Wednesday, September 30, 2009


...of a wife, mama, PhD student, and marathon runner.

5:00am: alarm goes off

5:10am: out the door for a 3.5-4 mile run

6:00am: in the shower (downstairs - for fear of waking the baby by showering upstairs)

6:15: in the kitchen - brewing coffee (HIGH priority), assembling lunches (D usually has everything made the night before; I just have to put it in tupperware), preparing breakfast, packing K's lunch in a cooler which then goes in her stroller. All of this is done in my towel (cannot afford the extra trip upstairs -- too much time and no need to make an extra pass by K's room).

6:30: upstairs to get dressed.

6:30: average time K is up and ready to nurse

6:45: change K's diaper, get her dressed for the day, and pack extra diapers in her bag.

7:00: downstairs - place K's diaper bag at door (so it is not forgotten) and begin feeding her breakfast.

7:10: upstairs to dry hair and finish getting dressed

7:20: microwave oatmeal or toast my toast

7:28: kiss K and D good-bye

7:30: in car and on the way

7:50: on beltway to get to 95N. Must have breakfast (which I do eat in the car) finished because I cannot drive 75+ miles per hour and eat at the same time

8:30: at school ready to start the day!


Getting up and exercising before leaving for the day is HARD. But I feel so good afterwards and it makes my afternoons so pleasant. I'm not fretting over when and how I'm going to get a run in. I'm looking forward to the time change in November - hopefully it won't be as dark when I hit the pavement at 5:10am.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


For the past two years I have been a nomad at school. I haven't had my own desk, my own computer, or my own work area. I've had a locker; my small space where I could keep an extra pencil or store my jacket in the winter time. It's been hard. I've worked in computer labs and the library, but not having a designated spot to work has made getting work accomplished hard.

That has all changed.

I joined a research group over the summer. This is the group I work for and will be doing my dissertation research with. I really like all the members of my research group. And I really like the fact that they have provided me with a desk, a computer, book shelves, and an office. I share my office with another grad student. My officemate is extremely nice and we are making the most of our little space in the med school.

Not only do I have an office, but our little suite of offices is filled with other grad students and research staff. And we have a lunch room complete with refrigerator, microwave, silverware, water filter, and toaster oven. It is a little slice of paradise to me.

NEEDED: cabinet locks

Guess who can open the kitchen cabinets all by herself?

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Several months ago a friend of mine gave me a TON of hand-me-down clothes. At the time they looked huge; K would never fit into clothes that big. But she's grown and all those BIG clothes are starting to fit. The moment I took these pants out of the bag, I was in love with them...

Seriously, how could you not love velor vertical striped pants in pink, brown and blue?

K wore these pants with a pink top in the AM and a blue top in the PM (she usually requires a change after lunch). The blue top with the pants and her new robeez looked especially retro.

She'll be wearing these pants as frequently as possible until they fit no more.


New shoes: purchased at the consignment store on Capitol Hill, my new favorite place to shop.

Sleep: didn't get too much of it last night. K was up from midnight to 3am and then up again for the day at 5:30. I'm heading to bed as soon as we finish eating dinner.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


K is a peanut. She's weighing in at about 17 pounds WITH a diaper on these days. She is petite.

When I heard that a woman in Indonesia gave birth to a 19 pound baby a couple of days ago, I nearly fell out of my chair. There are times when carrying K around is hard work. I cannot imagine carrying a baby 2 pounds heavier without neck control. Crazy...

Not surprisingly, the baby's mother had gestational diabetes. It was untreated. (shocker)

In a clip from the TODAY SHOW, Al Roker made a funny when he said that the big baby looked at the little (read: normal sized newborn) baby lying beside him all swaddled up and thought, "Mmmm...burrito. Must get you in my belly!"

Also in today's news... NPR did a segment on Pittsburgh (host of the G-20 summit) this morning. The story painted the city in a really positive light. At the end of the segment a woman named Kate Bensen was interviewed. I think I went to high school with her (she was my brother's year and valedictorian of his class). The segment is worth listening to/reading.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


K loves to dance.

Before she was on-the-move, she enjoyed music. Her favorite CD is by Elizabeth Mitchell and is all about birdies. Track #4 is a real crowd pleaser. While on vacation last month, we enjoyed watching K crawl over to the little iPod speaker set. It was there, in front of the speakers, that she found her groove. The little girl will sit on her knees and bounce up and down in time with the music. She's quite good at finding the beat. And the girl will dance to anything - from her singing nursery rhyme book to Aqueduct.

This evening she was overly tired (no afternoon nap) and was cranky about everything. D and I were hanging out with her in our room. She was really clingy - pretty much had to be within touching distance of one of us - until she heard the music (being played on the computer in the office). She crawled her little self to the doorway of the office, stopped, got up on her knees, and found the beat. She's even added a little shoulder shake to her dancing routine (a nice complement to her bouncing up and down). It is so stinking cute.

We are trying to capture her dancing on video, but it harder than one would think. Somehow turning the camera on translates into "stop dancing NOW". Hopefully we'll get some footage to share with folks in the days to come.

And here's hoping she keeps dancing and gets into Juilliard!


Yes, I have neglected you. My hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly to do lists are so long these days. I have every intention of writing; of giving you the attention you deserve. But the hours slip by and the days are a blur. Before I know it the week is over and another is about to begin. Could you tell me where August went? I seemed to have missed it (and the beginning of September) entirely. I have a list of topics I hope to blog about - so much has happened, is happening, and about to happen. Plus, I've witnessed some thought-provoking events during the past few weeks that I'd like to share through you to my readership.

You do deserve my attention. Here's to giving you your due time four times each week...



School is now in full swing. I'm taking just one class this semester, but it is kicking my behind. The weekly homework assignments are time consuming. After a long day of working, momming, wifing, and marathon training sitting down to do a couple of hours of regression analysis is not my idea of a good time. I can't wait for the class to be over; only four more homework assignments and a data analysis project to go...

Research for my dissertation is also underway. This has been a HUGE time suck. My adviser is hardcore (love her and really appreciate her attention and mentoring of me). I have due dates for everything and weekly meetings. At this point I have three specific aims ironed out and a handful of hypotheses. I have to have a methodological framework turned in by Tuesday. HOLY SMOKES. Then I'm going to meet with the other key members of my committee. After I get their input I'll put my general research plan together and submit it. Supposedly getting this plan through the Graduate Program Committee is the hardest and most time-consuming step of the process. Here's to getting it approved the FIRST time through.

K is growing my leaps and bounds. She got her first pair of walking shoes yesterday (she's still NOT walking, but is close; we're going to practice wearing shoes like a big girl when we leave the house). We spent some time at the Capitol Hill consignment store, Monkey's Uncle, yesterday. Many good finds were found. We are also planning K's first birthday party. Can you believe it? My baby is about to turn one? We're doing a birthday brunch with family and a few friends the weekend after her birth day. We're also having family pictures taken as a birthday gift for her.

I'm hoping to have the K weened by Thanksgiving. She has an allergy test in early November. We'll confirm then if she has a milk allergy. Assuming she doesn't we're going to hit the store bought ORGANIC milk hard. I'm counting the days until I get to put my pump away permanently.

Marathon training is also in full swing. I have two long runs - an 18 miler and a 20ish miler - under my belt. I'm looking to do another 20 miler today (thank God for the fall-like temperatures and low humidity). Then I have just two long runs - 20 and 15 miles, respectively - before the race. I've really enjoyed training this time around. The "ME" time is a valuable gift.

To do today: laundry, changing bed sheets, making baby food (she's eating SO much these days keeping up is hard), hanging the K letters on the wall of her room, ironing, and running 20 miles. I also need to do some school work/reading. Better get started...