Tag Archives: Pre-Med Life

My Husband, the Superhero

I’m not really in the blogging mood right now.  I’m too busy feeling bad for myself.  So, instead of focusing on me, I’m going to talk about the most awesome person I know: my husband.

A couple weeks ago, Ben informed me that our finances were hurting.  Not in a oh-my-gosh-we-can’t-pay-our-rent-this-month- kind of hurt, but very very close.  To keep our wallets insulated, my husband picked up a second job.  He will now be working 70+ hours a week from here until Eternity (that’s how it feels, anyway).  When I suggested that I find something part-time or full-time he firmly told me no.  My health was a major factor in his reasoning, as was my desire to stay-at-home with the kids.  In his words, “I want to let you be a mom.”  I think I fell in love with him all over again.

This guy is amazing.  He will be returning from his last medical school interview later this evening only to be at church early tomorrow morning and back to work for 32 straight hours soon thereafter.  All because he knows we need the money and, in his mind, that is his responsibility.

If you aren’t yet convinced, I can bet that tonight he will ly get up with the kids in order to give me a break.  Of course, I am crossing my fingers that Andrew’s new pattern (as in, since his daddy left town) of getting up every few hours will be broken tonight.  And, he will offer to massage my shoulders, listen to my weepy feel-sorry-for-myself stories, and even comfort me.

How did I snag this guy?

On a much brighter note, he has been accepted to all the medical schools he interviewed at.  I am so proud of him.  We now have the luxury of choosing between a few schools rather than going to a school because it was the only one he got into.  (That sounds very haughty.  It isn’t intended to be like that.)  Naturally, we will let the Spirit guide us as we make the final choice.

Clearly, Ben is the better half.


Filed under Marriage

A Word About Holidays

Ben and I are horrible about celebrating holidays.  We would completely forget about them if it weren’t for commercials and blogs.

True that.

It isn’t that we don’t appreciate the reasons behind them–although I still don’t understand the purpose behind Halloween–it’s that we are busy.  Also,  we are very limited financially.

I’m not complaining about our situation, because I feel we are truly blessed, I am only explaining.  We live in a cozy apartment,  eat delicious foods,  have reliable transportation,  have insurance,  have jobs.  There is no reason to complain.

However, when it comes to the holidays there is a certain amount of pressure.  Buy this,  buy that,  decorate!  For a person who still hasn’t placed photographs around the apartment we have lived in for over a year,  it’s a bit overwhelming.  Compare, compare, compare.  I feel myself giving excuses to people and myself.

At least I used to.

Now, I realize that this is how Ben and I are.  We work hard to keep our kids healthy and happy while seeing after their spiritual, mental, and physical needs.  We don’t really think about the extra things–like gifts or decorations on holidays–because the struggle is intense.

At the same time,  our home is our haven.  Sure,  we rarely have holiday decorations on the walls or doors,  but we do have each other.  And the love is palpable.

It’s in the clean laundry piled on the couch.

The dishes in the sink.

The toys strewn across the floor.

The boxes of diapers and wipes stacked behind the television.

The well worn couches.

Our lives may be a bit messy and we might be forgetful about traditional holiday things,  but we sure as heck love each other.

I don’t know when our lives will be less messy.  We will soon enter a new chapter of our lives: Medical school.  It will be hard.  So very hard. We are lucky,  though,  because we have each other.

Maybe once we are settled we will celebrate holidays differently.  For now,  we try to celebrate them daily,  (at least the religious ones) and remember the most important thing: Family.


Filed under Uncategorized

A day without running water

really really sucks, as I found out yesterday.  Although it was a good reminder that I am far from being pioneer worthy,  it also revealed just how much I use water for even the simplest of tasks.

1.  Washing hands.  Considering my hand washing compulsion, this was tough.  I used almost all of my hand sanitizer and tried not to touch any food.

2.  Washing dishes.  My obsession with clean dishes is comparable to clean hands; therefore, not being able to even rinse off, let alone wash, a dish was pretty unbearable.  I think we used every dish in our house by the end of the day.  (Okay,  this is not that big of a deal.  We have just enough dishes to feed ourselves and another couple and their kid.)

3.  Washing clothes.  A stomach bug plus being out of commission has placed us in a dire laundry situation.  Just ask my bedroom floor,  and my naked children.  Since I am feeling slightly better,  I wanted to remedy this.  Not to be.

4.  Cleaning up messes.  Without water,  cleaning up sticky messes requires creativity and lots and lots of wipes.

5.  Bathing.  This one is a bit obvious.  For a girl who never goes without a shower,  I felt disgusting by the end of day.  We had to use the tiny amounts of water left in my water bottle to brush teeth.  I guess the positive thing was we did brush our teeth.

6.  Drinking.  I love water.  Much more than juice or milk (soda comes a close second).  Once we realized we were without water, we went to the store and bought a gallon.  Unfortunately, this was divided between all of us and to  be used with cleaning and cooking.

7.  Cooking.  Even simple (and sanitary) things like washing vegetables was impossible.   Our meals were very simple.

I realize that we are so very lucky to even have running water,  but when you are used to the convenience it is difficult to manage without.   At least for me.


Filed under so help me

On a Whim

I do not like being away from Ben.  Even though he is gone quite a bit, I prefer his current schedule to one in which he would travel.  My preference does not exclude me from feeling overwhelmed.  Especially when Ben’s schedule becomes so packed that I am left to bear all familial responsibilities.  That is how last week was. When I recognized that my sanity was quickly slipping through my cupped hands, I made a difficult decision.

When Ben came home on Saturday night, I explained how I was feeling and offered a solution.  A visit to my family’s house.  Even though he would miss us greatly,  he realized it was the best possible answer.

On Sunday,  I finished laundry and packed the suitcases.  I was nervous. I would be driving for 6 hours alone and with the kids.  Two very young kids.

The next morning, Andrew and Emily woke up 15 minutes prior to when my alarm clock was set to ring–at 4 am.  I decided it was now or never, so I quickly fed Andrew and loaded the luggage into the car (which included 2 suitcases, 2 Pack n’ Plays, 2 booster seats, and 2 grocery bags filled with food).  After a long kiss good-bye and a prayer for safety, Ben helped me load the kids into the car and we were on our way.

Because I left so early, the kids slept most of the way.  The challenge was when I needed to use the restroom.  Thankfully, they are small enough that I could carry them into a bathroom stall with me.  Maybe not the most sanitary option, but that’s why I am liberal with hand sanitizer.

I still miss Ben, greatly.  Yet, it is nice to be somewhere with instant entertainment for Emily, yummy meals each night, and help with my little Andrew.

It kind of makes me hope we can stay out west for medical school.


Filed under so help me

I Am So Talented

One of the big themes I see over and over again in the blog world is balance.

Well, boy howdy, I have found the solution.

At least for me.

Go ahead and pat me on the back.

Oh, what is that? You want to know my secret?

My secret is simple:  husband found a new job in which he is working nights.  Brilliant,  really.

Now that he is no longer around to tempt me into spending time with him,  I have commandeered my nights and whipped them into cleaning action.  I wash dishes,  sweep and mop floors,  vacuum the messy carpet,  and wash, fold, and put away laundry.

I am like the super cleaning woman.


I’m feeling tired just reading that!

All right, it isn’t as hard as it sounds.  Considering we only live in 500 sq ft, the floors take like 10 minutes to clean; the laundry room shares space with our only bathroom; and it takes like 4 seconds to walk from room to room.  Living in a small space does have its advantages.

I have decided to ignore household chores and the internet while my kids are awake–otherwise known as taking long walks and playing in the park–so I use the four or five hours after they go to bed for my time.  My time to blog, write, and clean.

It’s splendid really.

Except for the fact that my husband is gone and that I miss him greatly.

Sometimes, though, I choose to see the positives.

Like a clean house.


Filed under Uncategorized

A Stranger’s Kindness

I don’t cry very often.  Really, I don’t.  Tears might come to my eyes occasionally, but I normally brush them away and continue on with whatever task I am trying to perform.  Something happened yesterday that touched my heart so deeply that I couldn’t help but cry.

What was that act? Kindness.  Extraordinary kindness.

Ben and I are in transition.  He has started a new job that has some pretty rocking benefits.  As is custom, we must wait thirty days before these benefits take effect.  We were kicked off our previous insurance a few days before he started the new job.  Yeah, we don’t have insurance.

This hasn’t been an issue until today.  Rather, a few days ago when Andrew woke up screaming. Every 15-30 minutes. All. Night. Long.

The first night I figured it was my fault.  I had interrupted his sleep to pick Ben up from work.

The second night I thought he might be scared.

The third night I wasn’t sure what to think.

And this was our quandary: do we take him in to the doctor? If we had had insurance this would not have been a question.  But, because a doctor’s visit would require taking money from our oh-so-tight budget, we had to make a decision.

See the doctor or eat.

OK. Maybe not that drastic, but close.

The threat of repeating the last three nights, and the potential of an ear infection, led us to the doctor’s office.

I must say, we are very satisfied with our pediatrician.  He has taken care of our kids–and us–very well.  Ben even shadowed him! We know him and trust him.

The doctor did not find an infection.  He did find a sore, in the back of Andrew’s throat, resulting from a virus that he has seen once or twice this year.  The good news: it only lasts about 5 days.  The bad news: it is very painful. The ultra bad news: there is nothing we can do about it.

Needless to say, it was not a good visit.  I could feel our bank account protesting against our hsatiness, “If you had only waited another day, you wouldn’t have needed a doctor!”

I was feeling pretty defeated.  I had Andrew dressed and was only waiting for the doctor to dismiss us.  As he finished typing, and opened the door, he said something I did not expect.  He said to Ben, “Don’t worry about paying.  Take her [me] out to lunch. She needs it.”

The tears surprised me as much as his words.


I hope we can do the same for someone in the future.

P.S. Andrew’s sore is much better.  He was able to sleep all night last night!


Filed under keeping the faith

Insanity Is My Middle Name

I want to have six children.   I have always wanted a big family, and when Ben and I got married, we agreed that six sounds like a nice number.  All right, we actually wanted more initially but my first pregnancy kind of scared us.  Besides, I want to be done before I turn thirty.  Yeah, before. I have plenty of reasons behind my choice, but I’ll limit it to the top five.

1. Youth.  Frankly, pregnancy is difficult.  Since I have a family history of pregnancy complications, I am hoping that starting and finishing young will keep them away.

2. Money.  Since we don’t have money, our options are limited.  It’s great! I don’t worry about setting up a nursery, buying cool toys, or getting new clothes.  I shop at used stores and set up the Pac N’ Plays in our tiny second bedroom when new babies arrive!  The awesome thing is, the babies don’t care.  Heck, they’d sleep in a box if I let them.  (Which I don’t.  Obviously.)

3.  Travel.  We don’t travel (reason # 2) But, because we are young (reason #1), the last kid will leave the house by the time we are fifty.  Fifty. That leaves Ben and me plenty of time for world traveling.  And we will even have money to spend.

4. Education.  I graduated with my bachelor’s degree and plan on pursuing a Masters sometime in the future.  Because I am young (reason #1), my options are not limited.  Once Ben is established in his career, the kids will have started school, and I will have time to attend classes.

5. Health.  My body bounces back quickly after each pregnancy.  It helps that I only gain 15-20 pounds.  (Hyperemesis Gravidarum does have its positive points.)   I actually weigh less now than before I was married.  I know that as I age, this may change, but I am counting on reason #1 to keep my body in line.

Ahh, who am I kidding.  The real reason is that I want more just like these two.


Filed under seemingly bold

Where are the Lemons?

I can’t find the lemons today, I think they made a run for it.

Perhaps they disappeared when my daughter dropped my phone into her cereal bowl. Or when she threw her food on the floor.  For the millionth time.

Maybe they hid yesterday,  after Emily threw all her crackers on the carpet and walked over them.  Repeatedly.  Or when she got into the laundry detergent while I was trying to nurse Andrew.

I think they decided to take off when Emily refused to go to bed and sat in her crib crying.  Until I couldn’t take it anymore.  Until I realized she was starving and felt horrible for not figuring it out sooner.

Perhaps they realized my mistake when I decided to read The Hunger Games in order to relax.  They could have at least warned me first.

I guess they could have been scared away when Andrew woke up screaming at 1:00 am and Ben told me it was time he cried it out.

I wish they would have shown up when I was still wide awake at 4:30.  Company would have been nice.

They probably ran away when Andrew woke up at 6:00.  They must have seen my frustration peak when I brought him into bed at 6:30.

I think, though, it really started with the dishes.  They surely realized my mistake in not cleaning up immediately following dinner.  I guess they recognized my exhaustion and decided against pushing it.  There is only so much I can do when I am facing these things alone.

I hope they come back soon.  This semester isn’t getting any easier.


Congratulations to C at Kid Things for winning the copy of Aidan Donnelly Rowley’s novel, Life After Yes.  I know you will enjoy it!


Filed under keeping the faith

And the Rest Is History, I Guess

In continuation of Momalom’s Five for Ten series, today’s topic is “Happiness.”  Click on over to join the fun!

During the whole appendectomy episode,  Ben decided that he wanted to try a new educational/career path.  Being in the hospital reignited his dream of becoming a doctor.  Since his GPA was practically spotless, he was weary of smudging his record with the tyrannical science courses.  With my wholehearted support,  he decided he would give pre-med a one semester try.   If he felt confident after that first semester,  he would continue on until the next semester, and, after that, he would be set on medical school.  (See? I really do support him in his dreams! As long as they do not include becoming a career pilot.)

The first semester was rough.  Not only were we new parents, but we were both taking classes.  Plus, to put it mildly, Ben’s classes were not easy.

When the semester was over, he managed to walk away with better grades than he expected.   He decided to continue.

Now, almost 2 years later, we have reached a point that was a mere speck in the horizon.

Yesterday, we received Ben’s MCAT scores.

If I could fully relate how much we have both sacrificed to reach this point, I would.  I will tell you this–there have been many days, especially over this last semester, when I wouldn’t see Ben until he stumbled into bed around 2 am.   I’m not just referring to the weekdays.  I mean Monday-Saturday.  (Sunday was our sacred family time.) It was difficult.  Parenting two little babies by myself, especially when my husband is only a couple miles away, was harder than I anticipated.  I wrote many disparaging posts (which I may just delete) and cried more than I care to admit, but I tried my best to support my husband through it all.  It helped to know that he was struggling as well.  I mean, he had to study and actually take the test.  I only had to blubber about solo parenting.  Besides, he loves his children more than I can describe.  He would have given anything to be with them.

So.  April 10th came and Ben took the test.  When finished it did nothing to alleviate our anxiety.  For all we knew, he would be taking it again (because he likely did not do well enough) after he found out his score.

The kids and I may have seen Ben more this last month, but the tension was still palpable; the nights still sleepless.

Fast forward to yesterday.  The scores were scheduled to come out at some point during the day.  While Ben tried to work and I tried to, um, tend to the kids (meaning read all the delightful Five for Ten posts), we couldn’t help but look at the website every ten seconds.

Finally, a little after 1:00, I received the call I had been expecting.  I answered the phone with a hurried–“Was it good??” To which my husband replied, “Yes!”

Pure happiness.

For inquiring minds,  knowing the score is the first step.  We will now be applying to different medical schools and starting the interviewing process sometime in September.  In some ways, I never thought this day would come.  I was sure we would be stuck in undergraduate education forever.  I am glad that this theory proved to be untrue.


Filed under Reflections

All Things Aside, I Think I Have It Easy

My brain is whirring from all the thoughts that are being produced.  Its noises keep me awake and wake me up.

I dream about cranial nerves, heart tissue, blood characteristics, and components of the Central Nervous System.  I am haunted by exams, papers, and due dates that I have missed.

In case you’re wondering, I am not in school.  These strange dreams and clogged processes are the product of my husband’s stress.  See, he has asked that I help him study this week.  That means that I can’t blame my kids for my late nights.  No, this week I entirely blame my husband.

I’m not complaining, though, because I have it easy.  I may stay up late quizzing him, but he must take the exams and write the papers.  He also must stay up later (or all night) to complete his various assignments.

Between helping him at night, preparing meals, keeping little toddlers occupied, and nursing a growing boy, my days are quite cluttered.  I may not get around to each of your blogs daily, but I will catch you here and there.

Until then, be grateful that you aren’t preparing for medical school.  I know I am.


Filed under Uncategorized