Current conditions: Happy with a chance of ditzy

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Party people


Parties mean something different after you have a kid. Before K was born going to a party meant possibly dressing in something cool and enjoying some food and drinks with friends, talking and laughing until you're too tired to do either or they run out of booze. If you brought something it usually came from a liquor store and if it didn't come from there it was the main ingredient. It sometimes meant crashing at a friends because drinking and driving is bad. If you were single it was a chance to meet a potential partner or at least someone to flirt with. That was then. Now a party conjures up images and sounds of screaming kids hopped up on all kinds of sugar, what to wear is usually decided on location and the only concern is the need for a sweater. What to bring? Whatever is loud or messy, those seem to be the most fun gifts to get now. Food? I can say that it's about 90% pizza and that's on a good day. Today we were off to a couple of parties, one was a kids party for a classmate of K's and one was at D's friend G's house, a throwback to the before K kind.

It was going to be a long day, Saturday meant karate and piano, it also meant we had to deal with having only one car since D's was still at his office, left there last night. I figured out the best possible logistics for this day. D and K could go to karate while I get ready, they can then grab some food and pick me up. I'll go buy a gift for the party during the lesson. We ALL go to the kids party (haha) and then go to the grown up party. The other car will have to wait.

Things went well, just like I planned. K's music school is conveniently located next to a party supply store, a place that has everything even the fixin's for a cool gift. I put something cute together during the lesson, happy that I didn't have to drive anywhere. Then we were off to the party. I knew this would be a cool one, the parents we were cool and so was the kid. She's one of the moms that I always look forward to seeing and enjoy spending time with her. We said our hellos and K took off, I don't think we really saw her again until it was time for cake. All the food was homemade and it was wonderful. They even thought to bring coffee. I was pretty happy with that, I was going to need all the help I can get staying up later.

After a few hours we left, G lives pretty far and we needed to get on the road. We're never sure of who is going to show up over there. There's always the usual suspects but sometimes an unexpected guest pops in and we get to see an old friend. This time it was a couple that I don't know all that well, D has seen them more, they are cool and have a 12 year old daughter GG I have never met. A quiet and shy girl who suffers from autism and has been labeled low functioning. We didn't say much to K about it, we just told her to have patience because it was hard for GG to communicate. K is great, she doesn't care if people are different or act in a way she's not familiar with, she just wants to play, and play they did. Every so often K would ask GG's mom a question, trying to figure out her new friend. They swam together for a while and both seemed to really enjoy each others company. They left early though which made K look for another friend. We were all chatting and drinking, K was running around helping G cook and showing C (G's wife) hew piano skills.

That's around the time the language started. Believe me, I'm no saint, I certainly have my moments but in front of kids, especially mine, I try to go easy. Every few minutes a fuck, shit, fucking, douchebag or combination of these words flew out of the mouth of someone at the house. K is cool, she knows that some words are bad and she should not repeat them (she doesn't). After a while it got annoying and even she was telling people to shut up. We try not to make people censor themselves but come on, it felt like it was almost done on purpose. When the words went from the usual swear words to talk about sex and masturbation we left. Some things are just too difficult to explain. Besides it was getting late and we had a long day.

I am so hoping that I don't have to explain masturbation to a 6 year old.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Driving the local


Drove the local today and for some reason fate was on my side. I thought for sure I would run into traffic or parking problems but luckily neither was a problem. The only problem was my energy which lasted almost through the audition on Hollywood.

First stop was to pick up our friend D at her place in the Pali Highlands, not far from where we live, then it was off to Venice for our mani/pedis. We always go to the same place, they have the spa chairs that K and I love and they are pretty cheap by Los Angeles standards, $20 for a spa manicure and pedicure, and a pretty decent one at that! We had a nice time being pampered. K is an expert by now and sits there like she's been doing this her whole life (probably because she has!). After we were all dry and beautiful it was of to the mall in Westwood. D was going to have lunch with K and I was going to meet my D at Dr. Phil. The last minute casting threw a monkey wrench into the plan, we were going to go to the nail place after Dr. Phil! Traffic was light so I showed D around the mall a little. At least until K made me leave so she could have lunch with her friend.

I made it to Dr. Phil in a few minutes and got good parking, I was worried, we've never been there on a Friday afternoon. D showed up soon after that and we walked in together. Not going to bore you with the details but it was a recap of D's recent trip up north. A good session, it was pointed out that I never told D what I felt about the whole thing. I never really praised him for going up and doing the impossible or at least the very difficult. So if you're reading this D, I am extremely proud of you, I always am, I just never say it. Sorry, I'll work on that. For reals.

After we said our goodbyes I went back to the mall and picked up the girls who were waiting for me at the puppy store. A store that is hard to leave, the cutest puppies just begging to go home with you, they all seem to respond to K making it twice as hard, actually it's worse than that: K is on a dog kick now and is completely obsessed with them. She's even saying that she'll pick up the poop if we get her a dog. That's a conversation for another year. I managed to pry her away from the puppies and got back into the car to drive D back to the Highlands.

Then it was back to Hollywood, I knew the freeway would suck so we took Sunset the whole way, not a bad decision, we made it in plenty of time and even got great parking. There were a few different castings going on and when I went to find where to go I realized that I had no idea, I told the assistant we were there for the "Confidential Project," she immediately looked at her list, checked off K's name and gave me 4 confidentiality agreements to sign, just for the audition. Didn't she know 6 year olds don't keep secrets? This was going to be something. I suppose I can't say what K had to do, especially after signing my life away. She was done pretty quickly and I called D to see if he wanted to meet for dinner, he did but needed an hour. I drove to the Grove to kill the time. I needed to go there anyway to see if K's pictures were up in The Children's Place (they were not) there was a huge sale and K walked out of there with a shirt, shorts, flip flops, a headband and new sunglasses all for under $10. I thought that was cool and we killed enough time, D was ready. I begged him to leave a car at his office and we'd get it over the weekend. I didn't want to drive another mile. We grabbed him and began the great dinner debate when K suggested Vito's. Done. We drove there and ate the best pizza in LA. Yum!

I have no idea how many miles I drove but this was route:

Home to the Highlands to Venice to Westwood to Beverlywood to Westwood to the Highlands to Hollywood to the Grove to Mid Wilshire where I gave up the keys.

Just another Friday.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day off?


Sort of. D decided that it was time for me to have some time to myself, his schedule wasn't too bad this week and he wanted some alone time with K. He took her with him to taekwondo and then to his office for a little while. After that they were meeting L and J to finally finish their books at Scribble Press and then lunch, after that it was back her to go swimming. I wished him luck. Usually he takes her to the park, not an activity laden day. I told K to listen to daddy but I wasn't worried, she's only really bad with me.

I didn't know what to do and stayed home putting things away all morning. I wanted to just stay in bed but for some reason I am still unable to do that. Time goes by quickly when you don't do anything although I remember it being the opposite way when I was younger. All of a sudden it was the afternoon. I jumped into the shower and got ready, I actually had a few things I really wanted to do. First, it was $2 tank top day at Old Navy, since that is my summer wardrobe I found the offer too good to pass up and going without K would be cheaper. Somehow she always manages to leave that store with a giant shopping bag. Somehow, that's funny. It was strange walking around 3rd Street alone, walking into clothing stores and not having to say "please get off the floor" felt wrong. I went into Hardtail without the worry that K will imitate the yoga poses on the posters, I was even able to try on and purchase something without having to lift a child off the floor.

After that I decided to visit this resale store I like. There's nothing like finding some designer gem at basically the cost of the tax on the original price. It's another place I don't like to take K because I really need to look at the items and that's difficult when K is hiding under the racks. They had so many pretty things in there I took my time looking at all of them. I walked away with a cool purse that I didn't need but couldn't live without, ladies, you know what I'm talking about right? I called D to see where they were, they were finishing up a late lunch and were headed back to our place. I decided to be nice and pick up stuff for grilling later.

Going back home might have been a mistake but I was exhausted, not from the shopping but from the summer of entertaining K every minute. I was sick of shopping and didn't think my body could take any more caffeine. I arrived home to an empty house and returned my phone calls, then two screaming kids ran though my living room and I heard doors slamming indicating the end to my peaceful day.

The loud things were wrangled outside into the pool and I joined them after a while, they play so well together now it was actually nice to sit there and watch the men take care of the kids. I did nothing.

I got a call from K's commercial agent telling me about a confidential project commercial audition tomorrow at 4:30. That made my head spin also going to have lunch with K at the mall while I went to Dr. Phil with D, now I had to drive into Hollywood too? I almost said no but hearing that this was a cool project I said yes and went into plan mode, this is what I came up:

I would pick up my friend D early and we would all get our nails done, I would then drive to the mall, drop them off and they could have lunch and walk around. I would drive to Dr. Phil and have my appointment with D. After that I would meet up with the girls, walk around a bit and take D home and then drive to Hollywood. Sounded easy enough for me, we'll see how this works out. If it's a bad traffic day I'll be writing the recap from prison.

Day off? What the hell is that?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch


I remember the days when meeting a friend for lunch was easy. A call would be made, a time would be set and a plan would be made. That was before I had a kid, thankfully my friends have kids too because making lunch plans has become annoying. It goes like this: A call is made, the call goes to voicemail because I am in the bathroom putting a band aid on K's non existent injury. I return the call, it goes to voicemail because my friend is changing her babies diaper. She will text me to tell me that she can't call me but I can't return the text because I am now driving. I call her back from the car but she can't talk because she is on the other line. We try again the next day.

Sadly, this is exactly what happens. It takes days to make a plan for lunch. I thought these things would be easy in summer but they aren't. When the plan is finally made, the day and time set, something always comes up to force a cancellation. For my friends it's usually a sick kid, a late babysitter or a forgotten appointment. For me it's usually a last minute casting. Today I had lunch with a friend that started out as a birthday lunch for us sometime around the end of May. It was supposed to be a kid free lunch but for that to happen it would have to be September.

So K and I met my friend M and her adorable 9 month old daughter in a nice place for lunch in Santa Monica. Luckily they put us in the back, one sight of the baby scared the staff. It was actually pretty mellow, M's little cutie E was happy to play peek-a-boo with K, who was happy to entertain because there was a buck in it for her. She even ate her lunch, well most of it, at least enough to get Pinkberry. The talk was about househunting and school budget cuts, the beverage of choice was coffee, of course. A far cry from the giddy new boyfriend discussions over cabernet. Times change, I guess. Instead of rushing back to work we strolled around Montana Avenue stopping to look at cute clothes. For our kids.

After a nice walk we said our goodbyes, no office to return to, M had to pick up her son at camp and I had to get K to karate. We were no longer the center of our own lives and we were fine with that. We both decided before we had our kids that when that time came the kids would come first. That didn't mean that we wouldn't take time out for ourselves, it meant that we would take our role as parent as seriously as we took our jobs, except no drinking while we're working.

Is it annoying that it takes months to plan a 90 minute lunch with one other person? Sure. Would either of us have it any other way? Nope. Our ladies lunch today was fun in a way we never thought possible. I remember back in the day seeing moms and their kids at lunch and thinking that I was lucky to come and go as I please and felt bad for the dressed down mommies. Today seeing young girls having lunch in work clothes makes me thankful that I don't have to rush and grateful that I don't have to wear heels.

More coffee? Sure, we're not in a hurry!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Song of the day


Wilco - Sky blue sky

Perfect song for the day and the week. Where is the sky blue sky? Why is it cold and cloudy? How am I supposed to entertain a six year old in the summer if we can't go swimming? Without the pool I got nothing!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Free Agents


K's had the same agent for years, six of them in fact. It was around this time six years ago when I was bored one day and sent in her pictures to a few agencies. The wait was awful, all sixty minutes of it. We went with the one that got back to us first and never left. I hate change, most of the time. Although K found success at the agency I felt like something was missing. Surely a lack of communication was a common thing at all agencies, I found out that it wasn't and one agent, L, specifically stood out for being the best. I met with her by accident at a photo shoot years ago and decided that I wanted to go with her, she handled most of the kids that got all the jobs. The problem was K's agent was steadily getting her work and we both felt bad. L said any time I was ready she would be happy to take K. Time went by and L started her own agency and after a few months it had become the best agency for kids in Los Angeles.

Every few months something would happen and thoughts of switching filled my head. Loyalty and fear of change kept me and K at the agency. Time passed and annoying problems turned into complete frustration and one day I just did it. I sent an email to L asking if she was still interested in K, minutes later I got a reply, she was thrilled and would love to rep K. I was the one that was thrilled L's girls were known to be the most beautiful girls in the business, she didn't take just anyone either. So the first part of that was done, now I had to tell K's agent.

Since we were going on vacation I would do it after that. When we go back from Mexico L took a vacation with her family, so I pushed it off a week. The next week K was on hold for jobs and had direct booked another one. Another week had to go by. Finally, after weeks of waiting it was time. Today was the day. I was nervous, I never fired anyone before, how was I going to tell someone that I really liked we would not be working with them anymore? Crap. I took a deep breath and dialed the number. Voicemail. Are you kidding me? I left a message to please call me as soon as possible. When the call was returned I was suddenly nervous, was I about to make a mistake? Could I even go through with it? I went to my bedroom and sat on my bed and told K's agent that we were leaving. She was not happy and tried to get me to stay, I told her the truth about why we were leaving. I also told her that it may be a mistake but it was something that I had to do. She was wonderful and told me any time we want to come back the door would be open. I still have ties there, I only took K out of their Print department, Commercially and Theatrically she was still there.

I hung up and cried, then I called D and told him I was afraid I made a mistake. He just listened to me ramble until I was done and told me I've been wanting this for years. Oh yeah. I emailed L and told her we were hers. I got an autoresponse saying she was in the Los Angeles office today. I sent her a message seeing if we could drop off the pictures she needed, I was thrilled that she was up here, she mostly works from her home office way south of here. She was happy to have us stop by. We got in the car and went to meet her. I was surprised to see so many friends there, it wasn't just an agent in an office, it was like seeing a friend at home. We saw some friends and made some new ones. We stayed for hours and the sadness I felt earlier had changed to joy. We didn't just have a new agent, we were part of a family.

Later that night I received an email from L welcoming me to the family and asking if I was feeling better, she knew how hard that phone call was. That email alone told me that I made the right choice, that K was in good hands.

Reading this back it seems like a stupid problem to have but this has become a big part of our lives, it might have started out as a hobby but it's turned into something more. The more time we spend doing it the more it becomes imperative that the people we surround ourselves with have our best interest at heart.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

He returns!


I had so many potential plans for today. I was going to go out for breakfast with K, invite people over to go swimming, visit some friends, a whole bunch of things to occupy the hours we would have to wait for D to finally come home. When I woke up I realized that I was not going to do any of those things. I was going to clean up the mess that K and I made and maybe go swimming with her. I called L who was maybe going to come over and told him that I didn't think I could deal with more than one kid in my house today. The last few days had taken it's toll and I was checked out. D and I talked for hours last night and then again in the morning. I was not up for company, I was not up for driving. In fact the only thing I was up for was the sound of my man's car pulling into the driveway.

Time went quickly, I played with K we ate and we cleaned. When we were done we changed for swimming and as soon as we were finally ready to step out into the sun we caught a glimpse of D's car from my bedroom window. The scream from K was a clear indication that D was missed. Like he needed any indication. He came home kissed his girls and was escorted to the pool where we stayed for a few hours.

I guess I didn't really pay attention to the time, it was closer to bedtime than dinnertime so I scrounged up some leftovers and passed it off as a meal. The three of us were just happy to be together it didn't matter. We put K to bed with the promise that D would sleep in her bed, her reasoning was that she had spent the last few nights in my bed and it was his turn now. It was hard to explain to her why we would want to spend some time together. Alone.

So for the few hours we had alone together we decided not to discuss D's "trip" or anything related to his mother. I was happy for the brief vacation, little else had occupied my mind for days. We just hung out and enjoyed each other's company, watched a few shows on the DVR and discussed our plans for the week. Completely and successfully avoiding the one thing that had always come between us in the past. We both new that wasn't the case anymore but giving it a rest was the way to go. Finally, neither one of us could take it, we had to get some sleep. We got ready together and parted ways hoping to get some rest.

I knew I would be sleeping well, my husband had come back from the past and was ready for our future.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Girl power


So usually on Saturday mornings D takes K to karate and then her piano lesson, while I thought I was going to skip karate and lounge around in the morning I decided stick with the plan. Karate was actually fun for me, I got to discuss my favorite books with a cool dad that lives around the corner from us. Then we went to piano, I was early and took K to Taco Bell, apparently that's what they do. Yuk! I was a little worried about the lesson, I know nothing about music. I was told all I had to do was take notes, so that's what I did. I was impressed with K's piano skills, she's doing so well!

After the lesson we went home and changed and then we went to pick up my, (sorry, K would be upset if she saw that) our friend D, she was going to spend the rest of the day with us and hopefully join us for dinner. We didn't exactly have a plan but we wanted to do something outside, not to far with good parking. My car automatically drives to Santa Monica so we went with that. It was fun, we walked around and did some shopping. Originally K and I were going to stay in a hotel and order room service, hopefully this would make up for it. It was fun having a girls day out, we got to know D a little better and she was not scared away by K and I.

We decided to have dinner at El Cholo, a local Mexican restaurant that D have never been to but wanted to try. I was bummed because I could have used a margarita but I have a rule, one drink if I am driving alone absolutely NO drinking if I am driving K. Of course once I'm home I'm free to do what I want. It had been two days with no break or time to myself. I'm not complaining, I know that D is not on a pleasure trip and he would much rather be with us. K is sometimes a handful when we're out with friends, she likes to show off. She also gets a little spirited when she's upset, like when she misses her daddy. The combination was a little tough to take. We were both extremely happy about D's return.

All in all it was great day, productive in the morning, fun in the afternoon and delicious in the evening (El Cholo rules!).

Then I had a heart-to-heart with D, or at least I tried, D was in a place with no cell service (only one of the reasons I can't stand the place). It was difficult for him but he was doing the work and saying all the things that needed to be said. Things that went back over 10 years. He was physically and mentally exhausted and missing his girls. He was happy to hear that we missed him just as much.

While I loved my girls weekend it was definitely missing something.

I'm not one of those girls that stays home with my husband because I have to, I actually want to, I like to spend time with D and it's sad that very few people feel that way. Today hanging with my friend D I learned that she was like me. She likes to spend time with her husband and doesn't get why that seems weird to other people.

It wasn't just girl power today, it was positive girl power. The kind I want my daughter to emulate.

Thanks D, both of you!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

TGIF?


Sure, whatever. They're all the same to me. Friday's are a cause for celebration but only because I have D home for 2 days to distract and entertain K. Except for this weekend, he's up dealing with a whole other issue. This Friday felt like a weekend to me and I kept asking what day it was. How sad that the 6 year old can keep up with it. In the morning we were both sort of lonely and waiting for D, even though we knew he wasn't there. I thought breakfast would be fun and in another serendipitous moment a plan fell right into our laps. A friend of a friend who has a daughter K adores asked us if we wanted to meet at a local place to break bread. A place that we love but don't frequent often, which is ridiculous because K goes to school with the son of the couple that runs the place, and we adore them. It will be added to our list with a promise of heavy rotation.

We got there early and chatted with S who runs the place, once our friends walked in it became a gigglefest. I managed to pry K away from her friend to ask what she wanted and she begged me for her usual. This was going to be difficult, her usual is eggs over easy and bacon. Why is this a problem? Unless eggs are hard boiled K gets a strange allergy to them. Most times she doesn't care, it's a little itchiness in her mouth, she complains for a bit but then gets over it. I said OK only after she promised a thousand times not to complain about her mouth. We had a nice breakfast, hung out and talked for a bit but had to leave, we were continuing our playdate with L and his son J a little later and were all going to have dinner.

We came home and got ready for the errands we had to do when K told me she had a belly ache. She went into the bathroom with her OK Magazine and hung outthere a while. A few minutes later she called for me. Her belly was feeling better but she was upset because (and I apologize in advance for TMI) "water was coming out of her butt." Great. I suppose it's my fault for letting her order her own breakfast. Poor thing, she sat there for a while with me next to her holding her hand. After a while she felt better and I moved her to the couch with some bread and club soda. I called L to let him know that our playdate was going to start a little late. I wanted K to relax for a while before going anywhere. We decided that K would remain home and if she was completely better we would go out to dinner.

I allowed her to watch a few cooking shows which made her hungry, I took this as a good sign and decided to go on with our dinner plans. Dinner at 7:30PM at a local favorite, summer hours meant late dinners with kids were OK. I was happy to see that K was back to her old self when she flirted with the host who remembered her from the last few times we were there. We had a wonderful dinner and took the party back to our place and played Wii Resort. D called and I put him on iChat so he could be part of the playdate. It was strange to have him in our living room hundreds of miles away.

I hope he's doing OK.

I missed him.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swingers


So it was another day for taxi mom. K had a shoot in Lakewood. Don't know where that is? Don't worry, neither did I and I'd been to the location before! It's in Long Beach and that meant the 405 South my least favorite freeway. It was raining when we woke up which meant that my 45 minute drive without traffic was going to be bad, this wad the 405 you know. This was a hard morning for us because D was going up to visit his mother. This was no pleasure trip, he was going up there on a mission. He was finally going to confront her and call her on her bad and abusive behavior toward me. It wasn't going to be easy, it was impossible to discuss anything like this with her. She always manages to make herself sick, making confrontations impossible. D was in a horrible position and I know that I had a part in putting him there. I needed this to be done, unfortunately this was something that could not be done over the phone. D had never really called her on her shit and this was going to help not only me but him as well.

So as we left for our photo shoot and said our farewells as D went off to battle. I wished him luck and kissed him goodbye, I did not envy him and hoped that he was ready for anything. For the first time ever I was happy to be on the 405S and not whatever freeway my husband was on. Even with traffic, even with rain.

Traffic was actually great and we made it to Lakewood an hour early. I knew I would need gas on the ride home so we filled up the car to kill time and then drove slowly to the location. We were still early, they were still setting up but told us to relax and hang out. The shoot was for Intex, a company that makes inflatable pools and toys. The photographer Michael came up to us and introduced himself, then he looked at K and said he remembered her from last year, she was a cool one. Last year she shot for some inflatable pool and they let the kids swim in the big pool after they were done. The pool with the diving board that none of the boys would jump off, K got out of the pool, looked at the boys and shook her head. Then she ran up the diving board and did a perfect cannonball. Michael laughed at the boys and declared K queen of the pool. A minute later they all followed. Cool that he remembered that.

Today's shoot was for the box of a swing set, K picked out her own wardrobe, I did her hair and she was off to test out the product. There were three other kids in the shot and they soon joined K. They shot for about 45 minutes and K did not get off the thing once. The other kids were rotated in and out when they got tired but K stayed on, she even got mad when one of the boys tried to slow her swing down. I watched and listened as K had the time of her life. When they were done she hugged everyone goodbye gave a high five to Michael. On the way home she said that she had fun at that audition. I reminded her that that was the job, there was no audition, "Oh, that's why it took so long" she said. Years in this business and she still gets them confused.

After the shoot we had an audition, so there was no time to stop. We made it back to the westside in less than an hour and drove around for a while looking for parking. Just when I was about to give up a dream spot opened up for me. I prayed there would be a huge crowd inside, we lucked out, not too bad, we were in and out in less than 20 minutes. I told K we could go to the mall and have lunch, she likes the sushi place there and she more than earned it after doing so well on her shoot. We had a late lunch and did a little shopping. We got home and realized that D was not going to come home, we were both sad. I made us dinner and cuddled with my little swinger. We called D and chatted for a bit, I put K to bed and retired to the couch. I was exhausted. How was I going to get through the next few days without a second to myself? I hoped for some cooperation from K and strength for D. For me, I hoped to find the energy to keep up with my daughter.

Tall order, I know. It's like asking for light traffic and good parking.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Taxi!


Today was going to be a mellow day, K and I were going to grab some lunch and maybe hit the dojo before picking up D to go to the Dodger game. D did some work with a company in his office building and they have been inviting him to their yearly pilgrimage to Chavez Ravine ever since. Last year K and I were invited and had a great time, we must have not offended anyone by rooting for the Mets (serendipitous for me!) because we were invited back this year.

While we were laying around playing Wii Resort I got a call from K's commercial agent. Could she make it to an 2:00PM audition in Hollywood? She needed to replace someone. Uh, sure. Now what? If we went and waited for D we'd have to kill 4 hours. Or I could drive to Hollywood, back to home and back to Hollywood and then to the stadium. Which was going to be easier? Certainly driving back and forth was cheaper, waiting meant shopping and that meant The Grove. It was safer to drive. So we did. Oh yeah, the audition wardrobe was pajamas, so we'd be coming to change before karate.

I visually planned the day and decided I wasn't a stage mom I was a taxi driver. No biggie. I cleaned up K got us ready, had some lunch and took off. No traffic on the first leg of our trip, that was good. We made it to the casting office in record time, they weren't even back from lunch. I filled out the size card and watched K play with my phone. A few minutes later they called K's name and in she went. Two minutes later she came out gave me a hign-five and we took off. Sometimes it bugs me that I drive all over the place for a two minute audition but I can't really complain, our drive in easy compared to a lot of people we know. Some come all the way from San Diego for the same two minute meeting. Traffic was easy going home and we had time to chill and relax before going to karate. K can't go tomorrow because she's booked on a job and has an audition after that, there no way I'm going to squeeze a class in there. Although that's exactly how today went. We went to class and it was empty, she basically had a private lesson. I love the summer in LA! With kids in camp and on vacation we can do whatever we want without a crowd sometimes.

We bolted from the dojo because I knew this time we were not going to be so lucky with traffic. I was right but it didn't matter, we didn't need to be there for the first pitch, football rules in our house, we were going to the baseball for the food and the company. It was strictly for fun. I did OK trafficwise and gathered D, actually I made him drive, I was over it at that point and wanted to be the passenger instead of the driver. We made it to the game pretty quickly and met our group. I was happy to see other kids, K was happy to see all the food available to her. We didn't do too bad, I didn't even drink, I knew I had a long drive the next morning and I didn't want to be cranky and have a headache. We actually stayed for most of the game and cheered for the Dodgers as the innings flew by, they won the game 2 - 0. At least I think that was the score, I didn't really pay attention.

D happily drove us home.

I am seriously considering painting my car yellow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Say Cheese (again)


So K isn't working today, we sort of planned on her shooting either today or tomorrow and made no other plans which left it free! I decided it would be a great day to introduce K to Brie. Don't know Brie? How about her proper name, The Grilled Cheese Truck? It was going to be parked at noon in West Los Angeles for lunch and we were going to be there. I posted our intention on Facebook and off we went.

K was so excited, she's heard me talk about this for months and was finally going to have "the best grilled cheese ever." The traffic sucked (duh) and we were a little late, the line was there but not too bad, we even got great parking. We stood for a while and the line grew, K could not believe all these people were standing around waiting to overpay for a cheese sandwich. We discussed our options and K chose the truck special: Cheesy Mac and Rib, I was impressed at her choice. I had the special, like always, today's was a melted caprese, and we split an order of tots. Gotta have tots.

The one problem with these meals on wheels is the lack of seating. Most of the trucks are parked so people with actual jobs can grab their food and go back to their desks. For people like me (who work without pay or an office) we are on our own. Luckily I parked next to a nice patch of grass in the sun. Too bad K wanted to have a car picnic, it actually sounded like fun. While we were dining I received a call from my friend C who saw my Facebook post and was on her way. Cool, company and a chance to convert another friend to mobile meals. C arrived with her darling blond almost 3 year old son D, looking radiant and pregnant. She was about to have the perfect lunch! Although K and I were finished we waited for C and D in the now huge line, when they finally got their order we escorted them to our grassy patch and enjoyed the lovely weather. K was having fun letting D chase her around and she did her best to watch out for him (there was $1 for her if she did).

C and D loved their lunch and were happy to have made the short trip over. While we were wrapping up the impromptu playdate we were asked by a crew from Japanese TV, they wanted to interview us for a segment on how these trucks have become so popular. They clearly had no idea that they had met the cheerleader of the Grilled Cheese Truck. They interviewed us all and took shots of the kids.

Only in Los Angeles can you pay $20 for cheese sandwiches from a truck you had to find on the internet and then got stopped by a television truck.

I love LA!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Our new resort!


So last night D and I went to see MGMT while K had a sleepover at A's house. In the morning I was anxious to see her, I hate not seeing her beautiful face in the morning. I also could not get out of bed. Standing for hours in six inch heels is not something I recommend. It wasn't because I wanted to look hot, (that's a lie, I just I wore them for that reason yesterday!) I needed the height to see. They helped too, I was able to see better than if I wore my usual black boots, so what if I had to pay for it the next day. So what indeed. y neck, back and feet were killing me. I couldn't rush to get to A's house, I had to get there slowly. When I got there K was less than thrilled to see me, I just love to see her unhappy face when she greets me. If I had the strength I would have just thrown her over my shoulder and put her in the car. Instead I melted into A's couch and stayed there for a couple of hours. While I was vegging I watched the kids play Wii, K was wakeboarding and it looked like fun. After a brief lesson from the six year olds I was no longer old with back pain, I was ripping it up on the ocean. I needed this game.

On the way home we had to make a few stops, one of them was Best Buy, I really wanted this game! We did food shopping and picked up a few other things and headed home. I could not wait to play all the games! We didn't have too long to play though, K had to go to karate. She still on hold for most of this week and has a shoot on Thursday, so we're doing karate when we can. Class was great just a ew kids, K had her own sensei, I love that. After class we took off instead of the usual chit chat. I had games to play!

We had dinner fast, I wanted to show D our new game. K impressed us both with her wicked sword fighting skills, she won 10 out of 10 matches. Cool. We put K to bed and had some intense table tennis matches. I knew my arms would be sore in the morning, it was quite a workout. I keep forgetting how much I love these games, for the most part they double as my workout since I hate the gym. I only hope that when I wake up it's just my arms that hurt.

Serve!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MGMT


MGMT - Time To Pretend

So excited to see this band tonight! So not excited to drive forever to get there or to stand all night but that's the price you pay to see a great band on a small stage. Wearing the six inch heels for two reasons tonight, first because they are hot and second, I need the height. I'm only 5'3" the six inches makes the difference.

Enjoy this video, the song rules!

\m/\m/

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hold on!


No, not that kind of hold, the kind that my poor daughter is in a perpetual state of. Ugh, hate ending in a preposition. The last three auditions K had went extremely well, so well that she ended up on hold for each other them. I put no stock in these holds, as I've written before they only mean the client likes you and doesn't want anyone else to book you. Seems a little unfair but if you want to play in this business you have to shut up and take it. She did direct book a job for Thursday, which is cool but ironic. I drive to Pasadena and back twice, suffer through Farmer's Market parking and schlep to Hollywood only to land a job though a picture. Ridiculous. Why even bother?

OK, I'm not going to complain any more about this. Today. Lots going on this weekend anyway. The show last night, the plethora of activities today like karate and piano. Chilling by the pool and generally enjoying each other's company. Tomorrow D and I have tickets to see one of my favorite bands MGMT. K will be at another sleepover at A's. I'm not sure who benefits more from this arrangement. A likes to have a house full of kids and K adores both of her kids, occupying both of them. K gets to see what it's like to have siblings and when asked if she wants any she'll tell you that she likes being an only child. She loves to hang with her friends and their siblings but she is happy that it's just her.

So she got to spend the day doing her thing, just the way she likes it. She got to do it bookended between a night with a new friend and a sleepover with another. She is not concerned that there are companies out there interested in hiring her for their ads. She does not care that she may or may not get to work next week. Her only concern is that she gets to her sleepover on time. The only hold she cares about is the kind that involves her parent's hands.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's so funny?


Besides this picture? I love Sarah, in fact I posted that right here when I started this blog. Tonight D and I saw her at Largo, along with Louis CK and three other people that weren't funny. The day started out pretty mellow, we did a few errands, tried to plan activities for next week. Got an email saying K had direct booked a job for Thursday, the same Thursday she was supposed to do a shoot with an amazing photographer. This week was going to be interesting. On hold AGAIN for two more jobs that potentially shoot Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. I am not going to hold my breath. Like I said last week a hold no longer means a job. Three holds though will hopefully up the odds a little. I hope.

The plan for tonight was simple. We were going to have dinner with DR and his family. DR is a guy that D does a lot of work with, he's really cool and a few months ago we had dinner with him, his wife J and their adorable daughter A. K and A hit it off immediately and they were so cute to watch, the adults had fun too. I'm not sure how it came up but DR offered to watch K while we were at the show (which was down the street from their house). When K found out she was so excited she wanted to go immediately, when she heard we were staying for dinner I got the evil eye. She gave me that "why are you hanging in my space mom?" look. I told her she could have dinner without us but only if it was OK with DR and J. I called D to let him know the situation and he took care of it. While I was happy to have dinner with friends I didn't want to do it at the expense of my daughter. Besides we were now free to have an actual date night. Again.

We found a little sushi place in a small hotel near the theater and took a chance. It paid off and we found a new favorite on that side of town. We had a wonderful dinner and then took our awesome seats for the show. The first few comics were awful, maybe we laughed a few times and then Sarah came out. She was awesome. I think I laughed the whole time she was on the stage. She's so cool, I honestly think that if we met we'd be friends. Really. Louis CK came out next and he was dirty! I loved it. Laughed through his whole set too. I laughed so much my face actually hurt.

When we went to pick up K we figured we'd just lift our sleeping girl from a bed to our car. Nope. She was up and so was A. They were playing in bed and they were seriously adorable. They did not want to say goodbye. Even at the late hour of 11:30PM they were wide awake in their protests. We promised to reunite them soon and managed to separate them. I know that we will honor this promise, I like when K hangs with cool kids.

I would end with a new joke but they are all pretty nasty!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Belt up!


So we started the day with a drive into Hollywood, again. This time it was to drop D at work because he left his car there after we all had dinner last night. It was also so K and I can be there for his orange belt test, we've never been able to see him in action and now was our chance. K was excited to see taekwondad do his kata and meet his sensei, Master Kim. K and I took a seat as D started his lesson, after a few minutes Master Kim had K join in the workout. K had no problem keeping up with them and I got it all with my SLR.

I could tell D was a little nervous having us there watching him. I made sure I didn't make eye contact with him, I would hate for either of us to burst into spontaneous giggles right there in the dojang. He was amazing, I have to say that. I caught a shot of him right before he broke two boards, he was on his toes with one foot and the other was pointed up to the ceiling. Take that Karate Kid! It was interesting seeing my man in his class, it was like watching someone else. I've never really seen him do anything like this before. I felt like a groupie watching a rockstar. No kidding. I never doubted his ability to master any task set in front of him but damn, my man has mad skills! He'll be happy to read this, while I am extremely description and effusive in my writing, verbally I kind of keep it myself. So if you're reading this D, yes, you are awesome. Watching you kick and break stuff was hot. Even in your white PJs, uh sorry, Gi.

OK, TMI, I know. I just felt the need to share. It makes me feel safe knowing that I am the wife of an orange belt and mother of a yellow belt. My own personal Kickass team (thanks N for that one!) I really need to find a martial art to learn. I thought about doing Krav Maga for so many reasons, one of them being the name it will give me: Krav Mama, so fitting with TaekwonD and Karate K. Plus it's from Israel, it would be a nod to my peeps and I like to call it Jewish Judo. I have some friends that do it and from the look of the pictures the post on Facebook it looks tough. I don't think I have the strength right now. Maybe once school starts again. By then I'll have a better reason not to do it!

I notice that having K home with me all day takes away from my writing (and everything really) I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. I am behind on my writing and just about everything else. My house is a mess, my car is filthy, the piles of things to be put away are growing and I seem to owe the world a phone call. I will get to these things but for now I am enjoying the time with my little gal pal. I'll get up to date on my blog, although the posts will be shorter, I'll clean up eventually, it might rain and rinse my car, the piles will get smaller and I will eventually call you back.

Eventually.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hurry up and wait!


So today was supposed to be an easy day for us. A casting in Santa Monica at 11:00AM and then a continuation of our playdate with L and J (the kids needed to finish their books at Scribble Press) after that. The audition was a breeze and we got great parking. Somehow I always end up in Santa Monica on Wednesday when they have the Farmer's Market, lucky for us we had to go to 5th Street and not 3rd. We were in and out in less than 10 minutes. I was getting K's lunch together and figuring out when we would meet L and J when I got a call from K's agent. Can we make it to a last minute casting in Hollywood? We cold go anytime up to 5:30PM. I asked K if she even wanted to go and she did, we decided to go later closer to the end of it. I called L and let him know we would have to skip out at 4:00PM giving the kids a couple of hours. They seemed fine with that and off we went. It didn't take long for the kids to tire of drawing so we left (again) and got them some treats at my favorite coffee place.

Since we weren't in the middle of finishing great works of literature we decided to leave for Hollywood a little early, I knew traffic would suck. As usual, I was correct. I jumped off the 10 and headed east on Olympic. Much better. On the way I called D and told him we would love to meet him for dinner if he had the time. He did. We made it to the casting location and managed to find decent parking, we walked through the door into a crowd. I sent K over to a family we knew and went to sign in. The girl seemed a little frazzled and asked what time we were scheduled. I told her we might have been a replacement because all I knew was that we needed to be there by 5:30PM, the girl went ballistic! She told me that the photographer had to leave by 5:00PM, no biggie I told her, we made it as fast as we could and if it was too late we were cool with that. She relaxed and called K's agent and yelled at her for giving the wrong time. This made me giggle. While we were waiting I got a frantic call from K's agent telling me to get to the casting right away and not to be there after 5:30PM. OMG I just heard the conversation that prompted the phone call, she clearly said 5:00PM (which was close to the time already). I told her that we were already there and she seemed relieved.

When it was K's time to go in they wanted me in there with her. I told them we don't usually roll that way and went in with her. She was to sit in a big chair and laugh. Easy enough. Then I was supposed to make her giggle. Not so easy, she doesn't like me in with her. She managed a cute laugh and they got a few shots and we were done. Usually you know if they are interested or not by the amount of pictures they take. We walked out and I called D to let him know we were on our way, when he asked how it went I told him that K did great but she didn't seem to be waht they were looking for. This happens a lot and we are fine with that. Plus we got to have a nice family dinner out.

We drove to D's office and had dinner at one of our favorite sushi places. K is a really picky eater unless the food is expensive. Then she eats like a champ. We discussed D's taekwondo lesson the next day. He was being tested for an orange belt and we wanted to be there. He called his sensei to make the test earlier. I like to make the most of our time so having the lesson early meant we could leave D's car at work and all go in together in the morning. It must be an OCD thing. I always do stuff like this. Besides I really did not feel like driving home again. My car hit 10K miles as soon as we parked at the casting.

We drove home with little traffic. WHile I was excited to see D's belt testing I was less than thrilled about driving back to Hollywood once again. But again, that's how w do things around here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Better luck next time.


The waiting is the hardest part. I totally get what Tom was talking about. This being on hold thing kills me. Back when K started in this business being put on hold meant that you got the job. Now it means that they like you (and a few other people) but they are deciding on who specifically fits the breakdown and they don't want anyone else to book you. That was the case this week. K was up for a huge national commercial and it came down to her and another girl. I sweated for hours and then found out via Facebook. It seems the other girl's agency is like a family and they post congratulations when a kid books. More on this agency next week. Long story.

Anyway, I had to tell K and for the first time ever, she was crushed. Not so much because she felt she lost out on something but because she knew it wold be fun. I felt bad for her, I asked if she wanted to take a break from the biz and she said "No way mama, I'll get the next one that good for me." Wise words from the six year old professional. In my head I knew that made a mistake (what kind of mom would I be if I didn't feel that way?) but K happily moved on to the next. D brought her home a little Tinkerbelle cake as a consolation and the commercial became a memory.

Honestly, I don't know how grown up actors deal with this. I know that you can't take it personally but you put in so much effort just to be rejected most of the time. This business is not for the faint-hearted. I love my daughter's attitude about this though, I also am proud of the fact that she knows it's a group effort. She knows that it's not just about being cute and smiling for a few snapshots. Even at six she knows it's about dedication and follow through, principles she applies to her karate and piano lessons. She knows that if she's not going to give her all she doesn't belong there. This too is a group effort. She needs someone to drive her, see that she has what she needs and is prepared for anything. For the most part it's me who does this during the week, and I do it happily as it's my current occupation. On the weekends, it's mostly D. He takes her to the Saturday karate class and then off to piano. I am musically challenged and am useless at the music studio. I make her practice at home but honestly I can't tell her if she's doing it right, to me if it sounds good, it's good. I'm a rock star at auditions though.

So now it's on to the next for us. Tomorrow she has another audition and I know that we'll do our best. Both of us, we're Team K!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Call back?


K had a callback for a commercial she auditioned for last week. I was glad she was called back but not thrilled about driving back to Pasadena. We also had a playdate scheduled that day which had to be pushed a little later. We got to the callback early (of course) and K hung out with a few kids. When she went in I knew she would do well, all she had to do was play on swings. Lucky! She came out holding hands with her audition partner. Cool. We heard that traffic going home was light so we took off, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in traffic. We made it home in record time. I knew we had the playdate so my friend L and I texted until we figured out a plan, we would meet in Santa Monica at a place the kids had been to before, a place where they can make their own books. Perfect. First I had to feed K, she was hungry and only wanted mashed potatoes. Strange girl. She also wanted them to be purple. Easy enough, I understand the value of having lots of cool food coloring on hand. How do you think she knows about purple mashed potatoes?

We finished lunch and headed out the door. We met L and his son J at Scribble Press. The kids went to the workroom and we sat on a couch and chit chatted. It was perfect. After about an hour I got a call from K's agent. She was on hold for the commercial. I was thrilled, I knew K did a great job but I knew that it would be a fun spot to do. We wold have to cross our fingers, they were deciding between two girls. Somehow I felt that this one was Ks. I was suddenly so nervous!

We closed down Scribble Press and told the kids we would come back so they can finish their books. We said our goodbyes and the dinner dilemma began. D was working late and I decided to take my gal pal to dinner. We drove home and walked to a local Italian place that we tend to frequent only in the summer. We were disappointed to find it closed but amused to have run into sensei. We walked home and drove to another summer favorite. This place had actually closed down and reopened since the last time we were there. The food was better and kids eat free on Monday and Tuesday. Cool. The only bad thing was no wine, not that it mattered because I was driving but good to know for next time. We can bring our own!

We drove home and somehow K ended up going to bed around 10:00PM. She said since it was summer it didn't matter. Sure, it didn't matter to her, she's not the one behind in her writing, emails and cleaning.

I'll be taking a page from her book on the last one. Cleaning? Sorry, no time!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekend Recap


I've been so lazy since returning from Mexico. I wrote a little but mostly posted my vacation journal. Part of it is complete laziness but part is that summer vacation means absolutely no break from my little boss. I know I'm a little backed up again (not there, here) so I'll start with the weekend:

Big karate seminar at the dojo Saturday, we weren't sure if we were going, it was a long one. Of course it would have been impossible to keep K away and we were there a little after 10:00AM. It had been a really long week and we were lucky to be only a few minutes late, K went right in and did some training with the group of high ranking black belts that were visiting. This went on for a couple of hours. During the break we rushed across the westside to get K to her piano lesson and grab some food. We made it back to the dojo as they were starting up again. We noticed that most of the parents had dumped their kids and went off to enjoy their Saturday. I couldn't decide if they were lame or smart. I like watching K do her thing and D doesn't get to see it that often. Plus there was a surprise for K. Sensei was surprising her (and three other kids) with a new belt. They thought they were breaking boards for a demo when in fact they were being tested. The look on K's face was priceless and worth all the hours we spent there. Plus it was cool, we saw demonstrations that we hadn't seen before. At the end of the day K got a medal for participating and I have a feeling it will remain around her neck for weeks.

That night there was a dinner and big party planned for Sensei and friends, poor K, it was an adult-only party and she was crushed. We decided to have dinner at the same restaurant to show our support and so that K can at least feel like she was part of the celebration (as usual, we had no babysitter). When the dojo crew showed up they insisted we join them. I fought for a bit, I didn't want anyone to think they had censor themselves, they all agreed that K is cool and wanted her there. Dinner was great, the food as well as the conversation was top notch. I ended up sitting with a charming doctor who also happens to be a samurai. He was fascinating, I actually spent the entire dinner lost in conversation, I felt bad taking up all his time but he was cool. He invited me and K up to his house in Topanga, he thought K would like his goats and chickens. I love LA!!

We planned on leaving after dinner but were forced to stay and party. K was a hit dancing with everybody and having a great time. Even D and I were caught on film actually having fun. We decided that 11:00PM was late enough and finally took off, much to the disappointment of our six year old.

Sunday we had a birthday party to attend. Our friend L's four year old daughter was having her birthday at the carousel at the Santa Monica Pier. Kaegan doesn't usually like younger kids but adores this girl and was happy to go to her party. Some new (and amazing) friends from the dojo also happen to be friends with L so we got to see them again. D got out of having to go into the office and I was glad, not just to hang with him but the carousel makes me sick, literally. It was a small group but it was fun, we had our own roped off area which made it easy to just chill and watch the kids. It was also good because one of the dad's is a huge movie star and he was only bugged from a distance. He was cool too, totally hands on with his two daughters. He gave D the "dad nod" when he noticed another dude with his kid on the carousel. I couldn't believe how many people just stood there and took pictures. He was with his kids, that really bugged me. Luckily they are used to this and didn't seem to even notice. After hours at the pier we came home and relaxed by the pool. It had been a busy weekend and we were wiped out.

Unfortunately for me the weekdays aren't much different from weekends during summer vacation.

TGIF? Sure, if you say so.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Here are the last two days of my vacation journal. We really had a wonderful time. I think a week is perfect, while two weeks seems ideal, the reality probably isn't. We stayed long enough to bond but not too long to start getting on each other's nerves. We found a perfect balance, eating dinners out and breakfast in. We took our time and did not put ourselves under pressure to see sights we really didn't care too much about. This vacation was all about exhaling. The year leading up to it had been an emotional one and we were rewarded with quality time.

Vacations are addicting and we are already planning our next one.

Day 6

Our last full day here :( We woke up, had our bacon and fruit breakfast and then hit the waterpark. We decided that D would go back into town with Carlos and get food to bring back, it would be impossible to tear K away from her waterslides and army of new friends. I told him to get lots of food so that we could have lunch and dinner. Plus I wanted to try pozole a soup traditionally served on Thursday. He took off with Carlos and I chatted with a family we met while K played with their daughter. Perfect. After what seemed like days, D arrived with lunch (and dinner and breakfast). We went upstairs and had a feast. The pozole was incredible, I can't remember the last time I ate so much. They also gave him taquitos, tortillas and these pork rind things that tasted like puffy bacon, they were amazing. We went back downstairs and told K she could stay until they kicked us out. That's exactly what happened too, the kids were still sliding around even after they stopped pumping water through it. K was having a hard time saying goodbye to her new friends. They somehow convinced us to let them play in the morning a little. Checkout was at 10AM and our flight was at 4:50PM. We told them it would work out, not to worry.

We came upstairs and D ran a bubble bath for me which K promptly jumped into. Then he brought me dinner in it. I've never had dinner in a tub before. Somehow on vacation things that would never happen at home seem completely normal. I had a few drinks and relaxed. We put an exhausted K to bed and spent our last night in Mexico enjoying the beautiful evening on our balcony.

Day 7

We managed to get a later checkout (11AM) they also offered us a room to shower and change if we decided to go to the pool one last time. We did. It was great, K got to play with her new friends and we weren't forced to sit around the hotel lobby for hours. When it was time to go we said our goodbyes and got the families information, turns out they live close to us and a block away from our friends. We got the keycard to the courtesy room and went to get ready. When we opened the door we realized that we had really lucked out with the room we stayed in the whole trip. This room was on a low floor and was tiny. No kitchen, extra room or plunge pool. K decided that she felt bad for whoever had to stay in that room, D and I didn't say a word but we both felt the same way!

We went to the cyber cafe so D can check any last minute emails and then found our driver. The ride to the airport is short, we checked in and went through a brief customs check. We were informed that the hurricane currently tormenting the east coast of Mexico was delaying all the planes coming in and out of Mexico City and our flight had been delayed, they put us on another one and told us to hurry to the gate. I'm not exactly sure why we needed to hurry, maybe so we could get a comfy spot to wiat the hours we ended up spending there? After a while D went to find out what was going on, not an easy task in an airport with one english speaking person. He found out that we would have to move to another gate so we did. Then we found out the flight was canceled and were issued new boarding passes. I'm not sure how many times this happened, maybe four or five. Finally we all gathered around a gate that had a plane ready for take off. We stood right next to the door making sure that we were one of the first on, there was no way I was going to wait in the mess that was accumulating behind us.

We arrived in Mexico City with time to spare with a flight that was not canceled or delayed. We ran into a couple we had met at LAX and shared vacation stories while K danced around. Our flight left on time and was uneventful, we landed at LAX and was welcomed back by US customs agents. We got our luggage quickly and found the shuttle to take us back to my car. After over 10 hours in planes and airports we were finally about to be home.

As much as I love to go away, I love that moment when you get home. Especially when I made sure the house was spotless when we left. We put K to bed, unpacked and hit our own room for the first time in a week. We were exhausted, dirty, and hungry but only had enough energy to sleep.

It was nice to be home.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Acapulco, Mexico

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 4 and 5



Day 4

Another late start which was fine since it seemed to be a bit overcast, we took our time and had our fruit, coffee, yogurt and cereal. We were less than thrilled by the restaurants here at the resort and knew we would be too tired to venture out after a day at the water part so we switched it up a bit. I suggested a bigger meal for lunch and a quiet dinner in the room We knew we needed to go back to Walmart to get more bacon (we have become used to it as a morning staple) and a few other things but this time we would find a new driver and ask to go to a real local place, we found one quickly and after some master negotiating by my husband the plan was set. Carlos was going to take us to his local favorite spot, wait for us and then head over to Walmart and back to the resort. I wasn't too worried just skeptical, he parked in front of what was literally a hole in the wall. The look on D's face was priceless, once he saw the woman making tortillas in the front he knew we were in the right spot. Not one person spoke English but with some pointing and guessing we placed our order. All I'm going to say about the food is that we are going back tomorrow and Thursday, it was that good. We ordered so much it became our dinner as well. Walmart was Walmart, except everyone kept looking at us, we are clearly not local, it wasn't a bad thing, everyone smiles at us when K is around. Even the Policia in front of the store went and fetched a cart for us gringos. We were quick this time and made it out pretty quickly. We came back changed and went to the waterpark for a while and then the rain came again, we went up to the room and played in the plunge pool on the balcony. We also went to the cyber cafe for a while to check emails. K is supposed to work a job out of state and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything, I didn't. We also needed some Splenda for my morning java and one of the restaurant hostesses happily supplied it. We had dinner in bed and watched Iron Chef in Spanish. I have to say that all the reviews I read about this paid off, I was armed with a ton of knowledge and plan to write my own review on Trip Advisor when we return.

What I don't get was all the reports of bad treatment by the staff, I have to say that we have been treated like royalty from the second we got here. The staff is not only incredibly nice but I have to say way nicer than most of the guests, most of the people here blow, and there aren't that many Americans here. I can tell you that out of the Americans here we are the only ones who have ventured out besides the traditional Walmart trip, they all do that. I want to go to the Acapulco Princess before we leave, my grandparents used to stay there and I hear the food is good.

Now I'm off to my balcony to enjoy a cocktail or three.

Day 5

Kabooooooooooom!!!!!!!!!!!! This morning we woke up to the longest thunder I have ever heard, I thought it was a really loud maids cart but a few minutes later I saw the flash and heard it again. I wondered what we would do if it kept up. We stayed in bed for a while and the storm passed. We had our usual breakfast and took our time. It was still cloudy when we left but the waterpark and pool were already bustling and the weather was lovely, clouds never bothered me. D and K convinced me to finally go down the biggest of the slides, I was reluctant but gave in. It was awesome. A few hours of family pool time was interrupted by work (boo!) and D had to leave for an hour (BTW, an hour in D time is like 3 hours in real time). K wanted to float around the lazy river so we did that, for hours. Actually K floated, I held on to her inner tube and pushed her when she wanted pushing and kept her from the giant bucket waterfall that was scary and awesome at the same time. After that we did more sliding and then more river. I was exhausted when D finally returned. He came back just as K was making a new friend, a 9 year old girl who lived down here and used the hotel pool for fun. The family was cool and they all spoke perfect English. K is planning to hang with her tomorrow.

We made it back here and went to finally eat at about 8:30, we decided to give the resort restaurants one more chance mostly due to laziness and my inability to deal with a driver. Score, the meal was awesome, authentic Mexican food and some really great beer called Victoria, we'll be looking for that at home.

I was glad to have good food without the driver bullshit. We'll have that tomorrow when we get Carlos to take us back to the local place we went the other day. Oh yeah, the lazy river washed away my sunscreen and I am a whole lot darker than usual, and of course I was wearing my sunglasses so I have raccoon eyes. Pretty!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Days 1, 2 & 3



Day 1

We awoke in what I am sure is heaven. Realized we had nothing in the way of snack and did what any American family in a foreign country would do, we went to Walmart. I had done some research and knew that Walmart was close and full of the snacks and drinks we would need for the week at a fraction of the cost the hotel store would charge. We found a driver, negotiated a fair price and took off. Apparently this driver thing is big here, the Internet is full of glowing reports of a few of these drivers, we just picked the first one we saw, he seemed nice enough. We loaded up the cab with our goodies and stocked the room. Then we finally made it to the giant pool, we decided to attack the waterside another day, neither of us was really in the mood to slide anywhere. The pool was great and the poolside beverage service was greatly appreciated. We checked out the beach which was lovely, even the sea of vendors, scammers and "I got a good deal for you" guys didn't spoil it. The water was beautiful but rough, K got knocked down pretty good but we were right there for her, she played high theatrics for a while but was fine. We alternated between pool and beach and then came up to get ready for dinner. We decided to keep it low key and stayed at the resort for an OK dinner. After we came up we did our best to convince K to sleep in the giant living room, luck was on our side and she was excited to have her own room. D and I took full advantage of the huge tub in the bedroom.

Day 2

Waterslide day! But only after breakfast first, we all knew that having every meal out would get to be a bit much so we got a bunch of stuff for breakfast. D made some awesome coffee, fried up bacon and we had some fresh fruit (D was quite impressed at the quality of fruit the local Walmart had and so was I, yum!). We grabbed our bag and went downstairs, I decided it would be a great photo op so I brought my SLR, I figured I could grab a few shots and return the camera back to the room safe (unfortunately this is a place you can't just leave stuff lying around). As soon as we walked out side we were hit by the heat, it was crazy hot! It was so hot I couldn't even take a picture, the lens immediately fogged up so I just brought it back. Good thing, it freed me to enjoy the lazy river and water park. D and I also enjoyed the especial margaritas. I took a break from the rafting and was wading in the water park when a little girl Ks size came up next to me to chat, she was adorable and her mom came up to us to bring her back and save me, I told her I had a daughter the same age who was looking for a friend, she looked thrilled (actually they both did). I introduced K to the girl and they played together until I decided that we had enough sun for the day. That was after hours of waterpark fun. We said our goodbyes and got ready for dinner, K wanted to bathe with me in the giant tub, I have to admit it was fun having a bubble bath. Too bad Its nearly impossible to rinse out all the shampoo and conditioner necessary in this weather, it's so humid here nice hair is an impossibility for a girl like me. We traipsed down to one of many restaurants here and we were disappointed by yet another empty eatery. I get it, every other country eats later than the US but we not only had a kid we were tired by 11PM. We decided to find our favorite driver and go to the mall down the street, I read that it was chock full of places to eat. Out favorite driver mistook our generosity the day before as stupidity because he wanted to charge us twice what the fare should have been. Crap, now not only did we need to find the haps around here we also would need to find another driver. No biggie. We made it to the mall and found a rib place, K is a sucker for ribs, anyway we were happy with our choice even though no one spoke English, we were like celebrities there apparently the recent murders in Acapulco seem to keep the gringos in the resorts, we were fine, they even brought K a nice plate of ice cream gratis. D and I chilled on the balcony playing games on the iPad after K went to bed.

Day 3

Another awesome breakfast courtesy of my husband, crispy bacon, fresh fruit and some amazing coffee got us started, we slept late too enjoying our first meal at about 11:30AM. We beach and pooled it for some of the day, I met a cool couple from Australia who gave me the low down on the driver situation. We took some pictures and then came up for a break from the sun and some lunch. I decided a break from the heat would help us later in the day and keep the sunburn to a minimum, it helped K and I but not D, he is currently a lovely shade of magenta. We went back to the waterpark and K found her friend, we stayed there until the sun was no longer beating on us. For dinner we had the Monday night especial Lobster dinner at the outdoor cafe, it was OK, the location ruled and we laughed at the oncoming storm, it started as our dessert was about to be served so we got it to go and headed up to avoid the storm that started. K is now asleep and D and I are about to take this party outside once again, this time the iPad is strictly for background music.

Adios.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vacation journal



As promised here's the vacation journal I wrote. The newest addition to our family came in handy for writing. My handwriting is hideous so an actual journal is out (I usually can't read what I've written) and there was no way I was going to schlepp my laptop around, especially when I knew the hotel didn't have wifi. At first it was difficult to use, it was like using a giant iPhone and you know how I feel about that keyboard. After a while I got used to it, D put the blogger.com app on it so it felt like I was writing my blog, just not live. It's a cool toy to have, at first I thought it was a waste of money but watching K play math games while we waited for our connecting flight in Mexico City made it all worth it. They even had me playing Angry Birds after about a day (of course I'm completely hooked now).

Enjoy!


So I was a little worried about traveling to Mexico, maybe I've seen too many movies, maybe I read too much, who knows, but I was nervous today and it started when we almost missed our flight. We left early enough, our flight was scheduled to leave LAX at 1:10PM and we were in the car by 10:30AM. Of course we hit every single light on the way to the parking lot and then couldn't find a spot once we finally made it to the lot. It was awful. We when finally made it to check in there was a huge line and it was going slooooooooooooooow, mostly due to the tremendous amount of luggage and boxes some passengers seemed to have. Behind us was an even longer line, the one you needed to take your luggage after checking in. This line was at least 45 minutes long and we had about an hour until our flight left. Crap. I inquired ever so politely if there was a way around this line, explaining that there was no way we would make our flight if we had to endure that line as well as the airport security. She was wonderful and said she would take our suitcase through security bypassing then line and we were cleared to go straight through to the screening. That took a while as well due to the ridiculous amount of technology in my purse. Not only did I have our iPad but I had my iPhone, Flip camera, K's iPod, my SLR and all the chargers for these items. They ran my bag through the Xray thingy a few times. When they were convinced I was just a spoiled American and not a terrorist they let me through. We had enough time to go to the bathroom and get some food.

The flight itself was fine, K and I slept for a while after we ate lunch (food on Aeromexico is free) the best thing about these international flights. Free booze! It was awesome. What wasn't awesome was the few hours we has to wait at the Mexico City aeroporto. It was there I was convinced someone would kidnap K and we would end up in one of those Mexican prisons. I'm sure the fact that we were the only Americans and the only people with an iPad didn't help. Finally we figured out the flight board and made it to our connecting flight. We made it to Acapulco without incident

When the cab pulled up to the resort all I could see was that it was huge, when we entered the lobby I could tell that it was nice, check in was a breeze even at the late hour of 11:30PM. When we opened the door we joked, D said it was either going to be heaven or hell. I am happy and oh so thankful to say it was heaven. Our giant room was actually a suite with a lovely living room, dining area, kitchen, huge bathroom complete with giant tub (in the huge bedroom which also had a couch) and a balcony. Did I mention the balcony had a beautiful view of the entire city, golf course and off to the side was our own plunge pool. It was 5 star awesomeness. We ordered food and went to bed. This was going to be amazing.

A pool on the balcony? It was going to be hard to leave this place.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We're baaaaaaaack


OK, we've been back since late Friday night and it's taken this long to get back into the swing of things. Honestly I'm not even close to being fully back. I feel like I've been drifting through the days on auto-pilot. Saturday D took K to karate, she was in the local 4th of July parade (a huge deal in this Los Angeles suburb) and we wanted to make sure she knew what they were doing. After that we did nothing, we lounged by the pool and I decided it would be fun to make margaritas, so I did. Lots of them. The more I had the more creative I became. I think I invented a new one: the Mojitarita, I was running out of mixes and used a mojito mix, it was pretty good.

After that we must have had dinner, I just can't remember (nice). Then we watched Toy Story, K wants to see the new one but think it's important to know the whole story. I got about twenty minutes into it and then I fell asleep. Mucho tequila will do that to me. I went to bed hoping the gallon of water I drank would offset any kind of hangover. Walking a few miles hung over was not something I was really into. It worked, I woke up feeling fine and ready for my role as proud mama and unofficial dojo photographer. We had some breakfast and walked into town with our friend L who came to see K and the parade. After some rehearsing at the dojo we all walked to the parade area and waited for our turn to march. We live in a strange place, it's kind of out of the way and feels like a small town but it's a mecca for celebrities and industry types. We are lucky and happy to be here, and although we share a zip code with Speilberg, Hanks, Kidman and Affleck we do not live like they do.

We hung out patiently while the kids played, we greeted old friends we haven't seen in a while and avoided a few that we see all too often. Small towns are the same wherever they are apparently. Finally it was time to go and the kids lined up and took off. I was always a few feet in front of them trying to get some shots. They did an amazing job, doing the 27 karate movements, jump kicks and board breaking. A few of them did splits, I'm happy to say that K was one of them. I was so proud of her! At the end of the parade I had snapped over 300 pictures and couldn't wait to get home and see them, hoping to get a few good ones. After the parade we were invited (actually, we invited ourselves) over to friends in Studio City who had a beautiful house and a killer view of about eight different firework presentations. We had to wait though, the parade and clean up takes a while and our route is closed. We came home and rested a bit, actually I don't know if it was resting, K made L play with her and D made us all some food. I went to work editing my pictures. I was happy, I got some great shots. In fact when all was said and done I burned 266 pictures onto a disk for sensei.

After the roads were clear we were off to our friend's house. I love this couple, we never see them enough though. They have a son A who is a little older than K and a 2 year old girl R who is seriously so adorable just one glimpse of her smiling face can do wonders for a bad mood. After the usual few minutes of shyness K and A took off only to be seen when food or fireworks were available. The night was fun, we knew everyone in the house from previous get togethers. After the fireworks the Wii came out the kids, big and small were completely entertained. I was on the couch and fell asleep, this time it wasn't from drinking, I think it was pure exhaustion. Walking for miles during the day wasn't restful.

We came home, dropped K in her bed and D opened a bottle of wine, for the first time in, well, ever, I declined. I sat and listened to D and L talk for a while and then went to bed. I'm not sure if they were shocked by my lack of drinking or talking. Either way I was in no mood to do both. The next day all I wanted to do was sit by the pool and finish my book, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I was so close to finishing and although I didn't want the book to end I couldn't wait to see what happens.

That brings us to today. For the first time in over a a week and a half I had to drive, shop and cook. It wasn't too bad. K and I did some painting and then I took her to karate. I also needed to drop off the CD with all the parade pictures. We came home and I made the first healthy dinner we had in a long time. It involved no pork products or sugar, there were even green things.

I kept a mini vacation journal which I will post tomorrow, I would have done it live from Mexico but I took a news/phone/text/email/technology break and it was awesome. I've even noticed a decline in my Facebook activity since I've been back. I might have lost my energy but I clearly left my stress and angst in Mexico!