Tuesday, May 29, 2012

summer holiday meal

I'm a sucker for holiday food traditions. I plan the same menu for each of the three grilling holidays: Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. Our foods of choice on these warm weather holidays are BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, salad (with greens from my garden, of course!), and

homemade strawberry pie.

What are your warm weather holiday staples?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

sippy struggles

I started giving Mason water in a sippy cup around the time we introduced solids, at six months. And now, at eight months, he still doesn't quite get it. We have two different kinds of sippy cups, pictured below. Leaving the filter in the Tommy Tippee (left) frustrates him because he can't get water out, but removing the filter results in a waterfall down his front. The sippy cup on the right in the picture below is advertised for babies four months and older. Four months! And my eight-month-old can't figure it out! The mouthpiece is soft and similar to a bottle nipple. Mason takes bottles just fine, but he bites the nipple on this sippy cup and refuses to suck on it.

He reaches for my water bottle and will drink out of it when I hold it to his lips, although doing this gets messy.

Am I missing something here?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

great finds

I love a good used book sale. And although we went to the sale to get some board books for Mason and only came home with one, Brad and I found plenty of options for ourselves. We bought 11 books for only $6!

I found a couple of parenting books that I've been wanting to read. I am especially excited about 1-2-3 Magic and Baby Sign Language Basics. I loved and swear by The Happiest Baby on the Block, so I'm eager to see if The Happiest Toddler on the Block is as worthwhile.

I also bought some fluff for myself. My lack of reading since Mason's arrival has been troubling me, especially lately, and I need a light selection to help me rediscover the joy of reading. I hope one or both of these will do the trick.

Now that I have seven new books on my nightstand, plus May's book club selection that I didn't finish in time for the meeting, plus January's book club selection that I'm still slogging through, I need to start staying awake longer at bedtime. I have a lot of reading to do.

Friday, May 18, 2012

wrapping up

Today is my last scheduled day in the office, for my students' citation ceremony. I will don my academic regalia for the eighth time since earning my PhD, bringing down the price-per-wear to $125. I'm glad to wear my regalia one more time. That silk robe and pincushion hat cost more than my wedding dress!

Even though I gave notice more than two months ago, my position just posted on Wednesday. Job searches in higher education are as slow and boring as watching paint dry, but now my departure is really happening! I'll still be gainfully employed for a while, but will work 100% from home, until I have to go into the office to train my successor, which I anticipate won't be until late July or August. Without classes, meetings, students, and the like, summers tend to be slow, so getting my work done at home, on my own schedule, shouldn't be too much of a burden. The upside is still earning my paycheck and benefits while getting much more Mason time. It's a win-win situation! And, I hope that this setup will help to ease my transition--that everyone keeps telling me may be difficult--into stay-at-home mommyhood.

Strangely, I don't feel sad at leaving my first baby, the undergraduate honors program I've worked with for nearly 12 years. I've had a long, fruitful run there. I gave it my all. But now I'm ready to move on. Yes, come late August, when the school year begins, I do expect to feel a void. The emails will cease and my responsibility will be over. Thursdays won't be class days any longer. No one will call me Dr., unless I can teach Mason to say Dr. Mommy. Huh. That's something to consider.

Since earning my PhD, I've considered leaving my current job a couple of times. But I could never bring myself to do it because I always felt as though I would be giving up too much, that the offer on the table wasn't quite good enough in terms of salary, benefits, schedule, or responsibilities. But now, I am leaving my perfectly good gig to spend my days working for no salary and benefits, no paid vacation, and no time off at all. I'll be working around the clock for a demanding little dude, who can sometimes be a real grouch.

I couldn't be happier! My, how love changes your priorities.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

flowers galore

Apparently 2012 is the year of blossoms. Look at my roses. And it's only mid-May!

Can one ever have too many flowers? I think not.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Look whose name hit the #2 spot on the Social Security Administration's Top 10 Baby Names for 2011!

For the record, Mason's name was #11 on this list last year when Brad and I chose it. We actually selected the name before we knew how popular it had become. I figured that it would make the top 10 list this year, but I'm a little surprised that it skyrocketed to the second spot. We don't know any other babies named Mason. Oh well. Brad and I contributed to the name's popularity this year. At least Mason should never be teased about his name!

Friday, May 11, 2012


It's taken three years, but my peonies have finally taken off!

I planted the peonies in 2009. In 2010, I had no blooms. In 2011, I had two blooms. This year, NINE gorgeous blossoms!

Is there a more beautiful or fragrant spring flower? I think not.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day

As I prepare to celebrate Mother's Day, I'd love to hear about any special traditions your family honors for this day. I have a few ideas, but am always open to more. Please share!

Monday, May 7, 2012


In my old life (pre-Mason), I would have been eagerly anticipating this announcement.  Now, a month has passed since it was made and I'm just now marking my calendar and blogging about it.

Still. I'm excited to take my little guy to the National Book Festival this year. It should be a much different experience than his first one.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

neighborly competition

My front flower bed consists of hostas, gerber daisies, and a few varieties of lilies, among other plants.

My neighbor, Ed, who lives two doors down, said he drew inspiration from me, and also planted hostas, gerber daisies, and several types of lilies in his raised bed.

I take his copying my design as a huge compliment, but why did he have to do it so much better than I did?