Thursday, October 14, 2010

Like a chicken with my head cut off

Yesterday was all about making sure we don't waste anything from our CSA, but there are lots of other things I need to get done as well before the baby comes, especially in the next week.

As time wanes between now and the USA Science and Engineering Festival, I'm trying not to get stressed out about getting everything done. I'm coordinating over 30 volunteers to work the booth and help make the ~5,000 slime samples we will be taking to DC for this event (expecting 100,000 people to be on the Mall the 23rd and 24th of October for this festival)!

The 50 gallons of glue are waiting for me to pick them up. I have someone working on making up the Borax solution. I ordered the paper labels (just plain paper that we'll staple/tape to the bags), and picked them up today. I still need to purchase the baggies, food coloring, tape, trash bags, a case or two of water, and any other items. I also need to send out final information to the volunteers to make sure everyone knows where to be and when. Then, Scott and I will be driving down to help run the booth and make sure everything goes smoothly on the 23rd and 24th. Oh, and we need to find someone to watch the rats while we're gone.

Speaking of the rats, Chip (small brown dog) has been worrying me lately. He has had a few accidents in the house, and keeps "bowing", he stands, then bows his front half down to the ground (almost as if he were stretching) and just stands there in this position. We read that it means he probably has some abdominal pain (likely what is contributing to his accidents. We cut down his food, and snacks, and he hasn't had any accidents the past two days, but I'm still worried about him because today when I took him out after coming home, he didn't pee or poop. Nothing. No accident inside, nothing outside. Eventually a couple hours later he peed, but still no number two. So, going to keep an eye on him and if things don't get back to normal soon, take him into the vet.

In food news, I did make the cheesy cauliflower, and it was pretty tasty. We at it alongside the DELICIOUS butternut squash soup for dinner tonight.

What I really like about it is that it is fairly low cal, and just about as tasty as cheesy potatoes. 

Cheesy cauliflower
*1 head cauliflower, chopped and boiled/steamed
* 2 cups skim milk
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 cup shredded colby or cheddar cheese
* 2 Tbs corn starch mixed with water

Preheat oven to 500F. After cooking cauliflower, bring milk to a boil, add corn starch and water mixture, stirring constantly until well-incorporated and mixture thickens. Add more corn starch and water mixture if you want it thicker, and season with salt and pepper - I used about a half a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Pour milk mixture over cauliflower. Top with shredded cheese. Place in oven for 10-13 minutes until cheese starts to brown (less if you just like melted cheese). 

Now I'm going to work on updating the manuscript for my second research article - hopefully to finish it and the changes to the figures by tomorrow morning so we can send to our collaborators in England. This weekend I'll finish section 2 (of 4) of the review article I'm writing. This weekend I will also need to spend a good amount of time updating my NSF postdoctoral fellowship, and compiling and uploading the information from my sponsoring scientists - it is due on Tuesday!

Friday is a going-away celebration for the first postdoc in our lab - he has a new job in Japan - Congrats Hiroki!!

Next Monday (before our birthing class) and Wednesday the volunteers will be coming to make slime, so I'll need to get the 5,000+ labels cut and make sure I have enough boxes for all the samples (I've slowly been pilfering cardboard boxes after the different labs on my floor order supplies. 

Thinking of supplies, I also need to train one of the new graduate students in our lab how to order supplies (I just put in a big order today, but she wasn't around), so in case anything needs ordered while I'm out of the office, she'll be prepared. In addition, I need to meet with our new postdoc, to help him figure out how to submit a new IBC protocol to the Internal Review Board, and remember to fill out the paperwork to add him to all of our current IBC and IRB protocols (that allow him to work with the materials in our wet lab).

Finally, I need to sit down with Scott and figure out the details of our Halloween party (and anniversary party!), as well as figure out what else I need to do for the baby shower. 

To try and maintain my sanity, I've been doing my best to make time to go to the gym (either for some low-impact aerobics, or biking on the recumbent bike and stretching), but it seems like I'm still packing on the pounds. I'm hoping the extra weight is distributed mostly to my belly so I will be able to survive with the few pairs of pants I have. I know, I know, preggos are supposed to gain some weight, but I'm not really eating for two people, just one person and one tiny developing soon-to-be person. Although this little sea monkey is really starting to throw my back out of alignment. She's starting to seem less small and more like a pumpkin!

In conclusion, I'm doing my best to find the balance, but this week it has been a little more difficult than normal. Thank goodness that all things pass in time. :)


Dominique said...

That califlower stuff sounds really good. I will have to give it a try!

mathbionerd said...

let me know how it turns out, if you do :)