STOP: Daddy Time!

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Dustin works ALL the time, 6-7 days a week, often 12-16 hour days. He is on call every other week which means he might get a total of 4 hours of sleep every couple of nights. It means we sometimes go for days without seeing or talking to him. When he has a day off, he focuses on us, but he always has more work to do at the end of the day….researching journal articles, preparing for a tumor board presentation, preparing for an upcoming surgery, updating the chemo list that tracks hundreds of patients, checking in with a resident. He never gets to take a sick day, go in late, or leave early. He works on most holidays. His time is not his own – He belongs to the hospital. It has been this way for years, so we are used to it, though fellowship is even worse than residency or med school ever were. It won’t be this way forever, but it is the way it is for now. He gets a total of 2 weeks of vacation for the entire year, so when Daddy is off, we stop almost everything to BE with him. He was off last week and we had a LOT of great “Daddy time” together!

  • We spent a long fall family weekend at Beaver’s Bend State Park in Oklahoma. SUCH a beautiful spot, especially in the fall. We first went there when I was pregnant with MJ, had a little cabin on the lake. It is where Dustin could first feel the movement of the baby boy in me, and I was consumed with reading and thinking and writing about becoming a mother. It was time to make some new memories in this special place:
Pancakes on the patio

Pancakes on the patio

And hot chocolate

And hot chocolate

Relaxing at the cabin...Red Fox Den

Relaxing at the cabin…Red Fox Den

Skipping rocks

Skipping rocks

Exploring Nature

Exploring Nature

Mommy, look what I found!

Mommy, look what I found!

Nature Journal

Nature Journal

Nature walk...

Nature walk…

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drawing nature…I love this pic.

 

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First Family Fishing!  (No luck, but they learned patience...)

First Family Fishing! (No luck, but they learned patience…)

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MJ tries a different method...

MJ tries a different method…

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Ellie and I got bored of fishing, and read “The Wind in the Willows” instead.

The Mole had never seen a river before: "He was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. All was a-shake and a-shiver - glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble."

The Mole had never seen a river before: “He was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. All was a-shake and a-shiver – glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble.”

Ellie connects with her Native American heritage...

Ellie connects with her Native American heritage…

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WOW! We love reading the history of this tree that is centuries old.

WOW! We love reading the history of this tree that is centuries old.

Snuggling in bed...

Snuggling in bed…not very peacefully.

Sweet Daddy time.

Sweet Daddy time.

S'mores!

S’mores!

Sticky hands...

Sticky hands…

Reading about black holes...

Reading about black holes…

Playing with Legos...

Playing with Legos…

 

Rainy day fun: leaning Battleship!

Rainy day fun: leaning Battleship!

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The kids LOVED the hot tub!

The kids LOVED the hot tub!

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Exploring an old log cabin from pioneer days....

Exploring an old log cabin from pioneer days….

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So long, Beaver’s Bend! Can’t wait to go back…

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Which hat belongs on a doctor? Not this one! (It was the surgery cap...)

Which hat belongs on a doctor? Not this one! (It was the surgery cap…)

 

Showing Ellie's classmates a pic of Dr. Dustin delivering baby Ellie. (Well, just after.)

Showing Ellie’s classmates a pic of Dr. Dustin delivering baby Ellie. (Well, just after.)

Checking out the doctor tools...

Checking out the doctor tools…

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  • Daddy got to ride bikes with MJ to school and stand outside the school doors with all the other Kindergarten parents for the first time. We took Ellie to her ballet lesson,  and then had lunch with MJ in his school cafeteria for the first time.IMAG9121

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We joined the kindergarteners for recess and all the children started calling for "Dr. Manders" to push them on the swings!

We joined the kindergarteners for recess and all the children started calling for “Dr. Manders” to push them on the swings!

They could have stayed and made rivers and lakes all day!

They could have stayed and made rivers and lakes all day!

But we had to drag them away when the Arboretum closed at 5pm...

But we had to drag them away when the Arboretum closed at 5pm…

Testing out WIND POWER!

Testing out WIND POWER!

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  • We all went to church together, and heard MJ sing with the children’s choir for the first time. Same one Mommy grew up singing in at First Pres Dallas – pretty special!

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In the labyrinth garden after church...

In the labyrinth garden after church…

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Sunday evening before Daddy returned to a rough back at work, Michael James shed tears as they snuggled in bed together crying, “Why do you have to go back to work, Daddy?” These are the moments that really break Dustin’s Daddy heart, that really test his commitment to such a demanding field of medicine. But they are also the moments that strengthen his resolve to make decisions for more family time at the point that he does have some control. We are all looking forward to that…

Comments

  1. Sally Brown says:

    Hi Lowry,
    So many memories come rushing back…. David had a similar schedule trying to keep his business afloat. Days and days would go by and we wouldn’t see him, and then when he did come home all he wanted to do was get some sleep. But you do get through it, and your kids will turn out fine. You have a wonderful support group in Dallas in you family and friends, use them! We also used to go to Beavers Bend! It was one of our favorite places, the distance to it was the exact distance of the tolerance of small children to riding in a car. We would always try to go and stay in a cabin after Christmas or New Years and the weather was usually perfect. Missing all of you, and our friends at First Pres! Sally

    • Sally, GREAT to hear from you! Thanks for your kind words. Your kids certainly did turn out well, and congrats on being a grandmother. We miss you, too! Come meet us at Mo-Ranch this summer!

  2. Alaire says:

    What a sweet and touching story, and what truly beautiful pictures of your precious family. You are such a devoted and good mom, Lowry, holding everything together on your own so much of the time and arranging for enriching and fun experiences for your own children and others’ as well. I especially love the pretty picture of Elle on top of the little bear, but there is such serenity in your nature pictures also.