Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Only getting younger...

It has been sometime since I’ve written a blog.. too long really. There isn’t much to blame it on except my own lack of prioritizing. I could also blame it on Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad (seriously!).

Today is my birthday, 32 to be exact, I figured it’s as good as any to write a blog. I’m sure I’ve written on past birthdays, as I do find them to be a fairly reflective day. A chance to sit and look at what my life holds, what has transpired over the last year, what I hope for the coming year, and who I see myself being as this age thing unfolds.

So if you have no desire to know such things about me, you don’t have to keep reading. 

Unless you’re my mom, then it’s obligatory.

I’ll be honest, I definitely struggle with the thought of getting older. It’s not appealing. That being said, I know that I’m not even really ‘old’. But I’m older. Older than I was 10 years ago, than 5 years ago, older than last year. Yet, when I think about this past year, even when I think about turning 30 and the shift that occurred then, what these last two years have held.

I feel anything but old. 

If anything, I feel like I’m 23, with the brains and confidence of a 32 year old. Sure, I see new lines and facial definitions (wrinkles) when I look in the mirror these days. But I also see dramatic changes physically in the rest of my body that weren’t there when I was 23. The muscle and strength that has been developed, that I have worked hard for, shows. 

That, my friends, only makes me feel younger. 

How has that been developed you ask? Crossfit. Of course, if you are a close friend, family member, Facebook friend, you already know my passion for this crazy lifestyle. I apologize because you’re probably dead tired of hearing me talk about it. But, it’s my birthday, and you’re reading my blog, so you have to listen, again. 

A true test to the personal changes I’ve experienced over this past year came about on Monday, when I had to follow through on a birthday tradition of wearing a weighted vest while completing a workout. The thought of doing this has had me terrified since the first time I learned of the punishment. The person I was a year ago would have shrunk away, avoided (which I did last year!) and generally ignored (refused) to participate because it was stupid. Who wants to put on an extra 35lbs and THEN work out?! Ya, ok! 

This year was different. This year I felt terrified, but excitement at the same time. I knew it would be awful, but I also knew I could do it. In that moment, I realized... my perception of myself has changed, and that is huge. 

So, I did it. I completed a tough workout (which included burpees, running, and weights) with 35lbs strapped to my chest. 

I lived. 

The most ridiculous part? I’d do it again. 

Next year.

*photo was taken mere seconds after I tore off the vest and collapsed. Jude, my son and crossfit side-kick, right by my side (with his t-rex), supporting my recovery.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

To pick, or not to pick...

The other week, I was (in the famous words of Fergie) "...up in the gym, just workin' on my fitness..", with some... technical difficulties. That day, I had unfortunately chose the absolute worst pair of underwear from my collection to wear. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to inconspicuously remove travelling undergarments from places that they shouldn't be, while in a public place. This problem isn't just about travelling underwear, its also about what is socially acceptable to do about it. Everyone gets wedgies, its a fact. Whatever type of pants or underwear you are wearing, they will slowly make their way into the natural cracks of your body. There must be scientific research on this topic and if not, well, someone should master in the study of the physics of a wedgie. It could be groundbreaking, don't you think?

We all know the tricks of the wedgie-picking trade. Wherever you are, back up slowly against the nearest wall as naturally as possible, and remove. Or a simple pants adjustment sometimes distracts whomever you are with, enabling you to remove. Or just be shameless and pick it out. We all have our ways and we are all ok with it.

What does not seem to be socially acceptable for women, is picking the wedgie out of the frontal region. Most men, (I am generalizing) adjust their frontal areas as needed. Again, one of those things that when done inconspicuously and well, is fairly unnoticeable. Sometimes, it is noticeable.. and funny, but I'm not a man, I don't know the struggle. I have a feeling though and am sure that if someone studied the physics of the wedgies vs. the sexes, they would discover that for a woman, it is much more complicated.

So imagine, workin' on your fitness... running, squatting, lunging...whatever it may be, and your damn underwear keeps moving into the places it should not be. How do you inconspicuously remove it? Would it not seem odd to face a wall, or to have to run to the washroom every few minutes, or squat behind a large object.. is there really a successful way? Or are we just doomed to wait it out, counting the minutes until our workout is done, and vow never to wear that one pair of underwear again.

I am sure that if I did my research, I would find 'wedgie-proof' underwear perfect for working out. But here's my problem.. the financial investment it could take to find that perfect pair of underwear is just not worth it to me. Everyone must have a favorite pair and an opinion, but every body is so different. What may work for you, doesn't work for me. So how many times do I have to put out $20 here... $30 there... on one pair... just to realize that it doesn't work either. Say I do find the perfect pair, with my luck, they probably cost around $50, then I would have to buy at least 4 or 5 pairs to sustain my fitness regime. That chunk of cash has to come from somewhere..."I'm sorry children, its tuna surprise again tonight, but momma is wedgie-free!".

There is the commando option. When it comes to tight, spandex workout pants... that option makes me a wee bit uncomfortable in more ways than one.

What's a girl to do? Do we spend our children's milk money to find those perfect panties? Do we just suck it up and access our creativity for inconspicuous frontal adjusting? Or do we just go for it, shamelessly fix ourselves, and enjoy the rest of the workout wedgie free?

Yes, mom. I just wrote an entire blog post about my underwear. I'm sorry.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Night Owl...

I'm a night owl. I'm pretty sure its a combination of genetics and environment. My Mom being a single-mom for the first 5 years of my life, dragged me everywhere. Every late night revival meeting, or prayer outreach, or fanatical Bible study, we were there.. until the wee hours. Even as I grew older, my parents were always the last to leave every gathering of any kind. It wasn't just a childhood of being out late that made me a Night Owl, all of my extended family on my Mom's side are Night Owls. When all the family gets together, its a miracle if we're in bed before 2am. Its just who we are.

Then I married a "Morning Person".

A Morning Person does not understand the lifestyle of a Night Owl. Neither does the Night Owl understand the need to be in bed by 9pm, or how one can be so chipper at 6am. Nevertheless, we were meant to be together and honestly, have struggled through our definition of an "appropriate" time to go to sleep.

A regular bed time for me is around 11pm and technically, I consider that going to bed "early". If I am in bed before 11pm, it must mean that I am exhausted or sick or angry. My Morning Person on the other hand, its a miracle if he stays up past 10pm. That rarity only happens on the weekend, if we're watching a really interesting movie and he hasn't by some random miracle of the sleep gods, already fallen asleep.

It's also a rarity for us to go to bed together, at the same time. Being the Night Owl that I am, 9pm feels like my evening is just starting. It also means, that I think have mastered the art of quietly coming to bed. My Morning Person may disagree with that statement as even the slightest sound seems to wake him. I'm not sure if you've ever experienced the brillant hillarity of a person who's been asleep for a couple hours, then awakens, but still isn't fully conscious. Its something that I experience on a nightly basis.

As I am stealthily sneaking into bed, he will pop his head up with the most confused (and slightly disgusted) look on his face and ask "What are you doing?!". Really, its rather comedic that in his sleepy, unconsious state, he is so confused by my presence, often saying the most ridiculous things.
The other night when I was tip-toeing out of our bathroom he popped up and said, slightly hurt "Hey! How come you didn't say hello?!".
I didn't realize that greeting him as I snuck into bed was so important, definitely not making that mistake again.

Often, I restrain myself from engaging in any conversation as to not take advantage of his vulnerable state. This is very difficult and one night, I just couldn't help myself. As soon as he popped up and asked what I was doing, the words "Oh! I'm getting you up! Its 6am, you're going to be late for work!" may have come out of my mouth.

Cruel. I know. But oh so funny watching his reaction.

I'm sure its written in some marriage 'how-to' book, the importance of going to bed together every night. Its something that we should probably strive to obtain but really, the problem lies with me. He has no other choice but to go to bed early as work requires an early start and a long day. Besides the fact that I'm really just not sleepy tired at 9pm, I also really enjoy those couple of quiet hours to myself. I'm sure I could be grinding grains or sewing clothes out of curtains, but really, I'm just zoning out with my two dear friends... the tv and iphone. Those few precious hours are really the only time out of the day that I am completely by myself. I'm not sure I'm ready to give that up yet. Until that day, I will only get better at my stealth bedtime approach and my Morning Person will continue to make me laugh.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh boy....

Recently, I have been absolutely blown away at the difference between our two boys.

Of course, I would be concerned if they were exactly the same, really concerned actually. But I find it so unbelievably fascinating how two average people can create and raise, two very different human beings. I am sure there are some varying outward factors that have changed since E was a baby. Being a first time mom, I was on top of his every move. Being his main influence, whatever I was doing or interested in, he was. He didn't have an older sibling to show him the way or the tricks of the trade. He was and still is, a very cautious kid. He didn't enjoy being hung upside down or thrown around too much. It took him quite some time to gain the confidence to climb up to the highest slide at the park (it probably didn't help that I was always yelling "Be CAREFUL", from below). While walking to the park one time, he asked if we could go and have a latte at Starbucks instead (those would be my genes). Only recently has he found his boyish independence, his desire to wrestle and do kung fu, and play games that only typical boys would love. He's 5.

So far in the course of writing this post, I have rescued BabyJ off the top of the kitchen table about 5 times.

"But mom, the salt & pepper told me to.."

It must be the combination of having an older brother, a slightly more relaxed mother and his own fierce independence that makes BabyJ so different from E. I've often heard that subsequent children are a bit more advanced than the first, but living it first hand is a whole other story.

This kid loves to be thrown around, hung upside down, climb up on EVERYTHING, attempt to walk up the stairs... and down, refuses to be fed unless he's doing it himself, and is freakishly strong for a 17 month old. I don't even want to think about how much fun he will have climbing to the highest slide at the park this summer. (Makes my knees weak seeing my babies so high off the ground). And if he's doing all of this and more now... what craziness will the next few years hold? How will I keep the gray hairs of worry at bay? These wrinkles and bags are not a welcome feature!

I've just been informed that a certain 5 year old kissed his best girl friend on the bus. Furniture scaling does not seem so bad anymore. I know "boys will be boys"... but oh boy, am I ever living it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Not Me...

The infamous "Not Me Monday" is back. Except it's Wednesday. Because I love the greatness that is "Not Me Monday", I've decided to lower my expectation of having to post on Monday and just title it "Not Me...". This way I can be open, honest and vulnerable about the mishaps of my parenting any day of the week. Aren't you excited?

Many things change when you welcome a second child into your family. Along with a regular shower and nap (my nap) schedule so do your priorities as a parent. Suddenly, its not so important that the baby is destroying your kitchen because he's happy... and quiet... and well, now the kitchen looks like every other room in your house. I've let so much more slide the second time around and to be honest, it feels good to not be so high strung.

On a fairly regular basis there are things that happen that make me think... "This would have NEVER happened when E was a baby!". Part of me feels guilty in those moments but the larger part of me realizes that what once was a huge deal, really... is not.

One of those moments occurred just the other day.

Poor BabyJ had been having an off tummy day. Random barf moments from a toddler never make for good times. Generally his mood was good, still had an appetite, but not everything was staying down. (inexplainable barf drives me crazy!!) E had come home from school and I was in the process of making him lunch, finishing up BabyJ's lunch and trying to shove something in my gullet too. BabyJ was being picky, throwing most options on the floor (because of his upset tummy) but I kept offering different things in hope that something would work.

Right when E's grilled cheese was cooking in the pan, I did not look over to BabyJ beginning to gag and barf up the strawberries that had just been ingested. Quickly, I rushed to his high chair where he was still sitting, about to take him out when the thought did not occur to me:
"He is contained, the barf is currently being contained in his bib, he is fine. Let him barf and flip E's grilled cheese before it burns".

I did not proceed to hold BabyJ's bib at just the right angle to catch the barf, wait till the worst was over, clean it out, and put it back on... leaving him contained in his chair, wearing the 'barf-catcher', and tend to the rest of E's lunch. I did not look over at BabyJ (who was smiling, slightly covered in strawberry barf) and realize that ONLY the second baby would be left in a highchair post barf to save a grilled cheese sandwich. Nope, not me.

Since E is in Kindergarten he is subjected to every possible germ known to human kind. We have had much more sickness in our house (despite our best efforts) this year than normal. A few weeks ago, it was E's turn to have "the ick". Thankfully and older child can at least warn you when the barf is coming, or when he has to fart.. which in this case.. were sharts*.

I had thought the worst was over and we were in desperate need of groceries, so off to Costco we went. As we were pulling into the parking lot, E announced that he had farted... but it felt like it was more than that. Oh great. I did not proceed to think about the extra cloth diapers I had in the car that he could wear... worst case.

Quickly, I loaded them into the cart and bee-lined it into the bathroom. One of my favorite things about children is they have no shame, well, mine anyways. They will announce the most humanly embarrassing things out loud, to whomever is within earshot. Here we were, in the Costco bathroom, and I was not holding the stall door closed while balancing a squirmy toddler in the other arm. E did not then decide to announce, quite loudly, that he "wasn't sick anymore! Because the all the little poos were now stuck together to make a big poo!". Nope, not my child.
I did not then turn around to find two lovely ladies giggling, as they were washing their hands. Hopefully, my child's detailed poo description made their day.
In that moment... its all I could hope for.

*Shart: If you are unsure of what this word means I am extremely disappointed. Google it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

17 months is a long blogging break...

As I sit here, typing, I feel very sheepish. The Blogging Judges are in full force this morning, and I have completely failed.

17 months is a long blogging break.

I am not even sure how to re-enter the blogging world, but I am going to try... one word at a time!

If there was some sort of magical app that took your skeletal thoughts and automatically created a beautiful, well-written blog post, I would have had many entries over the last year and half! Unfortunately, now that Steve Jobs is gone, I don't foresee such greatness for a long time. Suppose I'll have to just blog the old fashioned way. Sitting my ass down at the computer, making it a priority to have this time for myself, and therapeutically write away.

All that being said, the last 17 months have been so wonderfully intense and amazing. Many changes have taken place.. welcoming a new baby boy into our lives, watching our oldest transform from toddler to kid, and witnessing my own shift into 'mother of two'. That shift has held tears, grime, stress, laughter, love and joy. But now it really feels like that great pair of worn-in sweatpants, warm and comfy... perhaps because that's all I wear!

Yes, 17 months is a long blogging break, but I have gained lots of great material to write. So dear Blogging Judges... you can suck it, 'cus I'm back.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

And the women gathered...

I am officially in my 'due' month. What a great time of year to have a baby, September just oozes new beginnings, beautiful changes, and a sense of settling, snuggling into routine. Even though I am much past my school attending years, I love the smell of early September mornings. Crisp, bright, cool yet warm in the lingering sunshine of summer.. aahhhh the smell of new school supplies and new adventures. (Yes, I was one of those weird people that liked school).

This September will mark a very significant change in our lives, the welcoming of a new babe into our family. I couldn't think of a better way to start off the month than by preparing to be blessed to my core at my upcoming Mother Blessing. This weekend, the women who are the most significant to me will gather, surrounding me with their love and blessings, and I just can't wait!

Today, my Mom and Sister will begin the long (11 hr) drive to attend the Blessing and stay for the weekend. I am so grateful that they are making the trek to join in on the celebration as it would not be the same without them.

Its kind of fun to imagine they are journeying like the woman would have back in the ancient days. Packing their vehicles (horses, donkeys, caravans... dodge caravan to be exact) with all the supplies (40lbs of juicy, Okanagan peaches to can and jam!) that a mom-to-be would need.

Preparing to take over her home with their nurturing and love.

What a great way to welcome in this birth month then by feeding our belly's and souls, wrapping ourselves in love, laughter, and late nights.