Weekend Pics

 Here's a wasp my brother killed on Friday night...
...and the nest it was building. I didn't know they were so soft, looks like dirt but it's "spit" (Husband's words, not mine). Nipped that right in the bud.
 Saturday was a trip down to LA to visit with BFF & Company. Delicious pizza and park time. Hooray for gorgeous weather, you guys.
 Since Casey's been a good boy, we stopped by the Lego Store in the Valley on the way home. The Topanga mall is gigantic and the Valley is SO HOT. Awful experience for me. Do mother-effers not see strollers? Did the single lady with no kids going into the ONLY family bathroom stall not see that I had a baby in a stroller with me?  In retaliation I went to the women's bathroom and peed with the stall door open. Take that! Ugh. I hate the mall. Hate it. Hate it.
 Sunday we played outside and found the bluest rolly-polie I have ever seen.
See that? Isn't it pretty? I had no idea they came in colors other than black. We did a lot of playing with bugs. Wasps, pill bugs, slugs. It was a dirty Sunday.
 We also got ice cream at the harbor. Joe Cool, here.
 Christa was a big fan of it all.
And on the way back to the car we saw a bunch of dead crabs. Neat.


Crazy Hair Day Haiku Friday

 My emo smolder
To accentuate my hair
Amethyst purple
 Casey's got two-tone
Joker green and some purple
He is a good sport
Then there's the ducklips
Me and my best boy buddy
Having Friday fun


Dumbest Criminals

For those of you that don't know, I work at a company that specializes in packaging distribution and industrial/warehouse supplies. Mostly we're the middle men that work with big mills like Georgia Pacific to get farmers and growers the bags and boxes they'll need to get their stuff form the field to their buyers, like restaurants and stores. Our warehouse is full of cardboard boxes and stretch film and toilet paper, nothing too exciting to say the least. Over the weekend, some jackasses got the bright idea to break into our yard and hot wire our trucks in the hopes of a big haul, but must have found out pretty quickly there was nothing here you could easily sell on the streets for big profit. What's hilarious is the other side of our building is warehouse space where they package Utz chips for distribution. I guess these bad guys must have felt really dumb finding there was nothing to be had, just potato chips and paper towels.
That picture? Is what's left of our gate after they hot wired one of our trucks and decided to use it as a battering ram. They had backed one of our big haulers up to the loading dock with hopes of a bigger haul I suppose but just settled on stealing the smaller truck. They ended up leaving everything else behind including a real mess but thankfully no one was around to be hurt. The cops came and left and we had our excitement for the morning. At around 1pm, I got a call from a lady that manages a nearby trailer park saying our truck was in one of her spaces. Mind you, she had seen two Hispanic guys abandon it at around 8 a.m. with backpacks on only to jump over the fence to the freeway but didn't think to call the cops. She finally decided to call my office because our number is on the truck itself and likely wanted it out of her trailer park. You really gotta wonder about the smarts some people may not have. I still think it's pretty rad the truck even got recovered, despite being badly damaged. Here's to happy endings.


Weekend Pics

 Friday after work I had to drag the kids to Target because my hair dryer died. I learned my daughter likes shopping. Took lots of boxes off the shelf and studied each one.
 Saturday was spent at home all day so I mostly took pictures of this little mess. Casey's cough had us up til 1 am, an after-hours doctor call was made, ER was considered. Boo to all that. We'd much rather have been having fun times with BFF & Company.
 Sometimes we watch Super Why and gnaw on our toes.
 Trying to introduce utensils. Awesome.
 Sunday we ran errands and I dressed her in this and it made my whole day.
 Gran turns 90 today. We went to the home to celebrate. They had a pianist playing songs from the early 1900s and all the other old folk residents had cake with us. Gran did much better staying in her safe place with us visiting than she has when we've taken her to my mom's. This visit was quite nice.
 How awesome that these kids have a great-grandma.
And here we all are, the whole fan damily. Sure miss my dad and grandpa on these occasions. Our family just feels so very small.


First Day of Spring Haiku Friday

Only six more weeks
And Husband's night shifts are done
I can see the light
Found out yesterday
The reason behind Casey's
Cough - it is asthma
That picture's a joke
I don't think a train's coming
Optimistic me


So. Tired.

Did you guys know that I never sleep? As in I can't even remember the last time I slept uninterrupted through the night? Last Friday I left work at noon because I was having an anxiety attack and I knew the only solution was to get medicated and take a nap. Tired feeds the anxiety so I feel like a bundle of nerves right now. I'm almost irrationally short and angry with people over dumb shit. My mom and I had such a huge blowout that we're not even really speaking. Saying my fuse is short is the understatement of the century.
On Monday night, I went to bed early with the hopes of getting a good night's sleep. Husband called me at 11:30 p.m. when he got off work to tell me he'd found our car with two tires slashed. I certainly couldn't just doze off again after a call like that so I was up for hours. Plus, you know, my baby cries at night and loves to wake up around 5:30 a.m. every day of her tiny baby life.
Then we cut to last night! Again, I'm in bed and asleep by 9. I wake up at 10:30 to pee? 11:30 because Husband is home. 12:30 because the baby is crying. 1:30 because Casey is bursting out of his room to go to the bathroom. Finally fall asleep and at 3 he's coughing so hard he wants to barf. Back asleep and the baby cries at 4. Back asleep and someone is calling Husband's phone at 5:30. Back asleep and the baby is awake at 6. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me? That shit really happened! And here I am at work! Expected to function!
Yeah so that's all. I'm tired. I'm irritated. I'm sad. I'm frustrated. I'm all the feelings. This whole thing with Husband working nights (until May I guess?) is a little harder than I thought it would be and regardless of how well I get shit done, things like this take their toll. I have anxiety. And if you don't know what real, stupid, ugly anxiety does to a person can you take a moment to read this link? I've never had something sum up the demons inside me like that did. And if you're reading this, I just want to say thanks for being here for me. It's always appreciated.


I Read A Book!

Almost exactly four months after my last book completion, I finally finished another: YES PLEASE by Amy Poehler. With Husband working nights, I find that I don't care to watch TV by myself. The few grownup shows we record are meant to be shared and I have Casey's cartoons playing as background noise. After the kids have been put to sleep, I crave not only silence but also distraction. I wanted to read this book because Amy Poehler is right up there with Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling when it comes to comedic, creative women I admire. Her boyfriend Nick Kroll has a sketch show that slays me and when Parks & Recreation ended recently, I cried real and ugly tears. Last but not least, she was on Saturday Night Live, a show that has basically shaped my sense of humor since I was a pre-teen watching religiously with Christine during near-weekly sleepovers.
For some reason, this book hit me in all the right spots and in the first night I read almost 100 pages. Amy is a working mom that, like me, loves her kids but can't imagine not working. Her thoughts on motherhood, like wanting to devour her children, reflect mine so much. I loved reading about her carefree, loving childhood and the adventurous path she took to pursue her passion to perform. Reading about her place on two of my favorite shows provided a delightful peek into all the backstage goings on. She provided just enough intimate information regarding her divorce and her friendships to tug my heartstrings and basically just make me all the more smitten with her.
This was not a difficult read by any means. It was a really enjoyable break from what is proving to be kind of a rough patch for me. I liked reading that she was a certain kind of crazy and as silly as it sounds, she made me feel like I'm not alone. I know that sounds kind of silly but I think that's a great thing. Either way, I liked this book a whole lot and it filled me with happy and I think you should read it. KTHXBYE


Weekend Pics

After a very rough Friday afternoon, it was nice to spend a weekend outside and in the sunshine surrounded by family.
 Friday night bath-time fun.
 Nothing like waking up before 6 a.m. on Saturday to a discotheque strobe light show courtesy of the cops across the street arresting two pedestrians. Wonder what the heck they were up to.
 Saturday was SO HOT so there was outdoor naked time in the kiddie pool. We discovered Christa's hair can hold a barrette now. Haha!
 My blue-eyed boy is gonna have to go ahead and stop this adorable nonsense.
 Face down, booty up, this is how we like to.... sleep.
 Sunday morning was spent in Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History with cousins.
 The kids got dirty and played outside with snakes. It was what everyone needed.
And here are the cutest shoes ever on a baby with a barrette in her hair. 
Sigh. I'm so lucky.


Haiku Friday the 13th

Husband working nights
Means overtime for mommy
This never ends well
Casey's been naughty
Teething Christa has a cold
Everyone is tired
So... things could be worse
But they could be better too
I yearn for normal


My Heart "Desploded"


noun \ˈləv\
: a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
: attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
: a person you love in a romantic way


Adventures In Parenting

Boy am I glad my kids are small. Right now my biggest problem is a whiny, lazy 4-year old and a teething 1-year old. As much as I love being a mom, I'm not exactly in a space where I'm ready for TEENAGERS and the problems that come along with PUBERTY. I have a friend whose teenage son likes to dress in more feminine clothing and has since he was a toddler. We will call him L. Currently, she is struggling with his bullies at school and a lack of a support system. She told me about it a bit yesterday and here was my response:

This would be my reaction if it was my son. I'm not saying it is right or wrong but here goes.
- I would not count on the principal. I think that it's good you had the conversation because I'm sure it informed her of something she would otherwise be oblivious to, but I'm not sure how much action she will take.
- If shaving L's legs would make L feel more confident, I say what's the harm?
A) Hair grows back
B) Maybe once he does he'll be so annoyed by the time it takes, it will not be something he does again.
C) My mom didn't want me to shave my legs, I went behind her back and did it anyway
- Which leads me to the dressing thing. You can tell L he can only dress like himself on certain days but eventually he'll just toss his change of clothes in his backpack and change at school. This is why I thank Catholic school - uniforms. Never had this problem.
- Which leads to SNEAKINESS! If you are open and honest with him, he doesn't have to feel like he has to be sneaky and lie to you because you know that is what will happen eventually. Every time my mom tried to put limits on me, it made me do naughty shit. He's not doing cocaine, he just wants to dress pretty. This seems harmless to me.
- Bullies - if that bully tells L his legs are hairy, L can tell that kid that his mom's back is hairy and to fuck off. Honestly, kids are mean. He can either be mean back or ignore the kid. Either way, if dressing feminine is what L wants, L better be ready for what will inevitably come to him. This is where you come in. Teach him how to fight back? Teach him how to ignore? Teach him to defend himself? Teach him to be proud of who he is? Tell him that you were bullied because of xyz? There are a bajillion websites based on this. Google transgender on Buzzfeed. It gets better. That kind of stuff. He may not be a woman trapped in a man's body or what have you, but the issues seem the same:
The reality is, this is all new. The boys dressing like girls and girls dressing like boys and bi and pan and gay... this all used to be secret. He's part of a trailblazing new generation and I think that honesty about the brutal things that CAN and MAY happen is where you will find success. Life is not pretty. We cannot protect our children from the ugly world we live in. We can teach them how to cope and warn them of the dangers. That's it.
In other words, I think you are doing it right. I wish you had a better support system.

My coworker recently went through something similar when his daughter transitioned into a son. He was very supportive whereas his wife was very against the transition. Listening to his journey informed the opinions above. I guess sometimes I lean toward tough love and expletives, but I think that we can only do so much for our kids. Pick our battles, so to speak. Education and honesty are key. What do you guys think? Would your advice be different? I'd love to hear your feedback.

EDIT: This article.


The B-Word

I've never claimed to be the nicest person in the world. I know that sometimes I come across too bluntly and I could probably enforce the use of a personal filter more often than I do. However, I generally try to remain respectful. Yesterday, I had a coworker who is prone to being excitable ask me if I always have to be such a "beeotch." This was in response to me jokingly telling him "Take a chill pill, R is working on it." At the time I just brushed off what was clearly an inappropriate outburst and an exaggerated response. However the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was not so much that the word "bitch" bothered me, it was that he resorted to name calling. And while my office is so casual it oftentimes borders on unprofessional, there have to be certain standards we uphold for ourselves.
This made me think about The Four Agreements.

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I truly need to work on this. Over the weekend, I let my emotions get the best of me. I caused a scene and I took my anger, irritation and frustration out on Casey and Husband. While they may have long since forgiven me, it's taking me much longer to forgive myself. I am better than my behavior suggested. I am guilty of going against everything listed above. It took someone else breaking those agreements, to make me see how much I have to do on myself. My actions, my example, will impact the people my children will become. This is much bigger than ME now.


Weekend Pics

We started Saturday off with a trip to the Green Thumb for gardening supplies and some new plants for spring. How cute are Christa's bunny shoes!? How handsome is my son?!
 In the afternoon we went to Paramount Ranch to do a color run. It was hot, Casey was a whiner, we did not do the color run. Mommy was not happy and may have lost her shit. Another story for another day.
 This is how happy Christa was in the dark hours of Sunday morning when she saw I was preparing her bottle.
 This is how mad Christa gets that she has to wait 30 seconds for me to warm it up, put on the nipple and hand it to her.
 Sunday morning was BEAUTIFUL so we all played outside and I worked on my flower bed for many sunshine-filled hours.
 When we moved in four years ago this dirt was so dry and not nice to plants. Now it is a thriving, moist soil bed perfect for flowers that attract bees and butterflies and hummingbirds. This brings me much joy. Being dirty. Growing things. Yeah.
 Christa thinking her hair is a napkin. Husband called her Jim from Taxi. Ha!
And although this is dark, here she is with her best friend Betty. She just plops down and pets her sometimes. Betty lets her pull her face and do anything she wants to her. They're nice girls.


Haiku Friday

What is it about
Kids in preschool and nonstop
Colds and sicknesses?
Stomach flu last week
Now it's all coughing and snot
Casey then Christa
The two kid circle
Will mean something's always wrong
Says pessimist me


Haiku Friday Make-Up Weekend Pics

 Husband had to work
On Saturday until 4
Just me and the kids
  So we played outside
After visiting my Gran
And taking our naps
 Casey's tooth fell out
And he didn't shed a tear
He's real excited
 Then it was date night
At my elementary school
Can you say "random"?
 Sunday picture day
And that didn't go so well
So we played after
And then we rested
The rest of the afternoon
Because we earned it