Might be trying to tell me something
by Karla ° Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Seriously Nate, do tell. How runny IS that nose of yours, exactly?

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FAQ
by Karla ° Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I’ve been wanting to add an FAQ section to this website for a very long time, but every time I sit down and try and sort through my email to come up with, oh, let’s say the top ten list of questions I've received, I get all down because do you know how hard it is to get emails almost every single day asking how Ava died. It’s not the reminder of her that’s hard, per se, but it’s not something I can bring myself to talk about day in and day out and day in and day out and to infinity and beyond.

Since starting this website, I have received over 1000 personal emails. I wholeheartedly have read, absorbed and kept every single letter I've received; even the negative ones because someone actually cared enough about something I’ve said to take the time and reach out, and that's gotta be worth something, right? Ok, that, and I am an email packrat and never delete anything.

Sometimes it’s just a letter to say Hi! I like you! And sometimes it’s a letter saying Hi! I’m glad your baby is dead! And that hurts, it really does, but I totally get that making my life an open book over here in this small corner of the Internet opens up a whole slew of opportunities for people to scrutinize and criticize tiny details of my life. At first it was hard to read that someone thinks I'm an irresponsible parent or that only drug users lose babies, but overtime I've grown a thicker skin and it's amazing how easy it is now to shrug and say, meh, whatev.

And then there are the incredibly heart-warming letters from those who have nothing but nice things to say and kindly share tiny morsels of their life with me, or those who’ve shared in similar experiences with infant death and miscarriage, or those who have taken something away from this website, even if it was just to stop what they were doing and give their children a great big hug. Somehow, someway, knowing that my life experiences have made someone appreciate more deeply what they have, even if for a fleeting moment, makes it all just that much more bearable, you know?

So, I guess this was a very long way to get to my point. And I do have one. Pinky Swear. If I was to put up an FAQ section, what kind of questions would you like to see me to answer? Is there anything about Karla and the ever-evolving Universe that you would like to know? I only took Introduction to Philosophy in college though, so please don’t ask me how to know if a Smurf is suffocating or if vegetarians can eat animals crackers, because people, that shit is way too deep for me.

Feel free to leave a comment or email me at karla [@] untanglingknots [dot] com.

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...but Daddy farts louder
by Karla ° Saturday, February 21, 2009
I swear having a toddler is like the craziest, most insanely entertaining trip in life, ever. Not a day goes by that I don’t have to stifle a giggle or leave the room to hide my face in a pillow and keel over from uncontrollable laughter over the fact that my kid told me I have a penis only minutes after we so totally established that girls have vaginas.

Just today Nate announced in a very crowded play room filled with coffee-drinking adults and hyped-on-juice toddlers that MOMMY TOOTS! And it wasn’t just like he could mention it in passing and I could, you know, pretend to ignore him. It was like THE MOST IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT EVER that needed to repeated over and over and over. I finally said yes, but but Daddy toots louder! I am so all about The Diversion.

And just a few hours ago, after Nate woke up from his nap, Mark and I were sitting with him on the sofa eating a snack and while we were having this really great family moment, we tried to teach Nate the concept of a middle name and a last name. This worked well except for the fact that Nate decided his full name is Nathan SpongeBob.

This kind of reminds me of my cousin, who, after seeing a picture of my long-haired Father during his teenage hippie years asked, “Is that a picture of Paul when he was a girl?”

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The way to a woman's heart
by Karla ° Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I have something very important to announce. Something extraordinary happened last weekend and I’m pretty sure that if I don’t document the momentous occasion I will wake up next week and think it was all just a fantasy.

People, I have known Mark for over half of my life and have been sleeping with him for almost just as long and aside from the occasional hang-over peanut butter saturated bagel he’s made for me, the man has never ever, not even once cooked me a meal. I know! Let me clarify something about this situation though. I am perhaps the world’s pickiest eater. Worse than a toddler really, except for the part where I eat all of my vegetables, you know, as long as they weren’t cooked near, on or beside a meat product. And if you think that sounds crazy, you should see me in a restaurant or when I order a take-out sandwich and ask someone to change their gloves please and thank you because dear god those gloves probably touched MEAT!

I’m pretty sure this confession totally classifies me as legally insane and overly anal. I know this because you should see how many times people have rolled their eyes at me. But suffice it to say, my avoidance of meat, and Mark’s avoidance of vegetables plus the addition of a new life into our family means that over the years, Mark and I have moulded our relationship into a comfortable harmony of compromise and that means he is the breadwinner and does not have to touch vegetables and I am the spender, er, I mean, investor of our money and cooker of food and picker upper of his man socks.

Anyway, back to last weekend. Mark asked me what I wanted to do for Valentine’s Day and to be totally honest; I don’t get too wrapped up in this kind of holiday. Or any holiday for that matter, except for Christmas. If it was up to me, I’d leave a Christmas tree up in my house all year long. But birthdays? Meh. I’d rather someone take me for good conversation and a soy latte rather than eat a slice of cake. And instead of a dozen roses, I’d rather one hour alone to soak in bathtub overflowing with gossamer apple-scented bubbles that are not tainted with toddler pee. And then maybe a sensual massage by someone with strong man hands. Or a foot rub.

Oh! Right! Last weekend. So Mark asked what I wanted for Valentine’s Day and I told him that I would be totally smitten if he cooked me dinner. And then he froze and asked what I would like to eat and I played coy and was all, you know, whatev, food.

And man oh man did his meal ever impress. The man who does not eat vegetables unless it is broccoli covered in cheese and that is only maybe sometimes/never a) came home from the grocery store shaking his head wondering how a bevy of multi-coloured peppers and bok choy costs more than a giant box of hamburgers and b) made me a meal that was perhaps the most delish cashew-infused stir fry that I have eaten in my entire life.

And then! And then! For dessert, since he knows I don’t love pastry or overly sweet sugar-laced treats he bought sumptuously plump fresh berries to dip in the most creamy and tasty organic strawberry yogurt I have ever tasted and served them to me from a wide-brimmed crystal wine glass.

And they say the way to a man’s heart is through is stomach. My still goose-bumped woman skin begs to differ.

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Because it has been a while since I posted a picture
by Karla ° Friday, February 13, 2009

Nate, looking alarmingly less and less like a cherub-cheeked toddler and more and more like a rosy-cheeked young man.

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Not what you think
by Karla ° Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I bought some new jewellery at H&M yesterday, came home and dropped it on the dining room table. After feeding Nate and putting him to bed I cooked dinner and while Mark casually chewed on a piece of grilled chicken, I could see his eyes glancing back and forth between my necklace and his plate. Finally, after a long pause he asked, “Are those anal beads?”

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25 Things
by Karla ° Monday, February 9, 2009
1. I change my pillow case Every. Single. Night. The thought of my face sleeping on yesterday’s hair products kind of wigs me out.

2. Same goes for dish rags. I use a new one every day.

3. It’s coming up on 18 years now that I’ve been a vegetarian.

4. And it’s been even longer since I’ve eaten eggs.

5. I have several of my very own dishes that meat is not allowed to be cooked in.

6. I spent 12 years of my life as a smoker. I haven’t smoked in almost six years and sometimes the cravings are still overwhelming.

7. I spent 13 years of my life with an eating disorder.

8. I once made a very horrible and hormonally irrational mistake as a teenager and tried to commit suicide.

9. While being rushed to the hospital, I saw “the light” and a several gray silhouette-like shadows waving me towards it. That image has forever been burned into the depth of my mind.

10. I am turning 30 this year and have been with Mark for over half of my life.

11. I was never good at math but for some reason I can calculate sales tax in my head.

12. Growing up I always wanted to be a writer but somewhere along the way the vibrations of the Universe shifted me off course and I fell in love with rocks and minerals and the earth’s magnetic field. And computers.

13. I was put on life support for the birth of my first child and she is the one that did not live.

14. I have a daughter. Her name is Ava. And her memory is reminder every time I see my reflection in the mirror.

15. While miscarrying my second pregnancy, a woman came up to me, opened my hands and delicately draped a pink rosary between my fingers. Holding my hands in hers, she looked me right in the eye and told me that one day I would have beautiful children, and then folded my hands around her prayer beads and left. I have carried that rosary with me everywhere I go and I panic if it is not with me.

16. I have a son. His name is Nathan and he looks just like me and acts just like his father.

17. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, like, often.

18. I like soup, like, a lot.

19. I’ve been wearing the same perfume for over ten years. Clinique, Happy.

20. I own a giant yellow dog with a flatulence problem and two cats. Together, my cats have three eyes and one of them is stupidly fat and ornery and the other one is freakishly thin and cuddly and dying from kidney failure.

21. I have weird toes. They are long and skinny and crocked from years of being shoved into pointy heeled shoes. Ironically, I have never had braces and my teeth are straight.

22. I only had bottom wisdom teeth. My dentist told me that is a sign of the evolutionary advancement of humans. I just liked the drugs.

23. I am a perfectionist, to a fault.

24. My wedding ring was custom made with seven diamonds to reflect the seven years that Mark and I dated before we got married. The diamonds are not perfectly aligned and I prefer it that way because one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs has a verse that says, “There is crack in everything and that is how the light gets in.” I think that is quite profound and holds a lot of truth.

25. I asked Mark to help me with the final number and all he had to offer was that I have the best husband in the whole entire world. I must admit, I concur.

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Ill
by Karla ° Friday, February 6, 2009
Our family has been plagued with illness. But not all at the same time. No, that would just be too easy for everyone to be sick all at once and done with it, right?

THE ILLNESS started a few days ago when Nate, feeling unsettled, spent the night snuggled up under my chin. I don’t mind co-sleeping. In fact, I quite like being able to place my hand on his tiny chest and feel the gentle rise fall of his peaceful slumber by my side. But what I do mind is when he wakes up at 4:00 AM. And because I am conveniently, like, RIGHT THERE, he thinks it is also a convenient time to demand milk. And friends, once Nate decides he wants milk, the Universe could blast off into a black hole of of anti-gravity and perpetual darkness and he would still be all, "milk?”

Bleary-eyed from only five hours of sleep, I wrapped Nate in his blankie, scooped him up in my arms and headed downstairs so that Mark could sleep. We snuggled up on the sofa together, eyes glued to the glow of cartoons when I decided that while Mark slept, Nate and I would would go and watch the sun rise together over a winter-calmed lake of frozen ice and snow.

Rising to put on pot of coffee, I was very suddenly hit with a horrible wave of nausea and an immediate need to begin a love affair with a porcelain throne. And just as quickly, the rising fever and full-body chills set in. I don’t even remember the last time I’ve had a fever like that let alone threw up so much that stomach bile came thisclose to burning a new hole in my nose. I know! For the visual? You’re welcome.

A nice side effect of being sick is all the sleep. I mean, despite feeling like a bag of shit, sleeping for 12 straight hours was pretty much bliss wrapped in a blanket. At least until Nate got sick. And the cats started throwing up. And Mark.

And I don’t know what it is with 4:00 AM around here, but that is the time on Thursday morning that I woke to the sound of Samson hurling a massive pile of chicken by-product and mush on the floor beside me.

I didn't realize illness could cross species. Is that really possible?

I have no idea why our entire house is so ill but while our family rehydrates and recovers, I would like to direct you to my very good friend’s new blog. Beth guest posted here for me last month while I was away and has since become addicted to blogging and finishing telling the story that she started.

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Pocket full of kisses
by Karla ° Monday, February 2, 2009
I’ve been staring at my computer screen for days silently willing my fingers to type…something for Pete’s sake. God, Karla, eff? Since when can you not find words?

I think my mind is still stuck on a velvet Caribbean shoreline where talcum-soft sand caressed my toes. A place where I witnessed the dawn of a new day unfold under the graceful arc of a rising sun. A place where the weather was so divine that I had to call management, oh, only once or twice to remove a cloud from the sky.

And the night sky. Oh the night sky. Mark and I stood in absolute blackness, hands embraced above the quiver of a rippling tide in complete awe at the endless firmament of a million glittering diamonds in the sky.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to be home. God how I missed Nate and his endless penchant for milk and the sweetness of his bedtime kisses and insistence that I keep them in my pocket. I kind of even missed cleaning his ketchup-laced fingerprints off of my white cupboards. Also? Man it's nice that Mark and I can return to our regularly scheduled programming of blaming mystery smells on the dog.

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