Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm back!

I got back from Belize late Saturday night. It was a fantastic trip. We got some relaxation time in, and then got to work. After ome major equipment failure the first day (and despite the HEAT!) we helped a ton of people and got a lot of great experience in. There were only four dental students on the trip and two faculty members, so we got a ton of one-on-one coaching that was really invaluable. I probably tripled my speed at doing restorative dentistry, and learned a new method of doing root canals that's much more efficient and updated than what we use at school.

The trip is something that third year students take every year, but it is usually based solely on doing extractions. This year was the first year that we only did restorative dentistry (fillings and root canals). One of the best parts of that was that we were showing all of these very rural populations that pulling teeth isn't the only treatment option out there-- that saving them can be a viable option too. We did a lot of esthetic work for them as well, which is one of my favorite parts of dentistry. I love giving people back their smiles. :) Four hygiene students and two of their faculty members also went with us, so our group did cleanings too. Having them along was great not just because they were really fun people, but because cleanings are a service that is virtually nonexistent in Belize, and it was great to be able to provide that for the people there.

AND it was great for me to make a couple of real friends in my new class. I've felt pretty alone there since I came back, and it's been getting worse lately because my old class is all graduating in a couple of weeks. So it made me really happy to get to know and make friends with the other three dental students who went. Maybe this last year of dental school won't be so lonely after all.

Enough rambling! Picture tiiiime!

The resort that we stayed at the first night and the last night. It was beautiful and we stayed in these huge villas:

We took a catamaran booze cruise to the barrier reef to go snorkeling. This is the island we stopped at by the reef:

Our equipment table and some of our crew. Our working conditions were a little bit different than we were used to! This is at a primary school where we worked for two days:

We had no shortage of patients!

Me with some of our patients at the school:

Doing some cosmetic dentistry:

Kelly and I jumped into the resort pool in our scrubs after our last, very sweaty day of work :) I don't know that the other vacationers appreciated it, though.

So that's it! It was the trip of a lifetime for sure. I'm so glad I went, even though I missed Caroline more than I thought possible! A week sure is a long time to be away from her... we've done an awful lot of snuggling since my return.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


So I don't think I've mentioned this here, but I'm going on a service trip to Belize. It's a trip that will involve doing lots of fillings but also snorkeling, beach time, and looong happy hours. I'm so excited! It seemed like a long way off, but suddenly it is... hmmm... four days from now. That came up quickly.

Anyway, I am sad to be leaving Caroline for a week. I've never been away from her for longer than a weekend, and that was just once for a wedding that Tyler and I were in. I'll miss her a lot. But it is exciting to be able to travel. I am always jealous of Tyler's trips, and now I get to take one of my own! Plus, I'll get tons of experience doing dental work because there are only four dental students going and we will be less... um... supervised (i.e. watched like hawks) than we are in the school's clinic. It will be a great opportunity. And all the fillings we do will count towards graduation, which is huge.

So, sorry for the short post, but I just wanted to go ahead and make an excuse in advance for the gap in posting that is about to occur! I will return with many pictures, and hopefully a tan!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thank you notes

Well, Caroline is 14 months old and I'm finally writing her thank you notes for her birthday presents. I kept nagging at her to get them done, but she just hasn't gotten around to it, so I decided I needed to step in. She better not make a habit of this, though! I'm not writing these again next year, Caroline!

Thank you notes are usually one of my most dreaded chores, but I am actually having a little too much fun with this. Writing thank you notes for a baby is a lot more fun then writing them for myself. Example:

"Dear H and E,
Thank you so much for my giant penguin and Puma track suit you got me for my birthday! I really love my giant penguin. I like to crawl over to him and grab his beak and bounce up and down and yell and YELL!!!!
Love, Caroline"

Will they appreciate it? I don't know. But at least it makes writing them less boring for me.

"Dear Grandma and Grandpa,
Thank you so much for my birthday money. I wanted to use it to buy fifty boxes of CHEERIOS!! But my mom made me put it in my college fund because she is boring. Thanks again! I really appreciated it.
Love, Caroline"

I could make it really authentic, if I wanted, and rip a bunch of pieces off each card and cover them in yogurt fingerprints before putting them in the envelope. But I thought that might be taking it a little too far.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a picture from this past weekend of Caroline in her Easter dress with pigtails in her hair (!!)...

You've gotta love the pigtails!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Here's the problem.

I hardly ever blog anymore. It's sad. I tell myself it's because I don't have time, but really, I am in front of the computer studying most nights after Caroline goes to bed, and let's be honest-- I would much rather play on the internet than study.

I guess I really do have the time, or at least most of the time I do. The problem is, I always want to write about stuff that happened during the day, and most of that involves my patients. There's all kinds of craziness and hilariousness and awkwardness that happens when you are an amateur dentist. And I happen to be a particularly awkward person, which makes for some spectacularly awful moments. But I can't write about them, really. It would be unprofessional. And I wouldn't want to get in trouble with my school and jeopardize everything that I have been working so hard for. Sigh. Being an adult is so boring.

So I mostly try to talk about Caroline. But let's be honest, there's not that much to say. I mean, I could go on and on about all the cute things she does, but to tell you the truth I suspect that would be kind of dull for you. I talk about mommyhood in general, but sadly I am more dental student than mom these days, and the dental part is kind of off-limits, so that puts me right back where I started.

One of my favorite commenters asked me how Tyler is doing (hi MJS!) so I suppose we can talk about him. (Whenever I am blogging, he asks "Are you talking about me? Are you writing about me? What are you saying about me?"- um, self-centered much, my dear? ;) so I will satisfy your curiosity and throw him a bone at the same time.) He is doing great, publishing papers like crazy. He could probably be done with his dissertation this year, if he wanted to be, but he has two more years of funding so he will probably hang out and keep publishing stuff until I am done with residency, and then we will move. We're thinking we'll go temporarily to either Germany or NYC at this point. We'd love for Caroline to have the opportunity to go to preschool in Germany, but I'm not sure what I'd do there since I definitely want to use this degree that I'm busting my butt to get. It's up in the air right now. We're still thinking that Denver will be our permanent home after Tyler is done with postdoc positions, though.

So that's his work life, which is his "other" baby. He often works late, and honestly it's hard for me. He hasn't been traveling since I went back to school, which has made things a little easier, but he's starting up again now. He's gone this week, and will go to South Africa in a few weeks, and then will be in North Dakota for the summer. But when he is home, he is a really great dad. I've got to give him credit there. Sometimes I wish we could spend more time together, and I know we both tend to neglect our relationship a little bit because we are both so incredibly busy. But as a father, he's just amazing. I knew he'd be great. But he's even more dedicated and involved and in love with Caroline than I imagined he would be. I love listening to him read to Caroline or talk to her about dinosaurs.

Anyway, I guess I need to find a way to talk about dental school without having to retitle my blog "HIPAA violations and the occasional baby picture". I'll figure something out :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

One year pics

Wow, I am a huge slacker these days with blogging. I need to get back on track, stat! I haven't quite mastered the whole multitasking thing just yet...

These pics are about a month old at this point, but I still want to share them because I love how they came out. My very talented friend Kari took them-- here is her blog.

I think she just gets more beautiful every day. But of course... I might be a little biased :)

Tomorrow is my 26th birthday and since it's Good Friday, I get the day off. Best birthday present ever! I can't wait to spend it with Caroline. I feel like I don't see her much these days. Especially since one day this week I was at school until 10pm, working on a bridge (which then fell out of my locker in the morning and broke when I went to hand it in. But we aren't going to talk about that. No, we'd better not talk about that.) Then, my mom is coming to watch Caroline while Tyler and I go out for dinner and drinks. I'm pretty excited!