Wednesday, July 19, 2017

45, 2, and the Kauai Kurse

The good news is, the Kauai Kurse is broken. I had a really lovely trip. Not without some hiccups of course - first day was spent entirely trying to replace the BF's broken iPhone (no Apple or T Mobile stores on the island), and our return flight was repeatedly delayed until we arrived at home twelve hours later than expected. Again, thank god for flexible babysitters!

The BF and I traveled well together, which was a big relief. As much as I was kind of boy friended-out by the end of the trip (really just dying for some alone time which I usually get plenty of), we thankfully had similar travel styles - go with the flow, let's hop some fences and explore, let's push ourselves a little kind of travel. I had to be in charge of planning/booking/arranging everything, but I don't have a problem with that. Hey, that's how you get to do all the shit you want to do, right?





Highlight for both of us was definitely climbing down to Wailua Falls and swimming in it. That was spectacular. On my birthday, Monday, we took an all-day boat tour of the Napali Coast that honestly wasn't all that. Just got banged around on a rough boat ride all day with some sub-par snorkeling. Meh. In retrospect I wish we'd spent the whole day on a beach. But I'm glad I got to do all new things compared to previous trips. 

As mentioned, I turned 45 on Monday.



Since I refuse to share the number 45 with Drumpf, I will be recording my age in months for the next year.

At 45, my mother was marrying for the third time, and had a 25 and 15 year old.

At 45, my grandmother had a 15 and 14 year old, and was divorcing her philandering alcoholic husband.

At 45, I have five and three year olds with an anonymous donor and a live-in boyfriend whom I may never marry. Or might, who knows?

There was some speculation amongst my friends that he may propose to me on this trip - I figured it was pretty unlikely. I'm not really ready for that - I need more time, and he needs to get his shit together a bit more. We may find out we're neither the marrying types, and that's ok. 

We celebrated two years together over a nice dinner, and it was grand.

Right now I've seriously got the blues on return. Hawaii has that effect on people. I had a good sob on the plane coming home when they kept playing sweet Hawaiian music and still feel very emotional. The only positive is since we got so screwed on our return flight, we get two travel credits. Family trip next year!!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Price increase night

Ah, another price increase night. I've done the first half of the day's paperwork and emails; now I'm just taking a break and watching a documentary about Dr Dre until the next wave comes. As of right now I have over 900 people registered, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago. I've been consistently 200 people ahead this year, as I was last year over the previous year. The bank account is swelling, as is the budget. I can't complain.

After staying up past midnight to adjust the web site to the new prices, I'll try to grab a couple hours' sleep and then the BF and I are going to Kauai. 

Let's recap my previous Hawaii trips, shall we?

2010 - I break up with my briefly held boyfriend who may or may not have been a benign sociopath, and head to Kauai by myself for a long weekend. Unfortunately, my beloved aunt Roberta dies during this trip after a long battle with cancer and I spend much of the trip sobbing on various spectacular beaches. A month later I decide to become an SMC. Seven months later I am pregnant.

2014 - I decide to take my two-year-old and four-month-old to Kauai to meet up with another family with similar-aged kids. They pretty much flake the entire trip and leave me alone and sleep deprived on various spectacular beaches with a baby and a toddler, so I cut the trip short and come home several days early.

2016 - I plan a romantic 1 year anniversary trip with my boyfriend. Unfortunately, we "kind of" break up a month before. Luckily I enlist a friend to take his place, and we have a swell time. So...not exactly as planned, but still a fun and memorable trip.

Let's hope this trip actually goes as planned! I am so convinced something will happen to stop it - a car accident, sick babysitter, sick or injured kids, some problem with the flight, something. But it's just a few hours away and no calamity has hit yet. Other than my period. But I can live with that. 

Here's to things actually working out for once!





Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The 4th

I was concerned about this very patriotic holiday this year. An informal poll I put up on my feminist dancer group on FB revealed very few of my fellow female Americans are "feeling it" this year. I, for one, have been on a tear lately reclaiming patriotism, the flag, and other signs of US pride from the ultra right wing. It's our country, too, dammit.

As I've stated here, I often vacillate between feeling like this is THE END for America in particular and civilized society in general, and feeling like this whole stupid presidency is just a blip, a last gasp of the fat, bloated old rich white guy reactionary bullshit. 

Yesterday I chose to think of it as an unfortunate blip, and celebrate while quietly protesting.



The fam and I went to a fun 4th of July festival in El Segundo by the ocean and then spontaneously camped out on a South Pasadena sidewalk to watch fireworks put on by the local high school (thank you, google). Everyone had a good time.





Also, I went a-protesting over the weekend (Impeachment March) and a photo of my sign made it into the Washington Post. So, that was pretty cool!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Boston

Last weekend I did my annual cousin trip + singing at a dance event. This event is significant for me because I'll never forget crying my eyes out every night there after my chemical pregnancy in 2011, and then the joy of returning with my three-month-old baby in 2012. 

I met the hurdle of singing ten new songs with an entirely new band for the first time. After fixing some key issues in the sound check, it went great. It was also great to see my sister and two cousins, who are the last vestiges of my north eastern heritage. We swore like sailors, bashed Trump and ate cake. It was awesome.

I had a terrible moment on the airplane heading to Boston when I happened to glance at my phone and there was a (frantic looking) text and voicemail message from the kids' summer camp asking who was going to pick up Bobby. I'm not sure when these appeared - maybe as we were taking off? I still had two hours before landing and didn't know what to do. It was Bobby's field trip day, and despite my having walked the babysitter to the pick up location and introducing her to the counselors, there was some kind of mix up. I spent twenty horrid moments trying to figure out how to get wireless on the plane so I could FB message the BF who could then call the babysitter to see what happened. Turns out what happened was the bus had gotten back a little early (4:30 instead of 5:00); she picked him up at 4:50 and everything was fine. But ugh! Did that get my heart racing, imaging my kid sitting in a police station and the babysitter in a car accident or some such thing. 

It's so scary leaving kids behind, even when you trust the people left in charge. Every time I drop them off at camp or school or leave them with a sitter I just have to turn off that part of my brain that says "death", as all parents do. As they get older they can do more and more things and can, and should have, more freedom. But boy is it hard. Every time I pick them up, and we're all in the car together, I feel like I can breathe a little easier. Having kids really is like putting your heart on the outside of your body.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Girlfriends

Have I ever mentioned that I occasionally get a friend crush? My first was on Martha Plimpton who went to my performing arts middle school (along with a lot of other famous people). Although she was a couple of years ahead of me, she was always very kind to me, which is a rare thing at that age. At one point I wrote a poem about her, and was teased relentlessly about it. It was at that point that I realized it wasn't ok to express over-the-top emotions for our friends. I still struggle with this for a variety of reasons. But I'm working on it.

Back in April when I went to D.C. I had lunch with my old mommy & me friend and came away from it positively reeling, just being reminded of how awesome she is and how much I miss her, and understanding a little better why I spiraled into a bit of a depression when she left. 

A couple of weekends ago some girlfriends and I got together to shop at the string of reproduction vintage stores in Burbank, something I never do, and I found it utterly invigorating. It made my heart sing to talk about what's going on in our dance scene, in our personal lives, feminist issues, politics, with a group of smart, thoughtful women.

Then Sunday night the BF and I went to see The Specials at the Hollywood Bowl. We were both big mod/ska people when we were young, so it was a real walk down memory lane to see this band. When there we posted about it on FB, and a friend of his who was there saw the post and called him and we went to meet them at their seats. This was his best friend from his teenaged years who he hadn't seen in 30+ years. Watching them reunite was extremely touching. They both cried and kissed and hugged each other. The BF doesn't have many friends outside of work - he's pretty much integrated himself more into my vast dance friend circle - and I think it's something he's been really missing. It was lovely watching them reminisce and express how important they had been to each other and how much they missed each other. 

With his friend and his girlfriend was another couple from the old days. The woman reminded me a lot of myself - mid-40s, two small children, tough and smart, with a somewhat wild teenaged background. She had been a skinhead girl (one of the good, non-racist ones - I always loved those girls because they were such bad asses). She and I hit it off like a house on fire. Within minutes we were telling each other our life stories and exchanging extremely deep insights about raising little kids and what the future holds for them, etc. I kind of fell in love with her a little bit. She lives in San Francisco, so as we were all saying our goodbyes, we held each others' hands and I said, "I wish you didn't live so far away!" and felt genuine anguish when I said it. She looked in my eyes and said, "you know what? This was meant to happen. I know we'll see each other again." Omg! Like, totally.

Close friendships don't come around much when you're an adult. The sheer volume of work it takes to maintain a friendship is too much for most people. When I think about the five or six women friends I consider my "close friends", the reality is we only get together maybe once every few months. Everyone lives so far away, everyone has families and intense careers and making the time to get together is just rough. We do come together for dance events, thankfully, but it makes me sad that we don't see each other more. Maybe I need to work on that. 

Or I could just stalk the woman I met at the concert on FB a little bit. Or write a poem about her. This time I won't read it in front of my class, though.

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Graduation

Bobby graduated from preschool yesterday. As often happens with very emotional moments, I opted to become all business and look at the day as work and obligation so I wouldn't have to feel my feelings. I'm going to wear this and cook this and we're going to do this and then this. I did not burst into tears. I did not speak to any of the other parents and compare notes on our children ending an important part of their early development. I did not give heart felt thank yous to their teachers (I did hug one though). I did hug my child and tell him I loved him and was proud of him. So I managed that. 

Here is a picture of Bobby in his graduation garb and me not feeling my feelings:



We had a long, busy day after that. I managed to get them to bed early, and today we started our summer schedule in which every day is different. 

I got the kids up two hours earlier than usual and did an abbreviated morning and shuffled them off to their rec center summer camps. As I had suspected, the place was pretty much chaotic - there was zero communication going in, and when we got there nobody seemed to know what was going on. Theo seems to be the only little kid - there is supposed to be a 3-5 year old camp, but he was the only one, so he was with the big kids. The good news is this means he gets to be with Bobby, which made me feel a little better. Theo only gets to attend 9-12 (Bobby is full days), so I was a bundle of nerves in the couple of hours as I sat at home waiting to move Theo from this place to his other, afternoon preschool. There were only a handful of kids there (I'd say maybe eight?) and they were all bigger than B & T. I was terrified they wouldn't be able to use the bathrooms alone (especially Theo, who still poops multiple times a day and is new to using the potty in general). 

But when I got there to pick up Theo they both seemed to be doing just fine - Theo said he pooped on the potty and wiped himself (horrors, but good I guess), Bobby came over and gave me a hug, and it was all good. Are we ok? Can we stay at this place all summer? I don't know. I'm making contingency plans in my head anyway - maybe Theo can just do full days at his current preschool, maybe Bobby can move to the YMCA camp I had my eye on before (even though it's twice the price). And in the end it's only eight weeks. It's a placeholder for the summer. And I made the decision months ago to utilize this place because a) it's incredibly cheap, b) it's two minutes away - I could even walk there, c) this allows me the most free time I can get during the summer before my event when I need it the most, d) the boys can be together, and e) Bobby can maybe meet some kids that will be at his new school. And if the place works out it will be ideal for after school. 

 

Tomorrow I am having the trees trimmed and meeting with a kitchen designer. I constantly fantasize about renovating my kitchen - it's the one room in the house I haven't touched since I moved in, and it's getting pretty junky and run down. I will probably make more money this year than I will again for a long time, so I kind of feel like I need to go for it, as much as the expense terrifies me and also not having a working kitchen for nearly (or more than) two months. The kitchen designer (mother of a dance friend) told me on the phone that you "can't even touch a kitchen for less than $50,000." Gulp. Well, the idea is for her to help me clarify what I want and what can actually be done in this small space, and then if I feel like I can afford it, do the actual job at the end of the year. Gulp, again. 

In the meantime, here's keeping fingers crossed that Bobby had a good day at his camp and feels ok about returning, and that we can all weather this big transition without too many bumps in the road. Here is Bobby's first and last days at preschool. My life was dramatically different when Bobby started in June of 2014 - I had a new baby, I was broke AF and single. Three years later and I'm in a live-in relationship with a good man, I have two kids who can use the potty and one that's entering public school in two months, and am finally making decent money after twenty years in business. My how things change!

 
 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Final preschool days

Bobby has two days left of preschool. I don't think he fully realizes this, even though I've been talking to him about it for months. Maybe it will hit him Monday when we go to his summer camp instead of school? This will be his first big life shift - he's been going to this school for either preschool or their weekend/evening program since he was three months old. He can still go for weekends - but his preschool days are officially over.

I am both excited for him and sad. And so it goes.

I visited their summer camp today. Bobby will be there full days but Theo only mornings, four days a week. This will buy me thirteen more hours child-free every week than I have now. Boy can I use those hours! With my event looming three months away, I desperately need the work time. I am very nervous about how this new facility is going to work out. The whole presentation is pretty vague and flaky...but so many neighborhood moms raved about it, it's got to be ok...right??

In the meantime, Bobby rediscovered his little baby carrier the other day. I love that he and Theo are so loving and nurturing to younger kids and babies - I hope this feminist mama has managed to teach them something!