Rainbow baby

The road to parenthood has not been an easy ride for me.

From the beginning I struggled with fertility issues.

Granted, I was 25 years old when I started trying and I had years ahead of me to be successful in my quest to have children, but the steps there were filled with fertility treatments and unfortunately, pregnancy loss.

I admire women who get pregnant and just assume everything will be okay.

After my first loss – a stillbirth at 22 weeks – I never took my pregnancy for granted again.

I stressed and worried and bothered my OBGYN in ways you can’t even begin to imagine, insisting on extra ultrasounds and additional testing to be sure that everything was okay.

No amount of reassurance could convince me otherwise.

I have been pregnant six times but only have two living children.

My first pregnancy ended in stillbirth when it was discovered that my son Douglas had a large tumor growing off the base of his spine – a sacrococcogeal teratoma.

Google it if you want to see what it looks like, but be forewarned, it’s not pretty.

It’s called a “monster-making” tumor for a reason.

Douglas was born still on September 22, 1998.

He was perfect in every way except for a giant tumor on which his little legs rested.

To add insult to injury, Douglas’ body was thrown out with the hospital laundry by accident so it took a few extra days to recover him, cremate him, and hold a memorial for him.

Not all my family was supportive.

My mother-in-law didn’t even bother to attend the memorial.

After Douglas, I lost three babies between 8 and 12 weeks.

I also lost a little girl named Ruby at 16 weeks.

She was physically perfect and genetically nothing was wrong with her chromosomes.

It’s just one of those things that happens, I was told.

Recently, another loved one’s loss has brought all these feeling bubbling to the surface again and it was with tears in my eyes that I embraced her, knowing that she’s reluctantly joined the same club I joined all those years ago when I lost Douglas.

The club for women who will never be able to sail through a pregnancy like women who haven’t experienced a loss.

Worst club in the world, if you ask me.

But we’re there for each other.

There are meet ups for pregnant women who are pregnant again after a loss.

And they call subsequent babies “rainbow” babies to signify how even after a loss, something beautiful can be created.

My love to you.

You know who you are.

Spoonflower Sale!

Spoonflower is having a sale on fat quarters.

For those of you who don’t know what a fat quarter is, it’s when you get a quarter yard of fabric that’s 18 inches by 20-22 inches instead of 9 inches by 40-44 inches.

It’s a FAT quarter yard, hence the name.

Spoonflower has the MOST DELIGHTFUL fabrics on the internet and if I was a rich retiree, I’d spend thousands of dollars buying their fabrics for my quilts.

They’ve literally got every design you can possibly think of.

My niece is turning 12 this year and while there’s no way I can possibly make a quilt in time for her birthday this November, I’m putting a quilt in the queue for her.

Hopefully I’ll get to it in the next 6 months.

This is the design I am looking at online, but instead of being pink and orange, I’m making it BLUE AND VIOLET (on my cousin Jennifer’s recommendation).

It’s a 16-patch combined with a pinwheel, in an on-point (diagonal) pattern:

quiltJust because I want to see all the fabrics in one place, I’m posting them here for you to see.

Most have some sentimental meaning to either me or to my niece.

Here are all the blue fabrics I’ve selected:

And here are all the violet fabrics I’ve picked out:

Yes, I’m aware there’s Daryl Dixon from the Walking Dead in there.

My niece happens to be a HUGE fan so I have to work it in somehow.

The rest of the fabric makes me think of her = be it baby chihuahuas, wizard fabric, or footballs (go Niners!).

Can’t wait to get started on this quilt, right after I finish the three I’m already working on!

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!

Girlfriends

Girlfriends.

We’ve all got them.

A long time ago, I realized that the quality of my life was dependent on the quality of my friendships.

The better the friendships, the better my life.

Sex and the City gives us an idea of how integral a woman’s friendships are to her health and happiness.

I’m fortunate to have several really good friends and several new friends who help complete my life.

If you can measure the quality of my life by the quality of my friendships then I, my friends, am WINNING!

 

 

Birthday!

My birthday is coming up!

Last year I hosted a Bohemian Rhapsody themed birthday party at the premiere of Bohemian Rhapsody, the Freddie Mercury biopic.

Two years before that, I hosted a pirate’s pub crawl in Campbell with my friends.

All very fun.

This year, I’m going to my aunt and uncle’s house in Castro Valley to celebrate a late Halloween party.

I’m dressing up as a Lizzo-inspired performer.

Quite frankly, that’s as close as I can get to that bad ass bitch.

I’m excited, however.

Getting another year older is NBD.

It’s a luxury denied to many so I remind myself as I start to feel my creaking knees and spot gray hair on my head that I should be thrilled.

Lord knows that but for the grace of God, or the unraveling of the universe, I might not be where I am today.

Celebrating my birthday with family and friends.

I plan to celebrate my birthday for as long as I can and see as many friends and family as possible.

It’s just a BONUS that there’s costumes involved.

Woot!

Old Lady

I have an interesting hobby for a 45 year old woman.

I quilt.

I’ve been quilting for 20 years and because of this, my Instagram feed show a lot of work in progress quilts and finished quilts.

My Instagram is linked to my Tinder account so all the men I match with can see my handiwork.

Some of my quilts turned out quite beautiful, like this one I made for Barbara over Christmas break last year and one I made for family friends who lost their son with a pattern called
Storm at Sea:

If you were to ask me what kind of art do I make, I’d tell you I’m into textile arts.

I LOVE my quilts and every single one I’ve made has been donated to friends or family, with a lot of love.

It takes time and patience and a little bit of serendipity to turn fabric by the yard into a pieced quilt.

I proud of the work I do.

So you can imagine my surprise when someone on Tinder MADE FUN of my quilting.

“Wouldn’t know you’re 45 except for the quilting,” he texted me.

I defended myself, saying that I make modern quilts, not grandma quilts.

He replied by saying, “All quilts are grandma quilts.”

So, I present to you my impression of a grandma quilt and my impression of a modern quilt and you tell me if you can’t tell the difference:

Needless to say, homeboy didn’t get too far in seducing me.

Women don’t take kindly to being aged beyond their years and just because I make quilts DOES NOT make me a grandma.

Hmph!

Regrets

I wish I’d gotten through September 22nd in my usual fashion – by celebrating life with the ones I love and having no regrets.

I did get to celebrate my nephew’s 6th birthday, but I had regrets.

It was the first time a birthday party landed on the same day as Douglas’ birthday and I found myself longing for a birthday celebration to celebrate his 21st birthday – what we would be doing had he lived.

It turns out I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was.

I cried.

It’s a milestone birthday and I found myself wondering who my son would be, had he lived.

Would he be rushing through family dinner so he could go out and celebrate with his friends?

Would we have thrown a big 21st birthday party for him?

As a parent, losing a child is the worst experience you can have and one that we all fear.

To make matters worse, I was the only one who remembered.

No one else seemed clued in to my distress and sadness.

I told my sister-in-law and she gave me a huge hug and got teary eyed.

But then, as life tends to be, we moved on from it.

I am reminded that life is for the living and you either get on with your life or you wallow in sadness, holding on to regrets.

In the end, I choose life.

A time for everything under heaven

IMG_4717 21 years ago today, my heart tore in half when my son Douglas died of cancer – a teratoma, not unlike what Gavin had removed about a year ago.

The hospital room was so quiet and it smelled of tears. Tears that fell from my eyes like endless rivers of sorrow.

I thought I’d never stop crying.

I stopped believing in God. Stopped singing.

My ex husband got me a dog, Mac, to get over my grief and having that dog to pour all my love into brought me back to life.

He was a four legged replacement for the son I lost.

Sadly, 11 years ago today (on the 10 year anniversary of Douglas’ death), Mac’s life ended in a freak freeway accident on Highway 80.

So you COULD say that September 22 is my least favorite day of the year.

You could say that but you’d be wrong.

Because instead of spending the day grieving, I spend the day having fun and feeling alive.

This year I’m going to be at a birthday party for my 6-year old nephew, celebrating his birthday.

It’s a great opportunity to HONOR my loved ones and CELEBRATE everything that is wonderful and beautiful in my life – like wonderful friends, close knit families, and LOVE.

And I’ll celebrate the lives of the two sons that I have.

So happy September 22nd to all my friends. I hope it’s a happy one for you too.

And then I peed my pants

Elton JohnThe first thing you need to know about my trip to Tahoe to see Elton John is that I am in my early 40s. And although I didn’t realize it at the time I was buying the tickets, that makes me a little young for Elton’s demographic.

When I pointed this out to my sister, the man sitting in front of us said, “I heard that,” and gave us a scowl.

The second thing you need to know is that even BEFORE WE HAD DINNER at a nearby restaurant, my sister and I polished off a fifth of vodka. Yum yum! Thank you very much. We had a nice buzz going which is why we had two glasses of wine each with dinner.

Yeah, I know. You can see where this is headed already.

So we had dinner and drinks and then called a cab to take us to Harvey’s to see Elton John.

My sister had ordered two stadium seats for this event specifically and she told me, “Make sure we don’t forget them.”

Yes, I’m sure you can see where this is going.

While we each drank 4 Lagunitas Sumpin Sumpin beers, Elton John performed:

  • Bitch (which Lisa and I agreed was Gavin’s theme song)
  • Benny and the Jets
  • Goodbye Norman Jean
  • All the Young Girls
  • Levon
  • Tiny Dancer
  • Love
  • Daniel
  • Philadelphia Freedom
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  • Rocket Man
  • I Guess That’s why They Call it the Blues

And then I got too drunk to actually write anything else down that makes an iota of sense to me now.

But THE BEST PART was how Lisa and I got home.

We actually were so drunk and turned around we couldn’t find our hotel a mere 4 blocks away so we HOPPED INTO A PRIVATE CAR WITH A COMPLETE STRANGER and my sister paid him $40 to drive us 4 blocks to our hotel.

BUT THERE’S MORE…. I had to go to the bathroom so bad, I peed a little in my pants when we were in his car.

Yup.

I peed my pants.

Nice, eh?

What a night!

I’m a man-eating whore (just kidding)

I’m a man-eating whore.

At least I MUST be since I write this blog about sex, dating, and relationships.

Okay, maybe I don’t write about relationships. But trust me, if I had a relationship, I would be writing about it.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being single.  Every available (unmarried and unattached) man I meet is an opportunity to make a connection.

But there are times when being the single girl sucks.

Like when a married woman assumes if you’re talking to her husband you’ve got designs on him.

Or when you’re the only single at a couples party (á la Bridget Jones).

Or. . .

. . .when the wife of a friend CONTACTS YOUR SISTER to accuse you of trying to steal her husband because. . .

. . .wait for it. . .

. . .you replied to his IM on Facebook.

Indeed.

So there you have it.

This man-eating whore with the trashy blog is obviously so lacking in morals she would message A MARRIED MAN.

Better put a scarlet letter on me. Or maybe stamp “tramp” on my forehead.

Obviously, I’ve committed a grievous offense.

You know what I have to say about it?

HATERS GONNA HATE.

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