looking back

Scrolling through my social media feed I came upon a link to a post where the writer was feeling so sentimental and emotional and a little reflective as she celebrates another year of living and all the years that she has celebrated living before this year.

The writer was celebrating her twenty-eighth birthday.

Twenty eight years of living y’all.

Twenty eight.

I guess it’s all about perspective. For me, when I was 28 I was the mother of one know-it-all 4 year old and just beginning the great adventure of caring for tiny humans…I also was quite certain that I had no idea what I was doing…about anything at all.

Meanwhile, Fallon was just today recalling the days when she was very small.

Yes, the good ol’ days…more than three years ago.

The days when she was a baby…a tiny, happy baby. A baby who was happy all the time. A baby who never, ever cried and loved more than anything to be rocked and cuddled and to take naps.




Fallon, have you ever seen The Daily Fallon? Ever?

Whatever, Mima!

She also sometimes tells people that her name is actually Caitlin, the child of very rich parents who for some strange reason finds herself here living with this family circus.

Caitlin? May I speak to Fallon now?


Her Starbucks lovers just might tell you she’s insane.

I can only imagine how much wiser she shall be when she is four…forty eight days from now!!!

the people that you meet each day

As a NICU nurse, nothing gives me more joy than seeing “my babies” grow and thrive and grow up outside of the NICU. Actually that is kind of a universal joy felt by all NICU nurses, respiratory therapists, unit coordinators and neonatologists. Moments like this:

OMG! I’m crying again. Seriously.

After over 25 years and more patients than I can keep count, I can tell you there are the ones I will never, ever forget…ever. And some I have remained close to through the years because sometimes you do become much more than just the nurse and patient and patient’s family. Hurray for Facebook (after my tiny human patients are officially discharged) for that. Truly.

Then there are the moments when you are in your neighborhood at the mall, the movie theater, the local farmers’ market, the grocery store, or even while at play at a Pumpkin Fair Carnival and you find that you are being stared at…literally. I check to make sure nothing is amiss…spinach stuck in my teeth, a bra strap showing, or worse…and then I smile, perhaps a little awkwardly because what if they are not smiling at me? What if they are smiling at the old man behind me; or perhaps the kid flying down the Giant Slide ride before my kid.

Excuse me, is your name Laura?

She looks familiar to me, but Im not sure why or from where. But she has a stroller with a sleeping toddler so maybe…

I nod my head yes and confess that she looks very familiar but I’m not sure where we have met.

You were my baby’s nurse.

Oh! That’s where I met you, lovely lady with the most striking, velvet dark eyes. I peek at her sleeping little one and honestly I don’t remember him at all. Then again, he was oh so much smaller as mom catches me up on life this first year after leaving the NICU.  It’s clear that it hasn’t always been easy.

I recall a late night conversation in the NICU where I promised her that it wouldn’t always be easy after the NICU…speaking as a NICU mom myself.

I nod my head, understanding. Understanding much too well.

It’s then that my son comes running up to me breathless after flying down the giant slide ride for the umpteenth time. I introduce her to my very excited and eager to take on the next carnival ride, thirteen year old son.

Wait! He was a 24 weaker too! Right?

She reaches out to shake his hand. Daniel, graciously, yet shyly, shakes her hand as he flashes his brace-faced, dimpled smile  before he heads back up to the giant slide ride because he tells us that it is actually that amazing.

Thank you, son!

I peek one more time at her sleeping toddler and I hug her good-bye as I quietly tell her:

It’s hard work but you are doing great mama! 

We both wipe away tears as we say goodbye until we meet again here in our neighborhood.

wait, let me take a selfie

With all that is currently going on in and around the world right now we have so much to be worried about because it is truly the end of the world as we know it…and according to Arizona Diamondbacks announcers Bob Brenly and Steve Berthiaume it starts here.

Right here, right now.

Of course the irony of it all was as they continued on with their nearly three minute tirade about parenting failure (with college aged people likely not living at home with their parents) and mocking these college coeds taking a break from their classes, studies, work and other projects to take in a practically pointless end of season game between the Diamondbacks and the Rockies, on the screen was the invite for fans to take and post their selfies while enjoying the game.

Nice! Way to be in touch with your fan base guys!

True, selfies are not necessarily your father’s thing…or my darling husband’s thing…likely not my father’s thing but it is a millennial kind of thing and, apparently, millennials like Major League Baseball and, more often than not, will take selfies and share them…everywhere. The fact of the matter is that no one leaves home without their smart phones these days, and those phones are used to create memories with their camera at sporting events, concerts, and around the every day life that we live.

Get over it! 


Some cluck their tongues and shake their heads as they think this somehow detracts from the natural enjoyment of life and they literally take every opportunity to criticize this practice in a get off my lawn kind of fashion…because they never did anything perceived to be a waste of time or stupid by the generations before them. It’s a generational divide that comes off as bitter and superior. Add to that the usual stereotyping of young ladies who are obviously at the game to be seen on Instagram and Snapchat, or because their boyfriends obviously dragged them against their will and are clearly not hanging on to every single pitch like a good fan and you have the perfect setup for what became a mean-spirited rant against fans in the stands…people the announcers and everyone else watching the video (that is so easily Googled) don’t even know….people just passing the time in-between the fourth inning of a game taking selfies.

Hey, some people dance, some take a bathroom break, some grab another beer or hot dog and some take a selfie. What’s the problem, really? They bought a ticket. They apparently planned for a fun evening together, all decked out in their Diamondbacks merch. Seriously, what is wrong with this?

Meanwhile, to their credit, the young women of the Alph Chi Omega Sorority at ASU took all of this in stride showing much kindness and grace through it all after the Diamondbacks and broadcasting partner reached out to them.

Well done, ladies!

Welcome to 2015, every one else! People take selfies sometimes. There is nothing inherently wrong with the world today because of it.It just makes us human beings in the 21st century.

We sometimes take a selfie; especially when we get new eye glasses just because.

standing down the bullies

I stand with Planned Parenthood.

There, I said it.

Do I care what anyone really thinks about me making that statement?


No I do not.

A long, long time ago in a land far, far away, I was a young married twenty-something. And I had no health insurance. I could not afford it. My husband and I could not afford it, nor could we qualify for Medi-Cal because we were employed and made too much money.

Ah, the good old pre-Obamacare days! Good times those were! Here’s where I remind my young adult children how fortunate they are to continue to enjoy your parents’ healthcare coverage. Don’t believe me? Ask your sister Hollie about that.

But I digress…

As a young woman, in the land of San Jose, I enjoyed some of the services that my local Planned Parenthood clinic provided…annual Pap smears and pelvic exams, access to birth control (for when I absolutely did not want to get pregnant), a prescription for antibiotics for an infected ingrown toenail and prenatal care…yes. prenatal care. So that I could be pregnant and stay pregnant for approximately 9 months and deliver a healthy, wonderful, perfect baby.

Thank you, Planned Parenthood. Because of you I had access to affordable, excellent prenatal care, education and support that was provided to me twenty nine years ago when I needed it the most. I looked forward to my regular prenatal visits. I loved listening to my baby’s heartbeat…such a magical sound that was! I appreciated the clinicians’ patience with what I believed to be stupid questions about my changing body and what was going on with the baby growing inside of me. The numbers on the scale and the lectures about my love for Oreos? Not so much. I also did not care much for the Pro-Life protesters calling out to me…no, yelling and screaming at me. I would cover my growing belly protectively as they would call me a murderer when I entered your clinic every month for my regular prenatal visits. I would recognize the same familiar, angry faces. Did they not recognize me…the young lady who obviously was KEEPING her baby?! Did they honestly believe that calling me a murderer as they shook their graphic, bloody posters at me from the moment I got out of my car and walked across the parking lot to the office and back again was going to compell me to join their side and stand with them?

Did they?

Did they really?

Yeah, no.

Then there are those videos…those videos that have been thoroughly discredited and continue to be.

Honestly, I would sooner believe that bogus Facebook privacy policy ready to steal ALL of my posts and pictures and that there is really such a thing as a law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute) that will punish Facebook and protect me.


Congressional Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) flashed a chart on the screens showing that since 2010, the number of abortions at Planned Parenthood has surpassed the number of its “cancer screenings and prevention services.” But no such shift occurred. The fine print on the chart showed that the number of abortions (327,000 in 2013) never came close to reaching the number of cancer screenings (935,573 in 2013) at any point. Yes, but the bogus graph didn’t seem to matter to Chaffetz, who drew Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards attention to the crossing lines showing abortions overtaking screenings.

Richards said the chart “absolutely does not reflect what’s happening.”

“I pulled those numbers directly out of your corporate reports,” the chairman said.

In fact, the chart said the source was the antiabortion group Americans United for Life — which Richards pointed out to Chaffetz.

:::mic drop:::

“Then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that,” the chairman said.

You do that, sir.

The truth? Planned Parenthood gets money for women’s birth control, STD screenings and the like, not abortions — which Richards calmly reminded her inquisitors. As today’s hearing continued it was clear that the committee’s contention wasn’t against Planned Parenthood and how they spent their money but rather about allowing women in this country . . . to make other decisions about their pregnancies.

To Mr. Chaffetz, and the rest of your ilk, I would ask if those more than 300,000 abortions were stopped and resulted in 300,000 new babies born would you then be willing to support and fund those babies and their mothers, you know, through Medicaid and welfare?

Would you?

Could you?

I stand with Planned Parenthood because I believe that ALL women deserve access to quality women’s healthcare and most certainly without shame, without fear, without intimidation…regardless of what health care they seek.

where you were when…

We all have those moments. Moments that we can recall where were and what we were doing when something big was happening…something horribly tragic…something big happening in what would be of historical significance…

  • when President Reagan was shot
  • when the Challenger exploded
  • when the Berlin Wall was coming down
  • when Princess Diana died
  • the morning of September 11, 2001
  • the first time we heard planes above us AFTER September 11, 2001

All of these and more…moments of significance that we shall always recall and likely will share with the generations that come after us. Perhaps they will sit quietly listening because these are moments that are history to them…or perhaps they will sigh heavily, roll their eyes as they think to themselves “here she goes rambling on again.” Your mileage may vary.

Last night was such a night with a friend. I’m not sure how and why we talked about moments like these and where we were…in bed…home sick from school…at a dinner meeting…helping a foreign exchange student pack for her trip home…getting the kids off to school…hiking in the Almaden foothills…separated while living our daily, routine lives yet connected on those days we will always remember.

I imagine years from now for some of us we shall recall the days when Pope Francis came, saw, captivated and challenged so many here in the United States whether we were Catholic or not. Regardless of what we might believe (or not believe), it’s hard not to find yourself listening to this man as he speaks and as he challenges us all the more to live simply, walk humbly, share compassion and serve our fellow human beings remembering the importance of kindness in every day little gestures:

They get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different. They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers and grandfathers, by children and siblings. Like a warm supper, a blessing before bed, a hug after a long day. These things are signs of tenderness, affection and compassion.

The bitter, jaded and cynical ones might cluck their tongues but it’s hard not to give pause to listen to someone who seems to walk the talk that he speaks. For me the most compelling moment was his words during the Interfaith meeting at the 9-11 Memorial. The entire meeting seemed to reinforce that this memorial site truly is hallowed ground. His brief invocation followed reflections from Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of the Park Avenue Synagogue, and Imam Khalid Latif, a chaplain at New York University, and came before additional meditations and prayers from the Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh traditions.

This is a place where we shed tears, we weep out of a sense of helplessness in the face of injustice, murder, and the failure to settle conflicts through dialogue. Here we mourn the wrongful and senseless loss of innocent lives because of the inability to find solutions which respect the common good…This place of death became a place of life too, a place of saved lives, a hymn to the triumph of life over the prophets of destruction and death, to goodness over evil, to reconciliation and unity over hatred and division.

No, I’m not Catholic and perhaps I am not nearly as religious as I might have been in the past. But I am a human being and I do believe life is so much more fruitful to live with kindness, compassion and a willingness to reach out and share such things with others. Pope Francis’ visit to the Untied States and seeing it through the eyes and ears of the media, social media and my friends who were fortunate enough to be in his presence (along with a few hundred thousand other people) reminds me again to continue to try and live my life in this way…which will likely guarantee that much more happiness than the bitter, jaded and cynical ones.