But…do I?

Friday, one of my best friends married the love of his life. Seeing them celebrate their step into holy matrimony made me think, Where is my happily ever after?

In 2013 I met my significant other while taking classes at a local community college. Five years late, we’re parents and simply stuck into a routine. As working parents know, it’s very easy to fall into a pattern as the days go by in the blink of an eye but I had goals. I wanted to have my bachelors degree by 25, Married by 28, and children around 30. Life doesn’t always go as planned so it went more like college dropout by 21, child by 24 and no direction in life. Usually, it takes no more than a good episode of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ for me to begin planning my perfect wedding. But this time was different. I asked myself “Is marriage really for you?”.

My parents, though highly disfunctional, have been married for over 40 years. Growing up, I was apart of a close knit family so all I know is the strong marriage dynamic. My significant other, on the opposite end of the spectrum, lived in a home where his parents were never together, though they are married. His father is Mexican, believing that a man can do as he pleases, with whom he pleases while his wife raises the children and struggles with mental health problems among other things; the typical machismo. Until we started seeing each other, he’d never thought about getting married; marriage does not work!

I love my significant other but when it comes to making me a priority, he falls short. I’m not one to make excuses so I won’t start now. He takes care of his mom who suffers from a number of mental health issues in addition to ulcerative colitis and osteoporosis. She also speaks very limited English, doesn’t know how to drive, and is separated from his father. When we first got together I knew this was the situation. It wasn’t so bad because I had my own apartment while he held a place for him and his mom, though he was at my place majority of the time. Life got rough and I ended up losing my apartment and was forced to move in with them. It wasn’t until then I began to see the true hierarchy in our new family.

My mother in law is Queen Elizabeth on steroids. When she says jump, he asks how high. At first, I felt bad for her. Then I realized, she is a demanding B-I-T-C-H sometimes. It’s not her that’s the problem ultimately, it’s her son. He forgets everyone and everything when his mom calls upon him, which is more often than not. Even after we had our baby, it turned into having two babies.

GOD! WHEN DOES IT STOP!

I reached a breaking point when I lost a much-needed job because he wanted me to choose to help take her to her doctor appointments. Major bummer especially with a preemie infant. I bit the bullet. I declined the job offer. Did that get me any recognition or brownie points? No sir. It was the beginning of my depression; depression that lasted for two years, on and off.

My moment of liberation was re-enrolling into college. I’ve been taking college classes since I was 15 years old but I have NEVER declared a major. I boasted to my family over Thanksgiving dinner 2009 about how I was a pre-med biology student, I was going to be a neurologist. STRAIGHT PAID! BIG BILLS ONLY! Little did I know, three semester later I would receive a certified letter from the Dean of my college informing me that due to subpar grades I’d lost my financial aid and I was being put on academic suspension aka getting kicked out of college. I had failed.

Six years later, I find myself at the precipice of nursing school. I met with a counselor at my local community college who informed me that I only need to take four classes before applying to the nursing program. Taking all of those classes in high school really paid off for me in the end, especially since my math requirement was met by a class that I took in 10th grade. Before applying to the program, I must complete Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, and English; the mountain in the distance was a hill.

My focus since has been on self-growth, which is hard when you are in a serious relationship. I am important. How will my daughter ever understand the importance of being an independent strong woman if I can’t do it myself? With this came with many thoughts, including property ownership. I’m not currently married, my career is about to take front seat next to my daughter, of course.

Does that leave room for marriage? The horse and carriage? Am I becoming one of those progressive, feminist that neglects the home for the advancement of her career, or so the story goes? No. I’m improving myself for my childs future. 

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The Creative Struggle

By Jenna

I live a good life. I have a wonderful husband and two fantastic children. We live in a one bedroom apartment with our dog and cat. My husband has a good job and I am a full time student. That last part is what makes our lives a little more difficult. Being a full time student and a mom has put me in a position where I need to be a stay home mom instead of working mom. Though the trials that led me to this position were less than friendly, I am almost done with school and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The hardest part of being a stay home mom isn’t taking care of the children constantly, it’s the struggle to keep our head above water.

 

In 2014, my daughter was born. I had a good job working in hospice as a team coordinator. Right as I was asking to go back to work from a set maternity leave, not paid for by the company since they only would allow me to work per diem, the company advised me they were looking to downsize. Guess what that meant. The person who worked nearly 40 hours a week on per diem and had just had a baby was now the most expendable person in the company. My boss had refused to give me a termination notice for fear that I would take legal measures. I had begged her at least to write a letter for my apartment so I could get out of my lease. Without a job, we couldn’t afford my previous apartment. My boss refused and instead wrote a letter saying it was my decision to be a stay home mother instead of work. I cried because her lies and fears were controlling her actions to make my life harder than it was already.

 

I did not sue the company for wronging me. I did not have enough funds to hire a lawyer and I knew my heart couldn’t handle a new baby, searching for a job that would pay me enough, and a lawsuit. It simply wasn’t worth the misery I would have experienced. Instead, I went back to school. It was a long term goal of mine to have my BA in History. I chose history because I am passionate about history. I have one more year of school and I want to share how my little family of four survived this far on a single income in Orange County California.

 

When I started school, about 2 years ago, I was working a part time job making calls for a company, but wasn’t even making grocery money. This, plus my husband’s $20 an hour income was just enough to get us through my first year with our first newborn. Part way through the first year, we had to get creative with our finances because there was another baby on the way. We already had school debt from both my previous semester out of state, my husband’s education, and credit card debt from a vacation or two. Coupled with paying for my both of my children’s home water birth, we have been strapped tight with debt.

 

The first thing my husband started doing to help us is begin consolidating our debt. We were able to take out a bit extra in the student loans to cover some of our credit card debt and our children’s births. The student loans were at lower interest rates, and it allows me to postpone paying of that debt until I’m more financially stable. We have decided to stay in a one bedroom since we have that flexibility. We are in a downstairs unit with a backyard so we are as comfortable as we can afford for the short run.

 

As the years ticked by (I say that, but only 3 have passed), I was able to find cheaper groceries at stores like Aldi, how to make meals, where to find cheap and used baby clothes, and my husband was able to secure a bit of a raise. Even through all of this, he still had to get a second job. That is what being an adult is about though, I guess. Doing what you need to do, even though it isn’t fun or easy.

 

What’s the smartest animal? A fish because they stay in schools! Our visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific

By Leigh

IMG_9559Happy summer to all of our followers in the northern hemisphere! If you live in California, you are aware of the current “heat wave” which is just typical summer weather. To fight the hot and stickys, Jenna and I took a trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific with our children this past Saturday. As a child, I loved going to the Aquarium! All of the sea life and fun facts always aroused my little mind. Now that is a joy that I would like to share with my baby.

IMG_9486.JPGThe first thing that caught my attention was the massive reconstruction project. They are remodeling the front portion of the aquarium, unfortunately. The construction took away from the amazing structure but luckily it is temporary. The second ‘Woah’ was the entrance fee. For adult, child(3-17), and senior respectively, the prices were $29.95,$17.95,$26.95. I was not expecting those prices at all! But for a experience with my daughter, I’ll bite bullet.

IMG_9490.JPGThe first stop that we made was lunch! We stopped in to the Scuba Cafe to see what they had to offer. The menus was fantastic; not too complicated and just the right amount of items. I tried the fish & chips. Definitely try the fish & chips! The kids options were tasty as well.

IMG_9497.JPGAfter lunch, we headed to the exhibits. Jenna was our tour guide for the day. We were lucky to catch the end of the scuba diver show in the large tank in the main hall. It’s not very accessible for us stroller baring parents but there is a nice parking area for strollers on the first level if you are willing to live on the wild side.

IMG_9523.JPGThe new Frogs exhibit was nice for the 8 and up crowd. The exhibit hosts a large number of frogs, many too small for our toddlers to see. Our favorite exhibits were the Shark and Jellyfish, for obvious reasons. The kids loved being able to touch animals! 

Before you leave, don’t forget to validate your parking! It will save you so much money with the parking structure

Aquarium of the Pacific: A Member’s Perspective

By Jenna

Birthdays have always been a bit of a let down for me. This past year, I knew exactly what I wanted; a gift that keeps giving. I wanted a membership to the Aquarium of the Pacific so I could visit throughout the year. Our children are still under three, so we were able to get the dual membership, which is two adults for $110 a year. It has only been 6 months and I have already gone enough times to make it well worth the money!

IMG_9517.JPGThis weekend, me and the kiddos got to take an adventure with Leigh and her lovely family! Parking wasn’t as hard as I expected. Since there are constantly people coming in and going out, there were parking spots available while driving around the structure. I felt confident in passing a few spots further away for a spot closer to the elevator. Once Leah and her SO got to my truck, we let the other adults in our party care for our littles while we took a quick toke!

While Leigh got her tickets, I went through the Member’s entrance. Since I have been to the Aquarium of the Pacific a few times this year already, I was able to map out all the exhibits and stops we wanted. I did manage to get us lost once though, but I covered it up with a restroom break. We ate a quick, but delicious, meal at the Scuba Cafe before heading to the Sea Lions. We also got to touch the sharks and moon jellyfish! We explored the tropical climate aquatic life including the Frogs exhibit! I couldn’t leave without watching the sea otters cuddle and play though!

IMG_9588.JPGOn our way out we got our ticket validated so we only paid the $8 fee instead of the higher rate the structure offers. The kids ran around and admired all there was to see. I was surprised when my youngest showed so much more interest than my older had shown at the same age. We had a fun filled day, and I can’t wait to get out to the Aquarium of the Pacific again! Since I am a member, my visits can be as often as my kids can enjoy!

Vegas! Here WE Come!

vegas-cannabis

By Jenna

Alrighty then! Update on my packing for Vegas trip while I smoke!

Today I am smoking on Skywalker. It is an indica that is super fresh and light. It isn’t super sticky, but it has an amazing smell!

I started my packing a few days early because I get super stressed and anxious (not the fun kind, the kind that makes you hyperventilate  and unable to focus), hence medicating.

So, a full three days in advance I made a list of everything I want to accomplish before we head out. It ranged from cleaning the kitchen table to getting the pets ready. I knew I wanted my apartment cleaned because my parents are checking in on my cat, Padme, while they babysit my dog, Evee. Ya, I know, I’m nerdy and named my pets after Star Wars and Pokemon. I also knew I needed to get all the clothes washed and packed before the day we actually leave.

Yesterday, I washed and packed all the clothes needed. My Littles are small so they only took one gym bag, while me and the hubby used the full space of my larger luggage. I am a pretty light packer in general. I also cleaned the house and prepared the dishes for the dishwasher. My hope and intention was to only leave a few pieces to the departure day.
Which brings us to today, I still have to pack the truck, but I needed to make a run to Target first! I spent more than expected, as usual. I still need to get the toiletries ready to go, but that has to wait until the hubby is showered. Man he stinks after coming home from work! That’s what happens when you fall for a hard working man.


I’ve also run into a larger problem. My father-in-law is coming with us on our Vegas vacation. He is staying in the room with us, and will basically be with us all the time. He can’t know I smoke cannabis. I tossing ideas with Leigh; she had a suggestion that warranted note. Leigh’s recommendation is to smoke in the bathroom with the shower on and a towel under the door. The water adheres to the smoke and draws it out of the air. This didn’t take away the issue of the smell, so I’m out of luck on that front. My best hope still remains with edibles. There is no smoking, I can eat it in public, the high lasts for HOURS, and I don’t smell. So, it is off to the dispensary for me, because I was lazy the last two days and didn’t go already!

I’ll post again upon my return! Viva Las Vegas!!!

 

 

Thanks for fucking mom! Father’s day edition

By Leigh

fathers

You know what really pisses me off?

Dad’s that refuse to help with their children.

I’m not talking about deadbeats, I’m talking about those that refuse to make a bottle, change a poop diaper, lose sleep if the baby is cranky at night, etc, because it’s a “woman’s job”.

When did this become a thing? I guess it’s always been a thing, it’s new to me because I always assumed that a child is a 50/50 responsibility. My dad took care of me my entire childhood. He was not stay at home dad. He worked 40+ a week and still found time to bring me lunch, pick me up, do homework and be an all around friend. I guess my dad is the last of the Mahicans. These days, asking a man to even help a little is nearly asking for WWIII.

Come on dads. Would it hurt to give mommy that over due break? I can hear all the men shout in unison “YES”.

After I had my daughter, I had really high expectations for what was to come in the following months. I created this image of me and my SO (significant other) working together as a team so that BOTH of us could rest.

Did that happen?

HELL NO.

From day one, it’s been a 90% solo bolo job. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great dad. But at 3am, when you wake the baby with your snoring, I expect you to deal with the monster. Not turn over for your second dream, leaving me to suffer through the night. Oh did I include that I too, like my SO, I work full time.

Am I just complaining?

I am lucky enough to have the father of my daughter in my life, I commend all of the women out there that are doing it on their own. Raising children is probably the hardest time in the world, but you’re doing it. Don’t let the world get you down, you are the shit! Happy mother’s day, part 2!

To all of the father’s out there, even if you don’t do as much as you should at home, thank you for being there.

To my own father, my road dog, my first love: Thank you for being awesome! Even though you complain and act crazy, I wouldn’t change you for the world. My crazy Mississippian! I love you dad!

If you are a dad and you aren’t in your child’s life, here’s a big FUCK YOU from all the mom’s around the world!

Happy Father’s Day!

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Let’s Climb this Volcano! 

This year I promised that I would spend less time at home and more time in nature. With the beginning of summer quickly approaching, I feel that it is only appropriate to begin planning now. My goal is to take 1 big trip per month, through September. In doing this I hope to bond more with my family, sharing the true beauty of California outside of the city.
Our first trip will be to Amboy, California. I’d never heard of this place until I started doing research. Located in San Bernardino County, Amboy Crater has attracted visitors from near and far. Until the construction of Route 40 in 1973, this was a popular tourist spot for those traveling along historic route 66. Though born and raised in So Cal, I’ve never allowed my inner Louis and Clark to fully develop a hunger for exploration.

Amboy Crater is a 10,000 year old dormant volcano. Yes, you read that right, a volcano.

“Southeast of town lies Amboy Crater, a 246-foot basalt cinder cone. The result of several explosive eruptions, it’s accessible by two main trails — one easy and one difficult — and offers a perspective not only of itself, but also of the Mojave National Preserve and beyond.” (Thanks Desert America for the info).

We will keep you guys updated as the trip gets closer. Yay for fitness!

Any followers ever visit Amboy? Shoot us a comment with your story. We love to hear from our fans.

Make sure you follow us on instagram, @420somewherela

High from Las Vegas By Jenna

las vegasLater this month I’m heading to Las Vegas for the first time as an adult; also, as a wife, mother, sister-in-law, and daughter-in-law. Basically, it’s a family vacation with the hope of doing a little partying at some point. My knee jerk reaction said, heck ya! Let’s go to Vegas as a family! This is going to be so awesome! Now that we have booked our rooms and planned our trip, I have to plan for my love and use of cannabis.

I have a few barriers to being able to enjoy smoking in Las Vegas. First, my family, other than my spouse, do not know I smoke marijuana, especially not on a daily basis. Second, my family has a very negative opinion of marijuana and don’t like the smell. Lastly, cannabis laws are still progressing in Nevada and it is legal to smoke, but you must smoke in your private residence. The hotels are not private residences. There is the possibility of being charged a rather inconvenient cleaning fee. So, if I can’t smoke outside safely, and I can’t smoke inside safely, then what am I going to do?

Edibles! Duh! I’ve been experimenting with a few edibles to see what I like for taste, what has a good high, what is way too much, and what my best options are for ingesting cannabis.

The range of edibles I tried focused around what is easiest to take with me to Vegas. I grabbed a brownie, a few jolly ranchers, some sour straws, an energy bar, and an energy drink. I love brownies! They are usually my medium of choice when I am making my own special brownies, however the dosage for the brownie purchased at my local dispensary was far too high and I ended up throwing up my lunch and the brownie. The jolly ranchers are easy and provided a regular edible high. I only ate half the jolly rancher to see the quantity I like. Remember, when it comes to edibles you can always take more later. I loved the sour straws! They were fun to eat because they were rainbow stripped, and the dosage was easy to portion. The energy bar was too dry and the dosage wasn’t easy to save. The energy drink was one of my top favorites as well. I got an orange flavor and I couldn’t taste marijuana at all, it was really delicious. The cannabis entered my bloodstream quickly and it gave a nice high.

Overall, I think I’m going to take the energy drink because I can keep it in a cooler. I am also taking the jolly and sour straws because they are easy to hide and easy to portion. I am ready for Vegas knowing I will be safely using medicinal cannabis.

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