Monday, December 23, 2013

silent parenting

I have never been pregnant, but I am a mother.

I have not adopted a child, but I am a mother.

I do not have a surrogate, but I am a mother.

I have not attempted IVF, but I am a mother.

I am a silent parent.

I love unconditionally, 

I nurture, 

I discipline,

I care.

I am surrounded by men and women who have been blessed with the joys of pregnancy and parenting, 

I am surrounded by many men and women who have brought me into their lives as friends, but have given me more than they will ever know.

I am surrounded by friends that I now call family and their children who lovingly call me Auntie Kelly and I love it!

I may not ever have children of my own, but I am a mother to many, I have been a mother to some and will definitely be a mother to others in the future.

I am coming to terms with my infertility and will no longer live in the wishful world of "if, when and/or how" will it happen.  I will live in the present day and realize that it already has. 

For now, I will love and nurture those put in my path.

I will quietly and joyfully celebrate the moments I share with my families and their children.  


So don't be afraid to ask me where my children are or when we plan to have kids, we already have them. 
They're just spending time with their God-given parents right now.
Auntie Kelly gets to rest at night , play all day and then give them back at the end of the day :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Itsuko 'Itsie' Kobayashi: a story of beauty, love and grace

It's funny the things you remember about a person.  We all hope to make an impact on the world around us, especially those we hold dear to our hearts.  So in the time I've had to reflect on my grandmother's recent passing, I find myself reflecting on a woman who had a beautiful soul, heart and mind. Creative, intelligent, happy and full of life are a few of her characteristics.

Some of my earliest memories of my grandma, Itsuko 'Itsie' Kobayashi, are of her in the kitchen. She was always creating new, tasty and healthy meals. We would eat at her house nearly every weekend, and she was always willing to teach me a few things, as well as share her yummy recipes. This Thanksgiving, I plan to make one of her favorite appetizers, Tzimmes; a Jewish sweet stew of carrots, yams, prunes, apples and spices.  I always loved that my little Japanese grandmother loved to cook cuisine from around the world.  We even had themed dinner plans that would change each year to reflect a different country's cuisine. 

Every year Grandma would have us all write down what we were thankful for on a strip of construction paper, which would be read out loud and then attached to the ever growing garland from years' past.  This year, I will start this tradition in my house.  Every friend that visits will have the opportunity to write what they are thankful for, which will be then hung in my home.  I am so thankful for the impact my grandmother has had on my life.  

Christmas was no exception to the traditions and festivities bestowed upon us by Grandma and Grandpa Kobayashi.  Together, through song, story, dance and lots of fun, our grandparents taught us beyond the ideas of Santa, but the true depth of the meaning of Christmas.  Love, compassion, sharing, giving, and caring through our Lord Jesus Christ were taught.  The message, although subtle at times, is easy to see as I reflect upon these memories as an adult. 

However important these memories are, they are not the first things that come to mind when I think of my grandmother.  Beyond all other memories, I often find myself reflecting on her days as a ballroom dancer and seamstress.  Grandma was an extremely meticulous and talented seamstress, her grandchildren greatly benefitted from her ever-growing red bag of dress up clothes!  I think of my grandparents moving swiftly across the dance floor, seemingly effortless.  The flow of her gown breathtakingly beautiful as they danced for the crowd.  

I will forever think of you as a graceful, joyful, loving and caring woman.   I pray that while you wait for us in heaven, that you have rediscovered your love of dancing, cooking and teaching.  Your life lives on through the memories, actions and hearts of your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, children and many more.



Monday, June 24, 2013

Happiness found.

Seven weeks ago a embarked on an adventure that will forever change my life.  I finally found a job that initially I was afraid to take.

I spent the last two years soul searching, trying to figure out where I am supposed to be in all aspects of my life.  I am by far no where near close to finding all the answers that I seek...but the one that I spent the most time and effort on (finding a new career path) has really paid off.

As I've said before, for me, the retail world is an awful place to work.  It sucked me in, chewed me up, and spit me out a convoluted, warped, bruised and damaged version of the woman I once was.  I was angry, bitter, unhappy, stressed out beyond measure,  overweight and bored.  

The spirit of happiness that I used to portray was gone.
No one should cry themselves to sleep because they hate their job.  
Worse yet, cry before work because you don't want to go in that much.
My husband, my best friend, really helped me cope.

Finally, through a lengthy series of events immediately following our first year of marriage, we decided it was time to quit my job. In fact, the company's inflexibility to help me relocate my position made it that much easier to quit.  
Within a week of my last day, we had our bags packed and I was moving to Oregon.  I had just reconnected with my Dad after 20-something years of no contact.  His health is questionable at times and I didn't want to miss out on anything anymore.

The last two years I have had a lot of time to relax, get back to who I really and truly want to be.
I'm still somewhat overweight, but that's slowly working it's way off...

I'm happy!  I smile and laugh a lot again.
I am surrounded by nature.
I am surrounded by people I love.
I am confident in the woman I have become and know my past only shapes me.
My passion is back!
Plus, I love my new job.

Seven weeks ago, I took a position as a caregiver for five developmentally disabled adults.  I have always had a special place in my heart for those with disabilities, now I get to make a difference in their lives.

I was scared at first.  I didn't want to let the residents down, they've been through so much.
Adjusting to a nocturnal shift (645pm-7am) three to four days a week didn't sound appealing, either.
I have found it more enjoyable than I could ever imagine!
The nocturnal hours aren't that bad, actually.  I get to enjoy dawn, my favorite part of the day, everyday!
The only hard part is figuring out how and when to spend time with the hubby, but our time is more quality now than ever.

The best part are the people I support.
Seeing them smile over the littlest things makes me so happy.
Playing music and dancing with the dudes is one of my favorite things to do.
Teaching sign language, giving them choices, taking them out on adventures...just a sampling of things my co-workers and I do for the dudes.
Mostly, we spend time with them.  We give them quality of life back, that was once taken away.

We don't know all of what they've been through, but what we do know is not pleasant.
I'm not at liberty to say anything, but you should research the history of abuse and neglect for the DD (developmentally disabled ) population.  What you'll find is that they are perhaps the largest group of people who have suffered from all forms of abuse.  It's sickening.

I am so thankful for the job I have and that we support the life and well-being of these individuals in Central Oregon.  

What would you do if you needed assistance in every aspect of your life? Would you still be able to find joy in your day? Our residents still find joy.  They battle many things in just the simple tasks of life, yet they still find joy.

The problems we face day to day seem so small to me now.  Sure, there are things that are going to get us down....but I ask you to take a step back from one thing today that pisses you off and remember that there are others out there who cannot even fend for themselves, yet they still have joy.

Their laughter is infectious.
Their frustration is real.
Their feelings are genuine.
They have no bias or judgement.
Their joy is pure and true.
Their day is full of structure and schedules.
Their life depends on the caring support of those around them.
They're people.
They have feelings and emotions, just like you and me.
A single step forward, a new word, getting out of bed, going outdoors, and many other things are daily victories that some aim to achieve.
They have a special place in my heart and life now.




Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thoughts

I have had more ultrasounds than most pregnant women will or have ever had.

yet no baby.

no miscarriages, that I know of.

yet I get the symptoms.

I've been late several weeks before and yet not a positive outcome.

yet I am still hopeful.

it may not seem as though I am and no one knows what the future will hold, but I am hopeful.

I tell my story because it heals me and by opening up myself to others' I hope to someday help someone.

I love it when people tell me I am good with kids, it makes me smile.  A small part of me is still really happy that I haven't had kids yet, maybe the selfish part, I dunno.

I write about my struggles because it heals me...sometimes you'll get raw, gut-wrenching reality from me, don't mistake that for a cry for attention.  It's simply the only way to express myself!

I really have no direction for this post, but perhaps as I sit here, working through the cramps of endometriosis, I have a need to vent.  To get some stuff off my chest.

I don't judge my friends, my foes or my family for the decisions they have made regarding children, but sometimes in the gut-wrenching pain-filled face of infertility I do get frustrated, down right pissed.  However, I eventually become level-headed again and realize that we are all living different realities.  What I want isn't necessarily what you want...and HELL, what we all want may not be exactly what we thought we were getting ourselves into in the first place.  But whatever your choices are, please don't baby me. Don't mock me. Don't think I'm fragile and can't handle your reality.  Don't let your guilt over your decisions make you treat me differently!  You will never know the pain of infertility until it is staring you in the face.  You, who take things for granted, please remember that your plan may not work out the way you want it to!  Please understand that your actions have reactions and that what you are planning for may  not happen because of the choices you are making or have made.  

I'm not saying you need to run yourself ragged with worry that your plan to conceive may not work out, but please be realistic!  Get yourself checked out, make wise decisions for yourself and your future.  

Please note, this blog post is not geared at any specific event that happened recently.  In fact, it has been festering inside for awhile and I just feel like blabbing about it tonight.

I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior! I know He has planned my life from birth, but sometimes I wonder have I made a wrong turn somewhere?  What lesson can I learn from this struggle? Patience? I thought I got that one down for a bit, lol.  Faithfulness, perhaps.

I believe He will provide me with my little miracle, but I am human and doubt has a tricky way of getting in when you're down.



Saturday, April 6, 2013

Plans Change

Plans change....which is why this quote is so popular, right?
I have no clue where I am supposed to be in life, other than right where I am right now.

I left southern California in October 2011 and never knew my true self until now.

I am at peace here, aside from the job search and other thorns in my side.

I love living in Bend...away from smog, traffic, tons of people and completely surrounded by nature, beauty and clean air.  I have an amazing circle of support that is growing and thriving.

Don't get me wrong, SoCal is beautiful in it's own right. Beaches, sunshine, lots of things to do and of course all the friends I grew up with and our familes that we love.

A shift of perspective.

I have never had to work so hard to find a job until now.  It's discouraging.  I don't want to go back into retail, it sucks your soul away and spits it back at you in a twisted, convoluted form that you don't even recognize anymore.

I am smart, energetic, fun and dedicated.

A bachelors degree in marine biology, don't you know it's not a cakewalk? I went through years of schooling and dedication for what?!

I have successfully managed multi-million dollar businesses, too!

But I am lost, not sure what door I'm supposed to be looking at. Not sure if that door is here, in Bend, where I feel more like the true me than ever before in my life.

Passionate about photography, pets, derby, and life.

Love learning and teaching others.

Should I go to school for my masters?

what would it be in?

Plans change.

Plans end.

Plans....?




Tuesday, March 26, 2013

wham, boom, pop!

Some days start off like today, easy, fun and full of entertainment...but end on a note in the complete and utter polar opposite...

woke up. made coffee. went back to sleep. woke up, had coffee.  ate a decent breakfast. meandered around the house and then went to work to nanny for two of the most unique, intelligent and fun kids I know.

filled the day with random surprises such as taking them to bouncing off the walls, mc donalds, seeing mom at work, buying them a baby chicken, affectionately named Chipper, played soccer twice, and managed to squeeze in some reading and problem solving from my favorite childhood book, The Eleventh Hour.

Seven hours of fun and activity.

Got home, chatted with neighbors and friends...went to a friends house for a delicious dinner and dessert paired with a lovely rose moscato and a NOVA episode about planet earth seen from space.

Then, wham, boom, pop! my endometriosis pain started up with a vengeance.  Started off as the usual subtle dull ache and within 30 minutes I was in full oh-my-gosh-this-fucking-hurts!  Today's spell made me almost vomit, but I have managed to keep it all in for now.

I know we all have our own deep, dark spot...well this is mine. It's times like these that make me question whether I will ever bear children of my own.  I am obviously good with them and love them, I've been told all my life that I'll be a great mom one day, but do we really know this? We don't know when that day will come, if ever. And yes, I know there are thousands of children aching for a loving and caring home, but I am not able to give up my dream just yet. The dream of carrying a human being inside myself, nor am I financially ready for this dream or even adoption for that matter.  Yes, I know there are fertility treatments but without insurance, and funding, that is out of the question. but hell, will anyone ever be 100% ready for this endeavor, whether it be by choice or not?  Are we ever 100% ready for the path that lay before us?

The pain is so crippling that I get to a point where I say fuck it, enough is enough, just rip it all out, I don't want to deal with the mental, physical and emotional pain anymore. it is draining. it is useless.  i had to stop buying pregnancy tests. why bother when it's the same result every month?  wishful thinking at it's best over here.

Pain is tiring, tricky and conniving. Ten years of knowing the source of my body's torment doesn't help find the solution. Yes, I probably over-exerted myself today and sabotaged myself by eating shit for lunch (first time having fast food in over two months) and not enough fluids, but damn....I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  Am I being punished for the things I've done? I know I am not, but sometimes I feel I am.  Logic and reason go out the window when you are doubled over in pain, tears, frustration and confusion.

So, I am at a loss. I don't know what to do next. Numb. yeah, Numb. that's the feeling.  Approaching my 34th birthday next week and I've never been so low at this time of year before. Usually I have it planned by now or I'm showing signs of utter excitement...so forgive me if I come across as wounded or harsh or selfish...there's a lot going on behind that fun, happy, energetic face you're used to seeing. Believe me, the happiness I typically exude is real, genuine and true.  It's just that this deep, dark sad part is also real, genuine and true and once in awhile I have to acknowledge it and express it so as not to go crazy!

Fun day.
Lauging, playing, jumping.
Surprising the kiddos with fun things to do, it's what I do best.
Going home to a house full of people and puppies, but no kids.
Pain sets in, making me wonder,
will I ever get the chance to be someones mother?

Writing it out helps,
crying it soothes,
soaking in a tub heals,
while my mind trickles back to whats real.

I am an auntie to many wonderful children.
Always have been, always will be.
Loving my friends for letting me enjoy their company.
Thankful for the things I do have and trying to stop dwelling on those that I do not.




Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's only 5 minutes of your life

Yes. True, it's only 5 minutes.


Only 5 minutes of my life, but it's what you do in those 5 minutes that matter most.

Self-counted attempt #1- 21 laps

Actual real-deal coach counting for credit attempt #1- 23.5 laps, a couple months after first self counted attempt.

This Thursday, 5pm- official attempt #2- time to "Get 'er done!" I'm gonna make this track my bitch!

For those wondering what I'm talking about, well, yes, you guessed it...roller derby!

One of our minimum skills is to be able to skate 25 laps in 5 mins, which is soon to be upped to 27 laps in 5 mins.  I don't want to wait anymore, the more I try now the quicker I'll beat both goals!

Self talk in head- only positive.

Determination- push harder each lap. NO COASTING THE CORNERS!

Songs of choice- Limp Bizkit, please!

My goal is to get this accomplished on Thursday, no later. I will use it as a tool to help myself further in my derby career and others who need it as well, regardless of the outcome.

I am a slow pace getting faster.
I see the goal ahead, I do not let up.
I am a slow pace getting faster.
I feel the wind rush past my face and I want more.
I am a slow pace getting faster.
I hear the cheers from afar and it drives me.
I am a slow pace getting faster.
I turn my thoughts to positive ones and leave no room for the others.
I am a slow pace getting faster.
I get low, continually crossing over, never ceasing.
I am a slow pace getting faster.
I push myself to the limits and see the success in hand.
I am a slow pace getting faster.
I will not give up, this feels too good.
I am a slow pace getting faster.