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Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I had a topic all set for today's post, but then I saw this on The Berry:

And it brought tears to my eyes. Why? I think that's obvious, because it's just not fair that we ladies mostly look like the gorgeous women in the bottom picture, but still dismiss that body shape as inferior to the shapes in the top picture.

It made me sad because I myself think the ladies below are fine, and normal, and I think I probably could fit in very well and very comfortable, with them. But...

Why a but? What's wrong with me that I can't accept it? I brought a child into this world, my body supported life and fed that little life for nearly a year. Why can't I get over the fact that I still don't fit in my skinny jeans?

I put a lot of emphasis on physical fitness in my life. My upper arms are fat and my love handles are ever-present, and I take those, from time to time, as signs of failure. I eat too much. I drink alcohol. I have steak too often. I can eat half a bag of Trader Joe's herbed popcorn. I don't work out hard enough.

A friend has a family member who is obsessed with working out. To skip a workout is a threat upon their entire existence. I used to be like that. I remember, at my thinnest (135lb at 5;11"), I was sobbing hysterically, pinching the literal inch of chub on my stomach, wailing to Todd that I was such an undisciplined fat ass and I didn't deserve to go out to dinner that night.

Yeah. You read all of that correctly.

And now, here I am, in a body that I had dreaded so horribly. Except... I feel the same now, as I did then, so much thinner and younger. I was terrified of gaining then, and I still am now, except I already gained it back. But I wasn't happy, due to that terror. And now that it's happened... Eh? Who cares, I guess?

It still bothers me, and I still obsess about it. I stare hungrily at the fit chicks in the gym, wondering what they do, if I should copy their every routine and workout regimen, until I realize... if I TRULY wanted it, I could do it. There is a 50 something woman there, big bouncy boobs, skinny as a rail, but she's there literally every single day. It is her absolute top priority, and it just isn't for me, anymore. I try to get there five days a week, but my workouts aren't 2 hours a day. More like one, if that.

I could quit drinking wine, stop eating steak once a week (IT IS SO GOOD YOU GUYS), drastically diminish my portions (a deck of cards is a serving of meat? Go fuck off!), fully commit to the Paleo diet (hello bagels), and wake up at 5am to go to the gym instead of wake up with my family and have fun bed-jumping time with a bursty, perky little 2 year old.

I think of the Victoria's Secret models, their beautiful bodies, their disciplined selves. The diets they go through before a runway show, the fact that Miranda Kerr, a mommy herself, relies on lots of juicing to maintain her figure. My brother in law and sister in law did juicing for awhile. In Amery's words, they got over it. Because COME ON.

Granted, if I were a runway model for fucking underwear, I'd live off wheatgrass and kale water or whatever, but... I don't know. I did that route, to get to my thinnest, but I still wasn't happy. I was just as critical and miserable as I am now, except now I have a baby, a husband, a happy family and delicious, delicious home made meals. They're not extravagant, they're healthy and nutritious, but food isn't an enemy.

I've put on some weight this week, due to a weekend of food and fun, and it bothers me, I won't lie. I can't work out because of my knee, we are about to go to California and romp on a beach where I will be surrounded by skinny minnies in their itsy bitsy bikinis. It's not a heart-warming idea, without a few workouts under my belt before I go. But... I have to just think of that photo. Those women in the Dove picture are still most likely models, albeit "plus size" and they all look really, really happy. Comfortable. Content.

I don't know what the conclusion of this post is. Perhaps it's that I'm torn. By the body I used to have and the discipline I used to have, both of which have been figuratively tossed out the window. The body and the discipline I have now are different, but so is my life.

I'm definitely a Dove Girl, not a VS Girl. Should I be sad about that? I don't think so. It's hard to change your perspective. It's hard to accept yourself, especially when there is obviously a bit of body dysmorphia going on. But I guess the whole message should be, rather than fight for a number on the scale, fight for acceptance. There are tears in my eyes as I type these last words, because I'm thinking of the photo, trying hard to accept myself the way I easily accept those Dove Girls. To give myself the understanding that I give out to others.

Since it's 100% an internal struggle, it's a lot harder. But I'm trying.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Alexandra, the photographer.

And, for kicks, a couple that Todd took. Hey, as long as the camera is still pointed at her, Alex doesn't care.

Friday, July 27, 2012


There are fun moments with daddy, that mommy catches, in the middle of mundane chores, that bring a tear to mommy's eye, that make mommy grab a camera to capture the aforementioned moment. And then there are moments where the dangerously hammy toddler realizes that mommy is taking the photo. I'll leave you to figure that moment out.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Several days ago, we were hanging out in the backyard in the late afternoon, after a storm, enjoying the cooler, breezier weather. We looked to the east, and were blown away by how the setting sun, sifted through the clouds, made the trees glow.

It was unbelievably vivid.

These trees over our roof seemed particularly lit from within.

Cyprus on fire! If you're curious, we got that satellite at Coscto.

Palm, stuck in the web of urban living...

Ooh, a glimpse of a pantless fairy child. The camera was shaking, I was so excited!

"Hey, girl. Don't mind me, I'm just picking all the buds off your Texas ranger."

And then, as if inspired by my little angel girl, the sky let loose this bad boy.

It was a lot brighter on this side.

AND THEN. If you can believe it, a very faded double rainbow showed up above the bright one. You can baaaaarely see it here.

A liiiiittle better here...

And even better here. Look at this beautiful sky!!

This picture makes me want to pretend that the rainbow is the outline of a huge planet that is super close to us, sort of like that picture floating around the web, photoshopped to show what it would look like if Jupiter were as close to us as the moon.

The view to the west was just as glorious, but in a completely different way. It was so dramatic.

Aren't those rays called God's fingers? In moments like this you can totally understand why.

A beautiful finale on an early summer Sunday evening.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Putting on mom's socks and shoes? What, like it's hard? Please. "What do you take me for, you guys, an 18 month old?"

We taught her to say Like a Boss, and she can perfectly imitate the way Andy Samberg says it in the Saturday Night Live skit. Bowss. Perfection.

She also says "Independent Women" with particular flair, and while I know it's just because she gets such a great reaction out of the adults, I like to think she says it because she means it. Same with how she says "Girl Power!" I just know her inner suffragette is just like, so empowered.  Now if she'd just help me with the damn laundry...

Here's a testament to how much she ardently admires and loves Elmo: the other day she opened up our media stand/Mexican buffet, got out an Elmo DVD case, opened it, plucked out the DVD, pushed the eject button on the DVD player, put the DVD in and closed the tray, grabbed the black remote control and went to sit on the sofa. As Todd put it, "If you can figure this out, I think you deserve to watch it again."

That's a picture of Alex, trying to put my little shrug sweater on. She shoved her head through the sleeve, instead. This picture is titled Sleeve. She was really ticked off about getting it wrong, until I started taking photos of her. Then, she started grinning and posing.

The other day on a dog walk, she read off the letters and numbers on license plates, mail boxes, and delivery doors on the rear sides of businesses. She never messed up. What's crazy is when she reads the letters, in order, of a particular word. I keep waiting for her to say the word after she spells it, like how it goes in a spelling bee. Like with my workout shirt. "P-L-A-T-I-N-U-M. Platinum."

She likes dressing herself and her dolls. We found her little black Halloween cat -- named Dee, because when she first started talking, cats were Dee-dees  (AKA Kitties) and so he is thusly dubbed Dee -- in one of her nightshirts. And he was in her crib. Because not only does she know which drawer holds her nightgowns and jammies, she also understands that after you get your jammies on, you go to bed. Like a boss.

Her shirt right there says Future Super Role Model. I personally think she could achieve both. Especially when that is her "Smile!" face. Tyra Banks and Smizing can just move the hell on over.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Being a Girl: We Have Power.

Found this over at The Frisky and by God, it brought tears to my eyes. Life right now is sort of up in the air and scary/depressing, both in the personal and professional spheres. I am frequently consumed by a feeling of helplessness, and the inability to assert myself in situations over which I have no control.

Not because of my gender, but just because life is a total challenge and that is sometimes the way it works. So it's nice to see that a little eight year old girl can sum up the awesomeness of girlness, and help remind me that while life throws a lot of curve balls and likes to play dirty, there is still an awful lot to be proud of, as a woman.

We have veginas [vaginas]. We get jobs. We are creative. We have stuff that makes us preanet [pregnant]. We have milk in our bobes [boobs]. We are smart. We have power.

Ugh, I still have those tears in my eyes. We are smart. We have power.

Yes we do.

My New Jam.

Love this song, love her, love this whole album.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Verdict.


This is about my knee issue. I went to see Clay, crazy kung fu honey badger rolfer, and the verdict is in. I guess due to the vigorous triathlon training and then additional weight training I've been up to, I over-worked and over-built up my quads, which puts a lot of strain on my patellar ligament, and if that gets bad enough, it will tear the ligament clean off the shin bone!


Now, I'm not currently injured. As Clay put it, I'm not dealing with an injury (yet), but a situation. And I have to fix that situation. There are stretches for my hip flexor, 20 minutes on/off of icing to do, and I'm to completely lay off any exercises that work out the hip flexor/major quad muscles, like running, biking, hiking, anything that is fucking fun.

Swimming is ok but only if I don't kick. I will have to do this for about two weeks, hopefully, and then once I live the high life, AKA the pain-free life for another two weeks, I can start integrating running back into my workouts. I know it's only a month, but I love working out, so this will suck. I think I need to add in at least one more swim to my weekly workout routine. 

Another thing I learned is that I have Ahnold quads, under-worked hamstrings and I have focused on my abs  to the detriment of my back. I learned about the seven layers of muscle on the back. Seven! They're incredibly thin layers so they can't compete with the huge quad that is tightened up (I had weird back sensations that he said was directly related to the knee issue. The hip bone connected to the leg bone, etc). Anyways, I got tips on how to strengthen my back. And guess what, planks hardly do it, so

I also learned I have a big ass. Thanks Clay! So he gave me moves to work on my glutes and firm those up, as well as moves for my hamstrings.

Apparently women rank in the top spot for tearing the rotator cuff of the shoulder, due to not working out the shoulders enough and doing weird things like, say, reaching behind them while driving to soothe a child, pick something up, etc. So I got exercises to strengthen those.

Clay also told me that he read a study which showed that inactivity, I mean real couch potato stuff, is actually worse for your overall health than SMOKING. WHAAAAT. So couch potatoes out there, you better get your ass to the gym.

The overall thing I want to stress though, is if you feel pain like I do in your knee(s), go to someone, and get it checked out ASAP. Also, don't overtrain certain muscles/muscle groups. That will cause injury, and create a major imbalance in your overall physique, like moi. I'm excited to do different things, even though I'm severely limited in the cardio department.

The best news here is that I'm not really injured, and that with any luck I will be back in the triathlon business again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Workout Wednesday?

I ran a couple of miles on the treadmill last night, and while my knee doesn't hurt today from it, my heels hurt so badly I'm limping. I'm seeing a rolfer crazy body fixer tomorrow regarding the knee issue and I will bring it up but I know he will just, as he always does, bitch about how horrible running is for you blah blah blah.

Why is this happening? I'm only 32. My heels hurt, my knee is fucked up, there is a weird tingly spot on my back running along the inner edge of my right shoulder blade. The tendon issues are gone, but all these new ones have cropped up. You know what? That fucking sucks.

I have friends who can run endlessly without injury and I am so goddamn jealous. I am more jelly of athletes who avoid injury than I am of Victoria's Secret models, although that could have something to do with the pre-runway show diets they endure.

This isn't much of a topic, I know, but it's on mind. Well, that and the fact that no matter what I do the soap scum will NOT come off my bathtub/shower tile. GOD IT SUCKS TO BE ME

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Real Boss.

See this guy?

This guy is king in our house. I know, I know, we all think Alexandra is the boss, and since I'm seriously considering making her a shirt that says "Getting my way since 2010", it's obvious that she does rule the roost. But the shit would utterly hit the fan if we lost this little blanket. His name is Ha Ha (because monkeys say ha ha hoo hoo, and so that is what Alex dubbed him), and he is required on almost all errands and social gatherings, is 100% mandatory for all naps and bedtimes, and one time even took a bath -- AKA was thrown into the tub -- with her, but since he then had to spend 40 minutes in the dryer, that was the last bath he took.

It fills my heart with fear, and my veins with ice-cold dread, whenever I think that we could lose him. Once she dropped him out of her stroller on a dog walk, and the terror was so real that I ran, retracing our steps, in the swiftly darkening twilight without a jacket or without shoes on my baby despite the brisk temperature, all because I was in such a panic. I found him four blocks away from our house, so casually discarded there in somebody's dirt yard that I could hardly believe it was him. Strangely enough, that same block is also where I found Todd's, now Alex's, Admiral Adama doll months later. Poor Adama. Poor Ha Ha.

Last Thursday I took Alexandra to Bookman's, a second hand bookstore (HUGE here), in order to freshen up her little home libary. We got nine books and Alex was appropriately stoked that three quarters of them were Elmo and Sesame Street books. So excited was she that Ha Ha was, once more, unceremoniously dumped by the pop-up book shelf of the kiddie section. My heart reacted in the same manner as when I ride roller coasters: the plummet of descent, the leaping of ascent, when I first realized he was missing and then, after half dragging my book-laden child through the store back to the kid's books, discovering him there, dangerously close to a big bin of stuffed animals for sale.

That was the last straw.

I'm not sure if other moms out there already figured this out, but last night I finally went on to buy a Ha Ha clone (Alex was amazed to see him online; I guess she didn't realize he is a celebrity). $10 in merchandise and $5 in shipping later, we are eagerly awaiting Ha Ha 2.0 in the mail. I will put him somewhere high, secret and safe to wait for the time when he's called, for the time when the original Ha Ha is left behind in some store and sold to another kid, or for when he is tossed so vigorously on a dog walk that he lands in some scrubby bushes, never to be seen again except by another dog who will pee on him. I will miss the original if (when?) this happens, but not so much that I will hestitate to immediately unwrap Ha Ha 2.0, smear some yogurt into him and rub him vigorously on the dog bed to perfectly replicate the original's smell and appearance.

Because that's just the kind of mom I am.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wednesday, er, Friday Workout!

And you thought they were gone forever! I meant to post this on Wednesday, and then on Thursday, woopsie daisy. Here it is just in time for Friday the 13th. Oh, and thank God for The Berry, or else I would have had to dig out my Women's Health workouts, scan them and upload. NO THANKS

Anyways, on to the all day, all fitness goodness:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sleepy Sleeperson

Last night, the stage had been perfectly set for some epic sleep. I had an absolutely kickass workout, I walked the dog, and we had an amazing comfort-food dinner of oven fried eggplant parmesan with a side of NOT PALEO DIET pasta and it was epic and awesome. No booze, no caffeine since 3pm. Watched TV until sleepy, read a little of Toddler 411 for old times' sake ("Babe, apparently Alex still needs vitamin D supplements!"), and with drooping eyelids, I shut the book and turned off the light.

Bing! Eyes wide open. Restless leg syndrome struck which was exacerbated by my gross leg hair snagging the sheets each time I squirmed. God, I really need to shave, I thought. Which led to this series of thoughts:

It's like I need pantyhose to sleep!

Who wears pantyhose these days?

Kate Middleton AKA Duchess of Cambridge, that's who.

God, she wears the prettiest dresses.

Her wedding dress was insane.

I hear the Queen called her wedding dress display "hideous" lol

Their balcony kiss was sort of lame though.

Why am I thinking about the Royal Wedding right now?

::Thinks back.::

Oh right, shaving my legs. God, they're so hairy.

Then I started getting a song stuck in my head, so I reverted to my tried and true method for ridding a song from my mind in bed: I think of the Harry Potter theme. It will never ever not ever no way get old to me, and it always makes me happy and calms me.

So I did that. Then about 423758947 other things popped into my head, thankfully none of them involving Kate Middleton. But unfortunately the pesky leg hair thing did continue to irritate.

Then I got hot. Then my arms would get uncomfortable. Then I started coughing when I swallowed my spit wrong. And finally after all this crap, I drifted off, only to be jolted awake by something in my dream.

And THEN the worst happened, I had a horrible dream that Alexandra had some horrible life threatening condition, something to do with her ears, and how the solution would be the insertion of some device but, if it "activates" or something, it could end up killing her too. We took her to Phoenix where this horribly aloof doctor performed these tests on her, and Alex just kept looking at me with pleading eyes, all while I'm thinking to myself, "This can't be happening... Wait, I don't think this is true... I have to be dreaming" and at that point I'd briefly wake, thinking to my groggy self She doesn't have any condition, this is just a dream but at the same time, the dream felt so FAMILIAR, that I'd wonder, now back in the dream, if I had just repressed the thought because it was so horrific.

AND THEN Alexandra woke herself from a nightmare with the most pitiful, sorrowful wail and the timing was so shitty it was all I could do to keep myself from checking on her. Granted, I'm glad I didn't because she went right back to sleep, but still, I could have really used some cuddles from my girl.

Eventually, I fell back asleep but still, being too hot and unable to find a comfortable position kept me tossing and turning the entire night until my alarm went off. In my state, I fleetingly, blessedly thought it was one of my days off and figured I forgot to turn off my alarm. Alas, I was wrong, or as Dumbledore would say, Alas: earwax!

Maybe I shouldn't watch True Blood at 9pm, or a National Geographic special on T-Rex. I don't know. But last night was one hell of a doozy, and despite being in bed for 8 hours, I feel like I only got maybe 5 good quality hours of sleep. Oh well. Tonight is another night.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch.

Saturday is my chore day. Like Wednesday, it is also a laundry day, but Saturdays are more defined by grocery shopping. Target, Trader Joe's, Fry's. Once a month, Costco is added into the mix and by the end of THAT kind of day I'm curled up in the fetal position watching True Blood or Jane Eyre on my computer while Alex naps. Actually most days you can find me like that (tonight I will be on Oh No They Didn't reading all the party posts about Katie Holmes telling Tom Cruise to suck it).

Anyways, it's typically All Business on Saturdays.  Get it all over with, get out of the heat, get the groceries into the refrigerator. Oh God I'm getting exhausted just thinking about lugging groceries in from the hot car. I need caffeine. So, yeah, business as usual this past Saturday, except by the time we got to Trader Joe's I was ravenous, it was 1pm, and Alex hadn't eaten lunch. Granted, her breakfast was enormous and late in the day (SHE SLEPT TIL TEN AM Y'ALL), but I knew my tiger girl had to be at least a little peckish.

I was going to grab a sandwich in Trader Joe's and split it with Alex in the car after we shopped but then I saw the Chipotle right next door. And I said screw it, Alex and I are going to dine IN. Not in the car but in an actual establishment. So I ordered up a burrito bowl and we sat together eating. Well, I sat and Alex stood on the bench and danced to the latin music that was playing. But it was wonderful, a mommy daughter date that I realize will one day be such a rarity and will one day be full of "God mom you suck" and "I HATE YOU I WANT TO DATE BOYS AND DRINK LIQUOR."

Typically Todd and I don't really take her out to eat because hello, kids are a pain in the ass in any sort of place that isn't home or the children's museum or the park. Actually they kind of suck there, too, but it's sort of the point to be a pain in the ass at the park. But lately we've noticed Alex is doing really well! I guess her attention span is getting longer. We even went out for sushi Friday night and were there an hour and a half and she did great the whole time, although if there hadn't been a TV then I might be writing a completely different post right now.

So, I'm just glad Alex and I had that little pocket of a moment, a little wedge of calm and togetherness in the midst of all that shopping and responsibility, necessity and annoyance. Last Thursday we hit the splash pad and then sat in Magpie's (not recommended, it was hotter inside than out) and had a couple slices of pizza. I think I will try to accomplish this sort of thing more often. Little mommy daughter dates. Time just for us girls.

 But one thing that I will say, is that Chipotle sucks for not having a changing table.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Review: The Apothecary's Daughter

The Apothecary's Daughter, by Julie Klassen, was recommended to me by a good friend and I'm glad I followed through and checked it out at the library. Set in the very early 1800s, it revolves around a young woman, Lillian, known by all as Lilly. Struggling with the harsh reality that her mother abandoned her family when Lilly was younger, as well as the difficulty of having a special needs brother, she also struggles with the desire for, as Disney's Belle would put it, more than this provincial life. Although insanely skilled as a helper in her father's apothecary shop, she wants nothing to do with the lifestyle and trade. She craves society and the adventures she can only assume her mother is having. Also she totally wouldn't mind a boyfriend and who wouldn't?

Her luck changes when her mother's wealthy brother and his wife offer to sponsor her for a season or two in London. She's given a taste of what she craves, but when her father's health and business suffer, she must relunctantly return to deal with it and numerous other mishaps, emergencies and tragedies. Also there's the nagging question of which suitor she will choose.

One thing I want to say is how surprised I was to discover that Klassen is a popular and much-awarded Christian Fiction writer, even more so when I discovered this about halfway through the book. To me, The Apothecary's Daughter is a richly illustrated, exhaustively researched account of life not only in the early 1800s but also within the trades of apothecaries, physicians and surgeons in that time period. It's not a bible thumping, over the top Christian Mission Statement. Sure there's mention of thanking God, and praying for miracles and relying on one's faith, but never in a heavy-handed way; it's done, as one reviewer puts it, in a way that is historically appropriate.

 Klassen's style of writing in no way puts me off from reading any more of her novels, in fact, I hope to read another soon. But I will say that the most off-putting element of the tale is the subtle Mary Sue quality of Lilly. Yes she's pretty, intelligent, loyal, independent and hard working which are all fantastic characteristics that anyone would adore in a future spouse, but to have one, two, three, four, five suitors, ranging from nobleman to doctor to socialite (wait, maybe two noblemen then), from shopkeeper to apprentice, I was just like, Oh, OKAY ALL RIGHT ALREADY. And of course I think we're all sick of the Irritatingly Obvious Admirer Whose Admirations Are Misunderstood Or Downplayed By The Heroine shtick. But I do say that in a lighthearted ribbing sort of way. It's a good story and an excellent peek into life from that time period.

Grade: A

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Sock Bun!

I have pretty thin hair. A lot of it, yeah, but it's very fine, so my updos are always somewhat lacking. I always stare with envy when a girl has a huge sexy messy bun, or a big plump braid trailing down her back. I have a few girlfriends who have epic hair, too. It makes me go sad face when I think of my lame ass hair. I really only know two ways to style it: straightener or curling iron. But not anymore! I have the SOCK BUN!

I am a major fan of The Berry and there was a post of all the readers' fabulous hair. I scrolled through looking for some tips or SOME other way to do my hair and one woman had a big old bun like mine in the pic above and thank GOD she said, at the end "thank goodness for the sock bun!" because suddenly it dawned on me that I am likely not alone in this world and that all those babes running around with huge updos are probably using something sneaky to achieve the look.

NOW I AM ONE OF THOSE BABES. A sock bun thing can be made by taking an old, clean sock, cutting off the toe and rolling it into a donut. Then you put your hair in a high ponytail, and string it through the donut. Pull the donut to the tips of your hair and spread the hair all around it to cover the surface. Then, tucking the strands in as you go, roll the donut slowly towards your head, making sure to spread the hair evenly around it. BOOM. You don't even need any fucking hairpins! This shit is genius!

So in case there are other ladies out there who didn't know this existed, or any hipster men who want to achieve the man bun with epic results, I give you: The Sock Bun. Now the sock I used wasn't dark enough and if my hair wasn't perfectly spread out it showed, so I took black yarn and wrapped the sock donut thing around it and now it's perfectly incognito. Woohoo!