Archive for February, 2014

PhD Status Update

School Status
Alberta Accepted
Arizona Interview
Arizona State
British Columbia
Queens Accepted + Invitation to visit
South Carolina
Western Interview
York Accepted

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Black Ice | Black Eyes

IMG_4426 IMG_4425Two weeks ago I slipped on the ice and landed in the emergency room with 3 stitches on my eyebrow.

For a while I had debated whether I preferred the Ergobaby carrier or the stroller in the snow. The stroller definitely gives me more stability on the ice, but we had SO much snow in December that it was sometimes truly impossible to push the stroller across residential streets. But now I say the stroller–definitely the stroller. Because after I went careening through the air and before I whacked my face into the sidewalk, my baby + baby carrier landed under my body.


A dog walker offered to stay with me and wait for a friend to come pick me up. After handing me an alcohol swab to clean up a bit, I said, “Yeah, I have no idea what I look like.” To which he responded, “Oh, you are pretty spectacular.”

There was so much blood.

Granted I was far from a unique case at the hospital that night.  After a long chinook, there was a layer of ice under the new skiff of wet wet snow, which made for deadly walking and driving conditions. The picture above is what we looked like while waiting in line at the ER after E finally stopped crying. That’s my blood, not hers,  on her face.  Don’t worry, Wally; all the blood stains came out.

We both turned out to be fine. I suffered a minor concussion, but E didn’t show any real signs of damage. Her head had more padding  on her headthan mine (2 hats and 2 hoods).

But while we’re at it, I thought it might be fun to show off the black eye ghosts of my past.



1. November 13, 2006 | Provo, Utah

While crossing 700 North at 300 East (in a crosswalk), I was hit by a car and knocked to the ground. I still have no idea where that blood came from on my right eye because it was my left side that hit the ground. These are the pictures from the hospital, so they don’t show the bruise yet, but it was just a skiff of purple shadow in the crease of my eyelid. My only other injuries were a sprained ankle and some contusions on my lower leg. And shock set in about 5 hours later which was pretty scary too. But not as scary as my walking companion who got one titanium bone put in each of her legs.

Photo 117

2. October 19, 2009 | Seattle, Washington

I was on my bike, hurrying to get to my Anatomy & Physiology exam on time, came down a hill pretty fast, and a car pulled out in front of me. I pulled hard on my breaks to avoid hitting the car, skidded, swerved and landed on my side. The driver stopped and I asked her if I was bleeding. I was, right where my helmet was cracked. She took me in her house, cleaned me up a bit and gave me a band-aid, then I hurried on to class. I didn’t even look in a mirror until after the test was over. I was covered in mud and I had this pretty little shiner on my face. It’s amazing no one even said anything to me.

3. January 29, 2014 | Calgary, Alberta


This is the first one that gave me a scar.  After two weeks, I think it’s actually healing quite well.


7 1/2 Months








7 months


I think the pictures sum it up pretty well, but here’s what I would like to remember about this age.

This baby is so happy. She’s always smiling.

She’s so close to crawling.  In mid-January my bet was that she would be crawling in a month. I have about a week to see if I’m right.  My yoga teacher said she has a truly impressive cobra though.

She loves dancing with her daddy. About every other night, we turn on some electroswing and party.

Sometimes while she’s nursing she gives me a sideways smile, which is a totally inefficient way to drink and it often results in spills on my shirt. And then she giggles. How can I do anything but share in the joy?





The obligatory birthday photo, in which we tread by snowshoe through a school yard because an unexpected January rainstorm caught us unawares, thus turning us from our original plan to cross over  Nose Hill to Eclaire de Lune, so we sought shelter at the library, checked out a movie and headed home, but not before making some use of the arctic footwear we carried on our backs for two hours already.

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First Foods


First Foods from Xivonne on Vimeo.

The first thing we did when we got home from our epic Christmas travel adventure was give little E some solid food. We were having potatoes for dinner, so we thought a potato would be as good as any food to try. I mashed a little up, mixed it with some expressed breast milk, and gave her a couple spoon fulls. She didn’t take to it very well. Day 2 was banana + breast milk, which she LOVED. And basically ever since then, she’ll eat just about anything I give her. Even potatoes.

After seeing her love affair with paper in full swing on Christmas morning, I thought she might like some nori (dried sushi seaweed sheets). She’s a big fan. Crinkley, dark, fun to eat. The picture at the top is her yogurt smile. This baby loves food. All food. Favorite food? Probably water. She starts making gorilla noises and shaking her arms and legs whenever I pour a glass. Least favorite? Hard to say. Maybe fava beans. Sorry, grandpa.



Just eating borscht and gearing up for Sochi 2014



Christmas, part 2: Penticton

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After the first leg of our trip, we headed north to Penticton, a 10-hour drive. Once again, E was a pro at being in the car for so long, and we made it all in one day. We did download an audiobook to keep us awake on the drive: books 1 and 2 of The Hunger Games. It turned out to be an excellent choice for driving. In fact, it continued to keep us up for a few nights after we got home so we could finish it (Just one more chapter. Okay one more. Another? Okay one more!...).

One of the highlights for sure was New Year’s Eve with Grandpa Wardrop. E and I went to bed around 9:30. Grandpa and M called it quits at 11:45. It was a serious party! Of course we also went snowshoeing.

I love how all of the pictures feature E and mommy and daddy aren’t pictured once. She was definitely popular!

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Christmas, Part 1: Boise

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First Christmas from Xivonne on Vimeo.

The idea was totally crazy. Calgary to Boise to Penticton to Calgary in two weeks. That’s 32 hours of driving with a baby, which really means like 48+  hours on the road if you count the stops. That is so much driving. But we all did well and we actually had a good time in the car. It was nice to introduce E to some aunts and uncles she had never met before and of course it was nice to spend some time with our family. Since we don’t know where we’ll be next year, we wanted to do as much visiting as we can while we are within a reasonable distance.

The highlight from Boise, in my opinion, was probably the church walk and carol sing-along on Boxing Day.  A lot of the old churches downtown were open for viewing with organists playing. Afterward there was a big crowd at St. John’s cathedral to sing Christmas carols. It was the best combination of community, music, architecture and Christmas.



The PhD applications are out. All 10 of them. We’ll know within a few weeks where we’ll be moving in the fall for M’s PhD. With 10 applications out, we feel like chances are pretty good that we’ll at least get accepted somewhere. Then we’ll go through that whole moving shenanigan again, and if we’re lucky, we might actually stay in the same residence for the next 5 years.

5 years!

I haven’t lived in the same house for 5 years straight since the Colfax house (1990-1995) when I first moved to Boise. That will be really different for me. It will be the closest thing to settling down I’ve ever done. But with our luck, we’ll probably get flooded out or something, and we’ll be house hunting again before we know it.

Below is the list of schools, and above is a map of them.  M just had his first interview yesterday with York University! No other news yet.

Feel free to place bets. And wish us luck!

10 schools (in alphabetical order)
Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)
Queens University (Kingston, Ontario)
University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta)
University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona)
University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaigne (Urbana, Illinois)
University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina)
University of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin)
Western University (London, Ontario)
York University (Toronto, Ontario)


Catching up

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I promised some more pictures from Christmas, and it looks like I’m running late. Oops! I’ll try to get a few more posts up in the next few days because life is happening and we have things to say! Here are some shots from our snowshoeing adventure when we were in Penticton at the end of December. It was somewhere up Apex. I’m not quite sure where, and M is out playing basketball so I can’t ask him. We had a great time though. I had mixed feelings about being away from E for so many hours, but she did great (I mean, she had a great babysitter). And it was nice to be on the mountain with my hands free. The view from the top was really tremendous. And windy, as you can see.