Monday, May 21, 2012

Dr. Messinger At Last!

I completed ALL 1 million requirements (just a rough estimate) for obtaining my PhD today!

It could have been a disaster--due to inattention, I ended up scheduling my post-defense meeting on THE LAST possible day at 9:30 am. That is so totally unlike me. I'm the kind of girl that likes to leave a little buffer...last minute things make me nervous. Like really nervous. As if to prove that my neurosis is justified, last night Abby woke up with difficulty breathing and had to make a trip to the ER (don't worry, she's fine--turns out it's croup, totally treatable with steroids and inhalants). Had she not responded to treatment or had to stay more than the 5 hours she did, I probably wouldn't have made it to my last minute meeting. But she and Alex made it home by 8 am, plenty of time for me to make it. Then, to relieve some of Alex's burden since he had not been able to sleep at the hospital (instead of not sleeping at home in bed, like me), I took James with me to my meeting. He had lulled me into a false sense of security by sleeping soundly for the hour leading up to the trip. But the instant we arrived at my meeting he woke up and cried and farted for the next half hour. Thank goodness for all the nice ladies in the Rackham office who: 1) informed me I didn't have to actually answer the questions on the requisite graduate survey, thus saving me 30 minutes, and 2) were willing to shove James' pacifier back in his mouth and rock his car seat while I uploaded my dissertation! Disaster averted, official notification of PhD received!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I've been lax. A lot of fun things have happened since my last post. Instead of splitting it all up, I'm just going to do a Mega Post.

Two weekends ago, Grandma and Grandpa Mettler came to visit. The weekend was full of dining out, laughter, and, for Abby, constant play time.

Grandma of course thinks James is perfect.
And he's easy enough that even Grandpa held him for a while!

Grandpa taught Abby how to blow bubbles and veg-out watching Sports Center.

Grandma just spoiled them both.
While they were here Abby ran her first running race--a half mile course around Burns Park. She was so excited about it. She had been talking about the race for a week prior. She and I had "practiced" by running around the block several times. Then when we got there and pinned her number on she clammed up. She was fidgeting and watching all the other short runners at the starting line. One boy was "warming up" with his mom, sprinting up and down from the starting line. Abby watched for a few minutes and then whispered to me "Maybe I should warm up." And she kept saying "Let's just start now." Thankfully we found Rowan running around the adjacent baseball diamond so that she could burn off some of her nervous energy!

Grandma had to do some serious antics to get her to smile here!

She and Rowan both ran the whole way! They were rewarded at the end with apples.

The next weekend was Mother's Day weekend. Beth and Dan drove out from Chicago for a short one night visit. Abby was in heaven again, reveling in lavish attention.

This is how Dan spent much of his time here.
On Mother's Day proper we had a delicious waffle brunch with Brian and Heather.

Then we attempted to take some family portraits. It was hard enough with just three of us. I think four is nearly impossible.

Some outtakes.

The best we got.
Meanwhile, James has been adorable, as usual.

I think that covers up until yesterday....more on that later.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

4 Weeks!

James is almost 4 weeks old now--time for an update! He's smiling now. And he's incredibly strong. His strength is inspiring when he's prone on your chest and he lifts the entire front half of his body up off of you to look around. His strength is incredibly frustrating when you're trying to finagle his appendages into a onesie. He's very easy going and mostly sleeps between feedings at night (except when he's passing gas). He occasionally screams, but the bouts last maximum 5 minutes and they usually end with him falling asleep, on his own or in your arms. (Side note: Abby also used to scream in our arms, but the bouts lasted for hours and then you had to stay perfectly still or she would wake up again and scream some more.) He's very vocal. When he eats he sounds like a squeaky wheel. When he farts he grunts like a line-backer. Here are some photos from the last week.
A half smile!