Thursday, July 28, 2011

Farmer's Market

Register trays begin the line where

People hold their baskets of

Tomatoes so red they sing next

to green beans overlapping

Milk cartons stacked for a truck ride home

My children behind me asking,

"Which tent of the market do strawberries grow?

"Where are all the cows?"

They're over there, can't you see?

Close your eyes and you can smell

The cows, the dirt, the air between

Seedling and slow earned ripening

We will take two of everything.

On second thought please

Make that three.

Those voluptuous singing tomatoes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby Fever

This morning my almost five year old boy wrapped me solidly in his arms. I stopped to feel his hearbeat, smell his hair, and stare at the most chewable earlobe on the planet.

Then he blindsided me. "Mommy, I am really going to miss you when I grow up. I know you will miss me too. Is NeverLand real? "

You see, this child has a way of with words and a way with me and these two things together combined result in a one two punch to my tear ducts. I cried. A real full on sad person cry. Right in front of him, God and the probable Fruitables juice stains on the carpet. He wasn't surprised because he was sad too. Little person sad without any substantial empirical knowledge of what growing up feels like but with an absolute spot on notion that it's going to hurt both of us a little no matter what.

This is when I realized I want another baby. The only problem is, it isn't a new baby I want. I want the old one back. The little Grayson baby boy back. The tiny wrapped up meatloaf-in-a-hat baby boy that I wouldn't let anyone come near without me still hovering 10 feet (maximum) away.

When Grayson was born, so was born the Brown Mama Bear in me. I couldn't understand it then but I understand now I was protecting a small creature who was everything good about my family tree: parents, grandparents, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, great grandparents and beyond.

Even as a baby, with his moody displays and introverted tendencies, Grayson seemed like the culmination of a long genetic line of poets, artists, and take your time thinkers. Years later, after watching and learning the way he processes life, I see he truly is those things. He is four but has a way of internalizing things beyond his self-centered boyhood. This is not boasting about him or how he was raised because this capacity to feel is as much a curse as it is a blessing. Sometimes people who take in their surroundings so completely are exhausted by socializing and find it hard to live in the moment because their brain won't graduate from absorb mode long enough to relax. Not that I would know anything about that.

He gets that his actions matter.

He cares for creatures and people alike. He will size up a situation with clarity and fairness if I don't force him to put on his shoes too quickly or otherwise trip up his thinking time with extrinsic busy work.

This little boy embodies the spirit of a man who is emerging every day no matter how much I want my baby back.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Hoarder

Dear Abby,

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Your DNA on your mother's side

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break. ~William Shakespeare

They haven't left my thoughts and probably won't as long as there is one mothering bone left in my body. This should not have happened at all. It is especially inconceivable that it happened the way it did to so many children. Bless you, Utoya Island. We are grieving with you.

She's Still Got It

I can no longer deny it. My Sadie Girl is really starting to show her age.

Snowy face.

Arthritic stretching.

Selective hearing.

She is nine after all.

But when we have an all out family WWF grappling match in our living room?

Sadie Girl is two years old again.

She's still got it.

She just doesn't have the need to show it all the time, is all.

Sadie Girl - 1, Green Dragon - History.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Before Kids

When The Hubs and I got married, we both quit our careers and began our life together fresh, new and so very stupid. It was months before he found his way back to the military. It was weeks before I found myself loving a classroom-free life away from IEP meetings and the public school system in general. I became a veterinarian's assistant which cut my earnings literally in half. And in case you're wondering, ten years ago special educators were already not bringing in enough to support themselves and have a car payment.

Luckily, I had a second job. I was a studio rat in the worst part of DC you can imagine. My mother called me often to remind me to lock my doors and to watch my six or something like that. She once worked nearby and knew better than I how ridiculously naive I was being. Sheer luck and the constant presence of a six foot five Jamaican man (fellow musician, Big T and my BFF at the time) were the only reasons I did not land myself in a world of hurt. Plus, I always brought my Sadie. Poor thing would perch herself as high as possible on the backs of the scrappy couches in that place. Even she would flinch as mice skittered across the floor and into their mouseholes.

What am I looking for in this pic, circa 2002? Is it a bird? An airplane? Iron Man?

I am so happy here
, I would think to myself without one trace of sarcasm. It was what my dreams were made of: music, microphones, sound booths (shoe closet) and Chinese take-out one block away. I spent every possible free moment in that studio with my favorite people, my fellow lost souls like the (click his name to hear him please) uber talented Big T and Virgil the vagabond rocker. We easily stayed up till 4 a.m. matching up my lyrics and melody to their guitar, piano, and bass tracks. We argued over bridges and drank Red Bull. I would be so unhappy with the first 200 takes, so I'd drive them mad doing scratch vocals again and again and again until we all fell over asleep in our headphones. I mean, really, who would want to leave a place like that?

It must be a caterpillar? A lifeless city squirrel? A dream that never left the sidewalk?

Oh yes, I was very much over my head but nobody else knew it. To the fifty some artists who floated in and out of that joint, I was just another artist. Nobody knew I cleaned up dog poop and held cat paws for a living. Nobody knew I left my teaching career in search of something I loved but was so afraid to go after. No matter what our musical backgrounds, race, or genres, we were all in the same situation by the time we arrived at this door: All leaving something for our love of music. Every last one of us just wanting to be around it. The drums, the balled up napkins, the banged up keyboard, the endless wires snaking around themselves at your ankles, the plastic forks, the beautiful microphones, the bass lines, the head bobs, the jokes, each other, the music. That little studio on Kennedy Street was dirty, filthy, and older than the Smithsonian but to all of us it was a slice of perfect and the heavenliest place on earth.

Once you entered through the wrought iron door, everyone was on the same playing field. Few of them had record labels chasing them down. One became famous. You might have heard of him. His name is Raheem Devaughn. Remember my six foot five BFF, Big T? Well, he produced Raheem's first album. I was there. One time, in fact, they were all in Studio A (walk-in closet) jamming and making some sweet rhythms that lured me to watch from the safefront of the glass in Studio B (an actual bedroom size room). I thought I was invisible. Raheem closed his eyes while his warm silky voice wove through percussion and keys like he was on another level of awesome. Then, the unthinkable happened. Someone, probably Virgil, pushed me into the room with him and shoved a microphone into my hand. I froze. Like a statue. Like a ridiculous white girl statue in a sea of soul and natural rhythm. My voice evaporated from my throat and I dropped the mic to run out of the room the studio, the city as fast as my little Toyota Tercel would drive me.

(*Oh and another artist who became famous after Big T taught her how to play the guitar? India.Arie. I didn't believe him either until I found a scratch vocal CD at the bottom of his van (everything was at the bottom of Big T's van). There was no denying that was her voice and they were practicing together. I was working with someone special and I knew it. Lucky was me.)

Being motivated by fear. It would be my pattern. Another time, a few months later I would be standing in front of 20 people doing my very first solo performance on stage. I would be with the band performing some of my own originals and I was so nervous I got sick in the girls' room right before hitting the stage. It was just a smarmy little restaurant in downtown DC but to me it was Hollywood. The funny thing about watching people on stage is that you always think they can't tell what's going on around them. It's the opposite. When you are the one onstage, what's going on around you is all you can see. You are hyperfocused on the the girl checking her cell phone, the man stirring his drink with his back to you. You only see the details of what everyone else is doing right before you jump off your own personal cliff. Probably a survival thing. So, after a few songs with me glued to the chair, absolutely numb from fear, I got through my very first stage show. The owner came up to the band, whispered something and walked back to the bar. Paul, the drummer at the time, came over to me and said, "He wants us back tomorrow night."

"All of us?" I ask.

"Yes, all of us. Great job, Newbie. Next time, move around. Enjoy yourself, interact. They're on your side."

"Even the ones on the phone?"

"Especially the ones on the phone. Make them hang up."

Ah yes, that's it. Dress up like a street walker and wrinkle your nose, that'll sell records.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The In-Law Suite

Tonight poolside, Grayson asked me this out of the clear blue sky:

"Mommy? Did you have to say goodbye to your parents when you grew up with Daddy to have this family of me Abby Sadie and Daddy?"

And at that very moment in time I built the floor plan for an in-law suite for my life down the road with future him and future his family. Because OMG, what other choice do I have?

*I'm sorry, future daughter-in-law, I promise to always knock first. And babysit often.

Ow, my heart. Really?


Monday, July 18, 2011

Manning Up

So I signed Grayson up for camp. It was a real coup if you ask him. Every time someone would even think about camp he'd explode into hot tears and jazz arms. Mommy Theme Camp was okay until we woke up one morning to choose our theme and the pieces of paper all came up blank. Literally with nothing on them. Water or condensation from our AC must've blurred the magic marker so much that we wound up with a bowl of pretty stationary for mice instead of a clue to help shape our day filled with seventy thousand million hours.

We three entered the new building with all new faces and not once did he let go of my hand. Not once did I let go of his. I could almost smell the trepidation lifting off his little bedhead hair but he trusted me. We found a registration desk.

"We pre-registered online, can you tell us where to go? I ask the nice lady with hazy blue eyes.

"Yes, in this room here," she motions to the auditorium. We walk in together, weaving around a slew of people all going in every possible direction. Each looked happy, content, and not at all lost like we were. Rows of big kids, rows of small kids, women with name tags reaching out to hug their friends. Everyone knew each other but us. We didn't know a soul and it was becoming increasingly clear that I could not figure out the system under which this place was obviously working. I couldn't crack their camp code and my hands felt warm and clenchy in my children's. We were going down together in this mother and that was a fact.

"Mommy?" Grayson chimes in the way he does when I'm about to make a U-turn in the car. "Are we lost?"

"Ummm, I think we have to go in another room, Bud, this one's crazy busy."

"You don't know where my school is, do you, Mom?" Ouch. He was totally right. I had no idea.

"C'mon Guys, let's try another room," I say as I steer us out into the hallway to recalibrate. I'm near the front door and all want to do is swan dive toward it to the safety of our minivan and go home. We will make new daily themes. How about Movie Day Monday? Try Again Tuesday?

But we don't go out the front door. I put on my big girl undies and we traipse up and down two more hallways until we find the preschool registration desk. The desk that actually had my name listed as the student instead of his. If I believed in bad omens, you bet your honeypot I'd be sprinting toward the Exit ramp.

We signed in, walked in to his new classroom and stood quietly on the sidelines watching as a dozen children at least a foot smaller than Grayson chased each other around the room. They all seemed to know one another, just like in the auditorium. Not one teacher in sight. Minutes tick by until finally I make eye contact with a girl in an apron.

"Hi, we're new here. This is Grayson who does not know anyone so may I hang out for a minute while he takes it all in?"

She said it was fine and yes the kids mostly knew each other from preschool. Oh such an unfair advantage for the home team. How desperately I wanted to helivac my boy out of there so he wouldn't be faced with such newness right out of the gate.

"Okay Honey," I squeaked. "Time for your sister and I to go but I'll be in the next room over having tea," I lied. There was a tea offered somewhere in that bloody building but my bat senses knew it was not next door. Probably you had to take a tunnel. And a ferry.

Grayson's little pale face went paler. He inched closer to me while we attempted to leave. He didn't look up at me and that right there was the only possible reason I did not scoop him into my arms and run like spooked cheetah prey out of that place. Any silent eye beckoning on his part would've been met with me airlifting him immediately.

Instead I kissed him on the top of his scared little head and promised to return in a few minutes. Which we did. And he was fine. Jumping up and down even. Engaged with the rest of the class even. Singing words to a new song he and his new friends just learned even.

Looks like my gentle lamb of a boy is manning up.

He has a lot to teach his neurotic scaredy cat of a mom, that's for sure.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Death Spiral

A couple of days ago we went to the Air & Space Museum and had lunch at Whole Foods with some friends of ours. Now I'll preface this next sentence with the fact that I once shopped at Whole Foods regularly....when I was single and thought I was independently wealthy from a (new) teacher's salary. Whole Foods has such healthy food choices! I realize this is like saying there's so much warm water in my tea or (as Abby puts it surprised every time, "Hey, there's a hot dog in my corn dog!" But it's undeniable how few healthy choices exist where we usually shop for our groceries. No matter what you choose, unless it's a piece of fruit or a vegetable that is, you can bet it's filled with preservatives and so many nonfood ingredients that you'd need experience in Latin deciphering its origin. I'm certainly not such a health guru that I know everything to avoid but common sense tells me if it sounds like a 6th grade science experiment it's probably not on the food pyramid and therefore should not be put in my body, or my children's bodies. I can't help but assume some of the diseases we, as a country, are rampantly coming down with by the millisecond are in large part due to foreign chemicals most of us are poisoning our organs with at every meal. I'm not talking about the occasional Dorito or Oreo, I'm mostly talking about the bulk of our diets, the entrees if you will, not so much the apps.

Back to Whole Foods. What I saw there gave me hope that healthy shopping is not only possible, it's a movement. I can say with certainty that whenever we eat poorly (kid food and convenient foodstuffs including hydrolyzed whatevers) we hit a death spiral so quickly that I physically become overwhelmed and so begins the spiral of poor choices, one deviant brain cell at a time. Whenever I revert back to pancake mix pancakes for breakfast, PB&J for lunches (some peanut butter has more preservatives and unpronounceable than the jelly.), chicken nuggets (frozen of course, I haven't Panko'ed a chicken breast in months), or even Trader Joe's "organic" Mac'N Cheese, I can see the ill effects in seconds. The children whir around like mini cyclones on an open field while ripping up anything in their way by their plastic toy rootballs. And because I don't even truly eat a thing, more like hurl kids' leftovers into my mouth while clearing plates to be washed, I am not much better.

Then the attitudes begin. My children are good kids, they really are but you'd never know that when they're high on monosodium glutamate. They pick on each other relentlessly until the tears fall or their just as high on calcium caseinate mother uses her outside voice to stop the inside madness. We are all raw, impatient, frustrated, and looking for a way out. Exactly what our chemistry must look like underneath our skin. It's a true death spiral the likes of the fall of the Roman empire: strong able bodied people succumbing defeat by their even stronger and more able-bodied enemies.

*Here is a great article my mom's cousin, Jeri posted on FB. Excitotoxins
It illustrates what these "excitotoxins" do to our bodies and why we should avoid them as much as possible.

I know some people will say, "Well, I grew up on Twinkies and canned beef stew and I turned out okay." To that I say, are you really okay? Look around and tell me just how many people you know or love have come down with cancer or some other cellular disorder of the body. I can answer that and the number is too exorbitant to just sit idly by. Our bodies are fundamentally working machines that are fueled by the earth, or at least that was the idea a million years ago. Our bodies are made of tiny cells that are directly influenced by what nourishes them. If that cell is "nourished" by a hydrolyzed vegetable protein (found in broths and meat products -HELLO hotdogs - even turkey dogs that Abby eats 4 times a week) instead of an actual vegetable, then it's no wonder our mitochondria begin to deviate from their norm and reproduce in an alien form. You are what you eat. When you eat an alien (aspartame or other sweeteners), you become one on the most cellular level.

Obviously I have a lot to learn about making better food choices and thus life choices for me and my family. I'm not saying that road ahead will be easy or disease free. What I do know is the death spiral we are in now is not an option I can live with, figuratively or literally.

So tonight's mission? To figure out how to cook Tandoori Chicken without MSG or any foreign ingredient. This is forcing me back to the recipe books and ultimately out of my comfort zone (you know, actually cooking vs. heating up) but I'm up for the challenge if the end result is a more balanced and healthier life with myself and my family. And it is, about that I have no doubt whatsoever.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Take Thee

Today I celebrate the Hubs. It's not his birthday. His birthday was just a bit ago. Here are some pics of that particular celebration.

The kids and I picked him up at his favorite local ice cream parlor/deli after he rode his bike there from work. An hour prior to retrieving him, we worked hard at putting together a small surprise party for him.

He was utterly exhausted from the long bike ride home but put on his best Daddy game face and played along with three expectant faces.

(Can you believe I bought him a farm puzzle for 6+? Mommy is very tired.)

He was thrilled about the streamers. It's what every Marine really wants if you listen hard enough. Streamers and rainbow sprinkled frosted cookies too, obvs.

The beef jerky and pop rocks were an impulse buy which did not disappoint.

(There is video footage we'll adore for years to come of Abby discovering PopRocks for the first time.)

He really was a great sport. There was a toothpick candle, for heaven's sake and he never even flinched. (Again, Mommy is sooo tired.)

So today, not on his birthday, I celebrate the Hubs because:

  • he's just a really good guy
  • we're dating again and it's the best thing ever
  • he's super cute in his biking gear, all sweaty and glossy and smiley
  • he takes on child duties without complaint so that I can escapse to have a few cocktails with old friends
  • he still makes me laugh the ugly laugh
  • he makes me cry with the things he writes in birthday cards

  • he has learned to dismiss me two weeks before...well, two weeks "before"
  • he has these freckles which I refer to as his "coffee stain" on his wrist that I find oddly sexy
  • he eats the worst possible food that a person can eat at 10:30pm in bed, right next to me
  • he tells me I'm on the "top tier of hot women" in the room no matter what room we're in
  • he has fallen in love with our children all over again

  • deployment has magically aided and abetted in the re-prioritizing of important stuff
  • he has great hair
  • he has an exciting adventurous spirit and willingness to pick up and go at a moment's notice
  • he dearly covets anything remotely ice cream related
  • he is reminding me more of my grandfather every day
  • doesn't ask for receipts anymore because he knows I smooshed them in my purse, then probably used them as bubblegum hammocks.
  • he fills the bird feeder and I never see him do it
  • he smells of gasoline, dirt, and lime scented deoderant on the weekends
  • he tells the kids to hush when I sing
  • recently hung out with me and the kids while I bought an entire new wardrobe at REI
  • gets grouchy when the kids infringe on our adult time, post 8:30pm
  • can throw together a meal to rival Guy Fieri out of week old squash, 2 day old grilled chicken and somehow dijon mustard
  • tells me I'm not an emotional disaster like Ashley on The Bachelorette
  • that he knows who Ashley on Bachelorette is
  • he shops for camping gear for the future me who will once again warm up to that idea
(There are many more reasons but I wouldn't want to give him too much leverage if he reads this.)

Oh we are just as dysfunctional at times as the next couple but lately we've plateau'ed in a happy place that makes me almost a little grateful that the children are only getting older and more independent. The future looks bright, big, and even a little romantic in a camping in the rain sort of way.

Love Notes

First thing I saw this morning:

I know.
He gets me.

He really gets me.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Been hearing a lot about this Google + lately, how about you? It's supposed to be the most recent competition for Facebook and so far it seems to be getting lots of attention. The most recent thing I read had me intrigued and I just may have to delve a little deeper. Evidently, Google + is designed to be much more secure (not compromising users' private info with apps or "likes" I guess?) and apparently has a lot more flexibility for users to privatize their social groups, or "circles" as I believe they're called. What have you found? Anyone out there using Google + yet and liking it? Disliking it?

Maybe we'll all foresake FB one day for this newest reincarnation but for now, I'm a devoted FBer who clicks on at least once a day to virtually check in with 257 of my most distant friends and relatives. Damn, I miss BBQs and pool parties. Remember riding in the back of your neighbor's station wagon falling asleep to "Gloria" in your wet bathing suit and Pac Man towel? Those were the days. That was real socializing, in my book. In this new FB and Google + scene? Engineered socializing with a hint of agoraphobia thrown in. Convenient and very fun but scary for the development and maintenance of social skills. Whether we call them "friends" or "circles" it can't beat hanging out at the skating rink on a Saturday afternoon, slow skating to Phil Collins. Call me a romantic but I will always wonder if our crush on internet social concepts is hurting our ability to hang with or around the physical fleshy people behind the screen. If so, that could be a real shame.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

After Hours

After tucking the kids in for the third and what we believed final time late last night, this is what I find going on in Grayson's room. He will agree, child rearing is tiring work.

Click link below for a sneak peek into big brother sleepily going through the motions of tucking in his baby sister. It didn't work but it was a Herculean effort for a boy who is just beginning to read himself.

The Back Up

Friday, July 8, 2011

Not Jealous

So CandyLand Day never got off the ground. Most we did was locate the game and some pink cake box mix. Guess everyone needed a day off from Desperation Day Camp, including you oh patient reader.

Instead of sticking this little ditty under the "He Said, She Said" tab where it belongs (yea, I'm back to posting under the tabs again), I've decided to put it here because it's perfect for Friday.

Locale: Today - car ride to return things from REI
Kids not watching DVD player for once in their car tripping lives.

Me: Do you seriously have to poop, Tippies?
Grayson: Mom, Tippies is not with us in the car, we left her at home.
Me: Ooops, I called you the dog's name, that's bad. I'm sorry.
Grayson: I don't like that Tippies.
Me: What is your deal with her anyway? You are so mean to her lately. Are you...(teasing commences) jealous of her? Do you want to be the only one getting all the hugs and kisses round here? Are you jealous, Digs? Huh, huh? Are ya, are ya? (Someone needs to lay off the iced coffees.)
Grayson: What's jealous?
Me: Like mad or upset because you want something she has, like a big fat hug from The Mommy!!!! (I gets my kicks where I cans.)
Grayson: Noooooooooooooooo! I'm NOT jealous.
Me: What are you then?
Grayson: (he whispers for effect) I'm.....SELFISH.

The end.

Love that freaking kid, he cracks me up.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Castle Day

Yesterday's theme: Castle Day

We started by having a breakfast fit for a prince and princess. Champagne flutes and eggs in cupcake holders are not exactly royal tradition but it felt rather fancy so we indulged.

We dined and toasted while of course watching the royal wedding and listening to all the pomp and circumstance songs I could unearth on YouTube.

Then we busied ourselves with the construction of the sparkliest purplest castle one cardboard recycled McDonald's drink divider could provide.

It was a lengthy build but the Prince and Princess worked diligently on their turrets while the Queen B (ahem) assembled the moat.

Since we don't have any dragon toys (clearly, an oversight) we re-used our Shrinky Dink bugs from Frog Day as our mighty moat protectors.

Who wouldn't be afraid of pipe cleaner legs?

Lastly, it wouldn't be Castle Day without a superhero crown and a beaded tiara.

I desperately wanted to end our day with a trip to a real live castle so I googled a few castles in our area. I almost braved up enough to do The Smithsonian by myself but alas, the Queen B in me feared the underground dungeon (DC Metro) with two sweet underlings and gave myself orders to do some much needed grocery shopping for perhaps royal bubbles and/or Coat of Arms cupcakes instead. The Prince and Princess were not the least bit underwhelmed. The Queen B was quite pleased. It was a fine royal and proper day and it can only go downhill from here with tomorrow's theme: CandyLand. What was Queen B thinking?!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Frog Day

What happens when you don't sign up your childen for summer camp? You end up having Frog Day, that's what. Oh, it will happen to you too, if your children are energetic (mobile), curious (breathing), under six years old (why did I think the pool would be enough?) and bored after 9am.

Because the kids are still young enough to go for this, we have instituted our own camp at our house. I call it Mommy Wants to Hideaway Camp. Every day brings a new theme and a new reason to brush our teeth and pretend we didn't just spend two hours rhyming with the words: caca, pyramid (hard one, try it), Styrofoam, and of course the derivative of caca: poopie.

So, we started MWHC this morning and today's theme: Frog Day. We still have yet to find one but darnit if we're not looking in all the right mud puddles.

(*Funny aside: Moments before going outside to hunt for frogs, I squirted fish oil all over my pants and my shirt. We give Sadie fish oil now in her food and most of the time I can open the capsules without also bathing myself in the stinky stuff. Today, however, poor aim and a I became a very large upright Tuna steak for all the mosquitoes. Y'all should see my poor ankles.)

Actually, it's turning out to be more like Dead Bug Day but even that's better than our possible default: Let's Drive the Kids to Daddy's Work Day

Tomorrow's theme will be announced when Abby chooses her little thrice folded piece of paper.

And in case I still can't figure out what to do for Crayon Day, we manifestoed this little system here that lists places and things we've been wanting to do while stationed in the DC area. Sad that I need a list to help me figure out just where to drive and what to do when we arrive at one of our fun spots but that's what it amounts to. I give us a week. After that, get ready. I'm coming to your house. Unannounced. With more Colby Cheeze Its and words that rhyme with trashbucket than you can even imagine.

(Sorry, I cannot figure out how to get this image above to flip the right way. I apologize to your neck and collarbone muscles. Here, quick! Look at Abby below...)

What are you doing to keep yourselves out of jail this summer?