Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm not back...not really...I just have this to say

I love Nipper Knapp because he acts like I look like this:

Even though I really look like this:

I know I have some splainin to do. Where I've been. What I've been doing. I will. I swear. Just as soon as I bake the 12 dozen cookies I need to bake tonight... Oh and then, after I let thirty 5 and unders, and their parents come over here and decorate them this weekend. Happy Holidays nerds.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

santa baby

Are you talking to me?

 You must be talking to me

You talkin to ME? 

I'm the only one here, you must be talking to me

Let's do this thing! Any of you crabby grinchypants that want to harumph about it being too early for Christmas can take it up with congress, because as of 4pm tomorrow, it is countdown to Santa time around here.

For the most part, the last three months have been SUCK CITY, around here. So we're putting it all away for the next 6 weeks. Gonna put our troubles on the back burner and try to enjoy the season. They'll still be there in January, so why let them ruin my favorite time of year? This is the only 1st Christmas, Charlie Truman is going to have, (and the only 4th Christmas for Jack! SOB. 4!) and I'm not going to let grown up stuff get in the way of making it magical the way Christmas should be when you're a kid.

One of my favorite pics of Jack from his 1st Christmas

Jack and I are going to cook all day Thursday while Nipper Knapp curses football calls, and tells us funny things people are tweeting. Charlie will mostly just be gnawing on his hammer (should I be worried the hammer is his favorite toy?), and wishing he could eat my porcini mushroom gravy. We'll go see the muppet movie, which I'm sure will make me verklempt.

My Kermit and Ms. Piggy puppets from when I was a kid. In case you wondered, I can do a spot on Ms. Piggy (shocking)

I hope that in this time of so much upheaval, and discomfort, for so many, that this week finds you all with friends, family, lots of mashed potatoes. And if it doesn't, then send me an email, and I'll send you a really dirty joke and hug to make it all better.

Happy Holidays everyone. I promise to write more. And I will because I'll be high on glitter and pine needles for the next 2 months. Watch out now! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

let it snow let it snow let it snow

You guys. I'm sorry. I have been busy. It's true. But that's not why I've been away. I have FORSAKEN YOU! I'm the worst bloginatrix ever. We've been dealing with some stuff and it has hijacked my ability to write, think, sleep... Good times.

Last week I had a chance to walk through Anthropologie by myself, for like 15 MINUTES. Staycation... And OH, the christmas decorations are in. I was at The Grove, and they were setting up the giant Christmas tree. Sadie said it greatly disturbed her, because it wasn't even Halloween. I wanted to tell her that if I could mainline that
Christmas tree I would.

It rained today. If I happen to drive by Home Depot tomorrow, and they happen to have christmas trees. I'm buying one. I need Christmas to start early this year.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Straight Outta Compton

This is the LA everyone wants to think they know.

I heard a story on NPR a few weeks (days? months?) ago, about how Compton is not really as bad as, you know, COMPTON. How people use "South Central", or "Compton" as a euphemism for the worst, of the worst. People will be looking at a house in say, oh I don't know, MY neighborhood, and say, "I mean, it's not COMPTON!". The story was about how there's actually a large agricultural center there, with horses, and goats, and people making their own cheese. IN COMPTON. The point is, Nipper and I find, that when we tell people outside of LA, that we are from LA, often, they bring up the LA Riots, or NWA, or some other thing that has absolutely nothing to do with our life here. I want to say "yeah, we get shot at all the time, but you know, the weather is like, so, so, great."

But really this is the LA most people know. 

Admittedly it is a city divided, just like any big city. There is incredible wealth, and devastating poverty. I've seen things here on both ends of the spectrum that have knocked me out. Stuff like, people throwing a $50,000 birthday party for their 1 year old; and two grown women fighting in the middle of a street, one of them wearing nothing, but a make-shift diaper. We live somewhere in the middle of that, but definitely closer to the diaper than the party.

I feel extremely fortunate, to live and work in a city that allows us to enjoy so many great things, the ocean, the mountains, one of the country's largest city parks (Griffith), beautiful local canyons for hiking, skiing an hour away from the beach, outdoor malls in December, Night blooming jasmine in winter, Orange blossoms, and the Disney Symphony hall, Zankou chicken, the movies (I mean it, I love them), spooky old theaters in a downtown that looks half like NYC, and half like Mexico City, gourmet food trucks that make everything from waffles to portuguese sushi tacos, and Scientologists in their natural habitat! And this is like the worst list, of the best stuff. How can you top that?

I know that many, many, people are born and raised here and never see the good parts of LA. I knew a guy in college, who had grown up on Portrero Hill in San Francisco. He had never seen the ocean. San Francisco is 7 miles wide at it's widest. He had never crossed those seven miles, because of poverty, not apathy. But there are a lot of people who move here from other places that never see the good stuff either. These people make me crazy. The transplants who endlessly feel the need to talk about how much they hate LA. Nipper Knapp and I have one word advice for these people "leave". No one is begging you to stay, and frankly, you're just making traffic worse. No other city in the world is such an easy target for people's disdain, people looooove, to hate LA. It's like the anti-Paris. People who have spent 3 days here, like to expound on all the terribleness that they encountered in their travels. "It's not for me", they'll say. Fine, then go, back to wherever it was you escaped to come here and complain. I'm sure they've been missing you.

But I'm not gonna lie, LA is vast, and I think it takes a long time to get to know. A long time to be able to take a deep breath and call it home. My first year here, I didn't know anyone, for A YEAR. I didn't know how to begin to meet anyone. I spent looooong days walking in the Hollywood Hills, smelling the canyon air, getting dusty, seeking shade, reaching the top, staring incredulous at the grid, hoping there was a life for me somewhere out there. Some weeks, there were days when I didn't speak to anyone except the checkout girl at the grocery store. It can be a lonely town, until you find your place, your people, your way. But it's that loneliness that alienated me in the beginning that has held me here for so long. You can be anonymous in this town. You can do anything you want, any way you want, and be sure that while you may be doing it differently, you are not doing it alone. I used to hate that. I wanted someone to tell me what the rules of life were. The older I get the more I love that LA lets you make your own. It's a sleepy town hidden under a crazy traffic jam. It's shy, and stubborn, and it has a funny face. You could very easily write it off as city gone wrong. But you'd be wrong. There are a million different ways to live in this town, and if you can't find one that fits you, you haven't looked hard enough. But for some reason, it's more acceptable to hate it, than to love it. I LOVE LA. I might as well have just shouted "I love syphilis". That's how much people love to hate LA.

The street I lived on when I first moved here. 

That stearn love note was a long preamble to what happened here two nights ago. You guys know my mom moved here a few weeks ago to help with the kids.  She is not in the "LA haters" club, as a matter of fact, she gets around really well. In her visits over the years, she has found her favorite places, and sometimes goes off on her own to get "that salad from that place we went that one time". She is making a nice little life for herself down here. My mom is bold, brave, different, and generally dives head first into most things. In many ways, she's a born Angeleno. I like to think I got a lot of my courage from her.  She is however, a mom. So you know, she worries. Sometimes she expresses her worries out loud. And because I'm you know, her kid, I roll my eyes, and say "ok WHATEVER". Then I make a note to myself that when Jack and Charlie are grown, I will still feel the way I do about them as babies, and they, being grown men will roll their eyes, and say "ok, WHATEVER", and that's the way it should be. All moms have the crazy crazy. All of us.

When we bought our house, I'm sure our entire family was worried. Is that neighborhood "ok?", (mezzo mezzo), is that mortgage "too high?" (YES), will they be "ok?" (sure). But it's a mom's job to say these things out loud, and sometimes to say them with a little added color, that makes their children want to scream, kick their mother in the shin, and then take a nap (see it never changes). So for years, my mom would ask about the neighbors "pit bull", (a chow mix), and about the tagging (it was tagging), and gangs (closest thing we have around here, are these really pushy Waldorf moms, "Oh you are raising little Azalea without screens? How brave". You know stuff that living in a city, we ignore, don't see, don't think about, because you can't. You have to keep your eyes on the prize, and live your life, because oh my god couldn't you get lost fast. Louis C.K. has a bit on bringing a girl from a small town into NYC through Port Authority for the first time. She sees a homeless man in a terrible state, she bends down to see if he's ok, and Louis and his friend, grab her and say "oh NO, we don't do that". As if she's wrong. But when he tells it, it's funny. Jesus, I've just made Louis C.K. unfunny. Now I want to die.

So for years, I've just rolled my eyes when my mom talks about all the dangerous or terrible things she sees in and around LA, because hey, I live in my pink man cave, with my macbook, and my eames rocker, and my organic yogurt, and my kids wear bamboo socks that don't chafe, and you know, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! LOOK AT ME! I'VE MADE HEAVEN RIGHT INSIDE OF HELL AND YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE IT!

My friend Paul told me about moving here from Rhode Island. He was going to stay with a friend. When he got in from the airport, the friend wasn't home, so he waited on his front porch. I can't remember exactly where it was, Beverly Hills, Brentwood? Somewhere swanky. While he waited he called his mom. He told her what he was doing, and she said, in a concerned tone "well don't be a target". Oh god, this is going to happen to me someday. I'll be saying something like that to Jack or Charlie. They'll be having lunch with someone in the Hamptons, and I'll say "watch out for land mines!"

You know where this is going right? Do I even need to write anything else?

Two nights ago, Nipper and I went on a date. Well, we went to see a movie, that's a date, right? We came home, and my mom was upstairs in Charlie's room. He had just woken up, and she was rocking him. Jack was asleep. Awesome. My mom gave me a kiss on the cheek, passed me the baby, and said good night. I was thinking "see how well this whole arrangement is working?! I might even get a little time to make out with my husband on the couch. We have kids people. The window for getting lucky is very, very, very, (very) small. But when I came down after nursing Charlie, my mom was still there in the living room, watching a movie. Uh... mom please don't read this next sentence. Goodbye lady boner. Uh... I'd like to take back that last sentence. Ick. But seriously, nothing makes you want to have sex with your husband, less, than your own mother watching Tangled in your living room. It's true, you can wikipedia that shit, because it's a fact. Night time babysitters need to make like a tree and leave as soon as people get home. But she's my mom, so how do you say that? (you write a blog for 2 years, and then slip it in casually) I decided I'd curl my hair, so I wouldn't have to do it in the morning. Back to reality. 20 minutes later, the movie ended and she headed home. Good Night and Good Luck.

Three minutes after leaving our house, my mom was in a traffic altercation with several young men, who tried to ram her car, then jumped out and waved a gun at her. Right in front of my house. Good. Night. I watched the whole thing happening out my front window, where I was standing curling my hair. We live on a curvy hill street. Only one car can go up or down at a time. There are impasses 20 times a day. Someone backs up to let the other past, and life goes on. At first I thought this was what was happening. I heard them rev their engine, she was going down, they were coming up. I said "ok, easy, she's an old lady" (sorry mom). But then they revved the engine again, and again,and squealed the tires. As I pulled back the curtain, I saw a man emerge from the car and run at her, his arms in the air. OH SHIT.

Buy the time I got out the front door, shouting at Nipper Knapp to call 911, she had driven down the dead end below our house, and they had (I thought), trapped her, in her car, I heard a crash. OH MY GOD THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL MY MOTHER. This is what my brain must have thought. I don't know, because I was too busy saying "oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck" and calling the police, to know what I was thinking. I called the police too, because sometimes they don't pick up 911 from a cell phone for a very long time.

I ran out into the street, the men were still in front of the house, but then, I couldn't see what was happening, as they followed my mom down the hill, below our garden wall. I knew one of them was out of the car, and so I started shouting "THE POLICE ARE ON THEIR WAY", over and over. I guess I wanted them to leave, to drive off. I wanted to get them away from my mom. When I got past the wall, I saw that my mom had pulled into a tiny driveway, and the men had driven past her and were now blocked in by a big grey truck. A good samaritan? My mom was getting out of her car. wtf. "RUN!" I yelled at her. "GET BACK IN THE HOUSE!" she yelled at me. Nipper said that when she came into the house she said "he has a gun". I didn't hear this because I was too busy being nonsensical to the 911 operator. She kept asking for my address and I kept saying "please send them, they have my mom". Oh, I hope Jim Rome doesn't play that tape ever. Mortifying.

Miraculously, both my and Nipper Knapp's 911 calls went through, and the police arrived within minutes. For reasons unknown to us at the time, the men stayed down in the dead end, out of their cars. As if they hadn't done anything wrong. We could see them down there. What was going on?!

Well, it turns out they were suuuuuuuuper stoned. The guy with the gun, had waved it in the face of another neighbor as he ran past, and shouted at him to get back in his house. This neighbor, a young guy, asked the police if they were on pcp or something. "Nope, just pot". REALLY? Who gets high and acts like that? And you make fun of us for pms? Testosterone is a bitch. Ok, so the police come, they interview everyone. They arrest the guys for attempted carjacking, and assault with a vehicle. Are you kidding me?

As soon as I could ascertain that my mom was ok, once she was in the house, once the police where there, here is what I thought: "I am NEVER going to hear the end of this". That's how fast it happened. Within 5 minutes of being TERRIFIED,  that some guys were trying to kill my mom, I was rolling my eyes, saying "ok WHATEVER". I was still shaking. My bones were shaking, a sign from my body that it was time to run, but my brain had gained back control, and that's when the shit show really began. Carjacking? Meh, throw down between me and my mom? ATOMIC.

Nipper went down to get my mother's car. She was watching out the window, and I was pacing back and forth babbling like an idiot. Don't you wish you could tell me to shut up right now? She was telling me what happened, but I couldn't even really hear what she was saying, because all I was thinking was "how can I keep her from what just happened?" " How can I minimize this, so that I don't have to hear about how this city isn't safe FOREVER." "Why did this happen to HER? Why couldn't it have happened to me?" I would have taken it as a secret to my grave. "Nothing bad EVER happens here!" "We live in PARADISE! LOOK AT MY BAMBOO SOCKS!"

 "Of course it's not safe!" I was shouting in my own head, "it's a city!" But this is what came out of my mouth: "in 14 years of living here I have never had anything like this happen! Nothing!" And then: "I just find it amazing that you are here 1 week, and of course this happens to YOU". She walked right out the front door. Nothing like blaming the victim, while their still at the scene of the crime. Don't worry, Nipper Knapp informed me immediately that I am in fact the world's biggest asshole, and I apologized. But you know I was in fight or flight baby! I had to excise my demons! Had to dump the adrenaline on someone! Had to try to shape the current events to match my world view. Had to keep my mom from saying "I told you so" AT ALL COSTS. Whoopsy tootsie!

In the last 24 hours, my mother has heard every different side of the story from several neighbors. My neighborhood is super gossipy, I can't imagine what they say about us, and I give them NOTHING. I'm convinced, we'll never know what really happened. One side says that the guys had smashed into the guy in the grey truck on their way up the hill and they were trying to escape his wrath, when they met my mother's car coming down the hill. Which explains the engine revving, tires squealing, panicked escape from vehicle, and gun waving (no it doesn't explain that, but...). They weren't trying to car jack my mom, they were trying to get past my mom. But then why'd they follow her into the dead end? They were super stoned. The crash we heard was not them smashing into her car. They smashed into something else. I don't actually know what. Or maybe the grey truck crashed into them. They were super high. Did they even see my mom?  Apparently when the cops asked them in they were high, they were just like "uh yeeeeah". Again this from a game of telephone amongst my neighbors.

When I ran out on the street shouting "the police are on their way" the grey truck apparently drove off, maybe had something to hide. But today, the other neighbor who called 911, said the driver of the truck pounded on his door and said to call 911, so why then, did he leave before they got there. I didn't see him drive off, because I was in my dining room, hugging my mom, shaking, and about to say something really regrettable.

So that happened. But then I had a glass of wine, and the next morning, the neighbors who also called the police, brought my mom a very nice bottle of Cuban Rum, with a note reminding her that "LA has lots of nice people". My mom and Charlie went for a long walk, they had a swing in the breezeway. We've turned the whole thing over and over, pulling out every detail to debate it's merit. I'm ready to let it pass. Our life is busy, and I have things to do. Everything keeps going, the sky is so blue, and the mountains are so clear. Why are some of the most beautiful days the ones before or after disaster. So yeah, someone waved a gun at my mom, the neighbors talk about you behind your back, and there's a T-mobile billboard at the bottom of the hill that just says "SIN" in big pink letters because it's en español. But hey, say it with me "IT'S NOT COMPTON!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Man Repeller in a nutshell

A little bit ago I mentioned a website called The Man Repeller. It's a cute girl who works in fashion, whose clothes choices, are all things that girls LOVE, and men hate. You have to go to the site to see what I'm talking about, but I experience this with Nipper Knapp all the time. 

The first "infraction", I incurred was wearing uggs with mini skirts when we were first married. "This makes no sense!" he would exclaim. "It's warm enough for a skirt, but then you're wearing big wooly muckalucks. You think this looks cute. It doesn't." He can pry my uggs from my cold dead feet. Motherhood has gone ahead and taken my mini skirts. They're still in the closet, because I can't bear to think I'm *gasp* too old for them, but, they haven't been touched in years. 

Then came the Luke Skywalker boots. I actually had these in two iterations. The first was a cheap pair from Target. They were sandy suede mid calf boots with a zipper, and had suede buckle straps all around them. I also wore these with mini skirts. For this infraction he'd greet me at the door with a "Hi honey, how was your trip to Tatooine today?" Stupid man. For my birthday three years ago Nipper's mother upgraded my Tatooine boots to a pair of Fiorentini and Baker boots from Barney's. (I love this woman) I don't get to wear these enough because I have kids, and you actually have to buckle the buckles (3 per boot) and who has time to do that, or the flexibility to bend over while holding Andre the Giant baby. 

I know there are other fashion things I do that make Nipper roll his eyes. There was a beautiful cream YA-YA trench coat I got at a sample sale at the house of the Billion Dollar Babes founder. It had a giant cowl neck, and all kind of complicated buttons and a belt. GORGEOUS. It made me feel like Diane Keaton in a Nancy Meyers movie. He hates it.

Ok, I blocked their faces to protect identities, but these two beauties are an example of the difference between men and women. One is a man repeller, and one is not. 

The other day we were waiting at an audition space in Santa Monica. This girl walked in, and as she passes in front of us, both staring I say "oh COME ON". To which he says "you see?!" She was gorgeous. She looked like Naomi Watts, all wind tousled, and wearing some drapey outfit with a short skirt, and layered tops, and suede knee boots, and a big boho bag. She was the effortless beauty every girl aspires too. That's what my "oh come on" meant, like, she's perfect, stop looking. But Nipper's "you see?!" meant something entirely different. He thought she looked RIDICULOUS. He was like why'd she have to ruin being cute, with that horrible outfit. And then he asked where she was hiding her light saber, and if she left the window cracked for the Jawas she left in the car. DUDES! 

About 5 minutes later another girl walked by. This time we both just stared. Her legs were 14 feet tall. She was the closest thing to a giraffe I've ever seen in person. She was wearing shorts, a simple blouse, and great shoes. On this we can agree, if you have legs like that, you can wear whatever you want. Sigh. 

The other day I saw these jackets at American Rag. The first one is amazing. Perfectly broken in, buttery soft. Ironic patches, nehru collar. I had one just like it in high school. I think it had a Misfits skull painted on the back. It's a terrible picture, and you can't really see, but the second one is navy blue. You also can't see that it's $2000. They were both $2000. I think this would be the perfect thing to remind me that I was once cool, and can still be, if only I had $2000 laying around to spend on a jacket, I'd be embarrassed to wear to pre-k drop off...with my mini skirt and skywalker boots. 

That's all I've got for today. Oh except this. I got these gold safety pin earrings made for me last year, by the a goldsmith, who is a friend of a stylist we work with a bunch. (brag drop dear greer) They are my homage to my punk rock youth, (I may or may not have pierced my nose in a London hotel room with a safety pin when I was 15) But they are solid gold, so it's ironic. God I hate when I have to explain things. I get tons of compliments on them. They are my diamond studs. I never take them off. I'm wearing them right now with khakis and a lavender cashmere cardigan. OH THE IRONY! Take that mom! Sorry, having my mom around may or may not be raising some inner teen rebellion. If you notice me hiding out in the prius sneaking cigarettes, and sexting with Nipper Knapp, don't be alarmed, I'm fine. Just fine...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Burnout Book Club

one of my favorite books...well it used to be. Now my favorite book is paddington.

Ok, here's MY book club proposal. Only mom's and singles with very little energy can be asked to join. No go-getters, or people with "big plans". The meetings will rotate from each persons house each month, meet at a park, coffee house, or pre-school parking lot. The meetings will last anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours depending on nap time. No new books will be read. As a matter of fact no reading will be required at all. 

At the beginning of each meeting someone will start by saying "hey did you ever read ______" and name a book they read in college/high school/ before death and taxes were everything. Then people will either say yes, or no. Everyone can say "I loved that book, it really changed my view of ________" or "oh I always meant to read that, but never got around to it", or "I picked it up 5 times over the last 15 years, but can't get past page 7." 

Then we'd all order a round of drinks, and move on to complaining about the following topics: Kids, schools, husbands, sex, other moms, other kids, in-laws, own mother, fat, vaccines, and most importantly "those people". 

After that people can quietly excuse themselves as their ability to put together any more thoughts or sentences for the day are exhausted. The host will be left feeling edified, and a tiny bit triumphant, and will sleep like a baby...when they get a minute

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

oh darla!

I was telling Nipper Knapp that I don't like some of the things Jack has been doing lately. Not behaviors, he's great. Activities. The usual mom complaints. Too much tv, too much ipad, mostly just too much time inside. He asked what I'd rather he be doing, to which I replied immediately, "read a book, ride a bike, play in his tree house, run outside and not come back until I call for dinner, get dirty, CATCH FROGS!" He said "ok". But before he could mock me I said "I know, I want him to be a boy in 1953, I get it."

I have no illusions about the world we live in. I have my nose buried in an iphone, ipad, imac, half the time. I write a mom blog. I make a living selling things on tv. The irony is not lost on me. But sometimes I wish I could just take my boys to a compound near the sea and raise them, just like they do in the wild. You'll notice I didn't say the country. I don't want to live in the country. Because you know, there's other people in "the country". People with opinions about things. What I want is a solitary life where they can climb rocks, and swim in the ocean, and ponder the vastness of the universe without some local crumb bum filling their mind with thoughts about stuff. I want my boys to be filled with curiousity and wanderlust, oh and an undying love for their mama. is that too much to ask?

Friday, September 30, 2011

School of choice

We are entering the thorny thicket of school choices. I use the word "choices" broadly, because what I really mean is "desperate hail mary attempts to get our child into a school where he won't be maimed, mentally, physically, or otherwise".

We bought our house a few months before Jack was born. We had the sunny belief that we'd be sending him to the French school when it came time for his little mind to be molded into a good little citizen. But then we met him, got to know him, realized we're pretty partial to him, and oh yeah, visited the French school. No cold Gaullist was going to reprimand my baby for mixing up his etre with his avoir. We lucked out with his preschool, because all they required of us was a reasonable amount of money. But now it's time to get him into an elementary school, hopefully that he will be in with the same (ish) kids until he graduates from High School. In Los Angeles. I KNOW. What kind of 1970's midwestern fantasyland am I living in?

Here's the problem. Our neighborhood public school is bad. Not so bad that it's on the list for schools you can opt out of in the, school of choice, program, but bad enough that we wouldn't send him there for one day. There's another school nearby, that needs bodies. I mean children. It's a BEAUTIFUL school, so pretty, they used it in an episode of MAD MEN, because it looks like a beautiful mid 20th century learning heaven, where older ladies who maybe still wore girdles under their tweed skirts, taught the youth of tomorrow, to conjugate verbs, and dream about space. The houses surrounding the school are estates. Not just mansions, estates. Long rolling green lawns leading to 8000 square foot homes in every style, with guest house, and pools, tennis courts with lights. But guess what. The school sucks. None of the kids in that school live in those estates. Everyone who lives in the neighborhood is 112 years old. There are no children. I don't know which came first the bad school, or the no kids, but now it's an ever worsening cycle. So depressing.

This is Arroyo Vista, one of the schools, in one of the 3 good school districts in all of Los Angeles. Even kids who live IN this district, have to lottery into the school. INSANE.

So, that leaves us with neighboring schools that we would have to get an inter-district permit for EVERY YEAR (read, we can be happily sailing along in the 8th grade after years and years in a school, and they can give him the boot), private schools we can't afford (if one more person tells me $19,475 a year really isn't that bad for Los Angeles...murder), magnet schools, (museum science anyone?),and charter schools. We walked out of a meeting for a charter school this morning that everyone has been saying is THE BEST, when we read that they have temporarily ended their music and art classes due to budget cuts. For elementary school. No music. No art. For little kids. That's a deal breaker for us. What are they going to teach them ALGEBRA? CHEMISTRY? What a disaster. Have we lost our minds?

No Child Left Behind should be called America Left Behind. We're such idiots. I don't want to get into some political discussion here, (so please don't write me some libertarian rant about educating our own), but seriously, dudes, in terms of brain trust, we are like the grasshopper who sang all summer.  Except that instead of singing, we just binged ourselves on suvs, subprime mortgages, dancing with the stars, and fat. I'M A COMMUNIST! You didn't know. I told you I went to Cuba in college. You were confused by all the Marc Jacobs, and stories about fancy cookies. Well, now you know.

We're not alone. Sandra Tsing Loh, wrote a whole web page about this very topic after navigating the impenetrable maze of middle class school options in the LAUSD. It's called "Sandra Tsing Loh's Scandalously Informal Guide to Los Angeles Schools". It's an easy read, and if you know STL, you can imagine her saying the words in her funny cadence, and it makes it, just that much more entertaining...and depressing.

I don't know what we're going to do. Deadlines for tours are coming and going. Lotteries, application dates, move by dates (yes I said that), are upon us. In the last 5 days we've even discussed bribing (I mean paying, PAYING) Nipper's sister, who is an amazing, and dedicated school teacher to come to Los Angeles, to teach our kids, and our friend's kids. You know, sort of like a private tutor, home school, one room school house sort of thing. At least for elementary and middle school. Why not? When you start looking at the real options, it doesn't seem so far fetched. I know, communist. It's not your fault, you thought I was some kind of Target loving dilettante who just flitted from one half finished glamor project to the next. I am, but I'm also a pinko. I put kale in my smoothies.

I'd love to hear some of your stories about school placement anxiety. Just to make myself feel better. Oh, and for those of you who live in Portland, and your kids walk two blocks to the AWESOME neighborhood public school where they have a spring musical, and an organic farm, you know where you can stick your story. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

As I lay Dying

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine started a book club. I like her, and knew she'd bring together a great group of people. I was curious. As soon as I brought it up, everyone who knows me just gave me "the look". "Obviously, you aren't going to do this and why are you even talking about it?" That's what the look says. It also says "Bitch please". But I ignored the look. Then my friend chose "As I Lay Dying", by Faulkner as the first book. Uhm, ok. Never mind I can't find time to read Vanity Fair in the bathroom even. I can totally do this! I WENT TO COLLEGE!

I happen to have the book already. It's been on my shelf for years. It's one of my father's favorite books. My first clue should have been that I've owned the book since before I had kids. Hello Dumb Dumb.

I don't really need to go on about this anymore. I didn't even get the book off the shelf. Didn't even physically move it from the shelf to say, my bedside table, or the diaper bag. Didn't even pretend to try.

I remember talking to this ex boyfriend of mine once, years ago. I was here in LA, single, 3 cats, guitar, lots of expensive salads, and he was in NYC. We were talking over email, and I must have asked him to talk about something, or about talking on the phone about something, or to look at something. I don't know. And he said "I won't be able to do that until October". It was mid-summer. I remember thinking he was a douchebag (he was), and what kind of asshole says, they are busy until "insert month name". I thought he was just being blustery and self important (he was).

But dudes, I will be busy, and won't be able to look at your thing, talk on the phone, or get together for an expensive salad until October, of 2025. Excuse me if I'm overusing this phrase, but this two kid thing is for realz. I wish I could take that sentence back. 

After the fender bender, air dry, day, Nipper and I agreed we need help. He doesn't have time to write, I don't have time to write. Every time we get auditions we sigh. The daily acrobatics to get to auditions, school, get everyone fed, were becoming more and more terse. No one has time to work out, much less see each other, or eat sitting down. The pink man cave? Haven't been in there in months. The kitchen counter is covered in mail (did you just hear Nipper Knapp shiver?) I haven't been to a dentist, in a really, really, really, long time. There's a thing on my arm, I think I need to have looked at. My hair color, which I've been doing myself is a ridiculous color yellow. On a good note, I now KNOW that I can function on 5 hours of sleep a night.

So we asked my mom. To move here. To Los Angeles. From Oregon. For a year. And guess what. She said yes. As a matter of fact, she was here, and had an apartment rented within 3 weeks of asking. That's family. She has a busy life, filled with projects and people of her own to look after. But here she is, looking after my little people, so I can catch a breath. 

A week after Charlie was born, we parted ways with Jack's longtime babysitter (not ready to talk about that yet). Our good friends across the street (Brett, this guilt trip's just for you!) moved away, and my whole world went kaboom. All my best laid plans up in smoke, we managed to hobble through the first few months. I thought it was a little more stressful, but not too bad. Then I went back to work. Then I died. 

So here we are. In the most unlikely scenario I could have predicted. I sort of imagine my mom getting the email where I ask her if she can move here for the year, to help, like this: My mom sits in a bookshelf lined room. She's in a heavy leather office chair facing a computer screen. It's silent, save the sound of birds in a tree near an open window. She's quietly checking facebook, reading articles friends have sent her about feline leukemia, Bella Abzug, and the Marshall plan, when a chime sounds that she has an email. She clicks over to read it. At once she is standing, the chair upended, several loose papers swan to the ground. "I GOT THE CALL!" she shouts, as her previously sleeping cat opens one eye, rolls it, and goes back to sleep. Also it's possible that the theme song from Rocky started playing quietly as she read, and was blasting by the time she announced her victory, leading into a montage of her packing, doing push-ups and sitting in a coffee shop with a bunch of other yoga grandmas patting her on the back, shaking there heads approvingly. I'm pretty sure that's how it went.

My mom is busy setting up her apartment, which is absolutely perfect, and reminds me of a cross between Melrose Place, and the Brady Bunch house. It's got a pool in an elevated center courtyard. We've already moved a closet full of kids toys over there (can you hear Nipper Knapp laughing maniacally?) Nipper and I have seen TWO movies since she got here a week ago. TWO! There isn't much I like better than sitting in a dark movie theater eating popcorn with Nipper Knapp. I've been to several auditions sans baby, and Nipper and I even carpooled to a few last week. He listened to his sports podcast on the car radio and I listened to the WTF podcast on my headphones. HEAVEN. Dear people without kids, heaven is no one talking to you. We got to our audition all relaxed and dreamy, and holding hands. I'm sure half of Los Angeles wants to punch us. 

So wish us luck. My mom and I haven't lived with, or near each other in 20 years. But before my hair falls out and we have raccoons living in the attic, I will have a year of free babysitting, free from worry (about those things), free from missing my husband, and she will have a year of smelling baby necks, and learning ALL about each and every detail of the Lego Hero Factory robots. Win-win. Right?

Monday, September 26, 2011

But they're so slimming!

God, grant me the serenity to accept the maternity stretch pants I cannot change out of,
Courage to change into a pair with a button when I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

I'm not gonna lie, I need to do some sit-ups. And stop eating gorilla munch every night. 

The other night my friend Danielle's husband outed her maxi dress for what it really is: sweatpants without a crotch. BASTARD. Why do you have to ruin the illusion?! It's a dress! So what that's it's basically a long tshirt that hides everything. It's a dress!

Which brings me to The Man Repeller. Have you guys seen this site? It's dedicated to all the cute stuff that girls love that men hate: boots with skirts, dresses over jeans, giant sweaters with weird fringe, etc... I sent it to a very fashionable friend of mine, and she called me laughing "It's like ALL of my clothes! It's amazing I have a husband and a baby!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water.

please note the shoes...

A few weeks ago, I had one of those days that makes you question everything. I know I've been super dramatic lately (LATELY), but since I went back to work, everything feels like crazytown. Someone always needs something, and no one seems to be getting what they need. I miss Jack, I miss Nipper Knapp, I can't stand how many bottles Charlie has already had in his little life (I know, I know, but it's how I feel). The nursing, pumping, driving, mascara, slating, smiling, driving, pumping, nursing, sleeping, oh eating, nursing, schedule is starting to tear me apart. How is it that I'm "doing it all", and still feel guilty. On this particular day we had auditions all over, and Jack was out of school, so he was along for the ride. Poor circus baby. 

We had a callback in the afternoon in Santa Monica that we couldn't take the kids too. So we had arranged to have Sadie's AMAZING babysitter, who has been helping us out a bit here and there pick up the kids in between auditions at the pizza place where we'd be having lunch. I was a little nervous. Jack doesn't really know the sitter very well, and I was worried he was going to be upset. He wasn't. I told him she had good music in her car, and he said "but daddy and I listen to DUDES music". I asked what that might be and he said "Star Wars, and Batman".  "And Tangled?" I asked. "YES, and Tangled". I burned him a cd for her car. But then I was worried about having both boys in the car with someone else, driving around LA, on the 110 freeway, eek! You know mom stuff.

I was worrying about mom stuff, talking on the phone with Sadie (on the bluetooth to the car, geez). I was stopped in traffic about halfway between Pico and Venice, on La Brea, when I saw a car speeding up behind me. Crash. Shit. I think I might have said "I'm having an accident". I don't know. It was a blur. The tail end of my car was smushed, the trunk pushed into itself, so the door won't close. The girl didn't have any id. No wallet. No purse. Nothing. Oh, and it wasn't her car. She said "can I just give you my phone number?" She was young. Sigh. No, you can't just give me your phone number. The whole time I'm standing out there talking to this twit, the headache that I'd been staving off starts to build. I'm squinting into the mid day heat, taking iphone pics of the car, the girl, her car, the plates. I'm going to be late for my callback now. I'm paying someone $18 an hour to drive my kids home so I can talk to this girl. That's the economic facts of the situation. This girl cost me at least $7 in babysitter time. I take the registration info from the owner of the car.

In the middle of it, the babysitter texts. They're home. Jack gave her directions the whole way. I'm thinking over and over how glad I am that the kids weren't in the car, their little bodies safe at home.

I meet Nipper Knapp at our callback. I hug him hard, and for a long time. I know we need to go in, but I'm stunned, and I just want to stand there on the street and hug some more. I also want to lay down a little bit. We go into the casting office. We make small talk with the casting agent and her husband. We do our scene for the director, which happens to be our house has just been robbed, no problem, I'm right there.

We had planned to try to get in early and go to the Rose Bowl to use the gym, and swim, while we had a sitter. But now, the bumper of the car is hanging off, and I'm frazzled, and it's 3:30 and we're out in Santa Monica, and it'll be an hour home anyway. "Let's just go home." "No", Nipper says, you should go swim a little, decompress, I'll go home and relieve the babysitter. I love him.

So he hauls my swim bag out of the trunk of the broken car. Up and over the backseat because the trunk door is broken. Off I go. I'm in a fog. I'm in that weird state where stress gives way to extreme sleepiness and lack of focus. I text my mom, she calls me 13 seconds later. "Are you ok?" "I'm fine". Not really though.

this doesn't haven't anything to do with this story, I just saw it, and it made me laugh. Am I the whale? Is life the whale? 

When I get to the Rose Bowl, I realize that some things fell out of my bag. I have one flip flop, and no towel. COME ON! I'm determined to have one thing progress as usual. I put on my swimsuit, tiptoe across the hot pavement, and jump in the pool. My back and neck are tight, and I can't tell if it's tension or from the accident. I swim a little, but mostly, I just float. After 20 minutes of staring at the sky, I get out.

Here's my grand plan. I'm going to shower, and then I'm going to get enough paper towels to dry my hair a little, just so it's not dripping. I'm going to put on some lotion, and air dry. It won't take long. This is my plan. We all know how well my plans have been going lately. As soon as I get in the shower I realize I'm an idiot, but it's too late. The locker room is filling with tween girls. They've just finished swim practice, and they're everywhere. There's nowhere to stand much less AIR DRY. I'm used to being there in the middle of the day with all the other jobless old ladies and hobos.

I wedge myself in between two 12 year olds. I'm naked holding my giant pink and orange LL Bean bag. You know, they're like "Uhm, gross". I would be, if it wasn't me being the weirdo. I walk over to the paper towel dispenser and it's out. Of course it is. The only other one is near the door to the pool. What are my options? Did I mention the only clothes I have to change into are my audition clothes (too tight jeans, and a halter top, electric blue clog sandals), and my workout clothes (white v-neck tee, nursing bra, grey striped cotton leggings). None of this is going to be awesome if I have to put it on wet. 

Here's what I do. Because I have apparently lost the shame particle, that should have made me wait naked in the bathroom stall until I was dry. I dry myself off with the halter top. That's right, in the middle of a throng of overachieving (swim team? c'mon) 13 year old girls, I dab myself dry with a halter top. I make every effort not to get too *ahem* personal, but god help me, I'm not gonna walk through the Rose Bowl lobby and parking lot with a wet cooter. I get mostly dry, and I wrap the halter around my hair to keep it from dripping. I'm standing there with this drenched halter turban, digging through my bag, and it's really hot in there, and I'm still a little bit damp, and I'm starting to sweat because my nervous system is shouting "FLIGHT! FLIGHT!"

Not just a little bit, I'm dying inside. I want to tell this girl next to me who has become morbidly silent amidst the other chattering girls, to "I used to be normal, just wait until you go back to work after having your second baby, extracurriculars my ass..." But I don't say anything, I just bury my shame deep behind an aloof mask and carry on. Like, this is just how I do it. Soon this is how everyone will do it. I'M DOING THIS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!!! 

The girls clear out as fast as they came in, and I'm mostly alone to finish the post swim of shame. I'm just pulling on my workout clothes, with my clogs (Maybe they'll mistake me for one of those cool/weird European women, that don't understand fashion conventions, but ends up looking "neat" anyway) (#maybeIshouldstayhome) as another rush hits the locker room. College aged lifeguards in training. Thank you god for small miracles. "I really didn't need to stand in a humid toilet stall and dry myself with tp today."

Did I mention we just asked my mom to move here for the year to help us out? Do you like how I buried the lead?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

misssoni mayhem

I'm sorry. I know. I've been gone a long time. But this two babies thing is for reals yo. I'm sort of drowning. I have big news coming. But no time to write. Soon. Next week. I promise. I have notes for 5 posts. Things are happening! Namely I'm drowning.

This morning, I finished school drop off early, which is whole other post about how you just can't argue with someone when they say they have to poop. You can't. I read on a friend's facebook page that she saw a small child bloodied in the frenzy at the Austin Target when the Missoni line opened this morning. I'm not a big Missoni fan, but those guest designers always do cute stuff, and since 15 minutes to myself is a polynesian vacation, off I went. Oh, and of course the prospect that I might see a fight. You know that's always good. Got to keep my edge... I decided I'd forgo pumping a bottle for this little adventure, maybe make one after he goes to bed tonight. Living the dream.

I got to my local Target in Pasadena 40 minutes after they had opened. It might as well have been 4 days. EVERY SINGLE ITEM WAS GONE. The parking lot was jammed with jettas, and prius' with Wellsley College bumper stickers. I should have known. The atmosphere was giddy. Packs of stylists (I could tell by their cute vintage glasses, mismatched clothes, and lack of souls) with carts piled to the ceiling were wildly picking through children's shoe boxes in the hopes of finding a children's xl that they could smash their size 7.5s into.

As I approached the bedding section, I overhead one woman angrily exclaim to who, I'm assuming was her husband on her phone "Well have you ever heard of buy and return?!", as she threw a comforter into her already packed cart without so much as a look. Another woman nearby naively giggled "I don't even know why I'm buying this!"

I went upstairs to the children's section to see if I could find something for my niece. Jackpot. Barely anything was gone, except of course the socks. As I was picking out some cute pieces for her, a woman and her friend approached. They were picking the girls clothes off the racks holding them up to themselves with a disappointed air. Clearly they'd come to late. NO MISSONI FOR YOU! The saddest one held a knit kilt up to her completely average woman sized hips and said "what do you think?" "CUTE!" said the friend in too high a register, as she cocked her head to the side, and then "although I'm not sure it's going to pleat the way you want it too".

oh my god.

As I was walking to the checkout, a Target employee rolled a cart with boxes of shoes, into a throng of women waiting by elevator, and just shouted "SHOES" as he backed away. He had to shout it twice to be heard over their excited chatter. It was feeding time at the lion cage. They all gasped and dove in at once. I turned away, my stomach for the hunt soured.

I said to the checkout lady "these women have lost their minds!". She said that a woman who looked like she couldn't afford the shirt she was wearing bought $2700 worth of stuff without even looking at it. That she had RUN into the store and just started grabbing. "They're selling this stuff on ebay for a huge markup, then anything they don't sell, they bring back when it's worth zero." I promised her I was buying the girls clothes for an actual girl, and I wouldn't sell any of it on ebay. Then I cursed myself for not getting there earlier and making and extra buck... Just kidding. Not really.

Coming up, very soon, how I got in a minor fender bender, had an awkward moment in a locker room, and how very very soon, we are getting another family member here (no I'm not pregnant). 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I promised myself I wasn't going to blog tonight

best panty ever...

But I have 18minutes until the wash is ready to put in the dryer, so you, know, might as well offload some of the detritus. I mean, write something. 

It has come to my attention that some of you think that my attempts at making homemade underwear is a cry for help. I can assure you, this is merely a mark of my obsessive behavior, and not one of us being broke, or me being crazy. Oh, I mean, I'm CRAZY, but not "sews her own underpants crazy". Well, attempts to, but not does, and wears. Never mind. 

I shot pics for a company called Park Vogel years ago. Their clothes were the dreamiest. Vanessa, one of their designers is a "guru of textiles". They made cashmere sweaters, and fancy modal t-shirts, and for only one season, boy shorts and camisoles, made out of the most amazing cotton modal. In compensation for our photoshoots, which were for their lookbooks, I received, money, but also loads and loads of free clothes. Dream job. In the 3  or 4 seasons I shot for them, I got about 15 pairs of their underwear. I should have gotten 100 instead of the piles of cashmere that now sits in my closet unworn in this hot, hot, city. 

I have 3 pairs left, and they are in tatters. I've tried to wear other underwear, but nothing is as comfortable. They are whisper soft, the perfect shape, almost sheer they are so light, and 100% cotton. I'm welling up a little realizing that I might have to put some kind of cotton spandex blend near my lady business very very soon. Depressing. 

The camisoles that they sold with the underwear were super cute, and had a built in shelf bra, but in reality couldn't be worn if you were above a b cup, because your boobs just fell out. Not pretty. 

I thought I could cut apart one of my remaining pairs, make a pattern, and cut up the camisoles to use the amazing fabric for more panties. Uhm... you guys know I'm sleep deprived, right? 

Not as cute

I'll spare you the details, but it didn't turn out so well, and I'm abandoning ship. I couldn't cut the fabric straight enough. Can't find the right lace, and OH, I am terrible at sewing neat little seams. Someone recommended ongossamer cabana cotton boyshorts. I'll try them, but I'm not getting my hopes up. 


Monday, August 29, 2011

I want to tell you all about last night

Warning, there is mention of breastfeeding in this post. So if you are Bill Maher, or any other douchebag who thinks baby's magically feed themselves at Spago, don't read any further. Also go suck an egg. 

This is a story about one night. Well not really one night. It's a story of many nights run together through, one after the other, bleeding mercilessly into days packed with running here and there, peppered with laundry, occasional application of mascara, and many, many, many insurance, school, and bank forms to be filled out. This is my life. It's not war, and it's not bad, it's, its just endless. We're past long days, short years. We're into short days, short years, short hours. There are not enough seconds in each minute. I can see both of the boys changing daily, and even though I'm here, watching, I am worried I might be missing something. 

I'm not complaining. In the year 2011, this is a very good life. We have a home, a garden, the best swing chair ever, full dental, clean water, organic cotton socks, each other, you know, the good stuff. But I can't help but think that something is amiss. Don't worry, I'm not going to check out, and move my family off the grid to a farm in the ozarks, or anything, but when life's pace faster is than Usain Bolt at a square dance..that doesn't even make any sense. I'm sorry. 

(woah! I know! Shocking!) 

Ok, here's one example from this week and then I'll tell you about night. Yesterday I bought THE BRA. What? You don't know about THE BRA? I was told about THE BRA, by another actress and new mom at an audition a few weeks ago. She's a pilates instructor, as well as a new mom, and an actor, so she does a lot of driving. A lot of times our appointments are within an hour of each other on opposite sides of town. We were discussing when to pump, how to pump, etc... and she said "well you have THE BRA, right?" "NO! I don't have the bra! What is the bra?" and then another woman who had been eavesdropping chimed in "oh yeah, she's right, you have to get THE BRA." 

They explained that THE BRA, was actually a sort of tube top with a zip front, that has cut outs around the nipples (kinky! but not...) so you can put the little cups for the pump inside them, screw on bottles, connect the tubes, turn on your pump, and make milk out of BOTH SIDES at the same time. SO smart. I don't know why I didn't know about THE BRA before. I have a double pump, but I always just pumped one side at a time, and held the bottle in my hand. Now it takes only half the time. But that's not the best part about THE BRA. The pilates/actor/mom tells me: "this way you don't have to pull over to pump, you can just do it on your way to your next appointment". DID YOU HEAR ME? I can make milk out of my breasts while driving. This is the ultimate in mommy efficiency and it fills my heart with both joy and anxiety. OMG! Think of all the other things I can get done in the 20 minutes, I'm saving every 2 hours, from not having to PULL OVER and make milk. I'm sorry I'll stop shouting. I just can't imagine what my grandmother would think about me hurtling down the 101 freeway, milk pump attached under very stylish nursing cover. And I'm happy about it. I think. 

SO about last night. Here's how it went, give or take. Baby goes down around 6:45 after a very short nurseyloo. No problem. 45 minutes later he's up. Normally I'd just send Nipper in to soothe him. But I don't mind giving him a little more milk because he didn't really nurse much, and I'm pretty rested because I got to sleep until 7:45 that morning because my darling husband took both kids downstairs at 6:30, or maybe it was 7. I don't know. So he nurses again, this time for a long time, and I put him back in his crib. Good night Charlie. Now I join Jack's bedtime already in progress. We negotiate who is going to read, (daddy) and who is going to get the shaft with a "you can read tomorrow night" (mommy). We remind him not to suck all the toothpaste off the toothbrush like he does every night. We remind him not to pick his nose or he'll get a nosebleed (again). We say "ok, let's settle down, it's time for bed" 18,000 times. We say I love you, and kiss eyelids and cheeks, and he says cute, funny things, that we think "I have to remember that". One of us reads, and the other one RACES downstairs in order to get a precious 30 minutes to do WHATEVER they want. FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOMMM! (I usually opt for laundry, the daily show, and checking email. The man's not going to keep me down) All of this takes an hour total. 

During all of this I'm thinking about those awful morning news programs, and magazine blurbs about how you shouldn't just eat the kids leftovers before you scrape them into the garbage, and how you can exercise in your "downtime" as a parent. "Just a few crunches while you bathe the kids! Take the stairs!" Who the FUCK do these people think they are? There should be a law. 

Now it's almost 9 o'clock. We don't usually eat dinner. Just a big late lunch. Sometimes I make us a green smoothie for dinner (racy).  But last night I had cereal instead. He's been asleep 2 hours, so I pump a bottle. Because the milk train NEVER stops. But I don't get very much because it's night, and I had to do that 2nd bedtime nurse, and I'm irritated, that I spent 15 minutes of my "me" time pumping, when I could be sprawled on the couch not thinking about anything. I'm so irritated that I go to bed. Well, I SAY I'm going to bed, and then I spend 30 minutes perched on the edge of the couch watching whatever Nipper has on the tv, and stating every commercial break that I need to go to sleep. At 10 I give in, and go upstairs. 

But I don't go to sleep. I check facebook, twitter, email, read a blog or two. I go over the day in my head, make lists for the next day in my head, try to solve everybody's problems IN MY HEAD. After I come with a solution for world peace, and a good retirement plan, I fall asleep. Moments later, I hear Jack's door open. He trundles across the hall, piles into the bed, lays on top of me and whispers "mommy I want to snuggle you". Fine. All of my daytime fight is gone. "Ok, shhh". We fall back to sleep. This for me is a minor miracle and a sign that I am no longer me. Most nights, if so much as Nipper's toe is touching me foot, I can't sleep. It's like that toe is trying to BURN A HOLE IN MY SOUL. 

I used to read. Books. I used to read books. Before bed. Every night. Now I don't even read magazines. I don't even pick them up to look at the pictures. It's too much information. My brain can not contain any more information than it now contains. Not one more item. 

Because I made a bottle at 9, I assume Charlie will wake up early just to torture, me. But not tonight. He sleeps. He sleeps like a motherfucker. I wake up at 2am TWO AY EM! I slept for almost 4 hours with Jack and his jimmy legs sprawled on me. He's managed to have his 100lb head on my neck and somehow at the same time have his pointy little elbows and knees in my sides. All of them. All 4 elbows and knees are poking into me. I sit right up in bed look at the clock on my phone. I grab the monitor in a panic and watch for signs of life. He's breathing. Ok. I pee. I'm up. I just slept for 4 hours. Longer than I've slept in months. I'm going to pay for this. I am wide awake. 

Charlie wakes up at 2:30 and I go in his room to nurse him. I go back to bed. Jack has noodled all the way over to my pillow, and so now I must wedge myself 1/3 of the way down the bed on the side. I check facebook. I check twitter. Why? I don't know. I look at pictures of the kids on my phone. Charlie wakes back up at 3:20. He slept too long. Now he's up too. Fuck. I nurse him again and he goes back to sleep. Jack wakes long enough to mumble "mommy I want to snuggle you". Tomorrow we are going to have a talk. His head is on my pillow and the rest of his body is sideways across the top of the bed. His little behind is right in front of Nipper's face. He farts. LOUD. And for about 4-5 seconds. It must be like a nuclear cloud over there, but Neither Nipper nor Jack wake up. Serves them right for sleeping through all of Charlie's fussing. I'm laughing, trying not shake the bed. It is now 3:40. 3:42. 3:51... At last I sleep. 

At 5:40 Charlie cries again. I drag my carcass out of the bed. I want to pee, but it's early, and if he cries too long and it get's louder, he's going to wake Jack up, then Nip will be tired, and Jack will be tired, and everything will be TERRIBLE, ALL DAY LONG. So, I hold it. Charlie is sort of wide awake when I put him back in his crib, but I give him his pacifier and his eyes roll back in his head. I go back to bed. I go through Jack's room (we have a Jack and Jill bathroom) so I don't walk on the creaky part of our bedroom floor and wake anyone up. This is the kind of information that is now in my head, replacing other important information. Sigh. 

Jack is now starfished, kitty corner across my entire half of the bed. I'm mad. I'm not going to lie. What the fuck kid? You've got a bunk bed in your room, A BUNK BED! With a shark nightlight, and stuffed animals, and a moby light, and a feather bed! My 4yr old has a feather bed, because I'm aiming to make my kids as poncy as possible. I'm sure they'll get roughed up by the world. Why not expect a comfortable bed? So that's TWO beds, and he doesn't even have to nurse a baby, or wear mascara. I contemplate going into his bed to sleep, but I know that's not going to work. I'll just lay there pissed. SO, I pick him up and move him 12 inches, into the middle of the bed. I know it's a mistake, but I'm fed up. He wakes up. DUH. I know he's going to wake up the moment I scoop him up, but I can't help myself. My brain is scrambled. 

He rouses a little, rolls over onto my pillow (does this thing have a gravitational pull?) and says "mommy I want to snuggle you". It is 6:04. Good morning Nipper.