with love to the people we practice on


So apparently today is Siblings Day.

Yes, I know some of you are rolling your eyes, shaking your head and muttering under your breath…as you some of you sometimes do over things like this that you might find silly.

Whatever.

The day was created by Claudia Evart, who lost both of her siblings earlier on in life. She chose the date to honor her late sister, Lisette. After losing her two siblings to separate accidents early in life, Claudia realized the importance of remembering our siblings, both living and no longer with us. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the bond of brother and sister is forever recognized as the special gift it is.

Like many, I have these pictures of my brother and sister, who are both gone, but remain with me daily, not just in these pictures, but in my daily thoughts and in my heart. I lost both of them in tragic accidents, making me understand the everlasting bond we have with our siblings.

Yes, I am sentimental, and sometimes very emotional when I remember my late brother, Randy and think of where the consequences of life, our choices and others’ choices brought Randy, Billy, Valerie and me.

Sigh!

So many memories…good, bad, ugly and even WTF parents?! But they are/were ours and as Randy once told me, they are the one thing that we share and share only with each other. No one will ever get any of it and that is okay. Memories like that romper Billy is wearing…that haircut of mine which would be in the WTF parents? column. But ultimately the good is what I think of looking at this picture and other pictures of the four of us. Anything else would likely have destroyed me as it crushed my younger brothers and sister. And so I focus on the magic we created together, the four of us and I give thanks.

Then I celebrate some more because, yes, I have more siblngs!

Sisters…so awesome are they! So much younger than me, so much more smarter than me, more amazing than me and even taller than me now. Our memories are different, still they are good and always make me smile. I’m pretty lucky to have you, Angela and Elana both, as sisters.

But not to be left out, my own clowns began to share today celebrating their siblings.

Nobody tell those kids of mine that this is a dream come true especially when I recall the knock-down-drag-out fights that always ended up in tears, blood drawn and a broken nose or two in the past and maybe even last month.

Honestly, kids!

Zoë shared

And because only siblings are great in that way, Hollie declared this to be probably the worst picture to share.

Oh kids!

So I offer perhaps a better picture.

I have more…lots more…Hollie found some.

Oh the secrets, promises, laughter and tears these four have shared…and the fighting…with blood and a broken nose too that these sisters have shared!

Hollie shared: “Hey Daniel, thanks for being our brother. You kind of didn’t have choice in the matter (does any sibling ever have a choice, I wonder?). But you are literally the best thing to happen to this family. You’re crazy, and awesome, and weird in the best way. You’re brilliant and inquisitive, and so much like the four of us. You’re going to drive mom and dad crazy when you’re a teen (next year, OMG!). You were meant for us. And I love you so much. Happy Sibling Day!”

My heart just exploded with glitter and rainbows and unicorns.

Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way. – Pamela Dugdale

 

 

 

prep for the future


I finally got to enjoy the gift certificate my girls gave me for a mani pedi and it was wonderful. And then I ended up with an ingrown toenail followed by an infection. Yes, a gift that keeps on giving. It’s my own fault. I should have not enjoyed the massaging of limbs so much that I became blissfully unaware of the fact that the nail tech was cutting my nails rather than filing. So now I get to soak my affected foot in an epsom salts, vinegar, bleach solution followed by nail care as prescribed by my doctor…anything to avoid him taking a scalpel to my poor, swollen, angry-red toe.

Daniel is fascinated with this three times daily exercise of mine…the soaking of the foot….the drying of the foot…

“What’s the dental floss for?”

“Well I need to slide it under the nail like so in order to lift…”

“OH MY GAWD!”

Poor guy pales, turns away quickly and loudly retches.

“it’s okay, son. It doesn’t hurt.”

“Bleeccchhh!”

“There are far grosser things than this, son.”

“LIke what?”

“Um, catching your kid’s vomit with your hands.”

“EW!!!”

“I promise you that isn’t even the grossest thing.”

“I’m not doing any of that EVER!”

Hmmm…

Me thinks for the sake of my son’s future forever love of his life and any family they might have this needs to be fixed soon…for their sake and for his own sake so he won’t have to awkwardly apologize like Boomer Esiaison had to recently...I imagine not only to assuage some of his fan base (they all can’t be douche-bags, can they?). I’m sure old Boomer heard an earful from Mrs. E and didn’t care much for sleeping in the doghouse so to speak.

Having the privilege of seeing more babies being born than I can remember over the years, I have to say that I have seen so many different kinds of dads…the total hands on I’ll-do-everything kind of daddies, the dads who just might pass out if we don’t make him sit down now, the dads who do pass put, the dads who can scarcely look up from the game, Candy Crush, texts from his friends, dads who have fallen asleep because after 20 hours he is exhausted…YEAH…we wake those dads up so they won’t miss the big moment. Thankfully, most of these daddies surprise us all…especially their partners and their own selves as well. They go on to own diaper changing, well, some do. I know some dads refuse the diaper duty. The daddies on my watch soon learn they get one free pass on that with me because I come from the school of “You made this baby, you change this baby. That once earned me a tray of homemade tamales made by a lovely, elderly Mexican man who was amazed and amused that I could make his big, macho son change his daughter’s diaper because everyone knows that to “your average strong Hispanic man that is woman’s work” (his words, not mine). Some daddies grow with their babies being totally hands on daddies, taking a couple of the late night feedings, walking the floor, taking care of a barfy kid, taking the kids to the pediatrician, attending the parent-teacher conferences, jumping right in with child-care when the other parent is at work or out with friends or out of town without even calling on the grandparents to babysit or calling the wife asking when is she coming home…

and some daddies, well, some daddies don’t.

That’s okay…

I guess…

as long as both parents are okay with that.

Me?

I have been lucky to have a dad for my kids who was hands on from that very first diaper change, who has caught more than his fair share of barf and dealt with middle of the night barfy bedding. He has taken kids on occasion to the doctor, done some of the middle of the night feedings, walked the floor with a colicky-screaming baby even if he did have to get up for work in two hours, attended parent-teacher conferences and never once called on his parents to babysit when the wife was at work or out with friends or out of town because, as he taught me and his friends that they are his kids too and his job is to take care of them just like mom does…except for that breastfeeding thing because, well…

That’s the kind of daddy I hope and pray that my son will be…because frankly my grandbabies deserve nothing less. That’s the kind of man we are trying to raise this boy up to be.

Yeah, it’s a work in progress. He’s twelve. There’s time.

the awesomeness of hugs


I’m not much of a hugger.

Analyze that.

But true story, I’m not. Still I have learned to try to love hugs. And I do. I celebrate them.

Comforting hugs when you have had an eye-twitching, craptastic day.

Hugs that you enjoy with your Grandmom.

Hugs that you enjoy with your favorite cousin and your favorite Uncle Jesse.

Hugs you share with your favorite little brother never fail to warm your heart and make you smile because he is a hugger.

And who doesn’t love birthday hugs shared with your best friend at Disneyland?

Then there is one of the bestest hugs I have enjoyed recently which I do not have a picture of. You’ll just have to trust me that it was one of the best ever…a hug shared with one of my co-workers…a co-worker whom I always hug when I see her because that is what we do before we start a night in NICU-Land. A little more than a year ago she left the unit to fight a fierce fight. Honestly cancer picked the wrong person to fight with because after all that she has been through and all that she has to live for I knew that it wouldn’t be a fair fight. I knew that it was going to be a great night taking care of the tiny humans whom  I love so much in the NICU when I saw Brenda walk into the unit for the first time in over a year.

We hugged. We cried. We tried to fix our makeup. We laughed. We hugged some more.

I have no photo to share but I can guarantee you that it was a beautiful, wonderful picture that will last forever in my heart and my mind. If you close your eyes right now I bet that you can see it. Amazing, gorgeous! Isn’t it?

I am so unbelievably happy knowing that I can look forward to Brenda’s hugs before night shift in the NICU again.

because I can’t help but find myself smiling – Disney on Ice presents Rockin Ever After


Overheard conversation:

I know this is supposed to be for the kids but I just can’t help myself. I’m smiling ear to ear and having such a great time!

Me too.

Jodie, Daniel, Hazel and I were so lucky to attend opening night of Disney on Ice presents Rockin Ever After at the Stockton Arena and yes, I agree. On the surface, one expects this to be a show for the kids…for all the little Disney Princesses and Princes, some in costume attending last night…and it was. But this is truly a show for the whole family. An evening of entertainment for anyone who is willing to relax just a little and experience this seeing the joy, the fun and the wonder of it all through child-like eyes.

Even better, was the opportunity as a Feld Ambassador to get down at ice level and get some pretty amazing shots that I want to share with you now proving that I am a better photographer than Donald.

Favorite part of the day? Holding Hazel’s hand as her favorite princess, Rapunzel, danced with Flynn to And At Last I’ve Seen the Light. Of course we sang along because we can and because we sound amazing singing that song together.

Then Merida made her Disney on Ice debut.

Amazing!

Then graceful, beautiful Belle took to the ice…

and with the enchanted characters of the Beast’s castle, invited us all to be their guest.

Hearing my son singing along was definitely another favorite part of the day. He later confided that they are learning that song in music class at school and he really, really, really likes it.

And I found myself smiling even more ear to ear because…my son loving music class and singing and Disney and…

Go see this show this weekend at the Stockton Arena! Go see this show next week at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento! You and your family, go see this show!

Tickets are now on sale for Disney on Ice presents Rockin’ Ever After as the show continues at the Stockton Arena, February 7th through 9th and then on to Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena, February 12th through 17th. Tickets available through Ticketmaster Retail Locations, Ticketmaster.com and the Stockton Arena and Sleep Train Arena Box Offices or call 1-800-745-3000.

I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, All reviews and opinions are indeed my own. Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows.

Disney on Ice Rockin’ Ever After in Stockton


Disney on Ice brings a superstar line-up to Stockton and Sacramento when Disney on Ice presents Rockin’ Ever After comes to Stockton Arena this Thursday, February 6th through the 9th and Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena, February 12th through 17th. My family and I are looking forward to jamming to a Scottish jig from Disney Pixar film Brave with Merida making her ice debut!

We can’t wait to see the show-stopping performance when Sebastian breaks out of his shell for one night only to make waves with Ariel.

Yeah, Prince Eric will be there too.

Hazel is no doubt looking forward to a visit with whom she identifies with the most, the sassy, spirited Rapunzel and her charming ally Flynn.

And no doubt we all will get our feet moving as the Beast and his castle’s enchanted entourage take center stage in a spectacular show for Belle.

Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster Retail Locations, Ticketmaster.com, the Box Office or call 1-800-745-3000.

But what about the family four pack I am giving away thanks to the good people of Feld Entertainment?

I am so thrilled with the response my very first, ever giveaway has received. Thank you, thank you everyone for participating! Honestly, if I was Queen of the World everyone would be coming with me. But, alas, I’m not Queen of the World…yet. So I must rely on a drawing using the true number generator from the good people of random.org

And the winner is…

Comment #11, Christina Medeiros! Congratulations, Christina!!! I hear that someone in your family is just as excited as I am to see Merida take to the ice for the first time. Enjoy the show!

I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, All reviews and opinions are indeed my own. Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows.