Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy 2015!

What can you say about the year your child was born? The year that will forever determine his age and become as much a part of him as 2012 is to Bobby and 1972 is to me? 

In this year I survived the final trimester of my final pregnancy, my final labor, and my final experience of raising a baby from birth to nine months old. My resolution for 2014 was to merely survive it. Attempting anything else, such as getting out of debt, getting in shape, doing more of this or less of that, felt overwhelming and unnecessary. Nails needed to be trimmed, baths administered, food prepared, sippy cups proferred, bedsheets stripped. And so as of two hours from now I will have survived 2014. I have two beautiful, healthy, complicated children. They are content and safe in their beds. They were manufactured in and then expelled from my body, a fact that still dumbfounds me. 

In 2015 there will be no pregnancy, labor, and very little breastfeeding. Next year will mostly be about potty training and negotiating a newly mobile baby. I don't know if a year from now Theo and Bobby will be safe in their beds in Bobby's current room or if I will still be out here on the couch. I don't know how my event will go, if I'll be out of debt, if I will be able to have Theo in preschool. There are a lot of unknowns going into next year.

My hope for next year is continued health for all of us. I hope I have a good event and see the back of this poverty for once and for all. I hope I get a little of my old self back - traveling with the band, taking up yoga again, dressing better when I no longer have to wear breastfeeding/puke-friendly clothes. I hope I take on Theo's second year with more aplomb than I did Bobby's. I hope I don't blow up like a balloon when I lose the calorie burning benefits of breastfeeding. 

It's 10 PM on New Year's Eve and I'm in bed watching Tootsie and I'm ok with that. I doubt I'll make it to midnight. If I don't, see all you guys on the other side!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Edge of Three

I just might be done breastfeeding. I hope not, but...I have a very painful right nipple with a Theo-tooth-sized tear in it, which I am "nursing" by not nursing. I fed him this morning while wincing with pain and left it at that for the day, feeding baby food instead. It's always an odd transition, adding in baby food. You're so used to breastfeeding, then you add in the multiple sit downs with food and spoons and cleanup and it feels like all you do all day is feed the baby. If not for this bite I would continue on at least three more months, but...I just don't know. There's something about this right nipple that he just loves to sink his teeth into. Bobby bit me but never broke the skin. I've been in the habit of nursing just in the morning and before bed, but tonight I just couldn't face that chomp so I fed him liberally with food and put him to bed. And it made me wonder...why continue, really, when the nutritional benefits at this point are minimal at best? Would a couple more months really matter? Is it just a "meeting an established goal" thing? Or have I been brainwashed by The Hippies again?

In other news, Bobby seems to have made some kind of developmental leap lately. It's hard to put my finger on it but there's just a different look about him - he is suddenly really cognizant. He gets jokes, sings songs, and really talks and expresses himself...a little too much. Somebody (probably not me) really taught him to be clear in his feelings - he now says things like "stop it, mama, I don't like that!" and "not yet!" when I need him to do something. A couple of days ago he really alarmed me by very angrily shouting at me to stop it and hitting me in the arm when I lifted him away from some toys to change his diaper. I had never seen such rage in him and it scared me - and this was after explaining what was about to happen, giving a countdown of time before the transition, all the things I always do and have done since that make transitions usually fairly smooth. I am loath to think this is our future - no longer a toddler who cries when he doesn't like something, but one who acts out angrily and shouts and hits. Well, it's going to happen - he's almost three and that's what they do. I'll never forget the day I was walking my dog past the neighbors' and heard loud screaming and saw one mother get out of a car yelling at the top of her voice, "we're not going!!!" followed by a small boy screaming and crying and then the other mom sheepishly following them into the house. I thought, that's life with a little kid - they act out so badly that you threaten to not go and then you have to follow through and not go. We haven't had to do this yet. But I know those days are ahead of me. And, as with all new phases, I am terrified.

Thankfully, with the new rage has come new awesome things, too - tonight at dinner he said, "I wanna kiss momma" and tenderly took my head in his hands and kissed my cheek. Singing songs together and sharing jokes is a new favorite pastime. I can actually kind of talk to him now. Oh, and he's completely stopped trying to kill his brother and has been nothing but gentle and loving towards him for weeks now, which is a huge load off my mind (the attempted murder-like behavior must have been just another in a series of inexplicable phases).

Here's a couple of photos I like to call Bumpus, Light and Dark

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Non-traditional Christmas traditions

I once said Christmas with toddlers is frustrating and exhausting. It can be, but thankfully was not this year! Keeping things flexible and simple is the key - easy for me to say, I know, since I have no obligations whereas most people do. 

Christmas Eve I had my single, childless Jewish friend over for Chinese food and romantic comedies (note: my tolerance for romantic comedies begins at 8 pm Christmas Eve and ends at 9:30 pm Christmas Eve). It was a lovely evening. I wrapped B & T's presents (B - dollar store matchbook cars, T - ikea finger puppets), set up B's second hand train table, gifted my friend red and green chocolate dipped coconut balls (my easiest and still yummiest candy recipe), and called it a night. 

The next morning I unleashed B on the train table (he loved it) and unwrapped his presents in front of him; I love that he's still so innocent that every present was equally exciting - the glow-in-the-dark dollar store snake was just as exciting as the new fire truck. I know this innocence will be gone some day and I will miss it so much.

The rest of Christmas was a bit exhausting - I will have to plan out a bit better next year. A friend came over so we could walk along the beach and then head to a friend's house to look at Christmas lights; the beach walk was fun but tiring as it was very chilly and a stiff wind blew the crap out of us. Then there was nowhere to eat since everything was closed in this little beach town, and we had several hours to kill before it was dark enough to see lights. So I was wind-chapped and exhausted and fed up, my back was killing me from carrying the lunging baby all day, the kids were soaked in their diapers and hungry and I just wanted to go home and collapse, but of course my friend who had invited us to see the lights insisted we stay until it got dark. So we toughed it out. Thankfully, it was worth it. Bobby loved the lights and it was a great way to end the holiday. I just wish we'd driven out there later!

When we got home even though it was way past everyone's bedtime, Bobby was so amped to play with his train table I just let him stay up. Got the baby to bed, then walked into the bathroom to find another giant waterbug. I yelled, "motherfucker!" and Bobby yelled back from the dining room, "trucker!" Killed it, then set about filling a hole around a pipe by the toilet with spackle where they must have been coming from. Ugh! My skin still crawls just thinking about it.

So then I sat down for some leftover Chinese, somehow got B fed and to bed, and that was it. It doesn't sound like much but other than those few hours when we were bored and looking for food in a shut-down town it was actually a really nice day. 

Today I went to meet The Atheists to look at Rose Bowl floats as they are put together for the big parade - but as often happens with meet ups with strangers in crowded public places, I never could find anyone so we just spent the day alone.

Tonight we de-Christmassed. I did it while B was awake so he wouldn't freak out. He was so attached to the Christmas lights and the tree that I was worried if he came home from school one day and everything was gone that he wouldn't understand what had happened.

I felt genuinely blue last night looking at the decorations and knowing another Christmas was over. I love the whole holiday season with all the parties and gifts and good will. Everything goes on hold around here and there's this huge build-up until Christmas Day. Today getting out of the car B said randomly, "I want more presents."

I hear ya, kid!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas to me!

So I bought a new car today. Ummm...what? Yeah. Let's just say I got an offer I couldn't refuse - a letter from my dealer hyping up year-end deals and slyly positing that at this phase in my car ownership I really should think about trading up. Indeed. 

I spent the day yesterday at a packed and chaotic pre-Christmas Babies R Us furtively measuring double strollers only to discover that none of them would fit in my trunk; on the way home I called the dealer to make an appointment. We simply have outgrown our old car. We just have. And as a single mother the idea of spending the next few months getting brakes done, buying all new tires, doing the big 50,000 mile maintenance...ugh, all those appointments and all that waiting around...honestly I wanted a new car just to re-set the clock on all that crap. If this one goes anything like the old one Bobby will be six and Theo four before I have to do anything with it other than oil changes. Woo!

How did I pull this off, given my current poverty? I just told the guy the truth - I have no down payment and can only afford about $50 more in monthly payments, if that. We agreed to a lease-to-own deal. Honestly I don't know if I got a good deal on the car or not; all I know is I can afford it and our growing family needed it. When I think of all the times lately we've been inconvenienced or had to not do something because we couldn't fit more people in the car or had no cargo space - and now the issue with the double strollers not fitting - it was time.

So we had a miserable day sitting around in the dealer for four hours. Theo lunged and whined in the carrier and Bobby kept pointing at the giant monster truck in the customer parking lot and saying, "this one! This!!!" I was alternately patient and fun and then fed up and bitchy. But we survived and I never have to see those people again and I helped some kind Egyptian salesman make his quota, so hey. Always happy to help a brother out.

When we got home we found a giant hideous flying cockroach in the bathroom. In my 13 years in this house I've only seen a couple of these. They give me the absolute heebie jeebies. I screamed and Bobby screamed and I killed it with copious amounts of bug spray (and subsequently had to scrub the room down as this is where Theo crawls and then puts his hands in his mouth - ugh). Bobby kept pointing at it and saying, "Spider Man". No, honey. Not spider man. 

I think I've had just about enough excitement for one day. Good night!

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Had a nice though tiring weekend of gigging each night and then alone with the kids all day with no plans (my personal kryptonite). But we made it through, with lots of driving back and forth on the emptiest, most scenic part of the 210 (our "nap route"), shitty drive-thru lunches, and almost no sleep as I got home at 2 AM the last two nights. The last babysitter of the year was in last night and now we're on our own until 2015. Gulp. I gave her a box of festive coconut balls for her trouble. 

Now that all edible gifts have been disseminated, decorations have been placed and cards mailed, the only thing left to do is make Theo a stocking as I did myself and Bobby two years ago. This should take each evening until Thursday easily. 

Last night saw my friend who's newborn died shortly after Theo was born. She just started her third trimester with the new pregnancy. I can't imagine how full of anxiety she must be; her husband recently posted a picture of an empty high chair on FB and it's been haunting me. I so hope this child a) survives and b) doesn't grow up with a dark cloud over his/her life. It's so hard.

Despite my dark themes lately I've actually been having some very blissful moments. Moments of "I have a great life". It helps when Bobby gives his brother a hug (no unpleasantness there for a while, mostly because I watch him like a hawk around the baby), or says "I wuv you" as I'm tucking him in, or shows delight over a new song I randomly start singing (today's selection was Paul McCartney's Jet for some reason - he is now obsessed with it and runs around yelling "Jet!"). The other morning he complained his leg was hurting and I discovered a play felt cucumber shoved up his pant leg a la Spinal Tap. He's been pretty mellow and happy the last couple of days which makes parenting suddenly seem like a good idea. 

My only problem at the moment is figuring out the financial gymnastics I'm going to have to do to stretch my money another month, and how to fill the next two weeks with activities with school closed a few days and all our friends out of town or busy. We'll figure it out!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Regrets...I've had a few

Recently one of my favorite radio talk show hosts mentioned that he always hated the song "My Way" but loved the line, "regrets...I've had a few". I've been thinking a lot about that term, "regret," lately, with regards to having kids, or not having kids, and paths not taken.

I'll admit I had that thought, "I regret having kids," at the worst of the Bobby-beating-up-brother era a couple of weeks ago. I was, and am, very ashamed of that thought (something I swore I'd never think, or feel, much like hitting Bobby out of anger, which has now also happened despite my protestations to the contrary). But it's a real thought and it happened and I believe in honesty above all, so there it is. Do I feel that way now? No. But ask on a bad moment when I'm tired and overwhelmed and sad - sure. In those moments my former life of constant navel-gazing and self indulgence sure does look a lot more enjoyable. I'd have to be crazy to say I'd rather wrestle a kicking, screaming toddler into pajamas than lie in bed drinking tea and watching documentaries. 

I always thought you would either regret having kids or you wouldn't. But I find now that it's a lot more complex than that. Much like you can still love your kids but not always like them, you can love your kids and love being a mother but sometimes wish they would just go away for five minutes. And then come back.

I've been trying to give myself, and my dark thoughts, a break lately. This is hard. I can no longer say this is way easier than I thought. It was, when I had one easy baby. every day is a struggle. It just is. But it would be a struggle if I were younger or married or more prepared or more of a kid person or surrounded by helpful family or anything. Little kids are hard, period.

So often I look back as I'm driving and see the faces of my little boy and my baby. This is our life right now - an almost three-year-old and his various issues, and a nine-month-old and his issues. And Bobby talks now but we're not able to converse, not really, so his inner life is still largely a mystery to me; Theo is a complete mystery as all I know about him is he hates to be put down or left alone. But some day these kids will be real kids - with friends and teachers and coaches and things they like and don't like. Will it be easier then? I no longer fool myself that it will - I just know that it will be different, and there will be a certain satisfaction that we've made it this far. I won't have a baby constantly strapped on my chest making me feel like I'm still nine months pregnant and making it difficult to maneuver; I won't have a toddler who screams and cries unpredictably all day long. Those things I am looking forward to letting go of.

A friend posted an advice column in which a woman asked if she should have a baby on her own and she said she didn't think worrying about regretting not having kids was good enough reason to have one. But the advice columnist disagreed and said knowing you'd regret not doing something is, in fact, a great reason to do it. I try to imagine not having these kids and what I'd be doing now instead but I know this is a moot point because no matter what I would have had a kid by now, somehow, whether by adoption or fostering or being a Big Sister or whatever. The 42 1/2-year-old me with no kids all alone in this house just never would have existed so there's no point in even trying to imagine her. The only difference is I lucked out in getting the idea just early enough that I was able to have two biological children, whereas if I were just getting the idea now the story would be a little different.

And so I power on with my baby in the Ergo and Bobby in the stroller and people look at me and give me a thumbs-up or tell me I have my hands full and I sigh and say yes, it's really hard right now. But life is really hard. And I'm glad they're in it. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Today I took the boys to the mall to meet Santa. Bobby was not having it. So there will be no Bobby and Santa pic this year. Thankfully I have my second son to enjoy this ritual with in the interim. 

This is very much a microcosm of the whole preschooler-new baby situation. So often I'm grateful for Theo in our lives because it reminds me of the more enjoyable aspects of parenting - how awesome and cuddly babies are, how happy and willing to please. Toddlers are so not. But I know the unpleasantness with Bobby is just temporary. It's not him - it's his age. In the meantime I can still get an oxytocin high off smelling the top of Theo's head. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nine months & stuff

Here's the wee laddie at nine months. He has now been out as long as he was in. What is Theo like at nine months old? He has four teeth all coming in at once. He sleeps from 5 PM to 6 or 7 AM without waking. He eats three containers of baby food a day and now eats baby crackers. I am considering upping his food intake and cutting down breastfeeds - but breastfeeding is so much more convenient that it's been slow going. Since he no longer wakes at night when sitters are here I am thinking maybe I only have a few more pumping sessions left in my life (for the rare occasions when a sitter puts him to bed), which fills me with joy. He is not independent and content to hang out in playpens or walkers like his brother - he hates being put down and left alone, and crawls around and stands only for a little while before wanting to be picked up...but then squirms and fusses unless you walk around with him. Our three days a week at home with no big brother are kind of miserable - I try in vain to get things done but he pretty much whines incessantly and refuses to nap for more than a few minutes. Our days here mostly involve me trying to put him down and get him to play unsuccessfully, picking him up to feed him only to have him squirm away, uninterested, sometimes giving him Tylenol thinking he must be teething and in pain, finally plunking him in his crib in an attempt at getting him to nap which pretty much always fails. Then it's time to go pick up brother. Sigh. There's just no relaxing at home with little kids. It just can't happen. 

Theo babbles, crawls, stands, and eats purees like a champ. Passed his nine month checkup with flying colors. I'm so glad I've never had to worry about underweight kids! The nurse messed up and told me he'd lost weight since his six month checkup and I immediately panicked and felt guilty about leaving him unfed all night and sometimes running around too much during the day to feed him as often as I know I should...but when the doctor came in he said we were looking at the wrong numbers and he had gained the appropriate amount of weight. Whew. He's had a runny nose and cough for ages but the doctor said his lungs and ears are clear, so...yeah.

Here is a comparison I made of Theo at one and eight months. I am shocked this is the same baby. He sure did turn out cute!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Making a list & checking it twice

Ok, Christmas is officially less than two weeks away. So far I have managed to:

Make a batch of peppermint fudge
Make a batch of English toffee
Make 20 red coconut balls and 20 green coconut balls
Make a batch of peppermint bark
Buy a tree and decorate the house 
Send out 50 Christmas cards
Get Christmas pajamas for the kids
Get Bobby's required outfit for his Christmas pageant 
Get all presents for the kids (well, let's be honest...Bobby)

I have yet to:
Mail presents to out of town relatives
Make a felt stocking for Theo
Get a Santa pic with the kids
Do any crafts such as make ornaments
Do any work on B's scrap book
Make cookies for book club cookie exchange 

...while simultaneously staying on top of cleaning, laundry, cooking, groceries, home repairs and maintenance, babysitting inquiries, my business, mailing out Christmas orders of our band's CDs, and navigating my precarious finances (when/how/how much to pay/deposit, which bills to defer until after Feb 1). Oh, and all this while keeping Bobby from killing his baby brother (today first thing in the morning Bobby announced he was "going to hit baby" and proceeded to walk into the bedroom and smack the baby's head hard before I could stop him. Suffice it to say what happened as a consequence was not good. This is what my life is now). 

But in happier news, yesterday was Bobby's first Christmas show. It was quite possibly the cutest thing ever. I wish the Blogger app would let me upload videos; here is a still I took of him with his class singing a little song about Santa with requisite hand gestures. He did great (as did the other kids - I don't know how they got these kids to perform like that; I can't even get B to put his socks on) and I was so proud of him. 

He also has gotten very into random songs I've been singing and loves to watch videos of them on my phone - one being Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" and the other The Andrews Sisters "The Pennsylvania Polka" and "Sonny Boy". These are the moments, people. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of Bobby as an older child - just in a look or a gesture - and get a feel of just how nice life is going to be when all this little kid hell is over. I hope when it is I can remember that even at two Bobby and I did have some really nice times together.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Perpetual Motion

When I was in about second or third grade we had an assignment in school to write an essay about someone in our class. For some reason our teacher wrote one about me (odd number of students?) and she titled it "Perpetual Motion". She described me as always moving - bouncing a leg, fidgeting, playing with my hair. I don't think it was so much about being high energy - which I definitely am not - but having nervous energy. All of the women in my family are high strung and nervous and I tend to gravitate towards people like this. But lately I've been wondering if I've passed this quality to my kid(s).

Twice now when I've picked up B from school the teacher has commented - laughingly - how he came to school bouncing off the walls and they had to tell him repeatedly to settle down and/or take him outside to run off his energy. I'm so used to him being like this that I don't even think about it; I only notice on the rare occasion that he's not like that, how shocking it is when he sits quietly or is gentle or contemplative. The other day when he was watched for a few hours by a sitter and then I had a few hours with him before heading out to my next gig, I was dreading having to take him out somewhere or dealing with him climbing the walls at home. To my surprise he pulled out some books and read them quietly, then spent ages stacking and playing with packs of wipes. He never does this. And I had a moment of, oh my God, is this what other kids are like? 

Our typical day involves letting B out of his room in the morning to have him immediately run all over the house screaming, banging into walls and kitchen appliances, smacking into me hard and trying to pull me into the floor, stomping on my feet and hitting and kicking me repeatedly. Evenings are like this as well. Try getting this Tasmanian devil to sit down and eat, brush his teeth, put on socks and shoes, etc's a Herculean task.

Is my kid hyperactive? I don't think so, although the jury is still out. I think he's high energy but I don't think he's unusual from what I've observed in other boys his age. But oh my God would my life be easier and more enjoyable if I had a quiet little kid who built model airplanes and worked on puzzles. Most days I just can't handle being a punching bag all day long, I really can't.

Still and all, I know his energy, and spunk and defensiveness, are good qualities for later in life. I see little boys who let other kids take their toys or get pushed around and do nothing, and I worry about them. Bumpus...Bumpus'll cut a bitch.

For now I can only channel his energy in positive directions, be thankful for the quiet moments, and pray for the day his brother is big enough to be his grappling partner.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In dreams

I must be getting better sleep these days because I am dreaming a lot. Last night I had a vivid dream in which I was wishing I had just married and had kids with my last boyfriend and how much easier (and cheaper) my life would be. I woke up full of regret and longing, still brushing the cobwebs of the dream out of my brain.

Then as I took a shower and started to wake up I really contemplated life with that man and ended up laughing and shaking my head in disbelief. Easier? Not really. Not when I would have to balance a relationship and a toddler and a baby. I thought about having to cook for, clean up after, and maintain the daily life of an adult and two children. I thought about how resentful I would be, how much I would hate sharing children 50/50 with someone else. How tired I would be and how he could never do enough to make me happy. 

Cheaper? Not with his perpetual unemployment. Sure, I would save on babysitters. But I would be stuck paying his iPhone bill, car note, health and car insurance, plus groceries, utilities and countless other expenses. Talk about resentment!

And worst of all - I would be obligated to have sex with this person-! Ewwwww!

So yeah, I disagree with Freud's assertion that "dreams are wishes". No matter how imperfect our lives are right now, I really wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Can't argue with crazy in follow up to yesterday's post, I didn't answer my mother's email (honestly haven't had the time) but my sister did, telling her we're all worried and wish she would come home and get medical treatment and save her life.

Well! My mother lashed out at her, telling her she's controlling and going on and on about how great her religion is and how whatever she has can't be helped by medicine anyway (although she's never seen a doctor so she's just guessing)...the whole email was pretty hateful. I felt bad for my sister. I know she had hoped that maybe something could be accomplished here. But no - my mother is still clinging to this craziness. And she's being pretty mean about it, too. Well, that makes my position a little easier to take - just a quick polite acknowledgement and we're done. There's no arguing with crazy.

I know many people who have to deal with mentally ill relatives or ones with personality disorders or ones who are just plain shitty people. It's exhausting and upsetting and makes you feel guilty even when there's nothing to feel guilty about. I feel extremely lucky that the two crazy people in my life - my mother and father - are both far, far away and easy to avoid. If I lived near these people and had to have them in my life, and especially now the boys' lives, I would drive off a cliff. 

In other news, saw The Imitation Game today; it was good. Going to attempt to keep the boys up way past their bedtime to go see some Christmas lights tomorrow. Fingers crossed that isn't a disaster!

Friday, December 5, 2014

I wish...

Today is my mother's 73rd birthday. She sent me and my sister a letter apologizing to both of us and wanting us to know she does love us and isn't just down there in Brazil not giving a damn. She apologized to me for not recognizing how unhappy I was as a child and how she should have hugged me and told me she loved me more. She said she's not sure how much longer she's going to be here and just felt like she needed to say these things.

My sister and I are worried that she's preparing to die. But I also acknowledge that there is nothing to be done about it - she has chosen to be one of the thousands who will die well before their time for refusing medical care in the service of their "religion". And she's isolated herself thousands of miles away from everyone who cares about her. What can you do? I feel helpless but also resigned. I just see no happy ending to this story.

I'll admit I do have fantasies about taking her in and nursing her through the remainder of her life here at home - although I recognize the reality of this situation would be a lot messier and more unpleasant than I could ever imagine. After all, I don't really know my mother anymore - I haven't spoken to her (beyond one line emails about the kids) in eight years and haven't seen her in more than ten. I hear she is gaunt and sickly and looks like she's at death's door - I'm sure if I ever did see her in person again I would be shocked at her condition. 

This time of year, though, in addition to the fact that I get unusually sad that my boys will never have a father, I also am reminded that they have no grandparents, either, and this saddens me. I'm not going to try to pretend it doesn't matter that Bobby and Teddy have no father, because it does. just is. The same way this situation with my mother just is. 

I know I need to write her back but I just don't know what to say. I guess thank her for the apology...? Is this the moment to say all the things that need to be said? I don't see her as this monster anymore, just a sad, sick old woman full of regrets. I hate that things have to end this way - I will never be able to reconcile the fun, hip, interesting woman my mother was when she was younger with this situation - and I so wish things could be, could have been, different.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rainy days

I'm on a bit of a high right now because I survived our first rainy day with nothing to do. I was dreading it for days but it all worked out. I got us out to the mall and used the free play space which we hadn't been to in a long while - no big kids, thank God, and they had removed the stupid coin operated cars that Bobby used to jump in regardless of if another parent had paid for their kid to ride in it. Bobby played too rough with some of the other boys but I was all over him, not taking my eyes off of him for a second, and just handled our business. A stay-at-home-dad said he didn't know how I did it and bowed to me. Score. 

Some days I am just all in. And others I can't deal. Thankfully despite a bad head cold that's kept me up and miserable breathing through my mouth the last three nights, today I was all in. Parenting kids this age takes a ridiculous amount of energy and creativity. I've had a bit of a shock having to re-adjust back to the days of keeping the boys separated at all times, but it can, and must, be done. The hardest is the mornings, but I just have to go back to the days of leaving the baby screaming in a room while I tend to B. It sucks but it's better than peeking into Bobby's room to catch him beating his brother's ass and freaking out.

I announced all the details of next year's event last night to nothing but accolades. I love to see the customers' delight and excitement when they see who I've hired and what the event is going to look like. Short of a few tweaks to my online registration form, we're pretty much set until registration open Feb 1st. 

I officially have $3000 to survive on until then. God help me.