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My Husband, My Hero.

17 May

Today is the day. Our journey as a “law school family” is done, in just a couple of hours. As we speak, my hero, my husband, is sitting in a room with all sorts of other people, taking his last and final exam in law school.

He has sacrificed. He has endured. He has achieved. He has accomplished his goals.

Together, we have made it happen, and happen well, and it’s finally over.

I’m sure it’s easy to wonder why it’s such a big deal, and why I act like an excited puppy about finishing “grad school” but anyone who’s been through law school as a particular form of grad school, knows just how intense is. In law school, your grades and your efforts directly affect your earning potential and ability to create the future you want to have. There are an abundance of lawyers in Los Angeles, and not an abundance of decent jobs.

Before we started the journey, I had a co-worker who’s fiance had just finished law school. She was telling us about how he had $250,000 in school debt and was getting offers at companies who wanted to pay him less than $50K/year. She was stressed out, because they were planning a wedding and didn’t know how they were going to pay for it. In some parts of the country, $50K would be a decent living, but when you have a quarter million in school debt alone, and live in Los Angeles, it’s impossible. Now, I understand that though he finished school, and passed the Bar, his ability to get a good job, were probably limited by factors I understand now, grades being one of them.

We heavily processed this when we went into this new world, making a decision that we were going to have to give everything over to the process and let the process give us everything back. It worked. Our plan to sacrifice everything to make these 4 years of school turn into a successful 40 years ahead of us, worked.

My husband is in the top of his class. He’s worked tirelessly to make sure that the debt we’ve accrued will have a plan for attainable pay off, and that our family will be able to have a stable future.

Through all of it, he’s balanced the act of being top of his class, with being a loving father and husband. We have all sacrificed, but he’s worked double time to make sure that the kids, while they don’t see him for days at a time sometimes, know that their daddy loves them. The days we have been able to spend together have been the best days. He started this journey with one infant son, and is ending it with 2 small children; A 4 year old who only knows what it’s like to have a daddy, with books and a full backpack as his best friends, and an almost 2 year old who wakes up early in the morning, every morning, looking for the 20 minutes he gets to see his dad. Sometimes, he is there in the morning, and sometimes, he would have already left an hour before even the early riser would wake up.

This has been the hardest experience of my life, and I can’t believe it’s over.

 

My dear sweet husband, I’m so proud of you. I can’t believe it’s over.

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3 Times it’s OK to Gossip First.

9 May

We all know it’s not ok to gossip about someone else, especially when meant with the purpose of hurting them. But, what about the instances when it’s actually better to gossip first, which might actually save someone from being hurt?

Here are 3 times is MORE than ok, in fact, it’s ADVISED to gossip first.

  1.  If you are thinking about starting a sentence with “I don’t want to offend you, but…” and planning to follow it up with “are you expecting again?” maybe just do your due diligence and GOSSIP FIRST. Ask someone else! Go ahead! Ask other people, if your co-worker who is a mother of a 10 month old and still breastfeeding, is pregnant again, BEFORE you ask her yourself. I promise you, it will save her from feeling that the world sees her as large as she sees herself.
  2. If someone is looking a little pudgy and you’re really hopeful they’re pregnant. GOSSIP FIRST. Chances are, someone will know and even if they do know and don’t tell you the truth, it’s better to ask around, before you ask the person directly. Because #donuts are a thing too, and not all pudgy tummies are carrying an extra set of arms and legs.
  3. Just don’t ask anyone if they’re pregnant ever. Because, if you do, you’re basically just saying “hey fatty, what’s good!”

Ok, I failed. There aren’t 3 times it’s ok to gossip first. There’s one and only one.

Do not ask someone if they’re pregnant. Ever. If someone IS pregnant, you shouldn’t have to ask. If they’re really pregnant, you would know the answer without asking. If they are pregnant and you don’t know about it, it means it’s not time for you to know! Please, for the love… DO NOT ASK anyone if they’re pregnant. Unless, of course, you like hurting people’s feelings.

PS. If you absolutely have to start a sentence with “I don’t want to offend you, but…” just be forewarned. You will offend them.

Disclaimer: The person who asked this question was not intending to hurt anyone’s feelings, but even a well intended question of this type, can still be hurtful. You never know how someone feels or sees them self and pointing out flaws can only intensify and already sensitive situation. Lesson here? Be kind and be thoughtful. Questions without forethought can be dangerous. Xoxo

Fighting the Working Mom Blues

23 Sep
Of course, this picture is fuzzy because I didn't take it. Daycare took it and sent me my son's first real life encounter with his beloved "Turler".

Of course this picture is fuzzy, because I didn’t take it. Daycare took it and sent me my son’s first real life encounter with his beloved and most favorite animal, the “Turler”.

Some days are just blue. You think about what your kid is doing, while sitting at your desk miles away from them, then when you do see them, they have learned a new skill, or set of words, or trick, that you weren’t there to experience with them. Or, you get a fuzzy picture from the daycare’s owner, of his first time touching a turtle, and you weren’t there. BLUE, I tell ya. Just blue… or grey.

All of the “I’m being a good example to him by working to support our family” condolences are sweet, but some days, I just wish I could sit on the couch with him all day, with no outside responsibilities. Or, go to the park, or throw him in the stroller and go for a late morning walk (like all the moms I see on my route between daycare and the office), go to the beach when it’s not packed, go to a toddler gym class, music class or swim class at 11:00AM on a Tuesday (you get the idea), but that is just not the case. Four to five days a week, he’s in “school” from 9-5 while I work, giving us a mere 2-3 days a week to spend time together. That is a hard pill to swallow. I’m not one of those moms who just “can’t give up their career”, or “wouldn’t be happy being at home all day”… I work to keep our family fed.

I’m not delusional either. I don’t think that staying at home is easier, and somehow that makes spending time with my kid/at home more enticing. That’s exactly opposite of what I think. There’s nothing about mothering that’s easier than being in my office all day. When I’m at work, I’m able to drink what I want, eat what I want, sit down to lunch like a human and actually eat my food while carrying on an uninterrupted conversation, pee by myself… there are a lot of perks to having the ability to go to work, but not one of those perks can replace the joy of witnessing my son smile so big at something new he’s discovered, or attempt to say new words (we’re currently working on making sentences I can understand. Today he said “more jelly” and I about burst). And yet, it’s a necessity. A necessity that comes with enormous sacrifices, and sometimes, those sacrifices leave me blue.

I’ve often said the words “I hate that someone else is raising my child, while I’m at work” and continued down the big blue hole.

While researching some mom blogs about how to make dinner prep time easier when you get home late and still want to salvage those precious 2 hours between getting off of work and bedtime, I found the encouragement I needed to continue on as a working mom, reset my understanding of my position in life, and leave some of the blue behind me.

You see, until now, I’ve been a huge part of the perspective problem. I’ve convinced myself that I’m doing something wrong by being gone all day, and letting someone else “raise my baby”, but that’s just not true!

NO ONE ELSE IS RAISING MY KID FOR ME. I AM. 

Our daycare teachers are not raising Remy for us. Not even when we had an in-home nanny, was someone else “raising” my kid for me. My husband and I raise our child. Together. Everyone else is paid to care for him in our absence while we’re at work, but like hell is anyone else actually raising our son for us. Last I checked, it was me he nursed from (still, at 19 months old), me who wakes up with him every morning and holds him as he goes to sleep at night. It’s my husband and I who feed him and wake up with him in the middle of the night. It was my husband and my bodies that made him, and my body that carried him for 38 weeks. We are the ones planning and scheduling and loving and caring for and holding and everything… except for a few hours a day, when our bodies are further away, but our minds… our minds and hearts are never absent. We rely on our amazing daycare for daily help, but that’s it.

We are the ones who determine how he will be raised and the ones whose hands, arms, minds, and hearts do all the work to accomplish that.

So, here I am… I initially started this post as a sad post about missing my son all day, and though I still am sad about missing him, and not getting to spend the time with him that I wish I could, I’m NOT sad because I feel like someone else is “raising him”, and I am not.

Thank you Kerry and Kristina for your words of wisdom and understanding, while also helping to remove some of my massive mom guilt. Thank you for helping me understand that I’m the mom, and that the absence of being at work, doesn’t replace me or trump me as a parent. Thank you for going the road before me and for helping me through… Thank you for helping me see a positive and honest perspective on our situation. Thank you.

Joanna’s Battle. Please Help. #CancerSucks

10 Jul
For the Love of Jo

Photo Cred: Jo’s Facebook Page

Joanna Sadaka. Her personality is as fiery as her name is cool.

We met Jo when signed to Island Records, years and years ago. I actually saw her last, at our old band manager’s funeral (RIP, John), so it’s been a few years. Like everyone that I don’t see on a daily basis now, I keep up with her fire and passions on Facebook and Instagram. I love Jo. She’s a beautiful person inside and out and deserves to live a long and full life.

I knew things had been rough with her family, but one day, she posted that she too was sick. It seemed that she would be ok, and was released from the hospital, just to get home, still struggle to feel “right”, and ended up in a different hospital that was able to accurately diagnose her illness.

Pancreatic cancer.

Shit.

Since April of this year, she’s been through hell and back, but is continuing to fight. After 4 rounds of chemo, she found out mid June that she needed 6 more weeks of chemo treatment.

I came across this fundraiser tonight and needed to post it. If you’re able to, even $5.00 will help Jo and her and her family. Her mom has breast cancer, her dad is hospitalized for tumors of a different sort, too. They need help. Please, please, please, help them if you can. If you can’t any positive thoughts and prayers you can donate will also for surely be appreciated.

Help Jo and her family.

Help Jo and her family.

 

Attack of the Killer Crows

28 May
Photo Cred: Vincent Bazen

Photo Cred: Vincent Bazen

Crows are scaaaaaary and when you’re on the receiving end of their wrath, they are a living nightmare.

Last Monday morning, I was on my way out to work. Grant was on his way to the library to study. Remy was in the house safe in the arms of his babysitter, getting ready for his first nap.

As I stood at my car, Grant called for me to come “look at the weird crow sitting by our kitchen door on the trash bag”. I sauntered over, as all self-proclaimed (but totally untrue) “animal whispers” would, thinking that this poor little crow was hurt or something. I mean, why else would he be sitting on the stoop by my kitchen door?

I approached him for two reasons; 1. because I’d left something in the kitchen and the baby was going down for a nap on the other side of the house, where the front door is and I didn’t want to distract the babysitter from accomplishing her napping goal; and 2. to see if he would move as I approached. I did not touch him, or even come close to touching him.

Apparently, what it did was piss off his mama.

Suddenly, my head was surrounded by flapping wings and a shrieking crow was trying to ward me off of her young. They must have been in the middle of flying lessons, and he found comfort on my trash (which of course, should have been sitting there in the first place).

I rushed into the house in a panic and slammed the door behind me. Our side door is a window paned door, so I watched as the crow “yelled” at me, beak gaping open and wings ferociously flapping.

Photo Cred: Mark Sebastian

Photo Cred: Mark Sebastian

Not wanting to be late to work, I got what I needed, and headed to our backdoor, thinking I would escape her wrath through the back… NOT SO.

I went outside and my scent must have carried, because suddenly, I was being chased by a big, nasty, PISSED OFF, mama crow. She swooped down to my head several times (see photo above, even though that’s not me) as I ran through my yard, down my side yard (opposite the side with the kitchen door) and when I got to the back gate, I remember that the gate was broken, and I had to run all the way back, around the entire house with an angry crow swooping down to my head, ruffling my hair, and screaming at me. My only options were to run like a lunatic, screaming, swearing and begging for my husband to save me.

I ran all the way to the street screaming and finally, with my protector husband close by, dropped down to my knees (in the middle of the street) and just started sobbing laughing. My husband was there screaming “Fuck You, Bird!!! Stay away from my family!”

If you know my husband, you know how funny this is. At that time, however, I was in tears and dear darling protector of mine flapped his wings so he appeared much bigger that the angry bird.

After the “attack” the crow sat our magnolia tree angrily pounding his (or her) open beak on the branches of the tree, with continued screaming, while ripping leaves off of the tree and throwing them to the ground. Our neighbor Molly said she was “trapped” in her house, and that the bird wouldn’t let her pass, so Grant had to escort her to her car… after all, the birds feared him. It wasn’t the only time he heard someone scream in fear, birds cawing, either. Our upstairs neighbor took to carrying an open umbrella to and from her car as protection!

For several days after, every time I walked outside, a crow would “caw” and I would crouch down… and a few times, I got warning swoops and one time, an extra low swoop to my head.

Thanks, Hitchcock. You’ve ruined me.

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