Monthly Archives: June 2009

More Honduras

My friend Becca who lives and work in Honduras just shared this video. She said that seems to be the way in which the majority of the Honduran people see the situation. An interesting perspective to keep in mind and an important reminder that it’s hard to truly understand or know what’s going on unless we are there ourselves. Check it out and keep praying for Honduras.

Charles Krauthammer on Honduras

BTW I like Obama, so don’t get any ideas there.

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My Sweet Honduras

So much I could write about, but I am too tired.  I know that with all of the Michael Jackson what not clogging the news lately, it’s been hard to find out what’s really going on in the world.  Don’t get me wrong, someone dying is a big deal.  Every life is important.  I just don’t believe that any life in particular is more important than another.  

I’m asking that you take some time to check CNN.com or even google what’s going on in Honduras right now and to pray.  It’s probably not a place you hear about very often, but it’s one of my favorite places on earth.  And it’s hurting right now.  There is so much uncertainty, unrest, and injustice.  Please pray for the people and above all for peace to reign.

Enough said.  Check it out.

Two down, one (sort of) to go!

Just had to acknowledge that today my husband is officially a 3rd year medical resident or senior if you will.  Very exciting.  Even though we will have a three year fellowship to complete after this, it is still awesome to see that for this stage of the journey, the end is in sight.  There are even rumors that senior year is “less intense” than the others.  I’ll believe that when I see it.

Did I ever mention that we’ll be heading west next June for fellowship?  It’s still a year off, but we are stoked.  The fellowship will be in hematology/oncology and he hopes to eventually specialize in lymphoma.  Very cool.

Yah, this post is boring.  But it’s life, and sometimes life is just that.  I’ll return to the usual poop stories and what not soon.

When the poop hits the, um, floor

Can I just lament about something kind of gross today?  Can I tell you how incredibly tired I am of dealing with other people’s fecal matter!!!??  It’s one thing to deal with my own movements and such, but add two small human beings to the mix and I’m just done.  Luckily, BQ is potty trained, so I am only on wiping duty.  What a relief.  Molé on the other hand, is still very much in the diaper stage and I’m not gonna lie, it’s nasty.

I have been using these great diapers, G Diapers, with  Molé.  They are a cloth/disposable hybrid if you will and fab.  The diaper is cloth except for a small insert that you can either flush, compost, or pitch.  If you throw it away, it only takes 150 days to enter the life triumphant, unlike regular diapers that take 500 YEARS.  Yes, YEARS!  Think about that the next time you inhale deeply the baby scents from your unused Pampers and then never buy them again.  So many better choices, ladies.  But that’s for another day and another post.  My effort to be a better citizen of planet earth has come with a relationship that I did not expect, and frankly I’m not enjoying.  It’s one thing to wipe a poop laden booty, remove the funky diaper and get on with your life.   It’s quite another to finish wiping and then begin the task of dismantling and disposing of the diaper.  The insert must be ripped apart and dumped into the toilet, then flushed.  After, I have to deal with the cloth portions that, if I’m unlucky, have also been soiled.  I never knew how cold toilet water was, but let me tell you, it’s no hot springs.  After said rinsing and what not, I get to place the diaper in a bag for later washing, which is the easy part.  In the meantime, there is a high likelihood that I have managed to get some poo on the floor, while narrowly dodging the little hands that are coming into the bathroom to “help.”  And, all with the background noise of BQ saying things like, “Where’s the poop?  Is that some on the floor?  Why is it on the floor?  Did you flush it?  Is it on your hand?  Where are Molé’s poops?”  It’s lovely.  I still love the diapers and wouldn’t trade them, but I had not planned on bonding so much with the waste products of my youngest child.

My other problem lately is due to the fact that it’s summer and produce is just amazing as can be, so we have been partaking in unusually high doses.  This in turn causes an increase in output.  4 times a day is the average these days.  Yep.  And, as you can imagine, the diapers are tons more work to clean up.  Now, non of us have ever struggled with going.  Just not in our DNA I guess.  My girls have been frequent flyers since birth and I’m grateful.  But, lately I feel like all I do is wipe.  The other problem is that evidently Molé is somewhat of a free flowing nudist.  It’s pretty much a saga of diaper off and we’re rolling in 5, 4, 3, 2…  She cannot be trusted with a bare bottom.  Urine is one thing, but poop on the floor, smooshed into the carpet, on the bottoms of little feet (I know I’m not the only one to have experienced these joys, ladies) or laying neatly in a pile next to a small child who has moved on to innocently reading a board book is not cool.  Oh how I detest the clean-up.  REALLY not fun.  So gross, so in violation of sanitation codes, and definitely not making any of you want to come over for a playdate.  

All this to say, poop really does happen.  And these days when it does, I’m usually there and involved.  I’ll keep the Lysol handy, the hand sanitizer at the ready, and continue to wipe and flush.  Some day I’m supposed to miss all this, right?

Daddy’s Day

I could not resist an opportunity to talk about my man.  I could never have imagined what an amazing father he would be to our kids.  Since I was doubly blessed to have a dad of my own who completely rocks and then a husband who rocks as well, this day brings me nothing but joy.  I don’t ever want to take it for granted.

So, in honor of my husband, a list of the things that I love about him as a dad.  

 

He is never too busy for a game of hide and go seek

He is willing to wear beaded necklaces

He is really good at putting plastic clothes onto Cinderella

He is gentle

He’s the Dad playing with 20 kids at the birthday party

His energy is endless (even after working a 32 hour shift without sleep)

He and the girls have tons of inside jokes

He thinks comments about “still waiting for that boy” are as ridiculous as I do

He loves the girls enough to give them timeouts

He’ll change a diaper or wipe a booty without prompting or complaint

He loves the girls as much as I do

He is patient 

He thinks my job is hard and praises me for doing it

He teaches the girls things that I can’t

He pushes strollers

He is definitely the hottest Dad on the playground 

He’s willing to carry a pink polka dot diaper bag (in his own way, but he does it)

He’s the perfect Daddy for little girls

He starts to get teary at the thought of BQ getting married (it’s the cutest)

He prays for our children

He is why they will never be able to settle for a man who is anything less (just like I was could not)

He genuinely and truly loves being with our kids

He loves their mother, even when she hasn’t bathed for days

He’s a partner in this parenting game

“He spins us on the stool” (BQ’s addition)

 

There are so many more things, but I’ll leave it at that.  

Happy Father’s Day to the men who love their kids and wives in a way that makes their neighbors jealous.  Keep doing it. All of us mommas are forever grateful and couldn’t do our job without you.

Yah, it’s there, in the fine print

In sort of a fuzzy way, I can remember what it was like to work a regular job.  One where there was a start time, an end time, regular days off, benefits and the like.  There were even magical things called personal days.  Some coworkers used those for that annual doctor’s appt and topped it off with a mani/pedi and a latte after to wash it all away.  For others, maybe it was taking little fluffy to the vet or grandma to the doctor.  But, then there were those who boldly called it for what it was- simply personal.  What they did was mysterious.  Sometimes they came back with stories, sometimes not.  Oh the power, the sheer freedom alloted by those sweet little “p” days on your work calendar.  Even if people felt “cool” if they could say, “I’ve never taken a personal day,” we all know that THOSE people are simply lame.  They don’t have a better work ethic, nor are they better people.  They just like to feel cool and make others feel not as cool.  All that to say, if you are still in the land of a real job with benefits that include personal days and you are feeling guilty about taking one, take it!!  Please, please, please take it with gusto and give that brown nosing coworker of yours a big grin on your way out.  

I had never even thought about the fact that motherhood comes without any standard benefits.  There aren’t even bathroom breaks alloted, let alone an entire DAY to do something personal.  I mean, let’s face it, there are times when being in the bathroom alone is necessary.  I am personally not ready to explain to BQ what I’m doing with a tampon or why.  Freaking out my children is definitely not something I try to do on a regular basis.  What I do on a regular basis is field questions and comments while urinating, hear toy cars being driven up and down the door while performing said tampon task, and see little hands coming through the missing glass pane in the door (yah it’s gone because it had to be smashed in to rescue a child that had locked herself in and has not been replaced for fear that either she or her sidekick might repeat the offense) with two plastic strawberries asking me why they are different.  What I wouldn’t give for two 15 minute breaks and an hour for lunch.

And yet to be honest, what I didn’t read in the fine print when I saw a plus sign on that little white stick in a small bathroom hotel in Tegucigalpa, Honduras (a story for another time) were the immeasurable, unending, and incredible benefits that no career or work accomplishment could ever match.  Have you snuggled with a pajama clad 15 month old right after a bath when she’s warm, smells good, and wraps all of her sweet and small little body around you?  Or had your 3 year old yell down the hall for you to return only to hear her say, “Mommy, I just love you?”  It might not be mysterious, or make my coworkers jealous, or give me a hot tan upon my return, but it sure beats a day at the gyn.  Am I right??!!!

So, if you’re having a day like I’ve had (mind numbing boredom due to lots of rain and no plans) just try to remember that there are two sets of fine print on your motherhood contract.  Take out a black marker and cover over the bad stuff, because you’ll figure it out eventually, and then take out a really tacky and bright highlighter to go over the rest.  Like first steps, first words, first days of school, and first giggles.  That’s what counts.  And that’s why I decided to trade in a lifetime of personal days for a lifetime of fine print.

Things I’m Enjoying These Days…Part Deux

My husband 

Peppermint body scrub (yep, the one you gave me for my birthday Melissa)

Coffee

Molé’s expanding vocab of cuteness

My sweet parents

Ling Ling Potstickers, oh my

Two girls going for a ride in a little red wagon

Fresh fruit and farmer’s markets

Ice cream

Slobbery-sweet 1 year old kisses

Scented candles

Phone calls with far away friends

Dreaming of the west coast

Family vacation in less than a month

Wet Ones Sensitive Skin wipes (you must try them)

3 year olds saying “Mommy, I just love you.”

My neighbors

Parks, parks, and more parks

Starbucks iced coffee (hate to admit it, but it’s fab)

Hummus from the sweet Armenian bakeries down the street

Parents who love me when I’m unlovable

My husband (yes again)

That on Wednesday we’ll know where we’re moving June ’10

Chapstick

That our 8th wedding anniversary is next month (and therefore I don’t need to be tempted to go on the Bachelorette/Bachelor)

The knowledge that God is bigger than the boogy man (sorry if I just got that song in your head)

Little girls splashing in the tub, the big one crowning the other with bubbles, and 20 cute little toes popping up through the bubbles

Grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup

Dreaming of a possible month in Uganda

Use it, or Lose it

Ever heard that phrase?  There’s also the ever popular “Move it, or lose it,” that can often be found in similar conversations.  Now that I’ve hit the big 3-0, sigh, I am starting to understand the concept a bit better.  Let’s take my guitar, for example.  I used to play all the time, but in the last four years I’ve picked it up maybe 5 times.  This past week I tried to play some songs with the girls, totally rejected, and found myself just fumbling along and with sore fingers.  That hasn’t happened since the 8th grade.  Another thing I did for the first time in a while last week was, drumroll, I went for a run.  Those of you who have known me for a long time know that running used to be a huge part of my life.  After some knee issues in college (insert Charlie Brown teacher voice and “wah wah wah wah wah”) and lack of interest I basically stopped.  I didn’t go very far, just to Starbucks, but could immediately tell that I was going to be sore.  And there’s the ongoing battle of food in the fridge.  That luscious new yogurt that I’ve been dying to try, but am saving for just the right moment?  Oh yah, had to dump it out because it went bad.  I waited and totally missed out.  Use it, or lose it.

All of this leads me to realize the importance of really taking advantage of every moment of life.  It isn’t hard to find examples of loss.  From dear friends who lost a wonderful teenage son earlier this year to a family member who is battling a horrible cancer, we are constantly reminded that life often takes some crazy turns.  And, sometimes the things that we thought we could wait on, or save for later, never get used or are gone before we’re ready.  No one ever thinks that their child isn’t going to live into adulthood, but it happens.  No one ever gets married and thinks they will be widowed with three small children, but it happens.  And no 18 year old with a tight butt and zero cellulite ever thinks she’ll rock a muffin top (you know where the stomach roll hangs over the jeans) and flabby, well everything, someday.  But, that too happens.  

 

I'm using the fancy bodywash
I'm using the fancy bodywash

As I was fumbling through the medicine cabinet the other day I came across this tube of bodywash.  You know, it’s the “fancy” kind that comes with a boxed gift set of perfume.  Somewhere in another drawer there is a matching lotion halfway full as well.  I think I’ve had them, and the perfume, for about 5 years.  5 YEARS!!  You would assume that I don’t like the way it smells or feels, but it is quite the opposite.  I love it.  LOVE it.  I always feel like I should be saving it for something special.  But you know what ends up happening?  Before that “special time” arrives it gets rancid and starts to smell like a foot.  Chances are, if I really do wait for that “special time” I will end up reeking of trash with a large rash to boot.  Bummer considering all of the fabulous showers I could have spent bathing in fragrant bubbles, the smooth skin that I (and probably even more so my husband) could have enjoyed, and the perfumed skin that my neighbors and friends would have probably appreciated since I definitely do not bathe on a daily basis.  All that to say, what’s the point of waiting for something that isn’t guaranteed?  Why not make today special.  Carpe-freakin’-diem people!!

I don’t say all of this because I think “bad things” are going to happen.  Not at all.  I just know that it is our choice how we are going to live.  And frankly, I want everyday to rock.  Why settle for something “okay” and just “bar soap” worthy.  Splurge on the suds, drink the $6.99 bottle of wine over the 3 buck Chuck, and kiss your husband and kids.  Do it now, do it today.  Oh, and go check your fridge.  Chances are, there is something in there that you should eat.

Up All Night

The girls and I have been battling a bug for over a week now.  Nothing serious, no fevers, no major meltdowns.  Just lots of gunk and coughing.  Oh, and I sound like I’ve taken up a new job that involves a phone, heavy breathing and shameless euphemisms.  I can deal with wiping noses and even the vocal changes fine, it’s the dang tickle in my throat keeping me up all night that I despise.  Usually, I am good to go with a little codeine cough syrup, but not the last two nights.  What gives?  I have resorted to doing it the old fashioned way with some warm water and honey.  It finally did the trick for me last night, so here’s hoping it works in about 15 tonight.  I hate missing sleep.

Sleeping is kind of like eating in many ways- you can’t live without it and often it’s quite enjoyable.  I for one also take it completely for granted.  Before I had kids, I thought that I was entitled to a full night’s sleep, if not during the work week at least one fabulously lazy morning to sleep in on the weekends.  Then we had BQ and that was gone in about 60 seconds.  She was one who required extensive sleep training, scheduling and work.  Once we all figured it out, sleep returned.  Then we had Molé who by all baby definitions was an amazing sleeper.  Never much work, no cross referencing between sleep books or debates about whether or not to let her “cry it out.”  I was so grateful.  Sleep returned to our home once again.

Now we have two kids that sleep really well, on a regular basis, and it’s great.  For those of you with small babes out there I promise you will get there someday soon too!  All of this rambling to say that tonight as I am up, feeling a bit perturbed that I’m not snuggled in bed with my hubby, I am trying to remind myself that for many sleep is not a given.  It isn’t something that’s guaranteed.  For some, sleep is replaced by hours of racing thoughts or anxiety about what might happen tomorrow.  For many others it’s a fear that’s based in the reality that if they let down their guard for even a moment to rest something bad will happen.  For others it could be loneliness or a million other things.  What keeps you from sleeping?  I wish I could say for me it was concern for a world that is so badly in need of grace, love, and healing.  Unfortunately, it’s nothing noble.  It’s me on a night like tonight ticked off that I’m coughing, even though I can be confident that in a couple of days it will all be a thing of the past.  What if I were awake because of a cough or a pain that was chronic, that never let me rest because it never rested?  For new moms, you may be waking regularly to care for a healthy and wonderfully robust baby with a ravenous appetite- imagine if you awoke because of empty arms and an ache to hear just one more cry?

How much I want to be a person of perspective and one who shifts her focus to end the pity party and realize just how blessed I am for tickles in my throat and newborn babies who wake to be snuggled and nursed.  To be grateful that the things that keep me up all night will not haunt me throughout my day tomorrow or indefinitely.  Maybe I’m awake for just that reason- to learn, to be thankful, and to again look outside myself.

What keeps you up at night?