Category Archives: Family

My Boy is Six .. Seriously.

Standard

Today is E’s 6th birthday. I am in awe that it was that long ago that I gave birth to him in California. In some ways it feels like a second ago, in others it feels like a lifetime ago. Three or four moves later, here we are with an amazing 6 year old boy!

My six year old loves all things lego, super heros and of course Minecraft. This year he decided he wanted to have a Minecraft party (which was barely second to a Skylanders Party).

The kids had a fabulous time. I swooped them to our house after school on Friday and started the party with just open play. We did attempts  craft but seriously the kids really just wanted to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. It was a great group of kids!

Happy Birthday Boy

The kids showing off their new Creeper T's

 

See more of E’s Party here http://www.flickr.com/photos/chelle/sets/72157633176045953/

Happy birthday my sweet, awesome, creative boy!

Challenges

Standard

phew. Survived the first few weeks of school. When people ask, “Wow so what are you doing with all that extra time now that two of your kids are in school?” I am at a loss how to respond. I am sure I have a look of utter bewilderment on my face. I do not have any “extra” time. In fact I am busier than ever. Granted it is by choice. I am helping at the school more, at the church more, trying to maintain my fitness levels, immersing myself in the child’s activities and lives as wella s cooking, cleaning, organizing ..

The summer was fantastic. I ran a lot. The kids and I were super active and I worked off an additional 5 lbs. Now that life is crazy busy, I am stuck again. Maintaining (Yay for that). I wanted a more relaxing of a exercise, something to recharge me during this transition time in my life. I presumed I would add yoga easily, so do yoga and run. I was wrong.

Yoga is HARD.

My upper body strength is not what I would like it to be. In part because I do not get swimming laps as often as I would like (I also do not lift weights though I had added a few simple exercises over the summer I have not continued with them lately) and well as a runner I have wicked good legs and butt. I saw the crow pose on Facebook over a month ago and the pose sparked my curious nature. I decided that I needed to be able to to that. Much like running it has become a tad bit of an obsession and the Yoga Journal 21 Challenge is perfect to get me into it.

The one day I was able to run after completing yoga in the morning drained me so completely I was a zombie by 9 pm and zonked out, unconscious for 10 hours. Some of the Yoga segments had me sweating like I had run 5 km! Other segments I was shaking, my muscles screaming as I maintained the poses. It was awesome!

Part of the Yoga Journal 21 Challenge is homework, so I was inspired to share it here.

What was your favorite part of practice this week?
– Challenging my body and holding poses longer and better each time.

What kinds of physical or mental challenges came up?
– I am not as bendy as I could be. So I really felt stiff and awkward at times. I really should have blocks and a strap.

Was there a tool that got you through the tough parts—either the teacher’s encouragement, your breath, or a practice partner?

– The reminders to breath were good for me. When it is a really tough pose i do have a tendency to hold my breath. Not good!

How did you feel after the practices physically?

– Sometimes I felt really sore, however the muscle tenderness did not linger like it does when I lift weights or run. That was amazing to me, the restorative poses and moves really worked wonders for me.

What was your state of mind after the practices?

-Wow! I felt full of energy. I tried to do the practices first thing in the morning (though that was not always possible) and it filled me with energy for the day. Even mid day it was a great boost!

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s practice! I hope that this challenge will help me incorporate yoga into my daily fitness.

Have you ever committed to a fitness challenge? How did it go?

Moo-over Milk – Why our family switched to Almond Milk

Standard

I have considered this transition away from cow’s milk for years. Well pretty much since R was a year old and started drinking cow’s milk in addition to breast milk. J is lactose intolerant so cannot drink milk at all. I however, was a milk-aholic. Seriously I loved milk. A tall glass of skim milk. Geez it still makes my mouth water. However, a few years ago when looking at what I was consuming, I gave up the delicious milk to save on calories each day.

Time passed. More wise than I parents, were realizing that cow’s milk just wasn’t what they were telling us it was. So why is it we believe that we must drink cow’s milk or we will not escape the wrath of osteoporosis, broken bones & gosh we will not look incredible like all those milk ads. My kids need milk … right? RIGHT?

Wrong, maybe.

If one googles err searches on Google (did you know Google does not wish to be a verb? Yet has been added to the dictionary as such anyway? Yeah me neither that is a random fact from J) “Is milk good for you?” one will get a whole range of experts claiming, gosh darn it, milk is good for you, drink it. Yet if one searches “Is milk bad for you?” one then gets a whole whack of experts claiming, holy smokes milk is so so not good for you, stay away from ALL dairy.

eeps.

What is a parent to do?

We have three, calcium thirsty growing munchkins that we love so we must make the very best possible decision, ever.

I have been on the milk fence for a while as I previously mentioned. My ultra practical, budget minded husband has had his wallet firmly planted on the “milk is way cheaper than the alternative and they have yet to break any bones, besides too much soy isn’t good either” side of the fence. Then one fateful morning at our Mom’s group, I mentioned how yes I would like to switch but to give copious amount of soy to the kids wouldn’t work and egads it is expensive. That is when one gorgeous mom pointed out that Costco (insert harp sounds here) has Almond milk by the case and if one buts down the amount consumed it is quite a reasonable option.

gasps.

Here it was the solution to my dilemma, now to convince the ever logical husband that we should do this. I was surprised that I was up against little resistance. It was time to switch and would not cost us more (whereas in fact because we reduced the amount given each day it is cheaper & perfect for camping). Besides if husband craves a bowl of cereal there is now an option for him. So the kids used to drink 3 glasses of cows milk a day (excessive) now instead they drink one glass of unsweetened Almond Milk at breakfast and water with every other meal (except on occasion they receive a juice).

Did you know almonds are not a nut? Yeah me neither. They are a fruit. Almond milk is said to have less fat and protein than cow’s milk so when substituting it for younger toddlers that is important to keep in mind. We have not swore off dairy (yet) completely and though were are very limited in the meat meals we are eating we are still carnivores so I worry not about the fats and proteins and have focused on the benefits instead.

In this modern world of an insane amount of information it is so difficult to always know what is best for our families. I have made peace with slowly making transitions, looking at not only one source and just doing the best we can. You will know what works for you and yours. I hope by me sharing our experience and choice you will be inspired to look at the choices you are making to ensure they are still working for your family.

I really liked the following video I stumbled across on Huffington Post, I hope you do too 🙂

Does your family drink cow’s milk? Have you made changes that go against convectional wisdom?

The girl’s 8th birthday

Standard

For the past few months the girl and I have been reading through the Harry Potter books. It seemed like the logical choice post Narnia. We very much enjoyed the magical aspects of Narina, besides Harry Potter is very very cool and current. We are currently on the sixth book, after each book we watch the movie together, comparing notes, snuggling and enjoying the time together. It is our special time.

When R & I started talking about birthday parties like forever ago, we both agreed that it totally had to be a Harry Potter birthday. So I have to say right now … the internet is evil. There is so much goodness out there, my mind spun with inspiration. I so did not reinvent the wheel for this party, but I took inspiration from many places.

The House Signs

In the beginning I decided that instead of loot bags, each guest would receive a Wizard/Witch robe that I would sew. I spoke to the girl, so that we could keep the guest list small in order to create these robes. However I totally underestimated the cost, even though I used inexpensive fabric, the metres totally added up fast. Still I really love that I made it happen though especially when the kids were all at the party , wearing the robes together it just made it that more magical.

The Wizards & Witches

The invitations were delivered by owl mail (of course!) R very much enjoyed running up to the mailbox, placing the invite in it ringing the doorbell and running off! The guests were very excited to receive owl mail (though one guest felt I *could* have trained owls in time to deliver the invites)

Owl Post

Owl Post close up

HP-invitation

I was so not sure what to do, then I stumbled across the idea of having a similar cake to the cake Hagrid gave to Harry when they first met!

The Cake

I have a confession. The preparation for this party was so much fun. I enjoyed sewing all the robes, hand painting the Hogwarts Express & Honeydukes signs … all the little details. The icing on the cake … the kids noticed all the little details (except the floo powder). We did not have any organized games per say. We had a short potions class, then the house elves prepared hotdogs for dinner in the great hall (that looked a lot like the potions classroom). After dinner, the kids headed to the Gryffindor common room, to hang out, look at spell books and then test Every Flavor Beans, trying to guess the flavours. R opened her presents, we had cake then the kids headed outside to fly about on their brooms and used their imaginations to create story lines. It was magical to listen to them.

Hogwarts Express Sign

HoneyDukes Sign and variety of candy

MmmChocolate Frogs!

So remember how I said I did not reinvent the wheel here? The following are some of the amazing places I got inspiration for this Harry Potter birthday … I looked at so many places, I am so hoping I did not miss any links!

http://justsweetandsimple.blogspot.ca/2011/07/harry-potter-party.html

http://www.britta.com/hogwarts/index.html

http://www.chicaandjo.com/2011/07/08/harry-potter-chocolate-frogs/

http://gracesscrapattic.blogspot.ca/2012/04/harry-potter-invitations-delivered-owl.html

http://www.3eyedbear.com/2011/01/14/owl/

http://www.overthebigmoon.com/halloween-decor-harry-potter-house-posters-free-printables/

http://diyfashion.about.com/od/costumes/ss/gryffindor_robe.htm

http://dirtandsunshine.com/harry-potter-party.html

The Birthday Girl

Happy Eighth Birthday to my magical girl!

(be sure to check out our Flickr for more pictures)

Some where that I used to blog

Standard

So I have been thinking about blogging a lot the past few weeks. It used to be a place where I found such peace, amazing friends from all over the world and sharing was such a creative, wonderful outlet for me. It seems as though as soon as I had three children, time to write was nonexistent. However it wasn’t just the extreme busyness of parenting that has kept me from writing.

For a while I felt there was little left to share. I am not the insecure new parent I was when I started blogging 8 years ago. By no means do I feel that I am a parenting expert, yet I have found my groove, I have matured into a confident Mother.

I also spend time doing new to me things, rather than what I used to do. Though I adore knitting, crafting and all that I just rarely sit long enough to do it anymore. Granted now that soccer season has started I did start a new knitting project.

What am I doing now?

Well I run daily, something 8 years ago I would have NEVER contemplated. I was in the camp that if there was a bear, I would run if not .. why? Silly girl. Now I have to run. it is not an option, I have to make time, it is like a drug. I am fully addicted, my brain needs to feel that balance that I get from running.

We are attempting to eat more “clean” though that is a learning curve.

I am very busy being a Mom. Running errands, getting the kids to their activities. Participating. Being Active. Not on the sidelines writing about it.

Yet I feel a pull to write again. To share again. To feed my creative soul that has been suffering a little with all this other stuff. It is hard to fit it all in. Sometimes I have to chose between running and cleaning the house. Or chose to read versus taking the children on an outing. Life is about choices and how we live it.

I want to live each day to the fullest and perhaps if I share how I do that it will help me to continue to keep at it and if I am lucky inspire others to do it too.

So here I am some where I used to blog, starting fresh, I hope you can come along for the run *smiles*

this is the song that inspired the blog title …
oh and today it is 8 years since I became a mom … amazing … and we are throwing B a Harry Potter Birthday Party! I will be sure to share it with you over the weekend 🙂

I just Ran my First 5km Race!!!

Standard

Race day!!

It was amazing. It was very wet. It was so exciting. And so much fun.

The Start of the Race

I never thought I would be a runner. I never dreamed that I would participate in a race. I feel so empowered, strong and proud of myself for achieving this goal. I could not have done it without J’s love & support … letting me escape and go for runs, watching the kids while I stretched, hearing me whine about the pain. The kids were awesome and so excited that their Mommy was running in the race.

#RunForTheCure. Post race with the kids!

It was such a surreal feeling being lined up to run with so many people. Being the CIBC Run for the Cure charity race there were all sorts of people some runners, some walkers and everything in between. I am happy with my choice to do this type of race first. Not only an amazing cause, but it was a tad less intimidating for me.

Race day!!

The rain only poured for the first half of the race. I kept my pace though the start was slow with the mass of people starting. There were puddles to avoid, dogs, strollers, and people everywhere. So different than my treadmill runs, or my experience on the track.

Race day!!!!

It was so exhilarating to finish! I almost started to cry but there were so many people my vanity stopped me before I burst into tears. The kids and J were there and we celebrated as the rain started to come down stronger. My legs are tight and sore form not doing my yoga stretches right after (how do racers do that? I did not see anyone stretching post race! Mind you it was raining).

After just crossing the finish line

I think running in races is kind of like getting a tattoo. Once you have had the courage to take that step and do your first one, you can hardly wait to run another. So as winter approaches I am going to jump back on my treadmill, and start swimming laps at the pool on gym days. Perhaps in the spring I will have the courage to run in another race.

Race day!

Thank you again for all the support. The donations, the messages on here, facebook, twitter … It all makes a difference! You guys rock! I was able to reach my fundraising goal & over double it!! Amazing … Thank you!


Fitness Friday – Making it a family thing

Standard

This is how my life is, an entire week goes without me being fully aware that time is passing. As a family of five, we are enjoying the time together that it seems to disappear without a lot of recognition.

This week for Fitness Friday I want to focus on Family. A lot of people wonder how I run, workout with two small kids at home still. It takes a lot of work. Just being honest with you, it isn’t easy. However it is worth it.

As a family we have joined a fitness centre that recently opened in our area. It has a fantastic pool, an indoor track (YAY!) and three full size gyms, plus yoga, fitness classes and a weight/cardio area. The centre is simply awesome. Our children are a little young to use all the aspects, however they love the pool and last Saturday they enjoyed walking/running on the track while I ran (with their Dad and it was family time so they were permitted).

Since joining, I have started taking C, to the child centre while I run the track twice a week. I needed to get off the treadmill and be more prepared for the CIBC Run for the Cure next Sunday (ahh!!! Next Sunday!) At first C was so not keen to be left but she is getting used to the idea. The fact that I take her for a quick swim afterward definitely helps.

Fitness for me isn’t just about me. I want my entire family to participate, something that so was not on our radar in the past. Once I got motivated and started running, everyone else had their interest peaked too. Even my husband has gone to the gym a few nights each week to walk/run and workout.

When I work out at home, I use the television. In part because I worry that C will get hurt coming too close to the treadmill and then I know where they are. However the deal is, it has to be something educational, for the preschooler and toddler that means letter & word programs. These strategies have been developed over time and I am always prepared to be interrupted or stop altogether if the kids are off that day. When I do yoga or sit ups etc I am used to having a cat or a kid climbing on me, rubbing me or lying down with me proclaiming how “easy” push ups are (they always cheat!)

How do you make time to work out? What challenges have you overcome to reach your fitness goals?

By the way … THANK YOU so much for helping me reach my fundraising goal for the CIBC Run for Cure. There is still time to donate (did I mention you receive a tax recite?) and if you are in the area you are welcome to come out Sunday October 2nd to cheer me on!


365 Pictures

Standard

Since C was born I have progressively taken less photos, written less & have been consumed with Motherhood. I can think of worse fates and I am grateful to be present with my children.

So be sure to check out our flickr for the next 365 days I am going to try to post a picture a day. Mostly for my iPhone but it is a start!

The Lake Swimming Lessons

Standard

Living on the east coast has some mighty fine perks. We are a quick drive to the ocean and we have a ton of lakes to enjoy. There are even city lakes that have lifeguards in attendance all summer long. As a result through the city recreation program the kids are taking swimming lessons at a lake about a 10 minute drive from our house.

I seriously envisioned long, sweltering days, basking in the sunshine as the children frolicked in the water, built castles in the sand, tons of giggles and picnics.

Lake swimming days

What I forgot was that I live on the east coast of Canada. It has been a cool, rainy, dreary time at our swim lessons. Yet the kids are really enjoying it. The first day was gorgeous, sunny and warm. Since then not so much. The coolness factor does not even faze the oldest B … she just swims, runs and enjoys every single second. The little guy, E … not so much but he still gets in, tries his best and has fun. My kids are amazing. The youngest, C … she hangs out with me, digging in the sand, eating snacks or curled up in a towel to keep warm like her siblings.

Despite the weather, we have one more week of swimming lessons & we are loving it!