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Celebration

As our friends are off playing in the geeky sandbox that is Star Wars Celebration, I feel like I'm in an odd place.  It is kind of like those first few years that we didn't go to Dragoncon.  There are folks we've met that we only see at these big conventions, and so I'm missing them.  If the bash does end up being a big huge, fun, nerdy dance party, I'll miss that (not sure if it will this year, though).  There is always fun merch to be had, but years after prior Celebrations there are few mementos I look back on and smile about.  I'm kind of sad that we aren't introducing Mina to Disneyland, but I know that she's young and there is a lot there she can't really appreciate (plus the FL park is better).  It is hard to say how the experience would go with a Mina in tow, anyway.  Long-term overnight babysitting isn't an option for us, and so a lot of the things we love the best about the SWC experience wouldn't happen (together) or be so easy, anyway.

The Dragoncon sadness got better each year, and now I don't think much about it at all.  I like seeing costume photos and hearing stories when my friends come back home, but I don't miss it anymore.  Kind of like Manray.  I'm not the person anymore that I was in those days.  I miss those experiences and sometimes that person, but love where I'm at today.  It is a fond sentimentality, not a sad one.

Most of all, I'm excited to check out the new Spring Megafest convention this weekend (thank you for giving us a non-Celebration alternative!) and even moreso, I'm excited about our White Mountains vacation, next weekend.

I tend not to make a big deal about birthdays, but I resolved to do 'all the things I like to do' this year to celebrate my 40th year.  I'm proud of myself for sticking to it, and thankful to Brian for humoring me with my arrangements. :)

Weekend

Mina and I had a blast at dance school Saturday.  She danced a bit to the 'normal' stuff and the hip hop teacher decided (inspired by Mina's excitement last week) to do a mini hip hop warmer for all of the younger kids.  They were freaking adorable!

Brian was at a nearby friend's nephew's Star Wars birthday party, suiting up to be a stormtrooper.  It was the first time we've been in this crazy hobby that he's done a party that wasn't a Make a Wish type thing (other than our Nephew's party when he was like 4, and now he's 17).  It was in the local Community/Arts center on Moody Street, that used to be a middle school.  They have a sweet setup for residents to rent spaces for 2 hours, with cool activities to choose from.  I was invited to bring Mina over after dance class to see Brian and have pizza and cake (for his 'payment' of sorts).  We left there to head to Cambridge for our haircuts, and she slept in the car (I live parked on the street and Brian got us take-out Burdick's cocoa before we headed to the garage).  Fortune was smiling on us, because we got the freaking last spot in the parking garage.  It was so sad to see all of the street spots filled with snow (or snowed-in cars).  We had a nice visit with Dale at DHR, and then went next-door to New England Comics.  The guy working was absolutely nasty, which really stinks, because we used to buy a lot of stuff there.  We were in there looking at the kid comic section, and he was giving me dagger eyes while Mina excitedly and very carefully looked at some books.  Another couple with tween sons were lectured about how the boys shouldn't wrinkle anything while handling, unless they planned to buy them (these kids were like, 12 years old).  So much for making comics exciting to the new generation!  I'm happy for our local shop Outer Limits on Moody, where Steve is very supportive of the young set, and also Double Midnight in NH.  We picked up take-out Chinese on the way home, and settled in for a nice family Valentine's Day night together.

Snow, really.  We stayed in Sunday and given the winds, it wasn't even really reasonable for Mina to go out and play in it.  Awful fires in Waltham this weekend.  I feel for the firefighters covered in frozen water, trying to battle these things around piles of snow. :(  We drove up to NH yesterday to spend some gift certificate $ at Double Midnight, and then headed over to the Mall of NH for lunch and indoor playground playing with my brother, his wife and their son.  Mina actually was involved in a brawl of sorts with a kid there.  A much older, bigger kid pushed her off of one of the play structures.  She fell down, got up, looked at him like "WTF?!" and then purposely and calculatingly grabbed his shirt and pulled him off of the thing.  He fell a couple of feet to the ground, landed flat on his back (and had the wind knocked out of him).  He paused for a second and started SCREAMING.  He was totally OK, but just freaked out.  This little girl took him out, and he just wasn't expecting it.  He got up and ran over to his grandparents, and we went over to Mina (she started crying too).  Once kids were calmed down. they both apologized to each other.  She kept saying she felt bad for hurting him, but I'm also kind of proud that she stuck up for herself.  We joke that she's going to be the bodyguard for our less in your face nephew #2.  It is so weird to see it in action.  I was a social kid like her, and talked a lot (very outgoing), but definitely would have shyed away from this kind of thing.  It is such a tough thing to balance.  Hitting/pushing is not cool, but I don't want her running to us to fight all of her (figurative) battles, either.  It is odd to see this combination of empathy and force.  I wonder how much impact the superhero stuff has had on this.

Our makeup dance class yesterday (making up for last Tuesday's cancellation) was cancelled.  We are due to have a class tonight, but given that Waltham has a snow emergency and you can't park on the street, the city lots may be filled, and there won't be parking for class.  I'm expecting another cancellation.  My clothing is fitting so poorly.  I want to get moving again!

Also

I've decided to do the Polar Plunge tomorrow morning.  FOR BOSTON!  Gods and Goddesses help me!

From Freewillastrology.com

Cancer:

Here are three of my top wishes for you in 2105: You will have a clear, precise sense of what's yours and what's not yours . . . of what's possible to accomplish and what's impossible . . . of what will be a good influence on you and what won't be. To help ensure that these wishes come true, refer regularly to the following advice from Cancerian author Elizabeth Gilbert: "You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. That's a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control."

Sounds perfect!

Goals this week

Home:
Some Thanksgiving prep/shopping
Yard/porch cleanup for winter (get the leaves out)

Work:
EDW migration work
General catch up/cleanup on little things

Personal:
Gym one day this week
Fireplace once night with Brian/Books or crafting

Weekend

I had some pretty conservative goals last week, and I think I did OK with them.

Home: Make something (I knit a bit and made sugar cookies with Mina, first time for her). I did not sit in front of the "fireplace" with Brian. Maybe tonight?

Work: I did indeed rock the big presentation I worked on at the Schrafft's building. I didn't get much done with the EDW migration. This is creeping up on me, because the "old" data warehouse shuts down on 12/31. Connectivity/tools/learning curve issues plus regular work are preventing me from doing this as proactively as I'd like.

Personal: I did get to the gym once (Friday). I kicked a lot of butt in Ballet class on Thursday. I did read a teeny bit of my kindle book.

We had a fun weekend. On Saturday I took Mina to dance class and she participated more than she has yet! She was making us all laugth with her excited "dancing", I was almost crying. A 501st member from CA was in town and stuck with no car in Natick, so we drove out to get him and then took him over to Walden. I hadn't been since I was a kid on the beach, and had never walked in the woods or to the cabin site. We bundled up and put Mina in the hiking pack. It was nice to see it finally and she did well considering her boredom. After we brought him to a big group dinner with other legion friends at Brittish Beer Company. On Sunday we hung around the house a bit and went to our friend's annual cozy bday gathering at their home. Mina had a blast hanging with her kids and we all ate comfort food and watched superhero TV. It was perfect! From there we drove a bit so Mina could nap, and went to Ikea to try and find good bedding for her (she asked us for a purple room, happy to oblige). They had nothing good for us, unfortunately. On the way out we learned that the Enchanged Village is already open at Jordan's. We would have had way more fun there! I may take her some Monday when it's not crazy crowded. We had dinner out there and drove home.

Yesterday was great with her! Despite a rough night where none of us slept (she is fighting a cold and/or has a growth spurt or something) we had fun playing around the house in the morning. I had to bring my car for a service at Subaru (routine) and the easiest way to deal with that was bring her with me. Their waiting room was fully stocked with a lot of good toys (namely, megablocks) and a couple of massage chairs, which she thought was a RIOT! I had packed us lunch and snacks and lots of activities and even planned on letting her sit in the front seat of the indoor demo car, but it never came to that. The work took less time than planned. She was quiet and entertained and I was so proud of her being so good in not the most exciting of situations. She fell asleep in the car and though she woke up when I transferred her into the house, we had some snuggle/restful time on the couch with a movie (Frosty) in lieu of a nap. We made the sugar cookies from start to finish (even making our own sprinkles with sugar and natural/dye free color). She had a blast. She had the most fun actually putting flour on the pastry board and just squishing the dough with her hands. She was very patient waiting for the cookies to cool. I see her becoming a great kitchen partner as she gets older.

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week!

Last Week

My goals were as such, and it was a crazy week work-wise. It made things crazy home-wise. I didn't do great tracking/accomplishing things. I also didn't paste these goals on a piece of paper and print and sit on my CPU at work, and then my kitchen counter. Out of sight, out of mind. It was a good lesson. My intentions included:

Home: put away attic things (I did actually get done Thursday morning, when I was home with a "sick" Mina*), Thanksgiving Decorations (maybe get our fake Xmas tree: we need to buy a new one this year) - I pulled the decorations down Thursday too, and we bought our new fake tree on Friday night**.

Work: Report Card phone calls (finally done, and ongoing), spend time migrating old code to the new Enterprise Data Warehouse (never got to do, due to system/network issues***).

Personal: Gym Wednesday and Friday (nope, not at all - meetings/life intervened), Spend a night either reading or sewing (no TV): I did manage this, though it was mostly due to a late night getting Mina to bed and our exhaustion. We just did the necessary prep for the next morning and then went to bed.

*On Wednesday we had a lunch meeting, and I didn't get to the gym. I was going to head over at 1:00 but had too much work to do. Then I got a call at 3 that Mina had vomitted right when she woke up from her nap, and had a fever of 99. I left to get her. She was kind of droopy but just fine all night, just fine the next day (I was at home with her). This is the 3rd time she's thrown up at school, just as she was waking up from a nap. We wonder if it is due to eating and then laying down right away, on top of a cold and post/nasal drip, and being flat on the floor. This never happens at home. I'm going to ask her Pedi about it at some point. Not concerning but annoying because she is always fine at home.

**Some years I've developed an odd rash around Xmas time that always goes away after Xmas. At first I thought it was related to some kind of plant I touched when decorating my Gram's gazebo (it was surrounded by who knows what in plant life. Sometimes I'd get it, sometimes I wouldn't. It came with a vengance when I was pregnant. Then I had it again last year. After multiple derm appointments and a re-test for allergies last year, we think it was due to a mold allergy, which means no more real greenery in our house for Xmas. We had a small/sad Xmas tree that we donated at the end of last season, and bought a new taller and pre-lit one this year. We got it last weekend, to insure that we have it for post Thanksgiving. Mina had a BLAST checking out the Xmas decorations at Target. She took all of the 2 foot foil trees (of various colors) off of the Mina height shelf, lined them up, and then carefully placed a plastic lollipop ornament in front of each one, and then proceeded to hang the pop on each tree. She is looking and acting more and more like her mama each day. It is going to be a fun year, because it is the first one where she really will get into the spirit of things.

***Partners is migrating from an old Data Warehouse (oracle based) to a bigger, huge enterprise data warehouse (windows based). The old system goes away 12/31, and I've had a host of connection issues in trying to just take the time and migrate all of my code/projects to the new system. I'll figure it out.

Goals this week:

Home: Make something (sew/knit/build with my kid), Fireplace with Brian one of these cold nights
Work: Rock my presentation tomorrow at the Schraffts building, Get some work done with this EDW migration
Personal: Walk or gym once this week, Read some more of my kindle book

Fall

I had been lamenting the fact that each traditional fall thing we tried to do didn't work out. I goofed on the schedule of my beloved Garlic and Arts festival in Orange, MA and we missed it. A local festival was lame. We got to one in Concord just as Mina fell asleep in the car, drove a bit for her to nap, and then she woke 1/2 hour before it was closing (not worth the cash). Our daughter had no interest in apple picking.

Last night, we made it to an event at Drumlin Farm. I used to go all the time as a kid, and so it is special to share it with Mina. We ended up getting a MA Audubon membership, and now get the magazine as a result (which is where I found out about this event). It was a nighttime event with walking in the dark, "spooky" (g rated) kid activities and the educational stuff you'd expect from MA Audubon. So cool! Mina was most fascinated by the crow, the corn snake, the meal worms, and touching furs and skulls from various animals. One building had a huge stone fireplace lit inside, and a volunteer dressed as a witch reading "Room on the Broom", a super cute story, in the dark. There was cider and cookies. We did a "haunted" hayride, which was low on the haunted. She jumped when things (high school kids with halloween store and DIY masks) jumped and yelled boo in the cornfield, but then asked "where did they go?" and "I want more scary things".

I think she's our kid, alright! Fall achievement unlocked.

Tags:

Goals this week

To try and motivate some baby steps, I'm hoping to put some small weekly goals here. I'll update after the week to note how I did.

Home:
-One night in the den with books and the 'fireplace' with Brian
-Play in the yard in the leaves my kid

Work:
-2013 Appeals
-2014 PCP Rept Cards

Personal:
-sew something
-gym on Wednesday and Friday

Boston Comicon

Brian and I had decided to split the weekend up for BCC this year. He had a weekend pass and went alone on Saturday, and we went as a family on Sunday (Mina is still young enough to be free). We bought our passes but both 'trooped' in an official capacity for the 501st. The SW groups had a trash compactor w/ Dianoga setup and an action figure packaging backdrop for photos. It was nice to see something new, and the crowd seemed excited about it.

It is so much fun to enter this fantasy world for a day and see the creativity that abounds our nerd community. It is amazing to watch Mina growing up in this, and see the wonder in her eyes and also the comfort she has with these characters. She commented about how some people didn't have great quality costumes (!) and that a friend of ours was in a Boba Fett costume, but usually is dressed like Judge Dredd (!).

The crowds were crazy like last year (maybe bigger) but they seemed to have a bigger handle on the lines getting in and around. We did pay for a photo-op with John Barrowman, and though the line and photo went smoothly, the printing of the photos did not. We lucked out getting ours around 5:00 after a 2:00 shoot, but many people left Sunday with no photo. It wasn't the convention's fault, but the company managing that process. It would be nice to see this move somewhere bigger - the Boston Convention Center, maybe?

The next con is Granitecon in NH in mid-September, which we always look forward to. Brian and I plan to do an overnight without Mina pending babysitting for RI Comicon on 11/1.

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