be on the lookout

If you happen to find yourself in and around Modesto come Sunday morning, be on the lookout for these sweet running tights. I will be wearing them while running The Modesto Half Marathon.

Current weather conditions promise it to be a very bright, sunny and WARM race.

I might die!

Kidding.

Still I just might because I am not a hot weather runner. Ignore the the half marathons past…The American River Parkway Half, The Disneyland Half, The San Jose Rock and Roll Half…all ran in the heat. Those were more than 4 years ago and I STILL hated running in the heat then as I do now…perhaps even more now because hot flashes make it even hotter…take your breath away and perhaps suffocate you hotter.

Yes, I just might die.

But at least I know I trained well in spite of the last two runs of my training which absolutely, positively sucked. I have been hydrating well all week. And I have some sweet running tights and equally colorful kicks to run through Mo-town come Sunday morning!

If your in my neck of the woods I do hope that you will come cheer me on. I need lots of cowbell and cheering. I won’t promise a PR time like the inaugural Stockton Half or even negative splits like my very first half marathon race because I am 5 years older and slower and this is a comeback for me. But I do promise for you lots of fun cheering racers on and a beer and wine garden with food trucks galore at the finish line.

But if you aren’t in my neck of the woods and want to be a creeper still want to cheer me on you can sign up for instant updates of me out on the race course where you will receive start time, splits and finish time sent directly to your phone, email or Facebook.

adapting

If you are going to live under this Big Top, you got to learn to adapt because it can be a crazy circus.

Zoë’s Albert is doing just that…finally. It helps that he can open doors so that he can pretty much go where ever he desires.

Currently that would be in Daniel’s room, Yeah, that is going over REAL well.

Daniel continues to struggle with work on adapting. Not the first trait that pops into your head when you think about someone living on the Spectrum.

At least he is not alone in adapting to Albert taking up temporary residence here under The Big Top.

I’m betting that Daniel will adapt to Albert opening his bedroom door and chilling in his room under his bed faster than Zelda will adapt to Albert period.

because sometimes you just have to pull over and let it out

Scratching your head a little over that title, eh?

Yeah me too.

Have you ever had that moment where you knew that you were going to be sick but it was absolutely the last thing that you wanted to do because…who wants to get sick…where you are at…who you are with…who really wants to just hurl right here, right now.

Of course my darling husband and a couple of my kids swear by the nonsense of letting it go (so to speak) because you’ll feel better after.

They are totally, completely weird that way…truly….I judge them all the time when they choose to share their weird theory…and then I feel nauseous because I just can’t deal with vomit…not at all.

Oops!

I should have told you what this was about.

No not really actual vomit.

Except there is this one time…it’s kind of gross…still…

Okay.

Way back in 1993, Bill and I bought our very first brand new car, all bright and shiny and red with that fresh new car smell and only 8 miles on the odometer…a Mercury Villager! Thus began my long journey, that seems to have no end, of me driving a minivan. It wasn’t that bad…except now when I really don’t need a minivan. But that Villager! I loved it. We were literally the first family at my daughter’s school to have one and we always caused quite the stir at the drop off and pick up. While I was collecting my kindergartener, Hollie, I would spy other moms pressing their noses against the limousine tinted glass to gaze upon it’s gorgeous interior. I loved that car! It was perfect for a young mom with two small children and one on the way. And it was the first brand new car that I had ever owned.

Oh yeah, I was pregnant when we bought it. Yeah, I was struggling with hyperemesis too. Big surprise. But after nearly 8 months of it with Zoë, I was a pro…at least I thought I was. I knew the vomiting was inevitable but at least this time I could control it…?…I know, I’m an idiot sometimes. So there I was coming home from a routine OB visit, driving my gorgeous, red minivan, when…oh no…NO!….OH NO!!!….It’s coming….where is a bag, a towel, something, anything….there’s nothing??!!…oh dear god…it’s coming…

Frantic and not knowing what to do but determined not to throw up in my shiny, new car, I pull over a block from home and…

Yeah.

I never, ever drove that way home as long as we lived on Amelia Drive ever again.

Oh, and family, I did not feel better afterward! I actually felt worse and it had nothing to do with the homeowner of the house I stopped at to puke on their curb saw me. I just did; even if my body was forcing that vomit out.

I’m being gross, aren’t I?

I’m sorry.

It happened again the other day. I tried and tried so hard to keep it down, to somehow will it to not come out but…

And then after that came the words…ALL the words. All the words forcing their way out of my mouth…and they just kept coming and coming and coming…

I just can’t seem to get away from the Mean Girls references, can I?

What can I say?

It needed to come out…all of it…and it did. Of course I was miserable after…as is the one whom received all those words…so many words…hundreds…more than a thousand…all tumbling out on top of each other , forcing their way out.

It all had to come out.

All of it.

And, because it’s me, I felt even worse.

Ugh!

But sometimes you just have to pull over and let it all out right there.

So I did..

Excuse me now, I have a big mess to clean up.

still just like a circus

One would imagine as my circus act is grown and some are out of the house perhaps it would be a little less like like a circus.

Yeah.

No.

Currently we have a house guest for the next month.

Zoë’s Prince Albert. He’s literally the size of a small beagle and he is definitely overwhelmed, a little pissed off and definitely scared as he has been hiding behind the drapes, the washer (how in the world?…) and the toilet in the kids’ bathroom.

Then there is this feathered little pecker.

Now what in world could one of god’s wonderful, little songbirds be doing to be annoying? His song is so so sweet joyfully praising the arrival of Spring…or perhaps trying to get the attention of a female wonderful, little songbird because, it is Spring.

Well, let me tell you what this little pecker is doing…

From the first light of morning, through the late afternoon, he is repeatedly hurtling his little songbird body against my windows…especially THIS window, the window he has CRACKED by repeatedly flying into the window. Do you see the crack on the right side of the window in the above picture? That freaky, little songbird did that!

Google why birds fly into windows or how to prevent birds from flying into windows and you discover that they do this because this particular type of bird sees his reflection in the windows and is trying to scare or fight off the competition from the female he is trying to mate with. So basically he is a horny bird fighting with himself thinking that it is another horny bird trying to steal his girl. Google will also warn you that this is leading to the deaths of birds because they are flying into your windows which of course means that you are the asshole for living in a house with windows which reflect the birds’ images and habitat in the sunlight. Their blood is on YOUR hands! It’s almost as bad as if you were to have a domesticated cat and let them go outside to explore…almost…pretty close. Google is trying to make me feel guilt and shame for having a house…with deadly windows. I would feel shamed except for the fact I have a HUGE CRACK in my window thanks to horny, stupid bird. I won’t lie, I’d let Albert go outside to explore and hopefully get rid of the damn bird if he wasn’t such a scaredy cat right now.

And speaking of cats…

This one…our little 7 pound ball of fur…less than half Albert’s size, Zelda, the Alpha kitty, has way too much on her plate at the moment because Albert the giant scaredy cat, Betty the dumb Australian shepherd who just wants to play and that bird…that bird!!! Her struggle of does she continue to establish her reign as The Alpha Kitty with this guest who is twice her size and the stupid dog that wants to play or does she try to figure out a way to get to the horny bird smashing himself repeatedly in the skylight window 18 feet out of her reach. You can’t imagine the struggle she is dealing with right now!

The struggle is real!

Exhausting too!

So basically Albert is a big scaredy cat, Betty is a ridiculous hot mess, Zelda is a bully and that bird is an asshole.

We just had to have animals in this circus!

viva tutte le famiglie!

“No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed….procreation ‘must be an act of love’, saying: ‘You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be. …I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog. ..The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”

Thus speaks iconic fashion designers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana…

Domenico Dolce (left) and Stefano Gabbana at their latest ‘Mamma’ catwalk show (AFP)

because, you know, coming off of their triumphant Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2015 “Viva la Mama” show, where they celebrate moms, motherhood  and the family, they are also experts on family and parenting…as two men who have never been parents…ever…are.

I remember when I knew everything about parenting and raising up children…I was 18 and I was certain a family member was absolutely doing it all wrong while dealing with their strong-willed 3 year old. Being the expert that I was, I made sure they knew…and everyone else. Fast forward nine years later, I was dealing with my own strong willed 3 year old child and I realized that I would have absolutely bitch slapped 18 year old me if she was there in that moment telling me what to do.

Absolutely.

Positively.

Sometimes we need to just keep our expert opinions to ourselves.

Here’s the thing Signori Dolce and Gabbana, you are correct in that everyone is entitled to their own opinion…no matter how ridiculous in my humble opinion. I am a woman in a traditional marriage with my darling husband with our family (which you apparently celebrate). Four of our perfectly wonderful children were conceived by us in the, ahem, conventional way, carried 8 months or more and after relatively easy, short labors, delivered into our arms. Our 5th child, also conceived in love, but by means of “chemistry”, as you define it by a man and woman struggling with infertility. He grew for scarcely 6 months in another woman’s womb (his biological mother’s) and as god, fate, timing or whatever force of nature would have, he, soon after his birth, became my child…my husband’s child…our son…our daughters little brother. Our son made of flesh, blood, bones, a brain, a heart, a soul…not a plastic child but absolutely a real child…very much real for the last thirteen years.

Your opinions, whether from the heart or flippant, I find to be hurtful and insulting. I understand that they are in defense of “traditional families” whatever that is supposed to mean to the majority of thinking people all over the world in 2015. Families today, in my neighborhood, my workplace, my city, my state, my country, literally all over the world can be defined as a mother and father and children, or a mother and mother and children, or a father and father and child, or a child and aunt and uncle, or foster parents and children…and on and on and on. Children are conceived in love by intercourse and in a laboratory, via IVF, via surrogate or sperm or egg donor. And children are adopted. While you have been designing and creating fashion for more than 30 years, the last 25 years as an RN in the NICU I have been privileged to witness the creation of more families than I can possibly keep count…families with straight parents, married parents, co-habitating parents, separated parents, divorced parents, single parents, gay parents, grandparents, adoptive parents, parents who struggled for years and years with infertility, parents welcoming a total oops in spite of the best birth control out there, jailed parents, addicted parents…name it and I will confirm for you that yes, those kind of parents too…all parents to real, living and breathing children…no matter how they were conceived…children, all part of a family…perhaps not your kind of family but still, nonetheless, a part of a family.

Yes, Signore Gabbana, we do need to “respect the ideas of others”. Here is mine…

A child conceived via IVF, born to another woman calls me Mom and is very real, very natural and absolutely my child. Everyone is entitled to express their own opinion no matter how ridiculous. But a living, breathing, loving human child remains, always, real…

and at 13 sometimes too real!

Viva il bambino sintetico!

Viva la famiglia!

Viva tutte le famiglie!