This is how it should be. A post that is full of self-explanatory photos!
Sun. Snow. Smiles. Beer. Friends.
No training was accomplished on this day.
I am not a writer. I dabble in parenting, sport and making fun of myself. I'm good at coffee. I love where I live and the things I get to do.
Sitting at the counter, surrounded by bits and pieces of Christmas and New Year’s detritus. 1 kid at daycare, the other 2 playing outside with a friend in what can only be called an honest to goodness downpour. Welcome 2014!
So… whatcha been up to these last few weeks? I wish I could think of something riveting to say but I can sum up the last 6 weeks in bullet points and pictures. Hurray for the iPhone camera feature! Otherwise I’m pretty sure my memory would erase 87% of the daily stuff that goes on in these parts.
– Ski school, blessed wonderful ski school has resumed for 2/3 kids. That means we can now all ski together. And that also means we don’t fit on one chairlift (cue the “I want to ride with Mama/Dada!” arguments).
-I couldn’t really hack retirement. Back to work! Thrilled.
-I’ve tackled some more structured training in light of some looming races (damn you, foolish near-unachievable goals!) It feels good to shift into a routine. And hey! I can almost swim! And I’ve remembered what it’s like to sweat on the wind trainer. GTs.
-Contrary to all the lovey-dovey, 2013 was so wonderful #lucky13 posts I’ve read lately, I am not at all sad to see this year end. It was a frustrating one for me and I’m ready to move into even numbers.
-Speaking of the New Year, I’m not one for resolutions but I suppose I resolve to eat better (hahaha – I say that every year) and to spend at least one weekend every month totally unplugged. I think even I can manage that.
In kid news, this 2 week/3 weekend Christmas break with very little snow is kind of kicking my ass. They might be loath to admit it, but I think even the boys are ready to head back to school.
A few of the latest Anja quotes:
“Mama, when you were on your trip, I was looking at the ground and then I splattered my face on the ground.”
Me: “Can you be quiet?” Her: “No. My heart doesn’t like that so I listen to it.”
“Mama, elephants do not wear bathing suits.”
And lastly, a round up in pictures, in no particular order.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, mainly because I’ve been mopey. Nobody wants to hang around mopey, much less read about mopey. So I’m trying to move past mopey into more hopeful. Mopeful, maybe?
My body is nowhere near 100% fixed, as much as I like to pretend it is. Watching the winter pass me by has been very frustrating – particularly not being able to ski. I miss skiing and feel like I am missing out on a lot with the kidlets.
I’ve tried a few days of skate skiing without poles which was ok, but otherwise my workouts have been limited to the gym, pool running (ugh) and the wind trainer… endless hours on the wind trainer. Actually, I’m pretty proud of myself for the workouts I’ve developed: they are based solely on TV characters. When character A comes on, I spin 100 rpm. When his enemy comes on, I spin 80 rpm, etc. etc. It actually makes time fly. As much as time can fly on a wind trainer at 5:30am. Maybe I’ll trademark these workouts and become an infomercial superstar! (Wait… do infomercials still exist?)
I celebrated 1 month post-op with a 1km run on the treadmill in the garage – which I then had taken away from me by a well-meaning physio who told me to back off again. I may or may not had shed tears of frustration. Not having the ability to run daily has had a huge effect on my ability to manage my anxiety, so for both my physical and mental health I’m hoping to get back at it sooner rather than later.
Baby steps, I suppose. In the meantime, while I build my body back up, I’ll continue to lurk on race websites, read blogs, try to pick up a hobby, follow people’s twitter updates and will the snow to melt and my body to heal so I can once again get out and play.
A few weeks ago, I was headed to the city to run some errands and let the boys know I’d be picking them up some tees and hoodies as they’d outgrown/destroyed the ones they had. Rory piped up that he “wanted a pink t-shirt with a skateboarder on it, but if they don’t have that, I’ll just get whatever”.
Will looked at me and said “I don’t want to be a dude”. I was a little confused by this comment and replied “but you’re a boy, therefore you are a dude.” He elaborated: “No, no. I don’t want to be a dude, like who skateboards and wears pink shirts and stuff. I like Lego and books and calmer stuff. I just want a plain blue t-shirt”.
It’s interesting to me that at 6 years old, he’s pretty self-aware. And so very, very different from his brother.
I bought Anja a new coat as she’d outgrown her current one (belly coats, anyone?) She came downstairs, saw it and said “OH MINE GOODNESS! It’s Beee-ooootiful”!
I like an appreciative kid.
Completely unrelated to anything
I was at one of my recent 298374 doctors appointments waiting for the doc when I saw this:
I must have been having a bad day because it infuriated me. I’m no feminist, but COME ON. Set your daughter up with some slightly higher standards than “Diva”. I hate that moniker applied to little girls – never mind newborns. How about “Astronaut in Training” or “Athlete in Training” or “Average, healthy kid in training”? Anything is better than Diva.
*steps off soap box*
I gave up chocolate for Lent. I’m not religious, nor have I ever given anything up for Lent. I wonder what possessed me this year. So far so good. But The Chocolate Easter Bunny better watch his back March 31. And his ears. And tail.
It was the first warm and sunny day we’d had in a long time. I spent a lot of it thinking about Mum. She used to love early Spring days and would bundle up into her coats and blankets, drag an old chair to a sunny spot somewhere outside and read her book till the sun became shade. I think that early spring days will always remind me of Mum and some of her ingrained habits. I can’t believe that it’s already been 6 months without her.
I’m back at work! Bring on the sitting, office snacks and the fluorescent lighting. And hopefully more positive blog updates.
Doesn’t that sound like it should be a name of a roller coaster at a super fun amusement park? “Step right up people and have a ride on the death defying GREATER TUBEROSITY! A feat of engineering, a marvel of adventure!”
The reality is that “greater tuberosity” is just a fancy name for shoulder. Which I fractured last week. Oops.
Considering I’m scheduled for knee surgery next week, my timing is spectacular and this has put a damper on the ski season. Just when I’d managed to rekindle my love/hate relationship with skate skiing… Plus, I get total FOMO when it comes to skiing with my kids – I don’t want to miss a thing. It drives me bonkers when they go without me.
I’m front loading the surgery with as much running as I can as I am not sure when I’ll be able to get out there again (super graceful, one-armed running). I devastated that I can’t swim (total lie). Garage biking is happening. I tried snowshoeing but almost died of boredom: I would have been a terrible coureur des bois.
Coming soon: road trip recap! In the meantime, enjoy some random photos.
I spent the weekend in Vancouver with the kids, the plan being to take in the Stanley Park Christmas train, city lights and the Santa Claus Parade. Then, this happened:
Being sick when you are little sucks. It’s hard to communicate what you feel and you can’t help much beyond back rubs and cuddles. And midnight/2am/4am Tylenol and kleenex doses. Thankfully, they both seem to be on the mend.
Rory and Will rallied for the parade, Anja fell asleep…
(scene: Rory is having a hissy fit because we’d planned an adult evening without him).
Me, to Will: “What’s going on?”
Will: “Oh, Rory’s losing his marbles because you’re leaving”.
Me: “Hmm, well – are you ok with it?”
Will: “Me? Oh yeah. You should go, you guys totally need a break”.
(scene: Rory, on the couch, legs in the air)
“I feel a celebration coming on!”
Knee surgery looms in January. In the meantime, I’ve been running and kind of biking (and by kind of, I mean hanging on for dear life on the rollers while staring at a dot on the floor so as not to lose focus). I’ve also been trolling the internet and planning 2 types of race schedules.
1) The one I’d do if I were single, rich and responsibility-free (read: Phuket, South Africa, New Orleans, Texas, Mexico, Hawaii… just to name a few destinations).
2) Reality. I’ll be coming off of surgery, have 3 kids to focus on, don’t have that much race mojo anyway. Any suggestions? Oh, I’ve been talked into the Test of Metal after a 9 year hiatus.
The cooking project continues and I’ve been diligent about trying new recipes. In the process, I’ve learned a few things. First, don’t try to fool the kids with things like “These quinoa burgers are just like real burgers”! They’re kids, not idiots. Truth helps.Next, I’m much more of a 1 dish kind of gal. If I have to cook a main and 2 side dishes to all be ready at once, something is bound to be over-done, under-done, too hot, too mushy, etc. Plus HEY LOOK SOMETHING SHINY! I’m too easily distracted and there are always 3 little people talking to me at the same time between 5-6pm. Finally, I keep waiting for that love of cooking to spark. But I’m thinking this is one blind date that’s going nowhere…fast.
On the bright side, I made myself laugh the other day when Will came barreling into the kitchen demanding to know what was for dinner. I answered “Windowsills. Now get out of my kitchen”. Verbatim what my Mum used to say to me…
If, like me, you harbour romantic notions of living in Canada’s north, do check out Tandi’s blog. A healthy and funny dose of reality!
It’s here… another ski season. Day 1 for me started with these two and it was both painful and awesome. Anja delights in folding in half and laughing when she hits the ground. Rory seeks jumps like it’s his job. The two of them collided more than once and I ended the day with sore legs (snowplowing is evil) and a full body sweat. Here’s to more days on the hill and less days of plucking them off the ground!
After an adventurous day on the mountains last Sunday, I got to thinking about how much skiing has changed for me over the years. Growing up, my brothers and I were turned loose every weekend from roughly late-November to early-April at a tiny little mountain in the Eastern Townships. Regardless of the weather, we’d get dropped off around 8:30am and picked up at 4:00pm.
What we did with the hours in between was up to us… Or so we thought. Our parents’ network of spies kept us relatively in line… That being said, no one ever got seriously hurt, lost or damaged and we learned some pretty awesome skills on that mountain. When we moved out and headed to CEGEP, University, work, etc. our skiing shifted to a mix of night skiing, racing, weekend days, week-long trips away. We started skiing shorter days and enjoying longer après ski times!
Fast forward SEVERAL years and I’d say that 85% of my skiing is done with our kids. Our kids are lucky enough to go skiing 2-3 times a week and be part of an incredible ski school program that has welcomed them since the age of 3. I’ve done the math… by the time Anja outgrows the Valley kids program, I will have done 7 years of ski school drop offs and pick-ups. But based on the skills they’ve learned, I’d say it’s worth it!
In the past, a typical ski day went something like this: Get up whenever. Eat. Ski a few runs. Go home.
Here’s what last Sunday looked like.
6:49am Rory’s up. Wanders in to our room. Mumbles: “I wanna snug dith you”. Move aside, let him in, in the hopes he’s going to let us sleep a little longer.
6:57am Will’s up. Wanders in to our room. Mumbles: “Can I come in, too?” So much for extra sleep.
7:00am. Give up and stumbles downstairs. Time to prep breakfast, make coffee, turn on cartoons and get ready for the day. Jay makes pancakes (or, as Anja lovingly refers to them, MANCAKES!) and I pack a lunch for the day on the mountain that could feed an entire elementary school class.
The rest of the morning prior to departure consists of getting everyone dressed, organized and in 1 place at the same time. Getting dogs out. Making sure we have the gear we need and packing the truck.
First stop: 400m from home because Anja wants her coat off and her “tummy hurts”. Basically, she wants attention.
Internal dialogue on the way to Whistler: “Did I remember ski socks for myself? I dunno. I guess ankle socks will have to do if I forgot them. Ski pass? (Give self pat down, find in 3 layers away). I’m hungry. Oh right! I forgot to feed myself. At least it’s sunny. Did I remember sunscreen? I need to pee.”
External dialogue from Rory: “When are we gonna be there”?
External dialogue from Will: None. He has his head in his hands in the backseat. Not sure why, but he’s quiet so why disturb the peace?
Arrival at drop #1: Anja goes to Blackcomb daycare for the morning. Pouts but gets over it quickly.
Arrival at drop #2: Unload gear, kids, selves. Dress everyone: miraculously, we didn’t forget anything.
Begin ski day. First run down, Will takes off (I assume he knows where he’s going…) and Rory heads straight for the trees. Apparently, kids don’t believe in “warm up runs”. End up on Peak to Peak to go meet friends on Whistler. So far, so good (insert ominous foreshadowing music here).
Ski ½ of a run with no issues and 1 photo opp stop. Promptly lose 3 of 4 children in the trees on 2nd half of run. Dispatch parents in various directions, try to keep a lid on panic (speaking for myself, here). 13 minutes later, all 3 kids safely reunited with parents, courtesy of a very nice ski instructor. Exhale. Decide now would be a good time for that warm up run and maybe some lunch?
The rest of the ski day passes relatively uneventfully. Rory does not stay on the trail – ever. Will skis as fast as he possibly can in the middle of the trail. Every run in a series of near misses.
We decide to head to the Valley and bring Anja back into the fold for her first day on skis. We pick her from the daycare where she seems to know what’s coming because she yells “SKI!” as soon as she sees us. She heads out the door with Jay and by the time I gather up her stuff she’s waiting at the door in ski boots and a funny yellow bike helmet.
Meanwhile, the boys are enjoying spring skiing by shedding jackets, mitts and any non-essential layer. Will is lounging in the snow, vaguely watching Anja. Rory has beetled over to the magic carpet and is taking himself skiing.
Jay carries Anja about 40 feet uphill, I wait a bit anxiously to see her reaction when he puts her down and lets her go. 3, 2, 1… GO! She instantly starts laughing and saying “FAST”! She repeats this mantra as we push her uphill to start again… Success!
We decide to head up the Magic chair – the universe’s slowest 3 person lift. I head up with the boys, Jay and Anja are behind us. All I can hear is her little voice calling “FUN!” The plan is to slide down to where the car is parked and head home. Rory and Will clearly have other ideas as they take off and ski on their own while we ski down with Anja (FUN! FAST! MORE!) We end up doing a couple more runs of ‘catch and release’ and calling it a day. Just imagine when she turns 2…
Can’t wait to try it all again. Next time, perhaps without calling patrol.
Oh! Right! I have a blog.
Where was I?? It’s been *crickets* around here lately, haven’t been very inspired to write. Fell off the training wagon (that big THUD you heard a few weeks back). Trying to claw my way back on, but it keeps rolling about 3 feet away like that annoying big brother would do when you were trying to open the car door to get in and all the cool kids were watching.
Anyway, moving on. I was thinking about something to write and figured that if the expression”a picture is worth a thousand words” is still true, then I’ll do a photo post and be miles ahead.
Ever wonder if you can define your life in photos? In 10 photos or less? I pretty much can, I think these sum up my day-to-day nicely these days. What about you?
Edited to add: I wrote this post on Thursday of last week… On Monday I started a new job. So! Add a shot of a different deskin an actual office with humans and a water cooler and a boardroom and a shot of an alarm going off at 5:30am and there you have it. My life.