Sunday, June 19, 2016

Comic Con!

One of the only pictures we got of all of us.

OMG. Best. Day. Ever! We were there for ten hours and only had one tantrum (in the bathroom stall, thank you Avery.) Everyone had a blast in their own way. It was so so awesome!

This is at the END of the day. It was that good. 
I got each of the kids a notebook to use for autographs, but Syd was the only one who really got into it. She asked a TON of different artists to sign her book and not a single person turned her down. It was incredibly heartening and a definite win for humanity. These artists were so encouraging to her, looking at her own drawings and talking with her about creating art. The first artist she asked traded her for a doodle, and then each artist after that drew something in the book. It's pretty amazing. She's totally inspired and came home to draw her own comic book last night.

Dan Brereton, who also insisted that she keep the Sharpie because "an artist always has a pen!" 

Paolo Rivera

Brianna Garcia. She draws My Little Ponies as people and dinosaurs and it's awesome!

Averson loved all the people in costume. She stopped this girl and asked to take a picture with her :) 
She also did a bit of modeling
Judy Hops!
And OMG. Big Show did not disappoint and made this a perfect birthday gift for the kid. He and C stood in line for pictures and C said it was like Eli had found his people. They totally geeked out on all things WWE. We kept running into them through the day and Eli would jump right back into the conversations. Adults who couldn't stop talking about wrestling. He was in heaven. When we got his picture (and belt and poster) autographed, Big Show was incredibly gracious and chatted him up a bit. He was floating by the time it was over.
Captain Mexico!
So tired 
We were all really excited to go, to the point that I was worried that we'd hyped it up too much. I was also a bit worried that it would be too "out there" and we'd be completely out of our element. It really wasn't though. There were lots of people in costume, but not everyone. We knew enough to be interested and not look like idiots. The artists were definitely the highlight, and they pointed us to some smaller events that are less focused on the vendors so I think we'll hit those up. 

Eli's birthday was really stressing me out because I wanted to make sure it was good. It had started to look like it was going to be a dud, but this was perfect. Plus SO MANY people wished the kid a happy birthday and showered him with attention (and swag). He felt like a celebrity, which is exactly what I was going for. Now we're all trying to learn how to draw and I'm getting obsessed with comic book characters. 
C adding the color to Syd's book. This makes me ridiculously happy. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Catch up

We're going to Comic Con for Eli's birthday tomorrow, so the entire purpose of this post is to get caught up so that tomorrow I can post ridiculously nerdy pictures. Like, SERIOUSLY nerdy. We're not really all that cool at all.

Syd went horseback riding with her old troop to celebrate the cookie season and loved it so much. It made me realize how much I miss dirty boots and the smell of animals. Seriously considering taking riding lessons with her, but that feels a bit too bougie even for us. Also, this is definitively not a pony. She's just very small. And stubborn because the big horses pick on her. Basically a perfect match for Syd. 

We chicken-sat again. Avery's still the only one who will come near the chickens. 

We also "borrowed" their above ground pool

After church camp they leave all the bouncers up for a family wrap up. That's Averson on the right and Syd on the left. No fear. 

And we discovered SnapChat. I can't figure out how it's social media but the filters are pretty fun. My friends all have filters that make them look  even more beautiful. This is the closest I can get. 
In work news, my boss's boss announced that he's stepping down today and I have a lot of feelings about that. It's just started feeling like we're making some major culture progress and he's been a driving force. The options for his replacement are pretty scarce. On top of that, I just realized that somehow I'm one of the most senior supervisors. That feels an awful lot like realizing that your parents are trusting you home alone WAY before you're ready. That makes me a not-so-crazy candidate for the position (which I absolutely do not want). It's all very disorienting. Lottery tickets...

And now we're caught up! Tomorrow we're going to Comic Con and Eli's going to get his picture taken with Big Show. I'll tell you all about what an amazing gift this convention was and show you pictures of Syd in her rainbow unicorn costume and Avery in her turtle girl dress. It's going to be amazing.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

This Little Light of Mine

I unabashedly love the internet. I will defend Facebook and other social media vehemently until I'm still the only one using Facebook because all the cool kids use Snapblog or whatnot. I'm active on the internet and I don't freak out too much about my pictures or my information floating around. Occasionally I make sure that you can't pull up my address using my real name (prison and all), and I do use a pseudonym on this blog. Other than that, I figure I'm just not all that interesting that someone would want to find me. 

All of that is a preface to a really shitty thing that happened. We had posted a short video of one of our kids on-line. It was a totally generic adorable, slightly inappropriate video. Basically our standard fare. C was looking at it one day and noticed that it had a lot of views. Like, a lot a lot of views. And the suggested video below it looked an awful lot like ours. Hmmm.

Turns out, a VERY right leaning organization had taken our video, GROSSLY re-edited it, and was using it to support anti-immigration, pro-he who will not be named, bullshit. (Not linking because, no.) And that shit went viral. Like, hundreds of thousands of views/shares/re-links. It was bad. We immediately pulled the original down and filed copyright complaints, but there really wasn't anything that could be done. The cows were out of the barn. We made a conscious effort to not connect ourselves with it in anyway, and just tried to monitor it's progress, hoping that something else more interesting would come along soon.

I'm not proud of it, but I got a little obsessed with reading all the comments. Can I just say that as much as I love the internet, there are some really, really horrible people out there? This flies in the face of my typical world view and honestly sucks. People were calling for the search and murder of our family. They were suggesting that I should be sterilized, deported, flayed, etc. They called my child vile names and demanded that they be adopted by "good Christians," deported, or even "taken out before they grow up to be terrorists or on welfare." These are thoughts and words that came from people who probably have families and lives and people who love them. 

*I wrote the beginning of this post several days ago. Then I decided that I'd let a bit more time go by before I posted it, since I want to be very, very careful that the shitty video doesn't get connected with anything that could lead back to my family. Then a bunch more stuff happened. This morning, FIFTY people were murdered in Florida. I don't even know all the details yet because I don't have the emotional energy to withstand it. FIFTY. From what I can gather, they were targeted because they were in a gay club. Fifty sons, daughters, parents, siblings, friends who are gone because of really horrible people. 

So I was in church this morning. And I was reflecting on just how crappy the world seems to be. I was probably the only person near tears during a rousing rendition of Amazing Grace. But here's the thing. I am very Susie Sunshine about people's intentions. I genuinely believe that people are doing the best they know. It may be a survival technique given the type of people I'm typically surrounded by, but it's worked for me for a long time. But now I'm also thinking that there seems to be a pretty large contingent of really shitty people. People who are so close minded, or mean, or scared, or whatever, that they forget or choose to ignore basic humanity.  So what does that mean for my people? My world view? How can I possibly continue to assert that people are basically good when there is so much evidence to the contrary?

This thought made me reflect on a conversation that C and I had about the kids' church camp last week. It's a huge event with hundreds of kids singing and responding and dancing. There is so much love and Jesus that it seems overwhelming at times. And some people get nervous about it. They see the responding and the dancing and their minds go to a place of suspicion. C and I were talking that over, and we were reflecting on how redeeming it is to be in a huge group of people that are motivated to reflect love, patience, and acceptance. That's what came back to me as the kids filed onto stage for the church camp wrap-up. As the kids started to clap and sing to a rock version of "This Little Light of Mine" I came back to it. There are some really shitty people in the world. They are small, and mean, and hateful. They may be scared or confused. Or maybe they're just mean. 

But, BUT, there are also hundreds of millions of little lights. People who want to be good and kind and loving. People who understand that regardless of whether we all believe the same things, worship the same gods, or love the same people, we are all in this together. And our light? Our light stands a chance of going up against all the darkness. We can reflect all those things that we need to see in order to continue walking out in the world and seeing the sun. 

So. I'm going to keep being Susie Sunshine, even when it seems so much easier not to. I'm going to make sure that my kids know and show love and kindness to themselves and others. I'm going to remember the Fred Rogers quote about looking for the helpers. I'm going to make it my own personal mission to inspire people to be happy and joyful. And I'm not going to stop doing the things that motivate me to do that. Let the self-aggrandizing blog posts and slightly inappropriate but ultimately adorable videos recommence! 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Thrift Store Score

Syd and I stopped at the Goodwill the other day to kill some time during Eli's wrestling practice. I've been on the hunt for little figurines to paint (to fill the whole left by my tragic silent auction loss.) We found a ton, including these two adorable little pigs. C has a schtick about wanting a pig that can sit, so this little black one was perfect! The white one was cute and I thought I might paint it pink for the girls' room.

Then I took them out to show C and realized that this is the single greatest thing I've ever bought at a thrift store. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Schools out for summer!

Is it just me, or does Eli seem like he's grown the most? 

She totally wore the same dress on purpose

His outfit should be called "My parents are done arguing with me" 
 I can't stop singing the song "School's Out" by Alice Cooper, which turns out to not be appropriate even a little bit. Really helping my reputation at the school. Syd was pretty upset about school getting out. Eli notsomuch. Luckily I bought them both bridging workbooks for summer and Syd's teacher hooked me up with about a million handwriting worksheets, so the fun never has to end!

I managed to get out of work for a quick run to the school for Sydney's "graduation." She was surprised, which won me Best Parent status for nearly a full hour. Then C was back in the lead. He's killing it lately. Eli got literally teary-eyed thanking him for all of his support and help this year. Hand to God. Also, C let them have Hawaiian ice for dinner. I really can't win.
Celebratory Hawaiian ice