Monday, April 25, 2016

We're on a boat!

So I've decided that I'm a better writer when I type up my posts on the computer. Pro: Better, less cringe-y writing (except for using the word cringe-y). Con: Bit of a time delay. Anywhoo. C woke up early Saturday ready to take his boat out. I barely rolled out of bed quick enough to be able to go with them. For those of you who don't know C, he's NEVER up before me and he's not an early riser. This was a momentous occasion. 
Testing out his new waders
Goodbye Babies! C is so proud of the boat's name "Slave Juan." Apparently it's funny? I don't know. 
This is his happy place. Atticus on the other hand freaked the freak out because his people were split between land and water. C eventually threw him out of the boat (gently)
This one is a bit of a psychopath.
Syd looks cute, right? Little rainboots and her life jacket? She's adorable. What you can't immediately see in this picture is the rock that she's hucking at a group of ducks, trying to hit one. When I informed her that that was a terrible idea, she just smirked and said, "Why?" We saw a bunch of duck couples (?) in those grasses and I mused that maybe there were ducklings back there. Syd's first statement was "Maybe they drowned." In a very monotone, matter of fact voice. Maybe she's possessed? 
This is a terrible picture but I'm keeping it because it's so perfectly us. Little soft, middle-aged, enjoying 2.3 seconds alone. With my coffee mug and my work out tank and my double chin. #lifegoals

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Quasimodo and the Octo-Urchin

"Eli and I" have been working "our" tails off on his marine biology project, which is finally finished, thank God. I had to hold this kid's hand through the entire ordeal. Seriously, he makes me nuts sometimes. For his bibliography he wrote down five of his sources, even though he read ten. Despite very clear formatting instructions, we had to redo the essays at least six times. This kid's approach to a work ethic is best described as "bare minimum and with as little attention to detail as possible." BUT, it's done and he's pretty damn proud of himself. He got pretty into it once I let him use spray paint and the glue gun. I'm thinking next time we'll lead with that. 

Poor Stinky has been besieged by allergies. We thought she was getting sick, but this is basically her baseline for the past week. She's still happy and hasn't gotten any better or worse. All the adults I know with allergies are complaining, so my ultra-scientific diagnostic skills point to seasonal allergies. I don't really know what to do for her, but we're going to try local honey and maybe an essential oil diffuser. She looks so gross. I want to make her a shirt that says "Allergies" because anytime we take her somewhere we get the "thanks a lot, asshole parent" look. You know the one...
And we'll just call this one #humblebrag. I'm sort of back on my gym schedule (twice this week, whoo whoo!) Tuesday morning, for ten glorious minutes, I had the gym all to myself and it was AMAZING. My introvert self LOVES the gym in the morning. 

We're on week 3 of and it has been seriously life changing. I'm going to write a full post soon, but seriously. Life changing. I love it so so much. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Averson and thoughts on three

I totally forgot to write this story! Last week, C had agreed to watch one of Avery's BFFs while his mom substitute taught for the day. He hadn't told Avery yet and was cuddling with her while I got ready for work. He's super excited to tell her that her buddy is coming over for the day. From the bathroom, I hear this conversation.
C: Avery! We're going to do something super fun today!
A: We are? What are we going to do?!
C: Guess!
A: (Excitedly) DIE?!?!?!

C: .........

This girl is such a nut. She is joy personified and so cute and so sweet. She loves to give you kisses on your cheek and talks like an adult. Full blown conversations. She was (obviously) very affected by the Sunday School lesson on the story of the resurrection and loves that "Jesus died! But then he wasn't died anymore!" She responds strongly and dramatically, and sometimes violently, to injustice but negotiates and manipulates like a champ. She cuddled up to me sweetly yesterday and told me "It's really nice when people share their Kindles. Hmm. Maybe you could share your Kindle with me!" She loves the damn dog so much and calls him "Buddy." She adores Sydney and "Leli" and can't wait for them to get home. She loves her tractors and her critters in the dollhouse (thank goodness!) but won't keep their clothes on because "they're animals, Mama, and animals don't wear clothes." She's still cuddly and loves to plop herself in the crook of my arm while I'm reading on the couch or watching TV, and will just chat. She still won't sleep with us though. She hates if I pour her milk for her. She's funny and mischievous and loves to be naughty to the point that it will probably be an issue. I kind of hope it's an issue.

I was really stung by the thought that Avery could be my last baby, and by how quickly we fell back on our foster/adoption journey. I anticipated a lot of anguish and grief, regardless of whether adopting a baby was the right step for us. However, it has quickly settled into a really nice, really comfortable place. C and I were talking at dinner the other night and both of us confessed to not being all that sad anymore. We started pointing out all the ways that our family is pretty awesome right now, not the least of which being that we have NO ONE in diapers. We can literally throw everyone in the car and go. We fit in a car. The kids are quasi-independent, at least in that I don't have to carry anyone if I really don't want to (though Avery still occasionally asserts that her legs don't work.) With the kids getting older, we can start shifting some of our plans and activities that either wouldn't be feasible or wouldn't be fun with a baby, and would be more trouble than they were worth with a foster baby (court approved vacations, visit schedules etc.). I think it was really sad and intimidating to come to the realization that we were done. It was hard to go through the certification process and then look someone in the face and say, "Maybe this isn't for us." But I am glad that we did all of those things because I think it brought us to a very genuine, authentic place. Five is solid, and we are an amazing five. Our kids are awesome, and it's awesome that they're kids and not babies. I still crave the feeling of a baby in my arms, but that's why I'm peer pressuring my friends into having more :)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

What is with my kids?

Do all kids do fucked up stuff when they sleep? Note the yellow under her pillow. Foreshadowing.

A couple of our friends came over today to help C patch the holes in the walls left from when we got our schmancy HVAC put in a couple weeks ago Side note: Buh bye swamp cooler and one single wall heater! Hello programmable thermostat and vents in each room! It's currently 76 degrees in my house and I know that because I set the thermostat. But I digress...
So our handy friends came over to help my handy husband. They brought their kids so we had eight in total running amok. So fun! So loud! So glad I found the box of frozen Mike's Hard Lemonade slushies in the freezer!

So later tonight Avery asks if she can go to bed and I generously agree to let her. Then she asks if she can "please, please" take the roll of drywall tape with her? "It's not so poky and I promise not to play with it." Goofy girl tucked that tape under her pillow and fell right asleep. She woke up the next morning thrilled to have her tape with her and carried it around all day.
Gratuitous vent shot

Thursday, April 14, 2016


I thought today was going to be a slam dunk. I finally (FINALLY) got back to the gym this morning and actually put some work in. Between being sick and on vacation, then getting adjusted to an extra couple hours of sleep, I haven't been to the gym in a few weeks. Yay sleeping but notso yay with the steady climb on the scale. Anyway. I got back to it and it was good. Got to work and though the coffee wasn't kicking in, still managed to muscle through committee without anyone calling me a bitch or other more colorful names.

Unfortunately, while I was in committee one of our psychologists got assaulted by an inmate pretty badly. This happens, but it happens pretty rarely and the free staff are always pretty shaken up. Our emergency staff meeting kept turning into a bitch fest and finger pointing (because we therapists so we want to "allow people to process.") It ended up okay, but still... The psychologist is also okay, thankfully.

Then after work I stopped home between prison and school to check in with C and kiss my babies. I learned a long time ago to contact C as soon as I can after an incident, because often it will hit the news before I even get to my office. So he knew I was fine and handling things. When this has happened in the past, he'll often prep the kids with something vague and then I give them the very sanitized "somebody got hurt but the bad guy is locked up now and they're going to be okay." However, this time Eli wanted more answers and unfortunately the answers aren't all that reassuring. "Where's he locked up?" "Can't they put him somewhere else?" "Why did he hit her?" I'd love to be able to tell him that this will never happen to me, but the fact is that it really could. I don't want to lie to him but I also don't want him thinking some crazy prison monster is going to come after me. So that was rough.

Then I went to school to help proctor an oral exam, and ended up having to sit in on a behavioral intervention that made the poor girl cry. That was the opposite of awesome.

And THEN, on the way home I stopped to get McDonalds because tonight's crock-pot meal (from www,, love so much!) didn't end up in the crock-pot on time. I ordered a shameful amount of fast food, pulled up to the first window, and realized that I had left my wallet in my work bag, which was no nestled on top of the fridge where it belongs. I had to tell the teenager at the window that I couldn't pay for my food. I'd love to say that this is where some kind stranger "paid it forward" but instead, the kid just turned his head and screamed, "Don't make that! She can't pay!" So I was stuck driving home hungry and waiting in the driveway until C got home, (with kids and drive-thru), since my house keys were also snugly tucked away on the fridge.

And now? I can't watch my crappy hulu TV because Sydney isn't allowed to watch TV until she cleans up the disaster area/playroom, which she is staunchly refusing to do. So I sit...

Ugh. Had to edit because I just checked my library account and apparently I didn't return this really awful, really heavy book that I couldn't ever get into and carried around for three weeks before giving up on. I guarantee that I will pay for it, then find it the next day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

If you keep saying pigeon, it starts to sound like gibberish

The majority of my day was spent trying to figure out who plucked a pigeon, and whether said pigeon was dead or alive when it was plucked. The meaning behind it is very different depending on the circumstances. The main suspect is the same person who tore the head off a pigeon and threw it at someone several months ago. He had been keeping it as a pet, and when he was forced to give it back...he did. (Sad if you think about it too long, so moving on...) 

In retrospect, I have several good pigeon stories. Like the guy who would only feed the dark blue (?) pigeons because "You white pigeons get everything!" Or the guy who accidentally set his cell on fire by trying to cook a pigeon, then threw the flaming pigeon in his toilet, which then flooded his cell. "Squab!" 

Prison. It's a bad place to be a pigeon. Or a raccoon. Apparently one hit the fence today and, direct quote, "exploded." I can't even imagine the grossness of that, and I'm pretty good at imagining grossness. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

The weekend part 2

Sunday was definitely less jam-packed than our eco-Saturday, but fun nonetheless

Sydney has been asking for me to curl her hair, so I busted out my hot curlers and the curling wand. Our girly memory moment was punctuated by several screams of "Don't move!" and "Don't come in here!" until I remembered that I hate the curling wand and promptly ordered a good old-fashioned, not likely to burn my hands in six places, curling iron (plus heat spray because I love her hair so much and I don't want to ruin it). Syd loved the final result but was worried that C would "freak out" because she was "so beautiful."

There's no pictures, but we ended the day with a planning meeting for the new Girl Scout troop that I over-ambitiously talked some friends into creating. I love the concept behind Girl Scouts and I really want Syd to be a part of something that promotes confidence, self-expression, and empowerment. Her old troop really wasn't doing that. On the other hand, damn Girl Scouts are a lot of work. Luckily I've got three cool moms who are willing to lead this with me. So we got all our kids together (9 total!) and cracked a bottle of wine for an unofficial planning meeting. It was super fun and I finally had to kick everyone out at bedtime. I'm really loving this whole social, have girlfriends thing. I'm also loving this drink wine thing ;)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Wet weekend

We have rain! It didn't stop us from having an awesome weekend though. One of the Girl Scout moms was leading a cleanup team and we'd committed to helping. When we woke up to rain we figured we were going to get dirty, so getting wet too would be okay.
The team drug 9 shopping carts, a stroller, two van seats, and an electric scooter out of the "urban creek." My jokes about bodies fell flat, shockingly. #prisonproblems
Soaked. But we changed shirts and rallied for the celebratatory picnic.

Stinky loved all the creature exhibits. I had to drag her away from the bats. (Also, best Cheetos storage ever)
And she asked this woman to come around the table so she could feel the snake!
The bigs were more excited to be allowed to play on the playground in the rain :)
We did more fun stuff on Sunday but this post is feeling super long so I'm going to split it up. More to come!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

I'm in Vegas!

And I'm drunk, eating french fries in the dark because my friends passed out. The ACMAs are here this weekend so we keep running into country stars I have no context for. My shoes are adorable. I ate sushi for the first time ever. I won $80 on blackjack in under 5 minutes. And I have a sunburn. So, all in all, awesome trip!