azriona: (Default)
 I was going to write a very comprehensible post about Ramadan, but I have a headache caused by lack of caffeine because I switched from coffee to tea this morning and thus am not much in the mood to try a craft one at the moment. But there's a dozen things I want to post about, so here we are, with yet another list of things.

1. The switch from coffee to tea is mostly because I ran out of coffee, and since the boys and I are leaving for the entire summer, I'm not particularly interested in replacing it just yet. Also, I have tons and tons of very good and delicious tea leaves in my pantry and I need to drink them. My brain does not agree with this plan, which is ironic since my brain is what suggested this plan in the first place. If I wanted, I could take a very short walk over to the compound center and get an iced coffee from the restaurant there (which is not closed for Ramadan and has good iced coffee for about $3), but it's the principle of the thing.

Not that principle means much when your head aches.

2. It is Andrew's last week of first grade. They're not required to wear uniform this week, but Andrew wore his anyway today because he wanted to wear it. It's not like it's a big deal - I'm sure there will be other kids wearing a uniform, because there always are. And his uniform isn't super uniform-y - it's a red polo shirt with the school crest and a pair of dark-colored shorts. Half the kids in the compound don't even take them off after school because they're pretty comfy. But I bet Andrew's told at least ten times before lunch that he didn't have to wear a uniform today.

Honestly, I think half the reason he wore it is because I made the belated discovery last night that all of his play shorts are too small in the waist by about 2-3 inches per pair, which is just... horrible. But he didn't say anything and he hardly ever wears them anyway (see: comfy school clothes) and it was only when he was trying to put on a pair yesterday that really were obnoxiously small that I thought to look. The really stupid thing is that he has tons of clothes in his closet that are bigger sizes because I was smart and bought up a few sizes before packout. So I've gone ahead and switched them all out but I'm not sure Andrew got the message.

Anyway, he's doing super well with school, he's caught up on reading and I think he's better at math than he's letting on. The school has two teachers in mind for him for next year, they just don't know who's staying and who's going. I think he's ready for 2nd grade. 

(For those wondering when Andrew got old enough to be a second grader - I am right there with you.)

3. Charlie's speech therapy is going well. He's beginning to mimic more often, and he's adding words to his vocabulary. Not every day, but at least he's adding. I think we're going to pull this kid into verbalization, him kicking and screaming the whole way. He's also decided against potty training for the time being. We take off his diaper, he points to the potty and yells. We put him down to go to the potty - and he looks at us, grins like a maniac, and then runs for the stairs, laughing the entire way with his little butt peeking out from the hem of his shirt. Even when we sit him down on the potty, he's up like a shot and off running. Which is really disappointing because he was doing so well. If we can get him potty trained by September, he can go into the big-kid class at kindy (ages 2-1/2 and up). Otherwise he's stuck with the middle class (1-1/2 through 2-1/2). 

4. Pen's sixth book came out about two weeks ago. I've done a couple of different things with marketing it; I'm not entirely sure how well any of them have worked. One of the things I did was to start it off priced at 99 cents as a promotional thing for people on my newsletter. I ended up getting some really good sales... until I upped the price as planned to $1.99 about a week before release, and then sales took a sharp downward turn. They went up briefly when it was released... but I never cracked the first page of ranked books on the Gay & Lesbian bestsellers list on Amazon (though I came close), and cracking that first page really helps sales rankings, because then you tend to stay there for a while. 

Another thing I did was to hire an ARC service. Amazon has this thing where if your book has more than 50 reviews, it's more likely to pop up in searches and also-purchased-by and the like. The reviews don't even have to be good, they just have to be there. There's a couple of ARC services out there where you pay a set amount and they'll get your ARC into the hands of readers who want it. The reviewers aren't paid, and this particular service claims an extremely high return rate because they check that their reviewers really are reviewing their ARCs. (Which is one of the reasons they probably earn the money they're paid, this is a whole lot of tracking on their part.) 

Anyway, between the ARCs I handed out personally and this service, the new book has more than 50 reviews. The vast majority are positive; the negative ones are of the "but why don't they shift into wolves and don't you know men can't really get pregnant?" variety which I can easily ignore. 

5. I've also started posting the mega-long second season fic for Yuri on Ice. It's still a WIP, which was a conscious decision... I'm not sure I'd do this again, honestly. It's an interesting process, and I'm glad I started posting when I did, but.... I wish I'd spent more time finishing and polishing it before putting it up. Partially because:
In which I am petty. So very, very petty. )

7. ... I was going to have a #7, but my head still hurts and I've got about an hour before Charlie wakes up from his nap, so I'm going to go lie down for a bit. 

azriona: (Default)
Hi, Mrs. X, I told Andrew I would send you a note this morning about his GRIEVOUS INJURY. We went to La Plage beach yesterday and Andrew apparently cut his big toe a little bit and now claims that it is extremely painful and that he cannot possibly go to school. It is a TERRIBLE GRIEVOUS INJURY but I told him that he will be fine and that exercise is the best way of making sure his foot is not going to atrophy in his time of woe. 
Anyway, in lieu of a doctor's note, please be aware that Andrew has a GRIEVOUS INJURY on his big toe, and chances are extremely good that he will forget all about it the minute he walks through the school gates (especially as I'm pretty sure he's going to bike to school anyway) but will possibly remember if there is gym today, depending on what the gym activity is and how much Andrew wants to participate.
Thank you!
p.s. I really, really hope Andrew's 2nd grade teacher has as good a sense of humor as you do.  


Her response, in its entirety:

<i>Oh my goodness that is the funniest email I have had in awhile!!! </i>

Mission accomplished.

azriona: (Default)
 Apparently I am incapable of teaching children how to talk, and therefore Charlie had his first speech therapy appointment this morning. It was Take Number Three, because the previous two attempts at an appointment this week were cancelled as the therapist was sick. The first morning, Monday, we were already on our way to the appointment when we got the call (via Bill) that it was cancelled. The make-up appointment was Wednesday, and we got all the way into the office only to learn it was cancelled. (They had my phone number wrong, which is why I didn't get a call on Monday. I admit, I had been thinking that they didn't call the moms at all - because oh why bother we have to get permission to do anything here anyway - but nope, happily I was wrong. Whew, and bad on me for thinking it.)

Anyway, the driver picked me up this morning and jokingly asked if the appointment had been cancelled yet. "Not yet," I replied ominously, "but if I come out of the office five minutes after you drop me off, I may be too livid to speak. In which case, drive me anywhere in the city you want to go."

(The driver laughed. I happen to like this driver; he has an excellent sense of humor and we get on like a house on fire.)

Luckily, the appointment was on. The place I'm taking Charlie is a much larger operation than the place where Andrew went in Virginia. It's been in operation for 25 years and is well-enough established that everyone who knows we're going there has heard of it, or knows someone who went there. I like the people we've met so far, and they seem to know what they're doing - they evaluated Charlie with the same materials used to evaluate Andrew, and their English is accentless and probably better than mine. I sat in on today's session, because it was the first, but eventually (assuming Charlie's good with it) I won't, and there's a closed-circuit television so I can watch and hear what's going on, which is pretty cool.

So, two 45-minute sessions a week until the end of the month, at which point it's Ramadan and everything stops anyway. And two weeks after that, we're back in the States, where maybe we can find a therapist for the nearly two months we're in Yuma who can continue Charlie's therapy. 

I have it in my head that he won't need as much of it as Andrew has. Andrew had expressive and receptive delays, but Charlie only has expressive delay. He's got about six words, none of which are said correctly, and his main form of communication is pointing and yelling. (At his age, he should be doing two-word sentences, or at least one-word sentences.) The biggest problem right now is that he won't even try to copy what we're saying, and he's surrounded by soft-sack adults who are too willing to just give him what he wants. (I.E., me.) 

So, therapy. I am oh-for-two, people.


In related news, those fidget-spinner things have hit the LoL, and a few of Andrew's classmates brought them to class this week and ended up getting them banned for the entire first grade. Which of course brought them to everyone else's attention, including Andrew, so when school let out on Tuesday, the entire lot of them came racing out of the building, and every single one went straight up to their parents and begged for one. 

Here's the thing: they're toys, yes. But supposedly they're pretty good at helping kids with autism or ADHD focus - I admit I have no idea how - and that's part of the problem in their being banned from a lot of schools: it's not fair to ban something that some kids actually use to learn. I'm not sure comparing it to banning reading glasses is appropriate, but it's the closest analogy I can think of at the moment.

Anyway, Andrew's not autistic, and he doesn't have an official diagnosis of ADHD (though I wouldn't be surprised if he has some form of it), but I figured I'd ask his teacher anyway if she thought the spinners would help.

Answer: Not only "yes probably", but that she'd willingly lift the ban for him if it does.

(Which has also sparked a whole discussion about whether or not we should actually have Andrew tested for ADHD, but we're waiting on the Learning Support folks to chime in first.)

So Andrew and I got to have a discussion over dinner about how maybe he'd be allowed to have a spinner in class, but only if it helps him focus, and he's not allowed to show off to his classmates that he's allowed one when they aren't, because that is Rude. And if Mrs. A says, "Okay, Andrew, this spinner is distracting you more than it's helping you, it's time to put it away and it's going to be an after-school thing only now," he's not allowed to complain or ask for another chance, the spinner goes in his backpack and comes straight home. (Which he seemed to get pretty quickly. Whether or not he does it without complaining or asking for another chance is another thing entirely.) 

So between Charlie's aborted speech therapies and an upcoming trip to the mall to get Andrew this fabulous flicky spinner thingie, I've been off the compound more in the last two weeks than I have since January. (Trips to London notwithstanding.) It feels very strange. Plus I feel guilty for requesting drivers all the time... which is not exactly a good thing, since I sort of need drivers for the next two years. (Argh. Driving. Also one of the reasons I like today's driver, he's the only one who laughs when I crack jokes about my inability to drive here.)

Sick Days

Apr. 25th, 2017 09:17 pm
azriona: (Default)
 Andrew has been home the last two days because of some weird... sickness? We thought it was just a general cold yesterday morning, he had a headache and a sore throat, and he fell asleep on the couch in the afternoon, and then in the evening his temperature spiked up to 102F. Today he stayed home because the schools have a 24-hour policy on fevers. He was fine all day, totally bouncy in the afternoon and bored out of his mind and talking about how he wanted to go to school tomorrow.

And then just as I'm putting him to bed, he turned all sad and sobby and his forehead was burning up, so I took his temp again.

102F. Again.


I know it's not his fault, but I feel like every time I have actual, concrete, cannot-change-this-appointment plans, Andrew gets sick. When my parents visited last year, he contracted a stomach virus the day I was supposed to drive them to the airport in the next town over. The week before we flew to the LoL, and I was supposed to be running around Virginia getting Cleo's paperwork squared away, he contracted another stomach virus with a high fever.

This week, I had arranged with a local speech therapy office to evaluate Charlie, because once again, I have proven that I am incapable of teaching a toddler how to talk. 

(I'm only partially being facetious. Well. It's true that Charlie doesn't talk. It's also true he's the second kid out of two under my care who clearly can't talk without exterior intervention.) 

So on one hand, I feel terribly for Andrew, because being sick is no fun, and tomorrow he's going to miss a ton of fun stuff happening at school (dance! library! interaction with other kids!) as well as a soccer game afterwards, upon which a pizza party depends. 



At least tomorrow I have the nanny coming in the morning, so she can stay here with Andrew. As long as everything goes smoothly, Charlie and I can be back before she has to leave for her next job. Of course, the chances of things going smoothly are... slim? The real problem is that Charlie's appointment ends about ten minutes before prayer time, and I don't know what the policy is at the office if I have to make further appointments afterwards. Will their appointment staff help me so I can go? Or will they refuse because it's prayer time - which wouldn't surprise me, everything shuts down during prayer. It's actually the law here, you're not allowed to remain open. (Though many sit-down restaurants seems to disregard this rule - they'll continue serving people already inside, although they do lock the doors and refuse to let any new customers in.)

Or I just say "screw it" to the fever rule, and if Andrew's up for school in the morning, I'll send him. (And then run the risk of him petering out and the school wanting to send him home when the nanny's already left?)

(Why, child? Why must you pick the exact wrong week to get sick every single flipping time???? I love you but is this your super power? Because if so, you completely lost out in super power roulette.)

Andrew is just one of those kids who gets random high fevers - he always has, he probably always will. Luckily he doesn't get them super often anymore, but wow, they seem to be impossibly hard to shake, and resurrect themselves just when you're sure you're in the clear. 

*sigh, again* It'll be fine. It'll work itself out, and everyone will get to where they need to be tomorrow. Except maybe Andrew.

azriona: (cat in a box)
Andrew's birthday party was last night, which was a kind of odd time to have it, since it's essentially Sunday night in this part of the world. But it was the only night we could have it, and plenty of kids showed up, so there's that. Then again, part of that might have had to do with us holding it at the local Chuck E Cheese, which I think is hands-down the best Chuck E Cheese I have ever been to, ever.

It's two storeys. There's a bowling alley.

Also a carousel.

It has bumper cars.

It has a roller coaster.

After that, the pizza and games are all kind of secondary. Anyway, Andrew and his friends all had a good time, and we fed them pizza and cake and then sent them home for their parents to put to bed. Mwahahahaha.

(Incidentally, I got a huge thrill out of watching the women drive the bumper cars and play the racing games. Word of advice: do not do bumper cars with LoL women. They are intense.)

Mostly, though, it's exactly like a Chuck E Cheese in any other part of the world. Even the games were the same (beyond the roller coaster et al). They had skee ball and the gyroscope-bicycle-helicopter thing, and the shoot-em-up games and the racing games. They didn't have the coin-drop games that are my total downfall, but I suppose those are a little too much like gambling to really count. The kitchen closes during prayer times, and they don't run the rides during the actual call to prayer, but the rest of it remains open and anyone playing the games can keep playing. (My understanding is that this is typically the case in kids' establishments.)

This morning, Charlie and I went to IKEA to continue trying to outfit the house. We ended up getting there late enough in the morning that we stayed through lunch, because there was no way we were going to manage to get out before prayer time shortly after noon. I thought IKEA did a nice job with that, actually - usually you just hear the call to prayer over the loudspeaker and that's that, but IKEA played the call, and then had an announcement telling people where to find the men's and women's mosques, and invited people to continue shopping. After about twenty minutes, there was another announcement saying the store would re-open in five minutes and would all employees plese go back to their stations. (That's the part I found particularly nice, because usually opening is much less regimented than that.)

For those wondering what the food's like... breakfast is served until 11:30 so we ended up eating that. They've got Arabic and English breakfasts. The English breakfast is just about all meat, and the Arabic breakfast featured eggs with peppers and samosas and hummus, so that's what I got. The eggs were plentiful but not as good as in the picture, and the samosas and hummus were OMG DELICIOUS, and worth the price of the food. They do apparently also have the meatballs (I'm assuming sans pork) and salmon dishes, and probably a few other things as well. And strawberry juice. I love strawberry juice. It is a total Middle Eastern thing, they had it in Egypt too, and drinking it is like the best strawberry in your entire life.

(This part of the world just does good breakfasts. There's this salty cheese that you eat with cucumbers. I don't know what it's called, it comes in triangles and it's salty and fabulous. I love it desperately. I should probably find out what it's called so I can buy it but I bet it wouldn't taste as good as in the restaurants.)

At the moment, I'm feeling pretty content... but that's probably because Charlie and I got out for a while this morning, and getting off the compound and into the city, and pretending that I am under my own steam always puts me in a much better mood than the days where we don't leave the compound.

It's not the abaya that is difficult. I couldn't care less about the abaya (although I do really want to find one that isn't black and also doesn't cost a couple hundred dollars. [Yes, I said dollars. OMG, you could spend so much money on an abaya here, it's ridiculous.])

It's the inability to just up and... go. I haven't had a problem with using the motorpool yet, but it does require planning ahead since it takes them about half an hour to get to me, assuming they're not already driving someone. I think that's the hardest part.

Bill and I started talking last night about where I should go on my first long weekend out - without him, without the kids. It's going to be the first time I get to go anywhere without any obligations whatsoever. (Because as fun as Gridlock was - I was on panels for both of them, so there was that sort of obligation-y aspect.)  I'm trying to decide where to go. On one hand... stay close, and therefore get there sooner and thus have more time to play/write/whatever? Or go a bit further (like, say, London, which is at least 5 hours by plane), and be in somewhat familiar territory? (Not that London is completely familiar, but I've been there enough that I'm totally confident in what to do once I'm there.)

Not that it'll happen anytime soon. I floated the idea this morning that I could go and do the Christmas shopping in London, and Bill laughed for five minutes. IT'S AN IDEA!!!!

Anyway, there's Toys R Us here, and Hamley's, as well as various local toy stores, plus a Centrepoint that had wow good prices on toys. I'm not overly worried about it.
azriona: (cat in a box)
Because what you do is get in your Halloween costume and sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Naturally.


Jun. 24th, 2016 10:10 pm
azriona: (cat in a box)
Okay, today was just weird.

Two things happened that woke me up at 5am, and I'm not entirely sure what order they occurred in. The first (though not necessarily in a chronological sense) was that Charlie woke up around 5am, but I was able to put him back down fairly quickly with a bottle.

The second, and much more far-reaching thing, was that I had what was either a severe headache, or a mild migraine. In retrospect, I'm not entirely sure which it was. My head hurt enough that I was shaking and shivering and only capable of lying very still under my covers, praying that Charlie would sleep for another hour, but I wasn't actually nauseus and light didn't bother me, plus I was with it enough to think miserably about how bored I was just lying there, and couldn't I at least read my Kindle or something?

So yeah. More than your average headache, less than a migraine, and one ibuprofen did very little to curb it. The children woke up roughly around the same time, and happily for me, were in excellent moods. (Andrew can sometimes be cranky and argumentative in the mornings, but he was in a truly fabulous mood this morning.) If the ibuprofen did anything, it at least let me handle the bare minimum of functionability, so I fed the children and myself, and Andrew's been totally happy with playing with his toys and not nagging me for television every ten seconds, so they did that for a while, and the morning toddled along until I could take a double-dose of ibuprofen, turn on a movie for Andrew and take Charlie up for a nap, followed by what was probably my first shower since Tuesday. By the time I was done with that, the headache had subsided enough that it was no longer painful, and in another hour, it was gone entirely.

So to say the day started out on a poor note would be about right. I didn't really think it would get much better.

Except... it did.

Because now, we have pack-out dates.

(No authorization for official passports, but authorization to move, which is FINE BY ME AND I SHALL NOT COMPLAIN.)

This came in the middle of the morning, when my headache was at least not entirely disabilitating. Or maybe adreneline curbed it better than the ibuprofen, I don't know. Anyway, I was able to arrange for packout for two-three days in early July, depending on how much stuff we have and how competant the movers are. Which is totally the skin of our teeth, because Andrew's signed up for a soccer camp in NoVa starting the day after we finish packing out, and I really did not want to lose that $130. The folks down here who are in charge of housing have been informed of the dates of our departure and seem not one whit concerned that it's later than they would have otherwise liked, so it's all good.

So that's a HUGE weight off my mind. Now all I'm worried about is that the packout survey guy will come and say, "OMG, you are only authorized 18,000 pounds of HHE/storage and you have 70,000 pounds of stuff, YOU ARE TOTALLY SCREWED." I mean, it probably won't happen, we've never hit the limit before, but this is how my brain automatically goes.

Still no word on the final travel orders that would allow us to get our official passports, and the moving company doesn't have the authorization for the consummable shipment we're allowed (and none of us know why, though everyone agrees we get it)... but this is a step in the right direction. I can deal. There is time for the details, the important thing is we have our pack-out dates, and they're actually really good dates. More time in our house, less time in a hotel, and we're in DC in time for Andrew's soccer camp.

And since we'll be here the extra time anyway... I signed him up for a bonus soccer camp next week at the same place where he takes gymnastics. It's twice the amount of time as the NoVa camp, for about half the cost. Gotta love living in the middle of nowhere. He's excited, but we'll see how he feels after three hours of playing soccer outside.

(Then again, he might be in it for the cleats. This kid loves new shoes, even when they're old shoes purchased at the consignment store. He also has a thing for wearing shirts with Puma and Nike and Air Jordan and other sports logos on them. I am totally raising a clothes horse, and I have no idea how I did that.)

In other news, Cleo had a run-iin with a fox last night. I think she won. I also know what the fox says. (It squeaks, if you can believe it.)

I finished Season 3 of Orange is the New Black. It was excellent, and now I really want to sit and chat with my mom for a few hours about what she thought of it.

Charlie is speaking Toddler. He has sounds he clearly thinks are words for things, and which even other people recognize as Toddler-speak for things, but which may or may not bear much resemblance to the actual word itself. He continues to be super adorable.

Andrew either is improving his reading by leaps and bounds, or he's got a eidetic memory. (Or whatever it's called when you hear something once, and remember it forever.) I'm not sure which. But he can read a word like "special" perfectly on the first try, and stumble over a popcorn word like "my". I have no idea. Anyway, he's got a Star Wars Spelling and Writing workbook and he loves it, which is great, except that he's gonna finish it soon and he for some reason didn't pick the Star Wars math workbook and I think that's gonna cause some heartache.

Anyway, I'm full and tired and it's just started to pour rain outside and Cleo is sure to be on the front porch crying to be let in, so I'm going to let her in and then go to bed, and hope I don't wake up with a headache again. Ugh.
azriona: (cat in a box)
It's the first day of the week of Andrew's first official summer vacation. So far... not terrible. We went to Charlie's last playgroup this morning, took passport pictures for the diplomatic passports and visas (not that we have the paperwork to get them, but this way, I'll be ready), and stopped off at Trader Joe's, where I swear Andrew dumped the entire shelf of blueberry bars into his kiddie cart, or almost. Charlie took a bit of convincing to take his nap but he's down now, and otherwise it's going smoothly.

A brief recap of the last few weeks, Andrew-wise:

Final IEP Meeting (but don't tell that to the school) )

The last day of school was pretty good. Charlie and I stayed at home and chilled, and he was still napping when the bus was due to arrive, so I got one of the neighborhood girls to sit with him while I went to greet Andrew. We had a cooler full of ice cream ready for the kids when they came piling off the bus, and once they were all digging around trying to find their favorite flavors....


It was fantastic. Everyone got soaking wet, Andrew was totally drenched, and then someone found the ice and starting sliding ice down the backs of people's shirts, and then one of my neighbors offered the kids $10 if they could dump the really big purple bucket of water over their mothers' heads. Andrew followed me around for a good five minutes with that purple bucket, but we're talking one of those 20-gallon buckets, and he could drag it, sure, but lifting it? I wasn't worried. We had a great time and the kids played for well over an hour, attacking each other with purloined water guns and water hoses and random small buckets and I think Andrew's shoes took two days to dry out.

Small tidbitty things:

What I found in my shoe yesterday )
2. I'm loving the new computer. It's so fast, and when I went on the old computer last week, I was so much more conscious of how slow it was going. Or maybe how much faster this is by comparison. (And quiet, and cool.) I'm still undecided about Windows 10, but it's mostly unobjectionable. So I'm pleased with the decision to buy this computer over anything else. I suspect I'll still do the To Mac or Not To Mack debate the next time I get a new computer, but I have the feeling I'll be doing that until Apple's out of business or I no longer want a computer, whichever comes first.

3. Writing is going... well, it's going. I'm slowly moving my way through some major edits and rewrites, and my word count is completely screwed up because I'm terrible at tracking what's new from what I delete. It should be good when it's done. The trick is finding the time. I've been buying myself a little bit here and there, and hopefully the finished product won't be too disjointed when it finally gets to the betas.

4. In the meantime... I'm trying to prepare for replanning. If we're going to be here longer because the packout is pushed back, I want to find Andrew some summer camps to attend, so he has something to do during the day. A whole summer at home is going to be too hard for him and for me. And there's stuff to do - but now I'm so late signing him up, it'll be a question of availability. I'm hoping I can find something. And preferably something he'd actually want to do. I've got him signed up for a soccer camp in DC starting July 11... so I'm going to keep hoping we can at least get up there in time for that, because otherwise I'm out the $120 there. And I'm not going to sign him up for anything down here until I get more information on what's happening with our move, or travel orders - because at this point, as soon as those travel orders come down, I have to load up the kids and drive up to DC and get those official passports, or we'll never have our visas in time for Andrew's first day of school in August.

5. I GOT THE HAMILTOME. I have been reading it steadily, about a song a day. It's excellent reading, except I want to listen to the music while I read!

And Andrew's DVD is about to end, so that endeth my downtime until bedtime. (I love bedtime.)
azriona: (cat in a box)
Oh, my lord, this week.

1. Andrew's testosterone has kicked in. By which I mean, he has come to the conclusion that butts are funny. At least, I have to assume so because every other sentence that comes out of his mouth involves someone's butt, followed by peals of laughter. I don't get the joke, but this is probably because I am not a boy. Most of the other moms at the bus stop have boys either Andrew's age or younger, but there's one with a 4th and 6th grader, so I figured she might offer some consolation this morning.

Me: Okay, so, when do boys stop finding butts funny?
Her: I don't know, I'll tell you when it happens.
Me: Dammit.

2. Along the same lines, Charlie got his penis stuck in a book earlier this week. I have discovered that if I give him a board book while I change his diaper, he'll happily "read" it and not try to wiggle off the changing table. Unfortunately, he figured out how to turn the pages, and he sometimes has a tendancy to try to reach for his penis, and really unfortunately, he discovered why trying to do those two actions at the same time is not a very good idea. I don't think he hurt himself; mostly, he just looked confused why his book was attached to his penis. And then he wouldn't let me open the page again to free his penis, so it took a few minutes to get him unstuck.

3. Ralph the neighbor's cat continues his pursuit of Cleo's affections. The highlight this week is that he and Cleo got into a fight on the front porch, rolled down the front steps, and straight into Charlie. It was like a furry cat bowling ball, with Charlie as the pin. He went straight down, and by the time I got there (yelling at Ralph and brandishing a hockey stick), one cat or the other had unleashed a stream of pee.  And because Charlie has the worst luck this week, the cat in question's aim was horrible and it landed on him.

4. To make poor Charlie's life even worse, he had an eye appointment this morning, and his eyes were dilated. He was a trooper for the dilation (four drops per eye!), but had a super short nap this afternoon, and then when he woke up, the sun came out. Which was a problem, because (a) Charlie loves to be outside; (b) Charlie refuses to wear sunglasses because he is one; (c) sunlight hurts when your eyes are dilated; and (d) today was the neighborhood garage sale and I have a shit-ton of baby things to sell so I kind of needed to be outside in order to sell them. (More on this in a moment.)

Anyway, to wrap up the saga of Charlie's eyes: I haven't noticed Charlie's eyes drifting the last few months. At all. Ever. There's some tearing, but not more than what I'd expect (which you can read as: not more than what I get; maybe that's more than average, because the doc still thinks what he gets is more than normal).

However, the doctor says she can still get one of Charlie's eyes to drift, but it's not very much, and may continue to self-correct. She did say that he'll probably need glasses in a few years, but not within the next year, and we should probably get him an appointment the next time we're coming back to the States. (Easier said than done, if we wanted it with her, since we're not likely to come this far south again, but I didn't tell her that part.)

So endeth - or least shelveth - the saga of Charlie and his eyes. For now. We'll deal with an appointment the next time we know we're coming back to the States, probably next summer, and until then, I'm not really going to stress too much about it.

But Bill and I both agree that Charlie will be super cute with glasses. Provided we can convince him to keep them on. (Presumably, when he is three, this will not be such a problem.)

Back to the garage sale: so I'm selling of most of the baby gear. It's not like we need it, and most of this stuff, even if Charlie plays with it occassionally now, we'd have to pack it up at the end of the month, and then he wouldn't see it again until September or October, and there's a ton of stuff he'd basically have outgrown by then. So that stuff, I'm selling. I still have to figure out what to do with some of the other toys - there's plenty he plays with every single day that I really, really don't want to carry with us on the plane, and would be a pain to box up and ship when it's time to actually go. But I have about three weeks to figure that out, so we'll see.

Anyway, I ended up putting out Andrew's easel with a sign saying that I was inside with the baby, please browse and knock if anyone needed me. As it turned out, only two groups of people showed up today, and while I got rid of a couple of big items (the Jumperoo and the lawn mower), most of the rest of it is still here. I'm hoping there's a better turnout tomorrow. Whatever's left is going to either the kid's consignment store, or to Goodwill, and the more of it that goes, the easier that particular trip will be, because right now, I don't think I can fit everything in my car.

But to continue OMG THIS WEEK.

5. So this morning, I picked up my phone to check the traffic, and was promptly informed that my data was corrupted and I had to reboot the entire system, which would cause me to lose everything on it. Which means all the pictures and videos I had of the boys on the phone are gone. The good news is that I've already been spending the week transfering the photos to my computer; for some reason, the USB connector wasn't working, so I was emailing them to myself eight at a time, which takes flipping FOREVER, but I did manage to save about half of what was on there, so that's good. But now the phone's back at factory settings, and I had three years of stuff on there, and I don't remember half of what it was, and it looks just so bare and boring and impersonal.

6. I ordered a new laptop last Saturday morning. It still hasn't been shipped, despite being in stock. I don't know why. I'm getting super annoyed. Maybe this is the universe telling me I should have bought a Mac?

7. Andrew has a Fun Meet for gymnastics tomorrow. I'll take photos with the camera, not the phone. Charlie's going to stay home with a babysitter.

8. Writing is going. I have one full week of school for Andrew left, and then a bunch of half days, and then he's done with kindergarten. Which is super cool for him, and vaguely distressing for me, because there is not a chance in anything that I'm going to get any kind of writing done with him home all the time, especially not when I'm also supposed to be sorting the house for pack-out.  (And Bill is off training and won't be done until we're already packed out and up in DC again.) If I get the books I'm working on to an editable level, it's gonna be by the skin of my teeth.

Minor whinge about recent wankery. )

That said, I do have some really nice neighbors who have offered to help out with the kids once in a while, or take Andrew somewhere fun, which will definitely help. What I really want, of course, is for someone to take both of them, so that I can have a couple of hours to myself to either do the mountains of stuff that needs to be done here, or in a really perfect world, write for a little while. But that's harder to come by. Not because Charlie is adorable - but taking on a 1yo is a much bigger deal than taking on Andrew, who is perfectly happy with television and an occassional peanut butter sandwich.

Anyway, it's 10pm, and I'm exhausted, and I have to write up the notes from the story plotting I did in my head today, and then I'm going to bed. Where, if I am lucky, I will not dream about butts, or packing tape, or all of my electronic devices deciding to go on strike.
azriona: (cat in a box)
Bedtime was an utter mess here - but the day itself was actually really good. Charlie ended up having two killer naps - 2-1/2 hours this morning, and another hour-long nap in the car after we ran lunchtime errands. Not exactly something he's done in a while - but he's had something of a cold the last couple of days, and a (small) fever on Sunday. Plus he woke up at 5am this morning in a terrible mood and couldn't get back down, and fussed and cried for a while.

Which no doubt messed up bedtime, because Andrew heard the crying and woke up early, and he's been getting bed late for the last week solid, and he was so overtired that he was already bursting into tears over silly things before dinner.

I tell you, parenthood is fun, and don't let anyone ever tell you different.

In other news:

1. Andrew and I went to Busch Gardens on Sunday, and he did his first real roller coaster. (Loch Ness Monster.) It was spitting rain when we got there - not heavy by any stretch, but cold and wet. I think that worked to our advantage (also the fact that it was Easter Sunday), because the park was fairly empty. We never waited longer than about 10 minutes for anything - and the longest we waited was that first ride on the roller coaster, which was also the first thing we did when we got there. I could tell Andrew was a bit nervous because he would not let go of my hand for anything, but he said he was okay and he wanted to go and I reminded him that it was okay to change his mind (at least until we got into the car) and if he got scared, to close his eyes. (And he knew what was coming - that we'd go upside-down and into a tunnel for about half a minute, so there were no surprises.) He did great. I could hear him yelling and afterwards he said he liked it, and then later - several hours later, sure - he said he wanted to go again, and this time, he wanted to be in the front car. Lucky for us, the wait was miniscule - we could have gone right away if we'd wanted any other car, and as it was, we only waited for two people ahead of us. And he loved it. I might have sprung for the official picture if he hadn't looked like he was getting whiplash in it.

I'm pretty sure he didn't get whiplash. And we went on the kiddie roller coaster about five times, and a few other things, and he really, really didn't want to leave, but it was near dinner and the fog was rolling in big time, so it was time to go home. And we have passes so we'll go again before we leave, anyway.

Front car, though. I have taught this kid well.

2. Charlie kind of sort of not really wants to walk. He's very good at walking while holding only one of my hands, and he's excellent at cruising around the furniture. He'll stand on his own, unsupported, for about a minute, and he'll even bob up and down without holding onto anything.

But take anything more than a single step when he doesn't have a set of parental arms to fall into? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.

He's about half a pound shy of being forward-facing in his carseat. I went ahead and switched his infant carrier to the convertible carseat, so he can get used to it (plus, I think he's a bit too big for the infant carrier to really be comfortable anymore). And I think he really wants to sit forward-facing because Andrew sits forward-facing, and anything Andrew does is preferable. (As is anything Momma eats, until I give him a piece, at which point he takes a bite, makes a face, and then demands that other thing Momma is eating, which is clearly better.)

3. AMAZON PAID ME YESTERDAY. Which is totally exciting, and elicited the following conversation:

Me: Amazon paid me!
Bill: That's great! What are you going to do with it?
Me: ...Go to Disneyland?
Andrew: No, Momma! Don't go to Disneyland! Go to CHICAGO.

I have no idea why he is still obsessed with Chicago, particularly to the point of prefering it over Disneyland. At any rate, there's not enough to actually pay for a trip to Disneyland - or Chicago, for that matter - so it's all moot.

There is, however, enough that I think I will buy myself a nice purse, because my current one is almost older than Andrew and is literally falling to pieces. I have a terrible time justifying spending more than about $30 on a purse, though, so this is going to be a serious test of will.

In the meantime, I've set a date for the next book (April 26), and set up a Goodreads page for it.  It seems both far away, and way too soon, but I'm still trying to figure out a workable timeline for this sort of thing - I can't find anything online to recommend timelines for when things should happen that don't involve throwing yourself a launch party, and I am not throwing myself a launch party, because that just seems silly.

4. Next week is Andrew's spring break, so on Saturday afternoon, I am packing up both kids and leaping headfirst into insanity. Insanity defined as driving an hour to the nearest airport, then taking three seperate flights until we get to Arizona and my mom (and dad) on the other end. I have no idea what I was thinking when we made these plans in December. Maybe I was sleep deprived. Anyway, my mother has apparently purchased Charlie an entire wardrobe (20 shirts, 6 pairs of paints, 4 pairs of shorts, and a swimsuit - kid's on his own for pajamas, though) and Andrew has an entire itenerary of things he wants to do while we're there, which is pretty impressive since he hasn't been to Yuma in three years and he still remembers it.

Happily for me, Item 1 on Andrew's list is my favorite ever Mexican restaurant, so I'm going to try to finangle eating there every day.  Except for the first day, which as it turns out is the last day of the county fair, which I haven't been to since high school.  I'm hoping it's more or less the same as I remember, because Andrew is going to love it.  Or some of it, anyway - Sunday is the day they auction off the 4-H and FFA animals, so I'm hoping we get there before most of them have been taken to their final reward.

We'll be there for a week... and then we get to board another set of three planes and come back.

It'll be fine. It'll be fine! It'll be totally fine.

(If I keep saying that, it will come true.)

And that is that for the night. I also woke up at 5am, and unlike Charlie, I didn't take two naps today. (I did have coffee this morning, though.)  I'm going to bed, and maybe when I wake up in the morning, it will be Sunday and I'll be in Arizona already.

(Or at least it'll be morning, and Charlie will have slept through the night. That'd be good, too.)
azriona: (cat in a box)

So... you know how they say you take a bunch of photos of your first kid, and their personal photo album is literally overflowing... and then you get to the second, and it's maybe got two pages?

Yeah.  I sort of fell into that trap, and I kind of knew it, but I didn't realize how bad it was until just now.  See, when I save photos of the boys to post online, I have a system - their first name, and then the number of the photo, so it's all chronological.  (These are only the good photos that I want to share, btw.  And for every good photo you see, figure there's at least 10-20 that you don't.  Kids are notoriously difficult to photograph.  They just keep moving.)

By the time Andrew was one, I had... oh, at least 200 of shareable photos.

Charle turns 11 months in three days.  I have twenty-two photos of him worth sharing.

(And before you say, "Oh, but you have photos of both brothers together!"  Yes.  I do. Seventeen of them.  That argument does not help.)

Imagine me hanging my head in shame.

Of course, a large part of this isn't because I wasn't taking the photos - it's that I wasn't transfering them to the computer and going through them and cleaning them up a bit before posting them online.  Which is actually a huge part of the deal, and also the most time-consuming.  It takes all of a second to take a photo.  It takes a bit longer to go through them and select the ones I like and then do whatever needs doing to make them pretty.  (I don't tend to do a lot of manipulation, but I do lighten them, but there's usually something.)

Anyway.  I did go through them today - and here are three from the last month that I kind of like.  Of course, one of them is just of Charlie, taken this morning, and the other two are of both boys, but hey.  Pictures of adorable children are still pictures of adorable children.

Pictures! Of Adorable Children Being Adorable! )
azriona: (cat in a box)
I blocked myself from getting onto Tumblr until tomorrow morning, mostly because I could feel myself being dragged back into the pro/anti-Mary fight all over again, and since that particular battle nearly pushed me into leaving the fandom two years ago, I'm pretty wary about going back there.

Also, I spent a good chunk of last night's writing time on it already, and I'd really rather not procrastinate any longer from working on the stories that need writing.

Which is why I'm writing an LJ entry instead.

Writing Things )

The Children )

Anyway, that's all I can think of, and I'm exhausted, and I'm going to bed where I will curl up with my current book and read until I fall asleep or when Charlie remembers that he doens't like to sleep through the night.  Usually these things occur simoultaneously.  Which might be why I'm exhausted.

p.s. oh, yes, the Sherlock special was awesome and I loved it tons and it might be my favorite of ALL the episodes, I haven't decided.  and someday, when Charlie is in kindergarten, I will write a review of it.  
azriona: (cat in a box)
My dad commented that every photo he's seen of Charlie shows Charlie smiling widely.  He wanted to know if Charlie was ever sad.  I attempted to take video proof.  (I failed.)

Andrew's Christmas gymnastics routine.  Originally, Coach Marq had choreographed this routine for his Girls' Class, which is why there is the super cute pose at the end.  (I think the pose was my favorite part, honestly.)

Sick Day

Nov. 10th, 2015 02:19 pm
azriona: (cat in a box)
Andrew is having a sick day - he's been coughing a bit the last few days, but last night at bedtime, he coughed so hard that he ended up with a bloody nose that took a bit longer than normal to stop.  (He's had them before - and like this one, they're usually connected to his coughing and/or having a temper tantrum.  I think he's starting to equate temper tantrums with bloody noses.  Which is... okay, not entirely good, but not entirely wrong, either, and if it results in fewer temper tantrums, I'm tempted to let it ride.  If this makes me a terrible parent, can it least mark me as a pragmatic one?)

Anyway, it would have been fine at that... except he continued to cough most of the night, and woke us up around 1am with another bloody nose, which took even longer to stop, mostly because he was so tired and out of it that he wasn't letting us even touch his nose, much less pinch it together to stop the bleeding.  And then he woke up again around 3:30 to request my presence while he peed in the potty.

I let him sleep until 8:30 this morning, so he missed the bus to school, but  he woke up in a much better mood, no cough... and a third bloody nose, at which point I decided school was definitely out and I called the doctor.  He's spent the rest of the day on the couch watching TV, and in between movies, he's done homework or eaten lunch or played with Charlie.  All in all, totally good child who is willing to do whatever I ask as long as it's reasonable.  And no coughing or bloody nose since.

Of course, no doctor calling me back, either, which is really annoying.  I'm guessing that this means this isn't anything to worry about... but I'm still super annoyed that I haven't been called back.  I left a second message about an hour ago, I'm not sure what else I can do but camp out at their office... which I don't want to do.


In other Andrew news, we had his first parent-teacher conference yesterday, where we learned that Andrew... is awesome.  Okay, we knew that already, but basically the teacher confirmed that for the most part, he's doing great at school.  In some areas, he's way above grade level (like, he knows all his letters and most of the sounds they make, which most kindergarteners at this point don't).  He pays attention mostly, and he's well behaved, mostly, and he gets along with his classmates, and there were NO behavior issues at all.  And his teacher really likes him, which makes me totally happy, because it means he's more likely to be forgiven on the bad days.

(I will say, when Andrew was informed that he was not going to school today, he was initially really upset.  Frankly, so was I: he already has tomorrow off, so that's two days in a row of Andrew, and if he's sick again tomorrow - he's going to be really ramped up on Thursday and I will be slightly crazy.)


Writing Update: So I've been going into the Sherlonano2015 chat room a lot on Mibbit, and the last couple of days, Mibbit's been giving me actual words or names as suggested nicks for myself.  Mostly they've been super funny (or even prophetic, like the time it gave me "sprog" and five minutes later, Charlie woke up).  I've decided that I'm going to give myself an extra challenge (or game, however you like), and use all of the actual word suggestions and put them in the Nano story.  So far, I've worked in "Bernard", and now I've got to work in "guacamole" and "Ferdinand".

Current count: 19,030.  And probably going to stay there until older sprog is back in school.  *sigh*  Technically, I'm still ahead of the daily goal even if I don't write anything today, but.... yeah.  I have a lot of days this month when I can't write, so I kind of have to load up on the ones when I can.  I was sort of counting on today being a writing day.  ARGH, LIFE, COUGHS, AND BLOODY NOSES.

azriona: (cat in a box)
I am currently participating in that time-honored tradition of stealing my children's Halloween candy.  Of course, in this instance, only Andrew received candy, because I only took Charlie to a few houses to show him off, and then we went back home to hand out the rest of the cookies.

(There are five bags left.  I'm feeling good about that.)

Of course, we also ended up with a neighbor's stash, because she brought over her bucket halfway through the night since she had to take her daughter to a party across town, and was for some reason disinclined to leave it on her porch step for the kids to take piece by piece.  So what ended up happening was that we handed out my cookies, but kept raiding the neighbor's stash for ourselves.  (That's not the royal "we", either - we had friends over, so I had company for most of the evening, which was awesome.)  Andrew and I returned her bucket this afternoon.

Neighbor: So how much did you end up eating yourselves?
Me: I can reliably attest that you no longer have Milky Ways in that bucket.

(Milky Ways and Reece's Peanut Butter Cups.  And York Peppermint Patties, though those are kind of hard to come by.  Used to be I was a sucker for Butterfingers and 3 Musketeers and Whoppers.  Not sure what that says about my taste buds either then or now.)

(No one hands out candy corn anymore.  Sad.)

I'm wondering now how much of my candy my parents stole.  I don't remember noticing that the stash was depleted as November wore on, but maybe they were just sneakier about it.


In other news, today's the first day of DST (or the first day off, I can never remember which way is which, and don't bother telling me because honestly, it doesn't really matter all that much and I'll never remember).  Both kids were awake by 5:45am.  Charlie woke up just before 5am, and then Andrew woke up (but I was able to coax him back to bed for another 25 minutes or so).  Charlie took his regular morning nap - just accelerated by two hours - but only two additional 30-minute cat-naps, so he was an absolute joy for most of the afternoon.  (Sarcasm, btw.)

And then he defied everything and was all adorable and smiley at bedtime, mostly because Andrew was playing with him.  Andrew decided to read him a bedtime book, and then Andrew decided they were going to pretend to drive a dolphin rescue truck (he's been watching Dolphin Tale) and they were also playing construction trucks at one point.  (Charlie was nominally the bulldozer.  Well, he was chewing the bulldozer, I think that counts.)  It kind of killed me to break up the fun and put Charlie to bed, but he'd been awake for four hours straight by then, and showing sleep signs for twenty minutes, and I was scared to put it off any longer for fear that he'd have a terrible night.

(He's had a lot of terrible nights lately.  I don't know what to do about it anymore.  And I'm sure that in comparison, they're not that bad, but at 2am when he's been awake for an hour and a half and screaming for most of it because you just can't hold him anymore because you're afraid you're going to fall asleep on your feet and drop him.... yeah.  It seems bad enough to me.)

(I mean... how the hell do you convince an attachment baby that no, really, they actually ca put themselves to sleep without Momma standing right over them?  Please?  I love you and will totally give you anything else your baby heart desires if I can just have four hours uninterrupted sleep?)

Andrew was awake all day - no car nap, courtesy of his iPad - and conked out a bit early for him, but exactly when I want him to conk out, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

On the whole though... I hope the person who invented DST died a slow and painful death.  And there was a very long stretch this afternoon where if Donald Trump had shown up on my doorstep and promised to take the US off DST altogether, he would have had my vote.

Election Day is Tuesday; there's always Democratic and Republican tables outside the polling place, handing out sample ballots.  I'm tempted to ask them which candidates will vote to kill DST, and then vote accordingly.  I'm pretty sure that only parents of preschoolers actually care about this issue, though.  (And owners of cows, possibly.)


In other news, Nano started today.  My word count is zero.  It is unlikely to change tonight, because it's 9pm and I've been awake since 5am and I was up for several hours in the middle of the night to boot, and I'm expecting the same tonight.  I plan to pop into a couple of chat rooms in a moment to announce my word count and let other people feel superior about theirs.  (I'm very altruistic like that.)
azriona: (Andrew)
We had Andrew's IEP meeting last Friday.  It's a whole new format for his IEP now, since he's in kindergarten and not preschool, and really the only carry-overs from last year are his speech and occupational therapists, since now he's also got a kindergarten teacher and a special education coordinator.  (There's also various teaching aides and assistants, some of whom I've met, some I haven't, and none of them attended the meeting.)

On the whole, it's all good news - and that's not me just trying to look on the bright side, it really is all good news.  He's learning, he's excited to be learning, he's improving in all areas that he needs improvement.  He's clearly enjoying school and he wants to be there.  Everyone likes him.  His behavior is on target, he's not disruptive to other students (he's even aware that he could be - he's a wiggly kid, and he knows it, but he makes an effort to stay in his "box" (for lack of a better term - it's basically his own personal space) and when he oversteps those boundaries, he automatically pulls himself back in.  He knows his letters and numbers and shapes and colors, he can even read a few words by sight (which is how they teach you, initially, all those short words like "the" and "is" and "you, me, I, a, and").

Really, the major areas of deficiency - apart from speech and attention span, because those are really his problem areas - are things that are typical for kindergarteners.  Writing letters correctly and the concept of word and following directions the first time around.  I don't know that he'd even have the IEP for those things if he didn't have the IEP for the speech and attention span stuff already.  That's all stuff they work on every day in kindergarten - he's not any different from his peers in those areas, and he's a smart kid, he's going to get it with enough practice.

Which is such a relief, honestly.  I mean... I don't think he's at a point where we can drop the IEP, and I'm not sure he'd even be at a point where we could drop it at the end of the year.  Unless he makes major strides, or flips a switch in his brain, I think he'd still need some form of speech therapy after this school year.

But it's less of a concern for me now.  And that's a good thing, because chances are really, really good that wherever we go next, I won't be able to find an English-language speech therapist.  I hear there's therapists who work online, I've even known people who used them - but that's not exactly ideal, especially for Andrew, who really needs the one-on-one in-person contact.

And I want his IEP to be as light as possible when it comes to the end of the school year - because a lot of international schools overseas are super cautious about taking in IEP students.  I can understand their point: they're private schools, for the most part, they don't have to take every kid.  And they don't have the resources required to teach kids who require lots of special modifications or attention.  At the moment, most of Andrew's modifications are super easy - such as needing someone to repeat directions to him on a one-on-one basis, or giving him a warning that an activity is about to end a few minutes before it does.  He's not in special classes except for his speech/OT, he's in with the class the rest of the time, and all reports indicate that he's doing fine with that.  (He does have someone come in to help keep him on task at times, but hopefully that'll phase out as he gets older and more used to the flow of the classroom.)

Luckily, the school understands all this.  I'm not sure they realize quite what's at stake - if the schools overseas won't accept Andrew as a student, I'm not sure what we'd do, because I am totally not the type of parent who wants to homeschool, and Andrew is not the type of kid who would do well with homeschooling.  The only other option would be to just not go - but that's not really an option anyone wants.

At the moment, though, I'm feeling more confident it's not an option that we're going to have to take.

Beyond that, Andrew is good.  He's still taking gymnastics twice a week - and oh, man, do I feel for his Friday afternoon coach.  Poor Marq.  It's a class of six 5-year-old boys, and it's like watching the inside of an atom, those kids are just bouncing all over the place.  There is so. Much. Energy.  Luckily, Andrew still loves going to gymnastics and he's always super happy to be there and he adores Coach Marq.  It'd be nice if we could find a gymastics program where we're going, but we'll have to see where we go, first.  (Though I have to think - if we end up in the former Soviet block, which is what Bill's hoping for, you'd have to think there's something, wouldn't you?  It's more a question of what langauge they'd speak and if they'd be willing to take on a kid who doesn't speak Russian at all.)

(I admit, I'd kind of like the former Soviet block, too.  I really don't want to have to try to learn another language at this point, I'm way too old.  And I really, really want a housekeeper again.)

Andrew's been asking for karate - in addition to the gymnastics, mind - but I've been holding off. Not because I don't want him to take it, or because I'm having trouble finding a location, they're all over the place.  It's the timing, really - most places you have to pay for classes twice a week, minimum, and the classes are in the early evenings, and they're all a bit of a drive. Which means we'd be completely screwing up dinner and bedtime, and I'm not sure when Andrew would have time for homework in there, and the idea of messing up dinner and bedtime and homework twice a week is sort of... disheartening.  I'd be okay with once a week - but not twice.  Especially considering how expensive all the programs I've found are - like, in excess of $100/month, not including the uniform.  I've seen deals on Groupon for much better, but none of them are for places within 30 miles.  And in the meantime, Andrew's still asking for karate.

Anyway, that is the Andrew scoop.  And here is a picture, because I promised.  It's a bit old (you can tell because Andrew's wearing shorts and only has one tooth missing, and it's super cold outside these days and the poor child still doesn't have either of his top two front teeth) but it's cute and I haven't shared it yet.

Pictures! )
azriona: (cat in a box)
I was having technology fail all yesterday, more or less from when I woke up and my LJ post kept getting deleted as I worked on it, to the end of the day when (briefly) I couldn’t get my very tired phone to recharge.  Heck, I walked into a room halfway through the day and someone mentioned to me how they were having trouble getting their digital camera to work properly – clearly, I was exuding some kind of anti-technology aura, which to be fair I warned the camera owner about, but I don’t think she believed me.

Anyway, I’m going with the assumption that the anti-technology vibes were of the same species as the 24-hour flu, and this time I’m writing the LJ entry in Word so even if LJ deletes it, I can just try again, no harm no foul.

(Lesson to LJ newbies: never write important or long posts in LJ.  LJ eats those for breakfast.  Write them in another program instead, and then copy-paste them over.  You will thank for me this someday, trust me.)

Yesterday deleted posts were, of course, masterpieces of writing, in which I waxed poetic about the joys of Trader Joe’s coffee ‘n cocoa ground coffee (which I figured out how to brew sans coffeemaker, because I am a dolt who does not pay close enough attention to packaging and I’m apparently turning into a coffee addict, or more specifically, a mocha addict), my intense hatred of ironing (there was half a paragraph that focused on this hatred of ironing, but it was way funnier than it sounds here), my current bout of insomnia, and how it is not exactly dovetailing with Charlie’s sudden fondness for only waking up twice a night.  Insomnia is annoying, but it’s worse when the baby is sleeping and hasn’t been, because now I’m only too aware that I could be sleeping, and I am not.

On the other hand, I’ve been productive while I haven’t been sleeping.  Apart from making Charlie’s latest batch of food (he’s currently trying out butternut squash, and I’m not entirely sure he likes it much), and tackling the endless piles of laundry because when you live with three boys, there is always laundry, omg, I’ve managed to finish editing the Original Omegaverse, which now sits at 80,200 words, give or take a few.  I’ve also played with the cover design, found a few people who can do a Spanish-check for me, and become totally sucked into a webcomic called Check Please!, which has pie.  And hockey, but I’m mostly there for the pie, and because the characters are adorable.

But really, what was my downfall with the attempt to post yesterday was that I was trying to do a massive photo dump of the boys, because they are cute and I have cute pictures and I haven’t done a massive photo dump in a while.  With good reason and all – it’s amazing how busy you can get when the baby doesn’t nap – but still.
Photo Dump of Cuteness )

And hey, look at that, a finely-crafted LJ post that LJ has so far decided not to eat.  Maybe it's feeling a bit full today.  Who knows?  Anyway, I'm going to click on that post button before it starts feeling peckish.
azriona: (cat in a box)
Andrew's first day of kindergarten was a smashing success - from getting on the bus with no hesitation whatsoever, to being the first person off the bus with a smile on his face.  (Though that might have been because another parent greeted the bus with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.)  He wasn't particularly tired - he was actually fairly full of energy, and after a brief spell of couch potato (because he always needs to decompress after preschool, and I'm sure he needed it more today), he was full of energy and excitement.  From the minute he was off the bus, he was anxious to tell me about the day, too - "Mom, I have to tell you!"  And he did, too, which was awesome.  It helped that his teacher sent home a monthly calendar giving us an idea of what they did that day, and there was even a prompt for questions in his folder (based on the book they read in class), but he told me other things too - like he sits at Table 2, with Nicholas, and he ate in the cafeteria and bought chocolate milk, and it was loud and some kids got to sit on the stage, and someone apparently dropped their water bottle, and he sat next to Sydney on the ride home.  And they learned about owls.  Not that he could tell me anything about owls, but they LEARNED about them.

It was apparently an eventful day.  And he loved taking the bus.  So much so that I reminded him that I have to pick him up tomorrow so he can go to speech, and he nearly burst into tears.

(Although to be fair, that was at the end of the day while he was in his bath, and he was already so tired that I was able to skip entire pages of the book I was reading him and he didn't notice.)

There is a picture of him that I took this afternoon, but I haven't transfered it yet.  Basically, imagine Andrew sitting at the kitchen table, wearing this morning's clothes and a paper hat that says, "I ♥ Kindergarten!", and his mouth full of coconut chocolate chip scone.  (Because after two chocolate chip cookies at the bus stop, he bicycled home and there was enough time before Charlie and I caught up to him for him to snag a scone from the kitchen.  Let's just say his energy this evening might not have been entirely due to an excellent day at school.)

Anyway, he's asleep now - conked right out - and I think today was about as good as anyone could ever possibly want.

Friday, though.  I'm a bit worried about Friday.


In the meantime... Charlie had his six month appointment today.  Seeing as today is his six-month-birthday.  He is 16 pounds 4 ounces, 26-1/4 inches long, and the nurse confirms that he is totally adorable, but we knew that part already.  He had another round of immunizations - one shot in each leg, and stopped crying in fairly short order, which may or may not be due in part to the bottle I stuck in his mouth.  I say "may not" because he didn't actually drink that much, and then when he was done, he started flirting with the nurse who'd just given him the shots, so either he has a super short attention span, or he just isn't one to hold a grudge.

So it was a big day all around.  I even got to SHOWER.  It was awesome.

Other Charlie-news is mostly all sleep related.  He hasn't been sleeping super well at night - Saturday night he woke up every two hours, like clockwork.  I have a theory why (and I'll get to that), but I don't think it was teething related, because I gave him Tylenol somewhere around midnight (when he'd woken twice, or three times, I have totally lost count) and it didn't really help.  And then on Sunday night, he woke up three times, and last night, he woke up a few times as well.

My theory is that it's the sleep sack.  He's in this phase where he likes to kick.  And kick.  And kick.  And I think he's kicking at the sleep sack, and it's popping the zipper up into his face, and that wakes him up.  I think this because every time I go in to his room, the entire sack has shimmied up and is right up under his chin, and there's a great big bulge of zipper on his chest.  (You know, how zippers sort of bulge?  It's not dangerous for him - but you can see how it would wake someone up if it were to hit your nose.)

So tonight, he is sans sleep sack.  I put him in feet pajamas, and we'll see how it goes.  So far... well, he's asleep.  It took a bit of doing, because it's been forever since I've put anything on his feet, including socks, and he kept rubbing his feet together as I was giving him his bedtime bottle.  I'm not sure if it was the sensation, the sound, or just the idea that he couldn't rub his toes together.

What a pity that in twenty years, I can't turn to him and say, "CHARLIE, WHAT THE HELL?"  And actually get an answer.  "OMG MOM, THERE WAS THIS CRICKET."

(Incidentally, since my parents read this:  Mom, Dad, the real reason I kept asking you to turn on the swamp cooler when I was eight and trying to go to sleep was because I hated the sound of the crickets outside my bedroom window, and the swamp cooler was so loud that it drowned them out.  I wasn't actually hot or anything.  Thank you for always turning it on when I asked.)
azriona: (Andrew)
Here he is! )

My intention was to actually write more - it was a good weekend, as long as you don't count the lack of sleep for me or Charlie - but unfortuantely, Charlie just woke up after a far-too-short nap, so the pic of Andrew will have to suffice.  Until they're both in school full time, at this rate.

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