Saturday, July 28, 2012

Home Video

Wes has been really into watching videos of himself lately... we thought maybe you would be too. Here is what he's been up to:

Cam taught Wes that baking sheets are an acceptable mode of transportation:
Repercussions:
1. All my baking pans have been on the floor every day this week
2. Wes was sorely disappointed this morning when he climbed into a 9x13 pan and went nowhere

Wesley decided it's funny to jump (step) off things:
Disconcerting parts:
1. His inability to judge height
2. His utter lack of landing preparation

Wes has (almost) figured out the point of his cool ride-on toys:
Implications:
1. He's a half step away from realizing he can move it over to things before climbing
2. We have a performer

Monday, July 23, 2012

ONE

Our little baby isn't a baby anymore. According to his pediatrician, Wes is now a toddler. 

He walks, talks on the phone (or dinosaur), climbs on everything, jumps off everything, and feeds himself with a spoon (and styles his own hair). 

Are you ready for a flashback of Wesley's life in pictures? Here it comes:
4 Days
1 month
2 months
3 months
4 months
5 months
6 months
7 months
8 months
9 months
10 months 
11 months
12 months!
Is it just me, or has he not changed much?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Coming Soon...ish

We're in the middle!

I was going to write "almost done," but then I did the math. We're 2 years in and still have 2 years before the diploma gets here BUT we do finally know where we are going on rotations, which makes it seem like it's closer.

We have until May to be here at school still, and after that we start rotations, which a lot like a residency for medical school, but there are 4 of them each 3 months long.

The system they have for assigning them is a little wacky. They call it the Lottery. It goes kinda like this:
  1. A few rotations you actually have to apply for. You find out ahead of time if you got those
  2. Everyone who wants to do a rotation at school picks which rotaion they want it (boring, why would you want to come back when you've been here 3 years?) 
  3. A few unlucky losers get drawn out of a hat to fill in the leftover boring rotations. 
  4. The next day you pick the rotation that is your first choice. Rotations include places like Germany, Hawaii, and North Dakota. 
  5. If somebody else wanted the same place at the same time as you, they draw for who gets it.
  6. The losers picks from the leftovers.
  7. Repeat 4-6 with what's left until everyone has 4 rotations. 
We had really a awesome plan.

Summer- Nome, Alaska. You fly out in a bush plane to remote eskimo villages to provide eyecare. You can't even drive to Nome, it's totally cut off from the rest of the world HOW COOL IS THAT?! Plus I'd get to see the northern lights which is on my bucket list. Plus the sun's out like 20 hours in a day. Oh, and check this road sign out:

Doesn't that SCREAM adventure?
Fall- Connecticut. The doctor is supposed to be AMAZING to work with + my brother lives there + we'd get to see Boston in the Fall
Winter- Honolulu. Obvious reasons. "You're kid's taking swimming lessons? That's nice. Mine's been surfing since he was 2." Or how about this one, "Oh, it's snowing at home? Well it's been 75 and sunny all week!"
Spring- Seattle. A clinic that Cameron really thinks would be awesome, plus he should probably spend some time networking somewhere close to where we want to live. This is one that we actually needed to apply for.

So step 1 worked out perfectly. Cam applied for Seattle in the spring, got it. Done deal.

Step 2 we skipped (who would want to stay here? There's a whole awesome world out there for my exploration!)

Step 3 is when it all went awry. We got drawn. For a boring stay-at-home non adventure. A 6 in 60 chance! And what's worse is we weren't the first losers drawn either, so out what was left was either the fall or spring rotation (but remember, our spring is already secured). So with no choice we will be back in Portland in the fall.

And then we got an entire day to re-plan our lives. 

We only had two slots left and three cool things we wanted to do. In the end, we decided that Connecticut was our first choice, so we decided to throw caution to the wind and just see which of the other two was left.

Neither.... but we no one else wanted Connecticut so we didn't have to lottery for it. At least that was settled. 

So we went back to the list to pick out things we'd skipped earlier hoping to find a gem that was still available for the winter. We found three gems of sorts: Oklahoma which had stellar reviews (and is like negative 12 degrees all winter), Colorado which Cam thought sounded like a great experience (and is about 13 degrees all winter), and Florida because it's in Florida (sunny skies, mid 60s, a beach... did I mention a sunny beach?). 

And we debated about it for a LONG time. This is what we ended up with:

Summer 2013 in Connecticut
Fall 2013 back in Portland
Winter 2014 in Colorado
Spring 2014 in Seattle

After that it's graduation and we're back in the dark. One step at a time, right?

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Real Road Trip!

Last weekend we went down to Modesto CA, for Cam's sister's engagement party, which means we FINALLY got to go on a REAL ADVENTURE! We mentioned to Cam's family that we were going, and they decided to hop on so it became a whole-family party. Of course, since Wes' still doesn't have much patience with the car seat, we had to roll it Wes-style:

  1. Frequent strategically planned stops
  2. Driving as much as possible while Wes is sleeping
  3. Getting warm water at gas stations for bottles, or, if that's not possible, at least using a water bottle that was in a sunny window. 

We left just before Wes' nap at one-thirty. Actually, Instead of writing about this I'm just going to draw you a picture:
The hotel stop turned out to be an awesome idea, because we we'll all pretty exhausted. Of course, Cam, Wes, and Cam's whole family are early people... which means that by the time I got up and walked to the dining room I passed this.


We got to Modesto and spent the rest of the day helping to decorate for Kaylie's Party. Here's a sneak preview of the reception that will happen in a couple weeks (and an the reason my hands have been orange for some time now):

Wes thought the fountain was the coolest thing that ever happened:

And the invitation that I'm quite proud of:

 And then of course we woke up the next morning and it was time to head home (start from the bottom this time):
What? You've never heard of an engine-block BBQ? Neither had Cam's Family. We like to keep people on their toes.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Really Awesome Onion Rings

Our garden project has finally started to pay off. The last couple weeks we've had more lettuce than we can eat, and more onions and carrots than I know what to do with. To help use the onions that we thinned this week, we decided to make onion rings for a little 4th of July barbecue we went to.


They were a super hit, everyone loved them, and several people asked for the recipe. So, here it is (based on this recipe): 

1 large onion cut into 1/4-inch slices 
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg 
1 cup milk
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs (we've tried others before, Panko work best)
1 quart oil for frying, as needed (we used 1/2 quart on a double batch)

Directions
  1. Pour enough oil in a pot that the onion slices will be completely covered. Heat to 365 degrees (until when you drop an onion in it boils right around it, but not everywhere else).
  2. Separate the onion slices into rings, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until they are all coated; set aside.
  3. Whisk the egg and milk into the flour mixture using a fork. Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat, then place on a wire rack to drain until the batter stops dripping (we recommend putting a pan underneath). 
  4. Spread the bread crumbs out on a plate. Place rings one at a time into the crumbs, and coat. The coating should cling very well. Repeat with remaining rings.
  5. Deep fry the rings a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on a clean drying rack with a pan underneath.