Sunday, June 14, 2015

It's HERE... It's Really Here

I can't believe I get to finally type that residency for Robert is DONE!  I mean technically speaking he has like 5 days left; oh yeah and that little thing called a fellowship, but for real IT'S DONE! I don't think I've anticipated a week like this since our wedding.  I mean the kid's births were all very exciting but I kind of felt like it was suppose to feel the way it did. I mean, they were coming whether we were ready or not.  But much like our wedding, I have planned and dreamed of this day for so long.  I've dieted to fit into the dress.  I've counted RSVP's.  I've bought the special jewelry and practiced all of the important stuff; like my make-up and hair.  Darn it, I WILL like these pictures if it's the last thing I do!!! I've cried because dear friends and family couldn't come for moral support.  Seriously, it's totally like our wedding day.... only maybe (just maybe) more important.

I look back on all of the things we've given up to be on the journey and how far Robert has had come to do the one job in this world that makes him whole. To think that we are on the brink of all of those dreams coming true.  To think of all of those years it's taken for him to finally get to do it... it's really AMAZING.  Medicine is journey that most don't understand.  Even those friends and family members that offer their best and sincerest wishes and sympathies still don't always "get it".  My dad and I have this conversation often..."Why? Why doesn't the average person understand? Why can't the average person be taught how medicine works?"  The short answer... Because it goes against everything you believe and want as an adult.  Why would anyone want to work 80+ hours (that's the low end average ya'll) a week just to miss soccer games, spelling bees, weddings, graduations, holidays, first day's of school, first steps (my list is long... VERY LONG)? Why would anyone work for less than $5.00/hr when their job is more demanding mentally and physically than the average person? Why would anyone want to not be able to pay the bills with a terminal degree; with the title of DOCTOR?  Why on god's green earth would someone go into MASSIVE debt to be worked like a dog, and not even be allowed to start their income earning years until they were in their 30's (at the earliest ya'll)? Because someone has to "fix"people.  Someone has to heal the injured and cure the ill.  Against common knowledge these residents aren't in school anymore.  They graduated FIVE years ago (Ortho Residents anyhow).  They are "in training", but what exactly does that mean?  Well, it's their job! They manage, treat, operate and heal everyday.  They ARE doctors and have been since they graduated from medical school.  As you can imagine, it rubs many of us "Doctor Wife's" the wrong way when you ask "how much more school does your husband have?" or some line about "what would a doctor think about...".  It's enough to scream " HE IS A DOCTOR" but that's tacky so most of bite our tongue and shake our heads.  Truth is even though yes they have been "training" (learning) all these years, they have also been doctoring the injured and ill.  By Wednesdays they have worked more hours than the average American does in a week.  They have seen the worst in people (both the ill and those they work with after a 36 hour call). They have saved lives and at minimum made those they have come in contact with quite a bit better.  They HAVE become someone's HERO.  So, Friday night as the sun sets over the Oak Hill's Country Club in San Antonio Texas, a whole room of us will celebrate six shining hero's.  Six incredible people, who WILL make medicine and those they treat better.  On Friday night, I get to see my hero graduate his very last graduation (I mean I've been there for all the rest, why stop now).  And DARN IT... I WILL like the family picture we take (maybe I can find an old high school graduation picture.... Imagine how far we've come).  I'm so very proud of my husband......

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Good For the Soul

What's good for my soul is good for my family....

Let's get real, I'm a true, down to the bone, Texan.  I choose to wear flip flops and boots over heels. I love the outdoors. Red, White and Blue soar through my blood. A good Texas country love song is the best song on the radio. Driving through the hills and by the lake is a favorite past time. And Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes make the best bouquet. 

Today was good for my soul and the memories we made will last a lifetime. Nikki found this "little" field of bluebonnets and thankfully her daughter had a soccer game near it. Robert, the kids and I jumped in the car and drove up. This field was far from little and can only be described as AMAZING. We threw on our boots and simply played in the field for an hour. And honestly it wasn't enough time!! See you need a certain type of rain to get these kinds of wildflowers to bloom and Texas has actually had that this year. They are so abundant and beautiful! My kids learned to only pick up the ones already on the ground and that cowboy boots protect you from fire ants (but only your feet)! We listened to Pat Green and Aaron Watson. We drove the hill country. We grabbed a Storm's Burger (and coke) and headed home to cheer on the Longhorn (Spieth) in The Master's. 

Today, my friends, was good for the soul!! Good for my family's soul. Good for Texas! 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

How We've Survived It All....

Well, as usual it's been over a year since I last logged a new post.  I swear I will try harder.  Most of the time I have a great blog planned in my head, at MIDNIGHT!!! Not exactly great timing, for the mom that LOVES to sleep.

This week was Spring Break here in SATX!! Something many of us dread.  You see the 5 hours Tuesday through Friday that my kids go to pre-school are typically the only hours away from them; especially when Robert is on a rough rotation.  I love them, but man we all need the break occasionally.  I planned Spring Break to a T this year.  Everyday had an activity and the one day that did I was blessed to have a friend invite me to tag along on their activity. About halfway through the week it hit me... this is how we survived it all!!!

This week also marked 100 days (97 days now) until Robert's Graduation from residency! I can't believe it's almost over.  There is a saying in the medical spouse community, "The days are long, but the years are short".  It's so true.  The days are long; many reaching many more hours than a "day" and while the years are long in the beginning, it's amazing how short they can be.  Just 5 short years ago we were planning a medical school graduation (and a new baby).  We were trying to figure out how life would fall into place.  How would we ever be able to survive a 100+ hour work week?  What would residency life look like?  Turns out we are in fact capable of a 100+ work week, however, they are far from my favorite.  We would in fact be able to endure the craziness of residency and all the ups and downs that training for this many years brings.  It hasn't always been easy and it hasn't always been fun, but over all it has been a great experience.  Robert and I grew, watched others grow, and brought two amazing children into this world, therefore I wouldn't have changed these years (short or long) for the world. My advice for anyone following the same route.... It's easy really... FAMILY, FRIENDS and KEEP BUSY!!! Without any of those things I wouldn't have survived.  I constantly keep my family busy with things to do.  There are very few days where there is NOTHING to do.  I search for coupons and groupons and buy passes when they are on sale, so we can have plenty to do while Robert is on rough rotations.  And thank goodness that we live in a super family friendly city, where there is always a place for a child to play.  Thankfully we live in a place where lots of spouses are holding down the fort while their other half spends countless hours at work.  I never really feel alone in my journey.  And if it weren't for family and friends, I would have lost my mind long ago.  They have truly kept me going and I'm blessed to have all of them in my life.

And so we SURVIVED.... another spring break, another day, another year

Monday, December 2, 2013

What It's All About

So I guess I'm really bad at this... I swear I'm trying.

I really want to share a family story with ya'll today.  Today I enjoyed the gifts of raising my children to the best of my abilities.  I enjoyed the gifts of being a stay at home mom and I want to share them with all of you.

Robert only had to work the morning today, which is such a rare treat.  For those of you who don't know or understand the whole residency world, we get so little time with him.  This is the gifts of being a stay at home mom.  I was able to drop all of that "important" stuff, rearrange our day and spend it with daddy.  I'm truly greatful that I get to have the opportunity to stay at home with my kids; it's what I've always wanted to do.  Ok back to the story.... we went out for lunch to Johnny Carino's and there sat the Salvation Army Angel tree. Not unlike the ones that you see at the mall.  B, who has had a few rough days recently(ie; mommy is ready to strangle the poor kid), immediately went to the tree and said "mommy look at the angels".  She followed it by asking why there were angels on the tree.  I could have just brushed her off and maybe a year ago I would have, but I thought she could handle the truth and said "those angels all have names of boys and girls on them"... the look of confusion set in.... I proceeded to tell her that "sometimes mommy's and daddy's need some help and that these families on the tree needed help with Christmas this year."  She looked at me with her big brown eyes and said "mommy can we get an angel?" As I try not to break completely down; because we know I cry over EVERYTHING, I muster "of course sweetie, let's look and find the one you want".  The hostess bends down with us and we start reading all about these children; all about these children that aren't going to have presents under the Christmas tree this year without somebody's big heart.  Meanwhile, Robert and Rob had already sat down and we read at least a dozen cards.  We finally settled on a 3 year old girl whose wish list consisted of clothes and a riding toy.  We took off her angel card, gave the hostess the information, and decided that during nap time B and I would go Target and shop for our angel and drop the presents back off at the restaurant.  3:30pm rolled around.... off to Target we went.  Again mommy trying to hold her composure through the whole trip.  We grabbed a coffee (ok mommy did B had chocolate milk), a cookie, and a cart and got to work.  I let B do all the shopping.  She chose bright red sparkly shoes, pink PJ's, princess panties, and a few tops and pants.... oh and a Princess Scooter (which of course she "has to have" now).  I even let her swipe the credit card, so she got to "pay".  I really wanted her to understand that she was making a difference in someone's Christmas.  We talked a little bit more about helping others and how proud I was of her.  We made it back to the restaurant to drop off the presents.  By this time there were two new hostesses and they just smiled at her as she walked in with this red bag bigger than she is.  The hostess that was there from earlier in the day had passed by with a HUGE smile and said "oh she came back" and proceeded to tell the other hostesses about this morning.  As we drove away she said "mommy can we do it again"?  (we are working on that whole understanding concept).  I told her every year we could come to Johnny Carino's and pick an angel off the tree and mommy and her would go to Target and go shop for our angel together, if she wanted.  She nodded in agreement.

I'm not sure she fully understands what we did today.  I do know she understands that she was "helping".  Not once did she ever complain that there wasn't anything in the cart for her (a fear I had to be completely honest... I mean she is only 3).

The Christmas Spirit and Magic has defiantly hit the Girling house early this year.  I'm incredibly greatful my husband understands and didn't even once give me the "are you crazy" look (or speech). I'm greatful we have the ability to adopt an angel from the tree.  I'm greatful we don't have to worry about where we will get the money to buy food, clothes.... much less Christmas presents.  I kissed both of the kids for bed knowing all of our needs are taken care of; a gift that not everyone has.

I believe it was my dad (when I was just a little girl in gymnastics at one of our "help the community"events) that said.... "you should always do what you can to better your community because  there is always someone out there trying to destroy it".  To this day I do activities within the community to better it in some shape or fashion and today my daughter showed that she listens and watches me as I do it.  I only hope that I can teach her how to continue to make the community she lives in a better place.

Merry Christmas.... Happy Holidays....... Whatever you chose to celebrate this time of the year..... remember what it is you celebrate and remember that our world works at it's finest when people reach others.... help others... and believe.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

So I HATE trauma and that happens to be the rotation I feel like we are stuck on in the Girling Family. It's about 45 min before my alarm clock goes off and I haven't seen or even talked to Robert since Monday at 10pm, which means that he'll need some (ok 5 hours) of sleep when he gets home and every other Wednesday that he's been post call he's been in the hospital well into the afternoon. Basically WHY am I not using this time to sleep?!?! Needless to say I'll need a cup of coffee while I drive the kids to school today!!

 I want to talk about something that is kind of hot in the news right know... NO it's NOT the government shut down so you can keep reading.  Yesterday, I read on a Facebook post from our local news station, that a school in Michigan is banning Kindergartner's from playing tag, playing chase and running in "packs" because of the inherent danger that these activities posses.... HUH????? Running and playing tag is dangerous? I of course posted this on my page and got a few good responses.  One of which being "well maybe for the older kids but come on Kindergartner's are 5 & 6".  In case you weren't following me, my response was "don't ban it at all".  School yard games teaches kids things that aren't taught in the classroom.  Naturally a middle school or high school kid is going to drop the idea of playing chase (well that kind of chase anyhow, by that age it's all about "chasing" the opposite sex).  It's no longer a "cool" game to play.  And that isn't said out loud by some adult or some teacher or some administrator... it just HAPPENS.  The argument of that is "well until it does it COULD be dangerous".  Well yes but heck have you met me, walking across the street COULD be dangerous for me.  In fact look at all the unspeakably, disgusting things that have happened in schools in the past few decades... heck going to school COULD be dangerous.  Should we just STOP sending our kids.  And some people have decided yes maybe we should.  I grew up in the public school system (along with my  husband who, oh yeah, happens to be an orthopedic surgeon) and I have a master's degree (and secretly intend on another)... I'd like for my children to at least give it shot but things are getting out of hand even for this girl.  If you took away everything DANGEROUS out there you'd be missing a huge teaching point.  Those DANGEROUS games of tag taught those kids something.  It might have taught them to not play with bullies, or how to walk away from a situation they didn't like, or how to play cooperatively, problem solving skills... my list could go on but you get the picture.  Why would we want to take those lessons away from the next generation of adults (because lets face it we have to teach kids how to be adults and you and I use those tools on a daily basis)? And yet we wonder why there is a generation that thinks it's ok to go live with mommy and daddy for years on end after college.

So I get home last night and watched the news and found that this poor school in Michigan, who I had bashed all afternoon, wasn't in fact the dumbest thing I would hear.  A Rhode Island school district is banning all "balls, tag, and cartwheeling" during recess for the SAME reason!!!! I just wanted to throw my face in the pillow and scream!!!! All because you don't want to get sued.  Maybe that's where the conversation should start.  Let's not force a change in childhood games and growth but rather somewhere else.  Do we really need to support frivolous lawsuits?  If they wouldn't win people wouldn't do it again.  Leave my kids' childhood ALONE! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Ok so first off I PROMISE to get a Disney and Nation's TRI recap up soon.  Need to let the wounds heal a little before airing the dirty laundry, ya know?! This blog post is going to be about FOOD!!!! Shocker I know!!!

We all know that I like to have fun with couponing and getting the "best" deals.  This past weekend when reading the recaps on the couponing blogs, many posted about how great Sprouts was this week and that if you where going to try it, now might be a good time.  There just so happens to be a Sprouts about a mile from the kids school so I decided that I'd give it a whirl!! And I'm so glad I did!!! There were LOTS of $.88/LBS fresh fruits and veggies and LOTS of BOGO FREE items as well.  I decided I would try to get everything that I could see us liking and as close to 1 LBS as possible, just to see how much I would be spending and to see how much food I'd actually come away with.  This is what I got in terms of FRESH fruits and vegetables....

  • 1 LBS Organic Carrots 
  • Two 5oz Tubs of Lettuce (one mixed greens and one arugula)
  • .85 LBS Black Plums 
  • .86 LBS Broccoli Crowns 
  • 2 LARGE Cucumbers 
  • 1 Head of Garlic 
  • 4.35 LBS Potatoes 
  • 1.27 LBS Green Seedless Grapes 
  • 3 Hass Avocados 
  • 1.58 LBS Red Delicious Apples 
  • 1.34 LBS Sweet Potatoes 
  • .69 LBS Valencia Oranges 

That's a TON of produce kids!! And because Sprouts takes coupons I was able to use a $1 off 2 ($1/2) EarthBound Farm Produce, making my total a whopping $15.52.  No EXCUSE kids to NOT be buying fresh fruits and veggies.  Heck I'm not even sure what I'm making with all of this!!!  

I had some other good deals... like frozen organic blueberries in the BOGO FREE sale and tomato pasta sauce in the BOGO FREE sale.  All in all I spent $25 and came home with a truck full (ok that statement might be a bit of a stretch).  

Here are some of the GREAT deals at Sprout this week....
  • $.68 Hass Avocados 
  • BOGO FREE EarthBound Farm Organic Farm Salads 
  • $.68/LBS Russet Potatoes, Yellow onions, White Onions or Sweet Onions
  • $.88/LBS Roma or Beefsteak Tomatoes 
  • 2 for $1 Cucumbers, Red Bell Peppers or Green Bell Peppers
  • $.88/LBS Celery, Romaine, Red or Green Leaf Lettuce 
  • $.88/LBS Bartlett Pears, Gala or Red Delicious Apples 
  • $.88/LBS Black or Red Plums 
  • BOGO FREE Fage Greek Yogurt 
  • BOGO FREE Muir Glen Organic Pasta Sauce 
  • BOGO FREE Green Valley Pecan Halves or Pieces
  • BOGO FREE Earthbound Farm Frozen Organic Fruit 
  • BOGO FREE Annie's Homegrown Organic Snack Mix (my kids like these)
  • BOGO FREE Good Health Veggie Stix or Chips 
  • BOGO FREE POM Wonderful Juice (yes that FABULOUS Smoothie is made with this)
  • BOGO FREE Wholly Guacamole and Salsa (just in case you don't have time to make homemade with all of those other cheap items)
So on top of all of those items, Sprouts has monthly deals they put out in their stores and BONUS there are in store coupons in the flier!! WAHOO!!! 

Now, when at the cashier lane (UGH famous last words), I found a magazine (I know SHOCKER) and just HAD TO HAVE it (SIGH).  But after reading through it I learned just a little bit on freezing food items.  I mean lets face it we all know we can freeze casseroles and bread products but what else?! Well a lot actually!!! Check it out...
  • Asparagus 
    • It is recommended that you blanch them first so that they don't become tough
  • Bell Peppers
    • You want to discard of the stems, ribs and seeds and then cut or dice them first 
  • Berries 
    • Well DUH.... many find that if you freeze on a cookie sheet first they "stick" less 
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower
    • It is recommended that you cut them into florets first and then you blanch them before freezing
  • Corn
    • Can be frozen whole or cut but needs to be blanched first and do note that you will lose some sweetness in flavor (NOTHING BEATS FRESH)
  • Melons and Peaches
    • In order to keep it's color dissolve a couple vitamin C tablets in a bowl of water.  Then remove the rind and scoop out seeds and cut melon into chunks.  Then dip into water, drain and then freeze. 
  • Tomatoes 
    • You can freeze these whole or blanch, peel and then chop.
  • Cheese 
    • Hard and semi hard cheese (cheddar, swiss, provolone, etc) freeze better.
    • It's not recommended to freeze already shredded cheese
    • Wrap in wax paper, then plastic wrap, and then in a ziplock
It's not recommended to freeze cucumbers, green beans, zucchini or squash.

Guess it's time to go wash some yummy produce!!! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hard Day

Even the most peppy and optimistic people have hard days.  I find those hard days to be really really hard.  And I guess I'm having one.

First of all, today was weigh in day and I did not lose 1 single pound this week (imagine throwing hands in air and hitting thigh with a big sigh).  I know I have to be gaining muscle and I keep trying to tell myself when I'm trying to lose 1-2 pounds a week and working out as long and as hard as I do; it's bound to happen at some point.  But I've been following my points and my workout plan has been spot on.  So I'm frustrated to say the least.

Second, I think I'm coming down with a cold.  Who the HECK gets a cold in August?!  And of course it would never fail because vacation starts on Wednesday.  You know why would I ever want to feel good on vacation?!

Third, it's about that time of the rotation change where I start trying to get ready for a bad rotation.  For those new to my life.  Robert switches rotations every 60 days.  Some rotations are good and some beyond SUCK.  Trauma and Pedi have to be the two hardest rotations in the program. This year, because Robert is a 4th year resident he has to do two rotations (4 months back to back) in pedi and it just so happens he has trauma for the rotation before it and will have to do a total of two rotations of trauma.  Meaning we have a REALLY difficult year ahead.  Not to mention fellowship applications and interviews and match.  Basically, it's the last week on the current rotation (which has been fantastic), so reality is setting in.  Trauma starts September 1st and Pedi ends February 28th.  It's going to be a long six months.  It does bring challenges to my challenge of losing weight.  We tend to eat out a lot when he's on trauma.  The last thing I want to do is cook when I only get two hours with him.  When he's at the hospital I either tend to not eat enough, of course sending my body into "hoarding" mode, or I eat things like take out pizza and candy.  The stress of knowing I'm already not losing weight and the fact that it's about to get harder is weighing on me.  I know there are those of you out there are going to say "then what and why are you doing it? Do you really need to lose the weight?"  Truth I do really need to lose the weight.  My knee has been getting worse every year older I get and every pound I have.  And I told myself I would do this and I'M GOING TO.

Fourth, I haven't been able to hit my activity monitor goals this week.  So the monitor sets up a 12 week challenge and it's divided into 4 weeks.  After every 4 weeks the challenge adds an extra point to your "goal" for the day to earn.  So this week (and until week 8) my goal is to earn 7 activity points a day and I've really only been earning 6.  I was doing so well with my original goal of 6 activity points and now I feel I need to step up the game, but where?  Evaluation needed!

Lastly, planning how to lose weight on vacation.  We always plan vacation time (in the hospital that means you take the whole week of whether you had planned on it or not) prior to a trauma rotation.  I guess it's my compensation present for what's to come!! So next week we are going to Disneyland!! I'm so excited.  Last time we went to Disneyland I was pregnant with Brittany and there was a National College Football game on the line (ok we all know how that went).  But I've been on many of Disney vacations, and if there is one thing I know is that I WILL NOT be losing any weight!!! So plan on some posts of the challenges of losing weight while away from your normal routine.  We'll see if I can do it!!

On another note.... I found a FANTASTIC website that has Weight Watcher points with all the most popular restraurants on it!!! It's  It's fantastic!!! They have an app but I've haven't bit the bullet and bought it yet.  But if you are out there following WW then this is a site you should bookmark NOW!