Saturday, May 31, 2008

Last Word - for today.

Okay, I lied... I have ONE more post for May. Then, I swear I'm done. But only b/c I'm going to bed now. I'm kind of on fire today, feel like I could stay up and write all night. Haven't felt that prolific in a long while.

Anyway, I wanted to share this nice quote from Ernest Holmes (founder, Science of Mind); please note that the emphasis is mine. Have a good night everyone!


"Blessing: Constructive thought directed towards anyone or condition. You bless a man when you recognize the divinity in him."


So, I was in a funk today. Duh.

I decided I'd better get out of the house or I wouldn't be able to get out of my head. My friends bought my little 1940's house last March, and they invited me over tonight for pizza and games. I decided it was a splendid idea, even though I've only gone over maybe a half dozen times since I moved out, even though it's less than 2 miles from where I live now. What can I say? There are lots of memories in that house! Memories of my dogs, my parents, love affairs, baseball seasons, BBQ's, remodeling & re-stuccoing fun, and of course, the most important memory of all? My daughter was conceived in that house. And she grew inside of my belly there. If I'd had my druthers, she'd even have been born there too. She spent the first year of her life there, and my dogs spent the last of theirs.

Many things have changed inside/outside since I sold it. There's a new gate to the backyard, and a new back door. The landscaping was re-done. There is A/C and central heat now. A different shower curtain, a different furniture color scheme/style. New carpet. A salt water swimming pool w/ a jacuzzi & waterfall. The paint colors are still as bold as I left them, my favorite still be the Chimayo Red walls in the living room. The custom made wall-unit is still there. The stove, the fridge, the fancy Pella windows w/ the blinds between the glass.

It's weird being there... but there was a shift tonight. Even though I have 8 years of memories in that little house, my life has been propelled forward in new and even wondrous ways. Despite my melancholy (and the infinite sadness) regarding events this past year since leaving the house to the care of my friends, I can honestly say I felt comfortable being there again.

It felt good.

Thanks Jackie & Bob for having me over tonight.

Tomorrow, I'm going w/ 11 women (yes, ELEVEN) to see "Sex & The City @ a theater in Huntington Beach. We range in age from 25 to 50+ which I think is pretty awesome! Afterward, we're all going to Kings Fish House for dinner and drinks to discuss the movie. Jackie has already seen it & she swore we won't be disappointed. That's all I want or need to know!

Have a good night all. Tonight is my last post for May. In 2 weeks, my little girl will be two years old. How weird (and cool) is that?

The end.

A Retraction

I've been "corrected" by several fathers that they do in fact have their own worries, fears, concerns, etc. about parenting their kids. Those worries & fears may be different than what we Moms have, but they have them just the same.

My apologies to daddy's everywhere!

(Artwork: Exploding Dog)

She's Come Undone

Today is another one of those days. I feel pretty damn hopeless & alone.

Lonely as hell too.

And it's days like this that I want to pick up old behaviors and bad habits; like cigarettes, or food, or just drink myself into a complete stupor, or hurt myself physically by sitting under the needle for hours having ink etched into my skin until it literally makes me cry AND bleed. Or to have stupid, meaningless sex so that I can feel something, ANYTHING but this rotten, stinking, self-loathing & emptiness.

Yeah, I know that I'm the only one who can "fix" me, no one else, and none of those vices are gonna fix what I'm feeling. And yeah, I know "this too shall pass"...

But what do you do in the meantime, until it does?

I know there has been a LOT of change in my life the past few years (see past posts). I also get that I have a direct part in all of it. I get that before tremendous growth, often comes tremendous growing pains.

I get that I'm supposed to SIT in it, not to try and skirt around it. There is no under, over or around. There is only THROUGH. But damnit. Sometimes, I don't want to. Sometimes I don't want to be "responsible". I don't always want to be the one who suits up and shows up. The one who always says, "I'm sorry." I hate that I'm the one doing the Parenting Class thing. I hate that I'm the one that feels lonely, alone, frustrated, out of control, & totally undone.

This is NOT meant to be a blanket statement, but from where I'm sitting, with the possible exception of Widowers or Single Fathers (who are solely raising their kids w/o any help from the moms), 99% of Dads just do not feel or experience these kinds of feelings when it comes to parenting. They get to detach from it b/c they are not the ones holding the bag 24/7 like moms are. And f**k dude, it isn't fair. It's not.

I'm just sayin'.

FWIW, these are MY feelings. Not a judgment or commentary on anyone else's life, or personal struggles, or feelings. I only know what I know based on my own experience, my own feelings, needs/wants, etc.

Speaking of which, today in class we learned about NEEDS... and that every single thing we do as human beings (children and adults) is a STRATEGY for INSURING that our NEEDS are being MET.

Uh. Wow.

So, when I'm frustrated. When I'm scared. When I feel alone, or lonely, or angry... which of my needs are not being met? And why is it when those needs aren't being met do I FEEL it's appropriate to take it out on my kid (or friends, or family, or lover, or the dog...)?

Examples of some of my current needs that I don't feel are being met:
Equity. Autonomy. Empathy. Security. Support (emotional). Shared workload. Sleep/Rest.

These are merely a few that come to mind off the top of my head.

Yeah, yeah. I'll get through this. I'm strong. And what doesn't kill us, makes us even stronger.

But damn if it wouldn't be nice, just once and awhile, if I felt like SOMEONE actually acknowledged, validated, HEARD &/or respected just how f**king hard this Mom thing, this Grownup thing and this Finding Me thing, is.

Meanwhile, I still want to self-medicate it all away. I'm not gonna. But I want to.

This too shall pass.

The End.

Friday, May 30, 2008

'Til I get it right...

Sometimes, it's true. You just can't win.

But at least there is good music on the jukebox & strong booze at the bar to keep ya going in the meantime. Belly up baby, it's time for some Fastball and a Cadillac Margarita, on the rocks, no salt. Don't screw around w/ some little dinky glass either, I ain't playing some kind of reindeer girlie game. Pour me a drink. Oh, and make it a double!! Pronto.


Lyrics | 'Til I Get It Right lyrics

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Irritation with The Internets (III)

Twitter has been down a LOT lately. I am almost afraid to bother logging in most days, b/c even if it works initially, within minutes it's isn't again. Meh. And now BrightKite is all wonky. I can't be on MySpace for more than 5 seconds before I start dreaming of a self-imposed axe wound to the head (mine). Facebook just irritates me b/c no matter how hard I try, I just don't get it.

Anyway, that's all for now. Just needed to vent. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Cheery bye,


Friday, May 23, 2008

Time for potty training?

Gotta love the Japanese!!

But seriously, Dex is starting to show interest. Is it time? Hmmmm...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mommy Struggles

I started a blog over the weekend about how I have a toddler who has decided in the last 2 months or so to have sleep "issues", but she was refusing to nap & so I put it in my drafts folder with plans to complete it on Monday when she went back to school. But it's been one of those weeks & I just sort of forgot about it.

Until now.

This morning I was reading one of the many wonderful blogs I've gotten hooked into through the twitterverse (Apathy Lounge) - and her latest entry just really hit me hard about how FAST it all goes, this childhood thing. I decided I should write about that (while I'm baking cookies - HA), but instead I found this draft about my Mommy Struggles. So decided to finish it first instead. Goodness, I'm all over the map sometimes!

This past Monday night I decided not to give in to the Master Toddler Pleas & would let her "cry it out" (even though it is completely contrary to the whole Attachment Parenting philosophy), b/c I was going to have my bed back to myself again no matter what.

She cried and screamed, barfed, and cried some more. I sat in my room listening to her on the monitor with my heart breaking. I went in every 5-10 minutes to reassure her that all was okay, that mommy loved her & that I'd see her in the morning, but she needed to sleep in HER bed tonight. Ultimately, after going back & forth from her room to mine for over an hour, she still wasn't settling down so I made the painful decision to NOT go until she was asleep. It took another 20 minutes of hysteria & angry baby screaming, but FINALLY she fell asleep.

Of course, I didn't sleep a wink that night as I busy feeling like the most awful mom in the entire universe.

Tuesday night, I make decision to follow through with my brilliant plan to get this kid back into her own bed. Please note that Dexy has ALWAYS slept in her own bed since she outgrew her bassinet at approx 2 months of age. She has ALWAYS slept through the night too, with very few exceptions (until her recent night terrors - but that's another story for another day). The only time I've ever been of a mind to bring her into my bed is if she's a) sick, b) scared, c) we're snuggling &/or reading a book, or d) we are traveling.


Little Turtle - One week old

Mama & Dex avatar


Vogue - Sleeping Pose

(note: gotta love her sleep positions, right?)

Back to Tuesday. I had plans w/ my BFF for dinner in Seal Beach at Walt's Wharf. First night out sans child in AGES. I'm way stoked but unsure of how she'll behave. Babysitter arrives at 6pm, child pitches a HUGE fit about being left with babysitter. I finally just decide to leave after 20 minutes of vainly trying to validate her hysteria, er, I mean her feelings. As I walk down drive to my car, I can hear her screaming "no, no, no" from inside the house... Of course, 2 seconds after I leave, the baby sitter calls to say she is totally fine & they are already singing, playing, having a ball.

Oh brother.

I have a marginally enjoyable dinner & arrive home at 8:30pm. Baby still awake, but I anticipated that. I paid the babysitter, get Dex situated in my lap for some book time and by 9pm with only about 5 minutes of protest on her part, she's sound asleep in HER bed. She slept through the night, until 8am as a matter of fact. I start to think perhaps we're on the road to success, either that or she's going into a growth spurt.

Wednesday night... we stopped to visit my dad on the way home, like we do every few days. Got home, had dinner, took our evening walk around the block, played, read, sang, and at 8pm I took her into her room for book time & ni-ni. She protested for about 5 minutes, then was out like a light. Never heard a peep out of her til this morning at 8:30!

So. Okay. I know it's only been three nights. But I cannot tell you how grateful I am that she's been back in her own bed, even if we have some setbacks in the future, b/c I get some much needed sleep & as a result of that, she gets a much more CALM & LOVING mom. And regardless then of how we got there, isn't that really what "attachment parenting" is all about?

From where I'm sitting, some battles must be fought so that I can be a better mom. For me, that means being rested, it means not feeling hopeless or frustrated, it also means not feeling resentful of her (or her dad) when it isn't even her(his) fault in the first place.

I have to tell ya gang, so far? This has been a good week.

Yay me!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

twitter busted

Well, I suppose it was inevitable.

Now that twitter is "popular", there's more people, and with more people come more problems, hence it seems to be down at least once a day, EVERY day. I was late to the twitter game (only joined about 3 months ago) but it's like serious crack to me. And now that I'm a junkie twitter crack whore, I need my fix whenever I want my fix, and damnit I do NOT want my dope all cut up w/ baby aspirin or other "broken" bits. Ya know?

And FWIW, I would totally pay to have my twitter account (that's how addicted I am), IF and only if they actually had the thing up and running all day, like it used to be. Of course, with pay accounts comes Super Elitism Attitude; i.e. what would they give me if I paid $15-$20 a year for twitter? More bandwidth, more archive capacity, more profile gadgets? How would they designate pay accounts so our special-ness is very clear to those don't pay? See where I'm going with this?


Since I can't send out my usual 9000 tweets today, I'll post some of my Daily Fun here instead. Which is probably what I should be doing anyway, instead of obsessing about an addictive little application that never works anymore.

My Day (so far), in a nutshell:

Woke early (5am) & chilled in bed sending tweets about Hot Political Issues until almost 7am... Let the Evil Toto dog outside to potty, even though she'd already gone #1 and #2 in the kitchen - as she has done every single day since I brought her home from the boarding kennel last Thursday... Started a pot of coffee... Took a shower... Baby girl woke up at 8am (way late for her, she must be entering a growth spurt)... Got her out of bed & changed her diaper, dressed her, made breakfast for her, etc. ... While she was watching Sesame Street, I got dressed too... Drove to her Pediatrician where I thought she had a 9:30am appointment... Turns out her it's NEXT week... Huh. How did I f**k that up, I wonder?... Took Dex to school... Stopped at Chevron to gas up my Subaru (13 gallons = $54)... Went to USPS to pick up mail that I had on "Vacation Hold"... Drove home... Arrived to discover incontinent dog had AGAIN gone potty all over the kitchen floor... Made instant decision to give her "The Gas Pipe"... Took her to the ASPCA instead as an "Owner Relinquish"... Yes, it's true I have finally given my parents dog away (I'm sure someone will adopt her, so don't judge me man!)... Went to Fusion Sushi on Palo Verde & Spring for lunch but I can't really recommend them, sorry... Came home to an empty & dog-poop-free house (exhale)... Grabbed bottle of cold water from fridge ... Sat down at my desk, dropped iPhone into charger, turned on the iMac...

And here I am.


I'm sure I've forgotten tons of other stuff, but this will have to suffice until I can get back on twitter. Will be time to go get the baby girl from school soon, would like to check up on my email & other computer related stuff before I leave again.

Hope y'all are having a good day!


C ~

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Walking with toddlers

Taking a walk with Dex is always an adventure. These pics are from last weekend during our usual evening walk around the block. Enjoy!

Here's a stick Mama!

Running is fun!

Checking out the flowers

Dex May 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Center for Nonviolent Education & Parenting

This is the place I went to last Saturday morning, on the recommendation of a Mommy Friend who has already completed the 10-week parenting course. The experience was amazing, much like the first Al-Anon meeting I ever attended. A spiritual awakening, a sense of fellowship, useful tools & information, and most of all... it gave me HOPE.

Check them out if you're local (LA County), or even if you aren't.

I will be writing more as the weeks pass & let you know how it's going.


Some days are harder than others...

Today was one of those days. Oh hell, they pretty much ALL are.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh Solio-Mi'O

I was in Culver City yesterday w/ my friend Esther. I was actually born there, but haven't been back to visit/play in a good 6+ years. In fact, the last time was when I had dinner w/ this guy I met on in 2001. The date & my impression of the main drag was a real bust.

Anyway, Culver City really isn't that far from Long Beach (25 miles or so), but hey, this is LA! Distance may not mean much when you're in Nebraska, but here in SoCal? Traffic can KILL a quick jaunt up to LA proper in a heartbeat, making you wish you'd never left your house in the first place.

But I digress.

So we're walking around and I'm just SHOCKED at the renaissance that has hit the "downtown" area. There are great little shops & galleries (in fact, I purchased a beautiful little painting for Dexy's room @ gallery called Wonderful World of Art), restaurants, coffee houses, 3 movie theaters, a gluten-free bakery, wide tree lined avenues, etc. all surrounded by DARLING little neighborhoods that are so family friendly, I could just cry! Is it possible that I'm supposed to stay right here in CA after spending the past year running away from it (and everything else in my life) as far & as fast as I could? Hmmmm... and wouldn't it be ironic if I bought a house in the city I was BORN in?

Okay, I digress again.

The whole point here was to tell you about this great little gadget we saw in an equally great little store on Main Street called SportEve (the gals there are awesome by the way, so if you're ever up in Culver City, be sure to stop in & say hi!).

The neat-o gadget is called the Solio. It's this sweet solar battery charger for small electronics like iPhones, iPods, digital cameras, etc. I didn't buy one yesterday b/c I'm kind of a ultra neurotic Research First Gal, but I wanted to show you at least how cool looking it is. Oh, and it also comes in hot pink! Sorry for the poor quality of the image, this was the best I could get off their website.

I'm so obsessed w/ ways I can live a Greener life, leave a less invasive or destructive Carbon Footprint on Mother Earth, so that my daughter actually has something left of it to look forward to for her life, and the life of her kids.

More on that in another post, on another day. I'm late for a lunch date w/ a former co-worker and fellow mama (of twins girls!) who I worked with at Epson.

Cheerios, exes and ohs,

Cher ~

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 30 - Biggest Girls Night Out EVER!

There are a few shows on telly that I have followed religiously; Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, LOST, Six Feet Under, Friends, Sopranos, and of course the biggest one of all (for us gals anyway), Sex & The City.

Let me explain to those of you who don't know or who only followed SATC on a sporadic basis, this was a weekly EVENT for my friends & I. We gathered at each others homes or called each other as soon as it was over each week, then talked ad nauseam around the proverbial water cooler about what was going on with Carrie & Big, Samantha's sex life, Charlotte's longing for a wonderful man and child, Miranda & Steve, etc. There has been no show before or since that has come close to what it felt like to be a fan of SATC ... it was true love, in every sense of the word.

And so, finally on May 30 we fans are going to be able to revisit the lives of our beloved SATC characters. I cannot wait! This will be a Girls Night Out en masse, from coast to coast, to beat all others. Don't believe me? Just watch the news or read the gossip rags come Monday June 2nd, or ask your female friends what they did over the weekend. Then maybe you'll get it. But even if you don't, no matter.... those of us who loved the show will have OODLES to talk about for months, if not years to come.

The end of May can't get here fast enough!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

3 Affirmations - Eat Happy y'all!

1) I am eating HAPPY today!

2) My body's metabolic regulation receives signals to eliminate unnecessary fat from around my midsection/core (or anywhere else it may be parked).

3) I am taking my energy out to play today!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Save Me


"Like Peter Pan, or Superman... you will come, to save me."

One of my favorite Aimee Mann songs, from one of my most favorite movies (Magnolia).
Just sayin'.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

More Mother's Day Thoughts

I'm just now realizing why this day has been so BLUE for me ... or at least one of the major reasons (among several).

Today is the first Mother's Day without my mom. She died last July 24 after a 12 year battle w/ Alzheimer's. And my brother, who I rarely hear from (& who rarely saw mom once she got sick), sent me a text message this afternoon today saying: "Hope u r having a nice mothers day. i wish mom was around to see."


Wow, that he is missing mom & had the cajones to admit that to me in a text. Wow, that I didn't realize the significance of today being Mother's Day... though I am often acutely aware of feeling very much the orphan, especially during big Life Events. Wow, that it's been almost a year since she died.

My mom was the most beautiful woman IMO... This pic was taken in the late 1940's when she was in her 20's.

No wonder my dad wanted to marry her. She was smokin' hot y'all! 5'8", blond, violet blue eyes (like Elizabeth Taylor), skinny as a rail, KIND, funny, and one of those moms that would totally hold the bucket while you were throwing up. LOL.

This was my mom in August 2006, about a year before she died. That's my daughter next to her, who was about 2 months old at the time (& yes, I admit it, totally @ the Ugly Pimply Baby stage). I'm so grateful she got to meet my mom though.

The day I took this picture, mom just lay there w/ the baby. Forever it seemed. Stroking Dex's skin, holding & touching her hands & feet, like she couldn't GET OVER how connected she was to this little life. Of course, my mom actually still knew me most days in 2006. By the time she died, though she was still sweet as pie to the baby & me, she had no idea who we were.

Or hell, who knows? Maybe she did.

Mom... I love you. I miss you. I wish so much you were here to watch Declan grow up. You could have taught me so much about patience, kindness, fun, and most of all how not to get frustrated when my kid is acting like a total 2 year old.

But I want to thank you & grandma Pink for sending her to me just the same. You knew I wasn't gonna make it once you were gone didn't you? You knew what my plans were, didn't you? Crafty gal you were, til the last. She saved my life & by extension, so did you.

C ~

There's no place like home...

Oh, Auntie Em... there really is no place like home!

We arrived in Long Beach to a cool, almost damp 63 degree evening. Our flight landed about 25 minutes late but was pretty easy-breezy once we hit the tarmac (gotta love small airports like AUS and LGB).

We had a quick dinner at Pancho's Mexican Restaurant on Pacific Coast Hwy before stopping at the local 7-Eleven for a gallon of Alta Dena milk so that I'd have something to give the baby in the morning &/or put in my coffee. Got back to the house around 9 pm, brought the bags in, changed into pj's, brushed our teeth, read 2 books & pretty much crashed as soon as our heads hit the pillow.

Best of all? Dexy slept in her own bed. No waking, no fussing, no crying... until 5:30 am! Then she came in w/ me & we snuggled together until 7:15 am, dozing off and on. Sweet, non stressful, peaceful.

My child the way she used to be -- instead of the child she's been the past few months. You know, the little girl w/ the goofy grin that was so easy going & even tempered, that never cried and who would let ANYONE hold her. The child I gave birth to, the child I've know for most (if not all) of the past 23 months). Before those evil aliens from the Planet Terrible Two's stole her away & replaced her with the Whiny-Needy-No-One-But-Mama-Will-Do child I have now (please, please, please tell me I'll get my original child back some day).

Despite the fact that she's been a total PILL most of today (Happy Mother's Day to me, hooray), I'm holding on to that sweet moment from this morning. It was the first time in a long time that I felt relaxed & calm around my kid. I need to know those moments are still possible, or I'll never get through the next few years of Toddler Hell.

Speaking of Mother's Day...

My friend Debe dropped off the most hilarious card (& flowers) for me this morning! The card is sort of charcoal gray w/ lime green text & this cute lime green fairy in a funky striped baby doll dress, wings, a wand & knee high boots & it says:

If I could,
I'd find a fairy godmother
With a magical wand
And combat boots
So that she could grant
Your wishes and kick
The crap outta anything
That tried to get in the way
Of your happiness.

I don't know WHERE she found this card, but I'm totally framing it! A lime green Fairy Godmother in combat boots, are you kidding me? If my Fairy Godmother was going to wear anything on her feet, of COURSE she'd wear combat boots. She'd have tattoos & multiple piercings too. LOL.

I also got a text message from Dexy's dad wishing me a Happy Mother's Day too, which was much more than I was expecting to be honest. We even ended up talking on the phone for the first time in a month, which was really weird -- but that's a topic for another day. I'm still kind of trying to process the reality of our conversation & don't want to regurgitate stuff I've already said on this blog until I've done so.

It's sunny & bright outside. The hose is refilling the pool (one week gone & it's dropped about 4 inches from evaporation). The grocery shopping is done. I've unpacked my suitcase & started some laundry. Dexy Girl is down for a late afternoon nap. I think I'm going to pop in a video (Across the Universe) & watch it until I either fall asleep too, or she wakes up. Whichever happens first.

Hope all my Mommy friends are having a WONDERFUL day!

Love & kisses,


Friday, May 9, 2008

Goodbye Austin, for now.

Tomorrow we leave to go back home to CA... Frankly, I'm relieved, but I'll miss being here too. It's been nice to be away from the Koo-Koo Crazy that is Southern CA. Austin really is such a cool town & there are so many wonderful things to do, very few of which are available in a megopolis like Los Angeles County.

I've been charmed by the little things, like frogs, bluejays, lizards & most especially fireflies (we don't have those in CA) & the big stuff too (e.g. the Austin capitol building is truly spectacular to see - day or night). As humid as it is, and as hot as it is, there is also something very sexy & relaxing about sitting outside in this balmy air w/ a cold beverage in the early evening while your kid plays in the tall grass.

I know that this is the kind of town I want to raise my kid. Is Austin THE town? I have no idea, maybe not - at least, not right now given the obstacles we've encountered trying to find a house during our last two trips out here.

So, it's back to square one. Go home, get better, do more homework, chill, etc.

Meanwhile, last night here. Trying to decide what we can do for some last little bits of fun. Maybe take a walk on South Congress Ave & get some delish Red Velvet cupcakes at Hey Cupcake!? Or perhaps go downtown & wait for the bats to emerge from the Congress Ave. bridge? Or hit Sandy's for some frozen custard? Or back to "the Hill" in Zilker to watch the young peeps dancing and hula-hooping to techno? Maybe we'll just walk around this neighborhood (Bouldin) & see the lady around the corner who has a flock of Bantam hens running around in her front yard? Or one last feast at Torchy's Tacos (see photo) on South 1st & El Paso?

Decisions, decisions.

That's all from Texas y'all. Unless I catch a break before we bail out on @jetBlue tomorrow (how totally twitter of me).

P.S. A note about the past few posts, I've been in a BAD place for quite some time. And yes, I'm resentful about a lot of things. But lest anyone think I'm holding certain people 100% responsible for where I'm at, let me make it really clear that I'm so NOT. This is totally about me & the fact that I need to get MY shit straight. There is no one to blame, or point fingers at. It is what it is, and a lot of the reasons why have everything to do w/ me & my craziness, not their attempts (or lack thereof) to hang in there & ride it out. I don't say that to be self-depricating. Nor am I going to take on more of the blame than I deserve; there were afterall two people participating in the dance. I just want to acknowledge however that the common denominator in all my failed relationships is ... me. And I can't ignore the weight of that.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Single Mom does not = Super Mom

First let me just say that I'm grateful to those who think I'm brave, or strong, or somehow Super Human for raising my child alone (friends, family &/or readers of this dorky little blog) ...

Let me set the record straight right now. I WISH that I had even 1/2 the confidence in myself (or in my ability to parent this sweet little girl) that y'all seem to have in me.

Yeah, I'm probably going to piss some of you off, but here's what I think: Motherhood is a hard ass gig!

And don't let Gloria Steinem or any of the other Wannabe Feminist idiots of the current day tell you any different.

Children NEED fathers in their lives just as much as they need their moms. And I believe that we (women) have done a great disservice to tens of thousands of children over the past 30+ years by swallowing the Great Lie that they don't.

We continue to raise so many of our boys to be irresponsible men; men who think NOTHING of walking away from their kids, not paying child support, not showing up for (or demanding) visitation, and/or knocking up women like it's some kind of game (or donating their sperm to local Fertility Clinics for quickie cash with no regard for all the kids out there who want to know where they came from). Worse, then we talk smack about their fathers & in the same breath deny them the right to see their kids b/c we're pissed off they don't love us anymore.

We raise our girls to think this is all they're worth & then try to soothe them after they end up raising their kids alone by telling them they "can do it without a man to help them", to "be independent, be strong", or "sweetie, you don't really need a Daddy for those kids."

And the cycle repeats, over and over.

I was one of the "lucky" ones in that I was raised in a two-parent home, but I also had a very emotionally distant (unavailable) alcoholic dad & a mom that was, in hindsight, pretty pissed off a lot of the time. If I'd been stuck at home w/ my brother & I all day, with Grumpy Asshole for a hubby, I'd have been pissed too. That wasn't what she signed up for on her wedding day, I'm sure.

So, I grew up in this weird kind of chaos. A mom who loved & adored her kids, but who resented the hell out of her husband. I was constantly seeking the approval of a dad who was(is) completely incapable of giving any (& I've spent most of my adult life doing the same w/ the men I've dated).

What kind of parents did my dad have that this is the end result of his life as a Man and as a Father? What kind of parents raised my daughters daddy that he is so disconnected from his part in creating his three daughters? What about the men who have left my other mom friends holding the parenting bag all by themselves (married or single)?

Is this REALLY the kind of community, society, country, WORLD... that we want? Angry moms, absent dads? And yes, I do know there are daddy's out there who are doing the deal & that it's the moms who bailed, but let's be honest, what is the ratio of that equation?!

G-d, I'm such a jackass to have ever thought I could do this by myself.

Here's the deal. I'm 41 & I am utterly "alone" in raising this precious little girl. It f**king sucks okay? Not b/c I don't have the comfort of a man in my bed, but b/c I feel I am missing out on the SHARED experience of raising her WITH someone. Certainly that means her daddy, but it also means her grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, etc.

If I'd had ANY idea that this was the legacy I was possibly going to leave her, I'd never ever considered doing the Single Mommy thing. Not even for a nano-second.

Do I regret my daughter? Oh hell no! She's the best thing that ever happened to me. On more than one occasion, she's actually saved my life. It's because of her that I even bother to stick around.

But man, I do wish people would stop telling me how brave I am & offer to hang out with us once and awhile instead. Please know, I'm not trying to sound ungrateful for your kind words of seeming encouragement, at least I think you mean it as such. But I also think it's gonna take a serious village for me to raise this kid & manage to maintain my sanity 80% intact by the time she's grown.

There are days when I really do not think I can possibly do this Mom thing another minute. I cry, a lot. I want to give up, often. I've thought about Open Adoption. I've thought about inventing a time machine so I can un-do joining MySpace. I've considered giving her to my sister who never intended to have just one, or my lesbian friends who desire children so badly.

All these feelings scare the holy crap out of me.

Do I think married women/mothers feel these things too? They tell me they do. But at the end of the day (IMO) they at least still have someone to hand the kid(s) off to when they need a minute to quell the rage that is seething inside, or for something less ominous & dark like a 10 minute shower.

I've been so terrified that I'm becoming one of "those" parents. You know, the ones that scream, yell, cajole, cry, manipulate, bargain, or worst of all, HIT their kids when the frustration levels get too high.

Listen gang, I should know better right? I have the BA degree. My parents were educated. My friends are educated. I'm all White Collar, No Nonsense, Strong Work Ethic Gal. I'm a "late in life" mom & therefore I'm supposed to be more settled, more patient & more "with it" than the 16 year olds who think it's cute to have a baby before they're out of high school, right? I've read all the parenting books & magazines. I've talked to her pediatrician & daycare provider. I've been to therapy & anger management, so I know all the psycho-babble buzzwords. I practice the 12-steps. I have a G-d in my life. I'm not a victim. I know to call my Mom friends, or to simply step away before things escalate.

I should know better, but honestly I don't know jack shit.

I've digressed, as usual. I'm having a hard day; it's not the first & I'm sure it won't be the last.

Bottom line is that I want someone to put their arms around me, tell me it's gonna be okay, and then I want THEM to handle it, just for now. Tomorrow... I promise I'll go back to being Super Mom tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

For those who asked (crossroads)...

Or who don't know me, or who don't feel like reading all my back posts for further clarification...

For those who do, please feel free to IGNORE this entry. LOL.

I'm a So Cal girl, born & raised. Left for college when I was 19 and didn't move back to CA until the fall of 2000 when my mom's Alzheimer's became more difficult for dad to handle. From 1986 until that time, I lived mostly in Tucson AZ (where I went to university) as well as in upstate NY, Harrisburg PA, London UK, and Salzburg Austria.

I moved back to my hometown of Long Beach to be closer to my mom & dad while I still had them (they were born in 1929 and 1924 respectively) as mom was already about 4 yrs into an Alzheimer's diagnosis at that point. I bought a little 1940's house, had my two dogs, my childhood friends (Long Beach is very provincial that way), got to hang out w/ my mom, worked in private industry for the first time in a long time (worked @ the UofA for almost 11 years), traveled very little, went back to Al-Anon to help me deal w/ being in proximity to my qualifying alcoholics, found a spiritual life I'd never had before, made new & wonderful friends, watchedchildhood friends get married & have kids. Basically I just kind of settled into a more quiet & adult life. It was nice. I was happy. Things with mom were hard, but all in all, I managed to be fairly sane.

Always figured though that as soon as mom was gone, I'd be gone too. I had plans. I wanted to move to the Pacific NW, be where the weather & the politics are more to my liking. I was going to build a home, have my dogs & some chickens, meet some awesomely smart nerd who loved music/books/baseball as much as I do, travel the world, get married, have kids. You know?

But of course, life has a way of throwing you a big old curve ball while you're busy making other plans.

Oops! I got pregnant at 38, something my docs told me was unlikely to ever happen given my thyroid issues. Not that I was *planning* to be a Single Mom, lest you think I'm a careless whore. But it happened, and I was thrilled. I was finally going to have the baby I'd always wanted. She arrived a few months after I turned 39. Her dad & I tried to make a go of it, but that ended about a month ago (another story for another day). Please note that I feel absolutely blessed for that ENTIRE experience. No regrets; I don't believe in them.

Last March, I sold my little house to friends (lucky!) & moved in w/ my dad. It was going to be a temporary gig, beneficial to dad & to me. Then my beloved dogs of 11 yrs died the first week of July & my mom died 2 weeks later. There was property to sell, funerals to plan, SO many things to do. I was overwhelmed at work & started resenting everything, a lot.

Dad's health took a bad turn in September & I left my PR job at Epson to take care of him. By February my brother & I made the hard decision to put him in an assisted living place (as we'd done for my mother 2 years prior almost to the day) b/c he was no longer able to be left alone or care for himself at all. I felt trapped, taking care of him AND my kid all by myself. Was afraid to leave the house for fear he'd fall, or set something on fire accidentally, or worse die in front of my baby girl (bad enough he was already so verbally abusive to both Declan & I).

Well, he's on hospice now & I don't imagine he'll live out the rest of the year. Could he surprise me? Yeah... but I don't think he'll rally this time. He has given up on all basic decorum &/or self-care. He just wants someone to feed him, bathe him, toilet him, etc. I wish he wanted to stick around, to be present for his grandkids, for my brother & I, etc. but this is HIS life journey, not mine. I can't control, cure, or change an old alcoholic. Especially one that didn't ask me to.

Mom is gone. Doggies gone. Dad not doing well. I just wanted to move somewhere that is less expensive than CA, a nice little college town where there is always stuff to do (music, art, food, festivals, zoo, museums, interesting architecture, culture, history) & where my kid can grow up safely far away from all the crap that LA has become.

That's why I'm in Austin. My biological sister (I'm a reunited adoptee) has lived here for close to 20 years. I have always enjoyed this town, & I really like my sister, her hubby & my nephew. They are GOOD people.

Frankly, Austin is exactly the kind of place that would rock for both Declan & I, for many of the same reasons I love Portland OR or Tucson AZ with the added benefit of having family nearby. It would be so nice for her to grow up w/ her cousin, especially since my adoptive brother seems to have ZERO interest in us being in his life, or vice versa. I'd be less lonely for the comfort of family -- something I've always felt lacking in (my mom was the glue that kept things from disintegrating). Blah, blah, blah.

Guess I should have bought a place here 5 years ago b/c lawd knows this is NOT an affordable town anymore. That's why we're cutting our trip short & going back to CA this Saturday night. We're also sick, which doesn't help. Add to that equation some BS that went down w/ the place we're renting in South Austin, and I just need to just be back at HOME where I can sit still & breathe. Where I have friends for support. Where she has daycare & her pals there that she's comfortable with (yes, so I can catch a little break). I miss my bed, my car, Trader Joes, Schooners for breakfast, the beach, my friends, and yes, I even miss my dad's dumb little dog Zoe.

I'd like to go back to work, even if it's only part time. Have some adult interaction again. Use my brain, my stellar vocabulary, my skills (yes, I do have some skills). But I want to do something different, in preparation for building my own business.

Most of all, I'd like to NOT be a caretaker for the first time in 20+ years (except my daughter of course). I'd like to learn how to take care of me, something I've never really done. I'd like to learn how to be okay with WHO I am, right WHERE I am.

We're going home. I'm relieved, though of course I'm also a little disappointed. I really did have high hopes for a fresh start here in Austin. And who knows? Maybe it'll work out at some later juncture. It's just really clear today that NOW is NOT the time.

And if I've learned nothing else on my life journey thus far, I've learned that it's always a good idea to pay attention when things ain't falling into place. There have been too many road blocks, obstacles, snafus, and just plain weird "coincidences" for this to work out the way I thought it was going to. Better I should call it a wash, take what I've got left, dust myself off, regroup & see where the chips fall down the road.

That's it. In a very large & long winded nutshell.

Baby sleeping. HOORAY! I'm going to sit outside in the balmy air and have myself a beer.

The end.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Austin is a great town. There is very little about it I don't like. I was(am) so excited about the possibility of living here & raising my daughter here.

But are you kidding me w/ the housing prices? They are dangerously close to CA levels, seriously! And I'm not seeing how this economy can possibly support the high prices given the property tax situation here. People will literally not be able to afford their taxes if TCAD keeps appraising residential property the way they do, and then not hold commerical property owners to the same level of responsibilty. You cannot expect home owners to foot the entire bill for county infrastructure. People will rise up at some point to change things. Or they will simply leave. In droves. And then you'll have a ghost town, and all the mess that goes with it.

So, I'm discouraged to say the least.

But it's nice to be here just the same. I get to hang out w/ my sister. I get to see my dear friend Ilene. I'm also going to meet up w/ a new friend from twitter (@mikeneumann) at Freddies Cafe on Friday afternoon. They have a great playscape for the kiddos, are dog friendly & have live music outdoors -- so Dex can play in a contained area while the grownups chat & have a margarita or three. LOL.

The weather has also been very pleasant.Even had a thunderstorm or two. Though it's supposed to be miserable hot by the weekend, I'm crossing my fingers that will NOT be the case. Who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky and for once, the weather will be in MY favor (i.e. under 80 degrees) for the duration of our stay.

That's all for now. Need to shower & get our booties in gear for the afternoon. Dinner w/ Sis tonight, Dex will get to play like a maniac w/ her cousin Boogie. I'll get to drink red wine & discuss politics & real estate w/ my sister. Yay!