catastrophy: (sugoi)
Mail from friends is the best mail!

Now I've read all Tisquantum!
catastrophy: (oroooooo)
Why is it so hard to make mom-friends?

I really hope that this breastfeeding support group actually happens, because I need some local mom-friends. Kristen reminded me that we'll probably make some friends when Clark starts daycare in August, but I really want them NOW. While I'm SAHM. Because I feel left out a lot of the time. Everybody's working or only-exists-on-facebook.

Though I'm kinda worried all the moms in Irv are older than me. Mom-ing your first is different, and I feel like I don't "adult" the same way that moms a decade or more my senior do. (But I'm never going to stop wearing shirts with comicbook heroes or ponies on them, so...)

Also, packing up baby and driving to chiropractor three times a week is getting OLD. I am trying to be patient, but my back just aches and aches... and the fact that it takes longer to drive there than it takes for the adjustment is just salt in the wound!
catastrophy: (oroooooo)
and then listens to her almost 40 week pregnant friend bemoan her own cervix's stubborn refusal to dilate and then feels like she should just STFU. Cus everytime I look at her, I'm all like "you've swallowed a planet!" and also, "dear god, no 9 lb babies for me, tnx"

I've been off work for a week, and if I can survive the pregnancy, it's the monotony of the next 3 weeks home alone that will get me. Seriously, I can't go to the library and Starbucks *everyday*. But, like, I have *dreams* about working. Also, fuckin' hormones. A little bit sad turns into super crash hormone tears forever and I have trouble pulling myself out of it. It would help if I felt like I could actually accomplish any of the tasks on my plate, but they are all either trivial (housework, emailing, etc) or horribly intimidating and difficult (finding nursery furniture we like, packing a hospital bag when all the clothes are the only clothes that fit).

But, we've made great progress towards a (real) name for Toodlepants! What started as a massive excel file of 400ish name combos has finally been whittled down to about 10 (fewer if you're only considering first names)!

We've been going to "healthy birth" classes for a couple weeks, and we've got one more (and Kent has a "newborn care" class). So we've gotten prepped on some basic comfort/pain management techniques and gotten the hospital tour. I meet with the nurse navigator today to get copies of hospital consent forms so husband can read them beforehand. I'll talk about a birth plan with her, and then together we'll talk to my OB next week and hopefully have a coherent plan going into the labor (so that we can throw it out when nothing goes according to plan). Yay?

If we're lucky the nursery paint will all be dry by next week (walls are basically done, but we're doing the trim this weekend) and then I can schedule steam cleaning. Then I wait for things to dry (again). THEN I can finally put furniture (assuming I've found some) and freaking put some shit away where it will actually go. (Baby laundry is slowly consuming my dresser, as it has no place to go.)

Unfortunately, most everyone is still wrapped up in work or big projects, so I can't drag people over just to keep my sanity. Kristen and Kevin are racing to finish renovating their WL house by the end of the month. Sonnenbergs are at Disneyworld all week. Anna is traveling and then sitting Lucy for KK so the house can get done. Pregnant friend, Karen, is, well, even more pregnant than me. With a toddler at home.

It's hard to try to explain to your spouse why you are both mind-numbingly bored and simultaneously completely unable to tackle the big, scary tasks. I need excuses to be up and about and simultaneously don't want to get stressed out. If I sit around and do nothing but eat and sleep the baby will get huge and I will feel miserable. If I run around everywhere I will get stressed out and feel miserable. *headdesk*

In summary, the last week has fallen into one of two categories, exemplified by the following exchanges:

Me: (curled up in corner of couch, doing laptop or reading)
Baby: (kicks arm of couch)
Me: Ow! (rubs belly, baby moves offending foot)
(2 minutes later, after I've settled into "comfy" position)
Baby: (kicks laptop)
Me: Ow! (rubs belly, baby moves offending foot)
(2 minutes later, after I've settled into "comfy" position)
Baby: (stretches sideways and pokes couch with foot)
Me: Ow! Fuck it! Fine! I didn't wanna sit on the couch anyway!

Me: Husband, help me sit up?
(Husband helps haul me upright on the bed)
Baby: (remains oriented as if I were lying down)
Me: Oof! (can't breathe because of head/butt pressing into diaphragm)
Me: (tries several techniques, which all fail, to move baby into better position)
Husband: (just stares, caught between laughter and pity)
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We've made it more than halfway to term! Yay!

The nausea that floored me for the better part of 16 weeks has subsided. Double yay!

Now I just have to eat all the food. My husband and several friends are all dieting and doing Lent restrictions and such, and every time they discuss eating healthy or portions or food temptations, I just hope that nobody notices me eating anything and everything that I feel like.

Also, dim sum is awesome when you are pregnant. I finally found a good place in Indy! Like, it's full of families on the weekend, and they sometimes have a soupy dumpling on the specials. And they will let me pick things on the picture menu (in addition to whatever the carts have).
I think the pregnant white chick who drags in confused-looking friends and family members amuses them. (Especially when she wants a dish and can't remember what it's called.)

And I do mean I eat all the food. At school, the teachers start saving me extra bananas or green beans. I have been gaining at least 4-5 lbs every month since the new year. This last month was more like 6-7 lbs. (That's like 15 lbs so far, and we're not even close to done.) That being said, although my stomach feels like it can't possibly stretch further, I much prefer this to the nausea.

Oh! And I can feel the baby moving now! Me for several weeks, but husband could only feel it just in the past week or so.
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Today is yet another snow day for the month of January.
That makes 1.5 weeks of school missed, 2 days forgiven because the mayor closed the city and forbade anyone to drive, and 5 days that we'll have to make up. (More if you attend AM preschool, since they don't come on 2hr delay days, so 9 for them.)
I have chosen to spend the morning watching gratuitously violent 90s anime in front of the fireplace and getting my husband to bring me food---because the baby keeps eating everything.
Also because if I put the recliner up, I have a hard time closing it or getting out of the couch.

I'm really hoping the weather turns soon. Aside from missing so much work, I really don't like wearing my winter parka because my baby belly is getting too big to zip it up comfortably.
At least I have pants now. (It took me most of January to get my maternity shopping done, because every time I planned to go, I would get snowed in or have a dizzy spell.) Bras are another story.
Back in November, I was a C. Two weeks ago, an E. (For those of you not familiar with Bra math, that's a 3 cup jump.) And apparently this boob inflation is not over yet. Le sigh. I have one nursing underwire that fits, and otherwise I'm making due with XL cotton sports bras.
To my large-bosomed friends: My back feels for you, and I never imagined a world where I could roll out of bed and pinch my nipple at the same time.

But enough about my boobs.
If I had to pick a nemesis for this pregnancy, the explosion of proportions isn't it.

The nausea has absolutely kicked my butt. It is improving, finally, in week 16. I really don't understand why 28 years of I-feel-hungry & eat-something suddenly fails as a feedback mechanic when a pregnancy is involved. Making myself eat while my stomach thrashes in its own juices has been a major challenge. So has finding food that both appeals to me and won't make me sick, and administering "safe" foods every couple hours to keep me from getting slammed with hormone-induced nausea. Weeks 8-11 or so were the absolute worst, which was basically my entire Christmas break. I had a wicked cold and awful nausea, and I think I survived the ordeal on Gatorade, ricecakes, and mucinex (like the only cold meds I could take).
Car rides are still challenging. And some days are still queasy all day long. Thankfully, I now have an anti-nausea medicine I can take if I need to be in the car for a trip or on days I just can't cope.

I'm still trying out remedies for back pain. We're figuring out how to get dinner(s) made that both of us can eat. I have hormone-induced meltdowns where neither of us understand why I'm crying. And because we have friends with toddlers who visit often, we've put up nice baby gates so our cat can get used to them before we have people (or babies) in the house. (Currently she sits at the bottom of the stairs and mews pitifully. Enter Day 3 of this.)

PS: I loved seeing my UofC friends for UChi-Con, but I missed my Sushu!

new house

Aug. 12th, 2013 09:53 pm
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Here's a link to the photo tour of the new house:

It's in the Irvington neighborhood of Indy. We won't close and move in until later in September.
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I gave my notice at work last week.
It has apparently set off some kind of powderkeg of discontent. I knew my departure would be upsetting to a couple co-workers, and might shock the management (who assumed that I would always be around for them to try and take advantage of and fail to appreciate...hmm.)

It sounds like a real possibility that the ENTIRE team of teachers may leave shortly after I do. For the newest, it's money and her kid. For the oldest, maybe caving to her desire to work with an older age group. For the main assistant, she's upset I'm leaving and seemed horrified at the prospect of working with the teacher they want to transfer into the room.
(Hi, management? What does it tell you that I'm leaving and the room's staff wants to bail like the building's on FIRE??) The entire mess just reminds me of the reasons I'm leaving: I wasn't appreciated, my issues with management were totally ignored or opted not to address, and management consistently makes the "wrong" call on tough/contested decisions.
I'm a woman of principles, and those are just deal-breakers for me. I can't support an establishment that I don't believe respects my opinion and input (even if they disagree with me), appreciates my hard work, and makes short-sighted and superficial decisions because it's easier to do the quick fix than cause a confrontation or address the root of the problem.
And so, I'm leaving. (And I swear, I completely BLEW THEIR MINDS when I gave my notice.)

I'm trying to create a buffer between myself and the fall-out. As my poor husband knows, my F-side can't help but get emotionally involved with things (and by things, I mean EVERYTHING), and I have to rein it in if I'm going to be able to deal with stressful situations. I've almost come to terms with leaving the kids I've had in every room since they were babies. I know it's a choice I need to me for ME, and a necessary one for my happiness. (Perhaps their families will ask me to babysit.)

I am nervous about entering a new environment; I'll be moving to a special needs preschool classroom, and I don't have any (substantive) experience with that area.
I understand IEPs in principle, but don't know how they work in practice.
(But we should expect that in a UofC grad, right?)
But, everyone who's heard where I'll be working as said about the same thing: "You're very patient. I'm sure you'll be good at it!" Which bodes well, right?

I don't know if I'll miss lesson planning...we'll see. It'll be a lot less work, less responsibility, but I may miss the creative outlet. It's like writing papers: you may curse and fuss while you're doing it, but no one picks Humanities unless they secretly enjoy torturing themselves with writing.
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“Life… naturally pulls us down toward death.” … Welcome to your graduation. As a product of a U of C education, I feel compelled to cite my sources, and so I’ll tell you that what I just said was a quotation from Anne Bogart, a renowned American theater director, who was paraphrasing writer Italo Calvino from one of six lectures he wrote but never finished. He didn’t finish them… because he died. Now Anne Bogart is not a U of C student and moreover, she’s an artist, so she isn’t required to cite anyone—for example, she fails to cite Rudolf Clausius. Who is Rudolf Clausius? He’s the German physicist who stated the second law of Thermodynamics. But it’s not like his idea was original—he was only revising Sadi Carnot‘s theories, which were addressing advances made by James Watt, who was standing on the shoulders of Thomas Newcomen, who synthesized Thomas Savery and Denis Papin, and so forth, and so forth. Five hundred years of neglected citation, but I will not perpetuate such irresponsible scholarship—all of my information was taken from Wikipedia.

For example, Wikipedia tells me about the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that since the Big Bang, entropy has been rising—which means that the energy of the universe has been dissipating and will continue to do so until it arrives at equilibrium, fatal and final. That event is otherwise known as the Great Heat-Death of the Universe. Now this will happen billions of years from now but you’re graduating today, and entering a world, as Anne Bogart conceives it, of dissipating human energy. For the rest of your life, you will get tired. You will shy away from risk. You will cathect to comfort. You will watch lots of television. It’s a gentle process, and it’s completely unstoppable. We will lose energy. The universe will end. We can’t stop the Great Heat-Death of the Universe.

But by God, we are University of Chicago students. And we can fight.

How do you pick a fight with the Second Law of Thermodynamics? Anne Bogart, artist and abstainer from Chicago-style citation, argues that the act of creation is inherently an act of resistance against our own death. To fight entropy, I might add, is to have the audacity to act against the universe’s inclination to settle and our own impulse to simply live a comfortable life. This of course puts me in the mind of Plato’s allegory of the cave. The cave, we forget, is a really cozy place to be. It’s warm, there’s a big long couch—there’s even a sweet television and all your friends are there watching it. But the cave is part of a universe that yearns for stagnation, and so here at the U of C we leave it. It’s uncomfortable and even painful but it takes a damn good shot at entropy. If we’ve learned one lesson from Plato, it’s that discomfort is often a sure sign of something worthwhile. We take up discomfort, we take up the fight because to fight entropy is to transcend our own fate and the single most important thing we can do as human beings is to confront the Great Heat-Death of the Universe and to defy it. For four years, you’ve been doing just that—talking, writing, collaborating, creating—fighting entropy 10 weeks at a time. Today you decide—do you go back to the cave? Or do you stay outside and fight?

Life naturally pulls us down toward death, but today you graduate; and today, entropy meets the University of Chicago. This is your graduation. This is your fight.

- Drew Dir, 2007 University of Chicago graduation speech
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Hey, gaming people who read my blog:

Go check out Kent's game company INWAP Games and their latest game, Zombie Fried: The Card Game, which is a project on Kickstarter!

Zombie Fried is a humorous, zombie-themed collectable card game. The object of Zombie Fried is to collect the most points in your Brain Pan. (Obviously, you can’t win if you don't got the brains!) You do this by bagging Zombies. For those of you who are not strong enough (or too lazy) to bag Zombies on your own, you can hire a Big Damn Hero, or BDH, to bag Zombies for you. You and your BDH use whimsical Zombie killing weapons crafted from the meager resources left after the apocalypse, often modifying them with unusual items. Pump up your zombie-slaying with Action Plans, foil your fellow survivors with Reality Checks, equip Weapons and enhance them with Mods, hire a BDH, and try not to get eaten!

Now go strap on your Motorized Dentures, load your Racquet Launcher, and bring some extra Bunny Bombs and Zombie Bait! Let's get this zombie apocalypse started!

Pretty pretty please, back the project if you can and share the link (tweet, blog, fb, etc)!


Zombie Fried on kickstarter


INWAP on facebook


My fiancee about to be eaten by Lord Dead'n'Buried from the game.
catastrophy: (del/ugh)
Ok, I need some advice.

My mother-in-law-to-be gave me some birthday presents which are completely not my style.
Jewelry and art, so I can't plead the "it doesn't fit" excuse.
I don't want to stifle the fun she has shopping for me, but at the same time, I don't want a house full of gifts that I would never ever have picked for myself.

Is there a way to be polite, but honest?
catastrophy: (oroooooo)
We could use some assistence!

Does anyone know where I could procure a whole lot of mismatched tea cups?

Does anyone have a good idea how to make a photobooth TARDIS?

Does anyone have nerdy items to contribute to a prop box for the photobooth or for themed centerpieces? (Currently, our tables will be themed instead of numbered. i.e. Darth Vader table, Dr Who table, D&D table, Portal table, etc)

Does anyone have a recommendation for software to use to create our own photobooth with a laptop/camera?

Or for sound equipment (for dance floor)?
catastrophy: (<3)
wedding planning has been stressing me out lately.
everybody (and my future moms-in-law) wants to know details, and I don't have them yet.

last night we had an awesome date night, within we had dinner at bravo and I got to order things technically not on the menu and kent pretended not to notice I was consuming caffeine-laced tiramisu after my caffeine curfew and we elaborated on awesome BSG-themed rsvps and then we came home and tried to work on our guest list and mostly failed.

kent is out at a mtg judge conference/ptq tournament today. which just leaves me, the snow, hulu, my cda homework, wedding planning, and if i feel up to it (that is, if I've convinced myself I'm not getting strep throat...which has started taking victims at school) dropping off birthday books for Lucy and dropping by a co-worker's housewarming party. whenever kent is gone all day for gaming events or judging stuff, I have to figure what I'm going to do with myself for the 12+ hours he's gone. it shouldn't be difficult, yet it is. for me, it still is. which shouldn't surprise me, I mean, every morning when I'm getting a kiss and saying goodbye to kent before work, I usually follow it up with a crushing hug and "I don't wanna go!" and he smiles and laughs (the "silly girl, what am I going to do with you?" laugh) and tells me with complete and utter faith-instilling conviction that he will see me when I get home. (Man, when we have kids that poor man will never get out the door! He'll have to pry children off his legs and me off his torso.)

doing my internet upkeep (which I fail at during the week) I came across neil gaiman's blog post about amanda palmer's wedding blog. reading it made me feel better. like I could, if i wanted to, dump all the complicated creative-energy fueled planning for the event and it would still be ok. would still be a beautiful moment.

now I just need to remember that when planning is kicking my butt.

there are still awesome ideas for our wedding. Like hilarious wedding programs. (Thanks, Lydia, for suggesting for ideas!) Like making the reception a mad hatter's tea party. Like setting up a laptop as a photobooth and having a bucket of nerdy props.

whatever we decide to do, I still get the man who, after 5 hours apart playing games in different rooms without seeing or speaking to each other, shows up out of the blue at 11:59 to plunk his phone down with the time and snog me for new years---and when it's pointed out that it's not actually midnight yet, he just smirks and kisses me more.
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Looking for a footer, let's see if I fixed that setting.

Edit: Yay, LJ footer is fixed.
catastrophy: (oroooooo)
Tip #6

Children learn behaviors just like any other animal: by acting on reacting to their environment, including their peers and caregivers.

This is both good and bad news. Good news: Children can be conditioned, or trained. Bad news: They learn behaviors whether the conditioning is intentional or unintentional.

This is a concept that I have watched parents completely fail to grasp. Repeatedly. Many of the behavior "problems" parents complain about are the result of ineffective conditioning (or highly effective accidental conditioning.)

Some examples from work:

Common behavior problem: "Susy naps great at school, but we just can't get her to sleep at home."
Likely cause: Ineffective conditioning. Her parents fail to use the same techniques or routines her teachers use at school. Teacher tells Susy's parents she swaddles her and gives her her pacifier and just lays her in her crib, and she might cry for 10 minutes, but then she's out cold. But Susy's parents forget to swaddle her or give up after she cries for 5 minutes and get her up.

Common behavior problem: "Johnny keeps hitting and pushing his friends at school, and he won't stop even though he gets in trouble with his teacher every time."
Likely cause: Accidental conditioning. Johnny wants attention from his teacher and has figured out that by hitting or pushing a classmate, he immediately gets his teacher to drop whatever she's doing and come over to him, make eye contact, and interact with him.

If I did a headdesk every time parents fail to "grok" this idea, I would have a permanent red spot. (Not to mention brain damage.)
They do things like this:

Parents use X-Brand bottles at home and send Y-Brand bottles to school, then get upset that baby May eats at home, but won't eat at school.

At school Todd has a certain, consistent schedule, which parents see on his Daily Sheets every day. Parents dramatically change schedule on the weekend, then wonder why little Todd is cranky and out of sorts.

Roland cries and throws a fit during drop-off because he is going through separation anxiety, and his parents are worried. They drop in, randomly, just to 'say hi' or get their 'baby fix', and then wonder why Roland is inconsolable when they leave again.

the new

Jan. 7th, 2012 11:38 pm
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the new! including:

new relationship status: engaged!
new car: Honda. Blue. New! (Like no car I've ever (not) owned.)
new class: child development associate (will become the lead teacher next year)
new journal: moving over to dreamwidth (follow the link in footer)
new traditions: my first christmas tree
new phone: an android. it's smart!
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On the menu today:

omelets with garden green peppers (from a co-worker) with fresh local cider (orchard 5 minutes away)
shrimp teriyaki
apple pie (apples from same orchard)
halloween sugar cookies (from pre-made dough, for the kiddos at the bonfire tonight)

I really do like cooking. I just hate cooking after a long day at work, in rush, cus we have something on the calendar...which seems like every weeknight.
catastrophy: (pierce the heavens)
To strep, work, fatigue, and almost-but-not-yet-complete costumes, etc.:

catastrophy: (sugoi)
I'm over the moon about this. *dances*
I got off work super early today, apparently I had clocked more overtime than I thought.
So I got sandwiches at the Goose and drove home through the pouring rain, and discovered mysterious packages on our doorstep. They turned out to be cookies and popcorn eggs with icing and candy and things for decorating---an Easter present from his mom. While I was opening the boxes, Kent checks his voicemail and calls back some one, and VOILA! New job! A DAY job.
So, bubbly Muscat wine to celebrate. Then, watching scifi shows and having him try on Shimon jacket so I can pin it and make adjustments.
Two-ish more weeks of having to say bye at 10:45 every night and lonely weekends trying to find things to do.
Then, we can go swing dancing Fridays without having to cut it short. We can have game nights on the actual weekend. No more kissing bye at the garage door and waving as the door goes down.

Now, if only we could figure out why the state of Texas is sending us big information packets with maps and tourist guides. (You wouldn't know anything about that, would you, Beck??)
catastrophy: (<3)
I have now acquired almost all the supplies I need to get down to some serious costume creation.
Blue and red fabric for the jacket, gold ribbon for the lapels. I borrowed my mom's sewing machine and toolbox, so I can measure Kent and start tracing pieces. (Just as soon as he clears all the True Dungeon tokens off the dining room table. ^_^;;)
I've got my sweet bodysuit for Nia, fits great, just a little tight in the chest. And I'm going to chalk or tape-outline the lines so I (maybe with some help) can paint them with soft fabric paint. I will probably have to do this while I'm wearing it, to ensure that the paint dries to the appropriate dimensions.
Where I'm having real trouble is with wigs.
My favorite Nia wig was out of stock, supposedly to be available again in early Except I haven't heard back from customer service. The various other alternatives I've managed to find since I canceled my order just don't look as good. Most would require more work to style and/or dye.
Shimon's wig has been more problematic than I expected.
I like this style but it'd be better in this color.
Any advice on wigs?
catastrophy: (pierce the heavens)
wig is ordered
measurements taken, custom bodysuit ordered
$5 shoes found

now I have to wait for things to ship

Kent's ordered his drill necklace and I took him to Goodwill and found a white dress shirt to alter

Also, I found a perfect sweatshirt to make into shimon's (for me, cus I wants it)
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