NaBloPoMo – Nov 16th

25 Things About Me

I know I’ve done this before but there is one of those annoying “Like My Status And I’ll Give You A Number”. I’ve seen some people do it 4 times. 29 facts later, I know all but their shoe size…That’s just a lot of information for FB to handle. But I decided

1) I wear a size 5.5Y workboot. I have ridiculously small feet. It’s abnormal. I’ve heard all of the jokes. “Did you break into TRU and steal GI Joe’s combat boots?” and “How do you not trip more?” and my personal favorite, from my old supervisor on the ship “We can’t find you boots from this distributor so I’m going to need you to go stand in shit and hope your feet grow”. I’ll get right on that.

2) I’m a Car Rockstar. I’ve attracted a LOT of attention and have had people outright point and laugh at me as I drive by because I sing (and sometimes dance) while I’m driving down the road. Sometimes I’m Carrie Underwood, other times I’m Jessica Simpson. I’m even part of the TSO during the holiday season. It depends on my mood.

3) I ran a 5K, a 10K, and a Half Marathon in 2013. I know this seems like it’s not a big deal at all but to me, someone who was 217lbs at delivery, having packed on a substantial amount of weight during my pregnancy, this is a huge accomplishment for me. I call myself an “accidental runner” because I never intended to fall in love with this sport. I started the C25K as a resolution for Feb through April and it skyrocketed from there.

4) I’m deathly scared of water I can’t see the bottom of. I know, I know. “But Lara, you’re in the Coast Guard”. I understand the confusion. I just don’t go in water I can’t see the bottom of, whether it be a lake, river, ocean, etc. I did go into the ocean while I was in Hawaii because I could see the bottom, but even then, I didn’t go past my knees. I wanted the option to run if I needed to. This started during swim call in 2001. I jumped off the side of the ship, into the Caribbean Ocean. I got some goggles and, under me, a school of hammerheads. I made like Jesus and walked on water. No Thanks.

5) I entered the Coast Guard when I was still 17 yrs old. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up but I knew I needed to get away from my mother and sister so I signed up. My mother had to sign the papers so I could leave since I was still, legally, a minor. I turned 18 during the last week of Basic Training.

6) I’m taking college classes and working towards a BA in Hospitality Manangement with a concentration in Event Planning. Yea. I don’t know why but I love planning parties. I don’t really like dealing with people, especially when they are at a particularly shrill time in their lives but seeing the faces of people who are impressed makes it totally worth it. I thrive on pleasing people. Even though I don’t give a shit what people think of me, I like to see people pleased.

7) I’ve driven across the Bridge Between The Americas. It’s just like any other bridge except it connects North America and South America. I did this when I was in Panama. While I was there, I crossed through the Canal. It’s annoying and a pain in the ass because it took forever. And it rained the entire time.

8) I’m obsessed with the History Channel, the Freemasons in particular. E and I will DVR and watch any and all shows relating to the Freemasons. I actually know some members of the Masons and while they tell me a lot of these shows are propoganda, I still love them and find them absolutely fascinating. I love making the connections to how their actions created our country.

9) I am one of the most loyalest and most fiercely protective people you will ever meet. I’m hard to get to know. I don’t like people in, very easily, because I’ve been hurt by “friends” but once you’re in, I’ve got your back. I still have the same 3 best friends that I’ve had since kindergarten. We’ve lost touch through some years and my first marriage almost destroyed them, but they’ve remained by my side and I know, if I were to call them tomorrow, crying, one would ask if I needed her to come up to Maine, another would tell me the guest room is clean and to come back to MD, the third would ask me if she needed a shovel or cement. They get me. No matter how long between visits, we pick right up where we left off. If you mess with my family or my friends, I will come after you and make your life hell. I hold grudges for a long, long time.

10) I have OCD. It’s not awful. Like, I don’t have to walk in and out of a door frame 13 times before I can sit down but my DVDs are alphabetized, my CDs are organized by genre and then alphabetized, I have to count my daughter’s Little People before I can go to bed (once, Snow White was missing, and I tore our living room apart to find her), the TV or radio volume must be on an increment of 5. At any given time, the TV in our house is either way too low or way too loud. When I run, I have to end at an even time. I either have to run for 30 mins or 35 mins. I can’t stop at 32 mins. I try to time my mileage to my clock because it drives me batty to have 30 mins but only 3.32 miles. My mileage needs to be an increment of 5, as well.

11) I played the trumpet in elementary and middle school. I wasn’t fantastic or anything but I only started playing because I knew me practicing it would drive my mother bananas. She got the last laugh because she would send me over to a friends house to practice with him and his mother. Touche Ma. In hindsight, I wish I had played the clarinet.

12) I was the best parent I have ever met…before I had a child. Before I had Beanie, I used to roll my eyes at the parents that complained about being tired or how hard being a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) was or how much laundry needed to get done, etc. I was all “dude, the kid sleeps. It can’t be THAT hard”. Then I had Beanie. She was an easy baby so I still got my “chores” done but the lack of sleep – that about did me in. I still don’t think it’s that hard to get things done with a child in the house but I rarely ever admit that for fear that I’d further fuel the Mommy Wars.

13)  I despise being called “Mommy”. I have called myself “mama” ever since Beanie was born. E refers to me as “Mama” when he needs Beanie to recognize me in some way, shape, or form. Beanie, in turn, has never called me “Mommy”

14) I think the “Mommy Wars” are the dumbest f**king thing ever. I think it all started from a mother who insisted she knew everything and when someone dared to differ from her way of thinking, it became a huge deal. Now, the people who continue the war, I think, are the most insecure. The people who will BF in public simply for a reaction, the people who stop others to tell them the carseat isn’t correct (when they aren’t asked), the people who tell people formula is poison. There are people from every department and, just once, I’d like everyone to STFU and understand that no one knows what’s best for any child but they’re own. And, for the love of all that is Holy, if you don’t have a child, you don’t have a dog in this fight so please keep your opinions to yourself.

15) I have 10 tattoo “pieces”. I have “Deifuir” on the top of my shoulder (it means “Sister” in Gaelic), “Nochtann Gra Noi” with a shamrock between my shoulder blades (it means “Love Reveals Beauty” in Gaelic), 4 Japanese characters on my lower back (they are supposed to mean: Courage, Beauty, Love, True” but they probably mean Chicken Noodle Soup), “There You’ll Be” with my uncle and grandfather’s initials under it, a Honu turtle on my stomach (under my belly button) with “True to One, Enemy to None” which is a play on Ben Franklin’s speech and also stolen from Dee, a hibscus on my right foot, a teal cherryblossom with Beanie’s name on my left wrist, a support ribbon on my left side ribcage with “Unbreakable Strength” over it and my maternal grandfather’s birth date (18) in roman numerals, and three sparrows on my right side ribcage. I’m planning on getting “V, X, XII.I” on my left calf to represent the races I’ve run (5K, 10K, Half Marathon).

16) I can touch my nose with my tongue. I’m pretty sure I was drunk when I figured this out but yea. I have a freakishly long tongue.

17) Some of my greatest friends are people I’ve met on the internet. When I was planning my first wedding, I joined the message boards on WeightWatchers.com. Now, 8 years later, I’m still FB friends with a lot of them and, a lot of them I’ve never met in person.

18) I’m extremely opinionated. I, often times, make a terrible first impression because I speak my mind but one thing I pride myself on is that I won’t ever say anything behind your back that I wouldn’t or haven’t already said to your face. I once threw someone off during an argument because I corrected them when they said “well you said…”. I interrupted them and said “no, what I said was…” and that was actually worse than what they thought I had said. It ended up ending the argument because I was truthful and forthcoming. Most people think it’s that I lack a filter. It’s just that I’m opinionated and have zero tolerance for the bullshit.

19) I hate birds. I hate them with a passion. I can’t eat outdoors because I am too distracted with where they are and how close they are to me. I have them tattooed to me for a Sailor tradition but actual, real life birds, I don’t want them near me. I was running once when three turkeys came out of the bushes. I screamed and took off.

20) I am a HUGE Ravens Fan.

I grew up, born and raised in Baltimore and I remember when the Ravens came to Baltimore in Aug of 1996. I went to high school with a guy that played for the Ravens (he's now out of the NFL due to a severe knee injury). I've met several players from the Ravens.

I grew up, born and raised in Baltimore and I remember when the Ravens came to Baltimore in Aug of 1996. I went to high school with a guy that played for the Ravens (he’s now out of the NFL due to a severe knee injury). I’ve met several players from the Ravens.

21) I’ve traveled to a lot of places but still haven’t hit the places on my Bucket List. With being on the ship, I was given the opportunity to travel all over the place. I can’t say “world” because it was narrowed down to North and South Americas but I had an absolute blast. I spent my 19th Birthday in NYC (after 9/11), my 20th birthday in Manta, Ecuador, in addition to hiking through the jungles of Costa Rica, seeing the drug slums of Colombia, the lush terrain (but shitty economy) of Haiti, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Jamaica, to name a few. I still have the clay fish that K stole for me in Costa Rica. He stole it to make me feel better after a monkey pooped on me. I still want to make it to England, Scotland, Ireland, Greece, and Italy. Someday, I hope.

22) I’m pretty positive that I’m addicted to York Peppermint Patties. I eat a ridiculous amount of them. I’m pretty sure those are the blame for my weight gain.

23) Contrary to my friends, I did NOT know I would be marrying E when I first met him. So many of my peeps have said “I knew I was gonna marry my man when I first met him”. That wasn’t me. I thought we would just be friends and I could take advantage of him and make him take me to dinner. That backfired. But in a good way 😉

24) Reality TV is my non-food addiction. If there is a reality TV show on, chances are I probably DVR it, unless it’s Big Brother. I don’t understand that TV show. I DVR The Amazing Race, The Real Housewives of Everywhere (except DC), Survivor, those godawful MTV shows, to name a few.

25) I’ve never not lived near the water. Where ever I’ve lived, I’ve never been more than 20 miles from the water, whether it be the bay or the ocean.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 7

7) a Scent

I’m a HUGE fan of Scentsy, which is one of those at-home-sales businesses. It’s a pretty darn good idea. They keep their prices reasonable, their warmers are cute, and they have a variety of smells.

My favorite though:

I love anything food smelling. And the best part is, I can totally Fake It Till I Make It with these scents 🙂

 

Second thing I’m thankful for — NO MORE CAMPAIGNING! I swear to Baby Jesus, these people are out of control and I think I’ve unfriended at least 6 people for ignorant comments. Obama was not re-elected due to his race, Romney wasn’t not elected because he hates vaginas. People obviously thought that Obama should have the job again and that’s all there is to it.

To the member of the organization that is against Question 1 for Maine, maybe you ought to start thinking of what is more important because that yellow ribbon that is on the tree behind your NO TO QUESTION 1 sign obviously means something.

Nov 6th can’t get here quick enough

Just as the title states: Election Day cannot get here quick enough. I’m so sick and tired of seeing stupid signs everywhere  I go. Who honestly votes for someone after seeing a sign on the side of the road? Are people really that naive in this day in age?

On top of that, I’m so over seeing those signs that are forcing peoples religious beliefs onto others because they feel it’s necessary.

Case In Point

Please, someone tell me, how two men or two women being legally married affects taxes, the war, the deficit, or foreign policy?

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. – Susan B. Anthony

For Real.

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

The World of Special Olympics

The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow.  So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child…

View original post 260 more words

Weight Loss and the Bullying that Goes With It

This link has pretty much gone viral of FB:

http://www.upworthy.com/bully-calls-news-anchor-fat-news-anchor-destroys-him-on-live-tv

To this woman, I say KUDOS! And another BRAVO goes to her station for giving her the time to air this story. This is a very real story and a very real issue.

To me, one email does not constitue bullying. Simply telling someone “you’ve let yourself go and I’m surprised you’re on TV” doesn’t = bullying in my mind. However, I have it on good faith that there was more than just this email and there was an entire chain of emails from this douchecanoe calling this newsanchor fat.

“Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community, girls in particular”

“I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsbility as a local personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle”

Now, no offense to public personalities, but I sure as shit don’t hold you accountable for being a role model for anyone. This woman’s job is simply to report what happened during the day to keep the rest of her area informed. She isn’t a trainer on the Biggest.Loser, she isn’t promoting Jenny.Craig or WW, she’s not presenting herself as a nutritionist. She reports on the news. She’s telling us about the ongoing war, car accidents, and the weather.

No one, and I mean no one, can sit there and say she is a shitty person for being fat because people see her. I see obese people at McDonalds. I don’t walk up and blast them and say “my daughter can see you and you’re teaching her to eat like shit and get fat” because IT’S NOT THEIR JOB TO TEACH ANYONE but themselves and their own children (if they have them).

The bullying revolving around weight and weight loss never ceases to amaze me and piss me the fuck off at the same time.

I admit, I watch this shit. I watch the Real.Housewives.of.Whatever-the-hell-state/city-they-put-on. I wasn’t terribly excited about DC or Miami but Jersey and Atlanta — ♥♥♥ it!

Until now.

Anyone that watches knows that Teresa is batshit crazy. She is in denial and quite possibly the worst woman to represent a state on a television show. If I were from Jersey, I’d be picketing to get her kicked off the show. Much like that trashtastic chick, Danielle.

In watching the Reunion Special (Part I), she thought it was completely ok to attack other’s looks. Mind you, this chick has 4 young girls at home. 4 young and impressionable girls. I pray to whoever is holy that they have never seen their mother act like this. She not only went after Caroline Manzo’s kids and their employment history but also Caroline’s looks (the pic shown above). This is not the first time she has done this. Heaven forbid Teresa’s daughters have seen this type of behavior and they go to school, pick someone out of the crowd and tell them: You have three rolls. Blubber, Blubber, and BLUBBER. How mortified do you think their mother would be? (well, judging by Teresa’s most recent antics, she’d try and turn it around to be the bullied person’s fault because that’s her MO)

I digress (and believe me, with Teresa, I could do it all day long) but THIS is the type of shit that irritates me to no end. There is no need to use that as an argument against someone because when you do this, you not only become a bully but you also attempt to define a person and no one has the right to define anyone based on their own opinions.

You all probably remember this story in Marie Claire from a few years ago

http://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/dating-blog/overweight-couples-on-television

where a “writer” went on and on about the primetime show “Mike and Molly”. Someone posed the question “Should Fatties Get A Room (Even On TV)”. This “writer” responds like this:

…Yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other… because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair

Right. Because an overweight person is clearly the same, if not worse off then a stumbling drunk or a drug addict that has nodded out. They are totally the same thing! This very article was the nail in the coffin that contained the days of me reading Marie Claire. To my knowledge, this “writer” has rescinded this story and apologized but we all know it was for the press.

Honestly, I don’t get it. I’ve been that taunted girl. I was called a fat ass in retaliation for telling someone they were being mature in the way they handled a situation. Really? Thank you for further proving my point.

Engaging in an argument/confrontation with someone simply because you’re trying to prove a point is one thing. Kicking them in the balls is something different, completely. People, children and teenagers especially, kill themselves every day over comments like what’s in this post. Being told you’re gross because you’re overweight or being told you have blubber or hearing that you’re ugly. Any time you point out a difference of someone else in an effort to make yourself feel better, you’re really making yourself look like an incredibly large asshole.

I’d like to find the start of this madness when society decided to start determining someone’s worth based on their size/body frame. As I’ve said before, don’t let anyone else try and define you.

Current Debate: Feeding your Child

I’ve been called selfish, spoiled, lazy, etc. I’ve been told I “took the easy way out” due to how I’ve chosen to feed my daughter.

I assure you, there is no “easy way out” with children, unless you are blessed to have a live in nanny that allows you to sleep for 12 hours a night, not feed them, not clean them, and not interact with them except between your mani/pedi appointment and your massage because, you know, you’re tense.

There is especially no “easy way out” with infants.

Beanie is an easy baby. Sure she gets pissed off when we’re mere minutes late with a bottle or if we have to put her in her crib for a second while we choose her outfit but overall, I consider myself very luck with her. She sleeps through the night, she naps very well during the day, she smiles constantly. She’s a peach!

But I worry constantly about whether I’m doing right by her.

I was told that she would grow up to have less of an IQ than a breast-fed baby. I was told she would grow to be obese because formula has more calories than breast-milk. Today I was told that I was “slowing poisoning my child” because I formula feed.

Really? Dramatic much?

Studies show that yes, breast-milk is best. I would never, EVER dispute this fact. But sometimes breast-feeding isn’t best for the mother and/or child. I couldn’t breast-feed. Physically, I couldn’t keep up with the demand. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to. So obviously, I had to rely on formula. But before that, I had already decided to rely on formula for assistance. Not because breast-feeding is hard but yes, I was selfish in that I needed sleep. And Beanie needed to eat. We found a system that works for us and now, at almost 4 months old, she’s been sleeping through the night for over a month now.

A part of me says, you know what? I altered my life for 10 months to grow her. I couldn’t eat bleu cheese, I couldn’t drink more than 300mg of caffeine a day, I couldn’t eat bleu cheese, I couldn’t drink beer or wine, I couldn’t laugh without the fear of peeing my pants, I couldn’t sleep on my back, my idea of a fantastic dessert was Zantac with a Tums chaser, I had heartburn that would make Mother Teresa curse, and most of all, I couldn’t eat bleu cheese. There’s more but those are the biggest things that come to mind.

And who’s to say that I would have to continue with all of those points after Beanie made her debut? Some breast-fed babies develop issues because the mother has eaten something that the baby can’t digest. I have one friend that drove herself over an edge, trying to figure out what she can cut out of her diet that was affecting her baby. Broccoli, Milk, Cheese, Sushi? WTF is this child still screaming and writhing in pain?

But not all stories are like that, I know. And I didn’t let those stories sway my decision, I promise. But I’m not selfish. I would cut off my arm for my daughter. I would run out and stop a train a la Hancock for that girl. And I would throw down with anyone, regardless of age, for being mean to her.

I’m not doing her a disservice by relying on formula to  feed her.

Many people get up in arms about breast-feeding because it’s become such a hotly debated item. I almost feel like some people need to make a statement with their breast-feeding BECAUSE it’s such a hotly debated item. There was a story about a mom that was asked to leave a water park because she was feeding her child. I’m all for feeding a child and I totally agree that there is no reason for a woman to be shoved into a bathroom to feed her child.

But this chick is feeding her child IN the pool. That’s not ok. What if the child threw up? Or someone accidentally knocked into her and she dropped the child in the water? A million and one things could have happened that day and the pool staff simply had to look out for the well-being of the other patrons. I’ve been to a water park with a mom that was breast-feeding. She put her cover on so as to not make a spectacle, she did what she had to do, and the baby was happy.

There was another story of a mother being asked to leave a store because she was breast-feeding in a store. Granted, she was in a corner that no one was near, but still.

I would never and have never fed my daughter in a store where I could get formula on the clothes that someone else was intending on buying. I’ve excused myself to feed my child in another room so I’m not dealing with a bottle-guzzling child at the dinner table. I’ve fed her in a restaurant before without making a scene. So I’m not positive why it’s such a big deal for a woman to breast-feed in public?

Boobs make people uncomfortable. No one can help that. I’d prefer to only show my boobs when I’m dancing on a bar to my husband. I know boobs are intended as a food source but the porn industry has sexualized them so much that it makes people uncomfortable. What I truly don’t understand is why people have to organize sit ins to prove that they are breast-feeding? No one is telling them they can’t do it. They’re asking them not to do it IN a public pool or in a clothing store. I’ve witnessed someone telling a woman that she needs to utilize the Family Room (aka fancy bathroom) for her to feed her child and I’ve spoken up. There is no reason for that. I’ve also witnessed walking through the mall, seeing a mother breast-feeding without a cover on in the middle of the mall, my husband glancing her way, and her going ballistic that he was staring at her while she tried to feed her child. No ma’am, he’s simply looking around like the other 5000 patrons of this mall and you happen to be sitting there with your breast out, trying to get your child to latch onto it. Relax, please. Not everyone is out to get mothers that are feeding their children.

My point of this post is simply: whatever you feed your child is fine. As long as you’re feeding them, they are getting proper medical attention, and you’re keeping them happy and healthy. If you aren’t in a position to be feeding a child, don’t talk out of your ass. While I agree that you shouldn’t be feeding your child in a pool or in a clothing store, I agree that you shouldn’t be shoved in a bathroom.

Mothers already get a raw deal between giving birth (whether you are delivering or having them forcefully removed via your abdomen), trying to figure out a balance of feeding them, the guilt that goes along with that, and then bringing the tiny humans home so they can kick your ass for the next 18 yrs. We don’t need to be given a hard time because we choose the feed them the way we choose to feed them. But please, I beg of you, don’t you dare think you’re better than me or try and make me feel like I’m the asshole for not breast-feeding my child. I promise you you are no better than I.

rachelkern152

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