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Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today at work I nonchalantly asked my co-worker what she had planned for Easter Sunday.

She responded by telling me that she had nothing planned because she doesn't "do all that". Keep in mind that she is Catholic so her response caught me off guard. The wanna-be journalist in me decided to delve a little deeper so I asked a few follow up questions. My co-worker elaborated further by explaining to me that while she celebrates the "Catholic part" of Easter (i.e. The Resurrection, Good Friday, etc), she refuses to participate in pagan portion of the holiday (i.e. Easter Eggs, egg hunts, Easter Bunny). So, I thought about it for a second and agreed because she is absolutely right. Some portions of the Easter holiday just don't make any damn sense.

I blame Hallmark. And Pagans. Oh, and let's throw in the chocolate companies for good measure. ;-)

Now I'm no expert, but after that conversation I have to agree that (for certain holidays) the lines between Chrisitanity and Paganism have been blurred together so much that it's hard to differentiate between the two. Like really, what the hell do eggs shooting out of a rabbit's ass have to do with Jesus? However, when I was younger I attended Easter egg hunts and begged my mom to spring the cash (no pun intended) so I could take jacked up pictures with the Easter Bunny. Thanks a lot Hallmark and chocolate companies for confusing me at an early age.

But...I don't blame chocolate too much because it's delicious. (Mmmmm....chocolate. Shh, don't tell Hallmark or the Pagans that my "blame finger" isn't pointed equally!)

But I digress, my coworker was trying to have a serious conversation with me, but let's face it...I can't hold a serious conversation very long. So, I proceeded to agree with her and brought up the fact that the... rabbit?... bunny?... rodent?...whatever the hell it wants to be called.... is the LEAST APPROPRIATE animal to represent the holiday. Isn't the rabbit the most promiscuous out of all of God's creatures?

Why did they (the Pagans, chocolate companies, Hallmark...whoever!) select the biggest whore in the animal kingdom to be Easter's "mascot"?! Oh, the irony.

After I made that declaration, my co-worker abandoned ship (so to speak) and the conversation changed from her sharing the Gospel with me to being focused on my crazy, random -- dare I say it-- perverted perception of the world. Life shouldn't be any other way. :-)Now, while there is a wealth of information about the origin of Easter traditions, Paganism, and Catholicism at my fingertips (readily available for linking), I'm way too lazy to educate the masses today. So please, take this post as PURE SATIRE and leave it at that.

In other news, I think my old blogging ways are making a comeback. Thank you 13,0000 feet!!! ;-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Top 10 Things I Learned After Skydiving...

So, I made it to blog another day. :)

Skydiving with my friend G and her son was -- hands down-- an absolutely, positively life altering event. It doesn't take much to describe what it physically felt like to jump out of the plane because I was so overcome in the emotion of it all. To put it simply, there is no stomach lurching (the kind you feel when you ride a roller coaster) and the scariest part is when you first jump out of the plane. After that, all I could feel was the wind blowing in my hair and the sensation of the contents of my heart spilling out around me.

It was absolutely liberating.

On my descent down, all I could think of was how short life is and how much we need to live each day like it was our last. And damn, I was LIVING it up there! I was also overcome with how desperately I missed my son and how wonderful it felt to be so close to him. I damn near cried at how beautiful it was to be so high up, but the rush was so invigorating that all I could feel was euphoria. I screamed I love you to the top of my lungs hoping that Ethan could hear me. 13,000 feet is the closest I'll ever get to heaven (for now) and that was the first time in 2 YEARS that I felt my baby's spirit within me. I blew kisses to not only Ethan, but to the cubs and John too. I knew my cubs would watch the video when I got home and even though it was just my little ass falling out of a plane, I knew that it would teach them something beautiful about life...despite the old school hip hop playing the background. I suppose I'll just leave that life lesson up to the cubs to interpret.

Ya know I gotta keep it gangsta. ;-P

I've overcome a lot of adversity in the 27 years I've been on this Earth. I feel like a new woman now that I've gone skydiving. The velocity knocked all of the stress out of me just like I hoped it would. Maybe this feeling is temporary, but if I can survive diving out of an airplane AND living a grief-stricken life, then feel like I conquer ALL! The sky is the limit and I've already been there. :) I would highly recommend skydiving to anyone and everyone at least once before they die. I've never felt so free in my entire life. :)

Without further ado, here are the....

Top 10 Things I Learned with My Skydiving Experience:

10. Lodi Parachute Center is the place to be for your first time! Get there early (when they open) to avoid waiting.
9. Dress in light layers and wear good shoes. Don't wear shorts 'cause you might have to slide when you land and no one wants a peepshow through your tattered, bloody clothing.
8. Getting the video and photos is a must! This might be your first and last time so you might as well, right? Don't be a cheapo. $175 isn't that bad at all. (P.S. Your hair will look horrible after.)
7. It really isn't necessary to read the waiver. If you're going to die, you're gonna die. So, just sign the damn thing and get on with it. I did.
6. If you're skinny enough and/or not expecting it, the propeller wind is strong enough to knock you over when you're walking up the stairs into the plane. *almost* happened to me.
5. Just when you think you're high enough to jump, you're still only 1/2 way there! The most nerve-wrecking part is the flight up. Keep your eyes open when you jump!
4. Be prepared for some rotations/flips while the diver gets you both into position. The maneuvering was totally unexpected and scared the crap out of me. Trust me, it's a lot scarier than it looks in the video! The fear on my face has been immortalized with the first picture they took.
3. Once you're settled into position, it's pure fun. Enjoy the ride. You'll be able to ignore the massive ear popping (from the altitude/speed) until the chute opens. Oh, and scream if you can't breathe.
2. If you have allergies, bring your own Claritin! I broke into a massive sneezing fit as we drifted down once the chute was open. It takes about 5 minutes to get down and the congestion was killing me. (Must have been the from ear popping 'cause it was so bad my ear started to squeak. Lol!) Anyway, I took some generic antihistamine that they gave me and promptly puked it out (1/2 dissolved) about an hour later. My "straight gangster card" was revoked for that one. ;-)
1. Skydiving is F*CKING. AWESOME. It physically kicks your arse (I was pooped), but it's sooooo worth it! Do it before you die.

Fear.Immortalized.Blowing Kisses to the Cubs...
Livin' Life to the Fullest...FOR REAL

If you want to see all the pics you can go here: Click Me

Here's the link to the video in case you can't see it embedded below:
Fourlittlelions Skydiving

P.S. Niki started walking on Saturday. This weekend was THEEEE BEST!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I'm going skydiving in a few hours and John is nervous. In fact, John is so nervous that he told me that it sucked that we couldn't have one last hoorah before I jumped out of the plane.

Like I was gonna die or something.

I'm on my period though so no "sexy time" for me. ;-) But don't get me wrong, I'm nervous too. Like, very nervous! However, this is also something that I've always wanted to do. I went bungee jumping in Manteca when I was in 8th grade. Actually, it was the summer before I started 8th grade so I was about 12 years old. Twelve!!!

True story.

I knew that I'd go skydiving someday. So when the opportunity arose and my coworker/friend G offered to accompany me this weekend (she has gone twice), I seized the opportunity. It's now or never. Perhaps I'm being too much of a risk taker, but I think that what I'm about to do is relatively low risk. Even though I probably shouldn't do this because I have three little ones who need me at home, I'm confident that everything will be just fine. God is watching over me.

It's not's skydiving.

I'm pretty sure that I'm going to live to blog another day. Besides, Ethan is watching out for me too. And I KNOW he wouldn't let anything horrible happen to his Mama. (And his Daddy & siblings for that matter.) I don't mean to sound cocky, but I am a firm believer that God pays a little more attention to our corner of the universe because of our "little advocate" in the sky. We've been through enough. On the flip side, if Ethan wants me to be with him -- and I actually AM going sky-die-ving in a few hours -- then that's okay with me too. Either way, I'll die a happy woman whether it's when I'm 95 years old or from jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Death comes when we least expect it.

Hopefully, that day WON'T be tomorrow though 'cause that would really suck.

Wish me luck!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


This past Monday was quite eventful.

Niki had her monthly check up with Dr. Awesome. As usual (Thank GOD!) her visit was uneventful. At this appointment we discussed Niki's port surgery and the recent INR/laboratory woes. It looks like her surgery is definitely going to happen in August when she turns 18 months. We don't know how much longer this Broviac is going to hold out especially since she keeps tugging at it. Port surgery is a MUST as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that I was supposed to re-enter the Rad Tech program in July.

So, with this latest development I had to rescind my re-entrance into school. John and I had a very lengthy discussion about my decision before I made the call to my Program Director. It was a very difficult decision to make (especially since I worked to hard to reach that educational threshold), but when push comes to shove Niki's health (and good health insurance) comes first. My employment situation hasn't changed (I'm still working full time) which means I would have similar issues getting ample accommodation to attend clinicals.

My education must be put on hiatus until Niki's condition is more stable.

It's a shame because I even held onto my books and self-studied, but school will always be there. If I'm having difficulty getting things to work out, there must be a good reason behind it. Or, at least that's what I've been telling myself to cheer me up. Nevertheless, I'm still very bummed that I can't finish what I've started.

Serves me right for doing things backwards.

I was feeling very low on Monday, but luckily I was supposed to meet with my friend K for Happy Hour. We've been best friends for over 20 years. I know that she can always cheer me up no matter how low I'm feeling. And as always, she delivered. She asked me to be her Maid of Honor for her destination wedding in Hawaii next year!!!!! I was very honored, buzzed, and teary all at the same time.

That was the best Monday I've ever had. :)

P.S. My awesome Monday was just followed by the most awesome Saturday...ever! I witnessed Niki's first steps at 10:00 this evening. She was standing on the bed and just started walking toward John. I can't wait for the "Future Kings" to see their baby sister walk. :)

The First Cub...

I lost my virginity to John 10 days before my 16th birthday.

I'm ever-so-slightly old school which means that I'm actually relieved that I'm marrying the guy that I "gave my flower" to. However, marrying your "flower taker" doesn't typically happen so, I say got lucky. Or...unlucky depending on how you see it. As a parent, I would be grossed out in absolute shock if I found out that my cubs were sexually active at such a young age. However, I will most definitely NOT be a hypocrite if they repeat the same mistake that I did.

I only knew John for six weeks and we had sex without protection for the first time.

Gawd, I was such a silly little girl! I got my period when I was fourteen so I barely hit puberty when I allowed John to gain access to my....pubic region. He could have been like Telly, from that movie Kids. And that is soooo not cool now that I think about it! To make things worse, John was a huge pervert (like most fifteen-year-old boys) so I felt like I had to be adventurous with my *ahem* intimate endeavors in order to impress him. Sad, isn't it?

So yeah, I hate to break it to you Mom & Pops ('cause I know you stalk me read my blog), but I was having lots of premarital sex with John behind your backs. You just found out sooner than I intended.

Eventually, all of that risk taking caught up with John and I because as it turned out, both of our reproductive organs worked just fine. I found out I was pregnant one week after my Senior prom. In the Taco Bell bathroom at Serramonte of all places! (Give me a break with the location okay?! There aren't too many places that a teenage girl will feel safe enough to take a pregnancy test.)

I was 17 years old -- pregnant -- with graduation and my 18th birthday looming ahead.

I never really wrote about our first cub until now. I've mentioned that pregnancy before, but this is the first time I really wrote about it. Well, on the internet anyway. But let me tell you, seeing those two pink lines gave me the biggest reality check of my teen aged life! We used protection (not consistently), but I suppose we never thought that I'd actually get pregnant. Besides, we had been together for almost 2 years and our birth control methods were essentially the same that entire time. I'll spare you all of the icky details, but I'm guessing we thought we were invincible.

What can I say? We were stupid teenagers.

When the "stork" decided to pay us a visit, I knew that abortion was simply not an option for me. I watched a teen pregnancy/pro-life film in CCD right before I got Confirmed (my Freshman year) and it stuck with me. In the film, the teen mother had the opportunity to talk to her would-be baby's spirit (that spirit somewhat resembled the orb from Ghostwriter by the way). But anyway, the teen girl ended up keeping her baby because she couldn't live the rest of her life knowing that she "played God" by aborting her baby....or something like that.

Either way, I knew that I didn't want to be responsible for taking my baby's life.

So yeah, 17 or not, I was going to keep the baby. Surprisingly enough, John was totally supportive with my decision. He didn't even ask me to have an abortion. After the initial fear subsided, he was even excited to become a father. He told his Mom before I told my own family. Well, actually he conned his little sister (who was about 5 at the time) into spilling the beans. He had her accompany us to my first OB appointment.

She "told" on us when we got home.

Once his Mom knew (and she was very gracious about the "bad news"), we honestly believed that everything was going to be perfect. We both had jobs and I just purchased my first car -- a brand new purple (I thought it was blue when I bought it) 2000 Dodge Neon. Oh, and let's not forget that we thought he had tons of experience with babies since he babysat his siblings from time to time. So, we thought we were totally prepared to be parents. (insert sarcasm here)

Clearly, this is a prime example of teenage stupidity at its finest.

Once we told his Mom, telling my Mom was the final hurdle that we had left. (Or so we thought.) My Dad and I weren't exactly on the best terms back then so I didn't give a sh*t about what he thought. (My bad, Pops.) But oh man, telling my Mother that I was having sex and got pregnant?! Bad news.

She always told me that I should save my "flower" for when I got married. ;-)

I remember that day vividly. I called my Mom at work to tell her that John and I needed to talk to her when she got home. She insisted that I tell her right then and there --over the phone. My Mom grew increasingly upset as I insisted to her that we would speak to her when she got home. I was going to stick to my guns until she angrily blurted out...

"You're not pregnant are you?!"

Well, I couldn't say no, right? So, I stayed quiet and she then proceeded to yell at me. And, she told me that I should have an abortion because I was too young to become a mother! All hell broke loose when she came home. She again insisted that I get rid of the baby.

Ah, the repercussions of having sex irresponsibly!

Although I could totally agree with her logic at the time, I stood my ground (despite breaking my mother's heart and damaging my reputation) and told her that I was going to keep the baby. To put it lightly, she was pissed. My mother and I were at odds for WEEKS. She even took my car away as punishment. (And rightfully so, I suppose.)

Meanwhile, stress was taking its toll on me and I wasn't eating right because my morning sickness was hitting me hard.

That horrendous morning sickness cost me my high school graduation. I was 5 minutes late to the last meeting for my Work Experience class (an elective) because I had to pull over to vomit. Well, because that class only allowed 3 absences or tardies for the entire semester, I ended up getting an automatic fail. There were no exceptions (even medical ones weren't allowed) because I signed a contract in order to take that class.

Even though I had a note from my OBGYN, several teachers petitioning for my graduation, and even going high as talking to the school board, the lack of support from the adult members of my family (my parents) meant that I didn't have enough clout to sway anyone into bending the rule. It was basically politics that kept me from graduating on time. My counselor later told me that the Work Experience teacher was bitter because she couldn't have children of her own. Whether I liked it or not, I was going to have to go to one month of "Senior Summer School" to make up my lost elective credits. To add more insult to injury, I was still forced to participate in graduation rehearsal even though I wasn't going to be allowed to walk across stage.

My high school diploma has a July date on it.

Even though I went through the double whammy of explaining to my family that I was pregnant AND wasn't going to graduate on stage, I was still happy. The baby was doing okay, my morning sickness was starting to subside, and I even had a due date -- January 14, 2001. We even had a name picked out: Dylan Cole. We had a very strong feeling that our cub was going to be a boy.

I lost the baby right before I officially reached my 12 week mark. It was June 2nd. (Of note: Ethan was born at 6:02. I think it was a sign.)

I had the most horrible cramps the night before I miscarried. I was over at John's house pretty late and I distinctly remember him rubbing my belly to make me feel better. I was told that cramping was normal so I didn't think anything of it. I went home that night and fell asleep in pain. There was blood everywhere when I woke up early that morning. My pain was even worse and I started crying like a lunatic when I realized what was happening.

That moment was so fucked up. I'll never forget it.

John and I spent hours in the Emergency Room waiting for the OB to tell me if the baby was alive. They gave me an IV to stop the contractions/pain and explained to me that there was no stopping a miscarriage once it starts. They performed an ultrasound and confirmed that the baby was gone.

Our first cub would have been 9 years old by now.

I was an emotional wreck after I lost the baby. I went through so much heartache in such a short amount of time that it really messed me up. Now, I wasn't graduating on time and I had no baby to look forward to. So, I got myself in all that trouble for nothing. It took several months for me to get over everything.

It was awful.

I was terrified of having another miscarriage when I got pregnant with Kevin 2 years later. The pain of losing my first baby made me extra cautious for all of my subsequent pregnancies. As time progressed and our family grew, I'm actually ashamed to admit that I somewhat forgot all about the heartache of losing that first cub. Then when Ethan passed away I "remembered" that he wasn't alone in Heaven after all. He had his big brother up there with him.

So really, I have TWO cubs waiting for me in the sky.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Totally Random Saturday...

This past Saturday consisted of total randomness. I participated in an art show that was sandwiched in between a trip to a "candy shoppe" and "sake bomb" central. See, told you it was random!

Onto the update...

My SIL turned 16 last week so her birthday party was just this past Saturday 3/20/10. It was a candy shoppe theme because --duh-- it was her "Sweet Sixteen". I did a lot of internet research to put this party together. The party was very budget friendly thanks to the blogosphere, tutorials on Martha Stewart, google, various dollar spots, and my 6th grade-induced obsession with gumdrops! I was dying to make a bridge or DNA instead of a candy wreath. Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

The mini cheesecakes were courtesy of my friend M (owner) of Tiny Treats. She also did Niki's party. Check her out here.

Unfortunately, I spent a majority of the party making some last minute touches on my piece for my friend's art benefit. So, my actual interaction with the "candy shoppe patrons" was limited. Contributing to the art show was very intimidating since the other participants were "real artists" with MFAs and everything. This of course meant that I experienced a heightened level of self-criticism when it came to my piece. It was totally nerve-wrecking to watch people stare and analyze my creation. (Which was really just Niki's tea tree with symbolic stuff added onto it.) I'm sooo NOT the artsy girl from She's All That. Nevertheless, it was an eye-opening experience and making the piece was very therapeutic. I even got a business card out of it. Not that I'm going to call the person or anything.;)

This was almost taller than me!

"Communion" at the "Sin Eater Cafe"

The dolphin woman/sin eater (it was kind of creepy looking, no?)

You can't really see it in the picture, but all of the art show attendees were pushed into "dream land" on a bed. Pretty creative, huh? We were enjoying the art show when I received a "random" text message. It was an invite to have cocktails with John's girl cousins and cousin-in-law! :) After having very little sleep/food/rest from the party/art show prep, that invitation couldn't have come at a better time. Even though she was probably exhausted from the party, my MIL was gracious enough to watch the cubs so I could unwind. She's a saint, I'm telling you. :) I was able to close my random day with a tons-o-fun over slew of sake bombs, good music, an unexpected trip on the GG Bridge, and a brief lock out from the house. I would have took pictures, but my phone died. Stole this pic from FB. (Thanks, Eener!)


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


**Okay, so I just went back to read my last blog entry and noticed tons of typos and omissions. How embarrassing! I fixed 'em, but please DO excuse my errors.**

Now, onto the update!

Our trip to Tahoe provided the most relaxation I've had in weeks. I was meaning to catch up on my long overdue Thank-You cards for Niki's party, but it was virtually impossible with the cubs constantly hounding me to play in the snow. It was so nice to spend time with my cubs and extended family. I hadn't been to the snow in YEARS, but I used to go snowboarding with John all the time until we got the 2nd ADDition to our family. This Mama has put snowboarding on hold for too long. John and I didn't partake in any adult winter activities so the cubs could enjoy the snow however, we're coming back ALONE before the season ends. Here are a "few" pictures as promised...


(Of note: Anthony asked me to take a picture of "the angel")

Icicle Mania...

The Boy Cubs/Future Kings...

The Sevens...

The Lion King...

A Day in the Life of the Lion Tamer...

The Four Little Lions...