I’m still a little disappointed

I’m emotional, but even so, I’m a fairly steady person. Sure, if we have company coming and the house is a wreck, I get a little up in arms, but other than that, I’ve mellowed considerably since my teen years. This is why I get a little frustrated with myself when it comes to my irrational behavior related to food while pregnant.

Weeks ago, but it’s still as fresh in my memory as yesterday, I brought a large bowl of homemade buttered popcorn to a Women’s Movie Night at our church. There was a little left over, so I brought it home. The next day, SOMEONE had eaten it before I could have it for snack. I did not interrogate the suspects, but I did consider labeling every snack in the house with my name just in case I might want it.

Bryan went to a Mexican restaurant with some coworkers for a going away party. I haven’t been to a Mexican restaurant in a really, really long time. I NEED a totally inauthentic seafood enchilada since last week. I really do.

We’re out of salsa. We have chips. This is sad, but what I really want is an avocado to mash and add a little salt and cumin to because it was SO GOOD at Costco the other day that I considered circling around for a second sample.

Micah expects me to share. To share MY food. When I have a meal or a snack, he wants a bite of MY food. While not pregnant, I laugh and tell people that that this is the toddler diet and how I lose the baby weight, but when I’m putting on the baby weight, it’s not really that funny any more. I need food. ALL of the food.

I had a major sinus event over the weekend, and I was unable to make pretzels for Easter. I don’t want bought pretzels, I want homemade whole wheat pretzels with homemade cheese sauce, but we have this play thing going on and I don’t have time. This is a tragedy. I feel unreasonably sad about it.

We also decided to go to church breakfast instead of make muffins and egg bake at home. I need to find time to make some muffins because every time I go into the kitchen for breakfast, I just think about muffins. Blueberry muffins, lemon muffins, those little mini donut muffins. Mmmmm, muffins.

I could go on and on about my food irrationalities, but here’s the last one. On Friday, Bryan bought Starburst jelly beans because he remembered that they were “really good” which I deny about jelly beans that are not certain flavors of Jelly Belly. But, the package said Starburst, and I’m still sad that it wasn’t actual Starburst chews because those are good unlike their jelly bean relatives. The kids had a handful of Starburst chews in their treat bags from church. I ate almost all of them, but someone got to one or two of them before me. I’m still a little disappointed.

What’s your most recent food disappointment?


Posted in Pregnancy, Random | 2 Comments

Yes, we understand “for exposure” isn’t great

Some companies like to use people’s services and pay for them in terms of “exposure”.  Basically, it means that the person may get their name and work seen by a bunch of people.  If you’re thinking that’s probably a bad deal, you’re right.  I’m pretty sure this notion has been around for a while.

I was once offered “exposure” if I created an app for someone. They were going to pay me in terms of a LinkedIn recommendation and a tweet to 700 people. Foolishly, I only declined.  The proper Internet response would have been an open letter.

Thanks to social media, people now rant about this.  And they do it often.  What this has done is created a weird situation where the amount of exposure someone gets for doing a concert, artwork, or whatever, is dwarfed by the amount of exposure they get for posting an “open letter” talking about the hypocrisy of “exposure”.

Going to complain about “exposure”?  Make sure you follow these simple steps:

  1. Make the assumption that the absolute head of the organization is personally making these decisions.  Or someone who’s already associated with the event that is highly recognizable. There’s no way the task of recruiting people has fallen into someone else’s lap.
  2. Point out how much money they make from ticket sales. Multiply that by the number of seats.  But stop the math there.  You’d hate to be including the list of costs like liability insurance, rental fees for them, cost of equipment, etc.  If they sell a $100 ticket, that’s a full Benjamin Franklin going into the pocket of the person in item 1.
  3. Mention how your landlord doesn’t accept “exposure” for payment.  Really, this is quite a witty response that no one has heard before.  But before you do, ask your landlord if he’d waive your rent if you got his building featured on the cover of a local magazine.  Or on 20 billboards throughout the city.  I’m guessing there’s a point where he’d agree to waive your rent for a month for exposure.
  4. Tell us how long you’ve been in the business.  Or references to past work.  Or what other people paid you for.  What your hours of availability in the upcoming month are.  You need to milk this exposure.

Or, I suppose you could just treat those offers like a bad offer and ignore them.

Posted in Random | 3 Comments

For those with sensitive noses or how I change diapers with morning sickness

I don’t know if you’ll ever need this very important life hack, but when Bryan and Micah got food poisoning for several days while I was still battling morning sickness, I needed it to survive.

Changing #2 while pregnant is always a risk for me, but with diarrhea it’s even worse, so here’s what worked for me.

Upon detecting the smell, grab a baby wipe. Place the wipe over your nose and mouth and seal the area by pulling your shirt collar over your nose. This works best with crew necks and turtlenecks, so plan your wardrobe appropriately. Your makeshift respirator leaves your hands free for changing. Leave the wipe in place during changing and until the diaper is properly disposed of, preferably outdoors. Then, carefully remove wipe and move to rooms where the offending BM has not contaminated the air source.

Bonus, small toddlers will think this new look is hilarious. Fun for toddler. No puking for me. Win-win.

Have you found a different way to conquer this serious problem? If so, leave a comment below and you could win . . . my undying gratitude.

Posted in Fun, Pregnancy | 2 Comments

Tongue detection on mobile devices

I’ve been at my new job doing mobile development full-time for just over three weeks now.  Since I get to spend all day doing mobile stuff, I’ve learned a lot more about Android, iOS, and mobile in general.

But the most interesting thing I’ve learned is that for mobile devices manufactured after 2012 in the US, they must have “tongue detection” enabled.  This isn’t for playing Angry Birds when both hands are full.  Instead it’s one of those emergency things.

When you touch the screen on your smartphone, it uses the electrical properties of the human body to register touches.  This is why you need to buy special gloves if you want to use your smartphone with gloves.  Because the tongue is one giant muscle, it has slightly different properties than your finger.

So it was decided by someone somewhere this special property should be used.  The use case scenario?  A person with their hands inaccessible but their phone available.  I’m guessing it’s not “both hands are full of sandwiches”, but more of “You’ve been tied up and fell over”.  I’m wondering if it’s the same person that came up with the internal trunk release regulation.

Anyways, the regulation originally called for that if the phone detected the tongue moving over a large area of the screen (when it’s off) to dial 911 and put the phone into speaker mode.  However, with the rise of hands-free digital assists like Siri, Google Now, and Cortana, manufacturers just open up those instead.  This has the user could still choose to call 911, but they could also choose to send a text message, Google Hangout, or check the weather.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve learned in your industry?

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment

Sometimes all the things happen at once

I’m sitting here in my exploded toy store of a living room hoping that sometime, sometime we might start to get a little caught up. I try to have that thought without a crazy laugh escaping because, well, things have been a little crazy here.

January was my month to rest and recuperate, and I did, but we still ran somewhere every single weekend with birthday parties and extracurricular activities. February was filled with job interviews as Bryan was recruited seemingly out of the blue. Then, as we did all of the things for change there, we also visited family in the cities, attended the girls’ choir concert, went on an overnight to the zoo, and started potty training. These are all good things, but it was a lot. Oh, and the week we started potty training, Emma got a pretty serious pinched nerve in her shoulder, so we shuffled off to the chiropractor as well as trying to treat symptoms while potty training. March has flown by with the aftermath of potty training and pinched nerves, a trip to the Mall of America, as well as actually transitioning to the new job and a week-long episode of what must have been food poisoning for the guys of the house. We also got our taxes done. All of this has taken place with exactly one week of vacation from homeschool. It was a ridiculous amount of stuff.

And it was even more ridiculous because my pants are starting not to fit for the best of reasons, we’re expecting #4 in October! So, we’ve wrangled all of these activities along with fatigue and morning sickness. I don’t recommend potty training or allowing your family members to get food poisoning while suffering from morning sickness by the way.

So that’s what’s been going on here. What’s new with you?

Posted in Family Updates, Pregnancy | 2 Comments

I didn’t get heckled

I was asked to share a testimony at our church during the Lenten service about how God has worked in my life. I could tell I was pretty nervous about it because I had a dream that people started walking out, and someone yelled from the crowd “Get to the point!” But, I shared it yesterday, and just as I suspected, that was all in my head because I actually received quite a bit of positive feedback. In any case, since I spent so much time writing it up and worrying about it, I figured I would share it with you all and get a little more mileage out of it. So, here, slightly edited, is what I had to share: Continue reading

Posted in Faith | Leave a comment

Girls and boys

Micah is a boy. My other children are girls.

The other day Micah was stomping. I know this because he was saying “tomp tomp tomp” as he stepped on various objects. Then, he looks up at me, smiles, and says “tomp the mommy” and steps on me.

Thus, I know that he loves me.

Parents of boys, besides jumping and stomping on me, what other violent gestures of love should I anticipate and defend myself against?

Posted in Family Updates | 2 Comments

Leaving my job – Again

For my birthday, Amie got me a new red dress-up shirt and tie (amongst other things).  That’s because my old one was wearing out a bit and I needed dress up shirts for work.  Both of us are planners. We figured I’d be requiring dress shirts for years to come.  It turns out though, I won’t need a huge amount of them after last week.

I had a recruiter reach out to me after seeing my LinkedIn profile with the chance to work full-time doing mobile development.  I’ve had recruiters contact me through LinkedIn before.  But most of them involved relocating.  Or some weren’t really forthcoming with information (seriously, if you don’t tell me the company name, it’s going to be difficult).  But this guy was great. Soon I had a phone interview scheduled, and after that a meeting for lunch.  Things went great there and they kicked off the process to have HR extend an offer.

This is much different than when I left IBM. For that, it was something I decided to do and pursued other opportunities for a long time.  The time waiting between submitting an application and waiting to hear back is an eternity.  For this job, they came to me, so all that didn’t exist. Before, I wanted to leave IBM.  When this opportunity came, I wasn’t looking to leave Mayo.  But the offer was too good to pass up. And that’s not just a “money was better” statement.  The things I get to work on and the team I get to be a part of is extremely exciting.

This is a huge change.  This job has onsite indoor parking and also an onsite chef.  OK, so I’m working from home.  But doesn’t the first one sound much more impressive?  But there will be a lot of changes to adjust to.  I will probably write more about it later.  For now, it’s just getting through orientation and starting the journey.

How else can I make “working from home” sound more impressive?

Posted in Family Updates | 3 Comments

Why do homeschool moms wear jean skirts

Homeschool moms, in general, dress a lot like other people anymore. They will sing the praises of yoga pants like every other mom ever. Despite our fashion improvements, it seems we still wear denim skirts more often than the general population. Why? Here are a few reasons you might see that homeschooling mom sporting a denim skirt.

It beats denim jumpers. Remember those shapeless denim jumpers of the 80s? Some were like overalls with no legs? I was young then and not homeschooled, but I hear tell that those are what all the cool moms used to wear. *shudder*

We are too tired for matching. You know what goes with denim? The everything. This is the ultimate in mix and match wardrobe pieces. Plus, being a skirt, you get bonus points for effort.

Once you’ve had more than the average number of children, or let’s be honest, even one child, pants can be hostile. You have to start looking for things with tummy panels and slimming fits. And it was OK in the wide leg days, but skinny jeans? Nope. Best to stick that stuff in a skirt.

A lovely lady on Twitter told us that skirts and leggings are like sweats and a blanket. Only they look grown up and like you got out of bed and like you care about life. Denim skirts are a win here because they do not create as much static cling as other hostile fabrics. Add some cute boots and you have a look any Northerner will envy.

Denim skirts are readily available at thrift stores and lots of us love our thrift stores. Buy used and save the difference isn’t just for Duggars, it’s a stay at home mom’s BFF. Especially a homeschooling mom’s BFF because we need to buy all the books instead.

Denim lets you scratch off all the crusty things your kids wipe on you all day long. Boogers? Peanut butter? Applesauce? Not a problem. Just wait until dried (because you don’t have time to clean that right now anyway) then use your fingernail to scrape away. Dark denim also hides errant pen and marker streaks as well.

Finally, all our friends are doing it. Don’t think homeschool moms are above peer pressure. We’re obviously not.

Bryan says there should be denim skirt sales in the exhibitor hall at the homeschool convention. What do you think, is this a viable business opportunity for me?


Posted in Fun, Homeschool | Leave a comment

Getting on the potty train

I’m potty training again. I just wanted to write a few thoughts on it, some to encourage myself, some to encourage others in the same boat, some just as reminders.

I potty train at age 2. My purpose in that is two-fold. One, kids are more malleable then. Although, they are crazy town with the running around and getting into things, they are more curious than out and out disobedient. My kids seem to go through a phase around 3 or 4 where they really feel the need to test Mom’s no’s. I really don’t want to be potty training then. Two, I hate changing diapers. The sooner I can be done with that the better.

Potty training at earlier ages generally involves training. You probably will not potty train your new two-year-old or younger child fully in a weekend. If you do, awesome for you, but I have fairly average kids and it takes a while. They can understand the concepts, though, and over time, they understand what you want them to do. We’re in Week 2 here, and although we’re still working on getting poop in the potty, he’s pretty good at peeing in the potty when he’s not distracted.

Kids will have accidents. This is a learning process. Even once they’ve learned, they’re still going to forget. I do the same thing. I’ll learn how to do something, then get distracted and end up messing it up. These accidents and forgetting are more likely to happen when they are tired or distracted. Don’t expect your new potty trainer to let you know when they have to pee during their favorite movie or when they are playing with friends. Hey, sometimes your “I’ve been potty trained for a year” child will have an accident at the park or during a movie. It happens. You just need to try to remember to keep track of potty functions for them during those times as well as you can and bring extra clothes.

Pull ups are diapers to kids. While it’s true that my son does not really want to pee on his awesome “Speed” (or Cars themed) diapers, he still calls it a diaper, and he won’t hesitate to pee in it if he has to go. The best way to train is without underpants, but after the initial training, underwear is far superior to pull-ups. It’s going to be messy. You’d better just plan on shampooing the carpet soon or invest in a Little Green Machine or some solid surface floors. I don’t know a good way to train without incurring mess. They can’t learn without making mistakes.

Pay no attention to pamphlets and guides that urge you to call poop BMs and other politically correct hippie psychobabble. Unless you’ve been calling all their poop BMs the whole time you’ve been changing diapers (which I’m very curious about your family life if you have) go ahead and call it poop and pee. It’s also OK to tell your child that their poop and pee is dirty or yucky because it is. It’s not OK for my son to stick his hand in the toilet after he pees or to touch his own poop because it’s dirty and yucky. It doesn’t shame him to let him know that poop and pee are waste products that he shouldn’t touch or decorate the house with. Sure, they’re normal, and he doesn’t feel bad for making them because he knows that everyone in the house uses the potty, but they’re still gross and we don’t touch them. It’s a health issue, and little people sometimes need health issues explained with icky, gross, and germy because e coli doesn’t really have much meaning for them.

Give yourself and your child lots of grace. Life doesn’t stop like it used to when I had all littles. Then, there would be this magical time when everyone would be home for weeks and weeks besides a little run here or there. No more. The bigs have places to go and people to see. This will make potty training take longer. You’re looking for progress. If you have a dinner or a concert or a something to go to, slap a diaper or pull-up on that kid and don’t worry about it. They’ll get it eventually. Sure, run them to the potty if you can, but overall, life is too short to stress about it.

Keep going. Like I said, it’s about progress. Each day, I see a little something that let’s me know he’s getting things a little more. This morning, he asked to go to the potty right away in the morning, and he went. He’s asking to have that diaper off. He’s keeping his underwear drier for longer. He’s at least noticing something is going on when he starts pooping. Today, he even realized part way through that the potty was the place to be with it. In the end, we’re gonna make it after all, so don’t give up.

Finally, in regard to the title, when I take Micah potty, I tell him he’s getting on the potty train. He loves it. Parenting makes me silly.

What potty training encouragement or tips do you have to add?

Posted in Family Updates | Leave a comment