About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Here We Go Again

Bunny's sea monkey's are still going strong 4 months later.

Yesterday we began a tank in Lila's room, but Lila's monkeys are getting the star treatment.  And now we have a societal sea monkey inequality.  Sea Monkey Compton in Bunny's bedroom and Sea Monkey Beverly Hills in Lila's bedroom.

 The Sea Monkey Ghetto
Beverly Hills Baby.  Chi-Chi-Chi

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cabo San Lucas

We have decided to go to Cabo San Lucas for our upcoming 10 year wedding anniversary.

I feel like we've been speculating about our travel plans for this anniversary for at least a year.  First we thought that we'd go to Ireland, but after almost moving there and spending a week there in February, it didn't seem like such an exciting idea.

Then we thought Key West, but we've been there together before.  We considered Eugene, Oregon, which is one of our favorite places on earth, and we also thought about camping old school at Big Sur.  Jay and I used to love camping alone.  We still love camping, but when we used to go we had nothing but a tent, a candle and two pb&j's.  Now, we have kids and dogs, 43 blankets, every pillow we own, a camping grill, food for 14 days (even on an overnight trip), our own firewood, bottles of wine, 17 changes of clothes etc...

We have decided to go to Cabo San Lucas.  Jay really surprised me by booking the trip after a friend from our school told us that it was her favorite place on earth.

The trip feels a little bit extravagant to me, but as my husband reminded me, 10 years is a long time.

...and I can't help but allow the happiness in the longevity of my marriage be soured by thinking, especially when most people said that we wouldn't last one year.   I feel like such a negative Nelly even admitting it, but sometimes I really struggle to disassociate the beginning of my marriage from the lack of support and abundance of unkindness that I experienced at that time in my life.  

When I look back at the year I got married it is more of a sad time for me than a happy one.  Of course, this has nothing to do with my husband, and though I can only speak for myself, I love Jay more now than ever.  I really feel like he knows me (ugly parts and all) and loves and accepts me for who I am.  Every couple has their moments, but I feel fulfilled and supported by my marriage.  And I feel lucky and appreciative too.

Sometimes I wish that I could just erase the memories I have that keep a rain cloud over those early days of marriage and parenting.  I wish that I could just select to delete entire people from my past.

It's amazing how some people can hurt you so deeply that you still reflect on them sadly a decade later.

Monday, May 27, 2013

5 Year Interviews. Take 2

5 Years ago, while living in Philadelphia, PA I interviewed my children about their lives.
Today I did the same thing.
And I'll do it again in 5 years!

5 Years ago: Lila

5 Years ago: Bunny

Today: Lila

Today: Bunny

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Little Mold (or not) On A Sunny Day- Day 14

Why in the world isn't this growing mold?

It has decomposed and gotten seriously and scarily nasty... but no mold has formed in my jar.

I could understand if I had a small fry from the Burger King inside, but two weeks ago we put organic produce and cheese under that lid.  Grow some mold already!

Confessions From A Couch Potato Chip

Without any hesitation, I tell that you I absolutely love television.  I am not one to watch something when it's on... but I like to record shows and get a little sample of everything new that comes out.

Most people know that I'm really like this about everything in popular culture.  I am just totally fascinated by things that are created to entertain people.  And though I enjoy a dynamic documentary that is meant to create movement, I also really love a mindless TV show that was only created to offer distraction.

Today, while I was doing my dishes, I started to think about The Office and how sad I am that it's over.  There are some TV shows that you sample and maybe watching a season of before losing interest in.  And then there are some that you really look forward to.  The Office was a show that I really, really loved and am sad to see it over.

I made a little mental list of TV shows that I love and wanted to share them here.  Some are old and some are still in production.  They are all favorites, but I am starting with the shows that I look forward to the most!

Boardwalk Empire
The Office
American Horror Story
The Rock of Love
Dawson’s Creek
Dance Mom’s
Teen Mom 2
House of Cards
The Real World
The Facts of Life
Modern Family
Arreseted Development
Party Down
Parks and Recreation
Twin Peaks

The Following
A Baby Story
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Paula's Home Cooking
The Real Housewives of Atlanta 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Homestretch

I am wildly, emphatically, gleefully and eagerly counting down the hours to the last day of school, probably even more so than my children are.

Summer vacation, I can practically taste you.  And you are sweet like watermelon.

Here's what I want to do:  NOTHING for at least 2 weeks.

I want to live in my swimsuit and flip flops, read books and have lazy, lazy, lazy days by the pool.

I want to do so little, that by the end of August we are all bored out of our skulls and can't wait to get back to the chaos and over-scheduling that seems to pin us down every fall and hold us in place until the beginning of June.  I want to get some rest and recharge my batteries.

I want my kids to be outside, playing and using their imaginations and bodies.  I want them to live in their swimsuits and to get muddy and to come home at night feeling like they've adventured and had whole days with no where they had to be.  I want to ride bikes, camp, toast marshmallows and sit on the beach.  We are going to spend two weeks in Naples with my parents and I am really looking forward to being at a beach where you can swim.  The Gulf is as warm as bath water and you can be over your head and still see shells on the sand clearly.  Some people do not like Florida in the summer time, but I think that they are nuts!  I love it.

Lately, life has been work, work, work, drama with the kids, work, work, work, work.  I am rushing from one place and get there late, only to rush to my next place and arrive late.  I am WAY too busy for my own good.  This week was especially taxing and emotional because, out of nowhere, Lila began experiencing (what I can only describe as) separation anxiety.  She has not had this happen since pre-school, and even then it did not last more than a few days.  This entire week was drenched in tears, unfounded fear and anxiety for Lila.  I had to take her out of school one day, meet with her teacher over and over, see the pediatrician and meet with the principal of the school. Also, I needed to be present in the school for most of the day, a few times this week.  I had to take her out for lunch and sit with her at recess.

It had me wondering, am I doing more harm by being present?

But I'm glad that I did it.  When I would show up for lunch and recess I tried not to hover too much.  I just sort of sat there, so that Lila knew that I had kept my word and feel comforted by my presence, but I did not get involved with her conversations or games.  At first she was very clingy, but by Friday she couldn't have cared less that I was there.  So, I guess that I did the right thing on this particular occasion.

Being a parent can be so tricky.  My instinct was to swoop in, grab my daughter and tell the school that they should send her work home to me for the rest of the year and that I will do it there with her and turn it in.  But, I think doing that, in this case, would have taught her avoidance and escapism.  So, I knew that there must be a middle ground.  There must be a way to help her feel supported and comforted, while still teaching her to work through her anxiety and fear.  This time, this worked.  We got through the week.  I am hopeful that next week will be better and that the following week will be celebratory!  Then the school year is over.  7 more days!  It's the homestretch.

I can't help but wonder what amount of this anxiety is about the change of NOT moving?  Lila is almost 8 years old and this is the longest that we've lived in a house since she was 2.  This is the longest that she has been at one school.  This is the most relationship development that she's ever had with people outside of her family.  I know that a month or so ago I looked around my house and freaked out a little bit.  The yard needs more maintenance that we've given it.  We have an accumulation of "stuff" that we need to toss... like school papers and cards and the house needed a closet cleaning and reorganization.  My initial thought was, "we really need to move soon."  Because every year for the past 4 years we've moved before we even had the opportunity to completely unpack.  But this time we are not moving.  We are staying in our rental house until we are ready to buy a house of our own.  And we probably won't do that that until Twitter goes public.  So, it could be awhile.  For the first time ever, we are settling in.  And I am wondering if some of that adjustment will be uncomfortable in its unfamiliarity.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sister Bunny Holler

Bunny has always been pretty serious about Jesus.

I can remember being young and thinking that most people were faking their faith.  I was skeptical at best and an Atheist on a bad day, bored in church and generally disbelieving.  As an adult I am still pretty uncertain about everything.  I just don't know what to believe and I don't ever pretend that I do.

Last night we had our last "First Holy Communion Meeting" of the year.  The girls received their first communion on May 5th and we needed to go over to the church, receive our certificates and eat some cake.

Religious education isn't something that I feel strongly about, but because we are in a Catholic school, the kids are getting a Catholic education.  Jay and I were both raised Catholic, so our families are both overjoyed, but we both dragged our feet on it.  I've been pleasantly surprised by the religious education at our church though.  All of the teachings have been based in kindness and love.  There has been no talk of Hell, punishment or of fearing the wrath of God.  Rather, it's about reflecting Jesus' love through kindness and joy and letting all of your actions encompass this love.  I can't see anything wrong with that!  Because we go to a Catholic School we've become part of the Catholic community and a lot of that happens at mass.  So, we do go to mass here and there, though my daughter would like to turn our visits into once or twice a week.

Before our meeting last night I was eating dinner with the kids.  Periodically I check in with them to see how they are feeling about religion.   Bunny has always been a believer, but Lila never has much to say.

Last night Lila said that she would believe it when she sees it.  She was like, "I just don't get it.  How can someone rise from the dead?  It doesn't make any sense.  I'm not saying that I don't think he was a person or something.  I just don't think anyone can rise from the dead. And if God made everything, who made God?"  That's sort of where I stand.  It's hard to suspend your disbelief, Lila.  I hear ya.  
But Bunny actually surprised me.  She said that she believes in God and specifically Jesus.  She said that she feels the love of Jesus all of the time and in everything that she does.  She said that she feels Jesus' presence and that he sometimes visits her in her dreams.  Her relationship with God seemed very personal and very real to me.

It was pretty clear to me that Bunny has true faith that doesn't come from school or church.  There's something inside of her that I don't quite get, but recognize as being very important.   Coming from our home, I don't see how she could feel so confident in this, yet she is.  I could see that it wasn't something that Bunny thought, instead it was something that she feels in her heart.  Bunny really "gets it."

Through the month of June the church is having evening bible study on Monday night and I have promised to take Bunny to them.  Also, she wants to go to bible school over the summer.  And I have agreed to start taking her to church EVERY Sunday.

Who knows, maybe we'll have a nun in the family.