Michigan, August 2011

at first there was only the lake and the sun, nothing else existed. after about a thousand years, Loneliness came to visit and stayed around for another thousand years. so the lake thought about how she might get rid of this uninvited guest.

after a long time, her thoughts turned to fish—many, many colors and sizes of fish. her fish caught the sun with their scales and flashed their bright colors all through the surface of the lake.

Loneliness hated the fish and their flashing colors. Hate turned Loneliness into a serpent that swam down far below the surface. the lake could not see the serpent, but she could feel it moving around inside her.

the lake was very tired and she fell asleep for another thousand years and dreamed the sky, and the rain, and the mountains to hold the rain. the brightness of the sky made the serpent of Loneliness swim down into the deepest, darkest place it could find. Loneliness never went away. it still comes in the night.

Loneliness made the lake dream the sky and that was the beginning of everything.

—excerpt from "Lake Dreams" by Swain Wolfe


Things I want to remember:

* How my Pi-boy's face absolutely lights up when I walk into the room. How I can't be in the room with him while he's nursing cause all he wants to do is look at me :)

* How his angsty MEURH! cry is morphing into more big boy cries

* How right now, at 5 months and 12 days old, he is laughing belly laughs when I blow raspberries on his feet, is rolling over (if he wants to), is jumping like crazy in his jumparoo, and is thisclose to being able to sit up on his own

* How he laughed for a good 20 minutes the other day, after he sneezed and I said, "well BLESS YOU SIR!" in a high-pitched voice (I said it, he laughed, and then I said it again approximately 234209384 times until he didn't think it was funny anymore)

* How he leans his whole body forward trying to grab the spoon an bowl when I'm feeding him cereal

* How he still loves nothing more than to be wrapped on my chest in the Moby, sleeping

* How putting Bon Iver on the stereo will always quiet him down

This is why I nanny. I get to form amazing bonds with so many little ones. Pius, I love you with my whole heart and then some. I'm so, so lucky to be your nanny.


Can pour wine, will travel

So I was in NYC a few weeks ago to visit the fabulous Cait, and while I was there, she cooked us a COMPLETELY #winning dinner. Why was it so #winning?

1) It was vegan food that both of us felt comfortable eating
2) Since I can't be trusted not to burn down the kitchen, Cait did all the cooking!

Well, I mean, I helped. If by "helped" I mean "I chose music to listen to and kept our wine glasses full." I'm especially good at the second part of that. See?

Here's the master chef hard at work:

Note Cait's full wineglass. I do my job well.

The finished product: acorn squash brushed with syrup (I think?) and filled with quinoa made with walnuts and onions and dried cherries and olive oil (right, Cait? Ask her if you want the recipe). REGARDLESS, it was the bomb.com.

Note: I'm available to pour wine at any and all gatherings for the low, low price of airfare and wine. Book me now!


An ode to the Moby wrap

This is C's new baby brother S all snuggled up in the Moby (the pic is taken from a bad angle -- I promise the shoulder strap is nowhere near blocking his nose).

So remember how excited I got when I mastered the Moby? Now I return to the blog to once again profess my love for that magical bundle of fabric.

Oh Moby wrap, I do love you.
You cuddle my babies, and keep them secure too!
You give me two free hands,
which allows me to complete a lot of plans*,

Oh Moby wrap, you've seen me through
Pius' meltdowns and happy long walks too!
I use you to snuggle my babies to sleep
and when they're in you they don't make a peep!**

So, Moby, I've become your number-one fan,
even though with a spitup-y baby it's difficult to keep you spic'n'span.
I'll wear you throughout all my nanny days
because you can be used in so many ways!

*dude. I'm a nanny, not a poetry major. Go easy on my rhyme scheme. I'm just impressed that I know the term rhyme scheme.


All right, I'll stop writing poetry now. But I will leave you with an adorable (and unrelated) video of C!


Michigan part trois

Disclaimer: I'm pretty sure this post doesn't make any sense. Yay for emotionally-written dribble!

Another thing I was really worried about going into Michigan was what my relatives might say about the fact that hi, I'm significantly smaller than I was this time last year.

My extended family doesn't know about my eating disorder, and for a myriad of reasons, I prefer to keep it that way (for now, at least). So I was worried about what to say if they commented on my body, given that (seriously) a person saying "Hallie! You look good!" can send me into an anxiety attack. I prefer to live in the magical world of thinking nobody is looking at my body ever!


I made it through two sets of aunts and one set of grandparents with several "Oh, you look so good!"s. I handled that okay. (Read: I rolled my eyes inside my head and quickly changed the topic. Denial!)

But then another aunt arrived a few days into the trip. And when she saw me, she said, "You look teeny-tiny! You look great! Now just don't go turn anorexic or something stupid like that!"


I'm pretty sure I turned and fled the room. All I could do in the following few minutes was laugh, because seriously, what the fuck? I think what boggled me most was the realization that my aunt (who is a medical doctor) could think anyone could choose to have an eating disorder. And then I read this post from Dooce.com and I realized that this? Is something I need to talk about. (But please keep in mind this is coming from my point of view.)

Here is something of which I am certain: people who have eating disorders do not choose to have them.

Dear aunt: if you can come up to me, look me in the eye and tell me that I'm choosing to destroy my stomach/throat/teeth, endanger my fertility and my heart (and life), hurt my relationships with friends, roommates, and family...that I'm choosing to endure all these awful repercussions of living daily with eating disorder then please, by all means, come stand in my shoes. Bend over the toilet, vomit, and then feel your own vomit come back and splash you in the face. Do that and tell me this is something I'm choosing to do.

Let me just tell you: having your own vomit bounce up and hit you in the face isn't even one of the most demoralizing parts of living with an eating disorder. (And I consider myself "lucky" to have bulimia and not anorexia.)

Here's what I want my aunt to understand. (And one day, I'll have the balls to explain this to her.)

1) Many, many people have disordered eating. Especially in this country. That does NOT mean the same thing as having an eating disorder.

2) People who have eating disorders do not choose to have them. What we struggle with is choosing to try to not have them.

3) Someone who has anorexia has a phobia of food. Of food, of eating, of what eating food can do to their bodies...everything. Someone with anorexia can't just eat, just like someone with an intense phobia of spiders can't just hold a spider. What makes anorexia such a serious phobia is that we require nourishment to stay alive. People with anorexia have to confront their phobia all day, every day. They get no break. It's horrific.

4) Someone who has bulimia or a binge eating disorder suffers from compulsions. It's the same compulsions that are behind OCD. We feel the compulsions to eat. eat. eat. eat. eat. and, if you have bulimia, then purge. We don't eat for fun. When I'm in the middle of compulsively eating (when I literally cannot bring my hand away from my mouth), I cry. It's not fun. But I literally cannot stop. Same with purging — feeling the compulsion to purge is an all-consuming feeling. You can't ignore it the compulsions to eat or purge. They can (and will) take over your mind and make you crazy. People who have bulimia or binge eating disorders can't just not eat.

5) You know how you should never ask a woman if she's pregnant? Well...you should never talk about another person's body. You don't know what they've gone through.

[Here's the awkward part where I realize I have no idea how to wrap this post up but that I'm about near tears.]

I know it's not easy to understand the psychology behind eating disorders. Hell, I hardly claim to understand my own eating disorder. But here's what I know: I didn't choose to have one.


Michigan part deux, as promised

So I know I left a giant angsty post about my body/my weight/my anxieties about Michigan up as a cliffhanger for way too long, and I'm sorry. But I've been trying to figure out what to write and I thought putting some time in between MI and me would be good for all parties involved.

So! Michigan!

First of all, it was so, so good to see my family. I hadn't seen my parents and sister in entirely too long. I was so glad to see them.

Second of all, I was beyond thrilled to share Michigan with my life twin. It meant so much to me that Cait was able to go.

Third of all, a lot of it was really amazing, relaxing, and fun.

Fourth of all, a lot of it was really freaking hard.

Since January, I've been on an incredibly restrictive diet. I'm hesitant to post amounts/numbers of what I was eating, because I don't think it's good for anyone to compare to. But especially in the early months of this year, I wasn't eating, and what I was eating, I was puking up.

But, with the help of the most amazing therapist on the planet and a loooooooooot of therapy, I'm incorporating food back into my life and keeping it in me, too. Not always (lord knows I'm not perfect). Some days/weeks/months are epic fails. Some are better. But I'm committed to working at it.

All that to say...I've had complete control over every thing that's been put in my mouth (compulsive eating aside, but that's a whole 'nother blog post!). I know exactly what I'm going to eat every day, and at what time. It's incredibly rigid, but that's what I need for the time being.

So going from having every morsel of food and every calorie planned out way in advance of the actual eating itself to going to Michigan where I had pretty much no control over food was a bit of a mindfuck. But Cait helped me, and after I broke down and talked to my parents about how I need to know what we're eating, when we're eating it, now, please, for the rest of the trip, it got a bit easier. Still, it was far from easy, and I know it was enormously difficult for Cait too (and I'm still so grateful she stayed).

Um, okay. This is already getting really long and I haven't even gotten to the fun body image stuff yet. Can you say MICHIGAN POST PART TROIS, ladies and gentlemen? (Promise it'll be the next thing I post.) To be continued...

Watch out! A plethora of posts is forthcoming!

So today marks the beginning of my SENIOR YEAR OF COLLEGE WHAT HOW DID THIS HAPPEN and since I already have homework, I'm already procrastinating! Which means OH HI GUYS I'M WRITING BLOG POSTS!!!

Here's what you've got to look forward to:

1) Michigan part deux

2) How well I help Cait cook (with pictures!)

3) Gushing praise of the Moby wrap, and no I'm not sponsored by them or by anyone except my own two hands. And Pius. And C's new baby brother S.

4) Updated life plans and goals (OMG y'all, I HAVE PLANS)

5) ...I'm out of ideas for the time being. But four posts, that's good, right? Yes? GOOD.