Princess Party.

FOUR. Really hard to wrap my brain around the fact that my baby girl is growing up.  She is developing into a smart, loving, honest, kind, witty, stubborn at times, hilarious, independent, athletic, artistic young lady. For her birthday this year we decided to throw her a princess party with something every little girl dreams of…….a REAL princess! Her princess of choice – you guessed it – Rapunzel.

It was a blast planning her big day.  I spent hours crafting up banners, lanterns and other decorations which included my coolest creation to date…..a huge 4 foot braid made of yellow yarn and adorned with flowers which wrapped around our column at the front door.  I took the Rapunzel/Tangled theme and ran with it!

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Our little princesses anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rapunzel.

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Story time with Rapunzel! This included a treasure chest, music, bubbles, dancing and face painting – FUN – and you can see it written all over their little faces!!!

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After story time inside we all headed outside for more pictures! I must say, having the princess here at the party was a huge hit with the little girls.  So worth it to see the looks on their faces as they interacted with Rapunzel! Jensen was so excited and still talks about getting to meet Rapunzel.  In fact she has already asked me if we can have another princess come to her party next year.

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I set a kids table up outside (too bad it was like a million degrees and humid) and immediately after Rapunzel left the kids got to sit at it for a bit and munch on sailboats made from orange wedges which sat on cup of blue jello, goldfish and fruit snacks – yum!

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After some snacks we headed over to the jewelry station – every girl’s dream! There were crowns, wands, necklaces, bracelets and earrings for all.  I even had some crowns for our little princes.

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J was so happy when everyone was singing to her. Makes me tear up every year as I think about how quickly she is growing up.

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The finale of the party – her big girl bike!!

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Happy 4th birthday to our princess!  Mommy, daddy and baby brother love you more than you’ll ever know!!!

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Farmer’s Market – Style Recipes.

The farmer’s market is in full swing and this family is loving it!  We have frequented our local market several times already this summer and I’m not sure who is more excited for early Saturday mornings – the kids or Drew and I! HA!  Though our market offers a decent variety and reasonable prices, I would like to venture out one of these weekends and hit up the big River Market Farmers Market downtown.

The market is usually very busy with a lot going on so I have yet to snap any photos of us in action, but I will try to get some photos taken soon.  Jensen has absolutely LOVED everything about it.  She enjoys the music (she was so excited to tip the performers this past weekend) and walking around to the different vendors helping mommy and daddy pick out the best looking produce.  She has also enjoyed being able to pick out her own “treat” and pay for it herself! My little jenbug loves helping me cook as well.  Here she is in action helping me stir our veggies!

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For me, the most exciting thing about going to the market is all the prep work I’m doing in advance.  Each week I am creating meal plans/recipes so that our outting at the market is efficient.  I’m using the internet to find healthy/farmers market recipes and I’m happy to report that it is going pretty well.  I of course have been purusing various magazines and blogs as well which has also been helpful.  Most of the meals I end up tweeking a bit to fit the needs/wants of our family.  We have had several very yummy meals (and unfortunately I have not snapped pics of all of them)!

Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad:

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Ground Turkey Zucchini Boats:

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Chicken, Mushroom, Onion Pizza:

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Spicy BBQ pork chop with mashed chive potatoes and fried okra.  YUM-O!

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My variation of a white bean, olive, pasta dish

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I hope you have been out enjoying your local markets as well!!

“GO”wen.

Our little man is keeping us on our toes these days.  He has been walking since he was about 10.5 months, a master at climbing stairs and fearless.  He is also trying so hard to talk.  His favorite word right now is GO.  We say “ready, set” and Owen will say GO.  It cracks us up!  He says it when we are going outside, when we are leaving the house, when we head upstairs for bath, pretty much all the time.  He is so full of life and has taught me so much already.

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You are a serious, adventurous and stubborn soul.  You love playing with your sister and are starting to take a stance for yourself when sis gets a little too aggressive and bossy.  You love playing outside and taking walks.  You also insist on climbing the stairs even though you are not old enough to come down the stairs by yourself and you think it is pretty funny to have mommy and daddy chase you off the staircase – it’s your favorite game!  You are a great eater and will eat most anything we put in front of you.  Your favorite foods right now are oatmeal, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets, yogurt and applesauce.  You are trying so hard to make your voice heard, but you have a pretty limited vocabularly for the time being.  You can say dada, mama, sis, GO, dog and duck and you love when we sing ABCs.  You LOVE bath time and you splash water with your legs and hands with the biggest smile on your face.  You have 8 teeth now and I think we are in for some rough nights soon as it appears your incisors are coming!!  You LOVE music just like your sister and it is so sweet to watch you and Jensen dance with excitement to a variety of music.  Lately you have been trying to play sister’s guitar and you are pretty good at holding it with one had and slamming your other hand on the strings.

You are an absolute challenge at times, but we can’t imagine our life without you.  Your constant snuggles, precious chubby cheeks and smile melt this mama’s heart.  We love you so much and can’t imagine our lives without you.

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Profession Point.

Most of my job entails teaching.  This requires not only “in the classroom” lectures but also having students spend time with me in my clinic.  I take about 14 students per academic year on rotations/clinicals/professional clerkships with me at my family medicine outpatient clinic.  With me, students assist medical residents and physicians with medication therapy management.  We review medication lists for drug-related problems, screen for appropriate vaccinations, complete components of the physical exam, educate patients and caregivers about disease states and drug therapy and answer drug-related questions to name a few!  Most students are with me 2-3 at a time for an 8 week block.  Every academic year I also have a group of 6 students that spend time with me throughout their last year of didactic coursework that is more of a longitudinal experience.  Most of my in the classroom teaching is related to Men and Women’s health topics – which have over the years become a HUGE passion of mine.  These topics include: contraception, pregnancy, menopause, sexual dysfunction and so on.  Most of this teaching occurs in the spring semester.

Other responsibilities of my job include student advising, committee participation and scholarship.  Scholarship refers to research and publication activities.  I conduct much of my “research” utilizing my students through various projects at my clinic and most of that work has been turned into poster presentations which have been presented by my students or myself at various pharmacy and family medicine conferences around the country.  For the last year and a half or so however, I have been working with students and colleagues on some major papers for publication.

The first article was a review of the newest guidelines created for the treatment of pediatric pneumonia.  I worked with 3 pharmacy students on this paper which was published earlier this year.  It was about a 6 month process of reviews, editing and acceptance to the Journal of Family Practice, but it was a very rewarding experience to share with my students.  Below is a link to the article abstract if you want to take a peek:

http://www.jfponline.com/Pages.asp?AID=10990&search=1

The other two articles are ones that I worked with some of my colleagues at the school of pharmacy to complete.  We wrote two different papers related to predictors of academic struggle and progression in a pharmD program.  Both papers were accepted and published earlier this year.  One is published in the Amercian Journal of Pharmacy Education and the other is in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning.  Recently the paper entitled “Admission Variable Predictive of Academic Struggle in a PharmD Program” was highlighted on Medscape.  If you are not familiar with Medscape, it contains a wealth of information related to healthcare.  Below are the links to both of the articles if you are interested:

http://www.ajpe.org/doi/pdf/10.5688/ajpe7718

http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/1877-1297/PIIS1877129712000949.pdf

Celebrating EARTH.

Before heading outside for our Earth day fun, Jensen colored a picture of the Earth while Owen was taking his morning nap.  She was sooo excited to show it to Drew when he came home from work that she came running inside and pulled it off the refrigerator.

Technically our celebration started on Sunday night when daddy planted new flowers around the house.

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Once we got outside it was all about drawing with sidewalk chalk, playing and taking a walk!  I asked Jensen to assist me in drawing all the things we love about the Earth.  She decided we would draw a sun, some grass, the sky (we drew clouds) and flowers.  Owen pretty much walked up and down the driveway the whole time and then played with his cars.

We ended our celebration with a stroll in the neighborhood.  Of course we had to go inside the house to grab snacks and Jensen’s purse before we could head out – ha!  These kiddos LOVE being outside and it was a very nice morning to be out!

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Baseball at the K Baby.

A couple weekends ago we took the kids to their first Royals game of the season.  Jensen has been asking to go back ever since her and I went to a game last year, just the two of us, shortly after Owen was born.  Everytime we drive by the stadium on the highway she sees the KC on the giant megatron display and says “I want to go there again mom, to KC.” Ha! It cracks me up everytime.

The game was a Saturday at 6:10pm so we had a pretty relaxing day before hand that consisted of playing around the house and making sure everyone got a good nap!  We decided to “tailgate” at the game with Jimmy John sandwiches for Drew and I and peanut butter and jelly for J and O.  We packed other goodies as well to help us get through the game……animal crackers, fruit snacks, apples.

We purchased cheap tickets because we were fairly certain there wouldn’t be a whole lot of actual game watching going on.  Once in the stadium we had to take 2 escalators up to our seats.  That was Jensen’s favorite part of the night.  In fact, we took the escalators 6 times that night with all of our walking around!  We were able to sit in our seats for the first couple of innings with Jensen asking to walk around the ENTIRE time and us continuing to promise her that we would very soon.

Of course the first place Jensen wanted to go were the fountains.  She LOVES the fountains.  She will occassionally call them “Mountains” and to be honest, it is hard to correct her sometimes because I find it so cute and hilarious!  Drew was not too thrilled that we did a lot of walking around, but I took Jensen over to the playground for a bit so that daddy and Owen could take in some of the game.  After walking around and buying a pretzel and some drinks we were able to talk Jensen into going up and finding some seats to sit in for the rest of the game.  Honestly, both kids did great at the game.  Owen pretty much snuggled with me under a blanket the entire time and Jensen played around and snacked in the seats that surrounded us – good thing the game wasn’t completely packed!

The Royals ended up losing by 1 run that night but the weather was beautiful!  We are already planning our next trip out to the K!!

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Sleeping Beauty.

Zoie Dean came  to visit us this past weekend and of course uncle Drew couldn’t resist an impromptu photo shoot.  This little girl is absolutely ADORABLE.

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Baby Zoie.

My beautiful niece, Zoie, was born on Thursday, April 11th around 5:30pm.  She weighed in at 7 lbs and was 18.5 inches long with a head of dark hair……which has been a common theme with all the babies in this family!

I was fortunate to be able to take the day off and be there with Rach during her labor and delivery.  It was one of the best days of my life to be there for the birth of Zoie!  And Rachel did an AMAZING job through the entire process.  We love baby Zoie soooo much!!

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Easter 2013.

On Saturday morning the kids woke up and came downstairs to their Easter baskets.  The Easter bunny left eggs hidden around the house for them too which was super fun for both of them!

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This year Jensen and I frosted sugar cookies instead of dying eggs and I have to admit, I didn’t really miss the whole dying eggs thing.  I’m sure next year we will go back to dying eggs but I enjoyed changing it up a bit this year with the cookies.  I have found that I am not great at decorating my baked goods but I find it INCREDIBLY therapeutic.  Jensen and I got into our aprons and were ready to frost! Jen cracked me up with how much she concentrated on frosting those cookies just right!

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The next morning we went to church with my parents.  After church we headed back to their house for lunch and an Easter egg hunt.  We lucked out with beautiful weather!  After the Easter egg hunt we all hung out together outside enjoying the sunshine and candy!!

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We had a great Easter 2013!  We hope that you enjoyed it as well!

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