Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dear Women, Be Your Own Version Of Skinny

Dear Women,

Ok so I lost a lot of weight in the past year, about 30 pounds.   Whoa.   I know.  I didn't even try.  I just got two babies plunked in my house and ended up wasting away from the stress of it.  So...maybe not a weight loss plan I would recommend (minus the whole allowing babies in need to be plunked in your house...please do that part).  I'm not here to brag about losing weight.  It happened.  Go me, whatever.

But here's the thing...what I discovered is that losing weight is weird.  Or rather, you get weird attention, and lots of it.  And I don't like weird attention because I myself get weird and don't know how to handle it.  I also inherited my mother's habit of deflecting compliments at all costs instead of just accepting them, so that throws the self minimization into the mix when people are just trying to be nice to you.


Losing weight is weird because you have to buy new clothes.  And then you wear said new clothes because, well, you bought them, and, well, your old clothes don't fit anymore.  And then you get lots of oohs and aahs and side glances and comments and it makes you come kinda sorta almost close to wishing you hadn't lost the weight so people would leave you alone and can a girl buy a new outfit for goodness sake??


Losing weight is weird because people tell you you are getting too skinny.  I don't understand this one.  I've gotten it a lot.  "Girrrrrl, you're getting too skinny!"    To which I usually reply "Oh, hehe, um, naaaw..." But really I want to throw my hand on my hip and say "Girrrrrl, do you realize I have been this size and weight for approximately eight years out of the past decade?"  Too skinny or returning to my comfy norm?   I'm a size 10, which, last time I checked, was not exactly in the proverbial "too skinny" realm.  If you truly think I'm bordering on anorexia, hit me up. Otherwise, not your call.


Losing weight is weird because you wonder how many people thought you were super fat before.  I mean, let's be honest, I was a self proclaimed frumpasaurus for the duration of 2013.   Then suddenly I drop some pounds and the attention and compliments start flooding in, making me wonder is it really that noticeable and what did people think before and goodness gracious I'm still the same person and leave me alone!  Even my husband, who I believe in my bones will love me no matter what I look like, gives me a lot more "Damn you're sexy" sweet nothings now (for the record, there were a lot of those even before, so now there is, like, a lot a lot).  

Ladies.  Be your own version of skinny.  Maybe that's a size 0 or a size 16.   Are you healthy and comfy in your body?  Don't try to get rid of any of it because you think the world says you should.  Did you lose some pounds and now you're dealing with the weird aftermath?  Join the club.  But hey pretty thing, own it.  Whether you're the same as you've been for a decade, new high, new low, it's you.  Maybe it has changed or will change, but it's you right now.  So buy new clothes that fit your body well, regardless of your size. Smile and say a simple "thank you" to the compliments, because you will get them if you are looking fresh and confident, regardless of your size.  Heck, even go so far as to take hotel mirror selfies with your friend's bachelorette streamers in the background, regardless of your size.

Y'all are gorgeous.  


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Random Thoughts From My Foster Parent Brain

Sometimes I look at our children and can't believe they are really going to be ours forever.  I am saddened by a society where kids must end up in a different family at all but selfishly grateful they didn't have to leave us because I know my heart would have been torn in two if that had happened.

I look at my daughter and I'm amazed by her beautiful smile that another woman gave her and her crazy curls that another man gave her.  She is beautiful, an absolutely gorgeous little girl, and not because of us or any physical traits we gave her. I'm simultaneously sad and grateful that we are the ones to hear the new words being learned and said with that sweet smile and we are the ones figuring out how the heck to care for curly hair.   That wasn't the plan at the onset of her life.  We were nowhere in sight.  But there came a time when we needed to swoop in and I am so, so glad we were set to do so.

My son is wearing the shoes today that he was wearing when he first came to our house over a year ago.  They were two sizes too big at the time.  I saved them though and now he can wear a piece of where he came from.  He has no idea.  He just knows they are "baloo" and he told me to tie them tight.   Yes sir, I will.    They are cute shoes and something his first mom somehow provided for him, even amidst her struggles.  They weren't right at the time but now they are, so we will get some life out of them.

Sometimes I feel like my decision as a woman to seek foster parenting and adoption as a first choice and forego even trying to get pregnant is an affront to some women out there who struggle with infertility.   I have had conversations where I end up saying something like "I'm just not into the idea of having babies" or I read articles about "what pregnancy is really like" and "what they don't tell you about pregnancy" and I want to run in the other direction hollering "Why would anyone want to do that?!"  ...but then I realize that is crazy talk to some women who would give their left arm and thousands of dollars to make it possible for them to have a baby.  I don't know how they view me.  But I think they think I'm weird.   I have to check myself sometimes when I get too critical about other women's or couples' decisions.   I have thought "Wow you could have paid for two adoptions by the time you paid for those four rounds of IVF attempts that still didn't work."  But I know there are other women out there who have thought of me "Wow, you could probably have all the babies you want, lickety split, and you aren't going to?!"  

Being a human being is fun, huh?


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Stop With The Parent Math

Me: So, this week you'll go out Tuesday, I'm going to Kim's Wednesday then I have staff and intern happy hour Thursday.  So that's two nights I'm out.
Trent: So?  Stop with the parent math.

I married a wise man.  He even invents new phrases on the spot. Parent math?  What a brilliant concept and one that I do need to stop. What can I say, I'm an accountant (which, contrary to popular belief, involves very little math.)  I have a tendency to tally, keep score, make sure things seem even as far as who is bearing the load or getting down time, not to make sure Trent is pulling his weight, but more to make sure I am.   Of course Trent is pulling his weight.  Of course I'm pulling my weight.  And yet I tend to nit pick and count up things like the nights of the week I'm out of the house if they are greater than the nights Trent gets out of the house.  Ack!  The parenting scale has become unbalanced!

Trent helps me see that a parenting scorecard mentality is baloney.  

Parenting should be a partnership, but not necessarily the kind with a partnership agreement drawn up outlining profit and loss percentages, capital contributions and distribution rules. (More accountant, sorry.)  It needs to be more fluid than that. More loosey goosey, less legalese.  We will have days and weeks when one parent bears more of the parenting load than the other.  There may be whole seasons when it seems a bit out of whack.  But then the so-called scales will tip back the other direction the next day or week or season.  When I started having my weekly night off from parenting a few months ago, Trent encouraged me to gobble dinner and go, but I stressed about him having to then bathe the kids and put them to bed.  He told me "Babe, you bathed and put the kids to bed five nights out of every seven for more than half of last year.  Go."

Seasons change.  It all shakes out.  Let's all just cool it with the parent math.

P.S. To all the single parents out there, you have one giant scorecard for yourself that says A+, 100%, you rock.  You have my utmost respect and you deserve a multitude of nights out of the house.  If you live near me and I can somehow provide some, holler.

P.P.S. To all the non-single parents out there who should actually care a little more about parent math, get off your booty and help. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

And Then There Are Days When CPS Takes Over

Last night...

Me: I laid out clothes for them. Can you put those on them in the morning for their visit?  And try to scrunch her hair so it's not so crazy?
Trent: I love you and how much you...
Me: ...how much I freak out about parent visits?
Trent: No, how much you care.  You want the kids to be cute for their mom.  You put together even cuter outfits for the bag for her to change them into.   You care.

Mid day...

Trent:  He threw a fit when I was putting him in the car after the visit, worse than I've seen in a long time.  One of his different, sad fits.  She was just staring at nothing and not really moving.

Mid afternoon...

Kids' attorney: I'd like to come visit the kids at y'all's house tonight. I'll be there about 7:00.

Most of the time, we are able to just rock along as pretty much regular parents, now that our CPS case is just waiting out some formalities before it can turn to adoption.  We don't hear from our social workers much other than their monthly trips to our house.  Parent visits scaled back to monthly in December so those are seldom and somewhat more of an event than when they were weekly and part of our norm.   We're getting a taste of plain ole regular parenting.

And then there are days when CPS takes over.  Like today.  CPS was on the brain, the CPS office was visited, the aftermath of said visit was dealt with, the extended evening aftermath was wondered about and turned out very mild, texts were sent between us and the kids' caseworker, a phone call was had between me and our social worker, the kids' attorney suddenly announced he was coming by with only three hours' notice.

And suddenly we're back in hardcore CPS land.  Where things are tough, our kids struggle, stuff happens last minute, we have to roll with the punches and do what we're told.

We're really close to being regular parents.  But we're not quite there yet...