Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Over Now

July ends on Sunday. This month just began last week, didn't it? Time flies oh so fast.

I have been a busy. I do not have a nanny here in the bay nor do I have a job to go to, and blogging with kids around is a near impossibility. I could make it happen but my kids would rebel for being ignored.

Mr A surprised me yesterday. I was so surprised that I was still and speechless. I expected him to do what he did but then he managed to make me think he would either do it later in the day or perhaps not at all. He keeps the spice in our lives. It's also lovely when your husband of 5 years is very happy to see you. Mr A managed to make me feel like I was his hot new girlfriend.

Its great for me to be the wife but still get to experience the enthusiasm, enjoyment and energy a boyfriend bestows on a new girlfriend.

I love July. It's our wedding month and it brings me joy. July 2006 was the start of something beautiful.

Mr A has some sort of soothing magic. I lay down with the kids and its a battle to get them to sleep. He lays down with them and they relax and fall asleep. last night I could not wait to cuddle with him so I could fall asleep faster. Magic I tell ya.

I have lots more to share but I need a nap.

Have a happy and safe weekend and end of July.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

more desperation

After ballet class we headed back up the hill to a nearby park. The park was totally empty. Where are the children? I feel like they are in a secret location. It was a warm day so shouldn't parks be full of noisy children? We went into a rec center and saw elderly people playing bingo. Still no children. Rec centers were full of kids when I grew up.

We then walked to a lovely playground at the nearby school. It was great but it was very secluded and I was on the lookout for mountain lions, wild dogs, wild turkeys, suicidal deer, possum or any of the many wild creatures that roam the Oakland Hills.

We went to Roundtable pizza where my kids ate and acted like they had never been anywhere. Fortunately we were secluded. I saw a girl from jr high and high school and we spoke. She had visitors from Switzerland, when my kids saw those kids they just went crazy. They wanted to play and talk and associate.

I made an appointment to visit the neighborhood daycare. My cousin's son went there and my cousin loved it. It was very warm and I liked it too............except for......... (I will come back to that)

When TR walked in, a little girl her age was at a table waiting for her mom. TR immediately sat beside the girl and began to talk. The preschool teacher pulled out manipulatives and started doing stuff with TR.

The owner, who seemed great and had a great school, told me the program was totally academic. I did a mental......oh nooooo. I am trying to get TR in a situation to interact with other kids so she can play and talk and imagine.

The owner then said that TR would be in the preschool class and that all of her kids went to school reading and I think she said writing. She said part of the instruction is in Spanish.

I then asked the oh oh question....... do they play? That question sounds foolish, or it should, but three year olds don't play no more (say it to the tune of people don't dance no more all they do is this......) all they do is this.........

She told me they are so structured that there is no time for play. I guess that is why its been nearly 20 years since I saw kids playing outdoors at the center. She said they had a little time outside and after breakfast and while they waited for their parents to pick them up at the end of the day.

TR might enjoy the interaction for a little while but if she changed from spending 10 am to 3pm at free play to spending her day at a desk, she might .......... who knows? My goal is playmates and a daycare where there is no play is useless.

It is astonishing to me that 3 year olds are spending from 7 am to 6 pm, without freeplay. There has to be time within acadmic time for child's play. When we left my mom's TR asked if she could take her toy in. I told her not to because the center would have toys and I did not want a toy mix up.

The center had lots of manipulatives but no toys for the 3/4 year olds.

We have a kids party Saturday. TR will get to play with her young cousins. She will like that. It is frustrating for me to have this much challenge locating play opportunities in the summer.

desperation

I made an attemppt to enroll TR in preschool (edit: Kindergarten not preschool. She is 3, so I knew it was unlikely, but I want her to play. ) yesterday. We went to the neighborhood school to play. Those suckas had the play structured fenced! We just walked around it.

As we were leaving I looked in the kindergarten window and discovered the school is having a summer session. What?! I need someone to explain why a school would close its play structure and force some kinders to look but not be able to touch? Foolishness!

When I asked about enrolling TR I learned that school ends Friday. I figured she could play, but if the play area is closed, perhaps they do not play? My next question is, when did kinder start summerschool? I have a suspicion that its part of the NCLB thing. It seems kids who attend low performing schools have extra supports, like tutors and summer school. Many of the districts are so broke that summer school has ended and only special groups can attend. Special ed kids being one of the groups.

There is another nearby park but its perched on a hill, the front is behind a tree lined fence, the side is a distant elementary school, the back and other side are part of a park consevatory district so nothing is there. There is also a baseball field. If I screamed there would be 0 likelihood of being heard. Being a victim of crime is not on my bucket list, so unless I take a gun and some other folks with me I don't go there. Its a nice park. And its always empty. I guess no one is fool enough to take that risk.

Today is ballet and we will make an attempt to visit a childrens musuem. Yesterday did not work out. I tried to make it to 9:30 story time but decided to go to breakfast first. So we hit 10:30 storytime which ended at 11:30. The museum in Berkelye closes at 12:30. I was going to visit chabot but after my call I realized the kids were near pass out time. TR said she would rather stay home and play outside and go to the musuem the next day.

Hopefully the heat will visit us again today. I function better in warmth than in this winter the bay experiences in the summer. Although with all folks across the nation being in a heat dome, perhaps I should be grateful to be in this cool weather.

Have a great day and stay cool!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saturn

We took the kids to the Chabot Hall of Science and Observatory recently. TR is into telescopes and stars and the moon. She and Mr A stargaze.

When we got in the car at 8 pm, she asked if we were going to a movie. Clearly we have a night owl on our hands. We will have to do driveins more often because she loved it. Its good fun on a warm night. Warm nights are a bit rare in both L.A. and the Bay. We went to dinner first and once it was nice and dark we hit the observatory.

I looked through one telescope and was excited and surpised by Saturn. It was amazing. Everyone was amazed because I heard quite a few people remarking that it looked like someone had put the photo on the lense. It was unreal. It just makes my mind wonder and wander. Mr A and me are are total geeks!

One telesccope showed the moon. That moon was so bright it hurt and the guy told me, th scope had a filter to dim its brightness. TR didn't believe it was the moon. She said it looked brown through the lense but is yellow.

She enjoyed herself. The main reason I wanted to go was because TR keeps asking for her own telescope. Finding an appropriate telescope for her age is a challenge. I want that is strong enough to see the good stuff but can take a licking and keep ticking.

I took her to Lawrence Hall of science last year when she was 2 and I could not explain the telescope well enough fpr her to use it. She kept closing the eye she had on the glass. I was glad Mr A introduced her to them. I tried to put QT to a 'scope but I have no idea what he saw or if he was interested.

Today will be story time and maybe a children's museum in Berkeley. Hopefully naptime will happen after that. We shall see.

My little babies have not been able to play like they are accustomed to doing. They usually play outdoors 5/6 hours a day, three times a week. I asked TR what she wanted to watch on tv and she said "nothing". She wanted to play. I need to get these kids around some more children.

Life in the bay is so different. I miss our park. My kids like having playmates. Good thing our children's museum membership gets us free access to lots of fun places in the Bay.

Its weird that I live a small town flife in a big city like L.A. but a smaller city like Oakland and I am forced to live a city life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

possibilities

Romance is about the possibility of things. You see it's about the time between when you first meet some fine and when you first make love to her. And when you first ask a woman to marry you and when she says I do. W people that have been together for a long time say the romance is gone, what they're really saying is that they exhausted the possibility." --Darius Lovehall

I need to watch Love Jones. I used to visit my younger cousin and everytime I went to visit, she was watching School Daze or Love Jones. I enjoy the singing and dancing parts of School Daze and I will watch those scenes repeatedly. I had to take out time and figure out why Love Jones was one of her favorites.

I tend to dislike breakups in my romance. I can ease back into a movie/book/real life love story if the break up is over a misunderstaning. If the break up is over compatibility issues and folks have to compromise to GET together, then its not a romance to me. Love Jones had a break up, so it did not spark a continued awee moment for me. It was sweet and all, but when couples part ways, I think they knew what they were doing and get back together from lack of hope in better.

Romance has difficulties, but I consider it a romance when being together is so vital that its stronger than what is difficult. Romance keeps you together because the idea of being apart can break you. I don't think romance can exist without love. I love Mr A so even talking after an argument feels like romance to me. Romance for me is the feeling of being properly placed and happy deep inside. Sometimes after an argument and we are talking I re-realize that we are a perfect for each other pair. I am still on team he's my soulmate.

I don't have confidence in relationships that include considered breakups. The issues still exist. They saw no possibilities which led to the break up. So it doesn't give me that loving feeling.

I do not know how long people have to be together before they exhaust the possibilities. Mr A and I have been a couple over 5 years now and I still smile when I hear his voice on the telephone. I still lay down with a smile in my heart and on my face when I hear his smooth deep voice.

I love when other folks meet that special person and begin enjoying the journey of wonder, pleasure and hope. I enjoy it more because it takes me back to that excitement l felt wondering whatever I wondered.

Mr A and I saw Hall Pass a while ago. In one scene the husband (I think Hall Pass is the correct movie) said the exciting moment he would never have again was the first moment his wife gave him the go ahead to have sex.

I have heard some women talk about no more first kisses. I don't have those concerns. Everytime is like new to me. There is possibility galore. Romance to me includes actions that cause me to feel loved, desired and considered.

It feels nice to have the memories of the start of a wonderful love, its great to exist in it and as long as you know the possibilities are endless the future is always exciting and full of hope.

While some folks will bash on those in the throes of a new and wonderous relationship, the expressed joy energizes me and my sappy heart.

True love cannot be found where it does not exist, and it cannot be hidden where it exists.

Some folks are more private then others and some folks just don't love the person they are with.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

good fun

We had fun hanging out with my cousin and her husband yesterday.

I have been trying to make it happen for a while. After 5 years of marriage, we finally got it together. They live West in Sonoma County and we are in L.A. we see each other at family events but this was our first time doing a couple outing.

My cousin has been married 10 years. I was on the first date she and her husband had. It was funny. One of our other cousins was on the first date Mr A and I had. Apparently taking cousins on dates, or dating men who are willing to include a cousin in a first date, indicates a good husband.

I love hanging out with my cousins. Others have friends. My cousins and long time family friends, are my friends. Any non-relative friends I have, its likely our grandparents and parents were friends. I have a few new friends but its just a few.

Fortunately my relatives are like me, so I don't need to find non relatives to associate with.

When people talk about how they are not compatible with their relatives, or that family calls them uppity, etc. I wonder if they know that speaks poorly of their ancestors.

I am proud that my great-great-grandparents had the strength of character to raise children, who could raise children, and their children to be like-minded. My relatives who are on something different are the anomaly.

Mr A and I were discussing something a few days ago, maybe about the house my maternal great grandfather built. I was saying how amazing it was that he could build a two story house that stands today and not have heavy machinery. Mr A. asked if he was a Mason. He was. I know he was a Mason because my grandmother told me that her father punched out a white man in the 1920's in Oklahoma. The man had taken Hardie's parking space. Because Hardy was a Mason, the sheriff told the white man to go.

Mr A explained to me the math/engineering history of Free Masons. Hardie and his brother were successful brick layers in Pasadena. I look at the descendants of Hardie's brother, Eugene and as far as career success they achieved. Eugene's daughter became a RN. She was best cousins with my grandmother. That cousin then had her own business and was private nurse to real movie stars. I say real because that was the 40's and 50's when movie stars and film were exciting and private lives were private.

Eugene's grandson, was a plaintiffs product liabilty attorney who won so many cases that the corporations asked him to work for them. He then started what is now a nationwide defense firm. Of course he married a pink woman. I prefer a sista to enjoy that success but whatev.....

Some of Eugene's other granddaughters, now have a nursing school. They were nurses and one a pharmacist. The pharmacist is married to a surgeon and they live on Mariners Island.

His great grandkids most of who are my age have impressive resumes. One went to Harvard for Art and has an art studio in Long Beach. Her art supports her, her studio and her home. Another of Eugene's great grandkids, is the cousin I hang with. Our grandmothers were best cousins, and our parents stayed close. She went to Marl.bor.ough and if she gets her stuff together in the next 9 years TR will have an extra foot in. Marl.bor.ough was mentioned in Our Kind of People as the Los Angeles bougie school. It is.

When my aunt passed, we went to her burial site and I realized Hardie was there. My great aunt was laid next to her father, her brother, sister, mother and many other relatives. It was like a family plot.

Eugene's granddaughters were there and I asked them if he was in Pasadena. He is buried in the family plot in Pasadena.

That was my first time getting that close to Hardie. It gave me a crazy peace to know my great aunt was back with the people she started with. Hardie would be proud. Eugene would be proud. They would be proud of the success of their offspring. What I learned from my grandmother and what she learned from Hardie, was all that Mason and AKA and color and income does not matter. It is a distraction. How you treat people, how you love your family is what matters.

My grandmother refused to tell me more about her father being a Mason because she told me I had gotten lost in image
and thinking it made me better. I foolishly read Our Kind of People and discovered that Mason was some uppity black thing. I more foolishly told her that and it set her on fire.

My grandmother and her siblings had a genuine love for each other. Their father had a genuine love for his siblings. The result of that is in my phone one of my most recent calls is to my fifth cousin, the great grandaughter of Eugene and great grandaughter of Hardie are in touch. The daughters of aunt Grace, first cousin were at her funeral and recognized QT. That is major. Our families have remained close through generations. Hardie and Eugene would be sooooo proud. Their parents would be proud. That is what they wanted for us.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ramblings

Last week we headed out a bit late. TR asked us if we were going to a movie? I guess she associates venturing outside late at night, with going to a movie. I cannot remember where we went.

Mr A and I have gone a bit overboard shopping for clothes. We only do real shopping once a year or so, but we've spent quite a bit. I think J Crew might be our new family store. The clothes fit Mr A great and they had cute clothes for my little kiddies. The stuff is too big for QT, but once he hits two, he will be shopping out of there with the rest of us.

We're in Wine Country for a few days. The kids are on vacation without us. We met up with my cousin in Sonoma and visited her favorite wineries. It was fun. I like Moscato because it tastes like candy but today is the first day I have appreciated red wine. I had prime rib and a red and the wine just sparked in my mouth after eating the steak.

We joined a wine club. My cousin told me Mr A is a wine snob. We were at a winery and he said one of the wines tasted like a rose. He gave some other descriptions. I have a suspicion his description might end up in a brochure.

At one of the wineries, the vintner was pouring double glasses and lots of them. I think she was tipsy. It was quite fun. Sonoma has 300+ wineries and Napa has even more. It will take a loooonnnng time to hit them all, but we are doing our best.

I love wine country. I adore the atmosphere more than the wine. We are well suited to live in California. Too bad the state government/leaders are so greedy and foolish because its a state that offers so much. The offerings the state has occur in spite of the madness of this business destroying tax heavy, rob the rich and give to the poor government.

I have had a wonderful time with Mr A, my wine snob.

Say a prayer for us. Everyone does not like to see folks happy. Its amazing that doing nothing more than being simply happy and satisfied can make folks want to destroy you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

family night at the movies

Mr A and I took the kids to their first movie. We saw Cars. It was a great movie and a great experience. We went to a Drive-In and the kiddies had a blast. We put the jump seats down and laid pillows and a sheet and streched out.

Mr A got a huge popcorn and the kids had fun digging in the box and eating popcorn. We will have to do that again!

The movie ended at 11:30. It was a double feature, though I have no idea how anyone could stay awake long enough to watch two. The drive-in is the perfect place to take kids old enough to enjoy the movie but young enough that 60+ minutes of being still and quiet is asking for disappointment.

They actually were pretty quiet but I think their ability to move is what made the difference. I love spending time with my little family. Its good I get energy from a bunch of movement and noise. My kids provide lots of movement and noise. I grew up one of four siblings and we always had guests. My house stayed busy. Too much quiet distrurbs me.

Mr A also grew up with lots of cousins so kid activity energizes him as well. I look forward to my kids getting older and our home being full of the acitivity of our children and their friends.

I am one of those people who enjoy the silliness, curiousity and noise of children. I always have. They require much energy and brain power for sure, but in return is a type of adrenelin pumping, make you feel fab type of work. I love it when my kiddies are singing, laughing, squealing and just exploring or implementing the many ways things work.

Kids are oftentimes warriors. They are in battle to get theiir way and I view it as a war. I will win. They are testing and pushing boundaries but I will win.

Tomorrow is ballet class. Work slows for us for the summer. Mr A has school but he is available for all our weekday daytime excursions. I am looking forward to summer with our family. We have been blessed to both get nice checks to fund our living and summer fun for a bit.

Its nice to work hard for some months and take a couple of months off to enjoy the fruit of your labor.

I want us to keep our lifestyle as we increase our funds. People have to work to eat and maintain shelter, but its nice to have extended time to spend enjoying your personal life.

We are about 45 minutes from wine country so we plan to take a quick trip there for mommy and daddy time. We have a few family trips in mind but we are just out to enjoy. Its exciting to have kids at the age they are. They enjoy so much and its so worthwhile taking them a variety of places and doing different things. They understand what is going on, they enjoy and they remember. I think this age is what has me so excited and enchanted with the smallest parts of life and family life.

Monday, July 4, 2011

work the fire

The A family has been busy. The kids and I took the train to Oakland last week. Mr A drove us to central CA because thOakland to L.A trip is hard on the kids. The slept 90% of the train ride. Last time we took the train they fell asleep right before we got off and it was not a pretty sight. TR was exhausted.

Fortunately we ride with the seniors and they like kids. They offer cookies and try to sooth the kids. Seniors understand that young children are young children.

Mr A and I met up in Central CA. My great aunt had her services this weekend. Its odd for her to be gone. For some reason I never thought about her leaving.

Friday was our anniversary and because of the other stuff going on, we had to satisfy ourselves with a small amount of us time. Last year on our anni, we were en route to St. Martin.

We got back to Oakland early Sunday and today Mr A fired up the grill and smoked up a tasty lunch and dinner. We had a few guests over to partake of the meal.

The kids had a lot of fun. We got summer weather and they got in the kiddie pool my mom bought. They enjoyed themselves immensely. They had the full July 4th, summer experience.

Last night Mr A got some wood to use to grill today's meat. He used an ax to chop the wood. I love a man who knows how to use an ax and chop wood. That is some man stuff. I took photos because I like how the different muscles are used.

I am not a fan of gym bodies. I like bodies that are built through activity. Gym bodies look like gym bodies and that is so unnatural. It is a weird world that people need to use equipment to get a physique that just living and moving gives others.

Mr A has returned to school. I am very excited for him. I am more excited thay he found a program/field that uses his engineering background and current interests and goals. Its nice to be able to change careers if that is a desire. I know folks who want to do something different, less boring, more interesting but don't. The work years are too long not enjoy a career more often than not.

Speaking of work years, my great uncle retired at 48. He is 88 and will be 89 in August. He has been retireed 40 years. I know many people who either retire and die or never make retirement. He beat the numbers. That is a blessing.

Now that people make less, work more and it costs more to live, retiring at 48 is a hard thing to do and have security that your money will last as long as they do.

I think folks born before the 50's have been able to live in the best times. Maybe too much news has me pessimistic but
it seems like the world is in a decline. Not just financially but in how we treat and value human life.

Hmmmm....... that ending was not very happy. Though the weekend has included mourning, I am still blessed and have peace. Though I feel the world is in decline in many areas I feel full of hope and happy expectation. There are good things in store and occuring. I thank God for peace.