A weighty issue

About a week ago we finally saw the end to a week long power outage. Seriously. We had a tropical storm come trundling through our area, everyone believed it would hit very south of us. It didn’t. Lots of bluster, lots of rain and no power. We left the day it hit to head to my in-laws for a few days (it was actually a planned trip, it wasn’t due to the weather). When we got to our intended destination (which was where the storm was supposed to hit), everything was clear and just a bit windy. Weather is so interesting.

By the time we got home we had lost everything in our fridge and freezer – by freezer, I mean the little one attached to the fridge, we don’t actually have a deep freeze (I know, we’re odd). It sucked, but was actually an opportunity to toss out all the crap we had, and start over with fresh, healthy options. Around this time a friend introduced me to Sparkpeople.

You see, I need to lose weight. I know, I know – a lot of people tell me that as long as I am healthy that weight shouldn’t be an issue. Well, it is for me and always has been. I’m 5’1″ and I won’t tell you my weight because I am thoroughly embarrassed about it. I’m under 200 lbs, so that’s something, right? My health is definitely affected. My joints ache, my back is in pain when I wake up in the morning and I KNOW it’s because my abdominal muscles are – well – non-existent at this point. About 10 years ago I had managed to lose 60 lbs. This time I’m hoping to lose about 70 lbs, if not a bit more. According to certain sites a healthy weight for a woman my size is between 97.9 and 132.3 lbs as per .

This undertaking is huge for me (no pun intended). This has been my week. Restocking for a healthier me and family, trying to eat right, feeling extreme guilt and disgust when I don’t eat something healthy, feeling tired, weighed down, and downright horrid for not losing a single goddamn pound. NOT ONE. I am a breastfeeding mom with 3 kids. I have walked a lot this week, I have watched my portions. Even ONE pound would have been nice.

So to this end, if you are on Sparkpeople – add me. GWENAJONES is my user name (all lower case). I could use all the help (and positive encouragement!) I can get!

Also – if you have thoughts on good exercises to do at home with children present (aka 6 month old baby), please share, I’d love to learn some!

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Sunny days

The last few days have been blistering hot here where I live…and for once I’m not avoiding it. Today, for instance, it’s already 26 C (79F) with a humidex that brings it to 32C (89F) at 11:00 AM…it’s not even at it’s peek yet (O…M…G). It was the same yesterday. A little back story on why this is a big deal to me – I think I mentioned in a previous post that I have mild MS. Along side that MS (though I’m not sure if it caused it or is just in conjunction with it) I have an intolerance now to extreme temperatures, especially the heat.

So, what does a heat intolerant lady do on a day like today – go get a tattoo in support of my local animal shelter and hit the beach! Yes, it is a beach day and the kids couldn’t be happier. I’ll be staying cool in the shade with my littlest human while the others gallivant in the waters, and it’s all good. I’ve decided to embrace the summer this year and make it work for me instead of me hiding from it. So far it’s working.

Maybe that’s what this post is really about – embracing the crap that life throws at you instead of running away. I’ve spent years avoiding things I used to love due to pain, my weight, my perceived notions of how I appear, and a slew of other excuses. It’s time to let them go (well, as much as I can) and embrace life again.

Sunny days are no longer the enemy. They are an old friend to be embraced and held dear as a method of bonding with my family and bringing myself back together.

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Like A Girl

Dear Always,

Thank you. I love this new campaign. It actually brought me to tears as I was that girl, many years ago, made to feel weak and inferior even though I was strong and every bit as good as anyone else. Even as a now 40 year old mom, I am still made to feel this way due to my emotions, my gender, my size, my age, etc. I will be showing this to my daughter as she is struggling through teenage life. I also love how you made it about the women and girls and not about your brand.

Yours truly,

A mom still trying to heal old wounds.

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Breakin’ A Sweat

I love this song. I’m not sure why but I think a big part is the energy and enthusiasm of it. Skrillex and the Doors may seem like an odd mix, but the coalesce fantastically. I need to listen to songs like this more if only to get my own energy levels up and quick my ass into work out gear!

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A break…

A break. Sometimes, that is all I want, a break. A break from everyone and everything. A break from all that I think I have to do. Then I get stuck. No break needed, the brain fog drifting in on ever expanding waves of – wait, what?

I started my day with a break. Baby fast asleep, older children still at their grandparents’ home. I thought I’d get to relax, maybe write, maybe even do that ever absent ‘gaming’ I so often speak about. I dared to open my game of choice. There are times I think that I have a minor curse. No sooner did I load the start screen of said game and – MOM! *sigh* Break is over. I think it was fun. Baby is up, time to run and clean and cuddle and snuggle.

So tired. Oh look, it’s not even noon yet. Maybe, just maybe, babe will nap and I can have a break. MOM! Nope. child #1 needs help cleaning her room. Child #2 needs help making his bed (at 12 he should know how. Note to self – teach him to do it properly). Rush to get babe to sleep, rush to help Child #2, rush to help Child #1, babe awake before that even began, dad in the mix AND…time to sit and feed babe while the cycle begins anew.

Maybe I’ll get a break later. Babe fell asleep on me. So peaceful. Typing one handed, at least this is a semi-break, no gaming though – I need two hands for that. A break to plant my garden would be nice, but it’s late July, and I have yet to change the soil in my plants. The soil the cat peed in. Can you feel my joy? The juxtaposition of the emotions and the actions make me want to laugh out loud.

Babe refusing to go back to sleep. He’s so damn cute though! Into the swing he goes, maybe it’s rocking will do the trick. Ahhhhh…a break…so tired. Zoned out at my keyboard, gaming not even an option right now, well, not until baby sleeps. Nope. Not happening.

Supper, soccer, shopping. So much to do! I need a break…oh, it’s bedtime already? The breaking of my day, time for sleep; sweet, sweet sleep.

Isn’t life funny. I take the greatest joys in the busiest, strangest of days.

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Someday

The longest day of the year. The time when the sun hangs in the sky as a beacon calling to life. The days get shorter here on out. A heralding of summer days, full of adventure just waiting to be found.

I decided to sign up with the Geocaching website and give it a go with my kids (http://www.geocaching.com/). Our first foray a few weeks ago was a failure and I know why – I didn’t take a compass. I know, it’s a simple thing. The Geocaching app even has one! But I was useless without a true hand held compass. I guess I could use the missing compass as a sort of metaphor for my life – a lack of direction, leaving myself and my family stumbling about looking for our true happiness. That’s what it is about after all, happiness.

I strive every day to make my children’s lives as happy as can be and yet wallow in my regrets and failures both as an individual and a parent. They are my issues that I need to address and face. It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and face those regrets. Dreams lost, but never forgotten. Always saying ‘someday’. Someday will never come and I need to realize that. I either face my challenges and live for my dreams or I accept that it will not come.

Losing weight, living a more active/healthy lifestyle, travelling, doing archaeology, working my dream job – they are all attainable and yet they are not. I am my own worse enemy and my greatest defender. I can create a thousand excuses and fears for as to why I do not simply live my life as I want to live it. I say every day how I want my children to be strong and live their dreams, but fail to do so myself.

Someday I’ll figure it out. Someday when the sun is high, and the clouds have faded away…someday.

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Better late than never?

I have sat down to write this post about 5 or 6 times now over the last few weeks. Once, it was going to be about the kids. Then the Moncton shooter happened and I was going to blog about those emotions. Baby was fussy when I went to write, so they never happened. Then I was going to write about how happy life is, then I found out that my old friend’s 24 year old daughter died unexpectedly, no one knows why. THEN I was going to write about how time always seems to slip away, then today my eldest had issues and my brain feels like it is nothing but mush. Yet, here I am, plugging at my keyboard because it feels good.

I need intelligent things to do. I need to work on my sudoku puzzles, I need to game, I need to study up on Druidry, I need to re-learn much of what I have forgotten from my university years (I have held on to my text for a reason). I want to learn many languages; Welsh (my father was the first in his family born in Canada from Wales), Spanish, German, Mandarin, Arabic, etc. It’s nice to dream big, but disappointing when the dreams fail to materialize.

You see about 4 or 5 years ago my memory got bad (terrible grammar I am sure). I split from my husband seven years ago and had been under a lot of stress (understatement). It didn’t hit me at once, it crept up on me. I hadn’t really known anything about MS before my flare up. I’d heard the words, multiple sclerosis, heard that it could be devastating. I didn’t know what it was though. 3 months of right side numbness, l’Hermitte’s syndrome, and my blogging brain fog and I finally got to see a neurologist. My doctor had a wonderful bedside manner. I remember telling him that I felt like a fake since that very morning I woke up feeling great! “That’s how MS works,” he said.

I’ve had 3 or 4 MRIs, my scaring hasn’t changed since that first (and only so far!) flare up. I am one of the lucky ones. My lesions have not changed, my MS is mild.

I’ve been under a lot of stress again. My 14 and 12 year olds are going through a lot of life events that most should not. I had a baby 5 months ago. I am not nearly as active as I should be or as I want to be. My brain fog is draining. I want to feel intelligent. I want to remember. I quite literally can’t. It’s depressing sometimes. BUT there is always a silver lining. I have beautiful children, a loving partner, and I am ALIVE.

What more could I ask for? Well, maybe a bit more money…but that’s another story.

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Morning Bells are Ringing or finding the silver lining in the clouds

Weird title, I know. I’ve been trying to get my 4 month old to sleep and singing him “Frère Jaques” and then singing an alternate English version “Brother John”. Problem is that the 14 year old and the 12 year old like to come in and interrupt…a lot. So, my older children are metaphorical morning bells. The last few weeks have been rough, not just for sleep reasons. My older two have had trying times and have been testing the boundaries of what they can and cannot do, and what is legal and not (sigh). My inner sailor is cursing up a storm. My outer mommy is trying to remain calm and collected (I don’t think I’m fooling anyone).

Good days outnumber the bad and enjoying nap time becomes routine not exception. Of course typing one handed while baby sleeps on my lap has it’s challenges, it is peaceful. It’s my silver linning. Even bigger silvef linning is the glass of red wine I usually get at the end of the day. I kid you not. It’s my reward to me for being and doing the best I can.

A game my family sometimes likes to play is ‘what woul you do if you won the lotto?’ It’s fun to dream. Sometimes we all get outrageous with it – my 12 year old wants his own house on ouf property. Sometimes it’s doable if we were able to save up – like travelling. Either way, we enjoy dreaming together. Another silver linning.

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A Fresh Start

Once upon a time, I had high hopes of creating a blog that was bigger than me. It grew a little and then, like my energy, deflated and failed. At least in my mind it did. It stopped being fun and I felt like I could only share it with a select few.

My last blog endeavor taught me what I don’t want. I don’t want to hide. I don’t want to force myself to be something I am not. I royally suck at both of those. In my revamping of this blog, I completely erased the past posts because they no longer fit.

In this new blog I will no doubt drive some of you batty with my kid talk. I do have three of them. BUT this is NOT a mommy blog…I am no super mom (no matter how hard I try). I screw up. I like, nay, love wine. I’m not a gourmet chef, whipping up the latest gluten free, sugar free, lactose free delicatessens. I like loud music, I eat too much, and I talk regularly about losing weight. Yes, I am pretty normal. Wrapped up in that normality is also a woman who loves the weird and macabre.

What do I plan for this blog now? Well, for now I plan on posting about life through my eyes. It’s ups and downs, ins and outs. We’ll see how that goes.

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