Monday, June 25, 2012


It all started with an ice cream sundae for breakfast

We folded and got him the DS he so desperately wanted. Totally worth it.
Pretty sure he always eats his birthday cake half-naked


Pretty sure this is the coolest kid ever.

Not pictured is our playdate where the kids got all hopped up on IceBreakers, the trip to see the Avengers, and the kid's dinner of choice, a McDonald's Happy Meal (which he didn't eat. They never eat them but beg for them nonetheless. I should just put toys in bags of broccoli.)

And then the next day, he got on a train with my dad so he could spend a week at their house. He was so jazzed. And in true kid fashion, he packed his backpack with comic books, his DS, and his SpiderMan wallet. He grabbed his PillowPet as an afterthought. He strapped his golf clubs to his back (so cute!) and navigated the train station like he owned it. He was so busy on the train that he forgot to wave to me as the train pulled out of the station. Everytime I talk to him on the phone he sounds like he's having the best time. It kills me and I love it. As a friend wrote on Facebook, "Isn't it funny how the best thing we do as parents is teach them to live without us. And by funny, I mean torturous." So, so true. As I waited for his train to leave, I realized that he doesn't need me to hold his hand or remind him to say, "Thank you" anymore. I couldn't be prouder, but sometimes, just a teeny bit, I miss when he did. 
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Catch up

How has it been a whole week?! It's been a busy week. Work sucked. It was loud, and smelly, and crappy. People broke out windows, lots of pepper spray, lots of tension. At one point I said to a nurse, "I don't care about behavior, but I am sick and tired of naked people." I'll blog about it at some point, but right now I'm just tired of it. Luckily things seem to be calming down.

A friend of mine came to stay with her family and we had SO. MUCH. FUN. It's so cool, because we started at blog friends, then FaceBook, and we finally met in person last year. Turns out we're so much alike it's eerie. Seriously. So, so much alike. And our kids are carbon copies too. I mean, how many kids have daytime and nighttime toothbrushes? It was a short visit, but we kept four kids under six up running amok FAR too late, and then we stayed up talking until almost three.

Eli turns six tomorrow. That feels so bizarre. Six is solidly in "kid" territory. I don't know if it's me or him, but he seems so mature lately. It's a pretty low-key birthday, but we're excited. Expect pictures!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Subtle comic relief

I'm at this moment letting the kids each have their four hours thirty minutes of educational screen time (who am I kidding? Eli's playing Angry Birds and Syd's watching Caillou). Syd keeps turning the TV off, coming out here, and asking me to turn the TV back on for her and put her back on the bed. I finally asked her why she was doing that, and she said, in her sweet munchkin voice, "To get you in shape!"

Rebound effect

There's this phenomenon in psychology about when you medicate an illness, then stop the medication, the symptoms come back stronger than before. So if you have a person with depression and give them an awesome anti-depressant, they'll feel better. But if they stop the meds, they may end up more depressed than ever. Not the greatest analogy to what I'm writing about, but I think I have about six posts titled "The Crazy." And I think it sort of applies. Even C mentioned the other day that I've been "a lot calmer" lately, especially since we've been experimenting with the envelope system. I think he means that I'm not as much of a psychotic nut job/bad accountant and that I'm capable of having a conversation that does not include some reference to our bank account.

BUT, the last two days I've woken up running numbers through my head. This used to be the norm, but since I've started to put more work into "The Crazy," it hasn't happened for awhile. Not too concerning, two steps forward and all that nonsense. The budget didn't balance like I wanted it to this month. C's been gone for a couple of days, so I've been on single-parent duty. I haven't gone running in a few days and I've missed it more than I expected to. I've kept the kids up WAY too late watching movies, so everyone's been a bit amped. In short, when life gets a bit off-balance, The Crazy sneaks in.

Interestingly, The Crazy usually manifests itself in anxiety, but this morning I woke up angry. I think it's growth. I think it means that I've moved from burying my head in the sand to being frustrated that we're not making progress as fast as I'd like (that is to say, immediately). But I'm angry. I'm angry at myself, because I know that there were some really stupid decisions that contributed to our debt (like bailing an idiot out of jail stupid.) I'm angry that it took me this long to really "get" the importance of credit. I'm angry that I didn't have the confidence and foresight to shop around for a school that would have cost less. I'm angry at Suze Orman, who on a late-night show advised that you use your credit cards to get you through the early years (and that I interpreted as "live off credit, you'll pay it off someday!" though I'm pretty sure she meant "buy a suit and get a bus pass".) I'm angry at all the times we had a little extra and spent it, rather than sending it to a card. And I'm angry that we're not making the progress that I'd like to be (though I know that we're doing a lot better.) That morphs into unrealistic anger, like "Why are we living in a house when we could be in a yurt and putting the difference towards our debt?!" and "Why are we buying brand name bread?!"

So anyway. Yeah. I know that I'm being neurotic and logically I know that I'm being unreasonable. I know that we're at least finally doing something, and we are making progress (slowly). I try to assure myself that we're still young and that there will be an end to this, but Gah! It just makes me so mad. On the plus side, it's also keeping me motivated. I don't ever want to feel like we're stuck again. I want to pay this stuff off, and have the extra resources to save, or spend, or whatever. I want to teach my kids how all this money stuff works. It's also nice to know that I've got this little internal red flag. There have been times when this has gotten so bad that I probably should have sought medication, but now I just know that I need to take better care of myself. And when Mama's happy, everybody's happy.

What's your red flag? How do you know it's time to re-calibrate?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gore. By OPI

I just love how proud she looks of herself. And her aim is pretty good too.
When C first showed this to me, I totally thought it was blood and for the life of me couldn't figure out 1) why she was smiling and 2) why we weren't in the emergency room. So if you had the same reaction, I feel for you. Rest assured, it's not blood but a very cheap bottle of very red nail polish. Coincidentally the same shade that she shattered all over the grocery store a few weeks back. 
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Can't knock the hustle

A co-worker and I were talking today about our job and the unique challenges we face, trying to distinguish between 1) liars, 2) crazy people, and 3) crazy people who are lying. Despite being a mental health crisis unit, the majority of the people I see are lying. In fact, right now I can think of maybe one or two that are truly sick. And one of those guys keeps jacking off and throwing his shit like a fucking monkey. The rest are lying. They're lying to hide out, or get meds, or get sent to the hospital, or because they're bored and we don't make them room together. I get it. Prison sucks. But these guys are lying for the express purpose of living next to a guy who stores feces in a milk carton and then smears it all over his room. Y'all. Cells aren't smell-proof. It's disgusting and it's the reason I bought really cheap (read: disposable) work shoes.

So we were talking about how frustrating it is, not that these guys are lying, but that they lie so badly. I mean, they're not even making an effort. I've had guys who really put some thought into it. They played the game. And I can respect that. Shit, sometimes I even admire a good manipulation because that's hard work. Especially in a place where no one trusts you to begin with. So here's my PSA.

IF: You go to prison, it's best not to owe anyone money or talk about what other people are doing. You'll save yourself a lot of trouble and probably won't have to hide.

BUT: If you do, you have two options. "PC up" and forever be known as a snitch or "Suicide up" and risk being seen as crazy

IF: You suicide up, come up with a decent back story. Do not tell me that your cousin/aunt/nephew was in an accident and you don't know what happened because you can't get a hold of anyone in your family, so you feel suicidal. This translates to "I want to try to get a cell phone from a staff and if that doesn't work I want to go to the state hospital for awhile." Also, it's the same exact story the last four guys FROM YOUR UNIT have told me.

WHEN: I call you on the fact that maybe you might be exaggerating, given that you just spent twenty minutes describing your parole plans after insisting that you would kill yourself the first chance you got, you have three options. 1) Admit defeat. 2) Up your game. or 3) Threaten to kill me or show me your penis.

CHOOSE: Option one would be a nice distraction because at that very moment a flock of pigs would fly out of my butt. Option two is always awesome. I especially appreciate when the guys are able to adapt quickly and without obviously changing the original story. "Oh, did you think I said I heard demons? No, I meant my internal, metaphorical demons..." I'd go for this option, unless upping the ante involves feces. I respect the commitment to the game, but that's disgusting. Option three is just pathetic, and will result in you getting more time and me not having to talk to you anymore. It's a win-win.

When I graduated, I had no idea that the majority of my time would be spent wading through bullshit. That I would ask a grown man what his "Boo boo" tasted like, just to gauge his level of commitment. That I would be able to listen to the eighty-millionith story about dying aunts with almost no sympathy, but have a complete emotional reaction when someone described a conspiracy involving nazis, shaking walls, and Jedi. Or that I would gain respect for a person who spent all night dancing so that the next day the staff would tell me, "It's the most bizarre thing. He danced all night long, howling at the moon." You might not be crazy, but I admire the work ethic.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Graduate

He was so excited about all the songs he was going to sing, and then SO serious through the entire program. Seriously, not a single smile. 
Later he realized that the scroll was blank and was all, "WTF Mom?" I assured him that's how it was done. He got the adorable kindergarten diploma later. (Maybe they had to wait for finals grades?)
Finally a smile on his way to the cupcakes
Hot, post cupcake, and ready to go spend his graduation money and hit Jamba Juice.
Now he tells anyone that will listen that he's in First Grade. And as a first grader, he's decided that he reads chapters, cooks, and does chores (!) He's also decided that he's a bit of a daredevil, so there's been a lot of blood this week. If we survive summer, he is going to ROCK first grade.
 I just love this kid. He is turning into the coolest person. I'm so proud of him. 
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

"I wonder what Chiconky's doing?"

When I was a kid and something bizarre would happen, we'd always say "I wonder what the [insert normal family's name] are doing today?" Today we were totally the normal family. We started with C and I both getting a run in. Then an awesome, multi-family playdate. Then lunch and naps at home. Round it out with a trip to the library and dinner on the back porch. It's been fabulously, wonderfully normal. Even with these two crazy hooligans :)