Just a first time mom writing about the randomness of life and how being mom is full of laughter, tears, fears and happiness. Living it out one gray hair at a time.

January and Goodbyes

January has been a tough month for the Hollywood/music industry.

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I was greatly saddened by Mr. Bowie’s death. He was a pretty big part of my childhood and helped guide my influence on music. Besides his amazing contributions to music, I think I will always remember being a nine or ten year old girl watching him as the Goblin King in one of my favorite movies, The Labyrinth. 

He always kept his private life just that…private, which I hugely respect. That’s a really tough thing to do if you are in the public eye. 

He gave us such unique personas making us wonder if he was really apart of this world. 

His message, however, was much greater. Be yourself, whoever that is. Find it and embrace it.

Many say that his last album, Blackstar, was a parting gift to us all.

Perhaps. Whether it was meant to be a goodbye or not, he will surely be missed by many. 

 

Rickman

This man was truly one of my favorite actors. With his deep, bassy voice, he was easily recognized in any voice role he did. It was hard to mistake it. Now, I have never read or seen ANY Harry Potter books/movies (don’t judge me), so I won’t remember him as Professor Snape as many of you will.

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He always played a magnificent villain, or as he put it, “I don’t play villains. I play interesting people.” He played some interesting people indeed. I think one (although there are many) of my favorite roles he played was the voice of God in Kevin Smith’s Dogma. No one could have played that role better than Alan Rickman.

So, I just wanted to take the time to share some of my favorite roles of his. I guess you can call it a mini tribute. The world has lost a great talent.

Col. Brandon: Sense and Sensibility

Absalom: Alice in Wonderland

 

Sheriff or Nottingham: Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

 

The Voice of God/Metatron: Dogma

 

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Genevieve Goings: Singer, Producer, DJ and Positive Role Model for Kids

Okay, so this article I had written way back in, I think May (see it’s been so long that I can’t even remember) has been delayed…and delayed…and, well…delayed some more. I feel completely guilty for not having this published sooner. Thankfully, this lady I’m about to tell you about is so amazingly sweet, gracious and understanding. 

Since this article was written, there is another accomplishment I want to quickly let you guys in on. It’s Troy James: The Genevieve Goings Collection. This will be launching January 2016 according to her Facebook pages. Click on the link below to check out these snazzy bow ties, ties and more for your special little person!

http://www.troyjamesboys.com/genevieve-goings/picks.html

I also want to quickly mention that this girl is also getting married REALLY soon! Right around my own anniversary, November 12th (that’s my anniversary, not the wedding date for Genevieve…that I know of). Best wishes to the beautiful and happy couple!

And now…without further delay…the article!!!!!

Genevieve Goings: Singer, Producer, DJ and Positive Role Model for Kids

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If you’ve caught yourself singing “Let’s Take a Bath” or “Wipe Your Paws” from the short segments between Disney Junior shows, you can thank Genevieve Goings for singing those catchy little tunes that get stuck in your head. She is also half of Choo Choo Soul (which also appears between blocks on Disney Junior) and you may have caught her on Radio Disney as a DJ. Not only that, she is also the spokesperson for Disney’s “Give A Book, Get A Book” program, released her own children’s album entitled “Do You Know?” and was recently at the White House for the Easter Egg Roll where she read “Green Eggs and Ham” and turned pages for First Lady Michelle Obama as she read “Oh the Things You Can Do That Are Good For You”. She’s basically Super Woman in a conductor’s hat, or tie, depending on the day.

Genevieve has been in the music industry for 14 years. Both of her parents are musicians, she performed in the singing duo “Chemistry” in the Noble House Music Group, had an Electric-soul group called “Legato”,  sang with J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science and free-styled her way through various hip-hop circuits in the Bay Area (California), which is where she grew up. It wasn’t until she was recording a voice-over for a video game that a very special opportunity would arise and have Disney take notice. “I recorded a voice-over for a video game called ‘ToeJam & Earl III, Mission to Earth,’ and became friends with the creator of the game, Greg. Greg had the idea for Choo Choo Soul and together with the audio producer, Burke, we produced what is now still playing on Disney Junior! Disney Junior was called ‘Playhouse Disney’ at the time, and was a morning-block of programming on Disney Channel. After hearing our album, a room full of Disney executives and a classroom full of five-year-olds agreed that it could make it on T.V. The response was incredible after airing the first 5 videos, and Disney continued to produce new seasons of Choo Choo Soul.” Two years ago, Choo Choo Soul re-invisioned some old Disney classics, such as “Under the Sea” (which is my daughter’s favorite), “Bare Necessities” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. These songs can be found on the album Choo Choo Soul – Disney Favorites and the songs breathe a new energetic life into these classics.

Not only is she half of Choo Choo Soul, but she also has a solo children’s album out right now entitled “Do You Know?”. This album is full of high energy, thoughtful songs that involves everything a child deals with in their day to day lives. Genevieve states, “’Do You Know?’ Is a cool kid’s guide to growing up. Fundamentals like learning your phone number, sleeping in your own bed, and using your inside voice are topics that are covered in the soulful and catchy songs. I reached out to parents on Facebook and Twitter and asked what topics they would like songs about. A ‘Potty Song’ was the biggest request, so I wrote ‘Gotta Do My Business.’” These songs really speak to kids, they are relatable and fun and by reaching out to fans and parents, she really developed an album that kids can learn from as well as dance to. Also, with her wide range of musical influences; anywhere from soul and Motown to hip-hop to Broadway and anywhere in between, there is surely something for everyone on the album.

When asked why she decided to focus on children’s music, her answer was simple. “I truly
believe I was put on this planet to do this! It just clicked. I realized that there are plenty of singers out there, but this was my true calling, and where I shined the most. There was a space open for me in Children’s Entertainment and a need for me as well! The best part is the kids!! They are so precious, and so excited to learn, and sing, and imagine.” That attitude along with just pure love and compassion for her craft and the little people that listen to her music really shines through on every song she produces and sings. As a parent to a now six year old, it’s great to have my child admire someone who truly cares about what she puts out there into the universe. It’s all about finding positive role models for your child and Genevieve really encompasses that.

If music wasn’t enough for this talented lady, she is also a spokesperson for Disney’s “Give a Book, Get a Book” program which is a partnership between Disney Junior and First Book. “GABGAB donates a book to a child in need when a code is entered into the website. The code can be found on specially marked Disney products. Once you enter the code and choose where your book donation will go, you will get a free digital download to share with your family!” For more information on this wonderful program you can go to the link here (http://www.giveabookgetabook.com) and check it out. It’s a great way to give back to others.

Does your child listen to Radio Disney? Well, you may have heard Genevieve’s voice on there as well. She has recently become a DJ on the radio station. “I have always wanted to work in radio,” Genevieve states, “and I am so excited about this! On the free app, fans can listen to the radio any time. I host a continuous stream that loops and we update the stream regularly. We play music from Disney Junior, Classic Disney, and various Children’s artists, as well as have a story time. It’s a blast!”

So, with so many accomplishments so far in her life, what does she see for herself in the future? “I want to continue producing great Children’s Entertainment, whether it be me starring in it, or writing the content for other kids or actors to deliver. I want to produce a film as well as create a web series or other short-form production as well. I also will keep producing music for years to come!! I hope that my children inspire me even further (once I have them, that is!!).”

Genevieve Goings is such a largely talented individual and an amazing role model for kids! Like I said before, this girl is Super Woman!

If you would like more information on Genevieve, upcoming tour dates, or just to check out what she is up to next, check out these websites below.

www.gogenevievego.com

Http://Facebook.com/genevieve.goings

Http://Facebook.com/Choochoosoul

So…I’m Writing a Script

I LOVE movies! I love watching them. I love watching behind the scenes. The entire process, from conception to final product, makes the creative side of my brain dance.

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Once upon a time, I wrote a script, auditioned local actors, filmed it, made a trailer for it…then it all went by the wayside when family situations took precedence over creative life. Unfortunately, when life seemed to cool for a moment and I headed back to editing, it no longer held the same magic it once did. I was unhappy with a lot of things. The sound was horrible, my make-shift store looked something like a kindergartner would put together at playtime and one of my cameramen (whom I worked with at the time) didn’t line up shots like I wanted. It also doesn’t help that I can be a total perfectionist. The only thing that was great was the acting. So, after taking some time to consider my options, the best thing to do was just scrap the project. Inside, it killed me. It was my first BIG leap towards what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and there I was, throwing it all down the drain. 

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After that, it took a long while to get my brain back into writing another script. Now that my daughter is six and before another is on the way (if that happens), I was, surprisingly, struck with inspiration that I couldn’t ignore. That passion was back and it felt AMAZING! It was like visiting an old friend that I hadn’t seen in YEARS! What was surprising was that it was just as easy to sit down and write as it was when I was in my early 20’s. I thought mommy brain had taken all clear, steady concentration, but apparently I was wrong.

The script is mainly finished. Actually, it’s in its 3rd phase of revisions. I am truly happy with it. It’s adapted from an App game that I had been playing since July 2015. The game and the stories are addicting and it occurred to me that any of the stories would make a great movie! So, I started adapting my favorite story. Of course I am changing things here and there, making it my own, but keeping the main story-line. What’s funny is that I started imagining who I would want to play the main character and there was only one person that came to mind. After that, in a way, I started writing for that actor. In a lot of ways this actor’s intensity parallels that of the main character. During it’s revisions, the script has taken off onto it’s own path. If only I could get the script into his hands. Hmm…

So, where does it go from here? That’s a good question. I’m not entirely sure. I can tell you where I would LIKE it to go, but is that truly possible? One can dream. That’s why there are bright stars at night to wish on.

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Unfortunately, a lot of places do not take unsolicited scripts (writing without representation) and to get an agent isn’t easy. I still have to do more research and see what I can do. Any advice from my blogger friends out there? I’ll take anything I can get.

For now, I will continue with my revisions until it is absolutely perfect in my mind. A little bit of faith and courage in myself wouldn’t hurt either.

 

Self Improvement and Finding the Power Within

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written. Yeah, I know, not that long ago I said I was back and I had stuff to write about, but…ya know.

Thanks to my buddy Eli at Coach Daddy and his 6 Words, which you can check out here, I DO have something to write about. Thank you Eli for your friendship AND the inspiration!

I was invited by Coach Daddy to write my 6 Words for the month of September. September is Self Improvement Month. I was asked in 6 Words what would I like to upgrade about myself. Now, I could have definitely gone with physical traits, slimmer figure anyone? But I settled upon this:

To Find More Faith in Myself

After writing this, I felt it warranted some explanation.

I’m not a very confident person. I second guess (well actually let’s make that third, fourth and fifth guess) myself A LOT. There are very few people that I am completely open with and being the true Pisces that I am, there is a million and one things racing through my brain at ALL moments of the day. And sometimes those thoughts slip off into an alternate reality where I feel more relaxed and calmer in my own skin. Creativity of the mind can sometimes be a dangerous thing.

Lately, I’ve been finding myself catering to those creative needs of mine. I finished my children’s book, published the larger version (still working on the smaller, more affordable one) and now I’m venturing on to one of my true passions, script writing. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve written a script. I forgot how much I LOVE it! I think the last time I wrote a script was over 10 years ago. That one I actually filmed. I had the support of some really great, talented actors and friends and after completing production, I never edited it together. I have a trailer for it, but that’s all. During post-production of the film, my Nanie became ill with cancer. My time was focused on her until she passed, that and I was planning my own wedding. When my Nanie did eventually pass, it took a long time for me to even want to take that time to sit in front of a computer and edit. By the time I was up to it, the whole project had changed for me. It felt entirely different and it just didn’t hold that same “magic” that it once did. I was no longer happy with what was done and I scrapped the project. I know it wasn’t fair to those individuals who took their time to bring this project to life, but I couldn’t put something out that I was no longer visually proud of. 

So now, for me to be excited to sit down and write like this again, well, it’s a BIG deal to me. (I have to give some major props to Midnight Cinderella and Ikemen Cybird for a great story app, which is what my script is based off of.) And this is where my 6 Words ties in. Getting the confidence in myself to send something out for complete strangers to read and judge. Just the thought of it clenches at my heart and makes my stomach turn into an atrium full of butterflies. Rejection terrifies me. It always has. I’ve always worried too much of what other people have thought of me, more so of my writing because my writing is essentially an extension of my soul. It’s where I can be honest, open, creative…myself. So putting something I’ve written out there is the same to me as walking the streets naked, which no one wants to see (trust me). It’s frightening as hell! This is probably the reason why I’ve been shuffling me feet at making the more affordable version of my book available. I do want it out there, but at the same time it’s terrifying.

So what do you do about?

Time for me to grow some cojones!

I’m 35, it’s time for me to open myself up a little more and put myself out there. I deserve to have my dreams taken seriously too and the only way to do that is to grow a thicker layer of skin and jump out into that scary unknown. (deep breaths, right?) I always tell my daughter that she can be whatever she wants when she grows up, as long as she is willing to work for it. Why am I not listening to my own advice? Well, it’s a heck of a lot easier to dish it out than actually follow it, am I right? But what example does that set for my daughter? If she sees me not willing to put myself out there and go for it, will she do the same when she is older? If writing is my true passion and it’s something that makes me truly happy, why deny myself that?

So here we go. Asking for those encouraging, good vibes. Time for this 35 year old to grow up and follow her dreams.

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And the Countdown Begins

After hearing from the pediatric anesthesiologist last week and talking with him for 20 minutes, we have decided to go through with the MRI. Like I said before, it’s not the MRI that worries me it’s the anesthesia. That stuff can be potentially dangerous.

As the date approaches closer, July 13th, I can feel my heart dropping into the pit of my stomach and I catch myself tearing up every so often. If I’m alone, I start to cry.

Then why do it if I’m still so very nervous? Well, if my daughter does have a tethered spine, which is what they expect, the repercussions of not waiting until she doesn’t have to be put under are as follows:

1. Leg weakness

2. Loss of bladder control

3. Muscle weakness

4. Back pain

If any of these happen while we are waiting until she is a little older, it is irreversible. They would still be able to snip the thickened filum, which is what causes the tethered spine, but any “side effects” that happen cannot be undone. Like I told a friend, it’s a double edged sword.

On the one hand (decision #1), if we wait until she is 10 to have the MRI completed, meaning no general anesthesia, there is a possibility of the list above happening to her. Then, on the other hand (decision #2), there are the risks of putting your child under. I am constantly reminded of the little 13 year old girl that went in to Children’s Hospital in Oakland (which is about 15 minutes from where I live) for a tonsillectomy.  She has been a in coma ever since and this was about a year or two ago. So, as a parent, which do you choose? Option #1 or Option #2?

As the day approaches, the worse I will be getting. The most difficult thing is hiding your emotions from your child. The last thing you want her to see if the fear and worry you have for her. I asked the pediatric anesthesiologist if they could mix me up a Versed cocktail to get me through the hour or so she will be out. He just laughed at me. I don’t think he took me seriously. No, really dude, I’m gonna be needing one of those cocktails! It doesn’t have to be Versed. Just give me what you got! Too bad we don’t have bars in the lobby like some hospitals in England.

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Even though the guy helped ease my nerves a little bit about general anesthesia, nothing will really ever make me feel “ok” with this whole situation. She’s my baby, I’m suppose to protect, but all of this is just out of my hands. I have absolutely no control and that terrifies me.

Childhood Anesthesia: The Fear Through a Parent’s Eyes

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General anesthesia is deemed safe per most doctors and hospitals. A majority of individuals have gone through it. I have been through it three times. Once when I was 4 and had my tonsils taken out. Once when I was 20 and had my wisdom teeth taken out. Both of these were done with complete sedation. Then, when I had my daughter, I had to have a C-section. A different form of anesthesia, but anesthesia none the less. I don’t do very well with anesthesia. With the sedation, I get ill and emotional.

I remember when I had my wisdom teeth taken out, my mom told me that the doctor’s had to come get her after the procedure because I was crying hysterically. I have no memory of this, just what I was told. My mom said that she had a difficult time calming me down and that I was crying the whole way home. No idea as to why. I do, remember, pulling into the garage at home. From this point, my memory is in pieces. I can remember the garage. I can remember my mom leaving the car and me still sitting in it. I can remember my dad coming down the stairs into the garage. I can remember seeing a hand reach out to me and then I remember just seeing the color white. I’m assuming I passed out or just took a little vacation at this point. The next thing I remember is getting into my room and vomiting. Then, of course, the crying began again. I have no idea why it does this to me. Just a reaction, I guess. After that, I slept for 3 hours and woke up perfectly fine (except for the chipmunk cheeks).

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Supposedly, I was the same way when I had my tonsils out when I was 4. Woke up crying and puking. I also woke up mid-procedure. I clearly remember, to this day, waking up and seeing the doctors and nurses around me. I tried to sit up and a hand was placed on my forehead, pushing me back down. After that, they must have administered more medicine because I blacked out. I also woke up understanding, or remembering, some French words. I was told afterwards, by my dad, that the doctors were speaking French during the procedure.

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With all of this done and survived, you would think I wouldn’t be as panicked as I am when told that my baby has to be put under general anesthesia for an MRI that is scheduled July 13th. 

She is undergoing an MRI for a possible tethered spinal cord. Here is the definition for a tethered spinal cord for those of you who do not know what that is.

Tethered spinal cord syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column.  Attachments may occur congenitally at the base of the spinal cord (conus medullaris) or they may develop near the site of an injury to the spinal cord.  These attachments cause an abnormal stretching of the spinal cord.  The course of the disorder is progressive.  In children, symptoms may include lesions, hairy patches, dimples, or fatty tumors on the lower back; foot and spinal deformities; weakness in the legs; low back pain; scoliosis; and incontinence.  This type of tethered spinal cord syndrome appears to be the result of improper growth of the neural tube during fetal development, and is closely linked to spina bifida. Tethered spinal cord syndrome may go undiagnosed until adulthood, when pain, sensory and motor problems, and loss of bowel and bladder control emerge.  This delayed presentation of symptoms is related to the degree of strain placed on the spinal cord over time and may be exacerbated during sports or pregnancy, or may be due to narrowing of the spinal column (stenosis) with age. Tethering may also develop after spinal cord injury and scar tissue can block the flow of fluids around the spinal cord.  Fluid pressure may cause cysts to form in the spinal cord, a condition called syringomyelia. This can lead to additional loss of movement, feeling or the onset of pain or autonomic symptoms.

Pretty scary stuff to hear as a parent, especially when the pediatric doctor she had been seeing since she was 9 months old said that her little crooked butt crack was nothing, when asked a few times about it by both my husband and I.

It wasn’t properly diagnosed until we had to switch health plans this year, resulting in a new pediatric doctor. My daughter had gone in for a bumpy rash that wouldn’t disappear. When the doctor looked at her bottom, which is where some of the rash still was, she immediately asked, “How long has she had this deviation?” (pointing to her little crooked butt crack). I told her that she was born with it. The doctor said that she was going to go get a camera and take a picture of it to send to a neurologist. I, of course, immediately began to cry. What was wrong with my baby? Was she going to be okay? Why wasn’t this diagnosed sooner?

A week went by and the neurology department called me, wanting to set up a consultation. At the consultation, the neurologist checked for any leg weakness (which my daughter had none) and other symptoms of a tethered spine. Everything seemed to be normal, but the only real way to check was to have an MRI done. An MRI? No big deal. That’s simple enough, until she told me that my daughter would have to be put under general anesthesia to ensure she would not move during the MRI. I understand that an MRI can be loud and scary, especially to small children, but putting my child under complete sedation? Was this truly necessary?

Time passed by and the MRI department finally called a few weeks ago to set up the MRI appointment. I reluctantly set up the appointment and immediately began to panic. Would she be okay? I don’t like the thought of them putting her under. Of course, I can’t be with her when she is having the MRI, so I will be pacing the floor waiting until they are done and I can go to recovery to be with her again. On top of this, what makes me more nervous about the whole situation is that my husband is starting to slightly freak out.

Let me explain a little bit of how my husband and I work. When I’m a nervous, emotional wreck, he is the sound of reason. That calming voice that says, “Everything will be okay.” When he is a nervous wreck (which is not often) I am the calming voice. So, if he’s becoming a nervous wreck over this, and I already am, than my gut is telling me something is wrong.

I wrote the neurologist with a BUNCH of questions, mainly about the anesthesia, hoping it would calm us down. She told me that she would have a pediatric anesthesiologist contact me to address any concerns I had, since I would not be talking to the actual anesthesiologist until the day of the MRI. I am still waiting for this phone call.

The doctors act like:

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And then there’s me:

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I try to do my research, but that’s doing nothing but freaking me out more. Still not sure if I will have this done now or if we will be waiting for it to get done. I know that this MRI is a preventative procedure and if she does, in fact, have a tethered spine, then she will need surgery to snip that little thicken filum that connects your spine to your tailbone. Another major worry. And then they make you sign all these waivers that say you will not sue the hospital if something happens to go wrong during the procedure. You better bet your ass I am going after somebody if something does go wrong. Praying to God that it doesn’t.

What about you? Has your child ever been put under general anesthesia at a young age? Did you have the same type of worries?

Reunited (and it feels so good)

I'm Back

Yay! After lots of crazy, stressful life situations (which are still going on, mind you) and losing my entire password notebook (I’m getting old and my mind isn’t as sharp as it use to be), I have finally reset my password (which I will inevitably forget) and am reunited with you beautiful people. Well, for those that follow and read, anyway.

I have LOTS to talk about, but first I have to sort all of that in this mess of what I call MY BRAIN.

Once I get a little more organized, I will start writing again.

Woohoo for reset passwords!!!!


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