Tag Archives: speech

Whatever Wednesday: Yankee Drawl Y’all

To listen to me read this post and hear what I’m talking about, click here:

I have a strange accent. Very strange.

Sometimes there’s no accent.

Sometimes it’s southern, sometimes yankee, sometimes midwestern.

I also have the ability to morph into different accents without thinking. What does this mean? I once pissed off two Irish exchange students in college because after spending 45 minutes with them, I started talking like them unintentionally. You should have heard me after spending time with the African exchange students from London, Madagascar, and the Ivory Coast. And heaven help me if I watch Bridget Jones’ Diary, Dangerous Liasions, Steel Magnolias, or Crocodile Dundee one too many times.

Also – if I spend too much time on the phone with my mom or my cousin, both from the midwest, I sound a bit, well, midwestern.

I was born in New Jersey. Lived there until I was 13. Then moved to Virginia for the 7-12th grades. Spent college in Southern Georgia where I dropped my Yankee accent real quick like because the Good ol’ GA boys didn’t much like it. I now live in Northeast Georgia and have for the past 10 years. I have now adapted to the Southern Accent. For the most part.

My dad was born in New Jersey. Lived there until he was in his 40’s. No, he doesn’t sound like Joe Pesci. In fact, he doesn’t have much of an accent at all. Not to me, at least.

My mom is from Michigan. She’s got that Midwest thing going on.

And me?

I’m a bit mangled. Possibly even completely mangled.

In college, while working at a local movie theatre, they had a blast getting me to say everything on the refreshment menu which ended and/or had an “er” sound in it.

I realized I am incapable of saying ButterFinger as spelled. It comes out more like “ButtahFinguh.”

What gets really fun is when I mash several accents in one sentence.

Like tonight.

Tonight I told my almost 3yo son to “Getcha hayand outa yuh diapuh.”



The first half of the sentence sounded very southern. The last half? Notsomuch.

And then there’s the famous argument about how I say Dawg, water, quarter, and car. My parents even make fun of me for the way I say Water. That says a lot.

Car often slides out as Cah. But here lately it’s been very midwestern. Not sure how to spell that but there is an overemphasis on the A. Maybe I’ll just call in tomorrow and read the post so y’all (see!) can hear how I talk. Yeh, that’s what I’ll do!

Oh, and heaven help you if I’m mad. I sound like Rosie Perez meets Paula Deen these days. It scares the crap out of me.

I don’t change my accent to appear wishy-washy. It’s just something I have done my whole life. It’s just me.

So if you ain’t gonna spend a quartah to get me a buttahfinguh and some wadduh, then fine. Bless your heart but you best be fixing to get in your cah and leave me alone he-uh in Dawg country, y’all.

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What a week!

Monday was Charlotte’s cleft repair, pharyngoplasty surgery, and ear tubes.

Tuesday morning she got the nasal tube they put in to aid in breathing removed. Then she ate. And ate some more. And drank.

So we were discharged Tuesday afternoon.

She stopped eating Wednesday morning. Stopped talking by the middle of the day. She was also refusing all medication and foods.

We were instructed to return to the hospital.

So we did.

And there we stayed until yesterday morning when her appetite and fluid intake finally picked up enough to make me feel comfortable with bringing her back home.

Our stay was riddled with issues.

The first issue was failure to get written consent for her ear tube surgery. The surgeon took the time to track down where the breakdown in communication happened and did apologize to us but then just a few sentences later admitted that post-consent happens quite a bit in her practice with her adults. Yeah. We’re SO not going back to see her.

Second issue arose during our return to the hospital. The ER had a hard time getting ahold of Charlotte’s doctor to approve admission even though we had been instructed to return by them. We arrived at the ER at 830p but did not get a room until nearly 2a Thursday morning.

Third issue was our day nurse on Thursday. She was a bit flighty and had a propensity for over-explaining things and failed to be prompt in her attention to us. My daughter’s med pump went off repeatedly as did her fluid pump with no response from her whatsoever. She was apologetic and spent some time trying to kiss Charlotte’s behind but I had the nurse replaced. It’s not my kid you have to impress, lady.

Fourth and fifth issue happened on Friday.

Fourth: A tech walked into our room and asked if I wanted to give Charlotte a bath. I said that I did. So she got everything ready and decided we needed to give Charlotte a sponge bath in bed. We had Charlotte lean back over a bowl of water and wiped her hair down. The tech realized she didn’t have water to rinse with so she went and got some while I tried to keep Charlotte calm and still. The tech returned with the water and began to pour it on Charlotte’s head. Charlotte screamed. I reached up and felt the water. It was absolutely scalding. I immediately told the tech to stop and get out of our room. The water she had gotten was entirely too hot! She acted surprised and I had to ask her several times to leave the room. I asked our nurse to make sure she was not allowed back in our room. I didn’t see her again during our stay.

Fifth: At about 1p the phone in our room rang. I answered. It was a prank call. I hung up. They of course, redialed. I was very unsettled (they said horribly mean and rude things to me) and called our nurse. He came right away and handled the situation beautifully. Unplugged our phone and had our phone number changed. A report was filed.

I don’t tell you all of this to complain. I’m telling you all of this to stand strong. I got flustered only twice during our stays. The first was immediately after surgery when we had to hold Charlotte down as the anestethia worked its way out of her system. She was angry, confused, and frustrated. Kept pulling at her IV, her nose, and wanted to be done with all of the pain. I admit that I cried. It took four hours for her to finally calm down.

The second time was when we got prank called. I was very very scared. I didn’t know if it was someone from inside the hospital or outside. I felt very vulnerable and afraid. I even had a plan in place if someone we did not know were to burst into our room. But nothing came of it and I was able to get back to sleep within the hour.

I am glad this past week is behind us.

On a positive note, Charlotte’s speech is ALREADY improved. She’s saying words that we can now understand a lot more often. There are sounds she struggled with before that she is now making with seemingly no effort. We still have quite a bit of work ahead of us but for now, we’re miles away from where we were this time last week.

Last night was rough but I have hopes tonight won’t be as bad. I think she’s got some night terrors and trauma residuals going on as a result of spending the week at the hospital. Teething tablets and a night light finally helped her go to sleep on her own last night but she spent the bulk of the evening in the living room with me. We’re going to have her return to school so her mind will have other things to focus on as well to help leave the memories of this past week behind.

Colorado Mom Silenced by Community

Rebekah Amaya, a Pueblo, Colorado mother currently serving out a sentence for killing her two children while allegedly suffering from Postpartum Depression and Psychosis, had her appearance at Mental Health of America’s monthly meeting this past Wednesday when the surrounding community, including family, reacted very negatively to the idea of her speaking publicly about her experience. Katherine Stone has written an excellent post about the situation and I’ll leave the details to her.

I’m not really sure how I feel about the situation and rather find myself in the same boat as Katherine to a certain extent. When discussing my own experience, it really depends on the audience as to what details I share and how graphic I get. Intrusive thoughts can be horribly triggering to other women and newly suffering mothers but the details and intensity can also be very educational and helpful for professionals as it allows them a glance into the world those of us who suffer with these debilitating thoughts find ourselves encased.

I can understand the family’s horror and outrage. But as an advocate and woman who knows how powerful a voice of experience can be, I wonder what value she might have brought to the table. Was she ready to speak? What would speaking have done for her? What were her intentions? Is she really stable enough to be sharing these details? These are questions we’ll never know the answers to but regardless, the topic itself is one that does not need to be ignored. As Katherine states, not talking about infanticide and filicide will not make it go away.

Raising Funds for Charlotte’s Cleft Surgery

Today I received a phone call from Charlotte’s Plastic Surgeon’s office. Apparently we have a balance with them that went by the wayside in the midst of all the NICU and PPD craziness. We were assured they would take care of it but here we are, nearly three years later and the balance still exists.

I am asking for help in getting this debt paid before her pre-op appointment on March 31st. I don’t know what else to do at this point. We’ve been asking family for entirely too much lately and don’t feel we can take this to them but also don’t want her to have to go without surgery that would help her speech improve. The balance must be paid in full before her pre-op appointment or the surgery will not go forward as planned.

I’ve created a Pledgie campaign where you can donate and help us pay off the balance. My deepest thanks go out to those of you who not only donate but help spread the word about our situation.

Click here to donate.

Atlanta Lunch & Learn


Well Dear Readers, I have agreed to my first BIG speaking engagement and it will be happening on March 28th in Atlanta. I will be speaking about my story as well as how I came to found my organization, PACE. The small details are in the attached PDF flyer but I will be speaking alongside Dr. Jeffrey Newport from Emory University and Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress. I am very honored to be a part of this event. Registration is required but the event is free. MHA and Skyland Trail are co-sponsoring this event.

Even if you can’t attend, please pass the information on to someone who may be able to or post it at your place of employment.