Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I wanna look like a movie star without the exercise and plastic surgery!

I think that there is one thing that all women have in common - we all want to be thinner, fitter, chestier, blonder, etc. We all want what we don't have to a certain degree.

We all see the women in magazines and on tv that continually make us feel bad about the way we look.

This is a constant struggle for me. I work out regularly and for the most part I'm comfortable with my body. Sure, I'd like to wake up one morning to find my "mummy tummy" gone and the stretch marks mysteriously vansihed and my breasts back up where the belong with the fullness that I didn't appreciate before I had children, but each morning I wake up to find my parts exactly as they were when I went to bed.

I dress as best as I can to hide my trouble spots and still be comfortable and get on with my day. Usually in my mind, I know that all those girls I see on tv and in People (or In Touch or Us Weekly...ok, my not-so-secret addiction) are way thinner than their healthy range for their body type and that they don't get to sit and watch a movie while devouring an entire bag of Nibs and a can of Pepsi (not that I do that!). I do fall within the healthy weight range for my body and I don't feel like if I were to sit and eat an entire bag of licorice and a pop I'd have to work out for hours the next day to work it off so I look good for all the paparazzi that trail me constantly.

I've actually got it pretty good. I just need to remind myself of that. I enjoy working out but I'm not going to sacrifice my time with my kids and husband to work out in search of the look of "perfection". I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars on surgery to make my body something it isn't because that money would be better spend on a family vacation where we can build memories, or our children's education savings or a new wardrobe to dress the best for my body. (hey, how'd that slip in there with those other more reasonable ideas? LOL)

There is also a certain time each month that I feel worse about my body than I do any other time. My jeans are a bit tighter than they should be, and I just feel *yuck*. Its during this time that the thoughts of disappointment over what my body has become creep in.

This morning I read this post and I had my AHA! moment. Well, actually it was Elizabeth over at Confessions that had my AHA! moment, I just had to read it. The last 2 paragraphs really spoke to me.

Without this body that I have a like-hate relationship with (not a love-hate relationship, I'm just not there yet), I wouldn't have my children. I wouldn't have the memories of pregnancy and birth. Moments that have shaped me into who I am today. My body is an outward sign of the changes that my life has embraced.

I'm learning to embrace the body that I have.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Miracle of Life

I am so in love with my job!

I came home today utterly exhausted, but filled with such an appreciation for the miracle of life.

I can't imagine what I witnessed today ever getting old- the looks of pure, uncensored love and amazement written all over the faces of brand new parents the moment their son entered the world.

Tears glistening in a brand new Daddy's eyes as he looks on as his little boy is checked and swaddled.

The quiet whispers of a new Mommy to her son, the affirmations of love and expressions of excitement over seeing his face for the very first time.

Gentle, intimate embraces and kisses between a couple that up until a few moments ago had only each other. They suddenly became a family of 3.

Praise, wonder and awe of an adoring husband to his wife over the long, hard labour that she managed so well to bring their son into the world.

It didn't matter to either of them that they had endured hours upon hours of hard labour, with him right by her side the entire time telling her how proud he was of her and how strong she was, all that mattered was that moment. The instant that their world shifted and the centre became that pink, wriggling little boy, yet to be given a name, but loved with every fibre within them.

Its moments like these that make my own eyes fill with tears as I stand there, a witness to another couple experiencing the miracle that is the birth of their baby.

I can't help but be whisked back in my own memory to the day that I became a Mommy for the first time and the pure joy that I felt that day, meeting my son and watching the man I love become a Daddy. And of course the day that our second son made his appearance, no less amazing and exciting than the first. Days forever etched into my memory.

I'm so honored to be a part of one of the most important days in the lives of those 2 wonderful people.

With each birth that I am able to be a part of, my smile widens a little bit more and my heart fills with the knowledge that I just might have found what I was meant to do.

I come home after a long day and night, exhausted but joyful and I can't wait to hug and kiss the boys that shifted the centre of my world and get ready to do it all again when the next phone call comes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Not all its cracked up to be...

The weather here is taunting us. We keep getting 1 or 2 nice, summery days when we let our guard down and think that perhaps, after a long drawn out spring, summer has arrived. But then, just when we're starting to get comfortable in our new-found sunshine, shorts and tank tops, it starts to rain. Not just afternoon showers, which I can deal with, but raining for days on end, with no sign of letting up. June is typically a rainy month around here, but the rain is doing nothing to bring my mood out of the pit that its been in lately.

I'm pretty sure that the weather is causing my children to be miserable as well. At least, I hope that is what it is, otherwise someone stole my kids and replaced them with ones that look like them but certainly don't act like them. The last week or so has resulted in many tears (from kids and Mommy alike), numerous bumps to the head (just the kids), yelling (all parties), frustration and just general gloom.

Yesterday was one of those terrible, awful, no good, very bad days (to quote Robert Munsch). It started out like any other- the boys snuggling into bed with me to watch tv while Chris gets ready for work and I catch a few more minutes of (not)peaceful slumber. Within minutes, this results in a kicking match to see which boy has more space that inevitably ends with Mom getting kicked, fighting while one wants to be covered up while the other doesn't, arguing because one boy can't see/hear/see and hear the tv due to the other talking/crying/yelling/sitting in the line of sight. Very soon, Mommy decides that this isn't working and we all might as well head downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast.

Upon arriving in the kitchen, the fighting begins over who will open the pantry door, who will pick their cereal first, what color bowl/cup/spoon they will get....

I am granted precisely 3 minutes and 48 seconds of peace until one boy is done breakfast and then begins bugging the other about who finished their breakfast first. An argument ensues.

I send them off to play while I try to eat my breakfast and drink my chai latte in peace before rushing upstairs to shower and get ready for the day. This almost never happens as I imagined it.

Hundreds of toys occupy our playroom, living room, bedrooms, and basement but inevitably there is always 1 toy that both boys want to play with at JUST THAT MINUTE. Crying/ hitting/ kicking/ biting (Levi's weaopn of choice lately) explodes into my thoughts as I am taking my 4th bite of oatmeal. I go to deal with the war, only to return to find my oatmeal has become cold and solidified.

I've been out of bed for about 22 minutes.

I drink my lukewarm chai and herd the boys upstairs to do something while I shower quickly. I'm finally enjoying a minute of peace while I shampoo my hair when I am interrupted by not 1, but 2 naked boys opening the door of the shower and climbing in, uninvited.

At least they aren't fighting.

I finish my shower, get out and get dressed, then go back to get the boys out and dressed. The race and eventual meltdown to be the first to be dressed begins. Is there anything these darling boys won't fight about?

The rodeo event that is getting everyone dressed finally complete, we head back downstairs where I load the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher as Levi takes them out again and Loki licks them, give the boys a snack because they are ALWAYS hungry, get them ready to head out to our morning plans (groceries, playdates, park, zoo, mall, etc).

Our morning outing goes fairly well, with minimal fighting because we are out and about. The moment feet cross the threshold into our house it begins again. Who sits on the side of the stair closest to the wall (or railing, depending on where the coveted spot is that day), who can take their shoes off first, etc....

I remind myself that its NAPTIME, my favorite part of the day (next to bedtime) and get the boys to their rooms as quickly as possible. If I'm lucky, I will get 1/2 an hour of "me time" before Luca starts asking if quiet time is over. He will do this every 5 minutes until I finally relent and let him out of his room where he will then stand over me and ask a zillion questions about anything and everything.

Levi gets up and is usually crabbier than he was before nap. That kid does not wake up well. After a while, IF Luca leaves him alone and lets him wake up in his own time, he will be happy. If Luca bugs him (the norm), he will be miserable until bedtime.

Snacks are handed out and eaten. Playdough is pulled out and played with, only to be found strewn about the house later, regardless of the fact that they are not allowed to leave the table when playing playdough. 5 minutes later, they are tired of playdough so we clean it up and they pull out crayons, coloring books and stickers. Throughout the next few days I find stickers stuck to my socks, even though the same rule as with playdough applies.

Four o'clock rolls around and requests for snacks and supper begin. I try to distract them with anything I can find.

Five o'clock and I begin making supper to complaints about what it is, regardless of whether it is their favorite meal or not. Complaining is almost an olympic sport around here.

Crying, whining, fighting, clinging ensues until 6 o'clock when Daddy (finally!) walks through the door. We have happy children for all of 5 minutes, until they are asked to sit at the table to eat. Then they remember that they don't want to eat what I have cooked and will then begin their marathon of crying and pouting throughout supper.

Mine and Chris' patience is tapped out, and as soon as supper is done, the boys are sent upstairs for a bath or shower, pjs, snack, stories and bed.

By 7:30, we hope that the house is quiet only to have to put Luca back in bed numerous times.

By about 9 I am so worn out from the day that I fall into bed and quickly drift to dreamland.

Only to repeat it all again tomorrow....

This was my day yesterday. Parenthood is HARD.

While reading my good friend Julianne's blog, I was reminded that I'm not the only one that has days like this. I'm trying to remember that and rather than wish these preschool years away in favor of more independent, less posessive kids, I remind myself to enjoy these times when they want Mommy to referee all their fights and kiss their war wounds better.

It won't always be like this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

This is What a Doula Looks Like

I came across this article via a friend's facebook post linking to it. Its a really interesting article on the misconceptions that doulas are all hippy-dippy weirdos. And, I admit, for a little while, I thought this too until I learned more about the profession.

Check out the article here and then head over to her other site This Is What A Doula Looks Like to take a look at my profile as well as others from all over the world. Very cool! (The gorgeous black and white photo of a beautiful woman and her newborn is my friend and fellow doula, Melanie with her sweet daughter, Marlow.)

I've also joined the Red Deer Doula Association, as I'm hoping to concentrate on clients from Central Alberta. So, watch for my profile to appear on their website soon too!

And please refer anyone you might know to my Belly to Birth website where they can learn more about what a doula is and does as well as get in touch with me.

Thanks again to all of you for your support as I find my way along this fascinating journey!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tooting my own Horn

I got a beautiful testimonial today for my doula care.
Check it out on my Belly to Birth blog!