Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

Posts Tagged "writing"

A Little Marketing Humor

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 in Featured, Silly |

A Little Marketing Humor
Salt and Pepper

Salt and Pepper

Angelina might be Salt, but I am pepper. La Gringa and I had a lot of fun playing around with the image and we laughed ourselves silly. We’re dorks, but we like it. You can see it live here: http://www.whoispepper.com

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Stop and Go

Posted on May 5, 2010 in Family, Friends, Rants and Raves, Featured |

Stop and Go

All hell has been breaking loose for a few months now. As most of you know from my posts at SV Moms, I’m pretty open about most of my life and it’s awesomeness and even crappiness, at times, but not this. This is just personal and hard.

Every morning for four months, I wake up  wondering how, and if, my mom will wake up today.  My mom is really fucking sick. And, truth be told, she really is the only thing that matters to me minute-to-minute right now. My life is on automatic-pilot. I get done what I have to get done and go where I should and do what I should at the bare minimum I can do it. Everything is stopped.

My mom doesn’t have a disease you’ve ever heard of and there aren’t really any cool races you can do to donate money for a cure. There’s not a t-shirt or a fund, there isn’t a sparkly skirt to wear in her honor.  It’s not cancer where everyone knows someone who has it. It’s a lonely, mean, shithouse disease called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating PolyNeuropathy,  an unpredictable disease that attacks the body at-will. One day you might walk, the next, you are bound to a wheelchair. For hell’s sake, she was *just* dancing at my brother’s wedding six months ago.

Everything in our world has come to a stopping point. That is, until last weekend.

Last weekend I joined a group of 12 mom bloggers for a 200-mile run from Napa Valley to Santa Cruz. We’re not talking diapers-and-cheerios-type moms, we’re talking serious female writers who are on the forefront of a leading influential industry. As exciting as the run sounded,  by the time I made it to the team dinner, I was convinced that I’d made a huge mistake. I truly didn’t feel it was wise to leave my family. It’s just not a good time.

We left for Napa in the wee hours of the morning, and by the time @la_gringa set off for the first leg of our two-day journey, I understood that it wasn’t only a good time to be doing this race, it was The Time to be doing this race. It hit me that the Universe had given me these specific women, during this specific weekend, for a specific reason: they were here to let me GO.

And Go, I did. I ran four legs totalling 17.2 miles in 30-something hours at a pace of about 9:50. Every time I’d hop back in the van, I wanted to hug every single team member. They didn’t know the immense gifts they were giving me by the moment. They teased me about my runner’s high — every tree, person, view from the third row of the GMC van was more beautiful than the next. But, it wasn’t the endorphins at all, it was the joy of being in-motion. I’ve done a lot of racing in my time, every po-dunk 5k, four marathons, a haphazard 31-miler and dozens of 1/2 marathons. Each race comes with something special, but this one was different, it wasn’t a race I ran, instead, it was a freedom to run when my mom cannot walk. A freedom to GO when my whole world is STOPPED.

I’ve been home from the race for two days. Mom was admitted to the hospital this morning. She’s not well. It’s not good. As I pack up to head over to the hospital for the umpteenth time this afternoon, I take with me new gifts of GO. From my Heather, the ability to laugh through this; from Marie the excitement of working things out; from Christine the ability to steadily put one foot in front of the other to get to tomorrow; from Linsey the wisdom to walk, not run the toughest of hills; from Jane the subtle ability to stay-the-course even on the windy road; from Van 2, that lying under the stars can inspire; and from my dear @la_gringa the reminder to put my shoulders back (or in, as the case might be) and keep GOing.

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Read My Posts at SV MOMs

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 in Rants |

Come follow my posts on Silicon Valley Mom Blog

I write about twice a month. There’s some great writing on this site with some wonderful insight from terrific parents.

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My Baby Daddy is a Number

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 in Family and Friends, Featured |

My Baby Daddy is a Number

Some people make love to make a baby, I made an Internet purchase.

I must have been 10 or so when I knew what I wanted to do with my life: I wanted to be a mother. It was all I’ve ever really wanted to be. There was no career, life experience or world travel that could compare to the need. Motherhood was always my destiny. And as life would have it, I was faced with making my own destiny happen.

I decided in my mid-twenties, that by the time  I turned 30, I’d be a parent. I figured if I wasn’t married, I’d hook up with a hot guy in a bar and wham-bam-thank-you-ma’m, imakeababy. Not so easy. Somewhere along the way a  friend of mine offered his “goods” and I told him I’d let him know if I’d ever need them. When I turned 31, a year past my goal date, I asked him to donate sperm. He broke my heart when he told me no, since he had been diagnosed HIV Positive. After a soul-searching trip to Mexico, I came back with a new plan: I would find a sperm donor. I would be inseminated. I would have a child. And that is exactly what I did.

First on my list was getting rip-roaring drunk. I spent New Year’s Eve so lit, singing “Proud Mary” on my rented karaoke machine for hours on-end. When I couldn’t handle Tina Turner anymore, I switched to “Amazing Grace.” I had wanted one last hurrah before delving into the point-of-no-return of motherhood. You can imagine how I felt the next day, January 1, 2002. That was the day  I vowed to spend a year focusing on keeping my body very healthy including a ton of organic, fresh food, limited alcohol and moderate exercise. I got my privates checked out by a great OBGYN.  I took my BBT temperature every.single.day and logged it. I took prenatal vitamins but refused any kind of fertility drugs.  I parallel processed all of this with a year of research. I wanted to know just how f-ed up my child was going to be from choosing to have a kid with a test tube. I read everything I could get my hands on, including reports from the Journal of Pediatric Medicine, excerpts from the Journal of American Psychology, researching the ramifications of anonymous sperm donors versus known donors (kinda self-explanatory) and anything else that I could find.Bottom line: Sperm donor kids were just as well-off across the board as their “normal” counterparts.

My second step was to find a donor. Over 30,000 children are born each year from anonymous sperm donors. I narrowed my search by picking the best tissue bank clinic in the US. I was not going to mess around with quality here. Then I started narrowing down what kind of person I’d want to father my children. Not what kind of father I wanted my children to have, but rather what kind of genes I wanted my child to have.  I wasn’t married to this person, I was breeding with this person. I guess I know how horse racing legend Seattle Slew’s breeders must have felt. Well, at least that horse got some action when conceiving…

I had priorities. I wanted a donor that was tall, since height isn’t a great hereditary trait in our family. I wanted someone with a squeaky clean family medical background. I wanted him to be smokin’ hot, but I was willing to sacrifice that for someone who was educated. In the end, I’d read hundreds of donor profiles. When I found the donor on a random Tuesday night — 11 months, two weeks later — I knew it instantly. Maybe it was that he liked spicy food and travel. Or it could have been the curve of his writing on a downloaded PDF file. No matter. I ordered the goods immediately. By Saturday morning, I was pregnant with twins.

My children are 6-years-old now. They know a very special man helped mommy have babies. They know, they know that mommy wanted them so much that I went to a doctor to help me have them. My children know that most families come with a mommy and a daddy. My children know that all questions about their conception are answered. They know mommy will never lie to them about where they come from. Somehow transparency makes the whole topic a lot less interesting to them. I know they’re going to have lots more questions as time goes on. They might want to contact the donor since about 1 in 3 children of anonymous sperm donors express that interest. I’m ready for it if they do.

As for me, I pray every single day for the dude with the “goods.” I know that donating sperm helped pay his student loans or rent and nothing more. Wherever he is, I hope he is happy. Whatever his dreams, I hope they came true. He gave me my greatest dream come true. I can only wish the same in return.

Original post to SV Moms.


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This One’s for Me

Posted on May 26, 2009 in Family, Friends, Rants and Raves |

I’ve thought a lot about writing in the past couple months — what to say, how to say it. Can I be cheeky when life is just shit? There are kids dying in Afghanistan, what’s a little knee issue, for god sake?

For two decades, writing’s been the thing, the way. It started with a diary that I didn’t want to lock, because I wanted it to be read. I wrote for money too — everything from incontinence issues for a home health care magazine to big splashy front cover articles of a leading mag. I learned to move writing from Me writing to You writing. Blogging is the former: 3 Garzas & La Gringa is Me writing, take it or not.

Somewhere in between drug hazes, physical therapy rants and small kidlet updates of the past two months, I realized, it must suck to be a reader right now. There’s really not much here.here unless you’re me. And then, it’s everything. It’s my diary that I intentionally left unlocked.

So there you have it. Me not you. And so I go onto my next post, narcissistic on-demand.


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Full Mind, Blank Page

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 in Family, Friends, Rants and Raves |

I’ve got a list of posts to write, a photo essay on the boundaries of our school district, the power of what a recession can do for our families, the benefits of Botox…

But somehow, with all this living of life, I’m just simply unable to write it right now. The dishes, they are in the sink like Groundhog Day every two hours and the floors have spots and the kids and the kids and the kids have needs. I can’t really write right now.


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