Monday, December 31, 2012


2012 was quite a year.  Filled with wonderful joyous things, and of some not so wonderful.  I'm going to hang onto wonderful and let the crappy stuff go.  I am not going to give the negative rent-free space in my head anymore.  Done.

I have been enjoying a fabulous, restful holiday.  Low-key is the best descriptor.  And as I lay around like a total sloth in yoga pants and my new Bazinga! sweatshirt (thank you Tyler), after many nights of 12 hours of sleep and blissful naps during the day, often while having a bath infused with epsom salts & lavendar essential oils, I have come to an important realization.  I know absolutely nothing about living a balanced life.  I have allowed my life to be a swirling vortex of stress and lack of sleep and enough exercise, cortisol levels through the roof and an autoimmune disease running out of control.  My weight has been creeping up, I'm wound so tight that I could snap like a fiddle string and frankly, I feel like absolute crap all of the time.

Rather hypocritical for someone who writes a blog entitled "fitmom".  Fitmom my ass.  More like "mom falling apart at the seams, with a great career and likely to have a stroke from unmanaged stress".  So.....I am making only one resolution.  To find balance.  I need to balance home and work, rest and work, exercise and sloth.  Spending time in nature, along with time with my family.  My dog needs to be walked.  My children need to be parented.  My husband needs a wife, not just another wage earner.  Friendships need to be nurtured.  I need to keep all of these things in mind as I embark on another year.

Sound good?  With that balance in mind I have decided to commit to a half-hour of exercise in the morning before I get ready for school.  It could be on the treadmill,, weights or yoga, but it will be some kind of activity.  Ten minutes of meditation at some point during the day too--likely in the evening before bed.  Forty minutes out of 24 hours.  Totally doable right?  And then dogwalking whenever possible.

I read yet another "diet" book.  Paleo Solution (I think?....Paleo something) by Robb Wolfe.  Made total sense to me.  Eliminate grains and other crap carbs.  Exactly what I should be doing for my old friend Hashi anyway.  Making all the more sense since I've been eating whatever I feel like over the holidays, and consequently feeling like crappola.  Hubs wants to lose weight too, and has agreed to give it a try.  If I can stringently remain gluten and dairy free, then eliminating other grains/crap carbs shouldn't be too hard, especially if my hubs is on board too.  Which should bring my body into balance.

Not that there haven't been good things going on in the health department, but they could be better with a little more concerted effort by moi.  Sounds like a balanced plan, does it not? Exercise and clean up diet, spend time with loved ones, live a more even life.

Whatever you have resolved for 2013, I wish you a very Happy New Year's.  And a balanced existence.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

anniversaries, holidays and other wonderful things

Sooooo very happy the Mayans were wrong!  But I knew they were, because my spiritual beliefs involve and book that said so.  But....enough about that.

The winter solstice also happens to be mine and hubs wedding anniversary.  21 on 21 this year.  We celebrated by spending the weekend in downtown Toronto, at our favourite hotel, wandering the downtown area (people watching....good grief, some people are, ahem *interesting*).  It was wonderful.  Much needed down time, with my favourite man.  While in T.O. we met up with my good friend Julie and her husband for a drink.  Julie et al are in Ontario to celebrate Christmas with their adult kids.  It was FABULOUS to see one of my all time favourite peeps!

Have I mentioned that thus far I am thoroughly enjoying the beginning of my two weeks off of work?  I slept for NINE straight hours.  Nothing short of miraculous, let me tell you.  I feel like a new woman!  And I'm looking forward to many more nights of glorious, deep sleep, enhanced by spending time with my loved ones.  My oldest child made gluten-free cookies for me when we were away, a delicious treat indeed.  Made sweeter by the love that went into making them.

This post is getting gooier and mushier by the minute (perhaps the Bailey's coffee I just drank?).  I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  Enjoy your families and friends.  Relax and let it happen, don't stress and worry about it being perfect.  It won't be perfect, but it will be, and will be all the better for it with all of its imperfections.  Honest it will.

Love always. xxoo 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” (NIV)
Luke 3:11

This is the Bible verse that was delivered to my inbox today.  A timely verse, in this time of Christmas giving....and the Christmas "gimmes".  I'm reminded daily of the need to give freely of what I possess, and have shared my own lunch with a hungry student on more than one occasion.  And it feels good to do it, it fills me up.  I don't do it because I need anyone to know, or any accolades, but because giving feels much better than receiving.  

While zooming through Walmart last night, picking up a few odds and ends before my appointment with Dr. Pain (formerly known as Dr. Hotty. He's been rechristened.), I was struck by the number of crying children, children demanding toys, temper tantrums and the like.  It made me wonder--what happened to the season of giving.  We've done our children a disservice by forgetting to teach them about giving.

In a society of selfishness, it's a lesson from which we could all benefit, don't you think?  I worry about a generation of children who don't know the joy of giving freely.  Of sharing what we have.  It's a tenet of all the major religions, of yoga, of most belief systems.  So how have we missed the mark?

I will carry this in my heart today.  And for the rest of the season.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Yesterday Last week was incredibly draining.  With the fervor and excitement of the upcoming holidays, comes the stress and difficult times families in crisis or some level of dysfunction face.  It's draining.  I'm not complaining, just stating fact.  Strain is showing, and everyone is beginning to fray around the edges.  That's the kind of week it was.  Frayed around the edges.

So much so, that upon my return to my house, I collapsed into my favourite chair in my pyjamas and favourite sweatshirt, and enjoyed some Mike's....and Bailey's.  I'm not really much of a drinker, and generally think that drinking because you're stressed is NOT a good idea.  And with my addictive personality.....I shudder to think if I imbibed regularly. But last night I needed to unwind, and yoga just wasn't in the cards.

However, it would be irresponsible to have Bailey's in my coffee at 7 a.m., so I've done the next best thing for stress relief (that doesn't involve yoga, kickboxing or prayer).  I have done the responsible thing and stolen Toblerone from the bag of stocking stuff for my children.  Huge chunks of Swiss chocolate with my coffee makes a breakfast of champions, don't you think?  Theft from children is wrong.  But my children are actually either 1) an adult and really too old for Santa; or 2) much larger than I, and consequently too big for Santa. And I have sufficient time to replace the stolen chocolate before Santa actually needs it for stockings.

While my personal stress levels are high (I can hear my heart beating and my cheeks are perpetually flushed--not a good sign), I can only imagine the level of stress and heartbreak in Connecticut.  I am climbing some big hills of my own, but the mountain that community has to climb today is almost insurmountable.  In essence, while I complain of my own troubles, I am all too aware that they are minor.  My children are all safe and sound, and so are the children of my school.  Thank God.  And I pray for those families and that community.  I cannot imagine.

On the flip side of my miserableness and complaints, I recognize that I am incredibly lucky.  I have a fantastic husband who takes very good care of me, great kids, and I also have the pleasure of working with amazing people and children.  I get to spend time every day with children from 4 to 14, who share their successes and troubles with me, and the adults who guide them and teach them.  Nothing is better than the huge grin from a student, the kind words of a parent (who just popped in to say hi) and gracious emails from colleagues.  I am lucky.

Lucky enough to have a dog that is glued to my side when I'm feeling stressed, and a cat who takes it upon himself to use the Christmas tree jungle gym to perform acrobatic feats for my entertainment, before curling up on my feet to sleep for the night.  And Marian Keyes latest book to read.  And an appointment for a manicure this morning.  Really, all in all, life is good.

Sadly for Allistair Cookie, the acrobatic/interior design maven cat, I am removing the ivy from the top of the wall unit, leaving him with nothing to regularly throw on the floor.  And replacing it with some manner of Christmas something.  Something he can't throw down to the floor.  Post-manicure I am going to do some Christmas baking, and perhaps work on the picture frame that I want to turn into a chalkboard (it's finally home....and been sitting in the kitchen for over a week).  Life is good.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Elf on the Shelf vs Peek-a-boo

Photo: Anyone else doing Elf on the Shelf? We started this year. Pro: about a 50% reduction in fighting between siblings because I can say "Hey you two better stop or Fred The Elf is going to tell Santa!" Con: I have to remember to move the damn elf every night.

I can't lie, I find Elf on the Shelf creepy as heck.  I can only imagine the therapy that will be needed by the children subjected to this particular Christmas trend.  In fact it reminds me of the creepiest Christmas tradition my family observed...

When I was a little girl, my Grandma told me about Santa's elf, Peek-a-boo.  Peek-a-boo was a magical elf that watched little boys and girls, and reported their behaviour back to Santa.  Lovely story to tell a child with a wildly vivid imagination.  Really.  At the ripe old age of 3, I was convinced that Santa's elf was watching me through my bedroom window.  One night just before my grandparents who were visiting got ready to leave, I was sent to my room to get into my jammies.  It was about this time of year, and the threat of Santa not coming was being held over my head...for every little transgression (although I must admit my mother never "phoned" Santa....I did several times when my children were had the desired effect).   My grandma, ever helpful, retold the story of Peek-a-boo that evening.  As I readied my 3 year old self for bed, I saw him looking in my bedroom window.  My bedroom in rural Ontario, no neighbours, pitch black outside, absolutely no way ANYONE was looking in the window.

That was 40 years ago.  I still have the image of that little b*st*rd looking in my window, engraved on my brain.  He was wearing a white outfit with coloured polka dots, and had a blue pompom on his hat.  I remember the shriek of terror that I emitted, and my little heart pounding as I ran screeching back to the livingroom, and leaping into my dad's arms.  My dad swears he thought Jack the Ripper was in my room from my behaviour.  I was wearing apple green pjs with pink cherries on them (it was the '70s after all...).  The worst part of all?  They laughed at me.  My grandpa laughed until tears rolled down his cheeks.  My father still laughs so hard he can barely tell the story.  Which is repeated at least once a Christmas season.

The moral of the story?  Be careful with that freaking Elf on the Shelf.  40 years from now your darling child might be reliving the horror.  And considering help from a mental health professional to overcome the trauma.  You've only yourself to blame if you're asked to put money into the shrink pot to help defray the costs of extensive therapy.

I wonder what Jung would say about Peek-a-boo vs Elf on the Shelf?  I say avoid them both.  Creepy little b*st*rds.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

didn't get the tree up....

I didn't get the tree up yesterday.  I went Christmas shopping/birthday dating with my hubs.  And pretty much finished Christmas shopping and bought a new nutcracker.  In just red and white.  On the agenda for today?  Get that darned tree up, wrap presents and decorate.  All while listening to Christmas music.  It's my birthday and I'll do what I want, darn it!  I foresee an exodus of children as the Christmas tunes start.  Just as well, they hate decorating the tree anyway.

Darn seems to be the word of the day.  Hopefully that's as strong and the language gets today.  Prelit tree generally helps with that :)

Now I'm off to pinterest all the Christmas stuff I can find.  Wishing my "twin" brother-in-law a happy birthday, and hoping his and my sister's new baby makes it here today.  I'd like a new baby as a birthday gift.  Since I haven't heard anything, and they were headed to the Santa Claus parade yesterday, I'm guessing that's a birthday wish I may not get.  Pinterest it is.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's here, it's finally here!

I made it.  That dastardly month November is past.  It's December 1st!  YIPPEEEEEEEE!!!!  Let me tell you, November nearly killed me.  I am done with 70's porn star moustaches (on hubs, not on me!), dreary grey, Remembrance Day (yes I'm grateful, no I don't like thinking about it), children sobbing their little hearts out to me in my office (that one will continue, it's not really over, but I am hoping the excitement of Christmas will help it to abate....slightly), progress reports, Thanksgiving being past but not being able to really decorate for Christmas yet.  DONE!

We are getting closer to Christmas, and everyone knows that December is the best month of the year.  I'm a lucky lady--birthday, wedding anniversary and Christmas all in one month.  Delightful.  On the schedule for today--tree.  Yep, Christmas tree goes up today.  I capitulated and bought a pre-lit artificial one a couple years ago (and my pine allergies have thanked me profusely--no weird rash for an entire month every year anymore).  We didn't put it up last year, because we were going away and I was fully aware that without direct supervision on a daily basis Allistair Cookie would totally destroy it.  But, it's time.  Too bad my big, strong men are all still sleeping, or I'd be working on it now.  Somehow I don't think waking them to drag it upstairs for me is a good idea.  I'll wait.....a little while longer.

Along with the tree, they will bring up my giant-ass rubbermaid containers of Christmas ornaments and stuff. My life-sized nutcracker has been a lone sentry, because I haven't unearthed the brethren yet.  They are in the rubbermaid bins.  And those suckers require 2 strong men to carry them upstairs.  Although with the adrenaline of December, I could possibly develop superhuman strength and be able to lift them--you know, like those moms who lift cars off of their child.  But I'd likely hurt my back, adrenaline or no, so I guess I'll wait on those too.

Unfortunately I forgot my very cool picture frame the custodian at school found and was going to chuck, and I like a good hoarder rescued, it is still propped against the wall in my office.  I have a vision in my head for it, I will buy the supplies today.  Hubs thinks we're popping into Home Depot briefly for one thing.....hahahaha, silly hubs.  Craft supplies and Christmas stuff is also on the list.  I'll work on the actual frame this week.

Is it creepy to want one of those giant Santa framed pictures to hang on the wall too?  I kick myself for not buying one of those a few years ago when they could be found in Homesense.  You know, back when I was demonstrating some Christmas restraint.  Christmas on a cruiseship last year cured me of that nonsense.  I have the perfect spot for one of those.

Btw--did anyone notice that pinterest has a whole new holidays section deal going on???  I was too tired the other night, but I'm spending some time checking that out this weekend.  It's like porn for Christmas fanatics. Not a creepy moustache in sight.

Also with December comes the desire to start Christmas baking.  I will have to hide the supplies though, some giant 14 year old boy ate my whole pkg of Skor bits.  I know this from the other night when I was looking for them to eat because I had a craving, lol.  Can't get too mad, that sweet tooth is definitely an inherited trait.  Kind of like his bluey-green eyes with the amber around the pupil.  Likely on the same gene.

The one time of year that I demonstrate zero self-control or practicality is here.  It makes me like a child, filled with excitement and glee.  The nervous anticipation.....if I'm this excited on December 1st, can you imagine what I'll be like by Christmas Eve?  My poor family.

I went to my naturopath yesterday morning, feeling completely depleted.  So depleted and stressed out she had a b*tch of a time to find a good vein for my iv.  I think it's safe to say the iv goodness has kicked in.  That and a good night's sleep, coupled with Christmas fever does wonders.

Have a wonderful December 1st friends, the best month of the year is here.