It's been a couple weeks and I have a couple things I've been meaning to write about. As I write this I am sitting at home alone. Yes alone. The kids are at day-home one day a week, and it is completely an investment for my energy stores and well-being. Something I wished I had done a lot sooner to ease winter, but alas. Grateful for it now. I was talking to a friend about Joy Cultivate and she was asking me what was next and where I am at. I replied saying nothing at this moment. Which is hard to admit, that I completed halted everything. After my second workshop in February, I - ironically - was in a deep hole. Sharing ways to be well, when in reality I was not. I depleted my energy stores caring for my kids, running workshops, teaching spin, and just surviving winter. There were multiple times where I felt 'okay, this is the bottom of the bucket', sometimes for completely different reasons. The end of April is when things started moving back up. Sun came and stayed, my health was improving, sleep too - all of this I said before, but stay with me. We implemented the one day both kids were at day-home, and each time I have spent the full day in self-care. Self-restoration. Self-love. Sprinkled with a bit of cleaning. But mostly a day for me to come back to life. And even though we are half-way through June, I still feel the need to replenish my energy stores. As much as I want to dive into Joy Cultivate, and any other energy/work endeavors, I just feel like I want to do them from a place of abundance, ease, and eagerness. Being a mom is so demanding. I looked at a photo from a year ago and saw really how insane it was to have two very small babies so fast. I love it and wouldn't change it for anything, but at the time I thought Penelope was so much older than she really was. They were both babies. Small people who needed and still need so much time, love, and energy.
So yes, I am still restoring myself. Coming back stronger and wiser, but one day (one wednesday especially) at a time. Taking great strides for my physical and mental health, while still balancing life as a mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, barre and spin teacher.
I watch when the 'should's' show their faces. I should be _______. We should have ______. I feel like this Winter was a test, and this summer is my reward for passing. So I am going to enjoy it. Savour it. Live in it.
But I do feel like I owe some story-telling for what else has gone on. As concise as I can manage.
1. Kids got Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease. Disease feels like a strong word, but it was gross. Poor Elliot was hit hard. What started to look like dry patches of skin on his ankles ended up expanding and blistering in pockets all over his body. I thought it was chicken pox since it happened right after his 12 month vaccine (poor guy), but the patches were growing to large blisters. It was as gross as it sounds. His spirits were always so great. Penelope got much less intense patches, but I think her itches were worse, and some showed up in her mouth. Awful at the time but it all passed eventually - like all things. What did we learn: our bodies are great healers. Germs spread like wildfire!
2. Parenting a toddler. Still challenging, but better. Biggest changes: we almost don't do timeouts anymore. I saw a "nanny 9-11" clip and she picked the toddler up firmly to bring them to eye level (during a freakout/tantrum), asks the kid to look in her eyes to connect. This calms the kid and quiets them. She firmly talks about what happened, why it wasn't okay, and asks if they understand. I've been doing that more lately to connect and make sure she understands. It seems to have helped. No yelling, or blaming, more dismantling what happened and why it hurts when they do it. Every day is different. Often she needs a cuddle and attention more than anything. I so appreciated all the messages of empathy and guidance from people who had been or were currently in the same hard toddler boat. It is a constant work in progress though! What I learned: make the eye to eye connection, ask for understanding, give cuddles.
3. Camping. Camping was actually so successful. If it weren't for me forgetting extra padding to sleep on I would have been so stoked on everything. The kids rocked it. It was their first time even sleeping in the same room. They were ecstatic. They didn't sleep till 9, but they slept through the night till 8:30am no prob. I had one of the worst sleeps, but it was a learning experience. Next time I will bring more padding to sleep on, a couple more toys (we literally had a ball and a couple of books. I think I thought they were like 10 or something). They played with bowls and rocks and pinecones, which is what I wanted anyways. Next time: bigger blankets, less food, more toys, better mattress.
I can't think of anything else at the moment. Going to enjoy the rest of my afternoon alone! Ending in gratitude:
- I am deeply in love with Barre. It's been such a positive force for me. It's fun and new. And I'm just at the beginning.
- Wednesday's for myself.
- Getting to attend spin classes. It's nice to sit with the rest of the group and ride sometimes.
- Health. Although Mark is coming out of some light salmonella or something - he is on the mend and we are all doing well.
- Superfoods. My mother in law just moved to the coast and left a ton of incredible superfoods. I've had so much fun playing with elixirs and smoothies. Not to mention I feel amaaaaazing. About to make my afternoon cacao pick-me-up. Fun fact - no caffeine in cacao. You get a buzz, but it's different from caffeine.
- Bachelorette is on and it's the best excuse to see my girlfriends weekly.
- Spring time and flowers. Even though Lilacs are on their last legs, it was a blessing having them for a while. Saskatoon berries will be in soon enough!
- Having lunchtimes with Mark sometimes. Sitting in the grass. Spending some mid-day with him and the kids has been so nice.
Sending love from the mountains,