Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Training Tuesday

This morning even though I wasn't feeling well I got up out of bed and hit the pool. The last 2 days I've had a sore throat but since I only got 1 workout in last week (I did 300m on Thursday and had to get out my head was killing me from a migraine) I felt I needed to go today. Surprisingly I did well I did the 750m in 13 minutes, so I shaved off 2 minutes. I was able to do the whole distance in freestyle. In the past when I would get tired I would do breast stroke as a break. I'm glad I was able to get to this point quickly, I only wish it was the same way for my time (I like instant gratification). My total workout was 1400m.

I was speaking with my fellow lane mate, he and I seem to work out of the same days and sees to be about the same speed. We were talking about why we are hitting the pool, he told me he used to swim for a Master's club in Etobicoke but it was too big of a time commitment for him so he just comes here to work out now. I told him about my goal of swimming the swim leg of the triathlon relay. I mentioned to him that' it's been about 20 years since I use to compete and he told me I must have been 5 or 6 at the time. I don't know if he was being nice or I genuinely look young. But that got me thinking about my age.

I feel young, I feel like I'm still in my late 20's, I have to think about my age when people ask me because I'm not really keeping track of it. That said there are things that are starting to let me know that I'm not as young as I use to be. My body is not as forgiving to me, my energy levels are as high either (but that could have something to do with the fact that I'm not very consistent in taking my thyroid meds) and I'm not as tolerant with others with certain things ( I don't suffer fools well anymore, if I ever did).

I do know next year is a big milestone year for me, I turn 35. I know this not because I'm celebrating that milestone but because that's the date I picked to get a tattoo. I've wanted one for a while but people (Rock) have tried to talk me out of it. I'm not getting it to rebel, I'm in my 30's I'm doing it because I think it looks cool and I want it. I don't' care if it sags when I'm old or if it's distorted, it's what I want. I had originally decided that I wanted to do it for my 33rd birthday but I had just given birth so I put it off until my 35th. The reason I did that is that I want the tattoo to incorporate my children. I wanted to get to know Tutu a bit and his personality so I can represent him in it. I want it to be funky and cute looking. I guess I should start researching a) where to get it done and b) what images I want to include.

I also weighed myself this morning and it seems like all the weight I lost has come back. And yes I do know muscles weighs more then fat and I should be looking at m overall loss (like the fact that my pants won't stay on anymore without a belt) but it still is a bit discouraging. Overall I am looking and feeling better so I guess I just need to ignore that number (which I do know, and is part of the reason we don't own a scale in our house).

And since I'm talking about weight loss, I just wanted to give kudos for Rock who has lost 14lbs in the last 3 weeks. While I don't think he's doing it in the healthiest way possible, I'm still proud of him of doing it. He's been working hard between reducing his portions and making healthier food choices (except that I think he's cut down his carbs too much as they are still an important part of nutrition) and working out. Way to go baby.

And then tonight I took the kids out for a walk, we walked for about an hour, played at the playground for about half and hour. At that point we raced our friends to their house (we ran and they drove) by the time I got there I glistened. And swam for about half an hour. I guess you can say I got my exercise quotient in for the day.

Pretty flowers we found on our walk

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weekend Update

So I haven't posted for a week. Here is a look at the art I've created over the past week.

This was a quick watercolour I did of Monkey.

This is a drawing I did to potentially donate to a breast cancer fundraiser. This is the first one I did, it took 2 days to create. I like it and the colours but I didn't like the marker lines.

So I created another one on a different paper. But I still am not 100% satisfied so I'm working on a 3rd one.

So I'm in the midst of the 3rd one.

And this was our dinner for tonight. Rock made BBQ mushrooms and steak. I assembled the potatoes and onions, drizzled with bacon fat we grilled as well. And made an ode to the Canyon Creek chop house salad. Rock cut up the tomatoes and onion, I layered the onions on the tomatoes, pour raspberry vinaigrette on some and blue cheese dressing on the rest and crumbles blue cheese on the whole thing. It was super yummy.

And here are the big news around here is Monkey learned to ride her bike without training wheels. She basically taught herself to do it.

And last but not least I got new glasses. They are so funky, I LOVE them.
These are my butterfly glasses.

And these are my funky cutout ones.

And I will close out this post with some cuteness from tonight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A busy and productive long weekend

The weekend was so busy I didn't have a chance to post. I spent the long weekend cleaning mostly. We cleaned out our garage which wasn't touch since we moved in. I spent a good part of Saturday cleaning it and although it looks better it is still full of stuff. I think we need to invest in a shed because we have so many big items that take up so much room. Between the lawnmower, snow blower, double jogging stroller, 2 umbrella strollers and a regular stroller, a bike, a chariot, a fridge, a work bench, some bigger wood working tools like a drill press, router, jig saw, plus the other things that tend to accumulate in a garage our 2 car garage cant' even fit 1 car in it.

I did throw out or recycle a lot of things but there is more stuff we need to purge. The problem is a lot f the stuff is emotionally charged and neither myself or Rock are ready to tackle that at the moment. At least we can walk from the front to the back of the garage without killing ourselves. It's a start at least.

Sunday we lounged around ( I was sore and tired from cleaning and doing something stupid like moving an old washing machine by myself) and in the afternoon we went to a BBQ at an old friend's house. It was nice to see them and catch up. Since the Gardner was closed we took the GO train there and back. The girls loved that, they love taking the subway or Go train. On the way home we left daddy and Tutu on the bottom level so we could go up to the top and see the world from a better vantage point. I got to show the girls the condo we use to live in before children.

Monday I was suppose to give the house a good cleaning. I got around to doing half the house, then I purged through all our shoes. I ended up throwing up quite a bit that I don't even know why they were kept because they were barely holding together.

I got sidetracked partway through the day because I walked my dad over to my friends house so he could take a look at their lawnmower. It wasn't working so he took it apart and tried to fix it for them. He wasn't able to fix it but figured out what was wrong and what part was needed.

When he was doing that it got me thinking that I need to start paying attention more to him when he fixes things around the house so that I can learn. He is a jack of all trades, he know plumbing, electrical, general contracting, appliance repair, mechanics just about everything. If something doesn't work I call him to help. He did teach me a lot but since I've had kids I don't get to watch and learn as often as I would like as I usually have a little one wanting my attention. As much as I want him to be around forever I know that it wont' happen. I need to glean as much as I can from him now so I can do it myself later, that or I'll have to pay someone to do it.

After that I finished cleaning the house, we went out to dinner to celebrate my parents 35th wedding anniversary. Dinner was yummy, we went to East Side Mario's. The kids all behaved, for the most part. Ont he way home it was like the Heaven's opened up. The rain was pouring down and the girls were disappointed that we weren't able to do fireworks. We got home and after a whiel the rain stopped. We called over our friends and neighbours and set off the fireworks. We didn't have anywhere to sit but the fireworks were enjoyed by all.

Last week wasn't a good workout week for me, while I was doing my almost nightly walks I only hit the pool once. I went again this morning but I was only able to do 1200m in total. My 750m took about 16 minutes. I was really sore from the aforementioned washing machine incident and was feeling the burn in my leg muscles. So as not to injure myself I figured better to get out.

I have been noticing the 3 weeks I've been back in the pool that I am one of the few females that swim in the mornings. I'm not counting the ladies that are in the slow lane who don't even put their head in the water swimming. I mean all out swim, using proper strokes, wear a cap on your head, goggles and racing suit. This morning there was 1 other female swimming and when I was leaving another one coming in. On the other hand there was 9 males. I think I've seen maybe another 2-3 women around. I wonder why there is so few females in the pool? Back in the days when I competed there was a lot of us.

I wasn't able to weigh myself this morning as the scale was out of order so I don't know how I'm doing in that front. I'm not doing this to loose weight but it would be nice to see an improvement. I usually go by my pants if they are loose then I know I'm on track but my pants were already loose before I started this. I guess my goal will be to have my pants falling off before I go and start buying a new wardrobe.

And then tonight I hooked up the chariot to the bike and took the kids for a bike ride. I haven't rode a bike for 4 years but I hopped on tonight. We biked over to my parents place. We were out for an hour. Pretty funny since this morning I quit swimming because my legs were sore and here I go for a bike ride. My legs are officially jello tonight. My friend T is such a bad influence even when she's not around. Today in an e-mail she told me that I will be doing the triathlon myself next year. I think she needs to wash her mouth out with soap for such dirty words. Monkey rode her bike there and back as well. I'm so proud of her, she's doing so well riding her bike. She mastered 2 wheels on Thursday and now we can take a longer trip on the bike.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Feelings, nothing more then feelings

Incidentally this is also today's art piece I created.

Last night my facebook status update read "I feel blah". It was what I was feeling at the time or rather the easiest thing to write. Maybe I should have wrote "I feel overwhelmed, over stimulated, I feel sad and upset, I feel gloomy with the grey wet weather." Instead I wrote I feel blah, a friend then commented saying wasn't I suppose to feel inspired and passionate, which is what I was posting about lately. And I do feel those emotions too but at that moment blah it was.

So why am I leading my blog post with this, because that comment sparked a whole emotional revolution in me. I am currently reading SARK's book Glad No Matter What, Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity.. I've only recently been introduced to SARK she has many books that I would probably rather be reading but I since I'm on a grieving path on my journey called life I figured this may help me come to terms with my emotions.

In the book she talks about how in our society we try and dismiss our negative emotions. Move through them too quickly because we can't be sad or mad or blah. That we suppress them and move on to the "prettier" emotions the more fun ones. But when we do that those emotions we didn't acknowledge some back to haunt us in other ways overeating, drink, shopping, drugs, smoking, denial, etc. I know I did my share of those things (and still do, hello chocolate and bad moods). She talks about living with the uncomfortable emotions for a bit (a few seconds to longer) before moving on. She talks about transforming the emotions from the negative to the positive.

Acknowledging your feelings allows you to deal with them and move on. I remember after my FIL passed away, my MIL was sad and upset, she was missing her husband of 20 years (he died 1 day after their 20th wedding anniversary) and everyone kept telling her that he was better off and wasn't suffering and not to be sad. I was one of the few people that told her it's ok to be sad, it's ok to miss him. I mean she spent 20 years with him, how could she not be sad? Miss him? All normal feelings and yet she was expected to dismiss those valid feelings because it made others uncomfortable. It's one thing to be stuck in an emotion but taking the time to be in the feeling before moving on is healthy.

Another thing SARK talks about is that when dealing with our emotions it's done in layers and spirals. It's not a straight path where you feel the emotion and move on, you come back and revisit that feelings, transform it but the next time we will fell it differently. The same emotion but a different reaction to it. I can totally relate to this concept.

Right now I'm on the chapter where she talks about care giving for her mother and her working through the grief of losing both parents. Last night I was reading the section on care giving. OMG I could have written that section, I related to everything she talked about but most especially that caregiver guilt, the burnout. I felt like no one understood what I felt around that issue. No one in my immediate circle of friends and family went through that. While they tried to help but they couldn't relate. Do you know how GROUNDBREAKING it was to know that someone understands intimately what you're feeling, how the feelings consume you and you feel like they're taking over? Is was a HUGE breakthrough for me. I AM NOT ALONE. I AM NOT CRAZY. I AM NORMAL. I have just processed another layer of feelings.

Seriously that breakthrough last night made me want to sign on the rooftops. So while last night before I went to bed to read I felt blah. However before I went to sleep I felt understood, relieved, happy. I processed my emotions to get out on the other side. Blah, isn't a bad thing, it's an opportunity to tune in with our emotions.

On a side note I also think that part of my blah feelings was I was suppose to wake up early yesterday and go to the pool. Through a miscommunication with Rock he didn't wake me up and I didn't get that work out. I rectified that this morning.

I did 1500m this morning, the 750m is hovering at that 13-14 minute mark. Each time I feel better when I do the swim, I wish I could swing one more work out in the week but with child care I can only swing it twice a week for now. Maybe things will change.
I have figured out that I prefer the Tuesday/Thursday workout days as opposed to Wednesday/Friday. On Wednesday/Friday they have watercize and that means that there are more people in the lanes because they can't swim in the open area. More people means more people to pass. Some people don't understand swim etiquette when it comes to picking lanes by speed or about passing others or being passed. Lesson from today, try not to work out when the watercize is on.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Live Your Passion

Today I was blessed to attend the Live with Your Passion Event. I had won a pair of tickets through the Yummy Mummy Blog. I had recently put on my wish list that I wanted to attend a retreat and here it happens. I had never heard about the event, I don't normally visit Yummy Mummy, my friend e-mailed me about the contest. I was the very last comment on the blog before the contest closed. I mean so many things happened in the background for this to manifest in my life.

It was an amazing event hosted by Mothers on Fire, they did an amazing job planning and hosting the event. The morning was spent taking and learning about the Passion Test. Wow, what a powerful and eye opening exercise. I figured out what my top 5 passions are. I worked on a Passionate Plan that showed s how to come up with markers to show us we're living our passions and the why this passion is important to us. We also learned an exercise to work with beliefs that hold us back. How to work to turning them from negative thoughts that hold us back to just thoughts.

After lunch we had 2 talks about Deciding to Live Your Passion and Monetizing Your Passion. Alot of good information was gathered from these sessions. Some of the information was stuff that I had read about before, some was all new. All the information is causing my brain to think a mile a minute. It's making ideas click together and hopefully soon I'll be able to announce some of them.

I will say that this event was the universe hitting me on the head telling me to get on with it. Sometimes we need a BIG reminder to continue on our path and follow our dreams. Also if you ever have an opportunity to attend an event by Mothers on Fire I highly recommend it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

This and That

I had wanted to write this post yesterday but I spent the evening at Monkey's school council meeting. They were discussing the new food policy and seeing that she had peanut and tree nut allergies I wanted to see what they had to say. The policy conforms to Sabrina's Law so no issue there but I did find out some disturbing news there that I'm not sure what to do about. I'm more concerned about it when reading my friend's post about using an epi-pen on her son for the first time. They mentioned that they have bought cakes from not a nut free facility (which I'm ok with). What disturbs me about this is that they never mentioned it to the parents who's children would be affected by it. If our children's lives could be put at risk should we the parents not have a say in it? Why is the school making those decisions? And Monkey normally questions what she's eating if she's not sure but if teachers are giving it out then she wouldn't because they should be trusted. Still need to figure out what to do about this.

I did wake up early yesterday morning to train again. I'm at the point where I'm just working to build up endurance. I did the 750m in 16 minutes again (I still haven't gotten around to getting a stop watch to time myself officially). My total work out was 1400m. Finally I'm starting not to feel as sore after the workouts. I'm feeling better overall. Who would have thunk that working out would make you feel good? ;).

Today's observation from the pool is just because you think you swim fast may not be entirely true. If you get passed 4 times in 200m then maybe you should move down to the medium lane. When I got back into the pool, I went into the medium lane because I figured it's been years since I swam so I don't want to hold anyone back. Even in the fast lane I pass people. I was talking to one of the fellow swimmers and told him what I was doing training for the triathlon relay. He asked me how long I've been swimming for. He was shocked when I told him it's only been 2 weeks and my 4th time in the pool. I was keeping up with him and he's been swimming for years. I guess the body doesn't forget because I'm kicking butt. 750m this year next year who knows. This has unleashed my competitive spirit, that's for sure.

And here are my most recent art creations.

Wednesday's creations

Thursday's Creations

And today's partly finished creation

And the most exciting thing. I won tickets to this event, Live Your Passion. I'm so excited to go, ignite my passion, learn more about me and re-energize.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Tribute to Mom

My MIL was the most beautiful person, her personality shone through her smile. .She had a huge heart and was always trying to help everyone. She worked hard to provide for her family. When my FIL got sick she took on extra jobs to support them. She also used the income from her part time jobs to lavishly spoil Rock and myself. When our children came along they were her everything. She lived to see them, spend time with them. She was their silly Babcia, you could always count on her for a giggle and a laugh. The silly games she came up with to keep the girl entertained brought hours of enjoyment. Boxing Day was literally boxing day when she wore a box on her head. It was the everyday moments that stand out. She lived for those moments.
Boxing Day

She was a hard working individual so when she wasn't with the grandchildren (and even sometimes when they were there) she worked. She always found a way to work to make the extra money. When FIL got really sick 6 months before he passed away, she worked her full time job in Keswick, driving back and forth everyday, come home take care of him and work her part time jobs. She put herself last, didn't take care of herself because there was others that needed her more. I do wish that she had taken care of herself and gone to the Doctor when she found the tumor. Looked after it so we could still be enjoying her company and laughs. Unfortunately she didn't, and there is nothing that I could have done or do now to change that. She did what she did best care for and worry about others. I think God knew that she couldn't or wouldn't change her ways. Being Polish she was a very stubborn woman. I think that God calling mom home was his way of telling her it's her time to rest. I think he called her home to be with dad, so they could finally enjoy each others company and relax and have fun. Others may not agree with me but it's my way of dealing with my grief. I loved her so much, she was a second mother to me.

Mom and Dad at our wedding.

We don't know what plans God has for us, we have to have faith that there is a plan there. I truly believe with all my heart that I had Tutu so that I would be home to care for her. With my fertility issues and all the stress we were under when I got pregnant, the only way it could have happened was with Divine Intervention. He is my miracle child. I am honored that she though enough of me to have me care for her, especially when no one from the hospital had faith that I could do it. I guess they don't realize what miracles stubborn Polish women can create.
Mom meeting Tutu for the first time.

I *know* mom is up in heaven having a nice big glass of gin and tonic, overlooking the cottage catching up with dad and her Godmother. Taking the time to relax and slow down. She's probably keeping the party going as the Polish mob reconnects. I also feel she is watching over us and the kids, being our Guardian Angel. I miss you so much mom. I hope you're enjoying your time now and learning to relax.

Mom baking with the girls.

Rock and I with mom and dad on our wedding day.

Rock's favorite picture of mom.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


So I did my training again this morning in the pool. I can say while I'm still sore, the burn isn't as bad as i was last week. Between the walking and the swimming my body may be getting use to moving again. I did 1400m today (I was tired Tutu was up alot last night nursing, I like we have more teeth coming in). I did the 750m in 16 minutes. I even did 50m of fly. I learned 2 important lessons this morning 1) trying to put the 2 guys talking smack and thinking they are all that in place wastes too much energy. I tried to show them that they aren't all that by passing them and doing the fly to show them I could do it better. All it did was tire me out and swim a little slower after. And 2) in order for me to improve my time anymore I need to build up my endurance so I can swim the whole 750m freestyle instead of a freestyle/breaststroke combo. When I get tired I revert to breaststroke. The only way to build that is keep at it. So the potential to bring my time down is there I just need to be patient and train to get there. Instant results will result in injury. Another positive is I am down 3lbs from last week. By the end of the summer we will see a whole new me.

And speaking of training I'm trying to create a new piece of art everyday so that I can flex my art muscles. I'm seeing improvements with every piece.

Here is a self-portrait

And here is a portrait of my co-workers son

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend Part 2

This morning I was woken up twice, once when the girls came in to get daddy so he could help them make me breakfast in bed. And again with the actually breakfast. I was treated to freshly baked cinnamon buns (not homemade this time) and tea.(I'm sorry to disappoint but I didn't get a picture of the tray or the lovely food). And got this lovely gift from Monkey.
The Card

It reads "She makes lunch for me"

It reads "she helps me, my brother and my sister"

It reads" she gave me a brother and sister to play with"

I'm glad my lunch making abilities are her top priority.

And the vase she made me.

We all pitched in and clean up the basement. The girls trashed it last week, they dumped all the bins of toys on the ground and so I could enjoy my day we cleaned it up. Then we all went outside to have fun.

Monkey had some homework to do and the teacher said she could type it up so she used the laptop while Muffin played and Tutu and Rock napped. I was working on a cover for my new art journal.

Tutu woke up and so I was dividing my time between helping Monkey and watching Muffin and Tutu play.

Monkey took a break and worked on a art journal page and I did my cover.

We had a snack. Can you not feel the love from them? All 3 love each other so much.

Some more playing

And then we (they) made art. I had to watch Tutu so the girls had fun without me.

Rock joined us while we played and....

Tutu learned how to climb up and slide down our little slide all by himself. He was so proud of himself.

After that we we enjoyed a yummy dinner of grilled steaks, mashed potatoes and salad. Rock makes the best steaks. And for dessert we had an apple pie my mom made.

It was a nice quiet day with my family. I enjoyed it but I did miss my MIL terribly. I miss our time together she was a second mom to me. She was my cheerleader, she pushed me to excel, my confidant. Mom I miss you.

P.S. Here is another portrait of another coworker.(Since I'm around them so much they are the subjects of my work). This one most resembles the actual person.