Friday, January 18, 2013

As If I Didn't Already Have Enough to Do!

Today, Zachary had a science fair project due.  He forgot it.  I was surprised when he called not five minutes after I got home from driving them to school that he had forgotten it, too.  The night before, he was so excited to have finished it on time.  He even made me take pictures of it.
I was in my pajamas, so I said that I would not bring it to him until 11:45 that morning.  That's when I would be at the school any way, to help out with Riley's fourth grade Rendezvous.  That was fun by the way.  No, I didn't take pictures because I was working the Trading Post and was too busy bartering with the kids over the toys and treats they could buy with their paper buck skins.  But that was not good enough for Zach.  He wanted me to bring it to him right then.  Right now.  No, Zach.  I take you to school in my pajamas because I don't have to get out of the freaking car.  Nobody can tell that I am in my pajamas.
After Zach, called me, though, I updated my facebook status to: "No, I WILL NOT bring my child his science project board (that he forgot) to school right now! I'm in my pajamas! Grrr."
Then my friend decided teasing me was a good idea.  She commented: "Well if you would have reminded him! Ha ha"
Yes, that is funny.  My response was , "Ha!  That's not my job either.  :)"  Because it isn't.  He's old enough to be responsible for his school projects.  But let me give you a list of all the other things I have to remind my children to do in the hour between getting up and driving them to school:

1.  Eat breakfast (I can't believe I have to remind them to eat.  Their stomachs should do it for them.  I'm starting to worry about their ability to live on their own in the future.)
2.  Get dressed
3.  Brush your teeth (I usually have to tell them to do this multiple times before it gets done, too)
Put your lunch in your backpack (It's a school day.  Why do I have to remind them to do this?)
4.  Feed the dogs. (Which usually begins some huge argument about who should open the door and let the dogs back in from the freezing cold so they can eat.  Honestly, I thought that I had solved it when I gave Riley the responsibility to feed Abbey, Kaleb the job of feeding Neji, and then Zach gives them water outside.  I have explained they should put the food in the bowls and then Zach can let them in as he takes the water outside.  This should run smoothly, but Riley thinks feeding Abbey takes ten minutes - Abbey is old and can't chew the hard dog food any more, so we feed her the stuff in the cans.  And no, I am not exaggerating.)
5.  Put the milk away.
6.  Put your coat on.  Gloves and hats if it's super cold.
7.  BACKPACKS!  (Yes, I have been outside, warming up the car and they have walked outside to the car with out their backpacks.)

I'm sure there are more, but I really think I have a hard enough time remembering all those things while I am half awake to remember anything else.  There's no way I would remember to remind them about something new and probably never to be done the rest of the year again.  I know I'm repeating myself, but sometimes I really don't know if they will make it on their own.  Honestly, though.  They'd better get it together because I am no helicopter mom.  When they move out, there will have to be some very special circumstances for me to let them back in.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Emily, Don't Read This Post. It's About Blood and Needles.

I donate blood pretty regularly.  Every 52 days, I expect a phone call from the Red Cross to set up my appointment.  Usually, I don't have a car in the winter and so I can only donate in the evening.  This year, Kurtis has been taking the bus to work instead because a bus pass is cheaper than gas at this point.  So I have the car!  Woot!  Woot!  So this time when they called, I was all excited to be able to donate blood while my kids were at school.  My appointment time was 10:45 this morning.  In order to prepare for this, I ate breakfast.  Usually, I don't because I'm not hungry until 11, but I did today so I wouldn't get nauseous.  I should have had more water, though.
I got there, checked in, and went through all the usual questions about my history.  Then I got up in the chair.  The phlebotomist (we'll call him Matt because I don't want to have to type phlebotomist over and over), found a good vein in my right arm.  Right is usually the one they go with and I have the scars to prove it.  He cleaned my arm with the iodine (as usual), and said, "If you need to look away, now is the time."  I did.  I have to, or I will go into a mild form of shock.  I felt the usual sting as the iodine entered my blood stream.  Then Matt turns to his co-worker and says, "Um.  Can you come help me?"
Oh great.  I want to look, but I don't want to look at the same time.  So I say, "That's not encouraging."  Matt says, "It's just not flowing."  "What does that mean?"  I snuck a glance at the tube, and noted the truth of that statement.  I'd never seen that before.  It was not flowing through the tube at all.  His co-worker says, "It's okay.  We just have to check to see if the tube is kinked or if the needle is just hitting the top of the vein and adjust it.  Nope.  The tube isn't kinked.  I don't know what's wrong."  "Did you have a lot of water to drink this morning?"  Matt asks.  "Uh, probably not.  About a cup or two."  "Yeah.  Next time, you should probably drink some more."  He was really nice and his other co-worker got me some water.  The one trying to adjust the needle gave up and said, "I think we will need to use the other arm."  Matt pulled the needle out and said, "Whoa.  Now, it's bleeding."   I told him I was a bleeder.
Yeah, so we switched to the other arm, and switched bags and needles and all that fun stuff.  I finished the bottle of water they gave me before I got stuck again, and wal-la.  The job was done in five minutes and thirty-nine seconds.  That's about how long it always takes.
So did I not have enough to drink this morning, or was there something wrong with the tube?  Maybe both.  My right arm feels like there is going to be a nice bruise now though, and I think I did end up going  into a mild form of shock.  I was shivering by the end of it.  Not bad or anything, but I was cold, and a little freaked out.  That has never happened to me before, and it was an interesting experience.  Who knew blood donation was such an adventure?

This picture is from

Sunday, January 13, 2013

You Can't Look Me In the Eye and Say You Don't Feel Like A Little Destruction

Last night, was quite the adventure.  I was watching episode four in season two of Downton Abbey when Zachary comes running over to me.  "Mom!  I think the sink overflowed!"  I look at him, thinking that if he thinks the sink has overflowed, it must not be that bad.  I rolled my eyes and said, "Then let some of the water out of it."  "NO!  MOM!  THE SINK HAS OVERFLOWED!"
Yes.  Zachary left the sink unattended while he watched his brother play a computer game and let the sink overflow.  It ran in a beautiful river all the way down the kitchen floor, under the refrigerator a little and into the pantry.  It even managed to get under the sink and in the drawer and cupboard next to the sink, and underneath the dishwasher.  Yay.  I did want to wash my kitchen rug, but hadn't gotten around to it yet, so I suppose that is the silver lining.  All that crap so I could have a clean kitchen rug.  Thanks, Universe.  You're the best.
We cleaned it up quickly, with lots of yelling and telling him to he made this mess, so he'd better help us clean it up.  Hopefully I won't have to get a new floor again.  I have to pat myself on the back for not swearing, though.  I'm pretty proud of myself for managing that.  It's kind of funny now, but I was so very, very annoyed last night.  Actually, no.  It isn't funny now.  I'm not there yet.  I hoped I was, but I'm not.
When the clean up was over and I was done putting everything in the washing machine, there were hugs all around, so we still love each other and all is forgiven.  But hopefully Zach understands the importance of not leaving running water alone when your sink is filling up.  Kurtis told him to treat water as if it were dangerous.  "You wouldn't leave a fire unattended would you?"
I hope my yelling at him last night to just get his stuff done and then stuff like this won't happen sinks in.  Ah, the joys of parenting.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jump With Them All and Move It! Jump Back and Forth!

Tuesday Zachary graduated from the D.A.R.E. program.  I know what this is.  I just never had it when I was a kid.  Maybe if we had, there wouldn't have been so many delinquents at my school.  Meh.  That's debatable.
I volunteer in Kaleb's classroom at 2:45 in the afternoon.  Zach's graduation was at 2:15.  I thought, no big deal.  I'm sure I'll be done by then.  Well, apparently, this is a bigger deal than I thought.  Because when I got there, there was no where to sit and they had to put out more chairs.  I had no idea it was such a big deal.  It's D.A.R.E.  But the mayor was there.  The chief of police was there.  Miss Teen Utah was there!  I was like:
Who knew?

Needless to say, I was late for volunteering in Kaleb's class.  I watched Zach get his certificate, and then I left.  I should have stayed.  There were cookies after!  But I snuck back in after school, looking for Zach, and stole a couple for me and Riley.  I let Kaleb do his own stealing.  ;)

 The principal said there were 105 kids graduating that day.

 I was in the front row, and just happened to sit on the side he would be singing and dancing in.  He was really glad I was there.  I think my teasing him made him think I wasn't going to come.  Well, not really teasing.  He kept telling me I could take him home after the graduation and I kept telling him I had to volunteer at Kaleb's class at 2:45.

 The kids sang a song called "Choices" or something like that, and did a little dance.
Zach really only did the arm motions, and sang a little.

 This is our new principal.  I met him last week while I was volunteering in Zach's class, and he seems nice.

Left to right:  The mayor, the chief of police, the kids' D.A.R.E officer, Miss Teen Utah, and one of the kids who got to read his D.A.R.E. essay.  There were four.  Kids who read their essays.  He was the only boy.

The mayor talked.

The chief of police talked.

 Miss Teen Utah talked.  She showed the kids her D.A.R.E. t-shirt and told them that she graduated from D.A.R.E. seven years ago.  She also said it was a really long time ago.  Ha!

These are our sixth grade teachers.  They are awesome.

Zach is shaking the mayor's hand after receiving his certificate.  Then I left.  I missed the D.A.R.E. officer give his speech, and I missed the cookies and socialization afterwards.  But Kaleb's class got their stickers in their reading books!  I know where my priorities lie. :D

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Perception Part Two

Back to the dream I had the other day.  Well, not the dream, but more the way I saw myself and everyone else who was in the dream.  I saw myself as skinny, but the rest of the people in my dream (I only knew Kurtis - the other people there I had no idea who they were) looked like I know them to look in life.  I don't know if this means my subconscious thinks I am skinny or if I just have hope to be skinny one day.  It's an interesting thing to think about.
But then there is the other side of the coin so to speak.  I have a friend who makes movies.  He is really nice and lets me be in them, too.  I love making movies.  I'm really quite passionate about it.  He did not give me the part I wanted this time, though.  I asked him if the reason is because I'm fat.  He assured me it wasn't and I went on a bit about it and finally, he said to me, "I don't think you are fat!"  Oh.  But I am though.  Right?  I mean, all the magazines tell me I am.  My body mass index is 28.3 and all the BMI calculators I have used tell me that means I am overweight.  When I was 178 pounds and I punched in those numbers, it told me I was obese.  That's not something a girl ever wants to see.
We have to get past this idea that the only way for a woman to be beautiful is if she is 112 pounds.  It's a lie. We can't just blame the media, but I do think it plays a major role in this.  Did you know that 65% of women in the United States have an eating disorder?  Did you also know that the rates of depression in girls has doubled between 2000 and 2010?  78% of 17 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies.  That's huge.
I can also see why my mother did not want me to read Seventeen and other magazines like that.  Just so you know, all of those statistics I just spewed off were from a documentary called Miss Representation.  I encourage everybody to watch it.  It's an eye-opener, and it has helped me in my journey to self-acceptance.  I don't know if I will ever truly get there, but I'm working on it.
I just feel that we have all bought into this idea that we have to be skinny to be happy or to be accepted.  Well, not everybody has the ability to be as skinny as the actresses you see on television.  I dream of the day when all body types are represented on television and in film.  It's important that we start to re-train our way of thinking.  Because women are beautiful.  That's it.  Women are beautiful.  I'm not saying let's all go eat whatever we want and forget about the consequences.  Eating healthy foods and taking care of ourselves is what I am talking about.  I am more than just my body.  I think that the media tells me I'm not though and that's where the problem lies.
If I'm not anything other than a body, or a man's plaything (this is known as self-objectification), then I'm not a real person and I don't matter.  That's what young girls are telling themselves after reading magazines or watching television and movies.  But I am a person, and I do matter.  Women matter.  Girls matter.  Yeah, everybody knows that, Melissa.  So why are you even bringing this up?
Because not everybody does know they matter.  Look around you.  Everywhere you go, you will see women being objectified or their bodies use to sell products.  It's an epidemic.  In Miss Representation, one of the women being interviewed talks about how you can't be what you can't see.  If girls never see a woman being objectified and she is told her worth is more than just her body, you have fewer instances of eating disorders.  You have women with higher self-esteem and fewer instances of depression.  That's basically the opposite of what is going on in this country.
I wish I could put in a clip of one of the biggest wake up calls for me in this movie, but I can't.  So I will quote the woman instead.  Caroline Heldman (PhD) is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Occidental College.  She said, "The more women and girls self-objectify, the more likely they are to be depressed, to have eating disorders.  They have lower confidence.  They have lower ambition.  They have lower cognitive functioning.  They have lower GPAs.  How does this connect to women in leadership?  Women who are high self-objectifiers have lower political efficacy.  Political efficacy is the idea that your voice matters in politics, and that you can bring about change in politics.  So if we have a whole generation of young people being raised where women's  objectification is just par for the course, it's normal, it's okay; we have a whole generation of women who are less likely to run for office and less likely to vote."
I'd like to apply this to our whole lives.  Efficacy is a noun.  It means "capacity for producing a desired result or effect, effectiveness."  I went to  I use that sight frequently.  Everybody wants to have a purpose that is greater than themselves.  But if I am not more than my body, then I can't have any efficacy in this world.  This will affect my children.  This will affect how I raise them and how they see me as a person.  So if we do not change the way we think, we are not only hurting ourselves, but we are also hurting our children and our children's children.  Because this is not just going to go away.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Perception Part One

I had a dream last night and as I was thinking about what was happening in my dream, it occurred to me that in all of my dreams, I'm skinny.  I look good.  And it made me wonder if that is what my subconscious thinks I actually look like.  And then I wonder if my subconscious is oblivious to what I really look like, is my conscious self also oblivious?
For those of you who don't know this about me, I'm kind of obsessed with my weight.  I'm working on it. and trying to be happy with the way I look, but I'm not.  Let's go back in time for a bit shall we.  Time travel is fun.
It's 1997 and I'm eighteen years old.  I didn't worry about my weight back then.  I was 5 feet 4 inches tall and 120 pounds.  Sure life got more difficult for me when I left home and went to college in the sense that now I have to take care of myself and figure out how to be an adult, but I was happy.  I liked the way I looked and I didn't think I needed to change it or worry about any of it.  I also didn't have a car, so if I wanted to go somewhere, I took the bus or walked.  I was a regular Elizabeth Bennett.  All I really remember about that book is that she walked.  A lot.  No, I do remember the basic plot as well, but meh.  It was alright.  (This is off subject, but here's my tiny rant any way:  I don't really like Jane Austen that much.  All of her stories are about how girls need to get married so their lives can begin.  Girls do not need to get married for their lives to begin.  Your life began when you were born and it will continue whether you are married or not.  Besides.  Life ends at marriage.  Why do you think all those princess movies end at their weddings?  Because after your wedding your life is over!  Picture me yelling that like Liz Lemon would.  She's awesome.  End rant.)
Then, in 1998, I met the man I was going to marry.  I didn't know I was going to marry him when I met him. It wasn't all our eyes locked and time stopped and we just knew.  No.  That's not how it went down.  That's not real life, and that's a story for another blog.  If I ever decide to tell it.  It's kind of embarrassing.
In 1999, I ended up marrying a man I barely knew.  He barely knew me.  We'd hardly scratched the surface of getting to know one another when we got married.  I didn't know he was addicted to computer games.  He didn't know I wanted to be an actress.  Many nights, I went to bed alone and in tears because my husband could not stop playing the computer.  I thought there was something wrong with me and started eating candy and sweets.  I gained weight.  I was 135 pounds.
In 2000, I decided I wanted to have a baby.  After he was born, in May 2001, I was 154 pounds.  Then I had another baby seventeen months later (October of 2002) and I weighed 160 something pounds.  After my last child was born in December of 2004, I weighed 178 pounds.  At the end of my pregnancy with him (before he was born), I weighed 197 pounds.  I was so uncomfortable.  I remember looking at my husband, and telling him that I can't let my body get this big after he is born.  "My body can't support this much weight."
In 2007, I realized how unhappy I was.  It was like I had been living in some sort of foggy depression horrible state that is hard to describe and you will only understand if you have experienced it.  I wasn't depressed because I was over-weight.  That just added to it.  I was depressed because I had nothing.  I had no joy.  I knew I had to change something.  So I did.  I told my husband that I wasn't happy.  That was so freaking hard for me to do.  I told him that I remembered being happy and I want to be happy again.  All I could think was, what was I doing when I was happy?  I was acting.  I was fulfilling my calling in life.  I was doing what I was born to do.
I started loosing weight because let's face it.  Things were changing for women in Hollywood, but they still really haven't changed that much.  I knew I wouldn't stand a chance at my current weight.  So I lost 37 pounds over two years.  I auditioned and I got a few roles here and there.  In 2009, I starred in a play.  That was huge for me.  I learned that I can carry a show and be the ingenue.  I'd never had that role before.  It was a great feeling!  It really was.  But I didn't think that at 141 pounds, I was skinny enough.  I needed to loose 21 more pounds.  Then I would look good.  I was eating right and I didn't have sweets in the house.  I was exercising.  That's when I reached the dreaded plateau.  I hit 141, and I stayed there.  I didn't know what to do.  I was frustrated and it was Halloween time.  I ate some Halloween candy.  I gained two pounds.  That was when the pendulum began to swing back for me.  In 2010, I was 151.  In 2012, I felt like I was well on my way to getting back to 178.  You see, I was 168 pounds.  I stayed there pretty steady, too.  But I want to be 120 pounds, dammit!  So here I am.  In November, I lost seven pounds.  Then I got sick in December.  I got better, but before I could resume my work out, I got sick again.  With all the baptism, wedding, and holiday stuff, I've gained five pounds.  I'm finally better, and I started my work out again this morning, and I am doing my darnedest to eat right.  That's still kind of a foreign concept to me though.  I also get a lot of push back from the rest of the people in my family when I try to change things up around here.
That's the story of my weight gain/loss/gain again.  And I took longer than I thought I would to tell it, too.  So I will continue this tomorrow.