Friday, August 31, 2012

I Confess... I'm Pissed!

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I confess...  I'm pissed! The last two weeks have been an emotionally rough ride. The school year has not started off well.
I confess...  I'm pissed! Day three of school and we were home sick.
I confess...  I'm pissed! Missed last day of try-outs and got cut
I confess...  I'm pissed! My step-daughter has been paying for extra-curricular lessons out of her own pocket, when Doc H pays PLENTY in child support to cover such expenses.
I confess...  I'm pissed! Day 4 of school and someone's already in detention.
I confess...  I'm pissed! My ex-husband is moving to a one-bedroom place and making our daughter sleep on the sofa. {Ex-H, if you're reading: Don't complain to me if she doesn't want to spend any nights with you anymore!}
I confess...  I'm pissed! Our three week vacation has been thwarted by selfish stupidity of another doctor. {Are you trying to get fired?}
I confess...  I'm pissed! No matter how much weight I lose I can't get rid of my fat arms! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm Ready!

Are you ready? Monday is the day to link up and be found!

I can't tell you how much I enjoy finding new blogs who are somehow tied in with the medicine/healthcare field. I think we all realize it can be a stressful life and it's always so helpful and comforting to read a post which resonates with you.

If you're living a med life be sure to link up with us on Monday!




Thursday, August 30, 2012

When The Doctor Has Financial Troubles

When most people have financial difficulties, they go about it in a normal fashion. After charging up the credit cards, depleting savings accounts and cashing in 401Ks, mortgage payments are foregone. Ultimately, the "For Sale" sign goes up. Whether it's a short sale or a bank-owned sale, it is a distress sale. That's the course for most people; not established, attending doctors.

When the doctor has financial troubles, and he can no longer rob Peter to pay Paul, he works hard to mask the reality of the situation. Now, I have to say, with sound financial advise, wise budgeting and future planning, and a tiny bit of self restraint while shopping, an established, attending doctor should never find himself in such a predicament. However, I'm a realist and realize sometimes we encounter circumstances beyond our control. Yet, other times, it is within our control.

{Time to get real.}

There are times when you can see devastation coming down the pipeline. And you watch it coming down that pipeline for years. Finally, the day arrives. Instead of joining the masses and making some phone calls to your mortgage lender, doctors go about it like only an egoistic doctor can.

{Yes. I admit there are doctors who have very healthy egos out there.}

A doctor suffering from financial woes will put their over-extended, never should've been bought, don't-you-know-children-are-starving-in-Africa, we-imported-the-materials-from-the-Taj Mahal, multi-million dollar home up for rent, cash in their airline miles for tickets to the Amazon, pull their kids from their private school, and go live in an adobe hut with dirt floors in the Amazon killing their own chickens for dinner for six months... and call it an "immersion life experience" for their kids. 

{Reminder: Doctor's don't make THAT much.}

Being they are important people, they will only give their Chief a couple weeks notice of their impending departure. When under such stresses they give no consideration to their other partners, their schedules, vacation schedules, work loads, or patients for that matter. 

{Fan-bloody-tastic.}

Upon return, they label their experience as "life-altering".  They have come to a "realization". Their family no longer needs such "stuff". So, they sell... everything... and come live in my little fiscally responsible neighborhood. 

{Lovely.}

Note to doctors: In such cases, the truth works better. We're not idiots.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Doctor Wife Travels


Source
In the bright, shiny, exciting, early years of our relationship, I traveled everywhere with Doc H. Anywhere he went, I went. I can recall a specific morning when I woke up alone in a luxurious hotel suite thinking we may be the Paul and Linda McCartney of our generation, never spending a night separate from one another.

That was then. 

Today, I am staring at the calendar trying to manipulate the calendar to no avail. Until I married a doctor, I never realized they travel so much. Advisory Meetings, Department Conference, Society Conference, Regional Conference, Board Meetings... it's really too much. Yet, here we are trying to find time on the calendar to celebrate one of our kid's birthdays as a family during the month of September. 

I'm pretty certain I'll be celebrating with the kids and my extended family. While we party, Doc H will be conferencing. 

Early on, I found accompanying Doc H to conferences exciting. Impressive hotels and resorts. Luxury, 1000 thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets. Spa worthy, marble bathrooms. Rooms with a view. Spa services. Maid service. Room Service. Heaven on earth, right?

Should be and is for the first few years until the absurdity of such extravagances is able to penetrate through the skull, into your mind and your more logical senses.

The bottle of water you use to make the "free" pot of coffee: $15

The in-room rom-com movie you watch during the conference: $19.99

Continental Breakfast Room Service for one: 45 freaking dollars! If you're going to slap me at least toast my buns, please!

Spa services: At least $150 plus your right nipple.

In room wi-fi: $29.99 per day (and you know this gal needs her wi-fi!)

Breathing: FREE! At least for now. I'm under no false pretenses. I'm sure they'll find a way to charge for this before I finish writing this post. The same goes with peeing. 

The term "Medical Conference" must be the equivalent of a wet dream for hotel and resort directors. I would not find it shocking, should it ever be revealed, the resorts and hotels raise prices across the board the precise moment the doctors and their wives (or husbands) begin pulling up to the valet.

Inevitably, hanging out alone all day in a hotel (no matter how beautiful) becomes boring. Or worse, you start to spin into a whoa-is-me depression as you meander through the hotel or resort alone. As hand-in-hand couples pass by, you become increasingly aware of your solitary state and strolling as half of a whole can plummet even the toughest to the brink of a maudlin state.

Therefore, I have become particularly selective in my Doc Wife travels. I have created trip criteria...

Destination and time of year- You won't find me in Milwaukee in January.

Length of trip- Must be longer than 2 nights. (I hate flying. I find flying with only a one day break torturous.)

Ratio of conference time vs. free time- Must be no more than 50% (Sleeping hours excluded)

Kid management and schedule- No need to explain, right?

There are a few variables which may make me forgo the aforementioned criteria.

Any tropical destination may warrant a quick trip.Ditto any water front room.Luxury Suite over luxury room? Anytime, any day.

Likewise, there are a few trips I will never accompany Doc H on. Specifically, you will never find me in South or Central America for a round of human trials in an effort to appease the FDA. Even if the trip is over a week or two in duration, I will not travel. Such lengthy airline travel requires margaritas, Zoloft, an Ambien (possibly even two), and a luggage cart for Doc H to cart my unconscious self across third world airport terminals to our connecting flights.

Now, there's a pretty sight.



Throw Me a LifeSaver {Coaches and Athletes Help Me}

I think yesterday had to be one of the worst days of my life. {Hold on. I have to pause here to think this through...financial hardship, 7 years bad credit,  divorce, life-threatening tumor.} Yes, yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. No exaggeration.

There is nothing more hurtful and cut-my-heart-out-and-stomp-on-it painful then when your child is heartbroken over a matter which you cannot understand yourself.

I spent yesterday grappling with the news that our daughter was cut from her high school sport team. She doesn't understand and, quite frankly, neither do I. When she first told me she had been cut, I thought she was joking. She said, "No joke." She then forwarded the email so I could read it for myself. In all honesty, I thought I would open it and discover I had been punked. I was praying for Ashton Kutcher to jump out from behind me. Ashton never showed up.

She was one of 5 girls who were cut. Ouch!

Here are my reasons for disbelief over this:
She has fantastic stats.
Last year, her scoring efforts pushed her HS team to a win in 3 games.
After the school season she continued playing via club where, in her best game, scored 4 goals.

So I began to think "why?"...

Did she have any difficulties bonding with teammates? A temperamental personality that a Coach would not care to have on their team?
No. Both her high school coach and club coach both told me at the end of the respective seasons, she was a pleasure to have around. Club Coach even emails me to make sure she will be back again next season.

Here's why I think she was cut...
She was sick during tryouts. It was a three day tryout. She felt fine on day one. Tried out sick on day two, and missed day three. I did email the Coach telling her she wouldn't be at school and asking what would happen if she missed day three of tryouts. She said not to worry. She could finish tryouts when she returned to school. She finished up on Friday after the roster had already been posted.
This year the school has a new, young coach. Maybe she didn't review the stats from last year's team?

To add insult to injury, I was the mom the who brought drinks to the first game and organized drinks for the rest of the season. Not that such parental efforts should matter, but still...

So, here's where the heartbreak comes in. I had no words of explanation for my daughter. All I could offer was a trip to the mall for some retail therapy. That's it. That's all I had in my bag of mommy-will-make-it feel-better bag of tricks. Pathetic.

As the tears continuted to flow, I had no words to better the situation other than she could still play club and should turn her focus to next year's team. (But really, who has ever heard of someone being cut from JV and consequently playing Varsity? Anyone? Anyone?)

Anyone a coach out there? Any high school athletes?  I would love some advice!


Linking up at


Monday, August 27, 2012

2012 - It's a Strange World

I'm pretty sure there was a time in childhood I did the math to see if I would be alive in the 21st century. It seemed so far into the future and time seemed abundant. As a kid I enjoyed the simple things... playing kick the can, a game of hide and go seek, running through the sprinklers, homemade grape juice popsicles, and a half hour every afternoon of Tom and Jerry on our black and white TV.

"Times have changed" is a colossal understatement.

10 Clues You are Living in 2012


1. Thanks to my newly remodeled bathroom and auto-flush commode, I am out of the habit of flushing.  Very bad for the person following me in a public restroom. So, SO, sorry for that.
2. I sleep with electronic gadgets in my bed. They vibrate. RIP Steve Jobs.

3. When I wake up in the middle of the night, instead of checking on the kids, I check on my blog.

4. My car talks to me and obeys me as I order it to call Doc H and others. It also blows cool air in all the right places.

5. Scientists have screwed with our food, so I find myself spending so much time making sure what I'm eating is TRULY healthy.

6. Whenever our college daughter is feeling homesick, we simply flip on FaceTime or Skype and just go about our business. It is the next best thing as having her here in person. 

7. For the first time in my life, I am finally feeling like an adult. That makes me feel old... and somewhat grumpy. 

8. We own electronic 3D glasses for our 3D TV. I didn't want it, but that's what happens when you send your husband TV shopping on his own. Watching in 3D makes us look like a family of geek-o-freaks.

9. "There's an app for that."

10. Rather then yelling for you throughout the house, your children simply text you... even when only twenty-five feet away.



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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Play It Again Sam, Sunday {The Adult Brownies are in the Freezer}

Originally posted on March 16, 2012



For Medicinal Use Only, Right? 



As mentioned before, we have an older friend who is currently battling lung cancer. She is as feisty firecracker and after two rounds of chemo, she is kicking cancer's booty all over town! Great news!

Her daughter, who is around my age, hosted a dinner for family members the night before she was to meet her surgeon. Doc H and I were so touched to be included in this "family only" affair.

When we saw our cancer-stricken friend, we were so pleased to find her looking great! Of course, she wore a head covering to hide her shaved head, but besides that cancer identifier, she looked normal-- good weight, good mood, good appetite.

No more pain, no more morphine, no more nausea. All thanks to....you know it's coming.... pot medicinal marijuana. Her daughter, Missy, tells us how she had got hold of some adult lemon pound cake. She didn't know how strong one slice would be, so she tested a slice out on herself. And good thing she did! Apparently, the medicinal stuff is really strong and she told her mother the proper dosage was half a slice.

It should come to no one's surprise that one firecracker gives birth to another firecracker.

At dinner, we were all laughing over the lemon cake stories. I don't know why (perhaps it was the wine), but I found it appropriate to let Missy know I have never experienced marijuana (or any other drug while we're at it). Yes, I am a prude.

I have never seen any one's eyes roll back into their skull quite like Missy did in my life!

Missy: WHAT! NEVER?!!!
Me: Never!
Missy: WHY?!
Me: I went to Catholic School and they scared me half to death. I was afraid my kids would be born with three heads!
Missy: OH, NO WAY! We can change that! I'm sending you home with brownies. I've got brownies in the freezer for Mama Firecracker. I'm sending you home with those!

And so she did...with this prescribed dosage and usage instructions...

Dosage: 1" x 1.5" pieces only. Give yourself one hour to experience the full effect of the brownie. Have fun!

Doc H drove us home with my aluminum foil "doggie-bag" in my lap, while being adamant about not wanting to take part in my experimental foray in brownie-land. Well, that's no fun.

The brownies remain in my freezer. I'm taking them all back to Firecracker. She'll need them after her next round of chemo.

I still remain a brownie virgin.


Friday, August 24, 2012

The Power of Sex

I'll be honest... I'm DYING to hear your thoughts on this one!!! 
Thanks to the ladies behind Doctors' Wives Living for letting me share this with you.
~Emma, Your Doctor's Wife


THE POWER OF SEX
By Steven Johns


So we men never get to do this: fill a blank screen with our thoughts on sex. Seriously, there is no Sex and the Citymen’s version because Charlie Sheen was in jail when they pitched that idea to HBO.  I am about to address a question that I was recently asked, which was, “Why do men always think about sex and women think about romance?”  I am about to argue that while men do obsess about sex, many women use sex as a tool to control their men and that romance is a clever cover for their devious behaviour.
It’s true that most men are constantly thinking about sex. Some are constantly getting it, but probably not with same woman unless they are dating her or only been married for a short time period. Basically, it’s because women control sex leaving them the option to think about romance. What woman doesn’t get to decide when to have sex with her man? “Honey I am in the mood,” sends a man running into the house tripping over himself with his pants around his ankles.
We men don’t get to hold out like women do. We need sex. We also need water and oxygen but they can be put on hold for a night or two if necessary.  We are innately horny creatures where women are innately wooed. The problem is we often don’t know how to woo.
So women quickly realize that sex is their tool, like the dangling carrot. “Honey, if you clean the gutters, I will pretend it’s your birthday,” will lead to your gutters, your mother’s gutters and your favourite girlfriends gutters all being cleaned in record time. I am not saying women don’t need sex too, but they possess self control (for the most part), hence they bring a gun to a sexual knife fight.
I can back this theory up with proof. I just got out of a relationship with a woman who on an average Sunday would have me take her kid and all her friends to the park, cook her dinner and God knows what else and then around ten pm, inform me she wasn’t in the mood. Yet I would still do it the next night hoping for better results. Am I an idiot…possibly, but the sex was good so I was a man and did what I had to do in hopes of getting another crack at the Stanley cup of bedroom experiences.  I tried romance, she laughed, I bought her flowers, and she gave them to her kid. I made her life easier, she put out. She used sex as a tool and didn’t give a darn about the romance.
So, please stop with the romance excuse. Women essentially decide where, when, why, and unless it’s the aforementioned birthday; how.  It may not be true in all cases, but look deep inside yourself and ask, “have you ever used sex as a way to get your man to mow the lawn?” and if you answer “no,” then what the hell are you waiting for, get him to clean the gutters and trim the roses while he’s at it.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Notes to Remember



This post is purely for myself. There are certain things I need to remember and as I age my brain seems to enjoy taking breaks all too frequently.


1. Even though Doc H has discovered seaweed is a "power food", skip the kelp bar soap. It makes your spouse smell like Pine Sol. No one wants to hump a bottle of Pine Sol. Go for the lavender or rose soap. While there may be nothing "powerful" about it, it will have aromatherapy qualities. Kelp soap just reminds you your bathroom floors need mopping.

2. Next time you sit in a wicker chair and hear a crack and pop, don't continue to sit there wondering, "What was that?" Stand up quickly, WOMAN! Otherwise, before you know it you'll be staring at your Pradas with the pretty blue sky as a background. A backwards somersault in you friend's flower bed in white pants is never impressive unless you jump up and yell, "TA-DAAAA!!!!".  Next time, don't forget the TA-DAAAA.

3. Never, EVER send your teen daughter on a 350 mile road trip with the mother of the Beau Hunk. Apparently, she likes to travel at night and doesn't know how to fill her car with gas. 

4. Again... Never, EVER, EVER send your teen daughter on a 350 mile road trip with the mother of the Beau Hunk. Apparently, (despite promises to look after your daughter's welfare) and with no notice either before or after, she will abandon your daughter for a plane ride home, leaving your daughter to catch a ride with a carload of other teens. Have a stressed the part about no notification?!

5. The fact you tried to pull a couples baby shower off is beyond your own comprehension. Of course, Doc H wasn't able to be home for the festivities. When he calls three-fourths through the party to say he is on his way home because the situation at the hospital isn't "salvageable", don't respond with an enthusiastic "Oh! Great you'll make it", because he will respond with "I have to go talk to the family and let them know she won't make it." You will be kicking yourself in the ass for being such an ass of a human being as you hang up the phone.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tween Tales: And Then It Went Bang

For over a year, LB has been hoarding his

with the dream of building the ultimate
This computer would be faster, bigger smarter than all others in our land.

LB studied and researched via
He budgeted and made a list of all the parts needed.

When he had enough dough, he told Doc H he was ready.

Off they went and returned home with 


They spent the evening doing this
Source

While the girls and I were like this
Source

Because we wanted to go out for
Source
The boys wanted to finish their project, so we compromised on delivery.

They worked diligently. They worked fast. 
Before we knew it, LB couldn't contain his excitement 
and was doing something like this

He was super excited as the time came to power up his super computer.

But, LB had no monitor, so he had to link it up to our TV.

In our family room we all watched,
 waiting for LB's Franken-puter to come to life.

Finally, the time came and LB hit it
Source
Then, something happened. An odd sort of noise was heard. 
zzzzzZZZZZZZZPT

{silence}

zzzzzZZZZZZZZPT! PPPWWWW!
and then...

and...



I looked like this

The girls looked like this


Doc H did this

And LB did this


Then, as soon as the smoke cleared
and we were certain our house wasn't like this

The girls and I couldn't help but do this

Yes, we may have even snorted 
and wet ourselves a wee bit.






Tuesday, August 21, 2012

OMG! Is it a GMO?

Doc H holding my zucchini

I planted ONE zucchini plant this Spring and it has been bountiful! I went away for a few days and came home to this big, bad Bertha! Amazing what happens when you add water and organic fertilizer!

YEE-OOZA!

I'm now in the market for a greenhouse to grow veggies throughout the year. Any suggestions or recommendations?

Here's another GMO article. Let's just label the food, people. Is that too much to ask?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Teen Talk and My SuperMom Cape

I went out to the grocery store the other night and ended up running into one of my brother's friends and his girlfriend. We stood around and chatted for awhile.

My phone was on vibrate and I didn't notice it. When I noticed I missed a call from D3 (who will be 15 next month) I admit, I panicked a little. Usually, she texts. A voice mail must mean an emergency.  She left this message for me on my phone. It was an emergency indeed.
MOOOOOOOMMMMM! Where are you?! I swear to God, I've been watching this spider move across my room for, like, the last ten minutes and I really need you to come home so you can kill it. Okay? kay. thanks.
Well, the desperation in her voice just left me holding the Bad Mommy trophy. I mean, to leave an almost fifteen year old home alone and defenseless against a big, bad, scary spider is absolutely reprehensible.

I drove home like only a SuperMom can. 007 has nothing on my SuperMom driving skills. As I ran into the house with my grocery bags I made sure I threw on my SuperMom cape to rescue D3 from peril.

I flew into the house, throwing the bags on the counter and continued up the stairs to help my damsel in distress. I busted through D3's bedroom door only to find her calmly laying on her bed reading a book.

"What took you so long," she asked.

"I ran into Mike and Marie. Where is it?"

"Oh, you got my message? Well, I decided to put my big girl panties on and take care of it myself. It was getting too close so I got a cup and heavy piece of paper, caught it, and let it go outside. I'm pretty proud of myself. I faced my fear and conquered!"

I walked back to my room and removed my cape wondering if I would ever need it again. I feel the day is coming when my cape will no longer be needed and can be permanently retired.

However, for now, I'll just keep it hanging in my closet... just in case.



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Monday, August 13, 2012

I Stared That B*+ch Down

Source
Yesterday, I booked an appointment at an upscale spa. It was pricey, but I was willing to pay for the relaxing ambiance and cucumber water they offered.

My feet and calves were long overdue a nice, long moisturizing massage which would turn my muscles to liquid. My aged-beyond-their-years hands needed to be tamed via chisels, chainsaws, and a direct infusion of moisturizers.  Hang nails, cracked nails, chipped nails, split nails; I own them all.  My mental faculties have been fatigued from the trauma of recent teen drama.

The calmness of the spa would be equal to downing a dose of Valium.

As I was seated next to a mother who was loudly pleading with her child for patience as she received her pampering, I realized something.

Apparently, I'm turning into a grumpy, old witch.


For years, I would smile at children and reassure mothers their children were not bothering me. After all, our four children had turned our house into a bona fide mad house for years. Screaming, unruly kids who loved to hang from the banisters were our life. 

Yet, as I dipped my toes into the warm water, I could not get myself to smile at the mother or her child. Instead, I did my best not to make eye contact, because I do remember mothering is hard work.

However, internally, I rolled my eyes at her.

Next, I heard a sound which should be a foreign sound in a spa. Being there is a huge "No Cell Phones" sign on the front door, I expected this lady to turn her phone off. Either she didn't see the sign, or is just selfish. She carried on a loud conversation with her sister whose husband is apparently a dickhead. 

Classy. I sneered at her.

The lady directly to my right seemed to be okay. She sat down, put her large tote bag just next to her and pulled out her iPad and earphones and logged into her Netflix account to watch a movie.

Not too cool, but tolerable.

Amid the chaos in the spa, I somehow managed to close my eyes, searching for the path to relaxation. Inevitably, my search was interrupted as people walked by, so I took to people watching as the ladies were ushered towards their relaxing spa experience. 

Then an oddity walked by... a man! As he walked, a strange sound waffled through the spa. 

Was it just me who heard that? I looked around. The sound continued. I made eye contact with others. Inquisitively, all our heads bobbed around trying to identify the oddness. 

Finally, Ms. iPad, yanked her earphones from her ears, and began chastising her tote. As she did, the head of a chihuahua poked out and began a vocal assault on the male spa goer. 

I was over it. This was to be my relaxing afternoon. I did what any grumpy, old witch would do. 

I stared that bitch down into submission.




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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Play It Again, Sam, Sunday {The Doctor's Brain is...ON}

This was originally published on January 30, 2012

Doc H has an inventive mind which seems impossible to switch off. This inability to harness his medical creativity has even been known to interrupt my sleep on occasion. In the depth of night, my REM cycle has been cut short by the harshness of his bedside lamp. I'll open one eye only to see Doc H sitting up in bed with a yellow legal pad and pen in his hand sketching some rough outline of some creative 'what-if' idea that came to him in the middle of the night. The next morning, I'll find his little drawings on his bedside and filter through them. They make no sense to me. I can't make head or tails of them, nor can I tell what they may or might be able to do in the OR. But, when I ask him, he will go into detail about an issue he has encountered in the OR and how this little idea might be able to help him and others with great enthusiasm.
Our home office is littered with drawings, measurements and photographs of prototypes he has fashioned of materials found around the house. My garage walls are lined with office-sized filing cabinets which are busting at the seams with such papers and drawings going back as far as his undergrad years. One of these days, I want to scan all his documents and get rid of the cabinets. Yeah, right. I'm sure I will hang on to all these papers until the day I die...tangible proof the Doctor's brain is always on.

Friday, August 10, 2012

PIP: The Food Bastard

This is the cute PIP.
Have you heard about PIP? Sounds cute, doesn't it?  In fact, one summer our family named a friendly chipmunk, PIP. That PIP was cute. Unfortunately, I find this PIP scary.

I think everyone needs to know about scary PIP.

Yesterday, I watched this video. {Go ahead, watch it. Trust me. It's worth the time and effort} Her story had me on the edge of my seat. I thought of all the times I had done the same thing with our kids when they were young.

She scared me so much, I went digging around on the FDA website. What I found was not reassuring:
In the 1992 policy, FDA recommended that developers consult with FDA about bioengineered foods under development; since issuance of the 1992 policy, developers have routinely done so. In June 1996, FDA provided additional guidance to industry on procedures for these consultations (the consultation procedures). These procedures describe a process in which a developer who intends to commercialize a bioengineered food meets with the agency to identify and discuss relevant safety, nutritional, or other regulatory issues regarding the bioengineered food and then submits to FDA a summary of its scientific and regulatory assessment of the food; FDA evaluates the submission and responds to the developer by letter.
Let me highlight the high notes for you:

  1. We have been feeding our children these genetically modified (GMO) foods since 1992. That's their ENTIRE LIVES thus far. 
  2. Developers of bio engineered foods meet with FDA to discuss relevant safety, submit summary of scientific and regulatory assessment. Don't you think they should have to submit substantial, irrefutable proof of a food's safety?

With my upper lip sweating out of a combination of fear and anger, I dug around some more and was surprised to find this gem on the EPA website: PIP, Plant-Incorporated Protectants.
Plant-Incorporated Protectants are pesticidal substances produced by plants and the genetic material necessary for the plant to produce the substance. For example, scientists can take the gene for a specific Bt pesticidal protein, and introduce the gene into the plant's genetic material. Then the plant manufactures the pesticidal protein that controls the pest when it feeds on the plant. Both the protein and its genetic material are regulated by EPA; the plant itself is not regulated.
Don't care to read the fine print? Here it is in a nutshell... these scientists have created food seeds with the pesticide already inside them. Yes, so no matter how thoroughly you wash your food, you will never be able to rid your GMO, PIP foods free from pesticides.

I told you... SCARY.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? All those processed foods we feed our kids.... The fructose (made from GMO-PIP corn) sweetened fruit juices in all those sippy cups...

I have a friend battling breast cancer right now. She tested negative for the cancer gene. It's environmental. She has kids: 12 and 8 year old.

I fear that if we do not change the way we and our families eat our kids' generation will experience an even higher number of cancer rates. How about you?

Here is a list outlining different grocery stores and whether or not the sell non-GMO foods.

I'm not an expert on this stuff. I'm just learning and sharing the information.

I wish you and your family good food and good health.


{I want to thank Pam at Healthily Ever After for bringing this to my attention! Click over where you will find more information on this subject.}




Thursday, August 9, 2012

Advice to My Younger Self



Dear Teen Emma,

This is your forty-something self talking to you, so listen up, listen closely, and heed all advice given.

1. Trust your gut.
Yes, even as a teen, your gut was right. At nineteen, when your boyfriend (who will later be your ex-husband) goes ape shit in the car just because... 

{I'm honored to have been asked to submit a letter to my teen self for Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama's "Letter To My Teenage Self" summer series... click here to continue reading. }

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

For the Love of Ryan Lochte's Abs

I got nothing. The tank is empty. Just like the athletic participants of the games, the Olympics have left me flat on my backside staring up to the sky trying to muster enough energy just to get up and out of bed.

Normally, here, I would stop to open another window on my computer and Google the name of the CEO of NBC or Director of Programming. My fingers are too numb to go that extra distance. So it's going down like this...

Dear CrackPot, 
I love the Olympics. I have been an avid Olympic watcher since Dorothy Hamill won her gold in 1976.   As child, I sat in front of our family television and dreamt of the day I would receive my gold medal. The Olympic Games served as inspiration for my young aspirations. 
So I ask, why are you trying to kill us with your scheduling of the events? Must you start so late, programing the day's highlight just short of midnight? You're scheduling is killing me and it's not for lack of preparations. 
I have carefully prepared for these games. In an effort to view the games, rather than discontinue my caffeine intake at lunch, I continue throughout the day. After dinner, I snack on sugar-laden Red Vines hoping the sugar surge will take me to the midnight finish line.  
If medals were awarded each night in Olympic Viewing, I would have to be awarded the tin medal. Why? Because I have yet to make it to the finish line.  
Here is my Olympic schedule: 
8pm- I'm off to a fantastic start. Feeling good.
9pm- I've found a comfortable and steady pace.
9:30pm- Feeling I can go the distance.
10pm- My eyelids begin feeling fatigued. Perhaps a pulled levator palpebrae superioris?
10:30- I'm down. 
Most nights, as luck would have it, I will find myself awaking at 11:55 just in time see the winner of the night's most touted event listen to their national anthem. Great. 
I then doze back to sleep during the news in an effort to refill my gas tanks. 
At 2am, I give the Games a second try. I watch, I doze, I watch, I doze, I watch, I doze, I watch, I doze. Despite this, my internal alarm clock still wakes me at 5am. 
After ten days of such viewing nonsense, your scheduling of the Games have defeated me.  
For the love of Ryan Lochte's abs, please begin evening programing at 6:30pm.  
Sincerely Tired, 
~Emma


Come hang out at Yeah Write. 
Be read and read others. It's a cool place.
read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Teen Talk: Belly Buttons and Future Husbands

Walking through racks of summer clothes in a department store with D3, she once again took to verbally berating me. For almost a year, she has been wanting to get her ears double pierced.

As her mother, I have taken my stance on the subject...NO.

This is my argument:
I am your mother, not your friend.
As your mother I have a job to do with you.
My job is to educate you, instill grace, morals, faith, and values in you.
I am to turn you into a independent human being who is capable of giving back to society.
My job is to give you the tools you need to become employable for whatever career path you choose.
Once you graduate with a degree, if you should still care to pierce, go ahead.
Do it before a degree and the Bank Of Mumma closes its doors. No tuition or living expense help.
So, I've done what every self-respecting mother does. I dangled a big carrot in front of her. I told her, "Bring home a 4.0 GPA and I will consider it." Thus far, she's come pretty darn close, but close doesn't punch two holes in your ears in my book.

I don't have much to complain about. She doesn't drive me too nuts about getting her ears double pierced anymore. But, this day, she decided to put a twist in her argument.

"Mumma, I've been thinking and I want to get a belly button ring."

"Excuse me?" I gasped.

"They're super cute and you can't see them when interviewing for jobs." She gave me her cutest smile in an effort to win me over by melting my heart.

"Why would you want to do that? Do you know what will happen one day when you're pregnant?"

"Oh, Mumma!"

"The piercing will stretch out and your intestines will fall out!" I lied. "Then you can only imagine how awful your stomach will look after you have the baby!"

"Mumma! First off, I'm not going to have a baby... until after I'm married, by the way. So who cares what my stomach looks like afterward!"

"You'll care, believe me... you'll care."

"And besides, the belly button piercing will help me attract a husband."

I think I have some work to do.





Monday, August 6, 2012

Hi! I'm a BlogStar!

Mrs. Monologues
Okay, so the title of my post is a flat out lie, but I do blog and love finding new blogs, so I'm enthusiastically linking up again with Mrs. Monologues' Blog Star Link Up.
Here are the facts of my life:
  1. I'm married to a surgeon who I love and knows how to make this girl feel good.
  2. We have both been divorced and are a blended family.
  3. Our kids are all teens.
  4. Hence, our hair is graying.
  5. The Beau Hunk is our enemy.
  6. Doc H(usband) is currently juicing and making me juice, too.
  7. I will never forget my panties EVER AGAIN.
  8. Sometimes, I don't quite fit in at Doc H's professional functions, but I try my best.
  9. Every now and then, I eff my husband real good.
  10. And I absolutely, positively HATE the beeper.
I hope you'll stop by and stay awhile!
~Emma

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Here are the rules:

  1. Follow your co-hosts.
  2. Link up you medical/med life blog. If your blog name does not clearly state how you fit in to the med/med life world, please write a little intro or link up a specific post which clearly demonstrates your connection.
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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Play It Again Sam, Sundays {Getting Past the Engineer- Surgeon Mentality; AKA "A Successful First Date"}

This post was originally published on Feb. 21, 2012

Before I knew a lot of surgeons, I knew a ton of engineers. From my perspective, engineers and surgeons seemed to share the same traits. Both work in fields where precision is paramount, both have scientific minds, both work with teams where clear communication is imperative.

I did not work in hi-tech, nor did I grow up in a household of engineers. However, as a teenager, I began a professional ballroom and Latin dancing career which spanned (at least as a part-time, fun-time job) into my thirties. Well, guess what? Engineers like to boogie with the best of them!

I think I must have taught about every type of engineer out there. Hardware, software, gaming, mechanical, aerospace, electrical, architectural, bio-medical, mathematical, etc... There's a lot of them out there and I'm pretty sure I've taught at least one from every discipline of the science. 

The Basic Box Step
(photo credit: arthurmurrayboston.com)
These engineers have brilliant minds. They are smart, intelligent human beings with incredibly scientific minds; very linear thinking minds. They live in a world of precision, measurement, exactness, the concrete. Some of them would come to their lessons with old large tape cassette video cameras on tri-pods, others would come with a binder filled with sectional dividers (one section per dance- cha cha, rumba, swing, tango, foxtrot, waltz, quickstep, etc.) and computer generated forms which had a large square to draw a step pattern and lines to write the description of the step (much like the old Arthur Murray way).

I learned very quickly I could not use my "regular" teaching method. I could not simply explain the step pattern and gently ease them into a rotation to let them "get the feel" for it. No, for my engineers I had to talk them through the step and rotation in a very detailed manner before ever moving a foot. My teaching sounded a lot like this..
"Okay, Mr.-I-Build-One-Gazillion-Dollar-Satellites-For-A-Living, now that you are familiar with the basic box step, we are going to put some rotation into it. As you step forward on your left foot, I need you to turn your foot outwards towards the left at about 30 degrees. Once you have placed your body weight over the left foot, I need your right foot to move parallel to your left at shoulder width apart. After shifting your weight to your right foot, you will close your feet, transferring all your weight back onto your left foot."
Phew! Sounds dry and boring, right? But that's how my engineer students learned best. Due to the similarities between their chosen career paths, I think it was pretty reasonable to assume surgeons shared the same type of mentality. 

I wasn't sure if the scientific mind would be a match for my liberal arts type of mind. In fact, I was so unsure, I suggested Doc H and I meet for a simple cup of coffee at a local Starbucks on our first date. I wanted a simple, quick meeting where I could dash in thirty minutes if he began talking in a highly scientific vernacular which would be mumbo-jumbo to my ears and bore me out of my skull. 

[I would be remiss here if I didn't write a quick thank you to my mother who suggested I change out of my jeans and into a pair of slacks for our first date.]

As soon as the door opened and I saw Doc H looking handsome as ever, dressed in a shirt and tie, holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He announced he had made dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant. 

Huh?

We had had a major breakdown in communication. There was nothing precise or clear about it... and it worked in my favor. Instantly, in that second, I knew this might just be it.



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Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Zombie's Piss and Vinegar

Our house has become Zombieland. Sleep has become a non-existent reality since Monday.  It's Thursday. Zoink.

This morning, bright lights woke me. In a sleepy fit of anger I flipped over in bed and shoved my head under pillows. I couldn't help but hear Doc H's bullish ways as he opened and closed drawers and cabinets as he dressed. Downstairs in the kitchen, plates clinked and utensils clanked echoing back into our bedroom where I was concentrating on multiple forms of the letter z. 

Clickity-clank goes the coffee cup on the granite counter.

Clink, clink, clink goes the spoon in the cereal bowl.

Ding, ding, ding sounds the house alarm as Doc H goes outside to feed the koi and again, as he comes back inside.

I hear Doc H's heavy footsteps thumping their way back up the stairs. 

GREAT! I'm going to give that man a piece of my mind! GRRRRR!! For the love of MARRIAGE, come on, a little QUIET is all I'm screaming for! Is that too much to ask?! I'm ready to spew my piss and vinegar all over him!

I pause from gnashing my teeth to peek out from under the pillow with one eye. I notice the room has returned to its dark state. Figuring it must be about 5:45am, I glance over to the clock. 

3:45am.

I catch a glimpse of Doc H fully dressed in his OR regalia... ready to battle in the name of health care for the entire, long day beginning at only 3:45am. 

I think I'll put my piss in the commode and use my vinegar on tonight's salad.


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