Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

This year is the first year we took the boys trick-or-treating door to door.

Blaise, the dragon, and Roman, the sheriff

Back in Salt Lake City, it was always so cold by the time Halloween rolled around that the thought of being outside for a moment, not alone a prolonged period of time, was unwelcome. Not to mention there may or may not be snow to contend with. Also, we lived in an apartment complex, which turns out to be a terrible place to trick-or-treat. The last several years, we took the boys to the mall near our house to trick-or-treat there. No cold weather, no wind, no worry about strange houses.

This year, however, we decided to introduce the boys to the real thing. We met up with some family friends and drove to a nice suburban neighborhood.

I initially thought the boys would love it. Turns out traditional trick-or-treating takes a little getting used to. Roman was very hesitant to go up to the doors. All the decorations "scared" him. (He would like to say for the record nothing he saw actually scared him. Just saying.) And he got cold fairly quickly.

Blaise on the other hand, would have nothing to do with it. Even in his ridiculously cute dragon costume, he refused to participate. He cried most of the evening, insisted on being held, and was glad to head back to the car. (And I'll admit, there was a little relief on our side as well. Blaise is 3, and not small for his age.)

So it wasn't exactly the joyous occasion that childhood memories are made of.

On the other hand, they are currently sitting on the family room floor, screeching for joy over their payload and comparing candy buckets. All thoughts of being cold, scared, or overly tired are gone. Maybe this is what the good memories are made of.

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin!

Halloween is less than one week away.

My family didn't celebrate Halloween when I was growing up. I do remember, once, dressing up and going door to door with my parents. I was three, maybe four years old, little enough to still need a car-seat. And I was wearing enormous pink rabbit ears that prevented me from sitting up straight in the car, because they kept hitting the ceiling.

That was the last time we celebrated Halloween. We did have Harvest Parties, and fall get-togethers, but no trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns, or scary movies. Looking back, I don't think I really cared (even though I'm sure my mom will beg to differ, since I'm sure we cried about not getting candy.)

However, we have chosen to not continue that practice with our boys.

First of all, it is just too much dang fun to dress them up. They are the cutest things ever and thinking about putting them in bee, and cowboy, and firefighter costumes is too much fun for me to pass up.

It's not really about the candy. Especially since I was going through a cupboard last week and found a still quarter-full bag of last year's Trick-or-Treat candy. What can I say? We're good at rationing.

The thing that truly makes me excited about Halloween is the pumpkin carving.

For those of you who know us, you know that this is a VERY big deal. We love our pumpkin carving. It borders on obsession. Finding the perfect pumpkin, with a nice flat surface. Finding the perfect stencil.

And since Halloween is less than one week away, it is that time of year.

(Check out here and here and here for previous years' pumpkins.)

First, Roman's pumpkin. He picked out the pattern and transferred it to the pumpkin himself. And then because I'm still that kind of mom, I cut it out for him. This, despite the fact he thought 7 years old is perfectly old enough to be handling knives (funny how it is not old enough to make your own bed.)

Next, my pumpkin. Yes, I did a Twilight pumpkin. I know, I know.

Like always, Keith's pumpkin is the very best. Okay, technically, this is Blaise's pumpkin, since he requested the picture. But, like always, Keith did all the work. And absolutely amazing work it is.

I'm going to send a picture of the pumpkin to the guy who created the stencil.

Keith has yet to do "his" pumpkin. He's got the pattern, but between helping all the rest of us, his pumpkin, somehow, always ends up being the last one done. I'm sure that it, like the rest of his work, will be amazing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn Joy

Nothing says impromptu photos shoot like a mild October day and a huge pile of leaves.

Those smiles and blue eyes make my heart crumble and make every day worth it.

I think the reason I've been able to stay so positive over the last couple very difficult months is that I know every day, I'm coming home to this.

Some of these photos just may end up (after a little Photoshop work on some unwashed faces) on our Christmas cards this year. We'll have to see.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I do NOT have moments where I freak out and forget all my medical training when something happens to the boys.

Roman DID NOT swallow a penny and my first thought was NOT to take him straight to the ER for an x-ray. I would realize they would have me watch him, see if it passes, and bring him in at the first sign of abdominal pain.

Blaise DID NOT develop a new rash on his cheeks. My first thought was NOT some horrific illness or rare manistation of swine flu. I DID NOT think about calling his pediatrician. It is a rash, and I've seen hundreds. Once I calmed down, I DID NOT realize it DID NOT look perfectly benign and is most likely a mild flare of his eczema due to the drier conditions in our home now that the furnace is on.

I would never panic and have my first thought be to call a REAL doctor. I DO NOT keep forgetting that I am a real doctor. Nope. I would never do that.

My cardiology rotation is completely NOT terrifying me. I have NOT ONCE badgered Keith to get his 34 year old self into his doctor to get started on a statin for cholesterol. He DOES NOT have a family history of heart disease that scare me to death. I DO NOT think about him everytime I admit another 40-something year old male with a heart attack. I NEVER image myself a widow at an early age. I will NOT keep pestering him until he goes in and does it. And I do NOT bring up the whole daily aspirin thing on a daily basis. I would always wait and let his doctor do proper blood testing and make a decision based on rational and not the terror of ending up alone prematurely. And I don't badger my husband. Nope. Never.

I have NOT been so tired that I have just dumped the last several loads of laundry onto my bedroom floor. My family is NOT looking for their daily clothes in huge piles of laundry. Nope, not me. I always put the laundry away immediately, no matter how bad the call night has been. Just the same way I do the dishes and NEVER set the table using all of Blaise's IKEA plastic utensils because there was not any clean silverware. I would NEVER get let the dishes go that long.

Or would I?

Our house is NOT completely over run with lady bugs. Or Japanese beetles. Or what every you call them. I DID NOT get home from work two hours late to find our living room floor covered in dead ladybugs. Keith would NEVER go on a bug killing spree. And we obviously would have contacted a exterminator a long time before it got this bad. We're on top of things like that.

And after a long weekend of call in the cardiac ICU, I did NOT forget that today was Monday until I read Gina's blog. I did NOT let Roman stay up almost an hour past his bedtime because I DID NOT think that since I have a day off tomorrow, that it was the weekend. I always know what day of the week it is. Don't you?

Join MckMama and the rest of us who HAVE NOT done anything this week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A is for...Yummy

Blaise and I were sitting in our family room, doing an alphabet puzzle and practicing letters.

He already can count to twenty (except for sixteen) and he can recognize his numbers, colors, and shapes. So now we are doing letters.

Our exchange went like this: (Blaise's response to my prompts in italics)

This is D. D is for... Silly duck!

L. L is for... Green leaf!

W. W is for... Big whale!

R. R is for...Him (Pointing to Roman)

This is A. A is for... Yummy apple.

N. N is for... Bird's nest!

And B. What's B for? ME!

I think we need just a little more practice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Day Late

Happy Birthday, Keith!

Okay, Keith's birthday was yesterday, but that didn't make the French Silk pie from Village Inn any less delicious.

Roman and Blaise, applying the homemade touch to Keith's favorite dessert

Oh, I love my family of boys!

Keith is now 34. Normally, people don't like having their age plastered all over the internet. But since he won't stop going on about how old he is, I'm going to go ahead and share it.

He is truly an amazing person, and when I tell people about him, I'm not sure they get a clear picture of who he really is.

Keith is a double math and physics major. Before going the "traditional" college route, he spent a semester at ITT Tech. (Quote unquote traditional, because really, how traditional is completing two degrees over eight years, while raising two children, supporting your wife through medical school, and maintaining a full time job. Like I said, this man is amazing!) He reads calculus and physics books for his nighttime reading. He loves circuits and has a multimeter/voltmeter that he uses to figure out just why the light in the car stopped working. He spent the last several years to research and development for a dental product company. He now wants to go to dental school.

All of this is 100% true. But if this were all you knew of Keith, you'd barely know him.

Keith loves 80s movies and music. He laughs until he is close to crying over Tom and Jerry. He obsesses over football statistics, and then sulks for days if his team, where real or fantasy, does not do well. He would be perfectly content to live for days off Mountain Dew and cold pizza. He knows how to build a house and fix a car. His check book is always perfectly balanced, but he never puts his socks away.

All this is true too. And yet, there is still so much more to him.

He is an amazing husband. I've said it before. He has supported me when I'm sure everyone else would have given up. He loves our boys with a passion and never ceases to amaze me with his patience.

Happy Birthday, Keith.

I'm so glad I have the opportunity to celebrate another one with you.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This Week and Next...

This week, I...

-finally got a day off after working 13 days in a row.

-switched from services from Surgical Intensive Care Unit to Cardiology Intensive Care Unit. Intern year is like having a new job every month. I don't do anything long enough to feel comfortable.

-went 48 hours without sleeping.

-then slept for 13 hours straight.

-got a new couch for our family room. After all, two months of watching TV on the floor is enough.

-make cookies with Roman and Blaise.

Every post must have pictures, so today, you get cookies.

-Placed a Swan-Ganz catheter, a catheter that measures pressures in a patient's right heart and pulmonary arteries, for the first time. A completely awesome procedure!

-Went pumpkin picking. And forgot my camera.

-Got the heater/cooler/windows/fan fixed in my car, just in time for weather to turn cold. Okay, Keith did this one.

-Watched snow fall from the window of a patient's room

-Balanced my checkbook.

-Yelled at the TV during a college football game.

-Make mashed cauliflower, which made the boys throw up at the table. I thought it tasted fine.

-Fell in love with my boys all over again.

This coming week, I plan on...

-Raking leaves.

-Celebrating Keith's birthday (two days late, because I am on call on his birthday. Boo.)

-Buying Keith a book for his birthday, and then hurry and read it.

-Carving pumpkins.

-Calling my sister.

-Going for a walk in the fall leaves. If it warms up just a little.

-Missing college football due to taking call on a Saturday.

-Considering opening my cardiology tutorial CD.

-Submitting a receipt for a ridiculously expensive textbook to hopefully get reimbursed.

-Kissing my boys after they fall asleep every night I am home.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall at the Lake

With the cold nights and mostly rainy days, every moment of sun is to be enjoyed.

We took advantage of the last sunny moment to walk around the lake. I had seen the lake trail when we had gone to the lake to swim or boat, and instantly wanted to explore it. So, the clouds broke, the sun shone, and we were gone.

One of my favorite things about living in Utah was our close proximity to the canyons and the fact that I could take the boys any afternoon and go for an adventure. We hiked all the time. There were times when finding a child-friendly trail was a challenge, but it never stopped us from exploring. I had worried when we moved to Iowa that there wouldn't be as many outdoor opportunities. But the lake trail now makes the third amazing nature trail that we have found.

The trail was just a little bit longer than I had anticipated, since we went the entire length, from the beach to the "waterfall." The boys were looking just a little worn by the time we completed the round trip.

But it was the most wonderful way to enjoy fall and the increasingly rare sunshine.