Fabulous and ….

This is the final week of my thirties.

Yikes!

I’m getting old.

Or am I?

I remember turning 30 and thinking that was a big deal.  I was a newly-minted doctor, in the first year of my residency and just a little bit terrified. Terrified of suddenly being an adult.  Working full-time, saving money for a house, trying to pay down my debt. I moved three more times before settling in my home. I paid some debt off while incurring a bit more. Yet, the decade that followed surpassed all of my wildest expectations.  I started my career, I married the love of my life, I bought a house, had three beautiful children, met some wonderful people who became my closest friends.

So, it’s a bit strange to say goodbye to that decade. When I look back on who I was at 30, while I do recognize that young woman, I have grown and experienced so much.  I am starting this new decade with much more confidence than I’ve ever had and I truly believe the best is yet to come.

The birthday celebrations have already begun. Last weekend, husband and I had a wonderful night out with one of his closest friends. We experienced a night on the town unlike any we’ve had in quite some time.  It started off with a vodka bar and ended with a ping-pong game at a local club.  Ping pong!  In between there was a fabulous dinner, lively conversation and a couple of sore feet.

food heels

You see, I rarely wear heels.  My poor little feet were aching by the end of the night and I had to take off my shoes. In the middle of downtown, I took off my shoes and walked the streets.  It was exhilarating!

feet

I think I’m going to like 40.

A Lovely Sunday in April.

I spent a wonderful Sunday with my children today.  Husband was busy working on the backyard reno I wrote about last week, and the kids being cooped up from being indoors all day yesterday, needed to burn off some energy and were getting in their dad’s way.  So, daughter put on her helmet, got on her scooter and with her little brother (not the baby) in the stroller, off we went to the park at the end of our street.

You could see the energy just dissipate from them – they were outside, in the fresh air, life was good.  After a good chunk of time spent at the park, the kids announced they were hungry, so we set off for home.  Their snack of choice was more breakfast cereal.  They decided they wanted to sit in their chairs, in the driveway, while I tended to the baby who was just waking from his morning nap.  Ten minutes later, when I went outside to see if they were still hungry, I found this:

Big sister provides the cereal, and the milk for her and her brother.

Big sister provides the cereal, and the milk for her and her brother.

A heart melting moment, for sure.

Shortly after their snack, son clearly needed a nap.  He slept for about an hour and a half.  When he woke up he announced he wanted to go to the “big park”. Husband was still working away on the patio and by this time the baby was back down for another nap, so daughter got on her bike this time and off we went.

I love the neighborhood we live in – there is a park within a 10-15 minute walk in every direction around us.  Living in this city is awesome.

Daughter made sure to load up on some snacks.  She brought crackers to the park but decided the squirrels were hungrier.  She came running over to me, sitting on the bench soaking in some springtime sunshine, squealing with delight that she got really close to a squirrel and he took her cracker from her.  She said he was back up on a tree branch and I just had to come see.  I was skeptical that she was able to actually feed the squirrel, but I played along and followed her.  Her brother caught wind of what was happening and joined us.

To my delightful surprise, up in the tree, we saw this:

squirrel

Why yes, I think I will eat that cracker, thank you.

Now that I am back to work, I don’t have a lot of strictly one-on-one time with the kids anymore.  Today was such a treat for me – the kids were so happy to be outside and running in the park, and I was so happy that I could share it with them.  Then to see the squirrel eating my daughter’s cracker, ahhhh… she and her brother were so thrilled.  It really doesn’t take a lot to make a kid smile.

I have to say though, that I am spent.  My best friend came over with her son for a few hours and chaos in the house ensued.  Loud, fun, adorable chaos which halted for a few moments while the three kids demonstrated this:

yoga

Seriously folks, is there anything cuter than three kids doing the downward dog?

Then, while husband put the kids to bed, I went outside to have a look at the patio he was so tirelessly working on all day long.   It’s not quite finished yet, but I love it.

patio

Just when I thought this day couldn’t get much better, I received an email notification from WordPress.   I just logged my 200th follower.  200!!!  I am speechless. Thank you to each and every single one of you for taking the time out of your busy life to stop by here and read my journey in motherhood and medicine.  I am truly grateful.

200

A Few Pinterest Gems.

Day 13 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

Most nights after a 4 AM feeding, I am wide awake and can’t fall immediately back to sleep. So I will often browse Pinterest.

I found two gems the other night that I thought I would share.

I’ve written before about the almost daily purge we have to go through to keep our house in some vague semblance of order. And I do mean vague. At any given moment I am tripping over a piece of LEGO or a mega block or a dinky car. It takes everything I have not to pick it up and toss it in the garbage. Inevitably there is a child afoot who screams bloody murder at the thought of their precious ending up in the garbage. So much so that this epitomizes my plight.

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On an Internet forum I often frequent there was a thread about life with 3 kids. Most of the posters talked about how crazy their life has become. With 3 kids, it’s just louder, busier, and impossible to have any time for yourself. I’m not sure I entirely agree. Sure, I’m only a few months in and the baby is a blob right now, so perhaps I am deluding myself, but it hasn’t been all that bad. It probably helps that husband is also home with me. We both make time for our own hobbies. Sometimes this means the kids put a video on and watch a movie. Is that bad? I tend to think not. Happy parents = happy kids.

Honestly, I couldn’t handle it if my husband worked. There. I said it. I have it easy, I know. Still, can’t help but think this might be me in a few years.

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On Princesses and Friendships.

Day 24. National Blog Posting Month.

Yesterday we had the Princess’s 5th birthday party.  It was a family/friends event (that means there were no school friends) and it was wonderful.

Friends of ours who had moved out east recently returned (they live an hour away now) and brought their two boys.  The kids had a wonderful time running around the house playing tag.  The Princess was showered with lovely gifts, not surprisingly, all “Princess” themed.  She received a glitter-covered box of makeup and nail polish from my best friend; her grandparents gave her an Ariel doll and suitcase; another friend brought her a Belle doll; my brother and his wife gave her a Rapunzel doll.  My house is full of princesses!!!  Even her cake followed the same theme (her dad painted the cake, which I made).

cake

She slept with all of her new dolls last night.  This morning her fingernails and toenails have more glitter on them than I’ve ever had in my entire life.  All morning she’s been walking around in Ariel’s dress-up costume and carrying her make-up box.  As I write this she is sitting next to me putting lip gloss on me (as well as herself).

I know I’ve written about this before, but I really do have an amazing group of friends. I am so very fortunate for the people in my life and I love each of them dearly.  Since having children we have all gotten even closer and its so wonderful to see the kids growing up together and having fun with each other.

One of my closest friends from medical school texted me a few days ago saying he was going to be in town this weekend and asked if we could get together.  I see him maybe twice a year, and we are not ones to pick up the phone to talk, though we do text each other sometimes.  But when I need him, or vice versa, we are there for each other as if no time has passed.  It’s like that with my best friend as well.  Anyway, he came over near the end of the birthday party and stayed late along with my bestie while husband went to a concert.  Despite fighting a flu-like illness (I’ve body aches and a sore throat for 2 days), the three of us polished off almost two bottles of white wine and a ton of Thai food.  We talked about medicine, psychology, pharmacology,  (my bestie is a pharmacy tech), friendships, children, all manner of topics under the sun.  I could have stayed up all night talking with them but I’m not 25 anymore.  The chills set in around midnight so we had to call it a night. I fell asleep feeling fulfilled and content.

I have my friends to thank for that.

 

You Think Rob Ford Has Problems?

Day 18. National Blog Posting Month.

So, like every household with kids we have an extraordinary number of stuffed animals.  Sure, a lot of them were mine from childhood (and adulthood – what, you don’t have stuffed animals you won at amusement parks??), but most of them belong to the kids.  Every so often, husband and I go through them and decide who should stay and who should be donated to GoodWill.

We have one stuffed animal who always survives the purge — Grover.  He was given to my daughter on her 1st (or 2nd?) birthday by her uncle, my brother. Wherever we find him, it always looks like Grover has somehow fallen victim to some weird tragedy.

Note:  None of these photographs were staged.

Like that time he was crushed by the baby stroller …

Or that time he drank one too many shots of tequila ….

Or that time he apparently choked on a Scrabble piece …

Or that time … well, we’re not sure, but it involved a water siphon, and a My Little Pony…

Then there’s that time we’re pretty sure he smoked some crack …

I think I need to set up a Nanny cam.

It’s Alive!

Day 5.

A picture says two (or three) words.

I took this photograph a few days ago. It was about 9pm, husband and I were watching an episode of 30 Rock. I had gotten the baby to sleep and put him on a pillow next to me. This was after multiple attempts at trying to get him to sleep in the bassinet you see at the left of the photograph.  I can’t tell you how lovely it was to be able to eat my dinner with two hands!  He’d been asleep for about an hour and a half when he started to stir.  The soother had fallen out of his mouth about an hour before and as I looked over at him, I saw his hand pop up.  Immediately, I grabbed my camera and snapped the photograph.  All I could think of was this:

Laughter.

Laughter – a part of human behavior regulated by the brain, helping humans clarify their intentions in social interaction and providing an emotional context to conversations. Laughter is used as a signal for being part of a group — it signals acceptance and positive interactions with others. Laughter is sometimes seen as contagious, and the laughter of one person can itself provoke laughter from others as a positive feedback.[4] This may account in part for the popularity of laugh tracks in situation comedy television shows.

The study of humor and laughter, and its psychological and physiological effects on the human body, is called gelotology. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughter)

This weekend, my husband’s best friend and his wife were back in our province looking for a house.  They moved out West a few years ago and are now returning home.  My husband couldn’t be happier.  He has missed his friend so much.  So, we decided to leave the kids with their grandparents for the night and joined our friends at their hotel.

About 2 minutes into the reunion the boys were acting like the teenagers they were when they met.  Instantly, the jokes started and the four of us were in stitches from laughing so hard.  After a wonderful meal we went back in the hotel room.  Again, within minutes,  the laughing continued and at one point, I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe.

(Recall that I am pregnant, so my abdominal wall muscles are now all but non-existent, and laughing becomes more difficult when there is nothing to support your core.)

As I was falling asleep, the peacefulness that washed over me was sublime.  There was a time, honestly, when laughing like that with friends was difficult.  Sometimes friends just connect, and sometimes that connection fades.  My husband’s friend’s wife said last night that sometimes friends are like old clothes in your closet.  Sometimes you have to clear out the old clothes that don’t fit you anymore in order to make room for the new ones.

As I welcome this new little life growing inside of me next fall, I want him or her to know nothing but the sound of laughter in our home.  I’ve realized last night that won’t be a problem anymore.  The people in my life make me laugh every day; I am reminded everyday how lucky I am and how fortunate I am to have these people in my life.  Seeing my husband with his best friend again just reinforced it for me.

Laughter really is the best medicine and the foundation for healthy relationships.

I hope that anyone reading this laughs with their friends and partners today.