Friday, March 30, 2012

Vacation Day

What did I do this morning while the girls were at their Gram's house?

One guess...yes, laundry.

And dusting.

And vacuuming.

And picking up clutter.

And it was awesome. There was no one following me around asking for a drink or food, or just handing me some random toy they were finished playing with.

Okay, to be fair, I also slept uninterrupted until 8:00 this morning. Oh my goodness, that was lovely.

Once upon a time, way back when I was in my late twenties and living in an apartment in Chicago, I would sleep in on the weekends, waking up when I was no longer tired. I don't remember that girl, that person who sometimes went an entire weekend without speaking to anyone except the cashier at the grocery store a half a block from her apartment building.

But I think I miss her. No, wait. I don't. I don't ever want to go back.

I'm blessed to be here, tired and overworked and all. I wouldn't change it for anything.

I sometimes wonder if maybe I'm still there, in that little studio apartment, sleeping, dreaming this life. If so, I don't want to wake up. Please, just let me stay asleep.

Though I'd be willing to dream of a few more vacation days like this one here and there. Let's leave out the little tiff Tom and I had earlier today as I was walking out the door to pick up the girls. That was stupid and pointless.

But the rest? Let's not change it. Let's not wake up and have it all vanish the way dreams tend to do upon waking.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When the Solution Becomes the Problem

Olivia likes to shadow me. If I'm going upstairs to gather laundry, she's right beside me. She then follows me down the stairs to the basement while I start the washer.

Last weekend, she was right there as I cleaned the girls' room. At one point, I was in the bathroom, gathering up dirty towels (laundry is the bane of my existence) when Olivia appeared at my side.

She said, "Mommy, look!"

I glanced down at her and saw red. Literally. She had used the red lipstick that is now out of her reach and slicked it all over her face, from her eyebrows to her chin.

She was so proud of herself.

I just sighed and said, "Oh, Honey, that was not a good choice." I then ordered her not to touch anything because the lipstick was also on her hands and had been transferred to the wall and the bathroom counter in the time it took me to get a wash cloth.

I got out the Vaseline and went to work.

The lipstick actually came off her face fairly easily with the Vaseline. The walls? Not so much. But I'm working on that one.

When I got to my mom's house on Tuesday, Jaxon's hair was slicked into a faux hawk.

I smiled and said, "Jaxy, I love your hair."

My mom said, "I don't think you're giong to love Livy's."

I looked at Olivia and first thought her hair was wet.

It wasn't.

While my mom's back was turned, Olivia found the Vaseline and slicked almost and entire container's worth into her hair.

Oh my Lord.

It's disgusting! It feels like she's been dipped in a vat of grease.

By the time I'd arrived, my mom had washed O's hair three times.

When we got home, I washed it three more times. The picture in the previous post? That's after six washings.

I googled "how to get vaseline out of hair." There were a lot of suggestions, from baby oil (really?) to peanut butter to washing one's hair with dish soap.

Yesterday, I washed O's hair three more times, using a shampoo that doesn't have a conditioner included. I also used bar soap, hoping it was a little harsher (her hair is currently ultra conditioned, I'm really not worried about damaging the folicals so much as I worry about getting the soap in her eyes.)

I'm lucky she's a good sport about hair washings. She just wipes her eyes after each rinse and giggles as I scrub, scrub, scrub.

This girl is turning so mischievous these days. Dear heaven!

Today, I picked up a bottle of regular baby shampoo, again without condition and washed her hair three more times, alternating the baby shampoo with the bar soap.

It is getting better. Slowly.

The girls are spending the night at my mom's tonight and when I dropped them off, Olivia and Jaxon wanted to take a bath. My mom washed their hair with Dawn dish soap. She was careful to avoid their eyes.

When I left, O's hair was still damp but it looked better than ever. I think we might have to repeat the dish soap a few more times but we're on our way toward Olivia having Vaseline-free hair.

I hope.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Daddy Day

Commentary on O's hair later:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nasty Virus and Disgusting Bagel

Alyssa finished antibiotics for strep throat just over a week ago.

Last Thursday night, I woke up to find Olivia sweating away with a fever. A little children’s Tylenol, drink of water, two pieces of jelly toast and a story later (three hours from start to finish) and she was back to sleep, the fever reduced and her mother exhausted.

She didn’t go to school that Friday. My mom reported that Olivia didn’t appear to be sick AT ALL that day.

Saturday, she had a runny nose that she liked to dig at to the point of giving herself nose bleeds. Ick! Ick, ick, ick.

Sunday, she was full of energy and just seemed to have the sniffles. Tom looked up her nose and saw that it appeared to be swollen and gunky. Again, ick!

Yesterday, Monday, she was fine at my mom’s house, running and playing, occasionally asking for a tissue to wipe her nose. These days we hand her a tissue with the directions, “Wipe, do not dig.”

I called our doctor yesterday to see about an appointment for both A and O. I want Alyssa to be seen for a possible referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist because she often snores and I worry about sleep apnea and possibly enlarged adenoids.

And those nose bleeds of Olivia’s are freaking me out.

Our doctor is out of the office all week. Figures. I made an appoinement for Alyssa for April 13 but waited to make one for Olivia.

This morning, Olivia woke up hoarse and sniffly, saying her throat hurt.

I met Tom and Olivia at Urgent Care at 9am this morning.

The diagnosis? A virus that will take two to three weeks to run its course. Plenty of fluids were prescribed as well as the recommendation of children’s Benedryl and running a humidifier in her room at night to help with the dryness that is probably causing the bleeding in her nose.


I know how lucky we are that Olivia is so healthy. I do. But I can’t help but worry that this cold, this virus, this problem is going to be the one that pushes her over the edge into ‘sickly kid’ territory. It makes me really paranoid to just wait and see. I do think the blood she’s drawing in her nose is superficial. I do. And yet…I want her doctor, her regular doctor, to tell me that.

The doctors at Urgent Care are great. They’re excellent at diagnosing colds and strep throat and viruses but I always have to explain to them about her 5p-, how it affects her and why we’re worried.

I want her doctor to be in the freaking office so I can get his opinion on what’s going on. Yes, there is always next week but damn it, she’s sick THIS week.

Obviously, for now, we’ll run the humidifier, give her the Benedryl and keep her hydrated. And as always, hope and pray for the best.

In other news, I was eating a bagel earlier today and it took me four bites of it to realize that it was disgusting. Oh, I knew after the first bite that I wasn’t enjoying the taste of the bagel at all but I took three more bites before stopping, deciding that I didn’t want to ingest something that wasn’t at least tolerable, let alone enjoyable. What the hell is wrong with me that I wanted to eat that damned thing just because it was there, not because I was enjoying the experience of eating it but because I wanted to enjoy it?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sharing Responsibilities

When I was growing up, my mom was the parent. Sure, I have a dad. He’s a very nice fellow. But he’s, um, not very assertive, yes. That’s the right way to describe him. No assertive.

My mother was the one who made the decisions, from what we wore, to what we ate and when we went to bed. If there was something for which we needed permission, we went to her. If we wanted to play a sport or in the band, she made the final decision. If punishment needed to be doled out, she doled it. If praise or affection was called for, she provided it.

The home in which my children are being raised is different. Tom is a very active, involved parent. He’s right there during dinner making sure they’re getting what he considers enough fiber and vegetables. He asks Alyssa all the time if she’s done her homework or if she’d done the reading she needs to get done for school.

He takes the girls to the doctor almost as often as I do. He is involved in choosing what time they go to bed and whether or not they are getting enough exercise.

I like this. I do. Please don’t think I don’t realize how lucky I am to have an active parenting partner.

But last week, my mom and I were talking about this very thing and she said, “I’m so glad I didn’t have anyone giving me input on what I might be doing wrong.”

And see, that’s it. There are times when I feel like Tom doesn’t think I do much of this parenting thing well. I know this is my own neuroses talking. I know that he doesn’t actually sit back and think to himself, “Damn, Tommie can’t do anything right.”

No, he doesn’t do that. But he will give me a raised eyebrow if I do something he wouldn’t have done.

And that irritates the shit out of me. I don’t mind input but I do mind feeling as if I’m being censured. I don’t do it to him and I don’t want him to do it to me.

My biggest problem is that over the years I’ve never wanted to make anyone angry. And I see that I need to get over that.

I need to learn to call Tom on those moments when I feel like he’s silently telling me that I’m wrong. I need to step up and be sure of myself.

It’s tough for me. I hate confrontation. I need to get over that.

I don’t want to sound like I’m looking for a fight. I’m not. Nor do I want Tom to step back and take a backseat to parenting in our house. No, all I ask is that he give me the same respect I give him. That is not asking too much. We’re in this together, we’re equals. We’re both good parents even if we sometimes don’t agree on just how to parent in any particular moment. It’s okay to disagree but it’s not okay to disrespect each other, especially in front of the kids.

I want my girls to grow up strong, knowing that their thoughts and opinions are just as important as the next guy’s. I want them to have a sense of self and the knowledge that they can make decisions on their own.

I need to model that behavior for them so they can see what it means to be a strong woman.

I owe it to them if not to myself.

In the end, Tom needs to learn to share responsibilities as much as I do. We're both better when we have the other on our side. I need to remember that and remind him of it more often.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Around the Wall

Sometimes the wall seems insurmountable. Sometimes, it seems so high and so thick that I just know there is no way to climb it or make a dent were I to try and knock it down.

Today, I went around the wall.

I looked at the girls' room, which is so much better than it was two days ago, I looked at the clothes on the floor that still needed to be sorted and the laundry in the basement that needs to be folded and put away and I looked outside at the green grass and the sunshine. I turned my back on the chores and walked around that wall.

I took the girls to the park, we stopped on the way at a little country store for Bug Juice and Dr. Pepper (don't judge, I had a headache. I'm just proud to say it wasn't a Mountain Dew) and away we went.

Olivia climbed and Alyssa flipped. They both swung high and Alyssa found a mud puddle in which she built a dam.

They laughed and soaked up the sunshine and the warm spring air.

And when we got home, the wall seemed a little smaller, a little thinner.

The laundry is still there, waiting to be done, the floors need swept and vacuumed but there are also three boxes of clothes sorted and stored, waiting for Olivia to grow into them and there are ten boxes of clothes that Olivia has outgrown that are going bye-bye tomorrow.

There are days when I let the wall overwhelm me.

Today was not one of them.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Wall

At around 2:00 this afternoon, I hit a wall.

I felt like if I had to hear Olivia talk about butt cheeks one more time I was going to lose my shit.

And when she chirped a little ditty about naked butt cheeks I slapped my hand on the washer and ordered her to leave the room.

In my defense, I'd suggested that she find another topic on which to orate several times in the minutes before the loss of my shit.

It didn't help that she woke up this morning at 5:20, bright eyed and ready to start the freaking day.

I handed her a flashlight and that kept her occupied for about an hour. By 6:30, she was hungry and had had it with the flashlight.

My project for the day was to clean the girls' room. I needed to go through their clothes and pack away the ones Alyssa has outgrown for Olivia to grow into as well as pack away the ones that O has outgrown to pass down to Gracie.

It was going fine except that Olivia needed to be my shadow. Which, okay. I get it.

But hearing a constant monologue expounding the virtues of big, naked butt cheeks got old pretty fast.

And so I snapped.

When my open hand slapped the lid of the washer, O's eyes got huge. When I ordered her to leave the room, she turned and raced out the door.

But there were no tears from her. In the end, she thought it was a big joke.

Which frustrates me. And yet...whatever. Rigth now, I'm too tired to try and explain it.

She likes the fact that the words butt and cheek but together make it 'naughty'. Not quite naughty enough for her to ban it from the house but just naughty enough that she knows not to use it at school. So it's fun and silly.

And it drives me nuts, which is a perk when you're five years old and want to push your mother's buttons.

Lucky Olivia, this mom seems to have a lot of buttons these days that are just begging to be pushed.

If only I could figure out how to push through this wall. I just know things are better on the other side.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Breaking Early

I’m a little off today thanks to Olivia and that fever that woke her up at 1:00 last night and didn’t let her go back to sleep until almost 4:00.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say the little sneak faked it just to get a jump on spring break, which starts today officially at 3:00pm with the release bell at school.

But no, at five years old, O has no clue what spring break is or even that a week of no school is in her near future.

Alyssa? Is all about having a week off. She counted down the days this whole month.

When I realized that Olivia was running a fever last night, my first thought was Strep throat. Alyssa just finished a round of antibiotics for Strep last week and so I figured this was round two. But O’s throat looks fine and she says it doesn’t hurt.

I gave her some ibuprofen for the fever as well as a drink of water.

Then…the requests for tissues began. Until very recently, a runny nose wouldn’t bother me. She’s kicked the common cold often enough that really, it’s not a big worry. But lately, when her nose is ‘itchy’ or even a little runny, she rubs and rubs and rubs at it until she gives herself a nosebleed.

This freaks me out! I know the cause and shouldn’t be bothered by it as much as I am but I can’t help it. So last night I’d tiredly hand her a tissue and tell her, “Wipe your nose but don’t dig at it.”

She only managed to draw blood once but egads!

I think the rubbing is from dryness. We have a humidifier running in the room where she sleeps, I am constantly giving her drinks to keep her hydrated and I’ve even gone so far as to consider putting some Vaseline on a Q-tip and swiping along the inside of her nose in hopes of relieving the irritation.

Olivia can be a little obsessive about things. I know, ha, right? See the hair-pulling, the thumb-sucking, etc. But this one seems a little less than harmless. So I’m doing all I can to put a stop to it.

And that fever? Was under control by 2am. But by then, she was wide awake. We went downstairs to the rocking chair with me hoping she’d nod right off again.

No. Oh good heavens no. She found a couple of books, ‘read’ those while I dosed with her on my lap. Then at 3:00 her stomach growled.

I offered to make her some toast. She scrambled off my lap so I could get up and hop to it. As we walked to the kitchen she suggested that perhaps the toast would be even better if I were to spread a little jelly on it, thank you very much.

After two pieces of toast with generous amounts of grape jelly were devoured as if she hadn’t eaten in a week, I trudged back up the stairs with my ‘sick’ child. She was asleep within fifteen minutes of laying down.

Now she’s happily playing at Gram’s while I’m just trying to get through the day. It’s almost spring break. Can you feel my enthusiasm?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Can You Help?

There is a little girl over in Eastern Europe who wants to come home to her family. There is an amazing family who is trying very hard to adopt this little girl and bring her home.

All the details are here I don’t usually do this but back in January I made two resolutions. One was to read to Olivia more often. That has evolved into three books a night, every night. I think we’ve missed maybe two nights since January first. She loves this. You guys, I feel awful that I didn’t read to her more often in the past. I always felt like we were just so busy and thought that two nights of reading a week was enough. It wasn’t. She’s shown me in her enthusiasm for reading each and every night.

But Albina, the little girl who wants to come home, right now her mom can’t read to her because she’s over here, trying to raise money to bring her daughter home.

That brings me to my second resolution. To give money whenever I can to orphans in Eastern Europe who are up for adoption because they were abandoned due to special needs. If Olivia had been born in the country where Albina was born, I’d have been pressured to leave her in an orphanage and never look back.

How lucky am I that my family has embraced my beautiful girl? How lucky is Olivia that she lives in a country where therapies are readily available to help her reach her fullest potential?

Please, if you feel led, click on the link above and give whatever you can to help bring Albina home. Please.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mrs. McJudgerson

I would like to think that every parent out there is doing their best. I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and believe that they are doing what they feel is right for their family.

When Alyssa was about almost three years old I attended a baby shower for my cousin Holly. She was enormously pregnant and was counting down the days to her scheduled C-section.

The organizers of the shower asked all the ‘experienced’ moms fill out a little piece of paper with a bit of advice for Holly, just a nugget or two of wisdom to help her through those first hellish days of having a newborn in the house.

My cousin’s wife, the mother of three boys who at the time were five, ten and twelve years old wrote and wrote and wrote some more. She basically wrote a manual on the ‘right’ way to raise your child. She literally wrote page after page of advice for Holly.

Glancing through these pages, I saw that this woman, let’s call her Cindy, had written pretty advice that pretty much went against everything thing I’d done during my first three years as a mother.

Let me point out here that Cindy had served as a babysitter for Alyssa when Alyssa was about two years old. Alyssa went to Cindy’s house daily for about three months. During this time, Alyssa was still drinking milk from a bottle once a day and once at night. Alyssa also had a stuffed dog named Bubby that she took with her everywhere. She adored that dog. He slept with her during every nap and each night.

Cindy’s advice to Holly was to make sure she got her baby off the bottle by ten months old just so the baby wouldn’t be hard to break from it when she was older. “There is nothing more disgusting than seeing a toddler who is two or even three years old carrying around a baby bottle. It’s called a BABY bottle for a reason,” Cindy wrote.

She went on to write, “If your child seems to prefer a particular toy or blanket over others, be sure and put it out of sight several times a day. It’s not healthy for your child to rely on something like that. They’d be better off learning to rely on themselves for comfort rather than a toy or a blanket.”

She continued in this vein page after page. She told Holly that as soon as her child was walking, she shouldn’t carry her anywhere, make her walk, it will teach her to be self-reliant. Don’t talk baby talk to your child, make them use their words.

It breaks my heart that I subjected Alyssa to this woman for even a couple of months back then. Sure, it might have made her more self-reliant but it also went against everything I feel is right for me as a parent.

Neither of my girls took a pacifier so I never had to take it away from them. But honestly, I don’t care when I see a child three or even four years old sucking on one. Big deal! It works for that parent and that child.

I don’t even think that Cindy is a bad mother. She’s just not the same type of mother that I am. And that’s okay. I think we can both be good moms in our own ways.

And as Alyssa and Olivia both get older, they’re both finding their independence, their self-reliance. By the time our kids (mine and Cindy’s) are all grown, who is going to be able to tell how long each one of them had a ‘baby’ bottle versus how often their mother happened to carry them down the stairs even though they could walk?

Judging other moms makes everyone lose. The judge sees everyone else as wrong and everyone else sees the judge as a bitch. See, losers all around.

Why can’t we all just see that everyone is doing their best, trying to get through this parenting thing with our sanity intact? Why does it always have to be a competition?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


My mom introduced Alyssa to croquet a couple of weeks ago.

Alyssa loves it. As in, she’s asking every single afternoon if one or more of us will play with her.

We usually do because the weather has been glorious and because it’s fun to watch her whack the ball around the yard.

She’s actually not very good. At all. But what she lacks in skill, she makes up for in enthusiasm.

And judge us if you want but we don’t let our kids win at games. If they win, they know they did it fair and square.

But for all the whacking and chasing, she’s come close to coming in second a couple of times (second when there are three or more of us playing.)

I love playing these games that remind me of my childhood with my kids. I love building memories with them and showing them that sometimes the simplest things are the best ones.

My girls know that life isn’t always sunshine and roses (though Olivia did step on a branch from a rose bush last night and ended up with a thorn in her foot. Damned roses.) but they know that we try to find the fun and joy in most things.

Evenings in the backyard, with the croquet set is one of those simple pleasures. Olivia prefers to run around, singing songs and demanding I dance to her music between turns but even that adds to the fun.

Croquet…one of those long lost pleasures I’m glad we’re rediscovering.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Parking It

Each year since Olivia was about two years old, I’ve documented our adventures at the local parks.

Back during Olivia’s first year, I knew it would be a little harder just because she’d be in a stroller and Alyssa would be four and wanting to go everywhere and do everything. It was fine. Olivia slept in her stroller most of the time and Alyssa climbed and slid and swung and spun to her heart’s content. She needed minimal help with the climbing and sliding and just needed a little push to get started on the swinging.

I thought the second year would be different. When Olivia was born, of course I’d expected her to start walking on time and that meant she’d be a toddler during her second summer at the park. Not so much. She was still in her stroller most of the summer, since she didn’t start crawling until she was seventeen months old. And even if she had been crawling at the start of her second summer, I don’t think I’d have let her down to crawl in the chunks of tires or the wood chips that were scattered beneath the playground equipment at various parks in our area.

I’d hoped the third summer would be easier. But again, even though Olivia was walking in April of that year, she was a timid walker. She needed a lot of help from me if she was even willing to attempt to play on most of the equipment. This meant that Alyssa had to get braver and more independent, unless she was willing to hover at my side while I helicoptered over Olivia.

And so it went.

Even last year, Olivia was needy. She was scared to go down the slides by herself and she wanted me holding her hand as she climbed the stairs to even get to the slides.

But oh, how she’s grown over the past year. Her courage has grown, her confidence has blossomed and her daring has bloomed into a beautiful, scary flower.

We went to the park this weekend. Heck, we went to two parks! It was fabulous. Olivia climbed, she slid, she swung and she jumped all by herself.

Now, don’t think I’ve turned into one of those moms who finds a bench on the outer boundaries of the park and sits to watch my kids play. Oh no, that’s not where we are yet. No, I was right there, following them both as they played. But they were playing without my help. Olivia no longer needed me to go down the slides with her. She no longer needed to hold my hand to climb the stairs to the top of the slide.

We played a lot of ‘follow the leader.’ Alyssa and Olivia took turns leading and I followed behind, letting them choose where to go, what to play on. And it was great. Alyssa’s fun wasn’t limited by what Olivia couldn’t do. Olivia wasn’t afraid to try the things Alyssa led.

This is what I imagined six years ago when I was pregnant with my second child, these moments of sibling fun, of letting the lead the play and hearing them laugh at themselves and each other.

It only took five summers to get there but here we are.

And yes, our first visit to the park this season was on St. Patrick’s day. It was gloriously green.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Taking It All In

This past week, Olivia has told me twice about what is going on in her classroom. Neither time did I ask her about it, she volunteered the information.

Each day when I get to my mom’s house, I ask both girls if they had a good day at school.

They both usually nod and smile and go about their business.

But on two separate occasions, Olivia has volunteered stories about what is happening in the part of her world that I’m not present for each day.

On Tuesday afternoon she said out of the blue, “Mommy, we have a slide in my classroom.”

I was thrilled by this bit of information and said so. I asked her if she got to go down it.

“We all do,” she answered. “We take turns sliding. It’s fun.”

Then she was done talking about school.

For a day or so.

Last night while she was in the bath, she called me to look at her.

I looked up from the magazine I was reading (what? I have to do something while she’s bathing and there was no clean laundry to fold. Lest you think that’s because it was all put away, no. There was no clean laundry to fold because it was all down in the hamper beside the washer, waiting to be washed.)

I looked up and Olivia was holding a cup to her nose. She said, “The kids in my class were doing this today before snack. They were pretending to be elephants.”

I asked if she did it too.

She shook her head. “I was too nervous.”

Nervous! My child, the one who was not supposed to talk at all if you believe the ‘research’ used the word NERVOUS properly in a sentence.

She continued her narrative, “But the kids had to stop using their trunks to be elephants because the teachers came to pour our milk and we had snack instead of pretending to be elephants.”

Can I just tell you how much these stories about school mean to me? They show how much she’s taking in even if she’s not showing it at school, she’s taking it all in, she’s processing it all and she’s coming home and telling me stories about it all.

I am so incredibly proud of this girl. She’s come so far and she’s got so very much potential to go so much further.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Fun

This morning Tom and the girls were already outside when it was time for me to leave for work. The bus picks the girls up for school no more than ten minutes after I leave.

They were running around the front yard, watching the clouds and picking shapes out of them.

At one point, Tom told Olivia that he wanted to marry one of the clouds.

She told him he couldn’t because the cloud was too big. Gotta love the logic used by a five year old.

I realized as I climbed into my car as the three of them played how much more fun the girls are these days than they were even a year or so ago.

They’re both still a lot of work but the work is different. Perhaps it’s that the work is less grinding, less minute to minute neediness.

Whatever it is, I realized this morning how much I like my family. Yes, yes I love them all with every cell in my body but liking them, to me is as important as loving them. Perhaps more important.

I want to be near them, I want to soak them in. I want to hear their thoughts and see their antics. I want to be drawn into a game of croquet at my mom’s right after work before we head home. I want to read to Olivia each night, to hear her giggle over silly pictures of cows in books.

I’m feel lucky to be where we are right this second. I like being in the moment and realizing how good that moment is. These times are fleeting. I am lucky to realize that and soak it all in.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Three Days

Back in August I decided to start a ‘healthy eating program.’ Yeah, let’s be honest here. I went on a diet. It was a calorie reduction diet. I stopped eating four peppermint patties a day and started eating salads for lunch.

It went well. That first month I lost sixteen pounds. September was easy too. I love another eight pounds that month. The loss slowed in October but I kept at it. I wasn’t tempted to indulge in peppermint patties or any other junk food. My daily salads continued to satisfy me and I was happy.

November and December came and went. I ate a little junk here and there but really did okay. I think I actually lost a couple of pounds each month. I was still eating a salad every day for lunch.

January showed no loss but also no gain. I maintained, I guess you could say. I called it good.

February…oh damn it! I gained a couple of pounds. I hovered around a three or so pound gain from my lowest point back in December/January. I tried to reign it in but I wanted that junk. I wanted Dr. Pepper and Sun Chips and chocolate covered raisins and Kit Kats. I wanted caramel covered eggs and iced honey buns.

This past Monday morning, March 12, the scale showed me a scary number. I was up ten pounds from my lowest point since starting the diet back in August, back when it was easy, when I was in ‘the zone.’

I knew what that meant. I knew that even though I’d lost ‘the zone’ I had to find a way to either get it back or fight my way through this rough patch. If I didn’t, I’d gain back the other twenty-five pounds I’d lost in the past seven or so months.

I don’t want to gain that weight back. I want to lose the ten pounds I’ve packed on in the last month and I’d really like to lose another sixty beyond that.

This is so hard and it frustrates me so much that I can’t get to a point where eating well is a habit, something that I enjoy rather than such a chore. Why do Cadbury caramel eggs have to taste so much better the celery? Why can’t I WANT to be out on the road, running a couple of mile each day instead of dreading figuring out how to fit that kind of exercise into my schedule? I mean, seriously? What is wrong with me?

How about a sick confession? I’ve watched Breaking Dawn part 2 several times since it came out on DVD and each time I am disgusted by the fact that I envy Bella when she is wasting away to the point that her shoulder blades are poking out and you can count the vertebrae in her spine. I envy her toothpick arms and her knobby knees. I want to be thin. I want to be skinny. I know how sick that is but it is what I want.

This entire thing isn’t about being healthy for me. It’s about wanting to be thin.

I’m not proud of myself for feeling this way but I want to be honest here. I try not to make thinness a big deal at home with the girls. I so desperately do not want to pass on my body image obsession to them. I want them to have strong, healthy bodies and a healthy relationship with food.

The past three days have been so hard. Losing weight is hard when you’re not in the zone. When you’re in the zone, you don’t want the junk. It’s not about will power there in the zone, you don’t have to fight cravings and desires for the stuff that’s bad for you.

Back in August I told myself I could do anything for a month. Right now? I'm just trying to get through the next hour, never mind the rest of March. So these last three days? I’ve fought and I’ve struggled and I think I’m on the brink of entering the zone again. My doctor once told me that it takes your body three days to process the junk you put into it and it takes three days off junk to get past the desire for it.

Tomorrow should be better. I hope so. The fact that the scale showed me four pounds lighter today than I was on Monday is a step in the right direction. Any progress helps strengthen the will power. But I don’t want to need will power. I want to be in the zone. I want it to be easy.

Don’t we all, though? But nothing worth having is ever easy. Or so they say.

And anyone out there reading? Please don’t fear that my losing sixty or so pounds is going to put me anywhere near the point dear Bella was in that movie. Oh, good heavens no. Heck, just to be where I was in high school, I’d have to lose seventy pounds from where I am today. And back then I was a size six, so never fear, I am not going to starve myself, no matter how badly I wish I could. I don’t have it in me do be that disciplined. Yes, yes, I do know how sick that is. But again, honesty and all that shit, right?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Need a Stamp

I clean out Olivia’s school backpack each evening in an effort to keep it a little lighter and to stay on top of the paper clutter , oh, I mean ART that comes home almost daily.

Friday’s clean-out found the ASQ: SE, which is a questionnaire asking about the things Olivia can and cannot or will not do. It has 33 questions I’m supposed to answer with ‘most of the time,’ ‘sometimes,’ or ‘rarely or never.’

I wish I had a stamp that I could use on some of these questions that reads: ‘does this at home but probably won’t do it for you.’

Because that’s how Olivia rolls. She does what she wants to do when she wants to do it and if she doesn’t want you, the teacher/therapist/evaluator to know that she can do something, well, you won’t know.

The only reason her teachers know she can speak in clear, complete sentences is because she’ll speak to me while I’m in the classroom with her. Oh wait, she’ll also speak to her Gram if she happens to be in the classroom for any reason.

But the teachers? She prefers not to speak to them.

She will obviously speak to her speech therapist because this is the woman who has declared that Olivia is at a typical level for her age group. I know!

Anyway, these questionnaires are frustrating and honestly, I feel like they’re a joke. What’s the point of me spending all that time filling it out when she won’t do the things I’m ‘reporting’ she does at home?

Oh, don’t worry, I’ll fill the stupid thing out, it’s the kind of complacent parent I am. I do the homework sent home to me. But I don’t have to like it. So there.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Fine Line

Alyssa stayed home from school on Friday with a sore throat and a fever. We started antibiotics on Saturday for strep throat and yesterday she seemed to be on the mend.

Ahhh, except last night, after being outside in the spring weather for hours, chasing Orville and ‘helping’ Tom take down the snow fence, Alyssa remembered that, damn, she was going to have to go to school today since she was feeling so much better.

So she started paving the way for a relapse around 7pm. She leaned into me and said softly, “My throat still sort of hurts.”

I was compassionate, I hugged her and said, “I’m sorry to hear that. I’m also sorry that you ran around so much today, it probably made you thirsty and wore you out.”

She sighed and didn’t say anything more about it for a while. Then she got up and took her temperature. She put the thermometer down and muttered, “I hate that thermometer.”

I laughed and asked, “Why? Because it doesn’t show that you have a fever?”

She knew I was on to her but that didn’t stop the next phase of “Convince Mom I’m still sick.”

She settled in again only to sigh and say, “I get so thirsty from this sore throat.”

I asked her if she was allowed to get up anytime she needed to and get a drink from the water fountain in the room.

She frowned and admitted that yes, they can get a drink whenever they need one.

We went to bed and she laid there for a bit, sitting up every few minutes to get one of those desperately needed drinks of water.

This morning, she woke up in a state.

Oh dear heavens, the melodrama that ensued. She cried, she whined, she worried over being thirsty and she insisted that she had to sneeze but couldn’t! She cried that she was so tired she could just sleep all day. Poor little rabbit.

You know, it’s a fine line for me, that line between being compassionate and being a sap. There’s also a fine line between being strict and strong and being mean.

We sent her to school. The doctor told me on Saturday that after two days of antibiotics, she would no longer be contagious.

I gave her a washcloth to wash her face, hugged her tight and told her that if she got to school and found that she just couldn’t take it, to go to the office and they’d call us to come get her.

See, Alyssa is one of those kids who doesn’t like to make waves at school. I thought for sure that once she got to school, she’d be happy to see her friends and willing to tough it out.

I was wrong.

She was at school for all of forty minutes when they called me from the office, saying she was in the clinic saying her throat hurt and she wanted to come home.


I guess I came down on the wrong side of the line this time. But…I’m not being too hard on myself. She really did play hard yesterday but it was during Tom’s watch, not mine. And we both know that if she’d played that hard on my watch, he’d never let me hear the end of it. Since it happened during his watch, I’m not one to rub it in (much.)

So she got to spend the day at Gram’s. She swore she’d sleep all day long. We’ll see.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


It feels like spring might be near. Today is the first day of nice weather this season. We've had a few days where the temps have been in the low 60s but the wind was always so strong that it made it feel much cooler.

Today, though, the wind was mild and the temps were wonderful.

Even with a diagnosis of strep, we let Alyssa outside to let the sun burn off the germs and the gentle wind blow off the sickies. We hope.

But we also took advantage of the first nice day to do a little work around the yard. Living in the middle of corn fields has it advantages. But one of the disadvantages is that come harvest time, we ended up with corn husks and cobs strewn about our yard.

A little raking took care of most of that.

And yay, we see the first of the tulips popping up. Those always make me think of the wonderful women I've met through the March of Dimes. We passed out tulip bulbs back in 2010 at a conference and each spring I'm reminded of how lucky I am to call these women friends.

Olivia was just beside herself with joy to be outside. She only wore her jacket for about five minutes before declaring it was much too warm for a jacket outside. She went down the dusty slide, declaring that her butt was cleaning it.

All in all, it's bean a lovely weekend, even with the sucky advent of Daylight Saving Time. Ugh!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

She's Happy

We had to hit WalMart early today. We were in town by 9:00 so we could get in to see a doctor at Urgent Care before it got busy. Alyssa missed school yesterday due to a fever and a sore throat. I suggested we get her in with our regular doctor yesterday but Tom thought she'd kick with a day of rest.

Not so much. Her throat showed more redness and ick this morning and the fever was back as soon as the ibuprophen wore off. So off we went.

The diagonsis? Strep throat. Ugh!

So after Urgent Care we had to get a prescription filled for the antibiotics that will hopefully kick the strep. Because I'm all about effeciency, we bought groceries while waiting for the medicine to be ready.

We usually get one of those enormous carts that have the blue bench seats for the kids to sit on. I like having the girls contained rather than trying to keep them to one side or the other was we fight the crowds that swarm Wallyworld on the weekends.

As we wandered through the frozen foods, Olivia was singing at the top of her lungs. I'm not even sure what song she was singing but it was quite entertaining. Several people grinned at us as we walked past and a couple of times I smiled bakc and said, "She's happy."

Alyssa finally muttered, "I'm never so happy that I sing outloud in WalMart."

I couldn't help but laugh.

Honestly, though, I think the world would probably be a better place if more of us were so happy and so unself-conscious that we gave in to the urge to sing out loud while shopping for frozen meatballs in WalMart.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Making the Cut

So all that frustrating concerning scissors? That worry that she’d never get it, she’d never learn (or want to learn) to cut a straight line?

I shouldn’t have let it bother me. Heck, we should have let her continue to think she had nothing to learn from scissors.

Scissors are evil. Olivia’s hair can attest to this in no uncertain terms.

In the past month, she’s cut her own hair twice. TWICE!

I realize this is a perfectly normal developmental stage and yay! And all that crap. But come on! Yes, yes, Alyssa did this when she was three. She hid behind a rocking chair and hacked three inches of hair from both sides of her head. Thankfully, her hair was almost to the middle of her back, so all I had to do was even up the back and she had a cute little shoulder-length bob going on.

Olivia’s hair? Is not long enough for her to be chopping away at bits and pieces of it.

The first time she cut it, she only managed to snip off a few pieces here and there and it was barely noticeable.

Yesterday, I arrived at my mom’s house and she asked right off, “Does Olivia’s hair look different?”

Why yes, it did? Why did it look different?

Because she’d used a pair of scissors to cut a chunk of hair, about two inches long right off. That chunk? Used to be the middle of her bangs. Now she has a perpetual center part and it’s just really not a good look. Yes, she’s adorable and can pull almost any look off, but this? Doesn’t work for me. So we’re having to use clips for a few weeks to pull the hair on either side of the area that is now less than half an inch long in hopes of covering it.

Egads! I’ve told her over and over that she’s not supposed to cut her hair. She nods wisely and says, “Okay.” Then she runs off and contemplates the next time she can sneak away with the scissors.

Tom was quick to point out that both of these haircuts happened at my mom’s but to be fair, the first one happened while I was there, so Olivia was technically in my care even if she was at my mom’s house at the time.

But the problem is that we don’t want to stop her from cutting paper. This is an excellent OT project for her. Anyone need any confetti? We’ve got it by the buckets full. But these days, she can’t be handed a pair of scissors and a few pieces of paper and be trusted to only cut the paper. So she needs constant supervision whenever scissors are within reach.

She’ll outgrow this, right? And her hair will survive, right? Damn, we (I?) have a lot of issues with this girl’s hair.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Now for Something Really Stupid

No one is as funny as I think I am. Not even me. Really.

I got my last round of Hep B vaccination today and I’m pretty convinced I’m immune to zombyism now. Tom’s not so convinced but he was relieved when I told him that even though he doesn’t share my immunity (this sort of immunity isn’t sexually transmitted, bummer, huh?) I won’t shoot him in the head should he become a zombie.

No, instead, I assured him that if he were bitten and became a zombie, I’d lock him in a cage in the basement and feed him live kittens. Where I’ll get these kittens is an issue for another day, one to consider should the zombie apocalypse actually occur.

I don’t think I amuse him nearly as much as I amuse myself.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

That's So Retarded

What a horrible phrase that is, right? It hurts so many of us in this community to hear someone throw that out like it’s no big deal. This girl right here:

She is not retarded. She is not a retard. She is a sweet, loving child who adores her big sister and her cousin. She loves to sit on her mom’s lap and read books, she enjoys sitting at the table and cutting paper into confetti. She dances and sings and swims like a fish.

I once received a letter from the geneticist we saw when Olivia was first diagnosed with 5p- syndrome. This geneticist saw Olivia twice, once to discuss what 5p- means (she wasn’t all that well read on the subject) and once for her to confirm that neither my husband nor I have the syndrome or any sort of balanced translocation of our chromosomes. We were tested because we wanted to know if our older children needed to be tested too. No, they do not. This was a random deletion.

The letter I received from the geneticist, the one who saw Olivia twice, for a total of an hour maybe, stated that Olivia would likely suffer from mild to moderate mental retardation.

I threw that letter away.

I realize that tossing the written evidence doesn’t change the possibility that Olivia was (is) cognitively impaired, but I wasn’t willing to keep something like that around. I felt like that doctor hadn’t taken the time to get to know Olivia and she had absolutely no authority on determining what Olivia’s potential might be based merely on a few lab results.

Our developmental pediatrician, the one who finally ordered the test that brought us the 5p- results, was much more trustworthy in my mind. She talked to us, she examined Olivia, she sees her every two years these days and she is the one who told us not to research the syndrome because the data is too old to be taken at face value. She also never once used the R word. She told us to take Olivia home and love her and expect as much out of her as we expect out of her sister. She reminded us that Olivia, at two years old, had already proven so much of the research wrong and that her potential was unknown.

The R word does not apply to my child. And I’d appreciate it if everyone would just stop saying it at all, especially as slang for “stupid, slow, etc.” Can we all agree that this word needs to go? Please.

Today is the 4th annual Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign. It’s the least we can do for our kids. The very least.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I am beginning to think that Tom and I have been a little, let’s say, over protective of Alyssa over the past nine years.

Take for example Saturday morning. She wanted some strawberries. I was heading down the stairs with laundry so I suggested she get some for herself.

She asked, “But what about the green stuff?”

“The stems?” I asked, pausing halfway down the basement to look back up at her.

She nodded.

I suggested, “Cut them off.” Seemed like a simple solution to me.

She was horrified at the very suggestion. “With a knife?” she asked as if I’d suggested she trim her nails with the lawn mower. “But I might cut myself!”

I told her to just pull the stems off then. Wow. Let’s remember that’s she’s nine. I’m thinking there are a lot of nine year olds out there with the dexterity to safely manipulate a knife to cut the leaves and stems off a few strawberries.

I guess I need to let her ‘help’ in the kitchen more. But that’s always so much more work than just doing it myself.

And yes, that very sentence there is what has led to this problem in the first place. I need to get over myself.

So an hour or so later, Alyssa got off the couch, carried her empty cup into the kitchen, handed it to me and asked, “Will you get me some water?”

OMG! Seriously? She was already almost back to the couch when I called her back to the kitchen, where I led her two feet from where she’d handed me the cup and showed her how to turn on the faucet and get her own damned water.

Let me state here that the girls did actually already know how to turn on the faucet, she just didn’t want to take those extra three steps to the sink.


But on the bright side, I taught her to clean the litter box last week. It is now one of her chores, along with feeding the fish, making sure the cat has food and water and bringing her lunchbox to the counter each evening to be emptied.

And this very morning, she helped me pack her lunch. Which is a good thing because I’ve decided that fourth grade is a marvelous year for her to start packing her own lunch. Under supervision, of course. For posterity sake, let me point out that Alyssa has never once eaten a lunch that was prepared by the school cafeteria. Oh no, she has carried her lunch to school every single day for almost four years (k through third grade.)

I do realize that the whole lunch thing is my fault too. But! I’m going to give myself a little credit here and point out that I’m attempting to make a few changes as we go along. It’s a step toward a little less hovering on my part.

Monday, March 5, 2012


That’s the way we’ve decided to go for Olivia’s continued education. She’s four days too old to go to preschool next year. So Kinderkids it is.

This is a program that is similar to kindergarten in that it is a bit more academic than preschool but the classes are smaller, still only about six kids to each adult in the room and the kids only attend half a day like preschool. She will go five days a week, though, so this feels like a step up and in the right direction.

During the meeting we had this morning to discuss this transition, O’s preschool teacher gave her thoughts and opinions on O’s development.

None of it was surprising. She is behind her peers in a lot of ways. Socially, I’d put her on par with a typical three year old these days. She’s still more into parallel play than actually interacting with her peers, she loves to play with her cousin but she’s known him since she was a year old, she’s used to him. She doesn’t accept new people all that quickly. She needs to take her time and settle in before she’ll show them what she can really do.

She likes routine. She likes knowing what’s coming next. Her teacher said that Olivia shows some hesitance about the bus if her friend K isn’t there right next to her.

She needs a lot of help transitioning from one activity to the next and her low muscle tone interferes with her independence as far as using the restroom, putting on her coat, ect.

Like I said, not surprising.

The teacher did say that Olivia displays an excellent vocabulary and the ability to vocalize her wants and needs when I or my mom are in the classroom with her. But if neither of us is there? She doesn’t speak.


So we always seem come back to figuring out how to get Olivia to do at school what she so happily does at home.

There was a surprising moment during this meeting. The speech therapist got her turn to speak and she declares that Olivia is perfectly average when it comes to vocabulary, pronunciation and even volume. I asked if she was comparing Olivia to typical five year olds or if she was comparing her to other kids with speech issues.

The ST assured me that she was comparing Olivia to your typical five year old. My girl speaks as well as any other five year old out there. When she wants to.

The school principal is trying to decide if she wants me to go with Olivia to the kindergarten testing that has to take place even though we’ve decided to send her to kinderkids.

Mrs. F, the preschool teacher pointed out that if I was there, Olivia’s scores would be higher than if I’m not present.

The principal said she doesn’t care if they’re higher, she wants to see what Olivia is capable of and if that means I need to be there, so be it. She said it won’t affect her placement in Kinderkids. The principal just wants it noted how well Olivia CAN do if the situations is perfect (meaning I’m present. In Olivia’s world, all is perfect is Mom can be right next to her.)

I’m okay with that too. I did say at the onset of this meeting that I could go on and on about what Olivia can and does do at home but we weren’t there for that. We were there to discuss what she can and does do at school and that is very different from how things are at home. And we have to grade her on her in-school performance because I don’t see that changing anytime soon. We all have to work together toward that change but Olivia is obviously the boss of all of us when it comes to her own behavior in school.

So…all that angst about preschool versus Kinderkids versus kindergarten and in the end, Olivia is going to be just fine because we all want the same thing. We all want her to succeed and we all want her to be happy and we’ll all do whatever it takes to make those things happen. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a dedicated team working with our girl.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Changing Things Up

So yesterday, when I saw that gas prices had gone from $3.82 to $3.99, I decided that the weekly trip the girls and I take to the grocery store on Saturdays needed to be done by myself on Friday night after work.

It made financial sense. We live 17 miles from town. I was saving us a 34 mile round trip and that much for my car.

And the best part? Tom already had the girls so it wasn't like my mom was being asked to care for them longer on a Friday afternoon while I went grocery shopping. Win/win.

Then, to keep the changes coming, I fell asleep in the recliner at 8:15 last night, while rocking Olivia. Alyssa woke me up at 9:00 so we could all go to bed. The only thing that makes me sad about that is that I didn't get to stay up and watch Grimm. Ahh well, we all have to make sacrifices sometimes.

Because of the early night, I was able to actually get up when the girls woke up at 6:00 this morning instead of sending them down to find their dad (who wakes up consistently at the unGodly hour of 4am, ugh!!) while I slept for at least another hour.

Olivia was in the tub by 6:15 (just because she likes to start the day with a bath) and we were downstairs eating breakfast by 7. On a Saturday! I know.

I started the day knowing we didn't have anywhere to go except the post office for Tom and that's only four miles away. He couldn't go himself because he left the house at 7:15 for an auction.

By 8:30, I'd cleaned a bathroom (the half bath, so nothing to really brag about), loaded the dishwasher, run two loads of laundry through the washer and was thinking about vacuuming.

We were at the post office by 9:15 and Alyssa requested that since we were out, we stop by Gram's house. She's only three miles away, so it wasn't really a trip or anything.

Whlie at her house, she invited us to go with her to shop for endtables. She's getting new carpet, already got new furniture and has done some painting. It's inspiring and yet depressing to see the amazing and expensive changes they're making to their house.

We made plans for her to pick us up an hour later and came home so I could shower. After my shower, I decided it was time to change out the mattress in my room. We'd had a new-to-us mattress standing against a wall in the guest room for months. I was so tired of the current mattress and my aching back arguing with each other that I change them out. Then the guest room begged to be switched around and so I moved the two dressers, the bed to another wall (so much better! Don't tell Tom.) and hung an antique-colored map on the wall behind the bed. So pretty! I got the map earlier this week at Staples for $8.00. Awesome.

So yeah, changes abound. Little ones, the ones that makes me want to make more, bigger ones. March is going to be my closet-painting month. I just know it.

Friday, March 2, 2012


One of my very best friends was having a tough day yesterday. Another friend and I were trying to cheer her up via email.

I think it worked and all’s well on that front.

But something the friend in the bad mood wrote stuck with me.

She mentioned something about not being willing to part with all my chromosomes which resulted in a child with less than the typical 46 chromosomes. She was being silly and I was absolutely not offended.

I even went so far as to point out that in over 70% of cases where 5p- syndrome is a spontaneous deletion it is on the paternal side.

But I wonder if I’d be so flippant were this statistic reversed. If there were a greater than 70% chance that Olivia’s syndromes was my ‘fault’ would I be so quick to point it out?

Let me say right here that I absolutely do not feel there is any blame to be placed in this situation. Whether it was the egg or the sperm that carried the deletion that led to Olivia’s 5p-, it doesn’t matter.

I know that Tom, knowing the statistics, doesn’t feel one iota of guilt. And I’m glad for that. I don’t want him to feel guilt for something we don’t even know is the case. And even if it was the sperm that carried the deletion, he had no control over that.

And yet…I know that if I were told that it was 70% likely that it had been the egg that carried the deletion, I’d feel guilty. It’s just the nature of being a mother. At least it’s my nature.

Sad but true.

So we’re probably lucky the statistics are what they are. I can bask in the knowledge that it probably wasn’t my fault while not at all thinking that it is my husband’s.

I read a blog post once where a mom said that her son’s Down Syndrome was her fault. And I wondered, first, how do they know that? And second, why would a doctor tell a parent that even if they could tell for sure whose fault it was.

I have such a hard time with blame and fault. Our kids are amazing. They overcome so much and fight so hard just to do what we all do so effortlessly every single day. We love them with an intensity that scares us and yet, we can’t seem to let go of the guilt or the need to blame ourselves, to find fault in what we couldn’t have controlled anyway.

Olivia is who she is. That is just as much on me as it is on my husband. Together, we made this beautiful little girl who just happens to be missing part of her fifth chromosome. We have no way of knowing for sure who left out part of her genetic material. And in the end, it doesn’t matter. We adore her and her big sister with every cell in our bodies and that’s what counts in the end. Not placing blame and assigning fault.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I think I love my OB-GYN.

Wait, let me backtrack and say that since the beginning of our doctor/patient relationship, Dr. S has mentioned my need to lose weight at every single appointment. My first appointment with him ever when I was about eight weeks pregnant with Olivia.

My GP cared for me during my pregnancy with Alyssa. He is a very nice man and has never once mentioned my need to lose weight. It helped that the GP is a portly fellow himself, so perhaps he doesn’t feel he has a right to tell someone about the same relative amount of weight over optimal to do something about it, never mind that he’s allowed at least a little clout given his status as a medical doctor.

Dr. S, the OB-GYN, on the other hand is a tall, slender man who, given his own ability maintain a healthy weight, probably feels he is able to council others on achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Today, though, he said something different about my weight.

I was there for my annual exam. Fun stuff there, let me tell you.

At the end of the appointment, he looked at my chart and noted that I’m exactly the same weight today as I was six years ago when I first went to see him.

I know, right! Talk about weird, considering how much I’ve gone up and down over the past six years. But still, he suggested that perhaps this is where my body is most comfortable.

He noted that my other numbers, such as my cholesterol, my glucose, my blood pressure are all well within the healthy ranges. My body is obviously no laboring under what the ‘charts’ consider extra weight. I’m quite obviously healthy at this weight.

He said that if I’m comfortable where I am right now, he won’t harp on it. He said that I’d probably have to do a major life overhaul to drop the recommended (by the writers of the ‘charts’) 40 pounds and then keep it off.

See, this is what I need to hear. I need to hear from someone I respect and see as a professional that it is okay to accept myself where I am. Yes, I do still want to lose more weight, but I don’t want it to be the be all and end all of my happiness, my self-worth. I want to be comfortable in my skin, no matter what the number on the scale is or the size of my pants.

Thank you, Dr. S for making so much sense today.