Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Haircut

Vivian's first haircut was on Friday. She did really well sitting on daddy's lap! After awhile she started to "wiggle," until we gave her a comb to play with! :)

Here's the play-by-play in pictures:

Friday, January 29, 2010

Daddy's Girl

Thought I'd share this picture of Chris and Vivian! It was taken today right before we left to get Vivian's first haircut!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Prelim Exam

I thought that the prelim exam deserved its own post. In my program, the prelim exam consists of three separate exams, as well as a concept paper defense. Last week, I sat in a computer lab for 3 days (four hours each for days 1 and 2 and two hours for day 3) without notes or Internet access. The first day was an article critique, the second day was the core question related to the Instructional Systems field, and the third day was the minor question. My minor is human-computer interaction and usability. I was able to transfer in 3 of my classes from when I was in engineering at Virginia Tech (feels like a lifetime ago now).

Next week is my concept paper defense. The concept paper is an 8-page synopsis of your dissertation research. The defense is basically the checkpoint in which your four committee members give you the green light to go ahead with your study. If they find issues with it, you may have to start from scratch.

Fingers are crossed that I passed the exam portion and that my committee thinks my research topic and design are feasible!!

The House Hunt

We started looking at houses (to purchase) in October of last year. It's been a difficult process because we're looking at them online. Earlier this month we decided to look at houses to rent too because we aren't sure how long we'll be in NC. The problem: we're looking for a house with a FENCE. Where I grew up, this wasn't an issue -- every house had a fence. I can't remember seeing a neighbourhood that didn't have fences around the houses. To give you an idea of how much the fence complicates things, there were over 200 houses in the Cary/Morrisville/Apex area with 4 bedrooms -- NINE of those had fences. When you consider some of the other options we wanted (like larger than a postage stamp lot), the number of potential houses decreased even more. We ended up with two -- one of those houses had a potential mold issue, so we really only have one to choose from. Our real estate agent walked through the house and said it was absolutely beautiful. She took some additional pictures for us of the bonus room and the backyard and we love it.

We're hoping to physically see the house in person in a couple of weeks. I've never had to deal with the house hunt from a distance before. It's been quite challenging and I'm not looking forward to doing it again in the near (?) future.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Food, Glorious Food

We always dreaded the 1-year transition from bottles to sippy cups and formula to whole milk. The best way to do it...cold turkey! It probably also helped that Vivian had the nasty stomach flu. After she got better, we didn't introduce formula or bottles. We just started something new. She's been on whole milk for a couple of weeks now and is finally taking to it, although she doesn't drink the 16-24 oz that is recommended. She's getting her calcium from other sources.

We went to the ped's office a couple of days ago for an H1N1 booster and a weight check. Poor kid lost a full pound in the last month due to the flu and transition. She has a great appetite and we're always trying to think of new foods for her to try.

Here's a sample menu on a typical day:
Breakfast - Milk, 1 frozen gluten-free waffle, 1/2 of a banana diced up (and maybe some melon like this morning), and sometimes 1 scrambled egg yolk.
Snack - Gluten-free yogurt, jar of pureed fruits/veggies and a Mum Mum (gluten-free toddler cracker)
Lunch - Milk, jar or two of pureed fruits/veggies; maybe green beans and tofu or pasta
Snack - Another yogurt, jar of pureed fruits/veggies and maybe a Mum Mum
Dinner - Similar to lunch; it depends on what we have

Her likes:
Apples; apples and blueberries; apples and bananas
Bananas, peaches, and raspberries
Avocado (yum!)
Sweet potatoes (can't get enough of those things, although she didn't like the fries we made her)
Stonyfield Yogurt
Libby's pumpkin (yep...from the can)
Winter squash
Green beans (from the can)
Pears and mangoes
Gluten-free pasta with some pasta sauce
Mashed potatoes
Rice (yeah for the rice cooker!)
Melons (great finger foods)
Egg yolks (haven't done the whole egg yet)
Corn and butternut squash
Applesauce (although after the stomach flu, not so much. She lived on that stuff for a week)

Her dislikes:
Peas (CANNOT get this kid to eat them...but hey, I won't eat them either)
Cheddar cheese

I'd like to see if there are other cheeses she might like -- maybe a monterey jack.
I'd also like to introduce fish. We frequently eat tilapia and want to give that a try.

Chris has given her bits of ground beef before and she seemed to like it. She still isn't quite sure about lunchmeats like turkey.

And yes, our child eats FAR better than we do! :)

Speaking of's time to eat breakfast!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Week of Sickies

Unfortunately, Vivian's "sick" time did not end with her one upset tummy night in Orlando. We came home on Saturday and she seemed to be doing okay, although a little uninterested in food and drinking any Pedialyte. She got sick again on Sunday morning and the on-call nurse advised us to go to urgent care -- which opened at 11 am. Apparently urgent care here isn't a 24-hr thing! We got there a couple of minutes after 11 and the place was packed. We were seen a few minutes after our arrival by a very nice doctor. He gave Vivian a cup of Zofran liquid (anti-puke meds)and told us to get lots of liquids into her. We bought more pedialyte and tried again. On Monday she seemed to be doing a bit better, but on Tuesday she got sick again. We went to see the ped (not our ped, because it was a holiday week) and he told us to give her a liquid diet for the next two days. Although she didn't get sick again, we had a VERY unhappy child.

Around this time, Chris caught a really bad cold. Thankfully, I was getting over my cold. Not too much fun to have a household full of sickies at Christmas.

Christmas Eve/Day was pretty quiet here. Vivian LOVED her new toys!

This past week has been pretty low-key, although it seems like we've been in and out of doctor's offices. Vivian had to get her 12-month shots and I had to get an ultrasound. I've also started studying for my preliminary (comprehensive) exams. On January 20, 21, and 22, I'll be locked in a room for 4 hours on the first two days and 2 hours on the third day.

I'll leave you with some pics of Ms Vivian on Christmas Day! :)