Kinky hair
Olive skin
Big brown eyes
Full set of lips

Mascara? No thank you.
Tweezers? Yes, please.
Eyebrows getting crazy
Lady-stash? Pluck off.

Crooked smile
Baby teeth
Double D’s
Holy hips

Hour glass curves softened by motherhood
Body image altered
Cellulite
Muffin top

Doesn’t matter what I see
What matters is
How she sees that I see me

Celebrate the kinky curls
The crooked smile
The lady-stash tweezers

Love the comfort of my soft curves
Make way for me (and my hips)
Cuz I’m coming
into the me that was always there

Hidden beneath myself
Insecurities
I find the me that was
Born this way

 

I got tired of sitting here with my thumb up my ass waiting for responses to a few queries still floating around in Publishing Land, what with not having a clue what I had even sent out to whom and all, so I took the initiative (read: HC Palmquist made me do it) and trolled through my gmail account to set up a proper excel sheet. You know, so I’d have half a clue.

I cringed at some of the quick form rejections, smiled at the You Don’t Suck, The Market Does responses, and even did a little jig when I saw an invitation to query an agent with future projects.

Then? I saw this:

Dear (Mystical Gatekeeper Agent Person),
When you see my query you also will see a very obvious typo…in the
title of my book. While I am known to typo more often than should be
legal, I am well aware of how to spell “Sane.” Unfortunately, I am
coming down with a cold and shivered while attempting to make the
correction. That is when my fingers hit send for me before my head
fixed the word.
I understand if this takes me out of the running for consideration.
But I did want to take a moment to explain myself.
Please have a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

Pauline M. Campos

So, who’s surprised that I never heard back from this agent?

Anyone? No?

Yeah…I figured as much.

 

I have a new doll. And somehow I managed to convince The Husband I needed it for my blogging. Yeah, I know. I consider it practice. He will eventually say yes just to shut me up about my Platform.

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I came across the SuperMom doll when I was looking for an image for my This vs That post. And I immediately grabbed my credit card and bought my own. Who doesn’t need a plastic woman with a two-faced baby, two heads, two pairs of feet, and a mile long to do list on their desk to remind them that they aren’t the only ones trying to do it all?

I have to admit, I kinda love SuperMom. The spit up on her business suit, the little teeny cell phone, and the to do list kind of make me think, “dude, I am relating with an action figure.” Then I realize that this little doll represents Every Mom as a Supermom and I get all nostalgic thinking about the days when I used to run around the living room in my Wonder Woman Underoos. (And no, I don’t mean last week.)

I do, however, think SuperMom needs a new Super Friend. You know, for play dates and such. A friend who will pick up where SuperMom left off. Some of us never bother with anything fancier than yoga pants and fuzzy slippers while we try to navigate the Work at Home Mom thing, our kids, the laundry, and our sanity. I’d call her SuperWahm. Trade the brief case for a laptop, the business suit for jeans or yoga pants, and the heels for fuzzy slippers, and we’d be golden.

Just think, Happy Worker people…think of the possibilities…the new demographic…and of course, don’t forget to factor in my percentage.

You’re welcome.

 

On Oct. 17, 2006, I found out I was pregnant. We had been trying for 18 months. I was just 20 pounds from my goal weight when I got the news that motherhood was about to turn my life upside down, but who cared? I was baking a baby bun in my oven. Screw you, PCOS, Insulin Resistance, and hypo-active thyroid. We won.

And? I was going to look super cute doing the first time mama thing. For the first five months, I did okay even though the pregnancy sucked. I was diagnosed with hyperemis and hospitalized three times for dehydration, but I was still in the “You’re Pregnant?” category for much longer than I had ever imagined. Of course, that all changed when my body decided pregnancy sucked even more, and I gained 20 pounds in the last four weeks, and despite already being on bed rest, my blood pressure spiked to dangerous levels. Buttercup was born 37 weeks early on June 12, 2007 after an emergency induction. And after squeezing 6.7 pounds of baby out my hooha, I walked out of the hospital 45 pounds heavier than I had been before this whole business began.

But still, I had high hopes (read: expectations) that I was going to lose it all as fast as I gained it. All I needed to do was work out and eat right. And that brand new jogging stroller was gonna earn it’s keep.
Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. And I sure as hell wasn’t planning on being hospitalized three times in the first six weeks of Buttercup’s life for what my midwife referred to as the worst cases of mastitis she had seen in her entire career. I hadn’t figured on the breast reduction I had in 2002 being a factor in my breastfeeding, but there it was, and I had to wean myself and put her on the bottle to keep myself out of the hospital.

I did lose about 15 pounds without really trying after getting back home and settling in to the new routine. But walking, working out, and eating low fat anything did nothing for the muffin top that had claimed my waistline. I had plans to join a gym and get serious but instead found myself burying my father, taking in my youngest sister and my mother, and forgetting about the scale when Buttercup was just five months old.

Working out? Giving a damn about the size of my ass? That all went out the window. I was too busy taking care of my mom and sister to focus on me. Especially when The Husband came home 5 months after that to tell me he had gotten a job in Arizona.
Cross country moves and retaining sanity are not ever to be placed on the same list. Not when said Husband has to leave six months before you and your child can join him and you are left to pack up the house back in Michigan.
Buttercup and I arrived in Arizona on March 18, 2009, with my mom and youngest sister, of course. I started this blog and the twitter account not too long after that. And Project Baby (F(Ph)at was born. If I couldn’t lose it on my own, maybe making myself accountable to all of the Internet would fix me.

Did I take consider my health issues? No. Of course not. I just figured if I wanted to do it, I was going to do it. That’s how the rest of the world operates, right? Of course it does. But the rest of the world wasn’t living in this body.

I finished Baby F(Ph)at on July 27, 2010. In the year it took me to write the book, I had tried a shit-load of eating plans, worked out until I was blue in the face, and lost a grand total of 16 pounds. But I still considered the journey a success. I had discovered clean eating. I had a lifestyle. Diets could and forever more kiss my ass.

A lot more trial and error and a few more tweaks to my eating habits (namely going gluten, sugar, and dairy free) and suddenly I was all LOOK AT HOW HAWT I AM NOW! And The Husband was all RAWR whenever I entered his line of vision. Which was always. Which was nice.

Then today happened.
I got as naked as she was the first time I saw the daughter my body had nurtured into existence, walked up to the scale, held my breath and closed my eyes as I stepped on. It’s a ritual. If I deviate from one step, the Scale Gods automatically slap fat back onto my ass and then force me to look at the number and deal with it, probably not unlike the Aztec sun gods would punish them for a poor live sacrifice by granting them a crappy harvest or something. So I count the appropriate number of held breaths before looking down…

And breath a sigh of utter relief. I had finally found the me that was there all along, hiding beneath the 45 pound muffin top motherhood had super-glued to my body just to prove a point.

And it only took 1,350 days to get here.

 

I started blogging here with the mindset that no one was reading. That no one would read. Why would you? I wasn’t famous. I wasn’t giving anything away. I was just sharing my words. But I guess that was somehow enough.

And 100,000 page views later, I am sitting here in awe. I am not the same person I was when I started here. And I am definitely not the same person who tried blog after blog of what I thought people would want to read before realizing I had to be true to myself for anything I said to not sound like a PR pitch.

I’ll admit I was a scared shitless to drop my first F Bomb. What if I offended people? Turns out I was just being that much truer to myself and my voice. Which, yes, is peppered with profanity. You have no idea how fucking liberating that was.

Every blog post, every story I shared, was just one more piece of me opening up to the world. And each step brought me that much closer to the self-acceptance and confidence I sorely lacked while growing up.

That’s me, in the fourth grade, I think. I was awkward. I was geeky. And I felt every bit the ugly duckling with my mini #mexifro in all its glory.

Before I started writing here, I never would have shared this photo. Before I started writing here, I probably would have burned this when I found it in my mom’s stash of memories.

But I’m not that girl anymore. Instead, I’m this girl.

I’m sassy.

I’m confident.

I’m snarky.

And I’m loving the little bits of me that make me who I am.

Including the hair.

And the crooked smile.

And my F(Ph)at ass.

You might not think that’s a big deal. But you have no idea how hard I tried to be what I wasn’t. There were chemical perms to straighten the kinks. There were copious amounts of aqua net used in a misguided effort to make the bangs I cut look like the white girls I went to school with. There was that yellow sweatshirt and those glasses.

Maybe it took becoming a mother. Every day I wake up hoping to provide my daughter with a positive example of self love. I can’t very well expect her to love what she sees in her own reflection if she sees me hiding from my own.

Maybe it took hiding behind my words before I became confident enough to start sharing myself in photos and videos.

Maybe it took you.

In either case, I am here now to thank you all for reading.

And? For the free lesson in the cheap therapy that is the magic of social media.

Power to The Mexifro, people. Power to the Mexifro.

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