Friday, 29 May 2015

Dad-Bod... the "core" of a few beefs with me...

As of recently I've seen more and more hashtags and lingo for the rising trend of the "Dad Bod." I have to say for a bit I laughed at how kinda hilarious the whole thing is. I mean really, try explaining to people not on the internet everyday that your barrel and manboobs are part of a trend.... good luck to ya. And then the reality of it all sunk in. A mom of two girls struggling with body image and being more positive about myself I began to take in just how much harm this new fad can do. To some it's funny, but to others, just like many things in life, it can be VERY misconstrued.

Doing some research, in actual fact, the "Dad-Bod" concept stems from frat boys who have acquired the ever famous "freshman 5" ... otherwise known as extra weight due to crappy eating, lazy habits, and obscene consumption of alcoholic beverages not low in calories. The idea didn't even involve Dads at all. HOWEVER the idea that the unkept, inactive, couch potato look is gaining respect and being the stereotype for dads is what has my head spinning just a lil'. I also enjoy how "science" believes men to suffer from sympathy weight gain, along with their wives during pregnancy. Like men's bodies are changing too?!  ... more like they are just jumping on the craving train and now get to use "dad-bod" as an excuse at the end of it all.

*** This blog is a little bit of a fist pump to all women out there and a fist punch to those coining the term "dad-bod" ***

I know myself that I loved EVERY minute of being pregnant. Although I never felt truly "beautiful" with a growing belly, I felt wonderful. Suddenly baggy clothing and or tight revealing clothing was very acceptable and the belly provided a perfect accessory to every outfit (well except with heels... but I'm not that type anyway). I loved that I was growing a tiny human inside month by month and that it was such a rush getting to the birth day to meet both our "littles"! So, by no means am I complaining or bashing or meaning offence by this post. Please just take it as yet another public rant.

What I don't appreciate is this excuse for men to be gaining weight or "Letting themselves go" and all the positive attention and props they get for it. I mean really... women produce monthly eggs, all while maintaining a uterus just waiting to house and grow life. If life doesn't present itself we go through what for some can be a monthly, painful and inconveniencing "period" of time getting ready to do it all over again. Men... well... let's see... they just kinda hang out. Ladies, don't you love how they refer to their man parts sometimes as a "Baby maker"? Like basting a turkey; they play their role, but in actuality, they just provide the missing ingredient... the turkey was always already a turkey ;-) ;-) And if not called on to do their job...  well... their little tadpoles just hop on up to the swim-up bar, order another drink and continue on their lounging days.

[I'm not "carving" their input, nor am I suggesting men don't play a VERY large role in babymaking... I'm simply searching for women to get a little more credit in it all]

This "Dad Bod" thing is essentially totally harmless and can be quite comical...  and overall I truly love the idea of lowering our expectations of one another. But... (always a BUT) in a society of growing pressure for both men and women, I think we need to re-evaluate how we treat and perceive one another. Celebrities for a while were BRUTAL at promoting the fact that they were back down to a size 2 not 2 days after giving birth. Or putting themselves on the cover of a magazine preaching how they worked out and dieted to get their "Pre-baby" body back. I can assure you... the last thing I wanted to do after having a baby was put down my bagel with extra cream cheese and jump on a treadmill chasing a kale salad, protein shake with bird seed in it resembling the meal of a small rabbit. Nor could I afford the time or the money to have someone look after the "leech-like" child for me to do something for myself (Before you think it's horrible that I just referred to my child as leech like... have you ever pulled a leech off your leg?..... and now have you ever pulled a toddler from being wrapped around your leg?...  enough said)! LOL The concept of physical activity made me even more tired than I already was. But the pressure remained. I just grew a life. Gave birth to life. Rented out my womb room free of charge and was now providing nourishment through breast feeding for this beautiful little being, and yet I was still consumed with being like the story on the magazine or like the town mom "celebrity" that everyone praised for looking so good after baby (we all have those freakin' friends). And that, my friends, is what needs to change.

We need to adopt more "MOM-BOD" ideologies too. Appreciate stretch marks, spare tires and back boobs as being part of what a woman is/can be (WITH OR WITHOUT CHILDREN). I bet all those dieters with none of the previously mentioned body "upgrades" can honestly look your straight in the eye and tell you they don't yearn for a hotdog on a stick, a croissant with butter or a carb packed grilled cheese sandwich.

I understand that there can be a positive spin to the fact that we are praising not so perfect "Dad-bods" and that the concept is gaining media attention and competition among men... But next time you laugh at the mention of the "Dad-bod" side of things... remember there should be praise for "mom-bods" too. And further more... "letting yourself go" shouldn't be why we praise it either, nor should it be an excuse. Using it as being proud of who you are should be what it's all about. 6 pack or no six pack, love handles or no love handles we all should embrace our different mom and dad bods.
 *PROPS TO PARENTS for just creating and keeping these tiny little humans alive... and if you have a six pack, are a size 2 or have time for a personal trainer... then pat yourself on the back and pray to the lord you get to keep your metabolism for the rest of your life! LOL cause all the rest of us over here are trying to embrace and dress our "Parent-bods" and keep treading water in the life pool.

Being a parent is hard enough... but it's even harder in the world of social media, scrutiny and fish-bowl like characteristics.

Thursday, 28 May 2015


Lately I've been feeling really "thinky" (I tend to make up words...). Really reflective of my world and the life around me. So many days I rush home, put dinner on the table and then attack my poor husband for the list of things that drove me nuts about my morning routine and how many things I came across that he does that drive me crazy. You know... how they leave their "man hair" on the soap, or just fail to replace the soap that they used the last of, setting you up for a bambi like slip slide all over the wet tile trying to find soap in a closet that HE messed up... haha and there ya have it; the perpetual avalanche of what he "COULD have done" that would make life easier.

Lately, I've stopped to think a few times of just how bitchy and ungrateful I am being. I mean really... we do split some of the monetary responsibility, but when it comes down to it... at the moment, he's the main breadwinner... I just buy the bread (good expensive whole wheat bread though! LOL).
I forget to realize... and yes all you feminists may cringe at a few parts of this particular blog... but in a sense I do sorta owe him the silence of just continuing on my day and not drawing attention to EVERY little thing he does wrong. After all... the roof over our heads, cars in the driveway and little extras are all things he is doing exponentially right.

I am SO lucky to have the bond that I do with him. The sort of balance that just sort of works. And when it doesn't.... like a teeter totter, we eventually even back out. And just like the teeter totter, there are times I just plain get off at the top, leaving him to slam to the ground. Uncool, but he does it right back from time to time making it "fair" (I guess). But it's the fact that we get back on, and continue to make this marriage thing work that is truly magical. (I know... "gag me with a spoon" cheesy, right!?)

In reflection, I have to change my perspective on something. I went into marriage super excited that nothing had changed. We said "I do," ran away to Quebec City, travelled a bit and really enjoyed each other on a new level. And then BAM preggo... BAM (way to big for where she came out of) baby born.... and BAM life seemed to take a VERY strange twist. It was like that AHA! moment that everyone talks about. Things just got.... complicated. Suddenly the concept of in-laws became a very "interesting" dynamic and played and VERY different role in our relationship. The way we were raised, the way we wanted to raise our children and just plain the way we were wired were center stage and not always in agreeance. We began to plot each others death a little more often than is probably normal (I can only assume that he plotted my death as I turned into a rather unpleasant human being from time to time). Overall... EVERYTHING CHANGED!
There was a period of time where I hit the panic button. Watched a crazy amount of romance movies and dreamt of a husband that showered me with love in the form of cheesy gifts and well thought out plans. I obsessed over being besties with my MIL, SIL or just going on dates with my husband like all the damn magazines suggest. I freaked out thinking we were doomed for divorce... oh my gosh.. we just fought over the fact that he left the laundry out on the line to get spiders on it, or that he left a whole sink full of dirty cutlery. Or the ever annoying ignorance of the fact that my windshield washer fluid ran out mid mucky winter day... Isn't that a "husband job"?... It must be over... doomed... failed marriage...
I have this real life epiphany;
Driving home from work these last few days I reflect on all that we have. I remember that I'm excited to see him after work and would be sad if he had to work late. The days and weeks he has to work overtime, I'm miserable... because I miss him. I look forward to watching Homeland on Netflix like we always do (A DATE!... sorta... take that magaizines!) and I'm happy I gave him enough S**& in our last fight .... that he will now take the garbage out in the morning. My husband completes me. He keeps me from going crazy, saying things that I will regret and overall relaxing and enjoying the bits of life that I should be grateful for. Kids haven't changed us for the worse... It has literally just made our little Family Unit stronger. Untouchable. Forever. When you get married, you really do become "one," and as he always says "Who cares about everyone else... we're happy!"

I love him more than he knows and am grateful for him everyday... Shhhhhh!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

"Natural... path!"

I just got back from a Naturopath appointment. Along with other "Alternative method" things I've done in the past (hypnosis for smoking, placental encasulation with D etc), I had my reservations about today but was overall really excited to see what could come of it.

My consultation was 2.5 hours long and he dove as far back as my childhood in painting a picture of who I am and what the problem may be stemming from. Having still not heard back from my doctor about the next step in bloodwork, I had to take things into my own hands and decided on this route. Now in hand I have Vitamin B6 and a remedy to take daily. What I liked about today is how sincerely invested this man was in helping me with what has become and ongoing problem with what he believes to stem from hormones (related to my cyst and the ever so lovely birthcontrol "disruption of evilness".)

What came out of the appointment though was something surprising; a true sense of admiration for my husband (random, right!?). Sitting back and talking out loud about my life and how it's progressed to now, one thing stood out and that was that M is my whole world, my "rock" per se. The naturopath had me speak of what drew me to him in the first place, why I stayed interested and what brought us to marriage and later children. Upon taking off all layers of my personality and past, he came across a lot of "weaknesses" or "frustrations" that ultimately are balanced by M's love for me. Where I crumble, M is there to pick me up and help me put myself back together, continue on, and make no more mention of it again.

My husband is someone I speak harshly to all too frequently. Hard on him for a lot of things, I hold unrealistic (sometimes) expectations that he struggles to meet. But I neglect to see him "Struggling" to meet them and rarely appreciate him for trying.

Ultimately the consultation bordered scientific psychology but served as a sort of sounding board therapy session diving into the inner workings of my psyche. I LOVED IT! And because it wasn't meant to be therapy... he didn't poke too deep around the soft areas of elementary and highschool social inadequacies/eating disorders/breakups etc... and didn't manage to make any tears flow. The only tears that nearly flowed were the parts where I spoke of my love for M. What drew me to him and then later taking about my kids.

The lesson learned here is that I pour so much effort into raising my kids, that I'm not really nourishing our marriage at the same time. I love him more than life itself and tell him often that I don't know what I would do without him... but true caring and a positive tone are something I often lack with him. I dwell on his inadequacies and fail to realize that he really is the best thing that has ever happened (aside from our 2 lovely girls). He understands me on a level I need to appreciate more often as I am a difficult person to understand/withstand! I need to focus more on why he is good for me and just how lucky I am to have him.

So.... although he may not do up Blair's carseat buckle to my liking, know how to work their humidifiers, or empty the diaper genie when I need it to be emptied.... he does provide a pretty amazing life for us and works very hard daily to do so. I may be a stay at home mom, working just over part-time and balancing the kids... but without him, it would all be so much more of a struggle. We are a team. I need to treat him more like a team mate and not an opponent.

I'm Continuing to learn about myself... now on a journey to health and happiness. I'm hard to love... so I need to be thankful of the person who does love me as much as I think he does :-)

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Bat S*&t Crazy!

As I sit and type beside an open deck door, birds chirping and the sun just going down at 8:00 I am reminded of just how lucky I am. The smell of spring, the lake and lingering barbeques from dinner hour puts a lot of things into perspective for me.
I've been reading (or just cracked) a book about using my words. It's a guideline for moms specifically, on how to get back into writing and helping your words to flow. (Use your words. Hopper, Kate; 2012). In it, are mini exercises to help practice getting back into the "flow of words," that touches on smell/scent and their effects on our emotions and memories. I read it while in the waiting room of our local hospital, waiting for what felt like the 50th test result of the weekend.

Saturday morning I woke up ready to take on the day... so I thought. I got out of bed as usual, got the girls up and fed as usual and then it happened. Hit me like a truck... it was like I had been drugged. I had intense pelvic pain/back pain, shortness of breath and my left arm felt like someone had hauled off and punched me square in the shoulder. I battled it all day. With a foggy, delirious head, I dangerously took both girls to swimming lessons (D just spectates her older sister). The power of mom responsibilities is unreal, because if it meant staying and hiding out at home, I would have. My husband was working OT all day, so my hands were tied in the way of going anywhere. And let's face it, it's Saturday, my only option was emerge and that seemed extreme. By 5pm when M got home, I was extreme. I had my coat and purse on and was 1/2 way out the door.

Immediate EKG, bloodwork, chest x-ray, CT scan, blood culture and then ultrasound (today) all led to doctors standing looking at me with confused looks (like a dog cranking it's head to the side when you say the work walk). I had an elevated heart rate, very high white blood cell count (not good... don't google it or you'll think you may have to prepare for my funeral like I did), and a fever (I haven't had a fever since I was little). Weird!? They literally said I needed to be on close watch and am now in the hands of my Dr. to continue testing with extensive bloodwork.
TMI? Well... that's also part of another 'blogger' book I'm reading from a 'blogger friend'. In it it states that people don't care what you have for breakfast every morning, but speaking honestly about life can sometimes catch a few followers who may find comfort or relation in what you are saying. This blog isn't for the masses... if you've read this far.... then, welcome!

Up to this point I had been having this "foggy head" for a while. Like I was dragging my wings behind me while everyone else was flying. I was frustrated and had chalked it up to being female, being a mom and being an over-reactor. I thought it could be PPAD creeping back up on me and put it to the back burner. After all, moms don't really have time to hone in on what's wrong with them. As long as I could still make it to swimming lessons and back home again, I was ahead... right!? Lacking energy I just haven't been myself though and something has to give.

Approaching 30... again, for the first time (hahha), being 30 hasn't really treated me too well. In fact it seems to have chewed me up, spit me out and fed me to the birds. After having D I felt amazing... I had lost all my baby weight within 3 weeks and was feeling like a million bucks dragging out my "pre baby" bin of jeans. In July, just 4 months after having D, my world crashed. Into emerge with severe pelvic pain, they came to realize I had a large dermoid cyst (also don't google, or you may never look at me the same). It needed to be removed as soon as possible. I battled the pain with a new baby and waited for my operation date in September. While on the table to have the cyst removed they also discovered that my IUD had perforated and ripped through my uterus. The recovery was terrible (if it weren't for my mom I would have been lost). I have a low pain tolerance as it is... and it was almost worse than my recovery after giving birth to my 8lb 13oz, B! (that's an entirely other blog hahaha).

Now 5 months with a new IUD I have gained 20lbs in what felt like 20 days and have started to buy big baggy clothing in shame. I am hiding from summer and am petrified to step foot ANYWHERE public unless dress code allows............ a poncho and sweatpants (there's an image for ya!) Where did this come from? .... I know I eat like crap SOMETIMES, and I know that there is an explainable 10lbs of extra flab kicking around my gut and thighs... but this other 10lbs is a mystery. A foreign, self esteem crushing mystery. 20LBS.... HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!?

Headed into more testing, I've done my own research (and for those of you who know me... it's a heck of a lot of extensive and obsessive research) and I have come to the conclusion suspecting a few things. I'm no longer going to sit back and accept "oh it's just stress," or "you need to eat healthier and exercise more."  or "Oh, you need to slow down and bite off only what you can chew," I'm a 30 (for 18 more days) year old HEALTHY woman with two beautiful children. I don't have time for this, so they better make time to figure it out. They literally were confused as all my tests came back "pristine" and "admirable"...

Maybe I'm "Just not right in the head" and really am "batshit crazy". hahahhahaha!

Until next blog.... I promise there will be a next blog... I'm not dying (I don't think). I'm living... and that's something to be thankful for :-)