MicroBlog Monday: I Made It

I have been sewing since I was a young child. I love sewing for the relaxing and problem solving aspects, but also for the creating things with my hands aspect and finished product. I don’t get enough time to sew for fun, for myself or my kid or friends, and often feel like I am craving that creative space and time.

I’ve been quite stressed out dealing with potential diagnoses and the last project I made was a tad stressful in the form of a tester and a memory bear for a friend after her dad died. So, I needed some stress relief sewing!

I saw this great tie dye shirt at a thrift store recently and knew Wallace needed a new pair of grow with me acro-pants. It took a while to find the time in my days, but I’m quite pleased with them, and so is Wallace.

Front side with the cuffs all folded.

Back side with the cuffs opened.

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Stump Kitchen: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wallace and I are huge Stump Kitchen fans. (What we lack in size we make up for in enthusiasm.) We want to be on Stump Kitchen one day. I would pass up on Ellen if it conflicted…

What?! You’ve never heard of Stump Kitchen?!?!

Check it out!

It’s a great little cooking show on YouTube. But it’s more than that. It’s funny, queer inclusive, usually kid friendly, all about finding and celebrating abilities, and gluten free and vegan. Amazing! I believe I found it through the Lucky Fin Project, which I found through a fellow queer parent on Instagram who I met through a group on Facebook… as you do.

Anyway, we love Stump Kitchen and watch for entertainment and cooking ideas. Sometimes, when I’m feeling blah, I just watch it to make me feel better. And it works. Alexis, the host, has a range of guests from people with limb differences, to cute little kids, to fun queer folks, to people in her community who clearly are awesome. Then, they take over her tiny apartment kitchen, make a mess, have a laugh, and eat something new or different or just plain yummy.

Wait! This post has a point besides fan girling.

Wallace requested Stump Kitchen while he was sick last week and wanted to watch dessert episodes. We found this great cookie recipe and decided to give it a go today. We had all the necessary ingredients, but substituted brown rice flour for the oat flour since my body no longer tolerates oats. It sucks.

So here’s how it went:

Rewatching the video while I worked on cooking lunch.

Secret ingredient

“Blend it up! Blend it up! Blend it up!”

I couldn’t fathom processing the chips in so I took the blade out and Wallace mixed them in.

One heaping tablespoon each. I think our dough was a bit different due to the change in flour.

Huge! Went well over the recipes time, definitely at least 25 minutes.

Intermission while they cooled.

Had to build up an appetite after our big lunch.

Giant cookie and almond milk.

We ended up having two! Perfect amount of crispiness on the outside and nice and tender inside. Not too sweet and pretty filling.

This chocolate chip cookie recipe was definitely a winner and we will be making it again. And we will watch more Stump Kitchen episodes, too!

Posted in food, LGBTQ, Linked Up, Parenting, pictures, What We Eat | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

“Here’s looking at you, kid”

I’ve been looking at pictures of my brain and neck, pictures of other people’s brains, and reading all the things I can about all the things people noticed in my MRI and symptoms.

It’s a lot. I’m having trouble processing it all- intellectually and emotionally. I’m fumbling.

So here’s a reminder of what I look like on the outside and my amazing child who doesn’t doubt me for a minute.

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Head On

Yesterday, I had an MRI done on my brain and neck. It’s been 15 years since I’ve had one and it’s because of someone mentioning a condition in a YouTube video that I have put forth the effort and energy to, yet again, try to get doctors to take me seriously. I have had migraines my entire life, but things have really taken a turn for the worse the last six years and the last year or two has been a series of wake up calls in regards to my health. That one mention of a condition lead me down a rabbit hole of information, fueled my insomnia, and got me out there advocating for myself. Finally.

So yesterday evening, I logged in and looked at images of my brain. It’s there. I have one. My mom made sure to make a joke about that. But there have to be clues hidden in those pictures that the radiologist didn’t find. A little message hidden in my brain, waiting for me to find. (A little Douglass Adams joke hidden in my blog.)

But instead of it being noted in the report, it was pointed out by people who live these things daily in a Facebook group. They aren’t there to diagnose me or tell me what I should do. They are there to encourage me to keep going and to get another opinion. They are there to validate the experiences I have lived with for years and do my best on a day to day basis to pretend like they don’t exist.

I’ve got an email out to the office of a specialist in hopes they will now see me, now that I have imaging in hand. I knew before seeing the neurologist that many radiologists miss these things and many doctors don’t diagnose and treat them. All of my images were looked at in under 20 minutes. From the time it took me to go upstairs, sign in, and get my blood pressure taken, one person decided my brain and neck have no abnormalities.

It’s scary because it’s my brain and because surgery is sometimes the solution for people with the conditions I want to be assessed for. But it’s just as scary to continue to not have answers and to continue to get worse. I’ve tried to talk about these things minimally and have only said the words outloud a few times. Like if I say it, it gives it power and makes it more real. (Or if I say it, it might make people think I’m crazy and making things up.)

I have also been seen by a rheumatologist and had blood work done. I was less than thrilled with that experience and will be switching providers in that office. My next appointment is over a week away and I’m back at square one hoping they will hear my story and see me as a person and not a number.

I needed to write. I feel raw and tired, but okay. I can’t dance around the tough subjects in my life. Facing things head on works best.

*Update: Neurosurgeon’s office called me back and I have an appointment set for August 20th. I have a few hoops to jump through to get everything ready for it. I also got a call from the rheumatologist’s office and they had to change up my appointment, so it is now two weeks away. I also had two people give me lots of feedback on my MRI, which gives me a lot to read and take in.*

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MicroBlog Monday: Friends

At preschool last year, the teachers called all the kids friends. I thought it was cute but also noticed it disregarded the fact that some kids weren’t friends yet or weren’t going to mesh that well. No one, child or adult, has to like and befriend every person they come in contact with. We need to be polite and considerate and work together, but we don’t have to all be friends.

When kids meet for the first time at playgrounds and in public ways, they become instant friends. There is no conflict, but immediate adventure. It might last 20 minutes or consist of hours of fun. It might be just the one time and they never see each other, or they might cross paths again and become more than playground buddies. I remember a little boy I played with at a park when I was maybe 8 or 9. He was probably younger than me, I was really small, and I believe he was Chinese and didn’t speak English. We just played and none of that mattered.

Sometimes, a friend of a friend is not your friend. Maybe you disagree on some big issue or just don’t jive. Maybe you make do at functions but don’t seek them out on your own. Is that being fake or just being a good friend to your mutual friend? Maybe they try to exclude you or others based on perceived gender or other traits when all you want to do is collect flowers and run around with them.

Friendships are multifaceted and ever changing. They are instantaneous, just add sunshine, or take a long time to develop with lots on insecurities and ups and downs. Some friends, I’ve never met in person and some I could see daily and not get irritated with them. Some fade over time or there’s a rift that forces us apart. Some stick in my heart and mind and I wonder about 20 years later.

But, for now I will revel in new friendships, growing like dandelions in spring. That instant connection that flourishes on trust and reciprocation. Hands held, conversations had, gluten free rice cakes shared.

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MicroBlog Monday: Lego

Wallace is finally at the age where he loves Lego! It has been a blast to get to share them with him and watch his creativity and problem solving at their best. His fine motor and conceptualizing skills are amazing, but I get to help now and then. He has the patience and ability to follow instructions to build things from sets, but equally loves designing his own. It brings me back to my own childhood and this has been one of those “just wait until” moments I have been holding out for.

This was at a Lego event at our local art museum. It was a new way for him to design.

I bought 3 gallons of Lego from a mom of an older child to add to our collection.

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Mother’s Day

This day makes me think of all the women who have died in childbirth, or shortly after. Those who chose not to become mothers and those who tried a million times a million ways and couldn’t. I think of the children who lost mothers and of those mothers who lost children. I remember the women before me who have mothered and nurtured, but weren’t my mother. I want to acknowledge all the mothers who navigate life invisible due to gender, loss, circumstances, choice, or some other scenario I haven’t envisioned. Mothers who try, mothers who need more support, mothers who feel stuck or alone. I want to celebrate, mourn, reflect, remember, and thank.

I have a complicated relationship with the day, and being queer and a single mom by choice adds an interesting twist. I am often invisible due to perception (just the other day I was mistaken for a teenager). I live with my mom, but she’s abandoned me many ways many times. I have a tattoo for a woman who was a mother for me and a belly button made by my god mother. Being a mom has been my biggest dream and it is my daily challenge.

I woke up this morning on mom duty. I am always on mom duty. I was brought a plant and metal ladybug in bed. I was snuggled, as is usual, and immediately began making breakfast and getting ready. I worked and saw a friend, got an ice pack for a pinched finger. I came home and prepared for guests I hadn’t much notice for. The toilet didn’t get cleaned and the reading lesson didn’t get done. My plans for the day constantly morphing. I got work done on books, talked, a small walk, made a salad I didn’t know I was in charge of. Bedtime routine with an overtired kid, then more work, tea, and a little yoga. I will still be a mother when I wake up tomorrow. One of the first words I will hear will be “Momma.” But it could also be “I need.” Because mothers fill needs.

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