Friday, December 30, 2011

Springtime will bring a shedding of the pounds

It just has to! I'm not sure if I ever officially announced on the blog that we're having a girl; I know I mentioned it in a recent post though. So here's the official announcement: Brian and I are pregnant with a little girl! Gage will be the best big brother ever.

I am stoked to have a girl (as much as I would've been stoked to have another boy) but it calls to mind some interesting issues for me. I've long harbored concerns about the media influence on girls. The images portrayed of tiny thin women being the only attractive ones; the other end of that spectrum that says being morbidly obese is fine as long as you love yourself (not true, as heart disease, diabetes, etc does not care how much you love yourself,) the princess ideologues that so many girls are into, the idea that being smart is no good unless you're also a perfect 10, that finding "Prince Charming" is far more important than finding God, etc. These portrayals can be SO damaging and I think, as a parent, offsetting these images can be key. But how do you do that? How do you encourage a healthy body image, a desire to be strong, active, and healthy, a desire for intelligence and self-sufficiency? I guess I have some research to do.

But what I most need to focus on is being a positive role model. I need to get myself healthy and active. How can I portray the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle when I'm overweight myself? "Do as I say, not as I do" is not an acceptable method of child rearing in most circumstances.

So once I'm no longer pregnant, I intend to get right back on the Couch to 5K horse. I want to get my weight to healthy point, I want to get myself healthy so I can enjoy more activity without becoming tired, winded, etc. It'll take a lot of work, but it's worth it. I'm also focusing on not having a ridiculous weight gain throughout the pregnancy, so hopefully I can keep that up. Of course, the holidays are now behind us, so that'll get a little easier.

Just as an aside, I'm not saying there are no pressures for boys in the world, or that I'm less concerned with the image issues Gage will face. However, it's a little different to deal with body issues with boys... And I'm not as familiar with those (no personal experience,) so I'll be doing some research and some learning as I go, too. Gage is already healthy, active, and on-the-go, so at this point, I don't see his becoming sedentary as an issue... Unless, of course, we are such good models of being lazy, which we also don't want!
What better motivation could there be than getting healthy and being a good role model to your kids? Here's hoping I can stay on the wagon for good this time!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Onichophagia Anonymous

If you don't know what onichophagia is, you probably don't struggle with it. Or maybe you do, but never knew there was a clinical term. Anyway. It's the technical term for nail biting. Ongoing, long term, difficult to stop nail biting is CHRONIC onichophagia. I know all about the chronic kind, because I have it myself.
In case you're curious as to the causes of onichophagia, or if you think it's just a dirty, disgusting habit, please know that it's linked to a variety of psychological issues, like all body-focused repetitive behaviors (think hair pulling, skin picking, etc.) It has been linked to OCD, bi-polar, depression, and anxiety disorders. It isn't often a matter of just stopping because you know you should or because you know it's a gross behavior. It is entirely damaging to one's self esteem, given how people look at nail biting, and how obvious bitten nails are.
I can't say exactly when I started biting my nails, but I CAN tell you that I was VERY young. It goes back as far as I can remember. A few years back, I managed to quit. And then I relapsed. Then I quit again. Then I relapsed again. I imagine you can see where this is going.
I'm pretty down tonight (can't sleep, getting over a miserable cold) because I really thought I had this kicked, but suddenly I'm in the midst of the worst biting relapse I've had since quitting biting in the first place. It makes me wonder if I will either never be able to kick it altogether, or if I'm going to have to go on some sort of med to knock down the anxiety that makes me bite.
I've long thought that nail biting was my internal response to high levels of anxiety, and having a bad response to stressful situations. Now I feel that's been pretty much confirmed, and it sucks, because I feel like unless I seek help, I will ALWAYS relapse into nail biting when things are difficult. And I hate it SO much. I've been looked down on, ridiculed, made to feel like a disgusting person, and more because of this DISORDER. And that's all nothing compared to what I do to myself in my head over it. Because nail biting is somewhat common, no one looks at the chronic kind as a disorder. It's just something you should be able to stop doing, to most people. I won't gross you out with pics of my hands, but I can tell you that when I bite my nails, I do so with fervor. My fingertips ache and my nails look absolutely awful. And when I've just had my nails nice for the past two years? It hurts even worse to fall back into this.
I wish I had a better handle on my options, other than obviously trying to stop again, which of course I will. I've done it before, but when will it stick for good?
I just have to wonder, if I seek treatment. .. Will I be treated for the DISORDER of onichophagia, or will be I told to use more willpower and "just stop" the gross HABIT?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry (belated) Christmas

Ours was lovely, with tons of candy-making, canning apple butter, making ornaments, and spending time with family. Oh, and chasing Gage away from the Christmas tree as he cackled merrily, an ornament in his pudgy hand. He can't resist the shiny stuff. It's pretty funny until you've chased him for the 45th time that day. Then it's moderately frustrating.

I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say it was one of the best Christmases I've had in years.

Sorry about the bloggy absence. Not as an excuse, but as a reason, here's what my months look like, from mid-November on: mid-November kicks off with my birthday, then it's Thanksgiving a few weeks later. After T-day comes Gage's birthday, then it's time to get ready for Christmas. And getting ready for Christmas is a big deal. Then it's New Years, and after that, things finally calm down. I'm so happy our little girl will be born in springtime; I don't know if I could handle another Nov/Dec event! Also in there are my folks' anniversary and one of my nieces birthdays. Not events I have to plan, but they take a little time typically. It's just a crazy couple months. Throw in pregnancy this year, and I have about had all the festivities I can handle, much as I enjoyed myself!

But I'm getting back on the blog train and hopefully this effort won't fizzle. It's not a New Year's resolution (I avoid those like the plague, talk about destined to fail), but something I would just like to do.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas, or happy holidays if you celebrate something else. Hopefully I'll see you a lot more in 2012!

PS, do you like our "apartment-sized" tree? My mom took pity on us because I didn't want to try and cram our humongous, full, seven-footer into our teeny apartment, so I was feeling woefully under-Christmased. She picked us up this wee tree, some shatter-proof ornaments, and plastic hooks so we could have a little spirit in our small space. It made us all happy. Thanks, mom. And thanks from Gage, too. Where else could he have found all those shiny ornaments to take off running with while bellowing laughter at our frustration? He sure did love having the tree around and that made us SO happy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy birthday, big two year old.

Dear Gage ~

I can't believe you turn two today. It seems like just yesterday I was at the hospital, barely just agreeing to further induction and epidural, wishing like crazy you'd make your appearance already. I was tired of labor, sure - but more than anything, I wanted to see your sweet face, meet you, and learn all about your personality. You were this perfect, tiny person who had been growing inside of me for nine months, and you knew me so much better than I knew you. I had prayed for you every day for those months; prayed that you would be strong, smart, caring, good, handsome, kind, loving, independent, sweet, and creative. My prayers must have been answered, because you are all of those things and more.

Each day I see you grow a little bit more. You become taller, more coordinated, quicker, and more brilliant which each passing day, and I am so, so proud of you. I guess I really always will be, and I know that you'll do great things. You'll do things that make you happy, things that are good and right, and I will always be proud of you no matter what.

You want to learn how to do every single thing. You don't like being told you can't do something because you're too little; you want to be able to do EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW. I love your persistence, even though now and then, when you've taken something apart for the 50th time in one day, I get a little frustrated. Know that even though I get frustrated, I admire your strength of will and persistent spirit. Those traits will serve you well, all through your young years and into your adulthood. I hope you always feel that desire to learn, to do what you want to do to get better, to be the best at what you're aiming for.

Gage, do you know that you have never met a stranger? That is a cliched line, but it's true for you. Everywhere you go, people are just astounded by you. Your brilliant grin, your happy Presidential wave, your sweet demeanor and silly giggle win everyone over. Everywhere we take you, you make friends. I've been told how much you brighten peoples' day, people you've never before met and will likely never see again, just by being your own little charming self. I pray that this characteristic is not one you only have as a young boy, but one that you'll carry into adulthood.

The depth of your personality, especially for a two-year-old, astounds me. You already have such strong opinions, ideas about what you want, and ways of expressing yourself that are just amazing. You are quick to share a hug or a kiss, caring if I'm upset, and just overall so expressive of your feelings. Never let anyone tell you this isn't right, because it is so powerful to be able to share what you're feeling with others. It means the world to those around you.

You love your Daddy so much, and you're so excited to see him every day when he comes home. Seeing the two of you together makes me love you both even more, and I could not have asked for a better Daddy for you. He would do anything for you, and you two are my best guys. I hope you'll always know that if you need guidance in being a good man, you can go to your Daddy. He has first-hand experience.

I am so blessed to be your Momma, Gage. I never imagined how wonderful being a mom could be, and being YOUR Momma has been the most magical experience of my life. I pray that I continue to always do my very best for you, and that above all, you always know how very much you're loved, appreciated, and cared for. You have blessed us more than you'll ever know, and I will always love you, no matter what.

Be good, my son. Love your family, your friends, God, and your country. Accept our love in return; it will always be there for you. Happy second birthday, I can't wait to celebrate with you every year. Life with you is better than I ever could have dreamed possible.

With all the love in the world,
Your Momma