Win in Rome…

Is there ever a point in your parental life when you pick your kids up from school and you actually find out what the hell happened that day?  I hope so, because I’m not there yet.

Felix will usually tell me some things about his day, but it tends to be a melange of reality and Teen Titans Go.  I get angry stories  told in his hissing voice about bad boys and jail and stuff like that.  I don’t know.  Whatever.  He’ll tell me that he played with PJ or Hatch.  I can tell what he had for lunch based on food stains, and I can sometimes tell if he did art.  He usually doesn’t, as he’d rather build shit out of the art supplies vs actually draw or paint with them.

Stella is her own special enigma.  I ask loads of questions:  Who did you play with today?  What did you do? Did anyone make you laugh?  Did you have to run laps today?  Was it an A day?  I  get some information.  Sometimes she’ll tell me she played with so-and-so and sometimes she’ll say she just hung out by  herself because she wanted some quiet.  She is pretty good about telling me how many laps she had to run – which I appreciate, by the way, as this means her awesome teacher recognizes that taking recess time away from kids is bullshit.  She’s usually totally aware of whether it was an A day or not.  But what I think is the easiest question, “what did you do today,” is the most vexing.  More often than not she answers “I don’t know.”

What the hell?  Did the bodysnatchers get her?  How can she not remember ANYTHING about her activities?  Did she sing?  Did she draw?  Did she play on computers?   Sometimes the contents of her book-bag give me hints – worksheets and the like.  Yesterday I got a surprise.

As I mentioned before, it’s been Wildlife Warrior Week at her school.  There was a free dress day if you made a small donation, plus games, the mask contest, and a “trading post,” whereby you could send your kid to school with a few bucks and they could buy cheap crap.  The winner(s) of the mask contest were supposed to win trading post gift certificates.  Well, when I didn’t see anything come home Wednesday night after the supposed contest judging (and I’ll admit, I was pretty bummed Zsa Zsa Gator didn’t win something), I went ahead and put $4 in an envelope in her binder for school.

When I picked her up, she was all smiles, and had a huge bag of loot.  There were 2 small stuffed animals, a plastic necklace, stickers….  Way more than my measly $4 would have bought, even in the genre of cheap plastic crap.  I asked her “Did the mask win?!”  She replied she didn’t know.  That she had lost her money and someone gave her money.  What?  They called her name and someone gave her $10 to spend.  When we got home I checked her binder.  Her/my $4 was still there.

I can only surmise that we did win.  Hot damn.  But don’t you think that’s the kind of thing a kid would want to tell their parents about?!

This also doesn’t do much for my state of mind. I don’t think I should’ve ever mentioned out loud that I wanted to quit work and become a PTA mom. I’ve tasted blood.   I could be making all kinds of winning things but no…..  I have to got to stupid work.

Y’all have a good weekend.  We’re finally out to have some Halloween fun!

Vexing little creeps.

Vexing little creeps.

Oh Pay Can You See

I’m sure you’ve all seen those memes or spreadsheets  floating around showing what moms should be paid based on them doing the duties of housekeeper, laundress, CFO, physician’s assistant/nurse, chef, and about a dozen other professions, breaking it down into an hourly then yearly wage.  It usually ends up being a staggering figure, like $500 K a year.  I’ve always had mixed feelings about that.  On one hand, I signed up for the mom gig.  I love my kids more than anything.  Being a mom – a parent in general – is an exercise in sacrifice.  The world does, and should, revolve around your little people, making sure they’re cared for and don’t turn out to be dimwitted assholes.  On the other hand, those memes do attempt to show how hard it is, how it’s more than a full-time job.  More than a full-time job some of us already juggle.

I’ve always been very up-front about not only needing my job financially, but needing the stimulation and “grown up time” it afforded me.  Those days with teeny ones at home are magical in a way, but are also long, lonely, stressful, and boring.  Hand in hand with that, veteran parents like to tell you that “it goes fast” and “it gets easier.”  I suppose it does.  I exist in that confused state whereby I want to freeze or somehow put my children in suspended animation now to stop the growing up yet long for the day when I can say “Stella watch your brother. I need to go to the store for noodles and wine” and go, without having to ask who has to potty, or check a diaper, or hunt for missing shoes, or buckle wiggly butts into car seats.

But I think maybe I’ve crossed some kind of threshold, by which I mean my kids have become old enough, and the requirements of their schools and lives outside of school are becoming interesting and rich enough that, dammit, I need more time to invest in it.  I realized this during my mask-making activity.  My brother-in-law’s girlfriend came over to help me make an alligator mask for Stella’s school.  It’s Wildlife Warrior Week, and there’s a mask contest based on homemade masks incorporating wildlife from our state.  I actually found some mad mom skills I didn’t know I had.  It turned out so cute.  I want to make more masks.

The mask was/is super cute!

The mask was/is super cute!

But I think the "Zsa Zsa Gator" sash pushes it over the top.  It's my gimmick.

But I think the “Zsa Zsa Gator” sash pushes it over the top. It’s my gimmick.

See, this is the competitive monster that used to reside in me in school.  I was never in to athletics, but dammit, I wanted my paper to score the highest.  I wanted to be the geologist with the most posters at conferences, the highest GPA.  That side of me disappeared a long time ago.  Now it’s back.  When I dropped the mask off yesterday prior to our Daisy Scout meeting (because I wasn’t about to trust that beauty to a box jostling around inside a booksack), I threatened that if Stella didn’t win something, I’d contest the election.  I will, and I mean it, be looking for some hanging chads up in that bitch.  And I’ve been dreaming….. dreaming of next year, when Stella’s mask will be bigger, better.  And shit, I may need 2, because hopefully Felix will be in pre-K by then.  And then I suppose I’ll need 2 of these masks for 4 years, plus another couple after that for just Felix.  Plus whatever other contests/projects/science fair thingamajigs come along.

But how can I do that when I have to have this pesky job, a job that does not nearly make me feel as proud, happy, or fulfilled as it used to?  I’d much rather be PTA’ing, mask making, cookie baking.  Dammit, I need one of those mom salaries.  If anyone out there finds out who’s taking applications, let me know.


A Rolling Stone Gathers No Loss

We got together with Will’s brother and his awesome girlfriend, “V,”  last night.  She was helping me make a “Louisiana wildlife” mask for a contest at Stella’s school this week.  Let me tell you something, it’s damned impressive.  If we don’t win, I’m going to demand a recount.  In any case, she and I were shooting the merde on the way to the craft store to get supplies and shared a similar sentiment: there is a pretty pervasive heaviness of the heart right now.



2016 has been a pretty trying year, a year heavy with loss.  We lost Bowie, Rickman, Prince.  The whole country has – and will – lose in this upcoming election.  People here and elsewhere have lost homes, cars, businesses from historic weather events.  At work, we have lost 2 colleagues just in the past 6 months – one just recently and very unexpectedly; he died 2 weeks before he was set to retire.  And down here, we just lost a tiger.

Let me explain.  I live in a huuuuuuuuuge football town.  I, myself, don’t do football, and could kinda care less about our local university.  But they had a beautiful mascot, Mike.  He was a handsome dude, Mike.  His face adorned all kinds of stuff all over town.  He lived in a swanky enclosure, one that would be the envy of pretty much any zoo.  He “played” with people that came to visit him. Hell, we visited him more than once.   He was a beautiful, personable animal.

In the spring, it was discovered he had cancer – a form common and treatable in humans, but extremely rare and deadly in big cats.  The vets working in conjunction with oncologists managed to give him targeted radiation in hopes of buying him a couple of years, but it didn’t work.  They had to euthanize him last week.  It actually hit me stupid-hard.  I still get totally upset thinking about the mascot of a university and football team I could care less about.  V had a similar reaction.  Mike was sort of a last straw on the back of just a whole lot of loss.

It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed.  It’s hard not to let the sadness and negative run away on me.

This is one of those times when I just have to pull up my big girl panties, grab myself by the face, and make myself focus on the good and the positive.  Halloween season is underway.  We just had a wonderful experience traveling to VA Beach, hurricane be damned.  We have our health, our home.  And my kids are amaze-balls.  My daughter is kicking the shit out of first grade and my son is just the silliest and sweetest little boy that’s ever walked the earth.img_9050img_9029

It’s going to be OK.  And soon it will be a new year – a better year. (Dammit.)

A farewell to summer

A farewell to summer



Sock and Awe (Or Do You Siege What I Siege?)

I thought I would provide a follow-up to the sock situation at my house, since many of you seemed interested.  As you may recall, my husband and I have a thing brewing (  One of the battles in this thing involved Will’s mother and grandmother coming to the house, finding a pair of his socks sticking out from under the ottoman, and placing them on the end table where I happened to find them and kick them right back where they started.

Both ladies happened to be in the neighborhood and dropped in for a quick visit a couple of nights ago.  I suppose maybe his grandmother reads my silliness from time to time or just got it from the previous visit. Either way, she elbowed me and pointed to the now-larger pile of socks under the ottoman and began giggling.

Will asked what was going on and a discussion began between Will, his mother, and grandmother about the sock lunacy.  Will picked up one side of the ottoman and asked my sweet little boy to fetch his socks.  Felix obliged.  Will then tried to get Felix to take the socks to the dirty clothes, at which point (without nudging from me) Felix dumped the pile in his father’s lap.  Will picked up the socks and threw them over his shoulder and onto the floor behind the couch.

When I eventually got up, I kicked every single one of those damn socks back under the couch.  This is war, and I’m settling in for a siege.

The Scouter Limits

We made it back from the beach.  After our unfortunate first evening, we managed to squeeze in half a wonderful day walking the beach, visiting the boardwalk, hanging with my dad and stepmother, and renting a family bike to pedal through the wind.  That was stupid.

The kids thought it was fun to try to catch the seagulls....

The kids thought it was fun to try to catch the seagulls….

Until Felix realized he couldn't and got pretty ticked off.

Until Felix realized he couldn’t and got pretty ticked off.

Yeah, this was a terrible idea, pedaling a stupid bike in 30 mph winds with rain pelting down.  It felt like we were getting shot in the face with BBs.

Yeah, this was a terrible idea, pedaling a stupid bike in 30 mph winds with rain pelting down. It felt like we were getting shot in the face with BBs.

Saturday night got rough.  Hurricane Matthew ended up dishing up way more weather than I had anticipated when we left Baton Rouge on Friday morning.  The rain caused flooding.  We couldn’t even leave our hotel for several hours Sunday morning.  The wind was fierce. I’ve been through hurricanes before, but this was pretty intense.  The Weather Channel app on my phone said it was “only” blowing 46 mph, but I call shenanigans.  Our hotel room looked directly onto the beach, and given what we were hearing and watching the glass bow in towards the room, I think it was probably much higher than that.  Our hotel took major damage, closing the restaurant, breaking a gas main (meaning no hot water for some folks), and soaking carpets all over.  The hotel managed to throw together some pastries and coffee for breakfast, but that was it.  Luckily I’m like a little old lady and had stashed some apples from the breakfast buffet the day before in my purse and had those in the room for the  kids.

When we finally were able to navigate out to find lunch and try to meet up with my dad and stepmom (who had no power), we were pretty limited.  The road north was under water and the boardwalk side had little power.  We finally found a pizza place and $65 later (holy shit) had some pepperoni pizzas to take over to my dad’s.   It was raining and windy as hell and cold.  Since the weathermen lied, I didn’t even have one pair of pants for the kids.  img_9014

We left that next morning.  Once again, my kids were pretty damn amazing on the planes.  The worst part was Felix crapping himself about 5 minutes into our 3 hour flight from Newark to New Orleans.  Have you ever changed a kid in an airplane bathroom?  I can now say I have.  Beat that, Clark Kent.

And that brought to mind a wonderful idea – an idea that I think some talented crafty person should implement and sell: Mom badge kits.  In my scout troop, the girls are all about earning badges.  As moms, we talk about earning our merit badges for random, typically unpleasant things.  Furthermore, as moms we often don’t get commended for not only surviving these events, but doing so with grace and humor.  We deserve mom badges, preferably sewn on a fabulous sash.  Can you picture it?  I’d have a “poop in the tub” badge (or several), “breastfeeding on the commode” badge, “pumping while driving” badge, “changing a diaper in an airplane bathroom” badge, “catching vomit in my bare hands” badge…… The possibilities are endless.  Who can make me one?

Felix, just before he "unpacked."  Little rascal.

Felix, just before he “unpacked.” Little rascal.

Greetings from Virginia Bleach

In keeping with the “everything is different once you have kids” theme, yesterday we took the kids on their first airplane.  Well, technically 2 airplanes. Will and I prepped for every possible scenario.  We had iDevices ready, complete with new games and shows and Bluetooth kid-friendly headphones.  I had bought new stories and activity books.  We had crayons.  Will had bought crush-proof snacks.  

The kids were awesome.  They were actually so excited they just sort of absorbed the first flight, not even breaking out the goods until our connecting flight.  Honestly the most challenging part of the trip?  Parking at the New Orleans airport (y’all have some ‘splaining to do) and car seats.  F’ing car seats.  Fortunately one of my dad’s neighbors had one we could borrow for Felix so we just carried Stella’s with us.  Awkward, but doable.

We made it to VA Beach, checked in, and my dad and stepmom met us at our hotel’s restaurant for dinner.  It had been a long day, and my kids were ready to go.  The deal was we would eat and then head down to the indoor pool for a swim before bed.

The restaurant had snow crab – one of the greatest foods on earth according to my children.  Their grandfather was more than happy to indulge them, so each of my kids had a full pound plus a huge side – fries for the dude and a heaping bowl of buttered pasta for Stella.  Oh, and then there was ice cream.

Flash forward about 45 minutes later.  Stella is happily swimming and Felix is splashing/wading.  One characteristic of Stella’s “swimming” technique is a unique ability to swallow half the pool and gag herself without missing a beat.  There was a crucial difference this time, however, in that not only did she just gag and sound disgusting, she gagged and produced her recently-consumed pound of crab leg meat with fries.

The only good thing about this incident was at least she didn’t barf in the pool.  It all landed quite spectacularly at the top of the stairs.  Also, all of the other people enjoying the pool were crammed in the child’s wading pool-sized  hot tub – all 16 of them, which is really strange but who am I to judge at this point? 

So there I am, trying to keep my children from wading through partially digested crab while mopping it up with woefully inadequate hotel towels.  The entire time I’m trying to figure out what the hell to do with the mess as well as score new towels.  I manged to dump the solids in a garbage can.  I was afraid to put the towels in the poolside hamper, as I didn’t want 2 “missing” crappy towels charged to our room.  I had to relent, however, when a plague of gnats and flies arrived drawn by the smell.  It was biblical.

Stella, meantime, was itching to get back in the pool.  I let her with the condition that if I heard her gag once more, we were calling it done.  Will arrived at that point with wine.  He had missed all the fun running to the store.  When I filled him in, he wanted to know if it was gross and embarrassing.  I told him yes on both counts, asshole.

He got his cummuppance.  Not 2 minutes after he arrived and we were trying to enjoy a little bit of a cocktail hour with my dad and stepmom, I noticed a nice brown smear traveling up my son’s back. There were also splats of wet smelly brownness on the rail leading in to the pool.  I wrapped a pool towel around our son leaving Will with splat duty.  At that point, we had to concede defeat and take our disgusting children upstairs for decon.

And swim diapers….  what the hell?!  Sure, kids swimming in regular diapers is ridiculous.  They get all swollen and bulbous; your kid’s genital region looks all Michelin Man, only sagging due to the presence of water instead of air.  But they don’t keep in the stuff that counts.  Really.

So that summarizes our first few hours in Virginia Beach.  I was so worried about plane activities I neglected to pack  disinfectants.  So far today, my crew has managed to eat breakfast and walk on the beach without any kind of biological weapons attack.  Wish us luck that they can keep their bodily functions to themselves the rest of the trip.

Super-successful family selfie. I wonder if they sell Virginia Beach Biohazard tshirts? I’m thinking Xmas cards…

Sock and Roll

Do you have things in your life?  Those little things that just become significant for some reason – a line in the sand, a battlefield of sorts?  I’m having one of those in my household right now, a thing.

It’s stupid. It’s socks.

My husband’s socks, to clarify.  They have become a banner waving under the breeze from the ceiling fan, representing a point in which the last straw has been added to the camel’s hump.

While never the neatest, tidiest person in the world, he’s managed not to be too obnoxious about it for the most part.  My laundry policy – and I am Chief Laundress at chez moi – is that if clothing is either inside of or even along the perimeter adjacent to the 2 laundry receptacles, I will wash it, fold it, and put it away.  But for some reason about a month ago, Will decided it was cute to leave his socks on the living room floor.

Ignoring my requests to pick them up following by a heaping amount of the stink eye, the socks began to work their way under the couch and padded ottoman.  They’ve been accumulating there ever since.  I will not pick them up.  If they work their way out, I simply put them back.

Recently his mother and grandmother came over to watch the kids so we could go to Stella’s open house.  When we returned, I saw a pair of socks on my end table.  I asked what happened.  Will’s grandmother said “Oh, they were sticking out from under the couch.”  I picked them up, dropped them on the floor, and kicked them back under the couch.


Surely one day he’ll run out of socks.


Longitude and Gratitude 

I recently met a friend for a quick cup of coffee.  As we sat talking, I had an out-of-body moment where I realized I probably sounded like I was on cocaine.  I was practically raving, talking 90 mph about what all I had to do.  

I need to slow down. I need to try to be more in the moment sometimes.  I need to stop worrying about what hasn’t been done yet and focus on what is done and right with the world.  I need to spend some time on gratitude.

My area is still reeling from a horrible summer.  First the violence and protests, then the flood.  Oh man, the flood.  There is still so much damage, so much to be done.  For those of us who were spared, there is almost a sense of survivor’s guilt.  While at coffee with my friend, I ran into another old acquaintance. We started talking about who took on water and who didn’t. At the end of the conversation everyone chuckled almost nervously, and my friend made a comment such as “now that we’re all depressed….”  But it feels wrong not to talk about it – not to ask.  At the end of the day, my online raving managed to raise roughly $3000 to give to people affected by the flooding. I think that’s pretty good. I also just picked up a huge pile of school supplies donated by the college students from my alma mater.  I’m grateful to all those who contributed.  That’s huge.

I haven’t even talked about Stella’s birthday party. It actually was a smashing success. I’m not sure why, but I was so much more relaxed this year than I ever have been before. Maybe it’s simply a matter of experience with these things.  We had a good turnout, and everyone seemed to have a good time.  That night, Stella came and sat down beside me. She hugged me for a minute and thanked me for making this “the best birthday ever.”  I responded that several people helped with setting  up and such.  She replied, “I know, but it was you who made it.”  That almost made me tear up.  

Air hockey and bouncey things

I made the cupcakes. And did NOT fret about them not being good enough.

Stella as her favorite Powerpuff Girl. A girl’s gotta have a party dress!

Speaking of gratitude, she also has been working on the concept of thank you notes.  Her handwriting is appalling, but it’s the sentiment that matters.

And her teacher.  I am so very grateful each day that this wonderful person is in our lives.  I don’t have a knot in my stomach every day when I pick Stella up.  I don’t feel like “the bad kid’s mom” when I go to the school to volunteer or have lunch or meet for Daisy Scouts.

And I’m grateful my kids are about to experience air travel for the first time.  We leave Friday to visit my dad in Virginia Beach.  I’m trying not to fret over that blasted hurricane.  We’ll just be soggy and windblown.  I’m just so excited to go somewhere new – to breathe different air.

With that, I’m off.  While taking a few minutes to think about gratitude is a good thing, it doesn’t erase the fact that my to do list is taller than I am. Hope y’all are having a good week.

Much ADHDo About Nothing

Yesterday morning something strange happened. I woke up normally.  Actually, it was better than normal. I had gone to bed the night before at 8:45.  And no, I wasn’t drinking.  I didn’t even have a drop.  I was just worn out. Anyway, I woke up to Felix coughing.  Otherwise, everything was fine – better than fine.  Then I “lost” an hour.

No, I didn’t get distracted and lose track of time.  My mind somehow didn’t register it correctly to begin with.  It was a strange and disconcerting feeling.  That set the stage for the rest of my day.  I couldn’t think of the right words in conversations.  I made silly typos in emails.  I put my keys on my desk at work and then panicked when I couldn’t find them in my purse.  I was a complete ditz.  All day.

I have no idea why.  Maybe it’s stress.  I feel scheduled within an inch of my life.  Usually when shit gets busy I can say to myself “Just get through next week and things will calm down.”  Only there’s no end date to this at the moment.  There’s a trip coming up – our first on a plane with the kids – and Halloween, and birthday parties, and Daisy Scouts, and work holy moly work, and Thanksgiving, and homework, and doctor appointments, and Xmas….  Things won’t really get chill again until after Xmas.  And I just volunteered to be a room mom, so obviously I need to schedule rehab for my crack habit.

I’m not special.  I know that.  Every mom -or parent- gets it.  Sometimes I do feel like maybe my load is a teensy bit heavier due to ADHD – my husband’s and my daughter’s.  I also know that statement will no doubt have me vilified in many circles.  

I absolutely understand that they cannot “help” it.  That there’s nothing “wrong” with them, per se, it’s just that their brains work differently.  That the same brain that makes it almost physically impossible to remember to pick up their socks without at least a dozen reminders is also the same brain that dreams up a foam machine or draws amazing pictures of mermaids.

But I must concede that there are days when shit feels so much harder  than maybe it should, and that I feel pretty alone with a pretty big share of the load.  Sometimes I get angry and impatient and then turn around and feel guilty for getting angry for things that are beyond the control of my loved ones.

I need help.  Regular, consistent help.

Things often feel like a fight.  For instance, for our upcoming trip I want to get the kids headphones for their devices.  I did tons of research.  I finally had it narrowed down to 2 choices.  Will wanted to “check them out.”  That was a week ago.  We leave a week from tomorrow.  I’m going to end up ordering what I picked out.  Then I’m going to catch hell if he doesn’t like them.  Stuff like that happens a lot.  He’ll  get distracted, I’ll make a time-sensitive decision because it has to be made, then he’ll wade in at the last minute and ask why I didn’t do or consider X, Y, or Z.  I’ve gotten better at not losing my shit over that kind of thing, but it’s exasperating and a weebit insulting   sometimes.

There are also times when I get so impatient.  Why don’t these otherwise super-intelligent people think?  Stella has aced every reading, spelling, and math test so far, but can’t get why I won’t let her drag out paints 30 seconds before bedtime and unleashes a massive fit.  Will doesn’t get why I get pissed when he upends a ginormous box of paper towels on the floor right as I’m trying to get Felix in the bathroom to brush his teeth (and just finished cleaning up the kitchen).  It’s incendiary at that point.  It becomes build time instead of bed time.

Yep. It’s bedtime, allright. And forgive the blur. Clearly I need to schedule time to clean my phone lens.

Yesterday morning was kind of a shock, that time warp I fell into.  Is that what it’s like for Will and Stella?  They get so far into their head that stuff like time becomes this strange immeasurable concept?

None of us are perfect.  Duh.  I guess I just feel a bit life-weary at the moment.  Clearly I need to win some kind of sweepstakes and use the money for a maid, handyman, chef, laundress, and groundskeeper.  Then I could focus on the neat stuff.

I made myself take a walk while out landfilling yesterday, and found this cool old place. It was just kind of pretty.

P.S.  Is anyone else having issues with WordPress on their iPhones? Everything I try to do – type a word or open up a blog to read – has this horrible delay.

No Man’s Landfill

My 43rd birthday – yesterday- started at about 4:15 AM with Felix wailing.  His grandfather had given him a dreamcatcher keychain.  It had been Precioused.  In the night, one of the feathers had fallen out.  Disaster.  I wrestled him on to the couch where we both went back to sleep, sans feather.  He slept through my alarm and me getting ready for work.  I did sneak the dreamcatcher out of his fist, glued the feather back on, and returned it to his sleepy little hand without him cracking an eye open.  Call me the dreamcatcher fairy.  Mad mom skill point.

When I went to work, I had to get ready for landfill duty.  I’m not usually that sentimental about my birthday, but there was something kind of wrong about the idea of spending a chunk of it running around a couple of landfills.  “Hey, Laura!  What’d you do for your birthday?”  “Why, I spent it on a landfill, of course.”  See?  Sounds bad.

Honestly, I was afraid I’d get as depressed as I got the Friday before.  I’ve been to landfills loads of times.  This time felt different.  “Debris” and “white goods” and “e-waste” all sound so sterile and clinical.  Then you see these impossibly huge mountains of rubbish and what would normally be cardboard boxes and broken pallets and empty paint cans are people’s mattresses and couches and floorboards.  And that little girl’s doll mixed in with all the other flood debris… I came home Friday very sad.  I didn’t want to feel that sad yesterday.  

It’s reallyblike trying to photograph the Grand Canyon. You simply can’t capture the scale.

When I got back to the office, my boss took me out for lunch.  That was nice.  He didn’t have to do that.  I spent the rest of the day doing stupid paperwork.  There’s nothing like extra government involvement – the Feds this time- to generate an excruciating amount of red tape.  Seriously, I spent almost as much time on paperwork and accounting for time and mileage as I did performing landfill oversight. It’s bonkers.

After that, I picked up my kids from their schools. I only kinda sorta had to cook.  I had a turkey breast in the slow cooker.  My kid brother sent me a beautiful flower arrangement.  It was waiting on my doorstep when I got home.  It’s loaded with hydrangeas- one of my favorite flowers.  I haven’t gotten flowers in ages.  I’m normally a “why spend all that money on cut flowers when you can buy seeds or a plant even cheaper” kind of girl.  These made me feel good.  Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age.

The rest of the evening consisted of Pinot noir, reading tons of sweet messages on Facebook and Instagram, making silly Snapchat pictures and belly-laughing with Stella, and watching Gotham.  Not a bad birthday, landfills and all.

And now it’s time to gear up for the big stuff: Stella’s party, our first ever plane trip with the kids to see my dad, Halloween, and the rest of the holiday season.  Things always happen so fast.

Gourmet popcorn in Powerpuff colors, of course!