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Remember Me???

Hey!  Remember me?

Yeah, it’s been a while.  I know.  Things have been a little crazy hectic here.  But we finally got everything moved out of the old house and into our new home (and the garage and shed).  No, we aren’t actually unpacked yet…  but I’m making slow progress.

We have our computer/crafting nook set up.  Which, let’s face it, is of prime importance in this family – and I’d suspect many more others than will admit to it.  The girl has already been busy at work both on the computer and sitting at her own little craft station, making all sorts of things.

The girl’s bedroom is MOSTLY set up.  For now her mattress is on the floor and she does have some boxes still that need unpacking.  She has usable space though, and her clothes are all accessible in her closet.  So I’m happy with where we’re at there (for now).

We moved in our little antique “three bears” kitchen table and chairs yesterday so finally got to use them.  If you remember way back when, I blogged about them when we first bought them.  🙂  They’re super cute, but I’ll be honest…  while their style fit in perfectly at our old place?  They don’t match quite as well here.  So I’m open for suggestions on how to paint/stain/refinish them to help them blend a little better in a European kitchen.

Our bedroom is partially put together.  Still a long way to go in here…  but we have a bed, a closet, and a tv (as well as a butt load of boxes).  I know it will come together yet, but yeah.  Our room isn’t exactly the priority.

The bathroom requires some work…  new tub, new vanity, new counter top, new light fixture(s), new floor.  Honestly?  I think the only things I’m okay with keeping are the toilet and the sink.  So we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us in there.

So yeah…  exhausted.  But I am slowly putting things together.

Damon had taken the last two weeks off to help pack up the old place, move, and get started on the unpacking.  Today was his first day back at work.  It feels kinda odd not having him around.  I’d gotten used to it.

Today was also the first day I used my new key fob for our alarm system.  I’ve never had an alarm system, so it does take some getting used to.  Gotta get in the habit of pushing those buttons when I’m supposed to.  LOL

Today the girl had her school photo retakes too.  And yes, I’m sure this one will turn out MUCH better.  She was just too darn busy playing with her friends in line to want to bother with the picture last time.  Where today it was just her in the room, so it went much easier.

Further, today marks the International Day of Remembrance.  A couple years ago I had organized a candlelight vigil down at the memorial bandshell beside the North Saskatchewan River.  This year I’ll mark it quietly at home with my family.  And I do ask that those of you who aren’t doing something en mass do the same.  Just take a moment to remember all those amazing people who lost their lives simply for having the courage to live authentically.  It is simply not right that so very many *trans women and men are murdered EVERY YEAR for being themselves.  It is so beyond a time for change.  Some Women have penises, and some Men have a vagina – get over it.  People should not have to die because they don’t fit into some other persons idea of what “man” or “woman” means.  My *trans sisters and brothers are incredible, strong, brave, compassionate individuals and they should not have to fear for their safety every time they leave their homes.  So yes, if you do nothing else, take a few minutes out of your day to remember the many, many men and women who have been brutally murdered for the crime of being who they genuinely are.

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We love our community school!

We missed the meet your teacher night this year because the girl had her very first ballet class that evening – but we already know Ms. Wolfmueller anyway.  We are there every day after all, I’m a classroom volunteer, so hang out with the kids and Amanda on Thursdays.  So when we showed up for school on Wednesday, we were given a lovely little gift bag all the families received the night before.

The effort that was put into these gift bags just further demonstrates why we love our school.  Such thoughtful gifts for us to share, and completely unexpected and appreciated:

A hand stamped gift bag, a recipe for apple muffins, an apple with a poem tied onto it, a notepad, and a magnet with the school’s contact information.

We really do love the girl’s school.  We started kid-kid there because we loved their pre-k program, Rhonda and Tracy are amazing, and the kids all adore them.  But we continued there because of the real sense of community and belonging found throughout the school.

There are kids from all sorts of families, it’s a wonderfully diverse student body. Diversity is both celebrated and embraced in such a lovely way.  The school participates in the Day of Pink, and I plan to encourage participation in Wear Purple day this year too.  The administration team is fabulous, and well…  we really do love Mayfair Community School.

Parents are teachers too.

 

Roo Watch 2012:  Roo has been cool, calm and collected.  No signs of early labour.  She’s due on the 29th… so far so good.  🙂

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day folk! Hope your celebrations were fun and safe. Here are a couple snapshots I snagged with my iPhone during the concert at the community stage here in Saskatoon. That’s the girlie dancing, my Dad (Blaine Yandt) on bass, and Mike (a family friend) on guitar.

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A2Z – Removing Stigma while Reintegrating Socially

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Removing Stigma while Reintegrating Socially

So yeah…  it’s Friday, and here I am… blogging.  I know, I know.  I don’t blog on Fridays.  But I’m breaking my rule tonight with a double letter post.  That’s right, here we are with R and S…  and all so that T will fall on the 21st.  LMAO  Not sure why that’s important?  Well, just make sure you come back tomorrow.  😉  Now, onto Removing Stigma while Reintegrating Socially!

I’ll admit, I’ve never had to come out to my family and friends as being a different sex or gender than I was assigned with at birth.  For that?  I feel very blessed.  I can only imagine how difficult it would be, and how brave you would have to be.  Coming out to yourself, and finding who you are when it doesn’t match who you’ve been told you are takes courage, but then going even further and coming out to everyone who knew the OLD you?  That takes big freakin’ brass balls.  And I have SOOO much respect and admiration for all of my Trans brothers and sisters.  It’s hard enough to live authentically in our world, but to live authentically when you face that type of obstacle?  It takes someone who is amazing: amazing, incredible, and fierce!

After all that?  Well, the good news?  Stigma just falls away when you get to that point.  When you are ready to take your life back and live for YOURSELF?  Your TRUE self?  Then anyone who matters will be so in awe of everything you went through to get there that the only thing there will be LOADS of freakin’ respect.

No, that doesn’t mean it will be all roses.  There are going to be asses in your life that will make things hard, and they may even make you question everything you’ve lived through up until that point…  but cling to the fact that you are amazing, and that you DESERVE to be yourself.  You have a right to live the truth, to be who you are, and to do so surrounded by people who get just how long of a journey authenticity can be.  So forget the h8rs, you don’t need them, and be gentle with those who are trying (but may occasionally misuse a pronoun or old name) they’re worth the reminders.  It won’t be easy, but once you get there it is SOOO worth it.

Nothing but love!

And know you aren’t alone.  If you are in Saskatchewan, check out TransSask at http://www.transsask.org/ and if not, check out some of the resources listed in my A2Z Community post.  Building a community of people who love and support you is one of the best things you can do for yourself!

A2Z – Community

blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - community

 

One of the very best things you can do for yourself is to build community.  Having a “family by choice” will provide you with the supports we all need and don’t always get after coming out to our family by blood.  Even in those instances where your family is fabulous and supportive, it always helps to have a community of people who really understand what you are going through and who have either been there, or are currently right with you.

The internet is an amazing resource when it comes to finding a sense of community.  These days, even individuals with severe, life-limiting anxiety disorders can still find others and build camaraderie.  We can find a global community, always ready and waiting thanks to things like email lists, online forums, and FB groups.  But I do encourage you to also seek out local individuals, because there are times when we all need to reach out and actually FEEL another person whom we can trust and know will be there for us.

Here in Saskatoon I can’t recommend the ACC any more highly than I already do.  They run a number of excellent programs for individuals of almost every age range in almost every situation.  You can find them online at http://avenuecommunitycenter.ca/.  PFLAG is also another amazing resource, and there are branches all over North America.  Check them out at http://www.pflagcanada.ca/ and http://pflag.org/.  For those of you in high school, talk to your guidance counselor to find out if there is a GSA you can join.  And for more information on resources in your neck of the woods, check out http://www.gaystraightalliance.org/ which includes a directory that is world wide.

There is no reason to feel you have to go it alone.  You aren’t alone.  Far from it!  No matter how you identify, even if you aren’t sure how exactly you fit into the whole spectrum, you can be sure there are others out there just like you.  And now you’ve got some tools to help you find them.

A Starfish in Our Family Bed

I don’t know about you, but I love the “crappy pictures” blog.  It’s a pretty good look inside life as a parent, and has a way of capturing those moments you need to laugh about so you don’t start crying.  LOL  One particular drawing that I picture quite often, that I first saw ages ago now… or, well…  what feels like ages ago in Mommy to a young child time, can be found here:  http://crappypictures.com/2011/06/what-it-is-like-to-not-sleep-at-night-illustrated-with-crappy-pictures.html

Now, I have that link set to open in a new window.  So go take a peek if you haven’t seen it before, and then get your butts back here for the rest of my blog post.  I’ll wait.

See?  This is me waiting.

Are you finished yet?

How about now?

Just about done?

Alrighty then.

Back to me.  😉

Well, when the kid fell asleep last night, as usual I wrote my blog post…  it was pretty boring, but it had been a “sick day” and my brain was pretty much toast.  The girl was still sick today, but I actually got to have a small bath break in the evening while her Daddy and her each played games on their respective mobile devices, next to one another, in the same room, rather than playing WITH one another (I wasn’t going to complain, I needed the break).  Okay, now I’m getting off topic (seriously, I hadn’t had a mommy-only bath in MONTHS, it was SOOOO good…  just me and the only grown up reading material I could find – a Readers Digest from last year).  LOL

Okay, so anyway…  After writing in my blog, the Daddy and I turned on a couple of episodes of Community to wind down for the night.  It wasn’t long before THIS happened:

What it looks like when a four and a half year old "starfishes" across the family bed.

What it looks like when a four and a half year old "starfishes" across the family bed.

And yes…  that is the kid, taking up the entire top half of our family bed.  So, while Amber so perfectly illustrated the baby starfish in her crappy pictures blog, this is what it’s looks like when a four and a half year old starfishes across the entire family bed.

Gotta love it!

“Aggravated Homosexuality” may be punishable by death in Uganda.

amnesty international rainbow

 

I’m still out sick, officially, but this couldn’t wait:

The Ugandan Parliament is currently looking at a bill that would allow the death penalty for something called “aggravated homosexuality”.  Sexual Minority and Gender Variant people in Uganda already face a dangerous rode, as Uganda is one of the few nations where homosexuality is illegal.  Please take a minute to write to the Prime Minister, urging him to NOT pass this bill during their upcoming session.

Action must be taken immediately, with a deadline of April 2nd.  So please, please take a moment to write a brief email or to send (with guaranteed delivery prior to the second) a letter to the Hon. Amama Mbabzi.

Facing judicial punishment for simply BEING is a human rights travesty, but the idea that an individual could be put to death for love?  There are no words that are adequate.

 

Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi

Office of the Prime Minister

P.O. Box 341, Kampala, Uganda

E-mail: opm@imul.com

For more information on this bill, and other human rights issues, please visit Amnesty International at http://www.amnesty.org/ and http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR59/001/2012/en/fa2f38d6-dc7e-44cc-b295-5016f57154c5/afr590012012en.html

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