Day 161: radio silence

Hello interwebs friends!

Worry not, I still exist and everything is going well. I’ve been super busy over the past week and a half which has pulled me away from blogging. This is totally ok – I’ve been out and about living life relatively unplugged.

So, let’s see, where to begin…

Last thing I wrote about was going to the zoo. Since then, I had my last two study group sessions and boooyyy were they doozies! We worked our BUTTS off in those sessions! Not to say we haven’t been working our butts off all summer, however with it being the final push before the other three took their exam we really made every minute count. Our final study session was a seven hour marathon and, honestly? It was wonderful. There’s only certain groups of people you can be around, by choice, all day and STILL want to hang out with them. These ladies are those types of people.

I was finally able to give them their gifts at Tuesday’s session so now I can tell you about them! We’re all hyper organized, super type A, and LOVE color coding things. I got each of them a new set of colored pens, super cute notebooks that said things like “Boss Lady”, “Madame President”, and “Goal Digger” (that one’s my favorite XD), and a cup that played on the Premack principle – it said “First I drink the coffee, Then I do the things.”

Okay, TIME OUT.

So for my non-ABA friends, let me tell ya what the Premack Principle is. Essentially it’s the Mom Rule: FIRST do your homework, THEN play video games. You’ve heard something like that growing up, right? First do your chore, then do the fun thing. You’re using something preferred to reinforce something not preferred. In ABA Land, we call non-preferred (or unlikely) behaviors low-p (low probability – meaning it’s not super likely to happen) and preferred (or likely) behaviors high-p (high probability – meaning it’s most likely to happen). The Premack Principle is using a high-p behavior to reinforce a low-p behavior. Now you can feel fancy as you’re parenting ; )

Okay, TIME IN.

The ladies absolutely LOVED their gifts! The play on Premack cup was an absolute hit! (side note: the cup was a play on Premack because drinking coffee is a high-p behavior and doing the things is, generally, a low-p behavior and now, as we know, Premack is low-p followed by high-p ; D ya’ll go and do that ABA!) One of the ladies brought farm fresh eggs and tomatoes, too! I had never had farm fresh eggs and MAN they were AMAZING.

Of course I didn’t eat the egg raw in the middle of the Starbucks. I waited until the weekend. Handsome husband made eggs to nurse our mutual hangovers from his brother’s wedding ; D

Speaking of which: that Friday my brother-in-law got married! YAY! It only took a decade but, dammit, he did the thing. I couldn’t be happier for them. I absolutely love having him as my BIL and I’m super stoked about my new SIL. She and I have known each other since we were kids, so it’s wonderful to actually have her as family now.

She was absolutely GORGEOUS. Her dress, hair, make up – everything was perfect. She was just beautiful and beaming.

My favorite part of weddings is seeing the groom’s reaction to seeing the bride. Something about that raw, pure emotion gets me every time. When I got married the first time, my previous spouse was stone faced and pale. Maybe that’s why I really like seeing other people – I didn’t have that emotion shown for me, so I love seeing it with others. That and I just really love love. Love is a many splendid thing, you know.

I loved seeing Kevin’s face when we got married. Both of us had the biggest smiles on our faces. We both said our faces hurt at the end of the day because we were so happy and could not stop smiling. Just looking at each other, smiling, beyond elated to start the next part of our journey together – it’s one of the greatest moments I have had in my life thus far. I can’t wait to see his face at our wedding party. It’ll probably be good. He’s got a good face – my favorite of faces, actually. Probably why I married him.

I digress.

The wedding and reception were awesome ; )

The next day we went on a float trip with a group of our nearest and dearest to celebrate some birthdays! I have never been on a float trip before and it was so great. The weather was absolutely perfect. Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day to just float down the river. Granted, I ran in to a few trees, but overall it was a great time. The float trip taught me that Kevin is terrible at navigating in a river. Rather, he’s great at getting himself out of harm’s way but noottt necessarily others… namely, me. He DOES, however, make a great tugboat.

Sunday was my birthday and I had to work. It was fun though – they set up a birthday meme scavenger hunt of sorts for me lol See, every Friday is Feel Good Friday. I generally have some sort of theme, find obnoxious memes and go around to everyone. It was a really fitting birthday tribute. The work day went super well without any major issue and we got out relatively quickly after close.

Monday we had a family fun day at Six Flags Great America! It was the first time either of the kids had gone to GA, so we only had ideas as to how it would go. We pretty much nailed it: Girl Child had a BLAST. She was a CHAMP. She went on the big rollercoasters and was pulling us around the park. However, when she was done, she looked at us and said, “all done, let’s go!” We greatly appreciated her words and honored her request, so we boogied on home.

Boy Child, conversely, rode NOTHING. Okay, I lied, he rode ONE carnival ride. He rode that big Viking ship that swings back and forth. He screamed the ENTIRE TIME. It actually made people really angry. Welp, now we know. We may try to take him again in the future. We told him we were disappointed that he didn’t even TRY a rollercoaster. We said it’s okay to not like something, but you have to TRY it first to know that you don’t. So we will see how that pans out.

Let’s see, what else…. Yesterday was registration day for Dood’s so I got her all signed up and ready to go. Got to see her previous principal and show her some pictures and videos. It’s always nice to keep in touch with the people who have played such major roles in Girl Child’s development. They’re all so wonderful and we have been truly blessed.

After registration was taken care of, we came home to have my belated birthday celebration! The kids were with their Dad this past weekend, so we decided to celebrate that day since we’d all be home. Kevin made this super good taco pasta bake and I brought the cake!

Okay, guys, this cake though. Lemme tell ya’ll ’bout. THIS. CAKE.

I ordered my birthday cake a few weeks ago and told me co-workers to surprise me. I put in the flavors and said go nuts! It’s my birthday! They did a tremendous job of hiding the cake from me. Seriously. There was one moment where I had to walk to the back for pricing and one of the decorators happened to be working on my cake. She put up a piece of paper so I couldn’t see it. It took me a second and I was like OOHHHH!!! THAT’S FOR MEEEE ; DDD

I get a *little* excited about cakes sometimes.

Anyway. It got to the end of my shift and one of the decorators says, “Wait wait wait! I need to get your cake!!” So I waited, she came out, I saw the cake and just DIED. I laughed so hard. There is not a more Melinda-y cake ever to have existed in the history of cakes.

Birthday 2017

Isn’t this the greatest? It’s got Legos, Hello Kitty, pole dancing, dope, candles, books, candles, glitter, stars, ME – what’s NOT to love about this cake?!?!?! They found the absolute best picture for that cut out, too. So good. I’m laughing just looking at the picture. It’s so good. I just wanted to walk around showing everyone my awesome birthday cake. You can’t look at it and NOT smile or laugh, for one reason or another. They nailed it. It’s such a happy cake. The cake itself was two layers of white cake with lemon mousse and a thin layer of raspberry preserves covered in lemon flavored buttercream. The flavor profile was a huge hit with the whole fam!

Makes me super excited for my bachelorette party cake that’s coming up. No, it’s not a penis. It IS, however, super classy and fun. Hold on to your butts for that one. I had a lot of fun designing it and I know the ladies will knock it out of the park.

This was a super long post! I guess when you have, say, ten days of life to catch up on it makes sense ; D

I will say, though, that while everything has been going really well, I did have a day yesterday. I had some…. not so great dreams the night before and woke up feeling not so great. It was a little difficult to kind regulate throughout the day until it got towards the evening.

Oh! Wanna hear something neat? Of course you do. So I had to do this project at work – coding thousands of photos. I got it done! Woo! And in not a lot of time either – double woo! Yesterday, my boss thanked me for getting the project done in an unexpected and greatly appreciated way. She also gave me a book called 1001 ways to reward employees and asked me to come up with a game to increase our repeat rewards. I asked her some questions about specifics, then clearly spaced out to ABA Land. In my head I was going “Okay, an interdependent group contingency. Need to determine an EO for the MO and levels of reinforcement.” When I came back to reality, I said sorry, I was just going through things in my head. She had a big smile on her face and said, “It’s ok. I figured you were doing whatever nerd things you needed to do, so I just waited till you were done. This is your project, have fun!” I laughed. Nerd things. True. ; ) I’m so glad they understand, accept and support my intense nerddom.

I hope ya’ll are doing well.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

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