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: (cat in a box)
Charlie turned one year old on Tuesday - we had his birthday party last week. I think I photographed the exact moment he realized he was eating a birthday cupcake.
Pictures under the cut! )
azriona: (cat in a box)
I keep wondering why no one comments on my LJ posts anymore, and then I remember it's because the LJ posts I've been writing have been in my head only; I never actually get the chance to commit them to keyboard, and thus no one can comment on them.  Which is a shame, because seriously, I've been writing some absolutely brilliant LJ posts lately.  You'd laugh, you'd cry, you'd heap chocolate and flowers and all the good things upon me.

Or you'd just roll your eyes and keep scrolling.  You know, whichever.

Most of my writing concentration in the last week has been on the Original Omegaverse, because [ profile] mildred_bobbin has agreed to read it while on her massively long plane trip to the States, so that she can tell me what is wrong with it.  (She is very good at that, and I mean that in the best possible way.  She and my husband are excellent at helping fill in plot holes, except Bill has a propensity for coming up wth bizarre and ridiculous ways of doing it, and Mildred just solves the problem.  Both methods are equally useful, in certain circumstances.)  Except I have to have the "finished" story to her by tomorrow, and on Wednesday, I found a plot twist I'd forgotten about, and I've spent the last three days writing and rewriting to work it out.  It's done now, but it means I didn't get the chance to finish writing the fifth and final part of the story, and I still have to edit the fourth part to take into account all the changes I have now written.

So that's today's project.  I also have to bake a cake, but that's not exactly a hardship.  I'm ignoring all the suggestions garnered on Tumblr (which were for chocolate) and I'm making a Burnt Sugar Cake, because the recipe sounds yummy and I have nearly all the ingredients I need.  The only one I'm missing is the cream cheese for the frosting, but I'm tempted to do chocolate instead anyway.  Because chocolate.  (Do you really need another reason?)

In other news, I have a cough that I can't seem to shake.  It's a weird one - I don't have a fever or a runny nose or a sore throat, just this stupid cough that starts with a tickle in the throat and is much worse at night than it is during the day, and no amount of cough syrup seems to stop it, and if I get going, I sound like I'm about to hack up a furball (and it feels sometimes like I'm going to throw up).  And it's a totally non-productive cough 95% of the time, too.  Weird, weird, weird.  If it isn't better by tomorrow, I'm going to the doctor, because I really, really do not want this thing at Gridlock, and hopefully they can give me something lovely and prescription that will stop it and let me get some sleep.

Andrew ended up spending the whole day at preschool on Friday, because for some reason he got it in his head that they do MASSIVELY FUN THINGS in the afternoon and he wanted to experience them.  It was a very nice day, Charlie napped and I wrote and it was like a preview of coming attractions for when he's in all-day kindergarten in the fall.  Around 3pm I started missing Andrew quite a lot so we went to pick him up at 4, and he says he had a good time, but he doesn't want to stay all day again.

(Oh, and insurance has been sorted - in that they have agreed to pay out for his therapy for the rest of the year, but have also flat out said that they refuse to cover it for next year at all, because it's in their system that Andrew has been diagnosed with developmental delay.  Which is not true, according to the therapist, but we're going to save that argument for next year, and in the meantime, make sure he gets to use every single one of the 90 visits insurance has said they will pay for before the year is up.  Even if I end up paying for a couple out of pocket, I don't want to risk that insurance gets out of paying for a single one.)

Charlie is nearly sitting up on his own.  I mean, if you fold him over double and balance him super well, and don't count past five, he can totally do it.  I keep pointing out crawling babies and telling him that if he keeps up with Tummy Time, that will someday be him, but I don't think he believes me.  He is extremely good at closed-mouth disapproving stares.

(I am going to print out pictures of both of them and fill up a little brag book, and if anyone even mentions babies to me at Gridlock, they are going to be forced to sit down and look at it and admire them.  On the other hand, I can leave a few pages blank and use them to store the cross-stitched people, and then when people want to see those, we can find the pictures of the boys and I can say, "MY HOW DID THOSE GET THERE." And then I still get to show them off.  I am way sneaky.)

Speaking of which, I took another look at the updated schedule and it's not quite so sparse on things I want to attend, although there do seem to be a few spots where things I'd like to see are double-booked, usually against stomething I want to do.  (The craft swap thing on Sunday morning, for instance, is at the same time as the novel-writing panel.  Boo!)  But I can attend Peter Blau story hour now, and that's good enough for me.  I probably will end up leaving a bit early on Sunday - most of the stuff I want to do then is done by 2 or 3 - which is fine because it'll get me home by dinnertime, as I suspect I'll be missing the boys pretty hard by then anyway.  (And if traffic is super good, maybe a side-trip to IKEA, because IKEA.)

Anyway, the current plan is to arrive on Friday night, around 10pm.  Saturday morning I'll run out and do whatever grocery shopping I need to do for Hamford After Dark (and anyone who wants to accompany me is welcome to do so; maybe we'll find breakfast while we're at it).  I definitely want to attend all the writing workshops, and Peter Blau's story hour, and obviously I'm going to be talking food at Hamford, but beyond that I'm sort of open for panels, so we'll see what grabs me.  Or doesn't.  I'll find a nice brightly-lit spot and cross-stitch the rest of my people.  :)

I'm determined to have a good time - I'm not overly worried about it, except that I had such a good time last year, and I'm worried that this year won't measure up.  Except this is very likely going to be the last fandom event I'll attend for the next few years, since we're going back overseas next summer, so I'd like to at least make sure I don't regret going.
azriona: (cat in a box)
Bill took the day off work today, and made the offer of watching Charlie this morning while Andrew was in school so I could use the time to do whatever I liked.  I ended up taking my laptop when I took Andrew to school, and camped in at my favorite coffeeshop and sat for about three hours, writing, because I haven't had much of a chance to get more than 20 minutes in this week, and the bit that I've been trying to edit has been proving to be super tricky.  But now it's DONE, and not only that, I've completely edited the entire first part of the story and added over 5K to it.  I can't decide if that's a good thing or not.  (I finished by the skin of my teeth and with about 13 minutes of power left to the laptop, because I was too far away from an outlet to plug in when I got there, and too lazy to move when a closer table opened up.  But that was okay, I needed to leave at that point anyway to get Andrew, so the timing actually worked out really well and I didn't feel rushed on my way back to the school.)

So YAY, tricky writing is done.  I will say, though, when you haven't been typing consistently for weeks on end, and then you sit and do nothing but for over 2-1/2 hours... your fingers cramp up.  Ouch.

In Andrew news... )

In Charlie news... )
In Cleo news... it is warm out, and therefore Cleo wants to be out in it.  She goes out at 4am, and there's been a few days when she hasn't come home until after dark.  (Sometimes she'll come in for breakfast and a quick nap; more often not.)  So far I've only found one tick - right under her eye, which was really annoying to remove because I didn't dare use the tweezers, for fear that she'd jerk and suddenly blind herself.  I did find... well, something weird and gross and a bit green and elongated, like a very strange sort of burr, but I think it had legs, or something.  It was totally disgusting and almost impossible to remove, but I got it.  Blech.  I thought about trying to look it up online but have since decided that I do not want to know.

And that's all I've got, and I should probably start thinking about what we're eating for dinner.


Food.  I think we should have food.  *nods emphatically*
azriona: (cat in a box)
It's 9pm, both boys are (miraculously) down for the night, I have at least an hour and a half before my brain is so exhausted it shuts itself down....

And I have no idea what to do next.

I mean, it's not like I don't have enough to do.  There are photographs on the camera of both children being adorable, plus a video of me trying to get Charlie to laugh; Bill harvested the garden this evening so I have a whole basket of cucumbers and banana peppers for pickling, plus a bunch of tomatoes to freeze for sauce; I've got three bills sitting on my desk that need to be paid; there's at least three emails in my inbox that need to be answered; at some point I should think about writing something, anything, in Charlie's baby book; I really want to write up some of the things I've been reading because they're wonderful and need to be shared; I've been totally ignoring all the cross-stitch and papercraft projects since Charlie came home; and if nothing else, I have a ton of editing to do on both the Original Omegaverse and the next chapter of Science and if I'm really feeling motivated, the Alphaverse.

Plus, you know how they say writing begets writing... I came up with an idea for an Omegaverse one-shot while I was brainstorming the current story.  I was trying to think of character motivation, and the phrase that popped into my head: ceremonial virgin sacrifice.  Which just sent me into peals of laughter, and now I can't get the idea out of my head, specifically of John Watson being informed that he's going to be a virgin sacrifice, and his increduality because Are you fucking kidding him?

(Yes, yes, [ profile] vulgarweed's Straw Man Fallacy, which has the same sort of idea and is totally fabulous and you should all go read it, but I'm thinking something a bit crackier.  And shorter.  And perhaps with fewer antlers.  Though the antlers are sort of awesome.)

I'm also trying to resist the temptation to go searching in my back catalog of stories to see if there's anything there that's worth just putting up on Kindle now now now, because I'm seriously impatient and I'm finally realizing that it's probably going to be September before this long-and-getting-longer story is ready to go in any form.  I mean... part of why I'm doing this - putting up a story for sale on Kindle, that is - is total curiosity.  How many people would actually buy it?  How's the whole process work?  Is this something I would actually enjoy doing for real - or is having something up there going to be anti-climatic?

No idea.  Hence why I'm tempted to find something.  I'm not sure it's a good idea, though - so I'm refraining for now.  It's not like I have a deadline, so waiting doesn't hurt me any, that I can tell.


In the meantime... Charlie has mostly worked himself out of the colic - thank God - and while he still wants to be swaddled at night, he's going down a lot easier, and a lot earlier, than he has before.  Usually he's ready for his swaddle and last bottle around 7.30, and he snoozes in our arms or in his bouncy chair until 9, when we switch him up to his crib.  (Before that, and he'll wake up.  I'm not sure if it's because Andrew's bedtime routine wakes him up, or if he's just not ready to go yet.)  Better still - he's slept through the night a couple of times now, though most of the time he'll still wake up once or twice.  It's doable.

Also in the category of good news, his eyes are improving tenfold.  They're mostly on target now, in that you can't tell that the pupils aren't quite lined up unless you're really looking (before, you could tell almost at a glance).  And I think he's seeing a lot better because of it - his smiles were increasing in conjunction with his eyes lining up, so I think he's happy to be actually seeing in focus finally.  He's not quite reaching for things yet, unless he's on his back on his playmat, but he definitely sees them, and he's absolutely tracking them with his eyes and turning his head to look at things, and all the other baby milestones, so I'm not overly worried.  We'll see the opthamologist in a few weeks, so we'll see what she says, but I anticipate all good things.

Andrew's started back up for the summer at the private preschool - mornings, five days a week.  He seems to have slid right back into the routine, despite it being a new classroom and a new teacher, and mostly new kids.  I think it helps that his favorite neighbor friend ever is in the class, so he's got a ready-made friend there.  I almost wish he wasn't going five mornings... but this summer is already working up to be horrifically hot, and I don't want to take Charlie outside very much in it, and there's just not that much else we could be doing very easily.  If it were just me and Andrew, we'd probably spend most of the time at the water park or in the pool, but Charlie can't do either of those things yet (and I'm not willing to try).

Cleo is back to her summer schedule of "I AM NEVER COMING BACK INSIDE AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME."  She spent all last night on the front porch because she was perfectly fine in her basket, thankyouverymuch.  She's out there now, happy as a lark.  How the bugs are not eating her alive I don't know... well, she's probably eating them first, I'm pretty sure her Kill Count has been upped by at least one more bird and a dragonfly.  Andrew apparently saw her get into a fight with one of the neighborhood cats, and still talks about it.  She's also taken to following me whenever I go on a walk with Charlie - even across the street, she's about thirty feet behind, trotting along as if to make sure I don't get lost.  Just about all the neighbors have seen her do it and have commented on it.  I think it's hysterical; her brother Modi was a bit doggish, but Cleo never showed any signs of it until now.  I blame Charlie; he must be bringing out Cleo's motherly instincts.

Okay, that's about all.  I should probably do something useful.

Instead, I'll probably goof off on Tumblr for a few minutes and then go back to reading Avengers fanfic.  Because that's an exciting evening in my world.
azriona: (cat in a box)
1. I've been trying to post all day, but literally every time I've sat at the computer to type, Charlie has woken up.  Which is ridiculous, since I've been making some serious noise in the kitchen, and he sleeps through that, but just sitting and opening the laptop is enough to wake him.  ARGH.

2. On the plus side, Charlie hasn't had any colic the last two nights running, has gone to sleep around 7.30/8pm and been out until a bottle around midnight/1am.  AND he's been sleeping in his own crib, instead of the co-sleeper.  Which is... okay, I felt a little sad the first night.  I'm over it now.  Still haven't taken down the co-sleeper, though.  Seems like tempting fate.

3. Writing on the Original Omegaverse (I do have a title, but it's a very very temporary title, and the files are currently just the names of the characters) is going well.  When I can get to it.  I've found some Omegaverse on Kindle that is actually entertaining to read and not all porn, too.  Okay, it's a lot of porn, but there seems to be a plotline, so that's bonus.  I like plotlines, or at least character development.

4. But mostly, Today is Charlie's three-month birthday.  Right about now, come to think of it.  Here, have a picture.

azriona: (cat in a box)
So many things...

1. Charlie pooped! Only a mom could possibly be excited about this, but he's been more or less constipated for a week now, or producing solid little poops, and the poor baby has been super uncomfortable and unhappy.  This is one of the reasons why we were trying formula roulette, and yesterday I'd nearly given up, because he was worse than ever - unhappy and uncomfortable and complaining and unable to fall asleep and super upset, and finally I took him upstairs for a bath and while I was drying him off afterwards he got this serene expression on his face and I noticed that he did not smell like lavendar baby bath anymore.  It was green, but it was enough to fill two diapers, and then on a hunch, I put him in a disposable diaper anyway, and sure enough - not five minutes later, he'd filled that one, and then he was the happiest baby in the world.

He really was, too - he was cooing and gurgling and waving his arms and kicking and just having a fine ol' time, and he was alert and awake instead of grumpy and half-asleep, and then last night, after his 10:30 bottle, he slept until 5:30 this morning.  Definitely a happier baby.

The only thing is - I'm not sure what prompted the poop.  Was it the new formula (which he's fully on as of today; yesterday he was still on the 75/25 mix)?  Was it the warm bath?  Was it the mini baby massage I was giving his tummy with the lotion after his bath?  NO IDEA.  But I'm going to keep up with the tummy massages, and obviously the new formula, and next time he's constipated, the kid's getting dunked in a warm bath again.

(Which I admit, I enjoy doing, less because he enjoys it - he doesn't, not yet - but more because I love smelling his lavendar-scented head afterwards.)

2. In Which I Bemoan the State of Secondary Markets.  The only trouble with the new formula (Similac Total Comfort, for those wondering) is that I can't buy it in bulk at Costco.  Which means I'm going to be hunting down for sales and such for the next year.  (Boo.)  I mentioned this to another mother at Andrew's speech therapy earlier this week, and she suggested going to eBay.  Not for the formula - for the coupons that Similac sends out.

(And they do - I just got my bunch of coupons - 7 of 'em, all for $5 off.  Which will last me about a month.)

So I went.  And was promptly horrified, and now I'm wondering if I have any right to be horrified at all.  See, if you sign up online for their mom program, Similac (and Enfamil, and maybe other companies, I don't know) will send you a ton of $5 off coupons for their formulas.  They come in the form of a "check" (which means you can use it at Costco, very useful) and they're good for a specific time frame.  And I suppose you're not meant to transfer them, but no one ever checks the name on them at the store (because hey, the store don't care who's using it).  So people do transfer them - I remember giving away extra coupons when Andrew aged out of formula.

But on eBay, you can buy them from other moms who don't need (or want) them.  I figured, okay, people will be selling them for a dollar or two, just to cover postage, because really, I'm not entirely sure of the morality of selling a coupon.  Except... they were selling them for way more.  Like, half the face value of the coupon, so people were spending $8 and $10 on $20 worth of coupons - plus postage.  Which is just... riduculous, particularly when you realize that eBay claimed postage for a couple of slips of paper was over $2.

(Okay, yeah, I'm horrified and appalled and all the rest.  I mean, we're talking things that people got for free.  In one case, someone was selling coupons that they had clearly printed out from one of the online coupon companies.)

I'm watching all of this with a horrified fascination.  Just how much will someone pay for a coupon?  And for that matter, how much would I be willing to pay, to save a couple of dollars in the long run?

(Answer, at the moment, is $1, to cover your postage, but I can't decide if this is me being annoyingly holier-than-thou or not.  And obviously, I am being outbid for every lot so far.)

Bill points out that I'm being horrified by secondary markets, and perhaps if I'd paid more attention in Macroeconomics in college and not daydreamed about planning weddings between all the various examples of trade* I'd have been able to see this coming, but he is also not willing to have a discussion about how often Charlie poops, so whatever.

* So in my college Macro class, there was this example of Jane on Island A with her sheep, and John on Island B with his wheat, and how many sheep equals how much wheat.  This was several weeks long and covered different aspects of trade.  Meantime, I decided that John and Jane should get married and just share their sheep and wheat, which is much easier than economics.  I spent lots of class time figuring out which island they'd live on, for what portion of the year, so they could keep up with their sheep and wheat.  Surprisingly, I did not flunk Macroeconomics.

3. The Diaper Saga continues.  I am slowly bulking up Charlie's cloth diaper supply.  He's got enough to take him (barely) through two days now, which is pretty good - I think about four or five more and I'll be truly set.  The pocket diapers are working better, as long as I stuff the bejeesus out of them, but that means that the newborn size diaper is now too small, because if I stuff them enough to absorb all his pee, they're so stuffed there's gaps along his thighs, which then lets the pee run out.  Catch-22.  Which is a shame, because those diapers are way cute.

(However, eBay, and secondary markets.  I feel vaguely better about reselling a cloth diaper that I initially purchased than I do a coupon I received for free in the mail.  Also, those newborn diapers are brand-new and not stained in the slightest.)

I've been taking pictures of Charlie's butt in the new diapers, though, so when I have a chance, I'll load them and put them up here.

4. Also noteworthy, in Andrew's world.  He went to sleep without the melatonin last night!  He's awake now, I hear him talking to Bill, so not a full night exactly - probably 10 hours - but still, really good.  He's been getting the melatonin every night for the last... oh, month at least, and I'm not entirely sure it was necessary those last few weeks, but bedtimes were moving so smoothly, and yesterday was no exception - and it could have gone badly, because Bill had to go back to work after my tap class and Charlie wanted his bottle just as Andrew was going up to his bath, so I was juggling both boys at once.  But it did go smoothly, and I figured, "You know, let's try it, I don't have enough hands to measure it out at the moment anyway", and sure enough - Andrew went to sleep with very little fuss, and I think he slept all the way through the night, too.

Of course, the real test is what sort of mood he's in today.  We'll see.

(I am being summoned now.  More later.)
azriona: (Andrew Age 5)
I meant to do a photo dump yesterday, but the day ran away from me.  As most days tend to do these days.

I knew two kids would be tricky.  I did not realize it was going to be this kind of tricky.  If that makes sense, and it probably doesn't unless you also have two kids (or more), in which case, I would berate you for not warning me, except (a) I might not have heard you and (b) you probably didn't have time to do it anyway.

Oh, but first - the REALLY big news is that on Saturday (I think it was Saturday), Charlie rolled over.  We were doing Tummy Time, and he sort of pushed himself to his right side, and then hung out there for about ten minutes, and then eventually pushed himself onto his back.  And then he did it again, because I wanted to see if it was a fluke.  I mean, it might still be a fluke, considering the amount of time it took for him to accomplish it, but hey.  I think it counts.

(Which reminds me, I had polls going on Andrew, for when he'd do various things - crawling and walking and all that.  With the winner getting either bragging rights, or a drabble.  Considering my time constraints at the moment though, it would probably have to be bragging rights if I did it again for Charlie.)

Charlie Update )

Anyway, I know you're all here for the photos.  Here you go.

photo dump )
azriona: (This Sucks Penguins)
Note that this was written several hours ago, and is only being posted now because I couldn't get on the internet while at Andrew's soccer. But there's an additional update at the end.

Andrew’s in his soccer class, and Bill came home early so Charlie’s at home with him, so I’ve got a bonus 45 minutes to write a quick entry/update on life in the household.  (Bonus, mostly because I won’t have tomorrow morning’s gymnastics class, because it’s the community club’s spring tea, and Charlie and I are going to that instead, along with all the scones I’ve been baking in bits and pieces all week.)

Charlie. This part mentions poop, or lack thereof. )
Andrew )
4. Everything Else.  This will be short. Yeah, there’s not much.  Writing is non-existent, baking is by sheer force of will.  The community club’s spring tea is tomorrow; I said months ago that I’d make the scones (and I was super excited to do so).   So I’m making three types: lemon, champagne strawberry, and cheddar and green onion (and some with added bacon, because BACON!).  I’ve got two done – the champagne strawberry will be baked tomorrow while Andrew and Bill are at gymnastics, because the champagne makes the final result somewhat unstable, and they’re best the day they’re baked.  (The rest do fine in the freezer; I’ll take them out to thaw tonight.)

Charlie will come with me to the tea; I just wish it was warm enough that I could put him in a cute spring-type outfit, but all the spring-type outfits I have in his size are shorts and short-sleeves and it’s FLIPPING FREEZING OUT THERE, it’s like 60F with wind chill, and yes, you’re allowed to laugh at me.  I don’t care, it’s cold.  Whatever, he’s seven weeks on Sunday, he’ll be cute no matter what.

And that’s all I have time for – they’re all scoring goals on the coach now, so it’s only a matter of minutes before stamps and parent tunnel.  Back to the mommy grind.  I promise to try to be more interesting eventually.

Edited to add: Have to add this, because it is funny: so Charlie was pulling his colicky "I don't want to sleep you must walk me in circles for hours on end" trick, and I was a bit bored because Bill went back to work for a few hours, so I called my mom.  And put her on speaker, because Charlie was having  none of me not paying attention to him.  And the darndest thing: the moment Charlie heard Grandma's voice on the speakers, he instantly calmed down, and was asleep in minutes.

I told Mom I'm calling her every night from now on.  She's okay with that.
azriona: (cat in a box)
Well, one month and one day, since his one month was yesterday.  And I didn't take a picture, because I am a terrible exhausted person who is just hoping to finish this post before Andrew wakes up.  (Charlie is awake, and sleeping in Grandma's arms at the moment.)

So if you are here for Charlie pics, you are going to be disappointed.  This is partially because I have a new camera, and most of the pics are on the camera, and I haven't remembered to transfer them to the computer yet.  Which should be easy - apparently most cameras come with WiFi now, and I should be able to transfer them to at least my phone with the touch of a button (and the appropriate app).  Or, you know, the old fashioned way of taking out the memory card and putting it in the appropriate slot on my laptop.  You know, for those of us who like to do it old school.

(She says sarcastically, as she remembers how to actually process film.)

Anyway, updates from the household:

1. I think I've found Charlie's lullaby - or at least one of them.  Andrew had three, because singing the same lullaby over and over is boring.  The first song I sang to Charlie, though, was at his first ped appointment in Tampa, and he was a bit upset about being naked and clad in a blanket, so I had to think of a song fast, and the first one to pop into my head was an old Girl Scout song.

Tell me why the bugs do bite
Tell me why the fire won't light
Tell me why the tents fall down
And I'll tell you why we sleep on the ground.

Because they're hungry the bugs do bite
Because the wood's wet the fire won't light
Because we're lazy the tents fall down
We are the Girl Scouts we sleep on the ground.

In my defense, it's a very pretty song, especially when sung by a bunch of pre-pubescent girls sitting around a campfire.  It's not half bad in a slighty echoey pediatrician's office, either.  Anyway, it calmed Charlie then, and it seems to calm him now, and I can't find another song that calms him half as much, nor can I find additional lyrics to this one (which is apparently a "silly" version of a slightly religious song about God's love).  So i've been singing this one on repeat, and it's starting to get a bit old.

I've also tried the Beatles' In My Life, and the Muppets Rainbow Connection.  Beatles works okay; Muppets, sadly, does not.  There's a nice sort of symmetry if I go with Beatles, though - Andrew's go-to song is the Beatles' Blackbird, which in retrospect has some odd ethnic connotations going on there, considering my audience, but it's one of my favorite Beatles songs (always has been) and as was the case with Charlie, in moments of stress, you cannot really be held responsible for the weird songs your brain thinks of when the tiny baby in your arms is really really mad and you are sleep deprived.

Therefore, Girl Scout songs.  So far.  One thing about the Girl Scouts, I did learn an awful lot of good songs there.

And Andrew's awake, so this list will stop at #1, which I'm pretty sure he planned, because the next thing I was going to discuss was Andrew and how he's starting to act out a bit about the new interloper in the household.  (Not bad: just being a big brother has some serious drawbacks when you've had your parents all to yourself for five years.)
azriona: (Mr Morton)
I think the Sherlock remix fic is finished - that is, I have written the ending and there's a beginnign and a middle, though whether they all work together is really beyond me.  At any rate, it's done, and I've just sent to some of the usual suspects to see if they can look at it for me.  (Deadlines, schmedlines - I could have all the comments and notes on it in the next couple of hours and I still probably wouldn't be able to get the thing posting in time, so whatever.)

The next writing project - which isn't so much a project as a task - is Charlie's first birthparent letter.  This particular agency has us doing them a whole bunch the first year, and then only once a year after that, and the first one is due next week.  Terrible timing - Andrew's off school, Bill's in North Carolina, and I have NO IDEA when I'm going to be able to do it because no one in the house actually sleeps.  Except for the cat.  The cat sleeps.  I need to find out her secret and then apply to Andrew and Charlie.

(Charlie is not colicky.  Yet.  He just likes to be awake between 10pm and 2am every night, and if you stop walking him in circles around the house, he informs you of all your terrible choices in life.  Also, he's advanced from newborn grumbling to full-on infant yells.  It's endearing, when someone else is holding him.)

Andrew, in the meantime, has advanced to the next stage of sibling jealousy.  He definitely likes Charlie - he wants to hold him and has really gotten into reading Charlie books before bedtime (which is my sneaky way of getting Andrew to start calming down in advance of his own bedtime), and when we went on a walk yesterday evening, Andrew was very excited to tell everyone that he was pushing his baby brother in his stroller.

Overheard at gymnastics earlier this week:

Other little boy: Come see my baby brother!
Andrew: No, that's okay.  I have one.

The sibling jealousy - and I'm assuming that's what this is - reared up yesterday, with the following conversation:

Andrew: Are you Charlie's Momma?
Me: Yes, I'm Charlie's Momma just like I'm your Momma.
Andrew: I don't have a Momma.
Me: Yes, you do, I'm your Momma.
Andrew: No, you're Charlie's Momma.

(Apparently, I can only be one person's momma at a time?)

But later:

Andrew: Momma, will you marry me?
Me: You bet.

So I guess I'm engaged now?  It's gonna be a long engagement, though, since Andrew won't be of age for another thirteen years, which does give Bill plenty of time to fight for my hand.  (Then again, Charlie might want in on the action, too.)

Anyway - in lieu of new photos (which are all on the camera and not the phone and I haven't transfered them yet) - I have a video of Andrew playing peek-a-boo with Charlie.  It's a bit older - we're still in Florida at this point - but I forgot to post it earlier.  I think.  I'm not sure.  Did I mention swiss cheese yet?

azriona: (Charles)
So I wrote this nice long entry yesterday while Andrew was in gymnastics - in Word, of course, because I have long since learned my lesson about writing long entries directly into LJ.  And then I tried to post it last night while holding Charlie, and somehow my finger slipped, and poof -- the entire intro paragraph that I'd typed one-handed disappeared.

I was so annoyed that I gave up and figured I'd try again today.

Much better luck today, on the posting front - less on other things.  Anyway, here's the entry I wrote last night, in all its Swiss-cheese-brain goodness.  On the plus side, there's pictures of Charlie and Andrew being adorable.

behold, the randomness of Swiss cheese brain )

(You can also skip all that wordiness and just go straight to the pictures) )

So that's been the previous week.  Today's adventure was that I looked at the rear tires on the RAV4 yesterday - the same rear tires that were replaced in JANUARY, and the treads on the exterior edges are worn away to the point of flatness.  Which is really, really bad - especially since the car's only been driven 3,000 miles since the tires were put on, brand-new, to replace the barely-a-year-old tires that had been showing the exact same wear.  So I took it back to the dealership this morning, and they're going to look at it and figure out what the heck is going on, because it's not like I'm doing serious off-roading here, I'm basically doing the normal wear-and-tear of a soccer mom.

But Mom and I had been planning to drive to Richmond, to go to a lingerie store and buy new bras, because lo, we are well-endowed women who cannot shop at normal stores for our jiggly cargo, and the closest place is Richmond, and today was our best shot of doing it.

It's probably just as well we don't go - it's raining like mad out there, and Charlie has been out of sorts since last night - just grumbly and gassy and discontent with the universe.  So we'll stay in and kick up our feet and either clean the bathrooms or watch Downton Abbey.  We really need to do the first, but it's oh-so-tempting to do the second instead.....
azriona: (Charles)
We have decamped from Tampa, and are now in Orlando, probably for the remainder of our stay in Florida.  ICPC only requires we stay in state, and there are way more direct flights home from Orlando than from Tampa, so here we sit.  We might have to return to Tampa, if we're not home in time for Charles's two-week ped appointment, but meh.  It's not so far, I can do it as a really, really long day trip.

With a newborn.

In a rental car.

Yeah, I've had better ideas.

Anyway, today, Bill and Andrew have gone to Disney World for the day.  I've been getting semi-regular texts from Bill about what they're doing at any given time, and happily the Lines app I got last year is still valid, so I've been able to track the wait times, and for most of the morning, they've been really, really good.  I think Andrew went on Buzz Lightyear two times while the wait was still five minutes, before doing the Speedway and Dumbo.  Tomorrow, I'll go back to Disney with Andrew, and Bill will stay here with Charles.

In the meantime...the story continues from last week. )
azriona: (cat in a box)
Apologies for the radio silence.  Much as I did before we adopted Andrew, I had this vision of me, with an infant prone to sleeping off those first weeks of life, in a hotel with wifi and a free coffee station downstairs, where I could do lots of writing in an environment where someone else scrubs the toilet.

Man, reality bites sometimes.  Then again, this bite is awfully cute, so I forgive him wanting to be held pretty much 24-7.  I can set him down for about half an hour day.  Seriously.  I was literally doing laundry holding Charles this afternoon because it was the only way I could do laundry.

Laundry one-handed is really hard.

Anyway, I am working against the inner time clock of a 4-day-old infant, so let's go quickly, shall we?

the scoop )

Which leaves you on a cliffhanger, I know, but it's not like you don't know how the story ends.  To be continued when Charles next decides to grace me with a nap taken somewhere other than my arms.  (Which is sweet, and time moves swiftly they grow up so fast treasure these hours yeah yeah I got it...... but it's still very unproductive from a writing standpoint.)

Edited to add requisite picture of baby )
azriona: (cat in a box)
bad news:  i have lost the use of one arm

good news: here's why:

the first of what will probably be many pictures )

.... so.  there goes my ability to write anything for a while.

(kidding.  mostly.)

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