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Well! So now I can finally talk about why I disappeared from life for a couple of months there. We are going to have a baby! Next March! As far as ultrasounds and cell-free DNA tests (which are kind of awesomely cool, by the way) can tell, he is healthy! And also with a Y chromosome! I… had not realized how much I was steeling myself for this baby not to be healthy until it turned out he was. I feel like I can finally actually be excited about it!

First-trimester nausea really, really sucked this time around (hence the disappearing from life... er... if you asked for a beta in those months, I want to repeat that I am really really sorry for disappearing!). It is possible that there was a psychological component there, stemming from being so done with the first trimester after going through it two times in a year, but man, life is so much better now that that's over with.

I am sort of panicked about having a boy and all the baggage that comes with being a boy. I told D that we'll have to buy some baby dolls for him now (E never got any dolls, although she has a bunch of stuffed animals). One person, whom I very very much like but who definitely has a plethora of unexamined gender assumptions, said to me, "Oh, buying toys for boys is really fun — you can buy them Legos and Lincoln Logs and —" "Um, we… already have all those…" I feel like I have a better handle on girl baggage?

On one hand, E is old enough to do things for herself, which will make things just about infinitely easier with a new baby. On the other hand, it means that I am no longer at all used to not sleeping through the night, changing diapers, teaching a kid how to feed himself and put on his own clothes and… oh man, it's making me tired just thinking about it. What were we thinking again? Oh, right, that E is the cutest thing in possibly the entire universe and that in time maybe, hopefully, if all goes well, we could have a second incredibly cute four-year-old. I hope!
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We went to Yosemite to hang out with K/B/D in what I am kinda hoping becomes an annual thing (this is the second year we've done this), because it is awesome. The two kids were both sort of wild with happiness to play together, which is, at least on our end, extremely weird and totally awesome (E usually regards other children her own age with some suspicion and/or extreme introvertedness). For the second time we did not do Pothole Dome together, this time because of the weather. This just means we will have to go back! We did, however, find out that E thought that "Yosemite" meant "Pothole Dome," when she kept asking us when we were going to Yosemite and we kept telling her we were already there, and we both were confused.

Other things we learned from last time and/or this time: )
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I did kind of take a break from participating in life in general for the last month or so. I am trying to claw myself back to actually doing anything. Various things that have happened since then:

-I went on a business trip, in the course of which I saw [personal profile] julianyap and we discussed trying to figure out an even remotely plausible future history for Divergent. Our best guess is that after the apocalypse, the person in charge of building back up civilization really, really liked the Harry Potter books.

-We went to Legoland the week before school started and saw the San Diego Maritime Museum and USS Midway and it all went really, really well. Legoland is, as I told D, an amusement park for people who aren't really into amusement parks. It has, well, Legos! and playground-like areas! It's for younger kids, which also appeals to me. And the week before school started it was relatively uncrowded compared to earlier in the summer.

As for the ships, it turns out that E doesn't like museums very much but does like climbing through things, and both the ships in the Maritime Museum and the Midway were very obliging on that score. The Midway especially had lots of tours of the insides that equated in E's head to lovely maze/obstacle courses with ladders!

-We went to Santa Cruz and Monterey over Labor Day to meet up with D's sister's family and while I think the cousin-bonding went well, it was... sort of the opposite of Legoland. The Santa Cruz boardwalk and the Monterey aquarium were both super-crowded, and it turns out I just don't like being around that many people. The boardwalk was clearly designed to appeal to teenagers, with a lot of rides that E either wasn't tall enough to ride or didn't want to ride. I mean... it was mostly fun? But I don't think I'd do it again. Except for E seeing sea otters, which was completely adorable; they'd studied sea otters at her old preschool and so she thought they were interesting and actually stayed still while watching them. The rest of the aquarium suffered from E's aforementioned-tendencies of seeing museums as obstacle courses. E and a parent ran (literally) through the "Jellies" and "Tentacles" exhibits about ten times while the other parent actually looked at the exhibit (which were great!) -- only occasionally could we slow her down to actually look at something.

-E started at a new preschool, which is going really, really well. Up until the very last minute I was super-conflicted about moving her, and now I'm feeling like a bad parent for not moving her before now. The teacher is on exactly the same page with us about discipline... E frequently bursts into tears when things don't go Her Way (a tendency she may get from both sides, given my childhood and D's sister's child's tendencies), and figuring out how to communicate What Her Way Is and what might work for her in terms of fixing it is about three thousand percent more effective than her previous teacher's rule-based methods of trying to get her to go along with everyone else already. I wasn't entirely happy with that teacher (who had a lot of other good points, mind you), but I had no idea how much better this would be when we were doing the same thing at home and school. I have some issues with the school (they do more gender division than I'm comfortable with, for instance), but wow.

-I am going to get a niece SOON. Like, today! (My baby sister is getting induced even as I type this!) *bounces*
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I went to my sister's baby shower in St. Louis and it was fantastic! She has lots of neat friends who were all very excited to throw her a party, so that was great. (Her best friend and I were nominally in charge of the shower, but we mostly asked other people to do stuff, not living in St. Louis ourselves.) E was in charge of handing my sister the presents, a task which she took Very Seriously.

My sister also has an awesome huge Brand New (built two years ago, when they bought it) house that we all stayed at. Elena adored their (finished) basement. We've informed her her house is going to be the vacation destination from now on (as opposed to my parents' house, which is almost as large but which is farther from us and farther from a major airport).

It was also my sister's husband's birthday, so I bought him Dominion, which we ended up playing a LOT of; it's terrifyingly addictive to the kind of personality who enjoys Settlers of Catan (which describes both my sister and me, and as it turns out her best friend and our cousin). Brother-in-law turned out to be the best at it :)
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So E has started going around saying "You always (or never) do that!" when I do/don't-do something she doesn't like, e.g., "You never do what I want!"

I hate this, because my mom says things like this a lot, and I think it's pretty pernicious in how you think about yourself and other people if you think you (or someone else) is always/never doing whatever. So I've tried very hard not to say anything like this to E, ever, and I couldn't figure out where she was getting it.

Then the other day I found myself saying, "I forgot the birthday present [for E's friend's birthday party] again! I always forget stuff like that!"

...right.

On the other hand, everyone in my family is a rotten communicator. (Including E, although the jury is out as to whether it is familial or simply because she's four.) So when E communicates something well, I take care to praise her and/or thank her for doing so (and conversely, I won't give her what she wants unless she asks nicely (instead of whining) and uses actual words (instead of pointing, saying "that" a lot, etc.)

Her friend: "Can I have the car carrier please?" [I know a normal person would put a comma in there. That's not how it was said, though.]
E: "Here you go. Thank you for asking."

She was directly quoting me. Aww!
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I am still alive, I promise! And the work crunch time is even over, but somehow my life still seems absurdly busy. I don't even know how all the other parents I know do this with multiple kids, I'm having enough trouble with one. (I have the bad feeling that it isn't actually possible: something gives.)

-invisible-ficathon has opened, so I keep trying to read things and comment, though erratically and randomly.

-Both church music programs I am doing are in times of flux, both of which are mostly vast improvements (K, this all happened pretty much right after I complained to you how much I was disliking both of them). My church got a new choir director who is one of two professional singers in the ward (the other is his wife), and we are doing Stainer's "God So Loved the World," which is... a piece that I actually enjoy, which is a huge change. I have been released from my calling as Music Coordinator (translation: do not have to deal with Christmas program drama directly anymore HOORAY). (I am now a Relief Society teacher, which I really enjoy, and may start posting about my lessons if anyone is interested. So far it's been The Plan of Salvation and Faith and Repentance.) Other church is undergoing reorganization in the fall and we may get to do polyphony again and sit in the choir loft, both of which would make me much happier.

-We are thinking about changing E's preschool for next year. I actually like many, many things about her current school, but even they agree that it might be just a little too out of her comfort zone and that she might like something a little more structured and academic. (Which is part of why I picked that preschool -- that it would be good for her to be exposed to a less structured, less academic preschool -- but oh well.)

-Her nanny/babysitter has gotten really sick really quickly; it is in fact quite frightening how quickly it all happened. One day she seemed totally fine, the next day she was assuredly not fine, and a couple of days later she was in the hospital. She is with her family, so that's good. I have no idea what the prognosis is like, but it sometimes sounds pretty bad. I just don't even know.

-To be selfish about the whole thing, I now have to figure out how to take care of E two more days a week. Fortunately her current preschool has been really accomodating (one of the things I really like about them).

-Apparently these days I'm dealing with stress by making a lot of chainmaille instead of doing the stuff I'm supposed to be doing.

-I'm reading Hild, which I love love love. More on that later, probably.
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My sister's going to have a baby girl! She's due in September. YAY!
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Friends visiting is wonderful.

This week and next week, D and I are switching off on taking the kid. Usually (since I work fewer hours than D in general) I'm the one who takes the kid in the late afternoon/evenings, makes dinner, cleans up the ants, etc., allowing D to work. For these two weeks, he's the one who's picking her up from daycare and cleaning up the ants (ARGH the ants. It is not summer yet, little ants. It is not time for you to invade our house yet) allowing me to work. (I have been at work for twelve hours now. Though to be fair I took lunch and dinner breaks, and compile breaks to internet chat, and I am going home now. E probably went to sleep an hour ago.) E is probably beside herself with happiness, as today (I was informed) they went to In N Out. D is being absolutely wonderful, and I am in return being somewhat grumpy all the time because I'm wildly panicking about my project.

With my usual ability to schedule things in advance, I scheduled her flu shot for tomorrow, now that flu season is well underway. Of course, as always happens, she has a cold right now, so I don't think they'll give her her shot anyway. I forgot to call them today to inform them of this. BAH.

My work team is also being incredibly awesome. They are really fantastic.

I do not understand why my script is reporting errors. I guess I am glad it is reporting errors, as this may be related to why it's giving me the wrong answer. I think I will worry about this tomorrow morning.

I will return to life in two weeks when this work crunch is over. Hopefully nothing will break in the meantime. If I owe you a response to something, then you will hopefully get it then.
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[personal profile] el_staplador asked about a decision I was pleased I made.

This made me think about dating D for five years. We were both post-college; he was post-grad-school for almost the entire relationship. Four of those years were in a medium-distance relationship (we were about 100 miles apart and saw each other almost every weekend, but rarely during the week). We did not live together for any part of those five years. We were clear that we were both interested in marriage as a long-term plan. I wanted to get married, or at least engaged, for a good part of those five yeras, but D maintained it would be rushing into things.

General wisdom is that if a guy (or girl, for that matter) is taking that long to declare himself (given, of course, that marriage is an important thing for both of you), maybe He Just Isn't That Into You. Or if you look at any advice column/board, the overwhelming advice would be to Dump Him Already. Or if you asked my parents, they wondered if he was really into me as well, often fairly vocally.

We're coming up on eight years married now, and my life is immeasurably more wonderful than it would be without him.

In this case, D was right that we should not have gotten engaged while in a medium-distance relationship, as we really needed to figure out how to live in the same general area. Also, and more to the point, D's personality is such that he just really, really doesn't like making decisions. (Exhibit A: the car we've been planning to buy. Since I really don't care what car we have, and he does, the decision has been up to him. ...Five years and counting.) It wasn't that he didn't want to marry me, it was that he wanted to give the question the weight he thought it deserved. In fact, he still jokes that we rushed into marriage :)

The decision I'm pleased about wasn't to keep dating D, or to eventually marry him (although I'm of course extremely pleased about those too, it's not what I'm thinking about right now): it was to trust him, and trust myself that I understood him, in the face of a lot of messages that were, sometimes subtly, sometimes not-so-subtly, telling me otherwise.

...My sister, on the other hand, was in an almost-three-year relationship that fit the same profile pretty much exactly, and it turned out that in fact he really wasn't that into getting married to her and the optimal solution was to break up. (They're now both happily married to other people.)

So I'm not sure what the moral is? :) I think it is... to listen to myself, whether my self agrees with or disagrees with conventional wisdom. I tend to worry a lot about what society says My Life Ought To Be Like, or to try to conform to what I hear around me stated as This Path Will Lead to Happiness. I'm glad that I got past that, in this case.
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[personal profile] seekingferret asked what we were doing/planning for E's religious education. (Warning: I expect this will be a somewhat unsatisfying answer, not least because I feel like every step brings up more questions, and I can't write forever.)

This is really (at least) a two-part question. The first part is the question: what are we doing with her religious education given my tortured relationship with faith? The second is the question: what are we doing given that I am LDS and D is Lutheran?

To partially answer the second question: E goes to two churches on Sundays. She goes to D's church with both of us at 8am for a one-hour service. Then she sometimes directly goes with me to my church (for 3 hours, often 4 when there is choir practice) and sometimes goes to Sunday School at D's church (where she is the only member of her class) and then goes to my church (where she is one of about seven children in nursery, and one of four in her year starting "Primary" (kid Sunday School) this year). (This year, my ward is starting at 1pm, and then she will go to both every week.) The vast majority of our social circle is LDS with a couple of Lutheran couples sprinkled in. All of her church agemates, as you may have been able to figure out from the above, are LDS. (There are several reasons for this. Demographics of the Lutheran church we attend are, um, heavily skewed towards older folks. Demographics of LDS always include loooots of kids. But also, I'm the one who does much of the social planning, and I'm quite frankly more comfortable with LDS folks than with Lutheran folks, simply because I grew up with them and understand them, and I understand much better how to navigate socially in the LDS world than in the Lutheran world.)

We'll keep doing this as long as we can. My expectation is that conflicts will be resolved on the LDS side, since a) I tend to be the one who is more committed to regular attendance/participation, and b) all her friends are there. But if she decides she will be committed to being a faithful Lutheran, I will honor that. (The big thing that I foresee at this point that could turn her towards Lutheranism is that she thinks her dad hung the moon. Also that theologically I have many fewer problems with Lutheranism than D has with Mormonism. And that he has fewer theological problems with Lutheranism than I do with Mormonism, for that matter.)

The first question: At this point, I tend not to talk that much explicitly about God, Jesus, and so on, except as it naturally comes up (which it does because of the 5 hrs of church/week, things church friends say, the fact that her nanny is LDS, etc.), and then of course I punted hard with the introducing her to death (though that of course was a relatively small part of her life). This is also how I was raised, for different though related reasons. We do have nightly prayer but not nightly scripture reading (which I did when she was very small, stopped for no good reason, and need to get back to).

I have made the conscious choice not to introduce any concept as "because God said we need to do it this way," because I really don't like it. (I consider as distinct the concept of "God has asked us to do this because this helps us become closer to God," which I think is perfectly fine.) I talk to her about caring about other people, and how we do acts of service because we care about other people, and how it is good to be nice to and care about other people even if we don't know them personally, and when she gets a little older we'll connect that to helping us become closer to God, but not explicitly because God says to do so.

Random recent occurrence to illustrate the heretical beliefs she's growing up with: I very much do not believe that God is angry with us when we sin, and informed both E and D of this fact in perhaps a very emphatic tone of voice when her (Lutheran) Sunday School class did David and Bathsheba (which, by the way, was hilarious, the way they tried to explain it on a kid level). (This is straight from some parenting book or other. Frustrated that the kid isn't doing what's best, sad, fearful for the kid's safety, even annoyed -- this I buy. That it may even appear to us as anger, okay. But anger is a secondary emotion arising from these, and I say that if I as an extremely imperfect parent am trying to disentangle all this, God should be past that.)

(...did I answer the intended question at all?)
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Merry Christmas and Happy Yuletide, somewhat late. I am currently celebrating my husband and brother-in-law obtaining working wireless for my parents-in-law (both husband and his brother were like, "Parents! This is unacceptable Here is a nice working wireless router for a Christmas present!"). My in-laws are the most awesome people ever, have I mentioned that? They're just this really nice, wholesome, dependable Midwestern Lutheran family, very sweet, very nice, not at all prone to the emotional drama of, um, another family I might be conversant with. Every single one of them is really nice! Is that not totally weird?!

E is, to my great relief, very much enjoying her cousins, particularly the girl cousin who is about 1.5 years older; they are both much less extreme people than they were last time we saw them (maybe 9 months ago, we suck as relatives) and get along a lot better. She has been walking in the snow and sledding and playing games with her cousins and she is never gonna want to leave. Also, all the girl cousins got adorable "poochie" doggy purses which they all absolutely adore; the feminist parts of me (and of my sister-in-law who is the cousins' mother) are completely overshadowed by the parts of me (and sister-in-law) who think it is totally cute that all three of them carry them around everywhere and love them madly.

Yuletide: Assignment recipient seems to have liked my gift, which is quite a great relief for a couple of different reasons I'll talk about at reveals. The treat also seems to be doing quite well with recipient and otherwise. Due to Doing Family Togetherness Things, I haven't been reading as much as I might have otherwise, but I do have some recs, including my present, which if you persist past the SPAG issues (and what 11k (!!) fic wouldn't have those, I expect) is a lovely People (Zenna Henderson) fic.
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Okay, I have something to confess, which is that I enjoy talking about music drama. Because it is dramatic! (And because my life doesn't have that much of interpersonal drama otherwise, so I have to import it. Which I am perfectly fine with! I am not into interpersonal drama!)

But I am afraid that I'm leaving you guys with a terribly inaccurate portrayal of my ward, which basically had maybe three people generating all the drama, and honestly all three of those people are also really super nice as well, just with slightly different ideas. So let me tell you about all the nice things/people that happened to me this week alone, in planning this fireside:

1. The friend that I complained to about not having enough musical numbers for the fireside, who despite being super busy with family and work (he's a caterer, so this is his busy season) and family visiting, organized a quartet with another family by ONE HOUR LATER and all four of them have learned a completely new song for it

2. The woman who was at the root of much of the drama last year came to me and said that she wanted things to be good between us and that she was trying to work on not wanting to be in control of everything, and my gosh, this kind of thing never happens except in movies, you really have to be a big person to back out of a situation like that, I hope that I can be that gracious when I'm the one who needs to back out

3. The pianist with three kids, one of whom has ASD, who has cheerfully accepted everything I have piled on her (and I have piled a LOT on her)

4. The corporate chief administrative officer who has also cheerfully accepted all the piano assignments I have thrown at him, and I am pretty sure took off work for at least one rehearsal

5. The mom who is visiting our ward for only six months but nevertheless has cheerfully volunteered for everything, including running the Christmas party (a separate event in which I was not involved that happened last week, but let me assure you it was a LOT of work) and learning a random new song for the fireside, all this while having two kids under the age of 5 and being hugely pregnant with a third

6. The corporate CEO who when I asked him to perform at the fireside last week immediately was jazzed about singing a song with his kids

7. The mom who has four kids, the youngest being 1, and has a sister visiting, and who immediately accepted planning a trio and who also took dinner to the family that just had twins last night

8. The grandmother with the gorgeous voice whom I saw at rehearsal at 8:45pm one evening for one fireside number and whom I saw again the next morning at another rehearsal, for a different song, at 9am

9. The other people -- I have not talked about everyone in this post by a long shot -- who have been nothing but helpful and enthusiastic and interested and willing to pour their time and energy into making this thing happen

10. And, I mean, this is just one event I'm involved in, you know? There was also the Christmas party I referred to earlier, and the women's party, and the church service tomorrow, and all the other things that happen during the year, and all the music things, for that matter, and all the other families that need dinner taken to them or help with moving or emotional support or what have you. And there are always people willing to help, indeed, enthusiastic about helping. They humble me every time I think about them.

MY WARD, you guys. THEY ARE THE BEST.
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Number of Christmas music events for my church done so far: 1
Number of Christmas music events for my church yet to do: 3
Number of songs I am supposed to be performing in, not counting choir: 6
Number of these I might be able to get out of: 2
Probability I might be able to get out of them: 20%

Number of songs the Bishop told us he wanted at the Christmas service: 2
Number of songs we had planned on doing: 6
Number of times the choir director told me about her unrighteous desires to throttle him: 3
Number of extremely diplomatic emails I had to write: 2
Number of songs the Bishop's counselor insisted upon when he heard about what was going on: 5 (so, yay)
Number of times I have replanned the stupid special musical number because of being unsure as to how many songs we were doing: 4

Number of songs we have for the Christmas evening event ("fireside"): 9
Number I would like: 10-12
Probability of ending up with either too many or too few songs: 70%
Number of songs we had before G. realized that I was in charge, not Other Dramatic Person: 6

Tempo of "O Come All Ye Faithful": 88-104
Tempo we actually sang it at last Sunday: 60
Number of people who have expressed general concern to me over the organist's tempo lately: >10

Number of Yuletide fics I had time to write: <~ 1
Number of Yuletide fics I have actually written: 2
Number of additional prompts I keep looking at longingly: >5
Frequency at which I have to tell myself NO: ~2x/day
Number of additional fragments I have ANYWAY: 2
Probability these will actually turn into fics: 50% for one, 10% for the other
Probability Yuletide writing may be how I deal with stress: 80%

Number of non-music, non-Yuletide, non-work related Christmas-ish tasks I have on my to-do list right now: 7
Rate at which tasks are added to this list: 3/day
Rate at which tasks get taken off this list: ~1.5/day
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E's preschool cohort is turning 4 (and so will she, soon). She is at the first of the 4-year birthday parties right now.

...4 years is apparently when you can start dropping off the kid, at least for parties (like this one) that are held in a location that is basically set up for doing kids' parties and takes care of all the details for you and provides responsible adults to watch the kids.

I suddenly have two hours in my day (well, okay, more like 1 1/4 hours, I'll probably go back on the early side) I wasn't planning to have. Two hours without kid, which never happens. I feel sort of lost! In a really awesome way.

It also makes me think: would it be wrong to spend more than three times as much as I was planning to spend for E's birthday, for the promise of not having to actually do anything except show up for it? It's awfully tempting. The more so because the people we go to preschool with are the ones who tend to do this. Hm.

E has said she wants "balloons and bubbles" for her birthday, though, so we might just go for that. The problem is that I'm no good at DIY parties, being both uncreative and lazy, which is a bad combination. Her friend had a "bubbles" party when she turned three, and her parents were much more creative about it (and worked harder at it) than I think I could possibly be. On the other hand, there's something to be said for having DIY parties for her when she's too young to know how crap I am at it...
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Ahahahaha. So last year at my church there was Drama concerning the evening Christmas music, which happily was eventually resolved without my whole church hating me, yay.

This year, the factions concerning the evening Christmas program have decided not to make a fuss, which I was extremely happy about because it would make my life SO MUCH EASIER, you guys, which yay, because I have about five times more work at my job than I did last year at this time and I simply do not have TIME to babysit this year.

When will I learn? So, of course, yesterday the choir director and I received word that at the morning Christmas service, the choir has been asked to do only two songs. We usually do at least four, and the choir has been working on them for a month already, and I'd even scheduled in a couple more special musical numbers because we were worried four wasn't enough. Apparently there will be a half hour of speakers instead. The choir director is beside herself. I got to write a lot of emails yesterday saying various soothing and/or hopefully extremely diplomatic things to people. At least this is going to be resolved in the next week or so, so is unlikely to take up as much of my time as the stuff last year.

(I... have never ever been to a Christmas service, at any of the three denominations or countless different wards/congregations I have attended, that was not majority music. I must say that I think limiting the music like this is not a good idea. Even allowing for my strong pro-music bias.)
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1. D fed me Order of the Stick (which I'm still in the process of reading), and as a result I've been playing a lot of NetHack. (I'm really bad at it -- the sort of careful thinking-through of potential options when that leocrotta shows up isn't my forte, and I die a lot.) NetHack... can be a sort of interesting laboratory for studying probability, if you play enough. Sometimes you get that wand of wishing on an early level. And sometimes you get the master mind flayer.

2. I'm really grateful that I know and understand elementary statistics and can apply Bayes' Rule correctly. I suppose it doesn't actually make my life any easier, really, but I like knowing what I'm getting into.

3. It doesn't actually stop me from occasional stupid emotionally-fallacious thoughts about probability, although it does mean that I can hit myself on the head when I catch myself doing this. God, I think human beings are wired not to understand probability.

4. Via [personal profile] metaphortunate, Che Fece ... Il Gran Rifiuto (Constantine Cavafy):
For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No. It’s clear at once who has the Yes
ready within him; and saying it,

he goes from honor to honor, strong in his conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Asked again,
he’d still say no. Yet that no—the right no—
drags him down all his life.


It has stuck in my head, I think, because it is true.
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So we went to Yosemite, and met up with K/B/D, and it was really fun! We did learn a lot of lessons for future reference.

When there is a multi-hour ice storm... )
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Things that are making me frustrated:
-Writing five lines of code and then deleting one of them (the variable declaration, as it turns out) is not an acceptable amount of work for two full workdays
-That being said, maybe I shouldn't talk, since I spent a large part of yesterday tracking down a bug where the fix I pushed was... two lines of code. No, wait, three, once the code analyst reviewed my fix and pointed out a better solution to me.
-The fact that I am supposed to be working 3/4 time and have been in the office a minimum of 8 hours every day last week and ramping up to 11 for a couple of them, and I have worked for the last two Saturdays, and that this work schedule is likely to be the case this entire month. And I feel like I never see my kid anymore. (She doesn't actually seem to mind, which is good. I think.)
-Our nanny, who keeps trying to convince me that E's development quirks are because I didn't let her do things she wanted to do with E, despite the fact that this makes no logical, much less biological, sense
-Our new couch and chair from IKEA, which are exuding large amounts of smelly chemicals and so I can't actually use them or even want to be in the same room as them right now
-Me. I can't help thinking that if I worked faster, if I were more efficient, that if I didn't get peevish and irritable if I went more than twelve hours without reading something non-science-related, that if I didn't sometimes have to write down all my frustrations, that I would get a lot more done and my kid would get to see me more.

Things that are making me happy:
-The analyst who's cheerfully putting up with me invading his office every ten minutes and asking if I can try something else on his setup.
-The analyst who is keeping his head down and plugging away at the fifteen things I've asked him to do
-Our nanny, who has been more than happy to put in 12-hour days
-The other kid E shares the nanny with, who is one of the smiling-est happy kids I've ever met
-The fact that I got called for jury duty AFTER this month is over, whew
-Our new couch and chair, which are going to be great once we get them aired out
-going to Yosemite next month with friends, so excited
-A lot of interesting things to read right now, even if I ought to be working rather than reading them
-Eugene Onegin, which still rocks and turns out to be great music to work to
-D, who put together the new couch with E's "help," and who has been spending more time with her lately because of my working working
-My kid, who is honestly the cutest kid in the world :)
cahn: (pothole)
This year was my second (dad's) family reunion, which we've been having every 1.5 years (so as to alternate summer and winter).

1. As D pointed out, his family reunions have almost ten times the people and less than one-tenth the drama. To be perfectly fair, all the drama was pretty much confined to the first generation (dad and siblings) with some first-second generation drama, and as far as I know no second-generation drama at all. My cousins are great!

2. In what turns out to be related news, the older/female part of the first generation has some problems with emotional manipulation. (The younger part of the first generation tends to just suck it up or avoid conflict.) I caved in (which I certainly have a problem with) to mom on Friday, to my great regret, but perhaps it was just as well, as my regret over this led directly to my preventing a cave-in by my dad to his sister on Saturday.

3. I always forget how much I adore Yosemite, particularly Tuolumne. ADORE.

4. In related news, I really need to get a new camera with better manual controls. In particular, I need to get a Canon G15 :) My Panasonic LX-3 is a great camera that takes great pictures, but doing any kind of manual control is like pulling teeth, and it turns out this makes me not want to use it at all, whereas back when I had a G7 I was always taking it out. Using an iPhone camera is a nonstarter for much the same reasons. That being said, it's certainly true that when hiking with a bunch of kids and/or a lot of non-photo-driven adults there's not really that much time for messing around with manual control... (Also, the G15 has a fast, fast f/1.8 lens. Be still my heart!) I've also been following the 4/3 interchangeable-lens non-SLR cameras with interest -- if you'd asked me five years ago I would totally have thought it would have been my next camera -- but I've decided that I am exponentially more likely to take a camera places if it easily fits in large pockets/small bags.

5. Lessons learned include a) Saddlebag Lake and the lakes to the northwest are awesome; the lakes to the northeast, not so much, so don't do the loop hike, and b) the mosquitoes in July are horrible. Interestingly, it was only the environs of Saddlebag Lake that had terrible mosquitoes; our Yosemite and June Lake hikes were mostly devoid of them. I am gratified to learn that my two favorite places (though I can think of more impressive ones) in all of Yosemite, Tenaya Lake and Cathedral Lake, were also the favorites of my relatives.

6. E hiked up her first "mountain" (Pothole Dome, which is only 200 ft, but it's bare shiny granite and certainly looked like a mountain to E). D and I were both totally expecting that she would only make it halfway up, but she plugged away (and then fell asleep within minutes of getting back in the car). This is the same kid who complains about almost any kind of physical anything we've ever had her do (she still complains bitterly, for instance, if we make her ride her tricycle, whereas all the other kids we know looooove tricycles). Pothole Dome has an awesome view-to-effort ratio, and I'm amazed we never did it before.
cahn: (Default)
1. A. and I took E to the beach last night (thanks A. for hanging out with us!), and if there is anything better than Ecstatic Child signaling her absolute adoration for the ocean by jumping for joy and screaming with laughter and running ecstatically in and out of the waves and getting all three of us thoroughly wet, I don't know what it is.

2. All three of us got haircuts this weekend, leading to the following exchange:
E: Daddy's hair looks different!
D: Does [E]'s hair look different?
E: Yes.
[beat]
E: Daddy and [E] are the same!

D was totally happy at E's discovery of the syllogism!

3. Choir at My Church Drama in My Head, part #43: The latest, and hopefully last, installment is that Madame Director decided she wanted choir to sing Sunday (the same song we were supposed to sing the Sunday before Father's Day, then Father's Day) on Saturday afternoon, sending out email to the choir at that time asking everyone to show up early Sunday morning to practice. Come Sunday morning, how many people showed up? Predictably, one person on each voice part (except tenors, who fielded three, go tenors, a small group but a loyal one), plus me. The soprano, alto, and bass were all unwilling to sing solo on a part, and I can float parts but not that many, so Mme Director canceled.

However, she appears to have learned from this experience and is scheduling next month's music NOW, which I highly approve of.

4. My parents are visiting. I… think I may have structured my life to include as little stress as possible as a direct reaction to the part where they are both complete stressballs.

5. Apparently next week I get to sub at church for Wonderful Children's Music Director (different woman than choir director), which is making me feel sort of inadequate, because you guys, she is seriously really good and I don't think I can do what she does. Fortunately it's just one week, though. And in August I get to sub one week for my-church choir director, which I will enjoy the heck out of.

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