Journal Entry: April 9, 2009

Friday night I got home from work and spent 40 minutes on the elliptical machine. Then I showered and had a quick dinner with T– in which she lamented the trial of potty training. After supper we were supposed to go over to my sister’s place to help set up for a party Saturday night, but I suggested T– go ahead and head over, and I would spend some time working with AB.

We went to the bathroom and I just made her sit on her potty until she did something. It was extremely unfun, for both of us. In the end, it took over an hour and a half, but she finally did it and I think that helped her (a little bit) get over the terror of doing something new.

Anyway, I’d spent the whole time telling her that as soon as she was done she could go see her cousins (something she was really excited about). As her bedtime rolled closer and closer I was ready to give up on it all and just put her in bed in a diaper, but it was right at 8:30 when she sealed the deal, and I could hardly back out of a promise after she’d done what I asked, so I packed her up and we drove out to my sister’s place.

I got a sneak peek at some of the party prep (and they put a lot of work into it), and AB spent half an hour or so playing with the girls, then we all headed back home. AB got to bed, and I went to my office to do a little writing.

Saturday morning I did my workout — forty minutes on the machine — and then as soon as I was cleaned up we headed out to meet Mom and Dad and my sister’s family at IHOP for brunch, 11-ish, and we all crowded into a booth meant for maybe six people. Service was slow (as it usually is at IHOP), so even though the food was delicious it was hard to enjoy it because T– and I ended up having to rush out of there for a 12:30 commitment.

That was babysitting. K– and N– brought little Jason over, and we got to spend a couple hours watching Word World with AB while we passed a sleeping Jason back and forth. I think T– changed one diaper, but other than that there wasn’t much work to it. AB was a bigger handful.

K– and N– came to pick him up around two, and they hung around to talk for a bit. That was fun.

Then they left, and a little bit after that (around four) T– headed over to my sister’s place to help finish getting ready for the party at six. I watched AB for about an hour, then got her in her dragon costume and tried on my Warlock costume, which was mix-and-match of a pirate costume and a wizard costume from Halloweens past, plus a very WoW-styled set of shoulder armor that we’d built out of papier mache.

The party was for my brother-in-law’s thirtieth birthday, and he’s probably the most dedicated WoW player out of our group of pretty dedicated WoW players, so my sister decided to throw a costume party (and somehow convinced a bunch of people to go along). There’s a detailed description of the party at my sister’s blog, in case you want to know more, but my parents were there, as were K– and N–, and Toby and Gwyn, and Jeff’s brother, Greg.

Instead of party games we had quests. Mom and Dad got really into the costume portion, which was hilarious. My favorite bit was the food, though, which was set out in a buffet and each part of it labeled after an in-game food item. I laughed out loud when I saw the cheese tray bearing the tooltip text for Alterac Swiss.

Sunday morning I got up early enough to do my workout, but halfway through it I heard a crash and rushed out of the office to find AB bleeding in the bathroom, with T– trying to tend to her. We had been using a glass jar for her candy rewards, but I guess she’d gotten a little greedy and tried to reward herself, and let the jar crash to the floor. She cut her middle finger — just a little slice, but it was bleeding like crazy, and she was freaking out.

It took us a good twenty minutes of fighting with her to get it cleaned up and get a bandaid on (then, of course, she immediately calmed down). T– took her to get dressed, and I went back to the office to resume my workout. Just as I finished, though, T– poked her head in the door to tell me they were leaving for church.

I’d lost track of the time spent taking care of AB, and my workout ran over. Worse, we’d left one of our cars at my sister’s place on Saturday night, so I couldn’t just show up late. Mom and Dad were supposed to be bringing it to church with them, though, so T– suggested I call them and ask them to drop it off at the house on their way. Then she and AB left for church while I jumped in the shower.

Unfortunately, my phone was in the car that T– took to church, so that little plan didn’t work out. I ended up spending that hour or so playing Too Human, until Dad knocked on the door after service to let me know Mom was waiting in the car to take me up to Ole for lunch. It was another big family lunch (and this time D– joined us). Afterward we said our goodbyes to Mom and Dad, then headed home for a quiet Sunday afternoon. D– came over to hang out, after a busy weekend with a visiting college buddy, and we watched some TV while AB napped.

Then T– took AB to Small Groups at the church. I asked D– what sounded good for dinner, and he suggested going to a movie. We ended up seeing I Love You, Man — and no, the humor of the two of us going to see a movie about bromance and man-dates was not in the least lost on us. The movie itself was awesome, though. I highly recommend it.

I got home around nine-thirty, and instead of writing I watched some TV with T–.

Monday morning I got to work and spent my time reviewing for the Graduate Records Exam. I’d signed up for it last week sometime, and was scheduled to take the test at 12:30. I spent maybe an hour and a half reviewing, and that was just about enough time to get me really freaked out.

I grabbed some lunch on the way to the testing center, then showed up a little bit early and ate in the parking lot. When I got in, they gave me a clipboard to verify some of my registration information, then showed me in right away to get started. I was probably answering questions by noon, even though my appointment wasn’t until 12:30.

The test is listed as a four-hour process, but I did it in two. It consists of a written portion — two essays, which I would swear are just stoner traps — and then a multiple-choice Verbal (or English) portion and a multiple-choice Quantitative (or Math) portion. I did 700 in Verbal and 670 in Quantitative. The max. possible is 800, but apparently the Verbal portion is a lot harder than the Quantitative, because even with my scores so close together they come out to 96th percentile and 76th percentile respectively.

I’m doing all of this to get into the Masters of Professional Writing program at OU, though, and their only requirement is a 500 in Verbal, so I nailed that. They’re also interested in my writing score, which I won’t have back for another two weeks, but I feel like I did pretty well.

I’d already taken the whole afternoon off work, so I went ahead and headed home. I spent some time discussing the test with T–, then headed to the office and did my forty minutes while she took AB to do the grocery shopping. She picked up Mazzio’s on the way home, and we had a quiet evening watching TV. At nine I headed to the office, and got a little writing done.

Oh! After our tortuous experiences with AB Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday morning, we gave up on the whole making her sit on the potty thing. She spent most of the rest of Sunday in a diaper, actually. Then on Monday, all on her own, she kept rushing to the bathroom whenever she needed to go. She only had one accident all day, and I think five or six successful trips.

Tuesday AB realized that she could use her bathroom trips as a mechanism to get free candy, and started trying to figure out how to game the system. So that’s a little frustrating, but overall she has made remarkable progress, which has continued to present. I’ll resume my moratorium on discussing her potty training now.

Tuesday night wasn’t a super exciting one. I came home from work, worket out, had dinner (T– made some of her famous chicken crescent squares, which were delicious), then we watched a little TV. Instead of trying to write, I just went to bed early, but that didn’t gain me much. I was still late waking on Wednesday.

Wednesday after work I rushed home to try to get my workout in before dinner, which we’d decided to have at home. Halfway through I paused to place the order, then finished up, grabbed a quick shower, and rushed up to P F Chang’s to pick up our food.

Fantastic dinner, and not too ridiculously expensive. AB really does love the hot and sour soup, which weirds me out.

After that T– took AB to church, and D– read through his newsfeed while I played Too Human. We were all just waiting for 8:30, though, to catch this week’s Lost. It was a great one. I spent most of the show thinking, “I can’t wait to read about this on Lostpedia.” Think that sad if you will, I just consider it a recognition of the depth of their mythology. I enjoy learning about what’s included, but unaccessible on a casual viewing.

Anyway, after that D– went home, and one again I went to bed without writing. Since last Thursday, I’ve gotten about 2,000 words done, which is basically one third of my minimum writing goal (1,000 words a day). I’ve done enough to finish chapter 8, but I haven’t been terribly productive.

I’m not really beating myself up about it, though, because while that’s flagging I am busy doing a tremendous job on my workouts. I’ve now done a serious workout every day since I got the elliptical machine. I worked up to my 40-minute target in four days, and I’ve stayed at that ever since, without missing a day. This weekend could be a problem because we’re spending three days in Little Rock, but I’m going to try to get in my workout before we leave tomorrow morning and then do one as soon as we get home Sunday night, so I’ll only miss one day. Maybe I’ll even make myself go for a walk on Saturday. We’ll see.

Anyway, things roll ever onward. For the moment, the outlook is nice.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.