Day to day

Recovery, the road is long…


The thing about the eating disordered is we are crafty, tricky and resourceful. We can be charming and say the right things- gaining just the right amount of weight for us to be believed and released. Time and again. Catch and release. Catch and release.

My high over my measurements faded fast as I was in a therapy group with the only other ED patient, an eating disorder rock star- an anorexic. She could fly away I thought. EZT wasn’t helping her, her hair shorn short, she  folded in every chair and I stared with envy. She was pure, strong. I was not. I was weak. I was a slave to bulimia. She transcended while I was pulled under. I sat engrossed as she hid her hands in long sweatshirt sleeves and cried numb tears in group. I’ve often wondered whether she recovered or like so many of us, she floated away. She was there before me and I left her there, when I charmed my way out.

My boyfriend came to fetch me and we jokingly acted like we had busted me out, an escape and when we burst into my apartment my roommates laughed and laughed. I was welcomed back to school with open arms. No better, but everyone was placated.

It was another year and a half before I really got help. My mother had found a doctor  near where she lived and he was making great strides in curing eating disorders. There was another emergency room trip, another ‘heart incident’ and then finally my boyfriend packed me up again and we drove from Pasadena to Colorado where I was delivered into the arms of Dr. W who after a complete physical and interview declared that in 2 years I would either be recovered or I would be dead. Those were the only options and it was entirely up to me.

I am not sure where after over 10 years of constantly trying to destroy myself this sense of self preservation roared awake but it did. So we began the long and terrifying journey back to health. I resisted drugs for a long time, Dr W. was not the first to suggest them- but I had always resisted.  I didn’t want my personality to change (lovely though it was, I am sure) he patiently explained exactly what they did and why and with that I acquiesced and agreed to it. Prozac in extremely high doses can cause not just appetite loss but the utter destruction of the interest in eating at all and so it was prescribed to me, and many other bulimics to curb the binge urge. I will state right here that I would never have been able to conquer this without the assistance of drug therapy. Once we had that under control the next thing was to teach my body to process foods again. This was a slow start. I drank ensure. The moment a drop of it hit my stomach lining I felt myself grow larger, fatter, worse. Sometimes it would come right back up, my body unable to keep anything down now. But eventually I learned to count and breathe until the panic subsided and the nutrients were absorbed. I was not allowed a scale, I was not allowed form fitting clothes but I knew I was gaining. At the same time once my brain had some nourishment I felt…better? Stronger? Hopeful?

Every day was a struggle. Those first few months and everything was a victory. My body had not processed food from the begginning to the end in years. It had to relearn what we are born knowing. Food digestion, absorption and elimination were all victories.

And yet it was bittersweet. My eating disorder had been my constant companion for years, a sort of invisible parrot sitting on my shoulder guiding me through everything. How could I live without it? I missed it. Terribly.

Eventually I ate actual food. Eventually I stopped panicking the moment it slid down my now not bloody throat. Eventually I stopped even thinking about it. Eventually after a long time I was declared ‘cured’.

I relapsed. Of course, we almost always do. Instead of shaming me my doctor said the most empowering thing and now I share it with you. He said before you couldn’t go 30 minutes without it. Now you’ve gone two months, three months, a year. You know you can do it. So you did it once, that doesn’t mean you do it again. Next time it will be two years before you maybe relapse. Maybe three, four or never. Think of your victories, you’ve won the war…this was a tiny skirmish. 

He was right. I’ve been cured for many years now and I haven’t relapsed. I can look at myself in the mirror and know I don’t see myself accurately. I can accept that and move on. I have had two healthy pregnancies with severe morning sickness and and am in the middle of my third vomiting almost non-stop for the first four months…and yet I don’t relapse. I am able to accept my body growing and changing and yes, getting bigger and yet not go back.

I will never go back.

I may still have some disordered thinking, don’t we all, but I am stronger than those thoughts.

If you or someone you love is struggling please contact NEDA  to find a good doctor or therapy program. This is the toughest war you’ll ever fight, but I promise you it’s worth it.


Read the rest in this series; part one  part two and part three.

tossing out the kids lunch was a “mistake”

Tiny me. I cut my own hair. Hide your suprise.

Tiny me. I cut my own hair. Hide your suprise.

I can’t stop thinking about these kids in Utah- I’m sure you’ve heard about it- the ones who were either out of money on their lunch cards or had a debt and although they had a tray of food in their hands it was taken away and they were told, basically, “no lunch for you”. They were given milk and fruit, the calories of which I am sure were burned quickly away by the humilation and shame of the experience leaving none left for science or math.

I feel their humilation. Although this exact thing never happened to me, growing up I remember all to well waiting at the check out of the grocery store as they scanned my mother’s check. Would it go through or would we have to leave the food there and go home empty handed? My mother worked hard, she was tough and resourceful, she made it look like we had way more than we did and she made sure I never missed an opportunity I wanted. Not that I appreciated it then, I was so messed up I have a lot of guilt over the sacrifices she made and how I wasted those opportunities. But even working hard we were frequently paycheck to paycheck. Or worse. As soon as my mother took out her check book I could feel my face growing red, feel the anxiety ball churning in my stomach, lowering my head but keeping my eyes on that tell tale screen. Approved? Denied? I’m sure it took less than 30 seconds for all the information to be transferred back and forth but it felt like ages. Approved meant a deep breath and a feeling of repreive. Declined meant I wanted to die. Usually meant I’d throw up from nerves right when I got home.  All these years later I can see it as if I am right there, right now.

And my mother was not lazy or a freeloader. She worked so hard, like so many Americans barely making it.

There were times when kids from my school were at the store too, and that made it so much worse. I knew they knew, even if they didn’t…I felt like they did. And they judged me for it.

How must these children have felt to have food literally taken away from them in front of their friends? Try as you might in school there is a gap between the haves and have nots. How will this affect their self esteem? Their school work? Their friendships. If money is owed take it up with the parents. If it’s a constant problem, set up something, even telling the child no more food, but PRIVATELY.

When did adults begin acting so horribly towards children? I supposed they always have. Now the principal of the school says it was a “mistake”, a mistake. Yes, it is always a mistake to humilate children isn’t it? I’m certain there is a better way to handle this. School, especially elementary school is supposed to be a safe place, for some kids it’s the only safe place.

It’s such a simple thing and yet so devastating. And it didn’t have to happen if only the adults had thought. Kids aren’t freeloaders. They’re just kids.  I guess that’s why I am so upset about it. What do you think?



I entered what I thought was my password and said a quick prayer…

I entered what I thought was my password and said a quick prayer and it worked. I’m in. Oh wordpress dashboard you look exactly the same. I thought that in three months perhaps you might look different but you don’t. Same old same old.

I swear as I opened the laptop the hinges squealed like an old attic door and the apple logo brightly shone illumintating all the dust in the  newly disturbed air.

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, or even that I had nothing to say, I did and I do. Sometimes the minutae of life can seem so big, so overwhelming that I am easily paralyzed by it. There were holidays and family visits and good news and bad. All of it just swamped me and suddenly it’s been ages and how do you jump back into blogging?

I suppose you just do it.

I’m pregnant. Again. At a ‘certain age’ and oh! I am exhausted! Thankfully I am in the second trimester now and although I am still nauseous, my HG has lessened and I know longer am in danger of throwing up so much I land back in the hospital. I had morning sickness with Max and Huck but lucky me I was diagnosed with Hyperemis Gravidum. Vast amounts of Zofran and a combo of Unisom/B6 has kept me moving. Barely. I was introduced to an HG forum on line and I was so very thankful that despite my feeling as if I might die (and honestly we went to the emergency room once because I truly thought I was) my case of HG was mild compared to some. Now I wake up with energy and a million plans but by 11 am the fetus has sucked out all my energy and I stare at my bed longing to cocoon myself in and snuggle up with Detectives Benson and Stabler who always seem to be solving one crime or another. They’re like Lester Holt. Never a day off.

I had grand plans of an adorable photo with my two sweet boys announcing a baby on the way but this is what we got Christmas morning.


Fitting isn’t it? It should be known that Huckleberry isn’t a nose picker usually. Honestly! I think I’ve seen him do this a total of two times. And one of them is immortalized forever (in our family anyway)

So I guess this is me jumping in. Back into blogging.


That time I had to re-set my WP password. Alternate title: hello, it’s been a while.

 “I dont want to say I’m pissed that you haven’t written – but I’m kinda pissed you haven’t written.” My friend KG.


It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about. There was the time Max went to a birthday party at a stable and his horse got spooked. Nothing like the terrified screams of 20 parents as a horse gallops away with your five year old hanging upside down by one stirrup. Lesson I learned: a spooked horse may only gallop with your five year old hanging upside down by one stirrup for approximately 25 feet but it feels like 25 miles.


Max was terrified, but shook it off and got right back on that horse. Literally. Lucky for me I was able to drown myself in birthday cupcakes.

(Tell me that is not one BEAUTIFUL birthday girl.)


Mini Nate Archibald and Chuck Bass. But with much better morals. And much less money.


Max’s BF Jake. Heartbreaker.

We spent the warm fall at farms with good friends and bonfires and firewords. Not too shabby.


(Max’s best bud Isaac. Every time I can get this kid in front of the camera, I do. )

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

Max has been spouting off some seriously epic ‘Stoner or Preschooler’ sayings and I kept thinking “I should blog that” and yet, I didn’t.  Suddenly it was halloween and we went  trick or treating with Boss’s besties. Which means Zach and I got to hang with ours. It’s wonderful when awesome kids have awesome parents and then everyone gets to have a rocking good time. We had hot chocolate to keep us warm and (ahem toasty? toasted?) for trick or treating and it was just a dang good time.

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

I could and probably should have written about how Max was bullied at school…by a TEACHER and how beautifully his school handled it. Also how he (and several other kids) were bullied by a kid at school, including a lovely bite mark. That kid doesn’t need braces by the way.  Again, the school handled it really well. I think sometimes things are just to real for me to process. Also as Max gets older I wonder, as many of us do what to share and what not to share. All I know is my kids kick ass, full stop.

So, I’m thinking of giving this blogging thing a go again. You know….like I do every so often. Thanksgiving will be here so soon and then we are off to Tennessee for a trip and then BAM! Christmas! I do love the Holidays!

tied up with strings…and whaaaa?


This post quite possibly will make no sense. But that’s life sometimes, right? But stick with me…cause there’s some funny.

 My mind is a jumble lately, I keep thinking of things to write and then I sit down and just…eh. I took Huck to the mall yesterday to enjoy our newfound four hours of freedom while Max is at school and naively thought oh hey! maybe I’ll grab a new iPhone while I am there. Silly girl. After waiting in line for the golden ticket and not getting one, because obviously, we grabbed some Starbucks and did a little tour. I wandered into Urban Outfitters, and quickly snorted dericively “86 dollars to look HOMELESS?No thank you!” then I hitched up my depends and waddled out of there pushing my walker with the tennis balls on the front. Walked in to JCrew and just breathed in the happy. At least when you spend 80 bucks there on a sweater it looks like 80 bucks. Not that I do spend 80 bucks on a sweater, but I like to look.

It never fails that on the day I don’t wear make up and you know, nice clothes, that’s the day I run into someone. Sure enough as I went to return some clothes for Huck (I bought him 2T which was ridiculous because he is just now getting into 18 month. So just in case you’re all yay! two kids, the same sex and born in the same season! You might still end up with nothing for the littlest one to wear. Sigh. But, can I just say? Huck in skinny jeans? So damn cute.) I run into that friend, you know the one who ALWAYS looks put together. I actually saw her once just after she ran a race and she looked like she was in an ad for running a race. Also, who are all you runners? Where did you come from? I remember gym class. None of you loved running and we were young and energetic then! I’ll cheer for you, from Facebook while drinking Starbucks because I’m a giver like that. Anyway, there she was with her two adorable girls, her hair like a perfect wave of chestnut. My hair? Day two messy topknot. So shopping turned into a little impromptu play date. Huck just loves her girls and they are so sweet. Love it!

Zach’s birthday is coming up and so I went on the hunt for his gifts, I ordered something on line….but I have a bad feeling about it. Must remember to call the bank and make sure no one in Croatia is ordering electronics in my name.

After cruising into every store in the mall I’m extremely vexed that so far I cannot find the perfect pearl necklace to wear to a birthday party this weekend. I need it. The birthday girl is my biggest fashion fan and my biggest critic. She is also turning 5.  She is having a pony party and why yes, I do have an outfit in mind and yes it does need a pearl necklace! If she likes my outfit maybe she will let me play with the Rapunzel fashion styling head I got her. Sister Dub and I loved that dang Barbie one when we were little and this one is awesome. Hair for days, Rapunzel has.

Pinterest is my relaxing last thing before I go to bed activity. I like to look at all the pretty things and fill my imaginary closet. Am seriously considering changing the fabric on my headboard for the winter. Why yes, I DO change my room for winter vs. summer. This is why I love white bedding, I can change everything around it cheaply. Our room is in a constant state of re-do and this primarily has to do with the fact that we share a house with my in-laws and I believe I have painted everything they will possibly allow. Someday they will come home and the wall paper in the foyer will be gone. Mark. My. Words.

But I digress. Sometimes I dream of starting a new Pinterest account just to comment on pins with things like “Don’t wear that.” Or “please don’t put that on your baby.” Or “This should not be worn by anyone over the age of 5.”

“Preppy and Lady-like fashion”

You and I have vastly different definitions of ‘classy’ and ‘ladylike'” and then a link to the definitions.

who would have thought a beer case could be fashioned into such a good looking hat? so fun and such a GREAT #gift!!

Such a great GIFT! You guys, how can I register for one of these? Coors Beer box cowboy hat? WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!


But this will  accomplish nothing but be snotty. Even if sometimes I want to. I won’t. I’ll just blog it here. Such a saint.



Obviously this post will be a BlogHer Voice of the year.






Lately I have been thinking a lot about kindness. I’ve found myself telling my children to ‘be nice’ frequently in the last month or so. Being 5 has Boss all discombobulated, trapped between baby and big kid while Huckleberry is firmly planted in the mine phase. Big brother takes care of his toys, little brother likes to throw them. You can see where the conflict comes in.

Be nice! I tell Boss firmly and probably not sounding very nice myself. Huck! No hitting! Be nice! 

What I really mean is be kind. Nice somehow has a negative, inauthentic connotation. I want my boys to be kind. There is a difference. Nice is sometimes at our own expense, kind is…kind is different. More understanding. I’m trying to teach Huck not to hit or throw by redirecting his behaviour but he is hitting and throwing because he is frustrated, both by his inability to do everything his little heart desires and my inability to understand what he is saying. I need to be kind to him. (Not that I am mean, you understand.) Boss takes so much on the chin, stolen toys, broken toys, a baby brother who is into everything. All while dealing with his own things. His natural state IS kindness. And when he gets frustrated and upset I need to be kind to him. Take a moment before time outs, before punishments, before any of that…and see if I can find out WHY he is behaving as he is, to understand, to show empathy.

I want him to continue on that path of kindness, I want to encourage and nurture it. I see it in Huckleberry as well. You can’t give a treat to that kid without him wanting to take one to big brother and all his friends. Huck may be two with a vengeance but he is happiest when everyone is happy. Aren’t most kids born into a state of kindness? Until the world beats it out of them? So, my small resolution as it were is to stop telling them to be nice. Be kind, is what I will say, reminding myself as well as my little ones. Be kind.

So it was an interesting coincidence that my mother in law brought home a book and said emphatically “You have to read this!” Today I did, from start to finish and just, wow. How’s that for an endorsement? It’s just so interesting when you are ruminating on something and then things seem to appear everywhere on that same subject. The book was Wonder by R.J.Palacio and while it is a riveting tale about growing up, learning who you are and all the pitfalls of middle school; it is mainly about kindness and how kindness can be like an avalanche. The main protagonist of the story is August “I won’t describe to you what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” a young boy who has been homeschooled his whole life due to surgeries for his facial abnormalities. That’s putting it mildly, actually. It could be preachy and heavy-handed and yet, it’s not. It’s funny, smart, sweet, heartbreaking, wonderful and life affirming. And not one bit schlocky at all.

In the book the author quote the often quoted JM Barrie “Shall we make a new rule of life…always to try to be a little kinder than neccessary?” I think that might go right one one of those wonderful typography signs when I have my home.  Kinder than neccessary. I love that. And I will try to follow that new rule.

Except for snarky pop-culture blog posts. Obviously.

Let’s see if my husband reads my blog…

So. I can’t find my engagement ring. It’s somewhere safe, hanging out with my grandmother’s engagement right. I know this to be true because before we went to DisneyWorld I put them both somewhere safe. Somewhere so safe that I cannot, in fact, find them. Why can’t I remember where I put them? I’ve checked all the usual places, all my safe spots, to no avail. I think that I put them in a place and then changed my mind and put them somewhere else. But where?

All the words to the Humpty Dance, my brain has em. Where I put not just one but two of my treasured possesions? Nada.

Why do brains work like this? And will one of those Train Your Brain dvds help? Shall I see a hypnotist? Definitely prayers to St. Anthony who came through the last time I put my engagement ring somewhere. I know…I KNOW. Have you ever left your ring somewhere silly? And sweet jebus I promise I will never take it off again when I find it. I miss it. It’s pretty. I can remember the first time I saw my ring in a magazine and I said “real people don’t get rings like that.” But I did. And now I can’t find it. In the immortal words of Liz Lemon BLURG!

In other news I cut my own bangs yesterday and it’s great. Less Zooey more crazy first grader wields dull scissors. I exagerrate, but I am just batting a thousand over here. As my husband says, “Oh, Stearns. When will you learn?”

I guess the answer is, not yet.

Prayers for my ring, okay?

I don’t have my face on yet…

You know how when you are out of diapers, or tampons or chocolate and you have to run out to Target for said items and you are basically still in your pjs and your hair is up in a messy bun  (not one of those sexy Pinterest-y ones but more like  I woke up and my hair looks like a banshee so I wrangled this tangled mess with one single elastic buns) and then you run in to friends while you’re grabbing Starbucks and you want to chat with them even though you know you are a hot mess?
This blog post is just like that.

See those lovely social media icons? Two of them work. Three of them lead to twitter. I have zero idea what I am doing.I can’t figure out how to set an RSS feed up now that fedburner has betrayed us all.  About page? Not done. Links to old blog? Nada. This is why you pay someone to set it all up. Lesson learned. But you guys? You guys? I was blogless for almost three months. At first I kind of enjoyed it. But so much has happened…we went to Disney, then White House Easter Egg Roll, then LA and then Reese got arrested (you know how I love her) and Gwynnie was named most beautiful woman (you know how I love to hate her). And then Listen To Your Mother happened and, truly, even I can only tweet so much. So yeah, I’ve missed you. Let’s catch up.

And please, please overlook that I look a mess.