Monday, September 18, 2017

Update on Jo Man

I feel a lot has happened recently, specifically with our little Joey, so I'll see what I can remember it all!

Joey started preschool last month, and already switched classrooms and times to meet his needs. He absolutely loves school even though he can't tell me the names of any of his friends or even his teacher's name. We'll get around to that eventually. Meanwhile he is learning to write letters and enjoys reading books.

Not at his school, but he's pretty excited about his new backpack he wears.
Before he started preschool, he was really enjoying a show called Little Einsteins. Being the classical music lover that I am, I highly approved of this show, and eventually he requested to play the cello. Sam and I gave in right away and ordered an 1/8 sized cello for our little buddy. He called it baby cello as it was so little in comparison to my cello! We won't start him on lessons for at least another year, but it was nice to see him take an interest!

Showing him around the cello

Joey has always been a careful little man, but he has started to get more brave and try things he was scared of doing before. As a result of jumping off a box, he hit his mouth pretty hard to the point that he got a bloody nose, torn frenulum, knocked loose front tooth, and a fat lip! I still don't know what exactly happened since I wasn't looking when it happened. We thought we had dental insurance, but when we looked it up, we weren't signed up. So, we waited it out to see if his tooth got better. It turned gray, but it was less loose. We'll see what happens! I swear it looked less gray today, but do teeth do that?

The result. What a trooper!

We started potty training after our trip end of July to see if we could get him on a routine before school started. He was actually doing better than I thought he would, but we are still far from the end goal of complete autonomy over going on the toilet. In fact, we had major regression just this weekend, so we're back in pull ups for my sanity. But I'm not going to stop training! He is just too old for my liking to still wear diapers.

Other random things: Joey started asking the question "What's that?" to everything, more to test his parents' knowledge than an actual desire to know what things are. It gets annoying quick to be honest. I'm ready for him to understand "why" questions, but not ready for the hoard of "why" questions that will be asked! 

Joey carries two stuffed puppies with him at all times, and even feeds them and gives them water and baths. He would die and go to heaven if we got a real dog, but our rental doesn't allow it. 

Found him like this with his puppies and cello one day. He cracks me up!

Joey is making leaps and bounds in speech, and even knows the sounds to all the letters of the alphabet. He isn't close to reading though, because he doesn't know how to sound out words even when I work with him every day. Still, I'm pretty proud of this kid. 

Lastly, he was walking into the bathroom after I told him to use the potty and he said "there's a bug!" I peeked in to see what he meant and saw a baby lizard. I have no idea how he got in since our bathroom is pretty far from the front or back door and we have no windows cracked. But it sure was cute. We caught it and let it back outside. Hopefully it didn't die of starvation or heat!

The baby lizard was tiny! I think he was brand new.
I think this is about all I'll share, but Joey is one of a kind!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Utah Trip/Darren's Wedding

Our first and last trip this summer I decided to be brave enough to venture to Utah with the two boys by myself. The occasion? My brother's wedding! We had the privilege to take his engagement photos with Kaitlyn. Here are my favorites:

After figuring out what to take and finding a ride to the airport, we made it through the airport with no hiccups. The boys behaved themselves for the most part while waiting for the plane. Here are the champions:

The first flight Eli fell asleep right away so I only had to entertain Joey. I didn't realize you had to pay for the Wifi though and was a little underprepared. It worked out though. 

My mom and sisters gave me a scare saying I hardly had time to switch planes at the Phoenix airport. I rushed off and by the time I made it to the next gate, I realized I had an hour more than was calculated and was able to eat lunch with the boys. Joey wandered off at one point and I had so much crap plus Eli, I couldn't chase him down unless I dropped all the stuff. I didn't even ask a lady to watch Eli as I ran off. I was not happy with Joey, but we were reunited and I had to keep a close eye since.

It was Joey's turn to fall asleep on the next flight and I had Eli to entertain. We made it to Salt Lake on time and was able to see my family. We spent the rest of the time in Salt Lake City, going to Temple Square:

My sister's in-laws have a cabin in Provo Canyon and all my family was staying there. I think my boys had fun, and at one point we went to the Museum of Curiosity. There were my parents, me and the boys, and Ryker. That's one adult to one child, and we still managed to lose all of them at one point. I'm sure it would have been a lot more fun if it wasn't so crowded. Here are the boys outside:

On Friday we made the drive from Provo to Saint George for the wedding. We had an awesome pizza for a wedding dinner and did some swimming at the pool.

Saturday, Heidi watched all the kids while we went to the temple to see my brother get married. A few hiccups delayed it an hour, but it was a beautiful ceremony and I'm so happy for them! Here is the beautiful couple:

The reception was in the evening and we had fun dancing, especially the kids! Kaitlyn and her family did a wonderful job putting it together. A funny moment was when my brother accidently brought up his bed (which was in a huge tub) instead of the P.A. system and my mom was furious. She said what will happen is my dad will go out and buy another amp, "Which we have three already, we don't need more!" At the reception I mentioned that they have a P.A. system. "Yeah, Dad said he was wanting another amp so it worked out." Haha! Here are some cute kids doing cute dancing:

The next day my parents were so kind to drop me off at the Las Vegas airport, but we arrived and had time to kill, so my dad took us to the Excalibur arcade. The boys found the mini rides and that is what we did for two hours. Maybe it wasn't Sunday appropriate, but I didn't want to sit at the airport for hours. 

Remember how I said I didn't want to sit at the airport for hours? Well, when we arrived and I got through security, I saw there was a three and a half hour delay. I was crushed! Sam was picking me up in Austin past 9pm as it was, and this would put it passed midnight! He had to get up at 4am to get to the hospital. But Sam was really good about it and said he would try to get some sleep before he left.

While draining our devices' batteries watching endless shows to kill time, there was another flight scheduled at our terminal. They boarded shortly after I arrived. I noticed there was a plane coming into our terminal and thought "it's a miracle, our plane arrived!" Nope, it was that same group. Apparently they sat on the runway for forty minutes without air conditioning and the engine overheated. They came back and the people sat back down waiting to see what would happen next. I sat and talked to some ladies who were there over the weekend and they said their flight getting there was 7 hours delayed, then there was this. They were trying to find arrangements for their children as they probably would not get home the time they needed to. Well, the flight ended up being cancelled! The next flight out was on Thursday (this was Sunday) and the only compensation they were willing to give was a refund (which would take 4-6 weeks). We were all appalled, even those not on that flight. These women broke down crying, saying they didn't have the money to stay any longer and they had kids they needed to get back to. I felt so so so bad for them and angry at this airline.

They eventually had to go to baggage claim, so I never heard what these people ended up doing. Meanwhile, our flight keeps getting delayed, and we didn't make it out until 9:30pm. The kids thankfully fell asleep after a tough time at the airport (they kept running off in different directions and my patience was thin as it was). A girl next to me talked to me and since I couldn't fall asleep it was fine. We talked about religion and our lives. She just broke off an engagement over religion issues and I hope she finds someone who is a better match.

Arriving in Austin at 2:30am, Sam and I realized that the south terminal is 15 minutes away from the main ones, so Sam was waiting at the wrong place. So we didn't get to head out for a while. Sam tried to sleep while I drove and we didn't get home and in bed until 5am. Sam was able to skip out of morning rounds, but we were all exhausted that day, and on top of that, we all ended up getting colds. That was the only sucky thing about the trip. I will never fly Allegiant again if I can help it. Saving $50-100 is not worth it! No no no!

Now we will be moving onto school for Joey and a trauma rotation for Sam this August. Woohoo!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Anniversary No. 6

Last month we celebrated our 6 year anniversary. Sounds crazy, but looking at our life now, we accomplished a lot in 6 years. 

On a week day we hired a young woman to watch our kids while we relived our anniversary by eating at the Tower of the Americas. I still think it's a little funny we moved to the place we honeymooned at, but I hardly remember the city, so it does feel like we are exploring it all over again. The restaurant is very expensive, has decent food, but you really pay for the ambiance. We then walked the Riverwalk a little bit and enjoyed what little moments we had without our kids. ;)

Look at these old farts!

What we looked like 6 years prior.
On our actual anniversary we decided to get a dozen donuts, visit the Natural Bridge Caverns, watch a baptism, then hang out at home and watch Lego Batman. Here are Sam's photos of the Natural Bridge Caverns:

My favorite part.

My second favorite part.

Very humid in there!

I couldn't tell you the history of any of it, but it was pretty cool. It has nothing on Carlsbad, of course, and I don't think we'll see them again due to the price ($40 for me and Joey to go through alone. Sam was free because of the military at least).

Happy Anniversary Sam!

Eli at 18 Months

Oh boy. I adore life with this kid (most times). He has such a happy and smiley personality and just became a year and a half! I'll make a list to paint a picture of this boy at this age.

  • Busy little guy, loves taking things out and putting them back, then taking them, out then scattering them for me to find and pick up.
  • Our fish! He adores going to the pool and having to keep us at arms distance at all times because of how crazy he is.
  • Says some words and is copying a lot more. Some of his words include: Mama, Dada, JoJo, shoes, binky (in his own way), war (water), bah (bath), Hi and Bye, and plgh (please). 
  • He loves loves making animal sounds!
  • Also loves cars and is his go-to toy at all times.
  • Loves to read books and gets excited when I mention reading them.
  • Starting to get aggressive (playfully) and is leaving marks! Usually it's just with us and hasn't really attacked any other kid.
  • Still loves mama's milk and trying to figure out the best way to wean him while maintaining my sanity.
  • Becoming a wanderer and doesn't come back unless is caught and dragged back.
  • Favorite foods: ? Only think I know for sure is fruit snacks. Everything else is hit and miss!
Love you Elijah!!

Moved to Texas

Hey Y'all,

Now that we are nice and settled in San Antonio, I feel it's time for a little update on how it went down and our life here now.

Our last week consisted of packing, Sam building a fort, and time without kiddos to do the loading and cleaning. Before the kids left the place we took one last photo in front of our apartment:

We will miss the people, but not the cockroaches, stairs, or parking far away!

On loading day, we decided to split up: Sam would forge ahead with the truck (we were afraid it wouldn't be able to make the trip in one day being so slow) and I took our van with the kids. My family helped bring our other car among other great things. Turns out the truck made really decent time and they made it to San Antonio before us!

On Labor Day our new ward came to the rescue and had our truck cleaned out in 20 minutes! Without stairs and a fleet of people it went really quick. They even brought donuts and breakfast tacos. We feel very welcome in that ward so far. (Of course, making our presence known we already spoke in sacrament meeting and I'm teaching RS on Sunday).

Sam officially started his residency in July, but June was paperwork, orientations, and training galore for him. We tried to make the best of the time he had! We made it to Sea World, Natural Bridge Caverns, the Zoo (just me and the boys), the DoSeum, and the Riverwalk. Still so much to explore in this area! We're happy to be in San Antonio!

Sunday, May 14, 2017


I can't believe this day has finally come! After four years of undergraduate education and four years of medical school, I have successfully completed my degree requirements and was officially awarded a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. The same day, I renewed my oath of office to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" and to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same," and I was promoted to Captain in the United States Air Force. Here are some photos:

My mentor and the doctor that helped me see the light and pursue ophthalmology, Dr. Arup Das.

A close friend and associate, Dr. John Mason, who helped me get through the first two years of medical school.

Drs. Arup Das and Nate Roybal, both retina surgeons. Hopefully I'll be working with them by the time I return to NM!
 Here are a few proofs from the professional photographers that were hired for the convocation. Sorry, I couldn't justify spending $85 to get the full-resolution images when I had a bunch that we took with our own cameras...

Our Dean, Dr. Paul Roth, giving his opening remarks:

Look who is giving a 2-minute speech during the convocation! Dr. Art Kaufman gave our keynote address, Daphne Olson gave our student speech, and Alan Mason, Jane Fazio, and I presented awards to faculty and residents.

Alan! What a stud. When we learned that we weren't receiving any awards for medical school (even after getting straight A's), we told each other, "At least we won't have to give a speech during convocation!" I guess we spoke too soon...

Time to walk! I was hooded by Dr. Das, my mentor and friend. It was a nice ceremony, even though I am not much for ceremonies.

After the ceremony, we had a nice reception. Cake for breakfast! Did I mention that we arrived at 6:30am and started the ceremony at 8am? Yeah, it was a bit early.

I'm so grateful for Kiley, who has supported me this entire time! She has definitely borne a greater burden than I have, caring for the children 24/7 and dealing with grumpy Sam during my times of weakness. I could never have done it without her! Thank you for being my eternal sweetheart!

During the reception, we took our oaths for promotion to Captain in the USAF.

Me and my friend Dr. Tom Schelby, discussing what will happen. Can you believe that we have been through all this together, starting with Commissioned Officer's Training in 2013?

Taking the oath of office

Pinning on my captain's bars!

Thanks for reading! It has been a great journey. I'm looking forward to my future training in general surgery, ophthalmology, and then (hopefully) retina!