Saturday, February 28, 2009


We enjoy drinking wine. We really enjoy trying new wines and learning to pair wines appropriately with dinners and desserts. Recently, we discovered Prosecco, an extra dry sparkling white wine. And it is wonderful (and you can buy a bottle for a reasonable price at the Whole Foods). Tonight we will be enjoying a bottle of Prosecco with swordfish served with homemade guacamole. I'm responsible for making the guac; D has everything else covered. Should be a delightful evening at home.


Girls night: last night D was out of town cooking the meals at our church's annual leadership retreat. So it was just me and the little one. She was in bed by 7:30pm. I tried to rent a movie on iTunes; however it took more than six hours to download. I wasn't about to wait for it. So I did some homework and went to bed. I got a solid six hours of sleep before the little one woke up to eat. Then she went back to bed for another hour and a half. It was delightful. We had a fun day together!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Having a little girl means everything is PINK PINK PINK PINK PINK.

From the moment we found out we had a little girl, the pink started rolling in... pink flowers and balloons at the hospital. Pink onesies, pink booties, pink tops, pink pants, pink washclothes, pink diapers, pink jammies, pink socks. We have so much pink that I now do white, dark, and pink loads of laundry. We are living in a world full of pink.

Now, don't get me wrong... the clothes are so cute. And I am so grateful for all the wonderful gifts we've been given. I love that 90 percent of the little one's clothes are hand-me-downs. We have some wonderful, generous friends. I truly am grateful.

That said, sometimes I get a little sick of the pink. So this morning we started what will be known as NO PINK FRIDAYS. It will be the one day of the week when the little one doesn't wear pink. We'll put all of her green, red, and purple clothes to good use. And this doesn't mean she has to wear pink the other days of the week. It only means that on Fridays there will be no pink worn. Not even a pink diaper!

Today we dressed the little one up in some blue striped pants and a blue t-shirt. She even had on a sky-blue onesie. It was fabulous. To make the outfit a little more feminine, she wore her blue Mary-Jane socks. They really helped to pull the outfit together!


Tonight: I need to do homework. I have a Vaccinology mid-term in a little over a week. I have lots of reading to do and flashcards to make. I made brownies this afternoon to help make studying on a Friday night a little more enjoyable.

Little one: her cowlick is back. She woke up with it in full form this morning. I'm so excited. It is so cute. I'm thinking of tying a ribbon around it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


The past 24 hours has been a roller coaster. It has REALLY had its ups and downs.

On top... today I got to visit with some old work colleagues who were in town for a meeting. It was so good to see each other face-to-face. My friend, Anne, who was my point of contact at CDC while I was working just got a HUGE promotion. She's now an associate director at CDC. She makes me SO proud. My other friend, Tom, just completed his MPH and will be walking at the Amherst graduation ceremony in May. Its a big accomplishment and I'm so excited for him. It was also just good to talk to each other them and hear that everything is going well. I'm so blessed with such good friends!

Really exciting news... last night I got a email confirming my automatic entry into the NYC marathon. I'm so excited. I just got new running shoes and I have a gift certificate to buy cute running clothes at this little boutique in Union Station. I'm so excited. My motivation to get back into shape and to run more than three miles at a time has skyrocketed. I'm ready to take on the world. We also got a new jogging stroller. So as soon as the weather is nice, I'm taking the little one out for some runs. She's going to love running through Rock Creek Park, the National Zoo, and on the Mall. And for those of you looking for a reason to go to NYC this fall, come and cheer me on. The marathon is November 1st. It covers all five boroughs and ends in Central Park.

Also on top... today is the third anniversary of our second wedding. We'll be celebrating at home with a shrimp dinner and a bottle of wine. I'm loving the fact that we have two anniversaries.

Onto the bad...we spent another day at the pediatrician's office. The little girl woke up with some blood in her diaper. I freaked out. OBVIOUSLY. What was scary this time around was that I wasn't sure if the blood was in her poop or pee (if you want details of the diaper I'll share them privately). Anyways, we went to the doctor to rule out blood in the urine and a UTI. Getting a urine sample from an infant is no simple task. They had to basically tape a plastic bag to her bottom and then we waited until she went. Luckily it only took about half an hour. She tested negative for blood. Yeah! And we sent a sample to a lab to rule out an infection. So now we just have to wait and see if there is more blood in the diapers. It makes changing diapers SO unpleasant. The anxiety of changing a diaper my be the end of me.

Also bad... because of the trip to the doctor and my stress over the diapers, I haven't accomplished a thing today. I checked nothing off my to do list, which is getting longer by the minute. Believe it or not, but mid-terms are in two weeks. I have one closed book test to study for and a take-home exam. I also got started on my independent study this past week and I have A LOT of work to do for it. I need to have a really productive day tomorrow. Hopefully the little one will sleep well today and nap HARD tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


This morning I whipped up a batch of VEGAN brownies. They are still in the oven baking, but judging from the batter that I tasted they are going to be yummy. And this will TOTALLY take care of my chocolate cravings. My recipe for the ULTIMATE VEGAN BROWNIES is:

1 C Earth Balance buttery spread (from Whole Foods)
8 squares of unsweetened chocolate
3 C sugar
1 and 2/3 C applesauce
1 t salt
1 and 1/2 C flour

Melt the butter and chocolate on the stove at a low heat setting. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and sugar. Add melted chocolate/butter mix to sugary applesauce. Then add flour and salt. Bake for at least 40 minutes at 350 in a greased 9x13 inch pan.



Today: we're taking dinner and 1/2 the brownies to friends from church who just had twins. New friends for my baby!

To do: I have a ton of grading to do for the class I am TAing. One of the students actually wrote: "the purpose of the study was to evaluate the relationship between X and Y among day care workers....obviously." I kid you not. This individual ended a sentence that was well written and correct with FOUR periods and the word "obviously". I felt like I was reading a note a girlfriend passed me in the 10th grade. This is a PhD program, honey. Act like you belong!! It's going to be a l-o-n-g grading process.

Sleep: The baby slept until 2:45am and then decided to get up and party until 4:14am. Lovely... She wasn't hungry; just wanted to play. I forced her to be still and at least rest. We are not going to build bad sleep habits now. Nighttime is for sleeping.

Loving: our nanny. She is wonderful. Yesterday I went to pick up the little one and she was sitting in the living room with her baby friend and the nanny playing and listening to piano music. Both kids were laughing and smiling. Makes me feel so comfortable leaving her a couple of days a week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's been nearly two and a half days now that I have gone without dairy, chocolate, and nuts. I miss eating trail mix when I get home in the afternoon. And I miss adding REAL milk to my cereal and coffee. Yesterday I went grocery shopping and stocked up on my favorite non-dairy, non-chocolate, and non-nut snacks and breakfast items. In the coming weeks and months, I can look forward to snacking on:

maple syrup/brown sugar instant oatmeal
kettle corn microwavable popcorn
ginger snap cookies
shredded mini-wheats
carob favored rice milk.

Believe it or not, but the rice milk is better than I expected. I just need to get past the chalky texture.

Needless to say, I'm still a little depressed about my current situation. But I realize that it is only temporary and it is best for the little one. We do not need another bloody diaper. My heart cannot handle it. So I've been complaining a little bit to some of my friends. I can't help it... it's not like I'm giving these items up for Lent. I was told to stop eating them right away. Without any warning.

I was complaining to my friend, Andrea, on Monday night. She was extremely sympathetic and even had some ideas for snacks I could make to help with my salt/nut and chocolate cravings. And then what did she do for me... last night she and Angie brought me a VEGAN chocolate cake. It is made with cocoa powder, which I am allowed to have (as long as no milk was added to it).
The cake had a powdered sugar and rice milk icing. It was AMAZING. This whole vegan, no nut, no chocolate diet doesn't seem that bad after all.

I'm so grateful for such wonderful friends (and the yummy cake).


The baby: no bloody diapers since Sunday. We go back to the pediatrician on Friday for her four month check-up and shots. I hate those visits.

Sleep: the little one slept from 7:50pm until 6:00am last night. She had a brief wake up at 11pm that was quickly resolved by re-swaddling her and giving her a pacifier (she's cutting her second tooth).

Husband: passed his microsoft VMware certification test this morning. I'm so proud (unfortunately I have no idea what WMware has something to do with computers).

The weather: it's 65 degrees here today. I'm heading out for a run and to pick up the baby.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Yesterday we had our first real health scare with the baby... I went to change her diaper and there was blood in her poop (sorry if this is TMI). It was bright red; no doubt it was blood. I.FREAKED.OUT. We called her doctor and they said not to worry. I scheduled an appointment for first thing this morning.

We got to the doctor and they tested her dirty diapers from yesterday to confirm that it was blood. It was. Next they inspected her little bottom to see if there were any sores or tears that could have caused the bleeding. There weren't. The doctor concluded that it is an allergy. Most likely to cow's milk, which I have been consuming in LARGE quantities.

So in order to keep her little systems healthy, I have to cut ALL dairy products, chocolate, nuts, and eggs out of my diet.

More than likely it is a dairy allergy, but I'm going to cut nuts as a precaution. Most chocolate is made with milk. Thus my cutting it from my diet. And eggs, well, kids are commonly allergic to them, too. So we're going to cut them as well. Unfortunately, I love to drink milk and trail mix (with nuts, raisins, and M&Ms) has been my snack of choice lately. I'm totally bummed. And when I'm feeling blue, nothing tastes better than some dark chocolate and milk. I'm eating saltines and drinking peach tea instead. It doesn't have the same effect.

Should the baby's bloody poop continue after a few weeks, they'll more than likely ask me to cut wheat from my diet. This might push me over the edge...

In addition to having to cut all my favorite foods from my diet, I have to get rid of the TWO MONTH SUPPLY of breastmilk I have stored in my freezer. I've been so good about pumping and saving - as much as I hate to pump. And now I have to throw it all away or donate it. It makes me REALLY sad.

If anyone knows where I could donate my milk or if you want it, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Today is our THIRD wedding anniversary. Sort of...

Three years ago today was our wedding ceremony at our church. I wore a white dress. D had on his best suit. Friends and family were in attendance. It was a candlelight ceremony. Harriet sang. Angie, Andrea and Becky also sang. Daryl pronounced us husband and wife. It was lovely; a day I don't want to forget. After the ceremony we had a party. Ron catered a wonderful meal (the menu was designed by David). We had a wonderful carrot wedding cake, and my mom made a wonderful assortment of cookies. Honestly, I didn't want to leave the party. Not only had I married the most wonderful man, but I was in a room with ALL of our friends and family - enjoying good food, listening to good music, sipping wine and champagne. It was a magical day. Nothing. Not even the rain, being locked out of the church, a mother-in-law who arrived an hour late to the ceremony could ruin my special day. It was perfect. I was married. I was in love. And I was ready for the next chapter of my life to begin.

So if all of this happened three years ago TODAY, why is today only sort of our anniversary?

It's a LONG story... D and I applied for our marriage license in early January. In DC, you have to make two trips to the city government building in order to legally marry in the District. On the first trip you apply for your license; the second is to pick up the official document. Long story short, we COMPLETELY forgot to pick up our license before the ceremony. At the rehearsal, Daryl asked for our license and we realized we didn't have it. In my defense, the days leading up to the wedding were hectic - I was SO sick, we had family from all over the world in town, there were parties to attend, friends to hang out with, work to do, etc... Fortunately we were not leaving for our honeymoon until the following Wednesday. We picked up our license first thing Monday morning.

In the eyes of God, we were married on February 4th. We thought the state would agree. Obviously it did not. We picked up our license on the 6th of February. Daryl signed it and dated our ceremony as the 4th. When we got back from our honeymoon, Daryl informed us that he received a scolding from the city government while we were away. Because our license was dated the 6th, we could not LEGALLY be married until (at the earliest) the 7th.

Basically, our first marriage didn't take.

We went on our honeymoon and in the eyes of the state we were NOT married.

So on Sunday, February 26th Daryl remarried us in his house. It was our second marriage. And this one took. The DC government filed the paperwork and we were officially husband and wife.

We have decided to celebrate the anniversary of our first marriage; although we have fond memories of our second marriage! We also like to joke about going on vacation and "living in sin" for three weeks (prior to our official state ceremony).


Celebration: we're going to celebrate our anniversary tomorrow night by opening our second bottle of wine from the case Robert gave us as a wedding gift.

Marriage highlights: D and I agree... the highlights of our life together include buying our house and having a baby. We also love the fact that we've run two marathons together, have been hang-gliding, and learned to surf together.