Wednesday, August 17, 2016

First Day of School

It's finally here. It's been a bit of a rough one for me. Having him gone for 7 hours most days is just so much. I get to pick him up in a little over an hour and hopefully hear how great it was. He blew kisses at his brother and me for almost a full minute as we dropped him off. So sweet.

Monday, January 18, 2016

How to be an advocate for change

Ever since I was little, I've often fantasized about living in the pre-civil war era in the USA just so that I could be the voice of reason among people who didn't seem to know the first thing about human rights. But the more I learn about history as well as the things currently going on, the more I realize that my voice would likely not have made one bit of a difference. I would have just been one more person that, because of the situation I was raised in, was not dependent on slaves for my livelihood or standard of living and could therefor easily see it for the travesty it was.

But. For the sake of argument, if I somehow could go back, maybe, just maybe I could use my social graces to change some minds. Based off of how I handle current ethically problematic commonplace practices, I think it would go a little something like this:

That actually played out even better than I was picturing. I really nailed it talking with that redhead lady and getting her to turn her horribleness around. And that whole comic really highlighted my amazing typography skills. But really. How do you stand up against all the commonplace atrocities being committed around us every day without just alienating everyone around you? Because, if you pay attention at least, many of  our small daily choices make us directly complicit in the suffering of other humans and animals.  How do you convince yourself that there is any point in caring about any of it when making a real difference seems so impossible? Do you just try to not be awful to those closest to you and call it a day? I sure wish I had some halfway decent answers.

But. For now, I guess I'll keep periodically saying foolish things that alienate most of my friends and family. I'll do it for the exploited people in the third world. And the non-human animals everywhere. It's the least I can do.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Skeletons, notes, and sort-of-snow

Bitties has been saying the cutest things lately. He's always telling me that he loves me followed by a big hug and then a kiss on the shoulder (because he only kisses fabric).
 Here's one of my favorite things he's said lately:
"Mom, I know you love me but I need to go to bed!" (he did not actually go to bed but I appreciated the sentiment)

"Mom, I like bedtime because it's so cozy" Said at lunchtime while hugging himself tightly and wiggling from side to side)

Speaking of skeletons, that boy sure is obsessed. I've made a book of skeletons for him that's full of a combination of drawings and skeletons printed from the computer for him to color. We've really managed to create some masterpieces together:

Incidentally, you may be wondering if he's suffering from sleeping problems and/or nightmares. All I can say is...not yet. I guess we'll see how this all pans out in the long run with some hindsight. And I'll have you know that the creepy tongue in the picture below was completely his idea. He coached me through the whole thing.

There was a skeleton I'd printed from the computer that looked too sad and it was upsetting him. He kept saying that we needed to make him happy so I drew a new head and glued it over the old one. Now the skeleton looks like he's nonchalantly explaining something. Cracks me up. Bitties is very pleased with the outcome.

Bears has taken to creating drawings for me, folding and taping them up, writing "TO MOM" on them, and sliding them under the door whenever I'm in the bathroom. The drawings pretty much always featured him and me hanging out but since Bitties started wondering where he was in these pictures, Bears has taken to adding him to the pictures too. In the big picture below, he tells me that I'm covering my eyes because he's made a surprise picnic for me. Pretty adorable.

A couple of times now, Bitties has wanted to bundled tightly in his blankets with his kitties "tucked safely in my tummy" he says. I think he gets it from me telling him that I want to put him back in my tummy, something that my mom always used to say to me when I was little. I guess it sounds kind of creepy now that I'm writing it out but I sure liked it as a kid and they seem to as well. Here he is fast asleep with his kitties bundled safe and sound:

Bears has been pretty into a character called the Ping Pong Bandit. It's serious business.

It...sort of snowed the other day and the kids insisted on playing in it. There wasn't enough to really do anything so they spent most of their time sneaking slush right off the grass when they thought I wasn't looking.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


It's been a while so I thought I'd post really quickly on some important events. First off, and to ward off any concerns,  I'd like to say that Locke's costume game is still pretty impressive:

 This picture perfectly summarizes Bitties' personality to me. It's got everything he loves most: his kitties, skeleton costume, snacks, and spooky reading material (Spooky Old Tree, in case anyone's thinking of adding to their library).
He's...pretty into skeletons these days:

This is the only outfit that Fox wanted to wear for the entire summer and let me tell you--summer 2015 was glorious. I'm sure that it was mostly because of this costume. He'd even insist on wearing it when we were out hiking and would give frights to all the hikers that crossed our path.

There was that time that they both got soap in their eyes and loved it...

...that time that we realized that dying your hands is much cooler than the easter eggs we'd originally intended...

...that time that I helped them draw their "favorite feelings" on balloons. This was followed by a balloon battle to the death (Happy Face won but it was dirty play because Fox employed a full body launch from the couch onto Super-maddest-in-the-world-Face)

...and that time that we had the spookiest Spook party with some cute cousins and family:

This picture depicts up each of their personalities really well:

Real kitty photobomb

Fox still sleeps cuddled up to both his kitties every night.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Flirting With Death

Like always, there's a fair amount of construction going on the freeway by our house these days. It makes me nervous because in these zones, they do away with the usual emergency pull out lanes because there's no space for them (I guess?) so there's nowhere to swerve if things get ugly. There were a lot of trucks on the freeway today as I made my way home with the boys. It was so unnerving being sandwiched between a semi and a concrete wall that I became convinced several times that the trucks were about to move into my lane and I kept flooring the gas to get ahead of them. Finally, it occurred to me that I could just go into the fast lane if I wanted to stop stressing about being smashed by a semi since they're not even legally allowed to enter that lane.

We were getting close to the end of the construction zone when the semi truck to the right of me started merging into my super-safe-from-giant-trucks lane. No worries, there's well over 1 foot of buffer room that I can veer left into so I move as close to the wall as I can, careening through blown-out tires and flooring the gas, hoping to get ahead of him in time. But I can see that it's not gonna cut it--it's close but we won't quite clear the front of his cab. So I did the only thing that I could think to do...and really, as anyone who frequently hangs out with me knows, it was the only thing that I was ever going to do in a situation like this. It was almost as if all my life had been preparing me for this moment: I let out a wild, "eeeeEEEEEEeeeeEEEEEeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!" And just like that, the foot to the left of my lane expanded into five feet and it was just enough to make the difference and we hurled through the death trap untouched. The boys were laughing and begging me to do it again. I looked in my rear view mirror just as the driver managed to over correct, fishtail for a while, and finally get it together without killing anyone.

After we were in front of the truck, it occurred to me that I should try to get the number on the back of the truck so I could call the company and inform them that one of their drivers seems to be taking a page from the stylings of a pinball machine. I moved to the right lane and slowed down, waiting for the truck to pass but it kept slowing down with me and after we cleared the construction zone, he pulled over onto the side of the road so I pulled over just in front of him. Prepared to give him a piece of my mind and take down his information, I grabbed the only useful things available to write with: half of a blue crayon and a Halloween coloring book. I must have made an intimidating sight because as soon as the driver saw me, he burst into tears and could only muster, "sorry, sorry..." while wrapping me up in a bear hug. Eventually, he told me that there must be something wrong with the vehicle because it just started veering left, that he had been really scared, and was now gonna head straight to the shop. I mumbled something along the lines of, "'d better...that was not a safe thing you had going on there...what with almost killing us and all..." Not quite the hard ass lecture I'd planned. He started crying and hugging me again, this time giving my shoulder a kiss which was every bit as sweet as it was unnerving. Well. Maybe more on the unnerving side. But still sweet. I think.

We parted ways after that and I didn't get any information. Partly because I just couldn't wait to get home and because leaving my kids on the side of the freeway so that I could take the precarious walk to the back of his truck sounded really unappealing. I really do hope that it was just a problem with the truck and that he's able to get it fixed. And I'm more excited than ever for us to reach the point where the norm is for cars to drive themselves. Because as fond as most people are of being in total denial of this fact, basically all of us are terrible drivers. 

So it seems like I should feel...I don't know...different after almost dying along with my babies. But I just mostly felt hungry. As soon as we got back, I ate a big sandwich while reflecting on the incident. The main thing that stands out is the confirmation that my last words really will likely be some sort of unintelligible squeaky shriek. And also I keep feeling the urge to quote Syrio Forel, "What do we say to the god of death?
Not today."

Yup. Luckily.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Videos and misc pictures

 I have hundreds of random pictures in my computer that I never managed to put into posts and I figured that now is as good a time as any to start putting some of them up. Here's Bears and Papa opening up a few presents on Christmas Eve.

 This is how Bitties likes to camp out to read, play games, etc.

 Dusting with the fly swatter. This was a real life saver for me that day.

 After Christmas season was long over and I look down the tree, I found this tree top set up in Locke's room...I guess he wasn't quite ready to be finished with the holidays.

 Bitties dressed up as Mr. Rogers and saying, "No...not Mister Rogers, I the neighbor. Won't you be my neighbor?"

 Tanya sent a picture of an amazing Darth Vader tree and when Locke saw it, he realized that we had to make our own.
I never get bored of our view.

Ryan made a couple videos of the kids that turned out to be pretty epic, if you ask me.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Now You're Just Somebody That I Used To Know!

I had some work to do in the boys' bedroom, which meant that I couldn't make use of their sleeping hours to work like I usually do. It seemed like a good idea (obviously) to employ Locke's help with distracting Fox. They both went to the room across the hall and I was half listening to them playing while working on my project. When things got suspiciously quiet, I decided to check on them. As soon as he saw me, Fox started singing, "now you just somebody that I used to know!" and Locke chimes in with, "somebodeeeee!!" Apparently, they were trying to reenact their favorite music video which features two people who have shapes painted all over themselves to blend in with the shape-painted wall behind them.

 Naturally, I was just embarrassed for them and realized that I had to show them how to do it properly. It was clear that we all needed to paint an entire wall of their play room with shapes first so that we didn't look like total idiots. And then we really made this happen:

 We even made our own version of the music video and I couldn't have dreamed that it would turn out so well.

Shockingly good stuff right there. Just shocking.

Here is a later attempt at Somebody That I Used To Know paint by Locke. He really nailed it this time.

Bitties just being generally mischievous:

And this one time that I baked a pot pie. I am so domestic.

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