Yeses and Cleanses

My sister-in-law totally pissed me off yesterday when she said “Wow, you sure are starting the new year with a whole lot of ‘No’s’. Fortunately, I keep my bitchiness in check since time was all I needed to process that what she said was so totally true.

You see, too many glasses of wine for my birthday (and New Years) left me starting 2012 with nausea and a pounding headache. With the in-laws in town, there was no laying in bed for the entire day to recover (because at 36, one really needs the whole day to recover from even only a slight bit too much booze) No, we got up to go to Whistler for some skating and outdoor fun.

To which I said No to skating and playing on the snow mound. While they are ‘wowed’ at the Village and how cool it is, I begrudgingly walk along dreaming about my bed and more coffee.

Once we make it back home, I say No to Wii Just Dance 3 and playing our marble game with my nephew. I ditch out of half the movie we are watching and completely crash out in bed.

Yup, a whole lot of No’s indeed.

Not how a new year should begin for sure.

Several friends in the past few weeks have told me they are going to give something up for January. Whether it’s coffee, alcohol or sugar, I was pretty adamant in my belief that they were all INSANE.

But after my day of No’s and a particularly gluttonous month of food, drink and sweets, I am feeling so very bloated and blah. Thus the motivation to begin a cleanse. Clich├ęd perhaps, but also needed.

No sugar, alcohol, coffee, meat, dairy or gluten for me for 21 days. Hey, if you’re gonna cleanse, go big! Part of my brain is sing/yelling

INSANE IN DA MEMBRANE

INSANE IN DA BRAIN…

But mostly I’m just excited. I’m actually craving vegetables and excited to learn how to make green juices and smoothies. So I bought myself a boxing week deal on a juicer and once it arrives, I will begin Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Adventure Cleanse.

The ‘adventure’ part more intriguing then worrisome at this point, though ask me again on Day 3…

Reading through what it entails, I’m not so worried about lunch or dinner. Quinoa, beans, wild rice, salads and soups are regular meals in our home. It’s surviving the morning without coffee and PB on toast that is going to challenge me. And the after dinner wine or chocolate (or both!)

But it’s 21 days right? A chance to cleanse and adopt new habits and discover new loves. My goal is not to lose weight or become vegan or give up coffee forever (Lord NO!) My goal is to give my body 21 days to rejuvenate and adopt healthier habits that I can carry on at a more moderate level.

Wish me luck friends. Better yet, join me!

PS. If you’re a really good friend, please note that Bal may be calling. He is already lining up where he can camp out for 21 days of me without coffee… Depending on how scary it is, he may bring along the kids and the dog too! Screening your calls is totally justified.

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Ski Day

Nothing like standing at the top of a mountain to make you feel on top of the world.

Blissful ski day this past weekend. Sunny skies, warm temps, awesome snow and all with my family who hasn’t skied together in 9 years!

There would have been a time where I would have felt bad for holding up my family. Or felt self-conscious about my less than superb gear. Or cared how I looked straddling those moguls. But no more. Those thoughts didn’t even occur to me while on the mountain. Instead, I was just entirely appreciative to be up there. Grateful to be with my family on the most spectacular of days, soaking in the immense grandeur of our local mountains.

Today, two days later, Brennyn is teething, Riley has puked twice on the carpet, there is laundry to be done (so much laundry to be done), and my back is killing me. So I close my eyes and picture myself back on the peak. Where the sun beat down, the views went on forever and the air hummed with the chatter of giddy adventurers. Where soaring down the mountainside sets your mind free and all that exists is the present.

Finding it hard to have a free mind cleaning up dog vomit.

So today I cheat, ignore my present situation of grumpy kids, chores and sick dogs, and travel back to that fabulous day.

Standing on top of the world.

Method to My Madness

I went on the most marvelous of runs yesterday. Cold, crisp air amongst stunning blue skies and snow-capped mountains. Not to mention the abundance of eagles, blue heron, and senior citizens armed with binoculars milling about.

After numerous closer than usual encounters with the wildlife, I begin a play-by-play of what has happened thus far on my 40-minute run. In an attempt to remember them all, I spend the next 15 minutes devising, then repeating this sentence:

Blessing the peeing North Korean that splattered the mohawked Road Runner screeching a love song.

Yes, this is how my brain flows. Scary right?

I’m assuming (hoping) everybody’s brain works in a similar fashion. Please?

Let me give you a play-by-play of what it all means.

Blessing- Oh, I’d say there was a good 5 minute span where I contemplated the word ‘blessed’. The beauty surrounding me, enveloping me, had me feeling blessed. Which made me wonder at the religious connotations associated with being ‘blessed’ which made me attempt to find another word to describe what I was feeling but lucky, fortunate and happy all did not fit the bill. Blessed it is. But then I wonder, if I say I am blessed, do people assume I am religious? Maybe spiritual? Does a person who is neither religious or spiritual ever feel blessed?

This is about the time my train of though is rudely interrupted but I’ll get to that later.

Peeing North Korean– So I’m running along when I look up on a bank and see a Blue Heron standing still, staring straight into a tree. My first thought is that it is odd to see a Heron not at the water. My second thought is of the Demilitarized Zone of North Korea. There, one of my first thoughts was curiosity at the North Korean soldier peeing against the building. Until I walked some more and noticed many of them standing in the same way, facing the buildings, legs spread slightly. Surely I was not witness to an on-command North Korean peeing ritual. Can it? No. It was simply their military stance of intimidation. So yah, the Blue Heron staring at a tree not moving was so that North Korean soldier.

Splattered- An eagle was totally trying to poop bomb my head. Fortunately I was actually in motion at that point and not stopped gasping for breath, clutching a cramp or downing some water and the white splatter landed just behind me.

Mohawk- Oh my god, so there was this eagle on a stump. SUPER close, low to the ground and HUGE. Eagles are not often almost eye-level to you so though you know they are big, when they are only 20-30 feet away, sitting there staring you down, they are down-right intimidating. I stopped, stared back and tried to just soak in that moment of appreciation of their beauty and grandness. Which is when a fierce wind blew, ruffling the big guys feathers, and totally giving him a stylin mohawk. “Rock On Eagle-Tron!” I laugh and carry on my way. Damn, I so should have fit Eagle-Tron into my sentence.

Road Runner- Again, running along when Riley darts to my right into the creek. She aims directly for another Blue Heron, which vaults its wings far and wide and flies directly over my head. This is the blessed train of thought being disrupted. The surprise and enormity of a heron overhead results in me jumping, squealing and scrambling in surprise. Which looked downright ridiculous I realized and madly whip my head around looking for witnesses. Nobody. I continue running trying to imagine just how ridiculous I must have looked. I decide it was similar to the Road Runner winding up for his race- up in the air and legs circling madly. Except I’m more spastic and slow. More Wile E Coyote’s screaming fall then Road Runner’s ‘Beep Beep’ I’m afraid.

Screeching– oh the eagles were a singin’. Two imparticular were up high in two trees, facing each other and squawking, though it sounded more like a mulit-car pile-up on icy roads than a morning chat over fish guts. Truly I have no clue as to whether they were pissed off with each other, ascertaining dominance or gossiping but since

a love song– came on my iPhone just then, I chose to believe they were in the midst of foreplay. Oh, and the love song wasn’t really a love song but on that day, amongst the stunning nature around, “So Much Beauty in the World” by Macy Gray was most certainly a love song.

And that was my seemingly nonsensical sentence making sense.

Seriously, you do this too right?

Right?

Great Day For Up

I love me a good Farmer’s Market.

I love artists. And farmers. And tie-dyed hippies selling their wares.

I love kettle corn. Oh man, do we love the kettle corn.

I love fresh baking. And bison burgers.

I love in-season fruit and veggies and greens.

I love local entertainment and running into people I know.

There is nothing bad about a farmer’s market. Even the booths I do not buy from, I respect. Respect the creativity that brought them there.

I even love leaving the farmer’s market. Full of fresh things to devour. But mostly since it means it is time to check out the town. For wherever there is a farmer’s market, there is sure to be…

A bunch of men walking a mile in red highheels? Sweet.

We spot a friend in the mix and Kaya looks on, at first confused, but I think quickly, jealous. Because red high heels would so compliment her wardrobe. It matches Spidey for goodness sake!

A fantastic cause and donation detour later and we head to some funky independent shops nearby.

I love me a funky independent shop too.

Gadgety, organic, nature-themed, gallery and flower shop browsing is good. Really good.

Even the non-funky shops make the cut.

Like cozy bookstores.

And over-run second hand shops. Where I spend the last $2 of cash that I have. On a horse for dolls,

and a Dr. Seuss.

You can never, ever go wrong with Dr. Seuss.

We admire the vibrant colours our downtown has become,

And then, if there is a better day in the history of days to head to the lake, I will not believe you.

So we go. Because really, truly, today is a Great Day for Up!

Up, Paddleboarding Style

Aging Gracelessly

Did you ever have that moment when you are window shopping and you see a reflection of a pregnant woman and you think simultaneously “She’s so big! She’s so gorgeous!” only to discover that the reflection is you?

A similar, though entirely worse moment happened to me recently.

Brennyn has taken up waving. At everyone. Especially anyone on the TV. It is probably the cutest thing I have ever seen in my whole life. That clumsy open and shut of a chubby hand in front of a crooked smile of pure pride.

Wanting to encourage more, I wave back.

But something is wrong. Flashes of ‘old!’, ‘Oprah’, ‘flab’ and ‘Must. Stop. Perpetual. Motion.’ flash through my brain before catching on to what is happening.

I have stopped waving, but my under arm has not.

You read that right. I am 34 years old, do relentless reps of 22lbs and 36lbs weights (of the human variety) on a daily basis, and I have arm flab. That will not stop waving.

This has got to be the first sign of old age. Not gray hair nor tales starting with “Back in the day…” Arm flab. Why don’t people tell you these things? Why didn’t anybody warn me that one day I would give a two-stroke wave goodbye that would turn into a 4-5-6 stroke Bon Voyage? A heads up would have been appreciated elders. Or were you too busy trying to tame your getaway arm to fill me in?

What’s next? Armpit bulge and Hunched backs?

Son of a ….

Past and Present is a Present

One year ago today I signed off on final papers to sell my business. It was also my due date. That day, that week, is a blur in my memory. I remember being very, very pregnant and having to climb a seemingly insurmountable set of stairs (one story only but one very hot story) to get to my lawyers office. I remember all the legalese sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher. I remember being thankful that I did not have to sign papers in between contractions.

I remember anxiety, stress, guilt, anticipation, joy, nerves, sadness, anger and then, gloriously, RELIEF. It was more than just an emotional state. It was physical. That moment when, papers signed, pouting done, I suddenly felt light. Airy. Even with the 40 extra pounds of baby, placenta and too many chocolate chip banana loaves.

I just finished a writing class where I wrote a personal essay about that time, but mostly about moving on.

Oh and have we.

Yesterday, June 23rd, was a big one at our house.

Brennyn was, last year at this time snug in my belly enduring all mommy’s crazy emotions but somehow coming out joyful despite all that, this year took her first full walking sequence. She’s been doing 2 steps here, 3 steps there for a couple of weeks now but today on our way outside to play, she spotted daddy in his office in the garage. I set her smiley, grunty, pointy self down, and she just bee-lined it straight for daddy. Her way of making up for doing the first 2 steps while he was away in California. After daddy scooped her up, cheered and gave her high-fives, she wouldn’t sit down. Crawling was so yesterday mom. She tried all day to walk. Which she did. Along with many, many, many, many plunks on the bum, falls into furniture, slips onto the floor. Of course, every time I attempted to get in on film, she would stop, see the camera, and do her mad-dash crawl to manhandle the electronic device. I may have to set up a spy cam today because that wobble-steady-step-step-wobble-steady-step-step-step-wobble-aaannnddd-PLUNK is just too precious (and short lived!)

And Kaya. Oh my gorgeous, growing Kaya. Last year she would not put her face under water and yesterday she went off the diving board in her swim lesson! The metre high diving board! Ever since her Auntie Kinzy went off of it, she has eyed it up longingly but fearfully. After asking her a few times with adamant NO’s, we decided she would do it when ‘I am bigger mom, like 5!’ She’s also going to be able to drink beer when she’s 5 apparently so 5 is the be all and end all of being B-I-G!

Bal and I try to make a point of both going to at least her last lesson of each session. She loves when ‘the whole family comes watch me!’ Having not run in 2.5 weeks, I really wanted to go for a run instead but a mamma’s gotta do what a mamma’s gotta do. I compromised and while Bal drove over to pick her up from preschool, I ran to the rec centre to meet them. It was only a 10 minute run and I really just wanted to keep on running instead of sitting in a stifling, chloriney pool. But oh how thankful I am to not have missed that moment!

I see that some of the bigger kids in bigger lessons are celebrating their last lesson by going off the diving board. Cool, I barely register. Until I see Kaya’s teacher leading them towards the diving board.

“Are they…” I start.

“Noooo, there’s no way!” Bal replies but his inflection suggests maybe they really are.

“Oh my god, they are. Is Kaya going to…” I am gobsmacked. She’s walking right up to the stairs up. I am getting my iPhone’s video camera ready just in case but still doubtful. Bal grabs it and runs over. I grab Brennyn and race over to a prime viewing spot, blocking other parents lined up in chairs, but not giving a damn.

Then she’s doing it. My heart is racing. I am nervous for her. I am wondering ‘Is she okay-nervous-scared-exhilerated-in over her head?’

But mostly I am proud. So heart-bursting proud I can barely even contain it.

Listen folks, she is not running across, barreling off the board doing a twisty, double, swan divey doohickey-wonder of a dive. She is with her teacher. She is slow. She is lowered into the water with a slight drop to another teacher below. But that is not the point.

She is conquering her fear. She is stepping outside her comfort zone.

She is doing it.

A year ago I suspected selling the business was not only the necessary thing to do, but the right one. Today, looking at my amazing girls, I am so bloody grateful for these moments and I know, without one doubt in my body and soul, that it was more than the right one. It was the only one.

Dad’s Day

Dear Daddy,

Thank you for cuddles and kisses. For bubbly bubble baths, teaching me to ride, reading me books and happily playing prince and princess with me. Thank you for making me dinner and letting me have more rice than veggies. Thank you for tucking me in and letting me visit you while you work. Thank you for laughing a lot. Thank you for telling me I am beautiful and smart and funny. Thank you for airplane rides and upside down giggle-a-thons. Thank you for piggy back rides and letting me ride on your shoulders too. Thank you for silly songs and toe-topping dances. Thank you for the twirls- so many twirls!

I love you Daddy. I love you as many stars fill the sky.

That’s a lot of love. Like 23.

Love for always,

Your girl,

Your lil buddy,

Your Kaya

Skipping Rocks with Dad

Play

***

Dear Dada,

Uh (said as a grunt) then a point, up, up, up to Daddy.

Biiiiiigggggg Smiles! And another grunt. A joyful one.

With love and big, open mouthed slobber kisses of delight,

Your Miss B.

Points to Get Her 'Point' Across

***

In our town, on Father’s Day there is a kids bike rice (The Mini Metal) to coincide with the big kids bike rice the day before (The Test of Metal). The kids race is a bit haphazard and chaotic. Slightly over the edge of safe but in a good way. There is speed and cheering and maybe even a cowbell or two. There are an awful lot of smiles. Giggles too. And yes, maybe a few tears. But always a dad to scoop them up and encourage them to get back up again and GO!

It is very much a Father’s Day-style bike ride for kids.

A mom’s day one would probably end up being a little more civilized. More organized. More order. More boring truth be known. So it is, on Father’s Day, mamma’s give up a little control and let their kids fly. With daddies jogging beside, keeping the fleet cruising. And laughing. Competing. And, well, racing. That’s what we’re here for after all.

Family Bike Ride to Watch the Test of Metal Riders Take Off

The Test of Metal Riders

Start of 3-4 (to 5) hours of riding. Ugh.

Starting Line of the Mini Metal!

Start of 1 hour of biking (which feels like 3-4-5...) lol!

GO KAYA GO!!!!

Daddy and his Girls

A great day for the greatest dad. Love you!