Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thoughts

On shacking

One of my buds recently got married. Like last week recently. This weekend her facebook update said she was hanging out with the girls this Friday night.

I know nothing about the travel of her spouse. He could be working late on Friday, he could be out of town, he could visit his mom every Friday.

I do wonder if living together 3 years (they moved in when TR was an infant) starts marriage at a different point.

After nearly 5 years of marriage I too look forward to a night out with the girls. After a couple of weeks of marriage, Friday nights were all about Team A.

Entertaining and home buying

I love HGTV. I do wonder about the people who buy a home and entertaining is huge factor in the purchasing decision. It's as if they entertain more than they live. Some people have to have an entertainers home, they need it for business and entertaining happens monthly/weekly.

I wonder if owning an entertainers home is worth only entertaining on a single holiday.
I imagine if you do not have an entertainers home you would find yourself always entertaining and if you have one, you may not entertain as much. Mr. A loves to cook and he loves to share what he makes. We have company pretty often. No one seems to mind the size of our place. In fact, I think people like crowding in small spaces because his most recent guests laid down and took naps before they left.

I want a chef's kitchen and an entertainers backyard. Even if we don't entertain, the kids will have fun and will probably keep friends over.

Highly Maintained

I am a woman of extremes. Mr A might need to get a side gig because I am about to become that high maintenance L.A. chick. No expensive weaves or bling but I'll get back to my regular facials, vanity and self-absorption. When I was young my mother and grandmother used to say I was obsessed with my hair and mirror. My skin looks pretty good but the facials will make me dewy.

Mr. A seems to think I can be perfectly balanced. Nope. I can't. If I am going to be pretty and smelling sexy then I have to be that in the day and the night and every day.

It's hard for me to use my nanny time to do beauty and shopping, but I will. I prefer to make money during the hours I am paying her. But I will get over it.

Marriage as work

I usually say that I don't find marriage to be hard work. I guess I have been doing it wrong and I may be beginning to understand what women mean when they say that.
Mr A puts the kids to bed each night. Apparently on some of the nights, he would like to get back to the bedroom and find me freshly showered, perfumed and scantily clad.


I had been thinking the bedtime time was my down time. I get them up 5/6 days a week and I don't get any action after I'm done. Unless of course he is home and the nanny takes the kids to the park. While getting pretty at night is not hard work, it does make me understand why some women have to grab downtime when the husband is not home. If a man doesn't want food, he wants sex and after sex, he probably wants food. A woman's work is never ever done.

Friday, May 27, 2011

slow daze

I don't have a nanny on Friday. I made Friday a non work day because when the state had its furlough days, it meant there was certain work I could not do. Since Friday is game night and Mr A is gone from dark til dark, I realize I need to change that arrangement.

TR usually has gymnastics on Friday but since she will be out of town for the summer, we did not sign her up for the current session. I was wishing we lived near a library so we could do story time. It then occured to me that we do live close to a library. A gated community sits between our block and the block the library is on, making the walk not as direct as it could be. (most times I prefer walking over putting the kids in the car/carseats)

We arrived and I saw the kids' park playmates. TR was excited to see two of her favorite playmates. I feel like the nannies were keeping secrets. One told me a while ago that they go to the library on Friday but I thought she meant to play. There is a park in front of the library. Now I know.

I was talking to a mom and after she heard TR say her name she asked me if she was the one who had a party this week. She said she had heard about the party and told another mom they should crash it. I had actually saw the other mom and since all the kids were at the party I told her to go.

TR is having L.A. parties worthy to be crashed and she is only 3! The city might be huge but the neighborhoods are small.

Story time was lots of fun and I plan to do it weekly. That hour went by fast. Most of the kids were regulars but TR is assertive and full of personality. She got right in the mix of things. I was telling my mother and we were both pondering where she gets all of that personality from.

I remember being a kid and being at church. I was 3 or 4: They asked all the kids to come up and sing. I would not go. My mother offered me money, candy, other bribes but I dug my head in her chest. TR would be up there grabbing the mic trying to sing lead. I am not guessing that either. She goes to church and asks for the mic. I have photos of her with mic in hand and doing her part in praise and worship.

Work ethic and personality=money. I think personality is more valuable than the work ethic. We all know folks who are in positions and totally incapable of doing the work. It's their ability to relate. In fact the last big case I had, I worked with a sought after attorney. I discovered that he is just the voice and face. He did not do anything. Nothing wrong with that. I quit going to the hearings. I told him to handle it. When the checks got cut, I got mine right with him. I'd love to be the face and name.

TR put on her leotard and told me she wanted to go to gym class. I plan to take her to a ballet class and hopefully that will satisfy her. If not I will see if the gym folks will let us prorate. I can't see us paying for an 8 week session if she will only be there for 3 sessions.

Have a nice holiday everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

party over here

Last week the kids' nanny told me she was doing a party. I said I would bring cheetos. They told me to bring cupcakes and the pinata.

When TR saw the pinata she said it was her party. I did not tell her any different. Today at the party she got gifts and cards. Apparently it was a late birthday party. She has been celebrating her birthday every week. On her birthdate we celebrated at home, then she had a party at the gym, then we took the pinata and hit at it because there weren't enough kids to eat the candy.

Today was a BIG party.

Our new nanny is great. I had to ask the last nanny to put a party together with the park kids and she barely got that done. This nanny took the initiative and organized all the nannies and had food and drinks. TR loved it.

The nanny network is amazing. The nannies were pulling up in cars with kids I had never seen. Some of the kids go to school and some go to different parks. The nannies will pull them together for parties. If it rains, play dates are instantly arranged.

A parent does not have to worry about socialization with these ladies.

I want to give her a raise. I appreciate how well she cares for my kiddies and that she is reliable. I pay her nearly double what other nannies make but I also use her fewer hours than others. I have a part time nanny. Other families have them working 60 hours.

It occured to me that people in management type jobs probably need nannies. People with set 9 tp 5 hours can utilize daycare that closes at 6. Its nice to know you don't have to rush to pick your children up nor do you have to start your morning packing bags and getting kids ready and out of the house.

This morning I struggled to get TR out of bed for breakfast. If I had to get her ready and out of the house daily, I might start my day frazzled.

Motivation -part 2

So I can't remember the point of my post. I have dinner thawing so we'll be ready to dine when Mr. A arrives.

Anyway, Mr A and I are happy (I hate to post such statements because I don't want to jinx us). We aren't rolling in cash. We don't live in a 5 bedroom house. We've intentionally made professional choices that allow us the time to be together as a family.

We could work more hours, have more money and less time together but we choose less work hours, less money and more time together. It may sound crazy but we've done the 5 bedroom home with pool and 3 car garage, we did the 3 bedroom house with a large salary and now we are doing the centrally located apartment in the city and on a regular basis we discuss how good our life is.

I know of what I speak for us. I'm not speaking from a place of can't, I'm speaking from been there, done that, let it go (nothing was taken or lost), and love this.

One day we will reacquire and move on over to the 7 figure zip code but right now, (channeling Tamar) this life right here, is totally marvelous.

I realize everyone does not have the freedom or desire to do what we have done. I just wonder how people chose career and what that career buys over family. I don't get it. Time spent is so much more valuable than things bought.

motivations

As much as I love my business and the rush work gives me, motherhood and running my home like a well oiled machine gives me greater pleasure. Motherhood is a much more challenging yet rewarding task.

When I read/hear women discuss motherhood in terms of childcare costs and derailing their careers I realize I must have never been a woman motivated by career. I want to build amazing businesses but I want that so my kids can live the life. I envision my babies having the perks of life.

I don't need wealth just to pass it to the government. I can be happy with little.

After I had TR I was speaking to my neighbor and she mentioned the cost of her infant's daycare. Childcare costs had never crossed my mind. I guess that meant I had intended to be a stay home mother. Even while we had the conversation I was thinking how high the cost was but I had no intent to utilize any childcare.

Its easy to work with an infant, they sleep or are content to be held while I work. Once TR started walking I realized I would need help and that is when nannies came up. My mom told me kids should not have to get up and out the house. She said they prefer being home.

I have a cousin who was a commuter child. Her mission in life is to never do that to her children. She wants to stay home. My mom said she remembers being three and being home with her grandmother, her going out to get fresh eggs from the chickens, and the different things they did. Since I am able to keep them home, that is what I do.

Where was I? Its interesting to me that women have such motherhood dilemmas. I don't think everyone wants to be a mother, I just wonder why women don't just admit that they want a career or whatever they want.

Working for myself has always been my plan but I think I was preparing myself for my currnt lifestlye. I needed flexibility. Mr A was looking for a wife who was not career focused because he wanted a mother who would be willing to be home. I wanted a husband who did not mind supporting a family because I wanted the ability to be home. We
matched!

I used to be a "femmenazi" but I am grateful I did not marry someone who was on that women take care of themselves kick. Mr A does not mind that I have a nanny and take naps during the day. He knows that motherhhod is heavy work. ( I am at the park and I need to get dinner prepped. Oh oh)

More later.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

primary colors

Yesterday TR wanted to paint with pink. I told her to mix red and white. She mixed it and was excited to see pink! Then she wanted to make purple. I told her to mix red and blue. She felt like orange and green would make purple. Today I let her experiment with mixing colors. I gave her a tray and she mixed more than she painted. I figured the nanny could clean the kids up.

QT painted his hands yesterday and TR painted her arm. I made his handprints on paper and washed her arms. Being a homeschool parent is sure to get messy.

We've decided to name our school CandyCane Preschool. When I was three I went to imaginary preschool and I named it CandyCane Preschool. When my siblings came home and told me about their day, I would tell them about my day at CandyCane Preschool.

School won't start until the fall but learning happens daily. Just living is an opportunity to learn. We were at the hospital last week and TR had fun finding shapes. We have not sat her down and told her shapes, we do things like walk and just talk. In the course of conversation we'll point out the colors and shapes of things. That is what home preschool will be like. A continuation of experiences but now they will be a little more intentional.

Its so odd to me that I feel slightly guilty about keeping my children home. Sending young kids out to be educated is a new thing. Its also a thing of necessity for many-childcare. If it was not to push aside the tiny guilt, I would probably not consider home preschool.

The overwhelming part of me thinks spending the early years having picnics, lazing about in bed, painting in your pajamas, and playing at the park are wonderful childhood experiences. Its that tiny part that has received the talk about school for toddlers that has me trying to having a little school here at home.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

No hurry, no worry

U fnless I know everyone in attendance, I am usually one of the first people out of the door.

Having kids in tow usually changes that. I end up being one of the last out of the door. I try not to rush when I have the kids. They like to observe things, ask questions and speak to people.

As much as I rush, I enjoy mingling. The people who leave last are usually the workers, they are the people who get things done. They like to mingle and they are probably the last to leave because they are chatting.

TR and I went to church by ourselves this Sunday. We stayed until after benedication, we then went to the bathroom and took our aweet time. We then took even more sweet time getting to the car. After things slowed, we were speaking to people. We usually miss the social part of church. I like that part.

After church TR and I hit Targe.t. I stuck to my list. I went in for kids toothbrushes and toothpaste. TR has her own money so she bought stickers and a few things from the dollar spot. We passed the cosmetics and we spent probably 1/2 hour painting each other's nails. She painted my cuticles, but she is 3. She did well not to paint my fingers.

Her nails are light pink with a sparkle top coat. My sister paints TR's nails when she is in Oakland and TR loves it. I tend to only put color on my toenails and TR has been telling me I should have color on my finger nails.

We had a fun day. Mr A and QT grilled. He said they had a fun day as well.

I feel like I am raising my mother. Today as I was driving TR began telling me to roll various windows up. Then she asked me put her window down just a little. When I did she told me it was too windy and to put it back up. Then she told me I should put two hands on the steering wheel, not one. After I complied so told me to drive faster.

Except for the drive faster part, these are car conversations I have with my mother. She is also a neat freak just like my mother. She follows the everything has a place and a place for everything philosophy. If something is out of place she will let folks know.

I have decided to home preschool. I'm excited. This will be my guiding principle:

Preschool children should learn by engaging in activities that are real and meaningful to them -activities that encourage the development of skills, knowledge, ways of thinking and learning, and a disposition for learning. It is important to remember that preschools teach children the early skills for literacy and science and mathematics development in an environment that encourages learning through social relationships.

Copied from PBS.org.

My plan is for everything to be an activity. There will not be any worksheets, flash cards or things of that nature. Art should be the only time we use paper. I am thinking 60 minutes of each day will be homepreschool activities.

We planted a pink flower today. TR was extremely excited about doing it. I looked up and she had everything opened and the soil in the pot and the seeds in hand. She likes to pick flowers so it makes sense for her to have her own garden. That is another trait she gets from my mother. My mother was picking flowers at 2 and 3 and bringing them home to her mother. TR does the same.

My mother loves flowers and gets fresh flowers weekly in addition to a huge flower garden. TR will cry if she can't get her flowers. Mr A now brings TR flowers when he brings them home for me.

I am excited about her garden. Fortunately I paid attention to my grandparents and mother and I am good with growing things in the soil. Its a beautiful thing when your elders speak and its wonderful when you have the sense to listen and the memory to retain.

Friday, May 20, 2011

summer time

I called TR's gym today to find out when this session ends. It ends this week. That made me a little sad. TR won't start another session until the fall. She will be a more mature 3 year old. These baby days wait for no one. I want to hold on to my time. Early childhood is such a beautiful time. Watching the development and day to day changes is amazing.

One day your baby can't do A and the next day they are pros.

TR will do swim until its time go take her summer vacation and she will start ballet this summer. She is extremely excited! I am too. She has composed a ballerina song which she sings and dances to. One day I played a youtube ballerina song and she became lost in the music. Then she grabbed Mr A and he lifted and twirled her. She has watched the dancers and rhytmic gymnasts and she does the moves she sees them doing.

I expect the 3 year old ballet class will be a little less than what she is expecting. I have researched and ballet instructors don't teach to people younger than 3 and don't do certain forms because most 3 year olds aren't developmentally ready. TR wants to run on her tiptoes, ballerina twirl and jump but she'll likely run and hop.

It's amazing to me that last year she was newly 2 and 3 felt so far away. I wanted her to do ballet last year but could not find a class for 2s. I packed her and an infant QT and we headed to Century City to watch a class. Now she is 3 and ballet is available to her.

So I am being intentional in enjoying both of my kids and enjoy this time of childhood because I will blink and they will be my age.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stress Case

Good thing I have Mr A. He brings me back to some sanity.

I want TR to start school in kindergarten. I do not want preschool, pre-k or dk. For some reason I get caught up and find myself swept by the mothers discussing their kids in school. I think having this time to enjoy without a schedule is wonderful.

I have been doing internet research on preschool homeschool. We already do most of what is suggested. At times I feel like things should be formalized. Yet, it's the formal part that causes me to delay starting school. I think I need to go to the park and watch them play because that always reminds me of how much is learned during free play and playing with them.

Today (now yesterday) I found myself contacting a preschool to find out about preschool tours. The school is playbased, and a large pecrentge of the kids matriculate to the all girls school I want for TR. While I was putting the tour date on my calendar, it occurred to me that 1) I had no plans for TR to start school before kinder and 2) I am waiting for our dream school.

I mentally let the preschool search go. I have to remind myself that my ultimate desire is for her to start at our dream school in kinder. The issue is I want to know NOW! It's hard to wait 2 years. I need to work on my patience.

TR knows her colors, she can count to 20 in English and Spanish, she knows money and what its used for. She seems to be able to add and subtract. She can identify the alphabets and can hum the ABC song. She can draw letters with her paints and she scribbles/writes stories and then tells us what she wrote. She knows about the sun, moon, and stars. I think she knows all the things school would teach, but she has learned through play.

While I am stressing over TR starting school I am stressing over QT being the only black boy at the park. I cannot raise my son like that. I have to figure out where to find him some brown playmates. I went out with a new acquaintance and her son goes to one of the private schools people want. She said his only interaction with other black kids is at basketball. I can't. How does a black childd not began to categorize black people if that is their experience. Don't they learn and see that "we" do athletics in the hood and "they" do "brain" stuff?

We might have to get back to the bay where black folks are easier to locate and fill up private schools.
It's such a dilemma,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Mommy Circle

It rained on Monday. I gave TR her playdoh and I discovered that the kids' one to one daycare teacher (my new term for nanny) is a playdoh expert. She made two babies in a crib. The playdoh babies had eyes, ears, arms, legs, bodies, and faces. I was amazed by her skill. This is why she qualifies as a daycare teacher. She taught the kids real playdoh art.

After she made lunch, she got the kids dressed. I wondered why. The nannies had arranged a museum visit which I discovered as she opened the door and headed out into the cold. I need to look into becoming a nanny once my kids get big. Those women have fun!

QT fell asleep so he stayed with me. At about 1 pm, TR and her teacher returned. They were going to a second spot but needed TR's carseat. The nanny who has two car seats had to leave. I ended up driving them. I found myself on the phone with the mother of one of the kids. She had told the nannies they should go to a play center in Beverly Hills.

I had a conference call which I took via cell. My battery was low but fortunately Mr A works a few blocks from the play center so I drove over there to get the phone charger. Of course the call was shorter than I'd been led to expect and it was over before I got to Mr A and before my phone died.

I love living on the West side because within a 5 mile radius there are many kid centered places to go. Now that I know moms are planning activities, I am suggesting the Zimmer for the next excursion. We have a membership, so I can save that $10-$15.

The thing about having your kids play with kids with more money, is that those parents have more money. We will not be keeping up.

I once spoke to someone who said they wanted to move somewhere where they could have more than most others. I prefer living where I have continuing reminders to strive for more. I'm not limited by a salary, I am my own limit. I command what I earn.

I don't like living where I have more than most. I get comfortable. It's hard to push myself when I am comfortable

check out the play doh babies.

public defenders and prosecutors

I have met a few who were hard workers and viewed their clients as a human and not a pile of paper. There are public defenders who read through a file and forget a life is what they are reading about.

I have done a few criminal matters. My first jury trial was criminal. The charge was embezzlement and my client seemed to have made an admission to the arresting officer. The jury found the client not guilty and cried as they read the verdict. They were telling my client bless you and asking to give a hug.

The public defender had met her on the first court date and suggested she accept a crazy deal that would have her doing random drug tests. How does that?! relate to an embezzlement charge. Probation is the new slave code.

I am currently working on a case and the public defender tried to get the client to accept a deal and told him that would be the best he could get. When I took the case I turned the offer down and set trial. Everytime we go back the lazy arse prosecutor sits there and says they are withdrawing the offer and he must plead to the sheet. Then I say, well as we've set trial that is a rejection of your offer.

When I was setting trial I told the judge the state had not sent my discovery so it had to be set far out in case I had to make a motion. The lazy arse prosecutor told me I had the discovery. I wanted to just slap him to pieces. Do public defenders really have clients plead and even go to trial on a fricking POLICE report only. My GOSH.

Do you guys understand that if this is the case, especially in charges without a victim, so many people are not properly represented? The police approached my client and said he was parked suspicously. How does one park suspiciously?
The officer used that as an excuse to search and found things.

We can win this foolishness and a black man who has never had an interaction with the justice system can maintain his full freedom.

Its shameful that so many public defenders take their profession as a mere job and forget the lives behind their failure to investigate. Sure some criminals go free when you investigate but that is better than an innocent person being locked up and losing rights.

After I made my motion to compel the state finally got my discovery together. Last time the police tried to get over on my client, my client sued in federal court and we got pizzaid.

Educators

My mother is an educator. I use the term educator purposefully. Some teach but everyone who teaches is not an educator. Some people teach for a check. Educators teach from a love of imparting knowledge to others and watching growth. Some teach for the check and find it entertaining to mock their students. What is the saying that some do and others teach. Well those who teach for the check and the joy of putting their student down are the ones who can't do. An educator loves the process of learning and sharing that learning. Educators do!

I tell ya, nothing hurts me more than to witness a teacher, a person in a position of power, abuse that power. I consider mocking and laughing at students to be an abuse of power. I have clients that get on my lasT (say it like Tyler Perry's Ma dea) nerve. You will not find me mocking them or putting them down. I might complain but what I say about them can also be said in front of them without my inciting a fist fight.

Its amazing how cruel some folks are.

My mom used to work with a speech pathologist. Whenever I got near that woman I would say nothing. My mother asked me why and I told her she seems like she listens so she can make fun later. My mom gasped and said the speech teacher wouldn't do that.

One day another speech pathologist, called the speech teacher I didn't trust, Laura. Afterwords the speech teacher I didn't trust was talking about the other speech teacher and stated that the other speech teacher called her Lau-ra, instead of Lu-ra. She said a few other things and my mom gasped. My mom said she was thinking about what I had said.

The woman looked at my mom's face and said she only made the comment because the speech pathologist should have gotten it right. Um hmmmm, nope she just made fun of folks. Why not just tell them how you prefer your name to be spoken?

Eleanor Roosevelt was on a train and saw a drunk man and told him he was disgustingly drunk. The drunk man told her she was incredibly ugly and he'd be sober in the morning but she'd still be ugly. When people make fun or put down others over things that can be changed, they should remember that the person can improve but their own nature will still be ugly.

Winning

Winning, to me, includes losing but achieving a change.

There is a school district in a hick town in Central CA. that sends its attorneys to parent meetings for students with disabilities. The law allows the school to invite persons who have specialized knowledge regarding the child. Typically this would be school staff. Staff has cause and a need to review a kid's file.

When an attorney appears at a meeting it makes parents feel defenseless and forces many to hire than own. The district already has 5 or 6 folks from the District so an attorney makes it seem very lopsided. Everyone does not have the funds to hire an attorney so it puts many parents at a disadvantage.

I wrote the attorney for the District (they are an outside firm) and asked her not to attend the meeting for my client. She wrote me back saying the mess about she had specialized knowledge.

My next question was, how was this knowledge acquired because the parent did not sign a release of information. I have no idea which way this will go but I am following the necessary steps with the goal of suing in Federal court.

When I asked why the attorney was asked to review students files, she claimed privilege. My personal thought is this firm decided a good way to make money was to have school districts in hick towns have attorneys at IEP's.

The larger cities do not do this. The larger cities barely have attorney's at mediations and hearings. They have due process specialists.

I am unsure of the way this will end, but I am sure changes will be made. Sometimes change is the goal. Well its my goal. The parents get greedy and think they need some cash but unless someone was injured and not just offended I'm not fighting so someone can go buy some crap.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

fun fun fun

Rmse's party was SOOOOO much fun!

We had it at the gymnastics school and the instructors gave the kids a 1.5 hour lesson. The parents loved it and they loved that it was from 5:30 to 7:30 pm because it meant the kids would be knocked out for the evening.

TR had a few of her park friends come and the children of Mr. A's coach friends. I considered inviting a couple of parents with young kids but for some reason I never got around to it. I think I was trying to keep it to under 10 kids and 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

TR had fun fun fun and so did her friends. TR loves her little friend Grace who arrived on time. I knew if Gracie came That was all the party guest we'd need. I was correct. Those two girls had a blast by themselves. There was another little girl there but she cried the entire time and her dad had to hold her. The other guests filtered in and joined the party TR and Gracie had going.

The thing about most kids, it seems, is they are willing to join the fun. Everytime a new kid arrived they saw the fun and heard the laughter they immediately ran to join the other kids.

TR is a great host. When the first two kids arrived she got two party hats and gave one to each and said hello. When Gracie arrived, Gracie spent about 5 seconds acting bashful and TR went to her and they took off. TR and Gracie are a great pair. They both keep trouble brewing. One day TR hit a boy and I told her to stop. Gracie came to me and said the boy had hit TR first. This week Mr A brought a pinata for the kids and Gracie and TR continued attacking the pinata after he told them to stop. He told them that he sees why they are friends.

One of our friends is an investment banker or something like that. He asked the parent of one of TR's park friends his occupation. The guy - a young brother- said he was president of a company everyone has heard of. So of course the "wow" had to be said. I mean when Mr A told me the place he was president of my head moved like someone hit me in the forehead. I knew TR's friends had money and professional parents but I wasn't thinking on that scale.

So Mr A had challenged the president guy to a grill challenge and the investment banker invited himself. The banker later asked Mr A how we knew them. Mr A told him TR knows the kids from the park and that was his first time meeting the parents. He mostly sees the nannies. Lol. I had met the wife once when the nanny was sick.

Its funny how we all know each others children but not each other. Having kids is a great way to network. Who knew?

One of the kids has a sister who attends the neighborhood public school. That school has an API of 940 out of 1000.
I had initially thought my kiddies would go there if we lived here. It occured to me that an API score that high might mean teaching to the test. Then I discovered that kinder is a full day. The school sits in a neighborhood where no homes are under 1 million, so its a nice school in a nice area. The parents fund arts and other things but since its an L.A. school it has to do what the state and city requires.

The mom of the girl who attends that school says they have only one brief recess and a lunch. Her daughter comes home hungry because if she ate lunch she would not have time to play.

I think its sick that kinder does that to children to satisfy a test! I am willing to pay money not to have my kids in that situation. What is the benefit of burning kids out and having them dred school by first grade? Sure they do well on a test but can they reason? Are they learning to network because success is built on your network. Folks can work as hrd as they want but the slackers will get the gold if they know the right people and know how to meet the right people.

There is a blog I read about L.A. private schools. One of the contributers daughter went to the neighborhood school. Her daughter now goes to a private school for highly gifted kids. She writes about how the culture at the private school is better and that the kids have less homework than at this high API public school.

Maybe the parents of kids who have been identified as gifted don't need the validation some parents get from their kid bringing home a bunch of seatwork.

Friday, May 13, 2011

It only gets better

I'm becoming quite domestic. I think part of my inspiration is keeping Mr A out of the kitchen. If something bubbles out of a pot, I get it right then. He seems to let it stay. I can cook and keep the kitchen clean. He cooks and cleans the kitchen but I think my way is easier.

For the last few weeks, maybe even month, I think I have cooked more then he has. I have enjoyed feeding my family! I love it. This week I made Coconut Chicken Curry, Taco Salad and tonight I did homemade (including the crust) pizza. I made pot pie a while ago and made a butter crust. It was great. I had planned to make coq au Vin tonight but Mr A still does the grocery shopping and I had to take QT to the doctor a few times, which meant Mr A had to get home and let the nanny leave.

I drive the kid car. Mr. A doesn't have car seats in his car so he was grounded.

QT has an ear infection and it really seemed to take a toll on him. This was his first and I had no idea what was going on. He got sleepy and wanted to be held. He wasn't playing. Then the fever kept coming even with antibiotics. Today the fever seems to have stayed away and he desire to play is returning. Prayerfully we will be back to good health soon.

Today I took the kids to TR's gymnastics class. While we were driving TR told me my first and last name and then told me her first and last name. I was surprised because usually when I tell her her full name, she tells me that is not her name and then she tells me her first name.

I have no idea how first and last name finally clicked. Maybe its a 3 year old thing. I'm loving 3. I am really loving it. Driving around town is more fun now because our conversation has expanded. TR also seems to understand QT a lot better. She reasons with him and explains things and he listens.

It's fun being a wife and a mommy. Its feels good to fulfill the traditional roles of a wife and a mommy. Mr A says I'm a Christian conservative which is why doing stuff differently then the bible says, causes me great confusion.

I see how it works and am all for folks doing what works but the part that confuses me is when people act like traditional roles are oppressive or foolish. I understand the feeling of oppression, its oppressive to me to check voicemail but stuff needs to be done and I feel good about myself when I get it done.

I also like to see my kids enjoy their meals and I like the smell of food cooking when Mr. A comes home. I like knowing I am fully capable and equipped to get my family fed. I do, I do.

Blogger

Yesterday I noticed blogger made some changes to my blog. It now has that I have been on blogger since May 2011 and not sometime in 2006. Now its deleted a couple of my posts. I hope it doesn't delete my blogs. If it does, I hope the wayback machine holds on to them.

I need to figure out how to save my online diary.

I have chronicled the start of my relationship with Mr. A, engagement, wedding planning, marriage, pregnancy, kids, all the good stuff. Blogger quit playing. I hear they like to delete folks stuff.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

THink on this

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phillipians 4:8.

I am focusing on that scripture. I will focus on and exemplify things that are lovely and of good report.

It can be easy for me to become sidetracked by things that are not lovely, true, honest, just, pure and of good report. I am working on that. I stay on guard against allowing the enemy space in my head.

I think depressed and angry people have lost the battle with focusing on good things. Depression is a real illness. I try to keep full hold of my mind and remain in peace. It's hard, hard, hard to reclaim peace of mind, so its best to keep it while you have it.

Losing peace is gradual. You might start focusing or doing something small but it becomes larger. I'm big on running my own mind. I am big on what I speak.

In the beginning there was the Word. If the word formed the earth, it is full of power. Do people recognize the power in their words. Proverbs 18:21 By the using the tongue well or evil, comes the fruit of it either good or bad.

Some people spill at the mouth and I think its mostly intentional. My cousin has been telling me some foolishness and I keep quiet. I think she is either losing her grip on her mind or trying to provoke me.

I have nothing to do with whatever she is bothered by so I hold my tongue. Sometimes it is hardddddd to hold your tongue. I ask myself is she worth me giving her my peace of mind while giving her a piece of my mind. The answer is always no.

I am happy with my life. I love and am loved by Mr. A and my kiddies. I am happy in my profession and with life in general. Why would I sacrifice even a moment of my peace to straighten her out.

Good thing wisdom comes with age. Good thing I grew up having the Word drilled into my head because I can always call to my memory things that bring me back to peace and sanity.

My hater cousin likes to say I have lawyer logic. It's not lawyer logic, its the Word. The bible is an instructional manual for peace on earth, avoiding self-inflicted drama and girding yourself from other folks drama.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Party On

Party

Mr A and I have resolved to call the park daycare. It's a specialized daycare where each child has a single adult assigned to them. Saying your child is in daycare is more widely accepted. :)

The children in this photo are my kids' classmates. Try to see if you can spot TR. If you picked the girl with melanin you'd be correct. There are a few more brown kids but they seem to be elsewhere.

TR will be 3 tomorrow! TODAY!! Funny how time flies when you're having fun. I will miss saying have a one year old and a 2 year old. It makes it seems like I was popping the babies out. I'm excited about 3. I already see the changes.

TR will be hosting a kid party this year. Its her first party that will be at a facility. I'm looking forward to it. The kids will have fun. The parents will get to relax and watch their kids enjoy themselves.

I'm a little nervous because TR's "classmates" will be attending. I've met a couple of parents but I usually interact with the nannies or "daycare teachers". So hopefully no parents will ban their child from playing with TR after meeting us. I doubt that will happen. People love Mr A and they instantly admire him when they learn he graduated from West Point. I say graduated because if you say "went" to West Point a few folks like to ask about finishing. SMH

Most of TR's classmates are on the wealthy side and live in multi-million dollar homes. Mr A and I are regular and live in an apartment. We will own our multi-million dollar 1500 sq. ft home soon. Most of the kids call me mommy, so hopefully no one will be offended by that. They just repeat what TR calls me.

If i was unemployed I would hire myself out as a nanny to a wealthy family. I would not sling fries at McD's. I really think more black people should get in the service area, especially over gov't aide. When we had the black nanny that was our plan for her. We thought she could mingle and eventually nanny for some monied people. Reminder: its useless to have a plan for people who have no plans for their own self. Welfare, foodstamps, and section 8 have taken her out of competition. What is the point of working and being away from your kids, when the gov't is funding you to be a SAHM?

I have more socially exciting stuff occuring but this post is long enough. Happy Birthday TR and Happy Anniversary of my birth day to me! I remember my delivery date so fondly. I loved being preggers but its much better to look at the kid and watch her grow and develop.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

you're hereeeee!

I did a night out with the girls last weekend. We were all married and one had a boyfriend of a year and is moving toward that. I was the only mother and the others either did not want kids or planned to have them but weren't sure if they wanted them.

I really think men need to stop tying up with women who say they don't want kids. Mr A says most men think women will change their minds. 2 of the women had men who wanted kids and 2 had men who already had kids but wanted more. I have no idea why a woman who knows she doesn't want kids would be with a man who wanted kids and torture him by denying him. Its utter madness.

So since I was the only mother I was quizzed. Yes kids are full time and they are not easy. They need and they want. Your sleep is compromised, your brain is worked, your energy is snapped. No, you cannot count on sleeping in and no, you cannot decide to walk out of the door and hang out with your spouse. You have to arrange for childcare. Your bills will increase. People who want kids count that a small cost for the greater reward of children.

Sorta like a luxury car. Gas and maintenance are high but the luxury the vehicle adds is worth it to the owner. People choose their luxuries.

One asked me about having a bad day at work and being tired. How can you be nice to your kids after such a day. I think kids can erase a bad work day. I told them it lifts my heart and erases all bad emotions when I open door to hear
my babies exclaim, "mommieeeeeeee! You're here". My little guy will crawl across the floor as fast as he can and I so enjoy the sound of him running to me. They come give me hugs and kisses. That type of pure joy that your kids pour on you is far more valuable than whatever they cost.

Mr. A loves it too. That is the type of reception that makes you want to rush home. You may be absent but you are not forgotten.

It gives me great pleasure to have these little people and raise them. I enjoy being able to offer them love and experiences and all the access I can afford. I feel like I am honoring all those who poured into me. I am raising my kids to carry on legacies that my ancestors left.

I didn't have my kids with the expectation that they will fund my retirement. My great-grandparents and grandparents built lives so that they could leave an inheritance. Its my intent to do the same. I don't have a black tax. I am free to live my own life and I don't have to spend my income taking care of my mother or worrying about how her bills are paid.

I pray that my kids will have similar peace of mind. Its good to take care of your parent if they are in need but its better to be a parent who isn't in need. Its rough on folks who want to have kids and know they have a parent to fund.

Everything is not for everybody. When folks tell me they don't want children, I don't try to make them reconsider. I'm happy with my choices and I make my choices intentionally. I figure others do the same. I do want to ask folks why they don't want a child, but if they started talking negative about kids as humans then I'd have to end the conversation and never speak with them again. I would not defend kids, I'd just move along. I don't deal with people haters. Kids are toople too.

One of the girls did seem to think she could be a mother once I told her about having a nanny. Now she wants to come to the park and investigate. So I guess its not the kids she doesn't want. Its the work she doesn't work. I told her how one nanny told me her charge has never eaten from a can and that she makes all of her food fresh. The girl told me she wants a nanny that treats her kids like that.

Its Saturday and TR and I are relaxing and chatting. Mr A and QT are at the barber shop and then on to a daddy/son day of shopping. Having 2 kids really makes you realize that having one kid is like having none.
Did I tell ya'll I want a 3rd? If we had a 3rd we would have to have a 4th.

Happy Mother's Day to the mothers and to those who mother.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

darling child

My darling TR has an ear infection. The news was hard to take. Since I broughtt her home from the hospital she has been free of illness. She has had a few runs with the runs and a couple of colds, but nothing that required medicine. I feel like I failed her.

She has gotten scraped up and bloody from playing so she has visited the doctor for that but I accept that I married a daredevil and therefore my kids do what they can to break their body parts up and bleed.

If she had gotten an ear infection as a baby I might chalk it up to being a kid. She is 2 and has a calendar to countdown to her birthday cake. That is a while to be ear infection free. Because she is this old I figure this is a parenting failure. She wasn't tugging her ear or complaining. The nannies told me she had been cranky and not as playful for a few days. I thought she was battling a cold but yesterday she had a fever and I took her to ER once it got near 104:

I guess er brings temps down because her body cooled and her temp was 97 when they took it. I was on my way out of the door when a doctor told me that since we were there she might as well check. I knew they would think I was a munchussen (sp) mother. We were there for at most 15 minutes. Discharge took longer than intake and being seen by 2 doctors.

TR switched doctors a while ago and during intake I was asked if she was allergic to any medications. I told him none that he knew of and he asked what had I given her for various infections. I told him she had never had any. It then occured to me that she had never had any. Good stuff.

I have dinner prepped and when Mr A arrives I will put it in the oven. The kids are sleeping and now I will rest my eyes and my thoughts.

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Journey

My goal is to upload a few photos from the weekend.

We finally got somewhere with enough wind to have some quality kite flying time. Mr. A recalls flying kites as a kid, so he wanted to share that with TR. She had a great time and tried to teach me how to keep the kite in the air. I'm not sure why I am kite challenged.

We visited a new mall out in Topango Canyon. This mall is serious about being family friendly. The mall was filled with children, it had a merry go round, a my gym express and other kid centered things. My favorite thing was the family bathroom. There is a nursing lounge, microwaves and a toddler sized toilet and sink. I usually have a portable seat but we were able to put the paper on the seat and TR did her thing.

Now that TR is out of diapers public toilets present a challenge. Add a baby to that and public toilets present a huge challenge.

I've decided to be more intentional with TR's hair care. My hair has always been very healthy and full of body and I figured it's because I do nothing to it. After reading through hair forums and blogs it seems the nothing I've done for years supports growth and health.

I haven't used grease in my hair since 1994. I used Mizani Sheen on the hair itself. I discovered that my hair produces its own oil. I have only used a paddle brush since 1994 and I only use shampoo when my hair lets me know its needed.

I've been reading and pretty much the long hair folks are doing what I've been doing. I don't do protective styles. If I am wearing my hair up, its because its not freshly done and won't look good down.

TR seems to be 3a/3b, her curls are corkscrew but they are loose. I seem to be 4a. I've always been a fan of Holly Robinson-Peete's 21 Jump Street curls so I'm looking forward to putting TR's hair in a similar style.

The only challenge is I brush (paddle brush) and moisturize her hair while its wet. and it loosens the curls. (currently her wet hair does not tangle. There is no breakage from brushing.)I don't have the patience to let it dry and then get my hands in it, so it may be a while before she wears it natural and out. Some of the 3b's said the corkscrews remain if they keep their hands out until it dries.

I'm really enjoying Knot Today as a styler for TR. When I put it in her hair, it turns the curls into waves.

In kid things, Mr A came home early today. We were supposed to go with him to his doctors appointment. He walked in a few moments after QT fell asleep. As he sat there, TR put herself to sleep.

I don't know why these children act peaceful when its 2 against 2. They would be awake and bouncing if he was coming home later today. I decided to stay home and let the kids sleep. Mr. A predicted that they would awake 15 minutes after he left. QT woke up and crawled to me. Mr A knows his kiddies.

Dreams

I dreamed I was at a Pier on the beach and TR was playing and ran through a door. I kept calling her and she didn't answer. It was maybe 5 seconds but I could not spot her. I lost my kid and woke up before I could find her. Note to self, be constantly vigilant.

Losing your kid would not be so terrifying if predators didn't exist.