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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nerds in Love

Today is our wedding anniversary. We've been married for four years today. We had then-six-and-a-half-year-old Leanna (in the large polkadots) and then-four-year-old Abby (in the small) as our attendants. And 3-months-gestation Lizzy riding shotgun under my dress. Speaking of shotguns... my brother and I joked about Dad buying a shotgun, and decided that really, he's more a crossbow or rapier kinda guy - something more elegant. My brother-in-law was our photographer, my sister was hostess, and Whole Foods Market did the catering (yum!). We had had some scares based on a quad-screen and my Advanced Maternal Age (I hate that phrase; I was 38, not 105!) but had made it just into the 2nd trimester and so we were much relieved.

Well... I was relieved; he's the Math Guy in our household, so to him a 1-in-25 chance of something wrong was not a scary number. And you know, fewer hormonal upsets for him.

You may have seen that my husband's blog is titled Nerdy But Good at It. This was also the tagline on his Yahoo Personals account, which I - as a geek - found charming and sweet. Apparently the fact that I owned my own copy of the board game Talisman (and all the expansions!) was enough for him. We don't talk politics, but other than that we can discuss pretty much anything. He's the math-and-science guy and I'm the language-and-music girl and there's a lot of overlap in interests but not so much that we're bored by each other (see diagram on the right). You see, he's a Nerd (he has the social aptitude to be a Geek but sometimes he doesn't use it), and I'm a Geek. As a prime example of Nerdy Romance (no, not that way, get your mind out of the gutter!), here's his facebook status for today:
"Today is the day. I have now been married to Jenn for four years. four wonderful glorious years. I plan to add a zero to that number. and if science progresses at this exponential rate, two zeroes." 
About sums it up, huh?
 Edited to add: I got him a gift card for Amazon.com (online of course, we are nerds and geeks here) and he got me a dozen roses and chocolate truffles and is taking me to dinner tonight. And the perfect card; it says, "You're the one who... knows my stories, gets my jokes, warms my feet, takes my side, ignorers my quirks, finishes my sentences, soothes my worries..."
Just lovely.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Character Music, Redux

Back away from the sentimental  parenting posts and back into the GamerMom stuff...

I'm still having trouble finding appropriate music for Rica. I wrote a ton of background on her, so I have that to inspire my gameplay, but I really want the music too; I'm an auditory learner and it really helps me get into character (especially on trips back from taking Abby to her dad's place). So here's a request to you all to help me find appropriate music.

The game is set in this world. If you don't want to read through all that, suffice it to say that Rica comes from a medieval city where Catholicism is the primary religion and magic is fairly common, as are fantastical creatures. "Mind-twisting" magics are anathema though.

Rica is fifteen, skinny, shy, near-sighted (she has magic goggles to mitigate this), and has low self esteem (as a result of her mother's emotional abuse and her father's benign neglect. I also killed her father off to make it that much more (melo)dramatic). She is intelligent, kind, sweet, broad-minded, curious, and pretty in that way that Christie called "anemically attractive" (a skinny grey-eyed fair-skinned blonde). She's competent in her job as a gryphon-rider in service to the emperor (the Riders serve as aerial scouts and a sort of Coast Guard for the most part), loving toward her gryphon, graceful enough as long as she wears her goggles, and has made a few friends among the Riders and a young knight (but they always have to make overtures of friendship - she's that shy).

She believes in her own intelligence (but none of her other positive qualities), but is only in the past few weeks starting to realize that just maybe her mother was not entirely correct about her. The fact that her mother disowned her after her father's death - don't look at me like that; I told you I was going for melodrama - and called her all sorts of  names has made her begin to understand that since her mother was wrong about "tramp", perhaps she was also wrong about "clumsy and ugly".

Why yes. Yes I have been (re)reading Mercedes Lackey and Nora Roberts and Anne McCaffrey, all of whom excel at the fish-out-of-water and black-sheep-makes-good characterizations. And hanging out here of course. Ahhh... TV tropes - how I love thee.

So... anyone have any ideas of what might be some good songs  for me to include on a Rica Mix Disc?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mama Loves You, Miz Liz

Looking back over the past weeks, I note that March 2011 was a rough month for me and my three-year-old Lizzy. I'm complaining about her in just about every third post.

But what you don't see when looking at all those together is the standard day-to-day stuff that we do/think/feel together. You only get the highlights. And in March 2011, the highlights were often low points. I was sick, she was asserting her independence, I was distracted in looking for a permanent job and she was... well... being three-and-a-half. As is often the case with our three girls, we forget that while their (spoken) vocabularies are ahead of the curve, emotionally and socially they are only 10, 8, and 3. Does this make her behavior over the past few weeks okay? No. Does it make my reactions to her behavior okay? Also no.

In these read-a-thons on a blog archive, you don't see the cuddle time every morning and every evening. Or the running (jumping) to me when I get home from work. Or the lying on my chest and suddenly looking up and saying, "Mommy! You have a heart!" Or the declarations of me being "The best Mama in the whole world". Or the Ralph Wiggum-ness of three-year-olds in phrases like "I don't like my hair to get cold because I don't like it when my hair is cold." Or just the thousand-and-one things that make her who she is - a lively, high-energy, sweet, intelligent, kind, cute kid. She has her off days. So do we all. And because she is so high-energy it may take her longer to learn things like "do as Mommy says" than it did the more laid-back Abby at her age.

And that's okay.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Angels of Music

There is nothing like a second-grade spring concert to make parents go 'awwwwwww'.

Tonight was Abby's concert. Three classrooms full of 7- and 8-year-olds, some with solos, some on instruments, all in the chorus. Singing songs with names like "Best Friends" and "Chooka Chooka". Kids whose voices are staying closer to the actual tune than in past years, and who've finally got some rhythm.

We had a pretty full turnout. Seventy-odd performers, their families, teachers and administrators. Abby's dad drove down from his place - an hour away - for a twenty-minute production in an overcrowded gymnasium. And he brought Abby flowers... the brightest daisies and mums he could find. She gasped. "My first real bouquet!" One of Abby's friends, whom I have known for more than five years (since before they were three) said to me in his best grownup voice, "Hello, Mrs Abby's Mom. It's nice to see you again".

Lizzy misbehaved, although she was no worse than any other younger sibling her age in the audience. But in the spirit of Following Through, not to mention Consistency and Listening to Your Parents, Laston took her to the car and Had a Talk about proper behavior. We had no sooner opened the car door than she apologized to Abby for "being loud in yoh concuht". It'll have to be repeated ad nauseum because she is three. But maybe it made an impression.

And just to finish off the friendly, all-parents-together mood of the night, I brought in the flowers to put them in a vase, while the kids and Laston went down the road to listen to the frogs sing their springtime chorus.

Pictures are a bit blurry, but cute:

The Day After

After yesterday's meltdown (on all fronts), I felt it only fair to update you all, reassure you that infanticide had not been committed, and that I was not in the loony bin myself.
  1. I got seven-plus hours sleep. Lizzy got just under 12.
  2. Her first words to me when she got up this morning were, "When I goed to sleep I wasn't in my woom. When did I go in my woom?"
  3. We had a good cuddle (thank goodness her hair smells like shampoo, not ranch!) and talked about it being "a tough day" yesterday, and she said, "I'm not bad but sometimes I do bad things." Whew! My labeling-the-behavior-not-the-child strategy works!
  4. My mom (also her babysitter) says that Lizzy was singing to herself this morning, "My mama's name is Jennifah and she's the best mom in the whole wold." So I'm guessing I haven't scarred her for life.
I'm going to in general chalk yesterdays' snafu(s) up to the following:
  1. Fatigue. On both our parts.Illness on mine, and possibly allergies on hers (she still has rings under her eyes even after all that sleep).
  2. Assertion of independence. Repeatedly and vehemently. And at length. And all in one day.
  3. Failed disciplinary practice. I could have removed her from the store, and gone back later with Abby. I could have used the Naughty Spot more. Etcetera and ad nauseum.
So tonight is Abby's Spring Concert (which is why were were at the store - she needed a blue dress). When we went to Leanna's concert, I took Lizzy out when she started getting bored and acting up. Tonight it's hubby's turn for that duty.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dinner and Frustration

Tried quinoa tonight. It's tasty, low in sodium, high in protein (for a grain), and even Abby The Picky Princess liked it. (Of course, Picky Princess is a carb-o-holic in any case, but still, a new food that she tried and liked. Go Mom.) So this stuff was first used by the Incas, in Central- and South-America, and one boils it like rice or barley. It's translucent when cooked, and closer in size to millet than to rice, so it's better eaten with a spoon than a fork. I'm fairly competent with chopsticks, but I wouldn't try them on this. A 1/4 cup dry serving (so at a 2-to-1 water-to-grain ratio, that's 3/4 cup prepared) is:
  • 172 calories 
  • 2g fat (0 sat fat)
  • 31g carbohydrates
  • 3g fiber
  • 6g protein
  • 4 Weight Watchers PlusPoints for those counting
Compare to other favorites at Chez GamersBabes - 3/4 cup brown rice (170kcal, 2fat (336mg sat fat), 35carbs, 3fiber, 4protein, 5WWpts), small  russet potato (168kcal, 1fat, 37 carb, 4fiber (assuming they eat the skin), 5 protein, 5WWpts). So this is not a wonder-grain for us; it's nutritionally similar to other carb-a-riffic sides here. And it doesn't count whatever we doctor it up with, on any of these foods (usually a little butter and some salt). But it's a nice change.
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Lizzy has been a pill all day. I said in my earlier post that she had been difficult at the store, but that does not begin to describe her behavior today. I know she's three and a half. I know she's a high-energy kid. I even know that I'm a little touchy today due to steroids-for-walking-pneumonia (yay! Last day!). But she was unreal today. She picked the top off a mole on my leg, making it bleed. She refused to stay in the play area at the store, although she'd been asking to go for more than a day. She refused to stay in the cart, and since she can now handle the buckles, she can't be reliably strapped in. When threatened with dire consequences for standing in the cart (no dessert for you! come back next year!), she proceeded to kick me and yell in her sister's ear. She was quiet(ish) for a couple hours after lunch because she had new movies for her rest time, but even then she climbed on a PC mid-tower, knocking herself and it to to the ground. After so-called "rest time" I brought out the bouncerine to try and get some of these wiggles out. No dice. Mostly because the dice - of which we have plenty - had been flung to the four corners of the earth.

So we sat down to dinner - cold roasted chicken, the aforementioned quinoa, a green salad, and milk; she seemed to settle a little. This was about 5:30PM. I finished my meal and went to start the dishes. I looked up and Herself is using her ranch dressing as hand lotion. And facial cream. And hair conditioner. She knows better than this. I yell at her ("Lizzy! You know better!") and strip her down to give her a bath. Of course, she's more of less coated in the stuff, and rinsing her hair is not the simplest task under the best of circumstances, but I manage to get her clean, get her hair washed, with a minimal amount of soap (or was it ranch dressing?) in her eyes.

I am angry by this point, so it's best if I just keep an ear on her and not be in the same room for a few minutes. So I'm outside the (open) bathroom door, puttering around with chores, and she's splashing and I know that if I go in I'll just get angrier, so I don't. Until Abby goes in for some other reason. And she's not splashing. She's dumping water out onto the floor in buckets (well, large plastic cups we use for hair-rinsing). This is at about 6:15PM. I go in, drain the water, put towels all over the floor, dry her off, put her jammies on her, comb her hair, and sit her down on the other end of the couch. No dessert. No bedtime chocolate milk. Stay right here on this couch and if you get off it or stand on it or god forbid jump on it, you are in so much trouble.

It's 6:35 when Abby and I get back in after taking out the garbage. Abby gets a Treasure Box pick for taking out the garbage (I went with because there was one she couldn't lift) and in part to show that good behavior gets rewarded as much as bad behavior gets punished (good call, honey).

At 6:42, Lizzy was out cold on the couch. Now, even at three-and-a-half, fatigue is not a good excuse for behaving like this. But it does make her behavior a little more understandable. This is why our mantra at Chez GamersBabes is, "Developmentally appropriate is not the same thing as socially appropriate".

And honey? Thanks for the chocolate. I need it tonight. I promise I'll only eat a couple.

Goin' on a Wiki Walk

Gonna hunt some wikis...

After our rather trying trip to the grocery store - Lizzy was a pill - we had lunch, and then settled down for movie/rest time. Lizzy had a long nap yesterday and slept for eleven hours last night (thank God). This means she is not sleepy. However, Abby spent the weekend at her dad's cleaning out her closet there - and as she is not willing to completely give up her old outgrown stuff, but is perfectly content to hand them down to her little sister so she can "visit" them - Lizzy has some new-to-her Dora the Explorer and Little Einsteins DVDs, so she gets relegated to the bedroom to watch Undercover Dora while "resting", and Abby and I get to have our after-daddy's-weekend bonding time on the couch, watching slightly-more-grown-up movies.

Last week we recorded Sky High from the Disney Channel. Fun movie, and lots of Parental Bonus, what with Kurt Russell (who was channeling... William... Shatner), Bruce Campbell (as the loudmouthed gym teacher / Sorting Hat), and Lynda Carter (as the principal of Sky High). So we're cuddling and watching this movie (and Abby using words like "doppelganger" in context for crying out loud - how old is this kid again?), and I look it up on TVtropes.net. And then I segue on over to Big Trouble in Little China, and Wonder Woman, and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. And to some of the tropes attached to those stories as well. This could take me awhile. If I don't come up for air by bedtime, will someone alert my husband over at Nerdy but Good at It?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Adventures in - Shopping?

Yes, shopping can be an adventure. If you have an underslept, overtired three-and-a-half-year-old Energizer Bunny, it's one big long fun energetic ride!

So Herself was up at seven this morning, after staying up past eleven last night (usually Game Night runs to about 9:30, but she just couldn't settle at all). Eight hours is not enough for a three-year-old. We met my mom for breakfast at the Crystal Creek Cafe, where Little Miz Liz put away a pancake with strawberries and whip cream, scrambled eggs, and a slice of bacon. Then we went to the local auto-parts store to get a headlamp for my car. While there, she spotted a good old -fashioned plain Hershey Bar. And was suddenly starving again. No, she didn't get it; I'm not that easy.

On to Target, where she tells me offhandedly that her cousin Lucy is "adorable, just like my monkey pajamas". Lucy is adorable, but why the comparison with monkey pajamas? She must have seen some in the store - they're standard Carter. We picked up a few things, including a giraffe-themed pillow from the dollar spot, and some things for the Treasure Box, and a book for Lizzy. After much discussion, it is decided that a giraffe pillow will do, although we really want a rattle (God only knows why) . Ah, now Costco is open!. We buy Daddy's favorite meatballs, and Mommy's favorite baby cucumbers, and Abby's favorite plums, and Lizzy's favorite tomatoes. And some of that great yogurt Mommy can eat, because "it doesn't have milk, and Mommy's 'lergic" (it does have milk, but the allergen - whey - has been strained out).

And now she's sad because we didn't get her a rattle with a giraffe, but she gets over it when I offer to take the pillow back to Target. We head to Wendy's; Momma's getting more than a little winded at this point and really does not want to cook lunch . On the way, we run into a traffic snafu, where the DOT is doing construction. A local latte-stand-slash-donut-shop is taking advantage of stopped traffic to do a little on-the-spot marketing, asking people to honk if they heart donuts. After making me read the sign out loud to her, Lizzy asks if she can tell the lady she hearts donuts, because she doesn't "have a honker". Lowered her window and the lady was charmed enough to give us a sample and a coupon for a free donut. Yum. Good donuts, too, and friendly people making the best of a really bad traffic day.

We finally make it to Wendy's, and Lizzy takes her own sweet time deciding on "the best kind of dip". When she uses this totally world-weary voice to tell the cashier that really, she's "so tired of barbecue," I about choke trying to keep from laughing. She finally settles on sweet-n-sour and we get home, ready for lunch and a nap.

As I write this, she's doing her mama's-left-elbow-is-my-comfort-object shtick, interfering with my typing speed. But that's okay. I'm ready to settle down for an afternoon of nothing more adventurous than dishes and laundry. And maybe a bite of the donut.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Feel Good (nah nuh nah nuh nah nuh nah)

I knew that I would now.

Actually, I didn't know. And I'm sure that some of this sense of well being - along with the fact that I'm gaining weight (arg) - is due to steroidal therapy for this sinus infection. But I'm feeling it. I still have trouble walking at a decent speed for any distance. And stairs are still a pain. And I'm using The Phone Voice (watch out boys!). But I can breathe (through my nose even!), and I can wear pants with buttons and my bra on the tightest hook without feeling like I'm suffocating. And I can sing.

Singing is important to me. I'm not very formally trained as a singer; I did some in music camp and some in church choir but not a lot. But I have a very well-trained ear, as I played the cello on a regular basis in the years between ages nine and 22, and sporadically since. School orchestra, two youth symphonies, private lessons, you name it. But you can't drag the cello everywhere you go, and you especially can't play it while driving north on I-5 at 60 MPH. You can sing, though, and I've made it a habit.

At the moment, I am not my usual mezzo-soprano. I always sang first alto, as mezzo is primarily used in classic opera, where I was usually in the pit orchestra. I read treble clef very slowly, and my high school was pretty short on cellists, so at school I was always in the orchestra during operas and musicals (except that one time I ran the lighting board for Little Shop of Horrors). But today my voice is about half an octave lower than usual, as I get over this crud. And it cracks unpredictably as I run out of breath. But it was lots of fun as I drove into work today.

It's habitual for the girls and I to listen and sing along to a mix disc or a soundtrack in the car every other Friday on the way to Abby's dad's house. And I'm tired of the Phineas and Ferb soundtrack, much as I love some of the songs (they're Disney; the music is infectious by definition). So this afternoon, I plan to make a new mix disc. Abby's outgrown the original one I made for her, and her musical taste is far more varied than it used to be, although there are some "kids" songs she still really likes.

So here's the new list (don't worry - I have all this stuff legitimately; I either own the CDs, or have purchased the tunes from iTunes or Amazon. Not to fret):

Disc Name: Abby's Favorite Things
  1. Busted - Phineas and Ferb soundtrack
  2. Teen Titans - Puffy AmiYumi
  3. Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo
  4. Interjections - Schoolhouse Rock
  5. Bop 'Til You Drop - Nylons One Size Fits All
  6. Agent P - Phineas and Ferb soundtrack
  7. Puttin' on the Ritz - Falco
  8. Ghostbusters - Ghostbusters soundtrack
  9. The Powerpuff Girls - Powerpuff Girls soundtrack
  10. Gitchee Gitchee Goo - Phineas and Ferb soundtrack
  11. Get Ready for This - 2 Unlimited (aka "The Hockey Song")
  12. A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing - Schoolhouse Rock
  13. Rasputin - Boney M
  14. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Nylons Seamless
  15. Ready for the Bettys - Phineas and Ferb soundtrack
  16. Move it Like This - Baha Men
  17. Danny Phantom - Danny Phantom soundtrack
  18. Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles
  19. I Ain't Got Rhythm - Phineas and Ferb soundtrack 
  20. Gonna Make You Sweat - C&C Music Factory
Edited for song mix mixups
    Tracks 2 and 8 cause a lot of confusion at Chez GamersBabes. The questions posed in the songs are fairly close ("When there's trouble you know who to call." vs. "When there's something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call?") Maybe if they're on the same disc we can keep them straight.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Medicine and Eyeliner

    I have spent the past three weeks coughing and snuffly. My neti-pot wasn't doing the trick, and neither was the z-pak the doc prescribed. So I called the doc to see if I could get another. He asked me to come back in, because with just walking pneumonia and sinusitis, the z-pak should be fine.

    Except that I'm prone to this stuff, and apparently have built up a resistance to said z-pac. And the reason the neti-pot wasn't helping? Because it wasn't congestion in my sinuses so much as it was swelling. <sigh> Time to bring out the Big Guns - Augmentin (10 days, for infection) and Prednisone (5 days, for tissue swelling).

    I took them for the first time yesterday at lunchtime. In twenty minutes I felt great. I could breathe through both nostrils! And at the same time! What matter that - as a coworker said - walking on a flat surface felt like going uphill. A steep hill. Both ways, barefoot, and in the snow. Well, not really those last two. But while certainly an improvement (breathing is always an improvement), it was by no means a magic bullet.

    And last night I didn't sleep. I can only attribute this to the prednisone, which as a steroid has a certain wake up!!! effect. Today I took it with breakfast instead. We shall see. Sleeplessness is not the only side effect I could live without. The hot flashes are not really very fun, and having to pull over on the freeway because I couldnt stop sneezing was not my favorite thing ever. But I can breathe. Comfortably even. Wow.

    So today I look better than I have in weeks. Not only am I alert and cheerful and like standing upright and all, I had the energy to - you know - apply makeup this morning. Even wearing a bright coral top - not my best color, you understand - did not detract from the fact that today, I look healthy. The circles under my eyes are less, my skin isn't so pale, and the lookinggood = feelinggood phenomenon is in full force too. Reciprocally.

    Still can't make it up the stairs without being winded. But I did buy fresh batteries for my Wii Fit Plus Balance Board. I'll use them soon enough.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    THAT's what I'm talking about

    I've been a bit at sea this past two weeks. Partly because I've been sick (now we've brought out the big guns; I'll be fine in a few days), and partly because my work tasks have been very vague of late. Ad-Hoc Testing - also known as "Poke It With a Stick Testing" - is incredibly useful, a bit boring, and very very vague. You see, one is supposed to just use a product (or in this case a website) and see what works and what doesn't. No test cases written. No guidelines for what to do. Just use it. I can do this, and under most circumstances I even enjoy it. But because I've been sick and because my contract is almost up, it feels like busywork that's been thrown at me for lack of anything better.

    But today they gave me a new assignment: Write a How-To document for our team. How to use our tools, where to find our links and other important information, like that. Essentially a Quick Start Guide, complete with screen shots, of How to Test on Our Team.

    That's what I really love to do. I might even be able to pull it off in two weeks. We shall see.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Expressions

    Miz Liz (3) has a very expressive face. When my friend Tiffany saw this picture, she said, "that's her innocent face. What destruction did she wreak after this picture was taken?" (For the record, Gramma, who took the picture, says Lizzy was just proud of the pine cones they were picking up out on their walk).

    And of course there's this picture, posted before. Lizzy was about nine months old and Leanna was not quite eight years old. Leanna's expression is very proudly, "I'm holding the baby"! Lizzy's is more like, "Put that camera down and stop laughing"!

    Abby's had her share. One of my favorites - and I swear it was not a political statement on my part - is this one. She was a cranky, napless 1.5-year-old toddler and she was just done with the pictures already! Since we were at Wal-Mart's photo studio, and the American flag was part of their summer backdrop collection, well... that's how we got this picture. But boy, did it excite comment on teh interwebs!

    About a year later we went to a friend's wedding, at Safeco Field (the bride and groom are huge fans). I needed to buy her the appropriate clothing, didn't I?

    And one of the few pictures of me I actually like, Enjoy!

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Back at Work

    After two weeks of mostly-working-from-home-due-to-illness, I'm actually in the office today. Not that it's much different working here than at home. But I have three weeks left in my contract and I feel it behooves me to be here as much as possible. I am a good worker and a good employee, but your average American corporation doesn't really see that unless one's on the spot. And it would be nice to get a decent report when prospective employers inquire.

    I'm looking for a job, preferably permanent, although another long-term contract would work too. I'm a bit of a generalist, and regrettably many employers think they need specialists, although they usually list a number of general skills in job listings. One of my favorite quotes is from Heinlein's Time Enough For Love: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." I don't know that I can do all those things, but I can do about half of them. The rest I could do with training. And quite a lot more besides.

    So here I am at work, blogging and job-hunting on my breaks, and attending my Weight Watchers meeting during lunch today. I'm sure I'll have gained weight; I only clambered back onto the WWWagon day before yesterday, and I've gained the past two weeks (although a good portion of that may be water; apparently my favorite comfort food is ramen noodles, which are ridiculously salty). But I am back on that Wagon, and on that Wagon I intend to stay.

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Leftover Lunch

    So I've climbed back on my Weight Watchers Wagon after taking a couple weeks' sick leave. Wasn't intentional; I simply did not have the energy to mess with counting points or what-have-you.

    I wanted produce. Lots and lots of produce (fresh fruit and non-starchy veggies are now free in terms of Weight Watchers PointsPlus™!). And the kids were low on cheese and milk and so forth. So we did an unusual weekend Safeway order. Sadly, it was not delivered by H, our favorite delivery driver, although today's driver, B, was friendly and courteous and did his job very well. But he's a stranger, so Lizzy, age three, was a little less friendly than she usually is to H. On the other hand, she wasn't underfoot and tripping him up.

    This overfilled our refrigerator, so I packed lunches for me and Abby for tomorrow (and breakfast for me, because I discovered I can eat Greek yogurt; the allergenic whey is removed so it should suit me just fine), and made Leftover Lunch, to get rid of those things in our fridge that had a single serving left in a whole jar or what-have you. This kids had quesadillas (used up the final flour tortilla), yogurt (to make space for the Greek yogurt in the same space), baby carrots, and fruit (freeing up space in the produce drawer), and they had the last two slices of cake that a friend left over here yesterday for dessert. Abby had leftover Vitamin Water from yesterday's trip out with the same friend, and Lizzy had the last of the apple juice in the old bottle, diluted. I had a hard-boiled egg (between that and the ones packed in lunches I made space for the new batch), some pickles (the last three in a jar of Banquet Baby Dills), some fruit, and a plastic container of leftover whole grain noodles with olive oil.

    Now our fridge is packed, but we can find everything and I stayed on the WWW - Weight Watchers Wagon.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Shameless Self-Promotion

    Well, "self" in the sense that he's talking about my character in his game, among others.

    Hubby just started another blog; this one is about our Friday Night Games. We play GURPS, in a scenario Hubby mashed together from a bunch of different sources... D&D, GURPS, old fantasy novels, covers of science-fiction books, medeival European history, his own fevered imagination, and thirty-plus years of gaming and game-mastering experience. Characters in this setting have traveled through assorted dimensions; fought vampires, Terminators, and Texans; done this through magic means or technological; followed Clarke's Third Law. You name it, they've done it. I've been there for a few of these (I've only known him for six years, married for four this month) and they're a lot of fun!

    Waking Up is Hard to Do

    So, I'm still getting over walking pneumonia, so I'm sleeping in the recliner to keep elevated. The kids were trying very hard to be quiet and let me sleep, so I was dozing when my phone rang. It was phone spam - a telemarketing auto-call. Not even a real person I could yell at for waking me.

    So I hung up, went into the kids' room (which is surprisingly clean) and thanked them for being quiet, and then told them they could come on out and watch TV out in the living room. They chose to watch Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, which I have not seen, and started clamoring for breakfast. Whoa. I went into the kitchen, shuddered over the dishes left over from Game Night (we had run the dishwasher the night before but there was still more than a sinkful) and got down to it. Can't get rid of bacon grease with a sinkful of dishes, so I emptied and reloaded the dishwasher while heating the stove and watching Alice. All Alice is odd, but being Tim Burton, this rendition is hmm... surreal... at the best of times, and when one has just awakened from a drugged sleep, well...

    Finished the dishes, made breakfast, admired a Magnadoodle drawing Lizzy made of me ("see, Mama, it has hayah like yohs is when you wake up, soft and like a bush on some of it") and now I'm trying to wake up with Johnny Depp in an orange wig and way too much makeup and creepy chartreuse contacts declaims "off with their heads!"

    I'm shaking mine. Because this is one strange morning.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Derailed

    It's very easy to get derailed when trying to get fit. Illness, injury, stress, you name it. Here are my bugaboos these last couple weeks:

    Illness - first a bad cold, which morphed into walking pneumonia. These in turn caused:
    • Schlumping on the couch for two weeks. AKA: No Physical Activity. When the most physically-strenuous thing you do is cough, well... that does not count as exercise.
    • Eating "sick food". Chicken soup, assorted "clear liquids", cough syrup, etc. It's not like I'm counting the Weight Watchers points for my medication, and God only knows how much salt is in the soups I've been making, just so I can taste it.
    • Just. Sheer. Fatigue. There's only so much energy to go around, and when the body is working on healing, well... other things go by the wayside.
    Stress - I'm looking for a job, while working out my current contract, I don't sleep enough, etc.

    A good friend of mine is trying something controversial to stay motivated. I admire this, although it wouldn't be my thing. My motivator is the kids; setting an example and all that. And I fully realize that all that above up there? Excuses. Yeah, I know I'm not going to be energetic when I'm sick, but I could use more ginger and less salt in my soup, and actually count every Weight Watchers point including juice and soup and I could even estimate a point per dose of cough syrup.

    The Scarlett O'Hara quote can only be used so many days in a row before it's just an excuse.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Mad Scientist = Artist

    You know these dolls? They're called Matroyshka or Babushka Nesting Dolls. They were also featured as the hero-citizens of one Higglytown, which hubby and I found creepy, but the kids loved at the time. A few weeks ago, I got hubby some blank nesting dolls for him to paint himself. Since they usually come in fives, he painted each to represent each of us, in a monster-creature sort of way.

    From left to right: Lizzy said she wanted "pink and bats". Mission accomplished. Leanna wasn't here when her dad started painting, but her favorite color is green and she's our Wild Animal SME, so he did a tiger in the forest. Abby couldn't decide whether she wanted hers to represent Raven from Teen Titans or a vampire, so he he made hers... both.
    Mine is the Mummy! Get it? The Mummy? Hee hee. Or... ahem... Mwah ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa!

    Yes. I am a word geek and puns are even more fun. Blame my dad, the Punmeister Extraordinaire.
    And hubby's of course. The Mad Scientist. Don't believe me? Check his blog here.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Payday Presents

    I get paid every other Tuesday and I enjoy buying little gifts for the family in the process. Since Leanna and Abby both have pierced ears, this is much easier than it used to be; also - and more importantly - earrings and other small jewelry items take up no space to speak of. In an 1100 sq ft apartment housing two adults, three kids, a cat, and all their stuff, this is key.

    So today I ordered these:
    I enjoy giving these little gifties.