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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

We’re growing! Now let’s get real, Part 9

In Opinion/Personal, Personal on April 5, 2019 at 10:21 am

Part 1: Morning Sickness

Part 2: Cravings & Aversions

Part 3: Digestion

Part 4: Body Talk

Part 5: Second Puberty

Part 6: Irrational Fears

Part 7: Pregnancy Brain

Part 8: Discomfort

In the last update, I bragged on myself.

“I’m doing so good with hydration that I don’t swell!” Na-na-na-na-na.

I also speak too soon and stick my foot in my mouth sometimes. Look at these “sausages,” as my husband endearingly calls them…

So here we are: the home stretch.

We had a little uncertainty for a brief period, in which my regular 4 week check up resulted in measurements 4cm larger than they should have been. In the words of my OB, I had “barely squeaked by” on my glucose testing, so no gestational diabetes to cause size issues for baby. However, here we were at double the normal range of what would be considered normal uterine measurements for how far along I am. Is the baby too big? Will I have to have a c-section? Will this cause problems? What does this mean for the remainder of pregnancy since the last weeks are spent fattening baby up? We had to wait for an extra ultrasound to find out. To our relief, our little man was perfect. He is expected to be a chunky newborn, but not estimated to be big enough to have negative effects on delivery. Whew! Now to just wait for nature to runs its course.

We’ve got another month and a half, roundabout. I’ve got baby feet and knees constantly in my ribs, punches and jabs directly to my spine, and a regular wave rolling across my belly at the slightest little baby movement. My meals have been cut in half, but occur double time throughout the day because there is no room for an expanded stomach in this gut anymore but I’m hungry all the time. My balance is terrible, I’m constantly knocking things over with my belly, and my hands have essentially stopped working. I drop every single thing I touch at this point. The Braxton-Hicks contractions are growing in intensity and frequency, I have to prop my belly up on pillows to be able to lay down comfortably, and the only successful way I can get out of bed is to roll myself to the edge and just let gravity slide me out until my feet can catch the floor because all movement is just getting extra difficult. I don’t even want to try to explain the hassle of putting on pants or – god help me – socks.

Silver lining:

We already know he’s got dad’s nose and mom’s mouth and squishy cheeks and I’m in love. This little face is the only silver lining I need anymore.

And So They Met

In Non-Fiction, Personal, Writing on September 1, 2015 at 10:10 pm

How She Met Her Father, Part 4.  See Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3.

Two months had passed since her graduation.  Against all expectation, he had actually shown up.  Late – sneaking in a side door once the ceremony had already begun – and empty handed, but he was there.  Afterwards, waiting out back of the school near the parking lot, sending in his youngest child, her half brother, to get her.  Awkward side hugs, awkward small talk as if they had known each other from years ago.  Since then, her sisters requested visits more often, explaining “Daddy wants to see you, and he’ll meet you at our house.”  Sometimes he was there already, clutching a beer.  Sometimes they would call him once or twice, then have to pick him up from whatever friend’s house where he had started drinking.  Sometimes, though not often, he would already be too drunk to make it at all.

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It’s the little things

In Personal, Random on June 11, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Some days, I’m confident. 100% happy. 1000% sure of – everything. Totally in control.

Some days, my brain glitches out. I’m a zombie. Forgetful. Confused, even by the most mundane tasks.

Some days, I’m indescribable. I’m scared, nervous, anxious. For what? I never know. It makes me unhappy.

It’s exhausting for me, so I can only imagine how exhausting it is for the people close to me.

But I thank my lucky stars every day for those people. Those people and their little words or actions, those people who don’t even realize what they do.

My wonderful grandmother, so proud of the things I’ve taken after her, always sure to remind me that no matter what is going on she’s supportive and understanding.

My quirky mother, unknowingly providing quality entertainment in attempting to learn new technology and this crazy texting thing.

And my wonderful fiance, eat-breath-live-music man, who chooses his own way to show me he cares. Never flowers, because those just sit until they die. But useful little gifts, and funny little songs.  And telling me that he loves me “more than everything, even vinyls and banjo and guitar.”

And I soak it up and let it settle in.  And I feel balanced again – because I love and am loved, and that’s what’s really important here.

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A Life Story – Addiction

In Opinion/Personal, Personal on May 30, 2015 at 3:26 pm

I still have pictures of us in diapers, laying together in the floor of my mother’s apartment, right across the hall from her parents’ apartment.  Most of my childhood memories include her.  Our mother’s were best friends.  We were raised together.  We fought like sisters, and although we weren’t truly related by blood, we came to call each other cousins.  It was easier to explain due to our shared last names and the fact that we literally grew up together.  By middle school, we had formed our own separate groups of friends, and still like sisters, we reached a point where despite knowing we loved each other, we argued more than anything.  By high school, we had outgrown that stage and became close once again.  We planned classes together.  We were together all summer break long.  There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t talk.

Her parents split up.  Her mom left.  Her dad was devastated.  I can remember staying the night at her house one weekend and having to take care of her father as he drank his feelings away.  Then a wedge came in.  A wedge that I viewed as a nuisance, a problem, inevitable trouble.  She viewed him as perfection.  We had both had other boyfriends throughout our years, but this one was different.  I had a terrible feeling about this one.

I knew his habits.  Everybody did.  Then I came back home from college to visit for a weekend and ran into her at a store.  We hadn’t talked in a little while.  I almost didn’t recognize her.  She was frail, bony, her cheeks were sunk in, her pupils were completely blown out.  I knew.  She had allowed his habits into her life like never before.

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Schools Gotta Get It Together

In Opinion, Opinion/Personal, Personal, Random on May 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm

I just wanted to share this experience my family has been dealing with regarding my cousin and her high school education.  It’s been difficult and really eye opening and made me realize even more so than I already knew that school systems have a lot of catching up to do with how teens are these days.  It also made me realize that often, the problem is that the decision makers have no clue how it really is down the totem pole, nor do they care, and have no interest in trying to help in unusual situations.

My cousin was on home bound, which is where the school system sends a teacher to her home instead of her attending regular classes.  Not only was she dealing with bullying at the school, she has a history of high anxiety, depression, self harm, and a thyroid disorder that does have an affect on her moods.  With 6 weeks left in the school year, which she has been on home bound for the entirety of, my aunt received a letter stating that she had to return to school in less than a week’s time to finish the year because her home bound was no longer approved.  There were multiple different reasons as to why, but it all boiled down to an initial paperwork error that was never noted prior to this and regulations that were never made known to my family in the beginning.  Regulations, that in my opinion, are ridiculous, such as sating that because her doctor put her on medication to treat her thyroid disorder, this is considered a “non-issue” or changes in the way the paperwork must be completed depending on her progress that the family was completely unaware of.

Because I feel I am much better with written word than verbal conversations (which I also tried and got nowhere with), I decided to write a letter to the Board of Education in my hometown where my cousin is currently enrolled in school to bring attention to the issues I discovered during this process.  I feel that a change need to take place in the way things are handled and the way the schools are run there, and all it takes sometimes is one person shining a light on it to get that ball rolling.  So I decided I would also post this letter on my blog.  Other teens and families may be dealing with trouble within their school systems, as well, and I really wanted to put this out there in the world for people to see because of my dissatisfaction with the way this has been handled.  So here was the letter I wrote to the Pike County Board of Education, my cousin’s full name are not included since I did not ask her if I could openly put her on my blog.

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Spoken Word Superstars

In Opinion, Opinion/Personal, Personal, Recommendations on May 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Almost everyone can tie themselves to alcoholism.  Either you have a family member who has battled it in the past, or still currently is, or you had a friend growing up with a parent who struggled with it.  For those of you fighting it yourself, I give you a virtual handshake.  While I have not struggled with an addiction, I have seen others and I know how difficult it can be.

Alcoholism runs in my family, both sides.  Both ym grandfathers were alcoholics.  My mother’s father quit drinking before I was born, but I caught bits and pieces of stories growing up from the bad days.  I witnessed how much his drinking and behavior while intoxicated still affected my family, despite his being sober.  It was obvious that fixing the problem may not always cancel out the conseuences.  My father’s father never beat his addiction to alcohol and, also before I was born, passed away.  Again, through family stories, I was made aware that his alcoholism maifested itself in 1-2 week long benders every couple of months or so.  During his last week long bender, he took his own life.

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My Valentine’s Day Love Story to Music

In Opinion/Personal, Personal, Random on February 14, 2014 at 8:26 am

I think I’ve finally figured out my love for music.  Despite bring completely oblivious to the technical side, knowing any real musical terms, or having any knowledge whatsoever on how to play any kind of instrument, I have still always felt very drawn to and moved by music.

There is that girly side of me that hears a song and says, ” oh my god, that’s EXACTLY how I feel right now!” There’s also the side of me that enjoys the pure creativity of it.  As a writer and (recently dabbling) painter, it’s very easy even without any real knowledge to appreciate another’s form of expression and that’s a very important thing for the artistic community, no matter what your craft is.  And a good play on words or an intellectual and beautiful flow of words that reads or sounds so elegant and pretty on paper or on the tongue set to a melody? I’m a sucker…

But what really sparks my love for music is the ability it has to remind me of who I am, that magical moment during the first few seconds of a song that somehow transports me to another time and place that I may not have even thought about in years.

Example A: anytime I hear Journey‘s “Don’t Stop Believing” I am taken back 4-5 years to a grungy Irish pub on a busy street a little over an hour from my home with 2 of the best friends I’ve ever had.  We’ve all started our lives outside of the college world now – jobs, responsibility, marriage, kids even – and it makes it hard to stay in touch as much as we’d like. But as soon as  that very well-known bit of music begins, whether it be on the radio, a cover by a band in a bar, or a terrible karaoke rendition, I’m right back in my early 20’s with my two best ladies on each side singing our hearts out and living it up alongside at least a hundred other strangers doing the same exact thing. No care in the world, being invited to sing and shimmy on the bar top, feeling as free as we possibly ever may in our lifetimes.

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This is Halloween, Part 1

In Non-Fiction, Opinion/Personal, Personal, Writing on October 24, 2013 at 10:40 am

I’ve always loved the supernatural: movies, documentaries, reality ghost hunting shows, costumes, all the like that spikes in popularity through the month of October.  So in honor of my love for this area and for my favorite holiday, Halloween, of course, I decided to share a few stories I’ve heard over the years and a few of my own experiences.  For the first story, I feel I should start at the beginning with part of the reason I ended up getting so interested in this area to begin with.  This is a story that happened long before my time that I’ve heard told and retold many times over the years from childhood.

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What Is Family?

In Awards, Opinion, Opinion/Personal, Personal on June 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Not long ago, I got into a discussion with a friend about the term “family.”  My friend is in college and was telling me about one of her classes in which they discuss controversial topics and the idea of “traditional verses non-traditional” was one of these topics.  Her view-point was surprising to me as she explained what her response in her class had been.  When she was a child, she thought that all families were the same.  All families had a mother and a father and that was it.  I searched my brain, but could never remember a time in which I also thought that all families were the same as mine.  But I quickly realized that was because I saw it every day.  I was raised by my mother alone, and most of my friends were being raised by both parents – the “traditional” family – so I always knew that there were different kinds of families.  Until I reached college, I had never heard the terms “traditional” or “non-traditional.”  I had never given it a second thought and my initial reaction to these terms was somewhat biting.  Being labeled a “non-traditional family” seemed almost like being excluded from some prestigious group, like any time that term was said, the say-er had an automatic distasteful tone.

I remember being in a family studies class probably more than 5 years ago.  I was never the type to draw attention to myself.  I took my notes and bided my time until class was over, making mental notes of points that the conversation brought up so I could use them later during open answer tests.  But on this one day, I knew I had to speak up.  My stomach was in knots and my brain kept saying “What the hell are you doing?!” But I raised my hand.  I demanded the attention of all my classmates to respond to a woman’s statement that children from non-traditional families are cheated out of a real family, that non-traditional families are detrimental to the development of a child.  My response was simple: “I disagree 100%.  I was raised by a single mother.  My father played no part in my upbringing, and I have no doubt that I am a better person because of that.  I was never cheated.  I never felt that I missed opportunities or missed out on a part of my life because of that.  If it wasn’t for the way my mother raised me independently, I could possibly not even be here now.  I understand that studies often show that children of single parent homes are more susceptible to learning problems, to lower socio-economic status, etc., but this is not always the case.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way and I disagree with generalized statements such as that.”  Needless to say, the woman tried to eat her words, obviously flustered in thinking she had offended me.

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The Invitation

In "How She Met Her Father" Series, Non-Fiction, Writing on May 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm

 Part 3 of “How She Met Her Father.”  Read Part 1 and Part 2.

She could count the number of times she had seen him on one hand. In almost 18 years, it was that few.  She remembered every time, even though she knew he didn’t.  She remembered every glance, every passing, every time knowing that he had no clue who she was.

She remembered the stories. Her mom’s friend coming to visit almost once a week, bringing toys and playing with her so it could be reported back to him how she was growing up.  Her newfound sisters recounting the plethora of times he polished off a case of beer and cried and voiced his wishes of how he would have liked to know her.  Did this affect her? No. He was the adult here, he made the decision to deny her from the very beginning. That’s not something you can so easily wish away. That’s not something very forgettable when you’re on the receiving end.
Singing Heart

Poems by Karem Barratt

*UNBREAKABLE QUEEN'S LIFE LESSONS DIARY*

Breaking Free From The Past, In Hope For A Bigger & Brighter Future

One Day at a Time

The world is a confusing place, these are just my musings on it.

The Girl

enjoying whatever life has to offer...

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