Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Monkey!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Monkey! 

I cannot believe it has been TWO years since you came kicking and screaming into our lives. You have changed us in more ways than you will ever know. Your beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes set you apart - but you are definitely ours! You have the sweetest little smile and a mischievous grin. You rarely listen to the word "no." The beach is your playground and our backyard your quiet retreat. Stinky cat is your partner in crime, and you two get into a lot of trouble! Your favorite toys McQueen, Mickey and Thomas are never far away. You proclaim "so cute" when you wear your favorite shirt. Daddy is still your best friend. You love when we read to you, and you are quite the little artist. When you get really excited, you say "oh, Momma!" You give great big smooches and tight little hugs. We love you so much and cannot imagine our lives with you. The past two years have been a whirlwind of love, laughs and sleepless nights. We couldn't imagine it any other way!
Hope all of your birthday wishes come true!
Mommy, Daddy and Bubba love you lots!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Interview #2

Gut feeling = LOVE!!!

- extremely family-friendly, close-knit program (most of the 2nd and 3rd year residents have children)
- residents were very friendly and super helpful; people that I could get along well with and develop great friendships
- already have plan for new duty hour restrictions that will be put into place on a trial run before July: 3 weeks of day shifts, 1 week of nights per month for inpatient (eliminates call)
- brand new children's hospital set to open Fall 2011
- faculty are very approachable and supportive of resident education
- high faculty to resident ratio; lots of 1 on 1 attention
- education: morning report, noon conference, 4hrs didactics per week
- benefits: paid health insurance for me (+$80/month for both boys), monthly meal stipend, 3 weeks vacation, 13 days sick leave, lots of discounts to local attractions
- one of the Top 100 hospitals in the country, Top 15 in the nation for teaching
- affordable, easy to buy, new homes within close driving distance of the hospital
- Trey would have plenty of opportunities for baseball lessons
- excellent public and private schools, preschool programs
- opportunity to teach and do research

- 5-6ish hours from family
- not close to the beach; but the lake sure is nice!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Interview season has begun!

I went on my first pediatric residency program interview yesterday. I was somewhat nervous but also relieved just to get started and get it over with early-ish in the interview season. Have I ever mentioned that I don't like talking about myself? Thank goodness I didn't have to... the most difficult part of the interviews was sitting in the giant comfy leather chair and not falling asleep since I had to get up at 4am.

Going into the process I thought it would be really easy to pick a program based on objective-type information - size, location, rotations, electives, fellowship opportunities, graduate placement, etc. But now that I've actually done an interview, I know that is not going to be the case. Of course all of that other information is important and good to know but I think that warm, fuzzy feeling I get about a program is going to lead me to where I need to be. 

So what were my objective impressions about my first interview?

- very family oriented (have pics of all the residents' kiddos on a wall in the education hall)
- everyone seemed "happy," even the post-call residents had nothing negative to say
- very involved, sincere program director
- inservice exam scores in the top 20 (out of 210) of the nation for all 3 years
- excellent facilities with onsite childcare if needed
- residents were impressive, smart, hardworking, smiling
- education: 1 hour of teaching rounds daily purely for educational benefit, organized morning report, noon conference, Nelson club
- location: beach!! sun!! sand!! (with amazing views of the water from each floor of the hospital)
- similar attitude to current school: non-competitive, laid-back, beachy kind of atmosphere
- benefits: paid insurance for me + family, monthly meal stipend covers breakfast, lunch, dinner every day, $1400 for books/electonics, 3 weeks paid vacation + 5 sick/personal days
- current call schedule is q4 for 6 months 1st year, no call 2nd year, and q5 for 4 months 3rd year (subject to change due to new guidelines)

- newly switched to EPIC with current hybrid paper/electronic charting
- large number IMGs
- 4.5 hour drive from Galveston, probably ~6 hours from closest family

1 more interview this week...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Because he can...

I love living in Texas. Monkey can still roll around in the surf in mid-October. Who wouldn't love that?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Pumpkins...

Although it was 90 degrees and located in a church parking lot, we had a blast at the Texas version of a "pumpkin patch!" I'd love to take the boys to a place with hay rides and apple picking and all the fun Fall-ish type stuff. Anyone know of one in Southeast Texas?
Happy boy didn't mind being thrown on top of a potato sack for his pumpkin pictures!
At least I got a picture of him... the kid is impossible to photograph these days.
"I guess I'll just sit here and wait for them to come back and get me..." -Chunky
"Wait a second... what the heck is this thing?"
Beautiful straw-colored boy getting lost in the straw.
Gammy (aka Bambi) came along to help wrangle the boys while we picked out pumpkins.
Little angel/mischief-maker...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Little Artist

Over the past week or two I've been letting Monkey experiment a little more with his artistic side.

It started with an attempt to paint a giant "2" for his second birthday pictures. He is an awesome painter! Clean and neat and tidy...

When that went really well it was time to paint Poppa a birthday card. It went something like this...
"Monkey, stop running!" "Get back here, right now!"

"Come back, Monkey!" "Don't paint the house!"
""Let me see what I can do to make you look even more like a Monkey warrior!"  "Run, Monkey, Run!"

So when it came time to paint Halloween pumpkins, I was prepared...

  The aftermath...

It even became a family affair when Monkey decided Daddy needed a little back paint...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Test Drive Tuesday: GREAT food preparation, part 2!

Infantino's Annabel Karmel Make it Easy! Baby Food Preparation Products

 What is it: Infantino product line featuring Annabel Karmel's Make it Easy line of do-it-yourself BPA-free baby food preparation products. Products can be found at your local Toys R Us store and range from $5.99 to $15.99.

 “With so many parents making the move to homemade baby foods for its nutritional (not to mention money-saving!) benefits, Infantino has teamed up with worldwide culinary expert and bestselling author, Annabel Karmel and designed a new line of feeding products called “Make it Easy” (a complete set of infant feeding items that work together for everything from steaming to storage) aimed specifically at providing healthy eating habits for infants and toddlers. “

The line includes:

Stackable Food Pots: Box comes with 6 (2 of each size) stackable foot pots with lids. I found these pots very well-made and the perfect size for Monkey's morning and afternoon snacks. I love that the pots have matching colored lids and that you can stack them together with interlocking lids. These are super easy to clean, and Monkey cannot open them by himself (super added bonus!) Also, they don't open by themselves or become disconnected in the diaper bag (another added bonus!)

Perfect size for half a banana, 8 animal crackers and a small can of diced peaches.
Monkey wanted me to open his pot of peaches!
Mash and Serve Bowl: This is such an amazing product! I absolutely adore it! Yes, I know you can totally mash your own food with a regular fork, but this product makes it so much quicker and easier without a big mess to clean up. Product comes with a "masher" tool that allows fruit/veggies to escape through tiny holes and a grated bowl so that food gets "stuck" and doesn't move all around while you mash. This bowl is perfect for mashing up fruits or veggies and then feeding them directly to baby without getting another bowl dirty.  I was able to "puree" a banana into 6-month new-baby-eater consistency in seconds. I cannot wait to bring this to Disney so that Chunky can enjoy fresh fruit while we are there without me having to worry about bringing a blender!
Yummy, banana! (I totally ended up eating the banana since Chunky is too young and Monkey was full from his morning snack - even grownups can enjoy mashed banana!)
Fill and Freeze Puree Pops: This was Monkey's favorite product to try! He absolutely adores "popicles" and these are great to freeze your own! We tried an included Annabel Karmel recipe for Mango puree with added orange juice, and Monkey was in love! Product comes with 4 freeze-pop molds with handles that can be detached from one another. Its easy to pop the handle out of the mold, and the handle has a nice little basin for catching melted pop.
Monkey enjoyed every last drop of his mango/orange puree pop!
Silicone Freeze Tray: Super cute, easy to use BPA free freeze tray with lid for freezing baby food purees. Baby food is super easy to pop out of the tray because the silicone is easily collapses. Love that it has a lid so no freezer germies can find their way into Chunky's new food!

Fresh Food Mill: Super quick and easy to puree those foods that aren't that easy to mash or puree in the blender. Tried it out with some steamed peas and it very quickly took off the tough, hard to digest pea coating! Will definitely be using this with steamed veggies for Chunky.

Overall impression: I think this is a great line of products for the budget-conscious mommy looking to make her own baby food. I know I will definitely be using them for Chunky when the time comes to start him on solids.

Disclosure: ChunkyandMonkey were given an assortment of Annabel Karmel's Make it Easy Products from Infantino in exchange for an honest product review.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The many smiles of Chunky

Sweet baby Chunky will be 5 months old tomorrow! I cannot believe how fast he is growing and changing. He has the sweetest little personality - full of smiles and giggles. You just have to look at him, and he cracks the hugest grin. He is a definite Momma's boy right now... but that might all change once Daddy gets a hold of him. He hates being on his back and immediately rolls to his belly. He can lift himself up and straighten his elbows to check out the world around him. He has even been seen rocking back and forth on his chubby little knees lately. He still loves his sleep but has been having some issues actually staying asleep. He gets up anywhere from 3 to a million times each night. He hates the sunshine but is learning to like grass a little. He loves taking his bath and cries for bath every single night at exactly 6pm. He weighs about 15.5lbs and is 26.25in long. He definitely seems to be slowing down on growth but somehow outgrowing all of his super cute 3-6month clothes! I love him to pieces!