Old Thing, I think I love you

Exactly a month from now, I will be wandering around London with my husband looking altogether too touristy. Hey now, those sneakers are comfy, don’t judge.

We will both likely be very jet-lagged and doing our damnedest to stay awake. My husband will be trying his hardest not to either beat me over the head or tease me as I stare and exclaim every time I see a building/monument/old thing that further cements the fact that I am, indeed, in Great Britain for the first time in my life and OMGlookit!!!! A stone wall that is really old!

People are going to think I’ve lost my nutter when I take pictures of ordinary, every day things. Why is that woman taking a picture of cobblestones? Or that wall? Or that tree? Or that random doorway? Is she insane? She doesn’t even have a fancy pro camera!

Because those things, if they could tell a story, would have so much to say. By taking that picture, I can revisit and wonder at just what it has seen in the centuries gone by. I can imagine the people, their history. I can wonder at the changes. It can fuel my belief that in noticing these small, seemingly mundane objects, we are truly appreciating the past. The culture, the people, the lives lived. Think about it…  I will be standing in a city that was a city before people even knew the continent I live on existed! A city with untold treasures under centuries of buildings, roads, and progress. I feel as if I could stretch my senses and listen to the peoples of 1500 years ago, who lived at the banks of the Thames. That I can look down at my feet and connect with the person who laid the tile on the floor of the cathedral. It is heady, exciting… And hard to explain exactly why I feel like this.

I know… I can hear the collective twirling of fingers around ears. Crazy woman, dramatizing and romanticizing old places. They’re just buildings and walls. Its just a tree. That’s just a Roman road.

Truthfully, I think about our history when I am downtown Ottawa too, sitting under the massive old trees in Major’s Hill Park. I wonder what they were witness to in the past 200 years; the secret conversations, the changing faces. I daydream standing behind the library at Parliament Hill, looking out over the river and imagining the logjams, or the workers building the Rideau Canal locks.

Perhaps I should have been an archaeologist or a historian, if my path had been different. *adds to list of Sliding Door plot ideas*. I tend to get a little exuberant about really old things. I think I might just be that kind of person on a dig who would get excited every time they unearthed a pottery shard, or old button. Right…

Being as this is our first time to visit the UK, I am absolutely beside myself. We are going to a wedding (of good friends we are so excited to see!) at a Norman keep. I get to go riding. In England (bucket list item)! We get to walk onto London Bridge, take a picture or a video, and send it to our kids. All because London Bridge is their favorite song, and they know all the verses. Yes, there are multiple verses. Do you know them? I didn’t, until my son educated me. Its a LONG freakin’ song when you add in all the verses, you know.

And yes, my son knows that the Tower Bridge is not London Bridge. He is quite adamant when you try to trick him. Although he thinks the Tower Bridge is pretty neat , and makes up songs about it, too.

We are planning, in our short visit, to try and take in some of the must-see places in London before we jet out to where our friends live, to explore Essex in all its early Spring wonder. We don’t have time to do a trip out to somewhere outside of London before the wedding weekend, so we compromised. The next time we go, we’ll be able to say we’ve “done London” and can visit further afield, like Stonehenge, or visit the 432 castles I have on my Castle Bucket List. Tintagel, here I come!

And let’s not get into the trip I want to take solely to hike the length of Hadrian’s Wall. This will happen, people. Who wants to do it with me?

So i am asking you, friends, what should we see? We’ve got the usual suspects, such as Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Westminster, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Kew Gardens…Fleet St., Picadilly Circus… It is a little silly all the places, right?  I could go on. So, let’s get down to brass tacks. What truly awesome bit of London should we explore? What old things should we love?

Help me find the stories.


Green Goop, Anyone?

It is official. I suck at making green smoothies.

I have tried, honestly, I have. Some of them were middling tasty, but I always ended up with tiny bits of spinach  in my teeth, not enough of an ingredient to make the recipe right, or my blender choking on the frozen fruit, causing me to add more liquid and producing RunnySmoothie™.  I also dealt with green smoothies that were decidedly NOT green, and several times would be slurping away on a (not too terribly bad) purple/brown drink, only to make my husband give me that look that indicates he is pondering my sanity.

Which he does every day, really.

Sometimes, I would want it to be creamier, so I would add protein powder, yogurt, or milk, and it would ferment over the course of the night in the fridge, and when I opened the Mason jar, would pass out from the noxious swamp fumes. Mmm! Fermented protein! And, in the odd case, the taste would be just that wee tich off to make me want to dump the entire glass down the drain before I did, indeed, retch from the abomination of healthy greens, yummy fruit and quenching juice coagulating into something resembling waste sludge or rotting algae in a settling pond.


And I am now remembering the time I forgot I put chia seed in the smoothie, left the second portion in the fridge (in a tightly lidded Mason jar), like I normally do, and the next day, had this off-green gelatinous goop to force down. The taste was ok (if you closed your eyes and pretended it was Jello) but it had a hint of over sun-baked vegetable smell, and the look of it was… Oh Lord… have any of you ever changed a very, very newborn baby? Then you know of what I speak.


I am trying to eat healthier, and get more greens into my diet, more energy packed foods, and I am also trying to increase my iron consumption through my diet since iron supplements  cause my internal plumbing to seize. (TMI? Sorry…). I have to, really, get back on track. Seriously. I left the rails so far behind I am like Lightning McQueen trying to find the Interstate (Mack! MACK!)

So I signed on to this green smoothie thing for January. I was supposed to get weekly emails with recipes, and some follow up encouragement from the website I gave my email to, but nothing has appeared in my inbox save the first “Welcome perky awesome person! We love you, please check out our Amazon store! We love green smoothies!” with enticing pictures of Day-Glo green yumminess in a cute Mason jar with a designer-striped straw and lemon wedge. I checked my junk folder and nada. The Facebook group has even gone quiet on my feed… Oh well. I don’t need a cheering squad to eat, truthfully, and I had the initial “booklet” with recipes (Avocado? Seriously? What kind of person puts avocado in a smoothie? Never mind. Most of my friends do… And they are awesome.).

My daughter, conversely, needs an audience to politely clap every time she takes a bite of dinner, praising Her Majesty for her effort and prowess at getting her fork (with food on it) to her mouth. Seriously, it is the only way we can get her to eat right now. Otherwise she is singing about animals, wiggling off her chair, and yelling about random moments from her day while my husband tries to get a word in edgewise.

She’s so much like me it is spooky.

Some days I forget completely about my smoothie, but I am getting three or four green smoothies per week, so that is better than last month, when in place of a healthy breakfast, I ate shortbread and leftover stuffing, followed by a vat of coffee, chocolate, and an allergy pill. I am a rock star, or at least ate like one in December. *urp* yeah… Not so good, that. Did you know that leftover cream cheese frosting is really, really good on saltine crackers?

Don’t judge.

But back to my failed attempts at Green Goddessdom. Awhile back, in the summer, I was making  smoothies every morning. But, drinking a smoothie on the bus was problematic when you are standing the whole way downtown, and your driver believes he is an Indy Car driver, or has some sort of tick that makes him hit the brakes every. ten. seconds. I don’t even dare to sip my coffee anymore! No one wants a faceful of that when he slams the brakes and everyone becomes more intimately aware of the stranger beside them. (unless that someone was my Secret Pretend Bus Boyfriend. We could handle that, yeah?)

So I stopped.

I was making them with chocolate protein powder and greek yogurt, with coconut oil and water, with strawberries and pineapple, with bananas and blueberries. I added chia, and hemp seed, and flax! They were yummy! They were appetizing colours! They were palatable! (the blender was a *&^%$ to clean). I even did spinach from time to time, but just enough. I wasn’t doing the green smoothie thing, really.

So this month-long challenge, which I have so utterly and completely failed, was hope for me to restart that morning ritual of packing my poor, underpowered blender with far too much frozen fruit and whizzing up something I could positively say was healthy for me. It was supposed to be fun. And easy. And make Day-Glo green smoothies I could pretentiously drink at work when I shook my pretty Mason Jar up and tapped my delicate striped straw into it. Mmm!

Instead, I had co-workers asking me what on earth I was drinking with that look on their face that indicated they were pondering my sanity. Which happens regularly.

So… This morning, once my Booster Juice Spinach Is In It smoothie defrosted from the walk to work down frigid Sussex Drive, and I took a sip through the ridiculously long straw, I did indeed realize I have learned something in this month-long adventure.

I suck at making green smoothies.

Good Girl

When I was a child, I was told “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

I’ve always kept that at the back of my mind when tramplingfinding my way through social situations. I took it to mean “Don’t complain, don’t say mean things about others” etc. I also took it to mean “Keep your mouth shut and don’t participate because you are dumb, will sound stupid and people will hate you”. This attitude stems from many years of being told just that, and my own basement-level self-esteem holding me back at various points.

I truly thought I would never amount to anything like what I am now, a long time ago. I felt like I was indeed worthless, stupid, destined to a life of menial labour with no fulfillment, self-loathing abuse, and terrible life decisions. Slowly, over time, this has changed, and I am in a much better place. I have scars, and consequences of these decisions, but they are lessons and building blocks of where I am now (which is better, if you have kept up to my nattering so far).

However, I never said my Inner Critic followed the same advice. My Inner Critic, sometimes still thinks I am ridiculously fat, stupid, and worthless. She is beaten regularly to improve morale,  I assure you. Har-har-har. No, really…

Most of the time, I realize how ridiculous it is for me to believe these things about myself, and thankfully, the times when I truly do berate and whack myself about with such negative ideas has diminished in the past couple of years, significantly. Running, finally finding local female friends in the same place in life as myself, being solidly married, having the fulfillment of two tiny people who drive me nuts and elate me in a second’s time, and becoming much more accepting of my my post-babies body has helped immensely.

If my 20’s self could see my 30’s self, she would be horrified at how saggy various body parts have become, but also excited because my 30’s self is way happier in general.

But, despite all this personal growth to the positive side of the graph, I still have my moments, and I still deal with those terribly dark thoughts from time to time. **Honesty Alert** – I have been dealing with them in the past two months. Hard. I have been trying my best to not let it show, to stay upbeat, to remain sunny and positive on the outside.  No one likes a Debbie-Downer! No one wants to be around a morose person. Even my husband gets annoyed with me, tells me to “suck it up” or “snap out of it” (which really helps…).

Also? the crazy of Christmas does not help. I was very glad to see Christmas over this year. It was wonderful, I enjoyed being with my family, but when the tree left the house and the decorations were packed away, a whole weight of stress left with them. I breathed a sigh of relief when our schedule got back to normal. I have missed blogging, I had missed routine. I did not miss constant Christmas music…

But, it could also have been the allergic reaction I had to the tree left too making my entire body go “Thank the &^*% that is over!”… Jes sayin’…

When it comes to my blog and lack of blog posts, As I have mentioned before, I hate using it as a place to complain about stuff (unless with terrible jokes and in light of larger issues and fun). It all seems so trivial when I try to put it down on paper and justify why I feel so horrible about myself, or my current life. Do I have a right to be down and out? I have so much to feel blessed about. It would be rude of me to do woe and angst, when so many others have so much less than I, or are far less lucky in life than I. I should be ashamed for how I am feeling, right? No one needs to hear about my sadness, or my struggles. they all have their own &*^% to deal with. I can’t burden others. Besides, no one likes a complainer. So the blog stays quiet, like a pond in the morning sunrise *cue swelling music* and I didn’t write because I didn’t want to be negative.

Yeah. WTF, lady? Reach out, ask for help, vent to someone. It does good, remember? Writing it down makes you happier. Talking to people makes you more grounded. Durr…

So a week or so ago I did say something to someone (or several someone’s), and almost immediately the tension lifted. I felt better, I felt understood, and I mentally shook myself like a wet sheepdog. I realized I indeed don’t need to give in to the overwhelmed, tired and down monsters. I actually ran last week. Three times! And wrote! And am writing here! I also am sleeping better! And not having anxious, heart-pounding, sweaty panic attacks anymore (at least a week has gone by where I have not had one, now…)

Jeebus… Rollercoaster ride, anyone?

The amount that simply telling someone “I’ve had a hard time lately” helped was immediately noticeable. True, the lack of light, the beastly winter weather we’ve had, huge allergic reactions to dry air and the *&%^ing Christmas tree, constant cold after cold courtesy of my youngest, and various other stressful family and life situations have been wearing me down like water on a stone. But it helped.

The Dowager is hilarious, and I love her lines. But in reality, sometimes I need to stop worrying about being the “good girl” and just get it off my chest. I need to let others help me shake it loose. ♥




I am secretly a Dwarf from Middle-Earth

*very off topic post today. Feeling bookish.

Husband surprised me with a date last Saturday, when I was feeling %&^$@*.  I desperately wanted to cancel, but he’d already set up the babysitter so I figured why not. It doesn’t take much effort to park my &%^ in a movie theatre seat. He dangled the one story I go back to again and again in front of me, enticing me.

Besides, the lure of Martin Freeman, the Cumbersmaug©, Aiden Turner, and Richard Armitage was too much to bear. Yes, I am easily bewitched by brooding, dramatic men from the UK. Aren’t we all? (OK so all of the British Isles, and Ireland… Love you, honey…)

We went and saw Desolation of Smaug, which is the third new movie we have seen in the past couple of months. It is nice to be able to say we are getting out of the house for no other purpose than our entertainment. Usually, if we get out of the house without the kids, we try to make practical use of the time. Boooring… I know. I am nothing if not efficient, right? So, because we’ve been trying to relax and de-stress, we’ve gotten out to see the new Thor movie, Catching Fire, and now, the latest Hobbit, one of my favorite childhood stories.

I am enjoying the Hobbit movies, and contrary to seemingly the entire Internet Hobbit fandom, enjoying the additions to the storyline. Yes, I am referring to Tauriel and Kili. If you haven’t seen the movie, I have not spoiled anything for you, I promise. Also, I am glad for the chance to see more female characters in the storyline with prominent roles. Just like I was in LOTR, with Arwen, who kicked BUTT.

I also (also?) love me a good swoon-worthy romance, and of course, beautiful people don’t hurt. I mean seriously, I think Peter Jackson had to know the panties would drop when he introduced the line of Thrain:

Tell me you don’t agree. Go on…

Photogenic dwarves aside, I am revelling in the retelling of what is, for me, one of the first big books I read that I remember. My copy of the book is quite old, and I think was purchased from a used book store in my home town. I haven’t re-read the story yet, because I want the imagery of this interpretation to sweep me away, without remembering nitpicky details of the canon. Who cares if they add stuff to the movie, that is what movies are supposed to do! Embellish, expand, bring characters that exist as imaginations in our mind to life. Create a rich world robust with the peoples in it. There was more to the Hobbit than met the eye. Tolkien knew this, his son knew this. Hence LOTR, The Simarillion, the Children of Hurin… And now the team of people helmed by Peter Jackson have worked some magic into a new generation of Middle-Earth converts, I hope.

I am thankful to him, jes sayin’, really.

The Hobbit was the first book that caught my imagination as a young reader. It was the Gateway into fantasy books for me. After that, I read anything with elves, dwarves, and halflings, orcs, goblins and ghouls. I found stories that were sweeping adventures, often with a female lead and a romantic pairing. It was an escape from reality, which for me, sometimes really, really sucked. It was an adventure.


Now I have to wait for the final installment, which will feel like forever. Thankfully we will have the Outlander TV Series to distract me. Mmmm hmmm… Jamie and Claire FTW!

Bumpin’ Rum Bussin’ Hijinks

Happy Hump Day!

I almost added rum to my coffee this morning, when in a flash of absolute brilliance, I switched my 1% milk with some of the eggnog I brought home last night.

Oh yes… I was poised at the liquor cabinet. But I relented because well… That would really be irresponsible of me to put rum into my coffee. I mean come on, that would be wrong, right? To get on the bus, tempt folks with the heady rum-coffee aroma as I languorously open the top to breathe in the deliciousness… And not share.

Sharing is caring, everyone. So next time you want to bring a paper bag-disguised mickey of Jack Daniels onto your morning express downtown, remember that, k? (I kid you not, this happens from time to time)

I did not get much sleep last night, for various reasons (one of which I must remember to get decaf at Tim Horton’s  when I do evening coffee. What do they do to their grounds? not even espresso from Starbucks gets me that jittery). I have one eye that is puffed out like a prizefighter, my sinuses are slowly hardening into concrete, and my hip is hurting like a *^&%er. I was the picture of serene, rested, luminous beauty this morning (oh how I wish there was a sarcasm punctuation mark…).

In all seriousness, flirting with my Secret Pretend Bus Boyfriend was out of the question. Besides, I was really tired, had not even swiped on mascara (see puffy eye mention), and didn’t want to scare him. I left my sunglasses on (yes I am aware it was overcast and not one iota of sun was peeking through) and hid, thumbing through my phone, sipping my coffee and clutching my backpack to my lap for fear it touch the disgusting bus floor.

So basically I looked like an OCD, repentant cougar with a killer hangover. Super. All I need now is a Leopard-print Dr. Zhivago winter hat and I am ready to pounce. Meow? *sneeze*

Le Nordik saunas and whirlpools on Friday cannot come soon enough (Screw Calgon, I want Aufguss).

Walking in the snow on the sidewalks the past two days, in boots I really need to replace, has had a toll on yon IT Band across my hip. So yeah, I have been stretching, slowly doing some cubicle squats, and avoiding the gym because I really need to be healthy to start training in January for my race goal in April (OMGWTFBBQ… four months from now!). I’m also realizing that I just need to get through this month with sanity (hence Le Nordik being a necessity). Husband is stressed, I am stressed, the kids are overly- excited about Christmas and my son asks every damned day if tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I am still able to answer him civilly, so I’m not strung too tight yet. That is the barometer. If I snap, you know the stress got to me. If I am still able to say “No, sweetness-of-my-life, it is in two weeks” without twitching, I am ok.

Get back to me about that on Friday around noon… I may have a different answer. Wear armour. Bring chocolate. Be nice if I ask for a cuddle.

We may need to get some of these.

With the forecast showing us more snow, I am considering if the expense of yaktraks is warranted before I get paid next week, or if I should lump it, and ask for them to be my Christmas gift from my husband (I know… How romantic are rubber and spikes that you strap to your… Oh… Wait… Don’t answer that…). I am doing Bambi on Ice interpretive dance on the sidewalks the past three days (soft tissue injury, here I come!). With my red toque, and green backpack, I am sure someone is going to ask me if I am an elf from some Santa figure skating show. Seriously. I just need the pointy ear thingys. Think I can borrow Channing Tatum’s? (http://www.newnownext.com/channing-tatum-is-a-sexy-blond-um-elf-in-jupiter-rising-trailer-watch/12/2013/)

But its not just me that is sliding about. If we get much more snow in December, our poor OCTranspo busses will be the ones driving way more carefullydoing Bambi impressions, because their normal balding summer slicks slide in this greasy, slippy stuff. Like on Monday when my bus driver couldn’t stop in time and slammed face-first into the back of the bus in front of us, when we were downtown. A few folks fell over, a few bumped body parts. I had just sat down at the front of the bus. I was lucky.

I walked the rest of the way to work, doing Sidewalk Ballet, and by the time I got to work, I was exhausted. I think my hip likely said “Ohhh no, sweetling. We don’t do that anymore, see?” and called their union rep, because ow.

I could’ve used a shot of rum after that to calm the nerves, let me tell you. Too bad there wasn’t any to be had.


So, for the past few months, I have been a tad rudderless when it came to goals. I was in maintenance mode, a little adrift. I have started a strength routine, but for the past two weeks have not really had much luck getting to the gym with flu and general December scheduling making it near impossible. September through end of December is really a crazy time of year with our house. I should know this by now.

So, yeah… Not fitnessing near as much as I “should”; let the internal browbeating begin.

But, last week, I relented and put away the stickfoam roller I had been (mentally) flogging myself with. I started saying “I’m ok with this. This is a journey, and I will not beat myself up for not going full bore.”

I have done that in the past, fretted over missed workouts, fretted over not being as balls-to-the-walls as I think I should be, having nightmares of never going to the gym again, and crying because I can’t run and am “missing out” on the opportunities and gains I could have had. I am hard on myself in that regard and have had to really try hard at letting that go a bit. I have two little kids that need their mama. I have a full-time job. I have a husband who is working INSANE hours right now and has his own fitnessing three mornings a week (Crossfit, yo!). I have a home that I need to keep decent (hahaha… well, semi-decent) because my husband can’t help out as much. The run will always be there, the gym isn’t going anywhere, and I have time. No goals, right? Just taking the lull to work on steady, smart gains with no injury. Be at peace with your effort. Own the run, right?

It is still a big ole ball of stress-o-rama, but I am coping, rationalizing, and trying my best.

On this Friday past, I spent the evening with some women I cherish. They have been supporters, ears, shoulders, and sweat-mates for a little while now. We are all working hard to keep balance, some of us with young kids, some of us with massive, amazing goals.  They all inspire me, and push me without even realizing it and I wish I could see them more often.

We were talking about our fitness and body struggles, and something stuck with me. I have not seen my scale (or jean size) move up or down more than 5 pounds since last year. Yup. I have been stagnant. Plateaued, if you will. It has been on and off frustrating, since I tend not to weigh myself that often, so when I am not near a scale I don’t think about it much. But nevertheless I would love to see a smaller me, as I have mentioned before. I focus on strong, I focus on being fit, not a size or weight, but with that, comes the desire to have less to haul around on a run, or less of a “folding accordion” in my middle when I do back squats (complete with off-key, feeble whooshing noises. Heh.).

But, one friend pointed out “You have maintained for over a year! That is a big deal!” – KABOOM moment. Yeah! I have! I have not gone back up to a size 22 and 220 pounds. I have not expanded while I was off, tending my hip and foot. I stayed status quo.

Holy &^%*balls, that was one of those things we call an epiphany, I think, right? I have maintained! That is great! Wow. I’m sure somewhere I had noticed I had not gained weight, but my brain is a sieve, and the grocery list/school paperwork/bill notices pushes that important affirmation out on a constant basis.

So that was what I was thinking about on Saturday morning at the pool, watching my kids bobbing about in the water. I was thinking I was going to be ok, and this week to go back to the gym would be really nice. That I might back off the weight and have a couple of really good mobility-inclined lift sessions to get back into positive headspace-land. I was absent-mindedly planning my schedule when I checked my email.

There was an email from InStride Events about a race. Then, my phone dinged at the same time, with a co-ordinating post from a running friend on Facebook where all the usual suspects were chiming in on how awesome [it] was going to be and that they had signed up and YAHOO!

Yup. A race. In April. 16 km was the distance all my friends were aiming for. 50% off until end of December.

*cue intake of breath, heart-speeding up, and fingers twitching*

As with most of my goal setting, the impulsivity stayed true to form, and I signed up while sitting at the bench, with my phone. The woman beside me was impressed I was signing up, so I tried to be nonchalant while inside I was FREAKING OUT. I was sitting rigid, trying not to shake.

Dramatic much? Obviously… Either that or the coffee was finally hitting my bloodstream. 8:45 lessons are early for me, on a Saturday. *eyerub*

Dear God, but I have committed to a big goal this time. I have never run 16 km before (Tough Mudder doesn’t count. That is officially classified as a 16km trudge). I don’t know if I will be able to by April. I’m worried my hip won’t handle the running. I already know I will be super slow (which is not a big deal, really) and will likely be doing intervals. Part of me has utter confidence I can do this and RAHHH! RUUUUUN!!! The other half is really worried I just bit off more than I should be chewing.

But that is the idea with goals. It has to be challenging, right? Like my Tough Mudder, like running a 10km “race” for the first time at New Years, like my Army Run 5 km waaay back when I first started this crazy journey… All of it has been a challenge.

So on April 27th, I’ll be running the Manotick Miler 10 mile distance with a bunch of friends. http://manotickmiler.com/ is the race website, and until December 31st, you can register with a 50% discount (very much worth it, IMHO). I ran the 10km distance last year and enjoyed myself, loved my finish photo, and was impressed with the setup. Well run, smaller, and really encouraging volunteers. Also, Manotick is very pretty, and there is a Gingerbread cookie store there. I know, right? Omnomnomnom…

So much for a lull in my training goals, and being able to simply focus on steady, smart gains! In January, my feet have to start hitting the pavement again. Now, to buy new shoes, a new running jacket, fight forschedule time to do long runs, and a find a sensible training plan… Anyone got any suggestions? ♥

Keep Swimmin’, Kids

This weekend was Parent’s Day at swimming lessons, so all four of us were in the pool for 8:45 am on a Saturday morning on a day that the in-laws were visiting (which was awesome, it was a lovely breakfast and a great visit). We did fitness as a family! I know! We win Parents of The Year, right?

Additionally, I get an extra cookie for not freaking out (too much) when I stepped in poop. But that is another story.

On Saturday, I hustled the other three members of my family out the door early, my husband saying “We don’t have to leave yet, why are you freaking out?” and looking rather grumpy, so I hustled more, just to tick him off because marriage means you get to have those moments of love together and enjoy them thoroughly.

I did not want to have to get to the pool and do the quick-change thing, stressing us all out so that we are snapping at the kids and speaking to each other through clenched teeth before we are supposed to go get in the pool and have fun, DAMMIT! Besides, I hate being late to things. Hate it. So, of course, God has a sense of humour, because I married someone who has (on many occasions) made me wait until I am a twitching, ragey ball of fury because by the time he made it into the car we were indeed going to be late and had to banshee-warp speed to the day care to get the kid on time. (I also hate missing previews at movies).

I digress. Pool. Saturday. Right…

With all four of us needing to get changed, showered and out to the pool, I always account for shenanigans and extra time. I was a Girl Guide, and worked for years in the equine industry. It was drilled into me through special badges (that, and I can make a killer towel rack from rope and twigs) and the need to adapt or die (read: horses don’t care about your timeline). We were able to get ready without too much crazy, and we did not have to yell once. Go us! I was also able to secure a locker for our hundreds of winter layers that needed to be peeled off.

I think I could totally be a wicked wetsuit peeler at an Ironman. I can strip a vibrating child of their snowpants in 2.3 seconds flat. How hard could a fidgety, soaking wet, hyped-up triathlete be?

I went into the pool with our daughter so my husband could horseplay with our son (and help him practice his back float), and I spent half an hour singing nursery rhymes with a beefy, man-bearded instructor, dunking my daughter in and out of the water like a sacrificial cork. Fun times. She did, however, jump into the water all by herself, and was giggling when she came back up, so it was fun for her. My son was all smiles.

Whiny, tired kids on the way home. Checkpoint!

I was too short to kneel on the bottom of the pool, so I spent  the entire lesson in a squat position in the shallow pool. My hips, yesterday and today, are screaming at me. If you listen closely, you can hear them throwing the F-U’s around pretty liberally. Walking has been slow. Sitting was agreeable, but ascending stairs with full laundry baskets? Oh wow… That sucks. Motrin is my friend, and my bursitis was not a happy camper at all.

Screw this getting old &%$#.

I didn’t get to the gym last week, coping with flu, craziness, and generally panicking aboutdealing with the onset of Christmas Prep 2013. So I’m feeling a bit guilty about that. I’m wanting to get back to it, realizing that taking a week off is not great to keep going with the gains I am seeing. I have mentally slapped myself several times, and this week, am going to make sure I at least get three workouts of some sort in. I feel a bit pudgier.I feel a bit stiff, and slow. I feel creaky. I had a bubble bath last night. It helped.

Also? Grapefruit shower gel makes really good bubble bath, and can clear your sinuses right out. Awesome.

I am looking forward to seeing some friends on Friday night, and this coming weekend we get our tree. Our entire street got theirs this past weekend, I think, and we felt like we were breaking some rule about not buying our tree. But Sunday we simply hung around the house, went sledding with the kids, and relaxed. Necessary. Today I feel a bit more relaxed, and ready to tackle the week because we had that down day. Let’s see how long that lasts.

Just keep swimming, right? ♥

Base Zero and Metaphors

Holy *%^$balls, life went Kersplody.

Messy, happy, snotty, sick stuff everywhere. I’m still mopping up, and I am still deciding how to get through December without going bat@#$* crazy. The holidays are upon us. I have so far been able to avoid doing any cookie baking, and have done most of my shopping online. I have begun the Great House Purganization 2013, with some success. Now… If only the dust bunnies would move out (and take those darned Cheerio elves with them) and the Laundry Gods would continue to favour me, I could tackle the massive pile of baby stuff to sell, sort the toys currently lurking in the basement, and get that stain off the basement stairs carpet… We’d be almost back to base zero. Hoo! Think of the free time! Hah… Right.

I have ventured into a store or two for gift shopping, but at off-peak because I hate Christmas crowds. Also? I have no idea what to get my husband, so I am left wandering a lot, not inspired. Not a clue, honestly. And Dad? What do you want for Christmas this year? My creative batteries are on low, so let me know what would make you a happy Grandpa, and the kids and I will go get it.

We’ve also decided not to have a Christmas Open House this year. This will be the first year, since 2008, that we haven’t had one. We looked at cash, and time, and the fact that we are so stretched energy-wise that we’d be nuts to try and get the house company-clean and cook for that many people while maintaining the work/ home life schedule we have. I have to say I am completely relieved, but also sad. We love having people over, it is a chance to see as many of our friends as possible around Christmas, and provide some cheer. Plus, having 40 some odd people (17 of them kids in your basement watching TV) is quite an experience in a three-bedroom bungalow.

That said, friends are always welcome to give us a call, or come over for tea on the weekend. Just don’t mind the crumbs, constant noise, and bedlam, ok?

The past couple of weeks, truly, has been really great and really awful all at once. I have done a couple of runs, and they were awesome. I have been in the gym kicking butt. Also awesome. Missed a kick-butt Tupperware party. Not awesome.

The worst was that my wonderful, beautiful, never-replaceable Mustang Blue Running Room Run Jacket is gone/stolen (I think, since it is nowhere to be found and I was certain where I had left it). The realization, when it hit, made me break down sobbing. It was passed to me from a really awesome and inspiring friend, Ally (http://runningawaywithmyself.blogspot.ca/) and I am really at an emotional loss because that gift meant so very much to me.  I loved that jacket, it fit perfectly, and was a comfort on every run. I have to replace it, but I have to afford new running shoes too. *^&%. I am still looking for it, checking the lost and found at work periodically, but… Hope is fading.

Curse you, whomever took it out of the locker room at work, if that is what happened. CURSES UPON YOUR BLACKENED SOUL! *ahem*

Finally surfacing after my stomach flu is great, but with the massive green and red twinkling freight train of Christmas approaching, I want to dive back down. Let’s not talk about piles of snow, holes in my winter boots, tense school meetings about my son, my lack of gym visits in the past few days, or the entire family having colds all at once. I sound whiny. I’m not, really. Just tired. Really, really tired.

I think it is time to start Vitamin D and iron again. Blargh.

Finally, along with being bedridden and achy for the past few days, I’ve been thinking in metaphors, and I wrote some down in my flu-like haze. After re-reading them, I wanted to share some of them with y’all. I kind of liked them. Note, I am not sad. Ok, some of these may sound sad, or depressing, but they aren’t. Just snippets, ideas. Playing with the ideas. See after the More. ♥

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You know, I realized this morning I swear a lot. (Note: this post contains many <bleeps>)

In my head, out loud sometimes, and yes, occasionally, in front of the kids. I swear to alleviate pain when stepping on a random tiny toy, to relieve pressure when I can’t get my coffee mug lid off, and when I am frustrated beyond belief at my husband. I also swear when someone cuts me off in traffic, I break a nail, and I spill my coffee. If I am not careful, someone may, at some point, rename me Ian McShane.

I try not to… Honestly! But it just comes out. They say people who swear a lot are more trustworthy and dependable… If so, I am on par with Mother Theresa. The logic is sound, right?

But this morning I swore heavily. Half under my breath, since I didn’t want to be disruptive. But swear I *&^%ing did, and for good reason. I was standing in front of my locker at the gym, my hair dripping wet, my too small towel grasped in one hand around my middle, and my outstretched hands holding my %^*& jeans in the other.

Holding jeans should not elicit Potty Mouth, you say, but I beg to differ on this. Especially this morning. @#$& yes.

last night, I was exhausted, and packing for the gym the next morning. I get everything ready to go, so all I have to do is stumble to the bathroom, put on workout clothes, blindly grope to the kitchen, wolf down Breakfast #1, and grab my lunch from the fridge. From there, I can ZombieMom walk to the livingroom, put on my outdoor clothes, pick up my backpack, plug in my music, and leave. Make it easy and it will happen, right? This morning was no exception. Walking outside woke me right the *&^% up. Lord love us, but that was a brisk walk to the bus.

So back to last night, as I was blearily putting day clothes into my pack, I grabbed the first pair of jeans off the stack in my drawer. I assumed they were a pair in “rotation” (what, doesn’t everyone have a jean rotation? Only me? Oh… #organizedfreak) and threw them in. No biggie, off we go. Easy-peasy-porkie-pie. (Mmmm… Pie.)

Cue aprés workout.

I pulled the jeans out of the pack, and looked at them. Hmm… I don’t recall my currently fitting jeans having that blue a denim colour. Hmm… I don’t recall my currently fitting jeans having that long a leg. Hmm… Let’s check the label.

“Oh ^&*%ity, %^&$, @#$*!”. <– Exact words, people. What I was staring at were a pair of size 12 Old Navy jeans that are supposed to be living in my “Not yet fitting” storage pile. They somehow made it from the closet into my dresser, to the top of my jeans pile. In all my productivity this weekend, they made that journey across the floor of the bedroom, and likely, in my blind focus to cleanoutallthethings™, I just threw them in.

Aww… @#$%.

So here I am naked, showered, and contemplating the fact that I have no *^&%ing pants to wear. I looked at the sodden mess of workout clothes currently on the floor, and felt the ick of putting cold, wet, stinky capris back on. I contemplated that I would be late for work because I would have to wait until the stores in the mall opened and go buy myself a *@$#ing pair of jeans that fits. I contemplated how I can barely afford to do that right now.

I contemplated crying.

Then I contemplated trying them on. Yes, I &^%$ing did. I wiggled into my compression underwear, and stuck a leg bravely in. Then the other.  With a silent prayer to the Cellulite Gods, I pulled the &%$#ers up, did the wigglebounce that all women do as they put on jeans. Wigglebounces are mandatory when putting on freshly washed, tight jeans, I think.

Now, bear in mind, the last time I tried these on I could not get them over my MoonHips®. I could not even think about doing them up. I have been in a size 14 pant for many, many months now. I was dubious, and already thinking about where I could pull cash from, and hoping the sale at Old Navy was still on.

I looked down. They were on. Holy @*#%.

I experimentally pulled the edges of the button over towards one another. I prayed some more, and the button met the button hole with a little effort. Then, I did Zipper Yoga™ and slowly, the zipper inched its way up to the top.

Holy Petunia eating a Fudgecicle, they were done up! Size &%$#ing TWELVE. I was euphoric for a moment, realizing that I could actually get the ^%$&ing things on and done up for the first time in a long time. Breathing was difficult, I felt like a stuffed sausage, and I am sure people were staringwondering if I was going to pop, but ^$%&, they were ON!

I immediately did a few experimental squats, leg lifts and such to work the jeans in a bit (I could SQUAT in a size 12 jean! WTF?). I was going on the principle of denim sag. We all know that Old Navy jeans go on super tight, and ten minutes later, you are hauling the *%$#^ed ass up when the spandex relaxes.

So kill me, I am too cheap to buy designer jeans… *sigh* Also? Can’t afford them. Seriously.

I am stubborn, and with a mirror examination to ensure I was indeed able to walk about in them without embarrassing myself, I wore the &^%@ing things to work. I have a muffin top that I am hiding with a cardigan, they feel snug, and I may still go buy a pair at lunch because I get uncomfortable when they press on my C-Scar (anyone with a C-Scar will understand that kind of pain. Ow.). Also? I want to go try on a non-washed eleventy-billion times, not- shrunken pair of twelves for fun.

But they are on, I am at work, and that is a ^%#@ing achievement. I think that is something worth swearing about, don’t you? ♥


I tried a purifying face mask the other night that you slather on your face, leave on for thirty minutes (while you breakdance, clean the hampster cage, or make dinner), then peel off. It was a sample, so I had to squeeze it out of this ridiculously peanuts-on-an-airplane hard to open packet. I suppose I could have used scissors, but I was lazy and there weren’t any in the bathroom, because my daughter can climb, and decided to “cut her hair” (she’s two) the other day, so we had to move them.

I haven’t really ever been a fussy 12,432 step skincare kind of person. I do the wash with water, rub in some lotion and go. Maybe some eye cream if I look like a Basset Hound, or a scrub if my skin is greyer than the November sky *cue dramatic pose*.

Besides, ain’t nobody got time for that with two toddlerists in the house. But, *sigh*, with the change of the seasons, my face has been flaking and freaking out like a molting snake.You’re welcome for that visual. Can’t say I’m not accommodating. (Freaky, Dude… That’s what she said… etc.)

The face mask was pitch black. The brand was Boscia, if you’re interested. Was supposed to purify me like the angel Gabriel, and make my skin glow like an LED Christmas bulb, and stuck to everything I touched. I am a dork, so it got everywhere. Yeah. On the mirror, the ceiling (don’t ask) and my (thankfully already ratty) shirt.

I was safely in my home, using Science!© to make my skin glow like a photoshopped model in Vogue, so it was not inappropriate… But yep, as I gazed at my husband-terrifying visage in the mirror (Uhh honey, what is wrong with your face?) I did think about Halloween and all of the ridiculous people who decided that wearing what has been coined as “Blackface” as a costume was ok. *shakes head* Ridiculous, and how on earth is that ever ok? Ever? Yikes. (Julianne Hough I’m pointing at you, dearie… Crazy Eyes or no, sweetheart…)

Thirty minutes later, I remembered why I never, ever use peel off masks. Like ever.

OW. %&^*$ity OWWWWW! I have too much peach-fuzzy hair on my face to be pulling that &^*% off. I think more hair came off than good went into my skin. *&^(. If I’d wanted to scream like Steve Carrell in the 40 Year Old Virgin, I would have gone and gotten a Brazilian. It was that painful. I was left with remnants of sooty facemask, red, angry skin where I had violently ripped hair out, and a lingering rage that I could not take out on anything.

It was after, when I read the packet, that I noticed “You can wash off, if preferred”. Derp. Double Derp, in fact.

You see what women do to look beautiful? Do you? Take note husbands, spouses, lovers… We poke, prod, stuff, tweeze, polish, scrub, puff, fluff, dye, strip, flip, scrape and peel ourselves to oblivion (and to empty wallets) to look beautiful. We apply strange ^*%& to our faces in hope it will have some modicum of change, deflate our puffy eyes, erase our wrinkles, even out our (likely already beautiful) skin tone.

And sometimes it *&^%ing hurts. So be nice to us. And buy us pretty things to soothe the lingering rage. ♥


I bought my daughter the most toddler-girl-appropriate ladybug costume dress ever while out shopping with a friend. It was adorable, with ping-pongy antennae, and the wings velcro on and off which makes for waaaay less hassle when dealing with a fickle two year old.

On a whim at the dollar store not long ago, I bought myself ladybug wings, some long red gloves, a mask to match the wings and voila! We will be matching! I intend to wear a red dress and some heels (and thermal tights brrr!), and do my hair up. It will be fun! My own version of a Ladybug-Fairy-Princess, I suppose. Or wait… is she the Ladybug-Fairy Princess and I am the Ladybug-Fairy-Queen?

I did look at getting a ladybug costume from a costume store. I decided I did not want to be a Slutty-Ladybug-Queen. Some of the costumes were scary tight, short and ohmygod revealing. Why do all the costumes for adult (and teen) women need to be SexyEverything™?

I am hoping she likes dressing up with me, it is a surprise for her to have Mommy dress up as a ladybug too. I was all excited about doing eye makeup to look like a ladybug when I realized I have a Masquerade mask to wear. It is dollar store quality, so I will be picking glitter out of my skin for 12 days afterwards, guaranteed. Also? The gloves may not fit up my arms. People in China who made these assume women in North America have tiny, pole-like praying mantis arms. Heh…

My son, true to form, is an Orca, his favorite ocean animal. My husband found him an adorable costume at the local Winners, but he can’t wear it to school (He is a boy. He is a noise with dirt on it. White and black plush costume? It would come home no longer white in the white places). I know he’ll be a bit disappointed, but them’s the breaks, kid. Maybe I can swipe a Halloween shirt from Old Nay on the way home.

Two years ago, I wore my (beautiful) wedding dress as a costume with a scary black wig and cape. The dress fit me perfectly, which made me kind of feel terrible despite enjoying being able to wear such an expensive dress around for fun. I made a vow that by Halloween next it would not fit. I know, I know… I loved my dress, I loved how it looked when I married my husband. It was the perfect dress. But…  I did not want to fit into it any more. You see, when I got married, I was four months pregnant with my beautiful son, and a bursting at the seams size 22, almost a 24. When I tried the dress on right before my wedding, the couturier had to let it out a bit. Yes, I was pregnant, but not in the hips, back, or butt… I can remember trying desperately not to cry, since my hubby to be (Yes, he helped me pick out the dress) was standing right there, oohing and ahhing over how wonderful it looked (which it did).

Oi. Memories.

Last year, I tried my dress on and it was loose (stick my whole arm down the front kind of loose), but I could still wear it about without too much trouble. I was disappointed, but the fact that it was loose made me feel a bit better. I hid at home while my husband took the kids out. I was not really wanting to squeeze into a costume. instead I wolfed mini chocolate bars, had a glass of wine, and felt terrible about myself.

This year, I tried it on the other day while at home, alone.

I did it up, wrestled the bodice up past my girls… And it slid off of me. Right to the floor.

I calmly stepped out of the puddle of silk and sequins, shook it out, put it back into its dust-jacket, and then burst into happy tears. My secret (well, not so secret, I did tell a few folks) goal had finally, FINALLY happened.

I looked at my ladybug wings, mask and gloves after that. For the first time in a long time, I was looking forward to getting dressed up to go Trick or Treating without feeling self-conscious about my body. Yes, it may be shallow that not fitting into a dress I wore once when I was fat(ter) can alter my body-esteem, but there it is.  Yes, it should be about making my kids happy, and having silly fun, not my body shape or size. But… Costumes are always a sore point for me. I always feel exposed, all my flaws on parade.

Not this year. I am in a totally different place.

I am going to be a great Ladybug-Fairy-Queen.




Making it Up as I Go

A few mornings ago, I was about to apply mascara wand to my puny lashes when my daughter, dressed in her winter boots and coat, came into the bathroom. With mittens dangling out her sleeves, and her hood up, she announced “I have to put my makeup on!”.

It was adorable, I relented, and pulled her stool over to the counter. She climbed up, and I took out her “makeup” for her so I could continue to poke my eye out put my lashes on.

She is starting to want to do things with me, and explore her differences from her brother because “I am a girl!” gets announced frequently in our house (She also likes to announce she has a bum, a va-jay-jay, and sits down to pee). I am somewhat deer-in-the-headlights about it, and partially pleased she wants to do girl things with her dorky mom. She loves trucks and superheroes and idolizes her brother, but she does all the “boy” stuff in her Butterfly Princess dress and flashy pink Skechers.

Despite my endorsement of her purple, glittery tendencies, there is no way in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks I am letting her play around with my Dior, UD, or Clinique compacts, and I am not letting lipstick get smeared on everything in sight. Not only is that &^*% expensive, but higher end shadow or blusher pigment doesn’t come out of anything. Even with that stain remover hocked on TV by that dude who needs to stop yelling or he’ll pop a hernia.

Gathering the materials to make fake play makeup.

So, faced with her wanting to “Be like Mommy” at the tender age of two and a half, I dug through my old, dried out and cracked compacts a couple of weeks ago.  Armed with a Pinterest-gacked idea, and some spare time (I know! WOOO!) I made play makeup.

I picked up dollar-store nail polish (FYI, this stuff REEKED for days after I made the compacts. Air them in a well-ventilated area) and some stick on jewels (which are not very sticky) and prepared to do my best.

I was able to pop out the green eyeshadow duet easily (Seriously, green? What was I thinking? They never looked good on me.) and the Lise Watier popped out with minimal effort. The lip gloss/lipstick pallete, however, was greasy and stubborn.

The finished compacts, complete with bedazzled covers and brushes

May I suggest wearing gloves if you are cleaning out any kind of compact with lipstick, gloss, or otherwise oil-based makeup? My hands were a tinge of pink for a day after washing that puppy out. And let’s not talk about the glitter… (Herpes of the craft and makeup world, I tell ya)

Once I got them clean and dry, I poured the nail polish into the former makeup reservoirs. I filled them halfway, so that when they dried it would “coat” the inside of the compartment, and not “fill it” which would likely stay soft. Which would be bad news for anything within the vicinity of my daughter, once she got poking at them with a brush.

Nail polish fingerprints do not come off denim easily, youknowwhatI’msayin’?

Remember, as you pour, that there are those tiny ball-bearings in the bottles, and try not to drop them into the compact. I had to fish mine out with Q-Tips, and that was messy. I kept poking at them going “Stupid bubbles” wondering why they wouldn’t pop.

The compacts in all their blingy glory

They weren’t bubbles. Derp.

Next, you let it dry (ummm… Duh?). Which takes awhile (overnight). This is where you ensure you have placed them where they won’t make you pass out from the fumes, or have a little girl get into them. Yeah. *cough-snort* cheap nail polish = lots and lots of narsty smells. I was not about to use my OPI or more eco-friendly bottles though, and if this turned into a PinterestFail, I wouldn’t be out a ton of money.

Once dry, I stuck some jewels to the tops, to make them toddler-girl acceptable (I also used some of them on my own compacts… Because I felt left out and wanted bling). They don’t stay very well so I will have to go back and superglue them on. They keep coming off, and my daughter sticks them to other things, like her eyelid, or her tongue.

She loves them. She puts them into a little silver play purse and carries them around, puts them in the bathroom “Just like Mommy”. She paints the “glitter blusher” on her cheeks with a fierce focus, and the tiny brush that came with the gloss palette gets used to put her lipstick on. All the colours. Every time.

If it was real makeup, she might be mistaken for one of the citizens from the Capitol. But this is ok. She says her favorite is the glitter. Of course it is! I have glitter eyeliner that sometimes makes its way onto her cheek in the form of a star. She loves that. So every morning I am getting ready with the kids, she is beside me on a stool putting her “makeup” on.

I’m still getting used to this, being a mom to a girl. It felt like only yesterday I was at the hospital, having the ultrasound tech tell me I was having a girl and having a mini-internal freak out about massive hair bows and how I was going to deal with all the frouffy-frouf and tulle.

It has been easier in some ways, and harder in others. I am not used to the pink, the bows, the glitter, or the unflinching, glorious desire to be a princess. I am more used to the dresses, pretty shoes, and playing Dolly Tea Party (The best parties are when Dolly gets a tupper of single malt while we are having tea.. .or wait, is that me…). I have worn a tutu on my head, dealt with the chopped liver sensation when my little girl needs her Daddy more than me, and bought more pink and purple frilly things than I have ever before. I’ve even contemplated, while purchasing every day fun jewelry pieces, if they would be able to pass down to her at some point as play jewelry, and if the answer is no, putting it back.

Hopefully she knows (or will know) I am trying my best.

Trying to be a good example to her, foster her ability to be as girly/frilly/glittery a woman as she wants, yet have balls to take on the big things in life, and toe the line with the Boy’s Club if she needs to. I want her to be able to do all the Tom-Boy stuff she ever wants to do, but I will not say no if she completely geeks out over more female oriented toys and past times like those rainbow elastic looms that are giving all the cool kids carpel-tunnel.

I just want her to experience everything she can to help her find out who she is as she grows. I know she’s only two, but I have been thinking about it a lot the past few days (hence the long-winded navel-gazy post hidden in a tutorial). Call me crazy (wait, you already do…) but I feel like I need to ensure I have this right. If I do nothing else right, let me be the best role model for my children I possibly can.

Even though I really do feel like I am making it up as I go. ♥

Morning Cold

There was no hot water in the showers at the gym this morning.

Random shrieks and unladylike words could be heard as I walked back to the change rooms, and there were hordes of women huddled in the sauna drying off, all impersonating wet, pissed off cats. I found it humorous until it was my turn to stand under the freezing, wet dribble coming from the shower head.

If I had wanted a cold shower, I would have stayed home and showered after my husband. *&^% it was cold. Not in a refreshing way at all. In a “Winter is coming” Stark family, miserable kind of way.

I did manage to bear the iciness to wash my hair and rinse off, and then I too huddled in the sauna with my fellow sufferers, making polite conversation while we all thawed our stiff, numb fingers enough to comb through our matted, frozen hair.

It was a steam sauna in there, with so many people coming in wet and shivering.

I mentioned it to the staff downstairs, and they did the eye-roll, “Yes, slave, we’ll look into it” thing. Have I mentioned that I loathe the fact that this gym chain is the ONLY ONE NEAR MY WORK that I can afford? *grump-bitch-moan* I am hoping the walk from this gym to my work, come winter, won’t suck, but I am not holding my breath. Sparks St. has a wind that whips down it that is really nasty in the winter. Imma gonna need some mukluks and a ski mask. It will be worth it for towel service, cardio machines that work, and a locker door that closes properly.

You know, luxuries like that. *snark*

Despite the apres-workout nastiness of a morning alternative to coffee, I did have a good workout. I am two cycles into my New Rules of Weightlifting (http://www.amazon.ca/The-New-Rules-Lifting-Women/dp/1583333398) stage 1 workouts. There are two workouts in stage 1 that you alternate 2 to 3 times per week, A and B. The A workout is exhausting, but doable, and the B workout is really intense. Usually, by the time I walk from the gym to my work (about 1.5k) I am ready to sit for awhile and drink my bladder-busting sized coffee (read: NOT a morning person).

How do I know this routine is kicking my *&^? By the time I am ready to walk to the bus to go home, I am hobbly and stiff. Likely from sitting at my desk for extended periods, and also because my body is still getting used to being active again, now that I am no longer injured, and it is freaking out.

Don’t even talk to me about DOMS the next day. Oh Lord, getting out of bed sucks, and sitting down or putting socks on makes me utter a sound like a 3rd grader playing a violin for the first time.

These are short, intense workouts, and even though I feel like I am doing less, I feel it more. Ow. I do add in extras at the beginning and end of the workouts, for warm up, and my physio stuff at the end. Sometimes cardio too, if I have time. It feels great to get back to it, to be honest. I would love to do three workouts a week, but getting to the gym on the weekend is difficult, and going two days in a row would kill me, I think.

Well, maybe I wouldn’t literally die, but I’d be ridiculously grumpy when moving at all would cause pain.

I am hoping to get back to Solefit in the next week or so to test out new shoes, and then, I am starting back to running (beginner 1:1’s) at lunch, on non-workout days, which will help. I am looking forward to winter running again. I loved it last year.

I have a goal of March to see how this program does for me to gain some strength, and hopefully some muscle definition, or the start of it. I would love to lose some inches and fat, but I am not going to get disappointed if it takes a long time. I am keeping my eye on the Strong prize.

Rawrr! ♥


I have tried to start a post all week. And every time, I delete it.

I really don’t write well when I am in a negative or sad mindset. I don’t want to let out my woe and angst in a negative way here. I want this small corner of the Internet to be a motivating and thoughtful place. One that lets me share my trials and such, but in a way that has a positive outlook moving forward.

I don’t like the bitch and complain (unless to do so humorously).

This week, I had a hard week. I’ve had such weeks before. The emotions are not new ones, but ones I don’t relish working through. Thankfully, the events causing the grief and pain are very rare. I won’t say it was horrific, because it wasn’t. It was a week of sadness, grief, moments of extreme mental pain, perhaps some anguish. But in the end, I am feeling much more peaceful and at rest than I was at the beginning.

Hence, my fingers can now move on the keyboard. It may take me awhile to get this posted, but I want to get it onto “paper”. It is a more personal post than some I have done. Click below for more.

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Prone Jackknives

Today, I did prone jackknives on a stability ball and DIDN’T FALL OFF.

I managed to do two sets of 10 ( in a two round set with step ups) without coming off the damned thing onto the floor in front of the ridiculously good looking guy who was doing lat pulldowns, not far away. I even managed to do 10 reps instead of the required 8 because I forgot and did two extra reps (doh…).

I had to use a gynormous stability ball that came to my waist, because all the little ones were taken, so instead of hands on the floor, I used a window ledge. My arms wouldn’t have reached the floor properly, and I so woulda faceplanted on the rubberized matting.

Oh so attractive, and kinda ouchy, really. So I avoided that. Yeah.

I was ready to tackle them, but was nervous, since I had never even heard of a prone jackknife before two days ago when I wrote out the first stage of my new gym plan in my Moleskine. I’m game to try stuff, everyone knows that, I just didn’t want to do the gym dork thing in front of people who look like they have their &^*% together in the weight room. Self-conscious, maybe, but there it is.

This was day ONE (Uno?) of my new training plan. The hardest set? 15 pushups, followed by 15 rep seated rows, x 2 (I did standing rows with barbell since the cable machines were all taken). Sweaty, drippy mess at the end, and every pushup sucked (read the word sucked, channeling Cookie Monster, like this: “suuuuu-uuuuuucked”).

So, for those curious cats out there, here is a prone jackknife. (Note: I do not look near this co-ordinated or effortless. grunts and wobbles are a required part of the rep, in my case. Heh.)

So, if you were walking on Spark’s St around 7:15 am and saw a crazy girl propped on the window ledge rolling a bouncy ball the same size as herself back and forth with her legs, that was me. My abs are now jello. Brushing my hair in the change room made my belly do a Father Christmas dance and I swore my arms were going to fall off at the shoulder.

But… At least I did no faceplants, falls, or otherwise damaging things to my person today, and I was awake in time to get to the bus leisurely (dressed like a hobo with extra layers and a massive backpack to lug all my gym *&^%) and calmly.

Progress? Good Lord… I think so.


I think the universe it trying to kill me. Or maybe just maim me. I should have stayed in bed.

This morning, while hefting to the bus at 5:56 AM, I stepped on the curb at the crosswalk to get to my bus stop, and my foot landed on one of a row of rocks someone had helpfully placed along the edge. Which I could not see in the pitch dark because my neighbourhood seems to think streetlights aren’t important.

Karma, why you gotta hate? I am a nice girl, I pay my taxes, I hold the door for people… Seriously.

Upon contact with one of the nefarious rocks, I took two crazy steps out, lost my balance, and fell smack dab in the middle of the intersection. As I was falling, “This is gonna hurt” flashed through my brain pan, and then the side of my head and jaw hit the pavement, along with my right arm and left knee.

I splatted out, dudes, in pure Bambi fashion. My lunch bag spilled everywhere, and I squished my banana. I lost my yogurt spoon somewhere in the dark. Since my bus was due any moment, I did a quick physical check of all hurty areas, gasped a few times, let a few tears out, and then scrambled to continue up to the bus stop.

The gentleman (may I use the term with sarcasm?) sitting at the stop saw the whole thing. He never even got up, or asked if I was ok as I limped up to the bench and sat down to make a more thorough check of my various whacked body parts. However, he did stare at me the whole time, like a stunned owl.

Thankfully, his bus came just before mine, and he left. Nice.

Oh, and for the record, no blood! Go me! I had no worries of vampires coming out of the gloom and attacking me because I suddenly smelled delicious. (This is both good and bad, I suppose *lesigh*)

Once downtown in the still pitch black, I got off a stop too early because a woman was spraying herself with perfume from the seat behind me. Spraying perfume! ON A BUS! What the *^&% are you thinking, lady? Half the bus emptied, people coughing and wiping their eyes. Several people informed the driver as we were all evacuating.

I swear, sometimes people can be such douche-canoes.

When I finally got to the gym, I was limping, ragey, and slightly worried I had sprained or broken my pinkie finger (it is not, thank God, I can move it just fine now, even though it is a bit sore). The thought of picking up a dumbbell was immediately dissuaded when I tried to put on my gloves. OW, %*^&ity, OW!

So I did some of my physio floor exercises and then a ten minute walk/jog on a treadmill (with a TV on it! OMG this gym is a palace compared to my normal location) to flush out my already aching legs.

Ok, so my whole body was aching at this point. I was hating every stinkin’ moment being in the gym so early. My jaw was sore. I was hungry. I needed caffeine. The fact that there was three flights of stairs to get back to the change rooms was making me want to punch things. I was feeling bloated and fat with all the tiny Lululemon’ed bodies prancing around.

Above all else? I was mad that I squished my banana.

It is supposed to get easier, right? I know I’m not a morning person bit ^*%&, cut me some slack, world. Let’s hope today gets better, alright?


Scheduling Motivation

I escaped to the gym yesterday. For two hours!

I know! Cray-zee.

I even got to lift a bit, sandwiched between a bunch of walking walls who never put their massive dumbbells and curl bars away. I sent looks to each and every dude that I hope ESP’ed “Hey you, over there! Use your beefy, swole muscles for something other than decoration and Put. Your. Equipment. Away.” *flail*

Today, my quads are thanking me in that strange way where they hurt to move. You’re welcome, weakling muscle group-of-mine. *slap* Ow.

I haven’t been able to go for awhile, the crazy of work and home life angered the Schedule Gods and WHEEE I blinked and two weeks went by with me eating at my desk, rushing to and fro work and other such fun (like pedestrians who run into traffic, doctors appointments, and Mount Laundry). I still managed to walk a lot, and I do my stationary stretches for my hip. This helps. I feel less sloth-like, if not working out, at least I am not sedentary.

Last week, I was feeling frustrated about not getting to the gym. I was feeling restless, wanting to start my new lifting routine. I am feeling put out because our cash flow is not letting me get into a running store to grab the shoes I need to try out at Solefit. I want to get running again, %&^$! My favorite time of year to run is coming up. I miss my main source of exercise endorphins.

I want to get sweaty, red-faced and heaving again, &^$#! The first run back for me will be quite an emotional thing, perchance. Anyone want to run with me and pat my shoulder while I messy-cry? *crickets*… Yeah, I wouldn’t want to either.

When talking to my husband about the lack of direction in my fitness, and feeling a little frustrated about a practical solution to schedule it in so I don’t impact my family, he got all righteous with me and said “Well, change it!” or “Just go!”  or “Only you can change that” (various conversations over time, you see) and I want to smack him with something heavy. Thank you, Mr. Obvious. Ever so helpful with the encouragement, suggestions, and empathy, there . {insert sarcasm face}

AUGH! Men… *flail* Despite his *I&%^ delivery method, he is trying to tell me that he thinks I can figure it out. Thank you, Dear. Come closer, I want to try the balance out on the new frypan.

So, that said, I am left with this dilemma. Lunch is not working out so well, the demands of work and getting *&^% done means walking to the gym, and getting back in reasonable time is impossible. After work is not so good, because I need to be home for my family. Weekends are a rare thing where I can zot off for an hour or two. It can happen, just not often enough for it to be routine.

So that leaves… Mornings.

Early mornings, on the days my husband is not already gone for his own time. Yeah… Mornings. *thud*

Those who know me, know that dragging my ^&% out of bed a moment before I have to is an effort akin to taking elephants over the mountains. I am not a morning person. At all. For me to exercise without first having caffeine is a scary thing. For me to be alert and aware of my surroundings, I need at least a half an hour to stupidly wander my house, walking into things and saying “whut?” a lot while pushing frizzy bedhead out of my eyes.

It is not pretty. I am amazed my husband married me, after experiencing me in the morning.

So this week, I’m going to cause people to start looking out for flying pigs, or the four horsemen of the Apocalypse to ride by on the Express bus. I am going to be out, waiting for a bus at 6 Am on Tuesday. This will get me downtown in time to go to the gym and be able to take my time with my routines, not have to rushrushrush and feel stressed. I am leaving the herding of small humans out the door to my husband. Muhahahaha *cough*.

I’m going to hit up a location that was recently renovated, since the location closest to my work is a freakin’ hole. Seriously, they may have newer weight equipment, but when none of the showers work properly (or hooks and shelves to put your shower *&^% on), the treadmills are ALWAYS out of order, there is NEVER a squat rack available, and finding a locker is needle-in-haystack frustrating…

I am willing to walk further to get nicer facilities. Or… At least hot water from a shower head that doesn’t spit in all directions.

If it works, we’ll repeat on Thursday. So I’m warning you, on Tuesday, cover your heads, because…

Hump Day Drama

What an absolute &^*% of a week.

Seriously… If Friday had not gotten here today, I think I may have revolted. Or at least been mildly annoyed. It has been an up-and-down rollercoaster ride of crazy, funny, happy, and sad. My ever-lovin’ TV boyfriend Nathan over here sums it up best.


Over all, I’ve been feeling good all week despite the craziness that has happened. Bouncy, full of energy, alive, happy! The positive energy tap got turned on again, and it has been a lovely change from having no energy and having negative emotions swirling in my head. I have been trying to wake up, greet the day, and wear nice things so I feel good. I’ve even shopped the bargain jewelry rack at the Bay and found some really nice pieces to add to my collection for not much money. Yesterday I bought a ring for $4 that was normally $60.

Boo-yeah! I win deal of the week!

I think a main reason for this slow unravelling back to a more normal feeling is that I am pain free. No hip hurting, no leg pain at night, and my foot feels a bazillion times better than it has in months. Once I get my new running shoes all figured out (thank you Solefit!) I am going to be able to run again.

I know! I need a parade or something to commemorate this. TWO MONTHS of no running. TWO! *flail*

I am also feeling creative again. I am seeing art in every day things. I am noticing the colours of objects, the sun hitting a rooftop, the ebb and flow sounds of life around me. Being in pain really dulled me. I couldn’t muster effort to smile, slept badly, ate poorly because I was tired… And hello, blood sugars! How ’bout you freak out too! Stress receptors on overdrive + pain + lack of sleep…

The end of my summer was sucky.

But I am back now, or at least feel back. I want to listen to music again, I walk with a bounce in my step. While chatting with a random man in line at Starbucks on Tuesday, he asked me what I was doing for lunch, and if I wanted to join him. I politely declined, and waggled my left ring finger at him.

It made me feel pretty and stuff, being “hit on” like that. Hey, I’m contently married, but I ain’t dead! That hasn’t happened since my swim instructor last winter asked me to dinner (Its ok sweetie, I think he forgot I was married, I take my ring off to go in the pool, y’see).

Levity and flattery aside, the second half of my week, especially, has been a neon sign reminder of how precious life is, and how we must not let it pass us by. It has made me think of what I am doing, where I am going, how I can do better. Do those things I want to do that make a difference. not sure what that is exactly, but I’m werkin’ on it.

On Wednesday, I was driving my kids to their doctor’s appointment. I was on a very busy street, traffic stopped in either direction, me slowing down for the light. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a black blur shoot out between two stopped cars, right at me.

The black blur turned out to be a woman, running.

The front corner of my car, and her body met with a very heavy and frightening thud. I couldn’t swerve. I couldn’t stop in time. She just…

…Hit the car and fell. As I leapt out of my seat and bolted around the car, I was fearing the worst, her under my tires, massive injury… Or worse.

I am thankful for new brakes on my car, because I stopped very quickly. I am grateful that my kids didn’t see what happened, being engrossed with books in the back seat. I am beyond words of thanks for the nurse in the car beside me, and the military paramedic in traffic a few cars down who had his full kit with him. I am relieved that the woman’s coat got caught in the corner of my hood and came off of her instead of dragging her. We are blessed that no one was badly hurt.

The woman only hurt her leg, wasn’t bleeding anywhere we could see, and seemed completely aware. No one was put at fault.

I was a mess. Once I ensured the kids had fresh air in the car, and were distracted, I moved under a tree by the side of the street and lost it. Completely. Shaking, losing my breath, the whole kitten-kaboodle. Away from the kids because we don’t need more trauma. But I had to deal with what had just happened or I was going to explode.

I hit another human. With my car. I don’t recommend it.

That night, I spent a lot of time distracting myself with random videos and TV episodes (ok, so I was looking up random obscure movies starring actors I have recently come to obsess over admire). I was physically tired, and felt muffled. Numb. The moment of impact kept replaying in my mind, and my dreams that night were rather strange and disjointed. I woke up Thursday, took the morning to meditate, speak to someone about it, and then met friends for lunch before putting my game face on and going to work. I felt better, but was worried I was processing it too quickly, and shouldn’t feel this ok with what had happened. I was jumpy and cautious with myself.

Yeah… over-analyze much? Nah…

Today I feel normal again. I have indeed dealt with what happened, thanked God for watching over us, and tried my best to re-harness the happy that began the week. I think having this uptick in getting back to normal for me helped me deal with what happened on Wednesday in a much better way.

I felt guilty a bit this morning feeling happy and bubbly, but then reasoned with myself. I need to be this way. I need to get back to how amazing I was feeling, because when I do, I make better life choices, I feel better about myself, and to be honest, it is much less tiring. So again, the ruggedly handsome Captain Tightpants over here demonstrates my mood this afternoon as I contemplate a weekend of fun with my family, and a Sunday morning watching good friends achieve amazing things at their Triathlon.

I am alive, and it is good.

Creative Me

I’m in a funny mood this morning. Not sure if it is funny ha-ha, or funny-strange. And yes, that distinction does exist in my world. Pipe down over there, you. *stink eye*

For some reason, the alarm did not go off, and the first thing I was greeted with upon waking up was Grumpy Husband, sweaty and stinky from his morning sojourn to WOD-land (Crossfit, yo!) saying “get up!”.

&^%*. Great way to start off a Monday *grump*.

I was having the most luxuriously indulgent dream, and was ripped unceremoniously out of it by the needs of my family and the requirement to get my *&^ moving for work. *^(&. Buzzkill.

I used to, when allowed to wake up slowly, remember the dreams I had, and  wrote them down as book ideas or simply to remember them since they were so lovely. If I was ripped away from that, they dissipated into the air like mist on a humid summer morning. I liked to sometimes pull on dream memories throughout the day to calm, recenter, and build on them.

Sometimes they just had to stay in the recesses of my mind because I shouldn’t keep them, really, or I had to forget them to prevent hot flashes all day while I was supposed to be concentrating on the real world. (TMI? too bad.)

I haven’t remembered a dream in a long, long time. Since getting married, having kids, and generally having a lot less of my cycles to devote to this… Well, my dream remembering has gotten dusty. Heck, my writing has gotten dusty. I still do write, but when was the last time I actually finished something, or fleshed an idea out to the point where I could actually *write* it?

Yeah. Once I had my daughter, I relegated my idea of being a published writer to the back shelf. What time? What energy to be creative and emotional while living through people that only existed in my head?


But…  Here is the thing (idea/debate/ridiculous hypothesis)…

My dreams give me surges of creativity, and I miss that. I want to write them down because I want to get it out of me onto “paper”, see it manifested, so that I can believe in their artistic merit. Is this a good idea? Is this something I would want to read in a book, or is it just my brain driveling out random awesomeness from the day just past? You can take that debate all the way to some deep, inner-workings melodrama, but sometimes your brain is just dumping the crap, not the world giving you plot bunnies. No need to over analyze that dream where you were flying on a mechanical pig into the Andes to find a McDonalds. Right… Best not to touch that one.

At all.

But sometimes, I did get gems. Dreams that were so vivid and beautiful that when I did sketch them out, and think back on the details, I received a sense of elation that I remembered them. That I could draw upon this creative moment for energy. It gave me a purpose other than the rat race compulsion to pick a career path that made money and paid the bills.

Creativity gives me energy, and I need to remember this. So the funny mood I am in today, where I can’t seem to sit still, and am sketching out the dream I still remember, even with the abrupt wake up…

Maybe it isn’t a funny feeling at all. Maybe this is me finding a little piece of the old me. I have been thinking a lot about that lately. Trying to find something to grasp onto. The creative me, the writer me. maybe that’s the ticket?

I have no idea. I could just need more coffee, or a good slap upside the head. It could be the recent spat of character-driven television shows I have been binge-watching making me miss my care-free 20’s. It could be the crispness of Fall making me look inward to cocoon from the impending winter snow. or maybe I just really need to get back to running…

But I’ll take it… And I hope it stays.

*As for the sexy reference GIF, you’re welcome. *grin*


You know that thing that happens sometimes when you are overwhelmed? that thing where you go into some sort of quasi-survival mode, and simply get through the day with the least amount of distraction in the form of hobbies and fun?

Yup. That.

My days are blurring together, and the energy level I have at the end wouldn’t even power a toaster. Has anyone seen my clone? She went on strike, and hasn’t come back. I really need clean socks and a massage.

Seriously though. I feel so busy since my son started back to school that everything other than eating, working, parenting, and sleeping (or not sleeping at all… Damn you insomnia) take precedence. Also? Distraction is in the form of binge watching Netflix streams before trying to doze off. Perhaps that is part of the insomnia… Who knows.

My current obsession interest is a show about this tiny town that is literally awash in ridiculously beautiful people who are rich, 20-something, functionally alcoholic vampires. Their houses are expensive and massive, they never have to do laundry, or shop for their amazing wardrobes. Being tossed into various crazy situations doesn’t even smudge mascara.

I know, right?

I want to live there, because obviously they have magic houses that are always full of groceries and clean themselves. blood stains always come out of expensive Persian rugs. I think that it might be more of a fantasy to live there, rather than having the main sexy, vampire that broods about the screen pop up and whisk me away somewhere exotic and remote to have their way with me… where there are no children screaming, decisions to make, or carpets to vaccuum. (Yes, dear, I know. I already have a list in case this ever happens in real life. I will not forget extra socks for you while we pack, I promise.)

However. Perspective. That is TV-Magic-land, where everyone is perfect, life always has some form of HEA, and no one ever needs to pee. I live in the real world. I still have to sort my colours and whites, and buy milk with $5 left in my bank account before pay day.

I am kind of trying to cut back on my time on Facebook and social media a bit. I need some time to get myself organized up here *points at head* and perhaps this weekend spend some time away from the computer and tablet completely. I think I need it. We have to plant our garlic, I want to start cleaning out some of the baby stuff we don’t need, and spend some time with the kids. Real time, not herding-or-directing time. I need that too.

I just found out a friend I have not seen in a long time had a heart attack. I had no idea until she posted that she was finally home from the hospital. I asked what was wrong, and her son filled me in. Another friend is going in for surgery soon for a serious health condition, and my prayers have been with her and her husband for days and days now. They are part of our family, their stressful time has been weighing on me, and I wish we lived closer to them so we could support them by physically being there to hold hands, cook meals, and hug.

I’m staying away from social media, news, and local Internets because of the deadly bus and train crash that happened here in Ottawa two days ago. I just don’t want to see those pictures, or hear the replay of the 911 calls or dispatch chatter. It is too much, being that I live here, in the city. There is so much coverage, you can’t get away from it, but I am trying to just process and move on without being assaulted by pictures of a wrecked bus, theories, worries, and wrecked lives.

I do want to say that this is tragic, and unbelievable, and I feel so heartbroken for the families affected. We, as a city, are also affected and mourn with you. I mourn, I just choose not to consume vast news speculations and gory rehashing of details. May we all find peace and closure in the days to come.

So I have been absent from my friends, my social world online, and myself a bit too. I haven’t been able to run, or get to the gym, or even think about being active, simply trying to get through the day without ending up in tears on the couch. Gotta keep my &^%$ together, right?

Next week I can try to do more. Tomorrow I can be better. Today I just have to survive.