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Wednesday, August 31, 2011


"Who in their right mind does this?"
I thought to myself ten minutes into the P90X Yoga DVD for the first time - back in, oh, January!  I forged on, practically cursing as I "chatarunga-ed" and "downward dog-ed" and did "warrior" poses, wobbling and falling as I awkwardly attempted to contort my body.  Finally after nearly forty-five minutes (the yoga exercise session is an hour and a half in duration) I quit, stomped upstairs, and vowed I was never putting myself through that again!  
What a totally dumb form of exercise.
Bring on the jump training, the push-ups, the chin-ups and the kickboxing - but yoga?

Fast forward seven months:  I have since made it through the entire yoga DVD with a different attitude - more than once even - and not hated it or cursed my way through it.  

(whispering)  "I even enjoyed it yesterday!"

  You see, I have determinedly began P90X again.
For real this time.
Previously, I was doing one weeks' worth of workouts over the span two weeks.  It was good with my schedule but other than getting me to exercise it didn't achieve any kind of routine or noticeable results.  I actually nearly made it through Phase 2 of P90X (there are three 4 week phases) Then excuse number 5429 caused a longer-than-normal break in my "schedule" and before I knew it I hadn't worked out in awhile and my clothes were a wee bit snugger than I prefer and there was a family wedding looming up and I wanted to look decent in a dress.

I am 23 days in of punishing benefiting my body by doing the daily P90X exercises.  As I was putting my body through the paces of yoga last night I realized that I felt strong.  I still worked up a sweat but no longer did I feel like my limbs did not belong to me or that I was going to fall over.  I felt myself performing the fluid motions with familiarity and more ease (not to be confused with easy) than before.

I have never sweated as much nor been as consistently stiff and sore as the last three-plus weeks - and I've been working out on and off for over ten years!
But I feel great!

PS I have yet to get on a scale. I'm not sure I will.  I'm not sure it matters.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Reflections

 It is Saturday morning, the sun is shining hotly with promise of another scorcher.  I slept straight through the night until 7:10 (sleeping in for me!), eaten delicious whole wheat waffles, drank my two cups of flavourful, energy inducing coffee and now I'm feeling a little sad.
There's a certain project that Trevor and I have embarked on in this last month and it has taken him away from us many evenings and Saturdays.  After dealing with the kids the other five days of the week I always enjoy having him around on the weekends.  Someone else to referee the fights and distract them so I can at long last get a thing or two accomplished is always welcome.  I was/am a part of and fully in support of this project but it doesn't make this any more fun and it has made Sunday mostly a write off as we try to recuperate from one week and rest up for the next.  We should be pretty much done after today.  I also have a little cold which never helps things and my parents have been busy or away so I don't even have them to spell me off.  I feel for single parents, or families where one parent is gone a lot, or even families that don't have extended relatives close by for help.

Now it is Sunday evening and as predicted today was the "day of rest" we needed.  As we sat outside this evening after another gloriously hot day the sun was already set before 9 o'clock and darkness was setting in.  Alas, summer is gradually drawing to a close.  I'm not ready for that yet.  I'm loving the heat and ability to be outside any time and the lack of schedule.  I stared at a yard that did not get nearly the attention I had hopes for.  Oh well, there's always next year.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My (Lack of) Sanitary Practices

Sierra and I had just finished baking scrumptious peanut butter molasses cookies and the kitchen had become its usual disaster when such an activity occurs.  Sugar, flour and who-knows-what-else decorated the counters and floor.  I turned and looked at Sierra just as she pulled the dish towel from the stove and wiped the sugar/flour crumb mixture from the bottoms of her feet and then hung the towel back where it came from to be used later.  Then, the other day after my dad spilled some water on the floor he sopped it up with my dish towel, hung it back up, and it was likely used to wipe dry a dish or too the next day.

I'm being honest here.  This is what goes on in my house.
Ideally, there would be a hand drying towel and a dish drying towel. A dish cloth for dishes and counters as well as one for the floor messes. I know quite a few people who are successful with this system, and those of them with young kids I especially applaud.  I can totally see how this would be much more sanitary!
Someday I may strive to attain this higher standard but it is so not even remotely realistic in my world. 
In the mean time, my dish cloths and towels get used for everything from feet to mouths to dishes to floors.
I apologize if I am appalling you.  But this is the cloth/towel situation in my house.  In the moment of a spill I can't be bothered to worry about which cloth/towel to grab.

I do try to change them frequently but there are admittedly days where after wiping a spill on floor the same towel/cloth is used on a clean dish.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I fear this is going to be a long contemplative post as I am sitting in a Second Cup coffee shop, in Calgary, 
(well, as alone as one can get in a public coffee shop!)
I am waiting for Trevor while he has his RA doctor's appointment and then we are meeting up with friends for dinner.  This dinner is the sole purpose for me to even have made the trip with Trevor.  Okay, okay, and also the chance to be alone.  Away from my kids.
Here I sit, thoroughly enjoying my vanilla bean latte - sorry Starbucks, you don't hold a candle to Second Cup - and thinking about friends, my family, and my life.

My first thoughts run to my friends.  I love my friends.  My life is enriched and all the better for the many fabulous friends I have.  The word 'friend' encompasses a rather broad spectrum within its definition and that is a good thing because the uniqueness of each person and their relationship with me would never fit inside a little description box.
  We have many great friends both local and afar.  I often feel guilty and frustrated that I don't/can't keep in contact with them nearly as often as they cross my thoughts.  Facebook snooping doesn't count!  

As our kids are growing I've been mulling over the fact that I have a family.  
 We live as a dad, mom, and two kids.  
A family!     
I don't know why that seems so novel but it does.  Maybe because I feel like I still have to grow up, how can I possible be a mom?
Anyway, with that 'revelation' I feel the need to work on our family 'unit'.  
Trevor, Carla, Sierra, and Sawyer.  
We do so much with others that our little family hasn't had much of a chance to evolve as it's own entity.  When I was a kid I absolutely loved the family times and outings my parents would make for us.   I'm certain that has a large part in why we are still so close and enjoy spending time together.  So much of the days and weeks are spent as 'me and the kids' or 'Trevor and the kids' because of the annoying necessity of work and our attempts to minimize the need for paid childcare.  Our family is as large as it will be (unless God intervenes!) and I really want to cherish and enjoy each stage as our kids grow up.  Not that the number of kids should affect this desire but knowing how fast time is passing already and that I will never again experience certain stages really makes me personally not want to miss out on any moment I have with my little family.

Between friends and family and everything else the fullness of my life has just kept increasing.  Overall, this is a good thing.  We are blessed and happy and wouldn't change most of it.  This "fullness', however, has culminated in a stupidly busy life, oh, since January.  It has felt like every waking moment is filled with something and there has been very little time to 'just be'.  (sorry for all the quotation marks today)  
I'm not complaining I'm realizing. 
I have loved nearly every minute of our busyness and Trevor and I both thrive on an active social life.  

I suddenly was finding myself tired. 
At first I was blaming my going back to work, Trevor's RA, my kids, lack of sleep, the cat catching mice in the house at 3 A.M, the weeds that I've waged war on, the added work going on trips brings, or my ever-growing-never-shrinking-mile-long to-do list.  As you can see, objects of blame were not in short supply.  Then this little nagging voice inside was pestering me and hinting that maybe I was trying to do too many different things.  

I know it's only August but there is already a lot of humming around the fall/winter activities that are too quickly approaching.  I've had to dig into the recesses of my brain and face these thoughts that perhaps my life is a little too full.  I already said "no" to one of my usual involvements for this fall and there may be more "no"s before I feel in control.

I'm feeling a little stressed with the need to change and balance my life a little better.  I don't want to give up time with my friends, I want to concentrate a little more on our family 'unit', and we have an extended family we actually like, and Trevor and I need to keep our marriage strong and then there are activities, and, and, and....
 How do I achieve this balance?
How do I prioritize?
How do I keep everyone happy - especially us?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

About Where We Think It Would Be Fun to Pack Up A Whole Lot Of Stuff and Play Outside For Three Days

For the third year in a row we packed our vehicle as full as it would pack with what felt like our entire house and went camping with my parents.
Whoever thought that sleeping outside inside on the ground protected by a small canvas room, cook and eat and play in the great outdoors along with 30 bazillion mosquitoes and other bugs, and not bathe or shower for three days FOR FUN was deranged of mind.

We must also be missing a few screws because we had a great time!
The sun was wonderfully hot during the day and the mountain air was refreshingly cool at night.
  Sierra ran herself ragged (and us!) by riding her bike,  swimming, building sand structures, zooming down the slides at the park and just being an active four year old!

Sawyer decided that eating small rocks would be a good dietary staple.  Between constantly pulling pebbles out of his mouth and preventing him from going on his own walks he also wore us out!
By the time the kids were in bed each evening all we could do was sit by the fire and drink wine.  Often we'll pull out a game or two, not this year!

After three days we stunk like skunks and our skin had turned a peculiar shade of brown that was not a tan. Also, because there were enough mosquitoes to drive one to the looney bin and we put on so much bug repellant that by the end of our excursion we could practically scrape it off with a spatula!

So was it relaxing?
Heck no!!!
Was it rejuvinating?
Yes, in a reconnecting-with-nature-forget-about-home kind of way.
Did we create fantastic family memories?

Will we do it again

We were constantly fighting with Sawyer to keep his hat on!  Here's one of the rare moments it stayed put for longer than 5.6 seconds.  (Pssst, don't Sierra he has her sand pail!)

I love little girl swimsuits with skirts!

One of the many water toys Granny and Papa spoiled Sierra with!

The first year that Sierra did not want to stomp down any and all sand creations!  We actually got a castle built!

A tuckered out Sawyer, just sitting in his stroller.  Soon to have a nap.

A tuckered out Sierra!  I was reading her a story and all of sudden she rolled onto her side and started snoring!

(for a second or two anyway)

Snuggles with Papa.

Friday, August 5, 2011


The highlight of our vacation was our little getaway to the Okanagan Lake area.  Those two days felt exotic and totally vacation-y!
  We met some dear friends there and had an absolute blast touring the wineries, drinking copious amounts of wine, eating, visiting, and forgetting about our kids.

The view from our hotel room.

A winery.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day in Vancouver

Yes, I am still alive.  

Just when I think I see a hole in the craziness of our life something fills it in before I can even think about walking towards it, never mind jumping through it.

I think I am going a little looney with the stress.

But I'm not here to wretch and moan and complain, I'm here to share with you one of the lovely days we had on our vacation to the West coast.

We took a day and drove into the city of Vancouver to experience the Vancouver Aquarium.  The weather was warm, not hot, with a bit of sun and cloud and made for a very pleasant day.  We ate $6 hotdogs and marveled at the various aquatic animals and enjoyed a dolphin show.

 Even Sawyer was totally taken in as we parked his stroller in front of the giant tank and the seals swam by.

Once we were fished out we invaded my aunt and her 7th floor 400ish square foot ocean- view apartment.  

I'm pretty sure the place will never be the same.

I was admiring the view from her balcony while holding Sawyer when all of sudden I felt him shift and his sippy-cup went flying by my ear and over the edge of the balcony.
It did not fare well.

My aunt treated us to a nice visit, pizza, and joined us for a delightful walk along the beach.