Haha, Wave, E-I-E-I-O, Blankie: The Life of a 15 month old

So I was writing a post and then I tried to upload a photo, and CRASH BANG BOOM… Post deleted.

I’m not crying over spilled milk, because what’s the point? No time to re-write because I’ve already procrastinated studying long enough, so here are the highlights in very concise prose. It’s probably better this way anyways.

1. Ben laughs. A lot.

2. Ben waves for everything now. Waving response time has also markedly decreased. No longer do we wave when we are in the car, five minutes after saying goodbye to someone. Progress! 🙂

3. Adorable rendition of the E-I-E-I-O part of Old McDonald:

4. Ben loves blankie. Nana made new copies of blankie with different (but similar fabric). Ben detests them. Sad. We are going to work on transforming his blatant discrimination toward certain blankie races in the coming weeks. Because seriously… look at that disgusting corner he sticks in his mouth (bottom right).

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And finally, some accolades to my other man:

1. John turned 31! We celebrated á la Chop House. It was weird being back there 7+ years after our last b-day celebration there in college.

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2. One of John’s recent research study’s caught some 15-minutes-of-fame press coverage today! Wooo! Check it out HERE or HERE!   … And update (9/30): Here too!

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Patient 0

This post may not read very smoothly because I’m a bit of a zombie today. After class yesterday, I studied from noon until 1:30am (13+ hours!) with basically no break, other than to stand up and stretch or go to the bathroom every hour or so. When I finished my quiz at 2am I felt like I was drunk and the room was spinning. It was not healthy.

This week was so crazy because Ben was sick which threw all our best laid plans to the wind since he stayed home from daycare for the better part of the week. He started with a cold a few weeks ago that progressed into a pretty deep cough and double ear infection by last weekend. Then he spiked a fever for three days. Textbook kid bug stuff I guess.  The poor little guy’s immune system just couldn’t catch him a break. And the antibiotic he started on Monday did not seem to do its job either.

Playing was a lot of work this week, so he took periodic breaks to lay down with his blankie.

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Ben covered his blankie in so many germs because it was a constant fixture on his person all week.. We watched so many Baby Einstein DVDs… Trusty old Toby played his usual Comfort Norwich role… And Ben revisited his baby bouncer in his attempts to find a place of comfort…
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In a way, Benjamin was my first patient (Patient 0?) as a doctor-in-training.  One thing I can say is that I am really good at prescribing cuddles.

Hmmm…. that is probably not going to work out with patients.   Hugs maybe?

Some random moments & reflections on wearing the hat of a Dr. Mom this week:

1. Being asked by the urgent care doctor to decide what antiobiotic to give. He knew I was an M1, so I don’t know how he expected me to know anything.

2. Over-analyzing & over-reserching the decision on whether to bring Ben back to urgent care after 3-4 days of no response to first-line antibiotic.  (We did not). I got some good practice using the common drug database and online medical references, searching for information on acute otitis media. They really are a lot better than Dr. Google, I have to say.

3. Routine communciable illnesses can be stressful.  Most of the time we are just barely keeping the plates spinning as two full-time professionals/parents.  I hope I am responsive to this when I care for families in the future.

4. On that note…simple words that convey understanding, empathy, and support (even in the case of illnesses are mild or commonplace) can go a long way. I have to HIGHLY recommend the new Domino Farm’s IHA Urgent Care in Ann Arbor. The front desk folks there are wonderful. (The nurse & doc were great too, but I feel like those other people we interact with in our medical visits can have such a big impact too and I really thought these ladies deserved a shout out).

5. Decisions to send a kid to daycare/school or not and if or when to take a little one to the doctor for an illness are not always obvious. From my experience with Ben’s little bugs so far, there are often up & down periods throughout the day, even throughout a single hour. It may seem they’ve perked up and feel better, but a few hours later it is as if things have only gotten worse.

6. Wondering if there is any amount of TV that could be considered ‘too much’ when it is helping a struggling, sick little one stay distracted. My instinct: No.  However, we are now dealing with the aftermath in which toddler terrorist demands to turn on Baby Einstein are the new norm. We’re going cold turkey on him. All remotes and DVDs are under lock and key now that he is almost back to healthy.

7. Random recall of being at my Grandma’s house when I was pretty little (maybe 6?) and had to stay home sick from school. I got to eat Fruity Pebbles in bright orange bowls while watching Nickelodeon all day long. I vaguely remember that I threw up the Fruity Pebbles shortly after consuming their crumbly goodness, and was either slightly disappointed that the puke was not rainbow-confetti colored, or slightly amazed that it was.   …maybe I’ll have to keep a box of Pebbles stashed in the pantry for a little experiment next time Ben gets sick.

Ok that got way too long…sleep-deprived ramblings.

Dancing in the Rain

I’ve been a med student (M1) for 5 full weeks now, but it has felt like 5 full months (mostly in a good way). So there is no possible way I can catch up on everything in one short post. But I’ve missed blogging so much. From here on out, I’m resolving to make a concerted effort to post frequent updates as this long journey ahead unfolds.

When we started our second “sequence” (Cells & Tissues) last Monday I was excited to find a little note from my sweet M2 “MedSib” in my mailbox at school, accompanied by some delicious chocolate.

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Inside, she shared that this quote sums up her view of med school. It instantly resonated with me.

……

Medical school is often compared to drinking from a fire hose or drinking the ocean through a straw, (there are a lot more analogies…like eating five pancakes a day for four years, apparently). These analogies are better than any I could come up with. But I could probably contribute different versions of the analogies for going through medical school as a parent. Perhaps, the following:

Drinking from a fire hose while changing an entire landfill of poopy diapers on a thrashing toddler who is trying to escape, while also folding laundry that continuously shoots out of the dryer with your feet.

OR…

Drinking the ocean through a straw while singing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” on repeat and wiping a never-ending snotty nose ‘waterfall’ with all of the parts of all of the clothes you are wearing.

I am being a bit dramatic…it has really been awesome! I love being back in school and I love being a mom. I can’t imagine anything else. And doing both simultaneously is totally do-able, for now at least. Michigan is tough, but also super flexible so I have been able to work my butt off during the week, take my weekly “flextime” quiz/exam on Friday, and have the entire weekend off to spend time with family and friends. And with a pass/fail structure for the first two years, there is far less pressure than there would otherwise be.

……

Since water is the theme, I should mention that we have had our fair share of rain lately. A storm on Friday blew out our power for two full days. And it seemed like every other day I picked up Ben from daycare in the past few weeks it was pouring. Last weekend we went to a family party in a gorgeous backyard and a storm rolled in suddenly and soaked us all through and through. But Benjamin kept playing in the rain while we all took shelter:

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I love to learn life lessons from my little man. He is always delighted by these storms, and his glee is infectious. He loves the feeling of rain on his skin and seems amazed that water could be falling from the sky. Let’s think about it for a minute. Water. Falls. From the sky. Water…that thing that we drink, that thing that keeps all the proteins folded up properly in our body, that thing that we use for just about every possible function of life. It just FALLS from the sky. If you are one, this is the most mind-boggling, awesome thing. It should still be that way for us when we are ten, and 29, and 92. Don’t you think?

Ben Getting Wet

Maybe Benjamin will be a scuba dive instructor or a marine biologist on account of his love for water. Or maybe this is all just a reminder that I need to sign him up for a swim class this fall.

P.S. Please take 2 extra minutes out of your day to watch this little ladybug discover rain. You will not regret it.