The highlight of our week was our beach filled weekend!
On Friday night, we attended a beach bonfire! Every year (prior to the pandemic) the Theory Group of UCLA’s Econ PhD program has a beach bonfire for the students and faculty. We mentioned this in previous posts, but students choose one or two specialties by the time they enter their 2nd or 3rd year of the program. Jake’s specialties are Theory & Labor. Because the Theory Group is a smaller group, it seems the student-professor relationships are more intimate. Jake and a colleague wanted to start up the tradition again, so they organized the beach bonfire this year. It was really nice to hang out with the professors and their families as well as all the other students in the group!
Cindy really enjoyed meeting all of Jake’s professors and their families. When she was in undergrad, professors just seemed SO intimidating. And while their status is still intimidating, she’s realizing that they are just people too. And once you get over that initial intimidation, it is actually pretty nice to talk and mingle! Baby R really enjoyed meeting Jake’s professor’s kids. She really enjoyed meeting one kid in particular. She kept giving one little boy ALL. THE. SMILES.
Jake also had a great time. It was the first time in almost two years that he attended an in-person social gathering for the PhD program. So it was bittersweet: great to see everyone again but also a little sad that a large chunk of his PhD was virtual.
On Saturday, we were back at the beach. This time, for a family beach day with another couple who also just had a baby. Their baby was born a few weeks before Baby R. It’s funny how we came to know this couple– they’re friends of Jake’s brother (who lives in D.C.) who recently moved to SoCal. So they went from being Jake’s brother’s friends to our friends. Okay…not that funny…but interesting how this relationship formed!
It has been nice to have couple friends who also have young babies! There seems to be more understanding, patience, and flexibility. The four of us played a game of Monopoly Deal, new parent style… where you have to take breaks to nurse, attend to blow outs, soothe baby cries, etc. A game that should’ve taken around 15 minutes ended up taking about twice the amount of time!
We’ve heard stories of how you kind of lose touch with your friends who don’t have kids once you have kids just because it’s a little harder to relate and not all of the social gatherings you’re invited to are “baby friendly”. It’s nice that a few of our friends are going through the same transition as us so we haven’t experienced much of that. And, for the most part, our childless friends have been pretty accommodating and understanding too!
Cindy attempted to start running again! She went on her first postpartum run this past week! The first run was only about 0.80 miles at about 12:00 minute pace. She had to stop because she got so incredibly itchy– something that happens to her when she doesn’t run for a while. Her second run was 2 miles at about 10:00 minute pace. She was so proud of herself! But she was woken up the next morning by an intense shooting pain in her groin area. Even though it felt really good to run again, it’s clear her body just isn’t ready yet. She still needs to spend a few more weeks strengthening her pelvic floor and deep core muscles.
Baby R turned 4 months old! We mentioned last week that she’s started rolling. She’s getting better and better each day! Her arm doesn’t really get stuck under her body anymore. She hasn’t figured out how to roll going towards her left. And she hasn’t figured out how to roll from tummy to back. She’s found her toes and has been grabbing at them. They’re just so interesting! We’ve been patiently waiting for her to try tasting them and sticking them in her mouth. And finally, Baby R tried her first “real food”! We gave her lemon juice!