Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Upcoming Programming - Medical Mondays!

It's beginning to feel like Monday around here, Medical Mondays that is!

Hopefully this isn't the first you have heard of this link up party, but if it is you can get all the juicy details here.

This month we have two great co-hosting blogs: Home With the Boys and The Life Unexpected. Plus, we have a super special giveaway for one lucky link-up participant. It should be fun, and who knows - if it goes well maybe we will do another!

So consider yourself invited. You have 6 days to compose an amazing post to share with your associated medical friends, or to dig in the archives and find something you'd like to share for the first, second, or third time. What matters is that you are there and lend your voice to the chorus.

The party starts at midnight on Monday (wee early in the morning) May 6th and goes until 11:59 pm on Friday. Post early and come back often to see who else joins. Leave some comments, make some friends, and have fun.

Have a great week!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cap Cod or Log Cabin?

Why is the last thing you think of often the most important?

When my husband was looking for jobs I completely forgot to take into account my preferences for residential architecture. And wouldn't you know, what I like isn't common in our soon-to-be city or surrounding cities. And I should know I lived there once and have now seen hundreds of homes. Nothing has changed!

Imagine you dreamed of a house on the beach - the cute ones with stilts, painted in vibrant seaside colors and your own private deck through the tall grasses and out to the golden sands. But you end up living in the mountains where all the homes are brown timber frame with no water in sight and trees for as far as the eyes can see.

Or maybe you wanted a traditional colonial home on a tree lined street with a wide and gracious lawn and a circular drive, but your city is dusty and filled with spanish pueblos and desert landscaping and water saving plants.

The igloo you were dying to build in Alaska so you could teach your children to hunt and fish - not going to happen in a big city high-rise with no outdoor space. A dream for another day. Maybe retirement and you can teach your grandkids.

That English Tudor that you have designed and decorated with the help of Pinterest over the last 5 years in reality will be impossible to find in South Florida. And if you can find it the neighbors probably have called it the eyesore of the neighborhood because it doesn't fit in with the rest of the street. They not-so-secretly wish a hurricane would take it out.

I always wanted to buy an old 1800's farmhouse and have the boys from "This Old House" come and restore it to it's former glory. I love you Tommy Silva! But where we are moving people weren't even settled in large numbers at that time let alone building homes of that quality and style. They were still living in dugouts and tents.

I could go on and on.

There are so many different types of architecture you would think it would be easy to find what you are looking for. NO! Not every style is compatible with every climate, geography, or city/state culture.

It is abundantly clear that my taste in architecture doesn't fit what is "normal" for my city. I have found a handful of homes that are similar to styles that I am drawn too, but they are very few and far between. The overwhelming majority of homes in this area are exactly the kind of homes I don't like.

Sure we could always build, assuming we can find a lot that doesn't have restrictions on size, materials, style, etc. Building usually means living out of city limits and a longer commute, which we are trying to avoid. Or they are in town but ridiculously expensive.

I know exactly what I want, and where I want it, but does IT exist? Maybe it's time to think about compromising.

Oh, but remember I am not in the market to buy a house. This is just research for the future:-)


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last Year - Happy Year

Can it be time to pack up and move already? YES!

I swear I just did this last year, and it is already time to do it again. Good thing I didn't really unpack last time so this move should be a cake walk. In fact I am almost done!

Considering our belongings were culled last year, there isn't much to go through. Even still, I have quite a collection for Goodwill. You know, kids grow and you realize that over the course of the year you didn't use what you thought you would and don't really need it anyway.

I am sitting on my bed right now looking at 10 boxes, and it makes me happy.

Happy to know that moving this time won't mean packing up a whole house, only half a house.

Happy to know that we don't have a house to sell on top of packing and moving!

Happy to know that this time someone will be paying the bill, or at least most of it.

Happy to know that we don't need as much as we think.

Happy to know that half of my children's toys are already boxed:-)

Happy to be eating my pantry instead of filling it.

Happy to know that in 9 weeks this will be over, and unpacking can being (followed by another round of packing and unpacking).

Happy to know that there is no rush to move....we have time.

Happy to be almost THERE!!

Getting ready to move? See my Moving Tips.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Well Dressed Man

I always thought my husband's style was predictable, conservative, and monotone..... but apparently with the right encouragement it isn't any of those things.

His wardrobe used to be so predictable. He liked one brand. He liked three colors. He liked one style. He liked one print. Not much to get excited about. If I was inclined to buy something for him I am confident that I could make a purchase that he would love, but how many things do you need that look alike? He has actually bought the same shirt twice on accident. He really liked it.

Have I ever purchased anything for him, without him? No. He doesn't really have need for clothes - he wears scrubs and a suit.

I take that back. Before our honeymoon, 9 years ago, I bought him a shirt in the same style that he usually wears with a subtle Hawaiian print. He never wore it. It was out of the norm. Eventually he just donated it to Goodwill. That is the last time I bought something without him.

A few years ago while visiting Chicago I managed to convince him to buy something new at J.Crew. I was tired of looking at the same clothes every time we went out. And you know what?  He looked great! But now the problem was he only had this one outfit that was out of the mold. We are talking way out of the mold. Different color palette, same shirt style, and a sweater. A sweater!

Fast-forward three (or four) years and all of a sudden he likes to shop, and the brand he used to wear is no longer "him". What is happening?

I think it started with that interview tie from Neiman Marcus. And then the conference in Vegas when he had some extra time to wander (and wonder) around the shopping centers. Now he is walking through his favorite store without even picking up anything to look at. I think I saw him actually snub his nose at them. Now he has been seduced by Tommy Bahama.

But such a departure from his regular wardrobe? He doesn't wear pattern! He doesn't wear pastels! Could this be a mid-life crisis? Maybe this has been him all along and he has just discovered it.

He looks great in the clothes and even has some jeans now that aren't blue:-)

He has essentially doubled the size of his wardrobe in two shopping trips. It wasn't very large to begin with. And he tells me that now he has things he can take me out in. I guess I have some dates in my future. I may be seduced by Tommy Bahama too!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Pro/Con List

I was making one of my famous pro/con lists when I realized that this exercise just wasn't going to work. Most of the pro's also turn out to be con's.

Now this list has been in the making for at least six months. Right after THE job interview I was coming to grips with the fact that although we had been waiting for years to be closer to family, I didn't really expect closer to be that close. I was thinking single digit hours away, not in their backyard.

So what are the PRO's of living in the same city as your in-laws?

That is where I have to stop and remind myself that just because I think something is a pro, doesn't mean that things are going to work out that way. I mean, how often do things go just as according to plan when you haven't discussed your plans with the other party - you just suppose that they would want to do what you want them to do?

It will be great! Free babysitting, family dinners, afternoons at grandma's pool, etc. 

Well that could happen. The reality is that my in-laws (who would be the ones in the backyard, my family was sensible enough to live in a tiny rural town that doesn't need a neurosurgeon, let along a hospital) already have an established routine of taking care of grandchildren and have since the first was born 8 years ago. They are the second set of parents to these children. It just happens that the grandchildren I am speaking of aren't the ones that I produced.

See, their daughter lives 1 mile away from them and has two children. Daughter and son-in-law both work and the grandparents pick the two children up after school every afternoon and keep them until 5:30 when one of the parents come to pick them up. They even take care of starting the homework and sometimes feeding them. Often they will watch the kids on the weekends or evenings, too. I know if I had already spent the afternoon taking care of two kids, the last thing I would want to do when those 2 left is watch another 4 for the evening!

In addition to that, the grandparents both volunteer with their church three days a week. They are 75 and 68 years old. They are involved in so many things. By the end of the week they are exhausted. And rightfully so. I know I am exhausted!

They are so involved with the lives of these grandchildren that the line between parents and grandparents is rather blurry. From the time they were infants the grandparents provided childcare while the parents worked. When the parents filed bankruptcy and lost their house, they purchased a house for them to rent a mile away as an investment (since the market had just bottomed out) and because they wanted to make sure their grandchildren had a good place to live, with good schools. They even sold their convertible so they could buy a car that would allow them to transport their two grandchildren without having to do the car swap with the parents every time. Their lives are entangled.

They have been in this pattern for so long that I am frankly afraid that our being in the same city with them is going to interrupt their lives or perhaps more afraid that our being there won't interrupt their lives at all. That we won't see them more than once or twice a month unless we initiate it.

This kind of happened this past spring/summer when we lived 15-20 minutes away from them for two months. We hardly saw them. Despite the fact that they knew where we were, passed within a couple of miles of our house twice a week, and that we had nothing to do, and no where to go. We were just waiting, living out of suitcases, passing the time, by ourselves. When we did get together it was awkward and didn't seem natural. Probably because it isn't normal or natural for us to be with them... we didn't get to visit them very often, and in our history have only been to visit them 3-4 times for a week at time - but never in their home.

We don't know how to have a casual family relationship. I know that sounds really odd. All of our experiences with them have been scheduled blocks of time, usually in our home. That meant we had places to go, things to see, food to try, we were out and about because they were our guests. We would see them 24/7 for a week or two at a time once a year. Never for a couple of hours here and there, or to just swing by unannounced. We have always know when we would see them, how long, and what we would do well in advance.

I am probably making a mountain out of a mole hill. I don't know how to reconcile my feelings about this situation. I want to have a healthy relationship with them. I want them to be a part of my children's life. I want my children to have some of their time and attention that has been showered on their other grandchildren. I don't want my children to see what I see.

This has also played a part in choosing a part of town to live. We are going to a large metropolis area so there are several communities that we are looking at. Do we try to find a place near them? Do we find a place that is near where they volunteer so as to be in their path? Do we find a place on the other side of town? Does any of it make any difference? Will any one location guarantee that we see them more than another?

My husband likes the area near where his parents live, but I don't think I could live that close. If we aren't going to see them much anyway I would just as soon live far away so I can blame the distance as the reason we don't see them.

Who would have thought moving near family could be so complicated? I had romanticized the idea without considering that it required that people act and behave the way I think they should and would want to. I didn't take into account that I might be delusional and setting myself up for major disappointment.

Free babysitting? We don't need it now. I will pay someone to watch our kids, it won't be the end of the world.

Family dinner? We will still have them, we will just be the ones to invite them and if they come they come, we will still eat.

Afternoons at grandma's pool?  No, we are going to get our own pool!

Can anyone tell me what a normal, healthy, family relationship looks like?


Monday, April 15, 2013

Down to the Wire

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes! Today is the day.

I am thinking of our fellow blogger Miss Liabilities today because I was up until 11:15 pm exchanging emails with our tax professional. I am sure she was at the office all night working, too. Hope you get some rest soon!

I have talked a little about our taxes and how I wasn't going to do them myself this year because they scared the living daylights out of me for the first time ever! I panicked.

We found a firm to complete them for us. Uploaded our documents to their secure site last month and the didn't hear from them for weeks. Two weeks ago I finally contacted the office manager to ask if our files had been assigned to anyone yet and if there was anything I needed to be doing.

Then on Tuesday of last week I hear from the woman was is doing our taxes and she had a question, which I answered. And then nothing. I didn't think they were that complicated, but realize she isn't just working on ours she has a whole portfolio of clients she is trying to take care of.

I am starting to sweat bullets because our taxes are usually completed in February and now it is April and I'm not sure what I should be doing. How do you file an extension? Should I just submit my own taxes? Ahhhhh!

And then Sunday at 8:43 pm I get an email saying that the taxes are prepared and ready to go I just need to sign two forms. Problem is I can't download the files. One is password protected, and the other has the important stuff I need to sign. It's kind of important that I get it done right then because my husband is home now and tomorrow he won't be. How am I going to get him to sign documents from the OR?

We exchange emails until 11:15 pm trying to get it figured out the evening before taxes are due. Nothing like cutting it close. I don't like to live that close to the edge. Finally it works. Who knew that having a Mac instead of a PC would cause so many problems. Husband signs on the dotted line, I scan, I upload, I fall asleep not having to worry about what is going to happen tomorrow. It is done!

Even though I didn't think our communication getting started was very good - now that we have spent the evening together getting to know one another I am very pleased. I promised next year to have my stuff to her earlier so I am not the reason she is still at the office at midnight on Sunday evening.

I know I am not the sole reason, but I do feel so sorry for them. Miss Liabilities, - good luck today!

On the bright side, we didn't have to pay any additional federal taxes (we payed a pretty penny as it was) and even got a small refund. State taxes, that is another story. And I am more competent that I thought, my estimates turned out to be right on. It was still nice having someone else complete them though.

Happy Tax day:-)


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Is This What It's Like For A Man?

By now every human in the world is aware of the research that exists on the number of times men think about sex in any given period of time. It is something like once a minute, and several times more than women do. There are many studies that have widely different reports. One suggests a man thinks about sex every 6 seconds, and another says they think about sex about the same number of times as they think about eating or sleeping. I suppose you could say the three most important things to a man are sex, food, and sleep. What else do they need to survive? For that matter, those are the basic things keep us all alive and prevent us from becoming extinct.

I still don't think about sex as often as my husband, but I have something that is consuming my thoughts at about the same rate: Houses. If men think about sex as often as I think about homes, it is amazing that they can hold down a job, let alone operate on a human!

It is seriously causing problems for me. Be prepared, because over the next several weeks I will probably be writing about it. It is a recurring theme in my brain, therefore I can't think about anything else until I get it out of my head.

It is causing problems with my sleep. I find myself falling asleep thinking about houses. Dreaming about houses, and constantly looking at houses, floor plans, magazines, pinterest, Houzz, etc. Talking myself in and out of them all day long.

I try to tell myself today is the day that I won't look at anything. And like the addict I am, I fall off the wagon. I tried to limit myself to just one day a week.... I can't do it. I have a problem.

And then I have a good laugh at myself.

Seven years ago a medical student and his starry-eyed wife were doing exactly the same thing. This is the season that everyone gets house-happy. We matched! We have to have a house of our own! Oh, if only I would have known then what I know now. My friends who are finishing residency this year are bustling around trying to finish home improvement projects to increase their chances of a quick sale. They are cleaning around the clock, and staying outside with the kids, storing their belongings in off-site storage, and stressing over finding a buyer at just the right time so they don't end up like us last year. That was fun.

I feel for them I do. But then I smile to myself and think of how nice it is going to be to write our 30-day notice letter and drop off the keys on our way out of town without having to worry about all that.

The difference between us seven years ago, and today are rather amusing and stark. Seven years ago we didn't have two dimes to rub together and somehow thought buying a house was a good idea. Today we actually have more than two dimes but aren't going to buy a house.

So why am I looking at houses? It's a disease, and I've got it bad.


Monday, April 8, 2013

A Charming Recollection

Thanks Emma. Your post today reminded me of a something I almost forgot!

Once upon a time, when we were extremely poor medical students and preparing for our first adventure into residency, we took a trip. Our trip was all about finding a place for our growing family to live for the next 6 years. Six years seemed like an eternity at that moment.

Because we were traveling on the cheap, we made arrangements with the hospital to stay in their student house that was currently vacant. It had only been vacant for about 48 hours.

We stopped by the program office and picked up the keys and bedding in a bag and made our way to the house so pleased with our frugality and excitement bubbling in our veins. We were about to start a new chapter in our crazy medical life.

What cute little houses they had. They were located just behind the hospital and were used to house visiting medical students and professors. My husband had stayed in the neighboring house during his month rotation and said it was nice.


I was so taken with the charm of these little houses. When you have lived in a place that has very different architecture it is easy to be fooled into thinking charming is charming, when in fact charming is old and falling apart.

In this case, charming was gross inside. Imagine ultimate bachelor pad circa 1962 - maybe earlier.

We walked around, carefully.

The visiting professor had only recently vacated and there were still dishes drying on the rack. I was holding my breath and trying to convince myself that things were going to be fine. This was a free room and since we were going to be there for 5 nights it represented a huge savings.

We made our way to the bedroom to make the bed with the clean bedding they provided for us, and as I looked at the mattress and bathroom I thought I might vomit. Very likely since I was also pregnant. I looked at my husband and told him that I wouldn't be able to sleep here, or shower here. Ever.

There were small bug carcasses on the mattress and in the corners of the rooms. It all felt so dirty, despite being clean. There was an old, musty, mildewy smell in the air. Something wasn't right and while I couldn't name the one thing that pushed it over the edge, I knew we had to make other arrangements.

Priceline to the rescue! A Best Western never looked so good and I didn't even care how much it cost. So unlike me.

Now when trying to decide where to stay I try to remember that a hotel/motel is only as good as the sleep you are able to get.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

I Watched It - Can You Say Fake Everything?

Thanks to all of our friends and bloggers who linked up with us on Medical Mondays. If you forgot to link your blog, no fear, it is available until Friday at midnight. And while we are on the subject go ahead and mark your calendar for Monday May 6th when we do it all again! I love reading what you are up to and having a day set aside where we all come together. It's a great way to start of a new month.

Have you heard all the buzz about Married to Medicine, the new and terrible show on Bravo? I had vowed to not watch it or give it any of my precious time, but after hearing so many of you talk about the show I felt compelled to see what the fuss was all about. Plenty. If you are curious, you can download the first episode for free on iTunes and add your take on the show. For the record I will not be watching any episodes - and certainly not paying to watch it. I will scratch my own eyes out before I do!

The show is pure fiction, there is nothing real about it. Anyone who believes that those four women represent real doctor's wives is just wrong. Dead wrong.

I don't know a single woman like them, or even close to them, nor do I ever want to. Maybe I haven't run into them because I'm not technically a "real" doctors wife yet, but I would imagine the percentage of doctor's wives who are like them to be 5% or less. They represent such a small segment. Hardly worth noticing except for that fact that now they are on TV where everyone (who has Bravo) can see them!

Sure, they tried to capture moments that we all have had, like our husband get paged at inconvenient times and having to leave date nights, etc. What woman who is married to a surgeon can schedule two date nights a week when she says he is on call 24/7, 365 days a year? Is he in solo practice? Don't know many orthopedic guys, or surgeons for that matter, that go solo and private. Maybe he is super special, or can't get along with others. I digress.

The producers went overboard. He got home when it was still daylight! And did you notice his phone? It's an iPhone, lots of us have them. But when I answer/make a call on my iPhone the screen doesn't show my apps page, it shows the call. Someone on set could have at least called him to make it look real. His acting alone couldn't sell it, they should have helped him out a little. Fakers.

More importantly, I think there might be something wrong with their marriage. I don't know about you, but if I welcomed my husband home wearing what she did, my husband wouldn't even hear his pager let alone respond to it. And he certainly wouldn't leave without... you know. My husband is a hot blooded man, not a robot. And the day he doesn't notice that I am wearing next to nothing when he comes home is the day I hire a private detective to follow him around and find out what is going on.

I am picking on her character, probably because she is married to a surgeon and I thought perhaps would have a better grasp of reality, and maybe the character I could relate to. Not so. Sorry Kari, you are making us look bad. All of you are.

And how about Mariah throwing a birthday party for herself because her husband was working. He is an ER doc, and works shifts! You couldn't find a day to throw your party when he wasn't working? Most ER docs work 10-12 shifts a month. That leaves a whole lot of month to work with. But then again maybe he is working double or triple shifts to pay for that house!

I have turned down many invitations because I didn't want to go alone, and have hired a babysitter to go out with friends when the husband isn't home to watch the kids. I get it, we do what we have to do. But throwing a lavish party without your husband. That isn't how I would want to spend my birthday.

I am sure something similar to each of these situations has happened in the past, but I prefer reality to be reality, even if it is boring - not scripted and staged. Married to Medicine is stripped of anything resembling a real life and has been replaced with botox, fillers, and designer labels. The show felt like an advertisement for Louis Vuitton, and this coming from a girl who doesn't know Louis.  Maybe they are a sponsor.

Which brings me to my other point. Did anyone notice that they all live in NEW houses? I went to Bravo's page and looked at their home tours. I would be willing to bet that every single one of the wives bought houses just before this show started filming. They don't look lived in, they are that new. Even the furniture is new. I could almost smell the fresh paint.

No offense to ER docs or psychiatrist's, but I didn't think you got paid that well!  Maybe we should rethink Neurosurgery, and go for something less demanding but apparently much more lucrative.

What I would really like to see is their financial statements. You know, the real stuff. Have they paid off their loans? How long have they been working? Are they living paycheck to paycheck? Are they in the middle of a lawsuit and need to make some fast cash? Warning: if they haven't already been sued I am sure some viewers in the Atlanta area have them targeted, they should be very careful. Are they in debt up to their eyeballs? Is a reality TV series their solution for making ends meet? Seems that way to me.

I don't buy for a moment that these gals were all friends and have a history together or that their husbands know each other, or travel in the same circles. Two ER docs, an Orthopedic surgeon, and a Psychiatrist. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

As for a code of conduct and being a proper doctors wife? I didn't see much that was proper, polite or civil. I won't even acknowledge half of the stupidity on the show. And should anyone approach me and tell me that I am doing this whole doctor's wife thing wrong, I will know where they got their information from.

I understand that no one wants to acknowledge what real life looks like. It's not glamorous and doesn't make for very good TV. But the life they are portraying is reckless. Everyone involved in the show is giving the general public another reason to view doctors (and their wives) as rich, arrogant, superficial, and fake. In it for the money and the stuff. Thanks, that's just what we needed.


Monday, April 1, 2013

No Fooling Around It's Medical Mondays!

I am not one for playing April Fool's Day pranks, and especially not when it falls on the first Monday of the month:-)

To our regular participants: thanks for coming back we love you!

To new participants, and those visiting from our co-hosts blogs: thanks for coming, we hope you find value in our hop and will make the first Monday of the month a recurring event on your calendar to meet up with other wonderful, amazing, talented, and interesting bloggers who have something in common with you. Medicine.

Feel free to look around while you are here. If you want a recap to get you up to speed on my blog I suggest these two posts Protracted Medical Training Spouse Burnout and Is My Husband Cheating on Me?   Let's get started!

Medical Monday!!!

Medical Monday is a once a month opportunity for any and all medical/med life blogs to link up and meet others. So join us!

Are you confused if you qualify for the party?

If you have a pager interrupting your life... you DEFINITELY qualify!
Do you work in healthcare?
Doctor? Nurse? EMT? Chiropractor? Vet? Dentist? Therapist?
Are you the spouse or SO of a healthcare worker/student?
Are you a nursing student? Medical student?
Intern? Resident? Fellow?

You get the picture, right? Come on, now... don't be shy! Let's keep growing and meeting new bloggers, so we can build a community of support and friendship, learn from one another, and share our stories.


Here are the rules:
  1. Follow your co-hosts via Bloglovin (since GFC will soon be defunct), FB, email or Twitter.
  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.
  3. Visit at least 3 other link ups, comment, introduce yourself, and tell the your stopping by or following from MM!
  4. Help spread the word by using our button on your post or sidebar, tweet about Medical Monday, or spread the word on Facebook! The more the merrier for all of us.
Complete step one by following your co-hosts:

Want to be awesome?
Post our button on you post or sidebar and help spread the word:

Want to co-host next month? Shoot Emma an email at yourdoctorswife@gmail.com and be sure to write "Medical Monday Co-host Request" in the subject field.

Now, link up below and have fun! The link up is open through Friday, so be sure to come back during the week to check some great reads!