The Move 3.0

Since starting this experiment/masterpiece cool mom, I have moved three times. In three years. The boxes, the emotions, blah blah… The truth is I was FAR less emotional than previous moves. My skin is thick. This is also a very hopeful move. We moved into more of a shoulder area than where we owned before, further south from where we rented. I used to walk to cafes; now I can walk to auto body stores, but whatever. I’m so thrilled to have a second chance at home ownership, and I am really hoping we don’t have to leave this house for many years to come. But who knows?  In the meantime, I have really enjoyed fixing the place up for me and my family. Later, I will show you some of my DIY jobs.

I think this vid — like a lot the next week — will fall more into the “slice of life” category than big knee slappers. It’s the mood I’m in as I settle and nest, and being so flipping tired is short circuiting my brain (Rex’s 5am wake ups continue).

So grateful for what I have and for you all visiting the site.

Notes from the move

Of course the move week is also when I’m having a RAGING period and Rex has decided to regress, wake up two times a night.

One last hurdle that I haven’t cemented is moving and installing the TV and stereo.  The quote I got was $2,400!  I’m thinking of becoming a luddite to avoid this.  A super sweet cameraman who shot my “I could have been a viral” says he will do it for nothing.  I tell him we would buy he and his wife dinner at Campanile and he is happy with that.  It’s terrible when kind, generous people seem odd.  But, even if he had alterior motives I think my husband would serve me up like a roast lamb if it saved him $2,400.  And who wouldn’t be tempted by a moving, menstrual mother of 2?  I’m irresistible.

Vivien is back to school today and she was not happy.  I wasn’t either.  I liked having her with me more.  Also, zero tantrums.  Clearly they are all related to be exhausted.  The school day is too long for 5 year olds. She has been excited about the new house.  But, penny dropped this morning that we are leaving our home of 2 years and she was sad.  She said she would miss her neighbor.

Me: ” I know transitions are hard.” then I wonder if she knows what that word means.

Oh, just had to stop writing.  Rex yelled “poo-poo” and kindly took off his shorts and diaper spreading it all over his body as he smiled in the dining room.

Wrote ANOTHER check.  This time for termite tenting at new house.  Moving costs do pile up.

Last night at dinner when we went around the dinner table saying what are favorite part of the day was (our ritual) Oliver said “seeing the new floors”.  We have replaced the damaged and old floors at the new house the oak flooring does look good.  Have to pay the other half of that!

okay, last few days a blur of packing and moving.  I really smell.  I was right in there with the movers.  I’m macho, yes, but was hoping to move it along and save money.

In an empty house.  Left one TV and want to watch the Royal wedding in the am.  Something has gone wrong.  TV not working.  Something became unplugged.  I don’t know.  Losing my grip on reality and can’t stand the smell or the look of me.  Me and the kids are headed to my mom’s.

Moving, yes, again

This is the third time in the three years of doing cool mom that I tell you about my move.  This is much happier than the last move though.  We have been looking for a long time.  I have spent many, many nights after the kids are asleep surfing the real estate sites.  It’s in a different area (cheaper) than were we live now, but still close enough to Campanile and Vivien’s best friend.  That was important.

We, like many of you, are not out of the woods of this deep morass called the Great Recession.  Last week we closed The Point, Mark’s cafe in Culver City.  We had to stop the bleeding.

As always, my little ones are my sunshine.  I am excited for them…and for me too.  I really hope I get to keep this house.

Missing Stuff From My Move

Here is another job for my fantasy flunky: find my lost stuff. Like right now I cannot find the padding to the high chair. Been saving the darn thing since Vivien was a wee one. Every move I throw stuff out, and I think the goblins have thrown out stuff that I really would like.

A tracking device for wanted goods… another good business idea! (Along with the coffee carts in the park)

Honey, We Have to Move

So, here I talk about how to handle the move with the wee ones. It was VERY emotional at times before we moved. Hearing little Viv say she didn’t want to move was a knife in my heart. I I think from the comments I get from all of you and from my own experience, a reversal of fortune is harder because you have kids, but it’s what also makes you get through it. Also, my stepson is a no-drama kid. I say, “So, your room is going to be smaller; is that okay?”

“Sure, that’s fine.”

Later, “Um, there isn’t enough room in the house to hang all of our art work; would it be okay if next to the Simpson poster we hang these art photographs?”

“Sure, that’s fine.” Phew.

When I was single and childless, and I was unemployed for a while or had ive with my parents after college because I didn’t have a pot to piss in and student loans to boot, it wasn’t great but not that big of a deal. You know other friends who also don’t have much. You get a six pack together and watch TV.  In my 20s when I wanted to go to Europe, I put it on my credit card and then ate cereal for a few months at home alone till I made some payments on it. Nothing that kicks you in the gut. But when you feel like you are letting your kids down, when you aren’t giving them the life you had dreamed for them, that can send you to a dark place.

But if it wasn’t for my kids’ If it weren’t for my happy-go-lucky daughter, my even-tempered stepsons, my supportive step-daughte,r and a newborn boy who needs me totally, I could have easily gone off the rails. To be jolted like this without my wee ones, well, I’d probably be shooting heroin in my gums.

Happily, a fresh coat of pink paint and white shelves really made the difference for Vivien in the new house. I shelled out the money for that happily. She has not missed a beat and loves her “new, pink room.”

For anyone else who has had to guide their kids through a similar transition, I welcome hearing about how you did it.

AV Guy: Watch Out!

So, we are in the midst of preparing for our big move. Now, the reasons behind the move and the details of the actual move itself are many and mundane enough for a few blogs of their own. But presently, my world is rocked because my husband just told my daughter and I that “There won’t be any TV for several days.” EXCUSE me?

I’m not ashamed  to say how much I need TV. First night in the new place is Thursday, and Mark says “Probably no TV till Tuesday.”  And he will be out of town ALL weekend. So just me and the kids for 3 days with boxes and NO TV? What kind of fresh hell is this? I tried to remain calm and think; OK, we will watch lots of DVDs ’cause I need to park that kid in front of the boob tube now and then for a little mental R&R. No, that might not work either. And that is when I got a little irate. “What kind of cockamamy AV guys have you hired?”

Mark went into a whole thing about complicated it is; yeah, for me, but isn’t that why we hired a pro?  ‘Cause we don’t know what we are doing?  I said, “Tell him it HAS to be  working by the weekend.” Blank face. “Do I have to call him?”

He gave me his number.  Okay, you don’t want to do it? Well, I will. I need my cartoons.

Home Wrecking Improvement

A mommy friend said to me the other day, “I almost divorced my husband over carpentry.” I get it. The mommy blog Dooce recently mentioned the perils of home improvement on a marriage. Not that long ago when Mark and I were house hunting we considered some fixers. I could now get on my knees and thank GOD we did not buy any of them (sort of how I am also glad that lousy boyfriends broke up with me. It hurt at the time, but it led me to a much, much better man). At the time another friend had said that if she and her husband bought a fixer no question they would be divorced. I was like, huh? Wow, really? Boy was I naive, and that was 6 months ago. We just bought a house that only needed some cosmetic help and man, oh man that was stressful enough. This is universal, right?

Toys Gone Bad

You know how you cease to see your own junk, but if you go to someone else’s house, you can instantly see where some discarding and organization is in order?  Well, I just took notice of TOYS that need to go. First off, this sandbox came with our house and I couldn’t understand why the previous owners left such a darling sandbox.


Then I realized that it was waterlogged, and mushrooms and weeds were growing out of it. Uncovered sand gets funky. Also, there were about 4 dozen old balls that were left by the former kids.  Vivien was excited to find them at first.

deflated play balls

But seriously, do any of these look playable? No. So did I chuck them when we moved in? No. For some reason, I left them around. I don’t know why, unless I thought my kid is so clever, she will find a use even for deflated balls. Yeah, like I ever found a use for those striped palazzo pants I got on sale.

I chucked the broken plastic today. The sandbox’s days are numbered.

People Are Meant To Eat

So I noticed Dooce’s response to people who are unhappy with her vegi cleanse. I get cutting out meat. I did that for a while…three months, then one taste of bacon and it was all over. And I get cutting out red meat since they say cow farts contribute to global warming. And if I’m going to do something I think I would rather cut out a steak rather than my air conditioning*.

Since I live in California I’m no stranger to wacky and different diets and food beliefs. I got talked into a cleanse a few years back. And it wasn’t just veggies, it was NOTHING. Ten days of nothing, but some crappy tasty Chinese herbs and water. Now, I didn’t seem to get the memo that if you deprive your body of that much sustenance you need to lay down on your coach all day and only move to scratch an itch. No, I wisely decided to pick that week to move out of my apartment in San Francisco.

After a few days of eating air, one gets a bit high. I still don’t know how I stuck to it at all. On day four my friend Whitney and I loaded up a van full of my belongings to drive to my new apartment in Santa Monica. He had to do all the work though because I was feeling a little weak and kept giggling uncontrollably. How I didn’t snack on the boring stretch of Highway 5, I don’t know. Oh, yes I do. I wanted to be skinny. Blah, blah toxins, I wanted a flat stomach and this cleanse was going to kick start my path to svelteness.

The next morning back at my place I got really sick. Vomiting herbs and water, really out of it. All I could do was sleep. I couldn’t even get to the couch. Whitney rolled his eyes at me and said something like, “This is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done.”

I started back with clear broth. Then crackers. Food begot more food. I felt better. I think I’ll just wear Spanx.

*Oh god! I just saw pig farts hurt the environment too. Damn, my bacon is threatened again!


All weekend I was on a tear to get ready for our move on Monday. While I did the the physical act of preparing to move here were the three things running through my brain.

  1. Is it better to make a day of fun for Vivien during this transition or stick to a routine? As in we go to an amusement park so the move seems like a happy thing or keep it really regular in terms of schedule, oh, and 48 hours later we are somewhere new.
  2. Why, oh, why have I kept all this crap?! Have you ever done this? Find Post-Its with a barely readable scribble on it, or a phone number of someone you don’t know and you think “Why, oh, why did I save this?” It’s like mover/cleaner Daph thinks regular Daph is a messy, eccentric pack rat. Why does it take a move to make me decisive?
  3. I’m not helping Hillary. Tuesday is the Pennsylvania primary and I woke up Saturday saying to Mark, “I have to make calls.” I wasn’t in the mood. I did make one (you can go to and they have a page set for people to call in the primary they are focusing on) and the lady said, “I’m voting for her, but thinking of not cause I’m tired of all these calls.” I decided to be easily discouraged. Maybe I would only hurt her cause. But, I still want her to win and did read a few articles that got my girl defender dander up. Obama is acting as if he is not a regular pol while acting like a regular pol. In the past few months such emotion would have translated into action on my part. Now, I really need to organize.