Tuesday, December 17, 2019


In Kindergarten, my daughter's teacher read them "The Kissing Hand" on the first day of school. From that day on it became our ritual to kiss her hand before she said goodbye at the door. She even asked for an extra kiss for her hand at bedtime. Today, before walking across the bridge to middle school she holds out her hand for me to kiss. It gives her that extra little sense of security. It also has become such a habit of ours, that it has  become second nature now.

My two kids are at a great age right now. We are out of the baby phase. We can pretty much pack a bag in a few minutes and take off to go anywhere. The kids are easy to travel with, they are adventurous diners, they like to hike and bike with us, and they can have a great conversations now. Sure, occasionally there is a meltdown, even I have them now and again, but the kids are generally much easier these days. We are having a lot of fun together as a family in a way that I have been looking forward to for quite sometime and I am grateful.

Recently, the kids and I went on a bike ride with some friends. There were three other moms and nine kids. We rode for about ten miles and I was so impressed how well my kids were keeping up. There was no complaining, whining, or tears. Granted, there were other kids watching them, so having a freak out is far less likely when you are with your peers, but I was still proud of them. My friend and I talked about the kids ages right now and how much fun we are having, then we allowed ourselves to get a bit nostalgic about when they boys met back in preschool. We can't believe how that phase is just over. She mentioned this book that acknowledges the "lasts" of parenting and how so many people focus on the "firsts" but the last diaper you change is certainly worthy of celebrating.

There are so many little rituals that we have in our family. Some of which are phasing out naturally. We used to sing the same three songs to our first baby and when she grew out of lullabies we passed them on to number two. Quite a few nights have gone by without the bedtime singing ritual. My son doesn't sit on my lap for a bedtime book anymore either, but instead sits beside me while we read on our own. I miss holding him, but I love the new rituals too.

There are no more nap times, high chairs or onesies at our house. There is a baby gate up though and a small puppy who isn't quite potty trained yet. When I get impatient at how many accidents she has, I remind myself how very quickly each phase goes and that she won't be this small for long. Before I know it, we will be all be missing this sweet puppy time and marveling at how big she has gotten. So for now, I will enjoy all our rituals before it morphs into the next phase.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

December 1st

In my early twenties I moved out here to Los Angeles. I found what I thought to be an amazing housing situation with two roommates on the bottom floor of a beautiful Spanish duplex. I found out about it from the woman who was moving out. That alone should have tipped me off, but the rent was so inexpensive and the place so nice, I couldn't see beyond those details. The two women I moved in with had zero social skills and rarely came out of their rooms. When they did though, our interactions were always so uncomfortable. I ended up staying there way longer than I should have and began planning to move out when things went from weird to worse.

There were some bizarre things going on in that house.  It was hard enough having to share a kitchen and bathroom with these two, but when they brought home men it got even stranger. There was a very nice elderly man who lived next door with his quiet wife. He was friendly and would always say hello in the front of the house. One day he came in to spend time with one of my roommates and not long after, he was frequently staying over. I believe he was in his eighties and if I am not mistaken my roommate was under thirty. It is not my place to judge, but it was time for me to go. I gave my notice and my move out date was December first. The series of events that happened in that last month were so odd that I wrote a play to help me countdown the days. Performing and hearing people laugh about it, was imperative to me to be able to make it to move out day. The play was called "December 1st."

It took me another few apartments and another roommate situation to learn I really just wanted to live alone. I found a great bungalow and lived there for a few years until moving in with my now husband. I loved my apartment and was so happy to have my own space.When we decided to get married, we were looking for a date in November. We had our hearts set on a certain venue and the first available date that worked for all of us was December 1st. We took it and began planning our wedding. It wasn't until I made up save the date cards that I realized that the date was familiar. It made me happy to know how far I had come away from that period of time in my life. So much so that it took me so long to remember the date had any significance to me in the past.

Our wedding date arrived on a crisp cool day. We gathered with friends and family to share our commitment to love one another. We welcomed our daughter within the year and a few years following we had our son. Two years ago we celebrated our ten year anniversary by renewing our vows with our children. Our life is full and every year is a gift. We just celebrated our twelfth anniversary! This year has had many challenges which we handled with the kind of partnership I thought might not actually exist in real life, but I'm glad I was wrong. I got a good one and I am looking forward to many more years with him. Which is in some ways surprising because I swore off ever having another roommate and now I have three. He was worth taking another chance on, but I do wish he wouldn't leave his socks everywhere. Our daughter does it too, so it must be genetic.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Personal Day

Things have been busy lately. Between my kids schedules, new puppy and my husband being out of town for work, I have felt spread a bit thin. My husband finally came back this past week, but got stomach flu and was sick on the whole flight home. We set up a room to quarantine him at home and did our best to stay away. I began fantasizing about what a day or two alone would feel like. A vacation would do me good. One night at a hotel to read my book uninterrupted sounded lovely. I am pretty sure, before I could imagine how I would swing a solo day, I was interrupted by one of my children asking me for yet another snack. I let the idea go for the time being.

After a weekend of running around to birthday parties, tennis practice and puppy training. I was happy to sit and have dinner with friends one night. It was fun to catch up and I of course stayed too late. I started Sunday tired and decided to lay low. My husband was feeling well enough to come out with us for a bit so we got outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. For the first time in a few weeks I felt a sense of relaxation and normalcy.  It was welcomed.

We went back home to get ready for the week. We have been trying to have dinner early enough on Sundays that we can also have a bit of a weekly game night. Even if we only end up playing a few rounds of a card game, it would be fun to start that tradition. Of course, a new toy as well as a food coloring experiment were to blame for not giving us enough time for a game. My husband and kids settled for a quick wrestling match before settling down to read. It was about that time that I felt chills and needed to lie down.

My husband, who fortunately is in town and available more this week, is feeling well enough to be available for the kids. He made sure they got to bed, fed them breakfast this morning and got them to school. I now have the stomach flu. It is horrible, gross and exhausting. I am not in a hotel, and this is no vacation, but everyone is leaving me alone. My book is next to me and I plan to read some when I can lift my head again. Not quite what I was picturing, but at least it is quiet.