Sunday, July 27, 2014

Feeling better

I have taken things too personally and gotten down on myself for some negative experiences I have had these past several years in Alameda.  I feel now it all comes down to this:  I bought a home in an area where blacks couldn't buy homes just a few generations ago.  While blacks, minorities and women are changing the face of Alameda, some people are still clinging to these outdated beliefs.  That explains why someone living in a neighboring apartment once assumed I was a domestic just leaving work for the evening.  Really, I was a new homeowner taking myself to dinner.  He didn't see that coming and some other folks didn't see it either.  I heard similar things so much over the years that I let it slap me in the face and sting.  Compound old stereotypes with the economic collapse and I made more enemies than friends.  My initial, critical reception (and my own reaction) in Alameda was not conducive to finding a stable relationship with a mature partner with a professional career.  That recession through a wrench at me and my plans to re-invent myself in a new house in a new town.  Some people treated me like I belonged to the "one percent," and not in a good way.  I felt beyond alone and discouraged.  Ultimately, I made the right move.  I must remember that.

Before sunrise

Belle peed through her waterproof pants and wet the bed at four-thirty this morning.  Off went my cotton sleeping gloves and Belle's soggy bottoms!  Belle helped me strip the bed and carry the laundry downstairs.  I started the laundry and served breakfast at five am.  We also colored (I traced Belle's hands and made a peacock from them!), cleaned Krishna's litter box and took a sunrise walk around the block.  Belle took off running down the street when I filled a watering can for the plants.  I found her sitting on her favorite piece of sidewalk about as soon as she sat down.  What a morning!

I coaxed Belle into a sleeping bag on the floor around seven am.  We both fell sound asleep within minutes.  I dreamed we were perched on ladders downstairs.  We had the backdoor open, letting the rain in.  Belle sat covered in rain.  She was naked except for a rain drenched green hoodie.  Belle woke me up in the middle of this dream.  She needed me up and out of the sleeping bag.  She started pantomiming brushing her teeth.  I quickly realised she really meant she needed a potty.  Belle made several successful trips to the potty all day.  We never did anything else.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Heat Wave

Belle and I coped with Friday's heat wave by taking repeated trips around the block.  I made myself a black tea latte (freshly brewed black tea with freshly whipped cream) and got Belle ready for a park trip early in the day.  Belle threw herself into the road once she realized she wasn't being offered tea and wouldn't even walk to the park.  That blew my idyllic vision of sipping tea while watching Belle play.

We spent the rest of the evening drinking white grape juice over crushed ice and shifting from foot to foot.  Belle made a habit out of running out the door and jumping into her bobby car.  She wanted me to push her around the block.  We probably made five trips until nightfall when it cooled off.  Belle even played in the sprinklers and ran barefoot on wet grass.  I was so glad when she fell asleep.

Friday, July 25, 2014


I am feeling the lack of support (no partner, no parents, no siblings and too few local friends) today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Belle's wardrobe

Belle got new and playfully used clothes and shoes (18-24 months and 2T, which are her current sizes, along with some 3T-5T and even some 5/6-7/8) from generous friends and Freecyclers.  She is having a little trouble accepting these new pieces as hers.  We have had some battles getting her into clothes.  She favors a pair of shoes three sizes too big, yet rejects a pair of shoes she can wear comfortably without a sock.  Also, Belle hasn't even outgrown her 18-24 month clothes.  In fact, her 24 month leggings are baggy and her 2T leggings bunch up.  Surprisngly, she fits into one of the 3T sun dresses almost perfectly.  I will let her wear it now since it's the season.  I bet it will look smashing under her new denim jacket too.

Monday, July 21, 2014


I skipped the annual Meals On Wheels event at the winery and had wine at home with friends.  Belle made a mess drinking from a can of condensed milk while we were getting ready and wouldn't get dressed again.  She spent all afternoon entertaining my [women] friends while clad only in underpants.  She stayed dry though, and I finally had wine with friends.

I will need more [washable] training pants for Belle.  She only has two waterproof pairs and one padded cotton pair.  Let's see what comes in this week!  Belle appears ready to accept that responsibility.  I watched her pull down pants, sit, pee, stand and pull up pants this weekend.  No more diapers for Belle?

Friday, July 18, 2014

On track

Good thing Belle's doctor recommended a follow up visit for her boil.  A follow up visit gave us time to check the boil (Healing beautifully!), discuss last week's lead test (Extremely mild lead exposure?) and take a thirty month skills assessment.  Now that the doctor has a better gage of Belle's abilities, she is dropping her concerns.  Belle is developing normally.  Any gray areas stem from me not introducing certain activities (like threading beads or pasta on a string) because I wasn't aware these activities count as learning tools.  That's a relief!