Recap since I started the Downtown Parent gig

kids enjoying the pool @ Market Lofts
made lots of friends at our first meet up

It seems that over a year ago I thought that the hours in the day would magically extend for me and that on top of the writing for Blogdowntown.com, full-time job, being a parent of two, being a girlfriend, taking online classes, and doing the basic stuff like eating and sleeping I would be able to write a daily journal on life.

Well a year later and not much has changed in my schedule but I have an itch to write and I figured why not blog so you can listen to me? ūüôā

A recap of the last year:

I found Bella and Iza¬†a “local” elementary school for them to go to this September, I turned in magnet applications to another school as a back up, and I’m having a hard time letting go of the comfort of Lumbini (their current school) since it is a 15 minute walk from work.¬†

But as we all know money rules the world and I need to save the tuition mullah for other things like say a second bedroom or college- for them not me.

As soon as I thought that I could pat myself on the back and relax after my school hunt was over I realized that it was more of an individual hope for the best solution.¬† I’m worried that the girls will not get into the school through open enrollment, that the magnet bus schedule will make it impossible to go to the back up plan, and what the heck¬†will I do with them for the 3 mos.+ of vacation that LAUSD gives to kids each year.

I did start a parent group so I could start building a sense of community for the girls and myself as a parent and it has gone very well.  Downtown L.A. Parents on facebook has 98 members- some of them representing a family other parents each being a member Рand the weekly playdates have been incredible. 

Our first big meeting reminded me of House on Mango Street when Sandra Cisneros dreams of having homeless people living in her attic..but in a less, less, waaay less creepy way.

The potluck/pool party was at my building’s community room and people were invited through fliers that I left at multiple residential buildings, libraries, and the girls’ school.¬† I sent out emails and invited parents I ran into at the park and told them to spread the word.

You might think that I am absolutely crazy for inviting complete strangers but I felt a sense of security not being specifically at my home and the whole kid thing seemed like a good screening- no kid- no entrance.

It was a great turn out- about 50 people showed up and I made awesome friends which is so hard in L.A.

So now here I am January 2010 and I want to take it to the next level.¬† We’ve met, we’ve chatted now how about that school?

How to Live Without a Car M-F

Living in Downtown, Working in DTLA AND being lucky enough to have a school for kids in DT… I had to get rid of my car.¬† Big savings on¬†NO car payment, insurance, parking or gas.¬†

Sounds great on paper but it takes getting used to in practice.¬† Here’s a taste of what it takes..

5:00 AM Wake up, make coffee, stumble for gym clothes and shoes (half-asleep) and go for a run out on the cold streets.

5:35 Walk in the door, rummage for office clothing, and clothing for the girls (that’s 3 outfits..), take a shower

6:00 Wake up mini-adults and serve them breakfast.  Pack lunch. Drink coffee and pack coffee to go in my Stanley Coffee Mug (DWR..love it)

6:20 Get dressed, dress girls, comb my hair, sun-screen, get shoes on (hopefully on the right foot on the first try)

6:45 Grab purse, keys, heels, lunch, coffee and off we go.  I always take a treat (raisins/nuts/chocolate milk) to persuade (bribe) Bella and Iza to hurry up.

7:00 We hopefully make the Dash A on 7th/Figueroa and hop on, all the while curious Financial District Employees stare at the girls as if they are beings from another universe. The bus ride usually takes about 25 minutes to take us to 3rd and Alameda.  We chat, they sing, I read..put on make-up. We get stared at..a lot!

7:30 I drop them off at the Higashi Honganji Center on 3rd/ Central.¬† Kiss, kiss! Hug! Bye..ok another hug and I am off.¬† I have given up on taking the dash back to City Hall because to retain my dignity I refuse to keep running after the bus or angering myself when they leave without stopping.¬† The weather is nice and cold so walking briskly to work doesn’t get you sweaty or stinky.¬†

7:45 I walk into my cubicle at City Hall and start my day as a bureaucrat!

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5:20pm Turn off the computer, do a quick assessment of my desk to make sure I don’t forget anything and then rush off to the school to pick up the girls.¬† I make record time walking back to the school (funny how much more determined you are in your navigating when the direction is home) and say hello to the security guard (sweet old man always with a smile).¬† I look for my tiny tots and sign-them out.¬† After 3-4 times of false attempts, we finally leave. (I don’t remember ever hugging each of my classmates before I left..such popular girls)

5:39 We walk back to 3rd/Alameda and hop on the bus. This is where the popular bunching occurs. Bunching meaning when two to three buses are at the same stop, at the same time.  This is their break spot which is bad if you are on the other side of Route A in City West waiting.. but good if you are like me with two little girls walking in the dark. 

6:00 pm We hop off on 7th/Flower and walk home..sweet home at Hope/9th. 

6:10 Shoes off, toys out and pots and pans are clanking. I make dinner, we eat, relax and wind down our fleeting day….

Halloween 2008

This was our first Halloween in DTLA and it was safe, fun and family friendly.  We went trick or treating during the day with my daughters classmates at the Lumbini Center.  They had a parade in the school before we set off to Little Tokyo and made a killing worth of yummy eats.  The parents each provided the candy, snack or treat.  The school then mixed it up and handed it out to vendors throughout Little Tokyo.  At first this bothered me and I felt cheated that we had to provide our own candy! Sheesh! But reconsidering, this was the smartest thing to do.  You know where the candy is coming from, what not to bring in case of allergies, and you guarantee your little one a pumpkin pail brimming with healthier treats. Halloween-doubles sweet-halloween-3