One of the most challenging things about having a toddler is meal time. For a while, Eli ate predictably and tried almost everything we put in front of him without needing any encouragement. And then he started to have an opinion. A really unpredictable one. He would absolutely love something one week and refuse to come near it the next. And trying to cook a meal that will please the grown ups and a toddler who often subsists primarily on air is anything but simple. But because I refuse to become a short order cook, it’s a mission I’ve chosen to undertake daily.
And so when I came across this recipe on Ooph.com, I knew that with a few little tweaks, it was going to be a sacred recipe. It would be delicious enough for all 3 of us to eat it happily; it would cover several food groups; and it would even let me hide an otherwise undesirable veggie (or two, I’ll bet) in a delicious meal. And I was right.
One of the keys to this recipe is the cream of chicken soup, which on its own doesn’t seem terribly appealing, but that’s because it’s not an eating soup- it’s a cooking soup. And in this recipe it adds a great amount of creaminess without having to add a bunch of ingredients or seasonings, which, as a busy parent, I absolutely love. I am usually an off-brand person, but having made this now with the store brand cream of chicken and again with Campbell’s, I won’t be going back to the store brand. The difference was that significant and even my husband commented on it.
There’s a lot about this recipe that can be tweaked to your own tastes, but don’t skip on the soup base. It’s critical to the texture and to the amazing taste here.
Chicken Rice Casserole
Original recipe from: Ooph
1/2 yellow or brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 10.75oz can Campbell’s cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 cups cheddar cheese, separated
3 cups cooked wild rice (I used one with a herby seasoning and it was awesome)
1/3 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.
2. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet until onion is translucent and soft. It took me about 5 minutes to get them cooked through. Add in spinach, cook for 1 minute then remove from heat.
3. While the onions and garlic are cooking, combine the cream of chicken soup and chicken broth in a small pot and bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
4. Combine soup, onion/spinach mixture, chicken, rice and 1 cup of cheese (I do it in the saute pan, you can also mix it right in your casserole dish). Mix to combine.
5. Pour rice/chicken/spinach mixture into prepared casserole dish, then pour 1/3 cup of milk over the top. Top with remaining cup of cheese.
For other great recipes with soup bases that will appeal to your whole family, check out Campbell’s Kitchen (with help from The Wisest Kid in the Whole World™). I can’t wait to try some of their recipes!
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post and for the cream of chicken soup I used in the recipe. I was totally going to post this recipe anyway, exactly as it appears above and I really did like the Campbell’s better. So did my husband. Pinkie swear!
Things have been a little quiet around here this month and that’s entirely because November kicked our collective asses. The first week of November wasn’t so bad, but Eli came down with a stomach virus and puked through the 8th and the 9th. I then caught his stomach virus and was puking the 10th and feeling like I was going to die all through the 11th and to a lesser degree for about a week afterwards. This was really my first glimpse of how resilient kids are, because he was so fine that I didn’t even realize he was sick, just thought he was randomly puking for 2 days.
I haven’t thrown up in 20 years and have a serious fear of vomiting and you know what? It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I mean, it was awful in the way that everyone knows vomiting is awful, but it wasn’t the life altering event I expected. And I survived to write too much about it, so there’s that, too. My husband was spared the virus, though he got to witness more vomiting than any one person should.
A week after the stomach virus we had our first brush with croup. It wasn’t as awful as I know it is for many others, but the barky cough was jarring and scary. And a few days into that, Eli had a sudden deluge of boogers and a dramatic increase in misery. Within a few day, so did my husband and I (both boogers and misery).
This last Tuesday, we went out to dinner at around 6:30, which is a pretty normal dinner time for us, at a restaurant about a mile from home. After a few minutes of coloring, Eli started screaming, which we assumed was because we took away the phone he had been playing with at therapy a few minutes earlier, so my husband took him outside to try to calm him down. They came back in a few minutes later and the screaming started back up again. They immediately went back outside, he calmed and came back in. The third time it happened, we told them to get our food to go and I took him out. No matter what I did, he wouldn’t calm down, he just laid his head on my shoulder and cried and cried. It was so sad because that’s just so not him. Eli is a busy, happy guy and to see him so miserable was just awful. And so we went home and in the 5 minute drive at 7pm, Eli fell asleep. He slept through a diaper and clothing change and though he whined in his sleep a lot, he slept until 5:30 the next morning.
I probably should’ve realized something was up at that point, but I didn’t. Until 6:30am on Wednesday, when once again he began crying and didn’t stop for 90 minutes, which was when the Motrin I forced into him kicked in. All day he slept and cried on and off. He spiked a high fever in the afternoon and was a limp noodle who only wanted to be held and snuggled and did the saddest cry when he couldn’t. I cannot describe how heartbreaking it was. We were able to get in to see our pediatrician that afternoon and he discovered a “raging ear infection” (his words) in Eli’s left ear.
Our pediatrician is a very low key guy, rarely concerned about anything and he was seriously concerned about this ear infection. He told us that he wished he had a medical student because this was the clearest ear infection he’d ever seen. He also warned us that there was a really good change that his ear drum would rupture within the next 24 hours and that if he didn’t use the right antibiotic, the infection would spread to his sinuses or the bone behind his ear (mastoid) by Saturday. He gave us strict instructions on what to look for, put him on a very high powered antibiotic and gave directions and the dosage to break the no decongestants before age 2 rule.
We are very, very lucky that after 2 doses of antibiotics, Eli was a new kid. He is still a bit whinier and sleepier than usual and has a diaper rash from hell, but you’d never know how sick he was on Wednesday. I am hoping to someday forget how sick he was on Wednesday.
My husband and I are still in the post viral cough phase and for funsies, last night, on the very last night of this blasted month, I spiked a completely random 102 degree fever with chills and aches that broke, coincidentally right around midnight on December 1st, which makes me feel very confident that this was all some November phenomenon of awful.
I have a big post about what I am thankful for tossing around in my head, but I just need a few hours to recover from November and prepare for a big trip we have this week. Mostly, I’m just really, really glad that this month is over. Last winter was a long one, but I’m holding out hope that we’ve seen the worst already and that the rest of it will be much, much happier and healthier.
Sigh. So much has happened since last week, I don’t even know where to start.
I guess, a little background and then some backtracking and then some explaining.
So, for all medical residencies and most fellowships, there is a match process. It’s kind of confusing, but physicians apply to programs, either do or don’t get interviews based on their resume, interview and then rank the programs. The programs rank the candidates and then some weird computer program spits out the match. Once you’re placed, it’s done. You don’t get to change your mind, if you rank a program, you are saying you’ll go there if you match there. It’s complex initially, but the results are clean and easy. Just the way I like them.
Naturally, my husband’s fellowship for next year is not part of the match. It has this horribly obnoxious rolling application process with no deadlines and no details and some programs have already got their fellows for 2015 and others are just starting the application process for 2014 (programs start July 1), but no one says this outright and yea, hot mess.
So my husband has been applying and interviewing for months. And last Saturday, he was offered a fellowship at a New York hospital and given 5 days to decide. Everyone agreed this was kind of a weird timeframe since the fellowship doesn’t begin for 8 months, but it was what it was. So my husband contacted the 2 other programs he was waiting on and would pick over the New York program and told them about the offer. He got an immediate reply from one who said basically, we don’t have the funding, don’t wait on us. And the other never replied. Which is horribly obnoxious.
On Monday night, a few days early, my husband made a decision and sent an email agreeing to the fellowship in New York. It wasn’t our first choice, but our first choice had been ignoring emails for months and we got tired of waiting. And ultimately, we can make anything work and we were feeling largely positive about the decision.
So naturally, on Friday morning, my husband got an email offering him a fellowship at his #1 choice, which also happens to be in Southern California. And 25 minutes from my current job. And it’s everything we’ve ever wanted. 4 days late.
So my husband spoke with several of his Attendings and basically presented his predicament. Every single one of them said he should take the California program and that people back out of these fellowships regularly (which is why they need to be part of the match because it’s ridiculous that everyone gets offers at different times and timelines and aaaaaah). He hadn’t signed any kind of contract with New York (they hadn’t even discussed it, nor presented him with one), so while it’s not the most ethically great thing to do, it’s not out of the ordinary and it shouldn’t be a big deal. That program would just offer the spot to the next person in line. Everyone was thrilled, life was good. My husband accepted the Southern California spot (and told them he was backing out of another program, to which they said, oh that happens all the time), and on the recommendation of his boss, waited until Monday (as it was late Friday by this point), to call New York to tell them.
And here’s where shit gets interesting and complicated and why on earth can’t things just be easy?
New York said no. Like, no you can’t back out. They said they told their other guy no, so my husband can’t back out. And we’re like, wait, what? And look, we realize, all of us, that backing out is a professionally not awesome thing to do. No one is trying to beat around the bush on that. It’s embarrassing, it feels crappy and it’s lousy to do to them. No one here is feeling proud about it. But, the California fellowship is better academically and it’s better for our family and, people back out of these fellowships for this very reason ALL THE TIME. Like, no one even batted an eye when they told my husband to back out and take the other one and without their advice, he wouldn’t have done it.
But New York is saying no and we have NO IDEA what to do about that. They’re going to call their #2 choice and if that person says no, I have really no idea what happens. Legally my husband has no obligation to go anywhere at this point. No contracts have been signed, no details hammered out, but there is an ethical issue and if New York can’t fill it’s spot, my husband has an ethical obligation to go.
But he doesn’t want to.
We would be fine in New York. We would survive and it would be no big deal. But it’s just, it really sucks. The whole situation sucks. It sucks that the California program couldn’t email him earlier in the week. It sucks that the New York program is being strict and that my husband now both looks and feels like a totally unprofessional asshole, when he was heeding the advice of seasoned physicians who have dealt with this for decades.
And that whole knowing what was happening next thing that I was just enjoying the ever living shit out of? Yep, gone. No idea where we’re going to live. Everyone got their hopes up and now everyone’s hopes are down and I just want to know. I can live anywhere but I just want to know. And I want my husband to be happy again like he was this past weekend, because he was so happy and so proud of himself and that was just great to see and to be around. He worked hard and he deserves this and he is a really good person who just feels like hell about what’s happened.
And I have no idea how to end this except to say that I’m ready for this shit show to end.
So last month I wrote about my husband’s fellowship journey and the opportunities ahead of us. Last Thursday he interviewed at a program in Buffalo, New York, one that has been pursuing him for some time. He was a little hesitant about the program because it doesn’t have the name recognition that some other programs have, but they were very interested in him, so he went ahead and interviewed. And when he called me on Thursday I could tell that his tune had changed. He liked the people, they were welcoming, he liked the program, he felt very comfortable there and they were talking like they were going to offer him the position.
And Saturday morning, they did. With a 5 day time limit to accept.
So at that point he had some decisions to make. We had some decisions to make. There were still 2 programs he had interviewed at that he had not heard back from and both are considered more prestigious, so he went to those programs first. One replied and said they didn’t get the funding for the position and the other, the one southern California program we had put a lot of hope in, didn’t get back to him. This shouldn’t be surprising since he’s sent 3 emails in the past 3 months and hasn’t received any replies, but it’s still frustrating nevertheless.
We had a good talk and ultimately the decision was not that difficult. The program in Buffalo had everything he was looking for, and even more, they wanted him there. He liked it. It was a nice city, the people were lovely and basically the only hold up was the idea of packing us up and moving across the country. And the more we talked the more we realized that it wasn’t really that big of a hold up. Moving somewhere new for a year feels a bit like an adventure and we like snow. We can do anything for a year, even lake effect snow (at some point someone is going to have to explain to me what that means).
So, he accepted the offer at Buffalo and in June we’ll be packing up and moving across the country. I am mostly excited, though I definitely have intermittent moments of anxiety. My only real concern is moving Eli away from his cousin Addie because they are such adorable playmates (and because I’ll miss seeing my sister, too) and I hate to do anything to that relationship. But logically I know they’re both too little to remember this time in their life and really this is the perfect time to do it.
So now I know. Which is a big relief for all of us and now we can begin to plan the next phase. It’s an adventure and while there are still a lot of unknowns ahead, it’s an adventure I’m really looking forward to taking.
On Saturday morning I got a call from my sister that in the course of a few hours her dog, husband and baby had all thrown up. She didn’t just call to gross me out, but rather to say that suddenly their plans to attend the USC homecoming game were up in the air. She asked if we wanted their tickets since I also went to USC and though we had a nice quiet weekend planned, we jumped at the chance.
We piled in the car and drove across town, knowing that the place was going to be a mess since not only was it a night game (meaning there were hooooours of tailgating happening), but it was homecoming, so there would be a higher than average attendance level. And it was every bit as busy as we had expected.
We asked a security guard where the best place to park was and he said that all the lots were full and that unless we wanted to pay 80-100 dollars, we should drive a few blocks away and park in the neighborhood. It sounded kind of sketchy (the neighborhood around USC is…interesting), but we didn’t really have any other option. So we drove down and settled on parking at an apartment complex for 20 dollars. We were assured that we wouldn’t be blocked in (we double checked this since we were planning to leave the game a little early) and we were assured that was the case.
So we set off to the game. Which was really a lot of fun. Eli liked watching parts of the game, especially from his own seat (that the people next to us generously donated).
He did not care for the (Stanford) band very much.
And we all had a good time cheering on our Trojans.
At the start of the 4th quarter (around 7:45) we decided to head to our car. We got there and found that despite all the reassurances, there was a car blocking the driveway and that there was not a single light on in the apartment that was busy and bustling just a few hours earlier. So, we got in the car and pulled forward, hoping that the person who drove the car was inside and would take the hint. And then we waited. And waited. And waited.
After about 20 minutes, a guy came over and said he was a neighbor from across the street. He had seen the car park there not too long ago and the driver had appeared to be very drunk and headed off towards the sorority houses. Um. What?
So now we’re sitting in the car, trapped in a small alley with 2 cars parked behind us (so we can’t just abandon our car and take the metro home), listening to the football game that we left early (which got SO good after we left aaaaaarg) for the entire hour that we thought it would take us to get home. I seriously didn’t know what to do. A tow truck couldn’t help us since it was a private driveway. Parking enforcement couldn’t help us unless the building manager or owner was present. So we were just stuck in someone’s drive way, in downtown LA at 8:45pm. With a very tired baby and several drunk, rowdy, pissed off people who were stuck behind us.
I have to say, it was one of those moments where I really had no idea what to do. I actually almost called my dad because I felt that confused. Like I needed to consult a real adult because clearly I was not one. I didn’t want to leave our car, Eli was melting down and I just had no idea how to proceed.
Just as a group of 12 really drunk guys decided they would try to pick up the car and move it into the street, which truthfully I’m pretty sad I didn’t get to see because I can only imagine how entertaining it would’ve been, the jackasses who parked there (who did not even live there and just decided that a random driveway was a great place to park during the USC homecoming game) came back and moved out of the way.
And then, at 9:15 we finally got to leave and delightfully got to sit in aaaaaaaaall the traffic we were trying to avoid by leaving the game early.
We learned a really important lesson on Saturday. If we’re going to go to a USC game, we should never skip the tailgating. I mean, for the parking part only, obviously…
When I took the first picture of Eli in the hospital, I never really thought it was something we’d continue, especially not to 18 months. But now that we’re there, I am addicted. I love having this unique measuring stick to track his growth, to watch his personality blossom and to just capture these small moments. And while I’ve toyed with stopping several times, I just can’t bring myself to do it. So, without further ado…
This was by far the toughest month to get a decent pictures. Toddlers are busy. And fast!
(For the full list of pictures from the first year, see here)
Today you are 18 months old! You are officially on the downhill side of 1, which is just insanity. I still remember the day we found out we were going to have you, the day we found out you were a boy, the day you were born, all like they were yesterday. And here you are, this grown toddler. I just can’t believe it.
Your personality has continued to blossom and evolve this month and I feel like more and more each day, I really see who you are. You’re no longer a baby, with a very typical list of likes and dislikes and a very simple line of thinking. You are this person, who has an opinion, who has strong feelings and ideas and I absolutely adore watching you come up with a plan and execute it, even if it’s (almost always) dangerous in some way. You are quite the daredevil these days.
You’ve been especially snuggly this month and have had a resurgence of separation anxiety lately. Daycare drop off has been a nightmare and watching your face fall as you realize I’m leaving is like a punch to the gut every single time, even though I know within 2 minutes you’ll be happily playing with your friends. You suddenly love to sit on our laps, love to snuggle and love to be close. I won’t even pretend like I don’t absolutely love this.
This past month was Halloween and you were the absolute perfect Charlie Brown. I can’t tell you how many people stopped to oh and ah at you in your costume. Though I only let you eat one piece of candy, you still seemed to have a pretty good time. I’m just not sure how we’re going to top your costume next year.
You are very newly in love with your cousin Addie. Whenever you see a picture of a baby you say her name, even if it’s a picture of you. Whenever you get upset in the car on the way over, all we have to say is, “do you want to go see Addie” and you squeal and say “yea!” and get so adorably excited. She loves you too and the two of you can play for a long time. Not nicely or cooperatively, but you play in the same space and with the same toys, usually after you wrench them out of her hands. To be fair, she usually then hits you, so you’re getting yours.
Your language continues to change. This month you learned how to say the word no, though most of the time, you still just shake your head. You can sing parts of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star intelligibly now too. You now say, I did it, yea, no, please, choo choo, (a) dog, (a) ball, kitty, baboon, bubbles, donkey, flowers, Elmo!, Addie, hi kitty, hi dada and a few others I know I’m forgetting. As much as your dad discourages you to say no, I find it to be adorable. I am sure I’ll regret saying that some day, but for now, you’re so funny when you do it.
Your likes this month include: The Wheels on the Bus, ketchup, snuggles, Sesame Street, your cousin Addie, Aunt Claire and Uncle Scott, all the grandparents, running away from us, climbing, riding around in the Ergo, milk, bath time, stuffed animals, carrying bags and walking.
Your dislikes this month include: The bus driver saying shhh in the Wheels on the Bus, being in your stroller, diaper changes, sippy cups, sharing toys with Addie.
Today as I write this, I’m sick in bed with a stomach virus. It’s killing me to hear you downstairs with your dad and not being able to participate or give you a hug or pick you up. Mondays are our days together, so it’s tough to be quarantined, but I know it’s what’s best. While it’s tough for me, you just love your dad so much. He is infinitely better at engaging you in play than I am. He creates wacky games and the two of you have just so much fun. It is a joy watching you play with your dad and after he was away for a week this month, you picked right back up where you left off. You are the best of pals and it warms my heart.
I know I mentioned how snuggly you’ve been this month and how attached you are and while it does make some things tough, it’s also just the best. You love to ride in the Ergo on me and you rest your little head on my chest (or my back) and just relax, contentedly. You’ve never been a big snuggler, so this is a big change for both of us, and it’s one I really love. There was a night while your dad was out of town that you finished your milk and I finished your stories, but you just wanted to be rocked and sang to. I had a million things to do to get ready for work the next day, but sitting in the glider, rocking my baby, I mean my toddler, was far more pressing. I know these moments are fleeting, and I want to savor them forever.
I can’t say enough how much we love having you in our lives. You light up the worst of days and remind us what is really important in our lives. You’ve brought us all closer and reminded us what true joy really is, and for that, we are the luckiest people in the world.
Eli, we love you so much and can’t wait to see what next month will bring.
The other night as I was showering before bed I had this intense flashback to 8-9 months ago. We were in the midst of attempt number 8 million to transition Eli to his crib and I was rushing through the shower in hopes that I’d get out before Eli woke up, screaming, for the umpteenth night in a row. I remember hurrying through every step of the shower, even once forgetting to rinse out the conditioner, just hoping that unlike the past 4 nights, I’d get all the way through. And that perhaps this would be the night he didn’t wake up horribly upset at all.
I remember clearly the stress I felt about sleep training, about that transition that was so difficult for us. It was all consuming at the time. I wondered if we’d ever figure it out, if Eli would ever sleep through a night. Everything felt so important, so big, in the moment. And now, it seems so small. So insignificant.
I belong to a few mom groups and one of the things I see all the time is moms of very young babies (6 weeks!) asking how they can get their babies to nap because they don’t want to build bad habits by letting their baby nap on them. I am not criticizing these mothers, not at all, I was one of them. I get that pressure and concern because I had it. And, now, being far removed from that point of parenting, all I want to say to them is please, please hold that baby. Please let that baby nap on you. Please take an hour, maybe 2, and just soak up those snuggles, that closeness, without worrying about tomorrow or next month. Because before you know it, that tiny infant will be almost 18 months old and in the infrequent occasions where he wants to snuggle, he will take up your entire lap with his long legs and wiggly body.
I just want to tell these moms that these moments, all of them, are fleeting. This is what I’ve learned. Everything about infancy, about toddlerhood is fleeting. As soon as you get used to something, it stops. As soon as you stress about something, it’s finished. These things that feel so huge and pressing, they’re just a tiny moment in a life.
I was so absorbed in the drama around getting Eli to sleep in a crib, or at least not in a rock n play, that I couldn’t see how brief that stage really was. I couldn’t see that it would be over and we’d be onto something else soon enough. That someday I’d take a shower, leisurely, without worrying about a screaming baby and having to decide where and how to get him back to sleep. That someday, Eli would sleep peacefully through the night without my help. I couldn’t see that we would all be fine.
It’s taken me a long time to get to this point where I feel like I need to enjoy every second of Eli’s life, instead of letting myself get completely wrapped up in the problem of the day. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still happen from time to time, but it happens less and I enjoy motherhood so much more. Realizing how far we’ve come, how much we’ve both learned, is a big deal.
And I think that in finally seeing how brief these moments are, it’s easier to enjoy them. To realize that though things really do feel monumental, they’re really just momentary. Every stage and struggle is fleeting, but this child is mine forever.
Last night at 2am I woke up somewhat suddenly, but for no apparent reason. I looked around to sort of settle myself and finally glanced at the baby monitor, which is when I noticed that something with Eli was off. It looked like his blanket was across his throat, but I couldn’t see either end of it, which was unusual. I thought maybe it wasn’t a blanket but a stuffed animal or his smaller lovie, but I had this nagging feeling that it needed further investigation. So I went into his room.
It turns out that it was his regular blanket (which is an Aden + Anais swaddle blanket) and it was wrapped around his neck twice. My head was positively shrieking with panic, but I managed to stay quiet, unwrap his blanket while only barely waking him up, replace his a pacifier, give him a kiss and a butt pat and leave the room.
And then I did the most incredible thing. I went back to sleep.
Look, I know that doesn’t sound incredible, but for me, it really was. After months of horribly broken sleep, and hours of laying awake panicking, this is really a huge deal. There are times I really struggle to see the progress I’ve made in the past few months, but this is one that I feel really proud of (even if a small part of me also thinks that this is entirely the fault of the medication and wants to take away all credit because that’s how I am, but whatever).
I think one of the biggest parts of that experience, for me, was feeling like I could trust my intuition. It has been really difficult to parent my child, never knowing if listening to my gut was the right thing. My gut has a tendency to overreact and I never really know if a perceived danger is serious or if I’m catastrophizing something insignificant. And last night, I was able to identify that Eli needed me to do something, do it, and not flip out in the process.
This is what I always thought parenting would be. I thought I would be supermom- not needing help, not needing reassurance, but I have been the opposite. I have felt like I can’t trust myself for months now, it’s an issue that hasn’t let up and is always intensified when my husband is out of town. I never feel like I can make a parenting decision without approval, not because my husband requires me to do so, but because I don’t trust myself to make the right decision. Last night, without hesitation, I made the right decision.
And while I have spent a fair portion of today worried about how to deal with this situation since Eli is very devoted to sleeping with a blanket (almost never under it), I was able to work through it and come up with a solution that is working for him and for me. Am I likely to check the monitor more frequently tonight? Yes. Am I still doing much better than I would’ve been 2 months ago? Absolutely.
There is still work to be done, but there’s no denying that progress has been made and that things are moving very much in the right direction. And it feels really, really good.
I realized I’ve alluded on various social networks and even here that our future is a bit cloudy right now, but I figured I may as well take some time to elaborate a bit. I’m sure you can all use a break from my riveting PTSD coverage anyway. (You’re welcome)
My husband is in his final year of his original Residency/Fellowship (he did a combination program) and will be completely finished at the end of June 2014, which, hallelujah, that was a very long 5 years for him. At that point, he can go out and just be a physician, which is kind of awesome considering how long it’s taken to get to that point, but, that’s not what he wants. So instead, the past few months he’s been applying for a second fellowship. He wants to do one more year of training (that is highly specialized), which will allow him to have a more narrow scope of practice and make him pretty highly appealing to just about any children’s hospital in the county.
So the interviews have been going on since August. So far he’s interviewed with a hospital here in Southern California and one in Cleveland. He has another scheduled next week in Buffalo and another right after that in Virginia. I’m not sure if you realized, but Cleveland, Buffalo and Virginia are oddly not in Southern California.
I’ve been doing this dance with these interviews, because I do support whatever it takes to get my husband to the point where he can be the physician he wants to be, but at the same time, the idea of packing up for a year to move across the country is tough. He and I both agree that the Southern California option is our first choice for several reasons, but they have had issues with funding and so it’s looking less and less likely. At the same time, the program in Buffalo is more and more interested. They called him at 10:30 their time on a Sunday night to let them know they wanted to interview him. They tracked down one of his coworkers at a conference last week to let her know that they are highly interested in him for the spot. They want him and the availability in their program was a surprise (someone backed out after originally committing) and is not something to be ignored.
It just feels like we’re living, but not really. We don’t know where we’re living next year. We don’t know if I’ll be working or not. We don’t know if Eli will go to preschool or stay home with me. We don’t know if we’ll have a house or another apartment or some variation therein. We can’t make any long term plans for our lives because we just don’t know anything beyond June. It’s like we’re living in a waiting room. Waiting to get the call or email with our next stop.
We are comforted that my husband’s current hospital has offered him a position as an attending if he doesn’t get a fellowship so there’s not a great deal of panic about that, and he can reapply next year (part of the issue is that he started applying a bit too late, which was entirely not his fault and very frustrating). It takes a lot of the stress off of him, which is a good thing because I know that this is terribly taxing on him.
I’m struggling the most because I really love my job and don’t want to leave it. It’s some place that I can see myself working at for decades. It’s small, but it feels very much like a family. I love the people and patients I work with, I love the work I’m doing and the idea that if I go away for a year, I may not be able to come back to it is terribly sad. But at the same time, I’m willing to risk that for my husband because I know that his desires are as strong as mine and he has worked so very hard to get to this point, I can’t hold him back.
Sacrifices are being made all around and they are tough (as sacrifices are wont to be). I will be fine regardless of where we live next year. Truly. I can adapt and I will, but the waiting is killing me softly. I just want to know already.