So These Family Letters are where the Zoo of my life really comes out, Read on:
Well, our summer break has come to an end. We spent it far busier than intended but that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy it and amazingly enough, we didn’t accomplish all we would have liked to, either.
Brendan just finished orientation week of his residency program and this week he’ll jump right into a surgery rotation! In some ways the next three years will be quite similar to the 3rd and 4th years of med school. He’ll still rotate through different fields of medicine, however, now they ALL pertain to what he will be doing as a family practitioner. That said, the surgery month can be done via the clinical or the practical and that decision is left to the resident. Most family practice residents choose the clinical because they generally don’t perform a lot of surgeries although they could and can (well are certified). In clinic, he’ll be seeing patients pre and post surgery. OR he can select to participate in some of the surgeries (such as appendix or gall bladder removal). Because Brendan is interested in some global health work where he will potentially be the surgeon, the OBGYN, the pediatrician, the hospitalist, and most everything else in addition to the family practitioner, he is opting for a little more practical experience and a little less clinical so when the necessity to perform an appendix surgery arises he can take it on. Brendan gets started this week and enjoys the 4th of July weekend (also his birthday—the 4th) on call at the hospital! Happy 4th and Happy Birthday! He’s on call Saturday (which means he goes in at 8am) and post call on Sunday (which means he’ll be home around 12noon—for future reference call is always 24 hour call but they have to round on patients the following morning, so they aren’t home until after rounds are over) So he’ll miss church and spend the rest of the day sleeping. Fortunately he has Monday—the 5th—off! I don’t know how that worked out to get one of the first official 5 days of residency off, but I’m not complaining either!
The Elephant is busy, busy, busy, and fairly exhausting. When he gets bored (which is frequently) he pesters myself or The Giraffe, so I try and pay attention so I know when to start a new activity, otherwise, The Elephant ends up in time out a whole lot. So, in trying to think of new activities, we’ve starting finger painting and water color painting (which he LOVES!) it’ll entertain for a solid 30 minutes and sometimes longer! He’s very creative and it’s been very fun to see how deliberate he is with his color choice and brush strokes. He started teaching me, “You see, Mommy, if you do it like this it makes that! That’s how you do it. And then you go like this, see!” Very cute. The Elephant is getting really good at thoughtful prayers and tonight’s was the best! He always blesses the food and for us to be healthy and he always prays for Jesus Christ. At the dinner prayer tonight he again prayed for Jesus Christ but this time he had two very specific, random requests, “please bless Jesus Christ can give us candy and please help Santa Claus when its Christmas!” I tried so hard not to laugh out loud (and failed ofcourse)! I have NO IDEA where he picked up the Santa Claus thing because we didn’t really dress it up last year. He sat on Santa’s lap at the Ward Christmas party but that was mostly so I could get a picture of the Santa costume I’d made for the ward! We just didn’t make a big deal of it (we will this year though!) It was so funny! Brendan and I were rolling and The Elephant and The Giraffe were doing the awkward laugh kids do when they don’t get why it’s funny but they think they should! Classic!
Today, I finally came up with a fairly accurate way to describe what it’s like to live with The Giraffe. Are you ready for this? Living with The Giraffe is like living with a very vocal, slightly violent, Curious George. The adorable monkey that the Man in the Yellow Hat would have strangled a long time ago had I been him. The kid completely lacks forethought EXCEPT when he’s weighing the known consequence (which I have just issued) for poor behavior verses doing the behavior again. You can see him calculating in his little 26 month old mind whether or not it is worth it and slowly, slyly concluding “You bet it is!” as a devious smile creeps across his ridiculously adorable face. That’s the only reason Curious George is still alive, you know, because he’s so dang cute. Same with The Giraffe. I kicked him (not literally) out of the kitchen after he ate some flour, scattered the papers from the counter onto the floor, played tennis with wisk for the KitchenAid and dumped out an entire bag of flat leaf spinach. I couldn’t set him anywhere without something destructive happening. He was allowed to come back in to eat, until he spilt the olive oil w/ pepper (that we dip focaccia bread in) all over the table and smeared it everywhere with his hands before Brendan and I could stop him. Now, truth be told, this kid is hilarious and not every day is quite like this…they all come with slight variations of the same, though.
The Ocelot is 5 months old! And she is so SO cute! I’m attaching pictures so you can see I speak the truth! For those of you who remember The Elephant as a baby and the talker/babbler that he was—The Ocelot is the same! She has a sound that we have coined “the pterodactyl” Yeah, you can imagine it, huh. She’s figured out how to do it while breathing in as well as out (crazy, eh?) so the sounds NEVER STOPS! In a few years we are going to instigate a “No Talking at the Table” Rule ( because between the three of them mealtime is INSANE!). The Ocelot has more hair then some 2 year olds! It’s getting so long, I can clip hairbows in it! She’s a good sleeper and has beautiful smiles and a nice hardy, man laugh!
I think that’s the update! Me? I’m still teaching in primary and regularly attending my bookclub. Those are the only intelligent things I do each week, but fortunately they both happen weekly! I’m working on a few different sewing and jewelry projects some paid and some for fun. I’m busy and tired but happy and healthy most days. With residency looming, I have the sensation of waiting in the roller coaster as it climbs…the thing about roller coasters, though, is that I actually enjoy them once we’re going! I hate the buildup: the line, the wait, the pending chaos, the screaming, and the click-click of the climb, but I love to be thrown through the air, whipped around, whirled, and hurtled! It’s such a thrill! Especially since I know that I’m so securely strapped I can’t breathe very deeply. I’m not going anywhere, even though I’m being flung everywhere. In the end, I’m glad I rode.
We hope all is well with the rest of you. Best wishes! We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at the Belnap Reunion in a couple weeks! I like to think that I’ll send out another of this before then, but I’m making no promises. ;)
Love to you all!
Whit, Brendan, The Elephant, The Giraffe, and The Ocelot