Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Doing My Civic Duty

I served on Jury Duty today. I did my civic duty. I am slightly disappointed to report that doing my civic duty involved me doing absolutely nothing at all.

I arrived at the Civic Courts building at 8:00 a.m., where I was herded into a large room and given a badge. As Juror #289, I sat in my chair and waited for an hour while they got organized. During that hour, the government workers occasionally called people up to the front desk, and I thought it was going to be a busy and interesting day. Boy was I wrong! I made myself comfortable in my chair and tried to read my book. But between the TV that was spewing its inane daytime programming, the man sitting behind me who fell asleep and snored for hours on end, and the fact that my chair did super-human feats in making my buttocks numb, I found myself lacking the attention I required to get into my book. It felt like I was on a really long flight, or a bus or train that didn't end up taking me anywhere. Plus, the front desk workers stopped talking at 9:00 and didn't address us until 11:30, when they dismissed us for an almost-two-hour lunch.

When I got back in my seat by 1:15, I thought that surely something would happen. I was again disappointed. The front desk workers didn't address us until 3:30, when they finally called a jury pool of about 30 people. I sat in my seat, my little heart pumping, feeling a bit like an 8-year-old hoping to be picked for the dodge ball team during P.E. I was so hoping to be picked. I wanted to see what the court process was like. But mostly, I wanted something to end the maddening boredom that was the waiting room. My number was not called. And The Chosen Thirty received their assignment to return for court the next day at 9:00, and then they were released!

And the front desk workers, again, said nothing to the rest of us.

Just when I thought we might just end up living and dying in that soul-sucking waiting room, Heavenly Angels came down from above, in the form of a front-desk worker, and told us that we were released to go home at 4:00. And that we don't have to return tomorrow!

Hoorah! I have fulfilled my service to the court system for now. I think that as long as I will myself to think of it as SERVICE, I won't feel like it was the biggest, fattest waste of a day in my entire life. But since I haven't yet convinced myself that I did any sort of service at all, I currently do think that it was the absolute biggest, fattest waste of a day. My Jury Duty Experience= Not interesting or fulfilling in any way, shape or form.

But Thank You to my awesome friend, Angela, who took care of Gunner for me All Day Long. You are a Super Goddess Mommy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Theme Day

Look at what I bought at Costco the other day. Notice the theme? I just love spending money on these things that we (almost) literally throw down the toilet. Sigh.

On a side note, Gunner threw a tantrum in Target yesterday. I decided not to let him make such a public display, so I picked him up and marched him out of the store. While I was thinking, "Boy, I sure taught him a lesson.", he was probably thinking, "Yes! We're getting out of this stinking store!"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Faulty Gadgets and Billowing Plastic

You may be asking yourself how we have been spending our time lately. Then again, you may not, but I'm going to tell you anyway. We have been child-proofing and plasticking. (Is there any correct way to spell "plasticking"?) The child-proofing has been a frantic and futile attempt at making our lives more relaxed at home with Gunner always two steps ahead of us. He figures something out, we child-proof it, and then he is immediately on to two more things. It is amazingly difficult. Hats off to anyone who manages to child-proof their homes so that they aren't constantly chasing their toddlers around the house saying, "No! Leave that alone, for the thousandth time!!!"

And the plasticking ("spell check" says that I should be saying plasticizing, so there you go). We have the world's oldest windows in our home. Well, probably not the world's oldest, but they are at least 100 years old. In the Spring and Fall, the windows themselves don't open, and if we do manage to get them open, it takes a 10-man construction crew to get them closed again. Needless to say, I miss having fresh air in my home during the nice seasons of the year. However, there is no lack of fresh air in the Winter. We have a healthy cross breeze blowing through our home, through the large cracks in the ancient windows during the Winter months. In an effort to reduce the amount of Winter weather we invite into our home, not to mention the reduction of the heat bill, we have spent much of our lives putting plastic on our windows. We do this again and again because the stuff keeps falling down. I am so tired of reapplying plastic that I feel like I would give my arm, my legs, and even a bit of my left brain if we could have new windows.

Here are some our recent adventures in child-proofing. We buy gadgets at $4-5 a pop, and they end up not working. My advice: do more research than we did before buying any commercial child-proofing gadget. We recently had mishaps with these items:

The toilet lid holder
This lovely gadget doesn't fit onto our tank. As you can see, Spiff added an extension (which is a couple of Gunner's blocks, artistically attached to the device with electrical tape), which makes it fit...BUT the stinkin' suction cups are weak enough that Gunner can just pop the whole thing right off without even trying very hard. We don't use this.

The sticky latch thing.
This is a product we bought to keep Gunner out of the corner cabinet in the kitchen that holds all of my baking supplies. He loves that cabinet, and he loves loves loves emptying it out. So we bought a latch to keep the baking soda and vanilla safe and sound. It works great on the cabinet so far.
We decided to try another one on the shower door (heaven forbid that we may want some privacy from Gunner while in the shower). But obviously it didn't work. Notice the sticky stuff that has detached from the gadget itself. I would feel better if the sticky stuff didn't stick to the shower surface. But, no. It doesn't stick to itself.

We have baby-gated off the bathroom for now.

Plastic Windows
This is our bedroom window. Notice how the insulating plastic is Billowing! I couldn't get it to lie flat because of the breeze that is blowing through the closed windows. It also took four strips of tape on the bottom ledge to keep the breeze from blowing the plastic right off the tape. Our bedroom got down to around 35-40 degrees during this last cold snap. The old windows are so bad that it felt like we had an open window in our room. We now have two billowing windows in our room, and thankfully it is much warmer now.

If this last re-plasticking job doesn't work, I think I may have to offer my body parts to our landlords as a sacrifice for replacing the windows. But then again, how could I ever get down on my knees and beg if I have already given them up as an offering?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Surgery Part 1

It's been a month since I last posted, and it's because I haven't figured out how to talk about my experience. The sub-rotations that I participated in were, in order: pediatrics, pediatric urology, general adult sugery, and orthopaedics. In general, I think my experience suffered from a lack of hands-on learning. Medical students generally round on patients before the team rounds, finding out how patients did overnight, what changes occured, and formulating some semblance of a plan for the day. They then present their findings to the team during rounds and any modifications or additions are added before the workday begins.

Surgery differed from this in several regards. On pediatrics we would pre-round in the usual manner, but the residents did not make any use of our information, but at least wanted to hear what plans we had come up with. The afternoons on pediatrics, however, differed from other rotations in that the medical students were not really included in the floor work. Normally students follow labs, help write discharge orders, follow up on consults and imaging studies, additionally, if there are any OR cases happening, the students would scrub in for those. The two weeks I was on pediatrics did not have very many cases, so the afternoons were often devoid of any OR time. Rather than include us in the floor work and teach us about medical decision making, the residents would just tell us there was nothing happening, and tell us to sit and study. I have nothing against study time, but if there is nothing happening for 5 straight hours, to me it makes sense to let some of the students go home or to the library if they want because there is truly nothing happening.

Pediatric urology was interesting in that it was an inpatient rotation, but we had only 2 patients who stayed overnight, so really it was more like a day surgery rotation since we never had to round on patients. I did learn a lot from Dr. P, the peds urologist. His clinic was the smoothest running with the lowest percentage of no-shows of any clinic I have yet assisted in. He also was the only attending who actively taught about how to relate with patient's families and about non-medical aspects of satisfying patients and their families.

More to follow in Part 2

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I have a button and it's not on my shirt...

I have a button and it's not on my skirt.
I have a button. It's a part of me.
It's the button in the middle of my tummy!

It's my Belly Button, found underneath my sweater.
It's my Belly Button. And it's holding me together!

I'm sure that this is the song Gunner would be singing, if he could sing, as he eats Cheerios in Sacrament meeting. A couple months ago, I tried to entertain my wiggly little boy by sticking Cheerios in his belly button. He thought it was hilarious, and preceded to play peek-a-boo with the button-Cheerio before snatching it out and eating it.

Then two weeks ago, as we were sitting in sacrament meeting, Gunner was getting fussy. I handed him some Cheerios, and on his own, he lifted up his shirt and stuck a Cheerio in his belly button. He entertained himself, and the people sitting next to us, for at least 15 minutes. It happened again today, so apparently this is standard sacrament meeting entertainment.
Forget quiet books. Break out the Button Cheerios!