Is it clear how much I hate leaving San Diego, or should I complain one more time? Ha! And why do I do that? Is it to feel less guilty, maybe? I know it’s crazy, but no matter how many times you kind souls tell me that it’ll all be worth it in the end - that they will see my hard work and appreciate it - there’s still this little voice inside my head saying: “Nah. Not so much. The kids would rather live in a shoebox than have you leave so much. They wouldn’t miss 90% of the things you’re able to get for them because of that job. They’d rather it all just go away so you would stay home.” So I have to speak to that voice every time I’m packing… and I have to convince it (me) that all of this is for them, even when a big part of me doesn’t believe it.
It’s funny because I missed very little of Fau’s tiny years. I refused to travel more than once every couple of months. In fact, I think in the first 10 years of his life, the only thing I remember missing was a spelling bee… and I flew him out to New York the next day to try to make up for it! Now I travel every other week. I’m missing more and more things and it’s creating this gaping hole in my heart that no amount of words of encouragement can fix. They’re just better when I’m better, and I’m better when I’m home. So… what to do? Sell enchiladas from my home in Chula Vista? Ha! I’ve actually sort of done that before so it wouldn’t be a first. Thank goodness my book tour is over and summer travel is almost dying down but, in the meantime, I’ll keep overcompensating by feeding them organic food and crafting and posting 7 million pictures of them a day.
I also get this icky feeling inside when you ask how I do it - balance, that is - because a lot of the time, I feel very unbalanced. I often feel like I am standing at the wrong place at the wrong time. But what I can say though, is that I do love what I do, and that the support system I’ve built for myself and my children (that was no accident) is the reason that only half of my hair has fallen out, as opposed to all of it. However, I do have some tips that have certainly helped me make it through.
To begin with, organization at home is close to military-grade. Marla, my assistant, and Maria, our nanny, get very detailed written instructions of how the days should go down. They get menus, recipes, phone numbers, play date info, ride info… I try and nail down every detail and I’ve found that this also helps me even when I’m at home. I have a tendency to let too much info live inside my head, so putting it all on paper (whether it’s a calendar or notes or Post-its) really relieves much of my anxiety.
I also constantly get asked how I have the energy; that part, I do have to be honest about: it’s hereditary. My dad didn’t sleep, period. I mean, he does now… but I don’t remember him sleeping when I was a kid. Not ever. Nowadays, I realize that this was a form of anxiety that I share with him, and thankfully, I’m so much better now. I used to not be able to sit in the same spot for more than a couple of minutes. I mean, forget about movie theaters or a concert! The whole time I’d just be counting the minutes for it to end so I could move to the next spot, wherever that would be! I’m much better now: I can sit and talk and listen and just be, enjoy and love and appreciate a moment. I think it’s one of the reasons I’m so grateful for Philip.
I don’t know if you know this, but we dated when I was 19 and then got back together when I was 35. Back then, I thought he was the weirdest and cheesiest guy on Earth when he’d comment on a beautiful sunset or a gorgeous day to go to the beach. But he taught me to shut the hell up and look and listen and appreciate what’s around me in that moment. He helped me understand what my sister means when she whispers in my ear every time I’m feeling like I need to do more with my life: “You and life are perfect as you are right now, so you might as well enjoy it!”
Anyway, I still can’t sleep and the things that calm my brain the best are those that involve me doing things around the house. Cooking, cleaning, planning an event, setting the table… anything that involves my home and my family. And let me tell you, if you could just get a sense of how happy it makes me on the inside to plan matching outfits for the kids and actually get them dressed, hair gelled and all, you wouldn’t question it. You’d let me be. Anyway, enough lamenting. Life is great. I have this huge edible garden and 3 really nice kids and a guy I wanna hang with more than with anybody else I know. But yeah, still… the guilt. It gets me all day every day.
David started his first day ever at school today; he’s going to a Montessori summer camp. I also took off for NYC today. I was able to drop him off but wasn’t going to be able to pick him up, to my despair, and dad was headed to LA. And then, God (because, like, who else could have done it?) pushed my flight back by two hours giving me the exact amount of time needed to pick him up and see his reaction on his very first day of school ever. My friends, he loved it. He wants to go back tomorrow! And, as mentioned, detailed instructions were left for the Casa Marcela army, including these yogurt-berry pops that D loves. We’re usually in a rush to get out in the morning so these are great for a breakfast-on-the-go. You can use any berry you want, but keep the oats; you’ll LOVE the hardy, crunchy feeling of an actual meal in the paleta. And truly, look how cute D looks eating it. :o)
And if you need to, I won’t judge you if you give them a Pop Tart on the go. I did it plenty of times. Nowadays I may be all fab and organic, but Cinnamon Toast Crunch made regular appearances at our dinner table when it was just the two of us and I had no idea if I’d make rent. And thinking about that in perspective… well, I’ll just keep doing my best and you just keep doing yours. And please, leave me a comment: tell me if you like the pops or if the mom guilt is also crippling for you!
Parfait Breakfast Pops
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup gluten free granola
In a bowl combine Greek yogurt, milk and agave. Whisk together until combined. Greek yogurt should be thick but pourable. Add granola to yogurt. Pour yogurt mix into a 6 popsicle mold. Pour mixture half way. Add strawberry slices and blueberries. Continue pouring yogurt mix and repeat process in the rest of the mold. Insert popsicle sticks in mold. Freeze until solid or up to 7 hours. To unmold popsicles run under hot water for a few seconds, this will help the popsicles come out easier.