Friday, April 29, 2011

the menu

Mr. A does the big grocery shopping. He passes whole foods and ralph's on his way home and he is strong enough to carry the stuff in.

One day he came in and had the meat in a "keep cool bag". I have purchased items that needed to be kept cool but whole paycheck has never offered this bag to me. Its sorta like ordering at In and Out. The menu has about 3 items but if you are in the know, you can order all kinds to things.

Apparently Whole Foods also has some secrets. Mr A went to buy our chicken sausage and discovered the store has switched to a new company for the item. When Mr A declined the meat, the clerk gave him samples to try. What?! Free meat?

Really, for real?, i think men get treated better at grocery stores. If he takes a baby with him, the women start asking him if his wife is sick, offering to assist and acting like they need to comfort him from an abusive home life.

We've been grocery shopping and I'll get caught up on something and I look and see women of all ages, talking to him and my kiddies. I push the same kids around in the store and maybe one woman will talk to me if she notices one of my kids saying or doing something interesting.

I am pleased that we have been able to increase our Whole Food's shopping. I started out buying eggs after last years egg recall. Then we added milk and sausage and now the bulk of our food stuff is from there. We get fruit, sugar, flour, etc.

I am grateful God makes a way. Nothing wrong with Ralph's and Pavillion's because we shop there too. I just wanted us to be able to shop places where the majority of food items did not have death and diabetes through chemical ingestion as the fist ingredient.

Now I need to think of other ways to increase our expenses so we can increase our income.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

pipelines

It's spring and I seem to be regaining my momentum. I made a good amount of money in April and feel pretty good about the work I have gotten done despite my having a hectic work week last week with heavy travel. It was heave because I had two kiddies with me. I seemed to have discovered a nice oakland babysitter and I had to force her to take money.

I often think I do well in business because of my profession. Law has to be one of the easier professions to hang a shingle. Then I look around at all the attorneys looking for work and think, perhaps not. Maybe I'd do well in business whatever I was pushing because I am a business woman.

I have a new client and I looked at her fax and realized I have quite the pipeline to clients. I had a demanding client and I met her demands just because I am good like that. This woman keeps referring folks to me. She works with children so when parents have a problem she gives them my number.

That sorta makes my heart flutter. Its great to do good work and have people think well enough of that worknand be satisfied enough to refer my name to others.

I have a new attorney candidate to interview. One of the guys who owns our building is a judge. He has had an out of work attorney come and hang out at the courthouse in hopes of a job opening. This is the same court that I get many of my clients from. It is nuts to me- perhaps not to them- that he would not tell her to get on the panel. Maybe he does not know the panel exists.

Its almost like my practice area is a secret. Mr A talks to folks and while chatting with the girl's brother he discovered what the girl is doing. I have been wanting to find someone that would do my appearances. Maybe she will work out and be that person. I love my work but spending a day at mediation frustrates me. A couple of these districts make it easy. We settle via phone and skip mediation.

I think some attorneys don't want to do that because they want to run up a bill. Sitting in a room for 7 hours makes them look busy.

I have already begun the process of overscheduling myself. I have the next two weekends full and as I think about it, I am double booked this weekend. One party is in L.A. and another is in the Bay. Dilemma. My L.A. cousin and I have tickets for next week.

I think I am a workaholic. I get more excited thinking about work plans and lawsuit strategy, than I get from attending a party. The reason I don't like mediations is that it marks the end of work. While I am bored at mediation I could be working.

If I did not work. I am sure I would obsess over being a SAHM and plotting and planning all the things I want to do with the kids. I do that anyway. I already have a Friday plan in my head. I just have to figure out how to do gymnastics and the museum.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

showers of hope

I enjoy being privvy to the joy and excitement a woman has as she anticipates her upcoming wedding. All of the hope and love and curiosity, is lovely. Its a wonderful time. Marriage is a blessing and I think a bride should enjoy all of the pre-marital hoopla she can.

A bride has full liberty to annoy people with wedding talk, and be the consumed bride. Why not? Its a beautiful experience and a major major and voluntary life change.

I attended a bridal shower today. I enjoyed seeing the hope and expectation of the bride to be. I like that energy. The nice thing about being single is the ability to start that journey. I was reminded of my own heartt flutters and complete pleasure as I planned and looked forward to my wedding day and marriage.

I hope my friend has a wonderful marriage.

I had fun as a bride. I entered marriage super excited and I reflect fondly on the months between being engaged and saying I do. I'm a romantic and I have no shame.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

highlights

Today I got to hang out with the gorgeous S30 and handsome Tyler. Photos do not do them justice. My nanny kept telling me how nice looking Tyler was. That was also my first thought upon seeing him.

I had fun!

Tyler is an all around fab child. I think he and TR have similar personalities. Those personalities that keep you on your toes and are fun to be around. Its great to be around kids who are enjoying childhood.

I look forward to hanging out with S30 again. Blogging is a great thing. I am glad it has allowed me to connect with some of you ladies. Eventhough we communicate mostly online those of you, I chat with have certainly enriched my life and provided fun times.

quiet challenges

TR is in Oakland. It's so quiet and still. I feel like QT must be bored. When TR is in the building its non stop activity. They play and keep me on my toes.

Yesterday I mentally prepped to get myself and two kids through the airport. When I figured out that TR could stay I knew the airport would be a breeze. It is amazing that I used to think it was a struggle getting one kid through the airport. One kid is almost like having none. Having it tougher changes my perspective on tough.

2 kids no longer seems like a challenge, except at the airport. I think I could handle a third child. TR probably likes the current status.

QT, Mr A and Mr. A's friend went to the mall. I am home alone. I am enjoying my solitude because I need rest but I usually prefer the noise and bustle of my kiddies and Mr A. Its lonesome to come home or be home and its silent and still when I am used to something different.

I remember being a kid and visiting my mom's aunts who did not have children. One of those aunts house was perfect and immaculate. If we walked across the floor the hardwoods would creak. I was afraid to move because I knew everything was too valuable to be broken. Her other aunt had a more homey home but it was still a bit rough because she was of the "kids seen and not heard" school of thought.

When my kids are gone too long, I feel like I felt when at my great aunts' homes. My home feels empty.

Bring the noise!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

8 hour days

I need rest!

Thursday was a long day, Saturday was a train ride from L.A. to Oakland and I didn't get to nap. It's usually restful but someone sat across from us and I couldn't stretch out.

I have been having 8 hour days for 4 days straight. I have no idea how people survive 8 hour days 5 days a week. I am not built for that. All this running has me exhausted and with a cold.

I am going to be better about scheduling things because I don't have to be this busy.
There are only 24 hours in a day and if 8 are spent working and 8-10 spent with my kids sleeping and 2 hours getting ready and driving, I only have a few hours of quality time with my kiddies. If I am this tired, the time isn't very quality.

I'll get it together. It just requires delegation and planning well. I think I border on being a seasonal workaholic.

I'm currently back to the lane that is slow enough for me.

ON KIDS

Mr. A and I are conservative hippies. I hear other parents discussing how much their child is learning.
We talk about how well our kids play. We are all about the learning but we enjoy how much they learn by playing. I think I blogged about her getting her paints out and drawing an O, a W or M and a P? My baby can write!

Mr A took them to the bookstore some weeks back and when she came home she read a book to me. I was stunned. I thought she was telling the story based on the pictures. I was still stunned when Mr A told me he had read it once while in the bookstore. She remembered the story. Through play there are lots of opportunity to give information. And the kids never have to stop moving to learn.

The skirball tells stories to the kids and the kids get to touch different artifacts. Without having spent a day in school (unless Sunday School counts) and without direction from us, she goes and sits in the circle, listens, participates and is engaged. I have read that children learn self-regulation through play. They learn to take turns and to wait.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bad Mommy

I am not a bad mommy but spending a day at work surely makes me feel like one.

I was gone from 9 am to nearly 5 yesterday. I had planned to go to see an author speak at the kids future school last night, but I could not spend the day working and then spend more hours a way.

My poor little babies are still exhausted from yesterday. Mr. A tried to give me a pep talk but its hard for me to buy in because they are not used to those long days and the effects of it are apparent on them.

I don't think I suffer from mommy guilt. I just like to be close to my chil'ren.

Today its just the kids and me. No (or very little) working. We have gymnastics today. On that subject, TR's best buddy at the park takes a gymnastics class at a school near TR's school. The little girl's nanny told me she had to do everything. It's a mommy and me class. I told her that TR's class makes the parents watch from the observation deck. She told me she was going to tell the parents to switch schools. LOL.

Based on age TR should have been in the mommy and me but her skill level got her in the older class. My babies are beasts!

After gym, we will play it by ear. Maybe we will hit the mall or football practice. I am doing the at home mommy thing today.

In other things I have been investigating preschool curriculum and am considering doing a little formal play-based preschool. I'll let ya'll know how it goes. We won't be sitting at desks, it will just be more directed play and learning experiences.

There are too many opportunities available not take advantage of them. The Getty has a lot of programs and that has been added to my list. There is so much to do.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

settle for failure

I often feel like I have failed when I settle a case. Today felt like a failure. My client got every thing we requested. I got my fees. I typically produce a bill and have an amount in mind I would settle for. I cannot recall what today's amount was but at the end I felt like we should have gotten more. I wanted to go to hearing and win it all.

I try to remind myseld that settlement is both parties getting a little and giving up a little.

*sigh*

I was at mediation all day. Mr A got home to relieve the nanny. He drovw by the park and both kids were crying and tired. He told the nanny that she has a key and can go home. Some of the parents require the nanny to be gone all day. We are not those parents. Our kids may not pay any bills but they have full rights to home.

This morning I told her that she did not have to rush to the park. Its okay for the kids to play at home. We have a nanny so the kids can be home as they please. Sure the house would be cleaner if they were gone all day, but I like looking at home and seeing evidence that my kiddies are there.

Next week will be hectic. I hope to get back to sanity after that. I ould probably pull a couple of all nighters but I feel like cuddle time with Mr A is a priority. Its amazing that thinking about all I have to get done can make me tired.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Love in the Life

I sm not sure why I love those sad love songs. I love the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. Sad loves songs put me in a mellow mood.



I think in my single days I would listen and relate. I listened and anticipated the good love I'd have. Now I listen and it reminds me that I have a true love who loves me back. I got the right mate for me. I got the right father for my kids. I have the family life that warms my heart.

We are also in agreement on child rearing. That right there is good stuff.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

the ledge

IIts good to have someone who can and will talk me off of the ledge. Mr A helped me cool my heels today (sunday).
I have become slightly obssessed with school for TR and a ballet claa.

It was alway my intent to start TR to school at preschool or kindergarten. The private school application process got me all twisted and I feel like she should start school. My rational mind realizes I do not want her to be in school right now. I want us to enjoy freedom as long as we can. Insanity had me considering checking out a public school, that is next to the private school we are waiting on. We think play experiences and freedom to explore are more important at this age and a public school would have TR sitting at a desk. Clearly I was cracking.

Mr A talked me down. We have decided to call the park a small daycare, with foreign language immersion and 1 adult for every child. 1 to 1.

We attended a membership brunch at the Skirball on Sunday. We invited another couple whose 3 year old attends TR's gymnastics school. It was a blast. Great fun. They had a porcupine from some country, and some other foreign animals the kids could pet and learn about. The Skirball has an exhibit called Noah's Ark and its hands on for the kids. They had pupeteers bring the male asian elephant out, later was dance movement and then we went into the Ark.

The mother of the 3 year old told me her daughter keeps talking about ballet. I told her TR tells me she wants to be a ballerina everyday. The ballerinas practice on the floor during gymnastics so I think it makes the girls want to dance.

The mom had checked out Debbie Allen and was crushed, like me, to find out 4 was the youngest age she accepted. She had gone to Lula Washington and agreed that it seemed to have hood type clientele. She said she had danced for 15 years and Lula has nowhere near what DADA offers as a dance program.

I did not dance but when I looked at those chubby kids and chunky parents at Lula Washington, and compared it to how fit and artistic everyone appeared at DADA, I knew I wanted DADA. I did read theMs. Washhington choreographed Ava.tar so I am not knocking her but I don't want my kids first dance experience to be there.

So I had been considering letting TR take a ballet class at Lula and I asked Mr. A to check the place out because I can be sorta judgmental. Maybe it wasn't as hood as I percieved. He told me I should wait for DADA or do the class near home because I did not want to turn TR off to dance by rushing to start at a place I didn't really like.

Mr A talked me off of the ballet ledge. I will sign her up for pre-ballet this summer and my mother can take her. If she continues talking about being a ballerina I will enroll her in the class close to home. She has to be 3, so I am fretting over stuff unecessarily. By the time she is 3 she'll be close to leaving for the summer, so I have 'til September to figure this out.

My goal today is Zimmer museum. The Jewish people are serious about play and pretend for kids. They have museums, schools and activities to support play based learning. We are typically the only brown people at the Jewish
spots but we have so much fun that i don't notice and would not care if i took time to notice.

I will say, that yesterday became a little odd. They kept taking photos of Mr A and TR and TR. They got a few family shots as well. I am guessing black families are a real rarity there. But we might be rare at cultural museums in general.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

baby mama

I recorded this seasons The Game and am watching it now. It is unreasonable for me to be so bothered by the Derrwin; Melanie, baby mama situation.

I get that Derwin wants to be a father and probably has some twisted idea that going playing family is good. I am annoyed by Jenayee allowing herself to want a married man. I think Melanie should not make it so hard for Derwin but I would surely behave the same way. I am sure I would try to do better but I know it would be hard.

I saw the episode where Jenaye made fun of Melanie and said she was not a real doctor, then asked Derwin if he was defending his wife in her house. I tell ya!!

Men having to navigate a wife, a child and a child's mother has to be rough. If the baby was born in the middle of the relationship that would just be too much for me to get past.

I think men who cause all that chaos need to be alone. If women did not date them, they would do better about protecting their sperm until a child can be born into a family he wants to create.

My theory is men who carelessly disburse their sperm are likely to be deadbeats. A man who is responsible is going to be careful about where

Relations



Trust. I read a comment on another blog and it screamed to me, " I do not trust this man. He is going to exploit me if I give him a chance." It also suggested that the man's name was baby boy. I sure do hope my son flees from a bossy woman who lays down the law as if he did not have the sense or self respect to know he needs to work. A man who does not work does not eat.

Its okay not to trust folks. But don't date them.

Lots of men think women are out to get their trinkets. They don't trust women. Its a battlefield. What is worse is that parents teach their children not to trust. Its a sad state we are in and what makes it more sad is we are blind to the problem.

There are married people who do not trust each other. Ya'll know the couples that make sure everything is equal. They have to retire the same day because no one is going to sponsor the other. If he buys the movie tickets, she buys dinner. They don't trust the other not to exploit or take advantage.

Of course, there is God's way and there is man's way. People get to choose. I just would like it if more women would retire their balls and that more men would live like they had some.

momday

The nanny worked a 1/2 day today. I think I will continue that especially once football gets going. Friday's are typically long during football season because Mr A is gone from dark til dark.

I got a good amount accomplished. I got work done, did banking and hit the grocery store for dinner. When I got home the kids were back from the park and were playing while their nanny made lunch.

I took TR to her gymnastics class and afterwards we went to Mr A's school. I dropped the kids off and went to get my brows threaded and to the post office. TR was exhausted by the time she left the school. When we returned home, I opened the door she laid on the floor and went to sleep. (I got her prepped and put her in bed) QT had slept from through the 10-15 minute drive and through the entire gymnastics class. He woke up briefly and then went back to sleep on the drive to Mr A's school.

TR's gym class only had one other girl. There are 3 girls enrolled but apparently the other two must take turns coming. I like the weekday class. It is much calmer. The downside is the ballerinas aren't there. TR gets to watch them during Saturday class, then she comes home and repeats their moves.

Hopefully she'll be able to do dance this summer in Oakland. She wants to do real dance and it appears most classes for her age just skip and hop across the floor. She walks away from the window of those dance classes. Everyday and all through the day she asks me, "what do I want to be, mommy?" I say, "what do you want to be?" and she will eithher say a ballerina or a butterfly. When she asks me what I want to be I say a mermaid, daddy wants to be a lion and baby wants to be a bear cub.

I think its nice that kids know they get to be something.

The former nanny stopped by today. QT has apparently forgotten her. She picked him up and he cried, got down and left the room. Mr A says he is probably happy to be rid of her. I am inclined to agree. He remembers my mother who he sees about once a month so how could he forget the nanny who he saw daily and less than a month ago.

TR would not wake up to speak. She said she would come by again since TR keeps asking where she is.

I enjoy doing TR's hair. Its fun. Then she brushes my hair. She does a good job. She has a strong hand and that feels great on my scalp. I just wish she would brush it longer. I figure her arm gets tired so I say thank you, when I really want to tell her to keep brushing.

Tis all. I need to go back to sleep.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tea Time



I was loving on this tea prior to TR becoming my passenger. First she was my passenger, then I breastfed her and apparently on pretty much the day I stopped breastfeeding (which coincided with the start of her summer with my mom), QT became my passenger. Prior to discovering that he was feeding off of my body, Mr A went to Pier One or is it CostPlus to get my tea. They stopped selling it. OH NOOOOOO.

One day QT and I were perusing the aisles of Whole Foods and I spotted the tea. It was $16 but I could not bring myself to pay that much. It was $13 at Pier One. An indulgence for sure but I can do a 10 and some ones, but a 10, a 5, and a 1, can't do it. Plus QT was an infant and still milking me.

Last week Mr A brought home my tea. I have certainly been enjoying it. The package now has a caffeine count and if it had had one back in the day, I probably would have drank a cup every now and again.

TR is nearly 3. I have gone without my tea for nearly 3 years plus the months she was my passenger. These children better not ever try to put me in a home.

It wasn't that bad. I was also free from aunt flo for those nearly 4 years. Its a worthy trade off and I got two crazy, silly, fun kids too. Now that we have a nanny, I can actually sit and drink the tea without worrying about folks being scalded.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bad

I realize I am a bad employer.

I read somewhere that people who are good at what they do are often lacking in the skills to maintain staff. They can build a business, and create ideas but when it comes to people they are lacking. They need someone who can work with the people.

I fail at managing people. Mr A likes to develop and train people. He was trained in that. He wanted to talk to the last nanny. I was hoping she would get it together. Perhaps talking to her would have made a difference.

I am very wary of how I deal with the people who are caring for my kids. I prefer child care to want to work and like the job. I can tell the person what routine and schedule I want, but things like be on time, come when it rains and come on scheduled days are beyond my patience level.

I have severed relationships with attorneys when I feel like they have disrespected my business. I don't have a problem with mistakes. I feel like business people should know basic rules. If they don't follow those rules then I don't want to spend my energy training people on business ethics.

I have no plans to improve how I manage people. I just hope to remember that people are not my skill and let Mr A talk to folks before I end the relationship.

I'm pleased that I recognize my weaknesses.

Monday, April 4, 2011

rest

TR is asleep. Mr A is asleep. QT slept from 11:45 to near 3. I am sleepy.

Not having a nanny exhausted everyone. Now we can rest. I can return to a sane work schedule.

I love HGTV. Selling New York is a current favorite.

TR got her paints out and drew an O, a W and a P. Pow! My baby can write. I knew she could identify the alphabets but I did not know she could write. I remember kindergarten and writing letters of the alphabet. I read playing in the sand helps the skills needed to write. All that time at the park is having results.

We moved TR's gymnastics class to a weekday afternoon. Its nice to have a lazy Saturday. Weekends at the gymnastics school are chaotic. On the weekdays is just the kids who are too young for school or have the day off. The new class has 3 kids enrolled. 1 did not show, the other was late so it was like a private lesson for TR.

QT did a 20 second pull up without assistance. He is strong! Mr A has him working out when they go to football practice. I let him play on the bars at the park. He is ready for the baby olympics.

My goal is to work from 9:30 to 2:30 (or something similar) each day. I usually work really hard for a week and play really hard for 2 weeks. These weeks without a nanny have shown me that I can accomplish a lot. I worked efficiently and if I keep that up I can do well.

As is to be expected, work was continous the entire time I lacked a nanny. I had to turn some good clients away. A company that provides educational services to disabled kids, referred a client to me. I had to refer her to someone else.

Business is doing well, i just have to keep pace with its growth. I tell ya, that is the way of business. This always happens to me. But this time I will not let it overwhelm me. I will remain organized and accept that I can only have so many clients at a time.

TR is in my bedroom asking me for more cheese. Her daddy gave her cheese and is in the kitchen. Why is she asking me for more cheese? This must be the results of keeping a bag of snacks. Kids just think you have a secret refridgerator.

That was random. I am finally allowing my mind to slow its pace. Feels good.

Friday, April 1, 2011

community walks

My mother is a special education teacher. She likes to take her high schools students on community walks in the summer (when she teaches summer).

My kiddies walk a few days a week but this week was the first time I actually paid attention. There is a lot going on in the community.

We hit the patio and there was the mailman. I see him most days and as usual I said, hello. I see a neighbor walking her dog and as usual said, hello. I saw some city workers throwing bags of leaves and say hi. I see the water and power guy sitting in a van. I think he roared or growled, so I made eye contact to let him know I had my eye on him.
There are daily fedex and ups deliveries and I said hello to the driver.

I usually focus on discussion and identification of nature and squirrels, and never give attention to people in the community. I say hi but never think

It was pretty cool to notice all of the activity going on. Kids probably notice but as an adult who is used to seeing people in the community its hard to notice.

The nanny candidate is hear and she started out right. She was EARLY and not only spoke to TR, she had a conversation with her in that voice you use when kids don't know you yet. She even made efforts to befriend QT. She speaks less English than yesterday's candidate. Wait...... whaaaa...... hold up........ she is cleaning up from the kid's breakfast. We may have a WINNER!!!!!!

Next up, the park. Hopefully she will ask about snacks.