Thank you for visiting my blog; it is an exciting venture for me and I hope this will become a forum for moms and homemakers of all types to share stories, frustrations, and triumphs. There will be recipes, pictures of my latest and greatest soap creations, and anything I think will be interesting to Enthusiastic Homemakers.....

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don't Go Breaking My Feelings...

 Today my fourth boy Dorian turns five! I always think that five is a huge milestone, as it's purportedly when many of the brain functions become fully developed. I think of my children as becoming themselves from birth to five and by five, they are THEM.

Five years ago today I was a stay at home mom with one child in school (wow, how times flies!) and two little ones at home. I woke up on April 16, 2008 knowing that it would be Dorian's birthday, but DETERMINED to get a start on making all the meals for the freezer that you're "supposed" to make before having a baby. I had been putting it off because my first three children were all born past their due date, so I expected Dorian to follow suit.

When I woke up with contractions, I told myself it couldn't be, and went about my day. Around noon, I finished making two pans of lasagna and as I straightened up from the refrigerator after putting them in, a contraction almost doubled me over. After two more hours of being in denial, I finally called James to tell him "maybe" make himself available for a quick exit? At 2:30 my midwife convinced me to come in "for a check", well, it was a good thing because Dorian was born at 4:01, an hour to the minute after we arrived at the birth center! Some "check" it turned out to be!

10lbs 4oz, Dorian was finished "cooking" apparently and ready to be born! We came back home just as the sun was setting and even ate my famous labor lasagna for dinner. I boasted that few women give birth and then eat the homecooked meal they made on the very same day,  haha!

Dorian was born an "old soul". He hardly ever cried as a baby and I mean NEVER! However, he is a sensitive little guy and when we do something that makes him sad, he says, "you're breaking my feelings". All my pictures of Dorian are of him being pensive, in Disneyland, at the beach, in the mountains. I tease him I'm going to make an album of Dorian being serious and/or crying in all kinds of fun places.

Even though he is quiet and serious, Dorian loves his brothers. Nothing makes him happier than cuddling with them and his baby quilt that I made him on the couch. I'm always wondering what's going on behind those grey eyes, like the strong silent type, he keeps things to himself. I know that he's going to do great things when he's a big blonde man and I can't wait to see it! Love you Dorian!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I had to Share...

I posted this on my personal facebook page, but then I thought, "what the heck, why not share it with EVERYBODY!"

As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again

Fifteen years ago, I jokingly repeated those words as I embarked on a journey to heal my body and mind from the grips of food obsession. Or not so much food, the food was only a symptom of the emotional pain I felt, along with an intense desire to simply vanish into thin air. 

I had an eating disorder. 

It started out innocently enough when I was about 11, and in the terribly awkward preteen stage. I had started to put on weight that summer, and was concerned that my body, always strong and muscular, was turning into something I couldn't abide- fat. I was raised to be intensely aware of my appearance, and to never look unnattractive. I felt it was my duty, to my family and to others, to appear as attractive as possible, and I remember catty conversations with my female relatives about women who were X pounds and "can you believe she wears a size xx?". I began to see my natural growth and development as something to fear, and so I started counting calories. Except...having no real idea how many calories I SHOULD take in, I thought that aiming for 1000 calories a day was plenty. I memorized food labels and calorie charts, and realized that for a hungry 5ft 3" adolescent girl, it was really HARD to stay under 1000 calories! So I cut out fat, all of it, sugar of course, and meat. 

That left me with dry toast and salad with no dressing. 

I weighed myself 10 times a day and when I didn't see the results I was hoping for, started skipping meals as well. I did this all through my adolescence, until my eating disorder spiraled out of control when I was 17. I had been having problems at home, and my stress caused me to lose 12 lbs in 10 days. My clothes were hanging off me, and I was thrilled! In order to continue this "progress", I decided to stop eating entirely, except for crackers when I felt I must eat, and my latte addition (which is probably all that was keeping me going at that point). I went as long as three days without eating at all, during this time I was supporting myself by working full time and lived in my own apartment. Day after day I trudged home and went straight to bed, with no energy to do the things that a normal 17 year old girl would do. My employer started bringing me breakfast and insisting I eat it in front of him. I did, because I wanted people to think that I was normal and the secrecy in my condition was huge. My hair stopped growing, my muscles, gained from a lifetime of walking everywhere, turned to pasty flab. My skin cracked and peeled. I looked terrible and felt worse. I didn't date, I didn't have the energy and since I looked like death warmed over, no boys asked. I developed narcolepsy, falling dead asleep in the middle of a conversation with my friend who stopped by to watch a movie with me. She let herself out and worried about me. 

Then I started having heart palpatations. This wasn't the "skip a beat" feeling or the fluttering because of having low blood sugar. My heart felt like it would burst out of my chest and I woke up one night from a sound sleep feeling like I was about to die. That sobered me up quick. I had covered my skin problems with makeup the thickness of spackle, but this I couldn't ignore. I got up and went to the kitchen right then and there, opening the unused pantry, where I had a can of tuna, a package of saltines, and a jar of mayonaise that somebody had given me. I was starving, and crammed crackers into my mouth while I prepared a very bland tuna salad (with no salt because of course I didn't cook). I ate half the sleeve of crakers and all the tuna. I knew I had to change. 

I had no resources for counseling, I was on my own and had to work, so I devised a very basic plan. I would teach myself how to eat again. Every day, I went about my non-food day as usual, but came home and started making a meal for myself. I always liked breakfast, so I started there. At first, I chopped up one small potato, and cooked it in a dry pan. Then I fried one egg, with no butter. After I learned to eat that without hating myself, I increased it. After a month or so, I was eating a pretty good meal every day, two eggs, with a tiny sprinkle of cheese, a smidge of olive oil in the pan to make them more palatable, and a good sized potato. Soon I added dry toast. Then I added a pat of butter. By the time summer came around, I was eating 1,000 calories a day again. That was huge for me and I finally felt strong enough to eat other meals as well, yogurt for breakfast, a bagel for lunch (this was the low-fat high carb 90's!). 

I read a study years later that found that girls with eating disorders have changes in their brain that make them literally forget how to be hungry and to eat, and that simply provding scheduled meals reversed those changes. I had stumbled on an effective treatment quite by accident. 

I have not been free of relapses, during periods of stress I have to remind myself not to listen to the inner dialogue that tells me that I don't "deserve" to eat. I have gained a lot of weight from having my babies, but every time I would embark on a weight loss plan, it would trigger me to begin starving myself, and I'd have to abandon the plan. 

But now...

Fifteen years later and I've FINALLY made peace with food. I don't think about it, obsess over it, feel bad about it, crave it, love it, hate it, I just EAT what I need and no more. This healthy plan was motivated by James and we're in a healthy competition to regain our pre-marriage bodies! At the age of 32, after white-knuckling through most of the last fifteen years, I feel like I've turned a corner. 

Yay for that! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Insanity Is....

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" ~ Albert Einstein

This is true. I know this is true, you know this is true; why do we humans keep hanging on to things when we know nothing will ever change?

I came to the decision this week to cut off ties with a close family member, this decision was final, very necessary, long overdue....and very, very painful.

I'm 32 years old, and I have a GREAT life. I have managed, against the odds to have a great, long-lasting marriage (nearly 14 years!), five wonderful children, and a cozy and sweet home. Not to mention great friends (you know who you are!) and a thriving business. I'm lucky, very, very lucky. But I wasn't always so fortunate, and like "All the King's Horses and all the King's Men", I've spent the better part of my adult life trying to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. I thought that by my sheer determination, I could right the wrongs and make things better. I now know that its not possible, it was never possible, and the only reason I've been trying so hard is because...the alternative was too sad.

The "sad thing" happened a long time ago now, but I'm only just realizing it. I remember watching a movie some years back, where the heroine was talking about how she felt when her parents died. She said, "I don't have anyone to be proud of me now". The reality was, I never had that, and in pursuit of that "proudness", I've only hurt myself. Accepting that I will never have that as long as I live is the hardest part. I told myself when the email that ended my relationship with this family member was sent that I WOULD NOT cry, and I didn't. But in the days since the email went out, I find myself bursting into tears over the silliest things! I know that its normal, expected, healthy to feel this odd type of grief but I wish I had had the strength to take this step years ago, because I'd feel better about it by now.

This isn't something that I took lightly, and you may be thinking, "what on earth could have happened?". I am not angry at this person, I am not vindictive, and this wasn't some kind of rash thing that I can go back on. I made sure that when I made the decision, I took the steps necessary to ensure that my decision, so painfully won, will be upheld. I made a promise to myself that I will never let this person hurt me ever, ever again, and this means that I have already had my last conversation with them in my life. I will not regret it, it is done. I know in my bones that I did everything I could do to carve out a semblance of a relationship and I'm glad because now I can walk away with no shame, only the knowledge that I have finally stood up for myself, and the hope that telling my story can help anyone struggling with a relationship they know is unhealthy, but who lacks the strength to do anything about it, much as I lacked the strength for so long.

I also want to show my boys that some wrongs can never be fixed, and actions have consequences. All I can do now is strive every day to be a positive force in their lives, so that when they are my age, they will not have to be typing on a keyboard at 1 am with tears streaming down their faces :)

Holy. Cow, my last two posts have been serious downers, but I have much sewing to discuss, so once I dry my eyes, I will get right on a post that is chock full of fun fabrics and happy thoughts!