Monday, December 18, 2006

OK, here are some pictures!!

Leia with her new Hanukkah guitar (courtesy of Jeff's father).

And in her favorite hat (that she never seems to actually NEED due to global warming)

Monday, November 06, 2006

If you've got time on your hands...

Try these:


These are addictive. I'm currently stuck on level 35. I won't let Jeff play lest he zoom past me and ruin the fun for me. (As he tends to do with puzzles and, well, games in general, but that's another story.)

Don't blame me if you get sucked in.

Monday, October 30, 2006

She Blinded Me With Science!

This week on VH1 they're doing the Top 100 Songs of the 80s. Ahhh...I've died and gone to 80s heaven. If you're a sucker for all things 80s like Yours Truly, I highly reccommend!!

sick baby :(

Yesterday evening Miss Leia (who has had a cold with ear infection for the past few days) started wheezing and developed a fever. Today we found out that she has a case of bronchiolitis (totally guessing on the spelling) and is going to need to take medication via nebulizer for 10 days. Fantastic. Brought home the machine this morning after doing one round in the office. She is not exactly crazy about it - she has to wear a little mask and breathe in the meds for 10 minutes or so every 6 hours. She's out of day care for the week, too. I'm supposed to have a phone meeting with one of my committee people this afternoon, and Jeff is working from home so he can watch L for me while I do that. Leia herself is doing realtively well otherwise - the fever broke, and she's eating and playing as usual, so at lease she is not too miserable. Am getting used to the fact that this week is going to be totally derailed for me. Makes me wish I'd been more productive with writing last week when I actually had the time. Blargh.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

One down...

One to go! Got one professor on the committee, now I just need one more...

Monday, October 16, 2006


OK, so it's not exactly a weekly update, but cut me some slack, I'm entirely self-motivated here (or non-motivated, as the case may be).

Operation: Form Committee is underway. Currently I am on a reconnaissance mission to find out which professors are good to work with and which ones I ought to aviod. I'm drawing up a list of people to ask and have been gathering courage and little pep talks here and there. And, I am learning all sorts of little details about what you can and can't do as far as committees go at my school that I am wondering why I never knew before, but that's another story...

I can't wait until this part is over.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ugh, I have to deal with the D thing.

OK, so I really enjoy blogging about the Mommy thing, and apparently about my backyard as well (which is finally fenced on all sides, btw - very nice to have boundaries!) but I think I need to focus a bit more on the All-But-Disstertation stuff. And this is why:

I need to select a committee. For those who may not know, that entails asking two professors (I already have a chairman) to serve on the committee for my dissertaion. I am petrified of doing this. Absolutely petrified. It's classic fear of rejection, and not particularly rational of me, but it's there and I am having a lot of trouble working up the courage to ask professors to be on the committee.

I'm putting this out here to help me move past it. I figure the more I talk (type?) about it the more likely I will be to just shut up and do it. Afer all, I'm not going to get very far without a *&^%# committee!!! So I am going to update this blog weekly in regard to this Committee Conundrum I seem to have. There, I have set my intentions. I shall now go forth and eat some breakfast.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Far too long

Good grief, I can't believe I negelected my poor little blog for so long :(

Well, life is increasingly chaotic so there is lots to blog about. We made the decision recently to put the little one in day care three days a week, since the babysitter thing was not quite working for me (Turns out I can't stand having to hide out in my own house). If I ever expect to become something other than ABD I need to find a way to get more time to work, and this made the most sense. So far it's working out OK, except for when I drop her off and she says things like, "No, Mommy, I want you! Stay with me!" But yesterday I picked her up and she started to tell me about some of the other kids in the class ("I play with Ka-tee-na!") so I think that's a good sign.

And, tomorrow we're celebrating Leia's second birthday! I went full-on girly and bought her a play kitchen. I went nuts over the &*(%$ kitchen. I compared countless models over the course of 2 months or so, and then when the one I finally ordered got delayed I cancelled it and went out and got a more expensive one so I could at least get it in time. She's 2, for crying out loud. She'd be thrilled if we got her balloons and a bucket of acorns for her birthday. But I digress... Later tonight I'm going to stock it with fake food and she'll see it when she goes downstairs in the morning. I'm ridiculously excited about it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tenacious Trees

Unbelieveably, the cherry trees are sprouting new leaves. I thought for sure they were as good as dead, because those beetles ate every last green part off of them. Yay trees!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


It's crazy how tired I've been these past few days. Between "Jeff-Lag" (due to lack of sleep from husband's crazy annual roleplaying weekend event) and this heat I feel like a total slug. On the positive side I got myself a shiny new academic calendar that with any luck will be my last.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Japanese Beetle Attack!!!

First they had to recover from the shock of being planted, and now my pretty new cherry trees are being eaten alive by stupid Japanese beetles. Apparantly they can't resist nice juicy fruit trees. Yesterday afternoon I found them crawling all over both trees, munching away, leaving skeletal leaf remnants in their wake. I went to the plant nursery and they said I should try setting a trap, since I'd prefer to avoid spraying pesticides all over my yard. I just put it out. It smells like cloves. It had better work.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Well, today I finally had a meeting with my dissertation chair. It's only been, oh, three years or so since I last saw him in person. Anyway, it went well, and he has 2 little ones that are very close in age (think Cocking Family child spacing) so he totally understands why I've been progressing so slowly. He thinks I have a decent draft underway and if all goes well I could propose this fall. And then all I have to do is collect data, and analyze it, and write it all up and defend it! No problem! Despite the mild sarcasm I am actually feeling encouraged. I really will do this and be finished sometime in this lifetime.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Go Away!

Yesterday morning when I told Leia it was time to have her diaper changed, I was told:

"I don't want. Go away!!"

She had a devious grin on her face when she said it.

Seems I'm getting some pre-two-year defiance. Fabulous. Of course I thought her antics were hysterical, which probably didn't help the situation.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Photo Onslaught

Wanted to post more pictures from the musuem...

Here's Leia driving a tractor and pretending to eat some corn:

And shopping (she needed lots of lemons, apparently)

And harvesting vegetables:

Great, fun place. I took her twice over the course of the weekend, since she loved it so much and the place is small enough that I could basically let her run loose and entertain herself. I hear there is something similar in New York. I'd totally be up for a field trip!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Scary story

I won't sleep unless I write about this.

I woke up just before 5AM this morning in our hotel in Philly. I looked over and saw Jeff fast asleep, and then I rolled out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. Now, we stayed in a suite (sweet!), and the bathroom had two doors. I was going through the bathroom to get into the next room where Leia was sleeping so I could check on her. There were no lights on, so it was pretty dark, but I could see where I was going. To my horror, I saw a person standing right in front of me, blocking the other door. And the person was moving toward me. And it was *not* Jeff, as he was sleeping in bed behind me. I ran back to the bedroom screaming. Jeff jumped up immediately, started screaming louder, and ran through the bathroom to check on Leia. He found her safe, so he stopped screaming and came back into our room. I was on the bed shaking. "What's wrong???" he asked. I asked him to turn on the lights and told him I thought I saw someone in the bathroom. Then the phone rang. (Just to add to the extreme spookieness.) It was the front desk, wanting to know if we were okay. I imagine it sounded like somebody'd been murdered or something. We scooped Leia out of her Pack 'N Play and put her in our bed, right between us, where she immediately went back to sleep. Neither one of us slept much more after that, though.

Jeff told me later that his worst fear is that something happens to Leia in the middle of the night, and that I find her and then come get him in hysterics. So that is why he started instantly screaming and running to her. I still don't know what I saw in that bathroom. A ghost? My mind playing tricks? Who knows. All I know is that I can't remember ever being more scared.

Many Leias

Just got back from a trip to Philly (Wizard convention) and I took Leia to a wonderful kid's museum called the Please Touch Museum. I am too tired to go into all of the details now but I wanted to post my favorite picture.

I'll write more about it after I've had some sleep...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Trees please

Having been in this house for 2 whole years, I decided it's time to get outside and do some landscaping in our little ol' yard. We bought all sorts of nice shrubs and plants and five nice-sized trees. The trees were being planted this morning, and I was very excited. Then I woke up at 4AM and remembered that I have no idea where the gas line is buried (or the electric, phone, or cable, for that matter). Probably a good idea to find out where that is before the poor tree planter hits a line and my neigborhood explodes or we lose cable or some other disaster. So this morning I called the "Dig Safely NY" people and they are going to have all of the lines marked for me. But I had to cancel the trees and reschedule for Thursday, which is a minor bummer.

On a positive note, our dream of fencing all around is being realized, as we've arranged to share the cost of some fencing we'll share with the people next door. When it's all done we'll have a nice, private, semi-enclosed backyard. And it will have trees!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Poor little geeky baby...

My husband has trained our young one (or should I say padawan???) to ask for Star Wars by name. As in, "Star Wars? Watch Star Wars!" Jeff of course beams with pride and loads up A New Hope immediately. He reads the opening titles to her as if they are a bedtime story. When people get hit by blasters he tells her they are going to sleep. She's obsessed with R2-D2's whereabouts and wants to know "Where D2 go?" whenever he is off-screen.

What's perhaps even sadder is that I am loving this. It's really sweet and funny to watch them together. He finally got his very own Princess Leia.

Monday, May 15, 2006

To sleep, perchance to let Mommy watch Desperate Housewives

Lately my little one has been next to impossible to put to sleep at night. She used to get into her crib, smile, say "Night night Mommy!" and I would gleefully go forth into the world of adults (well, if you consider Jeff an adult, but you get the idea). But for the past week or so it's been "No, Mommy...Read book again! Sit here!" etc. and I've been getting sustained howls of fury should I try to leave before she falls asleep. This is completely unlike naptime, where she usually cries for 30 seconds or so but then gives up and goes to sleep. I've been feeling like I did when she was an infant and I refused to let her cry it out but was at the same time at my wit's end becasue she just too forever to get to sleep. I've taken to begging Jeff to sit in the nursery with his laptop and play World of Warcraft so she stops crying and I get to leave, which works, but it's not his favorite solution. But tonight I seem to have stumbled upon the answer: I told her I had to go potty (true, I really had to pee...) but I'd come back and check on her. (I conveniently neglected to specify when.) Lo and behold, no crying! I heard some "Where Mommy?" on the monitor, but no outraged screams of fury. I'm ridiculously happy right now. Now let's see if it works tomorrow!

Friday, May 05, 2006

So much for gender neutrality

Leia hands me the cart by itself with the little blond dude inside.

"Oh, look, the prince is riding in the hay cart!"


"Yes, he needs a horsey."
Leia digs around for a horse and attaches it to the cart. Then she puts the prince on the horse.

"Oh, the prince will ride the horsey! Who's going to ride in the cart?"

She gets the princess and deposits her into the cart.

"So the princess gets to ride in the hay cart? Where is the prince taking her?"


Yep, that sounds about right.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yes, she's playing Ms. Pac-Man

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Watch my child, please!

Having come to terms with my complete inability to produce decent work in tiny spurts, I decided to hire a babysitter to come watch Leia for two afternoons a week so ABD Mommy can get some writing done. We're in the give-it-a-try-and-see-how-it-goes phase now, but I think it just may work out! Leia seems to like the sitter, and I can't hear too much of the whining for Mama when I'm sequestered off someplace upstairs. Maybe soon I'll get really bold and leave the house. It could happen.

Friday, April 07, 2006

They really are like little sponges...

Last Friday, my daughter's grandmother bought her a red Little Tikes toy shopping cart. Leia loves the thing. She pushes it everywhere, dropping all manner of random objects into the basket, while happily exclaiming, "Shap-pee!" (Shopping, in case you don't speak baby.) Her stuffed animals even get to ride in the front. Great toy.

A few days ago Leia needed to have her diaper changed. Now, she's the kind of child who would gladly wear the same diaper 24/7, so usually she is not happy about a change. This was no exception. Usually I get a barrage of loud NOs when I change her. This time, however, she tearfully exclaimed, "Shap-pee!!! SHAPPEE!!!!"

"What? Leia, you can go shopping after we're done. Now hold still. Stop wiggling! Stop it!"

Later on, I had to wrestle her into her car seat when she clearly wanted to play "owside" instead. Again, instead of No, I got, "Shap-pee!" Except it sounded more like this: "Stap-pee!" Same reaction when I wouldn't let her stand on the kitchen chairs.

"Hmm," I thought, "Maybe she isn't talking about shopping. What's stap-pee?"

That evening as I tried fruitlessly to get her to watch a DVD so I could cook dinner, I became very frustrated with her whining at me to pick her up.

"Leia! No whining!! Stop it! STOP IT!!"


Oh. Now I get it.

Great, baby's first expletive. Granted, it's a mild one, but still, it's weird to hear her speak that way. Of course, now that I understand what she is trying to say it makes a lot more sense. It's pretty funny when I hear her in her car seat telling her Elmo phone to "stop it" when it doesn't do whatever it is she wants it to do. What blows me away is how she clearly picked it up from imitiating yours truly. (I know, duh, but she's my first and I'm making most of it up as I go.) They really do soak up everything you do and say.

I guess if I want her to stop I'll have to stappee as well.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Big surprise here.

You Are 10% Boyish and 90% Girlish

Even if you're not a girl, you're very feminine.
You're in touch with your feelings, and your heart rules you.
A bit of a emotional roller coaster, one moment you're up and the next you're down.
But no matter what, you try to be as cute and perky as possible.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Soooo excited

That we are finally having good weather!

Leia is very happy to finally go "ow-side!" We've been taking walks in the stroller and running up and down the sidewalk and in the yard several times a day. I've procured a sandbox, but there's no sand in it yet so for now that's inside. We also ordered her a Little Tikes swingset/climber thingy that I can't wait to set up. It's been a lovely and much needed change of pace to get out and get some air.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Guitar Hero = Best Game Ever!!!

Jeff came back from a trip to LA last Monday raving about Guitar Hero for PS2, and quickly decided he had to have it. Now, I am a total non-gamer type, but I have to say this game is awesome. You get this fake guitar and you play along to the music, and it's so much fun. Of course Jeff is way too good at it which takes some of the fun out of it for a mere mortal like myself but it's still really cool.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Nerdy Moms Unite?

Saw an article in the local newspaper today about "Punky Moms" (

Punkymoms is an "alternative" Mom's group, the "tattooed, pierced, rock-n-rolling, coffee drinking, cigarette smoking, toy collecting, comic book reading...creative...breast wearing mamas" (You get gist. Look at the website if you want the whole list.)The idea is that you had a certain (punky, presumably) identity before kids, and why should you have to give that up simply becasue you've procreated?

Here's a quote from a member: "They understand if you want to wear black, if your hair is blue, if you want to be all-cloth diapering, or if you want to raise your kid a vegan."

Sounds good to me. More power to you. My question is, where are the Nerdy Moms??? And why are we not better organized? My Google search turned up bupkis. What of the Mommies who are closet Trekkies? Who don't think math class is particularly hard? Who over-intellectualize every parenting challenge because that's how we approach everything else in our nerdy little lives? (Perhaps I should have looked up Trekkie Mom.)

Alas, I am too introverted to take this on as a side project (and there's also that stupid D I am supposed to be writing). Heck, I'd even take Geeky or Dorky Moms, although I've always thought that Nerd was the least offensive of that class of terms.

Maybe I'll just get a tattoo and call it a day.

Thursday, March 16, 2006



OB/Gs and ABDs

So I rewarded myself for writing a WHOLE PAGE this morning by starting this I can write something else, I guess. Something less torturous and more fun.

I went to the OB/GYN for a checkup last week (fun, right?). The doc asked me if I was working or staying at home with my 17-month-old daughter. I said I was at home and was also working on the Big D. She said:

"Oh, wow. I don't know how you do that. I'd rather take a big test any day. I like my hoops to jump through to be specific and defined. That sounds so hard."

Personally, I think med school sounds pretty hard, not to mention residency, but hey, that's me.

She and the nurse mused on and off for the next few minutes about how it must be tough to find time to write, etc., blah blah. Then the nurse asked me, "How can you do that?"

I blurted out, "I can't."

Truthfully, I can't. Not as I've been working up to this point. My writing has been too slow and too in the margins for me to ever get anywhere. And the fact that I seem to think it is not possible is probably not great either.

Ugh, what a downer! I didn't mean for that to happen. But that is my truth right this minute, and I'm sticking to it.