Aug 012012
 

Every time I am at the airport I am amazed that thieves don’t come to baggage claim and steal suitcases.  There is no security… anyone can just walk in there and just grab a suitcase.  Mr. Thief could just stroll in off the street, grab the  medium-sized black suitcase that everyone and their sister’s cousin has, hightail it out of there and pray that no one notices until all the suitcases are gone.  Mrs. Missing Suitcase will then blame the airline, who will not be able to find the suitcase and then, eventually after a lot of hassle and nagging, will issue a refund for the missing suitcase.  By the time all this is said and done, Mr. Thief will be back at his studio apartment trying on all Mrs. Missing Suitcases bras and wondering what he is going to do with size XXL vacation wear.  Hey, so maybe this suitcase grab was a bust, but Mr. Thief can return to baggage claim and try, try again.  Winners never quit, Mr. Thief.

You’d be in luck if you happened to grab my suitcase.  I don’t know about you guys, but I always take my best clothes on vacation with me.  And if you are reading this and happen to be a thief, my suitcase is NOT the large red one with a red ribbon tied to the handle so I can recognize it.  Seriously… it’s not that one.

Jul 242012
 

They say that there’s no place like home.  But I have come to realize that I don’t know where “home” is anymore.  Tomorrow I am headed to Colorado.  The place where I grew up.  The place where my parents live.  The place I lived for 25 years.  The place I always feel instantly relaxed and yet totally exhilarated.  The place I always used to call home.  But is it home now?

Or is my home Los Angeles?  This is where I have made my family, my career, my life.  This is where I purchased a home that I loved and have filled it full of belongings and of memories.  This is home to my daughter… the only home she has ever known.  But despite living here for almost 8 years, California still doesn’t feel quite like home to me.

Here or There?  Colorado or California?  Either… or? Neither… nor?  Where do I fit in?  No longer there, but not yet here.  Am I home-less?

Or perhaps home to me is not a place but something else entirely… a person, a memory, a book, a look, a song, a smell.  Perhaps home is talking with my family over dinner on the back deck of my parent’s house.  It is sharing a bottle of wine and a lot of laughs with a good friend. It is discussing my day… good or bad… with my husband. It’s my daughter’s goofy smile.  It’s the sun on my face.  It’s an inside joke. It’s singing along to the radio.  It’s the sound of the lawn mover, the smell of pancakes, and the taste of chili.  It’s my husband’s arms.  It’s the exquisite, instantly recognizable scent of my daughter.

Home is not a place.  It is so much more.

Yes, this is home… and there’s no place like it.

Jul 232012
 

When you are a parent, joy comes at the most unexpected (and often needed moments.)  Like when you’ve had a rough day, and your child runs to greet you when you get home.  Or when you are at your wit’s end with her, and she suddenly just gives you a big hug.  Even an expected smile can fill your heart with more joy than you thought possible.

Or like yesterday:  While waiting forever for someone to help us at Babies R Us (don’t even get me started,) out of nowhere my daughter starts booty dancing and then moshing to some random 80’s song playing in the store.  She was dancing so hard that she fell down numerous times, and then picked herself up and started again.  She didn’t even notice my husband and I laughing our asses off nearby.  Her pure joy in dancing was transferred to us both.  Those 3 minutes made my whole weekend and made up for any other annoyances and exasperation that I felt.

I know that it is cliché (like that’s ever stopped me before) but truly, life with kids is about finding joy in the little things.  It is the little moments that make a big life.

Jun 132012
 

I went to go see the Tallest Man on Earth yesterday. He’s not a circus side-show, but an incredible singer/songwriter.  Check him out!

He was saying how even after years of touring, yet still gets very nervous before a show… pacing around, drinking wine to calm his nerves (sounds familiar).  What struck me is that this incredibly talented, seasoned musician STILL gets so nervous before each and every show.  It got me thinking about the things that I do that make me nervous no matter how many times I do them… like sending an article or  script submission.  Or the nervously excited butterflies I get every time I click the Publish button on this blog.

I really think that if you are not doing something that scares you, or makes you excited, or gives you butterflies every now and then… then you aren’t really living.  So do it… whatever it is!  Unless it is murdering someone.  I can’t get behind that, no matter how many butterflies it gives you.

Jun 082012
 

It has now been a little over a week since my eye surgery, and though everything went perfectly, I am still plagued by headaches, eyeaches, and a vague general tiredness.  I also have to be very careful with my “new” eyes, so it has really limited what I can do.  I have been unable to work, exercise, write, or blog.  I have rarely checked my email, stocked browsed on Facebook, or kicked the usual ass on Words with Friends.  I have also not been allowed to wear make-up, wash my face or really even shower.  Also, because I haven’t been feeling so hot, I have had to turn down various social engagements.  For the past week I have really been able to do little more than take care of my daughter.  And you know what… it’s been fucking awesome.

All of the things that I listed above are things that I actually really enjoy doing.  But having an excuse to NOT do them for an entire week has been such a relief.  I feel more relaxed than I have felt in a really long time. It’s amazing how much time I have when I am not constantly racing off to exercise, work, shower, blog or catch up with friends on Facebook.  I have spent a lot of quality time with my daughter without having to check my phone or email.  I have gotten a lot of errands done that I have been putting off for a while now.  I have logged more than a few hours on my couch watching silly TV.  Yesterday I even… wait for it… sat down and ate lunch.  An entire lunch.  While sitting down.  Can you imagine?! It’s been a while.

This forced “vacation” has been great.  I am totally relaxed, completely at ease, and absolutely bored.  Now, I can’t wait to get to back to the rat race. I need the stress.  I crave the chaos! (Please remind me of this when I am bemoaning the stress and chaos of the future.  Actually, don’t remind me unless you like a good slap in the face. I have a tendency to lash out when I am stressed.)

I have discovered that I like my life as busy, messy and full as possible.   So watch out world… I am rested, determined, inspired, and I can see the shit out of you.

May 292012
 

My daughter is just starting to talk, so like every annoying mom, I say each new word slowly and then repeat it a few times while waving the object in question in her face.  Then she looks directly at me and usually says some random baby talk mumbo-jumbo, which I am pretty sure means, “Mom, I am a baby…not an idiot.  Stop waving stupid shit in my face and I promise to say the word when I am ready. Oh and by the way, I hate the Farmer in the Dell just as much as you do.”

May 222012
 

I have a never-ending rotation of children’s songs playing… because even when they are not actually playing they are playing in my head.  Over and over… and over and over and over again.  Have you ever listened to these songs?  Not just mindlessly sung along until you want to blow your brains out, but really listened?  Who the fuck writes these songs?  And what the hell do they mean?

The Farmer in the Dell sounds like a Sunday Afternoon Movie on TLC.  “The Farmer takes the wife.  The wife takes the Child.  The nurse takes the dog.”  Taking them where?  To the Dell?  The Dell sounds like the bottom of a deserted well to me. Kidnapping might be a good subject for a story used to scare your kids into holding your hand in a public place.  Children’s song?  Not so much.

Ring Around the Rosie?  I am pretty sure that I learned somewhere this song is about the Plague.  Regardless, “Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down,”  is never a good way to end anything.

– When It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, it’s bad enough that kid’s recess is ruined by the rain and they have to stay inside and play “Heads Up, 7-Up” (I totally cheated in that game by looking at shoes, btw)  But then we have to scare the kids by telling them about snoring old men who bump their heads and couldn’t get up in the morning.  Even a 5-year-old can decode that riddle and know that the dude is dead.  I wonder how long he laid in bed before someone found him.  Probably a long time if it was raining so hard.

– Dr. Monkey Mom, if your little monkey bumped his head and the doctor’s best advice is “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed,”   then get a new doctor.  Or at least a second opinion.  Concussions are no joke.  And for god’s sake, don’t let the rest of the little monkeys keep jumping on the bed and falling off and bumping their heads one by one.  NOT.  GOOD. PARENTING.

What other upbeat, on-message children’s songs am I missing?

May 152012
 

I used to love vacation. I still do, but vacation with a baby is not the same as it  used to be.  It’s even more work than just staying home.  On the way home from my “vacation” last week, I started daydreaming about the way that vacations used to be… No work.  No responsibilities. You spend your entire day eating, playing and napping.

That’s when I realized that babies are ALWAYS on the vacation I used to have before I had a baby.