Monday, June 29, 2015

The Guy and The Kid

I didn't find out until later, but after he met my son, Jack went home and had long conversations with his stepdad and his best friend (who has children and stepchildren) about how to handle this. I don't know the details and I don't want to pry, but whatever they said to Jack, worked like magic.  The nerves between Jack and Kiddo disappeared. With everyone relaxed, it was much easier to get to know each other and have fun.

My Kiddo thinks Jack is the coolest. They play trucks and cars together. Kiddo asks that Jack read one bedtime story to him and I read the other. Jack has come with us to the park and played around on the jungle gym with us. Jack came along on a couple of adventures. We went for a walk and Kiddo asked to hold one hand of each of our so we could swing him. If Jack hasn't been around for a few days, or if I'm cutting up Jack's favorite vegetable, Kiddo asks if Jack is coming for dinner. We are all getting along really well.

I can't tell you how adorable they are together. And how much of a turn on it is to see that the man I'm falling in love with is good with my son. I feel incredibly lucky and like I hit the dating jackpot with this man.

Of course, its not all fairy tale, we all have flaws, but I could easily see us being a happy little family one day.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's Good to be Home

When I got home from DC, Jack was there to pick me up from the airport and bring me home. He spent the night with me, talking and catching up mostly. We slept in super late the next day. I had the day off and he was playing hooky. It was a perfect morning.

We got up and went to the kangaroo petting zoo. A wallaby tried to hump Jack. We got to hold a baby kangaroo. We laughed a lot and it was so good to be back with him.

Once we had our fill of playing with kangaroos, we headed back to town. I needed to pick up Kiddo from the nanny. Originally, I planned to take Jack to his car and then pick up the Kiddo so they would not overlap. Due to traffic, it made more sense to pick up the Kid and then take Jack to his car.  I was a bit nervous for Jack and the Kid to interact since this wasn't a group setting and I hadn't really planned to introduce them yet. Oops.

I apologized all the way to the nanny's house. I have this fixed idea in my head that guys are dating me to be polite. That they don't really like me but are being nice and accommodating of myself and my kid just to be polite. It makes no sense, no one would act like that in the real world, but there it is in my head all the same. I love my Kid. He's funny and smart and sweet, but I feel as though he's a circumstance I need to apologize for. Which is gross and wrong and horrible of me.

We picked up the Kid and we were all hungry. Jack and I hadn't had lunch and my kid is a bottomless pit for food. So we went for burgers. Jack and Kiddo made tentative attempts at talking to each other but I could tell they were both nervous. I hadn't seen Kiddo in a week so I was having fun catching up with him and making sure he was behaving in the restaurant. (I'm super paranoid about having an unruly kid in public so I'm on edge trying to make sure he's using his manners and not being wild when we eat out.)  Focused in on my beautiful kid, I felt like I was ignoring Jack and briefly worried how I was ever supposed to juggle parenting and having a relationship.

Jack was anxious throughout dinner. We left and went back to my house so Jack could pick up his stuff and his car. I gave him a kiss and he left. He called me later, worried he'd blown it because he left my house so quickly. I tried to reassure him that everything was fine. Jack explained that he was worried Kiddo wouldn't like him, etc., etc., etc. Over and over, I told him that Kiddo is 3 years old and pretty much likes everyone.

We got off the phone, each convinced that everything was complicated now.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Day 5 in DC

I went to the White House! Jack has a friend, Tim, who works in the White House and got me in for a tour. What I didn't realize was that Tim would be giving me my tour. Time met me with a handshake out front of the visitor's entrance and helped me navigate through all the security check points (ID check, metal detector, and being sniffed by a dog).

I couldn't take pictures but it was a great experience. I'm always irritated on these tours (Alcatraz, Versailles, etc) that you only get to see 10-15% of the building. I so badly want to sneak away and explore more. But at the White House there was a man with a very big gun guarding a hallway where visitors were not welcome.  So no sneaking on this tour.

Also! As Tim was showing me Jackie Kennedy's garden, we saw the Obama family's dogs Bo and Sunny out playing in the yard. They were sticking right by the side of the head groundskeeper who has worked at the White House since LBJ's administration. So cool!

After the tour, which ended all too soon, Tim walked me to the gate and we parted with a hug. He was very nice and I greatly appreciated his generosity with his time. After I left, Tim sent a message to Jack, which Jack forwarded to me.

All the adventures I'd been having caught up to me and I went back to the house to take a nap. I know there are a million things I wanted to see and experience but I was on vacation and taking a nap in the middle of the day, in the sun, always feels like a luxury to me.

After a refreshing nap, I got up and went back to my taco place around the corner. I got the tacos to go and posted up in my room to stuff my face and wait. I had signed up to take the Jeopardy contestant test and I slept through it the day before.

I took the test. I think I did ok? Not too sure how it went but I gave it a shot, just like I will every year until I make it onto the show.

Then I watched Louis C.K.'s show Louie until I fell asleep. I, now, feel like I wasted half of that day, but my feet were tired from walking and I was ready to be home with familiar sites and faces.

Monday, June 22, 2015


I make no claim that I am a perfect mom, or even an above average mom. I work, I'm tired, I'm human. But my kid is alive, smart, and well loved. He is also not potty trained, despite turning 3 a few months ago. He's shown little interest in the matter and I didn't want to push him and make it a bad experience. But he's stubborn. He will occasionally wake up from a nap, or a full night's sleep, with a dry diaper, so I know he's physically capable of being potty trained.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I decided I was done. So, so, so done with diapers. I set up a system of bribes and went over it with the kid until it was (hopefully) stuck in his distractible little head.
If he tried to pee in the potty, he would get one chocolate chip.
If he actually went pee in the potty, he would get a big prize.

I asked him what he thought the prize was because I wanted to make sure it was 1) something he wanted and 2) something I could deliver on.

"Is the prize a lot of chocolate?" he asked, with a radiant smile.
Why yes, yes it is, Kiddo.

I texted the nanny and the Dad to advise them of the bribery system. The next day, a work day, when the nanny came to get the Kid, I gave her a huge Hershey's bar that would be the big prize.

By 10 AM, she texted me a picture. The kid was wearing underwear, using the potty like a champ, and so proud of himself. And full of sugar. Oh well, sacrifice to the cause.

The next day was more of the same. This stubborn little shit of mine was fully capable of being potty trained, he just didn't see the need. He was too busy playing and didn't mind diaper changes. But now with the promise of chocolate, properly motivated, he changed course.

I don't know the point of this really. I'm proud that he's getting the hang of it. Am I proud of this method?  Not really. But for now, its working.

Update: after the first week, the prize became stickers instead of chocolate. Progress is slow but steady.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Jack does stand up comedy as a hobby sporadically. After work on a weeknight, I picked up my friend Kate, had dinner and too many drinks and went to see Jack perform. It was callbacks from open mic night, so lots of comedians, no big names.

Jack was the opener which is a tough spot. I could tell he was nervous, but he did fine. I sat with Kate and one of her roommates, Shane. The night progressed and there were a bunch of comedians, most were funny, a few were pretty awful.

I got up to use the restroom and noticed Steve. Steve, the comedian that I was fucking for a while, Steve. Awesome.

I went to the restroom and completely planned to pretend like I didn't know Steve at all. I stood in the back with Jack waiting for a break in the action so I could go back to my seat. Then the host called Steve up to start his set. As Steve walked by, my drunk ass said to Jack, "Uh oh. I know him from Tinder."

"Does he know you from Tinder?" Asked Jack

I slinked back to my seat to inform Kate that two people I've fucked were performing tonight. She thought this was hilarious and no big deal. I was not thrilled with my life choices at that moment. The show went on and eventually ended. I had to go to the restroom again and while walking across the room, Steve goes, "Heyyyyy Natalie" in a way that I feel like was maybe supposed to make me embarrassed? I said hi, went pee, and then went to find Jack.

I have heard there are girls who will fuck their way through the comedy circuit. I am not that girl. I mean, I'm a slut, but the fact that I've been with two comedians is coincidence. That they would be performing at the same place at the same time, especially when Steve was supposed to be living in LA now, was just shit luck.

Jack, because he is a grown ass man and never flustered by anything I throw at him (not literally) didn't really care. The thing with Steve was short lived and I hadn't talked to him in months. Jack was so understanding and nonchalant about the whole thing. Which was great because I was so embarrassed at the time.

Now, it's just a weird thing that happened once. I can almost laugh about it, but not quite. Give me two drinks and another few months and I'll think this is hilarious.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Day 4 in DC

I woke up super excited to tour the Pentagon that day. The weather report said we were due for some rain, and as I left the house that morning, it was drizzly. Seattleite that I am, I did not deem the drizzle to be worth the hassle of an umbrella or raincoat. I set off for the metro and arrived at the Pentagon station way too early. The security guards had a binder full of names of people who had appointments or tours. Seeing that I was early, he told me I could go visit the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial because if he let me through security, I'd just be waiting in a waiting room.

The Pentagon's 9/11 memorial
So I set off for the memorial because I wasn't interested in sitting around. Getting to the memorial turned out to be quite a hike because it was nearly on the opposite side of the building and the Pentagon is a big-ass building. On my walk, the rain started to pick up. I thought about finding a Starbucks to hang out in until it was time for my tour, but the Pentagon is surrounded by parking lots and I could tell it would be quite the hike to a Starbucks.

I made it to the memorial but it didn't have any markers or plaques. It was artsy and quiet and somber, but I didn't understand the installation. There was a phone number you could call and listen to a guided audio tour but I didn't want to walk around listening and draining my cell battery.

I hiked back to the visitor's entrance. The security guard from earlier remembered me, so he quickly got me through the metal detector and ID check, which I appreciated. Once inside the Pentagon, there was a gift shop and a little area for tourists to wait until they were rounded up for their tour. While I waited, I browsed the gift shop's offerings, and watched teenagers take selfies at a mock Pentagon podium. Just next to the gift shop were little kiosks with information about each branch of the military. I took a quick look at most of them, but skipped the Air Force because at least for now, I can only associate the Air Force with The Worst Thing to Ever Happen To Me (Tom).

Once it was tour time, some army soldiers and one navy, all in ceremonial dress uniforms, herded us into a big room and had us turn our cell phones and cameras off and put them away. Then we were split into two tour groups and given bright yellow tags that said we were visitors and could not go anywhere without an escort.

The tour itself was fine, we walked and walked and walked but the tour went so quickly and the guides were reciting facts rapid fire the whole time. a lot of the material was centered around the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and the rebuilding process. Most of what we saw were hallways and corridors. We visited the chapel and walked through an area that looks basically like a mall. The are restaurants, florists, gyms, and stores of all kind, inside the Pentagon to make life a little easier for the employees. Pretty cool. All too soon the tour was over.

In front of the Newseum they display that day's front
page of several newspapers
I spent the afternoon getting lost in the rain, real, legit, umbrella-worthy rain. I found the Newseum and wandered all through. I'd been there before a few years back and LOVED it. The Newseum is the best because your ticket is good for two days in a row, which is ideal because you cannot see it all in one day.

It was a bit of a bummer though. They have an exhibit on Pulitzer Prize winning photos, all of which are stunning, most of which have a terrible backstory that basically ends with, " and then they all died."
I tried to walk through the 9/11 exhibit but it was too sad. And I was past by a gaggle of teenage girls all saying it was "like that was sooooo sad you guys!" with their terrible vocal fry.

An old timey printing press.
I was done with sad stuff for the day so I left the Newseum and found a bar. Where I had dinner and drinks alone and watched soccer. Which is also kind of sad.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Down the Internet Wormhole

You know what's not fun?

When your boyfriend and two of his exes are very easily googled and you fall into a pit of pictures and videos and blogs between them, about them.

It's my fault for looking. And I have a past too. I don't really know why it should even hurt.

When my head clears, I know that if Jack wanted to be with either of those women, he would be. I'm not proud of this thought, but I know, objectively, I'm more attractive than the two of them. I'm certainly smarter.  I know enough of why those relationships ended to not feel threatened or jealous of those women, should they come back on the scene.

But a small, petty, mean part of me likes to google and find this shit and hurt myself. Sick I know.

My best guess that I'm jealous of the time they had with him. That they knew him better than I currently do. Which is stupid because I have years to get to know him better. We have our own inside jokes and secret phrases, significant songs and memories.

I'm confident I'll get past this. And I would never ask him to delete it all. I think I really just wrote this rambling shitty post because I strongly believe that once you can name the feeling, it will subside.
So jealousy, go home. You won't ruin this.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Magic Mushrooms

A friend and I got very, very silly. We talked about weird shit. At one point, I needed to know the what cities hosted the Winter Olympics in the 1970s. This screenshot shows how I made that request to Siri. "Where did what countries was the Olympics in the 1970s." Indeed.  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Bachelorette Living

Kiddo is with his dad.
I went and checked up on my boyfriend who is fighting off a bug.

And now I'm in bed, pantless, eating cookie dough and drinking while I watch a documentary on mail order brides.

Just thought you should know how glamorous I am right now.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Shitstorm Damage Report: Mom

My ex husband called me up to try and get back together. I gently turned him down. Like a fucking fool who won't learn a lesson, I went to my mom for support and/or comfort.

I got her up to speed and said how I felt this wasn't a fair thing for him to dump on me. My mom's response, " He is just being honest. He might realize what he has lost and maybe grown up"

I said "Tough shit" and she said "well that is sad."

Fucking really? 

This guy can't dick me around for years, (YEARS) make huge decisions without me, act like a child from all the years that I've known him (10+) and think its ok to have me wait around for him to figure out that I'm a quality woman who deserves a real man. 

My freaking mom: "I just feel bad for all of you. I just really want you to be happy."

I told her that was upsetting to me. Ever since I decided that a divorce was the right choice, my parents have tried to tell me I'm wrong, tried to advocate for my ex, wanted to buy him Christmas presents, tried to make me feel like I'm selfish for making that choice, like I'm not a thoughtful parent for considering the impact on Kiddo. 
And it's hurtful. The ex has his own family. They all live locally. He kept all our mutual friends after the divorce. He has his own support structure. I want my own goddamn parents to be on my side. 

For the first time in my life, I drew a boundary with her. I told my mom that I am now strong, independent, and happy. If I were to start any sort of relationship with my ex, the new, strong person I am, would unravel, collapse like a dying star. I wish it would have worked with him. No one grows up thinking they'll get divorced. But I already had these discussions and emotions 18 months ago and its not fair for the ex to ask for an 85th chance after all this time. He's still unreliable, he hasn't changed and I won't be dragged back through that. Further, I told my mom that I hope she can understand all that and be supportive or else we would have to agree to not discuss this matter. 

Success? She responded that she understood and was happy that I made a new life for Kiddo and me and said "we love you both." I'm going to be optimistic and assume by both, she meant kiddo and me, not the ex and me. 

I think maybe I made progress with her, but I'm so irritated that her initial reaction was to be sad that I couldn't work it out with my ex husband. In a fairy tale, in a Lifetime movie, in a Kate Hudson-chick flick, he and I would magically work things out, fall in love and remarry. our son would have his parents back together and everything would be bliss. 

But meanwhile in the real world, I know that my happy ending is not with that man.