Tag Archives: medical school

Surviving "Survival Mode"

There is a constant joke in our family that we are in survival mode.  Even though we adore our children, two active toddlers can be exhausting and I am usually ready to throw in the towel by 8 am.  After a particularly hard couple of weeks, it is time that I confess a few things.  Confession, after all, helps our souls heal, right? (Catholic friends, feel free to correct me.)

1.There are moments (read: like every 10 minutes) when I need time away from the screaming and whining.  Since I have various chores to complete in any given 18-hour period, I use those as excuses to plug in my headphones and listen to podcasts or music. Not only am I knocking out things like washing dishes and folding laundry, I am getting the much needed adult interaction–even if most of it is in my head and one-sided–that I often crave. This, of course, means I must resort to gating myself in the kitchen to ensure my children aren’t trying to climb in my lap and smack my face (in the name of love) or bugging me for a snack every 5 seconds.

2. When Ben and I are feeling distant, we will corral the kids into a small area in the living room, gate them in with plenty of snacks and a movie, and run upstairs for some, ahem, “time” together.

3. There are some days where we just need to get out of the house.  However, since we sold our stroller*, taking a walk is an even more exhausting option, so I choose to go to the store, the library, or a friend’s house.  The store becomes problematic when I begin spending money, or too much money (which, on our tight budget, happens to be any time I spend money); the library becomes overwhelming when Andrew starts tearing pages out of books and the librarian gives me the stink eye; and my friends probably don’t appreciate the messes my children make at their own house, especially when it adds to the messes their own children make.  But, I’ve got to keep my sanity somehow!

4. At night, when I finally get “my” time, I respond v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y to my children’s cries.  I figure 7 pm is when I can officially clock out.

5. I love my children, but sometimes they drive me crazy.  At the same time, sometimes I drive them crazy.  I think that’s why they prefer their father’s company when he gets home.  It might also be the reason they ask to see their friends all day long.

*Nema, Ben’s mother, has remedied this situation by buying us a stroller.  I guess that means I don’t have any excuses to stay cooped up inside anymore. Drat.


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Filed under Non-judgmental parenting

The Face of An Angel

I rush out the door, a kid under each arm, mumbling less-than-decent words under my breath.  It is Monday, Ben’s test day, and I am exhausted.  Tired of migraines.  Tired of uneasy sleep.  Tired of whiny children.  Tired of medical school.  Just. Plain. Tired.

Unsure of what the time is, or when the little girl’s class starts, I swerve the car in this and that direction as I can’t remember what street her dance school is on.  We arrive, I grab her leotard, ballet shoes, and tights, unbuckle the kiddos, and rush inside.  I find an empty chair, undress, dress, undress again (forgot the tights), and re-dress the girl in her first dance outfit.  I sit with her on my lap and Andrew on the side doing headstands or some other acrobatic feat (especially because his chubby legs) and look around.  My face, I’m sure, carries the burden of a frustrated day: of endless exhaustion, pain, fear, depression, anxiety, and every other negative emotion I have felt over the past 8 hours.  The lady across the way smiles at me, holding her darling grandchild in her lap.

I feel Emily’s excitement as she looks around.  Soon her teacher comes out to bring the students in.  Emily’s nervousness overtakes her enthusiasm, and she holds one of my hands while my other arm is tightly wrapped on her wiggly brother who “wanna dance!” with his sister.

The music starts.  She watches.  Her bubbly self more reserved around her peers.  Her face is curious.  She eagerly waits to participate while also choosing to watch the other girls dance.

I stare.  I am in awe of her beauty.  The ensemble perfectly brings out her pink cheeks and light blue eyes.  Her curly strawberry blonde hair attracts the light and her innocence hangs above her like a halo.  I watch as her teacher grabs her hand and encourages her to move.  She smiles.  I know that deep down she is moving.  I also know that, despite her reservation, she is having the time of her life.  Every now and then, I see as she looks around for me.  Briefly locking eyes, I smile and she turns back to the teacher.

The class ends.  She races to my legs, imploring for me to pick her up and squeeze her tight.  Which I do.  With gladness, she thanks the teacher, laughs with her brother, and holds my hand as we walk outside.

“We have fun together in dance school,” she tells me.

And I realize that this girl is the best parts of me. I also know that I want to be like her when I finally grow up.  I will if I listen, watch, and allow her sweet grace and spirit to smooth down my rough edges.

This is brought to you by Heather’s Just Write.

—-This week’s supportive parenting theme is saying sorry.  How do you say sorry?  How do your kids say sorry? Funny stories about apologizing?  Let’s hear it.—-


Filed under My Kids, Uncategorized

Back In Action

Meet Betty the Bomber.  We sold our broken down van and bought this in April.  We packed her full of everything we could–clothes, essential toys and books, our photo albums and other memorabilia–and sold the rest.

This is how the past two months have looked.


Six weeks visiting family (and being homeless–literally without at home AND internet, but family graciously provided both).

Thirty-two hours of driving on the road.

Seven different states.

An 11:30 pm arrival to our new, but empty, home.

Over 1500 miles and we all arrived in one piece, well…except for the microwave and Ben’s fishing pole.  Everything/one else? A little battered but happy.

Moving In

Four days and 10 stores yielded great results:

Cupboards full of dishes, pots and pans, and food.

Fridge full of goodies.

Drawers packed with utensils.

Living room decorated with a coffee table, sofa, couch, chair, and TV.

Dining room fitted with dining table and chairs (and plastic to cover the carpet from toddler messes).

Settling In

Favorite meals served once again (including the cherished hot dog spaghetti–with the hot dogs burnt).

Suitcases full of dirty laundry unpacked, washed, folded, and put away.

Toys and books stored in a convenient location.

Internet and cable hooked up.

Yes, we are [in our new] home! Furniture, dishes, and all!  

As I’ve had limited time to access the internet, I feel a bit lost.  Tell me, what have all you been doing? Feel free to link to some of your favorite posts, I would love to read them! I’ve missed all of you dearly.


Filed under Moving

We’re In!

The day after my surgery,  Ben left for a medical school interview.  His first interview. Despite the timing being inconvenient (although this is more directed toward the unexpected surgery),  we were nervous and excited.

Ben came home feeling very confident.   Because he was told he would hear within a week of whether or not he was accepted,  he started checking his e-mail every ten minutes.  At least.

Late last night,  his diligence paid off.

We received this in his inbox.

The ** College of Osteopathic Medicine hereby offers to admit Benjamin ****** as a candidate for the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2015 commencing in the Fall Term of 2011 with the total credit hours of 249.4 subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein.

I feel giddy–nay elated–that we have reached this point.  I remember our excitement when we got his MCAT scores,  thinking we were one step closer to fulfilling Ben’s career dreams.  A few months later Ben submitted his primary applications and shortly after was filling out secondaries.

And here we are.  Accepted.

The exhausting exams.  The late night (or all night) studying. The loneliness.  It all paid off.

Any good ideas on how to celebrate?


Filed under Reflections