Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Feel Totally and Completely Out of Control

The food demon has risen up to consume me ... err ... rather entice and tempt me to consume mass quantities of food. The night before Thanksgiving was the initiating battle that I lost pathetically. Thanksgiving was a rehearsed battle and I allowed myself to be conquered by the FOOD anyway. Who does that? Plan to overeat but within your points and then over overeat ... as if those point limits never existed.

Yesterday, I thought I could get back on track but low and behold sat the bag of Halloween candy, the pans and dishes of leftovers and with all that laid out before me I thought I was certain to lose the whole flippin' war but today I beat down the head hunger monster mostly (and I say mostly because I still ate compulsively - just not over my points) and tomorrow hopefully this particular battle will be over. I know there will be more, even when this one is over. And right now I feel like this week is another total bust. I just can't seem to keep my nose above the crashing waves of foooooood. I am feeling completely, totally and utterly out of control. I need help before I drown completely.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving, Just Like Old Times

My whole life I have heard stories of old from Holiday past before I was born and also been witness to the 'way of the Greeks' and the lively, rambunctious holidays of my childhood. My family is Greek. The majority of us are loud, opinionated, steadfast people who laugh loudly and argue passionately and love even more passionately.

When I was little I remember Holiday celebrations with my great grandparents whose couches and chairs were burnt orange and gold with ornately carved and sometimes even gilded embellishments. Throw pillows of the same colors were edged in
fringe and brown lace. There were portraits of semi-nude angels and goddesses swathed in beautiful flowing material. There was a wooden cuckoo clock that hung in the entry way and a little blue bird would pop out on the hour and sing a song. There were ruby red colored and clear hurricane lamps decorated with white curly cues with dangling crystals, gaudy musical cigarette holders the size of large urns with marble doors set inside gold plates that opened and shut as the music went on like obscure carousels.

The yards and yards of red, green and gold garland, the tinsel that was a staple on my great gramma's large faux Christmas tree. The Coca Cola plates and cookie tins with classical Santas and Reindeer and Christmas characters painted on their fronts. The foot tall Santa clause that I insisted on playing with even though he was porcelain  and must have been very expensive. The Christmas nesting dolls, the musical ice skating rinks where the ice skaters go in infinite magical circles as well as the village of Christmas houses with accompanying post office, dairy, bakery etc with little people and benches and lamp posts and Christmas trees that provide hours of play for an active imagination.The stockings that belonged to my great grandparents hanging on the gaudily decorated fireplace mantel. I remember the food laid out on the tables; black olives, bread and butter pickles, relish, cranberries, sliced beets, blocks of melting butter and the smells of all things cooking mixing with those of rich perfumes and colognes worn by the visitors as well as the faint aroma of pipe tobacco and cigars. The din of constant music and voices was only drowned out by the thunderous laughter that boomed frequently.

I remember moving among the adults as a small child, weaving through the throngs at hip level and
marveling at the beautiful chaos. Adults who I barely knew but were related to me somehow pinching my cheeks and remarking on how much I had grown. Feeling pretty in my new Christmas dress, tights and shoes that was bought for me annually. The smells, the sounds, the memory of what I saw as a child has always brought a heart clenching nostalgia to my adult self.

You see, after my great grandparents died the Greek portion of the family slowly melted into the world. They grew too old or too distant or too estranged to celebrate the holidays with everyone anymore and then my great grandparents siblings died and their children grew further and further apart from my grandpa and gramma (their cousins), until eventually the Holidays became more quiet, reserved, more bland without much to remember in the way of smells and sights and sounds.

But THIS YEAR, THIS YEAR WAS GREAT. I felt like a little girl again, especially experiencing it through the eyes of my little girls. This year some of the 'old family' visited us for Thanksgiving. THIS YEAR there was music, and laughter and booming conversation. The smells and the sounds and the sights felt RIGHT this year. It was
beautiful. The house was decorated. The tables were laid out just like when I was a kid with olives and cranberries and butter. The foods and the perfumes mixed just right and the kids ran around like crazy at hip level to all the adults wearing their holiday attire and laughing and screeching with obvious glee. And when I looked around, everyone was smiling, everyone was happy ... For that, I am truly thankful.

On that note, I follow the most beautiful blog over at "A Place Called Simplicity" where Lin has invited everyone who reads there to her 'virtual thanksgiving' and so I would also like to invite her and her blog readers to ours.

Breezy mooching some 'nibbles of turkey' off Great Papa 

And of course, if Breezy gets some, Sassy has to have some too

Cousin love
Breezy says one day she will marry him
(It's ok, they aren't related)

Awesome panoramic of almost everyone ...

Sassy says nom nom nom
Breezy just wants dessert

3/4ths of the whole (albeit blurry) family
I love them so
And I am thankful for them EVERY DAY


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nightmares, Love Dreams, and a Ticket

Last night Sassy woke up around midnight and curled up with me. I asked her what was wrong and she told me she had a bad dream. I asked her what about and she told me that they took me away. I asked who and to where and she just started crying that they took me away. She fell back to sleep with my rubbing her head. I can only chalk that dream up to having talked to her daddy again. Anytime she even thinks about him, the trauma of what he did comes back to her and that's all she talks about.

On the way to school today I asked her how she felt about talking to her daddy and she shrugged her shoulders. "No way really," she said. I asked her if it made her happy and she nodded. I asked if it made her sad. She shook her head. I asked her if it was weird after not talking to him for so long and she just stared at me from the backseat in the rear view mirror.

Meanwhile I had an amazing dream about a guy I went to high school with who I chat with on
social networks every once in a while. In real life I would never attempt a relationship with him because of his religious and political stances but he is a really great guy and he was even better in my dream. Now if only I could find an amazing man sent to me from God who meets all my standards and can love my children as if they were his own... is that really too much to ask? If it is, God knows and won't send him but I can pray that someday it will happen. Haha

Also this morning I had random break through bleeding. I am on the depo shot specifically to keep my periods away. I have enough to think about let alone worrying about my stupid cycle. So I was quite annoyed this morning when I had cramps and a full on period. UGH!

Today was Sassy's Thanksgiving Feast at school and I am room mom so I had to put it all together.
It was a success and I am proud to say that despite my social anxiety and my borderline OCD I was able to put together quite a Feast (with the help of other parents of course)

On the way home from the feast I was talking to my mom on my cell while I was driving - it's illegal to drive while talking on your cell phone here in Washington. But we were talking about some serious stuff and I didn't notice the cop who motioned for me to put the phone down. Next thing I know he's pulling me over and I got a flippin ticket. My fault. I admit it. But it still sucks. Why isn't it illegal to eat, or drive with your knees and put both hands on your head? I get no texting. It takes your eyes and complete attention off the road. If talking on a cell phone is illegal though, so should be eating or using your hands for anything else while driving. Just my opinion.

Tomorrow I am making berry cobbler and two pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. It is my first time making the pies so I am a bit nervous about how they will turn out. I still need to pick a recipe and stick to it. There are so very many. The cobbler I have made dozens of times so I am not worried about that.

 I am so excited about this holiday season. I just love everything about it. The smells, the cooking and baking, the decorations and the excitement of the kids. It is just a very very magical time of year.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Break My Heart for What Breaks Yours

After the post I wrote earlier today it seems ironic that at 6:40 pm tonight I got a text from my ex husband that said:

Hi. I would like to say hello to my daughters please and tell them how much I love them. Do you have a phone number where I can call them?

The successions of emotions I felt were seamless. Upon seeing his name appear in the announcement banner at the top of my phone my heart squeezed and then immediately horrible things he might say raced through my mind. As I clicked the banner and my iPhone flipped to the e-mail I held my breath and then sighed as I read it, only to feel my eyebrows knit together and tears burn my eyes.

I am not some horrible woman who would spitefully keep my children away from their dad. I am not the kind of woman who would intentionally hurt him by making it impossible for him to see them. I am just not that person . . . even though he believes I am. He believes that I am a heartless, soulless woman with a vendetta against him because he didn't make enough money in our marriage. These are his words and it breaks my heart. It further breaks my heart that all this time he could have easily looked up my mom's phone number (although I am suspicious as to why he doesn't have it in the first place considering he has given to me and taken away my cell phone on so many occasions) Regardless, it hurt my heart to think he would think that I might not let him talk to them.

Of course, being that they haven't heard hide nor hair of him in almost 4 months I asked them first. "Would you like to talk to your daddy on the phone?"

Sassy's eyes immediately widened and she shook her head almost imperceptibly and whispered, "Why?"

I know that the events of the last time the four of us were together are forefront in her mind, even though we don't discuss it unless she brings it up. She was severely traumatized that night that her daddy would call the police on her mommy and the fear in her eyes was intensely evident. This hurt me. No child should fear seeing their daddy, let alone just talking on the phone.

On the other hand Breezy was eager to talk to him. She links her daddy with getting presents and so she is always more than willing to talk to him with the expectation that she will get something. As soon as she expressed her want to talk to him, Sassy lowered her lashes and nodded her head. "I guess I can," she whispered to her lap.

I called him for them and they spoke to him on speaker in case the conversation developed inappropriate themes so that I could intervene. But the conversation went well, barring the sadness that Sassy recognized very well in his voice. After speaking about school, and learning to read, and what they wanted for Christmas and laughing about how he couldn't understand them and they couldn't understand him they said they loved each other and hung up. Sassy turned to me and said, "Why did daddy sound like that?"

I asked her, "like what?"

"He sounded sick . . ." she paused and her intuition was apparent. "Or like he was crying. Was he crying?"

I said I didn't know because though my heart tells me that the hitch and thickness in his voice was tears, I do not know for certain.

I am deeply saddened for the man I once loved.

Sometimes I wish I could reach out across the expanse of separate states and touch his shoulder and tell him how sorry I am that we turned out the way we did. That I forgive him everything and hope he forgives me. I sometimes wish I could just hug him, hug the man he was when I loved him so much that it hurt.

But I can't.

I can't reach out across the states. My apology would (and always has) fallen on deaf ears. I can't hug him. It would either be rejected or misinterpreted as a need of mine to become more ... again.

Because we will never be anything together ever again other than parents to Sassy and Breezy.

I do not love him anymore except as a brother in Christ.

So, there is nothing more that I can do than pray for him.

And remember what God has said to and for all of us:

Stagnant, Fear, Negligence and Thanksgiving

Considering my blog is currently set to private, I hem and haw about whether to post. I think to myself that I need to get things off my chest and write them down and then the vain side of me argues that there is no point in blogging it unless someone sees it and since my blog is private, no one except who I have invited will.

Since our return from California my weight has been up and down but every time I gain I lose it with a promise to continue to move forward and lose only to have a mishap and gain the next week. This holiday triangle (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas) is a dieter's hell. At least it is for me. I did really well this last week until yesterday when we celebrated a family member's birthday where they served Caesar salad, pizza and cake with ice cream. Should I have not eaten it? Yes. Could I have refused? Yes. Did I? No, no I didn't. I ate a slice and a half of pizza, a good portion of salad, a slice of cake with a scoop and a half of ice cream plus generous amounts of chips and salsa. Chips are seriously my kryptonite. If you want me to fail on a diet or eating healthy or whatever you want to call trying to lose weight then put a bowl of yellow corn chips in front of me and dare me not to eat any. I will FAIL every. single. time. I am not sure that even a bribe of money could stop me. It is really THAT bad.

Thus, I am sticking around 315-317lbs. I walked today and did a little bit of Zumba. I am not sure exactly how long I did because I had intended to do a 20 minute DVD but mixed them up and put in a 45 minute one. When I was panting and red and sweating like crazy with my knees feeling like they might buckle I realized I had been going for much longer than 20 minutes and stopped the tape (wow, show my age much?) DVD. I didn't want to have my knee blow out which I felt was close to happening and truly wondering why.

Well duh, Kristen... you haven't done Zumba in several months and the first time is not the time to pull out all the tricky stops no matter how well you feel you're doing physically.

So, I turned it off and did the dishes and walked around the house and then decided to sit down.

Yesterday at church we found out the our pastor took an emergency trip to Haiti where a good friend of his and a large group missionary leader had been attacked, kidnapped and murdered. The man's wife was attacked as well and left in the hospital. Their children who are attending college here in the United States are not allowed to travel to be with their mother because of the risk to their family. It hurt my spirit and the very core of my being to hear this.

Subsequently I had heinous nightmares last night about people being shot on my front lawn and as I walked down the street. I could only curl myself around my children and pray to get inside, where once we did I kept crying thinking how had our world come to this and how could I tell my children we could never go outside again. My fear is massive. But my God is infinitely more great so I am trying my very best to trust in Him, that everything will be okay and that he will protect not only my girls and my family and me but our country that is in desperate need of His protective, healing and comforting hand right now... regardless of how hard so many people are pushing it away.

Thanksgiving is coming. I am excited and simultaneously terrified because of the food. I myself will be making the mashed potatoes, so I know exactly what will go into them as well as the Pumpkin pies and the berry cobbler. On the other hand I have no idea what will go into the candied yams or the string bean casserole which are my absolute favorites. Yes, of course I can go off a standard recipe but my gramma is cooking and she always just eyeballs everything. I told myself I am going to eat super light these next three days and the following 3 days so that I can enjoy Thanksgiving day without too many repercussions. So far so well and I will just pray for the best possible outcome.

I am excited about Christmas as well. My mom has decided to do an Advent calendar for the girls instead of opening a bunch of present on Christmas. One of their large presents that they will open is a beautiful Barbie beach house. I will be giving them my collection of gorgeous collectors Barbies I have saved over the years. They will also get Barbie cases, Barbie clothes and one of the advent gifts will be Barbie Ferrari's. Other Advent gifts will be a spa day, a movie day to see Frozen, a camp out in Nana's front room in a tent, iTunes gift cards for fun games on their iPads as well as a bunch of other fun things. I am very excited for them.

My beautiful girls scrapbooking with Mama 
A new found favorite past time we share

The reason I say this is because every other year the ex supplied the majority of the gifts (actually the money for the purchase of said gifts) even though he was never present. But because of his complete physical and financial absence this year we have had to improvise. I am just so grateful for my beautiful family who is willing to pick up the slack where I cannot, especially my mom and grandparents. I am so blessed to have them.

On the topic of my ex husband, he threatened a few weeks ago to go to a lawyer and fight me tooth and nail for custody of the girls. So far, (as far as I know) he has done nothing which I find ironic considering the vehemence with which he stated he would. Maybe it is because the holidays are here, and I am guessing he will go to Mexico for Christmas. If he does that it really doesn't sit well with the lawyers or the courts that he will disappear for 2-4 weeks in the middle of a custody battle where he is trying to prove he is NOT NEGLIGENT.

And unfortunately I chose a fool. I was recently reading through my old diaries, my old blog posts and a book of e-mails my gramma made for me while I lived in Mexico. I know there must have been good times. I know there was something I saw in him once upon a time. I know it because I still feel the twinge of nostalgia when I think of certain memories. But remembering the fights, the threats and reading the anger and the sadness in my words I wonder why I was so blind then. How did I not see that he was NOT the one for me. I so badly wanted him to be that I made him into something in my mind that he was not and when he didn't live up to my standard of what I WANTED him to be I got so sad and I wrote all about it. 

In 2008 when we were still married and Breezy hadn't been born yet. Sassy was 6 months old it was around Christmas/New Years time and I wrote this post titled 

This year I expected Christmas to be special. Heck, I don't know why. Except maybe because it was Buzzy's first! (in those times I called her Buzzy not Sassy) Oh and because it was Myturo's and my first as parents. (in those times I called the ex Myturo) Oh and maybe because it was snowing beautifully two weeks out with no sign of stopping. (hence the song?) BUT . . . my dreams were dashed and I am only thankful that Buzzy is too young still to know the difference.
Like I said, it had been snowing pretty well about two weeks before Christmas but the week before it really started coming down and Buzzy and I got stuck at my mom's house about 13 miles away from home. I was unable to drive. In fact it seemed my husband was the ONLY brave soul willing to go out in the knee deep snow to drive. 
But come Christmas Eve, when I asked him if he would be coming to see us, the answer I got was this:
"Why? What is over there for me?"
Oh well, since you put it that way! Stay home! Go back to Mexico! Hell, fall off the edge of the earth for all I care!
So Buzzy and I spent her first Christmas with Gramma, Great Gramma and Grandpa, Great aunt J and Great uncle E, Auntie C and Cousin L. It was nice. Fun! Beautiful! But it wasn't what I had hoped for.
Now it is New Years Eve. We are on the brink of commencing a new beginning. My husband had the night off. But a co-worker called and asked him to work and he jumped at the chance so fast it truly has me wondering if my child and I have a disease we don't know about. In any case, he won't be celebrating with us. Oh well. We'll get used to it.
I wonder what 2009 will bring us. More pain and suffering or as a white Christmas predicts in the old folktales, a prosperous (better) New Year.
I read this and my heart hurts for the woman who so badly wanted her marriage to work. I hurt for the delusion I was under that he really cared at all about me or our child. I am sad that I didn't leave him then and that I still spent another year trying to make something that was irreversibly broken, whole again. I regret spending the next 2 years waiting to see if things would eventually work out before I divorced him and I cannot believe I still continued to pine for our relationship past the divorce up until July of this year. And even with the pain and the suffering and the anger and the misuse of trust and the lying and the emotional cheating and the physical and verbal abuse and the degradation . . . I still loved him. I not only let him hurt me twice, I let him hurt me again and again and again expecting that THIS time, it would be different. THIS time he would change. THIS time he would stop talking to the women he worked with. THIS time he would stop sending our money to Mexico when we were barely staying above water. THIS time he wouldn't hurt me physically or mentally. THIS TIME ALWAYS TURNED INTO NEXT TIME ... 

Obviously because of this mass outpouring of words, I am not over it. I am still hurt. I am still sad. I am still angry. But most of all I am hurt and sad and angry for my daughters. I thought their daddy would be different than mine, than my step-dad, and so many other daddies out there. I thought he would be a good dad. A good father. A good role model. I was wrong. So very wrong. 

Where I wanted him to teach them morals, instead he could only teach them lies and deceit. Where I wanted him to teach them unconditional love, instead he could only teach them love of a person for the material things that the person could give them. Where I wanted him to teach them respect for themselves as girls and eventual women, he would have only been able to teach them inferiority and subservience to men because he has no respect for women. And where I had thought he could teach them a devout and pure love for God as Christian little girls, I realized that he himself could not even claim to be devout in his love of God exampled in his actions and his words.

They deserve more.

These two sweet, wonderful, big hearted, loving little girls who are cherished and loved by my family more than they will ever be able to conceive DESERVE MORE.

And it is my job as their mom to make sure that I teach them everything I expected him to. Family values, morals, honesty, respect for others and for themselves, and individuality led by God. But mostly I want to teach them LOVE; for our wonderful and Almighty God, their family, their neighbor and their country. I want to teach them patriotism in the true sense of the word, not what it has become in today's society.

On that note, it is time to make dinner. I don't know when I will publicize this blog again for the public to view. Maybe soon. Until then, if you are reading thanks for thinking of us. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seeking Perfection in My Imperfection

I have spent most of my life searching for something to make me happy. I felt that there had to be something in this world that would make me feel whole, and good and right. I looked for that something in material possessions, money and even people ... especially people. I craved acceptance from complete strangers and changed who I was, and what I thought and what I said and even what I did to achieve that acceptance.

Recently I decided not to look any further in this world for something to make me happy. Not only have I realized that this is a futile and endless struggle because nothing in this life can make me happy and keep me happy ... Only I can provide my own contentment. Only I can choose to enjoy my life in the moment or choose to search in vain for something I will never find.

Now I choose to live in the present and in reality. I do not have a perfect body. I have too much weight, stretchmarks and scars, wrinkles and sagging skin. I do not have a lot of money. In fact I have very little and what I do have is never mine before it becomes someone else's. I am not the most beautiful woman and I do not have a husband who thinks that I am. In fact, I do not have a husband at all. I did once. But in my endless pursuit of obtaining happiness with something I did not already have, that chapter of my life ended. What I do have is a beautiful roof over my head. Heat that keeps me warm. Food that fills my belly. My health. I have two beautiful children who I love more than my own life. And now that I have realized what I do have and have stopped focusing on what I don't, I believe I am finally capable of finding and maintaining contentment.

Perfection is when one finally realizes and accepts their own imperfections ...
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