Friday, January 11, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Yes, I realize that I am late, and it is now, in fact, January 10. I made my standard list (in my head, of course) of things that I resolve to do this year, and naturally, like most women out there, "lose weight" was towards the top. I've been thinking more about this list, and I've decided "lose weight" is not going to make the cut. It's not that I'm lazy (well, I am, but that's beside the point). I am sick of feeling abnormal in my own skin, feeling that larger is worse. I refuse to compare myself to a model or an actress. In my opinion they could all stand to eat a cheeseburger. Daily.

And then I see ads like this. This Brazilian print ad for fat-free yogurt shows a voluptous woman in a bed of roses, a la Mena Suvari in American Beauty. The tagline reads: "Forget about it. Men's preference will never change. Fit and Light Yogurt." This makes me want to slap someone and spit nails. If you are, by chance, reading this, tell me, what is it that is so unattractive? I find it absolutely beautiful! Sure, she is certainly a larger woman than Mena Suvari, but so is the average American woman. I think she is far more attractive than Mena Suvari, actually, but call me crazy. In my opinion, rounded curves are sexier than straight lines and sharp edges any day.

I am just sick and fucking tired of people looking at plus-sized women and making assumptions based on their appearance. She must be lazy, she must eat a lot, she must be unhealthy, she must not exercise. Fat people are the last acceptable target in our PC world. Though we don't accept bias or prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation or physical abilities (as it should be), fat people are still fair game.

I have never understood what is so very wrong with being plus-sized. Granted, I am a smaller plus-sized woman, but everywhere I go, I am reminded that my body is not the norm. I will never understand why manufacturers think that clothing for a plus-sized woman is made by just adding more fabric. We are of a different shape, not just a different size. I think clothing manufacturers have it all wrong as it is, but the glaring problem lies in plus-sized clothing. I am about a size 16 on top and a 14 below with the typical curvy body type: large breasts, large hips, large thighs, slightly smaller waist. My breasts are not freakishly large, but shopping for clothing as a woman in a large DD tells me the opposite. I can't seem to find a shirt that doesn't pull up above my midriff because of my breasts taking up the fabric, or one that doesn't make me appear as if there are two large canteloupes in there struggling to break free. For a woman with ample hips, shopping for pants is a nightmare. I suppose the prototype for most women's pants has 30 inch hips, and anyone with wider hips tends to look like an upside down ice cream cone, even in bootcuts or flares. My bra size is not carried at Victoria's Secret or anywhere but plus-sized clothing stores, and department stores, where the choice is between white or nude, full coverage. The quintessential old lady bra. I am 22 years old and from my bra selection you would think I am about 70. Apparently according to clothing manufacturers, the only women who have large breasts are old and not sexy in the slightest.

We all know that people are made in different shapes and sizes. And yet, the experts still can't figure out that overweight is not synonymous with unhealthy. There are a great many people in the world who eat well, exercise, and stay the same size. Does this mean they are doing something wrong? No! They are just larger than what Hollywood and the media deems attractive and acceptable. I spent 3 months after I stopped nursing my daughter eating 1400 calories a day and exercising 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, in an effort to lose the baby weight. I didn't lose an ounce. I did everything right (if there is such a thing as "right"). I didn't go the low carb route, but I replaced coffee creamer with skim milk (much to my dismay), drank only water and the occasional iced tea, ate oatmeal for breakfast and a salad for lunch, and filled half my dinner plate with veggies, accompanied by 4 oz of lean protein and the occasional small serving of starch. And when the scale didn't waver, I decided, that's it! I am not going to spend my time slaving on the exercise machine and counting every morsel that enters my mouth. This is me, and I'm done judging myself and allowing arbitrary guidelines from the "experts" (like the bullshit BMI) determine how healthy I am. Healthy is being satisfied by food and eating what you enjoy - in moderation. Healthy is exercising for pleasure, not pain. Healthy is learning how to turn fruits and vegetables from a necessity into a desire. I have done all of that, and my body stays the same. Naturally thin people don't have to spend their entire lives obsessing over food in order to "maintain" their weight, and neither will I. They are blessed with a thin body. Mine happens to be larger, and curvier, and that's the way the cookie crumbles.

So I am protesting. I am refusing to accept that there is anything wrong with my body the way it is. I have a fiancee who loves it, it created and sustained a beautiful child, and I am no longer going to allow the media to make me feel bad about my body and tell me that the only way to be sexy is to have a perfect, and for me, unattainable body. Sexiness is being confident in your own skin - whether that skin covers a body that weighs 100 or 300 pounds.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The lazies

I have come down with a terrible sickness. It's very technical really, and it causes my house to be a disaster, the laundry to go unwashed, and meals to wait until the last minute. It makes my house appear as if 8 toddlers live here, when it's really just the one. It's called can't-get-off-my-ass-itis. See, complicated. I knew taking Medical Terminology would pay off.

Seriously though, I don't know where this laziness is coming from. Last winter, I had it even worse, so I chalked it up to being Seasonal Affective Disorder and promised myself I would get out of the house everyday and get some sunlight in my pores. Did that happen? Erm.... no. And now that it is September and I have been exposed to three months of summer sun with no measurable change, I'm thinking I am just lazy. Are you shocked? Me neither.

It seems the disease has become terminal since I started my new courses last week. There's only two of 'em, and I'm still home all day, yet I get panicky at the idea of how much I have to do. Laundry mocks me as it overflows the baskets in my bedroom. The bathtub has Tuesday's dinner of spaghetti caked to it from the baby's bath. I have no less than 800 million outgrown baby outfits to sort through. A cat could get lost in the baby's closet for a week (and possibly already has). There are dishes to be washed, phone calls to be made, homework to be done, and yet what am I doing? Blogging. I suppose that it's a productive activity, since it gives my brain something to do, but it's not the best use of Doodlebops time. (Yes, I let my daughter watch TV, go ahead and judge me.)

Yesterday I happened to pick up a book at the library that has made me feel better about my domestic inadequacies. It's called The Imperfect Mom, and it's fabulous. You can find it here if you're interested. Reading the stories of other imperfect moms validates my lack of structure and organization. Seeing other moms who are totally in control is enough to send me over the edge at this point. You know the ones - they breastfeed until their children can chew steak, they make their own baby food, they orchestrate playgroups, and of course, though you would think they are too busy, their houses are spotless. I'm tired of that kind of mother. She wears me out! I guess that makes me a slacker mom, and I'm okay with that. I was a slacker kid, then a slacker college student, a slacker girlfriend - I guess this fits with the natural progression of my life.

I'm the kind of mom who would rather spend an hour on the floor teaching her baby animal names while dishes pile as high as the ceiling in the sink. The one who often has PJ days, or who pops in Baby Einstein not to clean, but to have a moment to herself. I'm the one you see at the park whose diaper bag falls on the ground and everything flies all over the place, or the one who has always forgotten something. The one who couldn't hack it at nursing but snuggled up close with the baby at every single feeding, even though her food came from a bottle instead of a breast. That might make me a slacker, but it still makes me a damn good mom.

So I am resolving, from here on out, to embrace my inner slacker, to not be ashamed of my laziness and messy house, but instead, to realize every day that my child has survived her first 13 months on this earth, happy, healthy and secure, because of me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Long time no blog!

I told myself I was going to keep up with this blog, and like most endeavors of my life, I flaked out. In my own defense, I have been quite busy. I have just started my fall semester as of last night. I'm taking 2 courses, Diseases of the Human Body on Tuesday and Medical Insurance and Coding on Thursday. I wasn't originally thrilled about taking my classes at night but I think I will enjoy having the ability to spend my days with Ryleigh and go to school at night. There's something liberating about being out after dark all alone, especially in the car. Driving with Ryleigh during the day is a stark contrast to how I drive when I'm alone at night. During the day, I have the windows up, the air on, with soft music playing while I chat with Ryleigh. At night, however, it seems that I come alive. Windows down, sunroof open, loud rock blaring, usually speeding (oops). I fully take advantage of that 30 minute drive to and from school and use it to clear my head by listening to music so loudly that I can't hear myself think. I guess, in a way, it drowns out the doubts that I have looming in my mind most of the time.

My Diseases course seems like it will be interesting. The teacher is quite funny, although really random at the same time, but that always proves to be entertaining. Sitting in class for 3 hours really sucks, but she allows us a 15 minute break which is nice. She also mentioned that the company she works for when she's not teaching is actively hiring coders, so that was music to my ears. I will be holding on to her contact info for when I finally get certified. I'm thinking my Med Insurance class is going to be incredibly boring, but considering I'm learning to be a coder, I should get used to that facet of the job now.

On the mama front, not much has changed. Ryleigh still has a knack for keeping me entertained all day long! She is in such a funny stage right now. Last week she did something that we are still laughing over. We used some of her birthday money to buy her a princess chair from Target, and she is in love with it. She goes between the chair and the floor pretty much all day long. Well, the other day, our evil cat Roxie (I'm not kidding, she really is evil) had the audacity to lay in Ryleigh's chair, and Ry decided she was not going to allow it. So she calculatedly picked up a bunch of toys, crawled over to her chair, stood up and then began to throw the toys one-by-one at the cat. It was clearly premeditated, so we did punish her for it, but we had to try so hard to keep from cracking up. Then, once the cat abdicated her throne, she still wasn't satisfied with the cat's punishment, so she picked up the toys again and hurled them at the cat on the floor. It is so hard to keep a straight face when I have to discipline her for things like that.

When we took Ryleigh for her one-year check up a few weeks ago, she only weighed 18.5 lbs. She's a peanut and always has been, so this wasn't alarming, but we were frustrated that we couldn't turn the carseat forward-facing yet. I am planning on waiting until she is walking also, as I've read that a child's skeletal muscles are better developed and able to withstand a crash at that point. No promises on that though, since Ryleigh is beginning to hate facing rear. I don't blame her, it is pretty boring back there! She isn't making any real attempts to walk at this point, so it seems like it could be a while. She reached most of her milestones suddenly and without warning, so I'm fully prepared, at least safety-wise, for when that day comes. All of our cabinet locks, toilet latches and doorknob covers are firmly in place, just waiting for the princess to get off her booty and walk!

The worst thing going on for us right now is the fact that Rob injured himself last Sunday. He was skateboarding and went to ollie (jump in the air and land back on the board) and lost his footing, and somehow popped his knee out in the air. We were hoping and praying it was just a sprain, but by Monday afternoon he was in severe pain and his knee was the size of a softball. He's a very skinny guy, so that is HUGE for him. We went to his family-care doctor yesterday (who I am not pleased with) and the doctor informed us his patella was "messed up". I wanted to know where this guy went to PA school to get that accurate description. Sure enough, we were referred to an orthopedist and his patella is indeed dislocated. Right now he's going to have to be in an immobilizer brace for at least 3 weeks and go to physical therapy 2-3 times a week.

It fucking figures. He JUST applied for a new job as a detention officer for the county, and not 12 hours later, he's laid up. I hope to God he's fully recovered and ready to go by October should he get this job! He'll take the test in October, then submit to a background check, and if he passes that, which he will, then he'll move on to medical and psychological evaluations. I have a really good feeling about this position, so if you're reading this, keep your fingers crossed for us!

Monday, June 4, 2007

What is wrong with people?

Sigh. I started this blog to write about motherhood and obviously, it has taken on another direction. I write what I feel, I guess, and lately I have been feeling anxious about my spiritual path. So I sat down and wrote my little heart out and I truly felt better. Until, that is, I logged on today and found a comment from someone who found my blog through my post labels and felt the need to interject their religious fanaticism into my personal journal. (The comment has been deleted, don't bother looking for it) Considering this is a public domain, I guess that is to be expected, but it's just the last straw. I want to be a part of a religion that doesn't believe it is the only right one, and doesn't feel the need to make others feel inferior while hiding by a shield of scripture that they have interpreted as they wish. That is another reason why I have given up on the Catholic faith. This comment-poster probably would chock this decision up to my being influenced by Satan, or God giving up on me. That's okay with me, because my God is a loving God, not one to be feared, not one who is hateful or who gives up on His children. And I don't believe in Satan. So I guess that's where it stands. I don't know why I let this bother me so much, but I guess with all the pressure I have gotten from my family in regards to my faith, this is just more evidence that Catholicism isn't for me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


A 200 Question Fun Survey 4 Myspace (All The Bzoink Surveys Put Together)
Full Name::Elizabeth Ashley (insert my conversation-starting last name here)
Birthday::January 4, 1986
Birthplace::Annapolis, MD
Eye Color::Green
Hair Color::Blondish brown
Weight::I plead the fifth
Right handed or Left handed?:Righty
Your Heritage::Irish, German, American Indian, British, Scottish
My Worst Habit::Smoking!
Zodiac Sign::Capricorn
Shoe Size::6
Pants Size::nunya
Innie or Outie?:innie
Parents Still Together?:No
The Shoes You Wore Today::None, I SAHed today
Your Weakness::Coffee... speaking of which...
Your Fears::Sharks, death, fire
Your Perfect Pizza::Bacon and ground beef w/ garlic butter dipping sauce... MMMM
Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year::Be a great mom, get good grades
Your Most Overused Phrase On An Instant Messenger:lol
Thoughts First Waking Up::Nooooooo I'm tiiiiiiirrrreeeddd
Your Best Physical Feature::Boobies (well, before they sagged) and eyes
Your Bedtime::11ish
Your Most Missed Memory::My dad <3>
Favorite color?:Purple and red, black to wear
Animal?:Dogs and cats
Ice Cream?:Coffee and chocolate pb
Salad Dressing?:Bleu Cheese
Actor?:Sarah Jessica Parker
Song?:Lots and lots...
Gum?:Orbit spearmint
Toothpaste Flavor?:Green mint, NOT blue
Radio Station?:98 Rock or 100.7 (classic rock)
Perfume?:Beyond Paradise by Estee Lauder or BBW Peony
Scent besides perfume?:Lilacs
Body part on the opposite sex?:Upper back
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?:A mama
How Do You Want To Die?:Peacefully
Turn ons::Deep conversations, date nights, hugs
Turn offs::Arguing, a dirty house, a crying baby
Which One Of Your Friends Acts The Most Like You?:None, I'm an individual
Who's The Loudest?:Sarah
Who Makes You Laugh The Most?:All
Who Have You Known The Longest?:Lauren
Who's The Shyist?:Lauren (it's shyEST)
When Have You Cried The Most?:When my dad died
What Is The Best Feeling In The World?:Giving birth... only because I did it through my stomach relatively painlessly :p
Worst Feeling?:Death of a loved one
Where Do You Want To Live When You Grow Up?:Somewhere near here
If You Could Change One Thing About You What Would It Be?:Lose a bit of weight to be healthier and feel better
How Long Do You Think You'll Live?:Well, my great g-ma lived to 101, hopefully I follow in her footsteps
Let's walk on the:beach.
Let's look at the:stars.
What a nice:day.
Where did all the:time go?
Why can't we:be friends?
Silly, little:girl.
Isn't it weird that:Bush hasn't been impeached?
Never under any circumstance:vote Republican :P
I wish:for a million dollars.
Everyone has a:smile to give.
I am:woman, hear me roar!
Been In Love?:Yes
Been To Juvie?:No
Mooned Someone?:Yes
Been Rejected?:Yes
Ran Away From Home?:Yes, for about an hour
Pictured Your Crush Naked?:Yes
Skipped School?:Yes, in college, never in highschool LOL
Thought About Suicide?:No
Slept Outside?:Yes
Laughed So Hard You Cried?:Yes
Cried In School?:Yes
Thrown Up In School?:Yes, unfortunately
Wanted To Be a Model?:No
Cheated On Someone?:No
Done Something Really Stupid That You Still Laugh At Today?:Yes
Seen A Dead Body?:No
Been Bitched Out?:Yes
Drank Alcohol?:Yes
Been On Drugs?:Yes
Eaten Sushi?:Yes
Been On Stage?:Yes
Gone Skinny Dipping?:Yes
Been Drunk?:Yes
Been Called A Tease?:Yes
Been Beaten Up?:No
Sing Well?:No
Shower Daily?:Sometimes
Want To Go To College?:In college...
Want To Get Married?:Yes
Believe In Yourself?:Yes
Get Motion Sickness?:Yes
Think You Are Attractive?:Sometimes
Get Along With Your Parents?:For the most part
Like Thunderstorms?:Yes
Play An Instrument?:No
Own An IPOD?:Yes, it's missing though :(
Pray?:Yes, not often enough
Go To Church?:See last post
Sleep With Stuffed Animals?:No
Keep A Journal/Diary?:You're lookin at it
Dance In The Rain?:No, I run indoors
Sing In The Shower?:No
Pepsi or Coke?:Coke
McDonald's or Burger King?:McD's for Sweet tea, BK for food
Single or Group Dates?:Single
Chocolate or Vanilla?:Chocolate
Strawberries or Blueberries?:Strawberries
Meat or Veggies?:Meat!
TV or Movie?:Movie
Guitar or Drums?:Drums
Adidas or Nike?:Nike
Chinese or Mexican?:Mexican
Cheerios or Corn Flakes?:Corn Flakes
Cake or Pie?:Both
Blind or Deaf?:Neither
Boxers or Briefs?:Boxers
Do The Splits?:No
Write With Both Hands?:No
Blow A Bubble?:Yes
Roll Your Tongue In A Circle?:Yes
Cross Your Eyes?:Yes
Walk With Your Toes Curled?:Huh?
Touch Your Tongue to Your Nose?:It takes some manipulation
Dance?:I guess
Eat Whatever You Want And Not Worry?:NO WAY
You Touched::Ryleigh
You Talked To On The Phone::My mom
You Instant Messaged::Don't remember
You Hugged::Rob
You Yelled At::Cat
You Played A Sport With::Rob, we played soccer
Time You Laughed?:3 minutes ago at Entourage
Time You Cried?:Not sure
Movie You Watched?:Because I Said So, except I didn't really watch it
Flavor Of Gum You Chewed?:Spearmint
Joke You Told?:Don't know
Song You've Sung?:Stayin alive lol
Where Are You?:Home
What Can You See Out Your Window?:Can't see out a window
Are You Listening To Music?:No TV
What Are You Wearing?:Shorts and a t-shirt
What's On Your Mousepad?:Laptop, don't have one
Do you believe there is life on other planets?:Yes
Do you believe in miracles?:Yes
Love at first sight?:No
Fav Eye Color::Blue
Fav Hair Color::Brownish red
Short or Long Hair::short
Best Clothing Style::Rob's
What Country Would You Most Like To Visit?:Italy
Number Of CD's I Own::20some
Your Good Luck Charm::My baby
How many pillows do you sleep with?:1
Do you drink milk?:No
Person You Hate Most::Jen
Most Outdated Phrase::Sike!
Do you think God has a gender?:No, but I always say He out of habit
Where do you think we go when we die?:Heaven or back to earth, it depends on the person
How many rings until you answer the phone?:When I get to it
What is something scientists need to invent?:Weight loss for lazy people
Are you a health freak?:No
Are you a virgin?:No
If you could travel into space, where would you go?:Yuck, I don't wanna go to space
What is the worst weather?:Freezing cold w/o snow
Did you play with Barbies as a child?:Yes
How many grades have you failed?:None
Take this survey Find more surveys MySpace Surveys
Bzoink - The Original Survey Site

Finding Balance

I am having a hard time lately. I hate to even say that (or write it), because I know my problems are small and insignificant compared to what is going on elsewhere in the world. I just can't seem to find the balance in my life that I'm looking for, and I think it has to do with not going to church. To people who've never gone to church, it probably sounds silly. To many, going to church on a Sunday morning is a mindless exercise, when you'd rather go out to breakfast or sleep until noon. For me, it was comforting, and I basked in the warmth I felt as soon as I stepped through the double doors and found my way to the pew. I'd stare up at the saints, look up at the tiny skylights with painted stars surrounding them, and I'd feel home. I'd feel a connection to my dad that I can't find anywhere else, even when I go to visit his grave. I think the main reason for my love of church is that it was the one thing I could count on doing when my dad was alive. Every Saturday, I'd spend the night with him and the next morning we'd go to church bright and early. I usually grumbled the whole time, that I wanted to sleep in, or stay in my PJs, or go to a friends' house, but off to church we went. Even when he was in the throes of chemotherapy, up until he went into the hospital, he would put on his dress clothes and hide his bald head with a hat and go to church.

The problem I am having is finding balance between my beliefs and my connection with my father. My dad was a Catholic, I was raised a Catholic, and now I'm not a Catholic anymore. Catholic church, to me, is about the tradition, the symbolism. But my beliefs don't line up with Catholicism. I'm vehemently pro-choice and pro-gay marriage rights, which right off the bat strikes me out as a "bad Catholic". In fact, according to the pope, I don't even deserve to take communion in the church I've gone to for 21 years because I vote for pro-choice politicians. Sometimes, I will sneak off and leave the baby with Rob or my mom and say I'm going to the store or on some other errand, when in actuality I go to the adoration chapel. I figure no one will see me there, and I can be at peace and take the time to connect with my dad without having to let everyone squeeze past me in the pew when they get to take communion, and I don't. To non-religious people, I'm sure the solution seems simple: take communion anyway. But that would be disrespectful to the religion and church that I love, and one thing I'm not is disrespectful.

I have been exploring different faiths for quite some time now, and the one that unanimously matches my beliefs is Unitarian Universalism. The problem is, I can't bring myself to go. The church is less than 10 minutes from my house, and every week I toy with going, and I never do. That would mean that I am truly renouncing Catholicism, not just in my head like I usually do, and finally letting my dad know what I've been holding in for so long. I'm sure he knows already, since I do believe in the afterlife, but I feel like as long as I don't formally go to another church, a part of me is still Catholic. I'm not sure if it's the actual act of going to church and worshipping that is soothing, or if it's just sitting in St. Mary's and revelling in the memories of my dad. And somehow, I keep coming back to the idea of going to the UU church. I feel like it could be a sign from my dad that it's okay with him if I'm not Catholic, but I can't know for sure, and I never will. I guess I just have to stop worrying about what my family thinks and do this for myself. But, like anything, saying it out loud is the easy part - the hard part is actually doing it.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Effort to Save Jericho

I know, I know, this blog is supposed to be about mommyhood and everything, but I have a very pressing matter to discuss. The asshats at CBS have cancelled the BEST show on television, Jericho. Well, we fans are not taking this lying down. There is a HUGE grassroots campaign going on, and we are going to show CBS who is really boss - the viewers! Apparently 8 million viewers is not enough for them. Maybe they would have had more viewers if they hadn't put a fledgling serial drama in the same time slot as American Idol, after a 12-week hiatus. What show wouldn't lose to American Idol? It's puzzling to me that this show is not being given a chance. What's worse, is that CBS has announced its new lineup for fall, and it is laughable. I mean, utterly fucking ridiculous! Among the new shows premiering next season are KidNation, Cane, Swingtown and Moonlight. I'll spare you the descriptions of these shows, because I wouldn't want to make you piss your pants with laughter or fall off of your chair. No one deserves to be subjected to that. All I know is, I want some of whatever these CBS executive decision-makers are smoking, because it's gotta be some good shit. If you are also a Jericho fan, or you just take pity on those of us that are, I've provided you with some helpful links below. Join the revolution, let CBS know that Jericho needs to be renewed!

The online petition, please sign and spread the word to others:

The official CBS Jericho site, go here to find the message boards. I can't promise they'll be here for long, but good information can be found here:
The official site for the Save Jericho campaign:
More info on the campaign:
Another Jericho message board, we'll meet here if and when the CBS board goes down:
And some contact info for the higher-ups at CBS: - Kelly Kahl, Exec VP - Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment - Les Moonves, President CBS

Send your letters and/or nuts here:

51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

7800 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Thanks for your help, we need whatever we can get!