Friday, July 30, 2010

Buying a New Home

Next month, we'll be moving to our new home in Tennessee! We'll be living in Brentwood and are very excited about being closer to family. Here are some pictures of Cayne signing the mortgage documents for our new house. We will have a lot to do to get settled before Little Bit's arrival but it will be nice to settle into a place that is ours instead of a rental.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

28 Weeks Update

I had my rescheduled 28-week midwife appointment yesterday (the power was out at their office on Monday too). Everything is looking good with Little Bit. His heartbeat is as cute as ever and he is moving constantly it seems. I found out that I don't have gestational diabetes and don't have to do the 3-hour screening -- I'm very, very happy about both of those. I also don't have anemia so I don't have to take iron supplements -- I guess I eat plenty of meat or maybe it's the peanut butter sandwiches I keep craving.

I've still been feeling fine as I start the third trimester, with no major complaints and not too many pregnancy symptoms. In fact, I joke with Cayne that one of my male co-workers has been complaining about having more of the standard "pregnancy symptoms" since I've been pregnant than I have! I hope this lasts! A few things I have noticed that are starting to happen include: some acid reflux at night (I guess I should go buy some Tums soon), leg cramps on some nights and restless legs on other nights, and lots of snoring. Everything seems to happen at night, which of course affects my sleep and makes me tired during the day. I suppose I should get used to limited sleep at this point! My biggest cravings have been for bananas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, burgers, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Dairy Queen Blizzards. The only foods I haven't been able to eat are onions and shrimp (I don't even like the smell of shrimp anymore).

We've finally made ourselves a baby registry so that we can feel like we've made progress toward putting a nursery together. At least now we have a better idea of the things we want to get for Little Bit. We've also registered for a childbirth class to start August 16th so we'll learn a little more about what's in store for us soon!

We have Power again

Our electricity came back on at 1:30 this morning, lucky us! In all, we were without power for 57.5 h0urs (a record for both of us)! It was so nice to hear the air conditioning start up after a pretty warm evening. Our refrigerator and freezer are mostly empty now after throwing away 3 garbage bags of spoiled food, which was sad to do.

We learned a few things during the experience:
  • Cell phones don't charge very well in the car unless the car is turned on
  • Driving when over 200 traffic lights in the county are out is not fun and should only be done when absolutely necessary
  • Any place with power and wifi will be packed immediately after opening for the entire day
  • It's nice to have a gas water heater
  • It would be nice to have a gas stove/oven
  • The basement is cool...but watch out for bugs!
  • It takes me over an hour to finish a game of Sudoku (easy level) on the Nook (but this was my first time ever trying to play the game)
  • Candles really heat a room up fast!

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Interesting Birthday


Yesterday I celebrated my 32nd birthday and the day started off wonderfully! Cayne got me a Nook e-reader and made some delicious Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I got the Nook set-up and registered but hadn't actually downloaded a book yet when we decided to head into Friendship Heights for a little shopping and lunch at Maggiano's.

Lunch was delicious (as usual) but the predicted thunderstorms were on their way by the time we were finished, around 3:30. We then spent about 30 minutes shopping before heading home. I think the main storm hit just as we were heading into the stores...seemed like good timing, in my opinion.

On the drive home, we could tell that a pretty big (but apparently short) storm had hit the area. Trees and branches were down and none of the traffic lights worked. Apparently very few people in the DC-area know to treat darkened intersections as 4-way stops because most people didn't stop at the intersections at all! (Today, reminders are being broadcast on the radio and internet about this so maybe there will be less horn-honking and near-misses). In the end, we made it home to find out that our house was also without power.

So we settled into an electricity-free evening of reading. Having the power out made for a beautiful-looking birthday cake, although the frosting was melting a little. Power is still out at our house, 24 hours later. Read more about the storm and the aftermath here -- there are also photos of the storm. The power company hopes to have power back on by tomorrow night so it looks like we will have one more night sans air conditioning. Luckily, it is not too hot outside -- the high was only 90 degrees today and the storm did get rid of some humidity. I was lucky enough to get to come into work to enjoy being in the A/C here. It should cool down in the evening, but even 80 degrees in the house (like it was last night) is a little warm for sleeping! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our power comes back on today, but hopefully I'll be able to download my first e-book by tomorrow night!

On a side-note, this is Little Bit's third power outage in utero. The first was during the February snowstorm (Snowmageddon), the second was when we were in Ohio in June and our hotel power was off for about 3 hours, but this is by far the longest amount of time without power both for him and for me!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day 2010

This year for July 4th, we weren't sure exactly what we were going to be doing almost until the last minute, so we had to scramble a bit for plans. Cayne's friend, Chris, was in town visiting and learning a bit more about the company and we figured we needed to show him the best DC has to offer while he was here -- including fireworks.

This is the first year Cayne and I haven't lived walking distance from the National Mall, so we weren't exactly sure the best way to plan for metro-ing to the fireworks (driving seemed like a really bad idea, considering the road closures and general traffic dilemmas in DC). We also needed to see the Jefferson Memorial (a promise to Chris all week long, that we hadn't yet fulfilled). So the decision was made to metro to L'Enfant plaza and walk to the Jefferson Memorial since the Smithsonian station was closed until after the fireworks.

Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn out of L'Enfant and ended up walking past the Jefferson Recreation Center in SW DC thanks to Cayne's iphone. Once we got back on track from our scenic detour, we made it to the memorial in time to grab some food and grab a seat to enjoy the 9:10 pm show! Once the fireworks were finished, we waited for the crowd to clear out, spent some time exploring the memorial and the slowly made our way back to the metro station (on a more direct route this time). The metro was still crowded when we got there and we had to let some completely packed trains go by, but we managed to get home by 11:46.

Bowden Lab Reunion/Retirement Celebration

Brunch at Tim and Diane's home

In early June, Cayne and I flew out to Tucson for my graduate school mentor's retirement party and a lab reunion. Although everyone was a little apprehensive about Tucson heat in June, I was completely looking forward to it. It turned out that things cooled off in AZ to the 80s while we were there so everything was just gorgeous! The saguaros were still in bloom, the food was delicious, and as always, it was wonderful to see old friends.

We had some free time before the reunion officially kicked-off so Cayne and I spent one day driving up Mt. Lemon to Summerhaven -- he enjoyed the windy roads and the nice drop in temperature. It really is a summer haven.

The next day we drove south of Wilcox to the Chiricahua Mountains to see the hoodoos, one of my favorite places. Cayne had absolutely no idea what to expect and I think he was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the rock formations. We did a short walk through some of the hoodoos and got some fun pictures. Now it should be pretty easy to get him excited about a trip to Bryce Canyon, where there are more hoodoos to walk through. Of course, no trip to Wilcox is complete without a stop at "The Thing" so we did a little detour on the way to see what all the hype was about. Signs for "The Thing" appear as soon as you cross the Arizona state lane.

Dr. Bowden's retirement party started with a scientific symposium...highlighting the current research of his former (and current) graduate students and postdocs. It was amazing to see all the lives he has touched throughout his career. That evening there was a roasting of Tim by one of the local editorial cartoonists, Dave Fitzsimmons, which was very funny. The reunion ended with a brunch at Tim's house with out-of-town Bowdenlab members. I had a good time catching up with lots of the people I had worked with over the years...from the first summer I joined the Bowdenlab until I left Arizona to come to DC (about 10 years). Many of them I hadn't seen since they left the lab...we all commented on how nice it was to have worked in such a close-knit group -- we were very lucky!
It wasn't easy to leave Tucson, with the beautiful weather and the student and snowbird-less traffic to come back to Kensington but it was a wonderful trip!