Saturday, July 31, 2010
Right after Jason graduated from undergrad he took the MCAT(Medical College Admissions Test), actually we took the MCAT. But after a year of waiting for us to get accepted into the same college and many tears on my end, I decided that God's plan was not for us both to be doctor's.
Jason reapplied and we found a program that we knew was a perfect fit for our family, or at least we were hoping. Jason attended his basic sciences in 2007 for 2 years (some schools are 2 1/2)--tests and finals were inevitable and weren't that much fun! It was basically like college on a major dose of steroids. The program he went to, The American University of the Caribbean, was on the island of St. Maarten and wasn't the traditional schedule for classes. They went year round, which is why he got done half a year earlier than most other schools. He did so well throughout his basic sciences and when it came time to leave the island, we were excited and ready for the next chapter.
After we left the island, Jason studied for his STEP 1. The STEP 1 is a US certified exam that has to be passed, regardless of what medical school, so clinical sciences can begin. Jason went into a crazy, full-time study session for a few months and then took his STEP 1 in June 2009. We waited for weeks until we got the news that he passed and there were a few affiliated hospitals that had openings. We packed up and moved to California in September 2009 so he could begin clinical sciences.
Clinical sciences or "clinicals" are where each medical student has a few core rotations that must get done (OB, Pediatrics, Surgery, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry) and then they have a few weeks to do their elective rotations (rotations that they are interested in). After each core rotation, he had to take an exam to show he was retaining the information and he was ready to move on to the next rotations. Clinical sciences lasts for 2 years and before he can graduate and be titled MD, he has to take STEP 2. STEP 2 is another US certified exam that ALL medical students have to take. The STEP 2 has two sections: CS is an exam that tests the students on their interviewing and diagnosing skills and CK is an exam that tests them on their clinical knowledge. Both exams have to be taken and passed to qualify for residency and to graduate. Jason took his CS in June and we are still waiting on his results and he's scheduled to take his CK in September.
While he's going to his clinical rotations and studying for his CK exam, he's also starting the application for residency. Residency is when a student chooses the type of doctor he/she wants to be as a career. It would be nice if Jason could say, "I want to be a cardiologist" and poof he finds a hospital that will sign him on, train him to be a cardiologist and pay him the big bucks. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen like that! Residency programs base acceptance into their hospitals on STEP 1 scores, STEP 2 scores, clinical evaluations and letters of recommendation. The more difficult programs require better STEP 1 and STEP 2 scores...it's just the way it works! Jason has decided that he would like to apply to be an anesthesiologist. He's been researching hospitals that are island friendly, meaning that accept non-state schools into their residency program and the average STEP scores of their residents. He definitely has a few hospitals that seem promising. Right now, the whole process is a little overwhelming and scary.
In November 2010, he'll start the interviewing process for residency. He'll be flying all over the country to different states and interviewing for a position on their anesthesia teams, along with a few other areas. Interviews will run from November to January. After he's done all his interviews, he'll have to rank the hospitals that he interviewed and the hospitals will in turn, rank him. It's a weird process but in March 2011 we'll find out where he matched and what specialty area he matched in. Only one option is given....take it or leave it!
In May 2011, we'll return back to the island for graduation! He'll officially be a doctor! That will definitely be a great week! I can't wait to scream up head off when they cheer his name and he can walk proudly across that stage. Another chapter of our lives will be ending and we'll be tackling another chapter....residency!
Friday, July 30, 2010
Yesterday on my way to LA, everything was going smoothly and all of a sudden I see orange cones lining the lanes. Not one set of cones, but two. Well I just thought they were outlining the different lanes...maybe they were painting lines or something? Well, no! They were actually blocking the street. The police officer came up to my window and proceeds to ask me if I saw the cones. I saw the cones but followed the car in front of me and thought if the street was closed there would be a huge sign that said CLOSED or something a little more obvious. Well I guess they thought the 12 bright neon colored cones were enough...but not for me! I had to turn around and try to find my way to the interstate. Definitely a small detour for me early yesterday morning. I guess I need to be a little more observant...Opps! This is the picture after I turned around...you can sortof see the first set of cones!Somehow in the process of sleeping and getting ready yesterday, I scratched my face. Not only one scratch going across my cheek but TWO! They aren't just small little marks either...they cover a lot of my right cheek. I honestly have no idea what I did to my face by the scratches are deep enough to feel them when I rub my cheek. OUCH! Last night when we were watching TV in bed, we came across a channel that was offering a chance to see the Canadian Tenors. Oh my goodness...these men could definitely sing! We were actually enterained for awhile when all of a sudden, they started asking for donations. All of a sudden the screen changes from the men singing to this....WHAT?! A $100 DVD of these singers sounds a little ridiculous! I mean, these guys are good but are they really $100 good? I can think of a lot of things that I can spend $100 on..YIKES! We were cracking up at their prices so I had to snap a quick picture. Don't worry though, if you wanted 2CDs along with a DVD, then it could be yours for only $200! Crazy Candadian Tenors!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
After we left Hollywood Blvd, they wanted to see Chinatown and the Santa Monica pier. We didn't stop at Chinatown because we were running late so we just drove through and headed to the beach.
It was a fun packed day! I had so much fun hanging out with the superstars....it was so nice to see a familiar face in California. I'm anxiously awaiting their performance to air on CMT so I can see the results of their hardwork.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
- It's officially wildfire season--the intense heat combined with the lack of water has created a monster. About an hour and a half from our apartment, there was a huge wildfire that consumed people's homes and forced others to evacuate.
- Where did the whole month of July go? It seems unreal that I've been working from home the past four weeks and starting Monday my routine will be changing. I'm excited to be getting into my old routine but I must admit...sleeping in and watching all the TV I can possibly watch during my bulk mailing filled days have been pretty nice!!
- Jason was on call yesterday and was suppose to get off at 11pm but after a hectic evening, the residents asked him to stay the night. I was a little bummed when he called and said he wasn't coming home...I love having him beside me at night! I know it comes with the territory but I'm slowly learning to deal with the idea that he's at the beckoned call of his patients.
- Little did we know that by him being on call on the OB floor last night that he would get to fully deliver a baby....all by himself. Once his patient starting pushing, Jason became the man in charge. He delivered a little boy, Armando, last night to a very excited couple. He was pretty pumped that he got to do EVERYTHING! Maybe he's coming around to the whole 'having a baby' idea....one can hope!
- On Thursday I'm heading to LA to hang out with a friend that is in town from Missouri. She's on a TV show called "Chance to Dance" with her dancing group. I'm excited to hang out with her and hear all about her crazy rehearsals and fittings for the fun costumes they will wear during their competition.
- My mom is in the Bahamas this week! I can't wait till she gets back so I can hear all about her beach/sun/fun filled days. A week with no daily phone calls with mom is rough!
- Shark week starts on Monday...woo!! I'm so excited and nervous all at the same time :)
Monday, July 26, 2010
Jason--Hey man, what's up?
Saaj--Just wanted to see if the surgery doctor would come and help us
(he doesn't realize that surgery was SO last month!)
Jason--Is someone hurt?
Saaj--No, but we need you to show us some ways to do surgery.
Jason--Ummm....surgery on what?
After a bit of the two of them talking back and forth, I peek through the blinds to see about 5 other kiddos (all in 5th grade or younger) standing outside the door with their surgical patient laying on the concrete sidewalk. They found a dead frog floating in the waterway by our apartment and decided to learn all about the inside parts of a frog but they didn't want to destroy all the frog's insides so they wanted Jason to teach them. They used sharp rocks and tree limbs as their tools...needless to say that when we went to workout later that afternoon the smell was HORRENDOUS!
The surgery didn't go so smooth and we had to clean up the leftovers that the kids left laying right in the middle of the sidewalk. It was pretty nasty...I definitely wanted to find each and everyone of those kids and make them clean up the disgusting mess they made but they were no where to be found!
After we got over the smell and the fact that they left a mutilated frog 20 feet away from our front door, we had a good laugh. It was so funny that they wanted Jason to teach them how to do surgery on a dead frog. I guess they know how good of a doctor Jason is....they wanted the BEST to help them!
Friday, July 23, 2010
1. Using a brand new pencil before each and every exam. If he takes three exams during the day, then he will have three pencils that have never been sharpened. His logic is that the new pencils have never made a mistake and he likes that feeling going into an exam.
2. Washing cars, inside and out, each weekend. He refuses to make any plans or go anywhere until the cars have been cleaned to his liking. One of the first things we had to buy when we moved was a bucket, a sponge and all the extra things needed to clean the cars. Who needs furniture or stuff in our apartment when we can have super clean cars?!
3. Making the bed first thing in the morning. Most mornings (not when he gets up at 4am) but he will have me get up and lay on the couch so he can make the bed. He definitely likes to have his bed made, which is good because I could go weeks without making the bed.
4. Freaking out over anyone cutting or filing their nails. Anytime I get the clippers out to trim the dogs nails or start filing my nails, he has to go in a different room and turn the TV up loud. He gets grossed out by the sound of nails getting clipped or filed.
5. Reading the same magazines over and over. I swear, he has some magazines from over a year ago. I try to throw them out when he's at work but he's has them numbered or something. He knows what articles are in each magazine. He's slowly getting better at not having so many but he's not happy about throwing them away.
1. Picking up pennies when they are tail side up. I don't know how many times I glance down and find a penny on tails and no one stops to pick it up. No superstitions here...it's still a penny!
2. Refusing to allow multiple half eaten bags of chips and half bags of cereal to be in the cabinet. One bag or box must be eaten before a new bag or box is opened.
3. Not being able to stop reading a book mid-chapter, regardless of how tired I am. I have to get to the end of the chapter before I will allow myself to put the bookmark in the book and lay the book on the nightstand.
4. Cannot stand for my food on my plate to touch. If I know that something will run into something else, like beans or salad dressing, then it gets it's very own plate. I'm slightly grossed out by my food touching.
5. Washing dishes IMMEDIATELY after I cook dinner. No letting them soak or sit in the sink until I eat dinner. They need to be washed and dried before I can sit down and have a relaxing dinner.
It's kind of funny to pick out each other's quirky behaviors...we definitely have some odd ones. I'm so glad that we both have some crazy traits because it doesn't make mine seem all so bad.
I love all our quirky personalities...they add just the right amount of spice to our lives!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
God has been so good to our family that I feel selfish for even thinking that my issues are important when there are families out there that are dealing with death, cancer, divorce and any other serious issue. I've had a lot on my mind these past few days...nothing super serious, so don't panic....but still a lot of soul searching has been going on. I know that God has a plan for our family and we need to let him lead us down the path that he wants for us. I'm a planner, organizer and have small bouts of OCD thrown in the mix so it is difficult for me to not want to grab the reigns and try to take control of our life. Wrong. I need to have full faith in my God that he is in control. He wants the best for our family!
Sorry for the depressing post....just what's weighing on my mind! I can already feel myself doing better-sometimes it's just opening up and being honest combined with A LOT of prayers that makes things better!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Overall, I was declared the winner! I didn't have the lowest score but I did have a hole-in-one and in my book...that's a hands down win!! Here I am right after my hole-in-one--so happy!!We had so much fun at Monster Mini Golf...it was a perfect date night! Sometimes it's nice to do things that don't require too much thinking! It made for a stress-free evening!!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
These pictures crack me up! Kelsey and Paul look picture perfect, Rachel is clinging to Cody like her life depends on it, Steve is wearing glasses because he doesn't like opening his eyes underwater and I'm leaking bubbles and lifting my arm all crazily because I'm secretly drowning. Water in the nose is a recipe for disaster...
Taking pictures with the underwater camera was a great source of entertainment for us throughout the day! I'm so glad that I was able to capture some of our crazy underwater moments!
Congratulations to the two couples! We wish them years and years of happiness...
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
We called a few places to get some estimates and found a small little radiator shop in a not-so-nice part of town but he was about $300 cheaper so we gave it a try. He asked that we bring the car in late the night before or early in the morning. Jason gets up at 4am and I wasn't about to get up that early to drop my car off at the shop, so we took my car after Jason got home from work this afternoon. This scenario might sound pretty close to perfect, but it throws a few wrenches in my daily routine. I have camp every morning and it's not too far from home but it's far enough to generate massive amounts either by walking or riding my bike.
I'm planning on riding my bike to work tomorrow and chaining it up to the nearest pole for the day. I hope the weather participates...I guess I'll be taking some deoderant and body spray in my backpack tomorrow. Looks like I'll be ECO-friendly for a few days. I guess it takes days like this to realize just how fortunate we truly are. I'm guessing that it won't take too long on my bike in the morning to realize just how fortunate I am to have a decent car with an AMAZING air conditioner. Wish me luck! Details of my ECO-friendly excursion to follow!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
After rafting we were starving, so we made a quick run to the grocery store for some BBQ goodies and headed over to Laura and Steve's apartment. We weren't ready for the fun to end so we grilled and swam until we were completely waterlogged.We ended our fun filled day with a stop to Dewar's for some famous 'black and white' icecream... it was the best ending possible for the day! Sunday, the 4th of July, we spent the day with the family. The in-laws drove up from the coast to spend the holiday in Bakersfield. I'm so thankful for all the men and women that gave a huge sacrifice for our freedom. Without them, then we would not be able to have a fun filled, sparkle filled weekend....so, THANK YOU! We spent most of our 4th grilling and hanging out by the pool.Waiting for the sun to go down was the hard part! I was so ready to watch fireworks and set off a few of our own that we bought. We watched a few fireworks on TV before the firework show started in town...the boys wanted to join in on the festivities too!
Once we heard the fireworks shooting off outside, then we ran to the edge of our complex and watched the many different displays that were being shot off. We even tried to get a self-portrait with some fireworks in the background...this is the best we could do.
Finally after the fireworks ended, we decided it was time to shoot ours off. I bought a bundled package of fireworks from Wal-Mart last week and they've been tempting me ever since. I'm not sure I could have waited any longer to shoot them all off. I love seeing all the bright colors that come out of such little packages. We gathered all the ones that looked like fountains and we took them to the parking lot--we wanted to be far enough away from the buildings, just in case. Jason sat a few out and I got a safe distance away....
For some weird reason, we couldn't get them to light. We started evaluating each piece and realized that the fuses were not actually fuses, but instead they were strings. To make the story even crazier, the bundled firework package that I bought was not actually fireworks, but instead an assortment on confetti shooting poppers. UGH! How could this have happened? They looked like fountains but I'm almost certain that Wal-Mart is not allowed to sell explosive fireworks in their aisles. Why didn't I reason these thoughts out in my head before JULY 4TH!? So yes, I bought a large box of different size poppers. We weren't going to let that discourage us so we just shot off as many as we could-we weren't able to shoot off the huge box! Some of the pictures aren't the greatest quality...but you get the picture!
We had a great weekend! I still can't believe I got the wrong fireworks but oh well....we had a great time shooting confetti into the warm July air! Happy Birthday, America!