promping v. 2014

If it’s Spring then it is time to promp again here under the Big Top. Such is the life of raising a family of five circus clowns growing up much, much too fast. Actually this will be the last promping time for awhile. I imagine that when Daniel is old enough and if he chooses to go to prom that it won’t be such a big deal as it is now…and truthfully my girls are much, much more low maintenance than some peers…thank goodness. Still, I won’t lie, I do live a little bit vicariously through my girls’ proms because that wasn’t one of those things I got to share with my Mommy Dearest even if I did have a boyfriend through high school…that dang “no-dancing-because-it-is-a-sin” thing that he and his family ascribed to.

Oh well.

But this year’s promping is again all about Jodie…her Senior Prom!

There was the dress shopping.

It MUST be a burden to be a hanger that every single dress one tries on looks absolutely perfect. I’m going to keep telling myself that. These were part of her top 4. Wait for it…the winner is coming.

But horrors! A monkey wrench in all the promping.

A tumbling mishap at dance earlier this week which she tried to tough it out until yesterday when she could scarcely lift her arm. That could be a problem. Xrays ruled out a broken clavicle but it was determined to be a sprain of ligaments connecting her clavicle to her shoulder joint so the good doctor recommended no dancing for a week and to wear a sling to keep her arm in a neutral position.

I know, first world problems.

Still, we pressed onward because it is promping time.

Who else would be doing hair and makeup besides big sister? Really?


Actually this is the only picture with the sling. We made a deal and yes, against medical advice, she went sling-less to the prom promising to be careful. I’m not worried. Her shoulder and collar bone are quite sore still and she has limited range of motion so there won’t be any throwing her hands up in the air because she can’t. Plus next weekend is a big dance competition so with the exception of tonight, she is motivated to follow doctor’s orders. Besides, this dress…

…with a sling?


Aren’t they cute?

They’re just friends which is okay because promping is so much more fun with friends.




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.


I recently saw an interview with Trista Sutter of Bachelorette fame that struck a chord in my heart. Wait. Don’t judge. No, I am not a fan of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Don’t judge that either, okay? Still, what Trista Sutter had to share was inspiring, uplifting, so positive and I thought that yes, I could use more of that kind of thinking in my life.

Every day on social media I post my favorite part of the day (#favpartofday) as a way to focus on the positive and think about the good things, especially if it was a not so great part of the day, I just want to be able to put something out into the universe that inspires people.

Yes. This.

No, I don’t pretend to think that I am going to inspire the masses; but I do hope to perhaps to inspire me and help me focus more on the positive and the good…especially when it has been a not so great day…or even a shitty day. And so I have been trying to post every day…mostly every day, my favorite part of the day…counting my blessings.

Today’s favorite part of my day…

Meeting this lovely for the very first time. Welcome to the world and the neighborhood Miss Eden Louise! Anytime your mommy needs her hands free I am more than willing to hold you…just saying…

But this…

This, on the other hand was NOT my favorite part of the day. Yes, even if he can tell me, “I think I need a breathing treatment.” or play calmly with his Legos the whole time. Yes, this is not a favorite of mine.

Please, oh please colds and flu bugs stay away!

When your brother hands you f-bombs

On the day where you find yourself feeling a lot sad and melancholy missing your younger brother gone for the last nine years your youngest brother will call you. You let the call go to voice mail because at the time that he is calling you you are driving up 99 heading home from a very long day at Children’s Hospital Central California with your son. You’re full of Christmas goodwill and love and kindness because singing along to great Christmas music while driving for a few hours fills you up with so much goodwill, love and kindness so you tell yourself you will call him back as soon as you get home. Sure, the last time he spoke to you on the phone it was horrible but it’s Christmas. He’s probably full of the same goodwill, love and kindness you tell yourself.

Um, no.

He might have been as he did say that he was just trying to call me to offer his wishes for a Merry Fucking Christmas, Asshole! I guess my not answering the phone immediately killed it for him.

I am a horrible, horrible person…because I didn’t answer the phone which means I think I’m better than him and I’m a cunt and the worst Christian woman on the planet ever. Even worse I was apparently in tahn, er town, Pittsburgh that is and NOT at Children’s Hospital with my son. I was so says Billy and of course he is right he tells me. I was in Pittsburgh talking shit about him to some skycap…at least that is what my brother tells me. Honestly, how could I not know that I was in Pittsburgh when I thought that I was in Madera. No, he’s not drunk and he is not crazy…he is adrenalyzed. Oh and he is 46-fucking years old and I guess that is my fault too. But he still loves me…he told me so after each time he told me how worthless and useless and disgusting I really am.

Gawd he is practically a clone of Mommy Dearest and the way she has talked to me for the last 50 years or so. Someone has to fill those god forsaken shoes I guess because as long as I have breath in my body and am taking up space on the planet I need to always know what a wasted piece of disappointing crap I am to each and every single member of my family.


My dear, darling, angry, clearly ill brother I refuse to let you hurt me. Well, okay, you have hurt me as you and the rest of the crazy toxic family does in a way that no one else ever could. Still I refuse to let you destroy me or poison my holidays. It’s hard work this year to have Christmas peace, goodwill, love and cheer but I still refuse to let you steal the joy that is mine. You have no right to do so.

  • I have great kids and a pretty fine husband. Billy-boy, you can’t even begin to imagine the amount of toxicity they can wash away…yours…Mom’s.
  • The Steelers won yesterday and the ‘Niners killed it tonight at their last regular season game at the ‘stick.
  • I am blessed with some pretty amazing, dear friends who although are miles and miles and miles away are always there for me when I am at my lowest of low.
  • Today one such friend blessed me with totally unexpected, generous kindness.
  •  As long and as stressful as our visit to Valley Children’s was for Daniel and me it was good…even if it was the day before Christmas Eve.
  • I am running again. Sure I’m running very slow…VERY slow and not very far but after MONTHS of chronic pain and painfully slow recovery I am running again. This morning’s 2½ mile run was perfect.
  • The glass of Merlot I am about to pour promises to be delicious.

You can not steal my joy, little brother. Not at all.

Merry Christmas to you too, Billy!

it’s a wonderful life. because…

Being the pessimist who desperately tries to see the glass as half full kind of girl that I am, I have been trying hard to see the good and enjoy the good of this holiday season because if I don’t try it is just another day and week and month in another year. Plus there is the children. I must try for the children. So I settled down last night under my cozy, cuddly green blanket that a friend made me for one Christmas ago and watch It’s A Wonderful Life; which is, hands down, my favorite go-to holiday movie. Capra-corny as it is, I know. What can I say? I sometimes identify with good ol’ George Bailey sometimes wishing that I had never been born especially when things are especially sucky. Melodramatic, yes it is. But it’s who I am. I’m not the first self-sacrificing giver with big, fat feelings who has ever felt that in my lowest of low moments. Still being the self-sacrificing giver with big, fat feelings that I am, I do try to find good…especially when I feel weighed down by too much bad. So I play Christmas music as much as I can (except for Mariah Carey- sorry, not sorry), I visit Santa with my favorite son, I watch happy, happy children sing their hearts out at Christmas concerts. I smile when I’d much rather cry and I just keep trying to find the wonderful because it is out there.

So curled up with my new Zelda-kitty, I find myself watching It’s A Wonderful Life reciting the dialogue and I just have to share…on social media…

of course…

because it is 2013 and hey, anything to turn down the Phil Robertson – Duck Dynasty and Justine Sacco noise because there is so much more important things to think about and talk about rather than two people freely expressing their bigoted views while on their companies’ dime and time. So I put it out there simply saying:

It’s A Wonderful Life. Because…

and then it happened…

Friends began to answer:

I have two healthy and happy kids!!

All of my adult daughters are home for the holidays…and we’re only fighting a little!

Our whole family will be together for 5 days this Christmas

I know you…

Each person’s life touches so many other’s.

I have good friends that distance doesn’t matter with.

My children are in good places in their lives!

My brother is coming for Christmas today!!

We live, we breathe, we love, we’re loved, and we can still do good in the world.

Aw, you guys! I swear I could feel my heart grow three sizes bigger as I read all the replies. I know! That’s a totally different story.


It’s a wonderful life!

Thank you! Thank you, dear friends, for helping me appreciate so much more than just the Capra-corn.