lord help the mister…

15 Dec

I’ve been watching White Christmas a little…always found it really boring as a kid, but now I’m kind of hoping our daughters continue to develop into a Rosemary Clooney/Vera-Ellen-like duo.  They’re already thick as thieves!

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I just walked in the door after being gone for the last 36 hours on the interview trail.  Slipping into the crisp, bright sheets of my hotel bed, all to myself, was nothing short of heavenly.  But, after doing a bit of last minute interview prep (more to calm my nerves than anything else), I couldn’t help falling asleep to this video John sent me on repeat:

Just a brief, perhaps obvious, note from interviews: if there are malignant pediatric residency programs out there, I am thankful that I have not encountered them (to my knowledge).  I’m happy to be going into a field where kindness is valued.


10 Dec

IMG_7067I know I’ve only been here sporadically.  As I’m home with the girls, and additional childcare has been babysitters when I go for residency interviews and for about 10 hours weekly to work (submitting/resubmitting a paper, writing half a dozen others, facilitate a Doctoring course for first years), I’ve struggled more with this balance than others…I think mostly because there’s nothing “acute” (like the work of a clerkship) that must be completed immediately.

But there is also an underlying tension I’m trying so hard to overcome–that caused by wanting so much to move forward while simultaneously grasping at each day, begging that they stop disappearing so quickly.  I’m overwhelmingly excited for graduation and *hopefully* the start of residency (assuming I’m offered a position somewhere).  I want to get started.  But then I also feel this sinking ache of all the moments I’ll miss with my daughters.  Thank God they’re young, and their memories are short (not that those are excuses for the hours and days of their youth I’ll miss in residency).  And they are so loved, I have no concern that they will feel secure.

In college I remember being unable to not finish a book.  Now I can’t remember the last time I finished a book.  There are about 8-12 books on my nightstand with old receipts or postcards marking my place 30-70% the way through each.  I come back to books of comfort, one of which, comically, has become Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis.  There’s a sweet scene that I keep thinking about when I start to feel my anxiety build:

Lewis takes Quinn, his three-year-old daughter, for a night camping in Fairyland.  The family is going through a not-so-easy transition after the recent birth of Dixie, and Quinn has been resentful (in the car on the way to school, for example, she glares at her father with”mad intensity” and says curtly, “My daddy is dead”).  This camping trip is meant as a night out, just daddy and daughter.  The tent is old and decrepit and not water resistant.  There are aggressive donkeys that Quinn thinks are llamas, and she barrels towards them.  The staff serves a banquet of quintessential toddler favorites, including hot dogs and cupcakes.  Multiple late-night activities and readings of Harold and the Purple Crayon.  Multiple wake-ups for emergencies like failure to properly spray the child down with bug spray, “I want your sleeping bag,” and finally “An owl is in the tent!”  And then…

4:12.  “Daddy.”  I wake up.  This time she’s awake, alarmingly alert and rested.  I am not.  “What?” I ask.  “Daddy, I just want to say how much fun I had with you today,” she says.  Actual tears well up in my eyes.  “I had fun with you, too,” I say.  “Can we go back to sleep?”  “Yes, Daddy.”  Then she snuggles right up against me for what I assume will be the long haul.

5:00.  The f—ing birds are actually chirping.  Quinn, of course, awakens with them, turns to me, and begins to sing.

Ugh!  Puddle of heart on the floor!  Trite, perhaps…it helps to read it in the context of Lewis’s biting humor.  It just screams John and Ari, and I’d imagine many of the relationships between father and first born daughter.  And it just reminds me that our daughters will be okay.



the amazing race

9 Dec


Tell me if you think this is a good idea: A team of four mamas with a couple hundred other crossfitters, gathered together on a Saturday morning to celebrate the season.  Racing around the suburbs of Philadelphia (amidst determined holiday shoppers who, occasionally, consider stop signs mere suggestions) in the sleet and rain with shopping carts, kettlebells, free weights, and jump ropes.  Consuming some holiday beverage and food (such as smoked yule logs–I kid you not–the memory itself makes me nauseated) of choice, answering trivia questions, in addition to completing a benchmark WOD at each of the nine stations.


We didn’t think so either.  My soaking shoes felt like there were going to freeze onto my feet.  I continued to taste the (for lack of a better word) tangy flavor of the non-alcoholic mulled wine at station 7 in the back of my throat for hours.  And, carrying the kettlebell back to our parked cart at station 4, I truly thought I would lose the mixture of eggnog, peppermint schnapps, and wassail sloshing up to the fundus of my stomach.

Probably the best babysitting money I’ve ever spent.  (John working the overnight previously was not a deterrent.)  So worth being a part of camaraderie and revelry of team “Jesus and her disciples” (apologies for any offense; we rarely take advantage of my last name).  And it turns out there is a correlation between experience pushing a stroller and ability to maneuver a shopping cart around sidewalks in the rain.


I didn’t feel right posting pictures focusing on other individuals, but perhaps this group shot captures a glimpse of the creativity of costume and shopping cart decoration (not pictured).  I felt a little embarrassed not putting much effort into preparation, but (as you might notice) I rediscovered my beloved troll doll Santa earrings from second grade.

Loved every minute.

thanksgiving 2014

28 Nov

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Such a tender mother-daughter Thanksgiving Day moment, “cooking” side by side…mere seconds before Ari abruptly recoiled and screamed, “HOT!!!!!”  Rookie mom mistake: fake cooking too close to a very real (and in action) slow cooker.  As my punishment, Ari quickly squirmed out of my arms, sobbing “DADDYYYYYYYY!” then ran into John’s arms.

Ari recovered quickly.  Things got worse for me.  I pouted to John that she so prefers him to me.  He just shrugged and said, “Yeah, I don’t know why that is.”  Dude, come on!

It occurred to me that Anna In Med School has had some eventful Thanksgivings…

2010 in Sienna

2011, saying goodbye to my childhood home

2012 and the butterball hotline

2013 in Minnesota (coinciding with such a relief!)

It felt good to spend Thanksgiving in our home.  Our friends Jon and Jamie (and their sweet one-month-old daughter!) joined us for a low-key celebration.  I told John last week that I didn’t have it in me to make a turkey, so I made this roast chicken using the slow cooker and experimented with spaghetti squash fritters and a few other paleo-ish recipes from Well Fed and Against All Grain

Thanksgiving selfie attempts:

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In the spirit of the holiday, Ari’s idea of sharing (a.k.a. Give Evie all the things!!!  Snack cup, fake food, old junk mail, etc.)…

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Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!!  xo



25 Nov


“Tiger!  ROOOOAR!”

10623620_10101513223195387_2170462541438635596_o 10623355_10101513223205367_5987537539653218534_o10547816_10101512965157497_7587558095837284574_oHer love of tigers might rival that of my mother’s, which inspired my dad to have a three-week-old tiger cub pay my mom a visit in our home on one of her last birthdays.

“GÖT!  Poo-poo!”  We also watched goats defecate.  Hard to say which event was more fascinating to our young mind.

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After the zoo, “Neville” (the tiger lovey) didn’t leave her side.  Yes, he is carpooling with Elmo and Ernie in a lawn mower.  There is no other way to travel.

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She’s been tucked away in a covered carseat for most pictures recently, so I wanted to share some evidence that our enthusiastic eater is growing and thriving.

photo 3 photo 4Thanks so much Emilia and Ellen for braving both wind and tantrums to join us this weekend!


in kid news…

21 Nov

John and I brought Ari and Evie in for their double-header well child check-ups on Wednesday.  I was initially going to do the appointments solo, but John was working the PM, so he offered to join…which ended up being incredibly fortuitous.  I threw my back out lifting Evie’s carseat out of the car (I’ve never felt so old: 30 going on 70, I tell ya!), so I’ve been having a rough go of it the last couple days.

Though Evie needed all the typical six-month shots (body armor, I love it, but a little sad in the moment), I was thrilled that Ari could have the flumist (a spray in the nose) instead of the standard flu shot.  Ugh!  We should have elected for the shot.  At the split second, Ari twitched her head, and the syringe must have hit a capillary or something.  Blood everywhere!  My poor toddler was inhaling and swallowing her own blood and completely mystified as to why, why, why this was happening to her.

I (in my mind, smartly) packed a very special treat (a piece of Ari’s favorite chocolate from Trader Joe’s…the one with peanut butter and jelly), and promptly gave it to her for putting up with the ordeal and being a relatively brave little girl.  Unfortunately, it had partially melted-congealed-melted in the diaper bag, so now John was covered in Ari’s blood, melted chocolate, peanut butter, and jelly, and he had about 30 minutes before he needed to leave for work.

It all made for a spectacular scene in our Subaru Forester: John, annoyed at best, floridly pissed at worst about being late and stained and sticky; me, eyes shut and bracing my uncomfortable, crooked body at every turn and bump in the road; Ari and Evie, both asleep so quickly but with faces and hands caked with dried tears and snot and blood and chocolate.

To better moments (captured by Julie):

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20 Nov

Last week was a big one for me.  I got a chance to interview at an exciting and supportive program and, in doing so, took my FIRST trip without dependents since Ari was born.  I felt so light leaving the house without a diaper bag complete with every possible snack (or “special treat”) I could use to bribe Ari into tolerating the carseat.  The five-hour drive felt surreal, and I caught myself periodically checking the backseat mirror for the girls.  I stayed with one of my best friends, and she insisted on sleeping on an air mattress in her dining room so I could sleep in her bed without disruption pre-interview.  Exhaustion overcame interview nerves, and I slept a solid seven hours!

I think the interview went okay, and the day itself was lovely.  Right before hitting the road for the long drive home, I got notice of my first formal rejection.  It stung.  The program that rejected me is, by all measures, excellent, and I would have received fantastic training there.  I have friends there that I respect a great deal, and with whom I would have loved to work.  But, even when first applying, I questioned whether I was a good fit for this program, whether it was a good fit for me.  So I’ve been nursing a wounded pride, but I’m also, oddly, finding myself trusting “the match” process more.  I feel more confident that my family and I will end up where we ought to be.

Just sprinkling some of Julie’s work into the coming posts…

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