Sunday, February 27, 2011

Science Project – Another Family Killer

Oh shit. Science Projects are due . . . tomorrow.

Now, of course I’ve been down this thorn-filled road before. Many times before.

Okay – NINE times so far, and still counting.

And at first, I had a Fire in my Belly for these projects. And there were awards received. And Mommy was proud.

Though this is a child-driven project, let’s be real. The parent has to come up with a concept that they can stand. We’ve done the carnations with food coloring one a couple of times. (Two kids, two different schools – how bad is that?) Who do you think buys the carnations, the food coloring and the Science Project Board?

And let’s talk about carving out time for this “learning experience.” It feels so big and looming in my head that I’m filled with a sick stomach for the entire month that it's due. I don’t actually DO anything about helping the kids work their stuff through, I just feel guilty.

Science Projects are a lot like being back in college. You know how you would go out and party instead of study for a midterm? Feeling dirty and guilty the whole time you were partying? (And then there was the Academic Probation . . . but let’s leave that for another story.)

So adding “Mommy guilt and dirt” to the Science Project checklist IS important.
And then there is the typing of the hypothesis, the method and the conclusion. I always disclose on the Board that the “typing was done by Mom.”

But Hey!!! Last night my older daughter was able to do the typing for my younger daughter. This Science Project says “typing was done by my sister, Blondie.”

Last year was the first year I really started to give up on this stuff. I was fatigued-- in the moment, and in a big-life way.

So I let the teenage babysitter help on a Saturday night while my husband and I went out for martinis. Genius, you might think to yourself.

Well, all except for the fact that last year was the first year my kids didn’t get even a lousy “honorable mention” ribbon. Wow, that stung.

It stung, but not enough to change the game up this year.

So the babysitter was here over the weekend. There was colored paper, glue, a concept AND a hypothesis.

I had a lovely petite filet and my martini was shaken, not stirred.

I’m not holding my breath on my Mother of the Year Award. Not this year, at least.

But next year we are going to roll up our sleeves. We are really going to pre-plan.
Next year, there will be a timeline and a schedule. We will pick our project early and make a list of supplies IN ADVANCE.

Next year, we will be really well stocked-- okay, maybe not the science boards, but dammit we’ll have vodka.

Next year. . .oh, who am I kidding?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

If we only had a Lab.

We spent last summer going back and forth to the mountains.

It was a summer filled with envy.

I hate this about myself. But I have it. Envy. Sort of like: Keeping up with the Joneses syndrome.

We bought a little trailer (do not insert the word “trash” here) in the mountains. You know, to get away from the Palm Springs heat. (Which I always told people I didn’t mind the summers here. The truth is? Summer sucks.)

Okay, EVERYONE has a boat. Well, we can’t really manage the cost of a boat. (Bitterness Alert.) So we bought a couple of used kayaks.

You know, so we could kayak out into the lake and look at all the multi-million dollar houses that we will never live in. (More Bitterness.)

I have no car bitterness however, cuz I have one of those family vans with the auto sliding doors. That totally rocks. But I digress . . .

And we can take our dogs with us. And we have two great dogs. Both rescues. One old, one young. Great dogs. No really…

But EVERYONE in the mountains, you know the people with the boats and the docks and the big fancy lake houses – they all have Labrador Retrievers. Or Goldens. They all have these cute, big, goofy dogs that swim in the lake and ride in the boats and fetch sticks from the shore.

Now we aren’t getting a boat, or moving up from our trailer (didn’t I mention you are not even to think the word “trash” here!). But dammit, we can get another dog.

So I spent the entire summer on every flipping dog rescue site in California. And the Western United States. Trying to find a water dog for my family.

(I think discussing the 6 page applications I filled out for all the different rescue sites is a separate blog I’ll save for later. A teeny weinie bit of bitterness here.)

Cuz I am just sure, if we had a third dog, our lives would be perfect.

My kids would be angels all the time, our business would flow like delicious maple syrup (okay, I’m hungry right now), the plumbing issues in our house would dry up like something in the Sahara. (Hey, I live in Palm Springs, that can’t be too much to ask.)

I would be thinner and more flexible, my younger daughter would calm down (that is code for TALK LESS), my girls would get straight A’s just for being themselves, homework would get done easily and there would never be a pair of stray shoes left anywhere.

I would never be tired and irritable and yell at my kids.

Our staff would run into work every day and beg to work extra hours for no pay, AND they would tell us how fabulous we are.

Our clients would pay their bills the second they received them, and never complain about anything.

Why, if we just had a Labrador Retriever, we would have more joy in our lives every day. I just know it.

Cuz this Lab? She will be able to pick up her own poop, right?


We got her, our beautiful Lab puppy. A lovely little rescue girl.
It happened so fast. My vet saw an ad on Craigslist. She ran over that day. The dog was fabulous, so she snatched her up. We then all piled in the car (by “all” I am including my two daughters and TWO dogs), drove to the Rose Bowl to do the handoff under the dark cover of night. (Very drug-deal-like. Not that I would know. But I have watched a lot of drug deals on TV. )

Of course, we didn’t think about the fact that this was two days before the Rose Parade. It was a little, uh, crowded in the parking area. (Not the wide open spaces that had seemed like such a good idea two hours earlier.) But there she was! Our little water dog, already wanting to run after sticks!

Now our lives will be complete. The envy is over. We will never need anything ever again. Well, except for the fact that it turns out? She doesn’t pick up her own poop. KIDS???

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Husband. This is a love story. No, really.

A Valentine's Day Post...

People often ask how I met my husband.
I advertised for him in the Los Angeles Times. (Hey, this was before online dating. Cut me some slack. I’m old.)
I wanted someone who was a Gentle Man, a sweet talker, a mover and shaker, someone who had done a little therapy. (Ok, I really wanted someone who had done a lot of therapy . . . cuz I’d been down the marriage road once before and I didn’t want go through that again.)
And there he was . . .the perfect guy. At least that was how he sounded. But just in case he wasn’t "The One” I set up dates with a bunch of guys. Cuz I do like to hedge my bets.
But he came out of the gate hard and strong. First date? Ivy at the Shore.
No “let’s meet at the park” or “let’s grab a cup of coffee.” This guy instinctively knew to feed me a foody-licious meal right from the get-go.
And then I cancelled all those other dates.
Because he told me he wanted to build an empire with someone.
And I found those the hottest words ever spoken.
In the past 15 years we helped raise his son, bought and sold a few houses, and moved a few times.
We started our accounting firm. And we grew our accounting firm.
Together, we shepherded my father to his sweet death and we took care of my mother with dementia. And when my Mama got really sick and she needed to be lifted and moved at 1:00 a.m., my husband was the one lifting her with gentle love.
We adopted both of our beautiful daughters.
We went through hell when our baby girl needed major skull surgery as a baby.
I had 10 surgeries in 10 years (you know, just to test that “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” line).
We made a Vigil party for my mom with my closest friends when we were waiting for her time to come. And her time came. And Greg was there.
And we adopted some dogs. And some of them died. So we adopted some more. Cuz we do love our dogs. (We are NOT cat, hamster or bunny people. We do have parrot fish in one of our offices, however.)
Then we moved again. Moved our business, our lives, our daughters’ schools.
And we built a new community, made new friends and found new ways to be part of the community.
And we just kept growing that business.
I started a blog and put our lives “out there.” And he continued to support me and believe in me.
And I got in fights with friends, broke up some old-time relationships, made new friends. And we did it all together.
It’s been 15 years. And I have to say, I thought I had it made when I got a TV in my bathroom.
But really? I had it made 15 years ago, when he saw that ad.

I love you Honey. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Soccer – The Sport That Ate My Family.


Every family does it. At least once.

Some families do it with more zest than others.

We are one of the families that does it with less zest.

My Blondie, 11 years old, has a lot of athletic ability. No aggressiveness though.

So we thought Soccer would really play to her strengths while helping her through some of her shyness, and timidness.

And now we have no family time.

Cuz there are those practices two times a week. (And I get it. I shouldn’t complain.

She is practicing on a dark field in PALM SPRINGS! There is no ice, no biting wind, no snow.) And those game(s) on Saturday. (Where you must wear sunscreen, have plenty of water and need sun-protective headwear.)

However, when you add that in with Glowie’s ballet, each girl's piano lessons, saxophone lessons, after school activities, homework . . . well, it feels as though there is nothing left.

Like a leisurely Saturday.

But, no worries. Cuz it’s almost over.

Except Blondie’s team is undefeated. And now they are in tournament play.

And what parent has secretly wished for their kids team to lose . . . so it can be over.

But since Blondie has been working so hard on improving her game . . . she has been selected to be on the Select Soccer team.

Meaning this is not almost over. Oh no.

Why, we have only just begun.

#Dear #God #Help #Me