Who knew?

...that starting a new job would make my life so flippin crazy?!? 

*rolls eyes*

Yeah, things have gotten a lot more busy, but it's a good kind of busy.  I am really enjoying my new workplace and co-workers and the good news is, I think they like me, too. :)

I'm sorry, World... but a meteorite just crashed through the Earth's atmosphere and y'all are busy making stupid Harlem Shake videos?  I have one word for you.


Seriously,  can we all act like a populated planet that the whole Universe should NOT cheer to see blown to itty bitty bits?  You guys. 

Gotta get my workout groove back this week.  Make it so, Number One.

Also, a kitchen groove would be nice.  My little bro came to stay a couple nights a bit ago, and I made a killer Mexican meal: Black bean Avocado & quinoa salad, Cilantro chipotle chicken, Southwestern corn cakes with mango salsa and .... holy cow... BEERGARITAS.  Sorry, did my eyes just roll back in my head in remembered delight?  I think they did.  Anyhow, it's been far too long since I've tried out new stuff and had fun in the kitchen.  I miss it.  I think my family misses it, too.  lol

Excavated the Kid's room today.  Good grief.  There is a good reason I do not allow him to take food up there.

Winter can go off and die somewhere.  I have no love left for her and her hateful ways.   I'm sorry, winter, you are not going through to the Hollywood Round.

American Idol.  Who else is watching it?  I'm always behind -- catching up with my PVR tonight... but it's always a favorite girl time for the Princess and I.



Excited to embark on a bit of a change. Just accepted a job offer for a Real Job (tm) ... Color me excited and just a little bit nervous.

I am somewhat nervous about some of the new responsibilities this job will entail, but honestly am mostly nervous about how my kids will do with me working outside the home. I think in some ways it will be a good thing, they will have to work harder at home and be more responsible. But, as parents (and maybe especially moms) know, there is that ever-present specter of guilt hanging overhead.

Monday is when it all gets Real around here.

Wish me luck!


The One Where I Hope I Get A Good Mark.

The Princess is in the middle of her first stint of high school finals, a new experience that has her a little nervous. She has always been an excellent student (say it with me, please..."just like her mother...") who works hard and is bright and capable and well-loved by her teachers.

She is actually a way better student than I ever was. I was terrible for procrastinating on projects and assignments and a think there were more than a few report cards in grade eight that mentioned how much better my marks would be if I hadn't been docked so much for late assignments. Ouch.

Anyhow, last Monday, she was assigned a final project in Science/English. A big project that would count heavily towards her her final mark in the class and it was due in just four days. Four days in which she was also supposed to study and write other finals.

She set to work immediately and cooked up a rather brilliant project -- top notch work -- And wanted a bit of help sticking it all together. Somehow, once you know your mama is a graphic artist and can "do stuff" on the computer... good old cut and paste methods just don't cut it anymore. So, I spent a lot of time with her helping pull the physical elements of her project together.

Maybe too much, cause I'm very curious to know what her teacher says and what her final mark is. ;)



Two weeks off target, but here it is, my 300th post.

Let's give this little post a hand.  *polite smattering of applause* 

I could be wrong but I think it's a bad sign that just two weeks into January I've managed to get a giant case of spring fever.  And it doesn't help that this week we are enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures.  Today I think we hit -2*C and tomorrow will be about the same.

Seriously.  That's torture. 

Sweet, sweet torture.

Thankfully, I am the type of girl who can enjoy a little bit of teasing and so I will make the most of the nice weather while we have it.

But I still want SPRING. 



Small Blessings

Coaching derby has been likened to herding cats and I suppose that coaching jr. derby could be likened to coaching giddy, crazy, attention-impaired cats. It's been a year and a half, now, that I have coached our Jr. Derby League -- a challenge at times, but one that usually puts a smile on my face.

Today we finished up our Level One benchmarking process with our latest fall session girls. These girls started just four months ago; many of them not even knowing how to propel themselves on skates.  Shaky, doe-kneed cuties they were.  It gave me a great thrill today to see their smiles and pride in accomplishing this goal that they were working towards; testing and passing a fairly long list of basic skills.  Once benchmarked, they are now able to participate in non-contact scrimmage and bouts. It's kinda a big deal.

As always, there are some for whom these sorts of pursuits come easy.  Divine combinations of natural athleticism, a healthy disrespect for bodily limits and possession of their body movements/actions (which roughly translates as athleticism, although after years spent training new skaters, I can say that these two facets are not mutually exclusive) make for an easy experience for some of our new skaters.  They adapt and acquire these new skills with without difficulty, if not straight up Ease.

Many, however, are not so lucky.  As a coach, they are my greatest challenge.  Not because it is hard to teach them -- for the most part they are my eagerest pupils and very determined; a true pleasure to have in the group.  But because most of them believe -- either due to school-ground or other organized sport experience -- that they are simply not good enough.  They are full of fear and you can see through their gritted smiles the wariness of being singled out or ridiculed.  It honestly sometimes breaks my heart to see an innocent little girl of 8, or a fragile-ego'd pre-teen already bearing scars of being told she is not adequate. The teens are better and worse all at once.  Better at hiding it; but also, not able to show their true state of being in class.  My challenge is to reach them all; to impart instruction that doesn't burden them with greater fear, but gives them hope and encouragement.  To put a smile on their face when they're struggling with a certain skill or drill and hopefully to help them see that inside of them is something pretty awesome.

These ones are the ones who hold a special place in my heart.  For sure, I enjoy seeing all my girls grow and yes, even blossom into the skaters they become.  But it's these girls who strive and try and give their all to finally be "good" at something who touch me deeply and give me the greatest satisfaction in my job of coaching.  And it gave me great joy today to tell each of them that their hard work had paid off, to see the shy grins and the big smiles and sense their pride in their accomplishment.

To be honest, there are days when I contemplate leaving this coaching role. Days when I'd rather not have to block out time in my schedule for practice, or have to plan practices or fit in extra admin time for emails, etc. Times when herding my group of willy-nilly cats leaves me with a hoarse voice and a head clouded with frustration and I wonder why I am still doing this.  But today reminded me why.  Little MacAdam's freckled face and Mighty's intense efforts and Devilyn's fortitude and Danimyte's shy smile and T-Bomb's enthusiasm... all just a few of the reminders I enjoyed today.


A Nice Surprise.

When my kids were just littles, it was so easy to see all the wonderful ways they could and would have me wrapped around their itty bitty chubby fingers. 

I loved being a mama through those years.  Despite being sleep-deprived and not remembering all of it (Lord, have mercy, the Kid simply didn't know what it meant to sleep through a single sleep phase) and at times just a moment away from locking myself in the bathroom and crying on the floor... wait, I'm pretty sure I actually did that... I look back on those years with these two adorable little toddlers and feel utterly lucky and blessed to have been their mother.

I don't know what I thought, then, of being mom to a growing pre-teen/teen combo; I'm pretty sure, though, that I felt it would somehow pale in comparison to those all-consuming years of mothering, years of being so Vital and Needed to another little being.  Being the center of their little world.

And so, I am thrilled and overjoyed to find that, still -- with these children of mine growing and becoming their Own -- they can melt my heart like no other.

Like when I drop the Kid off at school after lunch; after crossing the street, he turns back to wave at me.  And not just wave, but to give me a mittened version of our I Love You sign language. 

Like when I hear the Princess playing guitar and singing in her room.  Her door is closed and so she sings with abandon and feeling and so much heart.  It brings tears to my eyes.

Like the Kid asking for a hug while I'm helping him with his homework after school because he "hasn't hugged me since lunch".

Like how the Princess and I have little inside jokes that make us both crack up when we look at each other.

Like when the Kid brings out a blanket and book to the couch and asks me to read to him.  And when I finish the chapter, he wheedles and pleads for another.

Like when the Princess kinda hangs around a bit in the evening and know that she is wanting me to tuck her in and say goodnight, but doesn't want to ask.

To be sure, there are times where I rather miss having these two as their small, cute toddler selves.  I miss the Princess' teeny little voice and the Kid's antics.  Miss seeing those little faces as they were.  But I have to say, this mama gig is a pretty darn good one at any stage.  I am blessed. 


The One Where I Make a Regrettable Parenting Decision.

Let us go back in time a few months to revisit this disaster in the making:

Scene:  The Princess' first love came to a crashing, abrupt halt a few days earlier and she is wrecked.  Fluttermama is doing her level best to ride the emotion with her and see her through, while still pushing her to grab onto herself, here.  A delicate balance of allowing her to "FEEL" stuff and talk it through and also be pushed to live life in the Now.  Cause, you know, it's supposed to go on after this kind of thing, and all.   Easier said than done, sometimes, but I have to hope for the best for her.

Evenings seem to be toughest for her.  Her emotions take a deeper, darker tone as it gets closer to bedtime.  We've spent a few nights now cuddling and talking and wiping tears and I am feeling like she needs to move on from this developing pattern.  I tend to be affected by twilight hours the same way when things aren't well, and I know that shaking things up can be just what's needed.

Sounds good so far.

Except that, at that moment... the only thing that comes to mind is zombies.  Well, the idea of immersing our imaginations into something heart-poundingly electrically NOW, something more dire and emergent than broken hearts and lost love.  Something shocking and riveting.  And The Walking Dead seems to fit the bill.

It actually does, perfectly.  Mission Accomplished. 

The show is actually pretty decent, so far a scare-gore goes.  Very little sexual content.  Typical over-the-top hollywood zombie gore (which I normally don't watch nor let my kids watch)... but fake enough to not leave a mental scar -- well, MUCH of a mental scar.  

The only problem is that I am now locked in to watching this show with her.  The heartbreak has dissipated.  Not so much the zombies. 

And I rather dislike the show.  Or rather, the gore factor.  I know it's fake.  To the point of ridiculousness, really.  I still find it a little disturbing.  I'm just wired like that, I guess.  I guess you can't win 'em all.  We just finished the Netflix seasons.  Hopefully until the recent season hits Netflix, she will be over her Walking Dead interest.  I know that I am. 

Just... Can't... Reach...


Looks like I came up just 5 posts short of my goal for the year. 

While I could be sad about that, I will instead choose to focus on all the awesome stuff I was doing instead of posting on my blog.

Like... living life. And having fun with my kiddos.  And applying for jobs.  And cooking.  Cleaning.  Laundering.  Planning a surprise 40th bday party.  Packing. Unpacking. Visiting with family and friends.  Actually using my treadmill and actually running.  (whatwhat??) And actually enjoying it. 

You get the idea.

I'm sure the other 5 posts will hit the log books soon.  Until then, enjoy, you know... life.


Holiday Sadness

In general, my holiday time with family was a pretty wonderful time.  Lots of fun and food and laughing until we fell over and couldn't laugh any more.  (thank you old home videos!)  We will be adding three new family members to our numbers this summer when my brother remarries and it was a special time of getting to know my two new nieces-to-be and a new sis-in-law a bit better as well.

However, my heart still touches a sad note.  My last remaining grandparent; my maternal Grandma, is declining both in body and mind.  Her last hours at our gathering were spent in a fog of delusion.

I have to admit that I wish there was a better way to exit this world.  It seems to hold nothing but pain and heaviness of heart and tragedy for many.  I would want better for my Grandma than what life is holding for her at this point. 

I guess that the lesson is to cherish the "living years", make the most of the time you have... the Princess asked me a rather simple but deep question when we were watching those home videos I posted about earlier.  There was more to it; but the gist of what she was asking was, "If the Young You could see the Now You (thank you, Princess, for not saying "Old You"...lol) what would she think or say? 


Memory Lane

I spent a couple evenings over the holidays digging through some old family videos.  While I'm pretty sure that there are a number of embarrassing moments recorded that I would NOT want leaked out into the InterWeb, the whole experience of looking back over fun events and moments like that was something to be cherished.

Being able to see the faces and hear the voices of relatives who have passed on touched me deeply.  It was so special to catch a moment here and there that was entirely "them" altogether... My Grandpa laying on the living room floor after a big meal as he would often do.  My Grandma sitting on the beach conducting an experiment to see what would attract or repel the horseflies.  She had applied cologne and vinegar and something else on different bits of skin and was observing the results.  My uncle's deep raspy voice, so much a younger version of my Grandpa.  My other Grandpa's camera-side observations of his grandchildren waterskiing.

And the fashion -- or lack of it -- in that time.  Good grief.  The Princess had a good laugh or two over what her mother and uncle were wearing.  She was riveted to some footage of my old youth group house parties, seeing her mama at her own age and all of the crazy fun we had.  And was maybe a little scandalized seeing one of my best friends -- a woman she now calls "aunty" -- playing her turns a little too temptingly at "Darling if You Love Me".  Oh yes, it was all caught on video!  All in good fun!  I think The Kid tripped out the most, realizing that I had a "whole life" before any of them came along.  Imagine that!!

Myself, I loved seeing all the faces of people who were once such a big part of my life and reliving some great family times and special moments with special people.  Seeing my old youth group friends made me think that organizing a reunion was in order.  Might just have to get on that. 

And I have to admit that I was made a little sad by the fact that my own family doesn't have a lot of video records.  I don't know exactly why -- maybe it's because the technology was so new at the time that we seemed to be excited to pull out the old camera and record stuff; whereas now we just take it for granted and forget that it's as handy as the push of a cell phone button.  Whatever the reason, I vowed to start getting some great footage of the years to come so that my kids have memories to look back on, as well. 


Steps to Follow In Case of Piercing Stupidity.

1)  Discover you are a special little snowflake that is allergic to surgical steel.  Seriously, you guys... no one is supposed to be allergic to this stuff.  Well, very few people anyhow.  Color me Lucky.

2)  Have friend help change out said steel jewelery for a lovely Bio-Plast piece. But wait!  Grrrr.... arghh!  It is a bit too long. 

3)  Wear long piece until it drives you crazy with the hooking on your teeth and getting caught on facecloths and clothing and stuff.

4)  On the advice of other experienced people, decide to simply cut down the plastic post to a shorter length.

5)  Not on anyone's advice, attempt this lovely end run maneuver just 90 minutes before you are scheduled to arrive at a year end staff dinner.

6)  Here ensues a drama of hilarious proportions involving a struggle between longish gel nails and an ittybitty post pin and a stud of now shortish proportions.  This involves a lot of dropping, resterilizing, muttering, assistance from the Princess and, ultimately, surrender.  The stupid thing just isn't going to work.

7) Call friend in panic.

8) Drive across town at late shopping hour to find one remaining store in order to purchase new jewlery.

9) Do this while holding the smallish stud in place against my lip with my tongue.  I looked amazing, I can assure you.  There was tongue strain and stress.  And maybe just a little drooling.

10) Purchase cheap-o jewelery at popular accessory store and run over to friends house.  Gel nails are not trusted to handle post pins any longer at this short hour... just 30 mins until dinner.

11)  Tongue can rest!  Stud in place.

12)  Stud hurts like a mutha.  It is cheap.  The inner edge is sharp and jagged plastic.

13) *insert impromptu holiday travel here* 4 hours later realize that this is no longer an issue of pain tolerance or toughing it out... this thing has shredded your inner lip and must be removed.

14) Scour small hometown on Christmas Eve for just ONE LITTLE PLACE that might have something that will work for you.

15) EUREKA!!  Bliss.  All is well with the world.

I will just say that I'm thankful the inside of the mouth is one of the fastest healing parts of the body, cause it was brutal for a day or two.  And, on the plus side, I have now changed this jewelry out myself and didn't get squicky about it.  The past two times, my dear friend has assisted because, well... because I was afraid I couldn't do it on my own.  (yeah, yeah... keep your snickers to yourselves, peanut gallery)  But now, I know I'm good to go.

I also now have extra jewelry of the right length and size in case something ever happens to the ones I'm wearing.  And I'm pretty solid on the fact that I won't be trying to change something just minutes before an event. 

Lesson learned.


Shaun T Owes Me Supper

Maybe it's because I wasn't feeling too hot to start with.

Or maybe it's because I put too much hot sauce on my pre-workout eggs. (I know it sounds sick. But you guys. It's been my pre-workout go-to meal for ages.)

Whatever the reason, Thursday night's Insanity plyo cardio circuit sent me running up the stairs only to have the pleasure of seeing eggs again.

****** side note ******
This is exactly why I choose eggs. Outside of being nature's perfect little packages of complete protein... They look about the same coming up as they do going down. Eggs or oatmeal, baby. The only pre-workout meals for this girl!!
****** end note ******

I composed myself and got back downstairs in time to catch the next circuit round. And I actually felt much better the rest of the workout. I like to think that Shaun T would approve. And possibly offer to buy me a replacement meal...



Very proud of my Princess. She had an outstanding vocal performance at her recital last night.

While I think her voice is ever so lovely, I must say that I'm most proud of how she's really been putting her effort and time into these lessons and practicing. And it thrills me to see how she enjoys performing. She is very composed and in the moment; something I cannot relate to ever feeling or being at that age.