The girl ones have all the feels.

“HEY! Stop doing that!”

“WHAT?? I didn’t DO anything!!”

“JUST DON’T TOUCH MY STUFF!”

“OH, so you HATE me? Are you saying you HATE me?”

“I didn’t SAY that!!”

“Yes you DID! You said you wish I was DEAD!”

“I just want to be alone for a minute!!!”

“FINE. YOU WISH I DIDN’T EVEN LIVE HERE. YOU WISH I WAS DEAD!”

“JUST LEAVE ME ALONE FOR A MINUTE! I JUST WANT YOU TO LEAVE ME ALONE FOR A MINUTE!!”

They are female. Their ages are 6 and 7. And there is like, zero percent chance I’m surviving their teenage years.

As a kid, I’m not sure I really learned how to fight. I learned how to block my 3-years-younger brother’s oncoming windmill swings when I’d finally said the thing that made him go insane. But I didn’t learn to hit. I didn’t learn retort. Like once, younger brother called me Tubby. I called him Tubby back. He cried for an hour. Needless to say, we were not a hearty, independent bunch.

But really, I’ve always been mostly against the fighting. In fact, I’ve always maintained this very feminist-y, “women are better at conflict resolution and men are boorish brainless punching machines” theory on life. I mean, I’ve never personally felt the need to punch a person. And actually yes, I’ve been punched. A couple of times. It’s possible I have one of those faces you just wanna punch. But I use my words. Like a big girl. Like a grown up.

I am not ripping this off.
CUT TO: Now, I have this set of 2 girls. And this set of 2 boys. The girls use their words. Like razor sharp, double edged knives, they use the words. And the boys, they hit each other. They throw things. Or like, actually punch each other in the face. And, I don’t know. I’m starting to feel like maybe the boys are onto something.

I am not ripping this off.
So I’ve got this idea. It’s called Fight Club. No wait, that sounds like something I’ve heard before. I’m not getting sued today, my friends. So yeah. It’s called… Punch Town.  And what happens is, if any 2 of the kids have a dispute that they’ve decided they can’t talk it out like non-monster things, they go into a room we’ll call the heptagon (because different. Because not gettin’ sued today.) And they just go. No pinching, no pulling, no objects, no kicking. Because forget it Jake, it’s Punch Town. And they punch until, I don’t know. Victory has been declared.
I am not ripping this off.



And I will accept the results of the battle.

Because I will do anything to stop the screaming. Please. Stop. The screaming.



This January is the best January of all the Januarys.

So January snuck up and became like, my favorite month in the history of the universe. Which is crazy, because nobody expects that from a January. But there it is. January 2017 is my cold gray month of ultimate happiness. Let’s review what has happened thus far.

    1-    I’ve already lost almost 9 pounds.
I mean, not a bad start, yeah? Okay so for fairness sake, I’ll admit the super gross fact that I started January at my highest non-pregnancy related weight since the first time I started losing weight, back in 2010.  I started January at 167.1, when my highest healthy weight based on BMI is 155.*  So I’ve still got some way to go, but I’m pretty sure I have never IN MY ENTIRE LIFE  lost 9 pounds in one month. Including months wherein I birthed an 8 pound child. Somehow, that never seemed to work out. Go Atkins. You deserve a medal.

    2-    Husband finished his first novel.
This is a fun for me, because, as I am the person who lives in his house, I am the one who gets to read his chapters the moment they’re finished. And he started this book in like September, so I am very happy to have come to the conclusion of their story. Even though it made me cry. Which made me feel dumb because I hate crying. Which made husband dance around like a leprechaun that he used words to make me have feelings I didn’t want to have. OH LIKE THAT’S SO HARD, GEEZ.

When we first met and I learned he was a writer, I was… not a happy person. It meant there was something else that might impact my ability to like or respect him. I mean, if he wanted to be a writer and he was, say, really bad at it, or even just blandly mediocre at it, I couldn’t see how I could manage to spend my whole life with him. I’m not that good at patronizing. And most jobs wouldn’t cause that. If he wanted to be a teacher, or a… I don’t know, marketing director, he would just need to be good enough at his job to keep bringing home a paycheck. But to spend my whole life stroking the ego of some delicate artiste? Um thanks I’d rather not. Turns out, praise the almighty Jebus**, he’s actually a super talented writer. And his ego can totally handle criticism when it comes. So my life is not a tortured one.

    3-    I paid off my Master’s Degree!
Unfortunately this does not mean that we are completely out of debt, but it means we are down to the last one, which is big, which is Biola, and seeing as we are renewing our commitment to hard cold budgeting, I’m hoping to see DEBT FREE show up as soon as possible. 

    4-    Our New Addition becomes a PERMANENT Addition on February 9!
Sure, it’s in February. But we finally got the news about it yesterday, which was January, and I’m thinking this just means February might be AN EVEN MORE AWESOME MONTH. Man, 2017 is the BEST.

Anyhoosit, after such a long wait, such a long period of being given dates, and then seeing those dates pass by without a returned phone call, with nothing but crickets, we finally FINALLY have the court date for the finalization of our adoption. Which is like, amazing. I can’t believe it’s here. 2 years ago I met her. 2 years ago I texted my husband saying I just met our new daughter. Aaaand some people figured I’d lost my mind. Granted, I probably sounded crazy. But now she’s been living with us for 18 months, and on February  9, she becomes officially ours. SO WHO’S CRAZY NOW?!? HA. Do not doubt when Jesus tells me things. Because he does, and I was right. Just like in the Bible.
Rock on, January. Rock. The heck. ON.

Now I know a good portion of the world is screaming and protesting and expecting the apocalypse, and sure, this is a time of, shall we say, Limited Civil Discourse. I know it feels bad and gross outside, and that it seems like all the humans hate all the other humans. But an older and wiser woman than myself once told me something that I’ve been thinking a lot about now. She said she used to be obsessed with politics. She watched all the different cable news channels, and sometimes just because she thought they were morons, and she wanted to hear what the morons had to say. And then in her fifties she realized: None of this was helping her life. None of this was pushing her to become a better person. None of this helped her family, or her job, or her friends. So she turned off the news. She ignored the politics. She focused on what she could control in life, and did her best at that. And I’m thinking now in my older and wiser 30s, that maybe she was onto something. Don’t watch the news. Don’t click on the post. Ignore it until the media realizes we don’t want to read about constant hatred and name calling all day every day. And maybe, if we can show them we’ve stopped caring, people will stop the doing.

I mean, or whatever. That’s my plan. But my month is rocking the freakin HOUSE, so what do I know.

Peace out friends, happy happy happy Friday!!

*I'm sorry. I like numbers. I like calculations and percentages. I getting excited about doing taxes, just because it's like, a fun look at how our year went. Because it takes a Weirdo to raise a Weirdo.

**Simpsons, guys, chill. I only praise the real Jesus when I don’t have my tongue pressed into my cheek.

What I learned when I got locked out of the bathroom.

As many of you already know, the most interesting thing on the internet today was that my sons chose to permanently lock us out of the bathroom. Which was coooooool.

But if you weren’t one of the thousands (seriously guys, thousands. THOUSANDS? Wow. I should have worn make up. I should have... been better at editing videos. Ferreals. I did not think this through.) then please feel free to check out the Facebook page

First, I want to give like, 90 seconds of background information to the bathroom sitch. 90 seconds before I found the bathroom was locked for ever, I was lying in bed, starting to wake up to the sounds of my children playing. When suddenly, my 2nd eldest ran into my room, SCREAMING BLOODING FRACKING MURDER.

"MOMMY!! MOMMY!! (Eldest Child) JUST STEPPED ON GLASS!"
Okay, I'm awake, half out of bed, and very attentive.
"SHE HAS A TINY RED DOT, AND I THINK IT'S GOING TO BLEED ANY MINUTE!!!"
Aaaaaaaand there you go. I got scream-woke because my 6 year old can't tell the difference between the worlds tiniest poke in the foot, and beheading by guillotine. So I tried to explain.
"This. Is not. Something we scream about." She heard me, and ran out of the room. As I got up, stretched and made my way over, I hear:
"(Eldest Child)! MOMMY SAYS SHE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOU!"

Which... what? Good grief, tiny humans. Can some things ever register as like, a 3 on your panic scale? I'm not saying it's a zero, but maaaaaybe a microscopic dot of pre-blood doesn't warrant a trip to the ER? Anyway, it's been a year and a half and this child is still at an 11. 

So can I say? I was grumpy. I was grumpy for being screamed at, and grumpy for the general sense of panic over nothing, and then for overhearing screamed gossip about my lack of maternal warmth and concern. (And by the way, I checked the foot. The foot was fine.)

But I was grumpy. I left the foot and noticed the bathroom light was on, and when I went to very ineffectually open the door, I was told, nonchalantly, "Oh yeah. The boys did that. Now we can't open it."

I fiddled with it. I stood for a good long time, just staring at it. I. Was. Grumpy.

Then my husband comes up and says, "you should make a video. People will think this is hilarious." And I thought he was high. Because this is not funny. This really sucks, and my Monday is off to a kind of epically bad start. But then I drank the coffee and saw his point, and got my mood all adjusted. 

Which is good too, because through this saga, I learned a few things.

1) I have an impenetrable safe room in my house. 
Like, I am definitely not worried about home invasion any more. If our house is ever broken into, we shall huddle in the middle of the bathroom tub, and open one freaking drawer. And unless our invader is Jack Nicholson with his axe, we are safe forever and ever and ever.

2) Some of you people are just terrifying. 
I am not joking, guys. Because for every comment that was like, "oh that's so funny!" or "Maybe you should go in through the window!"* There were just of many of you who jumped right to "GET A CHAINSAW" or "YOU SHOULD DESTROY EVERYTHING AND JUST START YOUR WHOLE LIFE OVER" or "I WANT TO LIGHT A MATCH AND WATCH THE WORLD BURN". And... Gulp. Some of you may need to get your hands on some of those nice little mood stabilizing pills. Because wow.

3) All women want to sacrifice their husbands. And they mostly want it to make sure it hurts.
Multiple humans actually volunteered to send your husband's over to fix our problem. Multiple. It was incredibly sweet.** Many of you are amazingly kindhearted people. Still more of you indicated that your husbands would have a handle on how it should be fixed. Those women seemed really proud of their highly capable spouses. Which is really nice, I think.

But some of you, I dunno, some of you just seemed to want to watch your husband's get hurt. I heard from a lot of ladies who desperately wanted their husbands to bash their fleshy bodies up against locked doors in order to, I'm assuming, either murder said husbands, or prove the husbands' unassailable manlinesses. Either way, it's a touch creepy, my friends. I mean, we have like, tools available to us. No one needs to bleed, guys. Just relax a little.

Oh, and if somehow you're still curious how this whole mess ended, well, to sum up:

Alrighty folks. The kids are down for rest, and I think I'm going to go celebrate our having access to the bathroom by... I dunno probably cleaning said bathroom. Cheers and happy Tuesday to all!

*No windows. No windows. I can't express this strongly enough. The room. Has. No. Windows.
**Someone here wanted it to be indicated that this house already HAS a husband, and is not currently in the market, thanksverymuch. I will just let that one be.

I went to the grocery store. And I lived to tell about it.

Today, I was forced to take my children. 
To the grocery store. 
By myself. 

I know. It was horrible. I like, just barely survived at all. To begin with, have I mentioned that I have four children? Four children is not outnumbered. Four children is like, some "This is Sparta" level insanity. You get into the store, and the oldest one walks ahead, zero regard for what you're doing. And the littlest one trails waaaaay behind because he can't be bothered to walk at any kind of reasonable pace, plus he's busy with the Valentine's Day themed lip gloss he got from McDonald's, thank you very much. And the middle two can't follow simple directions, like, "Pleast stop touching everything you see," and "Get off the cart. For heaven's sake, please stay off the cart. I just told you to get off the cart. 5 minutes ago you fell off the cart. Why can you not just stay off the cart. Can you not hear me when I say stay off the cart? This is why you keep getting hurt by the cart."

We finally make it to the seven mile long checkout line, and then we have the same interaction I've been having now for 17 months, in every line at every establishment I have attended with my children.  Someone freaks out about how many kids I have. Or how many groceries I have to buy. And they want to know the kids ages, and to ask once more if they're "all mine". (My grandmother raised twice as many children as I am. I can't even comprehend.) And then they tell me how cute the boys are (because the girls have aged out of cute, and are now "just kids"). And then, without ceasing*, they tell me how adorable and well-behaved my children are. 

And I'm like...
...
...

No words. Zero words at all. Like thank you? would probably make sense right now but... no words. Because let's be clear. I just spent an hour saying  stop touching that, and stay by me, sorry excuse us, and stop crawling on the ground, pardon us, and get off the cart, and get out of that guys way, I'm so very sorry sir, and no we don't need that, and no we're not buying toys we're here for food, and stay off that display, sorry everyone sorry sorry, and no we don't need wheatgrass stop touching the wheatgrass, and watch out, get out of that lady's way, excuse us Ma'am I'm really sorry, and put the chocolate back, excuse us, and put that back you don't even know what it is, and for heavens sake stay off the cart.

::Breathe. Breathe::

This response, even though I've heard it enough to expect it, enough that I could have predicted the exact moment she was going to smile down and call my children well-behaved, it still floored me. Because I'm sorry, obviously I'm raising 2 monkeys, a hyena, and a recently escaped mental patient. Not well behaved children. Not. Just no.
Hello! We are the boys. And we have NEVER been well behaved.
But it made me think. WHY in heaven's name do people think that? Why does every checker at every store, or most anyone in any location (except again for the stick-up-her-behind librarian) think my children are well behaved, when I feel like I'm juggling raw eggs and dropping each one on my head? And then, I think I realized it:

IT'S BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE I'M JUGGLING RAW EGGS AND DROPPING EACH ONE ON MY HEAD.
Also, we REALLY hate these overalls mom makes us wear!




Now let me start by saying that I don't know what I'm doing, and I don't think I know what I'm doing and I'm not trying to convey parenting advice here, because I was trained in Autism, not in Two Monkeys a Hyena and an Escaped Mental Patient. I. AM. LEARNING. But I think the thing I learned today is that, my stress level sets a standard with the Weirdos. I am straight up terrified of them burning down the grocery store. When one kid gets extra handsy, I snap into crazy mommy mode. Then I repeat that action about every 30 seconds for an hour. And I think, that my crazy, my intense, exhausting vigilance, helps me to save the rest of the world from the madness I'm surrounded by. No one got lost. No one threw a tantrum. No one hit anyone else. No one broke anything. Well. Behaved. Children.

So there it is. The definitive secret to parenting success. Be crazy ass crazy at your children and apologize to the world constantly. And for those of you who are in these same trenches? GOOD JOB. Guys, I totally think our crazy is working. Probably.

Oh and also? I do not buy my kids treats at the grocery store. Because it's dumb. They didn't earn a snack. I EARNED a snack, and I don't get a snack. I mean, best case scenario, I'll buy them the expensive, aquatic vertebrate shaped crackers** if they've reduced the frequency of my need to go insane. And because I love them blah blah blah.


But they're not doing me a favor. I'm doing them a favor. I worked to make money, now I'm using that money to make sure they can eat on a regular basis. You're welcome, kids. And stop touching things.

At the end of our trip, just as we pulled up to the registered, New Addition took a deep sigh and screwed a very serious look onto her face.

"Mom. (Intense, superserious pause.) I am not asking you for one of those balloons." Looks up slowly at me out of the corner of her eye.

 I mean, baby steps. Right?


*except for this one time in the library when my then 2-year-old ran to find me and the elderly librarian had a massive coronary at our general misconduct. Which was mostly RIDICULOUS because since I homeschool the kids, we go during the school day, and the only other people in the entire building were like 3 librarians and 5 homeless guys. And really, 2 year olds have super short legs. It's not like he was trying to be disruptive, he just wanted to show me a book. Hashtag get over yourself you insane librarian.

**Today was a Cheese Nips kinda day.

They're waaatching yoooou.....

THE FIRST THING
This afternoon I stood at the kitchen counter making my 3-year-old son a sandwich, while he sat at the table behind me.

“Hey Mommy. I see you butt. Is right there.”

I turned and looked. He was, in fact, staring and pointing. At my butt.

“I can see it. Its you butt. Is right there.”

I turned back to the sandwich.

“… You have a butt.”

That's right. Mommy. Got. Back.
He said it with no mirth, no sense of amusement. He wasn’t trying to be gross or weird. He just…. noticed that his mother had a butt. And so I fought every urge I had to break out into a twerky rendition of “Baby got Back”, and just answered him in kind.

“Yep, that’s right. You found Mommy’s butt.”

One of the things with parenting, is that the kids like, stare at you. Like, they stare at you all of the time. It’s violating. It’s creepy. And I’d like to say that sure, this is how kids learn new things about life, love, communication, social interaction, appropriate ways of behaving oneself and handling various situations, but sometimes, sometimes it’s just my 3-year-old staring at my derrière.

THE SECOND THING
Of course, I know that they are also learning things by watching us. My son learned that pushing-middle-aged-women can have ample backsides.  They are learning all about us and in doing so, learning about themselves. As an example…

A few months back, New Addition (real name to come) brought her 6-year-old self up to me while I was getting ready for work one afternoon.

“Mommy, when I grow up and get big, am I going to have those things in front like you do?”  (Creepy, right? …No?)

“… are you asking if you’re going to have boobs?”

“No! I mean those things on your face!”

I looked up into the mirror. Yeah, I guess I can see it, my age is definitely showing these days.

“You mean, wrinkles?”

“NO! I mean those hairs that come down in front of your face! Am I going to get THOSE when I’m a grown up?”

Bangs. It was bangs. See, her previous foster mother also had bangs, and she’d decided this was the state of all adult female hair. And by the way, if those questions didn’t bring you on the exact same crazy trail that they brought me on, then you are a liar, and OF COURSE the first thing you thought was boobs. Come on now. This is a place for honesty.

THE LAST THING
Thankfully, sometimes when the kids watch you, it’s not just your butt, or those bangs you grew to hide your wrinkles that they’re staring at. Sometimes it is far worse things. But what could be worse than my butt, you ask? And the answer is pretty much anything because MYBUTTISAMAZINGTHANKYOUVERYMUCH.

Ehem. I digress.

A few weeks ago, Husband and I decided enough months had passed, and it was time for one of our bi-annual fights. You know, what with all the snapping and the arguing and the crying (on my part, of course, Husband hasn’t cried since the Nixon administration). I don’t even completely remember what the fight was about, some kind of miscommunication leading to defensiveness and hurted feelings, but I’m better now and I don’t really care.

Anyway, somewhere about halfway through our little tete-a-tete , I noticed something. Rather, 8 somethings.  4 little sets of eyes, peeking out from behind every door down the hallway. And all staring directly at us.

They crept closer. They snuck right up to where the hallway opens up to the main living space, which we were, at the time, using as our own personal Octagon. Personal Insult! Unfounded Accusation! Desperate Assessment of our Entire Relationship up to this Point! BAM!! WHAP!! THONK!!

And through it all, I began to notice some little whispers.
“Hey you guys, I think they’re FIGHTING.”
“Yeah, DEY FIGHTING!”
“You guys, you guys, I THINK THEY’RE GETTING A DIVORCE!”

Okay, so that last one caught my attention.

I time-outed the fight and looked over at the offspring. I expected to find huddled together in fear about the instability of their future. I expected tear filled eyes, kids gripped by worry about the state of their parents and their family. Instead, I found them huddled together, with looks of exhilarated, unadulterated intrigue gleaming on their faces. Right.

See, the thing is, we don’t let them watch The Bachelor yet. The only soap opera style drama they get in their lives is from the rare (rare-ish?) emotional outbursts of their overly exhausted parents. And this was the freakin event of the year. They should have made popcorn.

So yeah… sometimes they are watching you to learn. Probably a lot, I’d guess. But sometimes, sometimes it seems they are also watching you because as it turns out, there’s just nothing good on TV.

THE EYES ARE WATCHING. ALWAYS WATCHING.
Power on, friends. And, ya know, keep the show interesting.

Going all old school. Cuz I'm a old fool. Who's so cool.

This year, I’m committing to BE MORE HIPSTER, which means to me that I’m going to learn to appreciate things that were super popular some years back, but have subsequently fallen out of vogue.

Por ejemplo, I have just recently learned to Whip Nae Nae. You should watch me, watch me. I also tried that Harlem Shake thing, but the children thought I had a medical condition that would cause them to have to disown me. So I suppose that might have to be a 2018 thing.

Not only have I resolved to increase my hipsterocity, I have also resolved to decrease my body size. Because it is January, and I am a woman, and that is what we do.  But because of the hipster thing, the answer to weight loss was pretty obvious: the 2017 diet is for to being ATKINS.  Because necessary.

I remember first learning about this diet, and like the rest of the known world I thought 1, how can eating that much protein and fat be okay, and 2, I cannot and willnot and shantnot live without bread, thank you very much.

But this year is the year of Liking Previously Popular Things (have you heard of that Joni Mitchell lady? She really sings all the feels) and so ATKINS IT IS!

So real quick here, have any of you actually like, looked into Atkins? Basically the rules are like, No Fruit, but then eat all the salami and mayonnaise you want. Plus cheese.  It’s like the diet was created by some portly fella who looked in the mirror and thought, “Well… it’s nothing bacon can’t solve.”

Which makes it kind of an obvious diet, really. No wonder millions of people have tried. I’m pretty sure I could get the entire known universe involved if I wrote the one diet in the history of mankind that allowed you to eat bacon wrapped in bacon with bacon sauce for 3 meals a day. Allows you? Nay. ENCOURAGES you.

So yes. I’m on the bacon diet.

It is going swimmingly.

Well, it is going bacon-ly.

I have eaten more bacon in the past 2 weeks than I ate in the entirety of 2016. And here’s the real shock. I’m 15 days in, and it seems I’ve actually lost some weight. With bacon. Somewhere around 3-6 pounds since day one, depending on the moment, but overall, down is down. And the measurements are inching their way to better as well.

And if losing weight can mean eating delicious eggs and sausage for breakfast, and roast and vegetables for dinner, and slices of salami whenever I am in deep need of snacks, then, as it turns out, I will be capable of losing weight.

I am also, of course, trying to exercise occasionally. Albeit, not EVERY day, because let’s not go crazy here. Baby steps to losing 30 pounds. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and I always thought marathons sounded much more achievable if they were walked. With breaks. And like, naps.

Also? Let’s be honest. I greatly dislike exercise. Greatly. My preferred hobbies look more like: 

Ha! A Book! Who still does that?!?
Hipsters. That's who.

















Or:
This was popular back in 1980 something.

And not so much with the physical exercise, "ooh, check out my sexy abs and my ludicrously attractive behind in my yoga pants". Cuz psh. All sounds pretty lame, if you ask me.

Feeling sexy cuz of all the sweet club dancing.
Shake that thang.
So now, since I am the hating of exercise, I found an exercise which claims to be “The end of exercise”. Which is great, except that it’s just called Cize, which is basically, just the end part of the word exercise, and I feel like I’ve been tricked somehow. But anyway, it is just a bunch of outlandish dance moves that cause my children to laugh at me and whisper from across the room.  But, I am moving. And probably, getting pretty sexy all at the same time.

So happy mid January, Most-People-Give-Up-Their-Resolutions-But-Mine-Has-Bacon-So-I’m-Good Week! I’ll keep you updated on the diet. If this doesn’t work, I’m afraid it’s back to grapefruits and cottage cheese, the original OG diet solution.





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