Friday, February 14, 2014

It's the Little Things

This morning on my way to get breakfast I passed a gratitude tree. A jar placed under the tree with a note encouraging people to write what they are grateful for and tie it to the tree. It was a nice way to start the morning.

I'm in San Francisco right now on a film shoot. I've been up here for a week this stretch and tonight my husband and daughter are driving up to meet me so we can spend the weekend here together. We haven't spent much time in SF so I'm pretty excited about it. It's such a beautiful city and I'm really starting to love it here.

There were no tags left for me to tie to the tree (there's a lot of gratitude in this neighborhood) so I'll share it here instead. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful husband and kid. I'm grateful that I get to do a job I really love and work with a lot of wonderful people on a movie I think is going to be amazing. I'm grateful for my family and friends and I'm grateful that I get to have adventures like I do.

I'm grateful for morning walks to coffee where I pass gratitude trees and mountain goats overlooking the city.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mommy and Me Adventure: Day at the Adobe

Is there a name for a group of old ladies? There should be. It should be something like "cackle". Like "a cackle of grey hairs". I saw a lovely cackle of grey hairs today. Dad was hanging with the boys - so it was a mommy and me day. Em and I made our way to Calabasas to meet up with her cousins and visit the Leonis Adobe Museum. It's not a very big museum but for $5 ($4 for adults and $1 for children) it's a nice way to kill an hour on crisp winter day.

The adobe is one of the oldest surviving private residences in Los Angeles County and apparently known as one of the most haunted sites in LA County as well. The cackle doesn't really talk about the ghosts on the tour but they do tell you a little bit about the home.

Emily's favorite part though was the farm. We saw the biggest horses I've ever seen - like straight out of a Budweiser commercial. Chickens, turkeys, long-horned sheep and lambs. We got a bag of hay and fed the animals. The kids had a blast.

Afterwards we headed down the street to Susie Cakes and shared a flourless chocolate cupcake and picked up some minis to bring back to Dad. All in all a pretty good day.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Hum That Drives You Mad

Have you heard of the Hum? Starting in the 1950s there have been reports from around the world of a low-frequency rumbling sound that slowly drives people crazy. Not everyone can hear it. They say only two percent of the population is even effected by this. But it's there, slowly driving people mad - from Taos, NM to to Bristol, England.

I've recently encountered my own frequency of madness inducing humming. It's the constant whining of my fussy toddler. It sounds a lot like an emergency broadcast signal. Unlike The Hum, I'm sure most people can hear it. But I've been hold up in my apartment alone for three days with this continuous droning and it's become my own private hell.

I think as kids get older, parents begin to lose their ability to hear certain frequencies that coincidentally are the same frequency of their children's voices. We've all seen it - a father or mother, small child in tow yammering on about something, the parent oblivious to whatever their kid is saying. Maybe they don't actually hear them. Maybe over time parents actually develop a block. I don't know if there is any scientific evidence to back this up but I'm beginning to think it's possible. Almost a defense mechanism. Self-preservation induced hearing loss - to keep one from losing their mind.

I'm not gonna lie. Sometimes parenting feels like self-inflicted madness. I went to a "family-friendly" New Years Eve party this year. New Years is a holiday you usually have to give up after kids so the thought of getting a little dressed up and having a cocktail but still being home by 9pm sounded pretty appealing. But what I've come to learn about "kid-friendly" parties is they are really like "parent asylums". Kids run wild and parents in fancy dress clothes wander around half glassy-eyed and spaced out wondering how this has become their lives. This party in particular seemed to be populated by two groups - parents and singles considering becoming parents. Almost like visitors at the zoo.

I found myself in conversation with one dad in particular who I had come to think of as Super Dad. This is a man who was excited about buying a mini-van and who waxes poetically about fatherhood on Facebook. He's got two kids and asked if I was thinking about a second. Before I could even answer he launched into a terrifyingly convincing argument equating a second child to the death of your soul - punctuated by another father walking by and slipping him a Xanax. How many other dads in the room were palming the same? Maybe I just caught him in a moment of weakness. A short psychotic break - like the ones used in an insanity defense. But in that moment it was very clear - even the best of us have our breaking point. Maybe we all need to tune out every once in a while in order to be able to tune in the rest of the time.