Sunday, December 27, 2009
E "No Mama, I'm just bored"
In a crowded, public bathroom "Mama, I can see your chonies! Giddyup chonies, giddyup!"
The morning after a particulary impressive fall from bed "I didn't fall out of bed, Mama. I fell out of the car because you forgot to close the door. But it's okay, we can still be friends."
Monday, December 21, 2009
So we finally settled on THE perfect gift. The one that was slightly age inappropriate but full of awesomeness and guaranteed to procure shrieks of delight Christmas morning. Today, E told us that he'd been too naughty and that Santa wasn't going to bring him anything. Now, I'm not one to waste a perfectly good scare tactic, but on the other hand the gifts had been bought and wrapped. So I explained that Santa was more interested in childrens' efforts, and that he still had three days to try really, really hard to behave and be a good listener. If he could do that, maybe Santa would reconsider. E thought about this for a little while and then decided that even if he tried to be good, Santa would only bring him *gift of awesomeness* but not *gift I returned for being overkill and unnecessary* and so what's the point of trying to do better tomorrow? So do we stick with our values and reinforce the kid's notion that he's too naughty, or buy the plastic crap so he knows that his efforts paid off?
Also, I kind of think the kid's a super snooper and already knows exactly what he's getting. He's been a little too "on" in a lot of his statements. If that's the case, he may in fact be a sociopath in the making.
*Update* E LOVED the age inappropriate skateboard, looked for the other gift for about 2 seconds, then moved on. I worried about that WAY too long. Overall, Christmas was a success. Even got to give the "It's the thought that counts" talk. Merry Christmas everyone! Pictures soon...
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I grew up in a house that revered Christmas decorations. At one point, my mother had four different kinds of Christmas trees going. There was the "Angel Tree" which housed all the glass and angel ornaments and had twinkling white lights. The "Little Tree," a miniature tree complete with tiny ornaments. The "Cowboy Tree," a wrought-iron tree that held all the Southwest themed ornaments. And of course, the big tree. The big tree had all of our collected ornaments, and last time I was home a tiny statue of Mohammed Ali had replaced the star at the top. We're a little non-traditional (I think this year she's added a palm tree). In addition to the trees, there were electric poinsettas (which I still covet and hope to be gifted, hint hint), wall hangings, special dishes. The works. When I moved out, I tried to recreate the same feeling by cramming the biggest tree I've ever purchased into the smallest house I've ever lived in. C reminded me that we couldn't walk past it without snagging our clothes for most of December. Later, time and money fell short and I started making do. We had a trash bag full of generic ornaments (blue balls, which never struck me as funny until right this second) and more strings of lights than I care to admit to. But slowly we've started a respectable collection of our own. This year is the first that E has really gotten into the spirit of the holiday, and without the stress of school, I found myself getting excited about breaking open our small box. I'm always a little surprised that the box isn't bigger, I think because I remember my mom's collection and the hours it would take to decorate the tree(s). I'm working on it though, slowly but surely. It was so fun this year to show him each ornament and explain when we got it and why. He enjoyed finding the perfect place for them on the tree. And this year, this is the first year our tree is without blue balls.
I searched for this star for.ever. the first year C and I had a tree. It was the best one that 1) we could afford and 2) wasn't horrible. It's clear plastic with silver glitter. I promise it's not as tacky as it sounds. I love it, and even though there are much nicer stars out there I think we'll keep this one.
This is one of my favorites. It was a gift from my aunt the year C and I got married. The front says "Our Love Story" and then it opens to a picture from our wedding.
This is E's first ornament. That year, the week before Christmas, I freaked because I realized that we hadn't gotten him his obligatory "My First Christmas" ornament and now all the stores were sold out. Then on Christmas day we opened a gift from his uncle and alas, a Christmas miracle! The back says "2006" which was important to me because I knew eventually I wouldn't remember who's was who's. My mom's got 5 kids. I know how these things work.
I love photo ornaments. This one is of E's first visit to Santa, and the last time he looked anything less than terrified in the picture.
This one is easily one of my favorites. E was about a year and a half and his daycare put these together. Look at that face!
This yarn angel is one of the only ones I have from my mom's collection. I'm not sure how she ended up in my box, but I love her. There's also a Mrs. Claus that's made the same way.
It turns out we've got a pretty respectable collection of 49ers ornaments. At least we're finally in a place where we can display them proudly. And we've followed my mom's lead and hung a 9'ers ornament from the star.
Last year I got a little obsessed with bird ornaments. I'm not sure why. I like this one though, because last year there was a cardinal that lived in our backyard all through the winter. I also just learned that birds on a Christmas tree are supposed to be good luck.
And the newest addition, in honor of E's fascination with all things superhero. It took me two days to get this picture because E insisted on carrying it around everywhere, including sleeping with it. I see this becoming one of his own favorites, and hanging in a place of honor on his own tree someday.
It's so much fun to unearth these treasures and to slowly add to the collection. I bought a few more this year, including a Montessori-style Santa and Mrs. Claus. I'm still looking for the one that will define this year for us. I'm thinking maybe a car to symbolize the big move, or a palm tree for California. We'll see. There are other decorations that I want to share, so I'll be posting pictures every so often until Christmas. It's like virtual decorating.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tical used to keep our home rodent free, and for that I was eternally grateful and willing to put up with her girth and quirks. However, I think she's officially reached the "I have to wash myself with a stick" size. Actually, she reached that a couple years ago. Ask our vet. Nothing like paying a couple hundred bucks to learn that your cat's crusty because she's too fat to wash her own butt. So yeah, she's now "Whoa, look at that cat!" fat, which makes her a decidedly less adept huntress. And now she's just obnoxious. Really, really obnoxious. And fat. And crusty. And loud. Did I mention loud? And sneaky.
This morning was particularly bad for Tical and I, who have at best an Odd Couple type relationship these days. See, Tical's fat. And as such, she NEEDS to eat. So the split second that she senses I may be nearing consciousness she feels that it's her duty to remind me that it's time to feed the f-ing cat. She will meow incessantly until there's food in her bowl. And if there's already food in her bowl because by some miracle of God the dog didn't eat it during the night, she still needs MORE food.
I tried to fight back. I really did. I thought "I'm the human in this relationship. I am the alpha female in this house. I will call the shots around here Cat!"So I ignored her. I tried locking her out of the bedroom. Shoot, I tried locking her out of the house. You know what that damn cat did? She figured out that if she woke up the baby, now kid, then I would have to wake up too. I have been bested by a fucking cat.
So now, we've settled into this lovely routine of waking up at the butt crack of dawn, the cat meowing away while I swear and use all the words E's not allowed to repeat. I was resigned to my fate and figured she's so fat, this can't last too many more years. But this morning? She added a new trick to her morning routine. Now she wants to be let outside after she's had her morning feast. Which was fine by me. Out you go! Except. Except that now she wants to go outside, decide it's too cold/dark/wet/breezy/outside and wants back in after less than five minutes. And I think I've already shown how persistent she can be. Plus she scratches at the door. One of us is going to cave soon, and I'm thinking she's got me beat. Fuck.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
And this guy
And for this one too, who hasn't gotten the attention he/she deserves yet. We are so thankful for you Bug, and we can't wait to meet you!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The new job, and the reason that we moved, is a staff psychologist position at a large women's prison. From what I understood, I was going to be starting a chronic pain program and carrying a caseload of therapy clients. The reality is that I'm part of this program that is not quite developed yet. It's me and one other psychologist who's never worked with inmates before, which is a whole other issue. We'll talk/rant about that one later. I'm also doing this triage thing where I essentially hang out in the living units and see everyone before they get referred to a therapist. I also deal with any emergencies that may come up in my area. The kicker though? The best part? On the days that I'm on the units I may be expected to ride a tricycle. Seriously, a tricycle.
The chronic pain program, and it's other groups, are still totally undeveloped. The mental health staff is bigger than any other place I've worked, and there's all these political cliques that are complicated and super nasty. I'm working my way through them, but every day feels like I'm walking in a minefield. Also, no one uses first names. At all. Ever. So every meeting, every walk down the hallway, every silly chat in the mailroom sounds like some Monty Python skit. It's only been a couple of months since I've been able to officially use the title, but I'm already tired of being called "Doctor." On top of that, some people, including my new partner, shorten it by just calling people by their last names. So now I'm being beckoned by people just yelling "Chiconky!" in the courtyard. I don't have an office, or a desk, or even a drawer to keep my stuff. That's been pretty humbling in and of itself.
It's not all bad though. My boss seems to really like and appreciate my style (even calling me "abnormally normal"). Because the program is so new, I have the chance to develop it in a way that works for me, and because my partner is new to the population I can take more of a leadership role. The needs are so great that I can start pretty much any groups I want and there will be a need. For example, I'm going to start a group for sleep issues while I get my pain program up and running. The population is awesome and the officers have been great. I've already had quite a few really cool opportunities, like sitting in on a treatment team meeting in segregation and seeing Condemned Row. I've also met a few really great psychologists. My supervisors are great, and a lot of the staff is right out of internship. It's nice not to be in the minority.
So like I said, the jury's still out. I'm hoping that as I get more comfortable I'll begin to like the job more. It's definately not what I signed up for, and a lot of the time I'm thinking to myself "What the f*$# is going on here?", but all in all I think it will be okay. Plus, E and C are doing so well that it makes it a lot easier to put up with some of the BS. C says "There's a club for people who don't like their jobs. It's called 'Everybody' and they meet at the bar."
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Have you ever seen a cuter Superman? (He wore shoes later, I promise)
Birthday mani-pedi's with Mom. This place is special because they offer never-drying nail polish. Ask Mom, it's probably still not dry.
But we ROCKED the flip-flops, and our toes are bee-u-tee-ful!
Friday, October 30, 2009
So first, I forgot to get any pictures of the truck, both leaving and arriving. Fail. So picture in your mind a long semi-trailer packed to the brim with boxes and furniture, then covered with camping tarps. On the top are all the things we forgot to pack, thrown wherever they'd fit. The laundry hamper survived, despite all indications otherwise.
Day one and he's already dubious
C, true to form, golfing at a rest stop
And breaking in the new front yard.
There aren't many pictures from the trip itself. What you missed is E likely having swine flu for the first half, and then us driving like bats out of hell through Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada.
The truck arrived that night and was unloaded the next day. Everything came out fairly well, with just a few casualties.
We're getting more settled in, but there are still boxes in every corner. I may end up throwing blankets over them and calling them "occasional tables" I don't think anyone will notice, especially not if I start collecting porcelain dolls and using doilies.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
E seems to be getting a little better, or at least slightly less pathetic. The animals are faring well, and the cat is getting used to living in the car. Both cars are holding out, and the drivers aren't doing too bad either. We're still hoping to make California by Friday. Fingers crossed!
Friday, October 16, 2009
The trailer is packed and has been picked up. I'm still working on getting us organized and the cars packed, but it looks like we're actually going to have to leave. So Minnesota, thanks for being so good to us. I will gladly be mocked for the accent and feel offended whenever anyone invokes Fargo as being a good example of the state. Oh geez. And in true Minnesota fashion, I will always say "This isn't cold! Remember when it hit -35, -55 with the windchill?"
*It also sucks to be sick when there's no TV or furniture. REALLY hoping he gets better soon.
Monday, October 12, 2009
And this is the Goodwill pile. Again, I think this shows a lot of personal growth. Last time we moved I had 3 garage sales and still donated a cubic ton of crap.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Oh that's right. Moving. We're moving to California (I know, WTF? where did that come from? what self-respecting Colorado girl? and all that). Actually we're moving to California next week. Hence the procrastination. I HATE packing. Hate it with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Or not. I like the organizational part, but I go through emotional phases while I do it (come on, I'm a doctor now. You knew this was coming). First, I'm all gusto and get-to-it-ness. This leads to the Oregon in me coming out and deciding that we are evil disgusting materialistic consumers and "why the hell do we need all this crap, whine, whine, self-rightous rant and compensatory recycling." Then I find my ass glued to the couch for a week with so many more *important* things to do *(see above re: 90210). From there I freak the f--- out, rendering myself completely paralyzed by anxiety and alienating all who know me with my amazing level of bitchiness. This inevitably leads to illness, leaving me whiny and useless. After that, I usually return to being a normal human being, and pull it off at the last minute. So the truck comes Wednesday and I'm just getting over a cold. We'll see how it goes.
I ended up taking a job at a women's prison in California, where they want me to start a chronic pain program. This is so exciting and so grown-up that I still have a hard time believing that I'm talking about myself. We found a house (thanks to my dad and brother who made sure there were no crack houses or dirty brothels next door), and C was able to transfer to a good position. E will stay with the same daycare company and so hopefully the transition will go okay. Fingers crossed. It seems a little bizarre to be moving somewhere none of us have ever been, but this is how we roll.
I'm excited that I was able to find a position in a prison, and even more excited that I get to continue working both with women and with the chronic pain patients. There aren't many, if any, chronic pain programs in prisons, so I get to blaze my own trail. California prisons are huge and well known for their "atmosphere" and so I'm interested to see how this will be different. Obviously going from a population of 500 to a population of 4,000 will be a big deal. California also has the furloughs, which means a lot of unpaid days off. It could be so much worse, so I'm just rolling with that part. Being me, I'm more concerned with whether I have to carry a clear bag and if there's a strict dress code. It's all about priorities.
E and C are excited about the change. C, who was ready to leave Minnesota by the end of November last year, and E, who says that he's ready for "fun in the sun." I'm not sure what he means, but he also wants to go surfing, take swimming lessons, and have a birthday party. I'm not sure how much he understands, but he's been a trooper through the chaos.
So yeah, should probably go pack some more boxes. Or just shovel it all out the door. Either way.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The butter sculpture of the Minnesota State Fair Queens and Princesses
The view from the sky tram
Cheese curds. Our local delicacy and so, so good! You can practically feel your arteries hardening.
E played two games and won two prizes. The kid's a shark.
And then... he spotted it. He immediately wanted to ride this. I had my doubts, because he's not always known for his fearlessness. This time last year he wanted to ride a pony ride and I ended up having to sprint along side holding his hand. Embarrassing AND exhausting. Double Win! However, we figured we'd give it a shot.
I'm not sure I've ever seen him wait this patiently
And he's off!
Doesn't this just make you feel happy? He still talks about it. I guess he's got a little fearlessness in him afterall.