Inside the Mind of a Gender Creative Boy

This is probably far different from what I expected to post here, but I love this too much to care. I hope you enjoy the read, too. ❤

Raising My Rainbow

I hear from a lot of adults raising gender expansive four and five year olds. The adults are typically stressed, confused, lonely and scared. I get it. I’ve been there. Ages four and five were the toughest for us in terms of parenting a gender expansive child. I tell families that it gets better once the child can communicate his/her thoughts and feelings. Like, now, with C.J. being 10 years old and getting ready to start fifth grade, if I have a question about him, I can ask him and he can answer. I asked C.J. what he remembers thinking and feeling when he was four and five years old and I wrote it all down. I’m hoping that sharing C.J.’s memories below might help families currently wondering and/or struggling. xoxo, Lori

(By: C.J., age 10, August 2017)

When I was two years old I kind of liked cars and…

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Too Much

Yesterday was a lot of fun. I went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday and we got to see a really great movie (The Hitman’s Bodyguard – hilarious!) and then went out to eat after. I really enjoyed both, but especially getting to spend time with friends.

But there was a bunch of “too much” last night.

A friend who is a really great baker made banana bread. I tried to just have a half slice but ended up with three half slices. Delicious, and it didn’t feel really heavy in my stomach, so that was awesome.

And then we went to the movies. Movies have always been a popcorn and soda event for me. In fact, I’ve joked frequently in the past that I go to see movies in the theater for the popcorn. That’s 90% of the reason. (And honestly, that’s still probably true.) So I ate an entire giant bucket of popcorn that had been drenched in butter all by myself. It still didn’t sit heavy, but oy. I can feel it this morning.

And then we went out to eat. I ate small, and veg*n (cheese quesadilla), but there was a lot of sour cream involved.

And we stayed out late. I got home and into bed around midnight.

So! That’s my old normal. That wouldn’t have made a dent three weeks ago. But I’ve really enjoyed eating fresh and the trend toward vegan as opposed to vegetarian. I especially feel best after raw meals.

Now I need to start making better choices.

A half slice of banana bread would have been fine. And I didn’t need the popcorn. My friends all get buckets, too. If I wanted to, I could have asked for a handful from the top of someone else’s bucket, made sure it was thoroughly coated, and that would have been enough, too. I barely drank any of the soda, and I only get it to cut the salt and butter from the popcorn, so I didn’t need that, either.

As for the “after movie”, I enjoyed hanging out with folks, but if I’d actually been hungry, I should have just got a salad. I wasn’t hungry – it was social eating. They even had “veggies for dipping” on the menu. Bam. Vegetables.

Well, it was a lesson learned. As I figure all of these things out, I’ll remember them the next time I’m in the same situation. For now, I’m dealing with a bit of a food hangover (sluggish, groggy, limp), and that’ll teach me. 😉

Photo by Alex Munsell on Unsplash

Hair (not Long but still Beautiful)

I cut off my hair. Not all of it – there’s about an inch or so on the top, but the sides and back are trimmed very close.

I’m nearly 40. I weigh more than is healthy (just over 285 lbs). And I don’t look good with short hair.

Well…okay, so maybe the last part isn’t true.

I have a friend who needs a wheelchair and doesn’t always feel attractive. At some point in her life, she decided to ask herself the following question every time she wanted to do something, but didn’t feel like it was appropriate for her:

“what if I was beautiful what would I do then?”

Well, I love that. So much. I’m almost 40 and I have spent probably my entire life not feeling pretty enough, skinny enough, healthy enough to do things. I have low self-esteem. I am not self-confident. I am not pleased with my weight or my body shape (most of the time).

But I’ve always wanted really, really short hair! Like buzzed to within millimeters of my scalp short, really. And I’ve been afraid of people staring at me, or of my boss being angry, or my coworkers laughing at me.

But what my friend said stuck. And I was feeling really good on Wednesday, and again on Thursday, so I did it.

2017-08-17 20.32.09

I am thrilled with it. It’s shorter in the back than I asked for, but it will grow out, and I actively refuse to be anything but thrilled with it. I’m not worried what my boss is going to say. I didn’t worry what my coworkers were going to say (okay, I did a little). And anytime I’m asked if I got my hair cut, I get excited and smile (I usually don’t like my smile – so much gum) and explain the obvious:

Yes. All of them.

And yes, I like it.

Featured image by Brian Ceccato on Unsplash

Feeling Gorgeous

While this isn’t a comment on how I feel visually, I do feel rather gorgeous today. I’m feeling positive, strong, vibrant, and best of all, happy.

Depression runs in my family, and while I haven’t ever gone in to be diagnosed, I am certainly susceptible to serious depressive moods. I am often very hard on myself, insulting myself, hating the way I look, comparing my actions to those who are more comfortable in their own skin – or at least better at faking it than I am.

But today, none of that is bothering me. At all. I’m not sure why, but I’m not going to question it deeply.

I’m just going to enjoy it. I’m going to list as many things as I’m grateful for now, in an attempt to capture the feeling for the next time I’m down.

I have a notebook for that now, by the way. I always list three things I’m grateful for every morning (almost every morning) in my bullet journal, but I decided the new notebook that found its way to my desk is destined to be a gratitude journal.

And doodles. I like doodling. 🙂

Photo by Jonas Weckschmied on Unsplash

Well, that was awesome

The Diva Cup, Cycle 1, was overall a success!

Plus

I didn’t leak or need to use a pad or panty liner once. I used one the first day, actually, so that statement isn’t entirely true. But the rest of the time I purposely didn’t wear anything. All in or go home, or something. I had emergency backups along with the drawstring bag to store the cup if all went really horrible.

It was comfortable! Mostly. Especially today when I was reading online that one person flipped hers inside out, and suddenly everything was perfect. I did that, and Oh, wow. It was a game changer. Like, suddenly I didn’t even notice it, not even once. Not even a little! It was really, really good.

Minus

I have a low cervix or something, and that stupid stem irritated me like crazy. I trimmed a bit every day, just a little bit at a time. Before trimming it was awfully irritating. After the second trim it was almost there. After the third trim it was worse than before. Turning it inside out today was brilliant, but now I’m done, so I just trimmed the rest off. I’m going to file it smooth and be ready for next month.

Public restrooms, like at my office, were a challenge. Hypothetically you can just leave it be for 12 hours, but with that stupid stem in the way, wiping was a challenge. And I’ve been drinking a boatload of water, so…connect those dots. As the week went on, simply wiping the cup with toilet paper left it nearly too dry for reinsertion. While I did brave the trip from the toilet to the sink to rinse it at work twice, yeah. Not fun.

Results

I love it. I mean, after I figured out the stem is unnecessary for me, I loved it more. But even with irritation, it wasn’t truly painful for me. And I know maybe the Diva Cup isn’t the brand for me (after considerable Internet research), but I’m going to keep on it for a couple months because $40. The thing is not cheap, and I’m getting my money’s worth. (A package of my preferred pads for a month @ $7 + tampons for two months @ $12, $40 divided by $13 equals three months until my usual purchase habits make it a wash.)

And that is how it went!

Pics or it didn’t happen

So a ton of people (seven eight) liked my mango post, and one person (The OM Project) made a post recently about bananas and peels and eating them. And I was like, what?

And then I was like, I only have one more frozen banana left in my freezer. I could do that.

A green smoothie in a go-cup
Best Blended Smoothie Yet!

So this morning I did that.

And it was totally NOM.

2 kale leaves

2/3 cups carrots

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1 frozen banana

1 banana with peel.

So my kids were like, “Ew, Mom.” Well, the one kid that was paying attention when I said I was going to do it was like that. And I was a little bit, too. I scrubbed it down like the article said, but still. Peel? I ended up chopping off the top and bottom bits, too. That was just too much for me.

But the rest? Nice and sliced.

So the one thing I would say about this smoothie is this – I think carrots go better with orange juice. So no more carrots and almond milk, because the smoothie is good but a little off. Like the flavors don’t “sing” together, you know? But that’s OK, because I’m pretty sure it’s still good for me and it’s not going to kill me.

So thanks, OM Project! (Can I call you that? Should I keep the “The”?)

Blender Cup

It could just be my machine, but I am of the opinion that the little go-cups with the blenders are not functional. I have much better luck when I use the big pitcher and then pour into the go-cup.

Let me explain.

No matter what order I place things in the go-cup, they will not blend. Sure, the first inch or so will, but the rest? No go. I spent a good five minutes this morning trying to get kale to blend, and all I managed to do was puree the inch or so that the blades could reach. And that thing isn’t quiet! I must have driven my neighbors crazy.

Maybe I’m doing things in the wrong order, I realize. So this morning I made sure to put things in a specific order. Since the go-cup ends up turned upside down to blend, I put in the frozen bananas first. Then the almond milk. Then the kale.

It didn’t work.

So my theory is, the pitcher for all things and then pour into the go-cup. I’m glad I have the cup, because it’s a great size – 20 oz labeled, but I think I squeeze in an extra 4-5 when I top it off. Perfect for 2-banana smoothies with up to three kale stalks.

If you have better experiences, please share. I need all the tips I can get!