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!