Showing posts from April, 2011


I'm getting more and more excited about our summer garden when I see how much Judah loves playing in the dirt.

The truest statement I heard all day.

Talking with patient who are confused can often be challenging, but also occasionally amusing.
Case in point:

Me, to the fairly confused patient who came to our ER because he was threatening to hurt himself:
"Sir, do you know where you are?"
"Yes, I do. I am in an unfortunate place." (I got excited for a minute thinking he might actually remember where he was today.)
"What place is that?"
"The Saluda County Jail."
"No, sir, you are in the ER of Self Hospital."
He looks totally surprised. "You are lying. I'm not in the hospital."
"Yes, sir, you are. You've been here for 3 weeks."
"3 weeks?? No, I haven't. You better ask them out there. You are mistaken." He points to the nurses in the hall.
"If you ask them, they'll tell you the same thing. You've been here in the ER for 3 weeks."
Now to them: "Have I been here for 3 weeks?"
The helpful nurse responds: "Yes."…


Easter was a little more meaningful to me this year. Unlike last year, when Judah was just 5 days old, I actually made it to church, even though I am working this week. But even more than that, I was given a very real and tangible reminder of the beauty of the day.

I watched as two of my patients died today. The first was an old man with a failing heart who was ready to go. The second was a much younger woman who came to our ER very ill and then proceeded to get sicker, dying in spite of our best efforts to save her. I put my hand on their chests, listened in vain for the regular thump-thump that was no longer there, declared them dead. Gone. Passed away. Easter is meaningless unless we recognize the horror of the reality of the life we live without it.

I watched as two families grieved the loss of loved ones, as they held each other and cried for their loss.

I prayed that they, like me, would remember what today means for them and for their loved ones. If they knew Jesus, it means th…

Small Truimphs.

It's been a few days of small successes here around the Tell House.

1. Two days ago, I set Judah on the bathroom sink upstairs and bravely pulled out my hair cutting scissors and cut his hair. All by myself. With no one else there to wrangle or amuse. I'm proud to say that I didn't cut him AND his hair actually looks ok. Good, even. I think there are a few places where I could do a little touch up and take a little more off, but I straightened up the back and over his ears.

2. Ever since we've been married, I've been on a slow quest to increase the foods that Jeff eats. Although I mostly try to cook foods that I know he will like, I do regularly make things that I know he won't necessarily love, but that are good for him. I am an adventurous eater, and while I wouldn't call Jeff a picky eater, he's not as adventurous as I am.

For instance, when we first got married, he claimed that he didn't like mushrooms. This was unacceptable to me. So I cooked …

Life after infertility.

I'm actually beginning to wonder if there ever really is something called "life after infertility."

In a women's bible study I was doing recently, I read something that I have especially found to be true in dealing with my infertility. The author talked about how sometimes we have a heart like an onion. (And now I'm imagining Donkey from Shrek asking Shrek how he is like an onion....) Even though there may be healing on the outside, there sometimes can still be hurt underneath. I guess I used to think that once I was pregnant, I would no longer struggle with the same feelings I had while we were still trying to get pregnant. Nope. Then I figured that once the baby was here, I wouldn't get jealous of women who could get pregnant easily. Also not true.

I can't say if this is true for everyone who struggles with infertility. Although things did change once I had Judah and all those feelings of inadequacy and jealously lessened, they didn't go away. They …


My mom's parents didn't leave much behind when they passed away. At least, not much of what the world thinks of as being an inheritance. There wasn't a big house, or lots of money, or an enormous trust fund. Instead, when my mom gets together with her brother and sister, they sometimes walk around each other's yards, pointing at different plants.
"These are some of the daffodils mom had growing on the side of the house."
"This forsythia came from a cutting from the one mom and dad had growing in the back yard."
"Do you have some of her irises? These are all irises that came their house."
Apparently, my grandmother and granddad both had green thumbs, a trait which definitely was passed down to my mom and her siblings. My whole life, my mom has had this enormous christmas cactus that is the most beautiful one I have ever seen. It also came from a cutting from one that my grandmother had.

Last summer, when I was in Tennessee with my mom, we hunt…

Birthday Pictures!

I am, historically, not much of a planner. But I did actually put a little thought into Judah's party ahead of time and was pleased with how well everything came off. (You might think that this would make me learn that when I plan, things go better, thus encouraging me to do more planning. Although I might hope that this were true, I'm doubtful it will happen that way.) Instead of a formal game, I just had some balls, bats, bubble solution and we got a little swimming pool at the last minute since it was such a warm day. My parents gave Judah a swing for his birthday, which also came in handy at the party.

I used a lot of red and blue decorations since that felt very baseball-y.
For food we had hot dogs, hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans. I also made some caramel corn and had peanuts that people could shell and eat (Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks....)

I made two types of cupcakes (the same I did for Judah's baptism) and then made Judah his own baseball-shaped smash cake.…

Good company

Can I just say how much I loved hearing all your motherhood mistake stories?

It makes me feel better to know that I am not alone and am in quite good company of excellent moms who still sometimes do things like accidentally let their kids eat a bug. Or roll out of the baby swing.

Thanks for cheering me up!

And Jen Clary - if you are reading this - you should email me. I would love to hear more about what is going on with you!

I am an awesome mom.

I won a new prize in the awesome mom category today.

I have for some time been adding up points for all the ways that I am a good mom.
Cut his tiny hand on his fourth day of life when I was cutting off the hospital band: check (He still has the scar!)
Found rocks from our fireplace in his mouth: check
Set down a knife on the table within his reach: check
Turned around and found him holding said knife: double check
Found leaves in his mouth: check, check and check
Found him holding my razor, which I set down on the tub while he was in the bathroom: check

Today, though, I set a new record. I locked Judah in the car. With all the windows up.
See? Awesome mom, right here.

It was a total fluke thing where I was tossing the keys onto the front seat as I was getting out and about to get Judah out. As I closed my door, the keys fell off the seat and into the shutting door, which closed on the lock button on our remote. And just like that, in a split second, Judah was locked in.

Thankfully, we…

Catch up.

I'm finally feeling caught up after a fun, fun weekend celebrating Judah's birthday. Lots of family was able to come, including Jeff's mom - all the way from Colorado.

Photos will be forthcoming, but right now I'm wrapped up in a game of Scrabble with Jeff and Sue. Be back soon.

Day 3: children's Museum

Chicago has an awesome children's museum. Even Judah, although he is still pretty little really had a great time. There was the firefighter exhibit:

The water exhibit:
And this really cool shadow exhibit.
And while we were out, we walked over to the "bean." I'm not sure what it's really called, but it looks like a bean. Or a red blood cell.
Chicago really is a great city to visit.

Chicago, Day 2: Cubs Game!!

A day filled with swimming, a train ride, and a baseball game.

This is Ian. What did I tell you about his cheeks??

I might be biased, but we make extra beautiful babies in our family.....

Good Reads.

Since getting a kindle for Christmas, I've been reading a few more new books than normal. I used to wonder if I would like using an e-reader and wasn't sure that I would, thinking I would miss the aesthetic experience of reading an actual book. Let me tell you: I LOVE our kindle - being able to carry around several books in one small reader is fantastic. And I don't really miss the physical book at all, although I feel like if I get a kindle book that I just love, I might feel compelled to buy an actual copy to own. I also love that they are less expensive than an actual book. The only down side I see is that it is almost too easy to download new books and since you don't have to put in a credit card number or anything (you order through your amazon account) it almost feels like they are all free.

Here are some recent favorites:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: I have been wanting to read this one ever since I first heard about it. I feel like anyone would enjoy…

Chicago, Day 1.

I think I'm just going to post some of my favorite trip photos as opposed to lots of wordy posts about it. But we did have a great time, as these pictures show.

Sam is a very, very excellent cousin to Judah.
Nana, of course, loved every second of being with all her grandbabies.


There is a lot of blogging to catch up on - I'm laying on the couch right now, resting after getting home from a quick trip to Chicago. Thanks to an awesome fare sale back in October we were able to go and meet up with most of my family. There are lots of great photos which will hopefully be posted soon. Until then, here are a few things:

Judah got another tooth! Now we're up to 3.

Judah got to see a baseball game at Wrigley for the first time. He still looked adorable in his Cubs hat.

The Children's Museum in Chicago is awesome.

We met our newest nephew, sweet baby Ian. I cannot wait to show you the cheeks on this kid.

But for now, a little rest is in order....

Sewing fails.

Looking at craft and sewing blogs can be really intimidating. Everyone has all these pictures of these beautiful, pristine things and you think you could never be that good.

I don't want people to get that impression looking at what I sew. Sometimes I manage to make some nice looking things. Sometime I totally mess up. But the only way to get better at sewing is to actually, you know, sew. Here are some of the latest fails:
In addition to being so small that I couldn't get it over his head, do you notice what else is missing from this shirt? I promise there is a neck hole in there, somewhere. And here is attempt #2, made after a little pattern adjustment:

The neck on this one was too big, and it's long enough to be a dress. I wasn't sure how long to make it, and so I was just going to hem it after I did the rest. Oh well. I am excited to continue tweaking the pattern, though, because both of the shirts are actually made from thrifted materials. And this kind of shirt is…

A word about permanent sterilization.

And now for something completely different.... I feel like this post is sort of a non-sequitur, but then I decided this is my blog and I can post what I want. So there you go....

In my capacity as a physician, I sometimes advise patients about permanent sterilization. Pregnant patients ask about it during their prenatal care and occasionally men will talk to me about it. I feel like I've had several conversations about it recently at work and I find that generally people who are considering it haven't always thought it through.

I am not opposed to it, by any means. And certainly, many of my current thoughts about it are colored by my own experiences with infertility. It is hard for me to even imagine right now ever considering having this done, but that is mostly just me and my issues.

What I would advise, though, is not just to think about if you are through having children and if you are satisfied with the way your current family is. This is a permanent procedure and while i…