azriona: (cat in a box)
My parents have been bugging me about family portraits - which I can understand, it's been a long time since we had any, and we sure don't have any with Charlie in them, which is wrong on many, many levels. Enter Groupon, enter Picture People, and here we go:

Pictures of Cuteness. Also me and Bill. )

All in all, a good session. The kids are cute, Bill is wearing colors, and I hate my chin. Not bad for $13 (plus the photo CD) and a morning's work (which involved getting everyone out the door by 9:30 and looking presentable). 
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 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: (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.
azriona: (cat in a box)
Andrew is turning into a photo bug.  Every time he sees me with the camera (or with my phone, half the time), he wants me to take his picture.  He will literally stop what he's doing and pose and smile.  Unless, of course, he requests video, in which case he does whatever it is I'm videoing, and then he races over and asks, "Can I see?"  (Just about every video of Andrew I have ends this way.)

Anyway, my intense like for my new camera is turning into love, because somehow, I managed to take this, and it is awesome.

Seriously, it's like I actually know what I'm doing here. )
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.....


Jan. 5th, 2015 03:48 pm
azriona: (cat in a box)
Oh my lord.  If it wasn’t one thing today, it was another.  The day started off with an hour-long completely pointless phone call to the internet service company, because when Bill and I got home at 10:30 Saturday night, our internet wasn’t working.  End result: the wireless part of our router is cooked.  Which is what I told the company when I called (it’s a rental, so it’s their responsibility), but two different people had to have me reset it, turn it on, turn it off, reboot my computer, reboot Bill’s computer, before they’d believe me.

(This would be the fourth router we’ve had since September of 2013.  When I went to the company service store across town to exchange it today, the same guy saw me come in and said, “Oh, Jeez, again?”  He agreed that next time, I can skip the phone call and just come right in.  He also said he’s going to play with the dead router himself when he gets a chance, to see what the heck is up with it.  When the new one dies in a few months, I’ll find out what he learned.)

Anyway, internet is back up (yay).

Crises #2 was the tires on the car.  The tire pressure light came on last week while we were up in Connecticut, but the pressure in the times looked fine so we didn’t worry too much, and figured we’d deal with it when we got home.  This would have dissuaded sensible people, but all the same, Bill and I had the brilliant plan to drive from Connecticut to Virginia all in one day.  Which in our defense, would have totally worked if the weather hadn’t been going against us.  It started to rain in New Jersey and it never let up, and every time I tried to drive faster than 60mph I felt like the car started to hydroplane across the road.  So basically we were that horrible car in the right-hand lane going 50mph on the Turnpike.  It took over twelve hours to get home, and it was miserable.

So today, I took the car to the dealership, and let them sort it out.  Turns out the light was because of the spare tire being low – easy fix.  The hydroplaning, however, was caused because the two rear tires are worn down.

That would be two of the four tires I replaced last February.

(At this point, you start to wonder what else is going to break before its time.  I am currently 0 for 2.  Unless you’re counting tires individually.)

Anyway, when I pointed this out to the dealership, they said they couldn’t find any record in their system of me having purchased new tires from them.  As I was absolutely certain I had done so – you don’t forget a $1,000 bill very often – I went home, found the receipt, and drove back to the dealership to prove it.  (Also to show that it’s been 15K miles since the new tires – and if a set of tires wears down in 15K of regular road driving, then there are some serious issues with those tires.)

Turns out that the reason the rear tires (and only the rear tires, mind you) are worn down so much because of a recall on the car that has something to do with the rear suspension – the same recall I’ve had to go in three times about in the last four months.  All that fixing and fixing and fixing wore down the rear tires more so than the front tires, apparently, and the dealership is going to replace them tomorrow.  (Damn well better, is my thought.)

Andrew gets off the bus in half an hour, and then we’re off to gymnastics.  Where hopefully nothing else will break.

In the meantime, here are the highlights of what we’ve been up to the last week.

The week, with pictures )
azriona: (Andrew - grumpy face)
I ought to be packing the car right now - but Andrew's on the couch asleep, totally wiped out after an afternoon at the water park, and frankly the idea of packing suitcases and then packing the trunk of the car is not entirely thrilling. (Also, it's bloody hot outside, hence why I'm inside typing this up.)

Right, so, Andrew and horses.

Andrew and the Adventure of the Horses )

Regarding caption contests:
Yes, yes, I know. I'm going to get back to that, probably by the end of this week when my life has settled down a little bit. I don't know that I'll have prizes from the UL for the winners, but I promise that whatever it is, it'll be awesome, or at least mildly cool.
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
Because I am JUST THIS NERDY )

There will be a longer post detailing today's adventures (Morning: Aquarium, this afternoon: Momma goes on a Fandom Binge), but for now I have to start dinner and entertain the toddler. But I had to post the photos, I had a big grin on my face all afternoon and couldn't wait to boast share.
azriona: (cat in a box)
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of Lou, the Amazing Typing Cat, who has graced my default icon for the last six years. Lou, along with her partner in crime, AbbyBennett (who passed a few years ago), was my foster cat in Bishkek, and her owner just sent me a note to let me know. Lou loved boxes, catnip, and tormenting Bill by sleeping in his discarded blue jeans. She would wake me up by sleeping on my pillow and licking my hair. She also loved what I called her five o'clock snuggle, because every day at five o'clock, she would demand to be picked up and cuddled. The typing, incidentally, was because she'd be on my lap while I was doing LJ entries, and was perfectly content to comment as well. I give you my favorite photos of Lou. Lou, the Amazing Typing Cat )
azriona: (Azri's pantry)
So in making an emergency batch of brownies this morning, I cracked an egg and discovered...two yolks! After double-checking that there was only one shell in my hand (yup), I set the curious egg aside in the name of research. (Also because I wasn't sure what a double yolk would do to the brownies.) Double Your Yolks, Double Your...Um, Cholesterol, I Guess. ) Science aside (apparently double yolks are safe to eat, found in 1 in 1,000 eggs, and are just a quirk of the hen who laid the egg), those who are superstitious believe that double yolks can portend a wedding, a financial windfall, or a death in the family. I know we've got the first coming up (Bill's brother was just engaged), I'm hoping we don't have the latter anytime soon, and the second would be nice. Mostly, though, I'm just amused I found a double yolk!
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)

Hoppy Easter!

Hey, you try taking a photo of a really happy toddler with his new baby bunny and see if you can't get him to stay still.
azriona: (Andrew - grumpy face)
So either I've been stuck in the house too long, or....well, you tell me.

It was a normal day in the Azriona Household, with Andrew drooling and climbing on furniture, when I suddenly realized his drool had made a rather intriguing pattern on the couch:

Tell me I'm not the only one to see it. )


[Poll #1729348]
azriona: (Where have you been today?)
I'm not entirely sure why anyone takes a vacation with a baby. It's not exactly a vacation for anyone - it's just the same old in a new location, which makes it all the more difficult because you're in a new location, and the toddler in question is far too busy exploring the new location to do such mundane things such as sleep or eat or nap or sleep.

(Yes, I said sleep three times. Believe me, it doesn't make up for the lack of it in Andrew's lifestyle these days.)

Toddlers are to vacations like oil is to water. Find THAT on the SAT, why don't you? )


Two pictures to share, for those who happen to be around on a Saturday. I would have more, but I was a dork and forgot my card reader at home. (I'm still using my 6-year-old camera that uses a compact flash card instead of snazzy SD card which I could insert directly into the laptop.)

So we lucked out on rooms and while we don't have a direct ocean view, we do have a pretty good view of the marina next door. (We also have a view of the oil refinery beyond that, and quite further on, Diamond Head. I'm pretty sure I saw the Abraham Lincoln pulling into port the other day, which was kind of a cool if you're into that sort of thing.) Anyway, our first day in the hotel:

Me: Good lord, what is that in the marina?
Bill: No idea. It doesn't look seaworthy.
Me: It looks like a pirate ship.
Bill: Andrew, look! It's your first pirate ship!

the next day:

Me: OMG.
Bill: What?
Bill: What!
Bill: What?!?
Bill: The Black Pearl.
My Mother: I'm calling down to the concierge.

a few minutes later:

My Mother: The concierge says it's Jack Sparrow's ship.

So, of course we had to go over there. Now, on account of me not having my card reader, the really good photos will have to wait, but here's what I took with my cell phone and then emailed to myself. (I can be uber clever when it comes to being sneaky.)

It is not, as it turns out, the Black Pearl, but instead it's the Queen Anne, which apparently does make an appearance in the new Pirates movie. STILL COOL. )

More pictures, including Andrew with his first pirate ship, to follow.

Picture(s) the second: The good thing about vacationing with grandparents is that the grandparents are every so often willing to take the Munchkin off our hands in order for us to do things. In fact, my mother sort of insists on it, and I think Andrew plays along because he knows as soon as he's got Grandma all to himself, he can get away with murder. (Or in his case: ice cream, as much as he likes, whenever he likes. Also McDonalds french fries. This might have something to do with the diaper rash and the lack of sleep, actually.)

In this case, we left Andrew with Grandma and Bill, my father, and I trotted off to try out scuba diving. Bill and I have a friend who lives on the island and just got his instructor certification, and had offered to take us out one morning. So on Wednesday, we went.

The first thing you have to realize: none of us are swimsuit models, and no one looks sexy in wetsuits with 60 pounds of gear on their backs. )
azriona: (Home Depot)
The lovely thing about having found and purchased malted milk powder? Homemade chocolate malts. Yum. I'm also going to try putting it in fudge for a chocolate malt fudge. Double yum.

Writing Update:
I is writing. The only problem is - the two characters I'm writing do not want to actually get around to what they're supposed to be discussing. And while normally I wouldn't care, at the moment I'm just over halfway done and the fic is twenty pages long.

Andrew Update:
We had Day Two of his language acquisition class today. He is still not reciting Hamlet. He has one class left. Outlook is not good.

Also, he can get up the stairs faster than you can say "lickety-split". Or, as we've discovered, "Bill! The baby is climbing the stairs again! Catch him!"

Cleo Update:
Still hates us. This has a great deal to do with Bill accidentally locking her in the office for five hours the other night. (He was trying to dissuade Andrew from going in and playing with all the non-child-proofed things, and she'd been sleeping on the futon.) However, this might change, since Bill has determined that the best way to keep the bedroom warm at night is to leave the door open, which gives Cleo full access to the foot of our bed, which is her favorite place to sleep at night.

Bathroom Update:
IS DONE. Well, mostly. The guys still have to finish the caulking on the backsplash behind the sink, and Bill's closet still needs some organization and clean-up, but we've been using the shower all week and I'm happy to report that there's no leakage. Hurrah!

Four weeks ago, the master bathroom looked like this. Now, it looks like this: )

I spent most of yesterday cleaning the entire room, moving furniture back into place, and washing every last blanket and curtain that's been exposed to all the dry wall dust. Our room is looking sharp now. (These pictures are from before that big clean. I am lazy that way.) Now all that's left is to get more picture-hangy hooks from Home Depot and hang the pictures back on the wall. I suspect Home Depot has retaken my soul from BabiesRUs. Too bad HD doesn't have a frequent-buyer program.
azriona: (Default)
Writing Update (and a plug):
Hurrah! I have made it past the hurdle in Wendy's Pudding fic - that bit that's been driving me mad since August. I figured out what was bugging me, and I plowed through, and wrote it, and then had shivers go down my spine. It is awesome. I will have people WEEPING. Now onto the next part, which won't be as awful to write, and could be lots of fun, and will require me watching a few episodes of Torchwood first. Hurrah, I say, hurrah.

Also - there is a Three-Sentence Fic-a-thon going on during the month of December at [Unknown site tag]'s LJ. It's multi-fandom and there's a few Doctor Who prompts in there (as well as anything else that suits your fancy). (There's also a handy-dandy delicious archive to find a specific fandom quickly.) I glanced through the DW prompts and even filled one, so if anyone's looking to get your writing mojo working, that might be a good way of doing it.

Still need to write the prompt for [ profile] betterwiththree. It's due December. This is December. But it's also December for another 30 days, so I figure I have a little wiggle room.

Bathroom Update:
It is NEARLY done. We have a sink and a shower and more importantly, SHOWER DOORS. Andrew and I went on a field trip this morning with one of the handymen and toured the closet organization aisle as well as the tile aisle and we picked out our closet stuff, as well as the tile that will be the backsplash for the sink, which for some reason did not come with one. Today, there will be the instillation of a toilet. THE END IS NEAR. It is way exciting.

Andrew Update:
Santa on Tuesday was fairly painless. Andrew liked playing in the playarea before we got to Santa, and he didn't seem to mind the button-down shirt and sweater vest he was forced to wear (Grandma-purchased, btw). But then we plopped him down in the lap of this big guy with a white beard and a bright red suit, and WALKED AWAY. His eyes got real wide, and you could see the wheels turning, and we got about three photos before he started yelling and squirming and that was the end of Andrew's Santa experience. Sadly, no photo of a baby having a meltdown on Santa's knee - surprisingly, the photographer stops taking pictures when the kid starts screaming. (I don't know why, since it's digital, and heck, I would have laughed to see them (and possibly requested a copy, if it was good enough - there's a radio station offering a cash prize to the funniest "My-kid-is-afraid-of-Santa" photo).)

Andrew and Santa )

In other Andrew news, he gets to start SCHOOL this afternoon - I signed him up for a class at one of those local learny center places that is theoretically supposed to help with verbal development. I realize this borders on Stepford Mom-hood, but I figure a playgroup is a playgroup is a playgroup, and at least this playgroup will have different babies and different toys and you never know, I might actually come out of it smarter (and with a talking baby). Andrew's babbles have definitely increased in the last few weeks since Bill's come home, given that now he gets to watch Mommy have conversations with animate objects instead of stuffed animals, but he's still pointing at everything but Bill and pronouncing it "Dada".

(I think he's got a word for Cleo. It sounds a lot like "eeeee". However, that could just be a squeal of feline appreciative delight.

Language Update:
Bill installed two language CDs on my computer so I can start learning the local language for our next overseas assignment (which is to occur later in 2011). I have as of yet not opened either of them. (One is Rosetta Stone, the other is Talk Now. They're both good, though they have different strengths, so they're really awesome together.) The downside of learning a new language: it's going to overwrite my Russian, which already overwrote my French. So yay for being able to converse with people who are going to sell me vegetables, but boo for not being able to tell someone off in Russian when they call at 2am. *sigh*

Cleo Update:
Still hates me.
azriona: (Andrew)
Happy First Birthday to Andrew!

In honor of Andrew's first birthday being TODAY, everyone gets additional Cute Baby Pictures.

I will say that we were somewhat lax in the birthday present department. For Andrew's birthday, he got an actual pair of SHOES, with soles and everything. He also got a leash. (For himself, not the cat.)

Oh, I did get him this one other thing. The Best Present of All. It's debatable whether this present is more for me than it is Andrew. )

Andrew's party is on Saturday. Expect video of Andrew smashing his cupcake into a pancake.

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