Monday, March 30, 2015

Mommy's Little Dividend

Finally had my tax appointment Saturday. Taxes are a lot easier to calculate when you never travel and never buy anything. If only we could deduct diapers, food, gas driving the kids around so they'll nap-! But it turns out I didn't need to deduct those things because thanks to now two child tax credits I'm getting a nice return. Awesome new refrigerator, you are in my sights!!!

My friend is visiting from New York and his excitement about LA is infectious. I really do love this place - mostly because there is so much of it to love. You forget how vast it is until seen from a Manhattanite's eyes. He is auditioning for agents and managers and just got signed so will probably be moving here in a few weeks. More friends = awesome.

Last night I saw the Scientology documentary on HBO and had a weird trigger-y reaction afterwards. I was not a Scientologist growing up but the similarities between that and my kooky religion cannot be ignored. It's kind of all the same thing, you know? The mind control, the need to cut off family if they don't believe, etc etc. Taking notes for my podcast debut!

I'm currently experiencing a little pre-menstrual self-loathing and self-doubt regarding The Love Interest. Sometimes I feel like, "how could this not work out?", but then others I feel like I'm crazy for even trying. What can possibly happen? He'll either turn me down flat or kind of go for it at first, get my hopes up, and then at about the six week mark start acting all cold and weird and finally after much prompting pull the ol' "we need to talk" thing. Either that or I'll get a post-it that says "I can't. I'm sorry. Don't hate me." If that happens, can I get caught smoking a joint with my three best friends on a wild night out? No? Dammit.

I do worry that based on my childhood issues I am just naturally attracted to emotionally unavailable men. But then I feel like in today's world all men are emotionally unavailable. The emotionally available ones are already in relationships. Right?

Anyway. I'm a gambler by nature and all I can do is try. If he shoots me down I just have to put my big girl pants on and take it. I pushed two human beings out of my vag, surely I can handle a little rejection.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Busy news week

The two updates, as promised!

I met with the podcast guy yesterday. It was a great meeting. It's funny to meet people who you've been listening to or watching who are semi-famous because you feel like you know them, whereas you don't, and they don't know you at all. But he was very personable and fascinated by my story and we bonded over the whole narcissistic mother thing, as I knew we would. And we're going to record the podcast on April 26th! This doesn't mean it will air any time soon (or ever, actually), but for now it's a go. So.frigging.excited. I will absolutely post the link here if it ever goes to air. Just more of me bitching about my shitty parents and feeling sorry for myself, woo!

And then there's the date. Met the Love Interest for veggie pho today. And of course we had a great time and enjoyed each other's company. And then I took a huge dump in my front yard.


Let me explain. So my handyman hadn't returned my spare key and so I had to give today's babysitter my only key, and they went to the park, so when I got home I had a horrible diarrhea attack and just went in my yard because I couldn't get into my house. But I digress.

So we had a lovely time and enjoyed each other's company and as we parted ways with a hug I said I would love to have him over and cook for him some night, and gave him a sideways glance when I mentioned the kids are in bed early, and I think he got the vibe...? Anyway we made plans for that in two weeks when he returns from a trip. 

Still not 100% sure he's on board. But I think he's not 100% sure I'm on board, either. We at least progressed from awkward side hug to meaningful front hug with heads on shoulders. So that's something. I think these things just take time and you have to be patient. Either that or he's just not that into me. Who the hell knows?

The ladies in my book club last night confirmed that the "let him chase" thing does not apply to all people. One who's been happily married for almost two decades said she first asked her husband out and he turned her down. Imagine if she'd never tried again? Interesting. I definitely learned something new here.

And then I pooped in the yard. All righty then.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bobby is three and Theo is one

Here are some shots from our Yellow Submarine party Sunday. My sister and I made this awesome cake & rainbow mini cupcakes:

She made a great pennant:

We had snacks:

I made 60s-Beatle-themed goody bags:

The boys even both wore their party hats:

Theo had his moment in the sun - literally:

...until he was kind of over it:

We had fun with the Yellow Submarine photo prop my sister made:

...and I'm pleased to report I did not go into cardiac arrest from stress

A great time was had by all:

...and I have a date Thursday with The Love Interest. Oh, look, I buried the lead!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

T minus three days to party!

My sister arrived Tuesday and we have been in party prep mode the last three days. I've made Theo's party hat, we assembled the goody bags, my sister is making a yellow submarine photo stand, and Saturday we do the big Costco run for drinks and snacks, then attempt to assemble the yellow submarine cake. All in all we're keeping it fairly simple - I'm re-using the decor from B's Cat in the Hat first birthday and instead of baking a giant three-tiered cake to be held up by dowels, I ordered a plain cake from Costco that we'll re-frost and shape into a submarine, surrounded by rainbow mini cupcakes. Getting everything to the party location should be interesting, but at least I have the Sorento's big trunk this time.

At Bobby's first birthday party I almost had a stroke from stress. Let's just say this time, as the mother of a three-year-old and one-year-old, I have a much higher tolerance for chaos, mishaps, and stress. You can only do what you can do; not everything has to be perfect. All the other parents, at least, will "get it" if not everything is on time, organized, and neat.

Theo survived his first year appointment and the mass of vaccines. Guess I don't have to worry (much) about the measles outbreak anymore, whew! They did say, since he hasn't gained any weight since his 9 month appointment, to fill him up with calorie-dense foods and we'll re-evaluate in three months. He is a tiny little guy - I compared Bobby's one year vintage outfit with Theo's little body and it was giant next to him. Of course at (almost) one, young Bobby was mangling my nipples and breast feeding all night long, whereas Theo had been down to just one morning feed for months and has been off the boob since Saturday and is mainly eating vegetables. So I need to up my game as far as his food intake, big time.

Speaking of boobs, I keep waiting for the other shoe to's now day six of no breast feeding, and my boobs still feel ok...I expressed a little into the sink the other night, but not much. I am waiting for them to fill up with rocks and then wither away to nothing. Part of me hopes this just won't happen this time...but I know it has to, I mean, milk has to be festering there with no outlet, surely this will all go horribly wrong at some point...?

On a whim, after talking to a married friend about how she and her husband got together, I did a little Google research regarding "alpha vs beta males" and found some really interesting information. That basically, this "let the man do the pursuing" thing really only pertains to traditional alpha male types - the aggressive, dominant, sexy guy who knows what he wants and pounces on it. For all the other guys, they do need a little push. What that looks like depends on a lot of factors of course - and I'm not even sure what all this means regarding the current state of affairs with my Love Interest - but I will say the article I found described him, and me, to a T. That you pretty much have to paint a billboard with I LIKE YOU to get them to not worry that they are going to be rejected or are going to creep you out. Then you ask - do you really want a guy like that? Um, yeah. That's totally my type. Betas need love, too, don't they?

I had to take an honest look at my three decades of dating experience and really examine what happened there - I can say with real clarity that the times I was pursued by the aggressive alpha types, I was never that into them, and we had kind of meh relationships because they weren't my type. The times I did the pursuing - twice by walking right up to a guy I knew kind of liked me and introducing myself and asking him out, once by becoming a full-on stalker and following this boy I liked all over lower Manhattan - we went on to have lovely, long-term relationships. Basically, I'm an alpha, and alphas and alphas are rarely a match. The alphas I dated just made me feel controlled, powerless, and shitty.

Again, none of this means anything if this guy just isn't into me, which may very well be the case. But I'm not just going to sit back and wait for him to call me for a date because that is never going to happen. For fear of rejection, for fear of jeopardizing the group we're in together and our two decades-plus friendship, he's just not going to do it. The fact that he threw out that one liner last time I saw him about getting together, though, does tell me he's at least somewhat interested. I just need to see him alone one more time. I'm curious where all of this is going to end up. 

But enough of my yakkin', let's boogie!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Never a dull moment

Something is in the air, people. Those hot Santa Ana winds are blowing and things are just happening.

For the record, potty training is not one of those things. I had Bobby in underpants for one and a half days and all that happened was he repeatedly peed his pants and seemed to show zero understanding that he needed to tell me first, no matter how many times I walked him through the "underpants rules." Flummoxed, I wrote what happened on one of my Facebook mom groups, and everyone chimed in that he did not seem ready. I agreed and immediately put him in a diaper, which he asked for. So, big, fat, fucking fail there. Sigh. Oh well. At least I don't have to completely change all of our routines just yet. It's kind of a relief.

But today something crazy and wonderful happened. I was at a splash pad with a friend when a woman approached me and introduced herself. She had a cute toddler girl with her. She said she reads my blog and had recognized Bobby playing in the water. I thought, hey, cool!

Then she told me we used the same donor.

Apparently she and her partner saw my post on the Donor Sibling Registry, googled my email, and found my blog. They are the proud parents of twin girls.

Bobby and Theo's half-sisters.

I was psyched. I think I've written here how much I'd love to connect with this donor's other families. No hits on the DSR but I guess just because nobody emailed me doesn't mean they're not out there!

We exchanged numbers but I understand that people have different ideas about this sort of thing - especially when there's a relationship to consider - it's a big door to open. I put this on my Smc Facebook group and surprisingly some of the women said they'd be "creeped out" if this happened to them. I guess I can see that, but I'm so not like that. I mean, you people have read all about my petty jealousies, my multitudinous parenting fails, my adolescent crushes, my crazy parents - you know the consistency of my cervical fluids, for crying out loud. If it's about maintaining some vestige of privacy or dignity, that ship has long ago sailed. 

After the introduction, every once in a while Bobby would run by the little girl or sit near her, and I would think, "yup, that's your sister." "Yeah, sister again."


I'm tempted to say she (they) resembled Theo a bit with the soft coloring - blue eyes, light brown/reddish hair. Once again confirming the fact that Bobby is all me and Theo is mostly donor. It does make you wonder if I have ever been in the same place as other half-siblings...or the donor himself-! 

So, that happened today. Still reeling and using the excuse to not get any work done tonight and instead eat two ice cream sandwiches and some popcorn.

In other news, Theo is off the boob. He does not like it. I am waiting for my boobs to fill up with cement rocks and then whither away to sad little collapsed spaniel ears for the rest of my life. Please tell me they come back. Please.

I am beyond excited about meeting with the podcast guy in a couple of weeks. I may have to bone up a little on the details before I speak to him - honestly, I've forgotten so much about my former religion and how painful it was to be in it, and pull away from it. It's kind of all a blur, pushed away to make room for more important things in my life.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Training, weaning and whining

Modern life is a funny thing. When I was a kid I used to take my little 70s transistor radio to bed with the one earpiece and listen to the music and voices all night and it gave me such comfort, knowing I would never meet any of these people or ever be one of those voices, but content to just listen and absorb at a distance. Today I listen to podcasts on my phone to go to sleep, again not imagining I will meet these people or be a part of it but just receiving it. But guess what? I might get the opportunity to be on one!

I found a new (to me) podcast in which comedians talk about their mental health issues, and sometimes the host features listeners talking about their issues. On a whim I emailed this guy last night to ask if he'd ever be interested in my story of escape from a cult, with the resultant family fracture/anxiety/depression. I didn't expect to hear back from him - but he wrote back right away to ask if I ever get to LA, and today we wrote back and forth trying to find a day to meet to talk about it. This doesn't mean I'll be on the show - he may pass, or wait until he feels it's appropriate. But I am super excited. Me? On a podcast??? So awesome!!!

On another whim, I decided to put Bobby in underpants today. We spent yesterday with a friend who is younger than B and is completely potty trained; I thought I would take the opportunity to talk to him about it, show him the underpants I have stowed away, and ask him if he wanted to try. He was really into it, and I was so proud he stayed dry all morning...until right before we got to school, when I handed him a drink and he had a HUGE pee all over the car seat. I had put down a "piddle pad" in the seat for just such an occasion, but it failed miserably - the entire seat was soaked. Wah wah wah wah...once changed and at school I told the teachers what I was trying, but when I picked him up he had been in a diaper all day (apparently at his request). I'm not sure where to go from here other than to keep trying...I mean, Bobby not in diapers is going to seriously cramp my style and completely change everything that we do, and make my life a lot more difficult and complicated...but I recognize that it's not about my comfort but where he needs to be developmentally; he's going to be three, we need to get this show on the road. So, I'll just keep trying...and cleaning up pee (and worse).

Today is Theo's first birthday and I have decided his last nursing session. This morning was just miserable with him screaming in frustration and me feeling vacuumed; we're done. It's been a pleasure, but both of my boys deserve to move on up in life now. Does this mean I get to have my post-weaning tattoo at last done? ((Bites nails))

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A year ago today

I'm not doing anything for Theo's birthday tomorrow, since I'm throwing all my energy into his dual party on the 22nd. It's weird to think of the day going by with no acknowledgment, since the timing worked out to have Bobby's first birthday party on his actual birthday. But it's silly to have a cake or anything when we're just going to do all of that in a pass we shall. Difference between first kid and second kid, huh?

I actually re-read the blog posts around Theo's birth from time to time because I do look back fondly on it - how everything fell into place so nicely and how magical it was having a new baby in the house. But now I'm going to try to just remember the highlights without crib notes.

I remember how those contractions felt as my sister and I sat here in my living room watching TV as Bobby slept, how I kept watching the clock and wondering if I should call one of the friends that offered to drive me to the hospital. How, even though I was on my actual due date as determined by Kaiser, I still couldn't really believe it was actually happening. How heavy and uncomfortable and exhausted I felt being that pregnant. How worried I was about Bobby. How worried I was about giving birth again. 

What a night that was! The other-worldly feeling of arriving at the hospital late at night with everything dark and abandoned. The horrible cervix checks. The frustration of being told I was not in labor even though I was in so much pain. Oh, the pain. That's what I remember most about labor. How much it fucking hurt. How it felt like someone was trying to snap my pelvis like a wishbone at Thanksgiving. Am I happy I'll never have to experience that again, that my boys will never have to experience that? Every day. Every flippin' day.

And then there was little Theo. I had had my eyes shut tight for most of the labor, until my doula said, "Hilary, look! Your baby is being born!" And I'm so glad I did. Theo, with his dark hair and dark eyes and Elvis-like mouth, screaming and indignant and so different from his brother. And the rush of relief that it was over. Over over over. 

And it was all just ok. I was ok and he was ok and Bobby was safe at home with my sister and everything was cool. How could I have done this? Defied my fate and age and the odds and had two healthy, awesome kids, after years of terror that I would never get that chance, that I had missed my window, that it "just wasn't in the cards" for me? And yet I did. 

Theo is one and Bobby will be three. I have been a parent for three years. It has included some of the best and some of the worst experiences of my life already, and yet I am still a total novice, and probably will always be, since every day of Bobby's life will be unchartered territory for me.

Speaking of which, I am going to try nothing but underpants for Bobby tomorrow. He was inspired by a little friend today and wanted to try, and I feel like his language is good enough to ask to go. It may be a total disaster but I feel like with his third birthday looming we need to at least try.

You need to try things in life...right?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Being verbal

The past few days have been a whirlwind of gigs and party planning and running around with the kids. I have not had a moment to just sit and chill with my phone, and thanks to the $&#%! time change have had very little sleep for days. 

Things have been good. Bobby has hit a new developmental leap of some kind - suddenly really talking, like, you can have a conversation with this kid. I noticed something else about that - he plays much better with kids at playgrounds now that he can talk, or rather, the other kids play much better with him. I was shocked when he fell in with a group of older boys on Sunday (a situation that always fills me with dread because it never ends well and I end up having to drag him away screaming from his new "friends" who are actually horrid little bullies) and somehow they all managed to play nicely. Shocked. I think it's the language. I really do.

Today one of the other preschool mothers asked if Bobby was my kid, and said she thinks her daughter has a crush on him because she talks about him all the time. Tee hee! Poor girl doesn't know Bobby is spending his time talking about and drawing pictures of another girl named Amelia. Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

Speaking of the love lives of this family, so I saw my Love Interest at our monthly meeting last night. You guys. I think there may be some hope there. We had a great time, as always, and I never mentioned our date to get veggie pho that never happened, nor did I intend to. Just as we were all saying goodbye and I had turned to get in my car, he blurted out awkwardly, " pho next week...?" My heart leapt. I just knew by the look on his face that he was into me. I knew it. I had a huge grin all the way home. Not that this even means anything will ever happen between us. But there is interest there. I know it.

All I had to do to get this interest was not be so eager. Isn't that some bullshit? I hate all this dating game-playing crap and swore I would never do it again. But time and time again this thing of making the man pursue you instead of pursuing him, works. Why are we wired this way? Why can't we just be forthright and honest?

As is illustrated so brilliantly in the movie Tootsie, we think we can be honest, but we can't. In one scene a woman tells another woman who's really a man that she would love it if a man came up to her and said "I'd really like to make love to you," but then when that same man does that exact thing, she throws a drink in his face. There you go.

So what happens now? I don't know. I may just leave it, what with my sister coming in town for a week and birthday party stuff and my friend visiting after...or I may try to squeeze him in. So to speak. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Throwback Friday

I'm a big podcast listener. If I can remember to download them before I get to the bedroom (signal is too weak back there to download anything), I fall asleep to them just about every night. I am especially a fan of comedy podcasts. I just love listening to comedians, who are so often quick and smart and are founts of knowledge. 

Recently I stumbled upon one in which the guest was my old high school crush who has since become a semi-famous actor and improv comedy guy. And I found it so interesting to hear him talk about pop culture, and even more so his private life, that I've kind of been podcast stalking him. Turns out he's a popular guest and is often called in to do political commentary around elections, talk about music, movies, the industry, just about anything. 

To recount the story, I had a huge crush on him in high school. We were friends, and when I made a play for him he told me he had a girlfriend, but if it wasn't for her it would be me, which is I guess the kind of thing you say when you're seventeen and some girl you like as a friend passes you a card with a heart on it. He and said girlfriend broke up some time later, but, surprise! Still not interested in me. We remained friends after he left for college; then one day he sent me a letter telling me he had been dating my best friend behind my back for the past year. I got this letter the morning I was leaving on a school ski trip with this girl as my roommate. Good times, huh?

Fast forward to 2010 and I'm on Facebook planning my 20th high school reunion. This guy was in the class above me, but I guess with all the discussion flying around he found me and sent me a private message simply saying, "Hi. Sorry I was such a dick in high school." I wrote back apologizing for being such a psycho stalker (true) and assuring him I bear him no ill will and that those were really difficult years for me. He wrote back that he was an undiagnosed depressive at the time and if I can forgive him he can surely forgive me. It ended really nicely and was enormously healing for me; now we're just FB "friends" and occasionally "like" each others' jokier posts, stuff about our kids, etc. For the record he married another semi-famous comedienne, they have two children, and live ten minutes away from me. So I feel good that we resolved all that old crap and have gotten on with our lives.


I do like to listen to him talk, especially about his family. It makes me realize even at sixteen I had really good taste. He's a great guy - smart, funny, good dad, good husband. He's just another in a long list of ones who got away. 

Still, I can see how life with this man is not all puppies and rainbows. He makes reference to his drinking/drugging days (shocking to me since we were both committed straight-edgers in school; I still am, he obviously parted ways with that movement at some point); and every once in a while when he talks I catch that edge and am reminded how cutting and cruel he could be (extremely smart people often are, unfortunately), how small he made me feel sometimes, and I was just a friend. Imagine being his wife, sharing two children with him, being there for the unpredictability of a comedian's career? I bet he can be a real handful. Obviously being that woman was not my destiny. And I'm ok with that.

Many of my former heartthrobs (real or imagined) have become semi-famous actors, writers, filmmakers and musicians. The other day I tuned in to NPR to hear the guy I moved to LA for (who immediately stopped returning my calls) being interviewed about his latest best-selling novel.

I can't seem to escape the ghosts of my past.

Oh well. At least I have these guys as my future.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


I keep starting posts and then deleting them because I'm just so boring right now. But I feel like I want to check in, so here's the super exciting updates.

Now that the money has come in it's time to take care of a million annoying repairs around this house - because of some gaping holes around my washer/dryer fawcet pipes, the kitchen has become overrun by giant bugs that shall remain nameless (and by "overrun" I mean I saw one the other night and have been freaking out ever since). So I've called in my super hot aging hipster handy man. Hopefully he's divorced by now. Just kidding. Not really.

I've had a lot of warm fuzzies from friends lately. An old friend who's been away from LA since before Theo was born is coming back in about a week and I'm super excited about it. Also a very old friend from NY is visiting with thoughts of moving here and I'm super excited about that. My friend in the seventeen-year relationship who's now getting married has asked me to stand with her along with her best friend from high school, which is quite an honor and I'm thrilled to do it. So, yay for friends.

I have started the monumental task of tax preparation. I am just praying I get a decent refund what with two kids now and can finally replace the shitty fridge that ruins my life on a daily basis, since last year's refund reserved for ten months for that sole purpose finally had to be spent on just bills. Boo to that.

On the spur of the moment asked The Love Interest last week to lunch this week and he said he "should be able to make it happen" but neither of us has followed up and I don't think I'm going to. I suddenly just don't give enough of a shit. But that's mainly because I'm on my period and don't really give a shit about anything but the acquisition of chocolate. Give me a week and all of a sudden I'll have this overwhelming urge to jump on him again. And so it goes. Good times.

Every single day I think about weaning - mostly because I am drying up and now our one nursing session in the morning just results in me feeling like I've been attached to a vacuum cleaner for ten minutes, and Theo rolling away frustrated and angry. But I have two barriers to stopping - one, T is not drinking from a sippy cup yet; I've tried three different types and he won't take any of them, nor will he take a bottle from me. I'll keep trying of course, because eventually he'll get it as he did hand feeding and me spoon feeding him, but right now he's not there yet and is getting hardly any liquid at all which freaks me out. Also he's one in ten days and can't I just keep nursing for ten more days? Yes I can. And so I shall. 

Now to tiptoe into the kitchen and make sure nothing is moving ((shudder)).