Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dance As If No One Were Watching

A few nights ago Grandma and Grandpa took all of us to see The Princess and The Frog and it is a very good movie. Perhaps my favorite part was during one really exciting jazzy song my daughter turns to me and loudly whispers, "Hold my popcorn. I need to dance!" Then proceeds to give me her popcorn and dances right there in front of her seat in the movie theater. She then danced again at the very end of the movie. So it was a big hit for our family.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Out Of Commission

Sorry for the looooong lack of posts. Our pretty new, sleek laptop broke. I took it in and as it turns out that enter key Greg pulled off ended up messing up the whole keyboard and the LCD screen also needs a total replacement. I swear we didn't do anything to it, but hp swears that's the only way this could have happened. So now we're waiting on the parts and everything. I had to get out our old laptop. This thing has serious issues that make it rather impossible to do anything. So I'll probably be unplugged until the new one returns home.


Today Charlotte went to the dentist for the first time, which is so not the terrifying part to this post. In fact I enjoy going to the dentist very much. But that's where the story begins. We were going to the dentist. Our neighborhood is set up very much like a lot of city neighborhoods were around the time it was built. The houses ring a block that has an alley intersecting it so our backyard looks onto our across the alley neighbor's backyard. That alley way is the access to people's garages or parking pads so you don't have to park on the street and worry about getting parking tickets each month during street cleaning day. Who can even remember when street cleaning day is? I can't so I'm really glad we have an alley and back parking area. I like the set up a lot. In fact it has facilitated me getting to know a whole slew of neighbors that I normally wouldn't have seen and quite a few handymen/maintenance guys that regularly use the alley for access to whatever house they're working on. But none of this is the terrifying part to my day. Back to the story.

I backed out of our parking pad and then pulled forward so that I could get out and close our gate. As I did this I noticed some man walking a ways further down the alley. I thought nothing of it because people use the alleys as short cuts all the time. So I put the car in park and jump out to close the gate.

When the gate is closed I turn and look towards my car to get back in it, but said man who I thought was much further down the alley is now loitering at the front passenger side bumper of my car. As I step toward the car he walks across the front of my car and starts sauntering down the driver's side of the car. Of the running car that my children are strapped into. My stomach flips upside down and my heart is in my throat when I casually say, "Hey." Usually when I say that even people who I previously thought were shady will say "How you doin?" and suddenly turn friendly. Not this scary man. He just keeps sauntering down the car looking in it and then down the alley ahead of him and then back in it.

I have made it to the back of my car and would have advanced into the driver's seat but for this figure who makes no motion to show he even sees me. Luckily he doesn't decide to steal the car and kidnap the kids. And I receive a momentary lull in terror. Then as he reaches the end of the car he drifts back to the center of the alley, which means he's heading in my direction. What am I going to do? Just as I'm in full panic mode he walks on.

What was going to happen? If the kids hadn't been in the car would I still have a car? What if he had taken my babies? What if he had attacked me? What if he was just on some sort of drugs? I have no idea, but as I got into the car my whole body was shaking from our brush with disaster.

After reading comments I just thought I'd add that I DO feel safe in my home and on my alley. I know who my neighbors are and our neighborhood. The city of St. Louis is big and noisy and diverse, but I have grown to enjoy it quite a lot. Moving here I have had to learn to really listen to my instincts about people to avoid and when to realize what I'm feeling is just preconceived fear of the unknown. I don't think that it would be a good idea to let one crazy experience in our alley jade me against living here. My more important lesson is to not be in such a hurry that I don't analyse any situation.

As far as hand guns or any other weapons I personally wouldn't feel comfortable carry them on my person. Also, I can't ever see myself feeling comfortable shooting anyone, ever. For me I think it would be good to practice and get comfortable using self defense of some nature. Or I could get my mom's T-ball bat and wear it as a necklace? If you want to carry a weapon, more power to you, but its just not for me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Warm Fuzzies

There are probably about a billion better things you could be reading right now, but I just wanted to take a minute to tell everyone how much I love my husband at Christmastime. He loves Christmas. He loves everything about it and wishes it would snow every year for him. Unless you know him very well you would never know he is so passionate about the season because he has a very quiet, subtle passion. But when you know it seems like a little secret you share with him and the others that know him and it adds so much to the holiday spirit. I catch him humming "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" in his little hum all the time and I just love it. I love how he's instilling that joy and excitement into our kids. I also loved listening him tell Charlotte the Christmas story the other night while doing dishes.

Tonight, even though he has to take the shelf exam on Friday, when I asked that we drive around the town to look at Christmas lights he agreed. Also, when I started singing Christmas songs in the car (something I'm sure my sister would have said, "let's listen to the professionals" to) he chimed in and the two of us key surfed our way through a half hour of the songs. He even suggested some of his own. No wonder Charlotte loves to sing in the car. (Her favorite one right now is the "pum pum song" which is The Little Drummer Boy. After days of singing this song over and over she asked us tonight if the boy was "hitting his head" which put an interesting new twist to the song.)

I am just amazed at what a wonderful leader he is for our family and I love him for it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What's Not Getting Done

When I came back from Thanksgiving break I realized that I had litterally two weeks to "do Christmas" at our house before heading back to family for the holiday. And you want to know what happens when you have a two year old, a six month old, and two weeks to get everything in? A lot of stuff doesn't get done. Because I hosted Joy School this week, and went to the library story time that Charlotte loves, and cleaned up after three accidents in the bathroom, and other errands that I do on a regular and an irregular basis we didn't make Christmas cookies. In fact, Daniel made us some peanut butter cookies with mini kisses in them and I think we might call that good. Since next week we have Christmas parties, finishing making some presents, more Joy School festivites, dentist appointments, flu shot boosters, Daniel taking the shelft, Music Makers and getting ready for vacation errands I probably wont be doing extra stuff then either. We're pretty lucky we have our decorations up at all. Most of what I'm not doing is stuff I didn't want to do anyway, but there's one thing I'm pretty sad I'm not fitting in. I'm not doing Christmas cards this year. After we went and got great family photos and everything. I just can't fit it in. So Merry Christmas to everyone I love.

Monday, December 07, 2009

In His "Off Time"

Just look at what my sweet husband installed last weekend!

First the before:

The fireplace surround is cement pressed into a broken brick pattern and then painted red.

And then the after:

Doesn't it look beautiful? In case you can't see it we picked 3"x6" travertine tiles with smaller tiles as accents. Then Daniel, who is incapable of just doing something plain, installed the tiles on the floor in a herringbone pattern. We ended up with only 4 tiles to spare. Pretty good judgement I'd say. Also, he installed a working, ventless gas log insert! It is so much fun to actually have a fire in our fireplace!

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Popular Subject

Wow! I guess a lot of you liked the last subject so I guess I'll flush out our thoughts on residency a little more. Dan wants to go into Orthopedics and is thinking of maybe specializing in either knee and hip replacement or pediatric orthopedics. Those specializing opportunities sort of color our preferences for residency since he'd need to do a year fellowship in pediatrics if that's the route he wanted to go. It would be really nice to have a year fellowship at the same place as his residency since we wouldn't really want to move our kids that much, but then again kids bounce back and he's not totally sold on the pediatric business.

Keep in mind that Dan has a list of somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 programs he's going to apply for. I once made the mistake of asking him where they all were, but then stopped listening at around 15. There's just too many possibilities and we really have very little say over where we end up. That's why I've chosen to focus on three. Three seems to be the number that my brain can actually handle.

Anyway, Daniel talked to his advisor after she'd met with someone from University of Colorado and she said it was sort of a long shot for him, even with his good board score and grades. There's just a lot of applicants and there's only really two spots open for students who didn't go there for medical school. She said though if we even wanted a shot at all he'd have to do an away rotation there. We'd really like to live in Denver because it's close to my sister and easily within driving distance to Dan's brother. We could also drive to other extended family on both sides even though that would be a long drive. Also, they have a pediatric fellowship and Daniel really likes how the residency program is set up. Knowing nothing about the programs I have no comment on that. On top of that Colorado is awesome.

She also raised concern about U of U. It is a little less difficult to get in, but, like Janelle said in the comments, their reputation is to stay away from our demographic (that being married with children and active in the Latter-Day Saint religion). Luckily Daniel didn't attend BYU as an undergrad because we've heard they really shy away from those students. I have no idea anything about the program other than Dan said it was "really good." We'd like to be in Salt Lake because it's fairly central to both sides of our extended family. Plus, I have a Grandma in Salt Lake that I'd really like to be able to live close to for health reasons.

The Mayo Clinic is also very competitive program, but each year a few students from Daniel's medical school go there for residency. They don't have a pediatric fellowship though so that's one drawback. But Daniel pretty much loves the way their program is set up. It has a lot of one on one instruction. I have heard NOTHING but positive reviews from people who have lived or vacationed there. Everyone loves it. The only cause for concern is that I looked Rochester up in my gardening book and it has the same climate zone as Siberia. SIBERIA! My husband is thinking of taking our family up to Siberia to become frozen Popsicles. He knows what a wimp I am.

So last night after reading the email from his advisor Dan said, "I guess I'm going to have to ask her what she thinks isn't a long shot for me."

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pushing Ahead

We're about halfway through third year in medical school and do you know what that means? Well neither do I when it comes to the actual schooling aspect of medical school. I guess my question should have been, do you know what that means for me? because honestly, that's way more interesting than say plugged sweat glands. Which, by the way, if Daniel ever starts to talk about those you should plug your ears and run away. At first you might think it could be one of those gross but oddly captivating stories. Then you realize that you just wish you didn't know what you now know. Trust me on this one. Saddly I know what I'm talking about.

Back to the point. Half way through third year. What happens now is that everyone starts seriously thinking and talking about where they want to apply for residency, where they want to realistically live for residency, where they'd be OK with living for residency, where they would rather poke their eyes out, but would live anyway if that's where they got matched to in residency. You know why all our friends are talking about this? Because next year they do away rotations, which is basically a month long interview where the program gets to see you at your very worst because you're still learning this stuff, but you want to make a good impression. Good luck with that one Sweetie.

Anyway, the point here is that we're talking and thinking and looking forward to moving, but we're still not done with our projects here! Or maybe that's not the point I was meaning to make, but it doesn't matter because it certainly is true. Maybe I'm seeing all these projects and getting a little panicky because I got home from vacation last night to realize that I have literally two weeks to get all our holiday stuff done before going back on vacation. Aaaaahhh!

I remember what my point was supposed to be now. My point was that I was thinking about all these places to live and realized that it doesn't really matter to me where we live as much as I previously thought it would. I think I can say with pretty good confidence now that I have lived in a variety of places in the US. Corvallis, OR-small college town filled with big-store hating, tree loving outdoorspeople. Clarkston, UT-filled with, well I don't think you can say that any place that has a population of 750 is "filled" but mostly you've got farmers. Spokane, WA- good sized city in the northwest, pretty average America I'd say. St. Louis, MO- big city. Lots of people. Lots of differences.

Anyway, I can pretty much say that I have loved every place I've lived in. Truly loved them all. Mostly people who know me can't believe that I spent a year living in a single wide in the middle of nowhere, but I loved that too. The middle of nowhere has great people living in it. So does St. Louis. I love the sights and sounds of the city. I love the sights and sounds of the country. I love it all. So I guess it doesn't really matter where we end up for residency.

PS. But just for the curious. As of right now the tops of our list for away rotation applications are:
  • Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN
  • University of Colorado in Denver, CO
  • University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT