Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 5 - My Siblings

I have two sisters, both older than me, one by 13 years and the other by 17 years.  I do not ever remember living with the oldest one, and my family moved to a different state when I was 5 and the youngest one did not move with us. That means, most of my life, I was raised as an only child.  I am sure both sisters would agree I was spoiled rotten. They are probably right. :)

My oldest sister, Linda, had a baby when I was two. She made me an aunt at 2 years old (and our mom a grandma at 37!).  We never lived in the same state, but we did see Linda and her family at least a couple times a year, during long summer breaks and over Christmas.  Her son and I fought like brother and sister, until I realized if I stopped arguing he would not have anyone to fight with. I was about 11 when that happened. Most of my growing up time, she was more like a mom to me because she had to discipline the two of us. 

The sister closer in age, Donna, wanted a baby brother or sister, so was thrilled when I came along.  What I remember most strongly growing up was one summer when I spent some time at both sister's houses, she taught me how to make pies. I would get to pick out the recipes and we would make them. She taught me about making a good crust, patching up the parts that needed it - all of that. 

When I came out, at 22 to my family but a year earlier to myself, it was my sisters I first told - Linda first, then Donna, prepping for how and when I would tell Mom.  Even then I was good at building a case - I figured if I had lived an "out" lifestyle where I lived (3 hours away from the family) for the past year, when I told them I was gay, I could say that my life was good and I was happy and there was nothing to worry about. 

Over the past several years we've been though a lot with my father breaking his neck and having a very long recovery, him getting diagnosed and dying of lung cancer, and most recently, helping my mom through the death of her second husband. It is those times especially I am thankful to have sisters. 

In some ways, I have had the best of both worlds - raised as an only child, getting all of my parent's attention with the benefit of them already having been through having other kids, and also having sisters to provide a big family for get-togethers, holidays, and just knowing there are people in the world who will always support me. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

It is my Birthday!  I am at work - on lunch - the possibilities of the evening stretched out enticingly in front of me. My mom wants to take me out to dinner, but I decided Friday was better than today. So tonight, I am on my own! Will I go to a movie? My favorite pizza place?  Maybe cook up some seafood and rent a Redbox movie?  I could go wander around Fred Meyer, looking at the spring plants, metal step stools and assorted other things displayed for my retail pleasure.  Not sure, but it is has been a good day so far! 


This seems like it has been a long week. Casey and I are dealing with how to treat Kelton's in-grown toe nail. We have been fighting an infection for about three weeks.  First we treated it on our own, but finally it became apparent we needed to seek medical attention. So, a round of antibiotics and a nasty-colored antiseptic treatment twice a day, and it looks really good, but if we don't actually solve the problem, it will get infected again. Ugh.  So, Friday we meet with a doctor, wonder about the scary instruments on the point of care carts, and inquire exactly which torture devices they recommend using on our baby. 

Vicki has been crazy-busy working on sorting and packing to get her house that is 3000 miles away on the market, bringing her closer to being able to truly move out here.  We just hope it hits the market at the right time, and the perfect buyer comes along quickly! In the mean time, we are spending lots of time on the phone. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Eggs!

Two posts below I mentioned pictures of the Easter Egg dyeing event. Here are a couple that I had on my phone. The others were taken on the good camera, though truthfully, not sure they turned out that good. I will have to look at them on the computer and see.

Anyway, this is the first year I let the kids color a dozen eggs each. I got them two kinds of dye - the regular Paas stuff, and then some called Candy Apply coloring, or something like that. The latter you actually paint on and it comes out shiny, sort of like a candy apple. It was fun, and the colors nice and bright, but even the next day, some were not completely dry...which made hiding them inside the house interesting. Fortunately, no permanent damage to anything - and I think it has even washed off the little fingers by now. (I now wonder if there were drying instructions that I did not read.....)

Anyway - we all had fun - and that's what counts the most!

Art Stuff

My kids love art. So do I.
Seems like they are always putting together something artistic. This weekend Kaylen was making photo frames for the white board pictures she drew that we took photos of and then printed out.  Clever, right? Her idea!  While scissors work fine for such a project, some other cutting tools might work better. Sometimes scissors are a bit awkward, and I can't really let the kids use knives.  They did get some kind of Crayola cutter one time, and it works OK, but its use is very limited.  Not sure what kid-friendly, effective cutting tools might look like....but there is a need!

Easter Bunny Fun!

These were taken Saturday on our walk home from going to see the movie, Hop. We also walked through the mall, got bunny ears, and then the kids had their picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Big fun all around!

Earlier in the day, we dyed Easter eggs (pictures to follow), so we had a whole Easter prep day.  Sunday morning, after having trouble sleeping because of all the excitement, Boy Wonder woke up at about 4:00am. I kept trying to get him to go back to sleep. Soon both kids were in bed with me, while I tried to get more sleep. When Kelton got up to go to the bathroom around 4:45 and found an Easter egg that had been hidden in the bathroom, it was all over. :) Let's go find your baskets and start the hunt!

We all loaded up on sugar. I really should not have started my day with the Reese's bunny Kelton gave me.  I let them share quite a bit of sugar with me before saying "no."  Too many days like that and I would be surfing the net for deals on adapexin-p.   After a nice morning that included several Easter egg hunts, playing with new toys, eating candy, and watching tv, we joined the rest of my family at one of my sister's houses for an Easter meal and birthday party for my great nephew.  It was nice to see everyone and the chaos was minimal.

The kids and I had a low key evening watching a video Kelton got for his birthday (new present from someone that we had not seen during his party) and bedtime was definitly on-time after all of us being up for so long. It was a really nice day for us all. Hope yours was equally pleasant!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Been Away...

Just when I was blogging more regularly, I disappear for a bit!  Well,  have taken to blogging during my lunch, when I can, but this week, I have been out in the field. Actually, even some of last week, I was too. One day last week was a learning field trip for me, then this week I have been accompanying the state regulators on their inspection.  I am learning quite a bit, and the inspection went well.

I have met so many people since starting my job in January. There are days I really wish we all had to wear name tags so I could remember the names! Yes, we do wear ID badges, but many people wear them hanging from their belt, and it is just rude to stare down that way looking for a name!

I am getting to know some folks though, and that's good.  It feels a bit more like I belong there - but still a long ways from my last job where I really knew my job and had friends, and had a ton of friendly acquaintance.  All in good time, I suppose.

I will get back to my blogging challenge soon - either this weekend or early next week

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Day 4 - My Parents

My parents are the best parents ever! I totally had one of those idyllic childhoods - one that adult friends are envious of, and I strive to achieve for my own children.  I have two sisters that are 13 and 17 years older than I am, which means I am the baby, so yes, I was the spoiled one.  I grew up with the privileges of an only child of older parents, plus the longer-term benefits of having siblings. 

My Mom turns 80-years-old next week.  You would not believe she was a day over 70.  She has stayed active, vibrant, social, stylish and (Thank God) healthy. She did not work outside of the home when I was a kid, so was always involved in my school field trips, had after-school snacks for me, and made me a hot breakfast every morning.  My friends always loved my Mom.  She let me be independent, but always knew where I was.  We used to play word games, cards, and enjoyed going to the movies together.  Her whole life seemed to revolve around our family - especially my dad and me.  It was devastating for her when she and my dad separated and later divorced when I was in high school. 

Did I say "idyllic"? Well, maybe not quite idyllic...but still close. As a teen, it is probably good that my dad had left the house because I am similar to him in many ways, and we would have butt heads. I was very trust-worthy and had responsible friends, so Mom pretty much let me do whatever I wanted. 

My Dad was a typical Dad of his generation - pretty "hands off" as far as parenting, but let me know he loved me and was proud of me.  I learned by watching him things about building, boating, and not being afraid to take on a challenge. He had about a gazillion different professions in his lifetime, but by the time I was born, had settled into the specialty area of laminated countertops. He rose very high in the sales division of a major company, then quit to start his own business.  He always wanted to be his own boss. I suspect he always thought he knew better than those in charge....and he probably did.  My Dad died a few years ago from lung cancer. I wish I'd known him more as an adult and that my kids had been able to spend more time with him.

I also want to mention my Step-Dad here.  My mom remarried about 7 years ago. She found a wonderful, loving man, who was going to a lesbian-wedding on the day I first met him.  He passed away this past Monday.  He was a good friend to me,  an amazing husband to my mom and a sweet grandpa to my kids.  I wish him all the best on his journey onwards. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Day 3 - My First Love

I do not even know where to go with this topic. My first love? Pizza, chocolate, San Juan Islands? My mom, my dad, playing imagination games? I suppose the idea was to discuss my first romantic love. OK. I will start by noting that it is funny how our ideas about love and how we define it changes as we mature. What seemed like the great love of my life in high school certainly cannot compare with the relationship I am in now, but then, I am not the same person as I was back then. I guess my first love was my high school boyfriend, Chuck. He was a sweet boy; smart, polite, a bit of a computer geek. He brought me a rose at school almost every day that his mother's rose bushes would allow. He was a year younger than me, but we met through Honor Society, and mutual friends. We went together most of my junior and senior years. I did break up with him at one point, looking for more adventure, and finding it in somewhat of a bad boy (though not really) with a loud car, who happened to be dating my best friend. (Still sorry about that, Nikk.) I bounced back and forth between the two for a couple years - the end of high school and through my first year of college. I finally accepted Chuck's marriage proposal, and was engaged for about two years (?) before going to Alaska for a summer fish-processing job. It was there I realized I was a lesbian, and ended up having to end the engagement, breaking the heart of a very sweet guy.

It is only recently that I realize how much I learned about relationships from Chuck. We sort of fell into a very close relationship easily....spending all our time together, talking with each other, doing things we both enjoyed together. He was always very considerate, raised by a strong woman who taught him that women can do anything and so can men - including cooking and sewing, so stereo-typical gender roles were not a big issue for us. He was romantic - as I said, bringing me flowers, writing little notes, taking me to the school dances, holding my hand in the halls, not flirting with other girls, not playing macho games, showing me his sensitive side, remembering my birthday and other holidays....not some of the typical high school boy behavior. I think in some ways, I learned how to treat women by being with him. I suspect we both learned so much from each other. We did not fight. There was little or no drama. We had a respectful relationship, and when it ended, well, there was little to say. I couldn't help that I wanted to be with women, and he couldn't help that he was a man. We parted friends, and stayed in touch throughout college. I last saw him at our 20-year HS reunion. He came to his brother's reunion because most of his friends graduated our year rather than his year. We sometimes email and are friends on Facebook. I really could not have had a better high school boyfriend. It is really probably only such a balanced, accepting guy that I would have stayed with, given what I later realized about my own sexuality. If I had been with someone pulling macho BS games, or who expected me to be different than I was (always was a tomboy), I would have dumped him quickly. Thanks, Chuck!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Not a Reedie :)

To clarify for the Anonymous poster - not a Reedie - a Greener!  (The Evergreen State College)

Friday, April 01, 2011

Day 2 - Meaning Behind My Blog Name

When I started this blog in 2005, I had just started law school, was working full time, and was leaving my wife of 10 years (Casey) and 2 very young children at home to fend for themselves during my very long days. Casey actually started one first, as I recall, and we both figured it would be interesting to share our perspectives during law school from the student side and from the stay-at-home mother-of-two side.  So, I named my blog "Adventures of Law School Mama." 

Sometime in the year following graduation, I realized I really needed to change the name of my blog now that I was out of law school.  I believe Casey actually suggested all or part of the name "Adventures of Out Law Mama."  Since I was out of school, this was cute, but even better because I was "out" as a lesbian and working in the legal profession. 

I realize my blog lacks some is not really all about one thing other than me. :)  It is not all about being a parent, though I do share some of those ups and downs: it certainly is not about my professional life in the legal field; and it is not all about being "out."  So, if you are one of my valued readers, I appreciate your interest in my various ramblings, and hope I occasionally manage to write something entertaining and/or enlightening.