Monday, December 3, 2007

Geaux Tigers

So the school where I just earned my PhD is playing the school where I am currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher for the national championship game in January. Should I feel conflicted about whom to cheer for? I hope not because I don't. Geaux Tigers!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Even gorillas....

So we took the girls to the zoo last weekend to see all their favorite animals. We had a great time as usual, but this trip I really enjoyed the gorilla house because there was a really nice docent on duty who was willing to talk about all the gorillas and share about their history. I think the part I liked best was when she pointed to one young female and said "this little girl was delivered by c-section because her mother developed preeclampsia during her pregnancy." Because I also suffered from preeclampia and had to have a c-section, I felt weirdly connected to this gorilla mother. And, somehow knowing that gorillas can develop preeclampsia made me feel better about my own pregnancy. I know intellectually that my own issues weren't my fault, but there is always the voice in my head that says "if you'd only done ____, your pregnancy would have turned out better. Your girls would have been healthier." Knowing that gorillas can also have pregnancy complications reinforced that its just something that happens, something that is part of the reproductive process. Am I totally weird?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

To do:

  1. Finish dissertation corrections, print, and submit to Graduate School
  2. Clean out desk/lab bench/cricket farm
  3. Do laundry
  4. Buy new winter clothes for A and K
  5. Pack
  6. Start new life

Friday, October 5, 2007

What next?

Well I'm finished with my PhD. After I make a few editorial corrections, convert my Word document to a PDF and submit my dissertation to the Graduate School, I will be finished with school. I am very excited! But at the same time I'm at a bit of a loss. You see, I've been going to school for a very, very long time. With the exception of the year I took off between finishing my B.S. and my M.S., I've been going to school since I was 5. And, no, I'm not going to tell you how long that really is. Just take my word for it - it's been a long time. So tell me, what should I do now that I am no longer a student? Update my blog? Read a good, non-science book? Take a walk? Go to Disneyland? Clean my stuff out of the lab, pack up the house and get ready to move to the location of my postdoc?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Silly Girls

This past weekend we took the girls to see Mike. Mike is a tiger and the new LSU mascot. And wouldn't you know it, K was afraid of Mike and didn't really want to get any where near him. A loved Mike, but she was afraid of the bronze tiger statue in front of Mike's cage. Go figure.

Friday, August 31, 2007

To do list

Things to do during the long weekend.
  1. Grocery shopping
  2. Laundry
  3. Finish writing the discussion for manuscript 2/chapter 3 of my dissertation.
  4. Schedule a dissertation defense
  5. Spend some quality time with my family by taking the girls to the park and/or the children's museum
  6. Get the oil changed in the car
  7. Change the air filter
  8. Teach the girls that it is wrong to pee on the floor in their room after their bath. Pee pee should only go in the potty!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Which one is older?

People have a lot of misconceptions about twins. I'm sure that all of my readers with twins can attest to this since they have probably heard their share of weird comments from random people at the grocery store. But I just had to share two of the strangest comments I've gotten, which, incidently, are from people at daycare. When I picked up A and K one day a few months ago, one lady commented about their very blue eyes, then the rest of the conversation went something like this: DCL: I'm surprised their eyes are the same color. Usually one twin has darker eyes and one has lighter eyes. Me: Well, they are identical twins. DCL: Yes that's what I'm talking about. They look the same. Me: (inside my head) Um, ok. Then today when I dropped them off I had this conversation: DCL2: DCL3 and I had a debate about which twin is older. DCL3 said that obviously A is older because she looks older. I said that K is older because the smaller twin has to come out first. Me: Well, A is older by about a minute. Me: (inside my head) Um, ok. What kind of logic is that? I drove away wondering if I should find a daycare center where the teachers know more basic biology.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lets go canoeing!

We’ve spent a good bit of time this summer “getting ready for the boat.” No, not another code phrase for “moving to a different city.” We are actually getting the girls ready to ride in a boat, or more precisely, a canoe. The mister and I really got into the paddle sports when we moved to LA; we even bought a nice canoe that was stolen about 2 months after we bought it (but that’s a story for another day). It is awesome to be alone with just the water and the boat – awesome! However, it has been about 3 years since we’ve gotten to go out and paddle because of the girls. My OB told initially told me it would be safe for a pregnant woman to go canoeing as long as she didn’t drown. But this was before we knew were having twins. Before BG2 lodged herself so tightly against my lungs that it was difficult for me to breath (we actually saw her stick her leg under my rib cage during one sonogram). Before it was too uncomfortable to do anything but “lie around like a lazy dog.” Before we had a baby on supplemental oxygen. Before.... But I digress. Now that BG1 and BG2 are 2 years old, they are almost old enough to join us on our aquatic adventures, our canoe therapy. But before we can take them in out in a canoe, we have to get them used to being in water. To do this, we’ve been doing a lot of swimming in the pool at our apartment complex. We started out slowly – 5 to 10 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a week and gradually increased out stays at the pool to 30-45 minutes. At first they were scared and clung to our necks with everything they had – arms, legs, finger nails, and in one case, teeth. But now they are our little turtle and duck (which just happen to be the animals on their swimming suits). They happily swim around the pool in their little blue floaties and even excitedly jump into the water from the side. Now as soon as we can convince them to stay seated in a moving vehicle, the will really be ready for the boat.

Friday, August 17, 2007


My brain is broken. It used to work just fine. I was able to think in a semi-linear fashion. I could analyze data and think rational thoughts. I was able to concentrate on the task-at-hand for at least a good 60 minutes or so. Now I can't seem to concentrate on anything. I'll stare blankly at my paper for 5 minutes or so and then I'm off surfing the internet and reading other people's blogs again. It feels like the hamster wheel in my head is spinning out of control. I think this inability to think or concentrate on anything began - oh- about the time I got pregnant with my twins. Am I the only one with this problem? Does anyone have the number of a good brain-repair-man?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Going to the children's museum"

If I ever stop procrastinating and finish my PhD, it is likely that we will move to a new city in an entirely different state. We are excited about the prospect of our move, but we are not quite ready for the Mister's place of employment to know that he may be leaving. This means that when we IM each other during the day (this has been our primary means of communication for the last several weeks) we have to talk in code just in case one of his bosses is looking over his shoulder. In case you're wondering, employees at his place of business IM each other all the time, so the simple act of receiving an IM won't get him in trouble at all, just the potential content of said IM. Anyway, between the two of us, we have decided that whenever we want to talk about the new place, we will say something about going to the children's museum. And if you don't know the code, this makes for some pretty strange conversations. "Do you have any idea what the crime rate is at the children's museum?" Do you know if there are any good restaurants at the children's museum?" "When we go to the children's museum, we'll have to see if we can hook up with A Friend." and my favorite "I need to start looking for daycare at the children's museum." But now I must back to my dissertation, or we will never be able to "go to the children's museum."

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Babies!

Happy birthday you, happy birthday you.... Today at 4:17 and 4:18 pm my twin daughters officially became 2 years old. It's the second anniversary of the day my OB called and said something like "we'd like you to come to the hospital so we can run a few tests. We'll most likely deliver your babies tomorrow." When I got to the hospital the "we'll likely deliver them tomorrow became "we're going to deliver them today." And into the OR I went to have a C-section after 33 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy. As they wheeled me into the delivery room, nurses kept asking if I was ready to be a mother. I didn't quite know how to answer the question because what I wanted to know was "are my daughters ready to be born." The answer turned out to be yes and no. After all there were still 6 weeks to go before my due date. On the other hand, the single placenta the twins shared was tapped out and it was causing problems for all 3 of us. So ready or not, out they came weighing 3 lbs 14 oz and 2 lbs 15 oz. We've come a long way from this:

and this: On one hand, I can't believe that two years have gone by already, but in other ways it feels like it has been at least a century since they were born. Happy birthday small ones. I love you more every day.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Gack! Bossman is back from Europe and he wants to have a lab meeting. Gack, I say. Lab meetings are, well, not so fun. I’m sure he’ll have lots to say about his trip and the research he did while he was there and the food he ate and the flights he was stuck on; it will all be very interesting. But, gack, I just don’t really have time for this. I have a ton and a half of things to do. The # of hours I have to write per day is already too low. Now I have to give up 2 of them for a lab meeting? Someone needs to bring food. Maybe I’ll go and get some at lunch. Gack. The worst part is that Bossman will want me to give him an update on what I’ve done while he’s been gone And what have I done other than score a bounty hunter’s helmet and bounty hunters rifle on Kingdom of Loathing. I’ve added a bunch of new friends on Facebook. Made contact with a couple of old friends on myspace. Read the last Harry Potter book. Ordered some new shoes. Scored some other new shoes on eBay. Hmmm. Looks like I’ve actually been rather busy. Research wise I’ve accomplished a few things. I’ve more or less finished all the qPCR (I have a couple more replicates that I really feel like I should try to get done if I can manage to catch the lab gremlin sleeping). I’ve been writing. Ok, not all of it is research related, but some of it is. I’ve written a bit here and a bit there on several sections. I’ve also read, taken notes on, and filed a ton of papers. It’s not like I haven’t made any progress; it just hasn’t been enough progress. If I want to be able to start my new job at the children’s museum in November, I need to be writing a brazilian pages a day. And all I have to say is, Gack!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Danger Will Robinson

Ugh, I need to get organized. I have no idea where anything is on my desk and it takes me way too much time to find the papers that I need. I should clean it, or at least decorate it with yellow caution tape to warn people that a the slightest wrong move could cause an avalanche. But if I want to finish writing my dissertation some day, cleaning is probably a better way to go. Besides, cleaning is a great way to procrastinate.

Monday, June 4, 2007

To Do

Today I need to accomplish: Finish my PhD Take care of sick girls Find someone who will let me be a postdoc in her/his lab Pack our stuff into boxes so we can move Do laundry - see part about sick girls Decide whether K is sick enough to take her to the doctor Save the world

Monday, May 21, 2007

Birthday party part 2

So it turns out that I freaked for no reason (not that I have a history of doing that or anything). The birthday party was fine. My kids were dressed like all the others. And our present was fine too (at least I think it was, we left before it was opened). But the books and small cars were in the same price range as the other presents that were given by non-family members. Its just that reading about the Mommy Wars in Newsweek and seeing articles about picking the perfect caterer for your 2 -year-old's birthday party in American Baby, causes panic. At least it cause me to panic. But now I know. And knowing if half the battle.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Help, we've been invited to a birthday party!

My twins have been invited to their first birthday party. It's for a little boy they go to daycare with. And since they spend at least 30 hours a week with him, I guess we could call him a friend. "Now what's so bad about a birthday party," you might ask. Well firstly, what should my kids wear? Do I need to put them in dresses or other "party clothes?" I kind of hope not because the party is at a park with a really nice playground, and dresses are, IMO not the thing for playing in the park. I hope I'm right cause I've opted for play clothes. I guess, if I'm wrong.... I did at least bring them clean shirts to put on after daycare. Secondly, what should we take for a present? Should I have the girls take 1 joint present? Or 2 separate ones? I just don't know. And the mom's at Twinstuff weren't much help; most of them said "sometimes we do one and sometimes the other." Gee, thanks. And how much I should spend. One twin mom said that she takes one gift for her 2 girls but spends more money - sometimes as much as $40. Holy Cow. I'm sorry but we just can't go there. And what if my selection is just plain bad? I could be labled the "bad present giver" by all the other parents at daycare. And no one wants that. So you can see there a lot of pressure when it comes to going to a birthday party. I just hope the girls have a good time.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Little pitchers have big ears

It's time for me to start watching what I say around my kids. How do I know? Well, as many kids do, K and A enjoy playing with the telephone - the real one. Now every parent knows this is not a good thing. So, when I find a child playing with the phone, I typically say something like "A (or K) that's not for you. You don't need to call China." The danger being, of course, that by randomly pushing buttons a kiddo could accidentally place an overseas call to some place like, well, China. To make a long story short, it turns out this was the wrong thing to say. Because now, whenever A sees the telephone she points to it and says "China." Oops! I'm just glad I haven't been calling the phone something else.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Time for more posts?

OK, if I'm going to do this blog thing, I need to really start doing it. Especially since some one actually has a link to my blog! Exciting, and scary, to think that someone it actually interested in what I have to say! We'll see what happens. Today is the day that I officially start writing my PhD dissertation. I have one chapter finished, but I still have tons to write. A thesis introduction and two more data chapters. Hopefully it will go quickly once I get back into writing grove. And hopefully I won't get do distracted by our impending move. Yes, that's right. With only a couple of months left in my degree program, shortly before we plan to leave this glorious state behind, we have to move. We were notified yesterday that our crappy apartment is now a luxury condo, and we either have to buy it (yeah, right) or move out by the end of June. So what can we do? Anyone know of a nice but cheap place to live in our fair city?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Messy Baby 1.2

Alison - Winter 2007, originally uploaded by juliereynolds42.

I thought she was finished with breakfast. But apparently she was still hungry because when I went back in the dining room I found this.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Messy Baby 1.0

messy Kaitlin, originally uploaded by juliereynolds42.

I think she liked the pudding.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Imitation as Flattery

When I started blogging I told myself that I would not, could not become one of those mommy bloggers (or daddy bloggers for that matter) who only writes about the cute things her children are doing. But my twins are so cute and so funny that I have to indulge myself and post about the girls every once in a while, don’t I? So anyway, at almost 21 months, Ali and Kt have suddenly reached the stage where they want to do things just like Mommy and Daddy. Ali, for example, wants to wear my shoes (and my bra and panties – but that’s another story) and regularly clomps around the house in them. And yesterday morning both girls tried to leave the apartment with an old black diaper bag slung over one shoulder – probably because Daddy and Mommy both leave the house with black computer and book bags. But the time this new found desire to imitate us really rears its ugly head is when we sit down to eat. Last night when we were at the “Burrito-as-big-as-your-femur” joint, Kt insisted on wrapping her bits of quesadilla with foil so her food would be like ours (for the uninitiated, BABAYF wraps its burritos in foil so they don’t fall apart while you’re eating). And that’s not all. Both girls really want to eat sitting in the “big people” chairs at meal time. They cry and fuss and insist they are “ahh-done” eating and demand to get down. Not wanting to be a mother that traumatizes my children by forcing them to eat when they aren’t hungry, I typically let them down after a bit even after they haven’t eaten very much. And what do the do as soon as they get down (and my back is turned)? They climb up in my chair and proceed to eat whatever is in arms reach. Silly girls.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Dual Life

The reason that my free-time is so limited is because I have two full time jobs. Yes, that’s right, I am simultaneously trying to finish a PhD in biology and raise 2 toddlers. Toddlers who (I hate to admit) are quickly growing to that stage known as the terrible-twos. Now these two jobs are seemingly (and perhaps actually) incompatible for a number of reasons that I won’t go into at this time. For now it is sufficient to say that both jobs require my full attention, and half my attention is not sufficient to do either job properly. But to simply pick one and discard the other is not even remotely a possibility. For obvious reasons I can’t pick the PhD over the twins. Well, I guess I could. There are people who pick careers over children. But A and K are so fun, and so amazing, and so loveable, that I can’t imagine my life with out them. They brighten my life every single day (yes even the days when they throw up all over me while I’m struggling to get out the door in the morning). Giving up the PhD is equally out of the question. For one thing, I am just too damn close (sorry girls) to finishing to just walk away. I’ve been at this for almost 7 years now (yes, I know I’m about to exceed the time limit) and it would just be too disheartening (to say the least) to quit now. Throwing in the towel would be to give up on me and everything I was before the girls was born. And that just wouldn’t be fair. To me or to the girls. Who would want a mother who resented your birth because she gave up too much of herself? So I will continue to struggle with this dual life to its only possible conclusion. That being said, I need to do some more work until it’s time to get the girls from daycare.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What spare time?

So I’ve decided to start blogging in my spare time. “What spare time?” you may ask. “The kitchen is a mess, there are mountains of laundry to be done, and the girls have scattered Cheerios everywhere (again). You also have lab work to finish and a PhD dissertation to write. How do you have time to blog?” Well, the truth is I probably don’t have much time for it – hence the oh-so-creative title of my collected ramblings. But all work and no play makes me grouchy. Besides I need to find an outlet for my random thoughts before my head explodes. So join me as I attempt to collect my thoughts in a semi-organized way, get into the writing grove (so I can finish the dissertation mentioned above), and chronicle my attempt to become both a mommy and a scientist. It should be a wild ride.