Truth Bomb Mom Raising Kids (with Disabilities)

January 23rd 2018

Disabilities or not, this is just great and very entertaining advice from two extremely talented and funny people.

Tips for Raising Kids with Disabilities, from Zach Anner [4:51]:


If you haven’t seen Zach Anner before, here are some of his other great great pieces.

Lessons for Life with Zach Anner [2:26]: 


Zach Anner & The Quest for the Rainbow Bagel [6:57]: 


Zach Anner: “Top 10 Things I Wish People Knew About Cerebral Palsy” [3:22]:


Pullups and Pick-me-ups – Workout Wednesday #1 [3:28]:


And FTR… he’s got over 20 more hilarious inspiring W.O.W. videos and counting.



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Hospital Clowning: You Never Know

Thursday, January 18th 2018

gowning up.png

Today we gowned up all the way three times.  That’s three times more than I ever have before.  Twice were for rooms that we almost blew by until curiosity revealed a situation ripe for Hospital Clowning.  One was Javier, a shy 5 year-old boy for whom we invented a whole game about announcing his name.  He would count to three, and from behind the precautionary masks we would give it our best, messing up the timing all over the place, of course.

Another was Jenna, a somewhat cynical 8 year-old girl whose Dad laughingly enjoyed our challenge in trying to please her.   Our ignorant clowns stumbled into a whole improvised guessing game-song about what on earth her name might be.  Pleased or not, we definitely left her with a story to tell.

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So many tiny babies on the Cardiac Unit.  I’m getting accustomed to teeny babies all suited up in leads, wires, cables and tubes.

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pointing finger

Getting off the elevator at the end of our shift, we run into a Mom-Grandma caretaker “frequent flier” whose child is a huge fan of the clowns here.  “My baby’s not doing well,” she tells Mal, through the effort of a strait face.  She asks if we can come visit, and even though our shift was over we decide to say yes.  The “baby” is a 22 year-old familiar to the clowns by having spent so much of her life here with organ issues and now neurologic ones as well.  She is lucid and responsive with her eyes as we sing and perform music and silly antics for her.  A doctor comes by and insists that we need to make her *laugh.*   After our joke-telling bit fails and I’m digging into silly noises, she musters the strength to whisper, “You guys need to GO.”

Apparently this patient is known for being BOSSY.  And that works GREAT for clowns, who are all about status and all too happy to do a boss’s bidding.  One of our goals is to PARTNER with the patient during our routines.  And above all else, to put them in CHARGE.

Mission accomplished.



Posted in comedy, education, faith, Hospital Clowning, love, making art, mental health, Mindfulness, music, parenthood, patience, ukeoke, ukulele, work, work-life balance | Leave a comment

Hospital Clowning: Do That THING

Tuesday,  January 9th 2018


Blowing Doc Skeeter’s mind with my FABULOUS new name tag


Besides my fabulous new name tag, today’s rounds with Doc Skeeter are notable on account of how many big kids we visited with today.  It is not necessarily obvious that a Children’s Hospital would include patients up into their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and beyond, but it’s true.   I haven’t always felt confident entering the room of a 23 year old patient, but I’m starting to feel more comfortable and confident around the hospital in general.  Today that meant talking music with one young man, and a somewhat epoch juggling lesson with another extraordinary young lady.

I am also getting more and more interested in kids (and people) who might be cranky today, or say they don’t want the clowns.  I’ve started saying things like, “Oh!  OK so no music.  Right?  So that would also mean, like, no silly noises, right?  Like this for


Learning to be Dr. Be Bopper

example; [squeak, fart, kazoo, etc.] ?”  In doing so I provide the patient opportunity over and over to reject us… often while the parent is looking on with smiles.  As a clown it’s my job to break the rules sometimes; so breaking the patient’s rule is a form of our respect.

I’m also learning my partner Doc Skeeter better.   And today I discovered the pleasure of basically in-fighting with each other.  Pretty much insult comedy.   Also the fact of saying, “Hi we’re here to show you something.  Hey Doc, do your THING!”  without any pre-determined plan of what THING, naturally.

Lots of songs and lullabies and juggling and bubbles and silliness and discovery today.

One mom of a two year old in neurology says, “OMG you guys must have the greatest jobs in the world!”

I just nod… and the tamborine on my head tinkles in agreement.


Posted in art, childhood, comedy, education, evidence they get along, faith, fight, Friendship, health, Hospital Clowning, love, making art, mental health, music, patience, ukeoke, ukulele, work | Leave a comment

3 Minute Mindfulness

Tuesday, January 9th 2017

I know I really need Mindfulness.  The World does in fact.   And somehow I resist practicing it all the time.  But today upon arriving at work I followed this simple 3 minute exercise, and it was wonderful.  Truly time well spent.  So FWIW here it is:

3 Minute Mindfulness Exercise:


Heck maybe next time let’s do five!

5 Minute Mindfulness Exercise: 



Posted in activism, education, Headspace, health, Here & Now, Hospital Clowning, mental health, Mindfulness, patience, work-life balance | Leave a comment

The Cat is So Cute

Sunday, December 31st 2017

ClaraJane is practicing her writing.



There is little argument from the flamly.



Least of all from the “cat.”


#DarthSnowflake    #Kitten    #NoGoodTerribleBad     #Hopeless

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Camping: Frosty Mountain Getaway

December 27th-30th 2017, Brownsfield Maine

2017-12-30 FROST MOUNTAIN GETAWAY [5:09]:


More to say on this, but in a word: Heaven!


Posted in camping, childhood, comedy, domestic life, evidence they get along, faith, family, food, Friendship, health, love, making art, marriage, mental health, music, nature, parenthood, work-life balance | Tagged | 1 Comment

At Rise: No Bears

Wednesday December 27th 2017

At Rise: The Four O’s are driving deep into the snowy countryside of Maine to go “camping” in a yurt.

CJ: I sure hope there aren’t any grizzly bears there!

Mom: Woah! I didn’t even think of that.

Dad: No grizzlies.

CJ: Phew!

Dad: There might be some black bears though.

CJ: OK how about just not any bears. Yeah that’s what I want.

End scene.

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