Posts Filed Under posts not fitting elsewhere.

In other news, we are not rich.

by renegademama

So a few days ago I sort of dropped a few lines about our nanny. Just kinda threw ‘em in there like it was nothin’.

That night at around 3am the thought came into my mind that perhaps that could have sounded a bit pretentious – you know, to just drop in casual conversation how rad my nanny is. Very Desperate Housewives. Right? (I haven’t actually seen that show, but I THINK it’s about rich suburban white people, and, presumably, their nannies.)

Now, since this thought came to me at 3am I decided not to act upon it immediately. Because some pretty weird shit comes into my mind at 3am, and seems to make a whole lotta sense at that particular juncture. You know like I’ll decide one of my kids is really truly for REALS suffering due to my absences and if I don’t do something RIGHT NOW he or she may actually not make it. And she or he will end up a crackhead and all he or she will say is “well, you shoulda seen my terrible mother.”

Which is ridiculous, because everybody knows I’m a freaking fantastic mother.

So clearly 3am thoughts are not to be trusted.

This one, however, stuck with me. And came at 3pm and then again about 10 minutes ago. Therefore, I write this: we are not rich. We only have a nanny because it would have cost MORE to put them in day care. More, people. MORE.

And my husband works three (yep, count ‘em, three) jobs. And I have student loans. And I work as a consultant. In other words, there ain’t no trust fund up in here.

Now please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t have anything against rich people (WELL, I might, but mostly because I’m jealous) and I don’t even care if you thought for a minute I was storing millions in my sock drawer – what I don’t like is the idea of coming across as a pretentious woman of privilege who doesn’t recognize it and assumes everybody lives the way she does.

We live paycheck to freaking paycheck and my kids go to public school and I may or may not fantasize about not living like this some day. And I know we’re DAMN LUCKY to have what we have.

So there you have it.

I’m just keepin’ it real.

We don’t have much. Our mortgage is less than most people’s rent (read: um, modest accommodations?). But we have jobs and therefore, I don’t complain. I actually never complain about our finances (I mean DUH of course I complain to my husband and in my head) but I don’t complain to others. Because we have jobs. And that’s a lot.

So anyway, forgive me if I “name dropped” the nanny.

I’m still the broke ass I’ve always been, just with a freaking incredible nanny, who kisses my kids and hugs me and makes homemade tortillas and fits in this house like a third parent. Only she’s much better at this than I am. She’s amazing. And if I believed in blessings I’d say we are “blessed.”

But I don’t say shit like that.

So instead I’ll just say the universe gave us an incredible gift when we crossed paths with this woman.

Anyway I gotta go. I’m meeting my massage therapist in my steam room in five minutes and my cook is yelling something about being pissed at the butler. Silly helpers.

Oh wait never mind. That yelling I hear is my oldest kid screaming about the youngest kid putting her hands in the toilet, and there’s pee in it.

Shouldn’t I have staff to handle that?

15 Comments | Posted in posts not fitting elsewhere. | October 29, 2011

Check out my new digs!

by renegademama

I’m a real blogger now.

Know why?

Because Courtney at JudithShakes Designs created for me a real blog and a real logo (and, therefore, a real identity). Thanks, Courtney, for that.

Not only does the woman [obviously] create badass websites, but she has a brilliant wry sense of humor, an approachable, totally not annoying communication style, and I’m sure if she didn’t live in whatever god-forsaken humidity-ridden state she’s currently residing in we’d totally be BFFs. Or some bizarre derivative thereof.

And not only that. I also have a Facebook page – you can also get there in the LOGO – how rad is that? (And I’d really really like it if you’d like me. Please like me. I need you to like me. I’ll die if you don’t like me. I’ll camp on your front lawn and weep until you like me. (I’m practicing my codependent routine. How was it?)).

Okay but seriously I only have 29 “likes” – kinda pathetic, especially considering I KNOW I have AT LEAST 33 readers.


And you can follow me on The Twitter – (oh hells yeah I have a custom one). I go on The Twitter occasionally to say really profound shit in 140 characters or less. Actually it’s more like 136, since 4 are automatically taken up with the F word.

Or you can subscribe. Since I’m a real blogger now you probably feel compelled to subscribe or follow. No worries. Just go with that.

Also, since apparently when cool things happen they happen all at once…my new best friend nominated me for CBS Sacramento’s Most Valuable Blog Award…please vote for me by clicking the badge on the left or THIS LINK. I’ll owe you my life. Apparently you can vote every day. That would be totally fine with me.

And… I’m done with the shameless self-promotion. You’ll never ever see it again.

I lie.

But seriously, what do you think of the new digs?

P.S. If you hate it, I’ll tell you it’s fine and that I appreciate the feedback while simultaneously planning ways to quietly destroy you. (That’s my passive aggressive codependent impersonation. You like?)

Spill Post #1: Goodbye employment.

by renegademama


Goodbye employment. Hello homeless encampment.

Okay so we probably won’t end up homeless, but yesterday I quit my job. I QUIT MY JOB. On purpose. I quit my job on purpose.

Sorry. It still shocks me a little.

Why did I do such a thing?

Because I’m returning to graduate school.

Because I can’t return to graduate school and work and see my kids (at all, ever, even a little).

Because I’m effing INSANE.

I mean who does that? Abandons security, comfort, regular income to pursue a degree in English Literature, a virtually useless degree, a degree that promises no particular job at all – and if it results in ANY job it will surely be a low-paying one?


Well, I do. I guess.

But I had no choice. I stood at a crossroads. I kept writing posts like this one and this one, registering discontent and a feeling of lack – a sense of being unfulfilled. Something had to change. Something wasn’t right.

You know how sometimes you go through life and there’s this quiet suspicion in the back of your mind that maybe you should do something else? Like a low hum it buzzes constantly “Maybe you should go back to school, Janelle. Maybe you should quit work…” but it remains just an annoyance…background noise…until all the sudden it surfaces completely…rings like a crisp clear bell and YOU KNOW. You know what to do. Suddenly the path materializes in front of you and you just know “Oh. Right. I need to go this way now.”

Maybe I am insane. Maybe I am.

But despite my best efforts to come at it from a new angle, rework it, reinterpret it, it became undeniable that it was time for a change. The path had materialized and I just couldn’t go anywhere else. I tried to rig it – figure out how to do both work and school, but I found that was impossible. There are not enough hours. Something had to give.

It got down to a simple question: do I stay where it’s safe or risk everything to pursue what I love?

We chose to risk everything. And I say “we” because my husband – my heart, my rock, my truest and best friend (and staunchest supporter) – has told me in no uncertain terms that he’ll work 3 jobs to keep us alive, while I sit in a classroom discussing postcolonial theory with a bunch of skeptical sleep-deprived grad students.

I often feel that the universe gave me a kiss on the head when it sent me Mac. It’s like it said “Hey, you. Take this. Have this gift. You’ll be fine.”

And with him by my side, we will be fine.

[Wait. Hold on. I’m still a little flushed from that whole postcolonial theory thing. It’s so hot I’m struggling a little to find my words.]

Whew. That’s better.

Anyway, to answer your questions: No, we really can’t afford for me not to work. No, we don’t have a back-up plan. Yes, we may end up under a bridge.

But whatever, bridges are cool.

“Leap, and the net will appear.”

I’m learning to trust. I’m learning to be okay with the uncertainty. Sometimes you just have to LIVE, and worry about it later.

Right. I’m brave. I’m not scared. I laugh in the face of worry. I am a fearless spirit, trudging my way along the path of destiny.

[Oh shit. Did I really do this? Hold me.]

have I mentioned I love you people?

by renegademama

Okay. So I was going to respond to each of the comments on my last post, but I’m so smitten with you readers that I have to devote an entire post to singing your praises.

You people are fucking rad. Period.

I started this blog in January because I wanted to know if there were other mothers out there who were like me…experiencing motherhood like I always have. You know, just a little off…a little different…the black sheep at the mother’s group…well intentioned, in love with the offspring, trying hard but clueless, and seeming to do it all wrong, most of the time – not feeling the Hallmark card Lifetime movie Babycenter What-to-Expect-When-You’re-Expecting, ain’t this grand mainstream mothering vibe. I needn’t go on. You get me.

Because for so long I just thought there was something really wrong with me. (And there is. Duh. But not in the way I once suspected.) But eventually, after growing up a bit (translation: not being 22, which is how old I was when my first kid was born), and having three kids (which gave me a little confidence), I realized the following: I am not a bad person or a psycho (and there’s no way I’m dumber than the general population), and YET, most of this mainstream motherhood crap DRIVES ME BATSHIT INSANE and has NO RESEMBLANCE to my daily experience of motherhood.

Therefore, perhaps there are other mothers out there who feel the same way.

Let’s check it out.

So I started writing. And I started telling the truth. The real deal, as I saw it.

And though I started like some brave renegade pioneer, there have been times when I was so full of fear writing this stuff I almost didn’t publish it. Because posting something means “owning” it – there’s no denying it then. I can’t deny it to you, but more importantly, I can’t deny it to ME. And that’s the harder part. It makes it so real. It’s one thing to live something. It’s another thing to squarely face – openly admit – that which I’m living – the person I ACTUALLY am as opposed to the person I THINK I am – or the person I want YOU to think I am. That kind of honesty just lays me out. Bare. It’s not really that easy for me, though I do it with startling regularity. Maybe it’s simpler for other people.

And the last one I wrote was a tough one – I mean shit, admitting you can’t stand playing with your kids is not exactly a winning moment. (Charlie Sheen, who is obviously over-flowing with winning moments, would not be impressed.)

But I hit “publish” anyway. I throw myself out there and hope for the best.

And every damn time I do, I am amazed, straight SHOCKED by the incredible responses I get. The truth and the bravery I get RIGHT BACK, by you. Now, I’m sure there are women out there who come across this blog and say to themselves “This woman should lose her parental rights (and so should those crazy commenters!). Good God who admits this stuff? What an awful specimen of a mother!” and then they journey on to the happy flowers scrap-booking blog…and I send them my blessing. Lucky you, lady, you got it dialed. Maybe in my next life, I’ll have it dialed too.

But enough about them.

Let’s talk about you. Who knew there were so many badass women out there, perfectly willing to lay it on the line and tell it like it is…? Giving a beautiful, raging middle finger to that stereotypical motherhood bullshit …

And helping me. So much.

I just want to thank you. At the risk of sounding horribly clichéd, I must say, your comments help me see things in a new way, encourage me to write, help me feel okay about myself. As a mother. As a person.

I didn’t expect that.

Particularly with this last post…your comments floored me. I’ve reread each one and been thinking about each of them (because this inability-to-play thing has been bothering me for a long time – like years). But on the way home from work today, as I was reflecting on the things you all wrote, I suddenly realized that I don’t have to play board games or dolls or whatever with my kids to demonstrate my love, devotion and concern. I can stop feeling guilty about it, I can abandon the whole futile effort and just do it in other ways – ways that I’m good at. Ways that I enjoy.

And it’ll be alright. And they’ll be alright. And even I will be alright.

Ain’t it fucking grand?

Why yes. It is.

And I’m not the only one. People, even non-mothers, have asked me where I ‘found’ you badass women…how I got to ‘know’ so many smart, honest, strong females…how they simply LOVE the comments on my blog, and actually subscribe to the comment RSS feeds (which is weird, given the depth of stupidity usually found among humans on the internet). And I don’t know what to say, because I’m just as smitten and amazed as they are.

So here’s to you, ladies.


And now, in your honor, I shall share with you the MOST PERFECT IMAGE OF MOTHERHOOD I have ever, ever, ever come across. I’ve been waiting for just the right moment. This is obviously it.

[For some reason it’s showing up blurry, but if you click on it, it’s not. Whatever. Fucking technology.]

This is us.

as promised…pictures from our Santa Cruz trip…

by renegademama

our favorite tree

we sat Georgia on a towel on the picnic table...and started taking pictures. Quickly. Before she fell off.

She's a smiler. (P.S. She didn't actually fall off.)

Soon after embarking on our hike, Rocket realized he needed to stop, take his shoe off, and lick his foot. Sometimes I wonder about him.

He was standing in front of a giant redwood and he looked up at the sky and just squealed in delight. This was not one of the whispering moments. This was a 5-year old boy pure JOY moment.

Quite possibly my most favorite picture of those two...ever.

sometimes things just work. For example, chicken dresses on babies.

...after she discovered she likes the water.

building our teepee. when I say "our," I mean of course "daddy and Rocket" because I don't do that sort of thing while on the beach. too much work.

a boy and the beach and a bucket. I could watch him at the beach all day. he just runs and plays and digs and runs some more. pure bliss.




Our old man (I mean little boy) at the Boardwalk, waiting for a ride...

looking angelic on the carousel...last ride of the day. he looks like that because he's so tired he can hardly keep his eyes open. but just look at those freckles.

what an amazing trip...til next time...

7 Comments | Posted in posts not fitting elsewhere. | April 19, 2011