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Our Summer in Photos

Summer in photos

Visiting cousins

Bumper cars!!

Strike a pose

Good times!

My little handsome

Summer stroll

Sofia volunteering with “The Great Zandini”

Sofia being Sofia

They thought this was a real character, didn’t have the hear to explain it was the insurance bear

Boys doing what boys do

Spider Boy

David being the Court Jester

My little goofballs

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Mini vacay

So, it was overall a great summer weekend.

Saturday was unexpectedly blazing hot. Wasn’t expecting that! Since we were headed to the godmother’s house (she was taking Sofia and away to a casino/resort), I figured it would be fun to visit a Lake by her house. We spent a few hours there and the kids *loved* it. Will immediately asked when we would return and if we could “live there.”

Imagine my surprise (as I sat on my chair on the beach in a bathing suit – an occurrence limited to pools and lakes where I can be assured that no one will recognize me) when I realized there was a local news reporter with camera right next to me!! I was like “Oh, *helltotheno*, please point that camera away from me!!!!” Sheesh!!

As this was the godmother’s actual birthday, after our day in the sun, we headed over and food, cake, etc. The boys and Steve stayed until about 7 and then we continued to visit with her cousin, a Creative Writing professor at a local San Francisco University. It was quite nice as her and I always have lots to talk about. The boys were acting great and everyone commented on how good they were being.

So the godmother and her cousin slept in godmother’s room while Sofia and I slept on couches in the living room (as we always do). Apparently, her puppy (in its crate in the hall) was kept awake by our presence which resulted in godmother getting zero sleep. She tends towards drama and neuroses to begin with, so this lack of sleep exacerbated things. She was cranky and nitpicky most of the morning, but I tried to just go with the flow and help as much as possible.

Godmother continually fretted about what Sofia as the resort is a casino and how would she access the restaurants if she’s not allowed on the floor, etc. I repeatedly assured her it wouldn’t be a problem, that I’ve been to Vegas and kids are everywhere – as long as they’re not actually gambling, it’s fine. This did zero to calm her, so I finally called the casino and confirmed what I had said – that of course kids can walk through the casino to restaurants, just can’t be on the floor, next to someone gambling. Duh. No brainer. Done.

When I packed the car, Godmother went out of her way to tell me “Please don’t pack it high or I won’t be able to see…” I was biting my tongue left and right. I wanted to say “Oh, but I was hoping to pack the bags up so high to obstruct your view and compromise the safety of my child and myself, of course! You’re such a buzzkill!”

The day before we left, godmother had called and instructed me not to “pack a bunch of stuff” as we may have to leave the bags in the lobby as our room wouldn’t be ready, yada yada yada…I assured her the bags could be checked by the bellhop and quite frankly, when someone tells me not to pack a bunch of stuff, it only makes me want bring the biggest suitcase I have. I’m kind of evil that way. Can’t imagine where Sofia gets her oppositional behavior from????

She fretted more about the bags and I assured her the bell hop will take them and most likely we’d get a room sooner than 4 p.m. She was adamant we would not. And of course, we got a room right away.

Once we were checked in and unpacked, Sofia and I immediately escaped to the serenity of the pool and spent the bulk of our time there. Sofia worked that pool like nobody’s business. She made friends with everyone, had everyone’s life stories (and they ours) and had the bartender mixing her special lemonade drinks, giving her cookies. cutting up fruit for her, etc. It was such a sight to see. That girl is FEARLESS.

This being an Indian reservation casino/resort, I didn’t have huge expectations. This hotel was really nice, really nice!!!! Huge, gorgeous room. I was a little nervous about 4 of us sharing a room, but it was fine. Flat screen tv, huge walk in shower, Jacuzzi tub. Pleasantly surprised!

We ate lots of buffet food (which at first is fun but gets old pretty quick) and I had a few poolside margaritas – probably my favorite thing in the world. I got a nice tan, was able to relax a bit and got a nice dose of Vitamin D.

Sofia didn’t understand why she was not able to partake in what appeared to be the largest Arcade she had ever seen…Godmother insisted on dragging me to a machine to gamble (I insisted I had zero interest,). It was a slot and I explained to her that I prefer the poker machines. She gave me a little money to gamble for about 45 minutes and I went straight to the poker machines. I won $28 two times, but put all but $7 back. That was the extent of my gambling…Godmother won $800 and Godmother’s sister won $1000. Not bad.

It was actually quite nice and I’d love to go again – but Godmother needs to relax and let people just do their thing. She is constantly ragging on her sister or Sofia, I actually felt sorry for her sister a few times. I’ve known Godmother for over 30 years but never seen her so controlling and neurotic as the past year and a half. I am told this often comes with age and general lack of patience or tolerance. I think in her case that is all true, but the bulk of it comes from having never married and being independent for so many years. I have similar challenges with this, having married late in life. Never getting married, never living long term with someone else, never having kids – her very existence is self centered, as it should be. It’s just who she is. Hard to take over an extended period of time, that’s all.

I love her to death but even as a young girl, I remember her having skewed expectations of people. She could never understand my acceptance of my father’s behavior and lack of expectation of him to ever change. People are who they are, ya know? I feel the same way now as I did then – I’m not going to waste my time and energy trying to bend people to my will or freaking out about it. I have plenty of more tangible stuff to freak out about as it is.

Anyway – I have a nice tan. I had some cocktails. I had a little mini-escape, so that’s all good in my book.

Here’s some photos –

Will at the lake

Hotel Room

Are We at the Pool Yet

Chillaxin in the hot tub

It’s 3:00 somewhere!

BFF with the bartender

Hot tub and pool, all to ourselves!!! Sweet

Back to the Godmother’s

Kisses from Bella

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So, it’s been a while since I updated this blog. Months. Since I started my blog in 2007, I never thought I’d go this long without an update. Truth be told, 2012 has not been a great year thus far. I’ve spent the past 4-5 months trying to keep my head above water, so not a lot of time or mental fortitude to write anything inspired. But in the end, this blog has been my creative outlet, so I am going to attempt to return to writing, with some regularity, starting today.

So what the *hell* have we been doing the past 5 months? Oh, lots. Let me break.it.down.

The marriage:
Nothing new there. I’m still bitter about last year’s near-indiscretion and not sure I’ll ever get over it. Also quite resentful about the financial situation and carrying the burden of responsibility for our family of five. It’s something I feel the weight of every minute, every second of every day…I can never forget that I have 3 little people depending on me to feed, clothe and love them, keep them safe. I’m not saying I’m doing anything spectacularI know tons of single moms do this and thrive – but I’m not technically a single mom and the resentment I feel for my husband is hard to get past at times. I’m trying. He’s trying. We all are.

Family:
I did finally come clean with my brother about how dire our financial situation is and while I expected him to judge (he has before), he didn’t. Inside he may have been, but he only offered support and love, which was much needed and welcomed. We had a chance to reconnect a bit and that meant the world to me.

My mental health:
It varies. Some days I’m fine, but other days, I am fighting back panic attacks and tears most of the day. Thank god for Klonopin, that’s all I can say.

When it rains, it pours:
A few weeks back, we had both cars give us problems. The van needed front end work, so not drivable on the freeway. The other car wouldn’t start. Got a new battery and still wouldn’t start. It was probably the lowest point of this year for us, by far. I barely had money to buy groceries and here I have 2 cars non-functional at the same time. A co worker drove me to work all week and by the grace of god, a mechanic up the street diagnosed it as an electrical problem and fixed it, free of charge. We still need front end work on the van, but it can be driven around town (Steve doesn’t need to go far now that the kids are out of school) but at least one car works. Last week, our refrigerator stopped keeping food cold. So we are currently keeping all of our food in the freezer. This happened last year and cost $250 to fix. I’m going to try a 48 hour defrost, but haven’t had a chance. Last week, Sofia swallowed a polished quartz stone about the size of a nickel. It has yet to pass through. So, after work, I am going to take her to after care as I won’t be able to rest until I do.

Work:
Where to start? I have tried for several different positions lately and for a variety of reasons involving politics and a cuthroat job market, have not gotten any of them. I’ve come close, but no cigar. There’s one left, so we’ll see. Being involved in such competitive job searches has shaken my confidence a bit. Then again, maybe I’m not meant to leave here. Maybe I’m meant to stay in this position as it offers me flexibility. Maybe the universe knows I can’t handle a high pressure job with 3 small children. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Who knows. I feel like something is keeping me here and pretty soon, will stop fighting it and get on my husband’s ass to do something.

Finances:
Not great, obviously. I am still working on the side for the German, but there have been a few dry spells in there that were scary for me. I have gotten behind on a few things, but somehow always manage to make the payment in the end. People (who know the real deal) comment on how the hell I am doing it on my salary and I have to tell you, I have no idea. I have to go out there and hustle and let me tell you, this is not in my nature – not even close. I would rather stay home and watch Real Housewives repeats. But I am a mama bear and if hustling is what I need to do to put food on the table, this is what I will do. (and by hustle, I mean, actively seek out work, actively seek out new positions, sell myself, etc.)

Sofia:
She is as challenging as ever. In fact, while the boys become less challenging, she becomes more challenging. The past few months have consisted of daily battles, tantrums, oppositional behavior, exhausting everyone in her wake. All that said, since school let out, she is bored, but much more manageable. I think she’s getting more sleep and that’s a huge difference. She does go to bed early during the school year, but I think the getting up early and pressures of school and all that goes with it takes a lot out of her. Who knows, maybe my little princes will become beasts when they start school as well. When she is in her “normal” state of mind, she is the most articulate, engaging, bright and loving little girl you’d ever want to meet. It’s the times when she’s not in her regular state of mind – head spinning around a la Linda Blair, tantruming, screaming, kicking and acting out – that is so concerning. I’ve talked to her pedi, who talked to a child psych and because of my own family history, her anxiety and vomiting phobia (think I’ve mentioned this before), they feel she is symptomatic enough for an evaluation. So, just trying to process that and see how to move forward. One day at a time.

Will:
He is my little prince. Selfless, adorable, loving, smart, creative. Steve likes to joke that he is going to be a priest and I can’t say that I disagree. Whenever I take him out, if he buys something for himself, he always thinks of his brother and sister. Would they think of him in the same way? Probably not. He is the first to clean up, listen to what I say, make his bed, and fall in line. He’s a kind, selfless child and I am so thankful that one of them is like this.

Dave:
David has come a long way in the past year. He burst out of his shell and loves to make people laugh. We joke that he’s a “song and dance” man as he loves to dance around to Michael Jackson and do air guitar. He’s quite petite for his age, so people always laugh when they see him do this stuff. He’s also quite a terror on his bike. He’s been riding w/no training wheels since he was 4, so when people see this little guy who looks 3, tearing it up on his bike, they stare in amazement. It’s awesome! He’s a bundle of energy, but he makes me laugh and smile on a daily basis. He’s always telling me I look pretty, even when I have just woken up (which I can assure you, is not my prettiest moment). He’s truly a doll.

I think that brings us up to speed with how I’ve spent the past 4-5 months. Things are hard, but could be worse. The kids are happy, despite it all. They do ask for things that we can’t afford, and that is hard, but they do seem to “get it” after a while. We had a very generous and kind friend treat us to a Disneyland trip in February, all expenses paid – stayed at the Disneyland hotel. That didn’t suck.

There are no summer camps in our summer, but I’m lucky to have them spending time at home, playing in the yard, their dad at their disposal, just like I did as a kid. I think summer camp is great and god knows, I wish I could send them to some, but I never had camp growing up (and neither did any of my friends) and we managed to get by just fine. It’s going to be ok. My husband may lose his mind, but it’s going to be okay.

The good news, the godmother is taking Sofia and me away this weekend to a resort. I’m a little nervous about leaving the boys (guilt), but am hoping this is a time for relaxation and to put aside my troubles and enjoy a cocktail or two. Or five. We shall see. Sofia has been quite good this week, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

Hopefully, this will be the first of many blog posts to come!

A pictorial history of what we’ve been up to the last 5 months!!

My favorite pic of the kids this year

Sofia teaching Geography

My silly boys at their 5 year old doc appt – complete with boy move hand in pants

Hearing test

Doing what they do

Tee ball

Impromptu trip to Disney in February (treated by friends)

Got SOfia’s haircut for a birthday party

Just another day at the park

Sofia bridging to Brownies

The kids trying to convince me a new kitten is just what we needed in our lives

Sofia being Sofia

Will after buying items for his brother and sister, with his own quarters, after buying something for himself

Sofia flying a kite with her 8th grade buddy on their 1st grade/8th grade end of the year picnic

Will running for base

Playing with the cousins

Sofia’s bowling birthday party

Sofia and her godmother at the park

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Wordless Wednesday…

My boys the Summer of 4

A Summer of going to the park, Legos, rock collecting and digging in dirt…

Good times…

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Birthday Party Pics

We had Sofia’s birthday party over the weekend. It was a few months postponed as the original party was in June, but got rained out. Her birthday is actually in April, but that is beside the point.

Sofia and her cousin. Watch out world!

HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY, SOFIA!

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After I wrote the last post, I managed to get a lot done.

I organized the boys’ hand me downs into 5’s and 6’s, put them in bins, etc. Its been nice having a steady stream of hand me downs for the boys. Nice stuff, too. Some of it will never be used (ski outfits, boots) but much of it is wonderful (Gap jeans, sneakers, khakis, polo shirts, multitude of cool tee shirts, pajamas, jackets, bathing suits, you name it – all name brand stuff I’d never buy). The boys are so hard on clothing that the name brand stuff is essential at times.

Anyway, because the last post was so ridiculously Debbie Downer, I have decided it’s time to post some fluffage. It’s been a while and while my kids are truly a huge source of angst for me at this point, they’re also pretty effing cute.

Sofia wearing a beautiful shawl given to her by my co-worker.

Looking all cute, waiting to go paint pottery

Learning how to monkey bar one handed-ly (not a word, I know)

My superstars

My crazy tricycle driver (baby steps. He’s the size of a 3 yr old and just mastered the tricycle)

The boys doing what they do

My devil children at Target. Note the passive look on clueless dad’s face. This was mere moments before the women who joined us in line commented on how “lively” our boys were.

The boys, in actione

Sofia rushing to join her brothers

Another from behind shot – my favorites


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In addition to Easter festivities, this week has also brought my daughter’s 6th  birthday.

Ever since having children, 6 always felt like such a milestone, so far away, when the child really transitions from a small child into “real” childhood. It feels…different.

It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since the happiest day of my life, but it has. Not to sound dramatic or anything, but it feels like a thousand years ago.

I held you in my arms and dared anyone to ever try to take you away from me.

Daddy and I had our first night out since you were born.

We had your first professional photo shoot.

And oh how I loved taking pictures of you!

You played with my dad, a few weeks before his death in 2006

You got accustomed to the growing babies in my belly...or not…

We dressed you in Halloween outfits that you’d never agree to today!

The boys were born and we had a hellish 6 months…

But slowly, you adapted to having these new little additions to our family…

We were potty training

You tried to draw a letter 

You got cuter and cuter (2 years old) looking more like steve every day.

You made the best Dorothy EVER

We did Disneylandas a family for the first time

You showed that girls really do just want to have fun

You became BFF’s with another girl named Sofia

You showed me you were going to give me a run for my money in Alpha Taurus

and yet again in Alpha Taurus II

You showed lots of early interest in drawing

You started asking about makeup and questioning self image

You learned how to Google

You practiced your burgeoning acting skills

and your audition for American Idol 2021

to your newfound love for Justin Bieber

And you got more and more beautiful every day, inside and out.

Oh, this girl gives me a run for my money on a daily basis. We are both headstrong and I can see that the teen years are going to be…shall we say…challenging? But I could not have asked for a more dynamic, engaged, articulate, whip-smart, gorgeous, little girl!

I love you, SOFIA! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my first born….

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