Thursday, March 26, 2009


I know things have been sporadic on here--bear with me. I know I say it's busy around here all the time, but the last few months have been absolutely nuts. It'll be tough until probably mid April. Once I'm back from my conference, things should settle down. Till then, the updates, in list form:

-We've been making drawings to try and build a deck this summer (it's great having a father-in-law who is a retired carpenter!). However, funding has hit a snag. We were going to apply for a home equity loan, but there are two issues: one, most home equity loans use the 80% rule. They take the current appraised value of your house, figure out what 80% is, and then subtract the balance on your mortgage. Well, home values have dropped since we bought our house. Using the 80% rule, we'd probably only have one or two thousand available to us, which is not nearly enough for a deck. Two, we had a fraudulent charge show up on a credit card we never use. I contested it, but that meant the credit card company put a freeze on our credit report. So, even if we wanted to apply for a loan, they couldn't access our credit report until this other issue is cleared up. Long and short: probably no deck this year.

-Class is going ok, I guess. I'm finally hitting my stride with grading/prepping, which figures. I only have one class left. I've had a few individual issues with students. For example, I have one who didn't write her mid term paper or give her presentation. Together, that's 25% of her final grade. I tried working with her on it, but ultimately, she just didn't want to do it. I'm not sure if she's going to write the longer final paper or not. If she does, that means her max grade is out of a 75% (and she's hardly got 100% on everything else). If she doesn't, her max grade is a 60%, which is failing. So, that will be fun. I'll have mostly A's, a few B's, and an F. Really, it's not that tough. Why show up to every class, do the homework, but not do the paper? It was only 3 pages.

-Lab is ok too. Experiments aren't going the way I had hoped, but we can still use the data. There are some potentially interesting experiments lined up for the future, but they are also very expensive, so I'm not yet sure that they will actually happen.

-Sophie is very good. Yesterday we started with "no." It was very cute--she was in the tub, and she didn't want to get out, so every time I hung up her washcloth, she said "no." Ask me in a few days or weeks if it is still cute and I may have a different answer! She's developing into such a little person. She's really growing her vocabulary. It used to be just "mama" and "dada", but now we do duck, dog, bubble, bowl, more, cheese, up, and no. I know there are more, but it seems like we get new ones every day. It's so fun!

-I'm still not sleeping. I can't tell you why not. I've tried everything I think is safe, but no luck. Every so often it just wipes me out. Monday night, Tim got home a little before 7, and I just crashed. I didn't sleep the whole night, but I just couldn't stay up. I felt much better Tuesday, of course, but it was back to 3-4 hours of sleep a night (on a good night) after that. Mornings like today, when I have to be up at 5, don't help. But even when I have a decent chunk of time available to sleep I still have trouble. I'm surviving, but I'm really hoping that my body will get back into a rhythm soon.

-I am FINALLY getting my hair cut this Saturday. I am embarrassed to say this, but it has been over a year since I got it cut. When I donated to Locks of Love last February, I had to cut it short to have enough hair to donate. I HATE short hair. I hated it so much that I let it grow out into a poofy mop just because it was long. Well, enough. Jessica and I are going to the Aveda school Saturday morning. I'm getting highlights and a cut, and I am thrilled. I have no idea what I am doing to it yet. I just wanted something a little more professional before my scientific meeting in April. I am nearing 30--time to get rid of the elementary school hair!

-I am also planning my garden. I am totally pumped. Every time I see cheap seeds at the store, I buy some. I am sure I now have enough to plant an acre of land, but I'm looking to do about 40 square feet or so. I can't wait! I miss my fresh veggies and herbs. Nothing is near as good as home grown!

I think that's it for now. Tim's winding up his final class for his second bachelor's degree, and he'll be walking at graduation in May. I think we are going to have a cookout to celebrate on the 4th of July, but I have to confirm that with all the fam first. I don't want to overlap with other people's events.

I know this is pretty boring stuff. You'd think with being so busy, I'd have more to talk about. Sorry, not so much. But if something fun does happen, I'll let you know.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Match day, again

I really shouldn't take a minute away from what I am doing, but I just wanted to comment on today. It's Match Day. Again. For those unfamiliar with the medical school system, it's the day where fourth year medical students find out where they will be doing their residencies. It's a national system, so all medical students (except for those doing early matches) across the country find out at the same time. It's a stressful and exciting time--as a student, your job was to rank the programs you'd be willing to go to. It's a bit complicated, but basically if a program wants you and you want them, great! If not, there's a complex computer program that ranks your preferences compared to each program's preferences for applicants, and the computer spits out a match. You are obligated to go to any program that you rank. It's a tricky game--you have to rank enough places so that you get a position, but if you rank 50 programs, you agree to go to any of those programs if you match there.

Anyway, this is now several matches beyond when my original med school class matched. They matched in 2006, which means many of them are finishing residencies this year. That means they can be attendings in July. And here I am, still in graduate school, still having two years of medical school to finish beyond graduate school. This year, most of the MSTPs matching were a class ahead of me.

This, of course, means that the vast majority of my MSTP class will match next year. They are finishing up third year at the moment. I am likely going to be two years behind them, due to the whole three-labs-to-get-a-degree thing. And while I have to say that my latest lab is head and shoulders (and knees and toes) above any other lab I've worked in, it's still very depressing to think that even my MD/PhD classmates are moving on.

It's just a downer day, and I am sure this day next year will be worse. I just want to move forward in my life. It's depressing to be nearing 30 and not even be done with med school yet! I am glad that I am in a lab now that has me enjoying science again, and I am thankful that I still get some clinical exposure every week at the VA. But I am so, so, so, SO ready to be done with the PhD and go back to med school. That probably won't be until next July. But, someday I will be done. I hope.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I don't like to post about Tim being out of town while he is actually gone--call it internet paranoia--but he has been gone since Monday and is finally coming home tonight (Friday). It was the worst timing possible. I had two super early days this week, and my parents and brother were leaving to visit my sister out west. The trouble with my early days is that day care isn't even open by the time I have to leave. So, I had to figure out how to get Sophie to day care.

Thankfully, my sister in college came out and stayed with me the night before each of my early mornings. I left at 6 AM, Jen got Sophie to daycare around 8-8:30, and then she went to class. I have no idea what I would have done otherwise. It's been one more example of how tough it is to have both Tim and I working weird schedules/traveling. After this winter, I REALLY want to move south for residency, but I think we'd have to pick up the family and move them too. There is no way I can be on call/working 80 hour weeks if Tim has to occasionally travel. Just can't do it.

It's been tough in general. Sophie's in a fussy phase, so it's a battle from the time I pick her up until she goes to bed. And she's been waking up every hour or so. Wednesday night she was up every hour on the hour. I thought I was hallucinating--every time I looked at my clock, it was exactly x:00. She has some internal clock!

And, since I sleep so crappy anyway, I've had a few sleepless nights. I've had tons to do around the house, plus all the grading for teaching (interim grades are due today), plus the usual work/Sophie stuff. I do love spending time with Sophie, but I am looking forward to some time off!

Actually, today is that time. The university gave us a "spring break holiday" day off. Apparently, they do it every year, but I've never been in a lab that observes it before. Then again, my last lab didn't observe Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc either.

I took Sophie into daycare today so I can get some work done. My to-do list is HUGE. I have ton of grading left to do before the end of the day, the house is a wreck (despite my best efforts), and there are all sorts of errands that need to be done. I figure I'll pick Sophie up early, but I need at least a few hours to get things done without her. When it's just me, it's tough to take her to the store by myself, so I'd rather go alone. Plus, I don't want to throw her schedule off too much. That will only make the long nights longer.

It's just been a long week. I really don't know how single parents do it. I think they should be sainted. Really.

But, the long week is almost over. Sophie will be in bed by the time Tim gets home, but they'll have bonding time tomorrow. J from the lab and I are doing some girly errands, and it'll be nice to do something laid back!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know why it's been a while. As usual, lots of deep thoughts have been floating around that don't make it onto the blog, but teaching is done in three weeks, and then I'll have more time! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Pictures as promised

I know I am a few months behind, and I haven't had time to touch these up yet, but here are pics of Sophie, as promised...
Tim and Sophie at the Museum of Natural History, which my department rented out for the holiday party. We ate with the dinosaurs! 12-19-08

Sophie posing for the Christmas card picture that I never printed, which goes along with the Christmas cards that never got sent. 12-24-08

Another Christmas card option. 12-24-08

Yet another option. 12-24-08

Sophie in her Christmas dress. 12-25-08

The only family picture that even slightly came out. I am setting up the camera to take an auto timer picture, which explains: 1) why I am not in it. 2) why no one is ready. However, the rest of the pictures are extremely blurry, for whatever reason. Actually, not all of the pictures--there's another one of these setup photos that is missing me, but Joe is mooning the camera, so that one is not web appropriate ;) 12-25-08

Sophie trying out her new toys. She loves play kitchens, play food, and play pots and pans. Apparently, she needs to taste them all too. 12-31-08

Sophie modeling her Santa outfit before we took the tree down. 1-1-09

Helping me cook, with Macgyver just hoping she drops an oyster cracker or a fake banana. 1-28-09

My OCD baby. She takes everything off the fridge door, lines them up, and then puts them back. 1-29-09

What a typical meal looks like at our house (that is her fork hanging out of her mouth). 1-29-09

Sophie loving the low windows in the house. 2-8-09

Sup? 2-8-09

Sophie loving the $6 Kmart chair that she can get in and out of herself. 2-11-09

Tim teaching Sophie guitar. Better than drums. 2-20-09

Sophie going solo. Also note: just post bath, so she's got her tightly wound Ronald McDonald hairdo going on. Sorry Sophs, it's genetic. 2-28-09

Thank goodness for Backyardigans. 2-28-09

Proof that she does have her moments. 2-28-09

But she gets over them quickly. 2-28-09