Around The Horn: Old fart, who me?!?!

This is how old I feel.

This is how old I feel.

Do you ever just feel OLD?!?

I know I’m not the first, but juggling the single mom/full time job/baby daddy drama/aging parents/schlepping my stuff between my parents’ home and my condo with baby in tow/blah #614, I’m really worn down. I’ve stopped glancing in mirrors because I hate what I see: a tired, exhausted shell of a woman. I can barely tell where maybe I may have been once pretty, but it’s all faded glory as far as I can see.

Nonetheless, I’m planning on going back to school to get a teaching credential that I’ve put off now for almost two decades. It scares me to be this old and to try to fulfill an old dream. I feel old. I am so damn tired.

Around the Horn: Mixing Children into the Theater audience

More swords!  More blood!  We must entertain the CHILDREN!!!!

More swords! More blood! We must entertain the CHILDREN!!!!

I work at a fair-sized non-profit theater in the education department, and my goal is to bring the joy of live theater to kids in the public and private school systems. So today, I proudly led 60 enthusiastic student-actors and their families to our main stage show tonight to see a classic piece of Spanish theater complete with sword fights and classical text and fake blood! Huzzah!

I nervously stood to the side, gathering my courage to say the curtain speech -a duty given to all company members at some point- when I overheard one of the regular patrons grumble to her partner, “There’s kids in the audience.” The excited kids nearby got quiet and slumped in their seats.

AROUND THE HORN: Money Saving Strategies


Let's go!!!

Let’s go!!!

I have now moved three times in less than 2 years. Most of it for ‘unusual circumstances’: death, childbirth, a fresh start. This last move required me to somehow pack and clean my condo while post-partum: which meant dealing with sutures in my genitalia, a doctor’s orders not to lift anything above 10 lbs, dealing with milk-engorged breasts, an inability to control my pee AND poo, and oh yeah, a newborn baby. Although the baby daddy is involved, he doesn’t live with me and helping me pack doesn’t necessarily come in the co-parenting packet. So even with two people, it’s really only one person moving stuff since one person’s whole job is to ‘watch baby from having meltdown’.

I don’t think moving is fun for people after the age of 24. (At 24 it seems exciting to move to bigger digs!) I find as I get older, I am reluctant to ask for help moving. It seems gauche now. Or more appropriate, it tells too much about my income, that I don’t have the money for movers and need to rely on family and friends. So believe it or not, I did move a lot of the stuff myself while baby daddy cried learning how to feed a fussy baby while I drove the car back and forth. I really was too ashamed to ask for more help. But at the same time I know my parents would be proud that I saved a few dollars!! (I still hear my day’s voice, “Don’t spend all your money in one place!!”). Moving is not “splurge-worthy”. Taking a trip to visit friends backpacking in Hawaii is “splurge-worthy” and I will drop dollars on that. :)

What ways do you try to cut corners in order to live within your means? And if you don’t cut corners, what money advice still rings in your head or that you would like to pass on?

SAF Seeking… 9 month home stretch!

My head's stuck!!!

My head’s stuck!!!

9th month of pregnancy report:

She’s practically in my va-jay-jay!!!

Ugh. So the first four months sucked. (Migraines win every time.) Second trimester was glorious! (I’ve never been so complimented on my luxurious hair and glowing skins as much as I did in those three months.) Now we’re down to the final month. What’s it feel like?!

1) Her head is in my freakin’ pelvis!

I can look down and where my pubic hair line normally starts is now a lump and that lump is her head. Apparently, this is good since she’s ‘in position’ for birth. Apparently it’s bad because look!!! I’ve got a fuckin’ head in my mons pubis!!! Oh she moves it sometimes, which is like a fist fuck in places where a fist should have never been.

SAF Seeking… The Return of Baby Daddy!

Oh, so NOW you want to be a father?!?

Oh, so NOW you want to be a father?!?

Well hello Baby Daddy, didn’t expect to see you here! Or ever. Again.

It’s funny how the world turns. I’ve discovered the more I try to plan things, the more the world has different plans.

He showed up around the 5 month mark. Rumors around town whispered that I was pregnant and he wanted to know if he was the father. “I dunno,” I had muttered, hoping that a non-answer would make him go away. I was angry at him and his ability to toss my feelings and thoughts away so carelessly that summer night so long ago. I figured, “Good riddance, I don’t need or want someone who’s gonna drag me down.”

Around The Horn: Examining the US through the lens of Ferguson

Devonte Hart as captured by photographer Johnny Nguyen. Can I trust this image, or is some news network trying to swing my feelings?

Devonte Hart as captured by photographer Johnny Nguyen. Can I trust this image, or is some news network trying to swing my feelings?

The Ferguson decision came pretty close to my doorstep. I live fairly close to where the Oakland protestors took over the 580 freeway, so I spent an interesting two nights listening to the world outside my window. The next morning(s), the streets were cleared of the broken glass and burnt out garbage bins. And I wondered: were the protests fruitful? Is anything going to change? I feel I don’t know enough of anything to know right or wrong anymore: I don’t trust the media (who controls it anyway?) and the Internet is a rabbit’s hole of personal opinions and surmission.

SAF Seeking… New Home

My home... For now.

My home… For now.

Well, the condo has been rented.

My pride and joy, the fact that I was able to purchase a small tiny home in the SF Bay Area ALL BY MYSELF on a non-profit theater maker’s income, is… rented.

Granted, the lease won’t begin until March 2015 which is when my baby’s due date is. As a single mom-to-be, I’ve decided to move back in with my parents directly after giving birth and staying there at least 6 months if not more. That way, I have someone who will help me with post-partum and daycare and I don’t have to commute in order to drop off the baby. It’s not something one wants to do in this old age, but one of the great things about being a daughter of filipino immigrants is that my entire ginormous family is here in one area and willing to help raise my child with me.

SAF Seeking… Perfection in imperfection

This is a cleft lip.

And this is a cleft lip.

Hello! I see you too!

Hello! I see you too!

And this? Yup, cleft lip.

Good morning America!

Good morning America!

My daughter will be born with one. Possibly a cleft palate as well (see below) but the sonogram can’t confirm that although it is still a possibility for which I should brace and prepare myself.

If you look inside his mouth, you can see that the palate is split, therefore a 'cleft' palate.

If you look inside his mouth, you can see that the palate is split, therefore a ‘cleft’ palate.

SAF seeking… The meaning of ‘Defect’

Celebrate or cry? (Btw: this is not my sonogram.)

Celebrate or cry? (Btw: this is not my sonogram.)

“We found…”

Not exactly the words you want to hear when you’re already having an unplanned pregnancy as a soon-to-be single mom.

My best friend had excitedly accompanied me to the 20 week sonogram. Life was looking good. I was finally over the first trimester of constant headaches and nausea. I had a little bit more energy. And I was slowly beginning to accept the decision to have a child at this point in my life.

SAF Seeking… Escape from hormonal hell

"Taking over the world, one pregnant woman at a time."

“Taking over the world, one pregnant woman at a time.”

So this is how man conquered woman. I see. You want to control a woman, take away birth control.

Seriously y’all. (Hobby Lobby take note.)

Because for the the years I was child-free, I had some modicum of control over my body. The moment I chose to be pregnant (notice that I chose the word ‘chose’), I have never been so sucker-punched and betrayed by my own body on a regular basis. For the first four months of pregnancy, I fought constant blinding headaches, a persistent disinterest in eating, and an all-consuming need to sleep. And contrary to outside perception, I WAS NOT BEING LAZY. I was fighting my body every step of the way.

Around the Horn: Weird Family Advice

That's my dad!!!!

That’s my dad!!!!

My dad -to me- is the king of quotes. Not that he quotes anyone in particular, but he deposits little adages here and there in such meme-worthy bite-sized-ness that he is nothing but a series of Jack Handy advice quips. My mom screams out the same advice repeatedly so she represents a broken record to me.

The more bizarre (and yet I somewhat do take into consideration years down the line) advice I’ve received from them include:

SAF Seeking… Acceptance

I'm baaaaaaaaack!!!!

I’m baaaaaaaaack!!!!

Well, apparently it wasn’t a miscarriage.

I was sick a couple of weeks ago and since work wouldn’t allow me to come into the office (although I had a tower of stuff to do that was time-sensitive and no one else to do it), I decided to go to the doctor and get swabbed for strep throat which was making the rounds in Oakland. Hey, while I’m at the doctor’s, I should just go toddle off to the OB/GYN and make sure all that miscarriage stuff is cleared out of me just in case.

So imagine my surprise after being gagged with a strep swab and then poked by an ultra sound wand and a chuckle of “Well, you’re still pregnant.”
-”No I’m not.”
-”Yes you are.”
-”No I’m not.”
-”Look at the monitor.”