Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Boxing Day (Almost...)

I realize that Boxing Day is the day after Christmas, but today was the day of boxes at our house. I took all of our Christmas boxes, as well as the used wrapping paper, to the recycling center this morning. I wouldn't say that I'm a huge recycling advocate, but I do try to recycle what I can so as to cut down on the amount of stuff that goes in the garbage and to the landfill. Anyway, today was also trash day in our neighborhood, and I was a bit disgusted to see a large pile of boxes by each and every garbage can in our neighborhood. Not only was I bothered by the fact that so many recyclables were being trashed, but also by the fact that nearly everyone left their boxes out for the whole world to see, as if advertising what they had received for Christmas. Not a smart move, from what I've been taught. (Props for the neighbors across the street for at least putting everything in garbage bags.) I was just a little bit bothered by the whole thing....

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas morning was exciting for Lily. She was quite happy to get up early, open presents, and then play and celebrate all day....

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving in Kansas

A few pictures from Thanksgiving in Kansas....

A fall sunset in Kansas.

Grandpa's ferocious dog. (Actually, it's Spot, a not-so-big and not-so-ferocious 8-week-old puppy. It's amazing what you can do with a good zoom lens!)

1949 Chevy pick-up that I've been trying to convince Dad to fix up for at least the last 15 years....

Playing blocks with Grandpa.

Having lunch with Grandma.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Cute Boots!"

Lily and I spent a few hours walking the mall today.... I took the car in for an oil change; they were busier than usual, so we had longer than usual to wander the mall. We had lunch and then proceeded to on our lap. After perusing the VeggieTales section at the Christian book and gift store, we wandered by a little shoe store that had a display of boots in the window (some rain boots, some Ugg-like boots, and a few other styles as well). As we passed the store, Lily yelled out "Look, cute boots!" and and doubled back to go inside. She then proceeded to pick up and examine every pair -- "cute black boots," "cute pink boots," "cute brown boots," etc. until she had looked at all of the boots at least twice. The lady working in the store just stood there and laughed; I wondered how much money I'll be spending on shoes over the next sixteen years....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Mommy's a Princess!"

Recounting a conversation from earlier today....
Lily: "Mommy's a princess."
Mommy: "Awww, that's so sweet of you."
L: "Lily's a princess."
M: "Well, yes...."
L: "Daddy's a princess."
M: "No, Daddy's a boy. Princesses are girls. Daddy can be a prince, but not a princess."
L: "I'm a boy."
M: "No Lily, you're a girl."
L: "Mommy's a boy."
M: "No Lily, Mommy's a girl."
L: "Daddy's a boy."
M: "Yes, Daddy's a boy."
L: (after a little bit of thought) "Daddy's a boy, Mommy's a girl, and I'm a princess!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moon Party

Tonight was Lily's first Moon Party!! Lily likes to watch My Friends Tigger and Pooh, and one of her favorite episodes is about Lumpy's first moon party, which turns out to be a no-moon-moon-party.... Anyway, Lily has become fascinated with the things in the sky: the moon, white clouds, dark clouds, the stars, and the planets. We were outside last night and she pointed out a particularly bright "star"; she was very excited when I told her that that "star" was Jupiter. She was outside looking for Jupiter again tonight.

Anyway, the moon party.... Jimmy grabbed a blanket and a pillow and set up camp in the best star-gazing spot in the back yard. Lily and I then joined him outside and spent a good 10-15 minutes looking up at the stars and the moon. (I know 15 minutes doesn't sound like much, but with a 2-year-old and a swarm of mosquitoes, it's actually pretty impressive!) Lily enjoyed her moon party, and was asking if we could have another moon party before we even made it in the house. YAY for Moon Parties!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"A B C D E F G...."

Lily sang her ABCs all by herself today!! While she's known her ABCs for quite a while, today was the first time we heard her sing the entire song by herself.

She can identify all of the uppercase letters and most of the lowercase letters by sight. She knows quite a few of the letter sounds, but we haven't mastered all of those yet. She likes her letter puzzles and games, and is a big fan of the Seasme Street "Letter of the Day" podcasts.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

And Now Pears....

We've had the apples, the peaches, and the pluots...and now we have pears. A family from church brought us pears this afternoon, and now it's time to figure out what to do with them....

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Playing with Grammy

Since Mommy was at a wedding and Daddy was stuck in meetings for the several hours today, Grammy came to spend part of the day with Lily. From the photo evidence left behind, it looks like they had a good time....

My First Wedding

I played piano at a wedding today...and survived!! I couple from church asked me about 2 months ago if I would be willing to play piano at their wedding, and today was the day. I was a little nervous as I'd never played a wedding before; I only started playing Sundays about 6 months ago, and then only as a fill-in when the regular pianist or the organist can't be there. (I generally do okay, but I'm nowhere near as good as either regular pianist or the organist.)

Anyway, I was quite surprised when I was asked to play the wedding. And then I was even more surprised when the bride told me to pick out whatever pretty piano music I wanted to play! She wanted the traditional Wedding March (Wagner) for the processional, but other than that I got to pick out all of the music. I kept the music pretty simple and traditional, and everything went well. If only all weddings were that easy....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hiding Under the Bed

We had a little bit of a crisis with a babysitter a few days ago.... Apparently, about an hour or so after the sitter arrived, Lily was wandering all over the house looking for The Happy Bee and the book was nowhere to be found. They searched throughout the house, and then called me to see if I know where The Happy Bee was. I was no help, and The Happy Bee remained lost. When I got home from work in the afternoon, Lily was down for her nap and the babysitter informed me that the book still hadn't surfaced. When Lily work up an hour or so later, I asked here where The Happy Bee was...and her reply "Happy Bee under the bed!"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Apples, Peaches, and Pluots

Here's what's been occupying all of our free time--and our kitchen--for the last couple of weeks. It all started with all of the apples that came in from the back yard, and then it continued when Jimmy got several boxes of very cheap peaches at the grocery store. (And then, after the cheap peaches, he went back and the produce lady gave him a few more boxes of very cheap--almost free--peaches.) Following that, we bought a few pounds of pluots.... We made (in the order on the table) sugar-free peach preserves, pluot preserves, hot peach salsa, regular peach preserves, applesause, medium peach salsa, and applebutter. We're selling them at church to raise money to send Jimmy and few youth group kids on a very big trip next summer. We started selling tonight, and the table certainly doesn't look likd this any more....

Night-night at Grammy's

Lily had her first overnight without Mommy and Daddy last night. She stayed at Grammy's house while Mommy and Daddy were at a conference. Lily seemed to do just fine; as did Grammy. When we asked Lily about what she did at Grammy's house, she said, "I ate Grammy's chips!!" (And that was followed by laughter and giggles.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Mommy has coffee..."

I'm beginning to wonder just where my little girl is learning some of the things she knows....

I spent a few hours today working at the library, and Lily got to spend some time with Grandpa S. and Grammy S. I picked Lily up after lunch (right about naptime) and we started our little trip home. Lily promptly downed the contents of her sippy, and then began requesting more water, with ice. In order to accommodate her very reasonable request, I decided to go through a drive-thru at Starbucks. (We don't have a Starbucks where we live, so a good cup of chai is a real treat!) I ordered, and we got our drinks. As soon as Lily saw my drink, she exclaimed, "Mommy has coffee. Coffee's hot!" Now, I know this might not be particularly strange, but we don't drink coffee, we don't have coffee in our house, none of the babysitters drink coffee.... I'm left wondering where this child learn about coffee, and what it mean that she's already able to identify a Starbucks cup....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wanted: Apple Recipes

We started picking apples today. We picked only the apples we could reach from the ground, and we only picked about half of the tree. If you have any yummy apple recipes, please send them my direction....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Buh, Buh, Buh, Letter I"

Okay, so I was a proud Mommy when Lily started singing the "Letter B" song a week or so ago. I thought to myself, 'How wonderful, she's beginning to make and understand the sound that go with the letters.' I was doing a little I've-got-the-smart-kid happy Mommy dance too. And, though I still believe I've got the smart kid, I was put in my place today when I heard Lily walking around singing "buh, buh, buh, letter I!"

Friday, July 09, 2010


Lily and I were listening to a radio station for kids this afternoon, and I heard a song that was so awesome I had to go hunt it up online. Thought I'd share....

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Happy Bee

The Happy Bee is the title of one of Lily's current favorite books. We read The Happy Bee at least half a dozen times a day, and she "reads" it to herself quite a bit as well. It's a cute little book and I like it too, but Lily's beginning to become a little too attached. Today she wanted to take it to bed with her at naptime. I let her do that, as I do sometimes let her have a book at naptime. Tonight, however, she wanted to take it to bed with her for night-night. The mean mommy said no, and the screaming ensued. Though I don't like hearing my little angel screaming, there's just something a little bit funny about hearing a toddler crying and screaming "I want The Happy Bee! I want The Happy Bee!"

(And, just to let you know, the screaming lasted about 45 seconds. She's asleep now.)

Monday, July 05, 2010

"Buh, Buh, Letter B!"

Lily has a new favorite song that she walks around the house singing.... (However, when she sings it, it sounds more like "buh, buh yetter B." It's just so cute!)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lily's Ladder

Grammy found this at a garage sale, so she bought it for Lily. It's called a Learning Tower. (I'd never seen one before, but it's actually a pretty cool little device -- and a pretty pricey one!) At this point, however, Lily doesn't quite understand what it's for. She calls it a bed and likes to sit in it when she has a snack. (And no, she doesn't usually get chips for snack. Someone got them out and forgot to put them away.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Family Reunion

This past weekend was family reunion for my dad's side of the family down in Texas. I hadn't been down there for a reunion in a few years (2006) and I was excited to get to go down this year. It was especially exciting as Lily hadn't met any of her aunts and uncles (actually, great aunts and uncles) from that side of the family. Lily also got to spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa from Kansas (my folks) while we were down there. She flew kites with Grandpa, ate all of Grandma's watermelon, picked Aunt Bernadine's flowers, narrated the slide show of pictures of our new house, and threw a very impressive temper-tantrum during church. (I found out after mass that the cry-room wasn't sound-proof.) All in all though it was a wonderful weekend and a very nice trip...it just would have been nice to have had even more time to visit....

Saturday, May 29, 2010

French Quarter, New Orleans

We spent today walking around the French Quarter and the Art District in New Orleans. We wandered around and Quarter and visited some absolutely amazing art galleries and antique shops. (I found a beautiful $225,000 hundred-year-old French baby grand piano that was absolutely amazing just in case anybody needs any ideas for Christmas....) We took Lily to the Louisiana Children's Museum, and she had a wonderful time playing and exploring there. We also stopped by Cafe du Monde and Lily had her first biegnets.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Brithday Party

Though Lily's birthday day may have been calm and relatively uneventful, we did have a little birthday party for her today. We invited all of our local friends and family (Lily's babysitters, the nearby grandparents, Jimmy's co-workers, etc) over for a little birthday party. Lily had a Winnie-the-Pooh cake (complete with Tigger and Hunny Pot candles) and had a wonderful time opening and playing with her birthday presents....

My Poor Neglected Blog....

After a full 2 months of complete and utter neglect, I'm once again attempting to revive my blog. As a means of filling in the gaps from over the past 2 months, I'm going back and posting pictures. (I know there are--or were--at least a few blog followers who cared primarily about the Lily pictures, so maybe at least a few people will be satisfied.) Hopefully this time I'll manage to do a better job of keeping up....

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Lily!!

Today was Lily's second birthday. It's amazing how quickly she's grown up!! We didn't have a big party or anything today, though we did order cupcakes and let her open some of her presents. (Note that the big present you see in the picture is wrapped in Christmas paper; we're in the process of packing and moving, and all of the birthday paper was packed.) She had a very good birthday, and enjoyed both the presents and the cupcakes.

Friday, April 30, 2010


We bought one. Signed the paper today....

Sunday, April 04, 2010


The Easter Bunny came to Grandma's House, and then we went to the park later in the day. (This was Lily's first time to down the slide all by her self!)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Studio Mommy Pictures

Studio Mommy returned today, but the subject wasn't very cooperative and didn't let the photographer get in many shots. A few turned out pretty decent. (These are the unedited versions; I haven't done any editing on them yet....)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vocabulary Building

A conversation that recently took place in our house....

Mommy: My goodness Lily, your piggies are dishevelled.
Lily: (touches her hair, nods in agreement, runs to Mommy to have piggies fixed)
Piano Student: What's "dishevelled" mean?

In addition to an attentive piano student, several other people have commented about the way I talk to Lily. Several times I've been met with comments like the following: "Did she actually understand what you just said to her?" and "Do you always talk to your daughter like that?"

So, my question: how should I talk to Lily? I talk to her just like I would talk to anyone else, and she seems to understand me just fine. I'm careful not to use and words that I wouldn't want her to repeat and I try to avoid using any sarcasm when I talk to her, but I don't otherwise alter my vocabulary or style of speech when I'm talking to Lily. Am I going to end up with a daughter with a well-rounded vocabulary or a kid who is incapable of talking to children her own age because she doesn't know the words to use?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Grocery Game, Round I

Jimmy and I have created a new game at our house. In need of both groceries and entertainment, we decided to make a little game out of shopping. The rules for our little game were as follows:

1. You can spend no more than $10 (pre-tax amount).
2. You can purchase any items that the grocery store (groceries, sundries, etc.).
3. All items purchased must be items you will use in your household.
4. You can use any type of coupons or discounts that the store accepts.
5. The person with the greatest percent savings at the end of the shopping trip wins.

We each took a shopping cart (and I took my little assistant), and we ended up spending about an hour in the grocery store wandering the aisles, looking for sales, and browsing our stacks of coupons. The moment of truth came at the checkout line: Jimmy spent $7.89 ($6.64 before taxes), with a savings of 76%. I spent $11.83 ($9.86 before taxes), with a savings of 78%. While I won Round 1, we both did a pretty amazing job with our shopping. Together we spent $19.72 (after taxes), saved $22.09 with in-store sales, and saved another $36.30 with coupons from newspapers and the internet. We purchased a total of 27 items, 12 of which we ended up getting for free.

We're planning on keeping the game going, though we may change the rules a bit. Anyone else interested in joining us in our little game?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Chairs and Apples

Lily made two new discoveries recently. First, chairs come in her size. Second, you can eat apples without having Mommy cut and slice them first.

Monday, March 01, 2010


Lily is beginning to read, in the absolute loosest sense of the word.... She can identify some of her letters, but she associates quite a number of them with the pictures that accompany them on her ABC puzzle. Yesterday, for example, she was reading the sweatshirt I was wearing. As she pointed to the letters, she very excitedly read: "Keys, Apple, Nest, Socks, Apple, Socks, Socks, Tie, Apple, Tie, Egg!" (Translation: Kansas State.) She's so close, but the associations just aren't quite right yet....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Lily was helping me prepare supper in the kitchen this evening, and she was taking inventory of everything that was at her level. (Since the kitchen had been under construction for such a long time, Lily had been banned from the construction zone. She's just now permitted in the kitchen with supervision.) Lily was doing a wonderful job of helping me get everything out of the refrigerator that I needed to prepare both her meal and mine -- peas, corn, grapes, etc. As she was closing the refrigerator door, she picked Tucker's catnip (which comes in something resembling a margarine tub) up off of the floor. She held it up and asked, "Food?" I answered yes, but explained that it was Tucker's food and we don't eat it. She nodded her head in understanding. I later found the catnip in the refrigerator.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


We've had our kitchen torn up for quite some time. Some time ago (around Halloween, I think) we decided to re-do the cabinets. We bought paint and new hardware, and eagerly started on the project. And now, as of yesterday, we now have all of the cabinet doors back where they belong, complete with new hardware. There's still some touch-up work that needs to be done, but this still looks so much better than the whitewashed kitchen we had before....

Monday, February 15, 2010


Tonight was Lily's first time to go bowling. (She had been to the bowling alley before, but this was her first time to actually bowl.) She bowled with bumpers and a ball ramp, but she seemed to grasp the general concept of the game. She bowled two games, and ended up with scores in the 60s/70s range. Though she did pretty well, we did have two problems: taking turns and getting out of the way when other people were bowling. However, I guess we shouldn't really expect her to do either of those things at this age....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ABCs and Clean-up

I bought Lily an ABC puzzle for Christmas, and I thought it was something that would probably be a bit too advanced for her at this point. (Actually, at Christmas I was kicking myself because I just bought my little 18-month-old a puzzle with 26 pieces. I was guessing that I would be picking up puzzle pieces just about every day and trying make sure we didn't lose any pieces.) Anyway, Lily has now mastered her ABC puzzle. She can put the whole puzzle together, and can match most of the letters with the pictures that go with them. Also, I haven't had to pick up the puzzle pieces very often because Lily has started helping with clean-up in the evenings. She helps to put all of her toys in their baskets and puts her big toys under her bed where they belong. It's so nice that she's beginning to help with things like clean-up; it makes keeping the house in order so much easier!!

Friday, February 05, 2010


The postponed event that I complained about actually took place today!! The event was a lot of fun and an overall success.

I did, however, come to one conclusion: I've been living in Oklahoma too long. I no longer hesitate when I have to spell "Tahlequah." I've learned where the second 'h' goes....

Thursday, January 28, 2010


The weather is becoming a bit of a problem here. I was supposed to take some of my music students to a choral event on Jan. 7. The weather interfered, and the event mas moved to Jan. 28. Once again, the weather has interfered, and the event has been rescheduled for Feb. 5. While I was initially quite excited for the event, now I'm just ready to get it over with already!! Stupid snow and ice....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baby Bathtubs?

The seal between the wall and the bathtub in our main bathroom needed to be re-sealed, so I decided to tackle that project this past weekend. There had been a plastic adheasive strip seal thingie down, and I had to remove and replace that. I would have liked to simply have caulked the seam, but that wouldn't work. So, I ended up replacing the plastic strip and then caulking around it. When I bought the products I needed, I did my best to match colors; both the strip and the caulk were labeled as "bright white." The color of the two items, however, did not match. When Jimmy saw the finished project, he remarked, "It looks like the strip turned pink." I tried to hold in the laughter, but the only thing I could say in reply was "So does that mean we're going to have baby bathtubs?"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Teething Toddler

My little angel is getting in a new tooth, and apparently this one's causing some grief. Most of her other teeth seem to have come in relatively easily...or at least there was relatively little crying and screaming to accompany the teething process. This time's different. Lily's been cranky and fussy, and naptime seems to be the worst. We fought about the nap thing for about 2 hours this afternoon, at which point I decided to give up and go pick up something I needed at the mall. Lily stayed awake for the car ride to the mall, and fell asleep almost as soon as she hit the stroller. Since I actually wanted her to take a nap, I spent an extra hour and a half wandering around the mall so she could sleep in her stroller....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Where are the apples?"

My little sweetie is such a smartie.... We went shopping today; my goal was to buy two new pairs of shoes: black flats (a la maryjanes, or the closest thing I could find) and brown boots with heels. I bought two pairs of shoes, and at least one of them was what I intended on purchasing!! Anyway, as I was checking out at the shoe store, the sales associate and manager, both were very vivacious and apparently having a rather slow day, asked if I had any questions about their refund or rewards policies. I answered in the negative, and they then proceeded to ask Lily if she had any questions. She looked at them with a very perplexed look on her face and asked, in relatively pain English, "Where are the apples?" Thy guys in the shoe store were floored, and then couldn't stop laughing....

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Rhetoric of Soap Bottles

I was reading soap bottles in the bathroom today, and I noticed something interesting. Three different products had three very different statements regarding animal testing:
Product 1: "Never Tested on Animals"
Product 2: "This Finished Product Not Tested on Animals"
Product 3: "Against Animal Testing"
Products 1 and 2 are from the same company, which would seem suggest that some of their products, somewhere in the production process, are in fact tested on animals. Product 3 is from a fair-trade company that does not test on animals, but the label doesn't explicitly state that. It would be possible for a company to be against animal testing, yet still do it, right? Anyway, it seems that there's a cultural studies project in here somwhere...maybe something on the rhetoric of soap bottles and cereal boxes perhaps....

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Lily got a bubble machine for Christmas. She and Daddy got it out to play with it. (However, Mommy has now determined that it is an outside toy. It made lots of bubbles and we ended up having to mop the floor to get rid of all the bubble juice after we were finished playing.)

Sunday, January 03, 2010


I'm only making a few New Year's Resolutions this year, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep them....

Resolution 1: Write More
Several things fall under this topic. First, take better care of my poor neglected blog. My generally realistic goal is to post at least once a week. (I like my blog, I really do, but I just can't seem to keep it updated. I blame Facebook!) Second, finish my dissertation. I'm making slow progress on the thing, but I really want to have the thing finished by the end of this new year. And third, write Christmas thank-yous and Valentine cards. Since Christmas cards and letters just didn't happen this year, I'm going to try to do a big mailing of Valentine cards this year instead.

Resolution 2: Take (and Print) More Pictures
I got a nice new digital SLR camera for Christmas, and my goal is to take more (and better) pictures. Along with that, I also need to print more pictures to send to family members who don't have computer access.

I'm sure there are all sorts of other things that I should/shouldn't resolve to do for this new year, but I think I'll limit my formal list to two. The fewer resolutions I make, the fewer I'll be tempted to break!!