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SPOTLIGHT ON.... LilyTiger!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

LilyTiger, this is your spotlight thread!


People can ask you questions, and you can answer (or not, your choice). Or you can just share if you want to. It's up to you!

 

To get the ball rolling, here are a few starter questions!

 

  1. Backstory! Tell us about you, where you came from, how you got to where you are now. 
  2. What are you craving right now?
  3. If someone handed you $1000, no strings attached, what would you do with it?
  4. What's your favorite type of soup?
  5. Talk about your house a little-- are you happy where you live? Best part about your house? Worst?
post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 

Is it considered tacky to start ones own Spotlight thread?  Oh well.  Here goes!  (Sorry for the novella, but you all know I write a lot... You can skim it!)
 

  1. Backstory! Tell us about you, where you came from, how you got to where you are now. 

I'm originally from upstate NY, but went away for college and grad school.  When I finished my PhD I got a job teaching at the university in my hometown (Rochester, NY), which was a little weird at first but turned out wonderfully.  I met my husband after I moved back and he and I have been together for three years and are now expecting our first.  He had also moved back to the area after being gone for a long time (he's a former semi-professional athlete, so he traveled for most of his 20's), so now we have both sets of grandparents in the same city ready to dote on the Ninja Fetus when it becomes a Ninja Baby. 

 

My path was pretty straightforward as far as academia is concerned.  I always knew I wanted to write, and this is one of the only jobs that will actually pay you to produce manuscripts on obscure 19th century British political philosophers.  I did take some time off the academic path between college and grad school to move to Ecuador with friends, which was probably the best decision I ever made.  We lived down there for 7 months and our adventures included five days on a pig boat on the Amazon, so I think we made the most of our time there.  When I finally got a job and got married, I felt like my 20s had been perfectly spent and I could have kids without any regrets.  I'm really glad I took that time for myself.

 

2.  What are you craving right now?

Sugar, sugar, and more sugar.  I just ate a piece of cookie cake for breakfast.  Ahhhhhh!  I have also had a lot of cravings recently for tangy foods like stuffed grape leaves and hummus, so I'm hoping I can get away from my cookie obsession to something a little more healthy for both of us.

 

3.  If someone handed you $1000, no strings attached, what would you do with it?

Probably put it into savings, sadly.  Having wracked up enormous (for me, anyway) credit card debt during my move from grad school to teaching (there was a lag of about 9 months were I just didn't have a paycheck), I have become extremely gun shy about debt and spending.  DH leaves the money stuff to me and we sock away 20% or more into retirement and a monthly amount into a money market.  I'm totally freaked about having a nest egg and a financial safety net.  That being said, we also don't have a lot of financial needs right now.  DH got a job a few months back after finishing his grad program, so we're finally in position where we can breathe.  It feels great.

 

4. What's your favorite type of soup?

New England clam chowder!  I love it so much.  The creamier the better.  I love soup in general though, so I can rock a seafood bisque or an awesome split pea if need be.  Not super picky on the soup front.

 

5.  Talk about your house a little-- are you happy where you live? Best part about your house? Worst?

Our house is wonderful.  It's a little city house that was originally built in 1860 and then pieces were added on here and there.  It's basically a "shotgun" house in that you can pretty much see from the front to the back.  Since it's been added on to over 150 years, there are hilarious little quirks like different height ceilings and door heights throughout the first floor and DH was almost driven insane when installing the floors that there are no 90 degree angles in the entire house.  When we first moved in, we had wall to wall carpeting and kind of terrible wallpaper.  We've finally finished installing hardwood floors, a wood burning stove, and beautiful slate tile entryway (all done by DH), so it finally feels like OUR home now.  I love it so much.  It's in a very cool up and coming area of our city where we can easily walk to the river, to parks, and to the little "downtown" area of our neighborhood with shops and restaurants.  I really love it here.  The only problem is that the city schools aren't great, we can't homeschool, and so at some point we'll have to move to the burbs.  We also only have one bathroom and no room for another, so I assume that will become an issue as we have more kids.  For now, at least, it's pretty much perfect. 

post #3 of 23

Ha ha, not tacky at all, thanks for managing the spotlights! Though, I do love how you posted the questions, and then answered your own post orngtongue.gif

 

Did you learn any Spanish when you lived in Ecuador? Did you visit any other neighboring countries?

 

What do you and your husband like to do together?

 

How long do you have off after your baby arrives? are you anticipating a lot of help from both sets of grandparents since they live so close?

 

What one item can you not live without?

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

Did you learn any Spanish when you lived in Ecuador? Did you visit any other neighboring countries?

I was decently fluent when I left, but now I can pretty much just get by when traveling to Spanish speaking countries.  I speak much better than I understand, since Ecuadorians speak relatively slowly and other Spanish speakers really fly.  I'm also terrible at understanding any kind of regional Spanish (Puerto Rican is completely lost on me).

 

I went to Peru and Colombia while I was down there and then DH and I went to Colombia for our honeymoon.  All of them are beautiful countries.  And I loved Machu Picchu in Peru, of course.

 

What do you and your husband like to do together?

We are big microbrew lovers, so we go to beer festivals and brew pubs relatively often (not so much recently, of course).  We're also very outdoorsy, so hiking, camping, canoeing, and so on are pretty big for us.  We do tend to get into ruts a bit where we laze about and watch reruns of The Office and I'd like to avoid that more when bambino arrives.  Or at least when bambino can start understanding what's going on.  I'd really love to do some long camping trips as a family, and it would be nice to do even a short camping trip in the fall before school starts up.

 

How long do you have off after your baby arrives? are you anticipating a lot of help from both sets of grandparents since they live so close?

I have roughly three months.  Our quarter starts back up in November, but then I only teach for three weeks before we have a month of winter break.  I really wish we were on semesters, because if we were I'd get off until January.  :(

My in-laws are awesome and will be great.  They're retired and so have pretty flexible schedules.  My parents still work and I'm expecting help from them, but they're a little more hands off.  My mom loves babies though, so she might be over more than I anticipate.  Both sets are really good with boundaries though, so it's really nice to not have to worry about invasive relatives.  I'm hoping that with a combination of my best friend and my MIL we can get through the first year without daycare too, which would be amazing.

 

What one item can you not live without?

Ooh... Tough question.  Books are obviously a huge part of my life, but that's not really one item.  In terms of creature comforts, I'm pretty much useless until I've had tea in the morning.  But I don't know if that's the kind of thing you have in mind.  I guess tea, my computer, and books would be in the top three, in no particular order.  I try to avoid getting attached to particular things, but I still totally have random rocks and things that I picked up somewhere and can't get rid of.  I'm working on reducing the amount of junk in my life overall.  (Sorry about the random tangent!)

post #5 of 23

Ymmm, cerveza....

 

What's your favorite NY brewery?  (We love craft beer, too!)

 

What's your favorite Office episode?

 

How did you end up on a pig boat?  

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

What's your favorite NY brewery?  (We love craft beer, too!)

We love Lake Placid beers, partly because they are delicious, but partly because we have a family connection.  We have a new brewery in Rochester that just opened called ROC Brewing, and they have a great IPA.  I also love the Great Lakes brand (their Commodore Perry is wonderful), but it's not really NYS.  How about you?  I will say I'm super jealous of the West Coast.  West Coast IPAs cannot be beat, as far as I am concerned.  Which makes me sad, since many of the micro-micro-brews cannot be found this side of the Mississippi.

 

What's your favorite Office episode?

I have watched all of them 8000 times, but I think The Injury is pretty hilarious (where Michael burns his foot on the George Foreman grill).  I'm a fan of the first three seasons in particular.  Once Jim and Pam actually got together I felt like they became less interesting characters.  And the most recent episodes are getting a little crazy.

 

How did you end up on a pig boat?

I still ask myself this question...  Basically, we met up with this Peruvian guy when we were in a little resort mountain town in Ecuador who convinced us to come to Lima to check out Peru.  He also recommended that we could get part of the way there by boat, which would be really relaxing, hanging in hammocks and drinking pina coladas as we rode down to Iquitos (which is, incidentally, the largest city in the world inaccessible by road).  His sister's husband was stationed with the military there and we could stay there and get a flight to Lima.  Sooooo, we bought some Dutch cheese in a can and like 15 bottles of rum and slung our hammocks up.  The trip did not go as planned.  Tono (our Peruvian friend) had neglected to tell us that these boats are basically the public transport of the Amazon and are used to transport people and livestock to larger cities.  Within two days we were surrounded by 65 pigs, a water buffalo (or some crazy animal), 2 turtles, a weird rodent in the "bathroom" (hole in floor right into the river), and chickens and ducks on the roof.  Our "sleeping quarters" were hammocks with random men and women slung above and below us.  It smelled terrible, mostly because of the pigs.  No clean drinking water other than what we brought and the only food on board was made with river water, which was really really disgusting.  The river was also low, so the trip took five days total, three more than it was supposed to.  We finally just got completely drunk on rum and shared some in exchange for some oranges and I ended up trying to kiss this Dutch guy we were traveling with and finally threw up over the side of the boat onto the pigs below.  It was quite an experience.  There's actually a whole lot more to it, but that's the executive summary.  We finally got to Iquitos and managed to fly to Lima and so on, but we were all somewhat scarred by the experience.  It's one of the best icebreaker stories I've ever heard, so I rock it out at cocktail parties when I don't know anybody. 

post #7 of 23

You & your husband sound exactly like me & mine, with the outdoorsy stuff mixed with tv marathons, plus microbrews!  Beer festivals are one of my favourite things to do, and I'm so sad to be missing GABF this year greensad.gif  We had a birthday picnic for my husband this weekend, and I got to have some of a Stone IPA, and some of Drake's Jolly Roger...so delicious!  Can't wait until I get to finish my own bottle.

 

What has surprised you the most about pregnancy?

post #8 of 23

Looks like we need a support group for pregnant lovers of craft beer.nod.gif

 

I am actually from Watertown and have all of my extended family there (my parents moved to NC when I was 5), so when we go up to visit, we always check out Sackett's Harbor Brewing, though the beers are generally too pedestrian for my tastes.  I like Lake Placid beers, too.  I'm a malthead, with imperial stouts as my favorite brew.  As you can imagine, being in the first trimester of pregnancy during prime stout seasonal time was not easy!   On Valentine's Day, I had to break the beer fast with the wildly popular seasonal from Foothills, Sexual Chocolate (it's one of those beers where the keg is kicked within an hour of being tapped.) It's high ABV, so I really only had a shot glass worth of it.  I don't mind IPAs, but much prefer a brown ale or a dry porter for summer sipping, but I tend to agree with you about West Coast IPAs (Green Flash has one of my favorite IPAS).  In NC, we're lucky to have a lot of good beers and generally like everything that comes out of Highlands Brewing (Asheville) or Foothills (Winston-Salem).  I particularly like Highlands' Oatmeal Porter as a good session beer.

 

Have you been to Asheville, NC?  It's perhaps the ideal vacation getaway for beer lovers who love the outdoors (at least on the East Coast).  We're lucky it's only 3 hours away from us.

 

Great story!  I lived in Mexico City for 2 years, so I can completely relate to finding yourself in situations where you wonder how the heck you got there and lived to tell about it! 

post #9 of 23

Why did you guys decide not to find out the sex of your baby? What has it been like, and how do you think it would've been different if you had found out? What have people's reactions been?

post #10 of 23

What is your favorite movie of all time?

What is your favorite food for a snack?  For breakfast?  Dinner?

Do you have a cat or dog or any other animals?  If I remember right you have 3 or 4 dogs thumb.gif

If you could go anywhere for a one week vacation right now where would it be?

What are 3 random interesting facts about you?  

post #11 of 23

Lily, my brother, SIL, and 5 of my nieces and nephews live in Rochester, along with an uncle and some random distant cousins.  My family is originally from all around upstate NY, but my immediate family lived outside of Buffalo.  Anyways, it sounds like we have a lot in common (and Penny and Srtacoche as well).

 

Srtacoche, I'm in NC too, outside of Charlotte, so 1.5 hours from Asheville.  Also, I've only visited Mexico City, but I loved it there, probably one of my favorite trips. I'll have to try the Breweries you mentioned once Q gets here.

 

I'm also a beer fan and love trying new beers and got B into it as well, as he was not a beer fan at all when we met, although that probably had something to do with the crap beer he drank.  It is nice because two of my sisters live in Denver, so it is always nice to visit and then go up to Fort Collins and Boulder and sample some microbreweries there.  I've missed beer quite a lot since being pregnant, but just heard something about certain beers being good for breastfeeding at my Bradley class?  I'll have to research this.

 

What are you most looking forward to about becoming parents?

 

What are you most scared about?

 

Who is your favorite author and why?

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pennywhistle View Post

You & your husband sound exactly like me & mine, with the outdoorsy stuff mixed with tv marathons, plus microbrews!  Beer festivals are one of my favourite things to do, and I'm so sad to be missing GABF this year greensad.gif  We had a birthday picnic for my husband this weekend, and I got to have some of a Stone IPA, and some of Drake's Jolly Roger...so delicious!  Can't wait until I get to finish my own bottle.

 

What has surprised you the most about pregnancy?


I always knew we were cross-country pregnant soul mates, Penny!  I love Stone Brewery.  We went there when we were in Cali at the beginning of my pregnancy and the food was amazing.  I sipped a few amazing beers too.

 

The biggest surprise for me has been my mood.  After trying three different types of hormonal birth control a few years back, I just assumed I would be an insane basketcase and totally emotionally out of control during pregnancy.  That's ultimately why I went off hormonal bc.  But I have been so zen about this whole process, so calm, and my husband has pointed out that we haven't had a single argument since the first trimester.  It makes me a little nervous, actually, because I don't want those zen hormones to leave right when I have a baby/toddler to deal with. 

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by srtacoche View Post

Looks like we need a support group for pregnant lovers of craft beer.nod.gif

I agree!  I love Green Flash's Racer 5 IPA.  It's one of my all time favorites.  My husband is a huge malt-head.  I'm assuming you've tried Lake Placid's UBU ale?  We got an I Love Ubu onesie at our shower this weekend.  Beer obsession is a dangerous thing....

 

I've heard great things about Asheville but haven't made it there yet.  I'll mark that on our places to visit.  I love NC in general, so that would be a great excuse to go down when I can actually consume full alcoholic beverages again.

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootsvalentine View Post

Why did you guys decide not to find out the sex of your baby? What has it been like, and how do you think it would've been different if you had found out? What have people's reactions been?


I think my husband was just excited about a big surprise.  I was more worried about placing expectations on the baby before I actually knew who it was.  Lots of people name the baby when they find out the sex and its a way of bonding, but I tend to build crazy expectations around these things (as in I had my ideal husband pictured down to the shoes he wore...  obviously, it ended up differently, which is great) and I didn't want any kind of disappointment.  Also, I want a boy and I thought I would really struggle bonding with the pregnancy if I knew it were a girl.  When they place him or her on my chest with the massive hormones raging, I just don't think I'll care at that point.  My final reason is pretty practical.  We want to have more kids and we wanted to avoid the overwhelming amount of gender-specific stuff you get so that we could use it all again.  No pink strollers, etc.  Just nice, neutral stuff that'll fit anyone.  But that's just because we're cheap!  orngbiggrin.gif

 

I've definitely had moments of weakness though.  We have names picked out and I would love to know which it's going to be.  And it's driving my parents.. no, just my mom... crazy.  I really like this feeling of not knowing though.  A sort of acceptance of whoever it is in there.  I'm sure my relatives would love for me to stop referring to it as The Fetus though.

 

Overall, most people's reactions have been "good for you!"  with the occasional "I couldn't do it" thrown in for good measure.  Interestingly, everyone I know thinks its a girl, I think it's a boy, and random strangers with theories about how people carry all say it's a boy.  So we're pretty much split on this one.

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol_y_Paz View Post

What is your favorite movie of all time?

What is your favorite food for a snack?  For breakfast?  Dinner?

Do you have a cat or dog or any other animals?  If I remember right you have 3 or 4 dogs thumb.gif

If you could go anywhere for a one week vacation right now where would it be?

What are 3 random interesting facts about you?  


Favorite movie, eh?  Ahhhh!  I don't know.  I watch the same five or six movies over and over again.  It's like a comfort blanket.  BBC adaptations of Jane Austen are really high up there.  You can't beat Pride and Prejudice.  But there have been lots of amazing movies that blew my mind that I just never watched again because once was enough.  Pan's Labyrinth was one of those, if I remember correctly.

 

Favorite snack has to be extra sharp cheddar cheese (either Vermont or NY).  Amazing.  With grapes or another fruit it's to die for.  I'm not a huge breakfast person, but I loved this mexican skillet at the local diner in grad school.  Two eggs over easy over refried beans, veggies, cheese, and jalapenos.  Mmmmmmm.....  I love ethnic food, so really Mexican, Ethiopian, Thai, etc, is all amazing.  I have been craving enchiladas lately, so I think that might be one of my freezer meals I make up.  DH is allergic, which means it'll be all mine!

 

We have three dogs.  Yikes.  DH and I each had a rescue dog when we got married (his is a greyhound and mine is a weird little chinese crested mix) and then DH picked up a feral puppy off a Native American reservation in the Dakotas when he was doing work out there two years ago.  She started following them around and he just couldn't leave her behind.  After she reupholstered our entire house in her puppyhood, she's now one of the best dogs ever.  She'll be a great dog mom.  The other two will ignore the baby until it's old enough to feed them.  They're definitely in for a transition though.  I wish there was a better way to prepare them all.

 

Vacation spots.... I love love love the ocean, so it would have to be somewhere near there.  I've always wanted to go to England, but DH really wants to show me around Germany and Austria (he spent a lot of time there racing).  There are really too many places I'd love to go.  At some point, I'd love to visit Africa and India, but those are pretty long term goals and not really a week long trip.  

 

Three Random Interesting Facts:

1) I take breaks from reading philosophy with celebrity gossip.  I get made fun of relentlessly by family and friends.

2) I was raised Zen Buddhist (as much as anyone can actually be raised Zen) and went to a Buddhist Sunday school.  I'm non-practicing now, but it's given me really important tools over the years.  I love Zen, but I'm not really a spiritual or religious person in general.

3) I do Crossfit and love Olympic weightlifting.  For whatever reason, there is nothing more relaxing to me than heaving large quantities of weight over my head.  I think it's partially a pride issue too.  (Usually the pig boat would go in the number 3 slot, but I already used that one... Sigh).

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas Vitae View Post

Lily, my brother, SIL, and 5 of my nieces and nephews live in Rochester, along with an uncle and some random distant cousins.  My family is originally from all around upstate NY, but my immediate family lived outside of Buffalo.  Anyways, it sounds like we have a lot in common (and Penny and Srtacoche as well).

Rochester is such a weirdly small town, I probably know them all!  It's like two degrees of Kevin Bacon around here.  Everyone knows everyone else.  But I really like it.  Buffalo is a cool old city too, though they're struggling a lot more than we are.  It's too bad, because it has some really cool neighborhoods.

 

What are you most looking forward to about becoming parents?

I'm really excited to just find out who this little person is.  I love kids because they are such unique personalities and you get to watch them develop.  I also have a kind of playful sense of humor that works best on small children who are too young to criticize bad jokes.  So that part will be fun too.

 

What are you most scared about?

I'm worried I won't like my kids or they won't like me.  I had friends growing up who had totally innocuous parents who really tried hard and their kids loathed them, and I could never understand why.  My siblings and parents are all very close-knit and when we all get together its like a big pile of sarcastic puppies, and I would be so sad if our kids were more distant or just never really bonded with us.  DH has similar concerns and I always just try to convince us both that you just do what you can and the rest is up to freak accidents of nature, genetics, and environment.  It's still scary though. 

 

Who is your favorite author and why?

After Jane Austen, I would say Evelyn Waugh.  His book Brideshead Revisited was one of my favorites growing up -- it's about England and a particular family in the pre-war years in England and chronicles the fall of the British aristocracy alongside the growth of two young men.  It's beautifully written and really poignant and it's probably partly where my love of all things British comes from.  Waugh also has a wicked sense of humor.  His novel The Loved One is just a huge send up of American culture and faux-sentimentality.  It's a great read if you like dark humor.  I also love EM Forster for some of the same reasons.  Both of them struggle to understand how to let go of the past without annihilating it.  Lots of interesting lessons that apply to individual lives too.

post #17 of 23

Green Flash's Le Freak is SO delicious.  It's a Belgian/IPA blend, and totally amazing.  And Racer 5 is such a great, dependable beer.  The door from the race car that the beer was named after is actually hanging in a San Francisco bar (the Toronado), with a big number 5 on it!

 

And YES I have heard of Sexual Chocolate!!!  It's somewhat of a myth out here, much like Pliny the Younger is for the rest of the country.

 

We definitely need a pregnant lady beer support group.  Once we're all drinking again, I'd be happy to set up beer trades with the rest of you...yummy.gif

post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pennywhistle View Post

 

We definitely need a pregnant lady beer support group.  Once we're all drinking again, I'd be happy to set up beer trades with the rest of you...yummy.gif

OMG beer trades!  You're a genius. 

post #19 of 23
Quote:
I'm worried I won't like my kids or they won't like me. 

Lol. Me,too! Its such a funny thing to worry about but every now and then I find myself wondering what I'll do if I have nothing in common w this LO. Which, if you think about it, is pretty impossible...hopefully. :) Your family sounds like it was a fun one to grow up in.

 

I'm very interested in Zen Buddhism. We were raised fairly conventionally christian but I've grown away from that. I keep puzzling over how we will introduce spirituality into this LO's life. I have a feeling it will come thruogh more holistic everyday means, rather than some organized set. Buddhism is definitely on my list of things to delve into, so fa I've only scratched the surface.

 

Do you read to your LO? It sounds like he'd be on the recieving end of some pretty interesting material!

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeAnn A Doula View Post

Do you read to your LO? It sounds like he'd be on the recieving end of some pretty interesting material!

 

For the last two months I was lecturing 8 hours a week, so the kid has had a heavy dose of American political institutions and lectures on women in politics.  I wasn't worried at all about baby not hearing my voice enough, in fact I was pretty sure it would like some peace and quiet.  I do want to start either reading to the baby or playing more music.  I lost my iPod a month or two ago and am in mourning.  I really need to get a new one so I can start playing some music and getting a good playlist together for the birth.

 

You might enjoy the book The Three Pillars of Zen by Roshi Philip Kapleau.  He was the founder of the Rochester Zen Center and one of the most respected teachers of American Zen.  He has a lot of stories at the back of the book (sort of like birth stories, now that I think of it) about people's first experiences with meditation and kensho (or the little flashes of enlightenment people get through Zen practice).  It's a neat introduction to practical Zen practice and might give you an idea of what it's like.  I'm actually bringing a CD of zen chants with me to the birth because they are really helpful as a repetitive relaxation aid. 

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