Gavin

I was tired and trying to sleep.

Being eight months pregnant, sleeping was difficult.

Can’t get comfortable.

Can lay on my stomach.

Need to put a pillow between my legs.

I was SUPER tired.

Nevertheless, something kept waking me up.

[HINT:  I was in labor]

I’d taken a bunch of castor oil the day before in the hopes of starting labor.

[HINT:  It did!]

So I finally got up and decided to go take a bath.

But as I stood in the tub, waiting for it to fill, a little drop of blood came out of me and dissolved into the water.

Hmmmm.

I called my doctor’s exchange and waited for a call back.

Meanwhile I began to get increasingly uncomfortable.

I decided to head straight to the hospital, without even hearing back from the doctor.

My ex-husband made me sit in a garbage bag on the ride there and it was then that I realized I was in active labor.

I remember clutching the window frame, trying to breathe through the contractions.

I got into the hospital, was put in a room and the nurse decided to check me out.

I was fully dilated.

There I was, pushing my baby out, with no doctor, only a nurse to help me.

It was crazy fast labor.

[HINT:  I was only in the hospital for 20 minutes before my son was born.]

The doctor took the stairs and managed to get to me before the baby was born.

And that is how Gavin entered this world.

Duncan

Once upon a time I was a young pregnant woman closing in on my due date.

My son had mysteriously lost two quadrants of aminiotic fluid during my pregnancy so I was gently informed by my doctor to “Go home. Get your bags.  Come straight to the hospital.”

I was a month early but the doctor decided the pregnancy was too risky and so she opted to induce me.

I was quite comfortable, even in active labor, until my water broke.

Then all hell broke loose.

I begged for an epidural.

The anesthesiologist came in, gave me a little test shot of painkillers into my spine and asked, “How do you feel now?”

I looked straight at him and said, “I have to PUSH!”

There was no stopping it.

If someone walked up to me with a million dollars on a platter, and offered it to me but only if I wouldn’t push, I still would have PUSHED.

I asked my ex-husband to turn on some music.

It was then that we discovered we forgot our labor music at home and all we had was the CD that was in the stereo – RESERVOIR DOGS.

PLAY IT ANYWAY!

“Lookin’ back on the track for a little green bag
Got to find just a kind or losin’ my mind
Out of sight in the night, out of sight in the day
Lookin’ back on the track, gonna do it my way”

I’ll never forget that my son Duncan was born after forty-five minutes of labor, while listening to Little Green Bag.

It certainly explains why my eldest son is such a wheeler, dealer, charmer and freewheeler.

He was born listening to Reservoir Dogs.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Cruise Control

I have never been on a cruise.

How I managed to live 45 years of life without taking a cruise, I will never know.

But there you have it.

It could have something to do with the fact that I get sea sickness inside the cabin of a boat.

Granted, the boats I’ve been on have been fishing boats or whale watching boats in choppy water.

And so long as I stand outside, in the cold and the wet, I don’t get sick.

I’m not sure how I’d handle being indoors on a large ship.

But I’m guessing that since I get car sick, I’d also get seasick.

My birthfather and stepmother go on cruises and THEY LOVE THEM.

They even took my aunt on the last cruise they went on as a 50th birthday present.

Honestly, it sounded lovely.

Get on a cruise.

Relax.

Get fed well.

Drink your weight in booze.

Get off in ports of interest and sightsee.

Get back on the ship and wait for the next port.

Indulge in leisure activities.

Doesn’t it sound divine?

I don’t want to go on a cruise by myself but I’m thinking I may talk my birthfamily into taking a little cruise, just to see if I can handle it.

Yes, I know there’s Dramamine for the motion sickness, but one tablet of that shit and I am LIGHTS OUT.

Who’s with me?

Who wants to go on a cruise?

Don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone

I took my sons once to a place called Toffee Tree Ranch, in the mountains of Redding in Northern California.

It was a lovely vacation, complete with fishing, hiking, horseback riding, arctic plunges, hot tubbing, games, kittens and dogs, mounds of food and OF COURSE gymkhana.

Any idea what gymkhana is?

It’s when a bunch of tourists run around a dude ranch trying to act like real cowboys by doing things like barrel racing, speed runs, and ultimately, a water fight!

In case you were wondering, yes.

I barrel raced (I tipped over ALL the barrels):

And my boys had a super BIG blast ganging up on me and getting me soaking wet after the competition:

I came across these photos the other day and couldn’t help but be reminded of all the fun I had with my boys when they were little.

How I hope those days are only temporarily on hold and will resume once the awkward teenage years are over.

I’m getting sentimental.

Maybe it’s the remnants of the flu but I find myself a little moody and nostalgic for the old times.

Le sigh.

Don’t know what you’ve got, til it’s gone.

Many snores

I just took a trip to Reno to visit my sister.

We got facials and used the facilities at the Spa Toscano at The Peppermill.

It was ah-mazing!

I actually fell asleep during my facial and woke myself up when I snored.

Yup, I snored in the middle of my facial.

Twice!

I was obviously SO RELAXED!

In the women’s locker room, there were several spa features:

  1. A hot tub
  2. A cold plunge
  3. A steam room
  4. A sauna

Personally, I stripped naked and jumped in the hot tub.

I was surprised to see all the other women in swimsuits.

Even a bridal party of seven skinny women did not have the balls to strip naked in the ladies locker room.

Given the opportunity to get naked, I ALWAYS get naked.

In fact, hanging out at the spa made me miss Lupin Lodge in the Santa Cruz mountains, where you can walk around naked as they day you were born in the beautiful sunshine.

My sister and I eventually put on swimsuits and went to the Caldarium (an indoor area with a soaking pool and hot tubs where you can eat and drink).

She soaked in the pool while I hung out in the hot tub.

Afterwards, we got to eat at the Bimini Steakhouse at The Peppermill and I KID YOU NOT, we both ordered the filet mignon and the Australian lobster tail and when our food arrived, there were TWO LOBSTER TAILS FOR EACH OF US.

Too much food to eat, so we basically forced ourselves to eat the lobster tails and took most of our filet mignon home.

A dessert of cherries jubilee, and we were finished with our day of pampering.

Reno might not be the city you think of when you think of a weekend of pampering and relaxation, but I’m here to tell you it is.

I wish you all many snores!

Party time!

Lately, I’ve been so busy I’ve missed out on some awesome family parties.

My aunt joked that if she wanted me to come to one of her parties, she’d need to make me a hostess with her.

And that’s exactly what she’s done.

My aunt and I are throwing a backyard BBQ summer party in June.

It’s going to be so. much. fun.

The last time we did this was nearly two decades ago and my great-grandmother let us use her home for the party.

What fun we had!

There was a silly string war.

And awesome baby back ribs.

I don’t get to see my birth family as much as I should so I’m dedicating an entire weekend to hanging with my blood.

First, I’ll have my BBQ with my birth father’s side of the family, then a 60th birthday party for my birth mom.

I’m really looking forward to it.

And just because my aunt is the family photographer, here are a couple of pics from previous parties:

Champagne disaster

For working 10 events in 10 days, including weekends, I received a fat paycheck, a blanket, flowers AND a bottle of expensive French champagne.

I told my mom about the champagne and said, “We will drink it together for Valentine’s Day.”

She agreed.

Valentine’s Day rolls around and at 5 pm I remembered the champagne, sitting in a gift bag on the floor of my room.

“Mom, I forgot to chill the champagne,” I lamented.

“We’ll put it in the freezer.  It’ll be fine,” she told me.

“But I don’t want to drink it if it’s not properly chilled,” I continued.

“It’ll be fine,” she said.

Whatever.

An hour and a half later, we’re sitting down to eat and I take the champagne out of the freezer.

It still feels like it’s at room temperature.

I hand it to her and complain about the temperature.

She ASSURES me it’s fine.

So I open it.

BIG MISTAKE!

The champagne was not chilled.

Wah!

But WTF, I’m not going to waste good French champagne, so I pour a glass and start drinking it.

My mom takes her champagne flute, fills it 75% full with low-sugar cranberry juice, then tops it off with champagne.

I just stayed quiet.

But inside I was LAUGHING!

Only my mother would pollute expensive French champagne with low calorie fruit juice!

Private Duncan

My son messaged me via SnapChat on Sunday.

It was the first time I’d seen him since he left on January 2nd for boot camp in Missouri.

He has NO IDEA how much I miss him.

The only thing that comforts me is that he really seems to be enjoying himself.

I mean sure, he complains when he has to work out in -15 degree weather.  And when he’s chosen to clean up the range (that must mean policing all the brass).

But he’s SUPER EXCITED that he’s qualified as a sharp shooter.

And he seems to like his bunk mates, all of whom have been given wild nicknames like Shrek and Measles.

So without further adieu, I present to you my son, Private Duncan:

I love this kid to pieces, let me tell you.

Now that he’s thinking of joining the Army full-time, I’m more than a little nervous that he’ll be in harms way and that I won’t see him as much as I want to.

If only our kids knew how much we worry about their futures.

But the kid is happy.

And that’s what really matters.

I miss him though.

Heaven

A small detail you may not know about me:

I live with my blind father.

He lost his eyesight maybe 10 years ago and requires a lot of help and assistance – for meals, activities, house chores, etc.

Needless to say, my mom bears the brunt of most of the work, but I help out where I can.

But it’s A LOT of work.

So last weekend, my sister and I flew my mom to Reno (where my sister lives) for a weekend away.

We were also celebrating my mom’s 75th birthday!

We slept in.  Helped with setting up some furniture for my son (who will be attending UNR in the fall and living with my sister), had an awesome meal at a lovely restaurant, and just generally relaxed.

It was heaven!

One thing we did, which we LOVE to do, was paint pottery.

I still have pottery I made in grade school during Mr. Fairman’s art class – a mug with a big bulbous nose which holds pens for me.

Here are the pieces we painted:

Honestly, I had a wonderful time.

And considering that I left Reno to host 10 events in 10 days at work, I needed the R&R.

I had a great time with my mom and my sister.

I think too often I take their presence in my life for granted and it was nice to slow down a bit and focus on them for a weekend.

Retro Cool

The other day, my son (the one who barely speaks to me) came down the steps, looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘I want to learn to knit.”

Well.

First of all, I’m not surprised.

He’s a crafty kid and good with his hands – of course he’d be interested in something like knitting.

Secondly, I had an A HA parenting moment.

I can knit!

Not well, mind you.

But I’ve made a few beanies in my life and they were decent enough to give away.

At least, I hope.

So I taught my son how to knit.

Then. . . my nephew comes home and tells me he’s learning the piano.

And my mom says, ‘Auntie Michelle can play piano.  Michelle, show him ‘Heart and Soul’.”

Now, you can’t really teach an 8-year old how to play ‘Heart and Soul’ from memory.

There’s syncopation. Rhythm. Timing.

I gave up after two tries.

But, you know when you were younger and your parents were forcing you to play piano and you wondered when, in your future life, were you going to need this skill, WELL I’M HERE TO TELL YOU. . .

Now!

Never knew I’d need to know piano and knitting to bond with my lovely family, but I’LL TAKE IT!

I am retro cool!