Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Big Happenin's


so I have really been holding out on all y'all. Some pretty momentous stuff has been going on in my life, and I haven't been sharing it. Good momentous. Biiiiiig stuff, heh!

But it's not events, it's a shift in understanding. My world has been rocked- Hard. And yet this is all stuff that I have known for years, but somehow unable to apply to myself.

Kay, well there was actually a lot that I didn't know... but seriously... do me a favor and read this. Umm.... except for the foul language, just skip over that part if you will please mom. Check out the links. Go on ahead, I can wait.

So the party line that you hear on the reality weight loss shows, and what I hear in the Weight Watchers rooms has been that " I want to be there to see my kids grow up." The obvious extension of which is, " my fat body is a death sentence, and I will be orphaning my children if I don't LOSE WEIGHT NOW!!!!."

As it is turning out... my fat body could HELP me survive better in a number of ways? And not just in In Case Of Death Camp sorts of ways?


So if it's NOT killing me to be fat, and if I am not necessarily dooming myself to health problems through my selfish and lazy refusal to diet and starve myself (not the exercise... apparently exercise and eating good food is very important for any size person, shocker... I know) then what?

Because I hate to repeat mahself, let me just copy/paste a little portion of an email I sent to my sister a few days ago...

"... I think that after this baby, that I want to start running again. Have been having running dreams, the way that the early twenties me, had motorcycle dreams. Running equals freedom and success to my unconscious the way that riding used to. I want to be strong, a runner and fat. I want to take karate and be a fat, kick-your-butt sort of woman. I have always said that I have enough personality to rock the very short hair and still be feminine. I think that I also have enough personality rock my fat butt and still be beautiful. Not pretty. Beautiful.

Thinking thinking thinking thinking....

Just knowing that it all comes down to eating right and being active and that it's OK to look like I look, because I WILL anyway (look like I look). No, not OK... it will be AWESOME to look like I look. Look at me *stands tall and arms spread wide* look at MEEEE!

I think this is part of happiness in the eternities. I always wondered what my resurrected body would look like. If it would be up to my OWN standards of perfect, or someone else's. I think that the God who loves Himself some variety, has a broader definition of perfection than Vogue magazine. Broader, taller, shorter, skinnier, stouter, chubbier. I am excited to be thinking like this. To be finally BELIEVING like this."

Seriously, I am just getting started. Some things are really starting to fall into place. All of a sudden I am giving myself permission to like me. As I am. With no caveat; no," and I am working on getting thinner" or "I have a long way to go" or "when I am thinner." The excuses and the shame are starting to drop off, and it turns out that they, not my flesh, are what has been weighing me down.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Do I have something to say today? Yes. Yes I do.

In grade school, I cannot seem to place the actual grade, but I suspect that it was third grade, there was a boy in my class named Jim Lumpee. No joke. To compound the problem he was "the fat kid," unkempt, poorly dressed and smart as a whip. Looking back I see that he was also a lonely kid, and I know for a fact that he was a picked-on kid. He was also a kid who didn't have a lot of defences at that time.

The reason that I think it was third grade, is I was baptized in June the summer before third grade; my eighth birthday. People in the LDS church cannot be baptized until the age of eight, which is the "age of accountability." The age that most human being understand the essentials of right and wrong. It is also the age that, after undertaking the covenants of baptism, a person receives the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I tell you this, because I don't want to come off like I am some sort of super-compassionate person. I think that I was just a kid with a normal sensitivity to the promptings of the Comforter. And everything about this memory feels like those sweet prompting that the Spirit brings.

I don't remember ever participating in the teasing that went on, and have even one or two memories of telling other kids to stop, or that what they had said wasn't nice. But I was a kid who went to church and paid attention, I read the Friend, I knew that what I should do was be a friend to this boy. I knew that was what Jesus would want.

But I also knew that I was a fat girl. Not as fat as Jim, but I was heavier than the pretty girls, and I felt that difference in my bones. I feared that to befriend this boy would be to mark myself as fair game for some of what Jim was getting. On top of that, he smelled bad. Not that he smelled of sewers and small rotting animals... but he smelled the sour smell of the unbathed and a little like old urine. He smelled like his clothes got washed once a month.

For those of you in my family, knowing just that he smelled bad might get me a pass on this childhood failure. I have an almost preternatural nose. There are family legends about my ability to walk into a room a half hour after a single watermelon Jolly Rancher candy has been eaten, sniff, and ask for some watermelon candy too! Chocolate? Oh brother, wait at least an hour before breathing on me! Honestly, I am grateful that over a decade of smoking has dulled my sniffer, because I still have a better nose than most.

It just breaks my heart that I had not more bravery, or compassion, or the skill that I have now as a pregnant mom who changes a toddlers stinker-pants, the skill of olfactory-blocked mouth breathing. But I knew the power, or at least sensed the power to heal that just one real friend brings. That a kid can withstand almost anything, and even have some room to grow and flourish with just one real friend. I knew it, and I knew that I could be that friend for him and I didn't do it. All the excuses in the world do not keep this childhood FAIL from burning.

Somehow I know that his parents were divorced or divorcing, and for some reason he was living in an apartment with his older brother, who was presumably older than eighteen. I remember that it was some adult, I guess my teacher, who told me this. And it feels like I could feel compassion rolling off from the adult when they told me. Perhaps that it's just something that I ascribed to the experience later, but I doubt it.

No matter how life and our actions are parsed and looked at, Jim Lumpee, wherever you are? I failed you and I am so, so very sorry. I hope you found a friend, I hope you are OK and happy today. Does it help to know that I learned from my failure? Does it help ease anything that I always acted on that urging to do right by another after that?

No? Didn't think so.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Pic: Whew.

What a week! I mean, if you can measure the difficulty of a girl's week, by the damage done to the carpet... you'd get a very good idea of the week that I've had.

Flooding and water damage? Real bad.
Smoke or fire damage? The worst.
Arterial Blood Splatter? Yikes.

But if you are talking about a generally lousy sort of week, I think that red sploshes of Tropical Punch Kool-aide down the hallway ought to register as a "well, CRAAAAP!" sort of lousy. Apparently I was not getting dressed and into the kitchen to fetch Pearl her sippy of "juice" fast enough. She felt she needed to speed things up by bringing me the pitcher. Two weeks ago, I might notta freaked so bad, but I had just spent $149.95 getting the upstairs carpet cleaned. The upside is, I'm thinking that some of the enzyme that the cleaning fella had used on the carpet was still in there, because the red drips were already looking a little faded by the time I got the spot remover out to spray on the mess. After a good scrub, you cannot even see the trail Pearl left.

You can still see the two palm sized brown stains on the floor near her bed from last Tuesday Night's Festivities of Barf. And this is not to be confused with Monday Night's, Wednesday's, Thursday's, or Friday's Festivities. Seriously. Fun parties all. Today is, I hope, the Finale of Festivities. Last night, Saturday night, was all about waking up multiple times, but not puking. That was new. I'm thinking new is good. Only this morning, Pearl seems to be going for the Toddler's Trifecta of Nasty... The three P's of Unfortunate Stench.

Having taken care of the first "P," a.k.a. puke, with great efficiency earlier on in the week ( and on and on and ON), she has decided that she is in charge of removing her diaper herself whenever things get uncomfortable, i.e. whenever she has a load. Unfortunately she still has a spectacular case of the runs. The second "P" is poo, and the basement carpet has now been christened.

And I suppose that I should be proud of the fact that notwithstanding all the vomiting and diarrhea that she has suffered for almost a full week, due to my superior hydrating techniques via the Pedialyte, she had it in her to take care of the third "P" while she was down there as well.


A curious side note to this particular party that our youngest has been having, she only ever vomited at night... and almost exclusively during the hours of midnight to five am. So every day we would think that she was on the mend... and every night, whups! No sleep for YOU!

One notable exception: after an exhausted (sleep-deprivation for a pregnant lady is extra un-fun) trip to the doctors office where the guy just told me "yeah... sucks to be you, watch for dehydration." It was beyond my ability to make lunch, so I took the girls to the Drive Thru at a C@rls Jr. to get some happy meals, I discovered that one of the last places you want a two year old to start barfing is while strapped into a car seat, jammed next to her sister, first thing after getting into the drive-thru lunch line after another car has just pulled in behind you. As bad as I feel for Pearl, I almost feel worse for Birdie who got it in her hair and all down her shirt.

You are not interested in what it takes to clean up and limp home after such and experience. Not if you are sane.

Please let this be the end.

As I have no pictures that anyone would want to see this week, I have included the birthday cakes of the Chaos Girls that got missed during my blogging break.

Pearl's second birthday

LaLa's fourth birthday

Birdie's sixth birthday

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Sunday evening we were discussing as a family what we wanted to do for FHE, and Birdie got very excited about using the helium balloons that were still floating around the house (we had celebrated Dadguy's 32nd birthday the day before) in an object lesson. She was very excited about how they floated, being symbolic of the goodness of Jesus, and she wanted to do something along the lines of talk about all the good things that we needed to do to return to Heavenly Father and Jesus. Specifically having everyone guess the incremental things that we needed to do to return to Jesus. We all agreed that she would teach the lesson on Monday night, and that I would help her.

I mostly wanted to be her helper, because it really seemed to me that Birdie was missing a very basic principle of the Gospel. It's a common misapprehension that is often found even in adult understandings of the way that things work with Christ. The idea that we can buy our way into heaven with good behaviour, the concept that if we do it right we can do it ourselves.

We can't. No one can.

Yes it's important to be anxiously engaged in doing good, yes we need to pray and read our scriptures, go to church, help others, be kind, keep the commandments.... but that is not some sort of Godly currency with which we purchase redemption. Naw... the price has been paid. It is by Grace alone that the miracle happens, it is our Intercessor that pulls it off for us.

But Birdie wanted to use the balloons, she was really jazzed by the idea of the steps that we need to take to return to the Father. I didn't want to discourage that excitement, I just wanted to refine the object lesson... to teach more, and to teach a little more accurately. I couldn't quite wrap my head around how to do this without discarding Birdies idea until yesterday afternoon I had to go rescue the Mylar balloon, which had lost it's ribbon and was bopping around the ceiling of the girl's room. We had gotten a Macey's balloon bouquet special the day before, which is $4.99 for one screen printed Mylar and five regular latex balloons of your choice, and since they didn't have any Bionicle (the thing that they have decided is better than Legos for Dadguy's traditional "toy" gift) print balloons, we settled on a Superman. So I managed to snag Superman down, and thought about his floating, inaccessibly stringless state as a sort of symbol of God. I snagged a few, regular blow up balloons in the candy jar, and I was ready.

Here's how the lesson went down:
The stringless Superman balloon was symbolic of God, and one of the latex helium balloons was Jesus. They are both perfect and they look like each other, they both float. But God gave Jesus a string, so that we can tie OUR balloons onto his and via HIS power and goodness we can float up to live with the Father again some day. But first we need to do everything in our power to LOOK like Jesus and the Father, and here is where Birdies ideas came in. Every puff of breath that filled our floppy balloon, and made us puffy like Jesus, was an action or activity that WE can do: like baptism, be obedient, etc...

It was exciting, and I think that the girls have the beginnings of the idea of how it works. Sort of.

After the lesson, Dadguy really wanted to set the balloons free. They were his, and he wasn't really excited about having them hanging around the house for another week or so, losing altitude and getting in the way. So we went in the back yard and let them all go, but as they were floating away, one of them wasn't quite as high as the rest, LaLa hollers "AAAAAAAH! Jesus isn't going to MAKE it!"

Dadguy turns to me and says, "your composing a post right now aren't you?"


Monday, August 11, 2008


One of the ideas that I have struggled with, a mindset that has plagued my life, has been the idea of "enough." More specifically "having enough." I grew up in a family of six kids, I was kid number four: the lower middle. But worse, I was the girl caught in between the two boys of the family. Maybe not a recipe for emotional poverty to YOU... but for a wanna-be Daddy's Girl...? Well, it always felt like there was not enough. Not enough money, food, time, love, attention, space... insert desirable object or concept here. There just seemed like there wasn't enough.

The problem is, when you live with the fear of "not enough" you start doing ugly, destructive things to combat that fear. Fear of there not being enough food, or special treats can really push a girl into overeating when the treat or the food IS there. Fear that there is not enough attention or love, if indulged in, will often cause a girl to make desperate and stupid relationship choices. This fear, if coddled the way that I have been guilty of coddling at points in my life, can be the justification for lashing out, rebellion, hatred and rage. Wars are fought over the concept of "enough." Without going over all of my personal weaknesses with a microscope, lets just say that I feel confident that virtually every lousy, selfish, ugly, self-destructive, dishonest thing that I have undertaken has a good solid start in that fear, the feeling of there not being enough for me. A sense of living in scarcity.

Many of my first memories are tinged with the feeling of there not being enough. As I grew up and started thinking about things analytically, I bought into the idea that the feelings that I had stemmed from being in such a big family, not so much the economics... because really, we DID always have enough food and OK clothes and cars to drive to get where we needed. Still, the concept and the niggling omnipresent sense of unease seemed to be a no-brainer to place in the doorstep of an overlarge family, the clamor of the needs of so many children, a father working long hours to provide, and a mother pressed to her limits. It was a fairly obvious explanation, and so I started blaming. And even when I stopped blaming, I still held onto the idea that it was cause and effect.

Ahem. I think I was wrong.

I have my own kids now, and as I have watched them enter this world and start their interactions... I am more and more convinced that some things? Some things we bring with us. Some kids come into this world with a pre-disposition to be fearful, some bold, some individuals seem to have a need to be held, and some equate a cuddle with being smothered. And this weakness, this tendency to fear that there will not be enough for me, this is a thing that I brought into this life. It is mine and was mine before this mortal life. Sure, maybe being born into the family that I had been threw that weakness up into sharp relief, maybe even exacerbated it.

And baby... if this is true then I thank God that I was born as I was born so that I might see and understand this challenge as clearly as I do today. It really does come down to an understanding of God. The way that He works, and the way of the opposition.

There is this guy that Dadguy listens to occasionally, podcasts and sometimes on NPR, this guy talks about economics... and has gone as far as to say that God, the Christian God, is a Capitalist. And at first it sounds funny, but when you look further into what this guy says about the idea of living in "scarcity" or "abundance" mindsets, it all makes pretty good sense.

I mean... both mindsets are valid and real ways of looking at the world, but one requires an understanding of the Plenty that is Omniscience, or at least a faith in that Plenty. A belief that it is there, that God wants you to have enough, and that He will provide. The opposite mindset is equally valid... I mean hey, there are children, children on this planet who are right now starving to death. It is easy to say that we must take from those that have, and give to those that have not.

To force, to compel is not the way of the Father and it never has been.

But the world of abundance says that we do not have to force or coerce, there is enough. There has always been enough, and if there truly is not enough? That God will make there be a way for those who have not, to have. Either inspiring a person to create a way, or sending down manna. If you live in the world of enough and abundance... you can do as the Taoist who upon encountering a problem will tell themselves not that they can figure out an answer, but that they simply must remember the answer to this problem. An approach that pre-supposes an answer, and in a way creates a pocket of faith or reality for there to BE an answer. This is not just wishful thinking, this is a powerful way to tap into Deity, it is like unto prayer itself in it's efficacy and reliance on faith to work.

That we have not yet found the way to provide for all children as sons and daughters of God, is our horror and onus, but I will yet put my faith in Abundance. In the end, it is the only real answer, and no amount of the expediency that bases itself in fear and scarcity will convince me otherwise.

On a personal level I have never before in my life experienced so much abundance as I do today. It's a real, physical amount of enough. Dadguy and I have enough time and love and money and space for all but the most unreasonably demanding child in any understanding of the word. But also, in my sense of enough? I am awash with plenty, I swim in it and I send it out the door on a regular basis.

I wish this plenty on you.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Shtuff and Nonshensh

Allllrighty then, it's time to quit reading all y'alls blogs and jot down a wee bit of my own bloggary. My parents just left, they have been here since Sunday, more or less, and the week preceding was spent in a final sprint to get the basement habitable enough for their visit.

Or in other words, get some functioning bathroom stuff going; seal the tile, get a toilet, sink, shower, caulk everything etc.

Also in there I had regular family, church and personal stuff going on, plus Breaking Dawn to read. And the pregnancy. And I got pretty sick in there for a while too. And, and, and...

This has truly been my hardest pregnancy, but how much of the difficulty level is purely physical and how much stems from the demands I have made upon myself, I'd be hard pressed to determine. I do know that it is not an especially wise thing for a pregnant woman to be wandering the hallowed merchandising halls of Ikea, and yet there I was yesterday. Me and at least five or six other visibly gestating gals. Idiots all.

But I got some great curtains and sheers for the family room, plus a keen, round bathmat for the downstairs bathroom, so it's all good. Nesting. You know.

Only now I gotta install them. Sigh.

It's no great wonder to me, with all the "do" that I have stacked up in my daily life, and the constant interruptions to my every breath and action that three young girls can be counted on to bring, that virtually all contemplation and abstract thought has left the building. There is no time (or spare brain cells) to think about the why's and the underpinnings and the politics of being a woman, an American and a human being on this green globe. And I miss it. The thinking. My opinionated-ness. My passion for ideas. It all seems lost in this fog of hormone poisoning, and my meticulous hoarding of personal resources so I can make it all the way past baths, in to bedtime.

Thankfully, after thirty-nine years of life and three thriving offspring, I know in my heart that this too shall pass, and that I will be back to my normal pain-in-the-neck self. As opposed to the pain-in-the-neck that I currently am, which is a kinda surly-languishing-on-the-couch-griping-about-the-dinner-menu sort of self.

Overheard in Chaos:

Birdie to me after I have pulled the plug on computer games for the rest of the day:
"I've HAD it with your leadership!"

"I am feisty and CUTE, huh mama!?"

Pearl every five minutes or so:
"Pika! Pika-pi!"
and then as she clenches her little fists, squinches her eyes and doubles over, a hollered "PIKACHUUUUUUUUUU!" If you ever have seen a Pikachu electrical attack? Yeah... sounds exactly like that, with the volume at 10. All she needs is a yellow suit, black tipped ears and some large polka dots on her cheeks.

Ain't life grand?