Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 - The Year of Positivity

In a recent blog post on Losing it in Ottawa, I talked about next year not in terms of losing weight, but in terms of fixing my inner voice; my attitude. I am simply tired of the constant stream of self-criticism I put myself through.  I want to see how I end up looking on the outside when I fix what's going through my head (and coming out of my mouth, and showing on my face, and being illustrated by my body language, etc.) and focus ONLY on that.

And frankly, I want to see if I can become one of those people about whom others say, "She's the type of person who can never say a bad thing about anyone else!" and who simply chooses to be an optimist.  I generally feel I am already optimistic, but, you know....we could all improve, right?

I'm not one for resolutions. I kindof started my new attitude about 3-4 weeks ago, when I embraced the Christmas season and stopped trying to drag myself out to the pool or the gym or whatever just to feel more stressed and put aside all the other things I wanted to get done. Now, granted, I DID feel less stressed, but I did NOT make positive choices.  And that's fine.  For the holidays.

And now, as 2012 approaches, it's time.  Time to accept myself, live life as fully as possible, have fun and see what happens when I value myself, value my wonderful life and girls and husband, and just LIVE.

How does that sound to you?  Are you changing your approach at all this coming year?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I do still love you. And I miss you. I'll be back soon.

Ode to my beautiful blog.  I have so much to say, and no time to say it...for the moment.  The girls' first birthday has come and gone, and Christmas preparations are well underway.  A lot to talk about.  I'll be back soon.  I promise.

In the meantime, a few recent photos....




Thursday, October 20, 2011

Leading a double life

Back at work - Where on earth did a full year go? - and thinking to myself that this whole experience is rather surreal.  You wake, madly change diapers, struggle to get babies into clothes, feed them (no small feat with two), pack up, get them into shoes and jackets and get out the door. You dump them at daycare (no, not literally) and then BOOM.  All of a sudden you are watching the clock, thinking about bus schedules, your lipstick, and the project you are working on at work. 

You arrive at your destination, saunter into a coffee shop perhaps, and then launch brilliantly into adult-speak, discussing the politics of the day, strategies, meetings, clients, projects etc. etc. etc. You continue throughout the day, relaxed while reading, thinking, discussing and in between casually deciding what to eat for lunch (with the luxury of time and a myriad of options), and whether to meet up with a former coworker to laugh and reconnect. 

Then, as the end of the workday approaches, there you are...thoughts of giggly babies seeping into your subconscious; a level of anxiousness to see your girls, laugh with them, wiggle their toes and point at birds in the sky all of a sudden more pressing than anything you are currently typing on the computer.  You are lost to the workforce once again until, tired but looking forward to another work day, you awake, complete your morning routine and send your babies off to daycare.

Don't get me wrong - it feels quite wonderful, and it will be nice to have a balance of experiences to enrich my life again, but boy - what a study in contrasts!

I'm curious how other moms did when they went back to work? I'm not super emotional about it, but I miss my girls so much as the afternoon approaches...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Brilliance of NIKE

Home for the first time since 5:54 on Friday morning. Husband is back at CHEO spending a couple more hours at my little Hailey's bedside before heading back here to sleep in our own bed tonight, and Alex is up in the nursery sleeping alone for the first time in well over 6 months. It's been quite a 48-hour stretch.

I don't know how we (as in all people who go through ridiculously tough situations in life) all make it through, but we do.  We JUST DO IT. I don't know who it was that came up with NIKE's slogan, but it is simply a universal rule in life's challenging times, isn't it?

My little Hailey underwent yet another surgery on Friday morning, this time to repair a NEW kind of hernia, a Paraesophageal Hernia, and it took well over 3 hours.  We were the last of the 'early morning' parents left in the waiting room, and the 'afternoon' parents had been there an hour already when our surgeon (a sweet, youngish, vertically challenged but highly skilled Italian man - who has been Hailey's surgeon from the get go) came to give us the run-down on what he had had to do to repair our baby's issues.  It was fairly complicated and involved, he said, but ultimately he was very pleased and he was confident it was a great success.  PHEW. 



Unlike the first repair, he was unable to use the existing diaphragmatic tissue to sew up the hole, so the only hiccup was needing to introduce a prosthetic mesh to patch the area around the esophagus. This, I am to understand, can cause the body to react negatively to the foreign substance (which doesn't seem to be happening in this case), but it can also mean that there could be issues in the future with re-herniation, and so I THINK this means Hailey will have more future follow-up and be monitored more closely in the event that another hernia develops.  Boo.

It's amazing, I find, how resilient we all are, both physically and mentally.  I mean, yes, in a WAY, being back at CHEO is calling back to mind that living hell I went through for the 30 days after the twins were born; not knowing if Hailey was going to live, not sleeping, not farting (head back in time on my blog to read about that one), not being able to conjur up breastmilk to feed my babies, and carting a newborn baby back and forth to the hospital day in and day out in order to reunite with ANOTHER newborn baby, equally needy, who went without Mommy all night long.  Brutal.

But I can barely remember that month.  I mean, I REMEMBER it, but I don't remember how it truly felt. It's all a distant nightmarish dream.

Now, it's hard, yes, but we're old hands at this.  Once I see that she is okay, I am just settling into the temporary but new routine of juggling time with Alex at home with Hailey at the hospital. It's fun for Grandma and Grandpa to babysit and have fun time with my strong, healthy girl, while Mommy is tending to my spirited and sweet Hailey, and it seems natural for me to be home now with Alex while Daddy is with Hailey at the hospital. Ho Hum.

As I said, we just do it. 

(oh, and as for Hailey's immediate future, we were successful at introducing first water and then milk to her diet today and so we hope tomorrow will be solids and Monday will bring her release back to us.  And then?  Hopefully NO MORE SURGERY. Ever.  Please.  But if we have to do this again, we know we can, and so can she.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Purge

It has begun. I dug out all 5 bins of clothing, and I systematically went through them in preparation for my clothing swap party on October 1.

It was hard.

On one hand, it felt SOOO GOOOD to get organized and think about (hopefully) all the very happy people who will be able to walk away from my home with arms laden with serious amounts of high-quality, name brand exercise gear, footware, business suits, golf clothes - you name it, and I have it to give away.

On the other hand?  I stared in disbelief at some of the clothes that I used to wear only 3.5 years ago.  They looked like they belonged to a teenager compared to my current attire. It was humbling, and yes, depressing. I know that I never will get back there, but then, I also recall with acute memory the sacrifices I was making back then to look like that.  It isn't sustainable.  But still....hard to let go and hard to accept the new me, in whatever shape and form that is going to be.

So here is what I think about all this. It may 'get to me' right now, but I KNOW it will feel great to have a fresh start. I KNOW that I will eventually lose this tummy (and frankly, if, after giving it a GOOD strong try, it doesn't go away, I will GET it fixed so that I can be happy about myself) and that I will find a balance where I feel healthy, strong, happy and still have time in my life for all the little treasures and pleasures that are all around us everyday.

Yes, my friends, the purge is on.  How about you - what do you have to purge from your life?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's in a number?

You know, it MAY be arbitrary, but 200 lbs is just one of those numbers that women NEVER want to see on the scale.  And you know what?  That is ALL I have seen (I mean, 200 or MORE) on the scale since a few months before I got pregnant with the twins.

And now?

Well, this morning I was 202.5 on the scale.  The day before, I was 204.8.  I had a good day of eating today and another swim (following the 8.4 km jog I did on Wednesday night - WOOT!!!). 

So.

I MAY just be on the precipice of seeing that damn 200 vanish to be replaced by a 1 followed by other numbers.  I might cry if that happens.  It's a big deal to me.  And yeah, by the end of the day, I might be up over that again, but that's fine - the trend is where it should be...DOWN.

I'm proud of myself. This isn't easy. I've been very down about myself, and very grumpy about giving over my little free time to exercise when all I want is to REST.

I'll keep you posted, but just had to say it - there is LOT riding on this number for me.  It's loaded, and significant, and whether it should be or not, it's gotta go.

And it's gonna go.  SOON.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cleansing the soul

This really isn't a deep post.  It's not a zenish, karmaesque guru advice-giving dissertation.  It's just an observation.  If your physical life outside of you is cluttered, disorganized, and chaotic, then your life is cloudy. Your mind is not clear.  I cannot relax or feel content if there is a mess around me. 

Yesterday, I spent all of about 1/2 hour while the girls were playing up in their playroom in front of the mirror going through their dresser drawers and a few other piles of their smaller clothes to determine what will stay and what will get packed away.  I put little piles of 3, 6 and 9 month clothes together in order to put them into diaper boxes for the next up-and-coming moms to go through, and I put back all the 12 and 18 month clothes for Fall and Winter back into their drawers. 

MAN, that felt good.  I can't tell you.  And yes, I still have a LOT more to do, but there's really no better feeling than getting organized, is there?  It's soooooo greeeeeeaaat!

What else have I been doing? FINALLY getting to the last few thank you cards I STILL have hanging over my head from the girls' birth.  It's absolutely nuts that I still have these to do, but I really haven't even been able to count just how many people have generously given gifts to the girls.  It's amazing, but it's also a lot of time and effort to say a proper thank you.  And I just can't bring myself to resort to email or just a verbal thank you. If someone goes through the trouble to buy you a gift, you send them a proper thank you card.  So.  I think I counted and have 6 more left (before you know, the 1 yr. gifts start coming....!!!) and WILL get them done before Friday.  Once done, a huge weight will be lifted from my shoulders and mind.  I mean, think about it...every. single. night. the idea that I should be writing thank yous has hung over my head while moving, medical appointments, workouts, and other events have also intruded into our lives.

It's mental baggage, and it sucks.

So yes.  I need to bottle the feeling you get - a high almost - from getting something sorted, cleaned and organized.  Do you get what I mean?  Do you feel the same way?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend it is then

Friday, October 7 is the date set for Hailey's surgery.  I hope we don't have any episodes before then forcing us to go in prematurely, but if all goes well, the Friday before Thanksgiving weekend it is.  My thinking? It's good timing.  Hubby has Monday off just in case, and with any luck (and lots of thanksgiving for the blessings we have been given), we will be in and out before the weekend is over.

Here's hoping.

Until then...one more month of playdates and fun times with the girls - who's in?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Well, Fark

My husband has had a hernia repaired.  I have a 'bellybutton' hernia. And my baby HAD a diaphragmatic hernia at birth.  Now?  It's a Paraesophageal hernia (hernia #2 for little Hailey). From what they can see (and it isn't all that much), it seems as though the exit of the stomach (the first part of the intestines), instead of heading downward, has snaked its way up, pushed through a little hole beside where the esophagus comes down through the diaphragm and some of it is trapped up there, causing occasional backup, and likely explaining ongoing 'noise' we hear insider her chest after feeding.  The section of the intestine is hidden, apparently, behind the liver, and tissue has likely attached the two together, making for delicate work to extracate it and bring the bowel down without damaging the bowel or the liver. 

Sigh.

So, what this means is that the FIRST thing they want to do is microscopic camerawork to determine what is going on and how severe it is, and if it is what they think it is.  At that same time, once they determine the nature of the condition, they will do whatever it is they have to do to fix it.  This could be quick and not too difficult, or it could, because of the fact that it is hidden behind the liver, require a nice, big incision up the middle of her chest.  Time will tell.

So now I sit here waiting for CHEO to call back and let me know when we can get her in for the surgery.  In a sense, it is 'elective', meaning that unless or until Hailey has more episodes, we don't NEED to have the surgery, but the condition, pending another episode, can get more severe and cause complications if not dealt with.  So here we go again.

She's strong and we're strong, but this still really bites the big one. 

My poor little fighter...

More to come later.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Google+ n Stuff

Do you see me?  I'm under that rock.  Have been for some time now.  It's awfully interesting under this rock, and I've been very happy here; however I'm getting tired of the same scenery and occasionally I'm now peeking out to see what else is out there. 

It looks different. It's a bit mysterious and many new things have sprouted over the various seasons that have come and gone. Stuff I need to know about if I'm going to go back out there, to that job that pays me so that we can live in our shiny new house.

I only know about a few new shiny toys out there - Google+, Pinterest...but there are many many more I must explore!  I'm both excited and trepidatious about this - how will I find the time? Which creations are the most applicable to the public service? What are the ins and outs of each, and what about analytics, policies and management?  So much to see and learn!!!

So, my social media savvy friends.  What new shiny toys have the greatest potential for use by, or consideration for, the public service?

What new info is out about security, analysis, and management of social media properties for government? 

What are your favourite articles of recent release that can kickstart my exploration of the world beyond my rock?

Respectfully yours,
She who has spawned under a rock but now must leave the hiding place to seek out sustenance for her family

Sunday, August 14, 2011

One week in - a Me2MILF update

Great start.  Fantastic week.  Feel so very very good already.  Monday night, beach volleyball.  Wednesday night, indoor volleyball tryout where I illustrated to myself (a highly critical judge) that I'm not that far off where I used to be and just have to drop a few pounds, work on my vertical, and get some practice in to become the player I used to be. Thursday was another swimming night (I really love being back in the pool again) where I squeezed in 94 laps before the swim time ended - we got there a bit late. And then Friday was my first jogging excursion with Kerry, my very excellent teacher and good friend.  Jogging is MUCH more pleasant when you start slow in intervals and chat with a friend at the same time.  Just saying.

In the move, I don't know where our tape measure is to gauge the size of my tummy, but visually, it has already undergone a BIG change. I am so very very very very very happy to see a change this early. This stomach is the single most important physical protrusion I need to see eliminated in this effort. If I recall (have to go back a few posts), I started at 47" around. Will hopefully post the updated measurement soon. 

Weight-wise, I am down about 5-7 lbs, depending on my eating, hydration level and time of day. There will be a big celebration when I get back down under 200.  Have a ways to go on that one, but you will certainly hear about it when it happens!!!

Hubby has gone out jogging separately too, two times, and feels better when he goes also.  On one hand, I love that when I get moving, he tends to follow suit.  On the other, I sometimes wish I had a guy that motivates ME to stay really active.  But, you know, it's nice having someone who knows how to chill and is laid back sometimes too.  I just need to be a little less easily influenced, and stay on the influencer side of things, right?

In any event, the journey continues to figure out the way to work in mommy fit time. So far, I'm still motivated to head out in the evenings and give up my TV and relaxation time, but I also know I have some obligations to take care of, like I STILL have thank you cards to send out for baby gifts. That's nuts and so I need to make some time for that.  Next week's schedule: Monday, jogging. Tuesday, swimming. Wednesday, another volleyball team tryout. Thursday, swimming. Friday, jogging. Weekend, one more jog. 

That's a lot of activity, folks.  If I can do that, and stick to some good portion control and reasonable food, I should be golden.

How are you feeling these days?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So far - a Me2MILF update

A slowish start...

I mean, technically I am here on the blog and NOT jogging - some of you may have been wondering (?) - but here's the deal.

I played beach volleyball last night.  I didn't totally suck (at the level I was playing).  I missed several overhand serves before I finally mustred enough power to get a serve over the net. I usually passed well, I generally set up my teammates well for hitting, and I myself got a couple of ok hits in and a number of hits that were 'just fine'. Not smashes, but hits, where my feet left the ground (slightly).  But I also hurt a bone or tendon or something in my foot (doh) and when I got into bed last night, I could barely move my right shoulder and certainly couldn't sleep on it. However I ate reasonable portions and only had a ceasar at the bar after the match (while others had wings and nachos.  VERY BIG DEAL for me to have avoided that boobytrap).

Today was another jaunt (yeah, cause that's what I do with two babies - jaunt) to the mall - the New Balance store to be exact - in another (my 4th) attempt to find runners to fit my crazy feet.  Didn't have my size in several of the options, and nothing did it for me, so now I must wait for the sizes to be shipped in.  Still don't know if they will fit, but at least there are a couple possibilities.  I get the pleasure, in the meantime, of returning the two pairs I have already purchased, at two separate locations of course, and trying to start this jogging journey using an old pair of runners that I had bought well before my pregnancy, that used to be too big (but certainly aren't anymore).  I think they are cross-trainers too...

So, when my gal pal Kerry messaged to tell me she wasn't up for mushy rain jogging, I was ready to jump at the chance to give up on tonight.  I frankly didn't know how I was going to run in my current condition.  Oh, and did I mention that the captain of the volleyball team considering me for their roster 'found' gym time tomorrow night, and so I have to suit up to try out for the team?  WAAAAAAAAH!  Finding this out led to a call I had to place to said captain to, uh, give her a 'heads up' about what she was going to see when I walked through the gym. 

I hated making that call. 

It's embarrasing to have to apologize for yourself before you even arrive or do anything, but the reality is that the captain, and one of her teammates, know of me only Before Twins, and thus would be shocked to see me now. I felt like they needed to know, in advance, where I am at, what is my plan, and what was the story behind all this.  The conversation went well, and I think I conveyed to her clearly that I really just need someone to give me a chance, and I know I'll be right back at it. I've conquered my weight before and I will do it again.

So.  Tomorrow is another day, the shoulder will have had some rest and we will see how the foot will perform tomorrow. I get to use those same cross trainers mentioned above (my volleyball shoes are way too small now) to play in, so that's not ideal, and I have no idea where my volleyball pads are.  Sigh.  Guess I better get off here and go foraging!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Me2MILF

Ok, so now that I've got the 'woe is me' craptacular piss-fest off my chest, this is the week, my friends.  This is the week that I get back on the beach volleyball court (tomorrow night - gulp), start to jog - relying on another friend who 'gets' how hard this will be - and continue on my swimming all in an effort to turn all this around. Yeah, it may only be at half-steam (or less) because by the time 8pm rolls around, I'm exhausted and want to relax on the couch, hit that PVR list button, and sip on a good glass of wine, but it's the only time I have, and I'm going to make it work and just see what happens.

I've been somewhere approximating here before, you know.  Those that didn't know me 3 years ago (holy crap - has it been that long already?) will not know that for 2.5 years prior to that, I was a Greco Lean & Fit diehard. I started at about 25lbs overweight, lost 29lbs in 10 weeks and then just kept going, working out three times a week for many many months.  I looked and felt great.

This time? I'm, uh, well, let's see now.  I don't think I should set a goal to EVER be that light again - not realistic and much of it was based on major dietary sacrifices, and let's be clear - I WILL NOT GIVE UP WINE NOR DELICIOUS FOOD and certainly not permanently. So let's say I am about 35-40lbs away from an ideal weight for my age/time of life. Another major difference? A gap in my stomach muscles that I need to correct, and if not possible to reduce through exercise, then perhaps surgically. And finally?  I happen to have no time for leisurely workouts, based on someone else's calendar schedule, and led by awesome trainers.  I have a very late time slot and it means I will essentially skip all free evening time, speed through dinner and get to bed later than my normal time. I'm gonna do it, 'cause that's what it's gonna take.

So when I can, I will post updates.  Yes, I happen to have a before shot of my torso, and will spare you that shot until I have a good comparison to put up against it, okay? (you are most welcome)  I will also be posting on the Losing It in Ottawa Facebook page, and on my Twitter account - this will keep me motivated and accountable.  I welcome and and all help, words of encouragement, and even mild chastising if the situation warrants, okay?  Look for the #losingitottawa hashtag, and for my newly adopted mantra #Me2MILF hashtag.

Maybe one of these days I'll get the 'looks' again...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Big, for me, is not beautiful

I haven't blogged for awhile. I've started and stopped many times. I have drafts, then don't... I just can't take y'all to where my head is sometimes right now. Wouldn't be prudent, and certainly wouldn't be my normal positive outlook posts.

So I'll start small.  I'll talk about some of the things that truly suck about my current physical makeup.

A) No matter how hot, I have to wear spandex shorts under my dresses to prevent chafing.
B) My hair looks awful pulled back these days - too much chin.
C) I can't wear my wedding band or engagement ring.
D) I can't wear any underwear other than granny panties - they roll down my belly when I bend over.
E) I'm wearing my maternity clothes - still - nine months after birth (See D for reasons as to why other shorts don't work)
F) I've been kicked off my competitve volleyball team, even though it means the world to me to get out, once a week, and feel like a normal adult woman again, and not just Mommy, and connect with what were (are?) longtime friends.
G) It resembles an issue that might be in the family where no matter how hard I try, I might not be able to get rid of my stomach. This is scary, and kinda makes me delay the insane effort it might take to try.
H) I go swimming, and although slower (obviously) than I was when I played university waterpolo, I feel great in the water, only to catch sight of myself in the mirror of the changeroom and think "They must wonder how the hell I can swim like that when I look like this"
I) I know I must start running - nothing else will do - to start on this journey, but more than the effort it takes to train my lungs to handle the cardio, I'm cowed by the thought of everything jiggling and people watching me shuffle along.
J) My self-esteem is in the toilet.
I could say a lot more, but I'll stop there. I find it interesting that I had to go back numerous times to add back in the possessive personal pronoun when I had (protectively perhaps) switched unconsciously to the impersonal 'you'.

Ok. I'll hit publish soon, but not before I say this.  I am so very very happy with my life, my girls, my incredible fortune. I recognize that I must summon something inside of myself to rally against the dark thoughts, self-pity. I even get down on myself for feeling this way, when there is so much to be happy about.

And I laugh numerous times in a day.  Beautiful, sweet, giggly good-natured twin babies have that effect on one...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And then I smell them

They scream when I lay them down to change their diapers.

They wait until I look away, just for a moment, then fall - and then scream.

They choose to get hungry at the same time, so that one of them tears my heart out with their plaintive wails.

They rarely work around my schedule (!). We don't make it very many places on time these days.

They poop, and poop, and then poop again.

They drool, oh gawd how they drool.

They fuss, and wail and cry for many many reasons.

And then.  Then I lift them up into my arms, bend over them, kiss their heads, and breathe in the smell.

Heaven.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Heading out to Insmill

FIVE days, my friends, only five days until we get the keys to our new home and pack up the memories, growing pains and amazing times along with the furniture and the knick nacks.  That, and move the most precious cargo we will ever have over to their new digs.  This is huge.  I've been sneaking in a box or two here and there and even took artwork off the wall today, so yeah, it's looking like a move is imminent now!

We bought our little home back in 2003 and moved in when my hubby and I were only dating. I bought it with my own financing, on only my little salary (at the time). We bought it the day it went on the market because we had been searching for weeks for the right place in the right location that fit our budget.  Believe me, we knew the minute it came up that we wanted it because frankly?  We knew that there was only one or two places in town that had anything close to what we wanted.  With already two second showings booked for the next day, and nothing else comparable on the market, somehow or other our offer was accepted on that very night. (We won't talk here about the fact that both of us were living with our parents at the time or about the incident in my car in a parking lot on the Rockliffe parkway.)

We thought we were the luckiest couple in the city.

It's crazy to think of everything we have been through here, and all the memories we created. Marriage, three miscarriages, birth of twins, job changes...and a lot of fun and adventure in between.  And yeah, the house itself went through a lot with us as its loving parents, starting with ripping out the main floor carpet immediately, and ending with a new nursery with a lot in between (and a lot you don't immediately see - furnace, air conditioner, roof....I HATE those bills. You know, the ones you just HAVE to pay for but aren't as tangible or pretty or picturesque).  Along the way, I blogged about some of the bigger changes.  The new kitchen, the new basement, the babies' nursery, our garden/deck.  It's fun to look back to see what got us to the point that this was how it presented for sale.

And now we have another home, and more opportunity to make it our own.  No, nothing needs to be done to it. It's lovely.  But, I am already envisioning the future, and that future has an even better, more personalized kitchen, and new paint colours, furniture and decor. At its centre is a growing, funloving, active family in a wonderful neighbourhood.  I can't wait to explore our future in our new home.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa

What can I say about how special it is to have Grandma and Grandpa here in town, loving the girls, laughing with them, and just generally supporting us in every way?  It is simply an amazing feeling, and at times a blessed relief, to know they are there.  On days when I know we are going to see them, I feel thankful, relieved and relaxed knowing it will be a smooth and fun day.  We are all winning, and that feels good.

So yeah, Grandma and Grandpa are coming over today.  We are going swimming, and having fun, and laughing and hangin' out. It's icing on the cake, too, that they are stickin' around so that Daddy and Mommy can have a date night - dinner and a movie (Bad Teacher better be good - we haven't been to a film in AGES). 

I love my girls' Grandma and Grandpa.  I loathe the idea of them heading to Arizona this winter.

Boo.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's Crummy

and mushy

and gooey

and juicy

and sloppy

It's my babies on solid food, and it's quite a scene at times.


Like, for instance, yesterday's dinner.  A little bituh mostly pureed chickpea, mix in a bituh asparagus, then add some chunks of watermelon for dessert.  Seems innocent, right?

It was a gagalicious puking good time! Heads turning away mid-spooning, itchy nose hand smooshing and accompanying face smear, tight lipped distractedness, sideways grabbiness mixed in with take it in and spit it outtedness.  And that was just the chickpea/asparagus mix.  THEN came the watermelon and my continuing attempts at baby-led weaning. I cut a nice long piece of watermelon (seemed safeish) for them to try.  They still don't naturally bring food up to their mouths, and so I helped them, and they gnawed off small chunks.  Well, Hailey did, at least.  Alex?  Big, open, gaping mouth chompdown, baby.  Big girl pieces.

Which led to gagging and then...

it all came up, chickpea and all.

Flash forward to today. The girls both now in their full-body bibs, back to some nice, safe pureed green beans and mushed up banana and blueberry.  MUCH BETTER.

What say y'all? How the heck did you get your babies eating bigger, chunkier foods, or, especially for those who succeeded with baby-led weaning, how the heck did THAT happen?




Monday, June 27, 2011

Blogging out loud, but not as loud as I want to

Yeah, so, I have info and HTML to put a widget onto my blog and link to the Blog Out Loud website, but can't figure out in Blogger how the heck to add it to the side columns of my blog.  I hate how it feels to not be able to figure this stuff out, but frankly, with two babies at home, I don't have time if it doesn't work out the first time.

That said, here is the link to the site.  I'm fairly sure I can get it to work at least in the confines of this post!


Blog Out Loud - July 7, 2011



I have to say that I am REALLY excited about this event. I missed it last year, but cannot wait to be amongst all these great local personalities and bloggers, and to showcase one of my favourite posts from the last year.  it's a priviledge and an honour.  Hope to see you all there to support us and enjoy the fun evening!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My poor little goobers

If I could take your pain away, oh, I would.

If I could reach in and gently elevate each and every one of your teeth, in a heartbeat I would.

And if I could hold you all day and all night and make you forget your discomfort, I would a thousand times over.

Up until this week, the twins had two little front lower teeth which appeared at just over 4 months old. Back at that time, they were a bit fussy, and then *poof*, out popped their cute little cuspids!  (not really cuspids, technically, I don't think, but I like alliteration, and so.)

Now?  We have a fourth, even a fifth tooth coming in on Alex, including the big front uppers, and the same are appearing on Hailey.  There is no 'bit fussy' right now. Instead?  Laughter that changes to painful cries. Smiles that suddenly turn into frowns and watery eyes. And sleep that is characterized by moaning, whining and sleepy cries all night long, punctuated by fearful awakenings, comforting and an exhausted relapse into slumber.

My poor little goobers.

If I could do anything more than what I am already doing to ease your pain...

I would.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Precious Cargo

Not just anyone can look after my precious babies, right?

I don't know about you, but this daycare stuff, before we have even begun, is emotionally exhausting. I know every single Mom has stories - good and bad - and will identify with me right now when I say it is hard to choose someone to look after your babies as you traipse off to work.  I mean, in a way, they are like surrogate parents, but you don't know them, and you have to go on their word (and the word of parents who came before you) that they feed them healthy food, they teach them well, and they keep their cute little heinies clean.  And, of course, you pay these people HANDSOMELY to do this.

That said, we think we have finally made our choice.  It was hard. We had a second option that we thought was ideal, however when we zoomed in, she was an independent caregiver going against the 'recommended' laws regarding numbers of children and ages of children, and even though the parents seemed to think her care was great, the fact was that she had too many kids, at too young an age, and that didn't sit well with us.  Tough choice, though, considering that there would be a $16/day difference between her and the more expensive option we are going with! Think about the money that adds up to over time...whooooo.  You can see our dilemma, right?

But you go with your gut and you try not to put a price tag on something so utterly valuable and irreplacable. Whatever it takes.

For the Moms out there starting their search for care, here are some of the resources I found:
CCPRN
DaycareBear
Wee Watch Agency

Kanata-based:
Tiny Hoppers (Kanata North location opening this Fall)
Glen Cairn Cooperative Preschool
Kanata Nursery School (website in development)
Katimavic Cooperative Nursery School
Community Child Care

What others are out there? What have your experiences been? Have you blogged about that first drop-off day and want to share?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Oh, I'll be loud alright!

I just realized it has been 10 days since I posted.  Wow.  Busy much?

Let's see.  Searching for daycare providers, packing for our move, getting insurance quotes, signing mortgage papers, strollercise, swim lessons, proposals for potential future work, bottles, feedings, diapers, pureed foods....oh my.  And yes, playing and having fun with my fun loving girls.

Having a blast, really, if I were to be entirely honest. And to top it all off?  I get to read one of the posts from this very blog at the upcoming Blog Out Loud event.  I am honoured and very, very excited.  You will have to come out to the event, though, to find out which post I am reading....

And now, I must pump for Hailey's breastmilk and head to bed. (And add 'writing a blog post' to my list of to do's...!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Creepy reality

It's happening. Slowly but surely reality is creeping back into my daily life.

The day I return to work (albeit part-time) approaches, and certain arrangements are necessary to make. Other professional opportunities are surfacing, bringing this creaky, underused mind back out of park and into first, second gear. And daily life, although mostly still centred on the babies, is also starting to be about other tasks, such as arranging moving details, packing and slowly but surely taking care of Mommy as well as the twins.

I'm pleased about this, but a little wary as well.  I know how tiring professional work can be.  I also know how tiring being a mommy to twins is.  And I think to myself...BOTH?  Hmmmm....Good in a lot of ways for me, but also, likely, tiring.  And still I wonder how I am going to consistently fit in time for Mommy to work on herself and her needs into what is likely to be a bit of a crazy schedule.

Now, I must insert here that I am WELL aware that this situation? Is not unique or new.  Most modern Canadian Moms juggle all the above, every day. I'm just looking at the view from where I am now, and realizing that the short-lived luxury of time off work with a focus solely on the babies is quickly falling away to be replaced by all the above in addition to a heavy focus on the babies.

How do you all do it?  What are your tips and secrets? Where do you feel you compromise and what generally gets the short end of the stick, in your mind? 

And finally, let's all say it again in unison; "life is just one big adventure"...ain't it?

Monday, May 30, 2011

3 months, 6 months, 12 months...

Here's one of those New Mom Advice posts for you...

As a new Mom, you will have too many clothes for your baby/babies!  New, gently used, splurges and consignment or hand-me-down, I have learned the hard way that you NEED to 'manage' your babies' wardrobes!!! Month after month, day after day I unearth outfits that the girls never wore, but that are now too small for them, or are too wintery, or whatever!  And it's upsetting that I didn't have a chance to put these cute and lovely little pieces on the girls!

So.  Here's what I have to offer, that I did wrong on the first go-around.

1.  I decided to fold and place a LOT of clothes into the dresser drawers I had, sometimes placing up to 5 outfits, tops, bottoms or whatever on top of each other inside each drawer, eventually stuffing each drawer with clothes.  For obvious reasons, the clothes at the bottom were usually forgotten.

2.  I decided to fold and place clothes of varying ages into the drawers, with (what seemed a good idea at the time) the littlest clothes in the top drawers, the 3 month clothes in the middle ones and 9-12 month clothes in the bottom.  Again...too stuffed, and why have clothes in drawers that don't fit the girls? Pack those away, and spread out only the clothes that fit them NOW.  If you see them, they will end up wearing them!

3.  Here's a GREAT tip.  In my quest to organize this little house for the arrival of the twins, I did a LOT of packing up of anything that we didn't immediately or often need. Bin after bin got packed. Bin after bin got loaded into a newly-created mezzanine in the garage (fancy word for overhead storage area).  Ultimately?  I have no bins left to pack up clothes that don't fit the girls anymore!  So what's the tip, that I got from a girlfriend of mine who has way too many baby clothes to deal with herself?  Take your diaper boxes (or other small boxes, but these make the most sense) and pack up the overflow clothes into them, labeling them by the age of the clothes inside them.  That way it's easy to ID the baby clothes boxes, and when you have friends looking for clothes, you can pull them out and take them over, and when you are ready to consign, they are also ready to go.

Oh, and just as an aside, have you seen the closet we created in the nursery for the girls?  If not, take a look:


We took off our closet doors (those crappy cheap slidy things) and made some custom curtains.  Bought the rods at Home Depot, and the shelving solution at IKEA.  We connected the shelves to each other and then the wall, and used three small rods for clothes hanging, with the idea that when the girls grow, you can remove the middle rod to hang the bigger clothes.  I will be sad to leave all this behind, but the new house already has custom inserts and so this stays with the house.  But.  It's been a great and practical organizational solution!

What do you do to stay organized?  What are you doing with the superfluous little pieces of clothing? And where do you consign with the best payout and purchasing history?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Losing it - Getting angry with myself now

Okay.  False start.  Totally.  Thank gawd there is no limit to the number I am allowed, but hopefully I will get out of the gates sooner rather than later.  I THINK I am building momentum.

A few weeks ago I blogged about this great seminar I took at Kangaroo Fitness to help me understand the work needed to reduce the diastasis recti issue I have since giving birth to the twins. Today is SUPPOSED to be a follow-up workshop to see our progress and discuss the next stages of the workouts/exercises. 

HA.

I have made at best some half-hearted attempts to do the stomach exercises.  I have put on the splint and worn it so few times I could count on one hand.  #FAIL - I have totally failed myself.

I ask myself why.  I have a LOT of excuses (covered that before), but I think mostly I just don't know what I want to do when.  For example, I know that I can try to mend the diastasis, but it won't look all that much different from now if I don't drop some of the weight I have gained over the past couple of years. I also know that dropping weight requires eating fewer calories and altering the nature of the food I am eating, but there is another but. My breastmilk supply goes down if I eat less, and so I feel like I need to make a decision on when I intend to wean, but am waffling on this; I just don't think I am ready yet. AND if I decide to eat just as many calories, but make them uber-healthy ones (which MIGHT do the trick, although I'm not sure it would), we'd have to be MUCH more organized in our daily meal-planning, which takes more time than I think I have - or rather, I could do that, but then fitting in the exercises etc every day become even harder.

Yeah.  And so what? It's not easy losing weight, Pam!  I'm getting angry with myself for the excuses.  For the laziness. For finding every reason NOT to proceed and make things happen - and every reason why we need to order pizza tonight or pick up McDonalds today because, you know, it was a BUSY day and we just HAVE to eat, right?  If we make something now, well, boy, it will be 9pm before we get dinner!!! 

So.  Am I ready?  Can I make this happen?  I'm going to the workshop today to hopefully get inspired by all the women who HAVE put in the work and are making changes.  I'm also going because I am embarassed and I would usually just beg off and say I'll try get up to speed and then come see the intructor. And I'm going because Susanne, said instructor, cares and wants to help me work out some solutions or answers to my 'excuses'.  Bless her heart.

She has her work cut out for her.  That is all.

Help - do you have some motivating words for me?  A story about your issues and efforts?  How are you/aren't you motivated?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A great play day

Daddy stayed home today.  We had no showings, thus the house was our own (not that we want no showings, mind you, but...silver linings, you know). We had FUN.

Lots of laughs. Lots of smiles. Lots of happiness.  Life is good.

That is all.

Here is what that looked like:

video

And then the ball cap came out...






video

Monday, May 16, 2011

Supreme sustenance - super solid foods!

You may recall that I introduced solids to the girls about two weeks ago - just a little rice and oatmeal cereal - and that we captured it on camera and video. It's such a BIG DEAL when you really think about it - these milestones are so emotional for Moms, aren't they? Hailey, as with most things, was so serious!

video

And today, I made their first real foods.  I'm excited to be able to make their food from scratch and there is so much to choose from!  What to start with?  Well, I thought we'd go standard and cook up some carrot and some broccoli.  We even have this cool little storage tray with inserts for baby-size portions.  Fun!

So colourful.  That's how you know it's healthy! 

And so I tweeted out my first forays into this new stage and posed the question - what else should I look at introducing? - and got great suggestions.  Banana, sugar-free apple sauce, avocado (yum), sweet potato, squash, peas, etc.  I also got a very funny link from my friend Dani who wrote a blog post about HER first attempts at making her baby's own food.  Thought I would share.  Nothing quite that exciting happened here, I'm afraid...

So.  What else did you introduce?  What are your suggestions?  Oh, and how did you all handle the new and fabulous olfactory-stimulating presents awaiting you at the other end?  Holy crapola (pun entirely intended)...!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Losing it - Week What?

I'm losing it, alright...losing momentum. losing steam. losing motivation.  Maybe even losing myself...

I can't believe that I am THAT mom.  The one who looks at herself and can't be bothered.  The one who has a lot going on in her life, and thus uses all of it as an excuse to stubbornly ignore how much she hates her body (and doesn't do anything about it but sabbotage it). 

You see, I have worked hard in the past to lose weight.  I know how ridiculously hard it is.  And now, I have this strange belly that I can't be sure I CAN get rid of. This, by the way, is a very deep-seated fear.  I watched my mom work out every day for decades trying to get rid of her belly. I watched her try to find clothes that looked good on her. I was always so happy I didn't seem to have that issue...

I have that issue.

I also recently went to an incredible seminar hosted by Suzanne at Kangaroo Fitness about how to repair my diastasis recti.  It's AMAZING the tranformation that is possible.  Possible IF one works their stomachs off doing crazy amounts of daily exercises and changes their lifestyle to roll off of couches and out of beds, and never bends over to pick things up, or gets on all fours to do things.  Try doing that with twin babies folks.  I still haven't figured out how the hell that would work.  And the exercises?  Painful due to my serious lack of any core muscles right now.  Crazy hard.  And there is a follow up workshop I have to show my face at in two weeks. I also have a splint that is also uncomfortable.  Maybe it would be less so if I wasn't so damned big, but I'm not starting from the greatest waist measurement, ya know?

And what's crazy is that I am unhappy while being totally happy.  How does THAT work?  I love everything about my life right now, except how I look. 

But sometimes?  That's enough to ruin my day, or cast a pall over the great moments.  And that sucks.

Not sure what I want with all this boo hooing, but I just felt like getting it down and admitting my issue. I THINK at some point I will hit that wall I hit the first time I decided to get fit, and get down to business, but at the moment, I just look in the mirror and am overwhelmed knowing how much work I have ahead of me.

I need a posse, I think.  Thoughts from my blog gallery?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Don't blink or you'll miss something!

Phew!  Things are really moving.  Monday was our new home inspection - went splendidly.  You know you got a good home when the inspectors are just listing off a few "if you want to do A, you can extend the life of B" and that is it! I spent the bulk of the time snapping photos because I had the chance!  Here, a few of the faves. Hmmm...where to start?  Outside? 

The back yard (replete with path to the park behind and a water feature)







The kitchen and family room






Main floor laundry (so awesome - and washer/dryer included)


Foyer, formal living room, dining room and powder room




The fabulous staircase...




And the upper balcony (with a great view of the Bank, and afternoon sun for tanning and sipping wine - you know, while Daddy is playing with the girls...)



Upper level - what is soon to be the baby's nursery (with two big windows, seating area, closet insert)



The second bedroom - soon to be the girls' playroom.  Thinking we HAVE to make a window seat with storage for the bay window for them...what a great place to read! (wall to wall closet insert with shelves etc. in here too)


Upper hallway from one end and double-door entrance to the master!




The master (and closet, and ensuite - finally!!! - with a soaker tub - ahhh!)








And finally, the basement with 4th bedroom (with its own walk in closet) and...a workshop!  Mamma likes that a lot!  The pool table doesn't come with the house...but will become another play zone for the girls.








So.  That's a lotta great living space, eh?  We are so excited, we can't tell you.  And now...well, as of today we are listed on MLS and have the for sale sign on the lawn.  Come hither, all you needy first homey types!!!!

If you know anyone looking for an amazing starter home, send them here!

And...wish us luck.  Hope we don't need it!