Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Month of Pensacola

It's 5:30 a.m. JB just left for Pensacola. He'll be at Sacred Heart Hospital for one month. While the commute is a bit long (1:15 minute), it is supposed to be a wonderful rotation and upper level residents speak highly of it. He will be on call the first three of his four weekends one night each weekend. This weekend his call is from 6pm Friday to 6am Saturday. This isn't too bad as he will then have most of Friday off!

John ended up getting nearly a half day yesterday. He was done at 2:00. By 3:00, the two of us headed down to the Destin Outlets. We are now taking the bridge side anytime we go that far into Destin which costs $2.50 to cross. We decided to purchase an IPASS so now it only costs $1.75 to pass. Although, it will take 37 crossings to make up for the money we had to spend to buy the IPASS in the first place, it will still make crossing a lot nicer. The bridge is absolutely beautiful and the traffic more predictable than going through Fort Walton Beach.

Our main reason for hitting the outlets was so that I could get some new shoes. I haven't been running an exorbitant amount -- only around 12-15 miles a week. However, my knees are bothering me slightly. John thought it could be my shoes as I definitely don't buy new running shoes as often as they recommend. However, either way my running has been stalled for at least a few days as I am nursing a slight ankle/arch injury. I am not sure what I have done, but my foot is a little swollen and bruised. Nothing really bad (I've done bad), but enough for John to lecture me as he walked out of the door today ... something like, "Don't come complaining to me if you go and run today and then can't walk tonight." Okay, okay ... I'll take a day off.

In the end, both John and I got running shoes, and since I wear men's running shoes, we ended up picking the exact same shoe at the Nike Outlet. They gave us 10% off (military discount) as well. We also hit the Under Armor store. Fellow runners -- this stuff is awesome, and I found a great sale which Under Armor usually never has. (Got a military discount here too.) I bought quite a few nice pieces to walk and/or run in.

John decided to cook some Thai chicken wraps last night. It's so nice with Matt and Tiffany just a few houses away. What's even nicer is that the houses that separate us from them are now both vacant so we can actually just cross over through the backyards instead of walking around the block. Anyways, being as they are so close, a dinner invite can be a last minute invention which was the case last night. Tiffany and I are also "child/pup swapping." She came over while we were in Destin and let Scrubs out twice while I am going to watch William for her on Tuesday nights while she attends a weekly meeting. That sounds pretty fair. Well, actually, I think Tiffany gets the raw end of the deal. Scrubs is a lot harder to deal with than William. William's one of the best kids ever.

Heather, a woman I met in church Sunday, also stopped by while Matt and Tiffany were here last night with her two great big labs. Scrubs was a bit intimidated but held his ground and the three were soon fast friends. Heather walks each evening and has invited me to join her at anytime.

I am starting to feel that my 40-hour-per-week job is a lot with all these women in the neighbhorhood wanting to get together for walks and coffee and lunch. I have to remind myself that JB is working between 60-80 most weeks so there is still plenty of hours in the week for me to socialize, but I am really enjoying this being at home stuff.

The other big thing that JB and I are currently working on is compiling paperwork for our adoption home study. Before the home study can began, we have to compile:
  • Wendi autobiography
  • John autobiography
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Employment letters
  • Income tax return
  • Three letters of reference
  • Statement of net Worth
  • International Disclaimer
  • Medical Reports (physicals)
  • Florida Dept. of Law enforcement Clearances for each applicant
  • Child Abuse clearances for each applicant
  • Local police letters
  • Signed affidavits of good moral character
  • America World reading agreement (we agree to read a list of adoption books)

None of these are major obstacles but all of them will require a bit of time to get them done. So we need to get going on compiling these. I am hoping that we can get them altogether by sometime next week so we can get this show on the road.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sweet Sunday

Yesterday we discovered, our Scrubs loves the ocean. Not just the ocean but swimming in the ocean.

We are only about a five minute walk to the bay. It's a gorgeous little beach area just one block over from our house. We've taken Scrubs there a few times, and he's avoided the waves as much as possible -- dancing in and dancing out as the waves crash on shore. Yesterday, JB waded into the water up to his shins and suddenly, Scrubs just jumped in and starting swimming all over the place. He loved it! Of course, it is salt water which means he would need a bath later, but for the time, we were just loving watching Scrubs enjoy the water.

Speaking of other things Scrubs loves, he loves my slippers. But that's another story.

We returned yesterday to Rocky Bayou Baptist church. JB had been up since 2:00 in the morning with failure to return to sleeping during the night. So after the service I asked him what he thought. John's exact words to me were, "I don't think any assessment I made would be fair since I was asleep for 90% of the service." I didn't even attempt to keep the poor guy awake. When the pastor gave an impromptu request for people to kneel over their pew, we both bowed. But while I was praying, I am pretty much sure JB was sleeping. We both agreed that the church will need a third visit before we can accurately assess whether it was for us or not.

One thing that was kind of nice was that in this large sanctuary, we happened to choose a seat next to a woman I had met taking Scrubs for a walk the other day. Her name is Tracy N. She is married to a physician that JB had lunch with back in August who is a wonderful Christian man. He is currently halfway though a four month deployment. She has four sons and lives only a few doors down from us. She also introduced us to a couple behind us who live just a few doors down from us on the other side. They have one son and two five-year-old labs. It was wonderful to meet more neighbors.

John desperately wanted to sleep the day away, but I stood firm! I only allowed 90 minutes knowing that another afternoon sleep would only cause another sleepless night. We had a wonderful Sunday together doing odds and ends around the house and just relaxing together. We ended the evening watching Men of Honor (pretty good) and eating some Thai food and then some cookies I had picked up to bake for our "date night".

We had thoroughly ran Scrubs into the ground during the day! Not only did he go on two walks yesterday, but we hung out at the beach area for quite some time just letting him run all over the place. We then gave him a bath and trimmed his nails and allowed him to ride with us to pick up dinner. As a result, he slept on the couch next to JB during the entire movie. It was so sweet to see him so calm. He continues to have dreams where it appears he is nursing, as he starts sucking repeatedly for about five minute segments. JB wasn't sure what he was doing so he slid his finger into Scrub's mouth and sure enough, Scrubs starting sucking away. It is hilarious but sort of makes me sad that he probably misses his mom. Afterwards, John took him out one last time and then the pup slept straight through the night -- well until 5:00 when John wandered out of bed. It is great to have a partner at home to help me tag team the dog a bit. It adds a whole new perspective of enjoyment when I can allow someone else to help with tasks.

We are thinking that JB only has a half day of work today, but we will believe it when we see it. That being the case, I am going to get to work so as to buy myself some off time later this afternoon. Have a great beginning of August.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I am, so excited, to have JB home. I am, seriously, ecstatic!

He got home yesterday around 9:00a.m. and decided to go to sleep until about 2:00p.m. in the hopes of flipping is his sleep schedule back around. Tiffany and Joia came over, and we girls had a fabulous afternoon scrapbooking while JB slept and their husbands babysat. I haven't just sat and scrapbooked in probably a year, and it was really fun!

Later that evening, John and I decided to go out for a nice dinner. We tried to find an Indian restaurant we had heard of, but when we had no luck, opted for Kuvee Beach across from Destin Commons. This was a fantastic place and just a fantastic evening. (A strong recommendation to fellow Eglni wives!) We were so excited to just be able to sit and talk. We decided a lot about these last two weeks. We decided that it is very difficult to have a strong marriage when one partner is working three times the normal working amount. We decided that we have to always remember we are on the same team and that one of us is frustrated it is only because they are frustrated with the situtation and not each other. And we have decided that no matter what, when military life is through, we will not slide into a lifestyle that requires those kind of hours from John, no matter how much money he is making. It is just not worth it. At all.

This was also the longest we had left Scrubs on him home alone. We attempted to leave one of these "puppy pads" we had heard about in the room with him. Supposedly this is a place that smells good and entices a pup to soil on these pads if they have to go. Obviously, from the picture shown above, you can tell that Scrubs wasn't interested in soiling on this pad whatsoever. He was instead interested, despite it being taped down on all four sides, with chewing it to smitherines! I think he did a pretty good job, don't you?! John and I had a good laugh at this. We aren't even sure that Scrubs actually used the bathroom while we were gone. We couldn't find any evidence. I think he was too busy destroying the pee-pad.

John and I then balked on a movie as we were both so tired, and hit the hay around 11:00pm, as he thought he was tired enough to sleep through the night despite his five-hour-nap and up-for-two-weeks-during-the-night lifestyle. He was wrong. At 2:00am, John informed me that he was wide awake and that he would get up and take care of the dog throughout the night. Folks, I slept amazingly well!!! Having JB in the house allows me to not be so uptight at night in the house alone. I was out. And hearing him say he'd take care of the dog allowed me to fall even deeper to sleep. It was great.

Right now, John is outside mowing the lawn with our new electric lawnmower. It's pretty cool! Quite a tree-hugging thing to do I think. We are going to go back to Rocky Bayou Baptist and give that a try again this week. We'll see how it goes. It should be a wonderfully relaxing Sunday at home together.

Oh and as for the gorp some of you asked about, John and I actually made that last week so those were old pics! However, the recipe is atually quite simple. All kinds of different chocolate M&Ms and solid kisses. You can also add peanut butter chips or chocolate chips. Then tons of dried fruit of your choice and then tons of nuts of your choice. That's really all it is. Reeses are great. Peanut Butter M&Ms are good.

Here is a clip of Scrubs celebrating JB's conclusion to OB. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

109 Hours... by JB

Wendi has been asking me to write a bit about my experience with residency thus far. I thought since I am currently awake and do not have to go in for the next day and a half, I'd give it a shot.

109 Hours. That's what I worked this week. I've just finished my month long OB rotation. It started off with a few days of "deck" (that's the labor and delivery ward) and a few days of clinic (just seeing OB patients for their regular check-ups). This averaged about 50-65 hours a week. These last two weeks I have been on OB nights. This is all deck time - about 6:30 p.m. to about 8:30 a.m - L&D for 14-15 hours a day. Add to that the fact that I had my own clinic on Monday afternoon and that I have to return all my patient's phone calls from during the day, and you get 109 hours for the week.

Yes, we have an 80 hour work week limit, but it is an average for the whole month. Since I was fortunate enough to get July 4th off and a "family day" that same Friday, my average was 79.8 hours per week for this month.

That is a whole lot of time.

This was a very strange way to start residency. Wendi wasn't real crazy about me spending the day with pregnant women and delivery babies while we have been trying for just that for so long. I think initially I had a difficult time with it. I had to chat with women that were complaining about being pregnant again. I had to sit with women that were so excited to find out they were pregnant. I had to deliver a baby and hand it over to the happy mom and dad. There were pangs of sadness and jealousy. Anger and frustration at how lightly they were taking this miracle and gift.

But I also quickly learned how bad things can go with OB. I thought, you know, I would love to have a biological child with Wendi, but I would never want her to experience the things I witnessed the last few weeks.

Everyone who hasn't been pregnant (and a few who have been VERY lucky with their pregnancy experiences) has this idea in mind about having a baby. They picture the happy, chubby, little wife who is glowing with joy as she grows this little life inside of her. Suddenly, the time comes and they rush to the hospital and after a few hours of waiting and a little while of pushing a new baby is born. All the pain is washed away in the joy of the moment. Dad calls the family and everyone celebrates.

That's the ideal. Few people get that. If you are reading this and this is what you got. Really, be thankful.

A classmate who was on this rotation with me - she did the first 2 weeks of nights and I did the second 2 weeks - "caught" over 20 babies. Her experience was pretty good. She had few emergencies and now she really enjoys OB. I had a very different experience.

I "caught" 7 babies from a normal delivery while on this rotation. I would have caught about double that, but things often went bad at the last minute and I had to be bumped out of the way. Now I am very thankful there was someone with more experience there to bump me, but it was really about every other baby that had an issue. I had a bunch of shoulder dystocias (where the shoulder of the baby get's stuck on mom's pubic bone) that I would try to dislodge while the obstetrician jumped in to help. I had a bunch of babies that needed to be assisted out with forceps or vacuums - those usually ended up with pretty significant tears to mom's bottom. Then I had a few emergency c-sections since baby was doing poorly. After a rough night where the baby suddenly started acting poorly and we did a very quick forcep delivery and mom got a tear all the way through her rectum and baby was blue and we had to do chest compressions and intubation and then he started seizing and had to be life-flighted to the closest neonatal intesive care unit... after all that, the OB doc I was working with said it's amazing any kid makes it through a delivery.

I think I now have this idea of pregnancy as a woman incubating a parasite who tries to drain as much life and energy from her - causing nausea, vomiting, heartburn, constipation, headaches, high blood pressure, swollen limbs, abdominal pain, and maybe even seizures - literally. Then there is bleeding and threatened miscarriage or placental abruption and threat to baby and even mom's life at any point along the way. Then that moment when labor starts and the pain is unlike anything a woman has ever had. They try to be tough and "do it natural" like there is some club they can join or a plaque they get for not using pain medicine - because if they do there is a sense of guilt for not being a "real" woman. But if they do succumb to the pain and ask for an epidural, there is no guarentee that it will work. She has numb, floppy legs, and can feel every contraction or the right side feels just fine and the left side is on fire. But maybe she gets that pain managed just fine and then baby's head get's stuck or his heart beat drops and we have to rush to a c-section or we have to yank baby out with big steel jaws. Mom gets ripped to pieces down below and can't urinate right for 2 months. She starts bleeding like crazy after the placenta is delivered and we have to about stand on her belly and give medicine to stop the bleeding. But then baby is rushed to the observation unit because he is not breathing right and mom and dad are left in the room alone wondering if baby is going to live or not. Then finally after all that, baby is given back and mom is so sleep deprived from labor and worry that she can hardly stay awake but baby is hungry. Baby needs to be fed. Baby needs to be changed. Baby needs to be held. And then it is time to go home and this helpless newborn is her responsibility. No wonder post-partum depression exists!

Okay - so that was a bit depressing. But this is the stuff I am thinking about while seeing every patient. Wondering which one will be just fine. Wondering which one might crash. Wondering if I am watching all the right stuff to make sure that if anything goes wrong, it wasn't something I could have prevented. No wonder I'm exhausted!

The truth is, I had a pretty good time. I was tired and worn out. But I learned a ton of stuff. I gained a whole lot of experience. I love patient care and my interactions with them. And the bottom line... this is why I went into medicine. To help people when they need medical care. To care for them as best as I can with the grace of God.

And by the grace of God, I am done with that crazy schedule for a while.

I'm going to bed!

An Update on Matt

Matt with wife Danielle

--UPDATE (May, 2008) --
Matt is home and back with his wife Danielle. We can't wait to see him. Maybe in September.
--UPDATE (May 6, 2008) --
Matt should be home soon!
--UPDATE (March 23, 2008) --
Matt is no longer in the USA. We hope he will be back home sometime in May? Please keep him, Danielle, and the Kit. family in your prayers as he continues to serve his country.
--UPDATE (March 6, 2008) --
Matt is home for Iraq. It is just for two weeks, and we won't get a chance to see him, but we are excited by this nonetheless. He is going on a cruise with Danielle and everyone is thrilled that he gets a visit. Just a few more months, and he should be home for good.
--UPDATE (December 25, 2007) --
Thinking of Matt and all our servicemen spending this holiday away from their families. We were blessed to be able to talk to Matt on the phone during our gift-opening ceremony today. We miss him and love him very much and pray for him every single day.
Here's a video we made for Matt on Christmas Day.
--UPDATE (November 10, 2007) --

Matt now has internet access in his room which means we are hearing from him a lot more. It used to be that he would have to walk 1.5 miles to use internet and then wait in line. So now he is much more available to us! I am actually chatting with him on instant messenger as we speak. He seems to be doing well and tells me if it wasn't for missing Danielle, he wouldn't really have anything to complain about.

Matt hopes to get leave in March!!! Not sure if we'll get to see him, but we hope so! Here's a few pictures.

--UPDATE (October 13, 2007) --

I have obtained pictures from the wedding Matt and Danielle had before he left for Iraq. Here they are? Isn't she lovely?! We look forward to Matt being home next Summer and celebrating some more with the two of them.

--UPDATE (August 31, 2007)--

I now have Matt's address if anyone would like to send him a care package. There are tons of great ideas online for what to send our overseas troups. You can also actually just go to sites like this one: MILITARY CARE PACKAGES and have the package made and sent right to him.

-- UPDATE (August 21, 2007) --

The family received a "mass" email from Matt yesterday. Apparently, it is pretty hot there. As Matt says: "I'm doin good. It's insainly hot and more sand than you could ever imagine. Sand is everywere. No, seriously. Take a blow dryer put it on high heat full blast hold it 6 inches from your face then throw sand in the air. That's kinda what it feels like. but it could always be worse so I'm thankful for all the niceities that are provided."

Matt did provide an address whree people can send things, however, I am not sure it is correct yet so I will let you know when it is and some ideas if you would like to send him a care package. I'm sure he would love it even if you don't know him that well.

-- UPDATE (August 14, 2007) --

We now know that Matt is in Kuwait. That's really all I know. He called and spoke with Danielle. He called JB's parents too, but they missed the call. Your prayers for Matt, our family, and Danielle are much appreciated. I can't give too much details (if I am even knew them) but will provide whatever I can.

-- UPDATE (August 7, 2007)

Matt is officially married and has officially left Fort Lauderdale. He actually got off duty 12 hours earlier than expected as you can read in a comment from my mother-in-law. When the five guys got to the airport, the red-eye was booked. The airline asked for volunteers to allow these guys to have 12 extra hours with their family, and 5 people volunteered to give up their seats so that they could have a few more hours at home.

Matt and Danielle were married in her family's church. Danielle is Catholic, however, they didn't have a mass. It was a short and simple ceremony. The deacon was a former Marine and prayed for Matt's safety and is placing a picture of him on their military wall. They were actually married on their four and a half year anniversary. I hope to have more updates for you later.

-- UPDATE (August 3, 2007) --

Matt returns from Wisconsin today where he is been training for his deployment. He will be in Fort Lauderdale for two days and during those two days, he and Danielle are getting married! They are heading to the courthouse and will have a nice reception when he returns from Iraq. For now, quick is all they have time for. I know that getting married will help them financially while he is deployed and also give Danielle military benefits and everything that comes with being a military wife. So I know that is a big reason for the drop-in at the courthouse today. If I get any pictures, I'll be sure to include them.

-- INTRO --

Those of you who have read my blog for long enough or know me personally, know that I am about as anti-conflict as they come. On one of my very early blogs back in 2005, I told everyone that I would be avoiding the major conflict areas in this blog, primarily politics. I just really hate when people feel uncomfortable. We all have different beliefes and that's what makes our country what it is. So let's each other despite that. I think our friendship with Bara is a perfect example of that. I have been so blessed getting to know Bara and see all that we do have in common instead of all the things that we don't have in common. If the whole world could do that, we'd have a different world today.

Some of you may know that JB's younger brother Matt is in the Army. In fact, Matt is being prepared to be deployed for Iraq. This is where the anti-conflict part comes in. I know some of you are angry about the war or have strong opinions about it. That is perfectly fine. I, personally, am not even going to comment on the war.

Instead, I believe that it is important that we always support our troops no matter what we believe about the war. When JB decided to go into the Air Force, we knew that he would be deployed. We also knew that he might be deployed somewhere that we didn't personally agree with. That is an something you understand when you decide to work for your country. I know some countries require all males to do time for the military (Bara taught us this). We currently are not in a situation in our country where that is the case. Instead, my husband, and my brother-in-law Matt, chose to work for the USA.

I say all that to say that I appreciate the diversity of people who visit my blog, and I have no desire to make this a place that people feel uncomfortable visiting. For that reason, while I think it is important to update this blog on what's happening with Matt, I think it is also important not to get into a big political debate or cause people to get "riled up". I am therefore going to keep a link called "Updates on Matt" under the "My Favorite Places" link. If you would like to read more about Matt and how he is doing over the next months of his life, you can. If you don't want to read about the Matt, you don't have to. And we'll leave it like that.

Currently, Matt is is up north where he is training before leaving for Iraq later this fall. He called JB the other day and asked him to send some "gorp" (I think that is how you spell it?!) This is a chocolate, dried fruit, nut mix that JB has made on past camping trips. This stuff is awesome!! JB not only made him some gorp, but he made Matt TONS of gorp. Here are some pics of the gorp before it mailed out. We mailed all of this but the one bag I snuck out to share with my friends on our "Girls' Nite Out".

I'll be linking this blog onto the side of my web page. Check back periodically for updates on Matt. We love you "Oatmeal". :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

423 miles?!?

We got our home study materials in the mail. Okay so not only does a home study cost about $1500 (and you have to get one of these every time you adopt or change your family make-up) but we found out that because the nearest AWAA (American World Adoption Agency) is 423 miles from here (Orlando), we have to pay for travel for the social worker! That means nearly $700 for the two visits. In addition, the third visit can be in Orlando if we want but the chances of JB getting away to do that would be quite difficult so we'd probably have to pay for the social worker to come back here a third time. That means almost $1000 for travel!

I know this is ony the first of many hiccups in this adoption journey, but sharing my hiccups seems to help. I emailed our family coordinator to see about the possibility of using a "sister" agency closer to our region. We really wanted to use AWAA to avoid any "errors" or "missing parts" between what a certain social worker does and what AWAA needs. I wish I would have realized we wre 423 miles away from the beginning. In the end, if we have to pay an extra $1,000 we'll just pay it, but geezie peezie.

I'll keep you posted.


I received an update from the AWAA office. It doesn't look too good for avoiding this extra fee. Here is the response I received from Leah, our family coordinator.


I received a response back from our Social Services Director and she said that you had to go through AWAA for your home study since you live in a AWAA licensed state, but she said to contact your department of social services- Amy Harris- in Florida and see if something can be worked out. We cannot guarantee anything unfortunately. There could be a chance that you might be able to schedule 2 visits within the same time frame so that your social worker doesn't have to travel additional times. Again, contact Amy ... If you have any questions please let me know. Hopefully something can be worked out.

So, I have left a message with Amy. I know, when an adoption is costing as much as a new car, another $1,000 for the extra "perk" isn't that bad. I know this $1,000 isn't. It's just, when I see all these costs, I get frustrated that things cost soooo much money for something so many people take for granted. I'll be fine. My pity party will end soon! :) I'll keep you all posted on any developments. If you think of it, pray that we can lessen this cost somehow. We just trust the Lord to walk each step with us.

--2nd UPDATE--

Aaaah, when will I learn to just relax and chill a bit more. I spoke with Amy at the AWAA office in Orlando. She was actually laughing about the error. She said they would never charge that much for travel! In fact, they have a "person" about an hour or two from me who works with everyone in that area. In addition, travel costs can be split between families, and appointments lumped together to avoid multiple travel days. So it looks like the travel costs will be minimal if any. THANKS AMY!!! THANKS GOD!!!

One more night to go ...

Oh my oh my. Last night I went to sleep saying "After tonight, only more night before JB is home every night." I will be so happy to have him home.

JB was able to call me last night and actually talk for about five minutes as it wa a little slower. He also gave me the good news that it looks like (all things with his schedule are prefaced with this statement) he is not going to have to go Pensacola this Monday! The reason is that he has "his" clinic on Monday morning and then he has some session that is mandatory each week for all residents. It's a time that they can discuss any concerns or questions with others. This means that if he does his clinic and then this session, it will be lunchtime so it doesn't look like they are having him drive to Pensacola. YAY! This means that we will have Saturday night, Sunday, and Monday evening together. I am so excited about this. I am seriously, near tears with this news. I cannot wait to have some time with my husband. This morning he will be home even later than usual as he has an oral exam once he is done with the rotation.

Some of you have asked me why doctors must work these insane hours. I should tell you that as many mistakes that are made by physicians who are tired, the same amount of mistakes are made when there is limited "continuity of care". Think about, if you go to a hospital and stay there for 24 hours, do you want to have 3 different physicians (8 hours shifts)? Or would you like to have 1 physician (24 hour shift) or 2 physicians (12 hour shifts.) The more times a patient is "handed off" the more chance there is for mistake. Therefore not switching physicians so often is also beneficial to patients.

What is even more remarkable is that the requirement that residents only work "on average" 80 hours per week, is a recent development. Prior to that, there really were no rules. Since residents are "cheap" and not paid even a fraction of what a staff physician is paid, it makes sense financially to utilize their cheap labor. As a result, residents were working hours which were beyond reasonable. If you want to read a fantastic book on this topic check out Hot Lights, Cold Steel. It's a fantastic read but demonstrates how many hours it is possible for people to work.

So a few years ago all this changed. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) limited the number of work-hours to:
  • 80 hours weekly
  • Overnight call frequency to no more than one overnight every third day
  • 30 hour maximum straight shift
  • 10 hours off between shifts.

While these limits are voluntary, adherence has been mandated for the purposes of accreditation. In other words, failure to follow means a program will lose accreditation which is very, very bad.

Anyways, I say all that to say that the work hours do seem inhumane, and reading all the fellow residents blogs, you wonder if they are fair, but in the end, there are reasons why physicians stay at the hospital for such periods. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A quick trip to the park

JB showed up at our door at 9:00am looking quite whipped. I asked him if we could just take one hour and go to the park with Scrubs. This was quite a sacrifice for John as it is one less hour he can sleep. But he agreed. We picked up some Burger King for breakfast and went and sat at the park. It was wonderful to have one hour together even though John could barely make conversation he was so tired.

This park is absolutely fantastic. If I have a child while I live here, we'll spend a lot of time here. Not only is there an amazing play area bigger than any park I have ever seen, but there is also a mini splash park open from 8-8 everyday! How amazing is that? Scrubs stayed closed to us for awhile while about 20 five-year-olds from the daycare next door splashed around, but he then loosened up. He finally decided he would take a closer look and since I was done with my french toast stiks, we made our way over to the side of the play area.

All of a sudden we were swamped by about five five-year-olds asking me if they could pet the puppy, telling me that Dalmatians were their favvvvoriiittteee. Before I knew it the kids were actually laying on Scrubs -- all over him. They loved him. They pet the dog everywhere. It's a good thing we've been doing as the book said and touching this dog anywhere a kid does -- pulling on his ears, his tail, his feet. And Scrubs? He just sat there willingly while the kids swamped him with love. He looked a little confused but didn't react negatively at all. No licking, no nipping, nothing. I was so proud! Later, we ran into a father with a huge dog (not sure what kind) and his two daughters. Scrubs and the other dog sniffed around but got along fabulously! You go Scrubs.

It is VERY important to me that my little pup is an angel with kids. So if you live by me and have kids, please visit us often. We need surrogate children to make sure he is good with them and all the books say this major introduction should occur before 6 months of age.

JB is now sleeping soundly. Thanks for a fun morning JB. I know it was hard.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Month one Internship Year

Blog perusing can reveal some interesting facts. Fact revealed this morning? Internship year is HARD! I just got through reading a flew blogs. See if you can look at these blogs and find something in common. First there was Tara's blog. After that I went and read Lesley's blog. Done with that, I wandered over to Hans' blog for the day. It was after reading that blog that I realized that our little house in northern Florida isn't the only one having difficulty adjusting to residency. Man do we miss medical school! (I say all this like I am doing it myself. Some days I feel like I am.)

I have tried, hard, to refrain from complaining about the last two weeks. As I have said previously, things are going well. Complaining doesn't really help anything. It definitely doesn't help JB to hear me complain. Aaaah, but sometimes it just feels good to get something off your chest. So here it is.

This internship thing, and being an intern's wife, is HARD!

I know I am not an actual resident. Or do you call it intern? Technically the first year of residency is the internship year so let's call it that. I know that I am not an actual intern. I don't feel like these interns feel. But I have been observing my rock of a husband take on a month of OB. You all know JB. He is even Steven. The guy handles everything with the same stride. But this month has been quite challening for him. OB Nights especially have been difficult. I am so thankful that this is only going to last two weeks because I am not sure either of us can take a second more. We have minutes together each day. Seriously, minutes. And that includes Scrubs and I walking out to the driveway to wave good bye. (Scrubs is one unhappy camper when JB leaves for the day.)

Tara wrote about errands and groceries and exercise. You are right Tara. There is no way in the world JB could do those things. He is doing well enough to give me a hug, pat the dog, shower, and fall into bed at the end of every shift. I really am not sure he is eating much at all. He'll eat a meal with me at 5pm before he leaves again, but quite frankly, that may be all he is getting. I'll have to ask him.

I have already decided that during JB's next night shift (in January), I will be going to stay with my parents in Florida (and possibly take my pup with me). It would honestly be easier on John if I weren't here so he didn't have to force himself to stay awake to spend a few minutes with me. I honestly, have no idea how Dave and Lesley are doing this. At least I am home whenever JB is home. They are both doing an internship on two different schedules. Lesley isn't even sure what day it is. Man. (And it's Thursday today Lesley.)

I have been told that this month that JB is currently doing is the hardest during internship year. That is an encouragement. (And I am sorry if it is a discouragement for the other intern wives reading this blog.) Tiffany revealed that her husband Matt has OB nights during Christmas. Her parents are coming into town, however, which will be a great blessing.

Next month JB will be home every night, but he will be commuting to Pensacola (1:15 minutes away) for the entire month. They have an arrangement with a hospital there to do a rotation. At least he will be home every evening although he will be gone some very long hours when you put in a nearly 3 hour commute.

Don't get me wrong. Folks, I am not bored at all. Both of my jobs have had a little "upheaval" recently. At Mayo, the assistant my physician hired to take over my in-office duties just left on maternity leave. Actually she had twins and actually she had an 18-month-old son at home. So I have to take over a bunch of her duties. At RLSF, the person I work with the most, Beth, is taking a month off to move and just relax for a little bit. So I will have a lot more responsibilities with her gone as well. So, I am quite occupied. I could honestly work another 10 hours a day and not run out of things to do. If I am not running or working with the dog, I am at my computer, editing and writing away.

But I just miss JB. I really miss him. I especially miss him at about 6pm. I just miss hanging out with him. I know this is just a season and like me during basketball season, the season will end, but I just want to have him home more.

So fellow interns Tara, Hans, Dave, Lesley, and others ... it's just a season. Stick with it. And know that our home in northern Florida is plowing through too. We'll all plow through together and in three years (four for Tara, five for Dave), you all will come out just fine. I know that for sure!

Fact ...

Fact ... Scrubs figured out how to get out of the little "den" we created in the laundry room by "shimmying" over the gate. Plan "B"? Den has been removed and his room is now the laundry room in its entirety.

Fact ... I cooked dinner last night. Baked spaghetti. It wasn't half-bad. I think JB was in the mood for breakfast, but he was a good sport about it nonetheless.

Fact ... I am going to spend Saturday doing the only really girly thing I do: scrapbooking. I've invited the other wives and I think a few may join me, at least for a bit. JB will be recovering from his last "day" of "nights" on Saturday.

Fact ... I currently see no reason to make the bed when either JB or myself are occupying it 16 hours a day. I am leaving it unmade.

Fact ... The weather here has been quite rainy which I love. I also think of Minnesotans quite often when they complain about the humidity up north. Folks, compared to where we are, there is no humidity in Minnesota.

Fact ... I now believe, out of 11 eleven houses on our street, that only 3 are occupied. Another one was vacated yesterday. Is this a bad street? I'm not sure why people aren't fans of our little street.

Fact ... Accidentally, last night, I wandered upon some singing spelling bee show hosted by, I believe it was a former boy band star -- not sure which one. Is this true? In addition, Scott Baio is 45 and single caught my eye. Folks, what is happening to our televisions?

Fact ... I have been leaving Scrubs in his crate in my office too much. We are crate training him, so don't worry, this is humane. However, we realized he has become a bit too attached and is afraid to be alone. I am trying to curb this which is resulting in ungodly howling for extended periods of time.

Fact ... JB is not home yet. I miss you JB!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Adoption Update

Well the "paper pregnancy" has officially begun! This is both exciting and overwhelming in one breath.

Over the weekend we got a bunch of paperwork from America World. I waited until JB was able to sit down and look at it all with me. and then together we signed two more forms and sent them off. There is so much to do! I know the key is just taking one piece of the puzzle at a time, and truly, that's what we are doing, but holy cow. If biological parents had to do all this, we'd have very few children in our world today.

There are two major things that we are going to be doing over the next 4-6 months. It isn't until these two steps are completed that we begin the official "wait" for our daughter. The current wait is esimated at about 22 months. (This starts after this 4-6 process is completed.)

The amount of time can vary greatly. I had a small case of hypreventilation the other day when I ran our numbers through an online "China calculator" and it came back as 2012. JB immediately demanded I refrain from perusing the internet to find "reputable" advice! There currently is a backlog in China, but they do believe it is going to improve. Due to the incredible demand for their children, the country had developed a huge backlog. I have heard estimates that they were accepting 2,000 families a month but only "giving out" 800 children a month. Yep. This would back things up a bit. So in order to improve this, they changed their requirements so as to shrink the potential applicants. Here are the new requirements. As you'll notice, my 30th birthday couldn't have come at a more perfect time as you now must be 30 to adopt!
  • be between the ages of 30 - 49 (both spouses) at the time dossier is received by CCAA
    consider adopting through our WIC Program if aged 50 - 54
  • be open to adopting a toddler if over 45*
  • are married at least 2 years if no history of divorce; married at least 5 years if previously divorced; have no more than two previous marriages each
  • have a minimum income of $30,000 plus an additional $10,000 for each child already in the home* and have a net worth of at least $80,000
  • have no more than four children already living in the home* (flexibility on this for WIC cases)
  • have a child no younger than one year old at time dossier is sent to CCAA
  • be in excellent health* and have a BMI (body mass index) no greater than 40; inquire about mental health including minor depression, anxiety or similarly mild conditions; history of major surgery; vision/hearing impairments; mobility limitations or any chronic/long-term diagnoses
  • have at least a high school diploma/equivalent or higher level of education
  • have no history of drug use or dependency; where there is a history of alcohol abuse >10 yrs of alcohol-free lifestyle considered
  • certain histories or criminal records are evaluated on a case by case basis
So the first of the two major things we have to work on during the next 4-6 months is our Dossier.

The Dossier includes:
  • Application letter
  • Husband's birth certificate
  • Wife's birth's certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Husband's physical exam
  • Wife's physical exam
  • Financial statement
  • Husband's employment verification letter
  • Wife's employment verification letter
  • Home Study report
  • Husband's police report
  • Wife's police report
  • USCIS (paperwork required for our daughter's entry into the U.S.)
  • Family photo pages
  • Copy of each parent's passport
Now not only do we have to get all these items, but nearly all must be notarized and most certified by the state they originated from. That means our marriage license? Certified in Kentucky. JB's birth certificate? Certified in the state he was born: North Carolina. Then all of these must be certified by the U.S. State Department before heading for certification by the China Embassy or Consulate.
America World offers a "Dossier Assistance Program" for another $1,000. In the grand scheme of things, this really isn't that much money. This program offers help in getting paperwork certified by different places and offers more assistance than normal as they walk us through the steps. John and I are debating using the program. I know I have a lot of people reading this blog who have adopted. If you have any opinion about whether we should use this service, please don't hesitate to let me know. I posted a question about it on Hannah's Prayer and most people seemed to think we didn't need it, but we aren't sure.
The second thing we will be doing is our Home Study. This is where a social worker creates an in-depth report on our family from where we live, how we live, to who we are. They require three references. We were informed last night that these three references must be living in the state we reside. JB and I both agreed that it's a good thing he was stationed at a base in the state we grew up in. What if we were stationed in Nebraska? (No offense Melissa P.) :) Who do we know in Nebraska? Anyways, these people had to be someone who knew both JB and I very well and were not related to us. We had a lot of people who knew one of us well and a lot of people who were related to us. But people who knew both of us on a personal basis and were not related to us was more difficult. But we managed to secure three loyal subjects. Thank you oh loyal ones.
I have been repeatedly asked if I am excited. Let me say this: JB is excited. I, am, guarded. I know that if we walk through these steps, we should, by the time we leave Eglin, have a little girl in our arms. However, this is difficult to even believe. I have yet to contemplate names or even put a toe inside a baby store. I know this will eventually change. But for now, I'm still a bit hesitant to believe that this could really occur someday.
I will keep you posted on the details of our paperwork, probably more than some of you will like. If you have JB and I in our prayers please pray for the following things:
  • That Wendi will not feel anxious or worried about the "incidentals"
  • That JB will have the stamina to handle all the adoption stuff while going through residency
  • That the Lord's timing is perfect, and the perfect little girl joins our family
  • For the family of this little girl; that his comfort would surround them in the years to come
Thanks all!

Monday, July 23, 2007

New Rug

Per request of my mother-in-law, here is a photo of our new carpet. We have a matching one by the front door as well. Yes, this is JB during the 45 minutes he had free today while I was making some grilled cheese. He woke up saying he was having dreams of being a super model due to the flash in his face. :)

A bit of time with JB

It was a wonderful weekend if only for the fact that JB was home (and not asleep) for a few more minutes than usual. He got off on Saturday morning, came home, and went to sleep. We had dinner that evening with Matt and Tiffany. Matt's parents own a restaurant in Texas, and he made one of the most fantastic steaks I have ever eaten. Add to that Tiffany's twice baked potatoes, salad, and chocolate bread pudding, and I was in heaven. It was fantastic! It also worked out nice as they live only a few houses away so JB was able to walk back and take Scrubs out periodically.

I went to bed about 10:00 on Saturday night. JB, in order to get his sleep correct, had to force himself to stay up until at least 4:00 a.m. So he borrowed a bunch of movies from Matt and spent the evening watching Band of Brothers. He also took care of the dog so I could sleep! He came to bed at 4 a.m. and I got up at 6 a.m. with a whining puppy. I then worked throughout the morning while JB slept. He got up at 11 a.m. and we were able to spend the rest of the day together. We ran to the pet store for a few things and finally found a rug for our living room that we liked at Lowe's. JB spent an hour working on the yard (which he wishes he had more time for as he really enjoys this), did the bills, and we worked together on an Annual Report he has been putting together for Faith Alive in Nigeria. He also made a fantastic chicken panini on the grill.

After dinner, we walked over to Tiffany's. Matt is on call so we stopped by with Scrubs and had some more of the bread pudding for dessert. It was just as good as it was the night before. It also gave Scrubs a chance to sniff around on their dog Wyatt and try to be gentle with their son William. However, it was sensory overload for the dog so when he started to get too overwhelmed, we headed back home. Speaking of movies, we watched Pursuit of Happyness. What a great movie and a definite recommendation Tante Jan. My only complaint was that it left me just feeling so frustrated so much of the time. It reminds you to be thankful for where you are in life but to also remember there are so many people who need your help.

I went to bed at 10:30, and JB managed to stay up until 1:00 a.m. He will sleep until 11:00 this morning and then head in to his half day of clinic. No matter what rotation he is on, he has a half day a week that he sees his own patients. That will be followed up by the first of five more OB night shifts.

I must be honest. I have not enjoyed this rotation much at all. JB hasn't enjoyed it that much either. He also said he will try to write a blog at some point about his experiences, but the poor guy hasn't had much free time. John's biggest complaint about OB is just how touch-and-go it is. He said that people have this idea that having a baby is something simple and guaranteed. But instead it is a very monumental event that doesn't always go as planned. He's had to deal with a lot of pre- and post-emergencies, sick babies, and sick moms. But he says he is working with great people and learning a lot. I'll have to let him tell you more about it since I'm not there very night and only know what he's doing through the bits he tells me.

It's also hard for me at home. You want to be strong and carry the load, but, well, put it this way. A normal person works 40 hours a week. John was gone more than 85 hours last week in about a six day stretch. That's double a normal working schedule. There are only 144 hours in a six day work week. You should sleep at least 48 of them. With 85 hours working and 48 sleeping, that only leaves 11 more hours in the week. If you add up showering, getting ready to leave, driving in to work, etc., you can see that there really isn't much time at all to hang out with your family. John does the very best he can but time together is pretty scant.

He will have two more times this year that he does nights. I plan to get out of town during this time. I think that will take the pressure off of him to feel like he needs to "worry about his wife". Instead he can sleep more and lounge more instead of taking his few free hours a day to run errands or help me with things I am unable to do (like issues with the car.)

As for me, I am adjusting to life in Florida. I really like it here. I like our house, I like our friends, I like the work I am doing from home. I like the fact that I can run on base and feel completely safe. I like the fact that the electricity goes out (which I've been told happens quite a bit on base), and I still feel very safe. I like the fact that I can walk one block and sit by the bay. I like the weather. I like the rain storms. I'm happy. There are still a lot of adjustments and things we have to get used to, but we are blessed to be here.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Movie Recommendations

My Aunt Jan made the suggestion on a past post comment that she would love to get some movie recommendations. Anyone have some good ones?

Good Boy!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Actual phone conversation

As I am working from home, I have had to become less of a phone-phobic. (For information on my syndrome visit my previous post: PHONE PHOBIA). I've therefore had to simply answer the phone not always knowing who it is. I did that today. This is, without added attempts at humor, the actual conversation that resulted:

Wendi: "Hello?"

Andrew's Grandma: "Is this the number for Andrew Michael's?"

Wendi: "No, I"m sorry. It's not."

Andrew's Grandma: "Oh. Well shoot. This is the number that Andrew gave me."

Wendi: "Well, I'm sorry. He's not here."

Andrew's Grandma: "Well do you live on base?"

Wendi: "Yes, I do."

Andrew's Grandma: "Well do you know where Andrew is?"

Wendi: "No, I don't."

Andrew's Grandma: "Well, could you leave Andrew a message for me? This is his Grandma."

Wendi: "Ma'm, I don't know Andrew."

Andrew' Grandma: "Okay, well when you see him would you tell him that his Grandma called?"

Wendi: "No, Ma'm. You don't understand. I just live in a house on base. I don't have a clue who Andrew is."

Andrew's Grandma: "Ohhhh. I thought maybe he lived next door to you."

Wendi: "No, I'm sorry. He doesn't."

Andrew's Grandma: "Would you be able to find him?"

Wendi: "No, I have no idea where to find him. I'm sorry."

Andrew's Grandma: "Oh. Well thank you for taking the time to talk to me sweetie."

Wendi: "You are welcome."

Andrew's Grandma: "Bye sweetheart."

And to think I almost just hung up after the first minute. I would have missed this!

Lights out and Visit to the Vet

Last night was not a ton of fun. About 11:00pm the electricity went out. There was a lightning storm and for about two hours, there was no electricity. In Minnesota, this was never a big deal. So the electricity goes out. My heat still works! But here, well, my air goes out too and it gets hot! I was thinking, "What will happen if JB comes home and needs to go to sleep in this heat?" I was thinking we'd have to call a classmate to let him sleep at their house. At least for me, it was evening and a bit cooler than it would be during the day.

The electricity going out also meant it got very quiet. I didn't realize how much noise our air conditioning and fan made until they weren't going anymore. Not only did it wake me up when it went out, but it kept me up as it was so quiet, and then woke me up again when it came back on and everything started up again.

In addition, I just miss JB. Thank goodness tonight was his last night for the weekend. He will be home until Monday at 11am when he goes in for his clinic. Of course, his sleep is still going to be a bit screwed up, however, he can't keep it completely flipped because he has clinic on Monday. He said something about trying to sleep from 3am until 11am for the next two days and go with a "mid day" sleep.

In other news . . .

On Friday, JB and I took our little Scrubs to "The Vet."

We found this Vet's office from an advertisement on the Christian radio station. There is a Vet on base, but we've heard it's incredibly busy. We really liked this Vet. For one thing, they encourage us to come back in periodically just to get treats and say "hi" so that Scrubs doesn't think every time we pull in there it means bad things! What a great idea is that?! They also support the Christian radio station which we really respect. The doctor also gave us a bunch of great advice for training our new little pup including the fact that I could give him carrots for treats. Dalmatians have a very tight diet as they are extremely prone to UTIs and kidney stones. But carrots are fair game! There's a lot of things that new dogs mean. A woman in the waiting room told us, "You're going to spend a lot of money." JB has made it a point to not fill me in on the money related to this dog as I can be a little bit of a "tight-wad". So he paid the Vet bill without me peeking and quickly blew off the woman's comment.

Everyone in the office kept saying how calm Scrubs was. What a joke that is. This dog is a crazy man! I've never seen him as calm and quiet as he was in the Vet's office, especially when we ran into a Great Dane in the waiting room -- that is one HUGE dog. Scrubs sat right next to JB or me the whole time and didn't use the bathroom one time! I think he was too scared to go.

Ever since Scrubs has arrived, my infertility has been the most removed from my mind that it has EVER been. He has been here for a week as of today, and in that week, I have not had even one bad "moment" ... until yesterday that is.

Those "moments" come on without warning. It can be a well-intentioned comment, an email from an old friend, or a commercial on TV. I'll be doing great, and then, suddenly, I'll be crying or overcome with grief. It was actually a TV show that sent me into a spiral the day JB decided to reveal to me that he had bought me a dog!

The grief is hard to explain. Usually it has to do with the thought of things I may never be able to do. These may seem like "trivial" moments, but to me, they are huge instances that I can't get back. Finding out I'm pregnant, telling my husband, telling our families, being pregnant, delivering a baby, nursing a baby ... We still pray daily that someday we will have a biological child, but hearing people say, "Having my child was the best thing that ever happened to me," is difficult to stomach mostly because I know it is true.

Scrubs has helped with that. I know it sounds dumb because he is just a dog, but I've been so busy with him and watching his every move, that I haven't had time to feel infertile. I also haven't had a desire for a baby staying up all night when I have a dog who is staying up all night.

But during our visit to the vet, I was faced with one of those "moments" again. It's a moment when, all of a sudden, you go from feeling perfectly happy, to remembering that you are barren and you don't have children.

It was my favorite "Do you guys have kids?" question in the waiting room by a very sweet lady. JB jumped in before I could try to fumble for an answer and just said, "Not yet."

I guess part of my frustration with that question is: What do I say. If I say "no", I feel like people assume things about me. This may not make sense to many of you, but to those of you are infertile or have been infertile, please back me up on this.

When I answer that I do not have kids, I inevitably feel like people are saying, "Aaaah, a doctor's wife." I just have this bad feeling, like they are looking at me like some rich, snobby, stay-at-home wife who is choosing other, selfish things, over children. I know people probably don't really think this, but for some reason, answering "No" makes me feel this way. Instead I feel like I need to explain my "no".

I have had people insinuate that I am choosing a "career" or "things" over children, and I think this is where that fear comes from. Before we admitted to people that in fact, we had been trying, I had a few people remind me "not to wait too long" or "you can go back and work later" as if that was the reason we were still without children. JB and I kept our "secret" private for a year before deciding that it wasn't working. It was actually at a function for his class. I had been wanting to tell people but John wanted to keep it quiet. At that class function, eleven different people said something about us having kids, the pitter patter of little feet, what are we waiting for etc. I left the party exasperated and in tears. Once in the car, JB said that he was done with secrets. We were going to tell people so we didn't have to face a firing squad for the rest of medical school.

The other night, I was talking to a new friend, and she asked me what types of things were the most difficult for me. I discuss this here to help educate people. Please know that I do not take any commenst that hurt me, personally! I don't ever blame the person saying them because they are not bad comments in and of themselves. I recognize that my sadness is because I am overly sensitive about this issue. However, I do know that I am not alone in these feelings. My counselor in Minnesota asked me how I thought I was doing in comparison to other infertile women I had met. I had to be honest that I thought I was in the upper percentage of women as far as how sensitive I was to comments. So, instead, as always, know that I talk about this here to educate people. I do not get my feelings personally hurt by comments. However, those comments can cause me to get down.

I realized there are three things that just cause me to spiral. The first is the "Do you have kids question?" This question is one of the most difficult for me. It just seems I can't escape this question. I really want to encourage everyone out there: Don't ask strangers this! Another friend here is the result of parents who tried for nine years! She told me that she never asks this question. (She also said that when she told her mom of my story, her mom told her to move a statue of a pregnant woman in her home into her bedroom. I thought this was so kind!) If a couple does not have children and has been married more than a few years, the odds are great that they haven't been able to have them, and this question just stinks. You can probably find the answer to this question fairly easily if you just wait. It'll become quickly obvious.

The second thing that is difficult for me to deal with is when people complain about their children. When my new friend asked me what conversation she could avoid around me I said, "Complaining." I recognize parents need to complain, and I think they have every right to complain, but I feel like that conversation could be reserved for another day when I'm not around. There are tons of other parents to complain to! The infertile gal probably isn't the best choice. Complaining is hard because I would give anything to be able to complain.

The only other thing I asked her was that if she found out she was pregnant, to tell me via email, a card, or through JB. Telling me in person is difficult. I am so happy for the person and don't want to start crying out of my own selfishness in front of someone who is so happy. I have had a few times where someone gave me their news in person. Inevitably, here comes this lump in my throat and the scratchy eyes. I feel horrible. Here is this awesome moment in my friend's life, and I'm crying because I'm jealous! Since I have told people this, I have been so blessed by the nice cards and emails I have received giving me the news. My cousin Sarah sent me a card and just said, "Call me when you are ready." Some days, I handle these fine. Some days, they cause me a few minutes of a pity-party. But at least I can have these privately and the next time I see you, I am prepared to celebrate properly. Some of my infertile friends don't feel the same way. They want to be told in person. So I advise you to ask the husband what would be best if you don't know, or ask the person before you get pregnant.

Tara, who has been doing an REI (reproductive endocrinology) rotation, wrote on her blog the other day about how everything has to work together so perfectly for people to get pregnant. I know that is so true! I have learned so much during my four years of "living" at the REI in Minnesota. Life truly is a miracle. However, sometimes it doesn't feel that way. It feels like the rest of the world gets pregnant as easily as they get groceries. Thursday: haircut; Friday: get groceries; Saturday: get pregnant. Sigh ... okay, so that's not true, obviously, but somedays it does feel like I'm the only one in the world feeling this way.

I definitely don't want people walking on egg shells with me or any other infertile woman in their life. However, I think it is very important that as human beings, we are aware of other people's suffering. If someone has just lost their parent, you don't want to complain about your own parent in front of them. That just makes sense. It isn't just infertility I am talking about here. We all have things in our life that are painful, and if we communicate those feelings to others, they are able to help us deal appropriately. People don't know how to help unless you tell them what you need. So I tell people and keep things very real. If you have another infertile friend and need advice, ask me! I'll help!

I have a link on the right on this blog entitled "How to Help Your Infertile Friend". This has other advice as well. However, please know that with me, you can just ask me what I need and I will tell you. Or ask JB. We are extremely honest. We don't mind any questions about adoption or infertility. We want people to know.

All right, this post about lights and the vet went in a completely different direction, but as always, I'm just sharing my heart. I'm so excited for JB to come home this morning and be home for the whole weekend! Yay!!! I'm also excited to have some help with this dog.

I also want to wish my mom a happy 29th birthday! Okay, so that's a lie. Actually she is 52. Pretty young to have a 30 year old! I think her mother is 72 or 73. That's pretty young to have a 30 year old granddaughter. Happy day mom!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Work Break

Thought I would take a five monute work break to give a quick life update. JB is, SURPRISE!, asleep. (Can you believe that guy sleeping in the middle of the day?!) He went to bed pretty quickly as we are taking Scrubs to the vet at 3:30.

For working from home, I am staying really busy. While I miss JB terribly, I'm not lonely or bored at all. Yesterday, three different moms and each of their sons stopped by to see Scrubs. Andrea and her son Johnathon, Tiffany and her son William, and Jenny and her son Jackson. They brought dog toys and treats. These moms think of everything! Scrubs did very well meeting all of the kids. Although, JB was home when Andrea called to see if she could stop by, and as soon as he heard she was coming he decided to thoroughly wear the pup down so he was nice and calm when the guests arrived.

Scrubs has a ton of energy but only for very short bursts. We walked to Tiffany's hosue to say hi today, and when we go thome at 10:00, he was exhausted. He's been sleeping ever since.

As for adoption news, we are currently waiting to hear back from the adoption agency to start our home study and paperwork. They told us it would take about 10 days and we are nearing that. I am anxious to get the ball rolling.

That's it -- I really don't have too much else to report. Have a good weekend everyone!

P.S. Make sure you check out the post below this one. I finally got pics from my brother Keith's wedding.

Pics of Keith and AD's wedding

I finally got the "real" pics from Keith and AD's wedding and have tried to load them here. I can't change the captions under the photos unfortunately, but I think you all will enjoy these. Of course, this wedding was in December, but hey, I had to be patient waiting for these photos.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Busy at RLS Foundation

Work at the RLS Foundation has been busy lately mainly because of a new discovery that was finally announced yesterday. We've known about this for quite some time and have been preparing for the announcement for quite a few weeks. The final articles were printed in the very presitigous New England Journal of Medicine.

To quickly summarize, a gene for RLS was found. This basically means that they have found a gene that if present in a person's DNA, indicates that they are more likely to get RLS.

The articles are all over the news and the newspapers and online. Here's just two links that explain what was recently found:

Scientists Find Genetic Link for a Disorder (Next, Respect?)

Genetic link is found for restless legs syndrome

Just thought I would share what I do for a living. Basically I help write the press releases, emails, and edit the website to share this information with the public. Here's the webpage I have been working on.

RLS Foundation announcement

Thanks for listening (and pretending like it was really interesting.)

Good nights all around

I have to admit that the last few days have been a little bit tough. Not only do I have a brand new puppy who I am trying to monitor 24-7, but John is gone, well, nearly 24-7. Okay, so he isn't actually gone that much, but he's unavailable that much. He leaves each evening around 5:45 for the hospital and comes home each morning around 8:30. He tries to hang out with me and talk to me but by 9:30 is dragging and makes his way to bed. Yesterday, I laid down next to him in bed. Folks, I did not know it was possible to be sleeping and snoring in just 4 mere seconds, but JB proved it was possible. And usually, he doesn't even snore! The guy was out before I could even lay down.

He has been waking up around 4:30pm. This means that he is actually home all day with me but sequestered in the bedroom. It's a good thing our house is solid as a rock and he has earplugs to sleep through the whining and barking of our dog and the chirping of our bird. We've got a little zoo going on here now. JB hopes to have his fish tank up and running soon too.

Anyways, at 4:30 he usually eats, well, cereal, since it is sort of breakfast time for him and then heads back to the hospital.

Last night he called me about 10:30 and informed me that it was a "dead night". He said he finally felt "awake" for his night shift and had successfully flipped his sleep. He seemed so relieved to have some down-time. Compared to the night before where they were so pounded and had two very difficult deliveries, he was ecstatic! I hope the rest of the night followed suit. I haven't heard from him

Scrubs also had a good night. He went out at 10pm, 2am, and 6am -- nearly 4 hour increments. Yay!!! Yesterday he also failed to have any accidents at all. We have an appointment at the vet tomorrow. I think the hardest thing right now is "bite inhibition". "The book" said that that this reaches a peak during months 3 and 4 and will then be able to be trained better but right now, he just doesn't seem to get the difference between the bone and my hand. Any advice from fellow puppy owners?

Scrubs having a good night meant Wendi had a good night. I was blessed by an invite to Matt and Tiffany's for dinner. Tiffany made a FANTASTIC Thai meal. It was awesome! I didn't stay too long as I wanted to get the dog back out again and turn in early, but it was still wonderful since my choices were mac & cheese or some grapes back at my house.

It's now 7:22 a.m. and I just got back from a great run. I'm a little concerned as my right knee is causing me a little discomfort when I am running. I'm not sure why, and quite honestly, haven't had a chance to talk to my "doctor" lately (i.e., JB). Hopefully this isn't anything big. I'd be so bummed if now that I can run, I can't run. (Did everyone follow that?)

My headaches are also doing considerably better although I am still struggling with some bouts each day. Please keep this in your prayers. I think my body is just adjusting after four years of so much medicine. I just need to get back to being Wendi-without-drugs, and I think the headaches will go away as well. I am not taking any medication for these headaches. If I need something, I drink a Mountain Dew, otherwise, I fight through them.

Oh, another very random tid-bit to throw in there. My blog got it's 60,000th hit yesterday. Anyone want to claim responsibility?! I wasn't even paying attention to try to see if we could find the winner. Oh well. I have a feeling Josh will try to claim responsibility. It just seems like something Josh would do.

I put another post below this with some puppy stuff. I have a feeling that'll dominate my blog for a bit. Oh well. I like my puppy! Seriously, he has been the best diversion for me. I don't know what I would have done this last week without him here. It is such a good distraction and helps me to forget about infertility stuff. Thanks again wonderful JB.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Scrubs attempt at fetch

Also I have had a few people point out to me that Scrubs has a "heart nose". I never saw it. But here is a picture I snagged from Joia's blog that she took of Scrubs and me. There's the heart nose. How cute is that?

I also have a new video to share.

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

32 years! Awesome! Congrats Mom and Dad!
(and since they had a double wedding with my dad's brother Bob and his wife Mary -- parents of Jason, Josh, and Justin, I'll put a shout out to them too!)

Girls' night out

I am really blessed by some of the wonderful wives of JB's fellow interns. Last night, four of us went to "McGuire's Irish Pub" near Destin. It was actually Tiffany's idea. Her husband Matt agreed to watch their son William so she could have a night out. We wanted to see that new Catherine Zeta Jone's movie, but it doesn't come out until next week. So instead we opted for dinner and a movie at my house.

We met at our house and everyone met Scrubs. I was shocked at how shy my puppy was. When Tiffany and Matt came over on Saturday when we got him, he was all over everyone. However, a few days later, and he didn't want to leave my side. After a few minutes, he warmed up, but still gingerly! I don't want my dog being a scaredy cat -- we have to work on this.

We then headed to dinner. We were trying to go to "Cafe Bistro" but it was closed for a private party! WHATever. So we opted for "McGuire's Irish Pub". This is a really fun restaurant with all sort of eccentric decorations and traditions. Here's some pics of our night (thanks to Joia for letting me steal these from her!)

I'll label this picture as the entrance to the restaurant in case you couldn't tell.

Here's the girls' night out gang. Wendi (obviously), Jodi (back left), Tiffany (back right), and Joia (front right). I'm not sure why I couldn't bear to put down the ketchup for the picture.

Not sure the whole story behind this, but people sign and hang dollar bills from the ceiling. I find it good decoration but sort of disturbing that money holds such little value to people! (None of us were going to throw our money away so we didn't participate.)

The menu is full of fun things -- like you can get a bowl of beans for 18 cents -- the original price of the soup. They also sell a $100.00 hamburger. Apparently it includes some sort of rare champagne or something. You've got to be kidding me! Obviously people have bought this or it wouldn't be on the menu. I'd like to lecture the person who would put $100.00 into their stomach with one item!

JB and I ate at McGuire's back in August when I came out to visit him on his rotation. Back then, they had signs like these on the bathroom door. Read closely to find out why I ended up in the Men's room. Yesterday, the signs had been replaced with simple signs. Apparently, they had a fight with the health department. However, you can read the WHOLE STORY here. Apparently, McGuire's has reached an agreement with the state to keep their famous door signs.

After dinner, we headed back to my house and watched French Kiss. Tiffany and I had seen it but a long time ago. It was fun because it had a lot of Canadian/American connections and Joia is a Canadian (about to be dual-citizen.) Actually, the four of us are from all over the country. I guess I claim Florida, Tiffany is a Texan, Joia from Canada and most recently Michigan, and Jodi the Carolinas! Good diversity in friendships.

In other news, folks I am TIRED! I got an email from a co-worker today who told me I had emailed her at 11:33 p.m. and 6:16 a.m. YIKES! I blame it on two issues: JB being gone which always causes me to take longer falling asleep, and this darn little adorable puppy who think 5am is morning!!!