Monday, November 17, 2014

Snow Day

Oh southern Indiana, you gotta love it.  Last night we got about 3" of snow which translated to early morning phone calls from superintendent's letting us know that school would be cancelled for today.  The Cleveland girl inside of me balks at the ridiculousness of cancelling school when you can clearly see the road that you are driving on, but the Hoosier girl inside me knows that southern Indiana is ill-prepared to deal with any amount of snow because they are in serious denial about preparing for things that don't always happen here.  The girls rejoiced and I cringed.  I knew that I had a class to teach today at a university that was very unlikely to cancel classes.  I knew that I basically only needed my girls to be watched for 50 minutes so I could talk to my students about sexual health.  

Did I ask for help?  Of course not.  The optimist inside me won out when debating whether to call someone to watch the girls, so instead I opted to take the girls with me to my lecture and bring along some coloring books & toys to occupy them for the mere 50 minutes I had to work.  I really thought they might sit in the corner and color.  I really thought they might actually be good listeners for me.  I really really was WRONG.  

Here they are about to go outside and burn off some energy before my class: 

I made them go outside and play in the snow twice before we left.  I made sure they were fed lunch and had some just-in-case snacks along too.  I packed a bag of toys and such to keep their attention.  Little did I realize that 44 college students are much more entertaining than bags of toys.  

I should have realized my little entertainers would succumb to the temptation to make the whole class laugh.  What I couldn't have realized was what they would do once they got their first laugh.  

This week in my health and wellness course we are covering sexual health.  Thankfully today was not the sexual behaviors and STI lecture, rather the anatomy, physiology, and relationship lecture.  My students were remarkably quiet for a Monday even.  I put up a picture of the external female genitalia and none of them even wanted to say what it was.  Annika, being the over-achiever that she is, promptly raised her hand and announced to the class, "It's a vagina. Duh!"  The entire room erupted in 1/2 laughter and 1/2 gasps.  Apparently it is both hilarious and appalling that my 6 year old knows the proper name to call her junk.  Who knew?  

Annika was hooked.  She proceeded to spend the next 45 minutes dancing in front of the class, writing funny things on the chalkboard, and interrupting me to ask questions like, "Can I call on the next person when they all raise their hands?"  Yes, Mayzie also interrupted me a couple of times, but mostly to ask me to help her with something like the sweet little 4 year old she is.  Annika was a terror of holy proportions.  

It was stressful.  It was embarrassing.  It was hilarious...though admittedly I am only laughing about it now hours later.  

Lesson learned: Ask for help when you need it and NEVER count on your kids to behave when you need them to because that is the moment they will choose to prove you wrong every time. 

Snow days were so much better when I was the one getting the day off! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

What's up?

Hey there.  I promise I didn't forget about you lovely readers.  Things are in motion, and moving quickly at that right now.

Yes, I'm on the job market.  I've applied for jobs all over the country again: academic jobs and industry jobs and all manner of jobs that I am qualified for because of my degree.

Yes, I'm also teaching at the University of Evansville.  I'm teaching 2 sections of the same class, and I'm loving it so far.  I love teaching.  I love being around college students' energy.  I get them, and I have so much fun talking about health and wellness issues with them.

Yes, I'm working as a doula.  I've been attending births, and they continue to be as amazing as anything I have ever witnessed.  I will be attending one more birth for my DONA certification, and will be a certified doula before the end of the year.  But there is something else going on with my doula life.  I'm starting a group business with 2 other local doulas!  This is super exciting for so many reasons, not the least of which is because we'll get to be on a call schedule and we can take on more clients together.  Check out our group website:

Here I am all ready to head into my first C-section! 

September 1st, we moved to a new apartment in Newburgh, IN.  If we end up staying here, this is where we will buy a house.  That is one reason for the move, but the other reason is the SCHOOLS! We loved the teachers and administration at Annika's last school, but the other students and parents definitely left much to be desired.  We LOVE the new school! Annika loves the new school.  All things considered, like the fact that we moved approximately 5 miles down the road, we are very happy with where we are right now.

Andy got a new job! While he did love his old job, he had started to get a little too comfortable.  This new company sought him out and he made the move to a bigger company with more responsibility.  At the beginning of his 3rd week, he's still a little overwhelmed, but slowly easing into his new position.

The best news: The girls are both doing GREAT! Mayzie is still at Totten Hall and loving Pre-K.

Annika is an awesome 1st grader who is already reading at a 2nd grade level & rocking her short do. 

So, what's going on in your neck of the woods?  Busy busy with school days?  Eating bonbons on your couch while watching as much HGTV as possible?  

Whatever is going on with you, I hope you are well.  I will definitely try to write a bit more often, but no promises at this point. :-) 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Improving Birth Rally: 9/1/14 in Evansville, IN

Labor Day Monday September 1, 2014: Inaugural Rally to Improve Birth in Evansville, Indiana
Join us from 10am-noon at the Four Freedoms Monument on the Riverfront to Rally for evidence-based care and humanity in Childbirth. 
Find us on Facebook:


Learn more about the cause:


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Of Vomit & Barium

Our two adorable children figured out the sick role very quickly.  They know when they are sick that I'm going to dote on them and that all responsibility pretty much goes out the window.  They also happen to be a little bit enamored with our family doctor.  Yes, I agree that he's pretty great.  I mean, why else would we take them there?  But herein lies the problem.

As children, they don't really have the ability to understand when we NEED to go to the doctor for an illness or boo-boo.  Mayzie is a cry-er.  She cries every time she gets bumped even a little bit.  I soothe her, and she calms down while typically telling me "I'm ok" through her tears.  Annika on the other hand, is a complainer.  She'll complain about things hurting and directly ask if we can go see our doctor.

This leads me to my story about Annika.  Earlier in the summer, she was attending camp at her school.  She was vomiting at camp fairly regularly, in part I thought to get to come home, though I'm not sure she's that conniving yet.  So she missed some days of camp and we went about our lives like normal, because she was acting completely normal.  And then camp ended, and she was still vomiting.  It was getting to be about 4-5 times a day.  I was concerned.  So we made an appointment to see the doctor.  He told us it was probably just nerves, but to come back if it didn't fade away in the next 2 weeks.

Luckily, we had our annual check-up appointments exactly 2 weeks later.  Lucky, because the vomiting didn't stop.  Andy said I was making too big a deal about it, but the doctor had me worried and I really hated to see my baby puking all the time.  So the doctor looked at her, and wrote us a referral to go see a gastro doctor where they would do an upper-GI on her.

Cut to 2 days later, when I'm running around the hospital from building to building trying to figure out where the heck we are supposed to be because the lady on the phone just rambled it all off to me while I was trying to keep my kids quiet enough so that I could hear her while they were swimming.  (Hmm, I wonder why I couldn't hear the details?)  4 offices later, we finally found the right place.  They took a blood sample from Annika, for which she got a stuffed animal for being such a good patient.  Then they took her into a gigantic x-ray room.  There was a window so Mayzie and I could watch the whole thing.  They had her drink barium and we could watch it go down into her belly.  They then had her run around for a minute and then step back onto the machine so they could see the barium emptying into her small intestine.

Mayzie loved watching the whole thing and kept repeating, "Mama, look, I can see Annikas GUTS." Annika actually asked the technician if she could take the barium home with her because she liked the taste--apparently a first for him ever.  Then the doctor came in and said everything looks great.

So what does that mean exactly?  Does this mean that I completely over-reacted and shouldn't have been concerned at all?  Does it mean my kid has nerves that make her puke?  If that's the case, does that mean we need to get her counseling or something?

And then, magically, the vomiting stopped.  She hasn't puked once since the barium-extravaganza.
And now I feel like the overly worried mom who can't tell the difference between serious and non-emergent medical issues.

What would you have done?

In other news, Annika lost her first tooth this week.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Post-PhD Syndrome

I went to see the doctor recently due to some of the following symptoms.  This was my diagnosis.

Symptoms: extreme fatigue, lethargy, & complete lack of motivation to do anything, often coupled with extreme opposite symptoms of mania, hyper-activity, and motivation to do everything.

Possible Cause: The body's reaction to being in fight or flight mode for the years of being in a PhD program pursuing those 3 letters after your name.

Prognosis: development into a more extreme syndrome likely, such as:
     -get-a-job-anxiety syndrome
     -I-don't-want-to-do-anything syndrome
     *Also possible: I-can-do-all-the-things syndrome

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Things Happened

So it has a been a while since I posted, but I assure you that is because lots of things have been happening.  No, I will not talk about the ubiquitous busy-ness that is so pervasive in our daily speech that we now answer busy instead of fine.  I digress.  Here are 5 of the things that have happened since I last posted: 

1. Annika turned 6 and we had an awesome Fox-themed birthday party.  

2. We went camping with friends and Annika got smoochy with their son.  It was adorable, for now. 

3. Annika had her last day of Kindergarten, and I didn't even cry.  

4. I GRADUATED with my PhD!!!!!!  Here I am with my fellow Anthro-grad Dr. Sarah.  Love her! Marvel in our doctoral greatness with those fancy robes for 30 seconds.........that's enough.  

5. We had a graduation party, and Andy made me my very own beer with a name-nod to anthro-theory. 

My MIL even got a cake with a nod to my blogger name on it. 

Here are my adorable babes before the party began...aren't they sweet? 

And here's my awesome MIL who actually catered a Chipotle-esque menu for the party that was DELISH! I can't thank her enough for that party.  I'm seriously lucky y'all! 

So this is some of what I've been up to lately.  
If you go look at my 40x40 list, you'll see I've crossed a few things off now.  These include graduating, learning to sew, switching to natural cleaning products, planting a vegetable garden (on our veranda nonetheless), and going on vacation with just Andy.  Yay!  
I've also started down the path of becoming a doula.  I've attended 1.5 births (to be explained later), and am going to a DONA training in 2 weeks.  

I told you things happened! 
Wheels are in motion.  Time is marching on. Life continues uninterrupted, moving forward regardless of whether I'm ready for it or not.  Bring it! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Girls' Weekend

Before the weekend even started, Mayzie was all tuckered out and not willing to take a nap.  "I'm not tired mama," turned into passed out on the couch very quickly.

Andy went camping with 2 old friends.  They decided to rough it in Illinois; Garden of the Gods, which is a gorgeous place for hiking in the Shawnee National Forest.  Here he is getting all decked out. 

What's a mama to do with her girls all weekend?  Take them on a road trip of course! 
Here is Annika waiting patiently to leave on Saturday, doing her ball maze.  I'm always just amazed when she'll sit still for more than 5 minutes, and this thing is genius. 

First stop: Robin's baby shower.  Robin and I have known each other for what seems like a million years.  We went to HS together and were roommates in college for a year.  She was actually my roommate the year I met Andy, and immediately liked him.  She also happens to be the most adorable pregnant lady EVER, which makes me only mildly jealous.  

We piled back in the car, only to realize that one of the tires was flat on my SUV.  I got some help changing it, which actually killed me a little bit because I'm a seriously independent woman.  I'm proud to say that at one point 6 men were watching me put the spare on though. 2.5 hours at PepBoys later, we were back on the road.  All I have to say about that visit to PB was THANK GOODNESS for free WiFi & for me remembering to bring my iPad.  

We spent the night at my brother and SIL's house Saturday night, and the girls actually stayed up until midnight...or at least I passed out then and they were still awake.  Cousin time is awesome, but morning comes really early for girls who stay up that late.  C'est la Vie! 

The next morning we drove to Fishers to catch up with my BFF from HS and her brood of 4 kids.  It was a really short visit, but soo awesome to finally see her and her family after more than 5 years of phone calls alone.  Is there anything better than catching up with old friends?  I think not!
Here we are together:

The final leg of our girls' weekend was taking my mother to see this years Listen to Your Mother show in Indianapolis. The show was amazing.  We started crying almost immediately and laughed enough to make my belly sore the next day. 
Here I am after the show with my fellow cast-mates from last year.  

After the show, we drove back to relieve my SIL who had been watching the 4 girls (2 hers, 2 mine) so I could take my mom to the show.  We said our goodbyes and drove back to Evansville just in time for baths and bedtime.  

This past weekend was epic, and I LOVED it.  All the things I got to do would not have been on Andy's list of things he ever would want to do, so it was great that he was off having his kind of fun with the boys.  Waves of appreciation washed over me as I drove home: appreciation for old friends, appreciation for family, appreciation for the ability to travel, appreciation for fast food, appreciation for girls who seriously behaved themselves VERY well, and appreciation for having such a great life.  
This is one weekend I won't soon forget! 


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