Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nap related randoms

I think I fell asleep by 6:30 pm. I awoke at midnight and am too well-rested to sleep.

 I feel like parenting 2 kids has been easy. It took some figuring out but, I can get both kids in and out of the car and we can go places easily. Getting babies in the car was my challenge. Now I can open one car door, they will climb in their car seats and put their straps on. Getting out of the car is easy.

 I enjoy my two kiddies. They are interesting and full of personality. It amazes me to realize TR was younger than QT is now when QT was born. Having a newborn makes an almost 2 year old seem older, but both are babies. I will acknowledge that TR was born a butterfly and independent. When QT was being born, TR went to the airport with a stranger (to her) got on a plane to my mom's and had a great time. I would never expect QT to do that. My mother would have to personally pick him up. My kids have different personalities and they were born with them. It's amazing to realize that babies arrive who they are. Parents are really the vessels they come through. I don't try to make TR more wary and I don't try to make QT less wary. I try to support their personality and to trust first instincts.

 I chose my nannies based on TR's willingness to go to them and her acceptance of them. A few folks I tried she would not go to. I did not hire them. The ones she liked instantly have been our real life Mary Poppins'.

 TR is on her 6th swim lesson and her instructor wants to test her to move her to the next level. The kids started at the 2nd level after a swim evaluation. Mr A asked the instructor how long it usually takes to move levels. The instructor said about 6 months. She then asked how long TR had been swimming. Mr A told her this was her 5th or 6th lesson. My kids are athletic.

 My kids are the only kids I observe, so when people tell me how strong, coordinated, skilled they are I don't pay much attention. I am accepting that maybe my kids really are athletically gifted. I had thought maybe the amount of time they spend playing gave them an edge but they pick up new skills after 1-2 tries. Just this week TR told me she wanted to swim in the deep pool. Once she moves levels her lessons will be in the 10 feet deep water. The test is to throw the kids in the water and see if they use their survival technique. They come up, back float and rest, then swim themselves to the wall. Mr A said TR was doing those steps. The test is a surprise to the kids so they have to react. I am a bit apprehensive about someone throwing TR into the water. I hope she isn't traumatized.

 I wish we could bring the nanny with us.

 TR loves doing projects with her nanny and the nanny's teacher. They made books last week and the nanny said TR did her book alone. She cut and pasted and matched shapes. QT matched the shapes and the nanny put the glue on it and he lined them on the paper. I love that the kids get the school stuff in their play environment. It's amazing how that all worked out for me.

 I am realizing that the cost of living may be higher in the bay. In L.A. there are options. We want to live in the city but we could go 10 miles and get in the 300k range. In the bay, I don't know that the 300k range exists. I don't think the hood has houses in the 300k range. Amazing.

L.A. is a city of extremes. I have not verified my observations but I think L.A. has more multi-million dollar homes than the bay. I think the prices in the bay are in closer price range. Actually I guess I have confirmation. When I worked for the IRS this was discussed. Because the income ranges in L.A. vary so much it impacts the average income. As a result when people get into tax trouble, the average the gov't allows them to keep is skewed against people who earn more. It was the same with the VA loans. Before the last change the gov't guarantee was ~700k in L.A. County and 1 million in bay area counties.

 I think I am ready to sleep.

Night night.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Next level

TR's advanced gymnastics class was amazing. The class was truly advanced. It was great seeing TR's skills used. I expected the class to be like her regular class, but maybe at a faster pace. The actual class worked on an entirely different set of activities. They did what the 6+ year old kids do. They did back flips and handstands. The coach told TR what to do and TR was able to get her feet fully in the air. The kids did spins and positions on the bars and vaulting. TR hit the flip on her 3rd try on the vault. It was great! I was pleased to confirm that TR is naturally talented at gymnastics. Sometimes people will remark how good she is and I will say, she plays at the park or that Mr A is a human jungle gym. This advanced class did things TR had never tried and she performed at the same level as her classmates. That is pretty amazing, IMO. Her first day and she functioned as if she has been practing the exercises. TR loves gymnastics. She asks to go there before ballet and ask to watch the other classes. I try to let her watch but when she watches she wants to go on the floor. Our kids and 2 and 3 and their activities present a scheduling challenge. We have a boy and a girl who are 20+ months apart. They both are in the 2nd level of swimming but the swim school requires babies to take either private lessons or parent and me. TR is in the group. Now TR has moved to advanced gymnastics so we had to change days. Instead of having activities spread through the week, now we have a chunk of back to back activities. A benefit of working at home is the flexibility with the kids, but the availability of weekday activities for the kids is reduced. Soon they will be school aged and the flexibility will really be gone. Although once they start school, I can do my activities. It's amazing how fast the time goes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Frustration

I am very frustrated.

When I was dating Mr A his mother had an employment lawsuit that was a day from bung dismissed. He asked me to take the case. I did not want to but I did. I regret taking it because I feel like had his mother not had greed as a motive, she would have shown me her true self. Mr A had other women break up with him because of his mother. I did not get to see her insanity until after the wedding.

His mother has hired black Muslims to go to his job and tell him they can rescue him. I suspect she has tried or is trying to have me killed. Mr A is a great husband, but he is not worth my life or worth the concern I deal with for my safety and what may happen to my kids if she successfully kills me.

She tells people I am part of some conspiracy and that I killed her son, who died in a car accident. I am sure her own guilt eats her up so she has to blame someone.

Most recently she found one of my clients, took her home and told her I was not a real attorney and other foolishness. Going after my clients indicates her obssession is not waning, I have not seen or spoken to the woman but she is stalking my clients.

I pray no one dies due to her obsession. My next prayer is that if my death is caused by her obsession, that I can take my last breath with the peace of knowing she will enter hell the day I enter heaven.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Things to Know

I'm making an ongoing list of things I want my kids to know. There are so many lessons.

If you want to rise, no man, no person can keep you down.
Perserverance is powerful. If you persist you can get through the doors that are closed.
When your talent satisfies a need, you have met your purpose.
Everyone is not your friend and does not need to be your friend.
Remember God.
There is a tomorrow. Don't let your today destroy your tomorrow.
Some people are mean and miserable, do not take it personally.
God made you an original, do not spend your time becoming a copy.
It's good to be unique.
You can be you, better than you can be anyone else.
Love and take care of your sibling.
Leave an inheritance for your children.
Put God first! If you have to put God second to make it work, it is trouble.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When it Gets Good

My goal is to eventually manage my business more than work for it.

My L.A. attorney is amazing. She is a beast and she is hungry and energetic! Hopefully she will stay with me for a while. I feel like the pay is more than fair, and the work is not time consuming and is interesting.

Today was the first time she finished a case from beginning to end without me. It felt great to make money, and not leave home or write a document. I like it. I think I can make more money and work less by sharing some of the work.

As they say, pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.

I have another person I work with, but I have to do the bulk of the work. I am trying to get out of the hard work.

I have a lead on an attorney in the Bay Area. If I can get her trained, then I can stay home with my kiddies and manage my business.

I have been practicing L.A. law on my own full steam for about 5 years. I can't remember when I stopped working for the firm. I feel pretty good that I've stuck with it and am at a point where I can earn without having to be entrenched and can hire people and pay them.

I don't really think about it but I am paying a nanny, an attorney, and I was paying an assistant and myself. That is pretty good. Next I want to pay 2 attorneys, some office space in L.A and the bay, myself, an assistant with skills, and maybe a nanny. If I can get business right I can watch my own kids, although I need to figure out how to get the Spanish immersion done. Maybe they will shift to a nanny 2 days, I don't know.

Word Play

A month or more before Easter TR spotted Easter baskets in the grocery store and requested one. I told that her aunt will make her an Easter basket. She called her aunt and requested a rainbow Easter basket. TR loves rainbows. Last week I asked her what she was thinking about and she answered, rainbows.

While we were driving along one day she started laughing and asked, Mommy, is M going to make me an Easter basket or will she make me an Easter basket, because I don't want her to make me an Easter basket?

I started laughing. That is a question I would ask because I have a silly sense of humor and love words. I told her M would make an Easter basket for her, not make her into an Easter basket. She giggled even more.

When I told Mr A what she had asked it took me saying it the second time for him to catch the play on words.

Last week Mr A and I were debating about something and he told me he realizes I like to play in the grey area of words. It's true! I laughed because I had never thought of it that way.

I dated a southerner once and he used an under used but on target word and I said, " good word". He thought I was being condescending. One day my cousin used the word "circa" and I said good word. She told me that thee are too many words in the English language to ever have a dull sentence or be unable to express a thought.

Plentiful words is why I do not curse. When I was a kid my mother told me cursing is a signal of limited vocabulary. She said people who have the words to express themselves do not need to curse. I used to take pride in my ability to shred a person and never utter a curse word. Now I am kinder and gentler so my tongue (usually) speaks life or I keep silent.

QT is also an engaging conversationalist. He went from two word sentences to five word sentences in English overnight. He speaks Spanish with passion! His nanny only speaks Spanish and she cracks up when they are talking. She says he bosses kids around at the park in Spanish.

He also knows who speaks what language. The nanny gave QT his juice and Mr A gave the 'what do you say' prompt. QT told her gracias. He tells us thank you and never gracias.

I have no idea what I will do about a Spanish speaking nanny once we move. A nanny in L.A. is standard. Almost everyone (The kids know) have a nanny. The nannies have a great network and even when it rains they have a play date scheduled.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The next top artist

Thursday April 5, 2012

QT drew a picture of Mr A today (written last week). He called Mr A to him and said, "this is you." Mr A gave him praise and then QT said "eyes", and drew eyes, he said "ears" and drew ears, he said "lips" and then he drew lips.

My baby boy is an artist!


I think the kids artistic tendencies come from my mother.

It rained Saturday (written last week ) so we stayed indoors. We've been making up the kids' classes. Yesterday we did swim class. A black woman had a 3.5 year old son in the group with TR and an almost two year old daughter who was in a private class. QT also takes a private lesson because they don't put kids his age in group class.

It was fascinating observing someone that was pretty much myself. 2 kids, a boy and a girl and her kids were just a few months apart in age from my kids. It was pretty cool. Her son was also a fish. She said they had been in swimming for a while.

My kids are fish. Mr A's father is a fish, so they get it honest. There is a difference between swimming and being a fish. My kids cut through water like fish. QT's instructor said he does not like to back float though he does it when directed to. He smiles when he gets to lay on the mat and kick across the pool. He maintains a straight face when he has to do a back float.

TR loves swimming. She wants to go everyday.

Written April 9, 2012

TR did her gymnastics class with one of the teachers who teachers preschool advanced. The other teacher had told me she should be in the class but when he asked the woamn who teachers the Friday class, I saw her look at TR and shake her head. Her facial response let me know that she remembered TR as the kid who didn't listen very well. TR was 2 in the 3-4 year old class. She could do the stuff but she really enjoyed jumping on trampolines and climbing so they would usually have to do a little extra to keep her on task.

TR did the woman's class on Friday and afterwards, the instructor told Mr. A that TR needed to be in preschool advance. Mr. A told the teacher he'd been told TR didn't listen well enough, and the teacher told him, she listens fine.

TR is almost four so of course her listening and following direction skills have improved.

While the kids were in class, I noticed the teacher was spending a bit more time with TR after TR did a handstand. The activity was for the kids to place hands on the floor and kick off. TR went straight to the handstand.

My kids are beasts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fired

I had to let my assistant go. My regret is that I did not do it sooner.

A couple of weeks ago, I had asked her to number pages. The task required her to open a document on the desktop computer, save it and then open it in my pdf program and type consecutive pages numbers.

I did two sets of documents to show her how to do it. She told me she had it. Today, as I tried to complete my brief I opened the docs and saw that the last one I numbered was 22. She numbered the next one at 21. I had to delete her wrong numbers and redo the project. The task was not hard, it was tedious but why not check your work?

I want my money back. I paid her to make extra work for me. It took extra time to delete then rewrite. I could have just written the stuff myself.

The primary reason I decided to let her go was she called in on Friday, two weeks ago. She told me she had to take a baby to the doctor. So the work pile I had for her, became a pile I had to complete. I could have done it the first time and been done with it.

She told me she would come make up hours on Saturday or Sunday. I told her we do activities those days. Mr A told her that she needed a schedule more flexible than we could offer.

It occurred to me that she isn't reliable enough to leave in office space unsupervised. The day after I am trying to secure space and telling the woman my assistant will be there, the assistant calls off.

She seemed shocked to be fired. I would have thought she expected it. The week before she called in I accidentally sent her a text saying I was going to fire her for coming at noon. I said the day was over at the time of day. If I am on the verge of firing her for coming in late, then wouldn't not coming in at all be a definite firing?

My next assistant will begin at minimum wage. I will ensure that I hire an experienced person in the future. I lost money on this assistant. I running a business to make money, not give money away.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bay Area People

I told Mr A that I wanted to move back to the Bay. He just got on the coaching staff of one of the top schools in the state and we got notice that the kids are accepted into our dream school.

For whatever reason, it is easier to leave reality than to leave hopes. As long as I was hoping we'd get into the dream school, I could not make a clear choice about moving.

I love L.A. I love living in a fast paced city, full of interesting people. I love the sun and warmth. Moving back to the bay is going to be hard.

I prefer my kids have a consistent and close relationship with their grandmother. That is more important than a dream school.

We are in close proximity to museums the TR's ballet, their swimming and both kids gymnastics. I think in the bay we will have to drive a bit. We are paying a premium to live in a centrally located location to be near these things. I don't know where in the bay outside San francisco we need to live to have a similar lifestyle. S.F. Is too cold so that is not an option.

I am looking forward to being able to take the kids by my mom when TR asks to visit her momma.

I was hesitant to move because I hate to move the kids from what they have known. I never moved as a kid. We will begin anew and hopefully the kids will enjoy their new and different setting.

I hope to find a park in the bay like our park in L.A. Moving is hard and heart wrenching.