Friday, May 31, 2013


I never wanted to get married.  I said so myself as a very young traumatized child.  My grandmothers backed this up with their divorces  all of their warnings against marriage.  I never dated anyone I would ever marry.  Now that I am open to marriage, I know I will not rekindle romances with anyone I ever dated previously.  

I pray my exes have all healed and become better men in healthy relationships.  I accepted men at their worst, probably because I had to see my parents at their worst.  Now Belle is here to prevent me from being alone making additional mistakes in relationships.  I will not see men at their worst again.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sleepy cry

One of my pet peeves involves anyone "reading" Belle's emotions.  It makes me feel dis-empowered, like I don't really know Belle.  It takes me back to those early weeks when Belle, a late term premature newborn wasn't thriving, presumably because I couldn't read her hunger cues.  Really, I was a new mom making the proactive decision to establish a breastfeeding relationship with a preemie, with minimal hands on help.  I was literally nursing Belle with one arm, running Internet searches on nursing with the other hand.  So much valuable time that could have gone to breastfeeding was lost commuting to and from the doctor for useless thrice weekly weigh ins.  I got to know myself and Belle very intimately in this process.  I digress.

Today Belle and I trekked out late afternoon for a park trip.  I knew Belle needed to play.  We'd just eaten a very late lunch, well timed after Belle's nap.   handed Belle her pail and shovel and set out for the park.  A sudden urge for coffee took us on a different path, a path that led to us dropping in on a friend.  Unfortunately, our friend, while stunning with a different hairdo, looked completely unrecognizable to Belle.  To worsen matters, there was also a stranger present.  Belle protested loudly, prompting the women to assume she was tired.  Every cry was perceived as a "sleepy" cry.  I knew Belle wasn't tired because she'd just had a nap.  I knew she wanted to play.  We finally left when a third crone came in, ready to misinterpret something else.  Belle and I went on to the park to play, with nary a yawn or a cry.  We played all night, in fact, even outside at home.  Belle didn't really cry until hours later, when a tantrum in the bath proved her exhaustion.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Doing the wave

I currently enjoy wave hooping out in nature, and by nature I mean my driveway.  I discovered my new love over Memorial Day weekend.  With two families in my cul de sac on holiday, I felt comfortable hanging out barefoot in the front yard with Belle.  This was almost unseemly.  I am usually a creeper, coming and going as swiftly and without notice as possible.  This weekend found me barefoot in the sunshine with a water filled hoop and a sunbathing toddler.  I guess I felt something akin to freedom.  Needless to say, I am becoming better versed in the wave hoop.  I can keep it going slightly longer with each practice.  Sometimes I step outside with it after Belle has gone to bed.  I like to hoop in fresh air.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Church 3

Someone knows why I would be leaving our church, if I decide to go.  I don't like a hostile environment.  I don't like being compared to others, embarrassed or singled out.  I don't like being made to feel small.  Simply baptizing Belle, which is one issue this person has with me, won't solve our differences.  I can set boundaries and tell the person to back off.  I can also travel two miles to another church.  Whatever I decide will take commitment and effort.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Church 2

I asked myself if my current church, where every several weeks I am confronted or belittled by the same woman, despite efforts to defend or protect myself, is the best for my future happiness; or if another church is better suited:

  • Passion
  • Commitment
  • Support
It's a sacred partnership between me and a church of my choice.  I will grow spiritually only when I feel safe and supported within its walls.  I must commit to whatever church truly nourishes my soul.  How do I feel at my current church?

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I am changing churches.  Yesterday I gave a verbal agreement to a fellow church member that Belle and I would attend mass today.  I showered and washed my hair last night, set an alarm and rose early this morning.  I drank my tea, made and ate breakfast and got myself ready.  I let Belle wake naturally, packing her portion of breakfast along with fruit snacks for a park picnic after mass.  We were right on time when Belle woke up.  Unfortunately, Belle needed to be diapered, breast fed and dressed, in that order.  My tea kicked in while getting Belle ready, which couldn't wait.  I just resolved to be a little late for the sake of my own sanity.

I found a hidden spot between the church and the rectory to park the pushchair.  I carried Belle into church as quietly as possible and slipped into a pew in the back.  Reading Belle's cues, I knew she needed to finish breastfeeding.  I nursed Belle as discretely a mother could nurse a wily toddler in public.  This didn't stop her from emitting the usual cries of toddler frustration during mass.  Belle did very well regardless, until later on, with mass over and familiar faces suddenly leaning into hers.  A mom of teenagers failed to understand why Belle wouldn't engage with her.  She didn't appreciate Belle's cries during mass and need for space after mass.  Then came that nasty battle with that old woman.

There is an old woman in this church who complains about everything and everyone.  This woman I detest.  I never feel as if I were ever in the presence of God after coming into contact with this woman.  She had no problem pointing out even the smallest things.  She took issue today with me because she hadn't seen me inside the church, just outside steering the pushchair.  This escalated into another confrontation about Belle's Baptism, this time, in front of a third party.  It isn't a good enough answer that I want Belle's godparents to be people I know and trust.  I must choose them now.  I don't know people like that in Alameda.

I am a single mom doing the best I can without much of a tribe.  I want Belle baptized.  I don't know who to ask to stand in with us.  I don't want her to be like me.  I no longer have contact with my godparents.  I remember being confirmed with just my grandmothers and a couple Taco Bell tacos to celebrate.  I remember graduating university and not having anyone in the audience.  I remember being hit by a car and nursing a concussion at home alone. I remember being in hospital giving birth alone.  I want so much more for Belle.  I will have her baptized when it's right.  If that means changing parishes, so be it.  I can't keep taking it from that old woman.  I am afraid I will just go off on her one day.  Belle doesn't need that.

Friday, May 24, 2013


Belle slithered out of her pushchair during a quick jaunt to Discount City.  I caught her just before she grabbed a bottle of all-purpose cleanser.  We walked around the store together, Belle dumping random items into her basket and me putting them back.  After we made our purchase, I had to stop and put shoes on her so she could walk outside, which she proudly did.  We walked all the way to our favorite park but we didn't stop to play.  I wrangled Belle back into the pushchair and headed home to make dinner:  fried eggs, a hot link sausage, rice simmered with fresh garlic and mixed vegetables and sauteed asparagus.  Belle fed her dinner to her toy phone, which means whoever keeps calling will have more energy to keep calling because they are full.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Pluto and Uranus squared away on Monday.  What am I breaking free from?

Coming this weekend is a Full Moon in Sagittarius and a Lunar Eclipse.  Again, what am I releasing?  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My current astro transits, move along

  • May 25:  Jupiter trine Moon
  • May 29:  Uranus trine Neptune, 12th house, hypnosis, expansion of mind, publishing, 3rd house
  • June 10:  Jupiter conjunct 7th house
  • Neptune oppose Mars, writing and publishing, July's end
Write!  Exciting possibilities in publishing between now and end of July/August.  Hypnosis perfect for Pluto 1st house transit.  Transformation leader!!!  Transform self.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More musings on manifestation.

I sold a 14 K gold bracelet of unknown origin earlier and immediately treated Belle to another farmers market field trip with the earnings.  We bought apricots, cherries, garlic, greens, onions, samosas and strawberries.  An unexpected visitor to our house later surprised me with two more farmers market onions and two pairs of Laurel Birch earrings.  Unbeknownst to the gift giver, one of my beloved coffee mugs bears a Laurel Birch design.  There was also a set of gold Mardi Gras beads and a necklace that didn't go with anything.  Interesting how things manifest.

There is some Louisiana hoodoo working now.  I keep dreaming about it and seeing it around me.  I found an LSU Tiger and faded Saints stickers last week.  One of the children fed sand to my fleur de lys tattoo on Sunday.  Yesterday I found Louisiana hot links at the super market.  Today I got Mardi Gras beads.  What does this mean?  My oracle reminded me to be playful, follow my heart and allow the mystery to unfold.  I am open and receptive.

Why did I scrap the bracelet?  I'd found, at the bottom of my jewelry box, a bracelet made of gold stars and moons.  I couldn't remember ever buying or wearing this bracelet.  I wore it for ten days or so after finding it, careful not to let Belle tug at it.  While I found the bracelet charming, I eventually realised the moons were all waning, a sign of release and letting go.  I had no trouble releasing it because I had no attachment to it.  I knew releasing it would bring in something new, which it did.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Belle asked to walk home from the market for the first time tonight.  We had traveled light, with Belle, wearing only a onesie, barefoot in her pink car.  I allowed her to walk on the sidewalk, careful to scan the ground for glass and other hazards.  Our shopping bag (an avocado, two bunches of bananas, one pound of salted butter, a pack of hot links and two sticks of string cheese) sat in Belle's car in her place.  While I realise the importance of this milestone, I couldn't keep pausing at every tree or patch of dirt to play.  We would still be walking home now had I not scooped Belle up off the ground.  Squirming and screaming, I carried her into a nearby Indian restaurant for dinner:  vegetable samosas, naan, chicken tikka and rice.  We wouldn't have made it the short distance home otherwise.  Belle managed to behave herself until the end of the meal when she climbed out of the high chair and onto the  table.  What to do?

Big Mother is Watching.

My mother liked model ships and toy trains.  Today I took Belle to the sandbox with the Thomas train monkey bars.  What did Belle find in the sand near the train?  A very large toy ship.  I didn't think anything of it until I watched Belle inspect the train.  Her smiled reminded me, "Just like my mom."  That's when I remembered my mother's love of ships' and started crying.  I'd been waiting for something, anything, from her since Belle's birth.  I believe I have finally been reached by my mother from wherever she is on the astral plane.  She approves of Belle and of me.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


 I am spending quality time inside the sandbox these days as Belle, deep into a development or growth spurt, won't play unless I play.  Gone are the days of Belle power crawling into the sand and smiling at me as I cheer her on from a blanket on the grass.  Belle will burst into tears if I even think about leaving her alone with all the scary, sandy children.  I must sit in the sandbox first, allowing Belle to sit in or stand on my lap until she feels confident enough to play independently.  I am indulging her because I find the sandbox particularly therapeutic   

I love the warm sand against my bare feet as I walk Belle inside.  I love observing the relationships that form, for better or for worse, in the sand.  Yesterday we met a Chinese family who moved here from China eight months ago.  Belle got along fabulously with their three year old son, who speaks no English.  The children spent several minutes hugging, their open arms locking freely around waists and necks.  The little boy practiced his every facial expression on Belle, raising and lowering his eyebrows at will.  Then both he and Belle poured fistfuls of sand onto my knees.  Another child tossed sand down the back of my tee shirt.  Someone else prompted me to open my hand to receive a gift of sand.  I adored every blissful moment.


Scrolling through photos of a friend's housewarming party reminded me I never officially warmed my house.  I never even sent out the new address cards I had printed up.  Honestly, I didn't have anyone to really celebrate my move with.  I just had people pissed off, casting judgement and being weird.  Similarly, as I scroll through photos of baby showers, birth announcements, etc, I face the sad reality that I had Belle without the support a new mom should have.  Again, I had [the system] pissed off, casting judgement and being weird.

I attribute this lack of outward, demonstrative love to my father's selfish act.  He took away my support system when he killed my mom and then himself.  My grandmothers were left to serve as mothers, a generation removed.  They were both so deep in their own heartache that they couldn't promote a happy life with a healthy marriage and children as anything I could ever look forward to.  Even good friends and a successful career weren't anything my grandmothers condoned as possibilities for me.

I am challenging myself to create that happy, healthy marriage, home and family life my parents and grandparents always warned me I couldn't, shouldn't or wouldn't have.  They all showed me how unhappy they were through their unplanned pregnancies, divorces and murder/suicide.  I keep on fighting and muddling through despite them basically rubbing my nose in their shit.  It hurts that the people most meant to care for, love and nurture a child never saw me into adulthood.  Even more hurtful is how the family and friends of my parents and grandparents just backed off aand faded away.  I guess someone out there thought I could handle being twenty-two and completely alone, like that family part of my life was finished and I didn't need it anymore.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Market day

Belle had a ball at Old Oakland's Farmers Market today.  She especially liked blueberries, cherries, nectarines (We bought some!) and samosas.  She grabbed at every sample, including artisan mustard on crackers.  She had fistfuls of samosa even on our bus ride home. Now Belle is snoring with a little samosa in one hand.  Here's hoping the grease stains wash out of my blue sundress.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I am connecting with people in Alameda who actually want to be in Alameda.  This is a welcome relief.  I spent far too many years surrounded by miserable people who didn't want to be here or anywhere else.  That negativity was catching and toxic.  I like this enthusiasm that only parenting can bring.  I didn't know this world before.

Writing for children

I am challenging myself to write a children's book and enter it into a contest.  I have a concept in mind already.  Where do I start?

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Simon & Schuster is promoting literacy by including a story book with each box of Cheerios.  Today we got "Digby Takes Charge" and "The Lost Balloon."  There are four more titles to collect.  I want them.

Mother's Day in the park

Belle crashed a pre-schooler's birthday party in the park today.  She power crawled over to their blankets, buried her face in the grass and came back up crying. The mother of the birthday child handed me a pink costume to dress Belle in so she could be a fairy after she recovered from her tantrum.  We were later invited to taste the pink castle cake the mother made.  I dared help myself to a beer, a plate of pinto beans and watermelon wedges tossed with blueberries and fresh mint.  Every variation of fear and self-loathing surfaced during this experience.  I didn't want to be ill perceived or misunderstood for having fun or taking food when I didn't know the people.  I felt like I should have already had my own people.  Interestingly enough, these were probably the sort of friends Belle and I should have anyway.

Mother's Day

My brief relationship with Belle's father signaled the tail end of the darkest chapter of my adulthood.  Belle triggered a major turn around, the death of the darkness and the birth of love and light. I am moving on from my ex(es) and from anyone else who ever acted out the melodrama.  I am redirecting my power and creativity toward healing and moving on with Belle.

I want to attract an equal, loving partnership, get pregnant and be it, feel it and look it in ways I couldn't with Belle.  I want to do this again, knowing I am healthy. loved and supported.  I want people checking in with me, throwing me a shower and all those beautiful social aspects of pregnancy I missed with Belle.  I can't be that girl anymore, completely cut off from everyone, nursing my own wounds.  I need better than this.  How can you be pregnant without anyone or anything to come home to?


Belle ate carnitas all weekend.  We shared a carnitas plate on Friday, eating pork, rice and beans with corn tortillas.  We ate the same on Saturday, only in a burrito.  I ordered Belle her own plate of beans, rice and corn tortillas.  Belle took one look at my burrito and demanded we switch plates.  Thus began the delicious toddler trip into satiety.  

I paid four dollars for a cup of certified organic cherries at Saturday's farmers market.  One of my market friends rolled her eyes because I dared spend that much.  I bought a good super fruit for a good memory.  Belle and I had fun making a mess while eating these cherries.  I learned Belle can climb back down the stairs while eating these cherries.  That's money well spent.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Belle foods

I offered Belle one quarter of a can of split pea soup and rice simmered in beef broth.  Belle ate a little rice before walking over to her cabinet of Belle foods.  She returned with two jars of carrots and a jar of apple fruit blend and ate them.  Well, alright!

Former creative writer

I earned a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) from University of Southern California fifteen years ago yesterday.  I remember a great-aunt sending flowers.  These same flowers were quickly trashed by me after my grandmother insisted they'd been charmed or jinxed with black magic.  I remember graduating alone, no one from the family able to attend, not even my grandmother.  I remember a classmate inviting me to her celebratory dinner, going, and feeling sorry for myself for not having family of my own to rally around me.  I remember my grandmother's health begin to decline immediately after I earned this honor, to the point where she felt compelled to blast me for wasting my money on what she considered a useless education.  My grandmother died the following May, a little over a year after my university graduation.  I'd inherited a rental property and become its manager by then.  Without any support, and never, ever any encouragement to trust a mentor, I just stopped writing the fiction and poetry I once loved.  Last year, after Belle's unexpected birth and slow growth, I finally nailed my diploma to the wall to remind myself of my own achievement and competence.

Then I read this article about wimpy kids:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guide posts

May 6:  Six years in Alameda.

May 7:  Belle is 17 mos old.

May 8:  Fifteen years since I earned my B.A. in English (Creative Writing).

May also marks seven years since Garrett passed and fourteen years since my maternal grandmother passed.  I would like to think that both Garrett and Sidney are cheering Belle on from the great beyond.

Monday, May 6, 2013


I referred to recent events in my personal life as a shit storm and literally shit on myself at the end of the weekend.  Belle and I had eaten chicken and pasta salad before heading off to a Cinco de Mayo party.  I'd enjoyed spare ribs and a few beers at this party.  I'd shared with Belle walnut brownies, cheesecake, grilled watermelon, barbecued chicken and deep fried flour chips.  Belle farted an obnoxious fart as we were leaving the party.  She fell asleep in the Moby as we walked the fifteen blocks home.  That's when things went wrong.

I started itching as I carried Belle home.  As I rubbed my itchy eyes in the dark, I could feel them swell slightly.  I destroyed my up do with the intensity of the itching to my scalp.  I asked God to get us home quickly and safely.  As we neared home, I could feel myself begin to pass out.  I grabbed hold of a tree to steady myself.  It was the same tree I'd held onto as I laboured with Belle.  I could see the black spots taking over my eyes as I approached my walkway.  I collapsed at the front door and crapped my pants.  I managed to find the keys, free a crying Belle, who had also just pooped, from the Moby and stumble inside. I threw myself onto the couch and weakly called a girlfriend in Pennsylvania.

Belle followed me into the bathroom downstairs, where I'd gone to pull myself together.  My "Make Love, Not War" pants were ruined.  I had poop stuck on one foot.  I also had a crying, stressed out toddler I had zero compassion for.  Regardless, I picked Belle up and took her upstairs to the bathroom with the tub.  I turned the water on full blast and stepped in while still fully dressed.  I even had the Moby still tied onto me.  I just lay there in the bath, the green dye from my skirt bleeding into the hot water.  Belle calmed herself by grabbing her plastic teapot and holding it under the facet to catch the water.  When the water ran cold, and I felt better, I undressed myself and stepped out of the bath.  I had to recover quickly.  Belle still needed to be changed and put to bed.  I didn't realise she'd also pooped until I opened her diaper.  I gave Belle a shower and she went right to bed as soon as we got there.

We woke up this morning with nary a trace of illness.  I have cleaned up most of the mess.  I had poop on my handbag and tote bag, not to mention my shoes, the welcome mat and the concrete near the door.  My train had completely derailed last week when I found myself stressed. I have walked away from the source of stress.  Here's to good health and a better week. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013