Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year (Eve)

Tonight I will put TR in a party dress and let her bring in the new year. QT might be asleep. I also want the 4 of us to take a photo before 2011 enters.'

I told QT that tomorrow he can say he was born last year and still isn't one year old.

I am grateful for my family. I love being a wife and I love being mommy. I love being a wife and mommy. I count each day as a new year and try to celebrate the life of loved ones and myself.

I am thankful for my present, my past and excited for my future.

I'm also excited about our pres.chool inter.view. Mr A and I were more excited about the interview then for Christmas. We love that school. Entrance will be a gift that keeps on giving.

I digress.......

Happy New Year to you and yours. May we all be blessed in the New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sorrowful Lusts

I called Mr A today and told him how grateful I am that I was not built to have lust for sorry men.

My listserv was discussing men marrying women they weren't that into just because they wanted kids, felt ready, did not want to lose her, etc.

Someone said women do the same thing. Women marry men they can trap or who they believe would be a good husband and or father.

I don't get it. I thought most women who wanted to marry would be attracted to men they thought would be a good husband. Good is all relative but whatever good is to her. Are there women who want kids and don't seek a man who'd be a good father?

WHEEEW. I remembered that as a high school kid, a guy who got poor grades put his arm around me. I guess he had a way with the girls. I pitched a fit and corrected me. He tried to insult me by saying something stupid like, what are you some virgin. Good thing I wasn't a fool. 10th grade and 13, of course I was a virgin, that dirty old senior. He had to be like 30.

Then he told me that he did not want me. Cool, then don't ever put your hands on me again.

I told a friend that story and she told me he drove an Alpha Romeo. I asked her what that had to do with anything.

So I realize that people are attracted to different things.

I went to high school with a girl and her mother cheated on her stepfather with a broke man. Her stepfather treated the kids like his own, paid for private school, cars, had a nice home in the hills but her lust led her to a broke man. That woman was homeless with her new boyfriend within a few months and so were her kids.

I am thankful that I was built attracted to men who are providers, who desire to be and are good husbands and fathers.

Lust is a crazy thing and we all have battles to fight. I feel for women who can't see the goodness in man who loves his family.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Death of Play

When I was in school we had recess. Within those 10 minutes 30 kids were able to organize games, choose teams, decide what position on the field to play, use the bathroom, drink water and have fun.

Who knew that we were learning how to organize, work together, build teams, lead, follow, and get some exercise too.

Now many kids don't have recess. Schools want all time to be instructional time. They have these high stakes tests to teach to.

My cousin told me a district in Georgia reintroduced recess. The children had to be taught to play. They lacked conflict resolution skills and the ability to organize and play games without adult intervention. WTH!?!

I wonder if the government or corporations are trying to create zombies. We are going to have a generation of adults who don't ask questions and are best suited to follow directions. Critical thinking skills are being tampered with and crippled.

Many districts are using paced curriculum. Every class and grade is supposed to be on the same page at the same time. That means questions can't be asked or answered. A schedule is being followed. Curiousity is being killed.

I hope parents begin to oppose these practices. We should not have to send our kids to private schools or home school them when our taxes fund public schools. We can't allow our kids to be turned into human robots.

Kids are natural learners. They love to learn but the way we do school kills that by 3rd grade.

Bring back play!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tick tick tock

I was not a believer that mid-thirty and up women accidentally on purpose got knocked up. Facebook is showing me otherwise. How can a woman make it to her mid thirties without a child and then have advanced degrees and an oops pregnancy?

Not to absolve men of responsibility, but the men need to strap up when engaging with a woman above grief! It makes sense- to me- for a young woman to have a child alone but when 30 plus women do it, it just looks pitiful and hopeless. #kanyshrug

Did they let go of the idea of a family and either dupe a man or find one that is willing to procreate with a woman he does not consider fit to marry? I hope no women are procreating with men they don't consider fit to live with and marry. I mean those are the genes they give their child. I give a side eye and neck roll to any mother who says her child's father is not worth spending my life with. I have always thought people should only get busy with a person worthy to be their child's mother/father. If an oops happens at least you can relax a bit.

Or maybe these 30+ women are having babies with partners. I guess family goes out the window at 35. Its all about a kid. I used to think that was okay but age made me realize that its best to try and put your kids in a stable situation. We can't control outcomes but we at least try to start out right.

I would think 30+ year old women would be at the same realization.

I don't get it.

Did I mention at the preschool open house, there were 2 black couples, about 5 black women with white husbands and a black woman who had her child by a man she had been with fairly quickly. Her story was on Special Delivery. In that environment a black child with 2 black parents is nearly a unicorn.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New

I've always pondered if I could succeed at a business that didn't require specialized training. I feel like my practice was a bit easy to build. There is a great need and not many lawyers who work in my area.

I've been pondering a consulting business that loosely related to my practice but focused on working with kids. After doing all this research in educational philosophy I've figured out what I'm going to direct my efforts towards.

If things go well I'll be working myself out of a large group of my clients. I'm okay with that.

I have lots of ideas floating through my head and there is nothing to do but begin.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's Christmas!

Thank you God for Jesus birth! Happy Birthday Jesus!

Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

creating bullies

NYT had an article about bullying. The Playground Gets Even Tougher: NY Times
CULTURAL STUDIES
The Playground Gets Even Tougherhttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/fashion/10Cultural.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=general&src=me

Ms. Rice and several other experts point to a shift in childhood play, with a focus on controlled environments, techno-goodies and material objects. Instead of working out issues themselves during free play outside, children are micromanaged by parents who step in to resolve conflicts for them. Debbie Rosenman, a teacher in her 31st year at a suburban Detroit school, said that helicopter parents simultaneously fail to provide adequate authority or appropriate forms of supervision.

I posted about the momma's boy last week. I also noticed that the mother spent the entire time at the park on her phone. Every time I see her she is talking on her ear piece. She never sits and watches the kids. If she did I think she would not be a helicopter mom. She'll be on her call, she'll look up and see conflict and jump in. The rest of us are observing and listening. If she would get off the phone she might know which events are mommy emergencies and fall back.

I'm one of the parents who is raising my kids to be kids and according to the article, those kids are often the target of bullying. oh oh...... I will fight parents and kids. I hope the bullies fall back. The article also said that the mean girls tend to have mother's who are mean girls. I know that is right. I also think mean people are miserable people because how can that meanness live in a happy body?

I feel sorry for kids who have to live with mean mommies. I'm sure its a rough life but that doesn't give them a right to torture kids who have sane mothers.

My parents didn't allow us to be bullied. If a bully tried to start on us, that bully ended up calling the police on us.

I won't be cool paying tuition and having my kids bullied. Mr A says he is a diplomat before he is a soldier. Lucky for the bully's parents because I am attack early mentality. If diplomacy fails, its war.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Philosophy

On the school tour, I asked a 1st grade teacher how she handled readers and non readers. I told her my mom is a teacher and had advised me not to teach TR reading.

The teacher told me she agreed with my mom. Then she went into many of the same reasons my mother gave. That teacher got her teaching credential in the late 60's/early 70's like my mom.

Some kids teach themselves to read and they are bright. Other kids are taught to read by parents and that time comes at the expense of other kid developmental time.

Its nice to have a spot that shares philosophies. There are other schools that give preschool kids iq tests and teach reading. I'm sure parents can find what they want.

The school we want is play based. We want to allow play and exploration. Its amazing how many models exist. So far I like Regio Emilia. I think my parenting style matches that.

Last week at the park, a 3 year old boy kept running into problems with other similar age kids. He kept running to his mom. His mom came over and started negotiating with 2 and 3 year olds. She asked a boy if her son could play on the slide. The 3 year old said no. The mother had no real response, how does an adult argue with babies. She told them her son could play. The other kids just went to a different area. The boy really wanted to play with the kids.

He kept tagging along behind them and he seemed to target TR. TR barely noticed him. The boy who told the momma's boy (TMB) he could not play ran to the swing. TR was with him and TMB ran to the swing TR was trying to get on. They started tussling and TR popped him in the head. TMB's mom once again intruded. I told TR to go push her friend.

TR and the boy left and TMB once again played on the periphy. I notice the nanny's let the kids negotiate their own stuff. The kids do pretty well at getting things resolved. 2 and 3 year olds seem to know exactly what they are talking about and it makes sense to them. They have to learn at some point and it might as well be now.

I imagine kids who stay home and don't get to interact with similar age kids miss these important lessons or learn them in preschool.

I'm glad TR has the park because she can socialize, negotiate and learn how to maintain friendly relationships.

My parenting philosophy is to allow independence and exploration in a safe environment.

I am preparing my kids for the path and not the path for my kids. At least I am trying not to control the path. Its hard.

.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Journey

People find value in their journey. It may not be new to me but if its new to them, they deserve the time to act brand new.

I try to remind myself of that when people annoy me.

I'm sure people with older children get annoyed by my excitement in finding a school`for my kiddies. I'm new to this part so of parenting, so thoughts of it occupy my mental space.

Although others have gone before, the new comers have a right to experience things without someone telling them to skip to the end. It's actually a bit selfish to want rob people of the growth that occurs during a journey.

Mayybe life is like math, we have to understand the steps before we can move on to and have success at a higher math.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Private Thoughts

I feel like living in California has completely skewed my opinion of what is attractive and what is a normal weight and body shape.

I would never put on anything to fitted because my body is not in shape. I see people put on fitted clothes and just flab just spills over.
Why in the world is Kim on RHOA attractive. Her face and her body are awful. I can't even focus on her wig because everything is so awful.

Ada isn't working today her baby is sick. I wanted an older nanny without kids for just such reasons. Its hard to discriminate against women with kids since I am a woman with kids.

We got an interview at the school we want for TR. That is a big deal because they don't interview everyone. When we left the school I heard mothers asking the admissions person about the 4 to 5 open slots.

When they were done speaking with her, she told them goodbye. When I was done speaking with her, she said, "she you at the interviews". Mr A didn't think anything of it, but I had read something that said every applicant would not be interviewed.

Mr A and I are so excited. We haven't told TR yet. We'll tell her when we have an acceptance letter and can take her to the school.

Did I mention the school is built with crazy windows- they aren't two way mirrors- and parents can observe without the kids knowing they are there. The classes we observed were like the school days I remembered. Sitting on a big rug reading, play centers and recess.

TR has a play date tomorrow. We picked a great area to have kids in. Considering we did not have kids when we moved here we did great.

I ran into a mom in the park yesterday. We had met before. Her daughter is 4. She says the private schools are too pricey and competitive so she is considering home school.

I told her I don't feel qualified to teach preschool and kindergarten. I think the foundation should be left to professionals. If I had begun my research prior to having kids, I might be ready but I can't see myself experimenting/learning on an existing kid.

TR is 2.5 and I am still researching educational philosophies. There are so many models and I think the nature of the child is important in choosing the philosophy.

I think TR will flourish at the school we've chosen. She has a very creative and social nature. I am still observing QT but he seems to learn differently and he uses the same toys had, differently than TR did.

It's interesting to watch the two.

I spent about a year researching schools and such in both L.A. and Oakland. The school I liked best happens to sit catacorner to my exercise class. I have been passing the place, even walking past it since May or June of 2009 and did not know what it was. Its probably for the best because we can better afford it now.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I love football

Mr A went to the coaches office and the head coach told him he looked good- no homo.

Mr A told him we had been to an open house for the school we are applying to. The name of the school got mentioned. An oh...sH!t ws uttered.

Turns out one of the directors has a spouse who works at the school and loves Mr A.

A phone call was made and voila, looks like TR might have a spot in our dream school.


YAAAAAAY. I am so glad that I have encouraged and supported Mr A through his coaching. HA HA. Well maybe I haven't but I never asked him to quit. LOL, so that is support.

I had a feeling his coaching would be of benefit but I figured it would be because it showed our involvement. But it got us a direct connect.

There is more good stuff, but I will wait until she is enrolled to share. I don't want no haters on my blog sending their bad vibes.

This is the only school we applied to and the only one we wanted to go to. Its amazing how the timing just fell into place. I prayed and asked God, that if it be in His will that we get one the 4-5 spots that 500+ parents have applied for.

You know I want to stay in His will. In everything.

The school is so very amazing. Its more that I could dream in a school and I guess we will be here in L.A. until QT graduates from there.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spending Money

I'm not fabulous with money. I don't micro manage it. Perhaps I should but I don't. I get pretty consumed with things if I don't reign things in, so I try to maintain balance.

Ada does not work on Monday and on Monday after TR took her nap, I was able to get a complaint filed and some work done. So of course, it occurred to me that maybe I could save ~$XX00 bucks a month and let the nanny go. Child care is almost what rent is. We could save that cash and be closer to putting cash on our house.

A few reasons why that may not be a good idea

1) I really don't want to make anyone jobless in this economy.

2) Mr A reminded me that the kids learn when they are with Ada and that she teaches them things, including a 2nd language. That they play different when they are not around their parents.

3) I want to be in the habit of making that expediture because its about the same as tuition at the school we want to send the kiddies to.

4) I need the incentive of expenses to keep me working. Don't most people work to eat and to maintain a certain lifestyle?

5) I don't want to go to the park 3-4 days a week, for hours but I love it that the kids are there having fun.

6) I enjoy the option of being able to make a quick run without packing up kids and having help packing up kids if I want us to all go somewhere.

7) I am grateful to God for blessing our income because where in the heck did we get $XX00 extra a month and still have enough to save and be comfy.

Playtime- Rejuvenate

Yesterday evening, I erased my mind of all the things I had to do. The things that will wait for me to complete like organizing my desk or washing a dish.

I got on the floor and played with my babies. We had fun.

Kids are a blessing because they help you to enjoy the now moments. Their pure joy illuminates a heart and mind focused on unecessary tasks. Their joy and living to the fullest is contagious.

Its why we get a kick out of gymnastics, the baby gym, skiing and exposing the kids to different things. Seeing it through their eyes brings wonder back to the jaded adult eyes.

They say you only live once. Maybe they should say you only live as long as you can maintain your childhood excitement and enjoyment.

Adults focus on jobs, money, bills, working to pay for a vacation.

I know lots of folks who view children as just an added burden on income, time, freedom. Its a rough life when people feel so burdened by life.

I think Mr A and I remain kids at heart and I notice many parents have playful spirits. I don't know if the kids cause it or bring it out.

My cousin came to a football came and was dancing with TR while I danced with QT. She told me how much fun she had being silly and that the kids made it publically acceptable. Its funny but when adults engage in play with kids it changes everything.

The blood is pumping, laughter is loud and people seem like fun. I'm pleased we live in a kid centered part of town. Kids and small dogs. I'm not a fan of dogs but I know folks love them like people love their kids so when they put their paws on me and lick I smile and say hi.

Kids aren't for every one though. I respect those who know they don't want to raise or give all that is required to care for a life. That is major.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

moderation 2

He took his down, so down goes mine.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Spending plans are sexy

I mostly finished our December spending plan. We'll be able to save a good amount eventhough my expected income is very minimal and i have an attorney, my assistant and the nanny to pay. I didn't get any cases settled in September which means no checks in December.

I am back on my grind though and getting two cases filed a week. December is a short month so my earnings in March will be light. But Mr A and I are a team and we live on one income. Two incomes increase our savings not our lifestyle.

We have a few December trips planned. A couple of days at a Napa Winery, at least one
local ski trip and Christmas. We purchased ski gear for TR and she won a free ski lesson at big bear at SkiDaz.zle.
She got to put on boots and skis and take a practice run on the mock hill. She loved it. Mr A got a ski harness so she can trail him on her skis.

I love the way little kids are taught to ski. They don't have the challenges adults do and they line up like little ducks and follow whatever the instructor does. They aren't afraid to fall and rarely fall.

Mr A might do another training while we're in the bay so we'll be earning on vacay. We aren't salaried and except for Mr A's military pension, we have to work to get money.

December and January will be costly months and we won't be working during the bulk of those months. But when you have more personal
time you sometimes earn less money and when you earn more money you sometimes have less personal time. I earn when I can so I can
relax when I want to.

The school we are applying to has financial aid. I read that the people who receive it have earnings between $20k -$500k. I understand that
$500k a year is not wealth. It's hard out here for professionals. I'd love it if we could get financial aid even if it's minimal.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Opportunity

It occurs to me that as awful as the economy is, it's also an economy ripe with opportunity.

When the market was booming everyone wanted in. People are such followers. Now is the time for those
who are willing to risk investing before the economy rebounds. Its such a pyramid scheme.

I need to figure out what to put my money in, other than the bank.

I remember being a kid and hearing my now 50+ year old cousins saying they should have bought property low.
Had they known what silicon valley would turn into they would have. That was the 80's before the 80's crash.

I don't want to be 50 saying what I should have done at 30. At 50+ I'll be cashing out.

I don't think followers come out ahead.

Big Fish Small Pond

Today as I moved slowly on the 10 freeway heading east, I wondered why I live in L.A. If I lived in a small little town the streets would be empty. Once I passed the part where people go to downtown L.A. the freeway was easy breezy.

Its awful to throw in the mental towel at the start because you have no idea what is in the future. As I was driving I figured traffic was only heavy because people were trying to merge to the 110 North. Fortunately the 10 has lanes that allow you to bypass some of that and I bypassed it.

I pondered why I live in the city on my drive back. Had I been going downtown I could be there easily from home. I go there pretty often and its about a 15 minute drive on the streets. Today I was going to a town 21 miles outside of L.A.

I live in the city to remind myself that I am poor. When we lived on the Eastside we were likely financially better off than most. I could go to stores and afford most of the stuff. That to me is a false reality. That reality would keep me mediocre.

I need stuff to reach towards to keep myself motivated.

In our current location there is a lot of real and old money. It keeps me motivated because its a regular reminder of what is available.

I have spoken to people who want to have more than others around them. They go live around people with less. I want to be in position to live comfy in NYC, Japan, wherever. I figure its best to remain in high cost of living areas because it allows me more mobility.

I'm glad Mr A and I share the same strategy.

So I choose to be small fish in big pond and grow. I think I heard a fish can't grow to its full potential if you put them in a small tank.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Economy

I sometimes feel like I am the only person (me and Mr A) who get that our nation is broke. Do people not get that the only difference between CA and the federal government is the feds can print money. They print this paper and devalue the worth of existing paper.

I'm mentally preparing to relocate out of the country. I don't want to live in a third world even if I'm living well. I don't want my kids to live without opportunity.

Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this is a country in its decline.

Why?

Why are we here?

If there is no reward at the end, life seems like a cruel place. There is so much pain, disappointment and unknowing.
Perhaps people who treat others or themselves so terribly lack hope that there is a life after this. Its easy to be self consumed
if you believe this is it. It's easy to be greedy if you believe this you hold is all you will ever get.

Last year I had dejavu. I was at my mom's. She walked in the room and started throwing stuff away. TR popped up and jumped to
her. I felt that odd sense of having lived that day but I knew it would end badly.

I sent Mr A a text and told him to be careful. I told him I'd had dejavu and something bad was
going to happen to change life forever. I still hurt that I did not share that with everyone.

I think I feel souless, spiritless. Like I am just an alive body. I am pretty sure I used to
feel my soul. Maybe I need to make reading my bible a part of my day.

I believe God exists and created us. Life is too amazing and orderly for me to believe a random explosion
started this. A random explosion equipped a woman's body to carry a child? It caused fresh water lakes to flow into
salt water oceans, and the lake to remain fresh and the sea to remain salty.

I don't get it. Of course if you put too much thought you wonder how God got here and that us too deep
for a mind to think on.

I enjoyed reading the book of Enoch. It's good stuff.

So while I 'know' there is God, what I wonder is do we have life after this?
I guess whether we do or don't makes no difference. I am here. I guess it does
make a difference. If there is hope to be reunited with those I loved in their earthly
forms, life is easier to live.

I need to go back to sleep. It's good I thought about this. I think I feel my spirit trying to awaken.
Gotta keep in touch. It's easy to become consumed with earthly goals and concerns.