I’ve got to do something. My size 16s won’t zip and my 18s are baggy like a potato sack. So… let’s weigh the options:
Looks like I have no choice.
I’ve got to do something. My size 16s won’t zip and my 18s are baggy like a potato sack. So… let’s weigh the options:
Looks like I have no choice.
I remember being out of toilet paper. I remember that. The rolls in my bathroom are still new, in the package. I remember last week when Styler was here thinking, “crap, we’re almost out of t.p.!” (Pun intended.) I remember Tom buying it and dispersing it throughout the house. And then, time stopped. Here it is almost a week to the day and I’m just now opening it. Life was different when we bought that toilet paper. We were trying to go up to Charlottesville every weekend because we weren’t sure how many weekends Paw Paw had with us. Mom was trying to balance care of the generation that came before her and time with the newest. I wasn’t sad. I guess that’s the main thing. I remember how not-sad I was when we bought that toilet paper. It’s funny how it takes an overwhelming sadness to understand and appreciate not being sad.
As I write this, it’s 7:46. I woke up today at 6:45ish which, before daylight savings time, was about the time Mom called to say Paw Paw’s not doing too good. I didn’t know what that means. But I jumped out of bed and started packing. Then I jumped in the car and started driving. That early morning was Paw Paw’s last morning with us. And he never woke to enjoy the warm sunlight on his face one last time.
Speaking of overwhelming emotions, just two weeks ago at this exact time, I woke in my All-Star Resort room at Walt Disney World. I was getting ready for my Limited Time Magic behind the scenes tour at Epcot. I was so overwhelmingly happy. I’d spent the wee hours of the night before at Magic Kingdom, so I was SO tired. It’s funny, by comparison to this past week, I didn’t know what tired was.
Bruce and I got to Charlottesville around 2 pm on Tuesday. Aaaand we arrived without Bruce’s suitcase, so that was going to be an adventure. Everyone was at Todd’s house, at Maw Maw’s house, at the house where Paw Paw grew up. (Interestingly, Paw Paw is Maw Maw’s son. You would think they were the grandparents, but no. Maw Maw and Gran are my great-grandparents. Gammy and Paw Paw are my grandparents.) We did a lot of nothing, a lot of sitting on the front porch. Some of us took Bruce to the park. Mom and I walked down the hill to the little corner store and bought soda and candy. Paw Paw lay in Maw Maw’s dining room, and we waited.
Tom bought a bus ticket. He was coming into Richmond at 3:30 am.
Three cardinals appeared at the windowsill that morning. A male and two little females. We decided that was Maw Maw, Gran and Gammy.
We had Chipotle and Raisin’ Cane’s for dinner. Haley and I left around 10:30? 10:45? We went to put Bruce to bed at my parents’ house. Haley and I were going to leave around 2:00 am to pick up Tom from the Megabus stop in Richmond, so Mom was going to come home before then. That would give me 3 hours to nap. Well, it would have if Bruce wasn’t too tired to sleep. He decided he’d rather scream in delirium for an hour.
Around midnight, Dad called. Paw Paw was gone.
It was about 2:00 before Mom made it home. I was walking downstairs to leave for Richmond alone. Haley was asleep. I figured I’d let her keep sleeping and stay with Bruce. Mom and I met on the steps. I hope I never forget her face. She had to have been exhausted, but she glowed.
I asked her how it happened.
She said, “Well, it was about 11:30, and Trudy said, ‘You have to go soon, you should sit by Daddy for a while.’ So, I got in over beside him and held his hand. I like to hold it right there,” she motioned to the beefy part of her own palm, by her thumb, “because that’s where I give him his pills everyday. We sat for a while, and I said, ‘What time is it?’ Trudy said, ’11:39.’ And I said, ‘well, I’ll stay five more minutes.’ He squeezed my hand! And then he started to pull away, I mean, his arms went up and I let go of his hand. His arms came to his chest, he turned his head and he was gone.”
I didn’t cry. I just stood there on the steps in awe. ”I think he was telling me to let go,” she said. Paw Paw had gotten to the point where he’d go anywhere with Mom, and no where without her. Church is a good example. If Mom wasn’t going, if she was in Charlotte for instance, he’d skip that week. I’m glad that she told him 5 more minutes. I don’t think he felt like he needed to hang on if she was leaving. He left this world surrounded by his 5 children. I told her that it’s like they witnessed his soul exiting his body with such force that it physically drew his body upwards.
My first thought was of Gammy running to meet him.
It’s interesting. If feels like a week ago, and it feels like yesterday.
Look, I’m not saying that I’m so gaunt that my bones are protruding… I’m just saying yesterday I noticed my cheek bones for the first time. Were they there all along and I just couldn’t feel them through my pudgy fingers and palms? Possibly. But for whatever reason, I felt them yesterday like I’ve never felt them before.
Oh, and today I wore a pair of skin tight 16 jeans to Bruce’s 12 month check-up. I don’t know whether they are becoming more comfortable or if I am just getting used to the feeling of that button holding on to the the button hole for dear life as either sides of the zipper desperately try to cling together. Jury’s still out.
My sister lost 16 lbs. in 6 weeks. In that time, I have lost 5. WTF.
The cheekbones thing is a good sign though, right? That has to mean something. Right? RIGHT?!
Ya’ know, if you stumble on something at Goodwill, like, a $10 American Girl doll in like-new condition, or a similar hidden treasure, and you know that I’ll love it, I don’t see any fault with wrapping it up and giving it to me as a gift. Actually, Haley and I were with my cousins when we found American Girls’ Felicity and Kaya. We couldn’t leave them.
It makes sense. I love my AG Samantha. (Actually, she dates back to Pleasant Company.) I’m a collector. A psychology student that I had to go see at AIW (As part of my psychology class, we had to go. I’m crazy, but that’s not why I went, I went for the grade.) gave me a Mickey Mouse beer stein and it’s prominently displayed on a shelf in my living room. I forget where she found it. Maybe she just had it forever, she might have said yard sale. I forget, but I love it. I love that she thought of me. It’s such a rare, unique, and special thing. I’ve never seen another one like it.
But I don’t know, you guys. Don’t just go to Goodwill to find something for the sake of finding anything. If you are there and see Bruce-sized pajamas for, like, $2. That’s cool. You were thinking of me, and I appreciate that. Give it to me the next time we see each other. But don’t wrap it up and present it as a gift for him. You have created work for me. “Happy Birthday, wash these clothes.”
It’s slightly alarming that the need exists for this post.
Maybe there is no need for a post. Do people do this, or is one person just doing it to me? Maybe the need is for a note to the individual… but, okay, you tell me how to broach that subject.
I take a lot of stuff to Goodwill and consignment shops. Do you know why? They have no value to me. They’re not special. They’re the throwaways. It’s not about money, I don’t care what you spend, it’s about value. Like I said, we didn’t bat an eye at buying AG dolls for $10 because they are valuable to us, if nothing else. (But they actually are valuable to everyone else as well.)
Rather than continue harping on why it’s in relatively poor taste to gift someone used articles of clothing, I will instead point out several options for super-cheap or easily made gifts. I get it if you’re broke. I get it. Your life’s not about making money, you’re a do-gooder. You want to make a difference. I get it.
Check ebay. For example, I searched “Disney.” Then arranged the results according to price + shipping, lowest first. I immediately found a Walt Disney 6 cent stamp for $ .99 shipped. Buy a mini-frame. You know, they often use them for place settings at weddings? (I think I actually have TWO of those laying around my house, if you don’t, they’re like $1.) Cut a piece of acid-free paper to fit the frame and mount the stamp to it. Boom. Nice, sweet, thoughful… $2. (Unless you’ve been to a wedding in the past 5 years, then it’s only $ .99!) The same price as a shirt at Goodwill that was somebody’s throwaway. I love it. I’ll sit it on my mantle or desk. Super cute. Crafty. Thoughtful. I appreciate you.
Check Amazon. I have a Kindle. Did you know that? Maybe we should talk. Maybe if you had a conversation with me you’d know that I hate folding clothes but love playing “TripleTown” and “Candy Crush” and “Where’s My Water” and “Monsters, Run.” Are there any other Kindle apps that I might enjoy? You can save 80% on, like, 350 different Kindle books. Buy me a book! Again, I looked for about 30 seconds and found something that I’d enjoy. You can choose the delivery date and everything. (FYI, fiction isn’t my thing, but I love art, history, humor, and religious works.)
Your recipient doesn’t have a Kindle? Do they have a Smartphone? Do they have a computer? It’s 2013. You can’t dance around this technology issue.
I sent my sister a $10 Starbucks gift card on her birthday that I got for free by signing up for a Starbucks account or some crap. $10! That’s at least two tall white-chocolate mochas. I know she’ll like that. It cost me nothing.
Still evasive about the recipient having or not having technology, huh? That’s okay. If you’re reading this, you can find things.
Make me a cake. Just the fact that you mixed, and baked, and decorated, I mean — that takes me all day. Make me a mix CD. There’s thought in that. Did you know if you draw on a plain ceramic mug with a Sharpe and then bake it you will heat-set it? Yeah. Custom mugs anyone? Cut out a little heart on cardboard, trace that heart onto a map, cut out that map and Modpodge it to the cardboard, put a ribbon on it, boom: sentimental ornament that will recall that trip we took that one time. (“I’ll put that flea in a box…”) Do the same thing with a bunch of Disney characters from a book that you found at, oh, I don’t know, Goodwill? You could make a whole set: Snow White and all seven dwarfs.
Me. Me. Me. “That’s fine,” you say, “for you. Bruce has no desire for a $ .65 octopus necklace!” Learn something. Google “blanket stitch,” and design a t-shirt using a fabric remnant.
It’s painstakingly custom-made by hand! That’s valuable! I’ll keep that forever!
It is ridiculous how
cheaply inexpensively you can put together a present. Go look at Pinterest. People on Pinterest are so much smarter and more thoughtful than I will ever be. Google “Free DIY Printable.”
You don’t have to do this big thing. Just a little token, a little gesture, is sufficient. And let’s face it, a shirt that’s been caressing someone else’s stinky pits or a sleeper that some other baby pooped in is no big thing anyway. I’d like to research the History of a Gift in modern times. Specifically, I want to know how we got to this point. When we were kids, anything was okay. “Look, I drew this for you.” That’s pretty neat, you did that by hand. You put yourself into it. I guess we got older and started making our own disposable income and wanted to do more, which evolved into making money, albeit never enough, and having bills, feeling obligated to buy presents. We can go back to the drawings. What did I do to make you think, “okay, I have to get her a shirt,” or, worse yet, a skirt and a pair of pants. Not a SHIRT and pants, a skirt, a bottom, and pants, another bottom.
What woman buys another woman a pair of pants?!
Pajamas are the exception. But one doesn’t just gift a pair of pajama bottoms.
It’s so… ugh… I just have run out of words to describe how I feel smiling as I open something that perhaps someone else opened once upon a time. You know how re-gifting is tacky? You’ve heard that, right? This is like re-gifting, except worse. We can assume a re-gift is something new that you don’t like so you don’t use it and instead you gift it to someone else, in the same new gift condition in which it was received. This is kind of like that, except someone else didn’t like/want/need this so much that they gave it away. It was a little bit nicer than trash, so they didn’t want to throw it away completely, but they really can’t have it in their house anymore.
And now it’s in mine.
(OMG… side note, I just did this and it took me 20 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh88cn_rtLo Bruce pulled up the < key. Holy crap.)
No one reads this. So for the handful that do, I’m posting a special treat.
I really wanted to put together a line of pictures taken with Bruce’s favorite stuffed animal each month for his first year. I did take all the pictures. I think. They were generally 2-4 weeks late though. #MommyFail. I didn’t know what stuffed animal to use because I don’t know which one will become the most important, so I did it with 4 different ones. Two of them were Mickeys.
Anyway, the whole thing has been a disaster and I feel a lot of guilt over it. So, I was relieved at the 6 month mark when we went to a professional.
And relieved again when we went WITHIN A WEEK of his first birthday!
I haven’t been 226 since November 26, 2008. And that’s from a graph where the numbers were sneaking back up. By May 2009 I was 233 and by August 2010 I was 252.
My lowest weight in the past 5 years was 215 (Sept. 2008), and I thought I was hot shiiiiit.
That’s me on the right.
Basically, this means I only have 11 lbs. to lose before I start feeling human again, feeling pretty.
I am continuing my C25K, which is a training program for running a 5k, and last night I was really running for a little bit. Not just jogging, but really running. It’s crazy, after not doing it for a
couple few weeks, I was able to get right back into it. I just picked right up where I left off. Music helps a lot. Not having Tom with me actually helps a lot, too, because I race home as fast as I can to be with him.
I’ve been 228-229 for so long, since September 24! I’m so excited to see a new number on the scale! Woo hoo!
That’s 9.36% of my total body weight GONE.
In one of my favorite movies, “Hungry for Change,” they say, “you can get 10 lbs. off your body with sheer force, but you’re going to have to pay it back with interest.” I’m sure the running helps, but I hope changing to a healthy diet will make most of the difference in the long run. Diets don’t work. Revolutionizing my life is working. Getting mad as hell and deciding that I’m not going to take it anymore has made the difference. Yesterday I had 3 smoothies which consist of kale, berries and pineapple. I also had couscous, which is basically pasta, tomatoes with basil and feta cheese, a couple of handfuls of peanut M&Ms, a Taco Bell burrito and a slice of chocolate cake. I’m not depriving myself, but I’m adding so much healthy living that it’s starting to crowd out the crap.
The goal is under 200 lbs. by Christmas. I wanted to be 215 by Halloween, and 205 by Thanksgiving. It’s going to be super tough. I’d be pretty content at less than 200 by Christmas. The broader goal is 164 by next July. And since I’ve gone this far in spelling out my goals, if I am still 164 or less by July 2015, then I get the most elaborate Disney World vacation that money can buy, possibly with a vow renewal ceremony so that I can have pictures in a wedding dress without looking like I ate the entire wedding cake by myself.
A weird thing happened yesterday while I was singing in the shower.
Well wait, let me back up a bit. When I got pregnant, my nose became very swollen and my voice got real deep. I did a little research and tried to mention it to Dr. Wolanski. This article describes my symptoms exactly and is what I believe that I had. It’s all over my head, but, as the article mentions, once Bruce came into the world, the symptoms began to subside.
Fast-forward to present day. My voice never did fully recover from pregnancy. I can’t tell you how disheartening that has been. I miss singing with the Disney Princesses. I look at Bruce and just think, “well, I guess my new Gaston voice was worth it.” I have always had pretty severe symptoms of what I believe is undiagnosed PCOS: facial hair, abnormal cycles, acne. I’m 30, why do I still have acne? I had even felt similar pain to that which I encountered that fateful Black Friday in 2011, but much less severe. We were at Disney World in 2003. I just could not get the crampiness to go away and was uncomfortable in every position. In hindsight, I was playing with fire and should have gone to see a doctor.
Tom and I have taken a whole-body approach to health. Maybe I could take a hormone to combat what I assume is high levels of testosterone that are producing many of these symptoms. Or! Maybe I could feed my body a diet of living, healthy, leafy deep green vegetables. Maybe I can shrink the fat cells that (I assume) are producing some of the excess hormones that are doing this to me. I believe Coca-Cola fed Mr. Nasty. (You know, like the way Hexxus feeds on toxins and poisons in “Ferngully.”) I believe my body wants to heal itself. I believe my cells are slowly becoming more alive as I embrace the food that God gave us.
While I was in the shower yesterday, I got a little frog in my throat while I was singing (badly). I couldn’t seem to clear it. I just kept singing (badly). It felt different. It sounded different. Hmm, I wondered… I tried an oldie but a goodie and suddenly I was singing (badly) along with songs that I haven’t been able to sing (at all) for a couple of years.
I may not know what I’m talking about, but I’m going to pretend that the amount of weight I’ve lost so far is already affecting me in positive ways. I’m just going to assume this whole thing is slowly but surely beginning to impact my health.
I used to belt this out in the car, and Tom would say, “Dang! You sang the ass off that song!” I’m not back to that level, but it’s really nice to be able to sing it, period: