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June 19, 2013 / jenwithboys

I think my son is a cat.

I think my son is a cat..

June 19, 2013 / jenwithboys

I think my son is a cat.

I don’t have any pets. But I don’t think I need any. I have three boys, and I believe their caretaking is similar to what it would be like to have a pet. For instance, I’m so familiar with the scent of urine that it barely even bothers me anymore. What?
But of all of my boys, my last one is by far the most pet-like. And this is in a good way, generally. I mean, he’s definitely the cuddliest. In fact, from the moment he was born, to now at almost ten years old, he has always seemed to actually require hugs. As a baby, he whimpered if I wasn’t holding him. As a toddler, he was always found on my lap or snuggling close by. And know, as a “big kid” he mills around my vicinity, not obvious about his need to get his daily dose of hugs, but always close enough to be (accidentally) grabbed and squished. I love it.
But the second pet-like quality is not so cute. He really loves to eat fish. No, not “regular” fish, meaning cooked or prepared in some way. Rather, he prefers eating smelly fish right out of the can: tuna, sardines, salmon- you name it. If it smells gross and has the consistency of dried out sweaty socks that have been shredded up and slightly moistened, then you’ll find my baby sunk into the corner of a couch scooping it, directly from the can, into his mouth.
Finally, there’s the licking. I saw a post on Pinterest yesterday that said: “Don’t lick your arms; that’s what weird kids do.” Yeah, my arms were always damp and stiff to the touch from the constant licking I endured from my favorite pet.
But I’ll gladly scoop up my ten-year-old-one-hundred-pound cat and cuddle him, fish breath and all.

June 18, 2013 / jenwithboys

This happened.

Tom 2Tom 1

So I have this one kid. His name is Tom. Tom is not a regular kid. Tom is very unique. He doesn’t think the same way you or I do. I am confident I will never quite understand his thought processes. Nevertheless, he keeps me laughing with his totally off the wall sense of humor and his never ending crazy antics.

Tom loves turtles, his thumb, and the xbox. In that order. He has at least a thousand stuffed animal turtles, all who are named “Mr. Tom”. Human Tom frequently tells you important things while sucking his thumb, which naturally are non-decipherable, yet are, I’m afraid, sometimes the most important things he says all day.

Oh, Tom. I love him so. He is a an amazing, creative and hilarious boy.

As for the picture attached, it was taken as I was on the phone, discussing with my mom, of all things, Tom’s weirdness. You just can’t make this stuff up.

June 15, 2013 / jenwithboys


So exactly when is enough, well, enough?
I find myself in a strange situation. I was always an acceptable weight, even after having three babies. Never “skinny” mind you, but a nice average size–like a 6 or 8.
Then, years after my last child was born it happened. Slowly. Like a tiny plague for one. My size 8’s seemed snug. But the excuses seemed explainable–I don’t buy expensive clothes, so my T-shirts shrink, or I’m just bloated, or I ate too much salt, had a big lunch, have bad posture, big boobs, a large frame. But no, eventually I morphed into a size 10. Still feeling it was completely acceptable, however, because those certain “well made” size 8 garments could still be squeezed in to.
Alas, several years of this and now… Well, now the 10’s are too snug. And by total mistake, (while I was looking at my hair backwards in the mirror) I saw them. Back fat rolls.
At 5’4″ and 165 pounds, I am fat. So, to my title: “Enough”, I wondered this morning–at what point was I going to acknowledge that enough was indeed enough? For example, here’s a list of things I’ve ignored for the last few years:
1. I must choose where I desire the roll of belly fat to dwell. Do I pull my pants up over it for a roll below, or do I keep my pants below the belly button and live with the belly roll resting on top of the waist band, acting as a “shelf” of sorts?
2. I have not succumbed to elasic waist pants–but the desire to get home from work asap to take button pants off and put “yoga” pants on has become increasingly more urgent.
3. Do my hair nd makeup more frequently so that at least my head is presentable in public.
4. Developed a new way of walking in a bathing suit in an attempt to avoid the uncomfortable feeling that occurs when the tops of my inner thighs rub together while slightly damp.
5. Started buying cheaper, bigger bottles of wine. (No more explanation here is needed)
6. Convinced myself that jorts were an acceptable choice of clothing. (Again to relieve the discomfort of the thighs)
7. Bought into the idea that moms need to be “squishy”–you know, for hugs and stuff.
8.Find it acceptable to be at the same weight non-pregnant that you were when pregnant-(ahh, that was so long ago, I’m older now…)

I could go on and on. But really, enough is enough. Something must be done.

June 14, 2013 / jenwithboys

That guy

You know that guy, the one you see while you are at a stoplight and he is seemingly walking aimlessly towards the next crosswalk? He’s dirty. His hair is mangled and he walks funny. His gestures are different. Sometimes so oddly different that you want to look away. And you usually do. Because his boldness, his easiness is often accompanied by eye contact. He’ll always make direct eye contact with you. He lost that inhibition a long time ago. He knows he’s always being watched, and he imagines the stares he’s received from being what he is have always been judgmental ones. Accusatory ones. But I would beg to differ. I mean, as we mature, as we age, don’t we start thinking: “How did he get there?” “Whay are his movements belabored?” “Does he have a family?” “Is he mentally ill?” And I truly believe, most of us would also wonder: “How can I help him?”–I mean, in a lasting way, not on a I’ll but you a cheeseburger now so you don’t go buy alcohol with my five bucks kind of way. After all, we all know what shame, hunger, tortured thoughts and loneliness feel like. We don’t want to be that guy. But how can we help that guy not be that guy?

June 13, 2013 / jenwithboys

Scratch that.

So anyway, that’s probably not going to happen. 135 for 35 that is. And it’s okay. There are so many weight loss websites out there that are great; that show inspirational stories of weight loss, personal transformation, success beyond measure. This is not it.

Rather, I want you to relate to me as a mom. As an employee. As a daughter, sister, a regular human being wading through the regular waters of the typical American life.

I really think I have an interesting perspective, one that will bring an out loud laugh or two to your day. My story is interesting and it will eek out of my writing through my daily posts. After all, I’m a mom–who has a more interesting life than that?

April 15, 2013 / jenwithboys


Here’s the scene:

I’m 34. I am a single mom to three wonderful boys. I work full time. And I┬ácan’t stop thinking about losing weight. While eating everything in sight. While reading health food blogs. And excercise blogs.

So…I decided to take a stab at it myself.

I’ve got thirty pounds to lose. I’m 5’4″ and weigh 165 lbs. I’ll be 35 in 5 months and every year about this time, I think it would be fantastic to lose weight before my birthday. It never happens. So this year, I thought: “135 for 35”. How cute. But, it means I will have to take off six pounds a month.

What’s my plan? I don’t know!!

End scene.