Thursday, December 31, 2009


It was a white Christmas! We got out of DC just as the Blizzard of 2009 hit the area. Although there wasn't 17 inches of snow in Pennsylvania (which is the final snow tally in our neighborhood), there was enough snow outside for K to get out and enjoy it.

Here she is outside with Grandma taking her first walk in the snow (yes, she is walking...finally). Poor girl was so bundled up she needed help from two people to make her way through 4 inches of snow. But she loved every minute of it. And she stayed toasty warm!

Christmas week was full of yummy food, family, friends, toys, and LIGHTS. K loves lights. She was constantly wandering around pointing at ceiling lights, Christmas tree lights, candles, anything with a glow and proclaiming "Yites". That is K-speak for lights (unfortunately it sounds all too similar to "ice", which is K-speak for rice).

Grandma's house was full of lights and new toys. Family friends gave my parents a host of toys for K to play with. Grandma also reintroduced K to her tupperware drawer. As you can see K was enjoying the Christmas tree lights, tupperware, and new toys during the early morning hours. It was hard to get her to sit down and eat there were so many new distractions. Sleep was hard to come-by, especially at nap times.

K was showered with wonderful Christmas gifts. She got several stacking toys, which she loves. She also got some puppets and has become quite taken with them. She even knows how to put them over her hand. So cute! Her Uncle J got her a pair of pink Converse All-Star high top tennis shoes. They are wonderful and are bound to fit within the next six month. Love them!

With at least four extra hands helping out with K, it was a peaceful and relaxing holiday week for D and me. We slept in; went out on dates; spent an afternoon out with my brother - all without a child. Although I love her to death, sometimes this mama just needs some adult conversations and some alone time with her husband.

We also had some wonderful meals with my parents and some fun playdates with my friend, BA, and her girls. We also had a wonderful dinner with Carla, John, and Luci.

Before we knew it, Christmas was over and we were on our way back to DC. Back to work and school, schedules and household responsibilities.

Our Christmas 2009 was wonderful. Full of precious moments I'm not soon to forget.

Monday, December 28, 2009


We have been looking for THIS hot sauce since the summer of 2007.

We used to be able to buy this "spicy hot pepper" at the local Asian grocery store. Then we were only able to buy it in Taiwan. We bought out a grocery store in Tainan during our visit in August 2007. Brought home 10 bottles in our luggage.

When D went back during the summer of 2008, he couldn't find the spicy hot pepper. And again in 2009 the spicy hot pepper could not be found. We have looked in every grocery store we find that might have it. We haven't seen a bottle of this stuff in YEARS.

That was until a few days ago...

On Saturday, my brother and I took D to the Strip District in Pittsburgh. We ate lunch at Wholey's and walked through some shops. We also checked out three Asian grocery stores before we found our Christmas miracle. Who would have thought we'd find our spicy hot pepper in Pittsburgh's Strip District?

As you can see, we bought a few bottles. You never can have enough...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I love Christmas time.

Love the music. Love the smells. Love the lights. Love the food. Love the parties. Love candle-light church service. Love presents. Love the decorations. Love seeing friends and family.

I just love it.

This year getting in the Christmas spirit has been a little slow-going for me. I haven't been to church in two weeks because of K's many illnesses (ear infectionS, sinus infection, and, yes, roseola). I've missed the Advent services more than I thought I would. I've missed the lighting of the candles, the readings of the Christmas story, the music, the children's program, the decorations. Simply everything.

Pandora's Christmas station and baking cookies have been my saving graces, as have all the wonderful Christmas cards we've received. Baking is one of my calming activities. With the illnesses, lack of sleep and stress of school, I have been baking up a storm.

On any given day, there is a stack of freshly baked cookies on our kitchen counter...

Here we have: pecan tassies, chocolate cover pretzels (which I used as favors for a bridal shower I hosted a couple of weekends ago), chocolate chip cookies, and peanut-butter blossoms.

I have also made white chocolate peppermint crunch candy, molasses cut out cookies, and several loaves of bread. We're planning to assemble plates of cookies and deliver them to our neighbors later this week. I just to deliver cookies on Christmas Eve with my family so we are trying to establish a cookie-giving-away tradition of our own. We're giving the loaves of bread away as gifts, too. Nothing like a little homemade something to say "Merry Christmas" to friends and neighbors.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


About a week ago I bought a 1/2 pound bag of decaf coffee. It was Dunkin Donuts brand. The reason for buying said coffee was because I hosted a bridal shower on Saturday and it was an afternoon coffee (or tea, but most people drank coffee), and the bride-to-be requested decaf. Wanting to make a drink that she would drink, I went with the decaf.

A lot of coffee was consumed at said party. It snowed last Saturday so a warm cup of joe with pumpkin spice creamer and cookies and cupcakes hit the spot. Even though we drank a lot of coffee, there was some left over. I put the bag of decaf on the shelf with the rest of the coffee and tea.

D does not like decaf coffee. And that's where this story begins.

We were up early this morning. 4:43am to be exact. K was all cranky in the wee hours of morning. With the help of my great mommy skills and wonderful singing voice, I was able to get her back to sleep for another 1.5 hours. I got an extra 45 minutes of sleep. Awesome.

At 6:30 D came downstairs to make lunches for us (yes, I am spoiled by him). I was getting my stuff together, organizing K's food, and eating Cheerios out of the box for breakfast. K woke up at 6:40. I went and changed her and brought her downstairs for some milk. K was sitting on my lap drinking her milk when I asked D to make some coffee for us. He was on it.

No more than five minutes later I could smell the coffee brewing. Finally. I could not wait for my first slip. I stepped into the kitchen with my travel mug in hand ready to pour myself a big cup of joe. That's when I saw the Dunkin Donuts bag sitting on the counter.


D had made a pot of decaf coffee. Decaf coffee on a Wednesday morning before 7am...


I sheepishly asked D if he had made the DD coffee. He said he had. That's when I broke the news to him that it was decaf coffee. Within 10 seconds, D had dumped the entire pot of coffee, had water brewing for a second pot, and had placed the bag of decaf in the trash.

And what did he have to say...

Honey, that is why we don't keep a loaded gun or decaf coffee in our house.

So this is my public confession: I will not bring decaf coffee into our house again.

Also want to give a huge shout-out to D. Not many people can have me belly laughing pre-coffee before 7am. Thanks for the morning funny.


K update: I got the call from our nanny around 2pm this afternoon that K was running a fever of 104. I raced home. With a little bit of Motrin her fever is down to 102.7. D will be home with her tomorrow morning. I'll be home in the afternoon. United States Grandma and Grandpa arrive on Friday. They cannot come soon enough.

School: I have a final on Monday - survival analysis. And tomorrow I'm sending my general research plan to my dissertation committee. I'll be working on revisions over the holiday break.

Holidays: we received our first card today, which means I can mail my out. Yes, this is a stupid rule I adhere to: I don't send my cards out until I receive my first card.

Sad news: our wonderful nanny is moving back to France, her home country. We are working hard to find another nanny, but no one stacks up. I'm so sad to be losing our nanny.

New Drink: D made this one up... "the Mad Mayan" - 1 part Kentucky bourbon to 3 parts Kahlua. Serve chilled or room temperature. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Yes, snot bubbles.

K is recovering from her second ear infection in three weeks. Last week we went to the doctor on Tuesday, were so excited to see our favorite nurse practitioner (seriously, this woman is one of my favorite people - kind, caring, takes the time to talk and answer questions, always pleasant, and so knowledgeable), and received a clean bill of health. On Wednesday K barely slept. She woke up Thursday snotty, but not too snotty, and she was a bundle of joy. By Thursday evening it was obvious that she wasn't feeling well. She didn't sleep much on Friday. I called the doctor's office at 8am on Friday. The set up an appointment for 9:15am. I successfully dressed myself and K, got a diaper bag packed, packed breakfast for both of us, found my wallet, packed it, and was out the door in half an hour (is that world record). We took the train to the appointment and were there ON TIME. Un-freaking-believable.

We were seen right away. K had a slight fever and an infected ear. No wonder sweet little girl couldn't sleep. We stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and saw our favorite pharmacist, who just happens to be named Virginia. She is so kind to K since they share the same name. Virginia the pharmacist is named after her mother, Virginia Sr. I love telling her that K is named after her grandmother. Anyways, Virginia the pharmacist filled our prescription in 5 minutes and we were on our way home.

At home K ate some lunch and took her antibiotic without complaining. We then got a call from our photographer that the prints we ordered from K's first birthday photo shoot were ready for pick up. I was SO excited for an excuse to jump in the car. I was so tired of caring around a sick baby. K and I ventured over to Capitol Hill and picked up our pictures from Elizabeth. We came home just in time for a nap. Or so I thought...

As I was putting away my keys and taking off my shoes, K decided to barf EVERYWHERE. All over her; all over me. Lovely. Just lovely. There is no easy way to clean up puke so I just took all of K's clothes off and put her in the bathtub. She loved it. While she was goofing off in the water, the phone rang. I answered it. In the two seconds I turned my head to answer the phone, K pooped in the bathtub. Lovely. I picked her out of the bath and started to drain it. K slipped on the wet bathroom floor. It hurt. She wailed. I felt terrible.

I did a quick clean of the tub. Filled it back up with water and let her play/relax a little while longer. We also brushed her teeth, which she loves. I finally got her to sleep at 3pm.

She slept until 5:30pm. D was home from work before she was awake.

By Saturday she was feeling somewhat better.

No more pukes. No more poops in the bathtub. Ear infection under control.

This is when the snot bubbles started to appear. They are just beautiful. All different shades of greens and yellows. She put on a snot bubble blowing show at the bridal shower I hosted on Saturday afternoon.

Makes me so proud.

Upon some reflection, I've realized that snot bubbles really aren't that big of a deal. They actually make me laugh.

And laughter is the best medicine, right?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


... a picture is worth a 1000 words. Here's a couple thousand words from the past few weeks.

A few shots from NYC. First is a glimpse of Lady Liberty. This was the first time I saw her. It was 7:15am. I was on the Staten Island Ferry headed to the marathon start. The second shot is of yours truly proudly posing at in front of the marathon course map and holding my race number the day before the run.

On Thanksgiving Eve we came downstairs only to find a hawk in our backyard. Yes, a HAWK in our backyard in Washington DC. It was incredible.

We hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year. My mom, dad, and grandmother joined us. Here K is loading the dishwasher with her grandmother (notice their matching outfits!). In the other picture she's playing with her grandfather. The two of them are the best of friends.