Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top Ten Best and Worst Moments of 2011, KHS style

As Dave Letterman is one of my all-time fave humans and I especially love his Top Tens, I give you my 2011 Top Ten Worst/Best.  If only I had Snoop Dogg to read mine...

10.  Wearing a pH probe in my nose to work.  Bad idea.
9.     Renewing a lost relationship with my nephew because of a devastating injury
8.     Going to a small town in SC that I now believe is the gateway to Hell
7.     Loss of a long time, very close friendship
6.     Realizing my body is a black hole of misery
5.     37-day long migraine
4.     LP (spinal tap) gone wrong
3.     Seeing my aunt lose herself to the beast that is Alzheimer's
2.     Two miscarriages
1.     The realization that mothering Olivia may have been my only chance

10.  Finding a great pulmonologist who knows her shit and has kept me out of the ED for 5 months
9.    Wearing my Birthday Bitch hat once more

8.    Cinnamon whiskey....DELISH
7.    My bachelorette party, complete with penis shaped cupcakes
6.    Starting to blog again
5.    The Bloggess giving me online kinship and a big metal chicken obsession
4.    Forging new friendships from the most unlikely of circumstances
3.    Pulling off the planning of a beautiful wedding in 4 weeks from an ICU room
2.   Being asked to present at an international conference next June (YES!!!!)
1.   Marrying this amazingly talented, loving man

Bring on 2012....I don't want more than 5 on your Worst list....My Yang sooo better outweigh your Yin!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Distractions in My Head Are Mine, All MINE

Mr. Officer,
I understand you think it's unsafe for me to be driving with a cellphone in my hand ... or on bluetooth ... or texting.   I read today you now think I am not capable of eating french fries or applying lip gloss while steering an automobile that claims it can park itself. 

Mr. Officer,
What makes you think any of these are any more distracting than the argument with my sister or discussion about infertility with my husband that could be happening in said car?  Even more distracting are the thoughts in my head about the argument that's probably brewing with my sister and especially the stressful, heartbreaking conversation my husband and I had last night regarding our future as parents.

Tell me, Ponch, are you going to try to fine me for being distracted by my own thoughts?  They are a hell of a lot more distracting to me than a damn hotdog or some moisturizing color for these luscious lips.


Karen H. Sanders

I am now appalled at the state of this Union.  We are broke and unemployed.  We are increasingly uncultured thanks to cuts in arts and music education.  Our citizens who need the most get the least thanks to the cuts in mental health services.  Yet, there are officials who think it necessary to keep tabs on me in my car.  I wish they'd ask instead how I've managed to drive for nearly 18 years without a ticket or at-fault accident.

I suppose I should just be glad I won't be driving in California this weekend.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thank God That's Over

Christmas present is thankfully Christmas past now.  There were definitely good moments, don't get me wrong.  I love being a Sanders.  Kelly's family has welcomed me with arms wider and warmer than I could have ever asked.  We started a new tradition with my cousin Shannon and my sister (husbands as well) today.

Christmas Day continues to hold a chunk of pain.  It isn't a joke when I say I need a tropical island escape.  Beaches are always where my mind goes when I think of peace.  Right after Olivia died, a friend and I took a trip to the Keys.  I thought of that multiple times yesterday.  I would love to have had my toes in that beautiful sand where thoughts could drift along soft breezes to the sound of  lightly crashing waves.

 That first shot was from the beach the day after a storm.  Appropriate, huh?  The bottom is from the back door of the house where we stayed.  So serene...That's how I want to feel when I actually feel so messy and turbulent on the inside.

As we move into the most turbulent time of year for me,  we'll see how many days of serenity happen.  I will not expect the worst.  I just accept that it is always possible.  I don't kid myself.  That is setting myself up for the worst to happen and then some.

Now, I need someone to take away all of the effing Christmas candy that is so damn tasty.  It is not a food group; it is not an acceptable diet plan; it is not a method of controlling my asthma!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas Eve!

Fire, hot chocolate, pjs, Christmas lights, and long Christmas weekend has begun.

This is the light ball that was given to me by Posse member M.E.  Olivia loved them.  I want 8.

Snapshot of my tree because I can't figure out how to get a good photo of the damn thing.  It has blue lights and is quite pretty.  See the photo ornament of Olivia?  See the red drum above it?  My two loves prominently honored.

May this Christmas be better than all others before and less wonderful than those to come for ALL of us.

p.s.  A shout out to my international friends, Russia and Germany particularly.  S Roždestvóm and Frohe Weihnachten!  Forgive me if I've found incorrect spellings. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

An Old 45

Do you ever feel like an old 45 on a turntable?  Women, I am almost certain your male partners have told you that you sound like one.  What I learned in college in my psych and sociology classes is that we repeat ourselves because we don't feel like we've been heard.  Someone may be able to verbally vomit every single word we said, but that doesn't mean they heard our meaning or that it mattered to them.  I know I was in college back in the stone age, but that seems like a legitimate theory.

I see it in the hospital with my families as well.  I can say that I lived that with Olivia, too.   In times like these, it can be life or death situations.  For the rest of real life, it can just be hair-pulling frustration, damaged relationships, diarrhea or hives.  Stress rears its ugly head in many physical forms ya know.

Maybe I should become a mime.  Then, I could act out my thoughts and never get in trouble when my filter doesn't work.  It could pose a problem if I get arthritic or break a bone.  I have really sensitive skin, too.  All that make-up might not be good for my face.  I might have to re-evaluate this plan.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Can someone please speed up the Earth's rotation?

I was all excited about decorating, but I am not in the mood for Christmas.  I like the decorations.  I always do.  I love the music.  I hadn't bought a single gift, other than the work party ones, until yesterday.

Last year, there was snow.  Last year, I didn't know it yet, but I was pregnant.  Other than marrying Kelly, this year has been a virtual shit storm. 

Pregnancy failed me, twice.  I had a 37-day long migraine.  It took me to pains that superseded natural childbirth.  At least that only lasted 10 hours.   The migraine led to testing that was almost as awful.  My asthma, which is usually my health nightmare, was kind of under control.  In extra testing for that, it was randomly found that I have severe acid reflux and I need surgery to correct it.  At this point, I wondered if it could get any worse.  It did.

This has been the worst year of my personal health of all of them.  In just a month, that will be 38 of them.  Somehow over the past year, Mother Nature put me on the Intimidator of biological clocks.  I don't know what the next few months are going to hold.  I fear it will be pain and heartbreak.

These next two weeks can't pass fast enough for me.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Jingle all the way to yas.

Like Madonna Only Better

Reposting due to owner error...

Let's play "What's in Karen's Bra?"
I'm not sure it's a good thing to be known for the storage content potential of your lingerie.  Nevertheless, I am.  I was busted (no pun intended) in a meeting once when trying to discretely claim my Blistex after lunch.  Ever since then, it's even been known to be called 'pulling a Karen'. 
I only use the Victoria's Secret to keep my secrets when I don't have pockets.  Typically, it's really only my phone.  Today, I'm double barreled.  If I was pointy and sparkly, you could call me Madonna or a Fembot.
I would like to wear dresses and skirts to work more often, but it's  hard to shove a pager, phone, pen, Blistex, money/card, and business cards in one non-Parton bra.  Besides, who wants a business card from in there?
Luckily, I am now in possession of a QoFE card holder.  Skirt life just got a little easier.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


So, I'm learning to navigate this Droid version.  I just deleted my awesome bra post.  SoMFB.  Maybe, just maybe, I am not the Queen of F-ing Everything.  Except that I am, because I got it back....cha-ching.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Beebs wonders how the synapses in my brain fire.  I fully understand it's a lazy susan in there.  Spin it around and you never know where it's going to stop.  Side bar....I love it when the Panthers play on Fox and I get to see Transformer guy during commercials....

There's some quote by Einstein about the true definition of insanity.  It goes something like the true definition is repeating the same action and expecting a different result.  Why do we do that?  We ALL do it.  I bet if you replay your average day, you'll find you do it multiple times in various aspects of your life.  I know I do when I look closely.

My blog is aptly titled because thoughts in my head just come straight out of my mouth.  Sometimes, that really gets me in trouble.  Sometimes, it's a good thing.  People are usually pretty sure where they stand with me.  If not, it's because one of those synapses misfired and they got confused.

I'm wondering how to break the cycle, at least in the two most important situations in my life.  It takes a really concentrated effort to change the entire way we think, act, any situation.  What if we need to change it in multiple ways?  I can't change the random, unexplained noise I make that is NOT Tourette's.  Don't even go there. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Failed Send

I figured out this week why sometimes it seems like my life is exceptionally shitty.  Why, it seems, that even when I pray, those words just float off into the galaxy or a black hole.  They are going out as text messages and the reception is quite poor.

My friend, Christi, lives in Texas.  I sent her a text around 1:30am the other day.  I figure that's ok since she's a couple or so hours behind me.  In my sleepy state, I must have typed or started typing twice.  When I woke up the next morning, I had a failed send to Christ.  Aha!  there it is!  He is not getting my messages!

That is a much better answer than just being ignored, don't you think?  I'm going to continue to believe this because it's funny and I can live with it.  When a lot of the people you love and care about are struggling with similar or even very different things, it's hard to feel ok leaning on them or dumping on them.  But, we can all crack jokes about sending a text message to God and it not going through.  We can also joke about my Jewish Christmas tree, but that's a whole other story.  Mazal Tov!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Anybody Seen My Eyelids?

The crying jag is over.  It may possibly coincide with sleep.  Today was a good day.  Tell me how I work in a retail mall store, but I was let go early because we were so slow, this, a Saturday in December?  The only large group there came from a Hallelujah flash mob in Belk across the way.  Then there was a moment when I had a realization.  It was one of those moments where 'eye-opening' is not descriptive enough.  I think my eyelids were metaphorically ripped away.  I couldn't even talk about it.  I went off to myself and stared.  I tried to think of soothing things, mantras, anything that would calm me and prevent more crying.  I am a very spiritual and faithful person, but I am not really religious.  I pray a lot to myself.  I didn't even know what to pray.  It's been a long time since I had felt anything like this.  Usually, I can find something snide, sarcastic, anything to fill the space in my head.  Today, all that came was the Lord's Prayer.  So, I said it over and over and over.  Finally, I was calm enough to leave my personal seclusion.  I'm not sure the rest of the evening will go as I planned.  I won't cry, but I'm exhausted now.  I think I'll rest by the fire and Friends.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

An Open Letter to Bereaved Parents (and Those Who Love Us)

What happens when you meet someone for the first time?  Whether it's a party, new job, or first date, the format is kind of the same.  "Hi, I'm Karen.  Hello, I'm Heather.  What do you do?  Are you married?  Do you have kids?" and so on.

For a bereaved parent, this is a kick in the teeth and a dreaded moment.  As time passes, we can sort of prepare ourselves and the sting is less severe.   When you think about those tiny, seemingly inconsequential instances being such a big deal to us, just imagine something like our child's birthday that we don't get to celebrate or a Christmas that passes for which there's no need to buy presents.

Then, there are all of the moments in between.  Being a bereaved parent changes a person.  I've said this over and over.  Those new members of my club are like bobble heads soaking it in and learning to live it.  My friend Steph and I talk frequently about writing a How-To book for newbies or especially their loved ones.  No matter how we try, people don't seem to understand how to be with us after our child dies.

The biggest thing for me is that you need to realize every part of every day is influenced by the death of Olivia.  I have a new norm.  I have moved on.  But, she is with me.  She will always be with me.  Ignoring that will only cause me pain.  If I am having a particularly bad day, and those are far less numerous than they were three years ago, then allow it.  Love me through it.  (Jill, I love that phrase and I love that you want to do it.)

This Christmas will be the fourth without the love of my life.  This year has been particularly harsh for so many reasons.  It is making the loss of my girl magnified right now.  Today has been one of the worst grief days this year.  I have cried for hours when I wasn't at work.  I talked with someone who has seen me through some of the worst of it.  I talked with someone who is new at it.  Both offered support from different perspectives.  The common thing is that they listened.  They asked what I needed from them.

The problem with telephones is there aren't hugs.  I need someone out there who is technologically minded to create a telephone with arms.  They don't have to be the arms of the person on the other end.  They just need to be arms that can hug when needed.  It could be an added feature like a data package.  Hugs 5/mo  $5.95  unlimited  $19.95.

I wish no one knew the devastating pain of the death of their child.  It never goes away.  It leaves scars on your soul that never go away.  I am a stronger, wiser, blah blah blah.  I am who I am.  I don't know who that is some days.  I am Kelly's wife and I'm trying to be a good one. I am a friend and I try to be a good one.  I am a sister, an aunt, a niece, a cousin... I am an employee to several and I try to be a good one.

I am Olivia's mother.  Being that without her to hold is the problem.