Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby Steps

Dscf1845_eI am a huge proponent of making changes through small steps rather than attempting huge life transformation all at once. I get burned out easily, and so overwhelmed that failure is inevitable.

I was very encouraged this morning when I opened my e-mail and found this article from Prevention Magazine: Small Changes That Take Off Big Pounds

So, if you're working on those resolutions for 2010, read the rest here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Darlene
www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, December 21, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland - well, almost!

IceI've had such a struggle with walking this winter. I convinced myself to go out today and brave the ice with my funky ice-pick straps that actually work with Vibrams (though only just - they are a bit finicky and need lots of readjusting, which is still better than cracking my head open on the sidewalk).

I checked the temperature (-12°C or 10°F) on our temp gauge at home but neglected to check the temp with the windchill (-18°C or 0°F w/wind). I dressed well for the -12, but not warm enough for the -18. Sigh. Gotta remember that for future.

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com and maybe join my challenge!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Need Motivation?















You HAVE to watch this!


Read the whole story here: Cliff Young
Enjoy (and then go for a walk!)

Darlene
www.PraiseWalker.com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Laziness has a price...

LazyEvery now and then I hit a place in my walking where I need to take about a week off. Because I've never had problems starting up again, I allow myself this grace. It happens about once or twice a year. No biggie.

About a month ago, such a time had arrived. I just needed a break, so I took a week off. That weekend I got the dreaded flu, and the following two weeks, while there were no messy flu symptoms, I was so tired as to be useless. I did do a couple of walks, but not enough to brag about, and each one left me drained and exhausted.

Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Canvassing - A GREAT Excuse for a walk

HandSlogoA couple of years ago I got a call from the Heart and Stroke foundation. A lovely man was on the other end, and asked quite apologetically if I would be able to canvass for them that year (in February). The routes were very small, he assured me, and I'd have two whole weeks to get it done, and my own street was available if I'd like to do it.

He must have caught me at a weak moment, because I said yes.

"What?!" he exclaimed, in shock "You'll WILL?!" He must have been having a bad day, because you would have thought I'd just handed an eight-year-old boy his first puppy.

We laughed about that, and he told me the person in charge of my area would be in touch.

A few weeks later I got a phone call, set a date to get my packet and some brief training, and I was "in".

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Idea of "Sabbath"

flower-04[1]To call me a "driven" person is an understatement (friends might use the term "scary"...) There's something about my makeup that doesn't allow me to tackle a day without to-do list of at least 30 items. I kid you not. There are always 27 different projects to work on, and I take my relationship with my kids and husband very seriously, so time needs to be set aside for that, as well. This means I live each day highly focused, and heaven help you if you get in my way when we're not in "relationship" mode!

And there's something about today's society that makes this kind of lifestyle something to be deeply proud of. I mean whenever someone asks you how life is, "busy" and "stressed" seem to be appropriate, praise-worthy responses. Weird.

In my Monday's Post I shared about the trip my husband and I took to Montana and the incredible sense of rest that it afforded us. My own faith stresses highly the importance of Sabbath.

This is an idea that has been buzzing around in my head and my heart for a long time. I actually do start each morning very slowly with time for devotions, praise, walking, and the like before I hit the ground running, but the idea of a whole day of Sabbath every week? That's tough. Weekends are so short and so fully of "busy-ness" that it's hard to figure out how to make it happen.

I believe more and more, though that it's a vitally important part of true wellness, regardless of your spiritual beliefs - or lack of such. It takes some work to make it happen (that sounds like a contradiction in terms...) but the results are well worth it. Here are some links that you might find helpful (if you're not religious, these ideas can be used as a starting place and be adapted to suit your own needs):

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Power of Rest

My husband and I just got back from a week long stay at "The Montana Cabin" where we had a full week of rest, quiet, beautiful scenery, and no schedule or goals to accomplish, other than rest and reconnection.

MontanaCabinViewThe mornings were slow - we got up when we were awake, not when some alarm beeped, and had coffee together overlooking the lake. The views fed my soul with rest, relaxation, and deep peace.

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Friday, October 30, 2009

Your Ideal Body Weight

ScaleDo you know what you really should weigh?

Your ideal weight is not some magic number pulled from the air, or some hopeful number that works best for your beautiful best friend.

Your ideal body weight is your lean body mass plus your "ideal body fat" percentage based on your age. You need a certain amount of body fat to be healthy, and women need a little more than men.

So, here's how you do the calculations:

Read all about it here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flu-Bug

noseIt's in all the papers, and is the topic of choice on many newscasts. H1N1 has hit the streets! I think I might have had it last weekend. Yech. It's a doozy, and you need to know you'll be flat out for a while, even after the nasty symptoms (fever, aches, migraines, vomiting, chills, sinus congestion, etc.) are gone. It's taking me a while to get my energy back, and I'm finding I have to really scale back my activities to allow my body to regain it's normal state. I got walking on Monday again, finally, after a "longer than a week" break, felt great, and then had a relapse in health, and am back resting again. I can't believe how "fragile" this is making me! (I guess I WAS right to take time off before !)

So, what are you going to do?

Now, I'm no doctor, nor am I a medical person of any kind. However, here are some of the things I've learned in the past that seemed to work for me quite well when I had the flu last week:

Get the tips here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

Is it Right? Is it Wrong? What do you think?

j0433165

So, I've been AWOL from my walking since last week. I have lots of excuses, but I'm thinking mostly it's a motivational problem. I hate the cold. Probably not so legitimate. I've also got hit "quick and heavy" with the flu, and found that while the most uncomfortable symptoms passed within 36 hours, I was tired, foggy-headed, and just dragging myself around for a good week afterwards. I decided to take the week off and just go slow.

So what do you think? Was that right? Was that wrong? Was I just lazy? I find I'm a genius at rationalizing my behaviour. Years of practice have made me an expert. It's hard to be objective.



The good news was that I was out and walking this morning.


Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Is it Right? Is it Wrong? What do you think?

j0433165

So, I've been AWOL from my walking since last week. I have lots of excuses, but I'm thinking mostly it's a motivational problem. I hate the cold. Probably not so legitimate. I've also got hit "quick and heavy" with the flu, and found that while the most uncomfortable symptoms passed within 36 hours, I was tired, foggy-headed, and just dragging myself around for a good week afterwards. I decided to take the week off and just go slow.

So what do you think? Was that right? Was that wrong? Was I just lazy? I find I'm a genius at rationalizing my behaviour. Years of practice have made me an expert. It's hard to be objective.



The good news was that I was out and walking this morning.


Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Funky Program!

Oh, it's been AGES since I posted - or even walked! Yikes!

A combination of weather (sudden dump of snow), lack of shoes to walk in said snow (Vibram is all out of the winter version of funky feet), and an extreme bout of the flu from which I'm just now slowly recovering, has put me totally out to pasture for the past two weeks.

However, I've tried not to be too idle. I've had lots of time to experiment with my iPod Touch (gotta love that thing - when it works...) and I've discovered the coolest thing! Not only is the content amazing, but the delivery is stunning. You've gotta check this out!

The 90 Second Fitness Solution vook is a powerful new way to read, follow and learn the revolutionary fitness techniques of New York trainer Pete Cerqua.

And no, you don't NEEEEED an iPod to use it, but it's a really fun way to take in the technology.

Oh, and the 90 second fitness program? Well, anyone can do it (though it's a challenge) and whew, do you feel it when it's done!

Darlene

Monday, October 5, 2009

A struggling 10k?

I completed level 2 in my training on Saturday by participating in a 10k race for a local church here. Even without the 1˚C (33.8˚F) temperature and brisk winter wind, it was an interesting experience.

I warmed up well, started out by climbing up a reasonably steep but short hill, and proceeded through what was a beautiful, not-terribly-strenuous walk to complete the first 5k loop. I found that although I wasn't breathing hard or feeling like I was exerting myself beyond my comfort zone (keeping up with about a 7 on the RPE in my estimation), I was pushing myself beyond my ideal heart rate, and my muscles got very tired, very quickly - which is unusual, as I walk a 10k or more almost every week with no issues whatsoever.

Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Supermom

The toddler is a bit of a bruiser. He is a big boy, always in the 98th percentile or higher. This means that if you lined up 100 toddlers his age there would only be about 2 toddlers that are bigger than him. At gymnastics class he towers over the other two year olds. True to his size he is a tough guy. He has had many tumbles, the kind that when you see it happen you gasp for breath and then hold it waiting for the ear piercing cry that comes after. Most of the time with Cian……the cry never comes. He’s fallen and scraped his knee without a peep, been wacked on the head with multiple toys while playing with cousins and friends, fallen from furniture, down stairs and off of climbing apparatus. He has never been one to fall down and cry for attention. He always picks himself up and gets right back into the action. Because of this when he does cry I know that it is serious. Tonight I was feeding the baby and I suddenly heard the ear piercing cry. I put the baby down and ran to see what happened. Cian had been following daddy into the kitchen and somehow got is hand pinched in the baby gate. Cian was already on his way back to me crying and in tears. I knelt down in front of him and put my arms around him. He fell into my arms and tucked his little head right into my shoulder. I just held him. I felt all the tension go out of his little body and his cries and tears subsided. I am a superhero! That is what I felt like. I had the power to take away the pain and make everything alright. I remember my mom being that for me many times, even as I got older, sometimes even now. What amazing power mothers have. It felt good to have that power tonight and to know that even though all of the world’s pain can not be made okay by a simple hug from mom some of it can.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Walking for Spiritual Clarity

Yesterday I was feeling a little overwhelmed. I often get myself in trouble by offering my services to other people, and having them take me up on it! :)

Part of the problem is that when I offer my services I actually have the time, but when I finally get the stuff they want me to do, I get everyone's all at once.

That's kind of where I was yesterday - overwhelmed and overloaded.

When I went for my walk I just gave it to God, and didn't really worry about it anymore. Thoughts flitted back and forth in my head, and I just kept giving them back without stress or worry. By the end of the walk I had solved on of my most nagging issues, and was delighted.

I love how walking intentionally gives me that kind of clarity.

This morning I was going through some sites on the Internet and I found this:

"Everyday I usually go for several walks during which time I ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me. I usually begin by praying that God cleanses me from all my sin with the blood of JESUS. Then I pray in tongues, followed by praise and worship of God. I then ask God a question I would like an answer to. I become quiet inside and listen carefully for His voice. When I think I hear it, I ask Him to use my voice to speak to me, and then I begin to speak aloud the words I hear within."

Thought it was right in line with what I had been experiencing myself.

Why not give it a try the next time you're feeling overwhelmed and frustrated?

Happy Walking!

Darlene
www.PraiseWalker.com

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Made by Rae Jackpack Backpack GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

This is an amazing giveaway! Made by Rae Jackpack Backpack GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!! I am now addicted to Made By Rae's blog and have been reading through since the begining, this toddler backpack is my sewing project for a Christmas present for my son and his friend Liam! I would love to win though!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Eat Fat to Lose Fat?!!!

I've been spending a LOT of time researching nutrition. In addition to reading dozens of books from the library, I'm reading lots of magazine articles, and actually taking some nutrition courses.

It's a very confusing topic!

I think that part of the problem seems to be that most people who create weigh loss plans have only half the info, and build whole principles out of misunderstood facts. I also think that nourishment as God planned it, is much more complicated than we like to think. An apple isn't just an apple. Everything works together in synergy, and if we remove bits from the apple (the parts we think are beneficial) we aren't getting the whole synergy.

As I study books by actual, trained nutritionists - folks with at least a couple of doctorates in nutritional research - I am continually stumbling upon some interesting things. One of them is the idea that we need to eat fat to lose fat.

Now, I knew that we were on dangerous ground when we started feeding our kids skimmed milk and low-fat products because research has shown the importance of saturated fat for developing brains. However, I didn't know that saturated fat was important for weight loss!

Continue reading here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Through the eyes of my child

Do you ever find you are so caught up with life that you don't stop and look at things? I thought I was pretty good at smelling the roses but sometimes it takes an expert like my daughter to make me step back a realize what great things fill our lives.



My daughter notices small details of things all the time.



The other day my mom and I went to check out a new mall that had opened near us. While it was nice and all I was focused on what kind of stores they had and weather I would be going there very often. I wasn't WOWED by it and in some ways disappointed in it.



Then I needed to get some navy pants for my daughter and the store that had her size was in this mall.



Last night I took dd and meet my mom there and had a girls evening. My daughter drank everything in and it made me look harder at how the mall looked than what was in it. She thought it was amazing and like a museum. It has a "ranch" section with cowboy stuff and horseshoes in the flooring with Cross Iron Mills ( the name of the mall) in each one. They had dinosaur type bones in one section, a cool "fireplace" and so much more. She noticed all the little things that I saw but didn't appreciate.



It was a good reminder to look around and enjoy and appreciate the things in our lives. I thought I would share to remind us all to step back and enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cruisin'...

I just got back from a 7-day cruise to Alaska with my parents and siblings. My folks are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year, and this was part of that celebration.

cruise-ships-volendamWhat great fun! Lots of laughs, beautiful scenery, fabulous ship (Holland America's "Volendam") and wonderful service. A great way to travel, to be sure. Another cruise is definitely in my future somewhere, this time with my hubby and kids. My parents actually won a 7-day cruise on this cruise, so they're all geared up to go again as well. Cool anniversary present!

I was terrified to go on the cruise because I kept hearing about all the food, and I have worked so hard to lose weight that I didn't want to gain it all back in a 7-day cruise. Neither did I want to go on a cruise with all that food and eat only lettuce.

Read more of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Challenge of Priorities

I've spent months researching training programs for walking.

I've spent weeks setting one up and working it into my schedule.

I've spent about a month trying it out.

It won't work.

Currently I'm spending a large chunk of my morning in devotional time - prayer, worship, bible study, etc. Following that, I usually go for my walk. The walking schedule looks like this: Monday-Tuesday: 1.5 hour walk; Wednesday: Off; Thursday-Friday: 2 hour walk; Saturday: 3 hour walk; Sunday: 1 hour walk.

I then come home, post my walk, and my morning is over. The kids (who, bless them, have spent my walking time doing housework and chores) now want to spend time with their mother, so we tend to watch a movie over lunch. Another 2.5 hours gone, minimum, depending on how long the movie is and how long it takes us to get organized with lunch.

Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

School starts Monday!!

I am getting really stressed! I am ready for the return to school we have the clothes and just have to give the school money for their supplies.

Last week was school shoe shopping. What a stress. My 5 year old will be going to kindergarten and he was a piece of cake. Went ot the first shoe store and the second pair where a hit. My daughter on the other hand.......

Her sensitivity issues make socks and shoes a nightmare that cause her to melt down. She has lived in Crocs for years now and we had a skecher shoes that where similar to crocs but a bit more like shoes last year however they really aren't the best shoes and it was mentioned that maybe she could have more appropriate shoes for this year.

Well that is hard. We hit I think every shoe and kids store in Calgary that carries shoes. Three days of looking. I think we found a winner, a cross between a mary jane and a runner that is pink and has light up flowers.

Now the shopping is done I feel like i have to prep her. I have been coaching my daughter on how she needs to do things on her own and that there won't be an aid like last year. The other day I called to school to make sure that her teacher is aware of her issues. I also was hoping we could go to the school so dd had a heads up on things and I could chat with her teacher about a few things. I was told she was going to have two teachers that job share. I was a little concerned as stable structure is big for kids like her. She can be pretty easy going but I wasn't sure how she would take the back and forth of two teachers. I said that usually consistency is important for kids like dd and the lady in charge said she would look in to it. Anyway by the time we got to the school to meet the teachers they had decided it was best to move her. I just hope that she will still have some girls she knows in her class.

Her new teacher seems nice and I think she will be good with dd. My daughter likes her and so that is a good sign. I know the teacher my son will have and while I had hoped he could have them same teacher as my daughter, it didn't work out that way. I know he will be fine. He is such a good guy when it come to these kinds of things.

Now in just two more sleeps both kids will be in school. I am not sure if I am mentally ready for all this but otherwise I have everything under control. For the moment. Till i find out what my school bus route is.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I feel like summer is over already :(

We have had a great summer. Two weeks on the Shuswap of hot sunny weather and hours and hours on the beach, in the lake, or in the pool. We all had such a great time.

Then we came home and my brother and his family came out for 10 days. Again the weather was warn and we did some Alberta sight seeing I have never done before even though I have lived all my 43 years here. My kids had a ball playing with their cousins who are 10 and 12 but where really good with the kids.

Last week the day our family went home the weather turned cold and rainy and I realized my kids go back to school in 2 weeks! Now that is down to a week and I have been scrambling to find indoor shoes for the kids as well as clothes and any other stuff they need for going back.

I am lucky that our school has a set and reasonable fee that we pay every year and they supply all that they need for in the classroom.

Only a couple of days after my kids go back to school I have start up meeting for going back to work. I have to do a dry run on Aug. 25 and start on Aug 27.

It just feels like with all this back to school and works stuff along with the crappy weather that summer is over.

Why is it that winter lasts forever and summer never seems to last long at all??

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Are We There Yet???

In a few days my husband and 2 older children will leave for our annual trip north. They will drive the
L-O-N-G road to Yukon together, while our youngest and I wait for several days and fly up to meet them.
During these last few days at home I am trying to get organized so as not to forget anything, and have as much as possible loaded into the truck with my husband.
My children, it seems, have other plans. They have made every attempt humanly possible to cause mayhem and destruction. They yell and scream. They push and shove. Every strategy in my bag of parental tricks has been trotted out in a vain grasp at some form of familial harmony.
All the while my husband is insulated from the chaos in the ivory tower of his workplace.
I can hardly wait for the silence of being at home with just one child, if only for a few glorious days.
Are we there yet??

Training with a Heart Rate Monitor

As I train for this next race - a 10k in October - I began to use a Heart Rate Monitor according to the guidelines in the Maffetone Method which requires a lower heart rate level than the standard 220-age equation we usually hear about. Dr. Maffetone calls his equation the "180 method"

So far, I've done all my training without a heart rate monitor, and I haven't seen a whole lot of improvement in my fitness level, except that I walk further and further. I come back pretty tired though, and very sore.

heart-rateIn the past two weeks where I've been using this I've gone from struggling to keep my HR at the "level 5" training goal (about 127 bpm) because any hill shoots my heart rate over the mark, to struggling to get it high enough - the hills aren't even affecting me. Two weeks ago I had to walk the final hill on the way home at a pace so slow I nearly lost my balance in order to keep my HR within range. Today I walked up most of it without any difficulty at all.

And this is just in 2 weeks!

Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Refuse to Choose!

For most of my life, the question "What are you going to do when you grow up?" has hounded me, nightmarishly. Every week it was a different answer. My earliest recollection of what I wanted to be was a nun (I liked the "long dresses"). Then I wanted to be a vet, then a surgeon. I wanted to be a teacher, a flight attendant, a tour guide, a translator, a performance coach, a singer, a teacher of early childhood education, a psychologist, a counselor, a life coach ...

By the time I was 25 I'd worked 17 jobs. Some of them could have been career choices, except that they bored me silly once I got them figured out.

After a longer stint (5 years!) as a music director for Youth for Christ Germany I had the fortune of marrying a man who earned a salary that enabled me to stay home. I became a homeschooling mom (a great choice for someone with my attention span - always something new to focus on) and I went through cycles of being "crafty", a cook (believe it or not!) a nature buff, a historian, and a lover of literature.

Now that my kids are older and more independent in their schooling, I've turned to entrepreneurialism, Internet discoveries (gotta love Google!) and health and fitness. I realized when I hit the age of about 38 that I was not cut out for a career-type job and was happy as an entrepreneur, but that didn't quite cover "who I was" and "what I did".

Let me explain:

Currently (and concurrently) I am designing a walking program that goes from couch potato to marathon walker in 18 months, a nutrition/weight loss program, and a financial rehabilitation program. I am training for my next marathon by walking 1-3 hours a day, I am designing 3 websites for a house church group, taking a university course towards a ministry degree, studying to become a biblical health coach, and working towards a leadership certificate in 2 other ministry programs. I am also applying for a part time job to cover the costs of all these projects. And, of course, there's the standard homemaking responsibilities (did I mention we were renovating?) and keeping my kids on track in school. Oh yeah - and church, but I'm not really doing much volunteering there right at the moment.

This is a pretty normal situation for me, so when someone asks "what do you do?" I don't really have an answer - at least, I didn't.

Read the rest of my story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

The "Joys" of Technology

I wasn't always a big fan of technology. Mostly it overwhelmed me, and I seemed to be doing fine without it. Then I married a techie. For our first Christmas I got a beautiful Canon SLR camera. Pocket Instamatics overwhelmed me, so this was a pretty big jump.

1stGeniPodNano_ One day Tom came home with an early model of an MP3 Player. It was the size of a standard portable CD player, with about 1 gig of memory. I had no idea what to do with it. Over time I learned to use it, and it became a best friend. Then it broke. So Tom bought me a new iPod nano - the skinny one, with 2 gigs of memory. I was in love.

Shortly after I got this little nano I began walking regularly. I learned to create playlists, and started to really enjoy this form of exercise. I thought it would be fun to get a pedometer and see how many steps I took a day.

I saw that Nike had this little sports tracker thing called a Nike+ iPod , and asked if it would work as a pedometer. I was told it would, so I bought it. It doesn't. It did a great job of tracking my walks and telling me how far I'd gone and how fast I went. It also had nice people like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong and Jenny Hadfield telling me I did a great job, exceeding my last personal best at something. Kinda cool. I was hooked. NikeiPod


Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Live Longer and BETTER!

I'm not that fussed about extending my life only to spend more years in a total care facility unable to control any of my bodily functions. Living longer for the sake of living longer holds no attraction for me.

HOWEVER! Living longer so I can take even more advantage of what this marvelous world has to offer, and to better live out the life God has called me to live - that's a totally different thing. I'd love to be 120 years old (the age God determined for mankind) with all my wits about me, still active, living with a great sense of humour, and a childlike delight in every new day. THAT kind of longevity appeals to me.

Living life the way we live it in general is a fast track to the first option. Chemicals in our food and water, surrounding ourselves with toxins, eating junk, sitting all day at a desk or computer (ahem) and spending greater and greater amounts of time isolated instead of interacting in community is going to lead us to cancer, weakness, mental illness, and depression.


Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The cost of being healthy, and other financial musings...

Tom and I have been working hard on our finances lately. We'll we've been pretty intentional for about 5 years, but recently we've stepped it up as I've been learning about Biblical Finance - what God says about money and how that works today in our culture.

It's been quite an adventure!

As I've moved forward with my fitness/walking/nutrition explorations, I've realized it's MUCH more expensive to be healthy than sick. The gov't pays for health care ("sick care") but not preventative care. Good, organic food is out of the reach of most people I know except as an occasional treat. Nutritional supplements are affordable only if you replace regular food with them. Walking - the cheapest form of fitness - is still expensive if you want to do it well - shoes, clothes that cope with Calgary winters, something to listen to music with so you don't get bored out of your mind on long walks, something to track your steps/mileage with as an added incentive on days when you just don't feel like walking...

Read the rest of the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, July 20, 2009

Last month boudoir


As it turns out I am a boudoir photographer.  I love to photograph babies, weddings and commercial works however these days my clients are loving the beauty shots. This client drove all the way from Golden! We got some great images so I'll have to post them up on my blog and website right away. Stay tuned. 
Julie Chiasson/ Sidorak
www.QuantumImagesInc.com

The "Joys" of Technology

I wasn't always a big fan of technology. Mostly it overwhelmed me, and I seemed to be doing fine without it. Then I married a techie. For our first Christmas I got a beautiful Canon SLR camera. Pocket Instamatics overwhelmed me, so this was a pretty big jump.

1stGeniPodNano_ One day Tom came home with an early model of an MP3 Player. It was the size of a standard portable CD player, with about 1 gig of memory. I had no idea what to do with it. Over time I learned to use it, and it became a best friend. Then it broke. So Tom bought me a new iPod nano - the skinny one, with 2 gigs of memory. I was in love.

Shortly after I got this little nano I began walking regularly. I learned to create playlists, and started to really enjoy this form of exercise. I thought it would be fun to get a pedometer and see how many steps I took a day.

I saw that Nike had this little sports tracker thing called a Nike+ iPod , and asked if it would work as a pedometer. I was told it would, so I bought it. It doesn't. It did a great job of tracking my walks and telling me how far I'd gone and how fast I went. It also had nice people like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong and Jenny Hadfield telling me I did a great job, exceeding my last personal best at something. Kinda cool. I was hooked. NikeiPod


Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Friday, July 17, 2009

Walking in a "maze" ment

On Wednesday I shared the experience I have with walking with a Rosary. Another cool meditation tool for walking is walking a labyrinth.
labyrinth

I heard about labyrinth's a few years back when I got very involved with studying Catholic Mysticism. After that I looked for opportunities to walk one, and while there aren't many around here, there are a couple - one at Kingsfold Retreat Centre, and one at the FCJ Christian Life Center

I love walking the Labyrinth because there's a slow rhythm, there's mindfulness, and there's peace. You go into the centre with something on your heart, seeking God's will, and come out with peace. It's a very long walk covering a very small space, and unless you've walked that particular labyrinth or pattern several times, you are always suprised at where you end up, at how the path unfolds. It's kind of like life. I just wish I could walk life with the same kind of mindfulness as I walk a labyrinth! :)

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Walking and Meditation

Have you ever thought of combining your workout with meditation?

When I first started walking seriously, I was often bored by the lack of stimulation walking provided. I started in the early morning in the dead of winter, and there was nothing to see. Listening to music was awkward because it was all different beats. Listening to nothing caused my mind to wander in a thousand directions (I'm ADD) and I found that frustrating and exhausting.

Anglican Rosary

I had recently heard about the Anglican Rosary and as someone who is fascinated by all things contemplative, I had begun to explore it. Unfortunately it was hard to find the time to sit and meditate with it.

I finally landed on the idea of praying the Rosary while I walked. I typed up the prayers on business cards, filed them in a business card wallet with lots of pockets, and headed out the door.

Read More Here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

After being married for 7 years with 3 kids, a wobbly tummy and sagging breasts, I often wonder if I am still attractive to the opposite sex. I always think of myself as that pert and confident 21 year old but I’m actually a “slightly above average attractive woman in her mid thirties who could do with loosing some weight”. I know this because my friend recently told me so.

With the same friend, I set off to Las Vegas to celebrate her sister’s birthday. Having successfully infiltrated her sister’s group, I found myself at the stagette party of some-one else I had never met and knew nothing about. For both celebrations I was in a ridiculous outfit showing more skin than was really suitable and wearing painful shoes. However it was not without reward.

I met a Mexican who stared at my chest and had the hands of an octopus, maybe he thought my polite phrase of “so when did you arrive in Las Vegas?” in fact meant “I’m ticklish, please try me”. Then an English bloke who I couldn’t understand (and I’m English) repeatedly shouted the word “Southport” in my ear. He may have been saying “Old Trout” but I am confident it wasn’t an insult. Then later my bottom was pinched by a bald fat man in his 50’s who kept pretending to lasso me. Finally I was chatted up by a man wearing sunglasses in a very dark nightclub who kept licking his lips. Looking back I should have checked for fangs.

I had lots of fun on the weekend and on reflection I can say that yes I can still attract men but they tend to be weird. So being with some-one normal who loves me with all my wobbling, sagging and numerous other flaws is nothing to complain about.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Starting the New Challenge

Well, I had a good week off to rest from the race and plan my next move. First of all, let me update you on my weightloss results from "The Lord's Table"








It has been a challenging course, but it's working out many of the core issues for why I can't seem to get rid of these last 30 pounds or so. My mentor is just about the most encouraging person on the planet, so it's a joy to work through this with her. And it's free. If you're looking to lose weight, start here!

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday's 5K Race

Yesterday I did a 5k walking race for "Pace Kids" at South Glenmore Park in Calgary. The day was perfect - Darlene Hull @ Race for Pacewe'd had a couple of good storms the day before, and so it was cool, fresh, and a little damp, but sunny. The course itself was through the woods so it was absolutely lovely.

Now I can do a 5k without breaking a sweat, any time of the week. However, I took this race quite seriously and worked to set a personal best goal for speed. I've been working hard on my form and wanted to see if it paid off.

The first thing that happened is that my iPod fritzed and so it took almost a kilometer for it to start working properly (I ended up laying hands on it and telling it to work in Jesus' name, and it hopped right to it! LOL! Gotta love the power of God in desperate situations!) I had set up a trio of tracks at different speeds - 167 beats per minute, 171 bpm, and 173 bpm (the actual track starts about 3 min. into that recording, if you want to see how fast I walk). I've NEVER consistently walked that fast before. I managed to complete most of the race at the 173 level. Pretty proud of myself.

Read more (and see more pics!) here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Going "Walkabout" for Canada Day!

HAPPY CANADA DAY!


Canada Day Comments


Canada Day is here, and I'm celebrating by going "Walkabout". Here are the details:

Jenolan CavesJenolan Caves to Hill End
Your Blue Mountains journey begins in Jenolan Caves. Jenolan Caves is home to the oldest discovered open caves in the world, approximately discovered in 1835-49, featuring numerous Silurian marine fossils and calcite formations. From Jenolan Caves walk to Gulgong a gold rush town which was founded in the 1870s and then on to Mudgee in the Cudgegong River valley, which is now a wine producing region. From Mudgee continue on to Hill End which was established in the 1850s as a gold rush town. Hill End is also classified as a historical site by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.



The GREAT NEWS is that you can join me, because. . .

Find out how, here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, June 29, 2009

Feasting on the Word


I'm still looking for sponsors for my walk on the 5th of July - can you help? Just click the badge below and you'll go right to my page:

Countdown To Race Day (5 km)


Thanks so much! Both I and the kids benefiting from your donations greatly appreciate your generosity!



So I've completed my first week of "The Lord's Table" and here are my results (note, I didn't lose 7.5 pounds in a week. I didn't weigh myself before I started, so I simply picked up where I left off in the last round of weight loss. I would guess I've lost about 3 lbs. in total this past week):









This is an amazing course for any of you who are struggling with the weight loss yo-yo and with getting rid of those stubborn pounds that wont' budge. Not only does it deal with food, but it also deals with your mentality, your heart, your focus, and your sin (yeah, sorry, overeating needs to be called what it is: the sin of gluttony. Doesn't sound so nice when it's put like that, does it?)

The course encourages "feasting", but the feasting it encourages is feasting on the word of God. Here's an excerpt from the course materials last week:

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pushing the Limits

So, coming up to race day (next Saturday) I'm challenging myself to reach a personal best speed. So far, my personal best is 35 minutes and 21 seconds for a 5k. It would be cool to get it down to 30 minutes, but that would be a 6 minute kilometer and today's pace was 7.22. I have a ways to go!

PodrunnerI've been using Podrunner's free walking mixes to set the pace. They give me an hour of music that's a mix of house, progressive house, breakbeat, funk, tech house, pop remixes, downtempo, and spoken-word poetry.

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You are what you eat

Once in a while I get "domestic" and decide it's time to make bread. Not in a breadmaker, mind you. The good ol' fashioned way, by hand. It's a very soothing exercise for me. My mom gave me the basics of her secret recipe and a few tips. Years of watching her in the kitchen kneading the dough have added to my understanding of how it should look and feel. That first piece cut from the crusty end of a warm loaf, slathered with butter, is nearly worth killing for! Then there's the smell... the aroma of freshly baked bread is unmistakeable.
As I was kneading my latest batch and admiring the elasticity of the dough, I stopped to marvel at the striking resemblance between what was in the bowl and my derriere. I guess it's true - you are what you eat!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Losing the Weight

I've been overweight the whole of my adult life. Never hugely obese, but always struggling with that extra 30-40 pounds that need to come off! Even at the height of marathon training, walking 70+ kilometers a week didn't change that fact.

I've done the yo-yo thing, the "change your lifestyle" thing, and even created something that worked quite well for the PraiseWalker system, but each time, I fall off the bandwagon and gain all the weight back.

I was chatting with a friend this week, and she told me about a program that we are now trying together. It seems pretty cool as it uses weight-loss as a form of meditation - kinda like the "PraiseWalker" idea for dieting. Cooool.

Find out more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Signs...

The other day Steven, my husband, was wearing a new pair of shorts and showed me the waistband. It had folded over a bit. He remarked that he was gaining so much weight that the waistband couldn't stand up anymore. Then this conversation happened:

Steven: Remember only one of us can be fat at the same time. I guess it's my turn.
Me: Are you calling me fat?
Steven: No.
Me: Yes you did. You just said only one of us can be fat. And THEN you said you were fat. So you just called me fat.
And I can start to see the fear in his eyes. To be fair, the entire "only one of us can be fat" theory was started by me a long time ago. When I gained weight the first time and Steven was so skinny, I used to joke that his family must have thought that I ate all the food and didn't feed him. And then when I lost the weight, he coincidentally gained weight.
Steven: I didn't call you fat. YOU called ME fat.
Me: What?
Good move. Get on the attack. Make her get on the defensive. Nice strategy, dear husband.
Steven: You called me fat.
Attack. Attack. Attack.
Me: You're so funny. There's no way out.

And then yesterday I went to my hair salon and the little Vietnamese lady that does my waxing poked me in the belly and said "baby?".


AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH.

alright. I know. I'm fat. That's it, the Gods must be telling me something. I need to lose weight.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Walking for a Cause

Hello all!

As some of you may - or may not know - I walked my first marathon last October. I took a ridiculously short amount of time to train, and while I succeeded, it nearly did me in!

I want to do another marathon, but take loooooots of time this time to do it well. I decided to start right back at the beginning.

For the past two months I've been training properly for a 5k event (yeah, I know - I can walk it without even breaking a sweat, but I want to go slowly, remember?). This July 5th I'm entered in the "Race for Pace" event to raise money for Pace Kids

This isn't a huge challenge for me, but it's a huge challenge for these kids, and I'd love to have your financial support to give these kids every opportunity to succeed in their lives.

You can send a tax deductible donation to the cause through my page here: PaceKids Donor Page

I just started the fundraising for this, so if you hurry, you can be the very first sponsor! Woohoo!

Thanks so much, on behalf of these kids.

Darlene

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wanna Walk? How about 3,200 km?

Here's another "Amazing Walker" story - truly inspirational (I say just after I chickened out for my walk because it's raining . . .)

First, a confession: I stole this word for word from the "WoW Power Walking" blog, dated Wednesday, June 10.

Johnny Rowe Marathon Walker


Been walking much lately? How about 3,200 kilometres? Today's Globe and Mail obituary described the life of famed Canadian walker Johnny Rowe who averaged this distance every year for 27 years and who died on May 28. According to the Globe and Mail, Rowe described marathon walking as "a chance to accomplish something without mechnical aid". I suspect he would have scoffed at those of us chained to our GPS devices.

Continue the story here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Walking as Soul Work

I have an issue in my life that is causing a great deal of pain and turmoil. I am working through different methods of healing with it, but it can often get overwhelming when it's triggered.

Today was one of those trigger days, and I found myself wrestling with this to the point of complete frustration. By 5:00pm I was at a loss as to how to get peace and move on. I decided to go for my walk, which still needed to get done.

I set my Nike+iPod to a 1 hour walkand set it to play a shuffled playlist of soaking music , put on my Funky Feet, attached the dog to his leash, grabbed a poop bag, and headed out the door.

Read what happened next, here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bye bye baby


Walking was the last step to finalize my daughters transition into toddlerhood. It's amazing how different she is each day. Talking, walking, feeding herself, and so much more. She has learned to pound it, cheers, wave, high five, hug, kiss, and she knows a lot of her body parts.

I miss her being a blob baby so much but at the same time I am enjoying all the different things she is able to do this summer compared to last summer. Last summer she was three to four months old, still floppy and she couldn't wear sunscreen. We didn't go on vacation or do nothing at all so this summer so far having a 14 month old is fantastic!

Though my desire to have Devyn be a blob still is gone, my desire to have a blob baby in general is even stronger. We always said we wanted our kids two years apart and as we got pregnant July of 2007 we want to start trying July of this year to have them at least 2 years apart. Now that the time is here I feel nervous. I couldn't wait to start TTC, to be pregnant again, to experience it all again. But now I'm afraid we aren't ready, I can't do it, two kids will be hard, I'm afraid I can love two babies the same. All these fears are irrational because I believe we can do it but it's just because the time is here that I am doubting myself. We will have to see what happens.


Renovations of the Soul

We are renovating.


We attempted an en suite bathroom renovation three years ago. It’s still ongoing. I doubt it will ever be done.


So now, we’re doing the main floor, but we learned our lesson, and this time we’re hiring it out. New floors, new paint.


I don’t like renovating. I don’t even like houses - too much work for shelter. I’m not houseproud, I don’t like decorating, and I don’t really care about style and fashion. However, the kitchen floor is coming off, their are nail-pops in the living room, and the wall-paper is peeling. It’s time!


While the kids and I sat there scraping off the wallpaper in prep for painting next week, I thought about how house renovations are much like soul renovations.

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Impossible Dog Challenge

Ok, here's the scoop - I'm at my wit's end!

We have just about the most perfect dog on the planet. He's a 9-year-old Bichon Shihtzu named Nicki, in perfect health. Lots of energy, doesn't shed, yap, demand attention, pee on my floor, jump up on me, or display any other annoying tendencies, and is incredibly flexible with our lifestyle. He's easy to train, and behaves himself wherever he goes.

He's been kennel trained since birth, and happily goes to his kennel when we leave the house or at bedtime. I'm a stay-at-home mom of two home schooled teenagers, so we are mostly home. Nicki usually gets a walk every day, and lots of one-on-one play time, mostly with my 16 year old son who adores him.

But here's the problem:

Read about it here: The Impossible Dog Challenge

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Amazing Walker

We’ve lived in our neighborhood for about 12 years now. Soon after we moved in we noticed an older oriental gentleman walking in the area. My guess is that he has an artificial leg - or at best, a leg that is mostly lame. The amazing thing is, this man walks everywhere.

We’ve often seen him miles away from home, with a backpack slung over one shoulder, baseball cap on his head, limping along. He always has a big smile, and is happy for conversation, though his English is very poor.

I'm sure walking is not an easy thing for this man. We live in an area that has exceptional bus service, but this man chooses to walk. I'm sure he walks several hours a day.
I let the thought of this man inspire me on those days when I just don't feel like getting out of my chair and doing my required distance for the day.

If he can do it, so can I! (and, by the way, so can you!)

Happy Walking!

Darlene

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fresh Water

"A change is as good as a break"

Sometimes we need to make a big change in order to get a fresh start. Such has been the case for me!

Last week I finally came off a 40 day computer fast. That was a challenge, I assure you. It's hard to imagine how much of a fixed place the computer has taken in my life. It's a good thing to let go of from time to time, though! Amazing how much free time I had each day! I got lots of deep cleaning done both in the house and in my soul. New revelation, amazing experiences, and a fresh start. I feel like a new woman.

Read More Here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Am I being unreasonable?

One night a week I like to go to my local gym and participate in a yoga-fusion class. One night. For the past 5 weeks, I have not been able to attend my class for 2 reasons; my husband was out of town for 2 weeks, and my children have sports team obligations.

Tomorrow is "yoga night". My son has a baseball game. I innocently asked my husband if he could take our daughters along to the game so I could make it to my class. He started coming up with reasons why he couldn't do so -- he's been home to help with the kids almost every night; he's got yard work to do; lame excuses in my opinion. 

So I put on my bitch hat and said, "my class is on during the baseball game. If you don't take the girls, I will be stuck at home, and the yard work will still not get done. I will likely be home before you are. There is NO reason you cannot take them with you." The proverbial foot was put down.

Am I an ogre? 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My poor son and his asthma!!

Usually in the AMs Justin would bang on his door telling me he is up and wants out of his room (we close his door at night.) But this am he didn't do this at all. Never heard a peep from him. So at 8:00 I went in to see him and there he was laying on his bed awake. That is not my boy!! The way his face was was just not right. Us Mom's know their kids and know when something is wrong. I gave him his puffers as I was told to do. Then at 10:30 it seemed he was having problems.So I gave him another shot.I went in to check on him again and it seemed his lips were a bit blue (in my opinion--- hard to tell). So Hubby and I decided to take him to the hospital.We get there and they check his oxygen level and it's fine. That's good.But they gave him FIVE puffs of a puffer!!! They gave one puff and waited for him to breath that in (about 10 breaths) then shot another one. Till they reached five!! Then they gave him oral steroid too. Then they sent us home. So now I have to give him one puffer twice a day. And another puffer every four hours for at least two days (or when ever needed). So yup that is my life right now. Thankfully he was not admitted this time around and we can get this fixed sooner than later! Wish us luck!
__________________

Monday, May 25, 2009

Potty training...the sequel!!!

So at the ripe old age of 3 1/2, Rhiannon has finally decided that she is ready to get potty trained!!! For the last week, she has been peeing in her potty regularly during the day, and as of yesterday she is in "big girl underwear" for the daytime! I'm so proud of my little one, it's been a long time coming! Of course we are having little accidents still, as I'm typing, her block bucket is being disinfected after she decided it made a good potty, but hey life's good!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Year of CrockPotting

Several months ago I heard a story on "Good Morning America" about Stephanie, a freelance writer who made it her New Year's resolution to use her crock pot every day for a year in 2008. During her endeavor she developed and compiled some wonderful recipes, many of which have become standbys in our household. It is amazing how many different meals this lady can whip up in the crock pot and, even if you do not aspire to use your crock pot every day for a year, it might give you at least one or two good recipe ideas!

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My son hates girls already?!!

When Hubby and I tuck Justin (age two) in we kiss him good night. Well Hannah (Age four) wants to kiss him night too like a big sister should. He puts his hand out in front of her and says "no Hannah! No kisses" She then hits the floor on the verge of being in tears. She says to me "Justin kisses every one (meaning ma and my Hubby) but me"! I fell so bad for her!

Tonight I go and kiss him and he takes his hand and wipes away my kiss off his cheek and says:

"ewwww"!!

Holy Cow is he starting early or what?? Funny little man!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Workout

So how long can I use the excuse I just had a baby to explain the many exta pounds I am carrying? It feels like I have been pregnant for YEARS!!! Cian was born in Sept 2007 and 10 months later I found myself pregnant with Auley. So now after two glorious almost back to back pregnancies in which I gained 60 lbs each (thank god I lost the first 60 before getting pregnant the second time or I would really be in trouble) I am desperate to take my body back! Auley will be 8 weeks next Tuesday and I think that means the excuses are over!

I went out and got a family gym pass today. I looked long and hard for a facility that had all I wanted in a gym and guess what it came down to... great personal trainers? Lots of classes?Nope. The pool? Nope. Location? Nope. Somehow when you have kids everything becomes about them including what gym you go to. It came down to the daycare. The daycare!!!! Not a fancy sauna or towel service, not an on site Starbucks. Of course who I leave my kids in the care of is more important than all of these other things but I was hoping to have it all! Unfortunately in this fitness/weightloss journey I can't have my cake and eat it too and I can't have quality affordable childcare and towel service too.

So we got our membership all set up yesterday so that we would be all ready to go work out today. I packed my gym bag, packed the boys bag which was to include diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for each of them a snack for Cian, a soother for Auley.....? Did I forget anything?? Socks! I always forget socks for myself. Bags packed. Check.

In the morning we got dressed, and fed, shoes and coats on, (oops mom forgot to eat and probably should have something if she plans on having any energy to workout) ok....moms fed, kids in car seats, bags in car, drive to gym, haul the two kids (one sleeping in carseat) and two bags into childcare center, drop kids off. Wonder to self is this worth it??? It is exhausting enough just to get to the gym. So I do finally get to the gym drop my bag in a locker, put on my runners, walk out into the fitness center and.......now what??? Seriously. I didn't even know where to start. I spent so much time plotting out just getting to the gym that when I finally got there..... ???? So that is my plan for this weekend to work out my work out plan beyond just getting there. (But isn't that half the battle won already?)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Darn Elmo

Yesterday, my husband told me that John was calling for mama for most of the morning.

awww. How sweet.

And then he realized that no, in fact, John had been calling for Elmo ("Mowmo") for most of the morning.

I keep meaning to include the link to my blog but I ALWAYS forget!
www.talesfromthemothership.blogspot.com

Monday, May 11, 2009

She walks


My daughter is walking! She started on May 6th. Two days after she turned 13 months old. Everyone said I would dread when she walked because she would be in to everything. My daughter has been pulling herself up though since 7 months old and since that day she was in to everything so now that she walks I haven't really noticed a difference. I just think it's so cute now that she can walk!! Her little penguin waddle is just one of the many ways I can see more child in her and less baby. I think it's time to start planning a sibling for her. I've always wanted two at two years apart. So I am thinking in July we will start trying again!! Ah things are good.


Mother's Day

Yesterday made me all broody and introspective about being a mother. It was my first Mother's Day, with a baby on the outside, An almost 1 year old, who has changed my life so much, that I don't remember what I did before he arrived. This comment sums it up well;

"It feels like something you really wanted but were scared to ever even hope for came true, and sometimes you still don’t quite believe it. " - gngrgirl, http://www.multiplebaby.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blue Toe Nails

This is my "thing".... I love having blue toe nails.

Avon has the best quick dry nail polish and I love it for doing toes!

My girls see how happy it makes me to have blue toes and now they want it too.

Here's to sharing some blue polish with the girls!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Night Time Training

It's funny...I didn't have to "toilet train" any of my kids...they just did it on their own. Night time Training is another story though.

My oldest son....it's only been just about a year that he's not been peeing the bed....I was very excited to one completely out of diapers!

My next child, another son....still pees the bed. Doesn't matter what I do! I can wake him 10 times a night to go to the bathroom, but he'll still have a little pee saved up just to ruin the sheets. He just turned 6 and I've all but given up. Honestly though, this is the same little dude that wasn't day trained until 4.5 yo. I'm not too worried...I'm sure his wife won't have to worry about have pull ups for their wedding night.

My next child, a daughter...she just turned 4 in Dec. I don't even remember ever trying to get her to go pee on the toilet. She just did it one day and never wore a diaper again! Well, this past Saturday, I was at a wedding and the babysitter forgot to put the pull up on her for bed. I didn't know this until Sunday morning when she comes up to me saying that she's dry. I told her good job and go put the dry pull up in the drawer to use tonight. She then proceeded to tell me that she was in underwear...still not understanding, I asked where the pull up was...she told me she had slept in underwear....this finally caught my attention. So Sunday night, I put her to bed in underwear again....Monday morning, she was dry. Two nights...wow! Are we onto something here? Monday night again she went to bed in underwear...this time she didn't make it through the night...about 530am, she peed the bed. No biggy. Tuesday night underwear again and Wednesday morn she was dry. Tonight again, she's in underwear so I'm hoping that soon I can officially declare here Diaper Free!!

Now on to the next challenge....toilet training a two year old!!!

Should I be missing my husband?

My husband left on May 1 for a course in Portland Oregon, and will be returning May 10. I know as a wife and mom of 3 boys, I was looking forward to this "break". The kids and I are "baching it" and we even had cereal for dinner one night! My husband calls via Skype to chat with us each morning. It's great as the boys get to see him while chatting, its pretty cool actually. BUT the first few days he was gone he must have called 3 times a day to chat. He was driving me crazy and he wasn't even at home!! LOL
I do love him and miss him, somewhere deep down in my soul, somewhere... I really do, but I do know I am really enjoying his absence too!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

China Syndrome Part 2

It's been nearly 2 weeks since my husband left for China on a business trip, and somehow I've managed to limp my way through morning-getting-ready-for-school routines, preschool duties, meal preparation, shopping and kids' after school activities with almost no outside help. Today, however, the tiredness and stress reared their ugly heads. My girls were the unfortunate targets of all my pent up anger towards my husband and his absenteeism. I found fault with almost everything my dear daughters did today. I yelled. A lot. I felt, and still feel, so horrible for how I treated those 2 sweet darling babes today. All the hugs and I'm sorrys will not take back the screaming and angry words. I hope my girls will be forgiving of my behaviour. I'm finding it very difficult to forgive myself, but I will go to bed and pledge to start tomorrow on a better note. One look at my sleeping babies will give me the inspiration to be the "good mommy".

The Road to Mother's Day

I didn't realize how much "stuff" is out there about Mother's Day. There's commercials, newspaper articles, online stories, articles, blogs. It's overwhelming. I think I may just be drowning in it.

I'm just not sure about this Mother's Day. It's definitely going to be bittersweet. While I am thankful and blessed with my own son and furbaby, I'm saddened that this will be my first Mother's Day without my own mom. Don't get me wrong, every day is tinged with a little bit of sadness but man oh man, Mother's Day. That's right up there with her birthday & Christmas.

I don't want to wallow in my grief and tears. I want to be able to remember the happy memories, to be able to think about her and smile, maybe laugh at some small quirky thing. I want to be able to share my mom with my son, her only grandchild. I hope there will soon be a day that I will be able to think about my mom and be happy and not this overwhelming sense of sadness. I want to celebrate her life and the person she was and the lives that she touched.

As it gets closer to Sunday, I get a bit more teary and my heart hurts just a little bit more. I keep telling myself that it's just another day but it's not. It's just another day that reminds me that my mom isn't here anymore.

My husband is going out of town this weekend so I've invited one of my sisters to spend the weekend with me. If it's difficult for me, then I'm sure it's 10x harder for her. We'll comfort each other and remember the good times together.

Been a while

So it's been a while since I've posted on here. I just haven't really felt like doing anything creative or being too involved in anything lately. I've totally slacked on my scrap booking project I was working on and totally have been avoiding blogging. Life just hasn't really been all that great lately. I've kind of gone back into single mom mode and it's tiring. What little help I get from the significant other who really isn't all that significant is barely any help at all. I'm tired and worn down and frustrated that I put in so much effort in the current life and it feels like it's just all been thrown back in my face. I've done what I can and there's nothing else I can do to make anything better, and I don't think I want it to get better. All I can say is I don't know what I'd do without some of my friends. My friends have always been my family. My family has really just been people who come in and out of my life at their convenience and right now the only reason I have a relationship with my family is because of Kai.

This past weekend I got to see my best friend who has been my best friend for almost 13 years. We spent our giggling teenaged years locked up in her bedroom drooling over posters of boys, listening to the same music and chatting about everything. When I moved it was one of the hardest things to do because her family was a second family to me. Watching her and her siblings grow into their own families is incredible and I love that I'm still included in their lives. It was so hard to say good bye though because I miss having her around in my life on a regular basis. Now we talk maybe once a week for a good 3 hours on the phone and Facebook each other, but it's just not the same. I don't have a really close friend like that here and although I do have one who is close it's just not the same.

It just seems these last few years just as I get my life on track I de-rail all of a sudden and everything goes every which way and I get caught up in the whirlwind and don't know what to do. This time it affects Kai though and I hurt for him knowing that the big change coming will be so hard on him. I just hope like all the other times we do get through this okay and Kai realizes every choice I make is to better our lives together and to focus on him having a healthier and happier future. One day I hope he understands we all have to make sacrifices to live a better life.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Baby is off to school in FOUR months!!

Come September my life will change. Hannah will be in school for five hours a day, five days a week! Justin will be in preschool come September as well. He will be there two days a week for two and a half hours. So I will lots of spare time on my hands. And I will love it. I am sure I will be lost for a bit. But you know what? I will get used to it pretty quickly! And I will LOVE it!
I can not believe that my baby girl will be off to school in four months. It blows my mind! I think, come September our lives will change a great deal!
Hannah will be a young student as she will still be four.She will be five in November. But I think she is ready to go.
She is to get her five year needle at the end of this month. Not too sure how that will go down. She has had blood tests done over the last few years but her last needle was when she was a baby. She was a bit difficult getting her blood t done. So I am worried about how this will go. Thankfully Robin has taken that day off.
Then the beginning of June is going to be a busy time. Her orientation is in June.. She will be going to school from 9:00 to 11:00 that day to see what it's all about. We, her parents go the same time for our orientation as well. I am looking forward to this. Hubby will be coming too.
Then June 12th is her last day of preschool and her graduation day! And again Robin will be coming. This is one day I will sure to get teary eyed. I will be a very proud Momma for sure!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The ups and downs of Potty training!!!

Well over three months ago Eric started taking off his diaper, several times a day so I got him a potty. I figured if he was doing this then he might want to go on the potty or big toilet like his big brother and daddy does...
Well it was great. He took right to it and from the first day he never popped in his diaper or underwear again. He started to wear underwear about 4 days after we got the potty. He was doing great..never having an accident with pop but a few with pee but hey he was just starting out...
So jump to Easter..we go home to NL for a week. He is doing ok but has a few more accidents there. I say it is the excitement and all the people and say things will go back to normal when we get home. Well nothing in our lives are normal right now. My hubby is in AB for work, left on April 20th and I am packing and doing most everything on my own...so our lives are crazy.
When we got home he stopped going to the potty all together, I was disappointed but figured he is only 2 and I can try again later when it warms up, I don't need to be cleaning up Pee all day everyday on top of everything else so i put him back in a diaper. I know I should not have done this but I really didn't have the strength to deal with it and he was still doing his pop in the potty and sometimes his pee.
So about a week after we return from Easter and daddy is gone he stops going to pop in potty too...So I felt totally defeated...but accepted it as a set back.

However today he decided he wanted to sit on the potty again. Mind you he had already done everything in his diaper but it is a start and I cheered him on for wanting to sit there so we will see what the days ahead bring....

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Toddler posting/Blogging Community


It appears my toddler thinks I have not been posting enough and took it upon himself to publish some nonsense for me *embarrassed* Not to worry I have since deleted his posts and I apologize to anyone that was inconvenienced by his over activity with the publish button! I have now learned not to leave the laptop open unsupervised.

It has been extremely hectic around here. Note a difference between busy and hectic. It doesn't feel like we've really done much in the last few weeks but with a new baby and chasing the toddler around, as you can see from the previous paragraph he is quite active and loves to get into absolutely everything, I feel as though I've been constantly on the go. The baby is now 5 weeks old and I am finally starting to feel like we might have a bit of a handle on things.
The toddler is an extremely busy little guy. Imagine a mini hurricane that moves through your house from room to room emptying drawers and clearing shelves leaving a trail of mass distruction in its wake. He loves to explore and discover the world. What will happen if I do this. What will happen if I climb that? What does this room look like from the top of that table? I wonder what that stuff in the dogs dish tastes like? Why can't I shower fully clothed? Oh I think my little brother needs a high five... right in the face! eeeek (yes that's happened). Like I said...... busy little guy! It is wonderful and tiring to experience all at the same time. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart let me tell ya! It is nice to know that I am not the only one out there going through this kind of thing.

I was so excited when Britt put together this mom page. I have been reading blogs for a number of years now and marveling at how women from all over create these mommy blogging communities full of friendship, support and encouragement. Women putting themselves out there sharing their thoughts, feelings and Families with each other and helping each other through the joys and disappointments of life. Reading the comments and posts of these blogs has made me want to become part of a blogging community and I am so thankful that Britt gave us a place to start. It has been tough to keep up with posting and commenting these past few weeks. Hell with a new baby it is tough to keep up with showering. But I am hoping now that the baby has settled in with our family and we have all had a chance to get used to each other that I will have more time to get to know you all a lot better. And who knows if I forget to close the laptop the toddler might take his opportunity to say hello too! Thanks for putting yourselves out there.








Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day in the Park!!!

Well I have to say when we planned our day in the park we never really checked the weather. However it turned out to be a great day, the sun was shining and the kids had a ball. I meet up with my friend and her two kids. We packed a picnic and away we went. the kids played on the pirate ship and ran around and we just sat back and watched. We had a tea and chatted. Adult conversation was nice.
Lunch time so we set out a blanket and broke out the food. The kids ate, some more then others but they had to much to do. They played for a while longer then it was time to get out of the sun for bit....we hit some stores to check out some party supplies, my oldest has a birthday coming up.
After a little shopping we heading back to the house so the kids could play on the swings and we could get some supper, yum pizza....still hot out I took out some scissors and chopped off the boys pants...I forgot the shorts, it is still April.
All in all it was a great day and we had fun. The boys were very tired and I have a sun burn on my left arm but that will go away....can't wait to do it again...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Heart broke a little this morning :(

It is so hard to see our little ones get hurt. I first should say that one of the biggest obstacles for my daughter with her autism is her social skills. I try really hard to explain what is okay and what isn't and try to help her but there is a lot to learn.

Today I dropped her off at school and the bell had not yet gone. I sort of stand near the van while she plays and until I can see she is in the school. She happily ran over to a group of her friends. They where running back and forth and dd joined them only to be told by one of them that "you can't play with us cause your not part of our group!". Dd stood there for a min. and then walked away with her head down and sat on the ground by a tree looking so dejected. I watched for a min. and then walked over to her to talk to her about it. I asked what was wrong and she almost in tears said that her friend said she couldn't play with them. At that point the friend heard me or saw me and came over to say that since dd wasn't there when they started their game that she couldn't join. Luckily one of the other friends who is probably a better friend to dd said she could join their group and then the bell rang. I did tell her that when people are playing a game some times you can't join the game even though I don't think it would have been a problem for this game. I headed back to the van and just started crying to see her so dejected and rejected.

I know this is something that goes on at playgrounds and schools all the time for "normal" kids. I shouldn't take it so personally but having been the teased fat kid, and not included it really hit a nerve. My daughter has her faults but she is a warm friendly girl who loves to be with people and she sees everyone as a friend or a potential friend.

It is hard cause if she was "normal" I think she would be accepted better or even if her issues where more noticeable ( not that I wish that) people would have a better understanding and acceptance. I don't want to baby her I just wish I could do something more to help her integrate. Oh well she has probably already put it behind her while I sit here dwelling on it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Name is Autism!

I found this on the web...and having two children with autism...it brought tears to my eyes and I just wanted to share it with everyone!

My Name is Autism
Written By: Omri Fiman/Marty Murphy

Hello. Allow me to introduce myself to you. My name is
autism. Perhaps you know me or know of me. I am a
condition, a "disorder" that affects many people. I
strike at will, when and where I want. Unlike Downs
Syndrome or other birth "defects", I leave no marks on
those I strike. In fact, I pride myself on the ability
to infiltrate a child's life, while leaving him or her
strikingly handsome. Many people may not even know I
am there. They blame the child for what I cause him
or her to do. I am autism and I do as I please.

I am autism. I strike boys and girls. infants and
toddlers. I find my best victims to be boys around the
age of 2, but any child will do. I like children and
they are always the true victims, though I take
hostage the others in the child's family as well. It
is a bit like getting 2 for the price of one. I affect
one child and "infect" the entire family.
I am autism. I strike rich and poor alike. The rich
combat me with education and therapy. The poor shut
their children away and cannot afford to fight me. I
am able to win in the lives of poor children more than
I am those of the wealthy, but I will try to take root
anywhere.

I am autism. I am an equal opportunity disorder. I
strike whites, blacks, Mexicans, Ukrainians, Russians,
Poles, Slavs, Japanese, Koreans and Fins. In fact, I
strike everywhere on Earth. I know no geographical
bounds.

I am autism. I do not discriminate based upon religion
either. I strike Jews and Christians, Muslims and
Buddhists, Atheists and Agnostics. I do not care what
religion a person is or what beliefs he may hold. When
I strike, there will be little time for any of
that anyway. When they find me, they will question
everything they believe in, so why would I strike only
one group? I have affected followers of every religion
on the planet.

I am autism and I am strong and getting stronger every
year, every month, every day, every minute and every
second. I am concerned that money might be allotted to
combat me and my takeover of children, but so far, I
have little to fear. Some countries like Kuwait, are
spending quite a bit of money to assist those who I
have targeted and some, like the United States, would
rather spend money on such ludicrous things as
discovering the number of American Indians who
practice Voodoo, as opposed to combating me. In an
atmosphere such as that, I can flourish and wreck
havoc at will. In places such as that, I rub my hands
with glee at the problems I can cause to children,
their families and to the society at large.
I am autism. When I come, I come to stay. I take the
dreams and hopes of families and trample them with
delight. I see the fear and confusion in the eyes of
my victims and the see the formation of wrinkles, the
worries and pain on the face of their parents. I see
the embarrassment their child causes because of me and
the parents unsuccessful attempt to hide their child,
and me. I see tears the parents cry and feel the tears
of their child. I am autism. I leave sorrow in my
wake.

I am autism. I taketh away and give nothing but
bewilderment and loathing in return. I take speech and
learning. I take socialization and understanding. I
take away "common sense" and, if I am allowed to
flourish, I take away all but their physical life.
What I leave behind, is almost worse than death.

I am autism. I fear nothing except courage, which I
thankfully see little of. I fear those who take a
stand against me and attempt to fight me and bring
others into the fight as well. I fear those who try to
make it safe and easier for my victims in the
community, and their families. I fear those who push
ahead, despite the fact that I am in tow. I fear the
day I will be eradicated from the planet. Yet, I do
not fear too much right now. There is no need.

I am autism and I bet you know me or know of me. If
you don't, you probably will soon. I am marching
forward faster than I ever have before. I am looking
for new children all the time. I am looking for new
children to consume and new lives to destroy. I dread
the day I will be looked upon with pity or worse yet,
understanding, for that day, is the day I will begin
to die.

But in the mean time I am safe, free to prowl onward.
Free to cause the pain and suffering that I do so
well. I am on a mission and have much work to do and
thankfully no one is stopping me yet.

Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is
autism. Perhaps you know me of know of me, if not
don't worry, you will meet me soon....


Dear Sir or Madam,
My name is Omri Lior Hodiya Fiman. I am called, for
the most part, Mouse. I am 25 years old and I have
autism. I am able to hold down a job and able to work
a computer. I can also write rather well. One thing I
cannot do is speak well. With all but a few
exceptions, the words get stuck in my head and won't
come out. I have meltdowns frequently and often have
to wear a helmet to protect my head. I have 2
advocates that help me but there is much they cannot
do for me. There is so much I know that I need and yet
I have no idea where to start. What I do know is that
1 out of every 166 children has autism spectrum
disorder (statistics recently updated by the CDC).
If one out of every 166 children were born with
defected limbs or mental retardation, something would
be done. If one out of every 166 calves born in Texas
were born with defects, something would be done. If
one out of 166 people were dying from poison, the
product would be yanked from the market with great
fanfare. But, nothing is done about autism. I will
never live the kind of life other people will. I am
able to do some things other autistics cannot do. I am
not able to do some things others can. Unlike diabetes
or asthma (both also unseen to the naked eye), autism
effects each person very differently, but affect us
all it does. Autism has robbed me of many things I
wish I had. How much of the future of our society
has to be stolen before people will take autism
seriously. Those of us with autism would like an
answer. 5 years ago, one in 500 children had autism. 2
years ago it was 1 in 250. Today it is 1 in 166. The
clock is ticking. What statistic is the magic one?
What number will bring the world to its senses? What
number will bring about research funds and funds for
therapy and insurance reform regarding autism? Can
anyone give me the answer or do we have to wait for
hundreds of thousands of our future children, to be
born into a life of autism? We are all waiting for our
answer.
Sincerely,
Omri H L Fiman

Why Can't All Weekends Be So Good!!!

After weekends like this one i stop and wonder why all of them can not be so good! I had the kids this weekend and on the most part they were great and didn't fight a whole lot. We were very busy, mostly to do with my daughters soccer team just getting their outdoor season started! We were supposed to have our first practice last Wednesday but due to the snow and the horrible weather we had to postpone to having our first practice yesterday. Got them out for an hour and a half....a team of 15 and many of them new to the game which is tough when you are at a competitive level. But today was our first game and they truly amazed me!!! We won our first game 6-1!!! It is such an amazing feeling to be the coach and be so proud of 15 girls when only 1 of them is your own. Let alone the fact that my daughter, Lindsay scored 4 of our 6 goals!! So proud of her too! If it is any indication of how are season is going to go i can't wait....it will be AMAZING!!!
All during soccer my little guy got in lots of park time and just enjoyed being outside. Not a big watcher of the game but loves the outdoors!!! But we just walked in the door not to long ago and as i speak they are finishing up dinner. Time to get bathtime going and get them off to bed in just over an hour!!!