Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Use Coupons, Help Schools

I'm cross posting this from my Cheap and Proud of It site, because it's such a quick and easy way to help schools. 

Look for special P&G brandSAVER coupons in your local newspaper on Sunday, July 31. For each coupon redeemed, P&G will donate two cents to CIS. Find out where to get your P&G brandSAVER on Facebook. The uncapped donation will be based on the number of coupons redeemed beginning July 31 – the more you save, the more you give. Most coupons expire after four weeks.

Not only will you save money, but you can give back, too!

If you didn't get the coupons, watch an exclusive video from John Legend on Facebook where for each view, P&G will donate $.25 to CIS, up to $10,000.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


If we're friends on Facebook or you follow me on Twitter, you know I had a relatively minor surgery a week ago. My gall bladder was finally removed after almost weekly attacks and a being a nearly daily nuisance for nearly a year. 

You might have read my posts about my anxiety before the surgery. You might have even thought to yourself that I was overreacting. After all, a simple gall bladder surgery isn't a huge deal. 

I have to admit I was extremely nervous. I wasn't just afraid of complications. I counted on them. While I was told 95 percent of people were able to leave the same day of the surgery with only three or four small incisions, I counted on being in that 5 percent. 

This was partly because of what happened with Cora. When I enter a hospital, I always think about that last night with her. Sometimes I even replay the night in my head. I'm right back there. Cora was not healed in a hospital. They will always be related in my mind to death and dying. 

A few months after Cora died, my husband broke his ankle really badly. We were out of town and taken to the county hospital in a large urban area. The next almost two weeks were torture. The staff was rude. The hospital was dirty. His roommate was a stabbing victim that came and went from his room like it was a hotel. We were told a new story every few hours. At one point he was taken back for surgery and because of a communication break down, I eventually thought he died and was bawling in the hall way. We eventually checked out against medical advice. 

The hospital where I had my operation was the county hospital here. I flashed back to that experience and thought it would be repeated. I'd be left in pain for hours. My husband would be scared and in a hot packed waiting room. Besides also being a large county hospital, this hospital has other things in common with the hospital that mistreated my husband. Communication before surgery was extremely poor. I'd spent hours and hours in waiting rooms with broken air conditioning. The hospital just looks dirty. I wasn't confident in the surgeons I met. 

I was so petrified of being operated on there. 

We arrived at the hospital and after being admitted were lead to a nearly deserted, well air conditioned, and relatively comfortable waiting room. When I went back for the surgery, I wasn't alone until I went home for more than a couple minutes. 

It was like a new hospital. I liked all my doctors. Their bedside manner was so much better than any I'd met in clinic. And, there were a lot of them. I felt confident that if something went wrong, one of them would know what to do. 

I told them I was nervous, and they seemed to care. They were gentle. The last thing I remember before being put under was the anesthesiologist saying "We're going to take great care of you." I believed him. 

Two hours later and I was in recovery. I wasn't left to suffer and given everything I could possibly need to feel comfortable. The surgery went as well as it could. They even seemed to use some advance methods I hadn't heard about from friends and family that had the procedure at other hospitals. 

In recovery, I immediately could tell my gall bladder was gone. For months, it had ranged from a stabbing pain to a dull ache and when not in pain, I could always feel it there. Sorta like a baby's foot in my ribs. 

I was finally on the path to healing. 

I have a new experience with hospitals. It doesn't out weigh or forgive my awful experience. But, it does help me heal my hospital and doctor phobia. I remember that they're there to help. 

I remember there there to help me heal. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Change Your Homepage, Help Create Change for Girls

The following is a post sponsored by Yahoo! Every time someone clicks here to make Yahoo! their homepage, they're showing their support for Girls For A Change.

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

I'm a cause-driven blogger, meaning I'm always looking for ways to use my social networks and blogs to help, spread the word and create change. 

Today, I'm asking you to do something that takes only a few moments, but can help girls across the country and even internationally. 

When you change your homepage to Yahoo!, that company will donate $10 to Girls for Change, a nonprofit that  empowers girls. Yahoo! will donate up to $10,000 for anyone that does this by July 30. 

This is the first time I'd heard of Girls for Change, so I explored the group a bit. 

Girls for Change targets girls in low-income areas. From the website:
Today, in cities across the country, Girl Action Teams of approximately 10 girls and two volunteer women Coaches meet to identify an issue or problem that they want to impact. The Coaches then teach the girls essential project planning and execution skills to aid them in designing and implementing their social change project. Every year thousands of girls learn how to tackle community problems such as gang violence, low self-esteem, and environmental degradation.

I love everything about this mission, and really loved that I could help by just changing my homepage, and can urge others to do so too.

For the change of homepage to qualify, you must change your homepage using this link. It takes just a few moments.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dogs Do Not Equal Babies

Of all the topics I've blogged about here on Cora's Story, I've gotten the most hate mail and messages for standing up and saying that the loss of a dog is not the loss of a human baby. 

I'll probably get more messages after this. But, I'm firmly standing my ground on this one. Stop comparing the loss of your dog to the loss of my baby.

I lost a dog in my arms. I had her from fifth grade until college. I cried for days. We drove two hours to bury her. I still miss her. 

However, it's not even remotely the same as losing my baby. It hurts when people bring up their dog when I talk about my baby. It hurts other moms that lose children as well.

I'm not discounting the pain from losing a dog. Doesn't mean it hurts less, but it's not the same. 

It's frankly offensive, and I'm an animal lover. 

I blogged on this site several months ago about a Facebook event for losing children where someone wrote they were lighting a child for their dog and how that was upsetting. After that I post, I got angry messages, of course from people that have never lost children that I was wrong. 

A few days ago, I wrote a post on Cora's Story including ten things not to say when someone loses a baby. Comparing your loss to a pet's loss was one of those. 

Anonymous had this to say:

I think anonymous is pretty self centered. You cannot empathize when someone loses a child unless you've been there, so don't even try. It sounds like anonymous is telling people about losing their dog to make themselves feel better. Also, to post that on a person's blog that has lost a child is just rude. You have no right to disagree with me unless you've lost a child, and then I fully realize everyone is a bit different. 

I'm standing firm.

Losing a dog is nothing like losing a child and saying it is riles me up. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween memories

So I'm shamelessly entering to win a Canon Rebel camera from SITS. For those of you that haven't heard of SITS, it's a blogging community and great way to find other blogs.  Just to get that out of the way. :) This post is an entry. To win, I have to write about my best Halloween memory.

Cora is all that's on my mind these days, as you might imagine, so it's hard to reach back to past memories. I had one Halloween with Cora. I was pregnant with her last year. And, really pregnant! Entering my final month. I remembered dreaming of this year and the pumpkin patch.  

But, a particular memory stands out. For some reason, we decided to go somewhere in the middle of Trick or Treat. Ben said to sit the bowl of candy out on the porch. We gave away whole Hershey's bars that year because we knew we wouldn't have that many trick or treaters, and we'd bought a whole box from Sam's Club for my baby shower.

I was so shocked to come back and see some were gone, but not all of them. Ah. Life in a small town. Looks pretty nice especially compared to living here, where UPS packages are stolen off your front porch moments after their delivered. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Advocate

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
Winston Churchill

Someone, actually quite rudely, told me that they were annoyed by what I wrote, they rolled their eyes, that I didn't have to "advocate" for everything.

I can see how I might become "that girl." The fanatic always in arms about something.

In this case, I really don't care if I'm generalized.

I give voice to those without one.

I work to help the babies in Haiti, babies born with congenital heart defects, woman in Iran, or to support other mother's whose children died because I feel for them with my whole heart. I'm compassionate.

I'm even compassionate to the bratty person that said that. If they must sit back and judge someone else for speaking up, perhaps they feel voiceless? I get angered for a minute, but then feel nothing but compassion.

Let me be painted the wild fanatical blogger always taking up a new cause.

It's much better than the alternative, never sticking up for anything I believe in.

I've read the emails of the CHDs detected, the crutches delivered to a needy person in Haiti, and the eyes opened to the plight of the Iranian women because of what I do.

I embrace the criticism that I advocate too much.

It's what I do now. After what I went through, I can't close my eyes to the pain in the world anymore.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Makes Me Happy

I've mentioned before, it was about six months after Cora died before I could watch television, a few months after that until I could focus on a book again, and I'm just know starting to find happiness and joy in well, stuff, again.

I found this post on Epherriel Designs about what makes her happy, and after my late night Wizard of Oz scavengering  post the other day, decided for another search, of what makes me happy. 

I just recently discovered Mod Podge, this button from this blog says it

When we move, I'm making these invisible floating book shelves. They're so geeky, and they make me happy.

My husband surprising me with a massage? Makes me extremely happy. 

I've had a hidden obsession with nurseries for awhile now, just keeping it from everyone so I don't get the "so sad" looks and comments. They make me happy. 

Most of all, Cora's nursery, even though it's boxed up, given away, and torn down makes me happy. So many happy memories there. 

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