Our Tween/Teen – Page 2 – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Our Tween/Teen

Purchased bird house.

January 4, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I had baked 4 potatoes and 2 sweet potatoes last night. The house was cold and Mr. Plastic Picker was bringing home some Rubios. We mostly try to cook at home but some days are harder than others, and when my tween daughter becomes irritated at me – I tend to give in and just order out. Over the holiday we only ordered out 3 times over two weeks. That is pretty good. Last night was one of those nights. Our kids are doing very well, and I’m inordinately proud of them. I do realize the irony of it all. I used to think I was pretty hot stuff when I was younger, Crimson University grad and all. Now in my mid 40s I was annoying my tween who is an ex-preemie, who literally was trying to read excerpts of her Ghandi book as I was watching a romance movie on Amazon Prime. Earlier in the evening she was annoyed at me because we went jogging together and I couldn’t keep up, and after about 12 minutes asked if I could walk and pick up trash and she could finish running (she runs cross country). And then the Girl Scout project that we’ve been organizing together, she spent a good amount of time organizing it for the troop and is going to present a beautiful program today. Whereas I just cut out some slides from my previous Climate Change and Clean Air talk to the UCSD PRIME HEq program, and recorded what I thought was a half-hearted talk on Pediatric Health and Clean Air.

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Wow. Who knew we had so many board games?

January 3, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I spent the last week decluttering the house. Well, not actually decluttering but rearranging and trying to find more space. It all started when my younger brother had a leather office chair almost new that he passed down to me, and a shoe rack. I showed the picture of the chair to the kids, and they both wanted the chair. So began, this round robin of shifting furniture and decluttering to find out where that chair fit into our lives.

The chair ended up in my room, because the back is a bit too extended for the kids’ comfort. For now with a large body pillow draped behind it, it’s the perfect ergonomic position for me. My chair ended up in my daughter’s room, as she had always liked my office chair. Then her chair ended up in the game room built-in office space, and that chair ended up back in our master bedroom where I was trying to create a reading nook/yoga space. Then I realized that the large fancy leather Costco Euro-Lounger in our bedroom reading area should go into the Game Room. The bunnies were permanently moved from the Game Room onto the adjacent balcony that has a weatherized hutch. They have a huge space out there, and I have no guilt about permanently moving the two thriving bunnies outside.

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First Christmas Hike.

December 26, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s not too late to create your traditions. The holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) were always a painful time of year for Mr. Plastic Picker and myself. It may have been for you as well. When we lived in Boston and had our son, we were still immersed in the university life and still trainee physicians. We had the MDs but not the salary nor the marketable skills, nor the scheduling freedom. Little did we know that scheduling freedom is really a mythical unicorn and does not exist. But every holiday the grandparents would disappear from Boston to New York City, as Mr. Plastic Picker’s sisters were in New York with their chaotic lives and the chaotic cousins.

On the holidays if one of us was actually off, someone would stay home with our then one child. If either was working, we sent our son with his grandparents to be with the chaotic cousins. I remember distinctly this one Thanksgiving when he must have been about two, when we both had Thanksgiving off and the grandparents were gone. We lived in a very small apartment and of course we didn’t know how to cook yet. Free Thanksgiving Dinner was provided by Crimson University at a select number of dining halls and we went to Adams House. This was Mr. Plastic Picker’s old undergraduate House at Crimson University. Honestly the dinner , although well made and delicious, was always kind of sad. Crimson University for all it’s glory was still a faceless institution, and we sat there eating with our toddler son as graduate advisors with a roomful of other sentient beings living their lives and really wishing to be with others that were not us.

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Beautiful image only my daughter could have taken.

December 11, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Yesterday was kind of a mediocre day (or so I thought). I had done a lot of work in the morning when I was up at 430am, sending emails and sorting out the premed interns and their work. But no special baking projects in the morning. I went to work and tried to see patients, and spent time with them in a fundamentally real way and tackling issues about food and diabetes and true wellness. Trying to practice the way I think I ought to practice, and not what the modern heatlhcare infrastructure tells me how I should practice. I was also trying to dodge COVID-19 and was upset for one moment when Nurse L wasn’t wearing an N-95 for a patient that had a parent that was positive at home. It was a scary moment for me, as I really do care about him. He was masked and had a face-shield on, and it was for a very brief moment. I had made sure he was not in the room with high risk patients longer than necessary.

I really like them.

December 9, 2020

by drplasticpicker

This blog has always been about helping us live a more sustainable life. I had a particularly creative day yesterday making four mini-figurines partially from gathered ocean plastic waste. I had made them during one of our middle management meetings, along with a tofu container turned soap dish, an iPhone cradle (actually two), and a robot with a plastic brain. I was really pleased with myself and sent pictures of my mini-figurines to everyone and posted in everywhere on Facebook. I got some reactions from folks, and hopefully raised some awareness about plastic waste. I was creative at breakfast and sauteed some bell peppers and placed it in a warmed pita bread with a bit of real mozarella cheese for our teen son. I used to give him so many Eggos, and it is satisfying to give him something wholesome, vegetable-filled and non-processed after all these years.

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Piano.

December 8, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Lots of thoughts this morning. Figured out why I’ve had some long-standing thought patterns about working-mothers versus stay-at-home mothers, and it has nothing to do with my fellow mothers. Like most working mothers, I’ve had some resentment of stay-at-home mothers who is actuality don’t really exist. There are very few fully stay-at-home mothers. It has to do with a little bit of resentment I had when I was eight-years-old. I started working at my father’s accounting office at 8 years of age, helping in the family tax business. We all worked and helped from 8-14 years of age, and also at my uncle’s All-You-Can-Eat Chinese Buffet (eventhough we weren’t Chinese). Soon after that I began doing a lot of extracurriculars in high school and worked in research labs afterschool. The entire time one of my male cousin was living a more idyllic life and had piano lessons, surfing, and never really worked. I had really wanted to be on the soccer team, but who was going to drive me to soccer? But now I realize I am who I am because of those early experiences. Indeed I think my college or medical school essay was exactly on that topic of hard work. My cousin is now a cosmetic dental surgeon and has a younger former beauty-pagent wife with three kids who all sing. He is an upstanding citizen and who am I to judge his life? I am a pediatrician and Assistant Boss and married the college sweetheart who probably could have been in a beauty pagent if there had been one for men back then, and I am an environmental advocate who picks up litter. I have two kids, and that they are alive and healthy – as a pediatrician I know that is the greatest gift of all. But I resented him when I was eight years of age, and some of it was probably because he was a boy and in our culture boys got everything. Eventhough I was top of my highschool class, by mere virtue that he was a boy everything he did was oooh and aaahed about more. I’ve since set aside that resentment, as I realize it was a byproduct of a useless patriarchal cultural system that I no longer adhere to. Now I know why I didn’t marry someone of my own actual national identity. Wow.

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Braided hair of the tween who goes to private school. She is a nice kid.

December 5, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Can I tell you a Dr. Plastic Picker secret? It’s not that our two children go to private school. Most of my patient families know that as I’m open about that when they ask me questions. I myself went to a stellar suburban public school, and had mixed feelings about sending them to private school. From my suburban public school I was probably better equipped then most of my prep school classmates at Crimson University. Dr. Plastic Picker’s secret is that I don’t really like many of the other parents who have also send their kids to our same private school. About a quarter I really like, but three-quarters I can’t stand. When I have to interact with those parents as a fellow parent, I sometimes question our choice. But it’s the price I pay to send my kids to private school. But now that I think about it, I’m sure every parent at any type of school probably feels the same way about our fellow parents. So maybe Dr. Plastic Picker’s secret isn’t much of a secret?

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The stew is on the top right-hand corner.

November 27, 2020

This is the second year we cooked on this National Holiday. Last year we cooked our first Thanksgiving Turkey and had the resulting yumminess of turkey broth and turkey soup afterwards https://drplasticpicker.com/cooking-a-turkey-saved-money-used-less-plastic-and-finally-felt-at-home/. The entire home-made feast cost us $22 with plenty of leftovers for my parents house and our large household of six.

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Monitoring vinegar is like monitoring GPAs and Networth.

November 21, 2020

by drplasticpicker

We watched Ocean’s Eleven yesterday. It was the Friday night after finishing the trimester, and the kids wanted a typical Friday movie night which we hadn’t done in a while. I didn’t take any photos or post on Facebook and Instagram, which made my tween daughter happy. She’s suspicious of my social media postings. We had her 2nd pizza from the dough she made last week, and again it was so fluffy! It had been a busy clinic day. I haven’t been monitoring most people’s schedules which I need to do sometimes as Assistant Boss, but gosh I’ve been busy. I wasn’t able to get to my 330pm virtual appointment until well after 5pm because I had lots of teen physicals and put in an implantable birth control in a patient. When I got home at 615pm or so, which is not bad but it’s so dark these days, the family had just started eating. So I got to have a slice of homemade pizza which was simply the most fluffy piece of pizza deliciousness and some salad. We moved onto movie and bagged carmel and chedder Costco popcorn we had purchased in bulk. The movie was really good with only a couple of scenes where Mr. Plastic Picker had to stand in front of the TV waving his arms at inappropriate parts. I actually did watch the whole movie and didn’t fall asleep. It was fun to see Brad Pitt and George Clooney is their hey-day.

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Spices that make up the Philly Cheesesteak Sirloin Rub

Novemeber 8, 2020

by drplasticpicker

We watched President-Elect Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris yesterday as a family. We made it an event. Before the actual speech and dinner, we had been inspired by real friends on my personal Facebook that suggested Philly Cheesesteak and Arizona Ice Tea in celebration of the swing states that brought the electoral collage home. The entire day had been happy with smiles and CNN playing in the background. Everyone seemed to be smiling, even the political pundits. Trump has really aged Jake Tapper. We were low on kitchen staples anyway so needed to go to a grocer.

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