finals time!

Oh hello! I was thinking like, “Hurray, the semester is done! I survived finals and have no more biochem [er, til next semester]! Happiness is here again! Summer relaxation! Lots of blogging!” When in fact I only had three days off and then started six hours a day of classes. With so so so much group work, eeeurgh. (Note that I wrote the prior paragraph nine days ago and am just now getting back to this post. Oy!)

Anyway, this was life around finals time.

IMG_2427

I made 134 flashcards for my biochem final. All about micronutrients- every water soluble vitamin, vitamin like compound, antioxidant system, mineral, AND what happens to your body when you have too much/not enough of them. Note that even with this profusion of flashcards, this wasn’t even a cumulative test. Blessedly, I had lots of study buddies. Who fed me!

IMG_2425

My friend Carolina (yes, she is named after our university! hahaha) made me a SUPER delicious Giada white bean dip- lots of fresh herbs and olive oil. And yummy dippers. This inspired me to buy baby carrots which, loath as I am to admit it, really are better than regular carrots and actually inspire me to eat raw vegetables.

Carolina’s cat has total free run through her house, which resulted in some amusing picture opportunities.

IMG_2437

He was not at all sure about me.

IMG_2443

He spent a lot of time sniffing my lower extremities (and my extremely old Toms- sniffing them could not have been particularly fun for him, but I guess he felt obligated to really get to know the stranger in his house).

IMG_2444

Action shot!

kitty_time

After yummy snacks, Carolina even made me dinner! Our other friend had thought she could join us but then had other stuff come up (this poor girl had finals, a friend with Stage IV cancer, and emergency dental surgery all to contend with in the same week!). That friend can’t do the gluten, so Carolina was sweet enough to make a gluten free pasta salad. I then got to enjoy said pasta salad (despite the fact that I eat gluten til the cows come home): what made it so delicious was lots of avocado! And cheddar. Mm.

IMG_2446

Carolina said she puts sour cream on everything (she is Argentinian and it sounds like those guys really love their meat and dairy!) so she gave me some to try on the side, and yes, sour cream is delicious on avocado-cheddar-tomato pasta salad (but I bet you could have already guessed that).

My dear friend Andrea had a birthday dinner at Akai Hana, and I was EXTREMELY pleased with my sushi selection! (And it was massive, so I only needed one roll, though I did have a salad too). This was the Master Roll –  Spicy Tuna & Shrimp Tempura topped with Yellowtail, Avocado, Wasabi Tobiko, Wasabi Sauce, & Scallions

IMG_2414

Then two days later Andrea thought we might have to have an emergency girl talk meeting, to which I of course immediately agreed, being a good friend. But then crisis was averted (his phone was broken!) so instead we just gabbed. We sat outside at Root Cellar and they have a really pretty situation going on.

Roof:

IMG_2421IMG_2420

I did do some minimal cooking that week, the highlight of which was this:

IMG_2418

Trader Joe’s! Toasted whole wheat Tuscan pane bread, roasted cherry tomatoes, sliced fresh part-skim mozzarella, olive oil, and fancy balsamic my roommate got me in Asheville.

After spending a lottttt of the weekend studying, my friend invited me to join her and her bambino at my beloved Honeysuckle Tea House for live music. This band, Chocolate Suede, was SO GOOD! (and, uh, lotsa cuties in the band! One of whom privately serenaded my friend’s toddler on violin, awww)

IMG_2455

The toddler enjoyed clapping. It’s so funny with the little ones- I made this big case to Bethany about how great this place was for kids- music! Tea and snacks! Playground! Pond! Sandbox! And then once we got there her kiddo was like, MOM YOU DID NOT EVEN TELL ME THERE WOULD BE GRAVEL HERE and of course that was the most exciting part, hahahaha. Oh kids.

IMG_2456

Then once finals were done my friends totally spoiled me. Since my friend Alex quit his job he’s been doing super ambitious cooking. This was INCREDIBLE.

IMG_2458

It’s homemade pasta with homemade alfredo sauce (basically a ridiculous amount of extremely fancy and expensive parmesan with a token amout of cream to thin it out, hahaha) and delicious, perfectly roasted vegetables.

And then my classmate Sophia, the most perfect human being in the world (I’ve mentioned her seasonal treats a number of times in previous blog posts) decided that it would be only appropriate to host a fiesta, since our last final (biochem!) fell on Cinco de Mayo.

IMG_2464

There was lots of fabulous food but to me the most incredible thing were the homemade tortillas all fried up. Oh my goodness they were heavenly.

IMG_2466

Sophia’s mom was in town (and her mom has become like den mother to people in our program) and she is a pastry chef, so naturally she made us tres leches! Decorated with adorable peeps driving around in peep cars (apparently their family’s Easter tradition).

IMG_2467

The tres leches was sooo good and even better with Sophia’s homemade vegan coconut milk ice cream.

IMG_2470

A final note, since I promised, a bird update:

IMG_2463

These little guys definitely hit their awkward stage- you really see at this phase how birds and dinosaurs are related- and their mommy and daddy continued bringing them frequent snacks to get them strong. And then…

THEY LEFT THE NEST ON MOTHER’S DAY! WE WERE LITERALLY EMPTY NESTERS! It was sad, but we were very proud of them, and their parents’ success. And now we already have a new clutch going! Nature, man. Blink and you miss the important moments.

Advertisements

Things I Am Really Into Right Now

On the television front (cause though you bust your booty in grad school studying, television becomes essential to turn off your brain at the end of the day):

Girls

girls

So I resisted watching Girls for a long time. In part because I had no HBO access and feel a little old for pirated television. That problem was remedied when I got my cousin’s wifi password (thanks to my aunt’s ex husband who still pays for my cousin’s upgraded cable, and thanks to my cousin who shares it with all of her family and friends! With this new acquisition I of course, also binge watched Game of Thrones and cringed my way through the Scientology documentary).

I also didn’t watch Girls in larger part because I resent the fact that it’s cast full of famous people’s daughters and I doubted that Lena Dunham could really have any insights about what it truly means to be a normal twentysomething girl. And on that preconception, I must eat crow, because there are elements of the ridiculous about it (and, uh, that’s how you make a television show!) but man oh man there are aspects of it that are unnervingly accurate.

Those of you who don’t watch Girls are free to skip to later in this post, but I particularly want to opine about the Patrick Wilson episode, which I imagine was controversial. I thought at the beginning, as I imagine many people did, “YEAH RIGHT! No absurd circumstances would ever conspire in bringing together a socially awkward, immature, narcissistic, chubby and unremarkable looking girl in a bizarre romper (Hannah) with a movie-star-handsome doctor in a beautiful brownstone because of some ridiculous misunderstanding that involved her illegally dumping coffee shop debris in his trash bin. Lena Dunham wrote this episode as an excuse to make out with Patrick Wilson”. (Which, for the record, is something I might do if someone gave me a TV show :D)

But (spoiler alert) after spending two blissful days shacked up in this imaginary perfect world, playing ping pong and having deep talks on the patio and so on, Hannah does the thing that maybe we all fantasize about doing- she confesses her feelings! She starts crying and shakily admits, “Please don’t tell anyone this, but… I want to be happy.” He goes, “Uh, of course you do, everyone does” and she says, “Yeah, but I didn’t think I did. I made a promise such a long time ago that I was going to take in experiences, all of them, so I could tell other people about them and then maybe save them but it gets… so tiring. Trying to take in all the experiences for everybody, letting anyone say anything to me. And then I came here, and I see you, and you’ve got the fruit in the bowl and the fridge with the stuff.” She shares an anecdote of something degrading she had allowed to happen in her last relationship, and admitted that despite her buying into the cultural narrative to be game for everything and soak up experiences and not have any expectation of being cared for, she wants it! She wants to stop asking for bad things to happen to her- and oddly, I hugely related to that! I know it may sound insane, but really think about a time you were in a relationship (this is something my good girlfriend and I talk about a lot) where you found yourself so preoccupied about getting to the heart of things and getting things out in the open that you constantly prompted, constantly dug deeper until you were basically begging the other person to say or do something that would deeply hurt your feelings.

Anyway, she makes this very vulnerable confession and the dude visibly shuuuuts doooown. You see the interest and the desire leave his eyes and he soon takes off, emotionally and, just a bit later, physically. Of course! It was this brilliantly constructed, super condensed version of a relationship taking place over two days instead of, say, two years. At the beginning, newly in love, you tell yourself that this is it! this is perfect! you are with a movie star handsome guy and you love what he does and you love everything you do together! (She literally passes out in the shower at one point, an apt metaphor. And then he heroically finds her and takes care of her and strokes her hair. Oy.) He has the fruit in the bowl and the fridge with the stuff!

And I’m not saying that it’s relationship destiny that this has to happen, but it does happen a lot! There’s this wearing down of the walls and the vulnerability and (and I think this is particularly true in the post feminism era) women wanting to let their guard down and wanting to quit being strong all the time… and then getting bitten in the a** for it.

Anyway, for that episode alone I love it, but there are a lot of moments of brilliance. I also think it’s key to watch with a friend, preferably another twentysomething year old woman 🙂 My roomie and I have been watching it together (often while drinking wine!) and it’s been so fun to talk about the episodes- sometimes in a deep way, as in the episode I just discussed, and other times just to be like, “AGH, MARNIE, DON’T DO IT! DO NOT GET ON THAT STAGE AND SING A KANYE WEST SONG! PLEASE GOD!”

On a much less serious note, I also have been loving Broad City.

broad city

Since I don’t own a TV, I’ve never seen it on Comedy Central but (note to anyone else in my shoes!) its first season is on Amazon Prime.

Mom, you might be able to handle Girls, but don’t watch this show. There’s too much profanity and marijuana. You wouldn’t like it.

However, for those of you who can abide by such things, it is RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY. My friend introduced it to me and I rolled around on the floor giggling at her place, and then I came home and I still laughed out loud watching it alone (which, uh, demonstrates that I am a pretty terrible roommate).

I think Lincoln is my favorite character. My favorite moment of his was in the episode where Abby’s phone is stolen and at first Alana is convinced that Abby is dead. She tracks Abby down, but doesn’t tell Lincoln, so when they finally see him later in the episode, he says, “Why didn’t you tell me? I was so scared I baked a whole cake. And then I ate a whole cake.” The concept is already funny, but his delivery just killed me (in a good way).

On the literary front:

american wife

This has been out for awhile but I’m just getting around to reading it, which is silly given that it brings together some of my favorite things. First of all, Curtis Sittenfeld wrote Prep and I loooooved that book, so she has been on my radar. Second of all, I have for many years been deeply curious about the secret inner life of Laura Bush. I am not, not, not a fan of her husband (and I could go on about this but I won’t) but she has always seemed… benign with a secret. In part, of course, everyone suspects, because of the major tragedy in her early life.

Anyway, this is ostensibly a novel but for all intents and purposes is the author’s speculative look at Laura Bush’s life. I will confess that I haven’t finished the book yet but enjoy it enough to already recommend it. Sittenfeld is exploring the character (“Alice”) from such an interesting angle. There’s a lot of focus on formative experiences that seem, at least at first, not to have much to do with Alice’s life arc but are nonetheless so well written you really enjoy them and, now that the story is progressing, clearly will have far reaching impacts.

On the healthy living front:

calcium chews

Our last unit in biochemistry (at least, in this semester of biochemistry; I have two more eeeeaaaaauuuugggghhh) we focused a bit on vitamins and minerals. This convinced me that I had to get serious about building bone mass before I hit 30 (which is roughly when we hit maximum bone mass, ladies). I like that these contain vitamin D as well, which is necessary for calcium absorption and a vitamin in which I’ve been deficient in the past. But, truthfully, I mainly like them because they are chocolate duhhh. They upset my tummy at first but I seem to’ve adjusted to them.

PSA about calcium: I kind of thought my body had it figured out. I knew that there were circumstances under which your body absorbs more calcium, when you need it more.

However, what I didn’t know, is that your body’s calcium is largely indifferent to your bone health. Your body’s #1 priority is to keep a steady level of calcium in your blood. (Quite rightly, as calcium is needed for muscle contractions like, oh, in your heart). Therefore, it is true that when your blood calcium is low, your body will take a variety of steps that you absorb more calcium (both that you make more receptors for it in your intestines and that you lose less in your urine). HOWEVER. At the same time it is doing that, it is turning to the other handy calcium source in your body: your bones. The calcium in your bones is removed by osteoclasts (basically, bone busting cells) and it does a great job of keeping your blood levels steady. However, this is no bueno for your bones.

The moral of the story is, get enough calcium. If you can rock three servings of dairy a day, do it. If you don’t feel inclined or able to do that, supplement!

Also on the food front, less about nutrition, reduced guilt push pops!

whole foods popups

Total impulse purchase at Whole Foods but gooooosh these are good! Only 80 calories each, and they still have that wonderful satisfying push pop action that really helps you savor your frozen snack enjoyment.

Also, I have been extremely into hula hooping:

circa 1965:  A blonde girl in a light-colored blouse and a skirt twirls eight hula hoops simultaneously while standing outdoors in a yard.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I taught my neighbor’s five year old son to do it and (demonstrating the amazing neuroplasticity at that age) he was doing it pretty much effortlessly and perfectly after about twenty minutes. He can also do it around his neck, hahaha. Hula hooping is nice because it is fun and still at least moderately physically active, so usually on days when I’m too exhausted for a workout I can at least hula hoop while I watch Grey’s Anatomy. Also, I hula hooped for my friend’s one year old and she thought it was the most hilarious thing she had ever seen so then I put the hula hoop down on the ground and she sat in the middle of it and I held the edge of the hula hoop and ran in circles around her to give her the hula hooping experience 😀 It was precious.

Finally, good walking podcast:

jillian michaels show

As I’ve dealt with end of the semester projects and finals, I’ve made a deal with myself that I’m going to be kind to myself regarding expectations about healthy diet and exercise. Set my expectations low, and then be pleased when I exceed them. Something that has worked really well for me is taking long walks. Fine, it’s not super sweaty cardio or weights, but it’s physical activity and it’s good for my physical and mental health. And, having this podcast to keep me company is very pleasant. Jillian is sometimes overly preoccupied with certain things that I, as someone in dietetics program, find to be overkill (like goitrogenic foods, or the perils of high fructose corn syrup- yes, HFCS is junk but the excess fructose hasn’t shown to really have much of any worse effect than sucrose; our problem is that we’re eating too much sugar, period). However, I love her guest speakers (particularly the endocrinologist) and I think her advice to callers is usually spot on (people calling about weight loss get a conversation about mental health, which makes me really happy). Note that I am years behind (literally years, I’m listening to 2011 episodes) and I’m not wild about the direction the show seems to’ve taken lately (the one recent episode I listened to, Janice her hilarious producer had quit- waaaaah- and there was a lot more product placement. However, if you want a diverting podcast to make you feel good about yourself for exercising while you listen to it, this is a pretty good one.

On the home front:

WE GOT A NEW STOVE! Our stove had always been terrible (at some points there was a frightening metal prong sticking out of the wall, the front right burner only worked about one in three times) but after gazillions of maintenance requests, we got MAD when they offered us a new lease that, once again, raised our rent. And we said WE WILL NOT RENEW UNLESS YOU MEET OUR NEEDS. Not only had our stove always been lousy, in the last weeks we had it, we’d started to smell burning plastic every time we turned on the oven or a burner.

So, blessed be, our new baby.

IMG_2472

It’s none too fancy but it actually has a window and a light now, and there’s nothing sketchy about it. All I need! I am a simple girl at heart!

Also, this is very old lady of me (as in my neighbor’s mom does this and I thought it was a good idea so I started doing it too) but I want to keep my burners shiny and new and un-nasty so I put aluminum foil over them 😀

IMG_2473

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! Along with the new stove and an unpictured fan that actually works (ooooh!) and is handled by a fancy remote control (aaaah!) we got a new dishwasher too!

The old one left a nasty film on everything it washed, and many things just… never got clean. This one actually seems to be a mini version of the one my mom has at her house (which was Consumer Reports approved… and having the same dishwasher also just makes me feel closer to my mom :D). It gets the job done and again- so happy to have a basic, functioning kitchen appliance!

IMG_2474

Also on the home front, the baby birds have gotten bigger! They’ve started cheeping (when their mummy or daddy comes to regurgitate food into their little beaks, when they start hysterically cheeping, I fancy that they’re going “Snacks! Snacks! Snacks!”) They’re also starting to experimentally flap their wings. Such little goofs.

(Even as I call them goofs and laugh at how they’ve entered their awkward phase, it is pretty mind boggling that these little creatures have brains that are probably the size of peas and yet these little babies already know how to open their beaks, their mama and dad already knew how to build a nest in just the right safe place, and sit on the eggs and keep them warm and the dad took care of the mama, and now they find the right morsels of food, and chew them and break them down just right to feed to their babies, and teach their babies how to fly. Sob sob sob!)

IMG_2463

Also, did you know there was a heartbreakingly beautiful, intricately illustrated children’s/adult’s book about birds becoming parents? It’s called A Sky Full of Kindness. We learned this because Alli’s friend Jessalyn called her and said, “Get a towel. I have something that will make you cry happy tears.” I think our first collective thought was “… a towel?” but when she came over and shared this book with us it really was pretty profuse-sobbing-inducing. (Also, Jessalyn has already been a part of this bird journey… in that when Alli talked offhand about the mama bird faithfully sitting on her eggs in a thunderstorm it had caused Jessalyn to openly weep.)

Finally, I have been immensely proud of myself because I have kept an orchid plant alive for WELL OVER SEVEN MONTHS (it was a birthday present, which is how I know this). I thought the last bloom had fallen off and was sort of idly thinking about whether it was worth researching online whether an orchid can regenerate and if not to just compost it.

Anyway, I had this dream… I was with my mom and my sister, and we were looking out the window at all these dead things- dead plants in vases and dead trees- and then my sister closed the curtain and reopened it, and this time there were beautiful white orchids in bloom. She kept opening and reopening the curtains and there kept being new flowers and new vases we kept softly saying, “It’s a miracle! It’s a miracle!” It felt very religious.

And then, I got up the next morning thinking about that dream, and as I stepped into my living room I saw that there were four little buds on my orchid plant.

IMG_2460

I wouldn’t say I’m an especially intuitive person. I also wouldn’t say I have been a particularly religious person since the sudden, stupid, unfair, horrible death of my dear cousin.

And yet, I give a fair amount of credence to dreams. Members of my family (some passed, some still living) have had a lot of meaningful/prophetic dreams over the years, and as a result I’m not apt to discount it when I have one of my own. It was a dream about new life and rejuvenation, and it left me feeling such a sense of hope.

So, to wrap up what has been a largely trivial blog post, I want to note and express gratitude for the fact that I am feeling hope. Somehow the intensity of the grief that my family has felt has also resulted in all of us loving each other fiercely, and appreciating the times that we do get to spend together. It was so important for everyone to grieve together, and it’s so important for me to feel like I’m carrying some of Chris with me as I go about the rest of my life (years that are precious and most surely not guaranteed). It’s also important to take note that we contribute the most to the world, and do the most for others, and get the most meaningful experiences out of our lives when we have hope. However we define it, and however it causes us to live our lives, I’m feeling a lot of hope right now. It simultaneously it feels like something I’ve struggled to earn and worked hard to get (a mental health refresher was very necessary for me with the crazy events of this spring), and at the same time, hope feels like a gift.

wrapping up the semester

The end of the semester is a crazy, crazy time. Luckily I had some fun times mixed in with the crazy amounts of projects/papers/group presentations/studying for finals/etc.

So delighted to’ve had my cousin Sophia move to town with her hubs Mike (hopefully the first of many relatives embracing the joy that is NC life). Lucky me got to attend her birthday dinner- Mike’s parents treated and invited me along!

Elements is a lovely spot to celebrate a special occasion- look how prettily they decorated our table!

IMG_2394

We split some appetizers- there was calamari that was quite nice and these tempura asparagus say whaaat?! They were good!

IMG_2395

For my entree, I got the scallops. Holy cow! A big adjustment from moving to the DC area to lovely North Carolina: if you order scallops, you go from getting three to getting… eight?! They were great (and abundant!) but the best part was the little mushrooms in the dish (oyster mushrooms maybe?) that soaked up the sauce and were velvety and addictive.

IMG_2397

Another fun outing was hanging out with my friends and their bambino at Carrboro’s central spot, the co-op market (love a town where everyone hangs out on the grocery store lawn!). The bambino turned one in February and is just awesome and adorable at walking. She did a lot of mad giggling, and stared in awe every time a motorcycle or other heavy piece of machinery went by.

IMG_2398

I wen to the co-op another time during a studying lull. Treated myself to al fresco lunch- a selection from the hot bar (it’s always good when classes get stressful to force oneself to eat vegetables- difficult, but worthwhile) and a kombucha on the side for hopefully enhanced immune health.

IMG_2403

Back story- in my medical nutrition therapy, we’ve been doing case studies on different chronic diseases. I was in the Type 1 Diabetes group (I may share about that project) and one of the last groups to present did a case study about chronic kidney disease. Because that group contained Sophia, who is basically a perfect human being (stunningly gorgeous, an amazing baker, brings cake and leads rounds of Happy Birthday on classmates’  special days, writes thoughtful notes to people who get dumped, hosts parties with our whole class, etc.) there was a little special extra something at the end of their presentation.

Behold, kidney cookies!

IMG_2405

She said she ordered the cookie cutter online and they ended up tiny, so she made a lottt of cookies 🙂 I enjoyed a few while figuring out how to dose patients on dialysis.

IMG_2404

On one of the last day of classes (before we started “reading days” for finals, argh!) the School of Public Health hosted a party for all the students. The free food trucks were in theory a fabulous idea, but ultimately involved 70+ minute lines.

IMG_2406

This led to selfie opportunities (people who don’t know me: I’m in the very front on the right. People who do know me: it’s so weird that I have this big important group of people in my life who you haven’t met!)

IMG_2424

Love these people. It wasn’t so bad sharing those minutes with them (and we were all, frankly, happy to give our brains a bit of a break).

The tacos we got at the end of the line were… yknow, tacos. Heh. Probably not totally worth it, but they fueled me through epidemiological data analysis (eeeeuuuuurrrgggghhh). Also got some natural brand chips that were basically hot cheetos- fun little throwback!

IMG_2408

My friends spontaneously had me over for dinner- it was soooo nice to be fed, and so nice to take a Friday night off to watch Bull Durham. Before, of course, spending the remainder of the weekend furiously working on health policy management analysis questions and a presentation about obesity management options, among other things.

Anyway, my awesome friend Myra made buffalo cauliflower pizza! Cauliflower made into buffalo chicken like bites, plus blue cheese on the pizza, and, once the pizza was out of the oven, a sprinkling of cool crunchy celery and creamy ranch dressing. Tasty junk food that is at least a bit reduced-guilt!

IMG_2409

Then came another studying weekend.

Sidebar: I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day, and told her about (a concept I got secondhand from my friend Andrea) Dan Savage’s theory about “price of admission” in relationships. The idea is, everyone, even in really happy relationships, is going to find something annoying about their partner. They bite their nails, they watch trashy TV, their best friend bugs you, etc. That’s price of admission, and you get all the perks that come with being in that Couples Club that makes it worth it (companionship and support and laughter so on). But I was telling my mom… I’m just not missing that much about being in a relationship. Right now, to me, with everything else going on in my life (and all the other sources of companionship and support and laughter I have) the price of admission to get into a relationship is not worth it.

But the one exception is, I am embarrassed to admit BRUNCH! I am a super stereotypical girl and do want someone to accompany me to brunch. I miss admission to brunch.

But eh, for now I’ll take myself. And, of course, flashcard making materials.

IMG_2411

Above is brunch from Jessees: their strong and delicious coffee and their super yummy open faced biscuits. Toasted biscuits topped with maple roasted turkey, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and cheese. Note that I took some of this home afterwards (it’s quite a tall and messy dish) and the leftovers actually reheated well! Even with eggs! Score!

Finally, a note on nature.

First, the pitfalls of nature: the pollen here is out of *@#(%&@#%& control. I did not know there were places in this world where there was just a coating of yellow on bloody everything. It’s particularly gross when you think about the fact that it’s basically tree sperm.

IMG_2389

In addition, even in places that aren’t permanently yellow in April and May, I am violently allergic to pollen. So my situation here is even more insane. I am a snot machine!

IMG_2391

However, Mother Nature did me a solid lest I grew to hate her:

we have babies!

IMG_2412

In general birds seem to be a big fan of my apartment complex, and I noticed a particularly high activity level on my porch starting a few weeks ago. Alli was going to go dump out the (dead) contents of a plant pot, when she found a nest!

We then spent quite a few days looking, engrossed, at mama bird, who we named Phoebe (because we initially thought she was a Phoebe; though it turns out she is, in fact, a house finch). Phoebe’s baby daddy has proven to be a dedicated and responsible father: while Phoebe faithfully kept her eggs warm, her man (who, incidentally, is pretty darn handsome with a bright red breast and face) would come and faithfully regurgitate snacks into her mouth.

Then once the kiddos were born both mummy and daddy came bringing them nourishment (we learned that house finches nourish their young on non-meat protein from grains and seeds; my roommate laughed and said of course they were vegetarians, living in the crunchy place they do). The parents also seem to do sort of a tag-team nest cleaning maneuver where one of them pulls out stuff with their beak and the other one does some crazy wing flapping.

The babies have grown since the picture above was taken, and I’ll have an update for y’all soon, but for now I thought I’d let y’all see them as they entered the world, as just little fluffy fluff balls of fluff dawwww!