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1. John Lithgow's memoir Drama: An Actor's Education. You can pretty much hear him as you read; it's awesome.

2. Amanda Palmer's "Ukulele Anthem."

3. Blaine and Kurt from last week's Glee. The rest of the episode was kind of meh, but those two were awesome.

4. The school photos of the Zweeble.

5. Also, his new Perry the Platypus hat. It's one of those knit things with earflaps and braids. OH MY GOD AWESOME.

6. The fact that my parents bought it for him, which just makes it better.

7. My cloche hat from Target that was on sale for $5.

8. John and Tiffany's wedding photos, which actually made a bad day last week improve when they popped up on Facebook.

9. The Walking Dead, which, while not my favorite show, is sparking lots of conversation between the husband and I. (We're edging more toward early-Torchwood-esque commentary than Doctor Who, though.)

10. Looking over this list, apparently the word "awesome." (Okay, I need a new word.)
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I finally got some bras that fit.

As advised by Tiffany, I measured and used a bunch of different calculators. Of course, then I got completely confused because they were all telling me different things, but I found a website that explained sister sizing and it all made sense again.

The Women's Fashion Industry: Making You Feel Stupid (And Probably Fat) for 1,000 Years!

So the Zweeble and I went to Target. There's a side story here about his anguish that one of his Bakugon is broken, but like I want to go near that morass of pain again ... long story short, he wanted something and has been behaving at home and school, I needed something, so off we went.

I informed him that I was willing to get him his toy first, but he had to agree to be patient and not repeat "I wanna go home" over and over while I got what I was looking for. He agreed that that sounded like a deal. I prepared to hold that over his head all day.

Well, let me tell you, my son not only behaved, he actually attempted to help me pick out bras. (He also seemed to enjoy saying the word "bras" over and over, loudly.) And he chose some nice ones--seriously, they were cute--but I'm not in the market for a purple lace thing that looks like half a corset, nor do I need a red bra. I was sorely tempted by the polka dots, though.

He was even helpful in the dressing room. I've found that, much like my dad's German shepherd back in the day, the Zweeble is happiest when he has a job. So he became Guardian of the Dressing Room Number Card Thing, and he volunteered to keep the clothes hangers organized. When we approached the dressing room lady (which we did, repeatedly), he would tell her what number we needed ("We need another three. We need a four."), and then he'd run the number back to her when we emerged. She found him adorable.

He and I started running out of patience for this trying-on thing at the same time (I only got two rounds of "I want to go home," but they were phrased politely and not repeated), and luckily by then I had a handle on what size I needed and had found a decent bra.

And because he was so good, he got M&Ms. Because, seriously, this was super awesome good in a boring-ass situation. Chocolate was required.

In related news, the Superfluous Bag is actually in between the other two bags I use, but it's still a little big for every day. But whatever--it's nice and I like it and the strap is short enough that it doesn't get in my way when I am hauling the kid around. I wish it had a cell phone pocket, but that's about its only flaw.

And the iPod speakers in the kitchen are teh awesome. Best thing I've bought in ages, seriously. They have helped me enforce the family dinner at the table ("You can listen to Dr. Seuss, now sit") long enough that it's more of a habit and they're not required, they have kept my sanity intact as Z. plays on the computer and the game repeats itself over and over and over, and now the clock on the stove is accurate because we can set it by the clock radio.

So, yes. Solid purchases, all. Hoorah.
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So I got some Christmas money, and, silly me, I thought maybe I could find some clothes and some bras.

Wrong.

I found a sweater, a pair of shorts, and a skirt.

I returned a number of items after a giant check-out snafu at Old Navy, with the thought that I didn't like the stuff all that much, anyway, so why would I want to jump through fifteen hoops to keep it?

And I am reasonably sure that when I was measured at Victoria's Secret, I was measured incorrectly ... cut for discussion of bras ) So I returned what I could and waited a couple of days for my refund to hit my gift card.

I have no desire to shop for more clothes. I hate shopping. I think I'm going to ask for clothes money and a shopping companion for my birthday, which is probably enough time to make me forget how much I hate looking at stuff and trying it on and heading back for more. Because I do need clothes, but right now I don't care.

So that left me with money. And a bad attitude. :) Which is how I would up with a bag I really don't need, and an iPod speakers/dock/clock radio for the kitchen.

I really don't need the bag; I have the Girl Adventurer Bag and a bigger tote bag thing that I bought at Target for travel that works really well when I have to carry more stuff. I mean, I can rationalize it as the G.A.B. is a trifle too small, and the Target tote is kind of too big, for my every day needs, but that is totally ruined by the fact that I have no idea if this new bag will fall somewhere in the middle like it would need to in order for the rationalizing to work.

So, yeah, screw it: I bought a bag I don't need! AND I'M PROUD! (WELL, I'M NOT ASHAMED, ANYWAY!)

I did seriously think about the iPod speakers, though. But there are times when Z. is playing on the computer while I clean the kitchen or the living room, and music would be nice. Since our music is pretty much computer-based, now, when Z. is hogging the computer I tend to be out of luck. Being able to listen to some NPR would also be nice, because I am becoming one of those public radio hippies. And then there's this whole audiobook thing I've been hearing the kids talking about ...

I also asked Scott, and he agreed it would be a nice thing to have. He'd use it.

So I got one today--some Memorex alarm clock thing--set it up, and we spent dinner time listening to music. The sound is actually quite nice for a clock radio, and I realized that for the first time I can listen to my David Tennant Much Ado About Nothing without static! Woo-hoo!

And thus, Laura does her part to shore up the American economy. Yay. Now if I could get my head into a reading space again, we'd be set.
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I actually want to post a big "WTF Toyota?" rant to chase away the last of my broodiness on the topic, but I saw This bag and thought, "Oh, I should post that so [livejournal.com profile] sugarcoatedlie and [livejournal.com profile] doggiesushi can see it!" (There's a gunmetal and white color combo that might be more JC's style, actually.)

I thought it was really cute, but I don't like vinyl much. Plus, out of my price range. But the design (with the holes and stuff) is really cool.

There is also the cat-with-an-eyepatch bag on this page that I could really only call more Tiffany if it were a pug. :)
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So my Girl Adventurer Bag has a drawstring pcoket on one side, and the drawstring pulled out of it. The only thing I've had in that pocket was a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer, so this was a bit odd. So I figured I'd call LL Bean and see if they could fix it or send another one.

I was all ready to jump through hoops--doing this with my baby bag from a while ago required my credit card number and a specific code that had to be written ON THE BOX or else THE WORLD WOULD END IN FLAME AND TERROR!

But the guy made a few polite jokes about our crappy weather vs. his crappy weather, and then said he was sending me a new bag and a shipping label, I'd have the new one Friday or Monday, so if I'd please just send them the old one that would be great.

Easy and nice and just awesome. Yay!
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My new bag is TOTALLY WICKED!

Small but roomy. The pockets in the front are meant for, like, birding equipment, so they're fleecy-lined and so soft I just want to stick my hands in the pockets and purr.

It looks so cool my sick husband actually noticed it and said, "That bag looks awesome--I'd carry that." It's like something Indiana Jones would carry, hence it is my Girl Adventurer Bag. I shall carry it to track down lost planets, mythical beasts, archeological artifacts that bring back the dead, or on trips downriver to blow up German gunships with two torpedoes and a steam boat.

Or, you know, to music class. I'm not picky.
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So back in, like, October, when we started sort of vaguely thinking about Christmas gifts, Scott told me that if anyone was looking for a cheap gift for him, this Hawkman figure they had at Target would be cool because he's never had a Hawkman figure, and he digs Hawkman.

The next time I was in Target (probably two days later--my gift to myself for Xmas is not going into any Target store for at least five days, even if I have to wait in the damned car!) I looked and saw there was only one Hawkman left. So I bought it and hid it away.

November rolled around and Scott and I agreed to hold off on gifts to each other until after Christmas. During which conversation I mentally waffled between gleefully rubbing my hands together and cackling, and rationalizing that I could make it a present from the Zweeble. Or my mom.

Here's the thing--you go to Target with the Zweeble, and he has to go to the toy section. So every trip since, I have looked over the action figures in order to see if they got another Hawkman, because I did not put it past Scott to not buy one himself. (How I would prevent this from happening, I do not know, but that was the thought process.) However, no Hawkman figures showed back up.

Until this past Wednesday.

I seriously thought about hiding it, since Scott was with us. But the last-minute-gift crowd worked in my favor, and we got the heck out of there fast ... and Scott got his Hawkman figure this morning.

(The gleefully rubbing my hands together and cackling side won, btw.)

This thing is pretty durn cool. Huge wingspan for an action figure, really well-made and sculpted. We're not sure why his abs are articulated, but it's not the 5,000 points of articulated mess that is the Zweeble's Beast figure.



I got this and this from my mom, who went over our $25 limit ... but I did that to her, too (we drew names this year, and she and I got each other). I also ordered this because ... well, y'all know my weaknesses by now, right? Anyway, I'm calling that Scott's present to me, even though it is not nearly as cool as Hawkman. Probably as many articulation points, though.



One thing Santa got Z. that I was dubious about was a small table and chairs set. But he loves it, and used it all day for fingerpainting and playing doctor. So I'm going to have to rearrange my living room (well, just leave it rearranged, as we'll just take the tree down and leave that corner for the table), but I think I can set up a neat little craft/art space for him, which should be cool.

He played a lot today, with pretty much everything he got. And it was all ... well, like a doctor kit, a toy kitchen, a castle--stuff you use to create stories or role play. Imagination toys. Older kid toys. It sort of hit me today that he's not a baby anymore; he's moved onto a whole new phase of kid-dom.
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My son ... is adorable. And has inherited my shoe fetish. But lately, there's a new aspect to his shoe love. He has a pair of shoes for whomever he's pretending to be on a particular day.

This morning, he was WordGirl, so he had to wear his Thomas the Tank Engine shoes. Right now, he's June from Little Einsteins, so he has to have ballet shoes, and those are his Elmo slippers. If he wants to be either Cinderella or Lightning McQueen, he wears his McQueen-shaped crocs.

But my favorite was the very first time he did this--he decided to be the Doctor, so he got "a Doctor short and Doctor pants." Once he was dressed, he said, "I need my Doctor shoes!" He took off running into his bedroom and returned with ... his Chucks!

He cracks me up.
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I think I've had the same user icon for, like, five years now. Time for a change!

I found this really cool icon (the shoe one, which I'll probably use at some point soon), and I wanted to track down who made it because, well, I like to attribute the coolness when I can, and I found this. Go look, I'll wait.

It's the Doctor doing Hamlet. And it's the Neil Gaiman quote from when he heard David Tennant was playing Hamlet. It's, like, three mints in one!

Anyway, this one and the shoe ones are by [livejournal.com profile] duskwillow, and she (well, I'm assuming "she," so hopefully I'm right) has a link to her icons journal, which includes a lot of Heroes, Smallville, Doctor Who, and Torchwood, icons, along with quite a few others.** If you're interested.

**I kinda like the Spike icon with "Real vamps don't sparkle."
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Last Monday I noticed that the zipper was pulling away from the material on my super-awesome diaper bag. Upon closer inspection, it was separating in a number of places. Now, really, I have used this bag close to constantly since I bought it. It's been in day-to-day use, zillions of trips to the park, to North Carolina and Ohio, the zoo, the beach ... I've used a different bag now and then just for a change, but then I get annoyed after a day or so and go back to the super-awesome diaper bag. Everything is just so convenient in it.

So I was disappointed because I like the bag, but considering what I've put it through, I felt pretty satisfied.

Now, knowing me, you'd think I'd be slightly gleeful--hey, excuse for a new bag! And I was, a little. But then I looked around a little and found myself sadly contemplating the bulky, velcro-shutting, cartoon-or-pink-and-brown-flowered baby bags on the shelf ...

... so I had a little birthday money left and decided I'd just order another one.

And on the Babies R Us website, I found a review by a mother who had the same thing happen (though way sooner for her), and she got a new bag through the company because the bags have a two-year warranty.

So I figured what the heck, may as well ask, and I called the customer service number. And they sent me a brand-new replacement bag! Which I got today! It's hanging up because it smells like its been living in a plastic bag somewhere (which it has been), and I need to mail my old one back within 25 days or they'll charge me for the replacement, but I have my bag back. I'm hoping that the zipper will hold out okay, at least as long as the last one did, but if it doesn't, hey, I didn't pay for this one. I'll be sad, but not annoyed at myself for spending the money.

And the customer service lady was really nice.

I also got one of the t-shirts I bought myself for my birthday. It's yellow, has a picture of a pirate, and says, "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."
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The entire family chipped in to get the Zweeb a play set for the yard with swings, slide, climbing wall, steering wheel--just about everything he loves at the playground in the back yard.

Installation started yesterday and continues today. It looks good so far. I did not realize I would lose two days to this thing, though, and I actually need to go out and take care of some things for work tomorrow, so I'm hoping the guy can finish, like, now.

I have a new toy--everyone chipped in and got me a Blackberry for Christmas. Not a touch-screen, sadly--I am on the wrong cell plan for that--but a Curve. I think it's probably way more device than I need, but it has a really nice calendar feature on it, it's got the qwerty keyboard, and it syncs with the iBook. And I can get e-mail on it. Last night I had to put it down and make Scott swear he wouldn't let me touch it unless it rang, because I was feeling the obsession coming on.

The things that are bugging me? I can't make it ring more than once for a call, so I keep missing calls. I can't find things. Help is either super helpful or vague to the point of insanity.

But I'll adjust, or I'll figure it out. Now I am organized and said organization takes up less space. Speaking of which, I got a new bag for work--I got very tired of trying to jam everything into my old work bag and having it barely fit--and now I have too much space. I have to remind myself that at the end of term, when I'm lugging portfolios and text books and would really like to have my laptop with me, it will be awesome.

Oooh, the swings are up! And the slide! Only the rock wall, steering wheel, and roof left!
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On our way home from NC, we managed to pop something on the car seat that keeps the impact-absorbing foam connected to the frame. So yesterday I went and bought a new car seat for the Zweeble, and while we were at Babies R Us, we passed the shoe aisle.

"Mommy!" (he's started calling me "mommy" rather than "mama")

"Yes?"

"Shoes!"

"Yes."

"Mommy! Shoes!"

"Yes, there are shoes--"

"Mommy shoes!"

"Oh, well, yes, those do look like Mommy's shoes ..." I start to push the cart away from the shoes.

"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGHHHHHHHAAAAAAAA!!!!"

"What?"

"Mommy!" Points emphatically and wildly (if such a thing is possible). "SHOES!"

(Slowly) "Do you want a pair of shoes?"

"Shoes!"

So my son now owns a pair of red, high-top Chucks. Which he had to put on right there, by god! He slept in them yesterday at naptime. He spent part of this morning running around in his diaper, a t-shirt, and his red Chucks. And he likes, when he's got them on, to lift his foot up and proclaim, with a smile, "Mommy shoes."

Also, he's apparently quite fond of this little change-purse thing his great-grandmother has--it's his size and has a strap he can sling over his shoulder, like my bag and Scott's.
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There's a new Dresden Dolls album out, with their cover of "Pretty in Pink" on it.

I had to return my cute shoes because they were a little too small, so with any luck L.L. Bean's exchange policy is as awesome as it sounds, and I will have the same shoes a half-size larger in a week and a half.

In honor of the new Indiana Jones movie (which I will see this weekend, barring an act of God), I have been referring to the Zweeble as Dr. Jones when I wash his face, and demanding to know where the Ark is. And the Grail. Oh, and those weird stone things from India, why not? I use my all-purpose villain accent (a mix of Russian and German, I think). Sadly, Dr. Jones refuses to cooperate, and I'm sure he'll defeat me as soon as he finishes his cookies.

I washed the shower curtains, bath mat, dining room throw rug, and the inner and outer seats of the high chair. Never look at a high chair from underneath if you're even a little squicky about old food and/or germs. Trust me.

And the sling I have had since before the baby was born has finally been of use! I can now strap the kid to my hip while I do all the non-heat related things that go into cooking! Since he always wants to see what I'm doing and pitches a fit if he can't, this is marvelous.
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For [livejournal.com profile] sugarcoatedlie: How to knit new uppers for your old Converse. I have no idea if you have or like Converse, but I found this both hilarious and somehow appropriate ... I bet you could adapt it for other sneakers, if you wanted.
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Happy Mother's Day to all you other moms out there.**

And congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] frankiemouse, though if you're reading this on the 11th I'll be shocked. Hope the wedding was all you wanted and more, and that your marriage will be the same. :)


**My in-laws sent me a gift card for Mother's Day, so I just ordered these cute sneakers in green. Woot!
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Over the weekend, David was commenting on my awesome new baby bag--he thought it was just a bag I was using as a baby bag, as it doesn't really look like a diaper bag at all. But it is!

We have four diaper bags we bought, one I bought but broke a glass bottle in so I pitched it, and then two or three we got from various places (birthing class, in the mail, through the hospital). Two of the ones we bought are backpacks and one was a small bag I used a lot when the Zweeble was tiny and we were just going to the grocery store and Target and what have you. Usually all I needed for that was a burp cloth, an extra onesie, some diapers and wipes, and a bottle. Anyway, let me just say that I have barely used the backpacks at all, but I used the small bag until the Zweeb was big enough that I had to start carrying snacks and entertainment with me--and even then, I did not need the big backpacks.

I saw the Method bag at Babies R Us and didn't want to spend $50 on another big bag ... but the cheapo one I got to replace the one I had to toss out was horrible, and I really liked the Method bag, and finally I caved and bought it. And it is one of the top 5 best baby things I have bought. It's not enormous like the backpacks, but it has the space I need for my wallet and day planner, plus all of the Z.'s accoutrements, and it is exactly as convenient as the manufacturer claims. I took the bag and the kid into the pharmacy on a day when the Z. was *not* going into the shopping cart, as god was his witness, and I was able to get my wallet, my keys, and the medication into and out of the bag with one hand and no problems. Plus, it looks like just a nice bag and isn't so girlie I want to kick it. I may actually keep using it myself after I don't need a diaper bag anymore (though I may be sick of it by then--but I'll probably keep it with the other 3 bags I totally love, which I switch in and out of use).

The other reason I like the bag: it comes with two little hanger things that you put on your stroller so you can hang the bag from it. This is only somewhat handy (the bag will tip the stroller unless the kid's in it as a counterweight), but the hangers come held together on the bag ... and they look like handcuffs. So until I got them onto the stroller, it looked like I was carrying little baby handcuffs with me. :)

I'd probably make the strap a touch longer, and the inner section doesn't have a bottle pocket per se (there's one on the outside of the bag that is awesome, but I liked to have an extra bottle with me on slightly longer trips; however, this isn't a problem for me now that we're going to all sippy cups), but other than that ... it's bag love.

So, yeah, if you know someone who's having a baby and is wondering what sort of baby bag to buy, I'd highly suggest that one. Especially if he or she is an organizing nut like I am.

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Laura E. Price

September 2017

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