Friday, November 21, 2008


There are so many wonderful smells and tastes during the fall... freshly fallen leaves, crisp cool air, apples, apple crisp, and squash, to name a few. Next week's Thanksgiving holiday is the climax of wonderful smells and tastes. There isn't a better smell or taste than a Thanksgiving dinner.

To jump start the Thanksgiving season and prime my taste buds, David made pumpkin pancakes this morning. They were delicious. I ate four of them in one sitting and am contemplating having more for lunch (there is extra batter in the refrigerator). I'm thinking of foregoing the pumpkin pie this year at Thanksgiving and instead having apple crisp and homemade vanilla ice-cream (have I mentioned that we picked up an ice-cream maker, for FREE, from friends who were moving?). To get my pumpkin fix on Thanksgiving, I'm thinking pumpkin pancakes for brunch would be a good idea. Maybe this will be a new family tradition.


Today: I'm studying logistic regression and trying not to fall asleep. I also need to make a couscous filling for the stuffed squashes we are taking to a potluck dinner tonight.

Weekend plans: Christmas shopping for our family in Taiwan (box must be mailed by early next week), finishing design of this year's Christmas card and getting them ordered, and attending an 8:30AM church meeting on Sunday.

Thanksgiving: my family is coming into town on Tuesday. We're cooking (read: D's cooking) dinner again this year. We'll be cooking a turkey breast for the non-veggies and having a fish dish for those of us who don't eat meat.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Well the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since there's no place to go
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

The temperatures have dropped and it feels like fall/winter. And although we don't have a fireplace, it is delightful here at home. It is time to wear wool sweaters (except the ones that are dry clean only b/c the baby is drooling and throwing up milk often), thick socks, mittens, and fleece. It is also a wonderful time for food. I've been baking bread in my breadmaker like it were my job. And am currently cooking a "beef" stew. (I say "beef" because we are vegetarians; I'm using veggie beef strips that can be bought in the freezer section of your grocery store.) Earlier this week I made homemade vegetable soup.

I love this time of year. And making it even better than other years is that I have a little cuddly daughter who loves to snuggle into my chest early in the mornings and at nap time. Cuddling, warm food, winter clothes... this is a wonderful time of the year. And with the holidays upon us, I'm really enjoying life. It is time to plan for Thanksgiving dinner, buy Christmas gifts, and make Christmas cookies. This year I'm also making breads for gifts. I cannot wait to get started. Having the oven on is such a delight with the cold temperatures outside.

The high today is only supposed to be 40 degrees. And if it is going to be that cold, let it snow! We saw a few flurries here in DC on Tuesday, but nothing more. I'm ready for some snow. DC is such a pretty place when it snows. And since it is so cold outside, it would be delightful to see a couple of inches of the white powdery stuff.


Not so delightful: seven weeks until my comprehensive exams. I need to get my study ON.

Favorite baby item: the Baby Bjorn. The baby still isn't napping well during the day. She'll wake up screaming either because of a burp, gas, or slap to the face (yes, she throws her arms around in her sleep and hits herself in the face). The Bjorn lets her sleep close to me (peacefully) and I have two hands free. I can cook, clean, study, and blog!

Health update: I had my six week check-up with my OB yesterday. Not surprisingly, I'm healed and can return to normal activities (i.e., running). Also, I need to increase my calcium intake. Surprisingly, I'm five pounds lighter now than I was at my first pregnancy visit.

Also, I had to get a flu shot yesterday and my arm hurts. I also need to get a pertussis vaccine booster shot on Monday. I need both shots to pass antibodies onto the baby. I hate shots... what we won't do for our children?!?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Washington DC is preparing for President-elect Obama to move into the White House. Much talk around town is about all the new "firsts" --- First Family and First Lady being the most common. There is also talk about the new First Dog, the First School (where the children will go to school), and also the First Church.

When President-elect Obama left his congregation in Chicago earlier this year, he said he would wait until after the election to decide on a new home church. His home church will be the new First Church, where the First Family will worship each week.

Last week, Time Magazine published an article entitled What Church Will President Obama Attend? The author of the article asked several several credible sources to provide a church suggestion for the Obama family. One of the six churches featured in the article is my home church.

What if I were to become church members with Mr. and Mrs. Obama?

We'll have to wait until January to see what happens... If nothing else it was great seeing my small church getting some publicity in Time. I really liked what the article had to say about us.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


The 2009 NYC Marathon is 50 weeks and one day away. With this fact in mind, I gathered myself - both physically and mentally - and went for my first training run this morning. I haven't run since mid-June when my belly size and extreme heartburn forced me to stop. I've felt ready to hit the road again for about a week now, but have lacked the motivation to actually get out there. With temperatures near 70 this morning and an extra hour and a half of sleep (D took the baby between her 5:00 and 8:00 feedings), I decided that TODAY I would begin my quest to get back in shape.

I set out today with the goal of running for 30 minutes. I did it. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't fast. But it was a good start. And it felt so good. I probably won't be able to walk tomorrow. My plan to get back into shape includes 3-4 runs per week from now until the new year. Hopefully I'll be up for running the five miles around the lake at my parents' house at Christmas time. I'm also planning to do some strength training. The baby likes when I do squats while holding her - so I can work that into my daily routine. I'm also going to do abs daily and push-ups. Come January I'll set some new training goals...

In addition to my exercise goals, I still have about six pounds of pregnancy weight to loose. Although I'm (proudly) back wearing my size six jeans, I'd like to get back to my fighting weight. My aim is to loose this weight over the course of the next eight weeks (which will be a challenge with the holidays approaching), but I think I can do it. I think I can. I think I can...

Overall I'm feeling really good about my run this morning and am looking forward to my next one. Here's to sticking with my fitness goals and kicking butt in the 2009 NYC marathon!


Bread baking: made a loaf of sour dough bread yesterday. It is wonderful. So glad I made a large loaf.

Weekend plans: friends coming over for dinner tonight. David is cooking veggie terrine.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


As mentioned before, David and I aren't "stuff" people. We don't have a TV. We only have a microwave because it came with our house. David likes that our kitchen counter-tops aren't cluttered with appliances and other gear one can get for preparing food. However, after receiving several loaves of homemade bread from friends at church who brought us meals after I got home from the hospital, we started talking about wanting a bread machine. When two of our friends came over with dinner for us a week ago, we mentioned our desire for a bread machine. One of those friends said he had a bread machine at home and it was collecting dust. So we agreed to bread machine-sit for him. We can use his machine in return for a loaf or two. Sweet deal!

I used the bread machine for the first time yesterday; made a loaf of garlic herb bread. It was so easy. The bread tasted great and the smell of bread baking was fabulous.

We believe that making our own bread (instead of buying loaves from the grocery store) will save us money. A large loaf of homemade bread, which should last us about a week, requires four cups of flour, a couple of teaspoons of yeast, salt, water, and a few teaspoons of butter. These ingredients can be bought in bulk and will make several loaves. Hopefully in the long run making our own bread will be less expensive than buying a loaf of bread for more than $3 a pop. We'll see...


Rainy day activities: studying biostats and trying to get the baby to sleep and eat.

Clothes changes: we're on baby outfit #2 today. Before noon yesterday we were on mommy and baby outfit #2. Things are looking up today!

What I'm not liking today: the cat. For the past month, he has been the target of all my anger. Today he moved his food bowl into the middle of the doorway, where I proceeded to trip over it. Not only did I spill food all over the floor, but I nearly fell with the baby in my arms. I am so done with this cat. He's 13 years old (or there abouts). Maybe he'll be going to kitty-heaven soon...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Yesterday my parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.

Before I was married, I failed to realize how significant a wedding anniversary is. Now, I cherish not only my own anniversary, but the anniversaries of friends and families. And 35 years is a BIG deal. Although being married is wonderful, it is hard work. You don't just instantly fall in love with someone, say "I do", move in together, and have instant bliss. It takes work. There are days when you just want to go into YOUR room (which isn't your room any more - it's the one you now share) and close the door. There are also disagreements, miscommunications, misunderstandings, differences in priorities, and, in my case, too much clutter around the house that put stress on our relationships. Sticking together and working to make a relationship with a spouse work is HARD WORK. And many people do give up.

I'm so proud and thankful that my parents have set such a wonderful example for my marriage. And I celebrate with them on their 35th anniversary. Here's to another 35 years of wedded bliss...


Baby: slept from 11pm until 4am last night. It was heavenly. She was up again around 6:30am, had a quick breakfast, and then fell asleep on my chest. We cuddled for about an hour before getting out of bed. It was a precious time.

Studying: finished my epidemiology text book reading yesterday. Tomorrow I begin the task of getting through my statistics books.

Dinner tonight: ginger shrimp over rice. This is a new recipe from the November issue of Cooking Lite. We'll see how it goes.

Event of the day: hanging out with my old work colleague and friend, Heather. We had a delightful time catching up this afternoon. And the baby was on her best behavior!

Monday, November 10, 2008


It's been a rough couple of days here... the baby is tired, but she just can't calm herself down enough to sleep. This leads to hysteria. She cries and cries until she is so stinking tired she just passes out. But as soon as you lay her down to nap, she wakes up crying. It's a vicious cycle.

Now, don't get the wrong idea, she's still a sweetheart, but she has her moments. And these moments seem to be happening more often than I'd like. Evenings and night time have been extremely challenging. She usually gets a good chunk of sleep in between 10pm and 2am, but then it becomes unpredictable. Sometimes a nighttime feeding will last a full three hours and before I can get back into bed she's ready to eat again. Again, it's a vicious cycle.

Yesterday she slept peacefully through church (making me look like a rockstar mom). The afternoon was a different story. She was cranky and hungry all afternoon. We finally settled her down after a bath and a good meal and she conked out on the couch around 8:30. I had a terrible headache so I went to bed, too, since I figured I'd be up again for feeding before midnight. Much to my surprise, I woke up at 1am and she was sound asleep in the bassinet beside me. I thought I heard her waking up so I laid back down preparing myself for her cry. What seemed like moments later, I heard the cry. Before sitting up, I looked at my watch and it was 3am. That's right, my baby gave me the glorious gift of 6.5 hours of sleep. I woke D up to see if he had fed her before going to bed around midnight and he said no. My baby must have known how much I needed the sleep and gave me a wonderful gift.

I'm feeling like a million dollars today. Even though the 3am feeding lasted until 4:30am, it didn't matter. I could have stayed up until morning with her at that point. I felt so good. Today's chores, grocery shopping and ironing, seemed like impossible tasks just 24 hours ago. Now they seem like a piece of cake.

I realize that her sleeping this long is probably going to be a rare occurrence, but if I can count on one amazing night of sleep a month I'll take it!


Today: have already been to the pediatrician and received a shot (hep B vaccine). I think it hurt me more than it hurt her. We're going to grocery shop later this afternoon.

Studying: am still working through my epidemiology readings. My goal is to have all my readings finished by the end of the month (this is a lofty goal).

Clothes changes: babies have this wonderful tendency of having diaper accidents (aka poop explosions). We were in our second outfit before the sun was up this morning. It could be a long day!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


ERGONOMICS: the science/technology concerned with the design, manufacture, and arrangement of products and environments to be safe, healthy, and comfortable for human beings

There is NOTHING ergonomic about caring for a newborn. When the baby is crying and wants to be carried in a certain position (over your shoulder or like a football on your LEFT side - heaven forbid we switch to the right), you carry the baby in said position. No matter how much your back or shoulders hurt you contort your body to make your baby comfortable and happy. When your baby is fighting you to nurse, you must maneuver your body to meet her demands and fight her squirming body. Even the best "equipment" on the market - the boppy pillow or the "BrestFriend" - don't make being a mom ergonomically-friendly. I still find myself supplementing my baby's comfort when she's using the best baby products out there. And at the end of the day, my body is broken down and tired.

There's also the host of activities I've had to learn to do one-handed because the baby refuses to be in the bouncy chair, the pack-in-play, or her bed: preparing and eating food, loading the washer and dryer, pulling my hair back, making the bed, etc...

The highlight of every day for me (physically) is getting my back cracked and rubbed by David after dinner. Although my little one is one a slight eight pounds, carrying her around and keeping her comfortable and content is taking a toll on my body. My neck hurts from looking down on her while she is nursing, my shoulders and back are sore from carrying her around (especially when she's fussy), and there have been days when my sides hurt from my bouncing and twisting with her in my arms. I also have to carry her in her carseat and the stroller down our front steps each day just to go for a walk. The objects are awkward and, even though we have the lightest stroller available, it is still heavy and burdensome.

It is tough work. I'm using muscles I didn't know I had and strengthening my deltoids and biceps on a regular basis.

But it's all worth it. Yesterday afternoon my little pumpkin fell asleep on my shoulder and then managed to curl up on my chest, resting in one arm. She slept for hours there and I just enjoyed her presence. And this morning she's sound asleep in the Baby Bjorn. I love it.


DC Celebrates: More than 93 percent of the Districts residents voted for Obama on Tuesday. After the results were announced that evening, the city went crazy. The Washington Post has some great pictures of the celebrations at the White House and on U Street, NW. In our neighborhood, we had a fireworks display and some LOUD excited neighbors cheering Obama's victory. Luckily for us, it started to rain in the middle of the fireworks display and the celebrating stopped.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I haven't been this excited for an election day EVER. And I don't think I'm alone... this morning David went out to vote bright and early and the line at our polling place went around the block. I headed out to the pediatrician's office first thing this morning. And then voted around lunch time. It was the baby's first election day and she was a hit at the polling station. We met several neighbors with little ones or little ones on the way while at the polls. Our neighborhood must be in the midst of a baby-boom. There are little ones and pregnant women everywhere.

Anyways, back to the election... Although the Presidential election is on everyone's minds (and I was excited to cast my vote for that contest!), here in DC we don't get much of a say. Obama will win in the District by a landslide (in 2004, Kerry won more than 75 percent of the vote). So our one little electorial vote will go to him. The big contests here in the District are for City Council. There was a major upset in the primaries where the Republican incumbent for the at-large seat lost to an up-and-comer. Since the primaries, the incumbent was campaigned hard to win as a write-in candidate. I'm super excited to see the outcome of this election.

We also voted for a new ANC rep in our neighborhood. I met my (hopefully) soon-to-be rep as he was leaving the polls with his pregnant wife and toddler. He seems like a great guy, someone who will represent our neighborhood well. Plus he is intent on cleaning up the playgrounds and local pools (a nice bonus for us).

I am exited for the polls to close tonight. Tomorrow (barring disaster) we'll have a new President... (and history will be made - either we will have the first black President or the first female VP. EXCITING TIMES!)


Baby: is over 8 pounds now. She's gaining weight like a champion - if only she would learn to sleep like one.

What I'm up to: Besides emailing, making phone calls, and blogging, I just did an ENTIRE load of PINK laundry. That's right... a full load of only PINK clothing. My daughter is such a girly girl.

Frustration of the day: our indoor ficus tree is losing all of its leaves. It is making such a mess. I need to rake and bag the leaves INSIDE. This is not right.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I've mentioned in several past postings that I was really puffy/swollen during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. My puffiness peaked while I was in the hospital giving birth. I didn't realize until last night that David took pictures of my hands and feet while I was at my puffiest. As you can see, my hands and feet didn't look my own.

Luckily, I depuffed quickly and these pictures are a distant memory.


This time next year: I hope to have completed the NYC marathon. That's right... I don't think I could run a mile today, but I'm looking to be marathon-ready in 365 days. Let the countdown and training begin!!