Friday, July 8, 2011

Soundtrack Of My Life

For those of you whom are not caught up on my Hollyhome is a recap. I had the month of June off to goof around. Wrap up some script issues on 'Moving On' and learn to edit. Neither of which have seen task completion. BLAH! I finished the 4th level of the Conservatory at Second City and have moved on to the final level...the part where we take what we have some more...and turn out the best sketch show ever put up on The Second City Hollywood stage. Okay Okay so the last part is just optional...but something that resembles a sketch show must go up in 4 months time!

Assignment #1--Write A Frickin' Song 
    A title and a minimum of a 4 line chorus...not a lot to ask for.

I have been listening to crap love songs all day to inspire me. Although, it was nice to relive my love of Chicago and Boston (the bands not cities) Foriegner and Steve Miller Band. So in the end not a waste of time...nice walk down memory lane :)
BLAH! Now lucky for me most of my class is top notch in the song department. And while I could turn out some kick ass lyrics to a sad country love song from all the experience I have to pull from over the last few years...I highly doubt I can pull off anything clever and witty. I have had a severe case of writers block...FINE call it laziness...whichever.  I have truly been dreading this part of the Conservatory-- WRITING! I LOVE improv. I am on my feet. I am expected to say something stupid or not funny at every moment, so when it works just once people tend to forget about the 100 things I said before that 1 great know the 100 not smart things. BUT when I am writing my perfectionist Virgo side comes out and I panic and leave a blank page in the dust as I wonder off to do something else instead. With improv you can say 'well that's over, never do that scene again'... and with writing it's like 'well you had plenty of time to think it through and THAT'S what you came up with'. Writing blogs to keep ya'll back home and you nosey nelly's near by informed is hard enough. So that's why I warned ya'll that I would NOT be caring about punctuation or if my sentences made any sort of logical sense. What you don't know is I read and re-read all the time. Making changes. Not fixing mistakes so much as tweaking crap that nobody will ever re-read. At this point I am afraid that if one makes too much sense ... then it will throw off the balance of all the other ones that don't  and I will just delete them all! LOL

Back to topic of this song. Well. Huh? Yup I got nothing.

I did eventually get comfortable doing musical improv once a term. I took a workshop with the artistic director and a great musical helped and I had a blast. But you won't be seeing my album drop anytime soon! Now I love, love, love music. Of course I turn to music as a way to comfort my soul and raise my spirit. I have a musical family. I just steer clear of making it. I remember writing songs when I was little...about dandelions and about not having any friends because I was new at school ... WAIT A MINUTE ... I might be on to something. NOPE it's gone.  I surround myself with musical people. My Grayce is musical and has a deep love for music. Which I think her dad and I gave to her as a baby with music all the time...classical to classic rock, 80's to heavy metal. She picked up piano easily and guitar was not too bad. Ava Jo sings like an angel. I mean they pretty much rule...according to the Wii I am awesome...but AJ can't read and Grayce can't figure out how to hold the mic to pick up her voice. So I really shouldn't be bragging, it just makes me sound like a sad sad parent  :)

I know I can pull this off...but there is that inner romantic that just wants a sweet talking cowboy to write me a love song, ride up on his horse and play his guitar on my front porch. Where is George Strait and his crappy acting when a girl needs him? That was what I envisioned...not writing the damn thing myself and singing it to a wincing crowd of people. I guess there are some ear plugs in my production kit...I'll hand those out :)

*NO SHIT as I typed this someone's car outside headed to Hollywood Blvd was blaring a George Strait song from their car. Hollyweird!

Well. I am off to finish off my day and search for my inspiration to write this song OR wait for my handsome cowboy/hipster (this is Hollywood I may have to tweak this vision) to show up and sing me one!

**Note to self--By adding another child to your household ie. someone else's for a hang out all day and then sleepover. Your own children are completely entertained to allow you a significant window of time to get TONS of shit done. Mommy point for me! I won this round ladies...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

...And Dru Makes Three!

Well-- In comedy things are best in 3' God must have a sense of humor that kills!

My third blessing came at a very ironic time in my life. A time filled with confusion and when the strength of my family and marriage were being tested to the extremes. I could have never imagined how it would all turn out, but I wouldn't have wanted to ruin the ending like I do with books! All these stories I share are mearly stories in a lifelong tale that continues to write itself while we are busy living it everyday. Audree Elizabeth taught me that. She is of course named for Audrey Hepburn. Her middle name after my beautiful Grandma Jones. Another strong woman I was honored to be loved by and learn from.  Audree is spelled differently to honor her french heritage and to fulfill my love of making my children spell out their name every time...cuz I do!

While Audree was a surprise, she is a blessing not the less. As every mother asks themselves the famous question after the first child I asked myself 'How will I have enough love for ANOTHER child?". I think we for moments just couldn't imagine how our hearts could possibly have enough love for another life and worry that it won't so we will have to divide up the love we currently are giving to our partners and other children. If you have two you already know that it happens! You love and then you love the next one just as much! So why did I still questioned it with the third? Silly hormones messing with a pregnant woman's emotions!

My pregnancy with Audree was insane. Having made it through a few bouts of cervical cancer...we all often wondered if my body could handle this one. It was at times stressful and bed rest and mommy having to sit still (which I don't do well), but we made it through. Then we made it past the due date. I was nesting pretty hard because we moved just 2 weeks before I was due. Actually driving across the country with both kids, both dogs, my mom, a moving truck, and a bun in the oven. Didn't even tell or ask the doctor cuz I knew the answer would be NO stay here until she is born. No way was daddy missing the birth of this baby and no way was I staying behind while he unpacked. So away we went. Only for the moving truck to nearly catch on fire due to bad breaks and get stuck at the Oregon border rest area. On my 30th birthday...which was on Labor Day!  Where nothing lives...not cell reception...not hospitals...not auto parts stores...not a tow company...just a bathroom and grass to wander in. I thought for sure baby was coming that day. I was having contractions (not consistent), my back was killing me, and most importantly that would be the luck! I made it through...enjoyed my birthday dinner in a fly infested restaurant lovingly named The Redneck Cafe. I was with my mom and my family...I couldn't have asked for more!

Dru was a nick name I gave her while I was still pregnant. Nobody gets it but me...and I am okay with that. Sometimes I think her and I will always have a secret understanding that only her and I 'get'...I am okay with that too!

Anyhow Dru came late. I was so antsy and the new doctor wouldn't induce despite ALL the medical concerns...there were A LOT! Once my water actually broke she took her sweet ole' time. My labor would NOT start. I never had consistent contractions...and 20 mins before I delivered they told me it would be a few more hours and someone was going to come talk to me about a C-Section. WHAT! I don't want drugs and you think I want you to chop a baby out of me with...HELL NO! Thankfully she received her eviction notice and I had to 'hold her in' while we waited for the doctor that was told less than 5 minutes ago we had hours. Let me tell you men who are reading CAN NOT hold a baby in.  Just in the nick of time walks in my doctor (who was a resident doc), his attending doc, and an INTERN-- that had only been and INTERN doc for 15 minutes prior to walking in to deliver his first baby! He had a look of fear on his face similar to a man standing at the end of the barrel on a loaded shot gun. In his nervousness he was telling me over and over like a drill sergeant to 'get the baby out'! DUDE this is my THRID time...I got this! Was what I was thinking but what came out was 'YOU WANT IT OUT. THEN YOU GET IT OUT! OR SHUT UP!' My doctor said told me to 'calm down' to which I responds 'CALM HIM DOWN!'
About 30 seconds later he had delivered his first baby and I had delivered my third. Cord around her neck and he stayed calm and just handled like a pro. I think he will make a fine doc, but he may not end up an OB after that!
She was handed off quickly to the respiratory team in the room (yes, if you do the count there were about 9 people in the room. Dru made ten.). I heard her cry. Daddy cut the cord and took pictures. He had them uploaded onto FB before I breastfed her for the first time...what a world we live in today. What I recall the most was the few seconds they laid her on my tummy she twisted her little body and neck to look at me. Her expression seemed to say 'huh? that's what you look like' and all I could muster up was 'my beauty'! It was those brief seconds when that love I had carried for my other two girls grew bigger and the love for Audree flooded into completion. Mothers can do them all so them all the same. Fathers do too, they just don't have hormones making them worry about whether they will or won'
When I finally held her it strangely didn't feel like the first time. Like she had always been here. Holding your third baby is amazing, mostly because you aren't a scared new mom wondering how it will work or how you will sleep or if it will all be okay. It's just peace. It's looking over at her father and catching eyes with a look that says 'yo! we got this'. The original look between new parents says 'holy fucking shit'. This time it was just different and just as nice. We were relaxed and confident and ready to go home.

Audree still gives the same look as she did the first time we 'met'. She is a tiny treasure in my army of girls. Smart and sensitive, yet confident and bold! She is a by the book child. Does nothing 'early' or 'late'...she is super observant like Grayce and super GO like Ava. Cuddly and wild. Brave and cautious. I can't describe the perfect blend of Grayce and Ava she is growing to be. Dru pays attention to what they are doing all the time and more now is putting into action what they do. I just know that she is going to have NO problem growing into her place as an individual in this group of Hollygirls!

I die for her expressions. So animated. So sincere.

I -- of course could go on and on about my babies. Today I won't. Now I have talked about them all as individuals. I am the luckiest mom. I strive to make them proud of me and let them know I am ALWAYS proud of them. I always will be win or lose.

I am here for them. I am living my dream! Oh yes it is hard from time to time. I am not so much seeking the illusive Hollywood dream of fame. I just wanted to work in tv and film. I do that. Granted I am a freelancer so it's hard sometimes, but in those times where I feel like giving up I can look at them and know that I am doing the right thing. They are taken care of and provided for by me. They are loved. My girls sacrifice nothing in order for me to be here... and Audree won't remember any of!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hey Hey Josephine...

Happy 4th of July!

Guess this is the most perfect day to talk about my little firecracker, Ava Jo! My second blue-eyed beauty is now 5 years old according to her birth certificate and 24 according to her attitude! My sweet Ava Josephine has been my biggest handful since the day she was born. AJ is stubborn and only she can hear the tick of her own clock. I remember my mid-wife came in on her day off to deliver my 2nd born on  December 5th 2005, I wanted so badly for her to NOT be born on the 6th because it was the same day as my first marriage anniversary.  December 5th 1997 was the day I graduated from Marine Corps boot camp so that seemed better in my head! I was induced with her on the 5th due to medical reasons and couldn't be happier. Now it was only fitting for Ava to arrive with a mid-wife who came in special for her arrival (I couldn't have done it with out Connie!) and to be just a few minutes after midnight ensuring she won the December 6th birthday battle! Her father and I were still trying to figure out middle names...only knowing we wanted to call her AJ (but we only do in typing). I wanted Ava Jones...because that is my grandfathers last name and seeing as though I would never have a boy I liked it! We only agreed on Ava Jolene ... my favorite song for a long time and it just sounded beautiful. Some how we ended up with Ava (yes, for the Hollywood beauty Ava Gardner!) Josephine. Her daddy wanted to help with the name choosing and at first I was like YUCK...not even a nice name...don't talk to me! (yeah not a good topic for a woman just an hour after natural childbirth) I woke up after a little rest...listened to why he liked it...listened to how he thought it was spelled "Joesafine"... sent him to the nurses station to get the baby name book... and as I looked at this tiny little beauty in my arms I whispered 'I love you more than words Ava Josephine' ... she made a small chirp and I cried--like a baby! I just knew that daddy had come up with something that was meant just for her!

Ava was our only 'planned' baby! We knew what we were up too...just didn't think we'd knock it out of the park on the first pitch! I found out I was pregnant on Easter 2005 and she was here before Christmas! That's Ava...never missing an opportunity for a gift giving holiday :) We enjoyed the fireworks show today. This is our first year going through all the holidays without their Daddy and the toll it is taking on us all. Which by the way didn't hit me until I got home this evening. Trying to figure out all day what was missing and why it seemed today couldn't get over fast enough. Not to say that it was not enjoyable as always watching the delight on their faces at each burst of firework, but even though we have been separated on and off for years we ALWAYS spent the holidays together in some sort of way. Knowing that it was best for the kids to be together. We made a promise to never let all that go no matter what. Well I guess that is a promise we have broken for now. I am hoping to give that back to Ava and them all, but most of all to Ava Jo. She is the middle baby and I think needs to know her place in this family more than the other two. Some how-- some way I know she will MAKE a place for herself in this world. It will be a very loud and explosive sort of forcing herself in way. Like a firework bursting amongst the stars in the night. Bigger, Louder, and Shining Brighter!  She has been a force to be reckoned with since I first looked into her eyes.

Ava Jo was the only baby on my tummy straight after birth and straight to the breast as they cut the cord. She screamed in the car seat the WHOLE drive home from the hospital and every car ride thereafter. She was my sidekick--she breastfed the longest--she slept with me the longest--she was attached to my hip the longest--basically everything that Grayce was not is all that Ava came to be. I love them each for the different ways they make me a mother. Josephine, as Ava is most commonly called by me has tested every ounce of patience I have. For a time I was not allowed to call her Jo...then she told me 'Well, I am in trouble a lot. So I guess you can call me Jo, because that is my trouble name'. Well said Ava!

She wore a dress EVERY day from the time she was 2 until she was nearly 4 years old! It was a battle. Some days she would wear pajamas and jeans and a dress and a sandal and a tennis shoe...AT ONCE! I would just yell and yell trying to fight her out of it into something reasonable and that would match. Please JO let mommy brush your hair--NOOOOO! Getting her to eat was a battle she once told me 'If you EVER talk to me again like that I won't neber eber eat again'. WOW!Okay...

Ava Jo-101 MOM-0

Jo spent most of her 3rd year in time out and in tears. Her dad accused me of babying her (which I did) and then I think I went too tough for a bit. Until one morning we were about 20 mins late for preschool and Grayce Kinder--she sat in a ridiculous outfit not wanting to change her clothes. She had 5 layers of clothes, unmatching socks, and flip flops on. My patience was worn so thin I walked out to the front porch and just cried. I begged God to help me reason with her. I begged him for the strength to simply be her mother. And suddenly IT hit me. I stood up and walked inside looked at my sweet angel faced Ava Josephine and told her 'Grab your backpack. You better be president or save the rainforest someday!' In that moment I just knew God had made her a fighter, she fought for what she believed in and was not going to back down! I figured out it was now my job as her mother to teach her to use her powers for good not evil! I can just see her chained to a tree screaming that trees have feelings...or protesting in the nude to save a historical building!!! So everyday since then I have let her win most battles and am making sure that she knows the war she is fighting--because when the time comes she will not stop at defeat!

Everyday Ava reminds me of the strength inside of myself. The strength I gave to her. The strength my mother gave to me and the knowledge that her heart is bigger and her mind is wiser than my own--I just know she is meant for BIG things in a LOUD way. I pretty much believe that whatever Grayce conjures up...Ava will be clearing the way! What an amazing duo! What a lucky Mommy!

Diva Ava- I love you so much. My life is more interesting and honest with you in it. There is not a thing I would ever change about you and by God don't let anyone else change you either. Fight the good fight and love with all you got baby girl! Mama will let the world know your coming...yet somehow I know you will still stun the hell out of them! You are smarter than you let everyone believe...
I know that you encountered your first bullying battle with hate and racism this year. Mommy is so proud at your grace and strength in dealing with it all. You won in the end and I am glad that it all never took your spirit. I hope you remember that we are family...we stick together. We love those that may not love us and most of all we NEVER stop loving each other :)

 Life's a dance...sometimes you lead...and sometimes you follow.