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Monday, July 6, 2015

July 2015: I Want to be Bold and Brave and Foolish

This is my jam right now, for some reason. I'm on a Mountain Goats kick right now (John Green has been sharing one Mountain Goats per every day recently, in anticipation of the Paper Towns premiere, and it's amazing. I love this song, but I wish it were about 10 minuets longer (I'm constantly having to switch windows so that I can play it again).
And the Chicago Cubs will beat every team in the league/
And the Tampa Bay Bucks will make it all the way to January/
And I will love you again/
I will love you/
Like I used to
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Went to see Me and Earl and the Dying Girl today, and it was golden.
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Adora was talking about something about which she's really excited, and she said "the future is now," so, she officially talks like I do. Which is great.
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Adora was concerned that I would forget something today, so she told me, "Write it on your hand. You'll never remember unless you do."
...I mean, she's right about that.
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I gave Juno my Dad's old iPhone today (it's completely dead), and she held it in her hand for a while, and kept looking at it expectantly, as if somehow, someway, it was going to start working.
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Today, I gave Adora a necklace that I bought in Japan. I was kind of concerned that she might lose it, and I really like it, so I said something like, "Okay, will you be careful to keep track of it when you take it off?" She responded, "I'm never taking this thing off!"
Oh, my goodness. Day made <3
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Bold and Brave and Foolish
I am divided
Into two halves
The bold and brave
And the calculated and careful
The calculated and careful
Is much larger, much more pronounced, and much, much louder
“Being bold and brave is foolish,” it tells me
"You’re going to ruin your friendship
And end up
With your heart ripped out
And stomped on
And that girl
Is going to destroy you."
“Keep yourself safe,” it chides,
“You will hurt her, and yourself.
Only pain will come from this.”
But the bold and the brave –
It’s hopeful, and it’s imaginative,
And it says, it its still small voice,
“Take a risk! 
Think of all the good
That could come to you
If you are open, and honest,
If you share your love fully and entirely
If you tell her how you feel
Even though you are terrified.”
And although the careful part of me is loud,
The part of me that is irreparably fallen
Wants to be bold
And brave
And foolish.
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This is my current jam. Yay, representation!
Thanks, internet, ILY. 
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I had a dream today, and it was magical.
In it, Adora, Juno, and I went on some sort of adventure (one which I completely cannot recall now, of course). After the adventure, we went back to my house, and I took Juno up to the bunk beds, where we read together. She instantly fell asleep, at which point, Adora and I retreated to the downstairs, where we watched The Mindy Project with Mindy Kaling herself, somehow. It was a magical experience.
I told Adora about this, and she thinks it's hilarious.

Friday, July 3, 2015

June 2015: SCOTUS Gives Me Life, and other Amazing Happenings

This came up on my Tumblr dash in an astrology post, and I thought that it was really sweet:
CANCER: you deserve to shine as bright as you possibly can, you deserve to see the stars, and taste galaxies, and love someone who knows what that word means. you deserve so much, much more than i’ll ever be able to give. but i will give it up anyway. no more regrets. dance a lot to loud music, and sleep with your entire body and soul, take care of yourself in the most gentle way you know how. i want you to have fun. go out and do something only mildly reckless. i want you to find stories, to tell, to write, to capture, to paint, to sing half badly at the top of your lungs. you are so lovely. none of these words will ever be enough to tell you how grateful i am that you are here.
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Feeling cynical today, so:
Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love. ―Neil Gaiman
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I need to stop saying that I want to marry things/people. I'm turning into Maeby. 

People who I have said that I wanted to marry in the last 24 hours:
Dodie Clark (because duh)
The person who runs the Creepy, Abandoned Chi-Chi's blog
The guy in the "How Alt-J Makes Music" video who sits there the entire time, eating rice cakes. 
Hey, guys, holla at me. the four of us could have a beautiful life together. 
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All I really want this summer is to go to a creepy, abandoned Chi-Chi's. That's all I need. 
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I want to make a list of thing this month that are making me happy (specifically stuff with Adora and Juno) Here we go!:
Making soap with the chikadees, and them deciding to sell it and give the proceeds to charity. 
(6/13)
Cuddling with Juno and watching movies
Building forts and reading with the girls
Hiding (and finding) the Friday Box
"I wish we had that box EVERY Friday!"
Juno finding happiness after she has been disappointed
Days when Juno surprises me, and is okay with things that I thought would make her bubble over with frusteration
Days when I keep my cool, even though she is angry/crying/yelling, and help her through these moments
When Adora reads out loud to us from books
Doing pretty much ANYTHING with JC; specifically, watching Mad Max and ALL of Unbreakable last time we hung out was awesome <3 
Seeing Kristian tonight!! It's been too long, and I am so excited to see her again. 
Finishing my DIY sling! And taking about 50000 pictures in it
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Conversation with Juno today (about this video):
Juno: "The person who is married to Sara Barellis is really lucky."
Me: "I agree! Sara is so awesome and talented."
Juno: "I would totally go to the grocery store if I could meet Sara."
Me: "Me, too, it would be amazing. What if she did a concert around here, and we went, and then we get to meet her? What would you do?"
Juno: "I would scream!"
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Really well-phrased words from Tumblr (kayliemalinza.tumblr.com). 
"how can you be mad at new words, we’re so starved for ways to describe ourselves and see ourselves how are you gonna be prissy about more nuance and exploration and understanding, did y’all never go through that phase of i don’t know what i am but it’s something wrong
compulsory heterosexuality is a hell of a drug but that’s not our fault, homophobia is murder but that’s not our fault, stop blaming kids for being confused or in the closet. how do new terms and understandings do anything but help that?"
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The SCOTUS granted marriage equality in the United States today, and I am so, so happy.
Ben came to pick me up from Adora and Juno's today (I don't access the internet for personal use when I'm with the kids) and told me in the car, and I shrieked with joy and danced around (and may have shed some joyful tears). I'm honestly so happy right now. Four for you, America. You go, America.
This obviously isn't everything, and we have a long road ahead until we achieve full equality in our society, but this is a move in the right direction, and it's just really bringing out the love this week. Facebook just feels like a giant party, everyone is celebrating, and it's so great. Love is just radiating out from everywhere, and I'm honestly feeling so happy and fulfilled. Today, something that was wrong in the world was righted. Thank you, SCOTUS. Thank you.
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I was hanging with the weeacrew yesterday, and we had the following conversation:
Den: '"I went to a party last week, and there was an awkward silence, and someone said, 'every time there's an awkward silence, a gay baby is born,' and it just took me back six years, like, I hadn't heard anyone say that since middle school."
JC: "Man, there must have been a lot of awkward silences for all of us to be here in this room right now."
It was a beautiful moment.
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The week after the SCOTUS decision has been magic for me. Oh, my goodness, I have been overflowing with love and happiness. I just feel so validated and happy. And it's beel like a coming-out fest during the last week, which has been amazing, and so many people who I knew in the past have shown their support for the LGBTQ+ community, and my heart is so full. Chloe came up to me the other day and told me how happy she was about the decision (and I'm not even out to her XD But I have been celebrating very openly on FB), and that made my week. It's just been lovely.
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Quotes from the person who sat next to me at college orientation:
"I'm like a ho, expect for water."
At one point, the powerpoint read, in huge lettering, "What will YOU do at XYZ college?" They said under their breath, "Be hella gay."
"Basically all you need to know about me is that I'm a ho in every sense of the word. I'm an art ho, I'm a water ho, I'm a ho ho...ho. I'm a Christmas ho."
We wrote "Six Word Stories" about ourselves. They wrote, "I like puns, they are funny," and then ellaborated with, "See? IT'S A PUN. Because my pronouns are they, and I'M HILARIOUS."
All I can think now is "punception."

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I just learned the word "groutfit." It's when you wear a grey sweatshirt with grey sweatpants. That's your groutfit. There's a word for this. Bless modern times.
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I saw something cute in a music video today and said "Aw!", and Juno instantly asked, "What? Did you see a baby?"
She knows me too well.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Read-Aloud Book Review: Ling and Ting are Saving Our Lives

     Adora, Juno, and I love, love, LOVE to read! We spend a good amount of time reading every day, which I personally think is good for all of us. It gives Adora and Juno time to recharge, relax, and regain energy (so that they can return to being their energetic and effervescent selves for the rest of the afternoon), it allows us to learn new things and strengthen reading skills, it helps us connect out weekly themes with information and pictures (I often get books that relate to our themes), and it's a lovely time for us all to be together. I love reading, and I'm trying to pass some of that love onto them. Plus, I really, really enjoy reading out loud. And recently, the kidlets do, too! 


Our book pile. Featuring the boxed I have packed to take to uni, because I'm too lazy to crop them out. Maybe I like my pictures better raw? It's more authentic, probably. Don't judge.

     This has brought up one, little tiny issue: finding appropriate out-loud reading material for Juno. Adora always reads aloud to us from Junie B. Jones; she is amazing. She does hilarious voices for each of the characters and puts a ton of emotion into reading. You can really tell how much she loves to read! We love hearing her read, too.
 Juno, however, is a lot younger than Adora, and is less practiced at reading aloud. I love hearing her read stories, but Adora is generally not as patient with it as I am, which I understand (it's hard to be the oldest, and while she's generally very patient and understanding, this is one thing that she finds less easy to tolerate). As much as Juno longs to read us chapter books, it's a bit much for her (and a bit trying on Adora's patience), and picture books just aren't classy enough for her. We needed something in between, but I was having trouble finding that thing.

Enter Ling and Ting, my summer saviors.
Ling and Ting books are amazing, for these, and many more, reasons:
A. Ling and Ting books are short and aimed at younger children, but they are cute, and they are hilarious. The stories are at Juno's reading level, yet they easily capture Adora's attention (which isn't always easy to catch).
B. Ling and Ting books have chapters, which makes Juno feel super fancy (her basic reaction to seeing the chapters was, "Now that's classy, partner.") and accomplished, but the chapters are short, so she doesn't feel overwhelmed when attempting to finish one. Amazing. 
C. We need more diverse books in the world, and Ling and Ting are helping with that effort.w The protagonists are Chinese, and the book features stories in which they practice with chopsticks and make their own dumplings, amongst many other cool and interesting stories. I love reading books that features diverse characters with the girls, and they love these stories, so it's a win-win!
D. Grace Lin wrote the book, and she is a gift to this godforsaken world. All of her books and super diverse, super interesting, super well written, and super worth reading. 

To recap, pretty much every day, the girls and I would have a conversation along these lines:
Juno: "I want to read!"
Adora: "PLEASE don't let her read!"
And it was frustrating, because I wanted everyone to be happy, but there was no way for me to make it happen. Ling and Ting have completely eliminated this, and have SAVED OUR LIVES, I tell you. 
Also, this post is 100% not sponsored? I'm honestly just so hype about this book, man. 
What books are you and your kidlets enjoying this summer? Let me know in the comments! We could totally use recommendations.
Juno is reading and EVERYONE IS HAPPY (!!)
(Also, the lights are off. Like a movie theatre, obviously) 
PS: I was really tempted to add "by Fall Out Boy" to the end of this title, but I restrained myself.
PPS: If you didn't watch the Elmify video I linked to earlier, you're missing out, because she's amazing and a creative genius. 


Wordless Wednesday: England

I wanted to chronicle our summer through photos, but I'm off to a pretty lame start (which is to say, it's been three weeks and I haven't made any posts). But, NO MORE! I'm actually going to do this now.
We've been learning about England this week. See some of our activities here!

Juno painting her own teacup 

Adora's trifle -- yum!

Juno's trifle <3

Making our own tea blends -- complete with our own fancy tea boxes (thanks for making me look classy, Dollar Tree)

And now, a tea party! With trifle and our own special teacups

Making wire bases for flower crowns for Midsummer's Night; scroll down to see them completed 

Adding flowers


Making Fairie Circles

Flower crown in action during the building of the Fairie Circles



The fairies left us gifts!



Completed flower crowns

We love to read! 
I'm feeling lazy and I don't want to get my camera card and add what we did today, so there's what we have so far this week! We're having lots of fun exploring England, and we loved celebrating Midsummer's Night. What have you all been up to this summer? 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Letter to the Mama Whom I Will Become

Welcome to the June 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Talking to Yourself
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written letters to themselves. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
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I love kids, but I'm not a mother yet.
 I write this blog as an AP nanny/baby sitter, but I don't yet have kids of my own. However, I excitedly anticipate the day when I will raise my own kids, and in honour of that, I wrote a letter to the mother that I will one day become.
Also, I pulled out the embarrassing middle school photos on this post. FOR YOU GUYS.
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Hey you,
Wow! You made it! You're a mother.
Take a moment to just think about that.
Hold your baby in your arms. Breathe in their smell, hug them to yourself. You're here, you did it, you're a mama, and this is your baby.

Think back in time.
Remember when you were in middle school, absentmindedly daydreaming, picturing what it would be like when you could finally become a mother. You chose embarrassing names for your hypothetical children, designations that you've long forgotten. You imagined what they would look like, you pictured the kind of house in which you might live, the home that you would create with them. You dreamt of speaking to them in Japanese (some things never change) and caring for their needs.
Middle school Erin and baby 
Middle school Erin with a kiddo (and VERY pronounced braces) 

Recall as a high schooler, practicing with your ring sling, learning how to tie on your baby wrap, reading countless articles about babywearing, and pining over gorgeous rainbow wraps. You learned these skills for then, for nannying and baby sitting and caring for your friend's offspring, but as you did so, you couldn't help but imagine the future, when your carriers will hold your own babies, when you will hold your own close to your heart.
The first picture I have of myself babywearing. We've come a long way. 
Beginning at a young age, while out in public, you always notice babies. "Aw, look at the baby!" and "Check out that sweet carrier" (you're like a babywearing radar) are familiar comments from you. One day, you're at the beach with your mother, and you pass by a woman with her baby snugly cuddled in a wrap. Your mother turns to you and comments, "I know you were totally digging that lady's cool baby carrier." You were. A few days later, she comments to you, "I always notice when people are using baby carrier now, because of you!"
As a high schooler, one day, you're walking with your best friend, and you walk past a woman holding a smiling and cooing baby. After you pass her, your friend turns to you and comments, "You wanted to steal that baby, didn't you?" She knows you all too well. Later, she messages you, asking what your favourite animal is. Seconds later, she clarifies, "Other than baby humans, of course."

You do the same thing while you're living in Japan; you're always pointing out cute babies, especially if their parents are babywearing. And in Japan, their parents are ALWAYS babywearing. You do this so often that one day, your host grandmother teaches you a special word: おんぶ を します (onbu o shimasu) -- to wear one's baby on one's back.
Erin in Japan. Not pictured: any form of babywearing, or anything relevant to this blog post. I just really love talking about Japan, to be honest. 

Remember picturing yourself wearing your own kids, cosleeping, breastfeeding, caring for them. Think back to reading countless articles about homebirth and cosleeping, to learning about breastfeeding and natural living, to practicing babywearing. You have spent years and years caring for other people's children, and you have looked forward to this moment for a long time. And you made it! You did it. You're holding your own baby in your arms.
                   
                   Here are some things that I want you to know and remember:
     Your baby is yours, and you get to make decisions for them. What your Mother in law, Grandmother, Aunts, Uncles, childhood friends, or old classmates from high school think is not important. It's not their baby, it's your baby. As Steve Harvey once said, "Get your own baby. This ain't your baby." Be confident in your decisions, and in what works for you. And be your child's advocate. Fight for what is best for them. What people think about you is not important -- protecting your child and securing what is best and safest for them is.
     Motherhood is not perfect. You will be tired. You will want a break. You may be desperate for a minuet--a second, even! -- to yourself. You will be irritated sometimes. You might feel unsupported. These feelings are normal. You're not"doing it wrong". But when you are frustrated, tired, touched out, when everything seems wrong, remember back. Think about when you babywore, read, and dreamt of the future. Think about how much you've longed for this. Think about how special your kiddo is, how lucky you are to have them. Remember that these moments, even the tiring ones, are special.
     Don't be afraid to take pictures, to write, to save mementos. Capture the memories however you can. Take pictures of yourself babywearing, of partners and friends babywearing (can you tell I'm already excited at the prospect of babywearing photos?), of special moments. Of tiny toes and sleepy smiles, of your baby in special places and experiencing new things. You'll be glad that you did.
   You can do this. You are a good mother. You are patient, you are very loving, you are kind, you are giving, and you care about kids so, so much. But you're a worrier, and you're a perfectionist, and unfortunately, those two things, when mixed together, create a bitter cocktail of unnecessary regret and frustration that I feel that you might be drinking often as a new mother. You will worry that you are not enough. You might worry that you are too easily frustrated, that you are not loving in the way that your child needs you to be, that you are not adequate. But remember these things:
You are an amazing mother. An AMAZING mother!
You are perfect for your baby. You are just what they need. You are the right person to be their mother. They are lucky to have you, and you them.
You are loving. You are so, so very loving! Your child will be showered with all the love that they need and more. No need to worry.
You are such a patient person. You are usually calm in the face of chaos. It's normal to be annoyed sometimes, but even in the face of irritation, you generally stay calm and collected. Your child will thank you for this.
You are accepting and understanding. You love people for who they are. Your child will benefit from this.
You are constantly thinking about the best way to support and care for children. You care so, so very much about them.
You have so much of yourself to give to your kids. You are enough. You will always be enough.
                                          Keep calm and carry on, mama. You've got this.
                                    I'm so excited and happy for you. See you in the future, mama Erin.
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I wanted to add more of my babywearing practice pictures (from practicing with dolls, ect, to learn how to wrap correctly), because I just have SO. MANY. And why not, right? So, here they are:
Me wearing a buffalo. For your viewing pleasure.
                                                             

I swear, I'm happy. 
So happy! Because I finally figured out FWCC with my water wrap

DIY ring sling means hands free! 

Why yes, I DO have the same expression in all of my babywearing pictures.
.....I have dozens of reference pictures like this. I'll spare you from having to see all of them.
Also, just for fun, more pictures of middle school Erin (I keep finding them):
I look thrilled
I had the "I'm hands free and babywearing" pose down before I even knew what babywearing was (Does it concern anyone else that I look exactly the same in this picture taken six years ago as I do in the pictures that I took, like, last week? Is this why I'm always getting mistaken for a 7'th grader?) 
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*** Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting! Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • Dear Me. — Meegs at A New Day writes to her decade-younger self offering a good reminder of how far she's come, and she addresses some fears she wishes future her could assuage.
  • Reflecting on Motherhood with Parental Intelligence: A Letter to Myself — Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. at Parental Intelligence writes about raising her two loving, empathic sons with Parental Intelligence and finding they have become industrious, accomplished young men with warm social relationships.
  • A Letter to MyselfThe Barefoot Mama writes to herself in the moments around the birth of her daughter.
  • A Letter to Myself — Holly at Leaves of Lavender offers a missive to herself in the past... three years in the past, to be precise, when her little one was only four months old.
  • Dear me: Nothing will go the way you've planned — Lauren at Hobo Mama gets real with her just-starting-parenting self and tells it to her straight.
  • A Letter to the Mama Whom I Will Become — Erin from And Now, for Something Completely Different writes a letter to the Mama whom she will one day be, filled with musings on the past, present, and future.
  • Dear Me of 7 Years Ago — Lactating Girl at The Adventures of Lactating Girl writes to her pre-baby self telling her about the whirlwind she's about to enter called parenting.
  • Talking to My 18 Year Old SelfHannahandHorn talks to herself as she is just entering college.
  • Dear highly sensitive soulMarija Smits tells a younger version of herself that motherhood will bring unexpected benefits - one of them being the realization that she is a highly sensitive person.
  • Talking to myself: Dear Pre StoneageparentStoneageparent enlightens her pre-pregnant self about the amazing transformations life has in store for her after having two children
  • Dear Me: I love you. — Dionna at Code Name: Mama wrote herself a few little reminders to help her be at peace with who she is in the moment. That may give her the greatest chance of being at peace in the future, too.
  • My best advice to the new mama I was 8 years ago — Tat at Mum in Search shares the one thing she wishes she'd figured out earlier in a letter to her 8-years-ago self (that's when her first baby was 6 moths old).
  • A Letter to Myself — Bibi at The Conscious Doer sends a letter back in time eight years to her darkest moment post partum.
  • To me, with love — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama makes peace with her past and projects what a future her will need to hear.
  • To Myself on the Last Day — Rachael at The Variegated Life tells her panicked last-day-before-motherhood self not to worry.

Monday, June 1, 2015

May 2015: Ben Likes His Eat-N-Parks Nice and Dirty, and Other Atrocities

I was watching a movie with JC, Dres, and Syd today, and at one point, JC turned to me and said, "Are you having a hard time not talking during this?"
And then, she let me talk to her during the movie, because she understands my need to talk at all times. She's the real MVP.
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This is honestly the best coming out video I've ever seen. Holy cow.
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So, apparently Ben had a dream that Mikayla came over to our house, and she stole his iPod and went and hid in his room and wouldn't come out. He was super mad, and kept demanding that she give it back, but she wouldn't, and the door would only open a sliver of the way, so finally, he stuck his middle finger through the door and said, "Hey Mikayla, I bet you can't guess which finger this is!"
.............Which is my new favourite story of all time.
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Sometimes I'm like, "Why was I so obsessed with This Is Gospel a few months ago...?"
And then I listen to it, and I'm like, "IF YOU LOVE ME LET ME GOOOOO"
It's kind of amazing.
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I went to Arisa's house today and tried to log into her laptop with my password, as if it would work. It was honestly just muscle memory, like, I didn't even think about it...which is kind of sad.
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Watching Eurovision with Johanna! She's awesome, I'm so glad that we get to watch it together! Technology is honestly so cool.
And by watching Eurovision, I kind of mean talking about how hot Loik is. He's basically amazing.
This is honestly so cool, though! We're both watching it from different countries, and they messaging one another about everything that happens. And neither of us is in Europe.
Technology is honestly so amazing.
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Ben: "I don't like this Eat 'N Park. It's too clean. I like my Eat 'N Parks nice and dirty."
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Today, I was with Ben in a store, and Thanks for the Memories came on, so, I sang the entire song (read: screamed the song in his face) and jumped around, as one does. He was not amused.
...This is why people won't take me in public anymore.
(There are already two posts too many about emo music in this blog post. I need to get it together).
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SING TO MY SOUL, BRENDON
(I've already failed at my goal)
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TOM FLETCHER AND HIS SON ARE SO PRECIOUS OMG
This babywearing Dad and his adorable baby...they just slay me. Oh, my word. My heart.
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Ben, Harley, and I went shopping at the Asian market today, and it was really, really special and cool. It almost felt a little bit surreal, like, "Wow, am I actually here shopping for ramen with Harley? Deja vu." It was just weird and cool to be doing that again, like we used to. Except now, instead of being three little kids, dashing down the isles in search of the perfect flavour of ramen, yelling to one another excitedly about the discovery of another pack of Pocky, and searching the shelves for a cool pair of chopsticks, we walk the isles and gaze at the items, we three. We three: One in a Hank Green shirt, insisting on reading all of the packaging and announcing what all of the items are, excitedly squealing at certain vegetables or fruits and announcing, "I used to eat this all of the time in Japan." One nine months pregnant, choosing her favourite ramen and wondering if they have anything here that she can save for her precious baby, so excitedly anticipated and adored. One ambling about with his skater's gait (I'm not sure how he even manages to walk like a skater. He's got talent), cracking jokes and making references to his favourites Vines, insisting on buying Sriracha, even though we both know he'll never eat it. It was so striking to see the contrast. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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I've been reading A LOT of Hobo Mama recently! Here's a quote that I particularly enjoyed:
"I've been thinking a lot about grace lately, and receiving things I don't need or deserve. It started with Sam, because he's been expounding on it to me, in his mini-sermon way. Normally I think sermons are boring and day dream through them, but for some reason Sam's always resonate with me, and I start seeing the world through his eyes and go, 'Yes! It's true!'" -- Lauren Wayne, On Grace and Freebies 
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Today, JC came over, and she was talking about the characters that she creates, and was making up hypothetical stories for them, and she kept mentioning babywearing, and talking about her characters babywearing, and BE STILL MY HEART, it just made me so, so very happy. I love babywearing. And JC. And/both.
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I got to meet baby Dominic today! He is so, so precious<3 I am so excited for Harley. He is an angel baby <3 I feel so lucky to be Dominic's Auntie.
Baby Dominic,
I love you!
I am so lucky to be your Auntie.
I will always be there for you.
I want you to have an amazing life.
Harley,
You can do this!
You are going to be an amazing Mummy.
You are caring and sweet.
Dominic is finally here!
I am so very happy for, and proud of, you.
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Sunday, May 3, 2015

April 2015: Life Playlist, Colour Test, Daily Journals, and MEETING HANK FREAKING GREEN

Someone on Tumblr sent me a life playlist! So cool.
I'm definitely playing American Beauty/American Psycho at my wedding. Consider this your invitation. And I See the Light is going on my birth playlist, for sure.
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Deep breath.
In, out, in, out.
I am having a moment of panic. PANIC. 
I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MYSELF AND IT IS MAJORLY FREAKING ME OUT.
I'm on these "accepted student" boards for the schools that I got into, and they're all full of ambitious, intelligent, articulate students who are committing to schools and sure of their decisions, whereas I'm more in the realm of "if you have to choose a school and it's making you rethink your life and pushing you into a major existential crisis clap your hands," which isn't really a great place to be. All of these people are incisive and decided, whereas I'm a noncommittal, wiggly hand gesture paired with a vague "ehhh" sound. Which is stressful and intimidating to me. 
And Minerva. MINERVA. Like, WHAT DO I EVEN DO ABOUT THAT? IT'S FANCY? IT'S NEW? Shouldn't I want to take a risk, to do new things, to be a part of history? If I don't join Minerva, will I regret it for the rest of my life? Will these people go on to conquer the world, while I wait at the sidelines? And...is waiting at the sidelines even such a bad thing? Minerva seems like an intentional community, which I love. But it also seems sketchy as ever, and I'm kind of skeptical on their whole "new twist" on education. I just don't know if it's a good idea. And I'm scared, because I don't know what I want to choose, or how to make the right decision. But...I don't need to be. Everything is going to be all right. I will make a good decision. And this seemingly momentous choice, this huge decision: it's making me reconsider what I value in life, what I want for my future. It's forcing me to delve into myself and to analyze what I find. And this kind of hurts. It's kind of overwhelming. But I think that it's really, really good. Good will come of this. For now, it makes my head hurt, and my heart ache, and every part of me scream, "STOP OVER-THINKING THIS" one second, and "WHY AREN'T YOU THINKING THIS THROUGH MORE DEEPLY?" the next. But I am learning more about myself than I ever would have without these choices, and what I am learning will help me in the future
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Me: I bought us matching My So-Called Life buttons on Etsy last night!
Mom: *Laughs hysterically* You're such a NERD.
Well...I kind of am.
UPDATE: They came, and they're amazing. Who's laughing now?
...Still her. I'm still a nerd. 
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JC: "What's your favorite animal? Other than baby humans." 
...I do love baby humans. 
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I took The Colour Quiz, and my results are scarily accurate. Like, not all of them are perfect, but daaang:

Your Existing Situation

"Creative and emotional, looking for ways to further expand those qualities. Looking for a partner who enjoys the same activities. Seeking adventure and new and unusual activities."

Your Stress Sources

"Needs to meet people who have the same high principals and values as himself, but finds the need unfulfilled. her need to feel dominate and superior leaves her feeling isolated and does not allow for her to give freely of himself. she would like to surrender and let go, but sees that as a weakness she must not give in to. Holding back will allow her to stand out for the crowd and earn a higher status, recognized by others as unique and important."

Your Restrained Characteristics

Current events leave her feeling forced into compromise in order to avoid being cut off from affection or future cooperation.
Has strong emotional demands and is picky when it comes to choosing a partner. she chooses to remain emotionally distant and uninvolved in relationships.
Giving more than she is getting back and feels misunderstood and unappreciated. Feels she is being forced into compromising and even her close relationships leave her feeling emotional distant.
Is feeling emotionally drained from stressful and tense situations. she is in need of peace and quiet in order to overcome her lack of energy and may become irritable if she does not recover.

Your Desired Objective
"Wants interesting and exciting things to happen in her life. she is able to make others like her, because of her genuine concern for them. she is charming and open and makes friends easily. she can have an over-active imagination, which leads her to fantasize and daydream."

Your Actual Problem

"Impressed by unique and one of a kind things, and by people with exceptional personalities. Tries to takes the characteristics she likes in other people and apply it to herself as well as coming across as a unique individual."
Like, almost every single one of these is accurate.
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So I have a friend who is a crazy hypochondriac (like, legit crazy), and I had a dream last night that I kind of bumped into her (like, backed into her by accident and accidentally brushed her lightly), and she then threw herself down onto the floor and screamed, "OH MY GOD, I'M IN AGONY! I'M DYING. EVERYTHING HURTS. I'M IN SO MUCH PAIN," and I was just like, "Seriously? I barely touched you. Get over yourself," and she turned to the girl who was with her and was like, "Erin's such a b**ch," and I let it go. But then later, her Mom called me out about it in front of a bunch of people (and was like, "YOU INJURED MY CHILD! YOU HAVE SCARRED HER FOR LIFE), and I was like(apparently completely missing the point of what she was saying and instead responding to something said much earlier, so that's fairly true to life), "Well, you know, I don't appreciate being called a b**ch.Women are supposed to support one another! If we don't support each other, how are we supposed to overthrow the patriarchy and create a world in which people of all genders are equal?" And, I basically channeled my inner Alaska for a while and ranted her into oblivion. So, we've learned some things here:
1. I even feminist rant in my dreams
2. My dreams are apparently shockingly close to real life?
Who knew.
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My Mom spent a really long time debating Ben and I on the correct definition of the word "meme." Sorry, Mom, I'm a full time internet trashbag, I'm pretty sure you're going to lose this one.
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I had to explain the concept of "420" to my Mom today.
"....But like, WHY is it a thing that people day?"
"I don't even know, Mom, they just do."
"At my high school, everybody went out and smoked pot at 5:15. Like, in the Who song. So, where does 4:20 come from?"
She makes a valid point.
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(Trying to deal with my feelings. Poetry can help, right?)

I'm done with liking people
Because crushes are a waste of time
And I tell myself
To "stop thinking about her, stupid,"
Because when you like someone
There's so much uncertainty
And I don't want
To get hurt

But
I like the way her voice sounds when she laughs
I like the way her mind works
I like the way she cares about others
I like how her cheek feels against mine
And I don't know
How to stop
Liking it.
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From Tumblr:
You are not just studying for your future.
You are studying to save those patients.
You are studying to save that family’s mother from a lengthy jail sentence.
You are studying to teach us all.
You are studying to improve global communication.
You are studying to improve the environment.
You are studying so we learn from the past.
You are studying so technology progresses.
Who ever you are and whatever your goals are.
Your decision to study will change the world. 
Literally.
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JC just told me that she saw a picture of someone babywearing, and it made her think of me. It totally made my day <3
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Watched My So-Called Life with JC today, and she was totally into it. Yay!
Her: "This show is a wild ride."

Her: "Did they kick him out because he's gay?"
Me: "Yeah.."
Her:"Oh, poor baby."
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I can't stop listening to this song. I KNOW. I'm such a loser. Like, PLEASE JUST HEAR THEIR BEAUTIFUL VOICES. And ignore the weird shipping. Please. For me.
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My So Called Life is my favourite thing ever. Time for this post to get Ricky-ified:
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What if I actually blogged every day? That would be rad. For the rest of April (It's already the 19'th, I'm such a success), I'm going to write something every day. Format:
Date
Day of the Week
Weather
What song have you listened to the most times today?
Add a YouTube video that you watched today.
What were some good things that happened today?
What are you working on improving?
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April 19'th
Sunday
Sunny and warm!
What song have you listened to the most times today?
Probably Tokyo by Owl City (don't judge).
Add a YouTube video that you watched today.
Hank Green is always amazing! 
What were some good things that happened today?
Worked on cleaning the disaster zone that is my room and found a lot of cool books and magazines that I bought in Japan, as well as a lot of sweet notes from my classmates. I miss Japan so much, my heart hurts </3 Japhan is killing me right now, because I'm like, "BUT...I WANT TO GO TO JAPAN, TOO?"
Finally organized my vinyl! It looks pretty legit, sitting on my desk.
Got to hold a friend's baby today, she was such a sweet kiddo! I love me some babies.
Ate tacos from a  local taco truck -- yum!
Finished reading Looking for Alaska today! Oh my gosh, it was so, so good <3 It made a lot of really interesting points. Thanks, as always, John Green, for being amazing.
What are you working on improving?
I need to make a freaking college decision already, this is getting insane.
Need to have patience with my coworkers, and learn how to keep using my AP tactics, even though I am in an unsupportive environment.
"I need to spend less time online," she typed into her online journal.
I really, really miss Japan.
.....The college thing is really getting out of hand.
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April 20'th
Monday
Thunderstorms and tornado warnings!
......I almost forgot to do this. How awkward would that have been? Like, man, get it together, me, it's the second day of the challenge.
What song have you listened to the most times today?
Hallelujah -- Panic! at the Disco
This came out today, and I'm a little bit obsessed.
Add a YouTube video that you watched today.
...I don't think I did? Dangit, me! Get it together.
What were some good things that happened today?
Lauren wrote this absolutely amazing post today, and I really, really loved it. I always love reading her opinions and thoughts, but I just thought that she was particularly amazing and eloquent in this post. Like, she was slaying it.
My kiddos were so, so sweet and cuddly and lovable today, as they always are. I adore them so much.
My coworkers were being nice and friendly today, which was lovely.
Daycare owner asked me about my college decision and was super nice about that whole situation. I kind of love her.
Watched My So-Called Life! The dance episode. It was amazing. Ricky is my hero. I love him so much.
Had a picnic by the river with my family! My Mum made sandwiches, and we all talked, and it was lovely.
Wore legging that I dyed myself. They make me happy <3
Talked to Lamby, which is always lovely.
HANK GREEN ON FRIDAY!! <3
What are you working on improving?
MAKE A COLLEGE DECISION ALREADY, PLEASE.
Be patient with your kiddos at school.
Pull yourself together. It doesn't matter what your coworkers think of you, you need to remember to be AP, no matter what.
Their opinion of you/anger at you does not matter.
They aren't angry at you? You're imagining things. Like, honestly. You're okay. Sing your calm song, take a deep breath, and AP on.
STUDY JAPANESE AND WATCH CRASH COURSE EVERYDAY.
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I came home late a bunch of days in a row and was just like, "Ehhh, not feeling journaling. So, here we are.
April 24'th
I WENT TO SEE HANK GREEEEEEEEEN IN CONCERT! More about this later!
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I WENT TO SEE HANK FREAKING GREEN AND IT WAS SO, SO WONDERFUL AND AMAZING. It was honestly so cool. We were really, really close to the stage, so I was, maybe, 15 feet away from Hank Green for most of the concert? Which was absolutely amazing. It's kind of mindblowing, like, I watch Hank's videos every day, and he has made my life so much better, and it was insane to be like, "Wow, he's actually right here right now." And so close! It was so, so cool and special and awesome.
Five bands played:
Andrew Huang
Rob Scallion
Harry and the Potters
Driftless Pony Club (WHEEZYWAITER)
HANK GREEN
They were all amazing! And everyone there was really super into it, and jumping around, and yelling and having so much fun, which made it even better. And Hank came out in between each act and talked about random things, and it all felt really natural and conversational, and it was so, so cool.
Harry and the Potters were really fun. I had never seen them live, but they're juts so energetic and lively,and it's all just really cool. They had a pledge at the beginning of their act (you know, we all pledged to contribute to the rocking factor of the concert. Normal), and it REALLY reminded me of the pledge scene from School of Rock, and it was hysterical, and really fun.
And then, Hank Green. HANK GREEN. He came out, and sang, and went out into the crown, and encouraged us all to dance and have fun, and it was AH. MA. ZING. He's just the coolest. He covered Shake It Off, which kind of made my life. And he sang a ton of his songs, and it just made me so inexpressibly happy. Oh, my goodness <3 It was so amazing. Hanklerfish, and I Love Science, and The Universe is Weird, and T Shirt and Jeans, and so many other songs. GAH, IT WAS JUST SO LOVELY.
And the stage was so low, and we could get so close to it! It was just so, so perfect.
I met a lot of amazingly awesome nerdfighters while I was there! My Dad and I stood next to a really friendly nerdfighter couple and chatted them up before the concert, which was lovely, and they were really nice (and so NERDFIGHTER-Y!). I talked to the girl for a while, she was all dressed up in her Harry Potter garb, and we were talking like lightning, and there was a lot of us saying "I LIKE THIS," and it was just fantastic.
Then during the actual concert, I stood next to a girl who also knew all of Hank's songs, and it was so cool to be able to sing them all together, and to have someone there who was screaming loud, and jumping high, and freaking out, just as I was. We were both screaming at each other, and it was really awesome.
And after the concert, when I was waiting to meet Hank, I met a bunch of other cool nerdfighters, one of whom was an adorable little baby who was dressed like Batman, so that was pretty magical, as well.
Also, I got to meet Hank!! This was amazing, and fairly unexpected, and I am honestly still in awe over it. It was so, so amazing and special to be able to meet someone who has influenced and improved my life drastically.
I gave Hank a flower crown and some markers, and he seemed kind of into both things, and he graciously took a picture with me, and he was just so nice to me, and to my father ("I liked your Ghostbusters cover," my Dad commented. "Yup, I did that just for you!" Hank quipped back), and it was just so amazing to be able to see him in person.
And he touched my shoulder, and I was like, "IS THIS REAL LIFE." It was.
ACTUAL HANK GREEN

Sweet outtake. He's holding the makers that I gave him, so that's cool.

What I wrote on Tumblr:
*****
I met edwardspoonhands yesterday, after his concert in DC, and I’m kind of still in awe. He is amazingly gracious, kind, and friendly (and stayed at the venue long after the concert to talk to all of the nerdfighters there, because he’s the coolest person ever). 
There’s something amazing and humbling about meeting someone who has changed your life in the way that Hank Green has changed mine. It’s kind of interesting, this sense that they have had such an impact on you, that you have this one-sided history together of which only you are truly aware, and it makes it difficult to know exactly what to say in that moment. I, for one, said “thank you so much” at least twelve times, because I am inexpressibly grateful to Hank; Thank you, Hank Green, for existing, for making music and videos and conventions and so many other awesome things, and for sharing them with all of us. Thanks for creating such a cool community in nerdfighteria (through which I have met many of my favourite people), and for organizing events where we can come together and be surrounded by others who share our general love of nerdiness. Thanks for caring about us, and for never forgetting to be awesome. You fill my life, and the lives of many other nerdfighters, with tons of awesome. 
(Also, yes, Hank is rocking a flower crown. I gave it to him, and he instantly placed it on his head and was totally down with it, because, as we’ve established, he’s kind of the coolest). 
PS: I met, and gave a flower crown to, the Katherine, too (or to a random woman who looks exceptionally similar to the Katherine), I hope she likes it! She was very friendly and super nice.
*******
I'm just so content right now. It was honestly so amazing. 
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UPDATE: WHEEZYWAITER POSTED A PICTURE IN WHICH HE IS WEARING THE FLOWERCROWN THAT I MADE FOR THE KATHERINE THIS IS NOT A DRILL
And someone reblogged it and commented:
 Hey. I saw the lovely lady who gave you that coronet last night. She was very nice.
Well, thank you! You just made my day, random person.

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It's almost a week later, and my Dad and I keep talking about the concert randomly, in passing. It's honestly such a cool memory for both of us. He told me he'd never forget it XD
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