Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Sydney turned 13!

Somehow when I wasn't paying attention, this...

turned into this! 

My teenagers now outnumber my "little" kids (OMG!) 

My headstrong, sassy little mini-me has turned into this amazing, creative, spicy teenager. With this one, it is so clear that her personality came with her from the very start, beginning with stubbornly refusing to be born until she damn well felt like it and not a minute sooner. She continues to be hilarious and witty and thoughtful and to be her own person, a trait that I'm finding exceptionally rare in 13 year old girls. She's sporty and athletic, but only if you don't make direct eye contact or talk about it too much. She watches Dance Moms almost obsessively and says that her goal is to become an NBA wife. 

We celebrated in the most typically Sydney fashion, which was to explicitly state exactly what she wanted and then go about the day pretending it wasn't a big deal. 

Her birthday donuts were hilariously depressing. Not a sprinkle in sight

This is feigned excitement for the donuts but true excitement for Sydney. Her face says it all

She asked for pink converse and a very specific pink Stanley cup that I had to search the interwebs for (because of course). Instead of a party, she asked to go to TopGolf with her two best friends. It was the most perfect Sydney celebration. Fun and ridiculous, without too much fanfare or pressure. Of course she made it just a little Extra though by coordinating matching outfits for the three of them.

Her only other request was to go to Target afterwards for snacks and cake decorations. Seriously. Easiest birthday party EVER. 

Happy Birthday, Sydney Cheyne (aka Sydney Sunshine, aka Sporty Spice)!  


Saturday, May 13, 2023

When in doubt

We've been needing a bit of a dopamine boost around here lately, so when two little kittens were found at work I was primed to fall madly and obsessively in love (and completely disregard the dog that catches birds and moles.) One of my staff fosters kittens and agreed to take them until they were ready for their forever homes. Originally I had planned to keep one, because I am a reasonable human in a house already full of heartbeats. 

But then the fosters needed a kitten-sitter and I GENEROUSLY offered to bring the kittens home for a day. Spoiler alert: Scout didn't eat them and now we're adopting both


Have you ever seen a cuter teenager? 

I'm obsessed. It's ridiculous

But also obviously not the only one

He's wanted a kitten for so long. It's the sweetest thing ever

So in about a week or so, we'll be adding two more heartbeats to the house. I'm sure at some point I'll regret it, but maybe I'm a little bit of a cat person now? 


Monday, April 24, 2023

The Return of MonkeyMan

I got a mysterious package in the mail last week. It was a plain white mailer with a soft, tightly wrapped package inside. Prison habits die hard so at first I wasn't entirely sure I should even open it, let alone bring it in the house. But also, I love surprises so I figured the chances of it being a human appendage, despite clues to the contrary, were pretty low. I definitely did not gather the children around to watch though.

I started to carefully unwrap the inner package, and when a tiny white rubber sneaker emerged I squealed in a way that must have telegraphed "not a body!" because Sydney rushed over to see what I'd found and was able to capture the pure joy on my face when I unwrapped him


So here's the backstory: When I was a baby, I was gifted a stuffed monkey. The specifics of who gave him to me and when are lost to history, but MonkeyMan was the closest thing to a lovey I ever had. Fast forward 13 years, and my dad's rental house floods. A mitigation company comes and collects all the wet items with promises to return everything dry and clean. When we get the boxes back, they aren't ours. MonkeyMan is lost. FOREVER. 

Several years later, we usher in the internet and with it, ebay. Thus begins several years of my mother and I searching for a MonkeyMan. I now now he's called a "Mr. Bim Zippy," that he's been manufactured since literally the beginning of time, and that nearly every version is the frightening stuff of nightmares. I started to question my own memories. Was it possible that my family bestowed on me a demonic looking lovey for their own entertainment? 100%

I'm not going to post pictures of the hundreds of possible iterations of MonkeyMan because I don't want to do that to anyone, but if you're so inclined to google "Mr. Bim Zippy" I'll wait. 

But this? This IS the version I had (and way less psychotic looking in person, I promise). 

 After some sleuthing, I figured out that my sister had stumbled on him while deep in Reddit and had sent him to me anonymously. I think he might be one of the most thoughtful gestures anyone's ever made for me and he now is sitting proudly in my room, watching over me with his crazy eyes and disproportionately sized hands, reminding me that I am seen and loved and that when you get mystery packages in the mail, there's a good chance they aren't body parts.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Floor update!

 Okay. After my meltdown, C figured out where the leak was coming from, fixed it, repainted all the walls (which is awesome because that's an upgrade too) and we officially have floors! Also you can't see our TV from the street anymore which, interestingly, has cut down on street foot traffic... 


Averson, in true Averson fashion, found the silver lining and immediately she and Sydney started painting the subfloor. I love knowing these little time capsules are under there

Thursday, March 30, 2023

I give up

I took these pictures last night in anticipation of posting a glorious before and after of my new floors today. Because today I had the installers coming to start replacing the 50 year old blue (or is it green?) disgusting carpet that despite what everyone tries to tell me is 100% disgusting. I promise. It's not pretty. It's ugly and smelly and gross and older than me and it's EVERYWHERE and I have a very large credit card balance that is currently ensuring that I won't have to live with it much longer. I am very, very excited about this. 

I planned to work from home today so I could let them in and manage the hellbeasts, and so I could be the first human to set foot on my glorious new floors. I have been JACKED about today. To say that I've been a bit stressed lately would be an understatement. My mom's estate is nearing an end but there's a snag with the insurance company that may mean that I have to take a predatory company to court. There are lots of spreadsheets. I finally had a very serious come to Jesus about our own finances and have been trying to figure out how to use YNAB, which I'm sure will help but hasn't been exactly fun to manage. It's just been a lot of life and stuff and things, like you do. So I really wanted a little dopamine hit. 


I moved all my plants into the hall because I didn't want the installers to have to do it. 

So this was a fucking awesome surprise. 

An hour in, after they had disassembled my couch and pulled up half the blue carpet, we discovered that one of the windows has been leaking in the record setting downpours and these poor guys keep telling me that they couldn't possibly put the flooring on top of the soaking wet subfloor. I'm like, "Yeah. No, I get it." It was literally so bad I couldn't even try to find a loophole. 

So now instead of my disgusting blue carpet, I have disgusting subfloor, no furniture, and a hole in my wall. And a giant repair bill I wasn't expecting. And I get to reschedule the installation of my flooring for...sometime. 


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Happy Birthday, Mom

 Today was my mom’s birthday and I wanted to mark it by making pineapple upside down cake. It was her favorite, and it always reminds me of her. But of course my day fell to shit and I got home way later than I meant to so rather than eat cake at midnight I thought “I’ll make mini cakes!” 

Spoiler alert: They definitely cool faster but mini pineapple upside down cakes? They look an awful lot like perky little boobs. So that was festive!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Be Prepared

 I was walking through one of our client houses the other day, and noticed that one of the clients had this beautiful case of retractable, muted color pens. I wish I had a better way to describe the color, because it was what really drew me to it. They weren't pastel, or candy colored, or neon. They were these rich gorgeous almost nature colored purples and greens and muted pinks. I'm a sucker for a good art supply, so I commented on it and asked if they were as awesome as they looked. 

The client enthusiastically said they were and then offered to let me try one! I looked around for a piece of paper, and they opened their journal to let me write in there. THEY. OPENED. THEIR. JOURNAL. Their TREATMENT JOURNAL. Suddenly this silly little interaction felt enormously monumental. I simultaneously could not decline to write in their journal, but was also paralyzed with "what the hell should I write in here?!" My go to for testing pens is a heart and the word "Love" because it has so many delightful swoops. I started the heart and then panicked. I can't write "Love" in a kid's journal! But I'd already done the heart (in a lovely mauve ink). I quickly pivoted from "Love" to "Believe," which I feel like was the best choice possible. I hope. Pretty sure it at least won't get any weird looks or grievances. 

It's three days later and I'm still neurotically thinking about it. So PSA. Have a plan (or a scrap of paper) before you complement someone's pens.