kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, February 9th, 2014 03:09 pm
Nearly daily (I try for daily), I post something I am grateful for to my Twitter and Facebook. I used to collect those here, but honestly, I'm not sure the medium really suited them and it became a chore. But today I feel like a longer post than Twitter/Facebook allows, because there is so much I'm grateful for:

I'm grateful for the snow outside, which is gloriously beautiful. I'm grateful for first snowballs, and first attempts at snowman, and kids "sledding" in cardboard boxes, and laughter and dashing inside to shed snow and snowy clothes all over the carpet, before burrowing into blankets.

I'm grateful for my house - it's messy, yes, because it's full of joy and family. It's also warm, secure against the elements, and we haven't lost power this whole storm. I'm REALLY grateful that the furnace died and was replaced in November, so that we have faced this snowy little storm with a brand new high-efficiency furnace.

I'm grateful for our health - horrible colds aside, we've been well, and we're sturdy enough to get through those. I'm grateful that Ian is healing well after being smacked in the nose with a wooden train tunnel - quite the dramatic cut. Noses like to bleed. But it appears to be mending fine.

I'm grateful for our two cats, for cuddles and purring - and for Ray's tolerance of small hands attempting to pet him, and perhaps doing so less than gracefully or comfortably at times.

I'm grateful for friends, family, and coworkers - I am lucky enough to have some of the best ever, of all three.

I'm grateful for a job that allows me to work from home, which is very handy when the forecast suggests that might be the only way I'm getting home at the end of the day - and even more handy when day care calls out closed early.

I'm grateful for an amazing day care that is so wonderful for the boys, teaching and guiding them as well as taking care of them.

I'm grateful for so much more, but I fear this is becoming self-indulgent. Feeling so lucky after this weekend.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 08:28 pm
How quickly they learn, and how capable they are. I keep thinking of them as less-able than is actually the truth, often especially true with Drew (sometimes, I remember when Ian hits the same milestone, what I learned from Drew). Drew can sign his name. He can read, a bit. I should start teaching him basic kitchen skills (other than unlocking the water dispenser and soaking my floor and carpet, which is more of an annoy Mommy skill).

Ian is incredibly verbal. He can string concepts together usefully. And he's up and down the stairs and opening the gate and getting into the ca--

--binet where the VCR is, which I have just removed him from. Again.

How much they damage/disassemble the house is a close runner up, even given I expected it.

More topics welcome, if you want.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, January 19th, 2014 07:04 pm
I normally don't do New Year's resolutions, because they last about week, and I blow them, and I don't get back to them because there is always tomorrow. Also because in general I find big goals don't take the vagaries of life into account.

This year, I made a resolution. I read an article about how "process" goals are easier to keep to than "target" goals. I suspect it really should have had the caveat "for some people" attached, but it immediately resonated with me.

I've been frustrated with my health - I have not been active enough, I get winded too easily, and I'm slowly gaining weight. (The last is not in and of itself a bad thing - there was a time in my life when that WAS the goal, and my doctors agreed - but in my case I do not need that weight and it's indicative of both poor diet choices and a fairly sedentary lifestyle, as much as one can have with two active small children.)

So my "process" resolution has been to log my exercise and food every day. I set up a tracker program that handles both, plus I'm using Nexercise to time exercising (and gather mPoints). I don't care if my numbers are good or not: if I logged them, then I kept my resolution.

It's working. Most days my numbers are within the targets I set. (Not so much for the company holiday party or my birthday. So it goes.) But even more...today I exercised a half hour in the morning, only to have Scott and the kids want to go to the zoo less than an hour later. Our zoo has a long down at entrance and a long up for the exit. We did the whole loop, with a break at the bottom for food, and I pushed the kids most of the way in the rented double stroller, including up the exit path. And I emerged not winded, not exhausted, and grumpy only for reasons that had nothing to do with the physical effort. (Small kids: still small kids, not miniature adults. Sometimes, this is annoying. Heh.)

So. WIN.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, January 19th, 2014 07:02 pm
Okay, so there's a meme going around. You give me questions/things to write about, and I write about one a day.

...let me know when you've finished laughing hysterically, because yes, that's not feasible. However, if you give me things to talk about, I will pick off *at least* one per week and will *try* to pick off more.

Answers will come in the form of general posts to my journal, but a link to that post will be added in reply to the comment with the question.

Caveat: I will ignore/non-answer those I'm not comfortable with, but, I'll leave a comment that I did so.
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Monday, January 6th, 2014 08:01 pm
Ian's two-year appointment is this Friday. Tonight, he got the toddler bench, shoved it out of the family room and next to the light switch in the kitchen, and turned the lights on and off until we told him that wasn't a good way to play with lights. We took the bench back where it belonged and redirected him.

So for this appointment, there's a survey on developmental goals. Fine motor included: "Does your child flip switches off and on?" Problem solving included: "If your child wants something he cannot reach, does he find a chair or box to stand on to reach it?"

I've ALMOST stopped laughing, five minutes later. Except I'm now giggling again.
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Sunday, January 5th, 2014 07:11 pm
I seldom post movie or book reviews. I mostly enjoy what I enjoy and then move along. But Frozen...I loved Frozen, and I want to write about it. :) So, starting without spoilers, but there will be spoilers behind the cut and no need to avoid them in the comments.

The non-spoiler version: This is a very Disney, classical Disney, movie in look/feel, and it's definitely a Disney musical. My understanding - and I have not read the source - is that you had best treat it as its own thing and not expect it to look like its source.

It is visually beautiful and glorious. The music is amazing, and some of the more questionable Disney tendencies with regard to women are either not present or severely dialed back, IMO.

Olaf, the snowman, could easily drive me around the bend several times if I had to watch too much of him. Luckily, he's not so pervasive that that's a problem. And he is funny when he appears - but like many forms of snack, he's best taken in moderation, IMO.

Bring a coat if you're prone to getting cold while looking at cold weather sitting in your theater. I was chilly. :P

Scott and I saw this. We didn't take the boys. I'm debating whether I'm willing to let them watch it yet. I'm not sure whether or not Ian would really understand the areas that worry me; Drew would, and I'm not sure if he's ready to have to think about those topics. He might be, and I think overall he'd really like the movie otherwise. I think Ian would, because Ian is my little dancer who adores music.

The first line of spoilers below the cut will be my list of potential triggers/questionable elements for small children. After that, the in-depth babble.

Spoilers ahead! )

If you don't mind spoilers, or don't plan to see the movie, and in any way like Disney animation or music, may I strongly suggest watching the "Let It Go" song/video, which is available on YouTube? It's gorgeous, IMO. Here's a link to the official version of Let It Go.
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kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Saturday, January 4th, 2014 08:39 pm
When Drew was around two or a bit younger, we tried baby swim lessons at a semi-local pool. It...did not go well. He had fun, until the first time he had to go on his back. All kids, all the same, all the time. It ended when I stopped taking him after a few lessons because I thought they were doing more harm than good. I wanted him to enjoy the water and swim - I was a "water baby" as a kid, and I wanted to pass that on - and instead it was teaching a horror that actually made *baths* hard for a while. No. Thank. You.

But I do want him to know how to swim, for safety reasons. So...Children of the Sea. It is a local, decidedly not cheap, place that specializes in teaching kids to swim, with a good student/teacher ratio and a heated pool. 92 degrees. And, yes, a heated room around it, so you don't freeze the second you get out.

This morning was his first lesson, and for the last month he has wavered between saying that he wants to take the swim lessons and that he doesn't. Luckily, he wanted to this morning and was so excited that putting his hair back in a ponytail (required because of how long it was) was totally ignored. He normally hates having his hair back.

First lesson, and they had him blowing bubbles with his face partly in the water, and accepting being guided across on his back with his head supported with a modified swim noodle. Well, then. The lesson was a half hour, and as we left he was pitching a fit because he didn't want it to stop.

So we went back tonight for open swim, which I wanted to do anyway to get Ian in the pool. (All the lessons for his age range at times we could make it to were closed when sign-ups opened to the public. I'll have a better chance next session, since we'll sign up when member families do.)

One hour in the pool and the boys had a BLAST. Drew gave us quite a start early on, though. Ian and I went ahead to the pool while Scott and Drew got ready - and Scott couldn't find where I'd set his swimsuit. So he came in to ask, of course with Drew with him. Drew was already in his suit, and he saw the slide into the water, dashed to it, and went down it with us yelling 'no'. Neither of us were in the deep area to catch him, and I was by Ian, who was sitting on the steps - I couldn't just dart over. Scott managed to grab him and another mother helped him out, and he was fine and even happy with himself.

While I was watching both boys - on the steps - while Scott got his suit, Ian jumped off the steps unexpectedly and ducked under and I go to fish HIM up - so they both took unexpected dives, but Ian's was a lot less nerve-wracking, IMO. And both were quite happy to stay in the water for the remainder of the hour.

Drew put on flippers and floaties and swam back and forth between the walls, with one of us next to him but not touching, and was SO pleased with himself. LOL. Ian mostly sat on the upper step and played with a couple of pool toys, but he was happy. He did insist on going down the slide - about six or seven times! Unlike Drew, he did it with me waiting at the bottom to catch him. Once or twice I caught him without his head going under, but mostly he got ducked briefly, and he was game to go right back. Drew didn't try the slide again, even when offered - but I don't *think* it was fear. He was mostly game until we told him he had to take off the flippers and floaties for it. He loves those things now.

I do wish open swim were earlier. It's from 6:45-7:45, and Drew resents the idea of getting home and going straight to bed. Our normal bedtime is 8 pm, but we're flexing it tonight. (To be fair, he took an inadvertent 2-hour nap in the car earlier, and he usually doesn't nap. So, that's part of it too.) We may have to flex it whenever we do open swim. I hope he doesn't expect it every week. It's not cheap. It is fun, but it's not cheap.
kyrielle: (technology wins)
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 06:05 pm
I can get to Dreamwidth to whine about it. Facebook loads its header bar and then freezes. The shop I want to get to is unreachable. Tracert shows a sudden spate of requests timing out somewhere after I've been handed off to at&t and before I get to tfbnw (if I get there at all, sometimes I don't).

I know, on the scale of 'real problems' this doesn't register. It's not nearly as important or entertaining as having to duct tape the cover on the furnace (because the clip to hold it in place apparently broke), and that's anything but exciting itself.

But grumble. I went to see Mira Grant at Barnes & Noble and had a great time, and I subsequently couldn't even chatter about it on Twitter or see if anyone else was.

Bah.
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Friday, October 11th, 2013 04:19 pm
Stress, stress, more stress, and a truly VILE cold (possibly now a truly vile sinus infection, and my doctor could not fit me in, and getting to urgent care is not really doable while on call AUGH).

However. I can let it define the week or I can argue. I've been missing a lot of gratitudes lately (over on Twitter/Facebook, and I haven't copied any here in forever I know), because of stress, and I think that is NOT helping me deal with the stress.

So. I am grateful for:

The cut tag, which lets me not spam people's reading pages! )
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Friday, September 20th, 2013 05:23 pm
First, key note: if you want to gift, this info is here. PLEASE don't feel obligated. The boys do not need anything, though there's plenty they want, and more they'd like, I'm sure.

That said, they have wish lists, and then I have some additional notes on things they like and don't like along with those.

Ian's list and notes )

Drew's list and notes )
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Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 04:33 pm
Every August, Wilsonville hosts Fun in the Park - a free fair. Lots of booths advertising companies, churches, and other organizations, and giving away freebies. Bounce houses. A food court (not free, natch). Vendors (also not free, as the name implies). This year (and last) a pony ride. This year also, a rock climbing wall and a carnival ride that spun you around. Police, fire, and EMS showing off vehicles / what they do / dive safety - and also being available just in case, I assume. Main Stage and some speakers kept music going steadily for the whole thing. (The speakers might perhaps have been better positioned back from the walkway, as one corner near the food court was Painfully Loud, but so it goes.)

Town Center Park, where this is held each year, has a water feature the kids can play in too - a great way to cool off mid-fair. And the visitor's center, with handy proper bathrooms, good if you're dealing with small kids who need changes among other things! :)

We went at 10:30. A little after noon, we left and got lunch - then Drew and I went back (Ian having fallen asleep in the car for his nap). We spent an awful long time by just two booths - first, Drew ate an entire mini box of Nerds...the first half of it one. nerd. at. a. time. Then he wanted to get his face painted. He was going to get a kitty-face on it, but then he saw Hello Kitty, so he got that done. It was a REALLY good job, I was impressed, and he held so amazingly still for it. I got photos, because I figured it was doomed, since we had to stop him from rubbing at his face twice during the process.

I was right, fifteen minutes later he'd swiped his arm across his face and by the time we left he was more Hello Kitty Zombie than Hello Kitty. So much so that we coaxed him to say "Braaaaains" on the way back to the car, which he did very creditably.

We got home about 4:30. The park's about 5 minutes away. I'd say Drew and I probably spent five hours there - Scott and Ian four or a little less.

Drew was very happily about the swag, it was hilarious. He came home with a spinny flying toy, a frisbee, a pair of sunglasses, a string backpack, an almost-empty bottle of water (THAT one was SUPER useful!), a bunch of free candy, some stickers, two posters, a plastic harmonica, a quack-like-a-duck toy, a toothbrush, a robotics team pin....

He also went on almost all the bounce houses (despite long lines), spun every prize wheel he could find (including at the Mary Kay booth, where they very kindly offered him a "prize" from their free candy basket instead of the "facial powder free at first appointment" that he'd won, lol), and had a BLAST watching the radio-controlled car (Hobby Town) and robot (Wilsonville high school's robotics team, right next door to the Hobby Town booth). Also, Lego Train and town! So cool.

They've started doing a "memory quilt" each year where people draw on a fabric square and they tie it together - the last four years at least. And this year, Ian and Drew each drew a square. Neither one is coherent, but hey. They're not the only incoherent ones. ;)

A good day. A tiring, exciting, very good day. And I totally have a temporary tattoo of a heart on my right arm. LOL.
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Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 11:47 am
Thank you to those who took part in my two attempted salons - I don't have enough time to spur the discussion on, and I think also only a few of you have been interested - so they are not working as well as [personal profile] jenett's have, or even half as well (which I'd be pleased by). I'm going to discontinue mine and just enjoy hers. If you're interested in the format, drop by - she starts hers on Wednesday mornings, and the discussions are lively (in the good way!).
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kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Friday, June 28th, 2013 06:34 am
First, things of note:
  • There is a salon FAQ.
  • Feel free to reply to / talk with each other. The hope is to get a lively discussion going!
  • The topic is a starting point. Feel free to digress from it. Wildly, if you wish.


I started out with something-or-other in my mind about art or photography, but then realized that again limits the scope to those directly interested in it. So I'm going to try tracing it back to the root a little more:

What do you find beautiful and why? Are there parallels or commonalities between beautiful art and beautiful music? Which sense(s) do you most frequently notice things as "beautiful" in?

Do you do anything to draw more beauty into your life? Or to create it?

Is beauty important in utilitarian parts of your life? (Clothes, housing, food, etc.?) If so, important in what way or what degree?

I'll put some of my thoughts in the comments in a moment.

Additional Notes

Feel free to digress or meander as you're moved - please try to leave the conversation as good as or better than you found it. The Salon FAQ has more info on how to reply if you want to and don't have a LiveJournal account.
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kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Friday, June 21st, 2013 07:38 am
First, the salon FAQ is here. Second, please remember the topic is a starting point. If we digress from learning to raccoons, 80's music, or physics - that's fine!

Second, this is long, so time for the cut tag )
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Monday, June 17th, 2013 07:42 pm
[Intro posted today, because I think I've figured out how this will work. Actual first such post, coming Friday. Sing out if you have input or (would have) wanted to ask for a different venue and didn't have time/see the earlier post!]

Long, therefore cut tagged )
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Friday, June 14th, 2013 07:57 pm
So, [personal profile] jenett is doing salon threads in her Dreamwidth account. Basically, get together and chat. If you're curious, have the FAQ for it.

I'm tempted to do the same or similar. Question is, would you participate if I did that and the topics I seeded it with, or the digressions others took it to, were of interest to you?

1) If I did it with comments open only on Dreamwidth? (OpenId and anonymous could be used to comment, remembering that any LiveJournal user can auth as OpenId there.)

2) If I did it with comments open only on LiveJournal? (OpenId, anonymous, Facebook, Twitter, Google, all could be used to comment. As well as a couple more services, but I think they're more common in Russia.)

I wouldn't want to leave comments open on both, because the idea is to create a set of discussions people can mix and mingle through, which is easier if they are all in one space.

I'm not sure I have the time or brain for this. I'm *quite* sure I don't have it this week, so now is a good time to ask y'all if it's worth trying to figure out if I can do it.

Probable day for starting them: Friday morning (Pacific time), because that's my usual day for things that need brain and typing time.

Is this of any interest to you? Please let me know.
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Saturday, June 1st, 2013 07:21 pm
So I'm officially listed as allergic to Allegra, because back when it was prescription and I think brand, we tried me on it (because Claratin wasn't being as effective as it historically had been), and I had a non-standard reaction: violent nausea, which is NOT an expected side effect. Consistent, violent nausea for a couple hours after each dose, which made eating within an hour *before* the dose unwise also.

You know what else I had? TOTAL RELIEF OF MY ALLERGY SYMPTOMS. TOTAL. For like 12-16 hours of the day. Amazing. Mind-blowing. But...two hours of nausea.

So, now they are OTC and generic. Says I, "My lactose intolerance couldn't possibly cause this, but...let's see if the filler in brand has lactose. If it does and the generic doesn't, maybe I'll try it." (Worst case: violent nausea again. It's not like it was life-threatening, just miserable.)

I go. I read packaging. No lactose in brand. Lactose in the generic I could get. Otherwise seem nearly identical.

...yeah. I think maybe I should just let the Allegra be there by itself. Darnit.
kyrielle: (technology wins)
Friday, May 24th, 2013 03:09 pm
...because it amused me too much, although the original occurrence irritated me in equal measure. I posted:

Okay, I get that the new black is "scroll down and more auto-loads" - it's starting to be everywhere now.

But if you are going to do that, FOR THE LOVE OF LITTLE GREEN APPLES, STOP USING A FOOTER FOR YOUR SECONDARY LINKS.

No Love,
The Lady Chasing Your FAQ Link Down The Page


Seriously, these are two standard tools that SHOULD NOT be used together. ANY form of footer, unless PINNED, should not be used with infinite or even semi-infinite scroll. (Luckily, I was dealing with the latter....)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Friday, May 17th, 2013 08:05 am
I had a dream last night, and remembered it, and I'm greatly amused.

Not at all sure anyone else cares about my dream tho, so here's a cut tag. )

The most amusing part is that while I *adored* the place and was *thrilled* we were buying it in the dream...the reality is I would never want to buy or own it in real life. Lots of things about it that are "things I love" but not "things I want to own or be responsible for" and more house than I want to *live in* even if someone else was responsible for taking care of it. I *would* like to have the view of the mountains, though. And some of the decor. Those bits are worth making note of. (Since I don't want to move, a VIEW of the mountains is not likely. Art, however....)
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kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Saturday, May 11th, 2013 04:36 pm
Why? Because I'm lazy and I can.

Sweet Yam Dip

I'm not sure this even qualifies. Bake a big yam in the oven at 425 for about 45 minutes - until it's soft, whatever that takes. (Scrub and pierce it first.) Strip the skin off. Puree it - if it's soft enough, you may be able to just mash it with a fork. Add 1-2 TBS maple syrup and a dash or two of cinnamon. Mix well.

Spicy Sweet Potato Dip

Bake a big sweet potato in the oven at 425 for about 45-60 minutes, until it's soft. (Scrub and pierce IT first, too.) Strip the skin off. Puree it. Add 1/3 cup nut or seed butter (I used sunflower seed butter, but the original recipe was for almond butter), a clove of garlic, about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon each of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper, and a squirt or two of lemon juice. Blend well. The original recipe also called for "salt to taste" but I didn't think it needed any in this case.