Madoff Sentencing

I knew Madoff would be sentenced on Monday.  I didn’t expect to pay much attention since whether he got 25 or 150 years it would make NO difference to my family.  We were all trying to wake up after a typical night of sleep with a 4 month old when we clicked on the news as they were announcing that he would be in prison for the rest of his life.

I actually cried just a little.

It was a cry of the weariness I feel because of our theft. Of trying to muddle through and be okay.  Of mourning what we lost.  And for all the people who have lost more than we have… or rather have less of a fall back than we do.

That was that and then I needed to get Vivien her breakfast and shower.  But…

I kept getting calls from the press.  I have become a poster child for VOB (victims of Bernie). So, one local crew came to my house.  I hesitated, but I granted an interview for the same reason I blog about it.. to put a human face on this fraud .  And as always to let other people caught in the downturn to know there are so many of us who are in this mess.

Before they got here my stomach was bugging me.  I think I was having a low level anxiety attack akin to the kind I felt when we first heard we were robbed.

Had a short panic of …”what do I wear to be interviewed as a crime victim?”  In the end I kept on what I was wearing, but picked a bra with more support. This is the outfit, minus my imaginary Madoff/Chase

The reporter and cameraman were very nice.   I actually choked up a couple times talking about my kids, but they didn’t use that.  which I thought was very decent of them.  And it was pretty on the money.  I was worried they would change things up and I would regret speaking to them. some things that didn’t make it in the final cut… the reporter asked,

“How do you feel about Bernie Madoff?”

Me. ” It’s not allowed on broadcast TV what I think of him.  He is a sociopath, a serial killer.”

MOVING ON

I really do feel good most days.  I don’t think of my old house everyday or Madoff or Stanley Chase (the feeder fund we were in).  I think I’m a pretty happy person.  But, when something like this comes up…as it also did last Monday when the SEC brought suit against Chase…it throws me back.  I regress emotionally to a few months back and I don’t like that. Monday I was not as productive or happy go lucky.  I don’t like giving these thieves another chance to make me feel bad.  I hope there is a day when I can’t be pulled under, even for a day.

COPING

I think one thing that helps me is on a day I don’t have to go to work it helps to exercise.  Most of the time that’s a walk with Rex, or Stroller Striders.  Since Vivien is off from school now that is tougher.  So I get house bound mom,  feeling tubby and VOB all rolled into one!

Must try to get the endorphins up this morning.

When Do You Leave the Baby?

I’ve kind of been itching for a night.. or two away on my own.  Either solo or with my husband. When Vivien was 6 months I took off for 24 hours by myself for a birthday present to me.  I took the pump and she was with my husband and my mom.  When she was about 14 months, I went on a 48 business trip.  I have done a couple of those since then.  But, now with baby Rex I’m finding leaving to be harder.

Money wise I’m looking at stuff that wouldn’t cost a lot, use miles, stay at a friends, stuff like that.  But, here is my thinking if it’s with my husband we can’t leave for more than 24 hours.  If he stays I can go for 36 hours.  If I can bank enough milk.  And then I hear my mom’s voice, “leave a nursling?”  And it stops me in my tracks.

I was just playing with Rex, singing “itsy bitsy spider”, which he loves.  Kissing his toes which made him laugh like Ed McMahon (God rest his soul). And I think, sure I ‘d love to have wine with friends, go to a show, sleep all night, but what is better than this and more fleeting?  Stay at home, save up for a big trip. Get over it.

But, I still want to go…

I once met a woman who said she left her 6 week old for two weeks to go Italy with her husband and I almost threw up.

On the other hand I have a friend who has not spent one night away from her daughter who is now 4.  That makes me itchy.

When did you leave your baby, if ever?  And for how long?  Can one justify it if it’s not related to work?

Momversation: Is An Emotional Affair Cheating?

I’m starting to realize I’m the tart mom in the Momversation line up.  I’m the one bringing up issues related to sex.  Well, that’s how we all became mom’s right? (mom’s who adopted or had IV, be quiet, I’m on a roll). I mean just because we became mom’s doesn’t mean it never crosses our minds, right.

Oops, yeah I forgot, I have yapped about my diminished libido.  Oh well.

This Momversation launches from an essay in Redbook about having an emotional affair.  I think this would be a much easier affair to slide into.  When you cross the line would be hard to know.  As opposed to checking into the Ramada as “Mr and Mrs Jones” and taking your clothes which is a clear tip off… a line has been crossed.

Have you ever been up late writing messages on Facebook to some old college flame?

Do you look forward to emails from a male friend and rush to answer them?

Or is your emotional affair with the latest issues of Sunset Magazine ? ( that would be me)

Who Runs the Party?

Now, not one of those many stories about who is in charge of the GOP Rush Limbaugh or um, or somebody else.  But kiddie birthday parties. (Pic is of Vivien’s 1st bday, which we had in Palm Springs the night before our wedding redux.) Most parties I go to the mom has the grand plan, and she is telling dad.

“Fill the ice chest”

“Time for pinata; what it’s not hung up yet, get to it, scrappy.”  Stuff like that.

Well, my eye went to this past Sunday’s style section in the NY Times (since Monday cannot begin until I have) to a story about a dad who decided to start running the kiddie parties.

I asked Mark, “Gave you ever run a kiddie party?”  Since he was married before and has three children from his previous marriage, I figured this issue had come up before.

“Well, in my experience, mothers don’t want to cede control of the kiddie party. They have an idea of where it should go, and if I didn’t buy the pink plates or whatever, the mother (notice how he tries to be diplomatic when speaking of his third wife) had in mind they get mad.”

Point well taken. I said, “Well why don’t you plan Vivien’s 4th birthday party?”

He said, “okay” with the same suspicion as if I had said, “Let’s ask that big busted 29-year-old woman to join our marriage.”  Like if he said “yes,” he will get slapped.

I thought for a second. “Okay, if you didn’t pull it off, I would be pissed. If there were no balloons, pony, fairy clown, favors for the kids, jumping house, etc., I would probably come unglued.”

He nodded.  “I can refill the ice chest,”  he kindly offered.

So, like so many issues this is something I have to work on myself.

Sex or Sleep?

Oh, seriously I do like sex.  I really do.  But, when I was single  I usually chose sleep instead as well.  Well, there were a few times where I sparked with some hottie, spent hours talking into the early morning hours before we finally made the beast with a naked back..or whatever that expression is.  I would be a bit fried the next as I boarded a plane or staggered into work, but no biggie because I knew at some point I could nap, order delivery and sit in my nightgown watching “Melrose Place”.  Ah, the 90’s… But there were plenty of times where I was like, ah, I gotta go back to my place and snooze.  Let’s pick this up another night. Once I became jaded enough to realize that fun, new sex feeling would still be there a day later or it might make me realize, Yuck, I so don’t want to wake up next to this creep.

But, as we know there is little chance of a nap so save your survey dollars. Most woman will agree with me. Especially if they are like me and being woken up every 2 hours by a newborn.

66 Year-Old Mom

This was a story from a couple of weeks ago that caught my eye.  Sorry to slag off on the old lady, but come on!

And by the way… this is the debut of my new abode!  It’s a nice house we are renting right now for our “regroup year”.

Commencement

My daughter is about to graduate from her first year of pre-school, and since I won’t be asked to make a speech after they sing their songs, I thought I would do it here. Well, this speech isn’t for pre schoolers, but the parents and grandparents who are trying to navigate this kooky time we are in. Note: the picture is of the flowers on our mantle when we were married ( in our living room).

The NY Times reported Wednesday that the SEC has officially barred Bernie Madoff from working in the securities industry. Now, are they sure they aren’t rushing into this?

Granted he was arrested Dec. 11th 2008 for operating the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of the US, probably the world, but are they sure?  This kind of news piece gives bureaucracies their bad name for being large bloated, ineffective piles of doo.  And not just the SEC which was suppose to look out for Madoff’s to begin with.  oops, missed that one.

I don’t know if you feel like I do-since I’m a VOB ( victim of Bernie), but I feel a bit stymied about what to do with the savings I still possess and what to do with money that I hope will be coming my way one day.

Real estate, hmm, I own a money pit investment property.

Stocks… what would you buy?  One has to be super sharp for that and watch it minute by minute.  Index funds, we all lost on those.

Bonds… should it still be 30% of your portfolio?

Muni bonds, conservative, but not FDIC insured.

Okay, then savings account, but the interest is so low it doesn’t add up to the time and value of money.

Which also can cancel out..

The mattress.

Diversification!  Ah, how much, where?

I have one friend who uses a financial manager, but they take 5% of your gross.  One would have to make some decent change to part with that.  And don’t we sometimes read about those guys being small time Madoff’s ? Not only for bloated rock stars.

My dad said to me recently “people don’t realize how hard it is to manage wealth.”  Which is why I think he will get the last laugh since he had a county job for over 30 years. He retired with a 110% pension plus medical.  He never owned a yacht, but he won’t be eating cat food in his golden years.  In fact he eats too much.

Like so many things in the entertainment business people’s success is partly about luck.

There was an interview with Clarence Otis jr, CEO of Darden restaurants ( they own Olive Garden, Red lobster) in NY times business page the other week.  He was asked about career advice.  He said,'”..it’s not about planning it. Things are too dynamic;there’s too much going; there are too many things that’ll pop up, good and bad.” “…it’s about preparation and building skills. and if you do that, then you’ll recover  from  the mishaps, and you be able to take advantage of the opportunities.”

This line spoke to me with what my family is going through now and I thought it might hit for some of you.  I thought we were set.  I had planned to live in our home for 30 years.  But, fortunately, my husband and I are still prepared to work and have skills.  So true about things being “dynamic”.  Think how quickly technology has changed?  If someone told me a couple years ago I’d be blogging I would have thought they were talking about flogging with lisp. And I was never into S and M so I would have been confused.

So, the moral of the story is, we can’t over plan.  That’s why when we camp our car is packed to the rafters, cause you never know. And call me a militia men, but don’t count on someone else to police where your funds are.  It’s not like we live in a failed state, but as my hero Frank Sinatra use to say:

Be Aware, Always Be Aware.

Momversation: Mom Side or Sexual Side?

Not many blogs or vlogs have done this for me, but this one did. It got me to think, “I really should masturbate.” Not to be graphic, but in doing this momversation that was the take away I came up with.  Yes, the mom self is dominant over the sexual side, but one shouldn’t lose the weaker side completely.  And do we always need a date night in order to reconnect with that self?  Cause I don’t always have the time, this way I don’t need to apply make up.

I haven’t seen most of what the other gals have said, and I never see the edited version before it’s posted, so I will be watching it with fresh eyes just like all you.

So, what are YOU more connected with, your mom self or sexual self?  And does it matter to you?