Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Happy!

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

And to my fellow Whovians, Happy Regeneration Day!  :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Well, THAT Was Fun!!!!!!

Feeling much better now.  THANK YOU for all your support!  It really means the world!

  It has been suggested, by folks wiser than I, that a gluten sensitivity can often be a cause of depression, particularly long-term, low-grade depression like mine.  So I'm spending 2 weeks utterly GF, and seeing how I feel.  It's PMS time, so if it works, that'd be somethin', eh?

I think I'm also feeling restless.  Coming out of the (mostly) stay-at-home-mom cocoon and not knowing exactly which end is up. And realizing that, as much as I enjoyed them at the time, the teaching jobs I had (Pilates, then theater for young 'uns) are NOT meant to be my life's work.  It's most likely true that, at this point, raising my kids IS my life's work, and my creative stuff is my side job.  Which is fine.  As long as I actually get to DO creative stuff.
Short films. A solo stage show written by ME. Performing in other peoples' shows again. Short stories.  Maybe a novel. Bass player for the Rolling Stones (If I ever actually learn to play bass).  Who the heck knows?

I'm trying to look at this time as a re-awakening. I also watched an interview with someone whom i greatly admire, and he was saying that it took him until his 40th year to realize that the way to succeed in his creative life was to be himself, and not try to fit into any cookie-cutter mold.  And when he did that, guess what happened?  His career started taking off!  Yes, there were peaks and valleys, but he's now playing his dream role.

So what did I get out of that?  Well, another light bulb went off.  When I started grad school, I'd been working professionally for 3 years and had built up my confidence.  To the point where I actually started assuming I'd get pretty much every role I auditioned for.  It wasn't ego, really, it was just that I focused on the work rather than on trying to impress or please anyone.   By the time I FINISHED grad school, all that had disappeared.  Because I once again started wanting to please my instructors.  That became more important than doing my job and telling the story of whichever show I happened to be in at the time.  Ironic, yes?  Because if pleasing others was my focus, the best way to do that would've been to, well, do my job and tell the story!  But I got caught up in the minutiae, trying so hard to do everything RIGHT, that the bigger picture, the whole, got lost.
Then I moved to L.A. and, while I got some of my performing confidence back, I got caught up in body image issues again.  I honestly believed I didn't DESERVE to work because I wasn't attractive enough. Beliefs helped along by the industry, of course.  And I'm sorry for repeating myself here, but I'm still discovering just how deep and insidious these beliefs are.

It's time for me to put down the cookie cutters and find my own voice again.  I tell my students that what they bring to the table is ALWAYS more interesting than any persona they try to put on.  Why don't I take my own advice?  Oh right, it's a lot easier to dish it out to other people.  :)

I think I'm at a pretty interesting, juicy time of life right now.  I've lived a bit, I've experienced a lot, and I certainly know more now than I did 20 years ago.  I may not have the unlined skin, perky boobs and high metabolism I had then, but I also don't have the same crippling insecurities, fear, and self-consciousness, either.  I think I have something to say, and I think it's something that is interesting and that people can relate to.

There's a great quote from "The Velveteen Rabbit":  The rabbit asks the Skin Horse what it means to be real: "Generally, by the time you are real, most of your skin has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints, and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

I get it now.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Epic Fail

During those times (which, sadly, seem to be coming more frequently these days) when I look at my life and wonder how the HELL I got HERE, my saving grace has usually been "OK, maybe I'm 44 and living, if not with MY parents, with my HUSBAND'S parents, and maybe I'm unemployed and maybe all my dreams have gone the way of the Dodo, but at least I'm a good mom and am there for my special kids with special needs.
Until one of them *cough WG cough* spends the better part of 2 days crying and, not only is there nothing I can do to help, but SHE DOESN'T WANT ME THERE.
Well, at times. Sometimes she'll crawl into my lap and squeeze me, and then, after a few minutes of that, push me out of the room.
Part of me thinks it's the onset of puberty. But, of course, I have no way of knowing for sure, being as she is non-verbal.

So I am left feeling like the worst, most incompetent parent in the world.  And, at 2 AM, when she's FINALLY falling asleep, wondering WTF is my purpose on this planet?!?!?!  It's not like I add much.  Truthfully.  For as long as I can remember, I've been depressed, scared, and pretty much useless.  For a few years I brought something to the world as an actor and teacher.  I was effective.  But that only lasted a short while.

So I guess the question I have to ask is the age-old one: Why Am I Here?  But I need to find an answer.  Because I don't want to be useless.  I don't want to waste my time/oxygen/space here.  I've probably already lived half (or more) of my life.  I KNOW I wasn't sent here just to eat food & surf the 'net.

Granted, I don't always feel this down.  But it just seems to be happening more and more, again.   And I know there are some who give up everything for their kids are are happy to do so.  I suppose I'm just not that selfless.  Because as time goes on, I often feel more and more trapped.  It hurts to say it, it hurts to feel it. Because, OF COURSE I love my kids, and want to do everything I can for them!  But we're also struggling financially, and I don't think my sacrificing everything is helpful to them.  My nightmare is that I'll wake up in another 10 years feeling resentful and angry all the time.  What the hell kind of mom would I be then?

Plenty of people who are not in my position have tried to make me feel guilty for wanting a little of my life back.  It doesn't always work, but sometimes it hits a nerve.

And now, in this living situation, where everyone has an opinion, expressed loudly, but no one wants to lend a hand, I sometimes just want to scream.  There's also this weird competition that my M-I-L seems to feel regarding cooking and, specifically, feeding my husband.  Add that to the fact that neither she nor my F-I-L respects to no-gluten rule when it comes to my kids.
I feel sometimes like I've woken up on the other side of the looking glass, with no way to get back home. At least not for a few more years, until we can afford to move out again.

So, yes, I feel trapped.

And my depression is back.  I'm getting pretty tired of it.  I've felt this way since I was 6 years old, and I'm not sure if it will ever fully go away.
So I tap, and I meditate, and it helps A LOT.  But sometimes it's a lot harder to find my way out.

I just didn't imagine that this is where I'd be at this stage of my life.
I feel like a massive failure, and I'm not sure how to STOP feeling this way.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Yosemite, Time Portals, Daleks in the Ahwanee, and Bossy Characters.

We spent Thanksgiving at Yosemite this year.  After the past few months, it was good to get away, just the 4 of us.  Our usual Best Western was booked solid, so we went to a different one, in Mariposa, California.  Which, as it turns out, is a pretty cool town.  We took the kids for a walk through downtown (all 2 blocks of it) on Friday night, and it was really nice!
There is also a large number of outdoor cats there.  I wondered if they were strays, but they're all very clean and well-groomed.  And utterly indifferent to the stupid human adults who make kissy noises at them and want to pet them.
Oh well.
Our first morning there we went to a little coffee place.  I asked for a soy mocha, but they were out of soy milk. They did, however, have coconut milk. The 2 baristas (one of whom is the owner, I believe) and I all got very excited at the prospect of a coconut mocha.  And it was GOOOOOOOOD!  So good that I went back the next day and ordered it again! It was like drinking a Mounds bar!  Even Hubby liked it, and he doesn't usually go for sweet coffee.
And, yes, I had sugar.  On vacation.  During Thanksgiving.  A tiny blip.

That lasted 5 days.

But I'm back on track now.
Yesterday i went for a walk, and ended up walking into a headwind, uphill.  Got a good workout, lol!

But back to Yosemite: We decided to take a 2.2 mile trail to Mirror Lake.  So called, I believe, because it is near El Capitain and, at certain times of the day, El Cap is MIRRORED in the lake.  Ya see what they did there?  Huh?  Huh?
It was a lovely hike.  It started to get cold as we neared the lake, because we got an early start and the sun wasn't reaching us.  And as we got to our destination, we discovered that the lake was, well, completely empty!  We've had a bit of a drought over the last few years, so there's been no runoff from the mountains to fill the lake, which is pretty shallow.
But it was very cool to be able to walk around IN it.  Both of our phone batteries died (we're getting new phones this month) so we couldn't take pictures, but it was fun.  And there were lots of other folks taking advantage, as well.
LG had a FANTASTIC time, running around, climbing, exploring.  WG was a bit more tentative, but happier once she had a snack.
Afterwards, we hiked back and went to the Ahwanee hotel to sit by the fire & warm up.  That was when I had my brilliant idea to set an episode of "Doctor Who" in Yosemite.  To have Daleks take over the Ahwanee, which is quite posh (President Kennedy once stayed there) and have them duke it out with The Doctor in the shadow of Half Dome.  Hubby also contributed: There's an area near the park called El Portal, and he pointed out that that could be the TIME portal where the Daleks enter Yosemite.

We were both a bit sleep deprived as we discussed this.  The kids had woken up at 5:30 that morning,  we'd just completed a 4 1/2 mile hike with them, and we were still thawing out. There may have been a TINY bit of delirium.

But it was a great little vacation. It was only 2 days.  Wanted to avoid the holiday traffic and have a day to decompress before work/school on Monday. And it was a quick drive: Less than 4 hours INCLUDING potty stops.
Y'know, for the kids.
That's my story, etc.

So now we're back.  3 more weeks until Winter break, and then it's 2014.
And still no jetpacks or flying cars?

Maybe in 2015.

Anyway, I'm working on my writing.  Nothing terribly exciting to report on that front, except that I had another story idea while in Yosemite.  I've always heard authors talk about how their characters dictate the story, but had never really experienced it until now.  The problem is, they're a bit indecisive at the moment.  I started with a very firm idea of where I wanted the story to go, but they didn't want to go there.  So I relented, and let them lead the way.  Now they're saying "On second thought, you know that idea you originally had?  Maybe it's not so bad after all.  Or maybe it is.  We don't know.  You'll just have to keep going, and then we'll make up our minds, 'kay? Good.  Buh-bye now."
Bossy little brats.
I have my class tomorrow night.  Maybe that'll help 'em out a bit.

And now it is time for me to get on with my day.

Have a good one, all!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You Are An Obsession

If you're a child of the 80's like me, you now have that song stuck in your head.
You're welcome.

I have to warn you, gentle reader, that this is, in fact, a post about some of my obsessions.  Mainly actors.  Because I have an idea as to why I become such a mega-fan of certain folks at certain times, but I need to work it out in my head.  The best way to do that is to write it down, in a place where I am at least semi-accountable.  In other words, my private journal ain't gonna work for this.
So feel free to navigate away from this page while I try to figure out one of my (many, MANY) neuroses.

In my defense, the people I semi-obsess over are always supremely talented.  That's usually what draws me to their work in the first place.  The fact that they are also, inevitably, good-looking is really just frosting.  Plus, I mean, c'mon, I'm only human!  A red-blooded female human, at that!  And it's not like I'm stalking them or trying to make anything happen.  I'm happily married with a great life.  (Plus, stalking seems like it would require a lot of planning and energy.  The former isn't my strong suit, and G-d knows I have precious little of the latter!)

My latest is someone whom I've actually been a fan of for nearly 2 decades.  But his profile has been raised significantly recently, and I'm catching up on some work he's done lately that I hadn't seen.  So, yeah: He's brilliant.  Even more so than I already knew.
But there's also something about him that reminds me of Hubby.  Not physically, but his performance style.  He's very unique, has made his own path in the industry, and his work is often very physical.  Just like Hubby.  It's quite different from my own way of working, and I've always been intrigued by, and quite jealous of, folks who have that. (See earlier posts re klutziness.)
He's also someone who has done so much in his life, not just acting.  I'm someone, as you know, who's afraid of everything, and trying something news is one of the great terrors of my life.  But NOT trying new things has also been one of the greatest regrets of my life.  At a pretty young age I convinced myself that I pretty much sucked at everything EXCEPT acting, and to not bother.  Part of this was experience:  I was forced into things like tennis lessons: Hated every second of it, and I was comically horrible at it.  Same with baseball, skiing (or any sport), dance, singing, and a bunch of other stuff.  But when I started drama, I enjoyed it AND I was good at it, so I clung to it like flotsam in a shipwreck.  (As far as the dancing & singing, well, I can carry a tune and do a little tap number.  And Zumba. So I'm not as sucky at those things as I convinced myself I was when I was a kid.)
I also learned from the adults in my life that if you couldn't do something well the first time, just STOP, because otherwise you're just making a fool of yourself.

Basically, I took in a lot of things as a kid that I'm still trying hard to un-learn.  And I think I cleave to people who, as far as I can tell, either never learned those things or have rejected them or found a way out of or around them.

It's also worth noting that these same folks are, by all accounts, kind and generous people.  That's important to me.  I try to be kind and generous. I hope I succeed more often than not.
And they haven't had it easy.  Nothing was handed to them.  They've worked long and hard to be where they are.  Something else I admire and respect.  Because I've worked hard, too.  I was never the star pupil, the prettiest girl, the most talented, the smartest, and I can honestly say that NOTHING comes easily to me, lol!  So I guess I see something of myself in these people, as well.

I've often been invisible.  Sometimes through choice, having been a painfully shy kid.  Sometimes for other reasons.  Acting was, for me, a way to be seen.  A way to have a voice.  It was a lot easier to speak words someone else had written than to find my own. And the approval I often got for speaking those words was addictive.  I felt like such a failure at everything else, being a good actor became utterly imperative. I believed I was truly unlikable/unlovable.  Which was odd, because I had a group of good, tight friends. People I'm STILL friends with! Go figure!
I desperately needed approval, and I usually got it on stage.  And, because I'm human, I STILL need approval.
And I'm still learning to get it from myself, not rely on external sources.
But the idea of getting approval from someone we admire is a pretty attractive one, isn't it?  And when it DOES happen, it's tres cool.

But I can't rely on that.  Nor do I want to.

So I will continue to ask myself: What is it about this person (whomever he may be at any given moment) that calls to me? What do I feel is lacking in myself?  And if I ever meet him, can I PLEASE act like a sane, rational grown-up and not frighten him?!?!

In the meantime, I can use their example to do things that scare me, or try things that intrigue me.  Or simply use it as the impetus I need to get my a** back onstage after 10 years!

I think this concludes my introspection for the evening.  Thank you for reading, and good night.  Remember to tip your waitstaff.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Wrote a Play. Kind Of.

Not a full-length play.  Not even a GOOD play.  It was written over the course of 3 hours in class the other night and, to be truthful, I didn't even know I was writing it until the last hour. None of us did.  We all wrote a short, 5-act play as an exercise.
We each wrote our own, not one play altogether. I was saying, what I wrote isn't very good.  It's pretty much got every cliche, both conversational and situational, known to humankind.  Sure, there are some good lines here and there, but for the most part it's crap.
And y'know what? I DON'T CARE!  Because it's written. And done, at this point, is better than good.

I saw a site this morning geared toward creative types, called "Make Friends With Failure."  It says things like "You wouldn't talk to a baby that way, why do you talk to yourself that way?"  Because when we're starting out something new, we're kind of like babies.  But we expect perfection the first time out. Why?  I certainly didn't lecture my kids when they were learning to walk,  or chastise them every time they fell on their adorable, diaper-clad bottoms.  No, I grabbed the video camera, squealed, cried, and then called every single person I knew to tell them that LG or WG just took some steps, regardless of how well I actually knew those people or which time zone they were in.

But sometimes, like now (3 days after I started writing this post), when I'm in Hormone Hell, it's difficult to remember to be gentle and proud.  I had a brief respite over the weekend, with all the "Doctor Who" 50th specials and celebrations (Tom Baker!  Peter Capaldi's eyes!  A cute widdle bunny!), but now I'm back to it.
I PROBABLY should have left the house at some point during the weekend.  If I don't get out, I get kooky.  Plus, I read a very well-written fan fiction that drove me to despair ("My writing sucks!  I'm so pedestrian!  I'll never get it, never!" {Crashes forehead onto keyboard like Don Music on "Sesame Street."}).

I need to remember that I took this time off SPECIFICALLY to figure out WHAT I want and HOW to go about getting it.  (My GOODNESS, I'm Using so MANY CAPITAL LETTERS TODAY!)

OK, it's now a few hours later. As I was writing this earlier I got a call from WG's school informing me that she'd twisted her ankle while on a field trip, but was in good spirits.  She came home 2 hours later not putting any weight on her foot.  It wasn't swollen, and there's no bruising. I gave her some Advil, and she started putting weight on it. Now she's limping a tiny bit, but also climbing up and down 3 flights of stairs and playing.  So we'll keep an eye on, and if it doesn't look better, we'll get her foot x-rayed.
Poor li'l bunny!

I'm also gonna do an auto-write. It's an exercise in which you simply sit and write whatever comes out, not worrying about grammar, punctuation, spelling, or even making sense.  It's basically verbal vomit. Stuff comes up & out that needs to.
And we'll see what happens!

Now I must go vomit-er-write.  And check on my Gimpy Girl.  :)

As Sherlock would say, "Lat-ers!"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cancer SUCKS.

And we need to find a way to kick its ass into the ground.
That is all.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wednesday was WG's 10th birthday.  I don't know who said it, but someone stated that, when raising kids, the years fly by but the days drag on.  And it's so true! Over the summer I often dreaded mornings, lol, because it meant another day of trying to figure out how to keep the kids happy, entertained, and stimulated.  Now I can't believe it's November, and that my baby girl is a decade old.

Thatt night was my first writing class, and it was amazing!  We did 3 writing exercises, and it was a complete paradigm shift.  Who knew I'd been going about it all wrong, all this time?  No wonder I haven't been able to finish anything.  :)  The instructor is amazing.  And he's a fan of Hubby's, so he's obviously a man of discerning taste, lol!
The whole process has become a lot less mysterious, and this was only in 3 hours.  I'm SO looking forward to the next class.  It's only 5 sessions, sadly, but there will be other courses.  Between this and the improv, I can feel my juices flowing again, and I know I'll be doing something creative, in some capacity, in the very near future.
And I have to say, it's nice to get out of the house and into the city a couple nights a week.  Last night I arrived early, so I went to a nearby Whole Foods which has a bar and an active after-work scene.  But it also has a coffee bar and cafe, so there were families there, as well.  It was a nice reminder that life isn't ONLY about homework, workouts, laundry, washing dishes, and early bedtimes.

I feel like I've had a nice, decade-long hibernation, but it's time to wake up & crawl out of the cave. My system is craving the company of others.  My mind needs to be challenged again.

I'm still doing the (mostly) vegan thing.  And keeping away from processed sugar.  Since the cleanse I find that sugar makes me feel sluggish and unfocused.  On the days I don't eat cleanly I REALLY feel it.
I'm still doing yoga and ballet barre workouts.  And the bike, of course. I like that I stand a bit taller after the barre workout.  It actually makes me feel semi-graceful. (Until I walk over to turn the DVD player off and trip over my own feet.)  There's a Ballet Beautiful workout called "Swan Arms."  Have I mentioned it before?  It doesn't look too hard, but MAN!  Suffice to say I have a whole new respect for water fowl!
And I still miss my geese and ducks...

Well, I WAS planning on writing something pithy and droll (for the first time ever on this blog), but I'm beat.  So I'm just gonna wish you all a good night.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Hardly Know Where to Begin

But I suppose I should start with an apology for my 3 +week absence.  Oops!
I actually did write a couple of posts, but haven't published them.  Partly because they were written under the influence of cold medicine, and were a bit rambling and disjointed, even for me.

First off, gotta get some geek business out of the way: "Sherlock" will air on PBS in the U.S. starting January 19th!!!!!!!!!!!!  Wahooo!!!!!!

So, a lot has been going on.  I had a near-total emotional meltdown 2 weeks ago.  But it lasted less than 24 hours, which was good.  'Cause it was pretty intense.  But, y'know, got through it and learned a whole bunch, so it was kinda worth it.

I've also been getting my workouts in again.  Sometimes they're short, maybe only 20 minutes, but they're intense and kick my patootie.  Which is what really matters.

I'm FINALLY getting over my cough!  I had a cold, but it wasn't too bad. It was the coughing that nearly did me in, lol!

There are only 2 improv sessions left, which bums me out.  I can still take classes elsewhere, but this group of folks is particularly rockin', and I'm going to miss them.
I have, however, signed up for a writing class.  Something I probably should've done a long time ago, but, hey, better late than never, right?  And if I can get some freelance writing gigs (which I used to do before the kids were born), that'd be great.  Especially on days like today, when I get a call from WG's school that I have to come pick her up because she's having, um, intestinal issues.
I need to start making money again.

I just finished watching season 2 of "The Hour," which makes me wish it hadn't been cancelled.  But Peter Capaldi is is brilliant in it, as usual, and everyone can rest assured that the 12th incarnation of The Doctor is in excellent hands (ZOMGICANNOTWAITI'MSOEXCITEDILOVEHIMHE'SSOFREAKIN'TALENTED!!!!!!!!!!!)

I've been quite busy, but I'm hard-pressed to say with what, exactly.  Mainly the daily minutae, I guess.  Nothing earth-shattering has occurred.  I'm taking things as they come, trying to figure out what I want to do now.  I must say, it's a bit of a luxury. It's also the first time I've ever done it, really.

The next phase is coming, and I'm pretty excited. :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Maintaining Facebook Silence Today.

I made the mistake of getting of Facebook this morning.
And seeing everyone blame everyone else and their mothers for the shutdown.
So I navigated away from the FB, and will not be going back for the rest of the day.  And possibly not again until this shutdown ends.
If it ever does.
Both Hubby and my brother are federal employees.  Luckily, they were both called in to work regular hours today.  Hopefully that'll continue.

And I'm wondering if I should give up trying to teach acting to college-level and grown-up people and just go work at a book store.
Monday was one of those days:  My thoughts ran along the lines of "I suck at EVERYTHING!  I'm useless!  I'll never amount to anything!  What is the point of me?  Wah wah wah!!!!!!"
Of course, I was coming down with a cold, which makes me cranky.  And Monday was pretty blechy all-around.
It was also the first day of my 10-day vegan cleanse.  Solid food, but no caffeine.  And the food is GOOD! But I can't figure out if my headache today is caffeine withdrawal, my sinuses, or both.
There's a nice recipe that I tried this morning in lieu of my usual cuppa.  It's unsweetened almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cloves, all warmed up in a saucepan.  I slurped that stuff right up!

It's also suggested that I keep my workouts lighter during the cleanse.  Which is fine, because walking my son to and from school yesterday was enough to send me to bed early.  Whenever I get a cold, I feel it in my legs: they get very fatigued.  So I'm gonna rest up today & tomorrow, & hopefully will have my energy back for improv tomorrow night.

Have a good one, kids!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dreams and Plans.

Last week I had a dream that I was sitting on the edge of a bed with David Tennant and he was giving me a hug.  My alarm went off before anything else could progress, but I was fine with that.  Dream David Tennant knows how to hold a girl, let me tell ya! I was in a very good mood all the next day.
I also had a full-on sex dream about another actor, who shall remain anonymous.  It was the first time I'd ever had a dream like that about anyone other than Hubby.  I felt a little bit guilty, but not too much so. 'Cause that dream put me in a good mood, too!  :)

A few days later I had another dream, the details of which escaped me as soon as I woke up.  But my first thought upon awakening was that I needed to keep my daughter close.  Not that there was any danger, just that she needed me.  And it turned out that at school that day she became VERY upset. So when she came home we had some extra hugs, cuddles & tickles, and it did us both a world of good.

Last week was all about listening: To my instincts, my body, and, especially, what my kids are trying to tell me. I skipped my yoga class on Sunday, mainly because I had no way to get there, and skipped it again on Monday.  Then I realized that I needed a rest.  I'd been going great guns for a few months (as you know, lol!) and needed a wee break.
A small break, not a bathroom break...although I need plenty of THOSE, too...

Last Thursday was the second improv class.  I was SO nervous before the first one, but it was GREAT!  For the first time in about 16 years I just got up and played,  ENJOYED, without worrying about how I looked or if I was doing it "right."
And it's a terrific group.  Ranging in age from early 20's to 70's.  Some are aspiring (or established) actors, while others are there for fun. One of the older students, who is the definition of Fabulous, said "I ain't paying money to be all stressed out!"  She's there to enjoy and have fun.  And I wish I'd met her 25 years ago!
It feels so good to work those muscles again, and in such a non-stressful environment.  I believe I've told you all that one of my main reasons for quitting acting was that I'd stopped enjoying it.  And it wasn't as if I'd been making a decent living at it.  So I took a break and focused on being a mom.
But 10 years later I'm enjoying it again. And I'm inspired again. Granted, I'm not auditioning at the moment, or doing any actual productions, but I've got my feet back in, and the water is nice and warm.  And free of sharks. So we'll see where it goes.
Tomorrow night Hubby and I are going to see a production of "Buried Child" at the Magic Theatre in the city.  Another theater date!

BTW, I heard back from the Shakespeare theater where I'll be doing the workshop next summer.  And was told "No matter how hard you try to escape, you will always be a member of the company!"   How cool is THAT?  Even after 19 years, they still think of me as family.  And told me that they'd squeeze me in even of the workshop was full.  I felt a bit verklempt, let me tell ya!

Finally, the best laid (workout) plans...Y'know how I was gonna start Ultimate Yoga?  Well, I've started, but I have to amend the schedule a bit.  Turns out that I get overuse issues in my wrist and elbow when I do yoga every day, so I need to intersperse it with other workouts.  A similar thing happened when I was teaching a lot of Pilates.
But y'know what?  It's not actually that big a deal!  I'll still get my beloved yoga in, and I'll do it in a way that honors my body, keeps my joints pain-free, and lets me use that Spin bike we paid decent money for, which I love.  It's all fine.

And now I must go pick the kids up from school.  Have a good one, my lovelies!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

There is a Season, and It Is Now

What?!?!?!?!  2 days in a row?
But some things happened and I want to get them down.

First of all, I'm exceedingly jealous of my mom right now.  That doesn't often happen, mainly because she still lives in Boston, where they have winter, and things like snow, sleet, and ice. I love my hometown, but less so between late October and early June.
However, she got to go to a screening of "The Fifth Estate" the other night, the film about Julian Assange and Wikileaks.  It was a special event for media types, and since she's a journalism prof, she was invited.  The rest of us here in the States have to wait until Oct. 18th, I believe.
But she thoroughly enjoyed it.

Yesterday was my EFT phone session, and it was a doozy.  It's funny to find out you've been holding on to things like grief for 5 years when you thought you were so over it.
Well, as "over it" as you can be when your parent dies.
I've written about the weight gain I experienced after my dad passed.  And the difficulty I've had in getting it off.  And I knew they were connected.  But I've been so invested in the "closure" he and I got when he was dying, that I never let myself fully grieve. I didn't cry at the memorial, telling myself I had to be strong for my mom.
Which is, basically, bullpucky.  I guess I felt we, as a family, were a bit on display, and I desperately wanted some privacy.  Hard to do in a room with 500 people.

I don't believe that things end at death.  I'm not sure what, exactly, comes after, but I do believe there is something else. And I think, I certainly HOPE, that the something else is something wonderful. I hope Dad is there with his buddies, telling jokes and swapping stories over a beer. And hanging out with all our dogs and cats who've crossed that Rainbow Bridge.
The thing is, that great closure?  I wish we'd found it before he was dying.  Before he got sick.  I wish we'd been able to come to a place where we understood each other at that level a long time ago.  But we're very similar, he and I, and I think we were both too proud and too stubborn.  And, maybe, too angry at each other.
When he was in the hospital, and could barely speak, all that anger and pride and stubbornness went away.  Because we both knew there was no time left.  I had only a few days, then I had to get back & take care of my kids.  They were only 7 and (almost) 5 then.  He and I knew it was the last time we'd see each other, at least here.  In this life.

I know that my regrets are very common.  I also know that we give ourselves very little time and even less room for grief.  After he died I flew back east, stayed a few more days, then came home and went back to work/being Mom/regular life.  When people offered me condolences, I (hope I) accepted them graciously, smiled, told them I was doing OK, and believed I was.

Not so much, as it turns out.

It wasn't until he was dying that I realized how much he loved me.  And how much I loved him.  I wish I'd known sooner.
It wasn't until he was gone that I realized the full extent of his pride in both of his kids.  I wish I'd known sooner.
It's not until now that I realize how much of him is in me, and how proud I am of that.  I wish I'd known sooner.

But we cannot turn the clock back.

This Sunday will be the 1-year anniversary of Luna, our dog's, passing. Which may not seem like much compared to losing my dad.  But they adored each other, and I hope they're together.

And so, I guess the grieving process begins.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We've All Gone Crazy (Another Political Post)

At least you'd think so, judging by the punditry and the responses to maybe letting diplomacy work before we bomb the crap out of another country.
As always, please feel free to disagree.
But the level of rhetoric, on all sides, is making me dizzy.

I'll state my opinion, and leave it at that.  We are s-l-o-w-l-y climbing out of the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression.  We are still involved in a war in Afghanistan.  We just got out of Iraq.  We are cutting programs left and right that were designed to help the neediest.  We're facing another battle over the budget. We cannot collectively agree on the color of an orange.  We are up the proverbial creek.

I feel for the people of Syria, and Libya, and Egypt, and Israel, and Palestine.  I hurt for everyone who is suffering, especially the refugees, particularly families who have lost everything, including loved ones.  But we have a United Nations for a reason.  So that one country cannot, and does not, become the World's Police.  For the sake of the entire world, AND that one nation.
We are war-weary.  There are so many dead, all across the world.  So many who are alive, but broken.  Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. All over the world.  My husband works for the VA clinic, and he sees so much of it every day.

Call me naive (you'd hardly be the first), but I think we're at a point at which we HAVE to look beyond the usual, short-term solutions.  Or else we are well and truly screwed. And we HAVE to get beyond the finger-pointing and partisan politics.
Basically, we have to grow the hell up!

People were killed in one of the most horrific ways possible. get the evidence, get it to the Hague, and charge those responsible with war crimes.

I'm not optimistic.  We've gotten to the point we're winning the argument is more important than the welfare of the many. When it's more important to try and screw the other guy than it is to figure out a solution to extremely difficult, complex issues that have no easy answers.

1,000 years ago, Damascus was the jewel of the middle east.  It was advanced, urbane, the equivalent of a modern-day New York, London, Madrid, etc.  Which makes me wonder, where will WE be in a thousand years?  Will we even still be here, or will we have blown ourselves off the face of the planet?  If we ARE here, what, exactly, will we be?
We're arriving at a crossroads, I think.  We can either follow the path to our own destruction, or do the hard work of trying to be better, rather than trying to prove ourselves right.

Sorry to get all political, again.  But I had to get that off my chest.
We will return to our regularly-scheduled kvetching soon.  :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013


That's pretty much what happens when I sit down to write.
I have a great imagination, if I do say so myself.  And I do.  Heck I've got to say SOMETHING positive!  I mean, it's not like I hit the genetic lottery, or have a photographic memory, or any understanding of anything mathematical or scientific.  Or even have, y'know, rhythm. I can't draw, I don't play any instruments.
BUT, in my brain, when I'm alone, I'm Noel Coward, Dorothy Parker, and Oscar Wilde all rolled into one.  Sometimes, when I'm relaxed & with people I know, it leaks out.
But put me in front of a computer, or give me pen & paper, and...
Nada.  Zip. Zero.  NO.THING.
My fertile imagination becomes as dry as Bridalveil Falls in August. After a drought. (That's a Yosemite reference.  I was going to say something about a post-menopausal woman in a desert, but that just seems too mean.  And seeing as I'll be there in about a decade, not funny, dammit!)

So, I'm looking for inspiration.  Luckily, it can apparently be found nearby, and for free.  Because of Meetup.  There are all these groups online, for just about any interest you can conceive of, and I'm gonna find me one for creative-types.
Because that's what I am.  Or at least, what I used to be.  Before my kids came along and sucked every last bit of creativity, originality, and will to live out of my marrow, leaving me the hollowed-out husk that I am today.  (Kidding! Mostly.)
But, now that they're...wait for it...

******BACK IN SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!******* (Cue Hosanas, glitter, falling balloons, released doves, celestial light...)
I can spend more time on Stuff I Like.  I just signed up for the improv class (yay!), and will be searching the interwebs for Meetup groups nearby.  I'm also going to try Aikido. (Which will come in handy if these Meetup groups are not what they seem.)
Yup.  I'll be a busy little bee for the next few months.

I'm also, and this is TRES exciting, going to go back to the theater company from whence my professional self sprouted all those years ago!  Every summer they have a week-long teacher-training workshop.  It's like a condensed version of the month-long training they have for actors (which I took-gulp-21 years ago.  But the focus, obviously, is on teaching rather than performing.  About making Shakespeare accessible and entertaining, rather than just having students sit at their desks and read it aloud, thereby ensuring a lifelong hatred of the Bard.  I'm not sure exactly when it will be, but Hubby & I have discussed it, and I'm gonna go for it.  I also get a discount, since I'm still considered a company member. Score!  (I am SO talking like it's still the 90's!)

This is all assuming, of course, that we're still here and haven't blown ourselves off the planet.

But I'm going to try and stay positive, even with all the crap going on.

Speaking of staying positive, I've been keeping up with the yoga.  Along with a bit of walking, cycling, and barre work.  Just adding 10-15 minutes of it, because the yoga has been fairly intense.  The nice thing is that these days there are some really great yoga classes online.  A lot of them are even free. Or, you can get a month-long online membership for the same price as a single class.
I still prefer to practice in a class setting, but it's not always possible (or affordable).  Always nice to have options.  Soon, however, I will be combining my classes with my "Ultimate Yogi" DVDs.
(Did I mention I was able to get the set for $25?  Because I did a big Amazon trade-in deal, and got $100 in credit.  Yahoo!)

So that's what's up, kids.  In a couple of hours I'll be taking myself over to the multiplex to see "The World's End."  Could use a good laugh right now.

And here's hoping it doesn't happen literally.

On that note,


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Going Through to get Out

Not entirely sure what's going on in these brain of mine, but I recently signed up for a 10-day cleanse (gentle: With solid food and a decided lack of colonics), I'm in the midst of the Exhale Core Fusion 30-Day sculpt, and then I'm going to start Ultimate Yogi, which is 108 straight days of yoga.  Taking breaks as needed, of course.  Since the kids are (nearly) back in school, I'm sure the viruses will be rearing their ugly heads around here before too long, as school-age kids are basically petri dishes with limbs.
But we'll see how it goes.  I'm taking some time off after the kids are back in school.  Not actively looking for teaching gigs right away.  Partly because my in-laws are going to Hawaii for 2 moths and we won't have child care, but also because, well, I REALLY need to learn classroom management!  It's the one area I never really got much training in. Plus, I want to focus a bit on my own creative processes, which will make me a better teacher.
Add to that, there's just not a whole lot of opportunities right now, so even if I WERE looking to teach, well, I'd be out of luck.

Feeling INCREDIBLY anxious today.  Part of it is facing up to all the crap, taking initiative, speaking up, etc.  It scares the heck out of me, but I'm doing it.  I know it's going to change the dynamics of some relationships.  Hopefully for the better.  But, y'know, the only way out is through, and all that.
Yesterday I heard an interview with Dr. Mark Epstein, who is a Buddhist psychiatrist.  He has a new book out called "The Trauma of Everyday Life" in which he says that while everyone will experience major trauma at come point (the death of a loved one, for example), there are also smaller traumas, like loneliness and fear.  We don't think of these things as traumatic, necessarily, but we react in the same way: Immediately trying to get rid of the feeling, or numb it, or push it away, rather than let ourselves experience it.  And of we DO let ourselves feel it, it will teach us something.
For me, today, that has certainly been true.

**It's now a few hours later, and I'm feeling a WHOLE lot better.  Had a conversation (texting) that needed to be had, and it went very well.  Also introduced LG to the joys of rollerblading in the (cement-covered) front yard, and believe I have created a monster.  Oh, and WG had a little accident in her pull-up.  Well, not that little. Well, not exactly IN her pull-up, if you catch my drift.
Yeah.  Yuck.
But she's clean, the sheets & blanket are in the washing machine, and all is well.
And a lot less smelly.

Now LG is conducting scientific experiments in his bath.  Better go make sure he doesn't get TOO messy.  Or, y'know, blow up the house.


Friday, August 23, 2013


We're back from Yosemite.  It was a very nice trip (aside from the meltdowns and WG's refusal to sleep), but also sad.  We were hiking around on Wednesday, and made it to the top of Glacier Point, where we saw a massive plume of smoke.  Turns out there's a huge wildfire raging near the west entrance to the park.  In Groveland, near where we usually stay.  (This time there were no motel rooms available, so we decided to try a place by the south entrance.  We were lucky, because everyone on the west side is being evacuated.)  The fire got worse last night, going from 5% contained to 2%, and has burned over 150,000 acres so far. Last I checked it hadn't reached inside the park, but that was a few hours ago.

Groveland is a very small town that is pretty much entirely dependent on Yosemite tourism, financially.  Especially this time of year.  Folks are losing their homes AND their livlihoods, and it's just horrible.

But, we're home.  And until tomorrow night, we have the house to ourselves.  I'd forgotten what that was like.  It's awfully nice, and I don't know when it'll ever happen again.
There are a couple of nice homes nearby for sale: small, single-story, would be perfect for us.  However we are NOT prepared to spend over a million dollars on a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house on a postage stamp-sized lot, even if we had the money.

Forgive me if I'm grumpier than usual. I've had a lot of time to think lately, and there's a lot I'm not happy with.  There are things that still need changing, and I need the courage to change them. Or to simply speak up in order to bring about that change.
And, as I've mentioned before, the school year needs to start, like, yesterday!  WG goes back Monday, but LG doesn't start until the 3rd.  3 months of Camp Mom is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much!

I'm also realizing fully how stressful I find our current living situation.  And I need to take steps to deal with that, because it won't be changing any time in the near future. It's funny how chronic stress can become so normal you don't even realize it's there.

On a MUCH happier note, I just found out that a friend of mine is teaching Improv at A.C.T in the city.  And since I've been looking for a class, it seems pretty perfect.

Anyway, got to get to bed. I need some sleep!  :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's Easy Drinking Green

As I've mentioned (a few too many times) here, I've been juicing. Most concoctions have consisted of a nice mix of fruit & veg.  However, I've been avoiding green juices, imagining having to choke them down the same way I did cough syrup when I was 6 and had the flu.
But this morning I threw 2 handfuls of spinach, an apple, and half a lemon into the juicer.  And nothing else.  And y'know what?  It was DELICIOUS!  I made some for Hubby, and he drank it right down, as well.
So I've been combing through my recipe books and looking at other juice/smoothie concoctions, and, being the dork I am, I cannot wait to drag the kids to the produce section with me!
I'm hoping to get them to try some, as well.  There are a number of kid-friendly (read: can't taste the green stuff) recipes, so who knows?

It's even got me thinking about doing a 1 or 2 day juice/smoothie cleanse.  Now would be a good time, seeing as I'm kinda stuck in or near the house most of the time.
Do I dare?  :)
Maybe 1 day.
To start.

I find myself increasingly drawn toward whole, fresh foods.  Like big salads with kale, beets, & avocado, with homemade dressing,  or sashimi (I found a nearby store that sells amazing sushi-grade, very fresh fish), veggie soup, that sort of thing.  Of course, part of that is the fact that it's summer, it's hot, and all this amazing produce is in season.  It may be that, come December, the rainy (but thankfully not freezing) weather will have me craving more hearty fare.  But stuff like pizza, pasta, rice w/meat, all the things that were staples for so long, aren't as appealing to me.
Maybe I've just burned out on them, lol!

And we're almost at the end of Heck Week.  I MIGHT even be able to go to yoga class tonight if Hubbs get out of rehearsal early.  We shall see.  Next week he's on vacation and we take our Yosemite trip.  WOO-HOO!!!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

If Only I Had a TARDIS. (And, Y'know, If Only They Actually Existed...)

A few years ago, my brother, who does Stuff for the Government, was in town on a Job.  He couldn't talk about it, but it was at a nearby lab.  I asked if he or anyone else was working on transporter technology.  He gave me his patented long-suffering-older-brother look and said "No."  So I replied with "OK, but when you say no, what you really mean is..." And HE said "I REALLY mean no."
Ah well.

Because I could use some more time. I'm sure we ALL could. But I realized this morning, as I was driving my in-laws to the airport for their 2 week Vegas vacay, that NONE of my time is my own, even when the kids are in school. I'm usually either working, cleaning, or taking care of something FOR the kids.
It felt weird driving this morning, because my kids weren't in the car.  My S-I-L was watching them until I got back.  After 3 months of hauling 1 or both with me everywhere, it was odd not having them.  And let's face it, I've spent the better part of the past 12 years hauling 1 or 2 kids around.

Tomorrow I'll take my mom to the airport.  The kids will come along, since there's no one to watch them.  We'll go to the grocery store and then the park, and then we'll relax at home.  Hubby has a performance, so he won't be home until late at night.  Over the weekend, we'll once again be dog sitting.  Which isn't hard, as the dog mainly, well, sits.  When he's not sleeping.  The hardest part is making sure he gets outside to do his business once in a while.

It also hit me that I REALLY need to get going on the things I've been SAYING I'm going to do.  Like that improv class.  And getting a regular, dependable sitter.  And new headshots.  And figuring out what my Equity/SAG/AFTRA status actually is.

And to STOP feeling guilty for not making much (if any) money!  I'm not being lazy!  I AM working, I just don't get paid!

In the meantime, we just need to get through the week. Then Hubby's off, and we go to Yosemite.

BTW, apropos of nothing, last night I dreamt I was going back to my old Shakespeare company, where I not only saw all my old buddies, but met up with Benedict Cumberbatch.  And Colin Firth came with me for the ride, except he wanted to take bicycles instead of my car.  Let me tell ya, biking the full length of the Massachusetts Turnpike is not easy! I was exhausted when I woke up! :)

Why can't I just have celebrity sex dreams like a normal person?!?!?!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Camp Mom

Holy Cannoli I'm tired!
Nothing new, I suppose. But after 2 weeks of WG while LG finished up summer school, then 4 weeks of LG while WG was in summer school, and now a week of both (with 2 1/2 to go), I'm running out of brain-building ideas to keep them happy, active, and for tiring them out.
Of course, we swim nearly every day. And my mom's in town now for a few days, so we'll be over at her hotel using that pool.  Y'know, for a change of scenery. And in 2 weeks we're going to Yosemite!!!!!!!!  :)
Then WG will be back in school, and LG a week after that.
Next week, however, Hubby will be in rehearsals/performance, and my mom will be back home.  So it's just me, aaaaaaallllllll day and into the evening.


But, if I do say so myself, I think I've done a pretty good job so far of keeping them active & interested. We're all pretty tired at the end of the day, and they've been sleeping well.
And I have my twice-weekly yoga to keep me sane.  Well, except for next week.

But, before we know it, the new school year will have begun, and I will have a break.

Y'know what I'd REALLY like to do?  Go to one of he plush spas in Calistoga, by the natural hot springs, get a room with a comfy king-sized bed, and be placed into a medically induced coma for a week.
Followed by a day or two of springs-soaking and massage.

But that's probably not gonna happen.

In Geek News (Best if read in an old-timey newsreel-type of voice): The past few days have been a huge  boon for nerds and bookworms everywhere!  Starting with the release of the 26-second teaser-trailer for season 3 of "Sherlock," followed shortly by the announcement of the new "Doctor Who" (Peter Capaldi!!!!!!!! I'm so excited!!!!!!!), and then wrapping up with today's publication of "Undead & Unsure," the 12th installment of Maryjanice Davidson's "Queen Betsy" series!  There hasn't been this much excitement in Nerdville since the return of "Star Trek!"

OK.  Calming breaths.

Have I mentioned that I am now officially 44?  As of last Wednesday, when Hubby took me to the city for sushi, and I wore my brand-new jeans that my S-I-L bought for me.  The jeans I've since worn 5 times. The jeans I'm wearing now.  It's kind of a big deal, because I've been living in yoga pants for 7 years.  Ever since the weight started creeping on.
I used to live in jeans and tank tops.  But then I got fat & self-conscious & I put them away. But last Wednesday, along with my new jeans, I wore an old tank top.  And danged if I didn't feel sexy!  I've been wearing that tank top along with the jeans.

I need to get more pairs of jeans and some more tanks.

I've also been looking at the Daily Hiit workouts.  Holy moly!  But they look fab, and I'll probably start doing them next week. I'll build up to it, maybe starting with 2x/week. I'm getting stronger and fitter, and my 40's are shaping up (har har!) to be the best decade yet.

OK, off to relax.  Read some more "Queen Betsy" and surf Tumblr.  :)

Nighty-night, ducks!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Only Constant...

Today we begin the new potty training regime for WG.
OK, HUBBY begins the new regime.
Hey, he VOLUNTEERED!  I'm not gonna say no!

Poor LG caught WG's cold over the weekend.  He's feeling better, but had a hard time getting to sleep because of his cough.  He was up until midnight, so Mom & Dad were up until midnight.  But our fierce, mean, killer pit bull lay down next to him, head on the bed, and stayed there all night.
<3 nbsp="" p=""> Last week we met with LG's care worker at the regional Center.  We meet with her every year for an annual review for both kids, but this was specifically for LG.  The time has come for us to have him assessed for ADD.  He's always been VERY energetic, but he has great difficulty focusing.  The good news is that there are a ton of interventions we can try, with medication being the absolute last resort.
It's a good time for it.  Adolescence, of course, brings in a whole new set of challenges for any kid, but even more so for kids with autism.  In some ways I'm sure it'll feel like we're starting from scratch.

I've started taking a beginning flow yoga class on Sundays, to go along with the Thursday class. Which is called "Slow Flow."  But I call it "OMGholyhellpleasefortheloveofallthingsgoodanddecentonthisearthhelpme!"
And once school starts I can get to my weekday morning classes again.
I must say that the Sunday class is a nice way to recharge my batteries.  I get time out of the house, Hubby stays with the kids, and I can realign body, mind and spirit.

Finally, in the News-From-Abroad/I-Have-No-Life category, filming on the 3rd episode of the 3rd season of "Sherlock" began today, with an amazing nemesis (played by Lars Mikkelson). It's gonna be epic!!!!!!

OK.  Gotta go work out.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream...

Full disclosure: I had another post written and ready to go, but it was so negative and whiny I deleted it.  Seriously, I re-read it and it annoyed me, so I can't even imagine how you guys would feel!  But I also realized that the reason i was feeling so cranky was LACK OF SLEEP.

It turns out that all that stuff they tell us about getting enough sleep, all those negative effects of lack of sleep, and the positive stuff that comes from getting 8 hours of shut-eye/night (or however much one needs, it's different for everyone) is, well, ALL TRUE!
Who knew?
I mean, besides the researchers, research subjects, scientists, doctors, nurses, parents, teachers, adults, and anyone who's ever had insomnia.
Including me.
So you'd think I'd know better!

But the past year has been particularly fraught with anxiety, adjustments to the new living arrangement, the loss of our precious Luna pup, and work issues for both Hubby and myself. And let's not forget the entrance to pre-puberty of both kids!  Aaaaaaaauuuughghgh!!!!!!!!!  Add it all up, and sleep has been a pretty precious commodity.

It came to a head on Monday: WG had to stay home from school, and I was so tired I could hardly move. Looking after both kids in that condition was making me crazy (and whiney, hence the deleted post).  I couldn't take the kids to the pool because she was under the weather.  We had to stay close to home, and LG was suffering from cabin fever. I ended up going to bed at 9:30 and sleeping until 6:30 the next morning. After 9 hours of sleep, I felt like a new woman!  I had energy!  I was in a GREAT mood!  WG went back to school, and LG & I had some quality bonding time (swimming, going out to lunch, grocery shopping together).  Later WG & I had a tickle party, and I even got my barre workout in.  I went to bed at 10:00, and woke up naturally (without my alarm) at 5:30.  Which is easy to do in the summer, when it's starting to get light at that time and it's not freezing, lol!

And it finally hit me that a lot of my issues might be solved if I got more sleep. The crankiness, haggard appearance, even some of the extra weight, will probably go away if I'm rested.


So, my new goal: try to be IN bed by 9:30, and get to sleep ASAP afterwards.
Even if the book I happen to be reading at the time is REALLY good...

OK, on a COMPLETELY different topic, I'm watching a story on the BBC about the possibility of sending a 3-person crew to mars, and it might actually be feasible!
Y'know, for all my complaints about the direction humanity is taking, we actually live in pretty exciting times.

OK.  Gotta go prepare for the potty training dude.  Wish us luck!  :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Top Gears

It turns out our LG might just have some engineering skills!
At our 2 visits to Curiodyssey he spent most of his time playing with the gears exhibit.  Kids are able to arrange gears on a big magnetic board any way they like, then turn the gears and try to ring a bell.  It gave us a great idea for his birthday gift, and he is now the proud (and busy) owner of a 150-piece gear set.

WG watched him play with it for a while, but soon got bored. The queen isn't interested in HOW things work, she just wants to make sure they DO work!  :)

Luckily, the pool is open again, so the kids can get their daily swim on.  Throw 'em in for 2 hours, let them get some energy out, and they sleep like rocks!

We've also learned that because of our Curiodyssey membership, we get discounts/free admission to dozens of other museums all over the country.  We're gonna check out the Tech Museum in San Jose this weekend, then the Chabot Space Center in Oakland, maybe next week.

In fitness-related news, I'm happy to report that the weight has been s-l-o-w-l-y coming off.  It may not be quick, but at least it's leaving!  I'm pretty sure the tapping has A LOT to do with it.
And, because of the tabata workouts, I'm getting back into shape.  THIS is happening pretty quickly!  The other day we took the kids for a hike, which ends in an uphill climb. The last few times we've done it I'd been huffing and puffing at the top. But this time I did it with no problem.  Yay!

Although I skipped my regular workout last night and went for a much-needed solo walk. After a long day and meltdowns from both kids, I needed to Get Out Of The House, ALONE!!!!!!
And on my walk I met a VERY sweet, very friendly cat.  The combination of exercise, fresh air, and 10 minutes of kitty time did me a world of good, and I came back home refreshed and ready to be Mom again.

Tomorrow is yoga, and I'm looking forward to it to a degree that may not be healthy.

I'm also reading a really fun book: "Paris in Love" by Eloisa James (she writes terrific romance novels AND is a Shakespeare professor!).  She and her family lived in Paris for a year, and she kept a diary.  It's lovely!
I also watched 2 French movies in a row on cable last Friday: "Paris Je t'Aime" and  "Confidentially Yours," which just happened to be on, one right after the other, on different channels.
I went to Paris with my family when I was 10.  I have yet to go back, but I'd like to.
But the films and the book make me realize that I miss being in a city and need to get there more. I mean, really, we live 15 minutes south of one of the most beautiful cities in the world!  I gotta stop taking it for granted!

But I promised LG a swim this morning, and I have a phone conference this afternoon.  So San Francisco proper will have to wait at least another day.

Have a good one!
P.S., Fun and Interesting Fact of the Day:  Keats once wrote a letter to his brothers in which he told them that the new slang for going to a tavern was "hanging out."  Who knew?!?!

Friday, July 12, 2013

POST-Menstrual Syndrome?!?!?! Apparently, Yes. And SOME Things Happen for a Reason.

Something different is going on.
I'm experiencing PMS symptoms AFTER the fact.
Breaking out, insomnia, moodiness, and awful, horrible anger.

As it turns out, it's not all that uncommon. I haven't had a chance to talk to my doc about it, but I went online and it seems quite a few women experience this, especially as they get into their 40's and beyond.
Just as I was celebrating the lessening of my PRE-MS symptoms.

Dang it.

Anyway, it certainly explains the way I'd been feeling for a few days.
I finally realized that I'm going to need to get to some yoga classes on evenings/weekends this summer, just to save my sanity.  Yes, I work out at home, and do yoga at home, but with one or both kids out of school for a total of 10 weeks, I need some time alone, and I need my yoga.

It's a good thing I don't drink, 'cause I'd probably be tossing back quite a few, if I did.  :)

Speaking of the kiddos, I CANNOT believe how much they've grown recently!  And I'm with them all the time!
But they both are in desperate need of new clothes.  NONE of their old clothes fit.  And at the pool the other day I noticed that LG has...a six-pack?
What happened to his little baby roly-poly tummy that I used to raspberry?  What's up with this GQ, supermodel dude thing he's got going on?

And her!  She's got all these arm & leg muscles, her hips are rounding, and I've mentioned the whole training bra thing.  She's becoming a beautiful young lady, rather than the gorgeous little girl she's been. At 9 1/2 years old!!!!!!

I can't handle this.  They're still my babies.

In all seriousness, it is a bit surreal to see their bodies mature so quickly while, mentally, they are still very much young children.  But I suppose that's the case for any child as they grow up, and special needs kids in particular.

It's now Friday morning, and yesterday was one of those "Yes-it's-frustrating-but-these-things-happen-for-a-reason" type of days.  First off, LG & I went to the pool only to find that it's closed until Monday.  Despite the fact that there are numerous "No glassware in pool area" signs posted, some folks decided to have a party, and they left a whole bunch of broken glass in their wake.  Including IN the pool.  So everything has to be cleaned, the pool needs to be drained, and management must make sure there are no shards of broken glass left lying around.
Which is so nice!  Dontcha just LOVE it when a bunch of selfish morons make life miserable for everyone else, and force OTHER PEOPLE to clean up their mess?   (Kinda like Justin Bieber peeing into a janitorial bucket on his way out of a night club.  Sure, it's tame compared to what some celebs do, but what about the minimum wage-earning guy who has to clean it?)

Anyway, we ended going to Curiodyssey, a local museum, and had a GREAT time! (Ever play hide-and-seek with a gopher snake?  We did!)  In fact, LG is asking to go back today.
And so we shall.

Later, I was on my way to yoga class and got stuck in traffic, so I didn't get there in time.  But then I remembered the studio in our old neighborhood, at which I taught Pilates for a few weeks, and decided to go there.
And, holy cow, ended up in one of the best classes I've ever taken!
I should've known it would be a good night when I was greeted by the owner's dog when I walked into the studio.  And then by the owner herself, who, even though we haven't seen each other in over a year, gave me a big hug & asked about my kids.  :)

I'll definitely be going back.

After class I realized that I didn't need to hurry home, for the first time in a long time.  Hubby was with the kids, and he'd told me to "take my time" (gotta love that man!)
So I went to Whole Foods, lol!
Where I met a 3 month-old pug.  Squeeeeeeeeeee!

I got home at 9:45, and WG was still awake.  Every once in a while she has a night during which she stays up, perfectly content, until about 11:00.  Then, of course, wakes up cranky and tired the next morning, but it doesn't stop her. Hopefully she won't be TOO grumpy at school today.

The only sad part about yesterday was seeing what's left of the Asiana 777 that crashed last weekend.  We got a good look at it on our way to the museum, and it's pretty miraculous that more people weren't hurt or killed.  It's basically a burned-out husk at this point.  And seeing it that closely is pretty scary.  It's heartbreaking, especially thinking about the 2 girls who died.

Can't really think pf a reason for that.

But it once again drives home the need to try and live in the moment.
Sunday is LG's 12th birthday, and we've got a fun weekend planned for him. In the meantime, we'll be going back to Curiodyssey, and then to the park.

Have great weekend, all!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Nerdiest Nerd in Nerdville

It's Sunday evening.  I LOVE Sunday evenings!  Partly because it means the kids go back to school the next day (:)), but also because there's just something very soothing and mellow.  Everyone is gearing up for the week ahead, going to bed earlier (probably) than they have the past 2 nights, and settling in. I like to keep the TV off, turn the radio on, and get the kids bathed, brushed, & ready for bed. I like to listen to a local program called "Acoustic Sunset," followed by "Lost & Found: The Greatest Music You've Never Heard."  Although sometimes I'll go online & listen to BBC Radio 4 Extra.

I didn't ALWAYS feel like this.  Back when I was in school (including college & grad school), I dreaded Monday morning.  Sundays made me anxious and tired.  Even though they were my only day off in grad school, I disliked them, other than the part where I got to sleep in.  Once I was up, forget it!  The anxiety kicked in and that was that.

But now, since I'm focusing on things I actually enjoy, I love this calm before the hectic week.  Especially this time of year, when the sun doesn't set until 9:00 or so.
WG goes back to school tomorrow, and LG, who was sick all weekend, poor thing, begins his summer vacation.
Unfortunately, the camp we were hoping to send him to is full.  So I'll be his cruise director for the next 8 weeks (and for both of them in August).  I see A LOT of swimming, bike riding, and playgrounding in our immediate future.
And maybe some other fun stuff, if I can think of anything.

But tonight I'm particularly looking forward to the morning for a completely dorkozoid reason: I want to try out a new smoothie recipe from my "Hungry Hottie" cookbook.  I've sliced bananas and strawberries & put them in the freezer, dug out my pouch of raw cacao powder, purchased some coconut milk, and my vanilla protein powder is ready to go.
Earlier tonight I made some carrot oven "fries" from the same book, and they were YUM-MY! I'm also getting ready to make a hearty veggie soup from my "River Cottage Veg Everyday" cookbook.

I always forget how much I like cooking new things until I, well, cook something new.  Of course, it was easier when we had our own kitchen, but it's still fun.

Yesterday at Costco Hubby & I bought a Sonicare AirFloss.  It's like a power washer for your teeth, to get rid of plaque.  It needed to charge for 24 hours, so we didn't get to try it until today.  So, after using the Sonicare toothbrush, we airflossed the kids.  :)))  Since it's hard to get them to floss regularly, we figured this would be helpful.
Of course, Hubby & I use it, as well.  With mouthwash.  And my gums feel squeaky-clean!

I'm a nerd.

Also going to try a Bikram yoga studio that's nearby. What they heck, right?  It's only a few blocks away and they have their new student special.

So lots of new stuff on the horizon.

Finally, on another note, our house is right near SFO.  We heard the crash landing yesterday, and saw the smoke.  It was pretty awful.   But also miraculous that more people weren't hurt or killed.  If you can, hold a good thought for those who were, and for their families.

And on that note, I will wish you a good night and a good week.

Take care.

Monday, July 1, 2013

I Hab a Code

I have a cold.  Not a bad one, but it's tuckered me out over the past few days.
It did NOT, however, stop me from going to the Neil Gaiman reading on Friday night!
It DID stop me from being able to get my book signed personally, however.  :(
I waited 3 hours, but was starting to feel pretty crummy.  Plus, I didn't want to risk giving my cold to him (there's a great author gift! "Thanks for all the wonderful stories, here's a virus!).  So I left my goodie bag with some folks from the store that hosted the event.  Hopefully he got it...

He's one of my absolute favorite writers, and I hope I DO get to meet him someday.
Preferably virus-free.

The past 2 days have been spent recuperating and trying to cool off.  It has been HOT!!!!!!!  Especially up in our 3rd floor living space.  We've got the fans going 24/7.
We're also moving into LG's last week of summer school, and WG's second week of her break BEFORE summer school starts.  I'm taking LG for an intake interview for summer camp on Tuesday.  We're hoping to send him for 2-3 weeks.  Otherwise he'll have 8 weeks without a whole lot of structure, and that's just too much.

The local theater magazine has done a huge spread on the show Hubby was in last Fall.  Lots of pictures of him and the cast, and the full script.

Other than that, nothing too terribly exciting to report.  I only got out of the house this weekend to do some grocery shopping.  At the re-vamped grocery store, which now has pretty much everything you need AND a Starbucks.  Even though there's another Starbucks right across the street.

OK, it's now Monday morning (I started writing this ultra-thrilling post last night), and I am CRAN-KY!  I fell asleep around 11 and woke up coughing & hacking at 2, and have been up (coughing and hacking) ever since.
It's Monday.  I've got to get LG off to school & keep WG entertained & out of trouble.  :)  And possibly take them to the pool.
OK, I can do this.  I just need to get through the next 13 hours...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

That Ol' Emotional Rollercoaster.

12 hours ago I was writing a different post.  The SCOTUS ruling had just come down, and I also learned that my friend's theater company, which does A TON of outreach with local students, lost all their funding last night.  By unanimous vote.  Despite letters and pleas from hundreds of residents asking the council to keep the funding intact. Now he's not sure if he'll be able to keep the company running in it's present location, or if they'll have to move (he's had a number of generous offers from other cities).  But he started the company 5 years ago in his hometown, and he doesn't WANT to leave.
The worst part is that the company has brought in literally millions in revenue, as well as helping to keep kids in school, lower the dropout rate, and increase literacy levels.  It has become a real part of the community, yet  with one vote, its future in the region is in jeopardy.

Because, apparently, almost no one, on any level of government, listens to their constituents anymore.
(I'm sitting here waiting to see what happens in Texas.  I'm not optimistic, although that filibuster was amazing!  As were all the hundreds of people who showed up the past few days.)

But, some good news out of Massachusetts.

OK.  Enough of that, or else I won't be able to sleep.

WG is on vacation.  For 2 weeks.
It's been 2 days.
I'm exhausted, lol!
Yesterday we took LG to summer school, then ran some errands.  I came home and cleaned up the house a bit, then it was time to pick LG up.  Home for lunch, then off to the pool for 2 hours.  We left just as it started to rain.

Of course, I hadn't gotten my workout in, so last night I did a quick, 16-minute Tabata strength/cardio drill.
And WG stayed up until after 10, giggling.  :)
This morning we dropped LG off & came home.  After lunch, because of the rain, we couldn't use the pool, so we went for a long drive.
With more giggling, this time from both sides of the peanut gallery.

Now it's after 10 PM.  WG is sleeping, LG is on his way, I just finished my yoga, and my eyelids are drooping down to my kneecaps.

Thank goodness for quick, effective workouts!  They're the only ones I'll be able to fit in most of the summer!

Alrighty, then.  I'm off to la la land.


2 days after the funding was cut for my friend's theater company, the NEA stepped in and gave them a grant.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Look Out: I'm Getting INSPIRED!!!!!

Had another eye-opening conversation yesterday.  I was talking about my plans for private teaching and for making a voiceover demo, and the person I was talking too said, basically, "Why not?  You could be really successful doing something you love."
Which may just be the first time someone has ever said that to me.

When I was 10 and announced I wanted to be an actress, no one really took it seriously.  Because, well, I was 10!  
But I stuck to it, and, as you know, actually made a go of it.  Somewhat successfully, for a few years.  Surprising everyone.
Because every time I told someone my plans, I got a 45-minute lecture on how hard a life it was, how I'd NEVER make it, and that I'd better have something "to fall back on."  Well-intentioned, always, but not exactly encouraging.  :)
(Remember, my parents' idea of something to fall back on was writing.  ?!?!?!?!?!?!
Yeah, that's stable!)

I believe I've mentioned that I'm an Irish Jew, along with British, Russian, Romanian, and German.  We're not always the most optimistic folks.  So, honestly, it's not a huge surprise that I never thought myself worthy of success.  And I'm sure I projected that in my professional life.  Which may be a big reason why I had such a hard time in L.A.  Aside from the whole "too old/fat/ugly" thing.  I've always been quick to believe the negative and slow to believe the positive.

And it's continued into the present.  Yesterday I finally realized that I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to my professional life.  I have never, except for those few years in my early-mid 20's, believed I was good at  what I do.  Or good ENOUGH.  Even when I was teaching Pilates, and got consistent, lovely feedback from clients.  I was never good enough. I didn't get as many students in my classes as some of the other teachers, and I was fat.  Ergo, I was a failure.
Well, I'll tell ya, that is a CRAPPY way to live!

And painful.  It really, REALLY hurts to pull yourself away from the things you love because you're afraid to fail. It's an empty life.  If I want to be the best mom I can be, and I do, I need to feel fulfilled.  My kids need to see both of their parents doing things they love, earning a living, and not stressing out over finances ALL THE TIME.

I keep thinking about something Marianne Williamson wrote.  You've probably seen it:

"Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you NOT to be?  Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give permission to let other people do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

I REALLY get it now. 
The best gift I can give my kids is to be my fullest self, and to let them be theirs.

I've never believed that we're put on earth to suffer for the promise of a later reward.  I don't think suffering is our fate.  Just the opposite: I think we're supposed to try and alleviate suffering as much as we can, in whatever way we can. And to find joy.  Some spend their entire lives helping others.  But giving a stranger a compliment, or holding a door open, or paying attention to someone who needs it, that all counts, too.

The good stuff doesn't get publicized.  You won't turn on cable news and see "Our top story: People being nice to each other on the subway."  It's so easy to fall into despair. To criticize, blame, and point fingers at each other.  To blame someone else for our own dissatisfaction.
People who refuse to do so are called out for being "naive," for not "living in the real world."  These days, if your not cynical, you're dismissed.

And that's OK.  If people want to call me naive, as they have my entire life, that is their prerogative.  Doesn't make it true, and I certainly don't have to take their word for it! 
And besides, the people who don't always give a fig what others' think tend to be the happiest.

So, it's time for Happy Mom!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Quite literally.
My Mom-dar (Mommy Radar) woke me at 2:30 this morning, at which point I heard WG in the bedroom just below ours giggling. She was wide awake and playing.  Luckily, she was able to get back to sleep pretty quickly.
Me?  Not so much.
I finally fell asleep again at 5:00, and had to get up at 6:00.

And my mom just found out something very interesting: Her right eye has nearly perfect vision, but she's nearly legally blind in her left.
Macular degeneration.
They're keeping an eye on it (har har) and will fix it once they know which kind it is.

Otherwise, things have calmed down a bit, emotionally.  I've been taking LG to the pool nearly every day.  (I have mentioned the pool, haven't I?  Hubby's aunt & her family live in an apartment complex not too far from here, and she gave us their pool key since they never use it.  It's been a godsend!)  Starting next week I'll be taking both kids, since WG has a 2-week break before summer school starts.  It's REALLY nice, and thus far hasn't been too crowded (touch wood).

I'm also working on finding a sitter (or 2) for the kids.  Just a few hours a week during the summer, and then continuing as needed.  It turns out that some of the folks where the kids used to get their therapy (and where my S-I-L still works) are registered with So not only are they pre-screened, they're trained to work with kids with autism AND they're known to us!
And some of the hours are paid for out of our respite care.  Win/win!

Finally, I've been looking into teaching options.  There's another Shakespeare festival in the area that has in-school residencies.  So I could teach during school hours (as opposed to after school) AND have the classroom teacher there with me!  I wouldn't have to deal with classroom management, I could just do what I'm good at.
Also, I'm thinking of eventually doing some private teaching.  Renting out a space at a rec center, somewhere inexpensive, and teaching private and small group classes.  There are a number of teachers in the city, but not as many here.  Plus, I can work with kids, especially middle school and older, as well as adults, who actually WANT to be there.  Not kids who are being forced by their parents because the tennis lessons were full and they need to do SOMETHING. ( I have dealt with MUCH TOO MUCH of that, and it ain't pretty!  I'm not a babysitter.  If you want to dump your kid somewhere, try and at least find somethings/he will enjoy!)

It's time for me to start creating my own opportunities, I think.  Carving my own path, and not waiting for someone else to tell me what to do, where to go, and how to do it.  I have a lot of experience, and a lot to offer.  
I also want to make my own schedule, as much as possible, and create my own method.

I'm actually very excited about this!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Handing Over the Reigns

My dad was an old-school kind of reporter.  He walked the streets, went to the neighborhoods, hung out in bars with the locals & got their stories, as well as going to City Hall to get the official spin.  He looked up records, sat in on town hall meetings, and did it all the old-fashioned way.  Even after learning how to use his computer and grudgingly dragging himself into the digital age, he never lost that personal touch.
He taught my brother and I that people matter, ALL people.  He spoke and wrote his mind, even when it meant hate mail and, sometimes, death threats.  He taught us the importance of listening to all sides of an argument.
Which is probably why even the people who hated what he stood for said they respected him.  Grudgingly.  And why there were 500 people at his memorial.

It's also why, starting as a teen and continuing now, I take politics to heart.  I've seen, up close and personal, the effects public policies have on individuals, both good and bad.  Because of budget cuts for mental health support in the 80's, my uncle committed suicide. On the flip side, because of recent policies governing special education, both of my kids are in amazing schools with incredible teachers.

I've marched in D.C., sat in phone banks, canvassed neighborhoods.  And I've also written emails to representatives and texted donations using my cell phone (things that would have made Dad curl up in a ball, lol!).
I believe debate and discourse are important.  I also believe we're seeing the slow death of both.  Now it's about who can yell the loudest and say the most outrageous things.

I'm scared for the future.  Things are happening that I thought we wouldn't see in the 21st century. I envision nightmare scenarios coming to pass, and I wonder what the future holds for my kids, and for all our kids.


I have 2 kids who need their mom.  I cannot march on D.C anymore, or canvass neighborhoods, or do all those things I did when I was younger, more energetic, and childless.  I still care deeply, and will do what I can, but I think it's time to pass the reigns to the younger folks.

I remember seeing an interview with Bob and Suzanne Wright, who co-founded Autism speaks after their grandson was diagnosed.  He is the former head of NBC, so they have a pretty big platform.  They talked about the fact that it's important for grandparents to be activists for their grandkids, because parents are insanely busy taking care of those kids.  I think about this a lot: When I was younger I wanted desperately to make a difference and to be useful in the world.  The best way for me to do that now is to take care of my kids. I also believe that teaching theater makes a difference. Scratch that, I KNOW it does.  And I'm hoping to continue that, as well.  But my main focus, of course, is my kids.

And there's one more thing.  It's pretty big: I am SO TIRED of all the Taking Sides!  Of the hyperbole from both sides, too, but especially all the division.  At the end of the day, most of us want the same thing.  It's too bad there are so many people making boatloads of money convincing us otherwise.  And doing a damn good job of it, too.

I often wonder if we're at the point of no return.  If we'll ever be able to find common ground again.  But, perhaps, it's time for me to be a little selfish (again), close ranks, and focus on my family. Let those whippersnappers pick up the flag and run with it.
I'm not nearly as important to the world as I sometimes seem to think I am, lol!

Besides, I need a nap.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I'm Not Complaining. No, Really! OK, Yes I Am.

My kids have autism.  We live in a big house.  A big house with lots of stuff they can get into.  A big house with lots of stuff they can get into AND other people who don't always remember that having 2 kids with special needs in said house means one has to sometimes alter one's behavior.  Like, for example, NOT leaving the front door wide open so that a child can get outside while Mom is busy with the other child on the 3rd floor.  Because kids with autism don't necessarily understand that that can be dangerous.  And if said child is non-verbal and she gets out of the house, it could be Really Bad.

So I'm in constant Alert Mode.  More so here than in our previous home.  We had alarms on the doors there, and there was no one else to open the sliding door "to let some air in," or leave a window open and unlocked because they "forgot," or to leave water in buckets lying around because they can't be bothered to empty them, prompting kids to get outside to play in that water.

I thought that when we moved here I would have 4 extra pairs of eyes on my kids. Yes, it's a big house, with lots of stuff, but I figured with 6 adults, there'd be plenty of supervision.
Which, it turns out, is not the case.
At all.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking everyone else to take care of my kids for me.  But if I'm upstairs giving one child a bath, the other is often on the first floor.  Is it too much to ask that whomever's down there makes sure that kid doesn't go outside?  Or play in the dog's water bowl?  Is it asking too much to NOT leave the sink filled with water, because it's just too tempting for WG, and I'll have to clean up her reenactment of Noah's Ark?  Or to just keep the damn door LOCKED, so she doesn't get out?
We've bought some new door alarms but, frankly, I don't know how much of a difference they're going to make if people keep forgetting to set them.  It's not difficult: You flick the switch from "off" to "on."  There are no codes, no numbers to call, nothing.
Hubby and I have asked for help in this over and over again.  But old habits are hard to break, and living with autism requires a while new set of skills.
I've given up asking for babysitting.  Because it ends in near-disaster.  Luckily, we have respite care through the Regional Center.  My in-laws may not be all too keen on having strangers in the house with them, but sometimes Mom needs a break.

It occurred to me that  the reason I look so frazzled is because I AM frazzled!  When we lived on our own we were able to create a safe, controlled environment for the kids.  Now, I live in a constant state of surveillance.  I'm continuously going up and down the stairs, checking on them, making sure they're 1) OK. 2) Not doing anything that will get them (or me) into trouble and 3) Of course, happy.

Add to this the frequent criticism, utter lack of space and privacy, and 12 hours of Fox News every day, and it's no wonder I'm about ready to tear my own eyeballs out sometimes.

But the worst part is that with my adorable niece in the house, my kids are often ignored. My in-laws take care of her while her parents work.  She's 13 months old, and, believe me I understand, they are exhausted by the end of the day.  But that means they're too tired to spend time with my kids.
Not because they don't want to.  And certainly not because they don't adore them.  They're just wiped out.
Which is another reason to use respite: It's not fair to ask my in-laws to take care of a baby AND my kids, who need constant supervision.

And here comes the selfish part:  I love my niece.  She is a character, and she's a sweetheart, and I love spending time with her.
I don't want to babysit her.
I certainly pitch in.  I'll play with her, hold her if she's upset, walk with her, etc.  But I've spent the past decade taking care of my own kids and working, and doing little else.  Right now, the time I have when my kids are in school is MINE.  For a few hours on weekdays, I don't have to worry over where they are, what they're doing, whether they're getting into things they shouldn't be.  I'm not constantly running up and down 3 flights of stairs, taking them to the park/pool/appointments/the bathroom. For a couple of hours, I'm just doing what I want  to do.
And I think I've earned it.  For all the years when I had NO help.  When we couldn't afford a sitter and Hubby was out of town for weeks on end.  For my lack of a social life.  For the fact that I gave up my career.  I have done what no one else who lives here has done.  That's not a criticism, I'm not better than they are.  But there are often some pretty strong opinions, shall we say, directed at me, from people who, quite honestly, really don't understand and don't know what they're talking about.

Which is what I keep reminding myself of. They haven't been in my shoes.  They really, truly don't understand. Their opinions are just that: Opinions.  Not facts.  Not set in stone.  If they think I'm a bad mom, well, they're wrong.  I've said it before, and I'll keep reminding myself.  I'm the one who's been with my kids 99% of the time.  I do the vast majority of caretaking.  And they are thriving.  Yes, their schools and therapies have a lot to do with it, but so do I.
I fight for them.  I am their advocate.  I am their voice.  I'm the one who holds them, cleans up after they've been sick, worries over the slightest fever or sniffle, feeds them, dresses them, takes them to the doctor, goes to their IEPs, talks with their teachers every day. I'm the one who figures out how to discipline without harm, to encourage, to help, and to stand back when they need to do it on their own.  I do this every day, and often late into the night, frequently on my own.

And, of course, I worry.

But I gotta give a shout out to Hubby:  He's an AMAZING dad, and the most supportive partner anyone could ask for.  He left work early today to help out: WG got sick at school, so I had to go to San Jose & get her, poor bunny.  LG needed to be picked up at school at 11:30, and my in-laws were at the doctor's office.   Of course, now Hubby & I are both under the weather (LG had this thing last week).  Who says kids don't like to share?

But I'm REALLY pissed off at this virus!  WG was sick for nearly 2 weeks in March, and she doesn't need it again!  So, GO AWAY, nasty virus thingy!!!!!!!!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Wheat Wheat...Don't Feed Me!

A few days ago I decided to go off of wheat.  Not necessarily all gluten, just wheat.  To see how I do.  And y'know what?  I feel A LOT better!
I've had headaches in the morning the past 3 days, but I can't tell if they're some sort of withdrawal or just hormones ('cause it's THAT time of the month again, Sally!). But the headaches fade before I even think to take anything, and for the rest of the day I've felt really good!  More energetic, less cranky, not bloated at all, and today I got through a pretty grueling Bar Method workout without either wanting to fall asleep or screaming obscenities at the instructor.
I've been ingesting my fresh juice every morning, then mainly protein and veggies for the rest of the day.  With a bit of rice or quinoa.

And chocolate.
But I haven't been craving nearly as much sugar as before, or even *gasp!* as much coffee.  I'm certainly not ready to give up caffeine, but I find myself having one cup a day instead of two.  I'm not needing that afternoon caffeine fix.

Of course, it's only been 3 days, so we'll see what happens.

So far, I'm not missing it.

I also have a copy of the "Wheat Belly Cookbook," so I can try some recipes from that.

Turning to other news, WG had a GREAT time at Ride A Wave on Saturday!  It was sunny and warm, and the water was even a couple degrees below hypothermia. It's always so amazing to see how many people show up to volunteer, and how terrific they are with all the kids.
Plus, my brother-in-law made a surprise visit from Colorado, so he came with us and helped watch LG.  Then my S-I-L, niece, and other B-I_L showed up.  Along with a few of WG's teachers.  It was so nice!

Later we went out to dinner to celebrate B-I-L's PhD.  Needless to say, Sunday was a day of rest and recovery.
Ride A Wave is usually on a Sunday, but having a day to recuperate makes so much sense.  The kids are in the sun/water for nearly 4 hours, so they're pretty wiped out afterwards (as are their parents, lol!).  And between surfing, boogie boarding and kayaking, it's a full day. Plus, it's quite a drive to Santa Cruz for many of us.
Oh, and add to all that that WG was displaced from her room for the weekend, and she barely slept. All weekend.  So Mom barely slept all weekend.

This is the last week of the regular school year for LG.  He'll start summer school right away, but it's only 3 hours per day.  Luckily we have access to a pool now (whew!), so I can throw him in the water for a couple hours.
I can't believe he's going to be a 7th grader.

Now THERE'S something that makes me wanna go lie down!