Breakfast…it’s what’s for breakfast

Hey gang!!

Wow, so my last post got a lot of people thinking! I’m so glad that you all reached out and shared your thoughts with me – some left comments, some emailed me privately, but everyone seemed to agree that it touched them in some way or another. I’m still trying to figure out how I can move forward with this in my own life. Just giving it a voice has helped somewhat, but I know there’s more work that I need to do.

Realizing what I lacked in my own childhood has made me aware of where I’m lacking as a parent, and I’m taking steps to correct that. Thinking back, I realized that I don’t remember my mom ever playing with me or asking me how things were going, so a couple of days ago I got down on the floor with my 6 year old and did a puzzle with her simply because she asked me to. I took my middle girl to her favorite froyo place after Girl Scouts one day – just so we could have some one on one time. My 14 year old son and I spent way more time than we should have looking at this on the internet (seriously, it is hilarious) when I should have been doing laundry.  I’m trying to be intentional when I’m with my kids instead of just being in the same room with them – letting them know that I actually like being with them and not just tolerating them. It’s been nice.

I was thinking about times I felt alone as a kid, and surprisingly breakfast was one of those times. On weekdays, breakfast was cold cereal while reading the comics from the daily newspaper (I’m still a cereal junkie and have no desire to give it up – ever) – my dad had already left for work and my mom was getting ready for her job.  And since I thought this was normal (which it might be, who knows?), for the last 15 years I have made no attempt to make a hot breakfast during the week. It’s usually Cheerios or frozen waffles for my bunch. I decided however, that making a hot breakfast for my family is one way I can show them that I care. Now before you think I’m getting all Martha Stewart up in here, let me assure you I’m not making a huge meal every morning – today it was bacon and oatmeal. Yesterday it was pancakes (I have an electric griddle that I can cook multiple pancakes at a time, so it’s really fast), and the day before that it was bacon and scrambled eggs (we like bacon. It’s like the nectar of the gods around here). Nothing fancy or complicated, and half the time one or more of my kids don’t feel like eating breakfast at all, but at least they know I took the time to make sure it was available to them.

And let’s just stop right here and let me say that if you give your kids cold cereal or poptarts for breakfast in the morning – YAY!  Do not for one minute think I am saying that you have to make a hot breakfast for your family to show them that you care.  I’m not talking about YOU, I’m talking about ME. I’m talking about this being one small thing I can do that will make me feel more attached to my family so that I am less attached to food. This is me trying to right one small wrong from my childhood. That’s all this is – so please don’t start feeling all guilty because your kids ate Chex Mix or Oreos for breakfast – that’s not what this is about, okay? Okay. Glad we got that cleared up.

So anyway, yeah, breakfast. I’ve made breakfast every day for the last nine days and my husband could not be more thrilled. Seriously, it’s as if I give him a new fishing rod every morning - he’s practically giddy. The man loves his breakfast foods. So the breakfast thing? It’s an all around winner in the Pear Household.

Anyone else out there a cereal junkie? Am I the only one who can only eat oatmeal once in a while because it kinda makes me gag? Do you cook breakfast for your family every day? Hit me up and lemme know!

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Attachment Theory and Overeating

Have you ever read something and you could actually hear the lightbulb clicking on in your head? This is how I felt after reading Karly’s article on Attachment at FirstOurselves.com.  Basically, attachment theory says that if you didn’t feel a secure attachment to your parents as a child, then you will attach to something else to fill that void.  Don’t get me wrong, I have great parents and very fond memories of my childhood, but there was a lot that was missing too. Go read Karly’s article first because she explains it much better than I can (plus she has a lot of resources if you want to explore it for yourself).

Let me give you a little background so you might understand why I got so excited when I read Karly’s article:

Up until the age of about nine years old, I felt very secure in my little world. I was the youngest of 3 girls – my sisters are ten and nine years older than I am, so for a long time I actually  had three caregivers (my dad was around, but I always looked to my mom and sisters as my support). My mom was a working mom, but even if she wasn’t there, my 2 sisters were. I was surrounded by care and concern.

I think it’s significant to mention here that my Dad is half-German (very stoic and stubborn) and my mom was not an overly affectionate person (she’s much more of a hugger now). Back in the 70s/80s when I was a kid, the words “I love you” weren’t said much if at all. I knew my parents loved me, but showing a lot of affection just wasn’t done. It just wasn’t something my family was really comfortable with – we weren’t touchy feely folks at all.

Because of the age difference, when I got to be about nine or ten years old, both of my sisters were off living their own lives – college, starting families, etc.  Suddenly, my support system was gone. Because I was old enough to stay by myself afterschool and during the summers, I spent a lot of time alone. And that’s when I also started feeling like a burden to my mom. When I entered into my preteen years, I always had the feeling that since my mom had gone through all of the teenage bullsh*t with my sisters, she didn’t want to go through it again with me. I felt like they didn’t want to put forth the energy into raising me that they had in raising my sisters. Whether or not it was true, that was how I felt. Since my mom worked 40 hours AND did all the cooking (from scratch) AND did all the laundry AND did all the housework, she was naturally tired all the time. I guess I took that to mean that she was too tired for me.

Before my sisters left home, we all had dinner together at the table every night. After they left, we stopped eating at the table and I would eat dinner by myself in my room while my parents ate in the living room. Every night, I would come downstairs, fix my plate, and take it back up to my room where I would eat while watching tv on my little black and white set. That sound pitiful doesn’t it?  It’s also one of the reasons that I resisted letting my kids have a tv in their room (my son has one now, but only for playing games. It’s not hooked up to the satellite).

Please understand – my parents did the best they knew how. They are really wonderful people and I am very close to them as an adult. I’m not bitter about my childhood, but I do recognize that there were some things I did not get as a child that I absolutely needed. And we probably all feel that way to some degree, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strive to get those things now.

There was so much that changed when my sisters left home, that I needed something to feel attached to – and that’s when I remember the food thing really kicking in. Food made me feel good. It tasted so good and it filled me up, often I let it fill me up too much. Once I figured out that eating could solve my loneliness and boredom, I was all in.

Fast forward many years and many pounds later – here I am trying to get control of my overeating. I’m trying to reduce the amount of food I eat. I’m trying to cut out the sugary treats that soothed me as a child (and as an adult). I’m trying to take away the thing that filled the void so long ago and still fills it now- duh! No wonder I have such a hard time!!  No one wants their security blanket taken away, not even 40 year old moms.

So how do I get rid of this attachment to food? By attaching to something else in the here and now. By securing an attachment to the family I have now, to my friends, to God, and to myself. I can give myself that secure, wanted feeling that I felt like I didn’t have when I was a kid. How exactly I go about doing that, I’m not entirely certain, but I’m willing to explore it because something inside me says this is worth looking into.

I know that I haven’t explained this well enough, but hopefully someone else can get a glimpse of what I’m trying to convey here and it will turn on a light bulb for them as well.  And this is just one theory that might fit me – I’m not saying this THE answer for everyone, but I think it’s worth exploring.

Does this resonate with you? Can you identify with any of this? Let me know in the comments or email me!

 

So close, soooooo close

We are so close to being finished with the Great Remodel of 2012.  I now have my kitchen back, and hopefully today we can move the washer and dryer out of the dining area and back into the laundry room! Hooray!!

I intended to take a pic, but ran out of time this morning (plus I forgot), but trust me when I say never has a floor been more glorious!! Oh it’s beautiful – not a shred of linoleum  in sight!!

The shower is still a little ways from being finished, but let me tell you, it’s going to be awesome when it’s completed. We decided to make a few little changes to the bathroom to accomodate the new shower (glass door, smaller cabinets) so that will delay the completion a little bit, but shouldn’t be too lengthy. I’m so excited I could squee! SQUEEEEE!!!!! 

So let’s talk about the thing I’ve NOT talked about…food. Oh good gravy you would think all the food in the world was going to disappear at the end of the month with the way I’ve been eating lately. It hasn’t been pretty. It’s almost like I’m on a quest to see just how much food I can stuff in my pie-hole in a day.  I’ve been tracking my calories on Calorie Count, and my word! Each day is more ridiculous than the one before.

I know what I need to do. But when that Cheeto craving hits, it’s like fighting a bear to try and overcome it. And of course the salty craving has to be balanced out by something sweet right? So then there I am rummaging through the pantry looking for cookies or anything that is 100% sugar. And it goes on like this every single day. I start out okay, but by the afternoon and when I get home it’s all over. I dive into the first salty-sweet-fat treat I can find. And then I go looking for its friends.

I’ve been here before. I’m no stranger to this feeling. One does not get all the way up to 185 pounds without a little practice, you know. I just have to get my head in the right place – do a little planning, do a little grocery shopping, do a little exercising. But man, it does not feel good to be in the middle of the hurricane right now. It does not feel good to know that I am abusing my body – the words “metabolic syndrome” kept running through my head last night as I was noshing. I know it’s not good, what I’m doing, but it’s so hard to stop the train once it gets going.

Maybe once all the remodeling gets finished, I’ll be in a better place mentally. But what about next time? What happens next time there’s a semi-stressful situation that I have to deal with?   Am I always going to turn to food to soothe the raw edges?

Anyway, I just felt the need to confess my dietary sins and let you all know that I am not avoiding the food issue. Well okay, I AM avoiding it, but I’m trying not to is what I’m saying. Without trying to sound melodramatic, I will probably always be fighting this battle. I just want to fight it at a lower weight.

 

My refrigerator is in my living room, and other weirdness

I just ate 2 handfuls of Pretzel M&Ms and put extra sugar in my coffee. Why? Because I need a serotonin hit like you would not believe. What started out as “Yay! We’re getting new kitchen floors!!!” has turned into “OMG WHERE ARE THE FREAKING TORTILLA CHIPS? AND WHERE ARE THE FREAKING ORANGES? AND WHY ISN’T THE SALT IN IT’S RIGHTFUL PLACE?????”

Nothing is where it should be. My refrigerator is in the living room, my coffee table has now become my pantry, my microwave and dishwasher are in the laundry room, the trash can is in the garage…do you see why I’m a wee bit edgy???? DO YOU??????

(breathe, Jill, breathe. Count to ten. Eat another M&M.)

It’s very disconcerting when a routine is messed with. Oh, and I don’t think I mentioned that not only are we redoing the kitchen floors, we are also putting tile in the master bathroom shower. What was once a teeny tiny fiberglass insert will hopefully be a little bit bigger tiled shower, but right now it’s just a big gaping hole in the wall. Nice. So really, my whole entire morning routine is all kinds of screwed up.

And let me just take a moment here to say that I completely realize these are first world problems that I’m complaining about. I get that. But I’ma rant just a little bit more because I need to get it out of my system. Thanks for understanding. 

So anyway, my getting-ready-for-work routine is messed up, as is the whole pack-the-kids-lunch, eat breakfast, and get-everyone-out-the-door routine.

I’m not a willow, people. I don’t bend very well under pressure. Instead, I snap like a twig.

This is not me. In fact, this is the opposite of me.

My plan was to get on my treadmill and release some stress through some good old fashioned sweating. But my treadmill is surrounded by boxes of tile and other heavy things, and the garage is not exactly in a state where things can be moved easily, which makes me sad because I really need a little one-on-one time with some loud music and heavy footfalls.

Hopefully, this chaos won’t last more than a week to ten days, tops. Tomorrow, I’m going to try and do some rearranging in the garage so that I can free my treadmill from it’s captors, and maybe try to create a little system so that I’m not walking into 3 different rooms just to make breakfast.

And when I get home tonight, I better see major progress on that kitchen floor or else I’ma cut somebody (cause I’m so gangsta like that – in my own white-suburban-mom way, of course).

 

 

Friends and Floors

Hey!

Well the holidays are over and once again we find ourselves in a new year. But don’t worry, just blink a couple of times and it will be Christmas again! Yay!  (Seriously, let’s see how fast this year goes compared to last year – supersonic is the word that comes to mind.)

I had an excellent New Year’s weekend. I got to spend some time with my sister and my nieces and the new love of my life – a 4 month old baby with the most beautiful grey eyes you’ve ever seen. He was such a sweet baby all weekend long and I seriously had withdrawal symptoms after we got home Sunday night. I’m going to have to find a weekend that I can sneak away and visit the little guy again.

One of the hi-lights of my weekend was that I finally got to meet IN PERSON Debby!! She was calm and cool and collected while I prattled on like a caffeinated lunatic. It was so strange to finally see her face – her actual real live face – after reading her blog for so many years. We only got to visit for an hour before she had to go check in for her flight, but it was so great to sit and talk with her.  And look! Here’s proof that we actually met!

The camera snapped half a second too late! Take another one!

 

Okay that's better.What I love about this picture is how tall Debby makes me look! ;)

 

That was such a fun day for me. It made me realize that I need to get out and make connections with my family and friends more in 2012, and stop letting housework and work-work suck all the fun out of my life.

OH and hey! Guess what?! After 9 years of complaining about my kitchen floors Shawn has made plans to have tile floors installed!!!  I cannot begin to tell you the hate-hate relationship I have with my kitchen floor. When we moved in, the previous owners had laid LIGHT BLUE and WHITE peel-and-stick vinyl tiles over the early 80s GOLD LINOLEUM.  I kid you not.  I mean really, who puts down WHITE VINYL on a kitchen floor??????  Hideous, is what it was. I never felt like I could get it clean, it always mocked me with it’s slightly dingy off-white dirtiness.  I hated it. Hated it with the passion of a thousand white hot burning suns. So what I’m saying is, I didn’t really care for it.  But now…now my floors will be gloriously and ceramically tiled!!!  I. CAN’T. WAIT!!!!  The tile-laying should start this afternoon or tomorrow, so guess what we (and by we, I mean Shawn) did all day Monday? Well that tacky stuff isn’t going to strip itself off!

Mid-strippage. Can you see the tacky gold linoleum? Can you see the white vinyl? Can you see why I wanted to rip it up with my bare hands????

And yes, I realize I am truly a grown up because I just devoted a whole paragraph to my kitchen floor.  It’s the little things, folks.

So since my kitchen is going to be in a state of havoc for a few days, I’m relying on my crock pot to cook dinner pretty much every night this week. Which is totally fine with me – my favorite meals are the ones that cook themselves!! Last night was barbecue sandwiches (meat roasted in the crock all day) and tonight is chicken tortilla soup. Tomorrow is stew, and Friday…oh crud I don’t have anything planned for Friday. Got any good crock pot recipes that feel like a Friday night?  Please share!

Have you ever met a bloggy friend? Have you ever remodeled a room in your house? Have you ever lived out of your crock pot for several days at a time? Have you ever been a caffeinated lunatic? Please share below!