Friday, August 27, 2010

Developing babies

Over the summer, TR's language skills exploded. I can understand 80% of what she is talking about. She speaks in full sentences. She'll say, I don't want to eat, I don't want to nap, I don't want to go. It blows my mind. I feel like we have always communicated because when she wasn't speaking, her wants were less. But its amazing how as her wants increase so does her language.

I think she and QT communicate. We were eating pizza in the car and she asked him if he wanted some. She handed him a slice with just the sauce. I took it and he hollered. I then let him eat the sauce.

They look at each other and just laugh and she whispers to him and he'll squeal. They hold hands. I'm pretty sure they are plotting against the parents.

Sometimes he'll be on the bed and she'll say "come on, gentle". He is even trying his best to move. He dislikes being on his belly and rolls over but if he is looking at her, he will stay on his belly. He has even been rolling from his back to his belly to get to her.

Last night my mother was telling her that its important to brush her teeth so she doesn't get cavities. I heard TR say, "cat-ties?" My mother said, "that's when your teeth get bad and weak." My mother talks to TR like she's a high school student. I think that is a big part of why her language jumped.

When she left home she was saying things like "I do it". Now she says, "let me do it", or " I can do it".

Yesterday evening my mom took her outside and we played dodge ball and kick ball. TR isn't quite clear on dodge ball. She positions herself to catch it. Mr said it may be because she is familiar with football where everyone is always trying to catch the ball.

During kickball my mom pointed out that she kicks with her left foot. I realize she'll probably be left handed but it never occurred to me that a left hand person, would also kick on the left. I actually think she is ambi-dex-trous- (I don't feel like googling the spelling). She uses her left most of the time but she will also use her right.

The gardner brings his 6 year old every week and TR and the girl play the entire time. My mom tried to teach them jump rope but she said neither girl could get it. I'll have to work on that skill.

My mother is still the same as when I was a kid. She is the athlete. She always started games and played with us. I don't know why I have a hard time doing this. I need to do better, because once I am playing I love it. Maybe I'll get a ball and we'll go play at least twice a week at football practice.

In other mommy things I had been trying to get QT to sit up. He would do it for a while and then tip over. When I sit him up next to TR, he just sits. Its amazing what a kid does when they have a sibling.

TR's dance class has ended. I went on Wednesday and when she walked in a cute little 4 year old, said hi to her and when I walked in the little girl was giving her a hug and a kiss. My mom said during the dance class the 4 year old and her 3 year old sister took care of TR. They would hold her hand and help her do some of the activities.

The little girl had a great summer. My mother told her next summer she was going to get a basketball court so they could play that.

When I was a kid I spent my summers in this very house, playing with my grandparents, just like TR does. Once the last day of school hit, we'd already have our stuff packed and we'd come up here and didn't go back home to stay until school resumed. We'd go home on Sundays, because my mother always made Sunday dinner for the kids, her parents and whoever else happened by.

I sure did love my childhood. I have a good life, but with everyone dying sometimes the memories and my present hurt.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lifestyles of the unrich in L.A.

We aren't rich by L.A. standards and definitely not by west l.a. standards but we live

We have super low rent for our neighborhood and building. I have been looking at places nearby and it's sinking in. Everything near us is closer to $3000/mth. We got a rent decrease when the market was tumbling. Apparently the market has gotten crazy again but we are locked in.

We live a mile from one of the top public elementary schools in the state and even closer to one of the best Middle schools in the state.

We were watching one of the nightime news programs on last Sunday. The report mentioned a Beverly hills hotspot Mr A goes to. The report said the place is harder to get into than seats next to Jack Nicholson at a laker game.

We just walk in. No waiting in line. we go to the front of the line that is usually wrapped around the hotel. Mr A's out of town friends love to go there. It's a celeb hang out with great drinks and food. Both the drinks and food are ranked number 1 in the nation. The hotel used to be le meri.dian. I loved it there. It was Asian inspired, but it has new owners.

Moving to the bay will be a new ball game.

It's slower paced. TR has a dance class in the bay and there are only 5 kids. The max they take is 10. It's crazy to me that so few kids
are enrolled. The 8 week session was under $100. Even her gym only had 5 kids in the Bay. That gym was in the pricey suburbs. Here the baby swim classes are impossible to get into. There if you find one it's open.

I sorta feel like in the Bay I will be the extreme mother. Here, I am just the normal mom carting toddlers to music, art, gymnastics, swim, whatever. Here the mall is full of mothers with strollers in the afternoon. In the bay, the malls are mostly empty in the afternoon.

Mr A might be participating in a reality show. The studio people have requested edits to everything but him. The executive producers and the
studios like him. We shall see. If the show gets the green light our plan to live here 5 years and then move to the bay will adjust.

L.A. has a lot to offer so I am happy here. I miss being close to my mom.
I would enjoy doing stuff with her and my kiddies. Mr A and I discussed seeing if she
would retire here.

If we can buy a house with a m-i-l unit, it won't hurt to ask. I don't know that
she likes L.A. enough to live here. She will visit but she likes home.

She has 3rd cousins out here and childhood friends. She would only be an hour from where she was born so, we shall see.

But regardless of if we stay or go, I am going to paint these walls.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The One

CharActers: Ames, Mr A, QT
TC- Mr A's bestfriend of 20+ years
AH- TC's ex girlfriend. AH and TC dated about 17 years. Since high school.

TC and AH stopped by to visit the A family.
AH and I went to target.

During our chat she told me that she was done with TC. She realized he wanted to play.

She told me Steve Harvey (I made sure she knew he was thrice divorced and a mess) said a man
will commit once he finds the one.

She said that Mr A had had lots of girls and suddenly I pop up, all the girls vanish and we're getting married.
She'd been with TC all those years and he never attempted to seal the deal.

So her theory is that Steve was right about what happens when a man meets, the one.

Of course I am Mr A's One. But I told her that Mr A wanted a wife
and family before he met me. I didn't appear and he suddenly changed.
He liked relationships. He had friends who were married, he respected marriage, he was tired if the club life,
he wanted to be a father and husband to his children's mother.
He wanted to do it in the fairytale order. Love, marriage and baby carriage.

I know some women like to tell the story of their magic powers on men or how love
changed him.

Mr A is a great husband but I believe he would be a great mate to
whoever he had married. Being a good husband and good father is a commitment he
made to himself. I am sure loving me makes being a great mate more rewarding.

I prefer that. It makes me feel more secure. It's hard for me to be mad at someone
when I know my happiness is often more important to him than his own.

Even when Mr A is upset with me, he is still a loving husband. I need that type
of consistency. I need to know that he is in it until......... we reunite in heaven.

So readers do you think love will change a man/woman from a player to a commitment

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stealing the luxuries

Yesterday afternoon I put a plush quilt on the floor and laid down to play with QT.
We kissed, we rubbed noses, we played with his feet and hands, we talked, we chuckled. He is at that puppy stage. The stage when you roll them one way and they roll back. Those quick little responses and just plain joy.
We had a good time. This is my luxury.

As we played I realized I steal this time and that I will have to repay it. I have a motion, phone calls, and a complaint to get in.
My brain does not own the luxury of down time.
I wish I owned the luxury of just playing with my kids and knowing that once we
are done, a pile of work isn't still waiting for me.
I would love to just have the ability to not multitask.

Usually I work with a baby on my lap or in my arms. Both like to
type so I am pulling keyboards away or stopping to attend to
a baby.

I don't want to miss these early years because I am working. I may be home
but I don't always feel present.

I may be taking a work break. The law will be here.

Monday, August 16, 2010



I am missing my little girl something terrible. Its only a few more days till I go to her.


Mr A and TR at the Jazz festival. Nothing against that blanket but its not ours. It was brought by another couple we attended with. I don't like those types of patterns.

Last year we made more trips up to the bay. I think she stayed longer last year. This year, we were only there twice and its rough even though she is there a shorter amount of time. I'm not sure she misses us. When we call she says, hi mommy, how are you doing? Hi daddy how are you doing? If its just one of us, she'll ask where the other one is. I called her Thursday and she said "Hi mommy. I go." Then she went back to playing. My mom was rolling her on an exercise ball. TR does miss QT.

I left one of his pajama sets and my mom put it on the bed. My mom said TR saw it and started calling for gentle. TR then went to the windows and looked for him.

Sometimes when I come home with QT she gives me a quick smile and kiss and then moves her attention to guy. She calls him guy or gentle.

My mom and TR went to lunch at a Japanese restaurant last week. My mom does not use chop sticks. I told her TR does. She gave TR a pair and said she used them. She asked me how she learned. I have no idea. I know she likes to follow dining customs of where she eats.

One day Mr A and I had ordered in and we gave her a fork and she asked for chop sticks. We gave her the sticks and she used them without any guidance from us.

Here are photos.

In other things Mr A and I went browsing for children's clothes last week. I wanted to get TR a pair of skinny jeans. Mr A objected. I spoke with my mom a few days later and she said TR had on pair of hip huggers. I asked, "skinny jeans?". She said, "yep." JOY!
My sister bought a pair for TR.

Now Mr A and I can remain friends and my baby can be fashionable.

TR's feet have also grown 2 sizes since being in the bay. Goodness!


I have scheduled a couple of preschool tours. I am leaning toward a co-op. It requires parents to help at one session per week. I was planning to go everyday but Mr A said I shouldn't because it would stunt TR's independence. Once a week will allow me to be useful and not just a classroom observer. So if the tour goes well I will get on that waiting list.

I spoke with a judge who told me they would not accept her kid in such a school because she could not
do one day a week. She said they would not let nannies sub for the parent. I am hoping details like that help me
get a spot.

I discovered that TR's best friend from the park is starting Japanese school a few times a week. The girl is 3. I am pretty sure
the girl is half black and half Japanese. I have never seen her father but the girls hair has a little curl and she's TR's color. Anyway, I will likely send to Japanese school when she turns 3, that way she can talk to her little friend and be multi-lingual. TR and best friend from park

My mother said she seems to understand Spanish. I ask her nanny to only speak Spanish to her. The nanny speaks limited
English but I think she practices english on TR. But the nannies speak Spanish at the park so it's a nice immersion.

We had a lovely weekend, that started Friday. One of the highlights was Bay Cities imports in Santa Monica. The deli was on food network
and was as great as they claimed. The food network did not
discuss the market. It was a paradise. I want to take an Italian cooking class so I can go and use all the wonderful items in the store.

Mr A and I found a new church that we like, is small and closer to home. We love Noel Jones and his ministry but we were tired of mega church attendance. We are also tired of prosperity ministries and so many churches are on that. Finding a place with a salvation message and just live a better life message was work.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Home Schooling

I found a few schools for TR.

One school has Whole Foods deliver hot lunches everyday. It also has a pool.

I am going to discuss this with my mother. She's a teacher, with a k-9 credential and some other stuff. I need to figure out why I'm trying to send my kid to school.

I just want to enable my kiddies to pursue whatever their interests are. I don't want them to be behind and if the other kids are in school, should mine be there too? or should we just enjoy relaxed days at home and the park.

These schools are pricey. I see why people have to decide if staying home makes more sense than working.

In the mean time, I am on a mission to implement some formal education.

She has the social stuff down from playing at the park. Those kids take turns, wait in line, share and behave like civilized people. She has learned the ABC song and can count to 10. She has continued her dance and gym while in the bay and I'll start her at the next session of toddler art class.

I'm going to hit Lakeshore and purchase some materials for 2 year olds. Last year my mother told me to put index cards on things so she could identify the words with the object. So the refrigerator, television, desk, door, etc will have cards.

My mom said she and TR were headed outside yesterday and my mom got distracted. TR couldn't open the door and stood back and said "oh too-oool." That is from Mickey Mouse clubhouse. Whenever they encounter a challenge, they call oh too-oool and a tool kit appears. Last time we went to Disney she was excited to see Minnie Mouse. She said "min mou", "min mou" and kissed her nose.

Apparently oh-too-ool used a wire plier last week. My mother said TR climbed on the counter and got the wire pliers. She told me I have to watch the cartoons too, so I will know why she is doing stuff. These cartoons are crazy. I watch them with her but I don't always pay attention.

She has caught TR washing dishes a couple of times and asked me if her cartoons wash dishes. I think TR has been wanting to do that for a while. Now she's tall enough to
pull up a stool and turn the water on, she gets busy.

I came across this blog with tips on gardening with toddlers. We'll probably pick up the matchstick garden tomorrow.
gardening with toddlers.

So its time to get busy. The nanny starts back the first of September. These kids grow so fast. Its amazing to me.


I am realizing that I prefer diversity.

I don't like any group so much that I want to be around that group 100% or even 50% of the time.

One reason I like the park is there are white kids, Asian kids, a latino kid and a few 1/2 black and TR who is black on both sides.

I would prefer her to go to a diverse school but so many people like to segregate that it may be a challenge.

On our vacation to St. Martin, we had 2 blacks (us) or maybe 3 if you count the Trinadad woman as black. I did not ask. We had 3 whites (2 blonde and blue eyes, one whose uncle is Ol.llie North) the white guy and the trinny are married, a Jewish guy and 2 Latinos. For me that was great.

I love my people but I am visual. I want variety. I like to remember how amazing God is to create people. I like knowing that we all enjoy good food, sun and recreation and laughter. It's not racial.

So I hope TR's preschool will mirror our neighborhood and the park.

Now I am not saying I am kumbaya, because I don't want to mix incomes too drastically. I stay away from people with bunches of money. I know and they know that they can kill me and pay a fee to avoid consequences.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

i's ti'ed

It's Wednesday. I had a resolution session and the issues resolved. That was 2 hours out of my day without pay. The district could have called me and saved my gas and time. I don't mind workng for free from home but when I have to leave home to do it, I don't like that.

I want to get a website but since these greedy companies are intending to sell speed and access to pages, I may save my money.

I'm going to pilates later tonight. I'm already seeing results. I want to get back to spin class, it's fun. I have a gym buddy that I need to hook up with.

What has me tired is preschool and kindergarten. There is so much to plan and prepare for. Finding a school isn't the end.

QT was born in February and Ca wants kindergartens to be 5 by Dec. 2 of the year they start. If I go by that, QT will be older than most of the kids. I suggested to Mr A that we move to a state that takes them at 4 and then transfer them back. If we enroll them in a CA private school, the CA public school doesn't have to take them.

I'll see how TR will do. Her birthday is May so she has flexibilty.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I wasn't productive with work but I did rearrange the house.

I needed to make a place for the toddler baby grand.

My cousin gave the kids toddler rocking chairs so I made an area for that too.

My plan is to make a reading/relaxing corner for them. Not that TR ever relaxes but if she decides to be still she will have a kiddy space in the living room area.

This apartment is just a little smaller than my first house. Right now our space is good, if we (I) utilize organization and creativity.

When Mr A gets home we'll hit Home Depot or Lowes. I'm going to make the wall of their living room space colorful.

Next time the kids take a vacation I'm going to see if Mr A can get his friend to paint a sky on the ceiling where the kids little corner is. Of course as much as I move furniture they idea may not make sense. Maybe I'll let that idea go.

I'm looking forward to TR's return. I have a lot planned. Dance class, art class, swimming, her garden, and play time at the park. I'm hoping her nanny Mary Poppins is still available a few days a week.

Childcare costs could get a range rover. Its amazing how your budget can expand for stuff that matters. Maybe we should just go ahead and finance that house. Our money really grows to meet our needs. Actually I've been thinking about pretending like our rent is double what we pay and put the excess aside. I'll see how it goes.

I'm currently working on a civil rights case. I usually represent kids who aren't getting their services. Now I am representing a special education teacher who has been retaliated against because she did her best to protect the interests of the kids and let the parents know what their rights were. She even gave folks my card.

We shall see how this one goes. I'm excited.

have a happy 8-9-10 day.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The day, the day, the day

Neiman had nothing for QT. We saw a pair of Burberry cords but they didn't have his size. They had 6 months but he'd outgrow those before he hits 6 months.

I saw a pink baby grand piano for toddlers. We had planned to get it but Mr A doesn't want it in pink because he wants the kids to share it. The black was electric. So now I'm hunting for a black baby grand piano.

Today Saturday, I was alerted to a clean house yard sale in the valley. The woman had a lot of brand new designer bags. We got there at 9:30 and by the time we left most of the tables were bare.

I got some good stuff.

Mr A told the woman she didn't look old enough to have accumulated all that stuff. We later saw her husband. She was black, he was older and white. I guess she married a man and spends her days shopping for things she doesn't use.

They filmed Mr A., QT and me negotiating the price. Soooooo, maybe you'll see QT on clean house.

After that they guys dropped me off at pilates and they walked on Melrose. A man with a cute little baby is a magnet.

Next up, dinner at our Ethiopian spot.

Have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Woman Down

Written Tuesday afternoon

I'm in bed with QT. The morning was hectic and I took myself out
of the game to rest my mind. I have a Neiman Marcus gift card so we are taking
QT later today. I might look at Horchow since they also take neiman cards.
My pilates class is $99 a month. It costs too much not to go. With a pain in my back
I hit the studio and the pain felt good. Now I have a heating pad on my back.

After pilates I headed to Wells Fargo to open a business account. I had one at WAMU but I hated Chase so I closed my accounts. I actually hated WAMU but they literally kept buying all my small banks. I could not escape them so I accepted them as my banker.

Everyone does not make checks out like I ask, people will write attoney Ames, law office of Ames, Ames law firm, Ames attorney. Chase would cash those checks if Ames was anywhere on it. I closed that account and later got an out of town check titled Ames law firm. I have been driving that check around for 3 weeks
and none of my many banks would cash it.
It took over 60 days and 4 phone calls to get that check so I did not
want to send it back to be reissued.

Wells wanted a ficticuous business statement. I brought the California code that states a business name that includes the surname of the owner is not a ficticuous name. Wells wanted it anyway. I refused. My name is not ficticuous and I will not pay the
county money for nothing.

So I went to Chase and reopened my business account and cashed the check.
I actually went to 2 Chases. The business banker at the first one had some challenging consumer clients. I then went to another branch. They are less than a mile apart and both a few blocks from home.

So in the midst of this banking, attorneys are calling me. There was some confusion
with one of my clients settlement agreement. I am in l.a. and they are in Oakland so I was not there
for the signing.

This single client is holding up a x.x million dollar class action settlement payout. 100+ plaintiffs are waiting on 1 person.
I only had a couple clients in the action, and while I want my money it's not a few million. If it was I would walk to
Oakland and get it signed. HA!

But that was stressful because I don't want my patience to inconvience others,
especially because the other lawyers allowed me to use the benefit of their class action experience.
They also spent hundreds of thousands to prosecute so I know they want reimbursement.

Soon I'll get my own class action and I can drop cash on a house.

Amazingly the defendants in this case bought and paid for one of the lawyers last house.
All I'm getting is cash in the house fund but it's still great for me and my clients.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Mr A, QT and I went to Open Houses yesterday. We saw a home that was near perfect for us. We could have moved in right then and been ccol. It was a 1920's Spanish style home with all the details I love in older Spanish builds. French windows, large front porch, flute shaped fireplace, high rounded ceilings, arched doorways.

During the real estate boom a lot of people bought and destroyed these homes, and called it a remodel/expand. They were building onto porches to make the living rooms larger. It was mass destruction. I love seeing an original that has been refreshed in line with the home's 1920's character.

One room was for toddler girl that was maybe a year older than TR. They even had a pottery barn vanity that I plan to get when we change TR'a room from nursery to a little girl room. I loved the closet area. It was a large walk in nook. They had a baby boy and his room was decorated in nursery fashions and had a built in desk.

The master opened to the back yard patio and in the back, there was a home office with a play room connected.

Yesterday morning as I took my shower I told myself that when we buy I plan to have a seat in the shower. The office of the house had a seat in the shower.

I would like the photo but in case we come up on a million in the next few weeks, I don't want my addy on the innanets.

Its crazy how the small houses we like are in similar price ranges as the big homes nearby. Although the prices are the same we prefer the more cozy builds. We only have 2 kids and I know most people only use 2 or 3 rooms in their home. I want a house that all rooms will be enjoyed and that I won't feel is empty after the kids go off to college.

I looked online and the house sold in 1998 for ~500k. It sold in 2004 to the current owners for 1.? million. The owners are taking a loss. My feelings would be so hurt if I had bought at the peak but that is why we are patient and intent on buying a house we love. No matter what the market does, if we have a house that is home, we'll be happy.

I was looking for photos to express the physique I am working for. This showed up on my fb. I'll be satisfied with a flat tummy. I don't need all the cuts. My frame is naturally athletic-looking and I have big (not fat) legs so this physique type is achievable.