Sunday, June 27, 2010


I can hardly express how much I adore the twins' hair after swimming.

Too bad he didn't make this pose while he was in his cherub costume at Halloween!

How to cover up those problem areas while in a swimsuit:

(Or deal with two fussy toddlers who both want to be held.)

Reflecting on how fun it was to have family in town over the past little while and how sad I am we might not be going home this summer. (Darn the cost of 5 plane tickets now.)

Ryan trying desperately to act like he looked cool in those safety goggles he wore around for weeks after getting Lasik done.

This was actually a really big deal - most ophthalmologists won't have Lasik done on themselves and Ryan was set on not doing it as well. It's just the risk - if they lose depth perception or something goes wrong, their goes their surgical career. But I guess he eventually changed his mind and just got sick of being blind as a bat. Some of the other doctors thought he was crazy, and I'll admit it was kind of a scary time.  But it went well, although he may re-do one later that got a little over corrected. Besides the paranoia of getting trauma to the eyes post-surgery (hence the constant goggles), his eyes did look a little nasty. My sister was cracking up when she was standing by him when someone asked what he did for work and he tried to sound confident saying, I'm an ophthalmologist when he himself had these nasty bloody eyes.  :)

Loving the cute little church boys.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Ryan had a big end of the year dinner at the Ritz Carlton on Saturday for work. It was a lot of fun as always and is always nice to feel like we're one year closer to being DONE.

Which brings me to my next point. Of not being done. With Miami. For three more years now.

(I know, insert groans of pity.)

But, on the bright side, it's because Ryan was chosen to stay on as the Chief Resident and do his retina fellowship here.  It is impressive that he was one of the two that were chosen. He'll do a great job.

But I'll admit I had to choke down the news a little when he told me. I'm sure I didn't give him the congratulatory response he was expecting as I sort of felt like throwing up every time I thought about it for two days.  But I think I'm coming around.  It was a hard choice. He has one more year of residency here then will do a two year retina fellowship after that. A lot of fellowships actually go down in salary from what you even make as a resident. But staying here, he would actually make more. A huge plus. Even though the cost of living is more here, it's still a significant difference. Like the difference between I hope we can survive and we'll be fine. Like he tells me some California fellowships pay like $30,000 - how you pay for housing there and survive with a five person family in LA or wherever, I have no idea.  Also, if he said no to the spot here, he wouldn't start interviewing for other places until the fall, so it's not like he's choosing from all his options at once. So if he said no here he'd be giving up more of a sure thing to go gamble for another spot somewhere else. And pay lots of money to interview all over the country. And maybe get a good spot - or maybe not. I would LOVE to go to the fellowship in Oregon. That would be my first choice. But there are only one or two spots there, who knows if they have someone staying internally for the position...and our chances of it just get less and less likely. So the only thing that got me to say he could apply to stay here was continually thinking, "It could be worse." Like he could gamble and get stuck with a lame fellowship in some place even worse than Miami. (That's betting that somewhere worse than Miami probably exists. :)

It will be hard to not wonder how it could have played out differently and think maybe the grass would have be greener....but we played it safe, and he'll be really well trained, and I'll just have to wrap my mind around it.

But since I found out we are staying I've had a few panic attacks, including some absurd thoughts like what if the end of the world comes soon? I don't want to spend my few remaining days HERE!!!   And worrying that the longer we're here the more likely our chances are that something bad will happen like getting hit by a hurricane.  Or getting shot. Or my children getting stolen and sold on the black market.  Or that I will look like a piece of fruit leather by the time we leave here.

Anyhow, hopefully we will just live here happily in peace, with a little extra money around and a lot of beach and sunshine to enjoy. And a happy husband who gets great training and gives me whatever I want when I'm done suffering through all this med school/residency/fellowship business.  :)  Right, honey?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Birthday

For months now Cash has woken up every day and asked, "Am I four yet?"  Well, the day finally came and it was as wonderful as I hoped it would be. He requested a Mickey Mouse party and insisted it be at our house.  I tried to convince him that a park would be better since our friends live farther away so they can't just drop off their children his age and all the older kids are out of school - so we'd have all the whole families and I just wasn't sure we could all fit in our place. But he was positive he wanted it in our house and somehow it was all just perfect and it wasn't total madness and chaos like I had worried.

First let me say how relieved I was that the free-hand Mickey Mouse cake wasn't a total flop. I do not consider myself artistic in the least, so it turned out much better than how the worst case scenario had played out in my head.

When everyone came in the kids busied themselves making froot loop necklaces and decorating little "telescopes" or "mousekespotters" as Mickey Mouse calls them (a.k.a. empty toilet paper rolls) for a later "I Spy" game.

Then we did some freeze dancing to the "Hot Dog" song from Mickey Mouse-

Then we played "Hide Pluto's Bone" where one kid went out and the others hid a toy bone and then when they came in to find it we barked louder or quieter as they got closer to the bone.  Then we played "I Spy" using our telescopes to find certain shapes that we had cut out and put all over the walls - blue circle, red crescent... and on the back of the shapes they found it told us where Mickey's treasure was located (their little gift bags).  It was seriously so much fun.  And then we had cake and opened presents of course.

I had sent my sister down to the club room with the older kids to do some different activities - decorating cupcakes, playing a sort of soccer game across the table trying to blow these fuzz balls off the other person's side with straws, and doing a coin toss. Apparently they had a really good time too. It all turned out perfect.

Then for those who wanted to stay we went down to our pool (which I love since it's a walk-in, zero entry type pool so it's great with kids). It was a great day. (Well, except the twins of course, who clung to my legs and cried most of the way through the party. Ah well, what's new.)

And of course we had one happy boy with his new presents.

And two unhappy and screaming brothers who were very jealous of his new bike.

But the best present of all was actually this:

A surprise visit from my sister and her boys who Cash absolutely adores. It was SO nice to have them around - so much distraction for my crying children, so much help with everything, and who knew my sister was such a goldmine of ideas when it came to kids games and activities? I attribute the majority of the birthday party to her.

Anyway, happy birthday Cash! We love you!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Heaven help us

(This extreme resistance is why we have an almost 4 year-old who is not yet potty trained.)

Step one:
Got the drink-and-pee doll out. Kids training him how to go in the potty.

Step two:
Pottys (some borrowed) and underoos wrapped to look like super exciting presents!!!!!!! 

Step three:
Bribery. Lots and lots of bribery.

Step 4: Portable potty ready so I can have hope of someday leaving the house again.

See how exciting it looks?  So exciting. And fun. Really. Loads of fun for us.

Checking out the new undies:

Ryan was so excited to hear this is what we were doing during his vacation week.  :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Food issues

I am having serious food issues.  And it's not even about me and food, it's my children and food.  I know - I should preface this by saying I shouldn't complain too much - I don't have children who won't eat. I don't have the stress of worrying that my children are getting enough to eat.  So for that I am grateful.


My kids seriously won't stop eating.

They wake up. I try to get breakfast ready quick. Usually before I get it on the table they're begging for a granola bar (ola bar, actually as they're called in our house). If I know it will be a while, I give them one. We eat breakfast. Everyone is full and doesn't want any more. They finish and leave the table. Within 5 minutes they're begging for a granola bar.  If they haven't had one yet, I may give them one, hoping to fill them up before we're out of the house for the morning. I go to the gym, drop them off at the day care room. I go workout for my hour. I come back in to get them. As soon as I've set down the diaper bag to say hello and help get their shoes on, three kids have attacked the diaper bag and are trying to tear into anything and everything they can find - bananas, fruit snacks, and yes, more granola bars. Begging and crying at me to open their food for them. Anyone watching would think my children have never eaten before. I make them wait until we get in the car to eat whatever it is they've found. They have their car snacks, and more snacks wherever we may go after that. We go home, I try to get lunch. While I'm getting it, they storm the kitchen pulling out anything they can get their hands on from the fridge, cupboards, food storage under cribs - pickles, tomatoes, crackers, boxes of mac and cheese, apples...and keep coming at me with it demanding it be handed out or opened, thus impeding my progress to getting real lunch ready. I try to hold them off. We eat lunch. They finish. And go beg for more granola bars.

This repeats throughout the day. And I should say, they don't love the process of sitting down to eat. Dinner is an unpleasant battle of "eat your food!!!!" and timeouts. I really think it's just the having to sit still at the table part they dislike.  I try my best on occasion to not let them have any snacks to see if they are good and hungry and eat dinner more willingly, but it doesn't make a difference at all. They still don't want to sit and eat, and still rush around finding snacks as soon as we're done eating.  The other night I tried a different strategy and made sure they ate a lot at dinner so I couldn't question if they could still be hungry. We had chicken enchiladas. We had bowls of fruit. We had veggies. We had ice cream.  They ate it all. I was stuffed.  After dinner - they rushed over to the cupboards for more food. I couldn't believe it.

I just worry that my kids are going to get my bad habits - eating just cause they like to eat, not because they're necessarily hungry. I didn't think kids really did that - I thought their bodies told them when to eat.  Doesn't seem to be the case with my kids.

If we go anywhere with friends, they will swarm to whoever has snacks out. (Case in point - picture at the pool. Look at our poor little friend going - hey, what happened to all my food?? I swear this was full like 2 seconds ago....) One time we were at the playground and some little girl had a cup full of cheerios. They followed her around the whole time. At one point she dropped the bowl, sending cheerios all over the playground. You'd have thought someone just dropped a million dollars with how fast they dove for those, scooping them up gleefully like it was the luckiest day in the world.

I know it sounds like a lot of granola bars - it is. They're obsessed with them. But they eat tons of fruit and veggies. They squeal "bobbi!!" when they see broccoli and steal it off of their brother's plates when they're not looking. They eat cherry tomatoes like they're candy. They could eat a whole costco sized box of blueberries in one sitting if I'd let them. I put a can of mandarin oranges on the table for dinner, went to get the rest of the food and came back to find Phoenix had single-handedly eaten the whole thing (wow, you should see that come out the other end). So anyway, I know they get in plenty of the good stuff. do I stop the constant eating?  I feel like it's all we do all day is get food and clean up food. Beg for food and try to say no to more food. And they're definitely not hurting for calories - I'm sure they eat more than they need. But they beg for it. They open it themselves. They scream when it gets taken away. I know people say wait till you see your food bill when they're all teenagers! But wow, I seriously feel like they eat ridiculous amounts now. I'm hoping they have a growth spurt to show for all this but it sort of just seems like a regular habit by this time.

And.  My biggest pet peeve. They can't even wait for me to open it things for them. Or they'll know I say no - so they just try to gnaw their way through packaging. At least 10 times a day. I am so sick of opening pulverized granola bars because they've already been gnawed to death before the wrapper was even open. Ryan is always so concerned wondering what happened to our blocks of cheese, fruit snacks, and yes, even cubes of butter and packaged hot dogs that have
been gnashed to pieces. No, it didn't come from the store like that, your starving children just tried to eat their way through the packaging again, dear....

Seriously, pull out food in the presence of my children and prepare to be stormed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hurray for Hurricane Season

(Title should be read with sarcasm and bitterness.)

Yes, hurricane season officially begins today and of course we woke up to a downpour. Which brought back unpleasant memories of last June when it rained every day for three weeks straight. (Poured.)  Anyhow, lucky us, the Atlantic is predicted to have a "bad to extremely bad" hurricane season as I heard the official statement on the news the other night. They say it's an 85% of being a worse than normal hurricane season, record-setting even.  Oh hurray.

If you live anywhere in the eastern half of the United States, be prepared for me to show up on your doorstep one day when I have to run for my life.

In other depressing news, as I sit here typing, still in my gym clothes, Phoenix is grabbing any exposed back or underarm fat and saying "ew!"  Where did that come from? Yeah, thanks a lot.  That makes me feel loads better after just having tested my body fat for the first time since high school.  What was I thinking? Why didn't I just let myself live in blissful ignorance that it was still the same as it was then??

Oh good grief. Now I have a bed full of cornflakes.  Seriously?  I can't type for FIVE minutes?!