Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yoga Split: yoga mama gifts

Wondering what to get the yoga mama in your life, or what to ask for yourself if you're a fellow yoga mama like me? One can always use more yoga t-shirts, or cute baby onesies for your little one. Cafe Press to the rescue! I have always liked selecting gifts from Cafe Press, because you can easily find items with personalized messages that fit your life. Below are my yoga mama gift favorites.

Baby Onesies/Child:
Teenie Yogini
My Mommy Does Yoga
Future Yoga Instructor Just Like My Mommy
Little Yogi
Yogi in Training
I'm in child's pose. Namaste
Yoga Baby with Blocks

Yoga Mom
Yoga Mom: Handling Tantrums One Sun Salutation at a Time
Yoga Mama Tank top
Yoga Mom
Yoga Mom silhouette
Yoga Mom cap sleeve

Baby Om Ornament
Yoga Baby Bib

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yoga Split

Beautiful video of yoga being practiced in NYC, via YogaDork. It reminds me of how lucky I am to have taught yoga in many life stages--to babies, while pregnant myself, and to seniors..along with a 'normal' level 1 yoga class to anyone who wants to come.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mama Montage: crib and toys

How can tomorrow be the start of December...and Hanukkah? How can my child already be almost 7 months old? Wasn't it just July? Time flies when you have a baby, move to a house, and have a husband in medical residency (ie. scramble to get through day by day on your own).

My daughter now has a crib, thanks to my mom (Hanukkah gift!). It's a beautiful crib. Sprout has been in her pack n' play up until now, first in the attachable bassinette and then in the normal setting of the pack n' play. I put the crib together on Sunday. Getting the crib to my house was a labor of love, since I had to first tranport the crib to my grandma's from the Durham Babies R' Us--trunk popped open in my Honda CRV because the box was too big, even with my back seats folded over--and then had to get the hubby to pick it up from Durham with his pickup truck. We should've just had the crib shipped from the Durham store to our home Greenville store but, eh, hindsight. Through motherhood, I'm getting better at this assembly-read-instructions skill thing :). I've put together her changing table (although, the bottom shelves need to be fixed because they popped out of their fittings when I put too many clothes/diapers on them, whoops), her jumperoo, and now her crib. I also assembled the large book cases in the living room. Hiyah!

I've ordered a crib set with the Walmart gift card incentives the hubby and I received from participating in the second part of an NIH study on parental stress/SES conditions and birth outcomes. So, we have to wait a few more days until the crib bumpers and sheets arrive for Sprout to sleep in her big girl crib. Heh, what a haphazard nursery assembly my little girl has had, but ah well. It doesn't bother her, and I'm all about utilitarianism trumping any design coordination leanings.

Little Sprout definitely is teething in earnest now. We can see two white 'blisters' on her bottom jaw where those little teeth are going to pop through at some point soon. However, in fitting with her easygoing personality, she's not particularly troubled by her least not yet. I do notice she wants to be held a bit more, and she is attacking toys and fingers with her mouth with more gusto, but she is otherwise just as happy and smiley as ever.

She did really well with my in-laws, and charmed my (9?) y.o. niece. Sprout has even given my careerwoman lawyer younger sister baby lust, which is fun to see. She's such an easy baby, everyone has commented. I know I'm lucky lucky lucky.

Tomorrow is the first night of Hanukkah. My in-laws sent us home with a pile of presents, most of which are for Sprout. It'll be fun to see my little girl interact with her new gift toys, and I can't wait to see what new outfits she will have!
Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie First Birthday tickers

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Paycheck Prattle: Working Mom Wednesday

Today's Working Mom Wednesday prompts are just right on target for me, because work has definitely felt overwhelming recently. A key colleague who has worked with me for the past two years told me that she would be resigning last week--effective this week. Yeah, not a lot of turnaround time. So, my job of trying to work with hospitals, health departments, occupational health nurses, lay health advisors, and community health advocates in (officially) 22 counties has now expanded to (unofficially) covering 30 counties...with no one to collaborate with directly for who knows how long (until they find a replacement). Ahhhhhhhh!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wife, M.D.: news & TV


Latest Netflix-instant addiction: TV show, Doc Martin. Loving it. Gruff British surgeon becomes a small-town GP after developing a phobia to blood. I love all the supporting actors and stories. I'm currently watching episodes from the third season each night after work.

  • NPR: Hospitals Lure Doctors Away From Private Practice (will my Dr. hubby work in a private practice or a hospital when he's out of residency?)

  • Mr. or Ms. vs Dr. (mental floss: In England, Australia, and New Zealand they call surgeons "Mr./Ms." rather than "Dr." in a form of reverse snobbery)

  • Health Group Asks for Lower Salt Limits (relates to my job work in heart disease & stroke prevention)

  • Panel Calls for Lower Gestational Diabetes Cutoffs (As a recently preggo woman who was adamant about having a natural birth, those things that might up pregnancy risk categories, like GD classification cutoffs, are of interest...)

  • Excess Stroke, MI, and Death Seen with Carotid Stenting (relates to my job work)

  • Neonatal Jaundice Linked to Autism (what neonates don't get a bit of jaundice? I need to read the whole article...)

  • Insulin Resistance Linked to Strokes (relates to my job work)
  • Monday, October 11, 2010

    Mama Montage: 5 months

    My little 5 month old. My little girl. It's hard to believe that my little Sprout is already 5 months old, that I've been a mama for almost half a year already. During pregnancy, the time can really feel like it's dragging--and time takes on different dimensions during the early weeks of newborn holy-moly-what-am-I-doing freakout sleep-deprivation. Those first weeks made time feel like taffy: able to stretch it out to a breaking point and/or contract into a small ball--or you can chew and chew the stuff forever, or just swallow in one quick go (drawing out the simile a bit too much, heh?). In other words, time was a variable dimension.

    Nowadays, time only seems to operate in hyperspeed, fast-forward. Maybe it's only fitting that time is zooming since Sprout is developing by leaps and bounds each week: more mobile, more interactive, more of a little "person." She definitely no longer looks like an infant. Of course, every new parent experiences some sadness at their baby becoming a toddler and then a child, wanting to hold onto the snuggly baby stage for as long as possible. On the other hand, I know that it is a sad medical possibility for some little humans to stay in baby states--due to congenital defects (isn't that a horrible word, when you think about it?) or traumatic injuries. So, grow, Sprout, grow!

    She's now a rolly poly baby. She prefers rolling onto her left side. My mom and I were actually able to capture on video the first time I saw her roll. It was during an overnight away work trip, first time traveling with Sprout. Thankfully, my mom could come with me to help and was rewarded by seeing a few baby milestones (rolling, verbalizing, giggling baby!).

    I love how interactive she has become now! Reaching up to my face when nursing, or grabbing her Dad's glasses when he zooms in for a kiss. We can now make her giggle by smooching he neck or playing 'flying baby'--and she smiles when the dogs lick her feet. On the other hand, we've startled her into crying a few times too--when the hubby laughed loudly at a show on Netflix, or when I suddenly yelled at a dog not to scoot out the door. She's definitely reacting to her surroundings!

    I'm now 2 months in to being at work full-time as well. I'll save that ramble for a subsequent "Paycheck Prattle" post, though.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Mama Montage: food this n' that

    I'm addicted to kashi almond-flax granola bars. They're just the right combo of chewy and nutty and not too sweet. They're so expensive, though. It's made me look into making some homemade granola (cute video) or Mark Bittman's granola bars or Alton Brown's granola bar recipe. I haven't tried any of those yet, but I'd like to when I have the time (ha!).

    I had just been wondering about this topic: Is it Healthy to Have a Vegetarian Baby? (see video after jump at end of post).

    I returned to my vegetarianism when I started my yoga teacher training in 2008, and was a vegetarian through pregnancy (eating more eggs and dairy than I would usually, though, as per Bradley Method recommendations). I just started incorporating some DHA/EPA supplement pills into my daily intake this week, to make sure the good omega vitamins are getting to me and to Sprout through breastmilk. However, I had been wondering whether I needed to incorporate meat into little girl's diet when she starts solids in a few months. Honestly, I don't like handling and preparing meat--especially when I'm not going to be eating it myself. Although it might be more work in the long run (chopping, prepping, steaming), I'm more comfortable prepping veggie dishes.

    Talking about starting solid food for baby, this video from the same website, ParentEarth, is also timely: Cooking and Nutrition for Baby

    I'm going to hold off starting Sprout on solids for as long as possible--mainly because I don't want to deal with cloth diapers and solid poops yet! Breast milk poops are so much easier to deal with (water soluble!). My childcare person has been fine using cloth diapers (supplementing with disposible when she's out n' about with the babes), but I don't know how I can sell cloth diaper care when MJ starts solids (diaper sprayers/bidets are just not common in the U.S.)! I'll tackle that challenge when I come to it.

    Sprout continues to thrive. She's back to drinking 13-15oz of EBM in childcare while I'm at work. Her hunger dipped a bit at the start of the week because she had gotten used to nursing on demand from my previous week (when I had been able to take her with me on a work trip). I've been lucky that I haven't had to travel this week, so I've been able to keep my supply/pumping up.

    Aren't these the coolest looking muffins (via boingboing)? Savory Broccoli Muffins (recipe towards the bottom here). What a creative idea. They seem like a great way to get broccoli into little kids who might otherwise not eat the green stuff (although I always loved broccoli as a child).

    Finally, thank you to my friend, K, for getting me a vegetarian crockpot cookbook. I am now the proud owner of two such specific recipe books. I'll have to work on coordinating the recipes to my different time availabilities, either a 6-8 hr slow cook while I sleep or a 10-hr slow cook for while I'm at work. I tried the sweet n' sour cabbage from the Fresh cookbook, and it was pretty good--albeit a little burned on some of the leaf edges because it had to cook for a bit longer than recommended (work hours).

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Wife, M.D.: scrubs

    Mental Floss has an interesting post about why medical scrubs are often blue and green. I had never thought about the reasons before. Interesting. Also fun because Scrubs is one of the hubby's favorite medical shows (shown in the photo screenshot).
    Why Are Scrubs Usually Blue or Green?
    Medical professionals can choose from a wide variety of scrubs with different colors and patterns. So why are plain blue and green ones so popular?
    It used to be that doctors, especially those performing surgeries, didn’t even wear special work garments and simply operated in their regular clothes and with bare hands. The 1918 flu pandemic and the rise of antiseptic theory led first to the use of surgical masks and rubber gloves and, eventually, antiseptic drapes, gowns and caps in the operating room.

    Early OR garments were white, which emphasized cleanliness but led to eyestrain and headaches for surgeons and their staff. Sometime in the mid-20th century, hospitals began to ditch white linens and switched to various shades of green, which made things easier for both the institutions and their surgeons.
    For the hospitals, doing laundry was less of a headache. Ever try to wash blood out of something white? At best, you’re left with a green/brown discoloration. While white linens had to be frequently tossed and replaced (either because the discoloration was too bad or because frequent washing and bleaching destroyed the fabric), green scrubs have a bit of a longer lifespan.
    For surgeons, operating was less of a literal headache. Green and greenish-blue surgical linens make looking at the inside of a human body easier on the eyes, since they’re opposite red on the color wheel.

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    Mama Montage: DITL

    A day in the (weekend) life of this working mom, her family medicine intern doctor hubby, and our 4-month old daughter in eastern North Carolina, 9/26/10. This is my second day-in-the-life (DITL). I'm really glad we were able to capture this weekend in photos, as my hubby won't have another day off for the next two weeks. We don't get a lot of leisure time together these days.

    (x-posted to DITL community, my LJ, and here)

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Wife, M.D.

    Too cute! Via Neatorama. Totally could see this as a gift for Sprout.

    Yoga Split

    I admit that I haven't been good about finding time for a personal yoga practice lately, even though having yoga in my life is very important to me. It's so easy to find the excuses, but even carving out 15 minutes for myself would be very beneficial. I might just need to start getting up at 4:30 AM, if Sprout will allow me by going to sleep a little earlier!

    I'm at least managing to do some yoga on the weekends, when I have the time and motivation to plan or prepare for my upcoming classes. I just need to get more creative with squeezing in my yoga, perhaps. For example, I sometimes do a headstand in Sprout's room after I've put her down in her pack n' play--especially if she's still fussy and I know it's going to take a little while to get her to sleep. After all, I might as well spend the time doing a little yoga rather than hovering near her door when I know she's going to start fussing in a few moments!

    I will start teaching my gentle yoga class and co-teaching my mama-baby yoga class in a little under one month. I'm really excited, even though my postpartum body is still pretty deconditioned. Either way, I've been having fun planning the class with my yoga mama co-teacher who I'll call Seattle. We'll be teaching the class in Seattle's home studio, and Seattle was kind enough to offer her studio for my gentle yoga class as well.

    I'll teach one hour of gentle yoga 30 minutes before the mama-baby yoga class on Saturdays, starting October 16th. My gentle yoga class is already full, with seven students pre-registered. I've taught five of the seven students before, so that makes me a little less anxious about starting up again and having Sprout with me while I teach. I wonder how many other yoga teachers have instructed a class while breastfeeding, which I'm sure will occur in my class at some point? Yoga wear for breastfeeding moms, now that's a new market that should be tapped, too! This cute Momzelle nursing top could work, though it is pricey at $50.

    Ha! And after doing a quick google search, check out this (Israeli) video clip on the challenges of being a breastfeeding yoga mom: see here. Heheh, smart baby, and that mama has good balance!

    The mama-baby class has space for only one more mama. So, we're already successful on student recruitment--and I'm still receiving emails a few times each week from new students! It makes me happy. Seattle and I are the only people offering mama-baby yoga within a 50 mile radius, I'm pretty sure, and both Seattle and I are learning as we go. At least we're learning with our own babies :). I also purchased many books on mommy-baby yoga, and have been borrowing Netflix videos on baby yoga.

    It's really a joy being able to do yoga with my daughter. After teaching the baby yoga class, I'll be able to say I've taught through the phases of life--from baby, through pregnancy, to yoga for seniors. Not bad for someone who just started teaching in February 2008 as a "extracurricular" passion.

    Wife, M.D.

    I am so glad the hubby is off cards rotation. He's now on NICU, which is still long hours (7AM-7PM) but at least it's shift work, as the hubby calls it. Cardiology was a rough rotation--his first real one since orientation/family medicine lead-in. Cardiology was good in the sense that it reaffirmed the blessing of the hubby not matching to internal medicine (the Scramble was Hell, but turned out for the best!). He also received some nice compliments from a few of his patients, including one saying she finally understood what was going on after he talked with her.

    However, the Q4 overnight call schedule really stunk. It put the hubby out of commission for two nights (on-call absence and post-call zombie) and made him a volatile cocktail of groggy and stressed. He fell asleep at the dining room table more times than I could count, and there still is a handprint on our bathroom mirror where he fell asleep standing up and then caught himself on the mirror so he wouldn't fall forward.

    If I didn't have so much trouble getting Sprout to sleep and my own self in bed, I would've worked harder at ensuring the hubby made it to bed--taking him by the hand and leading him to the bedroom so he wouldn't pass out in the kitchen. The problem was that he would try to do one more thing at his computer before heading to bed at the same time as me, and then he would fall asleep at his keyboard. I would be passed out from my own exhaustion so couldn't shepard him to the bedroom. I'm hopeful that the NICU schedule will be kinder to both of us and get the hubby on a better sleep schedule. His circadian rhythms can't be more screwed up than they are right now.

    Finally, I wonder if other medical spouses struggle as much as I do with addressing their doctor husband's physical health. As I've described above, his work schedule is just going to royally mess up his sleep schedule; that's almost a given. Anxiety and high-stress are also part of the normal status of the medical intern. However, I'm really starting to worry about my husband's weight. He's always struggled with his weight growing up, but med school and my pregnancy (husbands mirror some of the preggo weight gain, it's true) and starting residency have not been kind to him. It's amazing and sad looking back at the healthy, fresh-faced guy he was when we first started dating, only five years ago. He's gained over 70 lbs since then.

    True, I'm four months postpartum and who am I to call the kettle black (hello, 20 lbs I need to still lose!)? Being body-focused on myself also makes me more sensitive to others' weight struggles. However, when is my hubby going to reach that pre-contemplation to contemplation stage of change readiness? What is it going to take? He's already on meds for cholesterol. Diabetes runs in his family. He guzzles diet Mountain Dew and other diet sodas, which pisses me off since I don't want Sprout drinking that crap. He owns 3x as many clothes as I do to fit the various sizes he's been at, and our closet can't hold any more clothes. He knows all the health implications of being overweight and tells patients to "not be like him" when he prescribes healthy behavior, but that knowledge/modeling isn't enough.

    Stress sources have only increased over time, which is what life tends to do--more responsibilities, more challenges. I think a big problem is that he's doing most of his eating at the hospital, and he's eating to stay awake. I cook healthy food at home and purchase healthy snacks (lots of fruit), but he doesn't eat them or pack them. I can't force him to eat the food I make, and I don't have time to pack his meals when I'm struggling to pack my own and get Sprout's supplies ready each night.

    So, what is it going to take? Do others struggle with their medical spouse's weight? What can be done, when he's pressed for time and is chronically sleep-deprived and is stuck at the hospital? I want a healthy husband back!

    Mama Montage

    My little girl is now over 4 months old. It's hard to believe how fast time is passing and how much she is growing. On Monday, she had her 4 month check up and weighed in at 12 lbs 10 oz (19th percentile). She was 21st percentile for height and 27th percentile for head circumference. Sprout received an oral vaccine and two shots. The shots are always worse for the parent than the baby--because who likes to see their child hurt, even though it is for their own good? Two nurses came in and were very well coordinated in giving her the two shots simultaneously. Sprout screamed indignantly for a minute and had two huge tears roll down her cheeks, but a little cuddling calmed her. She nursed when we got home and, although she felt a little warm that night, she slept just fine and I didn't need to give her any painkillers. I was very happy about that, since the hubby was on-call that night.

    I love how Sprout now smiles and giggles when she sees me (although it's a mixed blessing when she does it after I've tried to put her down to sleep at night in her pack n' play, smiling and kicking her legs when I come in to check on Miss Fusspot). She reaches out and grabs anything that comes near her face or body--including my hair (ow! no more dangle earrings for a while...), and she's snagged the hubby's glasses more than a few times. She still hasn't quite mastered rolling onto her tummy; she's close, but can't quite get the shoulder tucked yet. Instead, she rotates like the hand on a clock, and I often find her bunched in weird S-shaped positions in the morning (head back, sleeping on her side).

    She has started to become a little ticklish too, since I can sometimes get open-mouthed smiles and giggles by kissing her neck. As for vocalizing, she's moved from French "r"'s to occasional happy squeals, which are very cute right now but I know will be lovingly headache-inducing in a few months :P. Finally, she's just now starting to become interested in grabbing her toes. She often tries to go for them when she's on the changing table. Her increasing mobility sure makes getting a cloth prefold diaper and cover onto her a challenge at times, but I don't regret going the cloth diapering route!

    Breastfeeding still continues to go well. I know I've been lucky to still be exclusively breastfeeding. I pump at work around three times during my 10-hour day, usually getting 11 to 14 oz total. When I get home with Sprout, I nurse her for long stretches at night until Sprout goes to bed around 9 or 9:30. She then sleeps through the night until I get her up at 5AM (I know, I have a charmed baby). I nurse her a little in the morning before I then get all my bags packed and drop her off at her daycare at 6:30. While the pediatrician said she could start some solids at anytime now if I saw the need, I'm probably going to wait a bit longer--if only because breastmilk poops are so much easier to deal with (water soluble) than solid food poops!

    Here's an unposed (if you can believe it!) photo of my whole little family. As others have commented upon seeing the photo, we're going to need a bigger bed, heh.

    I want to end this post with an ode to my crockpot. The only way that I have been able to get any real food on the table in the past few weeks has been because I discovered the wonderful crockpot. I think the one we have at our house originally belonged to my MIL, and I've been using the heck out of it. So far, I've made many batches of steel cut oats (which I eat rewarmed with milk, almonds, raisins, and honey in the morning while nursing--trying not to drip on Sprout); a curried apple-zucchini-bean soup (I thought it was pretty good, but the hubby didn't like it); BBQ tofu (that the hubby liked); veggie soup with cabbage, chickpeas, celery, carrots, and tomatos; vegetarian 3-bean chilli (dinner tonight!); Jamaican red bean soup (quite good, with coconut milk); and sweet n' sour tofu with broccoli (I think cabbage does better in the crockpot than broccoli, but it still came out OK).

    I'm on the look-out for more vegetarian crockpot recipes (preferrably ones that can cook for 8-10 hours while I'm at work or for 3 hours when I'm home on the weekend). Send any recipe recommendations my way!

    Monday, September 20, 2010


    This post inaugerates my first foray into more public blogging. I've had a semi-private online journal since October 2003, so I'm definitely not new to blogging. However, my previous blog was self-limiting in the types of online connections I could make with real-life friends/family or new 'virtual' contacts. Hence, my need to create this blog.

    I titled this blog "4-Way Split" for a few reasons. First, like many working new moms, I now feel like my life pulls me in many different directions simultaneously. I have to fulfill the demands of my identity roles: wife, mother, full-time worker, self. More specifically, I have the four-fold roles of the family doctor's wife; the full-time public health program coordinator; a community yoga teacher in my spare time; and a pseudo-single mom to my baby daughter, 'Sprout' (her blog pseudonym here). The other reason I chose the blog name "4-Way Split" was because I liked how it played off my passion for yoga--with 'split,' get it?

    So, I will structure this blog such that I give updates on the four-fold nature of my life:
    1. Wife, M.D.: What it's like to be married to a family doctor resident, going through primary care practice training, or how I live my life in the (frequent) absence of my doctor husband while he saves others' lives. This section will cover love and marriage and relationship ponderings.
    2. Paycheck Prattle: My day-to-day work as a public health program manager, working in Eastern North Carolina to prevent heart disease and strokes. This section will deal with my professional development and job musings.
    3. Yoga Split: Tracking my love of doing and teaching yoga in my community. This section will cover my thoughts about instructing yoga and my body/spiritual/personal work explored through yoga.
    4. Mama Montage: All things parenting and domestic as I journey through this new land called "Motherhood."
    I know I could start a whole separate blog off of any one of the above topics, but that's just too much work for me. That's why I hope organizing my blog under topic headings will help give a framework for my posts.