How to not gain weight on Halloween

1) keep not eating sugar
2) buy dorritos to hand out because they are disgusting

Why it's easy:

Because my pants haven't been able to stay on me unassisted today.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Happy Mouse Day!!

I am totally devoted to Apple computers. Did you expect anything less from me? "I'm a PC"? Give me a break. Apple all the way. It makes me feel more secure in my superiority.

I have been pretty sad though about their less-than-mighty mouse. I mean, it was great for the year that it worked. I liked that I could squeeze the sides and that was a button. Of course, they added a right-click (very important, and I think that those who maintain that a right click is unnecessary are whack). And then there's the tiny scroll wheel in the middle of the mouse. Awesome, since it scrolls in all directions. Until, that is, you reach a certain day and the scroll wheel decides to stop scrolling down. LAME. And did you know, using the scroll bars at the sides of your page is not fun, not even one little bit? And don't give me that crap about cleaning off the ball to get it to work again. Believe me. We have THREE mighty mice in our home (count 'em: THREE) and none of the scroll wheels work anymore. And I have definitely tried to clean them all out in every single way listed on the sites and forums.

Well, Apple has invented a new way to get our money (besides the 27-inch iMac, which I don't even want to talk about right now) and that is the new mightier mouse, called the Magic Mouse. I can't really figure out how it works, but I just know it's going to be good! (Because Apple has a history of really good mice. [Note: Not true, because HOW long did it take them to finally add a right click?]) Anyway, it's supposed to arrive today, and basically every truck I hear drive by, or every neighbor that I hear getting out of their car, makes me look up in eager anticipation. PLEASE, FedEx! End the anticipation and deliver my Magic Mouse! I want to scroll down again!


I'm in the middle of work but just wanted to take a moment to report that I got on the scale this morning and there was a major jump down, which is very encouraging because since this "no sugar" thing, I haven't lost too much weight, and finally told myself that I was gaining weight before, so cutting out sugar has stopped the weight GAIN and is helping me to gradually go down.

But today, I'm weighing in at a whopping 8 lbs less than when I left for Maryland a month ago! (I started the no sugar thing in Maryland.) Hooray! Hooray! Halloween, I have (almost) conquered you! You will not tempt me with your sugary sweetness!

And to tell the truth, I would say that I'm probably happier now than I am when I'm eating sugar because when I'm on sugar, I'm always thinking about what the next treat will be, and focused on getting my next "hit." Now, I don't even have to think about it!

So I am thinking that I'll probably apply this as a general life rule, and limit myself to sweets for special occasions. Like for the rest of this year, I think that I've decided that I'll go ahead and have sugar on my anniversary, birthday, and Christmas. How much damage can three days do (compared to a whole holiday season of binging)?

Our Perfect Pumpkin

Here is a series of photos from Gulliver's first pumpkin picking day. I love the fall!! After picking the pumpkin we came home and fed Gulliver chili and then let him play with the pumpkin guts (sans seeds). Then it was to the bath and then bed!! What an exciting day!!

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

We are freaks!

So every year, I get a genius halloween idea that is so nichy that it would only lend itself well to an office party among people who are in my same field. You remember the Scare Quotes idea. (OOooo, I just thought this would go well if done by two people. One person is dressed scary and the other is dressed nerdy. Each of them has quotation marks on either side of their head. When people ask the scary one what he/she is, he/she says "I'm scare quotes. BOO!" When people ask the nerdy one what he/she is, he/she says, "I'm smart quotes, stupid." Hahahahaha! It's ingenious. And I will never be able to use it! Someone please use this idea!)

Last year, too little too late, I got the idea that Murray, the future child, and I could dress for Halloween as CMYK, RGB, and FFFFFF! So all year long, I've kept this in mind, finally collecting a piece of cyan clothing just barely! Yay! I had Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to wear! It was going to be perfect! Until, that is, Murray put the kaibash (sp?) on it the DAY BEFORE Peter and Jennie's annual Halloween party when we had absolutely no time to develop any other costumes or ideas. He said (and rightly so) that absolutely no one would get it, it would be too much explanation with absolutely no payoff when people learned what it was.

Okay. So back to the drawing board. We had to figure out a family-themed costume and FAST.

A shopping trip, some fake fur and hair, and a few staples later, we became a family of circus freaks. Murray was the armless man. I was the bearded lady. And Gulliver was wolf boy. Genius! And we even claimed third prize at the party!

Sugar Free

So this time last year, I had the diabetes. In fact, I think I remember it being around the 26th of October maybe. Right in time for Halloween. And truth be told, I loved having gestational diabetes! It was a time in my life where I felt in control of what I was eating. And remember, I learned that my happiness was not in the least impacted by my limited food choices. And that's even throughout all the holidays (including my anniversary and birthday)! In fact, I was thrilled to have eating restrictions through the holidays because it meant no holiday weight gain. Hooray!

Well, while I was out in Maryland visiting my parents (prior to going to Disneyland) my mom and I were eating our way through a bag of less-than-fantastic Hershey Bliss chocolates and talking about how we have such a hard time controlling ourselves and how we're addicted to sugar. So we brought up the idea of going sugar-free through the new year. It's not that sugar is inherently bad, or that it's my only problem. It's just that I tend to binge on sugary foods much more than I ever do on other types of bad food. (I'm not a potato chip person at all.) And I'm actually really good at not buying foods that are bad for me. But I will bake foods that are bad for me, so I end up making a batch of cookies and either eating all the cookies and/or all the dough within 24 hours.

When my mom asked when we should go sugar-free, although the idea of one last binge was reeeeeally tempting, we decided that the best answer was "right now." Why not? The bag of not-great chocolate was already gone.

Well, I'm proud to say that since then (almost two weeks ago), I have been sugar-free. It's not a really strict sort of thing where I won't eat chili or ketchup and stuff like that. But basically I stay away from sugar as a general rule so that I can avoid the binge triggers. At Disneyland, I indulged in one bite of a chocolate bread pudding (that was reported to be the best ever tasted by my brother), one small serving of Coldstone low-cal frozen yogurt, and---by far my biggest "cheat"---a Dole Pineapple Whip near the Tikki Room. And you know what? If my biggest splurge in two weeks is a serving of pineapple soft serve ice cream, I can still live with myself.

I am interested to see how this works out for me. In addition to my sugar ban, I'm going to be working on portioning my food more appropriately. But knowing myself, cutting out sugar alone will be enough to get me through the holidays with no weight gain. I'm considering allowing myself a few sugar days (like our anniversary, my birthday, and Christmas) so that I don't feel like I'm missing out entirely, but to be honest, like I've said, my happiness doesn't depend on it, so why would I need sugar those days, anyway?


Okay. So I know that typically I don't write about specific work projects on this blog, because I try to keep as anonymous as possible. And I know I don't do a great job of being very anonymous. So this time, without actually saying my name, I'll at least let you know that I've just finished a project that I am very excited about. I was contacted back in September about doing illustrations for a children's card game. I jumped at the opportunity! I've never done anything like this before, and I felt that in addition to being incredibly fun, it would also be a great way to diversify my portfolio. So without further ado, here are some images from Booyah! by Olivia.

The card game is fun and family friendly. Anyone over 5 can grasp the concept and play. And since there's no strategy involved (it's just luck) then kids and adults can play together and all have fun!

If you're looking for a unique stocking stuffer this year, this game is a good find! Plus, a dollar from each purchase is donated to charity. So, you know, you can feel extra good about buying this game: 1) you're supporting me and 2) you're supporting charity and 3) you're buying a game that a little girl invented and she's going to love you forever for buying a copy. Go you!!

Pre-order yours today at! They should be available by Thanksgiving!

FYI: Don't Gamble

Just FYI, even though I rationalized our gambling and said it was okay because we set a $1 limit (this may be like drinking near beer or decaf...), the Powers That Be decided to punish us anyway.

Since traveling with Gulliver, I never worry about checking in for our flight 24 hours in advance. (Ironic in context of this story, since in my last post about how much I love Southwest, I said that checking in 24 hours in advance is the closest to gambling I ever come...) We find that it's just fine to board between the A group and the B group. We can always get a row to ourselves, and that's all we care about anyway.

Well, yesterday when it came time for family boarding, I searched frantically for our boarding passes and couldn't find them anywhere. We were sent to customer service, where they reissued our boarding passes while the rest of the plane boarded. We were the very last people on the plane and thus had to sit in the very back seat, in a row with a cocaine addict (so says Murray because the guy continued to sniffle in twos for the duration of our flight), and as it turns out, there is even less room on the back row than in the middle rows because the plane tapers towards the back. Needless to say, it was a very uncomfortable ride home. The guy ahead of me put his seat back (and mine was incapable of going back) which left me with about 1 inch of space between Gulliver's head and his seat back. And Gulliver hit his head and face repeatedly on the seats in front of us. It was miserable (except that at least I was sitting between Murray and the aisle. Murray had to sit between me and the cocaine addict).

We cannot account for our lost boarding passes. My only explanation is that somewhere in the euphoria of winning 26 dollars, they were put down, dropped, or thrown away.

Moral of the story: Don't gamble. Not even $1.

Murray Wins Big!!

At the las Vegas airport, I gave Murray one dollar to play the slots. I wasn't allowed to play the slots because Gulliver is not 21 yet. I'm okay with gambling when there's a $1 limit.

Murray came back to me and I was about to chastise him for coming back empty handed when he showed me his winnings. Twenty-six big ones!!

Like a true smart man, Murray cashed out as soon as he made a profit. Hooray Murray! He celebrated by buying an over-priced airport soda.

-- Live from The Happiest Place on Earth


Here we are waiting for the fireworks on our very last day. You can tell by the look on my face that the fireworks were very near starting!!!

I may talk about this more later, but I have not been a big Disneyland fan my whole life, and Murray, the ultimate Disneyland fan took a chance on me and married me anyway. Phew! After this week I am truly converted. I can't wait to come back! Hooray for Disneyland!

-- Live from The Happiest Place on Earth

A Happier Place

Today is in the 70s. Still not the sweater weather I was dreaming of but much better than friday.

Yesterday we drove around to see the neighborhoods where my mom grew up. We had a great time till Gulliver decided he'd had enough of his car seat and went into total, never before seen, foaming at the mouth meltdown. We were with my parents so we kept gulliver out of the car till he was tired enough to go to sleep and then drove back to the hotel.

Saturday was beach day. Check out for awesome pictures.

Today we have done the nemo submarine, which was not my favorite. Or Gulliver's for that matter. Then we did buzz lightyear's astro blasters, which was awesome, and then we came to California adventure and did the mr. Potato Head ride where you shoot things and that was so good we did it twice. Gulliver was good at pulling the gun but not letting go.

Now he's taking a little nap and I'm enjoying sitting down with a nice breeze rather than in the sweltering sun.

-- Live from The Happiest Place on Earth

Lilcis at Disneyland

We are out to dinner and lilcis, a blog reader, totally just came up and introduced herself to me. This just legitimizes my fame status. I mean, getting recognized in Utah is one thing. Getting recognized in California?FAMOUS!!! So so so nice to finally meet her. (In your faces, Jenny and Nemesis!) I remember her very first comment on Nem's blog, years ago! Anyway, I'm very glad she didn't listen to her humiliated husband (who ran away outside the restaurant) and came to talk to me.

Single Tear?

I'm a cold weather girl. I was envisioning myself during this trip wearing loose tops and colorful scarves. Some light sweaters, even. Damn you, California. Damn you.

-- Live from The Happiest Place on Earth

We've only just begun...

-- Live from The Happiest Place on Earth

More! More!

Mark Twain's boat, and feeding gulliver, who enjoyed spitting it back out. No photos of the haunted house or pirates of the carribean, both of which made gulliver cry.

-- Live from The Happiest Place on Earth

There's a Pirate on Mark Twain's Boat

-- Live from The Happiest Place on Earth

Sweet Disneyland Dreams

Mr. Toad and Dumbo

Mr. Toad's wild ride and the flying Dumbos were well appreciated, but enough to tucker a little guy out. Gulliver is winding down for his nap.

-- Live from The Happiest Place on Earth

Live from Disneyland

(Please robbers don't break into our home! Murray's brother and our sister in law are there taking care of things.)

This is the first live post from gulliver's first trip to Disneyland!

Gulliver Update

I know, I know. I'm a horrible blogger lately. Clearly I need to hire someone to do all my work and then I can resume my blogging duties! Work-wise, things have been pretty exciting around here. And very (much too) fast-paced. I have this delusion that one day I will actually catch up and keep on top of it all and do my laundry on a non-crisis basis and make real dinners and actually sit down to read a book and take Saturdays OFF!! (And take Sundays off---shh!)

But this isn't about me. This is about the sorely neglected babe of mine. Not that he is sorely neglected, but that I am neglecting my duty of updating you all about him. So here goes.

SLEEP SCHEDULE: The sleep schedule was well-implemented and we now have a good sleeping babe. This is especially good because my mom recently read an article talking about sleep in children and teens, and how they need that time to turn the day's lessons into memories and proper learning. (A group of high-school teens whose bedtime was pushed back only 15 minutes were less able to retain information than those who had a full night's sleep. Makes me wonder what I could have retained in high school if I had been getting more sleep. Is this a case against early morning seminary??) We go through a similar routine every night to put him to sleep, and this includes singing "It's In Every One of Us." Now Gulliver begins to cry every time he hears that song. Not exactly the intended result... He still cries most times we put him down for a nap or for bed, but not for long and then he's gone to dream land.

MIMICRY: Gulliver is a great copy cat, so he's learning some fun tricks. If you scrunch up your nose and breath out of it, Gulliver will make the same face back at you and breathe out his nose furiously. Yesterday in the car, Murray opened a bottle of soda that hissed, and then we heard Gulliver in the back breathing out his nose exuberantly. Haha! He also likes to try to scare you (I guess this shows that I'm less likely to play peek-a-boo and more likely to try and scare my baby?). While we're all sitting around, suddenly Gulliver will sit up, slap his hands down, and say "Maaaaaaa!" in a gravelly voice. Too cute even to describe here. He's the awesomest baby.

MOURN WITH THOSE THAT MOURN: Gulliver is his father's son. He is a sensitive little soul. Murray discovered recently that if Gulliver thinks he's made you cry, he will immediately burst into tears. This discovery was made when Gulliver grabbed Murray's belly button, and Murray did a fake cry. Immediately Gulliver started to cry. If Gulliver hasn't done anything to hurt you, and you do the fake cry, he will not cry. Murray told me to try it out some time (not that we're that cruel, but we really wanted to see if we were on to something). So Gulliver, who loves to bite, bit my arm, sunk his teeth in, and shook his head side to side. It legitimately hurt. A lot. And left a welt. So after my initial "Owwww!" then I made a crying face and some crying noises and my poor perfect little boy immediately started crying. I let him know that everything was okay, and we were able to smooth things over. But this is 100% consistent. If he has done something to you and you cry, he cries.

MOBILITY: Gulliver is still an expert crawler. He started worming his way around when I had my surgery in July, but within a month or so, he started crawling on all fours. Now he can go wherever he wants by crawling around. He pulls himself up to standing and will take a few steps on his feet while holding onto furniture.

TOWERS: Gulliver loves towers made of blocks. The first time I made him a tower, he would laugh every time I added another block to it. He soon caught on to the knocking down aspect of towers and then the game became how quickly could I stack on blocks before he knocked the tower down.

I think that about brings us up to speed. Photos to come when I can find my phone!