Sunday, March 31, 2013

They make more sense in context.

Here is a short collection of the thoughts I remembered to write down over the last week:
  • I'm surrounded by food pushers. 
  • D walked into a wall of cardboard.  LOL.
  • I need to write a story about the Ginger Rage.
  • WoW makes me crave pop-tarts.
  • Pandas speak Engrish.
  • Eli's laptop got stolen, but at least he got McDonald's.
  • D kissed me goodnight on his own to tell me he was ready for bed.
  • "Playing Holi" apparently means spitting water all over the living room and cackling gleefully.
  • I just need a little WoW in my life.
  • I stepped in pee.
  • Jumping jacks with 5 pound weights in each hand are hard.
  •  I like that they call it Graduation Regalia.  I feel like I'm wearing a tier set.
Along with those little gems, I have a few stories for you.  Eli's laptop bag got stolen on Friday.  Here are the details as we know them.  Eli had the driver stop at McDonald's at one of the big malls here on his way home from work.  He left his laptop bag in the car with the driver and went in for about 10 minutes.  When he came out and got in the car, he noticed that the laptop bag was gone.  The driver was parked on the road and swears he never left the car.  He tried to say that Eli never had the laptop bag.  That was disproved by finding the surveillance videos from his office and the mall.  Eli then spent seven hours with the police trying to figure out what happened.  The answer is that someone took his laptop bag out of the backseat of the car while the driver was sitting in it.  The bag contained his work laptop, checkbooks from three different banks, his passport, and our FRRO papers (the paperwork we have to carry around with us at all times that says we're legally in the country).  We're in touch with the embassy, and we're already working on getting a new passport for Eli and new FRRO papers.  It's a pain, but it could have been worse.  Eli lost a lot of work on the laptop, but he can redo it.  We're just glad that nothing bad happened to Eli.  I know a lady (another ex-pat) whose husband was killed during a mugging.  They pulled him out of his car while it was stopped at an intersection.  Terrible stuff, this.

In better news, we had an entire wall of empty cardboard boxes in our apartment for over a week, and at one point, D walked right into it.  He was trying to walk forward while looking over his shoulder at the tv, and he smacked right into the boxes.  He bounced off and stared at the boxes with suspicion.  It was hilarious.  I only regret that I didn't get it on film. 

In amazing news, my dissertation is currently being read by my committee and we're trying to schedule my defense for a Friday in late April.  This means that as long as I pass my defense, I graduate on May 19th.  This also means that we're having a huge ass party at our house on May 19th.  Go me.

This past Wednesday was a holiday here in India called Holi.  It's the one where everyone throws color at each other and then plays in the sprinklers and dances for hours.  Eli and I went down to our complex's celebration and took some pictures.  A nice older man graciously covered us in pink and invited us to dance.  We only stayed a little bit because we had the camera and there really was color and water flying everywhere.  It looked like something our group of friends would enjoy on a summer day.

I started level 3 of 30DS, and it's both easier and harder than level 2.  I felt like there were no moves that I could DO in level 2.  Everything was a struggle.  There are moves in level 3 that I'm comfortable with, but then there's this whole jumping section that makes me think I might fall on my face and break my smoulder.  I've decided that I hate plyo, and I hate the super jumper in the back row of the video.  I think her name is Natalie.  I've also decided that once I finish this round of 30DS (day 23!) I'm going to start over again.  I'll probably take one day off, but I want to see how it goes the second time around.  I've lost 6 pounds in three weeks so far, and I'm really happy with that.  I haven't checked measurements because I want to wait until the end of the 30 days.  

And now, a collection of pictures that I found interesting:
He still loves his Pooh chair.
This bear is delicious.

Kisses for that handsome baby on the other side of the glass.

Our wall of boxes.

I made this little cutie for someone special (I haven't decided who yet).

The duck loves the dragon.  She gives him kisses.

How our apartment complex celebrates Holi.

Eli looks good in pink.

Everyone was covered in bright colors.

It was very bright that day.


Chasing Daddy in our complex's park.

The caption I thought I'd be putting here: right before Daddy kicks him in the face.

The tube slide.

I made this guy because D needs a pet.

The outfit is styling.  It's for Rocket because it has her dog on it.

A bug!  A flower! Grass!  Put all the things in my mouth!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

At least he's not animated.

I might have a tiny little crush on Joe from Blue's Clues. It's not like I tune in just to watch him (ahem, the show); I just happen to be in front of Nick Jr. when it comes on. To my great annoyance, Nick Jr. here only offers six shows that they show on repeat over and over again all day: Dora, Diego, Wonder Pets, Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, and Blue's Clues.  That list is actually in order of most to least annoying.  Even if I didn't agree with the idea of limiting D's screen time, the sheer annoyance value of the shows has me switching the tv off.  We watch Blue's Clues every evening because it's on during the time between when the Nanny leaves and when we eat dinner.  Eli is usually sleeping or at work, and I like to have a bit of background noise.  I really need to invest in a radio.  It's fun for me because D will actually watch it, so I get a bit of snuggle time with him. 

Our stuff finally arrived on Monday afternoon.  I've been unpacking and putting stuff away all week.  I was pretty annoyed to find that a lot of my office stuff got sent by sea instead of by air as we requested, but that shipment is scheduled to be here the first week of April, so it's not too much longer of a wait.  Our computers made it intact, and we have someone from the internet company coming today to move our router so we can actually use them.  Eli rigged a long Cat-5 cable from the other room so he could play League of Legends this morning on his good comp.  I, on the other hand, was barely able to download World of Warcraft.  It's no joke.  I didn't have it on this comp, so I had to download the entire game at speeds slower than what we had in 1992 with a phone modem.  The timing couldn't have been better though because I sent in the latest revision of my diss maybe thirty minutes before they started bringing up boxes. 

So I was looking forward to having a week off before the comments came back and I'd have to start revising again.  I'd hoped I could play some WoW, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards.  I'm trying to relax until George gets back to me, but it's hard to do.  If he thinks I still need extensive revisions, then there's a good chance I won't be graduating in May.  We're just running out of time.  I have about a week left of time to make any changes he thinks I need, and even at my best, I don't think I could do another full rewrite in a week. This is causing me a significant amount of stress, and the stress is causing strange nightmares where giant praying mantises attack us while we're relaxing on a beach.  I'm not sure if the giant insects represent George or the diss, but either way it's not really helping me rest.

Today marks day 15 of 30DS.  I know, I'm a little behind, but I had to take some days off while my entrails became extrails.  And I had to take another day off when our stuff got here because unpacking is hard work.  There was just no time for Jillian that day.  This week I've added in the challenge of controlling my portion sizes.  Our cook is going nuts because I refuse to finish everything she sets on the table now.  She keeps asking me if we don't like her cooking.  Eli thinks it's funny, but that's only because he isn't around her all day with her hand-wringing. I keep trying to explain to her that it's not healthy for me to eat an entire half a lasagna in one sitting; she never looks convinced.  Eli will ask for something like pot pie, and she'll happily make it (we taught her the recipe so she loves showing off how good she makes it).  The problem is that she uses an entire package of butter just for the crusts.  That's not a problem in and of itself; it becomes a problem when Eli eats one tiny square of it, then wants other food the rest of the week.  Guess who ends up eating the butter-laden pot pie?  That's right, me.  He asked for lasagna and the same thing happened.  I told him we're not making foods for him anymore.  Last night he wanted fried chicken with mashed potatoes (again, full of butter).  I said fine, make me a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich with a sliced up cucumber on the side.  We both got what we wanted, and I felt comfortable in my food choices for the meal.  Another thing I'm doing is drinking two glasses of water before I eat, and then two more while I eat.  It's making me pee A LOT, but it's helping me not overeat.  And being hydrated is always a good thing. 

D found his sunglasses in his suitcase while we were moving stuff around on Monday, and he wanted to wear them all day.  So we let him. Because he's awesome like that.  He woke up with a little rash on the back of his neck yesterday, and the Nanny and Cook seemed concerned that it's because we didn't shave his head.  I told them I like his hair the way it is, and the rash was mostly gone today.  I think they're heat bumps from him getting hot at night.  He had a similar problem today where he woke up from his nap an hour early completely soaked in sweat.  Clearly, something needs to change.  Currently, his AC doesn't turn back on when the power cycles like the rest of them do.  I think we need to get someone out to fix it and hope that solves the problem.  What's funny to me about the hair thing is that Eli's co-workers are in awe of his hair.  They say it makes him look like a rock star.  The Nanny said something similar about D when we were having the "do not shave his head" conversation.  Then she said I have boy hair.  Yeah.  We're all rebels here.

Rock star just like his daddy.

Friday, March 15, 2013

All my ideas are good.

We found a steakhouse.  In India.  Right next door to our apartment complex.  That's right.  Now we have a German brewery/sausage house (or is it haus?) and a steakhouse within walking distance.  In honor of March 14th, which Eli has declared ValMantine's Day, I took him out for steak last night.  When we sat down, I noticed that they were playing the Glee version of Don't Stop Believing.  It was surreal.  We had very low expectations, and they were blown away.  The steaks were huge and delicious.  They must have been over a pound each.  Even I can't eat that much steak in one sitting.  To add to the awesome, I ordered a Cosmo (not my fav drink, but it's the only one they reliably do well here) and found out that all my vodka-based drinks were free.  I may have overindulged in free Cosmos.  I made Eli take the elevator up one floor so I didn't trip going up the stairs.  I also declared quite loudly during dinner that I loved Rocket and missed her terribly.  See, even inebriated all my ideas are good. 

I had another good idea today, but Eli disagrees.  Another ex-pat on my yahoo group posted about how she needs to find another home for her kitten, Luna.  Clearly, it was meant for us.  It's housebroken, had it's shots, been spayed, and comes with all the accoutrements. The only thing we have to pay for is food and litter.  I want this kitty.  I tried to teach D to say "kitty" over and over again so that when Eli gets home he has to deal with both of us.  Because I'm full of good ideas.  We all miss Onyx, but Eli is hard to convince. 

Speaking of stuff we miss, we got another message from the moving company saying our stuff was in India.  This was the fourth time they've called to tell us this, so we're not holding out hope.  If they're legit this time, we should have our stuff by Monday.  Of course, the message came like four hours after we had to buy Eli some new socks.  He only brought three pairs, and two of those three have huge holes in them now.  I'm trying to stay positive and believe that I'll have some actual clothes to wear by next week.

The timing isn't too bad actually.  I'm finishing up chapter 11 of the diss today, so I only have one chapter left to do over the weekend.  If it works out, I'll be finishing about the same time that all my distractions will arrive.  My gaming computer, my Xbox, my crafty stuff.  I bought the new expansion of WoW a couple of weeks ago, and I'm actually excited to play again without the constant guilt drain of "I should be working on my diss."

Today marks day 11 of 30DS.  I start level 2 today, and I'm leery.  I still can't do the entire level 1 with the weights (there's one move near the end that makes my shoulders feel like they're going to fall off), but I'm going to move up anyway.  I've noticed that my pajama pants are looser, but that could be from constant wear rather than working out.  I'm sure the pound of steak I ate last night is helping with that.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

If it's not housecats, it's toddlers.

Dante has been eating my palm tree.  We have a palm in our living room because I can't live anywhere without filling it with plants.  I was sick most of last week (more on that later), so I didn't go into the living room, like at all.  When I finally emerged from my haze of sickness, the middle part of an entire branch on my palm was bald.  Our nanny said that Dante has been waiting until she's doing something else, pulling a leaf off, and eating it.  Now, I had this problem before with Onyx.  If he can get to a houseplant, he will destroy it.  But I never expected to have the same problem with my baby.  We decided we needed to focus on teaching him to only give plants "nice touches," which is our code for please don't smack mommy in the face.  We may have to expand our biting phrase from "we don't bite our friends" (thanks for that one, Jenn) to "we don't eat our friends."  Eli is taking me to the nursery (for plants, not babies) on Thursday so I can pick out some new green friends for the rest of the apartment.  I'll have to make sure everything I get is non-toxic.

Now some of you may have heard that I had Delhi Belly this week.  That is indeed true.  It was hellacious, and I hope it never happens again.  After four days of not being able to keep anything in my stomach, I came out of the bedroom for breakfast, and our housekeeper looked surprised.  She said I looked skinny and looked very concerned.  I went back into the bedroom.  One of the side effects of being sick was that I was incapable of doing 30DS.  I made it through three days before The Great Purge, so I got to add extreme muscle soreness to the usual symptoms.  I could barely hobble to the bathroom every five minutes.  After a week in bed, I felt weak, but my muscles weren't sore anymore.  Being a determined sort of person, I restarted 30DS on Friday once I could stand upright again.  It was harder than the first time.  Probably because I had little to no energy, but I forged ahead and made it through the full workout.  I've been doing it every day since, and I haven't gotten to that extreme muscle soreness point that I was at when I started puking.  I'm not complaining, I just think it's interesting.  I had decided that I'd have to start over, but my muscles are telling me I should add in those first three days.  With that in mind, I'm on day 7.  Four more days of level 1 and then Jillian can start kicking my butt in new ways.  We're on a first name basis now, Jillian and I.  My end goal is to get to the point where my clothes fit comfortably again.  And not my post-pregnancy clothes.  My clothes from before Dante made an appearance.  I miss my clothes.  Partly because they're still in France, but I would miss them even if they were here because they're not comfortable to wear anymore. 

I have a lot of emotions wrapped up in my body image because I worked hard to get myself in shape.  I struggled to learn how to eat healthy, I forced myself to exercise until it became a habit and then an addiction, I made myself healthier.  The best part for me was that I saw myself as an athlete.  I could run a 5K without stopping, hell, I did it everyday at the gym.  Dante will be eighteen months old on Wednesday.  That's one and a half years since he was born, and I still look like I just gave birth.  I struggle to get through the 5K that used to be easy for me.  To me, that's not acceptable.  I love my C-section scar and I earned those damn stretch marks, but I want my athlete's body back.  I refuse to be ashamed of the extra weight I'm carrying though.  It's not a moral judgement, the weight doesn't mean I've "been bad."  It means I've been busy with other things in my life and my fitness level moved too far down on my list of priorities.  When we come back to the States in May, Eli and I are planning to run the Wisconsin Zombie Mud Run, a 5K with obstacles.  I know many of the zombies from the Haunt (I even made some of their costumes once upon a time), and I know I can run faster than most of them if I can get myself back in shape.  These are the goals, people.  Wear my clothes again, outrun zombies. 

This is my poor bald plant.

This is the culprit.  I'm pretty sure Dante is sitting on Onyx's head with the intention of torturing him into sharing all his houseplant eating secrets.  Or this is his version of "nice touches."

Friday, March 1, 2013

I think I broke everything.

I started the 30DS yesterday.  The hype was right.  All my muscles hurt today.  I haven't done today's shred yet because Eli is taking a test in our office/gym, but I imagine it's not going to go as well as yesterday.  I managed to do all the moves for the allotted time, but it was the weights that tripped me up.  See, our shipment still isn't here (I'll get to that in a minute), so I'm having to make due with a towel and the 5 pound weights I have here instead of my yoga mat and 2 pound weights like I'm supposed to have.  Ya'll, don't do it.  The 5 pound weights are a trap.  It was all fine until about halfway through the first circuit when my arms suddenly felt like they were going to fall off.  At that point, I had to put the weights down.  I did manage to pick them back up for some moves later on, but only because I could hold one weight with two hands.  And even that had my arms shaking.  Eli and I took before pictures today, but no one will see those unless the after pictures look fantastic.  Along with my yoga mat and 2 pound weights, we also don't have my tape measure, so I don't have measurements yet.  I did use some tape and a power cord to mark the distance, but I will have no idea what it equals until we get a tape measure.

Now, about our shipment.  We've been told twice now that our stuff is here and will be delivered on a specific day.  Both times it was a lie because our stuff wasn't in the country.  I'm not sure what the moving company was thinking when they called us and lied to our faces, but it's not working out so well for them.  Eli talked to a manager and found out that our stuff is currently in France and they have no idea when it will be leaving France because there's some kind of political unrest.  We Googled it and couldn't find anything that would merit shipments being detained, but it's possible that it hasn't made the news.  It's also possible our stuff is being sold at some market in Azerbaijan.

In other awesome news, we just realized that we left ice in the ice maker in our freezer when we left.  We winterized our house, so we turned off our power and water.  We're worried the ice has melted and ruined our floor.  Of course, there's the possibility that it hasn't gotten warm enough in our freezer for the ice to melt (we left the doors to the fridge/freezer closed).  We'll find out tomorrow probably since we're sending someone over there to check and possibly save our floors.  We are just on top of things today.

UPDATE: Day 2 is so much worse than day 1!  My thighs are going to mutiny and run off to the circus.  I need a nap and a full body massage.