I had a moment in the dressing room last week. At my house, there is no full length mirror so it's quite a shock seeing myself in technicolor. The evidence of three, hard fought pregnancies is undeniable. Yet, I was quite pleased with myself. In fact, I was happy.
Imagine that. Happy in a dressing room.
I don't have a flat, concave belly. I don't have chisled anything. Yet, I'm pleased as punch. I never expected this. My goal was not to be the fat mom. That was my first and only goal.
I can't express the relief I have, not being the fat mom. At the park I'm wearing skinny jeans and crawling in the tubes with the kids. I'm trying to do pull ups on the monkey bars. I'm laughing and chasing my tiny kids. Pretending I'm a hungry monster trying to eat their toes. They squeal with wide eyed happiness. I don't feel exhausted or dehydrated. I feel strong and pretty. Mr. Hall gives me hugs and pats me on the tush. It's all very exciting.
Let me tell you about the dresses.
Downtown, there is a consignment store I've been eyeing for years. All manner of dresses and cool vintage wear. I've been coveting. Deeply, privately and with hope. Last week I was there and wow. I am a fox when dressed properly.
There was one dress I loved the most. It was from banana republic. Retro inspired, black and white pattern. There was a red dress so beautiful, it made me blush. The owner gave a frowny face. She loved those dresses too. "But I'm too big for them". But I'm not. To the victor go the spoils.
This is my real life. I'm capable of lifting heavy things, hopping on boxes and jump rope a mile a minute. Nothing seems impossible now. I feel smoother and taller. And it's not going to stop.
Me and my toddler, getting in a snuggle while he still snuggles . . .
You can find anything online.
Court cases are updated hourly in some counties. Thus, I was checking for any movement on my foster daughter's mom's case. Today was not the day of her sentencing but scheduling the sentencing. It'll be another three months before her sentence is handed down.
I also scanned the county jail inmate list for my foster son's mom. I already know her sentence but was curious to see if she was out of seg. Seg is segregation--meaning she can't be housed with other inmates because she was fighting. She has her very own sad cell.
I sent out prayers and thought about them. Would they behave in court? Would they flip attitude with the judge? What happens if the sentence is nine months? How are they doing in jail? Are they taking the time to read and grow? Are they going to their drug classes and learning what they need to learn? Are they ok?
I realized I was worrying about them like I do my kids. I have kept track of court dates and names of their lawyers. I've prayed for them. I want them to do well. Well enough to take their kids back.
Sometimes it really pisses me off, these moms. I help house and Mom their miracle kids while they frick around with drugs and dumb choices. I tie shoes, wipe noses, put on time outs and tuck them in at night.
Because nobody, but nobody loves you like your Mama.
Nobody worries about your fingernails or bowel movements like your Mama. Nobody watches endless youtube videos labeled "how to take care of black hair" like your foster Mama. Nobody is flooded with tears by a photo taken just 3 months ago, marveling at your growth. Nobody except Daddy of course.
Every time I breathe, in or out, they are on my mind. And the longer I take care of these kids, the more the Moms are on my mind too.
One guy was on the floor--foam rollering the kinks out. Another guy walks buy and says, "Dude! you're getting a gut--you need to work on that." And foam roller guy nods, agreeing and smiling a bit.
Then they were done.
My jaw hit the floor as I heard this. SERIOUSLY??!! IS THIS HOW GUYS TALK TO EACH OTHER?? This would never EVER happen between women. EVER. I almost did a spit take!!!
The Crossfit games are going right now. Which means all the crossfit gyms do the same workout on weekends. We all compare our scores. There are super athletes who rack up the numbers and there is me. I'm NOT last but more middle of the pack. Mid to lower give or take.
The problem is, the work outs are secret until Thursdays. Which goes against everything I am. Which is a type a planner obsesser type. Because seriously,
We're still kicking ass though. And I"m doing almost better than Mr. Hall. Which I celebrate by prancing around the house announcing he got beat by a girl.
Went out to lunch with friends the other day. I couldn't stop talking about crossfit or the crossfit games currently going on. Then I realized I COULDN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT CROSSFIT AND THE GAMES. I had to forcibly shut myself up because seriously. I am a learned, cultured woman. Sure, my brain doesn't work what with the five kids. And I'm running out of walking dead material, but still. I should have more to talk about.
Then I apologized.
And my new mommie friend said, "At least you HAVE something to talk about!"
So, ya'll can expect a bunch of crossfit related posts. Enjoy!
Tonight, at crossfit, we did an AMRAP or As many rounds as possible in X amount of time. Rounds of what you say? Rounds of hard, grunty work. Like 11 pull ups, 2 dead lifts and 10 push ups. Then repeat these things until 10 minutes is up.
I was slow tonight. Well, not slow, but intentional. I took my time. I felt no need to chase the highest score. And, the dead lifts are no effing joke. That stuff can hurt you if you don't focus on form. It looks easy but nope....
Also, the pull ups . . . dear LORD. There just comes a point where I can't get more out of me. There's a point in the work out when I'm done. But I look at the clock and it says YOU STILL HAVE 3 MINUTES LEFT and YOU CAN'T JUST SIT THERE.
In end, after a grunty 10 minutes, I did 55 pull ups, 10 dead lifts and 47 push ups. To be clear, it was 55 pull ups with a band, 10 dead lifts and 47 push ups on the knees.
Some 14 years ago, I was looking through my parents' wedding photos. The photo above is not them, but, close enough. All decked out in 1950's wear. My dad with a 28 inch waist and my barbie doll mom. She had a Jackie O pill box hat.
I remarked to my friend Sarah, "Hmm... I guess when you get older you just get big." I said this because my mom and dad, 30 years later, are big. Like 300 lbs big.
"It WON'T happen to me!", she declared. Her confidence befuddled me. Sarah is a marathon runner and I was not like her. Not yet.
It was the first time I questioned the inevitability of getting fat. Was there another choice? Did I have a choice about this? I didn't know yet.
But, the first seed was planted.
Enter the ultramarathon man
8 years ago, I read that book up there. It was fascinating and fun stuff. Surprisingly, Dean Karnazes is just a man. Who runs. A lot. Running isn't that hard he explains, it's the mental battle.
The idea of a 'the mental game' was new to me. Could I push past comfort and survive? I didn't know.
I still read this book every so often. It is my all time favorite memoir. And I've read thousands.
Working the mental game.
Two seeds now.
Enter bikram yoga
Around the same 8 years ago, I sought professional help. There were demons in need of mining. The counselor put me on a program of weight watchers and yoga. For the next nine months, demons flew out at a furious pace. The wind nearly knocked me over.
Once I stopped waging war with my body, I needed to deal with things like a grown up. It was so tough.
It was nine months of hot, sweaty bikram yoga. Buckets and buckets of pain being poured out. Tears came and I let them. Everything that had been done to my body, from age 13, was leaving. On that mat, in that still space, I pushed out mountains of pain. I told Mr. Hall all these horrible things I had never said out loud before. It was so hard.
Yet I wheeled, downward dogged and revolved triangle. I let it all come and let it all go. My body started to feel like home.
More bikram, more sweaty, more tears and more counting. I bought smaller jeans and marveled at my figure. The pain was gone. I felt amazingly, truly beautiful. Mr. Hall came and partner posed along side me.
Tears and sweat are the healing waters.
Three seeds now.
The next seed begins a year and half ago. My third son was born, making me a mom of five. We have three of our own and two foster kids. My goal was NOT to be the fat mom. Every time I tell people about my family, I want them to see a healthy mom. Something to aspire to so they can be inspired to be like me. And then, more kids will be helped.
So--back to weight watchers I went. I lost 55 lbs and was very happy. Emotionally, it was so much easier. I was ready for the unsteady and now it's ok. I didn't need to see a counselor.
Around this time, a man name Josh walked in with crossfit. Hearing the call of something, I went for a look see. Now, I am smart woman, boardering on genius. (muwhaa haa haa) . This is part of my problem, being a mensa member.
The problem with smart people is the thinking. The living in the head. Like most bloggers, I have a rich interior life. How else would I be able to write these many paragraphs?
Too much living in the head makes the body grow still. Pockets of crazy develop. Left unemptied, they become hard and block the movement of crazy. Make no mistake, I am crazy.
Did I mention the part about my 5 kids? Or my job as a full time mental health nurse practitioner where I tend to war veterans? Did I mention that sometimes I feel so blessed I can't breathe? That I feel God's love so much it makes me mute?
I need to be strong enough to withstand the blessings in my life.
Which brings me to this morning. To the kettle bell swings that did me in. I started things with a lighter weight I could swing all day. But that's not going to make me stronger. I was given a heavier bell. A simple increase of four pounds winded me. Which is humbling. Huffing and puffing and not being a big shot is humbling. It pops the pockets of crazy like no other.
When it was done I just laid there. Letting the crazy burst and sink into the floor. Just like I use to do in bikram yoga. When I was done, Mr. Hall reached out his hand and helped me up.
Watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. The original sweedish version is on hulu plus. SWWEEEEEDDDISSSHHHH.
Takes about six hours. I doubt I'll watch the american version. I've had plenty enough thank you.
So how was it you ask? Well, I watched all six hours and didn't pause in the middle to go to wikipedia. THAT SAYS A LOT PEOPLE. I'm all about the spoilers. I'm all about reading instead of watching.
I have five kids and no attention span. Reading through the movie takes much less time than watching. And less effort too. Yet, The Girl trilogy managed to catch me.
It is worth the effort. However, there is a LOT of violence against the woman up there. Who is by no means is a girl. Late 20's. It's hard watching sometimes. I fast forwarded through chunks. I found the lesbian sex scene dumb by the way. Not honest or earnest. The naughty scenes in the first film are earnest. No naughty scenes in the third. Just an FYI there for ya.
Some parents gently rock their babies to sleep. Our babies sit on Mr. Hall's lap as he rocks out to Rammstein. This music is German, industrial and loud. They have a axe to grind with America and capitalism. They also like fire and dressing in costumes. Du Hast, Mein Land and Kiene Lust are interesting videos. Not exactly safe for work NOR safe for kids. They have other videos I can't mention because they aren't safe for me!
I find it slightly ironic. Go ahead and get a mohawk. Get down with your facial piercings and scowly badself. PUNK NOT DEAD and all. But, it's just another system of beliefs that's sold to you. Being a rebel is just another word for conforming elsewhere. So go ahead you crazy Rammsteins, shine on you ANGRY GERMAN DIAMONDS!!
Babies don't know this though. They just like being on Daddy's lap all bouncey bounce! With loud German industrial music ripping through the speakers. They bounce, they tire, they lay their head down and pass the heck out. Best system ever.
There is a puddle of drool under his cheek.
AND NOW . . .
my thoughts on The Walking Dead
I think I've broken up with The Walking Dead. I don't read spoilers or chase new episodes. I used to love it now.... Nothing. I think it was the pigs. That episode with the pigs just friggin killed me.
And then the last one. With the toddler size baby who almost was killed by the kid. That is just not acceptable. Even in jest. I realize it's a dark, cruel world but enough. I think I've had enough.
All that surviving is wearing me down.
Time to find a new show. Something that doesn't have the color pallette of BLACK/GRAY/EAT 112 OZ OF PUDDING/GERMAN ANGRY!!!!
When Mr. Hall and I started dating, we bought a used Christmas tree. It was ugly and full of webs. We vacummed and loved it. Our first Christmas tree. Some 14 years ago. (aww!!)
Several moves later I got a hankering for a real tree. Mr. Hall as having none of it. "We have a tree. When we've put it up more times then the of number times I've moved it--then we'll get a real one!"
The magic number was four by the way. The tree needed to be up four times before we could get a real tree. I don't think we waited that long though. We bought a real tree this year. It was a great adventure--taking all the kids out and hunting for a real tree.
There is something about my husband that wants to see things through. That once he puts effort in, he'll hold tight and settle in. He has endurance.
I've seen these traits while hunting for a new house. I've seen it with the Christmas tree. I see it now with our foster kids.
We just took 30 hours of foster parent training and boy are my arms tired! Wait! That's not the right joke! We did take 30 hours of foster parent training though. And that is a lot!!!!
The moms of our 2 foster kids are falling the frick apart. Despite many opportunities, services and lots of things handed to them--they aren't doing well. It comes down to their stupid choices. And I'm in no mood to be non-judgemental right now, God forgive me.
But, just like everything else in fosterhood, the next steps take time. People ask, "Why don't you just adopt the kids?" It is not that simple. The moms still have chances. And if the moms are out of chances, the foster kid's family gets asked to adopt first.
Which irritates me. If the other family members were able take care of them, then what the hell have we been doing this past year? This past year (and plus some) we've been tying shoes, making meals, cleaning clothes, wiping noses, reading school reports, addressing behaviors and being mom and dad.
I say to Mr. Hall, "We've put in all this work and now we don't get the reward!"
He says, "The reward is not more kids! The reward is a vacation in the Florida Keys. COSTA RICA MAYBE!! We need a vacation! Which we can't take until we hand these kids back to their moms!"
Which makes sense. The weight of caring for five children is a lot. We are sleep deprived and needy for each other.
But yet... my selfishness. It grows. The need for these kids outweighs my intellect. My knowing family is best for these kids. It doesn't stop my heart from breaking. So sad. So sad.
I say this to Mr. Hall, wanting to adopt these kids. He says, "I want to be a foster parent longer then it took to take those dang classes!"