Monday, April 30, 2007

Freak out #2

OK…so I set up my next appointment for Tuesday, May 8th…two weeks from my last appointment. But now I have two things on my mind. First, May 8th is the anniversary of Travis’ stillbirth and I’m not sure I should tempt fate on that day. And second, quite honestly, I am not sure I can wait until then.

On the one hand I feel like there really is no reason to move my appointment and I’m just being silly. On the other, I feel like curling up in a ball and crying when I think about it.

What do you think?

BTW...this is freak out #2 because freak out #1 is my ongoing obsession that this is an ectopic pregnancy. No, no bleeding. Yes, abdominal pain...but that can easily be attributed to my pulling a muscle when I rolled over in bed to reach for my glasses on the table. Nonetheless...you can not reason with an insane mind.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thank you Kathy!

She is lovely and I know just where she will live...as soon as I get the living room put together. :o)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thank you mb!



First, let me say thank you directly to mb, who sent me this incredibly lovely gift. I cried. I'm still crying. But not because I am sad (here is where I get sappy...are you ready?)...

When Alex died, I thought there would never again be any beauty in my life regarding him. I thought that whenever I thought of my sweet boy, I would think of the pain and sadness...and nothing else. But slowly, a chorus of voices rose up to lift my spirit. People I didn't know shared my pain and made it ever-so-slightly easier to bear. Comments, cards, emails and gifts came in from literally around the world.

Then when Travis died, I knew that you would be here to lift my spirit again. I knew you all would cry with me and laugh with me and rant at the unfairness of it all with me. You became my friends.

You have all helped me to find the beauty in remembering my boys. All of you. Those of you who preceded me on this path...who offered a hand to help me along my way...And those of you who followed me on this path...who looked to me to offer a hand to you...Like a human chain of kindness and love. I hope that I have returned the kindness that has been so freely shared with me. I hope that I have, in some small way, shown each of you how much you mean to me.

You have given me something that I don't think I could have found without you. You have given me the beauty of your friendship. And when I think of my boys, I think of that friendship and I realize how wrong I was. Though I would have chosen to become your friend for other reasons, there is nonetheless beauty in the way that we have become friends. When I look around my home, I see the little gifts that have been sent my way. I see the cards that I painstakingly save. I see all of you...surrounding me with your love. And I am humbled and thankful...and I hope you know how much I love you.

So thank you mb...and everyone else.

For everything.

More from Galapagos!



And the email portion...
We are not allowed to touch any of the animals, unless we want to spend time in an Ecuadorian prison. But we do get very close. The sea lions are especially curious and will come up to have a sniff of you. It is very cool.

Miscellaneous thoughts

---------------------------------
Thank you to everyone who responded so kindly to our "big news," both here and via email. We appreciate all of your kind thoughts (and prayers). We truly appreciate your love and support. We wish we could promise you a happy ending...but we'll all just have to wait and see.
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My nerves are going to kill me.
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Mexican food = bad idea
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My walk in to the office leads me right past the Sheriff's department parking area. This morning I walked past a K9 unit, where three large deputies stood around the back window making baby noises to the dog in the back seat. It was ADORABLE!
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My imagination is going to kill me. I pulled a muscle on the right side of my abdomen while turning over in bed to reach for the remote on the bedside table. It hurt. A lot. Two days later I have talked myself into an ectopic pregnancy.

HELP!
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Maple coffee...I never heard of it before...but it is YUMMY!
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My desk squeaks when I rest my elbows on it. Very annoying.
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To anyone who read this comment...
squeeze...kiss..squeeze...kiss

Please know that it was in the context of a previous conversation where she said...
Kate, i just wanna squeeze you right now and kiss you on your forehead
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When Steve and I lived in our second apartment together, we had a neighbor that cooked this nasty smelling stuff that we never could figure out what it was. We joked (rather disturbingly) that they must be cooking dog or something equally disgusting. Years later I finally have identified that smell! It comes from a tv dinner...my office neighbor just made one up and the place stinks!
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Up this weekend...shoe shopping! Should be fun since neither of my guys particularly likes shopping unless it is for toys or electronics.
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Scene on a bumper sticker next to a picture of President George W. Bush:
"Fixed Iraq...now I'll fix social security"
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I have to get some crocheting done. I all but stopped working on the afghan for a friend I started in OCTOBER. Plus I've got to get to work on mom's medieval faire costume. Maybe I'll move the dogs out to the barn and officially christen my craft room this weekend with some projects!
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Blue had another seizure yesterday morning. I think it might be time to take her in for some testing. Poor little girl.
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My boy may be one shot shy of his kindergarten requirement. What do you think are the odds that I will be able to get that taken care of before May 9th?
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Do you know anyone who tells the same stories over and over again? My farrier visits once every six weeks and I swear he has told me the same story at least three times!
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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Crash

When I was 18 years old, I wasn't paying attention while driving and I crashed my parents' van into a cruck (car with a truck bed) that was sitting on the side of the road. I was hysterical. Crying and wailing and just generally making a scene. People kept asking me if I was hurt and I kept telling them I wasn't...but all I could think was how I had let my parents down...how my Dad was going to kill me. I think the police officer was even concerned I came from an abusive home because he asked me, "Are you afraid of your father?" Thinking back now, it's kind of funny, actually.

My father was awesome and only asked if I was hurt. He never said a word about disappointment or anger or anything. But still, I had nightmares of all the horrible things that could have happened. My sister had been sitting in the passenger seat and it was her side of the van that got smashed ($4500 worth of smashed). I refused to drive until my mom had finally had enough of carting my ass around and told me I'd "better get behind the wheel...now or never." It was an effort for me, but I did it with my mom and dad's support.

I don't think I ever thanked my parents properly for how they handled that accident. And I'm probably breaking some rule of etiquette by doing it here but I'm going to do it anyway. Thanks mom and dad.

There are a lot of things that could have come out of that moment. But the one thing that sticks in my mind is the love and support that was so freely given...even though we all know I screwed up big time.

The reason I'm telling you all this is because I have crashed again and it's going to be a tightrope to walk with any and all responses.

Let me say that I'm sorry to anyone who I lied to during the last week or so. I've been going back and forth about posting this post for the past week, hoping that my ultrasound on Tuesday would have helped alleviate my fears. It did not. So I am posting this anyway. I need to get it "out there" so that I can stop obsessing all by myself (and start obsessing with all of you lovely bloggy people).

In this post I have kept a running blog post of all the things I WANTED to say while I was under blog silence.

1st trimester: March 17, 2007 to June 15, 2007. (0 - 12 weeks)
2nd trimester: June 16, 2007 to September 28, 2007. (13 - 27 weeks)
3rd trimester: September 29, 2007 to December 22, 2007. (28 - 40 weeks)

~The night before I tested, I told Steve I was late but that I didn't think I was pregnant because I had no other symptoms. I talked him into going and buying me a test because I didn't want to "waste" my digital one on a false alarm (which I was sure it was). Then I talked him out of going and buying me a test.

~I took the digital home pregnancy test while Steve was out feeding the horses. When he came in, I said, "You want drama or the straight scoop?" He said, "Um...both?" I said, "I'm pregnant." He smiled and said, "No matter what happens, I will always love you." I told him to remember that if we're standing in the cemetery again in a few months. He laughed and agreed.

~I told my sister that I'm a walking "abstinence is best" poster that has the slogan "one time is all it takes" written on it. Too much information? Sorry.

~As the above website indicates, I am excited. I am choosing to focus on the positive every single second that I can manage it. I slip up occasionally, but I have family and friends to smack me and set me straight. I'm counting on your voices of reason too.

~A day later, I realized that the positive home pregnancy test announcing this baby's existence will forever be linked to the horrible events at Virginia Tech. It is strange to think of how our lives twist and turn and intersect (or not). I will never meet those people at Va.Tech. But (no matter how this pregnancy turns out) we will always have a connection in history now.

~I am on daily injections of a prophylactic dose of Lovenox (a blood thinner). Because of the inconclusive results of Travis' autopsy, we're just going to go at this thing with the widest net possible. I don't mind if it increases my odds of bringing home a living baby. But I gotta say...ouch!

~The pregnancy calendar says "Blastocyst becomes an embryo. Congratulations!"

~I am already convinced this baby is dead.

~Steve is not a pillar of support. He's as scared as I am. Though he did convince me that it wouldn't be a bad thing to share this news with people...so at least he's still more rational than I am.

~I decided to grab hold of a positive attitude and buy some maternity clothes. (Deep breath). I got the shipping notice today. When they arrive, I plan to put them in a closet and not look at them for a few weeks.

~My first OB appointment was Tuesday and I thought I was going to be sick. Actually, I almost chickened out and didn't go. And there were several moments along the journey to the OB's office where I thought, "Hey, I could turn off here and go shopping, dining, bird-watching." But I managed the straight line to the appointment. I didn't want to cry...and I think I held it together pretty well.

~To his credit, my OB did apologize for giving me the, "Lightening doesn't strike twice," lecture during my pregnancy with Travis.

~5w2d ultrasound showed nothing. Just a sac. I go back in two weeks for another visit and u/s...that would be May 8th...at which we should see everything if things are going right. And if they're not going right...well...May 8th already sucks, so it's not going to be too big a deal.

~There are people I do not wish to share this with. But it seems like the moment you tell people, you become sort of public property. I will do my best to smile and thank them for their support...I will.

~Whatever is going on in there, it caused me to pull a muscle last night (and one on the opposite side the night before) while turning over in bed. Yeah...I'm a bit out of shape.

~Ambivalent is a good word.

Let me be clear. This was NOT in the plan. I was charting to AVOID being pregnant in May since May has such a stellar track record. I apparently didn't chart correctly. This is not bravery. This is not at all what I wanted. This is...well...this is just in line with my luck...and the universe's sick sense of humor.

Already good advice from friends...
And yes.... the timing does suck on this. Here is my thought and it is going to be harsh, but true: you do OK in the first trimester. It seems to be the second and third trimesters are where problems develop. So, I think you get a pass for the next 6-7 weeks. There is nothing to do one way or another at this point -- so you can deal with anniversaries and that crappy month of May and start to worry about THIS pregnancy on June 1. OK? June 1. Until then, just show up for the minimum to make your doctor happy and to keep you somewhat in the game. I reallly think that December baby will wait it out OK.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I am going to have to set my DVR

I have an interest in this program from both my television and my legal educational backgrounds. I also have an interest in this program because I have been scratching my head and saying, "Huh?" for a few years now.

Former CNN president Walter Isaacson tells Moyers: "One of the great pressures we're facing in journalism now is, it's a lot cheaper to hire thumb-suckers and pundits and have talk shows on the air than actually have bureaus and reporters."


Journalism is dead. Logic is dead. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

I needed what they couldn't give

I have recently been on a not-so-fun trip down memory lane. Though I have really tried hard not to 'dwell,' I guess it's inevitable, given the time of year and the hilarity these sorts of 'anniversaries' bring with them. I was also recently asked about what I "can't stand" (other than the obvious) about my particular situation having lost two babies. At first it was all too easy to lash out and find fault. I could list a zillion things other people have said, done, not said, or not done, that have driven me mad with anger, frustration, and disappointment. But there has always been this nagging feeling that that wasn't what actually bothered me.

Today I took some time to reconnect with some old friends. And what I discovered was this...it is ME that I can't stand. I can not stand that I spend all my time on edge...waiting to be hurt or sad or defensive...anticipating the next careless comment or insensitive remark. Quite simply, I don't trust people anymore.

I suppose it is quite reasonable that I should be wary of other people given the sensitivity that dead babies tend to create in a mother's soul. But really, the thing that bothers me is not the careless comments or the insensitive remarks. I can usually forgive those because I know they come from well-meaning, albeit naive, hearts and souls. No...the thing that really bothers me is my own internal expectation of disappointment. I can still enjoy the company of others, but I'm always holding my breath...fearing that moment when a misdirected comment will inflict pain. It's as if I always reserve a piece of me now in some weird attempt to protect my heart.

Nobody can fix that. Even if they say all the right things I will always hold that bit of myself back. Waiting. Fearing. Crying. Alone.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Straight from Galapagos!

A peek in on my sister's vacation (I love the internet)!


Monday, April 23, 2007

Seen on a bumper sticker

It's not gun control--It's people control

(Right next to a bumper sticker of the confederate flag.)

Steve : Yep, you're an idiot and that's why I want to control you.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What does it take?

As the big one and two year anniversaries approach, I've been revisiting previous posts and thoughts. One of the big things that I wanted to know was HOW to heal. Obviously, nobody could have told me at the time exactly how I should proceed in order to feel better. But now, looking back on it, I can see some answers to my questions...what helped...how do you just go on...what does it take to feel better...

The passage of time. For me, it took four months to stop crying every day...six months to "feel better"...almost a year to feel as if this was a part of my life but not my whole life. I still have moments where it seemingly swallows me whole, but those are getting fewer and farther apart.

Distraction. Ripping off part of your house and putting it back together gives you something else to concentrate on. All the details that need to be taken care of so that the project stays on track. They say not to make any big decisions while grieving, but I think I disagree. When we lost Alex I had nothing but time to sit and think about what we had lost. When we lost Travis I had distraction. Granted, the second time around I didn't have such shock and horror...the "how could this happen to me" factor was pretty much already taken care of. But I really think the distraction helped me by re-focusing my mental energies.

Defining myself. Who do I want to be? I decided a long time ago I wanted my life to be full and rich and complicated and messy. And that necessarily includes taking the good with the bad. It doesn't make the bad hurt any less...but it allowed me the opportunity to evaluate my perspectives on life. What do I hold important? Who do I care to have in my life as family and friends? How will I react? What kind of legacy do I want to leave? For me, quitting was not an option. But I didn't want to be fake either. I wanted to genuinely acknowledge the sadness and grieve in a way that would help me heal and honor my boys...but I didn't want to lose myself in it because I have a family who relies on me to be here physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I sound like I'm "over it," and that is not the case. But I am finding a peace that I haven't felt for a long time. I suppose this is the acceptance phase of grief. And I'm not so foolish as to think I can't be thrown back into the abyss of darkness. But for today, the sun is shining and I've got a somewhat positive outlook on life.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Miscellaneous Thoughts

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I don't understand espadrilles.
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I could blog about the Supreme Court's decision upholding the federal partial-birth abortion ban. But I'm afraid it would end in a rant about how well-meaning individuals spread false information and make the entire women's movement look like it is run by a bunch of idiots. If you don't know what you're talking about then...oh never mind. Steve already heard the speech so I will refrain from being repetitive.
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I will also refrain from blogging about the Virginia Tech shootings because I'm not an expert...I don't know anyone affected...and I'm horrified at the use of this tragedy for ratings/readership. All I will say is that I am sad that one human being could do this to another human being. I am also sad that horrors like this occur every single day in places all around our world. Places where it has become just a sad routine. Places that don't get 24/7 news coverage.
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Is anyone else creeped out by the photos of Larry Birkhead and that baby? There is something about that man that is just icky.
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Sanjaya is gone! Can I get a hallelujah?!?!
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I have discovered the power of the phrase, "Go to your room." It will immediately result in tears and much hysteria. It is as if I have banished him to outer Siberia, never to return home. What is it that cause this little phrase to strike such fear into his little heart? I really have no idea. But he is learning that he will talk to me with respect and kindness or he will spend time alone. I hope I'm not damaging his little psyche too much.
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Tonight is pizza and game night. Steve picked up Chutes & Ladders and Mr. Mouth (the new version...sigh...I guess there's no getting around the fact that we're getting old). I'm excited! I hope Sam enjoys it!
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I bought red carpet border lillies (or is it red border carpet lillies?...anyway) and have had the bulbs tucked away all winter. I'm sure I had a plan as to where I wanted to plant them, but I simply cannot remember. And you know that as soon as I put them somewhere, I will remember what I actually wanted to do with them.
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I have lately been irritated by people who have all the answers. People watch an episode of Dateline and they are suddenly experts on whatever subject. People read an article somewhere about something and they are suddenly an expert. It is maddening (and I am apparently very cranky).
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The sun is finally shining! For anyone who is unaware, the greyness of this part of the United States usually hangs on from October to May and can get quite depressing. So it is a welcome change to see that ball of happiness hanging in the sky. I hope the weather is pleasant for the street festival in my hometown tomorrow. I love a parade...but I love a parade in the sunshine even more.
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The final check has been paid to the contractor. They are officially out of my house! Now how do I get them to get their crap off my front lawn?

And yes...there is still more painting to be done. But we're getting there...slowly but surely.
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I got rave reviews on the frozen waffles, cool whip, and fresh strawberries. Who knew my office was so easy to please?
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And people wonder why I have "issues" with the Catholic Church.
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Did I mention I don't understand espadrilles?
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Heaven

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."

The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," he answered.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No, we're just happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Quick

I need breakfast recipes for a dish that is easy to make at home and bring to the office in the morning (tomorrow)!

***Great suggestions...Thanks! I'm actually kind of going the way of Fruit Loops. Frozen Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.***

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Welcome to the world Kian Derek!!!

My dear dear friend, H (who reads and comments here), gave birth to her beautiful baby boy this morning (and I do mean BEAUTIFUL...I wish I could show you the pictures).

Email from the proud daddy proclaims...

The new mutant clocked in at 10:59 am at 8 pounds, 8 ounces and 20 inches long.

Congratulations my friends! We are so very happy for you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It gets old

Do you ever tire of telling everyone all the details of your reproductive life? It's not as simple as, "I have one child, Samuel, who will be five years old at the end of May." There's so much more to my story. Sometimes I wish I could just print out little cards with our profiles on them and hand them out to anybody we might need to explain to. Kind of like business cards. Heh. I bet THAT would be a real conversation stopper.

Maybe he's not so nutty after all

Found at kucinich.us today...

Across the pond

-go to google.com

-click on maps

-click on get directions

-from new york,new york to (end address)paris,france

-read line #23

Little moments

There are little moments I hope to never forget. So many of these moments are insignificant to anyone outside of our little green house in the country. But I want to remember them. Yet I know that as time passes these little memories will fade away into the past like mist in the morning. The joy of our snuggle before bed, laughing at the silliness of Charlie & Lola cartoons. The sound of excitement in Sam's voice as he describes, in great detail, the food he will serve and the games we will play at our picnic this summer. The light in his eyes as he dances around me, chattering about all the rides he plans to ride at the local festival this coming weekend.

I can not, for the life of me, put into words that feeling I get when I hear his voice. It permeates every single cell of my body. I love him with all of my soul. And I hope he will remember the little moments with the same love. I hope that I can make enough little moments for him so that he will look back and say that his childhood was a happy one. I love him too much to fail.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Phone conversations with a four year old

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Steve: Sam, do you wanna talk to mommy?
Sam: No
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Steve: Sam, do you wanna talk to mommy?
Sam: Yeah. Mommy...wait a second till I swallow my candy.

Sam: OK...I swallowed my candy. Things are going good here, mommy. The cable guy gave us a new DVR and new remote controls with colors on the rewind and fast forward buttons. When you get home you'll have to check them out.
------------------

Seriously?!?!

There is a time and a place for everything...someone should teach the President's spokespeople that.

"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Parents are going to have to claim the bodies of their children and this dimwit is talking about the right to bear arms?!?! Heaven help us all.

Kindergarten registration

Steve and Sam picked up Sam's kindergarten registration packet today. As if I wasn't ready for this before, the packet includes an information release for any colleges that we may want to have access to his information. From kindergarten to college in one giant leap. Excuse me while I go look at Sam's baby pictures...

Taking a beating

Quite literally, this weekend, I have been beaten about the head and shoulders. Saturday afternoon, the dogs, in all their tail-wagging excitement, knocked me head first into the corner of the refrigerator door (left side of my forehead). Saturday evening, the child, in all his best temper tantrum throwing, accidentally head butted me over the choice of television programming (right side of my forehead). Sunday, while painting the living room (yes, there is still work to be done), I stood up on the ladder and smacked my head right into...the steel beam. So now it is Monday morning, I have a headache, and I have to go to court today.

But hey, reportedly the high definition television service is being installed this morning (now I'll never get those boys out from in front of the television).

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Only child

He carries his dumptruck/digger out to his sandbox by himself.

All alone, he lifts the lid and moves the cars around in the sand.

I can see him from the living room window and I ache with the unfairness of it all.

People think they know who I should be...how I should feel...how tragedy should shape my character and my life.

But what of this? what of him?

He is an only child not by anyone's choice.

No matter what happens to me...my feelings...my character or my life...

We can only be so much for him.

He will be alone.

Friday, April 13, 2007

My thoughts on Don Imus

Don Imus has a First Amendment right to stand on a street corner and say whatever he wants.

Don Imus does NOT have a First Amendment right to use public airwaves to broadcast his trash.

Ha! I DID learn something in Constitutional Law even if I didn't enjoy law school!

hehehe...I'm such a b!tch

Caller: Hello, this is Jennifer from XYZ University. I'm calling because we're putting out our annual alumni directory and I wanted to verify your information and tell you a little bit about the book.

Me: I didn't attend XYZ University except for law school, so I don't think I'm interested.

Caller: Well, ok, then let me tell you about the directory. It's a wonderful book of memories. You can maybe look up old friends you remember and it's a great tool for networking for business.

Me: I really didn't enjoy law school all that much so I'm definitely not your gal.

Caller: Oh...uh...ok...you have a great evening.

Me: You too.

hehehe

Friday the 13th miscellaneous thoughts

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Steve and I were married on August 13th, so I'm not too afraid of Friday the 13th. As Steve said last night, "What's it gonna do, bring us bad luck?" I love that man!
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I haven't felt much like writing this week because I've been PMSing. Too much information? Too bad. See? Attitude...doesn't make for interesting blog posts.

In fact, this blog makes me sound very angry when I'm actually not. I'm mostly sad. I use anger to fight off the sad. I can use righteous indignation to feel a sense of control. But really it's just sadness.

I've lost track of all the things that make me cry. I should make a list. Maybe next week.

Part of me wishes I could be the crusader. Part of me wants to make things better. But my heart is too raw to risk deliberately exposing it to those who would be callous or critical. So I hide and weep. I wonder if I will ever be strong...committed...focused. Those stories of hope...those will never be about me. I hide and weep.
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I highly recommend the Home & Garden Party Cherry Lemonade scented candle. Everyone at the office likes it. Very springy.
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Sometimes there is nobody to blame.
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Other people hurt too...in ways that I hope I will never know. It's not all about me. My grief gives me no special righteousness.
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Judgment is all around us. Even from those you think would never judge. Even from me. There are times I roll my eyes and say or think, "You have got to be kidding me." And even as I judge, I know they judge me. C'est la vie. Neither of us are right.
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Every day I kiss my husband and my son goodbye for the day as they leave for work/daycare. Then I walk past the pictures of Alex and Travis and tell them, "I'm sorry." Then I do my hair and makeup and go to work. It's all wrong.
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My friends don't want me to forget. But they do want me to be able to feel joy and happiness on their own...without any accompanying pain and sadness. I want that too.
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My hives are slowly resolving themselves. Geez, PMS, hives, snow...what a crappy week.
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My sister and her husband are going to the Galapagos Islands for a vacation. I hope they have a wonderful trip...that it is the amazing adventure they have dreamed it will be. They will be gone on their wedding anniversary and I feel kind of lame sending them an anniversary card for some reason.
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It seems the only blessing I have left to my name is not knowing what we could have been...what we should have been...
Keith Urban - You'll Think of Me
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I'm in the mood for a new blog template.
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

That Stephanie--she's a good egg!

My very sweet friend, Stephanie, sent me this little charm. Steph says the charm made her think of me and my grandma.

Thank you so much my friend!

What do you think?

Could I talk Steve into buying me Waterford crystal?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Major League

I never imagined I would say this...but thank you Milwaukee.

From the San Francisco Chronicle

Wrenching politics surround stillborns

This is what I'm talking about

It's not that I'm expecting people to go out of their way to soften the blows to my fragile emotional state...but is it to much to think that maybe SOMEBODY would take the time to make the extra effort?

How I found out about a coworkers pregnancy...

Yesterday at lunch..."C is so tired...you know...that early pregnancy tired..."

Frick! Frack! Fruck! Are you kidding me?!?!

Thankfully C works in the other office in the other building, so I rarely see her. But really...do people not have any empathy? Is it too much to ask that someone says, "Just so you're not blindsided by it...C is pregnant?" Or am I just being too sensitive?

No...don't answer that. I don't really want to know.

And I thought May was going to be easy.

HA!

***next day addition to this story***
All the ladies in THIS office...in THIS building...are standing in the hallway just down from my office, talking about C's food aversions. What IS it with women? They don't even know her that well and yet they are dissecting her pregnancy as if it matters to them! I can't take this! Please shut up! (Door closed...I hope they get the hint but I doubt they will. Can you say "clueless?")

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Don Imus was very wrong...but THIS is funny

(sound necessary for links)

The Rutgers women's basketball coach said, "We had to experience racist and sexist remarks that are deplorable, despicable, and abominable...and unconscionable."

Why do I have visions of Daffy Duck?

She may as well have said this.

Actually this is pretty accurate for this situation as well.

And having found this treasure trove of soundbites...this one is priceless.

Or maybe it's just me.

(This is not a comment on the actual situation...just a strange place my mind went while watching the news tonight.)

Keep it cool

So now I have hives...everywhere. Yay me!

Do you know how you treat hives? By making yourself cold...making your skin cold.

So here it is, 8 degrees outside (Celsius), and I'm sitting in my bedroom wearing shorts and a tank top, with a fan blowing on me. My fingers are like little icicles and I'm starting to get goosebumps. But it's better than hives. Definitely less itchy.

Mind tricks

I walk around every day with a sense that I've forgotten something very important...something I shouldn't forget. In the morning, I double and triple check my clothing to be sure I'm wearing underwear and all the proper outer attire. At work, my compulsion to check my calendar has become borderline obsessive. There is this feeling that I've missed a court appearance or something equally important.

When I return home in the afternoon from work, I inspect each room even though I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for. I feed the horses and walk the dogs and it's all such a normal routine. But there is something missing. Did I leave the door open? Did I forget my purse in the car? Is there food for dinner?

When I lie in bed at night, I run through a checklist of things I was supposed to do during the day and everything seems to be in order. Occasionally, I will ask Steve, "Did you feed the cats?" or "Did you lock the doors?" But I try to keep my questions at a minimum because I don't want to sound like a total nut.

I'm not sure if this is a grief reaction or if the synapses are finally firing in my brain after three pregnancies. I always thought I would "wake up" from "pregnancy brain" feeling more together...not less. Maybe pregnancy hormones are what held me together all this time and now that they are dissipated in my body I'm going to fall apart altogether. I suppose I could understand if it were a grief reaction...I mean, something IS missing. So that specific loss is translating into a generalized sense of loss. And even on a subconscious level, I've still got to try to figure it out and fix it.

Excuse me now...I have to go check my calendar for the third time this morning...even though I know I haven't scheduled anything at all for this week and the pages are blank.

Monday, April 09, 2007

'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

that time of year...the ticking time bomb of May...

I don't feel it.
I feel...good...which makes me nervous.

Driving past the cemetery last night and thinking, "I didn't get up there today." Realizing I hadn't thought about THEM for a few days.

It all feels more like an IT...an event...their deaths...more than THEM...two precious little boys. It even feels weird to type "two precious little boys."

The healing gift of time that steals something from your heart. Dead and buried with those two precious little boys. (It feels less weird each time I type it. So maybe the key is to not type it?)

It's all about babies...dead babies...due babies...born babies...living babies...mine...not mine.

I have no baby. I have an almost five-year-old who needs me to pick up his kindergarten registration packet and not dwell on who was missing from our Easter celebration...who has been missing for eleven months...plus a year.

Resurrection is something to hang onto out of my desperation but I don't know if I believe it. I can hardly believe any of it.

The truth is, the second time is easier.

No, May doesn't scare me. It probably should and I will probably eat my words between now and then. But for now I feel good.
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I wrote that this morning.

And then this evening I looked at the Easter pictures of friends. Happy families together with their babies looking for eggs or posing in Easter outfits.

May doesn't scare me, but today is a mess. I'm a mess.

I miss them so much. Two precious little boys...who are dead...and I don't understand why.

What more is there to say? Recording #1 on repeat.

No Easter egg hunts. No Easter outfits. No family time together.

Maybe May scares me more than a little bit and I'm just too focused on making it through today...this day...so that I don't lose myself completely in the fear.

I don't feel good. I feel numb.

Kids today

Sam: Grandpa is watching golf, so I can't watch my DVD.

Me: I'll tell you what, how about you and me play a game instead?

Sam: You mean on their computer?

Me: No...a game...where we sit and play together.

Sam: (blank stare)

Me: Like Moose in the House or Go Fish that we play at home.

Sam: OH! OK!

Me: (oy!)

Unfortunately, the Mr. Mouth game had the remnants of an exploded battery inside it (which seems to have burned a spot on my thumb on my right hand) and was nonfunctional as far as the automation. We did have a grand time flinging the chips into the open mouth anyway. But it has made me realize that maybe it's time to invest in some games and maybe start a game night. Friday night games and movies, I think. I have definitely decided to hunt down a functional Mr. Mouth game...I LOVE that game! And Hungry Hungry Hippos. But I'm not sure what else. So tell me...what are your favorite games to play (with a five year old)?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter


May peace be with you.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Finished projects

A baby blanket for a friend's baby. I love brown and blue together. It's a little more "southwest" than I like...but it's soft and squishy, so I hope nobody minds.



Baby blue...I may just have to make booties to match.

Why I Love Firefox

I just crashed firefox and had to restart it. And you know what it did? It gave me an option to start again from where I left off when the program crashed! Amazing! I could have kissed the computer screen...I just clicked on the box and it took me right back to the blog I was reading!

And tabbed browsing! Who is the genius who thought this up? I want to send them flowers or chocolate or something to show my undying devotion.

A voluntary recall

So why does it not make me feel better to know that the dog biscuits I've been feeding my dogs are being voluntary recalled "as a precautionary measure?"

Thursday, April 05, 2007

miscellaneous thoughts

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Dear company: I signed up to be a mystery shopper for you. I filled in SEVERAL application forms so you could "approve" me. My name is CATHERINE. My email goes to Kate94651. I am not, nor will I ever be, a male shopper who can shop a men's retail clothing store. But thank you anyway for asking again and again and again.
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It's -3 degrees celsius and snowing outside and I have poison ivy in the inner part of my left elbow. And I think I've developed some sort of infection to go along with it. It itches and it hurts...which makes knitting and crocheting very uncomfortable. wah! But I'm still trying anyway...gotta have my stitching fix! I am currently knitting (yes, I'm trying knitting again) a muppet. It's actually a scarf made from Bernat boa yarn...but it really reminds me of fuzzy floppy muppet legs.
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Is it worth paying $30 for a sheet of this pic?---->
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Good Friday = daycare closed = day off
Mundane things I need to do...laundry and dishes. I know that seems like a waste of a perfectly good day, but it frees me up to play all weekend without any guilt or fear that I will have to go to work naked on Monday.
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Good Friday...
Which reminds me...
Easter!
Must color Easter eggs!
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Our house passed final inspection! Yay! Now we just have to pay the contractor. Boo!
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We bought the shower curtain and rings for the purple bathroom...and forgot the curtain rod.
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Sam and I had a handful of M&Ms each this morning for breakfast that we discovered on the desk in the master bedroom (sorry mom...on both counts). He looked at me proudly and said, "I'm going to shove 'em in like Daddy does." So I guess I'm not the only one winning parent of the year awards.
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WalMart Whole Grain Apple Streusel Breakfast Bread is bad for the waistline, but yummy in the tummy.
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I pee a little bit when I sneeze. And it makes me cry. NO REASON! My body has gone to absolute shit for NO REASON!
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The previously mentioned daffodils...

Real people...just like us

If you're a fan of General Hospital, you should remember Chad Brannon, who played Zander Smith (2000-2004). He and his wife, Carly, were expecting their first child on their one-year wedding anniversary, May 28th. They recently released this statement...

"Carly and I lost our baby girl. She passed away on Feb. 23 and it was pretty rough, but the Lord's been gracious to teach us a lot and grow us in our relationship and dependence on Him and in each other. We would appreciate your prayers."

***To the anonymous commenter: I am so sorry to hear of your loss. And if you speak to Chad and Carly Brannon, please extend my heartfelt sympathies. This sort of thing knows no boundaries...it is an equal-opportunity destroyer of dreams. I hope that they (and you) are able to find peace and healing along your path of life. And please feel free to drop by here anytime. I'm working out my own grief, but it's always nice to know I am not alone on this journey.***

Roots and blooms

Grandma would've been proud of me. There I was in the snow and freezing wind, wearing my summer sandals, flannel pajama pants and my husband's quilted flannel barn shirt, clipping daffodils and putting them into a vase. After all, the snow would kill the blooms and that seemed like an awful waste. Steve really should have taken a picture of me...my family would have gotten a really good chuckle from it.

There are days when I wonder who I am...where I come from...where I am headed. And then I find myself in the middle of a scene like the one described above (and laughing maniacally), and I KNOW exactly who I am...where I come from...where I am headed.

This probably doesn't make sense to you if you weren't there to witness my complete shock at seeing my reflection in the grocery store window. Unhappy fat old woman wearing a frumpy suit...The lines on my face that map out the sadness I've felt for the last two years....The eyes that hold a look I can not adequately describe. Where in the hell did SHE come from? And how in the hell do I get rid of her?

There has been a lot of talk recently about the philosophy of "moving on." And while I will be the first to champion each individual's right to grieve in the way they see fit, the fact is that at some point in time, you HAVE TO move on. A friend once described it as time dragging you along whether you want to go or not. And I think she's right. Time has dragged me along to this place where I look like I've been dragged behind a bus. Maybe I need to start walking under my own power once again. Time to stop wallowing.

The self-imposed deadline for making family-planning decisions is quickly approaching. The house is almost done. I never would have been able to move that bed or that washing machine if I had been pregnant, so it worked out well. But now? Now what? I found a connection to my past and an interest in my future...in the crazy-old-Polish-lady tradition of cutting flowers before they freeze in the snow. Who would have guessed?

Now I just have to get through the beginning of May to the end of the snow...spring blooms...real life...real decisions... As easy as it was to rescue them, the daffodils will only last so long in the vase. But then again, even under ideal weather conditions, they only last so long in the garden too.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Score one for the good guys!

Yes!

A dog auction scheduled to debut in Geauga County this month has been called off, and the controversial sale appears to be moving elsewhere in the state.

One of the Amish men who tried to buy and relocate the auction to the Middlefield area would not discuss what prompted the change. The first sale had been set for April 21 at a building along Newcomb Road.

"It's over," said John Henry Byler, a co-owner of Bylerville Enterprises LLC. "Just forget about it."

The auction has served as a rallying point for animal advocates intent on shutting down what they term "puppy mills," cruel and inhumane operations where caged dogs churn out litters year after year. Activists regularly gathered outside the auction in Holmes.

The promise of similar protests in Geauga unnerved county officials, as well as members of the local Amish community, who said they did not want to court problems or negative attention.

Where the auction will end up is unclear.

The new buyer is Harold Neuhart of Senecaville, according to a dealer's license application request recently submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Neuhart already holds a USDA breeders license to operate Seneca View Kennels.

Neuhart could not be reached Tuesday. A woman who answered the phone at his home declined to comment.

A Columbus-area animal advocate - Mary O'Connor-Shaver - said she heard that the auction may be returning to Holmes. "But wherever it goes, we'll be there," said O'Connor-Shaver, who launched an online protest site at www.banohiodogauctions.com.

Meanwhile, Geauga officials said they will continue working to enact regulations and restrictions on dog auctions should the business return. The county commissioners asked the prosecutor's office to take on the project two weeks ago.

Dog Warden Matt Granito said the county needs to be prepared.

"As long as the public's buying dogs, this industry isn't going to stop," Granito said. "There's obviously enough business to keep this auction going."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

jhorton@plaind.com, 1-800-962-1167

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

As if life wasn't fun enough

There is more bad news.
New placenta screening for high-risk pregnancies

Time out

Sam got a time out at preschool yesterday for saying, "Shut the damn door." Some days that kid just cracks me up and I find it very hard to put on my stern mommy face.

Yeah, so I'm not going to win any mother of the year contests. So what?

Valuable email

Sometimes I find value in the oddest things. I feel like I should share it so that other people might find value in it too. There ARE a lot of "bad" things people say...but there are also a lot of VERY NICE things that people say.

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Karen:

I recently stumbled across your listing on Lion Brand Yarn's web listing of charities and would very much like to help out. I have been sewing charity items for an online group (All Crafts for Charity on Yahoo groups), but would very much like to do something more local. Can you tell me how I would get involved with your group? Do you have patterns that you require be used? How do you collect items that have been made? Would I have to attend meetings or something like that? I'd really appreciate any information you can give me.

Thank you.

Keep smilin'
Catherine


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Good afternoon Catherine,

YES! to your questions ~ smile~ - we'd love to have you help us and welcome you!!!!
Your involvement is much like that of the folks on AC4C - which I am also on. There is not limit to what we accept - nor any minimum.
All incoming finished [mostly] items are relayed, mailed, walked in to the office - which for us is my home in NE Ohio. {sometimes we are sent quilt tops and finish them here.} We have meetings we call gatherings - in a few different places non are mandatory. Volunteers for our charity are men and women, come from all around the states, and our dear friends in Canada, and one from Puerto Rico that you will recognize.
I would love it if you are close enough to attend a gathering - I'm in (small town) and we have a gathering of ladies tomorrow. If you are of a mind to come email right back and I'll toss the driving directions to you. Ladies from the Akron area, and all in between come over. We have another large group that meets in NW Ohio in Vermilion and several sprinkles of ten or more ladies that gather at homes or churches and relay to us here. I can give you more information whenever you want about these other spots.

We accept sewn items from our patterns - or charity patterns from the internet, commercial made patterns and some we have tweaked ourselves. Our mission is the premature age through ~ age 5 and the families they are living in. We support four agencies that directly deal with age 0 - 5 in clothing and blanket needs, and several hospitals - and 6 NICU's. We provide burials also. We do not supply hard equipment to families like cribs and such but one agency that we give to will accept gently worn things and any hard equipment coming along is directed to them.
Any other information you would like - you just speak right up OK?
I will tell you our charity is mission focused, and Christ centered. Not all of our members are, but we enjoy them anyway!All our deliveries run through our main office here and Christ is Glorified by what we do or we don't do it. Each facility has it's own preferences and it is my job to direct which facility gets what.
What do you like to sew? Do you quilt or make comforters? Do you prefer to make small infant items or children's? This is entirely up to you. We often get into a slump for the preemie things and go all out with toddler outfits. We've even been known to make up sheets for cribs! Quilts are our biggest need and if you are in Ohio we will be gathering in July in Bedford to crank out as many quilts together as possible!
I'm so glad you stopped by and asked me about our charity. It is a very dear to my heart project.
If you take a short tour through our big website you will see why this has become so dear. We also have a yahoo groups email which you are welcome to sign up for any time---- we're really quiet most of the time but I post to all at once through that email group.
Enjoy this beautiful day - and keep in touch!
<}}}>< Karen


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Karen:

Thank you for responding to my email. I'm sorry I couldn't get back to you in time for your gathering. Actually, I could have, I just needed time to digest and process all the information you shared before I decided what I wanted to do. Let me explain a little bit...I have one living son, Samuel, who is the light of my life. My second son, Alex, was stillborn at 35 weeks on May 11, 2005 and my third son, Travis, was stillborn at 20 weeks on May 8, 2006. As you can imagine, I have had what can best be described as a crisis of faith and am really just in need of some peace...not preaching. Also, given my recent involvement in the Pregnancy and Infant Loss community, I am staunchly pro-choice when it comes to medical termination of pregnancy. So it is a little intimidating to even consider volunteering in an organization like yours where the topics of God and Jesus just might come up a time or two. Quite honestly, I'm not sure we would be a good fit with one another. I think it might be best if I just stick with AC4C for now. I wish you all the best in your efforts.

Keep smilin'
Catherine


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Oh Catherine - my heart breaks for you. I have not suffered what you have gone through and I have no words of comfort. I can only tell you that I delivered our still born grandson of 18 weeks last year for our daughter and ....... and watching her and our son in law go through this was to say the least an experience of great sadness.
You are wise in saying we would possibly not be a good match, but I invite you to come be with us anytime in the future that you change your mind. Not all of our ladies have suffered as you have - but some, yes. They are not all "Christians", we welcome volunteers on the basis of their desire to help.
I am the one vocal of Jesus, you have that correct. I will not push this on you as it is not the right time to do that. I would not be able right not to explain the joy amidst adversity that I have had because of this relationship I have with Jesus. But I do offer you my heartfelt sympathies in your losses which must be harder than anything I can imagine.
That you are active and able to help others through AC4C is wonderful and amazing to me.
I hope the peace you need comes to you quickly. Again I am so sorry for the devastation you have been through. Please don't be offended but I will be praying this for you, to have peace. May it come quickly.
Thanks for stopping by!
<}}}>< Karen


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Why Oprah?

I was a Communications major in college. I specialized in television production. Maybe that is why this whole Oprah thing perplexes me so much.

Why is the loss community so obsessed with getting to be on the Oprah show? And why, when someone like Rev Run does get on the Oprah show, does the loss community pick it apart piece by piece?

I did not see the show yesterday...and I am glad I didn't, from all accounts. Rev Run and his family apparently have a different way of dealing with things than I do. But in reading the post-mortem on this show on other blogs and message boards, I find that there are two points that seem to cause people the most irritation...

First...the family never uses the dead child's name. I think that is sad...but if that is their way of coping then they need to be left alone to do what works for their family. Some people choose not to see their babies. Some people choose not to hold their babies. Some people choose cremation...some burial. It all comes down to personal choice...and healing (which we will get to in just a moment).

And then this...
"Oprah, you know how they say mourn and give 'em space? I'm not believing in that anymore," Justine says. "That mourning gives you more mourning, more blue, more depressed."

"I want the world to know that you're supposed to be grateful in all things," Rev Run says. "I don't understand what God did, why he did it, but I do know that I'm here now, I'm happy now, I'm here on Oprah, I have my children with me, and I don't have to keep remembering this if it's going to bring me down and send me into depression."


You would think this family just told people to go sacrifice chickens or something. Irate doesn't even come close to describing the emotion that comes bubbling to the surface when people (I've noticed it is particularly mothers) hear this. And I suppose I can see the harshness in it if you internalize this message and see it as some sort of judgment of your way of handling grief. But if I take a good, hard, honest look at it...it is pretty accurate. If you sit on your sofa and mourn forever, you will always be sitting on your sofa mourning. Eventually, as hard and as sad as it is, you have to get up and leave the safety of your grief and face the world head on. It sucks...and I doubt anyone would disagree with that. But you will never find joy again unless you actively look for it...unless you push the sadness aside and make room for life and happiness. And THAT, I think, is a perfectly reasonable message.

Which leads me to my point of confusion. If you don't have an inspirational story to tell...if you have no hopeful message to share...why on earth would you want Oprah to do a show about it? I see online petitions all the time for Oprah to do a show on Pregnancy and Infant Loss. Why? What exactly would this show look like? A bunch of bereaved mothers sitting on a soundstage crying and talking about how they miss their babies so much? Click. I wouldn't watch that if you paid me.

I WOULD watch a show about women who have turned their grief into something...Cheryl Haggard of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, Infant Bereavement Photography...Lisa Rebman, the MOM Project...Karen of Faith Hope and Charity Stitches, Inc...the women and men leading the charge to get stillbirth certificates issued to grieving parents. Someone with a message of healing and hope...not someone who sits on their couch grieving all day.

Look at what they are working on for future shows...
Up for a GREEN CHALLENGE?
CHICAGO ONLY: Do You Have Questions About Darfur?
Are You Confused by World Events?
Think you look EXACTLY like your PET? PROVE IT!
Is your home COMPLETELY CLUTTERED inside AND out?
Why Aren't You Happy?
What is Your Secret to Happiness?
Do Your Dance Moves Need Updating?
Is your BACKYARD, PATIO, LAWN or GARDEN a DISASTER
Creative Moms
How Do You Live?
Specific Question About Clutter?
Lacking Organizational Skills?
Are You in Desperate Need For A Spring Cleaning?
Need Help Downsizing Your House?
Schools That Are Changing the World
Inspiring Ways to Cope w/ the Loss of a Loved One
Ask Dr Oz about your children's health!
Does your child have a question for Dr. Oz?
Did our show INSPIRE you to help others?
Do you have burning questions about The Road?
Do You Have A Funny Home Video?
Is Your Child VERY Overweight?
How are you Paying It Forward?
Is your daughter showing signs of early puberty?
Do you have an Embarrassing Medical Problem?

Solving problems. Enjoying life. Inspiring us to be better people. All the show ideas have the same theme. Positivity. I just don't see Oprah changing the mold of her very successful show...and I don't see why she should.

Even if you dressed it up as an educational show...what would we really be educating about? It takes about ten seconds to deliver the message...It happens more than you think and it CAN happen to YOU. Beyond that, what would you talk about for the other 59 minutes and 50 seconds (minus time for commercials)?

If Oprah is so darn important, then there needs to be a concerted effort to support those people who HAVE done something positive with their grief. Instead of cutting down Rev Run and his family, we should be supporting them and their story. It might not be a perfect example of how WE choose to grieve, but few things are perfect in this life.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Cosmic joke?

As if there is nothing better for women to do in the spring but gestate...
As if EVERY service person who helps me isn't 50 months pregnant...
As if there aren't even TWO pregnant girls in the bathroom at Target...
As if a friend isn't due any day now...
As if another friend didn't just send me the links to the slide shows of the only pictures she will ever have of her much-loved daughter...

Walking out of JoAnn Fabrics to my empty minivan today, what should I see?
A family of NINE children...all dressed in homemade clothing...the youngest in a carrier strapped to his mama's breast.

NINE!

I counted them.

NINE!

I'm laughing. Really.

Hey Steve...wanna write a check?

Tribune plans to sell Chicago Cubs

Oh yeah...and...GO METS!

Lesson learned

Note to self : Get up earlier so you can have a full cup of coffee before arguing an appeal. You sound like an idiot otherwise.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

When modeling clay goes bad



Man logic

Sam: How can it be raining and the sun be shining so beautiful at the same time?

Steve: It's kind of like how we can watch hockey and baseball at the same time...like picture in picture.

Sam: OH! OK!