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Karen Cordano
I’m Karen. I have irritable bowel syndrome. A raging anxiety disorder. The inability to filter. A very long-suffering husband, Z. And two sweet boys, T 4 and C 2, who will probably sh*t bricks and demand money for therapy when they discover my blog. Hopefully, I’ve got at least half a decade before that happens.

I’m a stay-at-home mom. We live in sunny Syracuse.

Alright, I’m going to be all earnest for a sec. Here’s what I’m trying to do here. Parenting is hard. Mental illness is hard. Marriage is hard. I talk about the hard stuff because, well, because I’m a selfish a** and it helps me to talk about it. But also because maybe if we talk about this crap it will help make it all easier to navigate. The struggles won’t seem so shameful, we won’t feel like we must pretend to be perfect, we can destigmatize mental illness, we can help each other. Pretty lofty goals, but even if one person feels less crazy, or like less of a sh*tty mom after visiting this little blog then I feel like it’s worth it to tell the Internet my biggest fear is sh*tting myself in public.

Entries by Karen Cordano

What I Realized When I Read My Son's Report Card

(133) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 6:16 PM

A couple of weeks ago, I trudged through the snow towards the kindergarten door at T's school. A gaggle of middle school girls breezed by and I noticed one of them waving a small manila envelope. Goosebumps erupted from my scalp to my toes.

It was a report card envelope.

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What I Learned at Kindergarten Drop-Off

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 11:18 AM

"Mom. Mom. Mom. I don't want to."

"Ok. How about I bribe you?" My patience had already evaporated, so I went straight for the truth as I dragged a brush through his hair, a complete waste of time performed every school morning to make me feel like a good mom....

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(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 6:29 PM

Last Thursday, a phone call in which I actually had to hear the person on the other line led me to my father's office, because a house filled with four boys all 4 years old or younger is never a quiet house. The photos behind his desk took me on...

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Parenting Lesson Number 4,376

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 6:15 PM

Our sweet 3-year-old is terrified of pooping. Terrified. He is pee potty trained, but our life is ruled by his bowel movements. Recently he has started to ask for a diaper when his "belly hurts." A year ago I couldn't have imagined a scenario in which I would be grateful...

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Moms Need Friends, Too

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 5:35 PM

More than three years ago, I met a gal and fell deeply in friend lust. She lived right around the corner, was having her first kid a couple months before I was having my second, she and her husband had moved here from Brooklyn... we had a lot in common....

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Why Running Makes Me a Better Mom

(6) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 7:17 PM

"I'm not talking to you until Christmas!" T whined.

"Fantastic!" I snapped back.

"Mooooooooom. Why can't I bring three Lego guys to school?"

"Nope. Nope. You said you weren't talking to me. Why are you still talking?" I turned up Morning Edition to drown him out.

Not my finest moment....

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On the Fifth Day of Kindergarten...

(5) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 2:32 PM

"The second and third day can be really bad," she told me. "That is when the reality starts to sink in." The best parenting advice comes from my friend whose kids are about a year older than mine. She is close enough to the struggles I'm facing to remember clearly,...

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Try Hard

(2) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 6:53 PM

T was sitting alone on the side of the tennis court, legs and arms pretzeled together to make himself as small as possible. I walked onto the court with C's balance bike and passed Z. "He just said he failed," Z muttered to me. "Seriously?" my heart stuttered. I walked...

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Running While Female

(629) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 10:56 AM

Today was the first long run of the first week of my first training for a half marathon. Five easy miles. Although five miles are never easy for me.

About four blocks from my house, a guy on a bike wearing hard-core racing spandex passed me. I smiled and gave...

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IUD Inside

(704) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 3:42 PM

Last month's Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court filled me with such blinding rage that I have been unable to write about it (or even think about it) in a reasonable manner. And railing at the universe with vitriol and bitterness is useless. It turns into preaching to the...

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How To Use Photoshop

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 7:26 PM

Last weekend we had a mini reunion with Z's side of the family. One of Z's sisters is a professional photographer so a photo shoot is always part of our gatherings.

Before we had kids I really dreaded the photo shoots. My anxiety disorder comes with a side of self...

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Navigating Early Intervention

(2) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 5:19 PM

"Do you know how lucky we are?" Z asked me as we drove toward the school where we would receive the results from C's Early Intervention Evaluation. "Seven highly-trained adults. Seven. Gave him their full attention for two and a half hours this morning."

"I know. I know you are...

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Potty Training in 17 Easy Steps

(18) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 4:00 PM

1. Potty training realization: C is several months older than T was when he was potty trained. C has shown no interest in anything toilet-related, although his classmates are rapidly joining the ranks of underwear-wearers. As C seeks neither peer or authority figure approval, this doesn't bother him at all.

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Last Days of School

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 5:52 PM

A year ago I watched the mother of one of T's classmates struggle with the reality that her child was leaving the comfort of our extraordinary preschool and moving on to kindergarten. The transition proved painful for both mother and child. I sympathized with my friend, but I did not...

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Jabba the Hutt and Lessons in Feminism

(35) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 11:25 AM

"Can we talk about Princess Leia?"

"OK, but just for a sec because then it is time for songs and cuddles."

T and I were snuggled up and chatting after looking through the most amazing Star Wars pop-up book.

"Why does Jabba the Hutt put a chain around...

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