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!



Mermaids and Wizards

The majority of my squad (Amanda, Colin, Niya, Brett, Robb, Masato, Mimi, Blake, etc.) have birthdays around the end of January so Niya and I planned a party.  She had a dream that everybody came dressed as wizards and mermaids so that was obviously the theme.  I was super stoked that so many of my LA misfit friends flew out to celebrate.  Most of them hadn't ever been to my house before or met my minions -- for a while I had an LA life and a home life and neither the twain did mix.  But Salt Lake City somehow has become where it's at.  I'm so grateful so many of us are here now.  Jump in.  The water is nice, the living is easy, and the weirdos are rising.

It's a costume party and I'll wear whatever I want.  Queens of the Mermaids.

The highlight I think was the Glitter Bar.  I gathered all different types of glitter and sparkles and everything that makes me happy and put it out with spirit gum, eyelash glue and Vaseline (vaseline is the best to make glitter stick and washes off easily).  Everyone who showed up got bedazzled. 

All the glitter was on the credenza and it was the first stop.  My favorite was glittering up the men because they would resist but actually love it.  It's not fair that mostly women get to sparkle.

Niya and I had our kids here but mine were in the care of our new ace in the hole: our au pair!  We have a live in nanny now and it's changing my life.  Totally recommend greataupair.com

Ty's glitter beard was a win.  He should always wear that.
Double fisting.  Learn to walk philo!  You're nearly 13 months!

This child. She's like a little doll I can dress up.

And there obviously needed to be a tiny mermaid.

Surly but cute!  Actually her personality has been beyond charming.  I love 2-3 yr olds.


I want to live surrounded by Glittery Feminist Men.
Finally, I fit in.  Love all of my squads, love that they all came, love that it was such a weird mix of people, love that everything sparkled.  It was a rad birthday.  I wish I'd been better about taking pictures of the rest of the group but these were what was on my phone and the rest of them are on fb.  Rebekah, Christine!  Send pics!


Dress like Nor Day

Hey guys, remember the good old days when you were rad and dressed up for my birthday?  Some of you blog followers remember.  Welp, it's my birthday again tomorrow.  Those stupid birthdays just keep coming.  So here's my request: for my birthday please wear something you think I'd wear and send it to me.  Take a day off from normal, or at least just put something unconventional on and take a picture and send it to me.  Send via email or text (if you know me for realsies) or comment on fb or post on your instagram.  Whatever, just get it to me.  I am straight up asking for love in the form of a picture gift.  Indulge me.

Here are some wacky pictures for inspiration.  And HERE is a blog I wrote about how I put things together.  

Goth accents, as much as possible:

Accessorize with babies:

If you find it in a deep dark closet, put it on:

Unabashedly match your teaching material just like Ms. Frizzle:

Leather jackets for everyone or bust:

Cheetah, punk bands, gold studded anything (again accessorizing with baby):

Those colors don't match?  Sure they do:

Pink, duh:

Rainbow and tie dye:

Always boots, combat and Docs are best:

Gotta go skiing?  Find a black onesie from the 1980's at the thrift store for $8, wear with cat hat:

Omg this is my new favorite jacket that I bought in Amsterdam but it's too cold to wear it:

So this is Jake and Judy.  Mimi invented an alter ego boy and Jude followed suit.  She calls everybody bro. Gender binaries are stupid and should be challenged when you damn well feel like it, like these silly kids did this day:

And sequins as far as the day is long, any day of the week:

So there you go.  That's how you do it.  Dress like Nor Day begins!!