Thursday, April 9, 2015

Throwback Thursday Post. One of my favorite posts.

This one is from July 2011.  I was writing a lot more often then and this is one that I particularly enjoyed writing.  Hope you like it.

I present to you F**k You Gravity:

Today I am going to talk to you about my boobs.  Not that I think you want to know, but because I need to vent and this is my place to do that and so I am doing it.

I remember a day not so long ago when I loved my boobs.  Really.  I did.  As a younger, less self-conscious girl, I often thought my boobs were my nicest feature and although small they were perfectly round, symmetrical and perky. 

I loved my boobs so much I would sometimes get drunk and feel the need to show them to the whole bar!  (Yup, I was THAT chick). 

I remember that I was always dressing them up in pretty bras and cute tops that showed them just right so that they would feel how incredibly special and appreciated they were, because I knew that age (and someday possibly motherhood) would take their toll.

When I got pregnant I cried because I knew that it would likely ruin my boobs forever.  The prospect of them getting bigger was truly exciting for me, but I was totally disgusted by the idea of anything coming out of them, because up to this point, they were not functional.  THEY WERE DECORATIVE.  And I liked them that way.  I was up for breastfeeding, but knew I wasn't going to be one of those mothers who stressed about it.  If the kid took to it (and they worked properly) I would do it and if not, I had no real problem with giving her a bottle.  But secretly, I think I hoped she wouldn't take to it because I dreaded the long stretched-out look that so many women ended up with after a year or so of having someone sucking at those things.

Finally the baby came, and although she seemed to have no problem tearing into my boobs and getting her fill from them, the scabbing and pain (which the breastfeeding lady couldn't seem to fix for me) was more than I was willing to deal with in the days after having my entire mid-section opened and a baby pulled out of there.  So I opted out.  And then the milk came in.  I was thrilled the day I looked in the mirror and saw this:

My boobs when the milk came in.
But they hurt like a bitch.  Good thing I wasn't breastfeeding and could take a ton of the pain killers I had left over from my c-section to dull that shit.  But that was temporary and within a year, everything was more or less back to normal except flatter and wider. 

This was not ideal, but I had a healthy (if not ill-tempered) baby girl to show for it and I had lost most of the weight without too much stressing. And honestly, stepping into the "Mommy" role made me totally uninterested in the state of my boobs, or the rest of my body for that matter.  I HAD GROWN A PERSON INSIDE ME FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!  What man could make THAT kind of claim?

For a couple of years I fell into that trap of not really bothering to shave my legs or trim the lawn or any of the other basic maintenance items that had been a total preoccupation for my younger, always-dating self.  I put on weight, which made my boobs fill out again and under the right tee shirt with the right bra, they totally looked bigger, better and more awesome than ever!

But the other day I was getting into the shower and for some odd reason (probably because it's bathing suit season again) I stopped in front of the full-length mirror naked and looked.  This is what I saw:

My boobs at the nude beach

One was considerably bigger and the other was facing the wrong way!  My nipples have slipped downward and they hang more to the side than the front now!  I can only blame age and gravity (because I am NOT going to offend the several bowls of ice cream I enjoy each month) and can only imagine that this is normal and that most women have some kind of similar experience.

I felt betrayed.  I mean, my boobs were like my buddies.  I counted on them for a boost in self image when everything else failed me.  Bad hair day?  At least I have nice boobs!  Face breaking out?  My boobs sure look full today!  Period cramps?  At least my boobs look fantastic!  And now that's all gone.  What the hell am I going to do with them now?  I can't sell them.  No one would want them.  And I can't keep them covered up all the time (although I may try).  I suppose I could have implants and/or a nip/tuck kind of thing to yank them up to my chin but who the hell has the cash for that.

I suppose that in the end I will just have to accept that we had a good run and that the glory days of fantastic breasts are behind us. We went on many b-cup sized adventures together and I sure will miss the good old days of using you to seal the deal when I want to get backstage at a concert or just need some confidence for a date.   I just hope I can stop getting choked up whenever I see a KFC ad.

All photos were the result of google searches.

Monday, March 30, 2015

5 reasons I am not the mother I want to be

The other night after a very lengthy and overly dramatic tantrum about me not letting Lila spend the night at my mother's house, She looked at me and said the thing I have secretly thought but tried not to allow myself to worry about. 

"You're a terrible mother" she spit at me through hot tears.

And although I feed her, clothe her and otherwise look out for her best interests 100% of the time, there are still many ways that I fail her as a mother. 

Here are 5 of them:

  1. I don't think my maternal instincts ever really kicked in.  I am not a very nurturing person by nature.  It takes a lot of awareness to remember that kids need lots of hugs and kisses and I try to provide those to her at least daily.  But when the waterworks start over something that I consider trivial, it is not my first reaction to comfort her.  I tend to get frustrated with her and tell her to knock it off.  I tell her things like, "crying isn't going to make me change my mind" and "your father would never put up with this little tantrum."  My mother has pointed out that I seem like I totally lack compassion for things that genuinely upset her but to me it is just her being overly dramatic.
  2. I don't know how to have fun with her. I will never be the fun parent.  I don't have any ideas for things to do that we haven't done a bunch of times already.  We go to the zoo, to the bookstore to pick out books (which she used to enjoy but suddenly now she hates reading as I have documented here) and to the park.  We go mini golfing in the summer and to the beach.  But I don't think she has much fun with me.  I don't enjoy these things.  I do it because she needs to get out of the house.  I honestly think I lack the ability to let loose and enjoy myself. 
  3. I allow way too much attitude from her.  I realize every time she mouths off to me that I am going to have a real problem on my hands when she becomes a teenager but she is a seriously  mouthy bitch sometimes.  But I have yet to find a suitable way to deal with this besides yelling at her and sending her to her room to cool her ass down.  This clearly doesn't work as she is still mouthy and often just cries and denies that she ever said anything mouthy to me in the first place.
  4. I let my mother influence my rules and never for the better.  Lila eats dinner in front of the TV, not with me.  She drinks soda more than I would ever allow.  She will refuse to eat anything that we are eating for dinner and instead insists on one of only a few meals that she is willing to eat.  As I live upstairs from my mother, we eat most meals with her.  I have expressed all of these things as problems for me but she has made it very clear that she isn't going to change.  So as long as I live there cheaply, I have no choice but to accept her way of doing things when it comes to my daughter.  My mother believes it is cruel to let a kid go to bed hungry so if Lila doesn't like what we are having for dinner my mother happily cooks her something else (which is basically every single night). My mother lets her watch whatever she wants on TV and so Lila hates coming upstairs for the night because I tell her that after dinner is grown up TV time.  The tantrum about spending the night at my mother's was about this very fact.  I don't let her watch whatever she wants.
  5. I am lazy.  We don't have a lot of traditions around the holidays.  I don't color Easter eggs or carve a pumpkin at Halloween.  I refuse to take her to the St. Patrick's Day Parade because it's cold and I hate the crowds.  I figure her father (who is the fun parent anyway) will do these things with her and he does.  We don't cook together or really do arts and crafts as I suck at these things.  Part of this one stems from my depression which although medicated is still a dark cloud over me and it often just all feels like so much work.  When I come home from work at night it's all I can do to not collapse into bed and I still have to make sure homework is done and give baths and do our bedtime routine. I do these things because I know I have to but since homework is often a battle I absolutely hate doing it.
So there you have it.  I struggle often with feeling like I am a shitty mother and I know I am not alone in this.  What are some ways you feel like you fail at motherhood?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

76 Questions

Today I am stealing from mummascribbles and doing the 76 questions meme.  I really love these things. 

Feel free to steal and share and if you do make sure you leave a link in the comments so that I can read your answers.

1. What’s your favourite movie?
I don't know that I have one.  I have a few favorites:  Better Off Dead, Boogie Nights (I love Marky Mark), The Jerk

2. Favourite movie in the past five years?
 American Hustle

3. Favourite Hitchcock film?

4. A book you plan on reading?
The Deep by Nick Cutter

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

6. Favourite TV show that’s currently on?
Modern Family

7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?
 Four-when it warms up outside we'll see if that improves.

8. iPhone or Android?

9. Twitter or Instagram?

10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?
Me, of course.

11. What’s your favourite food?

12. Least favourite food?
 Thai food-too spicy

13. What do you love on your pizza?
 Fresh tomatoes and basil

14. Favourite drink?

15. Favourite dessert?
 Pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Dark chocolate

17. Coffee or tea?
 I drink both regularly

18. What’s the hardest part about being a mum?
 Not knowing what kind of teenager she is going to be.  As sassy as she is now I really dread the teen years.

19. What’s your favourite band?

20. Favourite solo artist?
 I don't know that I have a favorite

21. Favourite song?
 I have a few but probably Baby I'm Amazed by Paul McCartney and Wings

22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?
 Robert Plant

23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?
The Piano.  I have always wanted to learn piano

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?
Maybe on my wrist.

25. To be or not to be?
To be

26. Dogs or cats?
 Cats-I am really not a dog person.  I think they're kind of dirty.

27. Bird-watching or whale-watching?
Whale-watching-I actually went whale watching in my junior year of high school.  I took Dramamine for sea sickness before we went on the boat and I slept through the whole thing.

28. Best gift you’ve ever received?
 A few years ago Ben found me a WWJJD (What Would Joan Jett Do) tee shirt. It was when everyone was wearing those what would Jesus do bracelets so it was pretty funny at the time.

29. Best gift you’ve ever given?
 Probably the year I gave an ex a hand-carved chess set (not by me) that he really wanted.  It was expensive.  We broke up like 2 weeks later.  I think he used me for the chess set.

30. Last gift you gave a friend?
 About 12 bottles of liquor.

31. What’s your favourite board game?
 Trivial Pursuit

32. What’s your favourite country to visit?
 I've only been to Canada outside of the US.  But I want to visit Italy.

33. What’s the last country you visited?
See above

34. What country do you wish to visit?
 See # 32.

35. What’s your favourite colour?
 Blood red

36. Least favourite colour?
 Bright orange

37. Diamonds or pearls?
 Black diamonds

38. Heels or flats?
 flats-I can't walk in heels anymore.

39. Pilates or yoga?
Yoga-I was actually taking classes to become a yoga instructor when I found out I was pregnant.  I was so sick with "Morning" sickness that lasted all day that I had to quit the classes.  I regret that.

40. Jogging or swimming?
 Jogging.  I can't swim.

41. Best way to de-stress?
 Sex.  But since I have basically been celibate for the last 2 years I will say a nice massage.

42. If you had one superpower, what would it be?
 I would like to be able to become invisible.

43. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?
 Linoleum.  But its so fun to say.

44. What’s your favourite flower?

45. When was the last time you cried?
 It's been a surprisingly long time.  Probably during the transition to living alone 2 years ago.

46. Do you like your handwriting?
 No. I do this hybrid between cursive and printing and it is messy.

47. Do you bake?
 You don't want to taste my baking.  It isn't pretty.

48. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?
My hair- I don't have thick or pretty hair.  It's naturally kind of wavy, thin and has a ton of flyaways that nothing will tame.

49. What is your most favourite thing about yourself?
 It used to be my boobs but I'm in my 30s so they aren't as pretty as they used to be.

50. Who do you miss most?

51. What are you listening to right now?
 The radio.  Right now it's an awful song by Mike and the Mechanics.  This radio station sucks sometimes.

52. Favourite smell?
 Anything pumpkin spice.

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
 A customer.  I am at work right now.

54. Who was the last person you sent a text to?
 Ben about Lila's rash that she came down with.

55. A sport you wish you could play?
I have always hated sports.  I hated gym class in school.  How about synchronized swimming.

56. Hair colour?

57. Eye colour?

58. Scary film or happy endings?
 I don't like scary movies.  Life gives me enough to be worried about.  I don't need to be worried about things creeping up on me when I am alone at night.

59. Favourite season?

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
 Jesus, Elvis, and Justin from # 50 above.

61. Hugs or kisses?

62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
 I like them both but if I had to choose I would pick the Rolling Stones

63. Where were you born?
Syracuse, NY

64. What is the farthest you have been from home?
 I lived in Arizona for 4 years.

65. Sweet or savoury?
 Sweet-the antidepressant I am on makes me crave sweets.

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

67. What book have you read again and again?
 I don't like to repeat a book that I've already read.  Not even my favorites.

68. Favourite bedtime story?
The Little Prince

69. What would be the title of your autobiography?
 How Did I Get Here?

70. Favourite sound?
 Lila telling me she's tired and ready for bed.  I hardly ever get to hear it.

71. Favourite animal?

72. Who is your girl crush?
 Madonna circa 1983

73. Last photograph you took?
 A picture of Lila with half of her teeth missing.  She is at that age.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Because it's complicated.

She asks me again after a quick stop at Ben's house to pick up a couple of things for the week. "Why aren't you guys friends?"

This has come up about a hundred times.  Every time that she wants to tell me about hanging out with her or whenever Ben is with her when Lila calls him she asks me.  She wants to know why I'm not friends with Ben's new girlfriend.

"It's complicated," I tell her.  And it is.  I don't think I would know how to explain it to her 7 year old brain so I don't.  Hell I am not sure I entirely know why we're not friends.

Part of it is how I found out they were an item.  Ben and I had been split up for about a month and I saw a picture of them together on Facebook.  You see, she is someone I went to high school with so I was Facebook friends with her.  I contacted her asking her what the hell was going on because I was still holding out hope that Ben and I just needed space and were just taking some time apart.  Granted, we didn't ever say that.  I mean, moved out.  But in my own little delusional head I thought that he loved me so he was as confused by the split as I was.  I was wrong on that one. 

She replied that they had been seeing each other for MONTHS.  Her tone was bitchy.  I was blindsided.  Turns out that in the time that we were still living together, they were spending time together and now that I had moved out she was ready to come out as a couple.  Several rounds of confused questions and completely bitchy responses ensued and it ended with us blocking each other on Facebook. 

That was the last conversation I had with her.

That was almost 2 years ago. 

Since then she has come to birthday parties and school concerts, she and Ben always sitting separately from me and basically we just ignore each other.  We don't even acknowledge the other's existence.  Ben and I will chat after the school concert as if nothing was out of the ordinary and we go home.

But every time Lila asks me why we aren't friends I kind of wonder the same thing myself.  I don't harbor any feelings for Ben.  I am glad that he has found someone that he is happy with.  In fact I assume that they are in love (as much as I cringe to think about it).  Lila said that he talked to her about the girlfriend someday possibly becoming her step mother.  Although a little freaked out by that (as Ben never wanted to marry me) I would be happy for him if he chose that path. 

So why aren't we friends?

I just don't see myself doing what would be necessary to be friends with this girl.  I would never pull her aside and be like "listen, I have no plans on getting back with Ben so it is stupid for us to act like we hate each other.  Let's just call it a day and be pleasant to each other." 

As I am typing that it seems like it would be so easy to say but I don't think I am ready to do it yet.  I don't know that I ever could do that. 

I suppose I could tell Ben to deliver the message that I am not bitter and that she is welcome to any of Lila's events that she wants to come to. 

Maybe I will just send him a link to this blog post and let him figure it out himself. 

I don't think we will ever be BFF's.  I don't see myself calling her up to hang out or anything.  But there's no reason that we can't be in the same room together and be polite and make small talk.  If this is someone that Ben intends to have in my kid's life the least I can do is put in the effort to tolerate her.  And maybe I will find out I actually like her. 

And it's entirely possible that this girl thinks I am a total psychotic asshole based on the Facebook conversation and I'm sure what Ben has told her.  I mean, I wasn't at my best for a lot of my time with him.  So maybe she would still give me the cold shoulder even if I did extend an olive branch. 

There's only one way to find out though.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Not sure when this happened.

I don't know what I did wrong.  I thought I did everything right.  I started reading to her when she was about 6 weeks old-long before she could possibly understand what I was saying to her.  I read to her every night.  I took her to storytimes.  First in Arizona when she wasn't even big enough to crawl around and later to the toddler and then preschooler story times at the local library.  I have purchased over a hundred books for her.  First those sturdy little board books, later those expensive picture books and most recently chapter books.  I thought I did everything right.

How is it then, that my kid is not a reader? 

Lila does not like to read.  Up until a few months ago we did story time every night at bed time and I thought she would carry on that habit when she became old enough to read on her own.  But she hasn't.  She has traded in those last 20 or so minutes before it's lights out time for an extra 20 minutes of TV time.  Most nights it's not even something she wants to watch.  I will have Seinfeld on and that's perfectly ok with her. 

How could this have happened?  I worked at the freakin' library for 4 years of her life for Christ's sake! She always sees me with a book in my hand and I often read while she does her homework or plays after dinner. And yet those fill in lists the teacher sends home to chronicle the books she reads remain empty and sitting there piling up on her night stand. 

Last night I told her we were going to start a new nightly tradition.  I thought that if I made it sound special that she might be on board.  I told her that 15 minutes before bed time we were going to turn the TV off and we were each going to get a book and read together on the couch instead of watching TV.  She reacted as if I told her that I was going to strip her naked and pelt her with a bb gun.  She actually cried about it. 

How could this daughter of mine hate reading so much that it causes her to cry about spending just 15 minutes a day reading?  And remember, I only have her half of the week so it's not like it's even 15 minutes EVERY day! 

I worry that this is a first of many.  Up until now, she has happily and naively wanted to be just like me.  She wants to carry a purse because I carry a purse.  She wants to put on makeup with me because I am doing it.  She wants her hair to grow longer because I have let my hair grow out.  But here begins that divergence from her happy little parallel road.  Now she doesn't love reading just because I have made it clear that books are one of my favorite things.  I am still a little in shock.

I mean, I did everything right! We make monthly trips to the bookstore and she always pick something out but those books never seem to be read.  They are piling up on her bookshelf and collecting dust.

I dread the painful season of summer reading when she has to read like 6 books over a few months.  How am I going to force her to sit quietly and push through titles she doesn't like when she won't even spend 15 minutes a day reading a book she picked out? 

Anyone else have a kid who hates to read?