Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Gabriel’s First Christmas  0

Posted on December 30th, 2007. About Baby Dodds.

We were fortunate enough to be able to take Gabriel to Texas to meet my family for Christmas – three great-grandparents, three great-aunts, two great-uncles, and five cousins. Traveling with a baby is exhausting, but Gabriel lived up to his name and was a real angel during the trip. He was so good on both the flight to Houston and the flight back to Seattle, sleeping most of the way on his daddy’s lap, and being sweet and cuddly the rest of the time. He laughed and cooed when his relatives held him and kept us in stitches with his games and his cute looks he gave us.

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He received some terrific and useful presents on his first Christmas. Above is a photo of him with his first baby toothbrush and toothpaste! Other favorites – classics, such as a Little Tikes piano, a set of blocks, and a Glow Worm, and new toys, like his animal train from BG.

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He also has a lot more hair now, although it’s so lightly colored it is difficult to appreciate in photographs. The blue eyes are still prominent and inquisitive!

He is such a joy to have as a son – everything for which I could have hoped, times a hundred. And he’s growing so fast! Evan is right, though – only five and a half months have passed, and we have so much to await as he becomes more communicative, more mobile, learns to give kisses, learns to read…

I finally finish The Thorn Birds  0

Posted on December 29th, 2007. About Books.

About a month ago, I reorganized my bookcases and came to the startling realization that there are many books sitting on the shelves that are about 1/4 to 1/3-read by me. For whatever reason – I get bored, or life gets in the way – I have this nasty habit of reading the first part of a book, putting it down, and never returning to it. I have two New Year’s resolutions this year – the first, to start running again (a pretty common one), and the second, to finish the partially-finished books on my shelves. I resolved to progress towards the second, er, resolution, a little earlier than the start of 2008, and began by returning to The Thorn Birds by: Colleen McCullough.

I remember my mother, and every other adult woman I knew in the 1980s, glued to the tv during the airing of the mini-series. Then, during the summer of 2000, my roommate in Montana, Nicole, bought the book at a second-hand bookshop, Quarter Moon Books. For several days, Nicole remained in the apartment each afternoon and evening after work, reading The Thorn Birds. As fewer pages remained at the book’s end, the intensity of Nicole’s attention grew. By the final day, every time I saw her reading the book, tears were streaming down her face, and she appeared emotionally wrenched over this story. When she finished, she needed to be alone for a brief time. She then gave me the book to read “when [I] feel like reading it.” A year ago, the time arrived, and I was instantly captivated by the story of Meggie Cleary, her journey from New Zealand to Australia, the harsh unfairness of her childhood, and her growing love for the man she can never have. Then, I quit reading it. When I picked it back up this month, I was even more intrigued by the tale. When taking the shuttle from UW Medical Center to Harborview one afternoon, I was crying as I read when the bus arrived, and I had to spend minutes composing myself before returning to work.

Today, I finally finished to book. I was a little disappointed by the ending, to be honest. I had higher expectations, and felt the story should have concluded several years earlier than it did. However, this aside, it was a very satisfying novel, and I am sad (but relieved) to have finished it. It’s one of those experiences that had me online last week, reserving the mini-series (all 400-plus minutes) through the library. Imagine my delight when my mother gave me the mini-series on DVD for Christmas this year! Now that I have a baby, I will not be able to watch it straight through while sobbing in front of the tv, but my grief and catharsis can extend over weeks, if necessary. After all, it took a year to finish the book.

Kids and Money  1

Posted on December 22nd, 2007. About Money, Ramblings.

Evan and I frequently discuss how we are going to teach Little G and his future siblings fiscal responsibility. Goodness knows, in this era we cannot depend on the government to set a good example. I recently became acquainted with the Seattle-based company, Moonjar, and liked what I saw. The company creates toys and books designed to teach children how to properly manage money. I love it!

Here is their bank for children (subdivided into three sections – for spending, saving, and giving):

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It’s a simple, but brilliant idea. I got one of these for my honorary niece, four-year-old Emilyanne, and I hope that she will put it to good use. When she makes her first million in the market at 16 after becoming a silver-preferred donor to the local symphony, I’ll write another review of the product. I look forward to teaching Gabriel with toys such as this very soon!

G is five months old!  0

Posted on December 18th, 2007. About Baby Dodds.

The fifth month was a big one for Little G – on several occasions we discovered him sleeping belly-down in his crib (and once with a big crease across his face from the fold in the fitted sheet), he got his two bottom central incisors, and he began consistently wearing 6-9 month clothes. His hair has grown, although it is still so lightly colored it’s not always apparent. He also celebrated his first Thanksgiving, and he met Santa the very next day!

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He saw snow for the first time and made his first snow angel.

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The pediatrician also told us we could start rice cereal between four and six months, which we did, after receiving his very nifty dark wooden high chair from his grandmother, BG. However, three days later, I panicked and thought it was too early to have him on solids, since he developed a diaper rash. Of course, then he got his two teeth a few days after that, so I likely was misinformed in the cause-effect relationship.

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Most significantly, I’m crazier about him now than I was a month ago, which I did not think was possible. He is the sweetest thing I’ve ever encountered. I had a call night last week during which I only admitted one patient in the evening, and then actually got a good night’s sleep. And yet, it was so sad, because I could not be home to put him to bed that night. I hate missing moments like that, despite knowing how many moments I actually am fortunate enough to experience. Today, just being at work (which was a really good day!) left me feeling so sad because I missed him so much. I’m so looking forward to an upcoming vacation with my family!

During his sixth month, I predict he will go back on rice cereal (and do well – he was actually helping to shovel the stuff into his mouth when we initially started it), and he will gain his two top central incisors. His hair will grow more and continue to be light red. He may even learn to sit independently, although at this point he’d rather stand or lie on his back, but doesn’t care much for sitting supported. He will travel to Texas and will meet two of his three great-grandmothers, one of his two great-grandfathers, three great-aunts, two great-uncles, and six cousins. Quite a few milestones there, Little G! You’re becoming a Big G so fast – and I’m so very proud of you.

Dan Fogelberg dies  0

Posted on December 17th, 2007. About News and Politics, Ramblings.

I was stunned to learn this morning that Dan Fogelberg had passed away at the age of 56. I remember his name coming up when I was in college, and I said, “I always loved his song about his father, ‘The Leader of the Band.’” My roommate chimed in with, “I always liked ‘Another Auld Lang Syne.’” Several months later, when I played my Dan Fogelberg CD while I was living in Montana, my roommate there asked, “Do you have ‘Run for the Roses’? That’s my favorite Dan Fogelberg song.” And even later, when I was in medical school, a friend was at my apartment, picked up my CD, and said, “Oh, I didn’t know Dan Fogelberg sang ‘Longer’! I love that song.” I think many Americans in their late 20s or older remember his voice on the radio in the 1980s and are surprised by how many songs are his.

Fogelberg lost a battle to prostate cancer at a young age. I am disappointed that I will never see him perform, but can thank him for the years of music that accompanied our summer morning trips to swim team practice and across the country on adventures.

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