Monthly Archives: April 2013

What To Do, What To Do

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I wrote this well before I started my blog. I think I wrote it two years ago. Pretty cool to find it, tucked away in my computer somewhere.

Do you let other people’s perceptions determine who you are?

I’ve been pondering this. How often did I look into my past and wonder about what people still think of me. What do they  remember if they only remember me at 13, 16, 25?

I was a sweet kid, but I was also a bit of a metal head, often attending more concerts than classes.

Aw, yeah. Check the hair!

Aw, yeah. Check the hair!

There were teachers and parents and even peers who didn’t approve, I’m sure. One run in, years later, with the principal of our small town high school proved he still held some less than fond thoughts of me as a student in his school.

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There was the happy go lucky me. Laid back and always ready to just laugh and hang out with friends, which reflected too often in my grades. But, being an only kid with a single parent living a transient life, I really craved the companionship more than I longed to become valedictorian.

Me. Not Valedictorian.

Me. Not Valedictorian.

Living all over the place, changing schools and having absent and multiple adults come in and out of my life really screwed with my priorities. No. I didn’t always have them straight. I made some bad decisions and some really bad decisions. Some, people knew about and were true, others were just small townish rumors. If you’re a party girl, well, there are definitely going to be stories! True or not, you will be judged by the company you keep, choices you make and that will determine the person others think you are. *Note to self: say that last sentence to MY kids over and over.

So, how often do we let these not so fond memories/worries of what others may have thought keep hold of us? How long do we let what other people think determine how we think of ourselves? Those formative high school years have a serious impact, one that some people never get over, many times affecting educational and career choices.

How has your past shaped what you do today and the choices you’ve made career wise? When did you realize what you love and let all the metaphorical strings holding you down fall away?

Jump ahead to wherever you are now. Do you have a family? A career? Maybe you’ve tried a couple and not quite found the one?  I ask these questions because I am in a place where I no longer need approval or harbor the feelings from disapproval of my past. However, I need MY approval and that can be (ugh) the toughest of all. I have tried a couple careers on, been a stay at home mom now for over 10 years and am ready for something more. Problem is, I’m full of ideas and don’t know where to begin.

I’ve got to remember where my talents lie and what I’m passionate about.  Do I look up a bunch of online career and personality quizzes? Talk to a bunch of friends? Jump in to something, maybe fail or just realize it’s not right, then try again? Probably will do all of those and some I can’t even think of right now. And I’m not afraid to.

Dream!

Dream! (Photo credit: Melody Campbell)

Are you someone who has switched careers after doing what you thought you wanted or what others assumed you should do? Are you in the process of switching right now? If you stayed home with your kiddos, what are you doing now that your little ones are older? I’d love to hear what has determined your career. What you’re passionate about. Especially if you wound up in a job that surprised you.

There were a lot of confidence issues I let have control over my young adult life. Thankfully, age and life experience change us, mine for the better.  Now I’m searching for my talents and my passions. I’m searching for something challenging and rewarding. I can’t wait to find it.

Passion Quilt Meme. Find your own path

Passion Quilt Meme. Find your own path (Photo credit: sirexkat)

P.S. If you know what I’m good at, please share it with me! It would save me a lot of soul and online searching. K? Thanks.

Strong, Like A Girl

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My first daughter’s name is Evan. We didn’t give her a name until the last few weeks of my pregnancy. We had so many we liked but none were right. Finally we settled on Evan. It would turn out to be the right one.

Evan is our second and middle child. Her heart is loving. Her smile is infectious. She is the first of two daughters, three years younger than her big brother.  Kevin Leman’s Birth Order books would tell me she is similar to being a first born.

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I went in to have my first born, my son, with birth plan in hand and a mind packed full of natural birthing techniques and aspirations. When we did the hospital tour and they showed us the O.R., where you would be were you to need a c-section, I turned to my husband and said, “we will NOT be in there.” Guess where we wound up.

When I became pregnant with Evan I really wanted to experience the whole birthing moment. I hired a doula. I visualized. I relaxed through early contractions, smiling, in the pool. We headed to the hospital.  Dilated to, uh, only about a centimeter, I told the doctor, “forget the birth plan! I’ve had a c-section before. Just get her out. This sucks!”

My poor husband. I told him over and over how much I wanted the experience of having this baby. Then I made him call our doula, already in the hospital stairwell, and tell her to not even worry about showing up. She came anyway. Thank goodness. She was smart and kind.

Fortunately, my husband remembered my dream. Standing by me while I snarled and bounced on a birth ball, he said these very smart words first, “honey, you can do whatever you want. I will agree with you” and second, “if you have a c-section you’ll have to have an epidural anyway, so why don’t you try that first and then see what you think.” He’s smart and kind, too.

It took another seventeen hours, but I had my daughter. Just the way I planned (ha). It hurt like a bitch. But it was nothing short of amazing. And Evan, well, Evan was breathtaking.

She spent the night on my chest. We were together all night long. I couldn’t stop breathing her in and resting my lips on the top of her head.

The next day, at noon, she turned blue.

My husband called the nurses. There is nothing scarier than having three people walk into your hospital room, snatch your newborn from your hands and yell, “she is!”, meaning she was choking. She was grey.
I couldn’t see her. I could only see the face of my husband which had gone pale and my sister’s face that was red. Tears streaming. This all happened within 30 seconds. Just as I was feeling what could have only been a primal scream welling up and about to unleash, the nurse quickly said, “Look mom! Look over here!” She knew. She got my attention right away. Evan was pink and crying.

Evan would be diagnosed over the next few days with Congenital Nasal Pyriform Aperture Stenosis. Say that five times fast. Only a handful of doctors are familiar with CNPAS. We were fortunate there was one right here at home. CNPAS is very rare and could have come with a plethora of deformities and disabilities.

Small arrows are where nostril should be open but is not.

Small arrows are where nostril should be open but is not.

We spent eleven days in the NICU. Eleven days making sure she would breathe well on her own. Eleven days getting feedback from neonatal doctors. Eleven days waiting for chromosome tests to come back. Eleven days watching her little chest rise and fall. Eleven days learning every beep and alarm of the machines. But after eleven days, we wished our little NICU preemie neighbors peace and health. Then we brought Evan home.

That first year we took turns sleeping. With the lights on. We listened to her breathe. Every day and night. Every hour. We listened for her tiny breathing monitor, strapped around her chest, hoping it would not sound its scary alarm. There were no support groups. No websites. We got through it on our own.

Evan is now almost eight. We were told she may have to have nasal surgery. She only snores now. We were told she may have stunted growth. She‘s absolutely average size. We were told, of the most minor of issues, she may be a slow reader or not do so well in certain subjects. She’s one of the smartest in her class.  We were told this mid-line condition could affect her brain, her heart. Her brain and her heart are amazing.

What Evan does have, that’s visible, is one front tooth.

Single front tooth

Single front tooth

A Single Maxillary Central incisor is a symptom of CNPAS, it is very rare, and Evan loves it. Feel free, anytime, to tell her how adorable it is on her.

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Her name is Evan. It means little warrior.

Vulnerability pays off…big time

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My heart always has room for more people. I am always ready to share more love. I’ll meet you, instantly like you and then I will not be able to stop thinking about the next time we might get to hang out. That’s how I work.

But this time it was too much and hard to handle.

First read through with the entire Listen to Your Mother KC cast

First read through with the entire Listen to Your Mother KC cast

Last night the entire cast of Listen To Your Mother read aloud for the first time.

So much caring, vulnerability, safety and trust. I was overwhelmed by it and it. was. good.

Every woman shared, spoke, gave her story. Every woman belly laughed and every woman cried. It was one of the most intimate moments of my life, shared with women who were, at first, strangers. But after the first reading it was clear. That first reading turned this group of strangers into sisters. Our hearts were open, we were vulnerable, we had each others backs. We were all in this together.

It was hard to sleep last night. My mind was reeling from the amazing stories shared. I was sure when I arrived to sit among these women they would realize the mistake they had made in casting me. But I did NOT feel that way and that blew me away. My story fit in with all the rest. We all belonged there and we all let each other know it.

Still teary. Still giggling.

 

 

Freebie Friday Giveaway! Wait. Freebie is not the same as a giveaway is it?

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Take me to Listen To Your Mother

Take me to Listen To Your Mother

I’ll give you one guess as to what it is…

That’s right! Two tickets to the Listen To Your Mother Show in Kansas City!

I will be reading a piece I wrote about motherhood, childhood experience and touching on mental health. I NEED FAMILIAR FACES IN THE AUDIENCE!

What the heck is Listen To Your Mother? You can just trust me that YOU WANT THESE or you could let Ann Imig explain!

Click here for a short (three minute) documentary about this show.

See? Told ya.

Rules! We don’t need no stinkin’ rules.

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

Usually I would agree with Katherine Hepburn on this one but, to be fair:

1. Read one of my entries anywhere in my blog (just look to the right over there under Recent Posts>>>).

2. Come back and comment on this blog post here so that I know you are entering for the pair of tickets.

Strut around like a bad ass cuz you know you're a winner.

Strut around like a bad ass cuz you know you’re a winner.

The giveaway will end 4/19/13, a comment will be chosen at random and I will contact you via email.

That’s it!

Thanks for visiting and good luck.

3, 2, 1…GO!

P.S. I know the title’s full of cheese.