Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sipping Champagne in San Francisco

My husbands company just finished and released their newest game. It's a big deal to go from nothing to something promoted by a huge company and having it on the shelves of game stores across the country. So tonight my husbands company is throwing a party. 
These parties are the best! All sorts of foods, open bar, lots of laughing, and drunken silliness all around. The parties usually take place in San Francisco. I get to wear fun clothes. They are often held at a bar or club. It is just what a grown up couple needs for a night out away from the troubles of the world. And parenting. 

Tonight, we went to California Pizza Kitchen. 

All five of us went to CPK for a fundraiser for our daughters school. We got to watch all the kids run around and almost get knocked over by the annoyed wait staff. We had no cocktails. We saw the caloric intake of a child portion of macaroni and cheese. And I had to scrutinize the menu to verify there was no dairy in any of my food. This was the furthest thing possible from a night in San Francisco at a party with a bunch of adults chatting and indulging in an open bar. 

These are the trade-offs when you become a parent. My husband and I recognize this. However we still forgot when I got pregnant for the third time the "I can't leave my baby" stage. The "There isn't a babysitter that I can afford to come and watch my newborn so I can go to San Francisco and indulge in an open bar" stage. Not to mention there isn't someone that can nurse the baby for me either. 

Parenting is difficult. And tonight I'd much prefer to be in San Francisco sipping champagne for free. But instead I got to watch my kids eat hot fudge sundaes with mini M&Ms at California Pizza Kitchen. Which doesn't suck too much because they are pretty cute. The kids. Not the mini M&Ms. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lord of the Nerds

Before I met my husband I liked to surround myself with people who were often the nerds of your school. The ones who were outcast as strange. The people who read books that I'd never heard of. Created art so incredibly wonderful that I often felt down on myself.
When I met Pete I think he was fearful of what I'd think of him if I knew the truth about how nerdy he truly was. Sure I knew he was a computer gamer. This is how I met him, through a mutual friend who worked at the same game company. But I never knew the obsession with Science Fiction and fantasy books. I never knew about the Buffy the Vampire Slayer collection he had at work. That side was all kept away from me.
Inevitably we moved in together and as time progressed you see and find things that are questionable. But I stuck with him. I love him. I love a nerd. (This shall be my true-confessions book title.)
As our two oldest kids have progressed in life, we see little quirky things pop up here and there. I am by far a quirky creature. I admit it,  it just so happens that I have pink hair in my drivers license, but nobody really sees that anymore.  But I am also a mainstream type who reads about current fashion, trends, music, etc. So my quirky side gets masked by being a stay at home mom driving a minivan.
My kids however embrace their quirkiness. Owen, my four year old is by far the most imaginative. He will take a rubber band and strap a chop stick to his wrist and call himself a battle droid. Evelyn, my eight year old, has quirk, but it comes differently. It comes on quietly. She will wear her ballet flats, and skinny jeans, and play with her American Girl doll, and then all of a sudden quote "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog." Or better yet, she has probably half of the Harry Potter books memorized out of not reading them, but by listening to them non-stop for the past four years on CD and iPod.
Evelyn's current obsession is Lord of the Rings. Not because we have read the books to her. Oh no, Mommy is not quirky enough for that!! But because my husband turned the movie on for her last weekend while she was on the couch suffering with a stomach ache. She didn't see the whole thing at first. But she couldn't stop talking about it. Finally yesterday after school she says "I've finished my homework and I'm too tired to play outside and ride my bike, can I watch a movie today?" Sure. I'm a reasonable Mom! Plus this allows me time to make dinner. So what does the child turn on? Freaking Lord of the Rings.
Shoot me!! I am probably one of the rare people you will meet that has never seen any of these movies. I have also not seen Avatar, Titanic, or Blade Runner in its entirety. I loathe these types of long drawn out EPIC movies. So here I am stuck nursing the baby with an obnoxiously LOUD at one moment and quiet moment the next movie.
I ended up barricading myself and the baby in my bedroom and text messaged my husband about what a truly horrible father and husband he is. How dare he turn MY baby girl into a NERD! And what horrible husband leaves his wife home with three children and expects her to accept things like Lord of the Rings on her television. During the witching hour no less!

He walked in from work just as the credits started rolling and both kids were thrilled at the prospect that there are two more movies that they have yet to see. Evelyn immediately started asking when she can watch the next ones.

I now feel like an outcast. A nerd. A strange freak. In my own home.

But there is hope...
I have another.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Parenting or Control Freaking

So when does parenting become control freaking?

I try to be one of those parents that trusts her kids, and society as a whole. I don't believe that the world is out to get us. I don't believe that someone talking to my child means that they want to molest or steal my children. I believe the good is greater than the bad.

I don't see myself as untrusting at all....

Except when it comes to routines. I have come to be the person that I am by being in control. Control is what got me put on bed rest during the last three weeks of my last pregnancy. But I like to think that I am not the control freak that doesn't allow for flexibility. Sure I hate my husband doing the grocery shopping "No sweetie, the kids can't drink beer and eat ice cream for dinner. That is bad parenting."
But here is my dilemma; Now that we have three kids, I find people offering their help. I don't usually accept help. "Why do I need help?" "People don't need to help me!!" "I'm fine!"My husband has been telling me since I got pregnant "What is the harm in accepting help?" So I've slowly started to break down and accept.

Unfortunately I've had a few mishaps with these favors and it has caused me to back track about ten steps.  If I want something done correctly why on Earth wouldn't I do it myself? Nobody can parent our kids like we can right?

Today I had a cold stricken four year old home from school and a nine week old with nasty wind and rain outside. Around Noon I received a text that another parent could bring my daughter home from school. So I graciously accepted, as who wants to take a sick kid and a newborn out in the rain? Around 4PM I start checking my phone. I start calling the Mom. I start getting nervous. Who knows what crazy crap can happen in the rain right? The only place I didn't call was the school. And mainly because by 4:30PM I got a call from the schools aftercare program telling me that they had my daughter.
I felt so bad. Our daughter Evelyn is eight, but she too is a creature of routine. The apple hasn't fallen too far with this girl and she likes to know for certain what to expect after school. And Mommy messed up.

I called my husband and told him what happened and before he said he would go pick our girl up I asked "Am I allowed to go back to being a control freak now?"

Sweet husband has graciously accepted that things just go smoother when I am control freaking.

And out of the nervousness of not knowing where my daughter was I started craving chocolate which forced me to make a batch of brownies tonight. Who needs cocktails when you can over indulge in chocolate?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Poor Dear

Now that I am a whopping eight weeks in to being a mother to three children, and not crying hysterically when my husband leaves for work, I see that it isn't as scary as I feared. Is it hard? Yes. Is it insane? Yes. Is it loud? Yes. Is it exhausting? Absolutely. But it isn't THAT scary!
The fear of the unknown I guess is the problem. Because when you get pregnant with your third child you know the pregnancy part is hard.You know giving birth is emotional and exhausting. But you also know that you will recover from all of that. And in my case I recover quickly. Thank goodness!
But the fear of the unknown plays tricks on you. You psyche yourself out of thinking you can't breastfeed and take dinner out of the oven at the same time. You tell yourself you can't wipe the four year olds butt with a crying baby in your arm while your cell phone is ringing and it's the person who told you they'd take your eight year old home from school but now cannot because their daughter has lice. You think you can't take a shower and put on make up ever again.
But I can and have done all of these things!
When I see people who I'm not used to seeing or speaking to on a daily basis I get the same question every time: "How are you DOING?" They put emphasis on the DOING part as if I am terminally ill, or just found out my dog was run over by a semi. They look at me with sad eyes, and wonder what they would do if they were in my shoes.
Now don't get me wrong. We have had some extreme generosity over the last couple of months from the Jewish community. We have some serious good karma to repay because the meals, and the gifts and the kindness has been so wonderful and telling of how people feel about us as a family. But when I hear "How are you DOING?" I want to ask if these people know something that I do not. Did my husband run off with a bar maid? Did I walk outside with underwear on my head? Do I look THAT bad?! I can't remember a time in my life where I have been asked how I am doing more than now.

Let's just say this.

I am doing better than I expected. I am doing well even! Mainly because I am still me! I just happen to have leaking breasts and a big diaper bag to cart around right now.

Of course tomorrow I could take back ALL of what I just typed out and change my mind. I could curl into a ball and cry and say "NO NO TAKE THEM ALL BACK!" But isn't that why Vodka was invented? Or maybe this is why I like Vodka so much?

Either way, I have a back up plan just in case I decide I am NOT doing so well anymore!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not So New

Let me start by saying that this is whole "blogging" gig is not new to me. I've been "blogging" for ten years now. But of course I've always called it journaling because I was using LiveJournal. Over the past ten years I have chronicled some major highs and lows of my life. Laid things out and have wasted people's time with my constant babble. At the time it was what connected me to friends near and far. It was the Facebook of a decade ago. But where you could have people read your deep dark journaling secrets. Or not.
The times have changed. People have shorter attention spans now. Life has become 'mobile' and we all walk around checking our email/texts/facebook/twitter from our phones. I don't claim I am any different. I am often seen sitting in the car nursing the baby scrolling through whatever has caught my eye for the moment on my phone. The fact that I even have to nurse in the car is testament to how my life has become more mobile. I didn't even have the guts to nurse in the car when our oldest was born.
But I've never been one to dwell on the past.... So as I was saying, for the past ten years I've been writing about life, love, and the pursuit of a perfect cocktail! The fact of the matter is, writing is something I've done as long as I can remember. When I was a kid I got a type writer and wrote stories. Nothing ever worthwhile, and goodness knows they are long since disintegrated (hopefully) in a landfill somewhere. But the writing has been the thing that has gotten me through the day. When I was in college, when I was handed a test I would freak out and do shitty. But if I was assigned a 20 page paper about the importance of the movie Amistad, man I could whip that sucker out in a day! 
My husband has always told me to sit down and write a book. That someday we'd retire off of my writing. As much as I love his believing in me I certainly don't see that in our future! (Not with the likes of the world these days.) I am just a plain old stay at home mom who has to drive her minivan from preschool, to private school to the over priced grocery store. The Mom who has to buy insoles for her Converse Chuck's because although they hurt like a bitch to wear, they are still sort of cool to run around town in, and God knows I can't be uncool! (That is sarcasm by the way. You'll get a lot of that here.)
This blog isn't just a new gig. It isn't a new way for me to make friends. Or find the answers to those unanswered questions my 4 year old often asks. Or to make a few bucks, although it would be nice too... It is a way for me to test the waters of writing again. Writing more with a purpose than just blabbing about my feelings. And most importantly it is for the possibility of me helping other Moms with three kids, or any amount of kids, to not feel that Mom-guilt when she pours herself a drink at the end of the day. And honestly it doesn't even have to be an alcoholic drink! I have one friend with three kids who can't go to bed, or finish her day without eating a super rich piece of good chocolate. (That is what living in Austria does to a person, they give you yummy treats and then send you back to the states!)
Wow. I think I've given myself a serious set up. I sure hope I don't fuck it up. I'd like to entertain, and keep you interested. Great. I just realized I have even more people relying on me!

Cocktail of the day: None. Just a few sips of husbands beer.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Beginning Continued

I left you with a cliff hanger didn't I? I bet you're on the edge of your seat just dying to know what happened next!! 
Well, obviously by the title of this blog I have three kids. So you know that much! But let's go back to the fine details of the lightbulb waking me out of my klutzy pregnant stupor! That wonderful Cinco de Mayo (and trust me I will never forget Cinco de Mayo from here on out!) I woke up to get the kids ready for school. I made the coffee. I peed on a stick. Waited for the two lines to show up. Walked up stairs, put my hands behind my back and asked my husband to point to the one he wanted. One hand held the coffee. The other held the pregnancy test. Either way husband was getting a big surprise that morning!
The rest of the day went a lot like this through text messaging. (Boy am I glad we have unlimited texting.)
me: uh huh.
Him: REALLY??????
me: yup.
Him: Wait. Another one? REALLY????
me: uh huh. 
This literally went on for days. I'd be at the grocery store and my phone would make that one text honk that everyone who has an iPhone seems to have would go off and I'd see "REALLY?" across the screen. The sad thing was we weren't totally surprised. I mean obviously, we are a healthy couple. We have sex. It's the way things work, and well, babies happen that way. 
But here is the kicker. In October 2009 just seven months prior to me getting pregnant, we had given every last baby thing away to my sister who was pregnant with twins. Sure I had some sentimental items from both of the kids being babies, but we had no crib. No sheets, no blankets, no socks, no hats, no clothes, no baby bath, no toys, nothing. We have a house full of Legos, Star Wars toys, and a pile of art. There was no room, in our minds, for baby rattles and diapers. 
Slowly coming to terms with being pregnant again, we didn't really speak much of what we were going to "do" - the subject was: we are having a baby. We've done this before. We know how to handle it! So on Mother's Day I called my Mom and told her the news. I tried to be all cute and sweet and tell her she needs to make room for another charm on her grandmother bracelet but I couldn't even get that out of my mouth before she blurted "Your pregnant!" She actually laughed at me because deep down she knew that we weren't done having kids. I wish people would tell me these things when they have foresight that I don't. Thanks Mom. 
We slowly told the rest of both sides of the family. My husband waited until after I went to the doctor at eight weeks to email all of his siblings. Oh, did I mention my husband is the youngest of eight children? Yes. I think it's crazy too. But so does he and all of his siblings. And no, we won't be following in his parents footsteps and procreating five more times. 
So to fast forward through the pregnancy rather quickly because honestly how many pregnancy stories can a person read? It is important for one to remember, but that one should usually be the mother. The father will just remember it all wrong any way. Our third child, our second son, was born January 6, 2011 at 9:38PM. All I will say is that it was a hellish day of induction and I never ever EVER want to go through that again!

So that is the beginning. There is so much more obviously, however I feel that to go forward with this blog the foundation should be laid. (Thanks dad for my gift in analogy usage.) Our perfect family of four turned into a wonderful family of five. We are thrilled to have our newest addition to our lives. But after a day like today, and yesterday, and the day before, and ... I am glad there is Vodka. 

Oh! As if you need proof that we are surviving this parenting three children program one cocktail at a time. Husband just went upstairs to rescue crying newborn with a cocktail in one hand, and an iPad in the other. 

Cocktail of the day: Greyhound

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The beginning.

So lets get things started shall we? I'm starting this blog, and not really certain where it will be heading. I know a few things already.
1. I am a mom of three children. All four years apart. 8, 4, and 8 weeks today.
2. I love food. I love to cook. I don't ever follow recipes, and I often become obsessed with hunting for new and improved ways to feed myself and my family.
3. I like a good cocktail.

Maybe I should go back to the beginning? So let's start with this, October 2001 I got married. I had a fairytale wedding. And I'm not exaggerating. I got married at one of the Disney Hotels. By November 2001, I was pregnant with our surprise baby.
We were living in Seattle, with no family, and my husband was a temp at Microsoft. I was working for a local restaurant chain in their head office as a Marketing/Front office person. I hated it! But my husband loved his job. And when I got pregnant, his boss created a position for him to be hired on as a permanent employee. We were ecstatic to have this opportunity. To have health benefits, plus all of the extra perks one gets when they work for 'The Evil Empire'. So we stayed in Seattle although it wasn't where I wanted to be. We spent a lot of time being the typical first time parents. Ordering the crib at five months pregnant. Making all of the shopping trips to as many stores as possible to do research on car seats, bedding, strollers,  eating whatever the heck I wanted. We had no idea where life would take us. All we knew was we were about to have a baby girl in August 2002.
By November 2003 my husband got laid off from Microsoft. There we were with no family in town, an apartment, a 15 month old, a brand new car that we had JUST bought a few weeks earlier, and my husband got laid off. We made the decision rather quickly that we were done with Seattle and needed to get back to California. I didn't want to wait around and see what else could happen in Seattle, so within 20 days our lives were packed into boxes, and we were putting our daughter on an airplane to go back to California with my Mom. My husband and I packed up the car with the important things (computers, CDs, my shoes) and we drove our brand new car to our new lives.
We were offered a place to stay with my brother in law in San Diego. As unappealing as it seems to move in with family when you have your own family, this was actually the best thing that ever happened to us. Our daughter was in a home with three loving adults. And we were able to get on our feet and move forward. My husband did contract jobs and before we knew it we spent almost two years in San Diego sharing a house with my brother in law.
Then something happened. November 2005 I got pregnant again. This was also in the midst of my husband interviewing for jobs in the Bay Area. Not really serious planners are we? We tend to fly by the seat of our pants, and see what comes toward us. It has been difficult living that way, but it's how we roll.
This pregnancy was harder. From the moment I took that test I knew I was having a boy. This is also when all of a sudden my husband was offered a job in Marin. And took it. In the midst of a pregnancy we packed up our lives and moved our family North. And before we could get ourselves situated August 2006 brought us our baby boy.
We've made a great life for ourselves here in Marin. We had a perfect little family of four. One girl and one boy. The kids both love their schools. We have really great friends. We finally were able to purchase a second car. We have a great townhouse (rental) that has a nice neighborhood feel. The kids can run around outside and ride their bikes and I know they are happy. Last year I even started working a bit and contemplated going back to school, or perhaps start my own business. By trade I am a make-up artist but that is another story. I really got into the idea of working and creating beauty again.
On May 1, 2010 I was booked for an entire day to do hair and make up at this incredible wedding. I was up at 6AM that day, and was on my feet until midnight. I came home to a sad daughter with a tummy ache and all I could do was look at my husband and say "I can't. I have to go to bed. Now." It took me two days to recover from that amazing day of work. (And believe me it was worth it to do that work because if I do say so myself it was some of my BEST work ever!)
By Cinco de Mayo I had visions of tequila and guacamole dancing in my head. I then woke up and realized something. Something was off. My longing for coffee was absent. My usual morning-person perkiness was gone. My want of having nothing but coffee for hours on end was replaced with the sudden rush of I MUST HAVE A FRUIT SMOOTHIE RIGHT THIS SECOND! And then I dropped it all over the floor. What is up with the klutziness? And the need for fruit so early in the morning? Random. And then, the iPhone told me the date. And a lightbulb literally lit up above my head!

I'm pregnant.

Cocktail of the day: None