Monday, December 29, 2008

He's gonna kill me.

A recent quote from Josh:
"The problem with Europeans is that they are so European-y"
Miss you Josh.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Personal Goals

We've been burned in the past when we've skipped the burping stage of giving Miss M a bottle and then putting her to sleep. By burned I mean we all woke up to screaming and baby puke.
But it can be really hard to get her to burp, and when it's late at night, and you're tired, it can be very frustrating when all that's standing between you and sleep is a burp.
Here is a quote from Mr. Zimny the other night:
" There is something really satisfying about a wet juicy burp right in your ear. If anything, those little ones are just teasing you."
It's a little interesting what qualifies as satisfying sometimes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Costumer of the month at the Crack House

In light of Meeshmellow's post, I've decided it's time to own up. This summer we were picked as customers of the month at the new Crack House in the neighborhood (starbucks). And I'm pretty sure that's not a good thing. It's ok though, because we don't use our real names.

I didn't really hit home until my mom stopped by the shop and the girls there recognized a picture of Miss M on her coffee mug, and asked her how she knew M. Oh, or last week when Meeshmellow stopped by there to pick up coffee for everyone and forgot my order. She just described M (screamy, but not in the mad way) to them and they knew what drink to make. So, er, I guess we qualify as regulars or something?

Friday, November 21, 2008

We've been a little snuggly lately, part II

Just because we need to make dinner does not excuse anyone from snuggle time.

"You want me?! You'll have to come in here and get me."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We've been a little snuggly lately.

M has been learning all kinds of new ways to get what she wants. First it was the "oh, look at me hug my baby sweetly." Then came the "oh, let me snuggle against you and totally disarm you until I can find something within reach to throw". Exhibit A:
You might not be able to tell, but secretly she is planning my undoing right there.

Then came the final blow of "you don't like what I am doing?! Let me kiss you! In fact, let me kiss the dog, and my baby, then you again...". Folks, we are in for some rough, although be it very cute roads.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I have been instructed to update the blog more. Understood.
This last weekend was the long awaited trip to Disneyland. Handygram arranged a trip down to Anaheim to meet Alex and Gloria and for the adults of the house to go to disneyland! It seems a little wrong not to have taken little miss sassypants (aka Miss M) to disneyland, but we had all kinds of justifications (available upon request).

On Friday we drove down, stopping often for Miss M to run off some steam. We arranged to meet some friends from LA for dinner and had some great chinese food. We did stop along the way to pick up some late morning pea soup, and to take a picture.

On Sat morning, M went off with Handygram while the cousins, BZ, and I went into the park.
We had a great day, the lines were short and the weather was nice. Oh. Well except for the ash raining from the sky most of the day. The fires in SoCal provided a great cloud cover which kept the day from getting too hot, but also covered us in ash a couple times and made us all water-eyed.
It totally didn't keep us from riding all the good rides about a million times.
Our only difficulty was deciding the seating order on Splash mountain. Here is a diagram to illustrate the importance of seat placement in relation to how much you want to look like you peed your pants. (click to enlarge)

Now. Let's just say we went on this ride enough that there were some "discussions" and we all took turns being in the front. Let's also say that we tried some different poses for the pictures. This was the final ride of the day, we call this pose "bear":

Let me point out a few key things:
Again, let's also say that this was one of the less ridiculous poses we tried. The others were not exactly fit to print.....
Besides Splash Mountain, we also went on everything else....including the tea cups. We made the mistake of making it a competition, where the winning cup got a churro. The Busch girls prepared themselves:

And in the heat of the competition, Mr. Zimny gave himself this:

So he was awarded the churro.

At this time I would like to use this space to now show off the photogenic nature of the Busch family.

All in all, it was a great trip with great family! It makes us look forward to the holidays!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Speaking of Out of Control.......

So "they" never mentioned the fact
that when your dough finally starts to go sour,
there is a lot more gas produced...... a lot.
Go figure.
At least now we'll have sour dough bread at the apocalypse.

She got my hair part II (an update)

So... I'm not sure what is funnier. The flock of seagulls hairdo, or the vest that is right out of the 80's.
Maybe it's the hairdo and the vest is like the icing?
Yeah- something like that, but it has only progressed a little from last time.
Either way, it's been confirmed - she got my hair.
She was good enough to pose for the side view, where the curly crazy back yet oddly straight front is clearly visible:
Oy. She looks so pleased. I'm not sure this bodes well for us.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The best weeks ever, part II.

Oh yeah. So there was something else that happened last week too.

I turned in this:

Pssst.... it's my dissertation.
You know, that 150 page THING.
The last THING that was standing between me and my Ph.D.
Yeah, that.
It's a pretty boring read unless you are into structural dynamics of metal centered species. With my data analysis skillz, I've come up with a summary for you:

Although that graph was not included in the actual paper, I think it sums up things pretty well.
It is also directly related to this graph:

All in all it comes down to a simple exchange. I traded these three signatures:

for this one:

I don't mean to get all mathematical with proportions and junk, but when you think about it, what does it say about those three people?!
They spent years in their education, then more years doing research, getting grants, trying to save the world and whatever, and all three of their signatures combined are only worth one signature by a counselor.
A woman in an office with a little rubber finger-y thing who makes sure all my pages are numbered.
Don't get me wrong. She is a great woman.
A woman who rang a bell and announced to the entire (non interested) office that I was officially Dr. Porter and then shook my hand.
But still. It's three scientist to one her.
I think that's odd, yet totally makes sense in a way.
Maybe that is what my next paper will be about.....

Not even sure what to post first.

Ok. So it's been a couple weeks. A LOT HAS HAPPENED IN THOSE COUPLE OF WEEKS.

I'll start with the most amazing....

This was 2 weeks ago.....

And now this week:

We are a little ecstatic about the new developments, especially because they come with all kinds of fun new things. Like skinned knees, playing chasing games, the ability to wear dresses, and the realization that if you carry the ball, the dogs will come. It's been a good couple weeks.

Here is Miss M and her daddy:

Sunday, August 31, 2008

To Handy-gram's House we go....

We were lucky enough to be invited to the Cal/MSU game at Memorial Stadium in Berkley this weekend. I'd never been to a college football game, so it was a really fun experience for me. It also meant M's first real excursion to Grandma Linda's (Handygram's) house!
M can be a bit of a handful, but evidently she was no match for Handygram! They had a big day of walks, social calls, swimming and dogs. Here are a couple highlights:

We were really happy that it all worked out and that everyone had a good time. There is nothing like coming home with a bellyfull of hot dog to find your baby just nodding out in grammy's arms!

Friday, August 22, 2008

What happens when she spills her bubble juice.

It's a little funny. I felt a little bad, but not bad enough to not put it on the internet.

The beginning of the end of life as we know it.

It's happening. She just started doing it.

Now she can get almost anywhere. And she does.
This was actually a couple weeks ago, so more has happened, but I need to get video.

Addicted to the Blue Pony

I've admitted it to most people, but I'll just lay it out here on the internet.
We had an incident with blueberries this summer.
By we, I mean me. By incident, I mean I couldn't stop eating them.
For days.
Exhibit A:

Now I'd love to say that I made a pie or something but I'd be lying.
I totally just sat on the couch and chowed down pounds (literally) of them.
I started to save the packages up to remind myself of the sheer volume I was consuming. Mr. Zimny calls them "carcasses".
I ate all the containers in the picture in 3 days. That's 2.5 lbs a day.
I'll put that into perspective for you.
I had to cut down, I started rationing.
But Safeway was happy to play my enabler by putting them on sale, so I was back on the blue pony for another week.
But I think I'm clean now.
Just don't bring any of those things over. I don't know how strong my will power is.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Judgement Day

I have Jury Duty today.
In a cup-half-full type of way there are two decent things about the situation.
First, the incredible venue for people watching. More on this later.
That's right. I'm sitting surrounded by strangers in the courthouse,
blogging about how weird said strangers are.

I have been here for an entire 44 minutes and have moved 3 times, trying to find the best balance between the woman who used the f word in the first 2 sentences in our conversation and the guy who looked at me like I was a hoodlum when I pulled out my laptop while simultaneously situating myself at the best vantage point for people watching but not sitting in the sun.

Note: There are 2 seats in the entire courthouse that fit these criteria.
The first one is right next to the star student of the class I just finished teaching, who also got called in for jury duty.
I think that is really weird so I am in the other spot.
Secretly blogging about the weirdness.
Plus, in a moment of supreme "Wha? What time is it? Crap, better get dressed.... do I keep on the sweat pants I wore for pajamas, or do I change into my "dress" sweat pants?",
I chose the latter.However, I am still sitting here amongst strangers in my sweats.
But who cares with all the f words and piercing looks being thrown around?
Right?! RIGHT?
Oh, well maybe the star student of my class who actually took the time to dress better than a street urchin.

So .... I gotta go. I'm trying to keep mobile in order to avoid being caught in an uncomfortable conversation. But I must say, I think that a woman just changed seats and moved away from me when she looked over and saw what I was doing. But that's ok because she sat down next to the f-word woman.
She'll come crawling back, you'll see.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A feBreeze blowing through Beta's Hair.

It's 1:09am and I'm searching for fox urine on the web.
Just another night at the Lloyd house!
See... we've been having a problem. A skunk problem.
For once it isn't Friday's gas that's been keeping us up.
Even though we have two large (and gassy!) dogs, and we don't keep any food outside, our backyard is a little skunk highway complete with pile ups between 9 and 10 every night. When the dogs are out, they get sprayed during that time. When the dogs aren't out, the skunks spray anyways. I think they're just trying to prove a point.

So, what do you do when you've washed your 80 lb black dog and now she smells like a mix of skunk and wet dog and it's 11pm already?

That's right, you Febreeze your wet dog. And the other dog too, just to be safe.
Then you look on the web for skunk repellant, which, by the way, is crystals soaked in fox urine.
Yum. Better living through chemistry, right?!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

While the daddy cat's away... the mice will play

So... Mr. Zimny is out of town for the weekend.
Even if only for a short time, it is hard being a single parent.
Let's review the hardships:

I wanted to sleep in....and so did Miss M. She slept until 10am. Er... not so hard.
For breakfast we shared chocolate milk and funions.
Then we went to the pool, where Miss M charmed everyone and "swam" until she practically fell asleep in the pool.
By "swam" I mean kicked and splashed and laughed.

Ok... so the day part wasn't so bad.

Our evening consisted of dinner (me- hamburger and blueberries, her- Cheeto's, funions, milk and hamburger), then a trip to Ikea.
Considering that to M, trips to any store are just excuses to throw a temper tantrum, she was pretty well behaved but did insist on getting a soft serve cone on the way out.
Oh wait. That was me. I'm getting us confused.

She fell asleep on the way home, but as soon as we got home, there was no sleep to be had. But I was willing to be the tough mom and let her put herself to sleep in her crib.
An hour later I was done being tough mom. I couldn't hear any of dvds I'd rented over the crying, so I went and got her and let her lay in bed with me.
For a good hour she just laid next to me, snuggled up and watched Weeds episodes.
After that she insisted that we get some blueberries to eat.
Wait, I'm confusing us again.
But she did enjoy the blueberries in bed with me.

By the way. Do not trust your baby when she says that she didn't spit any blueberries into the bed.
She is lying.
Just like me, you'll wake up with a blueberry stuck to the back of your knee and have to change the sheets.

Anyways, she finally got all giggly like she always does when she is really tired and I let her fall asleep on top of me and then put her in her crib.
Fast forward 11 more Weeds episodes (I'll do the math for you... thats about 4 hours)
I fell asleep in my clothes, remote control in hand.
I always have a hard time sleeping with Mr. Zimny gone.

Ok, so in general the weekend wasn't really that hard. The next day wasn't so bad either. But by the end of the weekend, I was a bit spent. Miss M is a pretty happy kid, and in general fun to be with. But it's always hard to be totally dependent on someone else's schedule. Especially when that someone shrieks instead of talks, wants to be entertained all the time, gets poopy diapers and is bad about sharing blueberries.
Gosh, I think that is exactly what I have to look forward to when Mr. Zimny is 95 years old.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I've almost got it!

Ahhh, the joys of having a small yet mobile child - who is oddly determined to retrieve the electric toothbrush she placed deep inside the cabinet.

Don't judge. I can totally explain why she had the electric toothbrush.

She likes the electric toothbrush
Mr. Zimny was gone
Playing with electric toothbrush = momentary reprieve from shrieking
Did you think it would be complicated?

Hmmm... although she was entertained for a good 10 minutes, I am pretty sure that isn't why the named them entertainment systems.

What's up girlfriend?

"Whatcha doing?"
"Nuthin, just standin' around."

Maryn tells it like it is

We know a lot of people have seen Miss M's "speeches", but we thought we'd put something up for those who haven't. Let's just say that she has a very strong opinion about something. We're not sure what her opinion is, or what it is about, but she is very certain of it. She gives mini lectures constantly, complete with wild arm gestures.
This is just a taste of one of her recent lectures. There is shrieking- so keep your volume low . I'll try to get a better one soon, but here is an example:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's about time

So.... it's been a while. We have some news.
First, we'd like to report that THE DISSERTATION IS WRITTEN.
That's right. Written, turned in for "editing". Haven't heard much back besides something like "you should change the colors on that figure". I'm taking that as a good sign.
Second, I've had the last couple weeks off, so we've been doing some fun things (see below).
Third, I've started my summer class. It's a lot of work but it keeps be off the streets and still allows time to take Miss M to the pool.
Which brings us to number four... Miss M LOVES THE POOL!!!!

When I turned in the dissertation and told el parental units, I got this response :
" maybe you can start updating the blog more, huh?!"


There have been some fun events to talk about also....
I'll start the updates with what we've been calling Jammin' 2008.
It all started with good intentions - some berry jam.
Guess what?! No berries at the farm.
So we picked some apricots and peaches instead, then picked up some strawberries at the stand on the way home. We honestly didn't think we'd have enough to make more than a couple batches of apricot jam and a batch of strawberry.
About 3 batches into the apricot jam, we realized that we'd barely made a dent, and had a long way to go. By the time we started thinking about the strawberries, we were trying to cut our losses. I won the bet for how much we'd end up making (it was over 100 jars). There were 4 of us. This was my share of the jam to take home:

Ok, so that is where the fun started.
Next up was the delayed Spring Fling.
I am happy to announce there are videos. You'll thank me for this.
First of all, it was great to have the gang back together. We were really sorry that some of the better halves weren't there, but life isn't perfect.
It gives us something to look forward to next time.
We had a great time playing "testicles" in the back yard, trying to ignore the heat.

After dinner and a few drinks (er, who are we kidding?!), we moved on to some video games. Not your Atari 2600 people! We're talking ROCK BAND action!!!!

We had 9 people, so three teams of 3 seemed reasonable. That is where the reasonable descisions stopped. We won't bore you with the details here, but the idea for this game is for each person in the "band" to hit the right note at the right time.

Brian's team was up first... Brian on guitar, Chris singing and Joey drumming.
They're trying to play In Bloom by Nirvana.

Next up was Brad's team.... with an added twist:

Brad had decided a costume change was in order.

Here is a little sampling of thier band playing Guns N Roses, Lisa on drums, Eric singing and Brad rockin' the guitar.

Then finally, it was time for the third team - The Mall Kittenz. Gabby on drums, Meeshmellow singing and me on the guitar. It's Roxanne by the Police if you can't tell.

So you can see how seriously we take ourselves. Mr. Zimny is mumbling something about how this violates the "what happens at the Fling stays at the Fling" rule.
With this last video, I'm flinging that rule out the window. This is Brad and Chris "boxing". Enjoy.

You know it's a good party when someone says: "why don't we do this more often?".

I'll try to keep the updates coming more frequently, and with less videos. Or more videos... we'll see how many complaints we get....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The older children in the house.

Picture this scene: Maryn is magically down
for a nap during dinnertime.

Did you get the chills too?
I said the baby was asleep during dinner! Meaning we ate a whole meal without having to defend our plates, cups, silverware from grasping baby hands.
Anyhoo.... she's asleep. We finish dinner and Mr. Zimny says that he thinks we should wake her up soon so that she will sleep tonight.
Sure I say.
At the designated time, I say that I'm going to go wake her up.
"Hey, you want to try to poke her and run out like we talked about so that she thinks she just woke up on her own?" He says.
To me there are about a hundred things that are funny about this statement, I'll highlight just a couple.
First of all is that fact that at a previous time, we'd actually talked about poking her and running away to see what she would do. She's notorious for being crabby when waking up. Would she sit up and look for the poker? Would she give up and go back to sleep? Could we get away fast enough? Do other parents talk about little tricks they can play on thier kids?
I'm not sure I want to know the answer to the last one.
The second thing is that Mr. Zimny considers this method reasonable enough to bring it up AGAIN. It is an actual option. The third thing isn't really about the statement itself.

The third thing is that we actually did it.

At this point I ask myself is it wise to post this story on the internet. Hmmm.... well, maybe it's not, but whatever. I've already admitted that accidentally drenched my infant in an automated car wash.
Ok, so, this is different. I did it on purpose, but anything involving an poking an unsuspecting victim is hilarious to me, I can't help it.
So here we are. The scene:
Mr Zimny: "You won't be able to do it, you'll laugh."
This is soooo true. I would be hystarical with laughter just at the anticipation while moving in to poke. So I hide outside her room. Mr. Zimny sneaks up to her crib.
I can't help myself and burst in to laughter, trying my best to muffle it with my arm. In pantomime, he asks me if he should poke her in the head or the butt. And BECAUSE I AM A GOOD MOTHER I say he should poke her on the butt. I promply explode with snorty laughter as he reaches into the crib.
At all.
She doesn't even notice.
"Poke her harder!" I mime.
He does. Still nothing! It's like her butt is immune to wake up nudges.
Mr. Zimny says that he's gonna tickle her ear. To me, tickling the ear is about the only thing funnier than poking someone. I can now barely stand up because I am laughing so hard. Through tearing eyes, I see him lean over the crib again.
He leans back looking a bit deflated. He turns to me (hiding in the hall) and shrugs. "Nothing" he says.
Drastic times call for drastic measures people! Mr. Zimny decided to pull out his big guns - the wet willy without the wet. So, er, yeah, just sticking your finger in someones ear and wiggling it around.
He reaches down and gives her a little willy... and nothing?... wait... eee! run run! she noticed!
He races out into the hall. At this point, I am like a eye-watering ball of spasming blubber, uttering something between teheheheheheeh and spontaneous snorting. Wow, there is a picture for you. Yikes.
She sits up, we're watching from outside the door. She lays back down. We creep up to her crib to see if she's awake. Eeee! She sits up and catches us! No time to run! We're caught! She gives us a "What the....?" look. Then a big smile, like her parents didn't just totally wake her up by giving her a willy.
So this is what serves for entertainment in the Lloyd house on an average Tuesday... you're welcome to visit anytime. And because I AM A GOOD MOTHER, willys, wet or otherwise are complimentary

Monday, May 5, 2008

News Flash- Maryn knowns "In"

This just "in": Maryn has mastered the skill "put in". This has thrilled both parents and Maryn alike. Onlookers commented "It's amazing what a kid can learn while being neglected on the paper strewn office floor while her mother furiously works on her dissertation". Scientist estimate that at this rate, Maryn will have taught herself to drive before her mother finishes her dissertation.

In other, related news, Maryn is extremely cute sporting pigtails:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just in case we need Chevre after the apcolypse.

So, you haven't heard from us lately. You might guess that the Lloyd house has been enjoying some outside time... but oh no.
You might guess that we've been busy because
there is this thing called a Dissertation.
And it's DUE.
Like YESTERDAY already.
Even with those options available, what we've (I've) really been doing is preparing for the apocalypse. Not that I actually think it's gonna happen anytime soon... but it's a good motivator.

Unlike that Dissertation.
The one DUE ALREADY. (See mom, I get it)

When you think of the apocalypse and how you could possibly survive, you might plan to store water, or canned food and batteries.
We say that is all well and good. But why would you want to survive without Chevre cheese?
Seriously people, is life without cheese worth living?!
A while ago Meeshmellow tried (and succeeded!) at making actual, real, good, goats milk cheese at home.
Now you might say "oh, well, she's meeshmellow (and a chemist), of course she can do it."
So I'll finish it up with a "She said it was easy!".
To me, easy means that it doesn't take more that $20, more than 5 ingredients, or more than half a days worth of work. Guess what.
Cheese totally meets those requirements. I know, awesome, right?!

So here is what apocalypse preparation looks like in our house:
1) You use Google to find and purchase 2 ingredients: Rennet and Starter Culture (bacteria). You can get the goats milk at the grocery store.
2) You set out the equipment: some measuring spoons, a big spoon, a thermometer and a pot.
3) You follow the recipe which means first you heat up the milk, add the bacteria and rennet. Stir.
4) You then let the "inocculated" milk sit overnight. At room temp. That part kinda creeps me out.
5) The next day, you see if it's coagulated enough, drain the whey off and then let it drain in some cloth for a while. By "a while" I mean "as long as you can wait before eating it". Here is the stuff that I just let drain in cloth:
It came out like this:

It was pretty dry, and stayed in big chunks like I wanted. So that was good.

I also pressed some of the wet cheese in a nifty difty cheese press. THAT I TOTALLY MADE IN EL MACHINE SHOP! I know, you TOTALLY want to see this press, don't you?!

Ok, yes, I just took a piece of tupperware and punched holes in it. BUT IT TOTALLY WORKED, AND I MADE A CHEESE PRESS BY MYSELF IN LIKE 30 SECONDS. We'll need cheese presses at the apocalypse people.

This cheese turned out like this:

So, it was dry and chunky just like I wanted it. But square.
And with herbs because I put them in before I pressed it.
All in all, the press was the better way to go, there was less tending needed.
Now all I need is A BIGGER PRESS.

6) After it's drained, you get to eat it. You can add some salt and whatever, but it's good anyway.
7) Do it all again so that you can be really good at it in time for the apocalypse.

I'll have to admit, this whole do-yummy-yourself thing was inspired by El Machinist, who can do almost anything and in a gourmet way. He got me all makin' bread and stuff. Which is why we have this as a resident in the fridge:

It is super easy to make bread for dinner and whatnot. But all I could think about when I was eating the bread was how good it would taste with goat cheese. Hence the recent goat cheese activity.

When I brought the first batch of Chevre to El Machinist, he asked me where I got the ingredients. When I said the net, he said something like "It's apocolypse cheese, we won't have the internet. How can you make your own starter culture?" This then spurned a whole lunch hour of looking up how to start cultures and derive rennet from livestock or plants. Which, according to El Machinist after he read the instructions is " eh, easy enough to do... ". So there you have it.

Goat Cheese = Easy and yummy
Apocalypse = survivable, as long as your only requirements are bread and goat cheese
Dissertation = Not Complete

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It looks like she got my hair.

I accept that I have my share of crazy hair moments. I generally call them morning time.
It seems that Miss M was blessed/cursed (take your pick) with crazy hair too, and oh, I have evidence.
Exhibit A: In the bath tub.

Now, I admit it, this is a bit staged.
But! The potential was there.
A lot of potential!

Exhibit B: The Dr. Emit Brown
(picture taken on a totally different day).
This is where the true potential of Miss M's crazy hair is realized.

She can attain all of the following
1) a blond afro
2) sleek, close to the head curls
3) 1/2 super wispy and straight, 1/2 kinda curly. We call this the Emit Brown hair style because it's kinda like the crazy doctor from Back to the Future, as seen here:

It's a crap shoot what she'll end up with every day.
She definitely got my hair.