Categories
Life Medical School

First Year of Medical School is Over

and it has been for about a month now. To be honest, I’ve been relaxing without any guilt of not studying, not worrying about extracurriculars, boosting my application, or even getting ready for next year like I was constantly worried about last summer when I was prepping to enter first year. It’s a good feeling. I’ve had time to reflect and reevaluate myself and recognize all the changes that have occurred.
Two weeks ago, I helped with some recruiting events for the medical school where some of my class travelled Oklahoma and taught high schoolers about some of the things you get to learn in medical school. Over and over, my classmates talked about how much we had learned in our first year. Listening to my classmates explain things in such a way that high schoolers understood, gave me a lot of pride in watching the fruits of our labors these last nine months come to life. We have successfully integrated anatomy, foundational biological sciences, and now the physiology of the systems we are going through sequentially; we are able to articulate these concepts into something high schoolers can understand.
I’ve heard it said several times now that medicine involves a lot of teaching and at first I dreaded that thought. Rarely am I able to explain things in a fluid way such that my audience understands my thought process and the little tricks in my mind that help me learn. However, once I was put in front of these students just barely encroaching into the path that is Premed, I felt like for the first time I was able to take what I learned and really present it to this audience where they might be able to take away a deeper understanding of the heart, lung, or whatever we were discussing. Simply because I really, really understood the how it all works- from a molecular level, up to cellular, tissue, organ, and the entire body system through and through. Its taken 17 years of school, but I am finally getting there.
Throughout classes, I always felt like there was too much information- how could it ever all stick? Well, some of it doesn’t. My classmates were always right there for me to ask them about my weak points  in order to figure out a good way to explain it. But for everything I didnt quite feel proficient in, there were 17 other things I could rattle off and say- with some confidence- that were just as pertinent. It was an extremely cool thing to find. This crazy, flawed, difficult system that is medical education is working. I wish I had the stats- how many pages have I read, how many words- some way to quantify what was shoved into my brain. Its astronomical, but somehow, its working.
Against all odds- fighting sleep and skipping workouts and eating junk; feeling like crap, feeling like you’re never going to make it, skipping class, studying at all hours of the day, unsustainably torturing ourselves to fill ourselves to the breaking point with information- it actually really really worked. And medicine is just as amazing as I hoped it would be, and more.
Here’s to you, first year- all your ups and downs, suffering through, and thriving with some of the most wonderful humans I’ve ever met; I’m glad you are over but sad to see you go. I am now an 18th grader!
I’ve got some posts up my sleeves for this summer; some I have been mulling over for over a year when I first started this blog! So stay tuned.
Use the contact form at the top right of the screen to request a post on certain topic, get in touch, ask questions, whatever you need! Summer is the best time for me to do it!
 

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First day of medical school! I thought it would be cute to document just like I did in kindergarten!

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Last day of medical school a bunch of us went bowling to celebrate!

Categories
Application Process Blogging Medical School Premed

Catching up and Slowing Down

The blogging was slow throughout my neuroanatomy block. It was easily the roughest time since first semester when my class took our foundational science courses along with anatomy. Now the year is winding down. We are in our psychiatry block, or as we like to call it- “Psych-cation”. This is my last full week as a first year medical student. I had high expectations for this year. Nothing went as expected, but that’s not to say it wasn’t one of the greatest things I have ever been a part of. It continues to be my desire to wake up and learn and do medicine. I also continue to struggle each and every day to work my hardest, dig deep, and put my best forward. Some days are easier than others. I struggle to this day with the discipline to study for a full evening with no distractions. Time management- and the guilt that goes along with making tough choices- will always be tough for me. Whenever I choose to run and meal prep, I feel guilty for not studying. If given the the chance to watch my niece for an evening or be with my family, it is always my first inclination to pick them, and then spend my time with them rushing through it or worse, resenting them for pulling me away from studying. Yet, the same is true on the rare occasion I decide to continue studying- I start to get down on myself for being the studious, uncaring robot I never wanted to be and cursing my choice of medicine for making me betray my family. It’s so easy to fall to extremes whenever I am presented with two choices in the same window of time. I have a horrible fear of missing out (#FOMO) on fun with family and friends, but on the same token, I have awful anxiety when it comes to tests that I haven’t studied enough for. Life with me is always a certain roller coaster of emotions. It will soon be my last somewhat wide open summer. There are high expectations for that as well.
From my time with the doctors I love shadowing, and in spending time with our attendings that teach and grade us in clinical skills and OMM, I have learned how vitally important their experiences are to me. They give us tips on how to cause less pain, on how to find the diseases that “hide”, how to care for the difficult, stubborn, and “unwanted” patients. I love them for passing on their directly usable knowledge. I always remember what they say best when so much of medical school is only “practical” in the sense of boards. In watching and learning from them, I have decided that it wouldn’t be right for a doctor to learn all this and go about their practice without ever mentoring or teaching the upcoming doctors in some capacity. I may not have realized it, but this sort of outlet is one of the reasons blogging is great. So here it is; if I ever didn’t make it clear, or you thought I was to busy- here I am saying I am available to give you whatever I can offer you in your journey into medicine. If you are premed or thinking about premed or know someone that is- send them my way! I want to help anyway I can. Resumes, applications, stats, extracurriculars, what school to pick, what classes to take- I’ve been there and it helps to talk out your goals and reaffirm your passions with someone who knows the long road it will be. You can contact me on here. I read every email I get through my “contact” form. If you’re in Oklahoma, I can get students to come speak to your premed club. If you know me personally then you can contact me on Facebook and get coffee. Whatever you need, I’m available to mentor you and set you up with great doctors in the area that mentor too.  Especially now that summer is within sight!

Categories
Medical School

Motivation

I don’t have anything important to say. No advice or devastating or devastatingly exciting news. Only this.
If I had a nickel for every time I needed a medical school pep talk and a deep sigh with my mom, my classmates, my doctor mentor or anyone that will listen- I could fly my piggy bank and I to Hawaii.
This medical school thing is hard, but
It. Is. Flying. By.
And summer is on the horizon!

Categories
Blogging Medical School Medicine

Not for a Lack of Trying and Summer Plans

There are so many issues I want to talk about. Things I’m passionate about. In medicine and in life. Vaccines, mental illness and mood disorders, nutrition and exercise, pregnancy and childbirth, medical school admissions, preventative medicine, geriatrics, malpractice, thoughts on caring physicians, managing chronic illness, and of course this era of mistrusting our physicians and reliance on the internet. Big things are coming and happening and the future of medicine. I simply do not have the time to research and delve into these big issues and write the well-written pieces I know I can write while being true to my studies. The hard truth is, being the best physician I can in the future be means I need to give my all to the cardiovascular system right now. It means I can’t dive into those side issues I care so much about just yet because I need to know paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, bread and butter pericarditis, and Kerley B lines. I haven’t even had the spare thought-processing energy to figure out exactly where I stand on so many of these things. I sift through these thoughts in spare moments- spending time on my runs and in the shower deep in thought. When I’m done, I have a lot of little half-ideas and nothing really hashed out. Still, I write all my ideas in a note on my iPhone and save them for later. “Summer,” I promise myself. I’ll get down and dirty with these ideas this summer. It’s coming.
Also in the summer, a myriad of opportunities have come about since being in medical school- and I’ve been really blessed for that. I wasn’t really expecting it, since its so tough to find those good opportunities as an undergrad. Externships, research jobs, medical missions, vacations. I’m still sorting through it all right now, but I will be on at least one medical mission trip, being doing a summer rural health externship, possibly part time research. I’ll get some good shadowing time in too. Another big part is that I’m moving! Out of my parents house, and into one of my dad’s rent houses! I’m sort of sad, sort of excited. I’ll probably have roommates that are classmates and live WAYY closer to school so its mostly a good change. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted and thanks, as always, for reading!

Categories
Life Lists

Things to Do the Summer Before Medical School : Updated

You may remember this post. With 6 weeks left before medical school, I thought I would post an updated list posting my progress. Just under halfway there, and I’ve already started working several others.
1///Sleep until 2 PM.
2~GO TO CHICAGO WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND!
3-Make the perfect tiramisu.
4 Run a lot.
5) Take a nap an hour after you wake up.
#6 Go on a random road trip.
7> Journal.
8* Do a bunch of Pinterest projects.
9} Take a bubble bath.
10: Stay up until 4 in the morning.
11///Make a gourmet meal for mom and dad.
12~Have fun with your nieces.
13-Do nothing.
14 Go on a long bike ride.
15) Read a magazine outside.
#16 Watch movies you haven’t seen yet.
17> Sunbathe on a Monday afternoon.
18* Take the girls to Bigsplash.
19} Go shopping with mom
20: Try a new food.
21///Take a 30 minute shower.
22~Have a spa day.
23-Lay tile with Dad.
24 Organize stuff.
25) Take pictures
#26 Jump in a neighborhood pool.
27> Watch Netflix until your eyes hurt.
28* Go hiking.
29} Find a new hobby.
30: Focus on others.
31///Try a juice cleanse just because.
32~Get a tan.
33-Make over your study room.
34 Have fun.

Categories
Friends Health Life Pictures Products Recipes

Roadtrip Recap 2/Juice Cleanse Update 2

We woke up around 9 on Friday. Dani took a shower and went down to get breakfast while I stayed in bed and chilled.
I had a bowl of cheerio’s at the hotel, we both got ready, checked out of the hotel, and then we went off!
The venue was on Delmar Blvd which has a lot of shops and places to eat. We parked the car behind the venue and walked up and down the street but there wasn’t really any shopping that we needed and we weren’t quite hungry for lunch yet so we sat at Starbucks and tried to find something nearby worth going to.
I wore some new flats from Target and they blistered my heels after like 10 seconds so we decided on going back to the car then going to the mall via the Metrolink train.
We bought passes to the train at a kiosk on the underground platform and stood around for a little bit before realizing that we probably should figure out which side of the platform we needed to be on because things like that matter in public transit.
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We went to Saint Louis Galleria, ate lunch at California Pizza Kitchen (we had spinach, artichoke, and chicken pizza).  It was super yummy. We only went in a couple stores; mostly those that we don’t have in Tulsa. At Urban Outfitters I got an 11×17 artwork that was on sale for $10 and Dani and I both got a pair of Mary Jane canvas slippers that were 2 for $20. I basically bought the two cheapest items in Urban Outfitters.
Right as we started browsing in H&M I got a twitter message from Needtobreathe’s online/promotion lady that their merch guy needed help. We hurried back to the train station, triple checked that we were getting on the right train and then went back to help. Helping mostly consisted of putting the shirts up with prices on them and display tables together, but we got to hang out with a couple crew people and joke around. Before we knew it, it was time to change clothes and get ready for the VIP/early entry thing.
The merch guy, Hayden, takes the pictures at VIP too so he pretended to move us through and skip over us getting to chat with the band, yelling “Next” instead of helping us through.
The guys greeted us familiarly- high fives, hand shakes, and “Good to see you’s”, etc.
Hayden held our stuff for us and snapped this cutie patootie shot. I can’t decide if I want it tattooed on my face or screen printed on the side of my car. Just kidding.
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Then we took our place (front row between center-ish stage left-ish) for the show.
The actual standing room in The Pageant is actually pretty small, and it felt like forever before it filled up so I was worried the turn out would be lame but as is the norm for NTB now, they packed the house. The show recap is an entirely new post so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that one 🙂
***Juice Update
It is safe to say that I am sick of sweet liquids. Matter of fact, I have one last juice ready to go before bed and I really don’t know if I even want it. I feel like I have been drinking juice literally all day.
After my breakfast juice was my ‘Mid Morning Juice” that I am going to call “Apple Pineapple Blah” (Can you tell my mood is decreasing in enthusiasm for this wonderful stupid juice cleanse?
Anyway, that juice has probably been my least favorite so far, and its the grossest color as well.
Apple/Pineapple Juice is one of the best tasting- and sweetest juices there is. But, I thought I would throw in a cucumber for some vegetable-ness.
Into the juicer went half a cucumber, half a pineapple, and two small pink lady apples from my 5-lb sack.
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You can barely see the cucumber because its so dark.
This made a lot of juice. Pineapple and apple are usually really juicy, but apparently so was this cucumber because I got almost a full liter out of it. 2 Full Glasses like the one pictured below. You better believe I drank it all.
 
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Don’t get me wrong this juice wasn’t bad. I would definitely drink it again. (I have to. Tomorrow.) Its just that the cucumber icks me out a little. However, it does do a nice job of cutting some of the sweetness of the apple and pineapple.
In between this juice and the next juice I got very weak and sleepy. I considered going back to bed or going straight to my lunch juice, but I powered through and hung up clothes and did some unpacking and laundry.
Then, I went to the chiropractor about my neck and shoulders because I’ve been sleeping weird. I could lay on the roller massage table all day. For some reason, though, my timer dinged much too soon and it was time for my adjustment.
I came back home and juiced my “lunch”. I don’t have a name for this juice but something like “Super-Awesome-Beautiful-Delicious-Red-Juice” suits it best.
Into the juicer, went 1 peeled beet, 2 pink lady apples, a bunch of baby carrots.
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Fun fact: As I was peeling the beet, I also peeled my finger. Ouch. Also, when handling beets and bleeding, one cannot be sure if it is beet juice or blood one is seeing. Panic ensued, yet no stitches were needed.
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Isn’t it beautiful? I wanted to just paint all the walls with it look at it forever.
This is my favorite juice. The apple part was, of course, my favorite but the carrots actually add a lot of sweetness to any juice too. It made the whole thing taste like candy. And honestly, I didn’t even taste the beet. Basically its Kool-Aid that makes you feel like a super hero inside. I will definitely make this one as a regular juice once I can handle the sound of the juicer again.
In between lunch and my afternoon juice I drank a tall glass of water and was feeling pretty good.
I was hungry but it wasn’t unbearable. Sure I wanted boneless buffalo wings, mac and cheese, olive garden, and movie popcorn, but I didn’t feel like my stomach was empty. It may have been mostly for the satisfaction of chewing something.
My afternoon juice was more of an infused water. I juiced a lemon and a handful of blueberries and then added enough water to make a liter. I added some honey to it, and drank that while watching a movie with my friend Jenna.
It tastes exactly like watered down Simply Lemonade with blueberry, which is exactly what I was aiming for.
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About this time I realized I was peeing a lot. So that’s fun. Considering I’ve had over 3 liters of liquid today, that makes a lot of sense.
For my dinner juice, I soaked 6 oz. of raw cashews in water for an hour. I put the softened cashews and water into a blender and pureed it with a banana. I added some water and ice to thin it out and make it a chilled smoothie. Then, I put some honey and cinnamon in it. I’m not sure this can be counted as a juice but I honestly don’t think I could make it without it. Its very much like a milkshake. Most of the expensive juice cleanse companies out there have a vanilla/cashew “milk” so if they can cheat by not using fruits and veggies only, so can I.
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Again, this made a whole liter, and I drank it all. The only time I haven’t thought about eating something carb-y and crunchy is when I’m actually drinking this juice.
I’mma be honest. This is hard. Both before and after dinner I was hungry, cranky, and weak. Now, an hour and a half after my cashew juice, I have a headache and can barely focus on this blog post so I’m going to quit and entertain the idea of going to bed.
 
 
 

Categories
Friends Health Life Lists Medical School Pictures Products Recipes Running Science

Roadtrip Recap 1 and Settling Back in at Home

Ahhh, it feels good to be home. Mostly.
First of all, I want to thank so many of you for stopping by on my page! On my stats, I could tell people were checking into my homepage a lot more than usual. It could have been a fluke, but it made me excited to be able to post again. I didn’t have wifi and we were eating walking around and doing various concert things an awful lot for me to do much posting.
Currently, I am in sitting in bed with a mess of crap all over my room to unpack.
Some things I am not ready to face though. I am refusing to take off the most comfortable merch sweatshirt I got from Needtobreathe’s merch manager, and I have not removed my mascara fully in over 6 days. At this point it just sort of crumbles off when it dries out enough and then it falls into my eyes and becomes rather painful. I’m a stubborn lady though and I’m just not ready to go there.
Still, I must accept on some level that vacation is over. The self-tanning lotion has all but rubbed off, and my blisters from walking around the city in new shoes (bad horrible idea) are healing nicely.
Last Thursday, I hustled around Tulsa getting stuff done before the trip. I had to pick up Dani at 4. I got to her apartment/work, got her keys and got to work terrorizing her cats loading up her stuff into my car. We got on the road and quickly tired of any music that wasn’t “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea.
In Springfield we stopped for dinner at Hebrews Coffee. We found it on Urbanspoon.  Sandwiches and coffee were exactly what we needed to get us the next three hours up the highway to St. Louis. I got a chicken caesar wrap and it was the best one I’ve ever had. I wanted a Hazelnut iced coffee to go too; they didn’t have hazelnut syrup but they make their own almond syrup in-house so I got that and it was the best thing I have ever tasted.
Selfie Time
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Fun fact- a guy that worked there was wearing a needtobreathe shirt. This was the look on my face when he said he wasn’t going to the show the next night.
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Back on the road… More “Fancy”
We got to #stl and went to our hotel in the Central West End/Forest Park neighborhood.  As it turns out this is right in a network of hospitals, medical centers, medical/pharmacy schools so it was cool to see all the apartments, medical institutes, and stuff nearby.
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The neighborhoods were very quaint, well-lit, and cute so we felt comfortable walking around after midnight, seeing sites like these.

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Of course, at night it looked more like this
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(These people take much better pictures than I do on my phone)
There were a lot of cute patio cafes with cute white lights strung, but nothing struck our fancy to eat so we kept on walking.
We went back to the hotel, I took a shower, and went to bed; ready for a day of Needtobreathe when we woke up.
I’ll stop there.
ADD Moment Change of subject.
On my list of things to do this summer, I have that I want to do a juice cleanse. Well, what better time to do that than right after vacation (read: eating out all the time)?
Plus, all I wanted to eat on my trip was bananas anyway. How weird, right?
So, right when I got back into T-Town, I stopped at the grocery store and got stuff to make my last meal dinner and dessert for my parents and I. I noticed that Target had a particularly wonderful selection of produce. I freaking loaded that cart. Seriously I’ve never bought so much fruit in my life.
So, 3 day DIY juice cleanse starts tomorrow.
Why?
1. It’s summer
2. I love fruit
3. I’ll try anything once
4. I’m interested to see if it changes the way I feel. For instance, I think it will make me feel hungry 🙂
5. I have no major plans/events this week
6. I’m young and I can do weird crap like this
 
Other details, things to keep in mind…
If you look into juice cleanse you will see that the lemon-water-honey-cayenne is a popular one, but for me it’s just not feasible. I have pretty quick metabolism and running means I have to have calories or it would just be a 3 day-headache-y-jitter-y mess.
Then, there are the online juice cleanses where they send you each day’s juices to your door. Sounds awesome right? Well, it runs you about $10 a bottle. 6 juices a day means $60 on food a day times 3 days =$180. Mama no likey. Enter, the DIY Juice Cleanse!
Obviously this diet is not sustainable or healthy for any amount of time, but spending $180 on food for three days isn’t something I even did on vacation. Incorporating fruits and veggies is something I want to work on and $10 for juice isn’t the way I ever want to do it so I will also be working on a cost breakdown and see if this much fruit/veggies actually costs that much and if eating healthier really is more expensive. Pound for pound though, I got A LOT of food.
Granted, these companies juices are very good quality and have a lot of ingredients I, as a novice juicer will not be using. Parsley, ginger, etc. Also, I only got organic produce when it was available and priced reasonably.
I’ll do a breakdown of my juices and prep later but I basically have 5 juices that I will drink everyday along with as much water as I want. Then I have a 6th backup juice that is different every day for the times when I’m dying of starvation and want a Quiktrip Pretzel.
This was my Target Haul, we’ll see how this goes.
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My dad laughed when I told him this was happening.
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Fun Fact: The cashier at Target asked me what fruit my mango was.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Categories
Health Life Recipes

Breakfast

Thanks to my girls waking me up early, I’ve gradually been training my body to wake up earlier. Part of me being able to stay up all day and be productive includes getting a good breakfast too. I don’t like to eat right when I wake up though, so I waited a bit and then made this breakfast with fresh homemade juice in my juicer.
We had some chopped fruit left in the fridge from my party.
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It had apples, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and grapes.
I added an apple and a handful of raspberries and threw it all in my juicer. I can be kind of be picky about my raw fruit if its too mushy or bruised or just not fresh, but the great thing about juicing is that I can get rid of that less-than-fresh fruit. I normally would have written off these raspberries as too icky to eat alone, but they were perfect in my juice.
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I’ve found that an apple and two or three handfuls of other fruits is enough to make a cup of juice.
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I added a spoonful of Chia seeds and stirred. It was one of the sweeter juices I’ve made, but it was still good and tangy!
My favorite juice so far has been apple, carrot, orange, blueberry juice!
I added a bagel with peanut butter, cinnamon, and sprinkles on it and ate a banana as well. While a big, fluffy, white flour bagel isn’t the healthiest, its filling and its my favorite. I’ve eaten these since I was a kid. I consider it even since I had juice 😉
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Now, after running a few errands, including getting my last TB skin test before school (eep!), I’m going for a run. I love (healthy) productive days!
 
 
 

Categories
House Life

The Start of Summer and Home Improvements

To start off summer, I sat down for .05465 seconds and then got up and unloaded everything. As I went through each box I thought back on what I had used in the past year. I sorted everything into five piles and then reorganized everything I kept.
The five piles:
1) Trash
2) Recycling
3) Clothes to go to consignment
4) Donate to Goodwill
5) Sell on Craigslist
My room was a pit! College life exploded all over the house!
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Not long after I went through everything, we decided now was as good a time as any to paint the study room and my bedroom. My room is a really bold color I chose back in high school so I wanted something more serene.
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Since the walls are so bright, we had to prime first. Not to mention some holes we had to patch. Ta DA! The not so finished product.
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We are still working on it.
Here’s the color for my room, although the internet picture looks nothing like the swatch I have, so we will see how it turns out.
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And here’s the study room swatch.
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I’ve always been really into the meanings of different colors like how yellow is cheerful and red can be anger or passion. But, what do light tealy-grays say?
Amidst my productivity, I gave my dog, Copper a bath. He did not enjoy it, so to get back at me, he came into the room where I was priming right after and laid down lengthways along the wall where I had just cut in around the baseboard and got paint all down one side of his back. He’s a stinker.
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When this happened, I then had to quickly escort a very squirmy dog outside without getting wet paint all over the carpet and furniture. Success!
Anyway, something that always strikes me when I do projects in my dad’s line of work (home improvement)- and even cleaning/organizing- is how instantly gratifying it is when compared to school work. You study and study for four months before you receive one letter grade. In a little bit of time you can get a whole lot of work done and the results are visible every step of the way. I like seeing the fruits of my labor every step of the way. I like it sometimes. It’s a nice change of pace. I also like getting my hands dirty and not letting myself get too lazy during my lazy summer. Work can be fun guys!
 
 

Categories
Family Friends Growing Up Life

Graduation

I have become a college graduate in the time since we last spoke.
I thought that I would feel different afterwards or be sad or overwhelmed the day of. It was a fast-paced day of places to be, family arrivals, and I was also moving out of my apartment to go back home the same day.
It didn’t feel overly surreal and thankfully it was still a fun day with my family despite a 2 hour ceremony in a hot chapel.
I only teared up twice- once because my favorite professor was giving the commencement address and once when my mom found me after the ceremony and started bawling.
I was so glad and proud to have my family there, and my nieces did so good in the audience. Way to go girls!
The rest of the event is best described in pictures. There are no pictures of the actual ceremony because my dad doesn’t know how to focus. Half of everything saved on the SD card is a one second video because he didn’t know how to get back to picture mode. Parents…. sigh.

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My sweet friend Lynnette and I in the staging area

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This picture cracks me up. None of us are ready and it was too bright, apparently!

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Lynnette and I again- I couldn’t have made it through science without her!

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My favorite professor and I

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Some more science girls. Each of them bright, beautiful, and destined for great things!

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My rocks- my mom and dad

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Dear little Jenna and I. We are going to be the cool best friend doctors in the next “Grey’s Anatomy”

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Katie in my cap and gown. She will grow into it before we know it!