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Bouncing with Baby-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan      Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #20

My good friend and writing partner, Sandra, checked in yesterday to see if I was staying up to date on our blog and manuscript and to see how my bounce is coming along with the recent addition of our long awaited newborn baby girl…..

Dear Sandra,

Thank goodness I made it into e-mail and yours was there this morning…..I mean this afternoon……You made my day…..

You asked how things are going ….I’m completely and utterly exhausted…Pretty excited though because I did devote two minutes to a shower this morning…..(To peel off 2-3 days worth of motherhood)

Jim’s with baby Emerson at the cardiologist (heart murmur) and he had to bring 2 year old Torren along as well (home sick with a fever and cough)…..I just made it downstairs to my office to work and my ears are ringing because of the sweet sound of silence…..

You would think that by 10 at night, Jim and I would crash and get some shut eye before the newborn all night party begins…..But we are so tired and buzzing from barely making it through another day, that all we can do is crawl to the couch, huddle together in the fetal position and have a glass (or 2…or 3) of wine……..Sometimes we talk about how tomorrow we will be more organized, more awake, more capable of keeping up with our reality….

I have to admit I’m feeling pretty old these days……Emme’s up every hour or two all night……Jim & I take turns……At a birth weight of 4 pounds, 10 ounces, she eats and poops constantly so we are constantly filling her up or cleaning up the leftovers….Our little girl does not like to be messy)…….In spite of the schedule, she is the sweetest baby ever and we have completely fallen in love with her……(even though we have only seen her with glazed over, comatose and closing eyes). 

Cannot manage to keep the house even remotely clean……(I would even settle for straightened….or walk able pathways)… Sigh…..  I am back to drinking my own pot of coffee each day…..and sneaking in 10 minute power naps here and there….Still trying to cook and serve real food so we really don’t completely go off the deep end health wise… but it’s a challenge and energy reserves are at a low and time is at a premium…….

I know this will pass…..Our beautiful blessing, .Emme, has been here a month already…..We received the phone call that she had arrived on a Wednesday afternoon at 4pm….We visited her, stopped on the way home that night for newborn baby essentials and brought her home from the hospital the next day……Life is funny that way….Timing can be perfect and imperfect all at the same time….Emme’s arrival just happened to coincide with the first day of school for 6 of our kids, Collin’s last football season, gymnastics x4, horse lessons x1, dance lessons x2, swimming lessons x4 and new school x 5…..Yawn….There I’m done ranting……Just let me guzzle the last of my cold, strong coffee and I will be good to go… The caffeine is going to kick in any minute now…….any minute……any minute now…….

Thanks for asking about the family….All is fine here except for the plague that has enveloped our domicile!!!!  Ugh…6 out of 12 kids are ill…A trip to the pediatrician confirmed that a virus is the culprit…..Doc assured me that antibiotics won’t help and that everyone should be fine in the next 10-14 DAYS?!?!?!?!?!?!  WHAT?!?!!?!?!!

Our instructions are to not let anyone drink from the same cup, eat from the same bowl, share utensils, share towels or kiss each other……..Haaahaahaaahaa GASP……No problem…..sigh…..I have often wondered how a child size human body can produce so MUCH in the way of body by-products when little ones are sick…..Tissue anyone?????

Well Sandra, thanks again for checking in…… Love to you and your family……. I’ll check back in with a bounce update once I peel myself off of the formula and fruit juice soaked floor…..No, I didn’t fall, it just looked so comfortable …..and I thought just a few minutes wouldn’t hurt….

Love & Hugs,

Danee

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

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Love Hurts-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan      Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #19

I’m in the shower and I can feel the water streaming over my head and soon, the tears are running down my cheeks as well.  I cover my face with my hands.  I start sobbing and I can’t stop.  This happens often and without warning. I’m sad and so tired.

It was a summer day last year when my Mom and I sat side by side in a small doctor’s office.  Mom had been experiencing some pain in her chest while sleeping and her doctor ran some tests and asked that she come in for the results.  It took all of 20 seconds to hear the news.  My Mom had lung cancer…..A large inoperable tumor in her lung. 

The young, healthy, intelligent doctor spoke softly.  He said he was sorry and asked if we had any questions (was he serious?????).  Then he gave us the name of a local oncologist. 

The next six months are a blur of daily chemo & radiation treatments, needles, side effects,  medicines, blood counts, wheelchairs, hair loss, weight loss, tears, sleepless nights, exhausting days, receptionists, radiologists, nurses, surgeons, volunteers, home health nurses, hospice and hundreds of other cancer patients who were on the same journey. 

Initially, Mom was completely in shock.  She no longer even remotely resembled our rock and matriarch.  In a split second she evolved into a lost, scared woman facing her own mortality.  Mom was in denial and angry and pretty sure that this was all a mistake.  At first, she spent much of her time trying to figure out how the cancer got into her body.  She would explain to me and others (sometimes multiple times a day) that the cancer probably started because of some new carpeting installed in her apartment or from the dampness on the walls after she showered or because of a piece of asbestos that she had wrapped around her father’s muffler once when she was 14. 

Our entire family was in shock too.  My brother and I talked daily about Mom and what was ahead.  We arranged our schedules around Mom’s needs.  Like it so often can and does…..Life changed drastically in an instant.  I was angry…..And sad….And frustrated too….But mostly, I was scared. 

As I sobbed in the shower, I told my Mom how much I missed her and how much I loved her. 

I let my tears flow.  I sobbed deep sobs.  I let myself feel the pain and sadness through my soul.  I assured myself that I should feel sad.  I lost my Mom.  I miss my Mom.  It’s OK to cry.  It’s mandatory to cry. I have to cry to get through this.  My feelings need to be heard.  They have a voice and something to say.  I owe it to my Mom, my family and to myself to listen.

I turned off the water and thought about how crazy life is. Disgustingly crazy.  It’s crazy that time marches on… even when we just can’t….It’s crazy that death is inevitable, and yet we all struggle with the finality of it……And  it’s crazy that in the end, we all have to say goodbye.

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

Reflections-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan      Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #18

Not so good choices I made during my times of pain and sadness…..

 

  • Overindulged-Take your pick…..Food, drink, shopping etc…
  • Deprived myself of sleep, exercise, nutrition etc
  • Thought that everyone else wanted to hear about what I was going through…Ugh.
  • Ignored the feelings that scared me or were too painful to accept
  • Acted like I was OK- But didn’t fool anybody
  • Convinced myself I didn’t care
  • Wallowed in self pity and self defeat
  • Perfected negative self talk at times
  • Blamed myself for too long
  • Blamed everyone else for too long
  • Pushed myself to recover when I hadn’t gone through the steps I needed to
  • Said crazy things out loud…(Instead of just thinking them in my head)
  • Shared too much of my pain with my kids even though I tried not to
  • Had unrealistic expectations
  • Focused on negatives instead of positives
  • Lost control of the control freak…Yikes…..
  • Thought others would/could save me

 

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

 

Reflections-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan      Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #17

Good choices I made during my times of pain and sadness…..

 

  • Woke up and pulled myself out of bed each day
  • Kept moving
  • Listened to myself….Really listened.
  • Took care of my kids….Learned to take care of myself
  • Learned from the experiences of others as well as my own
  • Went to a therapist
  • Leaned on friends and family for support
  • Did not lean on my children for support
  • Dredged up deep feelings….Made myself feel them
  • Allowed myself time to be angry, to be sad and to mourn
  • Made time for physical activity….Eventually
  • Got rid of negative, emotionally draining people in my life that didn’t make me feel good
  • Gave myself permission to be OK being me
  • Tapped into the creative my creative side
  • Brought back activities/hobbies that I used to do that made me feel good (art, writing, music, gardening etc)
  • Got real about expectations
  • Learned about and practiced positive self talk
  • Assured myself that one day I would feel better
  • Became my best friend

 

 

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.  

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

Choices-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #16

I was at a funeral of a 15 year old who was killed in a car accident.  The boy was a close friend of my son.  The pain and sadness of his parents, family and friends was deafening.  It was a very profound experience for me.  I imagined myself in his mother’s shoes.  How does this woman feel?  How does she get out of bed in the morning?  How does she sleep at night?  I imagined losing my child. How would I feel?  Would I ever survive?   A few years later I had the devastating experience of losing a child.  Although circumstances were very different, my pain was just as real.

At the cemetery, hundreds of people stood in silence as this child’s casket was lowered into the ground.  His mother and father stood side by side with their surviving children and wept.  It was softly at first but then their mournful voices began to echo from the depths of their soul.  It was the saddest sound I have ever heard in my life.  Broken parents saying goodbye to their beloved son, holding each other, shaking and sobbing deeply.  I will never forget the moment as long as I live.

During the service, the pastor had told the story of a mother who had lost her child.  The woman was inconsolable.  God asked the woman what she would have chosen for herself if given the choice-

If she knew up front that she would have the gift of this beautiful child in her life.  If she knew up front how the love she would have for this child would be like no other.  If she knew up front that she could have this child but only for a certain amount of time. If she knew up front that when this child left this world, it would be the deepest and most painful experience of her life. 

God asked her, if given the choice, what she would have chosen….. 

Would she still choose to have this child, love this child and share her life with this child even if she knew it would be for a short time?  Would she still choose to parent this child knowing that the pain of separation, when the time came, would be excruciating? 

I often wonder if we had the chance to decide up front to live our lives…..Even if we knew what was in store for us, the happiness and the pain, would we still choose to live it?

 

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

The Art of Listening-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #15

 

Reach inside yourself and dip deeply into your thoughts and emotions.  You have to sink in like into a sweet, soft mattress….Let yourself feel and acknowledge the fact that you have feelings… right or wrong….good or bad…..scary or overwhelming….They exist.

I’ve had some crazy feelings during my painful times.  Some that I am ashamed to mention.  Some that scared me then…(and still do)…And I’m sure, some that would scare you if I shared them….What I’ve decided is that I cannot control my feelings….They are what they are. 

What I can and should control is what I do with those feelings.  How I react or don’t react to them.  How I manage them.  How I think about what they tell me. How I use them to learn more about myself. How I need to accept their existence so that I can move on and recover.

In the beginning phase of recovery, I feel it’s important to just feel.  Try not to worry about if it’s OK to feel a certain way…..Try not to analyze what you are feeling…Try not to change what you are feeling….those things will come.  Just listen to yourself.  Feel but don’t act or react immediately.

Part of recovery is getting in touch with yourself.  You have been injured.  With an emotional injury you may not see the bruise or blood physically, but your pain exists and it is real.  Just like you would clean a wound, bandage it and give it time to heal, your emotions deserve and require the same kind of attention.

 

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

 

Control Freak- By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #14

Let’s talk about control.  I like control.  I’m assuming you like control as well. Although most of us don’t like to admit it….It makes us feel better to control things.  It gives us a sense of order, security and power.  The problem is that the control freak within us tends to gain strength & momentum when we are feeling that our lives feel the most out of control and we feel the worst about ourselves.

My life and environment have been out of control on many occasions.  And of course, each time I tried harder to control it all.  The part that can get us into trouble is trying to control our feelings, control others and control the things that are and should be out of our control.  You know what I’m talking about.

My personal observation is that it is much easier (and far less emotionally risky) to focus on controlling everyone else than it is to feel and acknowledge our sadness and anger.  To experience our emotions and really give them the attention they deserve is hard work and it is exhausting.  So we tend to do something a bit less taxing…..Control others and whatever else we can focus on.  I get it. 

Maybe there is some sense of satisfaction making others bend to our will, but it’s a short term fix……and sure to backfire.  We can’t and shouldn’t control our kids, relatives, friends, enemies, neighbors, co workers, the world…..etc etc.  This is a one way ticket to frustration land….There is no way out and no way to “win”.  We find ourselves consumed with anger wandering around wondering why people can’t just do what we think they should do, when we want them to do it, the way that we think is best. 

Oh please…..Get over it.

 

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com