Tuesday, December 20, 2016

D's current favorite story

Once upon a time there was a big, big,big,big,big,big,big,big,big,big,big,big,big,big,big,big, dinosaur and he was eating something.
He ate <insert current favorite character - could be Rescue Bots, or people, or an animal>
This character fell into the dino's tummy.
Something happens and the character (or someone helping the character, like Optimus Prime) makes the dino barf and the character come out of the dino and take a shower.

Wknd pics

Lab decor
Frost brrrrrrr
Not afraid of heights 
Roller coaster
Lemur by the heater
Not afraid of Dino anymore 
Red panda
Lemur feeding time
Cold watching Rescue Bots

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up, bullet point style

  • Friday night, we headed to a party at a friends' house. It was mostly adults, but my kid played with their super cool Lego Star Wars stuff and we had a really nice time
  • Saturday, it rained. And rained. And rained. And rained. All day. It never stopped. I left the house once to get the mail and buy some milk at the market down the street. Other than that, it was a movie and chill day. We watched Dory - a super cute movie that D got for his birthday. We all loved it. My favorite part? The driving octopus. You should watch this movie. It's so good!
  • Sunday, D and I stayed home while Alex went to work and ran some errands. We watched a lot of Rescue Bots and I tried to clean up the house, with little success. D wouldn't nap, wouldn't eat, wined and refused to do much. In the afternoon, we went over to some friend's house to have a playdate. They live in this super nice, super lovely gigantic house. Dad's a doctor - guess I know what occupation I should have gone into :)
  • The kids had a good time, we had pizza for dinner and just enjoyed being around adults. It was super nice and I hope they invite us back again :)
  • This morning, wouldn't you know it? My son woke up with the cold Alex had last week. And with Alex not yet completely better, and D whining about being sick - man was this a rough morning. I am hoping some coffee and good music will set it back on track...
  • I'm usually not glad to be at work on Monday, but today ....
  • Have a good one, folks!

Monday, November 28, 2016

8 days of grateful

*EDIT: I started this on Nov 8, and did not finish it. Now that it's nearing the end of November, I feel like I'm ready to start feeling grateful and thankful again.

It's November, so it's a month to remind ourselves to be grateful for everything we have in our lives. In the past few days, I've been reminded about how much I have. A brief list:

On Saturday, I started feeling really sick to my stomach and I couldn't keep any food down. We called the 24/7 nurseline that is linked with my insurance, and the nurse on call told me to get to the hospital right away. I am so thankful we have resources like this available to us all the time.

At the hospital, I gave them my insurance and I knew that an emergency room visit would only cost me $100. I didn't have to worry about paying for this procedure or that procedure or how much in debt my family would have to go into in order to pay for my treatment. I am extremely lucky to have insurance that covers nearly all of my needs.

At the hospital, I was cared for by an amazing team of nurses, doctors, technicians, nurse assistants and others. I was given an extensive ultrasound that looked at nearly every organ in my body. I was given blood tests, and put on IV fluids. When the ultrasound didn't reveal my appendix, I was given a CT-scan (super cool, even if I was sick). The scan revealed my unhappy appendix and I was admitted to the hospital. I was at the best hospital in this area, being taken care of by the best people around using the best and most advanced equipment possible. I am so grateful I have access to all of these things.

Once I was admitted, I was put into a super nice (shared) room and the nurses helped me constantly, even sneaking me some ice chips to wet my mouth. The hardest part about this whole thing in the beginning was that I couldn't have anything to drink and my mouth was so dry it was uncomfortable. Pain meds helped me sleep a few hours until it was time to go for the surgery.

Just as I was being transported out, Alex and D showed up and walked me up to the surgery area. They kissed me and hugged me and I was so glad I got to see them. While I was in the ER the night before, Alex was amazing and took D all over the place, got him some chocolate bars and they watched lots of things on the phone, waiting for a diagnosis. It's got to be hard to watch a kid, wonder what's going on with your wife, and also take into account all of the things the doctors are saying to you. I am so thankful that my family was there, watching out for me, even though it was really hard and inconvenient.

My surgery took 4 hours, 3 hours longer than predicted. The surgeons said there was excessive dissection to do to get to my appendix, which was situated in an unusual spot. As Alex waited, he called on some friends to talk about the surgery, and many people offered their help, support, their house as home base, or anything else they could do. It was such a generous outpouring of love and support from our friends that it was really meaningful.

After surgery, I was in recovery and the surgeons called Alex and told him what was going on. I was taken back to my room, and Alex and D were waiting for me as I entered the ward. I was so glad to see them. They stayed for a bit, then we all were tired and they went home to get some rest. Alex said that D fell asleep in the car ride home, did not wake up when they got home and he put him right into bed, clothes and all. In the middle of the night, poor D peed the bed, fell out of bed, and Alex just changed him and put him in bed with him for the rest of the night. Poor kid was pooped.

The night at the hospital was a bit rough. I stood up for the first time and I barfed all the clear liquids out that I had been given. I was in a fair bit of pain. But the pain meds worked pretty well. And the nurse told me that to get out of the hospital, I needed to be on oral pain meds, so I didn't take any more IV pain meds after that. The nurses were fantastic - checking in on me regularly, making sure I took my pain meds, helping me to the bathroom. It's odd to be a fully functioning adult one day and then be dependent on someone else the next day. Stanford nurses are stellar, and I had some of the best.

Once surgery was over and I was on my way to recovery, I started telling my co-workers what had happened. I received some of the funniest texts from them - threatening to twerk their way to the hospital and sing loud songs. It was amazing. I love my co-workers.

I came home on Monday evening, and I am so glad to be home. The hospital is a really hard place to rest up, and I never got more than a couple hours sleep at a time. Being home, I can rest as much as I want.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Wknd pics

Mama, I want to take this stick home. No, it won't fit in the car. That's ok we can just walk home.
Safari mama, baby lion and Raysch el Gould????
Parade walking
Pumpkin carving

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Some goals

You know, I used to set goals and try to meet them? I used to be pretty good at it. I fell out of practice when I had D, since most of my time is spent caring for him. Now that he's getting older, I think it's time to set some more goals. Want to know what I am thinking about?

1) Paying off my Student Loans: I am still paying off student loans, if you can believe it. I have about $22,000 in loans myself and Alex has some too, for a total of around $40,000. Ridiculous, right? Especially when we should be saving up for college for our kid. One of my goals is to pay off half of my balance, or $11,555.62 in the next year. I have already put about $5,546.00 toward this, so I have another $6000 to go. I am hoping to have half of my loans paid off by this time next year. At that point, I will start accruing more interest and my loans won't be in deferment anymore (they are deferred while I am a postdoc), but I will just have $11,000 to pay off - no sweat, right?

2) Establish a Morning Routine: I am trying to start a morning routine that I stick to no matter what day of the week it is. Here are some things I would like to do in the morning:

drink a glass of water when I wake up
meditate, reflect, keep a gratitude journal, or some sort of self reflection
take care of the Moo (the cat)

here are some things we HAVE to do in the morning:
feed and dress D
make lunches
make breakfast, coffee
shower and dress

If I get up around 5 or 5:30, I think I can accomplish all of these things. I'm a morning person, so it shouldn't be too bad. I will let you know how that goes!

3) Save Money by budgeting and Meal Planning: Along the same lines as trying to pay off my student loans, I would really like to start making better financial decisions. This includes getting rid of some of our stuff (we have too much, like most people), following a budget, and planning meals so we are never hitting the grocery store hungry (if this happens, we end up spending $100 for junk food - bad idea!). I've been keeping track of our budget, but I haven't been sharing it with Alex, so that will have to change. And meal planning is such a pain, but it has to be done. I am hoping if I do it for a couple months, I will just have some go-to meals to pull from.

Right now, I am working on how to keep track of these goals - some are obvious - make a loan payment each month, but others are more amorphous. Make sure I get up and do my morning routine 80% of the time? Keep track of how well we budget? Sell X number of things every month? I will have to think about these things. But for now...here are some goals!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Party pics

Pin the tail on the donkey
Decorating fun things
Hanging out with friends
Wiped out
Walking in the rain with a new umbrella
Loving on Valentine 

The 3rd birthday party

Saturday was D's third birthday. We had a party at our house with about 20 people. Grandma and Grandpa came up for the weekend and we had a great time. Want to know what I did? Here's the lineup:

Rainy Day 3-year-old Birthday party:

Minestrone Soup
Macaroni and Cheese
Fruit Salad
Chips and Onion Dip
Fruit Snacks
Apples and clementines
Pink and yellow cupcakes with little toothpick "D" or "3" on them

crepe paper across the ceiling to make it look like a circus
balloons everywhere
a lion and an elephant painted by one of D's teachers
red and yellow tablecloth

Pin the tail on the donkey
Decorate your own party hat
make some bracelets with foam beads and pipe cleaners
"fishing" for toys in a huge styrofoam box filled with newspaper
when fishing breaks down, using toy saws to saw apart huge styrofoam box
when sawing gets boring, get in box
when rain finally lets up, wipe down baby slide and let kids play on that
when kids get really, really bored, walk them to the park

All in all, it was a good party. D took off with one of his friends down the driveway and gave another mom a heart attack but that seems to be the worst that happened. The kids seemed to have fun, and the adults seemed to have a good time too. The weather could have been better, and it would have been nice to get the kids outside more, but we all survived. Sunday was spent putting toys together and hanging out in PJs because it rained all day. Honestly, I feel pretty good today - rested and like I actually had a relaxing weekend. It's nice when you don't have to go anywhere.
Pics to follow!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book Review: Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

Naturally, I have a lot of things to catch up on. Forthwith, my review of this very gentle novel:

I reviewed another Rosamunde Pilcher book a few weeks ago. I'm still emotionally recovering from a lot of stuff that has happened this year, so I've been drawn to "gentle" novels. I really, really love Pilcher's books. This one was not a disappointment. The story begins with Elfrida Phipps, an older woman, single, and her dog. We follow her for a bit and get to know her quirky neighbors, her odd family, and have some lovely time with her. She's a beautiful and amazing character. Then the book begins to introduce us to some other characters. Oscar, the neighbor; Carrie, the niece; Lucy, the forgotten and neglected grand-niece, and Sam, the handsome stranger. Soon, Oscar is upset by tragedy, and Elfrida and Oscar set off to northern Scotland, where they settle into an old, rundown Victorian mansion to escape the holidays. All characters soon converge at the mansion, and have wonderful interactions, interesting conversations, revealing interactions with rich descriptions of the area. I loved this book so much. It's a book to cozy up by a fire, with a cup of tea and some cookies. It's a book to savor, take your time. The characters don't leave you, they enrich you. I am so glad I stole these books from my mom! You should read them too!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Wknd Pics

It's here!!!!
We made lab t shirts because we are awesome
A beer and a toy
My 80s attire
Pretty view from my hotel
Monterey Bay
Building a tall tower

Shall we catch up?

  • Seriously, you guys...it's down to bullet points this week. This is the best I can do
  • I went to my departmental retreat last week, Wed-Fri. It was in Monterey, literally on the beach. It was so nice to look out at the ocean. We partied like rock stars, for some reason. Wed night was 80s night, so I dressed like a fool and danced till 2AM. Thursday, I played beach volleyball (what? you might say :), starred in an award-winning video, presented my poster and danced the night away. I got in at 1:30am. Then on Friday, I returned to the land of reality
  • It's been real, real hot.
  • I'm planning D's 3rd birthday party! Crazy! I got a party planner. I know, I know. I sound crazy. But you try to entertain 14 toddlers at once. It's actually one of D's teachers who is trying to start her own business. I think it will go brilliantly well. Fingers crossed. 
  • I got a new planner. I am planning my life away. Setting goals. Reaching some of them. Striving to meet more goals, etc. We shall see how this goes. 
  • My in-laws arrive tomorrow for a one week visit. D is so excited he literally jumped up and down this morning asking if they were coming today.
  • On Thursday, we leave for Lousiville, KY for a wedding in Indiana. We are celebrating our 5 year anniversary, sans toddler. Should be a good time, reunion with grad school friends and a nice trip together to remember why we like each other
  • I'll try to upload a pic or two.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Money Money Money Haiku Friday

I've been selling stuff
Mostly old toys, baby clothes
Stuff we have outgrown


I've made one hundred
forty eight dollars so far
Saving for party.


D turns three in Oct
A big birthday bash. Bounce house
and eleven kids

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Movie Review: Spotlight

I'm a big fan of the library - in fact, they just moved it to an area right next to the farmer's market in Half Moon Bay, so it's easier to get to and visit. I could spend hours there, but usually I have an impatient toddler so I just run through and grab some books. We usually read a couple while we are there and then we are on our merry way. One awesome thing about this library is the DVD collection. While they are not the latest and greatest, they do have a fun collection and all the kids' DVDs are separated. We recently rented Spotlight, the story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the systematic cover up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. This movie starred Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo as some of the team that uncovered this story. This movie was really well done, I thought. The movie is called Spotlight because that's the name of the in depth investigative report published in the Globe. The story begins with a new editor, (they make a note that he's Jewish) pushing for this story. The editor noticed these stories of sex abuse in the Church and that nothing ever came of them. So the team undertakes investigating all of these incidences and basically uncovers the cover-up in Boston that most likely goes all the way to the Vatican. The movie was very intellectually well done. It's upsetting, but it presents more of the investigation by the newspaper and very few of the people who were impacted (although it does portray a few). The movie has no satisfactory ending (obviously) but shows the value of independent investigations done by journalists. It's very deserving of the accolades it received when it came out and it's pretty fun to see familiar Boston in a movie.

Monday, September 12, 2016


It's funny the things you remember. Some things are seared into your mind. Other things, I can't seem to remember, although I thought I would remember things always. 15 years later, here is what I recall.

I don't think I've ever written about 9/11. I was 23. It seems odd that my recollections of that day would now be a part of history. But I think it's fair to say that 9/11 changed my life and my perspective and basically changed my world. I was living with a boyfriend at the time, K, in the Valley. I worked at Baxter, manufacturing Factor VIII for hemophiliacs. It was a good job, with good people, but a bit boring. I worked noon-10pm, Sunday -Wednesday so my schedule was a little odd. 9/11 was a Tuesday, so I had worked the night before and had probably come home around 10:30-11pm. I usually went to bed around 12 or 1am. It was hard to wind down after a long day at work. K woke me up around 6:30am, CA time (9:30am NY time). He worked an 8-5 job, and I can't really remember where he was working. I have a feeling it was in this somewhat tall building in Woodland Hills, right off the 101. It was the only high rise for miles. I remember being confused, concerned. He told me there was a terrorist attack. My Dad called. He was really worried. He told me there were lots of planes unaccounted for and they thought they were headed to LA next. He wanted me to leave. I don't know why I didn't. I think maybe even then I thought my Dad was over-reacting. I mean, things were happening 3000 miles away, it would be at least 5 hrs till they got here, right? I remember being so confused. Confusion would be the main feeling I felt for a long time. Until the sadness. I don't know if I saw people jump. I do remember the towers collapsing, live on TV. They didn't think they would collapse. The TV anchors at a loss for words. But down they went. I remember asking K if it was safe for him to go to work in the high rise. I think his work was cancelled. I must have gotten a phone call from my shift lead, Nicky. He told me to come in to work. Things were so uncertain, but drug manufacturing stops for no one. It was good, better to be with people. We worked in this place we called the "area". It was actually really awesome. You had to gown in to come into the manufacturing area so our mangers hardly ever came to see us. It was like our own private club with funny bunny suits. Since we were deep inside this building, we got no radio signal. Except for the local Thousand Oaks radio station, it played soft rock/pop and had terrible DJs. When I got to work, the radio was on, but it was playing NPR. Probably the first time I had ever heard NPR, or really listened to it. They were reporting on the WTC, and also the Pentagon and the plane that went down in PA (although no one knew why that one went down at the time). We were glued to the radio, but not much information came out. We were all shell shocked. But we spent so much time together that it was a little bit like being with your family. Everyone was gentle with each other that day. The rivalries were gone for a minute. I don't remember leaving or coming home that night. I have one other distinct memory. K and I were driving and I'm not sure why. It must have been that weekend after 9/11. We were in the Valley, and every street corner had people on it, holding candles, hugging, crying. There were people everywhere. It was very odd. There are never people walking it the Valley. It's just too hot. And people in LA are too busy to walk. It was an odd event. It was lovely to see, but also odd to take in. Like I was witnessing something I shouldn't have. Something I wasn't necessarily included in.
In the following weeks, we listened to NPR more and more. The radio station took forever to switch back to it's terrible music. But eventually it did. And eventually we got back to dancing around to the silly music. Or making fun of the DJs. Eventually, we got back to our own lives.
I remember seeing lists of people missing. Families posting pictures of their loved ones, and all the smiling faces all over downtown NYC. All the victims were young - my age. Just going to work. A regular day. The stories emerged. About the guy taking his kid to kindergarten, so he was late. The other guy who was sick that day. The one who survived out of the many. The first responders. The people leading each other down the stairwells. The acts of heroics. The downing of the plane by the passengers. "Let's Roll". The estimates that tens of thousands of people had died. The reality that many more would have died had the planes been just a little bit later.
After I moved to Philly, I met lots of people who had "just missed" stories. A friend's Dad was on the last train through the WTC before the planes hit. Another friend worked at Columbia (Harlem) and lived in Brooklyn. She had to walk over 100 blocks home since they closed the subways and stopped traffic. So many stories. So many lives changed forever.
I'd like to think that 9/11 inspired me to go to grad school. To expand my horizons. To chase my dreams. But I was already looking forward to grad school. I was already planning to apply. I was already planning my escape, both from drug manufacturing and from my boyfriend, K. I left for Philadelphia in Jun 2003, and I tried really hard not to look back. But I do have to say, even to this day, I look around at my fellow passengers on a plane and I wonder if any could be hijackers. If any want to bring down the plane. I usually don't dwell on that thought. And my flights are so packed that anyone would have a time trying to hijack one, that's for sure.
I'm not sure what the legacy of 9/11 is, other than saying I have lived and grieved through a national tragedy. I remember being a teenager, listening to my family talk about tragedy. Talk about JFK's assassination, about plane crashes or automobile accidents. Crazy stories told from eyewitnesses. "Where were you when....". Those stories always had somewhat of a romantic feel to them. They were far removed from my life, this time. I already knew how they turned out. I wanted to know the gory details, not really thinking how my questions were hurting those I was talking to. Now I know. 9/11 is a scar. It's not always visible. But it's there. And, even now, on the 15th anniversary, the tears for those people are fresh. #neverforget

Thursday, September 8, 2016

D's latest story

One time when I was a baby I went to the forest by myself with my tent and my sleeping bag and my pillow. I heard a mountain lion ROAR and I didn't run away. I followed him to the store and he put on some clothes. And then we ate chocolate ice cream.

Book review: A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown

I borrowed this book from Randi a few weeks ago. I've heard her talk about this book and I've seen it on several "must read" book lists, so I dug right in. This book is insane. This woman's life is insane. There are not words to do this justice, trust me. The book begins with Cupcake finding her mother dead in their house. Prior to this, it sounds like she had a pretty normal life - it all changes with her mother's death. She quickly find out that her father is not her father - he's her stepfather. Her real father wants the money associated with her mother's death but does not want her. So, she ends up in a foster home where the foster mother beats her and just basically wants the money for raising her. She ends up running away (at age 11), hitchhiking around town and prostituting herself. Oh, this is after she is raped by her foster mom's nephew. The story gets worse and worse - she ends up in a gang, doing drive-by shootings, robbing people, sometimes having a job, sometimes not. She gets heavily into alcohol and drugs, gets shot, moves from place to place scamming people and living in filth. About 500 pages into this book, she ends up living behind a dumpster, turning tricks and smoking crack. She eventually sees herself in the window of a shop and can't believe what she sees. She decides to pray and ask for help and the little voice in her head says to her to go to her boss (somehow she did have a job - a pretty good one, too) and ask for help. Her journey out of the pits of hell is a memorable one. She goes to rehab, joins AA, gets a sponsor and asks for help. Lots and lots of help. She goes back to school, takes 5 years to get her AA, then goes to state school to get her bachelor's degree. Her dream is to apply to law school and she works her butt off to get into law school. The end of the book, she is graduating from law school, surrounded by the people who love and support her through it all. This book is stunning. Unbelievable. Inspirational. Heartbreaking. I highly, highly recommend it.
As an aside, this book also appealed to my teacher side: Cup talk about getting into law school (just one) because the school decided to look at her WHOLE application instead of just the numbers from a test or her GPA. I found this incredibly informative - perhaps one of the reasons we are losing non-traditional students and minorities in school is because of this absurd system of blanket tests with required scores. Maybe we should open up a little more, let a few more people in, and then we might be aiding someone like Cupcake Brown who is now serving her community as a lawyer.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Another book

I just finished Gone Girl. I thought it might be a good read, thought it might be a bit of a thriller, a page turner. A little bit different from what I've been reading. It was some of those things. It was definitely not what I expected. It's the first book I've ever read where I hated the characters. I mean, I started the book and I really couldn't stand either of the characters at all. I am unsure why I kept reading the book, except to say that I was interested to see how the characters got out of the situations they put themselves in. I do have to say that it does make you appreciate your life and what you have. But overall, don't read this book. It will only make you angry and it will kinda make you dislike yourself for keeping reading it.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Wknd wrap up

This is what happens when our smoke alarm goes insane
We went to a kids museum on Friday
Fun stuff!
Construction stuff in La Honda - Mana, lemme show you something cool - STEAMROLLER!
Garfield made me think of my Dad

D was off Thurs & Fri so he went to the beach with Dada on Thurs and D & I got donuts & hit the PA kids museum on Friday. Saturday, we hit the farmers market in HMB then headed to a pool party by Alex's boss. Sunday was a chill at home day with Alex riding his bike and me getting ready for the week. We watched Wreck it Ralph (super cute!) and called it a night.

First day of preschool!

In his big new classroom!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Shell Seekers

I've been reading a lot lately. Books, I mean. This year has been beyond stressful, and books can be so comforting and such a lovely escape. I've recently notices that even my usual reading material, namely Facebook, the NYTimes and science news has become incredibly stressful. FB is hard to read because of the sheer numbers of people who post things that I just cannot agree with. I also see too many things that I don't want to see - the bad far outweighs the good on FB these days. I think reading the NYTimes is also stressful - this election, shit blowing up, people being batshit insane - it's just too much. And science, well, I'm stressed out about publishing, finding a job, etc, etc, so it's stressful to see cool science published when I know I have so much on my plate to deal with.
So I started with Harry Potter, naturally. I love that series and I've read it about a hundred times. It was nice to visit the world again, I always notice something new or forgotten. It's like returning to your childhood bedroom again, after all these years.
At my mom's house, I raided her library - always a good idea. She had had these books by Rosamunde Pilcher for years and years. I remember seeing them on our shelves when I was a kid. I hated the way they looked - all flowery and pastel colored. But my mom called them "gentle", which was exactly the type of book I was looking for. So, I came home with a bunch and I've just now finished The Shell Seekers. I'm not actually sure what this book was about. Family, I suppose, is the easiest answer. But it was so much more that that. The book follows Penelope, at the beginning of the book, a grandmother who has just had a heart attack, is returning home after being in hospital. As cliché as is sounds, this book is like an onion. It's only until you reach the end that you see all the ends tied together and all the stories come into one. Penelope's father was an artist, and his art is experiencing a resurgence in the market. She has only three of his works, and two of her children jump on her to sell the works, mostly because they want the money. Only one child, her daughter, Olivia, tells her to do what she wants with the paintings. Olivia is well off, a career woman with no family, and has made her own way in the world. The reader then gets taken on a journey of Penelope's life - her upbringing, her marriage, the birth of her children. She lived through WWII in England, raised children in London. Experienced the Bohemian art scene and the horrors of war. She really is an amazing character. Her children and their stories intertwine with hers, as well as some new characters that she meets along the way. In the end, Penelope herself decides what to do with her paintings, and the whole story ends quite satisfactorily.
Once I got into this book, I couldn't put it down. But I can't exactly tell you why. What the characters do in the story is quite mundane. Penelope is a retired grandmother and had almost always been a home-maker, so all the "action" of the story is the mundane of life - making tea, having a drink, putting the wash out to dry, gardening. The characters, both good and bad, make this story. They are so interesting and mostly likable, that I wanted to sit in a kitchen with most of them and have a cup of tea. The scene descriptions were beautiful - the sounds, the smells, the ambience. It was a lovely read, and just like my mom said, very "gentle".

Monday, June 27, 2016

Wknd pics (2)

My kiddo, the doggie
Sunset at my house, longest day of the year
La Hobda fair - aka hippie party
Watching the Phils beat the Giants - a real treat
Here we are
They win!
Sunset walk

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What have I been up to?

So, it's now nearly 6 months (!) into the new year - where the heck have I been, you might be asking?
Well, here's a little recap:

January: I spent the month mostly trying to recover from too much Christmas spending, and preparing to teach a course at San Jose State University. The class officially started at the end of Jan, so I was struggling to prepare lectures, get the syllabus on track and make sure I understood what the heck I was supposed to do. It was eye opening, to say the least.

February: Man, that month was rough. I started teaching two days a week, MW from 9-10:15. It's a 30 min (at least) commute from Stanford, where I was still working my real job. I re-worked and re-submitted my first first author paper from my current Stanford job. I prepared lectures, quizzes, and group work, wrote an exam, and tried to get the hang of teaching. My class was great - I loved the students and I got a ton of energy from them. But man, it's hard. I also had a miscarriage. That really sucked. A lot. Actually, words don't really do it justice. I dropped my phone in the toilet. I lost all the pictures from Christmas in CO, and everything from Jan. And I had to buy a new phone. There goes $700 down the drain. Literally. I also went home to celebrate my Dad's birthday and little Christa's bday (they share the same bday). It was so nice to see family and just hang out and chill. And we stopped off at Madonna Inn on the way home, which is really spectacular. You should go.

March: March was mostly hunker down and survive mode. It rained a ton. D got a big boy bed. We worked a lot. My first first author manuscript from Stanford was accepted. My manuscript from my graduate work at Penn that took 10 years to get submitted was reviewed and resubmitted. We worked a lot. We went to a lot of Easter Egg hunts. My parents came to visit for Easter and it was nice and mellow. The best Easter Egg hunt we went to was in the forest near our house. It was in a big field with lots of grass. Real eggs were hidden. The volunteer fire department was there, including a bunny in firefighter boots. D got to shoot water out of the fire hose. We took Grandma and Grandpa to the Santa Cruz boardwalk, and it was a blast. D loved the rides and the beach. It was perfect. I wrote another exam. I had Spring Break from SJSU.

April: April was continue the hunker down and work mode. D was starting to get irritated with the early mornings and long days. He started to act out and be upset more and to express his opinion more and more. His eating got more picky and his sleeping got more unstable. He likes to snuggle a lot. He started singing all the time. I gave more lectures, more quizzes, more group work and more exams. I got to know the students more and I actually met with some of them for coffee and encouraged them to pursue the things they were interested in. We went to a birthday party for the kid of an SJSU colleague. My paper from my grad work was accepted and published, officially ending any ties to my old boss and making my resume look pretty nice with two papers in two months. We sent our car to the shop, and they kept it for 2 weeks. We were so nervous that they would charge us a ton of money, but it ended up being only $300 and we breathed a sigh of relief (and it's fixed - hooray!).

May: I continued teaching, writing one last final exam and giving out extra credit points like candy. We went to the SF zoo, which was pretty cool. It was the first time D went to the zoo and I think he really liked it. D barfed one morning on the way to school, so we ended up going home. He actually helped me hose down his car seat and was a really helpful boy to me. Hard to believe he's growing up before my eyes. He's getting more used to our crazy odd schedule. He sleeps better, and kinda eats better, at least at school. He's still clingy and doesn't want me to leave when I drop him off. He wants to wear underwear, but has yet to go on the potty. He just holds it. I am hoping this is temporary. I take him to SJSU one day and then to the Children's Discovery Museum, where his greatest delight is either the full (real) fire truck in the entrance, or the empty dancing room playing lots of different kinds of music. He runs and dances and plays in that room for a long time. We went to the beach, watching people ride horses up and down it. We fed the ducks at the pond. We baked brownies. Last week, we went to the airport to pick up Uncle Taylor and Cousin K. D absolutely loves K and followed her every move. We went all over SF - Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, Hard Rock Cafe, Ghirardelli Square, Chinatown, cable car. It was a fun day. We spend two days at the beach, checking out a really good seafood place and the warmer lagoon in Half Moon Bay one day and then the real HMB beach another. We showed them the redwoods and the cliffs and the beach and Stanford. And our house drain clogged, so Alex and Taylor got to play fix it kids. It was a nice visit, but a little exhausting. And now, here I am - last day of the month. I still need to post grades, but the semester is over. I'm exhausted, both physically and emotionally. And I'm so glad I don't have to make that commute down to SJSU anymore. I am looking forward to a few weeks here in lab, writing and doing experiments to hopefully getting out two more papers this year. Keep your fingers crossed. I'll try to post some pics of our adventures.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Some cute pics

This is one of our neighbors' decorations. Yes, Santa is on a toilet on water skis
Making cookies
Climbing on mama
Naturally my husband on the roof
Checking out the monkeys at the zoo
His first ride!
On the carousel
Destroying the house per usual 
Waiting for the airplane 
I got to run on Christmas!
Tackling pop-pop
Goofing with Uncle Taylor

That's all for now...more later