Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Here we go...

Posting may be light this month. We'll have to see how it goes.

Never fear, to save time I already have Dylan's Halloween costume. And I have already scared her half to death with wholesome fall activities.

We did get regular, non-terrifying pumpkins that she is now obsessed with. She is also obsessed with Elmo, particularly Elmo diapers, and I brought her to tears the other day when I put a rocking-horse-or-something-equally-lame diaper on her and she realized it a few minutes later. It wasn't a tantrummy sort of thing, it was like she was just so sad. A third recent obsession is Poopy Bear. Luckily we have loads of Pooh Bear stuff from when Aaron went through a similar phase in college.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Corn mazes = not for small children

It's their stumpy little legs--makes the endless tromping through the corn less than fun.

Again with the stumpy little legs
Giant bouncy pillow
XXtreme hayride

Post-adoption by a local girl scout troop

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Quote of the day II

Three college age guys coming running around the corner

"What kind of dog is that?!"

"A Labradoodle?! Really? I have two and they don't anything like that!"

"He looks like that big monster guy...not Harry and the Hendersons...who was it?"

Kate tries to think of other monsters...Chewbacca? Um, Harry?

"Wait, I know, Snuffleupagus! Snuffy, right?"

Pause while Kate slowly realizes she has not told them dog's name yet.

That actually hasn't ever happened before.


One other amusing qute from today was when Dylan thanked her diaper. Just doing its job, is all, ma'am.


Today is corn maze day. Mama is excited. Aaron has actually already done this maze. For work actually. Don't ask.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Quote of the day

"Mommy sit down in trunk"

We do have a hatchback. But still...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday report

Today was good. I wasn't too disoriented and no one was mean to me, so that is about my definition of a good day right now. I worked ~11 hours, but I'm actually finding I don't mind that so much other than not liking to be on my feet that long. I got shoe inserts and supportive socks and they changed my attitude a good deal. Dylan has also gotten more used to having me be gone more often so she's not as skeptical of me when I come home in the evening and we're getting a lot of good time together. You will all have to tell me if my dire, stressed out posts are all on Mondays and Tuesdays when I change rotations or teams. You know we here at Bleisenblog are not good with change.

I know, I know, too much yakking, not enough Dylan pictures. And today was picture day too, so I had her in this cool stripey dress with stripey tights. So far just about no one besides me has ever taken a decent picture of her because she puts on her dead fish stare for cameras and you just need to log a certain (massive) number of shots to catch her not doing that, so we'll have to wait and see how they turn out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bleisenblog: Tips You Can Use

But how, you ask, do you relax after a long day of being badgered for not knowing stuff?

Well, first I recommend play doh. It is satisfyingly squishy if you need something to wail on, and you can make models of internal organs to study while you're at it!

Next, I recommend having a Relaxation TeePee that remains set up in your living room at all times. Everyone needs a private refuge. [ed note: "private" is loosely defined here]

Combining 1 & 2 will yield maximal results

Third, try having Snuffy sleep at your feet. Works every time. [Caution: if used improperly this leads to having Snuffy sleep diagonally across 2/3 of the bed and on top of all the blankets]

Speaking of refuges, your bed must be a place of calm and comfort. As Snuffy will tell you. For me, the addition of bars adds a feeling of safety and security.

Finally, shoveling chocolate chip cookies into one's gaping maw by the fistful never hurt anyone.

Don't thank me now, wait until you are reaping the benefits of your soothing, play doh encrusted teepee. You're welcome!

Monday, September 22, 2008


I know starting this part of medical school is disorienting for everyone, but it is hard to describe how confusing this is. I last studied most of the things I am expected to know at least three years ago. I only actually know a few of my classmates, so I don't know a lot of other people who are doing this also. Plus, most of them started three months ago so they're not quite as new at this. I am constantly running into my old classmates who are mostly well into residency, and it makes both them and me wonder what I could possibly have been doing in the interim while they have been through years of training (something about...research). Plus I am still revising my dissertation, although after this week that is getting put on hold for a while so I can focus on one thing at a time. This is the fifth week I have been doing this and in that time I have worked with at least 10, probably more like 15 doctors, all of whom have different expectations of me. Each afternoon I start wondering how much time I will get to spend with Dylan, and I never know if it will be 2-3 hours or just a whirlwind before bed. Next week that is going to change to not knowing if I will see her at all some days, which is not going to go over well. So. Try to be nice to me when I can't remember where I parked the car or what day it is because I am in a general state of confusion right now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Assorted thoughts

I found out Dylan's Candy Bar is named after a girl Dylan. Cool. People always ask if we had custom shirts made for her.


We walked into Target today and Dylan urgently announced "Daddy No Dylan Hit!" She yelled it a few more times. Then we were arrested.


Is it possible to make a smoke detector less sensitive? Because right now we have an "the oven is on" detector. Or possibly a pilot light detector.


Dylan is convinced, without any encouragement at all from us, that Pooh Bear is called Poopy Bear. Now that she thinks that though, who are we to correct her?


She now uses "my" correctly, although she appends "dylan" after it and "yes" after the object. For example: My Dylan Bear Bear, Yes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Menace to Public Health

Here is a tip: think twice before inviting your father to speak at your institution. Check out minute ~52:30.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Adventures in babysitting

Twice in the past two weeks Kate and I have gone out at night and left Dylan with two different sets of babysitters. Although all of the babysitters were related by blood, we did wonder what was going on at our house while we were gone. We didn't really want to go out and purchase a nanny cam, so we made one ourselves:

Sometimes Mr. Bear (or giant bear bear), needs to go in for a close-up when the babysitter is doing something particularly incriminating:

Snuffy will also get in the action. He style is more passive than Cinéma vérité:

Once we review the footage we'll share the good parts with you.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week 4

I keep having to resist the urge at school to point out how one situation or another resembles a) House b) Scrubs or c) ER. And I have already had the classic tv medical experience of leaving for the night and coming back in the morning to a totally clean empty room, having someone wonder aloud if/why the patient was moved in the night, only to find he had died three hours after we had left, which the audience figured out like five minutes ago. Not that that was funny, it just always happens.

In the mornings instead of packing all my stuff up in my backpack I pack all my various devices and papers into my white coat and then trudge around in it all day. I am slightly less disoriented than I was earlier in the week, but still pretty intimidated. Things I am not very functional at include: accessing all the different computer systems, performing physical exams on patients, using my pda, figuring out when to eat, presenting information about patients to the team I'm working with, knowing medical information, and knowing where I am in the hospital. I am functional at standing on my feet all day, but I don't like it.

Dylan was definitely out of sorts with me for a while, but she seems used to me being gone more now. I'm not sure how it's going to go when I am on rotations where I won't see her at all some days. I don't think either of us is going to be very happy about that. Aaron seems to be having no trouble taking on a lot of the household things I had been doing. So now the trick is to see exactly how little I can do around the house before he catches on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Still happy to have power

Dylan now says thank you after every single thing you say to her that might possibly require a thanks. I wonder how long saying thank you at all will last? She's still saying "Dylan fine" instead of no thank you though, which cracks me up every time.


Being in the hospital this week has been pretty disorienting and overwhelming, sleep deprivation aside. It is hard to remember that it is my first week and no one expects me to know anything. Actually, every single person I've worked with for the past few weeks has been really great--patient, good teachers who don't seem phased by my complete lack of knowledge. I, on the other hand, am phased.


For the first time in (six?) years Aaron and I both got out of Josh's survivor football league in the first week. Please keep us in your thoughts as the season continues without us.

Monday, September 15, 2008

24, revisited

Yesterday, 7pm: Wrench Dylan away from her best friend's house, sobbing, and wrestle her to bed.

7:15: Hm, I'm a little intimidated by starting in the hospital tomorrow. How about if I prepare by setting up my pda?

9:15: Maybe I could make a noose out of this USB cable instead?

9:30: Internet goes out.

10:00: I'll go to bed nice and early so I can think well tomorrow.

12:00am: Wind storm to end all wind storms. Power goes out.

12:01am: Dylan up




4:00am: Dylan back down.

6:30: Kate up.

7:00: Walk Snuffy by daycare. Doesn't look like they have power either.

7:15: Daycare closed. Aaron pouts.

8am-5:30pm: Flail pathetically around hospital. How come no one else ever needs to eat, drink, or pee in this place? Also, these white coats are hot. Also, isn't it a bit much to have my first patient be in the intensive care unit?

Meanwhile, at 5pm: Power back on after 17 hours.

5:45: Sit sadly on front porch because I have no keys and no one is home.

5:50: Climb in window.

6-7: Whirlwind trip to find Aaron and Dylan at Dylan's friend's house, attend swim class with friend, and back home to wrestle Dylan to bed.

7:15: Can I go to bed now too?

7:30: Watch guy turn down life-changing amount of money on Deal or No Deal instead.

9:15: How about now? Done.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Signed prints available

Snuffy got into something so nasty at the park today that we had to go out on an emergency dog breath improvement product run. He had to go in doggie time out.


There was a two hour tribute to Johnny Cash on the radio today since he died five years ago yesterday. We lived in Albany then and I remember exactly where I was when they announced it on the radio. We were sad for a long time after that. Dylan LOVES Johnny Cash, as she should, and she rocked out for most of the two hours today.


She and I set up a studio on the front porch this morning. Our studio is a pants-free institution.

She kept yelling hi to people walking by on the sidewalk. She would be nowhere near as friendly if they tried to come and talk to her up close. She's all talk, this one. Maybe a nice passerby will buy some of our work.

Friday, September 12, 2008

yammering on

I can't believe I've already done three weeks of this. I had a great time the last two weeks doing family medicine. It wasn't stressful at all and I learned a lot and I really liked the people I was working with. I'm switching to cardiology the next couple weeks, which will be the first time I'm really in the hospital for any amount of time. At home it's been pure chaos the entire three weeks. Weekdays evenings I end up with time for maybe one house-type thing each night, whether it's paying the water bill or emptying the dishwasher or staring blankly at that water spot on the wall. Which means the other ten things I might normally think about doing didn't happen, which means the mail is piled up on top of the laundry on top of the dishes. It's actually quite efficient.

Dylan is definitely a little confused about why I'm gone more, but she loves spending more time with Aaron so they're having a good time. She has had many months now of being basically really happy and easy. She's still not into verbs, but is otherwise talking in paragraphs. It's quite a feat. She has said "sorry" and "thank you" appropriately and without any prompting in the past couple weeks, which made me do a double take both times. She has definitely started on the DO IT SELF phase, but she's actually pretty good at doing stuff herself so it's working out okay. This evening I told her to go upstairs for her bath and by the time I caught up with her she had gathered her pajamas and her water and was halfway up the stairs. If you ask her if she's hungry when she's not or if she wants to do something she's not interested she doesn't say no, she says DYLAN FINE. The other day she was trying to tickle me and said DYLAN FUNNY. She is up to about 3/4 of the alphabet song, although sometimes it accidentally turns into a medley of all the songs she's ever heard. The coolest thing right now is that you can really explain complicated stuff to her and she gets it and remembers it days later. Speaking of remembering, she is still talking about the SUNDER that woke DYLAN up from her NAP, which has become an incident of epic proportions in her mind. I'm not really going anywhere in particular with this. We're just having a lot of fun with her right now. I'll try to get some good pictures this weekend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fuzzy math

Here we are at Dylan's two year visit. She kept muttering about home and lunging for the door.

She had two shots in her thigh and a fingerstick and kept pointing sadly to her leg afterwards and saying this? This! THIS! in an outraged tone. She is in the 30th percentile for weight and the 50th for height. And the 14th for BMI. Don't ask questions because it would be annoying and irrelevant was the impression we got in response to: how they arrived at that last one.


I met the teachers at her new daycare room today -- they are excellent. She already loves them and can say their names really well and it is so nice not to have to worry about that at all. Her friend is in her class and they get to play all day every day.


Here is another piece of learning from medical school. There is a virus that hangs around my heading, waiting for signs of weakness. As soon as I get stressed out and don't sleep enough it pounces. For this virus I am like the wounded elk limping around at the back of the herd on a nature show. It got me again so now I am good and incoherent. Thanks, medical school.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

flocks of toddlers and chickens

Dylan's party Sunday was fun, as long as your definition of fun includes the biggest meltdown ever. We had to take her to a quiet room several times to help her get a hold of herself. I have never seen her so overwhelmed and frazzled. She eventually got a grip and had a good time. We didn't have a kid party per se on purpose, but in the course of inviting friends ended up with four toddlers and a five month old, so there's no real getting around it in fact being a kid party. I thought it was hilarious seeing the toddler herd roam free in the play area we set up, so I'm not entirely sure I've learned my lesson for next year. Also I think I'll leave that half of the living room set up as a play area because I like hanging out in the teepee. Speaking of the teepee, look what Aaron found.


Snuffy's girlfriend is famous! (check out the video) (his girlfriend is the dog, not the person or the chickens) Speaking of Kate, she essentially served as Dylan's nanny over the weekend. I would hire her if she would keep some clothes on the child.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008


After Monday, last week actually went really well. I am mainly working with the same doctor for last week and next week, and she is really pushing me, very kindly, to get back into things as quickly as I can. Once I got a little oriented I felt a lot better, and now I really am enjoying myself for the most part, and learning a lot. I just have so many things that I am involved with from grad school and just from being around here for so long that I am working all the time right now, so I am going to have to figure out a way to cut back a bit. I imagine I am really fun to live with right now. (Hi Aaron!)


And now, a list of things Dylan is confused about:
-Pooh Bear, name thereof (she insists that it's Poop Bear)
-"Kate" versus "cake"
-If Mommy is named Kate, then is Daddy also named Kate? Everyone else around here seems to be named Kate. (Hi Kate and Kate! Thanks for the book, Minnesota Kate, she LOVES it! It lives in the teepee.)
-Dogs under 40lbs, species thereof (she thinks they're cats)


And now for the official poll results: Snuffy it is. Okay, dog, get over here and start typing. I'm sure we can work out some kind of adaptive solution for your big fluffy paws and the wee keyboard keys. Maybe you could collaborate with the monkeys? A special thanks to those of you who voted for me to quit blogging and work more.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Day 1, Take 2

Today was harder than all of last week. Last week was like a big welcome back to medicine hug. This week is like, okay now you have to start pulling your weight at least a tiny little bit. That is a problem because I don't have any actual knowledge. So, current status = tired & slightly panicked. I think Dylan works well as an emoticon for this situation as a combination what are you looking at/what's going on kind of look:

Monday, September 01, 2008

Get yer pig pics here

The other thing Dylan and I did yesterday besides romp around with the farm creatures was a decadent trip to Wegmans. We got balloons, crayons, party stuff, that amazing fresh-squeezed juice that they make every weekend that costs as much per ounce as three bags of oranges, and stuff to make cupcakes. She runs across the room with glee every time she sees the balloon, which is at least once an hour. Fool.

The vulture circles

Also, I've had some interest in more pig pictures. Who am I to deny you more pig pictures?