Bring on the holidays!

Now that it’s OFFICIALLY after Halloween I can focus on Christmas!

Woot!

I LOVE fall.

Nothing better.

Indian summer stretches into fall and we all enjoy cool mornings, crisp nights, and sunny days.

I just want to brag about some of the gifts I bought for my family.

I found a company that makes custom bifold iPhone cases so I whipped up some family photos for my mom so that she could have all her lovely children and grandchildren smiling at her from her phone.

Thank you Lasting Impressions for the perfect gift for my mom.

Her current bifold case is falling apart.

For my sister, a little sass:

Because nothing says “I’ve got attitude” like a mug with the F-Bomb on it.

For my nephews, who I have dubbed “The Littles,” I started a tradition of getting them a Christmas ornament with the Halloween costumes they wore earlier that year.

Calvin was the Grim Reaper and Milo was Venom.

I managed to find Calvin’s costume on Zazzle:

And Milo’s costume on etsy, customization pending.

I’m still debating on what to get them for their gifts.  The ornaments are simply a little extra gift I like to give to The Littles.

I can imagine my brother and sister-in-law’s Christmas tree when the boys are older, filled with memories of Halloween and Christmases past.

Welcome to my fall-loving, Christmas-obsessed season of joy!

Look alikes

When I was growing up, all I wanted was to look like someone.

Fortunately, my big sister was also a tall blonde so even though we were from a Middle Eastern family and our blond hair and blue eyes made no sense, people figured since there were two of us there must be some seriously powerful recessive genes at work.

When I was twenty two, I met my birth family.

First my birth mother, half brother and sister, and my stepfather.

Then my birth father and all his brothers and sisters.

I’ll never forget someone showed up to my birth father’s house with a box of “It’s a Girl” cigars.

I have my birth mother’s eyes.

And her hands.

I have her spirit too – all friendly and funny.

But the rest of me reminds me of my birth father’s side of the family – my long face, my big lips, my round butt.

Example 1 – my cousin and her daughter:

Damn, if we don’t look like relations then I don’t know anyone who does.

Example 2 – an app which turns you into the opposite sex:

Now tell me I’m not the spitting image of my birth father in THAT picture.

It’s thrilling really, to actually look like someone.

Not a day goes by that I don’t get a kick out of looking like Sherri and Paul.

It’s one of the gifts of reunion I never take for granted.

I finally know where I come from.

One lucky baby

I post this every year.

I couldn’t be happier that I’m reunited with my birth family and finally know my birth story.

So, here we go again. . .

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!

I was born first to Paul and Sherri, two teenagers living in Sonoma. They accidentally conceived me in a treehouse during their eighth grade year in school.

Sherri was sent to live with her aunt and uncle in San Jose to await my birth.

I was born on November 2nd. I was a forceps baby and I came out with a banged up, scratched up head (see pic below) but no worse for wear.

Alice and “Mario”, my parents, got the word that I’d been born and I’d be joining my 5 month old sister Lisa. My dad got to the hospital and looked at his itty bitty newborn daughter and declared that I looked like a frog on account of my legs stuck out sideways.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 4.19.46 PMI will forever be grateful to Sherri and Paul for putting me up for adoption. I was lucky enough to meet them when I was 22 and they have been a part of my life ever since.

IMG_7821Nothing pleases me more than explaining to people how lucky I am to have two sets of parents who love and adore me.

I am one lucky baby.

Happy Birthday to me!

Lessons

It seems to me LONG BEFORE I started going to Burning Man, I was into costuming.

My birthday being so close to Halloween, I often threw dress up themed birthday parties with my friends.

And they have always been good-natured about dressing up.

When my boys were little, I used to drive them down Highway 1 from Santa Cruz to Monterey.

Along the way, we’d stop at specific places for food and fun.

Marianne’s ice cream.

Gayle’s Bakery.

And of course, Woodworms.

At Woodworms we were allowed to try on costumes and take pictures.

My sons and I had a blast getting all dressed up and posing for pictures:

We never left empty handed.

We always left with costumes in hand.

I just couldn’t resist.

I miss those days when my boys were “hostages” and had to do whatever I wanted to do.

Invariably we’d all pack into my truck and head off on an ADVENTURE.

I hope my sons learned something from those early days.

I hope they learned to exercise their imagination, to be adventurous, and to seek happiness.

Life is short.

Eat cake just because.

Dress up just for the fun of it.

And most of all, spend time with those you love.

My heart is full

Nick and Kaitlin photo cred: my aunt Xondra

On a beautiful, sunny afternoon in Cloverdale, California, my cousin Nick married the love of his life.

And I was there to see it all.

I was also there to take a fall.

Yes, that’s right.

I took a tumble in my sky high heels on the grass a mere two steps away from an actual walkway.

It was HORRIBLY embarrassing.

But you know, wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t some sort of unusual occurrence to overcome.

Sometimes it’s a rude boy, other times it’s wicked high heels.

So Nick and Caitlin got married and I indeed cried when they read their vows to each other.

Nick had virtually lost his voice the night before but he managed to speak clearly and concisely about all the ways he loved Caitlin.

And I’m not kidding when I say that everyone got choked up.

It was beautiful.

Romantic.

Everything you want to see when your cousin picks out the woman of his dreams to marry.

So maybe I fell.

Big whoop.

It was clear that these two lovebirds had fallen too.

Fallen totally in love with each other.

And watching them dedicate themselves to one another for the rest of their lives, well that just turned a beautiful day in October into an extraordinary fall day in October.

My heart is full.

Jelly

In my family, there’s something called a Zezza butt.

It’s a really nice ass, larger than most, but perky and round.

I’ve got a Zezza butt.

As does my cousin Jennifer and my brother Art.

We’ve even taken a picture of all our asses, lined up (I’m #2 in the lineup).

Not everyone likes Zezza butt, but they should.

It’s pretty awesome.

I recall one instance in fact when a very athletic burner requested that we fool around in his RV SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE HE WANTED TO SEE “DAT ASS.”

It has slowly dawned on me that some people like curvy women.

Some people like slim women.

And some people LIKE ALL WOMEN.

I’ve given up trying to hide my body, which will never look like Heidi Klum’s, and am working on embracing all that JUNK IN MY TRUNK.

Starting with buying some short shorts for the Burn.

Okay, I DID buy a pair of shorts a few weeks ago that were (optimistically) two sizes smaller than my current size.

I’ve now replaced those shorts with booty hugging, booty boosting, putting-it-all-on-display jean shorts.

Four pairs, to be exact.

That way I’m sure to find something I like.

No, I won’t look like Jessica Simpson in my shorts but fuck, I like my thick thighs.

And other people do too.

They feel just as good wrapped around a sturdy man as slim ones.

And stuffing all my jelly into a pair of Daisy Dukes just gives me a little thrill.

Hope it gives you a thrill too. . .

Fingers Crossed

Elon Musk took his FIVE sons to a pumpkin patch.

That’s right.

The CEO and founder of SpaceX and Tesla, Inc. has FIVE sons.

I’m less concerned with how something like that happened and more concerned with how wonderful and chaotic it must be to be the father of FIVE BOYS.

I know it was CRAZY with my two.

Elon’s five boys remind me how very badly I want to have more children.

I thought for sure it would happen in the years after I got divorced.

I was sure I’d meet someone special, settle down, and maybe have a girl or two.

Or another boy.

I’ll always feel like my family is too small since I lost Douglas and Ruby.

Missing children.

It is my lot in life to carry around the burden of having lost children.

I have, by no means, cornered the market in this area and I am aware there are bigger burdens than mine.

Still.

I want more kids.

Now, I’ve TOTALLY given up on the idea of having more kids of my own.

I’m too close to the tail end of raising my boys to turn around and start all over.

But reading about Elon Musk’s abundance of children, I am struck with the hope that perhaps, if I’m lucky, I will meet someone special who has children of his own.

The game is not lost, my friends.

I could still wind up with a girl or another boy.

I am struck, given my own adoption background, how families are made in all different ways.

I happen to have two mothers and two fathers, an abundance of siblings (six), and even more cousins, aunts and uncles.

So I know better than anyone that more than blood makes a family.

There’s hope for me.

I might get more kids yet!

Fingers crossed.

 

Difficult Discussions

Some things are very hard for me to talk about.

I know this because the moment a sensitive topic gets brought up, I abruptly change the subject.

Pretty much anything related to our grifter President Trump gets me upset.

I literally have to beg my parents to stop ranting about him, because it upsets me so much.

And I take anti-anxiety medication on a regular basis.

Go figure.

The other day, my sister brought up Matthew Shepard.

It was the 20 year anniversary of his death, brought on by a hate crime beating because he was gay.

I have to pause and capture my thoughts.

I can’t imagine anything worse than losing a loved one to a hate crime.

The idea that someone I love could be HATED so much that they are killed by another person makes me want to cry.

Needless to say, I worry about my son.

He’s such an artistic, gentle soul.

I barely managed to speak to him about Matthew Shepard, but I did.

Because it’s important.

And as much as I believe the onus of good behavior should fall on every person, I reminded my son to take measures to protect himself from people who would harm him for his orientation.

And then I hid in my room and I cried.

Because we live in a world where I need to have this conversation.

Let’s change that.

 

Life was never the same

Every mother loves to tell her birth stories and I am no different.

My oldest was in fetal distress and so I had to be induced with him at 36 weeks.

It took me 45 minutes to push him out.

He was born going pee.

He peed on the doctor and on me.

Typical Duncan.

And then two years later came Gavin.

With Gav I didn’t realize how far I was in labor until I arrived in the hospital, got in a bed, looked at the nurse and groaned, “I have to P U S H!”

She examined me and noted that I was fully dilated and ready to push.

It took 20 minutes to deliver Gav.

He came out with a perfectly round head because he spent no time in the birth canal.

So 45 minute and 20 minute labors.

Not too shabby.

Personally, I have no idea how women can handle labors that last a long time.

18 hours.

36 hours.

It’s insane.

I’d be begging for a C-section out of sheer exhaustion.

There is a downside to having very fast labors.

My chart was flagged for fast delivery and the nurse told me that if I had another baby, it would probably arrive in the car on the ride to the hospital.

Whoah!

Also, I can’t guilt my children by telling them how long I was in labor with them.

All I say is, “Do you know how MUCH it hurt?!”

I recorded both births.

Yes, I did.

Not your typical side shot of the mother delivering the baby.

No.

I instructed my mother to record the birth right where all the action was happening.

I watched the births right after the boys were born.

Then on their 1 year birthdays.

And I gotta say, those deliveries are pretty gross.

I see why people take sideways shots of babies being delivered.

It’s sort of a juicy, fluid-filled, mucus plug, gross out fest.

But in the end, I had a 7 pound 2 ounce baby boy and an 8 pound 5 ounce baby boy to love on.

And life was never the same.

I was going to be good. . .

I was going to be good.

I had it all planned out in my head.

I was going to wear my red and purple dress to my cousin’s wedding in October.

I even bought a little red and purple fascinator to go with it.

But then I wore the dress on a date (a disaster of a date, if you ask me).

And it struck me that for a wedding, it was AWFULLY low cut.

Maybe too much so.

I mean, I don’t want to be remembered as the cousin who had her tatas hanging out while her cousin got married.

I can just hear the gossip now.

“Who’s Michelle?”

“You know, she was the one in the really low cut dress. . .”

“Oh right. Tacky.”

My Aunt Xondra has informed me that if she gets married, she’s making me wear a turtleneck.

So it seems I have a bit of a reputation for this sort of thing.

Therefore, I bought a dress at Nordstrom to wear to the wedding.

A lavender floral dress.

Isn’t it pretty?

And not the least bit low cut.

Demure, even.

I also bought a teeny tiny fascinator to go with the dress.

So even though the plan was to not spend money, I did spend a wee bit on a new outfit.

I was going to be good.

But being bad is so much better!