Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I use to

I use to write...

I can easily recant those times when it felt like writing was all I had. 
Like everything I felt was going to cause total annihilation of my inner self if I didn't write it down.

In the yelling
In the tears
In the disappointments
In the times that there was such painful change in my life that I couldn't hardly look in the mirror without disbelief that I was really living that life.
In the doubts
In the confusion
In the times of pure anger when my words, barely legible, ran into each other to form one giant run on sentence. 
In the underage, drunkenness of my wasted youth.

My writing was all the good I had to somehow relieve the fallacious.
It was a confession of all my sin and my artistic way of making it presentable to the outside world.  It was my pain written across thousands of pages, locked up and hidden in paper bound books, and later plastered on social media.  It was the very thing that made feeling what i felt tolerable because, hey, I got a good poem out of it.

Now it's gone.  Destroyed with little evidence of that person...
The person that once wrote about the murderous details of her self worth as a young teenager and into early adulthood. The person that wrote letters, begging to not be left behind or forgotten.  The person that kept record of her sexual conquests and secretly regretted each and every one of them.  The person that so desperately wanted to be liked that she spent hours perfecting the most thought provoking or witty MySpace blog post, in hopes of gaining friends.     I don't miss that person. I don't miss that pain. I don't miss that pressure.

Today I think I will write.

Without fear of judgement.
Without the self serving motives of being someone you should want to know.
And WITH confidence in knowing that I'm being authentic.

My blog, for quite some time, has been for the purpose of knit banter, project updates, and the occasional sappy post.  I hated that I couldn't just stick to a theme or purpose and keep on track or post on a regular basis.  However, I have come to terms that it's ok and not all blogs (even mine) don't need to be for the purpose of entertaining others in hopes of gaining readers.  The self inflicted pressure is off.

If anything.... consider this my first journal entry. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Voiceless Disease

This is my 2nd attempt at writing about this.  It seems that I am natorious for writing and not saving my drafts mid write, only to accidentally delete all of my "work".  Which believe me...  Sometimes it's work when writing about something informative.  

My son, Brodey, is an overcomer.  He has faced medical obstacle after medical obstacle from the time he was a baby.  Addressing one medical issue at a time as they arise and yet he is always joyous and quick to share his medical adventures.  But our most recent medical adventure is one that I have felt protective over but yet one that should be talked about despite my feelings.  Nothing good comes from fear, at least for me.  


Brodey was diagnosed with juvenile papillomatosis.  It's also known as juvenile laryngeal papillomatosis and reocurrant respitory papilloma.  You may be asking yourself "what's that?". 

It's a disease that causes growths to form in the larnyx (Brodey's vocal cords) and the respitory tract, that obstructs ones ability to speak and even breath. It's caused by the papilloma virus.  This virus is more commonly known as HPV.  You may be asking how a kid could possibly get something that is so commonly known to produce abnormal/cancerous cell change on the cervix of a woman.  

Brodey got it from me...He was infected during pregnancy.  It was believed that babies contracted it in the birthing canal but further study has shown that even babies born via c-section have also been infected.   This is VERY rare.  

I had read that there are only 20,000 cases reported.  Now if that's accurate, i don't know.  I also read that 30% of babies born to mothers with hpv are infected but 1% of those children suffer. I don't know how accurate that is either but was interesting to read.  I was told by Brodey's pediatrics specialist that it's been found that 1st born children are the ones that are affected. 

I felt guilt.  I felt that had I made better life choices that I would not have contracted hpv and as a result would not have infected my child with this disease. I have made strides in coming to terms with this but to say that it's not on my mind would be a lie.  God is granting me peace daily and for that I am grateful.  HPV is unfortunately common but Brodey's disease is not. 

You may have seen on Instagram, if you follow me, that Brodey had surgery a week ago.  This surgery was to laser remove the growths that formed on his vocal cords and scope his respitory tract to ensure that it had not spread.  This surgery has given him vocal restoration and allowed for better breathing since the growths narrowed his airway drastically.  This is how we treat the disease. Surgery. It's not cosmetic. It's life or death. These growths can/will return and may not stay isolated to his vocal cords.

He has been put on an antacid as a precautionary measure to help reduce damage and irritation caused by possible silent acid reflux.  He has also been attending speech therapy to help with proper voice use to reduce strain and stress on his vocal cords.  These two things have shown to aid in the slowing down of regrowth.  I will however always be hopeful that there will not be reoccurance though the odds are stacked against us. 

How is Brodey today?  Well, he is great!  He anxiously returned back to school today to share with his classmates and staff his new voice and his experience at Denver Children's hospital.  People noticed an immediate difference when he walked through the doors and started talking.  It was like bringing in a new kid.

Brodey has always had a voice but this disease has kept him from using it. The breathy, raspy, hoarse, projectionless tone quality was far from a voice. It was an indication that help was needed.  It has kept him from being heard.  It has kept him from being understood. It has brought massive frustration when he would try to share something and got tired of repeating himself. It has brought unwanted attention to how he sounds and self consciousness.  It has brought explanations that at one point weren't even accurate because he had been misdiagnosed locally.  

Now we have hope because we know what it is.  We know how to treat it.  We can educate as we come educated and we can bring a voice to a disease that chronically takes the voice of those who have it.  

I thank God that he provided us with an amazing medical team and hope for the future.  I thank God for his faithfulness in providing us with the resources needed and the people to support us through it all. I thank God for giving me a family that made themselves available for whatever needs we had. I thank God for friends that did the same.  I thank God for the amazing work that's been done in my son and will be done in his coming days.  I thank God for his many many many blessings in the midst of the storm.  Without him I'd have no hope and he has restored it fully.  

Thank you, God ❤️

-"C"


Thursday, March 20, 2014

I need your help... Please :)

I'm the worst at keeping up on this blog. I can't even count how many posts I've started explaining my absence or lack of writing in the last 3 years since I started this blog.  

I started this blog as a way to promote a business.  I had been knitting accessories for people as a means to bring in an income after getting laid off from my job when I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter.  I'd post about orders made, what I made for me, what I wanted to make, and other knit related things while sharing a bit of my personal life.   Now I'm not sure what this blog has morphed into. 

It's become inconsistent both in content and posting which to some degree has me bothered but at the same time I'm ok with that.  My goal hasn't been to gain follower after follower or make money as a blogger.  My goal was just to simply share what I enjoy doing and at some point it became a means to share with friends a little more of myself outside of the yarn art.   No matter how many times I tried to keep this a "craft blog" it hasn't stayed that way but I question often the substance of my writing aside from a few posts here and there.

Now I sit and wonder about what direction to take this thing or if any changes need to be made.  I just know that I don't feel like my little spot in the blogosphere is doing much.  I don't necessarily want to quit this blog but I certainly would like to be more consistent in the content that I post.  

So I'm reaching out to friends and family in hopes to get a response.  What would you like to read more of?   How can I improve my blog?  What suggestions do you have?

I'm looking forward to your valued responses!   And THANK YOU.  

Hope your week so far has been a good one!  It's almost the weekend!!

-C
 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Knit happens

I can't believe how cold it has been the last few days and after spending my entire life in wyoming, I still complain.

I spent a bit of my day the other day making a hat that I ended up not liking.
I just didn't really feel like it fit the way I had wanted it to.  The pattern had called for increases so that it was more slouchy but when I knit it the way the pattern called for, it was practically bag like.  So I ripped it out and started over thinking that I'd like it more if it was a fitted cap.  I've come to realize that I have a preference.  I love slouchy hats and am destined to be in them the rest of my life. So this hat has been gifted to someone I think will enjoy it more than I.

I have however completed the body of my first sweater.
And of course a bathroom selfie isn't complete without a dirty mirror and dirty laundry.  I just have the sleeves to knit on this, which I've been putting off to work on other things.  For example...

A birthday hat for my son Brodey. :)
I've actually made more progress on this than what's in the picture but hey, it's a picture.  I've really been drawn to cabling these days and so when Brodey said he wanted a yellow hat, I immediately went on the search for a hat with cables that I could make with a skein of this Malabrigo rios that I've had in my yarn stash for at least two years.

I recently added these to my yarn stash.
I'm kind of a yarn snob and usually stick to luxury yarn but have managed to pick out a couple of brands at hobby lobby that I enjoy and are reasonably priced.
"I love this wool" is 90% wool and knits up nicely.  I made my favorite hat out of this brand of yarn and it wears so nicely. Not to mention, it knits up wonderfully.  I didn't have any knots midskein and the yarn didn't split like some I've worked with.  And a bonus is that it doesn't itch the crap out of my head.

I would also recommend "lion brand wool-ease" for a chunky knits.  Though I've found it to be a tad itchy on the noggin, I have used it to knit mittens which goes fairly quick and are super warm.  I have a pattern picked out on Ravelry for a cropped, hooded cardigan and plan to pick up some of this for it.  

I've slowed down on custom knitting for the holidays and now that that has passed, my birthday knitting starts.  Eventually I will find some time to knit and crochet for myself.

I'd really like to build some stock up.  One of my goals this year is to sell at the local farmers market a couple of times.  I know those things are kind of hit or miss when it comes to purchasing but I believe I can bring in a little money.   So many ideas.  Now... To find the time.

What's on your hook or needles?

Hope you all are staying warm!!




Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Childhood Awesomeness

I was born in 1985.  

Smack dab in the middle of the 80's.  I feel slightly robbed of an awesome decade seeming as how I was too little to remember much from that time, but between the late 80's and early 90's, I have grown up with a fond appreciation for the memories I have and the things that made it enjoyable. Toys and TV.  Not much is more important than those two things when you're little :)
Let's start with...

Lovely Lady Locks
Not many from age group remember her but I have a couple of rare people in my life that remember this long haired, critter lover and her hair name related friends. 

Remember when Polly Pocket fit in your pocket?
I owned many.  This one included.  Now it's more like "Polly Duffle Bag".

My most favorite stuffed animal was a...

Popple!
Mine looked exactly like this!

Remember when Littlest Pet Shops looked like actual animals and not bobble headed anime characters?
These were the first ones I ever owned. I collected them like a belly button collects lint.

Two of my most enjoyed shows...

Eurekas Castle
 
Under The Umbrella Tree

I was preschool age when I watched those shows and LOVED them.

I grew up with these in my hair...

As well as hair crimpers (thank you 80's) and banana clips.

Among ring pops and Dunkeroos there was the most commonly consumed..
And there was music.... Often listened to while crashing on my older sisters bed, hanging in my brothers room, or on my Walkman.
Savage Garden, yeah? :)
Oh! And...

I'll always have a place in my heart for Gangsters Paradise (or is it gansta. Haha),  Ace of Base Chumbuwumba's I get Knocked Down, MatchBox20, The Presidents, Weird Al, and many more.  Most of all... Hanson.

Loved growing up in a time where baggy pants were the bomb, flannel shirts were worn open with a Tshirt underneath, and No Fear tshirts were the trend.

I could go on and on about my favorite childhood things but I'll spare you and leave you with this.

Happy Remembering!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

So you're a mom... That's awesome!

 
Becoming a Mom is life changing.
From the moment those two pink lines popped up, I knew that my life would never be the same.
I knew that soon my life would no longer be my own and that I would be responsible for another.
Being a mom kicked in immediately with prenatal appointments, healthy eating, prenatal vitamins, maternity clothes, and gathering all that I needed to take care of the little one that would totally change my world.
I just didn't realize that not only would my world change, but I would too.
 

My life was mine and mine alone.
I did what I wanted when I wanted.
Bought what I wanted when I wanted it.
Slept in past noon.
Stayed up all night if I wanted to with no concern of the next day.
I flew by the seat of pants and could be spontaneous at the drop of a hat.
But...
That changed in a matter of 9 months...
21 hours of labor...
a few good pushes...
 
I had a new identity.
MOM
  And I had less to do with me and more to do with the littles.

Somehow I felt like in my Mom identity, I lost some of my independent identity.
The things that made me, me.
Heck, even my ability to use the restroom without a child crying or putting their fingers under the crack of the door.
I felt boring, frumpy, and blah.
And that's when I decided that adjustments needed to be made and I needed to pull myself out of my mommy rut.
  I needed to find some way of making motherhood enjoyable for all of us.

How?
 
1. I learned a new hobby.
I've always looked to creative outlets to express myself and so I thought knitting would be perfect.
I learned in a few lessons and 5 years later I'm still a knitting machine.
It is one thing that I can do for me.
I've even picked up on hula hooping.
Or you can continue on the hobby you already have.
Just because an artist has a baby doesn't mean that they stop being an artist.
Just because a runner has a baby doesn't mean they have to stop being a runner.


  2. I make it a priority to shower.
It can definitely be a challenge with little ones and they may be short ones but hey, at least I'm clean.
Even if I have to wake up a little earlier than the kids, it still gives me time to get ready in the mornings.
Sure you're tired, but at least you don't stink.
 
3. Put on a pair of jeans.
How many mom's live in yoga pants?
I traded mine in for leggings.
I can at least dress those up AND I'm still comfortable.
But I usually feel my best in a pair of jeans, even if I know I'm going to be home all day.
I just feel less frumpy that way.
 
3. Take a break for adult conversation or alone time.
Though conversation with your child can be fun, it is nice to have things to talk about aside from going potty in the toilet, what they want to be for Halloween, or the nonstop playing of "patty cake, patty cake".
If dad isn't around, find a family member or friend to watch the kiddos.
Run an errand, get a coffee, go grocery shopping, go on a date with your dude.
Do something.
If you're limited to the house, have a friend over for a cup of coffee during naptime.
What about a play date?
They say that play dates are more for the moms than for the kids and for the reason of adult conversation.
For as awesome as kiddos can be, they can also be very draining.
Sometimes you just need to recharge your batteries.


4. Do something that takes care of you.
Paint your nails.
Do an at home face mask at bedtime.
Buy a new shirt, dress, or jeans off a clearance rack.
Throw on some mascara even if you don't have enough time to do your makeup completely.
Something.
Whatever you need to do to give your tired, mommyself, a little boost.
You're worth being pampered, even in the littlest ways.
Sometimes as a mom, that's all we can do...
Something little.
For me, I like to get my hair cut.... a lot.
And when the kids are resting, I bust out the nail polish from time to time.

  5.Include your kids in the fun.
Just because you're a mom doesn't mean you become boring and not fun.
Fun is just sometimes redefined.
Do family dates with friends that have kids.
Go bowling, paint pottery, check out museums, go to a movie, go camping...  whatever is family friendly and gets you out of the house.
I'll even take my kids to starbucks and sit with them while they drink hot chocolate and eat a pastry.
My biggest joy is seeing my kids have fun and knowing that I've contributed somehow to a happy childhood with great memories.

 


6. Remember that they grow up fast and savor the time.
They aren't kidding when they say time flies.
My daughter is 3 and my son will be 7 next month.
I still feel like somehow they should both be younger than what they are and at times I have to reeeally think about how they were as babies.
And I know that when they are grown and are no longer wanting me to do their hair or play cars with them, I will wish that I could go back in time.
I will miss these days and know that I need to soak it up while I can.
 

  7. Remember that they are a gift.
Remember that when you're childless friends take fancy trips.
Remember that when there is something you want to do but can't because you have a kid/s to take care of.
Remember that when they are screaming at you, demanding of you, and crying because of you.
You are cherished in the eyes of your child.
You have the kisses that heal.
You have the touch that comforts them.
They need you.
You have the blessing of watching a little human (that is a part of you) grow, learn, explore, laugh, and enrich your life. 


  So take care of yourself because as the saying goes...
"If mom ain't happy, no one is."
:)
 
Keep
Calm
and
Mom
On

Monday, January 20, 2014

Testing 1, 2

Well the wait and dread of state boards for my CNA certification is over.  It felt like that day would never come and after the date for testing had been scheduled, I looked at my planner with slight anxiety and anticipation.

I had heard a lot of negative around the testing.  Even when we (my mom and I) were waiting to be tested, all we heard about was how 4 of 20 only passed last time and 2 out 8 from their own class passed.  Or how many times the people that were waiting had taken the test and that they were there because they, yet again, had to test for the 3rd time.

I wasn't feeling very encouraged.


My mom picked me up at 5:15 am on Saturday and we headed out of town for our test.  It was dark till about 7:30 which was a bummer because I had hoped to get some studying in on the road.  However we did manage to find a parking spot at the college and study before we signed in.

We signed in and we waited. It felt like forever before they called us in to the classroom to take the written half of the test.  I didn't feel near as nervous about this part of testing.  I think partially because it was just me, the booklet, and an answer sheet.  No one was watching me to make sure that I put down the right answer. No one was grading me as I went.  I just filled it out, turned it in, and waited for the results.  Not only that but it's usually the skills part of the test, where you have to perform certain tasks step by step, have 5 of them to do, and all in 25 minutes to complete it all, that gets people all bent out of shape.

We passed!

The tension in the room was crazy.  People were nervously talking, studying, and frequently visiting the bathroom as we each waited for our names to be called. 

As my mom and I were waiting for the skills half of the testing, two people returned.  They were not confident that they had passed and beat themselves up over what they may have missed or messed up on.  They had both tested a couple times prior to that day.  I watched as they looked at their results.  One threw her sheet on the floor in frustration and walked away.  The other did a little dance, hugged the test facilitators, and left with a grin.  Then it was our turn.

I was under the impression that there was a volunteer that would be acting as the client for the skills test. That's what the testing guide said at least. Come to find out, my mom and I would test using each other as the client.  I was surprised and though I didn't think it would be a big deal, I later realized it was.

My mom did AWESOME!  She nailed every skill that she completed but sadly ran out of time halfway through her 5th and last skill.  My heart sunk after the 25 minute buzzer went off and she was still working away.  

We had figured out that where she lost time was when she was putting my shoes on during the 2nd skill.  She had to get me up and out of bed to walk me using a gait belt but had to put my shoes on as part of the steps.  Well that day I had worn thick socks and my athletic shoes that are very fitting and has elastic in the tongue under the laces.  I wasn't allowed to help her and it was a struggle to get those tight shoes over my big socks.  If it weren't for that... She would have completed all 5 skills in that 25 mins and passed with flying colors. 
I'll never look at those shoes the same.  

On the upside, she will retest her skills (not the written. Just the skills) in town and received such encouragement and praise from the facilitator.  She really did a remarkable job!

The skills I received to test on were as follows: 

1.) Hand washing (all did this one)
2.) Use of a bedpan (which I prayed I didn't get but did... Oh well)
3. Measuring urinary output
4.) Dawning of protective gown and gloves (putting them on and taking them off properly)
5.) Catheter care

I immediately started to plan in my head what I needed for each one, how much time I needed to complete each one, and started the clock.

I moved fast and though it wasn't a race, it kind of was and in the midst of that I tried to recall each step.  Remembering to introduce myself, to lower the bed after I was done, to hand the client the call light, to close the curtain for privacy, to not over expose the test dummy (not my mom haha) for catheter care that went by Mr. Jones but had a vagina. Haha!  It was easy to remember the big steps of the process but something as simple as handing the client the call light could be easily bypassed.  

(Might I add here how awkward it is to shove a bedpan under someone's butt and how much more awkward it is being the person to sit on it?  My poor mother.... Hahahahaha! Don't worry. It was just a test so no actual bedpan use happened.)

As soon as I said "wash hands, skill's complete" for the last time, before the timer went off, with a minute to spare, I immediately heard my mom say "yes!! You got this!".  And I did....

I passed!

I felt so excited for what I had accomplished and yet so disappointed that we hadn't passed that part of the test together.  There were so many mixed feelings in that moment and moments after.  I just felt so stinking bad about my shoes and stewed on the reality that my mom would have walked out of there with a different outcome had she not tested on me that day. Seriously 5 minutes just trying to loosen those stupid things up. I'm not over exaggerating the difficulty here. Even though it wasn't my fault, I couldn't help but partially blame myself.  Ugh.  

I AM excited for the months to come and to see what possibilities open up with this accomplishment.  And for me this is an accomplishment. 

Some people may talk it down like it's no big deal but not everyone knows ME.  

I don't know how many times I've said I was going to do something, try something, attempt something and not follow through.  Self doubt and the unknown generally keeps me from doing something.  At times it's taken someone to "hold my hand" or walk me through.  Or so it feels...  BUT when I reeeeeally want something, i go after it.  I just haven't gone after anything that has challenged me like this or invest into my future or purpose.

This working mom of two kids, who secretly doubted herself... 

Completed a course
Did the foot work of paperwork and background check (without hand holding)
Studied like crazy
And actually retained the information! Lol
AND passed state boards!

I pushed through it and I managed to prove to myself that I am capable of achieving so much but have allowed my fear of failure to step in the way of pursing my dreams.  This experience has changed me. 

I've learned
I've grown 
I've conquered 
I've set more goals because the part of my mind that said "you can do this" was able to overtake the part of my mind that said "you don't have time. You have kids to take care of, how will you study? You were an average student 10 yrs ago, what's changed? You're out of practice." And all that other junk. 

A huge thanks to my family and friends that have encouraged, prayed, supported, and celebrated with me.  Especially to my mom who has ALWAYS believed that I can and has shared this experience with me. And to my husband that helped me with obtaining quiet study time, quizzed me,  and helped make this a priority when so many other bills and needs could have taken its place.

I'm incredibly blessed. 

I can't wait to see where God takes me next!  <3

-C