Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 21 – Project 20 Minutes/21 Days – A brief summary

Activities – run, run, yoga, hike, hike, yoga, yoga, yoga, walk, walk, yoga, yoga, bike, yoga, bike, yoga, yoga, yoga, bike, walk, walk…

Waistline: belly flap is less…flappy?!

Scale says: 5 lbs lighter (good news considering that I had gained some 50 lbs during my pregnancy with Keegan.) 10 lbs more to go! Whoop, Whoop!

Overall Evaluation: I do look and feel trimmer (skinny jeans, here I come). And, actually doing 20 minutes of exercise felt more like a walk in the park (and sometimes was literally was a walk in the park) than real exercise. I do have to admit that it was finding those extra 20 minutes a day that I found challenging. It sometimes meant ignoring the pile of dishes that needed to be done to go pedal on the bike or pushing the toys away in the playroom to do yoga in a less then Zen environment. It also sometimes involved using Keegan as a free weight, or having all 32 lbs of Jake on my back because it’s fun to ride Mommy during Sun Salutations. And, while sometimes it was difficult to get myself into gear, once I did it I felt a whole lot better. The mantra being…NO EXCUSES!

As for 21 days to make it a habit? Well, I guess it does…in part. In the last week I wasn’t exactly forcing myself to do exercise. It’s kind of become a part of my regular routine. I do 20 minutes of yoga after I drop off Jake at daycare and in the evening Jake, Keegan and I go for a 20 minute stroll around the neighbourhood. Easy!

But, in his infinite words of wisdom, my hubby told me the other day that you know you’re addicted when you love something so much you are unable to give it up. This would definitely apply to my kids, my hubby and my morning coffee…not so much to my exercise routine. I do like it! I like when the scale tells me that I’m one pound lighter than I was yesterday. I may even love some aspects of it! I love the fact that I may not have to wear Spanx to that function I have next week. But, I don’t love it. Not yet anyway. But, I’ll keep on trying…J

Part 1 - Project 20 Minutes for 21 Days

Happy Baby Poses!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 20 - First Horse Show

One of my closest friends is a trainer at a riding school in Val-Morin, Qu├ębec. Jake has been there a couple of times and he loves, loves, loves the "horseys"! Last weekend my BFF invited Jake to participate in the beginner (very beginner) class. Let me tell you the competition was pretty stiff, but Jake managed to win a Red Ribbon (that's first place). YAY! So what if he didn't even realise that he was in a competition and so what if everyone got a Red Ribbon. Jake was great and he had a blast! Isn't that is what counts!? I'm a proud Momma! Goooooo Jake!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 19 – Thanksgiving Ritual

Kids can be really smart, creative and ingenious if you give them the chance! That is what I discovered over the Thanksgiving weekend. I was taking care of my nieces on Thanksgiving Day and while the little kids were down for their afternoon nap, my oldest niece, Kylie (7 years), and I were discussing about the meaning of Thanksgiving. I was explaining to her that Thanksgiving was a day where we give thanks for all the food that was harvested throughout the summer. The usual tradition in our family is to go around the table and to tell everyone what we were thankful in the past year. But, Kylie, being Kylie, thought that our normal practice would simply not do to mark such an important occasion. Being the colourful and creative girl she is, she decided that this year our family would do a much more grandiose gesture. She then asked if I (and I quote) “could help her prepare an event to thank Mother Nature for all the great things she gives us in nature to survive.” (Did I mention that she is brilliant?)

This is what she came up with!

The event (more like a ritual) took elements of our normal tradition, but infused a bit of nature loving witchiness in it (good witches of course).  That afternoon Kylie set up a white sheet and decorated it with candles, flowers and a basket. As the master of ceremonies, she also prepared a speech on coloured paper and binded it together (very official). That evening after dinner, she led us outside and asked us to sit next to our assigned candle. She delivered her speech thanking Mother Nature and then asked us to “go out in nature and collect something we are thankful for.” When we had returned with our piece of nature, we all went around the circle and thanked Mother Nature for each item (a leaf for being so colourful, a piece of wood for building the house we live in, flowers for decorating the gardens and making us happy, etc). We placed each item in the basket and our candle was lit. Kylie then led us in two songs to commemorate the occasion (we looked these up on the Internet, and I’ve included them below because they were a hit and a hoot).

I’m not sure if this will become our new tradition, but it was very special and as unique as Kylie. Sitting together in a circle, under the stars and by candlelight, singing songs and being thankful was not only fun and a family bonding experience, but we also felt closer to nature. The ritual was also a great learning experience for the little kids. Kylie taught them so simply and authentically about nature and gratitude in a way that no adult could. For me, the gesture reminded me that our bond to our family is like our bond nature, we are all connected for better or for worse. This bond is sometimes fragile, and for that reason, we all need to take time to care for and be grateful for each other.  

For such a great experience, I am grateful and thankful for you, Kylie!

The First Thanksgiving
(Sung to: "Twinkle, Twinkle")

Pick the corn and pick the beans,
Pick the squash and other greens
It is harvest time you see
Come and share a feast with me.
Bring your family out to play,
We'll call this Thanksgiving Day

I Eat Turkey
Sung to: "Frere Jacques"

I eat Turkey,
I eat Turkey.
Yes, I do
Yes, I do
Turkey in my tummy,
Yummy, yummy, yummy.
Good for me
Good for you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 18 – Hey Little Buddy! How Did You Get Up in There!?

When you become a mom you soon realize that you will have to deal with some pretty gruesome situations. For example: the humungous flutter-blasts (the poops that explodes out the top of the diaper and splatters all over the babies back); or, the throw-up all over you, the bed and the baby. These are the nasty situations that only you as a mom can handle (must be an X chromosome thing) because fathers love to suddenly become inflicted with a case of dry-heaving.

But, the nasty situation that I had to deal with this week is where I draw a line in the sand.

On Wednesday, Jake woke up in a fit. He was howling that his bum hurt. I automatically thought: 1) he had a small rash; 2) he had to go to the potty. When he confirmed that it was not in fact a number 2, I grabbed my flash light to look for a rash. Well, I can also confirm that there was no rash. But, I did find something. There looking right back at me was a little white worm! A WORM! I tried not to panic, I held back a little scream, and not to mention the dry heaving. I did not want to alarm the toddler. I carefully pulled up his pull-up on and told him to go back to bed.

After a restless and reluctant night sleep in the bed with Jake and his new little friend, I immediately called our paediatrician. Even though Jake insisted that his booboo bum was all gone,” that little pain in the butt needed to be evicted immediately!

We went to the paediatrician and he did confirm that what I saw was indeed a worm. Yuck! Apparently these little white critters (officially called pinworms) only come out at night. Children usually get them from sandboxes and play areas at school or in the park. They swallow an egg and a mature worm emerges out the other end. They lay there eggs at night and that’s what causes irritation and scratchiness.

Despite the fact that worms are totally gross, the good news is that these little bum buddies are for the most part harmless, common and pretty easy to treat. You don’t even need to go to your paediatrician. You can get Combatrin over the counter. It’s a one dose medication that exterminates the worms completely.

The best precaution, however, is to make sure that your kids wash their hands after they go to washroom and before they eat. But, since you can’t always control what your children put in their mouths, I suggest a routine flashlight inspection of the tushie. You may be surprised to find that your child has a little night buddy too!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 16 - Saying Goodbye: Airport Confessions

Yesterday we drove Papa to the airport. He’s off to Europe for three weeks and saying goodbye is never easy.

A lot of people ask me how I manage a relationship with someone that travels more than seven months out of the year.

Well, here it is. When I first started dating my future hubby I was miserable. Dropping him off at the airport was like something out of a sappy movie. We hugged and cried, and then, we hugged some more and we cried some more. When we were apart we spoke on the phone for hours on end (our phone bill was astronomical). I would wake up sad and go to bed sad. It was like my life stood still while he was away. It didn’t take me long to realize that I couldn’t live this way. I had to regain some sense of normalcy in my life because I couldn’t live with all the drama the situation created. It was either we part ways for good or I had to change my whole attitude and outlook on the situation. And, since by that time I had fallen head over tea kettle for the bugger, I had decided on option two. It was a very conscience and rational decision on my part.

From that day on my whole view of our situation did transform because I decided to look at it differently. On the one hand, I could stay a sad love sick puppy, on the other, I could decide to just be happy. I was after all lucky enough to snag myself an incredibly passionate and determined person that would never let anything or anyone keep him from achieving his dreams. I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to stand in his way.

My hubby’s drive inspired me to focus on finishing school and then my career. We each supported each other in our separate endeavours from afar. And, when we were together, we managed to find time to buy a house, get married and have two children. It’s funny how a change of perspective can change everything…

And, how is it now, after eight years, and with two children to add to the mix?

After dropping Papa off at the airport we were all a little out of sorts. This part never really gets easier. But, after a good night sleep we all woke up refreshed and happy. And, life continues as usual. While, Keegan is still too young to notice that his Papa is gone, Jake is used to it now. He understands it’s for good reason. According to Jake, “Papa is going to bring us back a treasure chest of gold medals!”

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 15 - A Word on Dancing

I remember being at my uncles wedding as a teenager. The dinner was over and the music started. Everyone was on the dance floor having fun when out of the corner of I spotted her! My Mom! She was doing the most embarrassing thing a Mom could do to her teenage daughter in public! Yep! She was dancing…or something like it (Sorry Mom!)! There she was - gyrating, flailing, head-bobbing, shimmy-shimmying, and lip-synching words to a song that she didn’t know. I was horrified! But, what made matters worse was that she spotted me looking at her (obviously oblivious to my utter and complete embarrassment) and she waved at me to come dance with her. I reluctantly did! But, insisted on giving her the teenage eye-roll and scowl! The one that says: “Stop it Mom! You are Soooo Uncool and you are Totally Embarrassing Me Infront of Everyone!”

Well, little did I know that I would be eating my words in the future!

You see, I love to dance! In my late teens and early twenties I would head to the bar with my closest BFF’s and we dance all night! And, we were pretty good too. At least my girlfriends were good and I would like to think that I could hold my own. But, since I had kids, I’ve had little opportunity to do so. I gave up dancing when my belly got so big that I my movements felt less like dancing and more like an impression of a scared chicken.

But, yesterday was that day that I actually got to try out my dancing skills. Jake and I were listening to music and we started an impromptu dance party. I was moving body, shaking my hips, bobbing my head, waving my arms up in the air and I started to think that this first attempt at dancing may not be so bad. WRONG! I saw Jake, my two year old, looking at me with a little frown on his face that told me it was bad. VERY BAD! I looked down at myself and saw what he saw! My arms, hips and legs were moving, but not even remotely close to being on beat! I looked like one of the rejects from So You Think You Can Dance. The ones that you so feel bad for because they just don’t truly grasp how very bad they are.  

I was disappointed. This is just another example of things that they don’t tell you in baby books and that I feel would have been useful to be informed about. Things like:

1)      Morning sickness can also include afternoon and evening sickness;
2)      Expect that you or your children will never leave the house clean (Murphy’s Law – if it is clean, they will find a way to put their sticky, dirty hands on it);
3)      After you have kids you may no longer be able to laugh, run, sneeze, or jump on a trampoline because you may risk peeing your pants;
4)      The laundry pile will be now a permanent fixture in your house;
5)      Expect that there may be times where you may not shower for three days in a row, and there may even be times where you question when you had your last shower;
6)      Expect to not sleep until your kids are safely out of the house; and
7)      Your child will have at least one major temper tantrum in the middle of Wal-Mart (plan your exit strategy in advance);

As if this wasn’t bad enough add to the list:
8)      After you have kids, you will lose all sense of coolness and you will now dance like YOUR MOTHER.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 14 - Rain, Rain, We Love Rain!

The sunshine and warm weather have gone away, the beaches are closed and vacation time is over. The everlasting days of summer are gone and the drizzly gloominess of fall is upon us. On these days, it’s tempting to huddle inside where it is warm and dry and to hibernate under the covers. But, with kids, day after day of huddling inside can quickly lead to cabin fever! Arts and crafts, board games, puzzles, and TV can only get you so far.  With everyone cooped up inside there is bound to be pent up energy (and not to mention crankiness) that needs to be released.

My question is: why do we insist on staying inside when it’s raining?

Drizzly fall days are a great opportunity to get outside, to explore nature, and to make important discoveries. It’s just a matter of putting on a rain jacket and a pair rain boots! When I was a child, there was something magical about those days. The sound of the rain falling in the trees, the color of the changing leaves amplified by the flat light, the sweet, musty smell of the rotting leaves, and not to mention the wildlife that seemed to come alive in the wet weather. On those days I would jump in puddles, try to find the funniest looking mushrooms, pick the reddest leaves, listen to the birds, and make mud cakes. After a couple of hours outside, I would come in all wet, dirty and tuckered-out. My mom would strip me down, wrap me in a warm blanket, and give me something warm to drink. It was total bliss!

I still enjoy those days! But, what I love best is sharing them with Jake (Keegan is still too young). I always love seeing Jake’s sense of exploration and the way he lights up when he discovers something new. He also loves the rain. It doesn’t bother him a single bit! And, like his mommy he finds those puddles irresistible!