Wednesday, June 22, 2016

And You May Ask Yourself

I'm not ready.

All these photos and memes and inspirational articles about women embracing and loving their bodies after babies.

I'm not ready to love my body yet.

Some day.

Not today.

My hundreds of stretch marks, my saggy stomach skin, my non-existent boobs that fold inward because I breastfed four babies. I'm proud of them. I'm so incredibly proud of my body. But I don't love it. Not yet.

Some day.

Not today.

I’ve been working on it. Not because I want to look like a super model, I like cheese and donuts too much for that, but I want to be healthy. I actually enjoy running. Exercise and not eating crap all the time helps my mood stay un-stabby. But most importantly I want my kids to know that taking care of your health is vital. I want them to know it’s important – it’s so very important – for you to love your body no matter what. Because self-esteem in these days is so easily flushed down the toilet, and it’s hard enough to grow up and figure out how to live like a decent person without someone telling you your thighs shouldn’t touch. (Uh, your thighs definitely should touch. They’re thighs, not mortal enemies!)

So, I don’t tell my kids I don’t love my body yet. When my girls poke my stomach skin that folds over my pants because the last time I was pregnant I had two babies in there at once and they were both seven pounds, I tell them, “Mommy is so happy she has that saggy skin fold because that means we have your brothers!”

And it’s not a lie. I am happy it’s there.

But I don’t love it.

I haven’t embraced it, and I won’t wear it out in a bikini.

Some day.

Not today.

My once perky A cup boobs, are now flat AAA’s. That’s not even a real cup size. I made it up because there’s nothing that fits me. I actually don’t need a bra but I wear one anyway because I want to give the illusion that I have boobs under there. Because I’m proud that I breastfed four kids in four years, but I’m not ready to love that this pre-pre-pre-teen chest I’m rocking as a result is a reality.

Some day.

Not today.

My face has gotten more wrinkles since the kids, my knees are saggy, my butt has a lot of dimples, I have old man varicose veins on one of my legs that hurt and make me look half-grandpa from the crotch down, and my hands suddenly look like my mother’s. I want to love all these things. Because all these things mean that I am a mom, and a woman, and that I’ve had interesting things happen in my life. That I’ve used my body well, and that I continue to push it. This body grew four babies. This body fed four babies. This body takes care of people. It runs, it laughs, it dances, it folds countless loads of laundry, it writes, it’s drinks wine, it swims in the ocean, it rarely lets me down.

This body is me, and I’m proud of me.

Some days. But I’m just not ready yet. I don’t know why. I can’t shake something, some stupid idea of what I used to look like, or what I think I should look like. I was telling my friend today that I pretty much was 26 and then I woke up 36 years old and I don’t look 26 anymore, and it’s shocking. I was in a fog of grad school and drinking and being carefree from 26-30, then I got pregnant and had kids for five years and now I find myself looking around like, “This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. HOW DID I GET HERE?”

And I get so annoyed at myself because I see all these inspirational things and I think – I should be bigger than this. I shouldn’t care what I look like. I should be proud of myself.

But I’m just not. I’m just not ready.

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down.

Some day.

Not today.

Letting the days go by, water flowing underground.

Maybe next week. Maybe in a month. Maybe in a year. One day I will be able to look at my scars, and my marks, and my sags, and my everything and say, “I love this body.”

“I love this body.”

Into the blue again in the silent water.

I know it’s coming. I can feel it on the edge of my being, waiting to be pushed to the front. I will. I will embrace it and write about it and create my own memes about how much I love my body.  But maybe for now it’s ok that I don’t. Maybe everyone has their own pace and path to loving their post-baby body. Their post-thirty body. Their post-teenage-metabolism body. Their post-injury-or-illness body. Their post-I've-had-a-fucking-life body. 

Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground.

I will just have to court mine a little longer. I will have to take the time to get to know this new body I have. And then – then – I will love it and I will shout from the rooftops, “This body is great!” and I will wear bikinis, and no bras, and not give a f what anyone else thinks.

I know it’s coming.

But not right now.

Some day.

Not today.

And that’s ok. Because at least I’m trying.




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Things They Don't Tell You About

People always tell you you're gonna be tired when you have a baby.

A BABY.

And that seems reasonable. Sure, I'll be tired, babies need to eat and stuff. They need to be, like, cared for at all hours. But that's where it ends. That's where the whole, "You'll be tired" talk goes, and so you unconsciously think to yourself, "Cool, I can handle 9-12 months of being tired. And then my child will sleep through the night forever, and ever, Amen, and I'll go back to looking like a normal human, and acting like I know why I came into this room."

But that's the biggest bunch of bullshit I've ever heard.

What they should say is - say goodbye to your happy looking eyes, they're about to be surrounded by dark circles of death!

Today I was talking to my friend Tiana and we were discussing how there's a difference between being tired, and being sick-tired, and being tired-tired, and then being hungover-tired, and being I-just-cleaned-up-explosive-poop-while-being-puked-on-tired, and being why-the-fuck-is-my-phone-in-the-fridge-AGAIN-tired, and being I-just-ate-a-pint-of-ice-cream-for-dinner-because-there-was-nothing-else-and-my-kids-were-all-asleep-so-I-couldn't-drive-to-Taco-Bell-like-I-wanted-tired, and being I-can't-have-sex-with-you-because-I-just-cleaned-the-toilet-you-use-tired, and being mother-fucking-tired.

Do you see a common theme here?

There's always a baseline tired once you have kids.

IT. NEVER. GOES. AWAY.

I asked her like five times when they last time she wasn't tired was, and she couldn't tell me. Even if you go on vacation you're super tired because you're catching up on sleep from all the lack of sleep.

I typically start my day thinking about how much coffee I'm going to need to get through it. You people (yes, I'm saying that with squinty eyes while shaking my head) who "don't drink coffee" because you "have enough energy without it" and "don't like the way it makes you feel" or "the way it tastes" - I applaud you, and simultaneously do not understand how you have not fallen into a deep, deep coma. "Good for you guys."

I hear that one day I won't be tired anymore, but my kids all sleep through the night, people. That's not the problem. The problem is they're still awake during the day. Having kids is like getting on a treadmill that speeds up and slows down at will, shouts random demands at you while it decides to surprise you with rage, or sock you in the face with sadness, and sneezes in your mouth when you yawn.

It's an emotional treadmill of lovey doom.

But damnit if it's not worth every sleepless, horrible minute.

I'll take the dark circles and the bags under my eyes for these suckers any day.




















Monday, June 13, 2016

Love Is Love Is Love Is Love Is Love Is Love

I try to keep this thing light. To not write about politics, or serious global issues, or animal cruelty, or the millions of other hard-to-handle things that go on in the world. I (mostly) keep it light because this blog is about my kids. It's a new way to scrapbook about them. It's a way for me to share happy stuff about them with my friends and family even though I live so far away.

But I can't not address Orlando, because that IS about my kids.

The fact that they are growing up in a world where this is becoming commonplace - I can't even begin.

Literally, I can't let myself think about it. I can't let myself fully process that this happened. Again. And again. And again.

Orlando, San Bernadino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Chattanooga, Charleston, Isla Vista, Ft. Hood, and unfortunately on and on.

How is this fucking possible? How are my children living in a world where people are killed out of the blue, in the middle of an unassuming place meant to be for fun. These people in Orlando were not in combat. They did not put themselves in the line of fire on purpose. They did not seek out a fight. They did not do something reckless or dangerous. They just simply were.

I still can't really think about it. Even as I write this, and read the articles I'm able to shut off and close my emotions with every pore in my body. To feel myself freeze up and shut off and shut down, and not let anything resonate fully. To let it turn black, and thick, and dry up so that it can be swept away like ash.

Because I have to. Because if I don't I'm afraid I'll explode.

This cannot be the way things are.

This cannot be the way they'll stay.

My kids. My children. They will one day understand that this happened, and that there is a horrible, ugly, cancerous, disgusting, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching side to our nation and that makes me so exhausted with sadness I could pass out right now.

I can feel my body shutting down, and then I shut down before it can. I turn it off and clean the dishes and make the beds, and drink 8 oz of water, and do whatever the fuck I can so that I don't have to think about those people and their friends, and their families, and their fucking parents.

Oh my god, their parents.

But of course it's all I can think about. And of course I will do something. I cannot live like this.

We need to do something.

We need to make a change.

Because this is beyond horrific. This is reality.

Love, and peace, and understanding, and compassion. I will drill these into my children, and whisper it to them when they are sleeping, and will send them letters about it, and will sing them songs about it, and will paint the walls with it.

But something still has to be done.

I am trying to figure out what I can do. How I can help. Before I shut down. Before I explode.

Love.

And peace.

And understanding.

And compassion.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Because this is our life. This is our children's lives.

This is important.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Always Hungry

Today I found myself yelling, "No you CANNOT have a salad!" to my four year old.

Because that's logical.

But really, kids are so manipulative they will twist and turn you so hard you'll be saying no to veggies and demanding they finish their cocaine before bed.

Adeline's fav thing to do is ask for snacks before naps and bed. And I always give in because we are basically the same person and if I'm even the slightest bit hungry I am either on the brink of death or the brink of murdering someone. Pretty much if my blood sugar is low someone is going to die.

So, despite the fact everyone thinks I'm crazy for letting my four year old stay up late to eat ("She should eat at dinner and if she doesn't finish, let her be hungry, she'll learn!" or "Offer her a snack at 7pm and that's it!"  Ok, you guys. Cool, plan. Except I do all that. She DOES get a snack at 7pm, but then at 8:30 she's starving again. And how do I know this? BECAUSE WE ARE BASICALLY THE SAME PERSON. I know her very thoughts and feelings before she has them.

Put that in her future-psychologist-fund and suck on it.)

(For the record, I do not feel that way with my other three. I love them beyond life itself, and I am super intuitive about them, but Adeline and I are in sync with our food needs like N'Sync was in sync with their masterful vocal styling sync-y-ness.)

I do it because she needs to eat so that she doesn't wake up in the middle of her nap crying and trying to stab someone.

BUT.

Sometimes, she does go a little overboard, and gets a little too demand-y with her snack options. Can I bring her a granola bar? Hell yes. Can I make some wild rice and steamed asparagus for her? No. Does she want pretzels and cream cheese? Sure. That sounds good, I will have some too. But can I make her an effing salad with olives and steamed asparagus? Not when it's 10 minutes into nap time and I only have 50 minutes of quiet time left to myself, and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend 8 more of it steaming damned asparagus!

STEAM YOUR OWN ASPARAGUS, ADELINE!

Jeeze.

Of course, then I inhaled a donut in about 4 seconds flat while I was raging about the audacity of my daughter to ask for a salad - A SALAD - of all things! And about 30 seconds after that, the donut hit my belly and started to work it's amazing blood sugar magic, and suddenly I realized that here was a girl asking for something healthy and I should not be denying it. Because I want her to want to eat healthy things. And I want to encourage that sort of snack option.

And because I am a giant pushover.

But really, who doesn't love asparagus?





Or this girl?






Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer Time And The Livin's Easy

Something happens when summer hits here that just makes everything

So.

Damn.

Joyous.

I mean, it's like they're on Splash Mountain.



Have you ever seen a more cute photo ever?

The kids are ok too, I guess.

Although I recently mentioned Tula's life is very Beyonce-like, it's really all the kids. They say, "Bacon!" they get handed bacon. They say, "Dad push us in the wheelbarrow FOR HOURS," and he does it. Many times a week we go for a family walk and the girls take their scooters only to have Josh carry them both home because they're too tired. And the other day I had to re-cut Adeline's pizza because the triangles weren't "triangle enough."

I finally put all the pizza in a blender, turned it on and said, "IS THAT TRIANGLE ENOUGH FOR YOU."

I'm exaggerating. It sounds like they get away with everything but they really don't. They have chores, and we make them pick up after themselves, and they get time-outs galore for back talk. 

But sometimes you can carry a scooter home for your 3 year old. Especially when she looks like this.




You guys the helmet cannot contain that hair. It needs to be free!


I love summer here. I love everything about it. I even love that we spend 95% of our time at parks, where I have no access to an actual bathroom and have to wipe butts in bushes, and hold my pee like it's a job.





Sisters pushing brothers. 



Luke loves EVERYTHING.



And Henry is just always drunk.



If you'll excuse me I have to go outside. Because it's summer in Montana. And you never know how long that will last.




Friday, May 27, 2016

I'm Not Bossy. I'm The Boss.

I was talking to my sister this morning and she asked what Tula was yelling about in the background and I was like, "Oh she's in the bubble bath and she wants me to bring her some bacon."

And then we both paused because - Tula's life right now you guys, is pretty much platinum.

She's in a bubble bath I made for her with my favorite shampoo (because it makes the best bubbles and I'm a pushover), playing with about forty different Barbie dolls, and she's just randomly demanding people bring her bacon.

She's basically Beyonce.

















Thursday, May 26, 2016

Remember That?

I know I'm like the little boy who cried wolf with this blog, but I REALLY am going to start writing more because I want to be able to remember things. I remember nothing at this point. 

That's not true, I remember the minute the kids went to bed, when they woke up, how many bites they ate, and how much water they've had. I remember every single detail of their lives that is important to their survival. My brain only thinks about what the kids are doing, what they need to be doing, and how I can get it done. I am constantly thinking about these four other little people, so I can't let anything else in. If you want me to remember your birthday you better send me an email telling me to call you. If you want me to remember what to buy at the grocery store you better tattoo that sh*t on my forehead. And if you want me to remember when the last time I shaved my legs was, you better talk me into getting to third base because that's the only way we'll be able to tell.

Aw, remember third base?

Nope.

ME EITHER.

Anyway, the kids are cute. They ate three minutes ago. They need to eat again in 38 minutes. The end.

I actually have been squeezing in extra work, at night when they're asleep, and it is so nice. It is so nice to be using my brain for things that don't involve poop or making toast. And I'm getting paid to write tiny little things which is beyond my favorite thing in the world. It's pretty much like my birthday every day I do it. Even if it's something I have zero interest in writing, I still love it so much. I could write people's grocery lists for them and be thrilled.

Ok, so real stories coming later. For now, pictures!

But first, are we all on the same page with what third base is? Who the hell has time for that?! 

Please tell me you have time for third base. Someone out there! Maybe when the kids are all in preschool? MC, I know you have time for that. You sexy minx.


The kids!




Tula is totally ready for whatever.



Addie loves her new scooter! She's super serious about it.



Bath time love!


Oh these boys! My heart.



Friends are the best.



It's almost June, but they still rock the Christmas jams.





Oh my god I went on a trip. To a wedding. BY MYSELF.
No kids at all.
For the first time in 5 years.
More on that later, obviously.