Tuesday, May 26, 2009


So I set a deadline for myself:

by the end of the day today (read: 5pm) I would commit to a research team for the remainder of my PhD.

In short, this means I know who my advisor will be, what general research area(s) I will be working in, and what type(s) of work I'll be doing for the remainder of my schooling. I have been at peace with this situation/decision for more than 48 hours now. Hence my deadline to just commit. But as the 5pm hour approaches, I am


I'm not one to shy away from commitment. And usually once I make a decision I'm ok moving forward, but this one makes me nervous. It seems like such a big deal. It makes the reality of having to complete a dissertation very real. So I am freaking out.

I have the commitment email to my new advisor written in my head. I just need to type it out and press send. Why am I so nervous? Seriously, butterflies (thousands of them) in my stomach.

My journey of getting to this point - of joining a research team and beginning the process of working on a dissertation - has been hard. It has forced to to weigh so many costs and benefits; pros and cons. As the decision making process comes to a close, I am forced to realize that the actually journey and real work is just beginning. Maybe that is why I'm freaking out.

I have a long road ahead of me. My goal is to complete my dissertation by December 2011. That seems so far off. But it also seems like such a short period of time to complete so much work.



Dissertation topic: will be revealed in due time. I'll post tomorrow about my new research team and advisor (because I am excited to be joining this group).

Today: must.get.laundry.done.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I'm spent. I have no patience, no tolerance for anything unexpected or hard to deal with, no desire to do anything but sleep, and no sense of self left. It has been a hard 24 hours...

Since Wednesday I have been stressing over a dissertation project. I had several options open and have been weighing the pros and cons of each. Last night I was laying in bed and honestly didn't think I was capable of making the right decision. If I didn't have a baby or didn't live an hour away from school, I think I know what I would do. BUT I do have a baby and I do live about an hour away from school. So both play a part in my decision making process. I was WAY stressed about it and didn't think I was making any progress towards making a decision. So last night I laid in bed stressing and brooding. It was a painful, sleepless time. I finally fell asleep shortly after midnight only to be woken up around 2am by the baby. She has been sleeping consistently from 8pm to at least 5am for WEEKS now. And then last night...

I found her standing up in her crib screaming last night. She can pull herself up, but cannot get back down. So she screams. I rocked her for nearly 45 minutes last night. She was still awake. I finally resorted to nursing her (since she didn't nurse before going to bed because she wasn't hungry). She fell asleep, but only for about 10 minutes (enough time to allow me to get comfortable in bed again). I went back to her room only to find her again standing up and screaming. I laid her back down and patted her back for another 45 minutes. Sometime after 4am she was finally asleep.

At 5:00 she woke again. And AGAIN I found her standing up and screaming. I laid her back down and left. She woke up again. This time David went in, put her back down, patted her for like a second, and she fell asleep. Grrrr... But yeah that she was sleeping again.

She was up for good at 6:30. I nursed her AGAIN and pumped and then went back to bed. She didn't go down for a nap until 9am, which means we had to wake her up to go to church. She had a meltdown while in the nursery (along with three other little ones) and the nursery staff came to get me. We got home from church and she ate and went to sleep. FOR A HALF HOUR.

And she's been up since. Seriously, the girl is working on less than an hour and a half worth of naps and a terrible night sleep. I can't handle it. And am preparing for the worst.

On top of that, it is terribly humid in DC today. We're all sticky and ready for it to rain. I hate the humidity.

And, I also found out this morning that due to funding cuts one of the dissertation projects I was debating about taking on has been taken off the table. So all the thinking and talking and decision making I was doing was for naught. The department made the decision for me. Its done. If only I could have found this out on, say, FRIDAY.

Sensing that I was at the end of my rope, D took the K away from me. I'm camped out in my room with my computer, a drink, and a phone. I'm debating watching TV, reading a book, or just going to sleep. Those are the kind of decisions I like to make.

Here's to a longer rope tomorrow...

Saturday, May 16, 2009


K is crawling everywhere. Seriously, the girl is on the move ALL THE TIME. She loves to chase after the cat; loves to go after his food and water. She also thinks its funny to crawl under things - such as her crib, bouncy chair or the dining room table. Last night I went in to check on her around 10:15 and she was asleep with her face plastered into the corner of her crib. Not wanting her to bang her head against the bars, I gently pulled her into the center of the crib. And what did she do? In her sleep, she crawled back tot he corner of the crib. I pulled her again to the center. And she sleep-crawled back to the corner.

Crawling is hard work. She gets tired quickly and will resort to sliding around on her belly when her arms are too tired to hold her body up to crawl properly. Crawling is also taking its toll on her knees. They are constantly red and bruised. Here's what they looked like after a morning of crawling around the house in just a diaper and top...

I need to be more diligent about putting her kneepads on!

Friday, May 8, 2009


Thousands of people flok to DC in early April each year to get a glimpse of the cherry blossoms. And it is beautiful. The Tidal Basin and Haines Point are blanketed in pink. When the wind blows pedals float through the air. It's like snowflakes the color of cotton candy. It is beautiful each year and I love going downtown to see the trees in their full glory.

Another one of my favorite spring sights in DC is the flowering of the azalea collection at the National Arboretum. Tens of thousands of unique and beautiful azaleas have been on disply each spring since they were planted 61 years ago. It is beautiful, and unfortuately, not everyone knows about the collection. There are so many different colored buses - red, pink, purple, white, yellow, orange, and coral, to name a few. And there are even b
uses that have been bred to bloom with multi-colored flowers. It is crazy to see a single bush with white and pink flowers. Below is an assortment of photos from our visit to the azaleas this past weekend.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


To MY Special K -

You're seven months old today. And you're sick. Last time I checked your fever was 103.2. Not sure what is the cause of your fever, but I think we have things under control now that I figured out how to get (and keep) Tylenol into your mouth. You should be napping now, but your upstairs "talking" to the duck in your crib. Hopefully you'll be back to sleep soon...

A lot has changed in the past four weeks. You are finally going to sleep on your own. You're still waking up in the middle of the night (most nights around 4am), but we've been letting you work through it and get back to sleep on your own. This method works most of the time, but not always. Sometimes you need a little patting on the back - your father and I are happy to give you what you need. You are also on the move these days. You're not crawling, but you move so fast on your belly. Long gone are the days when I can lay you down on the floor in one room and go to the bathroom or run into the other room to make the bed or pick up laundry. You're also pulling yourself up on everything. I feel like a human jungle-gym these days. And you are using all FOUR of your teeth to help you pull up, which means I have bite marks on my shoulders, arms, legs, knees, and stomach. I haven't figured out how to get you to stop biting... (suggestions?).

Your appetite has gotten a lot bigger, too. You are eating peas, carrots (not together, though, you don't like that AT ALL), pears, sweet potatoes, and avocado. I think you like sweet potatoes best. You devour them! Tomorrow we are going to try lentils with some carrots. I think you'll like 'em.

You are still not able to sit up on your own. I'm trying not to worry about this. You do a great job sitting up in your stroller and high-chair, but you just won't sit down on the ground. You're like a little weeble-wooble... you sit for a few seconds and then tip over to one side. Part of me thinks you are just completely uninterested in sitting up now that you are on the move. We'll continue on with our "sitting time" each day. I'm hopeful your tummy muscles will strenthen and you'll gain some interest in sitting on your own.

In terms of size, you're still a little peanut. You have such skinny legs. They've been hidden behind all the cute pants you've worn all winter, but now that the weather is getting nice I see your little legs more and more. They just make me smile. So skinny. At your six month doctor's appointment you weighed just over 14 pounds. You're weighing just under 15 pounds these days (by my calculations: weighing myself first and then getting on the scale holding you). You have a really long upper body (much like Michael Phelps - I'm still hoping you'll be an Olympic swimmer!) and are wearing 9 month-sized onesies and shirts. Your legs, however are a little short and you are still wearing your size 0-3 month pants.

You truly are a delight to be around. I love how you light up when your daddy comes home from work in the evenings. I love when you laugh. I love that saying "boo" over and over and over never gets old and always puts a smile on your face. I love that you still like to cuddle before bedtime. I love that you hit me on the sternum continuously while you're nursing. I love to hear your little voice. I cannot wait to hear you utter the words "Mama". I love the smile on your face when I come to get you out of your crib each morning. I love how you'd rather play with an old water bottle instead of your expensive, bright colored toys. And I love when you are a little bashful when we're out in public and you hide your face in my chest.

I cannot wait to take you to the pool, the beach, and the water spray park this summer. You are going to look too cute in your butterfly bathing suit and pink sunglasses!

Happy seven month birthday, baby girl.

Love you, Mama