Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Nope. Not countdown to 2016...countdown to the beginning of my kid-free days. But I have a bit of a hurdle first. I have a lot of empty days with both kids and no plans - the next four days in a row (no school), then Tuesday and Thursday next week and all the following weekend. I've been frantically texting all day in an effort to set up play dates and get togethers, with some success. But I'll admit, all this upcoming unstructured time has me quaking in my boots a bit. Especially because it is likely to be uncomfortably cold/raining much of this time. 

What happens after, you ask? Bobby starts five day preschool on Jan 11, from 12:30-5:30 each day. Which means I will only be responsible to entertain two small children all day on weekends and holidays from now on. YES.

The Boyfriend unfortunately will not be available to help any time soon. I think he's gotten himself into a bit of a financial pickle because of Christmas and is now working long hours every day to make up for it. I feel a bit guilty as we both have our own businesses and yet I never seem to work at all and am living quite comfortably (this year, anyway), and he works his butt off and always seems to be broke. For now all I do is shrug and try not to pry too much into his affairs; until we're legally linked in some way, I consider that stuff his problem that he's just going to have to figure out on his own. I go back and forth between trusting that he got himself into some financial trouble and he's doing all he can to fix it, to worrying that he is not capable of fixing it because he's just not a financially astute person. He has told me repeatedly that he sucks at managing money and if we get together he wants to give me all his money and have me give him an allowance so he doesn't over spend, something I would be happy to do. So at least he's aware that he needs help. But for now - not my problem.

I did, however, take a big step forward today and hang up his pile of shirts in my closet and clear a drawer for him. I was reluctant to do this - because, you know...- but I realized it was either that or have my bedroom look like a Goodwill exploded in it at all times, which drives me nuts. 

Personally I am enjoying this time still living alone and being independent. I don't know how long it will go on - a few more months? A year? Forever? - but I am in no hurry to have him move in or get engaged or anything like that. I need more time. Thankfully he does, too, so we're on the same page there. I've already had my kids, so what's the rush?

For 2016 I will not make unrealistic demands on myself as far as resolutions; I have two small children, I will consider the year a success if we're all alive at the end of it. But here are some things I would really like to do (and it's ok if I don't):

Lose 5-10 pounds
Take up yoga again
Re-subscribe to The New Yorker
Engage in some home improvements, most notably switching rooms with B and moving T in with him and setting up a nice new bedroom for myself including a new, two person-friendly bed 
Set up an area for coats and bags in the house
Bring some order to my office, currently a catch-all junk room

What are your hopes for the new year? (I'd like to point out that my phone just autocorrected "hopes" to "herpes". All righty then.)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Why do we do this?

This was the topic of conversation between a girlfriend and I the day after Christmas. Why do we do this? The holidays are so insanely stressful. Why do we do these rote, ritualistic things, year after year, instead of doing things we actually want to do? 

If I did what I want to do at Christmas I'd be on a beach on Kauai. Why am I not doing that?

In the intro to this week's This American Life episode, my imaginary boyfriend, Ira Glass, makes a point about adults trying to recreate the magical aspect of Christmas from our childhood by doing the same things over and over, never thinking that we're killing the magic of Christmas by doing just that. And yet we feel pressured to create "traditions" and consistency, because, well, that's what you do.

I had to endure a somewhat last minute trip to visit The Boyfriend's half-sister in Simi Valley on Christmas Day. Nothing bad happened, but oh my God, a three year old and a one year old running around in a non-kid proof strange environment surrounded by people who were no doubt skeptical about us at best - my stress level was off the charts. Who is this woman with her sperm donor-conceived kids who's been dating the estranged half brother for a few months? Oh and she has a giant red cold sore on her lip, awesome. I did not want to go there. But I had to because relationship. Thank God I had thought ahead to book the kids all day at the baby kennel the next day so I could meet a girlfriend for a movie and an extended bitch session over sushi. Lord did I need that.

So Christmas was ok. We drove around to look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve, then opened mountains of presents Christmas morning, and thankfully the kids really enjoyed it and did not push and shove each other and scream "mine!" as I'd feared. The Boyfriend got me a vintage watch as requested and I got him tickets to The Cure.

Still, the whole time all I wanted was for all of this holiday bullshit to be over so B can be back in regular school and I can enjoy our normal routines. I don't judge myself for this. I know almost all parents - certainly mothers, and certainly stay at home mothers - feel this way at this time of year. Maybe it will be different when the kids are older and are less work. And it's not that I didn't enjoy any of it. It's just that the holidays with all the breaks from school means my normal work load goes WAY up around here. And who the hell wants that?

This week will be worse since B will have a four day stretch with no school and yet no Christmas to keep him occupied. I've taken the liberty of booking both kids at the baby kennel on Saturday just so I get a break. But still. This week is going to suck. Still, once New Year's is over, it's only one more week until B is at school five days. And that, for me, is going to feel like Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas week

Christmas is this week. Did you notice? 

I am pleased to say that, knock wood, our weeks of sickness appear to be behind us. Baby is eating well again, as is Bobby who was getting a little too thin. And you all know how frightening/disheartening it is when your children don't eat, from worrying about them to being slightly annoyed by all the waste of food (and your time and effort making it). 

Before you have kids you think you'd rather die than scrub vomit out of car seats or carpets and that you could never survive that. And oh, it is horrible. But you do survive it. Much like you survive childbirth and that first time your baby's hard palate clamps down on your sensitive nipple. You survive. 

By some miracle I was able to do almost everything I needed to do for Christmas - the only thing I had to skip was my movie club (no sitter) and one of my book clubs' annual cookie and book exchanges (again, no sitter, and too sick to bake cookies in our plague-infested kitchen). I was able to do my band gigs, go to a fancy dinner, go to the other book club's holiday party and gift exchange, AND make candy for all of my band members, friends, one sitter, house cleaner, and preschool teachers and assistants. I am SO glad that the holidays are a dead time of year for my work. I don't know how the hell people handle full time jobs, kids, holiday travel, and elaborate gifts for multiple family members. I would lose my mind from the stress. 

It's funny to think of last year vs. this year vs. next year. Last year was ok but kind of lonely; this year will be much less lonely; next year I will either be on my own again or living with and/or engaged to this man. Let's see what happens!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

5 months

The Boyfriend and I hit five months together today. This is a laughably short amount of time for most people, but for me it's practically a record. We got past our difficulties of a few weeks ago with communication and compassion and now we're doing just great. He's paying off debts, just got health and dental insurance for the first time in years, and will get checkups. I love that he's getting his act together, and is doing it for us, yet unbidden by me. 

I am thrilled at the prospect of having a boyfriend for Christmas and New Years. I don't think I have ever had this before. Certainly not anyone I felt good about. 

Tomorrow is Bobby's preschool Christmas pageant. We have to get up crazy early to get B to school four hours earlier than usual, then only to be done by about noon, and then have to figure out what the F to do with the boys the whole rest of the day since Thursday is not a regular school day for B. 

I am so stoked that these long, empty weekdays with nothing to do with two little kids are coming to an end. My old mommy & me friend who moved to the east coast a couple of months ago used to help pass the hours, and the void left by her absence has not gone unnoticed. I made a cursory attempt at finding other groups to join, but it's crazy hard to find stay-at-home moms free on weekdays who have three and four year olds. Everyone has long since gone back to work at this point. I've accepted that I simply do not have the skills to entertain two small children all day, every day, for weeks and months on end. I just don't have the creativity or energy. Thank goodness there are preschools for this purpose. 

So we have a couple more weeks of weird school closures this month, then one week in Jan, and then B starts five day school. It is the last of my full time parenting. I do feel some guilt about having him in school five days a week when, technically, I don't need him to be there; there's no reason, other than the preservation of my sanity, to have these kids in any kind of school or daycare setting. But as my Christian friends say, I'm just going to give myself the grace to know what I need to survive. And Bobby is thriving in school, and loves it. Theo will, too, no doubt. 

Tonight I went out of my comfort zone and let B help me make cookies for school tomorrow. I think he was kind of underwhelmed by the experience - I was trying to actually make cookies, not have a learning experience where it was ok for flour to be thrown around the kitchen or frosting to be spilled on the counter. But I did it. I made cookies with a three-year-old and survived. I must get some mom points for that, right...?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

...and on and on...

I was watching a movie Thursday night when I heard screaming coming from the baby's room. Of course, covered in vomit. I got him and his bed all cleaned up just in time for him to throw up again, then cleaned up a third time just in time for a third vomit. Finally I just gave up and put burp cloths under him and switched those out. I slept on the day bed up in the attic next to his crib, getting up to rub his back every time the dry heaves attacked his little body, which happened every 20-30 minutes all night long.

This is parenthood, people. It ain't pretty.

The next day was a school day for B. Just as we were getting ready to leave the house the baby projectile vomited all over me, head to toe. I stripped off my soaked shirt, pants, socks and shoes, stripped the baby, threw on clean clothes, wiped his chin, and left everything in a big vomity pile on the floor while we went to take B to school. At that point I just didn't give a fuck anymore.

Things seemed to look up from there - Bobby was fine, baby on the mend, and I was able to take part in some much needed fun holiday activities during the weekend, including setting up our tree. 

Then today as we were taking a long drive up to Malibu for some outdoor time, the baby vomited copiously all over the car. Poor Bobby almost followed suit and we had an agonizing wait as I tried to get off the freeway and pull over so I could clean him up. Thank God I'd stashed some extra clothes and a wet bag in the trunk - it took ages to clean the seat, car seat, and baby, especially when all I had was a handful of wipes. We turned around and came home and I'll just have to finish cleaning the car when they're asleep.

So, yeah. Not been good around here. I just want this nightmare of sickness to be over. For the record, everyone I know with little kids is going through the same thing right now, so I know it's not just us. After about ten days of this, though, I'm pretty fucking burned out.

I do have some excellent news, though. As of tonight, and with many phone calls, office visits, and paperwork, I now have us all starting free health care in January, which will save me about $600 a month and cover Theo's upcoming preschool fees. We may only have this for a year - who knows what'll be happening when we have to renew - but even that is such a massive savings that I figured it was worth all the trouble. 

Also, after much back and forth with B's preschool, it looks like he can start all five days on Jan 11, which is going to impact my life dramatically. To be the full time caretaker to two small children only two days a week instead of four is going to be huge - and will hopefully jumpstart our stalled potty training. I am giddy with anticipation. Also, there is a chance T may be able to start earlier than June - I was told to check in in February. 

That freedom train is a-comin'!

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Be prepared there's a lot of TMI in this post.

We are on day 5 of this stomach bug misery. On Monday we were doing ok - B in school, kids not sick, me on the mend. But I woke up feeling horrible on Tuesday - so horrible that I texted my kind cleaning lady, who had offered to babysit before and was coming to clean, to see if she would watch the kids instead of clean while I lay in bed. She said she would, but about a half hour into it I could see it wasn't really working - the kids don't know her, she barely speaks English, and has no idea about the daily life around here, stuff that whoever is watching your children needs to know, like who gets which sippy cup and what to make for lunch and how to work the tv remote, etc. So I sucked it up and took them up to the attic play space so she could clean instead. 

Then at three in the morning I was woken by Bobby's screams. He had puked on his bed and all over the floor. Cleaned that up, comforted him, put him back to bed. Twenty minutes later the same thing...and every twenty minutes thereafter for the next three hours. 

One good thing about kids this age is you can teach them to puke in a bucket or toilet. Doesn't mean they'll always make it, but they at least try. This is a game changer.

So Wednesday I kept him home from school and we just lay on the living room floor and watched tv all day while Theo ran around and tore the house apart. It sucked, but I have to admit it's much easier looking after a lethargic sick kid when you're also sick than it is one who's bored and full of energy and just wants to yell in your face and climb on your stomach. A Bobby that sits quietly and politely asks for drinks is way easier to handle. 

Baby is still healthy but I am waiting for him to start puking any time now - no doubt sometime convenient like when he's on the couch, my bed, or in the car seat.

My living room rug is a total loss at this point. I have given up all illusion of control  - I have done more loads of laundry, thrown away more half-eaten food, and scrubbed more carpets in the last two days than I ever wanted to in my entire life.

Thank God for television and grocery delivery. As of Wednesday there wasn't a scrap of food left in this house, but I got $200 worth delivered this morning.

The Boyfriend is also sick but unlike me has to work long hours every day. And that's another thing I'm grateful for - I don't have to work!!! I can't imagine how stressed I'd be if I knew my job was on the line every time we have these miserable weeks-long illnesses.

As for me, I am still totally nauseated. I'm able to eat a little bit here and there so I'm not in any danger, but I feel horrid. I've felt like this since Saturday night and it's now Thursday. When does this fucking end? It's like being pregnant but with no cute baby at the end. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Stomach bug #5,635

Yup. Got struck down by yet another violent, horrid stomach bug this weekend. Thankfully the kids are so far fit as fiddles, but I started to feel off during my Saturday night gig and then spent the next day puking in the bathtub. Awesome. And again I say...why???

Thank GOD The Boyfriend was here and we put our Christmas decorating plans on hold while I malingered in bed and he took care of the kids all day. This was definitely trial by fire, but he did great. Fed them breakfast, lunch and dinner and entertained them all day. I still changed the poopy diapers because he couldn't hang. So far during these horrid episodes I have always had someone to help - always a babysitter just happening to be available, etc. I honestly don't know what I'll do when the day comes that I'm that sick and nobody can come help. It happens so regularly that my good luck is bound to run out. Today I still feel shaky and weak and vaguely nauseated but at least it was a school day and I am way better than yesterday. 

So, Christmas is deferred for another week - no decorations, tree or lights yet. Thankfully B doesn't seem to mind. I did get all my cards done tonight, though. So there's that. And this:

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving weekend

Right now I'm sitting in an over-heated house watching a documentary about Gore Vidal and William F Buckley. Which is all I want to do after a loooooong holiday weekend. 

For the record, it was good. My sister and brother in law visited, The Boyfriend stayed with me the whole time, and we were very, very busy. 

I prepared a Thanksgiving meal for everyone plus a friend of The Boyfriend's, minus the turkey. He brought a pre-cooked turkey over which just needed to be heated up...unfortunately, he discovered I had none of the required equipment for turkey heating - no meat thermometer, no roasting pan, no baster, etc. I'm a vegetarian, what would I do with that stuff? So as with many Thanksgivings, it did not go off without a hitch. But it went off pretty well considering the delicate balance of juggling the kids, greeting visitors, and making sure mashed potatoes, stuffing, peas, risotto, corn bread, gravy, turkey, and green bean casserole all served hot at the same time was actually accomplished. Here's the table setting before:

...and the aftermath in the kitchen...

The next day we went to the Redondo Beach Pier, which was chilly and pleasantly not busy. 

The day after we went to the Griffith Observatory, which was insanely packed and the parking was a nightmare, but was a decent enough time once we got there. At the end of the day Bobby was acting out so much I felt like wringing his neck (but didn't). Considering the fact that Thanksgiving last year was the day I first hit him, I suppose this year was a step up. So...there's that.

That night I had a gig in San Diego at a jazz festival, which meant I left the house at 4 PM and didn't get back until after 3 AM. Thankfully The Boyfriend drove me; I never would have survived that long drive home had I been by myself. For how much it cost me to pay the babysitter, if we have this same gig next year I think I'll stay overnight. I was so exhausted I was hallucinating.

The next day on just a couple of hours' sleep we had a mellow walk around the silverlake reservoir and then had an early night. The relatives left, The Boyfriend went to work, and everything went back to normal.

I had lots of hug and talk sessions with Bobby before, during, and after the weekend about what was going to happen. I'm not sure if these helped keep the meltdowns somewhat at bay, but I like to think so. At the beginning of the weekend he was being weird so I asked if he was freaked out that a lot of people were coming over, and he said yes. I comforted him about this. At one point he referred to the living room as "the loudest room in the world" because of all the grown ups talking and laughing. He is for sure his mother's son. I get very overstimulated by lots of noise and commotion and chaos and kind of freak out. For sure my preference in these situations is hiding out in the kitchen. Towards the end of the weekend when he was acting out I asked if he was sad because everyone was leaving and he nodded yes and said he needed a hug. I tried really hard to hear him and acknowledge his feelings, and not expect him to be a perfect little angel while his whole life is turned upside down. This shit is highly confusing for kids. I get all freaked out and cranky - imagine how a three-year-old must feel? 

Thankfully Theo was chill and adorable all weekend. Babies are so frigging easy! I dread the day that goes away. 

Things went just fine with The Boyfriend. I figure if we can survive this, and Christmas, with him being a very active co-parent, we're in good shape. As with Bobby, I made an effort to thank him for everything he did for us all weekend and make sure he knew he was loved. In return he took really good care of me and lightened the burden a lot. 

But yeah, other people are a lot of work. Worth it, I am very much looking forward to spending a couple of nights blissfully alone watching documentaries and drinking strong cups of tea. Sometimes being alone can be pretty great, too.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A week of Thanksgiving

I am all a-titter getting ready for Thanksgiving this week. I am making lists and designing table scapes and plotting out what things to cook what nights this week to save trouble on the day of. My sister and brother-in-law are coming, so I'm cooking for them, the kids, The Boyfriend, and a Thanksgiving orphan friend of his. I'm tempted to invite more people. For so long I was the Thanksgiving orphan being taken in by kindly families in absence of my own; it's a delight to finally be able to return the favor. Some people might be daunted by the task of cooking an elaborate meal for seven people, but not me. I say motherfucking bring it.

I waited my whole life to have a nice man and kids of my own to celebrate with at the holidays. Now that that moment is finally here I'm going to enjoy every goddamned minute of it.

I hope you all enjoy this week of Thanksgiving, and if not, I hope for brighter times for your future!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sickness & Health

Last week got kind of hijacked by Theo suddenly projectile vomiting at random moments - in the car on the way to pick up Bobby from school; all over the double stroller on a walk the next day, and all over the dinner table two days after that. I was terrified we were all going to get it - we just did this three months ago!!! - but so far so good; despite Bobby claiming his tummy hurts on and off and my feeling pretty queasy for one day (although it may have been from all the puke clean up, which is fucking horrible, and horrible anxiety never knowing when the next episode would happen), so far we're all healthy. Knock wood! 

Between Bobby's random threenager outbursts and Theo's random vomiting it's like living with the cast of The Exorcist around here.

I'd like to take one thing back. One was when I said two was easier than three (years old). I have decided three is definitely harder than two - the intense anger, bossiness and hair-trigger emotionality of this kid has me totally exasperated and fed up at least once a day, every day. How many times can you say, "you're not allowed to talk to me like that," "just let your brother play, stop bossing him around," and "but you just said you wanted it like that!" before you feel like you're losing your mind? He contradicts everything I say, flies into a rage over the slightest infraction (moving a cup an inch to the left, using the wrong spoon, etc), even hits me on occasion when he doesn't get his way. It SUCKS. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of the awesome kid he's going to be one day, but right now that seems like a million years away.

In the meantime I find myself spending a small fortune on childcare just so I get some much-needed breaks so I can keep my sanity. It does help. But what will really help is having regular scheduled time to myself each week which I haven't had since 2012. That's when it all turns around, I think.

I got two packages in the mail yesterday asking me to pick physicians and medical plans for the MediCal programs that apparently Bobby and I are registered for. Huh?

As some of you may recall I had a lengthy odyssey with MediCal two years ago and found them so disorganized that I opted to pay out of pocket for all three of us. Last I heard we had been declined for the program via a letter about a month ago; then I get these packages asking to pick doctors. I'm not sure what it all means, but I figured it can't hurt to just fill out the paperwork and see what happens. Getting two or even three of us on free medical care could save me almost $600 a month. I'm a little scared - I don't trust MediCal one bit after they left Bobby with no coverage at all for months and didn't even tell me - but I think I should at least look into it. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fall photo shoot

Here are some selections from my Sunday photo shoot. She does always manage to bring out the best in us, this gal:

Today I had parent-teacher conferences for Bobby. As with the last one, they just told me he's meeting all expectations. I was surprised to hear he's one of only two other part-timers in his class; apparently most of the kids are all day, every day. They say he's fitting in well, though, despite not being there all the time. 

I casually asked about Theo starting up around his birthday (March) and they said it would most likely be June when they transition new kids in. I kind of suspected this...but the idea of spending three more months, seven months from now, on 100% full time child care, kind of makes me want to despair a little bit. A friend (a male friend, I might mention) told me not to rush to get child care, to really enjoy these last moments being my younger child's only caretaker. And I do have moments of that. But. The idea of having three afternoons entirely to myself - to work, to go to yoga, to meet friends for lunch, to get the house in order, to read, anything - just sounds sooooo appealing right now!

Monday, November 9, 2015


Saturday morning I woke up to a text that had arrived at 1 AM from a number that wasn't in my contacts, but looked vaguely familiar. It said simply, "Hi, H. How are you?" I suspected I knew who it was. When The Boyfriend was in the shower I ran the number on Facebook. Just as I thought, it was none other than GAM, the man I had a horrid falling out with back in June. Five months later he is drunk texting me in the middle of the night to check in. Interesting.

For the record I did not answer it, nor will I. But my ego is definitely tickled pink that the person I considered "checking in" with a thousand times after our "break up" was obviously thinking the same thing and wanting to see me again, even if just for a drunken booty call. 

As a protective measure, I suppose, I always assume the people who broke my heart immediately forget about me and never give me a second thought. But time and again this has proven to not be true - case in point, the guy who broke my heart in high school and then looked me up 20 years later on Facebook to apologize. I'm amazed, and heartened, that people hang onto these memories and want a resolution and/or reconnection as much as I do.

I'd love to hash it out with GAM and try to preserve some of my dignity after my lame behavior, but fuck it. It would be horribly disloyal to The Boyfriend, and it does feel kind of better to just leave him hanging, rejected. Also, the fact that he wrote that at 1AM on a Friday makes me not as flattered as if it had shown up twelve hours later.

I suspect The Boyfriend may have seen the text because later in the day he randomly asked if people from my past, people I'd dated online, ever tried to contact me again. I said it was funny he should ask that and told him about it, sensing keeping it from him would be disastrous if he already knew. Again, frigging technology!! 

After a very busy weekend including the dreaded photo shoot that went as well as could be expected (dirty sneaker prints on my dress, fly-away hair, children with noses running like fawcetts and a once again shy and miserable baby), I am delighted to spend a pleasant afternoon with my weekend TV shows on my DVR, a napping baby and older kid in school, and a nice strong cup of tea.

Most people can't wait for weekends; I can't wait for Mondays.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Here is a comparison pic I made of Bobby & Theo when Theo was about one month old as opposed to nearly 20 months old. Ain't they cute?

I don't know about you guys, but when I look at pictures of my kids when they were younger I barely recognize them. The other day Facebook brought to my attention a video I had posted of Bobby kicking in his crib at probably ten months or so old. I had no memory of this. Is it age, brain fry from years of sleep deprivation, or being constantly in the moment that causes this? Whatever it is it makes me slightly more understanding of my mother having forgotten just about everything about my childhood.

The Boyfriend came over Wednesday night and, surprise, we were able to resolve everything with a long talk. I've never done that before - been in a relationship in which issues arise, you talk them out and come to an understanding, and move on with no ill will. What is that? You mean you don't just break up the first time there's a problem? My mother's been married four times. I'm not going to assume she had zero conflict resolution skills, but that plus the fact that our first fight was our last and we haven't spoken since says a lot.

Conflicts with The Boyfriend and I always revolve around the same issue - he wants to be way involved in my life and gets hurt when he feels left out, and I want to go slower. Also, texting misunderstandings and weird Facebook stuff have always been the culprit. Which shows once and again how technology and social media is a blessing and a curse. The important thing is that we're both rational people who can talk things out and listen. We also recognize how much our childhood issues play in to our reactions to things - his being treated as an outsider by his family, and me growing up in a religion of guilt and blame so I'm hyper-sensitive to being accused of things. So as of right now everything is a-ok.

I got an estimate on hardwood flooring my bedroom and hallway and painting/replastering my bedroom. It is about what I thought. I'm not sure I can afford it before the money starts back up in February...but the idea of looking at that grungy pet-stained hallway carpet for four more months...hmmmm...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


This was the first year we did Halloween for real - actually went to houses and rang doorbells. Last year we did go trick or treating with another family but I kept the kids in their stroller because I was too freaked out.

My neighborhood is a combination of too ghetto down by me and then too treacherous and hilly up in the ritzy part for decent trick or treating, but thankfully one street advertised they were doing a special trick or treat route, so we did that. I had read a funny article (maybe from scarymommy?) about trick or treating with a toddler, fantasy vs reality, in which the fantasy involved your perfectly behaved child saying please and thank you and being adorable and the reality is the kid grabbing handfuls of candy and throwing tantrums on strangers' front lawns. I'm pleased to say Bobby fell into the fantasy category. But that's probably because he's three and gets it. Last year I'm pretty certain he would have been more on the reality side.

So we spent the day at his school's Halloween party and then went trick or treating and then The Boyfriend and I went to West Hollywood with 349,998 other people and had a really fun time. Then the time change and being dragged out of bed at the crack of dawn. To say I'm exhausted is an understatement.

Unfortunately I did not get a picture of me in my awesome "pig costume" (pink bathrobe, pig nose and ears, as dictated by Bobby) but did get Bobby in his snake costume and Theo in his panda costume. Theo was so cute I almost ground my teeth to a powder just looking at him.

So the next day The Boyfriend and I went to a fun Dia de Los Muertos celebration in Boyle Heights and had a lovely weekend.

Then everything went to shit on Monday and we are on the verge of breaking up again. Sigh. I'd like to be optimistic but I don't know any good relationships that started with this kind of drama. Thankfully this guy is able to apologize and recognize when things are just his issues rearing up...but honestly, I am drained. We are set to have yet another talk later in the week. We'll see what comes of that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It's Complicated

Money means choices. And choices often means paralyzingly difficult decisions.

I am desperate to pull up my horrendously soiled hallway and bedroom carpet and replace it with hardwood (no hardwood underneath, unfortunately) and then paint and re-plaster my bedroom walls/ceiling in preparation for the boys to move in there so I can take the bedroom that butts up against the living room (Bobby's current room).

But...I don't feel Bobby and Theo can be safely left alone in a bedroom, not just yet. 

On the other hand, Theo is likely to be climbing out of his crib up in the attic any day now, if he is at all on Bobby's schedule for that sort of thing, which means his days in the attic are numbered. Bobby is also getting worse about being within hearing range of the living room (he was miserable when I hosted my last book club). And as mentioned I am desperate to pull up that awful carpet and get us all settled in our permanent sleeping situations - me in the middle, boys in the back where it's quieter. But. Are they safe to be left unsupervised...? I would set up the baby monitor so I can keep an eye on them, but I'm still unsure.

It's complicated. Right now I'm just taking bids. I may not be able to afford it anyway. And in case you're wondering, I kind of have to do hardwood. The idea of two young boys who often get nosebleeds, soak through their overnight diapers, and get horrible stomach bugs several times a year in a carpeted room fills me with terror. I'd much sooner wipe than scrub, thousands of dollars extra be damned.

In other news, everything is a-ok with me and The Boyfriend. After a short cooling-down period, we spent a lovely day alone at a beach in Malibu on Sunday, then took the kids to a restaurant for dinner. Bizarrely, sitting in the booth right next to us so that I couldn't avoid eye contact every time I looked at The Boyfriend across from me was none other than The Horrible Little Troll, the unfortunate guy I met my first time out back in June through POF who completely misrepresented himself. We didn't acknowledge each other. It made me extremely uncomfortable. Can you say awkward???

The Boyfriend and I have been fine ever since. That feeling of pressure and smothering I had before is entirely gone - maybe it does just get down to not spending quite so much time together, and establishing that this person is not, in fact, going to get all butt hurt if Iwant some time to myself. I do believe I experienced The Three Month Freak Out in which I was ready to throw in the towel. This is typically the point at which most of my previous relationships ended (well, let's be's usually at the six week mark). We survived, and are doing better than ever. So, yay us!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"The" talk

You probably can't see it very well because my face is in shadow, but this is the face of a woman who is a boiling cauldron of rage and resentment. I hide it pretty well, don't I?

What the fuck happened, you ask? Well, as so often happens early (or late!) in relationships, it was a number of small things that just built and built until I exploded. My sister came to visit last week, and while we had a lovely visit and spent a lot of time with The Boyfriend, I found myself feeling extremely exhausted, drained, and stressed out. After he left us Sunday night I asked her honest opinion about him, and while overall she did like him, she did notice some quirks about him - how he relies on my opinion and help getting dressed, how he obsessively shows videos on his phone as a way to bond with people, how he seems just a tad immature. All I needed was someone to open the floodgates and weeks of frustration poured out; all the little things he's done and said that irritated me, how pressured I feel to be completely enmeshed with this person right now, how smothered I feel. I decided we needed to talk. But only after I'd gotten a good night's sleep because I'd had only a few hours for days and was a basket case.

He came over Tuesday night and I chickened out. I thought maybe all that rage was just stress-induced. 

But then yesterday we had an exceptionally irritating text exchange in which I felt he was picking a fight with me over a non-issue (can I tell you how much I frigging hate texting?) and I told him we needed to have a serious talk and I was not happy. He came over looking terrified and I just unleashed on him. I'd had my first mammogram that day, my arm hurt from the flu shot, I had convinced myself that he was jealous of me and trying to tear me down like all the others, and I had had it.

We sat on my rotting porch and I picked at it for hours while we hashed it out. To his eternal credit - he listened, he heard me, and took it all to heart. I told him I felt like I was walking on eggshells around him, that I had an upcoming photo shoot for the family only and I was terrified he'd be all butt hurt that I didn't want to include him in it. He told me absolutely it should just be for me and the kids and that he would even feel weird if I wanted him in it. He said I should never feel like I need to "ask his permission" to go out without him (I did feel this way). He said I feel smothered and the last thing he wants to be is a third obligation in my life, that he's here to ease my burden, not add to it. And that we should dial back and go back to just dating - getting to know each other without all the heaviness. 

I hate to admit it, but...he's right. But it did break both of our hearts a little. 

Who knew relationships could be this complex? Jeezis.

He was supposed to come see me dj tonight but he's not coming; I believe his coming over Saturday night is probably off, too. I wanted my space, right? Right???

We were in touch a lot today and it's all good - he takes responsibility for everything and wants us to do better. I do love this man and do want him in my life. There's no question all of our lives would be better with him in it once we work out our shit. We just need to try a new approach and cool our jets a little. 

This morning he left as the workmen were tearing apart my ancient porch, the sign of our big confrontation, and preparing to build a new one. A metaphor for us? God I hope so.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Weekend shenanigans

More "family time" this weekend. Yesterday we went to the Redondo Beach pier and took the kids on some cute toddler-friendly rides (I wish I could post the video from my phone; Theo's face was priceless) and then on a glass bottom boat ride, something I never would attempt on my own. Which again kind of bums me out on a variety of levels when I see how much easier life is with two sets of adult hands. Taking on two small children entirely on your own is ballsy as hell but it sure is exhausting, and sometimes, as we saw on my ill-fated trip to Hawaii last summer, entirely impossible.

We went to a Halloween themed birthday party of his friends' on Sat night. Guess who we were?

His ex-wife was there. She was a very warm, lovely woman who introduced herself as "wife number 2" and gave me a long hug. I think the biggest thing in this guy's favor is the fact that he is on really good terms with all of his exes (two wives and many girlfriends). To me that says a lot. They all comment positively on our Facebook pictures and say they're happy for him. I don't think all of my exes would do the same.

I am adulting hard this week. Chimney sweep, termite inspection, and contractor estimate to rebuild my rotting porch this week; skin cancer check and general doctor appointment set which will also include a long overdue Pap smear, a flu shot, and probably a referral for my first mammogram. Hello, middle age!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Trying out bribing

I'm on Day 2 of the Ice Cream Challenge. Being as Bobby still has zero interest in using the potty or wearing underpants, I am resorting to bribery via an ice cream sandwich after dinner. I gave B the choice of going all day in underpants with the promise of ice cream; at first he refused, but on the second day he went for it (and succeeded, I might add), and he went for it again today. Mind you, I am cheating a bit since I'm only attempting this on school days. But I figured this would be an easy way to work up to full time underwear wearing - with my sister in town next week none of us want the stress of a newly potty trained kid running around town; we have yet to attempt a public bathroom. So we'll do a couple of weeks of underpants-only days on school days and then later try no diapers any time (except night). Fingers crossed. 

Toddlerhood is hitting young Theo right on time at 18 months - he is mercurial and sensitive and lets out the most amazing screeches. If you hand him something he doesn't like he throws it on the ground and kicks it. I'm reminded of how this is how we would all behave if it were socially acceptable. 

Here are a couple of shots of us on a Malibu canyon hike yesterday:

Things still going great with The Boyfriend. I'm shocked at how well I'm handling the culture shock of adding a man into my life. At first it feels weird and uncomfortable to have someone at your house all the time, talking about parenting issues, talking about a future with you. But like a lot of things, all it takes is time and trust. He doesn't feel like a stranger trying to invade our comfortable life; after three months he's starting to feel more like someone I want to welcome into our life. 

I will be interested to hear my sister's take on him when she meets him next week.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Vintage weekend

I had an unusually vintage weekend. Friday night The Boyfriend and I went to the re-opening of Clifton's, a kitschy cafeteria in downtown LA, where some people from the LA vintage community were going dressed in their best duds. Honestly it was a bit of a bust - they had long run out of food by the time we got there and we were both starving, so we walked in, took some pictures, and walked out to find dinner elsewhere. 

Then the next day I went to a 1920s themed festival. The last time I went to this I was secretly pregnant with Theo and barely squeezed into a friend's 20s garden party dress. This year I bought a gorgeous 20s hat and dress off Etsy in advance only to discover they were both way too small. So I wore a 30s dress and 40s hat and did a fake finger wave in my hair. 

I so love going to vintage events where I don't have to sing, dance, or run a contest. Thankfully The Boyfriend is interested in this stuff, too, and is trying to amass a vintage wardrobe for himself. Which will make shopping for presents for him extremely easy.

I ran my monthly Smc meeting yesterday. We have such a great group. Nearly everyone is pregnant or has a baby now, but we still get the occasional "thinker". I feel so proud when at the end of the meetings the new people say how glad they are to have found such a great group of women and ask to exchange contact info. I know when I was first starting out I would have given my eye teeth to talk to anyone about this process, much less find a group to meet up with to share the highs and lows. I'm so glad to be able to provide this for people.

They asked about my dating life and I told them what's been happening, adding the (to me) very interesting slant that had I not had these children already, it's extremely unlikely I ever would have, since I'm now 43 and this guy had a vasectomy some years ago. So yes, we could have been together and it would have been great, but...I would have been so sad to never have had kids. Can I just say, once again, how glad I am I just jumped in and had children on my own? Best.Decision.Ever.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The "I" in Team

I think at a month out I can say I am sufficiently recovered from my event. All I have left to do is mail out some trophies to winners who couldn't attend the awards ceremony, update my web banner, and copy and paste my contest videos from YouTube to my website. Oh, and plan next year, which is in the works.

Bobby's language has really been progressing in leaps and bounds lately. He still stumbles and hesitates a bit (it is a new language for him - I'm sure if I'd only been speaking Japanese for a year I wouldn't be so great at it either) but really gets nuances of sarcasm, humor, etc. Which is an amazing thing to witness. I look at little non-verbal Theo and wonder what surprises are locked in there.

Speaking of Theo - he is so frigging cute and easy that I wonder if a) he's easier than Bobby was, b) he seems easier because I already had a toddler, or c) he seems easier because at this age with Bobby I was pregnant. Or maybe a little of all of the above. 

Things are going great with The Boyfriend. The other night we had a bit of a freak out when I updated my phone's software and didn't realize that none of my texts were sending, nor was I able to receive any texts. So he seemed to be ignoring me, and vice versa, for several hours, which he never does. Finally at bedtime I tried to call but he didn't answer. At this point I panicked slightly and thought maybe something had happened - then remembered Facebook messenger and found him there. Turns out we were both pretty peeved that the other had been ignoring our texts all night. The next day he came over and we made a pact to never leave texts unanswered, especially ones that ask "are you ok? I'm starting to worry," etc, and to not go to bed without saying goodnight so we know everyone made it home ok. I also sent him some emergency contacts for me, because let's face it, if anything happened to me or the boys he'd be the first to know, since I don't have a day job to check in to. We also made an emergency plan in case of an earthquake (a very real possibility around here). He said we're part of a team now. 


You know what? Fuck it. It's great to have someone who makes you a priority in their life that you can lean on in tough times. It's what we all want, isn't it?

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Family" time

J surprised me this weekend by having both days free. The entire time I've known him he's worked seven days a week, often until late at night. So instead of planning to spend two days alone with the kids, I took a deep breath and invited him along.

Saturday we went to the splash pad downtown. Because I had a second adult there we were able to go to lunch after which is something I never would attempt by myself. Having someone else push the stroller and carry the heavy bags makes a huge difference to what you can do and what you feel like doing. It makes me wonder how many things I do or choose not to do just out of the sheer exhaustion of managing two small children by myself. It's not a comfortable thought.

I went to a local Smc meet and some friends asked how the dating was going, so I told them. One asked how I had the emotional energy for dating; that so many men are just like taking on another child. This is very true and something I grapple with a lot, although I do maintain that not all men are like that. Still I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about him moving in here some day and just how much housework/cooking/picking up this is going to add to my life. Just having two kids is already meaning laundry one to two times a week, groceries twice a week and garbage out twice a week as opposed to my old single self doing laundry, grocery shopping and putting out garbage only once every two-three weeks. More humans in a house makes for huge amounts more work. I'd like to think he's the kind of guy that would pitch in, but he works hard all day and I don't. If the situation were reversed I would definitely expect the person staying at home to at least attempt to run the household, two small children notwithstanding.

Are we better off with them than without them? I don't know that anyone knows the answer to this since nobody can do both at the same time. I think, much like choosing to have children on your own, it's not about better or worse; it's just something you do or something you don't do.

J was great with the boys, playing with them and insisting on feeding Theo who immediately won him over with his abounding cuteness. Of course now Bobby asks for him every five minutes because he is way more fun than mom. I asked J if this weekend made him feel like a dad. He said not yet, but that he could feel himself falling in love with them already. It was very sweet. He's a good man. 

Friday, September 18, 2015


I am still a total space cadet. I don't know what it is about my event that causes me to feel like I've taken several sleeping pills for weeks after; it's not like the old days where I'd be so stressed out I wouldn't eat or sleep for weeks before. Now I manage to live pretty normally during the prep time, other than having the feeling of needing to be "on" for several weeks (the phone calls and emails never stop during August). Still here it is two weeks later and I still have to double check that I'm not driving up the off ramp of freeways.

Now that Camp is over I need to tackle my epic "post event to do list", which mostly consists of getting rid of crap. I took the liberty of dumping a bunch of baby stuff on the street because I couldn't be buggered to try to sell or pass them on; they were gone within minutes (my street is cool like that). But there's so much more - tons of clothes, breastfeeding paraphernalia, infant stuff I will never use again. I need to cull the toys and books and STUFF. We're bursting at the seams here.

I also need to get T into the next phase of life - I got rid of his germy little clip-on high chair and have him in B's high chair now (that went over like a lead balloon), I need to get him good walking shoes and graduate him from onesies to pants and shirts, and I desperately need a tall crib before he starts jumping out of the pack 'n play he currently sleeps in. The last item is no joke since he sleeps in the attic space that only has a pull-down trap door to access it; every day I check the baby monitor to make sure he's still contained before I open it otherwise the consequences could be disastrous. Unfortunately I don't trust him and Bobby alone in a bedroom together (B still doesn't understand the concept of not sitting on/smothering/kicking the head of baby brother) so he has to stay up in the attic for the time being. So I have to invest in a TALL crib that he can't climb out of. And that has to happen pretty much now.

Bobby - well, Bobby's three. I knew three would be hard, and I still maintain it's not as hard as two (although I had a new baby the whole time B was two so I'm sure that exaggerated my frustrations), but three is hard. Bobby contradicts everything I say, shouts orders at me all day long, refuses to do anything I ask, lolly gags all day (just getting in the car ages me about ten years), bosses around his brother non-stop, and generally drives me freaking nuts. And potty training - don't get me started. It's gone from bad to worse. He is, for all intents and purposes, potty trained at school, but he still has accidents more or less daily. And flatly refuses to use the potty at home or wear underpants ever. He used to always go potty before bed but now he won't even do that. I am at my wits end. I have yet to be really heavy handed about it because everyone tells you that's exactly what not to do - but at what point do I start forcing him, or do I wait until he decides to do it on his own? The child is 3 1/2. As we speak he's lying in bed in a sopping wet diaper refusing to be changed. Is he still going to be in diapers in kindergarten? Right now I feel desperate and like a big fat fucking failure. But at the moment I still have so many loose ends from my event to tie up and I'm so out of it I kind of just can't deal.

Other than that, everything's going great.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Celebrating the union

I was so caught up in my event that I kind of forgot two of my oldest friends were getting married this weekend and I was in the wedding. Well, I didn't forget; let's just say I gave it zero thought until I was reminded there was a rehearsal the night before that I'd have to scramble to find a sitter for, and I may be required to make a speech and be mentally present. 

So Friday night I hustled Bobby back from school and ran out the door to make the long drive to Ventura for the rehearsal dinner, was a half hour late because the sitter was late, got home at midnight, bleary-eyed gathered my stuff together for the next day, then got up bright and early to leave the kids with a sitter for fourteen hours and be a bridesmaid. I think I managed to pull myself together and be present pretty well considering my intense level of exhaustion, but I was not able to enjoy it as much as I would have liked because I could barely keep my eyes open and had to leave early for fear of driving off the road on my way home. Still, I sewed myself into my impossibly small 1930's dress, made a decent speech, and sang with the band all night. Not bad for a worn thin mother of two a week after her event.

This couple is the one who got engaged earlier this year after seventeen years of dating who inspired me to find some good lovin' myself. And find it I did. He charmed all my friends at the wedding and then followed me home and screwed me all night. Not too shabby.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Event XVIII is in the bag

It's over! And as has been for some years now, everything went great. It was a weekend of gratitude, fun, and reunions. I love that after eighteen years the event has taken on a life of its own and people feel a lot of affection for and ownership of it. 

Delegating and letting go has meant for a lot less stress for me during the event. It takes a lot to not want to micromanage everyone and to trust that people can do their jobs. I think I'm finally grasping this concept.

Leaving the kids with a nanny from Friday-Tuesday went just fine; we were all recovered from the stomach bug by then and thankfully the nanny never caught it. Did I enjoy five days of no wiping of butts and tantrums? Yes, yes I did. In fact when I was all done unloading and returning the Uhaul yesterday I jumped in the car and went to In N Out and then drove around aimlessly because I just couldn't deal with jumping right into mom mode yet. I still have very ambivalent feelings about that. I'm happy to see the kids, of course, but taking on full time mom duties again...meh. I need a vacation even though technically I kind of just had one.

Our one big glitch of the weekend (there has to be one) was the scoring system for our contests which apparently was not happy with the Windows 10 upgrade and was very glitchy, erasing entire contests and causing my tabulator to stay up until 4 AM re-entering hundreds of contestants, so he was a live wire all weekend who at one point kicked a table over when someone teased him too much. Men and their tempers! Ugh. It all worked out but our prelim day Saturday was hairy. Hopefully next year he'll either use a new system or install this one on an old computer with an older version of Windows (it worked perfectly last year). Well, at least the floors weren't sticky this year!

The Boyfriend came to visit Saturday and Sunday night and for our pool party Monday afternoon. The plan was for him to meet the kids Monday and we were both pretty nervous about it even though I know the kids wouldn't notice him as any different from any of the other people there (they didn't). He had told me he didn't want us to be official until he met the kids which I agreed with. 

So Monday I'm hanging by the hotel pool waiting for him, and he strolls up and says he needs to talk to me. People keep coming over interrupting so we try to find a private spot. My heart is pounding because he looks very serious. I don't think he's going to dump me or anything; but I do think he might tell me he can't stay, isn't ready to meet the kids, etc etc. So he puts his hand on my shoulder, looks me square in the eye and says, "I don't need to meet the kids to know that I love you."


I felt a little shock run through my body, I won't lie. This is the first time a man has ever told me he loved me like that - square in the face, unblinking, with intention. Then he said he wanted us to be official so we both fished out our phones and changed our relationship statuses (stati?) and added a "life event" to our Facebook pages. 

So there it is. He loves me and I love him and we're in a relationship for all the world to see. All right then.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Two more days

I wish I could say we all skated through the past week with great health, but unfortunately we all got hit pretty hard with yet another in a seemingly endless series of stomach bugs. The baby threw up Wednesday, and I started feeling not so great, then Bobby threw up in the frozen food aisle at the supermarket Friday, then I threw up all Friday night, then the baby threw up all over the kitchen Saturday and I had to cancel all weekend plans and bring in help so I could try to recover...anyway. You get the picture. It's been an ordeal. Here it is a week later and we are all somewhat on the biggest fear is that the babysitter I called in for help over the weekend will get sick and not be able to watch the kids during my event. I have zero backup plan for this. I can imagine few things more horrid than having to drag these kids to the hotel...ugh! As of today she's still feeling good. Let's just hold the good thought, shall we?

I still feel vaguely nauseated. It feels like I'm pregnant but that's totally impossible considering The Boyfriend is "snipped" and I am 43. Also, then the boys are pregnant, too. So, no. And just in case you're wondering, I have zero interest in another baby. I know I said this before and changed my mind, but There is a point in a person's life in which more children is simply untenable. I am at that point. I am also old and tired.

Oh right, I said The Boyfriend. I asked how he'd like me to introduce him at my event and he said he'd like that, so Boyfriend it is. He says he does not want to go Facebook Official until he's met the kids. Which seems perfectly reasonable to me. That'll be a whole other thing to tackle once my eighteenth event finishes up.

As far as the event - it's going great. Registration closes tonight at midnight. We're on track for the largest attendance in our history, which is especially amazing considering my price increase. I haven't even looked at my bank balance because I don't want to get too excited; I have a bad history of thinking I have more money than I do and then being gravely disappointed. 

Next thing you hear it'll be over and I'll be experiencing my usual post-event crash. Let's all think the good thoughts for the smooth running of the event, health for everyone, and money in the bank!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Stayin' Alive

So BO8RT came to one of my gigs this week and began the arduous job of meeting my friends (read: hundreds of dance world acquaintances whose names I can't remember). To his credit, he handled it well. He's seen me in my natural habitat now and can hang. All night I wondered if I could hear the distant call of the shrinking penis. But no. He was only intimidated by my heels.

If he can survive my event, in which I am queen bee presiding over 1,000 people for a few days - then we know he's a keeper.

Theo threw up Wednesday and Bobby threw up today and I started to feel extremely nauseated. What timing, huh? I've been cursing my luck all day, but honestly, it could be worse - it could be next weekend-! Both boys seem to have rallied; they ate a good dinner and have been happily playing, so maybe, just maybe, this is a mild one...? Please?

And I could kill for some egg foo young. BO8RT is bringing me some even though he had Chinese for lunch and even though he's risking catching our lurgy. What a guy, huh?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Two weeks and Six weeks

Two weeks left to my event. If I didn't have to spend this entire week editing a hall of fame video, I would be pretty confident about the amount of work I've accomplished. But that is going to be a huge undertaking, sifting through hundreds of hours of video looking for clips; I'm not even sure the computer that I last used for editing two years ago will even turn on. I start tonight after the kids are asleep. God help me.

BO8RT and I had our romantic date in Malibu. I feel extremely awkward on dates - I never know quite how to behave. I suppose this is why people drink. But we had a lovely time and I could tell he'd really put a lot of thought and planning into it, which was very sweet.

We are coming up on six weeks together this week, which for me is when everything typically falls apart. Physiologically I suppose this is when that first burst of attraction hormones dies down and reality sets in. There is for sure part of me that wonders if there will suddenly be some ugly surprises surfacing now; but that's the risk you take in dating and getting to know people. So far everything is good. One day at a time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Kinda Sorta

We are entering the phase of the year where every moment is spoken for - all evenings, every school day when normally I could relax (well, as much as you can, looking after a seventeen month old). I still have several big projects to complete, not to mention the day to day fielding of emails and calls and last minute customer service issues and paperwork. It's a lot. I'm glad this only happens one month out of the year because I could not live like this all the time. I am ever so slightly panicked that it will not all get done. Oh well. My fall back position is at least I had the foresight to hire a daytime sitter for the final three days before my event so I'm not trying to entertain children while scrambling to get everything organized like last year (during which I almost lost my mind). And just think - next year Theo will be in school the same days as Bobby, so I will have three weekdays every week to work instead of squeezing work in on weekends and week nights!!! Oh, that's going to be heaven. So the hard stuff is behind me. Or almost.

BO8RT came over last night and worked me. I get NO sleep when he visits - partially for obvious reasons but partially because my tiny, creaky, sunken mattress is absolutely horrible for two people. He also sleeps horribly and then has to go operate heavy machinery all day (literally). Yet another thing you never think of when you're single - mattresses, and the importance therein. If I make decent money this year I *may* push forward with my plans to switch rooms with Bobby. Right now his bedroom is right off the living room so it's impossible to have people over without waking him up; and I want to take the opportunity to do a giant reno on my current room. It needs the filthy old carpet torn out and hardwood put in, the ceiling needs to be re plastered, and the shitty wallpaper liner stripped and walls and trim painted. I can do all that without disturbing him and then just move him (and preferably Theo) into that room and I'll take over his room. Maybe that will be the perfect opportunity to get a big new bed...? And hey, if the man isn't around anymore, still...big new bed!

I have zero reason to think he won't be around. He has yet to say I love you or ask me to be his girlfriend, but he did tell me last night he mentioned me to his sister and said "I kinda sorta have a girlfriend" and I keep telling people I kinda sorta have a boyfriend, so there's that. Personally it doesn't feel real until we're "Facebook official". Hopefully this time if I change my status to being in a relationship with someone, I won't have to sheepishly take it down two weeks later like last time.

This Saturday we're finally doing the "big romantic date" in Malibu we were supposed to do for our second date but I couldn't get a sitter for. I'm hoping he'll ask me to be his girlfriend then. Until then we'll just be kinda sorta.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dance like nobody's looking

I finally got to tell my sister about the new guy yesterday (she'd been on vacation and then catching up with work for about two weeks). Then last night he took me to meet his "family" - his parents are gone, so oddly enough the Hungarian/German relatives of his first wife have adopted him. Apparently they never see her but he hangs out with them all the time. They were lovely, warm people, and I could tell they had a great deal of affection for him. He told me he never took his ex-girlfriend of six months over there but took me in just a month of dating. Which says a lot about his regard for me and my place in his life.

And that place is huge. He talks a lot about our future - in somewhat guarded tones, because he doesn't want to freak me out - which is both thrilling and scary. Have I felt like I had a future with someone before and had it all fall apart horribly? Yes. Am I cautious now because of that? No. You only live once, you know? I say just go with your feelings, freely and without fear, dance like nobody's looking, and if it doesn't work out, fuck it. At least you had an interesting experience.

In one of my book clubs someone posited the question, would you rather be a 40 year old grandmother or a 40 year old virgin? I went for grandmother. I was quite shocked anyone would choose virgin, but quite a few people did. I think your answer to this question says a lot about your approach to life. 

So what will happen with this guy? Who the hell knows? I feel nothing but good things about him right now, and see a bright future. But I have felt this way about other people before, absolutely. Has he? He says no, that even with his two ex wives he didn't feel the way he does about me. Is he full of shit? I'd like to think not. 

It's funny that the things that trouble me are the little stupid things and not the big things. I have zero concerns about introducing him to the kids at some point, for example. But I am concerned about him potentially living here and where all our shit is going to go and what the hell I'm going to cook for him and am I going to be stuck doing his laundry and being a maid. Those things trouble me a lot because I know what happens when men and women get together - the woman just turns into a free housekeeper. I already have to do the work of three people and that is quite enough, thank you very much. 

These are the things I think about.

For today I am up in the play space with the kids (the best I can manage after three hours' sleep and on this triple-digit day) and then later tonight he's taking me out. I'm just going to take this one day at a time and try not to sweat the small stuff.

Monday, August 10, 2015

I think I can, I think I can...

Today marks just four weeks to my event - slightly less if you factor in that the final week is technically the beginning of my event so less prep time. It's right about now that I get jealous of people who are enjoying the final days of summer, going on fabulous vacations, etc...until I remember how hard they all work the entire rest of the year. I'll shut up now.

My mommy & me friend has bought a house in Maryland - they are officially moving in a few weeks. I'm sad. This is definitely the end of an era for all of us. It also means I have to hustle to make more stay at home mom friends to see us through the kids' remaining at home time (which for Theo is still four long years). 

Spent another great weekend with BO8RT in which he arrived each night after the kids were in bed, kept me up all night (*cough*), and then tiptoed out in the morning so I could spend all day doing kid stuff, only to shower, put on a little lipstick, shave my legs, and do it all again. Oh, he did buy me dinner and take me on a romantic drive into the mountains in between boinking, just in case you were wondering-!

I went to his work. It was fun watching his excitement as he showed me the machinery, the jobs he was currently working on, and how it all worked. I forget that guys do have a boyish quality with this stuff sometimes - they just want to impress you and have you say, "that's great, honey! Good job!" I still kind of suck at positive reinforcement but I will say having two little kids has made me way better at it. 

As you all know (and I'm sure some can relate to) this relationship stuff is completely alien to me. I'm just trying to apply things I've learned from being a parent to being with a man - compromise, be patient, ask "how can we do better?" instead of getting frustrated and shutting down, etc. Not that much of this has really come up yet at this stage in the game other than one instance when he was trying to be helpful last week and I was a total snatch to him and then apologized because it was the right thing to do, even though I felt like being defensive.

But can I do this? Do I have the capacity to juggle a (currently) demanding business, two little kids, and a grown man? Other people seem to be able to pull it off. I think I can. All you can do is try, right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Go on

My event is a month away. A month. I should probably be losing it about now. But I'm not. It might be because I'm distracted by two small children and a new relationship, or it could be that I've done it seventeen times, have delegated a lot, and am very much on top of it and focused because if I'm not the event will fail, I'll lose the house, and we'll be on the street.

Bobby has moved up to the three-year-old class at school. He has had accidents every day. Good times. 

Theo is walking all of the time now and is so ridiculously cute and cuddly I see why I wanted another baby when Bobby was this age.

Don't worry. I am not thinking of kids with BO8RT. He is "snipped" and I am old. At least we don't have to worry about any oopsies! 

I'm going to visit him at his work tomorrow. He works at (runs?) a print shop that mostly makes car valet cards. He's a blue collar guy - doesn't make much money and works long hours laboring over this complex machinery. He is convinced he will make a lot more money in the future as the business expands. We'll see if he's for real or just a dreamer. Fortunately I didn't expect someone to be highly educated or a professional to be with me (I mean, what the fuck am I? A high school graduate who lucked out with a successful business). He's supported entire families before so I know he can do it. Anyway as long as he's gainfully employed and can pay for the occasional dinner, I'm good!

Monday, August 3, 2015


So, for those of you who missed my last post, BO8RT and I like, totally did it this weekend. I had hopes that having pushed two babies out of my vag would make the first time out after five years not painful. Um...nope. But it's all good.

Friday he came over to "watch a movie". He showed up with a giant, beautiful flower arrangement (awwwwww). The movie (Going Clear) turned out to be corrupted on my dvr so we made out instead. I didn't want him to leave so I asked if he'd stay over if it was ok if we just cuddled. He did and we did.

Honestly - I was a ball of anxiety that day before he came over. I became absolutely obsessed with thoughts of my last "relationship" before I decided to go the Smc route. It was the last time something went from 0-60 like this, the last time someone was so attentive and did and said all the right things...only to have it crash and burn just a few weeks later when I realized this person was a lazy, entitled sociopath who would have sucked the life out of me had I not cut it off at the pass. All I could think about was, is this guy going to be the same? Is he going to be another horrible let down? Or even darker thoughts - is he a rapist? Is he a child molester? What am I getting into???

I sometimes have issues with anxiety. I've mentioned that, right?

Anyway. As soon as I saw his sweet face coming up the stairs I just knew everything would be ok. We talked all night, got no sleep, and then the next day I did kid stuff while he went to work and then he took me to a Chemical Brothers concert where I did not, despite my fears, have a panic attack, and then he stayed over again but it was so freaking late by the time we got home that we both just collapsed in bed and slept. 

But then last night after he worked again and I had a pleasant day at a kid's birthday party on the beach, he came over and we totally did it. And it hurt and I was off my game having not experienced sex with another person in the room since 2010. But that's to be expected, and it was actually a lovely experience despite how anxious I was about it

It kind of reminded me of my first time at the old age of 20. It hurt and was kind of awkward for me but I was with someone I really liked and felt really safe with, so it was ok. That feeling safe thing is very important.

Later he grabbed my hand and told me he adored me. He's a very special guy. He really is.

How did we manage all this with the kids in the house? Well, they slept through everything and he would leave in the morning before they got up. It's far from ideal, but really, what are our options? 

It's fascinating to be with a "real man" who has tons of relationship experiences and is so open about his feelings. I can see how many women would find this off putting - he can be very feminine that way - but luckily for him, I don't. Perhaps being raised on 70s and 80s androgynous rock stars has some benefit after all. 

So, what now? Well, we have yet to really state we're in a relationship but I know that's just around the corner, just like the jettisoning of other daters was. And introducing the kids? No idea. All in due time. No rush.

We have all the time in the world.