Monday, July 25, 2011

Whoopie Winner & Coming up Next...

Ok- back in May... MAY!! (shshsh- it's July now) I promised to send someone -- something--- for suggestions on a new name for this blog. I never followed up... so tonight... I knew I had to follow through cause I've got another very very very important give away coming up tomorrow. (and by tomorrow I mean- hopefully tomorrow).

Sadly- by the time we got home from our little road trip (exaggeration warning) way out west, (aka- Vermont) the wee one was out. O.U.T. out.

In an effort to be fair- everyones name was written on a piece of paper - Melissa like 4 times cause she had so many suggestions- I was tempted to just write "Melissa" on a piece of paper figureing the odds, "Of course she'd win"- but... alas.... no. It was Heather.

I took a picture of my first few attempts at tossing these in the air and hoping only ONE would be face up. I stopped taking photos cause I thought I'd make him start having seizures with all the flashing. Just the winning shot. HEATHER.

Who is Heather? Pushaw! You don't know Heather? You didn't know THAT Heather commented on my blog. Well- honestly- neither did I- until I looked her up! AAAAKK! I almost screamed. I know she can't come by here often, but I never miss one of her posts. NEVER. She's so smart. She's the smart girl- that could have made me want to be over the top smart in High School. You know, if we were even close in age and in high school together... I have 4 smartie smarties in my family. I'm not one (again with the stating the obvious, Shannon?) But this lady! Oh My Gosh. I admit. She's on a little pedestal around here. The goodies I planned to send, I'm sure she's familiar with as she is no stranger to these here pahts, but "knowing" her two active 7 year olds and can't keep her down 3 year old- I'll have to pack up extra Whoopie Pies from a variety of places so they can sample and find their favorite!... but I pramble on- and there are many many many more important things to get to, like...

My staying true and accountable in my big fat fatty Healthy Wise series. And there is something else... weighing.. literally and figuratively... Justice. There must be justice. Somehow. I will attempt to write- but... the best writers in the world aren't writing this story- I wonder if they're being given the chance. I have a challenge for you all. Two actually. One Go read this by Rebekah. It may be the best thing written about it so far. But still- no justice. Second Come back here in the next couple days and take my challenge. I dare you. Lay down your bets....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

HW- No excuses...

It took 2 hours in a tiny grocery store, with my handsome boy not buckled in a cart (1st time we made it through the whole store that way !! hoot hoot!) and 4 hours this morning to prep (even though I have yet to cook anything)- but I have no excuses. things are weighed measured and packaged in easy grab - quick eats at home or on the go style.

Yes. Lots of fruit. (never go in fruit aisle when hot and thirsty). Soon I can buy locally- but not much is yet out round here. Soon.

We have alot of "raw" going on. And that's ok. I need to make sure we get more 'raw' foods. Not to worry. He still gets his microwaved chemical riddled crap- but when I offered to make him a pancake this morning he said "Blueberries & Banana" instead. He ate those and then had frozen mac & cheese at 10:30am. Balance. Balance is what we are striving for. Right??? It looks like a lot of food and it is. Yet, with a four year old boy in the house- any day- with regard to how much he eats- is a crap shoot. Some days he eats like a bird- others- like a 16 year old sumo wrestler.  

Way over tired and ready for nap. Yes- he had a giant RED food dyed popsicle just before nap. It is not a regular occurance. I blame the Nana.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weighty Issues...

(that is alternate title to the more pointed- "Big Fat Fatty with Chest Pain")

My health is declining. Fast. It’s ugly. U.G.L.Y. Which reminds me-- my looks are also declining.  My functional range of this body in which I live is greatly limited vs. its previous versions (there have been many previous versions)

About 12 years ago, just after moving back to my “home town”, there was a problem with a BC method and- literally- I’m not kidding here- I gained 50 lbs in about 5-6 weeks. It was shocking. Painful. Suffocating. Literally. I couldn’t lie down without feeling like I was suffocating. I needed to sleep sitting up. Randomly throughout the day or night I’d have sharp searing skin tearing pain- only to look in a mirror and see just that- skin tearing stretch marks appear as I watched.

Although it took 6 months, the imbalance was corrected, but I never completely lost all that extra weight. I was a little on the heavier side before hand but still comfortable in and healthy. I have a degree, two actually, in Health and Fitness and it has been over 10 years and I’ve never completely lost the weight.

During the ‘wait’. Oh. The Wait.  I. Waited. Even though, spiritually I was leaning on God, I knew… I knew… I knew… this was a time of preparation. A time I was supposed to be preparing. God had been whispering to me about my health for a loooonngggg time. It got LOUDER during The Wait.

I waited.

Got rather stationary.

And waited.

Not preparing. Waiting.

Big mistake on many many many many levels. And in so many areas of our lives- not just this one.

In Ethiopia, I lost about 7 pounds in the 13 days we were there. Within the last year, I’ve gained that plus another 10.

When was the last time I’d even BOUGHT a box of pasta before the T Rooney lived here? Now. I buy them in 3 & 4 pound economy packs. Ramen noodles are a staple.  Peanut Butter and Jelly- breakfast food.


After January’s emotional massacre (which I don’t know if I’ve written about here) I ran to my doctor, also a family friend. “Something is wrong with me. Seriously wrong. Check my blood sugar. I’m all over the map and someone is going to get hurt. I’m completely out of control. If it’s not the dog, it’s my son receiving my wrath- and I have a suspicion neither really deserve it. It’s me. Check my blood sugar. I’m a basket case. Perhaps I have diabetes. Or I’m clinically insane.”

Test results: “You are fine. Blood sugar, fine. Thyroid, fine.”

“Crap.”  Than I must just be a crappy shitty person. To treat people (and animals) that I love like this. Do better crazy lady!” I say to myself a 100 times a day.

So I try. And try. And try. I start changing my anxiety meds and taking more of it. It helps some. But… something is still off.

I go back to the doctors.  “Something is wrong with me. Seriously wrong. Check my Hormone Levels this time. I’m all over the map and someone is going to get hurt. I’m completely out of control. If it’s not the dog, it’s my son receiving my wrath- and I have a suspicion neither really deserve it. It’s me. Check my blood sugar. I’m a basket case. Perhaps I'm menopausal. Or I’m clinically insane. In which case you'll need to up my anxiety meds. In fact- we should do that now anyway.”

Three vials of blood.

Results: FINE. YOU ARE FINE. We can schedule you to see the psychiatrist. 

I remember, that I didn’t start getting younger after 39- as I’m often heard saying- that I am, in fact, 41- or 42… no- 41. The women in my family start this crap YOUNG. My mom was Done. DONE at 37. DONE.  But my body is different. Hinky- it has opposite reactions to hormones than most expect. (which is why the complications with earlier stated BC method)

After many years of being trained to listen to my body- I do. I know something is off. And I know what it is.  The rage. The crazy. Out of control. Cravings. Rantings. Weight is climbing again. I listen. I know.

There is no need for further blood. I know the problem. My progesterone is higher than it should be. It is the same exact feeling that I had all those years ago that made me crazy insane. What is the solution? Medically- more hormones. “Not gonna do it.” Too risky.
So- I begin to google cure. What is the answer? Naturally: Reduce sugar and caffeine intake. Keep insulin levels consistent through out the day to help balance all hormones. Reduce weight. (apparently the answer to all prayers- reduce caffeine, sugar & excess weight. of course!)

What? Seriously. Are you Freaking kidding me??!? It’s the only thing getting me through! My giant luscious succulent French Vanilla Iced Coffee with sugar and crème and maybe a little extra sugar just cause it’s sooo good. I can not give that up--- how will I function???.....

Reconsiders medical hormone intervention.

Reconsiders numbers on scale.

Reconsiders energy levels at 3pm.

Reconsiders the random chest pains (don’t freak out pretty sure they are rib muscular.  Although it’s driving me crazy that my brain has lost the word for those muscles in between the ribs- degree- down the tubes.. inter..something… costals? maybe)

Reconsiders the 4 yo who has already lost so much.

Reconsiders that I would like to get married, have a husband, a real partner in this life. (mind you- until my brother can legally marry I can’t imagine doing so either. Love is love is love. – another post another day)

Reconsiders how much I have to take care of “in my own house” before God can bless us more.

Reconsiders the heart disease on both sides of my family.

Reconsiders the belly fat. The breast fat. The images of fatty livers.

Reconsiders the 4 yo who has no one else.

Reconsiders how incredibly uncomfortable it is to be this overweight in hot and humid weather. UGH!

So people. This is me. Coming out to the world- so to speak. I’m a big fat fatty with chest pain. And today I’m calling on you all to nag my behind back healthy.

In my typical boundary blurred manner, I may publish more than you want to read in regards to this journey.  Sorry. So be it. Please stick with me. Encourage me and sometimes kick me when I’m down. If people are counting on me- I’m more likely to stand up and follow through. I know that is not ideal- that I should be focused on what God expects of me- what I expect of me--- but I’m not there yet. I’d like to be. But I’m as Effed up as the next person if not more.  Luckily, I have a support system of ‘friends’ that are tackling this together. Accountability.  This time next week- I’d best be reporting good numbers and how the week went. Wish us all luck- but support us too.

Peace out- Big fat fatty on a mission.

ps- I want to Thank and encourage the Courageous Bridget.   Please go and do so to. Her courage is inspiring.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Snapshot Spirals

Was it the 80's or 90's that everyone was spending mega bucks at the salon's for "spiral perms"?  Don't know why, but I keep wondering that today....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Year Ago...

There was a time, not so long ago, that I worried that his legs weren't growing at the same rate as his upper body.

I no longer worry.

This first one is from May/June of last year. Second one, couple weeks ago. Same shorts. (although I did try to cuff them last year as he kept referring to them as pants)

Last May/June 2010
June 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One of Those Letters....

I read this one before I left for an overnight. We returned and read these two. This post has been coming for a while though...

You know 'the letters'. The 'what family should know' letters, that adoptive parents sometimes send that detail our 'parenting plan' and alternative ways to help.  There really should be an ongoing series of letters that we send as we Effup grow as parents and needs become beer & wine home delivery never mind just inject the tequila clearer and change.  This is one of those letters. One of those letters you write and throw away. But, I'm tired of doing that regarding the same subjects over and over again. So- instead of throwing it away, I'm posting it for the 4 readers and distant relatives who actually read my drivel all the world to see. Warning: Caustic tone ahead.... 

Dear lovely family and friends who've yet to abandon us completely,

It seems so long since Teg and I became family and yet, I'm reminded everyday that we are still new to eachother. Each day, we learn something new. See a new scar. See a flash of fear. Swallow my pride.  Learn a new Momma skill, forget it, relearn, forget, and learn again. Hit my knees in prayer. Reach new heights. Make a new joke. Grow tighter together. Push each other away. Hearts grow closer. See God heal. Hurt in ways I didn't know existed. (he always knew those hurts). Every moment of every day is something new.

One family Some of you we see often and believe me when I say what a treat it is to spend time with you. As a single mother, having the opportunity for conversations that do not involve "where is an ok place to pee" is truly priceless. Now that school is out, he is missing his friends. Productive play and positive interaction with children his age is helpful and therapeutic to his healing. Thank you for meeting us for playground time or just a walk. The commercial has diminished it's meaning- but these times are truly priceless for both of us. Thank you for your support and friendship. I lean on you too much and yet, you never turn away.

Most of you we haven't seen or heard from in months. It's a small town, so yes, we've seen each other as you pretend to rush by, or pose not to recognize us.  I understand. It is difficult to accept a friend as you've never seen her. You never had to deal with me as a mother.

I was just the one who was there for you, in your darkest hours when you were a in a bind, newly married, or a new mother and needed company, needed to bitch about your husband, needed prescriptions picked up, needed a babysitter on holiday weekends, last minute and overnights. Do you remember me? I was the one who offered to take your children for the afternoon when you had a headache, seemed overwhelmed, sick, had to work or just wanted to do something with a friend.

It must be hard for you to adjust-  now that I'm a mother with a whole different set of priorities- and yes, you have dropped on that priority list.  As have daily showers or even styling my hair on days it is actually clean. If you looked long enough, you'd notice that my child is usually coiffed, moisturized, dressed in clean somewhat clean and matching clothes. I often run out of time energy before we both get it together and need to get OUT OF THE HOUSE to our next event or appointment. Sorry, if I embarrass you with my greasy pony tailed hair, and wrinkled clothes fresh off the floor out of the dryer. I understand if you can't handle it right now. I remember how you always have it "together".

To a select group of our extended family, I want to alienate you ask a favor or two. I'm sure you will understand, as you already know everything anyway.  Please do not say the words "He's just a typical boy. Just like all the other kids"  Please do not say the words "I know what he needs.  I've raised 2/6/18 kids of my own."  Please do not say "That is normal. Every kid does that." Thank you. Now let me tell you why.

Your condescending, trite, pious comments piss me off.

By saying these things you simultaneously discount his history, his unique gifts, his special qualities and my exhaustion as his parent who takes it on the chin (literally and figuratively), every moment of every day of every week as this charming sweet loving child heals and adjusts to the horrors of life you dismiss as if they are fiction.

No. He is not just like all the other kids. Neither are all the other kids. You may have raised a litter of kids before but you parented each one differently because they had different needs. (You treated them all the same?!?!  Well- than you are just a shitty parent. )

Just because you saw him spill his cereal bowl one day does not make you an expert on "how all kids do that." Just because you hear me say "Please, Honey. Stop talking for 30 seconds." does not make you an expert on how much he talks or doesn't talk like all the 'other kids'. Just because you spend 5 minutes attempting to put one of his shoes on and are now exhausted, does not make you an expert on how normal that can be at that age. 

And don't give me that "You asked for this" haughty look, in the grocery store, either. Just keep it to yourself, or save it for someone else- cause I'm tired of seeing the whites of your eyes. YES. YES I DID ask for this. I work very hard to do the very best for this kid, which is WHY I look so freaking exhausted and frustrated from time to time. I WORK at being a good parent to my kid. I had to work damn hard, go through trials and hellfire to be a mother-  and I work DAMN HARD at doing my best for my son. NO. NOT FOR YOU. Not to LOOK good. But to BE GOOD! I do NOT shrug my responsibility to him.

Until you can say you've parented THIS child before- keep your trap shut. Until you can say, you've parented a child who was mutilated again and again by people that loved him- until you can say you've parented that same child who was denied food while watching others around him eat- until you can say you thought you were doing everything for him, until you realized he didn't cry - until you can say you've seen your child dig in the dirt looking for something to eat-  EFF OFF.

When you've parented a 4 yo that has a completely new body-  so new that he doesn't know how it works. Like switching from a tricycle to a Army tank complete with strange transmission and limbs equivalant to the attached long rotating gun - he has no idea how to operate it, what it has for tipping point, strength, speed, or where the limbs are flying off to or how close he may come to his target. In fact- eating food with utensils and at a table setting is much like attempting that task from inside one of those moving tanks- at least the mess is. EVERY SINGLE TIME. So yes. Sometimes I let him eat with his fingers and I don't often give him cereal with milk. He eats it dry. So what. Suck it up.  You don't like it? I don't care. He is making great strides in lots of areas. Thriving. Utensils aren't always at the top of the list. He's not a neanderthal- he'll figure it out. Give him time.

I do not expect you to agree with, condone, or even understand why I parent him the way I do. Could you simply respect that I'm his parent and I make parenting decisions? Until you can simply say- "I'm sorry. That sucks. Do you want to talk about it?" or "What can I do to help" and actually follow through with it- than keep your flipping trap shut- your eyes from rolling and your petulant huffs to yourself. Stop acting like you have all the answers to parenting this child- you don't. How do I know?!?! THERE ARE NO ANSWERS!!

You are a grown man/woman. Act like one. Respect the one in front of you. Support her if you can. If you can't- get the hell out of the way, cause we don't need more hurdles. If you stand in our way, YOU become a problem we don't need. And that is one easy solution. BYE BYE.

(Nice attitude huh? Can't imagine why most of my friends have abandoned me completely... )

Our year and a half update is coming soon. Think it'll sound anything like this letter? No, probably not.  But it's going to feel nice to hit publish...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Related to last entry....

On a somewhat related note to the last post- Go check Christine's note on toxic ruptures and being emotionally healthy.

Hope you are all having a great week.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Feeding the Spirit...

Two years ago, I wrote this and posted it on June 29, 2009.


Sounds like yesterday.

Two years has gone by.

Two years.

On June 30, 2009 in Hosanna Ethiopia- a man traveled a very long hard distance carrying his sick and dieing child. It's been two years since he's laid hands on his child, but he now knows that his child lives, gives, thrives, loves. That's all I'm going to say about that.


Traumaversary. You've heard it. I didn't recognize it last year until after it was over. And perhaps, given our 'newness' at this, hindsight may be the only way I'll know for sure that's been whats been going on-- but-- things have gotten weird, more inconsistent, shakey, clingy, meltdownapalooza and have been for a while. Months now. Good days and bad - but consistently-- needy. It feels familiar. We've been here before.  I'm hopeful and expecting a shift in the wind here any day now. I don't like seeing him in pain, and I need a bit of break from the 'heavy' days in order to enjoy and give him more light, fun, joy and love.


Two years ago, he suddenly had food being thrust upon him often. He had people loving on him. Handeling him. washing him. Kissing him. A man. A tall man. A doctor who kept him by his side many days. Instead of simply giving him is medical check up and moving on- he kept this boy with him as he did his work, as he went about his days. He loved this boy. The boy loved him.

Teg grew 5 inches in the 7 months he was in care. 5 inches. He entered care at a bloated with water 16lbs and 27 inches. He was 2years and 2mo old. Within a week he'd lost the water weight and was down to about 14 lbs. By the time I showed up on the scene- he'd doubled his weight and grown 5 inches. They fed him extra meals and added sugar to his meals to fatten him up. It worked. (AND fed the intestinal bugs). But the height growth. I don't attribute that to feedings. He THRIVED in care. At least for a short time. And lets keep it in perspective- it's institutional living. By the time I arrived, he was also very ready to get the heck out of there.

He thrived, and grew, because he was loved by a constant and consistent caregiver. He was given food and relative safety and warmth and human touch by the nannies. But he was loved and doted on by one person and that - I believe- is the sole reason his body could respond to the nourishment. His body, was preparing to die, until this man took special care of him.

We can feed the body, but until we care for the spirit- we are incomplete and can just prepare to die.

This is my reminder today- to be more than a caregiver to my child. Feed his spirit. Feed my spirit. Food. Safety. Shelter. It only perpetuates the hell if we aren't Loving our spirits.