Monday, January 13, 2014

Love your handles, love yourself

I need to write some things down that have been rattling around in my brain for a little while now. I have a long history of disliking my body. I think it started when I was in fifth grade. We did an activity where all the students were weighed, and we calculated how much we would weigh on the moon. I think I weighed like ninety something pounds. But most of the other kids my age weighed eighty something pounds. I heard it from pretty much everywhere that weighing more = bad. It was then that a sad little nugget of my brain started being devoted to pointing out my physical differences and how they made me inferior to others. It started small, but puberty would make sure to help that part of myself grow a lot.

Early in my teenage years, I started restricting food from myself. I would go maybe a day and a half, usually less, before I couldn't take it anymore, and I'd eat something. I told myself I definitely didn't have anorexia because I wasn't skinny. I was too vain to purge because I didn't want to damage my teeth. I'm going to thank my young vanity for that now. However, my disordered eating and body image problems continued their way throughout my teenage years and into the first year of my 20s. During that time, I starved myself significantly. I lost a lot of weight. And every time I got a compliment on how great I looked, I died inside a little more. I felt ashamed for my secret weight loss plan and bitter because of the lengths I apparently had to go through to look good.

A while later I confessed about my restrictive eating habits to my boyfriend (who became the guy I married, woot!). He was really worried about me. I felt kind of shocked by it, really, that the decisions I made about my body could affect anyone that way. It was enough that I've never starved myself since then, even though I still have had plenty of urges to do it over the years. But instead of restricting, I've had periods of binging since that time. The funny thing about eating disorders is that they don't really go away unless you do something about them. And of course, there have been plenty of restrictions in other ways, mainly in the form of fad diets. The thread that held all of these experiences together was a deep loathing I held for my appearance and untreated depression. I thought if I could just be skinny and stay that way, happiness would follow.

When I failed to get pregnant naturally, it was yet another testament to me that my body was a failure. I felt ugly, fat, and broken. If there was a bad thing to think about myself, I was thinking it. All the time. I was fairly relentless in the negativity I directed toward myself.

After I got pregnant and had Ben, I definitely suffered from postpartum depression. I look at so much of my life in retrospect, and it's so obvious to me that I have been clinically depressed for most of my young life. I didn't think so then, though. I thought that if you had a problem that had a name and a treatment, it made you special in some way, and I knew I wasn't special. Anyway, I started going to a therapist when Ben was a year old. I've come a really long way in loving my body for what it is and not what I wish it was. This is after 5 years of therapy, though. It has not been an easy thing for my mind to accept. But now, after having three kids, my body has grown and shrunk in terrific numbers, and I've finally come to peace with it.

Well, I had for a while until I started my last cycle of 2013. It marked cycle number 14 of the year for me, and I was pissed about it. I averaged a 25 day cycle in 2013. I spent approximately 26.8% of my life in 2013 on my period. The part of it that angered me that most is that it was for nothing. I don't ovulate, and therefore would not get pregnant during any of those many cycles, even though I hope to at least one more time. But that will probably happen in a doctor's office, like the last two. (Nurse Linda is my lucky charm. Chris also claims she's the rightful father of our children, seeing as how she impregnated me twice.) I fumed about the inconvenience of having a period without ovulating during many cycles year. But when I added it up and saw that it was for more than a quarter of my life last year, I was really mad at my body. And considering that those cycles are pretty short, I got to feel mad about it all over again when I had the first one of 2014 shortly into January.

What made me pause that thought was a post on facebook. It was one of those cheesy feel good story posts about an old blind lady who told the narrator something about when your body doesn't work the way you want it to, you can be mad or you can find the positives or some such thing. I can't find it anymore, and I can't remember which of my friends posted it. And then people started posting Lizzie Velasquez' TED talk. She has a rare genetic disorder that prevents her from gaining weight, and as a result, she is extremely emaciated. She's also blind in one eye. But Lizzie starts by talking about the positives in all of her physical challenges. The rest of the talk is really good, too, but that was the part that made me think some more. And then today I read this. There's a quote from an unspecified book on grief which reads: “You can’t choose your trials in life, but you can choose how you deal with them.  You can choose to become better or bitter.” And dude, I haven't had any trials like this lady has had (and I'm not asking for them- I'm just going to say that right here in the open, so everyone and God knows, okay?). The quote reminded me of when I was dealing with infertility, and how I consciously kept myself from becoming bitter about the whole experience. It helped to remind me that I still need to consciously keep myself from being bitter about anything.

I've always been the kind of person to count my blessings. I have had a lot of wonderful things happen in my life. But my anger at my body had been keeping me from thinking about myself in that way. Maybe I don't ovulate, but I do pregnant pretty well. I carried Ben to the day before his due date, and I probably would have had him on his due date, had it not been for all the interventions. I carried twins to full term all the way to my scheduled c-section. I never once had any physical issues while pregnant with them, and they were both the size of singleton babies. I have to admit that being healthily pregnant with twins made me feel like I had super powers. I had the opportunity to breastfeed all of my children, which was something that was important to me. In fact, I just finally weaned the twins three weeks ago. My body functions normally. I can move without restraint. I maybe can't run for as far as I'd like without getting winded, but my body can be trained to do it, if I would just take the time. I was blessed pretty decently with intellect (although my neurons are admittedly a bit rusty - I need to read more). My fingers are crafty with yarn and fabric. My body is a source of comfort to my children. They all snuggle me as they are on their way to sleep, and the first thing they do upon waking in the morning is coming into my bed to snuggle me there.

Maybe being on my period for 26.8% of my days sucks, but those days don't have to suck because of it. The time could go by much faster if I didn't dwell on the unfairness of it. Unfairness is the order of nature. I have to accept this once again if I want to be and stay a happy person. And I do. I want to model a love for myself and my body for my kids. I want that to be a normal thing for them. I know that my life will always be happier when I can love myself unconditionally for who I am.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

You know you're super hormonal when...

I probably just scared off any guys that thought about reading this post.

Today I watch The Incredibles with my kids. If you haven't seen it, you can read the summary on imdb here. I've seen this movie several times. I owned it before I was even pregnant for the first time. It's not like I didn't know what was going to happen. But from the very beginning, I was getting all weepy and holding back tears. This happened pretty much through the whole thing, but especially whenever the kids were in danger. Yeah, teh hormones. I haz them bad.

I'm so frustrated by my seeming lack of ability to get things done. I have a big batch of peach applesauce I need to make. It's going to taste amazing. You know, when I do it, and I need to before the peaches go bad. But I have to clean the kitchen better than I have been. Which is to say, I need to do more than just dishes. Every time I start to make some sort of solid plan for anything (not just applesauce, but trying to incorporate any sort of routine into our lives), it's like my brain starts switching through radio stations. I haven't made a meal plan in I don't even know how long. All areas of my life are being affected at this point. Well, that isn't a hard thing considering that I really only have one area of my life.

I don't like the medication route, but I'm trying it because I don't know what else to do. So far it hasn't helped at all. So that's encouraging.

I'm not sure what else to write about tonight. My kids are still up, and they need to go to bed. I need to put them to bed. *sigh* Why does putting kids to bed have to be so hard? Okay, I have nothing else to relate right now.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Doing Things

I should be asleep. I stay up way too late virtually every night. I can't even really say why I do it except that I find so many things I want to read on the internet, and I fall into a worm hole that immediately spits me out four hours later. But really! I only read a couple of blogs! Okay, so that part isn't true. Don't you know that no one has discovered worm holes yet? Seriously, don't talk to people about that part. I don't need that kind of media buzzing around here. My house just isn't drop in ready.

Speaking of which, I've been struggling so much with my house lately, and I haven't been able to understand it. I finally feel like I have a handle on my depression. And well, I think I have for a while now. However, I am still so chronically disorganized and a mess. A hot mess. I'm tired of having stuff everywhere, but I just can't force my arms and legs to move about and do something about it. I can read about organizing and cleaning and that kind of stuff all day long. And I have. Well, figuratively. Most of my day is spent feeding three little boys with bottomless pits for stomachs.

Anyway, my sister mentioned that she might possibly have ADHD, and she sent me an online questionnaire about it. I took it and scored pretty high. So I talked to my counselor and my psychiatrist (two of the reasons I have a handle on my depression now), and they're like, oh yeah, it does sound like you probably have that. So it's kind of nice to know that there's a reason for this kind of 'doing' paralysis. I didn't really know it was a thing that happened to other people. And of course, it's other things, too. I won't bother typing it all out because is that really necessary? Let's just say I have a lot of the symptoms. But now I have to approach the 'doing' things from a different way. I have to change my thought patterns and learn new coping skills. And I hate it. It's annoying. It would be a lot easier if I could just be normal, right? But it also feels like a breakthrough for me because I feel like maybe my life can be different, and I can get my crap together. Because I really really need to get my crap together.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

Let me tell you something about me. 

I am a sucker.

Seriously. My husband has been wanting another dog for a long time- long before Buddy died. I have not wanted another dog for a long time, and in fact, I told him I didn't want anymore dogs after our dogs died. I wanted to get some goats and chickens. I said this often enough that Ben started telling everyone that this was my desire. To complete strangers, he would say, "When my dogs die, Mommy wants goats and chickens." This is how much I decided not to get any more dogs.

I love dogs. I think they're great, but what I don't like is cleaning up after them. I don't like the hair everywhere, invading every part of my life. I don't like the stinky farts. I don't like cleaning up poop in the yard. I don't like realizing we've run out of dog food and having to make a special trip to get some. I don't like barking or slobbering or noses in my butt. 

Buddy spent a lot of his life with his eyes closed

But(t). I am weak. My loves are stronger than the don't likes. Annie has been clingy for a while. Since about a month before Buddy died, she's been following me all around the house and just parking herself wherever I am. It sounds kind of annoying, but it's comforting to me to have her around. She's so much calmer than she used to be, and she's so loving. She's been lonely since Buddy's been gone. She's had some separation anxiety, and it shows because she's been raiding the trash can when we leave. She doesn't leave evidence inside if she can avoid it, but I always find the trash outside, which is one of my don't likes. It's tough to lose part of your family, though. I know she's probably stressed because she doesn't understand why he never came back. 
Annie and Chris' shoe

I think about all the times I was just so fed up with the dogs while Chris was in Iraq, and I was just ready to post an ad on Craigslist and get rid of them. My ever shrinking (at the time) soft spot for them always won out. Well, that and my sense of responsibility as a pet owner. It was really hard to take care of them and three kids two and under at the same time. I'm glad I didn't snap and find new homes for them. 

Chris was looking at the dogs on the Boise Humane Society's website yesterday and telling me about the different dogs he liked, so of course, I had to pull up the site to look to. Then we looked at the Canyon County Animal Shelter's site, which is closer to home. Both shelters had a Basset Hound, even though that's not necessarily what we were looking for in a dog (Buddy was also a Basset Hound). We decided among the many other errands I had to run that we'd go to the closer shelter to see some dogs, partially to keep the kids happy while we were out. I didn't really have any intention of bringing home a dog yet.

The first dog we looked at was the Basset, Duke. He was so cute, and his coloring was the same as Buddy's. He was very playful with the kids. He exuded the Basset Hound personality. He did the regal derp, which happens almost every time a Basset is paying attention to something. It looks like this, and it's funny every time.
Photo credit: The Daily Puppy

At one point Chris called him buddy (which is his default name for all dogs and children), and I actually got a little misty eyed. Then we looked at a Rhodesian Ridgeback, General Lee. He seemed to be well tempered, but when we took him outside, he immediately ran around and found a spot to pee, and he did pee for what felt like ten minutes. Then he ran to find another spot and pooped. Then he ran to another spot and pooped again. Then he ran to another spot and pooped again. He finally came over to us for a bribe of a dog bone. He was nice, but....maybe it wasn't the best time for him to shine. I didn't feel any sparks. Then we looked at a cute little boxer mix, Tioga. She was sweet and unfortunately formerly abused. She was only a year and a half, but you could tell she'd had a litter of puppies already. The girl helping us with the dogs told us they knew her history back to when she was a year old, so they knew she'd had the puppies before she was a year old. She was very timid among my boisterous boys. I think she would have been swallowed by the chaos in my house. 

Sometime during this, while Logan, Ben, and I were waiting outside for Chris and Bruce to bring out another dog, Logan found a very muddy puddle and took a fall right onto his back. Thankfully, it was only up to his shirt, but he was soooo muddy. And it was hilarious to him, of course. Then he spent the rest of the time trying to get me to pick him up, which I eventually without thinking did.

We looked at some puppies, but I definitely knew I did not want a puppy. They're cute, but they're so much work. Maybe someday, but for now, no. Mostly, I wanted all the dogs to have happy homes. It's sad to see so many sweet dogs destined to be euthanized. It's so so so sad. We left without a dog, but Chris was giving me the "I really want a dog face" in the car. I thought about how lonely Annie was. But I also thought about cleaning up dog hair and picking up poop because I'm usually the one who does both. I thought about how empty it seems without two dogs around. So I made Chris a deal. We would have rotating schedules of scooping poop. He agreed to it, we turned around, and we took this guy home.

Derping regally requires a lot of sleeping in between, preferably on the furniture when the big people aren't looking

His first act of business as the new Basset Hound of the house was to steal Chris' cheeseburger when he was tending to the kids (I was out running the rest of my errands). He is seriously so much like Buddy. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fee Fi Foe Fum

I sat here trying to think of an accompanying phrase to the title here, but I'm drawing up blanks. You will find that the Bekah that exists here before you now is missing at least half of the brain she had when she last posted a year and a half ago. Chris might argue that I never had a whole brain in the beginning.

Seriously, yall. I cannot believe I have not posted to my blog in a year and a half. I mean, how have you all been spending your lives without knowing what I'm doing all the time?! Oh yeah, I think I'm related to or friends with all of my readers, so... you see me on facebook. But in the off chance you are a reader that I don't know personally (for one thing, I love you- I'll just get that out of the way now), I know that this year and a half of silence has been devastating for you. I'm so sorry.

Obviously, I am alive. Thankfully, my family is, too. So I won't bore you with what's been going on for the last year and a half. Things are the same except the boys have all gotten bigger. Well, they've all grown developmentally, too. I guess not all of our family is still with us. Our sweet stinky Basset Hound, Buddy, had to be put down about a month ago. He was seven and a half years old. His health problems had accumulated to the point of him not being able to see, hear, or hardly smell, and he had a huge ruptured cyst on his side that was quickly on its way to infection. Even if we had managed to get that one healed up, another one had started growing on his back, and he had so many other problems. It was still a difficult decision to make. I feel bad that we lied to Ben and told him Buddy died on his own, but he didn't. We didn't want Ben to think that we killed his dog for no reason. He's not quite old enough to grasp the concept of putting an animal out of its misery. We'll tell him when he's older and he understands, though. I don't like keeping things like that from him.

This year, I've gotten really into my garden. I tried gardening a few years ago, and it was an utter failure. My dogs lay in the garden beds all over the plants. Buddy liked to eat the plants. I had false morning glory growing up all over everything and pulling it down. Oh, and I'm terrible at watering plants sufficiently. It was a spectacular failure. Every year since then (well, except the year Chris was gone), I've planned on putting up a fence to keep dogs and kids out of the garden when I'm not out there. I finally did it. It's a cheap crappy wire fence, but it works. I built it with me own two hands. Then I discovered that my garden beds were completely overrun with ants. I tore out the old rotting wooden beds and built new ones out of cedar pickets like so: Although, mine aren't quite as gorgeous because this was actually my first ever successful wood building project. They get the job done, though. I also attached pvc hoop frames like this:

As far as the ants go- I was able to plant and everything in one bed without them totally getting in the way or me getting bitten too much. The other bed was really bad, though. I couldn't stick a spade in the dirt without an eruption of ants overwhelming everything. I ordered some very expensive organic broad spectrum pesticide and sprayed the crap out of the bed. It worked very nicely, and I was able to finish filling the bed the rest of the way and plant. As of right now, ants are back again, but I'm not as worried about it now. I do have a few more things to plant in that bed, but I don't think the ants will be back in full force by the time I plant them. Maintaining the plants doesn't require disruption of the soil, so the ants won't be a problem if they get really bad again. Well, not until next year, anyway. Mostly, I am grateful that we don't have fire ants here. That would cause a real problem. What I need, though, is some sort of beneficial insect that eats ants. I can't do the pesticide often because it'll kill all the good bugs like the ton of black beetles I have hanging out in there. Also, when all the insects are killed in an area, it's prime space for more ants to move in because there's no competition. I seriously don't know how to win against those things. I'm going to be in trouble if they start farming aphids on my plants.

I've also solved my poor watering problem with a drip irrigation system. It took a lot of time and effort to set it up and numerous trips to Home Depot, but it's keeping the plants alive and happy, so that's good. I still have to put up a couple of trellises (made of pvc) and start training my tomatoes to climb them. Oh, and I need to get some stuff for a cage for my zucchinis. I hope I actually get some produce out of my garden this year. I will be so bummed if I put all this work in for nothing.

As far as everything else goes, I am full of demotivation. I could be on a demotivational poster. You wouldn't even need a caption. Just me with a frizzy ponytail and sweat pants. I find it very difficult to do anything that I am not interested in doing. It sounds lazy, but I don't think I'm lazy. I have to clothe, feed, and generally care for three children. I spend a lot of time doing something. And these things I'm not interested in doing are things that I want to do. Like cleaning. But it doesn't happen unless someone is coming over, and then it's really done just hastily right before they get here. It's a problem that I hope to solve at some point. I need a clean house, like, for reals.

Hopefully, I will remember to post more often. Remembering is the key word. I hardly ever think of my blog when I'm on the computer anymore. So we'll see.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Okay, so I'm being kind of cheap.

I should be posting something with actual substance since I haven't posted in forever, but I'm not.  Apologies in advance.  I'm blogging about a giveaway.  I love Mindy Gledhill.  She has such a beautiful voice, and I love singing with her music.  You should check her out here and here

Between West & Main is having a giveaway, and they're giving four lucky winners Mindy's new Christmas album, Winter Moon.  Gaaah!!  I want to wiiiin!  (Please say that like Nacho Libre in your head).  Anyway, you should head over there and enter.

And just so you're not too disappointed in my cheap post, I will throw you a bone.

Cheap post complete.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I fully intended to post a lot sooner to prove Chris' comment on my last post wrong, but time gets away from you when you have a couple of hoovers perma-attached to your boobs.  Life now is full of broken sleep, changing diapers, nursing, nursing, nursing, and snuggling two sweet wonderful little newborn babies.  They're growing so fast already.  I'm so lucky. 
They're doing so well.  And so far, in comparison to Ben as a newborn, they're dream babies.  Obviously, I'm still sleep deprived, and it's hard to get anything done.  That's just how it is when you have a newborn or two.  They go back and forth between sleeping well on their own and requiring arms to hold them while they sleep, but I think with practice they'll get better at sleeping on their own.  I love holding them while they sleep, but necessity dictates that they will have to sleep out of arms sometimes.  Ben still needs me very much.  He's kind of a mama's boy.