Tuesday, October 23, 2012

All Birthdays should be a Week Long Celebration

So if you are keeping track of my post this week you know that I feel like my birthday is cursed.  Well this year I decided to take control of the situation.  Some friends of mine decided to go for a mom's night out, the date happened to fall on my birthday.  At first I thought, there is no way, but then I realized that with Dr. J coming home after 16 hours of testing this would free up some time for us.  It was the right decision.  My day started out as sort of bummer because Dr. had been at the hotel the night before and the little ladies put me through the ringer.  Luckily our little friend and neighbor came over.  Pretty much the girls just crawled around all morning.  Then my friend Andrea brought lunch over.  Hello Mexican food!  I loved it.  My friend Erin stopped by with a cake.  Then Erin took off with my kids.  I went to Target and just walked the aisle.  Two hours of unhindered time.  It was heavenly.  Then Dr. J got home.  He was EXHAUSTED!  Step 3 done, but it was no fun!  I helped him put the kids to bed and then I headed off with the girls.  I love my girlfriends so much, they are amazing woman, great mothers, and just a blast to be around.  Moving to a new area can be so stressful and it can be really hard to leave good friends alone.  You never know if you can find another group of friends.  Well I did and they are awesome. "When you find cool girls you have to stick with them."  And these girls are cool.  I feel so lucky to know them.

The next day my house looked like this!  What is a girl to do.  Well lucky me Grandma showed up.  First though we took the kids out for lunch at their favorite "Shake and Bake" also known as Stake and Shake.  Our kids love that place.  Then we got Grandma.  My mother in law is the best.  She's fun and helpful.  Last year when I ended up in the hospital three months before my due date she came on at a moments notice and stayed for five weeks.  We love having here and this week was no exception.  
The kids loved making pumpkin cookies with her.  1 can pumpkin, 2 spice cake mixes, 1 bag chocolate chips.  It was delicious and perfect holiday fare.
 With the kids being so well taken care of we headed off for Indian food.  Hello yum!  Not so yum this dumb  game Dr. J is always playing, so I had to go sit by him. That's better!  This is our 11th year together.  Pretty good for two dork kids who got married after only knowing each other a few months.

 My mother bought this Halloween costume for Cheetah and my mother-in-law brought it out.  Talk about adorable!
 Grandma Linda took us out to eat...a lot.  She also did all my laundry, washed, folded, put away.  Yes, feel free to hate me!  She also is/was great company.  Have I said I love my mother in law.  Well I do.

We had some fun at the park.  We had some fun at the zoo!  Really it was an amazing week.  I definitely feel like my cursed birthdays have come to an end!

British TV

I love British TV and I love medical drama, so it should come as no surprise that British medical drama is like a mecca of all things good for me.  This week I've been catching up on the show Call the Midwife and can I say I TOTALLY LOVE IT!  The accents, the subject matter, the view into medicine and social issues of the past, really there is just so much to love.  Plus it gives me something to do while I wait for the third season of Downton Abbey.  And yes I know I could be streaming bootlegged copies for England but I've heard there is a little disappointment in seeing it all before the rest of the world.  Other British shows I totally dig...

Dr. Who...the last two season have been AMAZING!
Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Doctor Who (Matt Smith)

Sherlock...ok we had that one issue with A Scandal in Belgravia...but after I went back and read the original and realized how much of the text came directly from Sir Arthur I forgave.   
File:Sherlock titlecard.jpg

Inspector Lewis...I started buying Dr. J slim ties and pants after this series...yes please Sargent Hathaway.

London Hospital, which you can watch free on Amazon Prime.  It is also called Casualty 1900s.  This show is a great window into why we are lucky to live in this time period!  I watched it by myself and plan to rewatch it with Dr. J when he finally gets some time off.

Can you tell I love PBS.  I'd say probably 80% of the media consumed in this house is public broadcast (thank you Frontline, Independent Lens, Masterpiece, Sesame Street, Arthur, World Girl, Martha Speaks, and NPR).  Thank goodness for my political leanings, I can enjoy my true media love, guilt free :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ghost Of Birthdays Past

Birthday 27
You know I have this belief that my birthday is surrounded by bad juju, bad luck, is cursed of a sorts.  This year Dr. J is taking step three on my birthday in another town so we had to ship him off to a hotel, a two day test that originally was scheduled for two weeks ago but had to be moved to disrupt his fall vacation time because his Grandma's funeral ended up falling during the two days he had gotten off work to take it.  Last year I was in the hospital 27 weeks pregnant, ruptured water, wondering if my baby was going to be OK   The year before that Dr. J was coming off a 30 hour call and was about to start what would end up being 89 days of nights apart during a marathon of away rotations and residency interviews.  The year before that I was alone for the entire month with my two kids, puking my guts up (preggo with Peach) while Dr. J was in Amman, Jordan.  Two years before that I was in the hospital because my appendix had burst.  Like I said, I sort of feel like my birthday month is when all the crazy stuff happens to me.  Dr. J says it's because I set my expectations to high...I personally think the expectation that you will not be in the hospital on your birthday is a bare minimum.  I made some efforts to counteract the bad juju this year.  First I invited a few friends over Sunday night to mark the occasion with cupcakes, the plan I had last year that Cheetah so rudely disrupted :)  I also am going out to karaoke with some of my closest girlfriends tonight.  When I told Dr. J, he was disappointed but I wanted to take the pressure off.  I knew he'd be rushing home after two days of testing.  I knew he hadn't planned anything but instead was going to try and hurry something together after he got home tonight.  (He says he's spontaneous.  I told him spontaneity and procrastination aren't the same thing :-)  I knew he'd feel horrible after being stuck in a testing center for two days.  So I made plans.  This way I have something really fun to look forward to today and then tomorrow I have something really fun to look forward to with him when we get to hang out on his last day of vacation.  Look at me being all proactive about kicking my cursed birthday in the buns!

Birthday 31
I hope you will forgive me the next few months as I will be  looking back on my experience last year.  As the year mark of my daughter being born is quickly approaching it is difficult for me not to contrast how scared and stressed I was last year to how relatively easy this year is.  I can do hard things.  I know this because I survived last year.  I'm so grateful for this knowledge even as I hope I never have to test it out again :)  I'm grateful for family and friends who have always been my safety net, making up for the places I fail.  I'm thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who has always blessed me with an understanding of my divine worth and helped me to see the purpose in my existence.  I'm thankful for children who fill my life with joy and make my efforts worthwhile.  I'm grateful for Dr. J, the only man on the planet I could ever be with for eleven years and still find interesting :)     

In conclusion I'd like to post this letter I came across while reading the blogs and reliving all the birthdays of the past.  It helped remind me that with every low I've also experienced the miracle of being surrounded be people who love me so much they make the bad times possible.  Dr. J wrote it shortly after my appendix burst and it gave me some wonderful perspective...that being said, may I never spend another birthday in the hospital.  There is nothing about a hospital gown that is flattering 

My Take and My Thanks on My Wife's Appendix Ordeal

I realize that the situation with my wife was painful and even dangerous for her, and that perhaps at least a few of the days of her suffering were unnecessary. However, I feel truly blessed for the experience. Easy for me to say, right? But let me list the reasons I feel the experience to be a blessing.

First, all turned out well, and considering the circumstances (an appendix that had been ruptured for 2 or 3 days before proper medical treatment) things could have been very bad indeed. The rupture self-contained and walled itself off. I believe the hand of God was with her and with us protecting her.

The next, and related reason, has to do with the power of the priesthood and the opportunity to call upon caring friends who truly were angels for us. I was able to page my friend Rafael Ruggieri, a third year medical student who was just about to leave the hospital when I paged him, to assist me to give Crystal a blessing. He came and we layed hands on her head to give her a blessing that the very hand of God would be with her during her surgery, and I fully believe that it was. Again, there were virtually no complications despite the obvious potential for serious problems. Not only did Rafael help to provide a priesthood blessing, but he and his wife, Liz, and family provided another blessing by taking our kids for that night, and a few other times when I had to go to the hospital or take care of my school responsibilities.

They were not the only ones who were angels in our time of need, but my wife contacted her friend Jessica Bybee, who contacted the ward compassionate service coordinator, Merilee Johnson. Merilee arranged for meals and needed child care for the next several days. Special thanks to Jessica and Mike, Merilee, Erica Jones, Denae Carlson, Susan Evans, Michelle Barrus, Brittney Richards, Miriam and Matt McCarter, Jackie Kitchen, Linda Larsen, and Sister Fernandez. My thanks also to those who were willing to help and those who provide the behind the scenes supports. It is wonderful to belong to a Church family that can help when our own family is so far away. I would also like to thank our family and friends who called with concern, sent cards, and offered whatever assistance they could from long distance.... We still may call on you, so thank you for the offers.

Finally, I feel this experience brought us closer together as a family. As my school and professional responsibilities have grown over the years of our marriage, and with the substantial amount of work my wife does to make our house run well and make sure our kids (and me of course) well taken care of, we have taken on different roles and I have come to depend on an perhaps take for granted all she does for us. Well, I had the opportunity to take care of her and the kids the past two weeks. While I cannot sustain this level of home involvement, at least not if I ever want to graduate and get a job, it has been a real blessing for me to give just a little bit back to her and my kids. I overheard her talking on the phone a few days ago and she said "I had forgotten Jason knew how to do all these things and why I initially fell in love with him." I guess it is sad that it takes a family trauma to bring that out, but I am glad that it is there to bring out and I could be of needed service to the love of my life the way she is for me every day. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Freezer Full of Beef

So it's hard to remember today when it is overcast and has been raining all weekend but this summer the Midwest had a scorching drought.  We were put on water restriction and most of the corn and soy bean crops in the country were either stunted or nonexistent.  The result of this, meat prices this next near are going to go through the roof.  It put a little extra motivation on us to do something we'd thought about before...and that is order a whole lot of beef.  Our neighbor approached us and asked if we wanted to go in on a cow with them.  So we bought a steer with her and two other families.  It was local, grass feed, hormone and antibiotic free.  I didn't actually get to see the steer while it was still alive but I did get to go to the butcher to tell them how we wanted our 160lbs of meat.  I took the kids with me.  This many lbs of ground beef, this many roast, this many steaks.  Then we walked out to the sound of pigs screaming.  Captain E turned to me and said, "Mom, they are turning those pigs into meat."  That's right sweetie, that's right.  A few days later I went in to pick up my order.  160lbs of meat in four big boxes.  When I opened up the boxes I found each packet already frozen with a tag saying not for sale (it is law that the meat has to be marked like that when it is for personal use) and a stamp telling me what was in each package.  Then we filled the freezer.  We've eaten a lot more beef this month.  It's crazy having a freezer full of beef.  Sometimes I don't know what to do with it.  But it was a great price.  After it was all said and done we spent about $2.60 a pound.  Which for ground beef isn't a half bad price but when you add in all the stake and roast cuts and the fact that it was grass feed, it was an amazing price.  I would definitely be willing to do it again!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Grandma Ruth's Passing

Today Grandma Ruth was buried.  She never fully recovered from an illness that put her in the hospital in March and last week slipped into a comma and passed away.  Dr J flew out for the funeral.  The rest of us stayed here.  I have some grouchy feelings about that.  My mom says they are mainly related to disappointment about not being able to go home and about missing my grandfathers funeral last year.  My husband says I'm being petty.  Personally I've come to a greater understanding of the fact that men and woman are very different creatures and can never fully come to understand each other ie it's probably going to take me a few more weeks to not be ticked at him.  Regardless of that and what is certainly my most fallible nature I'm very sad at her passing.  She will be greatly missed by her friends and family, especially her children and grandchildren.  She accepted me into the family without reservation and with arms full of love.  She always has a little piece of hard candy for the kids, a hug, a smile, and a kind word.  She lived just ten or so houses from my mother and when I was staying there I would often walk the kids down the street to see her.  Regardless of the time or the fact that we were never planned on she'd invite us in.  She'd turn off the game (which no matter the season was always on) and chat.  She'd bring out some toys for the kids and insist on taking a few pictures.  She'd give me the scoop on what was going on with all the other grand-kids and build Legos with the kids.  My kids always got a kick out of seeing her at church on Sunday.  At Christmas she always had a gift for all of us, every child, every grandchild, and every great grandchild.  If we didn't come home for the holidays she'd send an overflowing box.  It used to stress me out a little bit.  This is not a small family and the idea of her running around and hauling all these gifts home seemed a little excessive, but she wanted everyone to know she was thinking about them, everyone to know they'd made her list.  She loved the holidays, Santa, camping, being with her family, and sports.  She will leave a hole in the family that will never fill.  The only silver lining, she will once again be reunited with Grandpa Tom who died just a little more than a year ago.  I was sitting with her last summer talking about Tom.  She missed him so much.  I was telling her how when Dr. J works nights I sit up writing e-mails and watching Hulu.  She told me she'd spend her nights looking at pictures, keeping tabs on the grand-kids on Facebook, writing letters, and doing geneology.  She couldn't sleep without him.  She loved that man so much.  I guess that's the irony of life.  We may not make a lick of sense to each other, we might sometimes drive each other nuts, but a life together is a life fulfilled.  I hope their reunion is sweet and am glad she is freed from the pain of her earthly body.  May those of us left to mourn her passing be buoyed up by our good memories and the love she had for us.     


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...