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March 24th, 2013

08:47 am: The Long Goodbye.
So many blogs are dead or dying, and, clearly, I get it.

But why are they killing Google Reader? How will I ever remember where all the blogs are that I read? It makes me sad.

January 19th, 2013

08:44 pm: Crazy, but sad, milestone.
Molly's 2 weeks weaned, but still asking for it every day.

And, we just saw our last first pee-pee in the potty. I'll tell you, the peeing in the potty makes me feel kind of verklempt.

January 11th, 2013

09:21 pm: Where the rubber hits the road.
I loved our church. And then the youth pastor left like the week Molly was born. Our lives have changed so much that it's hard to tell whether he's the chicken or the egg, but I do not like our current youth pastor. At all. And, when you teach Sunday School and your husband teaches Sunday School and have three kids, you have a lot of interaction with the youth pastor.

I just stopped enjoying church. So many of the things I enjoyed really revolved around the kids being happy, and once that stopped, it just sucked to get everyone dressed up and across town by 10 am. At some point, I resigned from teaching Sunday School. I called the youth pastor and told him I thought his program was lackluster and that he fucked up Christmas by stopping the pageants, and that he just doesn't GET kids. (One complication: Cory was his "liaison" at church, and everyone else seemed to like him, so I really didn't have a pathway for feedback. It would have been lame for me to complain through Cory.) Frank had to be dragged every Sunday kicking and screaming.

Finally, they were asking for donations for FOUR 50" flat-screen tvs when Cory and I and our three kids had two inherited 15yo tube tvs. And people are hungry in the world. It was all just too much for me. Once I lost my enthusiasm, Cory and the kids just kind of lost their momentum and Cory resigned and we just stopped going to church.

We tried other churches.

There is one that we do like . . . sort of. There are people from several aspects of our lives involved in this church, but it's a Church of Christ. It is more conservative than I am comfortable with, and, honestly, not in line with my beliefs at all.

But boy are the services awesome, and the kids love the sunday school. The Sunday School is ENORMOUS. It is the best Sunday School ever. And it's packed. And both kids have best friends there. Parents alternate teaching every other week for 6 months, and then have 6 months off.

Even Molly loves Sunday School. I LOVE Sunday School.

As it turns out, two of our neighbors go to church there. They're trying really hard to "save" us. I didn't realize that we were salvage. Seriously, it is over the top. They are trying SO HARD. It's so complicated on top of work and everything else.

And the church doesn't meet every sunday at a brick and mortar church. It moves around. It's not always at the same time or place. Kind of a hassle. But the enthusiasm . . . people LOVE it! People are friendly and kind, and the messages are good. They take the Bible way to literally in my book, but everything else is +++.

I miss my church so much. I miss my friends, but it just was sucking. Sunday School, specifically, sucked. And, also, the youth pastor is just totally clueless about kids. Molly ABHORS the nursery and refuses to go.

It has caused me so much sadness and angst. So many of our friends were through church, and I feel so disconnected. And I don't really want to connect to the people at the new church. They crazy. They are blowing up my emails. They don't approve of homosexuality (itself really the straw that breaks the camel's back), and they think women are here to support men.

It is HARD to find a good church in L.A. People are so weird and flaky. I loved my church, but it was losing its cohesiveness. Families had stopped going. I'm drifting.

And, our neighbors are bringing us cookies and stuff. Offering to babysit the kids. Offering to make us dinner. . . I'm afraid we are their next meal or something.

I have no point really, other than my spiritual angst, and the continuing pattern of me yanking my kids out of things because those things piss me off.

I learned a lot in Sunday School. It made a huge impression on me. I think I may have overreacted, though. I don't know. All I know is that I think about it a lot. I miss my church.

January 7th, 2013

09:21 pm: Itchy
Also, lice is going around Frank's preschool. Mimi made it through her entire babyhood without my ever hearing the word "lice". Between Frank's 2 preschools, I think this is round 4. He loves his mohawk, too, so I can't shave his head this time.

I can't imagine calling in "lice" to work.

09:11 pm: Boobs: They so crazy
So now twice I've been doctoring with this thing that I thought was MRSA or the plague or flesh-eating bacteria.

Milkblister.

Killing myself to make it to Dr. appointments, 3 courses of antibiotics. Ultimately solved by Dr. Google.

Still weaning Molly. She's a tough nut to crack. Down to 2 times during the night. She's sleeping in her own bed, though, in another room. She slept through the night for a while, but between teething and winter illnesses, I'm not going to push her.

I started this blog in summer of '04 as a weight loss blog.

I have really let my weight get away from me this last year. Trying to balance a job that is >40 hours a week, 3 kids at three different places, Cory's career . . . Not a lot of time for exercise.

I've been using the wii - Zumba and now maybe Just Dance - to get some cardio in in the morning, and it's nice to move. I love to dance! I do! And the kids love to dance, too.

I thought maybe now that all the children have been birthed, and I am kind of angst-less, I could get back to trying to shed some pounds. That said, I'm going to go have some ice cream.

December 22nd, 2012

11:00 pm: The Elf on the Shelf
I am so glad we are close to not having to hide the elf for another 11 months.

I want to memorialize one of my favorite Christmas events this year:

We went into Pottery Barn Kids when we were at the foo foo shi shi mall. Frank was beside himself with all the superhero stuff, and Mimi was looking everywhere for a fancy backpack she wanted.

Then Frank saw the Elf on the Shelf merchandise they had and went wild. He insisted we needed elf plates and cups for Fredy, our elf. He also wanted a giant Elf, pajamas, sheets . . . you name it. He loves our elves. LOVES. He keeps lecturing us all that they are the "most important people in our family" because they have magic.

So he looks up over the cash register and sees one perched on a bar up there. He instantly started pinballing around the store, yelling, "YOUR ELF GOT OUT! ONE GOT OUT! YOU HAVE AN ELF OUT OF THE BOX!!!" and he continued to educate all the other customers about the rogue elf. I was alone with Mimi and Molly (who is a fucking saint. That kid sat quietly and sweetly in the stroller for HOURS while we were in the American Girl store and then in line for a cupcake) and Frank. I wished I had had another witness. It was hi-larious."THAT ELF IS LOOSE!" He told anyone who would listen about the elf.

We had been at the same mall a week earlier on the first night of Hannukah. I mistakenly thought the malls would be empty - we live in a pretty heavily Jewish area. Instead it was packed. Mimi was insane because all these little girls were walking around with their new American Girl dolls. She kept asking, "Why don't I have an American Girl?"

We were in line for Santa - a long m'er f'ing line - and the people in front of us had gotten their older son (10?) an Elf on the Shelf for Hanukah. He took it out of the box and was posing with it and holding it to take pictures with it with Santa.

Now, if you are not aware, Elves lose their magic and essentially die when touched. You CAN NOT touch the elf. These people were passing the elf around (which they had named, which is what gives the elf life) in their Santa pictures. Frank kept telling them not to touch the elf, and, by the time we got to Santa, Frank was a frazzled, upset mess re the Elf murderers, and I was feeling a little un-Christian toward them, myself. I mean, really.

Cory and I assured Frank that Santa was there and he would make sure the elf was ok, but Frank was so SO so upset. He told Santa all about it. Poor santa didn't know the rules, I don't think, either, and was a bit confused.

I had to go wait in a long line behind these people and their poor elf to get Santa pictures, and, while I was waiting, Frank had been so worked up that he laid down, in the rain, on the curb next to Santa's little fort or whatever, and went to sleep. It was pretty upsetting.

He loves those elves, man. LOVES.

December 14th, 2012

07:57 pm: Upsides
Anyone who knows us knows we have struggled with money these years. We snowballed our debt in 2007 paying for daycare and whole foods non allergic foods when I wasn't working full-time, and we have carried it around with us for years. Sometimes it gets a little higher, sometimes a little lower, but, essentially, it hasn't changed in the last 5 years.

Going back to work for me was a wash - the extra expenses of childcare and drycleaning and the second car and the money-saving steps I took while at home were *just* covered by my salary. I enjoy working so much. I love it. But there have certainly been impacts on the kids, good and bad. I miss seeing them as much. I have to let a lot of things go that I would otherwise do with them.

And I felt out of place - I work at a fancy place with fancy people, and I am not fancy. We don't have or do fancy. We can't.

We have indulged in some luxuries that we shouldn't have (when we are carrying debt) like Disneyland. We have had a few surprise big expenses, like plane tickets and some new wardrobe pieces for my re-fattened ass at court.

A couple weeks ago, Cory fished us a 40" flat-screen out of the trash area at our apartment (someone had set it down near there, he didn't dumpster dive it), and he FIXED it. We've had old, crappy, small inherited tube tvs forever. We don't have cable, or smartphones. We pack our lunches every day. We make our own coffee, and our kids wear hand-me-downs almost exclusively. But what an amazing luxury to have a decent TV.

And then on Wednesday, my boss came in and told me I was getting a decent bonus and a 33% raise. And a smartphone. And they gave me a laptop.

I'm floored. But it is the end of my (hypothetical) 40-hour per week deal. I like exceeding expectations, but then the expectations get raised accordingly. And this is kind of why I didn't want to go back to work.

I tell women all the time not to go to law school. Not if they want a family and some kind of home life. Seriously, it is all or nothing, I think.

When he came into my office, I had just re-committed to spending less time at work and taking care of myself by exercising and eating better instead of so much time at the office. But the money . . .

Oh well. We'll see. I'm hoping we can finally retire some of this heavy weight of debt we carry around. I just feel myself rolling down the hill. I knew it was here, and I avoided it for years, but this is the path we are on now. I just hope we don't go so fast.

December 11th, 2012

06:53 pm: Know this, child.
I used to post here, thinking that Mimi (and now Molly) would someday read this. I just don't know anymore what Mimi is going to be like. At age 7, she is still having 2 EXPLOSIVE and lengthy tantrums every day. She is always on the brink. Cory and I are thoughtful in our parenting - we give positive reinforcement, try not to energize negatives, and generally manage not to strangle her after she hurts Frank or does something horrible. We make sure her needs are met, make sure we try to fill her up, give her space. Hold her close.

I can see the window of her childhood closing, and it's scary. I'm not really sure what the room looks like when the window closes, but it feels like it will be a dark room.

I feel like the more we reinforce her and give her structure, the harder she pushes back, and it is exhausting. The more I support her, the harder she pushes me away. Work is SO EASY compared to this.

Mimi, if you do read this, someday when I am dead or dying or otherwise unavailable, just know that you have given us a motherfucking run for our money. Really. That we loved you every day, put your needs first, and struggled with what more we could do to fill you up.

Parenting a teenager must REALLY suck.

November 29th, 2012

07:06 pm: No Weaner.
Back to all boobies, all the time. I realized with a shock that this is likely Mimi's last super magical Christmas and vowed to make it as awesome as possible. I tried to get us tickets to the Polar Express, but weekends are sold out.

What else can we do? I want something awesome.

November 24th, 2012

02:12 pm: Fail
She was just SO miserable, and her usually sunny personality had turned just really horribly angry and sad that I just gave in. Fuck. I was really looking forward to some sleep. 20.5 months and still nursing.

She's getting her dogteeth in, so I'm sure that has something to do with it.

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