Friday, November 1


TGIF. Right?!

It's the first day of November, a Friday, also a payday. But this day has been so emotional for me- because it's also my oldest sister's birthday, and my older sister's 18 week ultrasound.  And, I just received some awesome health news of a productive cancer treatment on a friend. And Molly is potty training day 4- and a total champion. And I'm stuck working a 12 hour shift today. phew.

All of these things for which I've been praying like crazy, and all just beautiful testimonies of God's grace, but all in one day?! Seriously, I was breaking down in front of patient's today discussing the simplest things. I'm so emotional, so just completely overwhelmed with joy and pride and love.

So my newly devoping niece or nephew is coming along nicely: how adorable, no?! I've been saying girl all along, but doesn't this baby look like a sweet little boy?! 

I seriously love him already!  Well, I guess we will know for sure tomorrow ;)

I was really having a tough time with my parenting, and really feeling like I just didn't get it. I felt like I was failing at my "mummy" duties- I seriously was clueless on the pottying of a 2 year old! And though we had some major "accidents" (and some that I seriously thought were "on purposes"), my two year old is getting it. She's catching on. And I honestly don't know if I've ever been so proud of anything in my entire life. Or so ashamed for being so selfish. I was frustrated and confused and worrying about me. Then when I knelt to her level, it just clicked for both of us.  I asked her what we should do about her diapers- she looked at me and said "I give them to Noah (her 1 year old cousin)?!"  So we packed them up and sent them off, and she started peering in the potty.  That easy. I should have believed in her at first.  She amazed me.  It feels like the love I've known for her is seriously multiplying as she's growing up, before my eyes. It's just so beautiful. This morning, she woke up dry in her "big girl undies", and after I hugged and kissed her and praised her continuously, she looked at me and said "mummy, you so happy". And I am. I'm just so happy.

This weekend is about to tip the emotional scale, as we head to Pittsburgh tomorrow to celebrate my sister's new baby at her Gender Reveal Party! It's going to be amazing and wonderful, and they'll be cake, so Molly is all in ;)

And we'll celebrate my oldest sister's birthday and be thankful for our health, our family, and another year. 

Because seriously, God is good.

And so are weekends ;)


Tuesday, October 29

What to Look for in a Pediatrican

Your child's pediatrician: what to look for/expect.   This is a subject so close for me.  First of all, my sister is expecting her first baby this spring, so I've briefly mentioned the baby's doctor search.  Second, it's scary- you have to find someone to trust with your baby, during the normal and the sick times.  I work in medicine, so I often try to view my own patient care from the parent's perspective.  And I want to know that I'm treating patients as someone's baby, not just a patient.  Lastly, we've been all around with our little girl, and I, myself, am struggling to find the "right" pediatrician for her.

So a little background.  A little over a year ago, Molly got her first dose of an antibiotic called amoxicillin- a very commonplace choice, as it has great pediatric coverage, it's palatable and well tolerated, and it's cheap.  As a midlevel practitioner, I understand the consequences of even the most commonly used antibiotics, so I was hesitant to start one.  But just before her first birthday, she developed a fever and infection, and her pediatrician chose to start one.  Two days after she finished the antibiotic, she developed a rash on her left thigh.  Initially, I didn't think much of it, but as it continued to spread literally before my eyes, I started some benadryl and took her to the local pharmacy for suggestions.  The rash continued to spread within minutes-hours, and soon included localized swelling of her face, lips, ears, hands and feet.  We took her to the local emergency department, and after a long and confusing visit with conflicting diagnoses (which appeared to be more of "educated guesses" than definitive diagnoses, with no regard to our own history/information)  we requested a different pediatrician who transferred us directly to the nearest Children's Hospital for evaluation.  There we were comforted, evaluated and reassured.  She had a severe allergy to the antibiotic, which was misdiagnosed initially.  She was properly treated and improved slowly over the next few days-weeks.

It was a scary experience.  But the moral of the story:  I was not happy with our first pediatrician, but found the right care by the new pediatrician.  It's unfortunate our switch had to happen during a stressful time, but it was the right change for us.

And here's why, and some things to look for in a Pediatrician:

// Communication.  Your child's pediatrician needs to listen to you, and you need to be able to tell him all pertinent information.  Even at a routine visit, you need to feel comfortable talking, asking questions and with the responses given.  If you don't feel comfortable talking, even about diet, pottying, immunizations, medications, behavior- you're not in the right office.

//Trust.  You need to trust that even in the sickest or uncertain of times, your child's pediatrician is making the best decision for the health of your child.  And likewise, your child's pediatrician needs to portray trust in you, as a parent.

//Approachability.  You need to be able to discuss even intimate details, and you need to not feel a barrier to discuss them.  Likewise, the pediatrician needs to be able to approach you, the parent, with details/concerns that may be disappointing.   If they are tossing those difficult responsibilities onto other staff or hiding information, that's not right.

//Professionalism.  Obviously, the pediatrician is well trained and educated, but they should always show it in a professional manor.  If you ever get the vibe that the pediatrician is inappropriate-- wrong office.

//Respect.  Ultimately, you are the child's primary caregiver, the parent.  You know your child better than anyone.  What you say/concerns you have about your child need to be taken with respect.  Your pediatrician should respect you and your child, while providing the best care possible.

Honestly, I made this list for myself.  Our favorite pediatrician was recently relocated, and now we're in search of another.  And I hate to be picky, but I need to be comfortable with my daughter's doctor.  This list is not all-inclusive, it's just the main points my husband and I were discussing.  At the end of the day, it just needs to feel right- the doctor, the office, the location, the staff.  And don't be afraid to change, if you're just not comfortable.

And don't be afraid to ask questions.  I always tell parents, over and over, the same thing:  If you're not going to be an advocate for your child, who is?

This is your child.  You need to be comfortable and secure with the doctor providing his/her care.

I hope this information helped someone a little,
I know its been helpful to me in our own search.



Monday, October 28

Last October Weekend

Another less traditional weekend as I worked Sunday, but it was an eventful Thursday! We are learning to take it as it comes, and I'm hoping we will adjust well to the Monday through Friday scene when it arrives ever so soon. For now, I'm making a conscious effort to enjoy my time at home, and be thankful for Molly's daddy time. Would you think a child is better suited for a traditional Monday- Friday work life or the casual one we've been living? How do you ever know?

Jesse's grandparents are long time local political activists- it's something so new to me, yet completely normal for him. He has been attending the county party meetings for years, and after persistent encouragent, I joined him on Thursday, just days before the local election.  It was invigorating to be surrounded by the local politicians. And in a room of equal party, to experience the many views of individuals. It reiterated the point that, at the end of the day, we do have a say. We have a voice. Even if heard by only one person who may not have the power to write an amendment- we have a voice. And it's our civic duty to use it. Moral of the story- get out and vote. Local elections are Tuesday, November 5. Be heard, we need to help our counties, our states, our country. We need to vote. 

My new (to me) camera is in- and it comes with quite the learning curve! I have much respect for photographers- it's kind of like learning a new language. Much like the foreign language of medicine I have been slowly learning, I'm just dipping into the language of Dslr photography. It's not easy, but I can't wait to learn more (especially because I've got a pregnant sister whose baby bump and baby I can't wait to photograph)! If you gave any tips, I'm all ears :)

I adapted my moms infamous buttermilk sugar cookie recipe to include pumpkin and pumpkin spices- holy yum! Of course the homemade buttercream wasn't bad either- hence the shot of Molly impatiently requesting "more cream, mummy"!! I'm planning to make them again this week- I'll share that recipe ;)

And what's better than a warm homemade soup?! Well a pumpkin cookie, obviously! But this soup was a crowd pleaser, and it was ready to eat in about 40 minutes. I'll return to my ever present argument that homemade, healthy food is always tastier and less expensive than pre-packaged or takeout. I'm holding my ground with this recipe.  I used 1/2 pound of ground turkey, vegetables and canned stock- it was a meal for 3 twice.  That's 6 meals- and it was seriously less than a buck per serving. Recipe coming soon!

The local community college had it's safe trick or treat, so my sister and I dressed our kids up and headed into an overly crowded, hot, stranger danger zone to beg for candy- needless to say, we didn't last long! But the kids got a lollipop, so they were seriously thrilled. Notice baby Noah, the penguin's, hair?! It was windy! ;)

Welcome, Monday.
Welcome Halloween Week (and an approaching gluttonous amount of candy to be consumed- I've said it before, I seriously lack self control!).