Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Most Vulnerable Post Ever

Post-weight loss plastic surgery.  I had it.  I wrote about it here and here, and a bunch of other times.  And today you get to hear about it one more time.

Today I had my 3/5 month follow-up visit with the surgeon (we combined follow-ups so that I didn't have to live at the office).  This is the visit where they took the 'after' photos to accompany the 'before' shots that were taken at my pre-op visits.  These are always a good time- I get to wear tiny disposable thong underwear and stand in awkward positions while a nurse takes my picture.

These pictures, guys.  They threw me for a loop.

Recovery from these operations was hard.  Some days, really really hard.  There were days when I wondered if I'd done the right thing.  I hated the forced laying around, I felt depressed because of all of the pain every minute of every day for weeks on end, I missed picking up my babies, I wanted to get up and run but couldn't.  These were some rough days.  

Now that I've made it to the other side, I have worries of a different kind.  I worry about gaining the weight back.  I get concerned about eating too much or not working out enough.  And because I am a woman, I still sit in judgement of my body every day. 

Sometimes, if I let myself, I can get caught up in all of that.

Today, these photos brought me back to reality.

Reality is that my body is amazing.  It is strong.  It is healthy.  And I put a helluva lot of work into getting it to that point.  The reason I had these surgeries in the fist place is because it sucked to work so hard to lose so much weight, and still hate the way I looked in the mirror.  My body was strong and healthy then, too, you just couldn't see it beneath the extra skin and loose fat deposits that no amount of exercise would get rid of.

You can see it now.

When the doctor showed me these photos in his office today, I broke down and cried.  I can't even put my finger on why.  Pride for accomplishing a goal, relief that this chapter of my life is behind me, joy that my outward appearance finally matches my inner strength.  The photos put things into perspective somehow, and I'm an emotional hot mess over here.

I can't believe I'm putting this out there for the world to see, but here you have it- my 'before' and 'after.'  I think J probably put it best when he said "worth every penny."  If you need me, I'll just be here staring at these pictures and crying all day.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Caught Up with Bad TV

So pretty much a major reason why I've been MIA is because I've been spending the few free minutes I can find in the day watching TV that I couldn't seem to break up with.

Can we PLEASE talk about Twin Peaks???
So I know this show is super old, but I can remember hearing so much about it when I was a kid!  I thought it must be incredibly grown up, full of mystery and intrigue, with a truly shocking story.  As it's summertime, and most of my go-to TV shows are on hiatus for the season, I thought I'd look for a summer series to stream while I work out.  Twin Peaks appeared one day as one of  Hulu's advertised shows, and I thought it would surely be the perfect choice.

I started watching.  The first thing that hit me was the hair and wardrobe.  When I think of 1990, it's just not that long ago in my mind!  However, I was quickly reminded that 1990 was almost 30 years ago.  Shit, I'm old. 

Anywho, Season 1 was not too shabby.  A mystery all about a dead teenager.  Who killed Laura Palmer?  There were so many suspects, plenty of intrigue, and just a dash of weirdness.  Several likable characters made it worth watching.

And then came Season 2...

What in the world???  Turns out that Twin Peaks is quite possibly the strangest show ever put on television, and not in a good way.  We found out who killed Laura Palmer early in the season, and it was all totally downhill from there. 

I have a problem.  I can't seem to break up with books or shows, even when I don't enjoy them.  I know Mad Men was all the rage, but truthfully?  I thought it was kinda boring.  AND I STILL WATCHED EVERY LAST EPISODE.  Thankfully Twin Peaks is only two seasons long, because the story became so scattered and bizarro that multiple further seasons may have killed me.

I'm pretty sure that a new character was introduced about every other episode.  Toward the second half of the season, we were working with about ten different sub-plots.  At lease half of those sub-plots were left unresolved when the show ended.  There were several characters who may have lived, or maybe died.  Who knows?  Because the show never told us.

Messy endings are the stuff of nightmares in my world.  I prefer things tied up neat and tidy, thankyouverymuch.

So really- WHY WAS THIS SHOW SUCH A BIG DEAL IN THE NINETIES?  Why did everyone love it so?  It was NOT good.  

So the fact that I've spent all of my free time finishing this series that I didn't even like isn't even the worst news here, guys.  J told me that there's a follow-up movie that was made, and now a new series.  And I, of course, feel compelled to watch these things.  I have questions, and I need answers. 

Fingers crossed that I'll get them without feeling like I'm utterly wasting my life.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Let's Play Catch-Up

I know.  I suck.  I have great intentions to keep my tiny corner of the internet interesting and up to date.  Currently, that's just not going so well for me.  So instead of several thoughtful, well written posts, here are the quick and dirty versions of what could have been several great posts over the past few weeks.

1. Father's Day
Guys, I picked THE BEST guy to have babies with.  He gets a serious A+ on the parenting report card.  He has never shied away from any responsibility (except clipping nails- somehow we've been at this parenting thing for 6 1/2 years and he has yet to clip a fingernail), and he's just as great at the fun stuff.  You know what part of the day our kids LIVE for?  The fifteen minutes of playtime with Daddy just before bed.  They would give up just about anything in order to ensure they get that time.  And even though some days he's tired from a long and stressful day at the office, he always musters up the energy to play the monster that chases the little ones around and finds them in their hiding spots.  The giant belly laughs that come out of the kiddos during this time melts me.  
2. Back To School
Can we take a minute to process this?  The nugget is in first gradeFIRST GRADE.  And he didn't even want me to walk him into class on the first day.  He was so ready to go back to school.  As a first grader, he is getting a bedtime extension, allowing him an extra 30 minutes to read to himself before lights out.  And he has told us that since he's now in first grade, he'll be able to read chapter books all by himself (he can totally already do this, he just lacks a little confidence).  He got off the bus that first day excited to show me his agenda and get to work on his homework.  (Seriously- he has an agenda.  Next thing you know he'll be carrying a briefcase.)  The first few days of first grade  have been a success.

3. The Pacifier
I decided to take it away.  I think that may be the last tiny remnant of baby life my littlest lady had left, and I took it away.  Her little front teeth are really starting to suffer the consequences of the "fire," as she called it.  The pediatrician told me six months ago that her time was up, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Until now.  Even though the damage is probably already done, I don't want to prolong her years in orthodontia just because I'm desperate to hang onto the baby years.  Which I totally am.  If you need me, you can find me curled up in the fetal position over there in the corner, sobbing.   

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Best Week of the Year

Vacation Week!

I'm pretty sure that I say this just about every year, but this year's vacation was the best one yet.

We had SUCH a great time, y'all.  We returned to our beloved house at Surfside Beach, SC.  This was our 5th time renting the same house there.  It feels familiar by now, the kids remember it, and it holds lots of fun memories.  We've started calling it "The 'Cation House," taking on the adorable kid wording that Gabe created.  He catches and corrects himself most of the time now, but every once in awhile he talks about going on "the cation."

Grammy and Grampy were there, of course, along with Aunt Laura and Uncle Scott.  This year, Grandma and Grandpa joined us for a few days, too!  (Have I mentioned before how amazing it is that both sides of the family get along so well?)  Gabe said it was the most special vacation ever because Grandma and Grandpa got to come, too.

My three little fishies barely got out of the pool.  The girls conquered some of their fear, and left the pool stairs (in their Puddle Jumpers, of course).  They kicked and splashed and jumped all around the pool.  Gabe could finally stand in the shallow end with his head above water this year.  He had a BLAST swimming, jumping in, doing flips and handstands, and having tea parties under water.  If they could have slept in the pool, I think they would have.

We ate at our favorite restaurants.  Gabe declared that Bubba's has the second best corn dogs of any restaurant, anywhere.  Margot discovered hush puppies, and sneaked more and more every time she thought no one was looking.  There were many popsicles consumed.  Also lots of beer. 

We played euchre and Cards Against Humanity.  We dug holes in the sand and splashed in the ocean.  We took the kids to play putt putt.  We flew a kite on the beach.  We took the kids to the playground up the street.  We walked to the ice cream parlor.  We spent so much quality time together as one big family.

I am so lucky to have all these wonderful people in my life.  Family that I enjoy spending time with.  So many people that adore on my children.  So much love.

My soul is rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated.  I can't wait until we can do it again next year.

PS- We pretty much sucked at taking pictures this year.  Obviously we think our kids swimming in the pool are adorable.I promise, our other beloved family were there.  There's just no photographic evidence.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Vacay Mode

I'm out of the office this week.  I meant to post a warning that you'd be missing my witty commentary, but I was incredibly busy momming.  Preparing a family of five to be away from home for a week is not a task for the faint of heart.  But we made it here, and are enjoying a truly glorious week at the beach with family.  We're all in our happy place.

Catch y'all next week.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Pirate House

A mile down the country road that our neighborhood sits off of, there is a house that we refer to as "The Pirate House."  We call it this because they fly the Jolly Roger flag on the tall flag pole in their front yard.

Let me just start by saying that this house is not exactly what I'd call the lap of luxury.  As a matter of fact, I'd call it a crap hole.  It sits on a very large lot, which is also a crap hole.  I seriously have the urge to sneak over there with the dumpster in the middle of the night, just to get rid of the garbage.

The fun part of The Pirate House, though, is the literal menagerie of animals that live there.  I kid you not when I say it changes on a daily basis!  I wish that the house didn't sit on a dangerous S curve in the road, because I want more than a quick glance into the backyard each time I pass by.

When we first moved here 2 1/2 years ago, there were the goats.  One brown and one white.  For funsies, we like to name the animals.  I'm sure by we, you'd assume me and my children, but you'd be wrong here.  J, my sister Laura and I are the masterminds behind the names.  We call the goats Rhonda and Wyatt.  We loved to see them standing on top of whatever crap was laying around the yard.

Then Junior arrived.  Junior is a mini horse.  Next came Dale, a pot-bellied pig.

When winter came, the we never saw the animals anymore.  Laura joked that they were probably in the house for the season.  Absurd, right??  Except come Spring, they were all back.

Junior, by some sort of luck, moved to the cow pasture at a neighboring farm.  I guess he didn't fit inside the house.  He's living the good life in the green fields now, with all of his cow friends.  Every once in awhile, I see him standing at the fence right up at the road, seemingly having a lovely conversation with a horse standing at his fence at the horse farm on the other side of the street.

The chickens arrived that Spring.  I have no idea how many.  They escape the fence frequently.  A few have met untimely deaths from passing vehicles.

Another winter passed.  The animals disappeared, then returned come Spring.

We can't keep up with the names of all of our animal neighbors anymore.  A couple of months ago, my mom told me that she saw a big pink pig at The Pirate House.  Weeks went by and I never saw such a pig.  But with all the crap laying around that yard, it's easy to miss things.  Yes, even giant pigs.  I finally saw the giant pink pig we named Gert walking around with Dale.  Only since then, I discovered that it wasn't Dale, but another big black pig.  As yet unnamed.

The kicker came last week, guys.  As I was coming around that S curve, glancing as I always do into the crap hole, I couldn't believe my eyes, and I seriously couldn't wait to get home to share the news.

"J!  You're NEVER going to believe what I saw at The Pirate House today.  They got a YAK.  I don't think I'm going crazy.  I don't know what else that thing could be.  I swear, it's a YAK!"

A few days later, I drove by again, and realized that they hadn't gotten a yak.  They'd gotten TWO yaks!
(I have since done some googling, and I realize that yaks aren't exactly domesticated animals.  I believe they are actually highland cattle.  But I'm going to keep calling them yaks and come up with some good yak names for them.  Laura- put your thinking cap on.)

Please believe me when I say that although it is a large lot of land I'm talking about, it is in no way a farm.  It's a big ass yard, littered with God only knows what.  Garbage, toys, broken down household appliances, old furniture, and what must certainly be a huge amount of feces.  Guys, I don't know why the pirates down the street need all these animals, but they are an endless source of amusement for me. 

My guess is that they don't want to cut their grass or clean up after themselves.  The yaks will probably take care of the lawn maintenance, and the goats and pigs will probably eat all kinds of junk from the yard.  The chickens just might be dinner.

Yo ho ho, mateys.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Moving On Up

The speed at which time can fly never ceases to amaze me.

It seems like yesterday, we were here.
And yet tomorrow is the last day of the school year for my boy.  Kindergarten-done.

Yesterday Gabe's class performed a musical.  It was based on Mister Roger's Neighborhood, and it was adorable.  For weeks, Gabe has been practicing the songs.  I'd hear him building with Legos or drawing a picture, just singing his little heart out while he worked.

I told him that I was so excited to see the show that he's been practicing so hard for.  His response: "I'm so excited to share it with you!"

This is a big deal for my shy boy, who has come so very, very far.  When he was three, he managed to kick a ball into a net while playing a carnival game, so we clapped and cheered for him.  He lost it, crying inconsolably for a good half hour.  When he was four, his class learned a few songs for Thanksgiving.  He held the whole class up because he didn't want to put on his paper bag pilgrim costume and feather headband on and stand up in front of all of the parents.  When he was five, he "performed" a few songs during his preschool graduation.  And by "performed" I mean stood, lips pursed, body still, not singing a single word or making a single movement.   

Yesterday was a big day for my kid.  He sang every word, moved every movement, and was serious about putting on a good show.  He smiled while he was on stage.  Lots of applause during the curtain call didn't phase him.
So proud.

And while I think this is amazing, I'm even more proud of the year he's had in the classroom.  He was respectful to his teachers, kind to his classmates, an eager learner.  He is reading incredibly well, constantly tells us scientific facts that he's learned, and figures out math that I wouldn't have guessed he could do.  He's such a smart boy.

My first baby is most definitely growing up, and he's turning into such a cool kid.  Part of me wants to beg and plead for time to slow down, but the other part of me is so excited to see what a good man this boy is destined to become.
Bring on first grade! 


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