Winter to Spring Doing Our Thing

Alright,  Checking in.  Here's some stuff.
I don't know if you already know this but raising five kids and working and managing all my extra people and dealing with law schools and adulting in general is time demanding.  So the blog falls by the wayside.  

I've reapplied to law schools in Utah.  I got into both of them.  BYU (LDS school) has an honor code including parameters about hair.  When I interviewed with them I went in head to toe pink because why hide the ball but after I got in and had to go to Admitted Student's Day I needed to address the hair situation.  

This is my solution until I make some decisions.  I've not decided which school I'm going to yet. 
Got this wig in Las Vegas because errybody knows if you're buying a wig you go to where the black girls go.  And as far as the style, go big or go home, right?  

I'm not convinced I'm passing.  When people look at me I don't know if they're looking at the most amazing hair a woman has ever had OR if they're trying to assess if it's a wig and why.  I feel really conspicuous when I wear it.  Believe it or not I feel as uncomfortable looking "normal" as the people who say "You're so brave" would if they had my style.  
See?  Totally comfortable.  I yam what I yam.  And I yam a little bit nuts.
 That's my update.  Bit nuts, worrying about law school, still having fun.  

And here are the kids updates.

 Lou (2 1/2) is in the best phase.  She happily entertains herself all day and she's just charming.  Other than her ear piercing shriek cultivated by the persistent invasion of space and teasing courtesy of Silas, she is an absolute doll.  She has so many words but my favorites are when you ask her if she needs her diaper changed and she says "No, I fine." and "Yas Qween."
Mimi's update is that she is doing great in school, has moved to share a room with Lou, sold a ton of Girl Scout Cookies, and is still playing with her American Girl Dolls and it makes me so happy.  She is interested in making money so here are a couple of photos that Niya uses to send her on modeling jobs.  She's helpful and doing a lot of cooking, but she's suffering with allergies and is currently planning her post-high school culinary school life in a "less dry country like Fiji."

Jude is in a macho phase, as is evident in his pictures.  He's a tough guy.  He's really into his Scout program, baseball, reading, and spending his life in the backyard.  He prefers to be outside.  

Jude's hair color of choice is turqouise right now.  Tough guy though he is he definitely has a weak spot for the babies.

The children helped Robyn with this painting which she then submitted to her school's art show.  The kids were so surprised when their names were up on the wall!

Parenting these last few months has come with a lot of politics and horror.  The chaos of the current state of American politics added upon the chaos of having five children cooped up indoors during this rainy spring leaves me feeling overwhelmed.
Mimi, however, is a light and a joy EXCEPT WHEN SHE'S ON ALLERGY MEDS.  Note to self next year:  only give her the nose spray crap because she's a total terror if you give her claritin or others.
M is living the life though.  She loves her teacher who allows for her crazy headband collection.  Yes, she still wears the headbands.  Remember when she was little and had specific headbands just for sleeping?
This is Girl Scouts.  We went on a rad field trip to the Utah Opera where they create all the gigantic sets and hand make all of the costumes.  I wished Pam could be there the whole time.

We also obtained an animal.  I fought it for a long time but then resolved that the children needed an animal.  So we went to Kitty City (pronounced titty city if you're Silas) and this old cat was super chill when the children mauled her.  I hate the way cats feel when you pet them but this one feels soft and doesn't make me want to wash my hands.  I think she's ugly.  The kids adore her.  We named her Moonshadow.
Oh Philo.  Such a babe.  He finally learned to walk at 14 months which is a great relief because that kid weighs 25 pounds and doesn't help when you hold him.  His tricks include saying a few words (mama, bye, dada, yeah, quack, all done) and messing up my house.  With so many people here it's impossible to really baby proof the house so it's mostly chasing after him as he runs with a sharpie and helps put away the knives.  Thankfully we are all on alert and make sure he's safe.
Hush is a great not living with us father.  He takes the babies every other weekend and a few times during the week. It affords me plenty of big kids time including a road trip down to Las Vegas to support Alex through her divorce from Lil' Pat.  It was fun to show them the Chihuly at the Bellagio because they'd studied his art with me last summer.
Sometimes you want a rad jacket for Jude but it costs like $1000 and you have to settle for a picture of it instead.
More Mimi.  We had like two days of nice weather last month and Mimi gave Ty and Jude pedicures.  She told them they were superhero pedicures, hence the facemasks.
Oh,  Saint Patrick's Day.  Our traditions are the mustaches, green dye in everything, gold coins, house trashed by the leprechauns.
I feel we represented in full force this year.  Greenans commit.
Philo at the Children's Museum experiencing a tactile moment of bliss.
Grandpa Jim also came to town and helped us with a bunch of yard work.  He was helpful!  He did not ski though.  He wimped out.

We also hit Mystic Hot Springs sometime in March which was rad and so much fun.

Oh, and we went to Danville to see Pam's play.  We're a busy fam.  Self explanatory pictures.


Living Life as though it was Rigged in My Favor

You know how when bad things happen you're supposed to be sad, morose, melancholy, woeful, depressed, dismayed, and dejected?
I'm not.
I've just divorced and Donald Trump exists. Church things are unfortunate. I think I should have my typical jovial attitude tempered. My fun should turn down to give adequate weight to the tragedies at hand.
But I can't help it! My life is going great! I feel taken care of and blessed and I feel guilty about it because other people are getting screwed and feeling scared because of the bad choices of our leadership.
Maybe I'm just so used to relishing my blessings when the going gets tough that when I feel negative drama sweeping in I immediately switch into What is Great mode so that the sadness doesn't sit so deep.
1. I have so many wonderful friends and sister wives that I can't even keep up with them all. I am so blessed to know so many strong women that I love.
2. I'm currently in LA (that may have a lot to do with how happy I am ATM) to see two new babies.
My sister whom I never thought would get the opportunity to be a parent now has her own tiny baby and she gets to feel all of the magic associated therein.
She and Alina even named him well. Oliver.
My babies were picked up last night for time with their dad for the weekend and I know they will get a ton of love.
3. My big kids are also being picked up by Houdini in Salt Lake City for the first time in over a year (they did see him for a few hours when we were in CA for Thanksgiving).
I can have free time unencumbered by guilt that they aren't with a parent, and I don't have to pay to to be away from them. And they're going to love it and also be so happy to be home again on Monday.
4. I wasn't planning about writing about this but it's a major factor in my happiness. Someone new is being really really nice to me. Apparently I am likeable, contrary to what I've been told for the last three years. Somebody likes me. It's simple and it feels great and I'm marveling that my fears and the threats were unfounded: I still have worth even with my mistakes and baggage and hoard. I'd hoped but I wasn't sure.  And, I'm affirmed that I am not completely dysfunctional at participation. 

5. I have this huge project coming up that I get to fret about and look forward to in trepidation. Figuring out how to do law school with five kids is like a puzzle to be solved. I get until August to wonder and plan and worry, and then it begins. Cool scary.

6. I have help, I have my live in nanny who is making my entire life possible and helping me carry my load. (Btw, if you want to know how to swing a live in nanny or you fantasize about it ask me. I'll explain how and why it's totally financially manageable and how we work it out). But seriously, thank God for Robyn. My life is equivalent to two people's full time job but together we got it covered.  I also have help on the commitment I signed up for that I'm totally not doing very well. I agreed to do Girl Scouts (Mimi talked me into it) and my close friend Melissa signed up with me. She's carrying most of the weight because it's the one thing that would slip through the cracks without her taking charge. I am so very grateful. I also have help with shoveling snow and getting things fixed around the house and I have extra pairs of arms to toss a baby into and snuggle my kids. 
7. By the way, let me follow that tangent. This can be happy item seven: I have a standard to grade myself on my parenting.  I read somewhere that children need to be shown all five different love languages every day. That's my major parenting strategy so that I can gauge what a kid needs and so that I can go to sleep every night knowing I connected with each kid every day. The Five Love Languages is a pop psyche relationship book that's been popular for years. The premise is everybody interprets being loved differently. The five love languages are quality time, words of affirmation, service, gifts, and touch (hugs, kisses, hands on love).  As adults we have one or two love languages that when people do them we know we are loved for real. I would argue most mother's love lanugage is service. Mine is that and words of affirmation. You help me and tell me nice things and I feel loved. Children's love language is all five, every day.  This is on top of Maslow's basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, safety. They need to me to sit and look at them giving them my full attention, they need to hear that I'm proud of them for whatever thing they're doing, they need me to grab them fruit by the foot even though it's not a necessity, they need my hands on their shoulders and their little arms tickled.  My personal standard is to do something in all five love language areas every day. It's my 25 item check list and I go through it mentally every night.  Did I touch Silas today? Have I told Jude something positive? Did I give Lou something that showed her I was thinking about her? Did I spend floor time with Philo? Did I help Mimi do something? All five for all five.
Back to the topic at hand.  Other things that are going well, in spite of the aforementioned tragedies.

8. I get to talk to my college BFF Alex every day and support her through a crisis in her life. I am long on empathy. I also get to witness my friend coming back into her authentic self.

9. All of my favorite jeans fit. If that isn't enough to make any woman gloriously happy I don't know what is. Getting back into those jeans, a delight almost too indulgent to be wished.  But hey, man. Tragedy makes me skinny. I'll take it, shut up and be grateful.

10. My family is supportive and gives me privacy. They don't ask and make me talk about what happened. They either ignore it or accept me for who I am without making me feel weird about my life. If they don't want to know something they don't ask. I know it's a strange approach but their giving me plenty of latitude to manage my husband problems and the fallout thereafter is the best kind of support they could give and I love them all dearly for it. And my parents have my back in a hundred different ways.

11. My classes are going smoothly.  I had to redesign my courses based on some curriculum changes, but I did a good enough job reorganizing last semester that this one is much easier because I have all my lesson plans.

12. My friends are having successes and exciting things happen. I get to cheer on Rebekah who just became the queen of all libraries in Utah, Lacy who had a medical win with Will, Christine who is taking her family to Italy for the first time, Fae who is managing her new work/mom life with aplomb, Alex who recently discovered that she's incredibly desirable after being cheated on and feeling terrible, goth Christine who has a man treating her with so much love, Niya whose baby has recovered from colic. My friends are having all kinds of wins and my heart sings for their happy things.
13. I have summer camps coming up. I'm not worried about summer with five kids this year because I have a plan for the neighborhood camps I started last year and we have a few little trips to take.

14. I feel proud of my successful trip to Europe alone with three children. That was a major life accomplishment for me and I'm still resting on my self awarded laurels.
15. I've figured out a way to accept my life for what it is and what it has been. Ok so my marriages have been disasters. So what? That's just one part of my life. I have a history of hard relationships, more than normal. Who cares? I did it, I lived through it, I have the children to prove it. I don't feel it necessary to live it down, I don't feel like I have to explain anything to anybody.  I'm living my life happily and I'm not embarrassed and I don't feel any shame.  I am immune to judgment. I'm going to make more choices and write about them and see how things pan out.  I won't label myself by my failures. I tried being married a few times, it didn't work, I'll try again if I feel so inclined and that is fine. I persist.



But Wait, There's More!

Please help me solve my life.  This post in no way constitutes an announcement or a plan.  In fact it is the opposite of a plan.  It's me asking you for a plan.  Plot with me.

A year ago and one month ago I gave birth to this little monster:
Against my wishes and express instructions he turned one last month.
He's nearly walking.  He's just about a toddler.

And so the hunger returns.

I promised myself that I would pretend that Philo is my last baby but then revisit the possibility that he isn't a year after his birth.  It's been a year and a month.  He's not my last baby.
They say that when you're done having children you know it.  There should be some sixth sense that tells you six will be too many but that sense just isn't hitting me.  I'm not done.  There're more people to add to this party some day.

But, if you've been paying attention, we are missing one vital (literally) part of the next baby equation: A DAD.

Oh, and I'm starting 3 years of law school in the fall.  AND I'm 36.
So I need you to solve my life. I gotta figure out a fail-safe way to get my last baby into my arms.  (She's a girl, I'm apparently a mystic).  How am I supposed to drum up a baby with all these things trying to stop me?
Do the math on any of the options.  Nothing really makes sense.  Hasn't stopped me before!  Sure I keep f-ing up my life but we have so much fun despite all of my failings!

Clearly NOT crazy.
I KNOW it sounds crazy but, honestly, you knew that already and I won't contradict you.  Crazy like a foxy unicorn who is addicted to babies and swore all her life she'd have at least six kids.
Not a newborn.

Dear God,
What is wrong with me?  Why won't the baby fever pass? I have five kids and no husband and a job and a law career ahead of me and I'm getting too old for this crap and two freaking baby daddies already and my life is next to impossible.  Shouldn't these things cure me?
Your friendly neighborhood Brood Mare.

I have found a secret weapon for managing my life, though.  Her name is Robyn.  After doing the last 18 months pretty much by myself as Hush moved in and out after filing for divorce when I was three months pregnant with Philo I finally got a live in nanny.  She is my pride and joy.  I have no idea how we managed without her.  I had to stack kids up in rooms (3 in one, 2 in the other) so that we would have room for her but we don't mind at all because she is worth it.  It's like having a wife.  I've always wanted a wife!  I can leave arms free, I can grocery shop without lugging all five kids under 10, we split cleaning the kitchen and putting kids to bed.  We are a team and I am so blessed to have found this vegan artistic political cat loving person.

Even Mimi is plotting our next baby.  She has lots of suggestions.  One involved inviting my single male friends to become Dads, another was the way my sister and her wife got their new precious baby that I cannot wait to meet.
BTW: this is my new favorite picture of Mimi.  Eye mask, tie-dye leggings she's been wearing for at least two days, Rolling Stones sweatshirt, GPS watch, rollerskates inside making Valentines and singing.

We just have so much love to give.  Anybody got any extra babies?  We'll raise 'em rad for you!