Wednesday, February 29, 2012


This morning I walked out my front door to a deluge of wind and rain and the realization that my coat was not going to be enough today. In consolation, and because I've started going every day, I went to Starbucks for a liquid pick-me-up. Like millions of others before him, he asked my name and then started to write it on the cup. I replied "Oh, no! Please don't do that!" Then I tried to explain why but it was early and I was awkward. So now I'm the paranoid chick who shows up every morning looking slightly guilty.

Things I said in a professional capacity today

"Take a shower. No seriously. Take a shower."
"You're acting the fool. That's right, I said it."
"So, you're going to tell your kids that dad's finest moment was getting taken down in a dress?"
"No I don't feel sorry for you. It's your own damn fault."
"I don't know who he was, but he was wearing a suit so he's probably important."
"This place sucks."
"I'm trying to think of a nice way to say he'll beat the shit out of the first person who looks at him."

Is it any wonder I can't act normal in public?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Totally random

We've been having a small issue with our old landlord and his returning our security deposit. After several "reminder" calls, he wrote C today to ask for our address. A week after he said, "I'll put it in the mail first thing tomorrow!" When he told C "I would've had it to you sooner, but you requested copies of the invoices" C flipped his lid. He wrote back a pissed off e-mail, and then I got to researching and drafting a more assertive letter. I love, love, love writing things like this. It was awesome! And I got an e-mail back that said, "You should have your check tomorrow." Done.

I think I'm in at work. I had an issue with an inmate last week when he spit on me (hit the glass, no big deal). The next day he tells me I'm "sexy, like Wonder Woman" and then threatens to kill me. So I have to write him up for all of these. Which means I have to tell my boss and the unit's custody boss that someone called me "Wonder Woman." Aaannd...Commence the teasing. But I'm in. This is going to make my life so much easier.

Sydney says "Pepperoni." It's the cutest thing I've ever heard. It comes out "Popper-ononi" Adorable.

Turns out, when we have company C and I bicker like we're 80. Its a really attractive quality, though it's also kind of fun. At one point today I actually said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll keep my opinions to myself, take off my shoes, and get back into the kitchen." WTF?

Eli's freaking awesome. His dad bought him foam-ish nunchucks today, which is super cool but will eventually get him into trouble. My money's on tomorrow.

Also today I found the most perfect superhere art for the kids' room. Now I just need to buy a poster off Etsy and that room should be done. So excited!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


This, plus sticky fingerprints and a speaker that perfectly imitates a Charlie Brown classroom scene, is the phone that I have now. It sucks, but it works. I have no problem letting Syd play with it because it's a piece of crap. I've never really liked it, but again, it gets the job done. It just doesn't get the job done with much pizzazz. Before this move, it made no sense for me to get a fancier phone. I worked five days a week in a place where I could potentially get arrested for bringing my phone with me. Then I commuted an hour and a half to two hours a day. One $200 cell phone ticket was enough to convince me that I wouldn't be using my drive time to stay connected. That left nights, between kids/dinner/bath/bed, and the weekends between laundry/grocery store/cleaning/kids/park/nap... It just didn't make any sense. But now! Now I commute under fifteen minutes. I work four days a week. C is immensely more active at home, which gives me a bit more free time. And I WANT an iPhone. Something fierce. I'm not even really sure why, except I know that I want to put pictures on FB without hooking up my camera and I want to tweet without logging into a computer. Really I could live with the one I have, or upgrade to another, newer basic phone, but I really want the pizzazz.

I'm noticing that this is a trend. In setting up the house, I'm finding myself being much more thoughtful. Rather than A) I have this picture so B) this picture should be hung up I'm thinking about style and presentation and "pretty." I bought a vase for no other reason than I liked it's color. I have no intention of ever putting flowers in it. It's sole purpose is to sit and be pretty. I love it. I feel feminine with all these thoughts in my head, as I daydream about finding the perfect piece of art for this one corner, or the perfect shelf to hold the perfect tchotke, which has no purpose but to be pretty. In the past, I think I've equated "pretty" with "irresponsible" and so I've forced myself to choose function over form. Something about this latest move has changed that. I bought red pants because they made me happy. I have style boards bursting on pinterest. And I want an iPhone, despite being able to make-do with something cheaper. (I feel like I need to add the disclaimer that we are still working towards some kind of fiscal responsibility and debt reduction. Noted.) I want pretty. I want what people have. It makes me happy, which I'm finding also reduces The Crazy. See what I did there? Totally justified all my no-justification-neededs.

Its expanded to the kids too. C and I have been avoiding buying Eli a Beyblade for almost a year now. Truth is, I totally don't get it and it seems like the kind of toy that either requires a lot of accessories or gets played with once. We've redirected and overemphasized better, less TV-tie in toys. C even made him homemade Beyblades out of rollerblade wheels. Last week, two separate kids brought Beyblades to school, and wouldn't let Eli play with them. Poor kid. So I came up with token jobs he could do to "earn" the money and the kid is now sleeping with his Beyblade. I think that, even if he only plays with it for a day, it's all good. He got his "pretty," his "because I want it." I think we all need that every once in a while. So what's your "pretty"? What's your thing that's sole purpose is to make you happy?

Also, if you have any opinions on the iPhone, I'd love to hear them. Is it as cool as I think? And do I go with white or black?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gloriously normal

In perfect balance to yesterday, which was a bit Twilight Zone-ish, today was perfectly, normally, awesome. C and I cleaned the house together, without snark or throwing things, while Eli was at school. I picked the kids up and took them to the park. While we were there, I got to see Eli race to his sister's rescue when a bigger kid was taking advantage of her, saying boldly "How can you pick on her? She's only one year old! Come on Syd, let's go play over here." Then he took her by the hand and let her join him and his kindergarten friends. *Swoon* We ate lunch at the library, which just made my heart happy on so many levels. C agreed, and even suggested, to go to IKEA. If you know him, this is a big f-ing deal. Dude does not tolerate the blue and yellow. IKEA had lingonberry frozen yogurt, which may have changed my life in a delicious, sort-of-healthy-but-not-if-you-eat-twenty way. My new, super cheap glasses came in the mail and they don't suck. In fact, they may be my favorite yet. C seems to like them at least ;) We ate at a new restaurant that served both black bean burgers (homemade!) and sweet potato fries (with rosemary and thyme!). I'm finally getting the house put together (pictures to come, waiting for daylight) and I'm the proud owner of a nightstand AND a lamp. I love days like this, where it all feels so gloriously normal. Does that make sense? What does your gloriously normal days look like?
Mmmmm Burgers....

Shameless, really
Looking out for his sister. So cheek-cramping, heart-meltingly sweet

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Y'all, I had the weirdest f-ing day

I had a whole snarky post written talking about my day, but I've decided that in the very, very small chance that someone I work with finds this blog I'd like to be more professional and appropriate about what I say. What I will tell you is that my co-workers today LITERALLY lay masking tape down to mark their side of the office. And they put up a portable wall, in case I didn't see the tape. But moving on...

Today is my Friday (though I HATE when people say that.) C is playing Wii golf on our bedroom tv, I'm sitting on the bed next to Syd, who's playing on the iPad, and Eli's doing his homework in the corner. There's no masking tape or crazy people peeing on the floor (yet). I love my job, I love what I do, but this feels so so good right now.

Monday, February 13, 2012

This Kid

It's not very often that I get the chance to just observe this one when he's doing his own thing. Too often there are chores to do, butts to wipe, calls to make. I get busy and it gets loud and chaotic and I miss these little moments. The other day though, I had the chance to just watch The Kid be a kid. He spent hours on the front steps, playing with his superheroes, reading comic books (OMG. How cute is that?), and even invited his sister to join him when she woke up from her nap. He's just so damn cool.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chiconky takes the Capital

Half-day Kindergarten + Stay-at-home dad + Mom's wonky work schedule
= Impromptu afternoon field trip!
On the steps of the capital

Down Capital Street

Chili burgers from a lunch truck. Yum!

And stroller races. Of course.
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The downside of kindergarten

Eli has totally kicked butt in the transition to a bigger, more standardized kindergarten. Every single thing that I worried about was a non-issue. He loves it. His teachers say he's one of the brightest, most polite kids. He keeps getting in trouble for talking over people. He has a ton of friends, homework, and a special snack bag.

BUT. There are a lot more kids in the class. 99.999999% of the time, this is great. The kid is a social butterfly and he loves having all these kids around. He is also a follow-their-lead kind of kid. And today that bit me smack in the ass.

I came home and Eli met me with a huge grin. "Mama, I learned a funny song from a friend today!" And then he burst into a short, catchy rhyme, with actions, that was probably funny. In the 50s. To middle class white men. And never around anyone they didn't know to be of like minds.

I love that he's getting old enough that I can go beyond, "We don't say things like that." It dovetailed with conversations we've been having about how he and his sister are mixed race and that they have several cultures to identify with. I think he got it, and later he apologized to me, his dad, and the people he might have offended. We talked about how he needs to think for himself and decide what's right based on what he knows and believes in. All very valuable lessons. But combined with the fact that we had to talk, yet again, about physical boundaries, good touches/bad touches, and in a moment of frustration, why some of the men Mama works with have to live in prison/there are bad people in the world, I seriously contemplated home-schooling. This shit is hard.

It's an area where I wonder how much is me being shrink-y and how much is me being a concerned parent. Am I over reaching? Should I stick with, "We don't do that." And how do I handle the fact that it is one kid that he seems to be picking most of these new things up from? I'd love to hear from other moms (and dads) who've had similar experiences. How do you handle this kind of thing?