24 July 2009

aaaaand... rejected.

Yep. I got the email from The Journal today. My manuscript was rejected. Doesn't quite fit the focus of the journal. *sigh*

No time to think about it now. I'm polishing my presentation for Monday. After the conference I'll be back to figuring out where my manuscript might be a good fit. Or maybe for now I'll just work on getting the thesis past my committee and worry about publication later. We shall see.

23 July 2009

A rant on maternity clothing and what I think looks "professional"

I hate clothing shopping. I always have. One of the things I dreaded most growing up was the back to school clothing shopping, especially the search for jeans that would actually fit me. None of this has changed. But now that I have a preggy belly it's more complicated.

All I wanted was a simple, professional looking shirt to wear for my 15-minute presentation at Botany on Monday. I did manage to find a shirt that will work. However, I also came away with shocking insight into my ideas of what looks "professional," "sciency" and "serious".

Beware: major ranting ahead.

I went to Motherhood Maternity to find The Shirt. Yes, Motherhood makes cheaply-assembled crappy clothes and is overpriced. It's also pretty much the only option in Logan for anything beyond maternity t-shirts and jeans. So I sucked it up and went in there. Overbearing, overeager salesperson aside, it was not terrible. But the three rounds of trying on shirts in the dressing room, coupled with excessive scrutiny on my part, made the task really suck.

Things that I realized I didn't like about the shirt options:
  • Ribbons or bows. These are inherently feminine, and thus not "professional" or "serious" enough for what I needed. Yes, I recognize this is a bullshit assumption. I know I could pull off a cute skirt with a little bow on it and still look professional. But if you lived in my head you would understand that girly does not equal serious, so ribbons are out.
  • Puffy sleeves. These are both too feminine and too matronly. I have never ever ever liked puffy sleeves and am not about to start now.
  • That damn elastic between the boobs and the belly that's supposed to make me look more shapely and cute? Annoying as hell. It rides up in the back, causing a Quasimodo poof between my shoulder blades while emphasizing that the shirt was really cut for someone a little more well endowed than myself. Screw that. Oh, and if you put a ribbon ON TOP of this annoying elastic? Double no from me.
  • Pleating that shows off the belly. Yes, I'm pregnant. Yes, I'm happy to be pregnant. No, I don't want my shirt screaming "LOOK AT MY FERTILE WOMB" from 50 yards away.
  • Ditto on the boob pleating. I'm trying to look "professional" and "serious," which apparently in my brain means that I must look as androgynous or close to male as possible. Males do not have boobs. Therefore shirts that draw attention to my boobs are out.
The wiring in my head that says "serious" "professional" "scientists" must look androgynous or male is totally fucked up. I realize this. I'm a woman, and I'm a scientist. I should not need to make myself look as masculine as possible in order to be taken seriously. Yet that's how things are coded in my brain - so much so that I visibly sneer at my reflection after putting on a maternity shirt that draws attention to my curves which I otherwise love so much right now. Because when I'm talking science I don't want to accentuate those things, I want to downplay them. Ugh.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I am totally fed up with myself for thinking like this, but glad that I recognize that I'm thinking like this. Where do I start with the reprogramming? How do I make it okay for myself to wear something feminine and cute AND think I still look professional. And why does it matter what anyone else thinks about what I'm wearing? Shouldn't they be paying more attention to the information I'm trying to share with them?

I was going to suggest the alternative of a professional conference in the nude, but... ummm... no. That opens up a whole nother can of worms, and I'm not ready to go there either.

21 July 2009


I just submitted my first manuscript for publication to a scientific journal!!! This manuscript will be one of the two data chapters in my thesis. Now begins the waiting game (as far as this manuscript goes) to see what the reviewers say.

*bites nails*

Okay, back to putting together my presentation for the big conference on Monday and tweaking the other thesis chapters (plus gestating, mothering, partnering, bellydancing... just a few things to do).

It's Submitted!!!

17 July 2009

Surfin' Safari for Willow Park Zoo

Hey Loganites, there's a fun event coming up. On Tuesday, July 21st there will be a fundraiser for Willow Park Zoo held at the Logan Aquatic Center. This event, Surfin' Safari, runs from 7:30-9:30pm and features live music, free ice cream, and all the water play you can handle (pdf here). Admission is $5 per person, and all proceeds go to support our struggling little zoo.

Zoo politics note: I know some folks oppose zoos in general, or this zoo in particular. I feel there is some educational merit to a zoo, and would rather support the hard work the folks at Willow Park Zoo do than see them close and the animals moved somewhere else.

14 July 2009

Nesting already?

Those familiar with pregnancy or pregnancy-related fables know that pregnant ladies, when nearing the point of popping, start "nesting". This is a highly technical term for cleaning like crazy, which may involve things like rearranging furniture, scrubbing walls, and generally becoming way more of a neat-freak than anyone thought possible. It's thought that this is the mother's way of preparing her home (or nest) for the impending arrival of her offspring. Some women go all-out with the nesting, while others never really feel the urge to scrub behind the toilet with a toothbrush. It's highly variable.

When I was pregnant with Doodle, I didn't really have any nesting urges. Sure, I got all excited about washing and preparing widdle bitty baby clothes and diapers and stuff, but I didn't really get into the "OMG, MUST SCRUB CEILING!!!" stage.

This time, Ohhh man.

I'm barely into the third trimester. Barely. I have PLENTY of time. So what have I spent the past few days doing? Do you really want to know? Alright, here goes. I have:
  • cleaned the bathroom sink
  • purged a bunch of my clothes
  • washed the walls in the bathroom (yep, here come the nutty hormones)
  • cleaned out the microwave and toaster oven (we usually dump the crumb tray of the toaster oven once in a blue moon. Scrubbing?! Very rare.)
  • wiped down cabinets in the kitchen (pretty uncommon for me)
  • reorganized storage baskets in the kitchen
  • vacuumed out a window sill in the kitchen that had accumulated leaves and dead bugs (seriously, who does this?)
  • and scrubbed the wall and floor near our kitchen trash can. On hands and knees. Really.
I know some people are regular wall- and baseboard-washers. That's not how I was raised. In our house my mom scrubbed the nasty creases on our kitchen cabinets maybe once every couple years. Baseboards? Pssh. Life is too short for scrubbing baseboards. Yet lately my eyes are drawn to the weird little cracks and creases in our house where dust and funk accumulates, and immediately my brain starts in with "Must Remove Ickiness NOW!" Never mind that it's in a corner that nobody ever pays attention to or, like the window sill, nobody even looks in. If I notice there is a funk accumulation, it must be remedied ASAP. Which explains why J walked into the kitchen this morning to see me scrubbing the fronts of the cabinets instead of getting food together to head to school. Because OMG DIRTY CABINETS!!! MUST SCRUB!

*sigh* I swear, this is so not normal for me. The hormones have saturated my brain. I'm not sure yet if this is a good thing or not. I guess by starting now I'll get a lot of the weird, out-of-the-way cleaning done before I'm too big and unweildy to do it. But what if this lasts until October?!

Mmmm, tomatoes

This is my new favorite addition to our kitchen: a set of tomato photos.

Photos by Drew Rayburn at the Cache Valley Gardener's Market. I've drooled over his produce photos for at least a couple of years now, and finally found the perfect set. This should tide me over until our garden starts cranking out the tomatoes. At least I hope so...

13 July 2009


I'm in the last trimester of this pregnancy. I'm feeling great. But a nagging voice has started up in the back of my brain. "You need to prepare," it keeps saying. Prepare what? We already have diapers, we're not changing around any sleeping arrangements for now, and I've done this before (the whole giving birth thing). What do I need to prepare?

I don't know. But I need to prepare something.

I feel like I've been totally slacking in the pregnancy front. I haven't been reading up on birth options, or breastfeeding, or cloth diaper choices, or the bazillion other things I researched while pregnant with Doodle. I haven't read any of the labor and birth books on our bookshelf that I poured over last time around. I haven't even pulled out my prenatal yoga dvd yet.

What HAVE I been doing?

Well, I've been writing and rewriting drafts of my thesis. I've started putting together my presentation for the Botany conference in a couple of weeks. I've done laundry, dishes, vacuuming, sewing, some cleaning, some wall scrubbing, and lots and lots of food prep. I've traveled to SoCal and EWa to visit family and celebrate with them. I've trudged through the long drives associated with the family visits. Best of all, I've been playing with my Doodle: embracing the imaginary play, dancing to Metallica, filling up the wading pool, coloring on the sidewalk, and loving the moments of "Mama, I love you" and "Mama, come cuddle".

I may not be filling my brain constantly with the latest research on newborn eye drops or the merits of certain diapers, but I am certainly filling my days. And this feels like what I should be doing right now.

12 July 2009

Belly - 27 weeks

I'm in the final trimester! I cannot believe how time has flown. Here are some bellypics taken yesterday, on the 27 week mark.

Josh playing with camera angle - from above...

...and the "belly of dooooooom" view from below.