Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Debate

It has come to my attention that most often, when women are debating specific issues of family or parenting we either 1) have 0 personal experience in either side we're debating 2) have personal experience in 1 side of the issue 3) when we have experience in multiple sides of the issue we don't care to debate.

Example: stay at home wives v. work at home wives. I've done both and don't have a preference on what anyone else chooses. I got bored and missed working my brain muscle. Other women might be more into domestic arts/home engineering than me.

Stay at home moms v work at work moms v work at home moms. I've done stay at home and work at home. I prefer work at home and admit its a challenge but I don't have a preference or a put down for what others choose. I don't live in any other home but my own and I only parent my own child. Hopefully kids in any situation know they are loved and that is the important thing.

The debate of daycare, family members watching the kid, nanny and the variety of childcare strategies. There is much debate and attacks over this. Some say daycare is bad and that its better if family can watch the child. Others say why have kids if you are going to foist them off on family members. Some think in-home care is best. Some think the mom should not put her baby in day care. Some think day care offers socialization and learning opportunities not available for at home kids.

Then there is public v. private v. home school. Then the breast feed or not debate. There is so much and really if we can't support each other than we should at least not bash each others choices.

Mothers and women are constantly criticized by other women.

Most women make the choices they feel is best for their family. I'm consistently curious as to why women don't understand they the best choice for their family or future planned family is not automatically the best choice for mine.

I actually think some people critique the family choices of others to validate the choices they've made. Everyone hasn't figured out that when living life, there doesn't have to be right or wrong choices, just hte best choices for the unit.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happiest Place in Orange County

We had a wonderful time at Disn.ey.land.

We are very grateful to have friends that work for the company and who invited us for a day at the park. If we had to purchase tickets to go, I would feel the need to exhaust myself and get my monies worth. A complimentary entrance meant we got on a few rides, ate, walked slow and enjoyed the atmosphere.

It was fun hanging out with our couple friends and each other. I think such an ocassion is a very pleasurable part of parenting. I remembered when I went to Dis.ney with my mother and now I am a mother and there with my babe.

I appreciate my mother for not demanding to take breaks or giving us a time limit. She let us go until the park closed and got us there when it opened.

It feels good to be a mommy. I am grateful to God for allowing me this experience.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Past Tense

It feel odd posting about stuff that happened days ago but I don't like posting about future events too much. I think silence keeps the bad energy of others in check.

I've had a busy and fun week. The activity of the week caused me to remember that I like rest and while I blogged about doing more, I enjoy down time too.

We've been on a mini-shopping spree. I picked up a beautiful pair of black and grey heels.

We browsed on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, had a wonderful patio lunch at Crusteceans that was topped off by cupcakes at Sprinkles. The recession was evident on Rodeo, and there were multiple vacant store fronts with for-lease signs. There weren't any sales so I guess the shops are holding firm in its pricing.

Disn.eyland is in our future. One of our couple friends works for Dis.ney and were kind enough to invite us. I adore the magic of Dis.ney and add free and its even more magical.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Foodie

I love food.

I'm not big on chains because there are too many unique dining spots and eateries in L.A. and the Bay. When I'm in the 'burbs or hungry from shopping at a mall I'll happily do Applebees, Elephant Bar, Chillis and other chains.


I've added two restaurants to my list. One is part of the Cheesecake Factory chain- Rock Sugar. It's inside the Century City Plaza. Although I dislike Westfield malls, I remember when the mall wasn't Westfield and its open air so I still like it.

My girlfriend had a birthday dinner there last weekend and everyone loved it. Most Californian natives do not like those sugary fake pan-asian spots. 14 California born women all agreed that Rock Sugar is wonderful and worth the time and money.

The other addition is Katsuya, this is a Japanese restaurant and the sushi is awe-inspiring and made by a sushi-master. We go to the Hollywood location and its sprinkled with celebs and paparazz, but the food is better than the Hollywood scenery.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring is Here!

I was reading my old blogs and wondering what happened to my life. I used to be so active. I was always into something or at least I regularly had something to be into.

I've made a list of couple stuff, I've made plans to hit the gym with a gf, I have a mommy buddy lined up for afternoon lunches, we've got a couple of trips planned, I've got a trip planned, I volunteered to do free legal clinic and my business is doing well. I'm going to get back into the world. I don't need 'me' time at this point in life. If I needed 'me' time I wouldn't have gotten married and I wouldn't have had kid(s). Family time is what I adore. I can relax with my family and family friends.

The problem is I hate to leave my baby. She is spending Easter break, a part of May and summer with my mom. I might lose my mind but it might be good.

I don't want to turn my kids into homebodies and if they see me only going out on special ocassions I may limit them. I just want to offer balance. Plus when I stay home too much I go out and spend like I have no sense.

I'll be glad when the weather gets warm and stable. Cold weather is not conducive to me being out and about.

Muah,
AMES

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2 incomes + 1

I am slightly amazed at how some 2 income families try to operate a side business to get ahead. In the past the 2nd income allowed the family to get ahead, but apparently two full time jobs is not enough anymore. This 3 income strategy isn't limited to HCOLA areas.

I read some of the PF blogs and wonder why a two income family can't do well with two incomes. What's up with the side gigs? I'm sure priorities and goals are key to the answer but I wish someone would tell me the goal that induces a couple to spend after work time or weekend time pursuing more income.

In my young and single days I worked as a substitute teacher while working to build my business. People didn't understand and I never thought to explain- I was building a business. Subbing was a pretty good option for me. I understand building a business, but it seems like most aren't trying to quit their day job, they are trying to fund stuff. And people don't want to believe that the middle class is financially in trouble.

Some people didn't understand that I knew what my mission was and was moving toward it. They saw my subbing and not the companion vision. I maintained a lifestyle that allowed me to pursue my goal.

I recognize some fresh out of school get a job and build a lifestyle around the income and then try to figure out a way to pursue goals. It's the same with dual incomes, some build a life around 2 incomes and if someone wants to stay home the couple can't figure out how.

Below is a calculator to determine how much of the 2nd income is kept by the household.


http://www.hughchou.org/calc/dappen.cgi


I wonder if people will soon need 2 incomes, a side income and get their babies a job for extra. It's crazy.

I do not believe its all due to greed, because its been shown that wages haven't increased. The second income is necessary to make up for wage flatline.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Meal Planner

About.com has a meal planner calendar.

http://my.about.com/mealplanner/

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's Been 10 months

The queen is 10 months old today. Time flew by!

When she was a newborn women in stores told me to enjoy the time because it went quick. The infancy days are nearing the end.

It is all so fast. I loved being pregnant. I loved thinking and imagining who my baby would be. I loved all the pampering I got from my husband. I loved the newborn days. I really did not realize how different a newborn was from an older infant.

I'm loving this current stage. The learning, the emerged personality, the laughing. I just want to hold on to this time but I'm also looking forward to the future as my baby becomes a toddler and up.

It's a flurry of emotion I feel.

Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SuperWoman

I try to work or nap while the baby naps. Fortunately the schedule she put herself on makes that totally feasible. I try to give her attention while she plays and moves about.

While I am superwoman, I'm no fool. I have no room to make time for blogging, so blogging happens when it happens.

I'm still here but don't think I'll be a reliable source of entertainment.

Muah,

Ames

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Do the Right Thing!

I am overwhelmed by the desire to make everything right.

Part of my purpose of 'lunching' with other mommies is to pick their brain. My goal is to provide my offspring with opportunities and access. I am okay if they choose to reject the offerings I provide because I want them to be free to choose their path.

Most opportunities come from being prepared and being in the right place. Combine this with my desire to allow my kids a childhood they enjoy, and I'm in a constant state of planning.

I don't just want a kid who is 'smart', I want to allow my children chance to discover and pursue their talents and interests.

I want a school that doesn't place 90% focus on test scores but has a curriculum that is varied. I believe we benefit from the artistic and creative spirits, I also believe everyone has a gift. My grandmother always said 'your git will make room for you.' I know that is true. A person who knows their gift and is able to use it is blessed and that is my main goal for my kids.

I want to provide them every opportunity to find, refine and walk in their gift.

Secret Society of Mommies


It seems like Westside moms have a rule book. This book tells them things like where to get their nanny and their strollers.

The first time the A family went to yoga in Hollywood, all the moms had the same stroller. It was almost frightening. The strollers were lined up against the wall like an army.

I'm not quite sure why people even had strollers. The studio isn't really in walking distance to homes. Did the mothers really get their kid out the car, take the stroller out the car, open it up, put the kid in and then roll it to the studio only to take them out once again?

We parked, got the baby out and walked in. The baby was doing yoga too so a stroller wasn't necessary.


Then there's the park. 90% of the nannies use the stroller by Maclaren. At the Grove its the Maclaren stroller or some type of buggy.

I feel like I didn't get the handout on what Westside mommies do. Perhaps I'm an outsider? Perhaps there is a mommy clique I have not been invited to?

I am fighting the desire to buy this stroller because we already have one we barely use. I just wonder what's so special to make it the baby accessory of the westide moms.

Just another day in the life of a Mommy who Lunches.

MUAH,

Ames

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Me Day


I'm working today but also having a bit of "me" day.

The baby and Mr have been hanging out today. He took her to the park this morning and now they are at the school he coaches at. He loves football and volunteers with the kids.

Some days I hate football, but usually I'm happy he gets to do things he loves. Football and working with the kiddies.

Organization is key to being a Mommy who Lunches and works. If my organization had been better I wouldn't have a stack of work sitting here next to me. Fortunately I'm not behind on anything. Even more fortunately I will be getting an assistant soon.

I can't wait. My business is ready for expansion and I am ready to oversee it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lunch at Home

I adore Farmer's Markets. It has atmosphere and fresh fruit and veggies direct from the farmer.

From the farm to your table is a great way to shop and it provides great savings.

I've been to the Farmers Market in Santa Monica. There is something magical about an early morning jaunt to a Farmers Market, with an ocean breeze, ocean air, and an ocean view surrounding you. I have also been to the Farmers Market closer to home.

My mom goes nearly every weekend. She picks up flowers, fruits and vegetables. She turned me on to all that is good about Farmers Markets.

For you L.A. dwellers, I have attached a link to a Times article that lists all the markets. Take a break from your big box grocery store and visit the neighborhood atmosphere of your nearby Farmers Market. Ask the farmer how the item is grown, how to store it, cooking suggestions, whatever. The Farmers take a personal interest in what they are selling. Enjoy yourself, enjoy the outdoors and enjoy feeling like you are taking a step back into the time when people had a personal relationship with the owner of their local markets.

Farmers Markets

MUAH,

Ames

Ya Heard?

You may have heard the term "Ladies Who Lunch". Mommies who lunch is a play on that term. The difference is- I lunch, brunch and socialize, while working from home and having a more limited budget for my excursions.

Despite the budget, life is good and most days are pretty interesting. I have the bonus of living in Los Angeles so interesting is easily accessible. This blog is not a How To Guide, its a "How I do Guide". I will list many of the events I enjoy and try to list 0, $, $$, $$$ in case you are interested.

I hope you find some entertainment in the day of A Mommy Who Lunches and maybe an idea on things to do. Questions are always accepted. Critiques are often enjoyed. Compliments are appreciated.

MUAH,

Ames