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4 kittens

Maybe a nice 15 minutes.

Posted on 2017.06.25 at 22:32
This was a quiet week. The big kids went to a quiet day camp; the littles, daycare. I relished the quiet at home. No houses rose, no tattoo artists rejected me, no children away at sleepaway camp. No massive snakes crossed our path. Everyone squabbled a lot and cried about everything.

It probaby seemed like a good idea to build a lazy susan CD rack, but at some point you realize that you're stuck owning a spinning swastika. I didn't buy Equipment for the Organized Nazi at Goodwill, but I did buy some stellar shirts and some jeans.

Also questionable:

These pool toy diving rods from my mother-in-law. Just look at the helmet on that phallic symbol, am I right?

The kids miss the yellow house. Ace and Rascal say so, often. They miss their toys and snuggles, and their beds. And maybe the TV.

I am looking forward to their bedroom, where their four mattresses aren't nestled together, edge to edge, because they kick each other less when their legs can't reach an adjacent bed from their own bed. (Kicking each other at bedtime to be jerks, not the innocent leg-jerks of deep sleep.) For the most part, this ~1000 foot two bedroom cabin has not felt overly cramped. That's because it's not crammed to the gills with all of our posessions.

I wonder how long the good feeling of being home will last. One full day? A full hour? Maybe we'll get a nice 15 minutes?

What's the cat going after?

Just a big fucker with lots of legs. Nature is still infiltrating my life.

Every couple days, Ace says, "I hated my birthday. You guys got it WRONG. I wanted a dance class party, and a PJ Mask cake. And you made it a dance party, and had extra PJ Mask stuff."  She is nothing if not consistent! She did indeed tell us ahead of time exactly what she wanted: a ballet party with a PJ Mask cake. We did indeed modify it into a general dancing party, and got some extra PJ Mask decorations. At the party, Ace was super upset about our deviations. She's fairly philosophical about it now - two months later - but boy does she stick to her convictions.

The worst party we ever threw was probably Hawaii's 5th birthday, where we told the guests not to bring presents, but instead bring a book for the book exchange. We'd gone to other parties that had done that, and in fact we'd done it for Pokey's 3rd birthday. Hawaii told us that she wanted presents, but we cited all these other parties and told her we were going forward with the book exchange.

She was so sad and upset at her party, when she really truly did not get any presents, and I felt like shit. I still feel bad about that one.  (I don't feel bad about having extra PJ Mask decorations at Ace's party.)

Pokey had me take a photo of this bird's nest in lieu of bringing it home.

I tactfully asked Pokey's therapist this week if Pokey should continue to work with him. It hasn't seemed to be helping at all. The therapist asked me to describe a typical incident.  I did; we'd been quizzing the big kids on some karate trivia, and Hawaii answered a question before Pokey had a chance, and he did something obnoxious. We went through our routine, "you have a choice - you can quit doing the obnoxious thing or you can go to time out." It escalated severely...I'm losing interest in telling this story. He bites and scratches and hits, and hits himself, and I don't think it's a medical disorder exactly, but I do think he's still having a rough time coping with fairly ordinary trials.

I expected the therapist to say, obnoxiously, "Well, when do you think it should end?" or "What outcome are you looking for?" But he didn't. He said, concretely, "Yes, this should respond well to therapy. It's worth being here. We're working on it."

I said, "It'd be so nice if Pokey could just articulate what's going on."
The therapist said, "Well, that's what I'm working on with him."
That seems like a helpful, clear-cut goal.


The big kids are taking karate over the summer. It's offered by the city, at the activity center down the street.

Hawaii is extremely precise and controlled in her (early beginner) motions.

Pokey is a bit more of a spazz, but he also got praised for shouting "KIYA!" when they got to the 10th repetition of something. The instructor whirled around and barked, "Who said that?!" and Pokey meekly raised his hand. The instructor thundered, "THAT'S RIGHT! That's what we say on the tenth and twentieth repetitions!" and for the rest of the class, they all kiya-ed in chorus on the tenth and twentieth repetitions.

I had a bit of a meltdown the next day, wondering about Activity Creep and how we'd possibly reign in all these good, wholesome activities, when we cannot possibly do them all. Wouldn't it be nice if the kids could all do piano, and soccer, and dance, and karate, and art class? They can't. We would die. It probably wouldn't even be fun for them. Still, it's hard to narrow down the list.


We are going to California on Friday, to see my brothers and their families, and my parents. We are ostensibly celebrating my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, but it was technically back in March and I doubt either of my brothers really remembers that that was the original point.

A lovely recent portrait of my mom.

We have to completely move out of this cabin by Thursday.  The landlady had already rented the 4th of July weekend to other guests before I ever contacted her about staying here. That is a rather large pain in the ass.  Then we'll move back in when we get home.

We are hoping to be back in our house by the first or second week of July. We shall see.

Heebie, what are you, 14 years old?


rebeccastob at 2017-06-26 07:00 (UTC) (Link)
Birthday parties are one of my biggest sources of parenting stress - also parent small talk in the park. Up until last year we had joint parties for the kids (June 10 and July 10 are close enough) with friends of mine (and Eric's back when we were still living together) Last year I had a joint party in the park and my parents came out to help - I was a total stress case because I had it fathers day weekend, which was technically supposed to be Eric's, and the day after I came back from a work trip out East, and soon after I had my IUD put in, which I think amped up the anxiety for the first few months. It ended up fine. This year we were in San Francisco for P's birthday and my BFF hosted a very nice science party with slime and glitter and a pinata. But everything was wrong and P did not have a good time. I think getting a bearded dragon for her birthday present compensated but I have stress about taking care of an animal (now 2 because Morpheus just got one as well). However - this year I am very heartened by the fact that the typical birthday party protocol at their school appears to be text message invite ~ 1 week before hand and party in a park. I'm so glad they do not go to a fancy school.
heebie_geebie at 2017-07-03 20:59 (UTC) (Link)
We seem to recently have entered the stage of sleep-over birthday parties, which seem much easier. No decorations, no intense planning. Just play with your friends, tire yourselves out, watch some movies. The downside is that the next day, they're totally fried and nonfunctional.
(Anonymous) at 2017-07-02 19:28 (UTC) (Link)

CrossFit questions

Hi Heebie,

Long-time reader, de-lurking to ask, are you still doing CrossFit? How did you schedule/have you been scheduling it given the smallness of children, work demands, yadda yadda? Any pros or cons in your opinion? I have a 4yo and a 1yo and am feeling I ought to get into some strength training, but am having trouble figuring out what time of day would work and whether it'd be too culty for me. Would love your thoughts. Thank you!


heebie_geebie at 2017-07-03 20:57 (UTC) (Link)

Re: CrossFit questions

Hiya Elsk! (Do you ever comment at Unfogged or am I misremembering?)

I do still do Crossfit. I have mostly positive opinions about it, with minimal eye-rolling. I like it because it's the most efficient way to get an intense workout - I can predictably show up for an hour, and be beat by the end, and I don't have to think about anything. I had never done strength training before this - mostly running - and it's not my favorite, but I feel much better for it, so I don't think I should ever stop. My back has less creaks and weaknesses, my hips feel much better - it really has felt like rewinding the clock. (It has not helped whatsoever with losing the baby weight, but I am pretty used to it at this point and not willing to drastically change how I eat.)

Here's what we do: Jammies does the morning routine and drop-off with kids MWF, and I do TTh, (which isn't fair and Jammies is such a great person and I appreciate him deeply.) So I go to the 6 am class on MWF. I never, ever deviate from this. Once in a blue moon I'll go to the 8 am class, and I'm always annoyed that it's mid-morning by the time I'm showered and clean.

I think if you're a person that basically likes exercise, likes sports, etc, then xfit is a great choice because it's so damn time-efficient. The cultiness here is pretty dilute - I think the trend has crested - but they do seem to love fads. We'll integrate parkour and natural movement! More kettle-bells! More gymnastics! Sure, whatever, just tell me what to do. I also really like the gymnastics part.

If you're a person who basically resents/tolerates exercise, then it would be totally annoying. They're very into personal bests, and everyone doing what's right for them individually, and supportive in a cheesy feel-good way, which I think only works if you basically enjoy exercising hard.
(Anonymous) at 2017-07-04 13:13 (UTC) (Link)

Re: CrossFit questions

Wow, excellent memory! I have commented on Unfogged, but I'm a mostly-lurker there too, so maybe I've posted twice or thrice ever.

Thanks for breaking it down for me. I think I could totally swing that and the early-morning class is probably the only option. I like the idea that it's all-over fitness and making you use your body in all sorts of cool ways. I guess the only thing that sounded vaguely culty is the "Hey, where were you last week?" that I heard others reportedly say to you if you miss.
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