If I know you, and you're reading this blog, you have two choices:

1) Feel free to pretend you haven't, should the contents be offensive, sensitive in nature, or just TMI (Too Much Information).
2) Comment freely or talk to me face to face, and be prepared for further honesty and opinions.

Okay? Okay.

Nov 17, 2009

The Esplanade

Oct 27, 2009


When I was a young teen, my siblings were old teens and when my parents were out, the party was often on at our house. My oldest sister introduced me to my first beer. Generic. A white can, black letters BEER. I thought it was awful, but gulped it down. I was cool too, right? I can see myself sitting in the blue floral chair (where did that chair go? my other sister had it in that Berkeley den of hers years ago... hmmm...?), orange shag on the floor, doing my best to chug along with the rest.

A few years years later she would introduce another... 'substance', right there in the laundry room. She was home from her travels for the holidays and suggested that this would help us get through Christmas Eve mass. Looking back, not sure that it did, perhaps it made me a bit more anxious for mass to get over with, my heart racing and ready for the traditional Christmas Eve opening of one family gift... what else might my sister have in store for me? My older and well traveled sister, knowledgeable in the ways of young twenty-somethings, while I was still a lowly teen trying to fight my way through high school...

This is what I'm thinking about this blustery afternoon as I smell the homemade chocolate chip cookies (mmm, butter, sugar...) baking away. How many can I eat before the kids get home? Could I cover up the odor of the chocolate goodness somehow? They'll never know if I can mask the odor and hide the cookies... I could keep them all to myself!

See, back in the day, I would burn toast around the house to mask the odors of my sister and her parties. How I thought that up- don't know? I cleaned up vomit, cleaned up alcohol spills, masked the odors traveling through our house by burning different substances that what had been burned before. One time I remember some of the friends streaking down the street and trying to decide what best to do with their leftover clothes...

The connection? Drugs of being responsible, legal drugs... chocolate, sugar, butter... better fat than stoned... And thinking about hording them for myself, masking the odors of freshly baked goodness, so that I can get away with the crime. Odd connections... Fleeting thoughts...

My kids will be thrilled we have homemade cookies- maybe I'll throw them in the car for when I pick them up at school- it'll make their day!

Sep 20, 2009

Go see

Drawn from Water from Drawn From Water on Vimeo.


Sep 10, 2009


I rarely listen to NPR although I love it. Generally, there is too much noise in the car and I struggle to hear the words- too often, I would find myself trying to rewind the radio- yeah, can't do that. In the evening I'm too tuckered to give NPR the brain power it deserves.

This morning however, I was able to listen to much of 'Fresh Air' as I drove around trying to get Julia to sleep before attending preschool this afternoon. The three in the car were relatively quiet, snacking and looking about. I listened and caught myself, mouth hanging open, jaw agape.

I purposely waited until tonight to write. I was hoping to make sense of it all. I can't.

According to this program, this author, Max Blumenthal, the coffers of the republican party are filling up, the money is being collected, the people are joining the grass roots republican movement. It is a machine that is being built upon rhetoric being pushed by fringe groups and adopted by mainstream republicans. IT IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!

There are accusations that Obama wasn't born here- "the birthers". Obama is being compared to Hitler, Stalin. He has been accused of trying to create concentration camps for right wing dissidents. This rhetoric is being reported and preached on popular right wing christian radio shows. Whatever can be done is being done to discredit Obama. He is accused of hanging out with terrorists, becoming Marxist.

The militia movement is on the rise. Conspiracy theories abound.

It is frightening. Because he is black, because he is a democrat, because he wants change...??? What are these people so afraid of? Why are they so filled with hate? I am having a difficult time not linking any christian, right wing, republican with this line of thinking. This crazy, hate filled, nasty way of thinking.

I am not these people- I don't claim to be anything like them. Not long ago I was clearly against Bush's politics, the war... I was not alone. But at no point, did I believe Bush to be a bad man. In fact, I was sure to be clear about that view.

If these extremists are unhappy with the current US president, so be it. There is free speech. They can say whatever they want. So can I. The scary, absolutely frightening part, is that this crazy way of thinking is being accepted by mainstream media, mainstream people. It isn't staying where it belongs, in the wings, the thoughts of a few, the crazy. Comparing, likening Obama to Hitler is being discussed on radio shows around the country- not just dismissed as lunacy.

I don't get it. I just don't get it...

Sep 9, 2009

He asked for it...

He's been growing it out for a few years 2-3... can't remember. Today he comes home and says "I want it cut- all off- like I used to buzzed" Okay then- no problem. Peer pressure? Maybe... The thirteen year old teen emerges from the locks of hair.

Sep 6, 2009


In two weeks we have four birthdays... Grace (9), Gus (9), Mia (7), and Abe (7).

They're damn cute... the lot of 'em.

Sep 5, 2009


Some people have an open door policy, I have an open mouth policy. I see someone has added color to their hair, I remark about it. I tell people I have drug babies who were adopted out of foster care. I hear someone has died and I say "that sucks". Someone looks like they have lost a lot of weight doesn't look well, I ask if everything is okay.

I have filters, really I do, they just are different than others.

I'm terrible at "small talk". I don't like to lie. I'm not saying I don't, but I don't like to, and try to avoid lying. I'm not the one to ask if that dress looks good on you, if you want an honest answer.

If I am passing an acquaintance, I will generally not ask "how are you?", if I don't have the time to listen to the answer. If I ask, it's because I am generally interested in an honest response- not the typical "good" response.

I'm an oddity. I know.

Jul 22, 2009

You're it!

Sent all eight out with popsicles... and now get to enjoy the racous sounds of them playing some version of tag... how long will it last? Ruby just jumps up and down at base, screaming and waving her arms, Juj is wandering around, desperately in need of a nap, sucking her thumb and clutching her b.c.- taking it all in, but steering clear of the action. Gus and Jack idolizing their big brother Leo, who has orchestrated the game. Abe excited to be included- big grins, Mia too- though she tries to cheat and win every time. Grace takes a bit of a backseat and isn't bossing everyone around- laughing and running...

Arguments ensue- Mia gets called out on her cheating, she strikes out and is out of the game.

One more round and it's over... Back to swimming, computer, bionicles, dancing, movie and reading...

Jun 22, 2009

T-Mobile Mom to Mom Quiz

T-Mobile Mom to Mom Quiz: "

Take the fun, Mom to Mom quiz and discover your parenting style.


Jun 16, 2009

Shine on

It's been so long I had to sign in again...

I did it, I succumbed to the pressure to join facebook. I admit it, I was curious about the hype. Just wanted to check it out, see if I had any friends. Now, I can't get off. I play games, take stupid quizzes that tell me how I should lead my life, who I should marry, what kind of beer I am, how gay I am. It never stops. I think I just played three hours of bejeweled blitz- the whole time I was watching a movie and then for another hour after it was over. How do people make it over 50,000? They must play all day long or just get pretty damn lucky.

I have reacquainted myself with kids I knew in grammar school, folks from highschool, even a few from college and an old workplace. The names and faces float in and out- I read the sum up of their lives- "Gee, haven't seen you since we were 10, catch me up on the the last 30 or so years". How does one sum up 30+ years? Turns out, it's not that hard. Some people look exactly the same, others I barely recognize.

The odd part is that everyone is as I remember them. We don't really change a whole lot, do we? There are one or two surprises, but for the most part Liz is the same girl I played softball with when I was nine and ten.

In searching for old names I made the fatal "look for the ex's" bit. I found one for each of us (both Käri and myself) and the funny thing? Neither one answered back. Oh, they knew who I was. So, did they think I was some lunatic, after all these years, trying to get back in touch or were they scared, so very scared? It boggles me a bit. These were people we had relationships with 20 odd years ago. Haven't we all grown up? Kiss and make up, or at least be my facebook friend. How hard could it be to click "accept this friendship"?

Neither relationship ended with one of us hating the other. At least I didn't think so. Were there hurt feelings, sure. A surprise break up...kind of, yes. Was I a whack job for contacting them, probablly. But, I am genuinely curious about the lives they lead now. Are they not? Are people so easily dismissed- not forgotten- I am absolutely positive we were not forgotten and in my friendship request I was absolutely clear about who I was.

Hmmm...just food for thought.

I have replaced some of my blogging, both reading and writing with facebook and other amusements. Life has been full for many months, it seems. I had no room.
I miss it, but am not sure what will happen next.
This writing feels good.

May 25, 2009

Like Cream

It's amazing to watch and witness, really- the rise to the top.

We took a road trip, the five littles and I, yesterday. Two hours up and another three plus back. My Jackie- my middle boy- such a middle child... he took over. On the trip he was the oldest, beating out the twins by seven months and the girls by four years, at age eight.

He was helpful, the leader, the passer of food to the back, unbuckling to make sure I didn't miss a spot washing the windshield at the gas station- something he is normally never allowed to do. His normal seat in the van, is in the last row, purposefully placed in the back, because of his antics and booming voice, two seats away from his older brother. On the way back home he switched to the front row- after asking first, "so, I could help you better".

Jack, sneaky Jack. My Jack who has trouble remembering that only his belongings fit in his pockets. Jack who is the first to have a negative attitude, to always say no, to fight change, to argue that he is not wet, as he drips on the floor. Jack who claims innocence, as he stands two shelves up in the pantry, with his hand in the cookie jar.

He consoled Juj, when she was cranky and ready to be home. He was sweet to Mia explaining that "mama just told you how long". He offered to cheer up Ruby after she dropped her last piece of snack below her car seat by "talking to her about Hoppy". He interpreted my ramblings for Abe who couldn't quite understand what I was trying to tell him. He watched out for the little girls as they traveled on their quest to "find deer poop". He patiently explained to me what happened to Mia as she returned crying up the path. He came to me outside and asked permission to watch a tv show the others had not seen before...

I know he has it in him- and we certainly see signs of it now and again. Makes me want to give him more opportunity instead of not.

May 11, 2009


I've had this conversation more times than I can remember- "you are so amazing" I repeatedly tell folks- really, I'm just crazy. Who has eight kids, anymore? Not many really, truly large families out there. I don't consider 3 or even 4 to be large. I'm not so amazing, I swear!

Yes, I yell at my kids. Too much.

Yes, I drink at night. Not enough. I haven't had a cocktail or beer since mid-April- not necessarily by choice, just by circumstance.

Yes, two of the four toilets are rimmed with dried pee. Not too mention the sink, tub, counter or floors in said bathrooms.

Yes, I have washed the hardwood floors since we moved in here over three years ago. The entire floor? Maybe, once or twice, maybe.

Yes, I do mow the lawn. Usually weekly- but not always, and I only edge maybe once a month.

Yes, my kids put their own laundry away. I'm too frustrated and lazy too make sure it is put away correctly.

Yes, my kids have gone to bed without dinner as a consequence/punishment for bad choice/behavior.

Yes, I leave my kids in the car while I run into the store for a quick thing- only if I'm parked in front of the store and I can see the car and occupants. (and yes, I know it's not safe and against the law)

Yes, I do sometimes kick a clear path from our bedroom to the kitchen and upstairs before I go to bed. Instead of picking the crap up off the floor.

Yes, there are hidden, and some not so hidden, stacks of papers in several places around the house.

Yes, sometimes I hide ice cream, chips, chocolate, or other food and then hide myself from my children and eat it.

Yes, our kids bathe. 2-4 times a week. And in the summer? Isn't that what the pool is for?

Yes, the kids bed sheets get washed! When they pee in them, after they throw up in them, or get a bloody nose, or stink... Otherwise, it is often weeks or even months in between washings.

Yes, I miss having alone time with Käri- really truly kidless time because we don't take the time to hire someone we trust to watch them and only rely on friends to do that and really, how many times can you ask?

Yes, the breakfast dishes are still sitting on the counter at 2:23 in the afternoon while I spend time on facebook and reading blogs telling my 6 year old twins to "Shhhhh... I'm trying to read and write here, I'll fix your bikes when I'm done". (And yes, it's actually working today!)

Yes, eight is enough.There's a nice ring to 10, too... Eleven is heaven????

Time to fix some bikes...right after I do the dishes and plan dinner and pee...

May 7, 2009


Last night, like a shot arriving, a thought popped into my head. A thought that felt like it belonged, an idea, a belief, a decision... it landed, took hold and felt right. Wow, not just thinking, mulling over, but something that arrived un-bidden, to stay. Funny how that happens from time to time.

I created a whole post about it, as I drifted into my codeine induced slumber, and knew that I would hold onto it until morning when I could get it written down. Nothing fancy, just a clear paragraph or so.

This morning, it's gone.

Apr 6, 2009

Three Dozen

All in the blink of an eye...

Edited to add: All this done while we unloaded from the van- the girls decided to make some eggs...

Apr 1, 2009


Or should I say Philliped?

From school, we race across town to help grandma on with her orthopedic walking boot (the hip surgery went very well, but she suffered some temporary nerve damage [hopefully] to her foot - foot drop- and needs assistance every morning and evening), and directly from there to the pediatricians office to check on Julia's ear infection since she was up again last night and the Dr. was concerned that her ears aren't healing properly... From there to the bank to make a deposit for Grandma, a quick stop into the smoothie joint for some sustenance. The four littles, my two 3 year old girls and the two 6 month olds I take care of, were troopers, but also their own forces to deal with...

At the pediatrician's office I realized that my stroller handle was coming out, so I used my McGyver skills and trusty pocket knife to remedy the situation- a twist here and there and I soon realized that a screw was missing. Smoothies in hand, we arrived home, where an additional three year old, Lily, joined us for the afternoon- so Raquel could run an important errand-. With the kids settled in the house I hunted down my drill and found a stray screw and set about to fix the stroller. The drill was set with a Phillips head bit and I attempted to replace the screw - Exerting a bit of force, since the screw was slightly larger than the hole I was screwing it into, I drilled a way- right. into. my. hand.

Apparently the screw had broken off and the threaded piece was still stuck in the stroller- when the new screw met with resistance , it fell and the bit glanced off the stroller and into the flesh of my hand, just below and between my ring and middle fingers of my left hand- Screwed, I was literally screwed,, and not in a nice way.

With a quick call or two, Raquel returned to my home so I could leave for the clinic- Yikes. A puncture wound heals best open- no stitches or super glue- just some cleaning, a tetanus booster and a big band aid. Goes well with the elbow brace for the ulnar nerve/tendon injury, which the Dr. thinks should get better in a month or two... Elevate it, ice it, Motrin around the clock..take it easy...

Yeah, okay.

Mar 24, 2009

Follow Up

We got a call from social services late in the afternoon. I had been anticipating a call...or not a call, all day. Truly couldn't decide if I was excitedly anticipating, worried, or going to be disappointed. I was certainly a bit on the anxious side.

The worker called and confirmed that we were "open" -meaning we could take a child or children into our care. I asked if this was about the the two little boys we had heard about and she confirmed. However, she had misunderstood some inner office communications and , while she had called earlier in the day, wasn't sure if we would have taken the boys or not.

Apparently she had called earlier in the day looking for placement, but when she did not reach us, did not leave a message because she wasn't positive we were available for placement. In the interim she placed the boys in a different home and at this point was confirming our availability for the future.

These things, they happen for a reason.

Käri and I did discuss it and said that we would remain on the available list. And that is that... for now.

Mar 19, 2009


My elbow was so painful this morning I took 4 children to the clinic with me... This has been going on for a couple of months now. Initially, it was off and on heat and burning in my elbow, soreness at the first onset, after doing some heavy duty pruning. Now, it's daily and constant. I haven't wanted to mask the feelings with ibuprofen and so haven't been taking it on a regular basis- I'm ready now. It's numb'ish and I can feel, but not see the swelling, radiates down my arm and makes my pinky and ring finger feel tingly and numb.

Tendonitis? Tennis Elbow? Strain??

I walked into the clinic a bit before 9 and was quickly ushered into a room. My double stroller barely fit... For an hour and 20 minutes, I kept the 2 Three year old's entertained and amused and the two 6 month old's content, fed and happy. The nurse took my blood pressure, temp (99?), asked for symptoms, reasons I was there etc. After I continually promised treats for Julia and Ruby for doing a good job, the dr. finally arrived. Without once putting his hands on me, and only asking me where the pain originated from- he diagnosed me with Ulnar neuritis- some sort of nerve injury/damage originating on my funny bone. He told me he thought thats what it was and that they would be sending me for further testing- an EMG- and they would let me know...

I literally stopped him from leaving the room by reaching out and saying " hey, wait a minute, what does that mean, what kind of test, what do they do, what about these other sensations I have, what do I do in the meantime??" With his hand on the door knob and the door half open he tells me "not to worry about it, they'll do the EMG and let me know". Again, this time a bit stronger, "okay that's fine, but what does the test entail, who makes the appt, what can I do in the meanwhile, can you explain your diagnosis?" He turns again towards me, by this time Julia has lost her patience as well, and is whinning at my leg "eat, mama, eat" repeatedly, and says "they'll put a series of needles in your arm to test your nerves and then we'll know more..." and leaves the room. I think the whole episode took less than three minutes.

At the nurses station, I stopped to ask how the referral is made for the EMG- they assurred me they would call with an appt. And with that, I left. I walked out of the lobby at 10:26.


Edited to add: Forgot the best part- if it is Ulnar Neuritis, surgery may be the best recommendation. Sweet.

Mar 18, 2009

A new week a new, possible, dilemma

We got through last week! Grandma ended up with some nerve damage to her foot as a result of the hip replacement- The good news is that it seems the feeling is slowly returning, and the hiccup qualified her for a bed in a more intensive rehabilitation center that is about a half mile from our house!. She's keeping a good attitude and her hip is no longer causing her pain- Yeah!

The funeral service went very well. It still feels odd that grandpa is 'really' gone
, not just absent. We assume he is at peace wherever he is and hopefully is playing golf with memories intact.

The cheek biopsy was obviously clear- I was so prepared for the worst and am thankful, so thankful, that it was simply a veiny knot type thing- official medical jargon!

On Sunday I received some news from a friend that a distant relative of his had been removed by CPS. A three month old in trouble. As usual it sent my head spinning, and while I had no illusions of physically caring for that baby in a foster placement, it put me into that thinking mode. That place where I think "We're healthy, we know kids, we're good at this baby kid thing (you know, mostly), maybe we should be continuing to do foster care." Monday morning I was sharing the minimums of the story of the three month old with another friend and we exchanged stories of current foster placements with other families that we know. During that conversation, I found out that there is a sibling group of two (two year old and 3 month old, boys) that are currently in shelter care (often the first stop after a removal from birth family, to determine the goal for the kids and parents). These boys stuck with me for various reasons.

#1 They are black/African American, and I can't decide if it is a racist thought that we have always thought about having a black baby- kind of rounding out our color palette.
#2 It wouldn't disrupt our current birth order.
#3 There are so many kids out there that need good homes- and yes, I believe we are a good home, despite the occasional yelling...
#4 They are a sibling group, not just a single placement, and sometimes that is a hard placement to find.
#5 We have room for boys.
#6 We are healthy.
#7 The foster care stipend could be helpful in this current economic stressful time- although it doesn't work like that because the extra money coming in goes right back out again- and I am aware of that. (like hiring someone to help with cleaning the house...) Would we be doing it for the money- uh, no. would it help out? maybe.
And more...

So, there I was with these boys on my mind... I chatted briefly with Käri about them- who in the same breath said "sure", and "yeah, good luck with that".

I called one of our program contact people and left a message inquiring if these boys were even still in placement and what might be going on with them, early Monday afternoon. Late Monday afternoon we stop in to visit Grandma in her new digs -the rehab center- and who should be sitting there in Grandma's room? The very same individual I had left a message for earlier in the afternoon. I can honestly say I have never run into this person before, outside of our professional relationship. Apparently she works one day a week in the rehab center and this was her day... A little odd this coincidence. We didn't talk then, but she said she would call me on Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon she calls and we talk all about continuing to do care or not, pros, cons etc. I am clear with her about where I am coming from and that I wasn't calling to request placement, per se, but that the boys had struck a chord with me. She too, found it odd that we should happen to run into each other on Monday... She clarified that she thought they were still in shelter care and that no decisions had been made, howeve she also wasn't sure if they may have already been placed with a foster family or perhaps back with some relatives. I finished the conversation with J. knowing we were interested in hearing more about these boys, should she hear anything and if they needed a continuing placement.

Late this morning I get a message- The boys need placement. J got a call from a social worker requesting names of families that may be available to work with these boys and their eventual/hopeful reunification with their family. She didn't call to inquire about the boys, someone called her- not always a normal occurence- (the calls generally are filtered through different channels).

Are we maxed out? Are we crazy? If we say yes, would we be doing our other kids a disservice? Are we tired?- hell ya'. Could we fit more kids in our lives? What about the two 6 month old babies I take care of during the week? Is it do-able? (Yes- I do know it's do-able, exhausting and hard, but do-able). If we are asked to take these boys- what do we say???

And then there is that other voice that says 'what are other people going to think'??

Mar 12, 2009

Tender Headed

I never let them mess with my hair... IT HURTS!!!! Today I let them...

Mar 10, 2009


Too busy doing a happy dance to blog!!! That's right, no CANCER!

Whooo Hooo! and might I add a big 'ol PHEW............

Tomorrow- hip replacement... compared to the threat of cancer? Piece of cake! At least, let's hope so, right!

Thank you friends/readers for your support and good wishes. Raquel, Greg... I'm a little speechless- really- THANK YOU! just doesn't seem to cut it- I'll work on it...

Mar 2, 2009


It was ridiculous and hysterical all at the same time. Twice today, I have re-told the story and both times began hysterically laughing all over again.

Little bit of tension around these parts as of late. Lots of stuff going on, going down. More sad news came down the pike last weekend. Sad and terrible. A friend's nephew was killed- 19 years old- unexpectedly, surprisingly. The investigation is ongoing. Truly tragic.

Last night we were over at Grandma's house preparing her home for her upcoming hip replacement surgery- lowering her bed, attaching a hand held shower nozzle, etc. As Käri and I were laying in bed, we were discussing the upcoming surgery, logistics- her father's funeral service, incoming relatives, waiting for Käri's biopsy results, and the results from a recent blood test that shows her thyroid levels way off the charts... And off to sleep we went.

At 12:37 I wake from a sound sleep- laughing, chortling- cracking my self up. I could not get-a-hold of my self. My dream was a series of events- much like any other dream- that make no sense at all. One minute I'm getting shoved into the corner of the kitchen, trying to hold onto my drink, laughing, trying not to spill it, as it bubbles out of my glass (even now it makes me laugh)- the next, I'm taste testing, offering to pay the server and suggesting she keep the change. Käri's next to me (still in my dream) and suggests I get my taste sample back which only makes us laugh more.
I seriously wake myself up laughing. I have to stand up, force myself to get a drink of water- all the while I've completely woken up Käri- who wonders if I am awake or laughing in my sleep- and warns me to shush, worried I'm waking up the whole house. My sides are hurting, my eyes are tearing and my cheeks hurt ,I am laughing so much. I gather myself together, get back into bed and Käri asks what was so funny in my dream. I'm afraid to tell her for fear of starting up all over again, but I do, and I do. This time Käri is laughing right along with me. Are these events funny ? No. Am I dying with laughter? Absolutely.

I cannot adequately describe with words the laughter, the uncontrollable laughter, the unstopable laughter... I was dying. Still making me laugh today- brought me to tears again, retelling the story, typing this- chortling... I have never before experienced this. Too frickin' funny...

I'm thinking, maybe a little stress relief, eh?

Feb 19, 2009

Dumping, a bit

This morning a school mom friend asked in passing "how are you?". This, following a discussion with our mortgage broker friend (another "school mom")about the state of the business these days- can we re-fi? Will we qualify with the market falling? Debt to loan ratios, the economy, the banks, the 'woe is me' that everyone is feeling these days.

And I dumped- at least a portion of the following-

Käri had surgery in October to remove some suspicious looking tumors on her thyroid- which ended up with a complete thyroid removal- biopsied to show cancer. It was all removed and no further treatment is needed- at least at this point. Money has become increasingly scarce. Käri's mom had to wait for the new year to get her hip replacement surgery okayed- some lovely insurance deal and is now fianlly scheduled for March 11th.. Over the long weekend, in the early morning hours of Valentines day, Käri's dad died, suddenly, but not unexpectedly. He has been in the Alzheimers wing at a local nursing home for almost 3.5 years. A young man by many standards. He would have been 74 in April- he was diagnosed at 57- displaying many symptoms for a few years before that. Too young. It appears that he died in his sleep from perhaps a heart attack or the Alzheimers... And then yesterday Käri had part of the inside of her cheek removed for a suspicious looking tumor. This was noticed on Tuesday during a regular dental cleaning and removed on Wednesday... biopsy results March 10th.

Ruby and Julia are both behaving as devils. And our newest canine addition (two years ago) is pregnant as a result of a good deed. Yes, irresponsible pet owners. We never got around to getting her spayed- Picked up a stray male unneutered puppy (just old enough, apparently) back in mid-February- successfully reunited with his owner 5 hours later, just enough time for a some donor insemination. And no, I had no idea Dixie was in heat- just lucky I guess. Yeesh. Now Dixie is provoking and attacking our old lady dog, drawing blood. So in order to prevent injury, I'm keeping them separated- fun times. Today I introduced a borrowed large kennel for Dixie. We'll see how it goes.

What else?

So many friends are losing jobs. It seems most everyone is on the brink of some financial hardship or another.

A blogging friend, who has already lost a husband, is welcoming a miracle baby into her life with the help of a new love, who has suddenly been diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer.

I know in many ways we're lucky- very lucky. I'm just hoping our luck continues.

After Käri kills me for blabbing all this...

Feb 13, 2009

Mom of Octuplets + 6

This is a facebook thread- reprinted here without my friends permission- I'll get right on that! I left typos and such in- but removed names...

What's your opinion???

Okay ladies,I am very interested in hearing your views on this woman already has 6 kids at home, lives with her mom and has 6 other kids with got assistance??? supposedly she has had $20,000 in plastic surgery ? You are all very srong woman whom i hold in very high regard and would love to hear your opinions (heavens knows I know you might have one, or two )


To be honest, I don't have much of an opinion on this. I don't question her right to do it, though I do question the wisdom of the doctor who implanted so many embryos at once, especially in such a young woman. Until/unless the state ends up paying for them all, I don't feel it's really my business to think one way or the other about it.

I do suspect, however, that she's a bit mentally ill from a couple of quotes I have heard her make, particularly about her not having been in control as a child being the reason she's wanted to do this. Um, honey, do you think you're going to be in control with 14 children under the age of ???

It will be interesting to see if she still has custody of all of them 5 or 10 years down the road.


My concern is clearly the children's health and welfare. I can understand the desire to want a large family (my mom wanted 10-had 7) yet when I try to imagine where 8 newborns are sleeping, what toddlers are up when the mother is endlessly nursing the newborns and whether they get hot meals, baths, basic love and affection. The odds are not in her favor. With that said, did you see her pregnant belly days before giving birth? O M G! The female body is truly amazing.

Today at 9:42am
I don't think it's our right to judge her.

From what I understand she had multiple embryos implanted each time she was pregnant, this time they all happened to stick and multiply.

Remember back when whoever it was condemned the Murphy Brown show for glorifying single mothers?

Whose to say she won't raise our future president? Those are little children. She needs our assistance (I'm not suggesting we praise her...) and support.

Did you here about the black woman who gave birth to quints and nobody offered her assistance- white woman gives birth to quints and gets free diapers for all the children as long as she needs them.

Our foster/adopt kids qualify for WIC and receive medical benefits until they are 18, as well as our primary medical insurance. The looks I get when I use those WIC checks or show the medical card...

Because I chose to have a large family- should I be judged for using those services? And don't give me the whole- but you adopted foster kids bit- sure we may have different circumstances, but that doesn't give anyone the right to judge us any differently then that mother.

What's better for the kids? For the mother who loves them? Our support or our judgment?

I could go on- but I'll spare you.


Very ineresting points and I love hearing them, thank you for sharing. I am in no way judging anyone or any decission anyone has made.I am a little concerned about the doctor involved in the matter and wonder his stand on this matter now. I am terrified at what the future holds for infertility drs. and the people who really need them.

Will we become more like China and try to control how many children peole can have?

The reason I was asking is because I am spending Saturday with my Sister in law who is the head of Child Protection Services in Oakland.........the stories she tells, WOW. She too has been a foster parent for as long as I have known her and I wanted to feel more knowledgable about this whole situation. She happens to be overly educated and has a very strong opinion about certain things. I watched a program last night on Dr. Phil but missed her interview on 60 minutes.So I needed some input.

I agree it is about the children and I do feel sorry for her, she has a very long road ahead of her and will need as much help as she possibly can get. Her own mother has walked away from her, so how sad is that? The experts say she will need approx. 50 volunteers a week round the clock to help take care of those babies.

So why is our society shunning this woman? Why did they brush off the black woman with the multiple birth? Why did Dr. Phil have show and point out that she has had plastic surgery, etc. ?

Today at 12:18pm
CPS in Oakland? Oh My! The stories are the same all over, I'm afraid- but Oakland?! The amount of crisis and sheer #'s. That's a hard job.

I failed to mention that I have not read or seen any of the many articles- with the exception of one or two that appeared in my headlines on my homepage- so I speak without doing any research.

Are there mental health issues with the birth mother? Do I have mental health issues? Lots of folks call me insane for having so many children, for having a relationship with a woman, for not going to church, for having a beer at 4:00 in the afternoon... How severe are her issues?

Did she really plan on giving birth to 8 children at the same time? If this story had broken, with the outcome being that she had "selectively reduced" the #'s of fetus's down to one- wouldn't the conservative right be all over her ass saying how she killed her children? If she had chosen to destroy the embryos instead of having them implanted...?

And the dr.? Holy crap if we are going to start with that let me give the names of lot's of folks who should be sterilized-( uh, hello parents who have already lost the rights to their birth children, child abusers, pedophiles...). How many plastic surgeons are out there performing unnecessary surgeries? Let's pass judgment on the dr. who filled Goldie Hawn's lips first- okay?

I say again, The birth woman needs help and support- in whatever shape that may come-( food, formula, diapers, counseling, volunteers, sleep, bottles, dishwasher, housing, cribs, clothes...) not criticism.

J. I didn't think you were judging-


I suppose for me, I would really like to know HOW she afforded in vitro in the first place? It seems to me like a what came first? type of situation to some extent. i definitly think that the Dr. should be held to question as it seems to me that he has violated the ethical code he promised to uphold. And, i think he has done a huge diservice to the profession in general. She freely admits that she did this for HER, she has been quoted saying that and I heard her interview on whatever talk show she was on... sorry it escapes me at this time, but I heard her say it, so it is not just hearsay. I think her words were something in line with she wanted lots of kids because she grew up in a dysfunctional family. I would LOVE to know what her psychological profile would reveal. Seems a bit of twisted logic in my opinion.
Tricia, I have MOUNTAINS of respect for you and Kari and the family you have. Seriously, having been in the child care industry for a million years and seeing first hand the best and worst of families, thinking about the D. clan can honestly bring a tear of sheer joy to my eye. And i think you have GREAT points. But in my opinion the difference between the D. women and this woman is self LESS versus self ISH.
I do not feel sorry for her. I feel extremely sorry for those children.... each and every one of them She already has 2 girls and 4 boys ages 2 to 7... and 3 of them are already getting assistance for their various disabilties if I am not mistaken. Don't you all think that THOSE 6 children need EVERYTHINg she has to give THEM. I am SURE this next comment will not be well received by some or all of you, BUT here i go.... it reminds me in some ways of people who hoard animals. AND NO!! I am in no way comparing a child to an animal, so i know it is a huge leap. But what I mean is that mentality that one is good, two better, three better, etc etc etc.
She does not in any way deserve to have death threats leveled against her... that is horrible. But I do think it was an incredibly irresponsible decision. Did anyone SEE the video of the bedroom her 6 kids live in now?
Is that fair? I was shocked and saddened to see it.
And what about her parents? Seriously can any of you imagine putting YOUR parents in that position? That screams selfish too. Who does that?
I applaud her for wanting to get her masters degree. Iwant to get mine too and I often sit down with my finances in front of me trying to figure out how I could pull it off. Hell, I am on a first name basis with more than one of the enrollment counselors at the Univ. of Phoenix and the SF State extension program. But I have not done it because I cannot afford it right now. I want to say that she needs forget about school and work 10 jobs if necessary to support her kids, but then who raises them if she were to do that? Not her. And if she is in school getting her masters WHO raises them? NOT HER!! Where is her parenting in all of this?
C'mon.... really? And she has a PR firm representing her now?
I think it is unecessarily tragic. Maybe I am clueless because I do not have children but I just don't think so. Almost all my friends have children and I listen to them talk all the time about the joys and struggles of being a parent. I see how much they sacrifice and give of themselves to give their children the very best possible. I have friends who only shop with coupons and i have friends who would never dress their kids in clothes in anything less than designer clothes. And friends everywhere in between. I have never judged any of them, only admired them for their dedication to their kids. My pont is is that in EACH case, these parents do THE VERY best they can within the finances they have available to them.
Being a parent is a PRIVELAGE, not a right.
I am sorry if I am unpopular here, but I think she is an incredibly selfish woman. And, I think that some, if not all of those kids will eventually be in foster care. She maybe flew under the radar with the first 6.... til now.
Shame on her.


P.S. Let me know if any of you are defriending me after this, OK??

Today at 12:50pm
I'm totally defriending you now because your opinion is wrong.

Today at 12:59pm
Did you like that??? How I totally judged you for your opinion????

It's all good- you know I'm kidding right??? Just proving a point.

My bottom line- we all have our opinions- none of us are wrong. I have not done any research -most of the things you mention C.- I had no idea about.

Her kids are what is important. If we can't support her- we need to support the kids, and at this point that means we need to support her- ya know?


HA!! I just checked and we are still friends!! Plus I see that Kari is online right now and my guess is if YOU dump me then she dumps me too!!
Plus, I know you are WAY to bright to view opinions as right or wrong!!



I'm still friends with all y'all...no matter what! Bring on the 14 kids!!!

How many boxes of Kraft Dinner do you think you need to feed a family of 15??


J's point about the 50 volunteers, around the clock, each week is startling. 50 people shuttling through your life each week, caring for your babies, offering you advice, the constant commotion. How long will that last? I hope the kindness and generousity of people will succeed in allowing the village to raise these children. But as C. has pointed out, the switch that separates "what I should do" and "what I want" wasn't working for this mom. And yes we will pay. I will pay for the present and futures for these children to be healthy and bright, and I will do it gladly. And Tricia, you and Kari are the village, with your unique perspective, kindness and generousity to envelope your children.

One question still remains. Has anyone seen the picture of her belly days before she gave birth? Honestly. It's amazing.


I did!! Truely amazing is right.
So let me ask you S. ...when you say that you will pay and pay gladly.... Can you elaborate on that? No sarcasm or judgement, just a real curiousity. Why do you feel that that is your responsibility?
Just to play devil's advocate.... do you feel it is MY responsibility to pay for your girls? Would you want me to? Would you have had them if you could not have afforded them? Would you want YOUR girls to have to "compete" for your attention with 12 other children... 3 with special needs and who knows how many more will have special needs?
As Mom's how many nights have you all wished that you could have ONE night off from bed time stories, one night with no one refusing to take a bath or brush teeth? ONE night with no little pitter patter of feet down the hallway after lights out? OR..... one morning to not have to make school lunches (or dig thru your wallet for exact change for hot lunch)
Please.... trust me, I could go into a very painful tale of being pregnant once unexpectadly years ago and us deciding to keep the pregnancy and then so much going horribly wrong and it was devastaing for myself and my then boyfriend. Like I said... I think it is a privelage, not a right, so maybe I am skewed because I once thought I would have that miracle in my life and then did not, but I think it is more than that.

I think this is a very interesting thread and i appreciate the opportunity to discus this with you all maturely.



Here's the belly pic: http://www.tmz.com/2009/02/12/octomom-it-was-a-very-goodyear/ Yowsa.

On to C.'s Big Question (even though I'm not the one being asked!): I DO feel it's my obligation to help pay for any child who is in distress, be it through abuse, neglect, tragedy etc. They are defenseless, and if society as a whole does not form a safety net then we are no better than animals. This is not an obligation I begrudge at all.

However -- I have to grit my teeth a lot harder to pay out money to people who need it only because of the proactive choices they make. This makes for an interesting dichotomy in this case -- if I have to end up paying for the kids, then so be it, they are kids and they require our help to live safe, healthy and happy lives. If I have to pay for their Mom to never work again, then I get pissed. Yet it's probably best for the kids that their Mom concentrates on them and not on working.

Where I do completely lose my rag on the whole social payments issue is when my taxes pay welfare to Moms who choose to go back to school rather than back to work. No. That's a privilege and not a right. If you can be away from your kids, you should be working, not going to school!

OK, off my soapbox now. I realize my views are completely inconsistent!

I look like that now and I'm not even pregnant


So C., first and foremost, I completely agree about this thread being interesting and I am engaged by each perspective. I am going to step back to a comment you made previously about animal hording (which I think was a valid comment)...let's say a company supported by tax payer dollars came to the rescue of 18 puppies/dogs (or taking it macro, 6 million) how would you feel about your tax dollars going to basic care (food, home, medical) of those animals? Knowing these animals have no voice, no choice in the environment their lives began. These children are innocent. And the level of frustration I hear from many of my friends (including you) I believe is because of how much you care... So my point is...do the babies suffer? do we dwell on what is done? do we focus on things out of our control? Or do we gladly help the helpless.
So yes, I will gladly pay for these children. I personally don't think that the doctor or mother made good decisions. I am completely against the abuse of our social services system. I hate the complusiveness of some to achieve their 15 minutes, certainly at the expense of others. We don't control the universe. Given the choice of taking some financial responsibility for a needy child or just hoping for the best, hoping they won't become a broken child/adult in our society...it's easy for me to embrace the baby. I really don't think you and I are too far apart on this.

So on a personal level, I am sorry.

Today at 4:17pm
Okay- K.- isn't it like the middle of the night? What the hell??? : )

2nd- My 8 eat 3 boxes of mac n- cheese- but really it's 6 kids because two won't eat it. And i don't like it- Käri nibbles it. Plus we have fruit or veggies and protein of some sort with it.


I love my kids like crazy- would lay down my life for any of them and yes, sometimes I want to tape their mouths closed and stick 'em in their velcro suits and velcro them to the wall- behind the soundproof doors... Sometimes I REALLY need the cocktail at the end of the day. Who would I choose to give up to make my life easier? Give one up for adoption? Which one? They all came for a reason- what that reason is...?? Not a clue.

I've got two with ADHD, one that doesn't hear so well, one that's super needy (like gonna be pregnant at 13- Gods help me), one that has emotional/attachment issues (been through counseling and medicated), and one with a rare metabolic disorder that could kill her or at least put her in the severely brain damaged and wheelchair for life category.

I never have enough time for them. And yet, when they call to ask if we will take another- I waver. What is the answer to that dilemma? Do I have enough time to fit another one in? And yet, what's the difference - one more? How do I turn an unknown life away?

I mourn each of my miscarriages, a life lost.

I cannot imagine tossing my frozen embryos. (No, I don't have any) I can't imagine (I almost wrote having 14- but actually, I could) having 8 infants at the same time.

So many people are fans of John and Kate plus 8. Do you think they could have afforded those sextuplets without the t.v show? What do they do for a living? How many donations did they receive? Who paid for their big fancy car?

We got pregnant the first time while we renting a home- both working full time with benefits... could we afford Leo? Did we have a savings? Nope. We wanted a baby- we wanted a family. We paid for the "donor" and medical crap with credit cards- No cheap date for us! We were selfish.

I'll gladly pay my taxes for families and children in need, education and social services. It's my life, though- I'm a bit biased. And as far as college- Yeah, I'll pay for that too. How do you survive on minimum wage jobs?

I'll also pay for mandatory sterilization for parents who have had their parental rights terminated in a court of law- yeah, that's right you heard me. I would. If you fuck up that bad- you don't get a second chance to biologically parent another- However if you've straightened up feel free to become a foster parent where you can parent a child in need... but, I digress from the issue at hand.

I agree with K.'s first paragraph. And I agree, parenting is a privilege. Who says we get to decide if this mother of 14 should be denied that privilege? And why?


I believe I said parenting is a privilage more than once during this thread...yes?
Tricia.... please re read what I said about you and Kari. I love and respect you and Kari SOOOOOOOOOO much
back to me as that is all that I know....
YES!! Lots of us are fans of John and Kate plus 8. And yes they make money from it. SO WHAT??? I applaud them. The difference once again is that they were good on their own and then the media found them.... there was never a website begging for money.... cash, check or credit.
I will happily pay for sterilization for parents who have had their rights terminated.

Feb 5, 2009


I'd like to think and believe that I see no color. Dismiss color, dress, hair as extra's- not part of the equation- not part of my beliefs.

How can it not be?

In discussing Obama's election, Lincoln's birthday around the dinner table, Abe again, mentions how he would have been a slave because the color of his skin. While his heritage is part Mexican and not African, is he wrong? He is dark- darker than most Caucasians. Is there information out there about Mexicans being slaves at the same time as Africans. Would my 3 daughters and 1 son be considered sub-human, to be bought and sold, slaves? Were Asians included in the mix? I have no clue.

That Abe even has the thought in his head that he might have been a slave had he been born at another time strikes me. Slavery legally ended in 1865... That he, as a 6 year old, cannot have a true concept of time and that maybe 150 years ago might seem like a few days before he was born to him. How does he process that information? What does that feel like growing up knowing, believing that to be part of your history?

As a young white girl, learning about slavery, it was something I learned and dismissed with other pieces of historical information. It had no direct bearing for me- my ancestors weren't even in America during the time of slavery... The fact that the celebration around Obama's election makes me sad (that it is even an issue...) is that condescending towards Black/ African American people? That hearing the interview on NPR, where several people uttered their fears of Obama being killed because he is black, before he had a chance to take The Oath surprised me...

How do I confront those thoughts? How do I know if my words offend? My biased white girl outlook...

Jan 31, 2009

Superbowl Party

The kids and I decided to have a bit of a superbowl party- just the family, a few bags of chips- We're actually going to put food on the coffee table! We don't watch football, usually- just a fun thing to do.

To get out of cooking dinner, I figured we'd snack on some pigs in a blanket too- plus it works for football- Pigs... footballs are made of pigskin- or so the story goes. So I tell the kids.

Lemonade, chips and dip, pigs in a blanket- because footballs are made of pigskin- The kids are excited, a party- whoo hooo!

Gus is telling Käri all about it this morning and what we're going to eat.

Käri asks "pigs in a blanket, huh- why's that"

Gus "cuz you know...all football players are pigs- mama said".


Jan 29, 2009

Story People

"I don't want another opportunity to learn & grow, she said. I just want to eat crackers & watch Oprah & pet my

Some days are just like that- no room for anything more.

I don't actually watch Oprah- and my cat is mostly outdoors, and prefers solace to people- so while it doesn't actually apply to my real life, it is totally applicable.

Go visit Story People- great art, great artist! I like to think we discovered him before he got famous- but I'm not really sure about that. We have one of his sculptures that was bought many years ago...

I wasn't paid or anything to post this (puhlease!)- I just love his stuff.

Jan 24, 2009

Redemption Song

I found this on facebook... I thought mine turned out pretty funny!

What does your music library say about you?
1. Put Your iTunes on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Tag at least 10 friends

What do your friends think of you?
Two People Fell in Love {really?}
Brad Paisley

If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
Cowboy Take Me Away{sometimes}
Dixie Chicks

How would you describe yourself?
Evergreen {I suppose this is better than decidous}
Barbara Striesand

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Lubbock or Leave It
Dixie Chicks

How do you feel today?
Baby Hold On
Dixie Chicks

What is your life’s purpose?
Ghost {Okay this is just freaky.}
Indigo Girls

What is your motto?
Devil Went Down To Georgia {I'm always the devil.., it's true!}
Tritt and Cash

What do you think about very often?
If You Want To
Melissa Etheridge

What do you think of your best friend?
Mahna Mahna
The Muppets

What do you think of the person you like?
Father Figure {laughing..}
George Michael

What is your life story?
Moon River
Frank Sinatra

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Some Enchanted Evening {Perhaps refer to the singer instead of the song title.}
Rosemary Clooney

What do you think of when you see the person you like/love?
These Boots Are Made For Walking {Forward, backward...?}
Indigo Girls

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Happy Home {Not sure of the lyrics, but seems appropriate to me.}
Antigone Rising

What will they play at your funeral?
Low { Okay... why not?}
Flo Rida

What is your hobby/interest?
Like A Virgin {Laughing...}

What is your biggest fear?
The Long Way Home
Norah Jones

What is your biggest secret?
I Need A Lover {Eh, who doesn't? No strings attached? Just sex whenever you want it...?}
John Cougar Mellancamp

What do you think of your friends?
Turn Me On {Not really, sheesh!}
Norah Jones

What will you post this as?
Redemption Song {I'd have to say I prefer Bob Marley's version}
Indigo Girls

Jan 15, 2009

2 Randoms

You know what's terrifying?

The idea that I could be killed in a car accident, or some other sudden accident, and have no idea what happens next.

Why do young children undress every doll or stuffed animal they have?

Jan 12, 2009

this evening

nostalgic, melancholy

in love, lucky

in debt, with a roof over my head

food on the table, noise

laughter, discipline

yelling, hugs


Jan 11, 2009

Casual Conversation

Mia- Well, mama, what if aliens landed here now and they were bad guys and they wanted us to be aliens too, what would you do?

Me- I'd say Hello.

Mia- Mama...?? But if they were bad guys...???? Could they really come? Could they breathe our air?

Me- How do you know I'm not an alien? Maybe the aliens came down and took your mama away and I'm just an alien who looks like your mama? maybe you are an alien...???

Mia- ...they take my real mom...?

Me- what, what do you mean your real mom?

Mia- you know, ________.

Me- Uh, no she's not your real mom, Mia, she's not your real mom, she's your birth mom- that doesn't make her your real mom. What am I your fake mom?

Mia- But she's my real mom.

Me- She gave you life, she gave birth to you. That doesn't make her your real mom. Mommy and I were the ones that took care of you, took you to the doctor, feed you, clothe you, love you- we're the moms you get mad at, the moms who are proud of you, who give you consequences and try to help you make good choices- we are your mom's.

Mia- But she ate those drugs and then she couldn't take care of me and do all those things 'cuz the drugs made her brain all mixed up and she didn't make good choices.

Me- Yes...and she made the choice to take the drugs, no one made her take them.

Mia- Ohhhhhh...

While I'm pruning the rose bushes... very casual and frivolous.

Jan 10, 2009

Too Nice??

Maybe I'm too fucking nice!

How's that for the opening statement after a long hiatus? I was planning a statement about how nice and relaxing the winter break was (notice how I don't say Christmas break- very p.c. of me- I get credit for that- although, maybe it's just another example of being too fucking nice...

So I'm at the store with two 2 year olds, the baby in a sling, my hands full with a bag and a bottle of water, we go to leave and I am closely followed by a slender woman dressed in a slinky dress, heels, full make up, picking up an order - I assume for workmates. I reach the door and usher the two year olds through, she's called back to the register for her receipt, I pause at the door holding it open for her, remaining there even though she has to make a u-turn to get back to me- she has her hands full and it's also the polite thing to do, right, courteous? I keep an eye on the girls, just outside the door- She approaches the door, doesn't even glance at me as I stand there holding the door a smile on my face, while I wait for the eye contact, the nod and the "thanks" as she cruises through the door- not a look at me! She lifts her sunglasses to her face, peering out to the parking lot as she searches for her car, and that's it.

Not a glance in my direction. Truly, I am speechless.

I often will say "you're welcome" to folks as they pass through- not this time. I'm just speechless. Are my expectations for a nod, an acknowledgment, a thanks, too much? She's a well dressed working woman, slender, pretty... is it that I'm a slouchy stay at home mom, short hair, jeans, babies... Or is she just a bitch? Perhaps she was having a bad day- barely making it through- Maybe she had just received news that her favorite great uncle had just died... Whatever???

Then, I leave the store and make my way to school driving down the the thoroughfair part highway, part street. I see a woman on the corner- it's cold out, she attempts to step off the sidewalk, then retreats- she's waiting to cross... As I approach, I stop to allow her to cross the street. Cars to my left continue to come barreling down the road, not stopping. I shake my head eye the traffic, she shakes her head back and forth as well. I assume she's as frustrated as I am at the lack of consideration, lack of attention to the law, that states pedestrians have the right of way. The traffic finally slows I gesture to her that it's clear. She looks at me, I smile and wave again- She screams "WHATTHE FUCK ARE YOU DOING LADY, I DON'T NEED YOUR GODAMN HELP TO CROSS THE STREET!"

Next time I'll just run her down....

I just looked at my last post- guess I need to focus a bit of energy on the positive, eh?