Saturday, December 31, 2011


I thought this might be a good post to end the year on. I lost the girls yesterday. If anyone reading has ever toyed with the thought of me being not the greatest mom, let me just confirm it for you. Although, I will counter that with my children are pretty stinking happy about life when they aren't whining.

We have a place here called the Montshire museum. It's a children's science museum and a lot of fun for kids, especially when it's so cold outside. Yesterday I took the girls to said museum. Usually when we go, the crowds are relatively small. But since it's Christmas break there were a lot more people there. I did OK on the first floor keeping track of them, but once we got to the second floor, I lost Cora. I looked around and could not find her anywhere, while I was still trying to get Katie and Sydney to stay with me. A woman who had seen me downstairs asked if I was "looking for the one in the pink shirt?" I said yes and she had just seen her head down a staircase around the corner. I found her, got them back together for a few minutes, then Katie wanted to look at some birds' nests. In the minute and thirty seconds we did that I lost Sydney. I nearly ran around the entire second floor with no luck. Katie had since sat down at a work bench where they were starting a group activity. Suddenly I hear over the loud speaker, "We have a little girl in a purple shirt and pink pants looking for her mom at the front desk." So I tell Kate to stay at the bench, grab Cora, and head down another set of stairs to retrieve Sydney. She didn't even notice she was lost, and was not too pleased with me bringing her back up the stairs. Within those two minutes Katie had left the bench and was running around looking for me. So I decided that was it, tied them all to the stroller, and home we went.

Let me tell you why I love my kids. I love that they are so confident. They are almost fearless about anything (except for the twins when I first deliberately leave them with someone else). All three of them absolutely love to learn about EVERYTHING hands on. This means they need to climb, touch, taste, smell, take apart, bang, and question anything. Katie asks why about the smallest to the most serious things. My children are relentless when it comes to getting answers and are determined to find their way through things, or around, or over, or under them. Music, nature, stories, the body, playing - everything is so exciting for them and they love to laugh, be happy, and be a part of everything.

Now let me tell you why I cry so much. All of the above good qualities make for some very intense days. There is NOTHING in this house that is not a magical thing to discover for them - including the oven, their dad's desk, the pantry, the sink, toilet, dressers, couches, salt for the sidewalk, mud puddles, tools, bum cream, wipes, you get the idea. So while I'm trying to help one understand why it's not OK to pull things out of the fridge I have another one getting things out of Jeremy's desk and the other one is trying to smear bum cream all over herself and the house. Not one of them prefers to listen to their mother over discovering whatever it is they see, regardless of ensuing consequences. I can be as consistent, respectful, and patient as possible, and that does not stop them from running three different directions, fearlessly into woods, fields, puddles, crowds, stairs, or parking lots on a repeated basis. I am so grateful they are who they are and can do all they do, but sometimes I'd love a little shock collar, or be able to wave a wand like in the Harry Potter books to block them from going somewhere. Or I'd put a spell on them that if they got too far away from me (such as at the museum), they'd start flashing and a siren noise would emanate from them until they came back to me. I suppose this is to teach me organization and how to grow eyes in the back of my head.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Pics

This was some time shortly after Katie got her glasses. She suddenly discovered there is a bag of hair things for her that I never get out because I just don't think about it. We had a good time doing her hair while I was doing mine for Jeremy's work Christmas party.
She's adorable, band-aid, glasses, hair things, and all.

Over our three Christmases here we have inherited a large amount of little girl Christmas dresses. Even two of the same one, go figure. I'm not complaining. I had them in different dresses each week this month. I think they liked getting so dressed up.

We had a sunny day here (the snow has not stuck yet) and I was determined to go for a hike. I had a good chat with them pre-hike about how it can be a lot of fun if everyone listens, but because there are three of them I cannot help anyone who's throwing a tantrum. Well, only a few hundred yards into our little hike Cora started a melt-down. I just walked away with Katie and Sydney, then Katie stops and says, " Mom, we can't leave Cora. Wait right here and I'll go get her." So there went my little tantrum queen to quiet her little sister, grab her hand and gently bring her back to us. Katie was determined to keep us together. I told her she's a good hiking buddy and she said, "No, I'm not. I'm a girl." That, too. It was so nice to feel the sunshine!

We started to decorate the tree with everyone, then quickly realized that was not so smart. After we put the twins to bed we had Katie help us and she LOVED putting the ornaments on the tree. Too bad it got tipped over twice over the next two days. That's OK, I figured it was only twice for the whole time the tree was up. Someone suggested something to me though, we may just go with home-made ornaments each year, like from paper, foil, and food, until we don't have to worry so much about it tipping over. If I can just remember to make the time for it next year.

Since Christmas Eve was a Saturday this year we had Jeremy home with us and decided to spend the morning at the Joseph Smith Birthplace. They have a stable set up there with two sheep and a donkey named Annie. The girls had a lot of fun petting them. The sister missionary there was so kind. She brought us in for left-over cake. We started talking and she had served a mission with her husband in Argentina. I told her I'd noticed the Argentine nativity they had there because I'd served in Argentina as well. She looked at me and said, "It's yours." She felt it would do our family more good than hers now and really wanted us to have it. I was so touched by her kindness. It made for a very nice start to Christmas Eve.


All in all our Christmas was super simple. We were able to visit with friends, go to church, sing some songs, call all of our family, but best of all we were able to just be together. The girls favorite things were the candy canes and suckers in their stockings! Jeremy and I got socks. We are living the good life. Actually, we really are. I love it. It's intense, it was a choice, and I would not have chosen anything else.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Letter

Dear All,

Do you remember living at home and your parents getting the Christmas letter from friends and family? Some were hilarious, some were short and sweet, and some were an enormous list of accomplishments (like one child acing astro-physics, another being an accomplished musician, while the whole family does humanitarian work in Vietnam and vacations in Paris, then still have time for who knows what else). I swear no one's life is really perfect, and I tend to error on the brutally honest end, but here goes our family version of the "Christmas letter."

This year we probably changed enough diapers to fill half a land fill, though we can happily report that Katie has been potty trained for almost a year, at least during the day (night time is another story). Most of our time goes to work for Jeremy (and studying), then feeding, changing, cleaning, loving, playing with, feeding again, and chasing our girls, with occasional vomit clean up (though not as much as the year before!). Highlights of this year included a trip to DC, Jeremy and I going to Vegas for a couple of days for a conference while my mom watched the girls, Pele killing some chickens and me getting thrown out of court by the judge because I had the girls with me, we planted a garden with our neighbors that we fought desperately for and in the end it was overcome by mold (though we still had a good harvest), I started getting out more and more with the girls which included some trips to Vermont, Lake Winnipesauki, and Hampton Beach, my awesome neighbor gave me two days I needed to get to Newport Beach to see my friend get married, we learned how to can applesauce, Jeremy fixed the lawnmower and the toilet, I auditioned for and got into the Handel Society, Jeremy was offered and accepted a fellowship position here, we took a long trip to Utah to visit family, Katie got stitches while we were there, then glasses when we got back, all three of the girls can go through, around, or over our three gates in the house, open the fridge, oven, and toilet, and we have counted ourselves very lucky that we have two very reliable cars for the snowy weather. We have had many, many tears from all of the girls in this house (that includes me) as we work our way through tantrums, sleep deprivation, destructo-kids, the bi-weekly colds, and trying to make our grocery budget work. It has been through continuous little miracles of the Lord, the mercy and generosity of others, that we have been able to keep going. Life is so precious, but not easy.

I have never been given such an opportunity to learn compassion and understanding before for so many different types of people. Parenting three toddlers seems to do that to you. I suddenly understand how people may lose their patience so easily, burst into tears over anything, and how different limitations give people a completely different life than what they had planned. Basically, I have been learning how often we just can't judge, that we don't know what's going on. I have been learning the power of endurance, hope, patience, faith, forgiveness, and how much we all need the Savior's Atonement. Christmas has grown more and more meaningful to me as I think of the wonder and amazement of God's Son coming to earth to give us all another chance, hope for all of our trials, a higher purpose, healing, and peace. There are so many hurts both my own and of others close and not so close I wish I could do something for. But all I can do is love them and trust the Lord. Turning my heart to Him really does lift burdens and gives light into parts of life that may feel so dark. So in this Christmas note to everyone, I am hoping, not that you have a perfect year, but that the joys that come are deeper, the trials you overcome give strength and perspective, you draw closer to the Savior, and that you get the chance to walk outside somewhere and appreciate this beautiful world.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I've Never Heard it Explained so Well

My sister sent me a copy of this in an e-mail. I laughed, and was so glad someone could put into words what this is like. I am so grateful to the many friends who have never even hinted at what the lady writing in says and feels. But sometimes it does feel like I have to justify my existence to the rest of the world, so I really wanted to post this. This was an article in the Washington Post. I didn't have a date on it, but it's legit.

Dear Carolyn: Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, not time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids); What’d you do today? Her: Park, play group….
OK, I’ve talked to parents. I don’t get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners …. I do all those things, too. I guess what I’m asking is: What is a typical day and why don’t moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events); I manage to get it all done. I’m feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy, but if so, why won’t my friend tell me the truth? Is this a contest (“my life is so much harder than yours”)? What’s the deal? I’ve got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks have the same questions.
-Tacoma, Wash.

Dear Tacoma: Relax and enjoy. You’re funny. Or, you’re lying about having friends with kids.
Or, you’re taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven’t personally been in the same room with them.
I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.
So, because it’s validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, cleaned, dressed; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired, or bored, any one of which produces checkout-line screaming.
It’s needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.
It’s constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.
It’s constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends. It’s resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone’s long-term expense.
It’s doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything – language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.
It’s also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn’t judge you, complain about you or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand, or keep your snit to yourself.

Tell Me About It is written by Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post.

And I would add, two arms for THREE kids, and when I have those ten minutes (when is that?) I can hardly remember my name, let alone where my phone is or what were the things I meant to do today besides feed everyone?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Poor little Katie. Or adorable little Katie. So our little girl developed strabismas. In easier terms - lazy eye. Kids are naturally farsighted and some of them try to compensate by going cross-eyed. I probably mixed some of that up, but what Katie has is supposed to be pretty correctable with glasses. So she got these yesterday. The frames are rubber with a band around the back to keep it on her head. She's done really well with keeping them on. She does rip them off when she's throwing a fit, but then she yells, "Mommy! My glasses are off! I need my glasses on!" So we'll see how this goes.

The Messiah

Last Wednesday was our concert. The Handel Society has been an awesome group to be a part of. Our concert sold out!! We had a wonderful orchestra, soloists, and audience. I loved it. I'd never sang the entire Messiah all the way through. It is so powerful and moving. I'm glad it was how our family's Christmas season started out.

Friday, November 25, 2011


I got out of the shower this morning and hear Katie yelling under her bedroom door, "Mommy! Is Thanksgiving over?" "Yes, Katie." "Is it Christmas time?" "Yes, Katie." "I'm so insited (excited) for Christmas time!"

As much as I used to protest Christmas decorations coming up before my birthday, here we were, the day after Thanksgiving, listening to Christmas songs and putting up some of our decorations. Katie is SO HAPPY about Christmas. She wants a big red and white striped candy cane for Christmas. She can't wait to get the lights up and get a tree. I was thinking about all of this and wondering about all the advertisements I've been seeing since September for Christmas anything. The message seems to be we can all have a "magical Christmas" if you just buy the right thing. Today as we spent time making each other giggle and singing songs, it was a good counter-culture message. A magic Christmas is one with love. Love, even the idea of it, is what makes the lights and the smells and the snow so wonderful.

Here's to creating some Christmas magic, with the least amount of "things" as possible.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I just wanted to write some of the things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Hot water


a bed to sleep in


a working fridge

a stove

socks and shoes

waterproof boots

the nicest dog

a kitchen table

a washer and dryer

being in the Handel Society

Coats that keep us warm

a working car and truck




drinkable water

not living in a war zone



the seasons


ponytail holders

electric mixers

beautiful music

this beautiful country

that I can walk, see, talk, and hear


The Savior





my parents

my sisters and brother

all of Jeremy's family

the many friends who've blessed our lives

and really good dark chocolate.

Katie's thankful for:






(and she's "thankful for all the things she's thankful for, but there's not anymore")

Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope you can count a bunch of blessings.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vacation Pics (It's a lot)

We took a two week vacation to spend some quality time with the fam. Here's a brief recap. Above are Cora and Sydney (with the hood covering her) on a sled my mom's pulling. We spent our first week in Cedar with my parents and brother and introduced them to snow (last year doesn't count since they can't remember it). They loved the snow, but were not so thrilled about the sled ride.
Just to contrast the previous picture, we went a little further south for some good hiking time.

Unfortunately for us, good hikes can only be pulled off with at least three adults for now. My dad had Cora on his shoulders most of the time.

Jeremy had Sydney.

And this is me packing Katie around. Anyone who likes to wander in the woods with a little one, I highly recommend the above contraption. It's called and ergo and it's nice. This made it so nice to be able to wander through wilderness without a stroller! But hey, I guess strollers have come a long way from what they were even a decade ago, so we will continue to get out as much as possible, whether it's 3,2, or 1 adult.

See that worried face? That didn't stop her from going farther. She was determined to climb up all the rocks she could (I'm so proud). Notice the mark on her head? She got 5 stitches from a tickling accident with Uncle Jeremy (my bro), while we were there. My favorite was when we got out of the car at the instacare there she yells, "I just can't believe I cracked my head open! I'm just a little afraid." For how many falls and things she runs into, I'm a little surprised this is only the first round of stitches!

I can't wait till they're bigger, it's warmer, and we can come back and swim! It was beautiful!

We took a trip to the zoo when we got to Salt Lake with Jeremy's sis, my sis, their kids, and Jeremy's parents. It's nice when it's cooler, the animals seem to be out more. We even saw the mama elephant trumpet.

Lunchtime with the cousins. The three on the right are all within 5 months of each other. There is a missing boy in this picture who was so excited to be set free of his stroller. He's only a week older than the twins. About time these boy cousins had some girls their age around.

Daddy got to play a little football with Katie in his parents yard. She loved it.

There's the missing boy from the zoo picture. What a good photographer I am. The three of them found an empty cupboard to play in while my sister was working on dinner for us.

Other than all of us now having a nasty GI bug (started the day we flew back, and it's not just 24 hours), the trip was great. As always, there was never enough time to see all the family and friends, but it was too long with three little girls. They gave up sleeping through the night again by the second week. Which translates to so did we. But we sure loved every minute with everyone. They loved their cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, and all the dogs we got to play with. Jeremy and I were so happy to just be in every one's company. The weather was great for us, and no one had a stay in the hospital.

As always, I leave a trip pondering many things. First and foremost is will we ever not be so exhausted? Every activity (including eating and sleeping) is so compounded now when you're in charge of tiny creatures with little-to-no sense of self preservation every waking and sleeping second of the day. Thank goodness they smile, giggle, and cuddle so often or they may have been left at the zoo.

I'm always grateful for the love and generosity of so many people in our lives. I ache for the different struggles everyone has and we can't seem to do anything for them other than pray for them. I wish we were closer, but I love where we live. There are so many advantages and disadvantages to each location. Both Jeremy and I always end up wondering where in the world we will end up when residency and fellowships are done. Hopefully closer than a 5 day drive, but that would be almost anywhere West of the Mississippi. Oh, well. It's not our time to know that yet.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Halloween and Then Some

Trick or treating was a good time this year. Katie was our little witch again, Syd was the lady bug, and Cora the monster. They had a lot of fun knocking on doors and carrying their buckets of candy.

And here's how things go at home. These three can't stop helping me. It's a little scary at times because they're all so busy, but I let them jump in when I can.

I didn't get the red eye out, but this picture needs to be included. She was playing with her neighbor friend and decided she wanted chocolate milk. My very creative child then filled a bucket with water, mixed it with mud, and drank the entire thing. I could not stop laughing.

Family Pictures

We had a friend from church take pictures for us. It was unbelievable how difficult it was to get all three of them to look at the camera without scowling. The trick we finally learned was to ask the girls what a dolphin said. Their imitations were enough to get the eye contact and a smile. These pictures were taken with our own camera at the time, but I'll be sending out the real deal hopefully for Christmas.

If you can't guess who's who, it's Cora in the red and Sydney in the white.

Quick Visit from Mom and Dad

This is a very late post. My parents were out for a few days in the middle of October. It was quick, but we had a good time. These are pictures of a hike we took to Quechee Gorge. These little girls gave all three of us a run for our money as they couldn't help but run and look out over the gorge every chance they got. It was a little wet, and I was so glad my parents were there to spend the time with us.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What Did You Do This Weekend?

I must admit, I've lost some of my interest in blogging, partially because I have too much to say and not the time to get to it, and partially because so many days become such a blur. I feel so insanely busy each day, but can't even remember what I did as soon as the girls go down for bed. But I can share some "highlights" from the last few days.

Halloween parties abound here, it seems. We go to a community group for toddlers called the Romp and Stomp and they had a Halloween dress up this week. Syd was not the least bit interested in getting in a costume, but Katie loved being a witch and Cora was a lady bug (I'll get pictures in some day). We had another party at the hospital that evening with other residents and their families. I was able to talk Sydney into wearing the lady bug outfit and Cora was the purple and green monster, Katie, of course, was a witch. In the whole hour we were there we had two MAJOR meltdowns from Katie, the last one of which silenced everyone in the room to turn and see who was dying. She was upset because all the suckers were gone. That's rough stuff when you're three.

Katie is one beautiful, intelligent, trying child. She is so fun and full of life, but she explodes at the drop of the hat, to a point of being very beyond reason or control. I used to think when I saw kids act like that that their parents let them have their way all the time or didn't give their child enough attention. I think part of the reason God lets us have kids is to realize how wrong we are in the judgements we didn't even realize we were making. It softens and humbles you to realize how little control you have over so many things. Katie is just as strong willed as I am, and as counter-intuitive as it seems, the only thing that seems reliable when she's out of control is to hold, love, and rock her. Then she calms down and we can talk. I'm learning how true it is that each child is different and all of the preconceived notions I had about being a parent only have some merit to them. There's a lot that can only be learned on the way, and realized by no one other than Jeremy and myself (though we are grateful for the help and support we get from so many around us).

It snowed that night, about an inch or less, and was pretty cold, but beautiful the next morning. I decided to take all my girls for a walk. The current get up is the twins go in the double stroller, and Katie is strapped to my back with an ergo (anyone out there with little kids, it's awesome!), and Pele walks to the right of the stroller. Well, that sounds maybe easy enough, but with it so cold out, getting warm things on everyone and then getting us all outside takes a total of 45 minutes, which tend to be filled with little girls and sometimes a mama crying and screaming because nothing can get done fast enough for anyone. But we made it.

I must have been feeling really adventurous that day because I decided to put the twins in their pack-&-plays in my and Jeremy's room for their nap so Katie could have her quiet time in her room. The twins have been able to climb out of their pack-&-plays for a couple of months now, but I'd taken care of every potential mess in our room and hoped for the best. I ended up taking Katie with me outside to trim some bushes. When I came in to check on them, I could smell something sweet. The twins were out wandering around upstairs (not such a good thing), so I checked our room and it was fine, checked Katie's and the girls' room and it was fine, then I walked into the bathroom. They had dumped a nearly full box of tampons into our little toilet and them poured their strawberry shampoo on top. It was almost hilarious except our toilet no longer flushed. You'd think they'd be happy to not worry about girlie products for a few more years.

That was Friday. So our Saturday was spent first trimming our bushes, then Jeremy took apart the toilet with the help of his brother over the phone (who is a plumber, thank goodness), and then Jeremy and I got us all ready for our church's Halloween trunk or treat. I actually painted my fingernails for it which I don't think I'd done since my Junior year in high school. We did have a good time with that and it amazes me how easy it is for our girls to wander away, even in a room filled with people dressed in all kinds of costumes.

As good as Saturday was, Sydney did not sleep at all last night. She was up about every half hour after 2am, and Katie woke up with a nightmare as well. Props to Cora for sleeping through all of this. We were tired, but we made it to church OK and the girls weren't too bad. We went to a friend's house for dinner after and thought the day had gone well. Then Sydney became REALLY upset once we got home. We thought she was just tired and cranky, but after we'd laid her down and were hoping to just let her cry it out, I hear this fountain sound coming out of their room. The poor girl was puking all over herself and could not stop. I came in and picked her up just in time to help her puke all over the wall. Crib, animals, blankets, floor, wall, jammies, hair, it was awesome. We're hoping it's all out of her and that this isn't a sign of how our trip will go this coming weekend (we're heading out west again, folks).

That was our weekend. We also got 4-6" of snow last night. I really love winter, but I do feel a bit differently about it when it entails dressing three little people simultaneously. I have great hopes that this is all part of Heavenly Father's plan to teach me things I would not otherwise understand. He knows a lot more than I do, and I think sometimes it takes things being out of control to remind me who's in control.

Hopefully I'll get some pictures in before we head out on our journey.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


There is something so magical to me about fall. Really, about the start of each season, but especially fall. The air has this crisp feel to it and echos of so many memories play in my head when I look at the sky, the colored trees, the pumpkins, and smell the air. Memories of going back to school, of campfires, of different sports games, hiking, memories of working at Disney's Animal Kingdom and some of my co-workers and I going to the "autumn celebration" in Celebration there, memories of the MTC, of dances, starry nights, rivers in Idaho, and the list goes on as I'm sure it does for everyone. I start to get excited about certain foods I have no idea how to make and no money to consistently buy - cinnamon rolls, freshly made apple cider, all kinds of chocolate candies, and ginger bread. It's like a pre-Christmas appetizer season.

It's nice to look away from the news, from the bills, from questions and worries and doubts that I think everyone works through at one point in time or another and just feel the change of the season. It comes every year. There's always a fall, winter, spring, and summer. The seasons seem a little more unpredictable with time, but the changes are welcome, all the same. I took Pele out for a walk this morning after the girls woke me up a little after 5am (they went back to bed). We were able to see some of the winter stars and constellations - Orion, Sirius, Gemini - and my breath catches at seeing them. There is something so magnificent in watching the Heavens. The stars in the sky seem to calm and inspire me. There is so much more beyond this earth, and it is good. There is a God watching over all who knows us, and orchestrates our lives as well as the planets and stars in the heavens.

I hope my girls will appreciate all of the beauties of this earth. I hope they will love experiencing it for themselves and letting the beauties of the world open their eyes and calm their hearts. Again, those thoughts of fall - apples, leaves, crayons, trees, the wind, fires, pencils, trails in the mountains and on the river, fresh baked bread, home made blankets, hay rides, corn mazes. I'm writing to say there is much good in the world. It may be so hard at times, but there are just as many good, strong memories, happy moments, and momentary glimpses of what heaven may be. I'm happy to be alive and have the trials and triumphs I do.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Long Can One Hold Their Breath?

We have some exciting news! (Whoever may be jumping to the conclusion that we're pregnant, hold off, I don't have a death wish yet.) Yesterday Jeremy was offered a fellowship position here in regional anesthesia for the 2012-2013 year. For anyone not in doctor-land I will explain. After your 4 years of med school you apply for and hopefully get into a residency program. It's 3-12 years of on the job training, depending on what you're going into. If you want to specialize in your select field a fellowship is an additional however many years of more specific training. So you're still not quite finished with school, but it gives you more options down the road. Jeremy will be finished with his anesthesia residency in June of next summer. The regional fellowship has to do with specific nerve blocks - knees, shoulders, etc. After that we are still looking at a possible peds fellowship or maybe a real job, we'll just see what happens.

We are breathing a huge sigh of relief though, it took a lot longer than usual for the decision to be made and we were beginning to wonder if we'd be putting our house on the market this spring. I'm glad to know we are not and we'll be enjoying New England for another year. Jeremy has worked very hard for this and I'm proud of him.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sweet Fruit of the Earth

After a week of feeling like I was losing my mind, we were blessed with Jeremy's parents coming to stay with us for a few days. I suddenly realized this house is easy and fun to run when there's four adults in the house. Besides trying to keep all of us sickies from going under (his parents weren't feeling well either), we went off to pick more apples and berries, then today we rode a train and merry-go-round with the girls. The above picture is at one of our favorite places to pick. That dog's not Pele, his name is Max, and he's seriously the size of a horse. His shoulders fall just below my hips. I'm a sucker for animals, but especially winter dogs.
Here's Katie enjoying the produce.

Sydney's the one in stripes. They love that they get to run all over and eat whatever they get a hold of.

There's Grandma and Grandpa getting a taste of things.

Cora steals my heart in this picture.

That is the infamous Connecticut River behind them. That was one of the rivers that just below us flooded out a lot of areas. We had two shopping areas that were under up to 5 feet of mud in some places. I was blown away at the destruction that happened. I'm sure grateful we were OK through Irene and I've been amazed as I watch so many people in all of the communities here really work to help each other out.

I don't know if you can tell, but there are berries smeared on Cora's face.

And Sydney can now scowl with the best of them.

This girl loves her merry-go-round rides.

This is the very end of the train they got to ride.

And my favorite picture of Sydney.

So just to cover some of the exciting events this last week. Our fridge has been dying since July. It went out completely Wednesday morning. I couldn't be grateful enough for Vicki and Jeff who were there to help with the kids and finding a new fridge while I was also getting what we could save to the neighbor's freezer. Jeremy was able to get a Dr's apt and found out he had some pneumonia in his lower left lung. Then we also had 45 lbs of apples. Between Jeff, Vicki, Jeremy and I we did our first canning adventure and canned 14 quarts of apple sauce. It's pink because of the apples we used and it is yummy. Vicki helped me get a MEGA jump start on the quilts I was working on for the girls, and between the four of us we were able to still feed the kids and walk the dog amidst all of this.

We've felt very blessed to have the family we do, especially when they help us really just enjoy our children. There is still so much that I want to talk about, but it's time to go to bed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Long Update

Urrr, so this is a month late. The above picture was Katie's birthday "cake," well, cupcakes. Yeah, her birthday was the beginning of August. She is now three years old.
We invited the neighbors over to help eat all of those. Too bad our freezer won't really freeze the ice cream any more and it was more like cold soup. Oh, well. The kids still ate it. I tell you what, I've got to set the expectations low so we're not stressing over big birthdays for all three.

This is our first attempt at a family camp-out. Smores were a favorite for Kate and Cora, though I have to tell you that was a very long night with all of us in one tent with no way to keep the girls from crawling all over us and each other. I think we slept in 20 minute intervals. But I am determined to try camping again with our family. Maybe not until next summer though.

Besides a family camp-out, I was also determined to take the girls to the beach. I could only pull that off with some help, so this is a friend from church who offered to come play at the beach with us. We took turns riding the waves. The girls at first were terrified, but as they realized it was fun to splash and dig in the sand, we ended up having a great time.

A friend told me there are places to pick peaches up here, and since I have such rotten luck finding decent peaches in the store, we went peach picking. I think one of my favorite parts was watching the girls eat the fruit. We've done some blueberry, raspberry, apple, strawberry, and peach picking this year. I've become a huge fan of pick-your-own. We've made some jam out of the berries and peaches. I'm starting to feel like a real New Englander.

We also went for a quick family "hike" around the house this last week when I was trying to figure out what to do with them for a half hour. This is off the side of our house.

I'm pretty sure that's Sydney.

Then this should be Cora.

All three of them can't get enough of their books, which has preserved their lives some days when they realize mom needs 3 minutes to herself for something and they go and look through all of their books. Cora and Sydney can now climb out of their cribs and pack and plays, which makes for some interesting messes. All three of them love to smile at me and walk away when I ask them something as if to say, "ya gonna make me, Mom?" And as we have been battling on and off with teething, runny noses, and who knows what else, these last few weeks have been weeks of many tears from every girl in this house. I think even the dog feels bad when she doesn't get walked as often.
I would love to say how much patience I'm gaining, and how adorable every minute is with these girls. But I don't know if I can. They are adorable and they do and say some wonderful things, but my patience has also been so put to the test when all three of them cry about anything. I'm getting the tiniest insight into what God really means when he says unconditional love. When you think about it, we're just as whiny as his children. We want things how we want them and fight any change that's not easy or what we want. Yet He still loves us and is so patient. So much more so than I. And that's why God is God. He can somehow handle and love all of us. Perfectly. I'm hoping to make it through these three and not damage them too much in the process.

On a side note, I auditioned for a group called the Handel Society. It's a community choir that's connected with Dartmouth. There are 75 members and it's the longest running community choir in the nation. I made it in as a first soprano. We had our first rehearsal last week. It's an awesome choir to sing with, but just a little intimidating. They take this stuff VERY seriously. It makes the music and the people there fun, but after not really singing in a group for many years now, I have to work pretty hard on the music. We're singing the entire Messiah at the end of November. I've missed singing in a choir. I'm excited to see how it goes.

I hope that's enough update for now. I really hope we can get everyone over their sicknesses (seriously, it's only the end of summer! Does this mean no winter bugs?). Jeremy's actually had it the worst. My poor Honey. For anyone who doesn't know this, residents literally have to be on their death bed to have a sick day from work. Is it now ironic that physicians, the guys we go to when we're sick, aren't really allowed to rest? Somehow, we will get through this. At least no one is vomiting.