Inspiration & Motivation

I’ve never been an overly active person.  I mean, when I was young, I did swimming lessons and loved them.  I learned how to bike and how to skate.  I did a year of ninjutsu (which I also loved), did some rock climbing, played a bit of squash.  But then, I stopped when we moved and concentrated more on music and reading.

You know what the worst part is?  I actually like to be active!  But I kept on finding excuses.

I mean, when I started going out with my boyfriend, we went to the gym together for a while.  But I ended up stopping because I found it too tedious to come home from work and get comfortable only to have to go out again just to go do my gym routine.  It became even more difficult when winter came ’round.

A year later, I did some Tae Bo with some co-worker.  It was great at first because it was close to home and I could warm up by walking to the building.  But after two sessions, I lost interest.  Or maybe I caught a cold and skipped a few classes and just didn’t go back.  Or maybe…whatever the reason, I just stopped.

Then life started happening and I got comfortable in my routine or working, gaming, eating and sleeping.  After that, I became pregnant.  And it always seemed like there was always an excuse to not take care of my fitness.

It’s kind of sad, because I had a lot of inspiration around me.

I mean, my mom has always been active.  She’s done/ she does biking, rollerblading, yoga, weight conditioning with a VHS tape.  She takes a walk every day.  I mean, she’s just unhappy if she doesn’t do something.  And she’s been telling me for years that I should find an activity that motivates me and do it because I would feel better and probably sleep better.  But, you know, who wants to listen to their mom once they’ve moved out (even though you know they’re right).

There’s also my dad.  He’s had his moments where something would interest him.  He’s golfed, biked, done Tae kwon do.  Then a couple of years ago, he decided to really work hard to become healthier and more active.  And he has done an amazingly inspiring job of it.

My sister started doing Aikido, my brother did some Kung Fu.  When my boyfriend and I started going out, he had just lost about a hundred pounds in the previous year…

So you see, I’ve got quite a bit of inspiration around me.  But not enough to actually do anything about it.  Until recently…

You see, few months ago, I caught myself saying that once I’d go back to work (at the end of August), I was going to start going to the gym.  My rationale for waiting until then?  We’re currently living on a reduced income because of the maternity leave so we have to keep a tighter budget (excuse #1).  Besides, I don’t really have the time to go right now because I have my daughter at home with me all day (excuse #2).

But then, about two months ago, I got my kick-in-the-ass moment (aka: what motivated me).  I was just sitting on the couch and started thinking about my grandfather and I realized that at nearly 80 years old…or is he 80 already, I can’t remember (désolée grand-papa ;) ) he was in better shape than I was at 30 (and this despite the fact that he is asthmatic).

And that was it.  That was all I needed.  Suddenly, there were no more excuses, only goals and solutions.  And I’ll tell you all about them…in tomorrow’s post ;)

Did you have a kick-in-the-rear moment that allowed you to make some positive life changes?  I’d love to hear about it!

BLW Awesomness

I did BLW as a method of introduction of solids with Charles and, besides the stress we had with regards to his milk allergy, loved it.  The second time around, with Amélie, I find myself enjoying it even more.  Despite the presence of her four chompers (which allow her to take on some pretty hefty bites of the food she’s eating), I’m not as stressed that she’s going to choke this time around (which, I feel I should add, doesn’t make me any more vigilant when she’s eating).  I know that she’ll just spit out pieces that are too big (even if she has to gag on one piece a few times before actually spitting it out).  I haven’t had to sit on my hands and count to five like I did with Charles.

I am also amazed at how quickly she too to eating solids.  She is now on three solid meals of day (what can I say, she is one hungry baby!), she knows how to put the business end of a spoon in her mouth and she is able to pick up small pieces (like quartered grapes) and put them in her mouth.

But you know what makes BLW even more awesome?  The pictures!

Book Review: Gladly Giraffe

Disclosure: I do not get paid for reviews.  Though I received a copy of this book free of charge, all opinions expressed are my own.

Picture

When I received an email offering me a chance to review a new children’s book, I, of course, couldn’t resist.  Gladly Giraffe, written and illustrated by a brother/sister team (how cool is that!), is a wonderful book and hits all of the right notes to make it a great children’s book.

First off, there is the fact that it is more like an illustrated children’s poem than a traditional story.  There is a good rhythm throughout most of the story which makes it easy to read and the rhymes only add to the story’s appeal.  The author quite obviously put a lot of time and effort and thought in the text.

Then, there’s the illustrations.  Just as expected from a children’s book, they accompany the text wonderfully.  When I read the story to my French-speaking toddler (I, of course, read it in English because the text was in English), he was always able to understand the big picture because of the illustrations.  Some of them are also quite silly and my son got a few giggles out of them.

Lastly, the story sends a super positive message by exploring the themes of friendship, helpfulness and gratitude.

All in all Gladly Giraffe gets two thumbs up from mommy and another two from Little Dude.

The book is available as an ebook or printed in hardcover or paperback format.  For more information, I encourage you to take a look at the book’s website.

Dear [Insert Name] – Short Letters From A Frustrated Sleep-Deprived Mama

Dear SUV-driving stranger that parked beside my car yesterday morning,

I know that sometimes it is hard to find a parking spot.  Trust me, I do.  For instance, yesterday morning, I had to park on the outer edge of the parking lot and walk a good 5 minutes with my heavy 6 month old in her bucket seat and tantrum-prone toddler instead of right beside the medical clinic because, well, there were no more parking spots right next to the clinic.  So you see, I totally understand that when you find a spot, you take it.  However, it would be nice in the future, if you could just park a liiiiiiiiitle further away from my car because, quite frankly, it was hard as heck getting my toddler into his seat in the minimal space that was left once I opened my car door.  It was also hard as heck getting enough of my arms inside of the car to manage to buckle him up.  I also wanted you to know, dear driver, that I made sure to keep my fingers between my car door and yours just to make sure that you very lovely SUV didn’t get dented.  I cannot, however, guarantee that I will be able to safeguard the bump-free surface of your vehicle when my kids are old enough to open their doors all by themselves.

Sincerely,

The mama who had two kids to juggle and a tiny space to juggle them in

***

Dear Yahoo,

a couple of nights ago, after battling it out with my infant daughter to get her to fall back asleep for over an hour and a half, I decided to hang out in my living room with my iPad to pass the time as I waited for her to wake up for the umpteenth time in a minimal time frame.  To be quite frank, I was past the zombie-tired stage and was wondering how I was even still standing (truth be told, I was sitting, but hey, what difference does it make?).  As I was looking through the photos of my kids on my iPad and deciding which ones I would upload to my Google+ page, I noticed that there was an icon that allowed me to upload them directly to a Flickr account.  I thought it was the best idea ever so I prepared myself to create a Yahoo address to get the job done.  I was stoked until I saw that I had to insert a mobile phone number that would be used in case I forgot my password (emphasis on had to).  Let me tell you, dear Yahoo, that I do not own a cell phone.  I’m sure there are others that live in the Stone Age that choose not to have one like me.  You probably don’t care that I won’t be a Flickr user, but I wanted to let you know that I will be staying with Google+.

Sincerely,

The mama who doesn’t own, want or need a cell phone (and who can remember her passwords like a big girl all on her own *gasp*)

***

Dear pediatrician,

I know that you care for the well-being of the kids that come through your office.  Really, I do.  I also know that you are swamped in paperwork, an ever-rising workload and are likely feeling more and more unappreciated by parents who are frustrated with the healthcare system.  However, it would be nice (like really nice) if you could update your knowledge of introduction of solids just a liiiiiitle bit.  I was, to be honest, a bit disheartened when, upon mentioning that we were doing baby-led weaning with Amélie, that you had absolutely no idea what I was talking about (it was apparent when you concluded that it meant I was doing veggies and fruits with my baby girl).  I was equally disheartened when you ignored the fact that my daughter was exclusively breastfed for 6 months before any solid food got into her mouth (instead of getting rice cereal as early as 3 months as seems to be the custom here) while looking at her curve and telling me that I had to give her iron-fortified cereal and veggie purees twice a day because she had dropped (barely) under her growth curve.  Perhaps, even, if you don’t have time to read the new research that is starting to show that the only foods that are off limits until the age of one are fresh milk, egg whites and honey, you could at least keep an open mind when I tell you about the variety of foods that my daughter has had (including cooked egg yolks, avocado and toast strips).

Sincerely,

the mama who has successfully raised a two year old who is an awesome eater and is attempting to do the same with her 6 month old daughter

***

Dear itsy bitsy spider,

I’m so sorry that, upon reading a story to my toddler that included a dog who was afraid of a spider, I giggled like crazy and concluded with my son that the doggy was silly to be afraid of spider.  I’m sorry that, I told him how unscary spiders were because they were so much smaller than us humans.  When I saw you this morning, squashed between the nimble fingers of my triumphant toddler (“look mama, a spider!!!!!!”) I was very sad that my desire for my son to remain unafraid of your kind resulted in your death.  I promise that the next lesson will be that we must be gentle with spiders.  May you rest in peace.

Sincerely,

the mama who didn’t want her toddler to be afraid of spiders

Ten Thought Tuesday: 10/03/15

TTT

1.  Wow, I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these.

2.  Bear with me, I’m still trying to find a balance between crocheting, baking and blogging.  I’m thinking I may decide to blog on fixed days just to help me get back into a rhythm.

3.  The weather is finally getting warmer around here.  We’re up on in the pluses (just barely) for a couple of days this week.  It’s a welcome change from the frigid months we’ve been having.

4.  The changing weather has gotten me primed for Spring/Summer sports.  I want to buy a balance bike for Charles so I’ve been reading quite a bit to see which one would be best for him.  Do you have any suggestions?

5.  Following my post on winter car seat safety, I reinstalled the base for the bucket seat in both cars and, following one of the tips I’d read, I tried getting the toddler in his seat without his coat.  To my surprise, it actually wasn’t all that bad and he actually prefers it that way (I no longer hear him whine that he’s too hot!) so I’m going to keep my kids out of coats during winter in the future.

6.  Amélie has been rather miserable the past two days.  Her top teeth are just about to cut, so I can’t really blame her.

7.  Speaking of teeth, and what they’re used for, the little miss is ROCKING solids!  Let me tell you, she knows exactly where it goes and she is not happy when we sit her in her chair without food.  So far, she’s had steamed broccoli, cucumber “fries”, applesauce (on a loaded spoon which she grabs), avocado, banana and toast strips.

8.  Now that baby girl can stay in a seated position unassisted for long periods of time, I have started bathing her with her brother in the big tub (no worries, I always have a hand on her).  The first time they went in together, Charles was so happy and he remained calm for as long as his sister was sitting beside him.

9.  This Sunday, we are going to a sugar shack (yum!).  Now that Charles isn’t as allergic to dairy (the only thing we have to still steer clear of is fresh milk), it’ll be even funner than the first time we went.

10.  There are only two classes left in Charles’ winter swim session :(.  When the new session starts, both he and his sister will be taking lessons (Charles is old enough to be in the water without parents now).  And after seeing how happy baby girl was in the tub, I can’t wait to see how she’ll be in the pool!

Happy Tuesday!