Wednesday, February 28, 2007

body and soul

Last night, after dropping off the twins at yet another Cosmic Adventures' birthday party, I headed with big sis to The Scotia bank Place for an evening of music. Her godmother got us two tickets. So we joined her and a few other people we know in a booth. We went to see Josh Groban. Now, I have to admit, I had never heard of him before. So what an awesome pleasant surprise it was. He's wonderful to look at and his voice is purely magical. Great songs in Spanish, Italian, English and even one in French. Great that I actually understand all those languages;) It was an evening great for the soul.

And now for the body. I just came back from the gym. Session #4 with Joe. Nutrition discussion today. I also asked him to remeasure me cause I wanted/needed some tangible results to keep me going. Sure I feel stronger, I'm lifting more and more wights and feel generally better.

So here is where I'm at, after 3.5 weeks of my new commitment to improved fitness: lost 3 pounds, lost 2% body fat and lost 5 inches overall. Small baby steps, but surely steps in the right direction.

Body and soul. Both in a good place today. And that's a good thing.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

a perfect week-end, part 2

We just got back from skiing. I'm pooped. I asked big sis if she can look after her siblings for a bit while I take a nap. Look closely, that's me on the couch!! So she makes up this game. She always makes up games. She has tons of creative juices. And lately we've been fortunate to be in a really good place in the tween-nearly-teen roller coaster of emotions/moods. She grabbed my camera and after taking a picture of herself in the mirror, she proceeded to take close to 25 pictures of all sorts of little things around the condo. Then with a timer in hand, she would show her siblings a picture on the viewer and they had to walk around the condo to find what she took a picture of and report back to her and she would write down how long it took them to find it. Brilliant!!! They had a blast and I had a well deserved siesta. What a great big sis she is. I will always remember the day hubby and I told her that we were expecting. She responded with all the seriousness that a nearly seven year old can muster "well, its about time!" And when we told her it was twins, she exclaimed with utter joy "All right! We are finally going to be a real family!!"

Another funny thing happened last week-end. The twins, after some deliberation, came up to us and asked if they could sleep together. Usually the sisters sleep together in one bed, hubby and I and baby boy in the other (with me more often than not ending on the couch in the middle of the night due to constant kicking from baby boy, his legs never stop even when sleeping). So of course, we let them. SO CUTE. Them getting ready for bed, and cuddling together and talking till Hypnos came to get them. What a special bond they have.

All right, off to finish unpacking! Funny how a 2 day family getaway means 2 days of preparation and 2 days of unpacking for mom ;~/

Monday, February 26, 2007

a perfect week-end

We couldn't have picked a better week-end to go away. The weather was absolutely perfect. The snow conditions too. The lineups at the lifts nearly non-existent. All 3 kids were in a great mood. And we skied. And skied. Till my legs couldn't anymore. The first week-end ever that we skied both days, with all 3 kids, up and down the mountain. They had a blast. I will never forget the look of joy on their faces. The laughter emanating from us all. What a great sport to do as a family. And my heart was bursting with "proud-mommy" juice. The little ones did awesome. What great stamina and how quickly they learn. We even took them down an intermediate run!

What a workout walking around with ski boots, backback
and carrying two sets of skis and poles!!

Love taking that gondola up!

Snack time!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

meet joe

The new man in my life. Not a chance encounter yet we were put together at random. I will be meeting him at least twice a week over the next few weeks. So far so good. We seem to get along and he seems to know what he's doing. He's already motivated me a whole extra level and made me consider new things.

Joe is my personal trainer. Yep. I finally have one. One of my life goals reached. Never too late to fulfill a dream! I've never been super athletic but generally strong. But at this point in my life, I want to get serious about getting as fit as I can. I met with trainers here and there over the years. But this is different. Hubby got me a 12 session package with him. Two down already.

So for the past two weeks, I've been going to my new gym and enjoying it. More than I thought. I was doing my own thing and already feeling stronger.

Session One with Joe:
Review of my goals, measurement of resting blood pressure and heart rate. Discussion of my training heart rate. And now that I have a heart rate monitor watch, I've come to realize that I don't always bring my heart rate high enough while exercising. Something to work on. This chit-chat followed by some weight training and a grueling session on the stair master (which I would have gotten off of if he wasn't right next to me!).

Session Two with Joe: After the usual cardio and weight training component, he had me step on a machine to analyze my body composition. Now THIS was a wake-up call. My %body fat is high (no surprise there) but when he quantified that by saying I was carrying 76, yes seventy-six, pouinds of fat, I was in total shock. Those values put me in the "obese" category. Yikes!!! Not enough muscle mass, too much fat mass. Got my work cut out here.

So one day at a time, that's all I can do.

The key to success is patience and persistence.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

back to square one

So after months of pondering, I registered the twins for first grade next fall at big sis' old school. We visited, met with the teacher, filled all the forms. That was two weeks ago. I was in bliss. Happy and at peace with finally reaching a decision. All is well, right? NO. All is not well. I'm back to square one and the anxiety is driving me berserk.

You see, there's this other school. It finally opened four years ago. I say finally as for the last 10 years I was marginally involved with trying to get it set up in our neck of the woods. It operates under the catholic school board but follows Montessori principles which I really, really like. When it opened, I didn't end up transferring big sis to it as she was in fourth grade and her friends at that point where most important to her. When the twins were born, I said, Yeah, they'll be able to go! I even pre-registered them FOUR years ago! It's a small school, everyone knows each other, small classes and the kids wear uniforms (which I also like). But over the past few years there's been problems with the direction. The principal has been off on stress leave for the past 3 years and there's been one interim principal after another which creates a certain lack of leadership/direction/management. Some parents have been frustrated and pulled their kids out. There's also an issue that there is no busing provided for this school so kids need to be driven back and forth. Some parents have had issues with that and pulled them out. I had a major issue with that as I didn't want to commit being a chauffeur for the next 6 years.

So what changed my way of thinking?

Two things, no, three.

Last week-end there was an article in the newspaper which gave ratings of schools according to those ministry tests given to 3rd and 6th graders. This school came out FIRST...out of the whole province, out of over 3000 schools tested!!! It got an overall mark of 10/10, given to a handful of schools province-wide. Now that got me thinking, really thinking.

AND THEN, I learn that the school board has finally approved the school for busing! No need to drive them back and forth.

And there's also the fact that I'm really pleased with the high school that big sis is attending. This is the high school all the kids at this school would go to. And a very small part of me likes the fact that it is catholic, like to have that extra dimension thrown into their daily lives.

Called the school this morning. Turns out the secretary is a mom I know and she was all excited to hear baby girl and baby boy would be attending! So she'll be sending me all the official forms to fill out.

Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I'm registering them at two schools that way I have more time to ponder and agonize, lovely ;)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

st valentines

We went the home-made route this year for the twins. An easy and inexpensive project for them. Got some paper doilies and stickers from the dollar store and they just went ahead and decorated and signed their names on the back. Easy shmeasy but still cute.

Big sis, first year where she didn't bother with making cards. But at the last minute this morning, she grabbed a few heart shaped lollipops we had to distribute to friends at school.

Tonight, our traditional chocolate fondue! Off to farm Boy to get lots of fruit!! Yum!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

a week in retrospective

Kids are finally in bed. I survived yet another 4 days with hubby out of town. He should be arriving something around midnight later on tonight. He didn't really feel like going and said he won't be going again for a while. He was missing his family before he was even gone. And the kids were all missing him too, moreso than previous trips.

This was week #1 on my new road: seriously and powerfully committed in reaching a healthier level for myself. The new gym I joined finally opened its doors and I'm really loving it. I'm finally doing what I've been wanting to do since the twins started school. I think the group atmosphere is working for me now. Tired of doing things alone at home I guess. I'm patting myself on the back for actually making it there a total of 5 times this past week! Two sessions of Bodypump (a cardio-weight training group workout with great loud music), two sessions of weight training (one being an initial session with a trainer which was awesome, looking forward to the next ones and seeing my strength improve, been) and one hour of yoga which I really, really loved. Add to that 2 hours on the canal last Sunday and one hour toboganning and one hour skating in our backyard today and I've pretty much did some form of exercise daily. And it was actually fun! I am not doing this solely for weight loss (although I do hope all this effort will result in that eventually) but mostly in keeping my body strong, firm and flexible.

Of course, exercise is just one factor in the big equation. Diet is key too. And not diet in the context of a quick fix starve myself diet, but more of a mind-set where I make a conscious effort daily in eating healthy and in moderate amounts. And of course, the whole family benefits too. Not that we were ever that far from healthy eating so its really just some fine-tuning. This past week was pretty great in this area too. Strayed a bit off course when I went to Pizza Hut with the kids and another husband-out-of town mom and her 3 kids for supper one night and I had a beer but managed to have only one piece of pizza and loads of salad. And today I had a few Timbits when we went to a local arena to watch a friend's 8 year old play hockey ;)

On other news, my dad went to the hospital for a little dermatological procedure, again. He had this lesion on his ear and after tons of prompting and persuasion had it checked and it turned out to be squamous cell carcinoma. He had it excised two years ago and it came back. So off he went to get it removed again. He had the same thing on his leg a few years back. And this a man who has worked indoors all his life. Makes you think twice about the merit of sunscreen, which he hasn't used regularly, and more personally makes me wonder if I'll be predisposed to those types of lesions myself. For a 10 minute procedure done under local in a regular exam room, he was at the hospital for a total of 6 hours. He had been there waiting for 4 hours already when this other patient arrived: obviously a prisoner, with shackles and accompanied by 3 guards...he didn't have to wait, they brought him in right and out in half an hour flat...and he didn't have to pay for parking dad was ticked, especially since we had just finished talking about this story which I won't even comment on cause I don't have anything nice to say about it.

And big sis has simply been the best these past few days. No talking back, being responsible for herself and EVEN picking up her room with very little prompting. The twins went to a birthday party at the local YMCA last Saturday and she asked to go along with them. The birthday mom didn't mind the extra pair of hands with 10 5-6 year olds. And I got TWO full hours to myself (went shopping and got myself something for a change and went to the gym too). She did great there. She definitely has a natural knack to taking care of younger kids. She showed that ability again today when we babysat my godchild, the cutest 2 year old. She had all sorts of games and activities lined up for him and the twins. I was mostly relegated to the background preparing meals, cleaning up and managed to do all my laundry too!

Add to all that, mom's taxi service tos chool and back, dance lessons, badminton, greek school, gymnastics and a long overdue date with a friend for tea one evening (divorced, remarried, long story) and a parent teacher night another no wonder blogging took the back burner.

But I'm all set for another week :)

Monday, February 05, 2007

here we go again

Last week, I kept the kids from school one morning to bring them to an open house at the school they will be attending starting next September. First grade. Already. Big lump in mom's throat here.

Seven years ago I went through this common ordeal that parents face: selecting a school for their wee ones. Visited a few. Talked to hords of other parents. And for a mutitude of reasons, made a final selection. It turned out fine. Big sis went to that school for 6 years and she did well.

So seven years later, for the sake of being thorough and most probably anal, started looking at the options available for the twins. Visited a few schools. Talked to hords of parents.

So last week, the twins and I returned to big sis' former elementary school. It was like returning home. The principal, the secretaries, the teachers all came to say hello and "how's big sis doing in high school?" and "are those really the twins? starting already?" Most of them have lived through my pregnancy and saw them on several occasions over the years. The kindergarten teacher assured me that the group of kids my little ones would integrate with next year are great. The first grade teachers were there too and they got to meet them. We discussed how I would like them to be in the same class, for next year at least, just because they don't really know other kids for now. Maybe we'll separate them in the following years. Just another layer of decision-making specific to twin parents.

Bottom line: my mind is at ease now, well more at ease. I think it will be fine. I hope. They feel very comfortable with that school. They can't wait to finally get on a school bus (having watched big sis get on one all these years).

When I left, the secretary, a really sweet lady, tells me: "another 6 years for you!"

Yikes! Here we go again!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

must be saturday night

There he is. Baby boy. Front row seat. On the edge of his seat. In the rocking chair that used to be mine as a child. Full concentration. Only gets up between periods. His beloved home team lost. Not a happy camper.

taking care of me

That's what the last 2 days have been about. And the guilt, the guilt, that darn mother's guilt. Why is it its so much easier to take care of others than of oneself.

Left the house while my cleaning ladies, my beloved cleaning ladies did their magic. I had one when the twins were little but then she retired when they were around 2 yrs old. And then I figured, no problem, I can do it now, all of it, I'm supermom. Not. A few months back, a friend told me that her cleaning crew had an opening. Didn't take long to jump on that offer.

So while the toilet bowls and floors were getting scrubbed, I went to get my pearly whites looked after. Even got a little bleaching kit to brighten up the smile :) Followed by a little solo shopping (ended up getting valentine's day stuff for the kids) and lunch with a great book. Then off to the hairdresser for 2 hours of pampering. New color and highlights. Then off to my new gym. Joined a while back but it officially opened now. Got the grand tour. And a first workout. And made an appointment with a trainer for my inital evaluation next week. Got the ball rolling, finally!

A continuing education course. With hubby. Have to keep my hours up in order to maintain my provincial license. It turned out to be totally unexpectedly awesome. An invigorating, stimulating and motivating day taking about health and fitness. I acquired so many pearls of wisdom. A lot I knew already: eat healthy, drink water, exercise regularly,etc. But the speakers didn't address so much what we need to do to lead a healthier lifestyle, the intellectual side of us already knows all that stuff. It was more a search of our deep inner selves to find out what would motivate us to do those things. Find out our powerful reasons. Make a dream list of our future and visualize it. Very powerful stuff.

They spoke of the things people need to achieve these results: a log of what we eat and the exercises we do, drinking lots of water, eliminating junk food from our houses, having people around us who will support us, having people whose achievements are inspirational to us, getting a personal trainer or even better taking a personal training course, cutting down caffeine consumption, not eating 2 hours before bedtime, sleeping enough every night, taking time daily for ourselves (meditation, quiet reading), getting regular massages, yoga, and even journalling ! As in blogging! Apparently spending the time to write down our thoughts is part of the road to a better, happier and healthier lifestyle.


So here's my top two powerful reasons to bring my health and wellness to the next level:

#1---be a role model to my children
#2--becoming an active older adult enjoying life and children

Let's just keep the momentum going!