Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Ahh, I love a long weekend. Even one that does its best to ring in the official start of summer with the hottest weather I've encountered since last summer. I sure hope that's not a harbinger of things to come!

It wasn't a particularly restful weekend -- we had Jess over on Saturday afternoon to have a sleepover with Penny, and then Sunday KT and Kevin came down to pick her up and we had a cookout with them before they went home. (Mmm, venison burgers...)

And then we had a lot of leftover cookout stuff -- hot dogs, corn on the cob, and a whole watermelon we'd been too full to cut into Sunday evening, so Monday we had Braz and Adin and crew over so they could do laundry and we cooked out again (this time with sausages instead of venison for the adults).

So there was lots of running around and shrieking and giggling and noise and parents being needed to mediate issues and cleaning of messes. There was shucking of corn and mixing of drinks and grilling of meats and carving of melons. We offered to set up the sprinkler for the kids to play in, but Penny scorned it, so we didn't. Alex wasn't quite asleep when everyone came over on Monday, so naturally he didn't get any nap at all -- but was not too terribly fussy about it (though he leaned on either Matt or I for the entire duration of The Wizard of Oz when Matt put that in as a way to get the kids to calm down for a bit, and I think that doubled as a rest, if not a nap, for him).

I finally gave in to a long-standing urge and bought a snow-cone machine maker on Friday, along with three bottles of sugar-free flavor syrup. That turned out to be the Best. Idea. EVER. No calories, no carbs, no guilt, and every time over the weekend that the kids started making me crazy and I needed them to quiet down and sit still for ten minutes, I'd fire up the machine and squirt guilt-free syrup and everyone would sit down and shut up and eat shaved ice. Yay! It's a cheapie little machine and I expect it'll be nonfunctional by the end of the summer, but that's okay -- by then, I'll have gotten my money's worth out of it. 

It was a good weekend, in the main, and we had fun and ate and enjoyed ourselves and welcomed summer properly in with excellent food and even better company.

But now I need a day or two off so I can recover from my long weekend.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In and Out

So my "empty" schedule for this week is busier than expected, due to: a) one software delivery from last week that got delayed, and b) one software delivery for next week that needs to be prepped in advance because of the holiday on Monday. There's also some other administrivia-type work to be done, but that stuff can pretty much be done whenever.

I'm still taking some time off this week, but not as much as I'd expected. I took yesterday afternoon off; I'm working today; and I'm taking Wednesday off. But Thursday and Friday are both still up in the air. If I had my way, I'd work Thursday and half the day Friday, but given how slow the documents are likely to be for next week's software delivery, it's more likely that I'll work half the day Thursday and all day Friday. But we'll see, I guess. Not having to burn through as much of my vacation time is a good thing -- I just wish I could make plans instead of calling it at the last minute.

So my posting this week may be a little sporadic.Sorry about that. But you haven't been missing much, anyway. All I'm doing outside of work is playing Dungeon Raider (curse you, Wil Wheaton!) and trying to write two different stories. And picking out movies to put on my iPad to take with me to the gym and Mexico (I ripped Season One of Leverage yesterday).

Monday, May 23, 2011

I should post something, but my brain is completely nonfunctional this morning. Guess I'll just go for the dry weekend report...

Braz and Adin and crew (henceforth referred to as "the Hegemony" for reasons that would make no sense and be really boring if I tried to explain it) came over Friday night; we put all the kids to bed and stayed up late drinking and playing silly games. We did a couple of rounds of Guillotine, which was giggly fun, though I think what it really needs is for players to deliver a Last Words speech for each noble they collect or action card they play.

Then, since I'd spent an hour printing and cutting out the cards, we played a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity, which is like Apples to Apples, but offensive, NSFW, and politically incorrect. Needless to say, it was a big hit for us. (It especially worked for me, because while you gather points in the game, it's not particularly competitive.)

Saturday was mostly quiet. Matt took Penny to Ray's birthday party that evening, and while they were gone, Alex's cough devolved into a full-blown illness, complete with a 103-degree fever. He spent most of the evening laying on the couch with his head on my lap and watching videos. I let the fever burn while he was up, but gave him a dose of children's Motrin before bed, on the theory that helping him get comfortable enough to sleep was more important than continuing to let the fever burn out the germs.

In the meanwhile, Matt and Penny had eaten dinner at Ray's party (mm, pizza and cake!) and Alex didn't have much appetite, so I ordered sushi delivery. (The restaurant has a name, but I have no idea what it is, because thanks to Adin, we all just call it "Forbidden Sushi.") I ate my salad and was retrieving my miso soup from the bag when I realized the bag held no sushi. By that point, it was late and I was tired and I was debating even bothering to call them back to complain about it, but before I made up my mind, the guy came back with the sushi. Yay, Forbidden Sushi guy!

Alex was mostly better Sunday morning but still running a low-grade fever, but since it didn't get any worse, the Hegemony came over that afternoon to borrow our washer and dryer and stuck around to have homemade fajitas with us for dinner. Yum!

Alex was all better this morning, so yay for a quick-burn bug, I guess, and not having to miss school. (Though what with the whole needing to take time off thing, it wouldn't have really been a problem for me -- I just wouldn't be getting to do as much fun stuff.) Of course, Penny's blood sugar, after being low or borderline low all yesterday, popped up 100 points overnight, so we're half-braced for her to get hit with whatever Alex had over the weekend.

So, that was my weekend. 'Scuse me now while I go get some coffee.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Time Off For Good Behavior

My office runs, usually, about a dozen individual projects at any given time. It's been as high as eighteen, and dropped as low as six, but as a rule, around a dozen projects.

If you've never worked as a government contractor, you may not know this, but the way you spend the money on those contracts is extremely specific and controlled by a ridiculous number of laws. What it comes down to is this: at the end of each day, I have to divide my time very carefully into a number of buckets, depending on what task I was working on for which project. Occasionally, due to the nature of my particular job, my work can't be neatly divided. Sometimes my work equally benefits all our projects, or it's support work for the office as a whole and doesn't benefit any of the projects themselves.

Those tasks get charged to one of a number of special buckets that I'll lump together (because there's about six of them, and even I have trouble figuring out which is which) as "overhead." This is basically money that the company sets aside to cover these non-specific support type tasks. I'm one of our office's biggest overhead users, but I'm not the only one.

This year, the company -- in an effort to Improve Shareholder Value -- decided to drastically slash the amount of overhead money we're allowed to use. Which means that time charged to overhead beyond the small amount they gave us is coming directly out of our profit. Spending profit does not Improve Shareholder Value, as you may have guessed.

So right now, we're in a bit of a dry spell. We only have eight projects, and most of them don't have a lot of actual work at the moment. Looking at the calendar, we've got about a month ahead of us where there just isn't a lot of work, before some of the new contracts we just got kick in. Once those contracts kick in, we'll be all kinds of busy.

But in the meantime, we've got a month to kill... and we've already burned through most of our overhead for the quarter. If the Corporate Pinheads check their bottom lines and notice that we're burning profit, they will come down here and yell and scream at my boss and then demand that he lay some people off. Even though we've got work lined up. Because that's how Corporate Pinheads think. At least, around here.

My boss is trying to prevent this. He does not like it when Corporate so much as remembers this office even exists, much less starts trying to "help" us. So he's asking us to please do whatever we can to limit our overhead charging. Up to and including taking vacation time.

My schedule has been a little sparse for the last couple of weeks, and next week, has only a single delivery. So I'll be taking two or three days off, to help out our overhead situation.

Now I just have to decide what to do with it...

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I've been mildly addicted to playing Words With Friends lately. It's essentially a smartphone/iPad equivalent of Scrabble. At any given time, I'm in the middle of games with five or six different friends. It's interesting to see variations emerge in the ways different people play, and it's fun even when I'm having my ass handed to me (as a couple of my friends do on a regular basis).

It could be better with some variations, though. For example, games with more than two players would be nice, though I suppose it's possible limiting the game to two players may be one thing that keeps the game from infringing on Scrabble's trademark.

Mostly, however, I want dictionary editing options. Braz tried to play "oxen" the other day, and the game told him it wasn't a word. Um, yes it is! I'd like to see, for example, an option to submit a word to the other player(s), possibly with a note of explanation -- if they agree it's valid, then the word can stay; otherwise, the play counts as a pass. Yes, it's a system that could be abused by the approving player, but they might want to submit words of their own at some point, so they'd have to be careful.

And it could make for theme games that ignore the usual rules: allowing the names of famous people, for example. Or permitting fictional words from your favorite sci-fi and fantasy franchises, say. (I want to watch Braz and Jeremy go toe-to-toe on a Lord of the Rings game, right now.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Buh. Mental collapse. I didn't post yesterday because I didn't have anything to say. I'm thinking a lot, about a lot of different things, but none of it is organized enough to post here (and given how scattered some of my posts have been, that's saying a lot!) and lots of it is interlinked with other thoughts.

For example -- publication and e-books and piracy. I've read some articles and essays on rising self-publishing models, now that e-books are becoming more and more popular and print-on-demand is becoming more and more affordable. I don't think there's any question that traditional publishing houses still add value -- but it's a different set of values, or at least a different distribution of those values, than it used to be.

This is substantially linked to the issue of computer piracy -- if an e-book is pirated, does it actually hurt or help sales? Neil Gaiman posted a link on Twitter last night touching on this, but the answer is... "sometimes" and I like that the article calls for some serious study to determine the other factors.

Which ties into my thoughts about what I want to do with this writing sideline I've got going, and what I want to do with my short story when its rights are returned to me in September (the charity story contract is only for one year, as opposed to most of the rest of the publisher's contracts, which are for two). Do I want to try to spruce it up and reprint it? Self-publish it on Amazon for 99 cents? Offer it up as a free read?

Thinking about that particular sideline has me also thinking about sex, and sexual psychology -- I bought a book on Kindle last week on the topic that completely fascinated me, and I'm trying to figure out how to fit what I learned into what I'm writing -- and whether I even should. (For example: Despite the subject matter, about 80% of my audience is female. Does it make sense, then, to try to make my male characters act and think more like "real" men, when it's those unrealistic qualities that appeal to the majority of my readers?)

And the psychology aspect of that ties into a book I'm reading now, for book club, which is about a man trying to follow the rules set down in the Bible as literally as possible for one year. (He started out as an agnostic with the understanding that he's practicing a psychology experiment on himself.) Up to this point, I hadn't much been using the Kindle app's ability to highlight or make notes in texts, but in this one, I've got dozens of highlights and at least ten or so notes with my own thoughts on various points. It's fascinating stuff.

See? I'm kind of all over the map. And this isn't even touching on my thoughts about Penny's growing independence as a diabetic, or Alex's intellectual development and his new gibberish speech, or my sex life, or the assorted games I'm playing on my iPad/iPhone, or the family's social plans for the next few weeks, or my plans for assorted summer activities (my summer is already just about slam full, and it's not even here yet).

My brain, it is full. Does anyone know how to turn it off?

Monday, May 16, 2011


Matt had to work this weekend. A lot. Like, 9am until after midnight on Saturday, and then 9am until 4:30pm on Sunday (and then some time spent working from home that evening). Which cheats both of us out of the weekend -- him, because he has to work, and me, because I'm pulling the single parent gig.

So I really, really wasn't prepared for the work week to start this morning. And the less said about this morning and its distinctive flavor of Monday, the better. (Nothing major, just one little frustration piled on top of another, on top of another, on top of... you get the idea.)

But instead of whining (more), I'm going to tell you about the awesome thing that happened this weekend. Friday afternoon, Penny was trying to convince me that she wanted a sleepover with one of her little friends, and I was trying to explain to her how other parents don't usually know how to give insulin shots, and that sleepovers would be a lot easier when she'd learned how to do her own shots -- that way, the parents just have to help with food measurement and carb counting and then calling us to figure dosages.

"But I can do my own shots!" she protested. "I did it before!"

"Well, I need to see you do it, and I need to see you've practiced at it."

She pouted, but wound up having a sleepover at Adin's, (having friends who are medical professionals rocks), so she was happy.

But on Saturday, as we were getting ready for lunch, I said, "Do you want to do your own shot, and show me you can do it?"

Penny hesitated, waffled a bit, and then bargained: she would do the shot if I would hold the shot-blocker for her.


So she used her knee to pucker up her arm the way they showed them at diabetes camp, and I put the shot-blocker down for her, and she picked up the needle... hesitated one last time... and then did it.

She did it again at snacktime. And dinnertime (which, being a leg shot, she held the shot-blocker herself). I did her bedtime shot, but she did all her own shots on Sunday, including the bigger bedtime shot. For a couple of them, she not only gave herself the shot, but drew the insulin, after I'd told her how much to draw.

I was incredibly proud of her. So was Matt, when he finally got to see it at dinner last night.

And now I'll feel much more comfortable with her going on sleepovers to houses that don't contain a medical professional or fellow diabetic. (I'll still have to brief the parents, of course, but it's a lot easier for people to agree to tracking food and limiting the random snacking than it is for them to agree to give someone else's child a shot.) And I'll feel a little easier about putting her on an insulin pump -- she needs to know how to do shots for "just in case" events (e.g., the infusion set getting pulled loose and not having a spare on hand).

But mostly, I'm just incredibly stinking proud of her for taking that next step toward independence. (This morning, she was trying to work out how many units of insulin she needed for her breakfast. I talked her through it, but since they haven't started multiplication yet, let alone division, it was kind of tricky. At least breakfast is easy, because we're dividing by 10.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Didn't post yesterday because I was taking Penny to her quarterly endocrinology checkup. Which turned out to be fantastic, for two big reasons.

Back in December, Penny's A1C (essentially, an average blood sugar over the previous six to eight weeks) was 7.4, but at the last visit, in February, it was up to 8.5, which is way over where they want it to be. (For scope, the maximum desired A1C for kids Penny's age is 8.0; for teenagers, it's 7.5, and for adults, it's 7.0; the average non-diabetic will generally have an A1C under 6.) So the doctor told us to work on it, and if it wasn't down at this visit, he'd put her on a continuous glucose monitor device for a few days so we could see when the spikes are occurring.

So we've been trying to stay on top of her blood sugars (without triggering lows) and it's been a real headache. A couple of weeks ago, she seemed to be spiking highs all the freaking time, and there wasn't anything we could do about them. She'd be in-range when we went to bed, but wake up a hundred points higher. We'd dose aggressively for food, but she'd still be high at the next meal. It was making us crazy. And of course it wasn't quite pattern-forming enough for us to feel comfortable adjusting her insulin dosages. But for the last couple of weeks, her numbers have been fantastic. Almost suspiciously good. But the A1C was definitely going to include those couple of weeks of craziness.

Which is why I was both surprised and relieved when yesterday's A1C came back as 7.5. She's more or less back to where she'd been in December, comfortably within her target range. Huzzah!

The other thing that's had Matt and I in a frenzy of worry is that we'd been notified, by both Matt's insurance and CHKD (the "local" children's hospital) that their contract with the insurance company was about up and that the insurance company was seriously considering dropping their coverage. Which means that any visits to CHKD would be considered "out of network" and correspondingly more expensive. Switching to my insurance wasn't an option, because it's the same company, just a different plan. (I have an e-friend who manages her son's diabetes without the benefit of medical insurance, but I swear I have no idea how!)

So Matt and I tried to find other pediatric endocrinologists who might be in-plan, but there aren't any in our area. At all. We were debating the choice between paying the out-of-network fees and taking Penny to a non-pediatric endocrinologist, who wouldn't be as conversant with the specific issues of a child diabetic, like growth and the effects of puberty. (And who would, let's face it, be far more familiar with type 2 diabetes than type 1.)

But while I was chatting with the nurse practitioner examining Penny yesterday, and bemoaning the hard choices ahead of us if our insurance drops CHKD, she corrected a misconception that Matt and I both had: the pediatric specialty group that we take Penny to for her checkups is affiliated with CHKD and keeps their primary office in the hospital, but is not actually part of the hospital, and their participation in our insurance is not going away, even if the hospital's does. So if our insurance drops CHKD, it'll mean that they have to send bloodwork to a different lab, and that if Penny is hospitalized and the Williamsburg hospital decides it's something they can't deal with and they need to send her to CHKD for pediatric specialty care, we'll have to pay the out-of-network premiums for that, but her regular checkups will still be covered.

Which, frankly, is a huge load off our minds. It's still somewhat of a concern (especially since hospitalization isn't cheap even in network) but that's not something that happens often, and we'll deal with it as it comes up.

We also talked about some other, more minor, concerns (the high dosage of insulin Penny requires in the mornings, and her weight issues). We made plans to attend a pump class in early June so we can start the process of turning my daughter into a cyborg. (She didn't think that was funny, either, but she still wants a pump. Since that will allow us much finer control over her dosages and give her more flexibility with regard to eating and make it easier for her to do things like go to a sleepover, I'm all for it.)

So it was a good checkup. It left Matt and I both feeling like weights had been lifted from our shoulders, and we're ready now to march onward. How often does that happen in the life of a diabetic's parent?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I'm no longer wandering around with Jonathan Coulton or Paul and Storm song lyrics floating around in my head constantly, huzzah! (Much as I love them, the constant loop of just two lines from the middle of "Ikea" was getting old, as was the rattle of bones from "Skullcrusher Mountain", "Tom Cruise Crazy"'s teeth, the badass fucking "Mandelbrot Set", and the chorus of Dejected Arrrs from "The Captain's Wife's Lament".)

So that's progress, I guess.

I say "I guess" because I've moved on to having TMBG songs stuck in my head instead. Mostly the particularly earwormy kids' songs. Right now it's "813 Mile Car Trip," but yesterday it was "Z Y X" and "Science is Real" and "I Never Go To Work".


And in other thoughts... We showed Star Wars: A New Hope to Penny over the weekend, and she seemed to enjoy it. Finally. (We've tried her on it a couple of times before, and she was Not Impressed. She's not the biggest fan of movies that aren't animated.)

One thing that worked out well was that, since we were watching it on DVD, she could ask questions when she was confused and I could pause it to answer them. Or when something subtle happened, I could pause it to make sure she knew what it was.

A fun one to explain: "...she's got a lot of spunk. Do you think a princess and a guy like me-" "No!" Luke is flustered, Han smirks. "Mom, I don't get it. Why are you smiling? What's funny?")

I haven't watched the movie myself for years, to be honest. It was still fun, but I entertained myself with considering -- what if Ben knew exactly what was going to happen? I know I'm far from the first person to have that thought, but I think this is the first time I've watched the movie since encountering the notion. Certainly it was the first time I've watched the movie with it in mind. It adds a fascinating layer to his shock the first time he hears the name "Obi Wan"; it changes from "Wow, that takes me back," and "Has the Empire discovered my hiding place?" to a much more poignant, "Oh, is it time for this? Already?" And it lends a lot of weight to his words and actions for the rest of the movie -- and, interestingly, never really presents any major contradictions. It was a fun and intriguing thought exercise.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Awoke From Dreaming

I could sooooo get used to not working. I just couldn't get used to not having a paycheck.

So, the Paul & Storm/JoCo concert Thursday night was awesome. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe, and sang until my throat hurt, and then sang some more. Jonathan seemed a little off his game -- tired or irritable or something -- but it wasn't enough to ruin the show, just enough to notice that he didn't seem to be having nearly as much fun as usual with it. But he played a few songs from the new album that'll be released this summer, and those were awesome, so I'm looking forward to that.

Also, at some point in the last year, Paul has lost some weight (at least 20 pounds, for me to notice, and probably more like 30) and grown a beard, both of which conspire to make him at least 20 times sexier. Alas, I had only my iPhone with me, so all the pictures I took are kind of sucky. So this one is stolen from Elizabeth.

I was hanging out by the merchandise table with KT and Kevin and a guy KT had met on Facebook (who turned out to be a friend of my brother's from college -- those "small world" moments get me every time!) when Paul came down to talk to the merch volunteers. I wanted to ask for an autograph, but alas, I didn't have anything to write on. Oh, well. Maybe next time.

And one more huge thank you to Adin and Braz, who rearranged their evening and jostled their sleep schedule so Matt and I could both go.

I stayed home Friday, knowing that the concert would leave me to braindead to do any work, but I hadn't actually counted on going back to sleep after I got the kids to school... but that's exactly what I did. Dropped Penny off, came home, and didn't even eat breakfast. I just took a shower and then crawled into bed and conked right out until lunchtime.

That afternoon, I toodled up to the daycare for a "muffins with Mom" Mother's Day event, but it turned out that in Alex's class, they were focusing mostly on another kid's birthday party. But I got a cute picture of Alex holding a flower, and a handprint-tulip picture, so it was all good.

Since I brought Alex home well before Matt was officially done with his work day, I walked both kids over to the neighborhood park to run around and eat honeysuckle flowers and generally get some fresh air. I discovered that we've entered a very precious and most likely short-lived phase in their lives: not only does Penny want to push Alex on the swings, but she's big enough to do so more or less responsibly. I imagine it won't be long before her desire to be helpful fades away -- I can only hope it'll last until Alex learns how to get a swing going on his own.

And that night, Matt and I finally finished watching the last of Veronica Mars. Which... I dunno. The third season was so uneven, and ended with so many situations unresolved, I can see why it didn't get called back for a fourth. But I still loved the snark and the oneliners. And Jason Dohring is still hot. So, you know, there's that.

Saturday morning, Matt informed me that it was Free Comic Book Day, and I suggested that we all go to the Cube to scope the free books, and then go over to Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt for a treat. We pinged Braz and Adin, and they were in. Moreover, they'd promised to take Ripley up to her school to play on the playground, so they came over after lunch and picked up Matt and Penny while I put Alex down for his nap, and then when Alex woke up, I took him off to the Cube. Comics were scored, and then we went over to Sweet Frog for what we told the kids was ice cream.

And then, because it was right there, the kids ran over to the New Town fountain to play. And get wet. And then wetter. We eventually gave up all hope of keeping them anything like dry and just let them act like the little hooligans they are. I mean, what the heck, right? It was a warm, sunny day, and it was fun to watch them.

After that, we went out to eat at La Tolteca. Mmm, chips and fajitas. It's been too long!

Sunday morning, Matt and the kids came upstairs just as I was waking up and presented me with a breakfast tray (oatmeal with raisins and yogurt with fresh strawberries). While I ate that, Penny decorated the downstairs -- by which I mean she found a roll of red crepe paper and taped it to everything. She even draped it across the bottom of the stairway so that when I came downstairs, she had to get scissors to cut it and let me through. (Has she seen some sort of "grand opening" cartoon lately?)

I got some lovely gifts from Matt and the kids. (Penny, on hearing the amount of money on the spa gift card Matt gave me: "I got more than that for my birthday." Snert. Apparently, I'm raising a miniature Scrooge McDuck.)

After Alex's nap, we packed up and went down to my parents' for Mother's Day dinner. I'd made lasagna, and John brought bread and salad and berries for dessert. We all had a lovely time, and didn't let my mom do any dishes, which was sort of the point.

Best gift of the weekend was that Penny's sugars were almost suspiciously even all weekend. She was a bit high Friday morning, had a mild low Saturday at lunchtime, and was a little high last night, but that was about it -- everything else was right in range where it was supposed to be. (I suspect it will be too little, too late for her to pull out a good A1c at her endo appointment this week, though.)

Back to work today. Alas. And I think I have to be here pretty much all week. Double-alas. It's looking like a slightly crazy week for me, in fact, with a whole stack of documents and two software deliveries (maybe, if the one doesn't get postponed again) and all kinds of stuff going on.

So naturally, what I most want to do is crawl back to bed and take a nap. But what's new about that?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Busy Day

Six documents and a software delivery due out today, whoo!

And then I get to go home and change clothes and throw something very fast together for the kids to have for dinner and make up an insulin worksheet for Adin, and then pile into the car with Matt and KT and Kevin and go up to Richmond for the JoCo/Paul and Storm concert, which is much more fun than everything else that's happening today.

We'll get home late (midnight-ish?) and so I sort of expect tomorrow to be whirly and fun in a sleep-dep kind of way. I'm taking the day off (or at least part of the day, depending on how today goes) so I probably won't post here.

It sure would be nice if this cold would dry up and go away, though. My throat's already scratchy and sore, and I haven't even been cheering and singing along yet!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The weather changed again overnight. Yesterday it was 85 and sunny; today is rainy with a high of 65. Which means my sinuses are throwing a party and I spent half the night snoring (I assume, based on the sore throat I had this morning) and all I want right now is to climb back into bed.

But we got Penny's passport application turned in yesterday, so we'll be looking for that in a month or two. And my brother and I worked out what we're bringing for Mother's Day dinner on Sunday. So that's a bonus.

And! And! I heard yesterday that KT had a short story accepted for an anthology publication -- the book is due out in October. I'm so excited for her that I let out a little squee! every time I even think about it.

And I'm going to a fun concert tomorrow and taking Friday off, and looking forward to a good weekend. So all in all, the sinus headache and rainy-day sleepies are amply overbalanced. All in all, life is good.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crash and Burn

I was so exhausted yesterday -- between minimal/poor sleep at camp, plus staying up late Sunday to hear Obama's announcement of bin Laden's death -- that I gave up after the manager's meeting, went home early, and fell into bed.

When I nap, it's usually not for more than a couple of hours, but yesterday I crashed from 11:45 until well past 3, so a solid three and a half hours. When I woke up, I was still a little groggy, but no longer dizzy and nauseous, so huzzah for progress.

Of course, the late nap made it hard for me to get to sleep last night, so I was awake until after midnight. Two steps forward, one step back, but I guess that's still progress. I need to get caught up on sleep, though, because Thursday night Matt and I are going to the Jonathan Coulton concert in Richmond, and we're not likely to get back from that until quite late.

Today I get to pick Penny up from school and meet Matt at the post office for Penny's passport application stuff. It still makes me very eye-rolly that this needs an actual appointment -- seriously, it shouldn't take more than five minutes -- but whatever. After that's done, I'll come back to the office and Matt will take her to the library to find some books for a school project.

And that's my week, in slightly disjointed order. Sorry about that. Still working on that whole sleep deprivation thing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Camper

The short short summary: Camp was great and I fully expect we'll go back next year.

The short summary: Despite some minor hardships and mishaps, we had a lot of fun. Penny made new friends, tried new activities (and did quite well), and spent two days running and screaming and giggling and bouncing with excitement, and was quite disappointed when we had to come home Sunday morning. She's already begging to call and write to her "diabetes friends". For my part, it was nice to hang out with other diabetes caregivers and swap stories and frustrations and tricks and triumphs, and it was wonderful to watch Penny's enthusiasm. Lessons learned: next year, I'll take Penny out of school about an hour early, because we ran into traffic and barely made it in time for dinner; and I'll also plan to take the Monday after off from work, because I am flat-out exhausted today. To the point that I'm feeling vertiginous and dizzy (which is making me also feel slightly nauseous).

High points of the weekend include:

Penny's been wanting to try fishing for over a year, but this was her first attempt. She managed to catch the biggest fish of our three-cabin (about 15 kid) grouping -- a catfish nearly as long as her forearm. She was kind of ticked when she found out we had to throw all the fish back in the pond instead of eating them for lunch.

Penny waffled a lot on whether she wanted to try this. At first she was excited, and then when she saw the wall, she was disappointed it wasn't made of real rock. And then she was a little frightened by its sheer size. But I talked her into it, and the instructor stood with her and helped her place her feet (but didn't hold her up at all) and suddenly she'd made it up over his head. It was her first attempt at anything like this, and I was unbelievably proud of her.

Despite the fact that the kids didn't really talk about their diabetes with each other much at all (other than to compare pump colors and cool bags) they seemed to really get a lot out of being together and knowing that they weren't alone with this condition. Every time we turned around, someone was testing blood sugar or getting a hit of insulin or having a "low" snack. All the parents were counting carbs and doing calculations and weighing options. And it was all very... normal. Because everyone was doing it, but it wasn't the focus of anything. The focus was on canoeing and pony rides and fishing and crafts and trying to practice skits while keeping them a secret. (The teenagers re-wrote the lyrics to Cee Lo Green's "F*ck You" so that it was about diabetes: "I see you drivin' round town / with your blood sugar down / and that's / not cool!" It was awesome.)

It was a family diabetes camp, so there were families all around, and it was relaxing to know that everyone there had at least some idea of what was going on. No one was going to offer my child a snack without asking her to check her blood sugar first -- but everyone was keeping an eye on everyone else's kids for signs of lows... But aside from a couple of parent support group sessions, diabetes wasn't the point. The point was to have fun and make friends. Mission accomplished.

The "Cow Poke" girls are already looking forward to next year!