The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever...

Lots of things are going on, good things, too. I just haven't really had the time or inclination to document them.

Here's a quick run-down of the past few weeks...

My neighbor scares me. His son used to be in my preschool for like a minute and he (and his brother, who lives with him) keeps dropping by for stupid reasons and asking me nonchalantly if my husband is home. He lives 3 houses down and can see into my backyard and the back of his house faces the back of my house since I'm in a cul-de-sac. Oh, and did I mention he has done hard time? My friend Katy thinks its nothing, and I'm sure she is right, but I get a creepy, skin-crawling feeling when he is around, always have, even before I knew about the prison time. Plus, before he called to see if his son could come back (which I was able to decline because of the full enrollment - another blessing since the child is a little bit of a discipline problem), I had a dream of two men breaking in to the house separately, but in collusion with each other, and attacking me. Makes for sleepless nights since Ben has been gone a lot lately.

Jackson's potty training is progressing, but in two steps forward, one step back-style. He'll do great all day going pee-pee on the potty, but he has yet to wear a pair of underwear all day without an accident. Tonight we tried more naked time and he peed on the floor not once, not twice, but 4 times! That is insane considering that I take him potty every 30 minutes when his potty watch goes off! Once I caught him trying to poop, but I ran him to the bathroom in the middle of the act and he made it in the potty - barely! Then about an hour later, I checked on him (I could always see him, but unless I reminded him to think about it, he'd have an accident, so I kept having to go in there every 20 min or so and ask him if he needed to go potty.), and he had pooped on the floor in two spots! Gross!!!! Guess he wasn't done earlier when he made it to the potty, grrr!!

This potty training thing is so frustrating. I feel like he is totally on board and wanting to do it just like the other kids and he wants to wear his big-boy underwear over a pull-up, but he doesn't seem to understand when his body needs to go. I don't want to quit because he is so positive about it and so proud of himself when he goes pee-pee in the potty, but at what point should he be able to figure out when he needs to go on his own? I have to take him every 30 min all day or he'll have an accident. Seriously, the two times I took him ten min late, he peed all over himself. Every 30 min is getting old real quick when I have a house full of rambunctious kids and a teething, crawling baby and next week there will be even more. On the other hand, next week, Mrs. Olivia will be here all morning, so maybe I can give it more attention. Should I put this potty-traing thing on hold, or not give up so soon. We've been doing it for about a month now. How long is the average, do you think? If I put it on hold, I won't revisit until this summer when I can give it more attention. I'm not sure if it is better to do it now when he has the big kids' example or this summer when I can focus on it more. Help? What do you veteran mothers think I should do?

Sam is finally getting 2 bottom teeth. He has been a little fussy, but not nearly as bad as Jackson was. Jackson got his first tooth at 5 months, so I have been waiting and waiting. Sam just turned 8 months last week. He is so different from Jackson, even tho they look so much alike, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised! He crawled earlier and pulled up on furniture earlier. I think he'll be walking within 6 weeks, which would be earlier than Jackson, too. He is smaller than Jack and not as heavy either, but he is so motivated to be wherever I am or his brother is. He hates to be alone and WILL NOT be left! He will play independently and is captivated (read: frozen in place) by his brother's educational TV shows for almost a whole 30 minute block, but he is such a people person that his favorite activity is to play and snuggle!! Snuggling is my favorite cuz Jack would never let me! He always wanted to go off and explore or wrestle with daddy. Sam is a mama's boy, even though his word was the indiscriminate "dada." (I thought it was "hi." He said that this week, but Ben reminded me that he said "dada" last weekend. Ben awakened me last Sat morning from a deep sleep. He had woken up with the boys and let me sleep in, so I was a little groggy when he came to tell me and I went right back to sleep, haha.) He has excellent balance and strength in his legs. Even the nurses at Dr. Chen's office commented at how hard he writhed when they held him down for his last set of shots. :(

Other news with Sam is that he has figured out how to bring food to his mouth AND how to hold his sippy cup (not always to where he can get a drink, but hey, one step at a time). This is nice because now instead of sitting and feeding him, I can break food into small pieces and he can eat it on his own. It takes him forever, and half of it ends up raked into his lap, but he likes it and it keeps him quietly occupied during naptime since his nap schedule is not the same as the preschoolers'. I am able to type my care sheets right next to where Sam eats so it is great!

Last week 3 of my kids had the flu, but somehow we all avoided it in my family and none of the other kids got it! YAY! All my sanitizing like crazy must have helped a little, I guess.

Ben is doing an OB/GYN rotation now and loves it. He hates the GYN part since he is at the county hospital and has seen some disgusting things, but he LOVES the OB part. He said that if he could JUST do OB, he would consider changing his planned specialty from ER, but unfortunately, they are kind of a package deal. HIs schdeule is a little tamer than what we were used to last semester, but the last few days were hard. He was on call three nights in a row and then came home and slept all day and went right back in. Then had one day off, worked all day today and left with his dad when he got home for a three-day weekend hunting trip. It's okay though. He needs a break, and I'm in an okay place for him to leave me with the boys all weekend. Besides, we have craft night planned and Sara is coming to stay with me, and I need to give Jackson more naked time (well, unless I decide to quit), so it is a good time to just hang at home.

I'm really starting to enjoy and appreciate my calling. Last Sunday I taught again, and it went really well. Every week I am more and more confident and comfortable getting up in front of a group of women to teach. So what now? Well, I guess the Lord feels that if I can handle that, then I might be able to handle an additional calling I'm not in YW, but I have been asked to be the girls camp leader for the ward. I know it will be a hard calling in the coming months, and I have to be gone from my boys for a week this summer, but I'm excited! I love camping and I loved girls camp and I think this is a calling I can serve in with enthusiasm. My mom has already agreed to come and stay with my boys for the week if for some reason Ben can't be with them. (We don't know his schedule for the summer yet.)

Well, I'm sure there is more, but that was a bit longer recap than I had planned when I sat down and I have much to do before I can go to bed, so more will just have to wait till next time!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


My heart is full tonight, and I just need to say that I am so blessed!

Sometimes I am willing to take on more than I can handle and then just charge through it, stressed to the max, meltdowns here and there, but the Lord knows better than I do what I can handle, when I can handle it. I am learning more and more to trust in Him. I see that, in retrospect, what I want is not always what I need, and He doesn't let me take on more than I can handle, and even when I think I have taken on more than I can handle, He is there to aid me and comfort me. I am so grateful for his watchful care, and I feel His love in my daily life. I'm so grateful for the talents He has given me that enable me to support my family. I'm grateful to be be able to be home every day to watch my children grow and smile as I see them fit the pieces of life together in their own unique way. I'm grateful to be a positive influence in the lives of other children, a second mother sometimes, and at the same time do something I enjoy, no, something I LOVE!

And now, to top it all off, I get to feel good about the fact that people are choosing me! They are choosing me over centers, other child care homes, and even over themselves to care for their children. Bright Idea Learning Center is full, full, full for the next year and a half! I have reached max income until Ben graduates! No advertising, no tours, no financial stress...YAY! YAY! YAY!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Now that it is a new year, our church time has changed from 8:30 to 11:00. Often I am readying the family solo as Ben has to be at the hospital some Sundays. It has been hard for me to get the boys up by myself and get us all fed, prepared for sacrament with diapers, wipes, changes of clothes (for Sam the spitter/puker), bottles, sippy cups, snacks, quiet toys, etc. and off to church on time. Many times I have even prepared everything the night before, but of course, as were walking out the door, someone would have a poopy diaper or I'd remember I had to grab one last thing. Our church attendance was not stellar. When we did attend, we were usually late and sat in the foyer.

When we switched times, I thought all that would improve. But it hasn't. And now we face new issues. Our attendance has been better, but for some reason, we are still late for church! And now, our nap schedule is all messed up. Sam still takes 2 naps a day: a 2 hour morning nap beginning at about 9:30 or 10:00 (depending on what time he woke up) and then an hour and half afternoon nap at around 3:00. I have tried to play with it, but he will not lay down a moment earlier and if he is late, his whole day is messed up.

Like today. Sam woke up at 7:30, so he was barely ready to go to sleep at 10 am. I got him dressed for church, then put him down, he fussed for about 10 minutes and was asleep by about 10:15. Well, we were running late for church anyway, so he got to sleep until about 11:15, but then I had to wake him up so we could leave. I thought I could get him to go back to sleep at church with a bottle and rocking him, but nope. He was good all through church, just very squirmy and he kept climbing all over me. I would have put him down to play with toys on the floor, except I couldn't get him to be quiet in any of the meetings today! He was so babbly and loud! Finally, in the last hour, during the closing prayer, he fell asleep. When it was time to go get Jackson from nursery, I put him in his carseat, but he woke up and never fell back asleep again. Not in the car, and not when we got home and I tried to put him down in his bed.

We got home from church at 2:20. By the time I got both boys fed, and put Jackson down for a nap, it was 2:45. Jackson slept until almost 6:00. (In retrospect, I should have woken him up early, but I was busy dealing with Sam the whole time he was asleep, so I didn't.) After I put Sam in his bed, I thought he'd cry it out, but after 20 minutes the screaming was escalating, so I went to get him. Three times that afternoon I had him asleep in my arms and three times he wouldn't transfer to his bed. He just wanted to snuggle with me all day and never did really take a nap. I put him to bed at 7:30 pm and he still fought sleep! (Oh yeah, and in all that struggle, he threw up on me twice. This kid has the worst gag reflex! A little phlegm and he barfs up his last meal. On me. Or the carpet. The recliner has taken the brunt twice! We are going to have to get new carpet and furniture before Sam's first birthday at this rate!)

So finally Sam was down and 8:30 hit and it was time for Jackson's bath. I wanted to let him stay up since I didn't think he was tired with such a long and late nap, but he was being so rotten throwing fits about this and that. ("I want candy! I want to watch CARS! I want juice RIGHT NOW! No, I don't want that. That is STUPID!" That last one was a first. Where did THAT come from??! My preschoolers don't even say that!) I thought maybe he was ready for bed, too. Ben had gotten home, had some dinner and went to bed. He got up at 4:45 am this morning and didn't get home until almost 7 pm. He was exhausted, but Jackson's fits during bathtime woke him up and he came in to see if I wanted some reinforcements. The stern Daddy voice calmed Jackson down and helped for a while, but after that it was just more fits. And I'm talking major kicking, screaming, possessed by the devil fits. The kind where time out doesn't work with Jackson. By the time I put him to bed, I had spanked him twice, he lost his privilege to read a bedtime book, and I had to forego saying prayer with him because I couldn't get him to stop screaming.

Truly, my kids have their moments, but today was especially horrendous! Does anyone else have this church schedule with little ones? What do you do?! Any secrets? Please share because if I don't get this figured out, we may become inactive at church! Help!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Did I mention my boys are growing too fast!?

Today Sam started using the furniture/the nearest leg/the dog to pull himself up to standing. The first few times, he didn't have the best balance and fell almost immediately, but he was a persistent little guy and by bedtime, he was pulling himself up quite quickly and could hold himself up for as long as he wanted to be there.

Everyone is excited about this except Jackson. Not only can Sam follow him around the house, but now he practically climbs up in his lap. You should see Jack shield all his toys so Sam can't get them. When did Jack get so selfish? Hmmm...I guess potty-training isn't the only thing we will be working on.

On the potty-training note, it is still going very well. Today, for the first time, Jackson initiated a successful attempt! He goes potty every time we sit, but still we have some wet Pull-ups! He stops and starts his flow a lot when we sit, so how do I get him to make sure he gets it all out so he will have a dry Pull-up until our next trip?!

For those friends of mine who are also potty-training, one of my pre-k parents found a "potty watch" that goes off every 30 minutes or something and it plays a little potty song. Her little boy hears the song and toddles off to use the potty without question! I gotta find one of those!! That is the hardest part for me - to make sure I remember to take Jackson after he has had something to drink or on a regular basis, but I'm not stressing. We have all the time in the world to do this, and I figure as he gets more practice, he'll start to initiate it more and more and I won't have to be the one to remember all the time. We are learning how to do this together and I'm not going to force him or push him into anything before he is ready. Anyway, good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


3 miles in 26:30. Beat my time by a minute and a half. Felt good. Ran another mile, but I took it slow. total=4 miles in 36:30. Personal best time ever.

AND since I suffered from childhood asthma, it was also my personal best distance ever, even though I played Division I college soccer and had to run all the time. I could never run the long runs with my team without having an asthma attack. It feels so good to be able to breathe! I feel so strong!

Monday, January 11, 2010

For Sale...

Does anyone want to buy a kids' train table or know someone who does? It is in great shape, just some scuffs, but it takes up a lot of room in my play room. I am going to replace it with a road rug to open up some space. I'll sell to the first responder for $30 bucks. I paid $50 for it on Craigslist 2 yrs ago.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crawling and Potty-Training

My boys are getting so big! 2 days before Christmas, Sam started crawling and now not only is he speedy fast and chases us wherever we go, but he can also pull himself up to his knees to get to things. He wants so much to pull all the way up to standing and if you hold his hands when he is on his knees, he'll try to get his legs out from under him to stand. When he stands, he gets so excited! He really has good balance already for standing, but he just can't figure out how to get his legs out from under him.

Jackson started walking at 10 months, but I bet that Samson beats that. He is just so determined not to be left out of anything and when he can't keep up with his brother or me, he gets so frustrated.

Jackson and I, meanwhile, have started the potty training porcess. He is not yet 2.5, but he has been showing the signs of being ready, so we started it. I figured he would be ready early because he sees all his friends using the "big boy" potty, and he thinks he is just as big as they all are. So far it is going very well. He is a little intimidated about sitting on the potty and sometimes needs some coaxing, but since Christmas, he has at least gone pee-pee in the big boy potty one or two times a day, everyday. He also gets very excited when he goes potty. He runs around the house exclaiming to everyone, "I went pee-pee in da big boy potty, Daddy/Mama! " Plus, I give him a small handful of flavored marshmallows and a pull-up to wear as a treat for a successful attempt, and he gets excited about that, too.

We are still not at the point where he tells me that he needs to go potty, I just take him in there at the designated potty time in our school day and sometimes after I know he has had something to drink. I really have no idea what I'm doing, but what I'm doing seems to be working so far. If you have any tips or things that have worked for you, please feel free to share.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy, Happy, Birthday Benjamin Dear

Not to make everyone barf cuz I'm not usually one for public expressions of love (Why is that? I'm not even a hugger. It makes me uncomfortable. I used to have this relative who always wanted to kiss everyone on the lips and she was a smoker. Disgusting. Anyway...RANDOM), but I just gotta say that my husband is the best! I love him so much. Right now he is completely exhausted, passed out on the couch, and I just looked down at him, and he looks like a little boy who played too hard. Cute. And my boys look just like him. Lovin that.

Ben is 29 today (1.5 years my junior), so here are 29 things that I love about him..haha just kiddin that would be WAYYYY long. I could do it, but would anyone really read it? And if you didn't, it wouldn't really do him any justice, so how about since his birthday is the 7th, I will list 7 things.

1. He is SO fun! For Christmas my dad got a ping pong table. But the only place in my parents' house it could go is in the garage. However, my mom got her Christmas wish as well. My dad and brother cleaned out the garage enough so that she could park in it. And she can. If my dad is the one who parks it. AND it is literally touching things from the piles of who knows what they are keeping on the other side of the garage. Anyway, they put it on the back newly-extended and newly-covered and soon to be enclosed as a Florida room, patio. The problem is that is was FREEZING while we were home for almost 2 weeks at Christmas and no one wanted to go outside to play. Except Ben. He made us all bundle up in ski-wear and mismatched gloves and coats and silly hats and play "Polar Bear Ping Pong." None of the rest of us would have dared go out in the cold and snow, but Ben got out there every day and scraped the ice off the back patio so we could all play. And we laughed and had so much fun! Then there was the time on our cruise that we took a RHINO on the highway in Mexico to the tourist attraction Blowhole and to the sand dunes and Ben jumped off all these huges jumps and we got air and I about broke my collarbone on the seatbelt, but we still laugh about it!
2. He is such an awesome dad. Seriously, folks, they are working him to DEATH in med school, but he comes home and is so excited to see his boys. Jackson literally runs to him as soon as he comes home and they chase and wrestle and tickle and play video games and watch football and share snacks. They are best buds. He takes study breaks so he can occasionally give the boys a bath, read them a story, and participate in family prayer with us. He is always trying to find ways that he can share something fun he discovered in his childhood withour boys. He CANNOT wait until Jackson can go hunting with him (cough, cough, I can, though, cough, cough). But he isn't just the fun dad, he makes sure Jackson respects me, and reinforces our house rules and provides consequences if need be, too. If Jackson is disobedient, all fun ceases immediately until the problem is dealt with and resolved and then fun can resume. He is stern, but not harsh, and he always gives him a hug and says I love you when he is done dolign out the discipline. He is a great example to me, as I have a tendency to sometimes be "the nurturer" and can be too lenient at times.
3. He loves my family and they love him. Seriously, my mom dubbed him "Ben the Beloved" almost from day one. It is on his stocking even. He went skiing in Colorado with just my dad and brother and talked politics the whole way with my dad and played Xbox in the back of our Jeep with my brother. My sister asks his advice on her boyfriends and knows he will be straight with her and that he wants the best for her. He is one of the only people who can put emotions aside when it comes to her and just tell her how it is. I think if we split up, they'd keep Ben and my boys and throw me back. :)

4. He is so supportive of me. His daily grind is unbelievably stressful and insane, but he listens when I tell him I've had a hard day or that I am having a hard time, and he tries to be my knight in shining armor and fix it for me. Whatever I need to make things easier, he is willing to try it if it is feasible.

5. If he does something that annoys me, like leaving dishes in the living room and dirty clothes everywhere but the hamper, I can just tell him, and he is apologetic and really does try to be better about that instead of rolling his eyes, or calling me a nag or completely ignoring me. He hears me and truly wants to help my day be as easy as he can. (So I appreciate that and usually just pick it up and decide it isn't the hill I want to die on and that he has more important things on his mind than dishes and get over it.)

6. He works hard. Not just at school, but at whatever he is doing. If his working on a project at home, he doesn't settle for rigging it somehow. He will find out how to tackle it (if he doesn't already know how, which he usually does.) and get it done. He has built furniture for my preschool, fixed drains, put in shelving, built us a deck, assembled our play station, built a play loft in the preschool, installed ceiling fans, put in windowsills, etc. All on top of his busy work/school/study schedule. No wonder he is so exhausted right now. I know that Ben will do WHATEVER he has to do to make sure our family has everything we need. It is so comforting and relieving.

7. He is honest and trustworthy. Sometimes I may not want to hear what he has to say, but he will tell me truthfully if I ask him a question about any topic. I know I can count on him not to play games or sugar-coat it. I am a person who is motivated by that. I also know he goes where he says he goes and does what he says he is doing. He doesn't keep things from me. I trust him completely.

Well, I feel that I could keep going, but that is 7 and it is still long. I love you, Ben! Happy Birthday. Enjoy your 20's while they last! Next year I'm throwing you a huge, embarrassing Graduation/30th Birthday party!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Years Resolution

Among many, one of my NY goals is to pick up running again and achieve the goal I set for myself last year: to be able to run 3 miles in 25 minutes. Today was my first run. I ran 3 miles in 28 minutes, but I stopped and stretched between each mile for 3 minutes. I felt good and maybe could have run another mile, but my hands were freezing since it is 34 degrees right now! Next time I might wear gloves?

only 1.5 yrs of med school, and then what?

Ben has decided that he wants to be an Emergency Medicine Dr. He thinks he wants to do a fellowship in Pediatric ER Medicine, but that depends on how long the fellowship will be. It varies depending on the residency program he gets into. Some programs have a one year fellowship and some have up to a 3 year program.

He has decided that his top 5 choices are: #1 the MD residency in Tulsa, #2 the MD residency here in Fort Worth at JPS hospital, #3 the DO program in Tulsa, #4 the (MD?DO?) residency in Joplin, MO, #5 the (MD/DO?) residency in Oklahoma City. I can't remember, but I think he said that there is supposed to be a 75% chance that he will match with one of his top 5 choices, but just in case he doesn't, he has to declare 10 choices. He hasn't gotten that far yet.

Although Ben will graduate as a DO, he would rather be in an MD program than a DO program because typically the MD programs aren't as many years, the salary is higher, and they get more paid days off. Also some DO programs require you to do studies and write papers and stuff that Ben doesn't want to have to do anymore. (Can you blame him? Poor guy has been in school almost 25 years!)

Here's where it gets complicated. Forgive me if I butcher this, but it is very confusing and I don't have a perfect understanding of it in the first place. We are still new to all of this procedure!

The potential residents and the programs are all entered into a match system, much like the system Ben entered into when he was interviewing for med schools. There are MD programs and DO programs, but the DOs make you declare ahead of time if you want one of their programs. Doing so means you automatically match with that school if they pick you, and you don't get to see if you could have matched with an MD program later. Since Ben doesn't want a DO program if he can help it, (his top 2 picks are MD) we have decided NOT to declare a DO program and take a gamble in hopes that we will get to go to Tulsa or stay here in Fort Worth in a MD program. If we don't get one of those picks, it may be too late for us to match with one of his DO picks because they may already be taken by people who DID declare DO. If this happens, we really don't know where we might end up. It is called a Scramble. Ben said most likely we would end up in some place like Michigan because no one wants to go there. (YYYYUUUUCCCKKKK!!)

So...that's where we are at in this crazy med school process. My first hope is that he matches with one of the top 2 because I really want to go home while he is in his residency since we'll never see him. I'll get to be close to both our families if I ever need anything, and he will only have a 3 year residency for basic ER Medicine and then he is DONE (unless he does the Pediatric fellowship)! OR if we stay here in Fort Worth, that would be okay, too. We are settled here, we have an established business here, we have friends here and some family that can help us if we need anything, we won't have to move, and we can build equity on our house. I love our house, and we have plenty of room to grow into it, and lots that I want to do to it still, so that is okay with me.

If we don't get one of the top 2, then obviously choice 3 (DO-Tulsa) would be great for me, but not so great for Ben (an extra year, less salary, etc..) and choice 4 or 5 wouldn't be a bad alternative. Yes, we'd be starting over, but we'd be very close to Tulsa. Joplin is 1.5 hours away and OKC is about 2 hours away and there is a temple there, too. (The one we married in, actually.)

I PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that we don't have to go anywhere else, especially not to Michigan. I don't want to have to start all over, and I certainly don't want to start all over somewhere where I'd basically be a single mom AND my family is nowhere near me, especially since we'll probably be having another baby that first year of Ben's residency, and I may still have to do the preschool if Ben's salary isn't enough for us to live on.

And that's what we know so far. Next year Ben will be doing elective rotations so he may be spending a lot of time in those places and I'll be a single mom, running the preschool and I already have full enrollment for the 10-11 school year. Sounds like a lot, huh? Keep us in your prayers, please. I may have a nervous breakdown before it is all over.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Duchess

I just watched this movie with Keira Knightly. It got me thinking about the advancements in women's rights that we so enjoy today. Back then, men could divorce a woman leaving her with no rights to her children. Today when a marriage fails (or prior to marriage), most often women are abandoned by men to care for their children alone. Food for thought. Watch the movie and you'll see what I mean. It made me angry and depressed, but it was a good story.