Deck The Halls

My yearly attempt at keeping Beanie Babies relevant.

[Yes, I'm still a doctor.]

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Dear Family,

I will miss you! Save some creole peas for me.

Love,

Meggie

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Harrison's Christening, Christmas 1994

Harrison’s Christening, Christmas 1994

 

IMG_1050ally2To Everyone:

May peace be yours this holiday season. May joy be yours throughout the year!

Happy Holidays.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

A Gift Giving Guide ( ie Santa, This Is My List)

 

In no particular order or organization, here are things I’d want the big man up North to bring me…if I were me and you were me, too…

DRY BAR

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Why? Nothing is better than having someone blow dry your hair for you. And making it look good, too…and Dry Bar always delivers. 

1a. DRY BAR GIFT CERTIFICATE ($40 + tip)

1b. WET HAIR BRUSH AND DRY SHAMPOO

Why? The wet hair brush actually works and won’t rip out your hair. And dry shampoo is how I go just one more day without a shower (shhh). 

2a. DRY BAR BAR TAB (varying prices)

2b. DRY BAR BLOWDRYER ($190)

Yeah, so it’s pricy but it does dry your hair quickly. 

PICKY BARS 
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1. PICKY BARS 10 BOX ($22.99)

2. PICKY BARS PICKY CLUB MEMBERSHIP ($37/month x #of months you give)

Why? Because this is the gift that will keep on giving! Each month, your recipient will get 18 bars delivered to their door and they’ll remember, “Man, ____ is really an awesome person.” 

3. PICKY BAR SWEATSHIRT ($48)

This should be reserved for the Picky addict in your life (raises hand) to enhance their #pickylife. 

OISELLE
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1. RUNFINITY SCARF ($24)

Why? Scarf is functional, soft, and goes with just about everything. I wore mine (ok, I have two) every day last winter.

2. STRIPEY LONG SLEEVE SCOOP NECK ($44)

Why? Another fan favorite. This one is even Mom (my mom, that is) approved. Perfect for travel and for running around the city — its fashionable and holds up for any workout to boot. 

3. LUX LAYER ($76)

Why? This is my favorite weight long sleeve tee that Oiselle sells. The fabric is like butter and the weight is perfect alone for those first cold days of the year and a great layering piece. 

4. LUX LAYER ($76) + DISTANCE SHORTS ($39)

This gift says: I really care about your running. 

Distance shorts in action!

Distance shorts in action!

BAUBLE BAR
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1. PAVE POP STUDS ($26)

I’d go with the turquoise ones but that’s just me. 

2. ACRYLIC SCRIPT MONOGRAM NECKLACE ($58)

A twist on a classic. 

3. CLASSIC SCRIPT MONOGRAM NECKLACE ($100)

Why? Because Blair on Atlantic-Pacific has one and she always looks well put together. 

SOUL CYCLE:

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1. SOUL CYCLE CLASS ($34)

2. SOUL CYCLE 5 CLASS PACK ($165)

3. SOUL CYCLE 5 CLASS PACK + GRAPEFRUIT CANDLE (!!!) ($165+$42)

4. SOUL CYCLE ATHLETE HOODIE ($125)  (I think I just like this because it says athlete on it.)

You have absolutely no idea how happy a grapefruit candle can make someone until you give a SoulCycle addict a grapefruit candle. I only burn mine on times when I really need that grapefruit scent. And I searched high and low last year for comparable grapefruit scents to the Jonathan Adler one (the one SC uses) and the Nest version is close if you need a back up candle choice. [I did my grapefruit candle research.]

RUNNER BUNDLE:

PICK TWO to FOUR (DEPENDING ON SANTA’S BUDGET) AMONGST THE FOLLOWING THINGS AND BOOM! WELL THOUGHT OUT GIFT (IF I DO SAY SO MYSELF)

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- NUUN TUBE ($6.50) OR 4 PACK  ($22)              - OISELLE DUDS (price will vary)

- PICKY BARS SAMPLER PACK ($12.50)              - BELIEVE I AM TRAINING JOURNAL ($19.99)

- ERICA SARA BLING (price will vary)                   – SPARKLY HEAD BAND ($15)

NYC FITNESS FANATIC:

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1. FITIST GIFT CERTIFICATE (varying prices)

2. JUICE PRESS GIFT CERTIFICATE (varying prices)

Odds are if the person lives in NYC and is into fitness, they’re probably also into juices right now. Correlation, not causation. 

CHARITABLE:

1. ALL THE GOOD COOKIES COOKBOOK (benefitting Cookies For Kids’ Cancer)

2. EVERY MOTHER COUNTS GEAR FROM OISELLE (benefitting Every Mother Counts)
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GYMNASTICS GURU OR TRACK ADDICT

1. ACCOUNT FOR GYMNASTIKE GOLD OR FLOTRACK PRO ($150.00/YEAR or $20/MONTH)

I watch more Gymnastike Gold videos (particularly “Beyond the Routine” series than I care to admit. I don’t have Flotrack Pro, but imagine it’s just as good. Both generally have great interviews and profiles on athletes and Gymnastike has done a stellar job with their docu-series. 

FOR YOUR FAVORITE INTERN/RESIDENT:

STARBUCKS CARD (varying) + SPECK PHONE CASE/CARD HOLDER ($35) + SPARKLY LANYARD FOR ID (varying)

I have yet to land a blinged out lanyard for my ID. I mean, my cotton NYU one is holding up ok and I’ve added some pizazz to the scrubs with handbands, but we can always keep improving.

FINAL MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS OF VARYING PRICES:

1. BEADED HEADBAND FROM ANTRHO (~$20-30 dollars)

Why? They’re pretty and can dress up boring outfits…like scrubs. 

2. MAY BOOKS PERSONALIZED NOTEBOOK

For your favorite paper prince or princess. 

3. KILLING LINCOLN BY BILL O’REILLY AND MARTIN DUGARD ($19.59 on Amazon)

Its a good read for your favorite history buff. 

4. GRAIN BRAIN BY DAVID PERLMUTTER, MD ($15.16 on Amazon)

This might be a great addition to a gift for your fitness addict friend whose into juicing who probably also eats semi-gluten free or thinks gluten might be killing us (raises hand here…but still eating gluten). 

5. BRACELET FROM KIEL JAMES PATRICK

For your favorite preppy friend who you think may need to branch out from Vineyard Vines and Sperry’s.
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Happy Thanksgiving…Happy Holidays!

TELL ME: YOUR HOLIDAY WISH LIST?

[PS: Winner of 10 box of Picky Bars announced Sunday - you still have time to enter!]

Lessons From Intern Year: Beyond the Checkbox

Things I’ve learned thus far….

1. SELECTION OF PEN IS KEY:

All pens were not created equal and pen needs may change dependent upon what service you are on, at least in my case. I highly suggest those four color pens. I put discharge stuff in green (green means go ie going home), critical stuff in red, daily stuff in blue, vitals in black. However, if you’re rounding and not able to write on a surface, this pen isn’t great and you need a gel pen that you can write with easily while not on a hard surface.

For more on pen-ology: see this regarding the search for the one true pen. 

2. EMBRACE THE BINDER RING

Most people aren’t into this but I learned it from peds residents as a student. I like having all of my lists hole punched and on a binder ring so they are all together.

So, between my perfect pen hooked onto my ID lanyard and my binder ring, I don’t look like a nerd at all each day.

3. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE “SMART” DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE ACTUALLY GOOD AT ANYTHING.

Yes, even if you’ve had 8 years of higher education, simple things can be really difficult. Like a patient in the OR or not having cord blood spray on your attending.

4. START TRAINING

You’re going to walk a lot. If you’re not in good shape, start spending all day on your feet as soon as possible.

Proof: My FitBit – I walked three miles at work the other day!

5. BRING SNACKS AT ALL TIMES

You never know when hunger and/or opportunity to eat may strike. Come prepared.

My fave snacks are Picky Bars. Shocking, right?!

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Stickering Picky Bars when they had the old sticker labels….

I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that I was Picky Bars first online customer, which remains one of my favorite facts about myself. Why? Because if Picky Bars ever has an IPO, I’m using this bit of info for first dibs on those shares.

So, in honor of my THREE YEAR customer-iversary and my TWO YEAR Picky Club-iversary, I’ve having a little giveaway. 

For a 10 box of Picky Bars in the flavor of your choice!

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Comment here telling me the next flavor you’d dream up for Picky Bars. I’ve been preaching a almond butter based bar with coconut in it for years. No one has listened. My 2nd suggestion is ginger. Lauren, are you listening?!

2. Follow @pickybars (and tell me here) and tweet what your fave flavor is to them using the hashtags #pickypower #pickylegacy

3. Follow @pickybars on instagram (and tell me here)

4. Follow @pickybars on pinterest (and tell me here)

5. Like Picky Bars on Facebook

Get to work, folks!

I almost just signed this post “R1 Smith, Discussed with Attending Dr.___” which is when you know work has really taken over your brain.

Until next time….

 

 

NYC Marathon 2013: Convincing Myself Otherwise…

If you spoke to me around May of this year, I would have sworn up and down that Eugene was my last marathon. It’s was why I trained so hard for it, right? That last hurrah before residency?

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I had no intention of running the NYC Marathon for myself this year. In fact, I chose the “refund” option for my 2012 entry after the cancellation. I thought it’d be impossible to do a marathon as an intern.

However, the opportunity to run for Every Mother Counts made me convince myself otherwise. After spending some time on labor and delivery, it became very apparent how dangerous pregnancy and childbirth can become in certain situations. The thought of having to walk 5k to receive basic medical care while in labor, which many rural African women have to do, fueled my desire to raise both awareness and funds for EMC, which seeks to remedy this and other barriers to prenatal and obstetrical care.  One look at this video compelled me to take the plunge into another 26.2 mile journey.

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The more I run and the more I go through life, the more I realize that most situations are determined by how you look at them.

Hugh Downs may have said it best: “A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but, rather, with a certain set of attitudes.”

More simply stated, attitude really is everything.

So, I convinced myself that running this marathon would be a GREAT idea. I would be raising money and awareness for a great cause. It would motivate me to run on days I didn’t want to. And, best of all, I could run it with one of the coolest moms I know (besides my own mom), Gia. 

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Residency blazed ahead a blistering pace and “training” fit in where it could. I didn’t tempo, mile repeat, long run workout, 800 repeat, or do any of the other traditional workouts one might associate with marathon training. In fact, I missed a couple of long runs. I ran or spun when I could and convinced myself that what I did was enough and that, in fact, being an OB/GYN intern was actually high intensity interval training disguised as work (which sometimes it feels like it is).

By the time last Sunday arrived, I was over the moon excited – probably the most excited I had ever been for a marathon. (Or maybe I was also just really excited to have the weekend off of work…).

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In my “YES… I’m off all weekend” excitement, I told the “team” (Addie, KScott, and Gia) that we were going to run free and race inspired. I had the next four hours off from any thought of residency, ACGME, logging work hours in New Innovations, CREOGs/Prolog studying, cleaning my apartment, organizing the piles of stuff on my desk, answering emails of which there are too many, or any other obligation I had.

The race itself was the antithesis of every other marathon I’ve run. I didn’t wear a watch. I didn’t think about a split or goal time other than the fact that I thought I’d like to finish at or just under 4 hours to save my legs the extra beating.

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The race started and despite all excitement and the reality that I knew I was running a marathon, the whole situation didn’t seem real. I couldn’t believe I was there. After an entire spring of proclaiming that I was done with marathons as residency wouldn’t allow time for that, here I was….running another one.

Miles 1-10 were so mesmerizingly distracting that I don’t remember much about how I felt. What I do remember was how awesome the crowds were, how nice the views were, and how excited Gia and I were to see VC, G1, and G2 at mile 8. As Gia went to swoop up her two twinkles, I decided I needed a kid, too, so I gave Addie’s little Q a great big hug, which probably traumatized the poor unsuspecting kid.

To be honest, around miles 10-13 I started to feel my quads ache a twinge in both my right IT band and left lateral knee. I knew at this point I had two options: freak out about it or keep moving forward.

I’ve found that most of my marathons mirror what’s going on in my life at that point in time. Residency somewhat forces you to get used to this state of constant, relentless forward motion and progress. You have to keep moving.

So, just like I had for the past several months as an intern, I did what I had been doing – I kept moving forward.

By Mile 16 my quads were done and thus began the rest of the most painful marathon I’ve ever run.

Yet, it was the most fun I’ve had running a marathon at the same time.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around how that’s possible.

Anyways, since I was in quad pain fest, I did have a doubt or two along the way that I would actually be able to finish. 10 miles is a long way to go on dead legs.

At mile 20….I actually couldn’t believe I had made it to mile 20 without cramping or collapsing. And, oddly, my overwhelming thoughts from that point forward were “you’re here! you’re doing it!” which comes straight out of Charlee’s SoulCycle class.

And, finally, after 6 more miles of relentless forward motion and telling myself “you’re here! you’re doing it!” over and over, I made it here:

FINISH LINE!

FINISH LINE!

And, shortly thereafter, found myself here:

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I made the trek from Staten Island to Central Park in 3 hours 55 minutes and 43 seconds and I couldn’t be happier.

The poncho may have had something to do with that happiness.

The poncho may have had something to do with that happiness.

A final HUGE thank you goes to my marathon buddy and #sisterinsport, Gia.

From a long run my last weekend before starting residency.

From a long run my last weekend before starting residency.

One hot day way back in July, I ran 16 miles with Gia (and RB!) as part of her Chicago marathon training.As we ran up and down the hills of the Palisades Parkway (of which there are many), I talked about how cool it would be if I did a marathon this fall “just to see if I could.” Gia encouraged me. She believed in me probably more than I did at some points. And even when I was struggling in those last 10 miles, she never left my side (despite my telling her “go! run faster!” I think every mile of the last 10). I couldn’t have picked a better friend to share 26.2 miles with. Gia, I’m lucky to call you my friend!

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And, finally, Jocelyn, we missed you!

Come back, JCB!

Come back, JCB! This is how I feel now that you live in Oregon.

If you made it this far. Congratulations! This is now the end.

Recap: I ran a marathon. For Every Mother Counts. It hurt really badly. But, probably not as much as walking many miles while in labor. And that’s why I ran the marathon in the first place.

Until next time…

 

NYC Marathon “Prep”

Seeing as the NYC Marathon is this weekend, it would be a logical time to really start thinking about “prepping” and “race day.” (It starts at 9:40 am, right?)

One wonderful thing about residency is that it puts the rest of your life into perspective. My residency “world” continues at a blazing pace irrespective of any impending marathon. And, truly, in my “new world,” the marathon is just my weekend activity- some of my co-residents are on call, others are getting married, others have kids and Halloween candy to eat. For me, the marathon is just a really cool, hopefully fun 4 hour-ish blip on the radar in a very packed week (as most weeks are).

Anyways, if I had to think about my prep in any way, shape, or form for Sunday, here it is in list form, naturally. (Interns bow down to the holy list and holy check box.)

Here are ways in which I will NOT be preparing for the NYC Marathon:

- STAYING OFF MY FEET: If I did so, I would not be able to do my job. I really need to get that fit bit to see how much I walk at work.

- BEING WELL RESTED: This statement is not compatible with being an intern.

- DRINKING MORE WATER: I’m going to try, but drinking more also means you need to pee more which is 2 minutes more out of your day. Sometimes, 2 minutes is hard to come by. Seriously.

- DRINKING LESS CAFFEINE: Caffeine is non-negotiable in my life.

Here are ways in which I will be preparing:

- EATING AT MORE FREQUENT INTERVALS LATER IN THE WEEK: Eating what remains the question as I’m usually touching a key board or the inside of a vagina (GLOVED HAND, that is) and therefore don’t like to touch anything with my hands.

- TRYING TO DRINK MORE WATER: I’ll give it the ol’ college try…

- CHOOSING SLEEP OVER A RUN: Like tonight, where I am exhausted from the whirlwhind of many deliveries yesterday and generally just having a fairly physically demanding job. I left at 6:30, will be back in likely at 4:30 so sleep > short run…

I won’t be gunning for a PR or BQ Sunday because that’s not the point of this marathon to me.

I wanted to do this to raise awareness for Every Mother Counts. Plain and simple.

There is no race plan, no goal time (other than finishing), no strategy.

Generally, the only stress I feel is:

1) Am I trained enough to even do this with my “moderate, play it by ear” training? Will I need to drop out?

2) Will I be able to walk Monday?

3) Have a truly lost my mind?

I’m banking on the fact that I ran 2 marathons in the past year (making this the 3rd in 18 months). Hopefully, that whole consistency or “mileage” base concept will come into play Sunday.

And, I’m also banking on the fact that I will do almost anything for a milkshake or cupcake (or, let’s get real, entire cake) which I have promised myself afterwards.

So, here goes nothing!

To learn more about Every Mother Counts –> http://www.everymothercounts.org

My fundraiser –> http://www.crowdrise.com/everymothercountsnyc2013/fundraiser/meggiesmith

Until next time…

(Special thanks to Gia for encouraging me throughout this whole “training cycle” and believing in me – can’t wait to run with you on Sunday!)

“Training”

Tackling a marathon and being an OB/GYN intern might not have been one of my smartest ideas, but the marathon is now 2 weeks away and I’m still trucking along with my “training.”

I certainly don’t run as much as I used to and actual “training” like I did for Eugene or Richmond or any other marathon I’ve run is a distant memory. In fact, anything that resembles a watch is also a distant memory so all of my training thus far has been “approximate.” And, I don’t particularly miss either of those things (workouts, watches) as just running at all these days is tiring enough on top of my work schedule!

So, in summary, I’m not injured and I’m excited to get this show on the road. And, my “training?” It is what it is…and hopefully enough!

In a fantastic little type A exercise, I have  made an Excel spreadsheet with my mileage and hours worked (I have to log hours for residency anyways so I have those handy).

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Might need to get out your glasses to read that one…

[And, no wonder I got sick running 41 miles during a apprx 70 hour work week and including a night shift!]

I forgot to log pints of ice cream, number of Picky Bars, and bottles of green juice during the past few weeks, but suffice it to say those combined are probably higher than both my mileage and hours worked.

A sincere thank you to everyone who has donated to my campaign for Every Mother Counts thus far. I am beyond appreciative and touched. A thank you note will be coming your way at some point!

Finally, what’s more exciting than spreadsheets and thank yous? New Every Mother Counts gear from Oiselle!

Here are some of my favorites:

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So, happy shopping!

Until next time…

Bird Understander

Below is a poem I heard today….

Bird Understander

By : Craig Arnold

Of many reasons I love you here is one
the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright
so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal      all the people
ignoring it       because they do not know
what do with it       except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death
it makes you terribly terribly sad
You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or       (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird
All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird       and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless
but you are wrong
You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song
These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt
you have offered them
to me       I am only
giving them back
if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not

A nice reminder that others see pretty great qualities of ourselves that we often miss.

Be kind to yourself. 

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Recent Faves and Finds

A few recent finds…

Here goes:

1. Oofos Flip Flops

Plain and simple: extremely comfortable.

2. NYC Skyline Return Address Labels on Etsy (specific shop: Moxy Paperie)

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These give me a great reason to send some snail mail. I changed mine to a blue background and all white writing.

3. Monogrammed Phone Case (also on Etsy) (specific shop: To the Gild Lily)

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I ascribe to the deeply held southern belief that if it’s [object] not moving, you should monogram it.

4. Jenni Bick Bookbinding Personalized Moleskine Notebooks

You can emboss your initials, your company logo (a bit more expensive), a saying/quote, your full name on pretty much any Moleskine notebook or cahier you can dream of.

It’s probably a good thing I did not know about these in college. Otherwise, I would’ve had piles of notebooks embossed with my monogram.

5. Oiselle Flyte Shorts and Charcoal Strappy Sports Bra

I typically shy away from spandex shorts as I don’t think they are ever particularly flattering on me. However, the Oiselle flyte shorts pass the “I would be in seen in public in these” test. Super comfortable and seamless to boot.

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The charcoal strappy is a huge improvement on the original strappy. It is much more compressive and with a lot more coverage. I can only hope they are going to make this is more colors.

Six pack not included...

Six pack not included…

Suffice it to say that both items are so comfortable and flattering that if I had the bravery (or body) to do it, I’d run in both these items sans shirt like the pros do.

Finally, shameless plug – remember that whole “I’m starting a 5K revolution” I wrote about a year ago?

LOOK!

A few weeks old but still...cool!

A few weeks old but still…cool!

6. Nuttzo

Like the Rolls Royce of nut butters…

Love the consistency. Love the flavor all 7 nuts and seeds give it. Love the dark chocolate variety. Its too good to be true.

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I’m a huge fan of the momtrepreneur behind Nuttzo, too. Win-win!

7. Skinny Pop

Its the perfect popcorn.

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I am eating what surely is a pathologic amount these days.

TELL ME: COOL FINDS I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT…

Until next time…

Every Mother Counts

Remember how I said I “wasn’t going to do a marathon for a while” after Eugene?

I think I’ve said this after most marathons and, each time, I’ve made myself a big, fat liar.

Why? Because I’m going to run the 2013 NYC Marathon with Every Mother Counts!

WHY AM I DOING THIS?

My reason for joining the EMC team was simple. As an OB/GYN resident, maternal health is a cause close to my heart. On the labor floor, I often find myself thinking “what would have happened to this woman if she didn’t have access to care?” This short video juxtaposes the journey of two mothers reaching obstetrical care.

I have the privilege of working with mothers and babies every day and, in some small way, helping them have a happy, healthy pregnancy and delivery. But, how could I help make sure every mom has this experience, make sure that every mother counts?

Joining the EMC team was a no-brainer. I want to help make sure every mother counts.

WHAT IS EVERY MOTHER COUNTS?

In brief, Every Mother Counts is a campaign to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world. The goal is to inform, engage, and mobilize new audiences to take action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women worldwide.

Did you know…

- 15% of all pregnancies result in a potentially fatal complication in labor and delivery.

-  There are approximately 800 deaths per day from a complication of pregnancy and childbirth, making reproductive health the leading cause of death worldwide for women 15-44 years old.

- For every death, there are 20 life changing injuries. This means that approximately 7 million women each year suffer from post-delivery infections, disabilities, and other severe complications, like fistulas.

Think this is just a problem in developing countries? WRONG!

- The US ranks 50th in maternal health, even though we spend more per capita on health care than any other country in the world. [And see how Every Mother Counts has helped with its' Commonsense Childbirth grant.]

We have the tools and the know-how to save these mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, teachers, doctors, caregivers and community leaders—if we make it a priority.

I’m hoping you can help EMC in any way, big or small! Here are some ways you can get involved.

1.    You can donate here by clicking on the DONATE button on the right of my fundraising page to contribute what you can directly to Every Mother Counts Runners.

2.  You can JOIN THE TEAM (run with me!) to become a fundraiser yourself and help us raise the much-needed funds and spread the word about this cause.

3.     You can purchase an EMC t-shirt & gear from Oiselle.com and come out and cheer us on.

The French Fleece material of this hoodie is so soft. I wore so much last winter!

The French Fleece material of this hoodie is so soft. I wore so much last winter!

4.     You can run in solidarity on November 3rd. Remember that any distance from 1 mile to 26.2 miles would be an amazing act of support of our mission. Every Mile Counts because Every Mother Counts.

Together we can make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms.