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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thank God for Grandparents (and other family and friends)

With my job not happening yet (I have the job; I'm just waiting on the background check), and back-to-school, birthdays (Leanna in August and Lizzy in September), and rent all coming in the same week, we're really really short on cash.

Really short.

So when Leanna got a gift card to JC Penney for her birthday, we only had to pay half what we otherwise would have (in cash) on her clothes. And it was lots of fun to take Leanna shopping, just her and me - very girls-day-out with someone old enough to have an opinion more specific than "black or purple please". Giggling about not having to use our best manners (though we still had to use restaurant manners) because Grandma C was not with us. Fun times.

When Abby's dad pitches in for camp and school supplies and girl scouts and gymnastics, it's amazingly helpful. He doesn't just pay his $x.xx in child support; he takes her shopping at Target and makes sure she has black-and-purple notebooks and pencils, and that her backpack isn't too pink-and-girly.

When the Hubs' parents go garage sale shopping, the younger kids are outfitted for at least most of their school clothes. Grandpa Joe came all the way from Clarkston to deliver same and spend some time with us, took us out to dinner. And even though Leanna's school clothes are mostly taken care of, they brought some of those too (there was a certain amount of disappointment that she doesn't get to look at them all now, because we didn't want to get them all out and then pack them up to return them to her mom's (plus whatever Hubs' parents got me that's too small; they may fit Leanna)).

Oh yeah, clothes for me and Hubs too. Nice. Very nice.

And then my mom, who buys the kids stuff - socks, underwear, etc - throughout the year, is their primary child care provider, and basically the go-to-gal for almost any grand-parental need, is going to get the younger two haircuts on Monday.

So all of this, together with the good services of friends-with-baking-skills, the happy happenstance that two of our three have summer birthdays and therefore outdoor parties on the cheap, etc., we may just scrape by. Thanks, everyone, family, friends, the universe, whomever. It's appreciated.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


They say that too much TV causes a lack of imagination in our kids.

I think not, at least not here at Chez Gamers' Babes.

We do probably watch too much TV. Even the youngest, who won't be five for a week and a half, can quote ridiculous amounts of  My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, and even a little of Mommy and Abby's Who fandom (she delights in flipping the light switch and shrieking, "Hey! Who turned out the lights?" to scare us, although she has not of course seen more than the two episodes I deem appropriate). We're more about content than amount.

So by that theory you'd expect our three to not have any imagination to speak of.

But then you didn't spend today with Lizzy.

In addition to helping mommy get quite a lot done around the house and watching a bit of Bananas in Pyjamas on breaks from this activity (while mommy did more math homework, ugh), she's spent most of the afternoon being a "superhero mermaid spy". I'd have taken a picture but as we didn't go anywhere today and she's not yet five, she did this mostly nakies, wearing a tee and panties and hair ties.

And a mermaid necklace ("the pearls hold the magic and the shell turns you into a mermaid or a human, depending on which one you are already").

And a hot pink leather belt inherited from her sister. This belt sported a plastic pencil box ("for capturing bad guys"), a pencil ("it's imaginary - I mean invisible - ink, mom. Spies always have invisible ink!"), a measuring tape ("you have to measure them to make sure it's the right bad guy you catch!") and a long lego ("for building that stuff to climb to the bad guys. You know, in case they're on a roof or something.")

At one point the Roku remote was included in her kit, but daddy nixed that. She's lost it too many times.

I think that qualifies as imagination, don't you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Abby (9) came home from camp, and her trip in a real airplane with her pilot grandfather, where she actually got to copilot. Lizzy (nearly 5) rushed to show her the picture she drew while Abby was gone.

I had not seen this picture, even though it is apparently of me. "See, mommy, you're naked except for your scarf. You're the one with the M for Mom and I'm the one with L for Lizzy and you look surprised because I'm bigger than you and we're at the spa."


"And those circles are your boobs and that little circle is your belly button."

Um... okay.

Then Abby says with the vast superiority of an older sister, "That's not how you draw boobs, Lizzy, I'll show you how," and proceeds to grab a piece of paper and a pencil while the Hubs and I eye each other askance.

Now keep in mind, we actually use the word "breasts" in this house when they're discussed at all, but the term "man-boobs" has come up when Miz Liz has asked. This becomes important in the next bit of conversation.

"Hmm," says Abby, "It looks like I can only draw man-boobs."

Oh for crying out loud.

So the Hubs directs her to a Basics of Drawing book, which is only to be used on the dining table, not taken into other rooms, etc., because it's his and the adults get tired of their stuff going missing in the kids' room.

And Abby?

Abby is scandalized by the "real looking boobs" in the drawing book.

Yeah. That kind of conversation.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Random Summer Post

  • Uh, yeah, her grandfather dropped her at camp, and he's on the emergency contact list, and he volunteers there and you know him better than you know her, of course he can pick her up. Sorry, I didn't realize that "anyone on the emergency contact list may pick my child up" wasn't specific enough, and I do appreciate you checking just for safety's sake. Can we put him on the pick up list please? Great, thanks! (and Grandpa of course, is thinking hooray! They followed all proper procedural checks!)
  • Lizzy is under the impression that "Awesome is what boys say when they're too boyish to say girls are pwetty."
  • Abby assumed that both the fruit bar and the cookies I packed in her lunch bag were included as part of her lunch and so she skipped snack. Okay, dinner as soon as she gets home it is!
  • Open letter to callers: I do not pick up calls from "unknown caller". If I owe you money or I've won a sweepstakes or something, please leave a freakin' message!
  • The reason the job I got "may start Monday the 20th"? Serious amounts of background check type paperwork.
  • Lizzy got to do "little kid gymnastics" today. And Tuesday through Thursday as well. She's thrilled to bits. Here's hoping she sleeps tonight - maybe they tired her out.
  • Algebra was better for me this time around... and then we got to slope and rate of change. But I'm still doing better in that I'm not a ball of panic. Yet.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Children and Fandom (or Why Dora the Explorer is a Time Lord)

Abby is a Whovian. About as much as her mum is, plus all that gleeful obsession that nine-year-olds are so good at. She has her birthday party all planned out with Dalek piƱatas and Weeping Angel Tag and fez party hats and a Doctor Dance Party (not that kind of dancing; get your mind out of the gutter. The kid is nine, and it went completely over her head in any case) and a "fish fingers and custard" dessert.

Her birthday is in December, folks; she's that big of a fan.

She's told me that she's sorry, but if the Doctor shows up, she is going with him. She'll try to be back for dinner, but you know how the Doctor is, sometimes he runs a little late.

And because of our mutual love of the Whoniverse, we have come across quite a lot of music, some canon (like actual episode sound tracks) and some more fandom-based-but-not-exactly-filk stuff as well. One of these is the band Chameleon Circuit, and Lizzy's favo(u)rite song from them is this gem, Still Not Ginger.

Now, although this song/video is about the Eleventh Doctor, he uses one of the Tenth Doctor's catch phrases: Allons-y! Lizzy asked me what this means, and I told her it means "let's go."

She said, "Oh. Like ¡Vamanos! - is Dowa like the Doctor?"

I blinked (don't blink, blink and you're dead! Keep calm and don't blink!).

But then she went on to something else and I thought about it while she started singing allons-y, vamanos tunelessly in the back seat of the car.

Let's look at the facts. Dora the Explorer is manic and loud as hell, appears to be eight years old but travels all over Central and South America (and occasionally the rest of the world) alone or with her madcap group of non-human friends. She speaks at least two human languages and Nickelodeon only knows how many non-human ones (I mean, come on, one of her besties is a lavender squirrel who drives a car and speaks Spanish). And she has catch-phrases and is always freaking running.

I think Dora's a Time Lord who's been grounded on Earth.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jobs Happen

And about time, too.

I am now officially an employee of the placement agency, and my job is probably going to begin Monday, August 20.

It's a short contract, a couple months (officially eight-to-ten weeks), but it's a job. I haven't had a paid job in sixteen months. I'm torn between giddy laughter and sobbing with relief.

It'll be a Monday-through-Friday affair, in Bellevue (30-60 minute commute each way, depending on traffic). It's just down the street from the University of Phoenix Bellevue Campus, so I'll be able to get in some tutoring easily.

And it's a writing job. This is key; a job in my actual field of communications. Collating and rewriting help desk knowledge base information into readable English.

Okay, back to giddy laughter now.

Assuming nobody objects to the copious amounts of ibuprofen in my system (I clobbered myself pretty good tripping and falling on Wednesday - spectacular bruise on my right hip as big as my fist - as long as they're okay with ibuprofen, I HAVE A JOB.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Holy Bat Signals Batman!

Fun day. Did a little homework and then the Hubs and I went to the movies. At the Mountlake Cinebarre, which is fun in itself; it's adults-only because it also functions as a restaurant and bar. With real food. And no more expensive than dinner-and-a-movie, plus it's all right there. Decent food even and although 11AM is a little early for us as far as alcohol goes, they make a decent iced tea.

Note: Here there may be spoilers. And an actual PG-13 swear or two. You have been warned.

Source: Wikipedia
We saw Escape from New York The Dark Knight Rises.




First of all, casting. I mean, we already know that Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon and Alfred and Lucius Fox are played by people who are incredibly good in the roles. But I would never have guessed that Anne Hathaway could be so freaking amazing as Catwoman. I always forget how much Joseph Gordon-Levitt has improved since his early TV days. And I love Burn Gorman, ever since the first thing I saw him in; he's really really good.

The movie was of course beautiful, in that dark Gotham way, symbolism and real-world references and all that. I only knew the vaguest outlines of Bane's story before today - and I generally prefer Marvel in any case - but I really loved how they didn't try to top Heath Ledger's Joker. Instead they chose a different type of villain; Bane is just as evil as Joker, but less... well... batshit crazy. Neutral Evil to Joker's Chaotic Evil, if you will.

Which reminds me. Very troperiffic movie. Which is of course common in something based from a comic book.