Showing posts with label CIBH. Show all posts

Medical Professionals Chosen By Race: Racism or Self-Preservation?

It started out as a simple post.  A friend of mine posted on social media that she had made a conscious decision to have medical professionals that looked like her because she believed they were stronger advocates for her and her family than those who did not.  Immediately, replies of affirmation  hit the page, along with stories of people who hadn't made the decision initially and the medical battles they fought because of what they felt were preconceived notions about African-American patients. 

Blocked, deleted, and called a racist

The past few days have been filled with strife for the nation. There have been countless peaceful protests and horribly, there have been terrible riots and violence. It’s been awful and unproductive. I’ve posted on my personal social media pages several times that violence and rioting had no place in this protest—no matter who you were. I’ve condemned violence. I’ve celebrated people of all races and ethnicities coming together. I’ve also shared my thoughts and fears.

I recently posted the below on a personal account:

“I had a lady tell me that I have no idea what it's like to have your husband leave the house every day and have no idea if he is going to come back home in the evening. He's an LEO. I told her that I live it every day, not only my husband, but my son, and my fathers, brothers, brothers in love, nephews, etc.

I have plenty of LEOs in my family, so I get it. But I've been black my entire life and I get THAT more. #imjustsaying

A Tale of Two Worlds...

Some of you will be quick to unfollow me for this one and it’s okay. I’m tired of being silent about it and if being vocal about my truth causes people to walk away, so be it.

Friday Faith: The Importance of Prayer

A little while ago, our family had a pretty intense week. It was a doozy for our family. We had a moment of parental crisis that I can’t go into on this forum as some things need to stay within the safety net of the family. But trust me when I say, I needed God and His wisdom like never before. In this event, I felt like I had failed somewhere. It didn’t matter that there were conversations held over and over again about choices and consequences. It didn’t matter that there were assurances of listening and retaining that information. Somewhere, somehow, there was a disconnect and I found myself sitting there trying to figure out what I needed to do next.

After several hours, we were able to take care of things, make adjustments, take action and do what would greatly benefit the family—all of the family, but I was still shaken. I felt guilty. Truthfully, there was no doubt in it. I had failed. Beyond the cursory prayers of gratitude and covering for my children, I hadn’t had a morning prayer with them before walking out to bus stops in a couple of months. I hadn’t read a scripture with the children and discussed it with them in weeks. Yes, we had all been attending bible studies and church. Individually, the elders in the family (parents and children who can read) were reading the Word of God and lessons were being retained, but if I was being honest, I’d been less than the strong spiritual example my children need in today’s crazy world. That bothered and bothers me.

#TuesdayTruth: Things I wish someone had told me about "after delivery" and life as a new mom.

I was recently in the office break room with a colleague of mine and the subject of nursing came up. We discussed how shocked we were that it wasn’t as “easy” and “common sense” as the world would have you believe. My colleague talked about being so discouraged after the birth of her first baby and wishing that another mother had been upfront and honest about what to expect so that she would not have felt like she was failing:l. I understood completely and remembered my first time as a mom with Bug, but even the times post delivery of all my kids. There are certainly some things I would have wanted to know prior.

After our conversation was over, I thought about several expecting mothers that I know and how I wished I had the kind of relationship with them that would allow me to share what a I wished someone would have shared with me.

I figured I would do that here and maybe help someone (including them).

Tuesday Truth: Angry and Hurt Moms Cause Angry And Hurt Kids

A few days ago I had a terrible mommy moment.  I was tired, exhausted, and frustrated.  I was attempting to get out the house on time for a certain event and the children were not cooperating.  One had "forgotten" how to put on her shoes.  Another refused to leave without her lovie.  The littlest screamed from being placed in a carseat when he clearly wanted to lie on the floor for a while.  We were late.  I was so overwhelmed.  When little voices gave way to whining, I lost it and launched into a raised voice tirade (no curse words) that ended in a very hurtful dismissal.  The effect was instantaneous.  There was no more whining.  There was no sound at all.  Just a quivering lip, watery eyes, and a slow walk to the car.  I felt like crap.

Vent: It's NOT Laziness, It's Anemia!!!

This weekend I had the unfortunate experience of being called lazy.  It may have been because Saturday I couldn't wake up.  I felt nauseous and weak and jittery.  I slept all day.  No exaggeration.  I slept from 2AM to 5PM.  I got up twice to use the bathroom and went right back to sleep.  My energy levels were nonexistent.  When I finally woke up, you would think I was refreshed.  No.  I was still drained.  I know I'm anemic.  I have been taking supplements, but I don't think they are helping.

CIBH: I do aspire to be a Proverbs 31 woman. It's just easier said than done...

A Praying Wife...

Thursday Truth: The Battle of PPD-- Yes, I Take An Anti-depressant. Yes, I Am STILL a Good Mother.

The American Psychological Association© says “1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression.  PDD doesn’t go away on its own and can appear days or even months after delivering a baby.  It can last for weeks or months if left untreated”. 

When are we going to humble ourselves and pray?

Guys, I have to preempt my usual Weekend Recap and vent. The past few days my heart has been breaking over and over again. Last Thursday, avowed white supremacist Gregory Bush, walked into a Louisville, Kentucky grocery store and killed two black senior citizens. The victims were minding their own business, grocery shopping, and were killed. Fifteen minutes earlier, the same shooter had tried to enter a predominantly black church but found the doors locked and went on his way.

Marriage Musings...

Today my sister and her husband celebrate 17 years of marriage!  I was pleased when I saw their social media post this morning and couldn't wait to shower them with love and affection of my own.  I love their relationship.  Every time I see them, they genuinely love one another.  They look like they like one another.  They often fire jokes at each other and little inside jokes that make the other blush.  Looking outside in, they are a beautiful union.  I'm sure if you ask them, they will tell you that they love each other very much.  They will also tell you that they have walked through their own set of challenges as well just like any married couple will say the same.  Their love story got me thinking about marriages, mine in particular.

Google stock photo

Can I Be Honest: Not Quite Measuring Up

Hi guys. I’m hoping you’re having an awesome week. It’s my birthday week and I should be all kinds of giddy, but I’m not. Not because of getting older. Shoot, I relish in that! I have dear friends and family members who didn’t make it past their 30s due to car accidents and illness. I bless God that 38 is around the corner, and I pray he allows 38 more and then some. No, my reasoning is different.

Can I be real honest with you guys? The fact is there are lots of days I feel really inept as a woman. I don't feel beautiful or polished at all. I feel like I felt in MS, HS, and even college. It sucks when you see the confidence of others and realize that you don't possess the same. Heck even the youngest around me are comfortable and confident in their skin—or sure as heck pulling off the acting job of the freaking century. I get so freaking embarrassed because I just don’t have that. Every once in a while, some fierce and beautifully confident part of me comes through and I feel powerful and amazing. Then, something happens to tear that feeling away and punish me for ever thinking of it in the first place. It bothers the heck out of me because I have two awesome little girls who look to me to know what confidence is.

Something has to change...

I was supposed to post some cutesy Valentine’s Day recap for you today. It was supposed to include pictures of our day and the love that was shared. I may do that later this week, but not today. Today, I want to have a moment with you. Today, I want to have a raw and open discussion with you about yesterday’s school shooting-the 8th such shooting in our nation this school year. I want to talk to you and make it clear that something has to change.

I was at work when news broke of the school shooting. I caught a glimpse of it on my way to my desk. There was a gentleman looking at the news feed and I asked him what was going on.

“Another school shooting.”

“Was anyone hurt?”

“The media says 20, but you know the sensationalize everything. Probably nothing”

And he walked away…and I did too hoping and praying he was right, but sickened that it was so easily dismissed by this gentleman and worried because this was the same spot I was in when I saw the destruction and devastation of Newtown. I couldn’t do it again and prayed it was an error.

CIBH: I just want to live

I've been very silent.  Painfully silent.  I've kept my opinions to myself, my voice to myself.  I haven't spoken aloud my thoughts, fears, or frustrations.  The numerous times I've wanted to do so on this blog and haven't are way too many.  I've wanted to keep it close to sterile, focusing on Honeybee and the process, our family, and the good of the world.  Then, with all of the things that have been happening lately, it has become more than apparent that this world that Honeybee and Superbug are going to inherit is looking very different from my views as a child.

This week, last week, and the week before the news have been heavily peppered with stories of unarmed African-Americans being killed or dying under mysterious circumstances.  Some were killed while worshiping.  Another died after a traffic stop where an arrest probably should not have happened in the first place.  The last was killed by a campus police officer in a video so heinous that ALL of his supervisors and the leaders in the city have completely and totally distanced themselves from the shooter.  While I believe one case was simply an overreach after finding someone who knew their Constitution rights and being upset that they wouldn't back down, the others have clear racial overtones.  It bothers me.  It scares me.

CIBH: (TMI) I have a love/hate relationship with ovulation

This post is a part of my Can I Be Honest (CIBH) series. It reflects emotions that are a bit more sensitive and open than other posts. It also is a post with a bit of Too Much Information (TMI), specifically for referencing on hormones and femininity. If that isn’t something you are comfortable with, this post may not be for you.

It's that time again...
It’s that time again. That time of the month where I go from sweet to near psychotic in seconds. Nope, not that time of the month. The other one. Ovulation. In my world of fluctuating hormones and infertility, the mere thought of ovulation is an annoyance to me. 

CIBH: Blockages in my prayer life

This post is a part of the Can I Be Honest (CIBH) collection.

I haven’t had an earnest conversation with God for a while now.  I’ve awakened in the morning and have thought my thanks for being allowed to see another day, but the prayer that came from my lips seemed automatic even to me.  I’ve blessed my food and have thanked Him for its availability.  I’ve even acknowledged within myself that is He who has kept me gainfully employed at my company in the midst of shockingly massive and debilitating layoffs.  But acknowledging in my head and heart and not actually speaking to God to acknowledge those things in conversation with Him hasn’t really been occurring.  I haven’t been able to get into a deep and earnest discussion with Him.

Can I Be Honest: Infertility sucks

FatherWinter and I have been very blessed in terms of family.  We have our handsome son, Superbug, who is my son from a previous relationship.  We are actively pursuing adoption for our loving daughter Honeybee and love her more than we could ever express.  We are also actively desiring to expand our family with additional children.  It's something we have always wanted to do in addition to adoption.  We always knew we wanted a large family.  FatherWinter is one of eight for goodness sake.  What we weren't prepared for journey to large family was infertility.

FatherWinter and I have been trying to conceive naturally for just about three years.  We've tried apps, counting calendars, eating fertility inducing name it.  Nothing has helped.  In those three years, two of FatherWinter's sisters have given birth to three children.  One sister got pregnant one month after getting married.  Eighteen months after that beautiful delivery, she gave birth to another baby blessing.

FatherWinter's friends have been dropping pregnancy announcement like rain drops.  One, a former girlfriend, also announced her pregnancy a month after marriage.  A colleague announced his wife's pregnancy two weeks after holding our Honeybee and saying aloud how he would like to start trying with his wife.  One week, FatherWinter received subsequent pregnancy announcements every single day of the workweek.  Sigh....

It's been the same with me.  There are two women at our office who became pregnant within weeks of each other.  They recently delivered.  Both babies are beautiful and both moms very happy.  Then, there are a couple of our mutual married friends.  A few months ago, a very dear friend announced her pregnancy.  We were ecstatic for them!!  They weren't trying, but simply stopped any preventative methods.  A month later.  BOOM.  Pregnant.  Recently, another pregnancy was announced and I was thrilled.  I mean thrilled like literally yell out loud thrilled.  She is an amazing mother and her husband is an amazing father.  But, I'd be lying if I said, I didn't feel that familiar ache in the pit of my womb.  It held like a menstrual cramp.  I knew it wasn't.  It wasn't an ovulation cramp either.  I call it my womb's cry.  Every so often, when I am told of the joyous news of a pregnancy, my womb cries out and I feel it in tangible form.

I feel awful about it.  I love the announcements of pregnancy.  I really, really am happy for all of my friends and family members who are celebrating or surprised at the news.  But, there is a part of me that still mourns the fact that I seemingly can not and will not become pregnant. 

Recently, FatherWinter and I had a conversation that truly involved a soul baring moment.  We discussed the fact that we were both sad that we couldn't conceive.  Yes, I've been to the doctor.  She has said there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to conceive despite having a plum size uterine cyst.  FatherWinter has been evaluated as well.  There are some flags there, but nothing that should keep us completely from conceiving.  Yet, here we are.  We can't get pregnant and it is hurts.

We are more than happy and thrilled that we get to be parents to our Honeybee.  That will never change.  She is our daughter and we love her with everything that is in our mind, body, and soul.  We just acknowledge that giving her another little brother or a new little sister to share her life with is going to be very difficult.

The same holds true for our Superbug.  He brings a lot of love and a lot of joy into our life.  I wouldn't negate his presence for anything!

You know what else is hard about this?  I feel like I shouldn't be feeling this way.  I feel like someone else will see our grieving for the absence of biological conception as a statement that we aren't loving and dedicated parents to our Honeybee (and Superbug).  That is not true.  Honeybee is not some consolation prize.  She is absolutely our daughter and means the world to us.  Not because there is something owed, but because we love her honestly and truly.  But there will always be someone who believes the worst and that is why I believe so many people keep their infertility struggles to themselves.

Infertility is an awful experience.  I know there are many women who are experiencing it and many men who are mourning right along with their loved ones.  I just wish there wasn't such a stigma associated with infertility.  It would be amazing to have a dialogue without fear of judgment.


Can I be Honest? I was "de-friended" on Facebook and I think it's awesome!

Photo credit:
I recently went to Facebook to answer the comment of a friend who'd written on my page.  While navigating the maze that is comments and likes, I saw a "people you might know" picture that had "add a friend" beside it.  The name belonged to a former high school and college friend whom I've been social media connected to for the past three years.  She'd deleted me.  The thing was I didn't even know.

I looked at her name, clicked on the public version of her page, and realized that I hadn't commented on her page in a very long time.  She recently lost a family member and, while I wished her condolences, I didn't give her massive encouragement that I'm sure she needed.  I realized that, as much as I genuinely care about her and her family, our paths no longer intercept one another.

I've not seen her in years.  I couldn't tell you what she does for a living, where exactly she lives, how her children are doing.  I can't do any of that.  Nor can she recite the same information concerning me.  So, why were we social media friends?  And I realized that she'd done an awesome thing.

I am a firm believer in support systems and keeping yourself surrounded by positive and loving people.  I haven't been surrounding her.  I haven't been giving her what a true friendship requires.  In fact, despite my saying the general coverage prayer for all of my friends and loved ones near and far, I'd not really gone to God on her behalf until she lost her loved ones.  In essence, I was wasting space in her world.  She took the initiative and removed the dead weight.  As she should.

I was taught very early in life that not everyone who starts a journey by your side will reach the destination with you.  Some are going to get tired and stop journeying with you.  Others are going to find little crossroads and forks and go their own way.  Others are just going to stop journeying period and you may find yourself by yourself.  Or, as Mama taught, you may find other travelers who are traversing the same course that you are and will join you in their stead.  It's okay that those who start may not finish with you.  That is life.  You pray for each other.  You love each other, even from afar, but your journey is your own.

So, I think it is wonderful that I was de-friended.  It made me look at my friend list and realize I need to do the same.  There is no hate or malice, but I have some space in my life that needs to be opened as well.  What better way than pressing "Delete"?


The perception of slights...

I was blessed to take the kids to my hometown this weekend.  I was so excited!  I hadn't been home in several months and everyone was itching to see Honeybee and Superbug.  So, I packed up the car, kissed FatherWinter, and down the road we went.  We had a wonderful visit that  can be read about on the main blog until church on today.

My church is small in size and membership, primarily because we grew up in a small town and because it's a family church.  About 90% of the membership is my family.  Any way, prior to church everyone was smiling and happy surprised to see us there (we'd kept our arrival a surprise for the elders).  In the midst of the smiles came a cousin whom I hadn't seen in several years.  There has been no reason, no malice or anything.  I rarely see her and even when I lived in the same town as her, we didn't speak that often.  She is older than I by about 20 years and was usually in the workforce or on a trip.  But I was always glad to see her.

Well, in the midst of all the hugs and smiles and re-introducing our Honeybee to the family, she comes up and says, "well, where did she come from" referring to my daughter.  I didn't like the tone, and subconsciously I felt my hackles raise.  [But] Nevertheless, I turned and politely wished her hello and an embrace as I hadn't seen her in several years and was genuinely pleased to see her.  In response, I received "I didn't know you were in town and I didn't know you had a baby".  Now, everyone in the family including those on her side were aware that FatherWinter and I were in the process of adopting.  She'd even liked a social media status about my daughter and again several months later later when we started fundraisers to offset some expenses.  I informed her that we'd been blessed with Honeybee since she was 1.5 weeks old and she was about 10 months old now.  To which she replied, "well, no one told me.  I guess I'm not on FB enough", abruptly turned and walked away.

I was...annoyed.  I was really annoyed.  Honeybee has never been a secret.  We celebrate her often, but you know what; we live, work, and play in a different state.  It isn't our responsibility to contact you to make sure you got the news you feel you should have received.  We love each other and we are truly family, but I don't tell my family everything.  And, I'm a firm believer that communication goes both ways.  If you were really that concerned with what was going on with my little core family, I'm sure a telephone would have assuaged any of your fears.

Fortunately for me, the pallor of that moment was short lived as the service started and I completely forgot about the conversation until service was over.  I was reminded that this cousin is dealing with some personal things and sometimes feels that family slights her.  I can understand.  We haven't nor do we plan to ever slight anyone, but I do feel that the expectation of information when no requirement exists is presumptuous.

Do better.  I'm just saying. Am I wrong for that thought?  I mean it does seem a bit ironic that my post sounds off on the perception that we have to share information when this blog does exist for that purpose.  However, in the same breath, I am cautious about how much I share--not because we are keeping secrets, but because of the delicacy of certain intricacies within our Honeybee's story.  It is not yet a completed chapter, nor am I in a hurry for a conclusion solely for the purpose of someone else's interest.

I suppose there will always be someone who isn't pleased by something that I've said done or thought whether I actually did so or not.  Knowing that keeps me grounded. Recognizing that I can be grounded and devoted to what's in the best interest of my family will always be my claim to fame.

Have a great day everyone.


Can I Be Honest? I'm Evolving and Me Time is a part of that process..

I recently wrote on my realization that I am not SuperWoman (see post I Am NOT Superwoman...) and the acceptance that it is perfectly fine that I will never carry that title.  In the post, I lamented the loss of musicals, plays, book stores, and times of complete solitude.  I noted, and feel the need to restate, that I don't wish away my life.  I love being a wife and mother.  Those roles are key parts of who I am.  They are me.  I like that person and all the love and joy that comes with her.  But, before I was WinterMommy (mommy and wife), I was Winter.  I had definite interests that I enjoyed, nurtured, and cultivated.  Somewhere along the line, I realized that embracing new interests and roles had pushed away some of the really cool parts of Winter.  Somewhere along the line, I stopped enjoying and partaking in me time.

So, today, I took steps to rectify that issue in a rather unplanned source of me time rebellion.  I'd just completed the end of a very long albeit productive work week.  I was turning out of the office parking lot when I remembered how I really wanted to continue reading the e-book that I'd downloaded to my tablet.  It's a great read based on the events occurring after the Rapture and I was not having any luck in getting through it.  Every time I'd tried in recent weeks, I was interrupted by the demands of home, community,

Today as I was driving, I decided on a whim that I was going to take just a bit of time for me.  So, I pulled into a local eating establishment, walked in, sat in a booth, and ordered a margarita and an order of cheesesticks.  I sat down with tablet in hand and enjoyed ME.

Honey, it was amazing.....

Perfect Margarita with a perfectly brown mozzarella stick package 

I sat in that booth, read my book, looked out the window, and enjoyed ME.  I gasped aloud at the unexpected plot changes in the e-novel.  I sipped slowly on my beverage, enjoyed my cheesesticks that belonged to me all by myself, and enjoyed myself.  No little hands reaching for a sample.  No disapproving click of tongue because I decided to have a beverage instead of ordering an ice water as I do 99% of the time.  No, it was just me, myself, and I.  I loved it.

You know what else I loved? I loved that I was comfortable in my solitude.  Seriously!  Can I be honest?  I have not always been comfortable in my skin.  When I first moved to the area as a young 20-something I would get off work on the weekends and would go straight to my cousin's home with whom I was staying.  I would get out the car, shower, and then go to my room and do absolutely nothing.  It wasn't because I didn't want to or because my cousin, who was an elder cousin, would have forbidden it.  I was new to area.  I didn't know anyone and I was too shy and uncomfortable to sit somewhere by myself.  Oh, I tried plenty of times, but it didn't work. I would carry my little self into a crowded room, sit in a booth, feel awkward, and about ten minutes later, I'd leave.  My goodness.

When I moved into my own apartment several months after arriving to the area, I thought to myself how easier it would be to go out, to host little get togethers, to be the social butterfly I'd always envisioned myself to be.  But, even into my late 20s, I would be terribly uncomfortable at a restaurant or event by myself.  I felt like people were staring, wondering why I was there, and what I was doing.  I would see women together in groups and would feel sad that I didn't have that option myself.

I am so glad to say I have evolved into a person who loves herself and counts her moments of solitude as a luxury.  I much, much, much more prefer the interactions of my family, but when I need to just sit and think or read a good book, I'm glad to say I can love spending time with me by me :)  I LOVE me time.

Today, I enjoyed my me time for about 40 minutes.  Just enough time to nurse my beverage, enjoy my appetizers, and get a couple of chapters in my book.  I didn't need hours and hours.  I just needed some uninterrupted stress free time.  After I finished, I paid my tab, tipped, wished my server a good evening, and proceeded to my car.  I felt light, happy, and delightfully free.  And guess what?!

When I got home, I was STILL super excited to see my children and love on my spouse.  My me time didn't diminish my love for my family at all.  Now, please don't think me time is limited to spending money.  It isn't at all.

Photo credit:
In the past, I've had me time in a huge sunken tub with bubbles, rose petals, candles (tea lights with batteries so I didn't have to clean up wax spills), music in the background, and sparking cider to keep me company. Those had me for 2 and 3 hours and wrinkled as a raisin when I came out.  But, I love it all the same.

Now, it's back to business as usual.  Tomorrow morning, there will be waffles, bacon,  scrambled eggs, and yogurt for breakfast.  I'm planning on taking the children out for fun at the Children's Museum followed by a bit of bowling, and finally a stop at the library.  Tomorrow night, I'll try some of the recipes that have been listed in my pinterest box.

But for right now, I am enjoying the results of my me time and look forward to having that time again in a few weeks or so.

Have a great evening.