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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Beginning of the Journey...

So, I have a few other posts written that are a little more thoughtful, but I thought I start with something fun as I am still reeling with overwhelmed feelings, thoughts and emotions.

I will be working with a Realtor when I get to China to find a house, but since I am bringing a family, I need to be aware of what is out there so I know what to ask for.

After doing some internet research I found that Beijing is expensive, at least for housing in corporate places, but I found a website that caters to Expats, with more reasonable housing. So I thought you guys would love to see some of these....

Here is the website:
http://rent.soufun.com/house/c23000-d25000-g23-s31/

And here are some of my thoughts. 1) cleanliness doesn't seem to be a priority for some of these folks. Even if their funkadoodle is gonna be in a realty ad. 2) I am already getting a culture lesson on what is considered "good" in Chinese apartment terms, um hot water in at least ONE and usually only ONE sink...bueno! Having a south facing room, extraordinary, um your bed will be a brick and most likely so too will the couch. This is what I have learned so far... 3)You are lucky if you are gonna have an elevator in an 18 floor walk up...oh boy!











Granted this family has kids, so I get it...but um...how about dumping out the bath, just for the photo eh?

Like for example this "Prime location Golden floor with a brick laying on the office of wood."

Here is the "Plant Depression, Suitable for Living" apartment.










Most the descriptions will make you laugh...so as I do some research to prepare us for our journey, I will be sharing with you my insane apartment finds. While they won't end up being my apartment, they will probably be fun to read. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Well its all sinking in a bit more...mostly, kind of...not really.

So I have had a few hours to ponder and I am excited-ish, mostly, not, maybe...you know everything that a major change brings.

I know a lot of you are in shock, well, I am too. I have been trying to get a gig that pays more than I am making for a long time now...I'm kind of in a weird spot, cause I want to be a good parent to my kids and continue to write and work. etc. For whatever reason, I haven't been able to hook up a gig that I love that will pay well and still provide me some freedoms. I venture to say that I won't be that free in China, at least job wise, but the job is fun and I will be able to hire help to do the cleaning and stuff so I can devote time to writing and raising my kids while adventuring in a foreign land. When I come home, I hope to be able to move my life to the next level as a higher paid writer. I know that a move around the world seems converse to that, but there will be some trade offs that are (hopefully) gonna be worth it.

Part of me can't wait for the adventure, the smells, the foods, the experience and part of me is as scared, hurt and terrified as I have ever been. When you bring your whole family with you on a journey like this...well, its a lot to take on.

Big Diva's first response was "Can I buy shoes in China?" eeek. But I must say Big Diva has been the biggest, most excited cheerleader of all of us, my sis, Diva Dad and my mom are a close second. I'm the only one that is a little more trepidatious, but I'm the one making the big change in my life.

I know a lot of you are shocked and trust me so am I. I applied on a whim at the recommendation of a friend for a job being a creative, energetic, teacher who sings, acts and can teach a Disney styled curriculum in China as a SUMMER JOB!!!! Did you guys read that??? I applied for a Summer Job. My thinking: this would be a fun way for me and the kids to get out of dodge and enjoy a crazy summer abroad. When a recruiter ask me for some extra paperwork about three months ago, I totally blew them off. I figured it would be too expensive to transport the crew for what they were paying for only two months, so I sent a kind email back saying that I didn't think it was a good fit at this time, well a WEEK ago, I received another email asking me if I would reconsider, that my resume and experience seemed to really fit their needs. So I answered the questions and figured "hey, why not it won't hurt it is only two months" Then I got an email saying I was on a short list...and that IT WAS GOING TO BE FOR AT LEAST A YEAR. When a job I really wanted and was "this****" close to getting fell through (was given to the other candidate), I was crushed, and so I continued to answer the Disney Recruiter's emails, until, I started to think that this might be happening. Today, I had my interview and was told that there was no need for another interview, I was HIRED. The only problem they had was the job they had for me was in Beijing, not Shanghai. Well my sister convinced me that Beijing was actually better for us, because it was less populated, less polluted and probably a better fit for Big Diva, I said "yes" to the job.

Now there are a few unknowns still to sort out that may or may not make this deal a go. One of the reasons they wanted me so badly was because I worked for Disney before as a face character (Snow White, Cinderella etc.) I assured them, that I am NO LONGER, that person and I don't look AT ALL (not in any way shape or form...literally) like a Disney Princess and she assured me that she had seen my picture on my website (www.loriehope.com for the curious) and that this would not be a problem. The OTHER reason they hired me was because I ran a home daycare and had experience with young children, especially teaching an arts based education. So....here is the problem, since I ran my own business, I may have a problem getting a Visa for Beijing, they are going to try to get the Chinese government to accept it, but it may not work. So they have told me that I may be placed in a smaller Chinese city as a result. We are all hoping for Beijing and (Daycare Baby Moms, ie, close friends, I may need letters of reference from you.) So we will see if the Chinese government accepts my Visa documents.

I also have some pretty solid ideas about the worth of children and their place in the future of the planet, they really liked these ideologies.

But...I will be less reverent about all of it...I still think that this is MiniMall Disney English for kiddos, but I'm not going to be sanctimonious, its a good gig and a big adventure.

So...I was going to try and sublet my place and keep it, but I have been convinced and I mostly agree that my stuff is old, and a clean break for a full adventure is better than stressing about what I leave behind. I must say at this point this is the hardest of my decisions as I would really love to just come back home and not sell off everything I own...but what kind of adventurer would I be if I didn't really take the plunge.

But I have to say I have four little kids in my living room watching Phantom of the Opera (they wanted something scary) and they are enthralled, so I am introducing them to Andrew Lloyd Weber and opera and they are loving it and I'd be lying if I said, I wasn't going to miss this with all of my heart.

So, tonight 7 hours after I accepted a job half way around the world, I am exiting the numbness of shock and starting to piece together my new life...

Well, This Blog is Gonna Get a Lot More Exciting....We're Moving to China

Well, I just accepted a position in Beijing, China and my first day of work is July 14th....

At the moment, I who have many thoughts, feelings and words always swirling in my head have absolutely NOTHING going on in there now.

I know this is going to be an adventure, I know that this is going to be an amazing, complicated, vital life experience, and yet...I just can't get my mind working yet. I am sort of in shock.

We will be leaving my beautiful house, selling all my things, packing up what we are keeping, getting on a plane and living in Beijing for the next 15 months and I will be working for the Mouse yet again. At this point this is all I know....

I will tell you this, I'm bringing you along on this adventure...Holy SH!T I didn't call this blog Momma Drama, for nothing...wow, welcome to the ride!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh So You Run a Daycare???? Huh?

I took the Divas to the park yesterday, cause really I am trying to avoid cleaning the house. Wait: Segue for a second for house rant!!!

WHYYYYYYYYY Can't my house stay clean. I am so.over.it! Grrr. I spent most of Saturday, sweating, scrubbing, cleaning and organizing stuff....and today, only Tuesday...it is an absolute MESS. I am exhausted, have 25 pages to write and another blog and yet...all I can see is mess everywhere and I am blah...grrr. RUFFF! Okay...back to it.

So, we are at the park and we are playing, just ya know...playing. My kids have called me mom many times and I have come a runnin', I was pushing swings, picking sand out of hair, wiping two drippy noses, you know the stuff us MOMS do...and I hear from behind me...

LADY: "Do you run a daycare or something?"

I look at her and say.

MD: "huh?"

She continues with...

LADY: "Are you a babysitter or something?"

Now this is a middle aged woman, not a teenager. I simply note that she is being rather intrusive and answers.

MD: "These are my kids."

Hoping this will be the end of the conversation.

LADY: (Nope, not the end of the conversation) Those two right there?

MD: (thinking: Are you a freaking IDIOT, as Big Diva is quipping Mommy Mommy Mommy like a chirping squirrel) Yes.

LADY: The little black girls?

MD: (OH FOR GOD SAKES WOMAN!!!! YES THE BLACK GIRLS) Yes.

LADY: Are they yours?

MD: (WHAT DID I JUST SAY?) Yes.

LADY: How old are they?

MD: (strange conversational turn but okay, I go there) 2 and 5

LADY: Your oldest is FIVE???? She looks like she's seven.

MD: I know, she's tall and smart.

LADY: Really, Five huh, wow. Really? (she is now looking at me like there is no way I know the exact age of my daughter).

MD: Yep. 5!

LADY: Hmmmm.

MD: (To Divas) Girls, its just about time to go home (or get away from weird playground lady)

LADY: This is my son (introduces tall teenager)

MD: He's tall too.

LADY: Yes, he's my youngest.

MD: (Yeah you.) Ahhh sweet.

LADY: So are they from Africa?"

MD: (OH HOLY MOTHER FUCKING GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????)No. Los Angeles.

LADY: (wearing perplexed look) Ahhh, really? And they're yours?

MD: (Good bye) Yes. (Decides that this might just get more painful so say) I adopted them.

LADY (look of anguish releases into a warm smile) That is so amazing, more people should help kids like that. You are so amazing, those poor little girls and they are so cute too.

MR: (GRRRRRR) Yeah okay, well, time to go, come on girls lets go.

While rounding up kids, I hear the woman go on and on about the girls and adoption. I didn't hear too much of it, but enough to know that this was something she just needed to hash out with her tall son.

So, it certainly wasn't horrible and I know that we look odd to a lot of people, but its not hard to guess what's going on and really you don't have to know other than your curiosity dictates that you know.

Plus, my kids are NOT POOR LITTLE GIRLS...not in the slightest. So please, don't refer to them as such. In fact if you were lucky enough to spend anytime with my "poor little children" you would probably be treated to some sort of singing and dancing performance that would quickly segue into them charming you into fetching them things and doing just as they directed you to do. They will charm you, my poor little children, then use their wit, beauty and glowing personalities to have you buy them things, get them things, become a human jungle gym, etc. So, while you are envisioning some starving child on the Savannah just about to be eaten by a hungry tiger, my kids are thinking about how they are going to get you to toss them over your head one more time. My kids are leaders, fashionistas, gourmands, rock stars, artists and more importantly CEO's of their existence and they are not, nor ever have been "poor little things" SO THERE!

I have to confess to being curious as well when I have seen families like ours and am always a little surprised when they don't want to be buddies or share the secret "I adopted my kids" wink with each other. So I get it.

But there was another mom at the playground who was dying to know as well, she heard all of the stuff, said that Little Diva was stunning, asked if it was hard to get sand out of her hair, which it is and she had just poured a bucket of it on her head, so yeah, very hard. And I did strike up a friendship with this lady and we will probably see her again. This was tactful and nice and respectful of our family and my privacy.

I admit to being curious about people and their families, but just because I adopted kids, that look like they are adopted, doesn't mean that our story or our lives are for strangers to dissect.

And I am not at all ashamed of or afraid to talk about adoption, in fact I often use it as a means to recruit more people to it, but Big Diva is over adoption talk, she's just my kid and she doesn't want it hashed out on the playground and I agree with her. I'm fine sharing, but she's getting to an age where she isn't...so I want to mindful of her needs and Little Diva's as they grow. But it was weird....and normal, and weirdly our normal to be called out in public like that.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Really, Wow! Okay...well...okay...and the Disney Apocolypse

So I have my interview for China on Wednesday. I have been doing more research because the recruiter told me that if I am selected, then our move will happen pretty fast, so moving with a household full of people will be a significant feat. I think having an idea about what I'm getting into before the interview is a good strategy at least in my book.

Okay, so one of my greatest fears about moving to China (that is IF I get hired) is Big Diva's special needs. I also worry about school, since I won't be able to afford for her to go to an International School and I think the local Chinese school might be AWFUL (just a guess) for her cause she doesn't speak the language, is brown and has sensory processing disorder. China is loud, crowded and rich with extraordinary stimuli. I feel that my child will probably crumble into a corner and chew her hand off. (yes, just a fear) Usually Big Diva is game for Big Adventure, but this might just be too big.

So in my perusing the web, I have found a Shanghai Home Schooling Mommy's group or SHARE as they call it. While I don't see how I am going to be able to home school, write and hold a full time job, I will have to let that piece of the puzzle fit later (if there is any need of it at all), but what I FOUND ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!!!! Is that this same Shanghai Expat Community Center that provides the Homeschoolers a place to hang out and well...homeschool, also have....are you ready for this...

http://www.communitycenter.cn/shanghaichosenfamilies.asp

A SUPPORT GROUP FOR FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS....and get this, they have a special division for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder!!!!! Including a Mom/Mom buddy system pairing a new mom (either to Shanghai or diagnosis) with a more seasoned Mom (or Dad). Can you believe that???? I can't, I thought that if I get this job, one of my biggest concerns is what would I do if I had a tantrumming, crying, hand chewing disaster on my hands and no help in sight. I love Big Diva, in fact I absolutely adore her, but sometimes her special needs are beyond my skills. That's why we see Nice Therapist, she helps give me regulating techniques that allows Big Diva the opportunity to become Beautiful Big Diva without the stress of sensory stuff.

Say like when we went to Disneyland on Friday and she wanted a spectacular Sleeping Beauty Night Gown. Now I will give her this, she has not only out grown, but worn out her other spectacular Sleeping Beauty Night Gown, shown here in its original state...


She was 19 months old when she bought her last one and now she is 5. So, I can see her logic as to why she thought she needed another. She has a scad of amazing, glamorous princess nightwear, but this one was special. I know. Problem simply is, I can't really afford it right now AND more importantly, I don't want her to think that she gets a gift every time we go to Disney. We are very blessed to be able to go to Disney so often because we have passes. So, this brought on the mother of all tantrums, really the Camping Rapture...NOTHING!!! compared to the The Big Diva Tantrum. And she decided to do it in front of a billion little princesses standing in line with their wanna-be-but-are-now-too-old-fat-or-haggard-Princess mothers, to see the Disney Princesses. Did I say it was huge...I mean COLOSSAL!!!

She was hitting me with both hands AND feet, screaming AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS and wailing like someone had just run over her cat. Now this mind you, was just after, I had to chase Little Diva down and put her in her stroller, which she kicked over while I was trying to place her in it. Then Big Diva brings out the big guns and I'm about to get Disney's Mother of the Year award. So, Nice Therapist showed me a lovely sensory choke hold restraint system that helps a deregulated, sensory seeker, find balance again. It pretty much looks like a full on body restraint. I glance over at the 200 or so faces of horror, including the dude who quietly whisks away stray popcorn kernels and Disney Debris, staring at us. Their expressions were that of HORROR!!!! to a degree so incensed and scathing, that no Disney Villain has ever been able to muster what Momma Drama, the ultimate Disney Villain and anti-capitalist mom, drew forth.

I issued a consequence when Big Diva was calm enough to simply plead, long, high pitched cadences of abject desire and move towards the exit as WE WERE LEAVING...oh did I mention that my children are brown???? And I am not brown???? Yep..."those poor kids" is what I heard from the sidelines...

Big Diva did switch up her pleading when her distance from the night gown continued to grow, now it was "Please Mommy I DON'T WANT TO GO, PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME LEAVE!!!!"

Then I heard "aahhhh, poor thing doesn't want to leave". AAAAGGGHHHHHHH

Okay. So did I HATE doing that? Yes. Did I want to buy her the dress. YESSSS!!!!!! Did I think that she would look amazing in it and love it! YES! (she is so good at really cherishing things she loves) but I stood by my resolve not to continue to "spoil" her and help her learn a little about impulse control, by also hopefully teaching her to work for your desires. But, boy that is a really hard lesson. So when I got them to the car and broke down into tears, Big Diva apologized and fell asleep the minute the car got on the freeway.

The next day Big Diva stopped me and really apologized again for hitting me and losing control in front of the princesses. She did tell me how much she wanted the dress and I agreed with her that it is something she should have. We have a deal on the table now, where if she can try and use her anger techniques (that she is learning) to cope with her anger and not lash out at her sister or myself, then, we will see about getting her the dress. She's got a time frame in place and she is on task. So hopefully the great Disney Apocalypse of 2011 has helped us learn something...but she's 5, so we have wiggle room.

What happened when she lost it at Disney? Well, we had been at Disney a long time, Disney is really stimulating, it was almost 3pm and we had been there since 9am, she is processing the loss of Baby Mo Mo, which ALWAYS makes her process the loss of her mother and in turn her sister, who we need to see soon, and then her God mom and God Father who have moved...etc. And she was tired...and simply wanted an elegant dress....and stuff.

So, one of my biggest fears about moving to China, if we get the chance, is this. What will I do in a crowded street, WITH NO CAR to escape to, but rather a crowded subway or bus, with more public scrutiny, only we are the ONLY Brown/white family in whole country (unless Diva Mom and children come) where I don't speak the language (which might not be a bad thing), IT IS SCARY!!!! SO to read that Shanghai has a special needs support group for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder???? HELL YA that's amazing.

So, if we go..I'm SO GLAD they have something like that, cause trust me, I'll be there, with cookies and punch ready to make mommy friends...or tea and dumplings...whatever, I'mma need their help.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rapture Comes For All of Us...Not a Religious Post ;)

So of course I don't believe its the end of the world, but this wacko religious nut job has given me a minute to think about life. And not so much life, but the idea that some all knowing being is somewhere judging our every move. Hmmm...okay. But if we continue to act disgracefully to one another like say Fred Phelps and his heinous head of the demon The West Borough Baptist Church, you still can be a shoo in for heaven cause you believe in Jesus Christ...do you think that Jesus would even like Freddy and his funeral crashers?

Now, I know Christianity can't possibly be like this, simply say you believe in Christ and then act atrociously and all is well. And yet, I think some believe that this is all you have to do, go to church, say you are doing it in the name of God and then go about doing evil as you see fit, make it work for you and then say it was God's will.

Okay so lets go on the premise (for a moment) that there is no God, Jesus is a story and ALL we really have is each other....that's it.

If this were true, then rapture comes for all of us, eventually we WILL all die, some will face better and some scarier deaths, but death will come. So...who will judge us if Some All Knowing Being doesn't?

We will judge ourselves, we will measure the worth of our own lives and we will see the failings and the successes. If we were loved, admired and rich with friends, family and loved ones, we will be supported, held up and guided through death.

If we were reclusive and withheld ourselves and our love, or acted cruelly to each other, our day of judgement will come when we face our last breaths alone.

And this is our rapture...this moment of judging an existence WILL COME for all of us. And our salvation will either be in the loving faces of those who we have influenced and loved or in the absence of those faces.

So, I need not say this to any readers of my blog, so why am I saying other than to just get it out of my head, but I would venture to say, we all should go to church or temple or to the beach and pray, learn and grow deeper in whatever faith we practice, but too look at our fellow man and animal THE ONLY BEINGS that we are blessed to share this earth with and mind how we treat them. No ominous gang of horses or masked riders are going to come get us. Probably some sort of global warming, air pollution or natural disaster will, but all the more reason to love our fellow man.

Because with that love, comes more love...and with more love, there is no need of fearful stories...because with an immense army of love, there is no war.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Who Cares About Living Half Way Around the World, When it all Ends Tomorrow

So, apparently it is the end of the world tomorrow. Gee I don't even know why I'm stressin' about anything, cause the grande finale is nearing :)

Now, I find this super funny and the last laugh will be on me if we all puff out in a poof. And then again, a friend of mine in Australia said that if it is supposed to happen at 6PM, will it be a rolling rapture? What about France? Egypt? Japan? will they need to wait until 6, will they have time for tea and scones?

That all being said, I think it would be a great premise for a book a whole world completely unaware until 24 hours before that this is their last day on earth.

According to this preacher guy, only 2% of the population is going to heaven and the rest will be swallowed up by the fiery pits of despair. I don't know if it is as low as 2%, but I do believe that if God where to come down and pick and choose, God would probably pick people who have lived above the laws of common man their whole lives, people who have been more loving, forgiving and gracious than anyone could ever fathom. Or people who have been brave and fearless in the face of death, cancer, war and human tragedy. However, since we are all God's children, I doubt any one of us would be dammned. I certainly wouldn't smite either of my kids and I doubt that an all loving, all caring, all good being would smite theirs either...so there MMMAAAHHHH (that's me sticking out my tongue) if any of us are going down in flames we all are :)

That being said it does bring up an interesting quandary...what would you do? Really what would you do if this were your last day on earth. If this was it!

Well, I'm taking the kids to Disneyland, writing and then going to out to eat with Gaga Drama and the Divas, then tomorrow is Aunty Bana's birthday celebration, and um I guess that gets us to 6pm. I die doing what I love most, hanging out with friends, celebrating life and um...drinking wine. I need to fit Mommy Music in there somewhere and the SP and Daddy Music...oh and Diva Dad and um...a gillion other people (oh shoot I better get off this blog and start calling people)...but really that's what I would do, hold my kids close and hang out with loved ones eating and drinking till the end. And if that makes me a sinner and a wrong doer...well okay, that's fine.

So what would you do if today and tomorrow were it?????

On that note...(no, not on that note at all, but I can't think of a better transition) I have my phone interview for China on Wednesday...oh holy...whatever...we're ALL GOING DOWN...mua ha ha!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

OH DEAR GOD!!!!!

Well, I heard from China and they are scheduling an interview with me for next week. OH GOD!!! I am such a bundle of mixed emotions right now. :( If you were to ask me the truth, the God's honest truth...well, I'd pull you aside and whisper in your ear and tell you, "I DON'T WANT TO GO!" :( I love my house and my life here. But, if I can't afford it or work all the time I can't enjoy it, what good is it? Coming home more able to afford things and live more comfortably with books written...is a good thing. I know I can't save too much in China, but I will be able to save a little and I am expecting another big check next year, so that will put me in a good place.

And an adventure is a good thing. And the Shanghai Mom's club sounds like a good thing, I'm just so...well, scared.

So, if ever I relied on my faith in that big fat whatever it is out there, now would be the time...so "Oh, dear lord, I am in your hands, I bare with me my children and their futures, my long held childhood dreams and my deep and loving heart. If it be in your plan, or the law of swirly gases...shift in energy, that I take me and the Diva's to China, a third world country that is not known for its "people pleasing" pray that some remnant of the Walt's Happiest Place on Earth has made it over that great wall...

EEEEKKKKK!!!!

Bye Bye Baby Mo Mo...A MOUSE??!!!!...and Incredible Stressed out Single Mommas

BYE BYE MO MO

Well we said good bye to baby Mo Mo/Elmo last night. Big Diva, Little Diva and The Small Post Man, were all there to send her off with Gaga Drama and My Sister to take her to her grandparents. The dinner the night before went well and they all made promises to stay in each other's lives, there was joy and sorrow as each party will be leaving a little one behind. The Grandparents will board a plane today without their grandson and our family just said good bye to a sister/cousin...so happiness and sadness. We are praying that as the years progress our bond will grow stronger and Baby Mo Mo will know her "other" family as we have become. This brings up so many thoughts about adoption and adoptive families and the interesting family structures adoption creates. In our family we have Big Diva and her big sister, and Big Diva's niece who have also adopted Little Diva as a sister and then in Little Diva's family she will have her birth mom and now the Small Postman has a family far away too....all of us are of many colors, cultures and communities and all of us are a family.

I think this was the best case scenario for baby Mo Mo as the grandparents will have a grand child to raise, my sister, lets call her Momma Music, will finally feel freer to be a mom and really bond, love and adore her incredible Small Postman and my mom...well, Gaga Drama may be the hardest hit by all of this. However, raising Baby Mo Mo wasn't in her life plan, whether it be divine intervention, intention or plan, she is to forge forward without little Mo Mo in her daily life. I do venture to say that raising a child to adulthood, is a glorious gift and a blessing. However, raising many children through their hardships, fears and transitions and supporting birth parents or family to reunite with lost children, by giving love unconditionally and unselfishly....well that just feels like a level of divinity. It feels slightly raised from the average human existence and rests in a place one may consider divine. So mom...there you are.

Okay...

A MOUSE???!!!

A MOUSE!!!!!!!!! Yes, a freaking, bleeping MOUSE!!!! Now, since moving to my amazing HUGE new place, I have had some of the drama that normal home owners face, namely rodents. NEVER INSIDE, but we have had roof rats on the roof and I have seen a few outside. Its normal. I'm not too stressed, the landlord closed stuff up and now we just hear them scratch to get in sometimes. So I am cooler with it than I was. Okay, so yesterday I'm on the phone with Momma Music and we are just. ya know gushing about our little spawns and I SEE IT!!!!! A FREAKING, BLEEPING MOUSE!!!! Now I am not really afraid of mice, I don't want to live with them, but if I see them out in the wild I don't crawl up the nearest tree, but I don't want them inside...nope! However, this mouse wasn't of the alive variety...and there is the problem.

IT WAS A DEAD MOUSE and it just magically appeared in my doorway...DEAD!!! Okay, so here's the thing. I don't do dead. I just don't. If something dies in my house, IT IS NOT MY PROBLEM. The fish were hard enough and it took every ounce of everything I had in me to scoop them up with, what I now loving refer to as, The Death Net and put them in a burial receptacle and trust me it usually took me a whole day to gear up to just do that. And really if it was bigger than a fish, or a small spider or it was any form of roach...it is NOT MY PROBLEM!!!! So I have a love/um.."pissed off at" relationship with God, but down deep, I know we're good. "God" hasn't proven that he is a bearded man or woman (eek) or a swirling mass of energy, so I haven't fully committed to what I believe about him/her/it(s) However, I do know this one thing, I DO NOT DO DEAD...not! So, by issuing this heavily executed proclamation, God has spared me from dead things. So there I was, with a problem, dead thing + me = no bueno! So, I'm on the phone freaking out to Momma Music and she was like, okay my father in law is on his way over to our house, why don't I tell him to go over there and get THE DEAD MOUSE!!!! Momma Drama breaths a sigh..."yes, you do that!" And there again, the universe has proven to me, that I don't do dead things!!!!

Papa Music shows up, with a paper towel already in hand and I caution him that some sort of machine powered crane and protective body armor are needed for this job and he waves me off with his ungloved hand and forges into my very messy (ah, flush with embarrassment)house. I can't look. I.Just.Can't.Look. But I hear...."oh he's not dead yet!" Breath Momma Drama, don't faint....breath. But the first thing that comes to mind is "So, what am I supposed to do??? I don't do almost dead either." No really, the first thing that came to mind was, "great shoo him out, close the door and lets be done with this nonsense." However, the poor thing WAS almost dead...oh that's just fantastic, now we have a moral dilemma :( AAHHHH BLAH!!!! I hate moral dilemmas. So my vote was to still shoo it out and close the door. But Papa Music is a devout Christian and a much braver man than me and said..."Well, we should probably kill it" "WHAT?????? DID???? YOU SAY????? Momma Drama...hold back vomit...hold it, HOLD IT! If I don't do dead, I certainly don't do KILL!!!! And in my own warped sense of righteousnesses, sending a poor dying mouse into the world to suffer and expire was much more humane than ending his life and thus his suffering. Well, while looking for some sort of instrument of execution as Papa Music had instructed me to do, he did the deed and it was over...mouse gone. I am very grateful to Papa Music for coming over to my messy (hang head in embarrassment) house to pick up a dead mouse that he ended up having to kill....what a mess. YUCK. And when Diva Dad reads this story he will be quite displeased with Momma Drama, because, he like Papa Music, and unlike me, is also a brave soul, who would have handled the mouse well....so I fail. Whatever...I know how to fail just fine.

And speaking of Failure....(I am just kidding...really, no one needs to call me... I am just fine...really!)

INCREDIBLE STRESSED OUT SINGLE MOMS WHO I LOVE

Okay, I've already rambled on a bit, so I will try and make this brief. I have three single mommy friends, all of them are hot! All our kids are mixed brown and two of us are adoptive moms and one is a bio mom. We are: DIVA MOMMA (yes, I know another diva to keep track of...but trust me SHE IS the definition of Diva) Momma Drama (yours truly) and MOVIE STAR MOMMA (and she is just that)... okay there are the players...here is the logic.

ALL OF US ARE SINGLE MOMS BY CHOICE...okay. Here we go...

I would venture to say that we are not totally single moms by choice, we may have chosen to be moms, but again, I wonder. As some say being gay is a choice (which I don't believe, I am not gay, but have dappled a bit at being "I kissed a girl" gay as any young hot girl, when I was young and hot, would do) so.... I don't know if we chose to be moms, I think we didn't really have a choice as none of us would have chosen any kind of life that didn't have our own children in it. I don't think we chose to be single (who does that?) I think after a string of heartbreaks, loves, life experiences etc. single sort of happened. Trust me, as I said, all three of us ladies are HOT (me not so much anymore, but I was hot, when hot mattered) the other two...still very HOT! So I don't think it was men not wanting us, I think it was us not wanting the men that wanted us, and holding out (possibly) forever for something better. But, like people who are gay, I don't think living without children in our lives was ever a consideration, it simply had to happen, just like gay people chose/or don't really "chose" to love who they love, we chose to parent who we parent.

So...okay. All three of the Hot Mommas are facing a bit of a life crisis at the moment. It looks like Diva Mom and I might be moving abroad together and Movie Star Momma is just praying to get another gig. Now, movie star momma should be in every freaking movie out, she is so awesome, but she, like us (also richly talented) is struggling. Why do we struggle??? Well the economy is in the sh!tter, that's one, but life says to single moms...hey you! You....YOU!!!! YOU scare us! And we do. We single handedly run households, do errands, chores, build financial futures, coif curls, field unwelcome and welcome stares, fight for rights, wipe noses, get therapy, party, enrich lives and such... Do you really think that we are going to take BS from you? THE MAN, do you really think you can tell us that we can't see our kids and that your stinking job is worth more to my life than Mine!!! No, I think not! We also call out BS, when we see it...like Hey You Boss Guy/Girl, that's BS...I don't have time for BS, BS is not on the calendar and seriously don't feed a single mom BS, we just don't have room in our day, so we will, with all kinds of tact and graciousness, wipe your @ss with your BS. We will be picking up our kids from school and we will be spending weekends with them, but guess what you just hired. A DYNAMO, we'll get done in an hour, what your entire corporation can do in a day...why? Well, hell, ya ever been a single mom???? Sheesh, when you do 72 hours of work in 24, you know how to get sh!t done.

Somehow THIS IS SCARY!!! And I can see why.

So, the Hot Single Mommas are in a bit of a spot. Every one of us has tried for a long time to get work/money/more work/more money. We have cried, but we have bucked up. We wear our brave face all day. We only hint at strife to each other and in a few words masked by Mommy Voices that call out and say...I'm losing it today, or um, inside, deep inside, I'm terrified. We all smile our super human smiles and forge on, knowing that with our incredible talent, strength and beauty this craziness must end. And yet we do face it, our kids only seeing cracks in the fissure but not the whole avalanche. I know that the Hot Single Moms will find their way, but I give a shout out to us today (and anyone putting up with all of it, playing the brave fighter!!!) I guess God/or whoever is in charge, wants us on the front line...who knows. But I love you ladies and I'm glad we have each other.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ahhhh Man...Come on! What? I'm Patient...No Really...Whatever...Go Sit Over There

So, no word from China...this doesn't really mean much, its early in the day/week and I could still here word and then there is always the question about do I wanna hear anything, cause if I did pursue this...wow, wow...yikes. I did a fair amount of cyber travel yesterday and well, a single mom with two brown kids, might just topple China on their ear. And this, in fact, maybe a reason I DON'T GET THE JOB. I'm pretty proud of me and the fact that I went ahead and outted us right away, so it is up to the Shanghai Mouse, to decide if they are really as diverse as they claim. There are other factors too, but this will be a big one.

But this all brings up a big bunch of questions for me, not so much how my family will be perceived abroad, but whether I should take our posse on the road.

It has been a pretty tough (um, come on get real, excruciatingly tough) year for me, financially as making a living solely as a writer, with two young kids on your own is pretty insane. I have done it, amazingly, I have done it, but wow, I'm not sure how. I know I should have an agent, and a manager and all the high powered help that will catapult me to stardom (Hello!) but that's a whole 'nother bag...one that I am willing to dive into, for sure and at the end of the month when the first of my KamiSama series novels is finally born, after, oh my god...decades it feels.

So...its a comin', but damn if it doesn't feel like an eternity!!!! Oh, wait, it is. I am also up for four writing gigs that I am very close to getting and I scored a screenplay, but um, contracts seem so hard to type these days...I guess. Not sure? But I snagged the gig, yet only hearin' crickets' from the "they will send out the contract and initial payment" guys. GRRRRR!!!!

So, do I, like God Mother Mia before us who is now living in Madrid, or Social Worker, Turned Sister is doing now with her to kids to Mexico or China (GO FOR CHINA :), take my kids on the road, sublet my apartment and live abroad for a year? This is a new development for me, but a serious consideration. I have to decide a few things right now... and these are big grown up decisions I hate to make, but the answer is, unless I get a better income flow, I won't be able to continue freelance writing. Which might be a good thing as I can focus on MY work only. I will have this thriller series to write and other ongoing projects, but to be schlepin', pitchin' and beggin' for work daily will probably end. Not a bad thing.

So, my choices are...go into crazy debt and get a masters in social work, (yes, insane u-turn ahead), sign up with a temp agency and work as a secretary (take a knife and gash wrists open with it) move abroad, live a crazy Bohemian abroad mommy lifestyle while teaching English, save money and return home with a big fat pile of cash and hopefully a few books written. The kids will have learned a foreign language and lived in a foreign land. OR continue to apply for work daily and wait for the phone to never, or rarely, or less often than I would like....ring!?

I hate being a grown up sometimes :(

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oh God What Did I Just Do?????

Okay, it is no mystery to any of you that I am in constant search of work. It is the "joy", cough, sputter, wretch....of freelance writing. Only, for whatever reason and I am really not sure what it is, I haven't been able to score a gig that doesn't have me scrambling every month. I get hired...A.LOT!, but nobody pays well :( and I am always competing against someone who can do the job for less, never mind the quality and creativity I bring to the table...pish...who needs that? Bottom line is...Bottom Dollar. At least in the area I have been working in...

SO...okay.

It was late...

I was very tired...

I didn't want to hack anymore people up and my starlet memoir was becoming a jumble in my head...so I went on another search for work, just to you know...switch things up.

And then I saw....

DISNEY....and applied for a job.

Now, I've worked for Disney before so I thought, cool. I must have thought this cool enough to actually submit my resume and such... What didn't register with me was the next word on the job advertisement, my eyes must have blazed past it, or disregarded it...or something funky, because when I got an email from a recruiter in CHINA this morning....I was a little surprised.

After a few email conversations back and forth, well, I should be hearing from her again soon. EEEK. Now, I'm always happy when someone responds to my inquiries and job submissions, so that's cool, I don't really know where this is going, I should find out soon...but um...did I just apply to a job in CHINA?????

Um...I think I did.

Oh dear...I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ahhh Baby Elmo :( Until Next Time, Little Love....

Well,

Such is the life of a foster care and adoption. Sometimes our worlds are so filled with joy, we feel our sides will split open with sunshine and rainbows will burst through our skin. And on other days, and times in a foster parent's life, the clouds are black with sorrow...

Well, while I am done with adopting and pursuing adoption (at this time) because the Divas are more than a houseful, trust me :) there was this little girl called...well, okay.

I called her Divette, here...so that her Divaliciousness would shine through, but in truth her name is Baby Mo Mo, or if you ask Little Diva, its Baby Elmo. And in our house, Baby Elmo has been her name, in all fairness to Little Diva who will correct you EVERY.TIME. you say Baby Mo Mo, we call her Baby Elmo so not to stress Little Diva too greatly, you know with all the correcting and such.

Baby Elmo is my mom's foster baby and is the sister to Small Postman, my sister's soon to be adopted son. Confused yet???? Just wait...

Well, Baby Elmo was supposed to go to her Grandparents, but some drama ensued and for a second she was going to be adopted by Ga Ga Drama (Grandma) and yours truly, none other than Momma Drama herself. So you read it right, I was this close **** and this far away --- from adopting another child-ish, mostly, sort of...BUT..

There was court today and Baby Elmo is going to her Grandparents...very soon as in before the week is over, soon. Poor Gaga Drama is crushed! And rightfully so, Gaga Drama has done such a great job of healing Baby Elmo from being a scared doe-eyed newborn, to a thriving little bundle of love. She has helped her catch up on her milestones and get more comfortable with strangers, she has loved and adored her...it was The Elmo/Gaga show...and they have always been incredible. I give my mom a lot of credit, props and love for doing the amazing work she continues to do with these children. I couldn't do it...and I know on some days, I think she feels that she can't either. But Gaga Drama...you are amazing and every ounce of love that you have shared with these little people has enriched their lives and the lucky Divas and their cousin The Small Postman are so blessed to have a Gaga Drama as awesome as yourself...and I love you Mom, I really do. I'm proud of you and I'm here for you....ANYTIME!

Now for hopefully good news, outside of My Sister hearing good news about the Small Postman and their adoption of him (which is not final, so any of you who know, know...what I mean when I say...it ain't over till its over...but its pretty good!) so, follow the logic here, Baby Elmo is still SP's sister, Gaga Drama is SP's Grandma, Baby Elmo is going to her Grandparents, who are also SP's Grandparents...so the hope here is that one day, even though separated by a great, super long plane flight, distance, everyone will be one big crazy happy family! Here's hoping, who knows what time will bring, certainly more drama to be sure!!!! but hopefully love and healing too.

So, to Baby Elmo, my almost sister/daughter-now niece...(I know weird) I love you little kiddo and I wish you an incredible journey in this life. I know that Gaga Drama will always miss you and think of you and I hope one day the two of you will reunite and share such stories with one another as you do today, with your eyes bright and happy, your face expressive and joyous.

On that note, we had Baby Elmo while all the drama went down in court today and let me tell you it took two dedicated Divas and a very attentive Momma Drama to even crack a smile on that kid. We were running a full Vaudevillian showcase to a very tough crowd of one, but when Gaga Drama walked in the door it was like Baby Elmo was a totally different kid, there were looks of adoration and love, a smile that beamed from ear to ear and coos and fawning, that the poor exhausted Diva/Dramas could not summons out of Baby Elmo to save our lives. Gladly we passed little Baby Elmo to her adoring fan and together they hugged and snuggled and loved. And we cried.
:(

I told the girls that Baby Elmo was leaving and this would be the last time we saw her for awhile and Big Diva, simply made it make sense to her, she didn't really pay much attention to the loss except for empathy for Gaga Drama and an awesome awareness that some children go back to birth families and some don't. I know that Big Diva will continue to process the loss, but in all fairness to Big Diva, I didn't tell her that Baby Elmo was almost/this close/sort of her sister...which of course is a very good thing.

Little Diva was a different story. While she has no concept of loss at this age, she did show so many nurturing signs and acted like a big protective sister to Baby Elmo most of the time. It was so weird to see MY baby be a big sister. Ya know, when you have two or more kids, you almost expect that your oldest child will be a big something or other, and you embrace it, encourage it and exude pride when it happens. However, when your almost-sort-of-mostly last child shows signs of being a bigger kid, you reject it, ignore it and stand baffled by it, as your youngest is NOT supposed to grow up...at least not too quickly. And yet, it is happening before my eyes and I watched my baby, be a big sister to a babier baby...and it was touching and heartbreaking at the same time. So when we told Little Diva that Baby Elmo was leaving, she adopted one of Baby Elmo's diapers and is sleeping with it now...wow, kids.

So dearest Baby Elmo, I am sure I will see you again and I will be your Auntie...in some capacity, you may never know that I was once your sister and remotely your mother, but I am sure I will sit with you one day and tell you about how much my mother loved you and how much your cousins and brother adored you and even though our visits may be few and far between, you will one day know of a family that loved you, that you may never know you knew...

But my heart is most heavily with Gaga Drama tonight as she packs up bags of little clothes and things and says good bye to her baby. I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'm In Love....not that kinda love, I wish....

I'm in love with my local thrift store :) and their half off days. So we have acquired two bikes, two trikes, a bedding set, a set of five pillows, a beautiful couch, a waffle maker (yummy perfect Belgian waffle kind) earphones, a vacuum, two beautiful dresses, a table and a lunch box....what was my grand total for all of these items over a year's worth of shopping....are you ready for it?

$230...

Yep...that was it.

And the beauty is, I dump off all my junk and they take it with a smile. I love the idea of recycling and also the drama of using other people's old stuff. I know that sounds totally yuck, but imagine another person with another life made waffles in your gently used waffle maker. Was it a wedding present? are they a parent, newlywed, college kid?? Makes a creative mind spin... :)

But the best thing is seeing the looks on my kid's faces when a non-Christmas day gift of Christmas quality enters their life randomly. :)

FUN....now if the same theory of blessing and random givingness just applied to my getting a really good paying writing gig....I would be...well totally stoked.

This :( has been a bad day, so luckily giving my thrift store finds has brightened it up nicely, but it is one of those days a person and especially a single mother raising two alone, just doesn't want to face.

I have mounds and piles and oodles of writing, housework and stuff to do....tons and I found out that I just barely, so-sorry, we love you, :( missed out on a great gig to another person. I know it happens, it happens all the time, everyday and writers deal with it...and I have been dealing with it for five years. I have been the one (weee meee) many times, but this time...this time would have been REALLY nice....oh well.

I will just keep wishing, manifesting, writing and praying that one day...my day in the sun will come...otherwise I will continue to dice people up for scraps (ah, if you only knew)...and be grateful!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Edge of Glory.....

Okay folks, this one is for Big Diva....

She is a Gaga fanatic, I never even knew who Lady Gaga was until my (at the time) three year old, came home singing "Poker Face" at the top of her lungs accompanied by dance moves I had never quite seen Big Diva be able to accomplish before.

It is because of Big Diva that I like Lady Gaga....

It is because of my Divas that I did this....

Lady Gaga is sponsoring a video project (promotion) for her single Edge of Glory...so here's our video...

I can't wait to show Big Diva.... :) and well, I'm a little proud of it too. I threw this together last night (after work) and it took a coupla hours, so forgive the cruddy production quality...but whatever, it was a blast.

What is fun about this is that Lady Gaga wants everyone to express themselves anyway the see fit...ENJOY!

I know it seems like it has a bit of a negative slant, but its about bunking stereo-types...very Gaga :)

You should make one too!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Robbin' in the Hood

So, without giving too much away, we live in a big city. It has nice parts, very nice parts, amazing parts, not so great parts and...(cue Elvis) The Ghettooooohhhhh....Guess where we live? Now, I am not new to Ghetto fabulousness, I lived in Los Feliz when it was...Elvis? will you do us the honor....the Ghettooo...thank you. Eagle Rock and Mount Washington...when it was a little like...Elvis? "the ghetto", less letters, lower case...see not so ghetto. But we have returned...big, bold and beautiful to THE HOOD and while you can ride a Vespa and get to a good part of town in about 148 seconds, our street is still HOOD-dee lah dee dah HOOD!

Okay, let me tell you about our short block where SO MUCH happens, daily. First of all, as stated in previous posts I am one of only 3 "Americans" living in our hood, the other two live on the nicer street and one is an opera singer and the other works for DWP and gives away free stuff. Our side is the Latino side. NO ONE...and I will repeat NOT ONE PERSON over the age of 8 speaks English. The Nice Mommy Neighbor kinda sorta mostly-ish speaks English, enough to communicate about shopping, showering the kids and we work together on solving disputes between disgruntled 5 year olds. I am still not sure she is using her real name as everyone BUT me, calls her by a different first name and I know she talks behind my back, but she also brings me tea and medicine when I'm sick. So my final (fluctuating) assessment of her is, she trusts me about as much as I trust her which is about 78% of the time with each of us ready to throw the other under the bus at a moment's notice. If it came to defending her space, read: growing it by taking ours, or her children read: supporting her kids stealing and lying, then she would toss us to the wind and fight for the right to get ahead anyway she can. However, this has improved over the year and she has actually returned stolen items to us, vs. said they were hers when they, CLEARLY AND IN BOLD PRINT, had my kid's names on them....fail.

However, I have grown to really like her and I think likes she, me. She even said she is bored when I am not here and misses us, as she hasn't got anyone to really hang out with. We make each other food, but usually I feed her kids. However, she also feeds mine...so we share. Her husband is a TOTAL JERK...there isn't anything I have nice to say about him at all, not one stinking word. The only time he has ever even spoken to me was to pick a fight with someone who stole my screen door. I must say I swooned a bit thinking maybe this stoic, wife beating man was softening...but "no" it turns out he has a beef with those neighbors and wanted to strut his tail feathers.

So, we have learned to completely, utterly and absolutely, disregard each other. He does like Big Diva and fancies she will marry his son, (strange on so many levels...which I will talk about later) and he is remarkably sweet to her, but Me...NADA, Zilch, "no le interesa". I was told in Spanlish by his wife that he "doesn't like" me because I am able to provide the same for my family as he does for his and I am only a woman...while this was garbled in many misused words and Spanglish I didn't quite understand, I got the point. So, in order to make peace with the fact that I can buy EXACTLY what he can, as a woman, he tries to make what is mine, his...usually by taking my SPACE as we share a yard. We finally fenced in our area so he couldn't throw beer cans on it or set fire to it as he had tried to when he decided to put a backyard bonfire right next to my kid's (very expensive) wooden play structure. Now I just have to contend with his darn puppy in my house ALL THE TIME and his freaking bunnies, pooping all over the place. Not to mention his drunk buddies stumbling all over the yard....not exactly the way I wanted my innocent girls growing up. It's funny, I like a nice glass of wine, but I have it at dinner in pretty glasses and I DON'T sit in the yard with a magnum of wine and a paper cup and plow through that bad boy until I'm blurry eyed. But Neighbor Dad, he's half tanked by 10pm and this is after taking down a 12 pack. I don't want to get anymore annoyed but I will applaud myself for standing up for our space and my kid's future by tattling to the landlords and setting up clear boundaries. Which include privacy fences that mostly protect my kids from the insane amount of drinking that goes on in our back yard.

Again, I'm all for a party, but if lunch and dinner consist of 24 cans of Tecate...I may just have a bit of a problem with it. However, at the moment, our weapons are down. SO...this has NOTHING to do with the title of my post.... :)

One further note...as if I'm not having enough trouble getting to the point. Across the street and down three houses is the "black" side of the street. All the houses from the third house across the street down are inhabited by black people. They have never once crossed to our side of the street, nor have they acknowledged my kids. Apart from this one awesome guy who rides his bike down our street everyday and waves at the girls and yells "great family" to me...just for the record, I love that guy. Now, I must confess, I haven't crossed the street baring pie, to introduce myself, so why on earth would I assume that just because my kids are black and they are black that we would want anything to do with one another. Really if I wanted to hang out with them, it was my move and I didn't make it. Granted there were no "Mrs. Mayberry RFD's" waving me over, so I didn't want to be the dorky white person who was like, "Hi, I made pie and guess what my kids are black too"...ick. So we just exist roughly 4 houses and a street away from one another.

I will say that within the first week of moving in, I was invited to two birthday parties and a christening on our side and while I feel like an alien who can't speak the language, I do feel that there is a sense of limited "like" for me. My kids are a different story. Big Diva...RULES THE STREET. She is the queen of all...I swear, I am not bragging, that kid has everyone bowing and kowtowing to her, which I don't always think is a good thing. But that's her style she is a leader and damn if she isn't going to lead...even in a foreign language. I do have to pull in her reigns a bit, but it still doesn't stop the Big Diva idolization and worship that goes on around here. Little Diva is just coming out of her shell and is being given adoration, mostly cause she is Big Diva's sister...but really its all about Big Diva. SO....to MY POINT.

Robbin' in the hood. Part of the beauty and sadness of this area is we are all poor. (yep, I'm poor, I'm rich in many things...but money ain't one of them). So, I have learned (the hard way) that "If it ain't nailed down or locked up...its stolen). We are in a safe neighborhood nobody hurts each other, apart from domestic disputes (which suck) but folks here are just poor. Their mentality is...if you left it out, you must not want it, and well, "I need it" so "I'll take it" its not stealing as much as acquiescing stuff that clearly the owner is relinquishing. And if you tell them, that "no" you didn't want to lose your stuff, well, diverting your eyes and pretending that you don't understand, really helps you hold on to your newly acquired stuff.

That being said, this same mentality also helps find AMAZING free stuff and INCREDIBLE deals. I have been privy to some of the best financial finds of my life because my neighbors have clued me into a great sale, deal or giveaway in the area. I have even been lead by hand to freebees that my neighbors have not been able to tell me about in English. I LOVE THIS ABOUT THEM, I am never left out of the good stuff. I have gotten, food, toys, backpacks, clothes, you name it, all given to me cause a neighbor dragged me off to some "first come first served, giveaway" in the neighborhood.

So, I really do love them...and I am so blessed. I feel so connected to this community that my kids will be going to a dual immersion school and will be learning in both Spanish and English, graduating from sixth grade fluent in Spanish...that is so cool and I hope to learn with them.

So, my neighbors across the street lost their house, the bank foreclosed their house after a fire destroyed their income property and they were not able to make the payments. After two years of not being able to catch up on the mortgage, the bank locked them out. They HAD NOTHING... I heard that they were not allowed to get their stuff inside the house and lost everything. So, one day I was out in the yard with the kids and saw a HUGE (the size of a small country) moving van pulling up to the house. I knocked on Nice Neighbor Mommy's door and told her about the truck, as she knew the people who lived there, who were somehow (and I may never really know how) related to her. She called them on their cell and was able to rally the neighborhood together to stand with the stuff collecting on the street and protect it from looters and the moving guys until the family was able to come and claim it. They stayed out there for at least three hours, just sitting in front of the stuff as the movers (also "Americans") were at a loss, not knowing what move to make next. They finally left (but their truck stayed) for a few hours. But every time they went to put a piece of furniture in their truck, the neighbors threw themselves on it, all cussing and telling off the movers. When passer-bys started to pick through it, they did the same. Finally the owners showed up and reclaimed their things. And as everyone in our hood owns a truck, 5 or 6 trucks all belonging to various neighbors showed up and in two loads moved all of the stuff. The women stood vigil until dark and each piece was gone.

So, while I am a stranger in a strange new land, I am grateful to be learning a new language and a new code of ethics. While I don't plan on adopting all of what I am learning, nor will I be teaching it to my children, I did see a five hour span of time turn into a peaceful demonstration of will and determination to not allow Robbin' in their hood and this I WILL teach my children. I will teach them that it is noble, right and honorable to defend another person...even if "The Man" is taking their stuff...stand strong and defend what is right. Bravo folks, I wish I spoke enough Spanish to understand what was happening, but by the end of the day I knew. These poor folks may have lost their home, but you made sure that they didn't lose their stuff too!

While some of this post may have seemed elitist or racist, it is not. I live here too and I am just making observations on my life. Remember, I am an outsider looking in, as NONE of the cultures on my block are the ones I was raised in, however it they were, this blog would be scathing :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Flying Solo and Mother's Day and Mothers....

So I read another friend's blog about being a solo parent on Mother's Day (Mommytothemonsters.com) and this means that not only are you parenting alone, but you are pretty much alone, no ex-husband to help the kids get you a gift, no other involved family members (either separated by loss, distance or otherwise) to help you celebrate this special day. She expressed her desire to stay in bed, have a little down time and enjoy celebrating all of her hard labor, love and work to care for her children. And you know...I get it... TOTALLY!

While I have a great family and a great "Dad" for the kids, I don't really have anyone here at home who says, "You know honey, I'll get the kids ready this morning and you...you just stay in bed." I do have an awesome mom who took me and the kids to brunch, but my awesome mom is also a single parent again and she has her own little one to get up and get dressed with. I do have to add that both of our kids did not wake up on time (LIKE THEY HAVE ALL OF THEIR LIVES) and we both slept in (yeah moms) but we also both almost missed our brunch reservations. Thanks to GPS and a gracious restaurant host, we made it to brunch and had a wonderful time. The Divas wore princess wear and were noticed by just about everyone in the room and Mom's little munchkin, I'll call her "Divette" was so well behaved, you could never even believe that she was only 8 months old.

In all it was a beautiful day...and I love my mom for it. My newly-a-mother sister was in Hawaii with her in-laws, husband and Divette's brother (soon to be adopted by My sister and Her Hubs) and they are enjoying a tropical vacation. My sister got flowers, a massage and it looks like her little man, named The Small Postman (long story...but it is a reference to UP their favorite film) is having the time of his life. This is amazing and it looks like the way most new moms should whoop it up.

While my mother's day did come complete with a HORSE in our front yard and a very gracious horse rider letting Big Diva sit on top of it, it wasn't quite the sandy beaches of an exotic locale and while I was a little envious (um hello...who wouldn't be) I really focused on the reason I was celebrating the day and that was to spend time with my mother and the two little loves of my life.

I may make fun of my kids and grumble a bit about how hard it is TO DO IT ALL!!! But at the end of the day, those two girls and all of the little kiddos in our family are just so amazing. My children are incredible people and I would rather be with them than anyone else in the world and Mother's Day always reminds me of how blessed I am.

Big Diva reminded me all day that it was my special day and I even got to pick out MY favorite kids movie to watch together when Little Diva went to bed. Little Diva LOVED being dressed up and it is so amazing to see her starting to be more and more like her sister, loving dressing up, being a princess (thank God for Tiana) and exploring her fabulousness...

Motherhood has changed me entirely, it has changed my heart, my mind, my body and every aspect of my life. Motherhood has brought me incredible joy and always brings joy, but it has also brought tears, frustration and exhaustion and a mother would be lying if she didn't admit, if only to herself, that she struggles at times.

I said once in a another blog I write, that Motherhood is only for the qualified and I believe that entirely. You can be a bad mother, you can be an incredibly bad mother, but even the worst mother, is in charge of everything...at the end of the day it is always her job to be the "everything" to everyone. So imagine being an incredible mother, imagine the work, commitment and dedication that it takes and then imagine being an incredible mother alone... and even if it was by choice and I would have it not other way, I too feel just a little tumbled by the tide.

Currently, my house looks like a guy's dorm...and I'll venture to guess it smells that way too. The kids and I opted to play dress up, dance, paint and swim vs. scrub toilets, floors and dishes. I, however, am getting my @ss kicked today, having to clean it all up, write 20 pages and...LOOK FOR ANOTHER WRITING JOB, it is as if solo parents never get off the ride. So rather than bitch about it (um, Momma Drama, what have you just spent like um... a couple thousand words just doing???) I am choosing to forgive whatever it is that I can't accomplish...there, now, that feels good.

And in the act of forgiveness I will always forgive the mothers who gave birth to my children. Big Diva was able to connect with her birth family and now Flyy Diva, her big sister is a mommy and it is amazing to see life, just heal like that. But, Flyy Diva knows and sees Big Diva's mom and one day Big Diva will see her mom too, not today as it will be a shock to Big Diva, who is beautiful and full of life, just like Flyy Diva. It will be a shock because Big Diva's birthmom is in a hospital with a major brain injury and can't talk, so all the fantasy that Big Diva has developed around her, will be dashed. So me and Flyy Diva have decided to wait until the time is right. But I am and always will be so grateful to Flyy and Big Diva's mom for giving birth to both of them.

Finally Little Diva's mom. I get three letters a month from prison, in each packet one letter is addressed to me and one to Little Diva, with Little Diva's adopted name on it. She struggles daily with the loss of her daughter and after getting letters from Little Diva's Bio Grandmom, I can now see why Little Diva's mom made some of the choices that she made, she never had a chance to be a healthy person with someone like her own mother in her life. I feel a lot of love and sadness for Little Diva's mom and I have tried to keep up and at least send one card and pictures every month to her in prison. I am grateful to Little Diva's mom for Little Diva and I am trying with all of my power to forge a healthy relationship with her, so that Little Diva will have the same blessings that Big Diva has. It is a bit harder as Little Diva's mom can turn on a dime and will be charming one day and cut you with a knife another, so I know that I can't be too lulled by her sweet cards until I see her prove, with her actions, that she can be safe. But that doesn't mean that my heart doesn't break for her, because in all honesty, I have the thing she treasures most and Little Diva is an incredible being and while I am so very very blessed to be her mommy, I know how much her birth mother misses her and so I hope that when Little Diva is older, she will be able to help her mom heal through this....but we live in the moment, so this is our moment.

And thus ends my blog about Motherhood...with one final thought. My mom really has only one name, I call her Mom, before I became a mother, I was always me, I only had MY name and I was known by no other and that was my life, but today, I too am "Mom" and my other name is rarely used, and that other life is rarely lived and I, like my own mother, have walked along a different but same path in this strange land, a land that is always being discovered...now we are sharing the same name


.

Friday, May 6, 2011

An Ode to Wine and What I Didn't Tell the Therapist!

Well, I'll just flat out say it. I'm a mom who drinks wine. There :) I don't drink it excessively, I have NEVER gotten drunk since being a parent (can't...cough.sputter.um...say that I didn't BEFORE parenting) but I like me some fermented grapes.

At yesterday's therapy I was given a worksheet to help me better understand Big Diva's drama, by seeing that I too (gasp) have sensory drama...guess what?! we all do, we just have it to varying degrees and this tidy little worksheet will out your sensory needs in a jiffy. Here are some of the questions....and well, the answers.

1. To help me wake up in the morning I usually need to....

MD: Well, I NEED to take a bath, have a cup of coffee, surf the internet, brush my teeth, pee, eat toast...what I get to do... IS PEE, with a two year old hanging on my leg wearing a soggy diaper and a five year old using the two year old's potty, cause as soon as she hears me pee, she needs to as well. WORTH NOTING: I do NOT pee, poop or void any other bodily fluid ALONE...EVER! The bathroom is just about as busy as our living room.

2. What I like most about our home is....

MD: Our home has these beautiful batiks on the walls, nice cozy furniture, Buddhas...I love the peace and vibrant beauty of our home. I adore our house...and if you can get past the dog hair rodents (balls of dog hair that have reanimated into beastly dust bunnies with teeth and fangs) and the yogurt stained walls, its pretty close to perfect. SCORE!

3. When I am frustrated and upset it helps to...

MD: (Panics) and SAYS: I go outside and breath heavily...(which I do, most of the time) But what it HELPS to do.... is drink wine. (Smile, breathe, sip)

4. When I prepare for bed or to calm myself I prefer to....

MD: (says) Pass out (not from drinking wine...seriously) BUT here's what my day looks like. 7AM, wake up like a bolt of lighting hit me between the eyes with two children storming my bedroom and bed. PEE (see#1) Dress, two picky-must-wear this-no this-not that-wait this, kids feed, two I wanna eat this, no that, no wait that, not this, I said "that!" kids, brush two heads of very curly hair, moisturize kid's hair and skin, re-puff hair, find shoes, get in the car drive to this one's school, then, that one's school, come home MAKE COFFEE. 9AM. Write Hollywood Starlet Memoir, ghost write garish vain mom shopping blog, write serial killer book, look for work, look for more work, keep looking for work 3:30PM pick up Big Diva, drive to get Little Diva, drive home...IMMEDIATELY strip off clothes to underwear (kids, not me, now that would be horror!) jump in pool with neighbor boys also sporting underwear, splash in pool, save 2 year olds from nearly drowning numerous times, take 5 shivering kids out... put my two in the bath (other three go to their bath) take kids out of bath dress in pajama/playwear, fix dinner feed anywhere from 2 to 5 or more children, finish food, go to the front yard ride bikes, make art projects, do homework, feed fruit for desert, socialize in Spanglish, clean up dinner (means pile in sink) put screaming over tired 35lbs 2 year old to bed, usually kicking and writhing. Sing 2 year old's three favorite songs in order, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle, Lullaby and then wait for her to sing her rendition of all three songs, Read Tiana book, lotion legs and give massage, hug kiss, close door. Return to 5 year old who is demanding her MOVIE THEATER time, either find a computer movie or put on a DVD for anywhere from 2 to 9 kids, listen to movie while, continuing to write Diva Hollywood Starlet book, Serial Killer Story, Dream Project...answer emails. 9PM Big Diva goes to bed, sing her two favorite songs Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, ABCD (same song folks, just different words) 5 year old is much more of a music aficionado, and I must sing in my best, hippest, most Lady Gaga like voice. Kiss. Hug. Close door. Write this blog, continue to write...till wee hours of the night...PASS OUT!!!! Everyday, 5 days a week, except for weekends, where I have my high energy, Diva, leader children to myself ALL DAY....So, what do I do to prepare myself for bed and calm down...?

I PREFER TO DRINK A GLASS OF WINE :)

5. What I need to concentrate, the environment I create includes:

Reality: It includes, "Mommy" being spoken at various octaves and decibels repeatedly at roughly 2.7 minute intervals over and over and over again. It usually includes the sounds of unbridled glee, that are so joyous only someone who has never had to pay a parking ticket, taxes or a library fine has the ability to create, it usually also includes some sort of shrieking and spontaneous wailing. There are often hugs motivated by overwhelming love or the overwhelming need to be rescued from a bullying sister, neighbor or two month old puppy. (not ours). In this peaceful academic environment I have written a 10 Best of Everything Book, 200 Best Job Interview Questions, A love story about Steppin' in Chicago as a black man educated in Argentina as a world renowned tango dancer, a screenplay about an angry escaped slave, 200 Best Home Businesses, A futuristic tale about the end of the Apocalypse and the world's next savior, a kids tale about fairies who live in a tree and a series of serial killer books about a seriously f'd up guy and that is just in the last 11 months....So the ENVIRONMENT I CREATE INCLUDES....I'll give you one guess. Yep, you guessed it A GLASS OF WINE. :)

And I will add, I'm not the only mom to do so, but as said in my last post, I pay great homage to that fine beverage as it has brought me this far and I know that together we will reach the stratosphere.

And if you think that my children are viceless and above petty foibles...I will merely say.

LITTLE DIVA: Sleeps in her shoes, every night and tantrums if they are not on her feet and...

BIG DIVA: Eats her own snot.

They don't call us Drama for nothing....night folks, time for????? ahhh....I'll just keep you guessin' on that one. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

FISH KILLER/SERIAL KILLER, SINGLE MOM Therapy session #2

Momma Drama hangs head....

It is true.

Shhhh this is a secret, I boldly introduced "Bluey" to the Facebook world, I embraced him as the only male in our family and declared my parenthood to a little blue betta fish, that I must admit I loved. He would follow me around the aquarium and was a lot of fun to watch. We had him three days...and then he grew hair and died. And thus has ended my fish rearing...FOREVER!!! After the death of seven goldfish and a blue betta, I can officially be called a fish killer. In the infamous words of "whatever that fish was who said it" in the tank with Nemo, I am no better than the heinous braces-clad, Tweedle who vigorously shook birthday presents from her Uncle to death. I am no better than the whale slaughterers and dolphin killers that roam the open seas and sequester their kill in coves. I AM A FISH KILLER...and well, this makes me sad.

But fish aren't all I kill...(cue evil laugh). And my therapist...just can't quite get her head around it.

So lets back up a bit. Big announcement number 2 (yes, if you are counting the sudden death of Bluey is number 1) Big Diva is in therapy. Here's the deal with Big Diva. She is splendid and perfect and gorgeous and amazing...but Big Diva has some "drama". So we are dealing with Big Diva drama. Most of you know, that Big Diva was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, well, this hasn't been too too awful to endure, she just has quirks, but her quirks have turned into full scale, throw/break/shatter things tantrums and "HELL NO!" defiance that just didn't sit too well with her preschool teacher or class. So she was given a therapist and more testing, the good news about the testing is (insert mother gloating, bragging and otherwise annoying you!) she's really freaking smart. Her scores landed her in the top ten percent of children in the school district from ages 5-6 (most of whom are already in Kindergarten and yet, Big Diva is not yet)and has a raging score of 92% for comprehension. So you mix smart with "itchy" you get bitchy, or smithcy...if you're being technical. So we have a therapist and she is helping...but what I didn't bargain for is her being MY therapist too and now I have therapy once a week. This is fine, this is good, I have done the "how are you feeling" thing, so its a breeze...I see through a lot of the "stuff" and cut right to the chase, no need to be hand held into help...I just dive in, don't waste my time or yours.

So...today, I was killing people, before Nice Therapist came to the house...she also happens to have had a betta fish for the last three years, who is still alive. Seething with jealousy at her incredible fish husbandry, I started today's session after the death of Bluey and Megan Sweeney, the 91 lbs meth user and aspiring tattoo artist who was just pierced in the vein with a hypodermic needle full of air. Having recently returned to my EYES OF THE DESOLATE book series, I was writing again about the exploits of Nicky Tisdale the world's baldest, frumpiest and most invisible serial killer who is a pretty sick F*cker :). So I had to apologize lightly for my initial woozy feeling cause I was in a very strange headspace when she came in and had to shake it off.

So not to bore, I'll cut to the chase...

CONVERSATION:

Nice Therapist: It must be pretty hard to come up with that kind of gore?"

Mamma Drama: "No, not really, I have very good imagination, but I do always show the humanity in my characters, its my trademark, you aren't gonna get the gore without the human tragedy behind it...I'm not sure what is worse, reading the pain in the killer's story or the pain the killer inflicts." REAL CONVERSATION

NT: It still must be hard to be a MOM!!!!and write stuff like that.

MD: Yes.

NT: Can you separate yourself from the fiction that fast? (Mamma Drama hears: Do you want to hack up your kids?)

MD: I'm a mom, I have to. REAL CONVERSATION. But IN MY HEAD I SAID: If I can wake up to someone puking on my face, I surely can pull out of serial killer mode to make my kids a bowl of Kix.

NT: Still you must find it hard to live a double life?

MD: Yep,(smile) HEAD SAYS: I also find it hard to pay the bills, water the plants, KEEP FISH ALIVE, keep up with Big Diva's shoe collection, but you know, its part of the gig.

NT: Maybe you should work on some kind of mental transition...before you deal with your kids.

MD: Like what exactly? (look of interest and genuine concern) MY HEAD SAYS: Um like say... "kids, I just killed a character that I have taken 112 pages to develop, I really need some space right now, do me the slightest favor, can you tie your own shoes, fix your own dinner, cover and sanitize the pool while I find my happy space, please."

NT: I'm not sure, maybe watch a Disney movie or visit a mom blog.

NT: What a good thought. I say. HEAD SAYS: What a great idea, some how find a way to stall my children from needing my attention, THINKS: Only room with a lock is the bathroom, hmmmm there's a plan, lock them in there and then voluntarily of my own free will, watch a DISNEY MOVIE BY MYSELF? And then if I haven't had it good enough, read a mommy blog (I do love them, though :) and when I feel serene and peaceful without any more homicidal thoughts, release my children from bathroom lock down and make the family meal. She's a genius.

In all fairness, I do like Nice Therapist, while I feel slightly bamboozled into therapy, I appreciate her efforts. I also understand that my job maybe a little um...unusual for some, but I'm good, I have no homicidal thoughts that don't manifest on the page. I am FREAKED OUT that my mind can write such amazingly disgusting stuff, but I draw it from life and I do get real, again, it is part of my writing charm. You get the real with the fantasy gore and sex...deal with it, its part of my master plan.

However, feeling like a Fish Killer, who is really a Serial Killer while trying to be a Single Mom, did inspire enough unease to write this blog. :) Thank God for wine....but, I'll save that for my next post.

I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT HAS BEEN THIS LONG

Well, I have neglected this blog entirely, but in between the lines, life has happened. So I feel sad for my blog, but I gave her a bright orange color and a commitment that I will be back to visit more often.

So....why the silence. I think most bloggers go through this, they become real people to a lot of people and soon the thoughts and feelings that you were writing about anonymously, stop being as anonymous and then drama ensues...or stuff.

In July when I wrote my last post, we were forced to move out of our home and go into hiding because Little Diva's birth family had our address and phone number, since we are still in hiding, I can't go into more detail about that...EVER :) but we do have a good corresponding relationship with Little Diva's birth mom and I am happy that she has written many letters to Little Diva, telling her that she loves her. I don't fully trust anyone in Little Diva's birth family, but I do love them and I am happy that we have a relationship with them, but in order for our relationship to remain safe, I will have to stay in "hiding".

We also now have a beautiful relationship with Big Diva's older sister and her family and for that I will always be grateful, Big Diva knows her sister and loves her and I am so very glad that she has been found and that the missing part of Big Diva's history can be recovered.

When I last wrote, I was moving to a beautiful new house, with so much to learn and explore, now that we are here, we are learning everyday to live in a different culture and lifestyle, some of it is glorious and some of it is awful, but it is always interesting and DRAMATIC...hoooo ya!

So since I last wrote in my blog I have returned to life as a freelance writer, it is again, freakishly scary financially, but I am a much happier person. I am still trying to manifest the next level of my career, which will provide the financial security that I so anxiously desire. I know it is coming, I am soon to be a published author and more will be coming from that and I have a lot up my sleeve, but I need to get it out of my sleeve soon or um...well just get out of there already!

So I wondered where to take this blog now that I can't divulge too much from my daily life and I wondered where it left me. I started this to rouse myself and others about adoption, now I am a single mom, struggling to survive and maintain my childhood dream of being a writer....so I figured that was pretty interesting so I think I'm going to use this blog as a way to exercise my writing muscles and take my wacky approach to life and hemm and haw over it here. :) It may be entertaining and it maybe boring....lets see :)