Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Fotos 4/27

When I said I take a gazillion pictures I was not kidding. 

So here's a re-cap of our week...

James came home Friday and got to work on a new toy.

Thanks for the "Batcave" grandma and grandpa!

I stayed up all night getting ready for Lucas' party.
Baking this and frosting that.

In an effort to be more organized (read: less of a basketcase)
 I had baked these 3 days in advance and planned to frost them the night before.

Unfortunately I'll be resurrecting my all-nighters next year.
Frosting = YUM
3 day old cake = Not so yum 

These I made the morning of.

Here's a picture of the world's best frosting.

Marshmallow fluff is a key ingredient. 'Nuff said.

I hid a whoopie pie mid-party and ate it later that night after the kids had gone to bed.
I may or may not have lied about that directly to my son's face.
Don't judge.

The day could not have been more perfect. 
Sunshine, friends, family,
and about 30 different Quinceneras being photographed at the park. 
Free fashion show.

Sunday Paul and Lucas embarked on a camping adventure
while James and I went on a fantastic date.

We love LACMA!

And for all of you parents out there, NexGen is like the best idea ever.

James was inspired by the Russian avant garde. 
(I'm only half-joking.  He "sketched" for 30 minutes.)

Photo Credit: Micah Cordy

We painted, created "found" art and saw Metropolis II.
We made pinwheels and posed for a picture.

Afterward we found one of these and my little one tinkered away.

I have the strangest feeling I'm being watched.

'Twas a magical day.

The week brought this...

and this...

And here we are at Friday again.

We got love and sun and fun on the horizon for the next few days.

Happy weekend everyone.

How can my life be anything less than magic when I've got this...


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finding a New Mountain

This time last year I was less than a month away from graduation. 

I was also seeing a therapist weekly,
suffering from stress-induced vertigo,
begging professors for extensions,
and pulling all-nighters. 

I had been in school for 11 years, 2 kids, 2 failed relationships, a trip to rehab and 8 jobs. 

I had known what it was like to be pregnant the entire semester
and have a baby just in time to come back for finals (both boys are April babies). 

I had amassed a fortune in student loan debt
and had paid the salary of at least two Cal State employees
with the number of parking tickets I had incurred over the years. 

It felt like everyone I knew had grown up and moved on and left me in the dust.

I clawed and cried my exhausted heap of a body all the way to the finish line,
something no one (including myself) really thought would ever happen.

I had had a full weeks sleep when this photo was taken.

And then it did. 

It did happen. 

I graduated. 

I heard my name and crossed the stage and took a terrible picture
with the biggest grin I think I've ever possessed. 

I enjoyed my moment. 

"Licked the bowl" as my therapist had suggested.

I am obviously very happy here. 

We had a party and it was fun and probably my favorite things were:
the feeling of actually finishing something I had started.
 And my parents' pride.

Then it was June and I plummeted. 

I searched and searched and SEARCHED for a new job. 
A goal of sending out at least 10 resumes a day. 
Diligence and effort met with dead air. 
Radio silence. 

Months without a single response.

We pulled Lucas out of school for a lot of reasons I may or may not ever go into detail here.

My savings dried up and my apartment got infested by bugs. 

My kid got diagnosed with a form of epilepsy
and one of my best friends moved back East
just as another moved back to California.

The hardest summer of my life came to a close
as we found our guy a new school
and I finally got rid of the bugs. 

Fall brought an eviction notice (shitty landlords don't appreciate your demands for pest control reimbursement), a new apartment, the final collapse of a few old friendships,
a new (old) love,
and a job that turned out to be pretty terrible.

And while I know it sounds terrible and yes it was HORRIBLE,
something about that chaos felt comfortable to me.  

While I may not manage to do it gracefully
I have always been able to do crisis mode.

Today it's the lack of extremes I struggle with.

 I find my seeming homeostasis even more confusing.

I don't know how to process that I work here and I LOVE it
(even though sometimes when I'm walking through Downtown and into my office building
I feel like a little girl wearing her mommy's clothes).

Well hello stunning view.

House is good. 

Kids are good too.
I regularly look at them and can't believe I'm their mother.

Often times I feel like an imposter. 

Undeserving of any accolades. 

Self-sabotager so I can beat you to the punch.

I don't drink.  I don't smoke.  I go to bed at a decent hour.

My voice has quieted.  Laugh still boisterous but opinions often kept to oneself.

I feel like in this last year I lost an identity I had had for a very long time
and I still don't completely own a new one.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Fotos 4/20

I take a gazillion pictures a minute so this'll serve as an adequate dump site.

We may have over ordered.

This guy turned 8.

Cousins are brothers with blonde hair.

Firecrackers and scheming are men's work.

Blown up apples.

This guy will be home for the weekend.

Too many books? Impossible!

Pirate Parrrrty and yummies are in our future.

The Jamster and I will be celebrating Earth Day 2012 here.

Happy weekend everyone. xo.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dear Lucas...

Eight years ago today I had no idea you were on your way.

10 days before your due date and new to the baby game, I had attributed the day's laziness to having to carry around 75 extra pounds on my 21 year old person.

75 pounds I attributed to your baby body (all 7 pounds 6 ounces of it).

And a lot of orange juice. And ice cream. And McDonald's.

My water broke at 11pm on April 17th and you were here 12 hours later.

My first thought upon setting eyes on you...WHAT NOW?!?!?!

And then my second...I am devastatingly in love.

I can't remember what you sounded like. Or your smell. Or the weight of you in my arms.

Those are details that slipped away when I wasn't looking. Memories that evaporated as you grew and grew. Moments I lost as we made new ones.

I don't remember either of us looking like this.

What I have now is your sleepy-eyed smile this morning. The sight of you sitting up in your bed, book in hand, silently lost in the world of Big Nate while I help your little brother with his pajamas.

I have a pre-pre-teen who has a little 'tude but still finds his way to my bed in the middle of the night.

I have the pleasure of knowing one of the kindest most resilient humans I've ever met.

Boundless energy.

Nimbleness of mind and fingers.

Pirate of my heart.

Someday I will tell you the story of how you saved my life. Of how when I met you, it was like I had already known you.

Our love story. You and me.

And you may or may not ever understand its magnitude for I am your mother after all. Prone to puddling at your feet from the sheer magnitude of how much I love you.

Someday you will find your tribe my love. I hope I'm in it.

But on the eve of your 8th birthday I say to you Lucas Andrew, my Lu, my Bub, my love note muse:

You are an amazing boy with a good heart.

Be gentle with yourself and with others.

Try and find joy in every day and have at least one friend who will make you laugh on the days when the joy is elusive.

You are loved.

Love, Mom