I’m not going to tell you that Lucy is potty trained. That’s a bold statement. I’m not willing to go there. (I don’t want to jinx anything.) But I will tell you this: there are no longer Pull-Ups in our house and there’s a pink froggy potty that’s seen a whole lot of action lately. Additionally, underpants emblazoned with the likes of Rainbow Dash and Dora have been pulled from their packaging and bribes have been paid. (The going rate for going #1? Three M&M’s and a celebration dance. Going #2? A veritable shower of M&M’s, a celebration dance and parade, a pack of gum and $5. (I wish I was kidding.))

I know there is someone out there making judgements about all of this, about how I didn’t do something right. To that someone I say, NO KIDDING. The amount of brain power I’ve committed to this issue is so great, I am certain my IQ will increase by at least ten points once it’s behind us. Not that I’m saying it’s behind us. I’m not saying that. I’m too busy knocking on wood to say anything like that. What I am saying is this: Lucy went to piano class today without any variety of disposable undergarment on her person and the bench stayed dry, my friends. My relief is surpassed only by her pride. We feel equal amounts of joy. And I’m pretty sure we can live happily ever after now.

Yeah, we went there yesterday. Outside.

Running!

It felt pretty good. We’ve been inside too much, lately.

Slide

Oh, slide!

You can't see me!  (Yes, we can.)

How we missed you!

Oh, look! It’s Rico. Suave. (I call her that. Just like that.)

Rico Suave

Fun fact: Rico is the evil cat we couldn’t catch from the How I Ended Up With Seventeen Kittens video! You’ll be glad to know that she has since been caught and fixed. She’s not evil anymore. We loved that right out of her.

Rico and Bee

Now she loves us. Especially Bee.

Bee's got wheels

That jacket Bee is wearing? It’s been around as long as this blog has. Julia wore it in the first picture I ever posted to Flickr nearly six years ago. I can’t see Bee in that jacket without seeing Lucy and Julia in it, too. I love that jacket. That jacket is sisterhood. It’s the Sisterhood of the Traveling Jacket (except it doesn’t travel). (Actually, I’ve never seen the traveling pants movie, so maybe this jacket isn’t that at all, but it’s fun to spoof movie titles.)

Peek!

Peek-a-boo! Lucy!

My beautiful Lucy

Okay, question: What color is Lucy’s hair? It’s not a trick question. I’m really asking. What color is it? Okay, maybe it is a trick question because no one knows. We can’t get a consensus on it. Blonde? Red? Brown? Chameleon hair? Lucy feels that it’s orange, so we just say, “Sure!”

Sadly, I cannot give you a definitive answer on the color of Julia’s eyes either. They used to be blue. Very, blue. Very, very blue! But now?

Juila

Um. Green? I don’t know. What color is that?

Bee!

Bee’s are brown. Definitely. For now.

Digging in the dirt

Lucy’s are blue. You can’t see them in that picture. I just really wanted to show you that picture.

I was driving down a dark and winding road last night when suddenly, there he was! A skunk. Then, swerve! Thump-tumble-bump, he wasn’t. And because I’m not a fan of killing furry things or any things really, I cried. And then I kept crying because the odor hit.

Now, I’ve smelled skunk odor and you probably have, too. We all know it is Very Bad. But I’d never been at ground zero of the blast before. It’s…it’s…it’s just…there simply are not words for what it is. I’ll tell you this: when my mother approached my van, she vomited. (Not really. But there was a lot of dramatic gagging!) I’m not sure what comprises skunk musk, but it’s the worst smell you’ll ever taste. So, I decided I better try to make it go away as soon as possible. Of course, you can’t. But I had to try.

I headed for the nearest car wash as I imagined all the vegetation within fifty feet of my vehicle wilting, turning black and dying like I was the fourth horsemen of the apocalypse, bringing death and hell with me. You should have seen all the people fall to the ground when I pulled in to Speedway to grab some cash from the ATM! Okay, maybe they didn’t fall to the ground so much as turn, grimace and cup their hands over their mouths and noses. Still, it was the hot topic of conversation among those protected behind the glass inside the convenience store. All I could do was shrug with sorry eyes and say, “Skunks. What can you do?” But mostly everyone looked angry at me.

I was feeling pretty low and mumbling, “Why me?” into my shirt mask when I arrived at the car wash. I pulled up to the automatic wash bay, inserted my money and looked down to see this.

Raccoon at the car wash.

“Aaaahhhhhh!” I screamed, as you do when you meet a dead raccoon with his eyes open. And it may not have anything to do with anything else, but I felt like it did and it just made me feel so much worse.

I went through the car wash, twice, taking special care to sit the offending back tire over the undercarriage sprayer thing for as long as possible. Still, it stunk. So, I dragged myself to the truck stop and grabbed their entire stock of wild cherry scented little tree air fresheners. The cashier gave me a question mark face when I dumped my armload on the counter and I told her the story. The janitor caught wind of it and told me about the time he hit a skunk with his motorcycle. It didn’t seem appropriate to hug a stranger, so I shook my head knowingly with teary eyes and whispered, “I’m so sorry.” Then I went and hung up my trees which didn’t really mask the odor, but enhanced it by contrast.

I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to eat anything cherry flavored again.

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