Sunday, March 29, 2009

sunset teaser

it's way too late for me to do a full-fledged blog tonight, but i wanted write a little something and post a few photos from today. we had a really nice day today ... did some cooking and some cleaning, i some work (and some more work), and my mom came out for an early dinner which was nice. peter and erik came with me to the lab for awhile after dinner so i could get a few things done there. erik loves looking at all the cars and trucks passing by from the lab windows, and when i was finished with the lab work we went out onto the patio and were treated to a beautiful sunset. i am a sucker for sunset photos and took many of them tonight. here are a few of my favorites:

pittsburgh sunset

hot metal bridge

pittsburgh sunset

pittsburgh sunset

today the world celebrated 'earth hour' by turning lights off for one hour. i have to admit that we didn't participate, but i was rather amused to see that the giant white upmc sign on the us steel building was turned off. it's the first time in many months that i saw pittsburgh's nighttime skyline without that big white scar:

earth hour pittsburgh - upmc sign off!

here's a photo from a few weeks ago for comparison:

late sunset

there was an amazing crescent moon hanging low over the city this evening but i was too lazy to go out and photograph it. the only place in the house where we have an unobstructed view of the city is from erik's window, but he was asleep and i didn't want to go in and wake him. hopefully someone got a nice photo of that because it was really really cool.

one other brief note - my mom came over on thursday night and took us to the new hofbrauhaus in the south side works. it was awesome! the food and beer were scrumptious, and they did the chicken dance while we ate! there was a lot of cheering and singing and of course beer drinking. and a man playing an accordion. we loved it and are already itching to go back. i can't recommend it highly enough!

hofbrauhaus pittsburghhofbrau dunkel


hofbrauhaus pittsburgh

this has gotten to be a bit longer than i originally intended, so i will leave you with a picture taken by peter of me and my little man:

me and erik

Friday, March 27, 2009

where have all my videos gone?

i don't know why the videos linked in my previous posts aren't working, but if you're my friend on facebook, you can see them all there. i added a video tab on my profile to make them easier to find. they are still there, and i haven't changed the privacy settings, so i'm not sure why they aren't showing up on my blog. i think i may have to upload them and link from flickr from now on, although it seems to be a little buggier for videos and takes them longer to upload.

it's friday! meeting with the boss man today, more fun in the lab, and then it's weekend time. this has been a very very long week, and i'm ready for a bit of a break!

Monday, March 23, 2009

looks like someone has a case of the mondays

even though peter, erik, and i now have twice the weekend together that we used to, they're still way too short. last week ended kind of abruptly. when i got to daycare to pick up erik on thursday, he had fallen outside (on asphalt) and hit his head pretty badly. he had a big bump on his forehead, and they hadn't even put ice on it or anything. i was more than a little annoyed and very upset that they didn't take better care of my little guy. i talked to my mom and she very kindly volunteered to come over on friday morning to watch him so i could go to the lab and not have to worry about taking him to daycare. it was a huge relief because i really wanted to keep him home ... guess it's the mama bear in me, but i just want to protect him!

my mom came over on friday morning and brought us breakfast. i went to the lab to get a few things done before coming home and going shopping with erik and my mom. we went to get a birthday gift for my friend jamie's son alex who just turned one and had his birthday party on saturday. i wanted to get him a set of tonka wheel pals because erik really loved them at that age (and still does!), and they had a set that i had never seen before. they were so cool ... all different kinds of trucks. erik had a hard time giving them up (alex was really sweet and let erik play with them after he opened them), but my mom made it a little easier for him by getting him some hotwheels. i was all impressed that he was able to identify that bronco and hummer without me even telling him what they were. i think he carried that bronco around all weekend! we went over to the very sad and desolate century III mall to check out the last weekend of the snugglebugs consignment sale when almost everything is half price. we got erik a nice big bag of clothes for only $13. my mom insisted on buying them ... thanks mom!!! we let erik ride the easter train again. this time he got to ride in the engine. the older gentleman who was running the train let the kids go around and around and around, and after about 7 or so times around, all of them looked like they were ready to jump out the windows. one kid kept saying "mom?!?" every time the train went past. but erik really loved it. can't go wrong with a choo choo!


and of course we had to let him ride the little merry-go-round too.


(notice the bronco in his hand in both photos!) :D

after the mall we went to eat at at bob evans. erik ate and ate and ate for what felt like an hour. i couldn't believe how much that kid put away! i think he must be going through a growth spurt because he did the same thing at dinner tonight.

it ended up being a nice day and i really loved getting to spend time with my mom.

on saturday morning we met my brother adam and his family at the carnegie museum to check out the horse exhibit and equus-travaganza (thank you again mom!). they had some horses outside and a farrier doing a shoeing demonstration, but what excited erik the most was the horse that he got to pet. i think we went over at least four times to pet this poor horse who was pretty much pinned against a wall. the horse was extremely docile and hardly seemed to notice, but erik was thrilled and squealing with delight.

erik petting the horse:



morgan and marisa petting the horse:


morgan and erik sitting in the saddle that we later found out that they weren't supposed to sit in:



a few more pictures from the museum (notice the bronco, still in erik's hand):





in the afternoon we went to my friend jamie's house (i mean the CONRADS' house) for alex's birthday party. it was a lot of fun. erik had a great time playing with all of alex's toys and with a little girl mia who is just as bad as he is about not sharing and taking toys away from other kids! it was good for him to get a taste of his own medicine for once! i don't think it'll change his behavior though. don't get me wrong, they're both great little kids. i was so focused on making sure that erik didn't create too much havoc so i didn't take a ton of photos, but alex was so cute, especially eating gobs of green icing off his huge #1 birthday cake. erik had the best time chasing and being chased by diego the pug, and i had a blast watching the two of them run all over the place. i think diego enjoyed it too. they were so cute. here are a few photos.

erik in the car on the way to the party:


the birthday boy and his daddy jeff:


alex eating a football:


erik hoarding alex's new wheel pals:


erik completely scompered on the way home:


when we got home i went to the lab for awhile while erik and peter played. since erik only napped for a few minutes on the drive home, we were able to tuck him in a little early and had a date night in - a bottle of cabernet/merlot (first time i had that combo ... not too bad), take out from one of our favorite chinese places (lulu's noodle house), and a pretty terrible movie (three). i was so tired from the day that i was in bed before midnight, but it was a good tired and a really great saturday.

sunday was much more relaxed. we slept in and then went to the carnegie library as soon as it opened at noon. erik loves the library (especially the train table), and could hardly wait as they opened the doors. as soon as he got in, he took off running to the children's library. he played with the trains, read books, and looked at the exhibit of stuffed local animals they had there. he was particularly tickled by the chipmunk. i think he was expecting it to sing and dance! we had the place to ourselves for about 15 minutes until other kids and parents started trickling in. we stayed for about an hour and got lots of neat books for him. he didn't even put up too much of a fight when we had to leave. i made lunch for the three of us when we got home, and again erik had a very hearty appetite. he ate the entire quesadilla i made for him, a good bit of my turkey sandwich, lots of popcorn, and grapes. when we put erik down for his nap, i snuck out and went to phipps conservatory with my rebel to unwind a bit, see the gorgeous spring flowers, and take some pictures. the colors were so vivid and beautiful. i took a ton of pictures that totally don't do them justice. you can see a selection of them here.

here's a sneak peak:

phipps conservatory

pink and yellow tulips

grape hyacinth


blue hydrangeas


tiger tulips

ranunculus asiaticus

orange tulips

chihuly chandelier

i made it home well before erik woke from his nap and was kicking myself for not taking my new macro lens. i'll have to do that next time! when erik got up, i took him to the playground while peter did some laundry and started dinner. we had a nice dinner and a quiet evening at home, trying to get geared up for the week that was to come.

like i said, the weekend went by WAY too fast, but it was really great. lots of nice memories. only four more days until next weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

erik's new new name

earlier this week it was 'erik markus ding ding':

but tonight he has an even better name. he was eating some fruit after dinner and there was some honeydew melon in it which he didn't seem to like judging by the way he kept feeding it to me. he started chanting 'dew dew dew honey dew dew dew.' and then just blurted out 'erik markus dew dew dew' which made me laugh out loud. then he kept saying it over and over. he is so silly sometimes!

peter put together the tricycle/big wheel that he got from his friend justin this afternoon and we took erik to the playground to let him ride it for a little while.

here's erik 'helping' assemble the new trike:




and riding it at the park:




his feet don't reach the pedals yet, but he'll get there soon i'm sure. he still had fun scooting around on it. a couple more photos from this evening - there's nothing like a good stick:


my first macros with my new camera:



it was another gorgeous march day. too bad i hear it's supposed to be 30 degrees colder tomorrow. BOO!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

lousy daycare (literally)

erik has needed a haircut for awhile now, but after finding out this morning that one of the kids in his daycare class has head lice, he finally got one. (itch itch, scratch, scratch ... can't stop scratching my head now!) i gave his too long hair a cursory examination this afternoon and didn't see anything, but he still needed a haircut and i figure if he needs to be treated it will be much simpler if his hair is short. peter and i took him down to the local hair salon and he did amazingly well. it was his fourth haircut ever ... the last one was just before thanksgiving. this was the first time he actually sat in the chair by himself (the other times he sat in peter's lap or mine). he was a little squirmy, but didn't move too much or get really upset. i took my camera with the intentions of getting some nice pictures, but (for the second time) i forgot to put the memory card in after transferring pictures to the computer last time, so i had to use peter's phone to get the obligatory 'before' and 'during' photos.

here's my shaggy-headed boy in the chair before his haircut:


and an action shot - during the haircut:


here is the 'after' shot, later this evening:


maybe he didn't like it very much, because he decided to use peter's starbuck's bag as a hat. actually he was just imitating his silly daddy.


i think it turned out pretty well considering the amount of squirming he did. haircuts have a way of making him look a whole lot older, but i think it's a good change. and in the unfortunate event that he does end up with head lice (scratch scratch), well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

let's see ... i haven't updated my blog in awhile, so in other news ...

on monday i had to present in 'research in progress' (rip, appropriately) which of course made me crazy stressed and nervous for like a month beforehand. no matter how many times i do it, i just can't get comfortable with speaking in front of a crowd, in this case all of the students in my program and one other program. i put together what i thought was a very cohesive and thorough presentation with lots of cool pictures and not too much text, and actually practiced it a few times over the weekend. i was still nervous as hell, but i think i did a much better job presenting than last year, and finished it without really stumbling over my words TOO much. my mentor told me i did a great job, and i even got a lot of positive feedback from other students, which made me feel good. but mostly i'm just relieved that i won't have to do this again until next year.

over the weekend we took erik to the playground at schenley park (and i didn't even take pictures!) and we went to the mall and let erik ride the easter train and the little merry-go-round, which he enjoyed.





i even snapped an increasingly rare self portrait with my adorable husband:


i guess that's all i have for right now. it's been an interesting week so far, and it's only tuesday. i'm hoping to get a lot done in the lab this week, so i really need the luck of the irish for everything to work out the way it should. my fingers are crossed ...