Baby boy #2

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That you will be entering our lives and turning it upside down in the most magnificent way possible any day now is so very thrilling. Just like your brother before you, we love you so much already, and we haven’t even met you. Although, it’s been recently discovered that mamas have bits and pieces of their son’s DNA in their brains – so our genes have been dancing around together already. I suppose I already do know you a little! Sorry to get scientific on you before you even emerge, but: #parentsaredoctors problems!

Oh little one, you are pretty active, and clearly quite cozy in there right now. You’ve created a daily glass of orange juice craving as well as a taste for strawberry flavored treats in your mama! You’ve already run a half marathon in Dallas, Texas, and you’ve traveled the coast of California, seen the Big Sur forests, splashed on the beaches of Georgia, relaxed in the Palm Springs desert, and explored Nashville.

The world you are entering is a strange, exciting, crazy, wonderful place. And I do sometimes worry about protecting you from the dangers it beholds. But then I have to remind myself that there are so many beautiful things for you to explore. So I’ll have to let go of my fears a little bit. I’m working on it. (Ask your brother).

Your brother, your dad, your dog and I can’t wait to show you this world of ours. So let’s do this, little man. We are ready for you. Here’s hoping and wishing for a safe, uneventful delivery!

Love you so much baby boy.

Mamamoment

35

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35 random, in no particular order, thoughts – on the day I turn 35.

1. I’m 35 years young today. Woah. I loooooooved turning 30. I was so excited, I knew my 30s were going to be my best years yet. My husband threw me an unforgettable surprise party. And I’m happy about turning 35, but that big four-oh is looming and I’m halfway through my 30s. That is the only scary part.

2. I’m constantly torn between sharing too much, and too little, online. There are some things I want to keep private, there are others that I’m happy to share, but once you put it on the internet, it’s there forever. I’ve debated this when posting photos of Leo. While I know this is the direction of the future, I wonder if Leo should have a say. It’s an interesting argument.

3. Many times, I’ve wanted to write, to reflect, on either a moment at work, or an interesting interaction, or even an interesting case, but I’ve chosen to not write about work to protect my patients, as well as to potentially protect myself. But it makes me a little sad that I can’t write and share some of my thoughts that emerge after a shift in the Emergency Department. It’s a highly emotional, stressful job and I wish I could tell everyone more about it.

4. That being said, there are a few medical topics I feel passionate about and do not reflect directly on specific patient interactions. And I reserve the right to speak my mind on those (read: vaccination, right to abortion).

5. Please for the love of all things great, please vaccinate your children. Please.

6. Jimmy and Justin – can you get any more hilariously brilliant? Love these skits.

7. Have you tried this (the middle one)? OMG, life changing. I curse the day my sweet husband brought this home. Although good news is that it’s gone pretty fast and then I’m too lazy to go back to Trader Joe’s to buy more. And I had to make a rule that I’m following about 80% of the time: I can only eat it on days that I’ve actually worked out. Again, works about 80% of the time.

8. The backlash against the medical community is disheartening. I’m only in my 3rd year as an attending physician, but I feel it. It’s one of the reasons I am tuning out more on social media. It’s frustrating to see people turn to homeopathic, alternative medications and boast of them based on their own (one) personal experience. And then to bash physicians and nurses in the process. I support alternative medicine’s use in conjunction with traditional medicine and under the direction of a licensed physician. In our established medical community, there are double blind, placebo controlled trials on treatments, medications, diagnostics, etc. We don’t base our practice on anecdotes, or on the outcome of a handful of patients. That is called bias. We (most of us – there are bad eggs in every field) went into medicine with the best of intentions, and through our education, learned to trust the science. I wish more would trust us as well.

9. Hearing my child laugh is still the most incredible, happiness provoking sound in the universe.

10. On the eve of acquiring my child’s first passport, I’ve been reflecting on my own travels. I feel so incredibly lucky to have had the cultural experiences that have presented themselves to me. I’ve been around the world, and I’m eager to show my little one the amazing adventures one can have on this planet.

11. The instinct to protect your child is strong, innately so. It has brought out an anxiety and a different sort of fear in me, unlike the fear I have experienced in the past, but I’m trying my best to work through it.

12. There is (and always should be) time to stop and smell the roses. Life is too short, and more importantly perhaps, life is too beautiful to not do so.

13. This – who lives in Austin and can ship me some of this devine brew?!?! My picks: Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout and Biere de Blanc du Bois. We went here in November on our trip with good friends and I’m still dreaming about this beer.

14. Speaking of Austin, have been craving some Texas brisket….bad. It’s worth the 2 hour wait (and there is evidently, always a wait).

15. Hoping I can raise my kiddo to be a well-behaved little man. And reading this for some inspiration.

16. Despite all the health and happiness in my world, we are all currently living during the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII. Four million people have fled Syria – 4 million!!! Thinking about Syria breaks my heart. Can you possibly imagine, having enough fear to leave your home, and then to muster enough courage to take only what you can carry, and venture out, sometimes by boat, sometimes by foot, into a foreign land in search of peace? In search of a place where your children can grow up without worrying about bombs severing their limbs, about beheadings, about rape. Syrians are in my heart. Please let them be in yours as well. Please be tolerant, be open minded, and welcome these humans into our world. And please be generous, if you are able.

17. Jury duty – they found me again! Arrrrgh… I have moved every 4 years for the last 12. And every time, I’ve received a summons within a few years. How? Why? I’ve actually never had to serve…yet.

18. My guilty pleasure: Top Chef, watching Arrested Development over and over and over – that brilliance never gets old!

19. One of my goals as I start the second half of my 30s – I’d like to get back to baking. I used to bake much more before the kiddo arrived, but it’s become difficult with little hands grabbing at the oven.

20. I’m starting to tune out more on social media. I think one of the main reasons I even still check my newsfeed is FOMO – an acronym I only recently just learned (I sound sooooo old). It can seem the more people are on social media, the less you sometimes speak directly, and thus missing out on the big move, the engagement, the babies. But I suppose, as cliched as it is, the people who truly want me to know about big life events will take the time to tell me in person. So this serves as an apology if I haven’t ‘liked” a recent post. I just haven’t been looking!

21. Over a foot of snow expected for this weekend?!?! Yes please! Bring it on. Leo needs to make a snowman.

22. I have been training (sort of) for a half-marathon in March – should be a fun adults only trip with the hubby, sister and brother in law. So excited to spend the weekend together!

23. Spending money on experiences, not things, makes total sense! And it’s a mantra I am trying to live by…as evidenced by the amount of money spent on air travel this year!

24. Along the same lines, how amazing would a year traveling be? A family gap year?!?! I want Leo to see the world and explore – this seems like such an incredible idea. Maybe I’ll get the guts to do something like this in the next 5 years. It’s officially on the 5 year dream plan.

25. The Red Truck Bakery is the cutest place – delicious granola. And I wouldn’t call myself a huge granola fan. I would, however, classify myself as pseudo-granola personality-wise. 🙂 Jake and I found this place on one of our weekend road trips with Bear.

26. Trying to find balance between my little boys. Obviously, Leo is my main man, but Bear was my first baby, and he’s totally neglected now. Makes me a little sad. I’m trying to show Bear the love as much as I can lately. Poor guy.

27. I’ve been spending some time looking through childhood photos – Leo looks like my brother in many photos, but there are a few where he is a dead ringer for me – makes me smile. My mom made me (and my sister) photos albums of our childhood photos – 5 of them in total – and it was literally the best Christmas present ever. Nostalgia is incredible.

28. Reflecting on my rockstar brother today. My birthday mate; I’m missing you and thinking about you today little bro. A wonderful soul taken too early.

29. Leo had his first episode of vomiting the other night. Poor baby. And poor mama; didn’t really know where to put him, so I kept holding him and next thing I realize I’m soaked in vomit. I have to admit thought, it was totally worth it for the snuggles that came afterwards.

30. I was reflecting on the brilliance of MLK the other day. I really loved browsing some of his quotes; he was just an incredible human being. One of my favorites: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” And another: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort or convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

31. The moon was so bright last night that it lit up my entire yard. I sat at my window for a moment and could see the dusting of pure white snow, and a sense of calm came over me. I felt grateful for that moment and grateful for my wonderful life.

32. Missing my family, wishing we lived closer. That is all.

33. To my child: Please go out into this wonderful world. Travel far and wide. Learn about different cultures and religions, about science and art, about history and above all, dream about the future. Without learning about the world around you, there is no way to make your place and shape your path in a meaningful way. And live by the words of Kurt Vonnegut: “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies – God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” 

34. To my husband: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” – Hunter S Thompson.

35. And to myself: “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” – Benjamin Franklin

These two...

Return to Martha’s Vineyard

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We traveled to Martha’s Vineyard in August for a dear friend’s wedding and it was incredible to show Leo around one of our favorite places. Jake and I made many memorable trips to MV when we lived in Boston. I have vivid, wonderful memories of this place. Memories of the wind in my face riding on the ferry – with Bear in tow; of slight terror and amazement at the descent into the airport on the island in a small 10 seater plane; of the smell of the sea walking along the rocky aquinnah cliffs; of many special moments with friends we consider family. And of course, I can still taste and constantly crave the oysters – Wellfleet, Island Creek to name a few. Brilliantly briny, salty, delicious atlantic cape oysters. The best oysters, in my opinion, in the country. This trip in August, in fact, wasn’t the first wedding we have been to on the island! This magical place conjures up so many images of love and friendship in my mind. We had a glorious time getting to spend a few days with our best friends and watching two incredible souls unite. Keep the air salty, keep the waves rolling, keep the oysters fresh; Martha’s Vineyard, you will see us again.DSC_1518

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Multi-tasking

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I have an app on my phone that has reminders and a ‘to-do’ list. There are consistently at a minimum, 5 items on that list. I also receive a daily email that gives me an update on new posts from blogs that I follow. It usually contains links to somewhere between 8 and 10 new posts. It also suggests new blogs and other posts to follow based on the links that day. I am subscribed to 3 work related, and a handful of non-work related podcasts that come out with new material daily to weekly as well. I have 2 email address’s (that I check), 2 Instagram feeds, 1 Facebook account, and my own personal blog.

All of these ask for, and many of them demand, my attention.

No matter how I try, how productive I am, how long my son naps for, how late I stay up, these aforementioned items are difficult, near impossible, to accomplish on a regular basis. The excitement I feel when I have whittled down my ‘to-do’ list to a few items is disturbingly satisfying. But there always remains a few more items to do, a handful of blog posts to read, multiple new podcast episodes to digest, many, many emails to address, new Instagram feeds to enjoy, photos to upload to social media, updates on Facebook to make note of, and posts to create for my own space, here, that I love so dearly.

It was at some point in Leo’s first few months that I realized there was too much on my plate. I’m so glad I caught it early. Because sometimes, not multi-tasking is so much more important than getting everything done. Tuning in to the now. Savoring the day to day actions that are easily thought of as mundane, but which are the things that fill my heart with happiness. Throwing the frisbee in the backyard with my dog. Lying on the floor making my son giggle, making dinner with my husband. I have made a conscious effort to try to tune out, to slow down, to NOT multi-task over the past few months. It’s difficult, but I’m trying. I enjoy the little things so much more.

slowing down