Thursday, November 16, 2017

Serious crisis

i just hit publish on the shit show that’s been the last two weeks and thought with relief, “Thanksgiving’s next week!” ((I’m guesting, not cooking, which qualifies it for a “yay!”) And then it hit me. Next week is Thanksgiving and I have NO plan for cards. None. I’m minimally interested in trying to get pictures taken since my awesome photographer moved away last year and I just can’t with finding someone else who understands when I say “please don’t make me look fat.” I have no cutesy ideas and most of our family pics this year have been even too ridiculous for cards. So far I’ve come up with a Brady Bunch format or Groucho Marx glasses. Seriously. That’s the best I got.

If you need me I’ll be over here muttering Christmas carols and frantically pinteresting...

At least there wasn't nuclear war?

So a couple weekends ago we went to Family Camp with Eli's Boy Scout troop and it was way more fun than I had anticipated. Averson is a natural. We went on a hike and she found a deer leg. Rather than be traumatized, she BEGGED to take it home so she could research it. We compromised with poking it with sticks. I totally under-packed for poor Syd so she spent the weekend wearing my leftovers. The boys cooked all of our food and it was WAY better than you'd expect if all of your meals were cooked outdoors and by eleven year olds. I had a great time hanging out by the fire with the moms and even found a couple kindred, sarcastic spirits. We laughed about the fact that all of us were drinking out of the spigots after seeing the sign that pretty specifically recommended it against it. All of us agreed that we'd take our chances if it meant we might get to spend a couple days on the couch watching television, being taken care of, and maybe even lose a couple pounds before the holiday. Foreshadowing...


C woke up that night complaining about a backache, that by the next day had turned into a completely debilitating issue.  I woke up to a message from the dog sitter telling us that she'd been bitten breaking up a fight when she fed the dogs together (exactly what we asked her NOT to do, but I digress). This is where all hell started to break loose. 

C spent a week on bedrest after an exhausting trip to the ER on Monday evening that resulted in a diagnosis if "Idontknow," a prescription for Motrin, and instructions to stay off his feet. I took the week off from work to do kid/house/nurse duty. The dogs were placed on house arrest and the dog sitter cancelled for Thanksgiving. Do you know how hard it is to find a dog sitter for a holiday on short notice?
#hellbeasts
Thursday, Averson came down with another bout of zombie face. I had to cancel class since C couldn't watch her and I couldn't take her to my friend's house as we'd planned. Two potential dog sitters bailed on me. Saturday things started to look up. Monday I went back to work, followed it up with parent teacher conferences and Eli's Court of Honor, and a delicious taco dinner. 



So of course Monday night Syd woke my up by puking off the side of her bunk bed. C kept all three kids home on Tuesday since they're doing minimum days anyway and he couldn't leave the sickos home to take him. Thank goodness, because by noon I had an e-mail that simply said, "Eli's puking. This is not good." 

Because we all know how this works, I dropped a c note at Target stocking up on Lysol wipes, Sprite, and food we could throw at the kids when we inevitably fell. And then I came  home to well rested, non-vomiting children. C was shuffling around near-mobile. It was MAGICAL.

I keep humble bragging about how I held down the fort while everyone was out of sorts, but OMG am I happy to have people back. C is still shuffling, but way less (and I'm pretty sure he's not dying.) All of my children seem healthy, including zombie face. A friend offered out of the blue to watch the dogs. 




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

It's my birthday

and it's late on a school night. And I'm in bed in full make-up. And maybe a little drunk.

This year Halloween/birthday was AWESOME. We did birthday donuts (which are WAY more delicious when you're on a diet.) I put cinnamon in my coffee and the hipsters are so tight. It IS delicious. My staff decorated my door, which meant people wished me happy birthday all day. Including our inmate porters, which was weird and awesome. I made pumpkin waffles for dinner on my new Belgian waffle maker. Costumes were on point. Trick or treating was chaotically efficient and a perfect exercise in herd parenting. I had cake and tequila shots and I dressed like Rosie the Rivetor, and I love all of those things!





Thursday, October 26, 2017

Brain dump in no discernible order

We have been very busy doing all the fall things. Also, my computer lives inside a big trunk and I've been too lazy to pull it out to properly blog. Probably more of the second than the first, actually...
The obligatory Pumpkin Patch trip. This year we found an AWESOME farm that had a huge slide complex, a corn maze, tractor AND train rides, and a haunted barn! Totally worth it. Plus we got there early before it got hot or crowded. 


She loved this dried corn cob so hard. It may have accidentally jumped in my bag and came home with us. 

The haunted barn. She was underwhelmed. Syd on the other hand hung from my arm the whole time. 

It's a birthday month miracle! This was, shit you not, the first take. All looking, all smiling, no bunny ears. WTF?
 I took the girls to see the My Little Pony movie on Sarah's recommendation, and it did not disappoint. The girls and I have been throwing lines out ever since. Seriously, on a scale of The Good Dinosaur to Trolls, this was just a click below The Secret Life of Pets. Honestly not terrible. 
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I will be so sad when he grows out of this.

Apparently the Biggest one got hold of my phone too. There are many action scenes...


We killed a solid witching hour taste-testing out of my mason jar shot glasses (klassy!) I think this is maybe pickle juice? Or pineapple juice?

Holiday crafting in full force

The dogs ate all the scraps. I think it was a win? 


We are ALMOST done with soccer. C swears that I hate it every year, but OMG am I ready to not sit in wet grass with strangers every Saturday and a couple times during the week. Also, to not have to give one flying fuck where anyone's other shin guard is or whether anyone can tell that I used my black dress socks instead of soccer socks because the only time I can find those is in the middle of summer. 


I love this picture so much. Both girls are really owning their own style. Syd loves to wear these fake glasses. Averson. Well...

Bathrobe, shoes on the wrong feet, giant baby bow, and a pink stuffed penguin. It's the new black. 
Only putting this here because it was the same day and she wore the same outfit. I took Averson to my Weight Watchers meeting with me last week. My meeting is at the crack of dawn on Saturdays and she'd gone to bed at 5 the night before, so rather than try to convince her to let the rest of the family sleep I let her come with me. She was thrilled and loved all the clapping. I prayed to God I wasn't setting the foundation of her future eating disorder. So we'll see how this goes.
Speaking of Weight Watchers, I'm a month in and 7.6 pounds down. I'd love to be more, but it's not terrible for the month. Also, I don't think I have an eating disorder yet which I'm considering a win. I find myself wanting to see how few points I can eat in a day (hello, disordered eating!) but then I can remind myself that the points are there to use. It's kept me from getting uber-restrictive and a few times I've actually eaten more in order to get to my point target. So, maybe a win? I prepaid for three months so I've got time left. I will say that this is the lowest I've gotten this quickly since Averson was born. I REALLY hope it works. C and I are going somewhere (TBD) next year and I very badly want to buy new trip clothes. 

Ooh. Segway. I was trying  to find a "before" picture so I can mark my progress and found these lovelies that Avery took at Eli's scout meeting.  
Effortless. Seriously. I woke up looking like this. 

Little People. Cult Edition

I think maybe being three feet tall is boring sometimes

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My thoughts on "Me Too"



Unless you’ve been in the backwoods or under a rock, you’ve seen the flooding of “Me too” messages all over social media. The idea is that if every woman who’s ever been sexually harassed or assaulted posts “Me too” that the magnitude of the issue will become obvious. I hesitated when I first saw it, but after some introspection I added mine in as well. I saw all of these women that I admire, respect, and love putting their “me too” out there and I wanted to join my voice in solidarity. As more and more affirmations flooded my feeds, what I (and most women) know became glaringly obvious. One of my friends said it best when she said, “It’s not a matter of ‘if’. It’s really just when and how many times.” That’s the thing. I don’t think that there is a single woman out there, and probably not many girls, who have not been sexually assaulted, harassed, or objectified. Not. A. Single. One.

After the initial flood of "me too"s came the editorials. Shouldn’t the men be posting “I did”?  Why are we again putting the onus on the victims to change the culture? What is the purpose of posting “me too?” Are we supporting each other or revictimizing each other? Are we actually expecting that someone out in the inter-land actually didn’t realize this happens? All really good questions. I was talking to C, and I was explaining to him that the frustrating part isn’t that so many women have experienced this (that's more enraging than frustrating), it’s that we all know it happens and nobody seems to care. We live in a society where we would rather an egotistical, racist, masochistic toddler hold the keys to the kingdom than anyone with a vagina, a law degree, and years of qualifying experience. But I digress.  

It has become trite, a knee jerk post as tragedy after tragedy after tragedy happens, but I do love the quote from Mr. Rogers about finding the helpers. And I think maybe that’s the missing part of the triad. We know there are victims and we know there are perpetrators.  I think maybe what this movement needs is to glorify the allies. The people who have stood beside us in our lives and affirmed that we did not deserve the way we were treated. That we do not imply consent by our gender. That we should be able to walk down the street without comment, that we should be able to be in a man’s presence without the expectation of sex, that we should be able to work without having to concern ourselves about the most professional method of thwarting unwanted advances. Let's make it fucking awesome to stand up for each other. 

So here it goes:
I was 15 when a regular at the restaurant where I worked would corner me behind the counter, make lewd comments, and laugh at my discomfort. Then he’d ask when we were ever going to go on our date. He did this almost every day, waiting until his wife went to the restroom or out to the car. My boss was always there and joked with the customer about “his girls.”  I sheepishly told my high school teacher. Without hesitating, he advised me to start documenting what was happening. He gave me the words to use with my supervisor. And when my boss said, “He’s been coming here longer than you’ve been working here” he gave me the legal words to use. He validated my experience, empowered me to stand up for myself and supported me through the process.

I was 18 and had just had to physically fight my way out of an ex-boyfriend’s house because he said I needed to “just stay one more night.” I stood, shaken and crying, under the fluorescent lights of the gas station ashamed, scared, and embarrassed. An old friend from elementary school just happened to drive up and when he asked, “How are you?” the words just came flooding out. He didn’t try to be my knight in shining armor. He didn’t try to make the moment about him or his own rage. He didn’t judge or belittle me. He didn’t try to make it his “in.”  He only said, “I’m sorry and I’m glad you’re safe. Can I do anything for you?” That meant the world to me in that moment. I drove into that gas station feeling stupid for putting myself in that situation and  I left feeling angry but also like I had done what I needed to to protected myself.

There was the random guy at the hotel I was working at who, instead of egging his friend on, steered him away and said, “Man, leave her alone. She’s not interested.” The woman on the street who walked next to me when I was being followed by a stranger who thought I should smile for him. The teenager on the train who called out the man who kept “accidentally” bumping into me.There are probably at least fifty more times that I could come up with where someone spoke out to say, “That’s not how we treat people.”

I didn’t NEED any of those people to stand up for me. In the beginning, I had to learn that I shouldn’t expect to be treated first as an object, then as a woman, and lastly as a person. Once I got there, I became perfectly capable and willing to tell people off. What these helpers did though is send a clear message that the actions they were seeing were not acceptable. They inspired me to do the same, to stop being complacent and offer help when it's needed. Because that’s what we need in this. We need for people to see that it’s happening, and say something. 

Let’s take the shame out of it. We all know that this is not a rare occurrence. “Me too” is obvious. It shouldn’t be up to us to wear the badge of honor so that others can talk about how brave we are, or how terrible they feel for us. It’s easy to see us as brave and to feel terrible from afar or when the moment has passed. But let’s laud the people who are there with us and speak up. Let’s celebrate the helpers. If you recognize yourself in any of my stories, thank you. For every friend who reminded me “they wouldn’t say/do/be that with a man.” For every time my husband has reminded people that I’m perfectly capable of making decisions despite my pesky uterus. For every co-worker who has corrected someone who called me “Ms.” or “Mrs.” Instead of “Dr.” when I’m not around. For every time Megan Trainor or Katy Perry has my girls singing about their power. Thank you. Change comes when we stay loud. So let's keep saying, "Me too" but let's also say, "No more." 




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

All the Family Fun Memories

We really run hot or cold on family outings. Sometimes we're all for it, and then other times we can go weeks before we're all in the same car again. Last week we went big on the family fun activities. 

Through work we were practically gifted tickets to the Kings game. Now that all of my children 1) have opinions and 2) require the purchase of a ticket, these big adventures are much fewer and far between. Gone are the days of one of us sneaking out with the Bigs during nap, or convincing one kid that "It's for babies, you wouldn't have fun." Nope. Five tickets please. So being able to go to this game was a BFD. AND it was on a school night, which was even more amazing. AND we took friends. So basically Christmas is over. 
The kids had an awesome time. The game was great and everyone sat like civilized people. Syd got pissed when she had to share an $8 ice cream cone, but whatevs. And in the finest moment of karma ever, Averson (who had happily shared her overpriced dessert) asked for a toy and I said "no." And then a stranger bought it for her. A little weird but also kind of awesome. 

Facing a soccer free weekend (OMG. I am SO over soccer games) we fanatically insisted that we not sit in the house and hate each other. We batted around the idea of garage-saleing, but then I looked around my house and had a mild panic attack. So we decided to find a good hike and take all the heathens and hellbeasts into the wilderness. SUCH A GOOD IDEA. No one died, and it was just long enough to wear everyone out. 


Two dogs NOT being a-holes. Prong collars are magical so long as you avoid the judgy-mcjudgy looks from strangers. 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

It was actually a pretty productive weekend

                                            
I know it's not technically the weekend, but we're staring on Thursday because I feel like that's when we really got going. Thursday night Syd had her annual class performance and it was so sweet that I couldn't even whole-heartedly snark about it. All the kids in her class have been memorizing poetry and they capped it off with a "Poetry Cafe" complete with donated coffee that I sold my next child for. Sydney has been so excited about this night. All the kids were under strict instructions not to perform for their parents before the big night, so we had no idea what we were looking at. Syd's poem was WAY longer than I'd expected, and she did a great job! It was totally worth sitting through 20 other kids and their poems. My favorite part was when the kids all knew the punchline was coming and they started giggling ahead of time. Also, they all wore black, the teacher supplied berets, and everyone snapped instead of clapped. Totes adorbs. C and I both had multiple cups of coffee though (for as hard as I worked for it, it wasn't going to waste!), which meant that Thursday was a VERY long night.


Averson had to miss preschool on Friday because she nor C could find any shoes that complied with the closed-toe dress code. Seriously. Coincidentally, I had gotten a coupon for Payless that same morning, so after work on Friday Stinky and I went shopping. She couldn't believe I was letting her pick any shoes she wanted, including the light-up Paw Patrol ones. Sometimes there are perks to being the third kid. Mom is solidly out of fucks to give about the small shit like light-up shoes and licensed apparel. She actually didn't choose the most horrendous options and she skipped out of the store with two new pairs of school-appropriate shoes. I skipped out with an adorable pair of $10 pumps and a four-year-old who learned the meaning of "bad influence." Then I found her old shoes in the washing machine.

Saturday started with my WW meeting (where I lost NO weight at all. Like not even an ounce. WTF?) and then all the soccers. C was double booked so I had to pinch-hit at Averson's and it was a shit show. I slammed her fingers in the car door when we got to the field, and that was probably the highlight. I am WAY too competitive for a U6 team, especially when the team is made up of very uninterested kids who run faster for the water breaks than any other time. Plus the other coach offered to have "all the girls play on this field so that your kids have a chance to get some touches in" and I had to use a lot of energy and patience to not go off. So I think I should be forgiven for physically removing a screaming Averson off the field and hissing through my teeth "Pull it together!" She was mad because I insinuated that she was short and that I told another kid they were fast. MY. BAD. Then we went to a community garage sale. I scored a new (to me) Girl Scout bag for all my patches because I'm edgy AF. I also got a terrible case of the envies in all these neighborhoods where neighbors weren't getting raided and people were getting rid of stuff instead of collecting it, so I came home in a snit about my house with all of it's giant, dirty dogs and kids and crap. I looked for houses in cute neighborhoods, put a few things up for sale on FB, threw some crap away, and then ran out of steam. I hate garage sales and I also hate having so much stuff, so I think at some point I'm going to have to grit my teeth and donate this crap. Actually, as I was typing this I just realized that I should schedule a donation pick-up, so I don't have to move it a bunch of times.

Soccer pictures are still adorable though. Can you tell Syd did her own hair?

This is a picture of Eli and C on the neighbor's roof. She mentioned to C earlier this week that it was leaking and so today he wrangled the boy and they spent the morning up there doing roof things. I'm not sure what exactly, but there was tar and a gully involved. Eli was paid in soda and pizza and he hasn't stopped talking about how great it was. <3 and="" are="" end="" fixing.="" hence="" lovely.="" nbsp="" neighbors="" of="" on="" other="" p="" quite="" raidtheneigbors="" roof="" spectrum="" the="" these="">

The girls and I meal prepped (make these, they're amazing!) and then volunteered for a couple hours for a friend who is putting on a charity gala in a couple weeks. Then I came home and folded Mount Laundry while I watched the season premier of This Is Us and tried not to cry. I finished My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry and it was so, so good. I've got 13 Reasons Why cued up and then a huge pile of library holds that I have to plow through in the next three weeks. I'm really hoping it rains soon. You know you're on a reading roll when you're hoping for crappy weather or a head cold so you can sit on the couch all day. 

Next week is much of the same. I put off meal planning so I've got to come up with what I'm going to feed the heathens. I'm trying to make food I can eat and stay within my points without being super obvious about it, which is making meal planning a bit more difficult. Though I had tacos in a red pepper "shell" last week and it was a game changer. Oh! And a friend sold me tickets to a Kings game SUPER cheap, so we're doing that tomorrow. Nothing says POTY like taking your elementary school kids out to a late game on a school night. I predict there will be no whining, I will spend a reasonable amount of money, and Tuesday morning will be full of laughter and gratitude.