Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sophie's 1st Christmas

I am constantly amazed at how quickly time is moving. Sophie turned 2 months old on Christmas. The ten months I was pregnant seemed so discreet--now, time just blurs together. I can't believe how big she's gotten, especially compared to Tim's cousin's twin sons. They are about three weeks old and weigh five pounds each. Sophie sitting next to them looked like a giant baby!
Thank goodness she's been healthy too. A nasty intestinal bug is going around, and my mom, Amy, and Jen all got it Christmas night. A whole bunch of people on my mom's side got it too, including my pregnant cousin. Poor thing--she went in for fluids and ended up with a c-section. She wasn't very dilated, and I asked her on Christmas if she had been having contractions, and she said no, so I think breaking her water (and thus starting the delivery clock) was the wrong choice by her doctor. But, I'm no doctor yet, so I can't really have too much of an opinion yet.

Anyway, Christmas Eve at Tim's side was nice. It was a bit sad--this is the first Christmas his Grandma is in a nursing home and couldn't be there. But with all of the babies around, people seemed to be focused on happy things.

Christmas day was a total blur. We hit 9 AM mass--and Sophie was kind enough to have a giant poop just before mass started. That was fun. Then we had brunch at his parent's house, went to my mom's side for a while, went to my dad's side, and then went back to my parent's house. The flu bug was really starting to hit Amy hard (with Jen and my mom soon after) about 9 PM Christmas night, so we left about 9:30. And luckily (knock on wood) Tim, Sophie, and I are ok. It sounds like the virus that put me in the hospital five years ago Christmas, so I am really hoping we get passed by this round.

I've been home again this week. I was planning to go into lab, but Ossama wasn't in last week and couldn't show me where all the bacteria and transformation stuff got moved to, so I have to wait for him. And I can guarantee that since Dr. B is not coming in this week, neither is Ossama. And I can't really blame him.

I've got to get organized to give lab meeting on January 4th. It'll force me to really re-focus on my project. And I'm still trying to push forward on the paper from Frank's lab. The postdoc really wants to add a few more experiments, but I really need it out. We'll see if I can convince him.

I can't believe it's almost new year's. I'm working on a little resolution/retrospection post--we'll see if I actually get it done any time soon.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Back to work

Well, I've been transitioning back to work this week. It's had ups and downs. It's really hard to leave Sophie every morning (hence why, with the exception of today, I get into work about an hour later than I originally planned.) But once I get into work, it's not so bad. I still miss her, but I know she's ok with my family. And it is nice to have conversations with other people--I really missed getting the dish with Ming and Kim.

And I have to say: Dr. B is being surprisingly human. Almost nice. I was reserving judgement until this morning--we had our big meeting about where I'm at and where I'm headed. And it went as close to "well" as it ever does. Really, I was pleasantly surprised. And he was also a bit clearer about the timeline in the lab. He said this grant should run until the summer, and he put in the renewal and is writing another grant, and we should know about those about the time this grant runs out. So, as long as I can get my butt out by summer (or at least be in the home stretch), I should be good.

And if I can make a concentrated effort to be more efficient--not necessarily come in 7 days a week, just be better about what I spend time on--I think there's a chance I could be done by then. I still have a lot of experiments to run. A whole lot. But I'm going to give it a shot.

So yep, that's how things are going here. I definitely wouldn't day I'm happy to be back in the lab, but I'm happy about it in the sense that the sooner I get these experiments going, the sooner I'm done and can go back to med school, and then the the sooner I finish everything and can have a real job (hopefully one where I get some family time).

It's weird to be back. And I'm having a bit of Sophie-missing right now. But I am working through it, and I know it'll work out in the long run.

I'll try to post again before Christmas, but just in case I don't, have a Merry Christmas! (Oh, and as for the picture picking of the previous post--I ordered both and sent them out randomly. The votes between the blog and the family were 50/50, so I just couldn't pick!)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Vote for the Christmas pics

OK, one of these two will be Sophie's Christmas picture for her card. I wasn't thrilled with how my pics came out--the ones with the flash look washed out, and the ones with no flash looked dark or blurry--but she started fussing, so I didn't get as many shots as I wanted, and I didn't have a lot of time to adjust the lighting. I'll know better for next year.

So, I narrowed it down to a few, and by family vote, it seems to be down to two. I want to order them Monday or Tuesday so I can actually attempt to get cards out near Christmas. So, let me know which one you like better, top or bottom:
Thanks for the help!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mixed feelings

Wow, time sure flies. It's been a busy few weeks. Sophie is six weeks old now, which is just amazing. She's holding her head up, smiling, tracking movement, and responding to sounds. She's also grown like crazy--she's almost too long now for her 0-3 month clothes (apparently, experienced moms know that all clothes run smaller than the size it says. If most babies are only in 0-3 month clothes until they are six weeks old, why not call it 0-6 week?)
I had my six week postpartum checkup last week. Things looked good, and Sophie was super calm during the entire appointment. She did have three good poops--all loud enough that my doctor even commented on her prolific bowel habits--and of course, it was the one time she pooped through her clothes when I didn't have a spare outfit in the diaper bag. Luckily, I took Sophie up to the lab, Ming kept an eye on her for ten minutes, and I ran out to the car to get the emergency outfit. It was nice to see Ming. Kim was out, and so was Ossama, so things were deathly quiet. In another sign of how the lab is winding down, I moved my desk while I was there. We don't have individual rooms for labs in the building I am in, just large sections with rows of parallel lab benches. Our lab had taken up eight benches, with mine the last one before the next lab started. Since our lab is getting smaller, and the adjacent lab is getting bigger, it was time for me to move. It's just another omen, I think, that the lab won't be around much longer. Ming seemed to think we'd be done by June.

I met with my boss too. He was actually pretty human--his first grandchild was born a few weeks ago, and that may have softened him up. He still said I need to put in double time to get done (that's the standard speech). But I think he's accepted the fact that there's no way I'll be done by the time the lab dissolves. I'll just have to finish up somewhere else.

We agree that I'll be back in the lab starting a week from today. That's depressing, which I'll get back to, but I've been too busy to think about it. Sophie's baptism was yesterday, and getting ready for the party had me booked. My parents were nice enough to let us use their house--ours is big enough, but most of our furniture is still at the old house, so there wasn't anywhere for people to sit. Plus, we didn't have to worry about containing the dog when people were over. It was just easier.
So last Tuesday, we planned all day. Wednesday was my doctor's appointment, plus the stop at the lab. Thursday we went shopping for groceries and party supplies (and Tim had to come bail me out when Sophie had a meltdown in the grocery store. That was an experience). Friday was cleaning day. Saturday we cooked huge amounts of soup--we decided to order a big Subway sub and make a bunch of soups for crock pots. Well, Saturday we made huge batches of chicken soup (two kinds), ham and bean, chili, and potato soup. I mean, we had gallons of soup. For each. We cooked the soups, let them cool, and then poured them into gallon Ziploc bags so we could fit them all in the fridge. Some of the soups filled three one-gallon bags with some left over. We could've fed an army!

Luckily, we only invited family (and on somewhat short notice, since I passed out the invites on Thanksgiving), so we only planned for fifty at the most. We had freezing rain that day, but we still had forty people show. The food went over well, with barrels of leftovers, but we passed it out and froze the rest. It worked out well.

As I mentioned, I've been too busy to think about going back to work. Well, it hit me this morning. I woke up and realized that in one week, I'll be at work. And I cried. And then I decided to do something I hadn't done since I've been home: nothing. I had a house to clean, thank-you notes to write, and a whole laundry list of other chores. But I decided to ignore them. Instead, Sophia and I spent the whole day together--physically together. We stayed in the bed, I cleared off a few movies on the DVR, and we snuggled. She slept on me, I'd feed her when she got hungry, and we just cuddled. And it was one of the most fantastic days of my life.

Tim came home for lunch and brought the picnic up to the bed. I got teary again thinking about not being home, but he helped me get through it. It's just overwhelming to me how much I've come to love this little person in six weeks. Things are tough sometimes--she had a particularly fussy week last week, which was no fun--but I've loved being home with her. I couldn't do it for the rest of my life. I know that. But six weeks is not enough. I need a few months, I think, to really be ready. She grows before my eyes everyday, and the thought of missing out tears me up. The only thing that makes me know it'll be ok is that I'm leaving her with my mom for a while. If I had to drop her off at daycare for my first day back at work, I think I'd break down.

I'm so thankful my mom is going to watch her for a while. We can only pay her what we put aside for day care--not very much on a weekly basis--but she's going to cope with it for a little while. She's looking for a part time job too, but I'd feel horrible if she had to work a whole bunch of hours in addition to being our day care full time. She's volunteered to do it, but she shouldn't have to work seven days a week just to help us out. I wish I could afford to pay her like a nanny so she wouldn't have to work. That'd be awesome. But we just don't have it. We're actually raiding a little of our savings to do it until the house sells (two mortgages plus daycare isn't happening just yet). That's why we have savings in the first place though. It's not a ton, but it's enough until summer, when hopefully the other house will sell and it won't be an issue any more.

Yeah, the old house not selling is anxiety for another day. Honestly, I've been too busy (and too anxious about going back to work) to think about it. We're going to take a bath on it, no matter what, but that's life. If I had it to do over again, I don't know if I would've moved. Maybe not right now, at least. But maybe I would have--this house was just such a steal, we might never have found a deal like this again. I dunno.

But anyway, I just wanted to let people know we're still alive. I'm going to savor as much of this last week home with Sophia as I can. And my sister is coming home from California on Sunday for the holidays. I can't wait for her to meet her niece. Hopefully my whole immediate family can have a dinner together. That's what I love about holidays--the family time. I don't need gifts or anything. Seeing my family together is all I could ask for.
(the proud parents and godparents: Me, Tim, Joe, Jen, and Sophie)


(Jason snuggling with his niece)