Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Take it! Take a Piece of My Heart, Baby.

Yesterday marked two months. I'll be honest, I forgot about it. I blocked it out. It's the easiest that way. I'm not saying I don't ever think about it. I just make sure it's "safe" to do so.

Last month was harder. It was damn near impossible not to lose my noodle. I think I might have partially done so. Events happened and I felt like I was reliving the whole dreadful day all over again. For the next week I went through the same wave of depression that hit after I lost Emmitt. From 2pm until I went to sleep I couldn't function. I did the bare minimum and that was all. Today was different.

Thankfully, there were no repeats of last month. However, my kids suddenly decided they needed to know what the date was. I'm not sure why knowing it was Monday wasn't good enough. Okay, I do, it's because they are excited for Christmas. I'm trying to be. All I got was the tree up though. The rest of my house is bare. A stark contrast to the other years and I was already asked tonight if we could decorate the rest of the house tomorrow, Christmas Eve. I don't see the point. I don't know if I can do more than my tree this year. You see their date question, reminded me that I lost my baby two months ago today, and that I would have been approximately 24 weeks along. It hurts all over again, I feel angry and want to hide under a blanket, but I can't. In moments like these I am super happy for this thoughtful gift from my parents.

To help me deal with my grief and help solidify the very real, but surreal moment, my most wonderful hubby agreed to me getting an ornament for Emmitt. All my kids have one for their year of birth. When I went to my mom's I saw the "perfect ornament" on her tree. My Parents bought another ornament, got Emmitt's name inked on, and gifted the ornament to me. It sounds strange, and some may say it's not based in reality, but it brings me a sense of peace in place of a great amount of chaos and pain. I feel like through this ornament I'm able to hold the baby I didn't get to. It calms me and centers me when something catches me unexpected and my world seems to rip out from under me, threatening to bury me in unrepairable heartache.

I feel empty when I remember what "could've been", but I feel full when I look at Emmitt's ornament next to his siblings and ours on the tree. It serves as a reminder he's in Heaven patiently waiting for all of us to join him one day. And that indeed, he was very real.

A very Merry Christmas to all. May your holiday season be a blessed one.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My New Year's Resolution! Before New Years

We all make them. I think I've had at least a couple I've posted. So, here I am again. Except I'm not waiting until the new year.

I'll be honest, I don't remember what my New Year's resolutions of the past were. And I'm much too lazy busy to look. What I do know is that it was most likely about my weight and self improvement.

I'm continuing with that goal. In 2011 I found myself still at 206lbs by the end of the year. The heaviest I had been so far, besides the approximate 224lbs I was full term with L. I decided January 1, 2012 would be my year to slim down. The goal was to be 160lbs at least by my anniversary in September. Giving lots of room to back track. By summer I was down to 176lbs. I felt good that I seemed to be getting somewhere, but apprehensive because I always gained the weight back once I hit that point. It was here when the pain became the worst. We discovered it was a cyst, and I decided to let myself gain 5lbs. as it helped reduce the pain. I finally had the surgery the day after my birthday. Then I gained, and as of January of 2013 I was back up to 196lbs. I didn't gain everything back, but it was most of it. I was left depressed, but not yet ready physically to start my hard regimen of exercise, so I tried to get back on the eating portion of it. Only hubby wasn't doing it,and was eating the junk I was trying to stay away from, hard to stay motivated. I was trying to get more active after a few months, but the weight wasn't coming off. Then the rush of school and preschool ending, summer beginning and I was working so much. The depression of not losing was winning. In Sept I started going to see an awesome personal trainer. I got in three sessions. Then I discovered why I wasn't losing weight and had to cancel my trainer appointment. I haven't been back. I will, just going back is still a reminder of why I missed an appointment last minute in the first place. I haven't completely healed from everything just yet and I may never. So, I have been doing what I remember at home. It has helped my leg issue and I'm back to running again with no pain. Score!

And here we are. My New Year's Resolution begins today. I'm serious here. So serious, that I am considering trying to get up early in the am. And I mean 5am early to get my work out on. My dilemma: with my new position I will not be able to work out until 11 at night. Who wants to work out at 11 at night after a long day? The logical solution is to get up early like I mean to do. The hurdle is that I am absolutely, 100% not a morning person. Seriously. My family is not allowed to even talk to me for the first ten minutes to half hour after I wake up because the noise will give me a headache that will last the whole day. I have to talk first. I know when I'm awake enough that the disruption to my favourite past time won't inflict serious pain and leave me one growly bear for the day. I also cannot handle that beeping noise from alarms, if my alarm is not set to soft talking or preferably a good radio station (and still on the quieter side), I will have a raging headache for the entire day. Which makes me a miserable person to be around.

So you see, I'm totally serious about my weight loss here. I'm sacrificing my love of sleeping to get up at the butt crack of dawn all because I want to feel good about myself and how I feel. I want to look and feel sexy in a dress again.

I do need help to get this resolution going. One of the things is I'm going to be asking my friends to help me stay accountable. The other is taking lots of pics of my tired butt getting up at 5am and working out. Let's see if I can do this. In that time, I'm also going to post the cool home gym we just bought! I'm stoked. It is really hard to get to the gym with four children. Three of whom cannot stay home alone. Not to mention the cost that mounts when you pay for the membership, babysitting, and a personal trainer when you need a little extra guidance.

Now that you know mine, what's your resolution? What kind of journey do you hope for the new year?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

When Strength Is My Name

Strong. Lately, I haven't felt strong at all. Most of my life I haven't felt strong, just afraid. Now that I'm significantly overweight. Some say I'm not. Comments like, "you don't look overweight.", "you are not really (blank) lbs. Well, you carry it well.", and others of the sort are not very comforting. In fact, they irritate me. They don't make me feel better. I was thin all my life, then after I had my first I began emotional eating. I was never a good anorexic, but I can binge eat, and I was good at it. Then I was on antidepressants on and off for years and the last 4.5, the ones I was on had me feeling like I was starving 24/7. Every meal was my last meal. Not good when you want to lose weight. I am officially 50lbs heavier than I was before my son. 50lbs is little to some. To me it's an ocean to cross. I've been fighting this for years now. I was doing well and dropped 30lbs last year, and then we discovered I was in extreme stomach pain because of a cyst. It's been removed, but old habits take hold faster than new ones hang on. So here I am, only have managed to keep off 10 of that 30. Very sad and frustrating. I had so many bumps this year to keep that weight on. After the miscarriage, something changed. No longer on anti-depressants I need exercise and other healthy things to keep me out of my "funk". I'm tired of not living, and being depressed and miserable in life. Losing Emmitt change so much in my out look on my kids, husband and my life in general. Yes, I still fight depression every day. But I'm doing more that makes me happy. I'm learning my children's laughter and doing fun things, make me happy and I'm learning to be comfortable in it. And while motivation some days is none existent, I realize I am the only one who can be my motivation. My food sucks right now, but I have decided on building on my workout consistency first. So to help, I get silly and while, some may think it's me trying to motivate others to move, posts like this on my timeline really are to motivate myself and keep accountable to my goal to help me feel better both emotionally and about myself. But if someone finds inspiration in what I'm doing I won't shove it away either. We all look up to bits of someone's life when we need to move forward. Some women are happy with their "curves", and I'm happy for them. I, however, don't like myself at this weight and that is why I'm trying to lose it, not for anyone else. So here is a sample of what my FB friends get to enjoy. No matter how I feel when I start, I ALWAYS feel strong at the end. And this friends is what happens when Strength is my name:

This was a particularly bad day.

Dreadmill time. This is my I don't want to but will make myself run face. See ya when I come back from the fun. Much fun to be had. Really. :P

The day didn't own me. I just OWNED the day!!!!

This past week. Feeling some motivation.

Step 1. Treadmill.

37 min later. Step 2. Weights. I got this! Do you?

Step3. Take a other pic of your spent self before you stretch and collapse from all that hard work you put in to making yourself feel better and stronger. Now take this example and apply it to whatever makes you feel like you can take on the world! (I realize I should have a disclaimer here. Apply to whatever makes you feel like you can take on the world that is legal and healthy physically and/or mentally. I'm not suggesting committing crimes here, I will not be held responsible for that sort of monekey business :P )

Monday, December 9, 2013

Heartache/Christmas Wish

When does it get easier? A new fresh bucket of tears is taking over my days. Up until now I'd cry when I worked out. I could run, kick, punch, step, kettle bell, walking lunge, etc. my way through any ache my heart threw at me as my thoughts turned to Emmitt and my 16yr who left home to "greener pastures".

I was doing alright trying to remind myself that "things happen" and I left my parents home several times from the age of 17 on, because I didn't like their rules. So I try to tell myself, it's him finding his "adult legs". It still hurts. They never know how much you sacrifice for them so they can be happy. All they see is what you won't let them do to keep them safe and grow them up productive, successful people. I'm not a perfect parent. I make mistakes. Yet, somehow, they need us to be perfect in an overwhelmingly imperfect world.

Then this weekend was a family get together. I was so impressed that everyone came. (pretty sure it was everyone). It was good to get out, even though it felt like I was coming down with a cold. And then, she came up and said, "Hi". I totally forgot she was pregnant. I'll be honest, I'm mentally blocking out all pregnancy photo's, status updates, and newborn photos on my facebook newsfeed. It's the only way I'm not depressed every second of every day. I felt like I got hit by a ton of bricks. I direct hit to my gut. I pushed it back as far as I could. This day was not the "(insert name here) show", this was a happy day. Most of us don't see each other throughout the year. I would not cry, I would celebrate with everyone else. I sat upstairs, I visited, all was good. Then something happened. Maybe it was my weepy daughter, or just the joy of everyone. But I broke. I felt myself run to the washroom. At least I felt like I was running. I locked the door behind me and I cried. I couldn't stop. I couldn't stay in there forever, but I couldn't stop. I should be pregnant too. I should be sharing stories about the excitement coming. (Please don't think I'm not happy for this person. I'm over the moon for her. She's super kind, and totally kept things not all about her cutest bump ever. Seriously, she has a cute baby bump.) It isn't lost on me what a stark contrast it is to the guilt I felt when I discovered I was pregnant. We decided to not have anymore kids, took precausions yet here I was. And I could only think of how this baby should belong to one of the many people I knew who have been trying for years to have children and couldn't. How could I be happy when they weren't? And then in the next minute the baby was gone and I was mad at God and the world at the unfairness of that. Such a roller coaster of emotions I never knew existed. For days and possibly weeks I felt like this thought killed my baby. In weak moments I still do.

I made myself leave the bathroom, with my mostly dried up tears. I tried to keep my head down. Dinner was being served and I felt too sick to eat. My appetite was gone. I sat downstairs in the corner pretending to watch the kids as tears silently ran down my face. It took a bit for it to stop. I wouldn't stop until I relented to the ache that beat so hard against my body to be let out and I let my tears run its course. Once the ache passed the night resumed for me.

Today, I woke up sicker than a dog. But I had a 12hr shift ahead of me. I know some of it was because I was tired, some of it was because I was sick, but mostly it's because Christmas is just around the corner. I began my silent tears that wouldn't stop with an hour left of my shift. My 16yr old won't be around for Christmas for the first time in his entire life. It is heart breaking. I should have also been approximately 24 weeks pregnant at Christmas time.

The remaining ache is me wanting to pass up material gifts, get my son to come home and have my baby back. That is my deepest heart's Christmas Wish. But life doesn't work that way, so I'll keep waiting for the moments and days to get easier.

Monday, November 25, 2013

My New Normal

It's been a month. Life has given me a lot of poop to deal with, but the last month has been the one to break me over all the rest. I never wanted to experience anything like this, then again, who wants to experience the painful things?

I still cry. Mostly silently, as nobody cares what's going on. I shouldn't put it that way. There are some who care. They care deeply. They know the pain and they are there for those random vents that make absolutely no sense. I found people I didn't know would care, did. Even if they never went through anything like this, they let me talk and cry.

Then there is the rest of people, they either don't know what to say, or don't like anything negative in their lives and thus avoid you like you have a disease they can catch. There are those who think you should get over this within a day or two. I mean, I only just found out, and we didn't want any more right?

Wrong. A child is a blessing, no matter how unexpected. I was just getting over the shock of being pregnant and then getting really excited when the rug was ripped out from under me.

And there are those who ask almost daily, "how are you doing?" I never disliked that question so much in my life. I would avoid phone calls, emails, pm messages, knowing what question I'd have to hear or see before anything else only made me nauseous. I came to understand their meaning was well, I also learned that most just ask to make themselves feel better, that they showed they cared. But their quick changing of the subject only showed me they didn't want the real answer. They wanted me to put it all in a box and move on with life as if nothing happened. The people I found most comfort in were those who didn't ask how I was doing every time they spoke to me. Instead, they just let me know they are there for me. In return I messaged the weirdest thoughts or just repeat that life isn't fair and they'd respond in some manner. But I don't have to answer the "how are you doing?" question. I can only speak for myself, but my guess at this point is that common responses are:

"I have no bloody clue how I'm doing."

"I just lost my baby, how the hell do you think I am doing?"

"I had to convince myself that my children really need me. So I dragged my ass out of bed so my kids continue to think their lives are awesome sauce."

"I didn't sleep last night because I'm still dreaming some mad man has my baby and won't give him back. But he's giving everyone else their babies."

"There are some days I cannot go on Facebook because seeing everyone else's baby bumps, ultra sounds, and newborns in my newsfeed is like a freshly heated branding iron on my busted heart."

Some days I feel fine and am doing well and yet people tell me I look or sound sad. In reality, how I'm doing, is keeping me so busy I have no time to worry about how I'm not doing. Because if I think about how I'm doing, I will crumble into a pile of human flesh and waterworks. The other moments of some days, those responses up top are a lot of what I'm feeling.

So this is now my new normal. I cry a lot and mostly alone. I laugh really long and hard with my children here with me. I find myself smiling at lot more and at peace emotionally with things I never used to be. I spend more time with my children and working extra hard to find a balance between my wants and being a present mom and wife. The busy nature of this balance, while it has me exhausted most days, leaves me feeling more put together than I am. I have been making sure I get healthy feel good things in, like regular exercise and can most days leave out the emotional eating. I message a good friend with the most angry thoughts when I hit a sad moment. I also message the broken nature of my heart that hurts with such a fire my whole body aches. I message how I still desperately want my baby back. I live with guilt and blame. I pray every night that God will take care of Emmitt until I get there. To let him know I love him. This brings me peace. Knowing that I'll get to see him one day. I take more moments out just to hug my husband or hold his hand. I don't rush my kids away when they want a hug or just cuddle. (unless I'm cooking. don't want to burn the house down.) I'm learning to work through my emotions. Learning how I feel when frustrated, sad, okay, etc. where in the past I didn't work on anything but anger. As sad as I am, I spend less time depressed and more time happier than I once was. And I still have anxiety and still freeze at the thought of leaving my house or looking for work.

I'm discovering it won't all change over night. I don't know if this portion of my heart that hold's Emmitt's name will ever heal even just a little. I just know this is my new normal and it's not all tears and heartache, but it's okay to have moments that are.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gotta Look At Me! But God, Please Don't Really Look

Yeah, Sully from Monsters Inc. is cute. But this is his scary face. Everything on Google images was either too cute, or quite frankly too scary for what I wanted my readers to see. (I'm thinking of the kids people).

Living with my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder blows chunks. It doesn't get easier, or go away with age, as one pshychologist tried to tell me. What a lofty idea though. It would be Heaven if it did. It doesn't get tolerable. You just learn tools to get through it. Over the years I've used bad and ineffective ones. From cutting to overdosing on pills. Fun, fun. *eyeroll* I have also learned and used more effective ones in the last eight or nine years. Doing stuff even though you feel like crap. I'm gonna feel like poop either way, might as well get something done while I'm at it. Going running. Oh my gosh I miss this. I really screwed up my leg. Lesson learned. If you are going to run, make sure you are strength training! Very important. Ugh shin splints. To writing, and anything that makes me feel what I think normal should feel like. (sounds like a bad thought now, since I've got it written down and all. Realizing I have nothing normal in my life to base what normal feels like on.)

But this monster, that's what I think everyone sees. Over the last nine years I have been dealing with some heavy crap from my past so I can move on. I've pretty much dealt with all of it. I knew dealing with my intense feelings was the "last frontier" so to speak. Since the anti-depressants I was on stopped working, there was no better time. And then, the unthinkable happened. What the heck?! I don't want to deal with this and the loss of someone. The loss only helps to make those intense emotions that more intense. I'm so not ready to deal with any of this. Apparently God thinks I am. I have this to say to God, "Do you NOT see the monster that is lying in wait inside me to bring havoc to all those around? That one that wants to destroy me and the life I fought so hard to build? Do you not understand the chaos, the depths of pain you are sending me to?"

I honestly hear God laughing at me. Chiding me and telling me I need to "Let Go, and Let God". Well God, I'm a control freak and you just threw all my control and plans out the window. I'm not about to let you or anyone tell me what to do. And I'm definitely not about to let go of anything. Even if I don't have anything left to hold on to. I will find something. Anything.

I'm as stubborn as they come.

God and I are currently embroiled in this struggle. Okay, He's not struggling. I am. I'm not ready to give up though. I do plead a lot. a. lot.

One thing that is coming up though, besides the fact that I need to grieve and not put a time limit on it. (apparently, in all my logic, two weeks is more than enough time to get over the loss of my baby.) I'm learning not only am I illogical, but so is grief. I hate myself. I knew I hated myself. But I always thought it was because of the disorder, or because of my parents, or because of such and such in my past. I'm sure it's a combination of everything, but doing some reading and there is actually a disorder of self-loathing. WTH?! Who knew?

Maybe that monster up there isn't a monster that is in me that will eat everyone up, including myself. Well, it will if I continue the way I am. But maybe the monster has a name. It wasn't neglect. It wasn't abandonment. It wasn't abuse of any kind. Well, maybe self abuse. I'm thinking this monster is self-loathing.

Recently, I went out to try and feel "normal" again after the loss. I was having a conversation with a group of women and covering everything, we eneded up discussing our jobs. I think about my job like I always do. You got to have a certain amount of crazy in you to do the type of care jobs like I do. The one lady seemed a bit put off by what I said. Of course I wanted to hear her thoughts. She said she didn't agree, and gave her reason. She also said, I was putting myself down, that what I did, didn't make me a superhero like some think of it (I was right about that feeling), but it does take a special kind of person, which wasn't because they were "crazy", but compassionate, etc. That they have a "serving spirit". I could only feel sad and contemplative. I could also only be honest with myself. Why that moment, that person was the one that finally pushed that acknowledgement button that I do put myself down. A. lot. I don't know. Maybe it was the combination of the loss and wanting to move on. Maybe it is just time for me to deal with this part of everything. Who knows. It doesn't really matter, what does matter is I think this lady broke the lock on the door I've been beating my head against for years. I know others have said I put myself down, that I'm really negative, and I've just gotten angry and pushed them off. Many times, ending friendships.

So self-loathing monster, angry Sully. I'm gonna do some more reading, and let's see if I can shrink you and squish you. I'm ready to stop hating everything about myself.

Oh yeah, anyone have a time limit on this? Yeah, I know. Just like my grief there won't be one. Stupid control issues.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One Part Ends, Another Begins

(Google Images)

Today was hard. Every day this past week has been hard. My heart still hums with pain that won't be filled by anything other than the child I lost. My arms tingle when I think of him. A mild ache for the child I will never get to hold. In those moments I grab the closest of the littles and hold on for dear life. They always break the hold long before I'm ready.

I started a devotional on Bible dot com called Our Daily Bread: Finding Comfort in Times of Loss. I don't know how much it is helping. But it's not hurting.

I went for my hcg level testing yesterday and had the most horrible experience with the lab tech. I cried once I got to the van. I went home, cried some more once and hid in my room. Took hubby to get food for supper and then went to bed. Woke up with a nightmare. Some crazy guy took my baby and wouldn't give him back. No matter what I did, I didn't even come close to seeing my son or touching him. I woke up feeling like my heart was going to break. At least in the dream I had a chance, in reality I had nothing. My husband asked me if I was okay. I said I was angry and I wanted to punch someone. He offered up himself. I hugged him instead. He wasn't the one I wanted to punch. The lab tech on the other hand.

Today I made the dreaded phone call to the OB the hospital set me up with. I couldn't remember if I was supposed to make an appointment or what was supposed to happen. She was so kind and was not happy when she found out what happened the last hour I was at the hospital. I opted for the 4 pills over a D&C and was told they would be placed vaginally as well I'd be given some more, just in case it didn't work the first time. I was also supposed to get a script for T3's. They gave it to me orally. The shock in her voice, shocked me. She apologized repeatedly. I then told her about the lab work experience. She apologized for that, as well as had her assistant call the lab for the results. They got them and, as my levels had dropped significantly since last week, I was given some more kind words and told I didn't have to worry about anything else. The levels had dropped nicely, and my statement of how the bleeding is now is good. She also asked how long the heavy bleeding was for and replied that it was the right amount of time for how far along I was. I was relieved because for me it seemed to be too long, and I was worried. Especially after her response to me saying they gave me the pill orally. I cried some during the phone call and more after. But the relief that the medical part of this was finally over brought me some peace.

As I said in my last post, Until We Meet Again, we had plans on naming the baby. I don't know about my husband, I honestly didn't ask, but I needed it for closure. I needed it, to make everything more real. I know what happened, but without a name, how could he truely have been? This solidifies him. Makes him more real. Of course we don't know for sure he was a boy, I'm just going with my gut. Anyways, after some thought and time spent looking through baby names, we finally found one. My heart feels lighter and more whole. He is more than just a 6+ week old fetus whose heart forgot how to beat. He is a piece of my heart. His name adds to this fact. Makes it real. He existed. No matter how long. He was mine. Ours.

May you find great joy in the arms of our Father in Heaven our sweet prince:

Emmitt Isaiah

Monday, October 28, 2013

Until We Meet Again

A total of 50hrs. From the positive test to the confirmational ultrasound. Somehow you were there. Our miracle baby. What else could we call you? What were the chances the operation done two years ago failed? Vasectomy's are not supposed to fail. And I only have one ovary. So a miracle is all it could be.

I cried, I was shocked. What were we going to do? We didn't want anymore. We would have to start all over again, our youngest is almost finally out of diapers. How we could afford another one? How the heck did this happen after two years?

Okay, we thought. No matter what we can do this. Really what is one more? Our age, well it's not like we're 60.

Tuesday morning came and I confirm with a doctor. That night the bleeding started, Wednesday I woke up and it didn't stop. In my heart, I knew something was wrong. I screamed and yelled at God. How could he give us something that wasn't supposed to be only to take it away? And then do it while my husband wasn't even in the Country. How cruel was that. One of the things I spat over and over was that I wasn't Job. I wasn't a pawn in some stupid game between God and the Devil. I was me, and this was an innocent baby.

I took the kids out of school and had my mother stay with them, then went to Emergency. I tried to make light of everything. Surely, the bleeding was nothing. There was no cramping, it just wouldn't stop. It was a crazy last few months, so I had no idea when my last mensus was. Only that I for sure hadn't had one in September and October and possibly August. I should have been about 15weeks. When they couldn't find a heartbeat, my head spun and it felt like my heart was smashed apart with a sledgehammer.

An hour or so later the blood work came back, my proteins were just too low for how long they estimated me to be. The only thing left was to confirm through an ultrasound. By then my cell was dead and I had no idea what time it was anymore. I slept on the gurney in between doctors and transports.

They did an internal ultrasound. The tech wouldn't tell me nothing. But the things she did, I could tell I really was miscarrying. As she wrote up her numbers she moved to the side just a bit. I could see some of the pics. He wasn't as big as he should have been. He just didn't look right. My heart sank to my stomach. My mind shut off, except for that silent scream to God. "Why?!"

Shortly after I was transported back and slept until the doctor came in. She said, "sorry". Explained that the proteins again were really low, the baby was only measuring 6+weeks and had no heartbeat. AFter that, nothing made sense. I couldn't go back. I conceeded. Yelling and pleading did nothing to save my baby. He was long gone even before we knew he was there. All I could do, with my anger spent and tears flowing in between the numbing reality, I told God that if I was going to be able to survive this, I needed to know that when it was my turn I would get to meet him and know him in Heaven. Really, that's all I have now. Besides the picture of the positive pregnancy test and the hospital bracelet.

The gynocologist came in and went through my options. Since my body wasn't doing it naturally, they had some pills or I could do a D&C. I needed to get home to my other kids and a D&C is digging and suctioning the baby out. The thought of that was worse than knowing I lost him. I opted for the pills. I was given a req form for Tuesday for HCG level testing and the name of an OB they set me up with. Another time later I was given the pills but no T3 scrip for the pain. I was in too much shock to ask. I mean when the gynie asked if I had questions for her, I asked when i could start working out again. Logic was not prevailing.

I left, somehow drove home in tears, got the kids and myself mcdonalds on the way. As soon as I got home the flood gates opened. I'm not sure how I thought this was better than a D&C. They don't tell you how much blood. Oh my Lord, there was so much blood. For four to five hours, the pain and other things knocked me to my knees. You're supposed to go back if you go through more than one pad in an hour. REally? Of course you are. I'm surprised one has any left in them after that.

Then the doctors offices calling the next two days. Both at the same times. Both at the time we heard no heartbeat on the doppler the day at the hospital. 1:30pm on and the sadness hits like a deep wave. It doesn't end until I wake the next morning. Only to start all over again at the same time the next day.

From another Country my husband was supportive and made two calls home, texting the rest of the time. He arrived home early this morning and held me until we fell asleep. The picture above I drew to commemorate our miracle child that was gone way too soon. Free flowing and no distinct features or shape to show he is going to be whatever he chooses to be. It will be known one day, just not right now.

I'm still numb. I still want to cry every second of every day. I still want to know "why?" I still want to crawl under blankets and never come out. It hurts to see so many have their babies. Not that I'm not happy, but that being happy for them somehow means I am dishonoring my recently passed baby. My heart and my arms ache madly for the baby I will never hold. A baby, that while wasn't planned for, was loved within minutes of knowing he existed. I'm still angry and confused that I didn't know I was pregnant. I blame myself for what happened. If I had known I would have done so many things differently. I just want him back.

The picture above will eventually also be a tattoo, and we have decided to give him a name. But for now, I just need to get through this day.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gaining Ground

I was a mess at the beginning of the school year this year.  Okay, I've been a mess these past 4.5yrs.  The past two, at least, were the worst.  The anti-depressant I was one for post partum depression stopped working.  Raising the dosage only made things worse.  So in August I took the plunge and did a most painful withdrawal.  (I was consulting my doctor on all fronts)  Holy beans I've got so much energy I don't know what to do.  Well, there is lots to do, I just don't want to do most of it.

What I love is this:

I can get the heck out of bed in the morning.  No I am still not a morning person, but I can open my eyes without my whole body aching from brain to the tips of my toes.

My body feels 30lbs lighter.  No, I haven't lost much weight yet, but I have finally stopped gaining.  I don't feel like I am carrying around a whole extra body on me.  My muscles are not screaming out that if I take one more step I will collapse and quite possibly die.

I'm not falling asleep 2 hours after I wake up, or falling asleep at the wheel.  Yes, I know, slightly dangerous.  While we do know that some of my fatigue is due to sleep apnea (discovered this spring), most of it apparently was from this beautiful drug I was taking.

I don't feel like every meal is the last meal.  I am not hungry all. the. time.  Seriously, I have no clue why they have anorexia as a warning for Effexor, because I couldn't keep food out of my mouth.  I would eat until I thought I was going to throw it all up.  Not because I wanted to, but because I felt ravenous all. the. time.  Now, I have a hard time eating.  But that's okay, it means I'm not eating a bunch of junk food, nor am I gaining stupid amounts of weight.

I am aware.  I was really in an endless cloud and had no idea until I got off the medication.

What I don't like:

I am more aware.  Sucks that I have to be accountable and can't blame my reactions on meds that don't work anymore.  The strong emotions and learning how to be with them is the harder part of all this.

Anyhoo,  when school started I was only free from anti-depressants for about 2.5 weeks.  I was also, becoming more involved in my children's lives.  Suddenly I was crabby because they were getting into trouble for things I'd usually let go as I was too tired to do much of anything.  I have become accountable to them and myself.

In October I can say I am finally gaining ground.

My daughter is testing me.  Currently she is yelling a lot at me and doesn't like me.  Mommy actually follows through and doesn't let her get away with things anymore.  But Mommy is also doing home reading with her every day and not passing the buck like she used to do.

My youngest son is testing too.  I think he just happened to hit the terrible two's really late and at the same time I was getting my own self back.

Between these two I'm exhausted by the end of the day.

I'm reading every night with my second eldest.  He's in grade two and started with a kindergarten/grade 1 reading level. Level C on this list.   I was upset and embarrassed as the plan was supposed to work on that this summer and have him at at least a Level H.  I, however, had put my job before my family and just about ended up in the hospital due to stress. (Panic attacks because you are way overworked and can't bare to go back to work is not good.)  Anyways, as of Tuesday, mine and my son's perseverance and reading every night has jumped him up to Level D!  He is now out of the Kindergarten and just in Grade 1.  He is doing better at level D than he did at Level C and while I find that odd, I'm also super excited and proud.  Our goal is Level F by Christmas.  If he hits Level G or H, that will be a bonus and we should be well on track for being on track at the end of the school year.  Anywhere at level L,M,N is what they like I was told.  Master E just really wants to read chapter books by himself, so he is motivated!

I'm also on top of things with the eldest.  He's like me, a procrastinator.  We are butting heads a lot too. He feels I'm being more grumpy now.  Maybe so.  But I'm also more present.

So overall, all is so much better on this front.  Since my last posts were so down and poopy, and I am trying to change my life and outlook, I thought sharing the good and having a visual reminder would be a good thing at this point.

So, here's to Gaining Ground!  I can't wait to report where everyone is at by Christmas!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


It's been a week, weeks, months?  It's been a doozy no matter how long.  So I unplugged.  That's right, I did the unthinkable.  For a day and a half I deactivated my Facebook account.  Out of the 350+ people on my list only a few noticed.  No, I didn't delete the account to see who would notice.  But, it was really interesting to see who bothered to see if things were okay.

Why did I unplug then?  Because Facebook has become a prison.  I kept looking to people who I really don't know who can say they are your friends, but truly we are just acquaintances, to walk with me through this hell of a black hole I'm in right now.  The black hole that even my real life friends don't want to go through with me.  Sure they offer the typical, "if you need to talk" rhetoric.  But when it comes down to it, they will change the subject, or they "don't like to talk about negative things because it brings them down".  So I'm not sure why I'd be as upset as I was when those acquaintances did exactly what my real life friends do.  So I cried for five hours.  Partly out of pity, partly over the loss of something dear to my heart and partly out of the realization that there is really only one person who I can talk to.  The strongest man ever.  He had to be, he married me. Guess I'll have to talk to myself when I got issues with him about his quirks, etc. :)

Being with myself isn't fun.  It does require looking at oneself.  Very deeply at oneself.  It is easier to deal with distraction.  I talked things out with my husband, and feel more comfortable with decisions I've had to make.  That I really made a long time ago, but didn't say out loud in fear of hurting anyone around me.  So I avoided and made excuses.  I think we can agree that it's easier to say what the person wants to hear as opposed to what needs to be said.  I'm not meaning walking away to avoid needless confrontation over some trivial thing.  I'm talking things that compromise my values, ideals, morals.  It was a hard decision to finally say this is me.  Unequivocally.  I will not be less than who I am anymore to satisfy someone else.  That doesn't mean I won't be kind or tactful.  It just means that I won't sacrifice the authentic me for anyone else anymore. (btw, this also means, now I need to find out who the heck this authentic me is as I've been playing roles for people all my life).

I did enjoy that day and a half off Facebook though.  So why did I go back on?  Because I have my businesses.  Unfortunately, if you leave, those pages disappear as well.  Not good when those business ventures actually make you feel good and accomplished.  Something of a rarity in my life.  Plus there are some good acquaintances that I like talking about the trivial stuff with because they are funny, or strongly opinionated.  Even if their opinions are drastically opposite of mine.  It gives me something to think about.  Sometimes I change my view, othertimes I tweak it.  Still others I think, this persons ideals are cray cray.  But I like it because I envy individuality.

So Facebook is back on.  However, I'm putting me on a Facebook diet.  If I'm going to be able to find the authentic me and learn how not to lose her again, I need to stop relying on strangers to walk with me through this current trial and get back to the basics of leaning on my husband and building an awesome real life life.

P.S.  When I do find a better way than Facebook for getting my business out there, believe you me, Facebook will be off more often than on.  I really felt fabulous while unplugged. When I wasn't freaking out about the business pages being unplugged as well.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Farewell To Heart

You touched me and chained me

I couldn't and still have trouble seeing past

The person you needed me to be.

I recently told the truth, vented

and cried for five hours straight.

Made impulsive decisions, felt abandoned,

and pushed back into childhood positions.

I spent a day in solitude, focusing my mind on not

cutting, on finding reasons to live.

I couldn't.  I'm dying, when I want to want to live.

So I spent another day

I focused on what I can do that brings me those fleeting moments of happiness.

My children's random silly spoken words

My husbands smile

The act of creating, bringing my thoughts to fruitation.

Poetry, sewing, clearing out that clutter.

I went to bed, still saddened, still feeling abandoned

But no longer looking to death.

Another conversation, without you.

You need to be who you are, but I can no longer be who

you need me to be.  I need to be me.

You touched me and chained me

You held my heart because of who you are.

But you suffocate me and drown me

In the need to keep you happy, to keep things peaceful

I sacrifice my beliefs, my loves, my resolve

becoming less of who I am, I sacrifice me.

I become the life sucking wretch of every relationship,

positioning myself to be hated, because you only wanted a role.

So I played the role with you, I had a role for everyone,

behind those masks I could not be authentic me.

So I lashed out, becoming the negative for every positive

And now I am nothing.  Just alone.

You touched me and chained me

Holding me down because it was the only way you could feel okay.

But the pain is too great, I've fought too many years

I need to decide between who you need and who I need/want.

Before years on the battlefield leave me too weary and death claims me.

I need to say Farewell to Heart

I need to put the tears aside and cry for you no more

You chose your path

I need to finally move forward with mine.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Early Morning Mind Wanderers: It's Early Morning Somewhere October 10, 2013

I'm finding a host of emotions that are taking over that haven't been allowed to exist in many, many years.  Who I am and how I feel has long since been taboo.  If it's not how people say I'm supposed to feel or be or see, than it must be wrong.  With this thinking my entire life has been wrong.  No wonder I'm so miserable.  I fight really hard to hide it and constantly lie about how I feel.  I'm really good at pretending. (Although you will see cracks.  I seem a bit off key.  I'm getting too tired to play this game.) When I was in highschool, although I felt odd at first, I really did love drama class.  I could be everything but who I was.  The person that nobody wanted me to be. No one could hate me, or tell me I shouldn't feel this, or think that.  While in that class I was just that character.  No wonder I really wanted to be an actress.  It didn't happen due to real life and people continually telling me that no matter what I was doomed to fail.  I have yet to really succeed in anything in life.  Not in anything that I really wanted.  I was too busy listening to everyone else tell me what to think and feel.  What I was good or bad at.  I'm too blunt.  My expectations are too high.  My opinions are not with the masses.   Etc.  It got so I believed every. single. word.  I'm 35 and I still do.  Life really hasn't changed.  People haven't really changed.  I've spent a lot of time changing.  But I'm tired.  I'm so very tired.  Some changes have been for the better, but most of them have just been trying to find ways to make me exactly how everyone else around me wants me.  That's too many roles, and I can't remember which role is for who anymore.

You say you want me

But you're a liar.

You don't want me

You want your version of me.

A little tweak here

A lot of rounding there

I'll never be good enough

Not just as I am.

You want my opinion

But you're a liar.

You want the words to start as mine

But end up the carbon copy of yours.

A little blurb here

A lot of changing there.

You say you like me

But you're a liar.

You ignore me

Until I'm a little more like you.

A little snub here

A lot of spurning there.

Now I don't want me

Just like you don't

I second guess my choices

Just as you like it.

I hate me

Even more than you do.

Every day changes.  Every moment freezes in points.  I can find fleeting moments of happiness.  I know I'm blessed.  Just nothing I do is ever right.  When will being me (whoever I am) be enough?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Early Morning Mind Wanderers: It's Early Morning Somewhere


I'm told I'm not me.

I cannot possibly be you.

Than who can I be?


Lost in too many changes.

Moving furniture to find her.

A giant puzzle only rearranges.


or Helpless?

I'm told I'm to smart.

Given a wrong diagnosis?!

The one with the big brain is useless.


Out of cold waters for a raft.

Kicked and flattened.

He can take back his hearty laugh.

I remain

Lost and broken.

I just want to enjoy

What God has given me.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Early Morning Mind Wanderers: August 25, 2013

My heart breaks for you and I cry,

Because I cannot tell you why you are pushed aside.

Your voice is trapped,

Like your legs are bound by circumstances out of your control.

Pain spikes through you,

Medicine thrown at you,

A silent cry screams out as they continue to walk on by.

I do what I can, but it's never enough.

Even my strong voice falls upon too many deaf ears.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I'm Colour Rad and Muddy Awesome!

I can't not be busy. I don't think it's possible. I want to not do anything most days, but yet somehow I fill my days to the brim. Especially this summer. Oops. Summer is half over and I realized I picked up so many extra shifts at work, that I lost July and half of August with my kids to work.

These last two Saturdays though were dedicated just to me. Doing something I really enjoy. Running. I did a half marathon last October and then I had surgery. Now that I feel better, I was considering another race. However, training for a half marathon is really time consuming and I wasn't feeling up to it this year. But I wanted to do something to help me get back into running. That's when I hear about Colour Me Rad I had never done this before, but have seen a lot of my American running friends post pictures of being head to toe in colour on their facebook pages. I had to do it. Just a 5k, no intensive training needed, and it would get me back into the habit of running.

July 20 at 9am I ran my 5k at the Red River Exhibition Park in Winnipeg, MB

This race wasn't nearly what I thought it was. I had fun, but it didn't provide the challenge in a race that I like. The thing I didn't know was that Colour Me Rad is more of a social thing. More people walk than run the 5K. Those walkers have probably never run in a race and don't really understand the importance of staying to one side of a trail to leave room for the runners to pass on their left. Even though the announcer mentioned keeping to the right of the trail if you're walking, no one heeded his words and many of us were left weaving in and out and dodging people throughout the 2.81miles. That was the other thing. It wasn't a true 5k either. It was short. In my few short years of running I have apparently become a more serious runner lol It didn't help that I left my mp3 player at home and had a dozen people in my head talking. It made for a noisy, non relaxing run on top of everything else I found annoying.

The good about the run? Getting smashed with colour. Seeing little kids running, walking, getting pulled or pushed in wagons and strollers. Getting out and completing a run I've never done before. The only way I would do this again though is if someone I know who really isn't into running, but wants to do this 5k asked me. Otherwise, challenge wise for me, saying I at least participated in it once is good enough for me.

On Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 10am I ran Mud Hero in Winnipeg, MB. Actually it was in Grand Beach, MB around the Grand Beach Entertainment Center.

What on earth does my shirt mean? I have a wonderful friend on facebook from the UK and she dared me to put "My name is Sarah and I'm F'ing Awesome!" on my shirt as I have four kids and do so much I should have probably drove myself completely mental by now. Like padded walls and straight jacket mental. Reality is, the kids and what I do is probably what keeps me out of that padded room and straight jacket. As you can see I modified the wording on the shirt just a bit and called her out instead lol.

Due to my Dad scaring me about the difficulty of the obstacle courses of this race, I turned to Google to find out how long it would take to do. I knew I had the running down as I've done two half marathons to date and have been doing some practice runs prior to this. My worry was the obstacle course and my lack of upper body strength. Thank goodness for this wonderful blogger here at Piper's Run. She had just done the Mud Hero run and had a lot of helpful hints, as well as how long it took her.

Feeling better, I hydrated like nobody's business the night before, I also made sure to eat a protein filled breakfast in the morning. I don't normally eat before my runs (although I probably should), the tip was to make sure I ate in order to make it through without wanting to throw up and pass out by the end. Mom and Dad picked me up very early, while hubby stayed back with the kids.

Of course we were there EARLY and registration didn't take that long. So I warmed up, jumped up and down, danced a little to the music. Finally it was almost time for my wave to go through.

I didn't bring my mp3 as I didn't want to get it full of mud and not work ever again. So I just kept telling myself to pace myself and run my own race not someone else's. I also tried to run the whole thing with the least amount of rest as possible. Tried telling myself that the obstacles were my rest points. It worked until the last 2km. My body was getting tired and there was a lot of uphill at that point. Also, I was running trails. I normally run on pavement of some sort. Some trail, but nothing even close to what I went through on the mud run. I think I would have done better if I would have had some significantly more upper body strength.

First big incline and very steep decline. There really was a reason it got slow at this point.

Last obstacle. Similar to the mud pit we went through in the beginning. There was so much mud in my eyes, I could barely see after that one. I still have mud in my left ear that doesn't want to get out.

I'm almost at the end right? I'm really tired, but I spot my parents. This must be close. Then I spot the last mud pit.

Here we go. I'm really hoping this is the last mud pit. This is some gritty mud and it's everywhere.

Yes! I made it! And dude, I would make one ugly sasquatch. (Imagine that mud as hair).

I wasn't sure of my time. But my ultimate goal was just finishing. We left shortly after as my Dad was really tired. I was so glad my Mum was there. This was the first race she has ever come to. I'm sure she was tired as well, but didn't say anything about it.

A few hours later at my In-Laws for dinner the race results were revealed. I was so stoked! My goal was 2 hrs as I was not sure how the obstacles would slow me down. The lady from the blog did hers in 1.5hrs. I was shocked and very pleased at my ending results.

RESULTS: Mud Hero. Time: 0:58:28.4. Pace: 8:44. Category: F35-39. Cat. Place: 46/146

Would I do this again next year? OF COURSE!!! Now to get a group together to drag through the mud with me.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Just A Support Worker

How many times do I hear this statement? How many times have I even said it? I'm just a support worker.

The vision I get in my head and what most people think is someone who sits around, talking to their coworkers, while they get paid large amounts of money to "babysit" some people who can't take care of themselves. Oh if only it was so my friends. If only it was so. More people would flock to this line of work and there wouldn't be such a high turnover rate. Working at McDonald's I saw less of a turnover in staff. So what does a support worker do?

Well, we provide a whole slew of care for mentally and physically disabled people. It really isn't just taking care of their personal hygiene and making sure they are fed. It might be different in an institution setting, but, in the community homes the job is intense and demanding.

Where I work they have a motto of "freeing the spirit" and enabling a persons potential. Those that see someone in a wheel chair, or some physical disability see limitations, our community homes prove there is more to this, you just need to look closer. These people are extremely intelligent and usually "trapped" in their bodies or minds or sometimes both. They are unable to communicate in the traditional ways. We need to listen closer. We need more patience. We need to try to provide oppoutunities to do things, others have said are not possible. Sometimes, it is not possible, sometimes things need a modification, but at least we are giving them opportunities to try and keep trying. Giving them a quality of life they wouldn't normally have.

To do this, instead of living in an institution, my clients are placed in community homes to live as normal lives as possible. We then become their caregivers in every sense of the word. We protect them from exploitation inside the home and outside in the community. We assist them in dressing, bathing, and eating as expected, but it doesn't end there. We are to help build harmony between them and their roommates. We become their most trusted allies.

We help them maintain and strengthen their family ties, which in some cases isn't easy. Unfortunately, once these people get into the community homes, as the "burden" of 24 hour care is relieved from the family member (typically the parent), keeping these family interactions on a consistent basis becomes harder as these family members find a freedom in their lives they haven't experienced since their child was born. That stressor is gone. Much like when we leave our parents and have families of our own. While we don't intend to have more and more time space the moments we spend together it happens. The difference in our "normal" lives is that we have to be accountable for ourselves to keep in touch with those aging parents.

We are their bankers. We have to ensure they have funds to do fun things, yet, still buy things like clothing, personal hygiene products, everything we would need in our own lives. We are their lifeline to the simple things like swimming, going to a movie theatre, going to the beach, a walk down the street. We are their advocates in the community, showing that they can live functionally and safely, making much better neighbours in most cases than your average joe.

We are their maids and cooks. We have to maintain a good eye on what's healthy for each client, maintain their weight and their medications. Keep their living space clean and healthy. Teaching them and in most cases reteaching daily and hourly as short term memory and delayed learning impedes remembering why it's important to use the washroom more than once a day. Or why we get undressed or dressed in a bedroom or washroom with a door closed.

We are the yard maintanance workers. We mow those lawns, pull those weeds and seed that grass. We shovel and salt those driveways and sidewalks. We put in the reports if something is broken that we cannot possibly fix without the extra help.
(my black feet from working in the yard to keep it gorgeous for my clients)

We are the Occupational Therapists outside of the OT appointments. Being taught how use wheelchairs, lifts, special equipement so our clients can be more mobile and use normally unused limbs to keep muscle tone and the insides healthy and moving to do their jobs.

We are the medical advocates when something goes wrong and the medical doctors or teams need to know past health, current meds and what happened in order to have their jobs easier, the right diagnosis made and the best solution applied. We are the frontline to keeping these people alive and healthy.

There is easy burnout in this as there is so much to do. So much to know. We don't get breaks like everyone else, and some days, I don't get to use the washroom. My pay is not much higher than minimum wage for doing the job of at least 5 different people. I work anywhere from 8 - 12 hrs per shift and can be mandated to work the next shift if they have a sick call and no one is available to come in. So that becomes a 16 - 20 hrs shift very quickly.

I'm not complaining about my job, it gives me a satisfaction that I wouldn't get anywhere else. I'm just tired of being seen as "just a support worker", just like I get tired of being seen as "just a mom" when wanted to be a stay at home mom. My job gives someone a new lease on life, a chance to be something and someone they otherwise never would have been. At the same time it gives me purpose and a new lease on my own life. What I'd like is people to see the truth in all we do do. It's not easy work, definitely not worth the little pay we get, one of the common complaints is the allotment of money from the top down and from the institution setting to the home settings. I'm hoping that one day all we do will be seen for the superhero feats they can be some days. That I won't be seen as "just as support worker" and that maybe my pay will start reflecting it or at least going up at the same pace as the standard of living.

So next time you hear someone say they are "just a support worker", give them a hug or a high five and remind them of the importance of their chosen super hero profession. Or if you are tempted to say that to or about someone else, stop yourself and remember they are doing what most of society cannot.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mommy Fail Leads To Summer Catch Up

This year has been so a roller coaster for me, mostly health wise, and it has shown the most in my kids. I definitely learned what I can do and what I can't do. I also learned that I stink at time management.

Now that school is finally over I have time to reflect on what my choices did to affect my childrens schooling. Due to sleep issues, I was always sleeping in, so my kids were always late. If it wasn't that they were sick, or I was sick and didn't want to take them. This led to not being on top of things and my 7-year-old is at reading level 4. So what does that mean? Well, take a look at this chart.

According to the chart my soon to be second grader is only reading at a transitional, Kindergarten/Grade 1 level. I'm very saddened by this. As someone who loves to read, and is impressed by my 15-year-olds love of books, I see this as a huge Mommy/parenting fail.

So where do I go from here? Do I give up and hope that he picks it up? No, I'm going forward. I have researched a lot of sites in the last couple of days, and of course, asked my son's teacher what reading level he was at on the last day of school so I knew where to start. Then I talked to my sister about what she has done to help her struggling reader. This led me to Starfall.

I had come across a few really good sites, however, they cost quite a bit. One I was willing to pay for was only good for teachers. The schools purchase the membership and the teachers can get in and utilize the reading/learning material. Then there is Starfall. It's free for a lot of it, but they do have things you can purchase for traditional "book learning" as well.

I have heard of Starfall before, but didn't quite get how to navigate the site. It really is easy, I think I thought. Okay, truth. I knew I thought I could just teach them myself. The reality is I'm not a teacher, I work and have other kids to attend to. Not only that, the other half is legally blind. The reading part of it, is hard for him to sit and do. This, would be on a bigger platform, and much easier to help him, help them. Also, they have an app!! Yes! Of course it costs money. But it is cheaper than most. The one I saw was for beginner reading and it was for $2.99. For a family on the go this is priceless. Or for a family whose child works best with an Ipad. I believe they have for android as well. As I only have a mac and an iphone, I don't pay much attention to that end.

So this is how my summer will be. At least part of it. To get my 7-year-old up five or six reading levels to be ready for grade 2. As well as helping my 4-year-old be prepared for Kindergarten in the fall.

I'll be sure to keep you all posted throughout the summer on the progression.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tow Truck Strikes Down Children, Three Dead.

No, this didn't happen. But it nearly did only two days ago, all because the tow truck driver thought his time was more important than the lives of a Mother, her two children, and four other school patrols. I'm thankful our school has an adult school patrol helping these young 9-year-olds out with their duties, because without him, that headline is exactly what you would have seen in the paper yesterday.

Everyone knows what this is:

Yet, more and more Winnipeg drivers are relying on the old "Manitoba Roll-through". Which I wouldn't mind if the streets were deserted and the driver was the only one on it. However, that is not what is going on. Winnipeg drivers are doing these at all times of day and most dangerously in school zones. These days according to drivers, stop does not mean stop.

Everyone knows what these are:

Or so I thought. Lately, it seems they have no clue what patrols are, and they are apparently invisible beings as well. Take today when I was picking my son up from school. A lady didn't even stop before the stop sign. She stopped just after the stop sign right in front of the patrols who now cannot let their school mates across the street because this vehicle made an illegal stop. The kicker? Two other vehicles were stopped properly at their stop signs before this lady. One was waiting to make a left turn, but couldn't because the lady's stop wasn't a full stop. It was a roll through. You know, the push on the brake for a one second stop and then go without paying attention to anything else around you, because surely you are the only driver on the road. So not only do stop signs, not mean stop, and school patrols are invisible. But you guessed it, the Winnipeg driver is the only person on the road and only their time and life are valuable. What a self-centered city we have become. What ever happened to Friendly Manitoba? Oh wait, that's only when we aren't driving.

I personally am sick and tired of being worried if my child or another child will be run down by an impatient driver. Guess what, it's not only, "strangers", I have seen parents of the students who go to my son's school make very dangerous stops, and decisions. Like dropping their kid off at the corner, while they are stopped at the stop sign. 1. Bad decisions you are teaching your kids. 2. You are holding up traffic 3. In winter especially, they can slip and fall under your vehicle and you can run over them. Not Possible? Stranger things have happened.

I did make a report to the police about the tow truck. Unfortunately, because they were not there to see it, he won't be ticketed, etc. And that is one of the biggest problems. Unless, the police are there to see it, not much can be done. Drivers know this and continue to act stupid. This is how people get killed. I'm over it. These are our neighbourhoods. We know where the schools are, we know the children that patrol and who go there, yet when it comes to our time they become faceless strangers. It's time to wake up before it's too late.

As for me, I'm going to keep taking liscence plates and descriptions. I will keep vigilant in making sure I'm driving safe. I am also considering very seriously standing at this particular intersection with a video camera and handing that in to the police. If that doesn't work, you never know, you might be the next Winnipegger starring on YouTube.

Here are tips to make the drive safe for yourself and the school children in your neighbourhood:

1. Be aware of your driving habits. If you are completely incapable of driving like a responsible adult don't drive. If you must drive, stay the heck away from school zones. But it's the quickest way to get to your destination? Too bad, drive the long way around, or drive like a responsible adult.

2. Be aware of where the school zones are. Generally, those giant brick building with the jungle gyms and bus loops are these learning centers we like to call Schools. They house hundreds to thousands of children during the school day. These zones extend from this brick building for a few blocks, and during the hours of 7-9:00am and 2:30-4:30pm they extend to your entire neighbourhood.

3. Stop just before the stop sign. When you do this, you leave a good five feet before the sidewalk and a good 8 feet between you and the pedestrian. In this case, the patrol that is required to stand in the street using their body as a shield between you and the school aged child and sometimes their parent. You get that? Patrols in all regards are human sheilds. 9-YEAR-OLD HUMAN SHEILDS!

4. Don't just look at the patrols at your stop sign. What are the patrols doing to the left or right of you if you are turning in that direction? What are the patrols doing right across the street from you? Are they standing on the sidewalk or are they standing in the street helping their charges across? Don't just drive willy nilly into the intersection and then have to stop half way through. This makes everyone nervous and causes our 9-year-old pratrols to make bad judgement calls because they don't have the life experience to go off of like adults do. That would be why we are old enough to get a driver's liscence and they are not. They get scared and want to jump back onto the sidewalk forgetting about their charges. I don't know about you, but even as a 35-year-old woman, if I saw a huge metal beast coming at me, I'd want to head for the hills too.

5. PEDESTRIANS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY! Really? Do I have to explain this to you as well?

6. If you are late, too bad. Leave earlier. Why should my child or someone else's have to pay for your inability to get your ass out of the house earlier?

I'm pretty sure I've covered it all. If I haven't, and you can't figure out what else you can do to keep everyone safe, than nothing I've said or could say will make a difference and you really have no business driving.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Craftiness in Spades! - Support Local

I'm gonna be busy getting a few things ready this month. My son's Minecraft quilt, finishing up my writing course, working on stock for the craft show I"m in. Come check it out! Support Local!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Foster, My Foster

My life is never dull. Lately though, it's not been something I've felt was really something to talk about. Then last week happened. It actually all started maybe a week to two weeks prior to last week. A lady I met had some pamphlets on pet rescue and animal fostering. I grabbed a pamphlet and talked to my husband. What a great idea. Our kids have been bugging us about a dog for a while, and fostering would give us a better indication if our family was ready for that type of commitement. So last week I sent in the fostering forms and that is when all hell broke loose.

(My mom's adorable, beastly, baby.)

I won't be mentioning the name of the rescue organization here. I am not here to slander the group, although I do believe that they should be held to strict laws. Not just them, but other rescue places here in my Province. To date anyone can take in animals and call themselves a rescue place. They can claim they are a non profit organization and helped many animals find homes. There are no laws requiring them to have proof of anything. They can charge what they want for adoption fees. They can lie and do what they will to get the results they pesonally desire. There is absolutely zero accountability for these rescue places. This needs to be changed. But until it is, I feel I need to write a post on what you need to look for in a good place to foster for.

All my life I have been around animals. I am very animal saavy and know what behaviours they should be exhibiting around children. Well cats and dogs that is. Other animals, I truely have no clue about. My mom used to breed dogs as well, so I have seen the gammot. I've grown up with big and little dogs and never had any problems with any of them. So of course I wanted my children to have that chance as well. But, we are a very busy family and just got our first cat from the Humane Society last Summer. Our cat has fit in well and we wanted to go ahead and see if a dog was going to work before we took another trip down to the Humane Society or another avenue to bring home another family member.

We knew what we were getting into when we started filling out the forms, early mornings, cleaning up lots of dog poop, daily to twice a day walks, possible crate training and house training. This wasn't my first rodeo, and I was raring to make a difference in someone's life.

We had never fostered before, so we took it at face value when the forms we filled out said there would be a home inspection done, at which time we'd meet the people and find out their process. We also got a message through facebook stating this exact same thing. So I sent in my forms and waited anxiously. I didn't expect to get a response within the hour to take in a foster. They were in a bind and needed a home for the pet a.s.a.p. I asked the pertinent questions. Is the dog good with young children and a cat. What would be coming with the dog? Is the dog neutered/spayed? The age of the dog. Assured all was well with the children and cat we went that evening to pick up his things. I would get the dog the following day from another home. He was great at first. The next day he started herding my two and four year old and nipping at their hands. By day three he kept going after my youngest son in play and nipping at his head, and wasn't doing so well with listening to my commands of no. I went to work and this continued for my husband. The dog spent quite a bit of time in his crate that night. At 5:00pm I sent an email to the rescue stating the herding and nipping issues and that this dog needed to be placed in another home, as it was no longer safe for my kids. I checked my email the next morning and no response. At 10am the dog was playing with my two year old son and began nipping at his head again,so I put him in his crate for a time out. I brought him out and he started again, this time he started nipping at my son's throat. Holy beans! That dog had his mouth over my son's throat! He needed to go. I put the dog on his leash and tied him to me. The kids were told to stay away from the dog, and of course they couldn't understand why but complied. My husband saw the dog leashed to me at noon and asked if there was a response from the rescue place. With none, he told me to email again. I got a response that they were lining a place up and needed more time. An hour later my husband overheard me telling a family member that the dog had been nipping at my son's throat and that was why he was tied to me. Understandably he was upset and gave me two hours to get rid of the dog or he was taking him to the Humane Society. I emailed the lady the predicament and what I was going to do if we didn't get him out immediately, and she freaked out, telling me to return the dog and all his belongings to her apartment. So I did. I felt terrible. I was already falling in love, but my children came first. It was made even worse when another of her fosters started attacking this dog I brought back and he tried to escape back to me. I told the lady that there was a ball we bought for the dog in there and a brand new bottle of dog soap. Also recommended that the dog only be placed in a home with older children. Her response was, "or a home with dog saavy children". At that point I had to walk away. I was fuming. The kicker was when I got home and only the smallest part of what happen was posted on their FB page. The part where I said they had two hours to get the dog a placement or we were taking him to the humane society. I was then attacked by people who said if I wasn't in it for the long haul I should never have fostered. That how could I foster when my house was so clean. And other really disparaging remarks. I was angrier than when I left the dog there to be beaten up by another dog. At no point in time did this rescue state it was for safety for my children and the dog. In fact, they tried to justify their actions in saying that they put up just that because asking nicely for foster homes doesn't work. So to get a home quickly for this dog they villianized me in front of people in a city I live in. I found out through the interactions that this dog should never have been placed in my home, and should have been in a home with older children. But I was blamed for being a bad foster. Except for three or four people, everyone else was on the side of the rescue and I was a bad foster.

(These are my mother's dogs. I can leave my children with them in a room and not have to worry about anyone getting hurt. My kids are very dog saavy.)

So here are some things you should do:

1. Investigate the fostering system in your city. (Are there rules and regulations they must follow? Are they supposed to be registered as an organization in the city? How well known are they? How many years have they been running?) Don't just go by word of mouth. If you cannot find any information on a rescue place, go straight to your city's Humane Society, they almost always have their own fostering program and would be the best and most reputable place to foster from.

2. Check out all their policies. And make sure they follow them!

Red Flags I missed: They didn't do a home check. They didn't call my references. They didn't know me from Adam, yet asked me if I wanted to foster the dog.

3. Know everything there is to know about the dog. Do your research before taking the dog on. On their site it should state what kind of home the animal should be in in their adoption section. Or if they are linked to a place like Kijiji, it will be stated there.

4. DON'T feel pressured to take the first animal on that they throw your way. You obviously have a good, caring heart if you are doing fostering in the first place, so it's hard to turn an animal away. Places like I dealt with count on that. A rescue place should not have so many animals on board that they are desperate for people to foster. Desperation like this leads to misplaced animals and often injuries to the animal, child(ren) or both.

5. If they don't answer your questions in a timely manner, don't be afraid to keep "pestering". We live in a time of good technology, there is no reason why an email cannot be answered in 2-3 hours tops. (this is counting on a high level of email volume)

6. Lastly, don't feel bad if the foster doesn't work out. That is why you foster, to test the waters. People foster for many reasons and it's better to foster for a short time and know what works for you and your family, than for a long time to please the rescue place and risk injury to anyone including the animal.

If you follow these tips I'm sure your fostering experience would turn out much better than mine. I have learned that right now we are not ready for a dog of any kind. While there is someone home all of the time, there is still a lot of running around and things that need to be done that is suited more to an independant cat than a dependant dog. Right now we are just strictly a cat family.

However, due to the most awful experience I don't think I will ever foster another animal again. Unless it's my mom's. At least I know if it doesn't work she'll take her back.

Good luck and happy fostering!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Ahead!

I'm Sprung! I am so ridiculously happy about the time change. No, I do not like losing an hour of sleep. The good Lord knows I need more sleep than I currently get. Self inflicted, but still. So why does the time leap forward make me want to dance a jig? Because, this means that Spring is on it's way!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snow Science Fun: Preschool Edition

My daughter is in preschool this year. This is her first and last year in preschool. We wanted to get her in last year, but E was in the afternoon Kindergarten program so it wasn't possible. Unless we figured out teleporting, it just wasn't happening. So we waited until E was in school full days and got A in the four year old program. Part of the program is that each parent needs to fullfill parent helper days in order to keep the class going for the day as they need to follow adult to child ratios like in a daycare. So today was one of my turns. I have seven days in all.

I don't mind parent helper day as it helps me get some one on one time with A. I have no distractions such as cleaning, the computer, work, etc., just time with A. She loves it, although she doesn't listen very well to the teacher sometimes because she is too busy looking for me. I got a call on Monday night while I was at work letting me know it was science day and to wear something warm because we were going outside. My husband laughed at me, and I dreaded today. I normally don't mind the cold, I'm a Winnipegger and by January you're pretty much climatized. But we have been spoiled these last few winters, and this winter Mother Nature is kicking our tuckus' bringing us a real Manitoba winter for a change. Meaning we are up to our eyeballs with -31.C to -39.C windchills. Brrrrrr. I was not looking forward to today at all.

Once bundled up in toques, scarves, snowsuits, and boots we were more than ready to tackle that frigid winter air. First we went to Snow Island, if you used your imagination it could look like this:

(Google Images)

It was a plot of land, in the bus loop that has three spruce trees and lots of space. The kids go there first stop after leaving the warm air of the school, watching for buses and cars. Once there we get to touch the snow, feel the air. Then, we go exploring. Has someone been here? How do we know? And so on. The kids found some small hills, boulders, footprints, an inukshuk and what looked like a ditch made by a dinosaur tail! The children were asked to make their own inukshuk to let people know they had been there and then were asked to gather containers of snow and put in a giant container. These containers full of snow were to be brought inside after the outing.

After the containers were filled, everyone was asked if they wanted to go on another adventure. We walked to a giant hill that everyone could climb and slide down. The kids had a blast! Two pictures and a few slides later we were on our way back inside. The South wind was angry and we could tell on the way back to the school. Once inside we had hot chocolate and marshmallows. The kids then put their snow into small cups and had a sheet to perdict what would happen to the snow in their cups. They all guessed it would melt into water, their cups would show how much water would be left behind by next class, in two days. The kids got to play with the remaining snow, analyzing it, and then it was time to go. Everyone had a blast including this Winnipegger whose gone soft in the last few years.

Today totally reminded me of my younger years, and scenes like this:

(Google Images)

Families together in the snow. No one seems worried about the cold. It was just the way I remember it. Just plain fun and the cold didn't touch you until you hit the warm air of the building on the way in. I may have been the Grinch about parent helper day all the way up to getting to the classroom, but I walked away with heart of fun three sizes bigger.

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