December 31, 2006

Picture of the new year

This picture is of Langmuir Lab in New Mexico. We went to school in Socorro, so we used to hike in the Magdalena's all the time.

December 30, 2006

Six month update, part 2

October, 2006
Our little three-month-old was getting more and more exciting. She could move around a lot by now, and she was starting to get the hang of her body a bit. This month we went to the pumpkin patch to get Halloween pumpkins. We also took an overnight trip to Helena to be houseguests at our friends' new house! Our second overnight trip, and much shorter than the trip to the Tetons. But it was a lot of fun. Z saw her first cats in Helena.

November, 2006
We went to a late Halloween party the first weekend in Nov, and Z dressed as a pumpkin. Aren't most little babies pumpkins? It is so cute though. We went back to Helena for a friend's birthday party the weekend before Thanksgiving. Another successful trip.

For Thanksgiving we had a couple of friends over. Z got some babyfood sweet potatoes. She seemed to enjoy them. We also began sitting her up with support during November. And she experienced her first really cold temperatures. The other exciting thing was her first trip to the hot-springs! We put her in a neato swim diaper and took her in a warm pool. She seemed to enjoy that too, but she doesn't react very strongly in any situation - she's a pretty passive kid.

December, 2006
This month we of course celebrated christmas. But we also celebrated mommy defending her thesis! Z was there for my talk and about half of the questions. Then she got a bit bored and dad took her home.

Z continues to get better and better at sitting up. We both think she'll be mobile soon, which means we'd better get off our own butts and childproof our house! She's becoming more vocal as well, and her laugh is the funniest thing. She kind of coughs out a belly laugh once in a while. Trust me, it is hilarious.

We had a wonderful christmas with lots of toys and new clothes for Z, and a few for us too! We had a lot of snow a few days after christmas, which I took Z out in. It was her first real snowstorm experience. No sledding yet though.

Looking back over the past 6 months, I realize that I don't remember all the gruesome details of the first couple of months, yet I seem to remember more specifics from early-on. I didn't really know what to write for the last three months! Z is growing as quickly as all babies do, and we see new stuff often, but I think my husband and I are getting used to seeing such new things, so they don't seem so awesome. In a way, we are beginning to expect new and interesting developments. I love watching her grow, and it is amazing to think of how small and blob-like she used to be! She is so interactive and interested now! I love my baby. I wouldn't change this experience for anything.

December 27, 2006

Picture of the week - Dec 25

Sorry this is a bit late!

Christmas morning with all the presents! We all had a fabulous time.

December 23, 2006

Six month update, part 1

My daughter is nearly 6 months old. I can't believe the last 6 months have gone by so fast! In the interest of a bit of record-keeping, I am going to summarize those months here.

July, 2006
Enter Z! At 6:15am on July 1st! She wasted no time. We have joked that she really wanted her doctor to deliver her, because she was born ~2 hours before he was leaving town for 4th of July vacation. I was glad of this, because I didn't want a doctor that I wasn't familiar with delivering my baby. It all worked out.

We spent the customary time in the hospital. That was heaven compared with coming home. It was the first time either my husband or I had put a baby in a carseat. We had no idea what was going on. We came home in a daze. I was already sleep-deprived. That first night home from the hospital was the worst. I was in such a state I couldn't sleep for more than about 30 minutes at a time. I would put Z down next to me after feeding her, and then lie awake just knowing that she would wake up any minute hungry again. It drove me nearly insane. My husband isn't too good at waking up in the middle of the night, and at one point that night he was shushing me like a newborn. I had had it at that point and I cried even harder. I spent a lot of those first few days at home crying. I called my mom and cried, and I even cried to my dad on the phone, which I never do. There was so much crying.

Then my mom came and saved us. She cooked and cleaned and held the baby while I slept. Moms really know their stuff. By the time she left we had things much more under control. Sleep was a very precious commodity that first month. But we made it through the first visitors and all was ok. Looking back now I can hardly believe she was so tiny! And, I've got the amnesia setting in, because I can't exactly remember the hardships. I remember that it was very tough and while I was there I swore I'd never have another child. But it is fading... and I'm starting to think more kids would be absolutely wonderful...

August, 2006
The rest of the family came during this month. I also had to get ready for a conference! I made a poster, with copious amounts of my husband's help. I basically put all the things that needed to be on the poster there, and he arranged them and made it look pretty. He's my "art director". The poster was a success! I celebrated my birthday as well, and my father-in-law made me a delicious cake.

August was the least eventful month. Nothing much else happened. Our baby just kept growing and growing. I think this was the month that we figured out breastfeeding (yes it took us that
long!). Z began sleeping longer and we started getting more sleep.

September, 2006
In September we took our first overnight trip! We went to Grand Teton National Park and stayed at the research station there for me to present my master's work at a park colloquium. We were there two nights. We were nervous before leaving, but Z slept like an angel. At that point she was waking up twice a night for food, and I thought that sleeping somewhere different would lead to more frequent wakings, but it was not so! She slept wonderfully, and hence mommy and daddy did too. It was such a fun trip!

Otherwise during September we focused on getting Z on a good sleep schedule - including naps. It took a bit of work, but I think by the end of the month she was taking fairly good naps with no crying involved. That way I could finish my thesis and dad could work on his schoolwork.

December 17, 2006

Picture of the week - Dec 17

This picture is from the Archie Bray Foundation grounds in Helena, MT. It is the inside of one of the old beehive kilns. One of our friends works at the Bray part-time, and we went there and poked around the grounds last February. It was super cool! There are some really weird sculptures and such. It is a really neat artsy place.

Dicked around

I have a couple of things I want to post about, but I'll focus on the most recent first.

Yesterday we went out to buy a new DVD player, since our ~3-yr-old one is crapping out. We went to one of the only media stores in town - a local business (not a big-box store). All three of us went, and we looked at the DVD players and we found the one we wanted, but it had no price sticker on it. This place is basically a showroom, so there aren't boxes there that you can just take to a cash register. So, we stood around waiting for a salesperson to help us. Many other people were being helped. We waited. New people came in, stood right next to us, and got helped. None of the salespeople stopped to help the young couple with a baby.

We stood around for 10 to 15 minutes while others around us got helped. Neither of us was in the mood to push ourselves on the salespeople - feeling as if it is their job to sell to us. However, none of them wanted to deal with us. After about 15 minutes we got annoyed and walked out. I was royally pissed off! We must have talked for the next 20 minutes about how the salespeople were perfectly willing to help the customers who looked like they were ready to spend hundreds of dollars as opposed to a maximum of 100 dollars, and who didn't have any babies in tow. I was even saying, "So much for supporting local businesses!" Usually I attempt to support the smaller locals instead of the big-box stores. I do go to Target quite often, but we try to go to the locally-owned grocery stores, and we go to the local butcher shop, etc. But the electronics store is one local business that I am NEVER patronizing. Seldom have I felt so discriminated against.

December 11, 2006


Blogger beta is having some problems with loading pictures into the sidebar, so no picture of the week on my blog this week. RRRRR

December 10, 2006

Mistress K

I had my thesis defense on Friday, and I passed. So now I guess I have a master's degree. Actually I won't technically have it until May. Because I defended late, I have to wait and graduate in the spring semester. I have some things to edit in my document, and then I have to turn it in to the grad college by January 18. I'm on the home stretch!

I've thought a little bit about what I'm going to do with my blog now that I'm not going to be in graduate school anymore. I'm not going directly into a PhD program - I am taking some much-needed time off. So, the title of my blog won't apply anymore! My husband suggested I should keep writing in this blog, and write about issues other grad students have. A possibility. Or I could switch blogs and write about something else. I'm not sure!

Picture of the Week Dec 10

Happy Holidays! Here is our tree. This picture is hot off the press... I just took it 10 minutes ago. We got our tree yesterday and it has lights and a few ornaments, not many yet. Ahhh, christmas.

December 07, 2006

I made this!

I made this skirt - my first without following a pattern. It didn't take me too long, but it is kind of thrown together. Making all the panels the same length was difficult. Next time I'm going to try a patchwork skirt with squares instead of lengthwise panels. That might be a bit easier. I still think it looks cool! I'm wearing it for my defense tomorrow.

December 06, 2006

"We The Living"

This morning I finished it. I have to say that it was one of the most depressing books I've read thus far. I have a funny love-hate relationship with Ayn Rand. I don't think I'll be reading any more of her fiction.

I think Rand is a fabulous writer. At least, I found 'We The Living' to be well written and engrossing. There were times I couldn't put it down. I have also read 'Atlas Shrugged', and parts of that novel were also engrossing, although I found it got quite boring at times. With both books I found I was compelled not by what Rand would probably want her readers to be compelled by, but by the somewhat secondary plots. I found myself absolutely hating 'Atlas Shrugged' but being driven to keep reading in order to find out what happened between Dagny, Rearden and Galt. A similar thing happened in 'We The Living' between Kira, Leo and Andrei. I'd find myself hungry to find out what happened next in their love-lives, and when I found out I would often scream and throw the book onto the floor. I was engulfed in the love in those two books, which always seemed secondary to Rand's main points, and her philosophy, which is the reason so many people like her work. And the love never failed to let me down. I remember being so upset when Dagny left Rearden for Galt. I was terribly upset when Kira kept choosing Leo even when he obviously no longer cared for her or about her, while Andrei had given her his heart so freely. Kira was drawn to Leo with an overpowering love that could not be stopped, and it was her downfall. She should have seen it!!!!! That is what my mind kept screaming through almost the entire novel. She should have seen Leo for what he was and Andrei for what he was. She should have chosen more wisely! Yet, love is blind. But oh, so depressing.

I didn't particularly enjoy 'We The Living', as I didn't enjoy 'Atlas Shrugged'. I don't like reading Ayn Rand and I won't do it any more. Yet I can see where she is a great writer. Her books do stress me though! I don't want to scream at any more books.

December 03, 2006

Picture of the week Dec 3

This week's pic is of my beautiful baby. Yes it's a funny picture. It's difficult to get a picture of her sticking her tongue out. She turned 5 months old on the 1st!

December 02, 2006

Weight issues

My baby is 5 months old and I haven't lost my pregnancy weight. I've lost some, but not nearly all of it. It is my fault I'm not exercising enough. I understand that. But I am (and have been for a while now) a little upset at practically everything I've read that says that breastfeeding moms lose their pregnancy weight faster than non-breastfeeding moms. Well, I'm breastfeeding, and I was exclusively breastfeeding until a short time ago, and that didn't help me at all. Other things I read suggested that breastfeeding moms would lose most of their pregnancy weight by 6 weeks. Hah! I had lost about 10 pounds by 6 weeks. That was mostly baby and placenta. What is up with all this literature telling me that I should have lost those pounds easily and about 4 months ago? I don't know.

We're looking at gym membership for Christmas. A real gym, not just the university gym. A place where they have childcare. I really enjoy working out with my husband and maybe gym membership would give us this chance. I've been working out on my own since my daughter was born, and while it is fun and satisfying, it's not helping me shed pounds. When we were undergrads my husband and I worked out together all the time, and that kept us both fit and happy. Hopefully we can become a fit and happy family all together.