Friday, November 28, 2014


Kyle and I have had 3 quick trips to Charleston in the past 2 years.  Now, granted, they have all been in the winterish time.  But I have to say, it just is not my favorite place.  Bad weather aside... it just isn't the place to go with Kyle.  I wouldn't mind going to the historical places, touring a plantation or something; Kyle not so much.  It definitely isn't the greatest place to take a baby.  Maybe a girl's trip with my mom.  

But when your husband's residency program doesn't have a transplant team, he has to go to the nearest in-state teaching hospital for the experience.  For Kyle, that is Charleston.  So off we went.  Myles did pretty darn great in the car.  It was a 4 hour drive including stops.  He took a couple of naps and I had snacks and toys at the ready to pass back to him.  When all else failed, the kiddy music got turned on.  Works every time.

Our first afternoon there, we met a friend for lunch while Kyle was sleeping (he was coming off of a night shift).  That night we headed to a brewery I had wanted to go see.  The second trip that we made to Charleston was for an interview.  This was the only interview where spouses were NOT invited to the resident dinner (first of many things that put them towards the bottom of our list).  Thats ok.  I bought a beer in the hotel lobby and read a book.  That beer was from a local brewery called Westbrook.  It was very very interesting.  White Thai.  Try it.  So since it was so close, I really wanted to check it out since we had nothing else to do.  Kyle tried their Dry Irish Stout (very much like Guinness) and I got the Gose (a salty sour wheat beer- extremely interesting).

Sleeping arrangements were a little weird.  The hotel had Kyle in a tiny corner room which left us putting the pack-n-play right next to the door so that Myles couldn't see us when we turned off the lights.  If he could have seen us, he never would have gone to sleep.  

Kyle had Saturday off, and thanks to a recommendation, we decided to do the South Carolina Aquarium.  It didn't disappoint.  Myles really did look at some of the exhibits.  We managed to get some pretty good pictures out of it.  

Afterward we drove around forever trying to find somewhere to eat.  This is a frustrating part about Charleston and a baby.  Everyone is hungry and a lot of the restaurants that aren't in a sketchy part of town are on a one way street with parking only allowed on one side of the street.  And everyone is trying to go where you want to go.  We eventually found a brunch place a little further away that had one parking spot left.  It was amazing.  Thank you Hominy Grill.

We spent a good amount of time in the hotel room trying to get Myles to nap.  It didn't really happen much, but it was good to just have some family time alone.  Kyle had to head back to work early Sunday morning so Myles and I got on the road shortly after.  It was a good trip even if it was when the Polar Vortex decided to pay its visit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

wishlist : Christmas 2014 mini-man edition

1 : for dress up How cute is this mask and tail?!  I was just browsing Etsy and thought this was pretty genius.  The shop BHBKidstyle has several different animals to choose from.  So so cute.

2 : for the car ride It is fascinating how kid specific music seems to calm a kid down in the car.  I was all about some Raffi as a little kid myself.  This could be pretty handy dandy for the next couple of years. 

3 : for eco friendly play Myles received a Green Toys dump truck and shape sorter for his birthday.  I really love this company.  100% made in the USA out of recycled plastic.  This stuff is fantastic.  The helicopter and airplanes look pretty great.

4 : for pretend munching Who knew Ikea made really neat toys?  Our friends have the Duktig felt food sets and they are pretty darn cute.  The vegetable set can be found on Amazon, but they make a fruit set as well.

5 : for the little helper  A mini version of mommy's vacuum cleaner?  Um yes please.  He loves chasing me around when I vacuum.  I would wager he would love to "help" when he gets a little bigger.  I  know some kids love their own broom too. 

6 : for carrying stuff  This cute little backpack would be the right size to hold Myles' snacks and diapers when we go places and when he gets a little older he could carry it himself.  These Skip Hop zoo backpacks are a good small size.

7 : for the eventual walker  Little kid shoes are expensive.  Feel free to get him some in the sizes to come... 5 and 6.  I love these little Saucony Jazz shoes.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

wishlist : Christmas 2014 mommy edition

This has been an interesting year.  I feel like I accomplished a lot of things around the house and in the yard.  In some areas I have been pickier than in others.  Some places just need a few finishing touches and others need the main event.  Since I have been trying to go with "less" purposefully in the wardrobe department, I have been able to put more resources towards things around the home.  There are a few things that I would love for function and fun that I haven't gotten around to and may not... since most of this would really only be used by me!

1 : for the walls You probably remember the print I framed for Kyle's birthday from Leslie Hill's Fifty Two Verses project.  I have thought for a while that I would love to have maybe 3 of them along the long wall of our hallway as daily encouragement.  I just kept waiting for the project to be a little more finished so that I could decide which I really want.  I have so far narrowed it down to prints 34, 1224, 26, 38, and 40.  I think any of them would look great in "mini" with a simple white frame.

2 : for the neck  I have absolutely loved my necklace from The Jones Market.  Support small business when you can.  I would love another necklace (or 2!) from her.  She is selling out quickly and has a big sale coming up, so act fast because she is going to close up shop Nov 30th to spend time with family!  From what I saw available this weekend, I love her metallic adjustable necklaces right now, or really any of the vanilla or blueberry beads!

3 : for the cabinet  I have unfortunately broken 2 of my 4 sort of larger wine glasses in the past year.  No worries, I was sort of wanting some new ones anyway.  I like this longer shape.  I'm not set on any certain kind, though I do know that the Riedel Vivant red wine glasses at Target are about the right size.

4 : for the snuggles Have you seen the commercials?  TOMS is at Target.  What I didn't realize until I checked the website, was that it is much more than the shoes.  I have now seen this blanket in the store and think it would be a wonderful snuggle blanket for the couch.  Kyle can tell you that I NEVER sit on the couch without being covered up.  Its just comfy.

5 : for the outfit check  I always intended to have a long mirror whenever we moved.  I have never been able to see all of an outfit at once before I leave the house.  I do have one free wall to hang one on in the bedroom and I think I really ought to not keep putting it off.

What is on your wishlist this year?  I love to hear what other people are dreaming of this time of year.  Don't worry family, I plan to get a little man version completed before Black Friday ;-)

Friday, November 21, 2014

photo shoot : a family of 4

I met Amanda last year.  She is another resident's wife/stay at home mom.  I completely value her friendship and have been so excited to watch her family go from 3 to 4 this year.  It makes finding time with her a little bit harder, but she is pretty good about getting back to me with texts.   I was beyond excited when she asked me to take some photos of them now that Baby Charlotte (aka Charlie) is here.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Monday, November 17, 2014

myles oliver : a birthday party

I had been a bit of a fuddy duddy earlier about whether or not to have a party for Myles since his birthday falls in the middle of Kyle's away rotation.  Since we didn't find out Kyle's schedule until he was already in Charleston, we capitalized on what we did know and planned Myles' birthday party 2 weeks early.  Kyle had to leave on the 2nd, so we celebrated on the 1st!  Issue:  this was the beginning of when everyone started getting sick so through a series of unfortunate events, 2 of the 4 families we invited weren't able to make it.  No worries.  We didn't let it slow us down!

I kept things as simple as I could without feeling like I was sacrificing on the cute first birthday for our first kid factor.  I had planned for quite some time to bake a blueberry pie for Myles since blueberries are his favorite, it is eggless, and well, you will understand once you see the pictures.  To all those haters that thought pie was the worst thing you could do to a kid on their birthday (how dare I not give my kid cake!) get over it.  Pie was a major hit!  I also grabbed an apple pie from Trader Joes in case people weren't blueberry fans.  Food wise, I just grabbed some roasted red pepper hummus with pita from TJ's and made some sausage balls right before the guests arrived.

We went with a light dinosaur theme.  I snagged that cute reusable chalkboard banner and used my dinosaur cookie cutters as stencils for the images, and dinosaur plates and napkins from Target.  A few colorful streamers and some little plastic dinosaurs from the Target dollar spot finished us off.  I also printed the monthbymonth photos from here on the blog and displayed them with a few other gems.

Adults and kids alike tore into that blueberry pie after Myles took care of the first slice.  It really was phenomenal and Pillsbury made the crust much easier to deal with.

The kids all took turns on Myles' present from us, his little red rocking moose from Ikea.  

The party was just what we needed.  A few friends to celebrate our kiddo.  Some good food and conversation.   Just enough to say we actually did it and had fun in the process.  I know Myles had a blast.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

myles oliver : monthbymonth 12

This kid.  Seriously such a joy.  

A year ago, Kyle and I were sitting in the living room timing contractions.  Kyle calling the hospital to decide whether we should go in because they just were not very consistent but definitely getting closer together.  Around 11pm on the 12th, we headed to the hospital and were admitted.  Apparently by that point my parents were already on the road because Kyle had sneakily texted them and told them it would be a good idea to head down here.  I was admitted and given a room pretty quickly.   The nurses had a hard time getting the iv started and that was seriously the worst part of the entire experience for me.  We tried to get a little sleep but I knew it wouldn't happen while I felt the contractions, so I broke and went for the epidural around 2am.  Well, that did its job, but having to bend over so far for the procedure just pushed Myles further up into my ribs.  So no sleep for me at all.  

The doctor on call that night was nice but was definitely the more awkward/quiet one that I had met from the practice.  I secretly hoped Myles would hold out for the shift change so I could get someone else.  This doctor did mention wanting to give me some Pitocin but I knew I did NOT want that unless there was a problem.  There wasn't and I continued to progress through the day.  I did let him break my water after the epidural.  My parents got to the hospital around 3am or so and just checked in on me every now and then.  Sometime in the morning I asked the nurses to find out what doctor would be taking the day shift with me.  Of course!  The only doctor from my group that I hadn't met yet (Dr. G).  He stopped in around lunch time to check on me and said everything was looking great.  I immediately loved this guy and was excited that he was going to be the doctor.  Around 3pm Dr. G checked and said I was 10 cm but my contractions were still only 3-4 minutes apart so he was going to run and do a procedure really quick and would be right back.  About 30 minutes later the nurses that were with me that day (amazing amazing amazing women!) decided that my contractions might be about as close as they might get so wanted to see how Myles responded to a push.  

The ONLY reason I was bothered about getting an epidural was because I knew that being on your back was pretty much the worst position to be in.  I asked them if I could raise the bed up so that I was sitting up more.  They quickly got me positioned basically to sitting on the edge of the bed with my legs in the air.  I wanted gravity to help as much as possible despite my epidural.  Grabbing my legs had me pretty much folded in half and I was able (not really wanting to) to see everything that was happening.  The first push went pretty well and Dr. G showed up and was really excited how everything was progressing, so we kept going.  After about 25 minutes of pushing and some amazing coaching from Dr. G and the nurses and Kyle, Myles was born at exactly 4pm on his due date Nov. 13th.  Dr. G basically forced Kyle to cut the cord.  Kyle really just wanted to be a spectator and not a doctor for this experience.  A head full of hair that wasn't cone shaped since he came out so quickly, and a crooked nose was quickly cleaned off by Dr. G (per my request) and skin to skin time went relatively uninterrupted for the next hour.  We did ask one of the nurses to quickly weigh him for our own curiosity part way into our hour of time alone with our son.  

We stayed in the hospital for 2 nights and were surrounded by our families the entire time.  The nurses were completely amazing.  The lactation consultants were extremely helpful since Myles seemed to only want to nurse on one side.  It could not have really been much of a better experience.  Unless they had let me eat while I was waiting for Myles to arrive.  That would have been nice.  

A year later, you are about 21 lbs and 30 inches tall (your doctor's appointment isn't until next week so I'm guestimating here), have basically 6 teeth (4ish on top and two on bottom).  You still eat pretty well but are having issues with your high chair.  You would much rather eat while standing or in my lap.  It might be because daddy is gone, or because I have started progressively weaning you to soy milk.  Or because I have let you do that for snack times and you think you can get away with it at meal time.  Whatever the reason, its annoying.  You love pizza, even weird ones like greek pizza with lots of feta and olives.  I recently tried out peanut butter on you and no allergy!  You are enjoying PB&Js!!!

Not walking yet, but several times a day you will get distracted and let go of whatever is supporting you to hold onto your cup or a ball or something.  You are standing longer and longer amounts of time.  You climb all over everything and try using everything you can as a step stool.  You are certainly mischievous and have perfected your "look".  You know exactly what you aren't supposed to get into or go and look at me and grunt right before you do exactly that.  You love trying to "share" everything with the cats and me and your friends.  You cuddle with everyone and have been known to launch yourself into the arms of complete strangers.

Your hummed "meow" has evolved into "mam mam" every time you see the cats and sometimes you say "buh buh" when you wave goodbye.  You like the "T" sound, going around saying "atttttttt".  We think you are trying to say daddy but it usually comes out as "da Ttttt" it is probably still just a sound to you, more than a word with a meaning.  I think you tried to say "ball" one time while playing with a ball.

We had to make an upgrade this month, you really seem to enjoy being in your big boy car seat now.  A lot less whining and the cupholder is your favorite feature.  For now it is your "snack cup" and you immediately put your hand in there to check for some rogue Cheerios.

you were Dr. Conway for Halloween.  We were your patients.  
It might be you getting older, or just your response to daddy being gone, but you have been extra snuggly lately.  Several times a day you will want up on the couch with me and just sit there or lay next to me for minutes at a time.  I am soaking that time up since all other moments of the day you are busy busy busy all over the house.

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching you morph from newborn to little boy these 12 months Myles Oliver.  I can't wait to see what you get into next!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

survivor story : night float with a kid

A year and a half-ish into residency and we officially have 5 months of nights under our belt. The more we have had, the easier and less ominous those months have become.  I, like anyone in this, have had to figure out what works and what doesn't and my new "rules" will probably work as Myles gets older.  I thought I would share in case others out there haven't figured out a routine that works for them yet.

First, let me sort of map out a typical day when my resident works a day shift.

Myles and I are awake sometime after Kyle leaves for work (6-7am).  Myles currently takes a morning and afternoon nap so we hang out until the first nap (9-10am), at which time I shower and get a chore done before he wakes up.  Then I get us ready to go out for the day, whether to run an errand, meet friends somewhere, or just go out in the yard.  We make it home in time for lunch or Myles' nap, depending on the activity of the day.  During the second nap (2ish- time and length varies), I usually do another chore of some sort or write while I catch up on a show.  Then I need to get a game plan together for dinner so that dinner is started or ready to be started when Kyle lets me know he is headed home (6ish).  Once he is home, we eat and get Myles ready for bed (7pm) before we relax together until bedtime (9-10).

A typical day when my resident works a night float (no rules included).

Myles and I wake up between 6-7am.  Kyle gets home around 7am or later, almost immediately going to bed.  Myles naps 9-10am or so.  We venture out sometime before his second nap which is usually around 2pm and lasts an hour or more.  I wake Kyle up by 3pm.  Kyle gets showered while I heat some food up and sometimes we eat together before he leaves for work again at 4:30pm.  Myles asleep at 7.  I go to sleep whenever I make myself (usually around 10).

Now my "rules".
  1. During Myles' naps, I take time for me.  I take a long shower, I watch my shows, I read a book, I sit on the deck.  Other than yard work that needs to be completed during the day, I do not do chores.  Most chores are pretty loud inside (think dishes or vacuuming) and would bother Kyle even with the door shut.  This keeps me sane.  
  2. We always have an outing.  We go to the zoo, or walk around Target or meet a friend for a play date.  Sometimes it is just going in the front yard to roll around in the grass.  We get out of the house. This is crucial.  Kyle has gotten better about sleeping through normal daily noise but this lets us worry a little less and not go so stir crazy.  
  3. We try to eat with Kyle a couple times a week.  Because family time.  And it is important to me to make sure Kyle has something homemade so he doesn't feel so much like a zombie surviving off of Chick-fil-a and cafeteria food night after night after night.  Sometimes I fail and he ends up eating frozen pizza or chicken strips but he appreciates the trying.  The crock pot is my friend.
  4. I do the chores at night.  I have had all of my "me" time during the day and once Myles is asleep for the night, I am alone, so I become productive.  Myles can sleep through everything so no chore is off limit.  It is pretty important that I divide up all of the chores on a calendar so that I don't get overwhelmed and shut down.  One major (like things I can't stand doing) chore per night.  
  5. Kyle's days off are time to ask for help with things I can't do alone but otherwise, his days off are protected family time.  Basically, no visitors.  We might decide to do something fun for a couple of hours with some friends but family is discouraged from coming to visit us during these months.
Different things work for different people and every program does things differently. What "rules" work at your house?

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Late again.  I have had major plans of being great about writing while Kyle is away.  And then the first day he was gone, I remembered that we share a Macbook charger.  He took it.  So then I hemmed and hawed for a couple of days about what to do because well Macbook chargers are expensive.  So my offbrandpleaselastmeamonth cheaper one just arrived yesterday.  But one little almost one year old didn't get the memo that mommy wants to write and refused to take an afternoon nap.  So then bedtime (!) and my Mac wanted to update to Yosemite and I was like sure why not?!  And my Mac said it would only take 22 minutes... for 2 hours.  So here I am on Saturday speed typing this thing while Myles actually naps even though the link up was on Wed.  Thanks for leaving this sucker open ladies!


reading: the curious incident of the dog in the night time by Mark Haddon.  I just started this.  I heard about it when Kelly Ripa was talking about it on Live because it has been turned into a play.  She really talked it up so I got in line for the ebook from our library.  Not to be read when you are distracted or sleepy.  Long run on sentences.  Supposed to be about a kid with Aspergers that wants to solve the mystery of who killed the neighbor's dog.  Interesting so far but for a real look into Aspergers I recommend Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison.

wishlisting:  Ever since I majorly downsized my wardrobe, I have been trying to be more thoughtful about what I put back into it.  I have been wanting a puffer vest for a little bit. Yesterday, I noticed a few that I would like to go back to the mall and look at again but I think I have narrowed it down to liking them with zippers.  Who knows.

loving:  apple cider.  Obsessed.  Majorly.  I have been heating it up on the stove with some whole cloves and cinnamon sticks.  So. Good.

appreciating:  Time with my almost 1-year old.  I was really anxious about not having any consistent help for the month, but so far-so good.  Life isn't all roses all day but this is really going rather smoothly.  And it has just been us for a week.  No hanging out with friends.  Am I turning into a hermit?  Oh no.  ALL OF OUR FRIENDS ARE SICK.  So I am also appreciating good immune systems because we have definitely been around all of the sick kids right before they got super sick.  Other than more than normal snot, we have been pretty peachy.

creating:  I made this pretty rad dinosaur blueberry pie last week.  That counts right?  It was definitely a hit.  I used Pillsbury crust and this filling recipe with frozen blueberries.  Definitely will want to remake in the summer when blueberries don't cost an arm and a leg.

linking up with Anne and Jenna.