Monday, June 27, 2011

Pushed from Comfort

It's time for us to move but we have gotten comfy. Sometimes comfort can stall growth. You get comfortable, don't want to risk or make change and stop progress. Sometimes its good to get a little push. I am excited. I am excited because I see and feel that we are ready to bloom and flourish. We are shaking off what has become comfortable. We have dreams to fulfill.

Years ago my business partner told me she wanted to expand our office space. She wanted to move out a wall. (office buildings apparently can easily modify space to suit the needs of the tenant). Her expansion would have doubled our office rent. I told her I was not ready and saw no need. She was ready. She had made me promise that I would remain until she could afford the space alone. I told her I would move out and she could have the entire space. Doubling our rent, meant she could afford the space alone.

I then began looking for space...on foot. I happened by a window with a binder with an attorney's name and the law the firm practiced. It was the same area of law as my own. I had a potential conflict in a case and needed a back up. The firm was willing to 2nd chair but it settled before they needed to sign on.

During the midst of this I had met Mr A, we dated, got engaged and I was planning a move to L.A. I wanted a job in my new city. I've never looked for a job. Every job I have had, I was "found" or used my network. I had no network in L.A.

While dreading a job search, the firm that was going to 2nd chair for me contacted me. The owner said she was impressed by my work and asked me to work for her. She had offices in L.A and the bay. We interviewed soon after the contact. I had a job waiting for me in L.A. A job I didn't have to look for. My business partner's push, pushed me to what I needed, right when I would need it. At the time it was an annoyance but I later realized it was the path I was supposed to be on. All things work together.......!

I worked for that firm until I was confident I could build my own business in L.A. It's been years and I still benefit from my business partner's push.

Sometimes people will do stuff to cause difficulty. I believe that all things work together, so their evil will still work to keep me or redirect on the path to my purpose.

I told Mr A that as many darts as folks try to send our way, we must have the cure for cancer. We must have something wonderful to accomplish.

Sometimes my first instinct is to retaliate but then I remember that I can't lose focus. I have a purpose and that brick I had to side step might be pushing me to the path I need to be on.

It may not be obvious at the moment but its great when you can look back and say if that problem had not occurred, I would not have changed this and gotten to this point. Hindsight shows that the problem was really a blessing. It's great to look back and remember because that makes me stronger for the journey.

One reason I have been so hesitant to move is my unwillingness to change my kids life. God found a great way to show me that a change in their routine is minimal in the grand scheme of things. The kids will benefit when Mr A and I fulfill our dreams and goals.

We'll be taking the limits off.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

in remembrance

I was born into a huge close knit family.

I had a maternal great-grandmother, many maternal great-great aunts and great-great uncles, a great-granfather, maternal and paternal great aunts and uuncle, 2 sets of grandparents, cousins, parents and siblings.

I recall clearly all of my grandmother's siblings and her aunts and uncles getting together. I remember road trips and spending the night with my mother's great aunts and great uncles.

I remember when my grandmother's aunts and uncles slowly began to pass away. I realized that my grandmother and her siblings were the family elders. I remember getting in the car and riding to Sacramento with my mother and grandmother to visit my grandmother's ill aunts. I remember when the husband of my grandmother's sibling passed away. It was the first death of that generation. As we sat a the burial yard, I was 16, I looked around and held my grandfathers hand. I knew that my grandmother's generation would repeat the pattern of her own elders.

I did my best to relish in my family as it was. Alive, mobile, still youthful and full of energy and life at 60 and 70. I looked around and realized that someone there would be next. My maternal grandfather passed when I was 18. At his funeral I gazed at his brothers. They were remnants of him. Their walk, color, laugh, it was a connection on earth. My maternal
Great uncle was next, then a great aunt. The oldest of the siblings. We got a break for a few years and then in 2002 my grandmother departed. Another break for my maternal side but my paternal side was losing elders.

My paternal grandmother passed in 2006. Then a maternal great aunt in 2007, a maternal great aunt in 2008. Early this morning the 3rd eldest sister of my grandmother passed. This sister's presence kept me going when my grandmother passed. I can't really explain it.

This aunt had no kids. She and her husband were married over 60 years. My grandmother told my mom that she would need to take care of Aunt Grace and her uncle. My mother did just that. There was no financial needs but as they got older my mom began to handle their business affairs, manage their money and write their checks.

My great aunt was a mother to my mother. Back when my mom was a child it was hard to rent with a young child. My grandparents would rent a place and then bring my mother. They would often be evicted and my mom would have to go stay with her aunt and grandmother for a while, My mom loved that time. Her stories are one reason I enjoy TR spending summer in the Bay.

Losing my aunt is like losing my grandmother......again. When my great aunt met and like Mr A, when we got married and when my kids got to know her, her feelings made me feel like I had a glimpse into what my grandmother would have felt.

My grandmother has 2 siblings remaining. They are young, in their 70's. The next generation is my mother and then its mine. Life is so very brief.

Having seen the cycle of life for all of my life, its brevity is undeniable to me. 90 years is a short time. There is life at 90.

I have been blessed to know that 60 is still vibrant and of good strong mind. I have been blessed to know that 90 is still vibrant and of good strong mind. I have been blessed to know that sometimes 20 is not vibrant and not of good strong mind.

TR is young but she got to hang out and know her great great aunt. When we pull up outside their house she knows who lives there. If her memory is as good as my own, these will be lifetime memories.

I pray for my uncle. His wife of 64 years is gone. That is going to be a hard change for him. He does not know how to write a check. They had roles and I figured if he went first she would be near helpless. Now I realize that without her, he is near helpless in many areas.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Busy Bee and Goals

Things are going to be busy for the next few weeks. We're heading out of the country soon and when we return things will slow down, briefly. I have a trials coming up this summer and a hearing later this summer and a big motion. I then have trial in the winter and I need to get all my trial stuff prepped by fall for the winter trial.

I have to get the kids to the Bay, I have a bunch of work up there, our anniversary trip?, part will be in wine country and part out of the country.

But I will take it all step by step and it will all come together.

Money

I stopped contributing to my SEP IRA when the market started to tank. I started contributing many years ago. I wasn't interested but I was convinced to just buy a little and make regular contributions. Fortunately I kept the stock because its doing really well. It's inspired me. I want to buy the same stock for the kids college fund.

We are making plans to buy some stock in January 2012. We want to get in the game for more than retirement funding/tax savings. That way we'll have flexibility.

Cities

I told Mr A that I'm ready to move back to the Bay. I need to spend an extended period of time there because I left when I had no kids. I want to pick an area that has the mommy lifestyle that I want and still be in the city.

We shall see.

Kids

I want to start their bath time after they return home from the park. They usually nap after the park. I gave them a bath yesterday morning and my little kids slept like they were hibernating bears.

Budgets

I am trying to develop an all inclusive budget. Its quite the challenge. Maybe I should just have a fund for "everything else". Vacations, kids activities, car maintenance, sorority/fratenity dues are all obvious categories. But what about the spontaneous aspects of life. What if I find out a jazz cruise is departing the next week and we need to get the kids out of town, then travel to the cruise, pay for the cruise, etc. That would not be the vacation fund, it would be everything else.

Or maybe we need to make more money. That's the answer. I have a mediation tomorrow so money should be earned. Joy!!! Of course, they pay me at 60 business days so joy for September. That's fine because whenever money arrives its right on time. I have a mediation scheduled in L.A. for for next week and I have a deposition scheduled in Oakland on the same day. Clearly this is not going to work.

Working in two cities 400 miles apart is a challenge.

Get busy

I am going to get busy working. The kids have a dental appointment so my work time is limited. I have a lot to get done and while I have some weeks to complete it, I want it done now so I can relax.

Later gators!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hating ash heauxs

I was intending to post about money and such, but I've gotten distracted by haters.

Many years ago when I lived in L.A. I asked a person to record BET awards for me. I did not have cable. This heffa could have invited me to her place to watch it or she could have recorded it.

She told me, "no" and said I needed to get cable. I had never asked her to record anything prior to that. She said some other condemning remarks about my lack of cable. I didn't have furniture, had moved to L.A. spur of the moment and cable was low priority. She knew these things.

I told her goodbye and asked my mom to record it.

Prior to that cable episode, I was spending the day with this person and her friends and she told me that she felt obligated to hang with me, almost like she was my babysitter. I said, "oh", and got in my car and left.

I didn't speak to her for a few years after that. The next time I did she did her best to tell me off. One of her friends had herpes and her boyfriend had it too, she thought I told some dude. I didn't know the girls name to be telling her STD diagnoses. The dude told me he was at a party, saw the girl crying and she told him. You know its a b-made dude who gets info and then has a girl chat. That was the last conversation I had with that girly-dude. Knowing people who know each other can be more trouble then its worth.

It wasn't worth a fight or defense so I said, "oh, sorry" and we didn't speak for about another year.

The chick started dating a murderer and wanted to come to Oakland to visit him and stay at my house. I let her. At that point, Mr A and I were new in our relationship. That weekend I was having an Art Party so he and his friend were also staying at my house.

The chick, her friend and Mr A and his friend were getting along. I left for maybe 15 minutes and she came and told me that Mr. A had made her feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. I asked him what he'd done and he knew nothing. I asked her what he had done and she could not tell me.

What really happened was, she had wanted to bring her murderer to my home and I told her he was not welcome. I was a single woman living alone and he'd know my address, the layout of my home and I was not going to be a victim because of her lust.

She got a motel and she and the newly released murderer stayed there. I dropped her junk off because again, I did not want the murderer coming to my house.

Months later, after we were engaged, she told me she wanted to be a bridesmaid. I told her that was kind. In my head, I was saying, "this chick is nuts". Her evil wanted to make a fight between me and Mr. A. She was lucky she got an invitation. She told me that she knew her prior behavior did not warrant a presence in my wedding but......... The but did not matter. She knew why she should not be involved.

Fast forward to now....... I was at her house a few months ago and she started randomly saying how she'd told her aunt that I had never had any vices. She was trying to deconstruct me and figure me out. Not sure why its hard to believe I'm the person I appear to be.

Then she began speculating on vices I might have had. I allowed her to speak to herself. No need to confirm or deny. Recently I went out with her and as I finished a big meal, she stared at me and said a skinny person who eats alot is dangerous to be around.

Now she is trying (I believe) to drum up some drama between me and Mr A. I don't know if she is trying to suggest that she has a secret about me to tell him or if its more sinister. I just know that when she did not record my show and told me she felt like my baby sitter, I knew she did not like me.

She still doesn't like me. Sometimes people like to stay in touch with people they hate, envy, dislike. Maybe they want to be witness to your fall. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Psalm 25:2 I reflect on the different people who have given me that feeling and I believe I was correct to fade to invisible. Some folks will try to orchestrate your fall.

Mr A said the 48 laws of power discusses envy. When people continuously flatter and compliment you, its envy. This chick stays telling me how fabulous I am. I don't confirm or deny. I just ignore. I am fabulous, why down play myself?

Friday, June 17, 2011

story time

The children's librarian was out today and the teen librarian handled storytime. Sometimes you don't know how great a person is at their job until someone else starts doing that job. There is some children's librarian meeting and our librarian was there.

The regular woman is like a preschool teacher. The whole vibe was different. I am going to take note of what it is she does. The kids were disinterested today and it was quite disappointing.

After storytime ended, we stayed to play. The library appears to have been a large home. The fireplace has a play kitchen inside of it so the kids played. TR told me to sit down. She set the table with plates, glasses and cups. QT brought a knife and fork.

TR then fixed my plate, cut up my toy food and poured my drink. That made me feel good. They will probably grow up and value sit down meals at their own homes. I like to eat in front of the tv and on the sofa sometimes but with kids I enjoy dining at the table and being formal the majority of the time.

A preschool class came to join us today. It was funny watching the nannies and mothers stiffen up. I was a little confused on why a preschool class would be at storytime. I view story time as somewhat of a preschool experience for kids who are at home. The kids mingle with each other, follow the "teachers" instructions, play learning games, sing, etc. It seemed more like a break for the preschool staff. It wasn't much of a break though she they walked in late.

Its impossible not to be a disruption when you bring 10 kids and 3 adults late and walk past the book. All the kids remained calm and collected. Mr said the field trip was probably to break the monotomy. They did not stay and explore the library either.

We had a nice walk home, ate our snacks and now the kids are sleeping. I might join them for a nap after I put lunch in the oven to warm.

Have a great Father's Day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

modern dating

Mr A and I began dating in Sept/Oct 2004. Prior to dating we had long talks on the phone. We met in MLK weekend 2004.

I think that is close enough in time to give me experience in modern dating. We didn't text or do much IM'ing, so those are things that I don't have much experience with.

Sometimes witnessing the relationships of my women buddies, pisses me off. I have seen women who seemed to enjoy church quit attending so they can hang out with the man they are dating. It seems reasonable until that couple marries or has kids. Women get men and they change to get the relationship and once in it, they try to turn the man into who they want him to be. That is asking for disappointment.

What is really just pissing me off is this chick who has put a ring on her finger, and has identified herself as engaged and in a relationship to strangers. If women want to have bed buddies that is their choice. I don't think they should portray a relationship to me and expect me to be silent when the description is bedmate. Either they are lying or they are stupid. I am not one to let folks I speak to operate in stupidity and not point it out.

Way back in November I asked her if she had told him she wasn't with him having relations with other women. She said she told him, anything he can do, she can do too.

Fast forward to now and he has told her he does not want her to come a certain place because some of his OTHER bedmates will be there. These women know each other and know they are all sharing him. I guess no one cares about disease and that condoms do not protect from everything. That is filthy.

She has decided to go anyway and I told her I understand his position. If your harem is operating without conflict, why introduce an unknown behavior. He says he has told her that their relationship is one of getting to know each other with the goal of marriage. They are not a couple which is why he is free to continue sexing anyone and her. To her, he isn't cheating.

I think mess like that is desperation. She is going around imagining a relationship while he is sleeping with a group of women who probably also think they are number one. Do people even want lifetime relationships anymore or is having significant other after significant other the new thing?

I wonder if this chick buys the crap she is trying to sell me? I would prefer her to tell me that she knows she does not have a relationship or a future with this guy but she is faking it until she makes it. If she told me that I would tell her its easier to meet a single man when you are single.

She is 31 or 32 so maybe dating over 30 changes how some folks operate.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

do your best

I am from a do your best family. My mom's parents were do your best parents. My mom graduated high school with all A's and college with all A's and one C. When I saw her transcripts I told her she was a cum laude and asked why she had never told me. She said she never paid attention to grades. She just did her best in everything.

I had mostly A's in high school. I took AP classes like AP advanced biology and AP trig and my best would be a C. I know I had high marks in college and grad school but I quit paying attention because I was trying to learn the stuff and the grade did not impact whether I learned.

In middle and high school there were classes like math, that I would get A's and B's in despite my not really excelling in the subject. Because my best was my standard and not a grade, I would go to my counselor and demand to take the class over or be put in a lower math. My counselor would tell me about my test scores tell me I was gifted and appropriately placed. I would explain that I was lost. They would point to the grade I earned.

I was in pre-algebra in 7th grade and I asked to be put in general math. They refused. After taking geometry in 10th grade, I finally convinced my counselor to put me in remedial math. I dropped an elective and had remedial math and geometry the same semester. Remedial math was one semester and after that I beat my math classes to pieces.
I loved math but was weak in it. I wanted to do my best so I didn't mind remedial math.

As a professional, I think I enjoy my work so much because doing my best is my reward. I don't work for a grade and while I would love to win everything, there is rest in knowing I did my very best.

I will be the do your best parent. Its easy to earn A's. Lots of kids can earn an A and not even wake up in class. If your best is the standard then I think the kid learns to be accountable to self.

My mom used to read Myself to us. Her aunt gave her the poem and IF bound in a burgundy leather folder when she was a teen. I loved pulling that out to read. "I have to live with myself and so I want to be fit for myself to know."
That right there is huge! It is why I can drive a hoopty or a luxury car and still feel good about me. I know me. Image is nothing.

I hope my kids will understand that doing their best is a greater reward and more self satisfying than showing up with an A if that A was earned just by doing the bare minimum.

Friday, June 10, 2011

This Season

I consider this time of my life to be a season. My children won't always be young and everything won't always be new and an adventure for them. I won't always have a young in my marriage.

Soon my kids will be teens who want to sleep in late and who may not consider me or their dad to be their favorite companion. Soon Mr A and I will have a middle aged marriage. I have to enjoy this season now. I do not want to look back and regret trying to get to the next phase/place.

TR was born premature and as she laid in her nicu bed the sound of her cries became music to my ears. I looked forward to having those cries home with me. When she cried I would kiss and hug her. I loved her sound. During her infancy I took naps when she took naps so that probably helped my ability to hear her cries as sweet sounds.

When QT cried he would poke his lip out and I would kiss his chin. I loved the sound of his cries and loved that they sought me for comfort.

Today was a great day. We walked to the library for story time. After story time we played at the library and TR checked out a chapter book, its called SugarPlum Ballerina and it appears that Whoopi Goldberg wrote it. We walked home the long way which is becoming shorter) and snacked on frozen grapes and room temp apples. I freeze the grapes because its a cooling snack.

We came home for a nap and lunch and headed back out by car.

After much searching I finally found a ballet class that would let TR come. They are having a recital this weekend but she was allowed to participate. Recital season has been a challenge.

The class was great. They did real ballet. The instructor told me that TR was amazing. She said she was very flexible. I told her TR does gymnastics. A mother told me TR was a natural dancer. She remarked on her ease in following the directions and skill.

TR has us turn on ballerina music and she dances. She was intent and focused in that class today.

Next fall we will start her off in gymnastics and ballet. We'll see if she wants to continue both.

After ballet we went to a football game. The kids were excited to sit on Mr A's shoulder and help coach.

I am glad I a have included walks into my routine. Its a time to reflect or chat with my kids. I am not in a rush, I have no destination. The walks are helping me to enjoy and set time apart to exist only in this season.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A better me

I am on a mission. I am taking the next 100 days and doing things to make a better me. I've been taking afternoon walkes with the kids and alone. Septemeber 15 ends the 100 days and hopefully I will have acquired a routine.

My mom and I used to take morning walks before Mr A whisked me away. It's nice to have a walking companion but its
still positive to get out there even if I do it alone.

I am trying to become better organized. This is a continuing battle. I get better but there is always room to get even better.

I want a money manager. Not someone to manage our nonexistant assets but just someone to actually manage our money. I have tried to download apps but I am a paper person. I need to see, touch, write/not type.
I have told Mr A we need to have a budget meeting because some of our expenses have changed. Maybe we need to go out to dinner and talk. Of course our dining out expenses is one of the expenses I think we should reduce but its the one I tend to suggest. We have done well this week. We've dined at home every evening,

I made coq au vin (sp) yesterday. I had it in the crock pot by 10 am. Good thing we had leftover enchilladas. Mr A said he liked it and he ate his serving. TR didn't pretend. QT will pretty much eat anything so he ate it. The next try will be better. I will use real wine and not red wine vinegar.

I am doing much better with my routine, now that we have had a few months of life with a reliable nanny. We are going to keep her for the summer and give her a raise when TR returns from her summer away.

Last night at diiner TR asked me to help her put her light jacket on because it was cold outside. She then asked to be excused from the table to get her purse. I asked her where she was going and she said she was going to momma house so she could start her ballet class. I asked Mr A if he was going to allow her to leave and he said he figured it was something the two of us had worked out. I told him TR had made the decision on her own. Mr A told her she could not leave and she settled back in her chair.

I think my child might have tried to get to Oakland had we ignored her. When she sees an airplane she says she wants to go to the airport so she can take a plane to Momma's house. Last week she was jumping in her chair and I askedher if she wanted me to get a chair with straps and strap her in. She told me no, but I could strap her in her car seat and drive her to momma house so she could start ballet class.

Clearly my child wants to dance. She has 2 weeks to wait. Pray for us. I have tried to sign her up out here but they are in recital season and not taking anyone.

Maybe I will see if we can do one gymnastics class.

I look forward to story time. The kids love it and its an easy breezy, relaxing outing. We walk there the short way and come home the long way. I want to have the nanny come on Fridays next fall but I do not want to give up our story time and I don't want to take the nanny. I may ask her to come at noon or if I get bold I could ask her to come at 9, do the kids laundry and clean their room. When they get back she can take over and I could get to work or be a mommy at leisure.

My other goal is to make a goal list to work on during my 100 days.

Ya'll know its almost our 5 year anniversary. I am excited! 5 years feels good. To me it feels promising. If the past gives a glimpse of the future then the future of us as a couple looks bright.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Accent Challenge

I joined the challenge and decided to let ya'll chuckle at my accent.

Jam/Jelly I think these are different because..... it must be jelly because jam don't shake like that. video

I actually have a little bug and a bad cough but no excuses.....if I sound like I have gravel in my voice, that is why.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

food secure and jumping the broom

When I was pregnant with TR I stopped by a hot dog stand and saw a woman in a little hoopty, with two young boys (her sons?) trying/buying food. She didn't have enough money and had to cancel some stuff.

There are times when I go to a fast food spot and I will only spend what I have in my mind as a reasonable amount for a snack. I am not trying to get full there and a monetary limit controls eating too much junk. As a then mother-to-be it stuck with me how crushed I would be if I wanted to buy my kids a snack and doing it was a financial strain or impossibility.

I love to see my kids eat and enjoy their food. When they chew I appreciate that they know food is available. Perhaps that experience made me appreciate the blessing of being able to keep your child's belly full.

I have been mentally developing a plan to assist mothers in keeping their children's bellies full. It will not require any money just education and personal one to one mentoring by another mother. If that mom at the hotdog stand had spent her $7 at the grocery store she surely could have purchased meat and chilli and ate seconds. If she had her own drinks in the car she could have gotten another item to eat. She could pack snacks for excursions.

Fast food has not always existed. When I was a child we never ate fast food. My mother kept a cooler with food in the car. If we ate out, it would be Chinese at the Silver Dragon or IHOP for Saturday breakfast with my grandparents. I try to keep snacks and sandwiches because kids will ask for food to eat and things to drinks while driving and while sitting somewhere. Mr A says many of his high school football kids come to school hungry. He said that is why he takes food so often. He likes to feed them.

A few months back I went to my client's home. She has a bunch of kids and is on government assistance and foodstamps. When we left her home at 10 am she told on of the kids to take the enchilladas out in 30 minutes. She says she makes dinner when she makes breakfast. That way the kids always have something to eat. She was telling me how she spends her foodstamps and as we walked through the school she told kids (who were not hers) what dinnerr was and to spread the word. This fairly young black woman (beczuse enchilladas might have thrown you) is able to feed her kids and their friends on her food stamps. She would be a great food mentor to a mother who feels food insecure but has money for food or food stamps.

She told me that her 17 year old daughter has been making grocery lists since 2nd grade. She surveys her siblings to find their food wants for the month and makes a list. If a second grader can do it, adults can too.

I (or Mr A) make a hot breakfast every morning (we do cold if its a fruit medley) and I was telling my mom that I remember she did the same for us. Mr A and I grew up sitting down at the family table to eat meals. My mom said during a time in her childhood when they lived close to other people (they lived in an apartment for a few years) she said she would see little kids who ate whatever they could find. They would walk around their apartment eating bread. She said as an adult she discovered that some parents aren't prepared and the kids have to hit the stores in the morning to get milk or bread etc.

People underestimate the skill and planning it takes to be a decent homemaker and its even more work it you want to be good. Lack of skill and planning costs money.

When folks have to leave home at 6 am to get to work that has to kill family mornings. I'm thinking of leave it to beaver, and the other family shows. Has work life changed? When I was a kid, my father was able to come by in the mornings to eat breakfast with us. He had a professional job (accountant) so I know it was possible.

JUMPING THE BROOM

Mr A and I saw the movie and both appreciated that there must be other folks who have dealt with our wedding/life drama. Mr A has forbade me from blogging about about the stuff but I felt like the writer had read my unwritten blog posts. I don't have that money and my mom is an only child so I am not the child of her sister but the other stuff is real.

Even down to the groom's hating cousins. I tell ya!

Monday, June 6, 2011

monday morning musings

I've pondered what we should do today. Each Monday I do my gig as SAHM. The kids play hard 3 full days a week, TR has her structured activity 1 day a week, QT will start his this summer. I try to make each Friday a rest day. I've started walking (they ride in the stroller) to story hour at the Library on Friday. That is a mostly restful activity. The kids dance to music and jump around for a portion of the hour and read stories and play little games the rest of the hour.

Then we walk home and talk. Its a fun thing to do on Friday. But Monday......... the libraries are closed, the children's museums are closed and if we want to get out of the house our options are reduced.

Today is a gloomy/cloudy looking day. I wish I knew who stole the L.A. sunshine. When I was in college there truly was rarely a day without beautiful sunshine and warmth. In times past December in L.A. required tank tops and flip flops. It's June and I have no clue where this weather belongs. Yesterday was warm and it rained. That is not west coast weather. Its more pleasnat to be outside on a pretty warm day.

Fortunately my kids love to play with each other so I don't need to find playmates.

TR is itching to get back to class. The goal is for swim to end and then she will start ballet. She just called my mom to confirm that she will be tsaking her to ballet class. When my mom said yes, TR beamed.

TR is so serious about her dance. She gets fully engaged. She learned a lot watching the dancers at her gymnastics school. I hope she enjoys her ballet class.

It is almost the afternoon now.

Mr A and I had planned to go out to dinner with a few other couples. I got a nasty bug and didn't want to be at a fancy place couging through the meal. Since we had the nanny coming we went out alone. I coughed my way through Jumping the Broom. We usually save date nights for when my mom can watch the kids but its nice to go out in L.A.

When you have to pay a nanny the date starts out at 100 bucks and you have not eaten. Last time i was in the Bay a friend came to my mom's and watched the kids all day for two days. I had to force her to take the money. She told me she had fun.

I need to schedule dental appointments. It will be QT's first visit. A mommy's work is never done. I also need to finalize our new spending plan, train a paralegal and prep dinner.

TR is singing about going to Momma's house and playing with her momma and aunt. I need to enforce these naps so I can relax and do a few things.

Friday, June 3, 2011

work

Thusday I had a 9 am mediation. The kids and I were up and moving at 6:30 and breakfast was finished by 7:30- thanks to Mr A who gets breakfast started most mornings. The nanny arrived at 7:30.

It felt quite different to be up with Mr A. Most mornings I am in my 3rd or 10th dream when he gets up. I wake up enough to kiss him and snuggle back into my blankets. My kiddies were exhuasted by starting their day that early. When they get up at 6:30, they usually get in our bed and we watch t.v. for a while. They sometimes fall back asleep. I usually start feeding them breakfast at 8.

I was also exhausted. Mr A was giving out a West Point award to a high school student and I wanted to go but the kids and I were knocked out. I could not pull myself out of bed. Of course as to be expected they awoke 5 minutes after he left.

It felt cute to be the couple getting ready at the same time but I prefer to wake myself and the kids up a little slower.
When TR stars school, my ability to wake up slow will end. Unless of course I go crazy and let the nanny take her to schhool. There are park kids whose nanny takes them to school and picks them up.

The school we applied to has a nanny policy. Nannies aren't to be given keys to the school parking structure. You know you live in L.A. when nannies are a normal part of the carpool life.

Today made me realize I would do a nanny if we both worked outside the home. The kids were playing when I walked out of the door. Getting the kids fed, dressed and to the park can be a challenge. Yesterday TR took her bands from her hair and brushed all the parts out. I had to do her hair over. I have no idea why she brushed using the brush I never use. She has been telling me she wants to do her own hair.

I am still sleepy and I am under the weather. I can no longer think clearly. We need to get up and get to storytime.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

absentee father

I have probably refered to my father as an absentee. We saw him every weekend and when we were young he would come by the house or school in the mornings.

I guess I called him absent because he did not live with us. I guess what makes me think that perhaps he was not absent is 1) hearing of people who never or rarely saw their father or 2) realizing that there are children who see their father on weekends and he is considered a present father.

Maybe my father was absentee in the early 80's but fractured homes are so common now that such an arrangement counts as parenting. Its so odd.

Its still better to be with your kids. Even if that weekend parenting is acceptable to society, its good on kids to have both parents.

I used to think it was cool for a woman to have a baby. Why wait on a man. But I would have hated to intentionally deprive my kids of a father experience. I used to look at Mr A with TR and wonder what my life woulf have been like, who would I have been if I had a father tossing me in the air and rough housing with me.

Realistically that is not my fathers personality. He wears dress shoes and slacks unless he is working out. He is very formal and has manicured nails. He would never throw a kid in the air or run and chase a ball. Had my parents been together, my grandfather and mother would still have been our playmate. I watch my mom with TR, they skip rope, play with balls, and I realize that my mom ia the same person as when she played with us. She kept games going.

My father would buy our skates and bikes and my grandfather would show us how to ride. My grandfather would clean up bruises, take off training wheels and give us the loving attention.

It occurs to me that I do know my father pretty well, he was not absentee. I knew him well enough to use him as my who not to marry person. Mr A has the traits I loved about my grandfather and the traits I wanted in a father for my kids.

Thank God for my grandfather. It has to be hard to be a woman and have no model of what to look for in a mate. If you do not have the experience you have to learn the hardway. I have met a couple guys my mom dated and who my grandfather said wanted to marry her. These guys were like in demeanor and looks, my grandfather. One right down to the eye color.

I think my father just wore her down. I love my paternal family. I was truly blessed to be a descendant of wonderful paternal ancestry. I can only work with what I have been given but it would nice to have an uppity family and a fun father.

Maybe had his family not been so uppity he woud have been more fun? I guess it could be hard to let loose and be silly when you have been raised to uphold a certain image. Balance. Its a hard thing.

My Bill

I filed a lawsuit a year and a half ago and we are in discovery phase. Trial is early next year.

The plaintiff is alleging age discrimination based on age, race, gender and retaliation for opposing discrimination. The defendants have said there was no discrimination. They claim they did not allow defendant to apply for a job and would not hire her to do extended work because she lacked the necessary advanced degrees.

She has alleged that not only did she hold the proper advanced degrees but that she had years of actual experience. She has alleged that younger, white people were hired and that these people lacked the necessary degrees, and had no experience.

In discovery I asked for certain information and nearly fell out when they listed the names of those hired and none of them had the advanced degrees they claimed were required to apply. This was not a surprise. It was just a surprise to get proof of what we knew.

I don't understand why the defendant is defending. When my last case got hooked up to a class action, the defendant did not defend. They did not file an answer, they asked to go straight to discovery to determine monetary damages and then settlement.

This defendant should do the same. We could do a consent decree. Maybe I will suggest it. My client does not want to settle because she says they will keep doing folks (the folks she was trying to protect when they began retaliating against her) dirty.

The defense lawyer thinks she wants money. She wants that too but she wants everyone to know about what is going on. Winning the lawsuit will let the folks know, a consent decree will do the same and require the defendant to take certain actions or be sued again.

If we go to trial there will be a class action. Once other attorneys discover this gold mine of discrimination they will be like vultures. Its my goal to be the class lawyer. I would do it now but my client does not want a class messing with her money.

Back to me. I told Mr A that discovery is usually where I lose my money. I asked him to stay on me about getting my discovery done. The client has stayed on me as well. When discovery is done well it makes getting attorney fees a lot easier and it increases the amount earned.

The discovery in this case has gone great. It can be better but it isn't over and I will improve.

So my goal for this case will be enough fees to get us halfway to the purchase price to an L.A. house. Of course after taxes, we'll only be a quarter way there. Or all the way to the purchase price of a bay area house, again taxes will reduce that.

I might need to take up residence in a state that does not have income tax, settle by phone and then figure out if I owe this money sucking state government tax. I am being serious on that. It will be worth it. Hey, Nevada, how you doing?