Author Archives: Lissy

Disneyland 2017

Disneyland 2017

This post has been in my drafts for way too long :D I’ve been busy planning our next trip to Disney World, ha ha.

A few weeks ago, we did something we’ve never done before and ventured to the west coast to Disneyland for a change. Mostly because Bryan’s brother and his family are in CA, but also, Disneyland. We had originally proposed DL, but didn’t think it would happen, so we started talking about going to San Francisco and Disney World instead. We weren’t able to book DW until March and then Chris and Rae were all aboard the Disney boat, so we decided to do both. We got a great discount at the Grand Californian and our flights were good prices too since we traveled on a Monday, so it didn’t cost a fortune.

It was a great week. Probably even better than our last Disney World trip. Now, not saying Disneyland is better, but it does have some major advantages. Also because Owen is older and I didn’t have to nurse him while waiting for rides :D

Best part of DL is that everything is in walking distance and our hotel was literally next to California adventure. We did just as much walking, but we went back and forth between the parks multiple times a day and not having to worry about a bus is pretty nice.

You get a lot out of morning magic hours. Even mornings in general are super quiet with little to no waits for rides. We rode Toy Story Midway Mania four times in a row on two separate days with no wait.

Toon Town was a huge hit with Owen. He would move there if he could. It’s better than the one they used to have in Disney World too. And again, mornings were great there. No line for Mickey or Minnie. He met them both every day of our trip. Because that’s what you do when you let your kid decide the itinerary :D The character interaction is better in Disneyland. On several occasions, characters who were walking off to take their break came up to Owen to say hi. I’ve never seen that in DW.

We also rode Mickey’s Fun Wheel every day which was his favorite ride I think. That or “Christmas ride” which is actually Haunted Mansion Holiday. That was my favorite of the trip.

The last great thing about Disneyland is the redwood creek challenge trail, or maybe the worst because chasing Owen around there was not easy. It’s better than the playground in Animal Kingdom and Owen enjoyed the duck races. Only part that sucked was that he was too short for the rock wall and zip line which resulted in a meltdown.

Disney World wins in the food department. I did have two meals though that were really delicious. One was quick service at the red rose tavern and the other was the Blue Bayou. Both were the vegetarian dishes. I do love my veggies.

Disney World also has more random shows. Owen really loved those drums in the Animal Kingdom last trip. Shopping in World Showcase is also one of my favorite things to do.

Oh the castle. I knew the castle in Disneyland was smaller, but boy do you really miss out on that “wow, I’m in Disney” feeling when you walk down main street.

I think for his age, DL is way better. Even if we had never ventured outside Toon Town. I think for adults, DW is where I’d prefer to spend my time. Also, nothing beats seeing Owen and Lyra run around together. It was like instant best friends. So amazing. So happy we went!

Owen is Three!

Owen is Three!

And what a great birthday he had.

On the 25th, I took off work and spent the whole day with him. We gave him his present, a dollhouse that looks like the house from his favorite movie of the moment, Up. Then we went to his gymnastics class. He transfered himself into the big boy Ninja class, so we couldn’t go in the gym with him, just watch from the window, but he didn’t care. Boy was he excited I was there though. He kept stopping to wave at me :D He follows the directions of the instructor better than I would have thought. He loves it so much. “Go mnastics! Jump with the kids???”

We went to the mall after and rode the merry-go-round and the train. He played on the playground there for a long time. He had a great day.

Today we had his birthday party. Grandpa filled a bunch of helium balloons for him and he thought it was the greatest ever. He took one to bed with him and threw a giant tantrum when he accidentally let it go. The other kids all loved them too.

All the food I made turned out really well. I made vegan chocolate ice cream and it was actually really good. The cinnamon ice cream and chocolate cake were also hits. I also made baked french toast for the first time and that all went too. As did Grammy’s “anya” (lasagna).

It was a lot of people crammed into our little house, but it worked and everyone had a great time :)

It also worked out well with the timing. I finished my nano degree last month and we finished Game of Thrones on Wednesday, so I had time to do all of that cleaning, cooking and baking :D

I’ve been doing machine learning at work and it’s pretty cool, except we don’t really have enough/the right data to do anything awesome, so I’ve just been messing around, finding patterns, making pretty charts and impressing people :D

Owen Says

Owen Says

My little boy is three today! I’ve been collecting some of his quotes to share here. I think they sum up his personality pretty well. He has such a big imagination, he has adventures will listening to movie soundtracks. He’s very sweet and very silly.

“Like your earrings? Very pretty!”

While playing with his toys: “No! Don’t touch that! … aaaaaah! … oops”

After Connor hit his knee on the playground: “oh no! Connor! You hurt your knee?” He runs over… “I kiss and make better,” he kisses his knee, “all better!” Connor: “thank you.”

On the way home from Sesame Place: “Bye Elmo! Bye Dorothy!”

“Go pool Connor? … Go Sesame Place Connor?”

Bryan was lying on the floor: “Wake up Dada! It’s time for bed!”

“It’s not time for bath, it’s time for yogurt.”

“Red shoes, yellow shoes, blue shoes, (puts shoe on head) oops!”

Owen: “I feeling frustrated”

“C is for Owen, that’s good enough for me!”

After I knocked over his tower:

Me: oh no! I’m sorry!

Owen: are you ok? (He climbs in my lap and pets my head) Aww, ma ma, you ok?

Sesame Place

Sesame Place

I took off from work today and we took Owen to Sesame Place with Carolyn, Tom and Connor. Much like last year, the day started off shaky. We did a coupe of rides, but crankiness was at a high. I guess they were hot and/or hungry. Once they had a snack and got in the water, they were very happy.

We went to the Count’s Splash Castle, but Owen hated that. He does not enjoy getting splashed, so we went back to the little pool for a while. We stepped out when the parade came by which I think Owen liked, but then he wanted to get back in the pool after. Connor was done by that point and went home.

I managed to convince Owen to dry off and do something else and we went on some of the other rides. He loved all of them, but he was absolutely giddy about the teacups.

Since it was rush hour by the time we were done with rides, we decided it was best to stay a little later and eat dinner there. We saw Elmo the Musical and Owen was really into it, clapping and shouting. We had pizza for dinner and then went on the Carousel one last time before heading home.

After about 30 minutes in the car he says, “Bye Connor! Bye Elmo!” and waves. This kid is a hoot. He was exhausted, but he held it together really well until the last 10 minutes of the drive when he had a meltdown because he took off his shoes and socks, but he didn’t want them off. <3

June Things

June Things

This kid can run. Hanging out with him is getting to be pretty exhausting, but a lot of fun. Earlier this month we went to Emily’s wedding. Stayed overnight at a hotel which he thought was awesome. 


He was may more interested in running all over the venue than dancing or eating which was a pain since, you know, we wanted to do those things. The food was amazing, just too bad I couldn’t savor it a little more. And running after him in heels, not easy.


Otherwise we’ve been going to the park behind our house almost daily and the one between us and Carolyn every weekend with Connor. He makes friends wherever he goes, but he has the most fun with Connor. The two of them hung out at the pool on Saturday for hours. I got burned, he’s fine. Usually I’m better about the sunscreen, but I guess I was so focused on making sure he was ok, I didn’t get my back good enough.


I officially start my nano degree tomorrow, so wanted to blog before that happens. Also today marks 10 years with att and oh yeah, I had a birthday at some point this month. Had a picnic in the park with Julia and Carolyn. It was lovely. And of course annual lunch with Rachi.

Hello Old Friend

Hello Old Friend

It’s been a while. Life’s been grand! I love love love love love my new project. It is everything I could have ever wished for in a project. I’m getting to actually write code for a change instead of dealing with crap. I just got a progression and a raise. Work is pretty good. I’m still working on my machine learning nano degree and actually I’m procrastinating right now!

We thighs we weren’t getting to Disney this year, but now it turns out we’re going to Disneyland in the Fall and Disney World in the Spring. I am so excited for Disney Land because, um, 1- squeeze, Disney! 2- never been, 3- Owen in Disney and most importantly 4- Lyra and Owen together again at last! They are going to have a blast together. We were going to stay at the Best Western across the street, because the Disney hotel prices are just outrageous for what you get. Then someone on the Dis Boards was like, hey, do you know about this discount? And I was like, no, but thank you new best friend. And now we can stay at the Grand Californian for a very reasonable price. It was really just crazy good luck. 

So yeah, life is pretty darn great right now. Just watching Owen run around with Connor on weekends is the best. They have so much fun together. He asks to see him every day. It’s adorable.


We also went to the autism fair a few weeks back and they had this bouncy house obstacle course that we did over and over and over. He still talks about it. Well spent $10.

A Day in the Life of Lissy

A Day in the Life of Lissy

Friday, 2/24/17

1:33am

You wake up to the sounds of Owen whining. He cuddles with you, but tosses and turns before falling back asleep.

???? Too early to be awake am

He’s up again. He asks to cuddle. You are cuddling. Go back to sleep kid.

5:53am

He’s up again, this time, the light is green, so he’s allowed to nurse. You tell him you’re going to unlatch him and count to three, he pulls off himself, but whines a little and asks you to fix his pants. “Mama cuddle?” Sure baby. “Go sleepys?” Glad you’re on the same page. He tries to sleep, tries cuddling this way and that. At one point he’s still for a while, you start drifting off, but he moves suddenly and says, “I go play Woody? Where’s Buzz?” Guess the sleep thing isn’t happening. You two cuddle for a little while longer before finally getting up.

6:30am

You start getting out of bed. Owen hops on your back. “Oh no! Baby on back! Get it off! Get it off!” You give him a ride into the hallway. You go into the bathroom. You both brush your teeth and then you brush his teeth for real. He picks up a Mickey keychain. “It’s Mickey!” He makes it fly. “To infinity and beyond!” “Wear Donald?” Sorry baby, all your Donald shirts are in the laundry. “Wear Mickey?” Er, maybe… you change his diaper, he asks you to kiss his hands. He asks you to read him the last few pages of the Cat and the Hat. You pause for him to fill in words. The two of you look for a Mickey shirt. Success! There’s a couple left! He’s runs around the nursery with his Buzz costume “it’s Buzz! To infinity and beyond! Go downstairs? Mama car?” “Hold Buzz please?” He hands you the Buzz costume “sure.” “Thank you!” “You’re welcome.” You carry him downstairs. 

You make two Mickey waffles for Owen and a regular one for yourself. You let Owen stir to put in some extra love. You even throw in some whey from your homemade yogurt. They turn out pretty good. Owen sees the waffle and climbs into his seat. He asks for syrup. You have yours with apple sauce. You also have some green tea. In an unusual turn of events, Owen asks for “Poppins” music instead of Toy Story or Moana. “Fresh water?” You knew you forgot something.

Owen finishes one waffle and takes the second half of the second waffle to go while he looks for Little Buzz. You check the weather, too nice not to go out. You go upstairs and gets pants for both of you. Owen still hasn’t found Buzz, so he takes Mickey out who flies to the park saying “to infinity and beyond!” Owen wants to take the “stairs” to the playground. You correct him telling him it’s a hill. He run to the slide and declares everything is “too wet” and then starts climbing anyway. He doesn’t go down any slides. He has a great time on the swing though. 

You ask him if he wants to go back to the house and get his bike. He starts running towards the house, but sees his doggy friend, Daisy and decides to stalk her instead. He introduces her to Mickey. You follow them out through the park and say goodbye. Owen runs to your back deck and does a couple laps before heading to your car to get the bike. You eventually convince him to let you hold Mickey so he can ride. You get about a block down the street when he meets up with kids waiting for the bus. He desides these kids aren’t much fun and says goodbye and continues riding his bike until he gets to his tree. He asks you to pick him up so he can give you a big hug. Awwwww.

His tree climbing is interrupted when he sees a couple of his friends heading to the bus stop. He runs to them and tries to get them to chase him, but they have to go to school. He gets confused about which way they’re going and stops in the middle of the steeet. You have to drag him back to the sidewalk as he screams for you to put him down. After that, he’s less cooperative and keeps running up to peoples’ houses. You decide to take him home. You spend the next 15 minutes trying to convince him to ride his bike so you don’t have to carry it. Finally, you prevail and he rides it all the way back to your car. You go back inside and take him upstairs to the bedroom to look for Buzz.

He still hasn’t found him, but you look in his purse and find Baby Buzz. He’s very happy. You change his non poopy, but very wet diaper before taking his laundry downstairs. You throw it in the machine along with some of your stuff while you wait ten years for your computer to boot.

9:03am

Time to start work. Ugh, two meetings starting at 9:30, both on the open ecomp stuff. You’re so happy you’re leaving MSO. You hear Own running around upstairs. You have to go to the bathroom, so you sneak upstairs at the end of the first meeting. Owen asks you to change his diaper. You tell him Dada will change it. You give him a kiss on the head and head back downstairs. He whines a bit, he doesn’t want you to leave.

Boring meeting #2. You decide to walk during this one despite your rumbling tummy. You raise your desk and turn the treadmill on to 1.8mph. You all join the bridge, but Steve points out Bob is off today. You let everyone know and ask Pramod and the Belgium folks if they want to continue their discussion. You talk about the project split and junits. Pramod asks you to review his pull request. Jane Qs you and asks if you downloaded the machine learning project as a zip instead of using git. You did.

6223 steps so far today. You stop the treadmill and stand for a while. You join your new team’s morning bridge. Your client asks you about the weather. You say it’s beautiful, 70 today. He’s in California, he says it’s 32 there. 

You tell the team you’re mostly available today, so they pair you with Jie. Oh good, they acknowledge CDT folks should get first dibs at project PMTs.

You go upstairs for a snack of trailmix because you’re sooooo hungry. You walk a little more to get your 250 steps for the 11:00 hour and then sit. You think maybe you should grab lunch before you message Jie. You heat up a Somosa wrap and instruct Bryan on how to heat up a sweet potato for Owen.

You Q Jie and let her know you’re available and oh crap you spelled her name wrong. Awesome first impression. You review Pramod’s PR while you wait for a response. She’s now idle, you go upstairs to go to the bathroom and give Owen a hug. Jie is back and invites you to her bridge. You watch as she works on the chat bot service. She invites Tim in to help her. You’re a little lost :)

You all join the standup call. You verify you do indeed have access to the code repo. Back to walking for a bit. You hit 10000 steps and your 250 for the hour. After the call, you setup your eclipse to get to the repo. Ah, that’s right, this is the system with stupid password rules. Ok, now how do you use SVN again… you only wrote a whole CVS interface for ISAAC, but that was like four years ago now. The eclipse plugin documentation is on github, well, that’s a little ironic. 

You go grab a snack. Ok, maybe you’ll just finish the bag of trail mix. Jie says you’ll pair again after the chatbot brownbag. That should be good. The brown bag starts, you’re still cold, will do some more walking. Steve wants you to join a connect to go over error handling changes he made. Not as much fun. You tell him you’ll join in a bit. 

Steve says Meera’s delete test failed. You check cockpit, yeah, yeah, it did, but you guys tested that with the real A&AI! You ask him to work with Kevin to test again in his local. You check on Owen, still sleeping. You grab some cheerios and almond button and apple sauce because you’re a piggy. And now you’re thirsty. Oh shoot, the laundry, you throw that in the dryer.

Jie is still having lunch. You listen for Owen on the monitor. He’ll probably wake up the second she gets back. You get the rest of your 250 steps for the hour. You think you hear Owen, you go up there to see, but he’s still sleeping through the nicest day of the whole year. You help Steve and Kevin with the delete issue. Your mom texts that she broke her toe. Poor mommy.

3:50pm

You go wake Owen up since it’s so late. He needs many hugs. He’s very offended you woke him up and just left him with Dada. You can hear him still crying. Your pairing partner is brb, so you go check on Owen. He’s so upset. Dada is out of the shower and changes his diaper. You tell him his friends said they would play with him after school.

5:00pm

Jie has to go pick her son up from school, so you say goodbye for the day for the day and cut out a little early to enjoy the beautiful weather. You find Bryan’s and Owen playing with Nolan! 

But he has to leave which makes both boys very upset. Owen continues playing with the big kids, handing them their football and saying “you’re welcome friend!” When they say thank you. 

Dada heads home to make dinner and the two of you put his bike back in your car and then go to the playground for a bit. On the way he sees his neighbor friend playing. You say hi to his mom.

He wants to watch the boys on the basketball court. It gets dark, so you suggest going home, he says no, but then says he wants to go get Woody. He asks to watch Toy Story, you say, sure, you can go home and watch Toy Story. Dada puts it on for you when you get home. 
Owen comes over and sits on your lap. Bryan brings over your dinner, salmon pasta. You and Owen share at his little table.

You march in place to get your 250 steps for the hour. 10/12 and 15408 so far. Excellent step day. Good, Owen seems to be eating a lot. He needs the omega 3s and a full tummy will help him sleep tonight. Carolyn texts back that they can’t hang out tomorrow morning, but maybe Sunday. You’ll probably still go to the park tomorrow though.

Owen wants to do infinity and beyond. You fly him around.

7:30pm

Owen heads upstairs and you follow. Bryan tries to fix the baby monitor. You suggest book reading, but Owen hates that idea. You find Little Buzz, he was just hanging out by the crib. Owen is thrilled. You change his poopie diaper and a Bryan throws it away. He says he threw out a heavy bag of garbage from the basement. You don’t remember what you threw out.

You read Owen the Toy Story book and then Frozen while you nurse. Then you all head to the bedroom to say goodnight. You sing the goodnight Owen song and then explain to Owen that you’ll nurse him and sing a song, then unlatch, cuddle and you’ll go bye bye and he’ll sleep like every night. He asks for Mary Poppins. You sing Feed the Birds. He tries to sing while he nurses. The song is over, he unlatches and asks to cuddle. You do and sing some Toy Story together. You kiss him goodnight and leave the room.

8:18pm

You head downstairs to workout. You do 35 minutes on the elliptical while watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend. You stretch and head upstairs to shower. Bryan thinks Owen is asleep.  After your shower, you take out your contacts, but you’re out of lease solution so you need to go to the closet to get more. You put your robe on and go plug your old Fitbit in to charge it so you an use it while you sleep. 17334 steps and 12/12 hours with 250 steps today! You were active for 7hr 25min and stationary for 8hr 23 min. You make yourself some s’mores while you do your udacity machine learning course on your iPad. You’re on the evaluation section learning about Confusion Matrices. You go downstairs to use your laptop instead since it’s easier to do the programming exercises on there. 

You tell Bryan you stole his new keyboard, but you didn’t like it, so he can have it back. The control button was in the wrong place and there wasn’t a delete button. You plug back in your old one, but it’s not working, so you reboot. Your Apple Pencil needs charging. Ok back to learning. You unplug your pencil to take notes on your iPad. Oh, you finished the class. Onto the mini project. 

Oh boy, all you have left is the final project. Hopefully you can knock that out this weekend. You’re looking froward to doing the full nano degree now. This machine learning stuff is fun.

10:50pm

Ok, bedtime for you now. You kiss Bryan goodnight, go upstairs, brush your teeth, put on your PJs and sneak into bed.

The Search for Woody

The Search for Woody

Saturday morning Owen, Woody and I woke up, got out of bed, brushed our teeth, “used” the potty (more like played with) and then I went to get dressed while Owen and Woody played in the nursery. We read a book and then started to head downstairs for breakfast. Owen asked, “where’s Woody?” I did a quick look around the room, didn’t see the doll, so I told him we’ll look for him later. After breakfast, Owen was still on Woody so we looked a little more. He asked to check the bathroom, we did, he’s wasn’t there. I told him we’ll find him later, we always do.

We headed out to the grocery store. Owen needed to bring ALL of his toys. He put them all in a shopping bag and we left. We shopped, he brought Jessie inside. We left to go to the mall and I hit the cart return structure with the car leaving a big dent in the side (unrelated, but I’m still mad at myself). He decided to take Little Buzz in with him to the mall. We had a great time at the indoor playground, playing with Connor, on the Merry-Go-Round and train. Then we went home for nap time.

Owen was exhausted, so I searched for Woody for bit in the nursery again while he napped. Still no cowboy. I went about my business (which on this day was ordering my fancy new treadmill desk :D) Owen woke up, we went to Grammy and Papi’s and then to a party for Ishrat’s baby. Owen had a great time running around with the other kids, but we had to leave early because we don’t mess with this kid’s bedtime. It was already after 8 though (his usual bedtime) and dinner hadn’t been served yet, so we had to eat once we got home. By the time he got to bed it was late and he was super cranky and had a meltdown because we couldn’t read any books and he still didn’t know where Woody was.

We spent a lot of time looking for Woody in the nursery this morning and still couldn’t find him. He took Little Buzz to the playground and they rode his bike together. He eventually started crying because his hands were very cold and I couldn’t convince him to stick them in his pockets.

When he woke up from his nap Grandma and Grandpa were here and we were getting ready to go out to eat. “Where’s Woody? Want Woody!” Bryan looked all over the upstairs and couldn’t find him. We brought Jessie instead. After dinner the four of us all looked for Woody, upstairs, downstairs, for an hour. At this point Bryan starts thinking I’m crazy because the whole time I was insisting he was in the nursery. I started thinking, well, I guess he could be in the bathroom, or my office.

I was so sure he was in the house though. I tore apart my office again and the nursery again; I thought I was losing my mind. By the end of the hour, Bryan and I were convinced Owen must have somehow taken him out of the house and lost him because he wasn’t anywhere!

The two of us were downstairs discussing if we should buy him a new Woody. I was shouting up to Owen to come downstairs and eat his sweet potato. He had been quietly playing in the nursery by himself for about ten minutes. He comes downstairs… holding Woody. Bryan and I couldn’t believe it.

When we went up for his bath, we asked Owen where he found Woody. He goes inside the nursery to his closet, and puts Woody inside his Buzz Lighyear costume. It never would have occurred to me in a million years to look there. Only a toddler.

Oh What Fun!

Oh What Fun!

I’ve finally gotten Owen into the Christmas spirit a bit. Only had to watch three Christmas movies. He loved Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. I actually thought it was pretty good too. This kid adores Mickey Mouse. Every day, “wear Mickey?” “see Mickey?” “watch Mickey?”

Sunday, our town’s Emergency Squad brought Santa around and well, we had an awesome time just waiting for Santa. Owen hasn’t seen his friends in a while, and they were all out waiting too. Plus, splashing in puddles in the rain is super fun. I was worried he would be scared of Santa, but he was so excited to go in the ambulance and to finally meet this Santa guy everyone’s been going on about. It was magical.

Meanwhile, I think everyone is ready to say goodbye to 2016. One of my friends had a particularly bad year so I hope 2017 goes more smoothly for her. And Syria had an extremely bad year. Seeing tweets and videos out of Aleppo is absolutely heartbreaking :'( Feel very lucky everyone I love is safe and healthy.

Today is my last half day of work until the New Year. Looking forward to the break and hanging out with Owen. Oh and sleep update: he’s been putting himself to sleep at the beginning of the night without me in the room. If only he could do that at 4am, we’d be all set.