Thursday, March 14, 2013

Various Other Progress Reports

Why should Pumpkin get all the glory? Lots of other things are going on here Chez Cloud, so I thought I'd update you on some, in no particular order, and of varying degrees of importance.


My sister is buying a condo. She found the first place she was seriously considering putting an offer on, and tonight I went along to look at it. It was nice, but not the right place for her, so we left without buying a condo. But we went out afterwards and I kept her company while she ate some dinner (I'd already eaten).

Afterwards, I got in my car to drive home and Florence and the Machine's "Dog Days are Over" was on the radio. I like that song, so I turned it up. After it finished, Tom Petty's "Free Falling" came on.

And for a brief moment, I got that transcendent feeling of freedom that makes me love traveling so much.

I should clearly listen to music in the car more often.


Two more reviews of The Zebra Said Shhh are in, both gratifyingly positive:

Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity liked the book, and people also had an interesting discussion in the comments about whether or not they'd reach for an iPad or other tablet for a kids' book. Personally, I like having some nice eBooks on my Kindle Fire, so that I have options to offer the kids other than games or videos. But of course, The Zebra Said Shhh is also available in paperback for those who feel differently!

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers had a very nice review, which honestly gave me a great pick me up on an otherwise hard day at work.

As always, if you come across other reviews (or feel moved to write one yourself), send it to me, and I'll put a link to it up at some point.


Remember the vague post I wrote about feeling lost in the labyrinth at work? Well, I'm happy to report the issue that was the immediate cause of the stress and unpleasantness has been resolved, and I will soon be working on much more fun projects. Monday and Tuesday of this week were particularly unpleasant, though. I am glad that is mostly behind me, but still suspect that the entire incident has damaged my long term prospects at this particular company. I'm not sure I actually care about that, though, now that I don't have to run into the particular wall I was encountering on a daily basis. I'm still learning from my current job, and if I find that I am blocked when I am ready to move on, there are other companies (and other industries).


On a happier front, remember way back in early 2012, when I resolved to either lose weight or get comfortable with myself at the higher weight? I have now lost 5 lbs. This did not, in fact, take a year. I lost no weight in 2012. I lost 3 lbs when I caught a norovirus at the end of January this year. It was an effective if unpleasant diet kickstarter, but I resolved not to let that weight go back on. I have managed to keep it off and slowly take off an extra 2 lbs. I plan to keep going for another 5 lbs, if I can. That would put me back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. If I could lose another 10 lbs, I'd be at what I currently consider my ideal weight.

How did I do it? Well, I decided I needed to keep track of whether or not I'd taken my asthma meds. I am supposed to do two puffs on my maintenance inhaler morning and night. I often find myself getting ready for work or lying in bed reading and wondering: "did I take my meds?" So I printed out a calendar to keep track:

And then I decided to write down whether I'd exercised or not that day (I don't note the lunch time walks I take almost every week day). And then I decided to note my weight every Saturday.

Somehow, this gave me the extra boost of willpower I needed to ignore a little bit of hunger now and then and to get up and exercise in the morning more often.

Except this week, because daylight savings time sucks. Or, more accurately, the switch to daylight savings time sucks.


In even happier news, the 2013 Family Fun List and Personal Fun List are both fantastic successes. For family fun, we have gone to The Wild Animal Park and Sea World (yeah, that wasn't on our list, but they lured us in with free admission all year for the girls and they are roughly 15 minutes from our house, so we'll swap it for something else). For personal "fun" I have finally bought some new underwear and cleaned up my jewelery.  I know neither of these sound like much fun, but I am happy not to be wearing underwear that are older than my oldest child and I am really enjoying wearing my jewelry again.

Now I am reading some William Gibson, and starting to gather a list of new music for a playlist. Have y'all heard City Hall, by Vienna Teng? If you haven't, let me make you smile:

Someone needs to put this together with these pictures. And then I would watch it and weep with happiness.


In the happiest news yet, Pumpkin isn't the only one thriving at school. Petunia is also thriving at day care. She loves her teachers. Her teachers love her. She has friends, and is so excited whenever we see one of her friends outside of day care, be it by chance at a park or by organizing a play date.

She is such a happy, loving child. If I were the type who believed in reincarnation, I'd say she was an old soul. I'm not, so I'll just say that she is a joy and often seems wise beyond her years.

Since I showed off some of Pumpkin's work, here is a photo of one of her recent creations from day care:

Animals in the Grass
Pumpkin got so excited when she saw it. She asked Petunia if she'd share it, and Petunia said "yes!' and showed me where to break it in half. And then they both ate their halves and were happy.

And that seems like a good place to end this post to me.


  1. Before I go back and read the rest of your post, let me say that Vienna Teng is one of my all-time favorites, EVER. I've seen her play in Seattle at least 8 times, maybe more :) also, she used to be a software engineer at Cisco before she decided to pursue music full time. Now she's in business school at Univ of Michigan. (Yes, I'm a total fangirl.)

  2. Thanks for the song rec! It's lovely. :) And congrats on all your progress on multiple fronts!

  3. Anonymous5:23 AM

    Your calendar reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld's "Don't Break the Chain" strategy

  4. Anonymous6:59 AM

    Awww! I want some animals in the grass! Actually, could I have some animals in the mud? (Mmmm, chocolate...)


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