Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best of Bio Girl 2012

This is the sixth year I posted a 'Best of Bio Girl' on New Years Eve (here are 2007, 2008 , 2009 , 2010 and 2011 if you want to spend the next several hours reading the best of six years of Bio Girl blogging... you do, right??) Once again I am going to create a nice list of posts in no particular order (except in time order, because that is kinda how I find them) from the past year. I don't know if you all read them, but I enjoy finding them. It's been a year of ups and downs around these parts, but I am going to choose to focus on the good.  It is better for my soul.

 So without further stalling for time, I give you THE BEST OF BIO GIRL 2012!

Wow.  That's a lot of posts. I should go trim it down.  But I doubt I will get to that.  It's just more Bio Girl for you to enjoy!  Is anybody even still reading?  If you are, then let me say thanks!  Thanks for reading this post until the end, and thanks for reading in general.  It truly means so much to me.  I will see you in 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Break

It's strange to me how much less I blog when I am on any kind of break from work.  You would think that would be the ideal time to sit down and write, but really... it turns out that is the ideal time to sit down and be with the ones I love.  The blog can wait for my lunch break at work.  The stories will hold.  The time with family can't wait.

We are on day eight of our twelve day break. Twelve glorious days. Nick and I both realized separately yesterday that, man it's seriously an awesomely long amount of time to be away from work. I guess we hit the one week mark and realized we still have five* more days. Or maybe it's that Christmas has wrapped up and the tree is down and we STILL HAVE FFFFFIIIIIVVVVEEEE DAAAAAYSSSSS to bask in vacation laziness and time together.

We have already been filling the days with family time and game nights, movies and food. Lots and lots of food. We did this:
And enjoyed it so much that the next night we did this:
The house is clean. The Christmas presents are put away.  The snow is coming down. It's so nice to slow down and be together.  This Christmas, more than any other, I have been reminded how important time with family truly is.  I am making sure to not take a second of it for granted.

Stop back by on Monday for my Best of Bio Girl 2012 post!  I got it done early this year, which I find to be a small miracle. I will see if I can find time to write my resolution post for Tuesday, but if I don't... don't worry.  I will get it written.  It just might be a few days late.  I am really busy filling my days with what's most important.

*Actually, I have five, Nick has between four and nine depending on if he decides to take a little vacation on top of his vacation. Time will tell.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

We have had an absolutely amazing Christmas. Best ever. Every single year, right? But really. It keeps getting better with our sweet boy. We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much family and so much love.

Here is the annual Christmas video.  Enjoy!

**For some random reason the song I picked to play with this video (Rocking Around the Christmas Tree)  is not approved to play on mobile devices. So... if you want to watch you are going to have to do it from your desktop computer! Sorry!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with the people they love. Rigney Christmas
 I know we will. And these two will make it completely magic.

Our Christmas starts tomorrow at my parents house with Christmas baking and goes straight through Christmas night. We will be with the ones we love, and that is always the best Christmas blessing.  I will be back at the end of next week with a ton of pictures to share.  Get ready.

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dear Santa,

"Please bring me a Batman game and Candy. Love, Henry"

Santa has totally got this!

(in can you can't tell, this letter is traced.  He's good, but he is only three :) Still, that is some impressive three year old letter tracing!)

**And still, my heart aches for Newtown, CT.   I feel like every move I make this week reminds me of families that will not have the chance to do these same Christmas traditions.  Last night I couldn't stop crying for the sister of the teacher.  Because I see myself, my sister, my family, in that photo.  Everyday I cry for the parents, the children, and for the horror of it all. Because it could have been any of us.  And because it's Christmas.  And man... I just need to say, I am still struggling with it.  Hundreds of miles away, I am still crying with Newtown.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bad Santa

I was on Facebook the other day and a girl I went to high school with was complaining about the Santa at our local bookstore. She was asking where to find a GOOD Santa, and I was shocked. SHOCKED! How could she not be happy with that Santa? He is the BEST Santa EVER! I mean, LOOK at the pictures they took there form last year.


Go look. I will wait.

I am going to admit it.  I judged the girl.  What more could you WANT?? I thought.

We went to see our beloved bookstore Santa last night.  And turns out, it's a new Santa.  And a new photographer.  And you guys, I am still angry about the entire experience.  STILL.  CAP LOCK, TALK ABOUT IT ON MY BLOG, ANNOYED.

We had been hyping up this Santa visit.  Henry was ready.  He was going to tell Santa he wanted a batman toy, he was going to say he was a good boy, he practiced his reindeer antlers for a picture, he wanted to ask Santa if he knew Aech the Elf. HE WAS EXCITED.

I should have known it wasn't going to go well as soon as we got there.  Santa had two kids on his lap (not really his lap, the arm of the chair. He didn't allow kids on his lap) and was chatting with the parents about dog breeds.   As we waited Henry started to go from excited to nervous. When it was our turn I put Henry up on the arm of the chair and I said "Hi Santa!  Henry is so excited to talk with you!  Do you know his Elf Aech?"  thinking that as a Santa, he is in the loop with this elf on the shelf deal.

So Santa says "Oh an elf like the elf on the shelf?" (looking only at me, not at Henry)  "Have you ever noticed how much those elves look like "Snap, Crackle and Pop from Rice Crispy cereal??  I bet they are made by the same people. It makes since, really!  Like getting your brand image out there.  It's good marketing"

Um, excuse me Santa.  But are you talking to me about brand image and cereal marketing while my son is waiting to tell you what he wants for Christmas??  GET INTO CHARACTER.

Right after that this picture was taken:
Santa 2012
Henry is not impressed. (heh)

Then we worked on getting a good smile out of Henry, which we GOT! It was perfect! Amazing!  IDEAL!!  Except the photographer was chatting with the a friend at the check out counter and didn't capture it.  Well done, photographer.  Way to pay attention. We got this one a minute later. It's okay I guess.
Santa 2012
Kind of.  But I like the 'not impressed' one better.  It captures the day.

Next we added in Cici.  Don't they look excited:
Santa 2012
Nothing but holiday cheer up in here.

Seriously, this is the best one of them looking at the camera.  Others are like this:
Santa 2012
Henry actually blowing spit bubbles because he is bored. 

Santa NEVER asked what they wanted (I finally told Henry to tell Santa what he wanted, to which Santa said "Batman?").  He NEVER asked if they were good boys and girls.  HE NEVER SAID MERRY CHRISTMAS!  But we can pretend:
Santa 2012
I tried to get the antler picture, but nobody (including Santa) was into it at that point.  So it was Cici's turn next.  They tried and tried to get her to smile, then Boo looked over and realized the photographer was texting.  Yes she was.  Boo had to say 'Um, Can you PLEASE take her picture???"
Santa 2012
But if you crop out the spit bubble blowing Henry, I think this one is better.
Santa 2012
Give me a photo editing tool and I can make these pictures passable.  Kind of.  But I am so annoyed that the trip that was so exciting to Henry before hand turned into something so unfortunate.  And cost us $38.

  High school friend on Facebook, I owe you an apology.  Let me know if  you find a better Santa for next year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

P&G eStore and BlogHer Chrismtas Extravaganza!

When BlogHer asked if I was interested in promoting the the P & G eStore here on Bio Girl, I went right to their site to see what P&G sells. Just, you know, so I could see if I could talk about any of these products.  Hard to do a review of stuff if I am like "Yeah.... looks cool....  I know nothing about it..."  That isn't exactly quality product review blogging, there... And I REFUSE to do sub-par reviewing*

 But turns out that isn't an issue.  You know why?  Apparently P&G makes EVERYTHING.  Seriously.  Tide, Dawn, Cascade, Febreze, Bounty, Gillette, Charmin.... like, all the non-food products that go in my shopping cart, apparently are made by this magical P&G.

Good to know.  So I am happy to spend a post suggesting these things to you because I USE THEM EVERY DAY!

And once I started looking around the eStore I realized how smart it is to shop for these things online instead of at the grocery.  First off, these things take up a lot of space in a shopping cart.  Is that dumb to point out? Because I feel it is an issue.  Is my cart fuller than other grocery shoppers because I have a love of food?  possible.  But the idea of getting these products delivered seems like a decent idea.  Leaves more room for doughnuts.

Then there is the fact that you get free shipping if you spend $25 or more (easy) AND I have a 15% off coupon to give you (code:  A9Z-MN5-KY3-ISA) And it seems like we should all just use the eStore. They have bundles, they have sales, they have deals.  Things seem to be the same price or cheaper than at the local grocery.

 Oh, and you want to do some Christmas Shopping, real quick like?? (HURRY HURRY!!)

You want whiter teeth?  They have it!
You want an eclectic tooth brush?  They have it!
You want an Electric Razor? They have it! 

So got to the P&G eStore. Shop.  Save Money.  Enjoy. 

 So Here are the deals!!
 15% off on a first-time order from a new customer, using promo code: A9Z-MN5-KY3-ISA
 Free Shipping on orders over $25
 Free Samples with every order.

*Not really.  I will totally review on a sub-par level.  But this is nothing but quality reviewing.  REALLY!


Friday, December 14, 2012

My Heart is in Connecticut

I was working on a normal post for today, but instead I am just going to say that my heart is breaking for the families in Connecticut.  The parents, the children, the teachers, the community.  My heart is just aching as I sit here unable to stop reading the updates.   I think of my sweet Henry, of my sister working in an elementary school, of just how unspeakably awful this all is.

I am praying for these families.  I am praying for all of us.  And I am tied to the news hoping to see answers that I know will never come.  Because there is no explanation that ever makes since for something this awful.

**Edited to Add:**

We all feel helpless at times like these, but if we all speak up together, there might be a chance to prevent these things from happening again. Contact your congressional representatives about gun control. 

I know we have a right to have guns, and I don't pretend to know the answer, but let's start talking about it. There has to be a way to keep our children safe from things like this.  Parents should not be afraid to send their kindergarteners to school.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

We put our tree up in stages this year. The tree came down the week before Thanksgiving. But we couldn't bring ourselves to decorate. It felt rude, and we didn't want to hurt Thanksgivings feelings. I hear Thanksgiving is kinda sensitive.

So we got the tree down, just... you know... because it was getting close to time.  With full intentions of decorating Thanksgiving weekend.  But then, we had this like, TREE in the living room.  Random.  So I figured Thanksgiving wouldn't mind if we just put some lights on it. WHO COULD BE AGAINST LIGHTS?  So that's what we did.  A week before Thanksgiving we had what I consider a Thanksgiving three.
What a Thanksgiving tree looks like without my glasses on...or with an out of focus camera.

The Friday after Thanksgiving we felt it was acceptable to actually put the ornaments on it.  Henry picked out his own special one to add to the tree (a new yearly tradition.). I tried to talk him into robots or spaceships but this kids knows what he likes.  And that is candy.
So then there was nothing left to do but put the star on...but once we got it completely decorated we realized we must have left the star in the attic.  And maybe normal people would run right up and get it... but it was late and we were tired and we decided instead to do it "tomorrow".

And then a few more "tomorrows" pasted until it was this week. And we finally got around to getting that pesky star on so we could call the tree DONE! 
Christmas 2012
And of course, Henry once again had the honor of starring the tree
 Christmas 2012
With a little help from Papa
Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself! It only took us four weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Lesson of the Weekend

So the lesson of the weekend...

Say you want to cook some delicious stir fry for dinner, right?  And you have an electric skillet.  And say you plug in that skillet to heat up while you chop chicken and broccoli and mushrooms, but you get it too hot.  Like way too hot.  Like, 'why in the hell did you turn that on high 15 minutes before you planned to use it' too hot.  I strongly suggest that when you look at it and debate the best way to cool it down, you go with the logical option of 'just unplugging it and giving it time'.   DO NOT, under ANY circumstances,  put in water first to cool off the skillet.  Then, as a second 'do not', DO NOT then add the oil while there is still some water in the pan because you are "Sure it will be fine".

Trust me.  IT IS NOT FINE.

 If you go with the water then add oil option (AKA the dumb option... AKA MY CHOICE), you will very nearly burn your house down. The water will boil and the oil will go crazy and you will think your skillet is possessed as it spews oil and steam in every direction.   You will be forced to grab the lid as your only form of defense,  but will be too terrified because 350 degree OIL will be shooting out at you.  Screw that.  You aren't going in there!

You will yell "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!"  and your husband will have to run in, take the lid and go in and fight the beast on his own while you stand there wide eyed and horrified.

And then... when he looks at you after he has gotten the near disaster under control you will say "I don't know what happened..."  And then he will remind you that you don't currently own a fire extinguisher (it's on the Christmas list.  we are nothing but exciting around here) So lets be more careful with flammable things between now and Christmas Day.


 So the lesson of the weekend is that oil and water do not mix.  Like at all.  Especially at 350 degrees.   I think I remember somebody mentioning that in school at some point along the way...


Thursday, December 6, 2012


Wow, so I am doing pretty bad at blogging lately.  Have you noticed?  I have noticed.

It isn't even that I don't post.  Because I do (which I am sure you notice by how I pop up in your reader 2-3 times per week).  I think and scratch my head and finally go "YES!  I will post that picture of Henry.  It's cute"  Or "I could tell people he is sick lately... that's a post."  But what I don't seem to be able to do right now is sit down and put into words what is happening in my real and everyday life.  Not like I used to.  Not like I did with infertility or the early days of parenting.  I feel like my blog has slowly slid from a form of therapy that you all read (thanks guys!) to a place where I feel that I need to publish SOMETHING, but all the real stuff, the big stuff, is too complicated to write about.

I have no idea what this means.  I am just writing it out, because I feel like it's the elephant in the blog room.  Or maybe it isn't.  Maybe it only feels that way to me.  But then I think of Dooce, and how much her blog has changed since she sectioned off  that BIGGEST THING in her life and marked it as PRIVATE. And she has that right.  It's her private life, and it's fine if she doesn't want to discuss it.  But oh, how the blog reads different. And although I know I don't have a billion followers like she does, I feel like to my readers, it is most likely clear.  I am no longer talking about what I am spending most of my time thinking about.  And I hate that. 


My grandfather is very sick.  For awhile it was very scary, but now it isn't quite as scary... but still... not exactly 'out of the woods' comfortable.

Missy is having some side effects from her treatments (they are hard on her kidney's) and she has to take a break for a couple weeks.  She goes back to the NIH in two weeks to see how things are looking on this new medication.  The entire subject just breaks my heart, every single moment of every single day.

My final exam is next week. 

I am still working on getting my 200 hours in for my practicum form my masters program.  I was hoping to be done this semester, but I still have 60 hours to put in.  I am trying to ignore that it might not be done at the start of the next semester.

Nick is working 13 hour days as he gives his finals to his students this week. I can't believe he has been teaching an entire semester already.

Henry still has a terrible cough and I have no idea if it's a "needs a doctor" kinda cough or just a "kids cough" kinda cough.

I am worried about.... everything.  All the time.
But on the plus side,

I spent the day with my grandparents yesterday and it was a great visit.

Henry is loving school and drop off is so much easier.

I had dinner with my family (parents, sisters) the last couple of nights and it was wonderful family time together.

I love my new job.  Still. 

Nick and I are both off work from December 21st to January 2nd because the University is closed, so we get to spend that time together as a family.

We decorated for Christmas and it gives me joy.

Henry still adores Aech and loves finding him every morning. 

It's all the ups and downs of life, I guess.  And I used to talk about all of that on here.  And then I stopped.  Because it's hard to talk about, and because lots of things are private to other people, and I try to respect that.  And honestly, because I worry that some of these things aren't interesting.  But still, if I am going to continue to use this space, I need to find the way to get back to being honest here.  Not just to post pictures or cop-out posts.  But to really talk about my life.  Even if it's things nobody cares about but me.

 I hope you don't mind.  Actually, I hope you like it better. I think I will.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lazy Sunday Morning

Footed PJ's (Size 4T), Angry Bird Winter Hat, Homemade Fort (birdie house), favorite stuffed animal friends, Arthur Christmas on the TV.

Someone is doing Lazy Sunday just right.