WestCoastBliss..and some movies.

MrsDomestica is back…from a beautiful, delicious, magical and ultra groovy trip to the amazing state of California. Napa to Big Sur and then back to the Groovy streets of Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. What a trip!

On Sunday night we said Goodbye to my wonderful Mama (NanaRo) and me and BabyDaddy began our vacation with a stay at the luxurious Hampton Inn right behind Dulles Airport in Virginia (Hot!) We decided to stay there on Sunday night because our flight was early the next day, they would drive us to the airport and we could leave our car there…blah blah blah. We open the door to our room and BabyDaddy jumps on the bed, cracks open a Coors light (which he had brought in a paper bag) and exclaims- “I can’t wait to watch a movie!”

HA!

Yes, my friends, we watched a movie and drank Coors light.

Got to the airport, all good- got on the plane and took a deep breath. Here we were. on a plane. alone. no babies. no strollers.no car seats…silence.  Until, we watched movies!

His movie: Immortal

Her movie: Breaking Dawn

I know, the depth of romance in our relationship is almost too much to handle… i’ll try to take it easy on ya.

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We spent Monday eating burritos at Golden Gate Bridge Nat. Park and then drove north to Santa Rosa for an afternoon of Wine Tasting with our travel buddies and with a San Fran native and serious wine connoisseur.    Whom I’m guessing didn’t appreciate my need to stick my schnoz in each glass and exert annoying wine tasting lingo that I had googled in the car.

Such words/phrases included:

“The herbaceous desire of this wine is just too much for me.”

“Cigarbox.” (awkward…..)

“The mouthfeel of the tannins is just DELIGHTFUL!”

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On to Napa- Stayed at a lovely little B&B ..where I yet again managed to be the most obnoxious person in the room. Have you ever heard of a personality chameleon? Hi,  I am one. In this particular situation- there was a couple from the DC area, the woman (who was delightful) was just as hyper as me after a great workout and 4 cups of coffee (did I mention that she was delightful?)  So of course, being the personality chamerleon that I am- I matched her level of “awesomeness”…which resulted in 2 very hyper and chatty woman in a room full of people just trying to eat their soufflé  and plan their wine route maps.
Anyways… on to the Good stuff- WINE.
After the previous afternoon, I decided to tone it down a bit on the wine enthusism. I was trying to find my IshouldHaveLivedonTheWestCoastVibe, mellow Anna if you will.
We get to the first Vineyard and it was beautiful, up on a hill, garden…great wine…awesome. We are finishing up our tasting when a tall older man approached us and asks if we want to see the “secret garden”. Never one to shy away at strange men (kidding…) we follow him through the garden where he unlocked a beautiful wrought iron gate and led us through a path of  a thousand primrose to a beautiful secret garden, overlooking Napa Valley.  He introduced himself as Xavier, he was a Pomo Medicine Man called Moon Glow who served in Vietnam, built million dollar gardens for Arabian royalty and honored his wife who had passed by planting Thyme and Rosemary  in his gardens (bestow my heart!) In a nutshell- Moon Glow was one in a million.
He spent about an hour and a half with us. Showing us tricks with local herbs and flowers in his garden, talking about his life and life’s lessons and then he led us to the mile long vineyard cellars- barrels and barrels of wine…simply amazing.
We left feeling in love with our partners and wanting to study the holistic powers of botany..and of course drink more wine.
Days later, we’re still not sure if he was real or if he was a figment of our imagination.
So, if you ever go to Napa- ask around for Moon Glow, you will not be disappointed
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On Wednesday we made our way south the magical land of Big Sur…have you ever been to Big Sur? If not, please, PLEASE add it to your bucket list. 25miles of route 1, where the Redwoods, Mountains and Pacific mash together for what is probably one of the most beautiful and magical places I have ever experienced.
And there, I found my IshouldHaveLivedonTheWestCoast self.

…and so did BabyDaddy 😉

Big Sur was 2 1/2 days of Monarch Butterflies, Beaches, leg killing treks, camping with skunks, good laughs, tears, big reliefs, amazing views, Redwood trees and 1am hot springs.

Simply.Amazing.

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That’s all. For now.
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It takes a village, a cultural one.

I am in the midst of returning to work, part time. I know, I know-my first breakthrough blog post was centered around my ability to be “OK” with not working. Yes, I may be having a quarter life crisis.

It just sort of happened. A job/situation that seems to be just perfect for me, for this moment in my life.  And that’s what it would have to be for me to give up this full time, stay at home mom gig. Great organization, great oppurtunity that will keep me in ‘the game’. I had to do it.

Which leads me to this rant/need to share my thoughts to the general public-

I need to find a part time Nanny.

It doesn’t sound like the hardest thing in the world, right? For me, it kinda is.

The majority of Nanny’s that I have spoken with thus far, are either young female immigrants, straight off the boat (my Dad’s a straight off the boat immigrant- i can say that) who have pulled at my culturally sensitive hippy heart strings with stories about sending money home to their families…

OR

The slightly older female immigrants who have been here for 10+ years and are still living a very tough life and desperately need that extra $2 an hour above what you can actually afford to pay them…(did I mention I do non-profit work?)

So here’s where the guilt comes into play- I have it so freaking easy compared to these women. I have an unpublished blog post about ‘The Destruction of the Stay at Home Mama”..written after a really tough day with my babes. Even though those tough days can leave me crying in the bathroom with a bottle of wine (kidding….)  I am with my babies all day, I kiss them, feed them, watch them, make sure they are happy (most of the time) and safe.  Many of the woman I’ve interviewed, who spend their days watching other peoples children, usually the same age as their own, don’t get to see their babies until 7-8pm. That’s when mine go to bed! One woman’s 3 year old is in daycare from 6:30am to 7pm and her 8 year old was at that same daycare at 6:30am, then took the bus to school and then went to some after school program until 7pm.  I don’t even wanna know how much that is costing her. And that’s just the beginning of the tough stories I’ve heard!

Whatever happened to the whole, “it takes a village” concept? I’m into it. How about I go to work, Nanda from Ghanna and Grace from Guatamala can come to my house, watch my kids, their kids and their neighbor’s Felipe’s kids while he works as a Cleaning man for $9 an hour, all local Mama’s can drop off their kids for a few hours here and there and pay a small fee to be paid towards the cleaning lady fund and for Nanda and Grace…everyone wins. I think I’m on to something here…

 

UpChuck

How far would you drive for a “Night Out”?

30 min?

2 hours?

5?

No, too far?

Not for this lady!  I/me and my BabyDaddy have been known to drive 6+ hours for an event. I like to think that makes us loyal friends, social mavens and a very VERY fun couple. On the flip side, It could/probably means that we are crazy, prone to stress and are trying, perhaps a bit too hard to maintain our old social life. Whatever the reason, it’s us and we tend to do things of this nature- a lot.

This past Saturday we left our babes (in more than capable hands- thank you H!) and drove 4+ hours up to the Big Apple to celebrate my BabyDaddy’s upcoming Birthday. After spending FIVE HOURS drinking and catching up with friends at the classy joint Lederhosen, Mama.was.feelin.it. We leave with high hopes of finding a Karaoke Bar with room for our animated group…of course, it was 30 degrees and the wind was blowing in every direction, which, in NY means- you’ll never find a taxi.  To regroup, we ran inside a bar, which ended up being an even classier joint (really only 2 stars?! shocker.) Really, it was nothing less than HILLARIOUS.  After serenades from drag-like-wenches and a bit of a tussle with magician (?) we decide to continue our quest for Karaoke. At this point, it goes without saying, it was each man/woman for themself…my clan is the first to find a taxi, we hope in with Birthday boy who subsequently jumps out of the cab and goes rogue. That leaves me and 2 male friends in the cab en route to Karaoke (on the other side of the island, good luck Honey!) At this point my stomach is really feeling kinda yucky….maybe it’s the 5 hours of Spaten , the 3 pretzels, spatzle and Brats, maybe it’s the fact that some people were smoking cigarets and i could smell the smoke…whatever it was, Mama.was.feelin.it. We get out of the taxi, I’m trying to regroup, breath in the fresh NY air. When I pollitely ask my baby daddy’s friend to hold my purse,

while i upchuck in a trashcan

on the street corner

Yup

I know

real

flippin

classy

<please don’t call child services>

 

While I’m upchucking. in the trashcan.on the street corner. I remember the last time that I upchucked.in a trash can. on the street corner. I was about 7 months pregnant and had just inhaled a burger, shake AND frenchfries from the ShakeShack. I made it about a block and then. BOOM.gone.

 

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that maybe, just maybe…that my ability to keep things down has been shot since pregnancy. That sounds about right, right? I mean 2 pregnancies, each with about 9 months of upchucking. It makes sense.

So you see, It wasn’t the spaten, the brats OR the sketch cocktail at jekyll and hide’s…it was just BIOLOGY.evolution of a woman if you will.

right?

 

All in all, FABULOUS 24 hour adventure in our beloved city with our fabulous friends…and yes, Birthday BabyDaddy did miraculously find his way to us. And YES, we felt horrible the next day. Well worth the drive, as per usual.

 

The Choice

I haven’t “worked” in almost 3 years. It’s hard to even write that. Thinking about it, saying it or writing it makes me extremely anxious. It’s the classic go-to thoughts of most stay at home parents that I know. I know all the familiar arguments about modern feminism and recognize that I am extremely fortunate to even have a  “choice” about whether or not I work outside the home.  Yet even with the continual repetition validating these “choices” in my head, I still can’t truly get to a place where I am 100% comfortable with my current role.

After the allotted “MorningMommyTimeOut” that I give myself each morning with my 3rd cup of coffee, I took the time to psychoanalyze the situation, I came up with the following truths that have led me to this current predicament:

My Mother was/is a one of the hardest workers that I know and worked outside the home the duration of my life.  {You’re amazing Mama, keep it up!}

I, like most of society, still don’t truly value the role of a stay at home parent. {This really sucks. I know}

I, like most of my peers, judge myself on where in the world I am and what I am doing. {Stay at home Mama/Housewife in Suburbia, F…}

I really can’t shake my uvy-groovy souls desire to save the world. {Cage-free-Chickens-4-life!}

And finally, being a good parent and stay at home Domestica, is really flipping hard! {I mean, like, REALLY flipping hard!}

There are days, when it’s sunny and warm and I bask in the glory of MommyHood and all things domestica, I love my babies, my man and my life so SO much.  These are the days that I live for, that make ‘the choice’ more than worth it.

…and then there are the other days. The days were your baby wakes you up every hour and then both of your children wake up with poopy diaper explosions that, of course, are covering the sheets that you just washed. Then, after you’ve cleaned the bottoms in the sink and swear that you’ll remember to scrub it down with disinfectant, take the sheets off the bed and the crib (which is actually really hard!) you look over and see your toddler trying to get your 9 month old to chew on the vacuum wire that is still plugged in because you were just vacuuming the dog hair from the couch because the dog slept on it because she was mad at you for not taking her for a long enough walk the day before.  This is all before 8am.

Gosh I love a good vent sesh- I hope that was as good for you as it was for me.

In conclusion (i.e. my daughter is about to rip my laptop in half) I don’t know where my path will lead me. What I do know is that for today, I want to take time to appreciate where I am in my life, to remember that my babies will only be babies once, that what I’ve learned about myself and life in these 3 years are invaluable and that if/when I choose to go back to work- I’d be a complete freaking Rockstar.

Stories From Domestica and Beyond

This whole Domestica business is so fleeting. To honor the cliché, ‘it feels like just yesterday’ …I’ve been thinking about ways to Document (aside from the glories of social media sites) these moments, relationships and stories.  I feel so fortunate to know so many people who inspire me- many of whom were met through the common denominator of babies. To do this, I would like to document their stories, their moments in Domestica and learn about their lives Beyond Domestica. With this, we can continue to learn from each other, to be inspired, to learn and to relate. Community is so important; we’re all in this together…

 

 

Stories, interviews and profiles are on their way!