'm already looking forward to next year!