Thursday, July 31, 2014

Playing in pjs

I kept Belle in her pajamas for today's errands.  I added matching sandals, and a cute cardigan that didn't go with anything, and sat Belle in the push chair.  No one commented on Belle still being in pajamas, if they even noticed.  I soon noticed a scarlet cardigan matching navy pants, yet clashing with fuchsia shoes.  In my defence, we were running late so I grabbed what I could find.  I digress.

Belle gestured toward a playground on the way home and I indulged her.  She had no knowledge of still being in pajamas.  Similarly, her younger playmate had no idea his mom had dressed him in lilac {girls?) leggings.  Many of the older kids, campers at a day camp, wore paper dinosaur tails.  One little girl wore ladybug wings with her dinosaur tail.  Another little girl had adhered her dinosaur tail to a silver sequined skirt.  Belle's pajamas fit right in.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Belle got a toy horse from Justine yesterday.  There were other toys too but Belle fell instantly in love with the horse.  Belle took off running down the street, barefoot, and waving the horse skyward.   She slapped me repeatedly when I picked her up and attempted to carry her home.  I had a hard time balancing the squirming slugger and her new toys.  Of course she forgot all about the toys once we came home.  

I made blueberry chocolate chip pancakes for dinner.  That proved quicker than the lentils I'd wanted to make.  Later on I ate baked chicken thighs and drank yet another black tea latte.  Belle fell asleep fairly soon after our pancake dinner and shared bath.  I felt relieved because I really wanted to disconnect and not be touched for another several hours.  I made sure to secure Belle's new doll in a drawer away from Krishna, and the horse on a nightstand where Belle will see it come morning.

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  While blacks, minorities and women are changing the face of Alameda, some people are still clinging to these outdated beliefs.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!

Dey folks

One day I will need to explain to Belle what happened to my parents.  Until then, Belle is enamored with our pictures.  This week she found a picture of my maternal grandmother, my mother and my father seated on a sofa, with me standing in front of them.  Belle asked, "Dey?" I named each one in the frame.  Belle seemed to understand she wasn't the child in the photo and the young woman on the sofa wasn't me.  She made a connection between my grandmother's full breasts and my own breasts.   Then she offered the child in the picture (me as a toddler) my breast.


Belle ate all three Lunchables we brought home yesterday.  Two of the meals included candy and juice, of which Belle ate all the candy first.  I helped Belle drink the juice since she'd eaten cake frosting all afternoon.  She made pizzas from the Lunchables pizza kit.  She did very well even without the pizza sauce (I hid the sauce.  Belle already had pink frosting in her hair.  I didn't want pizza sauce there too.).   I found two perfectly hand crafted pizzas forgotten on the table after Belle had gone to bed.  I also found a teaspoon she'd used to measure the cheese.  What fun!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How To Lose A Girl In Nine Days

My birthday came and went without fanfare.  Every year I say I want, no, I demand fanfare, and every year my birthday quietly comes and goes.  I would have liked a cocktail party or a bottle of wine though.

That older man finally got the message I am not interested in him romantically.  He spent nine days aggressively pursuing me by buying Belle cheese, cookies, crackers, juice and yogurt.  He even bought me a jug of wine.  All that ended when I offered platonic friendship instead.

I also offered to help him see through an alleged wrongdoing acted against him.  I even gave him a tarot reading.  Being from Haiti, he said I wasn't as good a reader as those found in his county.  He offered to take me to Haiti to learn.  No thanks.  We're better off forgetting the whole thing.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Low key birthday

I had imagined a champagne brunch for my birthday.  Instead I spent the morning scraping the small chocolate bundt cake I'd designated as a birthday cake off Belle and our floor.  I dressed Belle in a new dress, buckled her up and set out walking to the animal shelter in the afternoon.  We'd accidentally been given kitten food for our adult cats during last Saturday's food run, which I hadn't noticed until all the food had been given out.  The woman who handles the donated pet foot invited us to come in and choose more appropriate food today.  Good thing we did!  We brought home a fifteen pound bag of "grain and filler free" kibble and thirteen cans of wet food.  I may not have had the food and drinks with friends like I wanted, but Belle has new clothes and the cats have a ton of food.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Urgent Care called.  Belle has a staph infection.  The doctor recommended Belle take the antibiotics anyway.  Belle seemed all too jazzed to take medication.  She even wanted her second dose immediately, which I denied.  Now it's my birthday and I just want more yogurt for Belle, especially now that she is taking antibiotics.

I silently asked The Universe for more training pants for Belle.  We found two pairs of washable, waterproof training pants in a bag of clothes given to us today.  That's a start!  Now if only my birthday could include brunch, coffee, dessert, dinner, wine, etc.  I will settle for Belle's boil healing, if that's all there is.  I do wish there was wine.


Belle and I accepted a tub of freshly picked blackberries from a family who'd gone blackberry picking in the field near the food bank.  The blackberries were sweeter than those growing in our backyard and in our park.  Belle ate blackberries while secured onto my back in the Ergo, while wiping her purple fingers on my coat.  When I let her out of the Ergo to eat more comfortably, Belle threw blackberries at me and at the feet of a woman I'd been talking with.  I had to fasten her back into the Ergo and accept myself with large, visible stains on my clothes.  We'd been given blackberries in a thirty-two ounce yogurt container without a lid and had plenty of leftovers.  We came home and ate those while picking more blackberries from our yard.  Then Belle started squeezing them and rubbing them onto her face and into her clothes.  She looked like Carrie by the end of it.

Thirty month check

Belle had her thirty month check up.  She is roughly thirty-five inches and twenty-eight pounds.  The height is likely off since she wouldn't stand still.  Also, we had to be weighed together before I had my weight taken alone and subtracted.  Nevertheless, Belle is doing well.

The doctor would like to see Belle string more words together.  Belle started saying, "No, mommy" this week and "Me me, no mo'" last month.  I am sure more phrases are coming, just days and weeks after the thirty month check up.  Thus begins total language learning these next few months before October's flu shot.

We brought home antibiotics and pain relievers to help heal the boil on Belle's bum.  Two applications of hot compresses on Thursday brought it to a head and started the draining process on Friday.  Belle doesn't have a fever, nor is she favoring the boil.  She only reacts when I touch the boil to treat it.

The doctor doesn't want me to administer antibiotics unless it worsens.  She wants Belle in an emergency room as a last resort.  I had a polinidal cyst once upon a time.  I had pain, a fever and lethargy.  I know what to look for.  I treated Belle with more moist heat and I am leaving an onion on the boil over night to help draw it out.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dealing with old people

I have been pursued by a man in his fifties all week.  I finally had to tell him I am neither attracted nor interested.  I am open to meeting someone closer to my own age with whom I have something in common culturally, intellectually, etc.  The guy never made any space for me to introduce myself.  When I mentioned books and music as starting points, he shot that down as impractical.  How depressing!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Noodles and berries

Belle and I ate beef ramen, drained and tossed with ghee (clarified butter) for dinner.  I couldn't fry bacon or make vegetables tonight.  Maybe I would have made an egg casserole had Belle found something else to do.  We liked our noodles though.

I bought eight dollars worth of stone fruit last Saturday that still hasn't ripened completely.  We've been biding our taste buds with blackberries in the meantime.  Good thing berry stains rinse out of clothes with boiling water!

Monday, July 7, 2014

No mo'.

This was a fun, wine filled weekend until the very end when it all fell apart.  My long-term tarot client phoned me under the influence and in crises.  I was having my own drink with Belle sleeping when the phone rang.  I quixkly lost my buzz and never regained it.  It is impossible to address someone else's issue when you are enjoying the same thing.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Independence Day

We celebrated Independence Day at the annual parade.  Belle seemed mystified by all the horses in the parade, especially the one being commandeered by a toddler in pink.  We resisted the ice cream carts and lemonade stands because it wasn't very hot and we weren't very hungry.  In fact, we were late to the parade because I'd fried eggs and potato pancakes, of which Belle ate cookies.  We had a great time on full stomachs and only missed forty-five floats.

Someone brought me some wine and cheese later on.  I was a couple glasses in (and standing barefoot outside with it) when our next door neighbors invited us to their barbecue in the park.  Belle nibbled on a rib and strawberries.  I drank homemade sangria, followed by what I can best describe as a mimosa already made in a bottle.  I probably would have followed the neighbors home to their house had Belle not needed to play on the play structure on the way home.

Belle jumped out of bed at two-thirty this morning and just stood crying in the dark.  I jumped out of bed too and drank some water to curb my hang over.  I got Belle back into bed until eight when Krishna woke her up.  I warmed up leftovers to eat in the bath, which was the only way I would have gotten clean, fed and hydrated with a clingy child in a time crunch.  Belle and I made this morning's food run late and still left early enough to cart it home and trek back out to shop the farmer's market, where we were invited to a wine and cheese party at church.