Sunday, October 16, 2011

A big ole lesson in self acceptance

Sometime last week or the week before (if it was over a couple days ago, it pretty much turns into the big abyss of  'a couple weeks ago') I went swimming at the Y.  Zane, Stori, Mamaw, and I packed our things up and went.  My bag got taken out of the locker and rummaged through.  Totally bizarre with the way this particular Y is set up...  Lockers in a public hallway across from family changing rooms.  Anyway, it did.  Nothing got stolen but everything was left on one of the family changing rooms' floor and wet and ya' know.. it never feels good to be 'searched' without your permission.

So that day we came in and I threw all of the towels into the drier for a few minutes to ya' know... dry them.

The next day was a Monday.  Which means I go to the Y for some weight lifting and such.

I was kind of in a little hurry that day so I opted against grabbing my towel out of the dryer.  Since I knew I was running late, I figured I'd skip my warm up and I'm getting used to my new weight lifting routine so I'm going a little slower.  I figured I'd work out lightly enough that I'd learn my new thing a bit better but not work up a sweat.

I got to the Y, dropped the kids off at Child Watch and fantasized about sitting down with a cup of heavily creamed decaf coffee and doing NOTHING all by myself for an hour.  I decided against the fantasy and got changed up and ready.  As soon as my foot hit the floor on the weights floor I was motivated and ready to go!  I forgot all about my plans and did my full warm up and went straight into the weights.  I hardly took breaks and kept my heart rate up.  I was feelin' awesome!  Such a hard workout and it was just what I needed.  Funny how hesitation works.  ;-)  I fantasized about taking the time off, but it was a silly little thought...

I was nearing the end of my workout when I realized my predicament.  I was in a full sweat, tired, and done a little early, 'cause I blasted through it.

And I didn't have a towel.

Now, if you've spent any time in a locker room you know good and well that there are a few people who are really comfortable with themselves.  Every time I see a nakie on the scale I think "Wow!  SHE is awesome.  Fearless, accepting, powerful"  And I know most of these women are a couple generations ahead of me and I think it was more common in their day to shower together in highschool and such.  I grew up, however, in times without showers in the locker rooms at school and I didn't participate in sports much at all.  So walking around in the buff around others just isn't in my toolbox of 'things I do'.

But I was sweaty.

I started to go back and forth about my options.  I had improv practice soon.  As it is on Mondays I get done at the Y, finish dinner (which I have to start earlier in the day on Mondays), connect with the kids over dinner, then leave for practice.  So.

I could not shower and get dressed and do my thing.  I wouldn't have time to shower at home, that's for sure.  Extra deodorant?  A touch of baby powder to absorb the sweat?  Hope no one gets close to me at practice?

I could shower without a towel and get dressed in the shower area while wet and sticky.

I could shower without a towel and prance my happy ass to my locker (which is clear across the whole shabang from the shower area).

I could go home in my workout clothes, try to take a 'bird bath' (ya' know... freshen up the important bits from the sink) and get dressed in regular clothes quickly at home.

As I pondered these options, they each had their drawbacks and their benefits.  My workout was soon finished and I was walking up the stairs and to the locker room, still without a decision being made.  I came to my locker, opened it, and looked into it for the answer.  And there it was.

I ONLY hesitated about the shower because um... I do NOT have a body for displaying.  And frankly, with the weight issues I'm currently dealing with I've got some serious shame about my body.  I always have, in fact.  I have intense body image dysfunction.  I have always concerned myself over if I'm fat here or there or if my skin is a little too soft here or there, etc.  Lots of women do, but it's clear to Jon and myself that this is a serious thing to me.

So if the truth is that even when I've weighed 110lbs as an adult and found myself to be a little too soft somewhere and at my new found 150 (yeah, that's right, I just told you how much I weigh.  And I'm embarrassed, but that embarrassment is silly and if I'm trying to write a post about empowerment and self acceptance then I darned better well be forthcoming) I can appreciate certain curves and softnesses that I never knew I wanted before I had them, then this whole body image thing is really just a mental and emotional space I can choose to be in or not.  Right?


And you know where I don't want to be?


Anywhere.  For any reason.

So I took off all of my darn clothes, and I grabbed my razor and pumice stone and I marched my happy, naked bootay across the whole locker room and into the showers and I cleaned myself.

Because no matter how much I weigh.  No matter how bumpy or not my thighs are.  No matter the shape of my breasts.  No matter the tightness of my belly.

I deserve to be clean.

And that's what it all came down to.  For me.  On that day.

My march to the shower was easy.  The locker room was empty.  And while I started the walk with anxiety in my stomach as I got there and realized no one was around anyway, I felt like a rockstar for doing it.  I was as chipper as a bluebird and even had the desire to sing in the shower.

And when I walked back, I held my shoulders back, my chin up, and again marched my happy, naked bootay across the whole locker room back to my locker.  I passed several women this time.  The anxiety was there.  It was kickin'.  But there was also the joy and pride in myself knowing that I was doing the exact.same.thing. I admire so much in other women.

Just being me.

In the flesh.

I don't plan on never bringing a towel again.  But I do plan on doing this regularly.

Thank God for my body and its ability to morph through life with me.  My mind has been different in stages in my life.  My spirit has risen and fallen with the tides of my experiences.  My energy and the way it is expressed has fluidly been with me in all of my changes.  And so has this body of mine.  Bless it for what it is at this time, as it is simply an interpretation of me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

RAD is not an 'adoption disease'

Being involved in the "RAD community" for a bit over a year now, I can tell you one thing: adoption, adoption, adoption.

Having experienced RAD in our home and recognizing my own severe attachment troubles I can tell you another thing: that whole adoption thing is bullshit.

WHATTTT?????   Did I just say that with the intention to peeve every single one of my RAD-living friends?

No.  I didn't.  I said it because it's true and it needs to be said.

Cause there are a LOT of kids in the world who are living with their biological parents, whom they've always lived with, which are living with RAD and not being given the proper care for their relationship struggles.  Instead, they're being diagnosed as Bipolar or ODD or even with Aspergers Syndrome.

Now, firstly, let me hit the ground running and say I am not a psychologist.  I would never be one, no matter how much the human brain and human emotions excite me.  'Cause I don't want to be dealin' with the folks who are laying in bed with big pharma.  I won't go all the way there today.  But, again, my BIG HUGE ANNOYING BUT NEEDING TO BE HEARD DISCLAIMER is that I am not a mental health professional in any way, nor do I intend to present myself as one.

Good, we have that out of the way.  Whew!

But in my experience, I've seen it already.  We spent 3 years with doctors and counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists, even a nearly week-long stay in a 'facility'.  And never was RAD brought up.  It was brought up by a daycare worker 5 years ago, but I knew nothing more than the word and it held no 'gusto' for me until much, much later when I remembered her mentioning it.  So why is it that we now know we have a solid RAD 'case'?

Because 100% of the 'signs and symptoms' are present.

Because the conversations I have with other RAD Moms are ones in which they understand the full extent of the behaviors in our life.

Because after bringing it to the psychiatrist his response was "We keep the RAD diagnosis for kids who have been in and out of foster care for years or have endured a lot of abuse or severe neglect.  We can't medicate for RAD anyway, so let's just keep exploring the mood disorders."  Yeah, so what I was talking about before... in bed with big pharma...

We've brought the idea to a marriage counselor we were seeing (who ended up to be a quack anyway, so we stopped seeing her quickly, but the point is the same.  This is a 'mental health professional'.)  We were sharing some of our marital stresses and one of which was the extreme behaviors we have going on in our house sometimes.  After sharing a pee incident (let me get a "what what!" from my fellow RAD parents!) she looked at Jon and I in awe and said something incredibly rude and unprofessional.

When searching for an attachment therapist in our area we saw they were all also specialists in the field of 'adoption issues'.

So if we can go back to the psychiatrist's explanation of why he won't consider that diagnosis, he said it was because Zane didn't endure foster care, abuse, or severe neglect.  My immediate thought from that is that there is a distinction between RAD and PTSD.  Why then would a psychiatrist not even consider RAD in a biologically parented child who doesn't have PTSD?  Further!  Here are the symptoms of childhood PTSD:

  • worry about dying at an early age
  • losing interest in activities
  • having physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches
  • showing more sudden and extreme emotional reactions
  • having problems falling or staying asleep                  
  • showing irritability or angry outbursts
  •  having problems concentrating
  • acting younger than their age (for example, clingy or whiny behavior, thumbsucking)
  • showing increased alertness to the environment
  • repeating behavior that reminds them of the trauma

Many of these symptoms are also present in the diagnosis of RAD.  Most of them are present in my child.  Who has not been abused, severely neglected, or lived in foster care.

So it must be with that whole big pharma fellatio business, eh?

Energetically speaking, it is completely logical that a fetus, developing in the womb of a woman who is not attached to said child is experiencing trauma simply by their lack of connection.  Moreso, for said infant to be born to a woman who lacks the ability to emotionally and energetically attach to them.  THAT IS TRAUMA, Y'ALL.

Done and done.  Period.

So, there's a big buzz going around that RAD is being removed from the next installment of the DSM.  Wonder why they're removing it?  Oh, that's right...  ALMOST EVERY SINGLE TASK FORCE MEMBER FOR THE DSM-V IS IN BED WITH BIG PHARMA.

I'm not making it up!

I'm not theorizing!

Go here.

Click on each name.  Look at their professional disclosures.

Yeah.  That's a LOT of financial blow jobs, dontcha' think?

Since RAD is not a medicated disorder, it is being eliminated.

Now, not only are people adopting babies and not being given proper support, but there have got to be thousands upon thousands of children in our very country who, like Zane, are born to their biological parent and raised by their biological parent and are not being supported in getting healthy.

All because big pharma isn't paying anyone to help these kids.  

Fortunately, we have found our voice.  We have a family counselor who agrees and sees it.  She's not an attachment therapist, but she validates us and she cares for Zane and she keeps her ears peeled for anyone in the business in our area who can work with Zane.  Currently he is seeing someone who can help discern what's going on for Zane and giving him his own place to go and talk honestly.  No one has been willing to do this for Zane before.  No one.  Disturbing...

And there ARE ways to heal these relationships.  There ARE methods to managing the emotions and behaviors with this 'disorder'.  Not all children will heal.  For some, it just is their life story to not.  But there are a hell of a lot of kids on this planet who can be healed -RIGHT ALONG WITH THEIR PARENTS- and need to be healed and deserve to feel better.

After all, in my personal view of the whole thing, RAD is not a disorder or a disease.  It is a symptom, itself, of the underlying cause which is a lack of emotional and energetic attachment to other humans.

It certainly is not some disease caused by being adopted. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pudding like diarrhea

YEAH!  That's the exciting Google search of the week that brought someone to my blog.

I definitely hope they're feeling better, though, and that's for real.  Diarrhea sucks.  When it's comparable to pudding, which should be a delightful treat, it's even worse.

Dear person who's pooping like pudding,
I really, REALLY hope your tummy is feeling better.  I also hope you had a moment to sneak around this blog and found something that was fun and entertaining while you were in your suffering.  Or, as my improv director likes to say, it doesn't have to be funny.  Maybe someone could actually stretch or grow from what we do.

Yes, that please.

So, I like stretching and growing, ya know.  I joined Hannah Marcotti's Joy Up a few days ago.  I'd been thinking about it for some time, but I was hesitant.  Mainly because when I first heard of her it was before a fall cleanse.  So I tried the cleanse.  Remember?  Didn't go so well.  Not because of her, her method, or her intent.  I just was NOT prepared or invested.

So anyway, I hesitated on this Joy Up, with memories of my big giant fail.  A friend/mentor/pal from my first Visionary Mom team put something on her FB wall about it on the first day and said it was the first day and rockin.  I decided to go for it then.  I'm a day behind the rest of the group, because I wanted to get the full 10 days and decided to start the next morning.

I also decided, for myself, that I'd give up FB while I did it.  Cause I'm an addict.  :-D  I know that if I want to experience more JOY then I have to get offline more.  I can't get completely offline since that's where my business is and my bestest tribe of women, from my second Visionary Mom team.  But WOW!  It's been nice not getting on Facebook.  Really nice!  The first day was actually difficult.  I removed the FB app from my phone to help me.

What I noticed, mostly, is that I *think in status updates*.  Ew.  And funny.  How many times throughout the first two days I thought "Put this on FB" was enlightening?  Disturbing?  Something, anyway.  I realized that I experience things with my family -or in my life- and immediately think about sharing them.  Now sometimes that's a great thing.  I love spreading goodness and funniness and what's going on.

But I was taking myself away from the experiences too quickly.

Cheating myself and those around me.  In such a hurry to "spread the moment" to the "world" that I didn't allow myself to EXPERIENCE the moment with myself and those around me.  This is my absolute most favorite part of being off Facebook.  I'm slowing down with those who are here.  And I'm looking for experiences with THEM rather than looking to hear about everyone else's experiences online.  

Even writing this post, right now, I keep thinking...  "Is anyone going to read this?  I'm not posting it on FB.  Maybe it's pointless to write when I can't force it down anyone's throat."


So why do I write?? Because I like to share my thoughts.  Sometimes people will read what I write and they'll feel connection.  Sometimes they'll feel inspiration.  Sometimes frustration.  But the glory of being opinionated and trying my damndest to share those opinions respectfully is bringing about progression.  Whether y'all agree with me or not, thoughts provoke other thoughts.  And thought, insight, seeking is what makes people go forward.

No one can dispute our need, as a people, to move forward.  :-)  No one that I've known of anyway.  I guess there definitely are some.

So back to my stinkin point...

The Joy Up rocks!

I wake up each day and get a touch of feel-good!  I get something to focus on or to do or to think about.  And it's making big changes.  Hannah's hit this experience on the head!  I can't tell you what I've done each day because if you want to know, you need to follow her blog and join in the next one.  (I hope there will be a next one!)

But I'll tell you this:

Meditations that I can fit in my day!
Dance parties!
Rice noodles!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I'm ready to post again.

I've been thinking about it for many days now.  I've considered coming back with a post about:

 Stori being exactly the age Zane was when we moved here (this past Saturday)

My food addiction that I'm struggling with right now

My recent very quick trip ti IL for a funeral and two babies.  My friend and I came up with a clever movie name and said we should make one.  We've said it before, too, because we were some crazy kids and our story is entertaining.  To say the least.

The passionate love I have for my husband and my wish for all people to find a connection like this one

An attaching and healing Zane

My hair and my experiences with it

Our new, insane dog

The slowest-made chicken coop ever that is oh-so-exciting to build

My totally killer backyard and how that relates to perspective

My rockin-awesome business and the celebration that it is real

BUT, none of those inspired me to sit at the keyboard and go at it.  I kind of felt like coming back after a few attacks (both publicly and privately) maybe shouldn't be a big "this is what I think" or sharing of deep thoughts or feelings of mine.

Not because they should be hidden.  In fact, that's the whole fun of blogging.  To inspire thought.

But because I'm still feeling a bit guarded and vulnerable.

However, this is my space and I do have the privilege of knowing the password.  And I want to come back to it.  So, what am I coming back with, you ask?

Today I checked my blog stats as I was coming to write (about what I still hadn't decided and I've done this several times over the past few weeks) and I saw that one of the phrases on Google search that brought people to my blog was:

"Big breast nipples"

With that, I bow and exclaim "SUCCESS!"

Glad to be back, friends. ;-D

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If you build it, they will come

A couple weeks ago I proofread an ebook for a friend.  --I can't WAIT to tell you what it is!!--

What I can tell you is that it's about personal growth.  About rewriting our own histories.  About changing our habits that we no longer want to be attached to.

So while I was proofreading this bad boy, I kept thinking about a person in my life who I really wanted to read it.  Someone who is great but doesn't seem to know it.  Someone who holds onto a lot of pain and I wish a release for them.  Someone who I want to be crazy super happy.  I asked the author if I could gift it to this person and the author told me to be careful with that.

I responded with this idea that "no way...  I'll tell this person that this book is incredible and they should give it a try."  I was going to print it out, put it together, the whole works... Because I care and I love them.

I told someone else in my life that I was going to give it to them as well (the "someone in my life" knows the "them") and that person also thought it wasn't such a great idea.  I explained why I thought it was a great gift and was replied to with "be careful".

I've been feeling just-self-righteous-enough lately that I was still going to do it anyway.

Yesterday, a conversation was started on FB about a kid who was kicking his Mom on the way from a store.  Several people said the kid needed a spanking (beating, put in his place, etc).  One person before me recognized there's a chance the child has autism or some other form of health problem that might have caused it.  That maybe the whole story couldn't be told in a recap of one situation.

So I gave that person props for saying that.  YAY!  Then I went on to share that spankings are wrong and an unacceptable form of punishment.

Why-oh-why did I do that??

Because it's damn important to say, that's why.  I know it's not magically going to stop people from doing what they do.  I get that.  But I know when I was a spanker all I ever heard was that he needed more spankings.  I in my gut when I spanked.  I knew it was wrong.

But I had NO ONE to turn to for help on the matter.

Eventually Jon and I just decided to stop.  We just decided it was wrong and we didn't have any idea what the flip we were going to do to try to change Zane's violent behavior (yes, irony, but this isn't actually a spanking post.  I'll get to that one day) but we knew we were going to stop.  It happened again, a few times, from both of us...strictly out of habit.  We both felt guilt after doing it, we were both honest with each other after doing it, and we both never gave up on learning to not do it.

But we had NO ONE to turn to.  Remember?  How I just said that?  Yeah.  Cause it makes a difference, I believe.

Anyway, so that's why I speak out against spanking.  Because at *some* point those parents might decide, for themselves, that they don't want to hit their kids anymore.  And if they've seen/heard/read that I'm firmly against it and I'm a recovered spanker then MAYBE... just maybe they will know they have someone to turn to for support.

So that's why-oh-why I did that.

Well, the conversation took a turn for the worst and next thing I know people are claiming their kids won't be serial killers because they were spanked -which I hadn't insinuated, people were re-defining "hit" and I was being arrogant enough to post a link to the official definition of "hit", spankings were being defended in the name of the "Lord", Dr. Dobson was brought up, etc.  I recognized pain.  I recognized anger.  I recognized fear.  I recognized shame.  I thought I had kind words to share about how hurt a person is to hit their kids and how I knew that pain, because I used to do the same thing.

I then was attacked more brutally than I have ever experienced in my life.  By the one who is a good Christian Mom who spanks with love.  I was damned to an eternity in hell, my existence was judged, and I learned I'm an evil bitch.  With capital letters and lots of exclamation points.  It hurt. Bad. Crazy bad.

And to be frank, as I cried in Jon's arms I questioned if I really do have a nasty spirit.  I asked myself if I really am such a bad person that my intentions weren't clear and if maybe I deserved everything she said to me.  I inquired within myself about who I am and why I was in this position and what had I done to get there. The same things kept spinning around in my head.  Spinning and spinning and replaying.

It was an extremely difficult evening and night.

And you know what the greatest news of all is??

I'm a lot more emotionally healthy than even I knew.  Because that HURT.  But it didn't break me.  It forced me to question.  It forced me inside.  I needed to know why it happened.  But it did not break me.

You know what I concluded?

That she is hurting.  So bad.  She may or may not know how bad she's hurting, but she is.  And I hurt for her. Because I really have been there.  And no one deserves to hurt that bad.  NO ONE.

So, why am I telling these two stories and titling my post after some baseball movie????

Because they're the same story.

And I figured out a little bit in them.

The second story showed me what the author and "someone in my life" were trying to tell me, but I didn't get.

No one is in charge of anyone else's healing.  Or experience.  Or choices.

I recognized that although my intention for both of these situations were the same and were so totally clear-to offer help to someone that is hurting- it doesn't do a lick of good to try to help someone who hasn't asked for it.  What that does is offend them.  It tells them that I think they're inadequate.

When I wanted healing from poor relationships, it didn't come because someone told me I was making bad choices.  It didn't come because someone said I was worth more.  It didn't come because someone cast a magic spell.

It came because I wanted it.  Because I realized, on my own, that I wanted better.  I opened my heart for a change and it came.  In the form of some hot barista.  ;-)  Nearly everyone we knew thought we were making a huge mistake but it didn't bother me.  I knew I had opened up to something new and different and there was an experience in the forming of that relationship that told me it was what I wanted.

I was able to experience my healing from my own core, because it wasn't infused with anyone else's perspective, ideas, hints, judgment, or otherwise.

So what do I do from here on out?  How to I still stand up for what I believe without offending?

I can't.  People get offended sometimes.

But what I can do is still be honest about my beliefs and not tag them to even if I'm having a conversation with a person with an opposing belief.

This'll take some practice.

But you know what?  I want to have better interpersonal experiences, so I'm just gonna truck on and learn this new skill.  No matter if it takes one mess up or twelve.

To sum it all up:  If you open the space in yourself for change, it will come.  But no one else can build your Field of Dreams for you.

Dream on, friends.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

regrets and non-regrets

2 big things on my mind lately.  Firstly let me point out that I don't *actually* regret anything.  It may be cliche to say, but the fact is that everything occuring in the past has lead to here and now and even the most minute detail has the opportunity to have changed everything.  So when I say I have a regret it doesn't mean I wish it didn't happen; it means that I'm aware that I could've done something differently and I appreciate having learned that lesson, but wonder what it would've been like had I done it the way I can now view it, in hindsight.

Make sense?  You got my Shannon-definition down?  Good, let's go...

Regret: It has been a month and a half since I returned from ORLANDO(!!!!!)  I had an incredible time there and enjoyed myself immensely.  I'm saving all money found in the washer and dryer as well as picked up from the ground and around the house for next year.  ;-)

So why the regret, you ask?  Like I said, it's been a month and a half since I came back and I have ONE(1, I) person I talk to regularly.  AND...we don't even talk.  We text.

Why's that a big deal?  Well, the "big guys" told us we would form the tightest bonds and make the closest friendships from this trip, because we would bond over the most intimate parts of our home lives.  I'm not demanding a refund, after all I was awarded that scholarship, remember?

Why didn't I make those friendships?  Is it because I smell bad?  Because I'm ugly?  Because I have big ears?  Because I have big front teeth?  Because I'm a big, fat, meanie-head?  Because I burped on everyone?  Because I farted in my sleep?  Because I'm boring and no fun?  Because I'm a judgmental ass?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no.

It's because I didn't let myself.

BAM!  Take that, Shannon!  I didn't stay in my house and chat and share.  I didn't ask other women their stories.  I didn't allow myself to ATTACH to anyone there, because I was nervous and scared and insecure and on and on and on.  This is the reason I escorted drunk women around.  I didn't want to experience the seriousness.  I wanted to escape the seriousness.

Oh isn't that interesting, because, hmmm....  I pointed out, to myself, just how insecure I am in attachment, still.  Lots of you don't actually know me.  I started this "If you really knew me..." thing a while back when prompted by my brilliant sister.  But I didn't keep it up, because I didn't want mass judgment.  ;-) So the big secret is...

I have serious attachment problems.  Now that I parent RAD and have learned what RAD is, I am certain that I did not have RAD when I was young, but that I did, and still do, have a version of attachment disorder. Hence my not being able to attach to Zane while pregnant or early in his life which (in addition to other experiences) lead to our current situation.  See, my mom was not a Mom.  When she was around, she wasn't a Mom and when she abandoned ship (I was 9), she did so with ease.  My Dad was neglectful and I was pretty much raised in and out of friends' homes.  Dad later decided to move elsewhere and didn't force me to go with him and I lived in his girlfriend's basement (age 16).  She bought me pudding sometimes.  For "food".  No joke.

That's the short, simple, and polite story to get to the point...  Which is that as a 20-something I've begun my attachment process with my husband.  He's the best therapeutic spouse a gal could ask for!  And I've made SERIOUS strides over the past 5 years.  It has been EXTREMELY difficult at times and such a blessing at all times.

But I still don't know how to make friends.  Silly, huh?  I just don't know how.  And all you emotionally healthy people out there are thinking, "Is here really a 'way' to do it?"  Yes.  There is.  And I've not figured it out.  I'm getting closer though.  I have many, many people I consider friends.  But no one I consider a "close" friend.  No one that just shows up at my house.  No one that comes over for no good reason but to hang out. There's one friend who is the closest, as I can call her in tears, but there's still a line in the sand.  And a few that I want to become close with, but don't know how.

And so, I have decided that next year, in Orlando, I will attend the big hoo-hah event where everyone is and I will go say "hi" to the ladies I already know.  But I will stay at my house and I will sit in my pjs and I will relish the opportunity to bond with people.  Even if it doesn't happen yet.  Even if I'm not "there" yet.  I'm going to do it and I'm not going to shut myself off from the opportunity like I did last time.

After all, 99% of those women are parenting attachment issues anyway.  As long as I don't pee on their floor, rage at them, or call them names, it'll still be a vacation from what they already deal with.  AND they can see my nervousness for what it is.  Um, yeah.  Sounds like exactly the place to learn to make friends, doesn't it??  Can we just go next month, please and thank you??

Non-regret: Honoring my desires. Examples:

I've already talked a lot about them, I know...  But do you have ANY idea how empowering it is to have dreadlocked my hair!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?  I love it.  I love them.  I am SO.GLAD. I did it.  I can't say it enough.  I look how I feel.  Such a relief.

I went to an improv jam and got offered a spot in the troupe.  Wow.  THEN, I reached out and asked for help from those around me.  I needed to fill an hour-and-a-half time gap between me leaving for rehearsal and Jon getting home from work, every Monday. A big request.  And it happened.  I asked and it happened.  AND I even have someone who's going to take a full rehearsal time for me so I can start earlier than Jon's shift change.  Wahoo!

I wanted to go to church.  I want a spiritual community.  I want my kids to get the "Sunday school" experience.  I want to have fellowship with coffee and snacks.  I want to hear powerful messages about goodness.  But I didn't want the dogmatic hoopla.  We are not Christians and so we'd like to spare ourselves and the kids from the fire-and-brimstone hoo-hah.  We don't want Zane to come home some Sunday and ask if he's going to Hell.  LOL!  Just not into that.  But we finally got the courage to attend a UU church.  And we love it.  Like crazy mad love.  Awesomeness.  Powerful messages about being good.  Powerful messages about reading a book we may not disagree with because we can still find a lot of inspiration and knowledge in it.  Powerful messages about standing for what we seek out to be truth, but doing so respectfully.  Is it weird to say I'm a total fan of our minister?  Like groupie fan?  Cause I am.  She's brilliant.

I have an eating problem.  I gorge on food.  People don't take me seriously when I say that because I am not obese, but my gorging problem is just as much a problem as it is for anyone who gains the weight to go with theirs.  I don't know why I don't weigh more than I do and frankly I don't care.  I've not been healthy for quite some time and even while boot-camping my heart out I gained weight.  Not because their program sucked (it was AMAZING and I'm really sad to not do it anymore), but because I still ate lots and lots and lots of food. And I wasn't sleeping enough, so my body was storing it all up. One night, a couple of weeks ago, I ended up with a terrible migraine and my face felt swollen and I felt so heavy I couldn't lift myself out of my chair.  So I emailed someone I know and I asked for help.  And I've accepted the help.  And it has been glorious!  It is hard to not eat what I crave (brownies, ice cream, and hot fudge anyone??).  And I even had a beautiful dream about a buffet where there was plenty of delicousness -and large sprites- to choose from.  I was thinking about that buffet all day, too.  Oh yum.  BUT, I am honoring the need to find a balanced, healthier relationship with food.  My meals have been delicious.  Yay for macrobiotics and learning a bit at a time!!  And yay to wonderful women in my life!

I think I'll call that a wrap.  Both ends of the spectrum and yet they're one in the same, aren't they?  Such is life...  Everything is a reflection of its equal-opposite.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A bit of random for you

My dreadlocks are almost one month old!  I love, love, love them!!!

We got a new puppy and her name is Zoey.  I don't know a lot about dogs; I've been learning since we got Rootie, but I'm not a natural.  So, when she and Rootie started their domination dance a couple of days after we got her, I freaked!  BUT...  I got help from a good friend and a would-like-to-know-better-but-we-relate-online friend. :-)  Viola!  The dogs are great and get along well.  I actually enjoy them do their thing now, too.  It's cute.

I started trying my hand at macrobiotic eating with some really great help and am enjoying it, a LOT!  The food is SO good...everything I've made has been lovely.  I did dream of eating at a buffet last night, though, so...  I guess I'm missing some things. ;-)

I proofread an ebook for a friend and I did it to avoid doing the last part of my own business.  Because when I finish that last part I open up shop and can I tell you how many different fears I have!?!?!?  People are going to hate the pants and tell me I suck, people are going to love the pants and prove my self-doubt wrong; no one is going to order from me for a long time and I'll lose focus, people will be ordering super fast and I won't be able to keep up with demand; parents won't like the way the thighs fit, parents will LOVE the way the thighs fit; they're too expensive, they're not priced high enough for their value....


Anyway, I finished the ebook, which if I may tell you, is incredible!!  I kept getting sucked into the content and if you've ever proofread or edited anything before, you know that's a direct way to get diddly done.  ;-)  I got lots done, of course, and even impressed myself with my recall skills.  But it took a bit longer than it should have, because I kept READING it.  I can't wait to share it with you when the Author says "GO!".

My hubby got a vasectomy, because he's great and appreciates my need to get off of hormonal birth control.  Yes, I know there are other options and I've tried a couple, but Paragard broke my vagina and all of its contents and condoms aren't goodness for us. Anyway, he got the procedure done and the sedation they used didn't work on him...he was aware of everything that happened and remembers it all now.  We're going to keep this information in the forefront of our minds in case he ever needs full sedation.  A little scary to think he might be one of those people who can't be put to sleep.  So, the doctor let me watch the whole thing and it was really neat!

I have avoided doing the laundry for a whole week now.  Boo.  I usually do it twice a week so now I've got a thing FULL of dirty clothes that I just don't want to wash.  Guess I have to, huh?

I babysat a puppy today and that was fun.  Meanwhile another friend brought her dog to meet my dogs, because I *might* babysit hers while she goes out of town.  He's a boxer.  I love his face.  And he acts kind of special.  Awwww...  <3<3

I went to an improv jam last night with one of the local improv troupes.  I've always been into that sort of thing and curious if I would be good at it.  It looks so fun!  Anyway, I saw the ad for it while Jon and I were on a date Friday night and I asked the in-laws FOR THE FIRST TIME to watch the kiddos while I did something all for me.  YAY!  They said yes and I went.  And because it was only one day in advance I had no time to psyche myself out and choose to not go.

So I went.  It was in the basement of a biker bar.  Those of you who've known me longer than 4 years think that's no biggie and I was right at home.  Those of you who've only met me within the past 4 years think "What the hell would Shannon do in a biker bar?".   Well, lemme tell you...  I sat around, uncomfortably, by myself for 40 minutes or so while we waited for the downstairs to open up (there was a local BACA meeting going on before the improv jam).

We made our way downstairs and when there were no more biker chicks around intimidating me I introduced myself to the other improv folks and made myself at home.  We all had to get up and participate in the warm-up (I thought I'd watch for a while and decide if I wanted to join in, I was SO NERVOUS!) and it turned out to be very fun and shook the nerves right out!  I had a blast.


I got asked to join their group!!!!!

What the F!?!?  I know!!  I'm so crazy excited.  I had a blast and to know that I was THAT good at it, to boot!?!?  Wowzers.  There were 5 of us there that aren't part of the troupe and I still am shocked and STOKED that *I* got asked.  It's like getting a job you weren't going for, or scoring a part in a play when you didn't know you were auditioning.  I'm giddy.  Can you tell? :-P

So, I'm trying to get childcare worked out, as it's a weekly Monday practice.  The way everything else has lined up, though, I'm thinking this will work just fine.  One way or another, anyway.  ;-)

Super, super cool.  A couple of people kept making hemp references and either eyeing me or pointing at me, so after a while I just had to let everyone know that I appreciated it, but I don't smoke pot, so they could let that go.  It was kind of annoying and kind of flattering.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dear Mr. President,

I'm breaking up with you.  I've been thinking about it for several weeks now and I feel official with it at this point.  While you haven't given me full disclosure, you have done a better job than many past presidents, so to show my appreciation for that I'll go ahead and explain my decision.

As is the case with any messy breakup, our problems originate with expectations I held from the beginning.  You see... I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.  I'm not a Tea-Party member or even an Independent.

I'm an American Citizen.  And I vote as such.  Depending on the problems-at-hand as well as moral beliefs I hold at all times I weigh my beliefs and desires and visions with those expressed by the people and amendments presented to me on my voting card.

So, long ago when you said you stand for justice and peace I believed you.  The way you presented yourself to us was inspiring.  You were not aggressive; you rarely shamed your opponents.  You seemed to come across as a man who lives(d) with integrity and I admire that.  At the end of the day, I want to have a belief in my democratic leaders to be who they say they are.  I held that expectation of you, sir.  Which is why I am so very hurt now.

I'm crushed.  By your participation in the conflict in Libya.  Crushed.

I'll elaborate...

In the last presidential election, there were a few key issues at hand.  1.Economy. 2.War in Iraq and beginning of war in Afghanistan. 3.Healthcare.

No candidate was in line with how I feel on all 3 of these issues, so I had to pick what was most important to me.  And it came down to War.  After all, if we kill off all of our young men and women in war there will be no people who need healthcare or a job.

I voted to keep people alive.  I was under the impression that you wanted to streamline things in Afghanistan and get out of Iraq as quickly and safely as you could.  It it my very strong belief that an airplane ride home is quick and safe, but I get it... I'm not a member of the militia and therefore don't understand the specifics of war.  I don't care to, either.

If it were up to me, I'd have National Guard to restore wellness to areas affected by natural environmental occurances (other people call these natural disasters, but they're no disaster to nature.  They're only disastrous to us).  I suppose some sort of ARMY-type military is necessary for self preservation, but I don't think they need to step a foot off of our land.  After all, to defend means to protect one's self, not attack another...

But, I digress.

I voted for you, because your opposition, Mr. McCain was adamant on violence and his belief that it is a good way to find peace.  I just don't agree with that at all and chose against war.

Then you went and got in a fight.

I'm not attracted to -nor do I find security in- men who fight to prove their manliness.  I don't see "hero" in that behavior.  I see fear.  Fear of not being in control.  Fear of not being safe.  Fear of not being well.  That fear leads to attack.  It is an incredibly primitive behavior.

But we're no longer primates, so can't we move on?

I am ready for change.  I am ready for progress within our species.  But this is the same old story, just with a different "reasoning".

I beg and plead to be part of a country that doesn't go blow shit up every chance we get just because we can.  And I am praying, intending, and manifesting, with fervor, for leadership who will stand up for what is righteous.

And in my book, righteous includes not killing, not shaming, not attacking.

I just can no longer stand with you.


Friday, April 1, 2011

About Identity

This is my favorite thing about putting in dreadlocks:

I feel like me.

It's just hair, after all.  So it seems silly to me, because as much as I've been "into" my hair for years, I've not been into "doing" my hair pretty much ever.

I frequently see women who are living with their own sense of style that's strong and opinionated and I've held a certain amount of envy or maybe intrigue toward them for it.  I see women who put together amazing outfits that when they walk into a room or they catch my eye, they're screaming "THIS IS ME" and I want it.  I want to know how to express myself through my appearance.

In the past -almost 2- weeks I've felt better about who I appear to be than ever before.  I feel like I appear to be me and that, my friends, is a rockin new feeling I've not had before!!

I've looked in the mirror frequently.
I've messed with my hair multiple times every day.
I've made AND POSTED videos on YouTube.
I've asked Jon to take pictures of me.
I've asked my friend to take pictures of me.
I've felt more confident when going in public.

All because of my hair.


I've heard of the "spiritual journey" of dreadlocks before and I don't get it.  It's foreign to me.  I think in my particular case, I was experiencing deep and profound spiritual healing in a couple aspects of my being when the night came that I started knotting my hair.  I think this has been part of that spiritual path for me, having the cajones to just do what I've pondered for so long.  And so I guess I'm starting to see a bit of how this could be a catalyst for things to come and I'm welcoming whatever happens with open arms.

I've only had one person outwardly express their dislike of my hair and it rolled off my back pretty easily.  Of course it burned for a moment, no one wants to hear that someone thinks they look stupid.  But because I love-so-very-much what's happening on my head the comment didn't phase me for long.

That, alone, was powerful for me.  I am living what I want to be living and so someone's put-down didn't make me second-guess myself.

Before a couple of weeks ago, I had never been that powerful on my own two feet.

So, to the nay-sayer I truly thank you.  Deeply, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience the confidence I did in that exchange between the two of us.

To every reader that comes across this:

Do something powerful, for yourself.  This week.  Something that makes you feel good.  Feel great.  Not something that makes you feel like you're "proving" yourself to anyone.  Lord knows I've tried that a bazillion, gagillion times and it didn't work.  But something that you do solely for you and your confidence.

Then if you feel so inclined, come share it with us.  ;-)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lockin her up.

Dreadlocking, anyway.  ;-)

So here's my little story...

I fell in love with dreadlocks probably the first time I saw them.  I don't really know exactly when it started but as far back as my teenage years I remember loving them.  I'd only seen them on a couple of black women and at the time so began my love of "black girl hair".  I wanted it.  I wanted locks.

A few years later I started noticing locks on white people.  Usually hippies.  That was cool, especially since I consider myself as part of that group o' folk.  But I didn't look into getting them.  Because regardless of what lifestyle I did live, I certainly didn't want people judging me in all sorts of ways based upon my hair.  Which is funny because I was always doing wild new things to my hair.  My BFF Tori and I were dying our hair at age 12.  We did all sorts of fun and wild things with our hairs.  I had black hair, green hair, multicolored hair, bleached hair, orange hair, and so the story goes.

Something about being judged as a pot-smoking, reggae-loving, dirty hippie just wasn't sitting well with me though.

Fast forward to February of last year:  I found my first blog.  Then my second blog.  Then my third blog.  I became a blog reader.  It just so happened to be that 2 of my first 3 blog subscriptions belonged to women with dreadlocks.  As time continued on, I found a couple other bloggers who had dreadlocks.  They all happened to be Moms.  Not only moms, but Moms who are incredible Moms, who inspire me, who teach me, who help me see my failures and help me acknowledge my potential.

It was this past year that I realized there are at least 4 Moms out there who are great and wonderful and not pot-smoking, reggae-loving, dirty hippies AND they have dreadlocks.

So I started considering it.  My interest wavered as I took it more seriously.  After all, I LOVE my hair.  Do I really want to not have it anymore?  Do I want to give up its soft, silky, straight smoothness?  For real?

 Big questions to answer.  I also asked Jon what he thought.  After all, he's the only hot guy I'm spending Sexperiment month with for the rest of my live-long-life.  He was honest with me and let me know it's not his favorite hair style and he is madly in love with my actual hair.  BUT, that he'd rather I do it and chance not loving it than not do it and always wonder.  He really is the greatest and I aim to not forget that.  Ever.

Finally a couple of months ago I decided for sure that I would do it.  It just so happened that blog number 2 writer moved a couple of hours from me.  I emailed her to see if she'd do mine and we exchanged a quick blip about it.  But neither of us followed up.  And as time went on I realized I wasn't actually into driving 2 hours, sitting for 4-8 hours of hair-doing, then driving another 2 hours home.  So, I let go of that idea.

I also decided they would be a reward for a weight loss goal I'd set.

I didn't hit the goal.  At all.  Now I've come to realize the reason for that was mainly lack of sleep and survival mode.  Regardless, I couldn't do them when I was supposed to because I hadn't accomplished what I was supposed to.

Then I went to Orlando.  And Christine RUBBED her hot-A dreadlocks all over my head . Okay, okay... it wasn't that elaborate...  But, they touched me.  And I haven't let go of their wonderfulness yet.

So last night after being impatient and looking up lots of information, I just started doing them myself.  I thought I was going to follow up with a friend to finish off parts of the back.  But after a couple locks were done I got all selfish with my bad self and decided this was between me, my head, and my commitment.  I've worked on them every spare moment I've had since last night and I'm almost done!  I only have a handful more to do and depending on how heavy my eyelids get I may get them done tonight.

One of the things I didn't know about locks until last night was that they don't appear right away.  :-/  It takes some time for them to tighten and "lock" up.  I thought I'd be pretty embarrassed out in public, after all I've never seen someone in the baby stage of dreads before.  I thought about making a sign or pin that would say "What's up with this? (arrow pointing up) Dreadlocks in the making."  But today we went out to eat with the in-laws (there needs to be a better word for that in our situation, cause it sounds so... courthouse-ish) and I was proud.  I kept thinking "yeah, see that natty mess??  AWESOME, HUH???"

Proud.  Of my little nest of hair all over my head.  So excited.

For years when I see a head of locks something takes me over.  I am SO INTO THEM.

And now, I'm a brand-new owner of exactly what I want.

Talk about manifestation.  I'll apply that in many areas of life.

I own what I want.  I am what I like.  I have what I need.  I love who loves me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Big Fat Ooshy Gooshy Slobbery Snotty Smiling Crying Thank You

This post is for the beautiful, wonderful, generous, talented, amazing people who donated money to the Orlando Scholarship Fund.  Do you like how I put that all in caps like it was the official name of anything?  I made it up.  I'll give my acceptance speech for my super skills another time.

But, at this time, the spotlight is on givers.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I was a recipient of a scholarship and the trip was amazing.  The opportunity was amazing.  Your gift was amazing.  There are a lot of experiences that can't be put into words.  Conversations that are sealed in confidential community.  Pictures that should've been taken but weren't.

This is why I'm crazy grateful.  Those things that I can never fully express to you are the things that made this so life changing.  But I have this thing about gift cards...

When I'm given one I like to share with the giver what I got.  Not only to give them ideas about me so sometime in the future they know me more and are comfortable giving me something more personalized but also because sometimes a gift card IS personalized and I want to share with them what they bought me.

So since you gave me a "gift card", I'd like to take some time and tell you the things I did get that I CAN express without a dumbfounded "uh, uh, uh" followed by tears.

I got the chance to sleep.  A lot.  I didn't take that chance, though.  I was too busy spending HOURS with awesome women. Talking. Sharing. Smiling. Laughing. Encouraging. Complimenting.  But, I also got the chance to not be under pressure to stay calm during chaos, to not feed anyone other than myself and during communal meal preparation there were people in the kitchen WITH me not just asking for nibbles.  I got to relish in my exhaustion for what it was and why I had it.  I got to enjoy being tired. {GASP}

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to sit by a pool and meet cool people. I didn't get to hear half of them.  But the ones I did hear were touching.  Do you know how often *I* get to sit by a pool and anything??  Not often.  This was great.  Good fun.  Relaxing to the maxing.  Awesome.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to swim in the pool at 3am because I couldn't fall asleep.  I'll tell you what...  The best treatment for insomnia has nothing to do with pills, or even meditation which I'm actually a fan of.  No way, Jose!  The best treatment is a midnight swim in warm water, surrounded by warm air and the chirping of crickets.  I guess it's a crummy treatment, actually, because I didn't get to bed any sooner and still had a bit of trouble when I got to my bed, but I enjoyed my insomnia, immensely!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to babysit drunk women.  And they weren't the annoying kind, either.  They were the really cute and funny kind.  The kind of drunk people that were only drunk in the middle of the day because any other time in their lives they can't be.  They were all happy drunks.  No one got angry.  No one even got sappy.  Just plain old happy.  I'm a non-drinker myself and I can't tell you how many types of drunks there are.  But I enjoyed helping these happy drunk people get to other happy drunk people at a variety of houses.  And no one even peed on me.  And no one threw up.  It was goodness.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to run a 5k.  I've not been a runner at any point in my life.  I've gained more weight over the past year than ever before in my life.  But when I heard about a 5k I got excited.  And I started running a little bit at a time.  Running my first 5k on such an incredible trip with insanely awesome women seemed like an empowering thing that I had one opportunity to have.  And I did it, dammit!  And it was HOT.  See, I've been running at home, but we're talking 20 degrees or lower.  Everyone told me it'd be easy down there because of the low altitude.  They're liars.  Bahahahaha!  But, really.  They were wrong.  The air was so heavy with moisture it took entirely too long to open my lungs to the bottom.  I struggled a lot with my breathing.  Once I finally got it I was okay, but again... too long.  And the heat...  Oh my the HEAT!  Even at 10am.  I have no idea what the actual temperature was, but it was hot.  My head pounded, my neck ached.  The heat.

So, when I came around the last bend in the road and I saw the finish line and I saw the UPHILL (Corey, I thought you loved us, but....) all the way there I knew I had two choices.  I could jog up that hill and feel the brute force of gravity working against me the whole way.  OR I could slam that sh*t!  And that's what I did, friends.  I sprinted up that hill and the ONLY thing that was going to stop me was the finish line tape that two totally hot girls held for me.  Right before the end all the emotion tied into "I can do this" and tons of other emotion that I can't even target came rushing up and I finished that 5k, having not taken one walking step, feeling INCREDIBLE!  It was every empowering, feminine, beautiful feeling I thought it would be.  Oh, and then some.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to go to the coolest restaurant I've ever seen in my life.  There was yelling and "Opa"ing and dancing and eating and drinking and photo taking and finally, crying.  I can't even begin to explain the restaurant without drowning out its awesomeness with descriptive words that leave experience behind, but I can tell you that my theme for the evening definitely became "When I grow up I'm going to be Greek".  And, yes, I understand I can't "be" Greek.  But, in my little world of wonderfulness around that night, I can.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Speaking of which... the crying.  There wasn't much for me.  You see, I'm still pretty guarded I guess.  But I didn't even figure that out until I came home.  Sunday morning I was thinking though and wondering if something was wrong with me.  After all, every blog post I'd read from the Original Nine said there would be lots of crying.  And I hadn't cried a tear.  But, at dinner.  I cried.  I was telling the same story I'd told several times through the weekend.  But I was telling it to someone different.  And I was telling it one-on-one, which I hadn't done before.  And the beautiful, wonderful goddess who I was telling it to had her heart open wide for me.  And mine finally opened up to feel the story and experience the story and tell the story.  And it was bliss.  Not because I cried.  But because I had found someone that I *could* cry to.  It didn't last long and there was no snot or hyperventilating (don't you tell me you don't know what kind of crying I'm talking about).  But it was monumental.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to get Christine's sexy dreads all over the side of my head.  Twice!  I have dread jealousy.  I had planned on getting them for a weight loss goal reward.  But the weight loss didn't happen.  But, now that they touched me.  Hmm.  They're damn inevitable.  

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to meet "famous" bloggers that I didn't even know were famous, because I only read about 3 blogs on a regular basis.  Now that I've fallen in love with so many people, my blog reading time will definitely go up while my Hulu watching time will go down.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to ride on some random dude's "motorcycle" (crotch rocket, cough, cough).  I guess it was the beginning of bike week and there was a house full of 'em.  And one morning while walking around lost and confused with 2 other awesome ladies we walked by the "motorcycle" (crotch rocket, cough, cough) house.  So, I walked up to them (there were a couple of them outside looking at their bikes or whatever they do when they stand around them) and I said, "Hi.  I'm on a Mom's retreat.  The boss lady said that the only rule is that you do what you want, when you want and right now I want a ride on a bike.   Would you be willing to help me out with that?"  He kindly obliged, my friends took mental note of their house address in case I went missing, and he took me on a very slow ride around a couple of blocks.  Of course, I was still lost and didn't know where my house was so he dropped me back off with my ladies and we carried on trying to find our yellow brick road.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I got to meet two women whose presences are full of so much grace I could hardly handle it.  I love them.  My only regret from the weekend is not spending more down time at our house talking with them.  They are more beautiful than your eyes can handle, so put on sunglasses and have someone else read you their names and you still might end up with retina burns.  Marty and Brenda.  Beautiful.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I'm on a roll and could keep going, but there must be an end or Corey might not ever link to this post so you can read my Thank You.  Speaking of Corey...  I GOT TO MEET COREY and she's more fabulous than anything you could've ever thought up.  People flock to her for a reason.  I'm madly in love with her now.  Because you donated money, I got to meet her awesomeness.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

You know what's been happening?

A lot.  Has happened.

Backtrack...  I said peace out to 2010.  Then, I started working out.  No, I'm not a January gym-fly.  Here's how this beauty arrived in my lap (many thanks to Universe for always providing).  My in-laws got this Groupon deal for a 5 week program with this thing called Fit Body Boot Camp.  My MommaRoot's back started giving her problems and so she didn't feel it was safe or good timing to go.  So, my PapaRoot asked me if I wanted her Groupon.  After teasing him a bit about why I would NEED that I gladly accepted.  Not knowing anything about what I was getting into, except that it has "boot camp" in the name.  We had to go to an orientation to start out safely and understand what to expect and such.  In the email it said something about taking "before" pictures and to bring a swimsuit.  Enter: anxiety.  Really?  Swimsuit with my PapaRoot?  Much love to my family, but ya know... some things are just a bit uncomfortable.  :-/  I threw it in my purse and figured I'd opt out if it was public and opt in if it were private.  On the way there, with all his brilliance, PapaRoot points out that allowing someone else your pictures before you know if you believe in what they do is kinda'

Now I can't stop talking about how awesome this is!  Irony...  I'd give them my picture in half a second if it let them help another person feel as good as it is helping me to feel. I don't think I've lost any weight.  I haven't followed the nutrition plan very well at all, because I have super sugar issues.  But I have added lots of protein to my days and increased my fish oil intake 3-fold.  Again, my pants are just as tight as they were in December.  But, I FEEL GREAT!  Today, I even did a push up.  A full push up.  This has been a goal of mine for a couple of years and here it is.  Last week we did the same exercises we did today and I was moaning and groaning and throwing a darn fit during the last push up hold.  Guess that weak, lazy, Shannon was dying.  Cause today, I brought the heat.  THEN, felt so inspired to try to do a full push up hours after boot camp.  AND I DID IT!!!!!

Please, clap louder!  I'll take it!  I feel like a rockstar.  From ONE push up.  Corny website, but amazing workouts!  I also lucked out with a great trainer.  No intimidating body builder ego dude here.  Just a dude who knows his stuff and knows how to motivate people (like Korn from the 90's) :-)

Right smack in the middle of my 5 week trial, one of my wisdom teeth got infected.  I've been avoiding getting these bad boys out for a couple of years.  Initially because I was terrified of anesthesia, then because I was scared of dry socket and I smoked and I knew I wouldn't go several days without smoking.  Then, I went back again in November (after having emergency surgery last summer I knew the anesthesia was okay and I quit smoking a year and a half ago) to do another consult and make a plan.  Eh, our copay was just under $300 and part of the root of one of my bottoms was in the nerve and I was nervous of nerve damage.  So, I avoided it again.

Apparently my mouth gave me the finger, because that infection hurt more than anything I've ever experienced before (in fact, I'm planning/hoping/thinking of a post JUST about that pain and why women NEED to childbirth naturally).  I called the oral surgeon with a quickness, begged for antibiotics (okay they gave them to me right away with no problem) and made an appointment to deal with my fear.  We didn't have the money, but I knew and had the utmost faith in Universe and I made the date for just a few days away.  I borrowed some money from my sister for the first time ever.  Please allow me to express to you the humiliation involved in that!?!?  And between what she loaned us and the available credit on two cards we managed.  I called the day before surgery and paid over the phone because the idea of paying with three separate credit cards in front of others was just too much for me.

Speaking of which, did you watch Sex and The City?  The show...  There's an episode where Carrie is talking about being broke and having stress with money, but you know she has this shoe fetish.  So, she used multiple cards to pay for some new Manolos.  I just kept telling myself, I'm going into debt for my health, NOT SHOES!  Thank you, SATC, for helping me get through that!

Anyway, I got the darn teeth out, was higher than I've been since I was in my early twenties, and I.GOT.DRY.SOCKET in two holes!!!  WTF!?  What are the darn chances?  Ugh.  It was a couple weeks of hell.  Pain, hopelessness, no energy, crappy soft food, not doing things with my kids, poor sleep, etc.  Just rough.  So glad that's done!

My birthday came and went (mid-wisdom-tooth issues).  I was supposed to fly a plane on my birthday, but couldn't because my teeth were ill and I was on narcotics.

Zane and I painted the majority of his room blue.  I fought my OC stuff while that happened and talked myself down from the ledge each time I wanted to show him how to do it "right" and instead allowed him to have fun painting his own room.  Well, the first day anyway.  The second day he was swinging the roller around, not watching where he was walking, and generally bored.  That day wasn't as fun. :-(  Next up, planets and light sabers.  I'm really stoked about doing his room.  I did Stori's quite a while ago, but have been trying to find the right thing for Zane's and he came up with this idea that I have the ability to pull off.  Whew!

Lastly, Jon and I have been having fun with Sexperiment 2011!!  Oh my.  Today is day 5 and there's been one day where it was a push to make it happen.  And it wasn't something I was excited to do.  But, you know... when the show begins the fun begins as well.  It's been a fun experience for us.  To make ourselves carve out time every day.  This is a trial for any marriage.  But, Jon and I live on opposite time schedules and we've managed.  Even if it did mean some nail polish on our toddler and our bathroom floor...

  We got the job done!  

Such goodness and there's still time this month for you to join in!  You really should!

That's a small portion of the BIG things that've happened in the last month and a half.  Of course there's plenty more, but I've got to get off the computer and on with life, as Jon'll be home from work in under an hour and, well, day 5 isn't done yet! ;-)

I'll leave you with my "gettin' ready" music for tonight.  Maybe it'll inspire you to go "gettin' busy"

These boys got me going when I was just starting to "get going"
Every time Jon sings this song, blood flows to important places
For slow, smooth Sunday Mornings
Discover each other.
You ever seen a 9 month pregnant woman and her husband "get down" to this song during a wedding reception? Bummer, shoulda' been there!
Yes, please
We fit well
Still get giddy