Saturday, August 29, 2009


Yup...these are my reusable diapers drying on my ghetto laundry lines. I tied string to each side of the fence in our backyard. Once the diapers and liners were pinned on the lines nearly touched the ground (yes, we need to mow our yard/city plot). I don't think D liked my shoddy clothes lines (I needed two for all the diapers), but I loved it. It is nice not using the dryer and a little sun is good for those white liners.

Friday, August 28, 2009



Two weeks ago we went on our first family vacation together. We went to Bethany Beach, DE for a week of relaxing at beach. You had so much fun; so much that you didn't want to nap during the day or sleep at night time. And considering you didn't sleep a lot you were extremely pleasant. Several mornings you were up around 5am, refusing to go back to bed. Daddy and I took turns sleeping in and getting up with you. One morning you were up particularly early (before 5). Not wanting to wake the entire house before the sun was up, we went down to the beach and watched the sun rise. It was beautiful.

Later that same day we saw several dolphins swimming in the ocean. Unfortunately, I didn't catch them on film.

To say that you enjoyed yourself at the beach would be an understatement. You freaking loved it. You crawled all over the beach - through hot dry sand, in the wet sand, and right into the ocean. We had to hold you back in the water because the surf was a little too rough for you. Here you are just crawling around; exploring the big world around you.

And here you are with Mama and again with Papa enjoying the ocean.

You bring us such delight!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The news of Ted Kennedy's death is everywhere. People can't stop talking about the impact he made in the Senate or his legacy. I'm not about to be one of those people, but I do have a story to tell about Ted Kennedy...

Political celebrity sitings in DC are common. However, I'm never at the right place at the right time to see the celebrities of DC. The closest I've gotten to someone famous is motorcade. (Oh...and the time I passed Condi Rice running along the Potomac one early Friday morning.)

Another time I was out running on Capitol Hill early in the morning - I'm talking before the sun was up. When I was triathlon training, I used to leave my house around 5:45am two mornings a week for a 3-4 mile run. I timed my runs precisely so that I got out onto Pennsylvania Ave SE right as the Marines were beginning their run. This was for safety purposes. I didn't like running in the dark by myself. Tagging behind the Marines made me feel safe.

One cold morning I was huffing and puffing around the Hill when I was greeted by an elderly man in shorts, a hoodie, and tube socks standing on the corner by the Senate office buildings. He said something along the lines of "you're looking strong; keep it up" to me. And I said thank you in return and kept running. A few steps later it dawned on me that: 1) he was important judging from the security force in his presence; 2) he acted like a professional politician - cheering me on with a smile on his face as if I were able to cast a vote for him right then and there; and 3) he looked SO familiar. It wasn't until a few hours later when I saw HIM on CNN that I realized I had bumped into Ted Kennedy that morning. For the record, he is MUCH shorter than I expected him to be. And he was extremely friendly and chatty at 5:45am.

Without even realizing it, I got some encouragement and praise from Ted Kennedy himself early one morning on Capitol Hill before the sun came up.

Monday, August 24, 2009


August was a month of vacations for us. At the beginning of the month, D and I split up. He traveled to the other side of the world; I drove four short hours to Pennsylvania.

D's family lives in Taiwan. Last year he traveled to Taiwan without me because I was seven and a half months pregnant and in no mood to sit on a plane for 14 hours straight. I was also fearful of going into labor while abroad and needing a translator to help me through labor. This year K and I stayed home for two simple reasons: 1) I don't believe her first trip on an airplane should be the 14 hour trip across the Pacific Ocean. We need to fly to Florida or even California first to see how she does at 30,000 feet before trekking across the globe. And 2) she hasn't had several important vaccinations yet, specifically her MMR. And measles are still endemic in parts of Southeast Asia. The slight possibility of her being exposed to measles abroad was enough to keep us both home.

So K and I went to Pennsylvania for a L-O-N-G weekend. We visited with United States Grandma and Grandpa while D visited with his mom, aka Taiwan Grandma. Our trip to PA was wonderful. Grandma and Grandpa had a lot of fun with the K. Much time was spent playing in Grandma's tupperware drawer. Grandpa borrowed a kiddy pool from a neighbor and K had several pool parties. She also played in the sprinkler for the first time. My father started a new "game" with K... when I'd carry her up the stairs he'd follow along behind me yelling, "I'm gonna' get you!" K thought it was SO FUNNY. She's squeal (as loudly as possible) and reach out to grab him. Upon returning home she's start to get excited as we walked up the steps only to realize no one was there chasing her. She'd get really disappointed.

On our way to PA, I ran into a friend from college at a rest stop on the PA Turnpike. We met up two days later and went over to visit Carla and Luci. We had a wonderful breakfast together - Car made some amazing apple cream cheese stuffed french toast! Also during our Pittsburgh visit, K and I attended Elizabeth's 9th birthday party - Disney World themed party. And on Sunday we had lunch with K's Great Grandma and Grandma Nancy, my grandmother's good friend.

All in all it was a delightful trip. Traveling four hours by car with an infant is a little rough. Prior to leaving DC I spent $14 on a mirror so I could see K throughout the carride. Best $14 spent in a LONG time. We've also learned that K's CD with songs about birdies always puts a smile on her face. Seriously the girl will be screaming in the back seat, we'll turn the bird CD on (song #4 is a favorite), and she'll smile and dance.

D returned from Taiwan two days after we got home. And the next day we turned around and drove to Bethany Beach for vacation with friends. It was such a fun week.

K loved the sand and loved the ocean. She loved buckets full of ocean water. And she loved eating seashells. D and I got a chance to do some relaxing. I actually read a book for fun (did a little school work as well). We went out for coffee in the mornings and ate lots of seafood. It was delightful.

We didn't do a lot of sleeping. K slept in a pack 'n play in our room and that didn't go over too well. She'd be sound asleep each night and the slightest noise (like opening the door or tip-toeing into bed) would wake her up. A few nights we were up for a couple of hours with her. And on nights when she didn't wake up, she'd be up for the day around 5am. Some mornings D would sleep in and I would take K out for a walk or a trip to the playground. Other mornings I'd sleep in. We both took naps in the afternoon.

It was a great family vacation. And I would go back to Bethany Beach in a heartbeat. The beach is beautiful, the people are nice, it is a quiet beach community, and there is good seafood and good coffee. We hope to go back next summer. And the summer after that and the summer after that and the summer after that...

Pictures of our trips will be coming soon. Our new camera card reader should arrive either today or tomorrow.


Summer is officially over. Today was the first day of school (thankfully I'm only taking one class this semester). The past few months have gone by so quickly. We've been really busy during the last few weeks of summer...

-- D traveled to Taiwan to visit his mother and brother.

-- I traveled with K to Pittsburgh.

-- We spent last week at the beach with friends.

-- Marathon training continues.

-- I have selected a dissertation topic and am aiming to write my general research plan in the next six weeks.

-- K is growing by leaps and bounds and is doing new things every day.

In an attempt to organize all of the events of the past few weeks, I'm going to devote my next posts to vacations, school, marathon training, new things at our house, and K.

Stay tuned...


Bummer: our card reader for our camera is broken so I cannot download pictures from my camera to the computer. Pictures of the past few weeks will be not be available for a few more days.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I love to bake, but my no eggs, nuts, and dairy diet has put a hamper on my baking. You can make a fantastic brownie substituting applesauce for eggs, but applesauce oatmeal cookies simply don't cut it. I gave up all things K might be allergic to the first Monday in February and we haven't had a bloody diaper or a sign of an allergy since. PTL*.

At K's last doctor's appointment, I talked with our pediatrician about adding eggs back into my diet. I'm doing just fine without eggs (though an egg sandwich with D on a Saturday morning would be delightful), but I want K to get a flu shot in the fall and she can't if she's allergic to eggs. I figured I'd add eggs back into my diet and hope there's not a problem. If she is fine, then we'll go for the flu shot in the fall. The doctor thought my plan was sound so last week I slowly started to add eggs back into my diet. Wanting to ease back into egg-eating, I decided I'd start using eggs in baked goods. This afternoon I made a batch of blueberry muffins with fresh blueberries. They were delightful.

Recipe: 6 T oil, 1 1/2 C sugar. Cream. Add 2 eggs. Add 1/2 t salt, 2 t baking soda and 2 C flour. Mix in 1/2 C milk (rice milk). Fold in 1 pint blueberries. Sprinkle sugar on top of muffins before placing them in the oven. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.


Also on the domestic front, our new sofa arrived today. It is wonderful. It fits perfectly in our living room and is considerably longer than our old one (which is a really good thing). We just need to purchase a new area rug, another arm chair, and some throw pillows and our newly decorated living room will be complete. For now, we're enjoying our new sofa, which I am sitting on right now. So comfortable.

Pictured here is our old sofa in the foreground and the new one in the background. As you can see our old one was pretty beat up and rough around the edges. The new sofa has nice clean lines and the color blends wonderfully with our pussy willow painting on the wall. And, yes, that is K in the background banging on the coffee table. She's proudly wearing her Hawaiian print halter top and yellow diaper. So.stinking.cute.

We moved our old sofa to our basement. Dad, you now have somewhere to sit when you come to visit. We're looking for a footrest just for you.


* PTL - short for "praise the lord"

Saturday, August 1, 2009


K loves water. Loves the pool, loves the bathtub, loves pots and bowls filled with water, loves washing her hands, loves when the dishwasher is a little wet, loves playing with a bottle and spilling water all over herself. Seriously, the girl can't get enough of the H20.

On Thursday I took K and my mom to one of DC's spray parks. These parks are great. There are fountains to run/crawl through, puddles to splash in, dripping water to grab, and wet leaves to put in your mouth (gross, I know!).

K LOVES the spray park. Here she is crawling around (never letting those knees touch the rough ground) one of the fountains. Just gotta' love the cute little bum. Also love the swimmy suit and sun hat.


At 7:10 yesterday morning I set off for my 13 mile training run. Ah...conquering the half-marathon is always a big deal for me. It means two very important things... 1) I'm capable of running 13 miles and 2) I only need to increase my training runs by seven miles before the marathon. My first of three 20 mile training runs is a month from now. I think I'll be ready...

Yesterday's run was brutal. When I left my house it was overcast, but hot. It was in the mid-70s and VERY humid. I broke a sweat before completing the first mile. The sun stayed behind the clouds until I ran out of Rock Creek Park and onto the sidewalk along the Potomac River. Obviously as soon as there were no trees overhead and no shade anywhere in sight the sun came out. Miles six through eight were hard. When I reached the far end of the Memorial Bridge (in Virginia right in front of Arlington Cemetery) I decided to take a quick break and regroup. I walked for about five minute sipping on water and tried to motivate myself. Only six miles left; only six miles left; only an hour more of running; only an hour more of running. I ended up making a slight detour on my way home, running into Georgetown and through Rose Park. Here I was able to get some extra water at a fountain and refill my water bottle.

The run back through Rock Creek Park wasn't too bad. I think I'm used to the course and know what to expect - in terms of hills and lonely spots. Unfortunately my iPod stopped working around mile nine. The last four miles were a little boring without music and the last song I listened to was repeating over and over in my mind. Slightly annoying. Finishing the last four miles without music was an accomplishment unto itself.

After the run, I walked about four extra blocks home. K and my mom were waiting for me on the front porch. K is in the midst of some serious separation anxiety. As soon as she saw me she only wanted to be with me. Unfortunately I was SOAKING wet with sweat and didn't want to pick her up. So my mom held her for the next 15 minutes as I showered. And she screamed the entire time. It was the single-most UN-relaxing way to recover from a long run. I rushed through my shower, wrapped a towel around me, and didn't even take the time to fully dry off before I picked her up. It was another two hours before she went down for a second nap and I was able to regroup from my run.

In total, the run took about 2 hours 15 minutes. I ran for all but five minutes of this time, which is great. It was a great training run. I know that if I can run 13 miles in the sticky humid heat of DC in July, I will have no trouble in NY in November. Yeah!

This coming Friday I'm going to do a 15 mile run. I'm doing things a little out of order... this week should be a 10 mile maintenance run, but I will have free babysitting this weekend (from my parents). So I'm going to take advantage of that and get my long run in now. Then I'll have two weeks of maintenance runs (10 and 12 miles each) before I head out on a 18 mile run towards the end of August. Sounds like a plan. Here's hoping it starts to feel like fall in early September...


Today: resting my legs. Later this afternoon am going wedding dress shopping with a friend.

Tomorrow: Four mile maintenance run scheduled. Will probably do this in the late afternoon. Maybe D and K will join me.

Monday: am starting to get back into the swing of things re: school. I met with my advisor on Thursday and made a plan, including timeline, for my dissertation. I have to I have committed to spending at least half an hour EVERY day (beginning) Monday on my dissertation. That doesn't sound like a lot of time, but I'm starting with a realistic goal. Really the goal of this goal is to establish a pattern/habit of working on my dissertation EVERY day. Ultimately, I am aiming to be DONE in the spring of 2011.

Currently reading: Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Love the book and love him as an author. I highly recommend EVERYTHING he's written.