Friday, April 23, 2010


(Apologies for the vagueness, I am not comfortable sharing more details at this time. Good "change" juju is appreciated, however.)

I want this. I want to know *now* that this is real, and this is happening. I will embrace these changes as they come, and joyfully. I need these changes. I want these experiences.

I also want another "this." It is time for another such change in my life, which interestingly seem to come in 3 year increments in my adult life. I am ready for this, it's time for this change to occur. I want it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Son the Musical Genius

J played several rousing renditions of "The Wheels on the Bus." I think. It may have been "You Spin me Round." Kinda hard to tell. Cute as the dickens, though!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Free-ish Purses!

Target currently has a $5/1 Merona handbag coupon available. Pair this with the currently clearanced purses and you get one heck of a deal! I got $25 worth of purses for $2. Go me!!
I totally love them both! They scream Spring! Summer! to me. I do need to figure out what I'm going to do with all these silly wallets that keep coming with my purses...I already have 2. Ebay maybe?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Struggle to Love Myself

My struggle with my weight has been a big part of my life, as I imagine it is for most people. I have been "fortunate" I suppose, in that I have not gotten truly fat, but that doesn't make much difference in terms of self-esteem, unfortunately.

I was always a very skinny child, on the lower end of the growth chart. When I turned 12, I weighed 95 pounds. I was 5'2" or thereabouts, as I am that height now. I grew a (lovely) pair of 34D breasts that year, which came with the predicted taunts from my 12 year old male classmates. They actually started calling me "BI" for "Breast Implants" because out of the blue they noticed that I had breasts. At the time I was also measuring my bra size wrong, so I thought I was a 36B, but my actual measurements in that area didn't change until I was pregnant with J. Anyway, that summer, I got my first period. At the start of 8th grade, I still weighed 95 pounds. By the end of that school year, I was 13 and weighed 125 pounds. My eating habits hadn't changed other than the weight gain made me experiment with bulimia (not my thing, fortunately) and anorexia, though I was no good at being hungry all the time. Since I couldn't do anything about my weight gain, I turned my stress and self-loathing into cutting myself. Around this time, my stepfather started making remarks about my weight gain, saying things like he could picture me as a really fat teenager munching on candy. My boyfriend at the time dumped me *through a mutual friend* and had the friend tell me I'd shrunk and gained 30 pounds. Lovely. Middle school boys are pieces of shit.

I continued to struggle with my weight for the next few years. Marching band helped a bit, since I was super active, but that still didn't make me feel any better about the tummy I'd developed. One of my best friends joked that I must be pregnant because I was always covering my stomach with my arms. (Wow, my friends were really shitty. Huh.) Anyway. Then when I was 15, my step cousin molested me. Actually, if you define rape as "penetration of any sort" you could say he raped me. Repeatedly. He threatened to go after my little brothers if I didn't let him do these things to me. During the day he called me a fat pig and told me I was ugly, but at night he would sneak into my room and do what he did. Thank God he walked in front of a train and is burning in hell now. It took me about a year of biweekly therapy sessions to get past the shit he pulled. I still get upset about it. UGH.

I felt ok about my weight, but not confident enough to bare much skin in the summer by the time all that happened. I estimate that I still weighed around 120 pounds. I hated my body, in large part because of what the cousin did and said, and because I felt that it was my fault. However, my first serious boyfriend and I started dating a few months into my sophomore year of high school, and I discovered that making out made me feel good. Really good. Matt loved my body and my curves, and he loved to kiss me. That was all that mattered. I felt good with him, until I got hit hard in the depression department. I made the mistake of asking him to be my shrink, and I lost him. Less than 2 months later, I met C.

I slowly began to regain control of my life, and by the time I was a senior in high school I was staying up til 2 or 3am every week night doing homework, and getting up at 5 to take my sister to choir practice before school. I lived on gas station coffee. I lost so much weight that I actually got down to 102 pounds. I started to love my body again.

In college I gained the "Freshman 15" and started going to the gym. On my wedding day I weighed 120 pounds and loved my body. In graduate school, I gained another 5 pounds. I started going to therapy and was formally diagnosed with anxiety and depression when I turned 23. At about this time I actually got measured for a bra and found out that I'd been wearing the wrong size for 10 years, that I was actually a 34D, not a 36B. I suddenly was very proud of my boobies. I took MacGuyver running and on walks every day. I really felt like I was getting a grip on things and decided that I didn't want a PhD after all. Writing my master's thesis, I gained 10 more pounds. Then we moved back to Colorado and I got pregnant with J. You've already "heard" the rest of the story if you've been reading long.

There you go. I don't love my body now. I don't hate it as I used to, but I don't love it. I *do* love my breasts, but that's about it. I hate my stomach, and the fact that I've been asked if I'm pregnant about 4 times since J was born, just because I had a little bit of a tummy. I'm trying to love my body, but it's hard. I keep finding things to be critical of. I'm trying to turn my insecurity into motivation to exercise and tone up, but that's not working very well. It's hard. And unless you're insane or anorexic, telling yourself that "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" is just plain WRONG and it won't work.

I think that's enough rambling for tonight....

What am I so afraid of?

Jen's recent post at got me thinking. She has lost so much weight, and faced her fears and hangups about it. What is stopping me from losing a measly 15 pounds? I have already lost 10, then gained back 3 so now I have only lost 7. Seven pounds is better than nothing, but I can't seem to get the remaining 15 gone. WHY?!

1. I am afraid of Type II diabetes.  My paternal grandmother had this, developed after her 4 pregnancies. She had gestational diabetes with her 3rd and 4th pregnancies. I had it with my first. I have an increased chance- 20% to 50%- of developing Type II diabetes by the time I'm 35. God, just typing that scares the bejeebus out of me.
2. I am afraid of my high cholesterol. I got my cholesterol tested for free at work 2 years ago. It was pretty high. Not high enough to medicate, but high. My dad has high cholesterol. I am afraid that ignoring this problem is going to cause problems, but I am afraid that facing it is somehow admitting that I'm a failure. WHY?
3. I am afraid that nothing I do will prevent these familial diseases from "getting" me. 
4. I am afraid of ruining my knees by doing cardio. I already have chondromalacia. I am pretty much guaranteed to get arthritis in my knees at an early age, but if I don't run or jump rope, what else can I do at home? I can't ride a bike because it kills my hips.
5. I am afraid I am going to run out of excuses. Then what will I have?

6. I am afraid that I won't be able to enjoy sweet foods ever again. I find myself eating lots of horrid foods now, because I can. I am so afraid that they'll be taken away from me (see #1) that I keep trying to enjoy them while I can, but I'm not even enjoying them. I'm just stuffing my face with crap food, but it's become a compulsion.
7. I am afraid of gaining more weight. 142 was awful. Three years ago, I was ashamed to admit that I weighed 135 when I got pregnant, but now 135 is better than 142. How long will it take before 142 seems like no big deal?
8. I am afraid that if I don't lose this 15 pounds now I never will, and that if I don't lose it before I get pregnant again it makes me a failure. 

Just writing this has helped clarify some things. I need to stop eating just because I "can" and because I tell myself I "deserve" it. No matter how hard my day was, I don't "deserve" to hurt my body that way. I need to re-learn moderation. I need to stop failing myself. I need to admit that I am afraid and just grow a pair and take care of myself.

Coming up in a second post...the history of my struggle with loving my body.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We Have A Winner!

The winner of the Betty Crocker baking set and the Safeway gift card is comment number 21!

Life is Good. With Love it is even better. said...
My favorite thing about Spring - the blue clear skies!
Congratulations, V!! You have 72 hours to respond to my email before I will draw a new winner.

Thanks everyone who entered, and if you happen to know how to stick the image in my posts, please leave me a comment and let me know!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Betty Crocker Sweet Spring Treats Review and Giveaway!

I love to bake. This may not be something that comes up very frequently, but I do. I take pride in making J special cakes for his birthday every year (ok, so twice so far...) and I used to be the designated cake-maker for my lab in graduate school. When I was given a chance to participate in a review and giveaway for a Betty Crocker Sweet Spring Treats gift set, I thought Yay, I have an excuse to make a cake! Yeah, I'm a little bit of a nerd that way. Anyway, my beautiful gift set consisted of a $25 Safeway gift card, a coupon for a free Betty Crocker product, and these beauties (a silicon baking pan, a fantastic mixing bowl, a sweet red oven mitt, and a Betty Crocker mixing spoon, in case you can't see):
(We bought some Devil's food cake mix and some Rich and Creamy chocolate frosting. Mmmm.)

I can't actually remember the last time I bought cake mix, I nearly always make everything I bake from scratch. I had forgotten how easy Betty Crocker cake mixes are! I mean, you literally add 3 ingredients. That's it! There weren't even any adjustments necessary for high altitude, which is nice. I think we're at 5700 feet, so this is something that comes up from time to time.

Anyway, I was able to get a 9" round cake and a dozen cupcakes from one box of mix. I should mention that this red spoon is absolutely perfect for spooning cake batter into cupcake papers. My skills are a little sad, but the spoon is the perfect shape!

It baked up very nice and fluffy.  I hadn't tried the Devil's food flavor before but it is really yummy. C and I actually each had a cupcake as soon as they were cool enough to eat (along with a glass of milk = perfection).

I have to say that I really enjoyed the excuse to make a cake from a mix. It was easier than making it from scratch, and still pretty darn tasty. Also, while I didn't do this , you can check out and view a ton of really cute spring treat ideas from Betty Crocker. They also have coupons that you can load directly onto your Safeway card, so that's neat. Nothing beats a sweet slice of cake after a hard day of spring cleaning!

Now, on to the part you've all been waiting for! You, too, can be the owner of this fantastic baking set!

Is it wrong to love a bowl? Because I really love that shiny silver bowl.

One lucky reader will win a $25 Safeway gift card, a red oven mitt, Betty Crocker mixing spoon, a lovely mixing bowl, and a silicon baking dish!

How do you enter, you ask? Let me tell you!

One entry for responding here telling me your favorite part about Spring. You must include your email address!

Additional entries (please leave your email address in each additional entry so I can contact you if you win):
1. Follow my blog and leave a comment telling me that you've done so, or that you already follow my blog.
2. Blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment linking to your blog post.
3. Tweet about this giveaway, making sure to include @simplytena in your tweet. Please leave a comment telling me you've done so as well as mentioning your Twitter name so I can verify each entry.

Good luck!

This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only. The giveaway will close at 11:59 MST on Friday, April 16th.

I was provided with a VIP coupon, prize pack, and $25 Safeway gift card for myself and a prize pack with a $25 Safeway gift card to give away by Betty Crocker and Safeway through MyBlogSpark. All opinions expressed in this post are mine alone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Think This Will Keep Them From Stealing My Mug?

For the second time, someone took my frigging mug that I keep in the cabinet at work. Arg. Irritating. Anyway, I got it back and have now labeled it:

In case you can't read it, it says "Tena's Mug --->Not Yours, Asshole<----"

Maybe that will work. It totally skeeves me out that someone else is using my stuff. Eeech. The mug is now residing in my desk (where I'm not supposed to keep things like that) rather than on the shelf in the breakroom, where I would not have thought I'd have a problem, but apparently the people that work here lack manners.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dumbo: SO Not a Kid Movie

We got Dumbo from the library for J to enjoy. I loved that movie and wanted him to experience it. So tonight we were watching it, and the kid starts crying (ok, so was I) at the part where Dumbo gets to go see his mama. I hadn't realized he was so sensitive. When Dumbo had to leave his mama J goes "Phant? Mama?" all sad. Then he totally got freaked out by the pink elephants part. I gotta admit, that's pretty creepy even as an adult. Watching this movie from an adult perspective is vastly different from that of a 5 year old. It's a very well done film but there are so many injustices and so on in it that J was picking up on, and he's not really old enough for us to explain everything. I don't think he's ready for it yet.

As a slight aside, J has been working on honing his worried face. It's insanely cute, he wrinkles his little eyebrows together and gets really serious.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Should Love Our Lady Bits

Warning: this is a rant about women hating their god/nature given lady bits. It will be discussing the female anatomy. If you don't want to read about it, I suggest you stop reading now.

C recently made me aware of this phenomenon called "Vajazzling." which is essentially bedazzling your bikini area and possibly your labia (if you want...though why you would is beyond me). This (obviously) involves either shaving or waxing your entire bikini area.

There is a lot of shame in our (American) culture surrounding the way women feel about their labia and genitals and the fact that they have hair on them. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about shaving my legs and armpits, but my lady parts? No thank you. I have shaved in the past, but I think that Dr. Bailey on Grey's Anatomy puts it very well.(Go to 3:05 for the relevant part, I couldn't find a better clip.)

To summarize, I think a grown woman should look like a grown woman when it comes to her lady bits, not like a little girl. That's creepy to me. Plus, a PITA to maintain. Primarily though, it's weird to me that someone would find that sexy when all I can think of is that little girls are the only female humans that have no hair down there naturally (I'm excluding people with alopecia).

I am all for trimming things up and maintaining things in a nice, neat way, but still. C just pointed out that men like their partners to shave so they don't get hair in their mouths, but whatever. I'm not going to get upset that C doesn't shave his balls just because I get hair in my mouth sometimes. Also, that most men haven't seen naked little girls so that isn't what they're thinking of. Anyway.

If you ever visit a pregnancy message board, the issue of shaving comes up a lot, especially as women discuss the end of their pregnancies and not wanting the doctor to have to see *gasp* pubic hair. I don't think I was terribly neatly trimmed when I delivered J, but I didn't care if the doctors/midwives saw it or not. They were going to watch me push a baby out of my vagina. They watch women push babies out and the shit that comes out while you're pushing. I really don't think they care whether you're shaved or not.

I just don't understand why women are so ashamed of their hair. It's a sign that you are a full grown woman. An adult. Sexually mature. Capable (in theory) of bearing children. We evolved/were made to only have hair on our groins (and underarms, but I won't attempt to explain that one) for a reason. Perhaps that reason is to keep our most private parts private for our partners alone to enjoy, not to show everyone while we bathe. Perhaps it's for protection from the elements before clothing was invented. Whatever the reason, it is not something I feel the need to mess with. I definitely don't feel the need to bedazzle my lady bits. That's so stupid and pointless, and I honestly think less of Jennifer Love Hewitt for promoting such a thing. Why can't we just love our bodies and our genitals as they are? Why do we have to put sparkly things on them to feel sexy or attractive?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Study: Lack of breastfeeding costs lives, billions of dollars (from CNN Health)

A new study in the journal Pediatrics indicates that breastfeeding for as little as the first 6 months of life could save about 1000 lives and billions of dollars every year. Very interesting. Linky here.
  • Study urges infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life
  • U.S. breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations
  • Biggest priority should be to improve maternity care practices, study's author says
(from CNN Health)

Betty Crocker Cake and Brownie Mixes on the Cheap!!

Today is the last day to purchase Betty Crocker SuperMoist Cake and Traditional Brownie Mixes at the special price of $0.69 at the Safeway family of stores. Check here for a coupon for $0.50 off when you buy a Betty Crocker cake mix and frosting, which will double to $1 and make your cake mix better than FREE!!