Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On Medicine

The decided lack of posts recently is because I am On Medicine. "On medicine," in resident speak, means that I am working on the adult inpatient service in the hospital, which is one of the two most intense and time consuming rotations of the year. I'm two-and-a-half weeks into the six week rotation (there's another six weeks later in the year, but I'm not thinking about that right now).

I am coming up to a weekend off, which is excellent, as this past weekend I had the lovely Friday night-into-Saturday-morning call followed by the Sunday-all-day call. (Finishing up a nice, legal, 80 hour week.) That followed 11 to 12 hour days all week. And it was a bad weekend on the service, with pretty much nonstop action, requiring me to stay late after both calls to finish up paperwork. Ick. (Alex and Brynna and I did have a spectacular Saturday after I got done, a post on that will be upcoming eventually.)

So, poor Alex is doing the vast majority of the holding-down-the-fort at home. I get up around 6 and take Jasper out for a quick walk, then nurse Brynna if she is starting to wake up before getting on my bike and heading to the hospital for 6:45 or 7. Alex gets Brynna off to Miss A's and then goes off to work himself. He also picks her up at the end of the day, because I sign out to the night team between 5:30 and 6 and usually get home around 6:30. Then we play with Brynna for a couple of hours and put her to bed, before grabbing some food ourselves and also hitting the sack. It's kinda crazy around here these days!

I am certainly learning a lot at the hospital, though I would like the Emergency Department to do a better job triaging patients so that we don't have to admit people with musculoskeletal chest pain, and I would like patients to stop asking for IV narcotics for their chronic pain, and I would like families to treat each other nicely and stop fighting over their hospitalized parents.

Yesterday all of the interns went to a workshop all day instead of to our normal rotations, which was a TON of fun. Mostly because we all got a chance to talk to each other, which is rare as we are scattered throughout the hospital, and also because it was on our personality type and how to interact with others at work, and the facilitator was really good. And especially because I got to leave the hospital at 4 PM instead of 6!

Off to bed. I've got to sleep when I can! Still catching up from my sleepless Saturday night...

Sunday, August 23, 2009


It has been the case in the last few weeks that Hilary has had to work a day (and, sometimes, a night) at the hospital on the weekend. Last weekend it was work all day Saturday. This weekend it was work overnight Friday into Saturday (during which hilary got exactly zero sleep), followed by work all day Sunday.

So Brynna, Jasper, and I have gotten into the habit of doing a mid-day picnic to the local park. Here are some pics from the last several times.

The spread.

The park has a pond with a fountain in the middle. At one edge is this gnarled, twisted old red maple. I wouldn't have been able to identify it, except that it has a plaque on it.

The pond has ducks, too.

After having a bite to eat and letting Jasper take a little swim, we often go over to the playground and spend some time on the swings. Brynna approves.

She approves of my hat, too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Don't worry, nothing's wrong. That's Brynna's new word. She repeated it while Miss A was reading her a story today, and then she started using it on her own when she dropped something!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Sentence. And Tools.

Tonight as we were going through Brynna's pre-bed routine, she crawled over to me, picked up my shirt, and then looked up at me and signed "more" directly followed by "milk." A two-word (sign) sentence!

So then we laid down together, and she nursed for about five seconds on each side, and then off she went again. Busy girl!

Earlier, she put her little wooden box under the windowsill and climbed up on it. Alex and I sort of want to congratulate her for her ingenuity, but mostly want to panic.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ow! (From Hilary This Time)

So, tonight was the night that the blueberry place is open til 7. So when I finished signing out patients to the overnight team just before 6, I called Alex to say that I just had one thing more to do and then I would come home and meet him and we could go off to the farm with Brynna.

The timing was going to be tight, so I finished my one task, then ran down the stairs and through the clinic to jump on my bike. I zoomed home, caught all the lights, and was on target for a personal best time from hospital to apartment. Then, turning the final corner and thinking "wow! I'm home even sooner than I expected! Nice!" I caught sight of some sand, swerved to avoid it, went careening into the curb, and got tossed on my head.

Luckily, I was wearing my helmet (I tell my patients to do it, so I always do it too), and it absorbed the impact with a nice satisfying crunch, so my temple got only a little bit scratched up and bruised. Without the helmet, I think we would have been heading directly back to the hospital for some suturing and possibly a CT scan. Once I woke up, that is. But thanks to the helmet, I didn't even see stars. I sat right up, cursed in a most unladylike manner, and limped the last 200 feet home.

Then I sent Alex and Brynna off to pick blueberries while I cleaned myself up.

My hands got the worst of it, with a bunch of skin ripped off in little patches all over (the hands were the only loose part until the impact jarred my feet free of the clip-in pedals). I skinned a knee, a hip, and an ankle, and I'm going to have a bruise on my head for a few days, too. Alex has very kindly been helping me open and carry things all evening.

Helmets, people. Wear 'em. I won't be back on my bike until I can get a new one, since they're done after they absorb an impact. This is one place where re-using is not the way to go! I'm hoping to run to the bike store tomorrow evening so I can ride on Sunday (I'm on call all day Saturday).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Little Climber

Yup, that's B standing on the radiator. Today she got her knee up on the windowsill, too.

So the window glass is always most of the way closed, as you can see in the photo, unless we are standing right there. B loves banging on the window and saying hello to the neighborhood!

We've also got an aerobics step set up in the middle of the room, and she's always climbing on and off of that. It seems to be helping her learn to get down from heights safely, as she now wipes out only rarely when getting off of a couch.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Brynna likes to do partner yoga, too!

She is definitely entering a big mimicking phase.

In other news, she can walk clear across the room now. "Mo!" for the cat at Miss A's is definitely her first word, as she starts yelling it loudly whenever she spots Moki. We saw several other cats on our walk tonight, and they were all greeted with loud shrieks of "Mo! Mo! Mo!" Then again, "Mo" showed up randomly for "Jasper," "that house over there," "those pretty flowers," and "other baby in carriage," so her taxonomic system is still a work in progress. Miss A thinks that Brynna said a differently inflected "mo" along with signing the word "more" today. And B can now be prompted to say "mama" though I don't really think she's meaning me specifically yet. Soon, though. "M" is definitely the sound of the moment.

Boxes, especially those with lids, are utterly enchanting. We're starting to talk about "in" and "out" and "open" and "closed" as we play with her. And she is still transfixed by anything electronic. This week, the big hit is the buttons on the clock radio in the playroom. The best part is when she happens to hit the "sleep" button and the radio comes on. It's like magic! She hasn't figured out that that corresponds to one particular button (yet).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Baby Yoga

Jasper has taught Brynna to do Downward-Facing Dog Pose:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Berry Baby

It is blueberry season here in New Hampshire, and we have certainly been doing our share to support the local farm economy. In addition to buying fruit at the farmers' market, we've also gone twice to a pick-your-own orchard and berry patch just north of town. They are open until 7 one night a week, and it makes for a pleasant evening outing.

B enjoys hanging out in her Ergo, accepting bitten-in-half blueberries from us every so often.

Here she is signing "more"!

Once we collect a couple of big colanders full of blueberries, we head up to the raspberry patch, which is on its last legs but still producing a bit. The raspberry bushes grow closer together, forming tight rows, so we feel comfortable letting Brynna out to roam.

She then heads off like a shot...

Because there are berries to be snatched!


Tonight B spent the whole drive home thrusting her little hand up above her head, over the back of her carseat, demanding one blueberry at a time from our stash in the front seat. She would then chortle maniacally and stuff the berry in her mouth before insisting (loudly!) on another one. It's hard to get her to eat anything else these days—I think she might turn into a giant blueberry soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


We went to meet Brynna's new doctor today. B was utterly charming, toddling over to say hello, offering up her giraffe toy, and otherwise demonstrating all of her developmental milestones with a smile. The doctor pronounced Brynna "perfect." We agree!

B is coming down on the growth curve a bit, which is totally expected as we aren't too big in this here Moose Family. She's now about 50% for weight (not quite 20 pounds) and 75% for height. I think she just—by a quarter inch—counts as having outgrown her infant seat, and so now we'll change her into the larger "convertible" seat that arrived today! She'll stay rear-facing for awhile, though, as that is safer.

Brynna did need shots today, though. She had four, two in each chubby little thigh. In this office, they get four nurses to come in and do them all simultaneously to shorten the torment. Little B was, of course, still completely enraged, transitioning quickly from loud shrieking to the silent scream. Poor sweetie. Four shots today means only one at her 15 month appointment, though.

We do need to take her soon to get some blood drawn to check her hemoglobin (to make sure she's been getting enough iron) and her lead level (since we have been living in old houses). Yikes! Not looking forward to that one, either...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

1st Birthday

So, last month we received this (totally unsolicited) catalog in the mail, so that we could appropriately prepare for Brynna's 1st birthday. By buying lots of pink, frilly, environmentally wasteful stuff:

Including, apparently, a pink throne upon which Brynna could sit to open her presents. And lots of princess accessories.

Surely scarring Brynna for life, we refused to throw a fancy party for someone who wouldn't notice. (Or to buy a throne for someone who doesn't sit anywhere for longer than a few seconds, unless there are blueberries involved.) My mom made fabulous angel food cupcakes, and we got some blueberries and cream, and there were some presents, which were spread out over several days to allow maximum enjoyment of ribbons and torn-up paper. Sorry, folks, no throne pictures here! Just a happy first birthday girl, hanging out with her family:

Sampling the whipped cream:

First encounter with a birthday candle:

Supervising the candle-blowing-outing (Papa helped):

And working on her blueberry shortcake:

As one would expect from a one year old, Brynna had at least as much fun with the wrapping as with her presents.

What is in this bag?

How about this box?

Fabulous wrapping from MJ and Bob...

More wrapping! I can't wait to see what's inside!

Hmm. Aunt Katherine sure has some cool stripey paper!

It's a new book!

And a magnet!

Getting started early with the family habit of reading on the go...

Look! I got a package in the mail from Auntie Beth!

What could she have put in here for me?

It's a cute bag! Gotta find a way to carry it while I'm on the go...

A fascinating box from Aunt Donna:

And the Red Sox cap that was inside:

Dickie sent me a toy almost as big as I am! Hello, Elmo!

A lovely time was had by all. It's hard to believe how far Brynna has come in a year! She now stands up and walks (staggers) by herself, has two bottom teeth, signs "milk," "more," "all done," and "eat," says "Mo!" at daycare in such a way that she might actually be naming Moki the cat (Jasper is very insulted), climbs on and off low steps, and is fascinated by books, balls, and by putting things into boxes and taking them out again. Go, little B!