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.

what kind of mother let’s her kid read Furiously Happy anyway?

Judge me.

I don’t care.

We’ll get to back to that in a minute.

But first can I tell you how Furiously Happy I am right now that this arrived here today under The Big Top?

I am.

I might be already more than halfway through the book too. Might have been done were it not for getting my eyes dilated. The eyes remain extra special…so special that Costco Optometry gets added to the list of places that can’t fill my prescription. Of course that means that I get to spend a ridiculous amount of money above what our vision plan covers. It’s a burden to have extra special eyes. You just can’t imagine.

But back to this book and being furiously happy…I can’t wait to finish reading it, and celebrating my own personal bizarre-ness and my weirdness and even the crazy way that I  was broken because in spite of the anxiety and depression and all around messed up-ness that is me being broken and the smile that tries to hide it all, it is who I am…and a lot of people seem to like and love the me that I am…even with all the messed up-ness…or in spite of it…or because of it.

I am broken. I am broken in so many ways, ways that I have written about before and ways that only a very small circle might know. Shit happens. Shit happens that should never happen to any person. It’s for real. It’s me. And it’s the me that I has been working on and accepting and forgiving and loving…whether I am smiling or not. It’s just me, broken but furiously happy me. And why not celebrate it?

I’m not alone.

Thank goodness I am not.

We are people who have been searching and continue to look for the light in spite of the dark, horrible and shitty things in our lives that weigh us down, that steal our joy, that lie to us.

So, what kind of mother let’s her kid read Furiously Happy?

Well, when your kid is 13…and your kid is with you at the optician that can fill the prescription for your extra special eyes and has homework to do including reading for twenty minutes that he has to get done before Tae Kwon Do and tutoring and dinner, you hand him your book opened to chapter 5 and tell him to read about Rory the Raccoon (see book cover).

I had already read the chapter and vetted it declaring it to be PG13 and okay for my kid to read…so don’t hate.


OMG! This is so inappropriate, Mom!

Take note he said that in between adolescent snickers and giggles.

His favorite part? Rory teasing Victor and riding Ferris Mewler because really what is there not to love about a dead raccoon in your bed or frolicking bareback on a cat?

He wrote about it in his reading journal. Yes, he included that he couldn’t believe that his mom let him read a chapter from this inappropriate book but it was okay because his mom is kind of crazy.

I am imagining that my meeting with his teacher next week is going to be, um, interesting…unless she too is a fan of Jenny Lawson.

Remember when I recommended Jenny’s first book?

Ditto! Ditto times infinity.

life distracts

No apologies, just acknowledging that living life day to day sometimes will distract.

Doctors’ appointments and wondering what pediatrician’s office doesn’t have these germ encrusted toys that our kids always want to play with? Sorry, some things micro preemie moms just never let go even when their extremely premature baby is now a teenager.

Road trips…for more doctors’ office visits.

Exhausting they are…completely.

Back to school adventures begin and we pause wondering how in the world can she be in SECOND GRADE??!!

And how can she possibly be hundreds of miles from home starting college which includes a class studying Orange Is The New Black? She better ace that class. I mean it.

Then there’s work…

and laundry…yes, still…

Life distracts from taking the time to sit down and write about life and I offer no apology because life distracts…and because I have several loads of laundry waiting to be folded.

One would imagine that with only 2 of my 5 children remaining here under The Big Top that there would be so much less to juggle. One would be wrong.

Give me a sec to adjust this juggling act.

this moment

This moment.

So many feels right now as I capture this moment. I’m not the only one either.

This moment we can’t help but be even more thankful for. This moment we wish that we could have shared with more…side eye at some who might not have bothered to check and perhaps respond to text messages. This moment that just five months ago might not have been possible. This moment that will not be a possibility for a dear, old friend whom we have known for as long as we all have been much too young people having babies. This moment we shake our head in shock that someone we share so much history with is gone. This moment we wonder why his family and why not ours. This moment we cry and share our love because life is just too tenuous. This moment we pray for our dear friend, his amazing wife and his wonderful children.

This moment. This moment we give thanks. This moment we celebrate.

thinkers and dreamers we are

And just in case I have not been paying attention to what’s in the news in and around the Central Valley over the last couple of weeks, I have acquaintances to remind me…especially if it is news that might indirectly affect me, is indirectly about me or what might be important to me…bonus points if it is perceived to be news in a negative light.

Aren’t some acquaintances and friends good for things like that?


In the news recently here in the Central Valley was a recent article that suggests certain hospitals in the Valley are price gouging. Of course some people I know want to know how do I feel about being a price gouger?


Because while caring for critically ill babies, I am jacking up the prices of the care and services that I provide?

Here’s the thing, even the authors of this recently released study concede that they are not including discounts offered for care and services to the uninsured and insured patients. Factoring in these these discounts would have had a significant effect on the cost-to-charge ratio reported, and therefore the implications of the study’s results. Which goes to show you that one can not and should not just accept a study, any study as valid and absolute truth based on its conclusions…“Dr.” Wakefield’s study linking autism to vaccinespatients’ perceptions of nurses with tattoos and body piercings immediately come to mind.

For what it’s worth, as a nurse at the bedside, I am not setting the prices for the care I give, the medications I deliver, the equipment I use while doing my job. I’m too busy saving lives, providing healing care, providing education to my patients’ family members of their babies diagnosis, condition along with how the medications I administer and the care I give will help their baby and how to take care of their own baby while in the NICU and after discharge.

My workplace is the only hospital in the community of Modesto and Stanislaus County to provide care for everyone, regardless of ability to pay; that’s millions of dollars of uncompensated and charity care provided rather than charged. My workplace employs over 2,100 people, contributes well over $250 million to the local workforce annually as well as contributes over $3.7 million in local taxes every year. Our hospital and employees this year have provided over 50 educational seminars for local schools and community groups, participated in more than 70 community events and regularly contribute to over 50 local non-profit and charitable organizations.

Thinkers. Dreamers. That’s us.

It is what drives us all to serve our community the way that we do at the bedside directly and in and around the community and out-lying areas. It is being thinkers and dreamers that inspires us every day to do what we do and even do it better.

Our hospital continues to receive top grades in patient safety including our overall performance on safety outcomes, including preventing errors, accidents and infections. The unit I work in has had more than 6 years of ZERO CABSI incidents. It was thinkers and dreamers in our unit who dared to imagine that it was possible to have absolutely no catheter line associated bacterial infections. Such strong work has been recognized nationally and even within our hospital as the staff who cared for my darling husband talked about what we are doing in the NICU and how they are hoping to implement the same. Lucky for them, and other local agencies in the valley, one of my colleagues will be providing education next month on our journey to zero and how it is possible. Fellow employees at my workplace provide the type of trauma, stroke and cardiac care that is literally the Gold standard of care here in this Valley which Silver and Bronze awarded local facilities strive to emulate…something I am proud of and most definitely thankful for, you know, since they saved my darling husband’s life.

Yes, one study might contort and twist and suggest less than favorable things about where I work but, dear acquaintances and friends quick to point that out, I would counter do your homework and check the facts especially when you decide where you want to be when you need to be in the hospital. Me, I’m choosing a place with thinkers and dreamers who are providing the very best of care and often times making the impossible possible.