I just called my Angel Boy to wish him Happy Birthday as he was walked HIS Angel Boy to school just like I used to walk HIM to school, holding hands and chatting nonstop the whole way, a full circle moment.

I’m not seeing him today so I didn’t send a lot of gifts because they’ll be here soon and I like the idea of multiple celebration days plus I can bake his favorite strawberry cake roll with homemade ice cream.

Labor and Delivery:

After being in labor all night, I finally entered the stage called transition and it seemed as if things were finally moving along enough for me to push my baby into the world.

At that point, his big fat head got stuck. l tried and tried to push (in agonizing pain) but he wouldn’t budge. I asked the doc to use forceps which he was firmly against for all the right reasons and after a few more attempts, baby’s heart rate slowed.

Between contractions, I remember the doc very kindly tell me there was no other alternative than a C-section, not for my health, but for my precious child’s.

I couldn’t stop crying. This whole experience had turned into a nightmare, not the soft focus natural childbirth fantasy I had wished for, a quiet delivery at home surrounded by my beloved animals welcoming this new human into our family.

I hadn’t prepared myself for any other ending to my story. I had lost all control.

The safety and health of this child I had loved and grown for nine-plus months was paramount. Like I said before, it would never again be all about me.

I remember my mom doing her extremely patient nursey thing with me, but at the same time, she knew more than anyone how every single dip in heart rate was compromising my baby, and I was finally persuaded to have the emergency C-section.

I’ll never forget the feeling of failure as they prepped me and injected the saddle block with the promise that it wouldn’t interfere with nursing, and they were giving me only enough to pull out my still stuck baby. I was awake and could see everything as it happened.

At 9:52 a.m. on March 23, I was finally able to meet my healthy Angel Boy. At 8.5 pounds, it was obvious that he was too big to have been delivered any other way and it’s true that the anesthetic wore off as I was being sutured which was painful on a scale I couldn’t imagine, but I refused additional anesthetic.

I can honestly say that it felt like someone cut out my heart and placed it on my chest. I was born too that day, as a mom.

Like I told him at his 21st birthday party (in front of all of his friends and to his extreme embarrassment) I have loved every single breath he’s taken and that’s 100% true.

Happy Birthday to the original curly haired Angel Boy! (No matter how he got here.)

One Year Older…

Happy Birthday to all May babies (and ME ME ME ME)

I’m reminded of my Hello Kitty birthday three years ago that was AMAZING and so much fun.

Hello Kitty is My Soul Sister…

No Hello Kitty this year, no special plans — my life has undergone a planetary shift of gigantic proportions, but I’ll try to find a level of JOY, because why NOT?

Reasons to be happy:
1. I’m alive
2. I’m breathing
3  My new grandson is healthy and amazing
4. Birds are singing
5. The garden is thriving

Sometimes it’s the little things that mean everything.


the birthday that might not have been

Like most moms (and dads, of course) I never thought to prepare myself for what it would feel like to lose a child.

I’m not talking about losing him in the mall or losing him in a crowd; I mean to lose him forever.

We were so immersed in the business of living that it never occurred to me that anything life threatening might happen to my Angel Boy.

Health and fitness has always been a priority.

I made his baby food, did all the recommended baby exercises, and as soon as he could, we walked every day; no sitting in front of a television for us…

This was a typical school day at Casa de Enchanted Seashells:

I woke up at 6:15 a.m. to make a hot and nutritious breakfast for my little guy. I’d wake him at 6:30 with a kiss and and a song —  “New day, time to wake up!”  At 7:30, we’d leave the house to walk our dog for about thirty minutes, chat about the day, and practice spelling or math as we made our way to his school for the first bell at 8:00.

I figured if I did everything in my power to build a healthy and strong human, he’d be that way forever.

Do I even need to state the obvious that he was (is) my entire world? 

I never thought of how dreadfully painful it must be to look at the calendar every year and know that your child’s birthday — the date of his birth–is approaching and all you have is a memory.

I  honestly can’t imagine the pain.

How does anyone survive that kind of loss?

At 9:52 on March 23, 1981, my most amazing boy child was born.

Since then, I’ve cherished every breath he inhales as much as the first one.

April 29, 2014 might have been the date of his last breath.

It doesn’t matter where I am; even when I’m asleep — in my dreams, I’m transported back to the hospital.

That feeling of helplessness — In the surgical waiting room and then (with DIL)  the ten days of twenty-four hour round-the-clock bedside vigil.

For vigil it what it was…

…not taking one single deep breath for months, actually.

On that day, that dark day, those dark days, none of us were sure we’d be celebrating anything ever again.

My mind replays that what if tape all the time, even though the nightmare is over. Really over.

Only now, almost a year later, I think I can finally


That’s why this birthday is a very happy one.

He runs, he bikes, he camps, he hikes, he surfs.


Life. Is. Good. 

(My heart goes out to families who don’t make it to the other side. For me, the door opened just a crack, and I experienced a mere glimpse into that world, and it’s impossible to imagine being able to ever smile again.)

♥ ♥ ♥ On a happier note, what does an ‪#‎emptynest‬ mom do when she can’t be there in person to bake her Angel Boy’s birthday cake?

She finds a a vegan bakery in New Jersey, Bear Hug Bakery, and commissions a cake to be delivered to his office today at ‪#‎Rutgers‬.

One layer of vanilla cake, one layer of chocolate, raspberry cream filling, and covered in ganache. YUM!!!

Mom Tip #276…it’s never too late to embarrass your child.

Happy 34th Birthday, Angel Boy!!



1. That Dreaded Call at 3:00 A.M.

2. Time To Exhale

3. Full Circle From Hell to Happiness

4. What Does a Cosmo, the Trauma, Unit, and Mother’s Day Have in Common