Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween: A Family Affair

Let me preface this post by saying that I am furious at the lack of pictures I have from this weekend!  I will blame the fact that we took too many pictures on cameras that were not our own, but I will share what I have of our Halloween Event!
First, we were lucky enough to be invited to the Fowler Family Halloween in Prague on Saturday night. Prague celebrated Saturday, so along with Doc’s Family, we ate spooky foods our Sister-in-law Diane planned out – like spooky fingers, nutter butter ghosts, and scary apple monsters!  Evelyn and Isa put on their costumes and trick-or-treated around the neighborhood.  IMG_2373
Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of Scott, Diane, Isa, and their dog Bella.  They were the Scarecrow, Wicked Witch, Cowardly Lion, and Dorothy in that order.  They made a perfect picture of a happy family all dressed up!  I do have a picture of Uncle Scott and Cousin Isa!
We were shocked because Grandpa and Grandma Fowler even got in the spirit!  Clint was a Killer Bunny and Janis was a pretty witch

Evelyn was a Monarch Butterfly!  I finished her costume before we left for Prague but ran out of time trying to put together Doc and I’s original ideas.  SO – after the Praguefest (again, sorry I don’t have many pictures, addendum post may follow if I can get some good shots from family) we came back and I scrambled to come up with Plan B before trick-or-treating in Tulsa! 
Doc went with a “what’s up doc?” costume.  He wore scrubs and bunny ears and carried around a carrot.

I went with an old Pocahontas costume I had (believe it or not I wore this costume when I was in 4th grade…it fit a bit differently then).

But the lady of the hour – the girl we all were dying to see – was one perfectly adorable bundle of joy.  I can’t believe that she is already big enough to walk up to doors and wave bye bye…but here is our angel.
Happy Halloween Little Bird!  The first of many great dress up days!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Food Product at Walmart? Hmmm…

Ok, I love organic foods.  I LOVE organic baby foods. 

Unfortunately, Little Bird does not enjoy baby food anymore.  She likes food with a bit more texture.



That’s right!  SPROUT has Butternut Squash Mac N’ Cheese (seen in bowl) and Holiday Vegetable Dinner (in pouch) that are “Level 3” foods, meaning they have the consistency of a good stuffing you might have a family get-together.  You can serve it room temperature right out of the package or warm it up in a bowl of hot water, or put it in a microwavable bowl and warm it up if you are in a hurry. 

Once you open it, it keeps for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.  I was actually really impressed by this food.  It’s a little pricey $1.30ish for a pouch, but Little Bird really enjoyed it.  I like the idea of carrying a food pouch, bowl, and spoon in the diaper bag in case we are on the go and want a good, healthy meal for her. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Garner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory

Part of my pedagogical studies involved several different theories for intelligence, growth and development, and learning theories.  My favorite learning concept centers around using the Multiple Intelligences.  It recognizes that there are many different kinds of “smart”.  When I first began studying there were eight different ways of being smart (as we put it to our kiddos) but now they have added a ninth.
1. Verbal/Linguistic- reading, writing, speaking, word play, spelling, grammar, etc.
2. Visual/Spatial – understanding space and how things fit in it, think of puzzles, tetris, building things, blueprinting, etc.
3. Logical/Mathematical – number reasoning and manipulation, adding/subtracting, computing, etc.
4. Intrapersonal – knowledge of self and self-awareness
5. Interpersonal – intelligence in working with others, empathy, relating to others, social skills
6. Bodily/Kinesthetic – coordination through movement, skilled at gross and/or fine motor skill activities.
7. Musical – understanding tone and its qualities, the ability to think abstractly musically, sense of rhythm, etc.
8. Naturalist – familiarity with nature, species of plants and animals, understanding of interrelationships of living and non-living cycles within the earth
9.* Technological – understanding of technology, interfaces, computer functions, etc (formerly considered logical/mathematical but moved to it’s own category after technology became such a dominate part of life)
I’ve decided that we are going to spend time each day helping Little Bird construct different types of “smart”.  Most people have a few that dominate their life.  You can take a test to find out your leading intelligences here.  There are 40 questions but it gives you a nice chart at the end.
My leading intelligence was Naturalistic, followed closely by Linguistic and Interpersonal.  My lowest were Visual/Spatial and Intrapersonal.  This doesn’t mean that I am only intelligent in the areas I scored highest in, it just means those are dominant.  So if you love logic problems and math but score low there, that doesn’t mean you are dumb at math Winking smile

Friday, October 22, 2010

Midweek Vacation

One perk of choosing education as a career is that I will always have the same school breaks as our kiddos.  Fall Break was this week so Doc took a few days off and we made a much needed trip to Duncan to see family.

With Doc’s and I’s fluctuating schedules, it has been too long since we’ve managed to see Little Bird’s paternal Grandma and Grandpa.  We would have preferred being able to see them on a weekend when they weren’t working, but we will take what we can get!  They were nice enough to let us come during the work week to visit so that we could see them and give Evelyn some time with her Fowler Family.

Lucky for us, Grandma was able to take a half-day off to go with us to the Arbuckle Wilderness to a drive thru animal park!


Doc piloted our Little Blue Versa through the “wilderness”IMG_2295

We fed goats, camels, ostriches, zebras, giraffes, emus, cows, geese, etc. 

IMG_2297This sounds like fun, but these animals are AGGRESSIVE!  We spent a good deal of time screaming and rolling up windows quickly.  Luckily, Grandma was on duty to hold Evelyn when she was scared.  Also, having an extra set of hands allowed time for Doc and I to feed the animals out our windows!  Doc loved the Zebras and I couldn’t get over the funny faces the donkeys made.


We also managed to take Evelyn to see her Great Aunt Judy and Great Uncle Lloyd.  She certainly seemed to enjoy Uncle Lloyd!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bella’s Almost Birthday and Catch Up With Friends

IMG_2191 If there is one thing EVERY mama needs, it is time with old friends.  This weekend, we were lucky enough to get to see our friends, the Calders.  Kristi has been my friend for over six years now.  We met through mutual friends when I was living in Texas in high school and despite how busy we have been starting our families, we have kept in touch and still manage to see one another. 

They were able to stop in Tulsa to visit on their way to a wedding.  Their firstborn, Bella is only two months older than Little Bird and was born on our anniversary (so we’ll never forget when herIMG_2196 birthday is).  And they are expecting their second kiddo, a little boy, this February!  It has been three months since Bella and Little Bird got to play together, but they hit it off!

Evelyn gets to play with kids at daycare all the time, but I don’t get to watch her interact with them very often.  They didn’t hit each other or take toys from one another, which at this age is pretty much a super successful play date!

AND since it was almost Bella’s birthday, we sang happy birthday to her and threw her a “mini'” b-day party.  Cupcakes instead of cake with a little gift!

Here are the ladies with their cupcakes!

IMG_2211 IMG_2215


And here are the dads, trying really hard to get them to hold still with their Tigger and Eeyore for a picture after they hit a sugar high:


Sure, I only have pictures of the babies up here, but really, it was just wonderful to hang out with our friends and another little family.  It’s nice to spend time with other young mamas who can share in laughter all of them amazing things that have come to our lives with the additions of our kiddos – as well as some of the crazy hard things you never expected.  Having other mamas to chat with makes mamahood much more enjoyable!

Thank you dear friends for making time to visit us! Hopefully we can return the visit soon!

Carmichael’s Pumpkin Patch

Carmichael’s Pumpkin Patch is the happenin’ place to be for families in the fall here in Tulsa.  There is so much to do there!  This isn’t a “head to the patch, pick out a pumpkin, go home” kind of experience (unless you want it to be). 

Carmichael’s has so much to do!  For all ages!


There are so many animals to pet and see!  Here, Little Bird and I are feeding a pig pieces of corn and seeds. You can get a feed bag that will last you all day for a whopping $00.50.  50 big pennies!  Though hesitant at first, she liked the calm animals.  Some of the goats were IMG_2234a bit loud and aggressive for her taste.  However, Doc held her up high out of goat mouth reach so she could see the other animals.  Goats, chickens, bunnies, horses, llamas, etc.  There were tons of animals to look at!

Next, Grandma and Grandpa Millington held on to our little one so Doc and I could meander through the cane maze.  Was it really a maze?

IMG_2257No.  All roads led out, no matter what path you picked.  But it was beautiful to walk through.


The weather was gorgeous and just holding hands walking alone in the tall grass was surprisingly romantic.



Finally it was time to let our Little Bird play in the pumpkins.   She loved examining the different gourds. They came in all sizes and shapes and patterns!

We could not have asked for a better day with friends and family!


Happy Harvest Season to All Our Friends and Family!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nature Love: Divide and Conquer

We have a very “take the baby with us” approach to parenting.  There are very few events or outings that we do not bring Evelyn along for.  Date night is one and for the time being, bike rides are another.  We have a trailer but Evelyn is not quite old enough for it yet.  So  today, we enjoyed outdoor time apart.  Doc and I hit the bike trails with some of our good friends! IMG_2171We live right by the river trails in Tulsa, so no car required!  We biked to our rendezvous point at 71st and Riverside and then trekked North in the beautiful autumn air with our friends, the Jechs and Ashley!  We biked a little over 5 miles to The River’s Edge.  It is a fun little restaurant set up on North Riverside where you can  get a bucket of beer and some nachos along with tasty sandwiches.We met up with Ashley’s better half Jeff later for dinner.


We decided on a wife swap for the above photo.

While we cycled our way back, Little Bird was at my parent’s SAM_0597house.  Her grandma and grandpa took her and her aunts out for a day of fall fun!  They went out to Carmichael’s Pumpkin Patch in Bixby, OK.  If you live in the Tulsa area and haven’t headed out to Carmichael’s, you have been missing out every October!  Rest assured, we will be going as a family next weekend. Evelyn played in the pumpkin patch and toddled from SAM_0598giant pumpkin to giant pumpkin.  Next weekend I will post all about the patch and what there is to do there!

After we picked Evelyn up, we met back up with the Jechs and Ashley (and her husband Jeff who joined us later) for dinner at Hideaway Pizza.  We watched the sun set from the patio together and enjoyed each other’s company!  This was exactly what we needed to unwind and wrap up a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing…

Opportunities are starting to knock and we gotta start figuring out which doors to open.  Doc has interviews lined up in 4 different cities right now and we may end up with more in the near future.  It’s difficult to keep away from playing all the “what if” games about moving vs. staying.  But one thing is for sure, I cannot believe we are almost done with medical school!  Doc has worked so hard for the last 3+ years and we are rapidly approaching May 13th!  All the major tests are done.  All the classes, finished.  Now we’re planning the next chapter.  We’re almost there.  I am so proud of him and how hard he has worked.  He is an absolutely amazing man and he has endured everything life has thrown at us and come out on top and he is about to be “Doc” for real.  This might seem preemptive since May is still 7 months away, but the major hurdles are done!

whitecoatLooking back to the beginning of medical school, I would have told myself this:

“It’s not as bad as people keep telling you it will be. It’s not great, but it’s not as bad as people keep telling you.”

This doesn’t mean that there weren’t/aren’t times that I have really loathed Doc being away or how little students loans covers or how stressed out Doc has been. 

I will say though, that I was pretty naive about some of the things those who went before us went through. 

I didn’t understand the burn out periods that come along or the way that people talked about patients.  I didn’t understand how someone could sound like they didn’t care about the people who trusted them with their life.  Now I understand that they get frustrated and vent about patients because they do care and they are frustrated by how little they can truly help some people.  It is still hard for me sometimes to hear the way Doc talks about some patients when he is stressed and frustrated because as much as I wish I was enough a part of that world to truly understand, I know I don’t.  BUT, I certainly sympathize and regret the somewhat judgmental feelings I have had for docs who talk about their patients negatively.

I was 20 when Doc started medical school.  I think back to our  392wedding day and realize that I was extremely young.  I might have been able to make it on my own then, but I was very idealistic about the world.  I’d like to think that I’ve learned to be less judgmental.  We will begin the 3 years of Doc’s residency when I am 24.  24 is still pretty young.

Residency and especially intern year have many of the same horrible warnings surrounding them for spouses and families.  So I’m just going to tell myself, “It’s not as bad as people keep telling me it will be.”  There will be times it really sucks.  There will be days that Doc is burnt out and says things that I cannot wrap my head around.  But in the end, we will come out of residency feeling like we have grown even more. 

So as we are wrapping up one journey, I’m sitting, waiting, wishing, dreaming about the future and what adventures may lie ahead.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Naturally Clean: Vinegar

I will sing the praises of vinegar and its amazing powers for days, but for those of you, who, like myself, LOVE cleaning with things that are totally environmentally friendly (and child friendly) you must check out REAL SIMPLE.  They have an amazing list of cleaning items and their uses that won’t harm beautiful baby or mother earth (see what I did with baby and mother there…it’s artsy).


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Curiosity is Like Oxygen

Fowler Family 055 ipix

Curiosity killed the cat, but it is food for my soul.

“Why” is one of the most incredible questions anyone can ask, ever.  We may not always get an answer or the one we want, but questions keep us thinking, keep us interested, keep us captivated by life.

One of my favorite things about Little Bird is her incredible sense of curiosity.  She has a keen desire to explore and explain her environment.  She tries to discover how things work.  She seeks new areas to explore.  She tests ideas to attempt new noises.

One of the most incredible things about being a teacher is guiding students to rediscover curiosity and exploration.  So many teachers have told them answers when they asked a question. They take the excitement of chasing answers out of learning.  When students ask me questions, I respond with “where can you find that answer?” and they have finally started to respond with excitement “Oh! One of the library books!” or “Oh! Can I use the computer?”

They aspire to discover their own answers which often lead to more questions.  They find joy and accomplishment in learning to answer their own questions.

Curiosity can bring joy and zest to life.  Questions can bring fulfillment.  Learn something new.  Test out ideas.  Add the joy of real, authentic, and relevant learning to your life.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Easy Babysitting Tools (Not TV) – Music Exploration

TV is an easy babysitting device.  It’s one almost every parent knows they can use, so I figure I will throw in a few things that do give you a way for your child to independently play that are alternatives to the TV or an actual sitter.

Babies generally love music.  Babies generally really like to make noise, so BEHOLD! 

This works great for me if I need to really quickly do something (change the laundry, fold the laundry, load the dishwasher, etc.).  Of course, this only works if you have a piano…BUT hopefully I’ll have more ideas to post soon!

Organizing Odds and Ends: Kitchen Counter Space

 Fall is in the air.  It’s gorgeous outside!  We spent the morning walking through the farmers market (all 3 of us were walking by the way) and having a family outing at Woodward Park and the Tulsa Rose Garden.  And on of the most amazing thing about clean fall air and open windows in the house is the motivation to get all the crap out of your apartment before that delicious air turns bitter cold and you and all your extra crap are stuck inside for the winter.

My kitchen counter space looked like  this this morning. 










So it was off to work today!  Appliances were tucked away back into cabinets they belong in first.  Then I found new homes for several of the items that had been set out and not put back thanks to Evelyn and her love for finding trouble.

Then I reorganized the things that go on the counter normally by functionality!


All of my teas used to hide back by the spice rack in the above picture.  However, I usually actually make my tea next to the microwave because this busy momma microwaves all her hot water.  I don’t have enough time to set a kettle right now, so why not put the teas where I use them.  They are more likely to stay there and be used and put back where they go afterwards.  IMG_2134

Next I moved the spices, measuring spoons and can opener, and rice cereal, black beans, and brown rice over to the stove.  These things get used by the stove most often, so once again, much more likely to get used and to be put back where they go.

So my kitchen counter space is now clean and more functional, but as I was cleaning, I realized I have TWO major problem areas in the kitchen that I don’t know how to fix just yet.  So I am curious to see if any of you have an awesome suggestion for me!

Problem 1: Chargers.  We plug all of our chargers in right here atIMG_2140 this spot on the counter.  It’s one of the only “out of reach” places to charge them in our home.  I normally stack everything on top of the knife block to keep the cords out of the way, but I wonder if there is a better way to go about this.

Problem 2: On top of the fridge.  Ugh.  It just looks crowded and IMG_2141 bad.  This is where a lot of snack food or food carrying devices end up when they don’t fit in a cabinet or the pantry.  It just looks cluttered and I wish I could figure out a way to store these or organize them that looks a little nicer.