Tuesday, April 27, 2010

small victory

I am wearing a pair of pre-pregnancy dress pants today. Yes, that is a victory in my book!

Monday, April 26, 2010

It begins

This is what happens when you leave your son home with your husband when you go work...
(also note that his sweet hair is falling out *sniff*)

Monday, April 19, 2010


Volunteers at the YV5k

Just to update you on the YV5k, my team is currently $60 away from raising $2000! I am so humbled by the generosity of so many wonderful supporters! We are tallying up the race entries from Saturday as well as last minute donations, but we have met our initial $75,000 goal. Of our $155 million annual operating budget, we must raise $15 million from private donors, so the funds raised at the YV5k are vital to helping us in our mission of helping children and families live successfully.

If you are interested in volunteering your time to Youth Villages, I am hosting volunteer orientations on May 1st from 9am-10am and May 4th from 6pm-7pm. Volunteers are needed in many different areas, from events to tutoring to sponsoring birthday parties! We can accommodate volunteers at all of our 64 locations across the country, so even if you do not live in the Memphis area, you can get involved!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Can we raise $600 in one day???

I am captain for the Volunteer Team of the YV5K (Team "Make a Difference"), and we are currently in 3rd place for fundraising. We are $600 away from 2nd place (that team has raised $2100), and YOU can help us move up in the rankings!
Here is how you do it:
* Click here to go to my team's webpage.
* Click either Join Team or Support Team. Spirit Runners (you don't have to make it to the actual event) can join the team for $15, and you get a t-shirt! Runners are $18. Or, you can pitch in $5 or however much you would like to support us. You can either support the team at large, or click on my name to specifically support me.
Where is the money going? All of the proceeds of the race benefit three programs:
* Transitional Living - Support young adults aging out of the child welfare system in TN, MA, NC, TX and D.C. Your funding helps provide counseling support, job preparation skills, financial management skills, and much more to an often forgotten group of young people.
* Spiritual Life - Support this voluntary program for the children in residential treatment. We provide spiritual activities each week to children who want to participate in this program, and it is completely funded through private donors.
* Mentoring - Support recruitment, training, and ongoing support to mentors across the state of Tennessee and Georgia. Mentors provided much need positive adult role models to teens in our residential programs.
Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Speaking of active children...

Go to http://www.refresheverything.com/skatelifememphis to vote for Memphis to win a Pepsi ReFresh grant for $250,000 to fund a skatepark in Binghampton. Info about the project is on the website as well.

If you do not have plans for Saturday morning, come out to the YV5k at the Ridgeway loop! Funds raised will go to Youth Villages' Spiritual Life Program, Mentoring Program, and Transitional Living Program. Learn more at www.youthvillages5k.com! My team (Team Make a Difference) is in third place overall with funds raised!

My Kinesthetic Learner

Jon likes to move! Pretty much the only time he is not moving is when he is asleep...and even then, he moves a lot : ) When we are on walks, he kicks his feet around. When he is eating, he tugs on his hair or swings an arm. When we are sitting in church, he kicks and waves his arms. When we are reading books, he reaches out to touch the pages. Even in the womb, Jon was a mover and shaker from an early age. During our nine-week ultrasound before we went to Argentina, Jon barely had arms and legs, but he was moving them constantly for the 15 minute exam. I am reading a book "Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys," and in it, the authors cite some research about the physiological and chemical differences between boys and girls, even at this young age. I'm a firm believer that much of our gender stereotypes are socially constructed and have little to do with biology, but I also do recognize that boys and girls are different animals. We were sitting behind a baby girl and her mom in church a couple of weeks ago, and she sat still the entire service. It was hard to gauge how old she was - she was smaller than Jon, but he is a pretty big kid. Jon was quiet during church, but he was literally moving the whole time he was awake. According to the studies cited in "Wild Things," girls' brains release more serotonin than boys' brains, thus girls sit still a bit better and boys move around more. Interesting stuff to think about....

While you are thinking about it, here is an example of Jon moving. Note that his hands and feet are blurs. Also, note that he is about to outgrow these 3-6 month pajamas and he is not even 11 weeks old!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Adult update

So Jon has pretty much overrun my blog! Here is an update on the adults in our family:

Jonathan defended his dissertation last Monday, and it was approved by his committee!!! Jon and I attended the dissertation defense, and understood about 2% of what Jonathan said : ) I got a bit worried during the questioning part, because it seemed that one member of his committee was asking what the point was of his many years of research. Jonathan presented on three proofs he has come up with over a period of six years, and to hear someone questioning it was a bit unsettling for me. Jonathan was cool as cucumber, because he had anticipated those questions. The committee sent us out into the hallway while they deliberated for about 20 minutes, and we breathed a huge sigh of relief when Jonathan's advisor came out with a smile and 'congratulations.' After the decision, we chatted for a bit with the committee, and it was so sweet to see how several of the faculty members are very proud of Jonathan and his work. I am super proud of him, too! We celebrated at Jonathan's favorite restaurant, Texas de Brazil : ) Thank you, Becky, for babysitting!!
Waiting for the dissertation defense results

Math talk

Jonathan with Dr. Lehel
Is this what Jonathan will look like in the future??

Dr. Lehel, Dr. Bollabas, Jonathan, and Dr. Rousseau

I went back to work last Tuesday, and have really enjoyed getting back into the swing of things at Youth Villages. I am slowly getting back into my work routine, which involves a lot of phone calls, emails, planning, and replanning. I made a couple of mistakes, got a little overzealous at times, but I know it will take a little bit to return to normal functioning. I have a couple of big projects to work on this month, including developing a volunteer newsletter, overhauling our record keeping, and captaining Team Make a Difference for the YV5k on April 17th. Check out our team website! We are almost half way to our fundraising goal of $1000 : )

I have my sights set on the St. Jude Half Marathon in December! Even if Jonathan and I end up moving for his job, I have promised myself (and a few others) that I will run the race. The farthest I have run without stopping at this point is only 1.3 miles...so I have a long way to go. I ran a little over 2 miles with Becky a couple of weeks ago, but we had to stop to wait for crossing signals, so I had some breaks. I think I am going to try to run after work on the evenings when Jonathan does not work, and then I will continue walking with Jon on the evenings that Jonathan is teaching. Then Becky and I will run on Saturday mornings, and I'll take Sundays off. I need to get some cross training in there too. Playing with Jon is sometimes its own cross training! Anyone have tips on integrating some core or strength workouts into the mix?

Jon's Baptism, 3/28/10

Our little boy was baptized on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2010. Baptism is a covenant sign of God's promise to care for us and our promise as parents to raise up our little one in a Christian home. We do not believe that baptism brings salvation (only faith does that), but baptism brings a child into the covenant family of the church. Jonathan and I took parental vows just as important as our marriage vows, and I had a very hard time keeping it together at the front of the church as we stated our vows. What an immense responsibility we are undertaking, but what a wonderful God we have who is going to help us! The members of our church also took a vow to help us raise Jon in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and hearing an entire church of people say "I do" to that promise was very special to me.

Jon wore a baptismal gown that was made for my great uncle John. The outer gown was made in 1922 by my great grandmother, Nana Radford (my paternal grandmother's mother), and the slip and bonnet were made in 1950 by my great grandmother, Great-Grandma Pollock (my paternal grandfather's mother). It was a very special day not only to celebrate Jon coming into the covenant family of the church, but also to remember the saints that have gone before him in our family.
With Aunt Katie

With Gramps & Grammie (my parents)

With Great-Gran and Great-Papaw
(Jonathan's maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather)
Four generations of Hulgan men:
Jonathan, Jon, Darren, and Donald
With Papa D and G-Ma (Jonathan's parents)

"Are we done taking pictures yet, Daddy?"

More firsts

So it has been just about two weeks since I have updated the blog, and a lot has happened since then! Jon continues to be a sweet, happy little boy. He is eating, sleeping, and playing wonderfully and we are very thankful for him!

First Math lecture:
Jon and I popped in to University of Memphis for the annual Erdos Conference, and we sat in on the lecture that looks back at the life of Paul Erdos. We also attended parties and Jon mingled with lots of international mathematicians : )
At the lecture (note Jon fast asleep)
Jonathan, Jon, Jackson & Jeff

With Dr. Gyarfas

With Dr. Lehel (Jonathan's advisor)

First walk with the stroller:
It took Jon a minute to get used to the stroller (he's not a fan of being strapped into things), but I do think he now enjoys going for walks in it. Becky and I took our first walk with the stroller through Overton Park, and it was nice because I could walk a bit faster with the stroller than with the Bjorn. I have taken Jon through the park several times, on the VECA greenline, around the Jefferson-Tucker neighborhood, and through Central Gardens. Sometimes he sleeps and sometimes he looks around wide-eyed. Jonathan and I have walked down to Cafe Eclectic a few times, and it is nice to have him in the stroller, because he can just stay in it asleep while we eat.

First picnic in the park:
With family in town for Jon's baptism and a gorgeous day, we headed across the street to Overton Park for a picnic. It was so much fun to get outside, eat yummy sandwiches, and just enjoy being together as a family. Jon got to experience the hippie drummers, lots of cute puppies, and (of course) the couple of random people drinking beer and smoking pot behind the wall of rainbow lake.
Aunt Katie & Jon

Enjoying the sunshine!

First 5k:
The Bunny Run was the first 5k I participated in back in 2007 when I decided to start running. I walked it and finished it in 44 minutes (or at least that is what I can gather from looking up old blog entries). I think it is only fitting that Jon's first 5k was also the Bunny Run. Kara pushed his stroller the first half of the race, and I pushed it the second half, and we finished in about 49 minutes. As you can see from the pictures, Jon did not like his bunny hat, but I think he had fun during the race. I hope to instill in him a love for the outdoors and exercise : )
Get this hat off of me!

Waiting for the start with Kara and Becky

Post race with Becky and Kara (Becky had a PR!!!)

First family 5k : )
First Easter:
We don't actually have any pictures of Jon from today. We went to the sunrise service, so obviously no pictures before church. It was our first time at the sunrise service. Before Jon came into our lives, we didn't function much before 8am. Now I'm up at 5am daily, so getting out at 6:30 wasn't that crazy. It was a lovely service at the Memphis Botanic Garden, and then we headed to the 8am service at church with my all time favorite processional hymn "Christ the Lord is Risen Today!" Jon was a very happy baby in church this morning! Too happy - he kept talking during prayer time, so Jon and I listened to Pastor Sandy from the narthex. When we started to get Jon out of his car seat after church, we noticed he was sitting in a puddle of his own lovely orange poop! Yep, right out the side of his diaper, all over his clothes and all over his car seat. The kid was all smiles and was cooing up a storm. This is not a child who hates being wet or dirty...he seems to like it! So I cleaned up Jon while Jonathan cleaned up the car, and we don't have any Easter pictures.

We have had lots of other firsts: first trip downtown, first visit to Huey's, first visit to Davis-Kidde, first time getting scared by something (Jonathan and I laughed as we consoled Jon, because he was too cute), and my first day back at work, which went considerably better than I thought it would.
Kara and Jon at Davis Kidde
"Thanks for visiting, Aunt Kara!!"