Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Challenging the Woman Within

In less than 2 weeks I am scheduled to run my second Half Marathon.  I am ecstatic about doing another half marathon. I know this one will be very different from my first and wonder how that will work for me. Last time it was warm and sunny. I ran in temps I was not use to at that time. This time it is what I call my perfect running temperature. I love when it is between 40-50 for my runs. (Let me clarify that I enjoy that temp only for my runs, I prefer warmer weather and am not sure I will survive another winter!) This time my fellow runners will be a much smaller crowd. I wonder if this too will have an affect. There was a euphoria from the large number of runners and the support that the first half marathon brought. I am not sure what to expect with this one besides less cheering and more like one of my usual Sunday long runs.

I love fall. It is my favorite season. The colors of the trees, the sound of crunching leaves under my feet and the smell in the air. It is a good thing I run year round because with fall comes baking and I also enjoy that. When I bake, I also eat. Running helps that balance. I eat a little more so I need to run a little more.

Wesley with My First Half Marathon Medal

I am nervous. I know I shouldn't be. I have done this before. I also just broke my PR! I hit 14.1 miles. I will admit it was hard! The last two miles challenged my body. I had planned to do 13 miles in preparation for this next half but then as I was running I got it in my head that I wanted to beat 13.1. That's how my head works when I run. I am not competitive when it comes to races or life in general. When I run, I become competitive with myself. I want each run to be good (by the way, that is impossible). I want my times to get faster. I want my distance to increase. What I want is a stronger and better me. I was sore that night and into Monday. It was worth it! Every. Single. Mile.

Chase & Mama before the race
What's next for me? I would like to maybe someday do 15. Maybe even 18. A full marathon...no thank you. I admire you runners who can do it. For now I am happy where I am. I like my short runs on the weekdays and my long run on the weekends. I have a schedule I stick to and I am not a happy lady if it gets messed with. Just ask Jay and my kids, mama is much happier when she gets out for a run.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Love, Compassion, Trust & Safety: Where did it go?

I am not into TV. I could pretty much do without it. If the TV is on in the living room while I am home it is usually Disney Junior that is on. When I do watch TV it is at night time when I am laying in bed waiting for sleep to take me to a happy place. I pretty much go between three shows: Big Bang Theory, Pawn Stars or anything on ID (Investigation Discovery). Some nights I need to laugh. Some nights I need brain stimulation (I love seeing all the old things that come into the pawn shop and the history behind it). Then there are those nights I need some intrigue. I am hooked on ID! Shows like Swamp Murders, Evil Kin, Dateline, Blood Relatives, Nightmare Next Door, and the new one: Surviving Evil. Most of these shows come with some pretty disturbing details. Some sad,others down right unbelievably heartbreaking. Yet I am drawn to these shows.

They say it is like a train wreck, you just can't help but watch. Part of it is the excitement of catching the bad guy in the end. It does terrify me that such evil lurks in some people. I have fucked up dreams sometimes after watching an episode of one of these shows. One time I had a dream that Jason killed someone and cut them into pieces and burned their body.  Years later he was caught but as his partner I kept it a secret. Just last week I had another dream that an one of my clients, from a previous clinic I use to work at, held me and some friends hostage and attempted to kill us all with an injection of something pink. I woke up right before it was going to be my turn. WTF right! Maybe I should stop watching thee shows. Yeah, probably not likely to happen.

What it has also done is instill into me that people are untrustworthy. You never really know a person do you? It is always in some small, safe town that these kidnapping and murders seems to occur. A neighbor, a co worker and even your partner that you have always trusted. Everyone has a deep, dark secret.

The first day Chase went to preschool a couple of weeks back I got a knock at the door. I typically do not answer the door if I am not expecting someone. I always try to see if I can see the person from the window. I couldn't this day and for some reason decided to open the door. It was a young girl selling a Kirby vacuum who asked if she could have a few minutes of my time. (By the way, what they really mean is can I steal 25 minutes of precious time from you). Since this girl seemed nice enough and had the awful job of going door to door selling a vacuum, (Yeah, I know, her choice) I invited her in to do her presentation. Maybe it was because I was feeling emotional, who the fuck knows. Or maybe it was because she brought a little basket of food as a thank you for inviting her in (Hey, it was food! Don't judge!) As she was unpacking the ridiculously priced vacuum my head started spinning. Someone had dropped her off. What if this was all a plan to get in my house? Is she going to try to kill me and my baby? Should I go grab the phone? She looked like she was honest enough, but those are the ones that commit the crimes. Needless to say she did her presentation and left without pulling out a knife.

It happens at the store, when I go running, at random times. Those thoughts wondering if the creepy dude staring at me and my boys is going to follow me. The truck that is slowing down as I am running, is he going to grab me? Seriously, maybe I should stop watching those shows!

It also saddens me that the world has turned into a place like this. I fear having my children someday walking the streets or playing outside. When I was a child we would be outside all the time without supervision. I just can't wrap my head around sending my kids outside without me. What happened to mankind? What happened to love, compassion, trust and safety? I wish more for my children than having to fear the evil of others. I want my children to be able to live in a world where we don't have to lock our doors. I want my children to learn trust. It is my job to teach them love and raise them to be good men. To show them kindness and respect, and how to give that to others. I can only hope they make the right choices and that evil does not cross their paths.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fire And Ice

It amazes me how fast life changes. You blink and it is like you were dreaming what happened a year before. Last year at this time I was laboring with Wesley. I had gone in that morning when contractions were on top of one another only to be sent home since my body was not making progress. Soon there after contractions slowed down and I labored well into the next day. The evening of September 18th at six forty five, under a pink and red sunset sky, Wesley Holden finally made his arrival. He came like a roller coaster that derailed, yet he was here and life as we knew it would never be the same.

Brand New Baby Wesley

My life is better because of him. He is an amazing child. He has always given me this overwhelming joy that resides in my heart and soul. Isn't is astounding that children can light a fire in us that we never knew existed?! Both Wesley and Chase have given me more than I could have ever hoped for. More than I ever thought possible. The love of a child is truly magical.

What also amazes me is how different both my boys are. Chase from the beginning was a fire cracker. He was an active baby in me and the moment he entered this world there was no doubt this child was going to light up the world around him. Wesley arrived with a contentment about him. He exuded love. His eyes looked into mine as if to say everything was now perfect. Wesley has a smile that stays with you and reminds you that life is beautiful. Chase likes to shake things up while Wesley goes with it and is the content one. My boys are like fire and ice.

The differences in them balance me as I hope they will balance one another. I see pieces of myself and Jason in both of them. I see pieces of Chase in Wesley. Small ones, little fragments that compliment him. Each child is a magnificent creation and for this my heart swells with love.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Breastmilk Jewellery, A Priceless Keepsake

I love jewellery and I love breastfeeding. So when I was on Facebook one night and saw a page titled Breastmilk Jewellery I had to check it out. I instantly fell in love with the pieces that were created. I was intrigued that my breastmilk could be made into a keepsake. A piece of myself and my children. A reminder of the bond, intimacy, closeness and magic that I was able to share with my boys.
The Raindrop Pendant

After watching the page for days and repeatedly checking out the website, my breastmilk was packaged up and went on a journey all the way to Australia! Yes, I said Australia! Lucky milk, what an awesome trip! I have to admit I am a bit jealous. A short time later I received my pendant and it was worth the wait. Included was even another piece without a bail (that is what connects to the breastmilk piece to make it a pendant) so I bought a bail of my own and turned my other breastmilk piece into another fabulous pendant. I have been wearing both pendants and since I was so happy with them I asked the owner, Kate, to do a write up for me to be featured in my blog. I am thrilled she agreed!

The Trapezium Shape I made into another pendant

Hi from Australia! My name is Kate and I'm a mum of 4 kids aged 5 months to 8 years, and somehow I still manage to create keepsakes for people wanting to celebrate their breastfeeding journey through my business, Breastmilk Jewellery.
I'm actually Canadian, I came down under backpacking in 2003, fell in love with a cowboy, and I've been stuck here ever since! We had our first baby in 2006 and it was never a question that I was going to breastfeed her - because we really could not have afforded formula back then. She was born by caesarean and we had a rough start to breastfeeding, I had no idea what I was doing and quickly ended up with horribly cracked nipples. Really the first 4 months were just awful - from mastitis to oral thrush, we went through it all! I am so proud that we went on to breastfeed until she was 14 months old, and the boy and then 2 girls who came after her were a breeze. My boy weaned at 18 months and #3 weaned, with my encouragement, the day before her 3rd birthday in August this year, after feeding through 9 months of my surprise pregnancy with her baby sister and 4 months of tandem feeding.
I came across the business, Breastmilk Jewellery, when the previous owner joined the babywearing group I run locally. She came to a few meets and then my husband found the ad for the business she was selling, and the rest is history! It fits in perfectly with my passion for breastfeeding and allows me to earn a small income while staying home with my youngest 2. I am loving being able to use my creativity and making beautiful things that people seem to love is just icing on the cake!

Kate creates beautiful pieces. Along with Breastmilk Jewellery she also does Placenta & Ashes pendants and other jewellery. Her prices are reasonable! Honestly, these are all priceless!

Take a minute to check out her website. Spread the word to any other mama's you may know. This is one piece of jewellery that will always be treasured.

Be sure to go over to Breastmilk Jewellery's Facebook Page and give it a "Like". If you haven't yet been over to my page, Discovering Me In Them, come visit me over there too! As always, THANK YOU for stopping by! A very special THANK YOU to Kate for taking time to be a part of this blog!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I have been taught

In just over a couple of weeks it seems mind boggling to me that I will be celebrating my babies FIRST BIRTHday. Seriously, can someone please pinch me now?! I can honestly say the past year has flown by. It saddens me that he will be turning into a "toddler" soon. I assure you though that the title "Baby Wesley", as we call him at home, will most likely follow him for years to come.

Over the past year there have been many changes and discoveries. This Blog is called "Discovering Me In Them" for a reason. I went from being a full time mom who also worked full time to being a SAHM working part time. I thought I would reflect on some of the things I have learned about myself in the past year and what this year has taught me.

* When they tell you it is the hardest job you will ever have they are not kidding! I heard it several times and it is not that I didn't believe them, I just didn't completely understand it until now. Some days are down right exhausting and I feel like I am being pulled in a million directions. Others are filled with play and laughter. This job is unpredictable and challenging. It is without a doubt the hardest job I have ever had. On the other side of it I have never had a job give back so much in return. I can't imagine one moment without these little creatures not at my feet or pulling at me with those dirty, sticky little hands.

* I always thought I was a patient person until...wait...can you guess?  Until I had kids! I thought I could be softer and much more patient than I am some days. This actually disappoints me, kind of even hurts some days. I have to practice patience daily. There are days I manage to succeed while other days I fail miserably. This is one of those lessons that they are teaching me.

* Forgiveness. I do this daily. I have come to terms that there will be many fails as a parent. I have found that the longer I dwell on the mistakes I make the harder it is to let go and move on. Parenting is learning as you go. You have to forgive yourself in order to move forward. I tend to be my biggest critic. Each day I vow to try harder than the next. I am bound to figure it out and get it right sooner or later right?!

* Working part time and staying home has taught me balance. It wasn't easy in the first few months. I had to try find where work fit into my life after making the decision to stay home with my boys. Working from home some days is not a luxury as some people may think. Have you ever tried to make a phone call with kids around? It always seems like a good idea to do a little work when they are playing or napping. Then it happens, you pick up the phone and suddenly all hell breaks loose! There are days which I have to leave for work and being that I am with them most of the time I still struggle to feel okay with working and being away from them. There are days I wonder if it will ever feel okay. Will I adapt as they seem to do? It is a balance that I am working on still a year later but happy to say I am getting better at.

* I have been taught that these moments with my children are priceless. I may not know what a lunch break is, how to take a piss by myself, or always shower without worrying if one of the kids will be dead when I get out, but that is all okay! The past year has flown by. Shit, the past 4 years have flown by! I am happy and blessed for each and every single moment. I would not change where I am right now because for me this is exactly how it is suppose to be for me.

* The past year has taught me to be gracious for everything. Even the smallest of things. I appreciate what I have and though I have to admit there are days I would love a big house, a new car, or maybe even a new wardrobe (oh and bra's! Seriously, I don't even know the last time I bought a nice bra), that all those things are only material items. It is the people who I am surrounded with that make life incredible.

I am sure if I had more time (Time? What is that?) I may have been able to come up with 10 or maybe even 15 things to write about. I wonder if in another year I will look back on this list and find that life has gotten less crazy. Maybe I will have adapted more. Or maybe in a year this list will still be the same. Really, it doesn't matter. I feel I am right where I was meant to be. This past year I feel like I have come to a place where I feel truly happy and fulfilled. This place now, this is where I have always wanted to be. At the end of any day that is the meaning of all of this. It is all any of us ever want, pure happiness.