Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Soooo excited!

Changes coming soon... new platform (Wordpress) and new blog design coming soon from Mamikaze....


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Keeping Promises

One of the reasons I've never committed to an "exercise program" is because I could never figure out how to PLAN my program. See, I'm kind of a planner. And when I mean I'm kind of a planner it's kind of like saying Eminem is kind of inappropriate.

I'm a planner. I want to see 12 steps ahead at all times. I want to know that doing XYZ will result in 123. It's taken me a long time (9 years actually) to realize that now that I have kids.... things will never follow my plan again.

Oh, I will try. Still I will try. I will make my plans, I will grit my teeth when they go wrong and pat myself on the back when they go right.

And I am trying to change. Just by degrees. Not even my inches but possibly by millimeters... I am in Canada, afterall.

My exercise plan is one example. It's not so much a plan as it is a promise to myself. I promise that I will try find a half hour to exercise every day. I used to think that wasn't enough. And maybe it isn't as much as I should do, but it's what I can do.

Today I left the office with 45 minutes until I had to pick up my son from camp. I ran home, jumped in my work out gear and ran to the gym... which is in the same facility as the camp. I ran for 15 minutes, walked for five and left... red-cheeked and sweaty, to pick up my son.

Not much... but enough so that I can say I'm a step closer to my goal. I can run for 15 minutes and make it 1.26 miles. That's about a 5 miles an hour... all I need to do is keep taking one little step at a time and make it to 1.5 miles in 15 minutes. Next time I'll try 5.1 miles an hour.

But that's not all... I also managed to walk about 5km (I'm totally mixing up my miles and kilometers... hope you can keep up!) which I think is 3ish miles (I know 1.5 miles is 2.4km...) after the kids headed to grandma's.

And I got the living room clean.

I feel productive. I feel good.

And I did it without a plan. I just kept my promise to myself.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Camping - A Photo Essay

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nothing in the closet fits me....

... says my blog.

And so, we're going to go out and get something new!

Details to come! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sign #593 that my daughter is meant to be IN CHARGE.

Emily: Mommy, can you draw me a picture?

Me: Sure sweetie, what do you want?

You got Balls? No. SHE has Balls.

Sorry for the radio silence there... I had what we'd call a Catastrophic Event. aka...  Mama was sick... I hate the flu but for whatever reason the greater the intensity of the flu, the shorter the duration... and this one was just a day. But a LONG day it was.

I'm sure the reason that it was so intense was the stressed out ball of hell I became on Wednesday and Thursday. Part of my JOB (the one I never blog about) involves getting things to a place on a deadline (kind of sums up a lot of jobs!) and this was an important place and an important deadline and Things Were In Danger Of Missing Deadlines.

So there was crying and pleading and some more crying (mostly on the phone to UPS, some of it may have been fake) and angry words (all definitely not fake) and a speeding ticket for $129 but Lord love a duck the eagle landed and I got them to their destination.

And the next day the flu got me. Blech. I will spare you the details but I will tell you that the next day I was three pounds lighter. I do not recommend this method of weight loss.

But I will digress no further. Have you all met NakedJen? I received a lot of positive comments when I posted the bikini pictures, but NakedJen did THIS. I don't even have words for THAT.

I do have words. Brave. Beautiful. Courageous. Wonderful. Awesome.

I am still investigating the meaning of "own your own glitter"... I think that phrase could find its way into my vocabulary if I could determine the proper usage. And I want to teach it to my daughter. Which will be easy because Glitter is her thing.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Bikini Dare .... who's with me? ...... *crickets*

I did something tonight. Something horrible. It wasn't eating the last two sugar cookies, though that was pretty horrible ... with a side of stupid.

I put on a bikini.

And took a picture of myself. Three pictures actually. Front, side, back. And I did not suck it in. I let it hang all out.

My intention was to print them off and hang them on my fridge. Except what's even worse than that? Yep, putting them on my blog. The back shot is SO AWESOME with the back boobs.

Are you ready? Have you cleared the room of small children? Whalers?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Please don't use the "make the time" line with me.

I'm having a pity party. There are no swag bags at this pity party. I feel like writing but I don't want to because I hate to give into the weepy anger and put it all out there so random people can judge me.

I want to be in better shape, I want to exercise more but I can't seem to fit it in. The first person who says I have to make time is seriously going to get a gut punch. There's time but there's no ALONE time.

I get up early and my daughter gets up with me. I can't work out with her underfoot because she's a normal almost-4-year-old and she wants things like food/cartoons/cuddles or she wants to work out with me and there's no freaking ROOM. Getting up earlier doesn't help because she just gets up earlier. Going for a run doesn't work because when Major Man works night shifts he doesn't get home until I have to leave and I can't very well leave my kids alone in the house.

I tried to work out tonight and it was a gong show... my daughter kept getting out of bed over and over...

I have a gym membership but I can never get there and back over the lunch hour AND eat. I've gone there starving and nearly passed out.

I try to make a healthy lunch but our freaking 1960's fridge is so small I can't keep a lunch kit in there so I'm always trying to do it in the morning and running out of time.

When hubby is working nights he sleeps until 5pm, then he's a zombie until he goes back to sleep at 8pm and I'm a single mom the rest of the time. The kids take all of me.

I am losing a few pounds on weight watchers but it's slow and I want to get in SHAPE and not just lose weight.

I feel like all of me and everything I want is wound up in other people. Like I need their permission because otherwise it's just selfishness. Or even if I get their permission it's still selfishness.

I would love a personal trainer... I'd love someone who actually cared about my goals. Cared if I achieved them. It seems I only ever get one response when I voice these things: Well, you could do it if you made the time.

It's true.

But the time is there, it's just not time that belongs to me.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Mad EMR Skillz.

It's no secret to anyone who has been around me for the last couple of months that I've been taking my Emergency Medical Responder course. I'm either boring my work friends to death with tales of my awesome EMR instructor or I'm re-telling some story that was told or showing them a new thing I learned... I feel like my brain has expanded, grown four sizes like some intellectual Grinch.

I've always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder that I didn't go to college or university like some of my friends in high school. Although I did go to a different kind of school... that proverbial school of hard knocks where I'd get bucked off and stomped on fairly regularly. I knew how to break horses, castrate bulls, change oil, drive big trucks and many more useful little skills. I sometimes forget to give myself credit for those things because they were useful skills at the time. These days I'm more apt to get frustrated when I can't converse at a high enough level with a political adversary or talk about literature because the last book I read was Goodnight, Moon.

So when the idea came up to make my EMR course, I figured "why not". I had recently had a stint in an emergency room (for myself this time, rather than one of the kids!) and I thought "how great it would be to have some skills to REALLY help someone when they need it".

I think I'm a knowledgeable person in my job... I'm often the "go to" person if you want something analyzed or worked out or fixed.... I hope I'm not one of THOSE people who lords their knowledge over their co-workers, I like to help out.

I was terrified at first to take the EMR class... I am not good with NOT knowing what I am doing. It was soon apparent that I was in over my head. But what was wonderful was that I loved it. I knew I was learning and I liked it.

I'm in my last week now. Just a few days and I'll be writing my final exam. I've passed the written online exams (93% over 18 exams) and now I have a written final and a practical final.

I am going to miss my classmates fiercely. A few are going on to the EMT program and it's hard not to be jealous ... I want to keep up my mad EMR skillz, but even more than that.. I want to keep learning. It's addicting.

But the great thing is that we never stop learning as long as our mind is open to every experience. I'm thinking maybe I'll apply to teach CPR classes ... something that I can do on the side but that will keep my skills up. The other option is what I've been doing now: scouring the streets for signs of car accidents so I can whip out my EMR cape and run to the rescue.

How Do You Define Raising a Child?

There's a tragic story in Alberta this week about an 18 month old girl who was seriously injured in a day home. (story here) I can hardly bear to think about a young baby being abused by someone who was supposed to care for her. So I'm going to leave that where it is and simply say some prayers for her and her family as she fights for her life tonight.

But stories like this always bring out the crazies in the comments. Like this one: "If only people would wait to have children when they can take the time off themselves to be at home all day with them. Im baffled at how people bring a kid into this world, just to let someone else raise it! and then we are all surprised when soemthing goes wrong?! This is sad, sont get me wrong, but who do we have to blame but ourselves. Stop making babies just cause you can! wait until you have the time and money to raise them yourself."

It makes my blood boil, it really does. I have to remember that the person writing this just doesn't KNOW. They don't know all the reasons for putting a child in day care. My daughter goes to sleep each night and asks me "do I get to go to daycare tomorrow?"

We seem to have this 1950's definition of "raising kids". It's supposed to mean a mom at home with an apron on who has supper on the table while daddy goes out and earns a living. Nevermind that for hundreds of years kids weren't "raised" this way.... some were married and pregnant by 14. They had to get up and work on the farm and school was a privilege. It's only been in the last century that we defined "raising" kids by having a mom at home and kids having a pretty sheltered life without having to get up and milk cows at 4am.

Raising a child is a long time commitment. It's 18+ years of knowing exactly where your kids are, thinking about their best interests all the time, making decisions with their needs ahead of your own. Raising also means funding and paying for kids. It means sometimes going without so they can have something they want or need.

For some of us it means going to work full time and paying someone else to provide childcare. Childcare is not raising. That's like saying a house cleaner is a home owner. (There's another topic... oh how I'd love a house cleaner!)

But I too once thought I'd never send my kid off to day care. But then I found myself raising my kid on my own and I knew that I had to go back to work to give him the best life. I tried three day homes that didn't work out and finally tried a large "big box" day care. I was terrified to do it - especially when family members were so critical of my decision. I remember words like "institution" and "abuse" being thrown about.

Now I've had at least one kid in day care (the same "big box" company) almost consistently for six years. Both of my children LOVED day care. And why shouldn't they? It's playing with kids their age all day, doing crafts, unlimited supplies of paper, new learning experiences, fieldtrips... they both have gotten to experience way more than they would have if they'd been home alone with me.

And I'll admit something else... I am happier. Yes, I spend less time with my kids than my stay or work at home counterparts.... but we enjoy all of our hours. I have more patience. I have more energy. I can justify relaxing over doing laundry.

I am thankful - so very thankful - that my daughter loves her day care. She loves her teachers. They greet her every morning with smiles and hugs and the smile at me and wish me a good day at work. She finds treasures during the week and wants to save them to give to her teachers. She has a sweet "boyfriend" at day care that she is inseparable from.

So to those who might think like our friend above... who might think that I'm handing the reins over to someone else to raise my kid: think again. Raising involves so much more but I'm sure glad that I have wonderful partners to enhance my daughter's (and previously, my son's) life and bring love and laughter into it.