EEEKKK! It’s one week until orientation. Everything is coming hard and fast and best of all, I feel ready. My summer checklist is all but crossed off. I got back into decent running shape- I did 25 miles last week! The study room is done. I got new school grown up clothes. I rested, and enjoyed my family and friends. It’s weird that this is the last week ever in my life that I will NOT have been to medical school! How many people can say that they’ve been to medical school? Probably millions but it sounds pretty crazy to me! Still, next week this time will be very busy and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous!
This weekend though, is this girl’s birthday!
She’s not this little anymore but it feels like just yesterday I was making her first birthday cake!
But now she’s this gorgeous, sassy, little sweetheart and I’m making her fifth birthday cake!
I’m sitting in the bathroom talking to you nice folks, while supervising the bath time of a very sleepy 4-and-a-half year old. I had a very fun and relaxing fourth of July weekend. These little girls often put things in perspective for me. Throughout the week, I chase down a to-do list, that- as soon as I cross off one thing I add another- is often full of not-so-important things. Yet, I treat it like my life’s work. And, while it is important to get my oil changed and renew my passport before school starts, I forget that I’m supposed to be relaxing before medical school and not stressing these mundane things. The little ones that I’m so lucky to call my nieces always call me back to what’s important by forcing me to take a break to cuddle and listen about their lives, play in their imaginary world for a while, and not worry about my list or school just yet. (Right now they pretend to be the princesses left at home by their kings while they go to fight the king’s war)
I didn’t take any photos of the gorgeous fireworks or the cookout, but I had a pretty hilarious silly-photo selfie shoot of which I will share gratuitous amounts of grainy iPhone pictures.
pssst…. doonthego.me (no longer “.wordpress.com”) will launching soon, so be on the lookout! ppppppsssssttt… the study room I have posted about here and here, is almost done! Just waiting on some final items to be ordered so look out for that too.
I’ve posted about being an aunt before and you can read about my five nieces on my family page, but this is more of a separate issue that irks me. Disclaimer: Perhaps there are different community/family/church/whatever dynamics that I have not experienced. I would certainly not want someone to never experience the joy of a family bond even if their mom, dad, aunt, brother, etc. was not blood-related. I have also had friends whose family was like a second home to me and I have had friends that jokingly walked into my house and said “Hi Mom” to my mom, but here’s what I’m thinking. As an aunt, I would find it offensive for someone else- to call my girls their niece. It would discredit my bond with them, especially as an aunt who lives far away from them. Especially when they are young, its hard enough for them to understand that I am their mommy’s sister and that Gramma and Grandpa are our Mom and Dad, and how important those bonds are. It hasn’t happened to me that I’m aware, I just think it would make me sad. I would liken it to someone telling a friend that they were their “sister” in front of their real sister. “Like a sister”, would be more true. I would be fine if the girls said someone “was like an aunt to them.” I would be happy that they had so many people in their life that love them like I do. But there is something about saying someone is blatantly “your brother, your aunt, etc.” People that don’t know any better instantly relate that person to the meaning of a family bond and its not true. Maybe I’m being petty and jealous, but just from a loving, young, cool aunt’s perspective- parents- watch who you let your kids call family and friends of people with kids- watch what you ask those kids to call you And now I’m interested to see how other aunts out there and my sisters feel about this.
Nothing keeps me busier than when these four kiddos come to visit! The highlights of their days include Magic School Bus, fish sticks, swimming pools, playing the floor is lava, and anytime a slushy is involved. The highlight of my day is “quiet rest time” when they don’t have to nap but they have to sit still. They do funny things to get around it, like crawling very very slowly, playing “very still” tag- which turns out to be not very still at all, and repeating everything one of them says until that one person is crying. I also like helping them with their summer math and reading practice more than all of them like school combined.
I was always much more into school than they are. Maybe because having three other siblings that close in age is more fun than anything school has to offer. I’d probably be the same way if I had had several roommates to play with. It’s a good thing that they are staying juvenile as long as possible. When I was the twins’ age, (8) I feel like I was pretty self-sufficient. I could make my favorite meal by myself, stay home by myself, and bathe myself. I want them to stay young as long as possible. Though, I do admit being an adult is a lot better. Being as independent as I was, I got frustrated a lot when I got to preteens and teen years and people were still telling me when to go to bed, and how much I could eat. With these kids though, they would eat nachos til they puke, not bathe for 6 weeks and watch TV until their eyes bleed, so I’m glad they still depend on us to take care of them. With the kids come new germs my body is unfamiliar with so I have the beginnings of an upper respiratory infection. It always comes on the same. I wake up with a sore neck in the back, sore lymph nodes beneath my jaw and a painful throat with no cough. The second day I get an even worse sore throat, a puffy face, and a nice stream of mucus down the back of my throat that makes me not hungry and feel like I could gag at any minute. I usually nurse one dose of Dayquil liquid for about ten minutes every 8 hours. It tastes terrible but its good at coating my throat. Despite the oncoming full-blown infection, I went out last night to meet some future medical schools classmates. We were going to go to a minor league baseball game, but it got rained out. Instead, we watched the Thunder game at a sports bar called Leon’s. It was super loud whenever Thunder swished it, which I thought was cool. I went even though I didn’t know anyone else there. Everyone was super chill, friendly, and funny. Several guys brought their wives or girlfriends, which I thought was cool. You get to know more about people on a deeper level that way. We met up through a Facebook group, so the joke of the evening centered around a guy on Facebook who couldn’t find where we were sitting. One guy went around the bar trying to find “Matt” who none of us knew. He asked a bunch of strangers and people that looked alone or lost. It kept getting funnier because people were walking around and people kept yelling “Are you Matt?” One person held up Matt’s Facebook profile picture and yelled, “If this is your picture, sit down!” I thought it was hilarious. Some second years asked if I was excited to start with a skeptical look on their face. I told them I knew it was going to get scary really fast but that I really was ready to meet everyone and see what its like. I do still want my FULL summer first, though! We also talked about where we were when we got “the call”. I think its something that everyone remembers. One guy said he was at work at a clinic and his boss was a doctor so he let him answer let him leave early too. Mine was during class. I stepped out for a minute and called OSU back after I got the missed call. Unable to stop smiling or silently shrieking, I ran back into class and yelled to everyone that I just got into medical school. It was a good moment. Speaking of getting into medical school. I got an email this morning that I have made it off of the wait list into OU med. It was surprisingly uneventful. Having already made so many plans at OSU, I entertained the idea of actually going to OU for about 3 minutes total, (but man those mods are nice). I’m happy and proud that a great school like that would offer me a spot, but ultimately it came down to a technicality. Getting an interview somewhere means you are qualified to go to the school. Getting on the wait list means that your arbitrary “score” with the interview considered wasn’t high enough to get an outright offer of admission. Basically it means that you didn’t completely blow your interview, but they aren’t ready to let you in in case they can get someone “better” in their sense of the word. Getting off the wait list just means that enough of their “preferred” people have accepted offers elsewhere, so they’ll “allow” me in more or less. It was different for me at OSU. I felt valued as an applicant from the moment I started dealing with OSU. Like they were saying “Thank you for considering us,” to me. And when I was wait listed, I still got a personal phone call and was welcomed to send them updates on what I was doing. Then, I found out that like dating- OSU wanted me to want them too. (My physician mentor that’s an OSU alum looked at my file, saying that I applied to OU. Since they figured I would get in there too and pick there, they didn’t make me an immediate offer.) So I sent in a “letter of intent”, and a week later I got in.
It’s a shame that something this important to my life comes down to games like this that both OU and OSU play. But that’s the way it goes. Maybe I’m too prideful to accept the offer from OU when I seemed to be a second rate choice. Regardless of the reason at the heart of it, I know I’d have a good time suffering for four years at either school. Like so many other things in life, it comes down to it being what you make of it. I’m sticking with OSU, though, because it already feels like home.
The night before I last I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited for two reasons. 1)I’m still in the old college town waiting for graduation but I didn’t have any finals the next day so I got to sleep in. I love sleeping in.☺️ 2) After I woke up, I got to go pull my eight year old niece out of school an hour early to go on a date with me.
They don’t know how excited I get just to see them. They don’t know how cool I think they are. They don’t know that I really do still think of them like they’re 18 months old toddling around. Them running away from me tickling them but still within reach that I could wrap my arm around their pooched bellies and pull their whole body back with just one hand. They don’t know that I think about them all the time. That I hope with all my being that I can help them along their way, and be just what they need from their aunt. They don’t know how much I love just sitting with them. Especially if they’re piled all around me. The other day at Ross I probably creeped a little girl out. I had one of those slow mo moments. I walked down an aisle. At the end of the aisle in the main path, I watched a man pick up this little girl. She was probably 3. I stared. It was just the way he picked her up was so smooth and familiar. And her response. She wasn’t looking at her dad. She had her thumb in her mouth and was looking straight at me. Once she was up it took exactly no time before her body was perfectly contorted to be completely wrapped around him. You know the hold. She was propped slightly on his side, instantly resting her head on his should. His right hand under her seat, his left supporting her back, laying her up against him. One fluid motion. Him, made to pick her up and hold her. Her, made to fly straight up and be held. I kept staring and the girl stared right back. I instantly ached for my Julie, who is still just that size. After Stevie and I had a [relaxing] blast, I took her home and her three sisters were watching a movie. They all exclaimed my name. Julie hopped off the couch and yelled “Andi!” extra enthusiastically and threw her arms up in the air, running toward me. Like I was made for it, my hands go under her arms as a squat down a little, pull her up in the air. Muscle memory brings her to my torso and instantly she is wrapped up in around my whole body. One fluid motion. A hurricane couldn’t tear us apart. It feels so good. To be able to hold a whole tiny person. To have them hold you just because they get to see you. My heart soars. That is what being an aunt to these five girls feels like. All. The. Time.
My niece was with me last night and today during my classes. I have since realized my life is pretty boring for a six year old. And that’s with having gone to the park during one of my breaks. She woke up this morning before my alarm, thankfully knew better than to wake me, and was “Ready to start the glorious day of high school. Wait, are you in high school?” “Nope, Kate. I’m in college.” And yes she really did say glorious. 20 minutes into my first class she said “When is it time for a rest?” Basically I am a granny. We still had fun though. We went rock climbing, played racquetball and went to an intramural futsol game. She dressed this little doll up on my iPad. She said “Look a swimsuit!” Sweet, modest, little Katie. One thing I do have in common with a six year old is that we both eat all day long, mostly a well-balanced diet of goldfish, apples, Easter candy, and pasta. Anyway- After many people begging and pleading with me to not run by myself at night, I have come up with some safer compromises that can be used as safer running tips. I like night because its cooler, more peaceful, and the sun is not in my eyes. My face is really sensitive to sunburn and I’m a big time squinter. But, especially in Shawnee I do not always feel safe. 1) For starters, a more obvious one- I usually wear a light colored shirt or something reflective. 2) I carry pepper spray on a little wrist band. You know- for rapists, serial killers, robbers, and more likely, big dogs. 3) If I run with music, I leave an ear bud out and lower the volume. 4) At each intersection, when I’m checking for cars, I take stock of my surroundings and look around behind me too. Not just as a paranoia thing, but for feral cats and skunks and weird kids trying to talk to me. 5) I only run in an area I’m familiar with. In Shawnee, I only feel comfortable in like a 2 square mile area. Its not always the most entertaining run, but I do zig zags like I drew in this picture of the beautiful city grid system to get to the mileage or time I want before I turn around. This usually works in neighborhoods best because you more than likely will have tiny blocks to go up in down each way. The example I have is in a square mile area but you can easily get 6 miles in. 6) This might be the most paranoid tip, but I don’t make my Nike plus account viewable nor do I use the apps that post where I run on my Facebook. My nike plus account is hooked up to my GPS watch and keeps track of my pace and mileage, which are handy, but it can also show you my running habits like where I like to run, how long it takes me, and what time of day I went. So I keep both of those things private. 7) If at all possible, I take someone with me. My roommate rides her bike with me when she can and she has a bike light, giving us extra visibility. And if Zach comes with me, he has a head lamp and I don’t even have to bring my pepper spray. Boys are safe like that 🙂 Like I said, I’ve never had anything serious happen to me, but people walking in the dark sometimes do scare me. I’ve been chased by (and had to kick) a dog. And some places give me the heebie jeebies. So these are just the things I don’t take chances with. How do you stay safe on a night run?