Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Uranium-Enriched-Esophagus

I promised all y'all that I would let you know what was up with the biopsy reports.  So, here goes:

A) Nothing fatal.  For cripes sake you would've thought the nurse could've said "oh hey, yo, you are not in fact dying."  But no.
2) Being freaking ridiculous (or "fridiculous", if you will) I do have 2 really weird things going on and 1 thing that appears to have resolved itself but could have been the reason these shenanigans kicked themselves off.  First of all, it appears that at one time I had something that kind of ate a hole like thing in my stomach?  I wasn't entirely clear on that.  Can that happen?  That you can just have a hole in your stomach and then when the gastritis goes away, you're left with the hole and suddenly all is good in Digestion Land again?  I don't freaking know.  He said it was a "resolved issue" so I really quit listening.  So then onto the real issues.  I have something eating a hole in my esophagus they think.  I love when a doc says "I think".  My stepdad always says "that's why they call it practicing medicine sweetie".  So I'm on a ridiculous regimen of medications to soothe my stupid fucking digestive system my esophagus.  I am not joking, that is how he put it.  My esophagus needs soothing.  Should I start talking to it?  Playing the flute for it?  Sing it lullabies?  Knit it something?  I don't know.  Anyway, I take these medications to soothe my, evidently quite angry, esophagus.  Then we check out phase two.  Phase two is where they think (again with that word "think") that I have this condition (which the doctor had to look up, always good when you tell your patients "I had no idea what this was") where some of the cells in my very stabby   esophagus react as if I'm allergic to everything I put down there, causing my super shooty digestive system to thereby reject everything.  Hence the super awesome but totally unhealthy rapid weight loss.  That condition needs to be treated with steroids.  Well, now, "WHY ERI, why can't the just treat both conditions at once?", I hear you asking.  Well I asked the good doctor the same thing and he said that the steroids could make the uranium enriched porcupine of an  esophagus even angrier.  You know, 'Roid Rage for the already incredibly bitey esophagus.  So, there you go. All you need to know about my digestive system, AND MORE!

But, there is good news around here!  This particular doctor prescribed something I've been trying to get prescribed for my Fibromyalgia for a long time.  It's not a narcotic and it's gotten mixed reviews from Fibro patients but I at least wanted to give it a try.  The first couple of days were a little wonky.  I described it as being the good part of half drunk.  But I acclimated to it after a couple of days and the only thing I can really say about it is that it has made me feel like myself again.  I don't sleep all day.  I don't feel exhausted every single second of every day.  My joints and muscles are looser, making it possible for me to be more active, which is good for Fibro itself.  I've been able to get back into walking and jogging.  I want to say I feel like a whole new person, but the truth is that I just feel like me.  And I am a freaking delight!  It's been such a relief to sleep and to not be in constant, constant pain.   Which is good because school kicks back up tomorrow and I'm taking my heaviest course load yet.  The only thing left on the health horizon is to get my full thyroid panel.  I actually feel pretty good about finally having some answers.

I really want to say thanks to all of you who have stood by me.  A few names to toss out but I'm sure I'll miss some people.  So I'm sorry in advance!  But, to Nathan & Joshie Mark, Mom & Mark, Boston, Carrie, Jen, Vicki, Jessie, David, Marie, Mike and every single other soul who has said a prayer or sent good vibes, y'all are amazing.  Thanks for sticking with me.  Love to all of you.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

...Or Musical Monday.  Whatever.  My house, bitches.  So, hi.  A long, long, time ago I can still remember when, no wait that's a different song, I was just a little mini-hippie.  I didn't eat meat, I was one of those environmentalists, a real free love, live and let live kinda girl.  And I was dating Viking Mike.  And oh how my heart would swoon at Pink Floyd.  Still does, actually.  When I get lost inside myself and the depression spirals down and the darkness pulls me under and all I can do is curl up in a ball and hide, my default mode is to pull the covers around me and watch The Wall over and over.  In happier times, you can find me throwing up the rocker horns and rocking out to Dark Side or Wish You Were Here.  Which brings me to why I'm here this morning.  Last night the Viking said something to me about still remembering me as his little hippie girlfriend sometimes.  And I laughed.  I remembered what I think was our first New Year's Eve together. We sat around a bonfire totally not doing anything in anyway illegal and talked about our resolutions.  Everyone had some silly ones, that was the point y'know?  Just a bunch of teenagers out in the desert being carefree, wearing flannel, jeans and chucks (not much has changed for me wardrobe-wise, clearly...also, I just realized I have a slightly longer version of that old haircut, and ballsier hair at 34 than I did at 16, wow me), just living life.  I wanted to own every single PF cd by the time we met in the desert again in a year.  My best friend (who is still my best friend) was there, she was dating Mike's friend at the time.  And everyone was just laughing and having a good time.  So Mike learned to play my favorite song and all through our marriage, even though there were some really shitty times, Mike would always play my favorite Pink Floyd song (at the time) for me.  Never the read to the belly sort, he would play the guitar sometimes to my pregnant belly, always this song.

The album "Wish You Were Here" was released in 1975 with the song "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" being credited as a tribute to former bandmate Syd Barrett.  Syd was a founding member of the band but had long been lost in the darkness of mental illness.  He, did, rather randomly, show up during the recording of this album.  However, prior to that, according to Wiki, in 1967 and '68 he had become "increasingly erratic" and of course, it was made much much worse by the use of drugs like LSD (and who knows what else was being put into his system). Though his family claims he suffered from no mental illness and that such stories are false (perhaps they're embarrassed as many people are by mental illness).  The most widely believed diagnosis is Schizophrenia.  He was never officially diagnosed.  Now here's the thing about Schizophrenia and LSD use.  LSD on its own almost never brings on the disease.  But the drug does mimic the disease in the brain.  So the two in tandem can certainly overload the system.  Barrett would likely have broken down on his own.  Probably by the age of 30, as most sufferers of Schizophrenia are diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 30.

So what am I saying in all this?  I guess I'm saying that I'm still a hippie at heart.  I guess I'm saying that there can be really fahking awesome memories mixed with the bad.  I guess I'm saying you can bury your sorrow in Pink Floyd's "The Wall" (and you should!) or anything else that really stifles the darkness and lets in a sliver in of light.  I guess I'm saying don't believe everything you hear about music and the industry and mental illness and drugs and disorders and all that fucking media bullshit hype.  I guess I'm saying do your own research.  I guess I'm saying never, ever, judge someone.  I guess I'm saying the guy with the toothbrush he's named Bernie might be high, yeah, but he might be sick, too.  I guess I'm thinking listen to you heart and your brain and think before you act.  I guess I'm thinking we should keep shining a bright light on mental illness so that the stigma is gone so people like Syd Barrett don't have to be ashamed to get help and his family doesn't have to say he was never sick.  I guess I'm saying knowing more about what hurt him and hindered him may have helped a generation of teenagers in the 1990's who loved his music.  I guess I'm saying R.I.P. Syd.  I guess I'm saying shine on you crazy diamonds.

And here you go, a little shout out to my younger self.  How I wish, how I wish you were here.

*NOTE*  Want to read more about the incomparable Syd?  Do it here!  Want to learn more about Schizophrenia?  Do it here!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Damaged, yet dangerous

Hi.  I KNOW.  I've been a little unwell.  A few weeks ago I had an EGD and they, thankfully, didn't find any ulcers, but they did take a bunch of biopsies.  Which I hadn't heard anything on until yesterday when the good doctor's nurse called and said "hi, we need to see you this week about the results of your biopsies".  I said "well alright, is everything okay?".  To which she said "the doctor will talk with you on Friday."  So it's Friday.  My appointment is in 5.5 hours.  I am flipping the muthafahk out.  Seriously.  Why didn't I ask for a morning appointment so I could just come home early and cry?  See, this is a little tiny town.  There are no rules saying you have to give 18 forms of ID, your DNA and a retina scan to get your results.  Most of the time you get a letter saying, "Yo, everything's cool, bro, keep on carryin' on" or a message on your machine to the same effect.  I don't think I have ever once been called in to get results on any kind of test or lab results or anything like that.  So I sit and I wait.  I journal.  I watch Joshie Mark go through one of his hundreds of wardrobe changes for the day.  I blast country music as loud as I can.  I put on the fiercest shirt I have (Milan Lucic, Bruins game 7 jersey...It says: "Good Game, Good Game, I'm going to Fu*cking Kill You, Good Game) and I remind myself that I'm a fierce warrior queen and I've been through the very bottom of the bucket of bullshit.  How's that saying go?  "Damaged women are dangerous, they already know they can survive"?  That's me.  Damaged and dangerous.  

**Hi, so I will OF COURSE let you know what my body is trying to kill me with THIS month.  Love my readers, thanks for sticking with us

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Savory Saturday Colcannon

Colcannon Recipe

4 lbs (1.8kg) potatoes, or about 7-8 large potatoes (‘old’ potatoes or russet potatoes are best, waxy potatoes won’t do)
1 head of green cabbage or kale
1 cup ( 7 fl oz, 240 ml) milk (or cream)
1 stick (4oz, 120g) butter, divided into three parts
4-5 scallions (green onions), chopped*
Salt and pepper
Fresh Parsley or chives
*Not everyone adds scallions to colcannon, but they do add something, in my opinion.
Peel and put them in a pot to boil.
While the potatoes are cooking, remove the core from the cabbage, slice the leaves thinly, and put into a large saucepan. Cover with boiling water from the kettle and keep at a slow rolling boil until the cabbage is just wilted and has turned a darker green. This can take anything from 3-5 minutes, depending on the cabbage. Test it and don’t let it overcook - if anything it should be slightly undercooked.
When the cabbage is cooked, drain it well, squeeze to get any excess moisture out, then return to the saucepan. Add one third of the butter and cover. Leave it covered and in a warm place, but not on a burner, with the butter melting gently into it while you continue.
When the potatoes are soft, drain the water and return the potatoes to the saucepan. With the drained potatoes in, set the burner to low, leaving the lid off so that any excess moisture can evaporate. When they are perfectly dry, add the milk to the saucepan, along with a third of the butter and the chopped scallions (if you are using them). Allow the milk to warm but not boil – it is about right when the butter has fully melted and the pot is starting to steam.
With a potato masher or a fork, mash the potatoes thoroughly into the butter/milk mixture. Do NOT pass through a ricer or, worse, beat in a mixer as it will make the potatoes gluey and disgusting.
Mix the cabbage thoroughly through the mashed potato.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Baby-Daddy!

Today is my ex husband's birthday.  He was born on his father's birthday and Stomp was supposed to be born on Viking Mike's birthday, but the OR was full that day.  Since the terrible tragedy that befell our baby boy, the Viking and I have come to a great place of mutual respect and friendship.  I am incredibly grateful on this, the day he was born, for the way he tries to protect not just our sons, but me, as their mother, as well.

This was the song at our wedding.  I walked down the aisle to this song and it remains one of my favorites to this day.  Now, no-one, no-one, is getting re-married.  But I thought this was a great way to honor him today.  (And look for my birthday message to Stomp tomorrow).  Happy Birthday, Michael.  Thanks for all the times you've been so wonderful, all the times you've been the handy-man and especially all the times you've made me laugh.  Me and the boys love ya.

Birthday Shout out!!

Today I would like to wish a very Happy Birthday Michael H. He is half of the DNA and parenting team of my nephews. I sincerely hope you have a wonderful day and a prosperous year! Enjoy your time with the boys today!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Savory Saturday Chicken & Egg Noodle Casserole

Chicken & Egg Noodle Casserole Recipe

Chicken & Egg Noodle Casserole Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 6 cups uncooked egg noodles (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 20 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook noodles according to package directions for al dente; drain.
  • 2. In a large bowl, whisk soup, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper until blended. Stir in chicken and noodles. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. In a small bowl, mix crushed crackers and butter; sprinkle over top. Bake 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1-1/4 cups equals 446 calories, 22 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 107 mg cholesterol, 820 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 23 g protein.

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chicken---egg-noodle-casserole/print#ixzz3UMmhovSd

Monday, March 9, 2015

I am in for it.....

I begin working the weekends again on March 21st, in April my boss will be gone for two weeks and I will be the go to person on the new system our company that is going to use for order taking. My boss and I are the only ones who have worked with it and seen what it does and played with it.

We will be responsible for writing the manual for it. I will be responsible along with her to teach the Korean reps who are in Albany how to use the new system as well. All the while working the weekend job. 4-6 weeks with no days off, with the added stress of learning/tweaking and writing a manual for it. I will probably lose my mind before May arrives.

With that being said you may not see me very much, but be assured if you follow me on FB you will see rant and raving about how tired I will be. :)

My life will be bringing with it change in the near future. Plans are in the works, things are being done that need to be for this change. I am not quite ready for it yet, I can see it though in my head. It will be a hard road but I will prevail and have my happily ever after.

A Letter From My Heart to My Brain

A poem that struck me today by Rachel McKibbens.


Its okay to hang upside-down like a bat,
to swim into the deep end of silence,
to swallow every key so you can’t get out.
It’s okay to hear the ocean calling your fevered name

to say your sorrow is an opera of snakes,
to flirt with sharp and heartless things.
It’s okay to write, I deserve everything,
to bow down to this rotten thing
that understands you, to adore the red
and ugly queen of it, to admire
her calm and steady rowing.

It’s okay to lock yourself in the medicine cabinet,
to drink all the wine, to do what it takes to stay
without staying. Its okay to hate God today
to change his name to yours, to want to ruin all that ruined you.
It’s okay to feel like only a photograph of yourself,
to need a stranger to pull your hair and pin you down,
it’s okay to want your mother as you lie alone in bed.
It’s okay to brick to fuck to flame to church to crush to knife
to rock to rock to rock to rock to rock and rock.

It’s okay to wave good-bye to yourself in the mirror.
To write, I don’t want anything.
It’s okay to despise what you have inherited,
to feel dead in a city of pulses. It’s okay
to be the whale that never comes up for air,
to love best the taste of your own blood.

What hurts the most...

It seems like everywhere I look these days, one of my girls is suffering one tragedy or another.  As y'all know, we went through our own trauma with Joshua Mark and a horrible monster.  Well this weekend another of our girls, one of the Sistahs, a half of my heart that I didn't know was missing until I found her, my kids beloved Auntie Carrie BoBeary suffered a terrible and tragic loss.  A kind and loving man who had stepped up and filled the role of father for her after her own "dad" had left her feeling helpless and abandoned, a wonderful man who loved her like his own daughter, this angel on Earth, well, he went to be an angel in Heaven this past weekend.  He was suffering and in pain and so there is that always conflicting sense of relief that at least he no longer hurts.  But there is also that horrible suffering and pain that my Sister is feeling...the one that says she will never get to be hugged by him again, the one that says he won't be able to attend the ceremony where she and her hubby renew their vows, he won't be there when the kids graduate school.  He won't be there when she graduates school and begins her career as a full time SuperHero social worker.  I always believe that God puts us through trials when he thinks we can handle them.  The horrific trauma my family and I have been through?  Well that's largely wrapped up, as best as it can be, for the time being.  I'm starting to feel the strength of my own two feet beneath me again, instead of feeling like I'm free-falling into a tunnel of darkness with monsters lurking everywhere, desperately clawing to get my kids from me.  I believe God took Jim when he did so that I would be able to be strong for my Sister now. So I'm going to lift her up, hold her up, stubbornly pull her ass out of that darkness  every chance I get.  Because I can.  And because that's what sisters do.  God bless Jim and his family during this trying time.  If you have spare prayers to send right now, please send them to his amazing family who took care of my girl so well and helped her learn to love a family of choice.  Without that knowledge, she might not have been able to accept my family as hers and then WE would truly be lost.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Savory Saturday: Easiest Pulled Pork EVAH

Seriously y'all! I got this from the Cooking Light Magazine and it is easy, yummy, and stress free. OK, well, not totally stress free. The slab o'pork I bought was finicky about fitting in my crockpot today but when you find a Boston pork butt for $10 for 9lbs of meat perfect for this dish you buy it.

So, here is the recipe:

Crock Pot BBQ pulled pork

What you need:

Your favorite cut of pork. I have used pork loin and this time I am using Boston pork butt because it was on sale. You can use tenderloin but the fattier cuts make for moist meat.

You favorite root beer. We used Barq's because it has a bit more 'bite'

A crock pot large enough to fit your cut of meat.

How it is done:

Put pork in crock pot fat side up. If there is not a dedicated fat side then the fattier side to help keep the meat moist.

Cover with root beer. I used 3 cans in my 9lb meat .

Cook  depending on your schedule. Today I am cooking on high for 6 hours but I have a large cut of mostly frozen meat. Usually I would cook on low for 8-10 hours with a pork loin.

When it is done, you take the meat out of the root beer and shred it with a fork. Add BBQ sauce to your tastes.

Serve however you want. We make pulled pork sandwiches and usually serve it with baked beans and chips. It makes for a great weeknight dinner when you are busy or even a great weekend dinner for company.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Moments in time

So here are a few of Joshie's favorite things!

1. Favorite Animal – "pen-pwin"
2.  Favorite color – "yellow"
3.  Favorite food – "doggie food"
4.  Favorite number – "2"
5.  Favorite brother – "Nasan"
6.  Favorite mom – “thhhhbbbpppptttttthhhhhhh”

And a few of my favorite things about Joshie:

1. He has a smile and a laugh for everyone he meets
2.  He also has big expressive blue eyes
3.  How much he loves his extended family whether it's Jay-Jays or his "friend" Papa, his Uncle David or one of his numerous Aunts, he loves everyone so fully and completely.
4.  He makes everyone feel special just for knowing him.  Sure, he was a miracle baby for me and his Daddy.  But he continues to make everyone he knows feel so special and loved, because even at 3, he's totally mastered the art of really listening to people and making them feel heard.  Future physician, maybe?  He does  love being called "Dr. Joshie".
5. He is completely his own person.  At 3 years old he knows something it took me 30 years to fully grasp.  Being yourself and 100% unique and quirk-tastic is not only okay, it's amazing.  

*EDITOR'S NOTE:  We dedicated this week on the blog to Joshie Mark because someday he may remember what happened to him when he was 3 and when someone spanked him on the face.  I wanted to freeze this moment in time so that he would also remember just how loved he was and why.  But we also wanted to shine a bright light on child abuse so that people will get help before children get hurt.  If you are in the Nebraska area and know of a child being abused, please call 1-800-652-1999.  If it's an emergency situation or you are not in the Nebraska area, please dial 911 and speak with your local law enforcement officers.  

Friday Five- Joshua Mark Edition

Five things that I love about Joshua Mark
1. The way he says I love you Auntie Carriebobeary
He and Mama's videos have sent me the ray of sunshine that I need just at the perfect time on more than one occasion.
2. The way he makes friends every where he goes
Joshie likes to spread joy to absolute strangers.
3. The way he owns his style no matter what
Refer to Wordless Wednesday the Monkey Edition for proof of this.
4. His big blue eyes
Look at any picture and see how his eyes sparkle with life.
5. The way he loves his Mama and his Nasan (Nathan).
He is madly in love with his family.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday for Joshie Mark

My dearest little nephew,

You have enriched my life more than you could possibly know even at the tender age of 3. I look at the world very differently because of you and it is wonderful. When I get dressed in the morning, I no longer wonder if people will perceive me as silly when I wear leggings, a skirt, a Shine Bright t-shirt, and Mama and I's sparkly Chucks. I know that Joshie would put that outfit on, probably with underwear on his head, and go out with his head held high. I see the world in many more colors because of you.

I didn't know Mama when you were born but I have heard how you were the family miracle baby and what is amazing (and awesome) is how you continue to be a miracle to others. I very much hope that you never let anyone suck that miracle out of you no matter how dark the world might get. If you ever need to be reminded of how much of a miracle and angel on earth that you are, we are here for you. You can call, text, email, or even show up on any of our door steps anytime and we will help remind you of your purpose on this earth. (This offer extends to your Mama and Nathan too!)

Thank you, dear boy, for returning my silliness. Thank you for reminding me that life is too short to care about how people look at you.  Who knew it would be the children in my life that would remind me how good life should be? Your Mama and Daddy made some pretty special humans when they made you and Nathan and God knew that I would need you guys too so he brought us all together.

Your remind me why it is so very important to hang on and finish school. You are the very kind of person who makes me want to be a social worker. As long as I draw breath, I promise to be the best that I can be so that the world does not consume the Joshies, the Nathans, or any of the people who make it a joy to get out of bed every single day. Together we will change the world but for today I am sending you extra snuggles and all my love. Keep sparkling baby!

I love you to the moon and back!

Auntie Carriebobeary

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

For Joshua. I love you.

Wordless Wednesday - The Monkey Edition

Joshua rocking Mama's glasses

Proof that he is at least *part* monkey

Dear God, please let those be clean big boy pants...

Stomp and Joshie Mark

How could anyone hurt this sweet face?

Obsession's a killer...even for a 3 year old!

Meeska, Mooshka, MICKEY MOUSE!
If you are in the Nebraska area and suspect a child is being abused, DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL: 1-800-652-1999!   If the child is in immediate danger, please call your local police station or dial 911.  Not one more child.  

Wordless Wednesday:(Don't Ever Lose) The Light in Your Eyes

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Mama's Heart

Yesterday was every inch a typical Monday.  Craziness with school, with the kids, with everything.  You know, ugh fahking Mondays.  Compounding it, we had to go to the big city to pick up my car.  On the way home, it was just me and Joshua in the car.  We talked a little while about things of great importance on the way home.  I had just given our decision regarding his abuser's future to the attorney and I guess I was just feeling a little melancholic, a little angry, a little stark-raving-mad. My precious monkey had not had a nap, making him a little angry and a little insane too.  We were quite a pair. But still, we talked about airplanes and "Bubba" and daddy and cows (editor's note: NOT his mother, actual cows) and friends and music.

I remember having talks with his brother like this, on long rides home from somewhere.  Stomp wasn't as verbal as Joshua is, but I always understood him.  It's part of my job as, not just a mother, but a mama.  You see, I've been thinking a lot about mamas these last couple of months.  I know a lot of people who fit the role of mother and of mama and of how different we can all be but how well we can all come together.  Joshua's trauma and pain was brought on by somebody who was a mother, somebody who wanted to be a mother to him but who ultimately would never be his mama.  Maybe that's why she did what she did.  I honestly don't know and I don't think I ever can know.  Because I'm not a mother, I'm a mama with a mama's heart.

Having a mama's heart means: loving your kids enough never to put them in danger, loving other people's children and putting their needs ahead of the needs of adults and ahead of selfish desires and impulses.  It means snuggles when they're sick or sticky and stern talks when they're surly and stubborn.  It means hugs when they succeed and when they don't.  It means sleepless nights and a thousand tears shed over how best to protect them.  And, yes, it means guilt when you realize you can't protect them from everyone.

Right now, there are a lot of people feeling guilty that Joshua got hurt, including me and his daddy (don't worry y'all, there'll be a post about "father"s and "daddy"s too).  The only person who doesn't seem to feel it is the one whose fault it actually is.  We all know logically that the statement about abuse is true: "it is nobody's fault but the abuser's".  That doesn't mean that everyone who loves Joshua doesn't feel at least a little guilty for not being there.  I smash mine down with a giant hammer and tell myself that I tried  to protect him.  I knew she wasn't right.  But the law isn't built to protect children.  It's built to hide bruises and to acknowledge cover stories.  And I suppose she skates off again this time.  But, she'll never get another swing at my kids again.  Their mama and daddy will make certain of that.  .

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The boy who lived

No, not Harry Potter! Joshie Mark!!

Once upon a time this evil woman tried to dull his sparkle out of hatred and jealousy. She gave step parents everywhere a bad name.

Joshie still smiles. Joshie still laughs. Joshie still imitates Mama. Joshie still steals hearts everywhere he goes! His family far and wide will never let this evil woman near him again.

The only thing good that came out of this was that his parents have been able to come together and co-parent for the benefit of he and his brother which will go far to heal the wounds she caused.

If you suspect child abuse, please report it. My nephew is a survivor because his Mama is strong and brave and took him to be evaluated immediately. Trust your intuition.

Also, I wanted to thank MH for his support of Mama and the boys during this difficult time even while being in a tough spot. It is much appreciated by those of us who want so badly to be there.

Sing Along Sunday - Joshie's Jam!!!

As we all know, Eri LOVES Ed Sheeran. Well, so does Joshie Mark. So much so that he has declared Ed's song "Don't" as his "jam". He'll tell Eri, "Mama, play my jam!"

The song also talks about not taking advantage of those who love you. Joshie loves unconditionally, regardless of who you are. He makes friends with everyone he meets. He has truly stolen my heart. His unconditional love for one person was not only taken advantage of, but destroyed when this "person" chose to maul him for not using the potty. The little angel is now terrified of potty training. That's why we are dedicating this sing along to him, and I chose his "jam" just for Joshie. Auntie Jen loves you, unconditionally, forever and ever.

If you know a child that is in Texas and being abused, here is the information to report it:

1-800-252-5400 or https://www.txabusehotline.org

Sing Along Sunday- I have loved you for a thousand years. I'll love you for a thousand more...

This song is for my nephew Joshua Mark. He is a cuddle bug, he is his own person even at 3, he is funny, and he is LOVED!

Someone hurt him. Someone who was supposed to care for him. Someone who claimed to love him and his brother and wanted to raise them. She tried to cover it up with a ridiculous story to his Mama but Mama is smart. His Mama knew that someone had hurt him and she did everything right. The law in Nebraska says that because this person has no record THERE she can do diversion and have it expunged. There will be no trace for her next victim. The other option was probation which lets her walk free with no therapy, no classes, no nothing but the idea that someone is watching.

Joshie Mark gave me my nickname, Auntie Carriebobeary. He loves me even though mostly it is from Facebook pictures and posts and chats and not getting to snuggle me in person. This does not dampen the love that I have for him, his brother, or his Mama at all. In fact, it strengthens it because even though we don't see each other every day they are always in my heart.

I had a dream last night that ended with me lying on a couch reading books and Joshie came up and asked, "What you doing?" When I told him that I was reading a book he took one of the 3 (?) I had and crawled up on the couch to snuggle me and 'read' with me. Best way to wake up to the fact that it will be a bit longer until I can snuggle Joshie Mark in person.

I feel like I have known his Mama for lifetimes. The line for how I feel about his family is from a Mary Lambert song, " How did I miss you when I didn't know you?" These guys make my world (and the world period) a better place.

So to Mama, Stomp, & Joshie Mark:

I have loved you for thousand years, I'll love you for a thousand more!

I present the talented, impeccable, and adorable John Barrowman, MBE!

If you live in Texas and suspect abuse here is the information on who to call! Reports made through this web site take up to 24 hours to process. Call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 if
•You believe your situation requires action in less than 24 hours.
•You prefer to remain anonymous.
•You have insufficient data to complete the required information on the report.
•You do not want an e-mail to confirm your report.

If you want to email your report is you may go to the following website:

There's a reason for the world, you & I

This is my family's song.  It's about a guy who goes looking for answers to the meaning of life.  He's told simply that it's a riddle, "You & I".  As he lives life, he gets busy, caught up in life but he's always reminded of this riddle until one day he looks around, at his angel, at his kid and he realizes the answer to the riddle is "You & I."

Having children is a humbling experience.  You put their needs above your own, above your spouse's, above everybody else's in the world.  At least that's what you do if you're a good mom.  And  I am.  I'm a great mom.  I love my boys with every single fiber of my being.  But, still, I couldn't protect my youngest, my sweet little miracle boy.  The baby they told me I'd never have.  The baby who, last week, swung off a coat hook into my arms.  The baby who dresses up like me and then proudly declares, "Look, I'm YOU, Mama".  The baby with a beautiful pale white face with a little scar in the shape of a cross from stitches he had when he had an accident with the arm of the recliner.  The baby with the biggest brightest blue eyes you've ever seen.

The baby who, while potty-training, had an accident.  The baby who trusted someone who turned out to be a monster.  The baby who told that monster he was sorry after she hurt him.  The baby whose baby blues hold fear sometimes, now that they've recovered from the right one being swollen almost shut.  The baby who won't even look in the bathroom now.  The baby who still sometimes stutters with fear about trying to sit on the potty.

That baby, my baby, has known the words to this song since he was just 2 and 1/2.  And he loves it.  And this week, we're dedicating sing-a-long Sunday, and a few other days to him.  If you love my Joshua Mark like I do, share a song, share a memory, share a picture.  But please, share your prayers.  Because this has only just begun.

If you are in the Nebraska area and suspect child abuse, DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL: 1-800-652-1999.  If you are in another area or the situation is an emergency CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.  NO MORE CHILDREN NEED TO BE HURT.  THIS IS A SITUATION THAT *CAN* AND SHOULD STOP.