Thursday, June 18, 2009
Today we went to the doctor for his 2-year well visit. I didn't tell him since he freaked out at the doctor's the past couple of times. I was driving toward UMass and as soon as it was in sight, he immediately said, "doctor." I was amazed! He associates UMass with the doctor! Well, before we went to the doctor, I dropped by my office so my colleagues could see Kiefer. He played shy at first, but eventually warmed up. He made good friends with Kate, who gave him an "I Spy" book to read. He also went up and down the long hallways and decided we needed to go down four flights of stairs, too. When we got downstairs, we saw Craig, the professor who taught Statistics II when I took it in Spring 2007. I was in the last months of my pregnancy back then and Kiefer spent almost every class kicking me, so I would say to Craig, "I think the baby is going to be a statistician." When we saw him today, I told him he should talk statistics to Kiefer. He said, "Central Limit Theory," which made Kiefer laugh. It was pretty funny.
Kiefer was fine when we got to the doctor's office. He was quite happy to sit at the little table and read in the waiting room. The freak out didn't happen until we were called in to nurse's room for Kiefer to be weighed and get some vitals taken. Screaming and crying with no tears. We then went back to the waiting room and he was just fine. He was also OK when we went into Dr. Schmitt's office. That is, until she needed to listen to his chest and back and look at his ears and throat. You would have thought by listening to his screams that she was murdering him. He also needed two shots today. That prompted the best screams. Luckily, it was over quickly. On his way out he cheerfully said to the Dr. and the nurse, "Bye bye!"
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been practicing counting 1 to 10 with Kiefer. At first he would only say 2 and 9. This morning, he actually did all of the numbers! I was so excited! I really can't work on the alphabet with him because he hates the alphabet song. If I start singing it, he shakes his head and says, "No. No. No!" I guess we won't be learning the alphabet through song!
Last weekend, our friends from the Netherlands, stopped by for a couple of days during a 2 week RV vacation through New England. It was fun to see Jeroen, Chantal and their adorable 9 month old daughter, Yasmijn. We mostly hung out at home and took it easy, but we did manage to get to Shelburne Falls for a lovely morning. Chantal got some excellent footage of Kiefer and Yasmijn having a conversation over dinner. Yasmijn likes to say, "Ya ya ya ya." Kiefer would echo it back. He also shared his cars with Yasmijn and she seemed to enjoy playing with them. It was very sweet.
Friday, June 5, 2009
My paper focuses on the factors (social, financial, academic, demographic) that influence participation in study abroad among students who formally express intent to study abroad. My graduate assistantship at the International Programs Office enables me to easily collect data. The office just implemented an on-line student management software and I got to create the survey students who wish to study abroad must complete. The survey is providing me with my data! Smart, huh?
On May 19, I had to defend my comps paper. I'd been to a few of these before so I felt that I knew what to expect. I have only ever been to defenses attended by one or two students in addition to the 3 committee members. How many people attended my defense? Seven! 7 people along with my 3 committee members. When I learned that quite a few people were planning to attend, I had to change the location because the room I originally selected would have been way too small. It was great to have the support, especially since the IPO laptop I was using for my PowerPoint presentation was temperamental and kept shutting off. I ended up not being able to do my PowerPoint, but luckily, I had plenty of handouts so people could follow the slides on paper. Not perfect, but it worked. After a 15 minute presentation and many, many questions and suggestions, I passed! Whew! What a relief.
I didn’t have much time to rest after the defense because we had to prepare for my 10 year
After a walk around campus and lunch, Roel and Kiefer headed back home. I stayed at MHC and because I am such a nerd, I attended the English and German Studies departmental open houses, since those were my majors. It was fun to see my professors again. In the middle of the German Studies open house, I got a call from my friend Bonnie who told me that our friend Cindy had rolled her foot and passed out while walking around campus. She had to go the hospital and it turns out that she broke her foot! She’s going to be out of commission for 6 weeks and she has a 16 month old. Not fun! I was sad not only that she broke her foot and couldn’t attend the dinner, but that I no longer had a drinking buddy. Bonnie and Laura are pregnant so Cindy and I were going to drink for them.
Everyone left on Sunday at around noon and Monday afternoon, Oma & Opa (Roel’s parents) arrived from the
Roel’s parents rented a house in
In March and April, Kiefer’s vocabulary was limited to words like, “car,” “house,” “egg,” “ice” for ice cream, “hi” and “Nijn-ah” for “Nijntje.” Over the past couple of weeks, his vocabulary has exploded. He repeats just about everything. He also loves anything having to do with transportation and says, “bulldoze” (without the r), “tractor,” “choo-choo,” “truck,” “bike” and “taxi.” His favorite books are therefore transportation related and he adores Richard Scarry’s “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.” There is so much to see on every page, including the gold bug hiding on every page. Kiefer calls the gold bug “bee bug” and that’s what he calls the book.
In March, I went to
At the end of March, on a sunny Saturday Roel and I put started to put together our raised bed garden. We went to the Home Depot and got the lumber, posts and deck screws we needed and assembled three 4’ X 8’ boxes. Kiefer was outdoors with us and helped by handing us screws and once the boxes were assembled, he climbed in and out of them. While Kiefer was napping, we put down landscaping fabric where we were going to place them to keep the weeds down, pounded the posts into the ground and screwed the boxes to the posts. We were just finished with that when Kiefer woke up from his nap and he was able to help us fill them with Martin’s farm loam/compost mix. Kiefer was very patient because the boxes took quite a while to fill. A few days later, I planted some peas, carrots, lettuce, spinach a radishes… veggies that germinate best in cool weather.
We realized that 4 cubic yards of dirt goes a long way and so a couple of weeks later we built two 4’ x 4’ boxes and put a fence up around the boxes so hungry ground hogs and rabbits would stay out. We STILL had lots of dirt and in early May we built one more 4’ x 4’ box. It is a good thing we built more boxes because I got a little carried away buying tomato plants. I dream about garden-ripened tomatoes, so I ended up with 10 tomato plants, when I probably should have only bought 5. After hardening them off for a week, I planted them on May 16th along with two zucchini plants, 2 yellow summer squash, 2 cucumber and 3 bell peppers. It was a little on the early side, so we did have to cover them up once when there was a frost advisory, but they’ve done well and are quite happy in the ground. When we returned from