Friday, December 31, 2010

So about those resolutions...


Last year I made two respectable resolutions. The first was to get all of my photos into albums before the new baby came. Not so much. What I did accomplish was weeding out 8 million pictures from my "artsy" phase of flowers, zoo animals, and old barrels. Note to self: Never, ever, ever take another picture of an animal at a zoo. No one cares. I also tried to organize the 10,000 or so pictures from Eli's first year, gave up, and reprinted them. Uber helpful. So now I have a nice, neat Shutterfly envelope of pictures waiting to be put in an album, a box full of pictures waiting to be put in an album, and poor Syd. None of her pictures have been printed because I haven't even bought her album. So Resolution #1? FAIL.

Resolution #2 was to deal with The Crazy. This one went much, much better. The Crazy is what happens when I get too stressed out. I think about it like this. Most people have an "issue." This could be their kid's safety, their weight, how clean the house is, car repairs, whatever. Mine's money (I know, I know). So the point of the issue is to have a place to focus your attention when your life gets too stressful. Rather than think about, worry about, or deal with the actual stressors, I focus on our bank account. It has at times gotten so bad that I'm compulsively balancing our accounts in my head 24/7. I wake up thinking about what checks have cleared and what bills are due. I check our accounts on-line many, many, many times a day and have near panic attacks every time. Then, in order to keep my "issue," I'll go shopping and spend money we don't have. It's a vicious cycle.

There's no reason for me to freak out so much, but it's my "issue" and it keeps me from having to worry about the real problems. This resolution went much better. I still feel the urge to focus on money when life gets crazy, but I know what I'm doing and I can usually keep it in check. My debit card got hacked and our account was cleared out right before Thanksgiving and I was remarkably calm about it. I don't do the tight fist, tight fist, shopaholic cycle anymore. I've become a lot more egalitarian with C and our shared money. And I feel like I've done a much better job of identifying the true issue and dealing with it, rather than burying my head in our bank account. So Resolution #2? TOTAL WIN.

I am so excited for 2011. Possibly more excited than I've ever been going into a new year. I just got licensed. C and I have a solid plan for getting ready to get ready to think about buying a house. C's got awesome plans for the next year, and we're finally in a position where they're feasible. The kids are amazing, and will both be super cool ages this year (Syd'll be 1, Eli'll be 5). It's just going to be awesome. So I'm not making resolutions. There are things I want to do. Pay down/off credit cards. Lose weight. Be healthier. Get those damn pictures in an album. Be a better mom and wife. But mostly, I just want to remember what an awesome time in our lives this is, slow down, and enjoy it.

And maybe get a family picture with all of us smiling at the same time.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I've got a great Christmas wrap-up in the works. Seriously, it's got sledding, new bikes, adorable sibling moments, puking, the works. The problem is that I've become totally addicted to Angry Birds and so haven't "had the time." So in the meantime...

video

Friday, December 17, 2010

What not to wear

I'm totally cheating by back dating this post. We color outside the lines around here.

So the test. Tuesday night I managed to completely paralyze myself and convince myself I was going to fail the test. And have to wait six months to retake it. And lose my job. And die of shame and ignorance. (Dramatic? Me?) Wednesday I woke up feeling slightly more optimistic, but not much, which I'm assuming is why my superstition kicked in so strongly. Suddenly it was extremely, life or death important that I find the perfect test-ass kicking outfit to wear. And I did. Dark wash flare jeans, black grandpa cardigan, black cami, black wedge boots, and my dog tags with the kids' names on them. Casual but pulled together. Comfortable. And I felt confident. In short, the perfect ensemble. The only snag was that I couldn't find my favorite tank top (the one that hides my "two kids, the last of who was over ten pounds" belly and makes the girls look awesome) in the Kilamanjaro of laundry and had to settle for the way too clingy, low-cut, and a bit too shiny one. No matter, I buttoned the sweater and moved on.

I pulled up to the testing center, a run down office complex in a run down part of town, to find an ambulance parked in front. Never a good sign. Walked in to find no emergency, breathed a sigh of relief, and sat down. Two women were in front of me, so I waited. Finally, after what felt like hours but was really about twenty minutes, it was my turn. The proctor took my ID, handed me my scratch paper, and assigned me Terminal 13. Seriously Then she asked me to empty my pockets. I dumped my keys and wallet into the file folder and turned out my pockets. Then she asked if my sweater had pockets. So I showed her inside the teeny-weeny, totally decorative little patch pockets on my sweater. And she told me I couldn't wear it in. Apologetically, but still. She said it was plenty warm, but didnt mention that the fan would be pointed right at me. I didn't point out that I was more concerned about showing my back fat than being warm enough. I was going to point out that my pants had pockets but didn't want to press my luck. So I took my test, in essentially my underwear, at Terminal 13. And passed. It's totally my lucky shirt now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So tired...



I haven't slept well in days. Last night Syd woke up coughing her poor head off at 1:00. Then she realized how awesome that was and was ready to party. For two freaking hours. Which woke Eli up. Who threw a fit because I wouldn't let him climb in bed with us (because I'm a big meany and we still just have the queen size and it was just too early for a foot in the spleen). So that was fun. The night before I just didn't sleep. Weirdest thing. I layed there all night, but didn't sleep. I've never been a person who loves sleep (in my perfect universe, we wouldn't need to sleep, eat, or go to the bathroom. Welcome to my neuroses.) but I've never had a problem sleeping. I'm blaming it on over-caffination, children, and stress. I have the last, very last, very very last test that I have to take, ever, tomorrow and I've totally freaked myself out about it. Dude. Just completely lost my train of thought. Gone. So yeah, tired. On the plus side, today I've had several sodas, two donuts, a huge brownie, and a baked potato covered in a mountain of cheese. It's all about the self-care. And elastic waist pants at the rate I'm going.

These are the things making me super happy right now, despite my delirium and anxiety.

The Portable North Pole. If you haven't done this and you have kids, GO. NOW. Seriously the most awesome thing ever. And totally free, which is even better. I could tell Eli was having a hard time buying the whole Santa thing, but he's a card-carrying believer now. He keeps telling me, "Mama, Santa's counting on me to be nice." Sold.

Syd may not sleep great (see above) but man that girl likes to eat. She's a great eater, and it's so fun watching her figure it out. We gave the school the green light to try her on some lunch foods and it's gone great. Yesterday she had tuna noodle casserole for lunch. That just cracks me up.

I did all of my Christmas shopping on-line this year. How did I not think to do this before? It's amazing! I had to go to Target last week for formula and nearly had an anxiety attack from all the people. I can't imagine ever going to a mall in December again. Seriously, couple of clicks on my lunch break, free shipping, and my shopping's waiting for me at home. And. AND. No looking everywhere for the perfect ______________. 'Cause you know what? You can buy anything on the internet. And usually cheaper. I may do all my shopping on-line.

We have our tree up and went looking at Christmas lights last weekend. This year I'm really excited for Christmas and really getting into the spirit. A couple more days and I'll be able to recite "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" word for word.

And in true disjointed fashion, totally unrelated pictures of my kids.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wishful thinking

"Ice Man shooting ice"




It may be California, but if there's a freak snowstorm, my kids are ready.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lesson learned

This is what you get when you take a "character shy" kid to see a budget
Santa set up in a trailer.

Seriously, out of about 8 shots this is the best one. The mommy-freak-out-second-kid "Oh it's all so unfair!" part of me is tempted to go pay the $20+ for the better Santa so Syd has a decent picture. The other part figures Eli will make an even worse face and I should move on. What would y'all do?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You have what where?

I think I've mentioned before (but I'm too lazy to look) that it's important to me to teach my kids the appropriate words for body parts. We have no "privates" or "pee pees" or *shudder* "front butts." We have penises and vaginas. (I tried "vulva" but that just sounded too weird.) Boobs if we're feeling crazy. I have a lot of reasons for this, including a desire for my kids to be comfortable with their bodies, but most of it stems from my mommy/prison psych freak-outs. *Essentially, it's much harder to investigate and convict abuse if the kid can't tell you what happened in words people understand.

I know I've mentioned before that Eli loves to be naked and is VERY comfortable with his body. He streaked Thanksgiving without a second thought. So tonight he tells me, very matter-of-factly, that he has two eyeballs in his scrotum. Just picture that. And I was tired and not paying super close attention to what he was talking about (MOTY, I know, but really, this kid is a 24/7 running commentary.) And I'll admit, I just didn't have the energy to explain reproductive anatomy to a four-year-old. So for now, yeah, the kid's got eyeballs in his scrotum. I can't wait for that note to come home from school.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pumping PSA

When you're in a rush to pump and eat lunch and you think "Oh shoot! Did I lock the door?" do not, repeat do NOT then think, "Ah, it's fine! It's been months and everyone knows to check for the sign. You're good! Mmmm fries." I guarantee, the office tech will open your door in front of inmates and a group of interns touring the building as you frantically yell "One minute! One minute! ONE MINUTE!!!!" And then you'll all stammer nervously and avoid eye contact for the rest of the day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Phew!

So glad I don't have to do this again! Just a couple more steps and I'll be done. D.O.N.E. Done!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My girl






My girl is six months old today. I'm still not sure how that happened. It feels like she just got here, but that she's been here all along. She's the most awesome little person. She is so full of smiles, and those smiles light up the room. She's such an easy smiler. And her smile always seems to say "Isn't this the coolest thing you've ever seen?!" Yep Baby, yep it is. Every day when I pick her up from daycare she grabs my cheeks and kisses me twice. Every day. It's one of the best moments.

She's loving this whole food thing. Last weekend, she ate a whole persimmon and went after it so viciously that I feared for my fingers. She still has no teeth, but that doesn't seem to stop her. She's never satisfied to be left alone, but it hasn't been much of a problem. She's no longer satisfied to lay on the floor, now that she can sit up. I fear she'll never crawl because she gets so mad if she's not upright. She talks up a storm and especially loves to growl and be growled at.



She still loves Bob Marley and being outside. She loves the bath, and even the shower. She hates the big stroller and the carseat. If she's not happy, she yells at you. Loudly and persistantly. She's got a deep-in-her-belly chuckle that's contagious and doesn't quite match her elfin face. She loves Eli and will stare at him for hours.

I imagine that Ms. Sydney will not be the type of girl to do what we say "because we said so." I imagine that she'll have her own opinions, and lots of them, and that she won't be afraid to stand up to us. I imagine that she'll be dramatic, forceful, passionate, and loving. I imagine that there will be days that I'll cry out of frustration and days when I'll laugh at her antics. I imagine that I will continue to burst with pride and that I'll keep falling more in love with her every day. Happy half-birthday Baby Girl.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holy crap! Ten days?




So yeah. The test. We're not talking about it yet. In other news, the kids are good. Syd's sick, poor little booger. She's so congested that when I come at her with the booger sucker she kicks her little legs in excitement like "Yay! Breathing! Breathing's awesome!" I think she gave it to me too, but I'm not handling it nearly as well. I yelled at an inmate (though she totally deserved it), stomped my feet at work (super mature, right?), and walked in the house, put the kids down, and checked out. Literally, "Mama needs a break, Go play" checked out.




We spent the long weekend on the coast with my dad and had an awesome time. In three days we saw dolphins, sea lions, and seals, all unexpected and totally cool. We slept in a king size bed, which may the greatest thing ever. I love co-sleeping and I really loved having us all in the same room (byproduct of motherhood-induced fear of all things spooky/spending too much time with the "bad guys") and I really really really loved not getting squished out of the bed when Eli decided to join us. Though a new bed's not in the budget, we're seriously considering turning our bed sideways. C's even willing to bend his legs or sleep with his toes hanging off. It was that awesome. Would that be weird to ghetto rig some kind of giant day bed? Know what else is awesome? Saying "Go see what Coach is doing" when your son wakes you up at 5:30.

Yeah, so not a lot to say. I'll write more soon, and I swear I've got good stories. I just can't think of them right now in my congested, tired, hungry haze. So here's some pictures...

This hat makes me so happy. I love it

Doesn't get much better than this

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Study Partner



Still studying, or more accurately at this point, cramming like crazy. At least my study group's pretty cute.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Re-gifting

On Halloween, after C got off work and the kids woke up from their naps, we all piled in the car and headed to a Halloween street carnival in a nearby town. The idea was that it would be cute (not so much), appropriate (not so much), and easy candy (not so much, WTF?). Afterwards we were planning on going to a friend's neighborhood to trick-or-treat. As we were getting back in the car though, I realized that we hadn't left the light on or the candy out, so we headed back home. Syd fell asleep in the car, of course. So, being flexible and modifying my original "precious family memory" making plan (so unlike me), we left Syd with my stepmother and took Eli out. Since Syd was sleeping, we still left the candy on the porch and the light on. The three of us had a great time and returned home about 45 minutes later. Where there was no candy left in the bowl! This has never happened. We've not been blessed with trick-or-treating neighborhoods and we saw this as a sign of good things to come. Except that my stepmother said that about 15 minutes after we left, someone knocked on the door and told her the bowl was empty. Far as we can tell, one person emptied the entire bowl. Greedy f-ers. But the joke was on them, because despite my best intentions we (read "C") ate most of the Halloween candy I bought so rather than buy more, I emptied our "junk box" into the trick-or-treat bowl. Most of the junk box is leftover from last Halloween, so the thieves got year+ old candy. Hee hee. So imagine my surprise when, "checking" through Eli's stash tonight I recognized some of that old candy. We're not talking Twix bars here. We're talking bags of Looney Tunes fruit snacks and off-brand Tootsie Rolls.

Dude. They stole our candy, and then gave it away. To us.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Totally my kid

Me: (After an especially inspired round of There was a Farmer) Eli, did you just roll your eyes at me?

Eli: No Mama, I rolled my eyes at your condition.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Excuses excuses



I've been around. Really! The thing is though that my computer bit the dust and I really can't bring myself to write posts at work. I want to, but the frantic "Close close close!" I was chanting in my head everytime someone walked down the hall suggested I should just give it a break. The computer is still limping along, but the power cord, which has been duct taped within an inch of it's life has revolted. I'm waiting for the new one to arrive as I type at the most awkward angle possible. (FYI, when your power cord breaks look on Amazon BEFORE calling a big box store. $3 vs. $120. Seriously)

I have a ton of pictures to share once I'm able to load them up on the Great Redneck Laptop. We've got costumes! Super cute, but totally store bought, TV tie-in, I die a little inside and then smack around old "Oh, we're not going to let our kids watch TV, no licensed stuff, NO PLASTIC" clueless me. I'm still trying to study, or more successfully trying not to study, for the licensing exams. Slowly but surely. We went to the fair and it was super fun. There were cows and cotton candy. Doesn't get much better. I'm also mentally writing a post on being one of only a few working moms surrounded by working dads.

Syd has her first bug and is totally miserable. I picked her up yesterday and in the lobby, exchanging fun small talk with the directors, she completely and impressively projectile vomited all over the room. Seriously. You wouldn't get better coverage with a five gallon bucket. She hit everything in a five foot radius. And it just kept coming. Poor booger was truly green. I've never seen anyone that color. She seems to be doing a little better, but we're taking it easy today. Thank goodness for all those banked furlough days.

Hopefully that cord comes today. In the meantime, I'm thinking that the universe is not very subtle and maybe I've been spending a little too much screen time. I've been off the computer for three days, and lo and behold, Facebook was still there!

Friday, October 15, 2010

More than a status, less than a coherent blog post

Is it possible to have writer's block if you don't have to write? I've wanted to post, but haven't really felt like I've had anything "blog worthy." I hate going so long in between though, so here's a quick update.

Work
Last night was "Family Night" at the prison. Every few years they lock down the institution and let employees bring their families inside the secure perimeter. We were lucky because the designated tour area went right by my unit and the trailer where my office is. I think C liked it because he could imagine where I spend 40+ hours a week and saw that it's not like on TV. Eli liked the bunnies, fire station (staffed by inmates), and all-you-can eat cotton candy.

I've mentioned that Fridays are pretty bare bones in my office. Today it was just me and one other psychologist doing paperwork and I went to see a man about a horse. And my nightmares came true. First, the toilet clogged. I have no idea how it happened (Yeah, right. I know exactly how it happened.) It didn't overflow, and as I stared expectently at the bowl I thought I saw some downward movement. So what did I do? Of course I did. I flushed it again. And WHOOSH. Water everywhere. Frantic searching for a plunger found nothing but stack upon stack of protective toilet seat covers (btw, WTF? I work with a bunch of germaphobes I guess). Then I tried to find a mop to at least hold back the flood that had by that point spread out into the hallway. Yeah, none of that either. So dozens of phone calls and an hour and a half later, half the institution knows that I clogged our toilet. Must have been the seat covers.

Kids
Syd is getting so big! I dropped her off for school this morning and when I sat her down she stayed sitting! She loves giving kisses and will grab your cheecks with both hands and plant a big juicy one on you. She's still not sleeping much, but I have a hard time being too upset about it. People always comment on how happy she is and I'm pretty sure she's got the best smile ever. She's a total diva and screams herself hoarse anytime she's "put upon." I love it. I wasn't so sure I could handle having a girl but she is totally awesome.

Eli is a so fun and such a goof. He's obsessed with Garth Brooks "Rodeo" but sings the words totally wrong. The best is "Chicken hash in Texas. Just to chase the way he feels." He also continues to be a constant reminder that children will repeat exactly what you don't want them to. I've been watching this video at least once a day, because it's awesome.
Wanna guess what song he got all the words right to? In the middle of a crowded restaurant with new-ish friends?

*Edit* The video's been disabled. Here's the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PupRGWiDwXw Seriously. Go watch it. 'Tis awesome.

Rest of Life
I'm trying to get licensed as a psychologist. I'm eligible at the end of this month, and when I get it I get a raise equal to one kid's daycare or all of our rent. We could really use that raise and so my motivation is pretty good. Problem is that it involves taking a pretty substantial test that I haven't really studied much for. Working on that, but still freaking out. Stay tuned, as freaking out is usually accompanied by frenzied and frantic posting.

My computer's about to bite it. There's duct tape holding the cord together, the battery's shot, and there's no "H" key. I really want a Mac, but don't have any good reasons and definately don't want to spend two grand. I'm also thinking about just getting an iPad, but I'm not sure I can deal with my pictures on an iPad. Thoughts? Suggestions?

I read on a fashion-for-moms blog that bootcuts are the new mom jean. I sort of want to try skinny jeans this fall, with boots and long sweaters, but can't quite accept that not-skinny girls can wear skinny jeans. I imagine I'll look like a half-melted ice cream cone, which is not the look I'm going for. I'd love suggestions or opinions on whether women of my age and "stature" can pull them off. I told C I saw them on a fashion blog and he said "For people your age?!" Way to rub the big 3-0 in, Baby.

One of the benefits of living here, we've found, is the abundance of local food. A coworker gave me two huge boxes of apples for applesauce and babyfood, one of C's coworkers brings him a dozen organic, free range (really) eggs a week, and we've got tomatoes coming out of our ears. One of C's friends offered him grapes last week and we jumped on it. Eli alone can eat pounds, and they're so easy to have around. So he comes home tonight with about 12 bags and 10 plastic crates of grapes. Which are all "professionally" packaged, leading me to conclude that we're totally eating hot grapes. New low, or totally awesomely ridiculous?

So that's what I've been up to. How have you been?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I love the zoo


In every town we've lived in, we make it a point to buy a membership to the zoo. In years past, it meant that no matter how broke we got, we always had something to do. Now, it means we can take the kids as much as we want to and support our community. This weekend our local zoo hosted an event for kid-friendly vendors. They also advertised that Spiderman would be there. Knowing how much Eli loves Spiderman, I made plans to skip naps and take him for memory-making moments. I told Eli that there'd be face painters, but kept Spidey a surprise, just in case.
So we made it to the zoo and the girl at the ticket booth broke the surprise. Eli was ecstatic and nearly broke a run to try and find his hero. We made it to Spiderman's booth, where, miracle of miracles, there was NO line. Seriously. And so, of course, Eli flat out refused to go in. I managed to talk him into peeking around the corner to see Spiderman, but there was no way in hell he was taking his picture with him or even entering into a ten foot radius. So we left. He still says Spiderman was his favorite part, so not a total loss.

Not Spiderman

Once the Spiderman excitement was gone, we took off in search of the advertised Free! Face! Painting! Which ended up being a 14 year old girl at the karate school booth, but whatever. Eli got a skateboard that looked like a moldy jelly bean and he was thrilled. So thrilled in fact that he hugged me and promptly smeared it all over my shirt. Luckily we were still close, so he got back in line to ask the girl to try to salvage it. While in line he started whimpering, turned to me and said, "I hope they don't call the cops!" I asked why, and he said, "Because she'll know that I already had my face painted!" WTF, kid? And yes, every parent around heard my kid worry that someone would "call the cops."



Face painted and Spiderman avoided, we were free to enjoy the rest of the zoo and the melting pot that is zoo enthusiasts. I had Syd in the sling (because she hates the stroller, of course) and lots of people had commented on it around the zoo. "What a cute baby!" "What a cool sling!" "Oh, how sweet!" The usual. (I'm so humble, right?) The best one though by far was the lady in the background here



She walked right up to me and said "Oh! Yours is real!" I replied, "Ha ha! Yep!" but in my head I thought, "What a fucked up thing to say," until I realized, hers WASN'T. This chick walked all over the zoo carrying this freakishly realistic doll, totally acting like it was a real baby. Oh. My. God. I took this picture partly because really, how could I not blog it? and partly in case some kid came up missing that day, because normal people don't do this shit.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Needs a better title

Here's a peek at what we've been up to. I've got a whole stash of half-written posts, but nothing ready to go yet. Stay tuned...


In the meantime, here's a whole bunch of the cutest pictures you've ever seen.

Syd's teething, so we're a major drool-fest around here. Also, she LOVES this monkey.


Eli's playing soccer, and C's coaching. It's super adorable.Syd turned four months old! That's a third of a year, which totally freaks me out. She's incredible and basically just a big ball of sunshine. Her smile starts at the top of her head and goes through her, clear to her toes.


Look at this kid. This is the haircut he requested and waited patiently for. He's awesome. There's a little girl at school who thinks he's "cute," wants him to kiss her, and won't let him play with the other girls. We're in big trouble.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'd be a grouch too

We're fixin' to start Syd on some baby food and so I was gathering up our "supplies." As I was pulling them out, I ran across a couple of bibs that were handed down to us from my sister, who got them from my mom from when we were babies. I especially like this one.

Awww! Hand embroidered by my mom.

A close-up of her handiwork. Do you see where I'm going yet?

How 'bout now?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If you can't brag on your blog...

People, at this very moment every piece of clothing I'm wearing, including pants, was purchased, and worn, prior to getting pregnant. And I'm at least mimimally appropriately dressed. Eli, on the other hand is wearing a size 18month Hawaiian ensemble.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Things I didn't think about in grad school

Sometimes I catch myself doing something so out there that I wonder, if I could go back and describe my life to first year of grad school me, would I be thrilled or horrified? Today I talked to a lot of women about a lot of different things. For example...

I agreed to research the following: God's view on murder vs. killing, giant bunnies, Avatar's Native American inspiration, the Salvation Army (as a military installation), and how much land one needs to keep a giant bunny.

Statements I made: You look good without the beard. Air hug! How's the head squishing going? I guess I'm not wildlife. You can't call someone a potato nose. I don't know if Catholic Charities needs a bunny.

And that's just today. I've also been accused of shaving my head to look like an inmate, having an affair with three staff members, rolling my eyes to the devil, obstructing justice, and been called "the unit's Mom."

I love this job. At least once a day I think "What the fuck just happened?"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When I am an old woman...

C works as a manager at a large home improvement store in town. Oftentimes he'll come home with stories about an obnoxious customer or a crazy order or some other work-related shenanigans. Last night he came home and was a little upset because a woman had returned a large order of blinds that she'd had for over a year and that had nothing wrong with them. This was going to hurt the store's budget, which screws up bonuses, quotas, etc. so he was a little "peeved." So why'd she return the blinds you ask?

Apparently this woman had paid for tiles to be installed in her house. The installer did it wrong, and then was "unhelpful" when that was pointed out. From how C told it, he tried to half-ass the repair and then told her where she could put her opinions on how she'd like her tile to look. So this woman returned the tile. And everything she'd bought at the store. Ever. She hired a flat bed, loaded it with cabinets, refrigerators, blinds, tiles, even a toilet that she pulled out of her bathroom, and returned. it. all. Point made.

I dream of being that determined to make my point. Can you imagine how pissed off she must have been to rip out her toilet and take it to the customer service desk?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Good for what ails ya

Goofy baby faces


Brand new friends

Cowboys

Dusty hikes



Giant pink flowers and baby overalls

Also good phone calls, fruit stands, comfort food, and Lost on Roku. Thank you to everyone who checked in on me. I'm feeling much better.





Friday, September 3, 2010

Today was hard

I woke up early, as usual. Got the kids ready, kissed the family, and set off for an easy Friday. I stopped to buy cookies for a potluck lunch. Even so, today was a hard day.

It's been a trying week. I've been disillusioned by the way people are treating each other. I've been frustrated by the inmates and their overall lack of motivation. I've been frustrated by my coworkers and their overall lack of motivation. I'm angry because sometimes it all seems so futile and I don't want to become jaded and cynical. I'm angry because of how people feel like they're entitled to treat other people like shit.

On top of all that, and likely a causal factor, is that I am tired. Capital T Tired. I wake up every night at 1:00, 2:00, 3:30, and then the alarm goes off at 4:00. I've been keeping up with the running, but with little progress to show for it. I got on the scale this morning to find I haven't lost any weight at all in the last week. So tired, AND frustrated.

So I get to work today, hoping for a typical Friday. Most people work 4 10 hour days so Fridays are very short staffed. Which means a very quiet office. Most weeks, except of course this one, I've finished most of my work so Friday can be dedicated to studying, hanging on the unit, and getting a headstart on the next week. But not this week. I started off behind, hoping to catch up today. I came into the office to find out that one of our long standing patients had attempted to kill herself the night before. This happens quite a lot, but usually is more of a gesture than an attempt (think scratching your arm with a piece of plastic vs. slitting your wrists). This time though it was a serious attempt and she likely would have died if she hadn't been found. While I and a couple coworkers were talking about the suicide attempt, we got a call that there'd been an attack on the unit. We had a conversation about which inmates' crimes really got to us, and how I could work there with little kids at home. Later I found out one of my favoritite inmates had also tried to hurt herself.

Today was one of those days that reminds me that I don't work "in the real world." I know a lot of murderers. I even like quite a few of them. I carry an alarm, a whistle, and a huge key ring through doors that have to be remotely opened for me. People regularly flood their cells, smear poop, and cut themselves open. Yesterday I took brooms off the unit because a woman keeps threatening people with them.

Because of all these things, I find it hard to relate to people sometimes. I pick up my kids from daycare and look at the other moms, in their workout clothes, cute sandals, "business casual." I think, "I spent three hours with a woman who stabbed her boyfriend, I worked my ass off to get someone to take a shower, I watched a woman fight an endless battle against unseen demons, I listened to a woman who killed her kids talk about what a great mother she is. How 'bout you?" We ask how each other's day was and I give the standard "Great!" or if I can't muster up the enthusiasm "Busy!" Today I couldn't even do that. Today I was sad. Just plain sad.

In psychology we talk about "self-care" and "burnout." It's especially important when you're doing psychology in prisons. Luckily I recognized it before it got too bad. I needed to come home, veg out, sleep in tomorrow. I'm getting Syd's picture taken, hanging out with Eli, maybe going to the beach. And I'm going to recharge my batteries so that Tuesday I can go back and start again. Because I love my job. Today was hard, this week was hard, but I love my job.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Truth in advertising


You may have noticed that I changed my profile picture. We took this today, and I love it. It may be the first time since Syd was born that a picture was taken without one of us looking freakish. I like it too because it's exactly how I see myself as a mom. Little hippy, little soccer mom, two awesomely awesome kids. It's not 100% accurate though...
Post cropping
Original

Obviously "housekeeper" isn't prominent in my personal identity

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Three months

Syd turned three months old last week. I can't believe it's flown by so quickly. She still seems so tiny, but when I look back I'm amazed by how much she's changed.
She's still not amused by my need to accesorize, obviously.

She's very alert. She's always checking out what's going on, and often has a very studious look on her face while she's watching the world. She's totally happy to sit and watch most of the time. When she's not though, boy she let's you know it. She stares at Eli with pure adoration. When she looks at C, she's always got this expectent smile like he's about to do the funniest thing (and he usually is). Me? I get the full body smile when she knows I'm going to pick her up. She's got the greatest grin, and it always looks like she's thinking "Isn't this the coolest thing ever?"


She started to roll yesterday. She seems pretty impressed with herself when she does it, and then hangs out on her tummy for awhile. We're one step closer to mobility. Dum dum dum... The Bob Marley thing has become something of an obsession, and lately she won't nap unless the reggae's rocking and the swing's swinging. We'll see how that goes at daycare, which she starts tomorrow. I'm a little bit in denial about it but I think we're all ready to settle into a routine. We've toured her class, C met her teacher, and I'm in the process of packing her bag and filling out her paperwork. I wish we could have done a couple of practice days, but I know she'll be fine. With Eli I've learned that kids adapt much quicker than the parents do. She'll probably have a great time, and I know she's going to love watching all the other babies.