Archive for July, 2010
Our summer in bullet points
  • This is my Powerpoint-esque version of our summer.  I hate the idea of minimizing huge life events to small bullet points, but hey—when you’re short on time, it’s not a bad strategy.
  • We went on a trip to MD in June.  It was a whirlwind.  We saw lots of people.  I didn’t see any one of them for nearly long enough.  I could have spent a week catching up with each person.  It was great, but also sad because of how limited our time was.  While in MD, we went to my 10-year college reunion, the aquarium, Port Discovery, and visited many friends and family members.
  • My folks came up to visit for Holden’s 2nd birthday.  It was fun.  Also, a very short visit, which also made me feel sad.
  • We took Holden on his very first kayaking trip.  It was my first time in a kayak since I was 8 months pregnant.  Holden loved it, and I am SO happy to be able to grab 20 minutes again to do something I used to really enjoy.  Could I be getting parts of my former life back, 20 minutes at a time??
  • We went to North Conway, NH this past weekend to see Thomas the Tank Engine.  It was fun, despite the rain.  We drove through the White Mountains, and pulled off the road to take a spontaneous hike and check out the beautiful waterfalls.  It was spectacular.
  • This coming weekend is Holden’s first camping trip.  I haven’t been camping in YEARS.  I can’t wait!
  • Holden is going to daycare one day each week so I can dedicate the day to course prep.  I start back to work in mid-August.  Just a few more weeks.  I am excited, but also sad that my summer with Holden is drawing to a close.
  • Holden is finally (mostly) sleeping through the night.  It’s everything I thought it could be (and more).
  • We re-finished the deck.  The project should have taken a weekend, but ended up taking a month and a half.  We are so glad it’s over, although we aren’t terribly pleased with the results.
  • Today is our 9-year wedding anniversary.  We are actually getting a babysitter (this is where working with undergrads comes in handy!) and we are going out for a nice dinner.  I want to plan a special trip for our 10-year anniversary next summer, but I feel really overwhelmed every time I think of it.  I haven’t traveled much (and I have never been out of the country), and I just get agitated when I think about planning a trip.  We’ve thought about a trip to Hawaii, a trip to the southwest (renting a classic convertible) and driving off into the sunset at 80 mph, or a trip to Portugal.  I want to go somewhere with good food, nice weather, and opportunities for hiking.  I’m not really into museums.  I’m mostly into eating, drinking, kayaking, and hiking.  That’s what I want to do.  We never had a honeymoon, so I’d like our 10-year anniversary to be super special.  Plus, I have not really traveled anywhere.  It’s getting embarrassing to work with students who have traveled more extensively and seen more than I have.
  • I’m thinking about updating this blog with less frequency, and starting up an education blog instead.  I am really excited about my new job, and I have lots of ideas I want to explore related to education.  I think this job is a really good fit for me, and a wonderful opportunity.  I had my benefits orientation a couple weeks ago.  I get REAL benefits for the first time in nearly 10 years!  It’s great.  And the people at my new job are AMAZING.  They actually care.  I don’t think I realized how damaging the environment was at my old job, until I was able to compare it with an environment that is inviting, efficient, and supportive.  What a difference!
  • I am in the midst of writing another manuscript.  It’s supposed to get submitted in late August or early September.  Don’t know if I’ll make it, but I have to try.  It might be one of my last papers, now that I am out of the research loop:(
  • I challenged myself with gluten for a few days at the end of June.  I got sick after 3 days of eating bagels, pretzels, toast, etc.  I cut gluten out again, and was better within a week.  I guess the gluten is a major contributor to my sinus and ear problems.  I went for allergy testing a couple weeks ago, and the doctor refused to do food allergy testing, saying he didn’t believe that food was causing my problems.  They tested me for environmental allergens instead, and the ONLY thing that came up was dust mites.  (Kind of explains why I broke out into hives when I tore up all the nasty carpet in our old house in central VT!)  It’s a little irritating that the doctor wouldn’t listen to me about the food, but also kind of satisfying that I figured out what the problem was on my own.  I really don’t like doctors when they make you feel like you are making everything up and don’t have a legitimate problem.
  • Strawberry picking FTW
  • Pictures of (most) bullet points above are forthcoming.
Guess who’s Two?!

This is a post that I started the day before H turned two.  I am just now getting around to posting it.  I am too busy having fun with my little guy:

Holden is two years old today.

My favorite things that Holden is currently doing:

1)  In the morning, Holden will say very tenderly “I wove you” as he wraps his little arms around me and rests his head against my shoulder.  He repeats it over and over, because he knows I love to hear it.

2)  Talking to himself.  Holden has a constant narrative going while he plays with his toys.  Sometimes, we hear phrases that we have repeated to him over and over again, such as “go downstairs carefully,” “car coming– stay in the driveway, ” etc.  Other phrases are ones that Holden seems to have constructed himself.  He attributes human qualities to his trains, his bulldozer, and his vast array of school buses.  His vehicles interact like sentient beings, and exhibit dramatic displays when their feelings have been hurt.

3)  Obsessions with road signs.  Holden loves them.  He has little wooden road signs for pedestrian crosswalks, stop signs, yield signs, bike paths, railroad crossings, no U-turns, one way roads, etc.  He is also obsessed with red and green arrows.  In the car, we’ll be sitting at a red arrow, and Holden will comment “Red arrow means stop.”  He says this very matter-of-factly, as if he were my instructor in a driver’s education course.  During more daring moments, he will yell at me to go when we have a red light.  You should have heard him on our plane coming back from MD last week.  We sat on the runway for about an hour before we finally took off.  At one point, Holden shouted (quite loudly)  ”GO!!!  TAKE…..OFF!!!!”  I hope the pilot heard him.

4)  Language.  I never realized how specialized our language is until Holden started using vocabulary in the wrong context.  He will sometimes point at my clothes, and call it “laundry.”  I feel stupid explaining that laundry refers to clothes only when they are in a laundry basket or in the washer/dryer.  It seems a little silly to have a separate word for that.  Yet, it also seems silly to say “I am wearing laundry.”  Relatedly, Holden will point to the branches on a tree and call them “sticks.”  Again, I have to explain that they are only sticks after they have fallen to the ground.  After all, no one would say “That tree has some beautiful foliage on its upper sticks.”

Also, Holden seems to be developing vocabulary before syntax.  Holden has a lot of words—he uses some in complete sentences, but mostly he uses phrases.  He clearly has mastered vocabulary before syntax.  Funny phrases he has said lately:

“My big building is unstable,” to refer to the fact that his Lego building was about to topple over.

“Mommy take a shower, very gross,” to refer to the fact that the 98 degree heat in our non-air conditioned house was making me stink.

“Mommy turn around, go wrong way again,” to refer to the embarrassing fact that I made approximately three wrong turns on the way to a nature trail that I had been to many times before.

5)  Being silly.  Holden has an amazing sense of humor.  He laughs, giggles, and enjoys being outlandish and entertaining others.  I think he is going to grow up to be a funny adult who keeps people doubled over in laughter.

6)  Pretending.  Holden is starting to engage in imaginative play.  He has built a “garage” out of an end table with a blanket thrown over the top.  When the garage door “opens,” he simply lifts the blanket up.  Holden also pretends to have little “people” inside of his buses and trains.  I think he is on the verge of creating an imaginary friend.

7)  Holden can count to 15.  He can sing his ABCs.  And he can identify a subset of written letters.  He loves being read to—it remains a special activity for all 3 of us when we tuck Holden into bed at night. He thrusts a cherished book into my face and demands “Read……READ!”  When the book is over, he says “Read again.  One more time.”  We read it one more time, then he requests the same book again.  And AGAIN.  We experience lots of repetition at bedtime.

8)  Holden is a horrible toothbrusher.  He claims it tickles.  We try to do it for him, but he screams and struggles, and locks his mouth shut.  We do as best we can, but boy….I worry about cavities sometimes.

9) Holden has learned how to complain about things.  It seems everything is “Too tight,”  or “too hot,”  whether or not they actually are.  He uses “too tight” as an excuse to not wear certain articles of “laundry”.  He uses “too hot” as an excuse to not eat certain foods.

10)  Holden weighs in at a hefty 30 lbs and is 37 inches tall.  Not quite the giant he used to be, but still a pretty big boy (my arms should be far buffer than they are, given all of the heavy lifting I do!)

Holden has been a super fun little person with whom to spend my summer.  Today on his special birthday, we went to the park briefly, and when he wakes from his nap, we will likely go swimming at the pool.  This weekend we are having a cookout at the house with friends and family.  It’s so hard to believe Holden is two already!

June 22, 2008:

June 22, 2009:

June 22, 2010