Kindergarten orientation

Last night was kindergarten orientation at Emma’s new school and OMGYOUGUYS.


(In a good way.)

RJ, Shannon and I are soooOOOOoooOOOooo happy that we were able to get Emma into this school (we’ll call it LES) for the 2015/2016 school year. All three of us were just so impressed with…everything about the school; the teachers, the staff, the other parents, the grounds, the building itself. I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done if we’d lost our fight with the district and she’d been forced to go to the dilapidated, Title I school with dismal academic performance and incredibly low teacher, staff, parent and student morale. But we didn’t lose. WE FUCKING WON (yay! #winning!), and Emma will begin her formal education at LES. And that is a very exciting thing. So exciting that even Emma is excited about it.

Seriously. Emma is stoked to be starting kindergarten. Last night during bedtime she was just radiating – smiling and talking a mile a minute about every little thing her new kindergarten class did last night. “And then we went on the bus and we we didn’t ride it. We just sat on it and then we got off and went to the classroom. Well actually first we went into the hallways and then we found the classroom and then we…”

The evening started out with parents and students piled in the cafeteria. The principal gave a bit of his spiel while the kids practiced going through the lunch line (they had the option of choosing a fish stick, a popcorn chicken nugget or a sliver of cheese quesadilla – Emma picked the quesadilla), and then the teachers took the kids to practice riding (or I guess, according to Emma, sitting) on the bus and back to their classrooms. They all got acquainted and, according to Emma, colored and played with blocks, except for her. She was bored with those activities and decided to read a Ninja Turtle book (“like Madden’s Ninja Turtle book at home”).

The funniest part of it all was that Emma didn’t hesitate or cry at all. She didn’t even act shy. I think because she’s been in a routine-driven daycare for her entire life, she’s 1,000% used to the concept of school and all the routines associated with kindergarten. Madden was the one who had a problem with everything. As soon as they filed the kindergarteners out of the cafeteria to go test out the bus, Madden started wailing – not because he wanted to ride the bus but because he wanted to be with his sister. He literally cried the entire time she was out of sight. We definitely didn’t even consider how Emma going to a different school than Madden for the bulk of the day would affect him. Oops…

Anyway, while the kindergartners were testing out the bus, the principal and other primary faculty and staff went over First Day of School rules and general year-round rules, how to join the PTO, etc. At the end of it all, we were sent to go find our kids in their new classrooms. Emma was a busy little girl, taking so much joy in putting her new school supplies away in her new classroom and cleaning up the group table to which she’s been assigned. She’s very excited about her new school, and we are so happy about that.

She seems to really love her teacher, and – total bonus – her teacher seems to be pretty rad. The coolest part, though, is that Emma has two friends in her class – two boys from her daycare whose parents also fought a tough battle with the district to get their kids into this school (though the other two sets of parents actually moved their kids to a new daycare that falls in the school’s attendance area in order to get their kids into this school).

As soon as we got home last night, which, PS, was maybe four minutes after we left the school (hallelujah for it being so close), she started asking when she gets to go back to her new school and “is tomorrow Monday?” and talking about how she needs to bring her teacher things. I’m not sure what she meant by this last part. She started going through her stuff in her room and putting things into a gift box to give to her teacher on Monday, and has decided to color some pictures for her. TOO CUTE, RIGHT?!


RJ, Shannon and I allllll signed up to be room parents (we were the only parents to sign up in Emma’s class, actually…), on the PTO and part of the Principal Advisory Committee. As excited as Emma is about kindergarten, we parents might be even more excited to do parent-y things and volunteer at the school and, okayfine, to save $100 a week on daycare now that Emma will only be at her daycare for before-and-after school care. SERIOUSLY. We are all really stoked. Well, except for Madden.

Even Bri Bri, who couldn’t join us last night (SAD FACE) is excited for Emma’s big day on Monday. She called last night to tell us she read on the blog that Emma got into “the good school,” then checked “the good school’s website” for the kindergarten school supply list and used her own money to buy Emma some school supplies – and two outfits for school that match outfits Bri has. How effing sweet?!?!

Three more sleeps and a wakeup and our little Emma Bemma is going to be in kindergarten, you guys!

Holy shit…

PS: Sorry for the crappy iPhone quality photos. Bleh.
PPS: Emma was crying in the photo because while she was a boss at receiving her immunization earlier in the day, the injection site (on her leg) had begun to become sore, and when RJ picked her up for the photo, his hand accidentally pressed right on the injection site. Oops!

5 random things

5 random (body mod related) things about me

01 | If you count both of my ears being pierced as one piercing, I currently have six open piercings, although I only wear jewelry in four of them: my (gauged) ears, my nose, my tongue and the top of my belly button. The ones I don’t wear anymore but are still open? The bottom of my belly button and my lip (left side). The one I don’t wear anymore because it’s closed? A crazy intricate inner ear/cartilage thingy my piercer made up on the fly. Had to take it out when I reenlisted in the Army six-ish years ago. Blah.

02 | I have five tattoos. Three of them are for Briseis (On my left wrist: Her name in Greek, her name in English, and the top of my right foot: Her footprints from when she was born.). Yes, I want more, including at least one each for Madden and Emma, but I have no clue what to get even though I’ve literally been thinking about it for years. And as badly as I want to sleeve my left arm (the right one is the one with the half-sleeve), I probably never will because I’m too proud of the bit of upper body muscle and definition I have and don’t want it to be forever unnoticed and under-appreciated under the cover of tattoos. #shallow #truestory

03 | I gauged my ears the summer between freshman and sophomore year (of HS), which means I was 15 years old. I gauged them to a size 0 almost immediately (over the course of a few weeks), which means that not only have I had my ears gauged for almost 15 years, but they’ve been at a size 0 or above for the vast majority of that time. They’ve been in between 1/2″ and 9/16″ for like, five years. No, I don’t plan to go any bigger.

04 | I’ve had two surface piercings: My nape (back of the neck) and my “corset,” on my left side, which I got for free, minus the cost of jewelry, because the piercer wanted a new skill to add to his portfolio. I was advised it’d probably only last a few weeks before becoming infected and needing to be removed, but I had it for a solid year+. I took it out when it stopped being novel, and when I realized I’d never get the other side done to “match” because the piercer had been banned from seeing me by his girlfriend, who walked in on us once in bed together and whom I had no idea existed until she walked in on us and promptly kicked me in the ribs/”corset” in rage. She was a semi-pro kickboxer. Oops.

05 | We’re taking Emma to get her ears pierced for her 5th birthday (in a few days!!! (!!!)) and I’m going to have my ears pierced – again – with her, because then I can blink my beautiful lashes and smile my cherry smile at Shannon and magically be gifted diamond earrings out of undying love and be so super happy-er-est. And I may get (or at least start inquiring about/planning/saving for) a new surface piercing, too!

What about you? Any piercings or tattoos, or other body mods?

happy list

Things making me happy this week | 23

Winning our fight to get Emma into the best school available to us. Kindergarten orientation is tomorrow evening. We’re so excited to meet her teacher and for her to start school on Monday!

Emma’s upcoming 5th birthday on Sunday. She is so excited to turn 5!

Launching I IS GROWN UP. It’s a slow start so far, but I appreciate the support from you guys :) If you haven’t already, please check out the new site, and follow IIGU on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Instagram.

Working out with Shannon more than 0 times this week.

Not having to break up with Shannon.

Madden waking up with so many overnight dry pull ups in a row! Only ONE nighttime accident in the last two weeks. YAY!

Eating outside at Uncle Julio’s with Shannon last weekend.

Finding a hidden gem on Netflix that has four entire seasons for us to devour…although we’re already through almost half of ’em.

Funfetti cupcakes for dinner.

What’s making YOU happy this week?

lol, us

That time Shannon and I almost broke up
(AKA: Yesterday)

Yesterday on the way home from work, I was telling Shannon about a story we’d found at work while looking for stuff to post on the company’s Facebook page. The story was about a soldier who’d volunteered to take part in an Army research study on weapons-firing and hearing loss.

Me: Get this. The dude’s name is Sgt. Tyler Durden!!!

Shannon: Hmmm.

Me: You’re not having an appropriate reaction to this news…

Time slowed down and nothing was making sense. I legit started to slam on my breaks, but then I realized I was still on the interstate, in the far-left lane no less, and wanted to keep living, so I let my foot up off the brake and started merging over. I needed to get off the road and stop the car. I was frantic.

Me: Tyler Durden. TYLER DURDEN. Because get it?!?!

Shannon: …no?

Me: OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. Is this really happening? This can’t actually be happening. Haven’t you ever seen Fight Club?

As nonchalant as could be, with no hint of shame to her voice, she simply replied, “Nope.”


Nothing else mattered anymore, not even living. I propped the steering wheel up on my left knee and started furiously typing into my phone, while continuing to move all the way over to the right lane so I could get the fuck off the road.

Shannon: What are you doing?!

Me: Telling everyone we know about this!

Shannon: I don’t get it. What’s the big deal?

Me: YOU’VE NEVER SEEN FIGHT CLUB IS WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL!!??!! Were you raised in reality?

Shannon: …dude…

Me: You just don’t get it. I seriously can’t believe this.

Shannon: I mean, I read the book.

Me: Did you? Really? What’s the plot about?

Shannon: I don’t remember.

Me:. Of course you don’t! What’s the first rule of Fight Club, Shannon?

Shannon: …?


Shannon: Who’s even in it, anyway?

Me: Oh, dear baby lord jesus. This can’t actually be happening.

Meanwhile, I’d text everyone I knew, which is four people, the News of the Century. RJ replied by sending me a photo of a dog because he’s apparently buying a dog for his new place? The other three people offered appropriate reactions:

The first rule of Fight Club, Shannon, is YOU HAVE TO FUCKING WATCH FIGHT CLUB!!!!!

I’m happy to report that although our relationship was hanging on by a thread at 3 pm yesterday afternoon, we turned on Fight Club after the kids went to bed and all became right in the world. Shannon can now say that she’s seen Fight Club, and we don’t have to break up.

Although now she’s probably going to tell me she’s never seen SLC Punk, or Spun…

family, in photos, memories, summer

Come one, come all!

Prince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.com

The county fair comes to town each August, and for the past eight or nine years, in one configuration or another, we’ve been every. single. year. At first with just Bri Bri, and then with Bri Bri and Emma, and for the past few years, with all three kiddos. (Fun-ish, but completely useless, fact: We were even there the night before I found out I was pregnant with Madden.)

Prince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.com

This year was extra special though, because both Madden and Emma are old enough to “get” it, and because Shannon got to tag along for the first time, too. Not as in “the first time with us,” but as in “the first time ever.” That’s right. Despite growing up and living practically her entire life just miles from the fairground, she’d never been (which I thought was insane not only because she lived so close to it all these years, but because when I was a kid, we never missed the fair). We were so excited for her to join us this year.

Prince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.com

Also in attendance this year: Our friend H-er and her daughter. Heather and I go way back – for like, almost a decade – and her and RJ are good friends, too. In fact, they even live together and are basically best friends. Anyway, the eight of us met up two Fridays ago for Opening Day of the 2015 county fair, and spent an evening of family fun in absolutely perfect weather. Seriously. Look at that sky. It’s like it knew I was going to take a shit ton of photos of it.

Prince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.com

Putting this post together I realized I didn’t take as many photos this year as I usually do, and I took drastically less photos of the people in our group, which I think is because our 8-person group was split into at least three different smaller groups for most of the night. Everyone was all over the place, which made capturing everyone kind of difficult. Still, I managed to get at least a few photos of each family member and that’s really ever my only goal.

Prince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comIMG_5722Prince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.com

This year we didn’t spend as long checking out the animals, either. Madden was definitely the most into the animals – all of them – but even he was more about playing games and riding rides.

Prince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.comPrince William County Fair 2015 @ kelseyespecially.com

We only went once this year, which was new, and we didn’t stay quite as long as we had anticipated (still, we were there for hours…plural), but overall, another great year at the county fair. It was so awesome to see the kids so into it all. Definitely can’t wait for next year.

OMG! Also. There was a caricature cartoonist/artist/person there and I was SO excited because I’ve been wanting to have a caricature of our modern family done foreverrr. We were THISFREAKINGCLOSE to having it done – of all six of us: RJ, Shannon, me and the kids – until we found out the dude charged $15 per person. And for a relatively small portrait. No way we were paying $90 for a teeny 8.5″ x 11″ caricature of six people. Womp. Maybe next year. If we start saving now.