The kids, they grow so quickly

geek, geekgirl
Life has been insanely busy with a new job and prepping for the holidays, but all is (mostly) well. I'm still reading here, even if I don't comment much.

Took the Zelda in for her 12mo checkup today. She is 19lbs and 31 inches.

For comparison's sake, Audrey was 22lbs and 31 inches at her 18mo checkup, so I think little sis may be taller than her big sis before too long. (Big sis is just over 41 inches and about 36lbs now -- so a decent sized kiddo).

I am getting ready for familial (mom, sister, and step-dad) invasion at Christmas. It should be fun. This weekend is for getting everything cleared out of the den so that the Christmas tree can go up on Friday. And I am getting out of the house for a girl's tea, which should be fun.

In summary -- kids grow way too fast, we're all good, life is busy.

It's hard to believe it's almost June

It's been a crazy busy year. We just got all of the sod laid down in the yard over the weekend -- have a little bit of rock left to move, but it's in good shape. Now it's just the watering watering watering to keep it alive.

Zelda is growing like a weed. I'll have actual numbers at her six month appointment on Friday. And I'll have to pick up the rice cereal this weekend. Audrey is very three, but that's totally to be expected for the age. She's a love most of the time, and that's all I can really ask for.

Work is work. Did not get the manager job, but at least we're close to having an actual manager, assuming nothing goes wrong in the next few weeks. We'll see how he does. I am not overly hopeful, but we shall see.

Other than that, not much to report. Got out for the first long bike ride of the season today. Did a respectable 5 miles in about 35 minutes. For not having ridden in almost a year, I'll take an 8mph average. This weekend is clear-coating the fence and putting in the tile backsplash (note to self, measure backsplash and double-check that we have enough tile), and then the weekend after we party. (We party this weekend as well, just not at our place). Locals -- ping me if you want an invite for the 2nd.

Productivity, or something

I have found I have to redefine what a productive day is with two kids under five in the house.

It used to be that I could work all day and then tear through the house like a whirlwind in the evenings doing crafts and cleaning and whatnot. I had to cut back a little after Audrey, but it wasn't bad.

These days though, a good day is work, groceries, cook dinner, empty and reload the dishwasher, and maybe accomplish one other task (today it was get mother's day presents ready to mail, most other days of late it's been 45 minutes on the yard).

I'm just really exhausted all the time. I know it's probably because I'm pushing the edge of burnout right now -- we're spending all our spare time on the weekends going from dirt lot to actual yard, I have two kids to chase, and I'm doing my job and the manager's job at work (without the promotion -- there's a candidate, but no guarantee he'll be hired and on the job before mid-June at the earliest, and we've already burned through three other potential hires that flailed out before the offers were signed). It makes sense that I'm not up to much other than playing with the kids in the evening (an important job, mind you), but I'm still annoyed by the lack of productivity. Grr.


I am still alive

I haven't been posting much, but I have been reading.

Maternity leave ends a week from tomorrow. I am both ready and not ready to go back. On the one hand, I miss my job and coding. On the other, being home during the day and getting to spend more time with Chris, and getting to spend more time with the girls has been nice.

Zelda is in daycare half days this week, and then moves to full days next week. She's doing just fine. Audrey loves having her sister there with her. Zelda's two month checkup is today, so we'll see just how long our little monkey has gotten.

Otherwise, I am making a renewed effort to post content on my cake blog. You can find it at and it is updating on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. Maybe at some point I'll figure out how to import the RSS feed into livejournal. Or maybe not.

That's really all the news that's fit to print. I need to go work on cleaning the house because a) it needs it and b) we're hosting a game night on Saturday.

ZG update

baby, baby2
Took Zelda for her one month hep b vaccination today (and they could not find her chart, which is mildly disturbing), and she got weighed at the same time. Now at least I have an explanation for the crazy long nursing sessions she's been going through.

She was 8lb2oz at birth, 7lb8oz on leaving the hospital, and 7lb13oz at 2 weeks. At one month, she is a nicely sized 8lb13oz (yes, that's 1 lb in two weeks -- hungry hungry baby). No idea on length since they did not measure that, but they will at her 2 month appointment, which I should probably do something about scheduling.

I saw the nurse practitioner for a general health check as I'm a little worried by the rapidity of weight loss post-baby. We're running all the usual blood work (thyroid, A1C, CBC, etc) and she'll call me with the results, so we shall see.

In other news, Chris got me a viking stand mixer as a "yay, new family member" present, and the book The Mixer Bible for Christmas, so I am staying up way too late waiting for cardamom bread to rise so I can punch it down, shape it, let it rise again, and bake it. But it should make awesome french toast in the morning.

It's nearly 2012

And man has it been a good, but crazy year.

Chris and I just got the last of the dishes washed from hosting our first ever Christmas dinner today. It was a lot of fun and the food was so well received that we're considering making an annual tradition out of it.

We did a brined turkey, goat cheese mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with a coconut corn flake topping, rolls (made by my MIL on baking day), pear-cranberry sauce, the jellied cranberries in a can for the toddler, green beans with dates, almonds, and oranges, salad made by my grandmother-in-law, and a spicy sausage stuffing. Plus a pumpkin-pecan pie, and apple and cherry pies.

Way too much food -- we're still plowing through leftovers -- but it was all amazingly delicious. And for never having done the whole meal before and never having cooked a turkey, I did a fine job. It helped that my MIL jumped in and made the gravy, my BIL carved the turkey, and my SIL and MIL helped with putting away the leftovers and cleanup. Having help is awesome.

Baby Zelda will be 1 month old on Thursday. My how the time flies. We'll see what the official weight is, but stepping on the scale with her and without tells me that she's gone up to about 9lbs.

Audrey had a fantastic Christmas. This is the first year she really seemed to get the whole Santa thing, and she was so excited about her presents it was hard to get her to focus on not playing with them and instead to finish opening them.

Haven't heard anything concrete from the results of the interview. It went well enough to convince my boss to go back to his boss about me getting a second interview, but the upper leadership thinks I might not be ready yet, so who knows. The good news out of the whole thing is that they're going to give me opportunities over the coming year and beyond to improve the skills they think I am lacking and as soon as we hire another person in the department, they're going to make the case to corporate to get me promoted to technical lead -- so advancement and new skills regardless. And my soon to be ex-boss reiterated how valued I am and what a good job I do, so that was nice to hear.

I'm not necessarily looking forward to going back to work, though. It's been rather nice having time off during the day home with Chris and I will miss that when I go back to work and we go back to only seeing each other for more than a bit on the weekends. It's partly his swing shift schedule and partly that work moved a little further away, so in order to be back to our house in time to get the girls from daycare, I'll need to go into work earlier than I used to, thus less time with him (and the girls) in the morning. I think it'll all work out though, and his job is a good fit with his school schedule right now.

Life really is good, minor complaints aside. We're throwing a small NYE party and I am looking forward to it. I am making the family wonton recipe. Haven't made them in a couple of years (you can really only make them in enormous quantities), so it should be a nice treat.

A long overdue update

geek, geekgirl
So, there are two big things going on in my life right now.

Firstly, meet Miss Zelda Grace, born 11/29/2011, 20.5 inches long, and 8lbs2oz.  Seen here with her proud big sister.

Secondly, on Monday I am going to interview with my now former boss for his position. It'd be a huge step up and I think I have a decent shot at it, but I probably won't know anything until after the new year. (He's leaving/left us to take a position with a former employer that gives him considerably more money and power than his job did -- it's a great opportunity for him.)

Lastly, it is nearly Christmas and I still have much shopping, wrapping, and baking to do. We're hosting Christmas dinner for the first time ever and I'm a little nervous, but I think it'll all go fine.

Here we go again

baby, baby2
I know, I haven't posted much. Life has been busy with work and the toddler and keeping the new house clean, etc. etc. etc.

All of which is on-hold at the moment as I am on bedrest through at least my doctor's appointment tomorrow, with the expectation that it'll continue past then. Blood pressure is creeping up, I'm seeing floaters in my vision, and my head is killing me. So, pretty much what got me an emergency c-section with Audrey is repeating itself with baby Sprocket.

And the civic is in the shop getting checked out because both the IMA (hybrid warning light) and the check engine lights are on. Whee. At least if I'm on bedrest we only need one car at a time?

My best guess is that the baby will be here in the next week or two. Just a matter of seeing when the doctor feels she needs to come out. Likely a repeat c-section. I'm disappointed as I was hoping to VBAC. Ah well. Now I should go lay down again. Rest good. Rest is boring, but it is good.


They grow up so fast

baby, baby2
Three years ago today I was in the middle of the worst induction ever not knowing it was going to end up in an emergency c-section.

Today my monkey is three and in pre-school. Happy birthday Audrey Kate.

It has been an insane couple of weeks.

geek, geekgirl
Closed on the new house. Moved into the new house. Got the house (mostly) unpacked. Had my sister in town. Went to my SIL's baby shower. Threw a house warming party. Had my 5th wedding anniversary with filmbuff . (Yes, 5 years - time flies when you're having fun). And had a second ultrasound to try and determine the gender (and a lot of anatomical measurements) of the new baby. We'll be welcoming our second daughter on or around 12/3/2011. At least I've got a lot of clothes already? :)

My child is like her mother

baby, baby2
Stubborn as all get out.

Could not get even a hint as to gender today as beeb's legs stayed tightly closed at the knee/crossed at the ankle. Due to not being able to see as much as they would have liked otherwise, I am being referred to a more sophisticated ultrasound location to get a second scan in about 2 weeks or so. Maybe this time we'll get a better idea. I do not know. Ah well. Heard the heartbeat at least, so baby is well.


So, I have this other blog

But it's just as neglected as this one is.

Anyhow, I want to try and remedy that on both sides (if nothing else, by cross-posting :D).

I put a comment on facebook the other day about doing a YouTube series of cake videos, and weirdly enough my friends want to see me do that. However, in order to do videos, one must have a sense of the content that is going to go into them, thus the blog postings. I'm going to try to put together an approximately 10 post series I'm going to call Cake 101, and while I know pretty much what I'm going to do for the first three or four (ingredients, tools, pans, display methods), I do not yet know what I am going to do for the next six or so (although probably one whole post on how to frost a cake -- that's a pretty good 101 topic). This is where you, my hopefully still with me audience, come in.

Is there anything you'd like to see in a Cake 101 (or 201 or beyond) post? (Oh, and if you're curious this is the Cake Ninja blog.)

In other news, I fly to Boston for a server clusterfsck, um, I mean clustering, project on Sunday. Zilla will go to her grandparents for the week (since Chris works nights and there's no such thing as overnight daycare) and have a fantastic time I am sure. I feel mostly ready for it. And, we close on our new house on July 22nd, with a move-in date tentatively scheduled for the following week. It's going to be awesome! :D

An overdue post

geek, geekgirl
I think I still remember this thing's here.

Although truthfully there has not been much going on in our life of late. Audrey continues to grow like a weed. The new house is entirely framed, so now we move into the slow part of construction as wiring and plumbing, etc go in.

Work is about the usual. I had a good review this year, so that's a nicety. I have also spent the last three weeks being the only developer in the office which is really really really tiring. Plus, I will have to go to Milford, MA for a week in June. Not thrilled as I had some stuff scheduled for that week that I'll have to move now and I will be spending a week with my boss just about anytime I'm not sleeping, but I'll at least get to eat some really good seafood and meet our East Coast counterparts.

But really, life continues quietly and apace. Move along folks, nothing to see here :D
geek, geekgirl
Chris and I stayed up considerably later than usual last night and were therefore considerably more dead to the world this morning.

We woke up to find a naked toddler, with a blue smeared mouth and a less than clean rear end. So Chris got her cleaned up and dressed while I dashed downstairs to see how bad the damages were. No mess. The blue sucker she'd pulled down off a counter was neatly set down on a coaster on the carpet, and the night-time pull up was in the trash in the downstairs bathroom with the door thoughtfully closed on it because it was less than pleasant to smell.

Near as I can tell, this is what happened: yesterday I came home to see her sitting at the top of the stairs peering out the window (I had gone to the grocery store around 9am while she and Chris were still sleeping) and she told me "daddy's not home yet" and I told her, yes he is, he's in bed. I think she'd opened the door, looked for me, decided I wasn't there, and closed it. So I think this morning instead of checking to see if we were in the room, she decided neither of us was home, and that she'd go downstairs and take care of herself. Needless to say, the gate is going back across the stairs -- it won't keep her up the stairs (we need a different style of gate that'll still allow the cats to move back and forth, this one is more for the noise factor if she moves it), but it'll at least give us a head start. We also reiterated that one of us is always home when she is and she needs to come and get us. (She can, she's opened my bedroom door once or twice in the middle of the night). The other option would be to go back to locking her in at night.

However, we did that for nap today (she should have taken one and did not, but we figured she could use the quiet time and we could use the quiet time) and she pretty much tore the room apart. All the pullups out of their packaging, all the toys all over the floor. That was a 45 minute cleanup job for the two of us (Audrey and I) to put it all back.

On the other hand, when she was all done and I told her how proud I was of her, I got a hug, a kiss, and an unprompted (i.e. not saying back after I say it to her) "I love you!" This must be why we don't eat our young :D


This is Chris and I in front of the lot where our new house will be built. So excited, and yet so terrified.


improv week two

geek, geekgirl
I had some reservations over the weekend about the improv class. It was good, but there were some aspects of the class that were bothering me.

I am pleased to say that those were all resolved today and I had a fantastic time in class despite feeling completely trained out after day three of some pretty intense training at work (two more days to go, alas).

Tonight we did a lot of work on characters. And, my character was not only well-received by the class, but the director told me specifically after the class that it was a good strong character and I did a nice job. It was nice to get the feedback and particularly so positively. It's all starting to come back to me now. I don't think we're actually going to do any improv games this class, which is somewhat sad, but I'm definitely enjoying working on relationship, conflict, emotionality and character. Plus, there's a pretty awesome prop room back stage (I could do with more options on the clothing side, but their women's stuff is geared more to women of standard size).

I'm definitely seriously considering how to make room in my budget to take the follow-on improv performance class. And when I do, I will be sure to let the locals know when the performance is. :)


Everything old is new again

hat, nekkid, sexy
Last night, I took an improv class for the first time in probably 5ish years. And I did not suck. And it was awesome. I've got three more weeks of "Improv Foundations" (refresher course) and then I'll look at taking the performance class (4 weeks of full-on rehearsal with a performance at the end). It's spendy, but it's making me happy, so it's worth it.

In other news, Chris and I are starting serious preparations to buy a house. Namely budgeting like heck so we can have a down payment this time next year. We've got a house and an area in mind -- it'll depend on what we can save and where we're at next year and if the development is still building. If not, I'm sure there are plenty of other fabulous houses out there to be had.

I'm starting week 4 of weight watchers tomorrow. It's going reasonably well. I didn't exercise as much as I could have this weekend -- I'll have to try to be better about that because next week I'll be in Training Within Industry training all week from noon to 5, which doesn't leave a lot of excess time for exercise, especially considering that I've got my regular work still to fit in.

Work is fine. Busy as all get out, but fine. I'll be heading back to the mothership near Boston, MA sometime this summer or fall to meet with some of our counterparts. A "hey, nice to meet you, yes I'm competent, stop asking me about why I need into the servers" kind of thing.

Other than that, not much to report. I'm going to start trying to get more crafting in soon. I've got fabric and yarn stashes to go through and scrapbooks to catch up on, but there never seems to be enough time in the day for all the things I want to do. Ah well, such is life.

New Year, Mostly the Same Me

blue dress, formal, cheerful
I even have the same haircut as this picture, which is from sometime in 2004 or 2005, I don't have the dress though -- I gave it away when we moved to CO because I stopped being able to fit it. Alas.

Ordinarily, I do not do New Year's resolutions, but this year I have NY decisions.

I've been mostly absent from here, but I am not about to promise to start posting more, as I know the odds of that, but this hasn't gone onto Facebook yet either. However, in the spirit of accountability, I am laying the following all out on the line.

Firstly, I have joined weight watchers. It's my second time -- I had a great group back in 2003ish, but it disbanded and I didn't keep up with the program. Although we've done spark people in the past, I find WW easier to follow -- especially now that I can have a piece of fruit and not have to count the calories in it :D I'm doing eTools, not the meetings, and I'll see how it goes.

I've both been wanting to get a little healthier, but I have a greater impetus right now -- back in November I went in for a full workup to try to sort out some other issues and one of the things that came back was that my A1C (% of sugar in your blood - a 120 day snapshot) was 5.8. Depending on who you talk to that's either type II diabetic or pre-diabetic. Either way, the best cure is diet and exercise (and medication, which I am now on).

Secondly, this is the year I get back into improv. I've emailed a local place about their classes. I'll have to re-take improv foundations, but once I have I can go into the performing class, and if I do well there I'll talk to them about how to audition for the actual group that performs every weekend.

Thirdly, I'm going to try to be more social this year. We're going to try to have a monthly game night, but locals, please feel free to ping me about getting together and help me get out more.

That's all that's fit for the public. Stay tuned next time for further adventures in Megland.


So this was Christmas

blue dress, formal, cheerful
And a very delightful Christmas it was. This year Audrey really seemed to get into the whole Santa and presents thing and it was a joy to watch her. Plus, Chris did a good job of spoiling me :)

I'd say I'm going to try to be better about posting more, but we all know the likelihood of that. Life is going well, but between work and chasing the toddler and trying to keep the house in one piece (a never ending battle) it seems like there's barely any time for me, much less regular updates. Alas.


Nov. 29th, 2010

My computer has decided to take up life as an ex-computer, so while I am working out replacement options (and hoping for a new one for Christmas!) I will be relatively scarce for a while. Also, we just spent 10 days out of town, so if anything major happened, you might want to tell me about it :)

Halloween costume madness

Every year I promise myself I'll just make us pick something relatively easy and not kill myself trying to get Halloween costumes done. And every year I fail. :)

Actually, for the Monday before the party weekend I'm not doing too badly -- I'm only predicting one or two nights up until 2am sewing this week. It would have been easier if I weren't doing one thing for work and another for parties and the day itself -- thus only having to make three costumes instead of six, but it's life.

Here's the state of the costumes.

Audrey is all done. I finished the jacket for her Krosp I, Emperor of all Cats costume tonight, and her kitty ears and tails are done. She's wearing a turtleneck onesie and tights in white, so those I just bought. Her Catwoman costume is also ready to go. Black pants she already owned, a black shirt we bought, and I made clip-on kitty ears in black when I made them in white for her other costume. The jacket is not my best work, but it's definitely passable, and unless I go insane and decide to enter it in a masquerade, I will be its harshest critic.

Chris has his Othar costume all done. It was entirely store-bought. Yellow shirt, brown cargo pants, and I was going to make a mask, but he found goggles that will do, leaving me time to get other stuff done and I'll see if I can get the mask done in time for Loscon. His Riddler costume is in progress. We have (store-bought) olive pants and a black shirt, and I will cut and sew his green vest tomorrow so that he can paint black question marks on it on Thursday. He glued the felt onto his mask tonight, so we'll just have to do the trimming/cutting out eyeholes part tomorrow.

I am in the weeds on my costumes, alas, because I always leave my costumes for last to be sure everyone else's gets done. I'm doing Poison Ivy for work (the boys agreed we could all be batman villains), and I was going to sew (and bought pattern and fabric for) a green dress. However, while out over the weekend I found both an awesome green shirt and pants combo, and a green dress and shrug, and green patterned tights, so I'll be set for any variation I choose. I've got gold shoes with leaves on them, and a green leather leaf mask from the ren faire. I will get back to the dress -- it'd be nice for Christmas.

My other costume is not going so well -- it's Mamma Gkika from girl genius. I've already written off the crocheted gloves as hopeless -- there is no way I'll be able to do one and a half nearly opera length gloves between now and Halloween. I'm shooting for Loscon for those. I do have my top done. I have sculpted and am in the process of painting two trilobites and one jagrmonster symbol. I will need to put one of those on the bodice and string the other two into jewelry with a bunch of fake pearls. I have a blue wig. It's not an exact hairstyle replica, and I'm a bit dubious as to how it'll fit over my hair, but it's a blue wig. I need to a) figure out how I'm going to do a bustled skirt with a wraparound overlay and b) sew it up and add the crocheted trim. The trim is done -- that was one of the first things I completed. I'm contemplating seeing if I have enough skirt material left over to cut two gloves and then attach them to the cuffs that match the trim instead of crocheting them. I think that depends on how the next few nights go :)

And on top of all of this, I signed up to bring cupcakes for friday's potluck. But I'm cheating -- box mix and frosting -- because there's just not enough time in the week.

So it's a little more than a week

And still no post on the cake blog. But here's a post!

Let's see, on the Audrey front -- she is two in every sense of the word. Sometimes incredibly frustrating and sometimes incredibly sweet. She's starting to sing more songs -- she's known itsy bitsy spider, but she's singing more of ten little monkeys, and today she was singing baa baa black sheep recognizably.

She's in a bit of a clumsy stage right now -- keeps tripping and running into things, including bumping her head and getting a nice big bruise today. One of her daycare teachers thinks she might be headed for a growth spurt as she's seen this in other kids right before they shoot up again. I'm rooting for one more inch by mid-November so she can ride the Matterhorn when we go to Disneyland (she's at 34" and needs to be at 35").

She's also very helpful of late. She'll put her toys away if asked. She carried in a bag of groceries for me yesterday, cleans her own plate off the table at dinner, and helped put away the silverware today when I emptied the dishwasher. Overall she's a fantastic kid. It's just remembering that when she's screaming like a banshee because she can't have both a granola bar and graham crackers.

Work is going well. The huge project that's been hanging over my head is mostly in QA with a demo on Thursday and I am not anticipating anything preventing it from going to production next week. Then it'll be back to the other, smaller, project I need to wrap up, and then getting ready in December and January for the next set of regulatory requirements.

Finish the projects-wise, I have almost all of one of Chris' halloween costumes done (needs a mask), I need to get fabric for both of Audrey's, and I've cut out part of one of mine, but it still needs to be sewn. I'm also a little over half of the way through the crocheted trim for one, but I'll have armbands to do as well.

Took a break over the weekend from responsibilities and went out for a family day at the zoo on Saturday instead. It was nice to spend time together without worrying about what at home still needed to be done.

Tomorrow night Chris and I get a date -- Audrey is now old enough for the drop-in childcare at the mall, and since she had a follow-up appointment yesterday for her ears (no longer infected), we were able to get the statement of health taken care of. So tomorrow she'll go to the drop-in place and we'll get a toddler free dinner. Huzzah!

And that's about all the news that's fit to print. Or at least all the news I'm going to type before dragging myself off to sleep. The 7:00am alarm comes early, alas.

My army of unfinished things

We're still in the process of unpacking, nearly four (admittedly very busy) months after moving, and all my brain can ruminate on right now is the number of partially completed crafting projects I have lying around the house. I've got 80% of a dress cut out that still needs sewed, I have fabric for stuff that Audrey's probably outgrown at this point, more yarn in my stash than I know what to do with (including a started and frogged four times over sweater for myself), and three to five unfinished cross stitch projects roaming around the house (one of which was meant to be a wedding present a long long time ago, but I'm pretty sure I gave the bride a proper present at the time, so I'm cleared).

Also, I never finished the cake site, which I've now converted to a blog, and which really needs pictures and stuff put up on it, so I need to make time for that. And for this as well.

And I'm over a year and a half behind on my scrap-booking (well, I did get the scrapbook for Audrey's first year done, but that's it).

So in the interest of a) getting rid of clutter and b) forcing myself to take time for myself I am putting this out here as a public challenge to myself. I, Meg, will complete one craft project per month, unless it's horribly complicated, in which case I will allow two.

I will also post to the cake blog and to here once a week.

I will report back to here on the progress thereof, and we'll see how it goes.

October's project will be Halloween costumes, so I think I'm going to go downstairs and see if I can locate pink yarn for making edging for my costume. I'm going to need a lot of it, so I might as well get cracking.


The past two years

geek, geekgirl
Have been some of the scariest, the most painful, the most worrying, and the sweetest, most wonderful years of my life.

Happy 2nd Birthday Audrey Katharine.

And a fine time was had by all

Busy, but relaxing, weekend. Friday night I was up until 1am finishing off a cake ninja job for delivery on Saturday. I have finally mastered butter cream roses. Not the wilton ones, those I need to practice more, but the Martha Stewart ones, which I kind of like better anyhow. The top tier of this cake was a riot of butter cream flowers and looked absolutely amazing. Pictures to come over on the cake ninja site.

Saturday we ran some errands (needed to pick something up for Chris, and wanted crepes), and then I made cupcakes for the family birthday celebration this weekend up in Fort Collins. Chocolate brownie cupcakes with a chocolate butter cream frosting with a hint of mint, topped off by mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips (not all at once, mind you -- one type per cupcake). They were very well received.

We dropped the cake off in Aurora (and thankfully hitting a bump on I-25 did not damage it) and then headed up to Fort Collins. Over the course of the weekend much wine was drunk and much fun times hanging out with family were had. We also celebrated all of the early September birthdays (Chris, Audrey, Judy (MIL), Suzy(Aunt-In-Law) and Rich(Uncle-In-Law)), thus the cupcakes. Audrey did not get a cupcake because she'd refused to nap on Sunday and melted down during the present opening, so she'll have to check hers all out over the course of the week. She's also decided that her Grandpa is "Grandma" along with her Aunt Audrey. But Grandma is Grandma, and Uncle Tim is Tim, go figure. It's just a phase -- so I'm trying to let it go because the more we correct her the more she'll dig her heels in.

Today we had lunch at Island Grill (delicious!) and then headed home. Stopped off at the outlets for some pajama bottoms for me, some pajamas for Audrey (and her Thanksgiving and Christmas dress, which she picked out), and I bought two dresses I'd been eying at Target as they were on clearance, which meant I did not have to choose between them.

Nice lazy evening home, with a quick dinner out at McCoys and now it's high time I put myself to sleep for work waits for no woman.

I really ought to blog more, but I won't insult the intelligence of my readers or myself by implying that I am actually going to. I've turned Denver Cake Ninja into a cake blog, so watch that space for pictures of this weekend's cake and Chris' birthday cake in progress. I don't promise that it will be very often updated either, though.

Overheard on Primrose

geek, geekgirl
(Like overheard in New York, but in our place).

Audrey (pointing to herself, after a bath): Naked.
Audrey: Ssssnaek. Hiss.
Chris: I don't know about you, you know you're naked and you're hissing like a snake. Has anyone given you any apples recently?

A few small things

geek, geekgirl
Firstly, we had a fine time this weekend hanging out with my friend Kathleen from high school and her family. Audrey got plenty of toddler play date time and was only minorly injured falling off the playground at the rockies game.

Secondly, I have, in theory, a start date for going perm at the job I am currently at. Did drug testing and paperwork for background check last week, so assuming all comes back as expected (which it should, but this whole process has been haywire-y), I will start as a full-time employee a week from Monday.

Thirdly, pursuant to that, we have made our thanksgiving plans, and will be in the general LA/San Diego area from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after.

Lastly, it has been way too hot.

Audrey is well. At some point I will upload photos, etc, and try to get a count of how many words she knows now (a lot. not all of them quite comprehensible.)

Same old same old otherwise.

Adventures in Commuting

With moving closer to work, I decided I really ought to get some use out of the bike I bought a couple of years ago. So, with Chris being able to shift his schedule on MWF, I've started biking to work.

It's about 3mi each way, which is completely in the realm of doable. I rode Tuesday and was fine, although I got rained on in the evening. I rode both ways in the rain today. I'm really looking forward to my "off day" tomorrow. I ended up buying a new cyclometer because I can't find mine (nor can I find my bike glasses, alas), and it says I've gone 11.8mi.

Here are the things I have learned so far:

  • Be really careful how tightly your pannier is held onto the rack, or it may try to jostle off while you're going downhill
  • Bike rain jackets may not come in Meg size, but I'd better figure it out anyhow, because draping it over the back of your chair all day is not an effective means of drying out a rain-soaked jersey
  • The bike rack will of course be up a set of stairs at the back of the building
  • If you pack work clothes and change into them, be prepared for your boss to say "You biked to work in a dress?!"
  • Cyclometers that tell you what your speed is in relation to your current average (up or down) are surprisingly motivating.
  • People don't entirely seem to get the whole "3 feet to pass" rule, and good instincts/reflexes will save you from getting conked in the head by a mirror on a passing trunk
  • It's probably okay not to ride in the rain, even if you're trying to stick to a schedule
  • Of course, even if they ship the day you order them, the shiny new bike clothes won't arrive until after the weekend and will arrive while you are at work
  • Murphy likes to mess with you -- thus your chain popping off when you're in the last 300 yards to get home
  • There is nothing so tasty as a bowl of oatmeal after a 20 minute dash through the rain
  • There is also nothing so good as a beer after the ride home
  • It's okay to walk the hill, as long as you make an initial assault on it -- you'll get further eventually
  • I'm enjoying the commute far more than I thought I would -- less stress, plus exercise equals a happy Meg

Other than that, things are going well. All quiet on the western front.


Overheard at the dinner table

geek, geekgirl
The participants: Chris, Audrey, and a toy phone.

Audrey hands Chris the phone.
Chris: "Hello?"
Chris: "Audrey said what?"
Chris: "I'll have a talk with her."
Chris hands the phone to Audrey, looks at her and says "Proper young ladies do not root for the Red Wings."

Le Move

geek, geekgirl
I think we're pretty well settled in now at La Casa de Newness. I would estimate we're about 90% unpacked -- some of that we'll tackle in the next week and some of it will sit in out of the way places until actually needed (I'm looking at you, winter coats).

We got the old place cleared out over the weekend. As it turns out we don't have to clean it having been there for three years, so we turned in the keys and are done. We'll see what, if any, dings come out of our security deposit, but I'm not expecting much. And it was so low that if it doesn't come back I don't really care :)

Working the late shift (until 6pm) this week due to a major deadline for our end users (big EPA study closes this week -- so I have to stay and make sure everyone can enter their data). Unfortunately, I'm still in contracting limbo, so I'll be taking hour long lunches since my boss likes everyone to be in at 9am, but I am not to go over 40 hours in a week. Long days next week, too, since I'm still sans benefits like paid holidays and will want to try to make some hours up. Hopefully the things that need to happen will soon and I'll get an offer letter mid-next month. Just waiting and seeing right now.

Need to get out this week and deadhead the rosebushes. They'll need some serious pruning this fall, but I need to figure out a) what type of roses they are and b) what that pruning might look like. They're pretty well established, so I'm not too worried about killing them, I'd just like to do right by them.

Audrey is doing well. She's occasionally a bit of a boundary pusher, but we're all learning to cope. She's reasonably good about not getting on the stairs without Mom or Dad to help, so I'm not too worried. She's talking up a storm as well. A lot of the time we have no real idea what she's saying, but she seems happy and that's good enough for me.

Other than that, there's really not much to report. I have a shorter commute and Chris has a shorter commute and that makes life better.
I bought five or six at the 1.00 pattern sale at JoAnn a few weeks ago, and I just bought two more at hobby lobby yesterday because they were .99 (I did need them -- a steampunk/sherlock holmes coat-cape pattern for Chris for an eventual steampunk outfit, and a civil war ballgown so I can use the skirt for my halloween costume.)

I am not letting myself buy any fabric for them or any of my other pattern sitting in a box in Audrey's room until I sew the patterns and fabric I have now (although the stuff I bought to sew for Audrey I may to repurpose because I'm not sure the patterns are still her size, but I bet I can use them for the new patterns in her size). I'd like to get all of that done before we get a house, so that I'm not moving sewing in progress. (And I think, depending on room, that I may well be seeing if my FIL still has a drafting desk he'd like to get rid of -- seems perfect for sewing and other crafts).

I also have over a year's worth of pictures to get into my scrapbook, and threadcakes is coming. Which means I dearly need to re-organize all my cake pans and piping tools so I can find them when I need them.

Plus all the usual things of work, chasing Audrey and trying to keep the house clean (although the organization would go a long way towards that). I need another 80 hours in the week or something!

No word yet on my offer letter -- Monday is the earliest my boss can submit to HQ in MA, but he'll be on a trip there, so I don't know. Once we have an offer letter, we can get pre-approved and work on the picking and buying a house thing. And then the packing. Eep!

But now I must pack an Audrey and I and head to church.

Help Needed

geek, geekgirl
Wanted: one electronically minded person that could help me make the !()#*@#!#@$)(*@#)(*)!(* elmo guitar Audrey was gifted with stop working for only the elmo button -- everything else is not annoying, but if I hear "Jam with Elmo! You're rocking now!" in that disgustingly twee little voice one more time I may not be responsible for the outcome.

Please to be saving my sanity. Will repay in booze, books, or cake.

Screenwriting for dummies

geek, geekgirl
(The dummy would be me.)

So I didn't manage to do NaNoWriMo last year. I had an idea, and it fizzled out, so I started another idea and discovered all I had was a pile of puns, which may work for Piers Anthony, but not for me.

Yet, I like the idea of writing something, anything, just something to completion, so I've decided to do Script Frenzy which is brought to you by the same people as NaNoWriMo. The idea is 30 days and 100 pages of screenplay (roughly a 100 minute movie). I figure I can at least give it a shot. And if I get something decent out of it I have a husband I can browbeat ask nicely to help me film and edit it. (He says I'm not allowed to edit my own movies. I think he just doesn't want to have to answer any more dumb questions like "how do you write a screenplay?")

As for what I'm writing, it's a secret (aka I'm totally winging it). I promised Chris I'd be like Diablo Cody (irreverent and indie) but without any follow-up flops and not quite the outrageous style. (Although I did threaten to do all interviews in a pink leopard print housecoat, ridiculous Peg Bundy makeup, and a beehive hairdo if this thing took off, that way I could show up at awards ceremonies looking like myself and no one would know who I was or why I was there. He told me they'd all be asking who I was anyhow, and why I was with famous editor Chris <LastName>.) I also promised it wouldn't have an obnoxious cop-out happily ever after ending.

I'm crazy, but at least it's an interesting kind of crazy.

Once upon a time

tiara doom
I made a list of 62 good things about me. It was part of a challenge to publicly say one good thing about myself each day for a month that became two.

the list is hereCollapse )

It's interesting looking back on the list six and a half years later and see how much of it remains apropos. I am still learning to turn off my self-censor. I still take pride in my geek skills. I still have a healthy ego.

But, if I were making the list over again, I think it'd have a different focus. The old list was the young and unencumbered Meg. Marriage and motherhood have sort of changed my perspective. it's less now about how fun and flirty I am and more now about how grounded and giving I can be.

I just find it funny how time shifts perspective.

For example: I would probably have entries on the list about being a good provider for my family, or doing my best to raise Audrey well, or being the best partner/spouse that I can be/providing appropriate comfort and support. And I'd probably sub out excellent cook for awesome baker. I still cook well, it's just not my focus these days. I don't know that I'd still label myself as ambitious -- I have goals in life, I want to have a nice home and to be able to afford the occasional new car and tickets to sporting events and nice dinners out, and to be able to help Audrey out in going to college, but I no longer want to rule the world. If I don't have time for my own problems most of the time, how am I going to deal with everyone else?

I'm not sure I'd call it growing up -- I have all the outward signs of being an adult - a decent job, a family, soon to be a house (once the job goes perm we can get a mortgage), a (small) retirement account, but I still often feel like I'm playing at being an adult and not inherently an adult -- but I don't know what else it is either.

Bah, this is what happens when one isn't entirely sleepy but hasn't had enough sleep and goes trolling old LJ entries -- you get weird introspective melancholy.

Mar. 21st, 2010

geek, geekgirl
I keep meaning to post pictures, but I've been too lazy to organize them.

Instead, have an update on the state of the Meg and the Audrey.

Audrey had her 18mo checkup on Friday and she's 22lbs (25th percentile) and 31 inches (30th percentile) so on-track growth-wise and proportionate.

Work continues to go well. Despite my boss' best efforts, they will not be able to convert my contract early, so we probably will not be able to get a house until later this summer. We'll miss out on the tax credit, but it allows us a little more time to sock funds away. Work itself is going well. I'm in between projects at the moment, but I'm sure there'll be something for me to do come tomorrow. We interviewed a replacement for the coworker that quit with no notice on Friday. Seems like a nice enough kid, so we'll see if my boss decides to extend him an offer.

Audrey is doing well. We had lunch with her grandparents today and she was her usual charming self. She's up to over 15 words in her vocabulary and it seems like she's learning more all the time. Plus I'd say she probably understands another 20 to 40 beyond that that she can't say yet. (For example, if you say to her do you need a change? She'll head for the changing table.) We were going through some of her old clothes tonight (sorting out keep, sell, and donate) and it boggles my mind how tiny she used to be compared to how grown up she is now. They grow up so fast *sniff*.

Caking is going. I have heard from two of the three people who won cakes from the youth group auction and delivered one. Another I think is going in April. I have not heard from the person who won the cupcakes, but at least cupcakes aren't very complicated :) The last cake was very well received, the youth group leader stopped me this morning to gush about it again.

We're still going to church. I'm getting more comfortable with how services go and starting to not need the service booklet to prompt me as much about what I should be doing. I still find the passing of the peace to be weird, but I'm an introvert, so shaking hands with other members of the congregation is going to be weird regardless. Chris and I are each going to take a part in the dramatic service on Palm Sunday. He's going to be John the Baptist and I'm going to be Mary (not the Magdalene, but the mother, I wanted to be the Magdalene, but someone else had already claimed that part). It should be interesting. We'll have rehearsal on Tuesday. The performance, so to speak, is during our usual church time, so Audrey will be in the nursery and we don't have to worry about that.

Other than that, no news to report. Working on a mountain of housework. Did not accomplish as much as I would have liked to this weekend, but I figure an hour or two a night and I might get through it. Then again, there is hockey on Wednesday, then hockey next Wednesday and Friday and then the following Friday, so we're going to be a little busy.

Zilla update

geek, geekgirl
Zilla is home sick today, although at this point she doesn't seem too bad, but she was running a 101.5 fever this morning. We ended up in the ER Friday night because she woke up screaming with a fever of 104.5. It's not been quite so bad of late, but it was bad enough to keep her home today. We'll go to the doctor at 2:45pm today just to rule out any problems and hopefully she can go to daycare tomorrow and I can go to work before she drives me completely insane :)

Speaking of daycare, it's been a really wonderful thing for her. Her vocabulary has just exploded. She knows red, blue, and yellow. She says "more" when she wants more of something, she'll say "plee" if you ask her to say please. She knows kitties say meow, and will repeat woof back to you. I'm sure there's more I'm missing, it seems like she's got a new word every day.

Her motor skills have also improved -- her coloring is getting better, and she's climbing onto all sorts of things (including the couch). They sit in chairs to color and eat, so she'll sit on the couch and try to climb into chairs. She's walking everywhere still. Often with one of mom's fingers and one of dad's, but sometimes she'll go off on her own.

We'll find out her height/weight stats at her 18mo checkup. She's probably getting a little tall for her 12mo clothes, but her waist is still too tiny for most of her 18mo clothes.

As far as Mom goes, I'm doing well. Still loving my job. I'm appreciative that my boss is of the mindset that family comes first, so when I called him yesterday to let him know I'd need to be out he said "no worries, and I hope your daughter feels better". Total 180 from the last job. I'm trying to make room for more exercise in my life, and I bought wii fit plus yesterday in the hopes that the ability to just pick a workout will make me more likely to do it. And we just took a giant leap into the unknown, but until I get word one way or another on what's going on, I'm trying not to jinx it.


geek, geekgirl
So I haven't posted pictures from Christmas (nor gotten them off my camera), and I should talk about how fabulous my job is (totally fabulous) and there's the whole going back to church thing.

But I'm not going to talk about any of that.

Instead I'm going to talk about a PS2 game. It's a quest game. I don't do quest games. And yet, I am.

Why? Because it hits my geek center -- Japanese folklore. The game's called Okami and you play as an incarnation of Amaterasu (Japanese creation goddess). The artwork in the cut scenes is mostly brushwork and it's done in the traditional right to left style. Granted, it's an older PS2 game, so the artwork doesn't compare to the Wii (there's a version for Wii, but a friend whose opinion I trust said to play the PS2 version), but it's still very pretty.

There's also a nearly 17 minute extended intro, which almost drove me crazy. And the sorts of side games I poke fun at when Chris is playing other games (Final Fantasy, Zelda) where you have to do some stupid frustrating thing for some reward. I have no idea what the reward is for getting 10 turnips without the farmer's wife hitting you because I haven't done it yet.

I could see this turning into a major timesink very very quickly -- so far I've spent two hours and I think I'm perhaps 5% done. It's fun though, and a nice way to turn off the brain at the end of the day. Plus, who doesn't want to play as the incarnation of a goddess? (If I recall correctly from my year and a half of Japanese in college, the title translates to honored goddess. Kami being goddess, and O being an honorific.)


ceci n'est pas une post

I probably have at least two more posts full of pictures to write, but I thought I'd try to write a post catching up on the last month.

So, let's go back to the week of Christmas. I finally had the second interview with the job I really wanted, and was offered the job at the end of the interview. Got drug testing and background check out of the way, and it was a very merry Christmas to me. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at home, and then went up to Fort Collins for Christmas dinner. Lots of lovely presents were had (which we finally just got the thank you notes out for).

The week after Christmas was filled with first week on the new job, plus making four cakes for Chris' Grandmother's 80th birthday that Sunday, and NYE, which I spent baking and hanging out with Lindsay because Chris had to work. The cakes came out spectacularly, and I'm not the only one saying so. Three were chocolate sour cream, and one was chocolate sour cream with a special dark chocolate middle layer. Almost all buttercream decorations, with a gumpaste golfer and flag, and some royal icing flowers. Audrey decided her birthday present to her great grandmother would be starting to walk, which she did on Saturday night and hasn't stopped since. We spent Saturday and Sunday in Fort Collins/Loveland, and I fell ill, so I stayed home from work on Monday. Tuesday through Friday were good days at work though. Rest of the week was pretty much Chris finding daycare and balancing work with chasing Audrey.

Saturday we went down to Colorado Springs for Aleisha (Chris' sister's husband's sister) and Cliff's wedding, which was a fantastic time. Sunday I spent hanging out with Lindsay while Chris slept and then went to work. Tuesday Chris and I got AudreyZilla registered for daycare and she started Wednesday. Then he came over and we got to have the first meal out without a baby in quite some time. Audrey's loving daycare. She was ill Thursday night into Friday, so stayed home yesterday, but she's making the transition well and we're really pleased with our choice of care providers.

As far as the job goes -- I haven't been this happy in I don't know how long. The atmosphere is relaxed, my coworkers are pleasant people with killer senses of humor, and my boss is so pleased with my performance that he'd convert me to perm now, except that it's a 6mo contract to hire, and the contracting/recruiting company has to get their money. I'm fitting in well, and have exceeded expectations for what I've accomplished. Next week I get to work on a sekrit project, so I'm excited. Plus there's all the coffee (starbucks), tea and soda I can drink. And donuts on Monday and bagels and muffins on Friday. And everyone is really friendly and nice. I'm loving it.

So that, in a nutshell is why life is good. With Audrey in daycare, the stress comes off of Chris and I, leaving us less stressed and improving our already good relationship. And it doesn't hurt that regular paychecks take away all the freakouts about money we had while I was unemployed. It's nice to be able to say "I need a new purse" and then go buy it, ya know?

To come - pictures from the holidays (baking day, christmas, ginny's birthday, etc), video of Audrey walking, and plenty of cake pictures, but for now I must go see what trouble trouble-monkey is getting into.

Life is good

geek, geekgirl
I'm really enjoying the new job, three weeks into it. We've found a daycare for Audrey and she starts tomorrow and I've been paid once and will be paid again on Friday.

Life is good.

new year's resolutions

geek, geekgirl
I usually steal Chris', which is to resolve that this year be better than the previous (although in some ways that would not be hard provided I was employed all 12 months of the year) and I'm going to stick with it, but I feel as if I need to do something a little more.

Perhaps, as I was planning on putting myself into a bath and then bed an hourish ago it should be go to bed when you say you're going to, you moron, but that's a little harsh, no? :D

So, this is this year's resolution: to stop being my own worst critic. I've managed to beat out the other critics in my head, but I remain and there's really no reason to beat myself up so heavily all the time. Am I a supergenius at everything I do and an Iron Chef and a world class cake decorator (like Kerry Vincent) to boot? Nope. But it also means I don't have to wear headbands all the time. So I'm resolving to cut myself some slack and focus on what I do right instead of what I do wrong.

And to go to bed on time, darnit!


This week is going to be insane

tiara doom
So there's the holiday, I start work on Monday, Chris has to work on finding a baby sitter, and Chris' grandmother's 80th birthday is Sunday, and I'm doing the cakes for it.

When I offered to do the cakes, I still had a job and figured I'd just be taking the three days this next week off, no problem. Then I lost my job. Then I got a new job and my boss really wanted me to start on Monday, so I said okay. What was I thinking? (Oh yeah, I was thinking PAYCHECK! :) )

Here's the probably not complete list of what I need to do between now and Saturday afternoon when we're driving up to Fort Collins to spend the night before the party the next day:
-Make and color enough frosting for six 9x13 and two 9 inch round cakes
-Make a gumpaste golfer and golf flag
-Find a usuable CU logo
-Do the royal icing flowers so they'll be dry by the time I need to put them on the cakes
-Figure out what I have on hand/have purchased already versus what I need for the cake ingredients
-Bake said 8 cakes
-Trim, torte, fill and do the base layer of frosting on said cakes
-Decorate said cakes
-Celebrate 5 years with Chris on Wednesday
-Chase the baby while Chris is sleeping
-Help find childcare
-Try not to go absolutely insane

I think I can do this. I'll have Friday off, and hopefully Thursday afternoon, and Lindsay said she'd come over and keep me company/help bake NYE while Chris works, so I should be able to get all the cakes baked by mid-day Friday, and then when Chris gets up I can settle in for a long bit of frosting. Anything I don't get to Friday night can be done late Saturday morning/early Saturday afternoon while Chris chases Audrey because he'll have Saturday night off.



For those of you who haven't seen it on facebook, my long four month nightmare of unemployment has come to an end.

I start Monday, at a rate that I'm happy with, for a company that I think I'd be happy to stay at for a number of years. The commute is on-par with my last commute but the atmosphere seems so much healthier. Plus, the hiring manager worked 3 days PTO into my six months of contract. (It's contract to hire -- six months on contract as a probationary period and then converts to full-time employee). I'll still be in a cube, but that doesn't bother me. The breakroom is amazing -- free coffee, tea and soda, plus there's dishes and cups and mugs for employee use, two dishwashers, two ovens, a stove with six burners, two microwaves and two refrigerators. Plus the lunchroom area is set up to get the maximum natural light possible.

The manager seems like a good guy -- I know everyone's on their best behavior in interview situations, but I really got a good vibe off of him.

But yay. Job. OMG. Long personal nightmare over!


more tech nattering

geek, geekgirl
Today it's interview questions.

By this point in the job search I've had approximately 12 interviews (some face to face, some phone, sometimes more than one for a particular opportunity) and there's one question I have absolutely come to hate. It also tends to cause me to view the position and the interviewer in a less-than-favorable light. Sadly, it's not even a tech question, but it's one somewhat unique to the tech field.

My hated question? "How do you deal with working and/or are you comfortable in a male-dominated environment?"

My standard answer runs along the lines of "my first job was four years working on military installations and I know working in the tech industry that there are more men than women. It's never bothered me." Smile, smile, smile, move onto next question.

But inwardly I seethe. It's an indicator of a more boys club mentality to me -- if you have to ask how comfortable I'd be in your environment that means that you're probably not generating the sort of environment that people who are not men would be comfortable in and may be skirting legal lines (one of my former employers comes to mind there -- had an employee who was a walking harassment liability suit, but did nothing about him). It also usually tells me I'm going to be turned down for the position -- to this point nowhere that's asked me that question has made me an offer.

In contrast, the places that have not asked, have made a point of mentioning women in management roles, and who just seem to accept that I'm a competent programmer despite my lack of Y chromosome have been the ones where I get second interviews. I'm hoping the one I have on Monday will lead to an actual job offer, but that remains to be seen.

I've seriously considered changing my email address and my name on my resume to M. [LastName], but that won't help once I get on the phone or have to go to an interview. Bleargle.

Anyhow, what's your most hated interview question?

tech nattering

geek, geekgirl
I've been meaning to actually use this journal for some sort of random purpose, other than keeping everyone updated on the adventures of the greatest baby ever, but I've never really come up with one. However, being still unemployed (still interviewing, should hear something from the shop I'd really like to work with next week), and missing coding, I've decided that until I get bored with it, I will post once or twice a week or so on random tech nattering things.

Today I want to talk about weird operators, so without further ado here goes the techCollapse )

Audrey at 15 months

geek, geekgirl
Audrey had her 15 month check up today.

Height - 29 inches, which keeps her in the 5th percentile. As the doc says "we're going to have a tiny one"
Weight - 21 pounds -- up almost 5 from her last visit, which finally pushes her to the 25th percentile
Head - 47 centimeters, keeping her between 50th and 75th percentile as she has been all along

She's on target developmentally for most things. A "little behind" on the walking, but that's because she'd rather do it on her knees than her feet. Word wise we have Mama, Dada/Papa, kitty (still ki-ee), and now Guh, which she uses for everything that's not one of those things that she's pointing at. We're working on tree, but we're not there yet. She can crawl up stairs like a champ though. No spoon or fork usage yet, but she's good with her fingers.

She's a total social lovebug though -- she was wandering around on the floor while her doc was going over the developmental milestones with us, went right up to the doc, requested to be picked up and snuggled in her lap until it was time for the exam.

Still only two bottom teeth. No signs of any others yet, so she's a little slow there, but that's okay too.

We've got our marching orders for the next couple of months until her 18 month checkup - 1) start making animal sounds as we read and get her to mimic them, 2) start letting her use a spoon, 3) start introducing her to the potty.

Christmas oddness

I know, two posts in two days. I'm not sure I'd get used to it, but there was something I wanted to post about that I was reminded of looking at something else.

So, yesterday I took Audrey to story time at the local Barnes and Noble. It was pretty decent -- the gal running it read four books and then there were two crafts (which were moderately toddler-safe) and a cookie for Audrey (sadly no cookies for Moms). The books were all seasonally appropriate -- this week they're Christmas, next week they'll be about all the other winter holidays and I might take Audrey back for that -- but there's one that totally threw me.

The four books were a picture book of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf on the Shelf and a picture book of the 12 Days of Christmas.

So I've seen the "elf on the shelf" at the bookstore and I had a general idea that it's for spying on your children so they'll be good. I can sort of get behind that -- after all Santa "sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good" and the idea is that the elf is a help in that.

What I did not realize is what a pain having one actually is. See, first you have to get the kids to agree on a name. And they can't touch the elf, because then he won't be able to fly away each night and report back to Santa, but he does fly away each night and report back to Santa. Does he return to wherever you left him? Nope. The kids are supposed to find his new hiding place each morning. And Christmas Eve he flies off to Santa and doesn't return because his work is done.

So each night, without the kids seeing because then you'd be in trouble for touching him and ruining his magic, the parents have to pick the elf up and move him. And then hide him away Christmas eve to return the next year. Considering we can't even figure out where we put our stocking holders away last year, this seems like entirely too much work to me. I hope we find them though -- I don't want to have to buy new ones. Especially since we bought one for Audrey last year and it's just not the same quality as the ones we got for ourselves.

At least it's snowing, so I'm not planning on going anywhere and can tear apart closets looking for it. Snow's not too bad actually -- looks like we got a couple of inches overnight and now we've just got lots of teeny tiny flakes falling.

Tonight, Audrey and I will have to entertain ourselves somehow -- Chris picked up an extra half shift so he'll be leaving at six instead of ten tonight. No news on the job front. The one job is now calling me on Tuesday to ask more questions and then hopefully making a decision. The other said I should hear at the end of the week and I didn't, so I'll be emailing them end of day Monday. Otherwise it's hound the recruiters and send out the applications.


OMG Dinner

This dinner was so awesome Chris had three helpings of green beans (his, mine (too spicy for me) and the leftovers).

I made this chicken and rice (although we skipped the scallions and peanuts on the rice -- Chris doesn't like scallions, and I thought I had plain peanuts, but we had roasted honey) and these green beans.

There are no leftovers (except a little rice). It was a little labor/prep-intensive, and there's a fair bit of cooking time (most of it simultaneous) but I think this is definitely going to fall into the regular dinner rotation.

(Also, Chris and I have been married 40 months today. Yay monthiversary.)


A few small updates

I haven't been posting much, but I've been in sort of a weird headspace, so there hasn't been anything to post about.

I ended up giving up on NaNoWriMo -- I got 15k words on my original project and then lost steam (but those words were very useful in their own way). I then got about 1k into a very punny project before discovering that all I really had were a bunch of bad pastry puns and no real plot. And I just haven't felt like writing. So no NaNo winning for me. Is life.

There is potential good news on the job front, but I'm afraid to discuss it too much in case it doesn't come through. I'll be really sad if it doesn't though, and odds look good right now that it will, but I don't want to jinx it, ya know?

Audrey's walking with the aid of her parents now -- she'll toddle around for a good 15 minutes holding onto our fingertips. She'll even do it holding only one. No steps on her own though. She does have a new word: "ki-ee" (pronounced kitty, with no t) and is using it for our cats, the cats at the zoo, the cats she sees in books, and the pandas on the "Daddy Loves Me" book because they're black and white like one of our cats. She babbles a lot, so I'm sure more words are coming any day now.

I need to do some cooking the next couple of days. I have cranberries, because leftover cranberries are an important part of thanksgiving to me and we're not cooking dinner at home. I also need to come up with an appetizer to take to turkey day dinner -- right now I'm leaning towards french bread toasts with different toppings. Plus, I have an urge to make thanksgiving-y cupcakes out of the books I've received recently. I'll probably do that on Friday -- then I can take some with me when we go see Chris' godmother Audrey on Saturday. Since we'll be going to Malia and Tavi's new place, it'll be like a housewarming gift.

I also need to get the kitchen table cleared. In part because we've got a wedding to attend in January and I know just the dress to wear, but I have to finish cutting it out and then sew it and the jacket. And in part because that's where we're going to put the Christmas tree, assuming it's not too tall. Growing up we always put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. I'll be happy if it gets up sometime this weekend.

There are small cross-stitch ornaments I bought last year and have not completed that I should work on -- they'd be good for the bottom of the tree in case Audrey can reach that high -- considering that she pulls my purse off the table on a regular basis it's a possibility. Plus nolly sent me an Ursula cross-stitch kit that will go nicely with the rest of the villains on the tree. Yes, I have disney villain ornaments. I also have grinch ornaments. And a bunch of brass ornaments from when I was growing up. Chris and I are trying to figure out if there are still places to get those -- they'd be nice for Audrey to have. (Last year we got her a porcelain pair of baby booties I think. I'd have to go look.) Oh, and birds. I love bird ornaments for the tree, especially the kind with feather tails and glass bodies that clip onto the tree branch.

Anyhow, nothing much to report and the baby's waking up, so I'd best close this.
geek, geekgirl
I have been, perhaps insanely, considering doing NaNoWriMo again. I have a unfinished, probably never to be finished, NaNo novel from the last time around I did this. And I have maybe half an idea for a novel to write (I think it's that genre of chicklit that's mother/daughter relationships). But... I need to find a job, and I have a baby to chase, so I'm not sure that committing to writing 1667 words a night is the greatest idea (and I'd have to commit to doing that for at least another 30 nights if I wanted an actual novel).

I may do it unofficially -- not sign up on the website (or reactivate my account, I think I remember what name I was using) but go ahead and give it a try anyhow. I did NaBloPoMo last year and it was fun, but I'm not really in the blog writing mood right now, so I think it'd turn into a chore.

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November 2012


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