Tuesday, May 29, 2012

19 months

19 months old today!

19 months and snuggling with Daddy and Joseph. We love Saturday mornings!

Abigail hit a lot of milestones leading up to her 19 month birthday.
  • She started sleeping through the night!
  • I weaned Abigail
  • She has a mouth full of teeth--including molars on top and bottom.
  • Abigail had her endoscopy procedure at Fairfax hospital. It breaks your heart to see them put such a little person under general anesthesia, but she did great. The report was that everything looked normal in terms of structure. They then conducted some biopsies with results to come in the future. Abigail charmed the recovery nurse, who I thought was going to try to take her home with her.
  • Abigail still doesn't want to eat, but thanks to new straw/sippy cups from Grandma Donna, she is really starting to drink the Pediasure.
  • Abigail loves going to Joseph's soccer and t-ball practices where she can play in the nearby playgrounds and make friends to her heart's content.
  • Abigail calls the moon "moona" which is a mix between moon and luna, the Spanish word for moon which we often use in a little song
  • Abigail loves peek-a-boo. If you ask "Where is Abigail?" she will hide behind her hand. If you make a surprised noise, she will laugh and laugh.
  • Marc was out of town a lot this month. Once he was calling to check in, and I told her that Daddy was on the phone. She said, "Hi Marc"
  • Abigail started using the word "awesome"
  • Her vocabulary amazes me.  Like when she used the word "ocean." Where does she learn this stuff?
  • Abigail requests "Ella" on the cd player--which refers to Ella Jenkins. 
  • Abigail loves yes and no questions. When she answers yes, she has this excited lilt in her voice like she is so happy to tell you yes. It is hard to describe--I've got to get a video of it!
  • Abigail loves our neighbor Bob's dog, Surprise. Abigail goes outside and stands by the fence to see him and squeals in delight.
  • After school, Joseph and Abigail play in the backyard--Abigail's favorite time of the day (especially since I have been doing much more laying around than playing lately--Abigail relys on Joseph for fun)
  • Abigail carries around a little quilted zoo box and calls it her "purse"  Anything with handles is a purse to her.
  • She learned to like nursery at church on Sundays. Her first week she went right in happy as could be, without looking back. (Joseph had gone in happy to nursery and I assumed Abigail would too since they share such a social nature).  The nursery workers told me she started crying when sevearl other kids came who were crying.  It is a big nursery (28+ kids), with a strict schedule (play rotation, music rotation, snack rotation, craft rotation), and even color coded groups assigned by age.  That takes some adjusting to when you're a little one.  (I am reminded that Joseph's nursery in Blacksburg was just a few children). The first week Aunt Rachel was volunteering in nursery so that helped a ton. The next week, Abigail found a man (who reminds me of my brother Andrew) and pointed to him and adopted him throughout nursery.  After one more week of intermittent sadness, I decided to stay with her the whole time. The next week she seemed happy (after discovering the free play room that holds books and puzzles)--she found a copy of "Good Night Moon" and a willing soul to read it to her and she was in heaven.

Wearing Daddy's shoes

ALWAYS reading!

May 5, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Night, night baby

As I am on the blog trying to catch up, I had to stop and capture what is happening at this very minute.

Abigail took a Fisher Price "little person" and just put him in the bed of a firehouse toy and started singing "Night night baby" to him. Still in her jammies, she has been wearing her sun hat off and on all morning.  She puts it on when she is ready to go play in the backyard or at the park.  She loves to be outside! 

May 28, 2012

18 months

It was bedtime before I realized I hadn't snapped an 18-month picture of Abigail. So, here she is 18-months and ready for bed.  At 18-months, Abigail is still not sleeping through the night, but is really starting to talk. In the middle of the night when she wakes up crying, the minute I walk in her room, she says "Hi Mommy" with the biggest smile and most awake, cheerful voice. She says "thank you" unprompted (and in the right context).  If I ask her if she is my girls she says, "Yeah."  Melts me!  At a recent Kaiser visit, she pointed to each car in the garage and said, "car" as we passed. One of her favorite places is still Costco, which sounds like "caco" when she says it. 

  • She holds my hand as we walk down the sidewalk--she even reaches for my hand (finger) 
  • She blows kisses to say good night.
  • I have taken Abigail on some bike rides--she is relatively  happy in the trailer, but doesn't love the helmet.  We have been riding Joseph to school, and I even rode with Abigail to her music class.  Abigail loves music class--running around the room, dancing to the music,  playing the instruments. She is less interested in sitting for the circle time activities.
  • Abigail spits out food or medicine if she doesn't want it; feeding her continues to be one of my big frustrations in life. We visited a gastroentologist for the next set of tests and procedures.  Boo!
  • Abigail has started going down the stairs.
  • She loves the park and would spend as much time there as possible.
  • Abigail loves to read. If I sit down, she brings me a book.  When I read her little board book about vehicles, she makes the sounds for each vehicle before I get to that part:  "vroom, vroom" for the truck, "beep, beep" for the car, etc. 
A couple other pictures from our girl:
Abigail will turn any toy or object into a phone

Abigail and I went to Chipotle. She insisted on eating the guacamole herself so we left the restaraunt so she could make the mess at home.  She seemed to enjoy it, but hardly got any food actually in her mouth. 

April 5, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spring Break

Abigail and I have missed Joseph so much this school year during the day. We've been counting down until spring break when we could have all kinds of adventures together.  I was pretty disappointed once I realized that our spring break plans would have to be toned down a bit to accomodate Baby O. 

An egg hunt with ward friends at a local park.
Joseph loved hunting for eggs. My favorite? When he found an egg filled with raisins, and decided to leave it for the next person and instead find one filled with candy.
Little Abigail was the next one to come along.  Raisins or candy--doesn't matter to her, she isn't going to eat either. She was just excited to find a couple eggs to hold onto!

After the hunt, we had a picnic lunch and I continued my tradition of not being able to get a good picture of these two together!
Another day we visited the Potomac Overlook Nature Center. This is one of our favorite spots in Arlington. There was a planet walk along the path to the building, and Joseph really surprised me with how much he knows about the planets. Apparently they did a unit on them at school, and apparently they really are teaching true information in kindergarten! 

At the end of the week, Joseph went to another nature center and hike with Aunt Rachel and then they came back for our traditional "Time of Jesus" dinner for Easter weekend.

Joseph got to have a playdate at Jakson's house (and Abigail got to have a nap date) while I went for a doctor's appointment. Joseph accompanied me for Abigail's doctor's appointment and to Costco--the everyday stuff he has missed all year. He also had soccer and t-ball practice during spring break. We made a visit to Toys R Us where Joseph bought a lego set with his own money. And on Saturday, we went with Marc to the Peirce Mill and Estate within Rock Creek Park and had a picnic and played frisbee and ball. It was a successful week, afterall, even if toned down. We just enjoyed having Joseph with us all day--like everything was finally as it should be.  Bring on summer break!

April 2-6, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Easter 2012

I really wanted a picture of our darlings on Easter morning.  We gave up trying to get the kids together for a pose--it is impossible to get Abigail to stand still, sit still, or be contained even for the three seconds a photo would take!

Grandma Charlotte sent an Easter package with candy and presents from Missouri--much to the delight of the children. Our neighbor Bob brought over a bunny cake to share. We went to church in the morning and heard some beautiful music. And Abigail had her first day of nursery!

Handsome boy! Doesn't he look so grown up?

Abigail in her new dress courtesy of Grandma Donna.
Aunt Rachel and Mark & Meg kindly invited us to join their Easter dinner party.  As always, a party at their house feels like you have stepped into a Martha Stewart magazine.  Tables on the deck overlooking beautiful greenery, draping lights strung above, clear glass carafes, and light yellow linens. Beautiful.  Then, there are the guests. Marc said it was like a New York Times article.  First, "Matt the actor" as he is called in our household. Matt is a professional actor, who is currently in a production of 1776 at Ford's Theater.  Also, an U.S. Senate staffer, someone who works in lobbying firm, someone who runs a Chinese language program at a posh private school, and someone who owns a new gourmet food truck. Marc and I with our two munchkins represent the "regular folk" among these superstars.

Marc and Joseph went for dinner; Abigail and I joined later for visiting. The sweet little baby currently occupying my body doesn't even like to be around the eating of food.  We are so grateful for the generous invitation.  It was destined to be a scrambled eggs Easter at our house!

April 8, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grandma Charlotte

The kids had a great time with Grandma visiting. She brought Joseph new books--and he read his first "chapter book" while Grandma was here. And she spent hours with Abigail at the park--Abigail was in heaven. She also helped me decipher an adorable Abigail phrase, "There it is."  It was fun to see Abigail and my mom get to bond. And of course, Joseph is always happy to see Grandma Charlotte.

March, 2012

Comprehensive Exams

This semester I didn't have classes, I had the dreaded comprehensive exams. Most PhD programs have a version of these exams with various requirements. In my program, the exam consists of two days of examination--in a room by yourself for eight hours each day, writing and writing.  The exam was divided into two days: theory and research.  We had to be able to address debates within the profession from journal articles we'd read about throughout the program, apply theories to social problems, create research designs including (both qualitative and quantitative), and answer obscure questions from lectures we had any point in the program.  It was definitely the most terrible experience of my academic/professional life.  My friends and I studied for months ahead of time (this is why you don't take classes the semester you sit for comps), but you can't know exactly how to prepare.  And the worst part is that not everyone passes. If you don't pass, you get one more shot and then it is over! Some people even walk out of the exam because if you don't turn in the exam before the time period, it is considered that you never took it.  All of this was building up some pretty serious anxiety.

Sleepless nights, days of cramming, and feeling on edge most of the time.  Then, I started feeling nauseous. And exhausted. Wait! Were all of these symptoms really related to this exam? Indeed not. I was pregnant!  I found out the weekend before comps.

My angel mother flew in on Sunday. Originally, we planned for her to watch the kids while I crammed the first part of the week and then took the exams on Wednesday and Thursday. But, instead she watched the kids while I lay in bed trying to keep the morning sickness at bay. I did get some studying in, but it was tough.  She also listened to me start crying because I was terrified: how I was going to be at the top of my game and survive (much less pass) this exam when I was so sick? As always, mom was a great comforter and cheerleader and told me I could do this (and reminded me I started this PhD as a hobby and not to forget that it isn't the most important thing in the world). 

On exam days, mom sent me with food to munch on continually and the reminder that it would all be over soon. I can't say it was better than I expected; I think it was actually worse. The exam was trickier than I had hoped. But you know what? I survived! And I will always have the memories of putting my head down on my desk for a moment's rest and muching to keep nausea at bay.  This baby will be a part of my PhD. experience, for certain. 

When I finished the second day, Mom and the kids had decorated the house with signs, treats and a tres leches cake to celebrate. Mom and I went out to dinner (where I was halfway through my falafel when I realized I was not eating a gyro--and I really started to worry about the state of my brain for that test!!)

Thanks to my mom for all of her help and support that week, thanks to Donna for all of the babysitting leading up to that week, thanks to Rachel for letting me sleep at her house that week so I could sleep through the night on the exam nights instead of waking up with Miss Abigail.  I have such a wonderful support network to help me. Thank you all.

And, guess what? I did pass!  And literally started sobbing when I got the message. What a relief!
March 22-23, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

We're having a baby!

Sometime around November 8, another bundle of joy will join our family.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Our sweet Joseph in pain but carrying on!
The soccer season started and ended for Joseph on the same day.  During his first game, he broke his thumb!  Passionate Joseph was out there playing his little heart out when someone kicked the ball right into his hand.  It broke his thumb, but of course we didn't know that. Marc sent him back in the game; I told the woman sitting next to me, "Well, Joseph can be a bit dramatic."  Nice parents, eh?

 Joseph finished the game--in pain, but trying desperately for that elusive goal. I'm sure his team is really going to miss him since he appeared to be the only kid on the whole team who wanted to be there. The other kids had to be persuaded by their parents to go onto the field. One teammate was afraid of the ball--and the one time she finally kicked it, she kicked it toward the wrong goal.  Poor Joseph was really the only one on his team playing.  In fact, after the child from the opposing team kicked the ball and hit Joseph's thumb, he turned to Joseph and said, "I'm playing against YOU!"   

Go Revolutionaries!
We actually didn't take Joseph in to urgent care until Sunday afternoon because we didn't think it was broken.  He is in a hand cast for six weeks: no sports, no P.E., no recess. He was sorely disappointed to miss out on both his soccer and t-ball seasons. But they let him play games on the ipad during recess.  Thank goodness for technology.

April 21, 2012