Monday, August 12, 2013

Mama Finds Her Ommm Spot

Being a full time mama to a very precocious, strong-willed, almost 4 year old girl is pretty awesome. I love her enthusiasm for learning, her excitement about life and her willingness to help. Her determination rocks too....except when said determination is to make her own way of the world, and not in the way I'd like to see things happen. Now, don't get me wrong, I truly appreciate an opinion. I'm from California, remember? And I've lived in San Francisco for over 10 years, so opinionated folks are my homies. Except when the opinion is coming from my child. And it's an opinion or a stuck-in-the-mud-and-not-moving position. That's usually about the time when I say to the hubby, "this is your daughter!"

Since we've moved from San Francisco to Dallas, I feel like the determination to do everything differently than how I would prefer has gotten stronger. Could be simply because she's getting older, getting closer to the ripe old age of 4, thus making her an expert opinion on just about everything, and of course, much more knowledgable than mom. Could be because everything is new, so she's trying to establish herself in a new pad, a new city, a new routine, trying to make new friends. Could be, because secretly she's sitting in bed at night plotting, very Dr. Evil like, "now how do I take my mom to the limits of her patience, test that patience, give up just a smidgen to let her think she's got one on me and then continue to test, heeee heee hee?!" In all honesty, I doubt it's the latter but I'm thinking the former has something in the mix.

Either way, I'm having to find some serious ommm, without being able to enjoy a nice relaxing glass of vino in the evenings. Exercise usually does the trick and just as I had gotten back into a pretty impressive gym habit, considering my size and point of pregnancy, kiddo #2 decided to create some slight strain on the bod, so I've had to cut back in the last week. Hot nights on the town with the gals is a guaranteed stress reliever but my first Mom's night out of the month is tonight and lucky me, I've got one planned for Thursday too.

Writing seems to be a good outlet too, so if you see more and more of these thoughts spilled out, it's lil ol' me, trying to come to terms with being a calm and serene mother, only screaming with my mouth shut, in the bathroom, with the door shut. I'm not saying I make it to the other room every time but I try to remind myself to put my feet in her little shoes, and honestly try to look at her world. It's a pretty controlled environment, and having so little power and control over any situation on any given day would make me a crazy lady too. So I just think over and over again, empathy, empathy, serenity and peace at home. Usually does the trick. But not always.

So that's where the MNO's, the secret stash of chocolate chip cookies, a new recipe combined with a great Pandora station and the killer view of the marina and lake come into play. So far I'm pretty proud of my ability not to lose it every time the kiddo and I have a stand-off, which have come to look  a lot like a scene out of one of the Western flicks her grandpa is so fond of watching.

How do you manage to stay calm in the face of a stand off?? I'd love to hear it!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

NorCal Mama Settles In...And Starts To Melt

Well, it's been just over a month since we made the BIG move to the BIG D. My experience was rather enjoyable actually, thanks to a First Class ticket for the kiddo and myself. It's a whole new world beyond those curtains I tell ya! Our arrival was smooth, and our transition in becoming pool devotees was pretty quick, although apparently the powers that be really wanted to make me feel welcome in the Lone Star State. News Flash! The month of July '13 in Dallas was one of the coolest in decades. Yeah folks, I'm talking about highs in the 90's with lows in the high 60's, unheard of, according to seasoned Texans. Having grown up in the Sac Valley, I actually dealt with these temps rather well, in fact, was enjoying them, being acclimated to 70's and 80's with lows in the 50's in Marin and the Bay Area. Joined a couple of mother's clubs, started driving everywhere, and realized I still couldn't hit the parks unless it was before noon or after 6pm. It's library fun, pools, water parks, gym class and shade for us, probably until about mid-September.

Now, about this hot weather. I'm sure being the proud owner of a basketball style belly is adding to the heat factor. But it's hot. Super-duper hot. Like it's been in the 100's every day for a week and shows no sign of a cool front, anywhere on the horizon. I've almost been wishing my weakness was kinda like the Wicked Witch of the West, you know, the gal who melts when splashed by a bucket of water? Yeah, I'm thinking about that, a lot. Cause I'm melting without the water. Give me water, give me a pool. Lucky for us, the sweet spot we landed is about 100 feet from a fantastic pool that seems to be open just about all hours of the day. Also lucky for us, the Cullen Clan of Texas are the proud owners of one of the nicest pools in which I've ever spent time, complete with a fabulous view of the lake, not bad at all! So we'll stick to water during the day, hanging at the park at night, finding indoor play spots and just getting used to the weather. I'm sure, or at least, I'm hoping, next year I'll be adjusted and since I won't be sporting the beach ball belly, it will be a little more tolerable.

Till next time, think of a pool and think of me!