Sleep drift

I think I should start tracking how my sleep changes during the year. Because I think it’s on a big cycle and I am just too myopic to see it. I’m back to falling asleep around 7pm and waking up absurdly early to use the toilet. This morning I’m also feeling a strong need to stretch and do a little exercising before climbing back in bed. My body hurts.

I think that I finished lay out yesterday. That’s pretty exciting. I’ve been working on lay out intermittently for a year now. I finished. Squee.

Now I get to start trying to get rid of the darn tiles. I sent out messages to tile artists in the bay area before I started looking into recycling locations. Because wouldn’t it be lovely to donate to other artists? I’ve sent out emails and now I’m waiting on response.

I need to schedule a pick up for the other parts I need to get rid of. The skylight that is the wrong size and can’t be returned. The faucets were the wrong kind of installation and can’t be returned. (Slight discounts on the internet aren’t really worth it in the long run. I’m sticking with Home Depot in the future so that if I don’t use something I’m not stuck with it.)

I’ve learned a lot from this project. Now I hope I never have to use any of this frustrating knowledge again.

I’m still seriously on edge. I’m brittle and shaky. Anxiety hurts now in a way it didn’t used to. I spend a fair bit of time feeling ok these days. Contrasting that with a full on high anxiety day..

I have come so far. I used to feel like that on a regular basis. On some level, having a day of that is a fantastic shell to remind me how different my life is now. I’m so very lucky that I don’t live in that state of anxiety full time any more.

I am so very blessed.

I am lucky and privileged and blessed because these days… I very rarely have anxiety so bad it impacts my body for a week. I can’t recall the last time I had a hangover this bad. It’s kind of funny, I want alcohol but I know it would make me throw up like there is no tomorrow. Noah used just a little bit of rum as a step of making soup and I gagged. I can’t handle alcohol even though I feel like I want it in the tiny little cells in my body.

Is this what alcoholism feels like? I don’t usually want alcohol like this. I want that feeling of slightly distant and cheerful and I don’t know how to get there. Pot is different. But I just can’t drink right now or I’ll pay. The last two or three times I had wine I threw up. Whiskey is slightly better but it burns so…

I have such a fascinating body. I’m layers of sensitivity and fuss on top of sturdy. I may be in a lot of god damn pain and I may get sick and I may have to twist in odd directions to get things done… but I just keep on working.

Workaholic. That may be the best word. I don’t need to be obsessed with video games or drugs. I can lose myself in work.

If you do something long past the point when it is hurting you…. you may have a problem.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need a break so bad. I am so exhausted it is bone deep. But what do I long for in my exhaustion?

Time to go pull weeds. The garden is calling to my soul.

There is something fucking wrong with me. I just can’t stop working.

I have this weird little thing in my head with this work: I’m not going to be able to work like this forever. I’m going to collapse into infirmity and disability. It’s incredibly likely given all the signs and all the congenital stuff. My family doesn’t live long, healthy lives. We die young and in pain.

I’m paying future me dividends. I’m building this art and this garden so that when I am literally incapable of doing anything but sitting and looking around me… I will feel lucky for what I get to look at. I will feel blessed. I will feel inspired to think about fanciful stories. I will feel encouraged to grow and change and try even though all of us will end in death.

When I was a kid living with Auntie in the canyon I had to walk a mile to the bus stop. I walked past this lovely garden that this elderly woman made over many many years. Really I would walk through the garden because she didn’t mind if I detoured off the road and went a spell through her yard enjoying the plants. I think she was glad that she wasn’t the only one to love her garden. I was so sad when she died.

When I was in high school a different family moved in. They wrecked the garden to make more room for parking cars.

Now I’m making my own garden. It takes years and years and years of effort. I didn’t understand that when I was younger. Gardening is a passion that takes root in your soul and demands years of dedicated service. Sometimes I feel like gardening is part of how I practice whatever religion it is that I have.

Oh religion. This one is near the surface and so painful lately. My therapist’s position can be summarized by her statement, “Spirituality is for everyone. No one gets to tell you that you don’t belong.”

But the thing is, my spirituality is very wrapped up in the communion of community. Even with people who really don’t want to be part of a community with me. You are my religion. Even when I quite frankly don’t like you very much. Even all you white men I spend so much time bitching about.

You are my religion.

That doesn’t mean I will try to conform to being like you. That doesn’t mean I will blindly support you. It means I will try to think about you. It means I think you are important and I struggle to reflect that in my behavior all the time. I’m so sorry when I fuck up.

It doesn’t actually matter if you are a stranger. You are a person. I believe in you. I believe you can do more than you ever dreamed you could. I believe you are going to fuck up and make bad choices and sometimes I will want to lecture you about those but mostly I’ll keep it to myself. Even with your fuck ups I still believe in you. I believe you can overcome difficulty even as you say can’t. You did. You will.

I believe that I should do something to help you in this life. Maybe not a lot, but something. Even if that something is choosing to walk instead of drive when I’m not going far because we all need to breathe in 50 years.

We are all connected through our choices and our experiences. I can find connection with anyone. We won’t be “the same” because I’m not the same as anyone. I’m weird. But I can connect on some axis.

I believe that Gods are the inventions of human beings because human beings need ways to understand and influence behavior. I believe humans invent Gods because they need to externalize the sense of connection they feel.

I wouldn’t say you are my God. I would just say you are my religion. Religion can mean a few different things, like: “a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance” or “a particular system of faith and worship”. It can be about superhumans but it doesn’t have to be.

I have faith in you. Even if you feel valueless. You haven’t learned how to look at yourself how I look at you. You have value. You have strengths. I can tell you all about them after I get to know you a bit. There are ways and skills you possess that make you talented. No matter how stupid you feel.

Do you know what I completely suck at? Repetitive work. I go bonkers. I can’t pay attention to detail and do the same damn thing thousands of times. I can’t. I’ll break something. There are lots of people in the world who can though.

It’s a good thing that we are different. We can all do different work. I’m real serious about the idea that work doesn’t have to be for pay. I do a lot of work. I haven’t been paid except for what I get as my “legal share” of Noah’s money in a long time. I’m not doing the work in exchange for pay.

Hell, I think that’s one of the most fucked up thing we’ve done in this country. Why do we say that work must be compensated or it isn’t worth doing? I pick up garbage because my neighborhood is nicer if I do. Not because I’m getting paid. For goodness sake.

Anyway.

I wish my stomach would stop hurting. I wish I could get more than six hours of sleep in a row.

At least I’m done laying out tile! Now I get to transition back to painting. I need to fix the hallway because it looks pretty scuffed up and bad after this process. I don’t think I’m going to bother fixing the garage spots. They had to cut through the drywall to install some stuff. So there is a white patch in the middle of my brown background and brightly colored stripes. I don’t even care at this point. I’m so fucking exhausted.

But I will fix the hallway because vanity.

Tile guy was complaining yesterday that we have made so many mistakes in this project. He feels bad and would kind of like me to go buy some new tile and we can rip out the funky bits and redo it.

Uhhhh…. no. It’s ok. There are mistakes. It is true. That is a sentiment that fits neatly with my life and attitude. We learned a lot. This was a learning experience and yes we made mistakes. I will live with them and use them as focus points for thinking about mistakes I am making later in other life situations. I’m going to keep learning how to talk to people and how to grow up. I’m going to fuck up. I can think about whether I’m making the kind of mistake where I went too fast and was sloppy so everything came out uneven or if I wasn’t seriously looking at what I was doing so I grabbed something that was totally out of place for an area.

This shit’ll come up again as themes. Trust me.

I find it funny how often people tell me I’m a perfectionist. Sort of. Kind of. Maybe. But I accept an awful lot of imperfection and I just roll with it. I don’t sit and labor over something a long time trying to perfect it. I do what I do and I set it down and I move on.

So maybe kinda a perfectionist… but not entirely. Only sorta in some ways.

I’m also sloppy as shit and I can’t be bothered to care. People have been trying to get me to be less sloppy all my damn life. I sometimes think I prefer things to be scuffed up and kind of shitty so people don’t have the expectation that I’ll be able to put everything into proper place.

I ain’t proper and I ain’t never gonna be so go bark up some other tree.

I sort of wonder how much my difficulty identifying as an artist or a dancer or a writer or whatever is less about perfectionism and more about wanting to set expectations. I’m not interested in being critiqued as an artist or a dancer or a writer. I don’t put myself out there to be judged. I mean, I’ve been blogging forever but that isn’t the same thing as submitting a novel to publishing houses or entering contests or some shit. I don’t put myself in positions to be judged. I know I’m shitty and that’s fine leave me the fuck alone. I don’t need to participate in your contest so I can lose so I can know I’m shitty. I already know. I’m good.

Is that perfectionism? Really?

The trouble with dancing was I kept being told that I have to work on my footwork so I can be a better stage performer, so I can join a contest.

Fuck you and your judgment. I’m not here for your entertainment.

And I sure as mother fuck don’t want a participant trophy. Shove it in your fucking ear.

I love to dance. I can semi-competently dance: waltz, tango, fox trot, salsa, merengue, swing (east and west coast but I strongly prefer east),… I could go on for a while. I know a lot of different kinds of dances. I could easily come up with a dozen and maybe two dozen specific dances I know.

But I’m not interested in being evaluated for how “good” I am and as a result I do not identify as a dancer.

This is all weirdly tied in with the religion stuff.

I’m not worthy to be part of anything. I will never be judged and found acceptable. I will always be told I’m doing it wrong and I’m not very good.

So I just can’t risk judgment at all. It takes all I have to get out of bed and go about my shitty little mistake filled life. I’m doing the best I can. I know it isn’t as good as other people. Leave me alone.

I mean, I want feedback on some aspects of my life. It is important that I be a less shitty parent with every year. I want feedback on my behavior and choices because the impact of me making bad choices is huge and I’m not the one who pays the price. So in that area I want and need to be judged and I seek out sources of judgment.

But not as a dancer or a writer or an artist. Not when it comes to my California Woo religion either. I’m not part of your community, not really. I don’t conform to being what you want from a human being. But I drop in now and then because you are part of my community. Because I don’t need to judge you and decide you are good enough to be whatever it is. I don’t need to decide if you are good enough to be on stage. I just want to know you.

The fun thing about the painting is I told Noah I would let him get rid of my paint by his birthday. I’m not allowed to keep any after this project to tempt me towards more painting in the next few years. I need a break. Which means that I have a trailing deadline on a lot of the painting. I don’t have to get it done super fast. The tile laying had to happen with a fire under my butt because other folks need the results of my work. This is slower paced.

Because I have to go back to hanging out with the kids more. They need me. So I’m probably not going to be painting 40-60 hours/week.

Oh I’m so relieved.

I’m getting to the end of this horrible remodel and looking around my life. I am lucky. I am blessed. An awful lot of friends have shown up for me. They kept in contact. They came over, semi-regularly of their own volition because they missed me. I have friends who are happy to come over and walk with me. My kids are fantastic life companions. Noah works from home now and when I stop ignoring him all the time I think his depression funk will go away. I’m not ignoring him out of malice or spite. I’m fucking working. I’m exhausted and I have nothing more to give. This is not personal.

Things are going to be very different in June than they are now.

I didn’t get my shit together enough to add more classes at the next round of kid classes starting. I’m not yet back in the zone of being on-duty for them all day every day. Classes start this week at a neat home school program in San Jose. Ok. We’ll have to start next school year then because this remodel ate my life.

I have nothing more to give. Eldest Child is making steady academic progress because she’s self directed and feisty. Youngest Child decided that since academics do not currently involve a bunch of mom time that shit can wait until they turn seven. Seems legit.

I have been very impressed with how well they have handled all this. Ok, they bicker a fair bit lately and there have been a couple of screaming matches… but that happens anyway. We have not had a descent into Lord of the Flies and they still by and large like each other and get along most of the time. Schweet.

It is almost over. It took too damn long. Almost to fourteen months of fuss in the house with another year of mental planning before that. I worry that I lack follow through. You know what? I am awesome at follow through. Sticktoittivity.

I’ve been awake for two hours. I think I can go back to sleep now.

Trying to come down

I haven’t titled this yet because I don’t know how much I can type. My hands are hurting a lot. Twitter-storms are so much less effort.

The arbitration process is basically over. We don’t get results for a few weeks but there isn’t much more for me to do. I can stop thinking about it.

“Isn’t it true that you have issues with all men?”

No. That isn’t exactly true. I have this buddy, T, and you know what? I’ve never had a problem with him.

I’m sure there are more men I don’t have problems with. But the thing is, even though I have problems with a wide variety of men… I also deal with a lot of men. I don’t think that my problems are all because of me.

The arbitrator looked pretty upset at having to read about me wanting to stick my head through windows. She didn’t want to know I am a masochist.

Thanks, opposing council, you are so classy. To be fair… he was a little classy. He really wanted to bring up me cheating on Noah and he didn’t go there. He hinted around it a lot but he didn’t outright bring up our marital problems in the case. So… even though I don’t like him even a little bit… he did have a small amount of tact.

But now I’ve had a new life experience: ridiculed in court for being crazy, check.

It was kind of funny, as I went to sleep last night I had a thought: I’m queer. I attempted suicide as a youth. Oh shit. That means I’m part of those queer-youth-try-to-kill-themselves statistic. I’m not sure why that popped into my head but it was weirdly hilarious in the moment.

He spent a lot of time talking about how he was doing a trial of impeachment. Basically I am not a trustworthy witness about anything because I’m crazy.

I’m a lot less upset than I was yesterday. My stomach is settling down. I think I’ll be able to eat today. Yesterday I didn’t eat much. It wasn’t physically possible. But I stayed hella calm during the entire procedure. I was definitely not one of the more outbursty people.

I can dissociate like whoa.

Strangely enough I don’t feel like I care as much about being shamed as he would really like me to feel. I suppose that is progress.

Speaking of shame, here’s a neat blog about shame and male sexuality.

My heart feels heavy and sad. I’m really glad I have a massage and a chiropractic appointment today. That’s a serious blessing.

I’m 2/3 of the way through the final wall. Hopefully I’ll finish it today. We’ll see how I feel. Maybe.

And the White House is threatening to crack down on marijuana use. Oh fuck the whole world and all the people too.

It’s that day

I will hit post on this after the day is over. Because my lawyer doesn’t want me hitting post this morning. She would prefer that I take my entire blog down but I don’t think that is going to happen.

Apparently when a construction puts a substandard roof on my house the rebuttal should be, “Yeah well… but she’s crazy. See how much she writes?”

1,100 pages from my blog instead of a shred of evidence about the roof quality. Oh that sounds like a solid defense on y’alls end.

I haven’t been writing partially because it is hard not to rant about how frustrated I am with the legal process and I am under strict instructions to shut my pie hole and I suck at filtering.

I’m sad, tired, in pain, and very frustrated. But in positive news: tiling is almost done! I’m halfway done with the final wall. This is a big deal. I’m so happy with this progress and I love the lay out of this wall. It’s beautiful. I think we have about two weeks of tile application left to do. I will be painting once I finish this wall. That’s so thrilling. I get to go through and finish painting the hallway and the bathroom.

The tile guy is going to morph into general-construction-guy and do a few finishing up details for us when tiling is over:

  • check the drywall in our bedroom to see where the leak is by the window because we are having mold problems
  • probably replace drywall in our room & add insulation
  • leak under the sink
  • attach all the towel bars, toilet paper holders, candle holders, hooks for plants
  • reattach all kitchen cabinets (I suck at doing this and they end up not hanging straight)
  • clean up the edge of the badly poured concrete

I thought I would come home and work on this. The arbitration was a nightmare. I feel so sick. Maybe I’ll write later.

Seriously in my feels, yo

I’m done working. 8am-12am is god damn long enough. Now I’m medicating for bed. The pot helps and hurts my sleep. It interrupts my dream cycle and prevents me from getting as deep of sleep. It helps with the pain and allows me to lie in bed that long. It’s a mixed bag.

This tile work is fucking awful. My fingers hurt. They hurt like pushing on the back of a razor blade for hours and hours for days and days hurt. Cause I’ve been doing that. The scissors just ain’t sharp enough.

I feel like I drive everyone away. I’m glad Noah is here to validate how hard the cognitive plus physical load of this job is. I’m feeling insecure and whiny and impatient with myself. I can’t tell if the tile guy is complaining as much as I think he is or if I am just being neurotic. We have this weird dynamic where technically I’m the boss but mostly he treats me like a flunkie.

So he constantly interrupts my work flow for questions and requests. Things like asking me to explain the lay out of an area he doesn’t want to do for weeks. Which… is complex and requires switching gears in my brain to explain. Then I get back to work. Then he interrupts to ask me to go get him a pen. Then I get back to work. Then he interrupts my train of thought to ask why I haven’t finished some area I haven’t started already.

I’m going bananas.

He asked me to go get him a phone charger; it was in the car so I had to get the key from Noah then go outside then get the adapter from the living room. Then he didn’t use it.

Shit like that.

I am not amused. Sixteen days in. The progress is coming right along. The tree is growing in huge chunks. Today I prepared approximately 10 sq ft of tree trunk and bower. Tomorrow they are also going to start work on the snow wall so they can go back and forth between the tree and the snow wall when I’m gone at medical appointments. Whee.

Strategizing what they are going to do when is a constantly moving target because his mood shifts. Sometimes he is adamant and fussy that all pieces must be x shape and y dimensions and then the next day he yells at me that I’m stupid for doing it that way because look, this new area he’s working in wants this other configuration. Why didn’t I see that?

I’m struggling to be nice.

I mean, I get it. This really is a bitchy job. He’s taken to chanting puta madre all day long. He’s struggling and this is super hard and he’s not used to jobs taking this kind of cognitive load and this was dumped in his lap with no actual negotiation. The other real tile guy has bailed on him because he thinks this job sucks.

Sigh. And still we struggle on.

need this guy. So I have to figure out how to deal with his mouth for a while all strategic like. Thus typing to myself. I don’t think as well any other way.

Also! There is always Spanish music playing and they speak to me more and more in Spanish. So my brain is working in god damn triple time.

Good golly I need a break. Luckily we are going to be able to sneak off to that upcoming Saturday event. You know the one. Or you don’t and that’s ok too. I’m not going to be doing the hot tub part because we are going out to dinner after. We will be there by about 4:30 if you want to see us…

I may be frisky.

We’ll see.

I’m feeling pent up and overworked as fuck. I want to play and rest and I don’t know which I want more. One of my buddies sent me an email telling me she wants to go dancing in a club again soon. Oh man. That sounds so late at night and so tiring and so fun.

I don’t have the spoons. Shit shit double shit.

Someday. I hope.

Fuck this work shit. I could slack off and only work when they are here. Ha. “Slack off” by working 40 hour weeks. That’s me in a nut shell. That’s why my family all harshly argue with anyone who calls me lazy. They don’t need me hearing that word. It’s Pavlovian. I’ll work until I sit down on the floor for a “little rest” then wake up 4 hours later because I passed out unconscious and then I’ll get up and work again. It’s easier to work when the kids are sleeping. Then I’m not ignoring them.

I couldn’t go without sleep like this before I had children. I wasn’t physically capable. Parenting has taught me a lot about what I’m capable of doing.

Do you know what I’ve been thinking about lately?

I keep thinking about Jenny telling me that the story of me is what I do with my agency and not about what happened to me. I’ve been talking to tile guy about developmental trauma, brain plasticity, different stages of development and the various processes for healing different problems, going through different therapeutic styles and talking about why they are useful…

I’m telling you. I’m under cognitive load here. These are hard concepts to explain to someone who is mostly functional but not at all educated in English while you are concentrating on fidgety, fussy, particular work.

I god damn MOTHER FUCKING HATE FIDGETY, FUSSY, PARTICULAR WORK. OH SWEET CHRIST I HATE THIS SHIT.

I can’t ever sell this house.

I have poured my heart, soul, dreams, blood, and children into it.

It’s going to turn out that only one of my children will be born here. That’s ok. It wasn’t really a fun experience at home. I uhhh did better at the hospital so that’s plan a. Next to find a doctor as cool as the person who was randomly on duty at Valley Med. Well. Next is get pregnant. Yo. We are doing what we need to do in that department. Sometimes bodies say, “You know how you are working obscene hours? No. Not yet.” I am ok with that. I’ll get knocked up soon enough. Nine months of trying for four pregnancies is still an average I can’t complain about. Ok, ok, only two full term pregnancies. Miscarriage has been on my mind too. I feel like I keep seeing references to it every where lately. Mostly I don’t think about it because if those pregnancies had worked I wouldn’t have Youngest Child and I really like them. I think they are a neat person. I’m glad I get to watch them grow up.

I can accept that I mess things up as I learn how to do them right.

Yeah. I do that.

I showed the owner of the construction company the mold in our bedroom. He uhhh was concerned. Apparently they are going to do a bit more work to determine the extent of the leak in our bedroom. Wood is warping and the primary reason that would happen is a leak. So they need to open the drywall and replace it and I think we’ll just go ahead and have them insulate the walls cause good golly.

Oh fuck money. Money. Money. Burn it all.

Oh yeah. Pay that bill.

The internet is so damn useful. Organize your thoughts, bitch to your friends, strategize, flirt, read all the news, stream movies, and pay all your bills. I didn’t even mention porn yet. But there I go. See, the internet is awesome.

Thanks Al Gore.

Politics are scaring the absolute shit out of me. I’m feeling self absorbed and horrible for being as selfish as I am. I couldn’t do this project like this if Noah weren’t here doing food and a lot of kid wrangling and taking them to classes and…

Good golly I’m in a weird spot. When the country was doing better and most people were having it pretty good I had it shitty. Then everyone else got in a bad spot and I’m not any more. I don’t think it happened because I’m more deserving. Life is complicated.

I’m spending a lot of time listening to the problems in their large families.

I just listen. I don’t speak unless they ask me a question. It seems kinda… rude. But luckily they ask a bunch of questions. They think I’m something else. I’m given the elaborate praise from the assistant, “I don’t think I would have slept through your class.” No kid, you wouldn’t. No one did. If they tried, I helped them wake up. I get one hour out of your day. I won’t burden you with undue homework. Give me your attention for one gosh bleepin hour.

I’m feeling a bit scattered you might say. I really wanted to put a k in scattered. Sigh.

Krissy with a god damn K.

I should go to bed. I’ve been medicating and talking to myself for an hour (I take breaks between sections right now because my arms hurt fiercely). I’ve been missing talking to myself. I’m allowed to segue straight back into talking about my siblings again if I’m talking to myself.

It’s hard listening to them talk. Sometimes when the older guy is coaching the younger guy through how to be a better family member I have to put my ear phones in and drown out the sound. I listen to loud female singers in English and bop around.

We can’t all have what you have. It sounds truly wonderful. No. I can’t just “get over it” and go back to my siblings and act like we are a family. We have never been a family. We are relations; si is la verdad. Pero no familia.

They are asking me fewer questions about me and more questions about wide ranging topics that they are curious about. I’m playing rent-an-encyclopedia. I read a lot of shit. I go a lot of places. I talk to a lot of people. I know shit.

Sometimes when I strop and start making a list of the topics that we cover: government, developmental psychology, trauma recovery, addiction mechanisms, vivid descriptions of various places and stories about my adventures (carefully sanitized to a degree–I mean… I specifically said that I’m queer but I’m leaving kinky out), educational theories around the damn world, and world religions.

I know some god damn shit. And I can talk about it on request for about as long as you have patience to listen because I have more patience than you and I study this shit.

Why shit? Because I’m shivering and pissy about it. But I don’t want to stop smoking. Whine. I know I need to stop smoking again. For the duration of this project I need to just medicate a lot on edibles and deal with paying for it. I’m all up in my feelings about money and health and fork and erk and

I HAVE TOO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT.

And every few minutes the kids wander in to talk to me and ask me questions.

Sometimes Noah comes in to tell me he thoughtfully bought me chocolate. Thank you, dear.

This right here is why I like working in the middle of the god damn night when everyone is sleeping.

Deep breath. I am grateful for all the blessings in my life. I am so glad I am not alone. But learning to work with such constant interruption + pain + everyone expecting me to be patient and sunny in disposition at every moment = holy tomato I’m overloaded right this minute.

I’m wearing my cranky pants.

I’m really enjoying the new Lady Gaga album Joanne. The very first time I heard some of the songs I wasn’t sure…. then I listened a second time and I was hooked.

I have privileges. I have parts of my life that are hard. I have parts of my past that were downright shitty. Ok.

Lots of other people are having a hard time right this minute. If I’m doing really ok in a time when people aren’t that is a moral obligation.

I wasn’t exactly raised with the expectations that I would have to learn how to manage a lot of money. This feels really stressed about money right now. Not because we are doing poorly. All I have to do is go look at our net worth and I can’t believe that I’m doing poorly. But I feel like I’m fucking up and up and up and up and up.

Life is costly. I have some very particular expensive tastes.

Like… corset dresses… ooooh. If I’m not going in the hot tub I can wear the dress at the party… That sounds potentially fun. Maybe.

Maybe. It’s work. Ha. I’m feeling like pudding. Maybe that’s the sign to go to sleep.

Progress report: 15%/24%

This is a test of my project management skills. If I am correct, we have 85 days of tiling to go. (We have done 13 days, two of them with serious professionals laying tile and I think it’ll be 100 days of work.) I’ve done 47 hours of painting (with help) out of the 200 I estimate needing for the house.

It’s coming along. I’m weary because last week I felt the fanatical need to get through a stage of the project and I spent several nights working till 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 in the morning. When you start working at 8:30 in the morning that’s a long day. But that was scraping all the stupid little tiles so I could hurry up and finish gridding the sections for the shower. Now all the teeny tiny tiles have been scraped and I’m up to spacing and tiling sections. Ok, I’ve been spacing and tiling sections for a couple weeks now.

Hey folks: remember that taping we did of tiny tiles to the carboard boxes? That was maybe kinda a little stupid. Because now getting it off there and spaced and into configuration for the mosaic tape is kinda a pain in the ass. So we put a lot of labor into making my life harder later. Hahahahahaha. Cheers.

I didn’t know.

Oh well!

I’ve learned a lot from this process. A lot I may never use again.

The playroom is back in service! This is a huge deal. I’m super excited. We finished the painting in there (though I noticed after I said that and moved toys that I forgot to edge one side of the door framing. Whoops) and moved toys and the kids promptly threw everything on the floor and exclaimed with glee that they would not be picking anything up. Ok then.

We are now in negotiation about what screen rules look like going forward. I sorta anticipate a decline in youtube in the house because nope you don’t get to make a huge mess then go watch obnoxious rude assholes. Nope. I’m that flavor of asshole. If you want to watch shit I hate… you get to do all your chores first. That includes making it so I can do basic cleaning like vacuuming in the whole house. Because the bug problem didn’t improve with the remodel. We still have ants in the new area. Sigh. We live on a swamp. We can’t escape bugs. It isn’t about me being fussy and particular… it’s just life. We have to clean if we don’t want infestations. Believe me in the last year I’ve pushed these limits to see how gross we can let the house get without problems. It’s pretty bad. Just sayin’.

The living room isn’t clean and tidy but it only has stuff in it that belong in the living room. I’m thrilled. The kid bedroom isn’t clean and tidy but it mostly only has stuff in there that belongs. My bedroom… still has lingering bathroom stuff because the last cabinets haven’t arrived yet.

The garage is the last hold out of troublesome storage. We can’t have an Easter party until the garage is in service again so I feel like I’m racing the clock. I don’t want to miss the third year in a row because of a fucking remodel. That’s ridiculous. I’m ready to move on with my life. Seriously.

The tree of life is on my spacing board. That center area of the tree trunk is what I’m spacing/taping right now. So that’s kind of exciting. The other 2/3 of the shower are nearly done. There is less than 1′ sq of tile left to add to those to walls. They will be finished today. Then they want to start the tree so that the whole shower can be finished before they move on to another area of the bathroom. Personally I think things would move faster if they worked on multiple walls at once because we can only add 3-5″ of tile up a wall on a given day. Any more than that and it gets heavy and starts sliding down the wall and squishing the spacing out. That’s not good. So I feel like multiple walls would give more area to cover. So far no one agrees with me.

But it’s coming along. I love it a lot. The waterfall is finished. It didn’t turn out exactly like I designed to start with for a variety of reasons. I like it. There are more random pieces here and there than I intended so it looks kind of chunky in places. I like looking at it and coming up with reasons in my head why a natural environment would have a random area be different. That’s a lot of fun for me.

The wall I’m working on for the bathtub area (I’ve finished one quadrant of one of the three walls) has a volcano. I figured it out after I’d done most of the spacing out. I looked at it and turned my head and was like, “Hey! I know why there are a bunch of bright colorful rocks at the base of this mountain!” I don’t think it’s been active recently, but there are still neat mineral pockets.

It’s kinda a funny process.

I have laid out and ready for the tile guy to get started: the front tiles for the bathtub/shower facing areas that are outside the water zone. Does that make sense? They are what you see from the walkway. They are going to be a fairly easy layout. Those are 4″ tiles and they will go likety-split compared to the teeny tiles. Those are mean and vicious. Also the tiles for the dividing wall between the shower and the bathroom. I’ve laid out and gridded and taped part of inside the bath tub. I’ve laid out and taped the bottom 5″ tall by about 4′ wide of the tree. That’s enough prep for at least three days of tile laying. And he still complains that I’m not going fast enough to get things ready for him.

I love my tile guy. I will remember him forever. I asked him if he will sign the wall when we are done so I never forget that he was my partner in art. He laughed and said sure. He complains a lot and I absolutely love him for it. He is particular and fussy. It’s great. He does beautiful work. The areas in my bathroom where the tile isn’t that great? Yeah those were the two days he had a helper. Ha.

Now we have a helper, a less skilled guy, and every day is turning into a lecture series for me. The guy (I’m struggling to not call this 24 year old man with a child a kid because he reads as innocent to me) found out I was a former teacher and has been quizzing me since then. “What do you think about ______?” We talk about politics a lot. We talk about the intricacies of fighting the government and who needs to do what. Yesterday we talked about religion and death and the afterlife. We talk about parenting–the tile guys kids are older than me so he has opinions.

Know what I love? A person with opinions. Tell me allllll your opinions. Provided you aren’t a white supremacist. Then I don’t want to hear them. I want to hear the other opinions.

They are schooling me on my Spanish. Which is fun.

All in all, except for wanting my garage back this is a fun process for me at this point. I’m still damaging my body, of course. Noah’s getting sort of out of patience with me having all these hobbies that damage me. He gets stuck picking up the pieces and he’s pretty tired of it. I get it. I do. But I don’t really think I’ll ever be good at being idle.

I’m exercising more. I’m doing sit ups and push ups and stretching other random floor exercises most days. I’m trying to get folks to go running with me. It’s fun. Our sleep schedule has been all over the place.

Something that I should pay more attention to and care about more: Not a single person in my house sleeps well when I work all night long. They all stay up hours and hours past bed time.

I was talking to my shrink about friendships and the concept of chosen family. I think I’m done with the concept of “best friend”. Throughout my life I’ve had a series of people I’ve thrown myself upon. I needed a lot back from my friends. I needed them to be my family because I didn’t really have one. Brittney, Grant, Anna, Alex, and I could go on but it starts hurting a lot.

I wear friends out. I am too much. I need to stop looking for my friends to fill these holes in me because doing so hurts them and makes them have to reject me entirely.

I think this is part of the reason I want more children. I’m allowed, even encouraged, to focus on my children in a way that is desperately unhealthy in every other capacity in my life. I have a lot to give and most people really don’t want to get it from me. So kids.

My kids and I live in a strange little world of our own creation. It’s a fairly happy world as we acknowledge that our larger frame is being part of a sick society we have to work to change. Noah is increasingly included now that he works from home. In the past he felt… honestly less a part of the whole thing. I really like having him around all the time. We are learning a lot about each other and giving space and allowing room for growth.

I feel like a plant that had withered down to almost nothing that is suddenly deeply watered. I grow so fast.

I need to learn how to love my friends with distance even as it is ok for me to enjoy the closeness I have with my family. I understand more why other people have always rejected me to go back to the place where they are normal and ok and their way is right. I feel like I created such a place for myself through brute force. But it wasn’t actually brute force. It was manual labor and inspiration.

I have so many people I love so much. I feel like an asshole because I want to clarify these things in my head. I’ve spent a lot of years around polyamorous folks who believe you shouldn’t categorize relationships you shouldn’t define things you should just accept. That path will lead to me losing my cotton picking mind.

That’s a phrase my mom used all the time. I feel like a racist every time I think or say it. I’m about to lose my cotton picking mind. It’s one of the phrases that feels most natural to me in avoiding cursing. (I am trying to curse less.) But the things I have in my mind I’m supposed to know the entire origin of every word and phrase in order to find out if someone like me is allowed to use it or if it is meant for someone else and I should keep my dirty white hands off it.

I understand how POC can get to the point of internalizing self-hatred because they are internalizing things that are projected by society. I spend a lot of time reading about the atrocities of white people.

I think it is funny when I’m ranting about how white people suck that there is often a fucking white guy who has to tell me “Uhhhh, I hate to break it to you… but your white.” (Misspelling is usually included in their message. *I* know the difference.) HOLY SHIT! REALLY!! WHY HASN’T ANYONE ELSE EVER TOLD ME?!?!!?! Oh wait. This is the 90,432 time someone has. Never mind.

It is as if people believe that being white means I am not allowed to critique whiteness or the actions of people who are white.

I think you better have another think coming.

What countries have white people ruined? Define ruin. The Native Americans have a strong argument. Let’s look at South Africa. Let’s look at… you know what… let’s not.

You haven’t read any books about history and you don’t care. So I’m not going to waste my breath or typing spoons on that kind of lecture today.

Something that is hard for me is, lots of times people I learn from–specifically women of color–say things about white people and I desperately want to believe I am an exception. I want to #NotAllWhitePeople them. I don’t. I sit on my damn fingers. Sometimes I type a response then I delete it without sending it.

It doesn’t matter if there are exceptions. There is a larger pattern and they are right to complain about it and centering myself as the exception only illustrates their point that they are being ignored and erased. If I want to be an exception to invalidating their reality… I need to not fucking argue. I need to accept and listen and shut my god damn mouth.

Recently a white man I had previously respected said, “I have a voice and I want to use it” in a conversation about how it is unfair that women of color want to have conversations he isn’t invited into. Bitch you are a college professor. You have a lot of rooms where your voice is wanted and the voice of marginalized women of color is not. How dare you come into spaces where they finally get to have a voice and complain that your voice is not being heard. GET OVER YOURSELF.

I was feeling bad about losing contact with a corner of a social group. Now I remember why I stopped talking to them.

Clearly I like having a voice as much or more as any other person. There are a whole lot of spaces where the only way my participation is welcome is if I am silent.

I accept that deal in a lot of places when I go out into the world. Even when I go out on to the internet. I don’t get to control the narrative everywhere.

Just in my house and in my blog. I don’t get control of god damn anything else.

Even in my house I’m in a long term negotiation with the other people who live here. I am not a fascist dictator setting terms. I am very clear at all times that my goal is long-term relationships with psychologically healthy adults; I have to carefully negotiate the terms of my house. My family is full of strong opinions and desire for control. I don’t get to run the whole show. Noah now even has a man cave in the garage. See, I give up space as negotiated.

*I* don’t have dedicated space in this house. There isn’t enough room. But I’m carving it out for other people. I kinda fit in around the cracks. Maybe it’s my damn bath tub. Ha.

Setting up this bathroom feels like creating worship space. I’m going to spend a lot of time in this room thinking about my life and my choices and my future. I want the setting to be right.

Set and setting. My time in the theatre shaped my thinking quite a bit. I didn’t understand how I was shaping my brain as a young person. Now that I’m in my 30’s and I have perspective it is interesting to me how I sought out experiences and sensory experiences and chances to do things.

Oh, the other thing I’m talking about a lot with the tile guys is travel. They are both from small villages in Mexico and they came here a long time ago and they’ve never been anywhere else at all.

Oh let me tell you about the country and the world. They have questions about climate and plants and culture. I have my skewed opinions. Ha.

I didn’t know I knew so many things. I know a lot of people who are far more educated than me. They had rich parents and started their educations at more like the ages when my children are starting theirs.

Privilege. Experiences. Options. What do these things mean? What does it mean to want a better future for your children? Why is it so important to me that each of my children travel out of the country before they are a year old.

Most Americans never leave the country. More than 60% of Americans never have a passport.

More than half the country has less than $1,000 in savings.

My kids are privileged mother fuckers. Ok, so I haven’t stopped swearing entirely.

What is that going to mean? How do I create little people who are not entitled to go along with the good luck of being privileged? This is so complicated.

And I’m not going to figure it out today. Noah asked me if I want to go running. Yup. I do.

End of an era

We knew this was coming. We’ve been given warning for a few years now but it is still going to hurt. Our babysitter is moving. Cue sobbing and rending of garments. This is not going to be easy for me. We had a horrible time finding any other childcare. Having a home schooled teenager three doors down just can’t be beat. Now they are moving to Hawaii. The upside is they have a guest room and we can visit whenever we want because they adore us.

So this is going to change our life. I’m really glad that is happening a year after Noah finally gets to work from home. This is less difficult than it could be. Given that we want to have more kids… this is going to be difficult. But it isn’t as difficult as it could be. Take comfort from wherever you can.

I’m not even going to try and replace her this year. We have another neighborhood teenager babysitter (she lives a whole block away) and we will try to schedule dates a couple of nights a month with her and that’s going to be childcare for a while. I could use the time to save up some money. I love our babysitter but we pay her a lot and my budget will breathe a sigh of relief to not pay anyone for a while.

Like, we paid her over $9,000 last year. I’ll be ok with having breathing room in that area. I’ll spend the money on health care instead. Sigh.

My body is in a really bad place. I’m hurting myself. I hope I’m not causing permanent damage.

May. Our babysitter leaves in May. I’m excited for them and sad for myself. That’s an ok balance.

She will be here to help through the end of the remodel at least. Phew.

This week I have a socializing visit with a homeschooling mom, an Ikea date with Sarah, and I’m helping P finish packing up her apartment. On top of all the tiling I’m going to do that sounds exhausting already.

I’m tired. I’m sore. I need to go lay out tile so this week can go fast. Sigh.

Very briefly

My hands hurt. Noah massaged my arms last night and commented that they feel like guitar strings. My two hour massage yesterday concentrated on my jammed ribs/clavicle/sternum and didn’t get to anything else because it took so long to break through the knots fucking those connections up.

The corset is not fully the solution to my problems. Shit.

My massage therapist says that until the tile work is over maybe I can sneak in and see her twice a week. Sure. Sounds great. I feel like shit.

Tile guy is not happy about me taking Friday’s off for medical appointments. That’s too damn bad. He also spends a lot of time commenting on how I don’t look so good and he’s worried about me. But I should work more!

I’m deeply conflicted about a thing that’s going on. But I can’t do anything about it. So I’m just kinda trying to put it out of my mind. Do you know how good I am at that? Not good. Not good at all.

Today the babysitter is here for five hours. I’m going to ask her to help the kids with painting the closet in the playroom. I’ll help too… but having two grown ups around makes the process SO MUCH EASIER that I’m going to do the last painting push with help. I’m being S_M_R_T. Once that painting is done (and it dries) I can move all the toys back into the playroom and get the grown up work materials out of there. That will be a glorious day.

I’m probably going to need to send the construction company owner an email about tile guy scheduling because I’m pissy that he keeps telling me I’ll have more help then I don’t then a guy shows up by surprise then doesn’t come back when he says and… that’s totally fucking with my prep. That’s not cool. I’m going to write a detailed explanation of how many hours past the 8 hours/day I’m working to support this crew and how fucked up it is to jerk me around.

I’m working 10-14 hour days. It’s not cool to tell me to prep for something then it doesn’t happen. That’s fucked up. That’s not fair. I’m fucking tired. I hurt.

Because then the hours I spent prepping for something that isn’t going to happen are wasted hours and I could have been more useful to the guy who is actually here. That’s not cool. Then the guy who is here slows down to a crawl as I try to scramble to properly assist him. It sucks for everyone involved. I need predictable staffing.

Wrote an email. We’ll see how this goes.

My body needs this project to end. I’m exhausted. This is end-of-the-road-trip level pain and I think I’m only like 10% done with the tile. I think I’m like 25% done with the painting. Feck.

Personally I like this pain scale.  I’ve been fighting off pain induced nausea for days. That means I’m hanging around 6-8 on the scale. That sucks.

I don’t think it is healthy, normal, or “appropriate” that someone with the kind of chronic pain I have continues to work the way I do. I think that is a sign of my overall mental health problems and inability to prioritize myself.

I’m not built for doing the kinds of work I do. I don’t let that slow me down very much and I’m pretty sure that is a bad thing. My body hurts to tell me to stop and I just flat out refuse to listen. This can’t be healthy.

Noah rebuked me appropriately last night. I know the kids want to go to Japan this year. I know my friend invited me to Alaska and I want to see my friend and and and….

I need a no travel year. I’m so weary. I’m in so much pain. I need to save the fucking money. Whine.

Looking at Mint this morning turned my stomach. Paying for the remodel continues to suck. I am rather grateful that I only include a fraction of Noah’s income in our budget. That way when I go over it isn’t as catastrophic. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.

Stop typing, Krissy.

I’m exhausted and weary and completely bored. I hate this state of mind.

Ow.

My hands are very pissed off about life. Such will be the constant chorus for the next month or more. 5 days in. Lots of progress made. We are like more than 2′ up the shower wall. Woo. Well, on two out of three sides at least.

It’s coming. Today I get to do more grid making for him. If I make grids of tiles then he can put up a bunch at once instead of one at a time.

The work continues.

Micro fiction

(This isn’t real so don’t freak out. It’s just what I woke up thinking about.)

She woke up early every morning to frantically dress in the dark. If she gets dressed fast enough, if she gets enough chores done before anyone else can wake up… maybe no one will hurt her.

But today she dropped her shoe when she was trying to carry her bundle of belongings out of the sleeping room.

Oh no. Now they are waking up.

Soon the pain will begin.

I’m going to post this again. Because holy tomato.

I’m still reading this post about poverty and education. I wish I had seen something like this when I was teaching. I feel this would benefit absolutely anyone who has to interact with teaching humans. It isn’t just about financial poverty. There are other kinds of poverty (from the article):

Emotional:
the ability to choose and control emotional responses, particularly to negative situations, with-out engaging in self-destructive behavior. This is an internal resource and shows itself through stamina, perseverance, and choices.
Mental:
the necessary intellectual ability and acquired skills, such as reading, writing, and computing, to deal with everyday life.
Spiritual:
a belief in divine purpose and guidance.
Physical:
health and mobility.
Support systems:
friends, family, backup resources and knowledge bases one can rely on in times of need. These are external resources.
Role models:
frequent access to adults who are appropriate and nurturing to the child, and who do not engage in self-destructive behavior.
Knowledge of hidden rules:
knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a group.
That’s a lot of kinds of poverty, yo. I am not sure I have ever seen it codified exactly like this. And this article present specifics of “How to work with children who have _____ deficit.”

I’ll be honest and say… I feel kinda awesome about how often I read this article and think, “YES! THAT’S EXACTLY HOW I HANDLE THAT PROBLEM!! GO TEAM ME!” I always feel excited when I find anything that looks like validation for my approach.

How do we teach children to choose and control emotional responses without engaging in self destructive behavior? That’s a mouth full. That’s a many decades long process in my experience. When someone did not learn these skills during the appropriate developmental windows (Know why I harp on the first seven years so often? RESEARCH. They are important. If you miss that window it isn’t impossible to catch up on areas of deficiency [I present your humble author as an example] but it is exponentially harder) it takes structure, form, and conscious teaching to undermine the bad training that the kid got.

I’ve worked with kids who had severe problems from one thing or another. They were all warm, loving people who had not been given the opportunities in life they need to have. I can’t think poorly of them for it even as I acknowledge how hard it can be to teach them more functional behaviors in a classroom.

I miss the classroom. I’ve been rewatching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo of course I watch the Swedish miniseries.

Sometimes I reflect that I watch shows in a pretty interesting variety of languages: Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Korean… there are more. I watch a lot of sub titles so I can try to feel the way the language works. I sincerely believe that Korean would be dead easy to learn. It sounds so blessedly consistent. I can pick up phrases from a soap opera series. Also, I continue to feel embarrassed by how poor my spoken Spanish is. I really need to find ways to practice so I can feel less stupid.

Anyway. TGWTDT makes me think about the ways we come into one another’s lives. How do we manage to intersect with new people? In that story/movie/book Lisbeth mostly came into contact with people through the social welfare system. That doesn’t exist in my country the way it does in Sweden. Sure, we have a system but it isn’t well thought out or comprehensive in quite the same way. Many more people fall through the cracks. Sure Lisbeth was caught because she threw a fire bomb on her father but still.

I came into contact with an awful high number of people because of teaching. I have leveled off that number like whoa since I stopped reaching out to the world in that manner.

Where is my place now? I have no role in societies like those pictures. I’m kind of… irrelevant. So how do people like me get to being able to help kids who aren’t theirs?

It’s complicated.

Everything is complicated.

A kiddo woke up. I should go do the breakfast thing since we don’t have a Noah today. Oh Noah. We miss you so. Not because you provide us with food, though that is lovely. I do regulate off of you. I need you to remind me when I’m hungry I should eat and when I’m tired I should sleep. When I’m exhausted but too anxious too sleep you help me calm down. I’m trying to not be super stoned in this pre-pregnancy period of hopefully reduced pot usage. I want my tolerance to stay low.

Ok. Gotta go.

Sleeping is for when Noah is home.

I really should sleep. Instead I’m…. uhh… reading Reddit. It’s a fascinating thread about poverty.

But this other one is one is a super neat thing about educating students who come from a variety of kinds of poverty. This is good stuff for anyone who provides direct instruction. How do you help your kids overcome deficits?

Distraction

I’m up and no one else is. I’m trying to distract myself from working because I hear I should rest one of these days. So I’m looking up how far baby carriers have come in the last half a decade. Hm. There are new options. I’m not sure I like them better than what I had though.

I am thinking about how I’m going to hold a baby with my fucked up hands. I’ve done a lot of damage since I last had a baby.

It’s funny considering all the angles here. Different carriers put a different amount of strain on my body. Some days I can handle pressure in Areas A & B, sometimes mainly in Area C… so how many carriers should one have? But they cost money.

Noah would like me to stop worrying about money one of these days. He earns enough. I shouldn’t fret. It bothers him that I’m so fretful about money. He works himself ragged trying to get me to stop fretting about money.

Sweetheart, know how it is my job to make your old age comfortable? I will always fret about money. Every dollar I spend now feels like I am robbing Future You.

It’s not about how much you make now. You will not make this forever. I have to make it last.

Anyway. Baby carriers. There are advantages to soft structured carriers (like the Ergo but there are other brands), wraps (like a Moby or a woven wrap–big differences between those two types), ring slings (a strip of cloth that you wrap around your body and tie into a bag using rings–like it sounds), or Mei Tais. Those are like a soft structured carrier but with less shape.

Why do I care about this shit so much? Why is it worth thinking about?

Well lets start with my hand damage and move up my arms to the fucked up elbows and the wrecked shoulders then down to the fucked up lower back.

Why do I think about these things? Because the more I think about how to manage my pain now the less anxiety I will have later because I will be in pain and unable to figure out how to fix it because I will be mentally overwhelmed.

Right now I’m just chillin’.

I can think about how to manage things. Like: a ring sling is awesome and I’ve used the hell out of the one I had… but I’m desperately worried about my shoulders standing up to that kind of strain at this stage of my life.

I’d get myself in a position where it was the only carrier with me on a day when I’m already doing poorly and… that’s a recipe for me being almost blind from pain and lashing out at everyone near me all day. Maybe skip having the temptation in the house.

Which means opting in to more mass/complication every.single.time. Ring slings are lovely. They are quick and convenient and they are super easy to nurse in…

But fucked up shoulders. Like, seriously fucked up. Like every medical practitioner I have spends most sessions lately working on my shoulders because the pain is making it so I can’t sleep much at nights.

Painting sucks. I need to stop.

Less anxiety. Baby carriers. Distraction. Sweet, fluffy, screaming/flailing/puking distraction.

What am I god damn thinking? I’m thinking I like my kids so much that I really really really want to meet more of them. This is the first group of humans I have had this kind of success with. I want more. I like how snuggly and loving and attached we are. We support one another in separate adventures too, but we really prefer to be together. We all get a bit cranky at separations.

The stretchy woven wraps are really comfortable and adjustable for the first 4-6 months depending on how big the baby is. They are really ideal for all the newborn positions but then they stop being useful at all because they are dangerous. Woven wraps are great from birth through early toddler weight and they are entirely adjustable for kid-size… but they are rather hard on the adult’s body. The weight is questionably distributed. They are small and easy to always have with you as a back up, but as a primary one… they leave me sore and aching. They are also not as perfectly awesomely forgiving with a new born.

That leaves Mei Tais and structured carriers. The advantages of Mei Tais lies in how adjustable they are for body size of both kids and grown ups. I’ve shared these carriers successfully with folks from a grown up size XS to grown up size 3X. They are gloriously adjustable. But they don’t distribute weight quite as well as a structured carriers. Structured carriers are the most ergonomic for me and allow me to do the most wearing with the least pain. They kinda suck for nursing or carrying around with you places where the kid won’t be in the carrier all the time. I am an expert at putting a kid in a back carry alone in any kind of carrier, but most folks can’t for a long long time. (I practiced. Over and over and over in my house. Putting kids into and out of carries to see how it works. I’m… kind of boring.)

In my experience the most shareable carriers are the Mei Tais followed by ring slings followed by structured carriers. Woven/stretchy wraps usually scare folks who don’t use them on a regular basis.

I have a lot of wonderful friends who like to snuggle my babies and I think feeling love from lots of people is a big deal for healthy social development so the shareability of my carriers ranks kinda high for me.

I know other people say they nurse in an Ergo without a problem, but I always struggle with the angle. My boobs are kinda big and they get pretty huge when I’m nursing. I find that I need a carrier that allows me to drop the baby down several inches from the normal comfortable carrying height in order to nurse with ease while doing other work. That’s why ring slings are the most awesome for nursing in my experience. Eldest Child spent a lot of her babyhood in a ring sling nursing.

Someday-Not-The-Youngest-Child didn’t nurse all the time so they spent a lot of time in the structured carrier.

After browsing through videos for a structured carrier I noticed that this brand recommends nursing… in the stretchy wrap.

The stretchy wrap is probably as good for nursing as a ring sling for the first few months. Maybe even better in many ways. It gives a bunch of position options that the ring sling doesn’t allow for.

Oh the factors to consider. See, I’m not just a one trick pony.

I don’t really want to just buy one of each. That seems ridiculous.

But I know women who bought more than twenty carriers because they wanted different ones to match their outfits. So I’m not sure why I’m so worried about it.

Every dollar I spend where I don’t have to is money I can’t spend on my mortgage or travel.

I don’t want to rob me either. But I want to minimize pain, frustration, and fussing in the future. It’s a balancing act.

After spending a while watching videos on youtube (we live in a magical time) I’m interested in the Boba. Hm.

Practically vibrating with anxiety.

I have managed to construct a complex and multi-layered argument to something someone said. I found about 10 sources to back me up. I need to drop this.

I’m feeling freaked out and weird about money. Holy shit we go through money. I always thought that if I moved up the privilege ladder it would involve less freaking out about money. Nope. Now I stay up late at night freaked out because how in the hell do I share financial security with more people. It’s not ok that only a few people in the whole world have financial security.

There are developmental windows for learning socialization skills. Many of them occur in the first seven years of life. During that time it is important to practice interacting with as many different kinds of people as possible all day long. You know how people learn to be kind and thoughtful? They practice. They are gently reminded over and over and over again about their place in the world and reminded to think about what they have to give instead of what they want to take in interactions. It is tremendously hard work.

Early childhood education teachers should make six figure salaries.

So instead we neglect this stage of education and wonder why we are getting epidemics of mental health problems and physical problems and we wonder why suicide is a more and more common option for people. It’s the tenth leading cause of death.

People don’t know how to connect. Connection is what keeps people striving.

But if you were neglected during your own crucial periods of development, how can you provide that sort of training for someone else? Well, you can do obsessive tremendous amounts of research and work and learn how to behave and create behavior plans and fucking follow them religiously whether you god damn feel like it or not or you can outsource it.

I support schooling children. I really do.

There are many fine individuals working in education at all levels. There are men, women, and non-binary people who are drawn to a particular age or stage of development and they work magic with helping children learn the exact skills they need at that point in life.

Why in the world would I be against working with such people?

Ok, I recognize some evolution in my thinking here. I was once a lot more uhhh pushy about home schooling. Then I spent a few years home schooling and dealing with the extended home schooling community.

You’ve gotta do what is right for your family. That means right for the parents and right for the kids. No one is capable of teaching everything. Some things need to be outsourced. There is no shame in that. It’s human. Interconnectedness is necessary for a happy life. In my judgmental as fuck opinion.

Outsourcing is saying, “Hey I can’t do everything. You person over there. Let me acknowledge that you are just flat better than I am at Thing and I would love to help support your life by exchanging money for your help.”

Outsourcing is awesome on so many levels.

I outsource shit. I pay for some child care. I do trades for other child care. Do you know why child care is important to our family? A couple of reasons: they learn that I am not actually omnipotent (that’s a big god damn deal and something every child needs to learn about their parents), other people have patience for different kinds of activities than me so my kids get to experience different ways to live and pass time, my children are required to really learn how to follow the rules of different spaces–that’s a huge whole life lesson, and you know what? I need a damn break.

People need breaks. People need breaks of different intensity and different lengths of time. Some people are better parents if they have their children for 12 hours out of 24. Some people have that amount of support in them to give whether they have a job or not. Don’t judge. There are millions of reasons this can be true.

In my life I have been a pet owner, a teacher, and a parent. I have learned that these are all substantially different roles. A pet owner forms a bond that is about mutual dependency until death. A teacher drops into your life for a period of time, helps you over some bumps and then goes on their way. A parent pours their life energy into another living being and says, “Here is all I can give you to help you be independent of me. Go. Thrive. I hope you will call sometimes but I know you have a life to live of your own.”

These are all valid and worthy and important parts of life. Not everyone is called to fill every role. Not every person would succeed at every role. There are many roles in this life where I don’t even try because I believe in advance I would be a failure.

Do you know what I’ve never actually been? A financial provider. I have given people a lot of money. I have made gifts and loans of incredibly amounts of money. (To my, poverty-background self.)

Do you know what the universe did to me this week? It smiled on me. My Dad repaid the $10,000 loan I made to him several years early. He’s been working on installment payments for a while and now he is able to pay it off in full. I’m really grateful on a lot of levels. This is a magnificent time to have that money drop into my lap. It does a lot to shape my schema of trust in humans to see him pay this off early. It was a five year loan. I was terrified it would fuck with the relationship if he didn’t pay it off.

I can now breathe a huge sigh of relief.

That’s a release of tension and strain. Will he be honest with me? Will he follow through? Can I trust him?

That has lived in my mind for a while now.

I feel an enormous wash of gratitude that I can let that go.

Thank you, Dad. I appreciate your actions more than I can say. It helps me feel a whole lot more secure about turning around and loaning a bunch of that right back out to a different old friend. She needs a car really badly. Let’s get one. I’ll call her today. I could afford it anyway. I’m grateful to feel like I got the universe’s blessing at the same time.

Trust in people. Invest in people.

I differentiate heavily between gifts and loans. I have given tens of thousands of dollars over the years. Someday it will be tremendously more than that. I loan very selectively and only for specific good reasons. Often involving pride and support of separate identity. Gifts can hurt people.

It’s complicated.

I had a truly fantastic conversation yesterday. I got a new construction guy this week. He’s a whiz. He’s got almost as many years of experience as I have years of life. We talk about his daughter who is a year older than me and his grandkids who are are barely older than my kids. He was delighted when I told him I understand most of his Spanish and he is now trying really hard to get me to practice. But he’s friendly and upbeat and encouraging about it instead of taunting at all. It’s… really awesome.

We talked about spirituality and the problems Christianity causes in the world (among other organized religions). We talked about faithfulness and honor and how to pick your path in a changing world.

Pam, he spent a lot of time talking about how worried he is about climate change. People are listening.

We talked about the value of connection and relationships. We talked about technology and family and bonding.

I’m telling you. I had a fun work day yesterday.

That was really nice as I stood there with my hand cramping painting stupid flowers. Fucking fussy ass details suck nuts through a straw. I hate painting. Fuck painting. Painting is for idiots who don’t know how to manage their god damn time.

I’m totally going to paint more today.  FUCK EVERYTHING. I want the results. But working is for chumps. Sigh. I’m having a Baron Wulfenbach moment. Hello, I am Chump.

Do you know what I get to do next? PUT A TINY FUCKING DAB OF YET A THIRD GOD DAMN PINK ON THE FUCKING FLOWERS BEFORE COVERING THE MOTHERFUCKERS IN GLITTER.

Fuck.

FUCK FUCKING CHERRY BLOSSOMS.

At least I get to look at you fuckers for a very long time. So there.

I’m having very stupid feelings.

Today Noah is having dinner with his parents. The children are going. I’m on the fence. The reason I am inclined to go is so that I can do that reality distortion thing I do if they start talking about the kind of shit they like to talk about. I.E. shutting their racist, bigoted asses down.

I mean, I sorta trust EC to do it for herself. I suspect Noah will just change the topic. I don’t blame him. Get through dinner and get out and talk to the kids on the way home is an approach. It’s just not my approach.

But driving to San Francisco for dinner kinda sucks. And seeing his parents totally sucks. I could work. Or rest. Or do literally anything else and be happier. Watching the paint dry would be more fun.

I think I’ve decided. The kids are in camp today, the family is off to dinner without me tonight. That sounds like a 12 hour work day with a break in the middle to go to the dispensary. Numb the pain so you can continue working long past when it is healthy. Like a dumb ass. (I almost wrote like a grown up and then decided that was fucked up.)

I’m moving the needle on this project. Finally. I’ve been staging and prepping and accommodating other peoples share of the work for so many months that it feels really good to be moving the needle towards the end. Now I can see the end. Now I can list concrete tasks and say, “When this is done the project is done.”

Oh sweet cheese and crackers I need to be done.

It’s going to take till February. Mayyyyyyyybe mid month since now I have two guys who work independently and really hard. That’s a change from one guy who does lots of stuff and a guy who kinda assists and can follow out some tasks but spends a lot of time checking his phone. I will say that the new guy is… less of a perfectionist than the guy who has been here the longest. So I still want the one guy doing most of the tile work. He is fastidious as fuck. I like that in someone I’m paying to help me install a humongous piece of art.

Also: one of the new walls isn’t square. Not sure if the house wasn’t square to start with (totally possible) or not but the vanity couldn’t be installed properly without cutting a hole in the drywall. Just a small one to allow the corner to fit. Whoops. It will be covered with the tile back splash so it won’t be visible… but whoops.

Emailed pictures to the lawyer.

I would share some pictures but whoops I’m on the wrong computer. I’m on the computer that has a working battery.

Speaking of which, because my life is fantastically charmed, a MacBook Pro is on its way to me to help me reduce how much time I spend arguing with the tech in my life. Because some problems can be solved. Yes I have a lot of fucking data. Give me a terabyte of storage and leave me the fuck alone, a’ight?

At this point I spend 5ish hours a month arguing with my tech trying to make it work. That’s time I could be god damn resting instead of getting pissed off.

Done.

I lead a charmed life. I don’t have any right to be so god damn anxious. Yeah? Yeah? Watch me shiver like a fucking chihuahua.

I mostly have my living room back. Mostly. It’s coming along super well. I don’t really have the playroom back yet but I’m storing shit in there anyway because I’m about to lose my mind. The house is already feeling less like any sudden movement will cause hours of work. That helps. The garage isn’t better at all.

I can’t move most of the clutter out of the vestibule area until they finish painting the exterior of the house and the dudes can put my sheds back in place and I can move alllllllll this crap out of the garage back into sheds where it fucking belongs. We have a lot of tents, yo.

And I can’t get the main floor of the garage back until the tile is on the walls. It would be very hard to get the tile past all the shit in the vestibule area.

Like how I’m the kind of person who describes stuff as shit in the same sentence as the word vestibule? And fuck. I said fucking and crap, in a different but related sentence ,with vestibule too.

I’m classy like that.

It was the best of times! It was the worst of times!

And I’m not even talking about politics in this post.

Ok. Off to paint a wall. Motherfucker.

Identity and consequences

This video about identity is worth the 20 minutes.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

If you know something is right you have to say it even if there might be consequences. Consequences are part of taking action. I would rather take action than put my head down and keep my mouth shut.

That means I’m going to have problems.

I’m super anxious about ninetyeleventybillion things right now. Many of them are not writing material.

Identity is a funny thing. Knowing that I am who and what I am is a funny thing. I don’t have pretentions about being a gentle or a kind person. But I can play one as a role sometimes. Lately I’ve been feeling haunted by the phrase “I’m not a violent person.”

I am a violent person who has learned a fuck ton of control. Is my control perfect? No. And that creates problems. I know. I’m trying to figure out how to make my slips less frequent and only in more controlled manners.

Because I believe that life requires violence sometimes. I don’t think it is wrong to be a violent person. But I don’t like casual threats of violence.

You only bring violence into things if you are totally fucking serious that you think it needs to escalate to physical violence. You don’t jump up and cross a room and punch your fist unless you are serious about hitting first. You just don’t. You don’t tell someone that if they ______ your wife that you are going to break their legs unless you are serious about breaking their legs.

Last year was a fascinating year for violent posturing. The funny part is, I’m the only one of the bunch who will think of themself as violent even though I wasn’t the biggest out burster of the year by a long shot.

I look angry and dangerous. I don’t directly threaten people anymore. I haven’t in a long time. And so I’m scary. Ok. Yup. That’s true.

I can be pretty fucking terrifying sometimes. I don’t have to do anything. Just stand there and glower and I can make a whole room full of people cower. Uh, it’s a skill. I try not to use it.

So having this as a skill means I think about how intimidation plays into violence. If someone feels I am trying to intimidate them, they will react with an escalation of violence because that seems fair. Whether I was trying to be intimidating or just moving through the world processing the feelings I was fucking having anyway or not.

Identity and perception are interestingly cowoven phenomenon.

Noah wants me to take a lot more of my identity and worth from being married to him. That’s complicated. I know I picked a winning horse. But… that’s… a different thing from having earned what I have.

For the legal definition of homeless we were homeless for most of my childhood. I didn’t live on the streets, we couch surfed for a few days or weeks or months at a time. Sometimes we had our own place when my dad was willing to pay child support but he mostly wasn’t. So we lived in our car. I was put in foster care over and over because my mom couldn’t find places that would take both of us. My sister got married at 17 because that was the most likely way she could find a stable place to live. It didn’t work.

That feels more like who I am.

Jenny wants me to see my story as starting from when I had agency.

Sometimes I wonder why I imprint on people the way I do. I might be a right pain in the ass, but I come back and come back and come back and come back and do work all the time I’m being obnoxious too.

Blacksheep came to visit so I thought about her. She payed attention to me in a polite, respectful, boundaries having way at a time in my life when I needed that so desperately I was a walking festering sore. She was like a salve. An abrasive, sometimes caustic salve. If she sees something that ain’t right… she’ll fucking tell you. I always wonder why Jenny has such a huge piece of my heart. Because she does. Because she was there on two of the most crucial nights of my young life. She was there for me after the suicides. When my mother or sister or aunt or uncle or cousins would not offer me comfort when my brother and father killed themselves because the whole damn house thought it was my fault Jenny could look at me with pity and tell me it wasn’t my fault.

I imprint like a fucking duckling. I’ll come back. It might be expensive… but I’ll show up over and over and over for as long as you’ll have me.

I could keep going but I don’t have a cord for this laptop out here. I don’t have that much longer to type.

I need this project to end.

I’m going nutty. My poor kids. I’m glad they will be out of the house for four days this week cause I’ve been a bitch lately. I’m losing it. I’m yelling about things that don’t need to be yelled about. Noah has intervened and told me to leave the room.

There are advantages to him working from home. I don’t like it or him when he’s doing it but I’m grateful for it in the long run. Let’s minimize how much I fuck up our kids. Cool, yeah.

Fuck.

I have no room to judge. But fuck if that stops me. Judgmental bastard.

I’m wrong about my judgments sometimes. I remind myself of that. I’m not G-d. I don’t know everything. I just don’t. I just have fucktastically strong opinions. Often backed up by extensive research.

As dear Michelle reminds me… I do know a lot about child development. Not enough. Never enough. I’m still studying. I don’t know if I will ever stop studying.

If identity and purpose are about things that are ongoing drives instead of about short term goals then I think I have to examine things a little differently.

I may be an artist and a sometimes painter but that isn’t my life. I put down my paint brushes for years at a time. Why do I so strongly resist thinking of myself as a dancer just because I have down years?

Because I wasn’t one of the rich kids who got to take lessons so I wasn’t a real dancer. When it came time to public social dancing I was told over and over how I wasn’t stage performance material.

Yeah. I know. Could ya shut the fuck up and let me have a few fucking minutes to enjoy being in my god damn body before you tell me I’m doing it wrong? No?

Fuck.

I was hostile and angry and defensive about being called an artist for decades because in kindergarden they yelled at me and told me I was doing art wrong and I decided that meant it wasn’t for me.

My kids are going to be much better than me. They practice about ten times as much as I do and they have never had it internalized that art is for other people who can follow these specific rules.

It is weird to me that they like math and we play verbal math games all the time. Written math is still coming along, but verbally they can do a lot. That’s interesting for me. We are exploring learning through whatever modality works best for them. We play a lot of counting and number games and that is how they learn math. We are doing more formal writing too, but that’s harder and slower. Eldest Child is about two months behind grade level at this point. Given that she started out the year two full grade levels behind, I’m going to say I’m pleased with progress and we’ll keep going how we are going until she decides she is ready to slow down a bit.

The purpose of the first seven years of life is to work on socializing and emotional self regulation. You need to be put into real life situations over and over and over and over and over until you are able to manage them.

Practice, practice, practice.

Sometime around 7-10ish kids will naturally mature into being able to learn to read and read to learn in a few months so that they can explode in knowledge acquisition. But it requires providing a scaffolding of survival/people skills so that the person can see themselves as autonomous and on their own path.

I would be fine if Eldest Child wanted to start going to school at any point here. But she’s not ready. So I have to provide curriculum of some kind now. Because that’s the deal for home schooling.

You teach them about being a good citizen and what it means to take care of business in life and then you help them educate themselves. Because all education really happens in the mind of the student. The teacher is just there as a companion to help you find resources.

At least, that is how it works in my dream world.

That is how it works in Wonderland.

That would be a fun kids book series. How Education Works in Wonderland.

I could be as liberal with my definition of Wonderland as I wanted. Carroll doesn’t really own it you know.

That’s the end of the battery. Until we meet again oh internet, I am semi-faithfully yours.

Wrong again

It’s one of those times when my anxiety is on hyperdrive. I’m doing everything wrong, right? Every interaction I have with people seems to be fraught.

One problem is that I’m struggling with how much control and influence and power I have. There are times and places when I don’t agree with how something is being handled and I shut up because there’s nothing I can do. Then there are times and places where I feel like I am a bad person if I shut up because someone is being harmed and if I ignore that… I’m part of the problem.

I’m part of the problem. If I see people being harmed by others in their life and I do nothing… I’m saying I basically agree.

What if I don’t agree that something is being handled right?

Good luck with those feelings.

Because I don’t get to decide. And I’m afraid that by talking about what I see I am going to become the problem and then I won’t be able to help in any way because I was stupid enough to talk about the problem.

Not everyone can do everything. We all have limits. We all have things we can’t do. I can’t teach fussy, fiddly little activities that involve a high amount of fine motor control. Even if I can do it (under protest) I can’t teach it because I get frustrated and angry and explosive. So I outsource that shit. I can’t teach everything. My kids take classes because I can’t teach everything. I am not that cool. That’s why as they get older they will spend more and more time away from me. Because they will have mostly learned what I have to teach.

I don’t think there is one Twue Way that parenting or schooling should happen. Some people like home schooling and it works well for their family. Some people need to have their kids in school. Some people need to have their kids in school and after school care every day for any one of millions of potential reasons.

None of these choices are wrong if they work well for the child and the family. It’s when the solution is clearly not working for either the parent or the child that you need to look at making changes.

It is easy for me to sit on my high horse and see the problems in other peoples systems. I’m afraid I am failing to see the problems in mine. I was honestly hoping for more criticism from Stanford because other than “Do more academics” which was the plan anyway and which we have already caught up on…. What do I change now?

I have no feedback to help direct me. Just… do something. What you are doing seems to work ok.

THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Everyone fucks up. Everyone has things they don’t do well and things they do very well. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!

I shout more than I should. But professional evaluators tell me I don’t shout as much as other people and it isn’t that big of a deal.

So what does should mean anyway?

I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know.

So anxious. So worried that I’m going to hurt everyone and wreck their lives and make it so they are not ok later.

This is eating me alive. It has been for a couple of days now? Turbo anxiety. How am I hurting everyone?

I want to run away. I want to disappear. I want to go somewhere that no one knows me. (Good luck, motherfucker. Name a continent (other than Antarctica) and I will name countries I need to avoid if I want to make sure I don’t see anyone I know. I run into people I know most times I travel internationally. I know too many fucking people.)

I love you all. It’s just hard to run away from you.

I want to run away from my own self perception. Because I’m afraid I’m doing everything wrong. I’m afraid I’m hurting people. I’m afraid I’m a giant let down. I’m afraid that by trying to help I am going to make things worse. I’m afraid that by trying to help I am going to be hated so much that hating me becomes the problem instead of fixing the problem.

Fuck.

I think I’m going to take a week or so off from reaching out. I feel like I am hurting people by existing. Maybe if I hide in my house and keep my crazy to myself that will feel less true. Don’t interfere with other peoples lives. Even if there are problems.

It isn’t my place.

I’ll fess up now.

It’s bad. So bad. This year… everything blew up financially. So much money was blown. So much. Oh I’m not happy with myself. Here we go. I have to honestly account for it. Fuck.

First, I want to say that if you screw something up one month in Mint (like, by expecting way more income than you get in a month) it’s hard to fix that in later months.

This is reversed from how I want it to look. Sigh.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-10-56-33-am

That’s what I call “not good”. $27,900.60 in cash and a whopping $130,239.78 in debt between credit cards and the HELOC. That’s not good. This is why we are going to arbitration. Hopefully we will get a chunk of change back and all of that credit card debt will evaporate and a big chunk of the mortgage. With luck. Let’s see if that dude who read my astrological chart was right. He said I will always win when it comes to money in court. Let him be right.

I think he mostly wanted to get laid.

Anyway.

I’m digressing because would you want to delve into how things got like this? Probably not. Well I don’t want to either. Here’s a trend view for you.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-03-09-am

The bestest thing I can say about that pie chart is that I spent more than 50% of my spending on home spending. That was kind of a goal. Given that it was competing with the vow renewal and a couple of surgeries… Excellent. I did keep pace with that priority.

Then a whole bunch of that might come back and it will look like I spent more like 43% of the year on home spending. Don’t judge.

So I can succeed and fail at the same time.

Here is what that looks like broken down:

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-06-03-am

Holy crap for crisco. This is my life. We spent… an obscene amount of money. Holy tomato. And we aren’t done. Out of that $213,620.84 spent on “home” $127,802 went towards the bathroom remodel. We are hoping to get $70,000 (approximately) back from the arbitration. The lawyer has been over $9k so maybe we can deduct $60,000 from what was spent on the bathroom remodel bringing it down to a more reasonable $67,802 for the remodel? Maybe? Ok, that’s just a pipe dream at this point… but if we win on the arbitration then the bathroom will cost more like what I wanted to spend. $60k-$80k.

We’ll see. No news on how the rescheduling is going if it is going to be rescheduled. Wheeee. (Long story. Opposing party hired new council at the last minute and is attempting shenanigans.)

So we spent $72,508 on mortgage this year. That’s progress towards a goal. Awesome. I’m thrilled.

That leaves another $13,000 spent on home stuff. Oh goodness. Yeah… that’s a lot of home maintenance stuff. Freakin everything broke this year. I made progress on fixing a bunch of stuff. I spend money on amending dirt every year. Living in a swamp kinda sucks.

The vow renewal was awful. screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-14-37-am

Given that I initially asked Dark Garden if I could have an outfit for $8-$10,000 and I walked out of there spending closer to $30,000 it makes a lot of sense that the vow renewal was twice as expensive as I wanted it to be. My initial budged had been $20,000. And then the clothes. We didn’t really earn money back for the cross country trip, but my credit card lets me cancel out travel expenses at a higher rate of return per point spent and it has to be recorded somehow.

This next section is a break down of health.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-19-52-am

My experience of paying for child birth is I should expect about $10,000. That means $38,642.23 is probably not that far out of line for what to expect for next year. I should plan about $3,000/month. Oh wow.

I’m so lazy I can’t be bothered to track down that one lonely coffee shop purchase to make things align with my normal categories.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-24-20-am

When my house is exploding with chaos we eat out a lot. Having to stop work to make work to clean up work before I can return to work… wears me out. That’s what making food feels like. So we eat out a lot. And just generally… wow that’s a lot of money on groceries. We eat well.

Kids. I might write more but I have a kid chattering my ear off and I can barely think.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-38-01-am

Part of the reason that their activity section is so high is because we paid two years of an activity mid-year. Our babysitter got a good sized Christmas bonus, she didn’t quite work hard enough to earn all that. But if everything were fair she earned twice that so whatever.

Shopping is the next chunk of the pie.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-40-54-am

I don’t feel good about having that much uncategorized money. I also haven’t had the time or mental bandwidth to be more careful this year. Being rich is so god damn awesome. I feel guilty taking advantage of my buffer but this year I have to the limit.

Gifts and charity:

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-42-38-am

That’s not what I want it to be going forward but we’ll figure it out.

When I feel like I’m completely failing at meeting my financial goals and I need to stop being such a god damn slacker I remind myself… this is my net worth.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-45-35-am

It’s ok to fuck up sometimes. I’m doing ok. Am I doing perfectly? There is no such thing. I’m doing ok.

I could be more detailed but I also could be painting. Bye 2016.

And miles to go before I sleep.

I’d say that my friends added about 7 hours of painting to the walls. (Thanks, y’all. I appreciate it.) I’ve done about 20 hours of painting so far.

I think it’s going to be 100-250ish hours of painting on the whole damn project. Do you know how much that sucks to think right this minute?

Because I also need to clean the mold and repaint my bedroom. Cause mold treatment. Hi, breathing problems.

And the hallway is jacked up and needs to be fixed. And they damaged the walls in the garage and I want to fix that.

No rest for the driven. Whyyyyyyyyyy do I care so much? I don’t know. But I’m going to get dressed in painting clothes right now and get started because I’ve got shit to do.

Today I’m going to finish the ceiling in the playroom, then move back to the bathroom. Oh the bathroom needs to be finished before I finish all the rest of the house. Maybe I’ll carefully lay out some drop cloth and work on the willow tree. That would be lovely.

The floor will either be finished today or tomorrow, as I predicted. The boss wanted it done by Wednesday. Ha. Not even. Actually… if I go look at the floor… definitely not finishing today. He might finish laying the tiles today but then he has to grout and do additional steps. He’ll finish the floor and do permanent toilet installations tomorrow, I hope.

I hope. I hope. I hope.

With luck on Tuesday he will start the wall tiles and that’ll be all that there is left to do. The death march of tile laying. Dum dum de dum dum de dum de dum de dum.

It’s going to be brutal. And boring. And take fucking forever.

Yesterday I think we offended him. I was talking to him about child rearing. He doesn’t believe  young children should have to do anything for themselves. He thinks that little kids should be cosseted like the precious jewels that they are and helped at all times because soon enough they will have to make their own money and support themselves.

I can’t disagree with him. But I asked him how many adults are around to provide that kind of care. Quite a few. They live with family. There is always an adult free to help kids.

We… we don’t have that available in our life. We just don’t. Our kids have to be independent in a way that other children may not have to be. My kids have two parents who work a lot and… not really other people around. My kids have to be able to do for themselves. I get why that might bother someone on an emotional level because it feels overly harsh and unfair…

I do get it.

But I don’t know how to explain that my kids have significantly more support than I ever had and I’m not physically capable of providing more support. It doesn’t matter if I can explain that. If your culture says it is monstrous to not dote on children and I don’t dote on my children… There is no justifying that.

I come from the kind of culture where if you can’t do something for yourself you aren’t going to get to do it. Sorrynotsorry.

I suppose that makes us really mean. Just add it to the list of reasons that I’m a monster. I am not willing to spend my whole day assisting a child in playing. If you want to color, there are crayons available. I’m not going to sit next to you uncapping each marker as you want to use it. Errr, no. That’s not my job.

Which means we are mean. Ok.

If I do that work who is going to do the painting and the dishes and the picking up and the laundry and and and and and and.

If I do that for one child, I am not really available to serve the other three children in the same capacity. How is that really more fair?

Nope. I’m not a mobile entertainment device. You will have to figure it out. If that frustrates you… welcome to life, kid. It is frustrating as shit.

I say I think I offended him because after this conversation he put on very loud Christian music. It seemed like a message. I… I listened to the music and felt irritated. I did not feel a lot of patience in my soul for the message of Christianity yesterday. Even though I in general support religion for folks.

I was thinking about it. I wonder if Christianity/Islam/Judaism make sense to me because they seem to me to be forms of group magic. We believe in a thing so we will work to make it so because that’s how you make a thing.

I get magic. That’s just… that’s just how the world is altered over and over and over again. I believe in magic and most religions just seem to me to be a way to try and use magic in the world.

But yesterday I was feeling pissy about the message of submission. It’s ok to suffer because God wants you to.

Oh the feelings.