Saturday, January 17, 2009

Q & A, January 2009 Edition

So basically, I do a question and answer session when either:

a) I’ve actually received enough questions in the comment section to make it worthwhile, or

b) I can’t think of anything else to write, or

c) In this case, am still feeling discouraged and sad about Zach and figure this beats trying to write anything original or cute or funny or pink fuzzy heart-ish.
So, with that in mind, here we go!

Monica H of Texas asks: “Does Barley have a middle name?”

Yes, Monica, in keeping with our beer theme, because we are the epitome of class and dignity, her full name is Barley Stout Escoe. I’m sure Westminster Prissy Dog Show will be calling any day.

Becca asks: “If you decide not to surrogate again, could you possibly volunteer at an agency or something? Be involved in some other way?”

Becca, I actually help manage an online group (and I say that as tongue in cheek as possible, because the group pretty much runs itself) for surrogates and intended moms living in Texas and Oklahoma. It’s an awesome group of about thirty ladies that I stumbled across six or so years ago and they’ve put up with my bullshit ever since. I don’t know how much help I actually offer others, but I’ve made some good friends there, and it helps keep me involved in the world of surrogacy until I decide what my own future holds.

Sandie in the Midwest asks: “Could you be some sort of mentor to others who are thinking of becoming a surrogate or to a family who might want one? Write about your experiences? I see a book deal....”

Sandie, I actually considered this a long time ago, writing about my journey from infertility patient, to foster parent, to adoptive parent, to biological parent, to surrogate. I was going to title it: Any Way I Can Get Them. (Dibs! I totally dibs that title if anyone else is reading this and wants to use it themselves!!) To be honest, however, if I were really going to invest the energy in finding a publisher, or learning anything about the world of book-writing and how to get something published, I think I’d try to do something with the 900 pages of Caringbridge journal that chronicle my daughter’s leukemia treatment. Ummmm, anyone know any publishers? Or how you go about cold-submitting a book? Because it sits in a drawer, mocking me, day after day, as I do nothing.

Mamasita asks: “Have you thought about being an egg donor?”

Let me say first of all that I admire and appreciate anyone who can give a gift as selfless as that. I whole-heartedly endorse egg donation and freely acknowledge it has helped make thousands of people parents who might not otherwise have become so. But, with that out of the way …. Ummmm …. No. It’s not for me. I think going through so many years of fertility treatments, in all honesty, made me greedy and selfish. We worked so long and hard to try and get pregnant, that I just can’t bring myself to consider it. Much like I would not be willing to consider traditional surrogacy. Now, without a doubt, I feel like a hypocrite saying that, when I consider the gift Brayden’s birth mother gave us. But if I'm being honest, it's the way that I feel. And, to be even more honest, no one would want my eggs, considering my age. Most clinics will only take egg donors up to 27, I believe. My shriveled up raisin-ovaries probably wouldn’t accomplish much at this stage in my life, anyway.

Claire in Indiana wrote: “Kristie - This is so totally off the subject, but I'm trying to find a Wal-Mart song and I'm 99% sure it was the background music on your site at one time and I can't find it where. It was a hysterical song about filling our carts with junk we don't need, etc. Does that ring a bell? Somehow I just need to hear that song again. “

Claire, yes, that is probably the second-most played song on my ipod when my kids are in the car, right behind Weird Al’s Ebay song. I found it on itunes and I believe the singer’s name is David Stephens. Good luck --- it’s really hysterical! “Oh, you might get robbed, you might get shot, and that’s just the Wal-Mart parking lot.”

Gina asks: “How's the rental house doing? Last I remember you were putting in a dishwasher for the soon-to-be tenant. Is the tenant working out okay?”

Gina, the short answer is, things are working out fine. Thankfully, no exploding water heaters or leaking roofs or sewage problems. The longer answer is, your question allows me to talk briefly (Briefly? ha! When am I ever brief??) about a struggle I’ve been having on this site ever since we moved back home --- privacy. Not mine, Lord knows I am pretty much willing to blab *most things* about me all over the internet. It’s the struggle I’m having with other people’s privacy, and the fact local people here read this site. A perfect example, regarding your specific question, is that our renter’s kids go to school with my kids. In fact, were in the same homeroom class as them last year. I know my renter doesn’t read this blog, but if I were to write anything about her, other people who *do* know her and her kids would read it … she’s not some anonymous tenant. Know what I mean?

There have been other issues I have not felt comfortable writing about because (and I learned this lesson while I was blogging in Georgia) word is pretty much guaranteed to get back to whoever you wrote about. Sometimes even if you don’t them. I’m also worried about tainting the opinions of others. For example, one of my kids (and I won’t say which) had a friend spend the night quite some time ago. A few days later, I noticed inappropriate internet sites bookmarked on my computer. Once I got over my shock and anger, and dealt appropriately with my child, I probably could have spun that into a funny story to share with you all. (Oh, look! Online porn! That's hysterical!!) But that child’s mother is locally online (J, if you’re reading this, it was NOT M!) and even if the mom never read it, people who know the child would. And I could be all “child X” or whatever, but come on. It’s a small town and people know who my kids’ friends are …. It wouldn’t take much for someone to figure it out.

I don’t feel comfortable complaining about anything that happens at my kids’ school (Thankfully there hasn’t been anything of significance to complain about) but even in a humorous way, people who work there and volunteer there would find out what I had said.

I've had some *very* interesting situations arise with local moms, that in a million years I couldn't share here.

Really, it’s been a very good lesson to me in “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” But it certainly does squelch the blabbermouth tendency I have to share every wart and wrinkle with you guys for laughs!!!

PS. I don’t have warts. I just feel compelled to say that. Wrinkles, yes. But no warts.

PPS. OK, fine, when I was ten I had a wart on the back of my knee. And then when I was about fifteen I got one on my hand. Two things I remember: 1) How embarrassed I felt, and 2) damn, that Compound W stings! But no warts in the past twenty five years. Just wanted to clear that up.


Mama Bear said...

I totally understand your restraint in posting stories, even the most obnoxiously humorous stories, about the "locals." I started a blog and honestly haven't posted much for similar reasons. I work at our (small town) public elementary school. I could write a book full of tidbits and funnies that come out of kids' mouths (like the kindergartener last week who hopped on the principal's lap, let one rip, looked up with the biggest smile and burst out proudly, "Smell something? That was ME!"

I can so relate. I know these familes. They live in my neighborhood, they go to my church, I see them in Wegmans, they are my friends. Their kids are hysterical, but their parents may find their antics embarassing.

Have you ever thought about the teacher's view of your children's antics? I'm sure Brayden, Kellen, and Kendrie have been the cause of many a smile and laugh in the staff lounge, just as they do at home!

Anonymous said...

Mrs Escoe, I was wondering if you could maybe answer a question for me and my and my brother are the same ages as Brayden and Kellen and I don't think its fair that my brother has the same privielges as me because I am older even if we are very close in age...Do you let Kellen have the same privileges as Brayden? Like I got my mp3 player when I was 9 so shouldn't he have to wait until he was 9 not 8? and the same bedtime and computer time and stuff? Thank you..

Alyssa from Canada

Coachdad said...

Wow... I loved that post. Trying to rent a house right now. It has been two months and still no takers. Really admire you for your openess in which you write.

Alisa said...

You are cracking me up!
K- why did I not know you had a blog before, I would have loved to read all about your life. Seriously- your family has faced some pretty major things, it makes me feel like dealing with our minor health issues are a walk in the park!
Yes we need to have lunch so we can chat frankly. Maybe you could come over here to my house- (sometime after the next 2 weeks- things are busy around here!)
Thanks for your fun comments- I love comments- I have lots of readers but not many commenters!

Alisa said...

ps- no i am not tired of you yet ...
look on my sidebar for the graphic for the spt (self portrait tuesday/thursday)
I sometimes get mine done on tuesdays, sometimes thursdays.
I was excited to see your interest in it. I have loved doing it. Lelly has some great challenges and I am now in more of our photos because I am taking them of myself!
Can't wait to see what you do.

Anonymous said...

I read about Zach several days ago and it just put me in a funk. I used to read his story and just hoped he'd moved onto a regular old boring healthy life.

There's a precious little girl in OKC I wonder if you know about.

I've thought about blogging, but the obvious for me is all my fostercare experiences and my 120 babies and all the issues of confidentialty would ruin my better stories. I read a blog called "I Would Gather Children". I like that title. Too bad it's taken.


Natalie said...

Weird Al has an eBay song? I'm so out of it I didn't know this???? I have a $30 iTunes card buring a hole in my pocket. OK, it's really Finn's, but I think it's high time he learned about Weird Al.

And I had a wart on my toe--a Plantar's wart, to boot--in 1998. I felt like I should share that with you.

cakeburnette said...

Dear Alyssa from Canada--I know you didn't ask my opinion, but I have to weigh in. My sister and I are 1 year apart like Brayden & Kellen and you & your brother. AND NO, YOUR MOTHER ISN'T BEING FAIR. I'm 40 years old and I AM STILL IRRITATED THAT MY MOTHER MADE ME WAIT FOR THINGS AND THEN LET MY SISTER DO THEM AT THE SAME TIME. Please show my comment to your mother. The only time this "policy" worked out for me was when I was 12 and my mother said I was too told to go trick-or-treating. My sister had to stop a year early! LOL! Seriously, it's not fair, but there are probably more important life issues out there. But you can drag this out to torment your mother well into middle age--I do! :D

jean said...

I can't believe that we're missing out on some good stories! How 'bout you e-mail them to someone else and THEY can post them - not as your stories, but as their own to ensure anonymity of the parties involved.

I had TWO plantars warts on the bottom of my foot - and it took THREE rounds of dr visits to make them go away, each about a year apart. It's been tow years now - so far, so good...

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Hey, I totally relate. I live in a small town, too, and it really adds to my blog fodder, but drastically limits what I can actually blog about. How uniquely frustrating that is!