o M a m a

..::.. life as a mom, a wife, a friend, a woman ..::..

Thursday, April 20, 2006


It's weird, I miss my girls already. We have been busy this week, and were busy last weekend, so I feel like I haven't had the time to just look at them and soak them into my pores before I leave tonight. I want to get them early today so I can just enjoy them just a bit. While they definitely make life crazed, I do adore them with all my heart. And, I have never been apart from my little Tati, her royal spunkiness. Raph and I, we've been apart. When he travels, much of our connections float in suspension. When he returns, we reconnect. Philly and I, we've only been apart once. That was when I did the same weaning/scoot-outta-town thing when she was Tati's age.

My tummy is fluttery thinking of the fun to be had for just me, myself, and I. OOoohh!! The indulgence of it all!

At the same time, though, I will miss them so!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

nyc here i come

it felt great to hit the button. "purchase ticket now". for just one passenger. me. no infant in lap. no child alongside me. just me. like the good ol' days. full of adventure and solitude. i'll barely know what to do with myself. first off, i am going to eat whatever the heck i want. no more "oh, I should save the last piece for her; it's her favorite." no more "i'll just eat something else so i can save this and pack it for your lunch." no more. just me. if i want it, i'll have no. no need to share.

second off, i am going to do whatever i like. if i want to pee now, i'm going to. no waiting for her to pee before me because she has to go that much more than me. if i want to walk fast, i'm going to. no more waiting for her to scratch her ankle because "mammmmmaaaa! my socks are too itchy!" if i want to eat a banana and apple for lunch, i'm going to. no more spending time and taking side trips to go get some fast food lunch. icks. if i don't want to stop at the playground, i'm not going to. i'll think of the girls as i breeze past it, and maybe i will call because i can't stand missing them so much. but, i won't stop. i'll just walk on by...

finalement, i am going to spend time with my one & only true lover. see, before i had a 'love', i did have a lover. by golly it has been way too long. we are going to have one of the most romantic dinners of our lives - share wine over candlelight and whisper sweet nothings. it'll be totally carefree. yuppity yup. gotta go find the most perfect spot for our special bday dindin.

this is all going to be great.

Monday, April 03, 2006

My Guilt Problem

Maybe it's because I'm an obsessed mama. Maybe it's because I'm a Catholic. I have a major guilt problem. And, it is at its grueling worst right at this very moment. Or, maybe it was at its worst yesterday. When I felt so unloved, unappreciated, unhappy, all at once. Right now, I am really, really wondering: What the heck is my problem? Why can't I do it? Why can't it be so easy, to just up and leave?

For weeks now, I have been toying with the idea of taking a trip. I am a weakling, you see. To refuse my babe the nam-nams? Never! My definition of "wean" is to leave town for a few days and leave the nursing babe (ok, it's not like she's a babe. she's 2-1/2 now and fully articulate and fully potty trained!) with her sexy dad #7. When this mama returns, the babe is weaned. Fool proof! Guaranteed! It worked with Girl 1. It's gotta work with Girl 2.

The only problem is... tearing myself away from here, tearing myself away from them! I breed their attachment to me. They are so quick to whine/moan "mama! mama!" probably because I'm so quick to respond to their every "mama!" He said it himself, maybe it is partly my fault that they're so attached. It's only natural. They're obsessed about me and I'm obsessed about them.

Last week, tickets were reasonable. So, I figured I had plenty of time to broach it all with my partner. Ticket prices were inching their ways up. Still, I was stalling, pondering. How can I even make this sound the least bit acceptable? This proposition, this solo trip to nyc - it is WAY too luxurious, WAY too selfish, WAY too egocentric. I could not bear to bring it up.

Finally, I did. Do I get defensive for a reason? Because I am guilty? Why get defensive to the point of offensive? It's counter-productive, don't I see? All the squabbling and the quarreling. With the girls by our sides. What did we bicker about? I don't know; all I know is that we were loud. I was crying, and it made my nursing babe cry so hard herself. My sadness made her so sad! And, my biggest girl, my poor biggest girl! To have to hear such loud assaults. She pretended to be so focused on her oragami. She folded and creased and folded and creased. She took a pen to the paper and handed me a big folded wad. On the outside, it read: "Mommy I am sorry for Daddy." It broke my heart. It sent me back to the time when I was her age, listening to my own parents quarrel, kneeling at an altar praying that I wouldn't have to choose one or the other if they filed for divorce. I would pray to myself, "No please don't make me choose! But if I had to, I'd choose Dad." Then I'd re-think, "No I'll take Mom...." And I'd flip and flop as if I really had to choose.

"I have to believe I deserve it." Just as much as one could deserve some $325 craigslist purchase at 9:36 PM tonight. Out in Sandy, OR. Where is Sandy, OR? Is that a new suburb? Oh, no! It is some random small town about 35 miles away from here.

Here is a newsflash. Ticket prices went up. Again. Too high for me to splurge on. I don't think I can go. Not the weekend we discussed. I waited too long. I'm guilty.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bad Dreams

After waking up at 4:02 AM, Tati and I ended up finishing up our sleep on the couch this morning. Her arms were flailing. I was irritated. I managed to get into another REM cycle somehow.

I was dreaming and I was pissed. In my dream, I was wailing, sobbing. For whatever reason (probably because Raph's career in the private philanthropy world just catapulted), we had a penthouse in lower Manhattan. Or maybe it was downtown Brooklyn. Well, somewhere right up at the waterfront. We were entertaining some guests, having a dinner party. We had mostly couples over, and my best friend - who is single - was there. She was mixing another dirty martini at the bar. I then heard some of our guests starting to congratulate her. She looked coy and accepted their congratulations with the slightest of smiles. I asked Raph, "What's the big news?" He shrugged and pointed to my friend. She said, "I'm engaged" and showed me the rock on her hand.

Our friends then started asking Raph, "So, where will you live?" I heard him say, "She'll probably keep her place but we'll live here."

I was aghast. Really I was. I was bawling! Of course I was. My guests were looking at me like I had two heads. Raph chided me and said I was being unreasonable. I really felt like my world had ended.

In the dream, I left the party at my house, which then became an engagement party for my husband and my best friend. I picked up the girls and I drove somewhere. I recall being unable to control the car in my dream, and having to stop somewhere. I think I ended up at a friend's house, looking for any source of consolation.

Thank goodness my alarm went off when it did. I did a triple take, questioning myself, "Where am I? What happened? Am I still married? Am I still crying?"

I think I have had this sort of dream before, and I have no idea why. Infidelity. Deception. Sorrow. All the elements of the best Hollywood drama. Maybe I am overly self-absorbed. Maybe I am completely egocentric. I recently had an incident where I was so mad at myself, for failing to be more sensitive and compassionate toward my best friend when we spoke amidst her recent break-up. Perhaps I am still feeling guilt because of that. Perhaps I am feeling hypersensitive about the strength of marriages when our house guest this weekend seems to be using this visit as a way to escape her husband for a few days. Perhaps I wonder if you can every be 100% trustful of a life partner when I have seen first-hand a formerly-faithful husband become an infidel just months before his 25th wedding anniversary.

When I woke up, even before I went through my morning routine, I went back into our room and crawled into bed next to Raph. I told him about my dream in a sentence. I said, "Are you having an affair?" He was still sleeping but vigorously shook his head "No". I hugged him tight. I believed completely that he would never wrong me. I said, "I love you." Then I said, "Don't ever do that to me, or I'll have someone kill you."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Internet Unlimited

Now, this is something I could get used to. I had a late meeting tonight so I had to ask Raph to fetch the girls for me. He left work early, and the text says, "I'll get them but I have to do work tonight." He has been diligently working for almost four hours straight now. Therefore, for four hours, I have had free reign over one of the laptops, without someone hawking over my shoulder, trying to peep what's going on these days on urbanmams.com. Uninterrupted web time is right up there on the list of priorities; up there with Saturday morning runs, mama nights out, date nights with Raph, and quality play time with each of the girls. I could go on forever catching up on emails, blog reading, blog writing, other writing. Alas, he says, "I'm almost done here." So, I am too. Time for cuddles.

Friday, February 03, 2006

What about cho friends?

Ten years ago, the question was: "Can men and women really be friends?" In high school and beyond, we talked that one to death. Today, we are so beyond that. Can we stay friends when we stay in NY and you don't? Can we stay friends when we become parents and you don't? Can we stay friends when we move to PDX and you move somewhere else? Can we stay friends when we're still in school and you aren't? Can we stay friends when we're still single and you're committed?

How close do we stay with friends through the ages? Through the changes? Through it all? Raph's bestest friends in the whole wide world arrive today and tomorrow. There are five in their core. Raph has known one of them longer than he has known his own brother. Three of the five of them went to college together. Three of the five of them have spouses and children. Three of them have gone to grad school. It helps to go through similar things.

Raph & his best friend are tight through it all. It's inspiring, actually. As Raph's best friend floated further and further west, they kept it real. While Raph grew up in ny, his friend moved to LV, SF, then HNL. Through it all, seriously, they were tight. Tight when Raph & I first started dating. When Raph proposed to me, his boy was right there by his side. Well, he was behind the bushes in the car crouched down videotaping the whole thing. So, yeah, he was right there by his side.

I think about my friends. I make tons of them at every stop. Then, do we fall out of touch? There are tons of friends that I miss. But, then again, our worlds are so different. Do we have stuff to talk about? Will I completely miss what is important to you and will you completely miss what is important to me? A college friend was in PDX recently. I was a little afraid he'd be freaked out with all our homeyness, our domestication, our familyness. He's single, though getting pretty close to marriage, no kids, good career. It's different. I guess we connected. He played with my kids. He said he wanted to start sending them birfday gifts and stuff. That touched me, meant he connected with us, even though we're in such different places.

I missed the boat to connect this week with a friend who I am always looking for ways to connect with. The window was there, but I pretty much closed it. Now, I'm blaming it on how we're in such different places, and how I just don't get it. The fact is, I should've. I should've gotten it. If you take away the kids, the career, the significant others - if you take it all way - this person gets me. And I get her. But, if you put all that stuff on top of you - the kids, jobs, etc - do we still get each other?

I have another friend. We don't call each other best friends, but sometimes it's because we have our respective best friends from high school. We may as well be BFF. We've grown so close in the past decade as we've taken similar journeys. It's like we're cruising along in life side by side: graduating, working, grad school, dating, engagement, marriage, children. It's all that stuff - and how we deal with all that stuff - that has brought us so close together. We share so much. We share beliefs and we share experiences. We connect on top of all the stuff.

Well, you know what they say: you have friends for a reason, for a season, and for a lifetime. It's corny. I know. I just want to be able to connect. Despite what's going on in our lives. I need to work on that. Connection beyond the kids, career, spouse. Connection at the core.

Monday, January 30, 2006

From Raph, 4.02pm

"There is a huge rainbow outside my window, and it ends right near a pine tree near the place where we got massages. Really cool."

That message made me smile. Raph sharing about the rainbow? Smile, smile, smile.