Monday, June 29, 2009

First Attempt at Cake Decorating...

Several area craft stores offer cake decorating courses. I've always wanted to take one (see below post) but never have. Well, I decided now's the time to at least try to learn. I'm attempting to teach myself using Wilton's Course 1 book and various you tube videos. Course 2 starts Monday at a local Michael's...I'd miss the 4th class and I've yet to decide if I want to sign up for the course...

Here's my first attempt, definitely lots of room for improvement!

Sorry for the crappy photos! Next time I think I need to use my dSLR instead of the POS, such a difference!

The cake and icing aren't anything to write home about just yet. I'm using boxed cake mix and Wilton's icing recipe. I'll try different cake recipes once I improve my decorating skills a little. I didn't really like the icing, but the recipe did call for flavoring, which I didn't add, so I'll try that next time. Oh, and I must invest in a cake leveler!

One of my internet friends said the most difficult part is learning how to ice a cake without getting tons of crumbs in the icing, I so agree!

First PT Session

So today I had my first PT session and hopefully the beginning of the end of my knee pain and the rebirth of being a runner.

The therapist taught me three exercises to start working on strengthening my left hip muscles and retraining my muscles to "fire" properly. I'm discovering how weak my hips are, so let's hope this helps.

The therapist also pointed out ways to help me retrain my muscles while I do everyday activities. Basically, I have to relearn how to sit and stop favoring my left side. I always, always drive with my left knee resting against the door. Who knew that could be contributing to my misalignment? I need to make a point to keep my knee rotated inward. Also, if I'm standing on one leg, I should stand on my left leg or, better yet, stand on both legs. I do always stand on my right leg, so another adjustment. I even should be aware of how I sleep and position my legs.

Let's hope this works!

I have too many hobbies...

...and tonight I'm going to start another. I'm going to attempt to teach myself cake decorating. Man I wish when I was twelve I took my family up on the offer to have Mom-Mom's cake tool kit. I'll post pics from our anniversary trip to the zoo soon, hopefully!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Back to Physical Therapy...

I've been trying to do my own PT program at home for my knee, but honestly, the exercises bore me, I'd much rather do cardio--I've never been a strength training kind of gal. Thursday I opted to bike instead of my knee exercises. OMG, I couldn't even finish my goal of 30 minutes at no resistance or incline, my knee and hip were killing me.

I've become more and more concerned about my knee pain and how I've changed my bio-mechanics to try to compensate. My left calf is smaller than my right, and now my left hip has started bothering me too. I've never had any imaging of my knee and Joe and I decided that it was time to go back to the doctor's. So, back to the orthopaedist I went... They did some x-rays of my knee and hip and fortunately they checked out OK. I took the doc off guard when we were looking at my hip x-rays and commented how much stool I had in my bowels and I must need to take a dump. I don't think he was expecting that, but I digress. I'm glad I got some x-rays. One of my biggest concerns with my increase in pain was that I had destroyed my cartilage, which doesn't appear to be the case.

The doc thinks my hip pain is related to me changing my bio-mechanics, which makes sense. Plus, my hip muscles are weak, which could be contributing to my knee misalignment and pain. Since I didn't really have time to give PT a real shot a couple of years ago, we're going to give it another go. Part of me is frustrated that I'm not disciplined enough to do the PT workout on my own at home, but now is the time to go to the therapist. I'll swallow my pride. I don't have a clinical rotation right now, so my schedule is very flexible. Hopefully after these 4 weeks of PT with an actual therapist, I'll hopefully start to see some results and keep it up on my own, plus my clinical rotations will have started again.

I admit, I'm hoping I can eventually run again, but if I even just do the elliptical pain free again, that's a start. Cheers!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Quad Screen

You're going to start thinking I'm pregnant with my baby posts, but I swear, I'm not! (I'm just studying OB/GYN)

Ok, brief overview...there is a test women can get around 17 weeks of pregnancy that screens for chromosomal and fetal abnormalities. Based on the results, docs can tell if there is an increased risk of Down's syndrome, spina bifida, anencephaly (no head), etc... That being said, if the mom has an abnormal result that doesn't mean there truly is something abnormal, it just helps determine if more testing is needed.

I'm torn as to whether or not to get a quad screen when the time comes. I know Joe has mixed feelings about having a child with Down's, but I know I couldn't terminate the pregnancy just because of Down's. If our child had spina bifida, the quad screen would help us know if we need to take special precautions during the delivery, but ultrasound can help show things like that too. I think the only reason I would terminate the pregnancy is if the child had anencephaly because the child wouldn't be able to survive out of utero, but ultrasound also can show that.

My mom had a mentally retarded brother. I don't know his official "abnormality," but I know it was more than just Down's syndrome. Basically, I think he got all of the recessive genes my grandparents could ever pass on. I know it was hard for my grandparents and one of my most cherished conversations with my grandmother revolved around the difficulties of caring for my retarded uncle and her 7 other children. That being said, I think Tommy (my retarded uncle) brought a lot to my family and relatives and taught them a lot about themselves.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think "abnormal" individuals are essential to our society. "They" force society to leave their comfort zone, accept differences, and value "normal" things a little more. I write this not being a care-giver, but I still think as stressed and emotionally drained care-givers become, they love their child and don't regret the way things worked out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For Our Unconceived Child

Don't you just love it? One of Joe's dear friend's girlfriend is pregnant and the shower is this weekend. I always try to get some form of personal gift and Joe's friend (like Joe) is a huge Ravens fan. That being said, we had to get one for our future little one too. The charm is an angel holding a football (which I know can be swallowed, so we'll have to remove it when the time comes). I bought them from etsy seller Woopsy Daisies.

The question long will we have to store this?!? We both have babies on the brain intermittently, but we realize we don't want an infant during my intern year...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Something Ate Our Flowers!!!

I woke up this morning to the unexpected surprise--we were missing half of our flower bed. Our flowers were growing so well and so pretty! At first I thought it was someone being mean or drunk and deliberately cutting our flowers. If that was the case however, I think they would have destroyed all of our flowers and pulled them out by the roots. It takes too much energy to cut them. I think it was a deer because I found hoof prints in our neighbor's garden. Guess we have to start all over growing that side of flowers :(

Update: We found the culprit! Just a few hours later she tried again! She's definitely not afraid of humans since she didn't flinch as we took pictures of her. Joe's response, "I'm not a hunter, but if she does this again, I might just start." Very unlikely since we don't have a gun, plus I wouldn't try killing anything in a neighborhood.

Flower Photos

Eventually I'm going to take pictures of things other than flowers, but until then...

Kristy and Lucas Get Married!

I know this is much delayed, but such is life. Joe and I were fortunate enough to witness the "Penny Union" May 16, 2009.

Just a couple of days before the wedding the flower girl broke her leg, but that didn't stop her from being the cutest flower girl ever!

Kristy getting more beautiful!

Kristy gave each of us personalized bags filled with goodies as a gift. I adored our bouquets!

Mr. and Mrs.!!

When Joe learned he was wearing pink he wasn't too thrilled, but he admitted, "it wasn't that bad." Oh boys.

This is one of the many reasons I love this guy!

We didn't sit this way on purpose, but to the right we have the "married club," and to the left the "single club." :p

And one last shot of the happy couple. We joined them at the BWI Hilton afterwards where Joe made friends with a random band from Denmark (NOT Denver, Joe).

Unfortunately I had to fly back to Omaha the next day (darn school) but I didn't take my updo down. Lesson learned: a mass amount of bobby pins does set off the metal detector. Oops. Also, the wedding was probably a great opportunity to take some great shots with my DSLR, but that's not as easy to carry around as a bridesmaid. I definitely noticed a difference with my point and shoot and the DSLR, oh well, I'm glad I had a great time rather than playing photographer.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Decadent Strawberry Shortcake

There is no denying I'll be making this cake again sometime, it was beyond delicious! You'll need about 2 quarts of strawberries.

Using the heavenly white cake recipe, I divided the batter into two cake pans.

I used the semi-whipped icing.

  • After the cake cools, ice the top of one cake and cover with sliced strawberries.
  • Stack the cakes
  • Ice the rest of the cake, cover with strawberries.
  • Refrigerate until time to serve.
  • Enjoy!

Semi-Whipped Icing

This is a little more dense than some whipped icings, but delicious none the less. Adapted from

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 ounce carton whipped topping
  • 1 large sour cream
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
Next time I think I'll try making it with reduced fat cool whip and sour cream because I'm sure it's loaded with calories.

Heavenly White Cake

When the title says heavenly, we mean heavenly! Here's the recipe's actual site.

  • 2 3/4 cups of sifted cake flour (make sure you measure the sifted amount)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (I used double vanilla because Joe doesn't like almond)
  1. Measure sifted flour, baking powder, and salt; sift together three times.
  2. Cream butter or margarine. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Mix in flavorings.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually, and continue beating only until meringue will hold up in soft peaks.
  4. Add meringue, and beat thoroughly into batter. Spread batter in a 15 x 10 x 1 inch greased pan or two 9 inch round pans. (Directions say to line the pan with parchment paper, but I didn't have any.)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Peach Pie

No, this is not a recipe. In fact, I've never made a pie from scratch myself yet.

Joe loves Sam's Club's apple pie and I offered to pick one up for him today. My dumb ass didn't read the label and when I got home, I discovered I bought peach pie instead. Well, Joe doesn't like peach pie, or so he says. The fact of the matter is he's never even tried peach pie and is refusing to try this one. Truly, this comically infuriates me. He likes fresh peaches. He likes canned peaches. He likes pie crust. So why, oh why will my husband not even try the peach pie?!?!?!

"I used to be a runner."

Truly, I'm getting tired of saying that. I'd really love to say again "I'm a runner." My family practice rotation this month is an hour commute and an easy 60 hours a week, if not more, so I've really fallen off the wagon with my knee exercises. I had the opportunity to go for a walk today and my knee hurt with that. I know I need to put the effort into getting better and doing my exercises before I can even think of running again. Perhaps next month.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm a homemaker who wants to be a doctor...

..or should it be that I'm a doctor who wants to be a homemaker?

Yesterday Joe and I went to Michael's to get new silk flowers so I could make a new centerpiece for our coffee table. I saw a sign for cake decorating classes and commented how I'd like to take them, but I don't have time right now. Joe says, "you're such a homemaker, too bad you want to be a doctor too." It's true. I love to do all the stereotypical female domestic activities (except for cleaning), but I have such a strong desire to be a professional. Sigh. Truthfully though, I really don't need to take up yet another hobby, so cake decorating will just have to wait.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nothing like telling kids they are fat...

Today the Class of 2010 hosted a health fair for a local elementary school. Along with showing the kids healthy portion sizes, exercises, etc, we calculated their BMIs and told them if they were underweight, overweight, etc... Talk about ripping my heart out and throwing it to the dogs! I can't even count the number of kids whom I told they were overweight and looked perfectly healthy to me! I didn't feel as bad telling the younger grades because they mostly just let it roll off their backs. Once the 4th and 5th graders came around, I felt like the Wicked Witch of the West. They are old enough to understand and feel bad about their weight. Then, I hated watching the "average" girls going around and asking their classmates their BMIs and watching the overweight girls just shake their head in embarrassment and not wanting to tell. I understand that it's important to help the kids learn healthy lifestyles now and that obesity is an epidemic, but I couldn't help but see myself in the overweight girls. Most of childhood was spent being an overweight child and I hated it. I hated being called names, I hated being the last picked in gym class, I hated having to wear the "chubby girl" clothes. I never really grew into my weight, I became anorexic. Today I was the person telling these girls they are overweight and I really hope that I'm not just one more person feeding a future eating disorder.

As a pediatrician I know I'm going to have to tell my patients and their parents if their child is overweight, and today I learned how much of a struggle this just might be for me.
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