Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Over the past few weeks, we've lived through/experienced several BIG events.

First, on July 5th, my trusty little car - a gift from my parents after college graduation - crossed the 100,000 mile threshold. It was a big moment in my life - watching her odometer go from 5 digits to 6. Thankfully, I was in the passenger seat during the big event and was able to capture it on film (I'll spare you the video).

In early August, I discovered that I do in fact have a Y in my left eye. For those of you who don't remember, my aunt in Texas has a client who claims to have a no-fail way of determining the sex of an unborn child. In short if the blood vessels of the mother's left eye form a Y, then the baby will be girl. Back in September 2008, I had a distinct Y in my left eye. As you can see from the picture below, I do AT THIS VERY MOMENT have a Y in my eye. What do others think?!?! Is "Joel" in fact a girl?

August was also full of natural disasters. On the 23rd, DC was rocked by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. I was at home with K at the time - trying to get her to sleep. We felt two distinct movements during the quake. First, it really did feel like the house was shaking. It also felt like the floors were rolling - like we were standing on top of water. The noise from the earthquake was loud. K was laying on her bed with her hands over her ears S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G.

After the shaking stopped, K and I went outside to talk to our neighbors and did a walk through of our house to see if there was any damage. Pictures fell off of the wall in our bathroom and our shoe cubby in our sunroom moved away from the wall. In our front bedroom, the wall/ceiling cracked. You can see from the picture below that it does look like there were waves/rolls. The crack moves/rolls from wall to ceiling back to wall again. It is pretty magnificent to see the strength of plate tectonics in our bedroom.

Also during the earthquake, we heard a terrible crashing noise on our roof. Turns out our neighbor's chimney crumbled and crashed onto our roof. As you can see the quake did a number on the 100 year old chimney.

Prior to the hurricane, Irene, that rocked DC five days after the earthquake, D went up on the roof, took some pictures and removed/stacked all the loose bricks. We didn't want the hurricane strength winds to cause damage to our roof or our neighbors. Thankfully there was no damage.


Ferris Bueller once said:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around 
once in a while, you could miss it.
The past six weeks of my life have flown by -- quite possibly the busiest weeks of my life. And it is not just business. They have been full of changes - physical, mental, emotional, hormonal, and behavioral. I have been trying to take time to enjoy all the special, never-going-to-be-the-same-again moments that have come my way.
In short, since we traveled to Pennsylvania for the Fourth of July, I/we have:
1. hosted our friends from France for two weeks;
2. painted K's bedroom (well, technically my dad gets credit for this) and made room for a new crib and dresser;
3. spent a week at the beach with friends;
4. completed my duties as a graduate research assistant;
5. submitted a complete draft of my written dissertation;
6. received approval to defend my dissertation;
7. began my full-time, grown-up job as an Assistant Professor;
8. gained approximately 15 pounds;
9. become the mother to a preschooler; 
10. planned my come-back races for 2012 (National RnR and Pittsburgh 1/2 marathons); and
11. spent more time trying to stay on top of things than ever before in my life.

As of today, we are officially ready for baby #2. I am currently 35 weeks and 5 days along. I'm feeling fine - minus the persistent heartburn and swelling in my hands, feet, and ankles. Our new carseat was delivered today. This is the ONE thing we needed to have before the baby arrives. It is here. Part of me wants this baby to be born today; another part of me knows I have several BIG events scheduled for the next four weeks that I really want to happen --- including my dissertation defense. 

As long as I do not go into labor before my due date, I plan to defend my dissertation at 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I believe this will elevate me to ROCK STAR status among all PhD students and mothers-to-be! I also am planning to be inducted into my high school athletic hall of fame at 37 weeks/1 day pregnant. Again, I think attending this event, rocking a great black dress, and announcing my plans to be in 1/2 marathon running shape by March will also elevate me to some sort of ROCK STAR status! 

Regardless of when this new baby comes, my current baby will be starting preschool in two weeks. I can hardly believe it. She's enrolled in a wonderful Montessori School about 1 mile from our house. Her teacher is a gem and the school is beautiful - while playing at the school playground today, we noticed you can see the National Cathedral in the background. What a wonderful spot to attend school!
Just shy of three years old, K has become her own little lady. She talks constantly - often narrating the events of the day, making up stories, and asking WHY. She has her own sense of style and is very opinionated with it comes to clothing, shoes, and hair. She loves to read, paint and play with play-dough. She also loves music, dancing, jumping, gymnastics, riding her bike, and being outside. She also loves to help out in the kitchen and is becoming quite the little baker. 
The hour between 6:30 and 7:30 each evening is our most challenging time - she's tired, wants constant attention, and can often be found yelling, "NO!" without ceasing. She continues to be a great napper, but cannot sleep through the night for anything. We're currently trying to bride her to stay in bed all night long - until the sun comes up - with frozen yogurt. It has yet to work.

Our vacation to the beach a few weeks ago, was definitely a highlight of the summer for all of us. We had a wonderful and restful week away with friends. K completely enjoyed herself.

My goal for the next five weeks of this pregnancy is to enjoy each moment. In spite of heartburn and the awkwardness of my big belly, I want to enjoy being pregnant (as much as I can), I want to enjoy having just one child, I want to cherish all my firsts at my new job, I want to prepare for my dissertation defense, and I really want get as much sleep as humanly possible.

Here's to you baby #2, Joel... please make plans to remain where you are for at least four more weeks. Love, Mommy