Mood of the day: Post Apocalypse shorties

There are a couple of things I learnt in the last two weeks:

– the meaning of ‘polar vortex’,  a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near one or both of a planet’s geographical poles. Basically, an almost apocalyptic end of the world during which your brain seems to be freezing while walking and during which opening your mouth on the street could probably kill you if the cold air was getting into your lungs. New York is the worst place for that type of polar cyclone because you can no longer curse bad drivers and have to instead resort to roll your eyes from behind your winter burka.

– my immune system is actually stronger than I thought. How else can I explain surviving through nursing 3 sick children and serving as a human facial tissue for their mucus? I am IMMORTAL. Yeah!!!

This week marks a return to sufferable temperatures so silly me decided to flaunt season appropriate clothing such as…my Calvin Klein black shorties and a vintage light teal blouse hum 🙂 Of course, I ended up adding layers, here a Hydraulic faux-fur vest, a Pea in a Pod grey coat and a black knit beanie, to actually be able to go out. Got slightly over zealous. I also stopped combing my short hair. Jury’s still out on this one.

Note for the future: always check the state of your feet nails when wearing tights in case a sharp nail cuts into the nearby toe, which is atrociously painful. It is especially important if you are wearing a super super super tight body shaper, super super tight tights, super tight leggings, tight shorties…and a belt. That would save you a lot of time and lots of sweating!!!

20140113-142045.jpg

20140113-142141.jpg

20140113-142151.jpg

20140113-142200.jpg

2-0-1-4

I have read somewhere that the first week of the year is a good snapshot of what the rest of your year will look like. Or I am totally bullshitting this one because I needed to find a smartass way to frame my first blog post of the year. I could talk about my resolutions except that I haven’t made any resolutions…OK; I am lying. There are still two things on my ‘I swear to god this year I will’ and these are:

– I will lose the extra 15lbs I still carry around. One of my mates overheard me talking about these 15lbs and thought I had actually gained them in the last month or so…It was the wake-up call I sorely needed.

AND most importantly,

– I will stop saying ‘No, this does not make any sense…’ to every single suggestion DH makes about…basically anything. More recently, he was talking about living in the mountains breeding sheep or something like that (what does a city girl like me know about life in the mountains anyway?) and I started to say ‘It is impossible because a)…b)…c)…blablabla and z)…‘To which DH retorted:’Can you not put my ideas down like this? I haven’t even finished talking yet…It’s not a big deal; I know you, you’ve ALWAYS been like this but it is annoying.’ OOPS. He was not even angry, just resigned. That’s not good enough. It is actually terrible. So yes, I decided to bite my tongue before talking for the rest of the year. Even when DH starts talking about our crew of 5 spending a 2 weeks vacation in a RV in Middle America…See, biting my tongue.

Besides these 2 pledges, I have no resolutions worth detailing. I thus thought about the past week trying to decipher what this could seriously (and not seriously) tell me about what 2014 has in store for my family and I. Drum roll!!!! In no so specific order:

– Better ‘me time’ for everyone

The cold weather in NYC has proven really challenging. Cabin fever and the sober realization that this year we are slowly but surely going to outgrow our current living space led me to accept the plain truth that the 5 of us needed to sever our umbilical cords to each other. For years now, we have been doing everything together (including taking a family shower to save time sic) per choice as well as per sheer necessity. ‘Me time’ was for me something like doing the laundry and for DH, going to the bathroom.

Note: he does go 4-5 times a day equipped with his mini IPad while I almost NEVER go because I am just a mutant freak. Nature is seriously unfair! On bad days, I would nudge him to get out by tagging him on a Facebook update such as ‘DH, get out from your hiding spot right now!!’ (Worked every time by the way) or I would time him to count how much alone time I was owed. I am a petty, petty wife.

Anyway, I can see that things are changing – slowly. P has started to voice some preferences when it comes to seeing ‘her’ friends (the girls) as opposed to her twin brother’s friends (the boys). Meanwhile, G has been timing himself out in his own room quite often just so he can be on his own, I guess. L now plays on his own for a considerate amount of time without hanging onto my butt or tit. DH started a biweekly guitar/singing jamming session with some neighbors in the building. As for me, being stranded home because of snow, icy rain, or kids’ colds made me realize that I wanted to create, cut, pleat etc. MORE. But unfortunately this week-end, I stared at some chiffon fabric for about 2 hours and then tried to make a cape which actually made me look like a freaking black giant cocktail umbrella pick.  Not a good omen for my creativity.

– Wilder parties

Most our friends with kids are now, like us, at a stage where screen time is no longer felt like guilt but perceived as a socially acceptable survival tactics. Besides, PBS kids on the Ipad is kind of awesome right? What this means is that everybody is now ready to catch up on the last 2 years of no hard partying because of pregnancies, breastfeeding, fear of hangovers (TV in the morning makes those way more bearable) etc. And if our NYE party is a snapshot of what lies ahead of us, the year will be fucking wild:lots of Champagne, kids dancing surrounded by drunken parents, masquerade masks, split legs on the dance floor, choreographed Karaoke and so on. Yeah!!!

– Bolder decisions
Since we found out we were pregnant with L, we have been living in a temporary mindset: staying in the same not entirely furnished apartment because we did not have any energy to look for something else, DH staying in the same job because we could not afford for him to work 15 hours a day to impress a new boss while I have been sporadically freelancing because I was unsure about whether our fragile family equilibrium would sustain a potential return to a full-time job etc. But this can no longer last: no more savings, no more space, too much stress. We need to make our life easier NOW. And I started to commit to my life as as a New York mom to 3 kids by…going onto containerstore.com to buy: pegs rack to hold the kids’ scooters so I stop sliding on them and a shower basket for my shower products (3 years in the apartment and I am still hurting my stiff back by bending down to get my fucking Burt’s and Bees shower gel…). 2014 is looking productive, people.

On this note, I wish you all a Happy New Year and if you live on the US East Coast: STAY WARM!!!

Below some fun moments of our first week in 2014 including a video of how to let your kid crash (almost) into a pole while trying to figure out how to take a video with you IPhone…

20140107-150714.jpg

20140107-151021.jpg

20140107-150812.jpg

Christmas in Harlem

‘Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year in the life?’

Seasons of Love, Rent musical

I have been, in a very sadistic way, enjoying reading my fellow bloggers’ meltdowns about Christmas’ preparations because it was another testimony that I am not alone in this world (sorry guys but it really made feel better). I hoped (maybe even prayed a little) that days would suddenly last 30 hours and that my kids would grow into civilized human beings, helping us out in this stressful Holiday season. I hoped they would give us a break when we were already down in the gutter rather than ganging up on us like some unruly teenagers. Recent (parent) bullying includes G & P reenacting a scene from ‘Boyz in the Hood’, blasting my guts out for no reason whatsoever. They created this Mortal Kombat twin act, taking turns to yell, point their fingers at me and pretend to shoot at me… And when I could not help but crack up, P sternly told me:‘Why are you smiling? I am not smiling…’ and bang, she then shot me. I seriously need to check whether they understood how to operate our Netflix account and switch from their ‘Kipper the dog’ program to ‘Reservoir Dogs’ or something like that, behind my back.

Anyway I am digressing. This year, we didn’t have any relatives or friends sharing Christmas’ Eve dinner with us (we are spending Christmas Day with friends). It was a first for us and it was a little sad. DH and I both come from large families with a penchant for drama prone reunions so Christmas is always an entertaining affair. But alas, this year it was just the 5 of us. I guess it was a first that I should start to embrace.

Regardless, I realized that staying put for Christmas offered some positives such as going to see cool Christmas shows, besides avoiding the ‘mind boggling kill me now’ transatlantic flights. However, the best is probably how Christmas in Harlem makes me feel I am part of some kick ass musical.

Indeed, a few days before Christmas, something wacko happened to me. I was at my local post office trying to find excuses for how I managed to fuck up yet again my Australian godchildren’s Christmas gifts. I mean, they live on the other side of the world and here I was queuing on 18th December trying to mail their presents. Considering that they have Christmas something like 24 hours  (or is it 36 hours?) before we do…yeah, I needed a Christmas freaking miracle for them to get their stuff before February. After queuing for about 1 hour, I and other fellow customers started to feel fidgety. An old man (Soul Man) in front of me was singing and was watching me closely. After a while, he offered me his spot in the line probably because I looked like I was going to pee on his shoes while in fact, I was still trying to figure out whether my amateurish sealing of the package would actually hold during its transit.

I gently declined after much hesitation (after all, he was older than me for heaven’s sake); that’s when Big Man from the end of the line  started to go straight to one of the counters jumping the whole queue. Oh boy, he got heckled good, Harlem style!

Crowd:’What the fuck you think you are doing? Boo, boo, get your ass back at the end of the line’

Big Man: ‘Chill out people, I thought there were were 3 lines that got merged for no reason’

Me thinking: yes because we are all idiots who want to cosy up against other sweating and stressed out customers.

He continued: ‘No need to shout. You think this whole thing is problems to me; it’s no problems. Believe me, I have real problems in my life, believe me.

Me thinking: please do NOT share more.

Soul Man gets involved: ‘Yes man, this is real life in here; we are not in a freaking movie’, before singing again.

The whole incident prompted 6 ft tall 70 year-old Mrs Doubtfire to leave her ranks and holler at the post office clerks. She lashed into a gospel-like monologue about the poor level of service and about how she had to do their job for the last hour by telling fellow customers which counter to go to and when. As the commotion was reaching its climax, she continued her paranoid preaching:‘I am sick of people thinking I am trying to jump the queue, I am standing here to make our rights heard. I was done with all my postage hours ago but I cannot leave without saying what I think. Do you feel me people, do you feel me?’

People started to cheer and Nicer Version Kanye West queuing behind me gave her a loud high five. Everyone started to laugh, whistle and show off some swagger while Big Man was yelling on his cell and repeating :‘Dude, people are getting nuts in here, they think they are a problem to me but Man, I have real problems, you know, real fucked up problems’.  Some people just can’t let it go, can they?

I swear, we were very close to break into an ensemble rendition of ‘Season of Love’ from the Rent musical. Meanwhile, Goody two-shoes White boy with a prepaid package got dragged to the front of the line by Mrs Doubtfire:‘Boy, you gotta understand that there is no need to queue if you have prepaid. You get your ass to this window in front of ALL these people, lift the glass, put your package, push down the glass and go enjoy Christmas. That is how it works in here’. Livid Goody two-shoes White Boy obliged and ran out of the Post Office probably thinking he was going to get his ass handled to him by crazy crowd because he believed a lunatic old woman. He must have been a tourist…

When I finally left the Post Office, I felt full of energy, ready to listen to Rent Soundtrack, and very proud of myself for standing up, with the help of Nice Kanye West, against an older lady who decided to ruffle my feathers out of the queue because supposedly, she did not see me. I actually yelled at the old lady. Me Mrs I Get Screwed Over All The Time When Queuing In General, I yelled and held my ground.  If only now, I could be as ballsy and firm with my 3 mini sociopaths at home…

Happy Holiday everyone!

1472038_10153624351080565_1116610730_n

photo 1

photo 2

1499593_10153726994490565_2017055132_n

1505111_10153726994245565_1738716781_n

Creative mama: Robin

As soon as Fall has arrived and until cherry blossom explodes on the streets of New York, I usually enter into my Feathers and (faux) Fur mood creatively. You might have already noticed this tendency from my last winter’s mood of the day posts.
This year, I also have to be resourceful to fulfill my appetite for new clothing because I still haven’t found a full-time job and I am still have post-pregnancy 15lbs to shed. So I started a sort of wardrobe surgery clinic by transforming some of my old maternity clothing into things that I might actually like to wear rather than have to wear because of my Sharpei like belly and cash shortage.

So here it goes: DKNY simple black maternity dress, brass sequins from the shoulder straps of a worn out Pea in a Pod maternity dress, 2 feather trimmings, black felt and…snaps from Spain (it seems like a random fact but my fashion designer cousin got me these while working for Loewe few years ago and I have yet to find nicer ones… Love them).

Et voila. I like the edge it gives the outfit and even without the feather patches, I could wear the dress with the snaps being visible.

It is called ‘Robin’ because:
A – it’s a bird
B- the kids are currently obsessed by 1970s Disney’s ‘Robin Hood’ or as G would call it ‘Robin the Poop’ so I have to endure it twice a day. It is like brainwashing. It is driving me insane. The worst part of it is that it is supposed to be the story about some guy stealing the bad and rich and give back to the nice and poor. So basically the story of a good dude with compassion, right? So why did my kids become complete pains in the ass since they started to watch this animated movie? I am NICE and POOR!!! Don’t they get it? I NEED compassion.

20131217-094120.jpg

20131217-094157.jpg

Mood of the day: new old me

I finally made the big leap and by that, I don’t mean:
– kicking out L back to his room when he crawls into our bed in the middle of the night and pull and pinch my breast as if it was a a ‘doudou’ (French for anything that calms the baby: teddy bear, security blanket, muslin, padded book etc. In the case of L, it is the breast of any female between 18 and 45 year old)
– submitting my resume to a local restaurant to apply for a waitress job because our debts are piling up
– begging my mom to come and live with us to help with the kids

I chopped my hair. I was tempted by the whole Britney Spears infamous head shaving but did not go through it because a- winter is too friggin’ cold in New York and b-I have a super flat back of the head, as in flat ironed; another thing I used to blame my mom for. She probably let me sleep flat on my back ALL the time. She did have a 1 one year old (my big sis) to mind at the same time so I guess I now understand her and can no longer really hold this against her…It still sucks though.

Anyway, I did not shave entirely but went back to my post wedding and pre children hair style: short and short. People who met me in New York were stunned (most of them positively rather than ghastly stunned) and asked: ‘it must feel…strange?’It actually did not feel strange at all. It feels more like peeling away all the worry and layers built up after 4 strenuous years of fertility treatment, pregnancies, breast feeding etc. It feels more like getting ready for 2014 aka ‘get a job, whatever it is’ year with the kick ass energy of an old friend: the (hair) Bob.

Many people were also freaked out by how much I now look like my daughter, P. Me is thinking (slightly annoyed): ‘Cannot believe that my trademark hair style got appropriated by my 2 year old…Damn it!!!’ Oh well, I guess it is just the beginning…

Today, to accentuate the new bob, I went for: BCBG Max Azria stripes dress, Roberto Cavalli belt, French blue beret, Natasha’s old vintage rabbit fur vest (worn with the skin out), and new Blowfish ankle boots.

P.S: P saw the beret and wants it…

securedownload (7)

securedownload (6)

My black son

‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character’  

Martin Luther King Jr.

Something that has been happening with G in the last few weeks got me thinking about self-identification and got me to revisit my own past struggle with my diverse identities. Basically (not) G thinks he is a black boy. And not in the cheesy Vanilla ice ice baby but as a boy with ebony skin and curly hair…My Manga faced boy sees himself as the 6th member of the Jacksons Five. Indeed, in all the books, IPad games, etc. if there is an illustration of a black boy, G points at the little boy and assertively claims: ‘it’s me, it’s G!!!‘ Every single time!

My initial reaction was: ‘Oh fuck, he is really really color blind’ (Note: he is struggling to identify primary colors). But as I started to study his big smile while proclaiming his ‘blackness’, I realized that his odd thinking was more complex and actually more beautiful than simple color blindness. The kid may flunk his public school ‘Gifted and Talented’ program entry test but he made me proud – a lot –  in the last few weeks.

He reminded me that for a long time, I could never identify myself as Asian because I grew in a predominantly white neighborhood and thought I was just the same as my then fair skinned best friend Mariel. I remember studying for hours my face in the mirror of my parents’ old wardrobe and would not ‘see’ that my eyes were slanted, my hair was blacker and thicker than anyone else in my class (bar my sister), that I did not have any nose bridge (despite pulling my nose for an hour every night in bed and if you want details: yes it hurt and yes I felt stupid doing it…crazy girl) and that there were many reasons why my name could not be Stephanie or Adele. I would not ‘see’ but I knew I was different.

He reminded me that it took me almost 2 decades to reconcile my various cultural and ethnic identities and a lot of resilience to overcome the abuse from French kids calling me ‘Chinetoque’ (French racist slur for Chinese people) and from the Lao people calling me out for being a ‘banana‘ (no comment).

Because of all this, I wanted my kids to grow up in a place like Harlem so they can see and understand things such as:
– people of different colors besides your parents can fall in love and have kids together
– or white women are not necessarily the adoptive mothers of dark skinned children but can be the nannies paid by dark skinned parents
It became a kind of obsession to promote diversity in our family life; obsession obviously rooted in my own childhood insecurities.

But my kids seem to have taken their very own journey about their understanding and experience of race and class.  G showed me something really new to me. He showed me that a boy with a caucasian dad and an Asian mom sees himself as a proud and happy black boy. And I will blast anyone who try to correct him and force him into boxes. I will blast them – Manga style.

What do you see when you look yourself in the mirror?

PS: meanwhile my daughter P is adamant she lives in the ‘Park’, I am at loss about what she means by this…I shall investigate and report to you soon 🙂

20131203-141819.jpg

Thanksgiving and Martha Stewart

I have said it before; one of the traditions we eagerly adopted when we moved here is the celebration of Thanksgiving. There are no expectations of gifts or talking about God’s rebirth or an old man who prefers traveling the world to please kids rather than playing golf in Florida. To top it off, as we are not from here we have no family stuffing recipes that NEED (to be said with an angsty voice) to be served even though everyone knows it is way too dry, no fight about ‘my mom’s pie is better than yours’ shenanigans.

At our thanksgiving, we just splurge senseless with food, booze and some more food. And knowing that the whole nation is doing exactly the same thing also frees us from any sense of guilt. It feels like casual sex. Or more precisely casual orgy sex. In a 1969 Woodstock festival like setting. Wazaaaa.

This year I have been tasked with baking the desserts – which is ALWAYS bad news. Foie gras stuffing? Not a problem. A simple yoghurt cake? Drama. I don’t know how to bake. Forgetting to put the sugar or replacing sugar with salt in the mix is obviously not helping. So why on a Earth did I decide to go for Martha Stewart’s wholesome and need to be patient recipes????

It scares me to admit that perhaps deep inside, a (tiny) part of me thinks she is a blonde with straight teeth baking a freaking soufflé in a House and Garden shabby chic white kitchen. Maybe I have already started my path towards American citizenship (which by the way I genuinely contemplate)…Oh well. Thank god, my desserts will come long after people are in food coma so no one will notice that I failed to find pumpkin purée the night before Thanksgiving (surprise!!!) and replaced it with some berries coulis…

Anyway, here’s what I am thankful for this year:
I am thankful that I did not strangle my kids
I am thankful for all the people who came to stay on our couch to help us
I am thankful for DH always coming back after going out to buy some cigarettes
I am thankful for starting to see my brain cells being used for work i.e. something else than how to potty train the twins without baby L using his brother’s crap as facial mask (true story)
I am thankful for the cuddles and kisses I got this morning from my 3 monsters after getting kicked in the crotch all night by the very same monsters
Finally I am thankful for all the love I got through redlipstickmama – thanks guys !!!!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Kids thanksgiving candle holders and my ‘pumpkin’ and chocolate tiramisu

20131128-081318.jpg

Love, God, the Knicks and (losing my) marbles

This is an unusual post because it is trying to skim through what has been a helluva two weeks. It feels as if I had been fleshed down to the bones. And as I am slowly putting back my (protective) layers one after the other, I cannot help but feel slightly at loss. I realize that I sound as if I have smoked some crack or started moonlighting as a call girl. What I am trying to say I guess, is that I have been striping bare my emotions’ barricades and this uneases me. It seems totally paradoxical since I am writing a fairly voyeuristic blog (with its own load of family pictures and dirty secrets). But in real life, I like to keep my emotions in check or at least I try, when there are people watching. And I totally failed to do so last week.

Here was the context: a one week long celebration of 2 joint birthdays (your very own redlipstickmama and her ‘twin’, DH), 3 joint Catholic baptisms (G, P, L), a reunion with BFFs from Australia after almost 3 years apart and a reunion with FiLs (Folks in Law) from France after a somewhat intense last encounter this summer. Can you already see a meltdown in the making?

So many raw feelings…And now that all is done and has gone, I feel empty. I thus have a total writing BLOCK. I really started to freak out and thought:‘is that it? Is this all I got in me? Am I getting sick of ‘hearing’ myself talk/rant?’. I also wondered: ‘If Natasha lived here, would I need redlipstickmama?’.

I feel purposeless. Not unlike my basketball team actually, the New York Knicks, who have an atrocious start this season: they are uninspired, lazy, tedious, and I bet frustrated. I thought I would do a recap of my last 2 weeks a la NBA game recap. And maybe the Knicks and I can then both get out of this streak.

FINAL SCORE: 2 and a half baptized children, 2 (at least) birthday celebrations, 1 karaoke night, too much way too much food and booze, 60 candied almonds boxes handmade, 60 people lifting us during the kids’ christening, 7 handmade flower arrangements, 4 hours of sleep a night, 1 screaming fit, …and tears, enough of them to last until…the next round of sleepless nights I guess.

KEY FACTS : 

The catholic church in Harlem where our kids were baptized is still standing and did not burn despite the fact that:

– 2 godparents are gay men,

– 1 godparent assured she was baptized somehow somewhere in Papua New Guinea,

– the children’s mother cursed something like 50 times in her first 5 minutes inside the church

– and the baptized children tried very hard to strangle each other during the pastoral sermon…over cheerios.

Also, L might not be completely baptized because I had to flee with him after 1h45 of religious service. The poor child could not take it anymore. Turns out that unbeknownst to us me, he thus missed the lighted candle part i.e. the promise to renounce evil. This is slightly worrying since out of of our 3 children, L is the one who most displays the traits akin to an underworld kingpin: chubby, charismatic, remorseless, bully etc.

Finally, Natasha and I should still never be allowed to get dressed together. Both our DHs would agree to put a lifetime ban on this.

THE LEAD: 

The friends. You think you have some and then you know you have scored great ones when they slave all day to cook a stellar birthday dinner from scratch, clean your house, set a beautiful table and treat you with a spa massage (childcare included). Yep I teared up a little a bit.

QUOTABLE: 

During a wild karaoke night at Thor’s and Archibald’s, the doorman, after probably some complaints from the old cranky neighbor below, called in and said:

‘Hi it’s Dominic from downstairs. There’s some loud music apparently on your floor. Is it you guys?

To which, Thor (genuinely) replied: ‘No, we did not order Domino’s pizza. Thanks.’ before hanging up…

No comment on the amount of Cosmopolitans and Lychee-tinis consumed that night.

TURNING POINT:

I guess I was simmering deep down: the stress about the upcoming baptism as the list of attendees was growing and growing, the anxiety about our Aussie friends soon leaving to go back to their sunny skies, swimming pool and of course beautiful kiddos, and the energy required not to react to some of my in-laws’ comments about the kids. And then of course in the middle of the week, I snapped like a demented woman, as I do…occasionally.

It all started funny: Jacques my father in law (FiL) was having a childish argument with his 19 month old grandson, L. It became snarky when FiL made an off the cuff remark about how apparently ‘in ‘this’ house, children are allowed to touch EVERYTHING, anyway…’. It then became awkward: I started to bark ‘oh yeah, what does this mean???? You know what, you are right I am going to freaking put these kids in CAGES, all of them in freaking CAGES!!!’. It ended completely crazy like a scene of a Tarantino movie when bullets are fired super quickly and then explode in slow motion making a whole bunch of Yakuzas bleed to death. In other words, I lost it like a tot having a tantrum and I threw some kind of cubes on the floor except that it was not the floor I hit …but my freaking MiL (mother in law). That’s right, my MiL! And I used to be their favorite ‘brought into the family’ person. God knows what they’ll say behind my back now. Oh well…At least the air got cleared out. Everyone was whispering after my outburst – scared to death I might stab someone. Very quiet house.

QUOTABLE II: 

‘You are sooooooo boring!!!’ dixit Natasha who refused to leave the dance floor of the Red Rooster downstairs club. We were all drunk and all tired but she was adamant:’You are so boring; just leave me here!!! I’ll find my way home.’ That’s when I looked at Anthony, her DH, and told him: ‘Do you think we can smack her so she loses consciousness and then carry her into a yellow cab?’ I got worried when he thought about it for 5 minutes before cooly stating:’Not sure we would get away with it.’

Can I set the record straight right here, right now? I am many, many things but no one has ever called me boring. EVER. Crazy woman that Natasha 🙂

HOT: 

The amount of love we felt when parading our children down the aisle in the church. I did not get married in church so I must admit I got overwhelmed about the waves of positive energy, the known and unknown friendly faces popping up here and there, the soft touches on our shoulders as we passed by. Our (or should I say DH’s and the kids’) local catholic community is actually awesome! So Harlem too: full of laughs, humor and energy!

NOT:

6 (then sober) adults standing (2 parents and 4 god parents) supposedly minding both spiritually and practically  3 kids in the Church but somehow L managed to fall flat face on the marble steps, cut his eyebrow and bled a little right just before receiving the Holy water…Did I mention L also being the one half-baptized? In the eyes of some, this kid is probably screwed. Attaboy 🙂

THINGS TO WATCH: 

I might have developed a crush on old Pastor Nolan. He is such a sweet and simple man and did not seem to mind that I am not a Christian and swear like a truck driver.

NOTABLE:

In the midst of all this drama, I had two notable encounters with the glitzy crowd of New York that you might find funny and/or obnoxious of me. But hey…I am in the middle of a writer’s block, so yep I am going to do some name dropping. So, at the Red Rooster, handsome and brilliant chef Markus Samuelsson went out of his way to congratulate Natasha and I on our style and to welcome us personally to his restaurant. He served as guest chef for the first state dinner of the Barack Obama presidency. His hand that touched my hand touched the hand of BO! Completely dork-ed out by this fact. That was my VIP moment of the month.

My second encounter was less glamorous and more VAP (Very Awkward Person). During a work meeting, I created a commotion by banging my forehead against the marble bar countertop (what is it about the marble and my family???) leading the barman to apply some ice on my head and all this witnessed by a very calm Meg Ryan casually eating a soup behind me…Meg Ryan=laid back, Redlipstickmama=prima donna

WHAT’S NEXT:

1- Devise a plan for Natasha and Anthony’s family to move over here. Maybe when their children get over their ‘we love the sun and the space’ phase and get New York brainwashed by all those shows and sitcoms claiming that a shoe box studio here is way better that a sunny villa with swimming pool…hum.

2- Find what religious materials my in laws left in our apartment to guide us guide the kids towards God. So far
we have: a nativity scene (very cute one by the way), a bible for children, a book on baptisms, an Advent calendar…I am so going to check under my bed for a statue of the Virgin Mary.

How was your week?

Below amazing pictures from talented Helene, our photographer for the day who captured so beautifully this special day. Check out her stunning work on her site.

_MG_0931_jpg _MG_1045_jpg _MG_0952_jpg _MG_0806_jpg _MG_1049_jpg _MG_1057_jpg _MG_1065_jpg _MG_1108_jpg _MG_1015_jpg _MG_1150_jpg

Little Miss Sunshine

She’s my person. If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person.’
— Dr. Cristina Yang – Grey’s Anatomy

I do realize that I have recently been a paranoid little prima donna but things will change very soon. Dear readers, you will soon be able to ‘see’ me bask in warm rays of sun. The light will pierce through the cold New York winter and give me and by procuration you too, I hope, a sun kissed tan. A sun kissed tan…literally. This sunshine has a name: Natasha, my very own BFF. The girl is, as we speak, on a plane from Australia and we will meet again after almost 3 years!

I am not exaggerating about how much radiance she is going to bring into my life. I will always remember meeting her for the first time in this dimmed light winter party in London back in 2002. People were talking softly, all wrapped up in their knits, sipping wine when she appeared and lit up the room with her piercing laugh. She was so…blonde and so ‘white’. Her teeth were shining through the dark living room and her stunning cream attire made me feel like if Tinkerbell herself had descended upon us spitting out balls of fairy dust on our faces. And if you are still not convinced, let me just say this: she lives in Gold Coast, Australia for Heaven’s sake and her middle name is Joy. Nuff said.

Anyway, when I first met her I thought: either I am going to hate her or I am going to love her for ever. I thus went out of my comfort zone to have a conversation: I never speak to strangers in parties, I always pretend to be on my phone because I am actually very shy, it’s pathetic, I know. We talked, she mocked my French accent (which was so refreshing in very politically correct England), I laughed and we never left each other’s side while both living in London.

She was the Glenda to my Elpheba
She was the Cameron Diaz to my Lucy Liu
She was the Emma Frost to my Ororo Munroe
She was the Gwynnie to my Madge

And then, life brought me here in New York and she to the other side of the world in Brisbane 😦 As I am getting very anxious to see her glowing face again, I am reflecting on the importance of beautiful friendships.  Although I grew up being a boys’ girl hanging out with the lads talking about Marvel comics and soccer games and drinking lager beers, I always had one girl with whom I shared everything. One girl for each stage of my life, as a child, a teenager, a student and then as a grown up woman. One relationship in which there was no backstabbing, no jealousy, just fun, love and full fledged support. However in hindsight I realize all this happened by luck rather than by design. 

It strikes me that as a little girl, everything around me was prompting me to find Prince Charming, making me fantasize about THE soulmate and even helping me find Him. I mean, how many pseudo psychological tests in women’s magazines are about:‘How do you know he is the One?’ Tell the truth, how many of those tests have you done :)Well,  I have done loads of them, shame shame shame. Match.com, the biggest dating site in the world, is all about finding that guy right? But what about finding that girl who will always root for you, who will stay when the lovers go, who will actually listen to you seriously when you talk politics while dressed up like a Walmart version of Madonna in her Erotica music video (no comment), and who will not mind your wrinkles and your saggy boobs etc.? Will there be in our future a BemyBFF.com ?

P, my daughter, is only 2. She is mostly hanging out with little boys. She makes me laugh because she is really awkward with other girls, both fascinated and intimidated at the same time. P is only 2 but I have already decided that my first serious conversation with her will not be about ‘boys’ but about ‘girls’. #womenlovingwomen

Photo by Natasha’s DH

20131107-102623.jpg

Are my children sociopaths?

“I’m into, oh murders and executions mostly. It depends.” 
― Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

Disclaimer: this post is not to be taken seriously; it is a humorist way to describe what I have been pondering in the last week or so. It is NOT a serious guide to diagnose mental illness and it is not my intention to offend families who do have loved ones with mental health issues.

You think this is all very extreme?  Well, after a nightmarish week with them I must admit that I did google: ‘How to spot a sociopath?’. The results of my analysis scared me shitless. I do have grounds for concern, I swear. Indeed, according to Psychology Today,  sociopaths demonstrate:

  • Superficial charm
    With their little cheeks, big brown eyes, and furtive smiles I must admit that my 3 brats are indeed charming (see photo exhibit at the end of the post). P in particular turns it on and off in a very unsettling fashion. One second she looks like a overfed fish and  .50 second later her eyes are all bright and laughing because …she wants you to give her chocolate.
  • Signs of irrational thinking
    In the last week, I have found both G & P ‘sleeping’, all squeezed out between their fitted bedsheets and their bed mattresses because It is not dangerous at all, sic…For them, oxygen is overrated.
  • Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations
    L climbs on the edge of the AC unit, walks along it and falls. I scream. He gets up and walks away without making a sound or a tear. He walks away just like a robot.
  • Unreliability
    G:’I am going to wash my hands’
    Me:’OK but don’t waste water’
    G:’OK’
    5 minutes later, I unlock the bathroom door because he locked himself in and
    bathroom = swimming pool
  • Untruthfulness and insincerity
    The whole apartment smells of poop; I am actually almost dying from holding my breath and I ask:
    ‘G, have you pooped?’
    G: ‘No’
    I check his diaper and it’s full of disgusting crap; it’s even leaked down his leg.
    G, you HAVE pooped!!’
    G eating a biscuit and cooly watching TV: ‘No’
    On a side note, this boy is never going to be clean. EVER.
  • Lack of remorse and shame
    I spent Spring to plant flowers and herbs and I am really not a gardener so it is a BIG deal for me. The 3 of them spent their summer pulling everything out. All my hard work in the gutter. DH was really upset for me and tried to shame them; I tried to tell them how sad it made me. They looked straight into my eyes, paused, and then tried to dangle from my bamboo plants…
  • Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior
    P looks at her little brother sitting next to her on the couch. Nothing special is happening. He gets up, she looks at him again and pushes him so he flies and crashes on the floor, flat on his face. For no reason whatsoever.
  • Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
    L gets his head banged up by a moving swing, falls on his ass, gets up, wobbles, looks at the swing and puts his forehead so that it gets banged up by the swing again. WTF.
  • Pathologic egocentricity
    I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, I WANT,  I WANT, I WANT, …No further explanation needed.
  • Unresponsiveness in major affective reactions
    After trashing the living room I have just tidied up (for the 5th time in 2 hours), P &G don’t usually even look at me before walking towards their bedroom (to trash it, of course). Me, I am usually on the verge of crying.
  • Specific loss of insight
    L head butts me in the nose and scratches my face. I think I heard my nose cartilage crack and I might be bleeding. I am screaming from pain. He is pissing himself laughing out loud.What do you guys think of my evidence? Should I start locking my bedroom door at night time? 
    securedownload (2)
%d bloggers like this: