Monday, December 24, 2007

A pile of pizzelles

To get ready for Christmas, I made a bunch of pizzelles with the pizzelle maker I got at our White Elephant gift exchange last year. Here's me making pizzelles last year:

I don't have any pictures of me making pizzelles this year because you really can't beat last year's picture, can you? No. Instead, here are some pictures of the pizzelles I made this year.

P.S. My White Elephant streak of awesomeness remains intact. This year I got two bottles of wine (!). It was the second best gift available, the first best being a bottle of vodka. We get a real assortment in our gift exchange. About 2/3 of the gifts were the kind of crap we intended to be featured in a White Elephant exchange, the other 1/3 were actually decent stuff.

Anyhow, I made the pizzelles because I hate baking. Thus, pizzelles are the perfect cookie for me to make because essentially you are making tiny waffles. I am good at waffle making, bad at baking. Then I had a cookie exchange, which used to be an annual Lisa tradition, now resurrected. It was smallish, but fun. Some people from work and a few other friends from various places, including Annie of blog fame. A good time was had by all.

Now my parents are here, they arrived on Saturday night in time for Brian's 35th birthday, which was yesterday. Wow, I am married to a geezer. My brother Jim and his girlfriend will arrive on the 28th, in time for Owen's birthday! Which I cannot believe is less than a week away. Wow.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The endless season of sickness and some unrelated b$@%*ing

For some, the holiday season is a time of happiness, joy, *"cheer"...

(*note: I put quotes around cheer because we got an email from our department head today about our work Christmas party tomorrow, in which he said to 'join us for some food, fun and "cheer"'. WTF was the reason for the inappropriate quotes around cheer?? This is one of my pet peeves. Quotes do not indicate emphasis, people! If thats even what he was doing with them. Really, I am completely baffled by this totally inappropriate use of quotes.)

For us, the holiday season is apparently a time of illness. Yes, we made it through the horrendous stomach bug of '07. Rather, Brian and Owen made it through and I helped clean up. I never got it, thank god. Given the grumbling going on in my Mommy group, it sounds like this has been going around the entire Triangle area, so it wasn't just me. In fact, one of Owen's daycare teachers also spent her Thanksgiving vomiting. She said she particularly enjoyed that she had to do it repeatedly in front of her inlaws. Hee.

Anyhow, that finally passed.

Now we all have colds. Owen started getting his right around the time his stomach bug was letting up, and Brian and I both have it now. And I don't want to be all stereotypical about men being whiny sick people, so I won't.


I'll wait for Brian to dispute that in the comments or something... I know you're reading this!

The thing I hate most about having a cold is the red nose. Well, maybe second to the sore throat. I always get a bad, bad sore throat. I think its because I have ridiculously large tonsils. I don't know if those two things are actually connected, but it makes sense in my head so I'm going with it.

Anyhow, its time for the unrelated b$@%*ing (look at me keeping it all PG rated).

1. Owen has been on full time sippy cups for at least two months. This is great because those Dr. Browns bottles, as wonderful as they are, were a REAL PAIN IN THE BUTT to clean. Now we don't have to send anything to daycare other than a big bottle full of water that they can use to mix up his drinks. And soon, when he drinks cows milk, we won't have to send anything fluid at all. That will be a fun day. Anyhow, we have thus invested in a good number of sippy cups. We have a couple Playtex ones that have handles. These are about $4-5 per cup. I think we had about 4-6. I bought these first because I thought they would be easier for him to use, what with the handles and all. Then we started having some problems... Cat problems. Jasmine is obsessed with chewing on the spouts of his sippy cups if they have had formula in them. So she would find his cup that he had discarded on the floor and chew it. Or his cup that he had finished that was in the sink. I think she chewed 2-3 of these to the point where we had to throw them out. When we started getting low, I went to buy some more the next time I was at the grocery store. But all they had was girly colors, and even though we are getting Owen a play kitchen for Christmas (ssssshhhh, don't tell him), I didn't want to raise no sissy boy drinking from a pink cup. I didn't want his other baby friends to give him a hard time. So I got some of the Take-n-Toss ones that are essentially disposable. They're like that Gladware in sippy cup form - You can and will use them over and over again, but you won't cry when something happens to them. These were $2.99 for 8 cups, so way more bang for your buck. Except Jasmine still wants to chew the crap out of them, and since these are made of really thin plastic, even one good chew means death to the cup. In contrast, the other ones were still okay with a few chews because the spout was made of pretty thick plastic. So now I am trying to do the cost benefit analysis on sippy cups. And also on keeping Jasmine. No, I'm kidding. I'm not getting rid of Jasmine.

2. Yesterday I took my car in for its 30K service. Since my car is a fancy hybrid, we decided I should take it to the dealership for the service. Either I have been lazy about getting my car in for its regular service (possible) or we have taken it somewhere else (also possible) for at least one of these services, because this was the first time I had gone to our dealership for anything other than an oil change, and I only did that once too. Anyhow. I got the shuttle guy to take me to work. Later in the afternoon they called me to tell me that my car was done and that the shuttle guy was going to come pick me up. The dealership is only a couple of exits down from where I work, so this shouldn't have taken long. I still had some work to finish up and I also had to leave by 5 at the latest to pick O up at daycare. When I got there, the service guy was like, "Uh, we actually have a little bit of a problem. Something happened to your car and we're going to fix it, but it isn't going to be done in time for you to take it home tonight." Okay. I think what happened was they were pulling the car in or out of a garage area and the garage door was not up enough and they scraped the roof of my car on the bottom of the door. So they were going to get me a rental car. I thought this meant a rental car was going to come to me at the dealership. We went out and got all the crap I needed from my car...

(incidentally, the guy asked me what I needed from the car and I said "parking permit and iPod stuff (I mean, my charger and my iTrip - I had my iPod with me)". Then when I called Brian and told him what was going on he said "What are you going to do about the carseat?" Duh. The carseat!! I had completely forgotten about that. I forgot about my glasses too - I only use them when I'm driving so I leave them in the car. I am a fantastic mommy!)

...I looked at the damage and it was really just scratches that could be buffed out easily, not a huge deal.

The rental car guy came and it turned out he was going to take me to the rental car place. I don't know why, but they use a rental car place in Chapel Hill, which was like, 25 minutes away. Why they would do that when the airport is much closer is beyond me, but whatever. Then I got my rental car (a minivan! I felt like a real mommy!) and had to drive back to work - another 25 minutes. All in all I was gone for about two hours. By the time I got back I had time to do some lab stuff that desperately needed to be finished before I could leave and then ran out to go pick up Owen. I didn't think it would be a big problem, but it really turned out to be a fairly major inconvenience that I could have done without. I was irritated, but only slightly.

Today I went to pick up my car and pay for my service. This was a big service, so it was like, $500. Which is crazy, but whatever. Thats what I get for going to the dealer, right? I said "And I'm sure you gave me a discount, because the whole ordeal yesterday was a big inconvenience". He said "Oh, of course. Its about $100 off. And we cleaned and detailed your car for you"...

(okay also? Why do they call that 'detailing'?)

...I had had a coupon in my hand for $25 off this service, but I ended up not using it because he had already given me a $100 discount. My service came to $450. I paid and drove off.

As I was driving I started thinking "He gave me $100 off and I still paid $450? Is that right?" I stopped in a parking lot and looked at the bill, added stuff up on my fancy calculator on my fancy iPhone, and couldn't figure out where this discount was. I went back to the dealership and asked him to walk me through the bill and where my discount was. He showed me. It turned out he had taken 10% ($50) off. He had counted the price of the detailing in as part of my "discount". I was pissed. I didn't want my car cleaned (although it needed it for sure, so it was a bonus), I wanted MONEY back for my trouble. I explained that I had had a coupon that I didn't use for $25 off that I had found on their website. My point was that if they'll easily give $25 to anyone for having a coupon that they can just print out, when they screw something up the discount should be significantly more than that. I thought it was a little bit ridiculous. The guy was also bugging me at this point. I was not happy to begin with, and he almost instantly adopted an attitude with me that was making me even angrier, like I was just some crazy lady. He asked me, "What will make you happy?" The way he said it indicated that he meant: "What will get you off of my case, lady?" I told him that his dismissive attitude was not helping me be happy. In the end he gave me an additional $100 off, which is what I asked for, pretty much (actually, I asked for $100 total off, but he gave me an additional $100 off, so $150 total). In the end I was happy with how it was resolved, but not happy that I sort of had to argue for it and that they hadn't done that to start with (or at least something better than $50 off).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Freaking Thanksgiving!

We had a fun weekend planned. My parents ended up not being able to come up for Thanksgiving because my grandfather fell and broke his back the week before (!) and they stayed in Florida to help out with that. I was feeling a little bit bummed that we didn't have any plans and afraid that Thanksgiving was going to turn out just like any other day, so Brian bought a photo printer (its totally awesome actually) and decided that we were going to sip champagne and work on Owen's baby book this weekend. Maybe go to the museum, hang out at home, do some Christmas shopping (online thanks - I am not crazy). We also had plans to hang out with friends on Saturday.

Instead this is what we did:

Owen woke up on Thursday morning, ready for his first Thanksgiving. I dressed him in his cute 'Baby's First Thanksgiving' outfit and sat down to give him his sippy cup of formula, which he guzzled down. And promptly threw up all over me, his outfit, the ottoman, the floor. This is the first time I have ever seen a baby actually throw up, as opposed to spitting up. Uh, its an obvious difference. This was more like 'The Exorcist'.

Took off the outfit and changed him into something else. Rinsed the outfit out with hot water and put it in the dryer - I had invited two friends from work over for dinner so O still needed to look cute!! Brian made biscuits and fake bacon for breakfast. We sat O in his highchair and gave him some, and a little bit more formula since he had pretty much not ingested any the first time. He picked at his breakfast and barfed all over it. Eeeeexcellent.

He was pretty good the rest of the day but was starting to have some diarrhea. Friends came over, we ate, O went to bed, we hung out, it was fine.

Next day O has major diarrhea. And Brian starts puking. And puking. Oh great.

Friday and Saturday alone, I think Owen went through about 10 pairs of pants. Brian was in bed all day both days. Obviously, we cancelled our plans. He's moving around a little bit today, but not much. Owen is still sick. We're already on our second pair of pants, and its only noon.

So there was not so much sipping of champagne and scrapbooking and hanging out with friends happening this weekend. There was a lot of grumpy babies and messy pants and sleeping husbands and trips to the store for Gatorade and Pedialyte (O is not a fan). I did get some Christmas shopping done and ordered our Christmas cards, so at least some progress was made.

And so far I have not gotten the horrendous stomach bug. Fingers crossed!!

In other news, O is steadily getting better at walking.

Hope you had a nicer weekend than we did!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Perfect Mommy Night

See if you can identify the components of a Perfect Mommy Night in the photo below:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

2 years

Today is the two year anniversary of when my brother died.

This morning we all got together by phone with my dad and Jim, who were at the cemetary. We shared Ed stories over the phone, and they poured a beer over his grave. And I drank a beer for lunch.

Owen celebrated Ed's memory by taking a 3.5 hour nap.

It is hard to believe that we have gotten to this point already - two years later! That morning, I was so unsuspecting of how my life was just about to change forever.

So many things have changed in these two years. We have made lots of new friends, lost some people who turned out not to be friends after all. We decided to start having children, got pregnant and had Owen, who is almost a year old. Jim has a new (well... new in the last two years) girlfriend who we love and they bought their first house. My cousin got married, as did Herryn. We have gone on lots of trips to visit friends and family, and have had lots of friends and family come to visit us. We got Jasmine.

It has been a rough time, but a lot of wonderful things have happened too. I wish that Ed had been here to see them.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Knowing the exact instant we get frost

The other night, Brian and I were sleeping snugly in our bed when we were awoken by some unidentified beeping. It woke up Owen too - CURSES! It was 5:30 am, and he's a light sleeper from 5 onwards! Anyhow, we finally figured out what it was: our newish indoor/outdoor thermometer. We got it this summer sometime so that we would always know how freaking hot it was outside. Apparently it has an alarm on it to tell you when the temperature goes down below 37 degrees (Farenheit, for our UK readers). Who cares!! I am sleeping. What am I going to do, run out and cover my (non-existent) roses with blankets? If I cared that something was frost-sensitive, wouldn't I take care of it BEFORE I WENT TO SLEEP?

We couldn't figure out why it had come on because there was no obvious indicator on the thermometer that there was a low-temp alarm on. So it was difficult to turn said alarm off. I was hoping it was just a fluke, so the next night we went to bed and forgot all about it. Of course it was not a fluke, and the alarm went off at 1 am. Fortunately it only woke me up. Unfortunately, it woke me up. I couldn't get back to sleep. I was annoyed, so I just took the batteries out. So now we have no thermometer.

Thats okay, its cold (finally!). I don't need a thermometer to tell me that!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bento Boxes

Owen is eating table foods with us all the time now, and I am always running out of ideas as to what to make for him (usually same thing that we're eating, but this is not always suitable if we're eating something that doesn't translate well to finger foodness). Someone pointed me to a Flickr group about kids lunches. In there, people have annotated photographs of what they have sent for lunch for their kid that day. One person had these fantastic bento boxes that she makes. Check these out!! They're amazing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Not a lot going on. We are totally geeking out watching the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Memes upon memes

two memes to do:

A. I got tagged by Owen for 8 random things about myself.
1. I just got reminded about how, in 6th grade, my friends and I used to have all of these businesses where we would sell crap to the other kids in our class. Like, we would doodle on pieces of notebook paper, fold them up and sell 'fans'? Or we raised guppies and sold them? (The other part of that is that we would take the dead guppies into school and this one group of boys in our class... and if you went to middle school with me, and I know some of you did, ask me and I'll tell you who...would EAT THE DEAD GUPPIES. I remember they put them on their lunchroom pizza or in their chocolate milk or whatever. Ew.
2. My first car was a 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix and it totally had an 8track player, but my parents replaced it with a cassette player for me because they love me.
3. I watched the Bachelor for more seasons than most people did. And yet, I haven't watched it for a couple of seasons. WHO IS WATCHING THIS?!?!
4. I am obsessed with celebrity gossip. But I don't get the time anymore to keep up on it! Crap!!
5. When I found out Studs was going to be a boy I was a little bit bummed because I had these visions of buying little pink dresses and having a cute pink nursery. And yet, now that he's Owen and not Studs? I cannot imagine having anything other than him :)
6. I stopped eating meat when I was in 6th or 7th grade.
7. I wanted to be a plastic surgeon for a looooong time. Until I realized that calculus was going to prevent my going to med school. And now I realize that this was all for the best, all around.
8. My dad is in the final stages of making me a dollhouse which I am so excited about, and YES I AM 32 YEARS OLD. Shut up.

OKAY WAIT. After I had already finished this my mom (who is here visiting) reminded me of another good, random story for this meme. Okay. In 8th grade I was in the Kiwanis Youth Symphony in Racine. We went to Florida to play a concert at Disneyworld and we were there for a couple of days. So imagine, you've got a bunch of middle and high school kids staying together in hotels. I think there were 4 people in a room. And.... I am not what you would call 'neat'. In fact, I am what you would call 'a total slob' (if left to my own devices). My other roomates, in typical teenage girl fashion, were also a bit on the slobby side. And anyway, one day our room was in such bad shape that the MAID LEFT US A NOTE that we needed to clean up our room. How bad is THAT??

B. Tiffany tagged everyone in the universe:
Jobs I've had
1. Music store clerk
2. 'Wrap Desk Coordinator' (aka lead register girl) at Express. Pre-cool headphones days.
3. College Pro home painter
4. medical records filer

Places I've lived
1. Alliance, OH.
2. Arlington Heights, IL
3. Racine, WI
4. Windham, NH

Foods I love
1. Indian food
2. Pizza
3. cheese curds
4. kringle

Websites I visit
1. Triangle Mommies
2. Go Fug Yourself
3. E! Online
4. Television Without Pity

Places I'd rather be
1. Sleeping
2. Shopping
3. Out at a nice dinner with friends (and husband, obviously)
4. Playing with my buggle!

Movies that I love
1. Amadeus
2. Zoolander
3. Rushmore
4. Star Wars

TV Shows I watch
1. Ugly Betty
2. Lost
3. The Amazing Race
4. Project Runway (although I have to buy this on iTunes, thanks so much Time Warner Cable for not getting Bravo in Durham!!)

People I tag:
Melissa (like you're going to get the time to do this, Ha!!)

And you all can choose which of these memes you want to do. I am not a tyrant.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A smiley leaf

I saw this leaf while I was walking this morning.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Morning at our house

This video made me laugh so hard I was crying.

Multiply this x 4 (even Beamish gets in on the action) and you will have the morning at our house. This morning while we were laying in bed, Brian said "The cats really get annoying in the morning!"

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One day in daycare and the tough clothes tumble

You're going to have to trust me here, but Owen, despite all appearances, is not a homeless baby. He does have a Mommy and Daddy who love him, feed him, bathe him and clean his clothes. You would never know this if you saw him for the first time when we were on our way home from daycare.
When he was in the younger infants room, they would take the babies outside almost every day, but I think they would be playing on a blanket or in an exersaucer or something. He would come home looking almost exactly the same as he did when I dropped him off. Okay, maybe he'd have a clump of dried rice cereal in his hair, but nothing major.
Almost instantly upon being switched into the older infant room, Owen started coming home looking like a homeless baby. This is the anatomy of a homeless baby's outfit (I should also mention that when I picked him up this day, he had dirt all over his face because he had been trying to eat it).

This is a cute outfit we got as a gift. It was cute in the morning, anyhow. Here is what it looked like when I picked Owen up:

Exhibit 1. Some strange food stain. They do use bibs at daycare, but bibs are not foolproof.

Exhibit 2. Some other strange food stain plus a spot of barf. The barf actually happened on my watch. On the way home we needed to make a stop. When I was paying, I sat Owen up on the counter (I was holding him, obviously. I don't need no parenting classes!). He proceeded to barf all over himself, my arm, and the counter at the store.

Exhibit 3. The mysterious black knees and ankles. I really do not know what causes this, to be perfectly honest. I think it is the surface they have outside in their play area. It is like rubber gravel, if that makes any sense. I assume thats what these stains are from.

This mysterious black stain is the biggie. I can never get this out. Here's another pair of pants, part of a cute outfit:

These pants have been through the wash no less than FIVE TIMES. They have been treated with Shout, with OxyClean, with detergent, with a combination of these three, etc. This is the best I have been able to do.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Taking dorkyness to an even higher level

Well, so upon reflection, thats probably not true.

I think I hit my peak of loserdom when I joined the band at my work. I'm a scientist, and I work with a bunch of scientists. So being in the band at a science place is like, the height of dork. But in the band at work I have been playing saxophone. Of the three instruments that I own and thus could play now without having to go out and rent (flute, alto sax and oboe), the flute and sax are the easiest to pick up again after a 10 year hiatus (and actually, I played in the CWRU jazz band for my first year of grad school, so it was slightly more recently that my sax had gotten some action).

Oboe is a very challenging instrument to sound good on at the beginning. All new oboe players sound like dying ducks. I was thinking that all oboe players, despite the fact that they used to be very good, would sound like dying ducks after not touching their oboes since their last concert of college 10 years ago. So, even though it was really my primary instrument, I was terrified to try it again. I think even more so because it was my best one: what a shock to go from sounding pretty good to sounding like a dying duck! Better to just keep the good memories of how it used to be.

But then someone in my work band joined the Durham Community Concert Band. He totally talked me into joining. And, of course, what community band is looking for a saxophone player or a flute player? None of them. Both of those are a dime a dozen. So it was settled: I was going to play oboe.

Holy crap.

I never learned how to make reeds to any level that I could actually use them and sound good (long story why not, but suffice it to say that I am a freak among oboe players to not know how to make my own reeds). In college I used to use the other oboe players reeds when she didn't like them anymore. She always said she was amazed that I could sound so good playing on such crap :)

So anyhow, I had to buy some reeds first. I did this over the internet. Woo!

Then I had to make friends with my oboe again. I busted it out about a week before my first practice with the band. Not good. Although, to be fair, not as bad as I thought it would be.

First rehearsal. It is 2 hours long. My embochure is so shot that I cannot keep my mouth on the reed for more than 15 minutes. This is going to be a nightmare.

Second rehearsal. Much better! I can keep my mouth on the reed for much longer. An hour!

Now it has been 6 or 7 practices, so I am feeling much better about things. Our first concert is coming up on the 27th AND I have a solo. Small, but still. OMG. And I'm happy to say that I sound okay. I mean, nowhere near where I used to be, but I don't sound like a beginner.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I'd make a pretty crap Southerner.

Last week I went to Carolina Beach for my work retreat. I drove out there with two of my friends from work. G is a relatively recent transplant from Canada, D is from Iowa, but his wife is from South Carolina. G asked about boiled peanuts, because you see signs on the highway for them a lot. I've never had boiled peanuts, and neither had he. D, being married to a Southerner, has had them and tried to describe them to us. And they did not sound good. We had to stop to get gas and there was a guy selling peanuts and stuff out of a little trailer at the gas station, so D bought us some boiled peanuts to try. I bought some regular peanuts in case they were nasty and we needed to get the taste out of our mouths.

If you've never been so "fortunate" to come across boiled peanuts, here is a picture I took of them:

They look slimy, and thats because they are. Wet and cold. Actually, D said that when he had had them previously they were served hot. These had crystals of some sort on them, either ice (ew) or salt (I love salt but... ew).
They look kind of normal on the inside, but instead of being dry and crunchy looking, they look like a wet dog.

I wish I had taken a picture of me eating a boiled peanut. D's analysis that they tasted a bit like beans was right on. It was like eating cold, slimy, al dente kidney beans out of cold slimy little cases. I don't think G or I will be picking up any more boiled peanuts.

Also, they were totally not what I expected. I don't know, I expected them to be green for some reason, don't ask me why. And I also didn't expect them to be in their shells. I think I was picturing another thing that, I don't know, but I think might also be Southern because I have never seen it before: wet walnuts. I've never had them, but they are a topping or mix-in you can choose at our local frozen custard place. Yet another reason why NC frozen custard is a little bit off. I guess I thought those were boiled. The guy in the trailer was selling those too - wet peanuts or something - in little containers and I thought thats what the boiled peanuts were going to be. You can imagine my shock when D whipped out the plastic bag full of slimy, cold, wet peanut shells.

At my retreat we were subjected to another strange Southern thing, sweet tea. Actually, thats not revolting like the boiled peanuts were, but I'm still not a huge fan. It tastes good but is a lot sweeter than I like my iced tea to be.

This past weekend we went to the local Farmers' Market with D and his wife K. I saw some purple hull peas, which I see every week when I go to the Farmers' Market but I never know what to do with. But I asked her what to do with them, and she said she usually serves them with rice. I decided to cook them with onion, garlic, carrot, celery and tomatoes and some herbs and served them with rice, a la K-dog. They weren't bad, actually, especially when I covered the whole thing in hot sauce.

Another friend from work (an Indian friend) gave me some ideas of what to do with them to make indian peas. They're essentially black-eyed peas, which I've had in indian before. So I might try that next. They were a good compromise between Brian and I because he likes peas (he's English, what do you expect?) and I hate them. These actually had a slight pea taste, but not enough that they made me want to hurl.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Four stars!!

Do you ever read People magazine? I do. I subscribe to it. I love all that sort of trash.

Anyhow, People also has music, movie and book reviews. The movie and music reviews will often be low. I mean, I'm flipping through one issue right now and I see three music reviews that got only 2 and a half stars. But I've noticed that the book reviews are ALWAYS high. I can't remember ever seeing one lower than 3 stars. And I think I can only remember one that was 3. Usually they're 3 and a half or 4. And I noticed this a while ago, so I've made it a point to check every time I get a new issue (weekly). Are all books fan-freaking-tastic?? I find that hard to believe. I have read books. They are not all good.

I'm not sure exactly how to explain this phenomenon. The best I can come up with is that all writing looks like 4 star work compared to People? Not that I'm complaining, obviously.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Oh I know....!

I know, you all want my links back. Well, you're just going to have to wait! That is going to take more time to accomplish than I have at my disposal right now. Thats the real bugger about switching templates. Whine whine!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New template in progress

I think blogger dumped the template I was using, because it never comes up anymore and it is no longer available as a choice. I don't like any of the choices that exist already, so I'm going to have to come up with something myself. Give me some time.

Friday, September 14, 2007


It is raining! For real, like for about an hour or so!! Woo!


Okay, that lasted for like, five minutes. What a gyp.


Actual rain is falling! Actual wet rain! Woo!

Our new reality: back to back to back to back colds

Owen has had a cold for 3 weeks now. Its fun when a baby has a cold. Owen has already described to you on his blog some aspects of this, which are "Mommy Mommy Mommy Mommy!!" The most fun part actually is the constant battle with mucus. I am looking forward eagerly to the day when Owen learns how to blow his nose. Because right now, not so much. This is accomplished with a bulb syringe I got at the hospital when Owen was born, and he HATES IT. I mean, I would hate it too, so I can't really blame him for having a total freakout every time I do it, but still. He can't eat when his nose is blocked so we start nursing, it goes horribly, we stop (which pisses him off in and of itself) and then go upstairs to his room where the evil bulb syringe lives. Then the real screaming and fighting can commence. The rest of the time Owen has twin trails of snot coming out of his nose at all times. Wiping his nose is also met with screaming.

I have been biding my time waiting for this to come to an end, but it has been 3 weeks today so I took him into the pediatrician this morning. The doctor told me that yes, this was an awful long time for one cold to last (typically 10-14 days), so he was guessing that we had actually had two colds back to back, and that this was not unusual for babies in day care. Hurrah. This could have been what happened for sure, and I probably missed the middle part of it because that was probably when he had roseola (for the second time! woo!) over Labor Day weekend. Yeeha!

Now I'm getting the cold too, my throat is sore. I guess this is going to be our life now. Hurrah!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Joining this decade

You read my blog and you probably think to yourself, "My. Lisa is soooooo technologically advanced and with it! I mean, she has a blog! And her 8 month old son has a blog! I am in awe!"

Yeah, okay. But I am not on Myspace. And I am not on Facebook.

I never got the appeal of Myspace and I'm afraid I still don't. First of all, most people's Myspace pages make my eyeballs hurt. Second of all, I mean, what do you do?? I have no idea.

Yesterday I got an invite to be someone's friend on Facebook. It was someone I knew when we lived in Cleveland but had lost touch with, so I thought it would be a good excuse to see what she was up to. I joined. Facebook checked out my Gmail account for people who were in my address book that also had Facebook accounts. Lo! Many, many instant friends. A few surprises:
1. My father-in-law
2. My PhD advisor
These are not people I expected to be Facebooking. But my PhD advisor is all into undergrads (I mean, professionally, not in some weird way) so I guess that is why he is there. I do not know why my father-in-law is on Facebook. He has only one friend, Brian's cousin, so I guess he's not super into it. I'm looking forward to hearing about this actually, so next email Mr. C - an explanation!

Today I was busy doing important scientific experiments, but I had lots of short incubations or something where I went on Facebook. I can see now how you can get addicted to it. You can search for new friends! Add things to your page! Write on other people's pages! See what TV shows everyone likes!

I put some stuff on my page. A daily quote from Karl Pilkington. A thing where you can buy me a virtual drink. I wrote on some people's pages. I got more friends, like some people from college that I had not talked to since, well, college.

So now I'm all 2005! Woo!

Friday, September 07, 2007

iPhone update

Well, the day of the iPhone price drop, I talked to someone at the Apple store (Okay, I know someone who works there, who, like many of the Apple employees was in the same boat as I was). That night he was somehow able to swing a refund of the $200 price difference. I think it was helpful that this all happened on the day of the price drop - the Apple stores were bombarded with people just like me, all wanting a refund. They didn't quite know how to handle it, and they gave a number of refunds that night. I think it helped if you were nice to them, as is true of pretty much any other case where you are a customer trying to get something from a company - a lot of people were not! Anyhow, so I ended up getting the refund on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, Apple announced that they would give a $100 store credit to others who had bought iPhones before the price drop.

While I was certainly super annoyed about the whole thing and felt a bit betrayed by the company, I don't know that I really felt like they OWED me something. I mean, as I said, when you buy technology soon after it comes out, you are going to pay the highest price for it. You know the price will go down, but you don't expect it to go down so much, so quickly. This sort of drop was pretty much unprecedented for Apple. I did feel though like they took advantage of their most loyal customers, which sucked. They basically confirmed that they were totally taking us for a ride with the original price of the iPhone.

So, even though the $100 credit is sort of nothing to them (if anything, it will bring in more money to them because what can you buy for $100 or less?), it was nice of them to quickly make an attempt to smooth things over. From a customer service standpoint, they did pretty well.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Thanks for totally screwing me, Apple.

Dear Apple,
I am a dedicated Apple fan. I don't think I've ever owned a computer that wasn't an Apple. An Apple IIGS, a Quadra, a series of iMacs (I have had one of each style!), a PowerBook, a MacBook Pro. There are three iPods in our house at the moment. I sing your praises to anyone who will listen.

Obviously, I desperately wanted an iPhone. Desperately. I did not run right out and buy one, I waited a month or so to make sure it lived up to its promise. It did. I bought one. 27 days ago, to be exact. It was a LOT to spend on a new gadget, especially given that I have a (relatively) new baby at home, a job that doesn't pay a spectactular amount, and a new day care bill to contend with. But my husband indulged my need for gadgets and my blinding love for all things Apple and found the money so I could get one. Obviously I bought the more expensive of the two, the 8GB one - better to have the space when I want it then save some money now!

So. I'm sure you can imagine how absolutely freaking ticked off I was today when I saw that you had dropped the price on the iPhone from $599 to $399. Today. what is it... almost 70 days since it came out? Something like that. Also, less than 30 days after I purchased it.

When you buy into new technology at the beginning, you expect that the price will go down at some point. You know that, but you accept it. You do not, however, expect that the price of the new technology will drop SUBSTANTIALLY, two months after it is introduced.

What is most aggravating about this whole thing is this: Who were the people who bought iPhones in the first 70 days? The people who love Apple. Your most loyal customers. So basically, you've just told us "Ha! Suckers!"

Thats great. Thanks.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ways you can tell I have to give a talk on Tuesday

1. Today I cleaned all of the doorknobs in the house with disinfecting wipes. For the first time, I think, ever (actually, its a bit surprising that I didn't do it at least once, if not daily, while I was writing my thesis).
2. I would have washed the hardwood floors if Brian hadn't just done it yesterday.
3. I spent about an hour last night updating everyone's blogs.
4. I've checked Triangle Mommies for new posts about every hour. Or, okay, more like every 15 minutes.
5. I've been looking at pictures of cells all freaking day. And yesterday. And the day before. And I think my eyes are about to drop out of my head.
6. Oh, forget it. I give up. Bleh.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cat toys experiment

We have accumulated a lot of cat toys. I think the major problem is that they get stuck under the couch, the refrigerator, the washing machine, so we lose track of what we have and buy more. Sometimes Brian will do a big clear out and liberate all of the cat toys at one time. Then the cats set about getting them back under the couch. We imagine that they have little cat thoughts like this:

"Hm.. I think I'll go over here and take a nap. What the...? Oh man! He got them all back out again! Ugh. He's always making a mess with those. I mean, I don't have any thumbs! I can't pick them up! All I can do is try to bat them around and under stuff, and that takes FOREVER. Well. I guess I'd better get busy putting those away again. Hopefully he'll get the message this time!"

We have also noticed in the past that some toys appear to be preferred by the cats, but we never remember which ones. So this time, we decided to do an experiment.

Here, Brian is setting up the cat toys:

Jasmine was immediately intrigued/annoyed by our experiment and decided to get an early start:

Here's what we found when we woke up in the morning. You can see that the light green mouse that was closest to Brian, the wooly pink mouse (it doesn't look like much of a mouse anymore), the glittery green mouse and one of the green rope mice are gone. It would appear that the cats don't like the rope mice much, but they do like green!

Whoops! An interloper!

The baby also doesn't seem to like the rope mice. He goes straight for the Fish.

Then for the leopard print ball...

And whats better than one ball? Two that you can bang together!

Beamish surveys the destruction left in the baby's wake.

A few hours later, I check in again. The Fish is gone, but whether this was baby-related or cat-related is not clear. Also missing: one of the red rope mice. Surprise, the two balls are back!

Later that evening, not much has changed. One yellow rope mouse is missing, but that is it. All is quiet on the cat toys front.

That night we know that something major is going on, because Cherry is heard annoyedly meowing ALL FRIGGING NIGHT. This seriously disrupts the sleep of the lead researcher whose ears are already baby-trained to be supersensitive! And we were right. The next morning, all of the cat toys have been "put away" except the leopard print ball.

The baby is fine with this result, because the leopard print ball becomes his favorite new plaything. I guess he just wanted to get revenge on the cats for past injustices. In fact, when the baby was having issues with the cats overstepping their boundaries, Caleb suggested that one day the tables would be turned. It appears that he was right.

- The non-rope mice are favorites.
- Green is the cats favorite color.
- If all the other cats slack off, Cherry will clean up for everyone. This is no surprise, as Cherry is very conscientious in cleaning up. I swear, she'll spend like, 10 minutes kicking the cat litter around after she does her business, until no trace of the smell remains. Then she'll spend another 5 minutes wiping her paws on the mat beside the litter box.
- The baby prefers the balls.
- No one likes the rope mice.

Cherry - Bug Assasin

All of our cats are fat, pretty much, but Cherry is the fattest. By far. She looks like a big stripey sausage. But Cherry has a secret identity: Ninja Bug Assasin. Cherry plucks bugs out of the air and eats them, while the other cats look on admiringly. Here is but one example of her powers:

Ninja cat from meandertail and Vimeo.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Our newspaper is running a bunch of test comics to replace various ones that are gone or going. One of them I had never seen before, F Minus. It is HILARIOUS. Unfortunately its month long test is over now so I thought I'd look it up on the internets. Check it out! He has a blog too where he sometimes explains the story behind the cartoon. <

Speaking of comics, there are some comics that I can't believe still exist. Like, who reads Family Circus? Anyone? Garfield used to be funny when I was a kid (or maybe I just had a kids sense of humor and maybe it is just as funny now...) but now it totally sucks. And, Dennis the Menace and Marmaduke? OMG.

Other comics I actually enjoy and I can't understand why. In this category we would find Funky Winkerbean. It is so depressing, and yet I read it every day.

What are your favorite comics, and which ones can you totally not stand?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Okay, my life is complete now

I got my iPhone (in lovely, tax-free New Hampshire)! And it is, in fact, just as wonderful as I dreamed it would be.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

New baby!

Melissa had her baby yesterday! Her water broke at 1:30 in the morning. After a valiant 17 hours of labor, she delivered the baby by C-section. So at around 8:30 last night, Madeleine Ruth G. was born. She weighed 8 lbs, 5 oz and was 21 inches long. Mel's mom sent a picture that I'll try to post here.

We're up in NH right now, actually, so we're looking forward to seeing Owen's new girlfriend when our conference ends.

Yay, new babies!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Deaf and dumb divers

Last night, Brian and I were watching 'Nature' on the PBS HD channel on our fabulous plasma TV. It was really amazing. They cut from an underwater shot to one of the divers getting out of the boat. They were talking to each other, but all we could hear was the sounds of the water lapping up against the boat. No words coming out. I said to Brian, "I think something must be wrong with the audio." And he said, "No, I think they're just deaf and dumb." Huh? Why were they talking then, moving their mouths? "They must be lip reading" was his answer. I asked him to check the 'info' for the program on the cable - surely if this was a program focusing on deaf and dumb scuba divers, it would mention that in the program notes. But it did not. More of the show, more water noises, no words. I noticed that it wasn't narrated either, which seemed strange. I made Brian check the non-HD channel and it was fully narrated AND the people were talking out loud. So no shows about deaf and dumb scuba divers. There's a niche that needs to be filled, if you're looking for one.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm not a vegan, but still.

This blog (it was a Blogger 'Blog of Note' today) looks hilarious. I'm going to have to keep reading.

Boring life update

Just a bit of an update. Everything is going well here. Owen is really burning through his first year of life. Remember those days when we were super excited that he had HIT SOMETHING? Okay, yeah. The kid is now standing himself up and trying to climb the stairs. We are so not prepared for this newfound mobility. So far he has still not mastered the whole sleeping-through-the-night thing, much to my dismay. It is hard to function at work when you have not slept straight through the night for oh, almost a year (since I was pregnant!) But we are working on this, and actually he slept from 7pm until about 6:30 am about half of the nights last week. So I am pressing onward! Of course, just because Owen sleeps through the night does not mean that Mommy sleeps through the night, at least not yet. I still wake up once or twice out of habit!

It is still so, so hot here. And muggy. And occasionally rainy. On Friday I got absolutely drenched walking from work to our parking lot, and then again from the daycare parking lot into daycare. Then I had to meet Brian at Elmo's, aka "The restaurant I used to hate because of all the kids which now I love because of all the kids", looking like crap with frizzy hair and very soggy shoes. And of course we ran into someone we knew from Duke. OF COURSE.

My brother and his girlfriend recently bought their first house and they finally closed on it. Okay, they closed on it a couple of weeks ago but it took like, 6 weeks or something insane like that from the time they first were supposed to close to the time that they actually closed. Legal hell!

Melissa's due date is tomorrow! Woo!


I finished Harry Potter. That is all (I do not want to spoil it!).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Uh, no.

When we moved to Durham, we were totally psyched to find that one of the like, three Dunkin' Donuts IN THE ENTIRE TRIANGLE AREA was right down the street from us. We had to drive past it to go to work. It was the greatest thing EVER. Okay. It would have been better if they had ever carried my FAVORITE donut, the chocolate frosted cake donut. They were all into the raised variety, which I do not like. Anywho! I also like the coffee quite a bit, and we would always go there and get coffee. Iced coffee even, although that is not big in the South (why, I do not know - it seems like a total haven for iced coffee!).

Okay. So we've lived here for just over 4 years and the DD had been there since before we got here. I know they had problems with getting stuff from DD - it is one of those small shops that is a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins/Subway all-in-one, so it wasn't like the guy was getting up in the morning, saying "Time to make the donuts" and going to our DD. For a week once they had no donuts because the DD in Raleigh was not going to supply them anymore or something like that. I guess that kinda thing makes it tough to be a Dunkin' Donuts - no donuts.

Anyhow, about 7 or 8 months ago, our friend the Dunkin Donuts disappeared, as did our friend (not that I ever got anything from it) the Baskin Robbins. They were replaced with COFFEE WORLD and ICE CREAM CLUB. I was ticked. COFFEE WORLD also sells Krispy Kreme donuts! I've only had one or two Krispy Kreme donuts in my lifetime, neither of them plucked hot off of the glazing conveyor belt, but I wasn't a fan because - raised donuts. Anyhow, whatever. All of this is irrelevant except for the fact that they had the GALL to put up a sign outside that said:

"Now serving better coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts"

I'm sorry, what? WHAT? BETTER coffee? I don't think so. I don't agree with Rachel Ray on many, many things (like, for example, calling a sandwich a 'sammie'. Hello. Are we five?), but I have to say that we are of like mind when it comes to coffee. So now I won't go to COFFEE WORLD out of principle. Ugh.

Well, right across from this whole debacle there used to be a Burger King that closed a while ago and has just been sitting dormant since then. A few months ago they started remodeling it, and it became a Starbucks. I don't really like Starbucks coffee, and I don't really like the way they take over the world and everything, but I was secretly looking forward to the coffee wars, and hoping that Starbucks would teach COFFEE WORLD a lesson.

I felt really guilty about this because I thought this was a local guy's coffee shop and I know I shouldn't want the little guy to get beaten by the corporate giant. Until my favorite computer support guy came up and showed me his iPhone and pretended that he wanted to get ice cream in Manhattan. He searched for 'ice cream' in New York City and showed me all of the entries that came up, and one of them was ICE CREAM CLUB. You already know that this is a chain because I put the link up above, but this was the first I had heard of it. So! It wasn't some little local guy building his coffee shop with his own blood, sweat and tears! He was just a franchise of some other bigger company that I had just never heard of. Well, I stopped feeling bad and started looking forward to the battle.

Every day when I drive to work, I pass by the COFFEE WORLD and Starbucks. The Starbucks always has like, eight cars waiting in the drive thru line. The COFFEE WORLD does not. One car, maybe. And hardly anyone parked outside. And every morning, I take a sick pleasure in this. Better coffee than Dunkin' Donuts. Whatev.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Is this really necessary?

Brian got this free razor in the mail from the friendly folks at Gillette. As he was opening it, he said 'Oh my god, it has five. No, SIX blades.' I didn't really look at it until I just went upstairs to go to bed (okay really, to read Harry Potter. Come on.), and I was really moved to photograph it for you.

Really. Five blades? Is shaving really a FIVE BLADE affair? I mean, I shave two entire legs, two armpits and some unmentionable areas, and two blades (maybe there are three on my razor, actually) serve me just fine. Do faces really require two extra blades?

Plus an extra blade on the back for, I don't know what. Slicing your finger open when you go to reach for your insane five-bladed razor?

Kingdom of Loathing

Tiffany reminded me today about Kingdom of Loathing. I used to like that game a lot, especially when I was in the end stages of grad school. I feel the Brian's (and perhaps the Roger's and the Industrial Strength Science friends of the Brian's) of the world would also enjoy.

I can't remember my password, and its tied to an old email address so I can't get it back. Bugger.


I saw a piece on GMA the other morning about "hypermiling", which is basically trying to maximize your gas mileage. Some of the tips I remember:
1. Inflate your tires to their max allowable level
2. Coast when possible
3. Avoid quick accelerations
4. Don't speed
5. Turn car off when not moving (or even when moving, although they mentioned that this wasn't really advised!)

There are more, but this is what I remember. Since I got my hybrid 2 years ago, I have become a little bit obsessed with my mileage, so I decided to give these tips a try during my commute. (about 25 minutes, most of which is highway). I basically paid more attention to #2, because my car does some of the other things for me - it turns off when I'm stopped (which freaks my mom out because she forgets and thinks I've run out of gas or something), and it uses an electric assist when I am accelerating (unlike the Toyota technology), so actually, I think I do better when I accelerate rather quickly to get to my desired speed. Anyhow, I was about halfway through the tank of gas when I started, and I was getting 40.8 mpg, which is not great for me, but I've had the A/C on for Owen's sake. Today when I got home I was at 42.8 mpg. So I've improved two mpg in a few days, and its harder to budge the overall mileage when I'm well into a tank of gas. We'll see how I do on my next fill up.

Its fun, because its kind of like a video game. And you know how I like the video games (I finished FFXII this weekend btw. And I cried a little bit at the ending. How freaking lame am I?).

It is true that there is a learning curve to driving a hybrid. When I first got my car, I was averaging 37 mpg on each tank, and now I usually average 42-43 (without my A/C).

Monday, July 23, 2007

What am I doing??

Why am I still sitting here screwing around on the internet when I could be reading Harry Freaking Potter?? Every moment I waste is another moment I might get accidentally spoiled on the ending!! Ack!!

Boy or Girl?

Melissa has ended her long, practically-entire-pregnancy-long blog silence about a week before her due date. She and her husband are way more patient than either Brian or I, so they have elected to not find out the sex of their baby. Go to her blog and vote on whether you think she's having a girl or a boy (she put a lot of pertinent info on her blog to help you decide).

I would have said boy, because many things from her pregnancy have been similar to mine except that hers did not involve a big pink cast. However, I know three other people who are pregnant right now and they're all having boys. So I think that statistically, we're due for a girl. We'll see!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kissing or nursing?

For a couple of weeks now, Owen has been occasionally 'latching on' to my face. I thought he was just crazed with hunger and trying to nurse off of my cheek, but I have started to realize that this is his way of giving me a kiss. Today he practically attacked me with face sucking while we were playing. What a Cassanova.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Feasting on Asphalt and other dorky shows I watch

Looks like there's going to be a second season of Feasting on Asphalt! We really liked that series, and not just because Alton Brown is my television boyfriend. I mean ME AND BRIAN liked that series.

Brian and I also enjoy all of the medical mystery shows on Discovery Health. The other day we were watching 'Diagnosis: Unknown!' which should really be called 'Diagnosis: How fast can you figure out who is poisoning the patient?' because they all start out as medical mysteries but they pretty much all finish with the person having been being poisoned. And you can always tell who is doing the poisoning from very early on, so there really isn't a lot of mystery going on. However, occasionally the show mixes it up and gives you a case where no one is being poisoned. The one we were watching was about all these North Carolina fishermen who were getting sick and having neurological problems and sores on their bodies. It was a result of a Pfesteria epidemic, which came from hog waste washing into the rivers. There were scientists at NC State working on it, and they got sick too because at first they didn't know that it caused these kinds of symptoms. When they figured that out, they built a BSL3 or something lab that vented out into the atmosphere but the ventilation was set up wrong and it was actually ventillating into this other guy's office. He still has problems with it. Anyhow, they apparently had a big summit to talk about this and it was at the Institute that I work at, so they showed a few shots of my work. Woo!

The third dorky show we're watching (also on Discovery Health) is called 'Jon and Kate + 8'. This couple had twins (through fertility treatments) and then wanted one more child. They had to go through fertility treatments again and ended up with 6 more. We like this show because they seem normal, like people we would hang out with.

We also continue our 'Jeopardy!' dorkfest.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


If you wanted to get me something, say, an iPhone, that would be lovely. Thanks.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Vote for me

Please go to and vote for my photo:

Navigate to the 'Shots of Summer' part of the site and then to 'Voting Gallery'. You'll see my photo. Click on it to vote.
We want to win a trip to the Sam Adams Brewery! Wahoo!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Traveling with an infant

Owen and I are just about to head out on Owen's FIRST PLANE TRIP. More excitingly for me, its my first plane trip where I am 'That lady with the screaming child'. Hurrah!

We are heading up to NH to see my family, including my brother Jim, his girlfriend and their new house (which he will hopefully close on tomorrow). Also we are attending Melissa's baby shower! She's 32 weeks pregnant right now (not that you would know it from surfing her blog!!) which is right about the time that I broke my foot, I reminded her. Hopefully she escapes that fate especially since she'll be super pregnant in June and July and not November and December. Ankle swelling much more of a problem now!

Anyhow, wish us luck! We're getting back on Monday. Brian will be here holding down the fort.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Its bad.

Brian is fairly oblivious when it comes to fashion. Or the maintenance of personal appearances. He's not a horrendous slob but he will let his hair get RIDICULOUSLY long and stupid looking and THEN try to cut it himself.

(Oh dear god, look at this picture from about a year ago and tell me that I am mistaken. If we hadn't been there for our ANNIVERSARY I think I would have ditched him)

And also, wear vendor t-shirts and shorts to work every day as if he were a grad student. Anyhow. Brian will let himself look like whatever, but he does notice when other people look REALLY bad. I enjoy it when we're in a public place and he points someone out to me and is like, "I cannot believe she is wearing that." You know you look like crap when BRIAN notices your fashion transgressions.

And so you can imagine how embarassed I was when we were sitting at dinner the other day and he asked me to look down at the table again. And then said 'Oh my god, your roots are horrible!'

Oh bummer.

Mehrun's a goner. He lost to a long haired construction worker!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What is... we're dorks?

I mentioned in my last post (I think) (also, OMG! Two posts within the same week! Unheard of!) that Brian and I have become a little bit obsessed with Jeopardy! You would think that watching Jeopardy, it being a game show and not really having characters or anything, you wouldn't really be able to get into the actual people playing the game, but alas. We do. Because: we're dorks. We liked the last guy who was a champ for a while (5 days I think?) whose name I forget, but he is seriously the nerdiest guy on the planet. Just imagine the nerdiest guy you can imagine, and it was him. But we loved him and we were really sad when he lost. He was kinda quirky in his nerdiness.

Right now we are also in love with the current champ, Mehrun. We love him because he is from New Hampshire, and I am from New Hampshire! We love him because he is from DURHAM, NH and we are in DURHAM, NC! We also love him because he makes hilarious faces at the camera, both at the beginning when they are introducing the contestants, and during Final Jeopardy! when he has finished writing his answer. Right now he has made just shy of $100,000 in 4 days of winning and we hope he keeps winning and that he comes back in the Tournament of Champions and plays our friend the nerdy guy. Because (and I think we've established this pretty well here), we're dorks.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

My once monthly post

Its that time of month again! No, not THAT time.

A lot and not much has been going on here. I mean, Owen is just about 5 months old now. Can you believe that? We can't. He's doing great. He's bene in daycare for a month now and its going pretty well. And more to the point, I'm doing pretty well with it too. Not the first day, which was filled with many tears. Or even the first week (okay two) which was filled with even more tears and also worry about what he was doing all day. I had been going over to feed Owen on my lunch break and it seemed like every time I went over there (or to pick him up) he was sitting in the swing sleeping. I got myself all worried that he was so unfussy that he was just getting stuck in the swing all day and forgotten about. Of course, this is not true, I just happened to be coming over when he was taking one of his regular naps and that week they happened to be using the swing pretty heavily for his naps. Which is fine. Now these last couple of weeks Owen has learned how to shriek with this horrible, ear piercing scream and he's quite fond of doing this when you put him down for a nap or to go to sleep at night. So then I started to worry that Owen had become the "bad kid" in his class. Hee. How fast they change.

Actually, it seems that Owen might have become so screamy because he's getting his first tooth! It just poked through, we just noticed it this morning.

My brother and his girlfriend are in the process of buying a house - OMG! Jim's a grownup! Owen and I are traveling up to NH in 2 weeks so we can go to Melissa's baby shower, and we're looking forward to seeing Jim and Sara and their new house. I'm a little worried about making Owen's first plane trip by myself, but I'm sure it will be fine. Then in July we're going to Chicago for my cousin's wedding. All three of us are going on that trip. We'll get to see bunches of relatives and family friends then, and we're also looking forward to meeting my other cousin's new son Caleb (he's ~2 months older than Owen I think?)

I'm giving a talk on Tuesday for work and I'm totally not ready. Ack! In fact, that is theoretically what I am doing now while Owen takes a nap. And yet, here I am blogging.

For this Memorial Day weekend we're going to two barbecues at various peoples houses. One is this afternoon, one is on Monday. The weather is really great here this weekend which is nice. Our friends left sunny wonderful Durham and went to Iowa for Memorial Day and I saw on the news this morning that its totally raining there (ha!).

All of our TV is over for the season which is both good and a bummer. The Heroes finale was kinda crap I thought but we liked the Lost finale (we always like Lost, I never know why people complain about it so much!). We're totally obsessed with watching Jeopardy now. It comes on right about when Owen goes to bed so thank god for DVR!

Okie dokie, Owen just woke up!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Sweaterboy saga continues...

Remember Sweaterboy? I know you've all been waiting patiently to find out what he's up to. Well. The other day I was going down "to the farm", and when I turned a corner I saw someone coming down the hallway on one of those Rascal thingies.

(ooh - I thought of a better link for that)

Anyway. We have a couple of these at work that are available for people to use. I was 9 months pregnant with my foot in a cast, and I never used one.

Guess who it was? Sweaterboy!

He had his knee wrapped up in an ace bandage. I don't know what he did, but still, its a little wussy. Yet, hilarious. I actually had to call my friend upstairs from my cell phone in the "farm room" to tell her, rather than waiting until I got back upstairs.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I love it when I get scam emails that look relatively real until I realize that I don't have an eBay account. I bet people fall for these all the time:

Dear eBay Member

According to our site policy you will have to confirm that you are the real owner of the eBay account by completing the following form or else your account will be suspended within 24 hours.

Never share your eBay password to anyone!

Establish your proof of identity with ID Verify (free of charge) - an easy way to help others trust you as their trading partner. The process takes about 5 minutes to complete and involves updating your eBay information. When you're successfully verified, you will receive an ID Verify icon in your feedback profile. Currently, the service is only available to residents of the United States and U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Guam.)

To update your eBay information please click the link bellow:

One would have to hope though that actual eBay has some command of grammar ('Never share your eBay password TO anyone?!') and spelling ('click the link bellow').

Well, not much is going on here except that I've been working! I think its probably been a good way to get back into things: 2 weeks of part time and 2 weeks where my Mom was here. So I didn't have to go straight to daycare, I got to ease into it with still being at work but with a family member taking care of him. I've also had a few weeks to get used to the whole pumping thing. I'm still nursing exclusively, so I need to pump to leave something behind for Owen. So pretty much I spend an hour every day sitting by myself in a tiny room, alone with my thoughts and the whirring of my pump. Its a pain in the ass because we really don't have very good facilities for lactation and we have a lot of breastfeeding women who need to use it. So we each got scheduled two slots (I heard that recently there were even more breastfeeding women than there are now and everyone could only have ONE slot, which SUCKS). The whole scheduling thing is the biggest problem because there are natural breaks and downtime during experiments that I'm not able to take advantage of. I've been spending my pumping time listening to podcasts, so let me know if there are any good ones that you like. I know people say you can do work and stuff while you're doing it, but if I'm doing anything that requires any real active thinking it doesn't work as well. So, podcasts it is! When Owen starts daycare it will be nice because I can go over there at lunch to feed him myself. That will really help, because its hard to come up with three bottles worth with only two pumping sessions.

Wow. Wasn't that an exciting discussion? This is what its going to be like now that I'm a mom.

We also took Owen back to the cardiologist, as I've discussed (er... I mean as HE'S discussed) on his blog. I didn't get to stay long enough to see the doctor (even though I was there for over an hour an a half!) because I had to get to work where I was taking an Infant/Child CPR course. How handy that it was offered for free at work! The teacher was absolute crap though, but we got some booklets and stuff that will help me study and brush up on it.

For all of you who are looking for new music, my new favorite band is the Decemberists. My friend Dan is doing some music service of some sort (I don't remember what or how it works or anything) and he heard them on that, and then I heard them on his shared music library. I have a real tendency to get into something and listen to it over and over and over to the exclusion of anything else, and this is what I've been doing with the Decemberists.

I've talked before about how much I enjoy this sharing feature of iTunes. I only wish that the stuff you bought in the iTunes store was playable on more than five computers. I mean, maybe you shouldn't be able to play it DIRECTLY on more than five computers, but I think through a shared library (which you don't have access to 24/7) it should be open. Anyhow. The other week I noticed that someone had put up their music library called 'Hey J3N - I dig your music! Email me at *****', apparently in response to one of the other shared music libraries. I thought it was pretty funny and emailed Dan to tell him that someone was trying to pick up someone else in iTunes. A few days later I got an email from another friend at work that said 'Don't you think the title of your music library is a little bit confrontational?' I was very confused. But when I looked at the shared libraries, I saw that Dan had changed his to be called 'meandertail - your music selection is lousy and I hope we never meet'. Hee!

Well, Owen just woke up from his traditionally extremely short nap (40 minutes!), so its time to go!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Yay, me!

I always forget that I have the same birthday as Courtney Peldon of 'Go Fug Yourself' fame. Except she is 26 and I am a twenty-tween.

For my birthday, Brian and Owen bought me shoes and a new fancy camera. I guess all those trips to DSW with Owen in the BabyBjorn paid off, because he had good taste in shoes. My mom and dad got me a Kate Spade purse. For a loooong time I have wanted a Kate Spade bag, and this year I got two (I also got a Kate Spade diaper bag from my mom before Owen was born).

Brian took me out for dinner while my mom babysat. We talked about science a lot, proving that we're still just as boring as we ever were!

My friend Sheri made me a cake decorated with flowers she made out of Reese's peanut butter cups. Yum!

I don't know what it means to have my birthday fall on Friday the 13th, but hopefully it doesn't mean that 32 will suck.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


(Gosh, remember back when I blogged? Yeah, NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE!)

(Oh - I've been meaning to say... I bought some shoes on and it was great! Overnight shipping was free PLUS you got $5 off your order. Try it!)

(OK. Here's what I actually meant to blog about.)

(Gosh, these pictures are taking FOREVER to upload!)

(No seriously. Like AN HOUR.)

The Wii is pretty cool in that its a video game system that EVERYONE likes to play, regardless of whether they're a video game dork like I am. My parents are here now and we've been playing Wii Sports. We also played with Brian's parents when they were here. I made a Mii for everyone (except Brian's mom - she played as my friend Sheri!):

I'm especially proud of the ones of my dad and Brian's dad. Every time they came up everyone in the room cracked up.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Remember me?

I feel like there were all these things I was going to tell you and now I can't remember. My brain is not up to full potential I guess, because Owen's sleeping from 8-3 was just a fluke - he's back to waking up at 12:30 or 1 am. Oh well, thats okay. Technically, thats considered 'sleeping through the night' since that only means 5 hours at a time. This is not my definition of it, but oh well. What do I know. They say you should feed the kid in his sleep before you go to bed, but I'd rather drink some wine and know I don't have to feed him for a few hours.

Nothing much is going on anyhow. We had a St. Pat's party (really, seriously, this was brought about because we had a cute outfit for Owen). We had lots of Wii sports playing, which was fun. You know a game system is really cool when people who could not care less about video games leave saying 'I want one of those!'

I'm shopping for a new digital camera. My nice, fancy camera (Sony DSC-H1) crapped out just before Owen was born. It wasn't that old - it was a PhD gift, and I've had my PhD for less than 2 years. I took it into a camera shop for repair but it will cost $250 to fix it, which I'm not convinced is worth it. So we're getting a new one. I am sticking to Sony because I've had three Sony digital cameras so far and I've really liked them all. And also, I've got a memory card for the Sony. They are coming out soon with a new camera and its sort of killing me to wait for it.

Back to work next week! Ack! Only part time for a couple weeks. G-G and Sky King are coming out for 2 weeks in April to watch the Bug so I can work full days for a bit. It will be a good way to get back into it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Oh, so sad.

I am in love with Tom Hulce. You probably do not know who that is off the top of your head, but he played Mozart in 'Amadeus', my favorite movie EVAH (which I could practically recite by heart, I've seen it so many times) (he was also in 'Animal House', another movie that I like). I don't know if I am really in love with Tom Hulce? Or with Mozart as played by Tom Hulce? Whatever. He was totally cute in that movie with the laugh, and the messy hair, and the wigs, and the piano playing, and the tights...

So you can imagine how unhappy I was to see this. So very unhappy.

Now I can relive the Tom Hulce glory days with my DVD of 'Amadeus' watched on our new HD plasma TV. You see, Owen wanted it, and all the books say that you can't spoil an infant and you should always respond to their needs. So thats all we were doing - being good parents. Today our HD DVR box was installed so we can watch glorious HDTV on our glorious new television.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This month's mommy blog entry!

Seriously, I am not doing so hot updating my own blog. Oh well. I think Owen's life is more exciting than mine at this point. Actually, right now I am at work! Like a grownup! There are other adults here with which to converse! Unfortunately this is Brian's lab, not mine, so I only know two people here. Thus, not a lot of conversing going on.

I was planning on going back to work starting yesterday (8 weeks of leave) but as D-day approached, I realized that I was not really ready to go back. The Bug is still so little! And I cannot bear the thought of not being with him! This is quite a turnaround from how I thought I would be feeling right now, which is: bored of being at home and starved for adult contact. Well, I am a bit starved for adult contact, that is for sure. But I am not as dying to get out of the house as I thought I would be.

So I am taking 4 additional weeks off and will start back to work the last week of March. At that point, Brian and I will alternate Owen-shifts for about a month, because we didn't get a daycare spot until May 7th (I'm happy we got one at all, frankly). That will be a good way to ease back into things. At the moment I am doing some work at home and some at Brian's lab, trying to do additional experiments to get my paper published somewhere. Brian's lab has all the equipment I need, and is much closer to home and also Owen-friendly, if we both need to be here. We brought Owen in this weekend, in fact.

Not too much else is going on. We are settling into being parents. The Bug and I are getting on a bit of a schedule, which is good because then I can sometimes find the time to shower (You only have to read this, not smell me. Be grateful for that). And, as you will have seen on his blog, he slept all night for the first time! Hurrah!

I am always shocked by how much we love our little Bug. Everyone said that would be the case, but it didn't seem real to me until it actually happened. I can't wait to see what he's like as he gets older. Its going so fast.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I got a Wii! Brian has been trying to get me one for a while w/o paying an exorbitant amount for it. What worked: mid-week eBay purchase. I haven't had a chance to play it much though, but I did quickly try out the Wii Sports games. So cool. I got the Zelda game too but have not started it yet.

I give up.

Britney? This is the last straw. You and me are OVER (although I will always love the song 'Toxic', no matter how bad things get between us).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A miracle!

A miracle has occurred at our house. On Saturday AND Sunday night, Owen slept for 7-8 hours STRAIGHT. Holy crap. My mom asked if I thought he was dead when I realized he hadn't woken me up sooner, but I hadn't noticed because I was still asleep. Because this sleeping stretch went from the 7:30 pm feeding to 3 am. Then he slept for another couple of hours, until 6 or 6:30. Owen's a bit of a morning person. Of course, last night he woke up at 1 am like normal. I'm hoping the long sleep comes back tonight! We've begun swaddling him at night and for naps again, and I think that helps.

Here are a few things we did in Florida:
1. Flamingos in Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Also we fed the flamingos.

When flamingos attack on Vimeo
2. Circus Sarasota quick change artists. These are not as good as the ones who performed last time I went to Circus Sarasota, but still are pretty good. We were sitting in the front row both times, and I'll be damned if I can figure out how they do a lot of this.

Circus on Vimeo
3. Kayaking in the Myakka river. I left Owen with Brian and my mom and went kayaking with my dad. The Myakka river is chock full-o-gators so I was very excited about that. When we put the kayaks in there was one gator on the opposite bank. We had to paddle a little way and then portage over a small dam, and there were twelve gators on the bank over there. Then we hardly saw any others for the rest of the trip. There was one point where there were three around us and they all went underwater at the same time. Thats a little scary. The worst problem I had was with all the spiders in my boat. I'm lucky I didn't flip the kayak over with all of my wriggling. I stepped on one, I caught one on the end of my paddle (this required some panicky manuvering that I'm really glad didn't end up in a wet Lisa), I flicked some more off with my fingernail. We saw a lot of birds, herons, egrets, ibis and hawks, and we saw some limpkin at the end.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

This is what happens when you mix 60 year old men with white water rafting.

Brian's parents are on a big trip around the world. They've been all sorts of places so far, and are currently in... New Zealand? Or Australia? One of those two. Anyhow. They recently went white water rafting which is totally fun and I would love to do again sometime if anyone wants to take me. The only problem with white water rafting is when you hit a rock and get bumped out of the boat. An even worse problem is when you do this very early on in the trip, so you have to spend the rest of the ride with a gaping wound.

Poor Brian's dad! Hope that heals by the time they get here (we're the last stop on the tour), or he's going to scare Owen half to death, haha.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I'm writing this as I sit here jiggling Owen in my lap. Its really amazing what a good jiggle will do for a baby! Much of my life is spent jiggling in one form or another. When Owen is relatively calm, a little bit of jiggle will suffice. When we're in the early evening (dinner time) freakout period, we need a bigger jiggle. In that case, I bust out the iPod and start bouncing with the music, all over the room. Owen's favorite album right now is Muse - Black Holes and Revelations. He's asleep before the first song ends. This also makes it Mommy's favorite album right now.

He is still pretty easy to deal with, which is good. Unfortunately he's started waking up every 2-3 hours at night again, instead of giving us one 4-5 hour stretch in there. Oh well. Its not horrendous. This morning I fed him at 5:30 am and then heard him complaining (not crying, but whining a little bit) again not long afterwards. I kept trying to sleep through it hoping that he had just woken up and these were the going-back-to-sleep noises, but eventually a cry or two came out. Turns out he had spit up on himself in the bed and was laying there in a cold, wet patch of spit-up. Poor kid has a mean mommy.

Congrats to several people for several things.
First: to Matt and Melissa who are also heading down the baby path!
Second: to Matt (different Matt) and Herryn, who got a new job and are relocating to Dallas. Actually, I'm quite bummed out about this because Knoxville is only 5-6 hours drive from here, meaning that we actually see Herryn sometimes (like the other weekend for example!). Dallas is a million miles away. But we've never been there, so we'll go visit out there sometime and also see my Uncle Bart and my cousins. Anyhow, Herryn doesn't have a blog, but she does have a website now. So if you click on her link up there, you can watch her reporting videos! Woo! She's on TV! And I know her!

I just also needed to put this here: Congrats to Brian (the blogging Brian, not my Brian) for getting his paper accepted that had been under review for OVER TWO YEARS. We've all had papers go through what seemed to be interminably long review processes. But I have never, ever in my life heard of one going on for OVER TWO FRIGGING YEARS. Thats a new record of terribleness. So now when you're waiting for your paper to come back, just think to yourself: "At least it hasn't been TWO YEARS."

(Now see, for me? This doesn't happen, because the paper I sent out right after I had the baby got rejected without review! That was nice of them, eh?)

Monday, January 22, 2007


I don't really like football, but I do have a favorite team - the Bears. We lived in the Chicago area until I was in 4th grade, and my dad grew up there too. Its kind of an inborn love of the Bears that transcends the actual football part of it.

When we lived in Chicago, we lived in a town that housed some of the Bears including my favorite football player ever, Walter Payton. I was pretty young at the time, but one time Walter, his wife and son were at the park across the street from our house at the same time as my friend and I. We kept an eye on his son while he and his wife walked around the park alone. How exciting! At the time I didn't even know how exciting it was. Maybe he wasn't a football legend at that time, I don't know.

After Chicago, we moved to Racine, Wisconsin which is not terribly far from the Illinois border. Thus, even though Wisconsin as a whole is heavily Packer-centric, Racine was a little bit split. There was a huge rivalry between the Bears and the Packers in town. There was a Packer bar and a Bears bar that were near each other and they always had wierd bets going when the two teams played one another where the bar of the winning team got to paint the door of the bar of the losing team in their team's colors.

In 1986, the Bears went to the Super Bowl. It was a very exciting time for everyone when we were given 'The Super Bowl Shuffle'. The Bears played the New England Patriots and won. So very exciting!

We moved to New Hampshire when I was a senior in high school, and my dad started watching the Patriots. Now he sort of watches both. This year was looking to be a very exciting year for our family because the Pats and the Bears both could potentially go to the Super Bowl. Who would we root for? I would stick with the Bears, for sure. But I bet my dad would root for the Pats.

Anyhow, of course the two playoff games were yesterday. We didn't watch them because, again, I don't really care enough about actual football to watch anything but the Super Bowl. I saw that the Bears had won, so I was excited. We watched the beginning of the Pats game, and it looked as if they were running away with it too. We checked in again during the 3rd quarter sometime and it was still looking good for the Pats. Then we went to bed at 9:00 because we're the exhausted parents of a new baby. I assumed we were looking at Super Bowl XX - revisited!! Except Ditka-less.

My mom called at 10:15 and woke us up. She thought we had been up watching the game because I had called their house and left a message about it while the game was on. She said 'Can you believe that?' and I thought they had won. But NO! They lost! The hell? How did they choke like that? It seemed to not even be in question that the Pats were going to win. I don't know what happened.

Oh well. At least we know who to root for now.