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.