Sunday, March 29, 2009

More Pictures

It's almost midnight and I can't sleep, so I decided to post a few more pictures. Thanks to Gina for the adorable outfit and to Grandma for the snowsuit.

Cultured

On Wednesday, we went to a concert by a visiting chamber orchestra from Cambridge, UK. They played the Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach. The music was uplifting and inspiring. Benjamin is very familiar with this music, as they are some of his favorite pieces, and he was tapping along with the music throughout the night. We were impressed to see the artists performing on instruments from the period the piece was written. WOW! The conductor was also the harpsichordist. He had tall curly hair and he animatedly led the group with his head while he played the harpsichord at the same time. Ben loved the oboe, and the recorder solos were AMAZING!
Thanks to Michelle for watching a fussy baby so that we could enjoy a night out! It lasted at lot longer than we though it would, so THANK YOU for taking such good care of her.

On Saturday we had the privilege of listening to a practice recital of a doctoral student majoring in piano performance. He was amazing! This time Abigail got to enjoy the music as well, it put her right to sleep. You can tell what we play for her while she is sleeping. ;)
The pianist played seven "dances" from J.S. Bach as well as a series of scherzos from Brahms and a fantastic piece by Chopin. We feel so cultured.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Break Pictures

Abigail and I survived four flights and a wonderful week with family and friends. Below are some fun pictures from our trip. I am not much of a photographer and took very few pictures. . .so these will have to do. I tried to include most everyone, please forgive me if you are not here. I still love you!
Some of my favorites are my nephew Shawn holding his puppy, Denali rocking Abigail to sleep, Grandma reading to Abigail, Jenny holding Abigail, Great-Grandpa and Grandma, Katelyn mauling Abigail, and Abby in the Bumbo seat. Thanks everyone for a wonderful trip! We were well taken care of and enjoyed every minute.










Monday, March 16, 2009

NCAA Tournament Prediction

This should be especially of interest to our many Zoobie friends out there:

Insidehighered.com predicted a 2009 tournament bracket where the sole criteria for victory is the academic performance of the members of the basketball team. In their words: "To select the winners, we used the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate -- a nationally comparable score that gives points to teams whose athletes stay in good standing academically and stay enrolled from semester to semester." Based on this criteria, BYU would make it all the way to the championship game, only to lose to North Carolina. Bummer.

You all should also especially appreciate the fact that both Utah and Utah St. would lose their first round games.
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/03/16/ncaa

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Last Call!

Just thought we'd issue a "last call" invitation in case anyone feels like spending a weekend in Chicago at the end of the month. Katie, Abigail, and I will be there from April 1-4. I'm going to be in and out of a conference at the Palmer House Hilton, but we'll probably do some sight-seeing and pizza-eating along the way. I hear tickets to Chicago are relatively inexpensive lately... and it's a lot easier than making your way to Iowa City for a visit. Only one downside: it is extremely cold in the Windy City this time of year!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just in case anyone was wondering...

... what kind of stuff we political scientists (and those in training) do on a regular basis, this blog link is an interesting example:

http://www.themonkeycage.org/2009/03/how_much_did_racial_prejudice.html

In a nutshell, I'm leaning how to do the same kind of stuff -- trying to figure out the effect of particular variables (like ideology, partisanship, social context, gender, religion) on various other variables (like voter turn-out, vote choice, attitudes toward social groups, political policy preferences, etc.) by turning it into a math equation of some kind. Now don't you all just want to go to graduate school???

Incidentally, I would make several more blog posts like the example featured above, but somehow I think the demand is somewhat less than for those featuring pictures of our adorable baby and the frequency of her various bodily functions...

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's About Time!

After seven days of nothing but gas, Abby finally pooped. It may not seem exciting to you, but I am thrilled. I will spare you the graphic pictures (yes I took pictures, it was the messiest diaper she's ever had) and will instead show you the after pictures that I took once she was cleaned up.

Today is her three month anniversary, she was born Dec. 9. She is no longer considered a newborn, but will now be referred to as an infant. CRAZY!
Here she looks so grown up in her overalls. Here she is all bundled up and almost asleep. Here she is five minutes later. And last but not least, a picture with dad. I came home on Thursday after a meeting with a classmate about a group project to find dad and Abby sound asleep (it was only 9:00 p.m.) They looked so peaceful that I had to snap a picture. She has him wrapped around her little finger, I rarely let her sleep in the bed. Oh yeah, and only TWO MORE DAYS until we board a plane to UTAH!!!! Woo hoo!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kangaroo


These are some pictures that we took last month. She looks great sporting her purple sweat suits from Aunt Jenny. She looks tough in her Harley Davidson gear; including dew rag and gear bag. She just looks so cute in the Kangaroo carry that we had to take a picture by a Kangaroo statue (Ben's idea.)

She Can't Do Much. . .

but we are so excited about the things that she can do that we film every blessed moment. :) I know you all can't think she is a great as we do (WE THINK SHE IS AMAZING), but humor me with your comments. . .please. In the first one she shows her strong neck control as she stares at the fire (Warning: my lack of photography skills might make you a little dizzy, but it's worth it). The second movie shows her playing with toys. Awwwwwwwww, isn't that adorable? (YOU KNOW IT IS!) She plays with toys.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Some recipe recommendations...

Hello all -- I've been trying out some new recipes the past few weeks and came across some winners. Give them a try and see what you think:

Peanut Butter Coffee Cake -- this is high in sugar but delicious. http://bakingdesserts.suite101.com/article.cfm/peanutbuttercoffeecake

Spanakopita triangles -- these are like the Mediterranean version of South American empanadas. I added black olives and basil leaves to the recipe and it turned out great. The hardest part is finding filo dough at the grocery store. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spanakopita-II/Detail.aspx

And since living in Iowa City has really converted me to Mediterranean cooking, I also tried improvising a recipe for a Greek pasta dish. It turned out really good - Katie even liked it! It's even vegetarian for all my fellow liberal commies out there. Basically, toss all the following things together:

  • Cooked penne pasta noodles
  • Olive oil
  • Feta cheese
  • Spinach - cut up into small pieces
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced black olives
  • Oregano
  • Basil (either fresh basil leaves or the spice rack stuff works, too)
  • Cooked artichoke hearts (if it's worth the effort/hassle to you, it wasn't to me...)
  • Parmesan cheese as a topper once it's all mixed

Enjoy!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Ben








I love you and I think you're great!