Archive for September, 2010

Sunday Thanks…

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

T and I attended a birthday party yesterday morning, held in a park. It was hot at 10:00a.m., soon to reach triple digits. All the toddlers had red cheeks. Luckily there were shade trees so the cupcakes didn’t melt. And the kids didn’t notice—they bounced in the bouncer and played like crazy and wore their long princess dresses if they were girls. T played so hard I was sure he’d have a 3 hour nap, but unfortunately he didn’t transfer from his snooze on the car ride home, to bed. Before I could panic, my husband ordered me to have a nap. When I woke up, he and T were sitting on a sheet on the kitchen floor. They’d made a rocket out of a paper towel roll, duct tape and gold pipe cleaners. They had the paints out. Music was on the CD player. They were having fun. I stared at them, thinking, Oh yeah—this is family life—I have a family—I am a mother and a wife—oh yeah!

Even though T is almost 3 years old, this revelation still slams me.

Crayons make good rocktes, too…

I made pizza pinwheels and we piled in the minivan and headed for Zuma Beach for dinner, driving away from the boiling valley toward coolness. Of course T fell asleep on the way there, pinwheel in hand. He didn’t wake up until we’d spread the blanket on the sand and the breeze swooped in, sea air buffeting his gold locks, whirling around his nose, reviving him. He ran non-stop for the next 2 hours, his Dadda runnning with him as I watched from the blanket, seagulls circling our dinner. There were several falls, some crying, but mostly happy gallavanting. One canny mother had thought to bring a clear plastic container she filled to the brim with sand and seawater. Darting through the murk were sandcrabs, attracting kids like a magnet. Kids, and my son, loved sticking their hands in the water and having the crabs ricochet off their skin. Genius!

They found a hole!

Marriage, a BABY, all seemed, for so long, simply not for me. I was close-minded and probably judgmental of people who had kids—especially if screaming was involved on a transatlantic flight. I learned about children from my sisters’ kids, true. I babysat, I watched, slack-jawed, as they grew like those little pills you stick in water, that instantly balloon into dinosaurs or flowers. But it was impossible for me to have as much empathy for parents and children as I do now. Of course it was! Still, this revelation slams me, too—and I feel a little guilty.

Beach bunny.

My empathy meter these days? It’s in danger of bursting, I have that much. It can be hard to be a baby, it can be lonely being a mother/suburban housewife/part-time poet/outings-initiator, it can be frustrating when others have misplaced their empathy meters and fail to open doors for mothers with strollers or resort to dirty looks when a child has a tantrum in the aisles of Target, but the patience and understanding I have gained, the family I am an active particpant in? My husband and I may have come to this later than is traditional, but all I can feel is, yes, yes, yes.

Home from Zuma, the toddler passed out for the night, my husband tapping away on his computer, I pour a glass of wine and fold another load of laundry—as content as though I’ve swallowed a peace pill, as awed as if I’ve just watched a rocket take off for Mars. You’ve done it now, PB, I think.You’ve gone and got yourself a life.

Thank you, thank you, thank you…


Blog Break # Infinity…

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010


The only problem with coming home is leaving the above behind. And allowing for a day of fatigue, in which mother and son are flattened by all the gallavanting they’ve done the week before. Once breakfast concludes, we take eons to dress and whatever else and get our bottoms to Trader Joe’s. Plus, it’s 90 degrees by the end of T’s naptime, so forget Gaga-walking around the neighborhood with T in the stroller, forget piling into the broiling minivan and driving anywhere, forget it. We read books in his room, color paper plates, wash dishes, I teach him how to put the folded laundry away (this includes many drawer openings and shuttings and a slew of high-fives). We roll out the pizza dough and he presses the pulse button on the food processor, not knowing that the spinach and beets and creamy Swiss cheese he is mashing together will comprise the base of his pizza dough, disguised with cheese and olives (and, later, he eats it, still oblivious—a Mama is victorious). We hibernate in stifling September, in the cool of the A/C. And I think fondly of the beach we traversed and mucked about on only yesterday—the perfect playground. It’s good to go away and it’s good to come home, but I have to say that most of all: It’s bloody darn pinchy good to have energy. Vital, even! Ha, ha!


THE OTHER BLOG (it’s very quiet over there tonight)

Blog Break: On Retreat

Monday, September 20th, 2010

We have been away for a week—‘we’ meaning myself and my son—and, yesterday morning, bright and early, for the first time in 6 days, D.A.D.D.A. arrived and became instantly on retreat with us. We were very glad to see him. Not that we didn’t do fine on our own—we did beautifully (helped to have grandma and aunties and beach close by)! But of course life is more fun with Dadda around, too. Plus, he showed up with pirate eye patches and telescopes, thrilling T. For news about the retreat, visit my other blog. Until we meet again, I will be reacquainting myself with suburbia, dealing with the appalling “no ocean” aspect of living in the San Fernando Valley and hopefully attending some playdates. Cocktail, anyone? (cue Phyllis Diller laugh)



Present Reminiscence (w/Sunday Sounds)…

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

“Okay, let’s go! Dadda’s coming. Dadda’s coming. Unh—gotta da teddy bear! Teddy bear! Let’s go. Okay. Let’s go. C’mon, let’s go. Hi, Mama! Okay. Now. Dadda. Let’s play animals. Get nice and cozy. Nice and cozy. Let’s go get da room, Dadda. We close the door?” (Door shuts—I listen to T and his dad play “animals”, which means T lies on the floor and Dadda places all of T’s stuffed animals on top of him, T saying the entire time, “Cozy, so cozy!”)

Where did he go?

I listen from my bed office, house finch chatter and Sunday sunshine pouring mildly through the windows, mug of coffee (my sturdy “Nepenthe” mug) on the side table, enjoying cool wafts of air, Julian’s chatter, strains of Crosby, Stills and Nash from the kitchen boombox, Al the cat banging on the front door to be let in— sounds of family life in the suburbs.

It’s moments like these when I am so thankful I’m no longer single and living in trendy Los Feliz, in a small apartment building filled with single people hiding out from audition rejections, writing rejections, date rejections, the heat, the sunglasses and ripped jeans wearing crowds at The Bourgeois Pig (and it’s pricy coffees and ugly art on black walls) and Birds down the block, hiding from each other, from everything.

Cozy, so cozy!

It’s moments like these I’m grateful I no longer live on a sailboat in Marina Del Rey, despite the beautiful neighborhood and ocean air and cheap rent and friendly neighbors with martinis on their minds, where living was camping every day, a long way from Hollywood business, and crazy-mad on the weekends when every single boat owner in the city showed up to play and writing was simply impossible.

It’s moments like these I’m grateful I no longer live in Echo Park in the building replete with grecian urns and mirrored hallways and views from downtown to Santa Monica–a fabulous view to write by, Elysian Park and its grassy lushness and hiking trails just steps away from the building, Chango for coffee just down the street, but so lonely at night gazing at the soup of city lights, listening to coyote howls and car crashes or high heels and dinner-party-laughter in the unit upstairs and mournful owl hoots in the fir trees as I sat on my narrow balcony with my glass of wine and my candle, view-gazing, licking my wounds, wondering if I’d ever meet Mr. Wonderful, trying not to wonder.

And he switches to animals on the bed.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

PB WRITES (PB’s Writing Blog)

My Peeps…

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

These are my peeps.

I need my people, my people…

I meet up with them hey, maybe 3, maybe 6 times a week depending on life.

This is hard, every time. Isn’t it supposed to get easier?

Our meetups—and I mean regular meetups, not 1 hour in the odd weekday here or there—have been going on for about 4 months. We say Hi!, pick up our weights, and start rocking on the Wave, which I discovered late at night once, when my son was about 2 months old and needed to nurse. Bleary-eyed, I turned on the TV that fateful night and there were my Wave peeps, pushing their product and telling me that after only 10 times rocking my butt off on the plasticky blue contraption, I would notice a difference in my body (how much of a difference was, for obvious reasons, never specified), because I would be working TOTAL BODY, they assured me. Working TOTAL BODY is the touted benefit of the Wave. I had put on 50 pounds during my pregnancy and maybe an ounce of that vacated my physical premises after my son was born. One. Ounce. I so wanted to believe the Wave women. I needed to believe them.

Those are weights in their hands. 5 and 3 pounders.

My Wave sat around for a couple of years until I started using it consistently. Pre-Wave, I dropped more baby weight, slowly, but now that I am a consistent Waver? I crave my peeps. Peeps-fixes are vital. Even though I could hardly walk after the first usage (not a great body-place to be in when you’re keeping up with a toddler) even though it’s taken far more than 10 times of Wave rocking for me to notice anything different about my post-pregnancy, previously IN N OUT burger indulging physical self, something is happening at last. My arms and legs feel stronger. I don’t throw my back out when I pick up my son or the stuffed-to-the-gills laundry basket. I breathe better. And although there are moments when I’m nervous my shoe will slip and send me over the edge of my Wave and into the coffee table where I will lie under a pile of smashed wood and cardio weights bleating for paramedics, I don’t fall. I just do it, like Nike. Or, maybe not like Nike. Maybe more that Subway sandwiches man—I don’t think he works out, though. Blrrrrrgh.

The bent row!

When in the wild heck do I have time to exercise? When my husband returns from work, when all I really want to do is climb in bed and FB while scarfing down my son’s leftover spinach tortellinis. Sometimes I’m this: Hi, Peepies!—at nine o’ clock at night, after my son is in dreamland. Yeah. Wave-rocking peeps at 9p.m. Who am I?

Wave sunnyside up for step aerobics. Ha ha! Ingenious. zzzzzzzz

The only thing that bothers me about my peeps is that Tina and Louise are always working out next to each other. They’re introduced that way by Ally. “Joining us,” she says through her enormous, glittering smile, “are Tina, Louise…”. Maybe it was a conscious tribute to Tina Louise and “Gilligan’s Island”, placing those two together in that order? Why didn’t they do LOUISE then TINA. My peeps all have the same body type, so would it really have mattered if Tina and Louise switched places? I wonder this EVERY SINGLE TIME I join my peeps. I just can’t get over it. Tina. Louise. Ooookay. obsessobsessobsession

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a…zzzzzzzz

Many times I was going to quit, return to IN N OUT double doubles with cheese. Nothing was happening to me anyway, except a little weight loss down by my big toe, a little muscle tone in my pinky fingers—so why try? Why not just give in to hormones and grease? But I’ve hung in and hung in and hung in and hung in and now I’ve lost 10 pounds depending on which scale I’m utilizing and I’ve realized that I simply can’t NOT work out as I’m a saner, calmer person for it. I don’t worry as much. I have more energy. I’m chirpy. I—zzzzzzzzz…

My camera sucks.

So I guess I recommend my peeps. Just be sure your workout shoes have non-skid bottoms. And whatever you do, don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere fast and don’t give up. Unless you’re driving by this:

I miss you, Man!