Saturday, July 23, 2011

A happy face...

In five-and-a-half years of intermittent ovulation testing I've had just two positive ovulation test results. The first one was the day our son was conceived, in 2007. The second one was this week(!).
Since I was using a new-fangled digital ovulation test, the positive result was indicated by a happy face. No more fuzzy lines. I don't know how they do it.
Anyway, there is nothing like a hoped-for but unexpected happy face on a test stick to generate a smile! It looked so positive that I delivered the news to my husband by handing him the stick itself -- in a campground, no less. To avoid any disappointment, I first reminded him that it was an ovulation test, not a pregnancy test.
Fortunately our little one is a very sound sleeper.
So now we wait.
Odds are that nothing will come of this. But since our only other positive ovulation test led to the beloved little boy sleeping in the next room, my hopes are up.


At the same time, I am reminded that life is fragile.
Two days after the positive ovulation test, we watched a nature film in a campground amphitheatre. It was a documentary about wetlands.
Rows of benches faced the beach. Behind the screen, the sun set over the lake. Warm breezes off the water. Sun-kissed children everywhere, including on my lap.
In the midst of all this bliss, I heard the narrator intone, "The female goose is having nest problems." "Oh, no," I thought. Sure enough, there was footage of a goose frantically trying to build up her nest while incubating her eggs. Later, as red-winged blackbirds attacked the goose, she continued her futile efforts to improve her nest without leaving it. Finally, she watched her neighbours "parade" by with their goslings, still sheltering her own eggs in vain.
As the narrator confirmed that there would be no happy ending for the goose this season, I realized that I had been unconsciously tracing the word "miscarriage" with my finger-tip.
Today we came home from the lake and I learned that an acquaintance has had a miscarriage.
I am at a loss for words, but saddened and sorry. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Notes from the Lake

We rolled into the campground at 6:45 p.m.
At 12:45 a.m. the only sounds were the haunting song of the loon and the equally haunting but less melodic song of our wide-awake three-year-old.
J finally fell asleep some time after 1:00, but only after I agreed to cuddle him on our air mattress. 15 minutes of maternal bliss snuggling my son followed by 4 hours of parental contortions as my husband and I sought sleep on a semi-inflated double mattress bearing a sleeping child. Time to try to catch a few more zzz's as the birds awake... Can I squeeze into a portable crib?
P.S. The full moon rising in the trees encircling our site was breathtaking.
P.P.S. Good morning chipmunk.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mommy's Resolution: No more potty mouth!

From time to time, I swear like a trucker. Or so they say. That's probably an unfair generalization of truckers.
I've been a mom for three (incredibly short) years, but I haven't managed to drop this habit. Yet.
I've been lucky. My little guy hasn't picked it up.
Until today.
My husband and I were shopping with our sweet little angel, J. He was actually being a bit of a handful, but that's beside the point.
I'm embarrassed to say that, for reasons unknown, I made the obvious comment that, "there are shitty chairs and there are good chairs."
"I don't want shitty chairs," said J.
He said it in just the same way he might have said, "I don't want broccoli."
My husband and I inhaled silently and exchanged a Look. The look that says, "Whoops. That's going to stop right now."
I can only hope that J doesn't say that word again for at least ten years. Or I'll be in big, big trouble.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A warm summer's eve, 2008

Three short years ago, this perfect person was born, found his parents, had a snack, and a snooze, some i.v. sugar snacks, and a few days later was ready to go, out of the hospital and into the world.

Of course he didn't see much of the world those first few weeks -- not leaving the neighbourhood until I put my foot down and said that I was going out for brunch, I was taking him with me, and his dad and grandparents could choose to join us or not. Of course they came, and it was a delicious brunch, and all the ladies oohed and ahed over our tiny baby and his handsome daddy. But I digress...

Three short years later and my beautiful baby is a boy. A big, strong, boy. Just the other day I gazed at him in his morning haze and I could see the teenager he'll become.

So hard to believe it's already been three years. Three years of bliss. Crying, whining, stiff-as-a-board or floppy at times. Always absolutely beautiful. Pure love.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I'm struggling with my blog.
I find the whole blog world compelling. Addictive, my hubby would say. I like to write. No, I love to write. I like to read others' blogs. I love your diverse personalities.
Then there's the whole time-sucking thing. Here I sit, with two towering baskets of laundry waiting to be folded. At least reality TV could be justified as laundry-folding TV. Blogging, not so much.
But that's not what I'm struggling with.
What I'm struggling with is that my blog isn't very candid. It's me. But it's a highly edited slice of me.
I have a personality, not that you'd know it from my blog.
I am going through a huge personal change. No, I'm still female. But maybe less of girl, more of a woman. Anyway...
I want to write honestly.
But I'm afraid to shed my skin.
An easy answer would be to sign out of the blog for good and write in a journal, for my eyes only.
But that's not appealing. I mean, the journal is appealing, but I'd miss the blog. And if the blog just hits the highlights, then what's the point? Is there an in-between? Maybe the answer is to start journalling, let it all flow, and then write the blog. Probably a good idea. Worth a try. Do I have time for that?
Or do I just let it rip and share my soul right here.
I ask myself, what is it that's calling me? Why do I want to write in this public forum?
In the meantime, I suppose I could start by revising my "about me" blurb, since, "I'm a 40 year old mom..." isn't going to be accurate for much longer, and "a 41 year old mom" isn't any more telling.
Who am I? And do I want to share with everyone?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Boot camp

I thought I was getting a good workout in my Ashtanga yoga class.

But then it was cancelled for the summer.

And a local gym slashed its boot camp rates.

It seemed like a sign, so I took the plunge and found myself standing in a park in a heat wave with a drill sergeant and four women half my age, while passers-by licked ice cream cones.

The drill sergeant said, "Fifty jumping-jacks." My brain said, "Obviously you haven't given birth, buddy."

I hurt. I sweat. I worked as hard as I could.

I discovered that, while I can touch my toes with ease, and carrying a child has done wonders for my biceps, I am even less fit than I feared.

Earlier in the day I'd questioned my decision to sign up for boot camp. "Isn't yoga the perfect workout?" I'd asked myself. "They don't make army recruits do nine weeks of yoga, do they?" my brain replied. (Boot camp yoga... maybe that's the next fitness craze.)

Anyway, I went to boot camp today, and I was very, very relieved that our teacher actually isn't a drill sergeant. That no one is going to force me to drop deeper into those push-ups.  That my career and pride are not dependent on being able to do all the repetitions I am told to do. And I was relieved that I did get a little bit stronger in Ashtanga yoga because otherwise this boot camp class would have been even harder.

At the end of it all, I felt good. Hot, sweaty, and very, very weak, but good.

Next time I'll bring a towel so I don't sweat all over the car on the way home. And I need to go shopping -- I've managed to avoid gym shorts since high school phys. ed., but yoga capris are too freaking hot.

Boot camp day 1:
  • Lunge-walking.
  • High knee-stepping.
  • Toy soldier-stepping.
  • Arm circles.
  • 50 jumping jacks.
  • 10 bicep curls; 10 tricep presses; 5 shoulder front lifts; 5 shoulder side lifts.
  • Repeat sets of 11; 11; 5; 5.
  • Repeat sets of 12; 12; 6; 6.
  • ... and so on all the way up to sets of 20; 20; 10; 10. [I was actually feeling pretty confident at this point.]
  • 5 sets of 10 tricep dips, leaning on the knees of a partner who is in a reverse bridge. 5 sets of being the partner. [My last two sets of tricep dips were embarrassingly small. Even the teacher was embarrassed for me. But I really did not want to collapse on my teeny-tiny partner!]
  • Pyramid push-ups: 1 push-up. Pause. 2 push-ups. Pause. And so on up to sets of at least 7 and ideally 10 push-ups, and then all the way back to 1. [I can't even do one solid push-up. Just tiny ones. I did try as hard as I could. This is when I was relieved that I wasn't really in a military boot camp.]
  • 20; then 19; and so on down to 15 repetitions of the following: wrap a resistance band around a pole, grasp each end, extend arms and pull them back to form a T. [I can't remember how many we did. It was challenging, but I should have tried harder. It wasn't push-up hard...]
  • An insane number of insane abdominal exercises:
    • In a high crunch, hands together, lower elbows to opposite sides. If necessary, break for 3 seconds only and then resume. [Way more reps that I could possibly do.]
    • V-sits. [I'd never seen this before. Freaking insane.] Starting on back with legs and arms fully extended and everything but the butt held a couple of inches off the ground, lift legs and upper body into a v. Repeat, repeat, repeat, I have no idea how many times. [As if. Shouldn't there be some sort of starter exercise to strengthen the core before attempting this?]
    • What I'll call inverted V-sits. From a plank, squeeze abs and raise hips into a v. Repeat ad nauseam. Literally.
    • 10(?) inch-worms. [I'd never heard of these before either. My lower back still hurts.] 
    • 100 of what I'll call oblique reaches. [I did all of these without a problem, but most of my back was on the ground throughout. I'm guessing that wasn't proper form.]
    • 30 bicycles.
  • Tricep stretch.
  • Seated twist stretch.
  • Reclined pretzel stretch.
  • A freaky wrist stretch.
The scary thing is, every class will be different, and this one didn't even include cardio...