Sunday, January 10, 2010


We are in big D. I wish it were for better reasons. We left early this morning and had a really good trip with the boys (i.e. they didn't scream in their seats, no major spills, no bad weather, etc). Erica's mom is with us to help with them. Reid has to be with Erica for feeds, obviously, so we couldn't leave them at home. But they can't come to events with us, so Margie is taking good care of everyone.

The visitation was horrible. We are drained. I'll never forget it as long as I live. The best part was seeing how much Audra needed Erica and was glad to see her.

Our hotel is a little shady and smells like French fry grease. But I am a cheap skate and found it for 58 on

Saturday, January 09, 2010


A quick post since I've broken my resolution and missed yesterday.

I had good reason. A friend of ours from Erica's residency class, Audra, lost her baby Thursday to SIDS. She was Reid's age. We spent our evening last night planning our trip to Dallas and talking. No time to hop in front of a screen.

I was actually off yesterday, so I had lots of good Reid time. Ross went to school. We went to my dad's new place to meet him and my aunt Becky, who will be decorating. He moves in a week if all goes as planned. We also went to see Mom at school. He was a hit and loved the attention. E met us for lunch at Bossa Nova (always a treat). Then the boys had check-ups. Reid had four shots and a rough evening.

Today I head in to round on a couple of patients, then we just plan some home time.

And no, I am no pregnant. Geez. And I can't adopt my kids in AR. It's just that I would like to work to change that process, ask if there are loopholes, etc.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


We had a rough night. Too much going on. Ross had a friend's birthday party tonight, and it was fun but set us back a bit. Weeknight excitement can do that. It somehow became 10:00 really fast.

We got NO precipitation, which I hope you remember was properly predicted here last night.

Reid has a persistent cold. How long is too long? Why does his cough sound so horrible? Has he peed enough? Does he need medicine? Why am I married to a pediatrician but have no clue how to settle our worries about these kids?

This morning I woke up dreaming that we had all been in a plane crash. I was trying hard to find the boys in the aftermath, which was quite a drawn out process. I finally got to this Catholic girls' school in a densely forested neighborhood. After finally finding the lobby, I stood at the desk while the nun started telling me that I had to fill out a form to remain on campus. I begged her to help me find "my boy." I kept saying it over and over again. It was like Ralph Fiennes in "The English Patient," when he can't get back to Katherine because they think he was (and he was) a spy. Only seemingly more dramatic. The other weird thing: One of my future partners was on staff at the school. I'm not going to tell her.

I think I harbor separation anxiety. One of my goals (New Year's Resolutions?) is to make progress in the land of Adopting My Kids. I could at least try.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I try to think of things during the day that would be great to post in the evening. There seem to be so many.

And yet. Here we are, with not much to say. About a year ago (almost two years), I read two books in short succession that each employed a narrative technique that involved little stream-of-consciousness sentences such as: "And yet." Even so." "Still." I always think of those books when I write something like that. It was super effective and made an impression on me. Great transitions. Richard Ford's "The Lay of the Land" and "History of Love" by Nicole Krauss.

On the radio this morning.

I hate tumor board in general, today's tumor board in particular. I always sweat and get a headache to be walking that plank.

It may snow tonight, so the whole world is in hysteria mode. Me, I have chosen to ignore. We go about our business. Ross throws a fit to go to bed, the breast pump in the other room whirs, and Reid devours his conglomerate fingers.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Here we are at five days in a row. See, I could do it.

To answer: yes, my mom was temporarily sick. H1N1 for a week, followed by a secondary pneumonia that required hospitalization. She was really sick but made a full recovery. My dad met me in the ER. The three of us were alone together for hours on end, for the first time in several years. It was good considering the circumstances. Then it was bad because it got complicated. They made a movie about it; did you see it?? Meryl Streep even drives a Highlander.

Today was crazy at work. I got finished a little after 7 (that's radiologist speak for late). Erica had already made dinner and accomplished baths. I swept in for the final hurrah, read books, then they crashed. I don't remember sitting today, but I must have for a few minutes at a time. I did eat. It was a fun day.

I am still really frustrated with PICC lines in babies. It is the most technically challenging but banal of our procedures in IR. Bread and butter. Several a day. Technologists standing around tapping their toes. But the smaller the baby, the more difficult. Sometimes I feel like I'm gaining ground, but then I'll have trouble with a few. Like today. It is so frustrating to be in this position. Board certified, mid-year fellow, experienced, looking at another fellowship for these types of procedures, and totally screwing it up. I am capable of so many things, but that doesn't matter when I'm at the plate for one of these little kids. It WILL get better. My mantra.

I am learning so much. As the only fellow in the department, people bring me their interesting cases. They ask me questions. We look stuff up. I kind of know all the kids in the hospital - at least their images. I may never see them face to face, but I have them memorized. Lest you think it is all hard PICC lines, this is a most rewarding year to get to experience.

Monday, January 04, 2010


So back to work for me today. I had the stomach bug yesterday and wasn't sure about work, but woke up OK to go. Lo and behold, it was a Little Rock snow day for no good reason. The boys had school cancelled, which would have been fine because E was off service this week. THEN she got the call that her partner was puking and had fever. Scrambling ensued; babysitter arrived. Both moms to ACH.

Hectic start to the week, but we had a great evening. Reid's hair is really growing right now. He is drooling a lot. He smiles all the time. He sat through the entire dinner on my lap with no fussing. These are the kinds of things I notice and mention at the dinner table and want to remember next year and the next and the next. Good enough reason to blog.

I got an email last night and phone call yesterday from my best college buddy, Erica, in Denver. She had twins last week. She got pretty sick; they're early but doing well in the NICU. Hopefully, they'll be out in a couple of weeks. It makes me miss my friend to know that so much is going on in her life. I've been thinking about them a lot.

I've been thinking about my dad, too, who is going through lots of transitions associated with a pending divorce. I know as a parent the feeling of hurting for my kids, and I am experiencing something similar as a kid watching a parent. It's been a rough few months with my parents. My mom got sick in September. The two of them have been "talking." He's had his own drama. It seems like their divorce happens over and over again. It never goes away, and it's always an adjustment. Ugh. I'm whining.

Good place to stop.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


I forgot to explain the title of last night's slightly drunken post. I was a pushover yesterday. Ross is a three-year-old and that's not his fault. He gets whiny. It's our fault for being pushovers, and we were guilty yesterday. A few times. After we got home, we were discussing this phenomenon with the babysitter. THEN he stayed up to watch a movie in our room. My head hit the pillow, so I wasn't involved in the movie. Erica stayed up with him. Apparently it was close to midnight. REALLY??

Lots of things to work on today, not the least of which is taking down Christmas. Working on printing some pictures. Grocery. Laundry. It keeps going and going and going. How do people keep heads above water? Is it just me?

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Ross TV, Reid blowout diapers, E to work, Leah in charge for the morning.

I took Ross to see Alvin and Chipmunks for a special date. Which was fine except my phone fell between the seats and was a major ordeal to retrieve - after the movie with the janitor-trash can-flashlight man.

Big nap, then date night for moms. We went to the Pantry and had a pleasant fairly casual evening. Then Sack at So, which didn't live up to expectations. We rode around and were thankful for Whitney. Much needed moms time.

Ross was extra cute today. He was needy and sweet and lovable.

Friday, January 01, 2010


Last published October 16, 2009.

Pathetic. Here resolved: a post a day for 2010. It can be one word for all I care, but it will happen. I've lost all my readers, so it doesn't matter if the posts are pathetic. No one will know!

Growing our family made for an eventful 2009. That goes without saying. There have been so many changes, small and large. Erica and I have seen our relationship come full circle in the past year and a half. Ross has become a big kid, and a new baby has joined us. Even Reid has made major changes.

Where we stand now:
I (Leah) am a pediatric radiology fellow at ACH. My job is awesome, but it would be nice to be finished training (and making real money; let's be honest). Unfortunately, that's probably a year and a half away. One more year of training (dedicated to pediatric interventional radiology) will follow this one. Time frame is July 2010 to June 2011; then start the real job. ACH is home. It is a great place to train and will be a great place to join a group.

Erica is still thriving in her job as a pediatrician, also at ACH. She takes care of babies in the NICU but has fewer hard-core responsibilities than her neonatology colleagues. She has no nights and weekends. It averages a week on/week off. She loves her job but hates being back at work after having a new baby. This description betrays the real situation, though. Erica is a super mom. She works hard, is an easygoing role model for a rambunctious three-year-old, and spends day and night breastfeeding Reid and pumping milk for him at work. And I'm here to testify. She makes it look pretty easy. We're overly busy and get stressed and forget where our keys are just like everyone else. But she keeps it together. The Braswell glue.

Ross turned three on December 13th. He didn't have terrible twos but is showing signs of terrible threes! Actually, I shouldn't say that. It's just that he is now capable of acting badly. He loves school at Trinity Cathedral's Early Childhood Education Program. His teachers (Whitney and Amanda) love him and are an integral part of raising him up. He loves Spiderman, movies, playing outside, his cousins, and all things rough and tumble. He potty-trained himself this fall and has done a great job. Diapers at night. Still has nighttime pacifier which we are fine with. Sleeps with us a lot which we are fine with. LOVES his baby brother.

Reid is now a baby with an adorable personality. He smiles and snuggles with the best of them. He was a little higher maintenance as an infant than Ross, but now he is this perfect little sweet being. Great breastfeeder. Decent sleeper. Perfect little brother. He is already laughing at Ross. He sits up if supported and has rolled front to back already. Four months tomorrow.

We really want to sell our house early this year. Our house payment and upkeep are way too much, and it's time to simplify and get back to basics. Especially if I work out my training to be done elsewhere. I've interviewed in Toronto and Boston, and have a January 28th Cincinnati interview. We need an easy place for that time period because Erica will stay here with the boys.

We are like a lot of Americans and have had lots of technology advances. Of course our iPhones help all the time; we've had them 2 and a half years now. I've become an RSS feed reader. We have an iMac, a MacBook Pro for Erica via work, and a MacBook Air for me. We are never far away from Facebook, email, and feeds. We got a new TV for Christmas with a Blu-Ray player that has wireless streaming for instant Netflix viewing and Pandora radio. We have Tivo for the downstairs TV, and it stays stocked with kid-friendly shows. I got iPhone speakers for the den for Christmas. I have a new Kindle, given to me by my dad sometime this year. It's truly all-tech all the time, and sometimes we have to take a break.

We'll be in better touch. There will be plenty of time for me to catch up on the blog so that I have a record of how the kids and family are doing. That's the plan.