November 24, 2016

Drawing the Lines

I know I talked about an issue with my brother in the past.  His excessive drinking issue.  My relationship with this brother has been a roller coaster ride for the better part of the last 15 years.  The excessive drinking has been an issue for well over 20 years at this point.  Along with the drinking he is a pathological liar.  So I'm sure you can understand why the relationship has had it's ups and downs.  I have always supported my brother and been his safe place to land or call when he's needed help.  Even when his antics have hurt me so deeply...not just emotionally but physically (my miscarriage of baby B spawned after an evening of him verbally abusing, attacking me until the wee hours of the morning).  He's always been narcissistic and LOVES to play the victim in all of his relationships, including with my parents. 

It's been almost a year...and I have not spoken to him.  I have no intentions of connecting with him in the near future.  I tried to stay out of the turmoil that had been boiling within the family for the last 3 years.  To no avail...

'The Fight that Fractured the Family'
My middle brother T and drunk B had a LARGE falling out.  Drunk B was drunk and belligerent, and became physically violent towards my T and my 70 year old father at T's 40th Birthday party.  Yes in front of all of his friends.  He even verbally attacked my sister in law!?!?  Suffice it to say this was the last time the 2 brothers spoke until last January.  My parent's amazingly enough defended drunk B saying "well he's an alcoholic, he sick, it'll be ok...we'll talk to him."  I stayed out of it...  Drunk B's girlfriend (who wasn't there) wanted no part of it.  Believed that T was wrong and needed to apologize, but wanted to hear no part of what drunk B had done or said.  Obviously this was a mess! My parent's pushed and pushed for a reconciliation, which was NOT going to happen. 

'The Camel's Back'
Out of the blue.  On January 22 2016 we all received emails at 8am from drunk B.  It was incoherent. It was an F YOU email to the entire family.  Claiming he had called and apologized to T and we could all go F ourselves for thinking this was required...  I promptly received a phone call from T.  He explained to me that drunk B had called that morning at 7:30, his wife hadn't realized who it was, as the voice was extremely slurred.  T got on the phone and B says "Hey it's B, everyone says I need to apologize, so yeah I'm sorry.  We good?"  T didn't engage or encourage much more conversation.  He said "okay thank you for the apology" and ended the call.

From that point on we were bombarded with abusive emails until 10am.  Calling us names, that we are worthless human beings, I'm a joke, none of us would ever be employed or have a clue on how to succeed in life.  Yada yada yada, the crap went on...  It was horrifying.  He attacked my mom, our spouses, and our children.  He advised us all that, the only people who care about our children are us, they aren't anything special.  There was only one email sent back to him and it was me...I corrected him on my age (he was 2 years off) and I told him to go F himself!  

My Dad called him and he was slurring, barely able to speak, he promptly informed my father that if they ever stepped foot on his property he would have them arrested.

The emails continued...for 3 weeks.  Randomly.  Incoherent.  Rambling.  Abusive.  All being sent at 5 am or earlier. I have had to block him, phone and email.  None of these emails were sent on Saturday or Sunday, they were all mid week, which means he had been on a weekday binder and wasn't sleeping.  He also claimed to be at work for most of them, sending them from his work email. WTH?!?!?  How he still has a job is beyond me.

By February I made the decision to completely cut him out of my life.  I have very low self esteem and confidence already, and the constant verbal attacks on my character were affecting me TOO much!   My parents didn't talk to him until June.  And of course he acted like nothing had happened. His dog is dying, his girlfriend (whole 'nother story!) left him and he needed help, so he was nicey nicey to them.  They helped him, and he hasn't spoken to them again since.  And they live 1/2 hour away from each other.  Nice right?!?!

Dealing with an Alcoholic
Listen...  I know cutting someone out of your life when they are 'sick' is not the right thing to do. However, when their illness is self inflicted (*), is abusive and are completely toxic to your home environment, at some point you have to say enough is enough.  I have cried more than I can tell you about this decision.  I'm positive I've thought more about my brother's issue than he has.  My daughters and my husband deserve the best me that I can be.  And with drunk B in my life...I'm not her.  He is so venomous with character attacks that it takes me forever to recover.  I don't deserve that. My girls don't deserve that.  And God dammit I'm not going to allow that crap to be a poison in my life anymore.

Should he ever finally seek rehab, only then will I consider allowing communication again but not with my daughters.

I tried to get my parents to go to an Al-Anon meeting this winter, summer, and now this no avail.  My Dad still claims he's going to talk to him..  Hahaha!  What's the point?  It's been 11 months.  And you've already shown him that it's okay, by reaching out in the summer and granting him favors!  I mean enable much!?!?!  I really wanted my parents to attend a meeting as they have really enabled this and they just CAN'T see that!  It's fucking frustrating!!!!

And I'm sorry if you think this is awful of me.  This is honestly the hardest decision I have made.  I think of B every day.  I miss him.  I cry in my car by myself.  He was my best friend.  We've always been especially close, even though there is a 9 year age difference.  And even through all the drinking and drugs...Oh yes there has been drugs as well....  My tight knit family I once had is no longer.  My family is fractured beyond repair.  And now I cling to my own little family.  I instill on my daughter's how important family is.  And you better believe that I will have an iron fist when it comes to drinking and drugs.

* I'm sorry I have trouble with this... he chose to drink, he has also chosen to continue to drink, it is not a disease like cancer. He has hit rock bottom on many occasions, and he has been supported, each time, to stop drinking but he choses to continue.

November 22, 2016

Viva Las Vegas!

We have just gotten back from our yearly trip to LasVe.gas!  Love that place!  I say 'yearly', when in fact this is only the 2nd year that we've gone, but we have established that this is going to be an ongoing 'adult' trip with my parents and another couple.  We have such a great time together.  If I can give any of you future Rock N Roll runners a tip ... it is this.. Do NOT expect to be where you set a pr!  Especially if you reside up North in Canada where our elevation is only approx 700 ft. You will find you are sucking some major wind on this run.  That and the fact that it's a night run in VEGAS!  Oh did I mention Vegas!  Lol!  Where the drinks and food flow!

No speed records were set, actually I set my WORST run time ever there!  Do I care?  Nope!!  It is so much fun.  And I'm so proud of myself for actually running it.  Even Jordan was all over me "Let's skip it babe?!"  I said no!  I'm committed to running this and I'm running it.  It's my closing run of the season, so there is NO way I am eating the race entry fee.  Not when I've had to drop out of so many races in the last year (health issues).

So to those that are wondering, yes I am still running and cycling.  I definitely am not able to train like I have in the past.  I've had quite a few set backs.  I fractured 3 ribs in 6 places last summer (with a sneeze?!?!?  I know!  WTF?!?!?)  And I've had some kidney issues that are unfortunately an ongoing issue still.  3 weeks prior to the rib fiasco I had 6 kidney stones.  Nightmare!!!  Then the ribs, which I was misdiagnosed 3x.  And reinjured continually.  They have now healed but I have an edge that sticks out right at the breast where one did not heal properly.  We've also uncovered some issues with the kidneys, that require further testing (possible metabolic disorder), but I have been an idiot for the last year and not finished the testing....  I was hanging by a thread, dealing with pain management, parenting, working out and school.  I had to put the specialist appointments on the back burner.  And now it's been a full year and I need to get my shit together as the flank pain is getting worse, and now I'm starting to worry.  I mean the MRI was

School.  Oh school!  I'm done!  Thank the Lord above I am done!  My last semester was torture.  I overloaded myself with courses (took 2 extra), and barely had time to think.  My one class alone monopolized 18 hours of work per week.  It was insane.  But I finished the semester with some great marks!  And I'm just finishing up my final work term.  I'm back where I co-oped last winter.  And it ends Dec 23.  I've had no offer to stay on...I don't know if one is coming.  I have an exit interview coming up, so if one is coming it'll happen then. be honest, if they don't offer me something I don't think I'll be that unhappy.  Sure I'll be disappointed, as I know it's a reflection of my capabilities, and I've enjoyed working here, I thought I was a good personality fit with the IT team (18 of us). BUT I miss my girls.  And I'm working 1 hour away from home.  Which means I'm out of the house with the girls at daycare from 7 - 6:20 every day.  It's too much, with them being so little still.  Part time work would be perfect.  I started sending out resumes 2 weeks ago.  I don't know.  We'll see what the future holds.

There have been a lot of things going on in my life that I have come on here to share and then left the post sitting in my drafts.  I'm such an inconsistent blogger that I just feel like, who cares anymore!? But you know I started this blog for myself.  So I'm updating where we are at this moment, with health and career.  I'll post again soon and update you on some of the other changes in my life.

Much Love!
Karen (ks)

November 10, 2016

Updates (Lola & Lucy)

I know I'm a terrible blogger about keeping up my site, but I'm not going to close up shop.  I don't know how many people still read here or even ever followed me.   That was never the reason I started this blog, this was my place to come and get my thoughts out about my infertility journey.  And each wicked turn that it took us on.  Now that I am on the other side, it doesn't make me any less infertile. I'm still fighting with my Dr's.  I'm currently trying to get a referral back to a new RE.  I still have POF - premature ovarian failure.  I still long for more children.  Right now though that is not going to happen. 

Time to update you on the girls!

Lola.  Oh my goodness!  This little girl is just ALL heart.  She is the sweetest little girl.  We couldn't have asked a better big sister for Lucy.  Lola is in SK now, and learning new things at warp speed. She is working very hard on reading on her own, and is constantly practicing her addition and subtraction.  It is just incredible watching her enthusiasm for learning.  I LOVE it!  She is on the competition team again at dance.  And this year she will also be doing a trio number.  She is working very hard on her trio.  She understands she only has 5 practices and then they are on the stage, so she is really making sure that she gets in 15-20 minutes of practice a night.  (I taped her last class and just toss it up onto the TV).  She is also doing gymnastics again.  We had taken the summer off of gymnastics and that turned out to be a mistake.  She was very mad at us about her not being in it in the summer.  But summer was so expensive for classes, and the schedule didn't work that well with my class schedule.  We ended up buying the girls a trampoline at the end of the summer.  Heaven knows why we didn't do this sooner.  Lola LOVES the trampoline!  And her gymnastics has gotten a lot better the more time she spends on it.  Her legs are getting stronger and her confidence is building. She is still just a petite little thing.  She's only 38 lbs and about 3 feet 6 inches.  She is wearing size 5 clothing but it has to be adjustable or her pants will fall down.  I realized the other day that she was still wearing some size 3 pj's.  Oooops!  I really need to go pj shopping.

She's had a fabulous summer and is rocking right on through the start of her school year.  She started to enjoy going for bike rides more and more.  She's still not ready to try it without the training wheels and she is still slower on her bike than baby sister, but we have made huge progress on the bike!  She loves swimming, water slides and roller coasters.  Her favorite family fun days were the beach or Canada's Wonderland.  Which we really tried to get out and enjoy as much as possible.

Lola is really into her family.  ALL of her family.  She begs to go see her Nana, Ahah, cousins, Grandma & Grandpa.  She likes her friends too, but she really cherishes her family.  I don't know where or who has imparted this into her, but I love it.  Family is everything to me.  My family is kind of fractured and it breaks my heart, so the ones that are close to us, I hold very close.  Maybe she picks up on this from me?!?!?

I could go on and on about LolaBean.  She really is just the sweetest treasure.  JD and I have always said we are going to be mending a broken heart every week when she is a teenager, but I wouldn't change a thing.  I'm so excited to see what her future will be like.  She is going to be a healer in some way.  Whether she is a teacher or nurse, or whatever, she will always be THAT friend that you call when you need a hug.

Now onto Lucy...  Oh Lucy!  Oh my Goosey!
She is ...  well she's Lucy Lu.  She's a comedian through and through.  Her timing is incredible.  Her smart little wit is shocking for a 3 year old.  She keeps us on our toes daily.  Lucy is in preschool 2 now and loves it.  She's been to Lola's school twice now this year and she is super excited to attend it next year.  She got a little disappointed when we informed her that no she wouldn't be in Lola's class.  They seem to not understand that the 2 year difference is not going to change.  Lol!

Lucy weighs in at 26.8 lbs and she is about 3'2 height.  So they are both tiny little girls.  But they are healthy and happy, so there is no concern.  They're just petite.  Lucy is insistent she only wear size 3 and 4 clothes.  She LOVES it when she gets to wear Lola's 4t clothes!  I can just see the fights that are coming in our future.  Oh boy!

Lucy is a very athletic little girl.  I was a very athletic young girl so I had really hoped my girls would be too.  Lola loves to be active but she's super uncoordinated as of yet, but her drive is there so she'll get better.  But Lucy, oh my goodness Lucy!  Lola played ball this year and Lucy was insistent at practice that she play too, so the coach would let her.  Dang nammit Lucy was way better than Lola! Lol!  So Lucy is in PlayBall 1x week (3rd time 8 week session), pre-dance (ballet basics) and gymnastics.  And she is flourishing in gymnastics.  I have a feeling she will be asked to join their regional team in another year.  She is fearless on the bars.  And with having a trampoline she's building up her core muscles and doing much better on floor as well.

Her speech is incredible.  Totally legible.  We still have work to do on the 'th' sound, but it'll get there. She still has a gap in the front of her teeth.  I'm surprised actually as I know Lola's was gone at this point.  We read stories almost every night and we are starting to try to teach her her sight words.  I really don't think we have much to worry about with Lola or Lucy and school though.  These girls seem to soak up information and LOVE learning new things.  I think because they saw me go back to school and learn a new talent, they have a good understanding that education can lead to many new adventures.  Well at least that's what we try to teach them.  We are really trying to get them both excited about science and experiments.  Not because I want them to do anything with it, but science is at the root of most of the greatest inventions in our time!  Anyway...

I'd like to leave you with a little Lucy video Jordan (JD) and I captured the other night.  I hope it makes you laugh like I did! (see the next post for the video)

Much Love
Karen (ks)


July 13, 2016

Growing Up

The girls are growing up like little weeds.  Lola is now 5 years old and Lucy is 3.  We are down to one diaper a day.  Just on Lucy for bed time, and that's because she is such a heavy sleeper.  Lola danced competitively this year and she did wonderful.  She LOVES dancing on the stage.  Both girls are into gymnastics, so much so that we have pvr'd the trials for the Olympics and they watch it over and over again.   Lola is also playing her first year of t-ball this year.  At first she loved it.  But as our summer has gotten hotter and hotter, her interest is waning.  Doesn't help that her uniform is 3 sizes too big for her.  She's still just a wee little peanut.  Lucy wants to play t-ball and has on occasion gone into the field during Lola's practice to fetch balls for the team.  She is actually better as t-ball than Lola!  Lol!  AND the gymnastics coach thinks that Lucy is much better at gymnastics.  Uh!  Oh! We've actually just signed Lucy up for gymnastics throughout the summer to keep her momentum going.  And this is going to be her first time without Mommy walking beside her while she does it. And knowing that she is not the most socially comfortable kid, this could prove challenging and we think summer would be the better time to get her adjusted.

I think all of this is where my want for a small little baby is coming from.  There are no cuddle monsters in my house.  We have to beg for hugs and kisses.  Lol!

The girls are the best of friends and the worst of enemies.  Exactly what I always wanted.  Siblings that are each other's everything.  They both have asked for a baby brother.  Actually Lola told me that someone is missing from our house...  THAT statement made me pause.  As yes sweetheart there is. Baby B should be here.  And is forever in my heart and thoughts.  She still doesn't really know about everything, she's still too little to understand.  She knows our story but understanding and knowing are two very different things.  I read them the Donor books all the time.  They always ask for the baby bunny book "like mommy and daddy baby book!"  As they so sweetly ask.  Gosh these kids surprise me at every turn.  Their comprehension, their compassion and their ability to make sense of information and adapt it.  For example yesterday a stray cat wandered onto our property, trapped a mouse and was doing what cats do...torture and kill.  When I explained to the girls what had happened and that it was a cats nature, Lola stopped looked at me and said "So Mommy now the mouse is up in heaven with Maddie?"  I said "yes" she said "oh okay good, Maddie likes mice!"  My LOVE!  I just love watching them flourish and grow.  

Anyway..enough chatter.  Here are some current pictures.

Much Love!

Lucy at ballet!                                        

A day at Canada's Wonderland

ks & JD enjoying a Jay's game!  Go Jay's GO!!!!

July 12, 2016

Still Here, Still Unsure

I am still here.  I am still reading blogs.  I just seem to have very little time to actually write, edit and post anything of importance.  And really what do I have to say that is important...Lol!

I am currently in my last semester of school.  I have one more (possibly 2, I need to look into this) work term and then I should be done.  I say I need to look into this as they have changed my course and it is now coming up with 3 work terms required.  Which if that is the case...I might just skip the diploma, I've worked so hard for.  I say this because as I am a co-op student I incur less pay.  I don't know.  We'll see what the next few months bring.

I'm in 7 classes this semester.  And it is INSANE!  I definitely took on more than I should have.  I'm struggling to keep up.  Thankfully there is not an insane amount of programming or else I would never sleep.  I seem to have a ridiculous amount of gen ed assignments, so a ton of essays, research assignments, and excel presentations.  Blech!!!!   I do have one class that has me programming until 3-3:30 in the morning.  But I enjoy it and I need to keep practicing so that is great.

I had originally signed up to run my first full marathon in October.  And because my work load, JD working every weekend and the girl's schedules being insane, I'm struggling getting in my long runs. Time and the fact that I'm still working my way back after a bad blow up of hip bursitis.  I'm now thinking of dropping down to the half.  It's just too difficult as JD is trying to train at the same time, and it is always chose and pick who gets to go.  He never gets up early to get in his run.  He really doesn't consider anyone else's schedule, so I'm making allowances and sacrificing (as I did during ironman training) again.  He really irritates me somedays.  After 18 years together that is bound to happen.   I'm also trying to work in a little bikram yoga.  That too is proving very challenging.  We had a decent schedule going, well one we adjusted to (after 4 years) and I was able to go to Wednesday and Thursday 6 am (90 minute) yoga classes.  BUT now JD's schedule has changed and those are now out, and the evening classes are just a little too late for me to get too, since my spouse isn't home until 7 the only class options I have are 8 pm 90 minute classes that are 25 minutes away. CRAPTASTIC.

Time just never seems to be on my side.

Onto what I'm unsure of...

We are still on the fence about trying again.  Since the change to coverage for one IVF in Ontario we have really considered trying for one more (hopefully a little boy).  Here is where we go back and forth.  We'd love to try again.  We understand it will still cost us approx $10k (donor fees and meds) and it is hard on my body and my psyche.  But the desire is still very strong for me.  Not as strong for JD, but I ache for one more baby.  I really want to feel one kick again inside me, I want to hold one at my breast again and rock a baby all night...just one more time.  However, I'm 38 now and only just starting a new career.  We have zero savings left after our first 7 year battle and the economy the last few years, plus my being in school...  And what if it doesn't work?  And what if it does?  What if we are left with like 5 extra embryos?  We've always been no man left behind mentality, but lordy, I really only want one more.  And the rules in Ontario is to transfer only 1 at a time.  so we limit the risk of twins with a successful transfer, but lord what if it works and we have left over embryos? What then?  Do you see where I am?  I'm stuck in this indecisive circle.  I don't know what the right answer is.  I keep saying let's give it a year and see how we feel.  I think the next time I go to my GP, I'll ask for a referral to an RE and at least get the ball moving.  Get us on the list for a funded cycle.  I have already looked at donor agencies.  The wait for a funded cycle can exceed a year, so it doesn't hurt to get on the list...right?

I'm in class now so I guess I better start paying attention.

Much Love!


February 15, 2016

Adjustment to Working

The first month of working was fabulous!  I was so stoked to be out of the house again.  And not having homework keep me up until 3am in the morning!  It was a huge shift. school schedule allowed me to jam all my classes into 3 days.  Leaving me Monday to myself and Friday to have a free day with my hubby.  Monday's I always ran, then would eat and head into school and do work until it was time to pick up the girls.  BUT I was alone.  It was ME time.  Very important time for somebody with introvert tendancies.

My work day looks something like this:  I leave the house at 7, get home at 6, rush to get dinner on the table and then complete the bedtime routines, sometimes I sneak a run in,  the girls play with puzzles and I run.  JD has been a huge help.  He is home Wed, Thurs, and Friday evenings early enough that he picks up the girls and sometimes even throws together a dinner of sorts.  But I'm out of the house 5 days a week, and then the weekends I'm running with the girls to gymnastics and dance (on my own, JD works every weekend).  

Not helping matters my mood is severally effected with the cold dark Ontario winters.  Lucy is not adjusting to the changes as well as we would've liked. However, she has under gone a lot of changes all at once.  She's also 2 1/2 and at that very difficult, very independent stage making life a little challenging.  She has recently graduated out of the 'baby' room into the preschool room, she has potty trained, and her mommy is now out of the house everyday very early, meaning she is getting woken up very early.  So Lucy seems to be having the hardest adjustment right now.

I'm sure you can understand how the drama with my brother, the season, and now add working Mommy guilt to it and you see where I have been all week.  My mood was so low yesterday that I left work early (very early) went to the daycare and picked up Lucy before naps, took my peanut home to have a 2nd lunch with mommy, then had a nap together, and just enjoyed my baby.  I needed that!  And so did she!

This will get better.  I know it does.  It gets easier.  But I don't want to pretend that any of this is easy. It's tough.  It makes you cry.  And that's okay.  It happens to all of us.   There are times I think I'm not doing enough.  I should do this, that and the other with the girls.  But you know what?  Right now. I'm doing enough.  I'm doing what I can.  I'm doing what needs to be done to have a happy family. Because I do like working.  I like Lucy being in daycare.

Today is Family Day here in Ontario.  Today is the first time JD has had the day off to be with us all. This year this day was needed for us more than ever.  Today we will be lazy in the morning (I'll run), and this afternoon we are taking the girls skating.  I'll make a big dinner tonight.  We'll prep sides for lunches.  We will bask in our day together as a family.  And next week I will go in to work recharged.

Much Love!

February 8, 2016

Toxic Relationships / People

I've written 3 blog posts about this.  The drama that I am going to write about is an issue that has been present for a very long, LONG time.  Unfortunately things have gotten so out of hand that JD and I (well my entire family) has had to make one of the hardest decisions.  

My brother is an alcoholic.

He has been for many years.  Approximately 25 years.

The drinking started when his roommate and his best friend were killed.  He was supposed to have been with them, but thankfully was spared by a girlfriend who didn't want him to go out.  They were killed because of drunk driving.  This was the catalyst to my brother drowning his sorrows in Crown Royal.  We lived on the other side of the country at the time, and had no clue how bad the drinking became.  When my parents found out they promptly moved him to our province, and attempted to get him on the straight path.

For the next 25 years my parents turned a blind eye to the binge drinking.  And all the trouble he seemed to get into.  They bailed him out of trouble with the law (2x).  They bailed him out of housing issues (3x).  They bailed him out of a marriage, and 2 common law wives.  They enable him by loving him unconditionally and ensuring he never hits rock bottom.  

For the last 6 years JD and I have been very open about our feelings with the issue.  We've been very vocal about our belief that he needs help, and that they are not helping him.  We had enough when we were contacted during our cycle for Lola (in Washington) that B had had the police called on him 3x in 24 hours, and was falling down drunk throwing beer bottles at his neighbours garage at 3am!   This is NOT normal behaviour...  6 weeks later I was pregnant with Lola and baby b, when B decided to lose his mind on me, screaming and carrying on, this lasted most of the night...The following morning I had a massive bleed and 5 days later I lost B's heartbeat...  So yeah..there is some history with B and I.  

There is a LOT more to B's behaviour that has now brought it all to the front of everyone's mind.  He has burned bridges with our other brother T and his wife J.  He hadn't talked to them in 2 years.  They are fully in agreement that B needs rehab and mental help.  My parents however have continued to stay fast and support him.


3 weeks ago B started spiralling again.  I won't go into the dirty details.  But he has left no one in the family safe from his attacks.  He is in an extremely unhealthy relationship.  She is a wino, and extremely confrontational.  Unfortunately she is also extremely manipulative and controlling and has been on a mission for the last 2 years to separate my brother from his family. And it appears (to us at least) as though she is poisoning his mind whilst being his drinking buddy.  

B is spiralling so out of control that we are receiving drunk emails (he is now blocked via phone/text) at 5 am, 8 am and 10 am.  And you ask "How do we know he is drunk?"  Oh it is very clear.  They are incoherent.  And when the first 3 arrived, my other brother actually received a phone call at the same time and B could barely string a sentence together.  My father called him as well, and said there was ZERO question that B was extremely intoxicated.  Oh and did I tell you these are coming in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings!!!  So yes he is drinking all night into the morning hours and then logging onto his work computer and 'working' remotely!  

How in the world he still has a job is beyond me.  

My that he is still driving.  He has never been adverse to driving drunk.  I've contacted some people to see if I can get him on a watch list of sorts, and I can NOT.  My hands are tied here unless I call it in when I SEE him driving drunk.  Pretty hard to do when you are 4 hours away.

I promised this was the short version, so I best get to where we are today.

As a family, we have decided to stop all contact with my brother until he seeks help.  Help meaning REHAB.  There is nothing we can do while he is in this relationship.  We refuse to be his punching bag.  My parents have agreed to stop bailing him out of trouble...and trouble is coming.  We are not going to respond to any more of his abusive emails.  All he/she wants is conflict and we are not going to be sucked in to their drama.  They are cancerous toxic people.  **some of the emails read as though she has written them...he refers to himself in the 4th (?) person...It's very strange**

I hate doing this to someone I love...  
I hate that it has gotten this bad...
I hate that he says such awful, hurtful, delusional things...
I hate that he has made our entire family cry, worry, and lose sleep over him...
I hate that we can not get him to see that he is sick...
I hate that we can not force him to get better...
I hate not being there for him...
And lastly...
I hate that this woman is so oblivious to the disastrous path they are walking.

If any of you have any advice about dealing with a family member with addiction and mental health issues, please let me know...if there is anything at all that we can do as a family.

Much Love!

December 21, 2015

My Family

What an awesome family I have.  These pictures are only a glimpse of the people who enrich my life.    I hope you enjoy a glimps into my year.  Merry Christmas .. Happy Holidays!
Much love
ks (Karen)

December 17, 2015

Thank you!

Thank you blogger friends!  You know those days where you reach your limit of cr@p!  Well I was there.  My stress and anxiety had been building for about a month, and with my implosion during my first exam, I crumbled.  

I most definitely do have test anxiety.  It is a very real thing.  I have meant to go to the Student Success centre after each series of testing and get myself a game plan on how to deal with this and overcome it, but it seems my schedule does not leave a ton of time for extra meetings.   The program I am in is extremely demanding.  It is an accelerated version of a University degree in Computer Science / Engineering.  And I am not a naturally gifted student (by any means).  I have to work very hard to retain/understand the material.  And honestly I haven't worked hard enough.   But I have 2 very little children and I should be allowed to sleep and spend a couple of hours here and there with them.  

My train wreck performance in exams has continued.  Not nearly as horrible, but I'm still not acing them.  Now let me just say that my teachers this semester are some of the hardest we've encountered (group consensus). But I'm trying to deal with the anxiety... I've taken many moments where I've shut my eyes, taken 5 deep breaths, and told myself that it's okay, that I can do this, etc...  And it has worked.  My prof last night let us get up and leave the room to get fresh air.  He also gave us extra time, so I wrote my exam for 4.5 hours.  When I submitted last night I made sure I wrote him note of thank you, expressing how valuable that was to me as I was able to keep my anxiety in check.  My prof has ADHD and suffers from test anxiety as well, so he is one that picked up on my issue after the midterm.  

Oh well...Just one more exam this afternoon, then tonight 2 assignments to complete and I'm done!  

And onto Miss Lucy.  Oh boy!  The terrible two's!  One of you commented that even though my first never did this, it is not unusual to have this behaviour happen.  And you are SO right!  This is very typical 2 year old behaviour.  And no Lola didn't do this.  BUT we had Lucy when Lola was two.  So Lola was busy competing for attention and loving on her new sister.  And well Lucy McGoosey has a very strong willed independent personality, and has since day 1.   I'm usually pretty good with handling her behaviour, but every now and again it just wears you down.  Especially since for the last 4-5 weeks I'm only really seeing them on Saturday and Sunday other than a 1/2 hour in the morning.  I'm at school so late that I miss bed time.  Lately it has been a lot of Daddy time and Nana picks them up Tuesday nights, so really I'm not around a lot lately.  And THIS might explain why her nose is so out of joint with me...maybe..?   But we Skype as much as possible when I'm stuck at school.  I'm really trying...  

Onto the health issues I've had all year.  My ribs...are finally healed!  Oh my GAWD!  That took forever.  I was re-fracturing them every time I ran.  4 weeks before vegas I ran 9 miles and had the crackling start again in one rib, so I took the week off, then I got a sinus infection / flu and was knocked down for 3 weeks.  Well I didn't run.  Then it's time for the Vegas trip which we were going because we had signed up to run the Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon.  I had no idea how I was going to do it with 4 weeks off from running.  But I approached it with a whatever attitude.  I would run as long as I could (easy pace) and if we walked it we walked it?!  I mean we couldn't expect much considering we had been drinking for 3 days straight before hand.  And dang nammit I ran the whole dang thing.  Not a great time (my slowest ever by 16 minutes) but the weather was awful and it was a night run which always gives me a slower pace.  So ribs healed!  Hopefully not ever going to fracture them again (likelihood is high it will happen again).  

Now the kidneys...ARGH!  This is not going to go away.  It is a birth defect that once issues begin the pain becomes an increasingly present issue.  I have discovered how to try to elevate some though without narcotics.  WATER WATER WATER!!!  I MUST drink minimum 3 litres of water a day to flush the kidneys, if I run I need to add at minimum 1 litre more.  Avoid pops, teas, coffee, etc...  Anything that has the possibility to dehydrate.  There is one other issue that I still haven't dealt with.  There is like a cloak of crystallization on the exterior of the kidney, but inside the shell around the kidney, that the Urologist is confused by.  It's not stones, it's like a wallpaper of crystals.  He believes it is a metabolic disorder.  And I need to do a 24 hour urine sample.  The sample takes a month to get back to him (testing).  And with my schedule...I think you can see why I have failed to complete this test.  As a matter of fact I have't even gone to the lab yet to get the jug.  Yup!  Need to get on top of that.  But I definitely need to be home for 24 hours to do the test and that just isn't happening at the moment.  The pain with the kidneys is okay.  It's more of a tenderness now when I wake up.  But I pound 1 ltr of water while I do my hair and that seems to make it better.  I still feel my left kidney when I sleep (feels like a golfball in my flank) but I think that could be a little bit of damage left over from stone-agedon!  Lol!

If your still reading this novel...thanks for staying with me!  
Again I truly appreciate your words the other day.  
I miss this space and finding the time to write out what's happening in my day to day.  Hopefully with working I'll be on a better schedule where I can fit blogging back into my life.

Much Love!