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Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Fakesgiving

I decided to skip Thanksgiving this year, not quite sure why.  Perhaps I thought I would have the willpower to watch it unfold on Facebook without getting physically involved.

Last year, with an 8 week old newborn I had the same mindset (and a solid excuse.)  As I stalked photos of my friends and skyped with my family I felt twitchy (more likely from lack of sleep and sore boobs.) Undeniably though, something was missing.  By Saturday I had obtained a couple turkey steaks, potatoes, instant stuffing and this gravy that comes in a microwaveable bag.  First year in the new house with our new baby.  I was going to start the tradition even if it killed me (and even if I had to nurse at the dinner table.)

I didn't realize it would be a tradition of me trying to ignore one of the last great holidays.  There are lots more excuses this year: We don’t have enough room in our house, Christmas is coming and I’m completely unorganized, it will be lots of work and I’m just flippin worn out.

Honestly now that I think about it- maybe it’s just plain ole homesickness.  Que head in sand.

My American genes must be stronger than I realized.

When I went food shopping Wednesday (see just like I would have if I were back home!) after days of scraping by on ‘cupboard surprises’ due to Lavinia being sick- we were filling up our shopping cart.  I spotted cranberry sauce on display- yay American products! Though I’m meant to be on a budget- I grabbed a jar without looking at its price tag. Nostalgia- gets me every time, a marketers dream.

And since I’m on a supermarket-chain, meat-boycott I purchased a little free-range chicken at the Butcher with no real plans for it. See what my subliminal mind was doing there?

I also happened to have a large, organic pumpkin left over from our Aussie Farmer’s Direct veggie box.  I could not possibly let another one go to waste just because my freezer is already full of pumpkin puree (Christmas prep, maybe I’m not as disorganized as I thought.)  See how all the elements of the perfect Faux Thanksgiving are coming together?

I even had stuffing mix in the cupboard (from last year) and contemplated using it because the expiration date is still one more year from now (that can’t be healthy, stuffing mix which has a shelf life of two years.)  Give yourself permission to take a shortcut I told myself....use the boxed stuffing or skip it altogether. But it’s been open for A WHOLE YEAR.  So no.  My toasted one inch cubed breadcrumbs had just come out of the oven.  You can't have Fakesgiving without homemade stuffing!!!

Could I help myself? No.  I could not.

Tired as hell, my 14-month-old, teething baby finally went down for a nap. The house was a mess, laundry needed to be done and I my hair had not seen shampoo since the weekend. Yet... let me make the most delicious gosh darn pumpkin pie you have ever seen.

No whipped cream or ice cream.  What ever shall I do?  How bout just whip up some coconut cream with vanilla extract and honey.  I’m as gangsta as Martha Stewart. 

By the time Matt arrived home from work I was spent. And a tad crabby.  But you know what?  Those smells coming out of the oven and the anticipation of that gorgeous pie....perked me right up.  The wine helped too. 

It’s a little sad that I cooked the meal all by myself but at the end of the day it was worth it.  I’m thankful for giving Thanksgiving its proper place in our family.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Taking Stock: A Bloggy Assignment

I was challenged to answer these questions as part of my blogging course. Even on a boring old day, there were some obvious big themes playing on my mind.
Sick Baby Snuggles

Making : A new and improved blog!
Cooking : Roasted beet and carrot risotto (getting creative with the remnants of last weeks veggie delivery)
Drinking : Lemongrass, Lime & Ginger Tisane tea (daydreaming about coffee)
Reading: 'Not that kind of Girl' by Lena Dunham.  She's a bit elitist for someone trying to glorify being a social outcast.
Wanting: A new watch to replace the one that Lavinia  'hid' on me over two months ago
Looking: Looking into natural remedies for teething
Playing: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down by We the Common
Deciding: What should I prioritize during this particular nap-time?
Wishing: I was in #Buffalo, shoveling and drinking hot toddies #Snovember
Enjoying: The online blogging course I'm currently taking
Waiting: To purchase a flight home....depends on a few things
Liking: Social Media
Wondering: When I will have more time to myself?
Loving: My daughter's voice and all her new words
Pondering: How to fill my time most productively
The Rare Quiet Cup of Tea

Considering: What direction to take with my writing
Watching: My video baby monitor.  Because technology
Hoping: That my little bug takes a looooong nap
Marvelling: That it's almost 2015
Needing: More time, better sleep
Smelling: Roasted Carrots, Beets, Garlic and Onion fresh out of the oven
Wearing: Sweats the color of cement...okay since it's a sick day
Following: So many cool new bloggy friends on social media
Noticing: That I'm not old but I'm not young anymore
Knowing: I'm okay with it
Thinking: All the things
Feeling: A bit cooped up since my daughter and I are both under the weather
Admiring: Published Writers
Sorting: Old blog posts-is this a thing even worth sorting?
Buying: (Should be buying) Christmas gifts.  Stress!!!
Getting: More tattoos please...My birthday is coming
Bookmarking: Techie things to assist my bloggy things (SEO, and analytics- Holla!)
Disliking: Springtime illnesses
Opening: A package of homeopathic remedies that arrived today from the UK
Giggling: When Lavinia does something naughty and yells "No!"
Feeling: Based on these answers, apparently homesickness but also gratitude
Snacking: Shapes Sensations Balsamic vinegar and sea salt crackers. Need to go food shopping....
Coveting: My gold plated necklace with the longitude and latitude of my hometown #Buffalo

Wishing: That my husband could come home from work early to hang out
Helping: With some surprises for a dear friend
Hearing: Music, silence and peace...for now.  Nap-time is nearly over....

Check out the author who came up with this list.  In her blog she shares a blank list of questions in case you want to Stock Take too! 

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Body and I Have Been Through a lot Together

9 months post baby, and 13 months post

When I sat down with Alisa I couldn't believe how ripped she was, and how immaculately presented.  She was tanned, makeup done, hair did and sparkly jewelry on.  She was quite pretty and feminine, redefining the stereotype of female body builders.

I think she was a bit shocked to hear that I did not come to her to get skinny.  My goals were to increase strength, get better sleep, build muscle and most of all increase my energy.  I could see her getting excited. “Can you please kick my ass?”  I said to her.

She gave me this look like- “you don’t even have to ask.”

I had never worked with a female trainer before so I was curious to see if she would let me off the hook or be even tougher on me to prove a point.

Just deadliftin'
A Cheeky 110lbs (50Kg)

Turns out that Alisa's point of difference is her huge heart.  She gives a shit- sometimes more than I do.  Her past made her tough as nails yet she remains positive and passionate.  And kick my ass, she did.  For the first time I uttered the words “I can’t,” during a PT session (very unusual for a competitive, people pleaser like myself).  She knew when to push me and when I was actually working hard. We felt like a team. 

Peace out Muffin Top

She wanted me in the gym three times a week which would mean my family would die of starvation on a sticky floor wearing dirty undies.  So I went twice weekly.  Sometimes once.  A few weeks, none at all (life, ya know?) 

We set a goal to check in at three months.  We took actual scientific measurements of my body and totes awks embarrassing photos that I’m sharing with you all right now.

I didn't change my diet but I did try to eat more consciously.  I was determined to use our entire veggie box each week and cut down on refined carbs (for the record, I will never give up carbs- they are delicious).  Matt and I gave up our Friday night tradition of pizza and french fries.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Me Time

Namaste Momma
Lately, I’ve been a little better at figuring out how to recharge.  This is important because I need maximum revitalization in minimum time.

I stopped using my ‘day off’ to clean, cook, write (with the remaining 15 minutes) or even to sleep. It's a myth that you can get ahead of household chores or caught up on sleep. Lavinia's five-hours of childcare absolutely flies and when it’s over I wonder why I’m still tired. 

Being selfish with my time has made me feel more human.  Not sure what that means about my inherent humanity but I’m okay with that for now.

A few weeks ago I decided to take a Bikram yoga class, grab lunch, and get a pedicure.  When I went to pick up my little girl, with lotiony feet and salty hair, it felt like I had been on a vacation.  The downside of these particular activities is they cost money.  Because it was an experiment I had to stick with what was sure to work.  I’ll find less-expensive ways to unwind- perhaps an idea for a future post!

Bikram was a love of mine pre-wife, pre-mother, pre-permanent-resident-of-OZ days.  It’s a practice I wander back to often in my life and has been sort of a constant for ten years now (wow I’m old).  It might be cultish and time-consuming but it’s as much a part of me as my Buffalonian accent.

My limbs felt rusty like the tin man's.  I could not stretch as deeply into the postures but they were familiar as an old friend.  That first class after a two year hiatus reminded me how to clear my head.  Bliss.

And the flow-on effect of my self-indulgence...I started reading during nap time...screw you laundry pile! Devouring the craptastic novel (Gone Girl) in one week. That's all it took for me to fill my kindle with all kinds of non-parenting related reads. Talk about a cost-effective escape! My weekly shower tally has dropped but I'm cool with this too.

The comfort of old interests helped connect my past to my present.  If I can find ways to fit more of them into my daily life I might just feel more sane, less fatigued and a helluva lot more relaxed.

Happy Mom, Happy Babe

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