Saturday, August 13

So BIG

"How are you liking your job at the Library?"

This was a question from Amy B. I think I answered with something vague like "it's... good!"

Because the full answer is SO. MUCH. LONGER.

Yes, I like my job at the Library. I am still learning things. I will get the hang of one thing and then discover another thing to learn. And I know there are things I will need to learn that I don't even know I will need to learn yet. So I feel overwhelmed at times but not in a bad way, just a BIG way.

(Also, the Museum is in a time of transition and I am spending some time each week over there doing aspects of my old job. "Old job" being a relative term since I was only there five months!)

Part of the Godspell stage at GMA


A case in point: the reason I was meeting with Amy B. is that we are starting a book club at the Library. This was a club that my coworker Sadie wanted to start, but the target group is teens (and Sadie is part-time and I am full-time), so Amanda said "get with Laura" and BOOM! We have a book club starting next week.

(Hey, guess what? I've never run a book club! I haven't even attended a book club in YEARS!)

I'm in Research Mode. Amy B. has some experience & background that made her a good person to hit up for Qs. She was game to meet me for lunch and let me pester her. While we were there, I saw Ms. C.

(Ms. C was my graphic design professor in college. I haven't seen her in AGES and yet often wonder how she is.)

She asked how I was, when I went blonde ("actually, it's gray! I went gray in my 20s and just colored it for years." Ms. C pointed out that she STILL colors her hair and I was like "yeah, I might have too but my daughters have albinism so their hair is white, and...")

When I told Ms. C that I have four children, two boys that I gave birth to and two girls we adopted, her response was "so you don't work then?"

"Oh, no, yeah I work, too."

She asked how Jaimie was.

"She actually works at a library, too!"

(I wonder how High School Jaimie & Laura would have reacted to the news that "twenty years from now, you will both be working at libraries." I think we would have taken it in stride.)

TALLADEGA

Over the summer, whenever we drove past the shopping center where the AIDB bus pickup/dropoff is, Ani would say "my Talladega!" And Zoe of course LOVED camp and couldn't wait to start school there.

On Sunday, we took them for final registration. We dropped off their school supplies and met their teachers. The school nurse asked Kris about Zoe living on campus; they had noticed how independent she is.

That was a bit overwhelming to us. Like, yeah, we knew she could live on campus as a junior or senior and I support that idea because they can teach her stuff about navigating the world with low vision that I cannot. But since we live an hour from the campus, I didn't expect there to be a need in the FOURTH GRADE. Her teacher mentioned it as an option for a few days a week if there were after-school programs she was interested in.

"We'll let her get settled and see if she brings it up," I said to Kris on Sunday at lunch.

Zoe broached the topic when I picked her on TUESDAY. So, no, I don't know yet if that is a thing that will happen. Zoe at like, TEN, halfway fleeing the nest. But we're game if she is, and I like how she feels connected and settled enough at home to feel safe to do this.

BUT IT'S BIG.

It's big to me to have two of my kids schooling in another city. But Big Good, y'know? It's a good school and it makes them HAPPY.

Zoe & Charli in art class at AIDB

BOYS

Ben and Cash are big into Pokemon and airbending right now. (Cash ran in the sun porch one day this week to tell me some character had finally learned to airbend. He was so stoked about a plot point, you guys! Heart eyes.)

I sat with them this week and discussed what "the n word" is and why they can NEVER, EVER SAY IT. Did they tune me out? Maybe/probably. Did it stick it all? I hope so.

Kris has a super big project coming up, but it doesn't start until September so I'm just willfully not thinking about it yet.

And this week Carol was like "hey, have you considered grad school?" And I was like "no?" (But it turns out they couldn't MAKE IT EASIER for me. 75% online courses and 25% at the GADSDEN CAMPUS.)

So now I guess grad school is in the five-year-plan. WHAT. EVEN. 

Friday, June 24

Pulling the plug soon(ish?)

So a friend pointed out that it's been FOREVER since I updated the blog. I have meant to. And then.

I actually think the time has come to stop keeping the blog. Zoe came home from school (or camp? when was this? what is time?) and told me how she and her friends Googled each other at school and found my blog.

That's time, right? To pull the Mommyblog when your kids get old enough that their friends can find it by Google. But jeez have I been blogging for an age.

LIBRARY.

Every day still feels really busy, as I still have stuff to learn. I got to work two hours before my Teen Zone partner Tina and in those two hours had to answer like a dozen times "we'll have to ask Tina when she gets here."

I could do a whole post about graphics and whatnot but I guess I'll save that for the other blog I never update.

Zoe LOVED her camp in Talladega. She wants to go to school there.



Ani asked Kris "my give your a hug?" this week and I melted from the cuteness.



Her sense of humor still consists of calling my Dad PawPaw instead of GrandDad.

Ben is going to Chess Club for the second time tomorrow.



Cash has been to an allergist and is not suffering from food allergies when he gets his mystery fevers. Though possibly it's caused by his body not properly breaking down fats and/or sugars. Urrrrgggghhhhh.



All three big kids are sunburned from their field trip today.

I will miss you, blog. We had a good run.

Wednesday, June 1

Plot twist!



Last summer, I learned how important it is to my emotional well-being that I get to design things. A new media group had purchased the Times and they were moving toward having a central design hub for their papers. So to stay at the Times meant I would go from being a graphic artist/page designer who sometimes did stories to a full time reporter who may or may not get to do graphics.

And then the url for my portfolio broke.

I was Not Okay with the idea of my design days being done. So Kris and I started working toward a plan of me not working at the Times and doing contract design from home. I got a used Mac and older copies of Photoshop and Illustrator.

Then I told Carol I was quitting and she was all “oh! Apply for a part time job at the Library!”

I sent this text to my pal YadyKates around then, because she works at a library. (Apparently I collect friends who work at libraries.)

(a screenshot from Kady's phone bc mine only went back to December)

Brandy was over the Teen Zone. She too is a designer. I am a big fan of Brandy. She once talked me into doing a presentation for their summer reading program about Tumblr.

We had lunch last fall and I was like “hey! I am a bundle of angst cause I’m leaving my job of FIFTEEN YEARS, but I’m putting in an application with you guys.” And Brandy was like “I enjoy what I do but I might be burning out.” (Yeah, NOT a direct quote, hence the “like.”)

Then this Whole Crazy Thing happened where I ended up with a full time job at the Museum. I feel like I am rocking the parts of my job that are design and social media. I am not rocking the Business Manager side of things as hard. (But I AM NOT SUCKING AT IT, yo.)

Back in April, when Brandy was at the Museum printing posters for the ALLA convention, I learned that she NEVER HAS TO DEAL WITH THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT.

I love it when Library Peeps have to come over to the Museum for something. Both for that feeling that the library folk are My People and that I am used to a larger staff. (With only 2.5 coworkers, I get lonely at the Museum sometimes.)

The first week of May, I had a pissy attitude about something. Maybe there was an HTE snafu or a day where I was by myself at the Museum. I don’t remember.

What I remember distinctly is thinking “If Brandy ever left the library, I could apply for her position. I would still get to design things.” I couldn’t let go of this thought for at least a day.

But if Brandy left, that’d be in The Future. And I was happy at the Museum; I was just in a mood.

So consider me blindsided when Amanda called and said Brandy had turned in her notice. Did I want to apply for the position?

Oh, man. OH, MAN. I do not know. Yeeeeesssss? Maybe? Probably?

BECAUSE I HAD JUST SAID IT. (It actually turns out I had been thinking about it right around the time Brandy had her interview for her next job. Found this out later.)

I sent Kris a text immediately. “Brandy just turned in her notice.”

He usually gets his texts quickly, but this time he didn’t. Nerves set in.

Leaving the Museum is a gamble, I thought. “I like it here.” What if I didn’t like it at the Library?

“That’s fear talking,” I thought. “Also, no dealing with the finance department.”

I texted YadyKates.

“Do I have what it takes to be a Teen Zone person at a library?”

She responded a moment later.

"Yes."

"Unequivocally."


And then I felt settled.

I applied for the position. Went to Savannah to visit YadyKates. Upon getting back, I found out that I got the job. I start TOMORROW.

I am now Library People.

Monday, May 30

Savannah

Untitled

So you know what I can't remember? Exactly how YadyKates & I became Internet Friends. The first piece of hers I saw was probably this. (Like, I can chart that were both fans of Rainbow from the pre-Fangirl days, when it was a smaller pool, y'know?) I knew she also liked My Mad Fat Diary.

I commissioned this from her. But... that's me being a fan of her work. How did we become friends?

I DON'T RECALL.

Oh, I bet it was Teen Wolf. When I started watching, I knew that Kady & her friend Nico were fans, so I bombarded them with tweets as I binged the show. (And then came The 100 and she let me use her log-in and then I got her hooked on World Ain't Ready without telling her it was a WIP...)

ANYWAY. So we have some fandoms in common. But I feel like we have other stuff in common, too, like art and things I will save for another post.

What this boils down to is that this year when I get no vacation days, I itch to GO PLACES. So I worked extra hours during Plein Air in order to take Friday off.

"Savannah is only six hours away," I thought. "I wonder if YadyKates would be up for a visit."

She was, but she was going to be out of town for Memorial Day weekend. I was INCREDIBLY BUMMED.

But wait! It turned out the wedding she was in was actually last weekend. So we got to meet a Fandom Friend.

YadyKates is lovely. Not that I got to talk with her much with the way my children were literally all over her all the time. (But they don't have phones and email, so they can't text her, ha!)

I mean, she did make them custom stuffed animals from stuff they drew and you can't like beat that, y'know?

I want to write all about the trip, but since I was gone all weekend, I need to do laundry instead. Boo. But super yay, YadyKates!

Monday, May 23

Hot dog, Ani's 4

Rainbow Cake

I am so happy with how Ani's party turned out. Because while we celebrated her 2nd and 3rd birthdays, this felt like the first time.

Kris' dad picked Zoe up on Saturday morning for a manicure/pedicure. He'd promised her one for completing the 3rd grade and we will be gone next weekend. It was Cash's day to run errands with Kris, so I thought while Ben and Ani were the only kids at home would be a great time for Ben to show her the ropes of her new Kindle. So we gathered in the living room and gave Ani her present. She is still getting the hang of the present thing, but once she knew to pull it out of the paper, it only took her a moment to realize what it was.

"Ani Kindle!"

Yay!

The weather had called for rain most of the week, but it all dumped out on us Friday, leaving Saturday clear. Bounce house! Ani knew it was "her" bounce house. She was so happy to have Chloe there.

Untitled Untitled Untitled

Ben and Cash were stoked to have their buds there.

Untitled

Untitled

Y'know what, I think we were ALL stoked.

Untitled

I told Stephanie that the sub-theme of the party was "people that work for the City." Carol, Eric, Stephanie, Nicole, Jacob, Me... we all still do. Michael and Hilary have before. (Hey, maybe Wesley, too...)

Ani was pleased with all of her presents. Jordan and I moved them off the deck to the laundry room to keep them together and Ani was like "where are my bags?" And on Sunday morning, I didn't want her opening and strewing it all at once, so I separated some things out. But she wanted to be reassured it was all still hers.

And then Kris' parents gave her a pile of dresses. "Ani dresses!" Indeed, sweetheart. You racked up a great 4th birthday.

Wednesday, May 18

My 4th kid is FOUR

Untitled

Kris wakes Ani up at 5:30am to get her dressed and take her to the bus stop for school. The rest of us get up after six.

He texted me midday yesterday to say he was a bad dad: he'd forgotten to wish Ani a happy birthday.

"Well, you did better than me," I thought. I had yet to even REALIZE it was Ani's birthday. (And I'd even written somebody a receipt and had to check the date!)

Her party is Saturday. I have ordered her long-promised kindle. We have been to Publix to order her a cake. (It's going to have a rainbow on it, to match some Rainbow Brite plates Kris got for me once. Ani doesn't know who that is, but I don't think she'll mind.)

I have invited some friends with kids and some of my kids' friends (because Ani doesn't so much have friends of her own yet). I got her and Zoe matching shirts to wear.

I CARE, YOU SEE. I JUST FORGOT ON THE ACTUAL DAY.

So last night, I tried to get one of those photos where the kid holds up how many fingers they are. Ani was confused. This is the best take.

I love that Zoe is still in the shot, molding her sister's fingers. This is what it is to be the littlest. Three big siblings to help her out. She cared far more to try and skate because Zoe and Cash were than to focus on having her photo made for her birthday.

We also celebrated her turning four by giving her a chore. All the big kids get at least a chore a day, so we gave Ani one last night. In protest, she would not get off the kitchen floor.

Ah, yes. It is good to be four.

Thursday, April 28

Only a day away

Kris went to Ani’s IEP meeting on Monday. The biggest thing we wanted to know was how many days a week they will want her to go in August (because we assume Zoe will be attending in August, though the summer camp where she will decide/be admitted is not until June).

The school has been very excited about Ani’s progress. So much so that they want her to go five days a week not starting in August. STARTING NOW. (Which is just for another month and then school is out for the summer.)

This was unexpected.

We’re working everything out.

Untitled

As her mom, I am just SUPER STOKED that she has potty-trained. There are seven dry pull-ups scattered around the upstairs, where she sheds them in the morning before getting out some underwear that she brings to either me or Kris to find the tag in the back for her. And last night she successfully pooped in the potty without being prompted to do so. There was much shouting of joy. (I was downstairs reading The Raven King, but man, the excitement was contagious.)

And the progression of her verbal skills is AWESOME. Like, the sheer joy that she can ask me things and tell us stuff.

Kris came in from his workout this morning and Ani shouted to him “I’m up, Daddy!”

*kerplooey*

(A little later, we prompted her to go wake up her brother. We heard her say “Cash, get up Cash.” Then there was some garbled mumbling and we heard “get ready for school.” Kris and I raised our brows at one another. She has so many more words now.)

Last night, she sat in the chair with me on the sun porch and asked “sun’ll come out tomorrow?” Which meant she wanted to watch YouTube videos of that song from Annie.

ANI HAS WANTS AND DESIRES. And I’m not over that they way I’m still not over when she delights in eating something.

Untitled

She loves riding the “choo choo” at Noccalula, so we bought a season pass this year. The big kids had sort of outgrown it and Ani certainly didn’t care the year she came home. BUT SHE DOES NOW.

She’s into wearing dresses now. She wanted a Pokemon shirt because her brothers have one. Even though she keeps getting hit in the head, she’d rather play basketball with her siblings than swing and climb by herself. Every weekend, she wants to nap “in sissy’s bed” and every morning, she drags “sissy’s pillow” to our bed to sit between me and Kris while we have coffee.

And in less than a month, she's FOUR.

Untitled