Anna is growing up

Anna is almost 13 years old and getting ready to start Middle School.  She is certainly not the little girl that we were taking to preschool just a few years ago.

This past week was Girl Scout camp out in the rural, humid heat of Tonganoxie, KS.  Anna was one of the older girls that helped “run” the camp.  Linda was out there with her Girl Scout troop and had several people comment to her that Anna was a really big help.  Yes, Anna is starting to grow up.

She and Emily did a joint babysitting job the other night.  They really enjoy that a lot.  It’s amazing how Anna can transition from little kid to small adult when she is taking care of another kid – absolutely awesome.

Spending time with friends in Omaha also showed how Anna can morph into babysitter, even when she’s not getting paid.  She naturally begins to shepherd and entertain the younger kids.  It’s nice to see the look of relief on the faces of the other parents – they’ve got a moment of reprieve.

A friend of mine was joking tonight that Anna will not want to be around me in about 2 months as she will be hitting that stage…I’m really hoping it doesn’t happen, because I’m really enjoying this stage right now.

I love you, Anna.  You’re staring to turn into a really nice young woman.

Omaha Zoo

We have been planning to go to the Omaha Zoo for several years.  Each summer has come and gone and we kick ourselves in August for not having made the real effort to get to Omaha.  It’s only 3 hours away – but yet just far enough.

Friends from medical school, Neil and Elissa Hamill, have just moved to Omaha after just completing his final month of fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine.  Finally – a perfect reason to make a real effort to get to Omaha.

We drove into Omaha about 3:00 pm on yesterday (Sunday) and spent the evening with the Hamills.  We had dinner at a restaurant that brewed their own beer, went swimming at their gym, and then homemade brownies (from scratch), ice cream, and coffee at their new house.  What a lovely evening.

After a night sleeping in luxury at the Doubletree, we got up this morning and headed to the zoo.  Elissa and the two boys joined us and we spent the whole day walking around the wonderful exhibits.

Insanity

I’m going to try a new workout – Insanity. This is a DVD workout program produced by the same company that doesP90X.  After completing P90X back in May, I started it once again and got through the 7th week before I hurt myself playing softball.  I took some time off to heal, but just didn’t have the desire to return to P90X as I had become somewhat bored with it and was wanting another real challenge.  You’ve probably noted that I’ve been riding my bike more often and enjoy that, but it doesn’t give me the same workout.

So, I decided to go with a much crazier workout, aptly named Insanity.  This workout was created to get results in just 60 days – and with only 35-45 minute workouts.  I must be crazy…

I’ll be starting on Monday – wish me luck.

Sleepwalking…

This has been an eventful week in the Featherston household.  Anna took sleepwalking to the next level – on nights that I was working night shift, of course.

I got a frantic phone call while at work from Linda.  In fact, the nurse had to come get me from a patient room to take the phone call (the first time this has happened since beginning work as a physician).  Linda had panic in her voice as she explained to me that Anna was up and running through the house and pulling blankets out of the storage, pulling videos out of the entertainment center, throwing the dog’s ball, and talking crazy.  Obviously, there wasn’t much I could do from work, but it finally ended after about 45 minutes.  Linda said it was like the sleepwalking scene from the movie “Step Brothers”.

It occurred again two nights later – again while I was at work.  Linda was ready to call a priest for an exorcism.  She did however contact the pediatrician the next day, confirming what I already suspected – there wasn’t much we could do.  It was hypothesized that she was probably overly tired and needed a little more sleep.  We had her take a good nap during the next day and things seemed better.  She even spent the night at the grandparents without any problem.

Until last night…

I about tripped going up the stairs as she was asleep on the stairs – like a cat curled up.  I picked her up and carried her back to bed (no easy feat considering she’s about as big as us now).  I then went to bed.  As I fell asleep my cell phone rang – it was Linda calling me from the basement because Anna was up sleepwalking again.  I hoisted her up over my shoulder and carried her back to bed.  Linda spent the next 45 minutes at her side carrying on full conversations with Anna asleep the whole time.  How extremely weird.

What’s more amazing is how many friends we’ve talked to that tell us that either they sleepwalked or their kids do.  It’s nice to know we’re not alone.

Finally, I confess that I did sleepwalk as a kid, but never to the extreme that Anna is.  Here’s hoping things calm down soon.

Meeting Pete Johnson

Most everyone knows that one of my hobbies is premium cigars.  I find them enjoyable as a relaxation tool – they’re also fun to collect (much like premium wine).

One of the local cigar shops hosts a big event each month; they will bring in a cigar manufacturer (really celebrities in the cigar world) with specials, food, drinks, and a party atmosphere.

I try to attend most months – as long as my work schedule allows.  I’ve been able to meet many different cigar manufacturers and have autographs, pictures, and stuff like that.  One person I’d yet to meet was Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars.  Well, I finally got to meet him and talk about cigars with one of the more popular cigar-makers of today.

Next month will be Don Pepin Garcia – even bigger – but I’ve met with him twice before.  Doesn’t mean I won’t try to get there, though….

Mission Farms Bike Ride

Linda and I had a wonderful date-night last night.  We joined a good friend on our first joint group bike ride.

Mission Farms is a retail-restaurant district in north Leawood.  We met up with about 10 other riders and headed south in the mid-evening July heat.  This was a “welcome ride” which means nobody gets dropped behind.  However, the people at the front pretty much keep going.  If you moved fast enough, you can catch them at a stoplight.

After falling back initially to stay with our friend (who had volunteered to bring up the rear), we decided to catch up with everyone else.  Staying with the lead group was a little tougher given the heat, but we survived.  17.5 miles later and we were back at the Mission Farms area.  After reloading the bikes onto the Jeep, we headed over to one of the restaurants, Los Cabos, and enjoyed cheap beer and lots of chips and dip.

This will be a weekly ride…and I think we’ll be trying to catch it any Tuesday that we’re free.

Weddings and thinking back…

Today we attended the wedding of the daughter of very good friends.  The friends are from the church we used to attend in Olathe.  In fact, Linda was the organist for the wedding.

As I sat there watching the two get married in a very beautiful Mass ceremony, it made me think back 17 years to a Saturday in May when we got married.

We have been through many things over those 17 years – college completion, active military duty, the birth of our two daughters, med school, residency, the purchase of two different homes…and all the other little stuff in between.  Through it all we have been together as a united team and I realized how lucky I am to have such a wonderful partner as Linda.  The Lord has truly blessed us!

Here’s hoping Matt and Jen have success in their marriage – and may they look back in 17 years and smile…

Tour de France

July has arrived and so has the Tour de France.  Linda watches each stage with an almost religious fervor.

She knows a lot about most of the major riders – especially Lance Armstrong.  Ask her anything…go ahead…

It’s also been so nice here that Linda and I have been riding our bikes together.  24- and 30-mile rides have been a great way to spend time together.  We’re planning on doing a few organized rides together as well.  Who knows – maybe by Fall we’ll do our first century ride!

As of today, Lance isn’t doing so well in the Tour.  However, there’s still a couple weeks left and anything can happen.  Here’s to you, Lance…

Happy Birthday, Grandpa

So it’s been another week and a half since I’ve been able to update the blog – working 7 night shifts in 9 days made for very little free time.

One of those days off included a trip to the in-laws to celebrate my father-in-law’s 68th birthday.  What’s even better is that the lunch was ready to go when we arrived – I didn’t have to do anything but show up and eat!

We’ve often celebrated Rod’s birthday by attending a Kansas City Royals ballgame, but they were out of town this year.  We’ll have to find another reason to get to a game.