Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Death of a chicken

When Ms. Goldie and CinderellaSleepingBeauty first joined our family I was a bit skeptical. My husband had been researching what it would take to raise chickens in our neighborhood and I gamely went along with it. My son and daughter named them (guess who came up with which name) and were fascinated by the hens. Our two dogs seemed interested in them as well, but one was particularly excited about them.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Birth options after a C-section

I have been a practicing OB/GYN for several years. As with so many things, the "fashion" of having a vaginal birth after Cesarean section (VBAC) has come and gone and then come back again.

With each of my patients, I take a personal interest in their health and well-being and I'm committed to helping them have a safe and healthy delivery.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Getting screened

Not to get too serious ... but if anyone out there has lost their health insurance because of the economy and layoffs, that doesn't mean they have to skip their annual mammograms.

Komen and Texas Health Dallas are providing free screening mammograms to women who are uninsured or underinsured.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

College tour brings life full circle

Spencer and Bonnie, on Spencer's first day of first grade.
My only child, Spencer, started his senior year of high school this week…which means that summer 2010 is officially over. Officially over, perhaps, but the memories of the Summer 2010 College Tour are still burning bright. We flew 6,204 miles. We drove 1,544 miles. We visited 11 colleges in 8 states. Spencer interviewed at 4 colleges. We experienced one celebrity sighting (more about that later).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Maybe baby

Part Two: Looking for answers

This is part two of my series on our journey of trying to have a baby. I’d like to throw in a disclaimer if I may: I hope no one reads my entries and walks away with any pity because that isn’t necessary. I wouldn’t be able to write about any of this if I had not made peace with all of it, so know that I am sharing it just to share. No poor me party going on here!

Now that we have that out of the way, on to part two.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My three passions

This past Sunday, my pastor told us to ask our kids “What three things is your mom/dad most passionate about?” Now, I was a bit fearful, thinking my son might say money or work or exercise or reading (‘cause I’m cool like that). But, I decided it would be interesting, so I asked him as we drove home from church, “Son, what three things do you think I’m most passionate about? You know, things that are really important to me, things that I like to talk about, things that I feel strongly about.”

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bully basics

You packed the backpack. You made a lunch. You picked the right back-to-school outfit. You talked about all the things your kiddo will learn this year and how to act on the first day of school. And you snapped a photo as your youngster headed off to school this morning.

But did you think to discuss how to deal with a bully?

It’s hard to think about your child being teased or tormented, but the sad reality is that in North Texas complaints about bullying continue to rise.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I was talking to a dad at my day care one day and we were laughing about our daughters’ relationship. H. and A. have been in daycare together since they were infants. One moment they are best friends and can’t live without each other and the next they can’t stand each other. The dad told me that he didn’t know day to day whether they were friends or not. I told him they were “frenemies.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Maybe baby

Part one: The decision

My husband Brett and I married and I got to instantly try out my parenting skills with my new stepsons who were 3 and 5 years old. I even took the opportunity to work from home for a year and a half so I could get to know these little guys. This was plenty for me in the first few years of our marriage and that was good because Brett had undergone a vasectomy, so if we did want a baby it would be a major decision, emotionally and financially.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Texas Moms: Jennifer Woods

Jennifer Woods cradles newborn baby Madison and feeds her a teeny bottle, the baby’s tinier-than-average hands and feet poking out from underneath the blanket.

Jennifer has been waiting three long weeks to take Madison home from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and she’s told by nurses that there’s a good chance tomorrow will be the day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Changing the meaning of success

I used to dream of having the corner office and leading a PR firm as a senior vice president of something. I truly believed I could have it all—the uber-successful career, the perfect marriage and the perfect kiddos.

For those of you who finally stopped laughing at the last statement, you realize how impossible that dream was. But it motivated me. It kept me seeking the next great opportunity where I could learn/do/manage more. But then I had kids and life became a bigger balancing act.

No pressure?

Jennifer and Mike Erickson
These days I’m finding it hard not to laugh when people bring up the subject of babies.

For one, I’m almost afraid to drink the water around my friends. We’re into the double-digits of people we know having babies. I suppose in our early 30s we should have expected it, but I’ve been a bit surprised just how common the “we’re pregnant” calls and Facebook updates have become.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What not to say to a pregnant woman

Being almost 6 feet tall, I have had the benefit of not showing as quickly in my pregnancy. This is my first pregnancy though. I really did not show until I was well into my 6th month and then – bam – a little ball! But, you would not believe some of the comments I have had from people wondering if I am pregnant or just gaining weight. Some of this material is too good not to share and some of it serves as a warning to all my fellow readers about “what not to say to a pregnant woman.”

Here are a few situations that I hope you find funny and also learn from…

The littlest life saver I know

Earlier this week I got to meet the youngest person I know who’s made a life-saving contribution.

Her name is Clara Maughan and when I first walked into her room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen I completely missed her. I was in the middle of talking with her parents, David and Stacy, when I heard a tiny peep from the corner of the room. Turning toward the noise, my eyes got wide as I quickly realized the tiny bundle of joy — wrapped in receiving blankets and being cradled tenderly by a relative — had been there the whole time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eight doors down

Jill: “So, where do you live?”

Makala: “Keller.”

Jill: “That’s a great area! You have kids?”

Makala: “Yes, two stepsons. One is 13 and the other is 10.”

Jill: “Oh, those are fun ages. Are they close by? Where do they live?”

Makala: “Eight doors down from us with their mom and stepdad.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Things we don't say

It’s a Sunday afternoon with family, and I’m presenting my quilting-guru mother with squares of fabric I’d diligently stitched together, hoping for her guidance.

“Am I doing this right? Do they look okay? Should I do them over?” I ask her a desperate string of questions because it’s my first stab at sewing anything, ever, and I want to get it right. The project I’m obsessing over will become a baby quilt, peppered with grinning jungle animals and colorful polka dots.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Back-to-school: Mommy's motivation

Ah, it’s back-to-school time. I know some moms probably dread this day, but I relish it. I love seeing my son in his school uniform and dropping him off at school where he gets to discover books, math and recess. And, selfishly, it allows me to get back to a routine.

I’m not a morning person. The snooze button and I negotiate my waking on a daily basis. During the summer, it’s an easier negotiation on my part: No one is going to get a mark on their record for being five minutes late; a teacher is not going to reprimand me for getting my son to camp late; and my daughter’s day care is not on a fixed time.