Wednesday, April 22, 2009

waiting for data

Yes, I'm doing the unthinkable and posting to my blog while at work. I'm waiting for data and really have nothing else to do, so I decided it was a good time to update the blog. It's just been an insanely hectic spring. I'll try to pick out some highlights to catch up on the month of April, in roughly chronological order.

I got the month started on a good note, by passing my prelim on April 1. For those of you who are not insane and consequently pursuing a PhD, the prelim is the second of the three big hurdles of a PhD program. The first is the qualifying exam, which is usually an exam covering coursework. The second is the prelim, which is a defense of a dissertation proposal. I've learned that this means different things for different programs. Sometimes passing it is permission to start research. In my case, I had already done a significant portion of the research. It was a mid-process check with my committee and a time for their input on my ideas to move forward. I was pretty anxious going in, but it turned out to be a really constructive exam.

Easter weekend I went to Chicago just to get away for a weekend. It was long overdue and much needed! I went on Saturday morning and came back on Sunday evening. On Saturday I ran around with my friend Lynn. That evening we had dinner with her husband and a good friend of theirs from college. On Sunday I slept in (which was half of the point of going) then went to the Art Institute for a few hours, then headed back to the hotel to get my things and head to the train station. It was my first night away from Elliot since he was born. This trip has made it clear to me that the occasional weekend getaway is a great thing. Everyone needs a break every now and then!

This past weekend I bought a new car. This had been a long time in the coming. Two weeks prior Brendan and I spent a lot of time talking about whether it was worth it to keep up the maintenance and repairs on my Sable or replace it, and we decided it was much more practical to replace it. I loved my Sable. I'd had it for over 7 years and put over 70,000 miles on it. It was 13 years old with 129,000 miles. I loved that car. It had been my Grampa's and felt in some way like an extension of him. But, it was time to move on. So after a lot of tears I forced myself to go look at cars. After much test driving and hours spent on Edmunds, I decided on a 2009 Toyota Prius. I will post pictures of both the Sable and Prius when I get home. I'm still taking nominations for names for the new car. Please make suggestions!

Throughout all of this I've also been working on a scrapbook for my niece, Nadia. It's coming along. I just finished a spread for February that I'm particularly happy with. I'm currently on the Christmas pages (I'm doing them very much out of order). I'll post some pictures when the whole album is finished and given to the proud parents. In the meantime, suffice to say I'm really enjoying working on it. As N says, hobbies keep us sane.

Saturday night we went to card club, a monthly get-together of us and five other couples we're friends with. It's always a good time. We found out that one of the couples is expecting their third child. We're really happy for them!

Monday (two days ago), Elliot took his first unassisted step! I didn't even see it. Brendan was playing with him in the living room while I was working in the kitchen. Brendan said he took one step then fell over. I haven't seen him try again since then. He's happy cruising and using his new walker toy (thank you, Lisa!). We'll get pictures/video as soon as we can. I think he'll start walking more regularly in no time, but we'll see. I just love to watch him figure things out. His other new trick is turning on the water in the bathtub while I'm getting ready for work in the mornings. I think he's pretty much the greatest kid ever.