Friday, February 17, 2017

The week in shenanigans

And in reverse order because they loaded funny

I took a Mental Health day (because work still is not awesome) and C and I finally used up a Groupon we'd bought for a local climbing gym. The first part was a belay class. C didn't believe that I could keep him from dying, so I let him hang for a few awkward seconds. 

Faux action shot because you can't belay and selfie at the same time

I heart pretty knots

This bottle cap has been on this ledge at my gym for two weeks, so I gave him eyes. My plan is to give him accessories each time I go. Stay tuned!

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 Last minute Valentine's for the kids, brought to you by "My car overheated in the Walmart parking lot." Syd saw hers and yelled, "Can I have poop?!" 
My Valentines. All smiling and looking at the camera. At the same time!

Averson's purse. It has Pokeman cards, a wooden Santa, a glow ring, and a Paw Patrol Valentine. I love preschoolers so much!

I was invited to a "Book Buzz" by our library, where a rep from Penguin presented books coming out soon. It was so geekily fun, and I'm in the top 10 on the request lists already! 

I'm still on Whole30. I'm not sure I'm doing it right though, because I don't feel any different (better or worse.) I haven't lost any weight, which is incredibly frustrating. I don't particularly hate the food, though I do miss convenience and normalcy. We went out for lunch today at Cafe Rio and I basically ordered lettuce with chicken and a side of guac. And I ate the same spinach, chicken sausage, egg bowl for breakfast and dinner. 

The PTO Glow Dance (aka Baby Rave). Best part? The basket of highlighters that the kids were using to draw on themselves. Second best was Syd making sure that Eli was included when there weren't any of his friends there. Third was Avery running AMOK. 

I started reading Little House on the Prairie to the kids. I'm reading out of the same book I read as a kid and the pages are so loose I won't let anyone else touch it. I loved the series as a kid. I read it once as an adult and got so irritated by Pa that I was traumatized. I'm hoping this time is a better go. 

This cracks me up. We've been trying to reorganize our budget/bill pay/etc so that we can close our Wells Fargo accounts, and C has taken over the bill paying (thank God!) He doodles while he's on hold with companies. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017


A few weeks ago I was walking across the prison yard on my way back to my office. I'd just sat through three hours of institutional committee, listening to men half-heartedly protest that they hadn't meant to kick that officer, or that they found the weapon, or that they "couldn't remember" how their cellmate got that broken eye socket. That was after another two hour committee where we tried to figure out how to encourage a guy to stop punching people in the face or jerking off in his window. It's a glamorous career.

So I'm walking back to my office, thinking about how lovely it will be to finally sit down to lunch, in the quiet, and mindlessly read the latest cluster-fuck in the news, when I notice an inmate in a tucked away corner doing a funny little shuffle step backwards. I work in an area with a large population of mentally ill inmates, so its not unusual to see guys doing weird shit. One guy does interpretive dance with two sheets of cardboard every day. This was different weird though. So like one does,  I stopped to watch. In a few seconds, I realized that he was also calling to something down on the ground. As I watched, I finally saw a tiny baby goose come from around the corner, following this inmate and simultaneously biting at the grass (do geese eat grass?)

I typically make it a point to maintain forward momentum when I'm walking alone among inmates, but I had to stop and ask this guy WTF? And that's how I came to meet Dennis the Goose.

Dennis (or Denise, no one's sure yet) at one time had a cozy little family and a mom and brothers and sisters and a sweet little nest. However, we've been getting a lot of rain and during a big storm, the nest had washed away. Dennis's mother left him for dead and this inmate decided to adopt him. Now Dennis follows him everywhere. There are "babysitters" and "uncles" that watch him while his adopted dad is working. They make him a little nest of blankets when the weather is cold. They keep the other mean geese away and make sure that he has the best grass to forage in. It's not allowed, and I would never ask, but I'm pretty sure that Dennis sleeps in the cell with him too.

I finally broke away and went back to work, where I learned that Dennis was already a celebrity. Some of my friends had even pet him, which I immediately regretted not asking to do. A maximum security prison can be a pretty crappy place to be, with all the punching and stabbing and masturbating. Dennis was this little glimmer of frivolity and goodness and I love glimmers of frivolity and goodness.

I've been following the story of Dennis ever since, but hadn't seen him in a while. Yesterday, I was walking with a friend and we just happened to come across him. Like a huge dork, I immediately said "Can I pet him?!" And that's when this inmate scoops up Dennis and thrusts him into my hands. I held a tiny baby goose named Dennis in the middle of a maximum security prison. Can't say that every day. My only regret is that I'm freakishly rule following, so of course there are no pictures.
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Not Dennis

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Fasting February

I have been super burnt out at work since stepping down as big boss lady. I'm not sorry that I didn't apply for the job, but I'm just tired and having a hard time motivating myself or feeling very excited about it. As my dad said when I was whining to him, "That's about as first world problem as they get." Basically he told me to put on my big girl pants, which was about as sympathetic as he gets. It was, however, a good reminder that work is not all the things. When I get in a funk like this, I like to shake things up a bit. It gives me something to get overly involved in and reignites all those synapses. I thought about a new baby (this should tell you where my brain is) but I'm finally learning that family planning probably shouldn't be an impulse decision. We tried to get a new dog but apparently there are three types of dogs available at shelters; pit bulls, chihuahuas, and the kind of dog that gets adopted by lottery. I don't think we could pull off the two pit vibe, Atticus would eat a purse dog, and we are notoriously unlucky in lotteries. dog. I don't have time for home remodels right now (though that might be next) and our next "vacation" isn't until April. With all of my go to's out of the question, I was pretty desperate for something interesting.

I bring you FASTING FEBRUARY!! aka I'm a big follower February! Or as I'm calling it to my friends, Eating Disorder February! (not really, and eating disorders aren't funny. I know.) A friend of mine on Facebook started a Whole30 group and so I thought, why the hell not? Changing your eating habits is sure to take your mind off being bored to tears at work! And so far it's working! My coffee is gross and I think about Dove chocolate squares more than is reasonable, but I'm also pinning recipes and talking vegetables and using my brain in a non-worky way. I will say though that I will be SO MAD if I don't lose at least ten pounds. Seriously. I'll give up and have a fourth baby. And then I'll keep having babies until menopause because if I don't lose weight eating nothing but eggs and vegetables, I'm screwed. And if I'm going to be fat I may as well get some cute babies out of it.

I'm loving Averson's photobomb!
This lipstick lasted
through twelve hours and two birthday parties,
including cake and coffee.
Seriously amazeballs. 
And because I'm a follower and a crazy person and trying to pay for a new kitchen and a new vacation and all the new clothes I'm going to need at the end of EDFebruary, I also am trying to limit my extraneous spending. It's worked out pretty well since I just spent $50 on two new lipsticks (OMG. If you haven't tried LipSense you have to. This shit is AMAZING.)

So two days in and I've bought two lipsticks I didn't need, eaten seven zuchinni's in zoodle form, and lost no pounds. On the other hand, I did walk out of both Trader Joes and Target with only the things on my list which has happened exactly twice before in my life.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

So much scouting

The boys didn't join us on the march because it was Eli's first Pinewood Derby. We joined this Pack at exactly the wrong time. It's the tail end of all the Cub Scout activities, but Boy Scouts hasn't started yet. So basically Eli started just in time to graduate. We're very proud. 
Super cheesy family picture. 
 The Arrow of Light is supposed to represent all of the work that you did during Cub Scouts. Some boys had these super full arrows, with stars and stripes and feathers and the works. Because Eli's been doing this for about three minutes, his was more "sparse." That didn't stop him from being all about it though. My favorite part was when he left his dad standing in the front of the room to bring me his pin, since "Dad got the last one." Goober. 
Guess which ones are Syd and Eli's? Hint: the ones that look like children touched them. 

 And to really drive home this phase of our lives, it's also Girl Scout cookie season. It's a lovely time that triggers every tiny piece of competitiveness in my soul, resulting in my purchasing at least $100 worth of cookies so that Syd can "earn" a pair of socks. She is quite the hustler though. She LOVES door-to-door sales and has even figured out that she can use her sister to her advantage. The two of them KILLED it. Those socks are going to look amaze-balls on her.

Monday, January 23, 2017

We Marched!

Sydney, Averson and I joined the 2+ million women worldwide who marched on Saturday. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea, since it would be me and the girls alone in the crowd marching to the Capital. I neurotically planned out my strategy in case things went South, including not making signs so that I'd have both my hands free in case we had to run (BTW, really really sad that that was such a prominent concern.) I knew that I wanted to go in support of equality, women's rights, and decency, and I knew that I wanted my girls to be a part of it and to be able to remember being there. After a close call Saturday morning where it looked like I might have to cancel to pinch hit for C at a Boy Scout function, I rallied and met a friend at the train station to join her and her family. 

I am SO GLAD that we went. I was overwhelmed by the sense of unity and am proud that I added my voice and my feet to the 20,000 women, men, and children that marched peacefully to the Capital. There was so much love and support and kindness floating through the crowd. I saw LITERALLY one person, riding by on a bicycle, who said "Trump's our president. Get over it." He didn't even say it loudly. It was wonderful and inclusive and gave me such hope. The rally kicked off with all 20,000 people chanting "Stay Loud!" and "Love, not Hate! That's what makes America Great!" 

At one point Averson and her friend were running amok and a lovely woman bent down to Avery's level and asked her, quite seriously, if she would like to have one of her signs. Avery said yes, and then earnestly listened to the woman explain what a big responsibility it was, that she needed to hold it high, walk slow, and explain to people what it meant. Avery took this on like it was her job. 
Could this be any more perfect? 

Did I mention how glad I am that we went? I am energized to love and advocate and speak out. Sydney learned a few new words and was inspired by the Vagina Monologues quilt (no picture, but it was as pretty and weird as it sounds). Averson found her voice (and may have become internet famous). 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Conversation with Averson

A: Shrieks
Me: Hey! We don't scream inside
A: Do we scream outside?
Me: Yes Baby. We can scream outside but not inside. Please don't scream inside.
A: Why not?
It should be mentioned that this conversation is happening in a public bathroom stall.
Me: Because when you scream inside, it hurts my ears. Now pull up your pants.
A: (without pause) But what if I was alone? Would it hurt your ears?
Me: No, I guess it wouldn't hurt my ears if you were alone. Pants.
A: Then I'd like to be alone please.

Apparently I've become her straight man?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Kicking off 2017

We kicked off NYE at a family sleepover that was about as stereotypical as they come. A bunch of middle-age parents minimally supervising their children between shots of tequila and dance-offs. One dad is a DJ (or has a lot of random equipment) and he set up a ridiculously large speaker, then let Eli play DJ E Skeezy all night. 

He also gifted Eli the hat, which he hasn't taken off since. It has batteries. 

Let's call this a "tequila selfie" 

I woke up like this. At a friend's house. Thankfully so did the rest of my family and we were able to leave early before I had to make small talk with last night's makeup on my face. 
Syd lost her first tooth at the party too!
We were totally useless yesterday (see tequila shots and staying up WAY too late). I binge watched almost an entire season of Shameless on my headphones and the kids ran feral. 

Today is shaping up to be much of the same. Even the tooth fairy is lazing and didn't even come until after Syd had been up for a few minutes. We're assuming the rain caused her a delay. Plus, I think the $5 was at the bottom of her bag because it was super sparkly. She's trying to decide if the sparkles will help her fly.