San Diego Day #2

Day 2 started at 4:00 am. Neither Wyatt nor Ingot used to the 3 hour time difference and it made for a long, but fun, day. Here it is in pictures:

The day started with my conference which after all was the entire reason for me being in San Diego. Work before play
Once that was taken care of we hit the public transportation to head to the San Diego Zoo. Two trains and a city bus. All firsts for Wyatt.
Train family selfie
San Diego Zoo. Bring it!!
Komodo Dragon. Wyatt loved this guy! He waved, said hello, and had to be dragged away. I’ll admit to be equally enthralled. He was really active
Galapagos tortoise.
I adored the aviary sections. Reminded me of the Pittsburgh Aviary where I grew up. Wyatt was not interested in the bird areas at all which was a shame. I could have sat watching the birds all day
He was so cute walking around. He did great all day walking up all the hills during all over the place
The bears are always my favorite. I was disappointed that they were all napping
The pandas were choking down. I’ve never seen them before and this made the day at the zoo. They were so cute!
After eating he went for a stroll then hit his pool. So cute!
Lunch break!
It was lunch time all over the zoo. The giraffes were choking down on the foliage placed up high for their comfort.
We hopped on a double decker bus for a short break. Wyatt got bored super fast so we got off two stops into it which forced us to have to back track in foot quite a bit.
I enjoyed the few minutes of sitting. The weather was perfect for a day outside. The sun was a bit hotter than the day before and there was a slight breeze. Compared to the severe storms and tornados back home this was perfect.
Spring is my favorite time of year. Everything about it is wonderful. The flowers were out in full force and the world was just ablaze in color.
Playing around near the polar bears.
Baby ducks!!!!
No clue what this animal is but I found it fascinating. Zebra striped legs, antelope like body and huge ears. The mere fact that there is an animal walking the earth that looks like this makes me believe in magic all over again
They looked so cuddly and soft. I stopped myself from reaching out a hand to run the fuzzy nose.
I nearly walked right past this enclosure with the female wart hog looking thing in it. Then I saw the cute little baby and fell in love
We ended the zoo outing with a face painting. They did a great job. Wyatt adored it and it was worth every penny

Dinner was at The New Yorker. The pizza was fantastic. SC can not make a pizza for their life. It was nice to eat a good tasting pizza for the first time in 4 years!

After dinner the boys went back to the pool. I was exhausted and stayed in zoning out to Food Network and writing up this post. 


San Diego Day #1

A super excited Wyatt waiting to board his first airplane.
Our first flight
Sitting in his first plane. The kid was nearly crapping himself with excitement.
Rising sun. Worth waking up at 3:30 am
Second flight. We were supposed to have 1 hour 10 min layover but that ended up being only 20 minutes. Running from concourse E through all of D, a mall and halfway through C with a 4 year old is awful. We made it with 3 minutes to spare.
Wyatt and I on the plane. Insanely early but excited!
With 2 hours 45 minutes still to go inflight, I convinced him to lay down and nap. He slept for nearly an hour and it made the remaining part much better.
Wyatt insisted on pulling his own suitcase around. It was adorable
Had to make a stop at In N Out Burger.
Our hotel room looked directly at Petco Park. Sad that all the ball fields are now named after corporate America but still cool nonetheless
Our hotel was also right next to the Gaslamp District. It was really neat to walk around. A lot of restaurants but some cool shops mixed in too.
Looking out into the harbor. We had to walk up about a thousand steps to get there but it was well worth it. I didn’t get a picture but there was a multi million dollar yacht in the harbor.
Wyatt thought the sail boat looked like a pirate ship
Family selfie overlooking the harbor
We walked around the small marina park trying to get our bearings. Wyatt really wanted to go to the beach and we were told Coranado was the closest. We could look across the bay and see it but it wasn’t the type of beach we wanted. I wanted the Pacific Ocean full on with ocean waves and all.
More boats in the marina.
This is why we need Dusty around. I was completely terrified he was going to fall into the bay and drown. I never would have let him climb but he did fine and had fun.
I’m sure this bridge as a famous name. I just don’t know it. Had we chosen to go to Coronado we would have had to take an expensive ferry ($20 a person) or a cab over the bridge
Walking around the Gaslamp Quarter we found a candy store. I had promised Wyatt candy during the layover we never had, so taking him here was a big deal. He was in Heaven
The biggest sucker he had ever seen. He promptly dropped it and it shattered but he was okay with that as it was on a table and even easier to eat
An ice cream selfie.
Decadent drinking chocolate. I’ve been searching for this for 12 years. We drank pure molten chocolate for breakfast every day during our honeymoon in France. America can’t get it right but this was pretty close and the best to date.
Neither of us knew there was a Ghirardelli store. We are at one in Vega and San Francisco. My diet went completely out the window. These calories were worth every pound.
My own Heaven. I love socks. Very much.
I’m sure this bridge has a name. We were told it takes you to Coronado. The other option was a $20/person ferry. We chose neither and instead to go to the coast.

After a short break in the room we headed to the pool. The fancy couches and jacuzzi were wonderful. The water was a bit chilly and I found it interesting how much cooler the sun is here than at home. Back in SC a sunny, cloudless day has the sun boring deep into your bones. Here it was much milder in the same conditions and similar air temp. The sun is just really strong in SC. They also had poolside food and drink service that we did not partake in
Dinner was at the Old Spaghetti Factory. I personally get grossed out by food pictures, so instead you get my handsome boys.


PSA: My Uterus is None of Your Business

In each one of my exam rooms is a canvas 16 x 20 photo of Dusty, Wyatt and Myself. They are two of my favorite pictures of us and do the job of providing a conversation starter for times when I am doing an in office procedure and need to do small talk as well as for those appointments where I am providing nail care for the older population.

My head will be bent over someone’s feet and they will look to their right, spy the picture and inevitably ask “is that your family?”

I look up and can feel the grin splitting my face as I too look at it and say ” Yep! Those are my boys!”

I put the picture there for that exact purpose and I love talking about my family. I could talk about Wyatt for hours when invited to do so, and often times even when not, and I like the ability to connect with my patients on this level.

Unfortunately, this often times goes beyond this though. Several times a day the person will then ask “Is he your only one?”

I’ve perfected my answer over the last 3 years: “Yep! I love my little family. It is perfect”

Thankfully, most times that ends the line of questioning and we move on to other subjects or I get back to talking about their foot condition. A handful of times a day though, the person persists “you don’t want any more?”

What I want to do is look them straight in the eye and tell them “It isn’t about wanting. What I want doesn’t seem to matter in this regard. After 2 years of unprotected and very planned sex often times with pills, injections and invasive tests involved there was never a pregnancy and never an answer as to why since all tests came back perfectly normal and healthy. After we adopted there has been 4 more years of unprotected sex without a resultant pregnancy, so no wanting has nothing to do with any of it”

Instead I have learned to just repeat my above answer “I love my little family. It is perfect the way it is”.

Some persist though. “Don’t you want a daughter?”

My mind reels. Why pester a complete stranger with such personal questions? What would they say if I said “no…I would hate to have a daughter!” I’d love to tell them that getting pregnant doesn’t ensure a daughter and I don’t have another $47,000 to spend on adopting one. We still haven’t paid off half that from Wyatt.

I repeat my answer “I love my family just the way it is”

“You really should have a sibling for him. He would be happier”

Are you kidding me?! Now the person is telling me I am a bad mother for not having another child. If you don’t think this happens, guess again. I go through this multiple times a day. My answer to this one has always shut down any and all additional questions: “A lot of siblings don’t get along. He wouldn’t be better off if he hated his sibling”

I could take down the pictures. I could tell them I adopted Wyatt. But the thing is that it is none of their business. This is an extremely personal question and one I would never ask any person unless I was incredibly close to them to the point of sharing such information. I don’t like explaining that Wyatt is adopted 20 times a day and don’t feel like I should have to. People tend not to think about problems they never had to face. To many people getting pregnant just happens, whether it is wanted or not, and so they never dream that for someone else it wasn’t so and that their line of inquisition could be hurtful.

I won’t take the pictures down. I love them. I love talking about my boys and I love giving my patients an easy way to connect with me and come up with small talk which can be awkward. I don’t mind being asked if he is my only child and I don’t mind the follow up about having more, but once it gets beyond that it is crossing a line.



A Day in the Life

One of the new blogs I am following is about life with a small child and she wrote a day in the life type post last week. I found it interesting and decided to bore you all with a look at my own, but on a more general basis since I am pretty boring. Just thinking about it opened my eyes to why my house is messy, my errands don’t always get done and I have little energy to ride most days.


6:30 am is wake up time. Typically Wyatt is in our bed having joined us around 3 am or so and Dusty has already been up, showered and served breakfast to our herd. I help get him dressed and shower while they get out to door around 7:10am

I then make my own breakfast, drink a cup of tea and catch up on blogs until its time to go to work.

740 am I leave for the office and spend the day seeing patients, writing notes and putting out fires

5:15 pm and  I can finally leave. Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri I pick Wyatt up from preschool/day care. This puts me home right around 5:45 or 5:50 and I let Einstein out to pee. If it is a Thursday I pick Einstein up a few doors down from Wyatt from his doggie day care day.

Two days a week I head to the YMCA for a work out. On these days I throw the horses their hay and give them their grain and stand to make sure Pete doesn’t eat Gemmie’s snickers instead of his kale. Then I change, put Wyatt back in the car and head to a 6:15 class. Thankfully I live only 5 miles from the Y so this works.

Dusty gets home at pretty much any time. On time puts him at home by 5:45 and if he is there then Wyatt stays home with him. Lately, he has been so slammed at work that he is getting home who knows when and will just come to the YMCA instead.

Wyatt either plays with kids at the Y or hangs with his dad, whichever he prefers to do until my class ends at 7:15 at which time we will either eat at the Y’s diner (soooo good!!) or head home to eat left overs.

8:00 starts the bed time ritual and Wyatt finally crashes around 8:30 or 8:45. At that point I read a book in bed until 9:30 when I crash myself.

On days I don’t go to the YMCA, I cook dinner while Wyatt plays outside with Einstein or he helps me cook. He really loves helping me cook and gets to measure, stir and dump things in. We eat when Dusty gets home and then have about an hour or 90 minutes before bed time to read, wrestle and play.

You’ll notice the absence of any TV time. We don’t have cable or netflix and Wyatt gets no screen time on a school day, so really the TV only gets turned on Friday night for family movie night and a little bit for sat/sun morning cartoons.

On Wednesdays I work outside my office at a local Wound Center which means I leave the house 30 minutes earlier. I head off straight from there to ride when I can and when I don’t I go straight home getting there around 6:30 pm and then see the above.

So…all told I get about 2.5-3 hours of awake time at home during each week day. I struggle with my inability to keep the house tidier, ride more on week nights and do chores like rotate the compost or pick the pasture. Truth is I just don’t have the time since one of those hours is spent getting ready for work in the morning.


Dusty works every other Saturday morning. Either way he generally gets up when Watt does around 6:30 am and I get to sleep in until 7.

I use the Saturday’s that he works to clean the house in between playing with Wyatt and we have a good system of when I take a break from vacuuming, washing the floor, doing dishes etc…

Once that is done we play until Dusty gets home.

The rest of the weekend is typically spent grocery shopping, doing laundry and running errands that didn’t get done during the week.We also always try to do something fun for Wyatt. This past weekend I introduced him to Pokemon Go since he has gotten really big into Pokemon and we went downtown hunting. He had a blast.

So anyway…there it is. A look into my life. It is busy and hectic and I mostly love it although I’d love to find a better balance and be home more. Some day.


Meet Wyatt – The Guinea Pig

A couple of Mondays ago I get a text from the hubster:



He had shown up to work and found a young guinea pig, cage and all, sitting on his front steps. Who knows how long the poor thing had been sitting there although the kennel girl didn’t see it at 5 pm Sunday when she was last there.


Dusty has a lot of experience with pocket pets, but doesn’t see a whole lot at his current practice. He took him inside to see if there was a medical reason for the abandonment and found a friendly, out going and healthy male.

He texted me some pictures and I told him to bring the poor little guy home for Wyatt. Dusty wasn’t too keen on the idea since we already have a house full, but Wyatt loves small, furry things and I thought he could just come stay for the night.

You see, Wyatt loves animals, but tends to not get too focused on them. He had wanted fish and Dusty went out and got a fish tank (Dusty had been wanting fish for years, so this was more an excuse to get it than Wyatt really begging for it) and while Wyatt thought it was neat, he pretty much ignored it.

I thought for sure that he would look at the little guinea pig, pet him a few time sand then turn his attention to other pursuits.

Nope. Dead wrong.


Wyatt took that guy and refused to put him down. He chose the spot for the cage in his room and promptly named him Wyatt. Because after all it is the best name out there.


Since then Wyatt aka Guinea (both names used equally) has lived at the foot of Wyatt’s bed. Wyatt gets him out first thing every morning and first thing when he gets home. He also has asked me to make him a costume which is going to be hard since I don’t make anything. I did make my hamster, hammy (strong names run in the family) a cape when I was in 5th grade, so it just might be possible.

Welcome to the family!

Family, Riding/Horses

The Most Expensive Free Hot Chocolate

Spring time makes me itchy for adventure. The last three weekends have been gorgeous and I’ve been fighting the urge for a day trip knowing that we had a lot to do around the farm.

This past Sunday was free of necessary chores and we piled into the car to head to a local destination I’ve been wanting to hit up since we moved here: Tryon, NC. It is just about an hour away and is a simple highway drive. I knew most of the shops would be closed, but that didn’t matter since I wasn’t looking to buy anything. Just being out in the sunshine exploring a new town was enough.


Sure enough, most stores were closed including the one restaurant I had hoped to hit up having been told to eat there by several friends. The Main Street was charming though and with nobody else around Wyatt could run around the sidewalk without threatening to bowl. anyone over.


We found an antique type store open near the end of the street and ducked inside. It was a really neat store and we had time to speak with the owners. They just moved here from years spent living in Germany collecting antique furniture from all over Europe. The pieces were large, solid and ornate.


Interspersed among the beautiful furnishings was pottery painted in a unique blue and yellow pattern. They explained that it came from Poland and was considered “art you can eat off of”. It was really beautiful but I was unable to snap a picture.

As I wandered around the store, which was larger than the outside let on with many rooms, I spotted a complimentary Keurig. Dusty and Wyatt were both complaining of being hungry, so I made Dusty a cup of coffee and Wyatt some hot chocolate. Knowing how hot the Keurig gets, I blew on the hot chocolate for a long time as we chatted to the owners before I gave it to Wyatt.

We were just heading out when Wyatt took a sip and the second worst nightmare a parent can have in a store with a child (the first being that they grab and break something you can’t afford to purchase in good form let alone broken), came true. Wyatt took a sip, burnt his tongue and flung the cup away from him. Hot chocolate went everywhere including soaking into an ornamental rug on the floor.

Thankfully the rug was old, worn and not for sale, but as I helped sop up the mess Dusty looked over at me and whispered “now we need to buy something” I nodded. Had it not been empty or had we not just spent 20 minutes chatting to the lovely owners, we might have been able to clean it up, apologize and slip out. As it was, I felt awful.

There was a beautiful horse painting I had spied in the back and so, once the lady owner and myself were off our knees once again, I asked to see it. It was reasonably priced and I purchased it.

Turned out that free cup of hot chocolate cost me $102. At least I got a nice painting out of it. It also happens to be the only horse themed artwork I own.



Dropping the Ball

Being a full time working mother is hard.

In pre-mom life, I juggled a lot of balls in the air. School, work, the dogs, riding, hiking, the hubby, reading. Everything was fairly well balanced with each ball the same size and weight. No one thing was vitally more important than the next and while it took some shuffling around and a bit of exertion, it really wasn’t that difficult to find a happy balancing point for all.

Then Wyatt was born and it was like someone threw a bowling ball into the mix and told me I had to juggle that one too. Being larger and heavier means I have to devote more time, energy and awareness to it. I handle it by just throwing the others up a little higher, giving me more time to ignore them before having to devote myself to them once again.

In general, it works out ok. This past Tuesday it all came crashing down.

Things were looking to be working out – I had a 6 pm spin class I was really wanting to join and Wyatt had a 6 pm cooking class he had been looking forward to for a week. Dusty blocked off his schedule to get out in time for the start of the cooking class. My mom and dad would pick Wyatt up for me and deliver him to the Y so they could also join the spin class.

All my balls were in perfect sync, flowing through the air in matching arcs.

The cooking class information said to call by 12pm the day of to ensure there would be enough food for all participants. I made a mental note and began my work day. Then work got insanely busy. I was hopping from one exam room to the next, putting out fires, scheduling surgeries, talking about amputations and performing minor procedures. I was 15 medical record notes behind by the time the drug rep came for lunch to have a meeting about a new wound care product on the market: one that can actually be used in the acute wound phase and could potentially be a game changer if it does what it claims to. Heck, even if it does 1/4 of what it claims to.

All thoughts of calling the Y were erased from my mind.

I was all excited, still believing things were all falling into place, when I arrived the YMCA and immediately felt my heart hit the floor: I had forgotten to call. I walked up to the counter and asked if he could still get in. No. Apparently they go grocery shopping at 1 pm the same day to get just enough food for those signed up. As an aside, I also had to pay the $10 in advance which I would have been unable to do on the phone anyway,  but that is besides the point. There was no way they were going to let him in.

I felt terrible as I saw my big old bowling ball came crashing down on the ground. I had messed up and my best little man was going to be heart broken because of it.

He came walking in about 10 minutes later with a huge smile telling me he was all ready for his cooking class. Take a wild guess how well he took the news that Mommy forgot to call and he couldn’t participate.

I wanted to cry.

In the end he probably had even more fun playing basketball with his dad on the court (specially when they lowered the hoop for him) and then running around on the track. But still…I knew I had let him down. Letting your kid down is a terrible feeling. I don’t suggest you try it.

In the grander scheme of things, missing a cooking class isn’t so bad. He was none the worse for it and had his own fun, but still. It just made me realize that my juggling skills aren’t so good after all. Nothing like a big old piece of humble pie to start your week.

Keeping everything running smoothly is hard. Its why I stopped riding many months ago when the horses were so far away and the timing just wasn’t working out. Its why having them home now is such a big deal. I scheduled a riding lesson with a new trainer for Sunday at 4:30pm. At my house. Its going to be amazing. Anything I can do to lighten the load, to even things out. Anything I can do to help keep those balls moving in flawless arcs up above my head.