Guilt issues

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I have them.

Today, I talked to my mom- briefly. She asked if we had seen a little white/ivory ring type jewelry box that she put her diamond earrings in at my sister's house.

I guess my nephew gave her a new pair of earrings and she put new ones in and the diamond ones in this box- I had no idea this happened. To be honest I did not notice her earrings.

Pixie wandered into the room where this transpired during the party and closed the door behind her, my sister found her in there after I noticed she had been gone for a bit.

My guess (unsubstantiated) is that the box may have slipped into a big brown grocery type paper bag that she gave me with art projects that the kids made at her house a few weeks ago. Now I can't find the bag. I remember my mom giving me the bag, I remember noticing the art projects in the bag, but I do not remember any small white box, I also do not remember having the bag when I got home. The bag is not in my car and I have not seen it around the house.

Now,I feel awful. Because I may have lost my mothers earrings and the kids art projects. I feel terrible. Irresponsible.

Added to that, I brought my mom $50 that I owed her and I lost that too. I had that in an envelope in my bag- and I couldn't find that when she asked for it.

Clearly I am very irresponsible.
She is not accusing me of anything but I still will feel guilty for months over this.


"I painted this rock to remind me of prayering" A quote, from the one and only Stinky.

His heart is so full of love and wonder. It is amazing to watch him interact with his world.

He is the one and only Stinky, he still loves to cuddle he still burrows his head into my side and curls up in a little ball.

Stinky is fantastic.

The Aftermath

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The part than no one sees. To the outside I look fine. My weight is stable, I can eat somewhat normally, I function, mostly.

The aftermath of an eating disorder is often invisible even after the outward symptoms are gone the disease is still there, waiting.. Always.

Sitting down to eat is not just that easy. I do not get hungry often. I get dizzy. Then realize I have 'forgotten' to eat. When I do sit down to eat, panic sets in. I do not see food, I see fat. I see cellulite and jiggling.

I can recite the calorie content of most foods as well of the fat content. Try me. I can also tell you the approximate number of calories burned during any activity.

My doctor sees me far to often for injuries and illnesses. Eating disorders trash your immune system. Mine sucked to begin with because of asthma add the eating disorder and I see my doctor more than my parents. My bones and muscles have also been weakened by my eating disorder, so injuries happen.

I also managed to ruin my teeth and needed $7000 worth of dental work. Peachy, huh?

The most insidious is the thought process that I fall into. I start picking apart everything about myself. Everything. I hold myself to perfection and then feel so depressed and unhappy when I do not meet them.

There is so much more that has happened and happens daily because of it. My eating disorder will never be over, I will never be cured, or fixed. I will just be and that somehow has to be enough.

Hair Cuts

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Who cut the dog's hair?" is a phrase that I have said far to many times to be reasonable or even sane. But when the dog shows up with a hunk of hair missing and no one claims the artwork, interrogations need to take place.

A few years ago, Princess went on a hairstyling spree, giving the yellow dog a 'do that made him look like he got into a fight with a weed-whacker and he was on the loosing end, she also gave herself a hair cut that made her look as if she was off to the Marines, even Stinky was a victim(?) in the rampage. After that I hid all of the scissors.

Recently, I have started leaving them accessible again, assuming that at the ripe old age of 6 she would know better than a DIY haircut. The other kids?? not so much.

White Fang appeared with a hunk of fur missing from her back. Lovely.

I had a few suspicions as to the culprit-

- Pixie is to little, she does not have the manual dexterity to operate scissors with that much precision- especially on a wiggly dog.

- Peas is hard pressed to cut paper let alone a dog.

- Stinky, him I could see, mischief is his middle name

- I really think Princess knows better (I may be wrong about this one- everyone has momentary lapses in judgment.

With these assumptions I guessed Stinky was behind the chic cut that White Fang had, but could not be sure. Of course they all denied it (they apparently took a lesson in Chicago politics: Deny, deny, deny)

After a few days, no one has claimed the styling of the dog's fur, I may never know.
Another wonder of the world.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When I was little I would pray for a cat or something to pet and snuggle. I prayed for a kitty like, well, lets just say I prayed for it a lot.

Typically, G*d's answer was "no", echoing my parents, but eventually I wore him down (or so I tell myself). At long last I got my kitty. Miss Meow. I could talk about how she came to be our cat or the cool cat (pun intended) that she was, but that is a different post.

Because of her I got to see kittens being born, in the living room, guess how my mom felt about that!!! But I also got to witness it and watch the babies kittens grow from itsy kittens with their eyes closed to playful rambunctious kittens as cute as on any calender.

My friend is fostering two ten day old kittens, and like all babies, they need to eat, often, so the accompany her all over- in this case to a birthday party. Where they were the hit.

Princess, Stinky, Peas, and even Pixie were enamored with the little kittens. They snuggled and ate from a bottle and were just a delight. I was thrilled to be able to have the kids see such small kittens.

They were perfect, I loved getting them to sleep on my lap- even though I got pee'd on. The babies were warm and cozy and just the cutest things ever.

But he is sooo sweet!

Monday, January 24, 2011

We have two dogs. Two really great, most of the time.

White Fang is husky version 2. She is super sweet and more intelligent than I would like to admit. She is also very very prey oriented. The cats are like moving toys to her. She harasses them as much as she can.

Yellow Dog, is not the brains of the operation. He is the sweetest dog ever, but he took the short bus to school.

Either that or he so brilliant he can act dumb and fool everyone with his dumb playing.

Yellow dog loves attention, he will come up next to you and work his head under your hand and demand to be petted. Then he will not leave you alone. Because in his brain you are now BFFs.

To give him credit though he is very very protective over our house and family. Which I truly appreciate.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

I have some of the best friends ever. I drove to see one the other day it took about an hour. It was worth every second of the drive..

She is so sweet and such an inspiration to me. She is strong, she is faithful she is amazing. She has 3x the energy I do but she encourages me without even really trying.

When I left I was so so sad.

One of my dear friends moved away. I miss her daily, many times a day. She was there for me when I needed her. I wish wish I could have had the chance to do the same for her.

If she is a tiger I am a.... crap no idea...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Amy Chua wrote a book about the superiority of Chinese mothers. Great right? At first I was angry. I was taking it as a critique on my parenting style which is about as far from the Chinese stereotype she describes as possibly can be.

And that is fine. I will not call my children garbage. They are not garbage. They are people. People with hearts and souls and feelings- I value that more than any grade. The best parenting I can give them is to help them learn to be intrinsically motivated. To expect the best from themselves.

I do not put a whole lot stock in the whole beginning education system, just my opinion.

Here, I am going to have a hard time articulating what I want to say: my brother and sister are both exceptionally brilliant and a hard act to follow. When my dad made the infamous comment about me never holding a candle to my sister- I internalized that- it became my 'truth'. Instead of pushing me to do better because I could, I said- screw it- and gave up. Why bother then, right?

In Jr. High I was having a hard time with my accelerated math. I recall my mom talking about extra tutoring, my teacher- said that she thought I got it the best in the class I just got bored, which was very true. But I never forgot overhearing my mother saying what she did, if she had outwardly berated me I would have imploded. My parents never wanted to give me a big head- but they missed that my self image was a pile of crap. They did not realize that the self talk I engaged in was an endless barrage or criticisms of everything about me.

This is dangerous- it set me on a loop of stress and almost masterful self destruction. Seriously I made it an art. I wanted to be the best at an eating disorder so I literally researched it and took notes.

I do not want to pass my proclivity for perfectionist self destruction to them, but I do want the to succeed.

The definition of success I suppose is key- does success mean a multimillion dollar job? Does it mean peace and love and value? I lean towards the later- but a good living would not hurt either.

So my parenting style- is pretty laid back. I want to be their soft place to fall.
I want them to feel safe and loved. I want them not to be afraid to talk to me. I will never stop loving them. I more proud of them when they try their best.

Like skiing- Stinky did not give up. He was struggling but he kept trying and he loved it, he was so proud of himself and that made me beam with pride.

My kids are loved and snuggled and respected- my only demand- is for them to learn to be kind.

An aside- when are Amy Chua's children going to learn the ins and outs of social mores and norms? When are they going to learn compassion and empathy? When are they going to learn to love? That is a failing, much more serious than getting a "B" on a math test.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My kids are active- they have a wide variety of activities under their small belts. They are always moving, always doing, always learning.

We decided to take advantage of the snowy winter and head to Chestnut Mountain, which is not really a mountain by the standards of the Rockies or Appalachians but for Midwest skiing- it is the best you can get.

Stinky and Princess were signed up for ski school...I watched the little ones while the big kids learned the art of skiing.

Here they are all ready:
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Stinky had a huge grin plastered on his face as he rode the "magic carpet" up to the top of a practically horizontal hill. Then he "zoomed" down it. He was so proud of himself.

Princess- again just caught on. Again another sport that she just 'got'.

After a bit they took the "bus" an ATV and trailer over to "Rookies Ridge" for a little more of a challenge. Stinky Loved it. He was thrilled! He was really skiing! He is just such a peanut he did not have the weight he needed so he would be going great then his skies would turn him backwards- he did not seem to mind though, he kept going and got himself turned around.

His day was completely made because of the chair lift. He thought that was the best thing ever. I could see him beaming from 100 feet away.

Princess mastered Rookies Ridge, hoped on the chair lift and went again, loving every second of it. After the lesson officially ended. Her instructor took her on "Old Man", which she apparently rocked.

The ski instructors were fantastic. They had Grant the first day and Skyler (really! this was soooooo cool!) second. The guys were super patient with the kids and so helpful. Already they are begging to go again, I think that could be arranged.

Warming up:
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an open letter about Tease

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An open letter to Kristin

Dear Kristin,

A year ago (a whole year- and what a year it has been!) when I walked into Tease with J I was scared. I did not know what to expect.
I heard whooping and hollering from the studio and really started to panic--- clearly there was no way I could do this.

You led me. You started me on this journey that I did not expect. A journey that touched a part of me that I, and a lot of women, bury and stuff down: you began to guide me getting to know myself and my body, of not just accepting it but loving it, for all of its curves and strengths and weaknesses; of learning to listen to my heart and honor my needs instead of rushing to meet everyone's needs.

I was not ready to feel the sensuality that I felt. I was not ready to awaken that part of me. Good girls don’t do that right? Good girls do not feel pleasure from their bodies. The part of me that Tease has awakened has made me feel whole again. Tease has helped me to learn how to feel again; to allow myself to be vulnerable. This made me very uncomfortable and forced me to confront a lot of things that I had refused to deal with, but I had my safe place. So many of these things were not neat and pretty, they were messy and painful and all together unpleasant. Having Tease to facilitate this journey made so much of it possible.
More than that Tease has become my safe haven- no one messes with my Tuesday nights. They are MINE.

The Tease girls are not just my classmates who I see in an exercise class once a week- they are my friends, and I care deeply for them.
The ladies at Tease have supported me through an interesting year; one that has been rife with challenges. Because of the support of Tease I have made it through stronger and more confident. I hope that others have found me supportive and helpful on their journeys through life.

Thank you. Thank you so very much for sharing this. Thank you for all of it. I am looking forward to a fantastic second year.

This should never happen.

Another woman I consider a friend is meeting her son and saying goodbye to him today. Her son tragically died at 38 weeks, at term.

Again, there is nothing to say. No words to express my sorrow for them or my anger that this is happening to another family. No prayer for peace will assuage their grief or make this any easier.

But of course, all I can do is offer words, and thoughts of comfort and peace. Please include this family in your prayers. Remember to be thankful for all of the blessings you have been given, because in a heartbeat the whole world can change.


Friday, January 14, 2011

I am not a 'schedule' mom. My kids schedule is kinda on the fly. Nice day? Park? Arboretum? Rainy? Bouncy Place?

Today Stinky got invited to join a soccer team at his preschool..BTW love the preschool they were out sledding when I picked him up- but anyway. I started thinking about what the other kids may like to do for activities. I found the website for Activity Tree, and was really impressed. They actually had activities in my area that I had not thought of. is the nation’s largest online parent resource for [link: kid’s lessons, classes and camps]. Parents can search nearly 80 activity types by zip code to find activity providers in their area. It features contact information, web site links, interactive maps and activity descriptions for over 18,000 providers.

It is really easy to be complacent and not get active and moving, the couch is just so comfy... but it is crucial to their health to be active kids. Really. When my kids are active they behave better and are happier, which really helps me too!

The part that I liked best is that is making kids activities and camps more affordable by offering “Get Kids Active!” Scholarships. There are two ways to enter to win a scholarship:
1) Kids Scholarships Page
2) ActivityTree Facebook Page via the Scholarships tab

Our Get Kids Active! Facebook Campaign helps parents get their kids active through social networking. Fans of Activity Tree can find and share activity ideas on our wall, pass the “Get Kids Active!” sticky note to their friends, and take fun and informative activity-related polls.

She is growing up.....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Princess is growing up. Faster than I would like.

Last year, she was getting antsy about her teeth. Her friends had begun to lose teeth last year however hers were still firmly in place not ready to go anywhere just then.

A week before Christmas she pointed out that one of her teeth was wiggly. She was extremely happy about this. Loose teeth are the one thing I cannot handle. They make my stomach turn and make me want to vomit. You know, the clammy, dizzy, ear-ringing, MUST SIT NOW feeling? That is what I feel like when I see loose teeth. So imagine the joy that showing me her tooth brought Princess. She loved sneaking up on me and showing me her tooth and then giggling riotously as I picked myself up from the floor. (Clearly she is her father's daughter).

In anticipation of the inevitable loss of the tooth I got a bag made for her that has her initial cross stitched on it. So the tooth could go in there- therefore making the tooth-fairy's much easier.

The loss occured when she was staying at B's parents overnight (I was kind of excited that I did not have to deal with it). Princess was positively gleeful. She had bridged into "big-kiddom".

B's parents saved the tooth and let the tooth fairy know that Princess would be home the following day and she could visit then. I thought this was really sweet. Loosing a first tooth, as disgusting as it may be- is a right of passage that is important.

Apparently, the tooth fairy has invested wisely, because despite the economy, because she has increased her payout substantially. Much more tan would be appropriate if the payout was only adjusted for inflation.

Of course, a few days later she lost her second tooth, this time at home.

Online Shopping

I still remember the first thing I ever purchased online: my blue iPod. I loved that thing. I developed a relationship with the iPod that outlasted several boyfriends. Since then I have grown a lot more comfortable shopping online- typically I do all of my holiday shopping online- or I do as much as I possibly can do online.

The first time I ever heard of I was reading "My Sister's Keeper" and the mother in book would order fancy dresses try them on, and then send them back, inevitably finding some flaw. The description of the dresses was from the perspective of a child, and it was fascinating reading what a girl may think of a designer gown.

This led me to explore and it is more than dresses that look like sunsets. They have a huge selection of designers such as Prada and Gucci, and Fendi.

Granted- there is no way in hell that I will ever be able to afford one but they are fun to look at....

Scary Stuff

Monday, January 10, 2011

This is a big month of confessions for me.

Right now I am going through a bit of a rough time. There are some of you who know the problems with jobs here- so you know what that is about.
But- suffice it to say- things are really really tight here. I am not doing well. I am terrified.

What if I can't afford my home? Where would we live? What would we do? As I type this I am in tears of fear looking over my household. It is largely known that I do this on my own for the most part... and for the most part I am a 'strong and independent woman' but sometimes I want to be a mama...and be able to buy groceries without worry, or pay tuition without a thought, sadly that is not our life here. Our life is scary at the moment.

I know we'll get through. I have the love and support of friends and family and G-d. We will get through. However.

I am sitting here in abject absolute terror as to how I am going to afford my life... my life is not excessive- I will cancel my phone and cable posthaste- but will that be enough?

Can I do it?

I am scared.

All you do is pick, pick, pick

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stinky has never been a big kid. He has always been somewhat of a fussy eater.
He is also crazy skinny. So the traditional strategy of "this is dinner, eat" makes me feel so guilty! In addition to that, sometimes, people really just do not like somethings... and there is nothing wrong with that, and forcing the issue will not do anyone any good. Why should someone be forced to eat something that they really do not like??

My parents had some what of a mixed approach. I had to try something. A "no thank you helping" and if I did not like it- fine. I also had to eat at least one meatball on Sunday (spaghetti night- which to this day I avoid if possible.) This was good- I am an adventurous eater (sometimes) but do not like the typical foods.

So my slim Stinky:

Please eat. Please eat LOTS.


Sometimes I do not like being a mother

There, I said it. Out loud, well in print. This is not to say that I do not adore my family. Really I do. I love them more than words can say, but sometimes, I do not want to be Mama.

Sometimes I wish I could hand over the reigns for a little bit to someone else and start to rediscover who I am, under the layers of snot and years of sleep deprivation. See I can't. No one will be home to take my load. My load is mine.

Even as I am writing this Peas is pulling my hands away and holding them. I also have Pixie in my lap and Stinky calling me. I have yet to wipe up the floor, finish the dishes, laundry, do some reading with Princess, and get everyone to bed.

Logically, I should stop writing and get to work right? But I can hardly muster the motivation to think.

Mommy-burn out. Plain old mommy burn out. The feeling that I just can never get out from under the tasks that demand my time and attention. There is no getting ahead.

Torn between wanting to cry/scream or pull my hair out I am trying to figure a way out.

Depression? maybe.
Anxiety? duh.

Pixie's hair

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When Pixie was a baby-- ok a little little baby she had this luxurious dark brown hair that was thick and so soft.

Her hair has lightened to a blondish color. It is still pretty and it is great- but I miss her dark brown hair, it made her unique.

I loved running my fingers through her dark hair- it felt like feathers it was so soft.

Ice Skating,...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

When I was a kid I have memories of double bladed skates, an outdoor rink, and my mom. Insignificant memories right? No.

They define my childhood and life. My mother was there to teach me and catch me. One step at a time.

Yesterday, I took Stinky and Princess skating. Princess, I have decided, is the girl I hated growing up- she just 'gets' everything. Once around the rink holding on to the side and she was off. She fell a few times but was up and gone by the time I was over to her- with a gaggle of new friends.

Stinky is much more risk averse. He takes time to warm up and then slowly builds his confidence. He loved it, decided he wants to play hockey...

Fast Forward.

Today, at worship, we learned that the youth group has rented the ice at a local rink- Princess's perked....

$1 for skate rental- I figured sure $1, okay we are in.

Peas- my little fearless child was, well fearless, she took to it like, anything. She loved it, her tantrum was for leaving. Despite promises that we would come back.

Stinky hugged the wall again, but did so well. Each time he went around he got braver and went faster or let go more.

Princess? She loved it. Nothing that girl can do would surprise me at this point she is just "that girl".

Pixie even walked on the ice, at 14 months old!

I never took skating lessons, I just lived at the 'Y' an outdoor rink, for years in the winter with friends.

My kids, I hope, will get as much joy from skating as I did... Heck still do- assuming, of course, I can move tomorrow.

Time for another birthday

With four kids there are a lot of birthdays and parties, and maybe one day, I'll even have a grown up party- you know- one where the kids double dipping is not such a concern.

Finding dates to have the parties is hard enough. Finding invitations that are modern but not garish is hard!

I stumbled upon Something New Invitations during my searching for the perfect invitation for Peas 3rd birthday (how is she almost three?)

The website is a bit confusing as it is still under-construction but I found the perfect trendy invitation for Peas birthday- I sent a request to get information about it- I'll keep you updated as to how it turns out.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

*** she really was happy, I just snapped the photo at the wrong time****
She has discovered the fun of pink foam rollers. My poor mother put my hair in rollers all the darn time. I loved curly hair but I had strait hair- very straight hair, so does Princess.

Now she too, knows the amazing things that pink foam curlers can do.

A few nights ago, I put Princess's hair in the curlers and she was thrilled with the time on her own with me and with the results the next day. She loved it. Now almost every night she asks me put her hair up in rollers.