Archive for the ‘The Husband’ Category
Four years ago last night I was in a hotel in Brea, California with my mom and step-dad. I knew I should feel nervous and have trouble sleeping, which would’ve been normal for me, but instead I was settled. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t worried. I was excited, but calm because I knew that what was to come the next day was exactly what I’ve always wanted.
Four years ago I donned a white dress, had my hair and makeup done and I walked through a crowd of family and friends. And I married my best friend. It was the first step to a future, a family. A life we both wanted so dearly.
I say this every year, but it remains true. These four years have seemed like a lifetime (in a good way), but have somehow also passed in the blink of an eye. I look back at pictures of that day and we look so…young. It’s only been four years, but we have done so much living in that time that I hardly recognize the kids at that wedding.
In four years we have both gotten our doctorates. You have finished 3 years of your residency. I have secured my first job in the field that I hope to be in forever. I got pregnant and we had a baby, our son. We aren’t the same two people who made those vows. We are older and wiser. And we are living up to our promises more than ever before.
We are a family.
The past year has been our best, I think. The arguments have been few and far between. The love has been bigger, stronger than ever. I feel more connected, more attached than I have ever been before. And now we have this child, this beautiful baby boy. Watching you with him each night warms my heart in ways I cannot explain. Hearing you sing to him, talk to him and just love him, unconditionally, is better than anything else I’ve ever known in my life. Your love for him enhances mine.
You are every bit the father I knew you’d be and the most amazing husband I could ever ask for. You push me when I need it and support me when the time for pushing is over. You love me through all the good and bad, through my faults and ugly moments.
I don’t know how to best tell you how much I love you and how blessed I feel to have you as my partner in life. I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without you and the idea of that is devastating. You have given me the life I’ve always dreamed about and the fact that we still have so much life left to live together makes me excited for all that is left to come.
Thank you for four incredible years, for a beautiful baby boy. For a million tomorrows and for the unconditional love that fuels my soul. I have loved every moment and cannot wait for all the rest.
As I write this, it’s is still Valentine’s Day, but tomorrow is a bigger day. Tomorrow is your birthday. Your 30th birthday.
Damn you’re old.
It’s funny for me to think that I met you when you were only 22, freshly out of college, freshly out of a relationship and before you had even begun your medical school journey. We won’t even discuss the haircut. And here we are, almost 8 years later, a doctor and a pregnant graduate student, on the precipice of a totally new stage in our lives.
This year feels monumental in a bunch of different ways. I finish and graduate, you move into the final stage of your residency and of course, we’re going to have a baby. A son. Our son.
It just feels right that you get to start all of this in a new decade, like this year is your fresh start. And in many ways it already has been. You have been working so tremendously hard at work, both for your patients, but also to make positive changes in yourself and your work relationships. I have been so impressed by your commitment to do better and frustrated with you when not everyone sees how hard you’re working.
I feel like we have hit such a lovely rhythm as a couple, as a family. We are communicating better than we have in ages, we’re spending more time together, sharing more stories. I feel so content and safe in the life we have together, it just makes everything else seem easier too. I love nothing more than lazy weekends with you, watching movies and snuggling with our cats. I feel more at home with you than I ever have before.
I know we had both initially talked about how we secretly hoped the baby was a girl, but I can tell you now, I’m even more excited that he’s not. I’m so excited that our baby is a boy because I know that my son has the most outstanding role model anyone could ask for. I would be the luckiest mom in the world if our son grew up to be like you. Our child is already so very blessed to have you as a father. I have never doubted that you are going to be a great dad and I simply cannot wait to see you take on this new role.
As we wind down and head to bed on the eve of this big day, I just want to tell you how very loved you are. How much you have enhanced my life, my spirit. How much better I am for knowing you, for loving you and for being loved by you.
Happy birthday to you, my husband.
Wherever we’re together, that’s my home.
Photo courtesy of Heather
On Tuesdays and Thursdays at school, I park at parking meters. It’s only 4 dollars for 10 hours if I get there early enough to get the 10 hour ones, or it’s 8 bucks for 10 hours on the shorter term meters (plus an extra trip to the car to add more money). Either way, it’s pretty reasonable and they recently updated the meters to accept debit cards. Considering I’m only there 2 days a week, it’s way more reasonable than a parking pass would be.
A couple of times I’ve scheduled physical therapy during my lunch break, so I have to drive to the office and then find a new meter quickly to get back to class. So far I have not made it back to class on time after PT. I’m super good at planning.
But anyway, one of those times, I was rushing and found the very last open meter. I parked and put my debit card in, but it didn’t go in right. It kind of stuck. I could get the card all the way in and out, but not quick enough and it didn’t read it. I tried several more times because I feel like sometimes if you strong arm something, all the other stuff will magically change. This pretty much absolutely never works. And this was no exception.
After swearing a lot and trying several times, I gave up. I had about 3 dollars in change and I tossed that in the meter, knowing it wouldn’t get me to the end of the day, but hoping that maybe the meter maid would forget. Because they tend to do that. Never.
To my great surprise (not), I had a 58 dollar ticket when I got back to my car. Fifty eight freaking dollars for a 4 dollar meter. This is why I hate LA. But I had no other option and had to get to class. It is what it is. Note: I have yet to actually pay it yet. I like to get as close to it doubling as is humanly possible. Just to keep the city of LA on their toes.
Fast forward to last week. I barely made it to school on time thanks to traffic. Because we have 8am quizzes, there is literally no wiggle room when it comes to being on time. I found an open meter and put my card in and it was like a flashback. It would not read my card and again it almost got stuck. This was not the same meter and I just could not figure out what was going on. I fought with it for a minute, tossed two quarters in and went and took my quiz. This time I was able to go back down and move it to a working meter before the parking ticket fairy got to me.
A similar thing happened on Thursday. In a moment of frustration as I was again, moments from missing my quiz, I decided to try something totally novel. I turned my card the other way. Because I am basically a genius. And what do you know? It read it.
It turns out that none of the meters were broken. They were reading cards just fine, but when you try to slide the raised numbers in the slot, it almost gets stuck. And the strip that actually makes the card work? Yea, it’s the part that supposed to go in the slot. Go ahead and judge me, I would.
The best part is that I have a 58 dollar reminder of how entirely stupid I am, because I was likely to forget this. Thanks Los Angeles!
My husband is 3 weeks from finishing his pediatrics residency (before starting the peds neuro part) and he is struggling to make it to the end. He’s not struggling with patient care, or with speaking with parents and families. He actually excels in those areas, people speak highly of him and request him to be their pediatrician. He’s a pretty great doctor.
But he has had a different problem throughout his residency and it relates to his inability to manage frustration.
The nurses at his hospital are…terrible. I’m sorry, they are. With pretty fair regularity they choose not to fill orders that the doctors submit because they disagree with them. Which is not their place, no matter how you slice it. If a doctor orders something, it is their job to fill it. If they think the order is unnecessary, then they can either politely inquire further, or they can be quiet and do it. But choosing not to fill orders without telling a doctor is totally unacceptable. And so far this had caused at least one of my husband’s patients to be rushed to the PICU because of the delay in care. These nurses also argue often with doctors, they don’t do their jobs and the way they speak about their patients is just sad.
Please understand that I do not think that this is normal for all nurses because it isn’t. And it isn’t true of every nurse in the pediatrics department at his hospital. But it is true of a good collection of them and it’s terrible to see.
And the trouble, besides the truly scary patient care that results, is that my husband does not handle his frustration with these nurses very well. When nurses refuse to do their jobs or otherwise treat him inappropriately (one hung up on him last week because he wouldn’t order an unnecessary medication), he cannot just walk away or report the nurse’s behavior to their superior, instead he engages them in an argument that doesn’t need to occur. And these arguments, not surprisingly, never ever end well for him (he clearly needs to read my post from last week, duh). He gets himself in trouble when he knows better and he keeps going when he knows he should stop. The root of it is that he’s frustrated that his patients are suffering for the nurses not doing their jobs, but instead of explaining that calmly to the nurses, he gets condescending and rude. It’s unacceptable and he knows that.
The past week on night float has been a particularly bad week for him and the nurses. There is blame to share, but he knows better than to speak to them the way he has and we’ve reached a point where he’s got to shape up. The higher ups in the peds neuro department will not tolerate their residents getting into these arguments and so we decided it was time for a change.
And to instigate the change, we have created a sticker chart. For my 29 year old husband.
Since I know it’s a terrible picture, let me fill in the details. He has 3 weeks left, 5 days per week. If he goes through the whole shift without being rude to nurses, he gets a sticker (they are Spider-Man stickers, for the record). If he is a jerk, no sticker. These stickers are more than just little symbols of being a polite grown up though, they hold prizes and consequences.
5 stickers in one week = cookie cake. Because he loves cookie cake. And his wife is certainly not opposed to helping him eat it.
4 stickers in one week = a cookie. Still a job well-ish done, but not delicious treat worthy.
3 stickers in one week = a pat on the back. This is not an accomplishment, but probably also isn’t punishment worthy.
Less than or equal to 2 stickers in one week = He has to bring a cookie cake into the hospital and deliver it to the nurses. And it has to say “I’m sorry I’m a jerk.” I stopped short of telling him he had to stand there and watch them eat it, but I totally considered it.
And if he gets at least 14 stickers in the remaining 15 days, he gets to buy himself a new video game. I know what makes my husband tick. And video games that are bought guilt free are pretty much it.
Though I do trust him to give himself stickers (I mean, he foolishly tells me every time he gets himself in trouble), I’ve recruited one of his co-workers who I trust, to dole out the stickers. He’s a very nice guy and I think he wants my husband to succeed as much as I do. He’s also going to be our neighbor starting next week, so I can give him hell if he screws up.
Last night was night one and to my dismay, he ended up with two stickers. I was prepared to be irritated, but it turns out that his co-worker gave him an extra bonus sticker for friending a nurse on facebook, unprovoked. And I guess I can be at peace with that. As long as she’s not pretty. I mean. Um. Something less shallow than that.
So he’s made it through one night, now he just has 14 to go. Here’s to hoping that he’s as easy to bribe as the small children that sticker charts are usually created for!
Three years ago, I married my best friend.
In all, it’s been almost exactly 7 years since we met, since that first feeling of butterflies in my stomach and nervousness when his phone number showed up on my phone. There are many days where I struggle to remember the days before him because that’s how much he has changed, improved my life.
He is the person I can be myself with. I’m not afraid to be weak or scared in front of him. He has seen me at my very worst, at rock bottom with a shovel, digging myself a deeper hole. He knows how I tick, he knows how to calm me, how to inspire and organize me. He knows me like no one has ever known me. And though he’d never admit it, I know him just the same.
My husband doesn’t let many people fully into his life. He puts on a show for others, he’s funny and goofy and almost never serious. People ask me how I can stand being with him all day because he just never turns off that personality for them. But that’s only one part of who he is, and though that part is fun, it’s not my favorite part of him. When it’s just the two of us he is often quiet, calm and almost always just showing his love. He will hold my hand while we’re watching tv or walking somewhere. He’ll rub my back when he knows I’m having trouble sleeping. He is extremely sensitive and though sometimes I tease him, I truly love that about him.
In some ways, we are so much alike. We like and hate many of the same foods, we agree on a lot of television, music, movies, etc. We are both extremely astute in the art of passive-aggression. In other ways, we could hardly be more opposite. He continues to be the epitome of a morning person, he is impossible to embarrass, he would nap every single day if given the opportunity and when he’s angry or upset, he gets really quiet.
But our biggest commonality is love. Before I met him, I didn’t believe love existed. I won’t pretend that it was love from the first minute I met him, but it did not take long. Within a few weeks, he had my heart and though he didn’t know it, he had my love. He was the very first and only boy I ever loved, and the love I felt and still feel for him is sometimes almost overwhelming. I cannot imagine my life without him in it and I really don’t want to. I know I nag him a lot (and to be fair, he is quite a competent nagger himself) and yes we argue from time to time, but love heals all.
Even though tomorrow is our anniversary, I won’t see him until Friday. I’ve heard that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but I find it makes mine grow weary. I crave his presence, his jovial noises and his warm body beside mine. Though I can survive alone, I feel incomplete without him. Like a small piece of my heart isn’t home and without it, without him, I don’t feel at home either.
I can’t find all the flowery words I want to use to say how much I love him and how grateful I am to have him in my life, but I came across a well known poem a few weeks ago and it captures exactly what I feel.
i carry your heart with me
i carry it in my heart
i am never without it
anywhere i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling
i fear no fate
for you are my fate, my sweet
i want no world
for beautiful you are my world, my true
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
here is the root of the root
and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart
i carry it in my heart
—-E. E. Cummings
Honey, I know you’re reading this and I just want you to know how very much I love you. These have been undoubtedly the greatest 7 years of my life because of your presence in them. I cannot imagine a future without you and I hope I never have to see one. Thank you for all that you do for me, for all that you do for us. And most of all, thank you for loving me. I am better for knowing and loving you.
Tomorrow, you turn 29. I know this because you have reminded me 20,000 times this week and also because I’m the one of us that doesn’t forget birthdays. When I met you you were only 22 years old, fresh out of college and with a classy little mullet. I can’t believe it’s been almost 7 years, I really can’t believe that you’re going to be 30 in 366 short days. Sometimes I forget just how much we’ve grown in our time together, sometimes I can hardly remember who I was before you came along.
Our marriage is far from perfect. A large number of people who witnessed our (quiet, civil) argument in the food court at Riverwalk last weekend can attest to that. But they can also attest to the fact that we fix the things that are broken and we move on, stronger, better and happier. We have grown so much and yet, we have so much living ahead of us.
In this last year before you turn 30, in this last year before we start down a new path together, there are things I want to give you, even if they aren’t mine to give.
I want to give you confidence. I want you to know that you are a great doctor, that you are a great husband and someday you will be a great father. I wish you could look in the mirror and see the man I see each day. I wish you could see how successful you are, sometimes in spite of yourself. I wish you could trust yourself, because you can do anything you put your mind to.
I want to give you strength. I know your job wears you down. I know you’re tired, I know you’re dealing with family things on top of work things on top of normal life stresses. I know you’re afraid you won’t make it through your residency, but you can. You will. You have the strength to do this, and when you feel like you don’t, you can lean on me. Together we’ll find a way, we are stronger together.
I want to give you love. Endless amazingly perfect love. I know that I don’t tell you often enough how much you mean to me, but I hope you never wonder how I feel. We joke a lot about things, but I love you, as you are, more than anything in the world. There is nothing in the world you could do to change that.
I want to give you happiness. I know you are afraid that you aren’t going to enjoy your job, when you finally get to do it. I know you are miserable as a pediatrician and I know you’re scared that the next residency will be equally frustrating and unfulfilling. And I know that there’s nothing I can do about that. But if you get through all your years of training and are unhappy, we’ll fix it. It’s never too late to do something that makes you happy. You taught me that, and just as you have supported my career change, I would support yours.
I want to give you the life you wanted and one you’ve earned with years of hard work and support for me and the other people you love. I wish it was a gift I could wrap up and let you open tomorrow. I can’t put it in a box, or put a bow on it, all I can do is make you a promise. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s what I have (besides an actual physical present, of course).
I promise to give you all the confidence, strength, love and happiness I can. I promise to do the best I can, by you, by us, for as long as I walk this earth. I promise to support you, unconditionally and love you even more. Through thick, thin and everything in between.
Even though you don’t show the real you to many people, I can promise you that the world is better for having you in it. Everyone who knows you, is better for it.
Happy 29th birthday to you, my beloved husband. I love you more than words can ever possibly convey.
I’m telling things a little out of order, both because I am too tired to think straight and because I want to. So there.
On Sunday afternoon, my husband and I had some time to kill and we found ourselves across the street from Central Park. So we started walking through the winter wonderland ahead of us.
We walked around snowy hills, around children sledding. We walked around snow drifts taller than our heads.
As we walked past an area of untouched fresh snow, I mentioned to Slappy that I secretly wanted to make snow angels. Because I’d never really made one. I’d never even really played in snow like that at all.
He told me to go play, but I said no. It seemed silly. I knew my clothes would get wet and I’d be cold and miserable for the rest of the evening. I am a grown up, I make grown up choices. And I decided I could enjoy the snow from the path.
Before I could say anything, Slappy cut in through a small opening in a gate into a field of untouched snow.
He threw his arms out
And he fell
And suddenly I just couldn’t be bothered to be an adult anymore. To worry anymore. I engaged in an epic snowball fight with my husband in the middle of a snowy field in Central Park.
And then I fell too.
And yes, my clothes and shoes got wet. And sure, I was a little cold. But I won’t remember that part. I won’t remember anything but that time I followed my husband into a quiet snowy wonderland, thew snowballs and made snow angels until I couldn’t feel my fingers anymore. I’ll remember the time I seized a moment and turned it into a memory.
And how my heart felt whole once more.
So yesterday I had an idea. And idea that seemed TOTALLY brilliant at the time, but one that in hindsight was just an awful concept. My husband and I are very consistent people. We like what we like, we dislike what we dislike. Very little changes with us.
And so it isn’t surprising that we have some dietary habits that are not so great.
My husband’s is fast food. Mine is candy. We both eat way too much of our habit foods and it’s not like we’re gorging ourselves on celery. We are spending a lot of money on food we don’t need, food that isn’t great for our bodies, and well, we can do better. We just haven’t really wanted to.
brilliant stupid idea was to challenge each other to give up our favorite unhealthy food and see who could go the longest without it. So Slappy is not allowed to consume anything fried (I couldn’t do no fast food altogether because I would have to do a lot more work at packing him food and grocery shopping and his success/failure would rest on me) and I am not allowed to consume candy.
It’s now 5:43 pm on the first day and I hate everything. Except candy.
We’re working on the honor system and hopefully we can both be honest about our food choices. We’re doing a pseudo-mulligan for the first week in case he eats something he didn’t realize was fried (dude, he is so helpless sometimes) or in case I genuinely forget and go to my m&m stash. It’s not a free pass to eat whatever you want, it’s a temporary lapse forgiven, but the mulligans are gone after this week.
The winner of the great favorite food challenge gets to spend 50 dollars at a (non-food based) store of their choice and gets bragging rights. Bragging rights that will be used because neither of us are particularly good winners. The loser just
suffers learns to eat better.
We’re both hoping this will jump start our eating habits and not make us kill each other in the meantime. And though I’m not offering any of you 50 dollars because I don’t really have it to give at the moment (if I win the lottery tonight, maybe I’ll reconsider), I am totally game for any of you to join us.
Anyone want to join us in the great favorite food challenge?
Don’t join in lightly, because I plan on kicking ass and taking names.
Background information first.
Last winter my husband and I got some hand-me-down skis from my sister and brother-in-law. Slappy also got my brother-in-law’s old ski boots that fit his skis, I already had boots and my feet, unlike my boobs, are bigger than my sister’s.
We decided to go skiing on New Year’s day last year, so I brought my “new” skis in to have the bindings (what holds the boots on the skis while you ski) adjusted to fit my boots. The guy at the sporting goods store assured me they’d be done by closing that evening, he was going to do them himself. So when we came back an hour before closing we were surprised to find that he’d left without finishing my skis. And by surprised I mean pissed off. Since we were leaving early the next morning the store loaned me boots and skis for free for the weekend. We returned them on time, all was fine and we didn’t ski again that season.
Fast-forward a year to this past Friday. We got all our stuff loaded in the car and hit the road. We were extra excited because it was to be our first ski trip where we didn’t have to rent anything. We had boots, skis, poles, helmets and snow gear. We made good time up the hill, parked in the lot for the ski resort we were skiing and started adding layers and getting into ski boots.
My husband is kind of a drama queen when it comes to stuff like this, so when he couldn’t get his boots on, which he never can, I was unconcerned. I just kept telling him to keep trying, they had fit fine last year. For the better part of 10 minutes he
whined about struggled with the boots, and finally, with a lot of my help and omg so much whining, he got them on.
Something just didn’t seem right.
I grabbed his skis out of the trunk and decided to check to make sure the boots matched the bindings and that’s when we discovered how stupid we are. Because apparently a year earlier when I returned my rental stuff, I actually returned my rental skis and my husband’s boots. And with my help he had just crammed his feet into rental boots that weren’t even close to fitting his feet or his skis.
Sigh. Who does that? I mean really.
So we rented him some skis and boots, which sucked because this was supposed to be the easiest and cheapest ski trip ever. And instead it was an almost hour long wait to get him rental gear and oh, and also MORE MONEY.
We went back to the sporting goods store today and spoke to the rental people who thought we were a) morons, and b) funny as hell. Except for the manager who did not find us amusing AT ALL.
One of the rental guys remembered my husband’s boots, hell, he remembered them better than my husband did, considering that Slappy put the rental boots in the garage and gave me his boots to return last year. But the rental guy wasn’t sure what happened to them. He thought they might have sent them to a warehouse a few miles away for storage, but he’d have to check.
We waited. Nope. Not at the warehouse.
It turns out they held onto them for 9 months and then they were destroyed. DESTROYED.
Triple annoyed more money bleeding out of us SIGH.
So now my husband is the proud owner of brand new ski boots that are still at the sporting goods store while they adjust his bindings. But honestly, I’m willing to bet that they can’t drill his skis any more and we end up having to also buy new skis and bindings because that’s just how this week is going.
I just hope my husband really wanted new ski boots and skis for Valentine’s Day, his birthday, our anniversary and Chanukah next year.
Sometimes we are seriously our own worst enemies.
I do not have a particularly good track record of Chanukah dinners with my in-laws.
The first year, I had no idea what like half the food was. This was a whole new experience. So it isn’t surprising that I thought the gravy (it was a thin gravy) was salad dressing and poured it all over my salad. When I discovered my error, I ate it really quickly so no one would have time to notice. Except that my husband (then boyfriend) waited until I was done eating and then announced to the whole table that I had just eaten salad with gravy. Sigh.
The next year, like every other year, my husband (then fiance), asked me to write the labels on the presents because his handwriting is illegibile. And I wrote this dad’s as To: Dad, From: Slappy and McSlapperson. I put his first and last name instead of his name and mine. And his family found that HILARIOUS.
Last year, I was seated directly in front of the menorah. And halfway through dinner, I looked up briefly in between inhaling latkes to discover that a candle had fallen out and the (antique!) tablecloth was on fire. I shrieked and put it out. But not before it burned through FOUR layers of tablecloths. Let’s not discuss why there were four layers, the answer is I don’t know. And since then there has been a running joke about how I lit the tablecloth on fire. WHICH I DIDN’T.
I was determined to make this year free from things that would haunt me next year. My MIL had asked me to make cake balls, preferably red velvet ones dipped in chocolate and she wanted them to be festive. I decided that I would meet the festive bill by making a red velvet cake from scratch, but I would make it blue instead. So I started make the batter, put in the necessary amount of food coloring and then added the flour/cocoa mix.
Funny story, the combination of blue food coloring and cocoa does not yield a blue cake. It actually yields a very, very green cake. Like Christmas tree green instead of Chanukah blue. Sigh.
So, I decided that this would not do. I would not be the laughing stock of this Chanukah dinner. So I baked another one and this time I reduced the cocoa a little and added the blue coloring, a gel this time, AFTER the cocoa, so I could adjust it more carefully. And well, it was teal. But teal is a subset of blue, so I decided that two cakes was enough, this would work.
And then I went to 3 stores to find the kind of chocolate I like to use, and got all the balls dipped and decorated with blue and white sprinkles (and put them in blue and white polka dot mini muffin cups) and brought them to my MIL. They were impressed and as expected, they laughed when I told them the story about why they were blue-ish. But in the end everyone loved them.
And I didn’t end up being the butt of the joke. No, this year I got to laugh quietly to myself as everyone who ate the cake balls walked away with seriously blue teeth. Well, okay, blue-ish.