Too many days since then.

Hello, hello to all who still may come here randomly, look at month's past and wonder if I'll ever write, or how LJ is still even a thing.

I'm still here. LJ is still a thing. I do still write, just rarely ever here, or anywhere for that matter.

So-much-shit is happening in the world and how that has affected my day-to-day life is exhausting. I have wrapped my life around limited Twitter characters. The dissonance is strong. I focus on the items I can control with what little power I have.

I think constantly about these things: moving to another country, remodeling my house, realistically figuring out how to start a commune with my friends, worrying that my five year old will be shot at school, not comprehending that my five year old is actually going to school in September, feeling like I have failed both kids for not teaching either how to swim or ride a bike, wanting to take all my kid's possessions and burn them in the front yard for their ungratefulness, wondering why can't extra weight just float away, confused as to why I still can't see myself, wondering if thirty-seven is too young to start wearing mumus, how to get my husband to put his phone down that doesn't include sex, and for the love - I need to cut back on my coffee habit, but that cold brew with salted cold foam is so damn delicious.

All of that makes me tired and hopeless, numb and overstimulated. I am trying to do my part. I show up when I can, or send money when I cannot. I think about my kids and wonder what kind of world I want them to have, and strive towards that. I also feel completely defeated that it won't matter how much I say, or do, or give -- there is no quick resolution, no easy fix.

Mostly, I feel dumb for not seeing... or not caring... or both. I sometimes think I was not made for the fight, to advocate, and then think of how privileged it is that I can have the choice to stick my head in the sand.

Then two minutes later it's passive-aggressively commenting that my co-workers keep forgetting to do something, or researching dog food, or checking houses for sale, or telling my son to stop throwing things, or googling terms like "stan" and realizing for the umpteenth time I am old.

It's all too much, people.

The end.
  • Cop-a-squat: The House
  • I'm feeling: stressed stressed
  • Jamz: still feel

And now, he is two.

It feels like only yesterday I wrote something about Aurelia turning five, and here I am to say...

Henry is now two.

I don’t even know how that’s possible.

I have been trying to figure out what to write about Henry. But I find myself thinking of the things he does that makes me so grateful he is in our lives.

His smile is infectious. There is no hiding his pure happiness. He shows it freely, unabashed, when he sees a train, when he’s being dragged on a blanket around the house, when I say we can watch Magic School Bus, when he hears one of his favorite songs, when he’s playing in the snow, out comes that magical smile and it makes my heart soar.

He absolutely wants to do and say everything Aurelia does. A lot of times I know she does not want him to, finds it annoying and intrusive, but what she doesn’t see is how much her brother wants to be with her, be like her. With me being a younger sibling, I understand that feeling so keenly and know what that means is how much he loves and adores her. The way he calls her name when they play, and says “goodnight sister”, it is all these little things. Gosh, I hope their friendship grows.

He shows love to others liberally. For example, we have had the worst two weeks of snow storms, but it has been marvelous watching the kids play. Nick and the kids made a snowman, and when it was time to go inside, he gave the snowman a hug and kiss goodbye. ::cue heart melting:: He always runs in for hugs and kisses. He gets so excited to see his family and friends. If he plays a little rough and accidentally hurts you, he is quick to say sorry and give you a hug and kiss. His heart is big and open; I hope it never changes.

He says “thank you, you’re welcome” when you give him things. He does the cutest, super cheesy, one eye squinty smile. He loves to sing songs and read stories. Is it a plane, train, car, or truck? He’ll take them all, “please, thank you, you’re welcome”. He loves to help, whenever we give him the chance. His stuffed animals are Charlie the dog, Everett the elephant, and Totoro. He still loves his “paci”. He will eat carrots in all forms, every fruit he tastes, takes the daintiest bites of a cookie and cake, and for the love - never leave him unsupervised with a bowl of rice.

Henry is a little ray of sunshine. How lucky am I to be given so much light.

Happy birthday, my Henry.

the end.
  • Cop-a-squat: The House
  • I'm feeling: grateful grateful
  • Jamz: Lake Street Dive

Five Years Old.

You may not believe it, but it's true.

As of yesterday, Aurelia is five years old.

What can I say about my daughter...? She is everything.

She is thoughtful and caring to her friends and peers, and easily affected by the moods of others. She likes managing, advising "and then we do this...", and also never wants to go first. She is annoyed by her brother's constant copycatting, and cares for him deeply. She is observate of people and watches for cues on how to react and act, and completely oblivious to the smallest thing in front of her face (like her father). She loves to dance and sing, color and read, and I am pretty sure she will always run faster than me. She gets this "you know what I mean" look on her face when she explains important information, and always has questions. She is usually polite, and is testing the boundaries on sneaking and lying. She will always say yes to treats, maybe to broccoli, and no to gravy. She decided to have a rainbow and unicorn birthday party because, "I like unicorns, and we don't see a lot of rainbows here". How true she is.

My daughter, my oldest, she gives me a lot of chances to practice being patient. She is teaching me to be kinder with my voice, softer with my words, slower with my advice. She is showing me how to let her grow up, her own way, and to simply be a safe and open place to rest her mind, relax her body, dry her tears, and hold her tight.

This little girl. Loving, kind, curious and unsure. I don't know how I could love her anymore than I did the moment I held her, but I sure do.

Happy birthday, my Aurelia.

The end.
  • Cop-a-squat: The House
  • I'm feeling: grateful grateful
  • Jamz: Bedtime

First Day of Pre-K

Today was Aurelia's first day of school in Pre-K. Earlier this morning she was reading to us from a new board book we bought for Henry. Walking towards school, she was sure of herself and ready. We settled her in and she went off to play with other kids like it was just another day. She barely remembered to give me a hug goodbye. I thought about her all day, wondering how she was, knowing that she probably wasn't worried at all, and was enjoying a new place with new friends.

My baby girl. Oh, how you have grown.

the end.
  • Cop-a-squat: The House
  • I'm feeling: grateful grateful
  • Jamz: The house at night

Check yo crazy.

I can't sleep. The past few weeks have been rough with the kids. I'm not sure when I got a solid night sleep, and by solid - I mean from 10pm to 5:45am without interruption. We had a small stomach bug go through the house, but then Arri woke us up screaming last night. I thought for sure she had an ear infection, but it appears that it's not... or one that can be seen. ::shrug:: I was a zombie most of today and feeling quite worried about her, taking my concerns from general to catastrophic. Then Nick needed me to step in regarding Henry's inability to go back to bed. Not sure what's so hard about being almost 14 months, but whatever. And in complete stupid mom form, I decided to look up information regarding the kids/health... and commence crazy-mom-spiral.

Do you know how hard it is to be a mom? I am sure there is something to be said about being a dad and its struggles, but do you know about moms? Do you know how much pressure there is on a mom to know absolutely everything there is regarding how to raise and care for a kid? As if we are magically implanted with a "how to" chip in our womenly brain on how to handle all-things-kids? Spoiler alert: nope. However, that doesn't negate constant societal pressure that we do, proved to us with messages of your lack of abilities and pictures to compare how unqualified you are. You thought you were feeding your kids well? Let me tell you how you are definitely not. Are you brushing your kids teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing? I'm going to scare the shit out of you regarding tooth decay right quick, just to make sure you understand what your lack of action equals. Is your kid crying out in neck pain? They could have kninked a muscle, or... meningitis... you decide, but choose wisely 'cause, you know, brain damage.

I want to say, on the grand scale of things, I do well for my kids. I love them, feed them, get the medical help they need, provide a home, support them, guide them. But. There is always a but. I am actively working on being kinder to myself, telling myself that I am enough right here, right now, doing exactly this - even if it is not perfect, even if it doesn't fit some conformed mold. This is excursatingly hard. Terrifying, even. Because I am allowing myself to be "less". As a mom, this is never an acceptable option. Ever. I always feel two steps behind, and while in some cases, who cares, but when you are a mom and caring for two people who do not have another, a better, mom to turn to...

See. This. It's fucking hard being a mom. Every day you are judged and labeled by what you can or cannot do for, or with, your children. It's a neverending toxic sludge you wade through. I am exhausted.

The end.
  • Cop-a-squat: The House
  • I'm feeling: distressed distressed
  • Jamz: Snoring

One Year Old.

I don't have a picture to share. Or, at least, not yet and probably not later either.

Today, people, Henry is one. I woke up around 5:30 AM to the sound of my oldest asking if it was waking-up-time. She told Nick she wanted to snuggle with Mom. I think he was trying to convince her otherwise, but she won. They both crawled into bed and I started a story...

Your dad and I, one year ago, are at the hospital right now, working very hard to bring out our second baby... we didn't know he was your brother yet...

The past two days, this has occupied my mind. It has been one year already. Where did my time with Henry go? I don't regret or have guilt about it, but it sure feels like I have missed something, somewhere, that time has taken something easily and I'm almost too busy to notice.

He is starting to walk. Five steps before he realizes what happening and crumples to crawl instead. Almost unintelligibly he says: "What's that?", "Maa", "Dada", and "Yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhh!" He has four teeth on the top and bottom. He needs yet another hair cut (third one!). His hugs makes your heart explode, and his habit of feeding the dog his dinner makes your BP rise. His smile infectious and his lashes a dream.

My second. My baby. My boy. You make me ugly cry with all the love and fear I have. You have grown and thrived by the support and care of so many. I am so grateful I am your mommy.

Happy Birthday, Henry!

the end.
  • Cop-a-squat: Work-Ville
  • I'm feeling: grateful grateful
  • Jamz: Happy birthday to you...


Nothing says hello like not saying anything for months on end. I have little room to feel guilt about that.

It is ten days until Christmas and I am running full speed towards the end of the year. I feel like we just got back from Disneyland yesterday (actually almost two weeks ago) and that we'll be leaving for Hawaii tomorrow (actually two weeks from now).

Trying to be ever-present when your ten month old (yes - ten months!) has decided to protest sleeping is pretty hard shit. I feel bad for Arri because I am so short with her because I have used up all my patience on Henry. I need to be a better mom to her.

Anyway, I literally don't have the time or energy to say much more, nor to do a picture-dump of all of Henry's monthly pictures. Poor second baby gets zero love. But here are a few from our Disneyland trip for good measure...

For the record - the pictures make it look like we had a lot of fun... I simply can't remember it. I am still having a hard time coming to grips with this trip. I simply hope whenever we go again, I can enjoy it more.

the end.
  • Cop-a-squat: The House
  • I'm feeling: tired tired
  • Jamz: Charlie Puth

A kid and her pumpkin

The days go by and you know your kids are growing, but then one day you put them in a shirt that was too big that now fits just right, pants that were too long are now too short, and they ask you fully formed questions that make you stop in your tracks.

Then you go to a pumpkin patch and watch her walk through the fields, talking about finding the pumpkin "made just for her", which she finds on her own accord (while ignoring all your polite suggestions). You take her picture, you buy your pumpkins, and it's just another day in your family life.

Until you get home and you see this...

My girl, grown, and it is all too much.

the end.
  • Cop-a-squat: The House
  • I'm feeling: surprised surprised
  • Jamz: Furnace

So I don't forget...

Last night's bedtime conversation with Aurelia...

Scene: I am tucking Arri into bed

Arri: Mom?

Me: Yes?

A: Can I have one more hum-kiss?

Me: Yes! ::give kiss and hums:: (<= sound effect for extended cheek kisses;she thinks it's funny) Goodnight, baby.

A: Mom? Can you wipe your germs off me?

M: ::laughing:: Yes... ::wipes cheek:: Okay, goodnight. ::start walking away::

A: Mom?

M: ::come back:: Yes?

A: Can I give you a hug?

M: Of course! ::hug::

A: Mom?

M: What?

A: Can you go away now?

M: ::laughing:: Yes. Goodnight, kiddo.

End scene.

The end.
  • Cop-a-squat: Work-Ville
  • I'm feeling: grateful grateful
  • Jamz: Random song