Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Her Mother's Daughter...

It's so odd the things that you discover about your child -- things that you KNOW are nature and not nurture.

For example - Izz is kind of a dare devil. She likes to climb up, fly in her Daddy's arms, and ride rides (no matter how fast, circular, or bumpy).  We first got a glimpse of this when I took her on the kiddie roller coaster at the county fair last year ... and this past weekend we got a chance to go to Sea World (for free, thank goodness) and she had a field day on the Sesame Street Place rides.   Daniel couldn't get on them (he had a bad tea-cup experience as a child.. and can't stand those rides), so, I went on with her.  I'm the perfect choice since I love a good rollercoaster.. but, three in a row was even too much for me.  "More" is all Izz said.   Yup, we went home from the hospital with the right kid. 
On the way home - her Daddy gave her a personal ride... she squeeled all the way to the car.

Daddy's rides are always the best

Saturday, June 25, 2011

You can't always have your way!

By the title -- I actually mean myself.

When Izz was a baby, we would just plop her into the carseat and go on our way. She was totally portable. When she got older, we were able to divert her attention and still be on our way. But, now that she's a full fledged 2 year old - she has opinions (and now that she can talk pretty well - she can express those opinions pretty loudly).. and often they don't match ours. Of course, we are the parents.. so, if it's important -- we do get our way. But, sometimes (like today) - we should possibly listen to her.

Today we went to swimming class, and then a few hours at the zoo. She started her nap in the car, and then we transferred to the crib. When she woke up, I thought, "cool! She has woken up in time for us to go to the theatre and participate in the tech dinner." But, she woke up grumpy, because her nap was too short. She didn't want to get dressed, put on shoes, walk out the house. We finally got her going - but, truly.. we should have just stayed at home and let her chill and eaten dinner in a more quiet environment. It was already a big day for her.

When we got to the dinner, she was really cross. She didn't want us to eat, she didn't want to eat - and we really only got her to sit when we offered her cheesecake (which we called Ice Cream - cause she doesn't know what cheesecake is - and really.. what's the difference?). We also (in our infinite wisdom) took the dog with us.. so, you can imagine how enjoyable this dinner was. After about 45 minutes, she became herself and we were back on track. BUT - did we really need to be there? Nope. Did we put our own wants in front of her needs. Yes.

I realize we'll be learning this lesson over and over as she gets older.

When you are a parent - You can't always have your way!

This picture is old - she's only 12 months old here -
but, it's the only I have of her crying.  After one crying picture,
you never take another!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Marriage - here and there.

Congratulations New York... you've just voted to let human beings marry each other.

Truly, I'm thrilled it passed in New York. But, I can't help but be a little peeved at the United States as a whole. Why is it up to the more liberal states to pass this law when it really should be a federal law!

Why are Daniel and I allowed to get married, when Bea and Gretchen cannot? They have a beautiful little toddler like we do-- and they have been together for 10 years longer than we have. Yet, these two educated, consenting adults until today were not allowed to get married.

Why is marriage so important? Well.. com'on.. you know all the reasons: There's the whole legal thing, the whole property right thing, the rights issues, the parenting issues.. etc etc etc.. You all know the drill.

But, for me - it goes deeper. It's a human right. Human beings should be allowed to marry another consenting adult human being. No matter what sex.

I thought we were over that whole - one person is allowed more human rights than another crap.

And to that - I say: Congratulations New York! Now... let's get the Supreme Court and the White House on board.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

FIRST BLOOD: The One Year Old Check Up....

Terrified about getting through this....But something tells me this blood drawing is going to be harder on us than on them.....they will be scared and it will sting for a second, but we will be right there to hold them and tell them we love them and that it's ok, and it will be over in a second. And then we can scoop them up after, hold them, dry their tears, and make it all ok again -- that's our job.

BUT we will have to try and hold back our urge to smack the nurse's hand away and not say -- "GET away from my baby!!!!!" It is SO hard to watch them in pain, it's insane. When Molly bumps her head and she looks at me like "What just happened to me? And why didn't you stop it??" -- uch it kills me inside a little. But they recover SO quickly it's a blessing. As for us, we might need a little more comforting till we feel better.

We are parents of 1 year olds now - we can take it!!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Why I'm glad the Internet wasn't around when I was a kid

When I was a kid, I was the victim of bullying.  It started in Peru, where I was a target because I was Jewish and very awkward.  I remember slander on the blackboards and having to pay other girls to be my friend with stickers and American candy.

I was thrilled to move to the United States; there I would make friends and escape being ridiculed.   When I got here, I was the perfect target again -- this time because I was awkward, didn't understand American customs and because I barely spoke English.  I would ride my bike home, throw myself on the bed and cry.  There were moments, when I seriously wondered if it might be better to just end it all.  Thankfully, I stuck it out. Junior High School was 100 % better.  More friends, still teasing, but, I was able to escape it.. and as I learned to adapt (and learned how to get rid of my accent) in this country, I became less of a target.  High School was again 100% better - and I grew confident in my ability to make friends (good ones that I could call when I had problems - friends that last a lifetime).. and even though I was heavy.... I stopped being teased for my weight.   College, again better, and I have to tell you that life since just keeps getting more exciting, challenging and yes, better.

But, when I think back to that little girl who moved to the United States in elementary School -- I am so very grateful that the internet was not around!  These days, a kid can't escape bullying by just going home and throwing themselves on their bed -- between Facebook, Twitter, Texting, cell phones, etc...  bullying has taken on a whole new level of gruesomeness.  How are kids to find a safe place when they are bombarded from every angle?  I really don't know... But, I do hope that as adults who got a taste of what they are going through (because truly -- I can't even imagine the degree of bullying that is now possible), we keep our eyes open and stay diligent around the kids in our lives.

My hope is also that those same kids who see themselves attacked by bullies on the internet also turn to the internet to find comfort.  The "It gets better" campaign that Dan Savage started is a perfect example.  It was started as a reaction to the frightening rate of suicide among gay teenagers who were bullied - yet, it truly applies to anyone who is suffering at the hands of stupid stupid people that get their jollies out of making others suffer.

The first time I heard about this campaign, I immediately went on YouTube and looked up some of the videos and wept. The theatre community (did you know that there are gays in theater? Gasp!) has come out in droves in support as well with videos and monetary help to the Trevor Project, and now that Google has done a commercial -- I'm never going to be able to watch TV without crying again.

So, today I say -- It gets better..  thank you Dan Savage and thank you Google.

(warning: you'll need a hanky).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How NPR and Blue's Clues changed my life

Not actually my child

I think it was a combination of the stress of Tim - my partner - being away for a week and this amazing report I heard on NPR about parenting. The report was partly inspired by that new anti-Tiger-Mom parenting book by Bryan Caplan that's been getting a lot of attention - the one with the tagline “Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun than you Think.”

From what I've heard, the book is directed towards all the Type-A overachieving parents who obsess over educational toys and organic food and run their kids back and forth from violin practice to conversational French lessons....and the message to them is -- CHILL OUT!!

The thinking is that all this running around and over-scheduling, while intended to enlighten and enrich our children and help them grow into culturally sensitive little geniuses, ACTUALLY tends to make both kids and parents exhausted, stressed out and occasionally miserable.
But according to this book, even FURTHER reason to chill is that apparently, not only is all this stress no fun, but there is evidence which shows that all these trips to the museum and horseback riding lessons have NO major influence on how our kids turn out.

How can that be?

Well, on the NPR report, a pair of economists (who also happened to be parents) conducted a study on predictors for children's success as adults, and they found that -- get this -- parent's education, personalities, and income levels actually had very LITTLE proven influence on kids’ future successes. They looked at twins raised in different homes and adoption research, and it seems that genetics is much stronger influence than upbringing. In fact, the only major factors in childhood that were shown to have significant impact on children’s futures were these 3 things: 1 - smoking, 2 – drugs/drinking and 3- no, not organic veggies - LOVE.

As a Type-A overachiever myself and also a new mom, this message really hit me. My daughter is not even a year old, and I have already spent an unspeakable amount of time obsessing over types of plastic in baby items. And I shop at 3 different markets to find the right organic teething biscuits. And I never let her play with my phone or watch any TV for fear of radiation or brain damage. And I buy books about trucks and give her toy hammers and screwdrivers to play with in an attempt to endorse gender equality. I mean, I'm ALREADY exhausted and fairly convinced I’ve done irreparable harm by accidentally saying the F-word in front of her and letting her eat non-organic pizza that one time. And it's only just begun. I may have scoffed at the Tiger Mom's insanity, but I've already had it in mind that it's important that she learn to play an instrument and I would really like her to learn to speak a little French -- oh, and play chess of course. Not that I can do any of those things!

And WHEN exactly will she be a kid?

And if all of it turns out to be mostly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, WHY do it? Because becoming a glorified and underpaid event planner/chauffeur is what I had in mind when I decided to have kids?? Because it will make my children so happy?? What about spending time together as a family? What about watching a silly movie with no educational value? What about going out for fatty non-soy ice cream just because?

THESE are the kinds of things that make parents AND kids happy and the things that they'll likely remember.

Also not my children

The message is: stop spending so much energy trying to mold children into perfect human beings and start having fun. Because if you ARE the type of parent spending time and money on jujitsu and ballet lessons, then more than likely, you are ALREADY a parent who loves and cares for your kids!! And the good news is -- it turns out that that's all they need!! We don't have to work as hard as we think. And some of that hard work could be set aside for a little more FUN!

SO-- after thinking about all of this -- and after almost a week of full-time work and temporarily single motherhood – I was facing yet another afternoon outing with the baby that I needed to pack up for and I was feeling overwhelmed at the inevitable stress of simultaneously taking care of my daughter and getting us ready….And so -- inspired and relieved by this new information, I did something I said I’d never do. I turned on the TV and plopped her down in front of it. I found an episode of Blue's Clues and lo and behold, she was riveted. I was able to leave the room. I was able to pee by myself. I was able to pack up her food and diaper bag. I was able to get her clothes on and clean her face without her having a fit! I even wrote a few emails and wiped up the mess from breakfast. And I got us ready without feeling like an insane person.

And it felt GREAT.

Did one half-hour of basically educational children's television rot her brain and give her attention deficit disorder? Would one half-hour like that EVERY DAY cause irreparable damage? I really don't think so. And what it did do was give Mommy the chance to collect herself and take a breath – and thanks to NPR, NOT feel guilty about it.

Look, don't get me wrong. I don’t think the point is to say "screw it" to all our parenting values. I’m not going to start giving my daughter Froot Loops anytime soon, or skipping bedtime stories for cartoons, or buying non-organic milk (let's not get crazy!) I plan to still make sure she does her homework and doesn't spend her life on Facebook. And I will even put her in a few classes before I'm done.

But when she gets old enough, she can choose a class she likes… and if there's an extracurricular activity she really is NOT enjoying, she doesn't have to do it. If playing the piano 2 hours a day is something she HATES, and it's not proven to make her any smarter really -- despite what Tiger Mom's brainwashed children say -- then she won't have to do it.

What's the point if we aren't having fun? We all want our kids to grow up to be successful, sensitive, and smart people, but apparently, we are already doing a lot for them on that score, simply by being stable, healthy and conscientious people who love our children and treat them with love and respect -- something that a lot of children in this world sadly grow up sorely lacking.

So, my new motto is to have fun and cut down on the obsessing -- at least until a new study comes out that says that fun leads to low test scores....

This one's mine : )

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm angry at myself and my husband

A few months ago I instituted another part to bedtime -- snuggling. My sister-in-law Kaye does it with her kids right before they go to bed. They curl up in one of the kids beds after story time, and they just snuggle in close and cuddle. Since Izzie is still in a crib, I can't really snuggle with her in the bed -- so, I hold her in my arms and we just say goodnight to our families and cuddle together with her blankey..

And now my husband has ruined it!

He liked the idea of snuggling.. so, he started doing it BEFORE brushing of teeth and story time.. and he did it in our bed! Izzie curls up with him in our bed, then they brush teeth, read stories, and then cuddle again in the chair. This seems totally counter-intuitive! The whole point of snuggling is to have that last moment cuddle before you slip off into dreamland.

My toddler loves his way of doing it. And I am really pissed by that! It was MY idea, he stole it and now she likes it better.... I've tried skipping it.. and she demands it, "SNUGGLE SNUGGLE" and runs off into our bedroom with her blankey. I've tried doing it last, right before sleeping -- but, she loves it so much that it causes strife between us rather than that sweet moment I was hoping for. Seriously.. why did he have to change things?? If you are going to steal the idea, at least do it right!

For the last 3 days Izzie has had a fever -- and I've gotten little to no sleep because she wakes up feverish. So, I'm sleep deprived AND worried that my little girl has something wrong with her (pediatrician says not to worry until a fever has run it's course for 4 days) AND since she has a fever, we can't take her to day care.. and since we live in San Diego, we don't have family that can come over and take care of her while we go to work AND I had to go to work today, couldn't switch my meetings -- so, Daniel took off work, but, what are we going to do tomorrow... I digress...

So, bedtime is going really well - and we are having a good time. I pick her up to snuggle on the chair -- and she pulls away and heads to the door, "SNUGGLE" she demands, she wants to go to our room. I try to reason with her -- but, she's 2! And I lose it. Mind you... I never raise my voice.. I am one of those Mom's who keeps her cool 95% of the time. I can, with all confidence, tell you I'm really good at that. But, I yelled... I was really upset. OVER SNUGGLING? Who am I? Why? I can't explain it -- someone else took over my body! It's ridiculous! I took her into our room and just held her ... she curled into me (after she stopped crying because i never raise my voice) .. I told her I was sorry.. and she patted my cheek. Do you think she forgave me?

Seriously, I feel awful. And I think I really need to get a little perspective here. It's snuggling for goodness sakes...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Tony Awards

I'm sitting here watching the Tony Awards. I've stayed away from all media (Facebook, Twitter, the NY Times website, google) for the last 3 hours so that I can try and see the show in blissful ignorance. I did have a slip up - and I just saw that Normal Heart will be winning for Best Play - but, I knew that would happen.. so, it's fine.

The point here is that I feel totally separated from that world right now.. and it SUCKS! I'm not in NYC, I'm not working on a Broadway show... I'm not in NYC. Why? I know I know I know -- this is my choice. I have a great and steady job in Theatre (a rarity if you know anything about theatre) working for and with amazing artists (many of which are were in the Beacon Theatre tonight). Yet, I can't lie... I'm jealous and I'm feeling really discombobulated right now. Working on a Broadway show is exhilarating, it really --- there is nothing like walking into a stage door and knowing that you were a part of what's on stage.

It probably doesn't help that Izzie has a high fever (and no other symptoms), so, I'm worried about her and I don't have any family or really close friends here. And... and... I do have a good life here.. I have started to make friends, I started running, we are starting the adoption process (which, if I were still freelancing in NYC, we probably couldn't do because I would have a crazy schedule).. I work at a great world renowned theatre where I have gotten to meet amazing artists and gotten to do really spectacular work. But, dammit -- I miss it. I really do. And... I feel awful for feeling this way.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Adopting: A calling or why am I putting my family through this?

When I was about 6 years old, I met my first adopted child. If you saw the about me section - you'd know that I grew up in Lima, Peru - and to be frank, adoption is just not something you talk about (it wasn't until I was an adult that my mother told me my best friend growing up had also been adopted!). So, I met this little girl who was adopted by friends of my parents -- and it all just clicked for me.

There are very few things I know for sure: I know I married a great guy, I know I love my daughter more than I've ever loved anyone, I know that following a career in theatre was going to be tough - but, I'm glad I stuck it out, and I always knew I would adopt. When Daniel and I were dating we discussed it and he was enthusiastic about the whole thing.

About a year ago, we attended our first orientation session to adopt through the county - and to be honest, we got a little spooked by how hard the process is. We are already stretched thin, and putting something else on our plates -- or someone else, who will come with a great deal of baggage, who won't just be happy to be loved and included, but, who will probably fight us and test us, well... all of that seemed like too much to take on. Yet, since that orientation, something has been gnawing at me... something really eating me up inside. At around my birthday I just knew that if we didn't start this now - I wouldn't be able to live with myself. For the first time in my life, I felt a calling to something. I'm not a religious person, but, I can tell you -- this is probably what they feel like when they are moved to do something totally crazy because you know in your bones that a) it's the right thing to do and b) now is the time to do it. So, I felt a calling... a honest to goodness calling to go for it. Daniel and I talked about it -- and he told me that he would prefer if we waited until Izzie was older, but, if I really felt like this was this was the time - then he was on board (see -- I knew I married a great guy).

So, what are the steps? Holy Cow!!! There are a LOT of steps to being an adoptive parent. We first went to see a counselor to talk through our options -- she said international adoption would be between 27-45k.... since we aren't looking to adopt a baby, and we don't have that kind of money - we decided to go back to that orientation session and see if we could stomach all the steps. Well, surprise surprise - the second time didn't seem so bad... but, it's still a lot of steps... first you have to become a foster parent, and then you can be considered an adoptive parent (after 2 more classes)... so, here are the basic steps (believe me, it's more complicated than even this):

1. 3 hour orientation
2. All the adults in the household have to get fingerprinted within 5 days of the orientation
3. You have to put down references and those people need to fill out a questionnaire and send it back within 20 days. (Thankfully, I have lovely people in my life that filled it out and sent it back on time).
4. You have to get a physical, and blood work, and a TB test - then have your doctor mail in the paperwork. (The TB test is no big deal - unless you bruise easily.. which I guess I do.  I'm sporting a douzy)

5. You have to fill out a REALLY long questionnaire that asks you about your life, your childhood, your beliefs, your marriage, everything.
6. You have to schedule a home visit with a Social worker after they have been assigned. For that home visit your place needs to be:
     a) child proofed
     b) there needs to be a room for the child -- even if you are months away from getting that child -- they still need a room that is solely a child's room. We live in a 3 bedroom townhouse, so, that means our office/guest room will now become a child's room.
7. After the home visit you have to take care of the things the social worker noted and then get another home visit (and this has to all happen within 4 months of the initial orientation).
8. you have to take First Aid and CPR training
9. you have to take 27 hours of Pride classes(these are parenting classes that will teach you how to be a parent to a child who comes from a broken home) -- I start mine in July. The classes come in 3 or 6 hour chunks and you have 1 year from orientation to take them all.
10. If you are hoping to adopt - you have to take 2 more classes.
11. another visit from the social worker where you discuss your hopes and dreams for this child.
12. and then you begin....

This whole process will probably take more than a year - and then after we meet our child another 18 months (if we are lucky) more after that.

We can barely get ourselves to bed on time -- why do we think this is such a good idea? Because it's a calling I guess. Seriously, I have no good reason to attempt this craziness than to say that I've always known that I wanted to be the mother of an adopted child. I realize it's going to be the hardest thing I we will ever have to do -- but, I also know that it's the right thing for us. And I can't exactly explain to you why... I guess that's what a calling is all about.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

NPR is bad for your health

I'm just going to say it -- I like talk radio. There... done... I don't know who the current hot singers are -- and I don't really think I can name a Lady Gaga song.

But, I am starting to understand why people listen to music on their way to work and not NPR like I do. Ever since I had a child - the world is looking meaner and meaner. Have you noticed that? I got a little boost to my outlook when Obama was elected - but, that was a blip, and everything since then just gives me anxiety. I feel things more deeply, I think about the crappy stuff a lot more and (I'll just admit it) I cry at the site people fighting for their right to be human.

Today, I learned about how hot it is in the East Coast, how horrible the fires are in Arizona, and how the whole mid-west has been flooded. Our politicians are a joke. Medicare will be defunct by 2024 (right about the time I'll need it) and so will Social Security. Also, the economy has stalled again, unemployment is not going down, Syria/Yemen/Libya are killing their own people as they try to protest for democracy, and everywhere else is going to hell. By the time I get to work my heart is racing, my stomach is in knots and I've picked at my cuticles so badly my fingers are bleeding. Yup, it's that bad (please note the title of this blog).

What kind of world did I bring a child into? Now I understand why mothers I know tell me they a) never listen to the news or b) don't listen to the news or watch the evening broadcast right before going to bed. It's like that rule about coffee -- don't drink it after 3pm or you'll never sleep. Seriously? Do we have to treat the news like it's a caffeinated drink? At 6pm when I'm driving home -- will the news about Anthony Weiner and the Rancher who had to leave his favorite cow and her brand new calf behind to escape from the Arizona fires keep me up all night?

What am I going to listen to on my way to work? Maybe I should give the oldies station a shot - at least after 3pm.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Grateful Parent

Growing up my father traveled a lot.. and by that I mean A LOT! There were times when I wouldn't seem him for more than a few days and he'd be off again. I thought he was very cool to be traveling... and I also thought he was living a very cosmopolitan life getting to travel as much as he did. At home, my mother and I never really got a groove going. She tried - I just didn't think she was very cool and honestly, as a teenager, I didn't really give her a chance. My father would come back with a trinket from a far off place, and maybe some toiletries (or slippers or a robe) and I would shower him with admiration.

I now seem to be that cool parent - the one who travels. But, I don't feel very cosmopolitan or cool, in fact, I kind of feel like a lech for leaving my poor husband to be a single parent. He's always known that this would be part of the bargain, but, it doesn't stop me from feeling guilty and wondering -- did my father feel guilty all those times?

I've also started to get really paranoid every time before I fly. I sit with Izz and hold her and kiss her and hope she remembers me if something goes wrong. I start to imagine the worst case scenario -- and I dread getting on the plane. I also worry that she will resent me in later years, that the attachment she feels for me now will wane and she'll grow angry at my career for keeping me away rather than admire me for being able to have a family and a career.

My whole life I've loved flying, maybe because I always thought that it made me more like my father... now, I'm starting to be afraid. Maybe, in the end, all his traveling wasn't that glamorous after all.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Try It? Or ... be careful what you wish for.

Being a Mom on the heavier side - I'm very sensitive to what Izzie eats.  I want to make sure she has a good relationship with food, and that she eats good foods.  Daniel and I also don't want to force her to eat, or clean up her plate if she isn't hungry.  We just want her to at least "try it" -- and if she doesn't like something, she can put it down.

We find ourselves saying "just try it" often... and I guess Izzie has been listening because she does take a quick taste, and sometimes she keeps eating, and sometimes she makes a face and puts it down.  Good job Mom and Dad!  Except....

Now, when Izzie is eating something, no matter how messy, how sticky, she'll hold it up to one of us and say "try it?".  Oh no... what do we do?  We can't not try something she's offering to us -- that would make us hypocrites, right??  How can we ask her to try things if we won't.   ARGH!!!! PARENTING!!!

Perfect example -- this morning she had breakfast. She didn't eat all her oatmeal, so of course, a half hour later she was a bit hungry.  She took a piece of cheese, but, Petey stole it... so, she headed back to the fridge and picked out some yogurt.  I sat her down in her high chair and gave her a spoon.  Instead of using the spoon (which she knows how to use very very well) she dipped her fingers in the yogurt.  Must have felt great on her little fingers, because she dunked her whole hand in there and started scooping out yogurt to eat.  Fine with me -- she can have fun with food as long as it's not in public.  Well... then she holds out her chubby little fingers and says, "Try it?"... Oh gross! No..... 

I think these exchanges are the reason why Izzie's new word is "ewww"....  yup.. she's really been listening!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why Husbands Don't Get it.

Confession: I hired a cleaning person!  ... and I'm not ashamed of it... until now.

Here's the story: We actually do a pretty good job of cleaning up after ourselves.  Daniel is much better at stacking things in corners than actually lifting up the toaster oven and wiping down the counter under it, but, I I digress....   We are actually ok at keeping the place looking civilized. We vacuum, our couch pillows are fluffed and our beds are usually made.  It's just that gunk accumulates, and dust gets into corners I don't always clean under.. and really, with a full time job, a child, a dog and a husband -- I don't always want to clean. SO, I found a coupon and I hired someone.

Here is where the title of this post comes in.  The reason I hired someone NOW and not in a few weeks is because Thursday my in-laws came to visit.  My mother in law travels with her yellow cleaning gloves (you know the ones -- the ones that you wash dishes with to spare your hands -- the ones I don't use because I bite my nails anyway from being stressed all the time, so who cares if my hands are spared?) and is a cleaning machine.  She's especially good in the kitchen... she DOES lift the toaster oven, she does get that gross stuff off in between the cooking range and the tile.  She's that good.

SO -- I hired someone to come the day my in-laws were coming into town.  I confess: I wanted my mother-in-law to think I had cleaned! Yup... I'm not ashamed... I wanted her to think that I had done all the cleaning.. and that I was a super Mom and Wife.. that her first born son was in good hands and that her grandbaby was living in a dust free home.  So, this lovely woman named Betty Jo came and spent three hours cleaning.. and she did a wonderful job! The place hasn't looked that good in ages.  I was so excited!!!  

Hubby went off to get his parents at the airport, I put Izz in bed -- and positioned myself on the couch to look relaxed as they entered our home.   They walk in -- and immediately my mother-in-law says "ohhh, it does look clean."  Ummm... why is she saying that?  I look at my beaming husband (he's excited his parents are visiting from NYC) and try to figure out why my mother-in-law's first words involve cleaning. 

I brush it off... and show them around, hugs, kisses and off to bed.  As I get under the covers.. I ask my husband -- "did you tell your parents about the cleaning woman?"  He looks at me, blinks and says, "Yeah. I told them we hired someone and they were here right before I picked them up."  WHAT WHAT WHAT?!?  Are you kidding me?!!!   Did he not read the husband manual? Did he not understand?  "Was I not supposed to tell them?" he asks me as he leans in for a kiss.    I pull away -- look at him hard...  yup. he's clueless..  I sigh...

Husbands Just Don't Get it.

You Call This Balance?!?!

My sister-in-law Laura and I have been exchanging emails recently.  She's in the same boat I am -- she works, full time, and really likes her job.   Yet, she's pulled in so many directions.  Home with her daughter, work with her clients, friends, social activism, alone time -- the experts call this BALANCE.  I call this FREE FALL!

So, I thought I'd start to post... clear my head.. get things down on paper screen the cybercloud.

The little girl above is my two year old Izzie. She's why I feel conflicted most of the time.  If it weren't for her, I would be fully invested in my career... if it weren't for her, I would be happy just being a Theatre Producer/Director.  If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have actually considered the virtues of staying home (although, that's impossible for us financially). I wouldn't get anxiety attacks about the news and what I'm leaving for her in the future.  I wouldn't want to be better than I am. 

Basically, she's the reason I sometimes feel like I'm in a free fall and I  have no idea where I'm we are going to land.