Sunday Morning

I woke up Sunday morning feeling fairly good about myself. I got up at 6:30 to go on a run and I was still giddy after staying up late the night before designing cards for my new business. But like my son’s balloon in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s, I suddenly deflated.

I opened up the New York Times to see that a former coworker had a column in the Sunday Styles section. Not just the Sunday Styles section, my favorite section of the paper, but the Modern Love column. My dreams in life are to write a book and have a Modern Love column. Yes, she also wrote a book and, yes, it was good. As was this column. It was funny and risky and sad. And about having sex with someone in the back of a car (it was about something else, much deeper, but really, who can get past the sex in the back of a car?). Oh, the bravery to tell such a story! Oh, the jealousy I’m feeling right now! I’m so jealous, I can’t stand it.

These sporadic feelings of jealousy started with that damn Facebook. An old college friend emailed me a couple months ago and said I needed to “friend” her so I could look at humiliating pictures of myself from 1994. I emailed back that she was already my friend and I wasn’t hip to her cool internet jive. I joined, and now I’m kind of hooked on it. (Not as much as the woman who keeps sending me virtual hugs. I don’t like people touching me, virtually or otherwise.)

Catching up with people I haven’t seen in ages is good. Reading about how much more successful they are, isn’t. CNN, The New York Times, books, companies , you name it and they’ve done it. I’m happy for them, but melancholy for me. After moving from the Bay Area I sort of dropped off the face of the earth. I made new mom friends and kept in contact with just my old, close friends. But with Facebook, I hear about everyone. It’s not that they’re all single with no kids. There are doctors, lawyers, editors, and a slew of moms who run their own business. What the hell have I been doing?

I’m not unhappy that I stay home with my kids. The reason my career isn’t going anywhere fast isn’t because of stay-at-home-momdom. The woman who wrote the book and the column is a mom, too. A single mom, so her job is much harder than mine. And my friend Claire wrote a book while her kids were napping. She has no childcare and she just did it because she’s awesome and much more focused than I am.

I’m hoping that by starting my new business I can get some of my focus back. It’s not like I sit around eating bon-bons, I’m very busy, don’t get much sleep and don’t feel like I have any time for myself. Before kids, it was so easy to pop from one thing to the next, to pick up and move for the next best opportunity. But now I can rarely make a phone call without interruption. Or finish a thought or have a meaningful conversation (take now, for instance. My 3-year-old is trying to sit on my lap and my 4-year-old is sitting so close to me my leg is starting to sweat).

I think I’ve been waiting for my career to be as easy as it was before kids. And now that I know that’s never going to happen, it’s time to focus.

Organic changes

After my first son was born I tried so hard to do everything right. I fed him only organic vegetables that I had steamed and pureed myself, I nursed him until I was 3-months-pregnant with my second child, and I was adamant that he didn’t watch television.

Everything changed when we moved to Los Angeles. My youngest was a month-old and we were living in a two bedroom apartment on a noisy stretch of Wilshire. We switched from healthy organic food to takeout and after a few rainy days cramped in the apartment with the new baby and a toddler, the television went on. And it hasn’t been turned off since.

Until recently, I only let the boys watch educational shows like Little Einsteins and Go Diego Go. I didn’t feel good about it, but I felt it was better than Sponge Bob. And then the original Star Wars came on TV. I have to preface this by saying I am a huge Star Wars fan. I was 5 when the original came out and I was obsessed with it. I knew the boys would love it too, but mostly I wanted to watch it again. I wanted to see Harrison Ford when he was young and beautiful and hear the clever banter between Han Solo and Princess Leia, and of course I wanted to see the Death Star blown to pieces.

As I suspected, the boys were enthralled. My older son was Luke Skywalker for Halloween and he talks nonstop about Star Wars. What I didn’t anticipate were the endless questions that would come from watching it and the two sequels. “Is Ben Kenobi dead? Where is Tatooine? Who is the guy with the awesome backpack?” (Sort of, in a galaxy far, far away, Boba Fett.)

The movies seemed so kitschy to me that I blocked out the violence and adult themes. I thought that since it looked like the blasters shot light they weren’t really guns. When my younger boy started making his Leggos into a blaster and making shooting noises, I knew I’d opened a door I couldn’t back out of. My oldest’s discussion of death threw me, too. About the time he realized that Obi Wan Kenobi had really died was when my uncle passed away. We had a short discussion about why Nana was coming to town and why everyone was so sad. I’m not ready for the death talk and I don’t think the boys are either.

I wish I’d thought it through before I let them watch the movies. They’re not traumatized, but their little fantasy world is no longer just rescue packs and rocket ships; it’s filled with evil emperors, bounty hunters and spaceship-eating dinosaurs that live underground.

I’m going to try to be better about what they watch, but it’s not going to be easy. The Clone Wars is on sale at Best Buy and the boys know all about it from preschool. Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV.

Beautiful people shop in LA

I stopped by the store after spin class last weekend and I think Bed, Bath and Beyond was having a special friends and family of models day. I smelled like I’d slept on the street and, frankly, looked like I normally look, which is not like a model. Everywhere I turned there were beautiful people – men, women, children, young, old, smart, dumb (I’m going to imagine that they were all really dumb) looking like they were walking down Wysteria Lane.

And this is why I hate LA. Even at the Bed, Bath and Beyond on Sunday morning everyone looks amazing. Why amazing? Why not dowdy church clothes? Or sweat pants with an underwear line showing? Okay, there was one couple wearing sweats and baseball caps, but they looked like they walked out of a Gap ad. I’m pretty secure with myself, until faced with the genetically gifted.

My insecurity followed me into the late afternoon when I took my boys to a birthday party. It wasn’t enough that it was at a popular children’s play gym, but it had a Star Wars theme with a special guest appearances by Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. My kids’ birthday parties are in our backyard and feature a piñata, some sort of grilled meat and a cake from Costco.

Many people loathe kids birthday parties, but I love them. They always have cake. This particular cake was amazing and did not come from Costco. It was in the shape of a four with marzipan molded and painted to look like a galaxy. It was covered in Star Wars figurines and all of the kids said “oohhh” when it came out.

Needless to say, it was a pretty amazing party when you are 3-and 4-year-old boys like my sons. To be honest, it was also a pretty amazing birthday party when you’re a 37-year-old woman who has seen Star Wars 50 times.

I hope the boys aren’t too disappointed when their birthday rolls around and we’re grilling again. Maybe I’ll tell them it’s grilled bantha.


What has happened that me? I asked myself this question the night before Halloween when I was sewing a costume on my 3-year-old son’s baby doll. He (my son) was going to be Diego from Go Diego Go and he wanted his most beloved baby to be Baby Jaguar. So I fashioned a fur suit out of brown felt and used fabric paint to make the belly. I dotted about 50 red spots all over his little outfit. This unprecedented burst of creativity got me to bed after 11:30 with cramped hands and dry eyes.

The next morning, the first thing I did was show off my fabulous costume. I was sure it would get me on Project Runway; my son didn’t agree. “Get it off him. Baby Jaguar doesn’t have red spots. Noooooooo!!!!” He then tried to rip the costume off of baby while simultaneously throwing himself on the ground crying.

Ughhh! I had a job once, a purpose in the world. Now I’m making straightjackets out of felt for my son’s dolls (yes, he has a doll and it’s adorable). That he doesn’t even like!

first blog

always one to be years behind a trend (i just got a pair of crocs and hear that they’re so yesterday) I’ve decided to start a blog…