Sunday, August 25, 2013

Quiz Show

1.  What is your favorite word?
Shenanigans (it’s fun to say, spell, and do!)

2.  What is your least favorite word?
Moist [shudder]

3.  What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Jovial agreement/collaboration: the spontaneous recognition of being simpatico

4.  What turns you off?

5.  What is your favorite curse word?

6.  What sound or noise do you love?
Laughter (especially when I helped create/extend/deepen it)

7.  What sound or noise do you hate?
Free weights dropping hard onto the floor at the gym (there’s a sign politely asking you not to do that, jackwagon!)

8.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Performing-arts critic/journalist

9.  What profession would you not like to attempt?
Teacher (oh, I’d be so very horrible)

10.  If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Now we can start the party!”

Friday, August 9, 2013


Well, this seems about right.  School just started back in session this week for my girls, so Wicked M picked the right time for a quiz.

1.  What is your favorite word?

2.  What is your least favorite word?

3.  What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Positive attitudes.

4.  What turns you off?
Naysayers...Those that don't even try.  And people who don't act their age.

5.  What is your favorite curse word?
Well, if you ask my children, they will say that I like to say "piss" a lot.

6.  What sound or noise do you love?
Running water sounds in nature -- like brooks, streams, rivers, the ocean, etc.

7.  What sound or noise do you hate?
The voice and laugh of one of my coworkers

8.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Singer.  I know I'm super not talented enough for it, but I'm dreaming, right?  So, yeah, I want to be a singer.

9.  What profession would you not like to attempt?
Tax professional

10.  If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
"Well done, good and faithful servant."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Quiz me!

 1.  What is your favorite word?

 Margarita.  Mmmmmm, only six months til I can have one. 

 2.  What is your least favorite word?

 Pantiliner.  It gives me the squirms.

 3.  What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Time and Energy.  That is, I think that I’m a pretty creative & spiritual person in tune with her emotions who is too darn busy and tired to tap into them very often.  Whenever I’ve had good sleep, eaten well, and have some time to myself to recharge, and (this is key) when I know that I have a bit of open time ahead of me where I will not be needed by work or children, then I tend to launch into something creative. 

 4.  What turns you off?

Smugness and self preservation.  I think we’ve become a cruel, dog-eat-dog world (country) lately.  The empathy is dialed down low.  Whenever I hear someone’s smug self-satisfaction, or see someone elbow others out of the way to get their own, I have to turn away.

 5.  What is your favorite curse word?

 Rubber Duck!  (think about it)

6.  What sound or noise do you love?

The sound of my children playing nicely together.  In a different room.

 7.  What sound or noise do you hate?

The sound of my children (usually Cubby) crying at 2 a.m.  It still happens sometimes.

 8.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Actor!  Actually, truthfully, as a nod to my admitted limitations in the arena of acting, I originally planned to aim for being the creative director of a well-respected regional theater.  Then the bottom dropped out of the economy, and the bottom did NOT drop out of my ballooning student loans, and so I had to make a more financially stable and less competitive choice of career.  But that’s what I’d do, if it all turned around.  Maybe I still will try to make the leap, years from now.

9.  What profession would you not like to attempt?

Exterminator.  Spiders. Ugh.

 10.  If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

While we prepare your spa-like room for eternity, please relax in one of our celebrity-guest waiting rooms.  Would you prefer the Brad Pitt lounge, or the George Clooney swim-up bar?

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Quiz

One of my favorite shows is Inside the Actor's Studio.  I love James Lipton and I love how he delves deeply into actor's histories, minds, and methods.  One of my favorite parts of every interview he does is the Bernard Pivot quiz.  I love hearing what other people's answers are and why.  I am also always surprised by at least one answer!  I tend to find having just one answer is tough for me, but I will try (I promise!).  I thought it might be fun to have my fellow Women complete the quiz.  So, here goes:

1.  What is your favorite word?
Mama.  Said in any way by my sweet Superboy.  I also love the words yes, sunshine, and happy.

2.  What is your least favorite word?
No.  I hate to hear it and I hate to say it.

3.  What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Complete and utter joy.  Complete and utter abandon.  Complete and utter raw emotion.

4.  What turns you off?
Criticism.  Negativity.  Harsh words.  Lying.

5.  What is your favorite curse word?
This one is easy.  FUCK.  Any form of it.

6.  What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of a smile.  You know how you can just hear someone smile?  I love that.  I also love the sound of my son laughing.  Him squealing.  That childlike joy is an amazing sound.

7.  What sound or noise do you hate?
People weeping in pain or despair.

8.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Professional shopper.  Because, well, duh.

9.  What profession would you not like to attempt?
Mortician.  Hands down.  Or any job having to do with dying.  I am far too emotional to handle it.

10.  If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Welcome.  And all of that does not matter.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Truly Grateful

I have so many things to be grateful for.  I truly, truly do.  If I started to list them all, well, we would be here for a very long time.  This past year has taught me a lot and I have learned so much in the last 365 days.  So what have I done that I am most grateful for?

I learned to stop listening to other people criticize or judge my parenting decisions.  Hoo, boy.  This one has been tough.  As Superboy gets older and I meet more parents (and in most cases, moms), I find that people tend to ask some leading questions to weed out people who they may be different from.  Did I nurse or not?  Did I have a natural labor?  At what hospital did I deliver?  How do I feel about the princess culture that surrounds little girls?  I find these questions unsurprising but I am shocked at the things people say and the judgments they make based on my answers!  The biggies for me have been nursing and bedtimes.  I find this insane and I have had to bite my tongue more than once to avoid saying something I will regret.  I have to know that I made (and am making!) the right decisions for myself, my son and my family and then I get to move on.  Judgmental people are jerks and I can choose whether or not I want to spend a lot of time with them.  So, there is that.  It has helped me feel empowered as a mom and as an advocate for myself and Superboy.

I learned to stop listening to other people criticize or judge my decisions about being a stay at home mom.  I have actually been really surprised at this judgment.  I live in a neighborhood nearly full of SAHMs and most of them are on the level.  Several women I have come into contact inside and outside my community have made fairly rude comments about my staying at home.  Things like how I am wasting my college degree.  Things like how I am teaching my son that women cannot do anything but be homemakers.  Things like how I am putting feminism back hundreds of years.  That last one actually made me laugh out loud because the very first thing that came to my mind was that I was singlehandedly setting feminism back hundreds of years?  ME.  ALL ON MY OWN.  RAWR.  Sadly, I had to just recognize that some people are idiots and that I have to get away from them as quickly as possible.

I had to learn to doing things for myself.  Now, I am not talking about doing my own laundry here.  I learned that during college!  I mean that I had to realize that getting myself out of the house for even an hour here and there does wonders for my brain.  Getting myself a hair cut and enjoying an ice cream cone out in the sunshine makes me a happier person.  Being away from my adorable almost two year old allows me to talk to adults and to miss him a little bit.  Going for a run every Saturday makes me feel strong and helps to remind me that my body is mine to make strong.  Watching a beloved t.v. show when it is actually on t.v. allows me to hear adult humor and to laugh out loud at inappropriate things.    You know, the normal things to remind myself that while I am always someone's mom, that I am also Wicked M.

I had to learn to stop and enjoy the little moments.  Being a stay at home can sometimes seem like drudgery.  Mondays are cleaning days, Tuesdays are swimming days, Wednesdays are play get the idea.  Living with an almost two year old (how did that even happen??  Wasn't he just born yesterday??) can also make you want to pull your hair out.  It is true that I came to motherhood later in life and there are some pros and cons to that.  Obviously.  One of the biggest pros for me is knowing that this is fleeting and that I should appreciate the littlest moments.  Once Superboy was past infancy and the fog of sleeplessness exhaustion passed, I started to get my bearings.  Superboy started saying adorable things.  He did adorable things.  I was rested enough to truly appreciate them.  I find that at least five times every day I am stopping  to just appreciate the beauty that is all around me.  How precious it is when he reads to himself.  How sweet he is when I read his bedtime story to him.  How snuggly he is all the time.  How much he needs me.  How I am always the first person he runs to when he is upset, or needs something, or wants a hug?  I mean, it does not get better than that.  For that I am truly grateful.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My 365 day journey

This year has been filled with lots of wonderful things.  An abundance of happy memories and blessings that showered my sweet family of 4 during these past 12 months quickly come to mind.  Trips, game nights, garden tending, academic accomplishments...the list goes on and on.

But this "wonder" will be all mine.  Something that occurred because of me and no one else.  Something that I alone accomplished and has, most literally, changed my life.  Almost exactly 365 days ago, I began down the path of better health.  In just shy of 365 days, I have dropped 41 lbs.

I'm not going to chalk my weight gain up to health issues (although fertility drugs do have a way of packing on the pounds long before the baby weight arrives).  If I get to take credit for the weight loss, I need to hold myself accountable and take credit for the weight gain too.  The truth of the matter is, I simply ate too much.  I was eating junk food all the time.  Eating 3 or 4 helpings at dinner.  Stuffing my face with every sweet in my office at work.  I barely exercised.

After I delivered my beautiful surro-babe, I dropped 20 lbs or so of pregnancy weight.  After that, putting absolutely no effort into my health, I was stuck.  I had never weighed so much in my life, but still saw myself as relatively thin when I looked in the mirror.

That all changed last July when I was visiting my parents in Missouri.  We had just rafted down a river in southwest Missouri.  As we were pulling off onto the beach at the rental shop, we noticed a local news reporter and cameraman.  They approached us, wanting to interview me for a story they were doing on the low water levels of rivers and lakes in the area.  I declined, but my dad offered to help.  We watched the newscast that night and, you guys, I kid you not, I thought I was going to cry.  In the background, I saw someone sitting in the raft beside my mom.  This girl was facing the river, her back to the camera, and I could not understand who that really, really fat girl was with my bathing suit on.  Then it struck me that the super fat girl was me.  I was embarrassed, shocked, tearful, and struggled to breathe.  I vowed to myself - right there on my parents' bed - that I would lose weight.

I purchased a scale and weighed myself for the first time when I got home.  I had an appointment with my doctor where I learned that I was pre-diabetic (diabetes runs heavy in my father's family, so that was fun news to hear).  My BMI put me in the "obese" category.  Yep, it was that bad.  Not only did I look bad, but I discovered that day that my body was in bad shape health wise. 

I started slowly.  I scoured the internet looking for tips to lose weight in a healthy manner.  No diet drinks.  No quick fixes.  No weird stuff for me, please and thank you.  I began logging in every.single.calorie that I consumed into an online program.  I started walking on my lunch hours.

I began to lose weight.
I began to see a difference in the way my clothes fit.
I began to gain self-confidence again.

Fast forward 365 days.  I am 41 pounds lighter than I was a year ago and I am so proud of my accomplishment.  I hear compliments from friends I haven't seen in a while about how good I look.  My coworkers are inspired.  In all honesty, I hate the attention.  Instead of saying "thank you" like I probably should, my canned response is, "Well, it's been a lot of work."  I still don't know how to handle the compliments, I suppose. 

The best part, however, is that I feel great.  My BMI is now in the "normal" range and I am no longer knocking on diabetes' door.  I still eat sweets and not-so-good-for-you stuff, but only in moderation.  I eat tons of fruits and veggies, drink at least 64 oz of water per day, and chew gum like a mad girl to keep from mindless snacking.  I do interval training, walk with weights, do yoga stretches, and core exercises.  Jas gifted me a fitbit for my birthday in January and I wear it religiously.  In fact, I think I may be addicted to it, but it's a good thing!

It hasn't been an easy road to travel.  There have been so many ups and downs along the way, but my gosh, I've stuck with it.  I am grateful for the unending support I received from Jas.  I am grateful that my girls finally have an example of healthy living in their lives.  I am grateful for the free gym I have access to here at work.  And, if I have to be, I'm grateful for that stupid newscast that shed light on my issues in the first place.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I wonder what one thing I did this past year that I will one day be so grateful for?

In July 2012, I took the Alabama bar exam, and then set off for a weeklong adventure in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with my love.  We drank margaritas with a lecherous former mayor of the city, ate green chile in front of a rotary fan on a terraced restaurant patio in 100 degree heat, had a beer on the second-story balcony of a bar overlooking the square where a crowd danced in front of a band, spent a half hour most evenings in the hotel hot tub before wrapping up in fluffy robes and deciding the next day’s itinerary.  For souvenirs we purchased one piece of turquoise jewelry and one painted tile, which still make me think fondly of the trip every time I see them.  I did not buy the seven hundred dollar boots I yearned for.  I am so grateful for that trip, an adults only adventure that will (have to) sustain us for many years hence.

In August 2012, we moved into our new house, which echoed from the lack of furniture.  We purchased a solid kitchen table with benches, one that is scrawled already with marker and has a ring or two from a hot pan.  We eat as a family at that table every night.  I am grateful for our house.  I am grateful for our family table.

In September 2012, I began work at a new job with people that I very much like, and work that I enjoy.  Although sometimes it feels like too many hours (and sometimes not enough), my salary (along with my husband’s) helps us pay the ridiculous amounts to student loans that are making those babies disappear, helps us pay our car payments and gas and mortgage, helps us buy clothes for our growing boys, helps us put a miniscule but growing amount into savings.  In this time of economic misery, I am so, so grateful for my job.

In October 2012, my boys dressed as a bat and a Frankenstein for Halloween.  In November 2012, after a bout of pneumonia that left me feverish for a week, we drove the children to my parents’ house in Nashville for a family Thanksgiving.  In December 2012, we spent our first Christmas in our own house, a family of four.  I am so grateful for my usual good health.  I am so grateful for holidays with my boys. 

In January 2013, we traveled to South Carolina to welcome a new niece.  I am so grateful for nieces.  In February 2013, I took the Florida bar exam.  I’m so grateful that I don’t have to take any more of those suckers.  In March 2013, we enjoyed our first Mobile Mardi Gras – with one quick trip to New Orleans for a taste of our Mardi Gras past.  I am so, so grateful for Mardi Gras. 

In April 2013, we celebrated Jake’s fifth birthday with a party in our backyard.  I’m so grateful for that little boy, so grateful we have a great home for him to play in.  In May 2013, we made a baby who will join us next January.  I’m a little mad at this baby for torturing me, but I’m so grateful s/he is coming.  In June 2013, we celebrated Cubby’s birthday at a baseball game.  I’m unbelievably grateful for Cubby, my little soldier, my little shadow.  In July 2013, my morning sickness faded.  I’m beyond grateful for that, you just can’t imagine.  I’ve done a lot of things in the past twelve months that have made me so grateful, things that I will remember and be proud of for the rest of my life. 

Please don’t make me pick just one.