and after the show


Nothing shows more birthday love than some “Man-Cake” maple chocolate bacon cupcakes from Christina’s Cupcakes.

Am I right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah…just hurry up with the “Happy Birthday” song so I can enjoy my chocolately, maplely, bacon man-cake goodness.

All kidding aside, my darling husband did enjoy his day of moving furniture for his first-born, magic compliments of Alex Ramon, tri-tip dinner with his noisy family circus gathered round followed with some delicious cupcakes and ice cream because it is also National Ice Cream Day

coincidence?

I think not.

 

birthday #newmagic


Your darling husband is turning 51 and you really want to gather the family circus to do something fun with him when what do your wandering eyes see but an old (not really old)  magical friend is coming to town with new magic to share.

Yes.

Perfect!

Our family circus first met Alex Ramon when he was performing at the “Zingmaster” for Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey presents Zing Zang Zoom Circus. Like every one else, we truly were mesmerized as he made an elephant disappear, levitated members of the audience and transformed a man into a tiger right before our very eyes. But more importantly, we never forgot our conversations backstage before the show where he shared with us his love and enthusiasm for magic and the opportunity to come back to his home in the Bay Area and perform. Three years later, Jodie and I ran into him in Tahoe where he had been performing in his long-running show, Illusion Fusion, at the Horizon. It was there that my darling daughter literally ripped Alex’s heart into pieces which he magically (of course) pieced back together. With the closing of the Horizon Casino this past Spring came the opportunity for Alex to go on tour with NEW MAGIC with first stops in Northern California because you can go home again.

With only one performance in Modesto today, six members of our circus were guests of Alex’s including my darling husband, the birthday boy…

…who perhaps was a little too enthusiastic in locking Alex in shackles leaving marks on his wrist. “He said put them on tight.“, Bill argues.

Yes, he did. Still Alex got out of those shackles…several times.

#NewMagic is absolutely fun, family-friendly, audience participation entertainment that will not fail to hold you spellbound as you watch illusions performed that make you truly wonder if this is real or a dream.

Northern California readers be sure to catch Alex and the lovely, Meghan in the next few weeks at Vacaville on July 27, Livermore on August 10, and Marin on August 17.

Go.

See.

This.

Show.

I promise you that you will be as mesmerized as we were this afternoon. After the show most definitely take the time to stop and say hello to Alex as he is waiting after the show to say hello to you too.

Be sure to tell him the Scarborough Family Circus sent you.

The above review of #NewMagic is my own opinion. I received no compensation other than tickets for my family and me to attend the show. My thanks to Alex Ramon and Gallo Center for the Performing Arts for the hospitality and the magic today.

I’ve got 99 problems


…but the drive home ain’t one of them!

We are home, after an 11 hour drive, home from Vegas. According to navigation, it should have been an 8+ hour drive…you know, without traffic, road work, potty training 2 year olds and distractions like that.

We made a few stops.

Stopping in Jean, Nevada, we discovered where old slot machines go to die. They comp gas but they don’t sell Dramamine…for your information. Goldfish crackers, plenty of water, perhaps a little bit of antihistamines and frequent stops along the way helped deal with that motion sickness problem. Frequent stops including a stop at the Phillip S. Raines Rest Stop near Tulare. When I learned last year that my photograph was part of the display at this rest stop, I knew that I had to stop there and see it for myself in all of it’s glory.

There it is!

Courtesy of me!

Yeah, I’m kind of nerdy in my excitement over seeing my work on display at a rest stop on CA99 just south of Tulare, California.

So glad we stopped.

 

 

because you gotta have hope


Here we are at the water park today to celebrate Hazel’s 6th birthday. It was triple digits and as hot as it can be expected to be in the Central Valley. It was hot! But with the water fountains spraying cool water everywhere, and the hot breezes picking up water droplets and carrying them around, it wasn’t so bad. We were in the shade. We stayed hydrated. We played in the fountains and got wet. It was good. It was even better because we all were there for Hazel.

All was good.

Well, except for Daniel. He wasn’t wearing swim trunks because he wore them yesterday. They were rinsed and hung to dry last night but, no, he could not wear them because they were just rinsed and dried. Yes, he could get his clothes wet. Of course it would be okay. His parents and his sisters, all in not-for-long-because it was so hot wet clothes assured him that it was okay, Yes, but no. And so he stood at the edge of the water fountains, watching people running around, getting wet, screaming, yelling and laughing, and he disapproved of it all.

Don’t try to understand. You’ll hurt yourself. Only someone on the spectrum or someone living with and loving someone on the spectrum will get it. You don’t fix this. You don’t force. You just let it be. Of course someone tries to intervene. Someone almost always does…because they know better.

Walk away, I think to myself. Just walk away.

Better yet, stand next to him. Let him talk to you, when he is ready, about whatever he wants to talk to you about. It’s likely to be about Hot Wheels or Legos or the Lego Batman game that is coming soon. Yes, that isn’t very interesting to you. But it’s not about you if you really care about what he is feeling right now surrounded by wet, noisy, crowded chaos and not wearing clean, swim trunks.

I am part of a support group for parents of micropreemies because life in the NICU is scary as Hell and the NICU life…the pain, anxiety and hope never, ever leaves you. You spend, days, weeks, months standing next to your baby’s bedside watching them struggle just to breathe or find yourself facing the agony of making decisions about procedures that may or may not save their lives or spend the first  few years re-living those 132 days every time you find yourself back in the hospital with your child, the former 1lb 6oz 24 weeker and you too will find that it never leaves you. No, not even years later. Participating in this group has been good. Parents like us find that we are not alone…even if we feel that way…sometimes…all the time.

The other night I was messaging back and forth with one of the newer moms in our group whose baby boy is only a month old now and, of course, still in the NICU where he was born. Her little guy is doing as is to be expected two weeks post open heart surgery and on a ventilator. He has his good days. He has his bad days. Of course this means that his parents have their good days and they have their bad days too. For her, today was a not so good day as her little man had a major setback and his feedings were stopped again. As she came home from the hospital, she got a call from her dad who has been less than supportive (her words) of the whole NICU journey questioning every decision she has made along the way. Still, she loves her dad and he loves her, so she poured her heart out, tearfully sharing her worst fears after a bad day in the NICU with her baby boy. His response, she shared with me, was most definitely not what she needed or wanted to hear…especially from family, from her dad.

He doesn’t understand…she tells me.

He has no idea how much it hurts me when he says the things he says…

Why is he like that?

Is he ever going to understand how hard this is?

I want to tell her that it is his own fear and perhaps a little guilt that is talking. I do tell her that.

Is he ever going to understand? Is he ever going to just be there for me, for my baby? Without judgment? Without second guessing everything that I do?

I pause and think of my own son, our own NICU journey and the journey that continues on even to days like today at the water park and the people who have been with us, loving us, supporting us unconditionally all the way…and those who have not. I think of those who have grown to love Daniel, accept him as he is, try to understand him, try to relate to him on his terms, learn how to support him medically, emotionally and intellectually…and those who have not.

I sure hope so, I text back to her.

I still hope so…for us…for Daniel.

Our conversation continued on for some time more where I offered her all the patience, love and support that she needed because that is what she needed at that moment.

Meanwhile, today Daniel soon enough on his terms, in his time, stepped into the fountains and got SOAKED!

 

how to celebrate


When one turns 18 here under the Big Top this gets to happen.

Mom, are you seriously taking a picture of me registering to vote online?

Why yes. Yes I am!

California residents, in case you did not know, you have until midnight TODAY to register to vote in time for the June 3rd California Direct Primary Election.

Get it done!