life in my hood with 2 teenagers, a toddler and chronic pain

yes, we can June 19, 2009

O.K. ladies, anyone recognize this conversation?

My little one finished year 1 of preschool and brought home 2 absolutely beautiful finger paintings. My husband came home from work a little while ago and observed the loveliness of the artwork. So far so good, but here’s where it gets…shall we say fucking annoying?

J-“I really like these paintings that she made.”

me-“yeah, they are great.”

J-“Can we get some frames for them and hang them up?”

me-“Can we get some frames? Yes, we can. You can go about 4 minutes over yonder there in that there direction (as I motion with my hands in a general westward direction) to a place called Aaron Brothers Art and Frames and buy some frames and then come home and hang them up.”

Yes, we can. (I wonder if Michelle Obama originated this phrase.)



Can I get a witness?

Can anyone relate? C’mon I know you can. I love to cook. Or at least, I used to love to cook. I used to plan really good meals, whole dinner menus, even. And, I used to shop, go to the farmer’s market for the best, freshest, organic produce to have all the right ingredients in the house. We used to have dinner parties consisting of fabulous food, wonderful wine and witty repartee. And I did all this in a fairly small, cramped kitchen with crappy appliances. Then something happened. Or many things happened. 3 kids happened. 3 kids who don’t eat any of the same foods except pizza, burritos or macaroni and cheese.

And then something else happened. We remodeled our kitchen with beautiful countertops and stainless appliances and a prep sink and opened it up to our den, creating a “great room.”  And then pain happened. Pain that makes me tired and makes me lose my appetite. Do you know what it is like trying to plan dinner when you are tired and have no appetite or nothing just sounds good and the kids don’t like the same food and your husband could be late from work on any and every night of the week? Probably you do know. I end up throwing out more perishables than could feed a small island and we order in food enough times in a week to stimulate a small economy and I feel like a loser of a mother because I don’t have dinner, steaming in its serving bowls, on the table every (or any) evening and I hate it. And then I remember the starving children in Africa and I feel guilty for being such a spoiled, whiny bitch.



out of the mouths of babes June 5, 2009

Filed under: 2 teenagers and a toddler,out of the mouths of babes — mothahhood @ 10:01 pm
Tags: , ,

Sometimes when my nails are clipped, it’s harder for me to get my boogies out. 

Don’t call me a genius. It rhymes with penis.

Is cynical like testicles?”


-Little Miss T (age 3 1/2)



choosing schooling June 3, 2009

I had just dropped my daughter at preschool-preschool mind you, when I struck up a conversation with the dad of another child. At some point, I mentioned that I had 2 other kids, one in middle school and one in high school. He suddenly became very interested. He wanted to know where my son attends high school. I told him and he became very excited. “Oh, that’s where I want Katie to go, I’ve heard amazing things about it. I’ve heard they have the best test scores in town. I’m just not yet sure how I’m going to get her in there yet.” Yet? Katie is 3 years old. I’m not sure if this is a phenomenon of Los Angeles or if it is prevalent elsewhere as well. When I was pregnant with my son, people asked me if I was on a preschool waiting list yet. I thought they were joking. They weren’t and not only that, they were willing to pay what I paid to go to college for their 3 year old to learn to share and play in the sand. I think I signed my son up for preschool about a month before he started. We couldn’t have been happier with our choice and his best friend is still a boy he met there. When my oldest daughter was of age, we signed her up for preschool about a month before as well and same with the little one. Somehow, despite my failings at working the preschool “system”, our 2 eldest have managed to learn to read, to perform complex algebra equations, and are incredibly well adjusted socially and just happen to be straight A students. My 3 year old just got a certificate from her preschool acknowledging that she can recognize all the letters of the alphabet. Yea! (read that with appropriate, yet not over the top, enthusiasm)

To get back to the conversation I had with the dad-I told him where my 2 big kids went to elementary school. There is another, slightly more prestigious school near our home. I never had any interest in sending my kids there. Most of the kids there are white and come from affluent homes. That is perfectly fine, but explains why they might just have higher test scores than our school. I told him that at our home school, children from many cultures, and all socioeconomic classes are represented.  My kids’ friends look like a contingent from the United Nations. Also, our school has a great visual and performing arts program.  I told him that to me there is more to a school than it’s test scores. As we parted ways, he said “Thank you. I really never thought of that at all. You have definitely given me something to think about.”

I was a teacher for 14 years, but I have been a mother for 15. Schools matter, but not nearly as much as parents.



prop hate May 26, 2009

I MUST get on my blog soapbox here for a minute. While I am deeply saddened by today’s news, I am not surprised. As the mother of 2 daughters and one son, as well as a friend to many gay or lesbian people, today is a day that must only strengthen our resolve to win equal rights for all humans. Whether my own children grow up to be straight or gay couldn’t matter less to me. That they grow up in a society that they can marry regardless of their sexual orientation matters greatly to me. I recently watched the movie “Milk” and am truly inspired by him and so many others to continue this fight until all people have the right to be as happy or as miserable in marriage as anyone else. I hope you will join me.

join the fight at the Courage Campaign: or Equality California:

on this particular point… not nufced


bitches part 3

part 3

I have 2 girls and a boy, not counting the dogs. Obviously, my boy is a son of a bitch, which is NO reflection on him. He is one of the most amazing people I know. My daughters, on the other hand are not yet bitches. My logical reasoning tells me, then, that they are b.i.t.s.-bitches-in-training. As I said in my “about” post, the boys used to call us girls, pigs and we told them that we were-pretty, intelligent girls. I don’t think the boys say that anymore. So to my daughters, I would proudly have them grow up to be bitches (bold, interesting, tenacious, creative and honest.). But for now, I propose, a combination of pig and bitch-“big”-beautiful, intelligent girls.  And that is what they are.



profound saturday morning conversations with little miss t. May 23, 2009


t-3 1/2 (as of today) year old daughter



part 1

t-let’s shoot all the bad guys.

j-what happens when you shoot bad guys?

t-they turn into good guys.

me-oh, good, yes, then let’s definitely shoot all the bad guys.

part 2

t-why does the rabbit like trix?

me-because he likes the way they taste.

t-no, he doesn’t.

me-yes, he does, just like you like fudgcicles.

t-but, you don’t eat trix.  they are a toy.

me-no they’re not. they’re food.

t-no they’re not. (technically, she’s probably right on this point)

me-yes, they are. they are cereal, just like lucky charms.

t-i don’t like lucky charms anymore.

me-oh, really?

t-yes, now i just like rice krispies and smart start.

me-oh, what about fruitas loopas? (we started calling them this when we went to mexico a few years ago)

t-no, not any more.

me-o.k., how about apple jacks?

t-yeah, i like apple jacks, too.

t-but how does the rabbit get trix?

me-he tries to trick the kids into giving him the trix.

t-oh, why?

me-because he likes them….

**Please note, I gave up on giving my kids the “healthy, non-sugary cereals” very soon after my first discovered that they really don’t taste as good as the other crap.  As a parent, we must all pick our battles and this was not one I chose to fight.