A Year Later, A Lot Bigger

Originally uploaded by liz2d2
And almost as big as Sam, it seems!

Last Year At This Time

Our little dragon
Originally uploaded by liz2d2
She was a little smaller then.


A New Low
As if work didn't suck enough, yesterday my boss pulled me into a room to talk about my recent 'quality issues'. Apparently, the fact that I'm doing the workload of 1.5-2 people seems to have affected my ability to code bug-free shit.

That, and the fact that I've ended up taking over other people's projects at the very last minute, had mucho miscommunication around deadlines and had someone WHO IS NOT A DEVELOPER jump in and make changes to my project AT THE LAST MINUTE, WITHOUT TESTING THEM have resulted in me having more bugs than anyone else in my group.

I went a little bananas on him, explaining what's been going on (me: 1 person, this work, more than 1 hyper person can do, plus The Meddler editing MY CODE after I turned it in, etc etc blah blah).

The middle of conversation result? Me crying.

I've never cried here. I've never needed to, not even in the dark days of the conversion to a new language, clearcase and a giant fancy database that puked the instant it went live. Not one goddamn tear.

Until yesterday.

I went home last night and sent my boss a long email explaining where each and every goddamn bug came from. Of the list, only 1 was solely my fault (a minor issue, in case you were wondering). I felt better but today I'm still annoyed.

As a proactive measure, I'm refusing to take on non-scheduled projects. The person who assigns them to me has become the bane of my existence here and I'm in no mood to help them out.

I hate feeling like this.


Well, That Was Fun
Saturday morning I woke up after a decent sleep and was taking Val to the potty when she made this weird gurgling sound. Which was followed 2 seconds later by her puking all over my shirt and in my hair and on my face.

She didn't really have a great day.

Last night she kept pointing to her tummy and saying 'ow'. At one point, she came over to me, said that again, then threw up on the floor in front of me.

As they say, location is everything.

She also managed to have blowout pee, then a little while later after she was wearing the first pair of new pants I'd bought her and (thank god) left in my car because I didn't have enough hands to carry her and the pants in when I bought them, she had a blowout poo. That, in the span of 2 hours. She ended up going through 3 shirts and 4 pairs of pants yesterday.

That's some kind of record for a kid who doesn't generally blow out of anything.

Oh yeah, I don't feel so hot either. Yes, of course I still played hockey. But I didn't play my best that's for sure.


In Other News
My parents are getting a new dog tomorrow. Megan is a real cutie, 5 years old, a beagle and tiny tiny like Alice was. I wish them all a happy, easy homecoming.

My work continues to suck. It was almost better for a half a day, but then all hell broke loose for the thousandth time and I've been swamped once again. Yesterday, I put my head down on my keyboard and said to myself 'this is a good job' over and over.

Because it is, most of the time. But the last month has sucked quite a lot. I'm hoping for improvement, or at least a consistency in workload so I know better what to expect. I did, in a very low moment, look at open positions at other places.

This is a good job. This is a good job.

Just not right now.

While I'm addressing things that suck about my job right now, I must mention this outreach program they've started. I've been given the phone numbers for 5 end users and I'm to call them and thank them for using our product.

HI. I AM NOT IN SALES. Why am I not in sales? For one, because I'm a goddamn developer and two because I hate calling strangers on the phone.

I think it's a one-time thing, but it's seriously not cool.

Speaking of things that are not cool, am I a party pooper if I don't want to attend an offsite that's an hour and half away? The thing is suppose to go from 11 am-9 pm. That's right, 9 pm. Hi, again, I have a kid. Those hours between the end of the workday and Val's bedtime are precious to me. I do not, under any circumstances want to spend even 5 minutes of that time socializing with my co-workers.

This is not to say that they aren't nice. They are. But that's not the point.

And in the worst news from work, my trusted work companion Bubbles left today. She's off to a better place in a different state. I wish her well but I'm sad just the same. I'm thinking that in the last 3 years we told well over 2,000 jokes and snarky comments. My days will definitely be different without her

I'm Sure You Were Wondering What Happened
Sorry kids, it's been another craptacular week at work. On top of that, I've developed a cold so I'm feeling like the crap too. Go, me!

Tuesday I headed back to my eye doctor since I still couldn't see with a contact in. She gave me some single-day lenses to try and holy crapola, it worked! So now I can see again, though I'm more than a little anxious about how it'll go when I switch back to a more extended wear variety.

I played center 4 games in a row. Holy crap, did I have a blast!

More later, Val wants to cuddle. That trumps blogging any and every day.


Glasses And Goals
Last Wednesday I woke up and went to put my contacts in like I do every day. Only this time, my right eye was totally blurry after I stuck the contact in. Huh??

I tried all the tricks I had but to no avail. My contact just wasn't working. So I sucked it up and wore my glasses. The next day? Same thing, only I seemed to discover that there was actually a contact already there. I think it happened about a month ago, when Andrea was trying to get Val down to sleep and all was dark. Rather than turn the light on and disturb Val, I took my contact out in the dark.

FYI, it's really not a good idea to do this.

Thursday, I hydrate the hell out of my eye all day and enjoy partial vision as the errant contact works its way around my eye. Ew. That night, I try to yank the thing out with no success. I do, however, scratch my eye pretty good. Overnight it gets all swollen and painful.

Friday rolls around and I decide enough is enough. I call the eye doc and get squeezed in for later that day. I try not to stress about how I'll manage getting looked at while Val is running around.

Val sleeps the ENTIRE TIME I'm waiting to be seen and wakes up the instant I head into the exam room. But I'd brought a box of goodies -- toys and snacks, so she does okay.

The doc tries all her tricks but can't find my contact. Apparently the thing is in the either somewhere, or it magically worked it's way out during the night. Beats me.

So I'm still wearing my glasses today. My eye no longer hurts but still I can't see shit when I put the contact in.

The end result is me playing my first ever hockey game with glasses. I'd dreaded this, so dreaded this but in the end, it wasn't that bad. I trotted out my red helmet and it fit okay over my glasses. They fog up a little as the game goes on, they catch on my shoulder pads as I'm putting them on, but it's not that bad.

Oh yeah, and somehow, I managed to score not once but twice during our A-Team 2 game on Saturday wearing them. Me! Two goals! IN THE SAME GAME. It was crazy go nuts. I played center and don't ya know, I had a blast. I just can't win a faceoff because I have no idea where to look with glasses on.

I'm headed back to the doctor tomorrow, hoping for the magic eye cure. Wish me luck.


At Least There's Something On TV
Even though my work life is sucking right now -- too much to do and it's getting quite monotonous -- at least the new fall TV season has begun. Shows with actual written dialogue have made their way into my home and at long last I can settle in to watch decent programming after a long day.

Along with my glee over the TV comes Val's. We've discovered Blue's Clues for her and OMG she loves loves loves that show. I couldn't figure out why she was saying 'more' and doing the sign at the same time during the show. Until I started watching it a little more closely and realized that the guy was talking about finding more clues. She was only saying it after he did.

We also discovered that she likes to watch it in our bed, tucked between us with a blanket over her, and we're wise to talk to her through the show about what they're doing.

Personally, I don't know how many times you can reasonably expect to attend the fairy tale ball, but if this is any indication, we're going to watch blue and that guy head there a number of times before she moves on.

Which is just fine because there's no better way to wind down on a rainy night than tucked into bed talking about Booscoos (no relation to cous cous) with your baby girl.

She Is So Loved
Yesterday, in addition to her very first black eye (thanks to a nice tumble off of Sam's bed onto the hardwood floor), Val got not one but two packages in the mail. One from each of her grandmothers on my side. Grandma D sent a bunch of cute stuff from the Gap -- shirts, cute as all get out jeans, and a dress. Yes, a dress, can we discuss that later?

Grandma K sent an Elmo outfit and an Abby outfit, plus a ton of stickers. Thanks to that package, we now have stickers all over the house and we were treated to a little parade around the living room of the Abby outfit and it's many hangers while she wore the Elmo outfit over her pajamas.

It was perfect timing to find all those gifts on the day she got such a horrible boo-boo. Nice work, Grandmas!


In Other News
For no real reason we decided to complete one more task on the Act Like Grownups List: we started cooking at home. I know, it's about damn time. It's so much faster and of course, cheaper. We're 4 days in and doing fine. We even had the inspiration to make brownies after dinner on Saturday.

We wound up taking them up to Soosan's work for a surprise dessert dropoff. There we met some of her nice co-workers, one of whom was a little more inquisitive than I'd like. She asked if we'd adopted Val, or did we make her, or what. I said we made her, then she followed up with, well, which one of you had her?

Lady, I'm sure that you are perfectly nice. But we just met and that, therefore, is none of your business.

There was this weird silence as Andrea, Soosan and another co-worker waited for my answer. Which was, in case you were wondering "we don't share that."

She left it at that, which was good. And I guess it's good that Val sees us handling questions like that but still, people, where's your tact??

Friday night I subbed Maroon and managed to block a shot with the inside of my thigh, where there is no padding. I now have a lovely, very special bruise the exact size and shape of a puck. Ow.

Sunday, I played my very own Maroon game and the bestest thing ever happened. One, my favoritest player ever got to sub with us (no, she's not on my team. I still cannot discuss this, it saddens me too much.) and two...

My excellent co-captain, J is the Master Of Winning FaceOffs. It's magic. I just stand there, she does her thing and bam! I get a clear shot before anyone can come to me. I've been receiving her faceoffs since the very first time we went to Vegas, 5 years ago (longer???) and missing them anytime I'm not behind her to get one.

But, in all that time and all those shots, I don't think we've ever scored.

Until yesterday, when she had a perfect win right to me. My wing blocked traffic and I swooped in to take the shot. Karen went to the net, screened for me and POW! My shot went in! From the point! Off J's masterful faceoff win.

Seeing my goal, off her assist on the faceoff. Bliss, sheer bliss. And oh yeah, we won too. I think we have a fabulous team this season, even without my beloved K.


Nothing Exciting
I've been swamped at work the last couple of weeks. That's left me with barely any time to enjoy the internet, let alone post anything of interest.

Sorry. When I say this hurts me more than it hurts you, I'm not kidding.


Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl
She really stuns me with her cuteness. I know, I'm her mom, that's her job, but still.



Thank you, Internet.

And A Gus, Too
Last night I finally got off my ass and went to see about getting Zeus' sutures out. The initial vet had said 10-14 days, but it's been almost 3 weeks. However, the man is almost 15 so I'm thinking a few extra days to heal the wound wasn't the worst idea in the world.

So I call Adobe to set up an appointment. They couldn't get him in for another week, but if we brought him in they'd take out the stitches for free, anytime.

But do I do that? No, I go to the people who put it in because they're closer to our house. But there's an hour wait. The woman refers me to their other clinic, about 15 minutes away. So I call them. That woman gives me all kinds of business about how I'd need to get him seen for them to do that, how I'd need to pay $105 to have them whip out the scissors and remove 5 stitches.

So my ass heads towards Adobe, where I learn that they'd actually scheduled us for that night instead of next week and of course we'd missed the appointment. Oh, I said. We totally could have made that!

Fortunately, the doc who saved his life when he ate all that damn granola was the same vet who glued his ear back together when Rainie got him another time we were out of town. She recognized his bark and said she'd see him tonight, if I could wait.

So we waited a while and eventually he was weighed (33.2, a little high but the man is old and I have this theory that if you keep old dogs just a little bit chubby, they have a little more time should the cancer strike) then taken in to Be Seen. He's fine, of course. He's always fine. Got some Rimadyl for his arthritis, had a discussion about vaccines (we'd rather not, he's just too old but sometimes Spots is anal-retentive about it so we got the Bordatella and a letter explaining that he really shouldn't have them since he's like 115 in dog years) and then I had to wait for our prescriptions.

As I waited, I chatted with a nice woman who had her greyhound there. He was a lovely, lovely boy who apparently has very thin skin that he manages to cut open all the time. His name? Gus.

Of course it made me think of this guy:

And get a little weepy when I mentioned that I too, had loved a Gus.

But the hardest moment came when I was leaving. A couple showed up outside the door with their cat, who was so not moving. The man rushed in, the woman stayed outside. I heard the receptionist call our good doctor to the desk ASAP to see this cat, the seasoned pet owners in the lobby, we all had a collective sigh. We knew what would happen next for that cat, we'd been there before.

I headed out and met up with the cat's owner. She was, um, not quite all there, but nice. She talked to me for a second and then our good doctor came busting out into the parking lot screaming the woman's name, saying "I NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO ABOUT YOUR CAT."

Yep, it was the ending I'd suspected. I heard bits and pieces of what the doc said -- the cat had been sick for quite some time, abscessed tooth, I'm not sure what else. My guess is the woman meant well but just wasn't able to care properly for the cat.

It reminded me of how we'd found Gus' owner after he was with us. How I understood that she was also well-meaning but didn't care for him right, leaving the underweight guy we found at the shelter that day. Once again, I have 0 regrets about hanging up on her and claiming Gus as my own for the rest of his days. He never did get fat but we did our best.

I left the place in tears, thinking of the times I'd walked into the vet's knowing (or not knowing, but hoping) how it was going to end. I remember them all.

Ellie McBelly, who left us 7 years ago this week.

Alice. Who I still can't talk about without crying.

And of course my Gus.

We have a peach tree in our yard. Every year that Gus was with us, he managed to muster enough strength to jump up and eat all of the peaches.

This spring, for the first time since we've lived in the house, the tree bloomed pink flowers that fell off and blew all over our yard. It was Gus saying hi. Later this summer, the tree grew so many peaches that the branches grew heavy and we had to trim them back.

The tree misses Gus, too.