Donna Day 2014, or The Day I Finally Came Out of Hiding

It has been 10 months since I’ve written a blog post. 10! I wrote about my health issues and cancer scare back in April 2013, then I just kinda walked away from blogging. I can’t believe it’s been that long, but it has. 

Not much would have been able to get me out of my blogging funk. You know what finally made me come out of hiding? This girl right here:

This is Donna.

This is Donna.

About 2.5 years ago, I stumbled upon Mary Tyler Mom’s blog and Donna’s Cancer Story. I read it every day and cried every day along with countless other people around the world. I fell in love with this little girl that I had never met. She was beautiful and wise beyond her years, and her death was a true lesson of how to really LIVE.

Shortly after Donna’s Cancer story was published, the first Donna’s Good Things St.Baldrick’s Foundation  head shaving event was held in Chicago. I was there, along with many other brave men and women, shaving my head to raise money for pediatric cancer research. It was a life-altering event!

More children die of cancer than they do from any other disease- more than many other childhood diseases combined! Worldwide, another child is diagnosed every 3 minutes.
ALL types of childhood cancer combined receive only 4% of the US federal funds for cancer research! That number is unacceptable. We have to do more, and St. Baldrick’s is one way to do that.

And that’s what we’re doing today, on Donna Day 2014. Donna Day has become an annual day where bloggers from all walks of life write about Donna and St. Baldrick’s to get the word out and start raising the big bucks for the Donna’s Good Things event that’s being held this year on March 29th in Chicago! You can find the info here.

baldrickslogoI could go on and on about stats and such, but I won’t do that this year. I wrote posts the last two years, and they were way longer than this post will be, but they all said the same thing. We need help to find better treatments for childhood cancers! We need more than just one new drug to help these kids and their families choose HOPE! But we can’t do that without you and your money. I’m not gonna lie, money is vital to this. Without money, the scientists cannot do their best to find new medicines and hopefully one day a cure for childhood cancers. Please, spread the word and open your hearts and wallets to a good cause.

Oh, and I also have a special announcement to make. I made this decision today as I was writing this post, actually. I am going to be shaving my head again at the Donna’s Good Things event on March 29th! I have my personal fund raising page up and ready to receive your donations! Please help. In any way that you can. Thank you.

donnaday2014

~Karin

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Lesions and Masses and Nodules. Oh, My.

I’m scared.

About a month ago, I went to my doctor and complained once again about my abdominal pains. I don’t get them often, but when I do, they can be unbearable. I had talked to her about it before, but she wanted to just “watch and see” how I did after some diet changes and such.

After some diet changes and such, there wasn’t really any improvement. I had done my own research on WebMD and other corners of the interwebs and had decided that I had gall stones.

A pretty green gallbladder

A pretty green gallbladder

So, this time I got to see a different doctor in the practice, and she immediately gave me an order to go get an ultrasound of my abdomen to see what was going on in there. The US (ultrasound) confirmed that yes, I do indeed have gall stones. Yay me for already figuring that out. The doctor wanted to get better images of my innards, I guess to decide whether or not to remove my gall bladder, so they ordered an MRI.

The MRI also confirmed that yes, I do indeed have gall stones. (Well, DUH) That very same MRI also discovered something incidentally. It discovered a small, 2cm-ish “lesion” on my right kidney. Lesion is the word the chick used when she called to tell me about it. I wasn’t even expecting to hear anything about my MRI for another 3 days or so; so you can imagine how I felt when they called first thing the next morning (I later discovered that they had actually called the night before!)
Doctors do not call you at night unless they have bad news.

I have a 2cm “mass” on my right kidney. It was confirmed in greater detail by a follow-up CT scan of my kidneys. The urologist whose name I still can’t pronounce even after he said it to me, and even though a couple of nurses said it to me; he said that it is a partially solid, partially cystic mass. They’re not real sure what it is, but he’s “pretty sure it’s nothing really bad.” Yep. Those were his words. I’m banking on those words, you guys. I gotta. Otherwise, I’d be going insane over here with anxiety and panic.

Just in case you need a visual. You know, I had no idea our kidneys were so high up. Did you?

Just in case you need a visual. You know, I had no idea our kidneys were so high up. Did you?

We’re just gonna cut you open and cut that sucker out, along with a bit of your kidney, and then we’ll figure out what it is (it’s nothing really bad, of course.) This is what Doctor Difficult-to-Pronounce-Last-Name said to me. Basically. I may have changed a few words. So I have to accept that I’m having surgery for something unidentified that is growing on my kidney. No biggie. Honestly, I’m more afraid of the pathology results AFTER the surgery, than I am of the surgery itself. And surgery is scary, yo. I’ve never had surgery. I’m scared.

I went to see my doctor again on Wednesday for a “surgical clearance” and she proceeds to tell me that the previously mentioned MRI also showed a teeny-tiny 2mm “nodule” on my left lung, that would be absolutely insignificant if it weren’t for the gigantic tumor 2 cm mass growing on my kidney. She wants me to get another CT scan. This time one of my chest, just to be sure there aren’t any more “nodules” anywhere else. If there are, it could mean this is a worst-case-scenario thing going on here. I won’t even say the word, but I know you’re all already thinking it. It’s okay. I was, too. I thought it the very first time that nurse on the phone told me that I have a “lesion” on my kidney.

The past month has been pretty rough for me mentally. I am a worrier and a worst-case-scenario kind of gal. Not because I like to be. Gods no. I have issues, folks. My brain is a crazy place. I have spent way too much time crying and being scared these past 4 weeks or  so, and to be honest, part of me is actually starting to feel relieved about the surgery. It will all be over before I know it and I can put this nonsense behind me. I hope. Yeah, I’m hoping because that’s all I can do right now. Hope is a good and powerful thing, and it’s what I need to keep me from losing my shit.

The test results from the chest CT came back on Friday. My doctor called me personally. You know it isn’t good when that happens, you guys.
She told me that there are actually 3 teeny “nodules” on my lungs. Not just the one. And again, she reminded me that as tiny as these are, they wouldn’t be cause for alarm if it weren’t for the kidney thing. That is very little reassurance for someone like me; especially since the kidney thing even exists.

This is Dr.Oz inside some giant lungs. These are not my lungs, and I know this is barely related. I just really like Dr.Oz and this picture. Also, lungs.

This is Dr.Oz inside some giant lungs. These are not my lungs, and I know this is barely related. I just really like Dr.Oz and this picture. Also, lungs.

It should not exist. It doesn’t belong there. It needs to get the fuck out of my body and never look back. Bastard kidney lesion mass-type thing.

Sorry. Sometimes you just gotta curse.

So now I wait. And I cry and worry (but not too much, because it does me no good.) I hate that we don’t know what it is. I hate that it was found incidentally, but I also love that it was found incidentally. If it wasn’t found, it would still be in there, and who knows when it would have decided to make itself known? 5 years from now in the form of pain and illness? 10 years from now? Who knows? I am trying to see the silver lining here. I really and truly am. I’m trying to believe that everything is going to be okay. I’m trying to stay positive and choose hope; because like I said, it’s what I need right now.hope (600x266)

I am hopeful, but I am also scared. All of this is scary. Keep me in your thoughts, please. I need as much positive energy and hope as you can spare right now. Send it all to me. SEND ME ALL OF THE HOPE AND GOOD THINGS! Thanks.

Waiting and hoping,
Karin

Posted in fears, health, hope, life, news | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 108 Comments

Donna Day 2013. Let’s Do This.

Today is Donna Day.

You may already know what that means, or this may be the first time you’ve heard of it. If you don’t know who Donna is, then you have a  LOT of reading to catch up on. Since we don’t have time for that right now, I’ll give you the short version of the story.

Donna.

Donna.

Donna was a beautiful, “brightful” little girl. She was the daughter of Mary Tyler Mom and Mary Tyler Dad. Donna was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor called a papillary meningioma when she was only 20 months old . During the following 31 months, she went through 4 surgeries, 2 rounds of chemo, a stem cell transplant, relapses, infections, and proton beam radiation. Despite all of that, she still smiled, laughed, danced, and brought joy to all who knew her.

I wish  I had truly known her.

Her little body had finally had enough, and on October 19, 2009, Donna died in bed with her mom and dad by her side. She was only 4 years old.

donnas-good-things-logoSheila and Jeremy took their grief and created some incredibly good things.
They started a charity called Donna’s Good Things to “provide joyful opportunities for children facing adversity.”

In January 2011, Sheila  started a blog called Mary Tyler Mom where she wrote about rejoining the work force after a 4 year hiatus, and of course, she wrote about Donna. In September of 2011, she wrote Donna’s Cancer Story. Each day she wrote a different post. Each post represented one month of Donna’s treatment. And each day, more and more people were reading about Donna. Their hearts were opening up and weeping for this endearing girl and her family that they’d never even met.

Every day in September, I read those posts and I cried. I cursed in anger. I cried with joy. I wept with sorrow. Yet, every day I returned to Mary Tyler Mom’s blog and read more, knowing full well how the story ended. I’d read it with the hope that somehow I was mistaken and that there would be a storybook ending for Donna and Mary Tyler Family. Donna-reads-on-the-red-rocker1

But as we all know, life isn’t like a storybook. Life can be downright cruel sometimes. Despite all that was done for Donna while she was in treatment, there should have been more to do. She should be here today. Her wonderful parents shouldn’t be minus the light of their little girl in their lives. But they are, and so are the parents and families of countless other children who die from pediatric cancer each year.

Here are some stats:

These numbers are unacceptable, and that’s where charitable organizations come into play.  Because our government does not see it fit to provide more funding to help treat and cure America’s children, that responsibility rests on us. You and me.

Last year, my husband and I participated in the first ever Donna’s Good Things St. Baldrick’s shaving event. St Baldrick’s is the largest private (non-government) provider of   childhood cancer research grants in the US. So you know that when you make a donation to St. Baldrick’s, your money is going to support exactly that; childhood cancer research.baldrickslogo

Last year, about 6 weeks before the event, Mary Tyler mom decided to declare February 14th Donna Day. A bunch of us bloggers wrote about Donna’s story and pediatric cancer to spread the word about the upcoming event and to raise money. If you’d like to read my Donna Day post from last year, click here.
Because of that day, and because of that St. Baldrick’s event, we far exceeded our goal of $20K!  Because of all the amazing shavees, volunteers, contributors, and supporters, Donna’s Good Things was able to raise an incredible $79K for St. Baldrick’s Foundation!

Which brings us to today. Donna Day 2013.

On March 30th, Donna’s Good Things is teaming up with St. Baldrick’s again for another fantastic shaving event! I won’t be shaving this year, but the hubby and I do plan on being there in Chicago to help and to support this year’s shavees!
Now, all of this is great, but what we really need; what St. Baldrick’s needs, is MONEY. None of that life-saving research can be done without it. The whole point of my post today is to put a face to childhood cancer. To open people’s eyes up to the harsh reality of childhood cancer funding. And to ask you to help make a difference.

The goal is set this year at $30K. As I write this, we are already more than a third of the way to that goal at $10, 526.00, but we still have a long way to go and we need your help to reach that goal. Every penny counts. I promise. Lots of people donate just a few bucks.

My fuzzy head a few weeks after the big shave. Awesome, I know.

My fuzzy head a few weeks after the big shave. Awesome, I know.

Also, if you’re brave enough, there’s still time to be a shavee! I LOVED having my head shaved last year! It was the most wonderfully rewarding thing I have ever done, and the thought of it now still brings tears to my eyes! Heck, I’m told there is an 89 year old woman shaving this year! Surely YOU can step up and be a hero! It’s hair, folks. It grows back; people don’t. But, if being bald isn’t your cup of tea, money works.

Please take a few minutes to watch this video:

Then, open your hearts and your pocketbooks and give whatever you can. You can make your donation to Team Donna’s Good things here. Click on the GREEN donate button. It’s easy and only takes a couple minutes.

I don’t wanna beg, but I will if I have to. Please help fill the gaps in childhood cancer research funding by making as generous a donation as you can. And if you plan on being in Chicago on March 30th, stop by and cheer for the brave men and women shaving their heads for childhood cancer! I’ll be there with my hubby!

stbaldysmengang (800x451)

Team Donna’s Good Things 2012!
L to Rt: Donna B, Christopher(in back), Mary Tyler Mom, The Closet Monster, Me, and IWADB!

Together, with St. Baldricks’ and Donna’s Good Things, and with HOPE in our hearts, we can create more storybook endings for more families.

Let’s do this.

 

 

Posted in Family, hope, inspiration, kids, life, love, making a difference | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Content Loves the Silence

I apologize. This was supposed to be brief, but it turned into something else. It happens. I hope you’ll still read on.

My boy is about to leave for the holiday break to spend time with his sperm-donor of a father. That sperm donor rarely calls, and only sees my boy a couple times a year. We have no legal custody arrangements, so we try to just work things out. When he manages to have the time and money to see Lucas, I try to allow it. The sperm donor isn’t literally a sperm donor, btw. I was actually in a relationship with him for nearly 5 years. He was emotionally and verbally abusive about 4 of those 5 years, and when I was pregnant and after Lucas was born, he was at his worst.

Abuse takes on many forms. Someone doesn't have to be physical with you to be an abuser.

Abuse takes on many forms. Someone doesn’t have to be physical with you to be an abuser.

I won’t get into the details of how he treated me. Just know that more days than not, I was crying and hating myself because of something he said. He made me feel like I was crazy. He knew that and used it to his advantage.

The last time we talked, about 3 weeks ago, he was telling me of his tentative plans for the holiday, and said he was about to get plane tickets for the 22nd to come get Lucas. I was fine with that. 3 weeks go by and I don’t hear from him, and we are making plans here in our home for our family celebration before all of our kids leave (Chris’s boys also go with their mother for the holidays, so we’re going to be alone for 2 weeks. We should be excited about that, but we’re not.)

The sperm donor calls yesterday and tells me that he’s booked a flight for the 21st. That’s tomorrow. A Friday. The day of our family plans, and Lucas’s class party in school.
This piece of garbage has gone and made plans without talking to me, and is ruining our plans in the process. He sees no problem with Lucas missing a day of school. He didn’t consider for a moment that maybe we should have discussed this change of plans first.

He also tells me that he had no way of contacting me the entire 3 weeks because his phone and internet were out. Yeah right.
He thinks I’m stupid, and he knows that I can’t stand up to him. He knows that, and takes full advantage.

This sudden change of plans throws us all off. It causes an immediate fight between the hubs and I, because he hates that I can’t just stand up to my ex.

If only it were so simple. If only. If it was so simple to just stand up to him, I would have done it years ago, and saved myself all of that abuse.

Me and my boy at home.  Right where he belongs.

Me and my boy at home. Right where he belongs.

Now Lucas is sadder than he already was, because he doesn’t want to go in the first place; and now he has to miss out on things that he’s been looking forward to. And when my baby is sad, I’m sad. And when I’m sad over something that the hubs seems to think I can easily change, then he gets angry. No one is happy, and I am being made to feel that it is all my fault because I can’t stand up to my abuser. I can’t stand up to him. That is a correct statement.

 

 

Why not? Well, it’s as simple as fear. I am afraid. It’s not rational fear, but that doesn’t make it any less real for me.
I want to be able to stand up to him and tell him that I will not allow him to take my son away from his family a day early. If I do that though, I know more trouble will come of it, and Lucas will have to feel the effects of that. I don’t want to make things easier for my abuser, but I also don’t want to make things more difficult for my son.

I am feeling so torn and hurt and broken today. I just want my boy to be happy, and it seems I am failing even at that. To top it off, my husband is upset with me, and I feel completely helpless.

I had a couple of good conversations last night with some friends of mine. One of them is my very dearest friend, Amanda, who only wants to comfort and offer up helpful ideas. She understands what it’s like to be in my position, as her daughter’s father is a sperm-donor type of guy. I am so blessed to have Amanda’s friendship and support. It means the world to me.

Another friend, Mike,  is an old high school friend who just so happens to have experience counseling abused women. He’s an outstanding human being, and I am so lucky to have been able to keep in touch with him after all these years. He offered up support and reminded me that I am not weak and that my fear is valid, but that I do indeed have to work through it and not let it control me. He knows those things take time. He understands that it’s not as simple as “Just get over it.”
I am grateful to him for taking the time to talk to me when I was feeling so defeated.

Just a few more things, and I’ll be done. I promise.

Goddess knows I'm trying.

Goddess knows I’m trying.

For anyone who is a survivor of domestic abuse of any kind (physical, verbal, emotional, etc.)-

You are not alone. No matter how shitty and weak and pathetic the people in your life make you feel about “allowing yourself” to be abused, you are none of those things. And you are not “allowing” anything. You have been hurt, and that hurt leaves scars. Healing takes time.

If you have escaped your abusive relationship, then you’ve made progress. You are strong.

If you have learned to manage your emotions about your abuser, and are able to not fall apart at the sight or sound of every trigger, then you have made progress. You are strong.

If you still cry, or aren’t quite capable of standing up to your abuser yet, that’s okay. It does not make you weak, and it does not mean that you are “letting them” control you.cry

You have been traumatized.

You can work through it. It may take time. That is okay.
We’re all going to be okay.
We just need to take it one step at a time.

We got this. ♥

~Karin

A fellow blogger and friend posted this song on my wall today. It seemed random and all too coincidental. It is the perfect song for how I’m feeling right now, and felt like I should include it in this post. Thank you to So Much for the Mother of the Year Award for your thoughtfulness in sharing this song with me today. 

Posted in blended family, controversial, Family, fears, holidays, hope, inspiration, kids, life, love, parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

I Am 32 Flavors and Then Some.

megaphone

I am a very opinionated and open-minded person. (WHAT?! Stop the presses! No way! Sorry. I had to include some sarcasm.)

If you’ve ever read my blog, or visited my facebook page, then you probably already know that. I can rant and rave about things just as much as the next person, but I try to do it respectfully. Until someone decides to insult me or say something completely asinine or false. Then all bets are off. And no topic is off-limits for me, for I do not offend easily.

On Friday, I posted a status along with thousands of other people on facebook, about the tragedy unfolding in CT. There was one person who felt the need to disrespectfully use my page to spew their personal beliefs about gun control. I tried to respectfully disagree with them, but they chose to respond with more venom. I couldn’t be nice any longer, I responded in true P&P fashion, and that thread (which has since been removed) is what inspired this post. It seems a bit random, I’m sure. I also don’t care.

Yep. That's me.

Yep. That’s me.

I am what some people would call a “bleeding heart liberal”. Others might call me a hippie, tree-hugger, unorthodox, a heathen, or any number of names to denote my liberality (yes, that’s a word. I totally Googled it.) I am proud of this facet of my being. I can’t imagine being any other way.

I don’t understand closed-minded people. People who are so unwilling or afraid to look at the world differently than the way their parents and their parents parents did. They live in fear of something that they no longer need to be afraid of.

Sometime between my 19th and 20th year, I realized that after many years of trying to be Christian and going to church, that it really didn’t work for me. I did not believe that some man named Jesus was the son of “god”. I couldn’t believe in the bible stories because they were just too far-fetched. I did not believe that there is a savior or a judgement day or even sin.

I decided when I was about 20, to explore Paganism and Wicca, and discovered that it resonated with me more deeply than anything I had ever read in the bible or experienced in a church. I knew I was a Pagan at heart. I started reading everything I could about Wicca and Paganism. I performed a self-dedication rite, alone in the middle of the woods. It was truly magical.  Today, I consider myself more of a Panthiest, but Paganism is in my soul.

pagan-satan

I will never again try to relate to Christianity. It just isn’t for me, but I know that it is for some people, and I respect that. Don’t think that means I won’t question it, because I totally will. I’ll question it and any other religions that just don’t make sense to me. I’ll just do it respectfully. I’ve lost a few friends along the way because of this, and one family member who used to have a very important place in my life. She started criticizing me and my beliefs and suggesting that I am harming my son by not teaching him “God’s love”. I no longer speak to her, and she’s only met my son a couple times very briefly because of her hatred and self-righteousness.

When I was 22, I met and fell in love with a woman who I will just call T. I knew prior to meeting T that I was attracted to women (and transgendered people, and a few other folks in-between), but had mostly just dated men. At the time, I was even in a relationship with a man already, but left him for her. My friends were all okay with my decision, because by that time in my life, I had already decided to only surround myself with people who were as open-minded as I was. Who needs a bunch of bigots as friends, right?gayflagI was living with my parents at the time, and when they found out about T, they were not only appalled, they were angry. They were angry that I had the nerve to “bring that kind of thing into their home”. As if it was the plague or something. They compared me being in love with a woman to some kind of disease. Then they kicked me out. I had to prematurely move in with T, and move to another state to be with her. It was a very difficult time in my life, but I stood my ground and refused to believe that loving someone could ever be wrong. My parents and I still talked from time-to-time, but our relationship was never the same again. I initially tried to hide the relationship from them, but realized that I was only lying to myself and hurting T in the process. It wasn’t worth it.

When I was 26, about 9 months after T and I broke up, I met R.  A black man who somehow enthralled me and charmed me enough that I fell in love with him, too. Again, when my parents found out, my father’s first words were, “Jesus christ, Karin! Are you fucking serious?!” And then he said, “I think you do this shit just to shock me. First you’re a lesbian, now you’re dating a nigger. What’s next?! I hope this doesn’t last, because I don’t want any black grandbabies running around.”

Exactly.

Exactly.

Despite my father’s  racism, I stayed with R for 5 years. We had a son together, and it took my parents more than 3 years to finally meet their grandson, because when I told them I was pregnant, my father’s first response was, “Are you gonna keep it?” My mom was overjoyed for me, but quickly succumbed to my dad’s closed-mindedness. Sadly, my mom isn’t that strong or outspoken. She quietly just goes along with whatever bullshit my dad says a lot of the time, and because of that hatred and closed-mindedness, they missed out on the first 3 years of their only grandchild’s life.

Are you seeing a pattern here? I have my beliefs and opinions, and I WILL stand by them no matter what. If someone says they love me, then hurt me by insulting my religious beliefs or the people I choose to love, then I will cut them out of my life. I do not need closed-minded people around me. They do nothing but spread their ignorance and intolerance, and I will have no part in that.

prochoiceI also believe in a woman’s right to choose when to have a family. I think every woman should have access to birth control and health care, and if a woman gets pregnant, she should be allowed to have an abortion if she chooses to. An abortion is NOT the easy way out, as some of the Pro-Lifers would have you believe. Having an abortion is something that a woman never forgets. It’s a decision that she has to accept for the rest of her days, and it isn’t an easy one to make. At least not for most women.

I’m also a feminist, but not one of the extremists who hates men. I am all for women’s rights and feminine power, but not at the expense of the dudes. We need them just as much as they need us. We also need to raise our boys with feminist ideals. Men can be feminists too, you know.

Truth.

Truth.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of men, I want to say that I think it’s okay for men to exhibit feminine traits. I think it’s lovely when a man is in touch with his feminine side and isn’t afraid to cry or admit that he likes the feel of satin on his skin.

And another thing, boys can wear dresses and nail polish and that doesn’t make them any less boys. This whole notion of “boy things” and “girl things” is ridiculous and is completely societal. Who says girls can’t play with trucks and get dirty? Why isn’t it acceptable for boys to play with dolls or for them to want to feel pretty sometimes?

My son used to have a hoodie with this on it. He loved that hoodie, and he loved the color pink. Who are you to tell him what he should and should not like?

My son used to have a hoodie with this on it. He loved that hoodie, and he loved the color pink. Who are you to tell him what he should and should not like?

I call BULLSHIT. Bullshit to all of it.

So. Let’s summarize.

I am a tree-hugging mother of a bi-racial son who likes pink and purple stuff.

I am a pro-choice pansexual panthiest pagan (say that three times fast!)

I am a feminist who believes that gender is more fluid than society allows it to be.

And I am quite possibly one of the most open-minded liberals you’ll ever meet.

Anything goes with me, as long as everyone is consenting and no one gets hurt. So if you disagree with anything I have said here, that’s okay. Feel free to express your opinions and thoughts in a respectful way. I believe it is possible to have honest, respectful debates on the interwebs. If you can choose to agree to disagree and you still like me, then yay! If you disagree and feel like you can’t express that in a respectful way, then please bite your tongue and step away from the blog.

If I forgot anything, it’s safe to assume that if there’s an issue that is controversial, I am on the far left, carrying a protest sign and calling the right-wing folks out on their nonsense.

Oh, and I hate guns. HATE them.gunviolence

Any questions?

Peace, love, and Yuletide cheer!
~Karin

The title of this post is also the title of an Ani Difranco song. If you don’t know Ani, you should. Check it:

Posted in controversial, Family, fears, hope, inspiration, kids, life, love, music, news | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

A Major Award! (not really)

Guess what happened when  I stopped writing on my blog for over 2 months because I was too lazy/depressed/busy/distracted to pay any attention to it? Anyone care to guess?

Bueller?

Bueller?

No one? Alright, fine. I’ll tell you. I was given some blogging awards by two fantastic bloggers! TWO! Pretty great for an underachiever, eh? To be fair, I was given the same award by both of them, but it’s still awesome to know that people actually pay attention to my blog even when I’m not here.

I started this blog in May of 2011 because I was always convinced that I could write. I have kept journals as far back as I can remember, and would write everything down in them. I’d even carry them with me wherever I went, so as not to miss the chance to write down some amazing random idea (which never really happened, btw). I’ve been an infrequent poster since the beginning of this blog, and I’ve discovered over the last year and a half, that writing doesn’t come as naturally to me as I once thought. I feel like I should have this grand idea before writing anything. Everyone tells me to just write. Sit down and write and the words will come. Baloney.

I mean, in some ways it is true, but only if I have an idea in mind first; and even then it’s difficult. I have so many unfinished and unpublished posts, that they probably outnumber the published ones. But whatever. My biggest problem is that I compare myself to other bloggers; even when I know that it’s counterproductive. I need to accept that I’m no Mary Tyler Mom or Hands Free Mama. I’m just me; and apparently some people like me just the way I am. Heck, some of them even like me enough to read this here blog and give me fancy awards!

So, without any further ado, on with the award business!

First, the lovely Diary of an Unbreakable Mom gave me the award and I had to admit that I didn’t even know who she was. (Shame on me!) So I checked her out and found out who she is, and I discovered we have a lot in common!
Then, the ever funny and sweet Daddy Knows Less bestowed it upon me as well.  I knew I needed to make my return to this here blog to thank them for their kindness and for reading my lame excuse for a fledgling blog.

Now, when Unbreakable Mom gave it to me, this is what she said the rules were:

 How the Liebster Blog Award Works:
1.  Thank the Liebster Award presenter in your blog.
2.  Link back to the blogger who presented it to you.
3.  Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4.  Present the award to 5 blogs that deserve to be noticed.
5.  Let them know they have been presented with the Liebster Award by commenting on their blog/FB page.
6.  Grab a rain stick and do a rain dance.
7.  Buy a birthday cake, sing the “happy birthday” song backwards, and make a wish.
8.  High five yourself, because you are awesome.

 

I’m pretty sure she made up those last 3, but I did them anyway for good measure. Mmm…cake. 

When Daddy Knows Less gave me the award, this was his version of the rules:

The Rules:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
4. Choose 11 people to award, and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell     them.
5. No tag backs.

I couldn’t help but wonder what the original rules were for the Liebster Award, so I Googled it, of course. This is what I found, along with other buttons for it and varied rules, so who knows? Either way, I’m honored to receive it!

11 Things About Me:

1. I am a textbook Pisces. Born on 3/3, I am sensitive, creative, emotional, and an idealistic dreamer, which has gotten me nowhere. I’ve got a lot of good ideas, but they never pan out. I’m also a procrastinator of EPIC proportions.

2. I LOVE potatoes. If you can imagine a way they can be cooked and eaten, I am so there.

3. I identify myself as a bisexual woman, but really might be considered more pansexual. I am attracted to men, women, some transgendered folks, and just about anyone else in-between. It took me most of my life to fully understand this and accept myself for who I am, instead of trying to fit into just one category.

4. My son has 2 middle names, because the name I picked out for him just didn’t suit him when he was born. He was to be Maxwell Lennon LastName, but he was too sweet and soft to be a Maxwell, so the bio-father and I had to come up with another name before leaving the hospital. We were flipping through the baby name book and stumbled on the name Lucas that I had highlighted at some point, and it just fit. So his name is Lucas Maxwell Lennon LastName. I couldn’t drop the original name, no matter how hard I tried. He also has the bio-father’s last name- a decision I regret to this day.

5. I got married last year to a band geek that I met originally in junior high (middle school). We went to the homecoming dance together as “just friends” our senior year of high school, and after graduation, didn’t see or speak to each other again until 13 years later on MySpace. Then 2 years went by and we reconnected on facebook, and the rest is history.

6. I like rodents. I think they’re adorable. All of them. We currently have a guinea pig named Sir Henry Reginald Piggerton IV. We call him Henry so he doesn’t get a swelled head over the whole being knighted thing.

7. My favorite colors are green and orange.

8. I LOVE books. I don’t read them as often as I’d like these days, but I used to read at least one book a week. My favorite genres are fantasy, erotica, and memoirs; but I’ll read almost anything, except mysteries and romance crap

9. I’m a nerd. I’ve been nerdy since I was a kid and other kids would make fun of my ears, clothes, and last name; amongst other things. They even put spitballs in my hair on the bus, just because they could. I was bullied, picked on, and cast out from a very early age, and while I’d like to say it helped me grow as a person, it really didn’t. All it did was crush my self-esteem; and it’s still a tiny, mangled mess to this day.

10. I used to LOVE cats and other pets until I had them myself, then I decided they’re more trouble than they’re worth. I know that sounds mean, but it is what it is. I have 3 kids to clean up after and feed, I do not need pets, too. (of course, we have pets and guess who takes care of them mostly?)

11. I’m not a very girly girl. I hate pink and flowery shit and glitter and sequins. I don’t wear much jewelry or makeup, and I’m fine with that. I do, however, consider myself feminine. Do you know the difference between girly and feminine? I do.

11 Questions for me to answer:

1. The best gift you ever received?
Would it be cliche’d to say my son? He is the most amazing thing in the world to me. Also, he’s the gift that keeps on giving!

My boy.

2. The best gift you ever gave?
Umm….again with my son? I gave him life, yo. It doesn’t get much better than that. Oh, and I gave myself to my hubby when we got married. I’m a pretty awesome present, if you ask me. 

3. What do you think are your chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse?
Well, I watch a LOT of zombie movies and TV shows, and consider myself pretty educated about zombie awareness and survival skills. I mean, I know that you have to aim for their heads. I know not to hang around once they’re down, and I’d totally be willing to sacrifice people to save myself and my loved ones. The only problem I might run into is the fact that I’m fat and I do not run. I suppose if I had a brain-eating zombie chasing me, I’d be able to move pretty quickly, but I don’t have faith in my running ability. Maybe I could wear rollerskates? 

4. What’s on your DVR right now?
Umm…I don’t have a DVR. I don’t even have cable. BUT if I did have a DVR, then you’d find Grey’s Anatomy, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Modern Family, and anything about sex, zombies, or outer space. 

5. The 5 most played songs on your i-pod are?
I don’t own an i-pod. I do own a cheap Mp3 player, but I never use it. I’m not a huge fan of technology, and I don’t feel the need to own every new-fangled gadget. That being said, we could look at my Spotify and see what I listen to most often. Narrowing it down to songs would be tricky, so I’ll just say artists. Steam Powered Giraffe, Amanda Palmer, The Avett Brothers, Tori Amos, and Ben Folds

6. One movie that you absolutely HAVE to watch when it’s on? Just one.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

7. In 10 words or less, why do you write/blog?
I have to get the thoughts out of my head.

8. What’s your catchphrase?
I’m pretty sure I don’t have one. 

9. The most clever Halloween costume you’ve ever had?
I’m not very clever. My costumes have always been lame. *shrug* 

10. One thing you’re really bad at?
Time management. 

11. Your favorite board game?
I love backgammon, but I never get to play because it seems like no one knows how to. I also love Trivial Pursuit. I know a LOT of useless information. 

11 Questions for Those Being Awarded:

1. What is your earliest memory?
2. What are your personal religious/spiritual beliefs?
3. Favorite comfort food?
4. Are you crafty? If so, what’s your crafting niche?
5. Who do you think is hotter- Johnny Depp or Robert Downey Jr?
6. What’s your astrological sign? Do you believe in astrology?
7. How many countries have you been to? Which ones?
8. Have you read 50 Shades of Grey? Opinion?
9. Which decade do you feel like you belong in? Why?
10. Do you garden? If yes, what kind of gardening do you do?
11. What blows your mind more- outer space or life as we know it?

11 Bloggers I am Giving the Award to: 

1. Crazy Dumbsaint of the Mind
2. The Single Crunch
3. Pile of Babies
4. Corbyn Hanson Hightower
5. Whoredinary
6. A Morning Grouch
7. MyRadDad
8. A Wordsmith’s Brainworks
9. Looking for My Escape
10. The Crumb Diaries
11. Edward Hotspur

Thank you again, to Daddy Knows Less and Diary of an Unbreakable Mom for the award. You guys rock.
I hope you all had as much fun reading this post as I did writing it.

Until next time-
~Karin

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Missing My Boy. Again.

Me and Lucas on the carousel at Greenfield Village this summer.

Again with the missing my boy business. *sigh*  Last year I wrote a post about it when he was in Florida for two weeks. This year he’s going to be gone even longer, and it’s tough. I may seem all smiles, but inside I am dying for a hug from my boy.

It’s not fair. It’s not fair to me, nor is it fair to him. He’s far, far away in North Carolina, visiting his bio-father for 4 weeks. 4! That’s a long time for anyone to be away from someone they love, and an especially long time for a child to be away from his mother; his primary caregiver.

 

I was so torn this year. I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t know whether to let him go to NC or not. He certainly didn’t want to go, but it seems that the opinion of a 5 year-old isn’t all that important to most adults. It matters to me and to my wonderful husband, but we’re pretty much the minority.
When I told the douchebag bio-father that Lucas didn’t want to go see him, his response was simply, “I don’t care about that.” Shrugging it off as a typical kid thing. No biggie. “He’ll get over it once he’s here” he said.  How does a parent just shrug off the feelings and opinions of their child?

Lucas was nervous and afraid and just not at all interested in going to NC, but I had to make him go because he’s only 5 and his opinions don’t hold water. Such bullshit. I hate feeling like the bad guy when all I’m trying to do is help him establish some kind of relationship with his bio-father. Not that his father deserves that, but who am I to make that judgment? I am certain that Lucas will learn the type of man his father is without any help from me, and one day he’ll thank me for it. I can only hope he learns his father’s true nature, and not a kid-friendly version of it.  Only time will tell, I suppose.

So right now he’s there and I’m here. I miss him so much. Luckily, it’s easy to go through the entire day, making sure I’m constantly distracted by something, just so I can’t even think for a minute about how much I miss my boy.
We’ve talked on the phone several times, and every time he sounds more and more sad. He tells me he wants to come home, and I don’t know what to say to him. I cannot just go pick him up. It’s not like NC is right around the corner from MI. And I can’t tell him that I’ll come get him because his bio-father wouldn’t stand for that even if I could just hop in the car and go get him.
I was so hoping that Lucas would get used to being there by the end of the first week, but he just seems to be getting more and more homesick.

My poor, sweet baby boy.

He’s not really sad here, just very serious. But honestly, how could you not miss that sweet face?

Some would say that a bit of adjustment from being out of his comfort zone is good for him, and maybe they’d be right; but I have a hard time believing that I should just ignore his pleas to come home. He’s not happy. Why should he be forced to be there if it’s not bringing him happiness? If it’s not building on his life experiences and making him a better person, why make him stay? Why make him go at all, for that matter?

But it’s a difficult situation because he’s only 5. That, and the fact that his bio-sperm-donor and I never married (Thank GOD!) and we don’t have any official, legal custody arrangements in place. We’re just trying to work together and avoid going to court. For me, it’s mainly because I don’t want to waste all that money on lawyers and stuff. For him, I’m starting to think it’s because he knows he doesn’t stand a chance at getting much custody legally, since he’s the one who left in the first place. Asshole.

Whatever. None of that changes how I’m feeling. Sad, miserable, depressed, worthless, guilty. Need I say more?  I’m so, so glad that this time is going by so quickly. As much as I love having a quiet house all day, and my hubby to myself all evening and night, I need my boy close to me.

That is where he belongs, and that is where he will be in 18 days. Snuggled up in my arms.

To top off my sadness, I discovered this amazing musical duo today, Renee & Jeremy, thanks to the lovely Mary Tyler Mom. This is one of the many songs I used to sing to Lucas when he was younger, and this video is just beautiful. I’m drowning in my tears over here, guys. 

Counting down the minutes~
Karin

 

 

 

 

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