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You have this day.

Updated: 2014-10-02T22:15:32.442-07:00


random photos


I haven't posted in a REALLY long time (almost a year!) but I wanted to share some photos...

Jakey and I - this has been my favorite sling for years now...

Seth and Sara at Christmastime...

Jake opens his favorite birthday gift - a jar of sprinkles!

Seth, spring 2007


Seth climbed high up inside our hedge and popped his head out, silly boy!


He lost one of his front teeth today, so his smile looks really different, I have to get a picture of that before the new one grows in.

Here he is at the skate park, he does some amazing things on that skateboard...



young kids



Sara and Jake on Mother's Day. I feel so blessed to share my life with these precious children.



Today, Mother's Day, I stood at Grant Park with several other women at 1pm for 5 minutes of silence.


We are standing for the world's children and grandchildren, and for the seven generations beyond them.
We dream of a world where all of our children have safe drinking water, clean air to breathe, and enough food to eat.
A world where they have access to basic healthcare to nurture their growing bodies.
A world where they have a warm, safe and loving place to call home.
A world where they don't live in fear of violence in their home, in their neighborhood, in their school, in their world.
This is the world of which we dream.
This is the cause of which we stand.

Brownie's Birthday


Sara has a favorite stuffed animal friend, and has for many years, he is a brown dog (much like our own non-stuffed chocolate lab) and his name is Brownie. Sara announced that Brownie's birthday was coming up and that it was important to her that we celebrate it. Apparently, his favorite treat is a root beer float (which Sara had never before tried) so on the day of his birthday we bought the ingredients for the floats, and did some decorating for his after-dinner party. Brownie sat at the head of the table, and received a card from Sara and we all sang to him on his special day.





Here are a couple pics of Jake, 2 years old - in the back of Michael's truck...



more about Seth



Seth's favorite place lately seems to be on top of my car. Michael worries that the car will be damaged in some way, but I don't think so...and he has SUCH fun. Seth loves to skateboard, bike, and do gymnastics, and he is learning new tricks everyday on his pogo stick. He has been asking to get his ear pierced for a long time, and so the other day, Michael took him to Optic Nerve Arts, an awesome tattoo/piercing studio on Alberta and here is the result - he is very happy with it, and I think it looks awesome.




Seth and his friend do some special fighting for the camera...
we are so blessed to have friends like Oscar, who "sparkle"!



I am really LOVING parenting my 15 year old son, Morgan. He's just great, and of course I know it's not because of me, but I'd like to think that mindful, respectful parenting has helped - it's our connection that I cherish - we actually like hanging out together.

Save the bees!


REPORTS OF COLONY COLLASPE DISORDER, WHERE ALL THE BEES IN A HIVE DISAPPEAR, STARTED SURFACING IN LATE 2006 IN THE EASTERN US. The disorder is now in 24 states. Without pollination we could be in real trouble in the future, those tiny little creatures are very vital for the food cycle.

our recent trip to Hawaii


Thought I would share a couple of my favorite photos from our recent trip to Hawaii. We stayed at our favorite place on Kauai, North Country Farms and had the Orchard Cottage this time (as our family is larger since we went three years ago!). We picked fruit and veggies from the garden and drove 5 minutes to the beach and health food store. Jakey did great on the flights (I was a little worried about that, being the spirited toddler that he is!).

we made brownies



We had a great time today making brownies. I'm not really a person who cooks, let alone bakes, but unlike Sara and Jakey, I can read. The kids of course loved licking the spoons and bowl the most!


Peace Rally and March



Today, on the 4th anniversary of the sensless war on Iraq, we attended a peace rally and march downtown. It was inspiring to see so many people (who share our desire for peace) out walking the streets of downtown.

The Births of Seth, Sara, and Jakey


I was pregnant with my 2nd child as my father was dying of cancer, and I was planning my first homebirth. We were living in a rental house on NE 33rd, across from Grant Park, and I was doing childcare for a living. This was to be the first child of my husband, and my son was 7 years old. We found wonderful midwives, and were excited for our baby despite the stress of dealing with my father's progressing illness.I was 41 weeks pregnant, and my SIL came to town with her two year old (to help care for my son during labor), we went out to dinner at Old Wives Tales and as we were leaving, I had my first contraction. Then, as I stepped out of the car to go into my house, my water broke. Excited, I went upstairs to change out of my wet pants, and there was the mucus plug, and then I had diarrhea. I called my midwives, but told them not to hurry (I ALWAYS worry that midwives will be sitting around waiting and I will be inconveniencing them!) and I walked up and down my stairs for about an SIL left to a hotel with my son (having OCD, he opted not to be home for the birth, and my husband was clear that he wanted it to be "just us" anyway) and my midwives arrived. I lit candles, put on music, showered, and got into the birth tub and labored with my dh behind me, and after about 10-12 contractions I just wanted to be out of the tub (I was too hot), so I got out and onto my bed, but that wasn't feeling good either, even though I was actively pushing by this time. So I sat on the birth stool and things happened very fast, the head was out, I was panting, and then the chest and body, wow, relief! And then my husband was crying, and I asked what the gender was, and my midwife said "I think I saw balls" and indeed he was a boy, Seth Obsidian, 9 lbs., 2oz. at 2:09am on August 14th, 1999, after 3-4 hours of labor total, and I was so happy not to have torn at all. I felt great, like I could go out for a hike right then. Instead I took a shower and snuggled in bed with my baby and husband. This was such a healing experience for me, the perfect homebirth, after my history of sexual abuse, c-section, and hospital birth trauma, I NEEDED this birth. Only 5 days after my baby was born my father died, the last of my living relatives, and I became an orphan at 28 years old. When Seth was only 10 days old we flew down to LA for the memorial and started the long process of going through my dad's house and posessions, and grieving, I'm so very sad that my dad never got to see the baby, or the next two....We moved to Ojai, CA when I was pregnant with my third child, and had no idea that we'd have to go "underground" to have a homebirth...because of my prior c-section I wasn't "allowed" to have a homebirth in California, but we found a midwife who was willing to take us, secretly. Even though I had already had a hospital VBAC AND a homebirth ("proving my uterine scar) they still wanted me to birth in a hospital with continuos IV, monitoring, etc. At almost 43 weeks gestation, and after countless unsuccessful attempts to induce labor, I decided to stop obsessing on the birth, and clean my house instead...I started having contractions while doing the dishes and called the midwife but told her not to rush and then started having REALLY strong contractions, told my husband to fill the tub, the things happened really fast - got in the shower, water broke, baby dropped with a "thunk", I got out of the shower because I thought I needed to poo, made it to the toilet, felt the baby crowning, YELLED for my husband to bring the birth stool and a chux pad, he rushed in and I made it over to the stool with his help and the baby came out, without even one push, right into his hands and he lifted he[...]

The birth of Makenna


When my son was almost 2 years old, I met some of the most lovely people in the world. Ken and Kathleen had just lost their son, who they had adopted 6 months earlier, back to his birthparents. They were devastated, to say the least, as they had gone through 12 years of heartbreaking infertility treatment prior to the adoption. I decided to be a gestational (not using my own eggs) surrogate carrier for them and we started the long process of finding an egg donor, signing legal agreements, counseling, and then, IVF/embryo transfer and I got to find out a little of what it's like (physically) to go through infertility. As they synced up the egg-donor's cycle with mine, we went in for the embryo transfers (with Kathleen holding my hand), and twice, nothing happened. On the third round, they de-frosted 6 of Ken and Kathleen's frozen embryos, hoping that 4 would survive the process (with a 25% chance of each one implanting, they were putting in 4 at a time) and all 6 survived the de-frosting, so they put in 6! Well, that was the time I got pregnant! After 12 more weeks of daily progestorone shots and several vaginal ultrasounds, and other high-tech managment, I was finally released to an OB and I was determined to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after ceasarean), having read lots about birth and c-section recovery by that time. Ken and Kathleen were thrilled to be having their own baby (that nobody could take away!), and we all took hospital birth classes together, survived an earthquake (they helped us move due to the Northridge Earthquake when I was 7 months pregnant), and Kathleen and i talked on the phone daily and became very close friends. She went to every OB appointment and we had an amniocentesis (their egg donor was over 35) and found out I was carrying a girl. Well, I went to 41 weeks, they did an ultrasound and determined that my fluid was low, and I was sent to the hospital to be induced that day. I was so happy, and it was like a party, my son Morgan was 2 years old and he was there (with my ex) the whole time, and Ken and Kathleen were with me as I was hooked up to Pit and they broke my water and I started having contractions, the first I had ever felt in my life! Little did I know that those interventions were BAD, and that it's next to impossible to handle Pit contractions with only hospital class breathing techniques behind you, and after 4-5 hours of unbearbale pain, I got an epidural, then I had constant monitoring, and slept for a bit, and a few hours later I was ready to push, which was the craziest thing ever, in retrospect, pushing uphhill as I lay on my back, having been barely able to feel anything for hours prior. Finally my OB, knowing how determined I was to have a VBAC, vaccuum suctioned the baby out of me, and I tore terribly. But, Ken and Kathleen had their long awaited, healthy 9.5 lb. baby girl and they cried, and I cried, and I took videos of them holding her while I was being stitched up and it was so very magical. After a while I was wheeled to my room, where I could better care for my 2 year old, and we talked about the night and laughed and endless people came in and talked to me, making sure I knew what I was doing in signing the baby over (they really couldn't "get" that I wasn't a birthmother, that I had spent almost a year TRYING to get pregnant with THEIR baby, who wasn't even related to me!) and I asked to go home that morning (baby was born at 7:30am) and they made me wait until the afternoon, but I did go home (with terrible bottom pain for weeks!) and Ken and Kathleen took their baby home the same day and we talked later that evening on the phone. I was so happy to have a cigarette (I hadn't smoke[...]

The birth of Morgan


Morgan James was born in December, after a difficult pregnancy. I was 20 years old, and scared, but elated to be pregnant. I was married and working full time to support myself and my musician (now ex) husband, while attending nursing school in the evenings. The pregnancy went smoothly, though getting medical insurance was impossible. After months of jumping through hoops trying to get prenatal care covered through the state, I finally just went to the county clinic for prenatal care, where they gave me a pap smear (at 28 weeks gestation) as I hadn't had one earlier in the pregnancy/year. They treated me rudely, asked if I had ever heard of birth control, and then left the (pinching) speculum inside me while they left the room for over 10 minutes. Later that night, when I woke up to pee, I noticed something dark on the toilet seat, so I turned on the light, and there was blood...bright red blood everywhere, all over the bathroom, all over me! I woke my husband (who didn't drive due to his anxiety issues) and drove myself to the closest hospital - they were reluctant to treat me without insurance, so I was sent to LA County hospital instead...turns out the pap smear had dilated my cervix and the cause of bleeding was the placenta (a marginal previa that would have likely resolved itself if not for the the pap smear). They sent me home that night, but the next day I started bleeding again while I was at work and I was terrified, and drove myself straight to the county hospital. They admitted me to the obstetrical ICU with a diagnosis of placenta previa (after several invasive vaginal ultrasounds) and I was put on bed rest, IV drugs to stop labor, and was prodded daily by teaching staff and insensitive doctors. That was November 15th and I stayed in the hospital through Thanksgiving, until December 5th, when I was finally released on bed rest and oral meds at home. Of course the financial and emotional stress was considerable, as I could no longer work and my ex-husband still did not get a job at that point, or even help wash the dishes. On December 23rd, as I got up from my bed to go to the bathroom, I started to hemorrhage again, so I went back to the hospital where I was given an emergency c-section very late at night, all alone (my ex-husband was totally high and too busy rehearsing for a gig when I called to let him know his baby was going to be born), and I was utterly terrified. I have never felt so alone in my life, my mom had died 6 years earlier and I called to her in my mind, to protect us. Then, I was so drugged that when they announced it was a boy, I was confused, I think I said something like "oh, wow, someone had a baby?" and then I remembered and I couldn't move and just wanted to see him. I asked questions, like "how much does he weigh?" and they laughed at me because I guess I was still sort of incoherent from the meds. After the surgery, in the recovery room, I was upset, I thrashed around and cried and wanted to see my baby and hold my baby, but they just pumped me up with more drugs to calm me. Morgan was born at 35 weeks gestation, weighing 5lbs. and 13oz., in the wee hours of December 24th, 1991. My little son was whisked off to the NICU, and I stayed awake for the next 11 hours, begging to see him, asking them to bring me to him or bring him to me. I was crying, yearning, and sinking into a deep depression and sense of disconnection. I asked for a picture of him, news of his health, anything - and hey kept telling me to sleep! When I finally was allowed to get out of bed, after 11 hours of separation, I was wheeled down to the NICU and had the surreal experience of seeing my child for the [...]

Welcome to my blog.


I've been wanting to do this for a long time, but just haven't. I hope this will help me keep in touch with family and friends and be fun for the kids too. I will start with my birth stories, because, why not?