sabine: (Default)
I'm out of practice and habit of posting. I'm reading everyone, just not making any of my own contributions to the hivemind. The holidays are hitting me hard this year with exhaustion and hermitage and illness.

Both kids started coming down with head colds right before Hogswatch. I now have their colds. This is no fun.

We made a tactical logistical error in our Hogswatch travelling. We first went to Iowa to spend a couple days with my family. We then went straight to Illinois to hang with Downwood's family. On our way home from there, the back of the car was packed to within an inch of its life. It was impressive and reminded us why we don't make multiple visits - too much stuff to bring home.

Yes, the kids made out like bandits. Again. They got legos, dolls, giant fluffy blankets, clothes, and many other things. Downwood and I got a selection of lovely things, too. The gifts we gave seemed to be taken well, so that was a nice feeling. I also got many compliments on the dresses, leggings, and shirts that I made for myself and Emi. 

And there was food and booze. And both kids went on hunger strikes, eating maybe one meal a day. Maybe.

We still haven't been able to see Rogue One. Nor have we been to see Moana or Sing. I want to go, but haven't felt up to leaving the house more than absolutely necessary lately.

I came back to work yesterday. I don't have another vacation scheduled yet to look forward to. The Evil Empire only closes for actual Jan 1, so even though my counterparts will likely all be off on Monday, I'll be here.

I'm tired. I know I've accomplished things, but I couldn't tell you what. I'm ready for the holidays to be over and things to go back to "normal". Whatever that is.
sabine: (Default)
 When I get out of the habit of writing here on a semi-regular basis, it seems like a very hard thing to come back to it. Like, I get anxiety and stress about it, so I avoid it. Yay, me?

It's December. It's cold and dark. The societal pressure of the holidaze is upon us. 

Also, the world is continuing to fall apart at the seams. What the hell, 2016? What the hell?

My hair is amazing. This short reverse bob thing has continued to be a good decision. I'm spending more time on my hair each day, but I'm way happier with the results. 

Work is still crazy. This is neither new nor surprising.

I have a whirlwind trip to Dallas on Monday and Tuesday of next week. How whirlwind? My plane leaves at 7 Monday morning and I get back about 5 Tuesday evening. Yeah. I'll be in Dallas for about 26 hours. This is somehow a good use of my time. I has a confused, but am resigned to my fate.

This weekend is for maybe freshening up the henna in my hair, sewing, and coffee with the girls...assuming we don't get Snowmageddon on Sunday again this week.

The next weekend will be in Illinois. Again, assuming no Snowmageddon. 

Then the next weekend is Thanksgiving. I decided that we're grabbing a nearby hotel room instead of trying to find a place to sleep at Grandma's house. It'll be better for Alex, especially, to have a quiet place to retreat to. Also, my folks are grabbing a room in the same hotel, so we could maybe even split up the kids between the rooms if necessary. We'll see.

We'll be home on the 26th. I have a pedicure on the 28th and work on the 29th and 30th.

Then it'll be January. Maybe 2017 won't be quite the dumpster fire that this year has been. Or maybe it's gonna be even more "hold my beer, watch this" than 2016. Who knows? 
sabine: (Default)
Today is so far better than yesterday. This may be because I had two glorious, unscheduled hours in which I could do my actual work. Unfortunately for my mental state and productivity, I'm scheduled in meetings every single hour for the rest of the day. Balls.

Good things. Listing some good things to trick my brain into having a better day.
  • I'm very close to level 20 in Pokemon Go. I need to evolve a bunch of Pidgies and Ratattas so that I can level. Then I can evolve my Eevee and get something totally badass.
  • I got my yearly raise this month. I really am getting paid enough to deal with this level of ridiculousness.
  • I'm wearing one of my modified Monetas and feel like a million bucks. Modifications include: standard bodice alteration to fit, pleating the skirt instead of gathers (faster), self-drafted flutter sleeves (SO PROUD), and a V-neck with band instead of collar.
  • I'm almost done with the Creativity pack on Headspace. Next up is Pro 3.
  • Emi LOVES the new Kid Headspace packs. I need to try it on Alex.
  • I had an iced latte this morning. Always a good thing.
  • My nails are pretty. Espionage Cosmetics makes wonderful nail wraps. This week I'm wearing the Purple & Teal Masks. My fingers are incognito.
  • I had my final exam for my summer CS class on Monday. I don't think I got 100 again, but I don't think I did too badly. I just have to finish the last bit of the last assignment, get it submitted, and I'm DONE.
That's actually a pretty good list. I like it.


Jun. 3rd, 2016 10:34 am
sabine: (Default)
I ordered a bunch of swatches from Silk Baron. I want to see what the different oranges look like in Real Life. Then I can choose and get to work on September's Watchful Dress. This is a costume that I Need To Make. So much love for this book. So. Much. Love. I already have the chiffon overlay and the pocket watches, but I'll need to find beads, green silk rope, black ribbon rosettes, and a brooch. Yus.


I need to get my measurements and put them into lekala's website. I can then order my patterns and figure out yardage. Werk officially confirmed that Cosplay During Conference of Doom is a GO. I need more costumes and I want one to be a formal Red Queen.


I need to figure out what all alterations I need to make to a different pattern. I want a White Rabbit outfit.


I'll be eligible for another two-week sabbatical next year. I plan to take my parents, husband, AND kids. I want to go to Costa Rica. I'm reading resort reviews and trip options. No plans yet, just dreaming.


We'll be able to walk down to the local Farmer's Market tomorrow morning. The kids can play while parents shop. Then we can go to the library. I like this new Saturday routine.


I have plans for pencil skirts and other new things. I ordered a denim jacket to pair with some of these skirts and tank tops. I will be trendy. This is worrying.


I need to figure out a makeup routine. I have lovely shadows from Espionage Cosmetics. I need to figure out how to use them and not look like an eccentric clown. Not sure how to do that. Time to play!
sabine: (Default)
I'm wearing leggings today that I made. I finished them on Saturday, along with a mostly matching pair for Emi and cardigans for my Mom and MiL. The cardigan for my MiL was going to be for me, but is ever so slightly too small across my shoulders. Pity. The cardigan for my Mom has the best stripe matching that I've ever done. My leggings have unintentional nearly perfect pattern matching around my knees. The width of the pattern on the fabric just happens to match the circumference of my knees, apparently.

I was able to catch up at dance last night. The new choreo is Greek and very fast, but folk-ish, so mostly footwork. Years and years of marching band have given me a good brain for footwork. Mostly.

Everyone seems to be mostly well. I'm still rattly through my chest, but don't feel nearly so wiped out with this cold as I did over the weekend. It was a good thing that I didn't have to do anything or leave the house. Ugh. Alex is back to normal. The nebulizer is amazing and I'm very glad we have it.

I think I have two shirt patterns altered to mostly fit. I need to add length - I am NOT 5'5" - but I graded between sizes and the shirts seem to fit well. I still need to hem both shirts (boo) but they look nice as proofs of concept. For those playing along at home with the PDF patterns, it's the P4P Slim-Fit Raglan and the M4M Mama Mya. Next on the block of "Patterns I want to make fit me" is the M4M wrap dress. It's adorable, but I'm worried about making it right. If all continues to go well, I'll be able to take some of my cheap, shapeless tunics and remake them into cheap, well-fitting tunics. Fingers crossed.

I have PLANS for more sewing projects. The Werk Giant Conference of DOOOM's theme is Wonderland, so I plan to take full advantage. I have a steampunk-ish Queen of Hearts outfit planned and have sourced decent jersey for the making of Queen and Cheshire Moneta dresses. And leggings. And maybe tunics. I care not if I get to do official work cosplay. I'll make these anyway just because I can. I might actually have something new for the costume convention. That'd be spiffy.

I've had a hard time lately being interested in books. That's okay. My worth as a person isn't determined by how many pages I read. Yes, even if it's a book I've been looking forward to.

If I meditate tonight (which of course I will), I'll complete one of my resolutions. I will have gotten a streak of 100 days on Headspace. I think this has made me a better person. I'm nearly certain it's made me more balanced. It's absolutely given me tools to let me just enjoy and experience life instead of always regretting or anticipating.

I get to see my sister this weekend. We're going out for sister time. No husbands, no kids. Just us. And the soundtrack to Hamilton. I'm inflicting it on her. She'll curse me because she'll be forced to purchase a copy. Mwahaha.

I really don't want to finish my work day today. I want to go home and sleep. I am very, very tired. It's Tuesday. This correlation is strong for a reason. That reason is Monday nights are late.

Things are okay. I am not a failure. My jerkbrain is wrong.
sabine: (Default)
My team at work has decided that we need to be happier. So we have the Happiness Initiative. It's based off of a TED talk that posits that if you do certain things every day, you'll improve your overall happiness. These things include meditation, exercise, listing out gratitudes, journaling, and performing small acts of kindness. I'm participating in this because I can always use more happy.
  • I'm doing the meditation because meditation is awesome. I'm nearing the end of the Self-Esteem pack and I think it's helping.
  • I'm doing the journaling because I found an app that gives simple prompts - what are you thankful for, what are 3 good things about today, what would make tomorrow better, etc.
  • I'm doing the random acts of kindness by inflicting art on others. Every day at work I choose one of my zentangle art cards. I pick a person on our team and write them a note on the back of the card. I then either give them the card with no explanation or just leave it on their desk to find. This gets these cards out of my office and has made people smile.
I'm not doing the daily exercise. I know it'd be good for me, but I'm so out of energy it's not even funny anymore.


Alex is sick. He got hit HARD by the head/chest cold that Emi brought home from school last week and shared with me. I still feel a little puny, but I've been mostly functional the whole time. Alex started running a fever Sunday night and started having trouble breathing. We went to the dr on Tuesday, who prescribed a nebulizer for albuterol instead of just his inhaler. Getting the damn machine was a bureaucratic NIGHTMARE that Downwood finally got figured out yesterday morning. Little dude gets to go back to the dr today. He's not getting better. He may get to have another vacation at the hospital. We'll see.

We're still waiting on the results of Downwood's EEG. He may or may not have a seizure disorder. We'll see.

Emi has Pokemon bribes to do better at school. If she does her homework without being asked, she and Daddy will play a game of Pokemon at the table. If she passes her reading checkout tests on the first try, she gets a special card. She loves math and science, but has trouble with reading and wanting to do well in it.

I'm tired. I went to bed really early last night, but still feel unrested. No me gusta.

I'm worried about my friends. I feel like I can't do anything other than offer stupid platitudes. Maybe we need to go out for coffee again. Maybe we should move our coffee date to Milwaukee to bring in more friends. Stupid winter making everything seem bad.
sabine: (Default)
Hogswatch was largely good. I had lots of holiday anxiety, but got a lot of sleep and even got some things done around the house! I did lots of sewing, a little reading, some video game playing, and many, many snuggles. We watched a TON of Mythbusters - the Science channel had a mega-marathon of every episode ever and it's Emi's favorite show.


Hogswatch eve and day were at home and quiet. The kids were excited by their gifts from us and from Santa (coloring books, colors, books, small toy, candy). Emi LOVED the princess dress wardrobe that I made for her. Alex LOVED the wooden train pieces that I got him. Downwood loved the Star Wars PJ pants I made. We smoked chicken and salmon for dinner, but didn't really treat the day as a super-special thing.

By boxing day, I needed to get out of the house a bit, but not really be in public. So I went for a walk in the cold drizzle when the full-on rain stopped. I took the kids with me. Emi wanted to run and race. Alex jumped and stomped and splashed in every puddle he could find. It was fun, wet, and exactly what I needed.

We got our second big snowstorm of the year on the 28th. That happened to be the day I needed to drive up in to Madison for therapy and med check visits. I'd been planning on going to get a coffee in between the appointments, but I didn't want to go back out into the ick. So I sat in the lobby, drew a tangle, and read a book for the hour between the visits. I then went to the grocery store since I was already out. When I got home, I couldn't get my car up the driveway. Not an awesome end to the day, but not the worst thing ever.

Tuesday was Paint Nite with Au and RH and Au's little dude. The venue was cramped and kind of awful. I won't go back. But the chocolate martini was lovely, the painting was fun, and I love my friends. Also, RH liked the plaque I made for her and remembered the joke it's meant to commemorate. Life is good.

Emi got to have her first-ever real optometrist appointment. The appointment was early in the morning on NYE. She was super-awesome and impressed both the tech and the doc. She also has perfect vision. It was a good start to the day. Afterwards, we hit the drug store and the grocery store. Downwood and I spent our usual quiet NYE at home. We had terrible snacks (this year it was my fault), played some games, and I decided that the ball dropping in New York was a good enough midnight for me.

New Year's day and weekend we spent in Iowa with my family. It was mostly good. I ate FAR too much junk food, but didn't get too much in the way of awful from my mom. She was on good behavior, so I was, too. I got to hang with my sister and give good gifts. My daughter kidnapped my cousin and convinced her to play ponies for HOURS. I got to see Alex playing with my BiL specifically to annoy my nephew. He knew what he was doing, too, the stinker.

And now I'm back at work. I've made my resolutions and have started taking the steps to achieve them. The kids don't like getting up for school (big surprise), but Alex has discovered that Momma will read a book before she leaves for work. I'm tired and very glad that the holidays are over. We need to take down our tree and lights. I want to get back to sewing on my Star Wars pea coat. I also want to consider seriously working on my Victorian underthings. I won't get this done before the costume convention, but I'd like to get started.

Life does not suck. My brain doesn't always agree with me, but I'm in a better place than I was 6 months ago, which is a relief.
sabine: (Default)
 Wait, what?! How is it already the end of the year?! I'm pretty sure it should still be Halloween or maybe Thanksgiving. The year just sort of evaporated on me. And now I'm at the end of my vacation with not nearly as many things done around the house as I should've.

This year I...
  • Learned
    • that I can make art just for the sake of making something pretty and it doesn't suck.
    • that it's okay to go back to therapy
    • German and Spanish. Sort of. 49% fluent, anyway.
    • how to meditate
    • that work doesn't suck so much if I have a team lead who's willing to work with me and actually get me things that bring me joy and take away the things that bring me misery and woe.
    • how to navigate railway systems in three cities where I didn't speak the language.
    • that I can drink 4.5 liters of beer in a day and not have too bad of a hangover the next morning.
    • that getting a new cell phone is horrible and painful and I don't want to deal with it for another three years. Or until a new shiny iPhone comes out and I can upgrade for free.
    • that it feels really good to go through things and fill boxes and boxes with STUFF for donation.
    • that my friends are awesome and even when my jerkbrain tries to tell me to not leave the house, they're still glad to see me and things will be okay.
    • how to blow dry my hair and get the lovely flips and waves that my hairdresser can get.
    • how to wear red lipstick.
    • that taking my husband and son to the ER sucks. Staying with my son for the next day in the hospital is also no fun.
    • how to use super glue for first aid and that liquid bandages are great.
    • that I get an allergic reaction to red pigment in tattoos. This is troubling. Also, I completed my shoulder peacock and got my birthday cardinal. And an adorable tiny pumpkin.
  • Read
    • lots and lots of good books. Goodreads has my full list. 
      • Highlights include: Uprooted, The Thirteenth Tale, William Shakespeare's Star Wars, PrinceLess, Castle Hangnail, Furiously Happy, The Martian, and Ancillary Mercy.
    • many old favorites cover-to-cover
      • Highlights include: Eleanor and Park, Sunshine, Snowcrash, The Enchantment Emporium, Hogfather, The Wee Free Men, The Finishing School series, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, The Girl who...Fairyland books, American Gods, and Good Omens.
    • not much in the way of newspapers or magazines.
    • probably too much online.
    • chapter books to BOTH kids, including the entirety of the Dragonbreath series to Alex.
    • that while most dating sim concepts make my eyelid twitch, a PIGEON dating sim will make me cackle maniacally.
  • Watched
    • not much TV, honestly. 
    • some good football
    • some terrible football
    • Emi at ballet
    • Alex at soccer
    • Emi graduate from Kindergarten
    • only a couple movies, but TWO were in the theater (Inside Out with Emi, Force Awakens with Downwood)
    • not enough bellydance, but some of it was Ozma, so that balances everything out.
    • cultural events in Berlin, Munich, and Brussels. I have no idea what was going on for most of it, but it was very interesting. And confusing
    • Alex start trying out words and talking to us
    • my kids LOSE THEIR MINDS on a train ride, in the Field Museum, in the Shedd Aquarium, and at the new cafeteria at werk.
  • Tried
    • more cosplay. Specifically Lucille Ball. For work. LIVING THE DREAM.
    • making more clothes. I made LEGGINGS THAT FIT. This is miraculous.
    • to not let the depression and anxiety win. I think my record's about 50/50.
    • to come up with a way to kill myself, but couldn't think of anything that wouldn't traumatize Emi. Not the best reason, but certainly not the worst.
    • to not beat myself up about being on 5 full time psych meds and another for emergencies.
    • to cut most alcohol out of my diet. I do pretty good most of the time now.
    • meditation. I love it.
    • using colored pencils and coloring books. So fun. Especially when I get pages from Colorful Language or the Sweary Coloring book.
    • to brew some beer. Still need to bottle. Bottling sucks.
    • to teach Alex how to use the potty. Still struggling. But he can mostly get clothes on and off by himself, so that's a big step forward.
  • Didn't
    • play any pen-and-paper RPGs. I ran my Scion game, but didn't play anything other than computer games.
    • play all the board and card games I bought
    • take any belly dance workshops (I think). I went to some shows, but not to the least, not that I remember.
    • always listen to my jerkbrain. Tried to let some of it go, in fact.
    • chicken out of going on the trip of a lifetime
    • go to any funerals
    • have any serious injuries
    • get any piercings or change my hair color. I'm still using the same henna as the last couple years and I love it.


also weird

Aug. 24th, 2015 02:31 pm
sabine: (Default)
Also in weirdness this weekend, Mom kept trying to get me to eat more. She offered snacks and kept asking if I was sure I was done and didn't I want some more melon or maybe the rest of Alex's leftover fish?

I know that Mom thinks I'm fat and that I need to lose weight both by eating less and exercising more. I'm not sure where this "Sabine should be eating more" thing is coming from. It was weird.

Also, I'm either getting better about my "don't eat so damn much" diet or I'm in a depression/anxiety phase where food, while sometimes good, is mostly uninteresting. Sometimes good? The Tasty Indian Food people are back in our werk food courts for the next two weeks. Their stuff is amazing. Today's paneer was coated with awesomesauce. Expensive, but so good.
sabine: (Default)
Friday - Got to work silly early and worked hard. Left work at 3:30 (WHAT?! I KNOW, RIGHT?!) and went to meet Downwood and kids at the doctors' office. Switched cars with Downwood, kissed him, hugged Emi, and bundled Alex in the car to go to my folks' for the weekend.

Much caffeine, some podcasts and Felicia Day's audiobook, and several "conversations" about big trucks later, we arrived at my parents' house. I was both wired and exhausted. Alex was super happy to be out of the car and was a total squirrel until I got us both in bed, rather late by our standards.

Saturday - Alex and I slept in LATE. Mom just let us sleep. We eventually staggered upstairs for breakfast, coffee, and a start of a busy, busy day.

Alex got my mom's Potty Training Boot Camp. He got frustrated with it after a while, poor guy. He still freezes up if asked to do a hard thing many times in a row, at which point you need to sit back and let him calm down before asking again.

He got to open his birthday present - a Cars scooter! We went to watch the town's Founders Day parade. There were FIRE TRUCKS and people throwing CANDY. Given that their town is tiny, there were about 4 floats, a handful of classic cars, the fire trucks and police cars, and that was it. It was just about perfect for Alex.

We washed and vacuumed both Mom's car and my car. So. Many. French. Fries. We had lunch.

Then we walked to the park for the rest of the Founders Day things. Alex wanted to be carried the whole time. I'm wondering if his shoes are uncomfortable. It's a bit of a walk for a little dude, but he wanted to be carried before we got out of the driveway.

We toured the library. Alex enjoyed TWO bouncy houses. We looked at all the fire trucks. Alex got to CLIMB INTO one of the fire trucks. We played at the park and he climbed all the things. He even got brave and decided to try the spinny tire swing. We walked home and Alex got piggy back rides or carried most of the way.

We went to church in the evening. I...don't think I love Jesus the way the priest wants us all to. I mean, I like a lot of what he teaches, but I can't handle most of the other stuff with the religion. Alex slept the whole way to church and actually behaved pretty well during Mass.

Sunday - I managed to get up at a respectable time. I read through the results of the Hugos voting. While I'm sad that "The Goblin Emperor" didn't take first prize, I was very glad to see that the Puppies got NO AWARDED right out the door. I drank coffee and talked with my parents.

When Alex finally got up, we got him some breakfast and went out to run some errands. Alex LOVES the hardware store and my folks needed to go to Menards anyway. It was obviously paradise for little dude. He adored it. We then went to the elementary school's playgrounds, where he got to climb, slide, and dig in the pea gravel. Again, he adored it.

After lunch, I packed the car and we headed for home. Alex slept for the entire first half of the drive.

Once home, I got engulfed in unpacking, doing laundry, picking up, reading to kids, more laundry, decide about dinner, bath, bed, argh! Emi also got a scooter, but hers is Frozen, not Cars. They plan to go to Target today to pick out helmets so they can practice in a nearby parking lot (our driveway is STEEP). Emi was very excited to see us. I think Downwood was, too.

Today - Work, which has been surprisingly chill for a Monday. We're entering the Two Weeks of Hell. Next week is our Giant Work Conference, where parking becomes a nightmare and you shouldn't try to eat out anywhere near WorkTown.

I need to get a lot done this week. Next week Monday-Wednesday will be mostly taken up with Giant Work Conference stuff. Monday and Tuesday, I'll be dressed up as Lucy, as in Lucille Ball, which is TOTALLY EXCITING. Then, it's only 2 weeks until my sabbatical and our trip! Woo!

This week -
Tonight - Dance. I'll be there tonight, but not next week, there for 2 weeks, then out for at least one, maybe two, depending on how jet lagged I am on the 28th.
Otherwise, not a whole lot. I need to talk to the bank and the phone company about international usage. I also need to order some new shoes (my poor shoes are getting holes in) and get some red lipstick. And hairspray. And see if I can get my hair to do the updo thing or if I'll be wearing a wig.

I'm starting to freak out about the travel. I haven't done something this big and expensive since our honeymoon. I haven't been away from my kids this long EVER. It's just...a lot. There's a lot.

sabine: (Default)
Friday - Newer Dancer Night and Teacher M dancing! Downwood brought the kids up and we had dinner together. Then, he took a wheezy Ox to Walgreens and I took a hyper Emi up to Med Hookah. We sat with Au and family and RH and family. And it was wonderful. During the first Newer Dancer, I crowded into billzilla's personal space - this dancer has never had a good relationship with where she is in space and nearly smacked me in the head multiple times with her grand, sweeping gestures. Ugh.

But overall it was fun. I have friends! Interesting friends! And my Wonder Woman Moneta dress got many compliments. And there's a picture out there of Teacher M trying to lick my tattoo. Good times. :)

Saturday - Hot and muggy. It was Werk Picnic day, so we got sunscreened up, grabbed swimming stuff, and headed up to town. We met my folks and then trekked over to werk. The picnic food was DELICIOUS. We about had to use a crowbar to pry a very, very sweaty Ox out of the bouncy houses. Emi got a balloon octopus and likewise loved the bouncy houses.

Then, the rain finally started. Hooray for cooling down and giving us an excuse to go inside!

So I took my folks and Downwood on a bit of a tour of campus. I showed our new-ish auditorium. It's impressively huge. Downwood wants them to move GenCon to it. I then took them over to our new buildings. Emi was ASTOUNDED by the new train-station-themed cafeteria and wants to come have lunch with me every day. The grownups were impressed both by the pretty of the buildings and the scale of this construction.

After walking, walking, walking, we went back to the hotel and went swimming. Best. Plan. Ever. Then we just hung out in the hotel room. The kids snacked and played with Grandma and Grandpa. I chatted with my folks. Downwood nearly napped.

The kids were SO TIRED that bedtime was a battle. Too tired to chill out.

Sunday - I fell back into the depression/anxiety pit. I tried to play some Guild Wars, but had the start of a panic attack at the loading screen, so gave up on that. I did a TON of laundry and a bunch of sewing instead. I hemmed many things (test shorts, test capris, dress, skirt, 2 emi dresses, skirt, probably something else), since hemming doesn't really take a lot of brain. I nearly finished two dresses for Emi, but either have run out of or lost my package of 3/8" elastic. Drat.

I also did a lot of picking up with the kids. We got the TV room organized. I also went through both kid rooms and put all the books on the shelves correctly. My former librarian nature came out, though I didn't even bother trying to alphabetize. Instead, I sorted by size and got almost everything stood up with the spines pointing out. Ox thought this was GREAT and spent a lot of the afternoon looking at the books and pulling out favorites that he hadn't been able to find. :) So we got a lot of reading in, which was lovely. It'll probably be a disaster soon, but it made me happy to bring order to a little bit of our chaos.

Bedtime was difficult for Emi. She picked up on my overall sad/anxious mood and it all came out at bedtime. Then, she noticed that I was packing and I told her I'd be gone for a couple days. Cue the meltdown. So sad.

Today - I've got travel anxiety happening. In about 10 min, we'll go over to staff meeting. Then, I'll grab lunch, get my hand prints in clay (WOO! 10 years of werk here!), and race to the airport. I'll get on a plane, go to Dallas, get a rental car, get to the hotel, and then look for dinner. It'll either be Whataburger or Eatzi's, depending on how healthy I feel like being.

I'll come home on Thursday. I've got my standard pre-travel freakout. What if I miss my plane? What if I get lost? What if I get stuck? What if, what if, what if...

Yeah. Welcome back anxiety. I didn't miss you.


Jun. 8th, 2015 10:14 am
sabine: (Default)
Friday - Left work shortly before 4. Ended up getting on the road shortly before 5. Lots and lots of whining and we got to my folks' house just before 9. Kids were a basket case by the time we finally got there. We let them run around and finally corralled them into bed after 10. Then, a night of terrible sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress.

Saturday - Had breakfast, drank beers, played outside, and talked. We had lunch and let my nephew nap. Emi found some of our old board games and Go Fish cards, so we played some games, too.

In the afternoon, we headed over to Fort Madison. My stepdad had gotten a couple blocks of hotel rooms in a church auction, so he invited us down for a family weekend. We went to a park and played on the equipment and had popsicles. Then, to Emi's great delight, we FINALLY went swimming in the hotel pool.

My folks offered to watch the kiddos so that Downwood and I could go have dinner. We just went to the little Irish pub next to the hotel, but the food was darn tasty. Then it was more family time and getting kiddos to go to sleep.

Sunday - I woke up far too early and couldn't sleep. So I went down to the hotel breakfast as soon as it opened. My sister and folks joined me shortly. After a bit, Downwood texted that he was up and about, but kids were still sleeping, so I went up and switched with him. I also opened the black-out curtains a bit so that the kids would figure out it was morning. Emi woke up and wanted Grandma to take her to breakfast, but when I opened the door to let her walk down to their room, Ox popped up and took off down the hall after her.

We packed up the hotel, then went back to my folks'. They filled a cooler with frozen meat for us, the kids ran around like monkeys, and we eventually said our goodbyes and hit the road.

A long drive and far too much whining later, we made it home. I did a whole bunch of laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, and got everything else unpacked. At bedtime, we discovered that Emi's Violet toy was missing. I was certain it'd been in the bin of bedtime things that I packed up at the hotel - Downwood even called the hotel to ask - but we can't find it. Also missing is my Fitbit. It ran out of battery Sunday morning, so I tucked it into a bag to charge when we got home. Trouble is, I don't remember which bag and I can't find it anywhere. Blast.

Today - Is the penultimate day of Kindergarten for Miss Emily. She's very excited for summer and all the fun stuff. I can't believe she's already this big! Tonight is dance class and I don't remember much of the choreography for this session.

The calendar for this week:
Monday - Dance
Tuesday - Kindergarten Graduation. My folks and my MiL will be up for it.
Wednesday - Girl Scout service day (helping out at a local food pantry) in the morning, first softball practice in the evening.
Thursday - Post-Modern Jukebox concert!! I need to figure out where we're going to eat beforehand, but I've not been on State St in a long, long time.
Friday - Vacation day. If my feet haven't been killed by the concert, I may take kids to zoo. Maybe not. I might just sleep. Hard to tell.

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I've gathered together most of the stuff we need for the weekend with my parents. I have some anxiety brewing about this visit. I'm not thin, svelte, or in shape, so there will likely be criticism or comments about it from my mom. She also dislikes my tattoos and wishes I'd stop getting them. But she loves her grandbabies, so maybe she'll be too distracted by them to nag at me.

Emi's skin is very broken out. Like, big open sores behind her knees. If she wears shorts on the bus, she gets all sorts of things on her skin - milk, dog hair, lotions, food, etc - and her skin reacts violently. But if she wears long pants and gets totally sweaty, the same thing can happen. Just not good. Summer will be better. Swimming lessons will help this heal. It's just bad now.

Alex is his usual self. He's expressive and funny and I wish he'd talk because he has so much to say. I'm worried about him getting enough to eat and not having a vomit fit because we didn't read a label and OOPS! it had soy in it.

My Fitbit is disappointed in me. So is my hemming pile. Duolingo thinks I'm doing an okay job and am now 35% fluent in German. One out of three is not bad.

I'm listening to the full cast recording of The Graveyard Book and it is a lovely thing. I started reading a book called Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor, but the humor is scarce and it's a lot of stories that hit far, far too close to home. So I stopped that one and started reading Uprooted by Naomi Novik. So far, it is good.

Today is a sad day. Work is frustrating and a little evil. Emi doesn't want to go to bed and is coming up with every excuse under the sun to avoid it. I need to go practice my German, attempt my GW2 daily, and get sleep. This "waking up just as tired as when I went to bed" thing is getting old, fast.
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Taking another sick day.

Downwood got home last night about 2 AM. We have some really good friends.

He still doesn't feel so well - I'm not entirely sure why they sent him home then - but he's better than yesterday.

Ox and I are going to the park after his speech therapy. I will likely treat myself to a fancy coffee beforehand.

I really want Downwood to be feeling better. I am a selfish Sabine and want to go to New(er) Dancer Night tomorrow. I'd like to take Emi. I want to see my friends. I want to show off my nearly-completed tattoo. I want to enjoy life instead of going from one crisis to another.

I will read some Discworld today. I am still sad about Sir Terry's passing. If you haven't yet, look up his last three Tweets. Perfect and yet heartbreaking for the rest of us.

Sigh. Much sad today. Some happy to look forward to - maybe I'll run errands and go get my spa stuff and get my car washed - such as a haircut in a while and a bang trim sooner (yay!).

Also need to pick up the Girl Scout Cookies tonight. And then start trying to get moneys from people. Yey.

So it goes. It's a day. Now to go get some laundry started. 
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Text message from Downwood informing me that the family germs finally hit and could I bring ginger ale and saltines home.

Penultimate session on my peacock. There's just a tiny bit left - like maybe an hour - and it's SO PRETTY.

My Make Your Own Jeans order came in. I have small quibbles with some of the fit - the back rise isn't quite enough and the waist and thighs are a touch loose - but OMG I HAVE JEANS THAT FIT!

Ox ate food at dinner. It was a bit of a battle, but he actually ate real food.

Emi loved the dinner I made out of last-minute desperation. I am a champion.

I only got one of my new P4P patterns printed. Need to get the other two. Then taping and tracing. Yey. But cute clothes, so Yay!

I have a haircut tomorrow! I'll be able to restock my face wash (spa is next door) and conditioner. I'll talk to my lovely stylist. I'll be able to see without sweeping my bangs all over the place.

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Not good things about the weekend
  • We ended up staying home instead of driving down to visit my folks. This actually wasn't such a bad plan, since it was bitter cold and they got SLAMMED with snow, which would have made coming home an interesting drive.
  • Emi got sick. She started out the weekend by having a tummy ache Friday evening. And then by throwing up everywhere. She spent most of Saturday either sleeping or wrapped in blankets, sipping flat Sprite. Her appetite didn't come back until dinnertime Sunday night, when she ate All The Things.
  • Ox got sick, sort of. Homeboy's had a head cold for a while. Friday night he was having major coughing and gagging fits. Luckily, my organic faux-Vapo Rub (lotion with eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary oil) seems to calm down his cough.
  • I spent most of Sunday in a depression/anxiety haze. No fun.
  • Sunday morning, Ox got down the bottle of carpet cleaner meant to get rid of a milk spill stink/crunch area. He managed to get the top open (how, we don't know), and poured the whole bottle out on the carpet, but nowhere near where it needed to be. I got his hands washed and him into Time Out. Emi also got into Time Out with the "You need to tell us when he first starts on a dangerous track, not after he's already dumped chemicals everywhere". We got the mess cleaned up and both kids took naps while in Time Out, though the TV room wasn't really usable the rest of the day.
Good things about the weekend
  • I did some cooking. I made a huge batch of oatmeal and another of mini quiches to have for breakfast this week. So far, darn tasty and cheaper than buying the (admittedly) cheap breakfast options at work. Also, this way I don't have the daily temptation to get fancy coffee or pastries.
  • I also made some for-real pudding with egg yolks, milk, and everything. It's ASTONISHINGLY rich. zomg. But very tasty.
  • Emi felt better. That's a win.
  • I finished two sewing projects. One - a Moneta dress for me - just needed hemmed on the skirt and sleeves. I also managed to go from printing the pattern, assembling, tracing, cutting, and all the way through sewing on a shirt for Emi. I had a yard of red jersey fabric that needed a home, so I started with this pattern. She chose the hood option, so I dug out some remnants of the blue star fabric from my Wonder Woman dress to use as the hood lining. It turned out super cute. A+, will make again.
  • I did a ton of laundry. This is not unusual.
  • I started listening to a new podcast that I'm pretty sure is hypnotizing me into having a good night's sleep. It's called "Sleep With Me". It's a dude telling a story in a monotone, rambling way, so the sound isn't steady. It starts with a bit of guided meditation to get rid of free-floating worries and then goes into an ongoing story. The episodes are an hour long, so when I fall asleep and then wake up after 10 minutes, I go right back to sleep. In the couple of days since I started listening, I've woken up easily and early. Even today, when my alarm is early, I was awake and - get this - *ready* to get up. Weird, but welcome. Since this is the only part of my bedtime routine that's changed, I'm going to credit it with actually getting rested at night. I'm okay with that.
  • Downwood made some amazing pork spareribs for dinner last night. I made some amazing popcorn shrimp and pasta for dinner Saturday.

On the whole, not so bad. Though I could have done without having to clean up throwup and carpet cleaner.
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I'm not going to do a 2014 Year in Review post. 2014 kind of sucked and I don't want to relive it. I'm going to go with Reverend Mord's (Hidden Almanac podcast) wish for 2015: may it be good. Like how a good lunch prepares you for the work of the afternoon. It doesn't have to be an amazing year, just good enough for you to get done the things you want to get done.

I'm sitting on my couch in my PJs, watching WI in the Outback Bowl. I'm also drinking a mimosa and typing this on my new toy - a Microsoft Surface 3. It's shiny and the kids are NOT ALLOWED to touch it.

Tomorrow I go back to work. Part of the day will be for setting this machine up with access to VPN. This will make my work traveling much, much lighter in the future.

Highlights from my vacation so far, in no particular order:
  • My MiL came up on the 23rd and stayed through xmas. The kiddos had a ball with Grandma Suzie.
  • On the 23rd, I went and got a super long massage in the morning. Then, that night, Downwood and I had a date night. We went out to dinner and then to a Paint Nite event. It was unsurprisingly nice.
  • The kids made out like BANDITS on xmas. Grandma and Grandpa were very, very generous. Emi got more Frozen stuff than she'd hoped for in her most avaricious dreams. Ox got lots of trucks, tractors, and cars. Santa came, but only brought them some small things - a stuffie, a couple of books, and some craft supplies. I read something about making Santa gifts small so the kids don't have to figure out why Santa can brink one kid a bike, PS4, and an iPod, but brings a friend just a pair of mittens.  
  • Emi and I made lotion that's theoretically better for her and Ox than plain coconut oil. Emi chose peppermint essential oil for hers, so every night ends with her smelling like a candy cane. It's pretty awesome.
  • I finally cleaned out and reorganized my bathroom cabinets. I got rid of a lot of junk and expired stuff and made room for all the things that had piled up on the counter. I also deep cleaned the TV room today, including moving the couches to vacuum behind them. Go, me.
  • Emi, Ox, and I spent a lot of time at the kitchen table drawing and coloring pictures. I'd draw something and Emi would color it. Ox was just as chaotic as usual.
  • I've played a lot of GW2. Probably more than I should have. But it's fun and something we do together and with friends.
  • I did some sewing. I got two Ina maxi skirts done and one Moneta dress. I have another Moneta dress ready to put together. I haven't hemmed anything yet, just serged, but still. Accomplishment.
  • Spent New Year's Eve on my couch, cocooned in a pile of blankets. We ate cheap fried appetizers and drank some champagne. I feel asleep there about 11:30, to no one's surprise.
  • Every morning this break, Emi has come in and snuggled with me every morning. The best part of every day, to be sure.
  • It's been really nice not being at work. My stress levels are WAAAAY down.
  • I'm kind of tired of my family. No alone time for the Sabine. I love them, but I'm running out of People Points.
  • I'm not actually looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Hopefully, it'll be really quiet and I can just go through my email and get through to 5 pm,
  • Not sure if we'll take down the tree today or on Saturday. I'd kind of like it to be today so that I can move the couch back so that I can get my exercise bike out of the corner.
  • Of course, I didn't get everything done that I wanted. There are still places in my room that I need to sort and put away. Also, my computer desk is a disaster. But the kids are happy, Ox is working on potty time, and Emi is running around like a madwoman. We ate far too much junk food, but everyone seems happy. I'm still battling some anxiety left over from last night, but that's unsurprising.

So, yes, it's been both a busy and a lazy vacation. We stay in PJs for a long time, get lots of snuggles and have lots of books and art time. I haven't made our travel plans for Germany yet, but I might start doing that tomorrow at work (don't judge). Life doesn't suck. It's hard and my messed up brain chemistry makes it harder, but it's also bright.

Happy new year. May 2015 be a good year that lets you get done thing things you want to get done.

first xmas

Dec. 22nd, 2014 09:13 am
sabine: (Default)
We went to Iowa over the weekend to celebrate the holidays with my mom's family. I ate far too much, particularly cookies. I don't want to see cookies again for a while. Oog.

Everyone was as warm, welcoming, loving, and family as always. We played cards, watched basketball, dodged the kids who were having an all-out Nerf battle - including Emi who now wants "guns" of her own, and talked. Emi and Ox were both thrilled with the presents they got. I'm getting to the point where I really like getting things that I can use up. Like, say, the GIANT box of coffee my sister gave me. I'll use that and then won't have to have a place in my house to keep it.  This is why I encouraged Emi to look at the jellies and mustards when she was picking out presents for Grandma and Grandpa. It's just where we're at.

We got home shortly after 5 Sunday evening. Both kids slept most of the way back, which was lovely. I got zero alone time, of course. At least I didn't have anyone walking into the bathroom to say Hi, like I do at home.

Came home and checked my email to find a very generous Amazon gift card from my father. I promptly cashed it in for a new car seat for Ox (one that can convert to a booster when he's a bit bigger) and new flannel sheets for both kids. Practical, yes. Necessary, pretty much. I also bought some lotion ingredients to try to blend something that will help out the kiddos more than straight coconut oil. Not necessary, but I think it will help.

I'm having mixed feelings about the weekend. I'm so glad to have seen my family - especially the ones who live far away. I'm sad that the visit was short and was bracketed by long car drives. Someday, I'd like to move back to the Des Moines area...or convince my family to move here. I'm exhausted from enforced social time and herding of small children. I'm happy that the presents I picked out went over well. I'm feeling guilty for not spending more time with them. My back is really mad at me from the not-comfortable bed and the car ride.

I'm looking forward to having some time off work. I have to be at my desk until 5, then I'm off until January 2. I'm not exactly mentally present today as a result. I tried to trick my brain into work mode by dressing up - nice sweater, my green Mabel pencil skirt - but it's not really doing much to help. I'm tired, anxious, and sad. I'm looking forward to getting a massage tomorrow morning and having a date night tomorrow night.

Just...lots of holidaze free floating anxiety. Lots of feeling beseiged and beset. Lots of digging deep for new stores of patience and understanding. Lots of just wanting to be alone for a while. Lots and lots of stress, mostly self-imposed. Ugh. Holidaze.
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We had 17 people at our house for dinner yesterday. 5 of them were unknown to me before the event - 3 as guests of my cousin (they were in town anyway) and 2 from work who needed a place to come have dinner. It's quite possibly the biggest turnout we've had for one of these shindigs. And it was AWESOME.

There was a TON of food and good booze. I brought out some wine and cinnamon whiskey, filled the percolator with cider and cinnamon sticks, made two pies (from frozen because I ran out of cope), ham, turkey, roasted root veggies, sweet corn, and homemade cranberry sauce because the canned stuff is of the devil. Folks brought pies, brownies, cheeses, fruits, two kinds of stuffing, a hashbrown potato casserole, green bean casserole (fresh green beans with cream of mushroom soup FROM SCRATCH), rolls, cinnamon-cranberry-orange rolls, and more booze.

It was pretty amazing. We gathered plates and dispersed around the house. I think we all ate too much, but that's fine. 

We sent some leftovers home with people and traded other leftovers - you take the pumpkin pie, but leave me the apple - and I fell into bed.

Today, I woke up early and went out to do some shopping. First the spa, to get my annual shellac manicure at 20% off. Then Starbucks because coffee. Then the FLGS for D&D books and My First Carcassonne. Then JoAnn's for on sale yarn and fleece. Then Target for DVDs, little toys, and some clothes. Then home.

Since being at home, we've done a lot of dishes. I made incredibly tasty ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch - this butter topping makes it all better ( I made an Emi-safe pumpkin pie with her and it's cooling on the counter. I made a turkey pot pie out of leftovers and it's cooling on the stove. It's also Emi-safe, due to using a modified biscuit recipe for the top. We'll see if she eats it.

Later tonight, we need to strain and aliquot a couple gallons of turkey stock. The bones and the leftover cooking veggies slowly simmered all night, leaving us with stock of FLAVOR.

Dinner soon. Thank god. I'm crabby now because I'm hungry and the pot pie smells good.

Tomorrow, Emi and I will wander around downtown and she'll pick out some presents. We love Small Business Saturday, since our town is FULL of small businesses. Afterward, I may try to make some fleece headbands and scarves. Maybe even finish a couple of other projects on the table.

Then I can get ready for Cyber Monday deals. I'm waiting for ThinkGeek to send an email detailing what all's on sale. I have one or two presents from there to buy and then I should be done. I need to start wrapping soon. Yus.
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I'm liking being a member of the Church of Bloggessianism. It's a comforting place, this church. Also, it's kind of nice to have an exalted title already. This is a Thing that is Making me Smile today.

Therapy yesterday consisted of two major takeaways. One - I don't have to make the holidays perfect. I just have to be happy and live in the moment. Everything else will take care of itself. Two - I am resilient and tough. I have survived everything that's ever happened to me. I don't have to like change, but I have to know that I'll get through it and it will be okay. I'm not sure I like either of these things, but it's given me a lot to think about.

This post on Epbot has given me a lot to think about.  I haven't developed full agoraphobia yet, but I'm on my way. I get panic attacks walking into work if I know the day isn't going to follow my "safe" pattern. I can see the future and it is bleak. I will be Taking Steps.

Dance last night was challenging. M decided it was Pick on Sabine Night. Her corrections are good, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be able to incorporate all of them right away. They're things that I ought to be doing, yes, but all at once was a little overwhelming. At least she thinks I'm worth the time and effort to correct. That's a good thing. The choreography continues to make me happy. I don't think I'll ever get to use it, but it's a happy fun piece without a ton of Drama. That is also a good thing.

Today is the 8th anniversary of the day Downwood and I promised to be a family and love and support each other. There are ups and downs, but things are going to be okay.

I have made my initial menu for Thanksgiving and sent it out to all the people who will be attending, along with a list of suggestions for what they can bring. I kind of love not knowing what all will be showing up. We'll have the staples and some of the booze and the inviting atmosphere. That's going to be enough, I think. All the Pinterest boards of fancy table settings and frou-frou options tempt me, but ain't nobody got time for that. I might cave and do a baked Brie, though, in addition to the dishes I already planned (turkey, ham, couple of Ox-safe veggies, cranberries, cider). That recipe looks utterly delightful.

And since I'm back at work after taking Friday and Monday off, my Inbox is a disaster area (though mostly spiffed up) and my task list is daunting. And I'm in meetings from 1-5. Lovely. Time to make the donuts.


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