Friday, January 28, 2011

the skinny on school

My mom reports:


-The school and curriculum is playbased
-each classroom has a garden and the children are free to go in it and explore/garden, there is always supervision outdoors
-learning is everywhere in the environment
-each class has 2 master teachers (she questions the literal truth of that)
-the children take regular walks in the meadows (weeds if you are urban) and put on their rain boots on rainy day walks
-the school has the secret windows so the class can be observed without distraction to the children
-my mom would go there if she was in nursery school

This is my first choice bay area school. The vibe will be so different than than l.a. school. Its funny how similar hippies and the hollywood set are. I guess its why I stay torn on where to live.

Open house

My mom toured the school in Oakland. I have to debrief her but she said she was the only black person on the tour. The school wants the students photos to try and have diversity. If the tour resembles the applicant pool then TR is a shoe in.

I have never done a statistical analysis and math is not my field but set asides seem like they might be a disadvantage to people. Maybe it's better to compete against everyone for more spots than to compete against a smaller number for fewer spots.

Finding a school is exhausting. For me proximity to home is a priority. I don't want my young kids having to commute. Childhood is so brief. I thoroughly enjoyed being a child. I remember long days in bed and waking up to a home where the heater was on, the house was warm and breakfast was hot.

I now realize all the efforts that went into making a child's life child like and I want to give that to my kiddies.

My L.A. cousin was a commuter kid. Her schools were chosen based on proximity to her mom's jobs. She says she wants to be a sahm and have her kids attend school close to home. That cousin picks her 4/5 year old godson from daycare and says he HATES the freeway and traffic.

It's tough being a kid these days. TR can pretty much wake up as late as she wants but she still wants to be up at daybreak. It's tough being a mommy who desires to sleep in. I need to get her a job so she will value going back to sleep in the mornings.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The journey of a book

I just checked on TR and removed her favorite book from beneath her chest as she sleeps. That book has been through a journey on today and TR never knew.

TR loves this book because she can read it. The words are colors. So the world yellow is written in yellow and every item on the page is something yellow. A banana or a yellow coat. She falls asleep reading this book. She wakes up and looks for the book.

She always wants her book, the purple book.

Mr A had the kids today. I had court and the nanny is out with 'the flu". Mr A took the kids to the Eastside to visit his family. While in Long Beach he put the book on top of a tv and forgot it. I think we're at least 20 miles from the LBC.

I was dreading the fall out if TR asked for her book and we had nothing to give. When she wants that book there are no substitutes or distractions.

I was not privvy to the plan to recapture the book but one of Mr A's friends picked the book up from the cousin. That friend lives in L.A. nearer to us. Mr A went to his friends' home to retrieve it. TR squealed when she saw her book. "My book! My book!" Maybe she knew what was going on. Perhaps she took note of our whispers and spellings of b-o-o-k.

I was spelling and eavesdropping quite early in life because my grandparents would whisper and spell things they didn't want us kids to know. TR might be like me.

I need to find out where my mom got that book from. I googled it and can't find it to buy replacements. QT seems to love the book as well. If we don't get duplicates life could get rough for the A family.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I must be crazee

My mom arrived in central ca late Sunday. I intended to be there but I was bedridden. I figured I'd go Monday but Mr A was down and I wanted to be sure TR was well.

I got the kids dressed and ready to go this morning and we hit the highway. Over the mountains and through the grapevine we drove.
The drive there was easy. The children slept.

The drive back had me wondering how I failed to consider the drive back. I drove those chil'ren 200 miles in one day, without any adults.

When we were kids, it took us 2-3 days to drive 300 miles because. We would stop in Modesto or Madera and spend the night with my grandmothers aunt. We'd go to Bakersfield and stay and then we would make the 90 mile journey to L.A.

I took babies on a road trip. The drive wasn't at all bad. I enjoyed myself but driving with fully awake kids who want to control the stereo and ask questions and ask to count with them and other tasks that require me to look back is rough.

But TR got to see her (my) momma and the joy on both of their faces upon seeing each other was worth any drive.

Tomorrow should be a slower day. The nanny has the flu so she may be home getting better. I have a brief court appearance but the parking hassles will extend the time. Mr A is better but I think he needs another day of rest. I think his symptoms were worse than mine due to him skipping rest most days.

T'is all.



Mr A is feeling better.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Have you seen my childhood?

CNN had an article titled, If you want to get your child into College, let them play. PLAY

I'm nearly finished reading my book, A Child's Work. It's a bit of a challenge early on but the meat of it is great. The book offers
history on how we went from treating preschool and kindergarten kids as babies whose play was respected to where we are today.

I attended a health and career fair on Saturday. I got to hear about science, technology, engineering and math careers. It was great.

When my mom did her teacher training she visited a wealthy school in San Francisco and discovered that all sorts of high profile individuals had come to that school to talk about careers. Willie Mayes, judges and all types. She visited schools in poorer areas and those children did not have any career presentations.

As a result my mother has made sure to organize career days at schools. She did it at my elementary and those she worked at. She is serious about the kids. Then she has the kids do follow up career activities.

I got a little bug that took me out of the game Saturday night and most of Sunday. Mr A got that bug Sunday night and has been out of the game all day. TR had projectile vomit but she seems to recovered well.

Right now it's just the boy and me. TR didn't nap today so she passed out early. He is on a mission to ride TR's bike alone. I picked him up, placed him on it and pushed but he wants to do it independently of me. Kids are funny to watch and fun to play with.

Friday, January 21, 2011

West Coast

My book arrived yesterday. A Child's Work- The Importance of Fantasy Play. Its more like a pamphlet so I am reading it and returning to Home Comforts.

We're taking it slow today. The nanny doesn't usually come on Friday. Last Friday I wore the kids out which made TR a bit tired for her Saturday gymnastic class. My babies were exhausted. Since she plays so hard 3 days a week, has gymnastics Saturday and church on Sunday, the kids need some down and do nothing time.

So today, we might take a walk but nothing much more than that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's all head and other randoms

The first time I was pregnant I wanted a girl- and that's what we got! One reason for wanting a girl was the circumsicion decision. While pregnant I did too much research and learned about the history of circumsicion and that most others countries have very low rates of them.

I was glad TR came out a girl and I was not called upon to make that decision.

When QT came out and we heard boy, I knew we'd have to make a decision. I wasn't ready to get my newborn tortured. I'm sure delivery was enough trauma. We waited over a month maybe two while I considered the issue. I finally asked my ped who told me I should have asked at 9lbs because his harness stopped at 10lbs. I had to get a referral.

I asked my listserv about reasons not to do it. Of course the majority were on board but that is to be expected. We've been socialized to do stuff. One woman said she was married to an uncirced man and she had repeated infections. Another woman said her baby brother was uncirced and she had to do a whole lot of work to keep it clean. She said once he started trying to handle it himself, it was so tough that he had the procedure when he had to be put asleep.

Now I am unsure what the Europeans are doing to remain infection free and since circs are fairly young in our countries history, how did our grandparents remain free of infection and clean.

I was torn. I didn't want QT to be in the locker room and be the uncirced pen.is. But I didn't want to do the jumping off a bridge just because everyone else is jumping. I also realized that an uncirced pe.nis required a special cleaning by me. I had to lift skin and it did require extra work. I imagine it could get rough to always be shifting that skin to clean it.

I did what all good and thoughtful mothers do. I left the decision up to Mr A since he also owns a pe.nis. He chose to snip the child.

We were given a photo of what the pe.nis should look like some days after the procedure. After a few days it appeared that the unraveling of skin had gone wrong. It was heading toward his belly. The photo was a short little cap. That is what I was looking for.

I got on google and looked for circs gone wrong and I was ready to jump a bridge if I'd hurt my baby. I had a hearing that morning but we took QT to the doctor to have it looked at. I stayed in the car because I'm pretty sure the police might have had to be called if I had to hear about reconstructive surgery or some such.

Mr A came back out and all I saw was teeth. The doctor said we could stop with the vaseline and guaze. QT had healed well and the part that had peeled was all head.

Oh goodness....... I did not know an infant could be hung. I started feeling worried because I don't want girls trying to get with my little guy for his package.

Anyway I called my mom and told her all was well. Mr A called his daddy and his daddy did that proud male chuckle, har har har..... and said, that is right, he's an Ames man.

Then Mr A told the coaches and they patted him on the back, har har har. Men are crazy!

I'll leave the randoms for another day. QT is 11 months today. The time flew by. My little infant will soon be a toddler. I just want to grab as many kisses now- while he is sleep- because even at 11 months he has reduced the amount of kisses and cuddles I can get. I guess I'll have to wait for grand kids because my body is too old for me to want to turn it over again.

Twisted

It bugs me when people get the wrong impression of me, of Mr A and of Mr A and me as a couple. I really think some people are so unfamiliar with a regular black couple that they invent stuff in their mind to grasp what seems odd to them.

My cousin showed me her book on understanding Alpha men. When she first met Mr A she did not like him. (She was trying to date a convicted murderer at the time so clearly her opinion did not count to me. I knew she was going through a destructive phase) Now she adores Mr A and understands that he is an Alpha male. She is now dating a Alpha male, which is why she bought the book. It's cute watching her figure things out.

One of Mr A's friends told Mr A that he wants a docile woman. He then told Mr A that he knew what he meant. Mr A told him he did not know what he meant. He told him I am not docile.

People are cra-crazy. Mr A explained to him the difference between being an angry b* and being strong and told him I am a strong black woman.

Then Mr A told his friend that his (the friends) lacking leadership skills are to blame for his dating problems. If he knew how to lead, a strong black woman would happily go along. Truth! Mr A always tells the guy that. A good thing about Alpha males is they take responsibility and because they take responsibility they work hard to do things in a way that produces positive results.

The friends last girlfriend is a mess and she is a mess because the friend led her into a sorry state. I guess his friend his bothered because he is having difficulty finding a black woman who will let him lead her into a ditch, so he thinks he needs to look into other races.

When I go shopping with the girlfriend, its clear she has good sense. She has a good job and got a recent promotion but dealing with that guy has jacked up her motivation.

I like her a lot better and she seems to be a lot stronger since they officially broke up. If they actually break up, she may be quite impressive.

While I am not docile, I trust Mr A's leadership skills so he rarely has to battle to get me to go along. It might appear to the untrained eye that I am the 'docile wife' but Mr A has earned and continues to earn the level of respect and esteem I give to him.

Now when he is flipping my kids in the air and having them, even the infant sit on his shoulders without him holding on, I turn into the Sapphire and start rolling my eyes.

I do realize there are lots of Sapphires in our community, reading blogs has showed me that. I'd hate to date the owners of some of the blogs I read. While Mr A's friend is an example of why some women have to keep hold of the steering wheel, there are many men who are capable of leading but women make it hard for them.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

City Feel

Whenever Mr A walks in with a baguette I feel so adult and so citified. He'll often place it next to a bottle of vino and I feel like I am living life. If mellow music is playing I feel like it's a dream. Baugette, wine, my man and mellow music after a day in the city.......... Exhale. Then the kids will start eating the bread and dancing and laughing and I feel like I'm living in a 30 minute sitcom. Our life is so cute to me.

I don't drink wine outside of a vineyard tasting but I appreciate the ambience.

My neighbor is contemplating a move to a pricey beach city to avoid private school expense. She asked if we ever considered leaving the city so we can do public schools. We told her that we don't we just work to make more cash to afford private.

I used to be on the public school train, especially for elementary, but being in a big city, high stakes testing and No Child Left Behind has eroded what I think school should be and can be about.

Schools and city taxes make city life a bit challenging. But access and location are major for my quality of life. I don't want to commute in for work. Traffic drains me. Lots of kid activities occur near us and if we had to commute I might never feel like batting traffic to get to the activities.

I don't think commutes in traffic are fun for kids or adults. Today I had court in Downtown L.A. I found street parking but in my mind I could not relax because I knew I'd be ticketed/towed at 3 pm. These broke and greedy cities are an annoyance. I was out by 2:56 p.m.

Because of my location, I was able to take the 101 to downtown and take the 110/10 home. Location, location, location. I like living close to things I want and need to do.


I do want a driveway and a detached garage so I can unload kids and bags easily. But life has trade offs. Soon we will own the house in the city that suits our little family perfectly and allows us to pay school tuition. It's good to have things to look forward to and I look forward to decorating my cozy home.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Days in my life

Since Friday, I have organized the broom closet, the linen closet, rearranged the kids room and organized my work systems.
There is more to do but I am pleased with what I have done.

My brain needs to slow down. I can only do one thing well at a time but I crave to do 5 things.

I settled a case last week and have lost the agreement. I need the agreement to send my bill and get paid. I lost my house and car key
for a few days. I opened a drawer and it was there. There was also a headband in the drawer so I am thinking TR has been re-arranging things too.

TR seems so mature in her conversation and comprehension that I fail to remember I am dealing with a toddler.

Yesteday I had a bit of back seat road rage. Some heifer kept racing in front of us and driving a few mph. She should be grateful Mr A was driving because I would have bumped her. I rolled my window down as far as the child safety window would allow. I hollered out
a couple of non profane but still trashy words.

TR obviously liked what I said because she turned into a parrot and kept saying what I said. She was perfecting the phrase. Mr A pointed
out that she'd be playing with a friend, get mad and my verbal assault would be spoken. Oh oh........ Thank goodness I rarely launch
into verbal tirades. Kids are great mirrors! They require you to assess if you like what you are looking at.

I did not want to tell her to cease because that would guarantee repitition. I started singing a Backyardigans song and she got turned her
focus towards that.

We got to Costco and I heard a father tell his son not to worry about other people. He told him to put himself first because self is number one. Good thing Brother Martin's daddy did not teach his sons that lesson.

I thought the father was a broke idiot because he was giving that lesson over free samples of salsa and tortilla chips. There will be more. He
is trying to teach his child to fight for crumbs. Poverty is truly learned.

I saw a study and kids were given one marshmallow and told if they did not eat it in x time they would get double the marshmellows. The kids who were able to leave it did better financially as adults.

Teaching your kid to take now and take first is a bad lesson for many reasons. Now if the battle was over necessary oxygen then that lesson makes sense.

One of our neighbors has a 3 year old girl. Her birthdate is the same as TR. The girl and her mom came over to play last night. TR loved it. QT wanted to play but he ain't really ready to play with 3 year olds. He can hang with TR because she is used to him. Of course the mom and I discussed schools, nannies and the high cost of schools and nannies. Her child's nursery school is $1500/mth. Her nanny was $2k a month. Those amounts are house notes in some places.

Kids provide great inspiration to make money. My kiddies keep us on our business game.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ease on down

My lack of organization does me in. It's a battle I continuously fight. Your ownself is always your worst enemy. I WILL win.

Saturday was our Founders' Day. We went to TR's gymnastics class and I saw a car with AKA plates. I was searching for my sorority sister when I walked in the building. She was easy to find because she had on a pink and green shirt!

My grad chapter in the bay was the advisory chapter for her undergrad so we knew the same folks. She is also in the same chapter that I'd been visiting and know the most people. One of my bay area chapter Sorors is in the same chapter. We had a meeting after gymnastics and I remembered her from the last meeting.

I had been seeing this woman at gymnastics every week and we say hi but she is usually talking to other parents and I am talking to other parents. Now we know each other and we both live on the Westside. Joy!

On Saturday evening I met up with my cousin and we spent a FEW hours at target. My cousin is in a different sorority and is chair of the mentoring program. She was picking up items for that and for herself. I spent under 70 bucks. She spent like we'd spent a few HOURS shopping.

We both bought Home Comforts. We have lunch and a book discussion planned.

My current thought us that it's easy to live the good life. Making a home where my family and me can thrive is the good life.

Time for church! Later gators.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sustainable Marriage Quiz

I like the below quiz. I think marriage to Mr A gets better and more fulfilling as time passes. This quiz made me take note that life with him is full of new experiences. I learn a lot, do a lot more and I grow as a person with him.

This makes sense to me. Its good to be with people you can learn from and grow with.


The Sustainable-Marriage Quiz
By TARA PARKER-POPE

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/31/the-sustainable-marriage-quiz/



What does it take to sustain a marriage?

As I report in the latest Week in Review section, researchers are studying how people sustain their relationships by using them to accumulate knowledge and new experiences, a process they call “self-expansion.” Studies show that the more self-expansion a person experiences through their partner, the more satisfied and committed they are to the relationship.

To learn more about the science of sustainable relationships, read the full article, “The Happy Marriage Is the ‘Me’ Marriage.”

And to learn more about your own relationship, take the quiz below to measure how much it expands your knowledge and makes you feel good about yourself. The quiz was developed by Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., associate psychology professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey.

Answer each question according to the way you feel, using the following scale. Answers range from (1) not very much to (7) very much. Then, add up your scores and check the scale below to see how your own relationship ranks.
Not Very Much…Very Much
How much does being with your partner result in your having new experiences? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
When you are with your partner, do you feel a greater awareness of things because of him or her? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
How much does your partner increase your ability to accomplish new things? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
How much does your partner help to expand your sense of the kind of person you are? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
How much do you see your partner as a way to expand your own capabilities? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
How much do your partner’s strengths as a person (skills, abilities, etc.) compensate for some of your own weaknesses as a person? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
How much do you feel that you have a larger perspective on things because of your partner? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
How much has being with your partner resulted in your learning new things? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
How much has knowing your partner made you a better person? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
How much does your partner increase your knowledge? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Scores
60 and above — Highly Expansive. You are gaining a lot of new experiences and reaching new goals as a result of your relationship. Chances are you have a happier, more sustainable relationship as a result.
45 to 60 — Moderately Exciting. Your relationship has led to moderate improvements in your life and some new experiences. But there’s definitely room for improvement.
Below 45 — Low Connection. Your relationship is not creating opportunities that help expand your knowledge and make you feel better about yourself. Make an effort to share new experiences with your partner to improve your relationship.

Plans and change of plans

This morning I planned to visit the California Science Center. Mr A wanted to join us and I read weekends and afternoons are the least crowded times, so I nixed that idea.

Then I decided to visit Zimmer Musuem. TR loves it there and she wanted to go to the library. Zimmer has a library/book room so I thought that would be a good destination.

Then QT fell asleep and work happened and we didn't leave until after 11 a.m. By the time we got near Zimmer, I decided an hour or so was not long enough. It closes at 12:30 on Fridays. I didn't feel like having the fight when it was 12:30 and TR was crying to stay.

We went to the library in WEHO and had a great time. I love it that my baby loves books, loves "reading" and being read to. Its also free! The library had a kids' section and we had the area all to ourselves. We read quite a few books and TR colored during a few of the stories. QT loves story time too.

When we were in Oakland, we all got in bed and Mr A read to all of us. I still love storytime. My mother read to us until we were almost in 6th grade and I remember how much I loved it. My grandfather used to tell us stories. Mr A said I was a big kid as I fluffed my pillow and got myself comfy for the story.

Its our goal that she love learning, and our strategy is not to focus or push learning. We try to incorporate learning in living. Kids are naturally curious so we just try to guide. Our strategy seems to be working. She loves (her words) books and she loves telling stories.

It feels great to hear my baby request a trip to the library.

After the library TR, QT and I walked to a gourmet pizza spot and had a nice long lunch. Then we met up with Mr A and hit the bookstore.

I got Home Comforts and ordered a Child's Work.

I had a great mommy day. Today was a mommy who lunches type of day. Lunch was with my babies. TR told me she had fun too. It was also 79 degrees. That made the day really nice.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The View

Our interview went well. Last night we asked each other potential questions and they were the exact questions we were asked. They wanted to know things about us as well.

The teacher told us based on our description of TR that TR would do well there. Of course I agree. I've spent months doing research on educational philosophies and I know the type of learner TR is. She would thrive.

While we waited in the office we read stories written by the upper grade kids. The stuff was amazing. 4th through 6th grade kids using imagery and expressive writing. Its clear they have language rich homes and school environment.

She confirmed all of my thoughts about the school and it's program. The interview was fairly brief. We went a few minutes over our allotted time but I liked what I learned and hopefully they will like us.

The admissions director did not interview us. I guess she would be weary if she had to interview everyone. The grade we are applying for only has a few openings. Getting an interview was a huge hurdle.

So now we wait.

I'm just hopeful the world won't end before school starts. I watched CNN and it's like an end of the world movie. Queensland mostly under water, Sao Paulo flooding, the Southeast US trapped by ice, crickets dead, violent rampages so common that everyone can quickly react.
There is trouble everyewhere. I do believe that God would heal our land if folks would pray and cease their wicked ways. But I also believe we are so wicked
that we can't identify wicked. A common theme I hear is getting out folks business and allowing individual happiness.

The earth and the people on it are sick of heart and mind. Just my opinion. We shall see.

Behind the Gates

The butterflies in my tummy are awake. I feel beads of perspiration on the soles of my feet and pits of my arms. My tummy feels full of air. I am full of nervous energy. I am near tears. I am trying to blog through the anxiety and achieve rest.

Today is our preschool interview. We will go behind the gates and next month we will learn of TR will be able to enter those gates next fall.
I have visions in my head and going to observe TR at school and hearing her squeal in joy and concentrate on a project she is working on.

I like that the kids can stand up and do center activities, that teach through play. I like the idea of a school that educates kids without institutionalizing them. I am an entrepreneur. I don't just work for myself, I create for myself. I feel like it's important to allow some freedom in
learning.

When we went on our tour I saw a 2nd or 3rd grade kid pull out a bag of apples and snack. That pleased me.
My elementary experience did not permit snacking in class. In high school I had an English teacher who let is bring snacks
but mostly we had to sneak and snack.

Most adults can snack at work so why would kids be assumed to not need a boost.

I like that they seem to treat the children like people and not pets that must be caged and confined
while taught. I like that much of the learning seemed interactive.

If TR does not get in? Let's think positive for now. She is only 2. Her future lies ahead of her.

Hobby

I'm getting my mind ready to take my sewing class. My hope is to make pretty dresses for TR and me. My challenges will be getting motivated and being able to leave my kiddies. I miss my little people when I leave home. I am excited about making a party dress, which is one if the dresses in the series.

I think business will go better if I mentally depart from work more often.

I asked Mr A if he'd get bored if he was snowed in. He said he would not be bored and
when he lived in OK he was regularly snowed in. He spoke with his OK housemate/classmate/frat
and he is in Atl and snowed in. That friend is not bored.

I really think the military or at least people who graduate from military academies
have a vast amount of tools in their mental toolkit. I guess having to spend days outdoors or
in unpleasant locations make it hard to be bored when stuck at home.

My cousin says I am fortunate to have a spouse with the veteran benefits but without the burdens ( eg PTSD).
She asked if I intentionally looked for that. I did not. It wasn't until we were married that I paid attention to the perks.

Now I am regularly searching for more benefits. Mr A is going to pursue an advanced degree. The Feds have approved
him and will pay for tuition and books and give him a stipend plus extra for each dependent. Can't beat that.

I went to college free because of my father's service. My kids will go to college free because of Mr A's service.
Free college makes paying for private school easy.

My great uncle was in WWII. I discovered that if vets get sick, the Feds will pay for an in home caregiver. If a vets spouse is
sick and the vet is unable to care for the spouse, they can get an in home care giver.

My cousin is dating a southern guy. She told him she was going skiing and he did not believe So Cal had snow.
He checked the weather and told her our destination was 34 and sunny. He told her snow needed freezing temps.
My cousin and I will admit myself, were like we can't explain why but we know there is snow.

Mr A explained to us that the guy had celcius and farenheit confused. 34 in farenheit is low enough to maintain the cold
and keep the snow frozen. Freezing is only 0 in celcius. Then he switched the car heater to read in celcius to show us. It's
still on celcius. Its hard for my brain to adapt. I know 72 keeps me warm. Having it on 21 is playing with the wires in my brain.

Is it crazy that you tell someone you are going skiing and they don't believe there is snow? It's reasonable not to know So Cal has snow.
On clear days I can see snow on the mountains from my mid L.A. location. It will be sunny and warm but snow capped mountains are in view. We have micro-climates.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wise Women

One of our neighbors recently broke up with her boyfriend of 13 years. They were living together when we moved here.

They hike, bike, ski, play tennis, run, walk their dog, they grill together, work together and do countless activities together. A few months back I asked Mr A if they were breaking up. He said no.

This week we saw the guy and he remembered that the guy said they were breaking up. They had agreed to live together until February but something happened and she told him to leave last weekend. The guy was sad but they are still friends.

When we got home on Sunday the woman asked Mr A if the guy had told him about the break up. Mr A confirmed. Then the woman said the guy did not want kids and that is why she broke up with him. But they are still good.

First- Why do all the neighbors and people in general just offer Mr A details? I'm over here speculating and people just offer him the info.

They are both still young. I think black women are encouraged to stay with a man despite having major life incompatibilities. I understand having lots of compatible things but certain stuff has no compromise. Like on Waiting to Exhale, the man was married but Savannah's mother called him a good man and encouraged a relationship.

The reason I suspected a break up was because she bought her own car, has been wearing girly dresses and has been doing a little extra with her red hair. She had been going out without him more than usual. Then they had a yard sale.

When I see black women looking all rough I suspect a break up. Black women break up and act as if doom is upon them. My father once told me to break up like a white woman. Don't get mean and evil, chalk it up, smile and move on. I followed that advice.

Anyway, I can see how bringing children into a relationship without agreement on how to raise them and what experiences are important could cause conflict. I don't get how it could cause divorce. If I did not like Mr A.'s parenting style I would certainly not want to leave him and leave my kids to that style I was opposed to. If we're together I can at least be there to encourage my way.

Fortunately the father of my future children was of major importance to me and I did not release that to have a mate.

My cousin married a man who did not want his wife to be a stay at home mom. Child care was more than her salary but he was opposed to supporting a wife even if she was taking care of THEIR kids. There are lots of men with that view. Her experience made me avoid men who were opposed to providing for a wife. I was a teen and thought that was the craziest mess ever.

My cousin divorced him but the divorce made no sense because with or without him she had to work. I guess she couldn't get over a man being so stubborn that he would lose money vs. being the financial support and having a sahw.

I asked Mr A what would he do if TR gets into her school and we don't get a scholarship. His answer was the same as mine. Not going is not an option. We will make it happen.

I don't think there is anything wrong with having a list of important things, even if those things seem unreasonable to others. Its as if people would rather get married and divorce or live miserably than quit dating.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Skiing with the A Family

TR had great fun on the slopes. She was exhausted after an hour of ski. When she awoke from her nap she said "ski".

She is a natural, as are most kids. TR had a private lesson. The instructor said he takes kids as young as 11 months. QT just missed his chance.

The mountain had a kiddie area and I stood there looking for Mr A and TR. Mr A came to find me. The instructor had said the kiddie area is too flat and tires kids out. He had my baby on a lift and they skied down the real mountain. Mr A was on his snowboard taking photos and video.

My cousin and her cousin joined us. The other wives present knew each other and I was new meeting all of the women. Apparently they weren't very open. Oddly I did not notice. My cousin and Mr A pointed it out to me. My cousin had asked my why the women were so crazy. She said she did not think military men had such wives. Only two of the guys there were Mr A's classmates and both were single.

She was trying to figure out why I'd want to go on vacation with those ladies. Those ladies are not wives of classmates and do not join the classmates trips.

One of the women was so nasty that I had to count. She turned from the football game while the guys were outside grilling. Mr A came and asked her to turn back to football and the whale of a woman seemed to take pride in not turning back. She sat there flipping channels, resting on QVC and talking to the other women. She was not watching T.V. Then the wilderbeast said something about being quiet so her son would not wake up.

If she wanted quiet she should have gotten a hotel room or her own cabin. She had an 8 month old. I have a 10 month old and I didn't try to give adults any decibel limits.

I also think she was upset because her husband asked Mr A if we needed formula. Mr A told him QT is allllllll breast. Nothing but the breast. Sometimes mothers get sensitive about stuff that no one is thinking about.

Mr A had a nice time seeing 2 of his classmates, TR and QT had a blast. She got to play with a 3 year old girl and a 6 year old girl. Those girls were the daughters of 2 of the women on the trip. She thought she was having a slumber party. and I also had a great time. I had my cousin to chat with if girl talk had been a must have.

I look forward to getting TR and QT back on the slopes. TR loved the snow. It was good warm weather skiing. TR didn't need her jacket, gloves or hat. Once QT hits 11 months, he'll be ready. LOL.

As we were driving back through the San Bernardino Forest I told Mr A that I had gotten lost in that Forest when we went to Palm Springs. He informed me that the desert of Palm Springs is on the other side of the slopes of Big Bear.

Talk about micro-climates. Its crazy that a desert and ski slopes can be neighbors.

Then I made up a song for the kids about them not being born the first time I was winding around that forest.

Check out a few photos from our 3 day weekend.



Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back in L.A.

The Mr. and I are back in L.A.

On the road, TR started saying, she needed her momma. She calls my mother, Momma. She calls my mommy.

The two are quite the pair and my mother spoils her fully. One day we told TR to go to bed, she looked at us and started yelling momma and ran to find her momma.

One day she threw a golf ball in the living room, it hit some glass. I took the ball and she went off to find my mother. My mother returned to get the ball. I told my mom that TR had thrown it and it hit a window. My mother got the ball and took TR outside to play.

Its hard living 300 miles away from TR's granny. I grew up seeing my granny every weekend and as I got older every day. I value the grandmother relationship beyond a babysitter.

If we lived in Oakland, I'd still have a nanny and my mom and TR could have fun. I think they dynamic changes if your grandmother is your childcare provider. They can't spoil them like they want.

I've found a school in Oakland. Its second choice but if we lived in Oakland, it would be first choice.

Mr A is ready and willing to move. I think living some place is different than visiting. Moving back home would be starting over. I'd probably still have to come here a lot for work. I think we need to just make it a point to get up there once a month. Or at least getting the kids there.

We're hitting the slopes this weekend. TR and QT are ready. I am excited to get my babies in the slopes.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The li-berry

TR has been playing library so we are going to the library today. We might do some other Berkeley sights.

I have lots of random thoughts.

We're taking the kids skiing this week. TR has been talking about snow. I know she'll be excited to get in it. Once QT is old enough we can hit Colorado. Aspen is like butter, so I know my kiddies will love that snow. The flight is only 2 or so hours direct from L.A.

Mr A says he is getting TR ready to win some X games.

Brazil was the winner for our annual trip. Some of the group will be with us on the mountain this week and Mr A is going to tell them if we do Brazil, we won't be joining. I know his friends are/were high level military officers and have made it back from war but I just don't want to risk Brazil.

What is more crazy is the women are the ones who pushed Brazil over. I wanted Europe. I would do Turkey over Brazil.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Crazy Is............

Jealousy, bitterness and anger must make a cocktail called insanity.

Its good to battle negative emotions because they can consume you. I am witnessing some one do all sorts of odd stuff out of that cocktail and it further destroys them. The further their life falls in the toilet the angrier and meaner they get.

Note to self: practice genuine kindness. Do not allow negative feelings to fester. Battle them and win.

Play School

My cousin- a teacher for over 20 years and now an administrator- asked me the tuition for TR's preschool. Its over 10k. I won't say the cost because I don't want ya'll googling stuff.

She asked me what the school offered for that price. I told her the kids actually play until around 1st grade. I told her folks will probably think I am crazy to send my kid to school to play.

She told me probably not. She said play is appropriate and people are starting to realize that play is important. Her kids grew up in the structured generation. The soccer mom stuff and she said parents in my generation now know better.

I'm paying or willing to pay to be free of high stakes testing, no recess, and teaching to tests. I am calling conspiracy. I think the powers that be are trying to raise a future of people who do not question.

Many districts have adopted paced curriculum. Every grade in the district is supposed to be on the same page everyday. They are killing questions and teaching based on the class needs.

I want this book Childs Work. I need to get to the bookstore.

Lies and the people who listen to them

Where to begin. People lie for a multitude of reasons. People lie through pretense. They lie through silence.

I cannot control their lies. Whether I believe the lie and whether I measure myself by the lies they present, are things I can control.

Sometimes people lie about their financial situation. People were buying houses with arms and creative financing. They were getting homes with 0 down and borrowed money. They were living without furniture or buying furniture on credit. People who thought they should have some cash before they took on a home were trying to figure out what they were doing wrong.

Some of those people jumped in and got arms and kept up with the "jones" on credit. Madness.

There are people who are married and want to give advice to other marrieds and singles. They want to push their love story. There is no love in their story but that is what they are selling. I think people should be honest or be silent. If you have a business arrangement marriage, that's fine. But don't do all that we fell in love, blah, blah, blah and he loves me soooooo.

He don't love you and you don't love him. You got to upgrade your home and you love your house and vacations. There is nothing wrong with that, so why pretend.

But more important than the people who lie, are the people who buy in and look for those lies in their own reality.

I think people who marry for business have it easier. You follow the contract. People who marry for love are trying to be happy and make sure they have an environment that allows their mate to be happy. It requires effort.

Business marriages remind each other that the agreement does not allow for them to get A, B, C. Love marriages try to figure stuff out because the other persons happiness is a concern.

I think love marriages are amazing. Love has a way of making you see only the good and the best in people.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1-1-2011- Time Flies

I could not let 1-11-11 pass and not post.

Mr A and I met in 2004. In a couple of weeks we'll have known each other for 7 years! It still feels like last year. How is it possible that so much time has passed?

I still like the man he is. My love for him continues to grow, deepen, and expand. I still think he is hilarious and interesting, witty, engaging, secksy and I enjoy talking to him. I can see myself still enjoying his company 50+ years from now. After 5 years of marriage I'm still learning new things about him.

Today I asked him how old kids are when they start losing their teeth. He said, it depends on how old they are when they start talking crazy. I rolled in the bed laughing. I have no idea how he comes up with such stuff. He is quick on his feet and playful and I love that.

When he gets with his college classmates its not stop hillarity. (is that a word?) They keep me laughing, They are crazy like me. I think Mr A and I are well suited. I think he was surprised that I didn't pause at the antics of his friends on vacation. I joined right in! Minds out the gutter people.

We've been married almost 5 years. We haven't taken any breaks. I'm still glad I married him. He is the best man for me and the right man for me.

My first impressions of him were correct. He is a leader, laid back, social and considerate.

Of course football season will return and I might return to ABW. TR will be in school a few hours each day so who knows. Her school is close to Mr A's school so it may work neatly.

This week I passed by our wedding location and thought about how things fell into place. A lot of things we do or plan to do falls neatly in place for us. We ask to be in God's perfect will. Sometimes we don't get what we seek so maybe that isn't where we need to be.

For our wedding I decided not to get a videographer and decided a few days prior that I wanted one. I was looking online for about 20 minutes when the band leader called me and asked if someone could film them playing at the reception.

I said sure, if he will film the wedding. The guy did a beautiful job. Back to the musician. I was looking for a pianist and was given the number of a potential person.

I called him to arrange a listen and he lived way in South San Francisco. We were trying to figure out when and where to meet and he told me he was currently in Oakland. I asked him where.
He told me and I told him that my mom and I were actually parked outside of the school where he was. We were on our way to visit a family friend who lived next door to the school. So we walked inside, he played great and I hired him.

I mean that had to be meant to be. Considering that musician also led to my videographer I am sure it was all for the good.

Even our wedding planning was easy. My venues were all open on the date I wanted, caters available. It was all very smooth.

The development of our relationship was .smooth. I'm one of those people that feel like road blocks are my divine interference. Mr A and I never broke up while dating,

I'm excited about 5 good years. Ita a blessing and a gift in this day of rash and disposable relationships.