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Showing posts from November, 2012

Shout out loud

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The house renovation has begun...joy to the world!

Just wait, Marissa Mayer, and believe the hype.

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Marissa Mayer is in the news again. In her first interview as Yahoo CEO she claimed "The baby's been easy!"  From the beginning, I have been confused by this woman. She becomes the CEO of Yahoo at 6 months pregnant, a huge triumph for working mothers everywhere. Then, she takes a 2 week maternity leave which doesn't help anyone, including herself. But that is her prerogative, and to be fair, she didn't ask to be the poster child for working moms. Now she says everyone made the whole baby thing out to be much harder than it really is. Cue the teeth grinding...   My response - just wait, Marissa. In the beginning, babies sleep all the time and you can take them anywhere and everywhere. I spent many a day at work in my babies' first 6 months with them napping in the stroller quietly while I did some work, held a small meeting,etc. It's definitely doable. But then the sick days start kicking in and all hell breaks lose. And you can't take a 2 year-old t…

Holiday Rush

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How is it possible that we are already at the end of November? I had such good intentions this year of having my Christmas lists done early, decorations up, holiday plans in place. And yet once again, here I sit behind the eight ball. No lists, no decorations, no plans. But it's not December yet - I can still make a come back. If I only knew where to start. I'm not sure how to approach the holidays this year since we're displaced from our home. With 5 years in our old house, we had established some traditions as to where to put the tree, how to hang the stockings, and have just the right amount of decorations to feel festive but not cluttered (Ryan would disagree on this last point). But our stockings are in storage along with our Christmas tree skirt and all our other holiday gear. So I'll have to get creative and see what I can do with some twinkle lights and a paper chain or two. I like a good challenge. Since we don't have a yard right now and there aern'…

Top 10 reasons I am thankful to be a working mom

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 I spend a lot of time thinking out loud on this blog about being a working mom. Usually this takes the form of questioning my career and family choices, and voicing my fears in an effort to gain perspective on what feels like an emotional roller coaster most days (read here, here and here). Not today. In the spirit of the season, I am putting together my TOP 10 Reasons I am Thankful to be a Working Mom.
10. I like taking my kids to my lab and showing them what mom does all day. With any luck, maybe they will think science is cool.


9. I like contributing to the family budget (read, shoe shopping without guilt!).
8. I need a place to go on Monday morning. No further explanation needed.
7. I enjoy the challenge of research, teaching and mentoring students. Some days my students actually listen to me and hear what I'm telling them. That rarely never happens at home.
6. I have new stuff to talk to my husband about at the end of the day that doesn't revolve around nap schedules …

It can get worse, part deux

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Wait, a bulldozer in the front yard...can it be? Have we started construction, finally?? Ha! That would be a negative. I drove by our house yesterday to see the fence destruction and what did I find? 4 KP&L trucks parked in front of our house, a bulldozer on the front lawn, and a man standing shoulder deep in a newly dug hole in our yard. Turns out we had a gas leak. Of course we did. I think we're going to rent the movie "Money Pit" over the weekend and just get it all out of our system now.

An interview with Charlie

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Charlie's class has switched from talking about apples to bones. They've collected various gloves and masks to create doctor's kits, complete with stethoscopes. Yesterday they examined a collection of bones from a local butchery, The Local Pig. Charlie's teachers asked us a couple weeks ago if we thought Charlie might want to share his experience breaking his arm with his class. We told them to go for it, but we had no idea what he would do or say. Do we ever??
From a teacher's email:


During meeting, Charlie shared his experience at the doctor’s office with us when he received the cast on his arm.  Charlie explained to us first what happened.  He told us “it’s a cast,” as he held his arm up.  “I hurt my arm.”  Kate asked “What part of your body got hurt?”  Grace said “the bone.”  Charlie then continued and stated that he was at the doctor and got a teddy bear and chips, and milk.  “What was the doctor doing?” the teacher wondered.  Charlie said he put the cast on t…

Things can always get worse

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Just when we've reached the height of frustration with banks, home owner's assocations, BZAs and the like, some developer goes and tears down the house behind us and takes out our fence and tree in the process. Really?! Not only did they take out our fence and tree, they took down several power lines. All the houses on our street, including ours, are without power. Way to make friends in the new neighborhood.   And just a week before this, they 'trimmed' the trees around this same house before knocking it down...look at the excellent job they did there. This fine work also took out the power on the block. Unbelievable. The one silver lining is that these guys have set the bar very low for building construction with minimal disturbance to the new neighbors. Yeesh.

Of brining and basting

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Thanksgiving is next week! Can you believe it? If you are hosting, is your menu planned? If not hosting, do you have a signature item your family expects you to make and bring?


I'll be making my Grandmother Helen's Pumpkin Chiffon pies - it wouldn't be Thanksgiving in my family without them. I've never hosted the whole shebang - but thinking ever so optimistically about being in our forever home by next Thanksgiving - Ryan has offered to host in 2013. He had better start taking notes now! (Did I adequately distance myself from this task?)

Speaking of our forever-home building nightmare adventure, we're hoping to finalize plans with our second bank this week and get on with it (C & Iz are learning new words at home like insomnia, stress, and self-medication). We are so ready to get on with it. We'll be ready to build finally, so bring on Winter!*

*Never sure how well sarcasm translates in cyberspace, so that was sarcasm folks. Painful sarcasm fueled by frust…

On my nightstand

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It's been awhile since I've had the luxury of reading a few books for pleasure (and it took me forever to get through my last stack, thanks to Steve Jobs' book. Glad I finished it, but it definitely changed my opinion of him, and not for the better). I'm happily making my way through a new stack.

1. Doctor on Everest by Kenneth Kamler, M.D. I bought this book for Ryan, but I'm reading it first. This book is another account of the tragic Everest expedition from 1996 (I've also read Into Thin Air and Climb) but from the perspective of someone trying to aid survivors of that epic storm. Kamler recounts his experience being a team physician for 5 or 6 different Everest attempts, including 1996 when 5 people died on the mountain. I find the medicine and science behind climbing the world's highest mountain both incredible and ridiculous. This book has been keeping me up late.

2. Academic Motherhood by Kelly Ward and Lisa Wolf-Wendel. This book is next on my list…

Never take it for granted

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I remember going to vote with my parents when I was growing up. Living in a small town, they voted at the church directly across the street from our house. I remember well the voting booths with red, white and blue curtains lined up in the church basement. When I was little I was allowed to go inside the magic curtain with my Mom. But as I got older, I had to wait outside. My parents never told us who they voted for, but they always used to joke about how they cancelled each other's votes every year. When I got older I figured out this was because one was conservative, one was liberal. If their strategy behind not telling us how they voted was an effort to get us to think for ourselves, I would venture to say it worked. Of the three of us kids, we turned out one staunch Republican, one bleeding heart liberal, and one that maybe lies somewhere in the middle depending on the issue. Those of you that know us, can surely figure out which is which!

The picture above is from the Natio…