scenes from a low key weekend

Monday, May 28, 2012 | | 0 comments
we spent our memorial day weekend in cedar key....a small, quaint, fishing town about 45 minutes west of gainesville.  signs of the economic depression that has taken over the tiny town are everywhere....small dilapidated homes, the closure of the main restaurant in town.  but, you get the feeling while visiting that you are in old world florida. the florida that existed before I-95 and disney world.  the fishing draws many in and the slow easy living pace is hard to come by these days.  with the boat and our cars full to the brim of gear we headed over looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

the guys set sail early both mornings and enjoyed the spoils of fruitful fishing.  my mom and i perused the {few} local artisan shops and enjoyed iced coffee under the cool shade of a waterfront bistro tucked beneath one of the few remaining food establishments in town.  emma took her first spin out on the boat ~ it was a bit choppy when we took her out and i was worried {as per usual}. instead i heard the following comment on repeat...."i'm having FUN on the bouncy bouncies! {her name for the waves that hit the boat and doused us in seaspray}.  ben snuggled with us all, practiced his standing skills as he eagerly watched the boats set sail each day, and showed off his hot bod in the pool.  traveling with kids is no cakewalk, in fact it's quite exhusting.....but we had quite a nice time and got to spend time with family to boot.  i'll let the photos do the rest of the talking :)

may we all take a moment to remember the price others have paid for our freedoms today.  god bless america.

a letter to my {seven month old} son

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | | 2 comments
on the day you were born, despite all the warm incubator lights and upturned thermostats...the doctors couldn't get your body temperature to stay high enough for their liking. they worried about some kind of infection and whether they needed to do more tests. after an hour of waiting anxiously, i told them i needed to see you. i demanded to see you. they brought you to me wrapped tightly in blankets with a soft blue and pink striped beanie snugly enveloping your head. the nurse warned me that it we would likely only be able to visit a very short while ~ they needed to get you back to the nursery to monitor you. i nodded in understanding and reached out for you. i unbuttoned my sweater, unwrapped your swaddle and held you tightly against my against newborn baby skin. your daddy kissed our foreheads and covered us both with heavy hospital blankets, fresh from the warmer....and that was it. it only took 2 minutes. the nurse came to check on you and to her surprise your temperature was perfect. it took us 2 minutes to accomplish what no incubator light or heated room could.

you just needed your mama. and i needed you.

seven months later so very much has changed. you're rolling and working on crawling. you don't have any teeth yet but you're eating solid foods like a champ and feeding yourself with your fingers and even sometimes a spoon. you're sleeping all night long without that swaddle blanket you relied on for so long and you are chattering up a storm. you flirt like you were born to do so and everyone who meets you falls in love.

but so very much has stayed the same. we cuddle in your rocking chair at night, your eyes fluttering with exhaustion as you enjoy your evening often fall asleep with your chubby little fingers stroking my cheek. sometimes even with both hands softly clutching either side of my face. it always reminds me of that first day and how no matter how many months or years go'll always be my baby.

happy seven months little man. we love you more than all the stars. and always will.

don't hate on monday....and a mother's day wrapup

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | | 1 comments
monday's get stuck with a bad rap.  what's to love about the end to the weekend....especially a weekend spent with family celebrating all things mom.  i'm usually one of the first in line to harp on monday, i'll admit it.  but yesterday was different.

yesterday was quite fantastic actually. i woke up feeling like myself again. it's been about 3 weeks since i could say that and it was the best kind of way to start the day.  i've been taking boatloads of vitamins along with my medicaion and trying as hard as i can to focus some attention on myself....i.e. eating super healthfully (if you're looking for an amazing breakfast smoothie, i suggest this), light exercise, rest.  it sounds simple enough but it's not at all, not for me at least....especially not with 3 other people in my house i'd rather focus my attention on.  but, i'm getting there....i WILL get there.  i've been able to study and actually retain the information.....something i was really worried about right when this all happened.  other folks work with their hands, i work with my to have it stunned was a little concerning.  but things are looking good!

sunday was, of course, mothers day.  what i will say about my own mother is that she is amazing.  she has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, supporters, and advisors along my life's journey.  times like the present are just a reminder of how wonderful she is.  i'm almost 30 years old....but sometimes you JUST need your mommy.

being a mom, for me, is impossible to put into words.  i still remember exactly the way i felt....completely different yet entirely the same....the first time i saw emma and ben.  sort of an out of body experience, really.  the world hazes out around me and all i can see is this tiny person who i helped create....and who will forever continue to help create me.  probably the closest i can imagine coming to "god", whatever that means to you.  being a mom is beautiful. it's hard as hell to.  it's wracked with guilt and always wondering if you're doing the right thing.  i'm exhausted and probably need to work on finding more time for myself.  but my kids are my world.  and before long....emma won't want me to hold her hand in public and ben won't belly laugh when i kiss his i'm milking it as long as i can.  i've lost myself in these kids, in this role, but i've found myself here too.

i figured with mothers day having just was high time i updated about the kiddos. so here goes.

emma is 27 months (had to actually count that out on my fingers, you guys!), almost 2 and a half.  she is nearly potty trained {in her "princess panties" all day except for naptime and nighttime} and sleeps in a big girl bed.  she is very much playing the part of the 2 year old she is ~ exerting her independence fiercely and loves to be showered with attention.  we joke that her campaign slogan is "Look At Me!" because she says it constantly.  she loves to color {oftentimes outside the designated paper lines, say on something like.....the couch}, has a new found obsession with The Lion King, and is just about the funniest person i know.  she speaks in full sentences and MAN does she come up with some funny ones.  just the other day we went for a walk with the grandmas for mothers day....she ran ahead and was barking orders "Come this way, grandma. Now!".....we were clearly going too slow for her when she asked "Are you coming kiddos? Let's go!".  she is very opinionated and will tell you "no, i do not like that" if she does not approve of something, anything. she has a very big heart and tells everyone "i love you!".  she fights bedtime and bathtime but we've gotten into a groove lately.  she and i lay in bed after her bath and read books and talk about her day. i ask her "what was your favorite part of today" and she gives me any variety of answers.  lately....she's been very concerned with her teacher nina who has been out sick.  every night she tells me...."mommy, miss nina is sick. maybe she get some medicine".  oh that little girl. gets me everytime.

benjamin is just shy of 7 months {this sunday} and as i type i'm simultaneously scratching my did this happen??? talk about a happy baby.  this child is never NOT smiling.  he is so laid back and joyful you'd think he was up to something. but no....he's just that way.   he's a chatterbox like his sister and really loves making noise....he bangs on his piano like a champ and get's quite a bit of enjoyment out of smashing toys together as loudly as possible.  he's enormous ~ at almost 7 months he is wearing 12-18 month clothes {with an emphasis on the 18mo}! he loves tummy time and is getting awfully close to crawling....then my life is REALLY over.  he's a snuggly little dude...loves to be held and get loved on.  we're working with about 12 hours of sleep a night along with 3 hour long naps during the day. i'll take it! :)  he loves to eat and does so is not infreqent that you'll see him try and shove an entire fistful of puffs in his mouth.  we gave watermelon a try this weekend....the texture and coldness was perfect for those little teething gums.  he was flapping his arms up and down signaling "MORE!"....i thought he was going to fly away he was so excited about all of this.  sure, i'm a little biased....but this kid is just the greatest.


aaaaand now, it's time to try and make tuesday live up to monday. i think i can, i think i can.

why? :: a very fair question

Thursday, May 10, 2012 | | 1 comments
there has been a lot on my mind lately. clearly. i think we can all understand why. why....the statement, or question.....of the hour.

a lot of you have asked me, with inquisitive and honest intentions, why i chose to blog about what happened to me.  i'm a pretty private the sense that i've always tended to have a small handful of intimate friendships as opposed to a long list of acquaintances.  i've never been good at small talk ~ i like really getting to know folks.  i don't really like talking on the phone, i'd much rather get together for coffee and catch up one on one. so naturally, the question has come up.  the question has also come up as to why, given that aformentioned tendency, i blog in general.  both very fair questions with good, although sort of abstract and personal answers :) turns out it's really not an easy or simple answer but i'll give it my best shot.

i've mentioned it before and i'll say it again. i believe things happen for a reason...and what happened to me on the seizure front is no different.  there are real medical, biologically based reasons no doubt. we may not fully understand what they are but somewhere these reasons exist. ones that my science brain feels comfortable with. it's nice to put things in a little box. ok,  check.

but, in my opinion, there are reasons beyond.  truthfully, i don't know exactly what they are.....did this happen so that i have more empathy and compassion for the patients' whose lives i'll impact when i tell them they have cancer, whose lives will be turned upside down and all around? did this happen so i can be more grateful for the folks i work with, the family i love so dear, the friends who hold me in their hearts like i hold them in mine? did this happen so that i can re-evaluate how well i'm living my own life and how well i'm creating a purpose-filled life for my children?  i don't pretend, by any stretch of the imagination, to have all the answers....but the first part of the answer to all of these questions is YES. and so much more.

the best way i can answer the question is this.  alongside the biomedical fascination i have with the disease process of cancer, there exists another even more palpable reason i am drawn to this profession, these people.  sometimes something magical happens within the confines of a terminal diagnosis.  beyond the sadness and tears, some of our patients develop an unbelievable sense of perspective about what truly matters in their life's journey.  life gets distilled down to its most meaningful parts. it's different for everyone but it's always inspiring and fascinating to watch, an honor to be able to share with them....and the only thing to be envied about a terminal diagnosis.   in some small way, i feel like i've been given the opportunity to experience a small sliver of that kind of clarity (thankfully without the scary diagnosis)....and that's why you will continue to hear me say that i am GRATEFUL that all of this has happened, is happening.

and so i share.  maybe it will help you see how lucky you are, too.

as for the blogging in general.....i do it so they can see.  so they can remember. {and truthfully, these day's, so I can remember, ha!}.  someday, with kids of their own...mine will be able to look back at all of this and understand.  they'll get why i took a million pictures. why i gave them "mommy love" every night. why i watched them sleep. why hearing their belly laughs made my heart literally pound in my chest.  they'll get it.  i want them to know me....who i was as a mommy of little babies, a young doctor starting out, a girl who married her best friend.  a girl who is in love with all three of them and our life together.

sharing these stories is for them. it's for me. for ryan. it is our story. and what is life if it is not about sharing your story?

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