Thursday, July 31, 2008


Serving the commercial sign repair & maintenance needs of the Greater Richmond Area!
(pictures of our eyesore of a service vehicle coming soon to a blog near you)

Monday, July 28, 2008

My First Publication

My first academic journal article will be published in the next edition of the Journal of Bacteriology: Regulation of the intercellular adhesin locus regulator (icaR) by SarA, sigmaB, and IcaR in Staphylococcus aureus with Dr. Jefferson (my boss) and Dr. Nuno Circa (a post-doc who has since moved on to a position back in Portugal). Admittedly I only did part of the lab work, and didn't contribute any creative ideas, but hey! you have to start from somewhere. You should be proud of me, it's still very early in my academic career to be published! The article is already available for viewing online, but I won't post the link until it is formatted and officially published. Then I can give you a real PubMed link! My own work in the lab is coming along at a more sedate pace - which translates to: I will be working on screening this mutant library until well after Christmas at this rate. It isn't until you really get hip deep in the stuff that you realize how much time it does take, and why it's no surprise that there aren't cures for everything that ails the world. But don't worry, I'll still be here chipping away at my own ail-of-the-world when the snow flies :P

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gillian Goes to Busch Gardens...and *gasp*..daycare

We took Gilli to play at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg this weekend for the first time. It was 98 degrees outside so I was surprised that she held up as well as she did. Land of the Dragons was her first opportunity to wander absolutely wherever she pleased, and I'm sure we were a hilarious sight: one small girl-child in a big floppy hat being followed around by two anxious parents carting her paraphernalia with them. None of the other parents were closely shadowing their offspring like we were, in fact most were barricading the one possible exit and ignoring them! Tsk tsk ladies, apparently I am the only mother who realizes it IS possible that her little fiend will devise a way to get thru the 4 layers of rope to fall out of those hanging walkways. Or worse! Like getting her sweaty bum stuck in the middle of an enclosed metal slide where she can't go up or down, and no one can see her. The sad part is these are just the beginning of my horrible playground visions of disaster. And Joey thinks he's going to get her on the sky cars? NO SIRee bob, think again magic man! I do have to admit that following her around did provide one gem of a memory: she couldn't see us her behind her because of the aforementioned floppy hat, so she would walk along then suddenly stop to wiggle her bum to the music for a minute and continue on as if nothing had happened. Priceless! We even made that annoying 'awwww' noise that all parents learn how to make.

When she'd finally had enough we left to go see the Clydesdale horses, but not before stopping for a Kodak moment. Notice that Miss Gilli decided to display the talent all small children have for absolutely refusing to be as cute as they were just-a-flippin-millisecond-ago when you go to snap that perfect picture (she decided that being in a big plastic egg was truly cruel and unusual punishment).

She LOVED the horses, practically leaping out of Joe's arms in excitement. She even rode the Lil Clydesdale ride all by herself, and absolutely broke mommy's heart when she kept looking up and waving to us (on her own no less! we didn't prompt her, we were too busy taking pictures like crazy people). What is it about kids that turns an otherwise sensible person into a raving lunatic?

Well never fear! Mommy and daddy have not been utterly taken in by the wiles of this fairy princess. Yesterday was her first day at *gasp, no! say it isn't so!* daycare. Now that Joey has nearly got everything done for his company Elite Signs LLC, we are sending the rugrat to a very nice young lady named Ms. Jenny. There are several other children there her age, and I'm told Gilli is quite laid-back and quiet. HA! That won't last long. But in all seriousness, it's going to be wonderful for her to finally start socializing with other children. Now if only we can break mommy/daddy of their guilt over the decision, and Gilli's bad habit of bonking other little ones on the head in greeting.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What's the moral of this story? JAMIE WAS RIGHT!

The entire time that I was pregnant I was convinced that so was a disproportionately large percentage of the female population around me. I saw more of them coming into Outback to eat (or parents with newborns) and out shopping at baby-meca/BabiesRUs. But nooo, those around me insist that I'm just taking more notice of a part of the population that I had previously been oblivious to. Nevermind that seven girls at work and several of my friends were pregnant; this wasn't the cosmos' way of stealing my thunder (no, they left that job to my sister-in-law) it was just a broadening of my perspective. After Gillian was born I continued to have a suspicious little voice muttering in the back of my mind, although my internal soundtrack of "I'm a Little TeaPot/ToysRUs Kid" kept drowning it out. Why were stores always sold out of clothes in her size range? Why did so many of my new friends have rugrats themselves? Aside from the pleasant side effects of numerous play group options for Gilli, and a wealth of gently used baby clothes at consignment stores, I just had to wonder. Had I started a trend?
Well I got my answer today! No mom, it's not just that all of my friends and people around me have reached an age where they start exponentially reproducing, I was RIGHT! Everyone around me WAS pregnant, and now I'm worrying about what is going to happen to my daughter when they all apply to college at the same time.

Record number of babies born last year

WASHINGTON - More babies were born in the United States last year than ever before, according to preliminary data, but it's not another baby boom just yet.

About 4,315,000 children were born in 2007, about 15,000 more births than the peak time of the baby boom in 1957, said Stephanie Ventura, a demographer at the National Center for Health Statistics, which compiled the data from provisional birth certificate registrations at state health departments.

"According to our provisional data, we had the highest number of births ever reported in 2007," she said.

I'm sorry if this is a strange post, but HA! What the name of this game? "I win"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

When it suddenly goes very quiet in the house

Sometimes I'm just not up to being an active participant in Gillian's play, so on those bad-mommy days I just put up the baby gate and sit to read while she proceeds to run around me ripping the house to shreds (showing me her accomplishments every few minutes...'yes honey, mommy loves it when you try to tell me that dog food really is nutritious and delicious').
But every once in a while the house goes ominously quiet, and not in the good she-curled-up-to-take-a-nap kind of way.No, it's the omg-my-child-is-eating-dish-soap-and-what-is-that-in-your-HAND!? kind of way that happens only when they have found something so very interesting/naughty that they instinctively become quiet sneaky little bogarts. This exact scenario happened at our house just the other day. My reaction is to silently explore the quarantined area so that I can catch the little rascal red-handed. This time, as I expected she had completely destroyed the play area that I futilely insist on organizing, but I did not expect to see what she was doing:

(sometimes you can hardly handle the cuteness, for some reason I think we're doing ok so far with this one :)