I entered what I thought was my password and said a quick prayer…

I entered what I thought was my password and said a quick prayer and it worked. I’m in. Oh wordpress dashboard you look exactly the same. I thought that in three months perhaps you might look different but you don’t. Same old same old.

I swear as I opened the laptop the hinges squealed like an old attic door and the apple logo brightly shone illumintating all the dust in the  newly disturbed air.

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, or even that I had nothing to say, I did and I do. Sometimes the minutae of life can seem so big, so overwhelming that I am easily paralyzed by it. There were holidays and family visits and good news and bad. All of it just swamped me and suddenly it’s been ages and how do you jump back into blogging?

I suppose you just do it.

I’m pregnant. Again. At a ‘certain age’ and oh! I am exhausted! Thankfully I am in the second trimester now and although I am still nauseous, my HG has lessened and I know longer am in danger of throwing up so much I land back in the hospital. I had morning sickness with Max and Huck but lucky me I was diagnosed with Hyperemis Gravidum. Vast amounts of Zofran and a combo of Unisom/B6 has kept me moving. Barely. I was introduced to an HG forum on line and I was so very thankful that despite my feeling as if I might die (and honestly we went to the emergency room once because I truly thought I was) my case of HG was mild compared to some. Now I wake up with energy and a million plans but by 11 am the fetus has sucked out all my energy and I stare at my bed longing to cocoon myself in and snuggle up with Detectives Benson and Stabler who always seem to be solving one crime or another. They’re like Lester Holt. Never a day off.

I had grand plans of an adorable photo with my two sweet boys announcing a baby on the way but this is what we got Christmas morning.

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Fitting isn’t it? It should be known that Huckleberry isn’t a nose picker usually. Honestly! I think I’ve seen him do this a total of two times. And one of them is immortalized forever (in our family anyway)

So I guess this is me jumping in. Back into blogging.

 

Sometimes an Only Child isn’t an Only Child.

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My mom says there were plans to give me a sibling, but when my dad was killed when I was 18 months old that sort of put a stop to that. The hot air and memories of Texas drove my mom out, to higher, drier ground. To Boulder, Colorado. I was 3 and so once we were settled in a cute little house with the previous owners hunting dogs and ducks curtains I was enrolled in Boulder Montessori School. Such a simple thing to do, enroll your kid in preschool. Sometimes I think “what would have happened if mom chose a different preschool?” Thank God she didn’t.  In choosing that school I was given the greatest blessing; a sibling.

Immediately I met Heather. Our parents joke that we were twins born 3 months and 1,000 miles apart. They’re not wrong. I believe strongly in twin ESP because although Heather is not my twin we have always been able to read each others mind, finish each others thoughts, feel when one is hurt. There was a time in college when we went our ways, no anger or anything, it’s hard to find out who you are when who you are is half of a whole. Whenever we met back up at home for Christmas we would find out we were working in the same store, taking the same classes, living the same lives…it was weird and awesome.

I had a single mother, Heather’s mother was my mother’s best friend. Her father was on his own journey so at the time of our growing up he was mostly gone. Unless we were giggling late and night and woke him up. That my friends, was the scariest thing ever. So Heather and I met our mirror images and I think so did our mothers. We made our own family. Hannukah at Heather’s house, Christmas at mine. Yeah, Heather and I like to make it easy on mom by actually putting our pillows on the tree skirt and sleeping under the tree. Sorry mom. I don’t have many childhood memories without her. I don’t have many memories in adulthood without her. When she moved to LA and we were all together it was perfect. I’ve never been so happy. Then we got pregnant at the same time and it was like every childhood Let’s Pretend game ever. My nephew is 6 days older than Max. It couldn’t have been more perfect. We moved away from Heather when Max was ten weeks old. I prayed until the last minute that something would save me. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done, our kids were supposed to grow up together like we did. We were supposed to have family dinners every week. Heather told me that she, Ammar and Isaiah had been looking to move into the same neighborhood we were in before we moved.

I am still heartbroken. I still can’t believe it and I still think someday we will all be together again.

But life goes on. Our first month apart Heather and I texted over 500 times. We quickly moved to an unlimited texting plan. Eventually I gave into the fact that I actually live here, away from her. I like it here, I really do and it’s better for the my kids here. But living without my sister is hard. I always say I have a sister, because I do. I may not have been born to her family or her to mine, but she’s more than a best friend. She is my sister.

Today is her birthday and I am not there. I’m not there to go to our favorite cheap-o LA nail place then hit Aroma Cafe or Poquito Mas for lunch. I’m not there to make her a cake or give her her present. I’m not there to tell her in person how I can’t live without her. How much I love her. It hurts a lot.

There’s a big party in her honor, as there should be! She’s amazing, she’s perfect in my eyes. I won’t be at her party. I won’t get to raise a glass to her turning 29 (again) But we’ve been sisters long enough for me to know that even though I am not there in person she knows I’m there. 

I miss you Heather, I love you, I can’t live without my sister. I hope you have the happiest birthday ever and when you blow out the candles I hope you get whatever your heart desires.

Happy Birthday. T.S.I.S.

(BTW this picture is from my 8th(?) birthday. Please note how lovely and put together Heather looks. I am a hot mess.

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It so that way.

 

That time I had to re-set my WP password. Alternate title: hello, it’s been a while.

 “I dont want to say I’m pissed that you haven’t written – but I’m kinda pissed you haven’t written.” My friend KG.

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It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about. There was the time Max went to a birthday party at a stable and his horse got spooked. Nothing like the terrified screams of 20 parents as a horse gallops away with your five year old hanging upside down by one stirrup. Lesson I learned: a spooked horse may only gallop with your five year old hanging upside down by one stirrup for approximately 25 feet but it feels like 25 miles.

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Max was terrified, but shook it off and got right back on that horse. Literally. Lucky for me I was able to drown myself in birthday cupcakes.
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(Tell me that is not one BEAUTIFUL birthday girl.)

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Mini Nate Archibald and Chuck Bass. But with much better morals. And much less money.

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Max’s BF Jake. Heartbreaker.

We spent the warm fall at farms with good friends and bonfires and firewords. Not too shabby.

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(Max’s best bud Isaac. Every time I can get this kid in front of the camera, I do. )

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Max has been spouting off some seriously epic ‘Stoner or Preschooler’ sayings and I kept thinking “I should blog that” and yet, I didn’t.  Suddenly it was halloween and we went  trick or treating with Boss’s besties. Which means Zach and I got to hang with ours. It’s wonderful when awesome kids have awesome parents and then everyone gets to have a rocking good time. We had hot chocolate to keep us warm and (ahem toasty? toasted?) for trick or treating and it was just a dang good time.

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I could and probably should have written about how Max was bullied at school…by a TEACHER and how beautifully his school handled it. Also how he (and several other kids) were bullied by a kid at school, including a lovely bite mark. That kid doesn’t need braces by the way.  Again, the school handled it really well. I think sometimes things are just to real for me to process. Also as Max gets older I wonder, as many of us do what to share and what not to share. All I know is my kids kick ass, full stop.

So, I’m thinking of giving this blogging thing a go again. You know….like I do every so often. Thanksgiving will be here so soon and then we are off to Tennessee for a trip and then BAM! Christmas! I do love the Holidays!

tied up with strings…and whaaaa?

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This post quite possibly will make no sense. But that’s life sometimes, right? But stick with me…cause there’s some funny.

 My mind is a jumble lately, I keep thinking of things to write and then I sit down and just…eh. I took Huck to the mall yesterday to enjoy our newfound four hours of freedom while Max is at school and naively thought oh hey! maybe I’ll grab a new iPhone while I am there. Silly girl. After waiting in line for the golden ticket and not getting one, because obviously, we grabbed some Starbucks and did a little tour. I wandered into Urban Outfitters, and quickly snorted dericively “86 dollars to look HOMELESS?No thank you!” then I hitched up my depends and waddled out of there pushing my walker with the tennis balls on the front. Walked in to JCrew and just breathed in the happy. At least when you spend 80 bucks there on a sweater it looks like 80 bucks. Not that I do spend 80 bucks on a sweater, but I like to look.

It never fails that on the day I don’t wear make up and you know, nice clothes, that’s the day I run into someone. Sure enough as I went to return some clothes for Huck (I bought him 2T which was ridiculous because he is just now getting into 18 month. So just in case you’re all yay! two kids, the same sex and born in the same season! You might still end up with nothing for the littlest one to wear. Sigh. But, can I just say? Huck in skinny jeans? So damn cute.) I run into that friend, you know the one who ALWAYS looks put together. I actually saw her once just after she ran a race and she looked like she was in an ad for running a race. Also, who are all you runners? Where did you come from? I remember gym class. None of you loved running and we were young and energetic then! I’ll cheer for you, from Facebook while drinking Starbucks because I’m a giver like that. Anyway, there she was with her two adorable girls, her hair like a perfect wave of chestnut. My hair? Day two messy topknot. So shopping turned into a little impromptu play date. Huck just loves her girls and they are so sweet. Love it!

Zach’s birthday is coming up and so I went on the hunt for his gifts, I ordered something on line….but I have a bad feeling about it. Must remember to call the bank and make sure no one in Croatia is ordering electronics in my name.

After cruising into every store in the mall I’m extremely vexed that so far I cannot find the perfect pearl necklace to wear to a birthday party this weekend. I need it. The birthday girl is my biggest fashion fan and my biggest critic. She is also turning 5.  She is having a pony party and why yes, I do have an outfit in mind and yes it does need a pearl necklace! If she likes my outfit maybe she will let me play with the Rapunzel fashion styling head I got her. Sister Dub and I loved that dang Barbie one when we were little and this one is awesome. Hair for days, Rapunzel has.

Pinterest is my relaxing last thing before I go to bed activity. I like to look at all the pretty things and fill my imaginary closet. Am seriously considering changing the fabric on my headboard for the winter. Why yes, I DO change my room for winter vs. summer. This is why I love white bedding, I can change everything around it cheaply. Our room is in a constant state of re-do and this primarily has to do with the fact that we share a house with my in-laws and I believe I have painted everything they will possibly allow. Someday they will come home and the wall paper in the foyer will be gone. Mark. My. Words.

But I digress. Sometimes I dream of starting a new Pinterest account just to comment on pins with things like “Don’t wear that.” Or “please don’t put that on your baby.” Or “This should not be worn by anyone over the age of 5.”

“Preppy and Lady-like fashion”

You and I have vastly different definitions of ‘classy’ and ‘ladylike'” and then a link to the definitions.

who would have thought a beer case could be fashioned into such a good looking hat? so fun and such a GREAT #gift!!

Such a great GIFT! You guys, how can I register for one of these? Coors Beer box cowboy hat? WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!

 

But this will  accomplish nothing but be snotty. Even if sometimes I want to. I won’t. I’ll just blog it here. Such a saint.

 

 

Obviously this post will be a BlogHer Voice of the year.

 

 

like sands through the hourglass…

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I am not a great singer. I once had a pretty good voice, but so much now. It’s just a glorious thing that babies don’t care. They just want you to hold them and love them and sing to them. My lullaby of choice is Baby Mine from DUMBO. I sang it to Max from the time he was very tiny until one day when he was about 2 and a half he unceremoniously declared “no sing, Mommy.” And just like that it was over. When Huck was born I had planned on Moon River and only Moon River. My Huckleberry friend and all that. Somehow or another we settled into Baby Mine as well. I bust out Moon River regularly, but by and large it’s Baby Mine.

Recently he started trying to sing along. Easily the most adorable thing that ever was an adorable thing. He chimes in on the last word of every line his eyes brimming with pride the whole time. Nestled against me, sometimes nursing, sometimes not, smelling like heaven, all warm and heavy in my arms. I treasure it, knowing that sooner rather than later he will also unceremoniously break up with lullabies and nursing. We have had a good run, I’ve loved it all. I complain a bit sometimes about being the only one to do bed time and whatnot but the truth is I am selfish with my babies. With so much family around I cling to the firsts and the things that only mommy can do.

So it was on Sunday I cuddled a freshly washed and pajama clad Hucklberry, treasuring the last few moments of my birthday with him ame that after we sang Baby Mine he requested a song. How could I refuse? So we gently rocked and snuggled. And I softly rapped the theme from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Sweet dreams, booyakasha.

 

P.S. Finally got around to Huck’s 2 year shoot. Check it out here.

For my next trick I shall turn 29, again! Ta Dah!

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For the last few years my birthday has brought dread. I just felt sad about it. Getting older in number of years and yet feeling exactly as I did when I was well, younger than I am now was hard for me. I noticed the skin of my cheeks not quite as plump and taught as they were. I saw my chin and neck begin to fall victim to the often heard ‘loss of elasticity‘, thanks Olay for drilling that nightmarish phrase in to my brain. I focused on every line and (thanks boys!) chin hair. (it happens people. Don’t pretend it doesn’t. It does.) Feeling very strongly that my outside didn’t reflect my inside. Thankfully each year I do feel more mature, less upset by trivial things, more focused on what’s truly important. But stil each year that ticked past seemed to feel like I was heading all to quickly to hagville.

For some reason this year I looked forward to my birthday. It wasn’t a big one. Not a milestone birthday. No big celebration was planned and yet I was just excited about it. Maybe it’s because postpartum anixiety is slowling lessening it’s grip. Maybe it’s because I found the perfect at home hair color. Maybe it’s that I have now actually accepted that I live here, this isn’t some little blip before I head back to LA, we are here for the forseeable future and so I have settled in, made friends. And that feels good. We are building a life here, not just treading water.  Maybe for me birthdays are no longer just a party and a good time, they are a celebration of everything I learned in the last year.

This year I learned that I can and do have a passion for a creative medium beyond the theatre. I learned that I can parent two boys and I can fight for them if I need too. I learned I can put down the phone and just PLAY with them. I learned that Max has usurped Zach and Sister Dub as the person who can make me laugh the hardest. Laugh till I can’t breathe laugh, and it is glorious. I learned that watching my boys together is the greatest joy of my life. Beyond any acting accolade, beyond any glowing review, beyond anything.

I also learned that all my summers in Texas learning to twirl a baton were not wasted. My boys think I have mad ninja turtle bow staff skills.

This year my boys took me to breakfast, took me shopping then sent me off to hang with my DC besties for a sweet mani/pedi, coffee and great conversation. These two can also make me laugh till I almost cant breathe. It’s such a lovely, fresh friendship. They have kids, they KNOW. We know, we speak the same language and yet we can- and do- go for hours without talking about our kids. After that they sent me home to a freshly cooked meal (Zach makes a mean Arribiata y’all.) and finally what Max had been waiting for all day. Ice Cream cake.

It was good. I had a really great ’29th’ birthday.

My boys got me a beautiful ring. Well done, boys.

My boys got me a beautiful ring. Well done, boys.

 

Here’s to learning some amazing new things this coming year. Hopefully how to decorate our own house….I’d like to learn that. Please?

And then yesterday morning, just 24 hours into my new year,  another mass shooting. what do we do? How can we stop this from happening? Those people kissed their loved ones good bye and never came home, much as my father did all those years ago.

I can’t worry about getting old anymore, I worry about NOT getting to get old. I am holding their families in my heart today. There are no words.

I think I’ll go ahead and turn 31 next year.

my love to you and yours.

 

There is no right way…

But there is a wrong way.

A few things you should know: I am unnaturally attached to the Kardashians and also Kim hopes you guys have the BEST 9/11 EVER!!!

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Not surprisingly, this tweet has been deleted. Silly Kimmy. Tweets, like sex tapes, are forever. That? That’s the wrong way.

That aside, 9/11 got me this year as it possibly the last year of Boss’ innocence about the day. To him it is simply four days to Mommy’s birthday. (Hint: I like sapphires, computers, camera gear and Louis Vuitton) Very soon I will be faced with having to explain it to him. And not just that but so much more. He still lives in a land of everyone loves one another… And here is hoping that his generation moves us more toward that. But how do I then explain to him some people blame all Muslims, all Iraqis for 9/11? How do I do that and then take him to visit his Uncle, my nephew and their family…and thus MY FAMILY who are Iraqi, living here in this country, citizens, good lawful wonderful people that I love so much…How do we move past color and race and  simply figure out how to deal with each case on it it’s own? Is that possible? Because to blame every Muslim for 9/11 is like blaming all Christians for Westboro, and I know many Christians (myself included) who would say NO THANK YOU I DON’T BELIEVE THAT.

This year I avoided all tv coverage, I didn’t need to see the twin towers fall again, I stayed huddled all afternoon with an overtired Boss while Huck napped and we blissfully watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Then it was off to T-ball. My kids, for one more year at least remained oblivious.  I know we will have to talk about it eventually, and we will. I’ll focus on how our nation came together to support one another. I’ll tell them how we sat for hours unable to move from the tv, disbelieving this had happened here.

And I will tell them that 12 years, 13 years, forever, I will always be in disbelief.

God bless those souls, bless those who ran in to help and those who still suffer. Bless them.

 

Ya gotta go back, back, back to school oh yeah.

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When one is a childless adult living in Los Angeles and working in the industry, there is no such thing as Back To School season. There is Pilot Season, Dead Season and End-Of-The-Fiscal-Year-So-We-Better-Hurry-Up-And-Spend-Our-Advertising-Budget-So-We-Can-Get-More-Money-Next-Year. Late August only brought thoughts of oh, I hope they drag out that Sears commercial where I played a teacher.  But here in suburbia with two kids, I am really feeling the back to school season. This is Boss’ third year at school…but he is five now, he gets it. Huckleberry also gets it, asking every three minutes “where brother?”

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This was the first year since we moved, since we had kids, that we had a summer. A real summer. Filled with pool trips and baseball camps. Working in the garden, painting and crafts and splash pools in the yard. Complete with late afternoon naps and movie nights and way too late bedtimes. It was glorious. We had birthday parties with friends and playdates to the county fair and it was nearly Norman Rockwell in it’s very summer-ness.

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Now? It’s over. Boss is to school 5 days a week. Huckleberry and I are on our own. I never understand when parents lament the growing up process…yes, it goes too fast, time is indeed a bitch like that. But the alternative? I will take the bittersweet tears of his childhood slipping through my fingers any day. It just so happened that one of his friends recently called him a baby, and this was hard for him. He is a young five and when you are desperate to be a big kid, being called a baby is the WORST. Baby is the C-word of the small crowd. I reassured him that he was not, in fact, a baby and although it lingered for a few days, he shook it off eventually and was back in the fray before we knew it. It’s the first of what I am sure will be many times in the school process where he was told simply who he was, wasn’t cool. And that’s a shock because, duh, we think he is the coolest in the land, ever. It was heartbreaking but a rite of passage, I guess my job is to build him up so he is okay being himself even if others don’t think it’s cool. This only made me feel stronger that we made the right choice last year pulling him out of pre-k and having him in with the 4’s. He is READY for pre-k this year, but not Kindergarten. Next year, he will be more than ready.

This year, he barely gave me an over the shoulder wave as he headed into his classroom. Already busy chatting to his friends and wondering what fun was ahead that day.

 

Bittersweet, yes. But sweet nonetheless. And definitely not a baby. Enjoy the ride, Boss.

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Twerk it, girl. The requisite Miley Cyrus post.

I saw only two parts of the VMAs this year. Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake. I feel like (After I had to search to find out what chanel they were on, because it couldn’t be MTV, they only show teen mom shows! And also…what number is MTV??? HGTV? I know by heart. Mama’s priorities have shifted, y’all.) I saw the high and the low of the show. I am sure those of you who don’t love my pop culture observations were like “yay! Radio silence on Miley!” but then several of you emailed and tweeted me …what? Nothing on Miss Cyrus? And I just want to tell you guys how that made me smile. I am struggling lately, with just about everything. And that someone could want to read my blatherings about Hannah Gone Wild really made me smile.

So here it is, the requisite Miley post.

Sweet, sweet  Miley. Did I gasp? Yes. Did I sputter? Yes. Did I clutch my pearls in horror? Yes. Did I take to twitter in the new world version of the clucking ladies in The Music Man? (pick a little, tweet a little) YES. But was young Miss Cyrus’ sexy dance why I was offended? Nope. Lest we forget, we have seen this show before. I remember distincly my mother gasping and clutching her pearls as I, a very young girl….like 1 (ha!) sat glued to those very same VMAs while a lovely lady in what resembled torn up undergarments one might wear under a wedding dress rolled about on the floor acting as if she herself were indulging in carnal pleasure while wearing a rosary. Miley’s shocking performance is same sh!t, different day, as far as young female performers go. So yeah, eh. it was gross, not sexy (to me) and whoever immediately made the picture of her and Jim Carrey side by side deserves some sort of comedy award. It’s funny because it’s true.

We get it Miley, you’re all grown up. But the thing about really being grown up is you don’t have to tell people. That being said, this is part of the process. I myself have never performed on the VMAs but I am certainly glad that certain events at some frat parties did not occur in the time of social media recording everything. I was lucky enough to go through my screaming I AM A GROWN UP phase in the privacy of  Los Angeles among others screaming I AM A GROWN UP. I believe at some time I probably did my own twerking in a halloween costume that, while not made of latex, was probably pretty small.  I remember watching Xtina (remember that phase?) and her Stripped interview when she was going through this and thinking “oh Lord, that girl is going to be so embarrassed watching this in ten years.” Miley will be too, just as sometimes someone posts a blurry instant camera photo of our young escapades on Facebook and I think duuuuuuuuuude, no Steph. Just no.

So, the reason I didn’t like Miley’s performance was not being it was over the line and gross. The reason was two fold. One, it sucked. Two…Miley has repeatedly said she wants to make “Black” music and “Ghetto” music, so the use of African Americans in her performance basically as props was pretty gross. Cultural appropriation at it’s worst. This is a sensitive subject and we are all just finding our way with these things. But I personally felt that she was simply going to shock value and resorted to old school, I don’t even know how to say this without sounding like an a-hole, almost mistrel show hijinks. It is entirely possible to be a white artist and create and perform what is an African American developed artform. I don’t even know how to make this point properly, so I am just going to let it lie and hope that you know what I mean.

Even without that, it just sucked. She was out of breath – I guess twerking is not good cardio, not on key and I am seriously concerned about her tongue. It was sloppy and silly and it didn’t serve her song in the least. I am not sure what she was smoking when they came up with the concept but whatever. Lest you think I am giving Robin Thicke and his Beetleguise suit off the hook…no. There was one time where he looked a little shocked as if they hadn’t rehearsed that particular moment..but come on dude, you were a willing participant in this and of everyone rushing to Miley’s artistic defense you (and your mom) should be front and center. While Miley was grinding into our brains that she was an adult his participation just made her look more like a child and him more like a creepy older gentleman who really should know better.

What did you think?