Apr 20, 2016

The Terrific and Terrible Twos

It's been quite some time since I did a post entirely about Ryan.  I've done so many updates about Rory the last few months, but in reality, Ryan changes just as much from month to month as Roars does.  She is only a couple of months away from being a three year old which in and of itself amazes me, but since she is still a two year old as of now, I think a post about how simultaneously terrible and terrific two years of age has been with our eldest child is in order.

Terrifically Independent:  Ryan has developed such independence these days which is honestly a great blessing, especially when I'm dealing with her little sister.  She plays extremely well on her own, she can be asked to do small tasks like grabbing a diaper or her shoes, she can go up and down the stairs by herself, get into her chair at the table and find a movie on the iPad all without help.  It is certainly nice when, as a Mom, you feel like you finally don't have to do every little thing for your child.

Terribly Independent:  The problem comes with the fact that she also thinks that she can do EVERYTHING on her own.  She wants to buckle herself in the car, get herself food out of the pantry,  walk in the street by herself and basically do everything by herself, which means once simple tasks now take much longer and I have to do things like clean up an entire tub of oatmeal that fell out of the pantry closet as a result of Ryan helping herself to some pretzels.

Terrifically Imaginative:  She has such an imaginative mind.  I regularly hear her playing with her toys, coming up with games to play with the bottles of lotion or pretending she is the mommy to her baby dolls.  She stacks blocks and pushes them around as if they were cars, builds castles with the DVD boxes, does Dr. check ups on her babies and cooks dinner for us all with the help of her play kitchen.  She creates all sorts of fun games in her two year old head.

Terribly Imaginative:  With that ever increasing imagination, she has also begun to be scared of monsters, dinosaurs, and who knows what else at night.  Bedtime has become a challenge and our once great sleeper has recently become significantly more difficult to deal with than her infant counterpart.  I have had some extremely frustrating nights with her because I refuse to let her sleep in our bed and yet I want to acknowledge that her fears are real and therefore I need to help her work through them.  It is a hard line to walk, especially at 3:00am.

Terrifically Verbal: This child of mine has always been quite the talker.  Even at a few months old, she was a constant babbler and that has never really stopped.  She has extremely strong verbal skills and at a doctors appointment around age 2.5 years, the pediatrician said she had the verbal skills of a four year old.  She can communicate anything and everything to me that she needs to.  She sings all kinds of songs, "reads" books, and lets you know what she wants and when she wants it.  She cracks me up daily with the things that come out of her mouth.  She regularly tells me that she loves me and that I'm her best friend or that she loves her "stis-ter" or that Daddy is her pal.  She loves to exclaim that ice cream is "licious" as in "delicious," and whenever I suggest something fun to do, like going to the park, she says "Oh that's a good idea Mommy!"  If Rory is upset or crying, I'll hear Ryan say things to her like "It's okay Rory, Mommy's coming, don't be sad."

Terribly Verbal:  Of course there are many words that come out of her mouth that are not nearly so sweet.  I've heard the word no so many times that I sometimes feel like my head is going to explode. Recently she said "Mommy! I'm made with you!  Why you make me cry?" after I wouldn't let her do something she wanted to do.  She tells me to leave her alone or get out of her room when she's angry and I want to laugh almost every time because it's so hilarious that this attitude is coming out of her little two year old mouth and yet it also infuriates me to no end.  We also need to work on what is appropriate to say outside of the house and what isn't.  For instance, she is very interested in ahem...anatomy these days.  Josh and I have decided to teach her the anatomical words for everything if she asks and the other day at the mall, she exclaimed to a woman in the bathroom, "I"m Ryry and this is my nose and these are my eyes and this is my gina!"  Oh good Lord child.  I left the bathroom slightly red faced but also with tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.

Terrifically Determined: When she wants to accomplish something, she does.  Or at least, she works extremely hard trying to.  She loves to build castles and color and organize things.  She wants to do everything the bigger kids are doing or the adults and will regularly follow older kids around the playground.  She will move stools or chairs around the house in order to get things off the counter or table as well.

Terribly Strong-Willed:  Her determination also rears its head in terms of being extremely strong-willed.  She throws stage 5 tantrums when she wants to do something and I won't let her.  There are days where I find it very challenging to deal with her because everything seems to be a fight.  I am the queen of letting her throw tantrums no matter where we are because I refuse to give in to her demands, but that has lead to a number of very loud outings and I'm sure there are many customers out there that are really sick of "The Ryan Show."  I swear I wanted to drop kick her in the grocery store the other day!

Terrifically Emotion Filled:  When Ryan is excited about something, her excitement is contagious.  I can basically light up her whole world by saying we can go outside or that she can have a popsicle after dinner or put color bombs and bubbles in the bath tub or see her best friend Avery.  She jumps and screams and giggles and starts talking a mile a minute, which is saying something cause the kid never shuts up.  She is a little love bug always wanting to give hugs and kisses, hold hands, dance around the house in your arms and cuddle on the couch to watch a movie.

Terribly Emotion Filled: She may be an excitable and loving little two year old when you do something she likes, but oh boy when she's angry, watch out.  Her tantrums make me want to pull my hair out and I've resorted to time outs and being sent to her room recently just so I don't have to hear the screaming as much.  It amazes me that such a little person can make so much noise!  There are days where it seems I can't ask her to do anything, changing her diaper (yes we're still in diapers) is the biggest challenge, and even though she loved macaroni and cheese last week, she's flat out refusing it this week like I'm trying to feed her asparagus.  I gotta hand it to her, the kid knows what she wants and what she doesn't.

Ultimately, Ryan Cathleen is our little spitfire.  She loves life and her smile and laughter are contagious.  She is Daddy's girl, my best friend and the most amazing big sister to Rory.  She may drive me absolutely bonkers some days but I feel so blessed to be this terribly terrific two year olds Mama.

Apr 7, 2016

Life In Residency // "Single" Mom of Two

It's been quite some time since I have updated y'all about life in a surgical residency.  Life is no longer like it once was while we were in medical school, things aren't constantly changing anymore, and for that I am thankful.  But the monotony of residency can begin to take it's toll on even the most independent of spouses and physicians alike.  Josh edges nearer and nearer to the end of his PGY1 year every day.  This has truly felt like the never-ending intern year for us because of his preliminary year last year.  And while we are so thankful for his full time position, we are both more than ready to finally leave intern year behind us, 2.5 months to go and counting.

Josh has "easier" months and harder ones.  He has months where he operates almost daily and months, like this month, in the ICU where he won't really see the OR.  The days do change for him in terms of his hospital setting but for me, my days with the girls are rather predictable.  No matter the service he is on, he leaves before the kids are awake and more often than not, he gets home after Rory is asleep and sometimes after Ryan goes to bed as well.  He works most weekends out of the month and it's not uncommon for some of the only weekend time that he spends with us to be at the hospital for a quick lunch in the cafeteria.  There are many many days where I do this parenting thing completely solo.

I know I'm not a single mom.  I don't claim to be.  In fact, I know a number of single moms and my hat goes off to them.  They not only do it on their own 24/7, but many of them also bring in the sole source of income for their family.  Luckily, we have Daddy to bring home the bacon, even if that means we rarely see him and that he makes somewhere around $12.00 an hour to operate on people and keep patients alive.  #residentsalary  Josh regularly tells Ryan that he's going to work to save lives.  Her two year old interpretation of that is that he "eats fries."

The girls and I spend our days as a threesome.  And while there are many great moments with my children, there are also countless others in between where I feel like I am on the verge of losing my sanity.  Between tantrums, missed naps, rough nights, sister fights (I swear it already happens), refused meals, teething episodes, diaper blow outs, endless messes, grocery store meltdowns, and not nearly enough time to myself, I have certainly had days where I feel resentful of the resident family life and the fact that we live across the country from any of our extended family.  Some days it feels as though my arms aren't big enough, my patience isn't long enough, and my coffee isn't strong enough.   If I need a Mommy break I have to call a babysitter and pay her about as much to watch my kids hourly as Josh makes as a physician.  When I think about it like that, it's just not worth it and I reserve the babysitter use to the occasional date night with Josh or really fun things like dentist appointments.

When my kids are sick, or heck, if I'm sick, I don't have anyone to call to come help me.  There would only be rare circumstances where Josh would be able to come home if I called him at work.  And that's if and only if he's not in the operating room and could actually answer the phone or respond to a text.  The one benefit of this resident life is that it has created in me a certain amount of motherhood resiliency.  There are no longer many things that phase me.  I've found things that help me cope like coffee, mom friends, and wine.  Not necessarily in that order.

What I do know is this.  Residency is tough, and it's also a long haul.  I could not have known the reality of the medical profession life when I entered into it.  Nothing can prepare you.  Every part of life is a season and I try to remember that.  I'm sure there will come a day when we have more money and I have more help and I'm also sure that there will be parts of residency that I miss very much, just like there are parts of medical school that I miss.  What I'm also positive of is that Josh works extremely hard for this family and Ryan and Rory, despite how much he works, know that their Daddy loves them very much.  He just has to go to work a whole lot.  Ya know, to eat fries.   Or something like that. :)

Apr 3, 2016

Rory: 7 Months

Another month has come and gone in Rory Lou's life.  And her 7th month has certainly been one for the books.  I felt like every other day this past month she was doing something exciting and milestone-ish.  There were moments this month where I was seriously like, are you only going to be 7 months old because you are doing all these crazy things that I'm so not ready for you to do!

She started being able to sit up on her own at the beginning of the month and within a few days, had decided that sitting still was not gonna work for her anymore and went straight into crawling.  Unlike Ryan, she didn't army crawl first.  She just went straight for the hands and knees crawling and has become pretty good at it.  She also gets herself from laying down to sitting with ease.  Suddenly she is a very mobile human and on top of that, she thinks she's going to try pulling herself to stand as well.  She hasn't completely done it but she gets up to her knees!

She also popped teeth #1 and #2 at the end of the month.  I could tell they were on the cusp of coming through for awhile now and she really handled it all very well.  No real extreme fussiness and no real effect on her sleep which is always nice for me!  Speaking of sleep, she rarely wakes anymore at night and I can pretty much count on her to sleep about 12 hours straight at night with two naps a day about 1.5-2 hours each.  After having a child that was not a good napper, this whole napping thing is really amazing!

She takes baths in the big girl bathtub, sits in a highchair, rides in the stroller without the carseat, and now sits in the shopping cart.  She really is becoming one of the kids.  She still nurses/drinks a bottle 5-6 times a day and is now eating solids two times daily.  She likes puffs and most of the "first foods" though she's not a huge fan of the green veggies.  She does like avocado though.

She pretty much wants to be where Ryan and Mommy are at all times.  She's not a big talker but she is a people watcher.  Ryan is her biggest source of entertainment and the bond between them is probably one of the greatest joys for me as a Mom.  They already fight over toys and laugh with and at each other.  I believe that one of the reasons Rory is so mobile already is that she wants to keep up with her big sis.

Roars is a Mama's girl and I love it.  There are many times where she only has eyes for me.  I know that will change as she gets older, but for now I'm soaking it in.  She also loves her pink bunny lovey and I even purchased another one in case we should lose the original.  She gets super excited about bath time and has the biggest smile on her face when Ryan and I come in to get her in the morning from her crib.
She is, without a doubt, the sweetest most even-tempered little girl.  We are so lucky to have her in this family.  Happy 7 months to our little Roars!