Juror Number 7 and Other Stories from The Zoo

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This week has been pretty unusual and out of the norm.  During a typical week Chris leaves for work on Tuesday morning and returns the following Thursday night.  His territory spans seven states including where we live, Washington State.  The only time he stays home is if and when he is visiting clients in Spokane.  This week, however his normal routine was interrupted.

About a month ago Chris received a jury duty summons.  For some strange reason the government loves to send him off to jury duty.  He has been called to jury duty in every single county he’s lived in which includes 3 different states.  On all the past occasions Chris was lucky enough to be sent home after the first day and not called back. However, Spokane County decided that he would be the perfect fit on a jury for a very important criminal case.  For about 2-3 weeks Chris will now be known as Juror Number 7.
He can not watch the local news, has to limit his Internet use and can not say anything about the case.  He leaves in the morning and returns in time for dinner every night. The Talbert Zoo is getting a taste for what it would be like if Dad had a regular 9-5 job.  The kids and I are spoiled this week and we absolutely love it!
I am thrilled to have my husband home every night. I get to talk to him face to face instead of on the phone, he helps me with the kids at night, and he joins us for dinner.  The kids are more well behaved when Dad is around and I can tell they are enjoying his attention. 
I feel bad for Chris, though. He leaves for the day and when he returns he can not tell me about his day.  All he can talk about is what he did on his lunch break.  Also, his company allows their employees five days for jury duty but if he is gone longer then he needs to take vacation time.  This is hard on our whole family because Chris’ parents and sister live in California and my parents and brothers live in Wisconsin and Illinois.  We depend on his vacation to visit all of them.  
Chris said that this is a pretty high-profile case and it could take 2-3 weeks for an outcome. I am concerned that we might have to eliminate one or two of our planned vacations for this year.  If we have to skip one of our vacations I might handle it alright but I am certain that the kids will be heartbroken. We’ll just have to see how long this jury duty will last. There is a reason Chris was picked for this case. And I firmly believe that God has a hand in it.  As a family we just have to accept the outcome and make the necessary sacrifices.
Have you ever been called for jury duty?
The Other Stories from the Zoo

I went to Goose’s conferences at school with her last night.  The high-school that she attends runs conferences a little differently than most schools.  They call them “arena conferences.”  The teachers sit at tables in the hallway, cafeteria, and library.  The parents and students then visit each of their teachers for about five minutes.  The arena conferences were scheduled from 4:30 – 7pm.  Goose and I went right after dinner around 6.  
She has a tough time in school, mostly because she is very disorganized and is not working to her potential. Girls with Aspergers like her, typically are creative and disorganized.  She is trying really hard to improve her organization skills and is meeting with her school counselor every week. I am proud of her for taking the initiative to meet with him.  All of her teachers are confident that Goose can bring her grades up.  All she needs to do is turn in her missing assignments and spend a little more time on her homework.  I am also confident that she can do this.
Kitty had a great time at her birthday party and finished writing her thank you notes.  I just need to get more stamps so I can mail the ones out to the relatives.  After much improvement with her Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), she has reverted back to plucking out her eyelashes.  It saddens me that she just doesn’t know how to control it yet.  Kitty plucked her lashes clean again.  Her therapist wants her to work a little harder on her coping skills, but thinks that she may be too young.  The psychiatrist increased her medication.  I hope she can use her coping skills and the medication will help too.  Kitty told me that the kids at school have been asking her questions about why she plucks and it is bothering her.  I told her to just reply that she has Trichotillomania and can’t control it but she is getting help.  Maybe if kids keep asking her about it that will give her some motivation to stop.
In a fit of anger the other day, Kitty snapped her glasses in half.  Fortunately they are covered under a warranty but we have to wait a week to get them back.
Parrot has been having a great week at school. They are finally challenging him, and he is getting a better handle on his temper. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I pick the kids up from school. When I get to Parrot’s classroom I always meet up with his teacher and she lets me know how is day was.  I am very blessed to have him in a great school where they truly care about each and every kid.
Monkey is a daddy’s boy and he has been on his best behavior this week.  I think it is because Daddy has been home a lot more. He is getting the attention from him that he craves. 
Last weekend when I was cleaning my kitchen, I noticed that my toaster was broken.  We have a toaster that toasts four slices at once.  The left side didn’t toast at all and the right didn’t stay down.  Today, Little Bear admitted that he broke my toaster. It is so hard to keep things nice with little ones around.  
The weather in Spokane this week has been unusually cold. We have had wind chills below zero and it hurts to go outside.  Also, the pipes in my laundry room are frozen so I can not wash clothes until they thaw.  Luckily, the temperature is supposed to be above freezing on Sunday. I guess I will have to wait until then to do laundry.
Sorry this post was so long winded!  Thank you to everyone who read the whole thing! You will win a prize.  Not really, but I am sure that got your attention! If you just skimmed it – shame on you! No I totally understand if you do not have the time to read a long post like this one.  My life is crazy busy too. Whether you read the whole post or not, please leave me a comment so I can visit your blog in return!
Have a great rest of your week!

Cascia Talbert is a Catholic mother of five special needs kids. In 2018 she published the book, "Taking Care of Your Family's Health and Well-Being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith," available anywhere books are sold. She is also a professional flutist and an Avon Independent Sales Representative. You can learn more about Cascia on the following websites, cjsfunandgames.com and avoncrystallake.com. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, children and Baby, the playful black kitty.

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