Sunday, December 19, 2010
Why?, you might ask. Three words: Sleep Away Camp. It wasn’t easy finding a camp that would take a 7 year old. But I’m good at persevering when my own sanity is at stake.
The girls went to Camp in our local mountains where they played Paintball, took ballet, did archery, drove quads, went swimming, had midnight dessert parties, Glowie performed a ballet duet and Blondie, our quiet kid, won Camper of the Week.
While the girls were in Camp, Mommy and Daddy went to Napping Camp. No awards were given and we were not asked to demonstrate what we’d learned for anyone else. It was awesome. The goal next year? Two weeks of Napping Sleep Away Camp.
Normal things happened. And we celebrate normalcy these days:
Blondie graduated from the 5th grade, with as many honors as a 10 year old can carry out of a School Cafeteria. They even had a 5th grade dance, which was really just the same School Cafeteria filled with over-excited 10 year olds screaming and running around like lunatics. Oh, just like our house at 3 p.m. Including Mommy screaming at the aforementioned 10 year olds.
We are nothing if not creatures of habit: Ballet and Jazz for Glowie (and the two annual performances that she lives for); Soccer for Blondie (and the practices and games that suck a family dry). Piano for both of them (lessons given here in the house, making this the sanest thing we do).
This year Blondie added Saxophone to her repertoire, but she’s pretty sure if she could just play the trumpet her life would be fulfilled and complete.
This was our fourth summer here in Palm Springs. I have come to a startling conclusion. Summer in Palm Springs sucks.
We were so fortunate to have our little trailer in the woods. We went up and down the hill on a regular basis while holding things together at the office, and time spent this summer up in the cool mountains was the best and most amazing experience of our lives.
Here’s what we’ve discovered we love about Palm Springs: Fall and winter. It is gorgeous. So we have celebrated the beauty by taking up hiking. Now by “hiking” I mean we go up a trail for 20 or 30 minutes, then we turn around and come down (in some cases, scoot down.) But who knew there were waterfalls just a couple of miles from our house? It’s heaven. (Though hard on the joints. Greg’s and mine. Not Blondie's or Glowie’s.)
Blondie loves Middle School. It feels so independent. I love it too. Especially the part where I can check her grades from the comfort of my own computer, any time I’d like. (Independence only goes so far when you are in the 6th grade.) Good grades, good friends, Band and a longing for a cell phone. She’s a normal 11 year old. But I think she is extraordinary. She has a sweet heart, she is so hard working and disciplined. She is our gentle soul, and in this family, we need her grounding!
Glowie loves 2nd grade. What’s great about Glowie? She loves everything. If there is a morning when Glowie doesn’t wake up happy, loving, joyous and excited? I know that she has the flu. She loves her teacher, her dogs, her friends and well . . . EVERYTHING!
Both my daughters have been our teachers. Glowie reminds me to quit sweating the small stuff and remember the joy. Blondie teaches me about deep, quiet abiding love.
We are blessed.
Happy New Year.
Friday, December 17, 2010
So, a long time ago when my kids were really young, I had a rather interesting view of fashion. I loved the brand Fresh Produce and Jamz. You know, I was trying to live some sort of beach lifestyle, even though I lived in the desert.
Though I still love my yoga pants, back then? Yoga pants were what I wore to parties or fancy dinners, just with a nicer top.
You know, something silk, box cut, enormous, with a (now) kinda embarrassing print on it.
Hey, there were no Stacie and Clinton back then. And on my own? Scary bad.
So anyhow, I had this dress I had ordered through a catalogue. A “swing” dress if you will, T-shirt cotton, with some extremely bold fish graphics. I felt so free and breezy in this dress. You know, like the model who is laughing, face to the camera, and she skips, her back leg bent up in the air with joy? That was me. In my mind.
I wore it when our friends Daisy and Dennis would come to dinner. I wore it to run errands around town, I took in on vacation. Flip flops, high heels, leggings. It was the go-to dress.
And it also had magical qualities.
Cuz one day I was hiring a babysitter for my oldest daughter, who was 1 year old at the time. So I put an ad in the local paper. And a young girl came for an interview. She was 17, graduating from High School. She was planning to attend the local Community College and study nursing.
There was something about this girl I truly loved. She was smart, you could see that right away. She was loving, but not over the top.
She also really needed a job and the money.
When I asked her about tidying up after herself and the baby, she told me her Mama ran a tight ship and she wouldn’t think of NOT picking up.
And she knew how to clean. Again, her Mama had rules and requirements.
I asked her to start . . . right that minute. So out to the swingset she went, with little toddling Blondie.
And while I watched them through the kitchen window, my hands in the pockets of my Magical Swing Dress, I felt peace. Not just the kind of peace you get when someone ELSE is entertaining your toddler, but peace like you just met “the one”.
Now did she turn out to be the “one”? Well. No. And yes.
Cuz a couple weeks later she informed me that she wasn’t really going to the Community College. She has a full scholarship to a prestigious women’s college back east. But she was afraid if she told me the truth, I wouldn’t hire her. And she was right.
But she became “the one” in so many different ways. She spent all her summers and breaks home with us. She and her family were there for us when Glowie was born, and needed major surgery. She went on vacations with us.
She was a passionate, beautiful, bright young woman and she loved my daughters and they loved her. Whatever I could “snag” of this sweet girl… well, we couldn’t get enough.
Sara has been in our lives for 10 years. We have watched her graduate college, get married, get a master’s degree, work on her PhD. And now she is pregnant.
And you know what a pregnant woman needs? A really comfortable swing dress. With bright colors. And Magic Powers.
Maybe some day she will find her own Sara. And then her life will never be the same. Thank Goodness.
But when she is interviewing? Have I got the outfit for her!
P.S. I love you Sara.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
So I’m waiting to pick up my Blondie, my older daughter, at Middle School, when my phone rings.
“Oh Shit,” I say to the Mom I’m talking to, “that’s the elementary school. This is NEVER good!”
I’m waiting to hear: “Blah, blah, blah . . . Fell off the monkey bars again.” OR: “Blah, blah, blah . . . projectile vomiting.”
What I hear is the principal, identifying himself all formal-like saying: I have Glowie here in the office with me.
Uh. Okay. Is it a skinned knee or the next version of the swine flu? And why is the principal calling me?
Glowie is being “counseled” today about the choices she made on the playground. A little boy wouldn’t stop knocking down her sand castles. (Hey, my kids don’t get to the beach much. #never) So she stood up, all 34 pounds of her, and kicked the crap out of some kid who double outweighed her. Of course then the little boy turned around and shook her silly.
So they both got called in. Parents were called. Recesses were missed.
I apologized and thanked him. I also told him we would be discussing this at home and there would be some kind of consequence or follow up. Cuz that’s the right thing, right?
So I have a conversation with her about choices. What could she have done? Well, she asked him to stop and he did it again. She told the playground lady, who told him to stop, but then he went back and did it again.
“I just wanted him to stop Mommy.”
Yeah, I got it kid. And I want to be thin. Sometimes you gotta work with the circumstances you’ve got. Sometimes, my Little Glowie: You need to walk away.
So she has to write a letter to the principal and to the little boy, apologizing for making the choice that she did make.
In the privacy of my bedroom? There was a small victory dance being done. Cuz I LOVE a kid that solves problems and stands up for herself.
But of course, kicking is wrong. #stilldancing
Btw, the next morning? Glowie was receiving an award for being the Author of the Month. She wrote a five page essay about our family values. And she didn’t mention the word “martini” once.
Gold Star Baby! Gold Star.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Can we talk about Minimum Days and how they are destroying my life?
(Well, not destroying my life, but certainly putting a crimp in my daily Mojo.)
Really, how many of these things do we need to have?
When will I write my blog for God’s Sake?
And also, Dear School District – is there some fucking reason why you can’t put the Middle school and the Elementary schools on the same MINIMUM DAY SCHEDULE?
Cuz really, there is nothing I love more than getting my older daughter out the door and to school at 7:20, then home to get the little one ready and out the door at 8:15, come back home, go to work, THEN PICK UP THE MIDDLE SCHOOLER AT 11:30?
Are you flipping trying to KILL THE PARENTS?
Where’s my Minimum Day Mrs. Superintendent??? Where’s my MOMMY IN SERVICE DAY?
I could use some group support and training. (Or a spa day. Just sayin’.)
Frankly, I’d like a school day that ended at 4:00 p.m. for both schools.
(Really, that is a lie. I really want a school that ends at 5:00 p.m.)
(Still lying. 6:00 p.m. would be even better. But I don’t want to supervise homework when they get home.)
I don’t know whether to put a “Potty Mouth” alert at the beginning of this blog, or a “Over-Use of Capital Letters” alert.
Hey. I’ve got feelings.
I’d share more with you, but I have to pick my kid up. AT 11:30!!!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
First, I want to say: Thank you so much. I love how much you care.
And being important and cared about really matters to me.
And, there is nothing I love more than an intimate relationship with a friend, where we get down and dirty and talk about the REAL stuff: you know, sex; the real truth about menopause; how desperately I want to get on the Biggest Loser so I can be away from my family for three months; how my husband is sometimes just the teeny, weeniest bit of a moron; and then again, more stuff about sex.
And I love a friend that reaches out and really turns her caring into ACTION.
So thanks for all those emails. (I have become phone phobic since the inception of Twitter, etc.)
And thanks for caring about me and my, ahem, special relationship with my husband.
But can I just tell you something? We may be old, we may be fat (okay, I’M the fat one, but we are both OLD DAMMIT), we may be tired, overworked and cash poor, but THAT part? Uh, it still works. And by works? I mean we have still got a major THING going on!
Sometimes I feel guilty for how much I love and adore my husband. And how hot I am for him after all these years. (Okay, NOT every day or anything!!! Let’s not get ridiculous here.) And yeah, I no longer ride him like a bucking bronco (okay, I was never really “bucking”, but hey, I used to be on top).
So Viagra Drug Companies? We’re good. Well, for today.
So maybe keep those emails coming. After all, we are only getting older . . .
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Yeah, that slaving over the turkey, getting up early, two days of prep, running out for last minute ingredients on Thanksgiving morning?
I’ve watched people do that my whole life.
Me? I set a nice table.
My husband used to drive me nuts, poring over the Thanksgiving editions of Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines.
“Honey, what do you think about using chorizo and fennel in the stuffing?”
“Uh, is that what they use is Mrs. Cubisson’s? Cuz that’s my favorite, just like my mom used to make.”
(Hey, I wasn’t cooking, so chorizo and fennel it was.)
Four years ago, when we moved here to Palm Springs, my husband pulled out all the stops. Three days of prep and cooking, a beautiful feast for my in-laws and our best friends Daisy and Dennis. We sat outside, under a gorgeous sky, with a fire glowing in the back yard fire pit drinking VERY decadent Pumpkin Tinis. (See the recipe below . . .)
And then, everyone went home. Three days of work, a glowing immaculate house, for a 30 minute meal and a 2 hour visit.
And don’t get me wrong. It was DELICIOUS! But our feet hurt for days (yes, I stood around and watched – MY feet hurt too!). We were exhausted.
The next year we got take out from Jensen’s, the fancy local Grocery Store. Last year we went to a restaurant. This year? Anyone heard of Dream Dinners? Cuz we’ve already placed our order.
And cuz we are using paper plates? I will actually have time to be Thankful. (Thankful that my feet don’t hurt!)
#yummy #realpumpkinfilling #happythanksgiving
Pumpkin Martini Recipe
2 oz Vanilla Vodka
2 oz Crème de Cacao
1 tsp Pumpkin Spice (yes, from a can!)
¼ cup Half and Half or Whipping Cream (!)
Shake in a Martini Shaker filled with ice. I swear to God – it’s better than you think!!!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I know I have a tendency to be a helicopter mom. One of those moms who hovers over their kids making sure everyone is doing everything to help them have their best life. (Hey, I’m sorry, I watch too much Oprah.)
But today, I hit my limit.
Cuz all I do is tell my kids what to do. And all they do is ignore me. So I talk some more. And get ignored some more. Then I get pissed that they aren’t listening to me. Instead of just shutting up.
So this morning I got the message loud and clear:
We aren’t going to listen to you.
We aren’t going to find our library books.
We aren’t going to remember our lunch.
We aren’t going to turn in the library books that we did find, cuz we don’t really give a shit about the fines, even if you make us pay them. (Hey, it’s not like we sacrifice food and shelter to pay that fine.)
We are going to put our clean clothes in the hamper, cuz it is easier than opening two drawers and putting them away.
Okay Kids – Thanks for speaking so loud with your actions. I’ve got it.
Let me be clear:
I am not hosting that pool party that we’d talked about with that lovely family with the three kids, so you both have playmates for the night.
Which is great, cuz now I don’t have to pick up the house or make pigs in a blanket.
Oh, and Goodie – I don’t have to swiffer up the spilled juice off the floor the next morning.
I am not calling the hair salon to get you an appointment to get a haircut before school starts.
I am not meeting with the principal about how to make your transition to Middle School better. Work it out on your own.
And you know what? I just might forget to pick you up this afternoon. Why don’t you ask me 100 times? And I’ll ignore you 100 times. Cuz that seems to be the way the dynamic works in this family.
Okay, I will pick you up. But not at 3:00. Why don’t you just sit there in the 100 degree heat and wait a bit. See what it is like to come out of that double gate and not have Mommy standing right there, ready to give you a big hug and see how your day at went.
Cuz I hear you. This is NOT a two way street. We are NOT a team. It is all Mommy, all the time.
So God and Twitter help me! This week, you are on your own. Mommy is on strike.
Big Picture Parenting. I need a drink.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
So I had a weird week. By “weird” I mean I think I’m falling apart.
I went and got my face waxed. Now a year ago I would have asked WHY?
But now that I’m 51 and on hormones, uh, it appears there is a dramatic uptick in the growth of facial hair.
So the hot flashes are contained, but there is a wooly mammoth on my flipping face.
Also, I started using Retin A this year. Oooo, it makes my skin look lovely. (Maybe I just think it’s lovely cuz I can’t really see it through all that fur. Well, that and my eyes are shot too.)
It also makes the skin kinda thin. So I stop using it 5 days before my waxing.
Turns out, that wasn’t quite enough. Cuz when she waxed my face, my skin came off with the wax. Well, parts of the skin.
So I have scabs all over the lower part of my face. Hmmm.
Then I go to the knee doctor cuz since I’ve been trying to exercise more, I hurt my knee.
Torn meniscus. OhhhKayyy.
Then on Friday morning, I wake up with an eye infection. How do I know it is an eye infection? Cuz I went to the doctor. With my scabby face and yes, I was limping.
So here I am in my quest for fitness and beauty:
Blotchy face. Limpy/Gimpy. Red swollen eye.
Yeah – I rock.
And I need a veil. #helpme
Sunday, October 31, 2010
What do I love about a party? Besides me in Party Garb?
Well, there’s the Balloons and the Bar (by Bar I’m referring, of course, to the Omelet Bar!)
There are the People I Love and the People Who Love Me. Then there’s the People Who Don’t Know They Love Me YET!
And a photographer – on my payroll! (Dude - I had better not see that double chin, or that double tummy.)
I get to have a Drag Queen. When is THAT ever a bad thing?
Our Party for the Palm Springs Pride Parade is the melding of my love for my over-the-top false eyelashes and Bloody Marys.
(Hey, if you are a Mimosa kinda of Girl . . . or Guy . . . or Guy-Dressed-As-A-Girl . . . or vice versa? Have at it. I like my morning cocktails SALTY!)
And Dear God: There is unlimited bacon.
And my children love the Budweiser Clydesdales and the Dykes on Bykes.
Of course this event is totally about getting clients, marketing our business and outreach.
But I get to wear false eyelashes. Over-the-top ones.
Yes, it’s all in a day’s work. #Accounting #PalmSpringsStyle
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Halloween – Wait, What???
Wait, don’t order costumes until I find a discount coupon.
Wait, Glowie has changed her mind 10 times. What flipping costume DO I order?
(For those of you who creatively make your own costumes at home? I honor you, and secretly resent you.)
Think about actually taking them to one of those Halloween stores.
Nah, look for the online coupon.
Order cupcakes for the Classroom party. (I order them from Albertsons. What? Some people actually BAKE the cupcakes?)
Wait, what about my costume? Nothing in the garage “old costume” bins fit anymore. (Thank you Menopause…your gifts just keep on coming.) Wait, I can still fit into the Mrs. Potts costume. Oh, wait, with the hot flashes THAT is not going to work.
Enter “Plus Size Costume” into my search engine.
Go to Costco and buy sunscreen. Cuz Halloween in Palm Springs is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. (By “never experienced” I do mean: Hot as Hell.)
While I’m there, get the Halloween candy. Try to get things I hate (sweet tarts) so I don’t inhale it all before the actual Trick or Treaters arrive at the door.
(Sorry Kids, Mommy is menopausal, too fat for her old costumes, too hot to wear Mrs. Potts and as it turns out? Very, very hungry.)
Now that I have kids at two different schools, how will I be in two places at once? Well, the older ones, they probably aren’t doing school parties.
Whatever costume I order, I have to be able to wear it with tennis shoes, cuz I always help with the Costume Parade.
Video Camera. Check.
Safety pins. Check.
HALLOWEEN IS ON A SUNDAY????????????????????????????
I think I hear angels singing . . .Thank you, Sweet Jesus. No school. No parade. No cupcakes. No uber-sweating.
Just trick or treating. AT NIGHT. (No sunscreen!!!)
Hello Mrs. Potts.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
So my husband and I were having a spa day. You know, a romantic, amazing day, where we say: we should do this more often.
You know what that looks like: We‘ve done this two or three times in the last 15 years.
But no matter.
Now, you know you are old when you are in the ladies’ facilities and it seems like a good idea, while there is no one there, to take a delicious steam.
So I go into the steam room. There’s a light switch but I decide not to turn it on. I’m going to luxuriate in the shadowy darkness and just let all the poisons (and fat – right?) melt out of my body.
I’m going to be a lean, mean, fighting machine after this. I lay down on the towel on the little bench, naked . . . sort of letting it all “hang out”. (Dear God – how literally accurate that term is for me now.)
As I’m laying there I think: What if I have a stroke or a heart attack? I’m all alone. The light is off. Even if someone poked their head in, it might look like I was “resting”.
I could be laying there with a high blood pressure induced aneurism and NO ONE WOULD KNOW!
So this is what it is like to be 50. (All right, fuck me, 51.)
I left the steam room. But it’s okay. We’ll be back. In about 5 years. Maybe in the interim I should interview for a “Steam Buddy”.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
My 10 yo daughter, Blondie, is such a sweet kid. She was so shy when she was younger. Take that shyness and add to it she is the Big Sis of a little one who has had some serious health problems and she was a little slow to bloom.
(Not that her ship has sailed at age 10.)
But our little Blondie started to explode last year in 4th Grade. All of a sudden she is shouting out answers in class, bringing home extra science books to read (hey, let’s be clear, I still HATE Science Projects) and becoming some sort of an amazing Math Whiz.
So we are proud. And she works hard – this isn’t a freebie for her. Homework, discipline, really engaging teacher …
Then we go to Parent Teacher Conference (where mercifully, the chairs are normal sized) and find out, that though she is doing really well, the teacher feels she isn’t working up to her potential.
After a few hours at home, finally the crying comes. (And it comes so much more often now that she is 10 – I’m dying here.) Turns out the “popular” boys (I prefer to call them the “asshole” boys, but that’s just me) are degrading her and calling her show off.
If anyone tells on these boys, they call you a snitch. She is terrified of being labeled as such. My husband and I, not so much.
I wanted to drive my helicopter onto the school yard and cut off their heads. My husband, who is the calmer, wanted to have them kicked out of the school district and make sure they never get into an Ivy League School.
The 10 yo? She just dumbed herself down.
Calmer heads prevailed. At least the martinis helped.
There are always going to be some fucking boys telling my girl she is too smart. So Ya! One more thing to parent around. I’ll tell you how it goes. (Stay tuned, for the love of God.)
Sunday, October 3, 2010
My husband is my valet. My kayak valet
We had big dreams of buying a boat this year, those took a dive along with the value of our home and the ever escalating rate of our credit cards. (Damn you Citibank-but that’s a separate blog.)
But after bitterly watching others head out for evening cruises, music blaring, ice chests overflowing with beer, the kids prancing in delight, dogs taking the position in the bow (that is the front of the boat right?) like something out of Titanic . . . well, we couldn’t take it anymore.
So we started researching Kayaks. Cuz we were going to get on that flipping lake somehow, dammit.
After dealing with some really odd Craigslist people, many phone calls, more research, deals were negotiated.
(Hey, we negotiate deals for a business, but nothing got more of my attention than these Kayak buying plans. Did the price include paddles, how about throwing in the life jackets, is that dog of yours available?)
And then we had it. We brought home our first of two kayaks. Hearts hammering, palms sweaty, it was like falling in love all over again.
Until it was time to actually “get in”.
And btw, once you are in? The kayaking part? A lot of fucking work I tell you.
But back to the getting in.
So every time we go kayaking I require my manservant to help me. By “manservant” of course, I mean my husband.
Because there is the packing up: the vests, the paddles, the water bottles, the towels, the SEATS! (And I could write a whole separate blog about my new “kayaking” wardrobe, complete with crocs, which we refer to now as our “kayak” shoes.)
Then there is the several block haul to the lake.
And then the real fun begins. The dock is old and seriously splintery. (By seriously, I mean there is a visit to Urgent Care in your future. )
There is the squatting down and unlocking, then untethering the two kayaks. Then tethering back the one that isn’t going on this trip.
There is the putting in the seats.
I’m telling you, from the time I said: “Can you help me get the kayak in the water?” an hour has now passed.
Now there is the getting in part. I’m sure I’ve told you, but I have terrible joints. It’s sort of a congential gift from God – back surgeries, titanium spine, hip replacement, torn knee ligament . . . so the bending down and getting in? Ya, it’s like something out of Laurel and Hardy. Not that I’m old enough to know who they are. (Shit.)
So getting from the dock, down into the kayak seat in the water? It seems impossible.
So I turn around three times like a dog before she lies down.
I panic a little bit.
The whole while my ManServant is holding the kayak next to the dock, trying not to snap at me. (Cuz that could put his career as my ManServant in jeopardy, for God’s sake.)
Then I sit on the towel on the dock (with help – ground sitting is not really easy for me) and I try to slide (I believe “plop” is the better word) into the kayak.
But I’m a big girl and I go with FORCE. So my husband … uh, manservant is stretched out across the dock (no towel for him – he’s manly) trying to hold the kayak even so I don’t capsize before I have even begun.
As the kayak fills with water, covering my specially clad ass (I wear “swim shorts” from the Solar Protection Clothing Store), I grab the paddle he is handing me, and off I go.
My kayak valet, of course, sits on the dock until I return.
Cuz you don’t think I can get out of that thing by myself do you?
Thanks James. I mean “Honey”.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I recently discovered the POWER of the TOOTH FAIRY in my youngest daughter's life. She has lost three teeth so far . . . and as time has progressed, you may notice that the Tooth Fairy is becoming just a LITTLE BIT more stern and emboldened. I hear she drinks also . . .
Congratulations on your FIRST TOOTH! You are officially a big girl now.
This is a very important and exciting time in your life – you are finally starting to grow up!
You are a very good girl. You have a lot of spirit and love in your heart. Keep being a good student, listen to your Mom and Dad and your teacher. You are also a very loving sister. Your whole family is so lucky to have you!
Brush your teeth every morning and every night!
The Tooth Fairy
May 25, 2010
Congratulations on another tooth! You have lost two teeth in one month! Wow!
You have such a big heart and you bring joy to so many people, every day. I am so proud of you.
Be a good girl and follow the rules! Your Mommy and Daddy and your teacher, made these RULES because they LOVE you and they want you to DO WELL. I love you too!
Brush your teeth every morning and every night!
The Tooth Fairy
Congratulations on losing another tooth. You are the most amazing little girl ever! You have such joy in your heart and such love for everyone. The world is a better place for having you.
Be a good girl and brush your teeth every morning and every night.
And don’t lie to your Mommy about brushing your teeth! I want you to be the healthiest and prettiest little girl in the world. Lying is NOT pretty! I love you.
The Tooth Fairy
As you can see the Tooth Fairy might need a Martini! #maybetwo
Sunday, September 19, 2010
When I first started getting into Twitter, I followed all the big Mommy Bloggers. Nothing would be more exciting than getting a response, or horning in on a conversation one of them was having.
Until one night.
I told one of the women, in a tweet, that I thought she was fabulous, and I was stalking her with orange stained Cheetos fingers.
I laughed at my cleverness, until I logged back on to see that a couple of these big Mommy Blogger chicks were having a conversation about how they hated people who used the word: “stalk”.
Gulp. One even posted a link about a teacher that was killed by a stalker. (They didn’t note in the article if Cheetos had played a role in the murder.)
Wow. I felt terrible. Cuz I hate that kinda stuff.
So I went on to post an apology.
But I couldn’t. Cuz these two women had BLOCKED me! Not for using the “f” word, or bitching about my kids, but cuz I had manifested my adoration for them by telling them I was Twitter Stalking them.
Fast forward one year.
I still don’t use the word stalk much. Cuz I’m scared of the backlash. (Though anything that has to do with Cheetos and Stalking does make me laugh.)
But I have discovered that my stalking skills are a real boost to being involved in my childrens’ lives.
When we moved to Palm Springs, I checked out the local school, by assuming a semi-squatting position in the bushes (bougainvillea of course, kinda thorny) so I could watch the families and their kids interact with each other on their way into the school.
I actually wept, when I saw a Daddy and his little girl ride bikes to school. Then the Dad rode off, carrying that little pink bike on his shoulder.
I saw the PTA ladies talking to everyone.
I wanted to be part of that group.
So I straightened my legs, and walked into the group. That welcomed us (and my petrified, at that time, 7 year old).
So we signed up.
Every day (sometimes from the bushes, sometimes from out in the open) I watched these mothers embrace my daughter, a brand new student coming into the school in the 3rd grade.
And our lives have never been the same.
In case you want to know who I am? Drop by the middle school this week. I’m the mother who walks in the odd crouching position, hovering outside the 6th grade classrooms.
I see many touching acts of kindness. By kids and adults. Every day.
Cuz stalking? Baby, it’s a skill set.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
We had a summer filled with Saturday mornings.
Then School Started.
Which for some reason meant I got up at 4 or 5 am to get my work started, before I got my kids up at 6:15.
It seemed like a great plan for the first three days of school.
Ahem. Cuz any plan that includes Mommy only getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night is sure to be a good one right?
I must have been running on some kind of adrenaline high. Cuz I had business dinners, I was super efficient, and I even wore undergarments when delivering my daughters to their schools.
I signed up to be the school crossing guard one morning a week. Cuz in that weird, over-awake, sleep-deprived state, holding a giant metal stop sign while other mothers tried to run me down seemed like pure genius in the moment!
We are in the process of a couple of business deals. I’m negotiating, figuring out terms, supervising due diligence., developing strategy for each deal. Well, why don’t I just say it? I’m a goddess.
And I’m purging. No, not throwing up, cuz that would be wrong. I’m throwing out all the old school work from last year, going through old photos, last years handbooks, etc. Again, an odd manic state has overtaken me.
And then there was the schedule.
Get the girls up, so my older daughter can get to Middle School by 7:30. (Bell rings by 7:40 and she has to get her Sax to the band room first. We are pretty sure she is the next Clarence Clemons.)
Then bring the 2nd grader home. Feed her a second breakfast, then walk her to school at 8:00. After crossing guard duty, I get home at 9:00. And I’m sweaty. Cuz the first week of school, temps hit 115. (Don’t touch the monkey bars, no really, NOOOOOOO.)
Then, Blondie gets out of school at 1:50. ONE FIFTY. Dear God in Heaven. HELP ME!
So my work day now ends at 1:30.
Except for those two evening meetings. Which meant I didn’t get home until 9:00.
So the next morning I get up at 4 am to get started on my work.
6:00 am exercise classes . . .
By Friday? Flat on my face. Efficient? Not at all.
A smiling crossing guard? Uh, NO! (Really, you need to smoke, talk on the phone AND try and run me down, all at the same time. Now I know why the office lady complimented me on not hitting anyone with the Stop Sign.)
On Friday I got very little work done on our next potential acquisition. (By “very little” I do mean I moved the papers around on my desk. And evened up the corners of everything.)
During my exercise class I lay on the mat in the fetal position.
I did however buy a couple of items from Lane Bryant online.
I looked at Labs available for adoption.
And I did bathe. (Did I mention walking my kid to school when it was 90 degrees BEFORE 9 am?)
But the mania was gone and it was replaced by a heaviness in my limbs.
Saturday morning? Slept til 7:30. I’m a new woman. Ready to . . . crawl back in bed and watch some TV.
Back to school? I gotta come up with new plan. Carpooling anyone?
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Back to School is this week. Usually each summer I am counting the days until school starts.
Hey, in Palm Springs, when it is 115 out, you can’t really say: “Kid’s! Stop it! Go outside and play.”
(And what? Don’t get on the swing set, cuz you’ll sustain 2nd degree burns?)
So usually, with clenched jaws and the help of a teenaged girl who can take them to the water park, we get through. Cuz it turns out, none of us do well with a lot of unstructured time.
But not this summer.
This summer we discovered the mountains and kayaking and lake swimming. (Can we talk for just a minute about that ooglie stuff that you have to walk through in the lake to start the actual swimming?)
There has been fishing (catch and release Baby – I don’t want those suckers in my house . . . even if my house is a trailer), reading, movie watching and crawdad catching.
And we finally discovered the magic of being able to say: “Enough! Go outside and play . . . in the creek!”
And on our last weekend at the lake? They met other kids (trying not to judge the other trailer park people here). Imagine, kids coming over and the four of them running off in a pack to the lake, to kayak in the cove and chatter incessantly amongst themselves.
Heaven. I read three magazines and didn’t brush my teeth that day. The liberty of it all.
Now? I don’t want summer to end. These gorgeous summer days without the routine of homework, reading tests (AR tests? Anyone else?), hurry home from school to get to piano/ballet/soccer/jazz/sax (fill in your own list of endless frickin’ activities here).
WTF? School is starting?
Sunday, August 22, 2010
My daughters have discovered magazines. In a big way.
During our first magazine shopping experience, I bought a Seventeen with Selena Gomez on the cover. Hey – she’s on the Disney channel. Why not?
OMG! When we got home and I saw the articles: Making out with my Boyfriend; Teen Pregnancy – I Kept My Baby; My Boyfriend hits me.
Oh Shit! Well, I just ripped out every inappropriate article. And handed my shocked daughters back a magazine that had about 20 bedraggled pages in it.
American Girl is just right for my little Glowie, but still, we wanted MAGAZINES. (It this the part where I tell you about my love of People and O Magazine? Will you think less of me if I add in that I read Newsweek too?)
So my older daughter wanted Car Magazines, National Geographic and Science. She’s a very sweet, serious kid.
Glowie however wanted anything with Justin Bieber on it. So I bought a Tiger Beat.
And that magazine was GOLD! GOLD I tell you! She read, QUIETLY for more than an hour. And she did this over and over again for days.
Then later I heard them fighting over it. The Tiger Beat. The magazine my older daughter sneered at. She’s no Justin Bieber fan she wanted me to know!
But locked in the quiet of their room together, THIS is the magazine they can’t get enough of!
And there are Tiger Beat knock offs. Who knew?
So if they do their chores, their homework, have a good attitude and pick up dog poop with a smile on their faces, they get magazines.
But all they really want is Tiger Beat. Sorry National Geographic. Sorry Discover.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
It is effing hot in Palm Springs in the summer. You think you understand, but unless it is blazing into the 110’s and above . . . uh, you don’t. And don’t tell me it’s a dry heat either. Cuz Baby, that is a load of crap when it is 123 degrees in the shade!
I now understand why the summer population drops to like 204 people. (But hey, you don’t need reservations to dine out!)
So we envision our “Vacation Getaway”: You know, where we unload the car, breathe in the mountain air, and take the kids and the dogs for a walk? Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Hey, the stock market had taken a dive, so I thought that we’d be able to sweep in and pick up a lovely mountain cabin for mere chump change. Baby, we are gonna be in like Flynn – I just KNOW it!
Turns out, I was the chump.
Oh yeah, you can pick a little something up. Of course it was a recently abandoned meth lab which needs “tender loving care” (i.e. calling the Haz Mat Team).
And did I mention the “Lake” thing? Turns out if you don’t buy a property with “Lake Rights” you can’t do shit in this place, except maybe stand somewhere and watch Other People boat, fish and swim. #longingly
So we gave up.
Until my husband read an ad in the local paper about a Mobile Home for sale.
“Uh, I’m not getting a Trailer DUDE!” (Cuz you know, I’m snotty like that.)
Then he read me the price. Which INCLUDES Lake Rights. And a dock.
What? Holy Cow! Mecca Baby – Kids, get your coats, we’re going for a drive!
Then we got there. The trailers were kinda close together, so I was worried about people hearing my constant yelling at my kids, you know, so they wouldn’t bother the neighbors.
Or, yelling at the flipping dogs to shut up. So we’d be the people with the loud kids and the barking dogs and the harridan that was always YELLING at everyone.
Shit, all I needed was a cigarette hanging out of one side of my mouth while I yelled. (I want you to know, I quit smoking cigarettes out of one side of my mouth DECADES ago!)
Then we find this one little trailer, all by itself, on a hill. And I had heart palpitations.
Cuz I could yell and my kids and my dogs and no one would call Social Services OR the SPCA.
But what really sold me? It had a little outside shower . . . I have some bizarre, unnatural love of bathing outdoors. Claustrophobia mixed with a healthy dose of exhibitionism and there you go. I was sold.
So we bought this little Trailer in the woods, bought a tempurpedic bed and lots of bright colored paint and carved out a little piece of nirvana.
And this weird thing has happened to us in this 700 square foot place. If you leave your shoes out, it creates a Level 5 Hoarding situation.
But oddly enough, we feel more connected as a family in this tiny little place.
We can hear each other breathe, uh . . ., all the time. We can hear the kids playing down in the creek. We take walks together.
There is no Wii, but we did get Satellite. (I didn’t say I was a Saint, did I?)
And there is fishing (May I just say: Thank God for the Kindle, cuz that fishing shit is BORING.)
There is something precious about being snowed in, and something magical about being out on the deck in the summer.
And when we go back to our big ricocheting lives in Palm Springs, we yearn for our time together in the mountains.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
So we bought a kayak.
We had this whole fantasy about buying a boat, but now that our house isn’t worth shit, but our payments are huge, the kayak seemed like the way to go.
But here’s the problem. I’m not bendy like I used to be.
Some of this is age, some of this is weight. (Hey – you try flitting around in heels carting around a couple of hundred pounds. There I said it.)
But most of this is my shitty bones and joints. Four back surgeries, a hip replacement, a major spinal fusion (uh, is there a minor spinal fusion?).
So this old girl can’t twist and turn. Shout yes. Twist and turn, not so much.
Now, the kayak. It would be the “getting in” and the “getting out” which is at issue. By “issue” I mean it is a near engineering impossibility. But I perservere. Cuz I’m an idiot like that.
There is screaming and weeping. And that is just from the guy watching me from the dock. So two big guys (one is my hunky husband) hold the kayak, cooing reassuring words at me (that would be the other guy, my husband had his jaw clenched) that it’s really stable and it won’t tip over.
After three near fatal attempts, I manage to land in and NOT dislocate my fake hip. SCORE!
A lovely evening kayak trip, enjoying the scenery and the fact that I am getting exercise SITTING DOWN! Whoo hoo!
Until it is time to get out of the kayak on another dock.
No extra set of hands and reassuring words. My husband needs to hold the kayak, so he’s not really available to help me.
Many attempts, I’m softly weeping, my husband is starting to get stern, cuz it is getting dark and I’m pretty sure I’m spending the flipping night in the kayak. Which btw, is no longer that comfortable. And don’t you think they could have told you that it fills with water so your ass is soaking wet?
I manage to slide my ass out of the kayak, with trembling arms across the splinter filled dock (no more will be said on THAT subject).
Even getting up off my back (yes, that is how I scooched across) is almost impossible cuz the dock is so narrow. So I’m standing there watching my husband get out.
And I watch, as in slow motion, the kayak moves away from the dock with his legs in the boat and his arms gripping the edge of the dock.
I’m transfixed (which is a nice way to say: I don’t move to offer an assist) as his ass ever so slowly descends into the lake and the kayak gently floats away.
I would have rushed to his aid, except I thought I was going to have a stroke myself. Why? Was I terrified for my dear husband? Well . . . uh, no. I couldn’t get any oxygen cuz I was laughing so hard.
”You know Honey, they say endorphins are good for you, right?”
Uh oh . . . I may have just peed my pants – just a little bit.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
On the 4th of July we went to a party by the Lake. Little Glowie had some mixed feelings about swimming cuz she thought the lake/seaweed stuff might try to get her.
Perfectly understandable. So the TaxMan walks her to the dock, cuz she wants to jump in and swim to the beach. But she panics and can’t.
Then I take her, pretty sure the reason she didn’t go is cuz her dad pressured her. Nah, she won’t go for me either. But she does eventually go with some other kids. All 34 pounds of her 7 year old self.
Off the dock, into the lake, swimming (the dog paddle, cuz hey, she’s not putting her face IN THERE).
And then, she starts screaming. Just loud, scared, did I say loud? Screams.
So I say, in my meanest, hissingest Mommy voice that everyone can hear – Glowie – stop screaming. Look at me and swim. You can scream when you get to shore. (Hey, we could have jumped in any time, but this was going to be a win for her dammit. And I didn’t really want to jump in there with all that lake/seaweed stuff myself!)
A few more blood curdling screams and cries and the lake stuff touched her legs. But she kept her eyes on me and in she swam. And we had our joyous moment, celebrating her bravery, her willingness to push through the fear and really accomplish something.
Whoo Hoo! So while she is in the outside shower, and I am holding a privacy towel up and begging her to HURRY UP, I try tucking the towel into the shower thingie. And I knock a huge piece of dry, rotted wood down – ONTO THE TOP OF HER HEAD. So I’m holding up the broken piece of wood, while now standing in the shower myself, while holding my screaming kid up to me, telling her how sorry I am that that happened.
She is screaming the words: Goose Egg.
Yes Baby, you are going to have a goose egg. One helluva Goose Egg. Mommy is so sorry.
Clean, dried and happy.
During dinner, she silently gets up and stands right off to the side next to me. I am telling a story and gesticulating wildly (cuz how else do you tell a story?) and my elbow cracks into her face.
Oh Baby, Mommy is so sorry. Oh Honey you were so close and I didn’t see you. Hugs, hugs, hugs. But now I’m starting to get Glowie-worn-out.
Now we go to this little hill to watch the Fireworks over the lake. Glowie wants to play patty cake (do you know this one? Lemonade, Ice Tea, Coca Cola, Pepsi???). Our friend Dennis says: Come over here Glowie and teach me.
Lemonade. Clap. Iced Tea. Clap. Coca Cola. Oops.
That patty cake had a little more power behind it (hey, Dennis IS a former Marine – he really puts some muscle into Patty Cake, Dammit!) Chloe lost her balance and pitched over backwards, ready to plunge down the hill.
It is only a last minute grab to the bottom of her t-shirt that Dennis is able to avert disaster and keep Glowie upright. There is more screaming, more comforting, more holding.
Now she’s got a goose egg, a black eye, and a torn T-shirt.
So when I say my little one is a handful and people say, ah, she’s not that bad – she only weighs 34 pounds, how could she be a handful?
People … This was just three hours in the life of Glowie and her Mom. And people wonder why I have all these odd nervous twitches.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
So this morning I am running my kids to day camp. Which is a nice way to say that the local Parks and Rec will take your kids, for $50 a week and provide fun child care. You know, so you can work and hopefully make more than the $50 it costs to send them there.
I had an interview at my house in an hour, so the morning was filled with screams of “pick up your stuff” and “if you don’t remember your bathing suit – YOU WON’T BE SWIMMING!”. You know, cherished morning stuff.
As I pull the car out of the driveway I look down and see I forgot to change my shoes. I have on a lovely summer paisley print dress with pink and yellows. So lovely.
And my shoes? Enormous zebra print orthopedic shoes. Well, no matter I think. I have to get them to camp.
So I march them in, and hold myself high amongst the other mothers, some wearing cute kahki pants and delicate flip flops, one mother wearing a sex secretary skirt and 5 inch heels. But I hold myself like I look amazing. Cuz that’s how I try to roll in my orthopedic shoes.
I wonder why one of the mother’s that I was trying to chat up kept looking at my lovely and voluptuous bosom. Hmm . . .
Well, I get home and realize the rather “orthopedic” bra that I chose was completely exposed in the dress. Like the neckline of the dress was below the cups.
Old lady bra, ridiculous shoes. Lovely interview dress.
I plan to look amazing when I go back for the 3 pm pick up! And by amazing I mean my bra won’t show and I’m leaving the zebra comfy shoes at home.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
My kids are 10, Blondie and 7, Glowie. I have been dying for a break from them for about . . . 10 years. We’ve had a weekend away here and there, but never a week.
A week without my children is the stuff my sweet dreams are made of!
So I call around and find a sleepaway camp that will take 7 year olds along with our 10 year old. And off we go, in May, to spend a day there, with the kids, to check it out.
Ah, a little piece of yummy in the mountains. A lake, ATV’s, paintball, riflery, archery, roller blading, water skiing, ropes courses, well the list goes on. And on – cuz it’s that kind of place. (I believe they refer to it as HEAVEN!)
On the day of the orientation Glowie asks me if we could just leave her right then. Forget the rest of first grade – she was READY for camp now!
So we cancel our family trip to San Diego and start the enrollment process. You know: the forms, the questions, the medical documentation. And I do all of it without a complaint. Cuz I’m getting a flipping week off!!!
The big day comes, the duffel bags are packed, the checklists have been checked and rechecked (no reason not to take my hyper-anal behavior at home and apply it to camp). Everyone is in the car.
For once, we let Glowie just chat and chat and chat about all the fun she’s going to have, the friends she’s going to make, how late she is going to stay up, and the freedom she is going to have. (You just keep talking Baby – cuz Mama is counting down to her freedom too!)
Blondie is quiet, cuz she is shy and this is harder for her.
In we sweep: there is music playing and dozens and dozens of excited and amazing camp counselors greeting us and ushering us through the process.
We walk them down to the lake, set them up for some lunch, meet some more kids and counselors.
Ah, Blondie really doesn’t want us to go. Glowie however flips her hand up at me and says: Mom – shoo! Goodbye.
I’ve waited 10 years for this day. As we walk back up to the car (everything is hills in this camp – get me out of here!) I keep sneaking peeks back. Glowie is holding court and Blondie is holding her head down.
I am sick. Sick I tell you, to leave my kids at camp.
We drive away while I weep (not so gently).
And I spend the rest of the afternoon of my “vacation” with an incredible sick feeling in my stomach. Is this what the empty nest feels like? Cuz I’m miserable. If I feel like this for the whole week, it is going to suck.
And I’m totally rethinking that whole “commitment” to college thing. Maybe they should just stay home.
Then I have the first of many, many naps. Then I have the first of (well) many, many cocktails.
Then I log onto the camp website and see the pictures of them, laughing, eyes sparkling, having so much fun.
And I feel better. Now THIS is the vacation I dreamed about.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Look, I’m old, I’m tired. I need a nanny. Cuz as you know, the parenting thing is way harder than I thought. Meaning, without help, I would be dead. Period.
I thought a nanny was going to fix everything. I was expecting sing-alongs and tea.
But what the hell? Who knew the goddamed nanny thing was going to be as much work as the kids? Where is the justice in that, I ask you?
Ever since Blondie was born, we’ve had a revolving door of Nannies, Baby.
How can it be that bad? Okay the first one was the most invasive person I have ever met. If Blondie (who at that time was really “Baldy”) ever started to drift off to sleep, she would wake her up. Like seriously. She needed the baby’s attention 24/7.
She would even call at night to see if we had fed the dog. Okay, we hadn’t yet, but not the point People, not the point.
We hired a lot of sweet (I’m talking honey- touched virgins) girls from the local Baptist College. That worked well until we swilled some booze or accidentally let a “fuck” or a “pussy” slip out. (You’d be amazed at how frequently those words do just tumble from our vodka coated lips.)
They came and they went in their ankle-length denim skirts and long straight hair. (I felt so at home when Big Love finally aired. Cuz I’d been living there Baby.)
Next through the revolving door, came the girl who stole my shoes. (Fucker!) Then there was the girl that was so involved planning her wedding that she forgot to take care of the kid. (Hey Babysitter Chick – you are supposed to be here, so I can ignore the kid.) There was the girl that we loved who never showed up again.
There was the English lady who used to call out in a shrill panic: “Girls, Girls please don’t bicker.” Ya, cuz THAT worked.
There was the older lady that had the most frightening smoker’s cough ever.
Now don’t get me wrong, we had some Sweet spots. There was Sara, who was 17 and a liar. No really, she lied. She told us she was going to go to the local Community College when she really had a full ride scholarship to Mount Holyoke. She was a beautiful young feminist who always believed I was the coolest person ever. I’m shallow in that a 17- year old can totally define my sense of self and well-being. (Hey, she’s 25 now, and still feeding my needy side!)
There was Tee, who hung in there with us for 4 years. She started out in black hoodies tied up over her face, making her a rather frightening presence at the elementary school. But hey, she poured love and salty/olive oil chicken into our gullets and spoiled the shit out of us. We love her sweet, unhoodie-covered face to this day.
But, the one that REALLY blew our minds, was Emily, who showed me the incredible wisdom of hiring someone 21 years of age who could run out and BUY US VODKA!
And now we have @PS_Nanny. I’d love to say something smartie pants about her, but I know she’s going to read this. And maybe even leave a comment if I work this just right.
Why did we hire her? One of the first things she ever said to me was: “You don’t scare me”. And given the fact that she declared this from her 6 ft tall height sorta scared ME. (In a hot, kinda way.)
I keep waiting for her to run through that revolving door onto the street. I try so hard not to throw myself to the ground and hold onto her leg when she walks out the door at night.
I tell my daughters that the Nanny isn’t here for them. The Nanny is here for me. Mama has needs. (Well, there is the whole “working” thing, but I try and keep that to a bare minimum.) Needs to eat, needs to never actually set foot on a soccer field for soccer practice, needs for special ballet tights which requires schlepping out to another zip code.
She’s the chick that doesn’t yell at them (cuz they get enough of that with me), makes sure everyone is eating healthy snacks (this may actually be a downside for me) and stands in my office with her arms folded if I don’t get in the shower in time to get to an appointment.
We are in our glory days right now. No one in our family needs a diaper. Not the kids, not me. (Though my Twitter Addiction may be driving a need to buy Depends. Nanny! Make a note.)
And the best part about @PS_Nanny is, that though she may not have an umbrella, she doesn’t mind running to the store for Vodka and Cheetos. #score #keeper
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I’m famous. Well, at least I was in my own mind.
But now I have outside verification. My name appeared in our local paper!!!
As an ARTIST! #score
Now look, I’ve been in a mosaic art studio for, I don’t know, a couple of years. It’s become a religion, like sacramental blood in my veins. (Especially the part where we close studio and have wine on Friday nights. This ritual is actually called Vespers.) #awesome
At this point, everyone is getting ready for an Art Show at Mexican Restaurant.
And I’m having a breakdown. Cuz this is the time of year when the Mommy duties go way up and studio drops to Number 782 on my To Do list.
Oh, I want to be part of. And I eat at this fricking restaurant EVERY Monday night. How will I swallow the yummy food with all the bitter bile, as I dine amongst my colleagues truly awesome art pieces?
So I suck it up.
I have no ideas. And every else has taken the cool stuff. You know, like Margaritas and Tacos!
So I announce I’m going to do a Heart. (Our heart really does reside in this little place.) Oops. “Does not meet the theme of the show.” #dammit
Thank God, one of the artists abandoned her chili pepper piece. Hallelujah! A concept I can run with.
So I do Chili Peppers on a Heart. (Cuz I’m stubborn like that, when I’m not wallowing in bitterness.)
But I make it small. Like 9 inches. Cuz I have one week.
So I lock my kids in another room, allow them extraordinary access to Disney Channel and the Wii and I crank.
And I talk to myself. “It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just get it done. Or you will be LEFT OUT.”
The words LEFT OUT always invoke some kind of awful fear in me. But it is enough to keep me moving.
And you know, I am nothing without a village. @Pottery45Girl, Jennifer my teacher helped me saw the heart background; @JerryLStudio suggested I lay the chili peppers overlapping to create a heart within a heart, @SocialMosaics grouted it for me.
Then everybody from the studio took a whole night to hang all the pieces. (And don’t forget the doctor who prescribes my xanax. A very important member of my village.)
And clearly you have achieved the Big Time when the local paper not only writes about the show, but runs a picture of your piece! Check it out.
This makes me famous, right? #pleasepleaseplease
Friday, June 4, 2010
This morning I woke up with a singular purpose. I commit to getting my To Do List done for the day.
First, however, I check Twitter. Then I check some more. Then I hope someone will respond to what I thought was a brilliant tweet, so I keep checking.
Then I think, wow, I really need to write a blog post. I’ll start that after I check Twitter again, cuz dammit, that Tweet was funny.
And now I need to tackle the To Do list. But I can’t actually find the list. I dig under three Cheetos bags, a dog leash, a Camp Trip Release form (shit, that was supposed to go out yesterday) and finally, triumphantly find the list. It has orange fingerprints on it and is much longer that I remember.
I really need to redo this. I should have columns sorting these tasks between high priority and low priority (and the column for the shit, that let’s be real, I am never going to fucking do), emails, calls, proposals etc.
Then I check Twitter again. And then I check to see if anyone posted a comment on my Blog. But I’m not posting a lot to my blog, cuz, uh, duh – I have a lot of things on my To Do List.
You know what. I feel tired. I’ll hit this hard -- tomorrow. I’ll just crank through it all then. That’s the ticket. I’ll write a blog, redo the list, work on the tasks. Tomorrow is the day. The Golden Day. I’ll get up early.
Cuz now I need to check Twitter. Cuz dammit, that Tweet was Golden!
So we decided to head up to the mountains over the three-day weekend. We left Palm Springs on a Thursday night. No big deal, right?
Sunny skies, kinda warm out, beautiful glow of the early evening, on the horizon we can see some clouds, kinda pretty. No big deal, right?
As we get up onto the curvy mountain road we see the dense clouds above us. We’ve made this drive through a bit of fog before (in the bright morning hours, but hey?). No big deal, right?
Then we hit the fog. Solid, intense, about 8 inches of visibility. And it is pitch-fucking- black. Sheer mountain cliff on one side, oncoming traffic on the other. Turns out it may be a big fucking deal.
However, Glowie is gaily chatting in the back seat. We tell her to Be Quiet, Daddy needs to concentrate on the road. And Lord knows I am holding us on this mountain road with no visibility, with the sheer strength of my toes, curled hard into my shoes which are pressing onto the floor boards.
My husband tries to turn on the windshield wiper, cuz in his mind, THAT is the problem here. If he can just clear the windshield, he’ll be able to see.
Through clenched jaw I tell him to KEEP HIS HANDS ON THE STEERING WHEEL AND FORGET THE FUCKING WINDSHIELD WIPER.
Then I alternate by saying optimistic things like: I’m sure this will lift when we get to the summit. This can’t stay like this once we make the turn off. Right?
Unfortunately, when my husband heroically (or blindly) makes the turn off into a sheer, black wall of fog we think: Thank God, this is it. It has got to lighten up here.
And I can finally unclench my digits.
But no. We still can’t see shit. We don’t even know if we are on the right road. We don’t know if there is a sheer cliff on the left or oncoming traffic on the right.
We are buried in fog. And now fucking lost.
But we do hear something.
In the back seat.
Constant, repeated sniffling.
We are tense, my husband and I. Him with the white knuckles on the steering wheel, me of course, with the clenched toes in floorboard and fingernails in dashboard.
I haven’t blinked in 10 minutes. Cuz I am keeping us alive with my will.
With every muscle in my body I have to turn my head, peeling my eyes off the invisible road, to see what the HELL is going on in the backseat.
I find Glowie softly sobbing.
Fear turns to sorrow.
“Why are you crying baby?”
Glowie: “Cuz I think we are going to die. And Mommy, I DON’T WANT TO DIE.”
And now the tension is broken. Hey, we still can’t see shit, but the kid has called out the elephant in the car.
I tell the girls to Hold Hands. I tell them everything is going to be fine. We are together. We may be in the fog, we may be lost and there may be a fucking cliff. But we are together.
And you know what? It turns out that being together as a family, is the biggest fucking deal of all.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This is a love story.
Of our best friends, the wife has early onset Alzheimers. She’s had it since her mid 50’s. She’s 61 now. And every single day, she is leaving us a little bit more. Well, a lot more.
I’ll call her Daisy, it’s not her name, but I feel protective of her. Daisy and her husband were our neighbors for many years. His name is Dennis. That is his real name. I think he is a tough guy, so I’m not afraid to use his real name.
Though they are older than we are, with grown kids, we started having a relationship of geography. (Hey, we just happened to see each other ALL the time. We lived on a dirt road and The Husband had a tractor. We had needs, you know how that goes… except instead of asking to borrow a power tool, we would ask him to get on his tractor and smooth out our driveways). That relationship grew into a friendship, and now, they are our family.
We always thought Daisy was a little “dingy”. Sweet, fun, beautiful and well…just dingy. Going over to their house for dinner was an experience in hunger, patience and manic-ness and she ran from the table to the kitchen and back, cuz she couldn’t remember what she needed. You know . . . ditzy.
But the ditziness got worse, and all of a sudden it wasn’t a charming personality quirk. After trips to the neurologist and those horrible tests where she was asked to count backwards from 100 by 7’s (hey try it . . . see if it doesn’t scare the shit out of you) the diagnosis came back: Early Onset Alzheimers.
There was shock and crying and grief. But then the worst of that passes and there is just settling into the New Normal.
You know, where you can’t have a real conversation with her anymore.
Where Dennis has lost his partner/soulmate/best friend of 20 years.
But in the beginning of this, man, Daisy was pissed. She hated the doctor for asking her questions she couldn’t answer and she hated us and her husband for talking “behind her back”.
And she felt so insulted by the diagnosis. She used to say, when she stumbled about something: I’m not a nit wit you know. I’m not a nutter. (She’s English, you know…)
“No Lovey, we don’t think that. You just have a little condition about remembering.”
Those feisty years are coming to an end. Now Daisy is so delightful. Everything makes her laugh.
My kids understand that in a restaurant when she says: I’ll take the girls to the Restroom, that THEY are the ones taking her.
We all pitch in to help her do her belt, or get her shoes on or keep her pesky zipper zipped UP.
If we tell my daughters that Daisy may not come visit us this weekend, they shout out, BUT WE CAN TAKE CARE OF HER. WE WANT OUR DAISY.
She gets lost trying to find the bathroom in her own house.
She and Dennis have some weddings and fancy events to go to this year. Dennis handed me a bag with the junkiest, most overwhelming, TON of makeup and said: Can you help me figure this out?
I told him to give me the credit card and I’d be right back. (Hey they’re our best friends. Why shouldn’t I speak to him just like I speak to my own husband.)
I went to Target and bought a few simple things. Then I labeled each brush and each compact. Then I made a list. Then I took photos.
Then I gave Dennis lessons.
It is a good thing Daisy is tough, cuz Dennis is a former Marine, do it yourself Home Remodeler, and man’s man. That was some harsh eye shadow application there, Dude!
But you know what? Daisy looked pretty. She looks better with some eyebrow and a little color.
Daisy is leaving us. And she’s not just leaving us and our kids. She’s leaving her daughters and her grandkids and most painfully, she’s leaving her husband.
You know, before Alzheimer’s had her, Daisy was never an “I love you” girl. But she is now.
And cuz she can’t remember anything, she tells me she loves me over and over and over. I kinda love that part. Cuz I love her too. And now I can say it as much as I want. (And no one questions whether or not I have been drinking too much.)
Every day Dennis and Daisy set out to have a good day. And every day I miss her. Every day I think: Fuck You Alzheimers.
I love you too, Daisy. I love you too.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Last week was Science Camp for the 5th Graders or as we called it at my house: Mommy Melt-Down Week.
Dear God, it’s only Science Camp, right? Did it really require 17 “orientation” meetings? And did I mention the ridiculousLY extensive multi-store shopping requiring two full pages of check lists? Then the packing, labeling with sharpies (although I must say, I do love a chance to use a Sharpie), sealing of the hefty bags, etc, etc, etc, etc #etc?
Let me tell you, it was stressful because my 10 year old and my 7 year old have NEVER been away from each other. So the night before, of course there was melt down. Blondie’s not mine (for once).
Blondie, is a soft, gentle, shy kid with a really big heart and a passion for math and science. Otherwise, she would have stayed home, curled in the warm softness of the maternal bosom.
Except this kid REALLY (and oddly) loves Science.
So there we are the night before with Blondie out of her mind with a full blown anxiety attack -- her little face was all crumpled with sobbing, while she was clinging to me, wailing . . . “I really want to go but I can’t be away from my family.”
So there was lots of cheerleading (Ah no . . . there was no cute outfit, rather a very old nightie from JC Pennys) with pom poms (okay, there were no pom poms either, but I do have big boobs) and she finally got to sleep at 11:00 p.m., her little body shuddering with the exhaustive sobs.
And the next morning not only was she up, but she was packed and waiting at the door a full hour before we needed to leave the house. (God, if only she had the same attitude about picking up her crap that she had about being on time.)
Massive excitement at the school, me with the video cam, sleeping bags and pillows everywhere.
In the background of course was me begging the 5th grade teachers and authorities in charge to PLEASE take the 7 year old also, I would donate LOTS of money, but sadly, they just kept shaking their heads “no”.
Lots of hugs and kisses and “I love you’s” then the buses pulled out the parking lot.
Whoo Hoo!!! Whoo Hoo!!!
I just knew this marked a huge shift in our family.
This was a milestone event that was going to move us to a greater level of independence. For all of us. #damnit
Cuz the Little Sis was going to have to learn to sleep without her Big Sis in the top bunk. And Blondie was going to have to learn to sleep without LiL Sis in the bottom bunk.
And it was all going to be good, good, good.
Turned it was weird, weird, weird.
Cuz there was no contact. No cell phones, no phone calls.
So I worried. And I thought about her. And I was excited for her. And I missed her. And I had this weird feeling in my stomach that I’ve NEVER had before . . . I hurt with longing.
By Thursday, when I wanted to call the camp my husband said: Don’t be THAT Mom. (Really? Cuz, ah, I totally AM that Mom.) But I resisted.
So that night I started counting the hours until I could see her. And when I woke up at 6 am on Friday morning, my first thought was: 7 more hours. And I counted down.
I too was at the school an hour early. (It must be a familial trait, this obsession with earliness.)
When those kids came off the bus, I was so excited. (And slightly overwhelmed by the odor, but that’s another blog . . . you know, one called: My Smelly Tween.)
There was my little, red-faced, sweaty Blondie in my arms, hugging me hard.
And I was happy. And I was whole.
And I swore I would never yell at my kids or wish they were grown up and out of the house ever again.
I would treasure every moment we had together.
Ya, that lasted about a whole effing hour.
“Hello SleepAway Camp? Do you take 7 year olds? I’ll pay an “upcharge” . . .”
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Besides buying 120 bottles of vodka and Cheetos for Bloggy Boot Camp (you know, bribes to make people like me), I also ran out and bought a Flip Camera. And paid someone (no seriously, you don’t know what a techno-loser I am) to teach me how to use it.
So there I was at Bloggy in Phoenix with my new camera and no skill set. Which apparently isn’t the deterrent it should be! Then I saw that gorgeous @SugarJones and the hot, hot, hot @KadiPrescott do their presentation on Vlogging and thought: I can NEVER do this. But I did anyway.
Here’s my first Vlog.
So there I was at Bloggy in Phoenix with my new camera and no skill set. Which apparently isn’t the deterrent it should be! Then I saw that gorgeous @SugarJones and the hot, hot, hot @KadiPrescott do their presentation on Vlogging and thought: I can NEVER do this. But I did anyway.
Here’s my first Vlog.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I am loving this Bloggy Boot Camp Shit. I don’t know if it’s the great women, or Tiffany’s amazing hair, or Heather’s sweet warmth, or maybe, the three cosmos the first night, but this has been a fucking blast.
Yes, there was the kinda scary part on the plane. You know, the part where they make you TURN OFF THE PHONE, the only source of possibly, final communications from me to the world.
OK, followed by the part where they said it’s going to be a bumpy flight and I unsnapped my seat belt to get the ativan out. (And yes, I just dry-chewed that baby.)
But I had back up: my Sweet Friend @CraftyCMC and my new GF @Mommyisdating. We were half-way to a posse, Baby.
And then that weird moment, going to the cocktail party and not quite knowing where to go or who to talk to. But you know, slap a nametag on me and it turns out, I’m good to go.
The best part? People had cameras! And I ‘m in their pictures Baby (Whether I was invited or not.)
And that fact that I had to worm myself into the group pictures? Not really an issue for me, cuz, you know, I’m Out There!
Some of the sessions on Saturday changed my life! The hilarity about Vlogging made me want to be Sugar and Kadi, well, more Sugar. Except Kadi Darlin’, now I need a Sponsor for panti-liners, cuz when an Older Mom says “I peed my pants laughing . . .”)
Loved that Spunky and Sassy AmyBHole and her Branding talk. Loved it more when she said she’d take a look at my press kit. Amy, the minute I talk with you, that puppy will be up on my website.
And Lorelie Looney Tunes! Dude – you made me cry and I wanted to run over all the rows of tables in front of me and just clutch you to my bosom. My, ah, ample bosom. (Now THAT is an earlier Blog Post.) I love you. And your big old heart.
And now, can we discuss the massive amount of undereye concealer that I need! And I didn’t even stay up late enough to jump in the pool. (I hate that – I so would have been there. But not in my clothes. I would have been naked – made my gay neighbors proud.)
Was I out there? On a scale of 1 to 10 Baby, I’m calling it a 10. (That could have the Cosmos last night.)
Sunday, April 25, 2010
We all picked words for 2010. My friend Dorothy, @EcoOrganizer picked “Magnetism”. My husband, @Taxes007 picked “Smarter Not Harder”. My friend Carolyn @Craftycmc said: “That’s Really Stupid.”
Anyway, I picked “Out There”.
Which should have been fucking easy since I am kind of a very Out There Girl!
I love a party, love speaking my mind, and love to discuss my pussy in mixed company.
But I found that there was something about moving out of the confines of my Palm Springs life that scares the hell out of me.
In the four months since I chose “Out There” to define my year, I have changed it once or twice… okay, fine more like 50 times to: “Never Mind”.
But the chick that said this whole ‘word’ thing was stupid reminds me every chance she gets… “What’s your word?”
Grrr… “Out There”
So I just did a photo shoot to put me and my face (I was only convinced when I was told I could wear the longest, thickest false eyelashes ever)…..“Out There”.
And I am putting together a web page. Of course I am also now laying in the fetal position, eating cheetos, chanting like Brick in the Middle “Never Mind” under my breath.
I’ve been bolder about reaching out to other bloggers. Of course one of the “Biggies”
slapped me publically on Twitter for saying I was stalking her with cheetos cuz I wanted to be her friend. Then she BLOCKED ME! And so did her other friends. (Clearly they didn’t think “stalking with Cheeto-stained fingers” was as hilarious as I did!).
Guess they didn’t get the memo about me being ‘Out There!’
That turned out to be a full week or two of changing my mind about this whole thing. I could barely tweet for a while. (Since then, using intensive Martini therapy, I have overcome those fears.)
So I am going to Bloggy Boot Camp in Phoenix this weekend (where for the love of God, I hope they teach me some stuff about blogs and sponsorship. I really want money.)
Because Damn it, I’m “Out There!” (Well, and it’s only an hour flight away and the weather is identical to Palm Springs, but my encroaching agoraphobia is a whole other blog.)
Brazenly I am putting up my website: www.TheDeeView.com.
I am printing up business cards with my FACE on them (okay – very tiny, but still kinda “Out There”). I am bringing Goodie Bags for everyone (hey, I didn’t say anything about overcoming my need to buy affection).
I am bringing Press Kits for my one woman show, which I am positive no one wants, nor will anyone come see when it debuts in the Fall. (I am getting a bit ill just typing this…. Can you hear me whispering ‘never mind’ into my shirt?)
I have about half of a book written, which I am sure no one wants to hear about or read. (Talking about this is SO embarrassing.)
Plus, I am an older Mommy, and I hate that! So I will have a very busy week of coloring my roots and well, it is probably too late to get some botox. Now I will be exposed and I am pretty sure I will be shunned cuz of my advanced age.
But I am getting on that fucking plane. Even though leaving my 760 area code gives me stomach cramps and dry mouth. Nothing a little martini at the airport won’t cure. (What Honey? My plane leaves at 9:30 in the morning? And your point would be what exactly?)
Bloggy Boot Camp – I have my vodka, cheetos and pictures.
Here I come, Phoenix!
You ready for me to be “Out There?”
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
So I need to see a doctor . . . it’s urgent. I have Crohn’s Disease. Had it forever. Having abdominal pain – never a good sign.
So this doctor, whom I have seen once (my other, NICE doctor, moved) runs a really efficient practice. Practically no wait times. I’ll put up with a lot to get in and our without waiting. (Clearly there may be an actual reason why there is no wait time . . .)
So when I needed this guy, he came at me with both barrels smoking. Instead of a “hello”, or “I see this is an emergency appointment we have for you today, what’s going on?”, this guy opened the door and bellowed: We are going to have to see whether or not I can even treat you!
Uh. . . I’m sorry. Can I just get a Cat Scan first before we have our big second date fight? I’m worried about losing what little bit of a colon I have left . . .
Turns out, while I waited for his office to decide whether or not they could see me within the WEEK (Hello – Crohn’s!? Abdominal Pain!? Medical Chart 4 inches thick!?)
I had asked my internist (whom I had seen just a couple days prior – love him) to order me a white count, to see if I had any infection running away in my body.
This full-of-shit Doctor (who’s office didn’t even know if they would be able to “contact doctor” today) was fit to be tied that I had “gone around his back” and “ordered my own blood work”. I wasn’t allowing him to practice good medicine. (Cuz yelling? That’s some really good medicine there. Thank God all my other doctors missed the special “yelling class” at medical school.)
And man, he let me know how I had not ordered the full compliment of tests that he needed. Again, I’m sorry Mr. Yelling Doctor…just needed to know if I had another perforated bowel. So sorry to be pesky like that.
To deflect his anger and disappointment I said: I am happy to go get any other test you think I need. He then castigated me about my safety and health in getting two blood draws in a day. (Uh, I’ve had multiple blood draws in a day, many times. I’ve had nurses try to start IV’s up to 10 times. I ain’t afraid of no blood draw. But you? You are scaring the shit out of me. (Oops. Bad Crohn’s joke.)
He even vilified my internist (aka The Good Doctor) saying why didn’t he communicate with me? (Cuz it appeared no one knew where you were.)
Well, I felt like sobbing. But I didn’t. Cuz I’m brave like that.
I felt like defending myself and my other doc. Which I did. Cuz I’m defensive like that.
But I had my eye on the prize. I could hate this guy every day for the rest of my life, but FIRST, I had to be a Good Girl, and get that CAT SCAN ordered, cuz for me? That test is literally the sign of life or death.
Once the Cat Scan had been ordered, I decided to tell Mr. Doctor that he kinda scared me, and I’m sorry he was upset, but I was operating off the info his office had provided me. I was trying to take care of myself while I waited for his office to let me know if he could see me.
He said: There are no other patients like you. Patients come in, tell the doctor their symptoms, then ask the doctor what HE should do next. (I swear to God, this guy is barely 40 years old – he’s not some ancient, doddering old dude practicing medicine in a small town in the 1940’s.)
Again, he let me know that the “team approach” to medicine was unheard of. And just to be sure, he said again: there are no patients like you.
Well Mr. Doctor. Here is what I have to say to you, (which btw, I am actually too big of a pussy to actually say):
First: Fuck you Mr. Doctor.
Second: Mr. Doctor. I have had Crohn’s disease for 30 years. I have worked with the world’s most preeminent doctors in this field at Cedar Sinai. There are no other doctors like you. I have never heard of a doctor that doesn’t welcome a “team approach” to practicing medicine.
Doctors who berate patients (before saying hello) are not practicing medicine. They are practicing their own version of I’m-insecure-and-will-meet-my-fucked-up-psychological-needs-by-controlling-sick-people. I wouldn’t let you treat a feral cat. (Or actually, maybe I would, cuz I’m pretty sure the cat would win. And I would like that.)
BTW, thanks for the Cat Scan. I found a new doctor. He practices a freakish kind of medicine. He listens to the patient. He promised to take care of me.
(I wanted to offer to bear him children, but I’m old, infertile and he ain’t no youngster himself.)
That new guy? He’s my kinda doctor. You? You are a bully, a meanie and a control freak. And I heard you yelling at those other people in the other exam room. It’s cuz of them I’m sending you a letter. Not this letter, but another one.
Fuck you Mr. Doctor.