Thursday, January 31, 2013


A little spring-like weather play before the snow and ice arrive.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013



After school today, we -- me, K, and a bunch of her friends -- trekked down to a nearby pond. This picture is completely out of focus, but I love it. I love all the curious four year old finding such enjoyment looking at a frozen pond. They spent so much time throwing stones, sticks, and leaves into the pond and onto the ice.

It was a wonderful afternoon. Full of laughter and yelling. Screams of excitement and enjoyment. There was running and jumping; skipping and climbing.

It was pure joy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013


You wash my back. I'll wash yours.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013


Watching the snow.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Last Thursday C was diagnosed with his 7th ear infection since July; his third since the first of the year. He was put on a strong-ish antibiotic with the hopes that it would kill the bacteria once and for all. We were warned that the antibiotic would upset his stomach - possibly resulting in diarrhea. They prescribed a daily bowl of yogurt.

Forty-eight hours into the antibiotic, we noticed a little diarrhea. Nothing to be concerned about.

On Saturday afternoon, he woke up from his nap and threw up all over D. We assumed it was the result of the antibiotics. At dinner he threw up again. This was the sign he was sick.

[Side story: when he threw up, K was sitting across the table from him. As soon as he barfed (all over me, by the way), she threw up all over the dining room table. Over her meal and D's. Her gag reflex is STRONG.]

C continued to throw up into Sunday and then the dry heaving and diarrhea began.

I called the pediatrician at 1:30 Sunday afternoon, and she said to go to the ER. We were seen relatively quickly at the hospital. We were placed in a room - shared with two other patients (stories about their situations to come!!) - and hooked up to an IV. Four bags of fluids later, we were given the go-ahead to go home. It was about 2am.

On Monday - a few hours after leaving the ER - the diarrhea started flowing. After five dirty diapers, we returned to the ER. The wait was even shorter than the day before (likely do to the Inauguration). He was admitted to the hospital.

The past three days have been a waiting game. One filled with messy, messy measurements. Every diaper is weighed; every ounce of liquid consumed recorded. So far our liquids out are far greater than our liquids in. The diarrhea has been unending. UN-END-ING. And he doesn't want to drink.

Seriously, what kid wouldn't want to drink juice all day? or eat Popsicles at every meal?

Thankfully the amount of diarrhea has decreased, but not enough to warrant a discharge.

And tonight, we had a setback. He threw up. EVERYTHING he had eaten for dinner.

D is with him tonight. After a wardrobe change, a change of sheets, and a new IV he is sleeping peacefully.

I'm home with K, who is also sleeping peacefully - for the moment. She has the stomach bug now. Poor thing has been throwing up, dry heaving, and having diarrhea ALL.DAY.LONG.

I was sick yesterday. I made it through a long day at the hospital completely on mommy-adrenalin. Thankfully I'm keeping food down today. A fine diet of crackers and toast; complemented by coke.

As for C's prognosis, we are waiting. Waiting for the diarrhea to end. Waiting for the barfing to end. Waiting for him to drink. Waiting to be discharged.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The tiny hospital gown is one reason to smile.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Inauguration coverage live in the ER.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


IV fluids: necessary

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Her Majesty and royal sleeping subjects.

Friday, January 18, 2013


We returned from a FABULOUS vacation in southern California last Saturday.

We returned to a week full of work, school, meetings, crazy (predicted) winter weather, lots of mail, tax forms, and illness. It wasn't until yesterday when I ran into a wine store in DuPont Circle (to buy D some birthday wine) that I realized I didn't have my ID. Upon realizing my ID was not in my wallet, I assumed it was in the pocket of the jeans I wore home on the plane. When I got home I checked my jeans. My ID was not there.

This was yesterday. Thursday.

With C's illness and our lack of sleep, I didn't even think about my ID after checking my jeans.

That is until today... when a little white envelop arrived in the mail. It was from United Airlines at Washington Reagan National Airport. Turns out I left my ID either on our flight home or somewhere in the airport.

To whomever found my ID and mailed it back to me, thank you.

I am so grateful that I don't have to replace it and deal with the DMV.


Happy Birthday, Daddy.

Note: No one is focused on the cake. Instead they are FaceTiming with D's twin - wishing him a happy birthday.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


New shoes


For what seems like the 100th time this winter, someone in our house is sick.

Since mid-December we've had strep throat, fevers, bronchitis, ear infections, eye infections, sinus infections, coughs, runny noses, runny eyes, eyes matted shut with green goop, and a partridge in a pear tree

This time around C is running a fever, blowing green snot bubbles, and pulling at his ears. We're off to the pediatrician in half an hour. I'm betting on double ear infections, a sinus infection, and the beginnings of an eye infection. For like the bajillenth time this year he'll be on antibiotics. Hopefully this time will be the last.

Having sick kids sucks. Without words C struggles to tell us he is not feeling well. His tell is his sick moan. He lies in his crib and just moans. Aaaaaaaah. Aaaaaaaah. Baaaaaaaaah. He doesn't scream. He doesn't cry. He just moans. Continually. We've learned that the moaning means he is hurting and he's hot. Last night the moaning began around 10pm. D held him until 10:30 (which is when I found the tylenol, which I failed to unpack after our vacation last week). I stayed up with him until midnight. He went back to sleep until 4am. He was up until 5:30 and then we all slept until 7:30. It was a long, painful, HOT night. Snuggling and holding a feverish baby for hours on end is not only exhausting, but it is hot. Smoldering.

This brings us to now. We're heading to the pediatrician - to hang out with other sick kids. It is going to be great.


Post-appointment update: "raging" ear infection in his right ear, but he tested negative for both the flu and RSV. We're thankful for that. Thankfully he is sleeping now (8:15). Here's hoping he sleeps for most of the night. I'm planning to go to bed now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Sick again. (Also a good view of his chipped front teeth)


Intense game of HeadBanz


My NPR station


A week of healthy eating ahead.


New game


Water play together.


Day dreaming


Driving in Toon Town, Disneyland


Sunset in Newport Beach, CA


Lego Washington DC (in Legoland, CA)



California sea lions (Newport Beach)


Lemon picking (La Habra Heights, CA)



Newport Beach, CA


Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


My "ME" goal for this year is to complete a 365 day photo project. One picture each day.

It sounds so simple while typing it, but keeping up with it, being sure I took a picture, saving said pictures, and then posting them can be a lot of work. But really, with an iPhone and my camera (not to mention K's little point & shoot, which is lying around here somewhere) there is no excuse for not taking one picture each day. And the point of doing a 365 day project isn't to have 365 perfect pictures. It is (for me) to capture 365 memories during the year - both the big moments and them small.

For the past couple of months have felt like a whirlwind. We have traveled A LOT. I have worked non-stop and been bombarded with students who NEED my attention. We've also been sick (strep throat, bronchitis, ear infections, sinus infections, eye infections --- you name it and we've probably had it. Three of us ran fevers of greater than 103* in the past three weeks -- lovely, I know). It wasn't until we were on vacation last week that I actually slowed down and enjoyed life. It was during this period of slowing down that I saw so much beauty and joy in the day to day activities of my life. This has inspired/challenged me to complete the 365 day photo project. I want to chronicle all the beauty and joy and memories.

I'm also finding that taking the time at the end of every day to look over the day's photos and reflect on all that is good, funny, joyful, memorable, and/or beautiful in our life is a wonderful way to end the day. I am hoping to keep continue with the project and continue to have such a wonderful perspective will continue throughout the year.

Starting at midnight tonight, my first 15 days from this year will go live. Then beginning tomorrow a new picture will be posted every day.

Monday, January 14, 2013


* this is a long time coming...

On November 10, 2012 I finished the Richmond Marathon in 4:03:14. Three minutes and fourteen seconds slower than my goal time. But a PR by more than 14 minutes!

Overall, it was a great race.

Until mile 23 I was on pace (9:06 per mile) to finish under four hours. However, some serious stomach issues caused me to walk for two blocks around mile 20. I walked so that I wouldn't throw up. I should have just 'puked and rallied'. Instead I walked it off and then threw up at mile 25. This is where and how I lost my precious three minutes and fourteen seconds.

My upset stomach was likely caused by the Accelerade served along the course. Both the liquid and gel forms did not agree with my stomach. I will never eat the gel or drink the liquid again. Never.

Aside from the stomach issues, it really was a great race. D and I ran the whole thing together. We enjoyed running along the river and smiled through the candy stops (loved eating gummy bears and downing a coke while running). I smiled throughout the race and thoroughly enjoyed the downhill finish. It was also great having my good friend, Becky, and K out on the course cheering us on. We saw them along the course four times. It was awesome! So glad K was there to see what a marathon is all about.

My goal is still to run a sub-4 hour marathon! My plan is to achieve this goal in NYC in November...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2013 GOALS

-- Train for and run two races together (we're planning to run the Pittsburgh 1/2 and NYC full together)

-- Track our activities/outings and cooking adventures. I love getting out of the house with my kids and we do a lot of fun stuff together - I believe we are creating memories to last a lifetime! But I'm not good at documenting (in photos or words) our outings (especially our day-to-day adventures). This year I want to work with K to keep a written journal and keep a photo journal for C. I'd also like to take the time to create photo memory books for each of the kids this year.

-- Set PRs in half and full marathon (read: run a sub-1:54 half and sub-4:03 full). Running a sub-4 hour marathon is a priority for me!

-- Track my caloric intake each day

-- Institutionalize at least two family traditions. Pizza Friday is our family's thing, but as the kids are getting older, I want us to have other things that we do together. I'm thinking of 1) a family game or movie night each week; and 2) summer hiking trips to local parks each week (like we did last year). I'm open to other traditions and would welcome suggestions.

-- Work with my friend, Becca, to organize our college swim team's reunion at the Pittsburgh RnR half marathon in August. This includes designing our shirts for the race and organizing pre- and post-race activities.

-- Submit at least two articles for publication and one grant proposal.

-- Work with D to set financial goals for both long-term, short-term and emergency purchases.

-- Create/organize our home office so that both D and I can (successfully) work there at the same time.

-- Read at least four books (one each quarter).

-- Complete a yearlong photo challenge

Friday, January 11, 2013


I set a lot of goals for 2012. After a year of pregnancy, maternity leave, and a new job, I left the need to get organized and focused at the beginning of last year. After a look back on 2012, I realize I set out to do too much and was little too excited to have a productive year. Life slowed me down; as did illness, new opportunities, and the need to slow down (at times). Although I know I set out to accomplish too much, I feel it worthwhile to look at what I did do this past year.

So... here's a review of my 2012 goals (complete with necessary commentary):

-- Encourage and support D while he is on sabbatical - I believe I achieved this, but D would be a more suitable judge. I felt like I supported him, but he might feel differently
-- Read Seven Habits of a Highly Effective Family together and write a family mission statement - fail. I did not read this book
-- Train for an run two races together - complete success! We ran the DC Rock n Roll half marathon (did not finish together -- D was too fast for me) and finished the Richmond Marathon together
-- Plan one date (out of the house) per quarter - if long runs together count (which I believe they do), we did this! We did two 20+ runs together before the marathon and had several dinners out together. We also attended some functions - including K's school's silent auction - together.

-- Read to K & C every day - K & C were read to every day. I wasn't always the reader - sometimes it was Daddy or Grandma, but each day they were read to!
-- Introduce K to a new food every two weeks - I didn't keep track of this one, but I feel confident that K tried at least 21 new foods this year. We eat a variety of seasonal foods at home and encourage (read: force) her to try what we're eating. I feel confident that she tried a lot of new foods this year.
-- Introduce C to a new healthy food every week (once he starts solids) - definitely accomplished this. C eats everything. Sometimes I worry he won't stop eating!
-- Take monthly photos of C on his birthday - complete fail
-- Take one photo every day using Photo365 app - complete fail
-- (During summer) plan one outing per week -- pool, museum, spray park, Rock Creek Park, Arboritum - done! We did SO much this past summer. I took our double stroller everywhere!

-- Run (at least) 1,000 miles - done
-- Streak (run every day) in January - done
-- Set PRs in half and full marathon (read: run a sub-1:57 half and sub-4:14 full) - done
-- Run the hill on 13th Street every time - NEVER, NEVER, NEVER walk up the hill - done
-- Cross-train once per week - I did great for the first half of the year (spinning weekly); not so much during the fall semester

-- Lose remaining pregnancy weight (~15 pounds) - done
-- Get K & C moving at least three times a week - gymnastics, swimming, bike riding, playing at the park - it wasn't always organized, but we moved a lot (running at the spray park, swimming, biking, scooter riding, etc...)
-- make/try a new healthy snack once per month - done. We made granola bars,

-- Organize/plan a professional photo shoot in October (with grandparents and other family members) - did not happen
-- Plan family vacation to California  - 100% success

-- Participate and engage in the young moms group at church - fail; I joined a running group instead
-- Plan at least sic coffee dates with friends - fail
-- Build relationships with new colleagues - I've started, but relationships are slow to form

-- Write articles based on dissertation and get them published - done
-- Submit final written dissertation - long story(!!)

-- Track our spending - fail
-- Stick to our budget - fail
-- Set savings goals - for big purchases we want/need to make - fail

-- Paint our bedroom - fail
-- Plant a vegetable garden with K - complete success. We had one heck of a garden
-- Create a workable home office for D and me - fail

-- Read: Born to Run and The Seven Habits - fail
-- Run a race for a cause - to raise money for a worthy organization - fail

-- Complete a yearlong photo challenge (in addition to the 365Photo) - fail
-- Save money for a bike and kid's bikeseat - fail
-- Get involved in social activities at work - sort of achieved. I participated in some activities outside of work hours, but nothing consistently

All in all, 2012 was a great year. As I stated, I set out to do a whole lot and didn't come through on all of it. D and I have a lot to do in terms of working together to track our spending and budgeting. We also want to spend time together building and planning for our family.

A lot if brewing for 2013. Details will be forthcoming...

I have set some goals for 2013 (to be posted in the coming days), but this year I'm going to scale things back a bit. Using the categories above, I'm going to set one goal in each. This will help me to focus on each and not feel overwhelmed. 

Thanks for a great one, 2012!  

Sunday, January 6, 2013


**Written December 31, 2012

Tonight I am home alone. D and the kids are celebrating the New Year (or at least eating a celebratory dinner) with friends. I'm recovering from a nasty bout of bronchitis. Today is my first full day since Christmas without a fever. I think the antibiotics are finally starting to kick in. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be feeling better tomorrow. In addition to my personal recovery, I'm cleaning the house and trying to disinfect everything I have touched since Christmas. K is just over strep throat, which kept her down and out for nearly five days (with antibiotics). Thankfully, C has not gotten sick yet, but surely it is just a matter of time...

Having some quiet time on New Year's Eve isn't such a bad thing. It has given me time to relax, reflect, and be at peace. And, like the last few years, I am taking the time to look back over the past year by answering a few simple questions my good friend, Jill, compiled.

What was one goal you accomplished in 2012?
I ran PRs at both the full (4:03) and half (1:54) marathon distances.

What is your favorite memory of 2012?
Finishing the Richmond Marathon with D.

What is your least favorite memory of 2012?
I went through a really rough patch in March. The whole situation was a crazy-bad memory - at times it still haunts me.

What was the best trip you took in 2012?
We didn't travel much this year. Just several trips to Pennsylvania and then to Richmond for marathon weekend. I'm really looking forward to answering this question next year after we've taken our B-I-G family vacation to California.

What was your favorite purchase in 2012?
These running shorts. I love them. I also bought these shoes (though they have not been delivered yet).

What was the best book you read in 2012?
The best book I completed was Train Like a Mother.

What was the best movie you saw in 2012?
I did not watch a single movie this year. I did, however, watch the first season of Homeland and I am hooked.

What changed about you in 2012?
I slowed down. I made time for little, but important things --- evening walks to the zoo, long training runs with D, pancake breakfasts, coffee with friends, writing letters, visiting with friends and families. I really enjoyed this past year; I enjoyed my kids, my husband, my friends, DC, and my job.

What made you cry in 2012?
K's behavior and unwillingness to listen (especially at naptime and bedtime) caused me to cry on more than one occasion. Sadly, I wrote the exact same thing last year.

What made you scream in 2012?
The family of mice that have made their home in our home. I scream when I see them running through the kitchen or when they are caught in a trap. I hate, hate, hate mice.

What made you proud in 2012?
I received a-mazing student evaluations last spring.

What new skills did you learn in 2012?
I learned a new statistical software - SPSS. I'm still partial to SAS, but was required to teach SPSS in my statistics class. I enjoyed the challenge of learning a new software and teaching it to my students.

Best meal of 2012?
Without a doubt, it was my birthday dinner at Tamari in Lawerenceville. D and I split several small dishes - favorites were the homemade guacamole and shrimp tacos. We finished our meal with limoncello. It was perfect.

Best drink of 2012?
D's homemade whiskey sours. They are best when served in a glass with sugar in the raw coating the rim and with homemade maraschino cherries.

Favorite photo of 2012? (post it)

What was your source of comfort in 2011?
Baking. We made everything from sweet breads to granola bars, pancakes to sandwich bread this year. It smelled good and was not only a comforting time, but enjoyable time with K.

What was your verse of 2012 and why?
"He has shown you what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
~Micah 6:8
 This is a powerful command. One that I needed (and still do) to be reminded of each day.