Saturday, June 30, 2012

Excuse Me While I Brag (aka Proud Momma)

I hardly know what to do with myself. 

This morning, Q left bright and early with my brother and his wife on a road trip to see my dad and his wife in Kelowna for the long weekend.  This is huge!  First of all, if this was me when I was 7, I would have had my auntie and uncle turn around 30 minutes into the trip because I was already homesick for my momma.  And Q is much like his momma in this respect.  When his best friend suggests a sleep over, Q always looks at me with horror in his eyes, silently pleading with me to say no, even though Q loves his best friend and their family.  He just loves his momma a tiny bit more.  The idea of going away to summer camp for a week might be any other 7 year old's idea of paradise, but my Q would wonder what he had done so horribly wrong that I would send him away for a whole week. 

In fact, up until last night I thought he was going to bail on the road trip.  I had my contingency plan carefully thought up - with everyone booking hotel rooms and him being the key to the trip, he was going whether he liked it or not.  I was also very cautious not to mention how much I was going to miss him, or how sad I was I couldn't go (I have to work...), or any of my concerns that he was going to back out.  When our wake up call came this morning (my brother knocking on my door, "Rise and shine!! Time for a road-trip!!!!) at 5:45 am, Q bounced out of bed faster than I've seen all school year, that's for sure.  He was the first one in the car, with his seatbelt on...

This is huge.  My baby is growing up.  And while I'm sooooo proud of the person he's becoming, it is hard to watch him find his wings and leave the nest little by little with each year.  He's becoming such a person.  Yesterday, he was playing with the neighbourhood children and I was surprised to see he's becoming such a leader.  He had these kids doing whatever he told them, with a kindness and directness that belies his age.  He had them weed and clean up my garden in a morning.  It was amazing to watch him work.  It's a little annoying that we have little to no privacy anymore because these children are inviting themselves to my backyard every single day to play with Q, but it's amazing to me the magnetism Q is developing.

Q's last day of grade two was this past Thursday.  He made it through the whole year with Mrs. J without having a nervous breakdown!  Hahaha.  Four days before the last day of school, he was still telling me he wasn't feeling well, and shouldn't go to school.  When I called his bluff, he resorted to the whiny, "But I hate school...."  Nevertheless, he made it.  He can read.  He can do math (in his head!!!!!), he's destined for great, great things.  And oh, the character he has built from doing something he hates every single day.   He's now my grade 3'er, which totally blows my mind. 

Here are some pic's of his "Sports Day" which was super nostalgic for me because I remember my sports days when I was his age and it doesn't seem like 25 years ago (GASP!!!)

yellow team kicked every ones butts.  haha

crazy hair day.  i'm still finding that stuff on everything

token action shot
So, I guess it's fair to say I'm a pretty proud momma.  I cannot imagine a more gratifying experience in life than raising up little humans.

Oh, and I totally know what I'm doing tonight without my little Q...Magic Mike, anyone?!?!?!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

This Time For Reals

Two fairly significant things that happened to me in the past couple of weeks have convinced me that some fairly drastic changes were necessary in my life.  

First thing:  Q and I went to a soccer game here in Vancouver.  I was happily snapping pictures with my iPhone, just lost in my own world, when this kind gentleman behind me asked if I wanted him to take a picture of both of us.  I'm not the most photogenic person in the best of situations, and so I shy away from the camera all.the.time.  But the guy was so nice for offering, I felt bad for saying no. 

Here is said photo:

Second thing:  I weighed myself.  And I weighed 5lbs more than I did when I was 9 months pregnant with a 10lb 6oz baby.  I don't believe I need to say any more.  

Do you see what's going on here?  I'm pretty sure I don't have to point it out, but just in case you didn't notice...I have no chin.  I look like a linebacker - look at those shoulders.  And if you look real close, the ball is resting on my stomach!!!!

This is a sad state of affairs, my friends.  

When I quit smoking (insert fanfare) 18 months ago (insert more, louder fanfare), I substituted food for smokes.  I felt bad for myself.  I had a pity party for one like all day every day.  Some days as I laid in bed, I would add up all the food I had eaten during the day and would usually add up 3 chocolate bars, some jujubes and some yummy, yummy carbs.  I was horrified.  It didn't seem like I ate that many chocolate bars. It wasn't a conscious decision.  It just sort of happened.  Then I would eat really, really healthy food for a day or two and I'd be right back to where I started.  Stuffing my face.  And usually in private.  

Of course, I knew I was gaining weight.  My clothes kept shrinking, and I'd have to buy new ones in larger sizes.  I would get winded when I bent over to tie my shoes because my gut would get in the way.  I started wearing boring granny panties because I just didn't feel attractive anymore.  My sweat pants were my "go-to" clothes.  I kept telling myself it was impossible to lose weight.  I kept telling myself that eating made me happy and there was nothing wrong with that.  And then I saw these big glaring signs and didn't want to play the pity game anymore.

Under the guidance of my brother who has will power made of steel and can lose weight by blinking, I have created (and stuck to...) a meal plan for the past 2 1/2 weeks and.....


I have lost 7 pounds.  

Okay, so I still have 35 to go, but what ever.  I can do it.  

But I know, I know what you're asking....How, oh how do you do it?


I figure I was consuming approximately 3500 calories a day.  That's a pound of fat every single day.  That is horrifying.  I dropped my calorie intake to 1200 a day, and cut out all unnatural sugars and consume very, very low carbs.  I know right?  1200 calories.  No sugar.  Low carbs.  Why bother living, right?  After the first week, all I had lost was the will to live.  Seriously.  The first week was the hardest - I was going through major sugar withdrawal.  Major.  Like cold sweats and head aches.  It was hard.  It was impossible.  I was miserable.  I was hungry all the time.  I had no energy.  Every day, without fail my brother would send me these cute inspiring text messages like, "You can do it, Sis...luv ya!!"  and I'd be all "Whatever." 

I'd text him, "Can I have whole wheat pasta?" and he'd reply "no."  






It was a really, really bad two weeks.  

But my tummy started to slim down with no carbs to bloat it.  

And then, I started to have more energy.  Like a lot more energy.  Like, I have been to the doctor numerous times because I'm always sooooo tired.  Test after test would prove nothing was wrong.  It was so frustrating.  Everything was working fine, so why was I exhausted all the time?  You guys, it's like I've found this amazing super drug...eating healthy and eating clean.  I'm not exactly ready to run a marathon or anything, but I have energy like I've never had before. 

Today, I weighed myself for the first time since starting to eat well.  Expecting maybe one or two pounds difference, I was totally surprised when I found out I had lost 7 pounds.  7!!!!  It's so amazing that I celebrated....

...with some ice cream.  (Hey, the cheat days are vital...)

Did I mention my brother owes me a really, really nice dinner if I don't lose 15 lbs in a month?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Which I Almost Died (Only Not Really....)

Those who know me, know I have a small-ish fear of catching some horrible disease and dying. And to be fair, there are gross little germs and spores lurking on every keyboard, door knob and phone - we all know it's true.  It amazes me that we can get through a day without something going horribly wrong (like your body forgetting to breathe, or your red blood cells forgetting to reproduce, or *catching* a strep infection and having to have your leg amputated at the knee) let alone a whole lifetime. 

I know we all have an expiry date, and that date is predetermined from the day we're born.  But still, I would like to be able to have a guarantee that I will be around at least until my son is able to find his underwear (which has been in the same drawer since potty training, and he still cannot find it), and take a shower without being told to do so (I figure I'm doing well asking for that, seeing as how he's a *boy* and they're a little slow in the whole hygiene department).  I read a story about this guy who gets speared in the head, like with a spear and walks into the ER like he has a hangnail, then walks out a few days later with a little loss of vision but nothing else.  You read other stories how some woman trips at the mall and bumps her head, and dies from a brain hemorrhage.  Moral of the story:  When it's your time to go, it's your time to go.   

That doesn't mean I don't worry about it.  I worry, because worrying is what I do best.  Unfortunately, this means that things like a Spa day are somewhat bittersweet.  Never know whether that fuchsia pink nail polish was worth the staph infection you caught from it.  You never know if the shampoo you use that promises silky smooth hair and smells like coconuts, is also teeming with parabens - which we just found out are like, super harmful and cancer causing.  I'm just saying, it would have been nice to know this before we faithfully used said product for the past 15 years.  Sugar, they say now, helps cancer grow faster.  Cancer cells feed off sugar.  Sugar.  Can you believe it?  I put sugar in everything.  How, I ask, can something so sweet be so sinister?  It's just not fair. 

So anyways, because I'm leery of any horrid diseases sneaking up on me, I'm usually pretty alert to what my body is telling me.  Some may call this being a hypochondriac, but I just think it's being well informed.  Having said that, if I went to the doctor every time I thought something was wrong, I would have to quit my full time job, so I could go to the doctor every other day.  So I wait.  And I wait.  And if it (whatever it might be) is still there after a week, I figure it's probably not my imagination and therefore a *real* problem.  But then I wait another week or so, just to make sure it doesn't go away on its own.  If after 3 weeks, it's still there, I start asking other people if they've ever experienced something like that - because, who knows, it might be normal...After 4 weeks, I google my symptoms.  Okay, who am I kidding, I google my symptoms on the first day, but after 4 weeks, I google them again.  After 5 weeks, if it's still not gone, I make an appointment with the doctor for the following week. So 6 weeks after I first notice something, I finally make it to the doctor.  But seriously, I've already diagnosed myself, and now I need them to prescribe some medication I can't pronounce (or prescribe myself....) or do some horribly invasive test to confirm my worst fears.

With that, I will tell you that I have been living with kidney stones for at least 6 weeks.  Ahhhhh, I know what you're thinking, those are super worse than giving birth.  Yup, that is what I've heard as well.  Turns out all my kidney stones are actually so small they pass without me hardly noticing them at all.  So far (you say pessimist, I say realist...)  Also turns out I have a cyst on my ovary that is the size of my ovary.  And this is where the pain is coming from.  This would seem like the perfect time to panic, except for the fact that my google search tells me that 1 in 4 women of child bearing years gets at least one cyst in their lifetime, and they usually come and pop without anyone the wiser.  So, again it's not a big deal.  Mine just doesn't want to pop. 

So 6 weeks of worry, then another week to wait for the CT scan, and then another week to wait for the results, and I find I have nothing to worry about.  That's 8 weeks of needless worry

At least until September when I have a follow up ultrasound to see if it's grown or popped or if we need to do a biopsy. 

But, again, nothing to worry about....


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Q-isms - Revelations and the National Anthem

There are a few things about boys that I am learning are *typical*.  Little boys are not complex, and I don't mean this to be mean.  I mean that what you see is definitely what you get.  I can (and have) spend minutes with other mothers I've just met and we can instantly bond over our little boys and their *typical* traits. 

For instance, I can send Q to his bedroom to put on a t-shirt and shorts and like 15 minutes later, he'll still be naked.  He'll be in his bedroom, but he has been totally distracted by some toy he hasn't given any thought to for months.  All of the sudden, it is the coolest.thing.ever.  First common trait among boys: easily distracted.

I cannot even tell you how many times I've told Q to go get something and less than 5 seconds later, I hear, "MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!  I CAN'T FIND IT.  I'VE LOOKED EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!"  I tell him to look again, this time giving him a hint, and then I hear again, "NOPE.  IT'S NOT HERE!!"  And yes, he's yelling, because he's upstairs and I'm downstairs.  Then I get all yelly too, "IF I FIND IT IN LESS THAN 5 SECONDS MISTER, YOU'RE IN TROUBLE...." and every single time I do find it.  In less than 5 seconds.  Q cannot find something that is right under his nose.  Ever.  Second common trait: Not very observant.

Q is a man of few words, and this is trait #3.  Every day I ask him how his day was and every day I get, "Good."  That's it.  Good.  Every day.  I try to probe.  "Well, what was your favourite part???" "I forget."  Either my son has a very serious problem with his short term memory or he just can't be bothered to tell me.  I also get this, "What did you do today?" and I get, "Nothing."  Nothing. I haven't seen you in 8 hours and you haven't done anything??  Something is wrong.  Also, when I ask him what he's thinking he says, "Nothing."


So, I kind of had this revelation:  How many times have you asked a guy, who looks super deep in thought, what he's thinking?  Expecting some profound words to come from his mouth, he looks at you and says, "Nothing."  I know that I have and I was all pissed off because I thought he didn't feel comfortable sharing his thoughts, or didn't think I was important enough to his waste precious time sharing his thoughts with me.  But nope, turns out...he really wasn't thinking anything at all.

Or, when was the last time you got your hair done, thinking it was super drastic and super awesome and your guy doesn't comment or notice at all?  And then you get all distraught, "He doesn't even look at me anymore." SOB.  Ya, chances are...he's just a guy and he wouldn't notice right away if you shaved your head bald.  I know, and now I feel a little bad because it's really not their fault.  They're born that way.  We're just so different, us women and those men.  I think that if I ever have a boyfriend again, I'll (maybe) be a little more patient to their *inadequacies*.  They just can't help it.

But back to Q...before bed cuddles are the best time of our day.  We cuddle, he shares things with me that he doesn't think of during the day.  Last night, he started singing "Edelweiss" in his sweet soprano voice.  I asked him if he learned it in music class and he was really quiet.  This meant that he learned it in the dreaded Mrs. J's class, and he doesn't want to say, because I will say..."Well, she cannot be all bad if she taught 20 children to sing such a beautiful song," as I've done before when he sings a song she's taught. 

Me: You know, Q.  Edelweiss is the National Anthem of Austria  (which by the way, I just googled and turns out it isn't, but he doesn't have to know that, and really it's not the point of the story, okay?)

Q:  Ugh, I'm glad I don't have to sing that song every Monday morning!

Me:  You sing the Canadian Anthem every Monday?

Q:  Yep.

Me:  Like you have an assembly and sing it all together?

Q:  Nope

Me:  In your classroom?

Q:  Yep.

Me:  And they play the music over the loud speaker?  Do you put your hand over your heart?

Q:  Yep.  Mrs. J does but not me. 

Me:  Well, sing it then.

And he does.  He sings the whole song from start to finish, word for word.  It was amazing.  I was so proud of him.  I was so proud of his school for taking the time to teach the children a little patriotism, because let's face Canadians are not as patriotic as our neighbours to the south even though we have a really fabulous thing going on here in Canada.