This has been a week of arrivals and departures around here. My parents came for their first visit since they officially moved out of their house, and it was really great to see them. They left from a long stint of cold gray rain in Chicago to arrive to our balmy autumn blue skies, so warm you don't need long sleeves and the sun shining bright. I tried to explain that we too just came off a long stretch of rainy weather but I don't think it really helped. We had a good time with them for a few days and heard all about the new house they are planning on buying (they have changed their minds about the other houses they made offers on) and let my dad work Grace up into a manic, gleeful frenzy with his mere presence and showed off Violet's new tricks of clapping and crawling and charming the pants off anyone she can.
Then I got to spend a couple hours with a dear friend who was visiting Dallas after moving away to Cincinnati this past summer. Our history together goes back to our college days and we're both mothers to toddlers now and married to physicians and she is so smart and thoughtful and interesting; it was a fun, refreshing time. We talked a bit about being in medicine and discussed how almost everyone we know now says if s/he could go back and do it over again, s/he would not choose to go to medical school. I don't know if it's just the stage of career all our friends are in (mostly still in residency or fellowship and thus miserable to some extent) or that most of our physician friends are parents now (and thus struggling with work/life balance in what can be a pretty unfriendly environment) or that many of our doctor friends are really conservative (we do live in Texas, after all) (and thus quaking in fear that health care reform is going to make medicine an even more problematic career than it already is). For our part, Rob and I are feeling sort of hopeful that SOMETHING will get done to start fixing our broken, broken healthcare system. Let's throw it all out and start over! I'm sure that will be totally fine, right?
Another brief, and not nearly so welcome, visitor was some kind of cold virus that has been plaguing Violet. Babies with stuffy noses are just so miserable. Poor little thing... She didn't have any fever or much else going on, and for that I am thankful. Now that it is flu season (and swine flu season too, apparently) I will admit to a bit of heightened watchfulness every time anyone comes down with a sniffle. Last week Grace got the H1N1 mist and a seasonal flu shot, and Violet got just the seasonal flu shot (along with polio and whatever else she was due for at her one-month-late 9-month check-up). Our pediatrician didn't have any H1N1 for babies so no decision to be made there. I keep thinking that now I should go get a flu shot and maybe an H1N1 one if they will give it to me, but that would probably involve me finding a doctor. Rob and I are kind of bad about having a primary care doctor (irony, yes), but soon we will be forced to because we have to get a doctor to "assess" us and fill out a form and give us a TB test (TB? why?) for the adoption paperwork.
And the departure of greatest import around here this week was Rob's this morning as he left for 6 days at the ACAAI meeting. Six days! What shall I doooooooo... I am so out of practice on the solo parenting gig. During most of residency, Rob was gone for ~30 hours every 4th day or so and only got 4 days off a month so I was much more accustomed to handling stuff on my own. I am so spoiled now, though; Rob does bathtime and bedtime for Grace every night and helps me cook dinner most evenings. He does a lot to keep our home together from a practical standpoint, but even more than that, I really like being with him and having him here is infinitely, infinitely better than having him away. So here are some of the things I will miss while he is gone...
- Showers: Well, maybe I will not actually go 6 days without showering but I'm not quite sure how I will manage it without him here. Grace will watch TV but Violet is not nearly as content to sit in the little bouncy seat on the bathroom floor as Grace was at that age. She usually ends up thrashing around and crying in protest at being restrained. Fun! Maybe I will be forced to consider the shower-while-baby-sleeps option? I hate using sleeping baby time to do boring stuff like that.
- Weekly Nap: I feel like I am doing really good at staying caught up on sleep these days, but I do take a glorious, restorative nap each weekend while Rob watches the girls.
- Running: I don't have a double stroller so I think I will be limited to walking with Grace in the stroller and Violet in the Ergo. Although now I am chuckling at the idea of trying to run with Violet on my back.
- Getting to Spend Time with the Person I Love Best in the Whole Wide World: Cheesy, but yeah.