Monday, January 30, 2017

Get Your Lost References Here

Hello there!

This is my "long-time, no write" check in. It's pretty late, so I'm going to give myself the 'ole 15 minutes on the timer, and whatever happens happens.

(Remember how Daniel Faraday would always say, "Whatever happened... happened!" in that breathy voice of his? Lost? Anyone? Anyone? I fear I'm alone here).

Speaking of Lost, I study some of the teachings of various philosophers of whom Lost characters were named in homage to in school. Such as John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Last week, I stumbled across some stuff from Jeremy Bentham (Anyone? Anyone?) whom I didn't even know was a philosopher (but should have assumed because that's how things go with Lost), and I was like, "Scotty! I'm reading about Jeremy Bentham!" and he was like, "Whaaaa?!?"

Kind of like how you're going "Whaaaaa?!?" right now because you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. What can I say? Lost references can strike at any moment, especially after 11:00 p.m.

(If you would just watch Lost, I wouldn't have to worry like this!)

Anyway, speaking of studying (it's all tying together here. Never fear!) I am working on some amazing stuff! I'm about bursting at the seams for not being able to blog about it. Why can't I blog about it? Well, I can give you the vague details. I am writing a family life education (FLE) workshop. I have been reading tons and tons of research, and it is all incredible! But I'm not going to post about any of it because I have to keep my work safe. This is my practicum, one of the final steps in earning my degree. The last thing I have to do for my degree (in addition to two more classes) is my internship. I will be working as a research assistant beginning in April. Eek! So excited! I'll be piloting a new workshop and possibly doing some writing and editing.

I love that I have reached a point in my education where I get to have more control over what I'm doing. The closer I get to the finish line, the more I get to focus on areas I am passionate about.

At this point, the stress level is high, but I'm having fun.

It's fun stress!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Creature

One of our holiday stressors involved having a creature living in our ceiling for over a month.

Scotty spends a lot of nights on the couch (I'll just let you think what you will of that), and he started hearing something moving around and scratching in the ceiling above our bay window. Then one morning, while we were laying bed, we heard something running through the walls behind our heads. It didn't sound mouse-like. It sounded bigger - like a raccoon... or a mountain lion.

That day, Scotty started an attempt to end the problem. The part of the ceiling the creature lived in is hard to access, though. It took equipment. Cameras, selfie sticks, flashlights, and the like.

Scotty first tried putting some poison in the area - this being a good option because, supposedly, after a creature eats the poison, it seeks the outdoors for relief. The last thing I needed was a dead, rotting, mystery rodent somewhere in my walls or ceiling (it's a worst fear of mine).

A week later, we could still hear the beast playing in the ceiling.

Using a camera again, Scotty removed some siding from the outside of our house and took a video of the area. The animal wasn't there (I'm sure it runs from cell phones), but it left a trail of poopies, leading us to believe that we were dealing with a common mouse, except one that weighed twenty pounds and was a genius.

Scotty put four traps in the ceiling with peanut butter on them, and the mouse (or MOUSE, I should say) licked the traps clean without making them snap.

The following day, Scotty reset the traps and squished cheese very thoroughly around the triggers. The next night, we had success! Scotty retrieved the traps to find... the tiniest, dwarfiest mouse that ever did exist

Which means there must still be a mountain lion on the loose somewhere!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ten Parenting Hacks: Realist Edition

Lately I've been seeing a lot of "parenting hacks" on the internet, and they kind of make me laugh. Don't get me wrong... about one in twenty hacks is actually useful, but a lot of them are just plain dumb.

Like the one that said, "Warm your kids clothes up before you put them on."

Thank you, whoever that was. Because if moms have time for anything, it's warming up their kids clothes before chasing them around the house for 12 minutes and pinning them down to wrestle their flailing limbs into sleeves.

Other "hacks" I've scoffed at...

  • Dress your kids in the same clothes so you can find them easily in the store.

Because kids love being dressed alike. They really do. I know this because my kids have agreed to this... never. And heaven knows you have time to launder and prep coordinating clothes for every trip to Walmart!

  • Buy underwear with cartoons on it because your potty training toddler won't want to pee on his favorite character. 

Really? Thanks, Internet. No one has ever thought of that in the history of potty training. And you're right! No kid would ever pee on Lightning McQueen. Especially not every damn day until he turns five!!!

  • Add sprinkles to food your kids don't like
I tell you no lie - this one was accompanied by a picture of broccoli with sprinkles on it.

When I see these "hacks," I think, "These are cute, but let's get real!" So today I am offering ten real parenting hacks:

1. Let your kid wear the same outfit for a week straight. It won't save you on laundry because somehow your kid will manage to dirty 36 other pieces of clothing without ever changing outfits, but at least you won't have to get them ready every day.

2. Keep a snow shovel in the pantry. You can use it to shovel all your kids' stuff off the floor, and then you can flip the shovel over and use it to scrape the dried spaghetti off the kitchen linoleum.

3. Put apple juice in a syringe and give it to your kids, explaining that it is "special medicine" that makes them be good. Then sit back and take notes on the effects of the placebo. (Hint: it won't work, but it's something every parent needs to learn).

4. Every night, after your toddler goes to sleep, dip her feet in black ink so when she wakes up the next day and refuses to put her shoes and socks on, you can take her out in public and not be judged. Unless someone notices, in which case you say, "That conniving little devil! I can't believe she tricked me like that!"

5. Let your kids eat their boogers. That way, they don't end up on the surfaces of your home. Plus, it's good for their immunity.

6. Instead of using plates, serve your kids' dinner directly on the table. Or, even better, tell them you're having a picnic, and put their food on the floor. Keep the snow shovel nearby while they eat (and by "eat" I mean "whine, complain, and make barfing noises in reaction to what you've cooked").

7. Let everyone use the same toothbrush. It's much easier to have a "use any toothbrush you can find" policy than to keep track of everyone's toothbrushes.

8. Pour 1/4 cup of milk on your van floor everyday for two months. By the end, you will be so desensitized to the smell, that sour milk will never bother you again.

9. Any time you buy a loaf of bread from the store, throw it on the ground and stomp on it, taking away the satisfaction from your kids who would surely do the same thing before you get to the checkout.

10. Eat your lunch in the bathroom since kids plan their poop schedule around your feeding schedule. Practice holding a sandwich in one hand and toilet paper in the other. Like boogers, it's good for your immunity.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Today I had to go to court for jury selection. 

But before I say anything about that, let's take a look at my history of jury summons: 

This was the fourth time I have had jury summons. I have been an adult, by juror standards, for 15 years. Four times in fifteen years!


This is actually my fifth time because I was summoned last month, and I got mixed up on the time and showed up an hour late, so they added me back on the list, and I got summoned again

So five times in fifteen years.

I don't know anyone who has had jury summons that many times. Most people I've talked to have either never had it or they have had it once. A few people in their older years have had it twice, but not very many. 

Anyway, the first three times I was summoned, I didn't have to go in. The first time, they ended up not needing me. The second time, I was due with a baby the month I was summoned, so I was excused, and the third time, I was summoned to a court that dismissed me because I care for children full time (not sure why that's grounds for dismissal, but it said specifically on their paperwork that people who care for children or elderly full-time could be dismissed). So the fourth and fifth summons are the first times I've had to actually go to court.

Let's not talk about the fourth time. Because that's when I was late, and I am still flustered about it. Y'all know I don't do "late."

But today, I went in for my fifth summons. 

And I was on time. 

I'll go ahead and ruin the end of the story for you... I wasn't selected.

I have mixed feelings about that. Now is not a good time for me to serve on a jury. Arranging my life for the next few days so that I could go to court would have been really hard. But also, deep down, I wanted to be on that jury. I think I would have been good at it, at least for this particular case.

I was surprised by how enjoyable it was to be involved in the selection process. It was fascinating. I liked the judge, and I liked the lawyers. I would love to have seen the trial to the finish. 

Maybe it's just the fact that I got to be away from my kids and be in a quiet place with adults for half a day, but I thought jury duty was awesome! And now I hope I get to do it again someday.

But now that I know I enjoy it, I'll probably never get summoned again. Isn't that the way it goes? 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Quick Check-In

It warms my heart when I don't post for ten days, and people notice and check in on me. Thanks, friends. I'm here for a quick update.

I'm back in school, and this semester came at me like a freight train. My courses started on New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve!!! Is that even ethical?

This semester I am taking a family course and a research course and doing my practicum which involves writing, marketing, and teaching a family life education (FLE) workshop. I have actually looked forward to my practicum from the time I started school. I have lots of ideas for workshops, as there are many FLE topics I am deeply passionate about, and I finally narrowed down my subject, and I've started my research. It is going to be a challenging and rewarding semester.

Being back in school has made me tired. The second I start reading anything for school, I need to fall asleep. Even in this very moment, I am beginning to nod off. I never understood why adults were so tired all the time. I still don't understand it, but I accept it because I'm living it.

Hopefully I'll be back soon to write about the creature living in my ceiling and how I screwed up jury duty.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Threes All Around

Today is my birthday.

I am 33.

Nicky was really excited that my age is a double number. I forgot that things like that are cool for children (he will turn 11 this year, so we both get double numbers in 2017).

Daisy, on the other hand, was shocked that I am "only" 33. "I thought you were way older. Like 35 or something," she said.

In honor of double threes, here is a picture of me when I was three months old:

  Britt 3 Months
And this is me when I was three years old:

Scans 010 

And here are some more threes:

Three Board Games I Love:
Seven Wonders

Three Movies I Love:
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Shawshank Redemption (I have the edited version)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights

(Apparently I have thing for men escaping prison)

Three Things I Often Say:
"Good grief!"
"By dark of night"
"Let's change your bum"

Three Things I'm Bad At:
Spelling words verbally
Parallel parking

Three Things I Really Don't Like Doing:
Flying kites
Putting laundry away

Three Things I Love to Eat:
Fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce
Grilled pineapple
Anything with a yummy dip or sauce

Three of my Character Flaws:
I get annoyed easily
I'm very impatient
I can be competitive

Three Things I Hate Buying:
Toilet paper
Light bulbs

Three Things I Spend Too Much Money On:
Eating out

Three Things I Miss From my Childhood:
The Box
My (original) Littlest Pet Shop toys

Three Things My Husband Loves that I Don't:
Mexican food
Playing Clue

Now if you've done the math, you know that I just wrote 11 lists of three things for a total of 33 things for my 33rd birthday.