Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What now?

What do you do when you realize all you are really driven to do is parent your child? What do you do when all he needs of you and requires of you is to do just that- at 100%?

2 weeks. One day in. "New Job" didn't work out. Not a surprise. I knew when accepting it, it wasn't going to be a good fit- but I wanted to try and make it work. Now what?

I'm praying for clarity. Because I really do not know- what now?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Liz Wins!

This morning's weight loss scored me a negative 6.8 pounds. Liz's low bet of 7 won the prize! Liz (not Inventing Liz- the other Liz) email me at my public email- gon _hikn93 at yahoo to send your address. And sometime in the relatively near future you'll find a package in the mail!  With 10 betters I'll be donating at least $50 to the pot. There is still time to give. The event is soon. Like this weekend, I think, so go online and give.

I have many follow up posts started, related to this. None ready to print and I'm already late. Sleep is a new improved prority! Be well. Be joyous. Be courageous. Laugh much.

Last Chance!!

Get your bets in today and I'll add $5 onto your gift! Today only. Next post will announce winner and thoughts on this personally enlightening process in a way I never expected. I love all of you who embrace what you can do. There is so much we are crushed by, what we can't. You're passions are contagious.

Janus Challenge. GO. Give. Please. Plumpy nut saves lives. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bedtime Reading...

We have a lot of books. Not as many as I'd like (own personal library) but more than our home can reasonably handle at one time.  So, we do a bit of 'cycling some in and out of rotation. Once out of rotation, it either makes it to the garage for later re-introduction into cycle or to the thrift store drop box.

Recently, I 'cycled' out a crapload some of the licensed character books. For the life of me I don't know how they multiply, but they do. It's the opposite of the missing sock phenomenon. Next time I should try just putting the books in the drying and see if the disappear.

After cleaning out the 2 book shelves and two baskets of books- gratefully- he made his bed time reading choices,  3 that we've read before, but seemed to get hidden by those dang procreating licensed character books.

Prepare yourself- this was a proud Mommy moment.

Love these books. All of them. (Love is a strong word for books- especially the little zebra one it still has a clear and fun message)  But, what is that? you ask? Is that a "Father and Son" book? gasp.

Single caucasian mom bought, her son, a Father and Son book depicting black fathers and sons! Huh? Weird choice? Odd choice. Maybe

But I saw this book, in a little bookstore in Andover Mass (Thank you sistah for the gift card). It is beautiful. The illustrations are striking and come alive (my photos do no justice!). I decided, right then and there, that if I was going to show my son how families are made up of all different combinations than I couldn't hide the father thing or the 'oops. Mommy's not black' thing. (He actually calls me orange this time of year, but I digress). More importantly, he sees a black man, as a father. An image of what he may one day be.

For some reason, I still find it an odd choice. But one I'm very glad I made.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Is It Faithful, If I'm Hesitant?...

Hesitant. Reluctant. Insecure. Unclear. On a Precipice. ....  Overjoyed. Overwhelmed. Not breathing. Surreal. Dizzy...

If you saw those things, on my face in this picture, you weren't imagining them. Hesitation. Unsure. Fear. It was all there. That and more.  Much Much more.

I've written about how on that day, (and many many many before and many many many after) I hit my knees, lost scared and screaming for clarity and peace.  I found it that day.

And here I am. Two full years later, having similar (yet clearly less surfacy- intense) hesitance.  I find myself out of practice, unwilling or unprepared to lean on Him as I so needed to then (and thought for sure I had learned to do always).

This spring and early summer, you would have heard me say, "I'm so ready to find a job. Go back to work.  I think Teg is ready for it and I'm ready. "

Monday. I start a new job. I'm not ready. I don't want to.

Yes- entitled first world whining: I'm going into this with a underlying kicking and screaming  "I don't WANT TO!"  I feel entitled that some how "I've earned" to 'not work'. (huh!??!? Yes. I know how awful that sounds, I'm laying it bare here)  When the reality is, I haven't earned a darn thing. People are living and dieing simply expending the effort to FIND work for a day here and there and I'm going to WHIIINE, cause I can not continue a pampered lifestyle with no income. Getting over myself, pulling up my big girl panties and off to the office I go.

If I can manage our time (cause I'm so good at that right??) I may be able to figure out and get us prepared for our next step- whatever that maybe. And I really don't know. I'm trusting God.

I am trusting him. But I feel a bit reluctant in doing so. I'm not joyously bounding forward. I knew He'd bring to where I need to be in finding work and providing for our family. I knew it. Just like I know he will again. But I'm not feeling a lot of joy in it. I'm hesitant. Reluctant. Is it fear or is it apathy? Change. Change isn't just hard. It takes effort. Purposeful effort.

My purposeful efforts have been focused in on one area only for going on 3 years now.

I'm once again, going to spend most(all) daylight hours doing something for someone else that does not pursue my own passion. And yet...even as I type this.... I hear the question... When did you pursue your passions? My passion?

I haven't. I've had all this time. 18 months of time with my beautiful son. Just the two of us. And what have I done for the greater good? I expected so much more going into this. I had completely different ideas of how life would be as a single stay at home momma. Reality has a way of biting you in the ass like that.

Yes. We've done a lot of work. Together. On us. And that can never be quantified. In fact, he is ready. He needs school full time. It's the primary motivator with going back to work.

I know know know know know that had my mind been overtired, over worked, half engaged somewhere else- we wouldn't be where we are today. I wouldn't have had the time to spend on his hair. I wouldn't have been able to let him 'do mine'. I wouldn't recognize the purposeful peeing for what it is/was. I wouldn't have been able to give him time when he needed it and breaks from eachother when he needed it. We wouldn't have been able to take last minute trips here, there and everywhere. We couldn't have just lived through those tough mornings and pulled ourselves together - no- we would have needed to rush out and get to work.  I wouldn't have been able to watch him, play with him, with other plans on hold. Learn from him, about him. None of that would have been possible.

So I guess instead of whining- I'm grateful. Eucharisteo! Thank you. For it truly would not have been possible had He not intervened. 

And my mind began shifting last week. Already, I was feeling like 'time is of the essence'. The "hurry up" has returned to my vocabulary cycle. (Which has zero effect, if not negative effect on both the 4 year old and the dog.) Punishing myself for not utilizing every spare moment for either cleaning up after last "activity" or preparing for all future possible "activities".

Hesitant. Reluctant. Unsure.

And here I am typing on a keyboard instead of praying for clarity and peace. Tonight, instead of more whining I'll praise Eucharisteo. Thank you. For anything is possible with Him. I have lived it over and over and over again.

*Reluctance two years ago, was more influenced by reluctance to grip the reality of what was happening. I thought at any moment they'd tell me it was all a mistake. I don't know why I sense reluctance now....

Friday, August 12, 2011

The First Time, Ever I saw Your Face.....

Eventually I posted this glimpse for you all.... Two years ago.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tuesday. Reset...

Oceanarium Touch tank

Mini Golf- Yes Intentional dressing theme

Lobster lunch on the grass watching the boats & people.  Good Day. Reset temporarily accomplished.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Heath Wise Update

Up until today I was pondering a post where I recount the many emotional reasons, parenting reasons, hormonal reasons why I've needed to manage my eating better. I was going to recount the many outbursts that have NOT happened, the calm when all panic buttons are pushed, the steady parenting that can reassure a child, calm their frantic beating hearts, and sooth their souls.

Today- I suck and it feels like the past 3+ weeks are all for not because I SUCK.

(note to self: must also manage inner dialogue regarding self talk...)

Does anyone else feel like One really crappy, shitty day - where your cyclical emotionality is off the charts and your stuck inside the house trying to accomplish ANYTHING for the 3rd week in a row and just this one little day- brings back alllllllll the other little shitty freakin' days and suddenly you feel like you've screwed up your kid forever and ever? That's kinda me today. I've screwed up my kid. I suck.

That and I think... we are just tired...

But until today- seriously- I've felt good. Really good. And, man. I was so dreading this summer. I panicked when school closed in May. Oh Em Gee! I scheduled as many outings as I could- keep us busy, fill up the calendar because, " I'm not the best parent if we aren't busy. I can't possibly stay with him 24 hours a day 7 days a week! I must I must I must get breaks!! It's for him too. He can't handle me all the time. It's not fair to our relationship. He'll hate me."- This I cried and honestly believed.

Guess what. It has been wonderful. All scheduled activities where either done with or thrown out the window at the beginning of July. And he and I have taken it easy and really enjoyed ourselves. Together.

I can not tell you- how calming- it felt to feel joy in parenting. I've struggled with that for a long time. You see. It is hard for me. I'm hard. He takes my lead. I make it harder for both of us, I think. So I kept looking for the "Joy". But mostly, I was just tired. And "tired" can over-ride ALL other emotions. And it does.
For those of you that have encouraged me and supported me in this challenge. THANK YOU! I want to let you know how each week has gone, but since I'm not letting any numbers fly until after August 26- this will have to suffice.

Remember this picture.  Well everything was delish!  And I did a really good job with sticking with the food we had bought. We packed up some of the fruit that was still left as we headed west to Vermont for a visit with family and friends.  Staying with family, any semblance of 'healthy eating' went out the window. They cook what they grow and grill what they once fed. And the do it with oil and butter with a side of butter and a nice butter topping. So I enjoyed but watched my portions.


Remember: (A big reason for this is to manage my emotional highs and lows.) We arrived home after 6pm on Sunday. I got a txt regarding a job requesting to meet on Tuesday at 10am (he texted earlier in the weekend but no service... ironic twist- it's a cell phone company) (who txts about a job? also a friend.. anyhooo) Left his office and scrambled to Teg's school which is federally funded. Attempting to get him in this local school, headed by a county program, federally funded through the state. RED. TAPE. PAPERWORK. UGH.  It was almost like dossier time. Not kidding. It took all week. Till Friday at 4pm. Seriously.

Somewhere in the midst of that week- I received a copy of "Cinch!". A book about a diet. (Can't give any real review yet- but so far- from captain skeptical here, it's dead on proper and wise) So, clearly I started immediately and had no idea what I was getting into. The first 5 days has you eating 5 foods in a variety of different ways. Raspberries, spinach, eggs, yogurt, almonds. All organic, nonfat blah blah blah-- plus you can add any spices. The best one I keep going back to is the smoothie. I thought it sounded gross and didn't add the cinnamon or almond butter the first few times but it made all the difference. I'm really falling in love with almond butter. (Not the price mind you....)

6oz plain yog
1 cup raspberries (i liked it better when frozen)
1T almond butter
a little lime/orange/tang juice/zest. I usually used juice from half a lime
(Sorry no picture. I can't think of anything but drinking it when I make it!)

After that first 5 days it focuses on meals comprised of
Produce  (fruit for breakfast & snack. veggie's for lunch and dinner
Whole grain
Lean Protein
Plant based fat
Seasoning/spices etc

So things like Pizzalad
Whole grain pita (Whole Grain)
1t Ex Vir. Olive Oil
covered in minced garlic and basil(seasoning spice)
1oz of fresh Mozzerella  (lean protein?)
toasted then covered with salad greens, tomato, cukes and balsamic vinegar.

Or this strange but surprisingly good and filling concoction
Whole Grain Toast
Spread 1T pesto
Cover with sliced HB egg (I'd been really hungry so I added an extra egg in this picture)
season with chili pepper (I used berbere! yum)
1/4 cup cottage cheese on the side.

Weight is coming down. (No hints! Go place your bets!) I hope to start tomorrow on a good foot for us emotionally. Well rested. Ready to spend the day together. Managing my hunger and making sound choices. It may not be the best day- but it will be a good day. Thanks for staying with me and sticking with me through this challenge

For those of you still not up on the challenge- go sign up today!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Confession....

I admit...
.. That I went into someone else's space and kicked sand on another guest....
Twas neither the time nor place.

Sorry Claudia. Please forgive me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two weeks in a row of negative numbers on the scale. This is good. This is progress. Place your bets people!!

I created a tab to keep peoples bets. Let me know if I forgot you or am missing anyone.

I care not how much you donate. Just that you do. And I'll match another $5 for everyone that does.

More headlines

Monday, August 1, 2011

Place Your Bets...

The past few days Teg has been sick. Like, couldn't- breath- loud- vibrations- at- both- inhale- and- exhale- retracted- breathing- is- his- throat- closing- up? sick.

Tonight, we ran out of water. You see, our water isn't really 'safe' to drink from the tap. It's sorta brown, stains everything and has chunks of what I can only assume are either dirt or pieces of rusted pipe line in it.

You know what we had to do in order to rectify both situations?

  1. Called doctor. Received advise. Went out to the garage. Retrieved his nebulizer and began treating him. I expect he'll wake tomorrow far better than today. He'll sleep through the night tonight, restful, well fed and happy. 
  2. Called my water bottle delivery service and asked if they'd come early to deliver us a couple more bottles tomorrow morning, rather than waiting till Wednesday.

Both of those tasks took about 6 minutes total. Simple. Easy. Resources.

(Keep reading- there is a Give away and a Challenge at the end.)

Although listening to your son not breathe well, is really scary- if we'd needed further life saving intervention it would have taking me 15 minutes to reach the well equipped ER that would have treated him immediately and not asked for payment upfront. Fifteen minutes.

How long would you be able to go without water? How far would you travel to save your child? Save yourself?

We've been bombarded by giving opportunities. Sometimes we are numb to them. I know we are numb to the images of another set of starving peoples somewhere in the world. Consider this my slap to your face to "SNAP OUT OF IT!"  This is real and it is here now.

MSF/Doctor's without Borders has been on the ground all along working with the chronic issues. The state of everything just jumped to acute urgent crisis. By supporting them and this project you are helping not only NOW when it is dire, but all the time, when needs, urgency and most important sheer mass of people wains a bit. But make no mistake. This. is. dire.

Just another face. Just another dieing starved child. Ever wonder how long it takes to get to that state. Ever imagine holding that childs hand? Can you imagine the relief of the mother who knows. KNOWS. K.N.O.W.S. her child is going to die there in her arms... and yet... you put food to the mouth of the child. A little peanut, vitamin, powdered milkish slurry. The child swallows and the mother cries out in tears of joy to God, to you and to MSF- Doctor's without Borders for saving her child.

Just another dieing child. Why bother? It's so overwhelming. I can not stand to look at that face again.

 He was almost 3yo here. Healing at 16 lbs. 16lbs. 2.5 yo.

You are looking at this face. The child you've read about here. The child you've held in your heart or hold his hand. When Tegbaru was relinquished by his family- the agency reps required one of them to join them in the long trip to Addis and stay with Teg for 4 days before they were confident that this child would live. (Another story for another day maybe) He was that starving child. This photo was taken 7 weeks after he entered care- he wasn't fit for "presentation" before that.

This Janus Challenge, spearheaded by a powerhouse rockstar. She recruited the athlete who agreed to to a triathlon! A freaking hard triathlon. To raise 20,000. The top fundraiser will be awarded an additional $8k. $28,000 will save 56,000 lives through MSF's plumpy nut in the Horn of Africa. Yes. Ethiopia. Somalia is hitting the head lines--- and there are political and access reasons for that. But it matters not. In that part of the world, national boundaries are gray areas anyway. These are people. People like you and me. People like some of our children. Definitely like mine. It is my family being effected.

They aren't calling for more water delivery. Who, exactly, would they call? They are walking through nefarious territory, scrabble and oppressive heat. Walking in faith, they will find someone to help them. Water. Water. Food. Food. Walking. Walking. Walking. And dieing along the way. There is hope. If even THEY have hope that there is something better, how jaded and ridiculous is it to turn your head in disregard, fleetingly taking notice, as if there is no hope so, what can you do?...What will you do? What have you done?

I grew up with the ever present slap to the head over leaving a morsel of food on the plate because "there were starving people in China". In the 80's it changed to "Starving people in Ethiopia." Make no mistake. This drought- this famine has been researched and cited as the worst in 60 years. WHAT!?! Seriously? 60 freaking years?! Yup, worse than before. Way worse. You're a grown up now. Now you can do something. Do something. Act.

If you've already given to Phil Wisely's fundraising for Doctors Without Border's efforts for plumpy'nut in the horn of africa- GIVE AGAIN. I dare you. Make a bet. Make a bet on my 1st world problem of obesity. Who much will I loose between now and August 28. Whoever comes closest will win a copy of the great Injera cookbook (and other fantastic recipe's) and an Ethiopian scarf, straight from Ethiopia. If there are more than one that guess correctly, I'll honor it to each or if you have the book already, I'll send you some good Maine Treats. More importantly....

I will pledge an additional $5 for every single person that places a bet and gives the money over on Phil's fundraising page. I've been out of work for over a year and a half now. If I can donate- you can too.

Quite a few of you cheered me on on my Health Wise quest. Here's my challenge to you. Place your bets on how much I'll lose between last week and August 26. How much? Certainly not too much. Go to this site and give $1 per pound you think I'll lose in that 4ish weeks. Come back and tell me how much you've donated/ betting. I'll enter you in.

Yes. I see the ironic twist here and it haunts me more than I can say. Here, I, obese from too much food, lay next to my, once lifeless literally starved skeleton of a son. It speaks to me from many places.

I have lived the life of a privileged person in this earth. The privilege of eating when available. The privilege of whining about the difficulties of having healthy highly nutritious food in front of me, isn't the DQ that I crave.  Privilege of drinking at a moments notice, or whining cause delivery was late. Sharing anything we have with park kids who prefer one lunch box over another.

I do not let it pass my lips without saying thanks, anymore. There is value in what I've so long taken for granted. Value of Life. It's certainly worth more than $10- $20- $30 bucks.

PS: Clarity
  • Click over to this page to give. Give now. Do not wait until the 26th. I've decided not to announce weekly weight loss numbers so there are no advantages to waiting. Do it now and get your friends here.
  • Make your gift and then come back here and comment on what you've bet/donated. There is a role call over on his site so it's easy to track donors. 
  • For those of you weary about online donations- Kintera is a VERY reputable fundraising site. It is very secure- they do many/most online fundraisers for things like this.
  • I will set up a separate page listing all bets as they come in. I will donate an additional $5 for everyone that does this. So go get your friends, roomates and digitalbuds to get over to his site and give, then come back and comment here. 
  • After the race is complete- I will post results and winner of contest and hopefully show Phil as the Janus winner of another 8k. 
ETA- Some hints- i have more than(far more) 50 lbs to lose total. Other than 2 weeks in Ethiopia I havn't had 2 weeks in a row of losing weight in over 10 years.
    The scarf is a big one. Big. The book is new and sales from the book benefit "Clinic at a Time."