Sunday, June 17, 2012

edna mode (and guest)

I wonder if it's a more common phenomenon for medical bloggers to update on a reverse schedule, meaning updates exclusively on the weekends, and rarely during the week.  Because who has the time?  Anyway, it's been a particularly hectic week at work, stacked with all the things that make life exciting (occasionally to excess): codes, emergencies, various Oral Board scenarios brought to life.  But at least I had the weekend off.  I'm on call next weekend, my last weekend call before my scheduled maternity leave, so if I can just get through that (weekends on call are always rough, because aside from the weekend itself, you're basically working two weeks in a row non-stop without a break) I think we'll be OK to sail into the home stretch.

The thing with having a busy job and working full-time is that you really feel that you don't have enough time with your kids.  That's just the fact of it--if that's the path you're eyeing, male or female, you will feel this way, it's simply a matter of resource allocation and during the week, especially, the time just isn't there.  In the medical field, particularly, even nights and weekends at home are not a given, so you just have to kind of carve out time when you can.  Weekends here, post-call days there.  Usually nights don't find me at my best--after work usually I'm in a state of fatigue that brings me to "I wash myself with a rag on a stick" territory, but you know--sometimes there are earlier days off, and sometimes you get a break to do something fun.

I got out from work a little early on Wednesday this week (post-call of course, because ain't nothing in life is free), so I decided to do this with my time:

I know, it doesn't look like anything, but the inspiration was this: I got Mack these super cheapy superhero costumes at Christmas (actually I can't remember who actually got them for him--I get enlisted to get gifts for the kids from various relatives, and it might even have come from "Santa" himself, who can remember now).  They were ignored for months, until one day, suddenly the kids decided that superheros were THE COOLEST and dressing up like superheros and making laser sounds while fake-punching your brother in the head with your Bat Fist was OMG THE BEST GAME EVER.  So the costumes have been getting some use.

As you can see, they are pieces of crap.  Thin, fraying nylon, just a simple apron-type construction with a back tie.  All the kids can see is the logo and the Superness, but now that they've got some miles on them, all I can see is how much they are falling apart.

I was at the fabric store the other day when I saw this crazy metallic fabric on sale.  It was a reflective polyester, which is as sleazy as it sounds, and I thought to myself, "Who would buy that shit?"


I think I've already explained my affection for Things Reversible when it comes to kids, not the least benefit of which is that if I'm going to put in the effort to make one superhero costume, I might as well get two out of the deal.  The other benefit is that you can be two different characters--I made one costume each for the boys, both identically reversible (red with a gold cape on one side, blue with a silver cape on the other) so that they could choose to be on the same team, à la "The Incredibles," or on different teams if they preferred.  So far they've mostly chosen to be on different teams.  So they can FIGHT.  And make LASER NOISES.  And I personally have been unable to stop saying, in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson, "Where's my super suit?"

So anyway, that's fun.

The next step in the plan was for them to design their own superhero logos and for us to glue them on the chest with felt shapes, but we ran out of time, so it's still a work in process.  Still, even plain, they're very super.

The other kids project I did yesterday was to make a freezer-stencil T-shirt with Cal.  (Tutorials for freezer paper stencil techniques are all over the internet, just Google it, but I will heartily endorse the pursuit, it is easy and satisfying and as you can see, even a child can do it.  Well, maybe not the part where you cut out the design with the razor blade, but otherwise.)  Cal chose the design himself--it's Boba Fett, for you non-nerds out there.  He actually requested Jango Fett (Django?) on the basis that Jango is cooler ("He has two guns!") but since they look the same I think this tracing of Boba Fett (originally off a pumpkin carving tutorial) sufficed.

I made a shirt for Mack too, but I just kind of did it myself since he's a little young for the whole activity.  I toyed with doing a different Star Wars design but decided in the end on this, since Mack, as a three year-old, lives in a world not unlike that of John Malkovich after going into his own portal in "Being John Malkovich."  Malkovich Malkovich Malkoviiiiiitch.

Anyway, this has partially been in answer to the people who ask how I have time to do all the things that I do.  The short answer is: I don't.  My honest assessment is that I probably don't spend enough time with my kids, but luckily, I work as part of a team, and between the time that all of us put in, the kids are OK.  Otherwise, I just try to maximize the quality of the time that I do have to spend with them (as energy allows), and like I always say, they'll tell me in the end if it was good enough. But we try hard, and it's what we have for now.

And at the very least they'll have some really cute clothes to wear to family therapy.

Speaking of having kids...hey, let's play this game now!

34 weeks:

35 weeks:

36 weeks:

About a week ago Joe observed independent of me (this lends validity) that he thinks Thing 3 has dropped down a little bit--engaged herself, if you will--and I have to agree.  Since it's my third kid, I don't think it means anything much (meaning it's both less and more comfortable, but I don't think I'm going into labor tomorrow or anything) but it's certainly the next thing, for what it's worth.  Also I enjoy going around saying "ENGAGE" in the voice of Jean-Luc Picard, so who says the third trimester can't be fun?

Have a good super week, everyone.


  1. I love the t-shirts.

    Also, I can't believe you're 36 weeks already. Jesus. Time flies. I can't wait to find out what you name her!

    Wishing you a nice and easy last call weekend.

  2. Michelle, you are extraordinarily talented, not just in medicine, drawing, but now even crafts. I am impressed at your magnificent ability to just excel in whatever you try. I see pictures of your kids, but I also see the background of of your home and I love your decor and design :) Wishing you all the best for a easy delivery :) Will Thing 3's name also be one syllable?

    1. You are a very nice lady. And our house, with the exception of certain visible parts, is a shantytown. :) Thing 3's name will be revealed soon enough, but we have it all lined up (except for the middle name, which my dad is still working on--we like a Chinese middle name but don't know enough Chinese to pick a good one and therefore trust the professionals) but I think it will fit in very nicely with the other two.

  3. "I enjoy going around saying "ENGAGE" in the voice of Jean-Luc Picard"... kill me....


  4. doctor Mom10:42 PM

    Michelle, check out this site for a Baby Carrier Sling. It is supposedly free if you use the promo code"USM1". Or you can make one yourself since you are so crafty and talented.

  5. I love this post! Love the crafting, love the philosophy on parenting, and love the Boba Fett shirt. I just made my first freezer paper stencil in a kid requested "All the power ranger kanjis and a samuraizer" So it looks like a bazooka with Chinese symbols underneath, but he loves it. I'd love a tutorial on the superhero costumes. My kids would go nuts over them!

  6. demac1:33 AM

    I think you're a fantastic mom, and I'm looking forward to using all your tips and experiences when I head down that road myself. Superhero costumes are high on the list of priorities!

    I was also wondering what kind of schedule you have at your practice? My only experience with Anesthesiology was on the 2-week rotation we had at a large academic multi-hospital complex, and it seemed like the hours were roughly 5AM to 2PM, with a covered lunch break somewhere in there - and the attendings were often in their offices/lounge when there weren't cases either starting or ending. There were large numbers of residents and CRNAs to do the middle of cases at this hospital, allowing the attendings time to relax between intubations and extubations. What's it like in private practice?

    1. I can talk about this in a later entry, but private practice anesthesiology is much more hectic than academic anesthesiology. So let's just say to start that staffing isn't quite as flush as in an academic hospital (though the midlevels I DO get the pleasure of working with are excellent), I don't get covered for breaks or lunch, and sitting down is a luxury.

      (These are not complaints by the way, just the truth--and it certainly makes the day go by faster. If anyone's interested I'll write up an entry about the working day of the private practice anesthesiologist sometime later, maybe when I'm on my maternity leave and have some time.)

    2. Oh, I sure would like to read such an entry. I practice anesthesia in Brazil, where we don´t have CRNAs, and always wonder how things work in USA.

    3. demac7:09 PM

      I'd love to read this entry too. I know things will still be hectic for you while you're on maternity leave (how could they not, with a newborn and two other energetic kids to take care of?), but I'm really looking forward to reading all the great posts you'll be putting up.

  7. "Make it so Number One!!"

    I love that man.

  8. Those super hero costumes are adorable! And I agree with demac, I'd love to hear about what the lifestyle/schedule is like as a private practice anesthesiologist if you ever get the time. :)

  9. Hi Michelle! The capes look great and even if they didn't, years from now, all Cal and Mack will remember is that you took the time to make it for them.

  10. You are so awesome. Also, hilarious. :) It cracks me up that you started sewing. My kids would die of envy if they saw those capes. Strong work!

  11. You are in a sewing frenzy! So cute.

  12. My husband would sew the kids Halloween costumes. Whatever they wanted. The only things he ever sewed. He is still reaping the rewards :)

  13. Anonymous6:24 PM

    "I was at the fabric store." Possibly the most dangerous words in the English language.

  14. Wow!You have two super awesome kids! It's great that you still have an extra time to do some stuff with your kids. I also made a superhero outfit for our costume party but I think it doesn't look good. The fabric that I used isn't metallic. It's just a a cotton fabric so it looks so plain. Thanks for the share.

  15. Anonymous3:46 PM

    nice reference to the incredibles!

  16. Those costume design is perfect for your kids.Its easy and comfortable outfit for kids.

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