Archive for January, 2013

January 28, 2013

a ghost just needs a home

a week before christmas i was on the ferry to vancouver island when i found myself in front of a large and unforgiving mirror in the poorly lit ladies bathroom.

my baby was being love hushed to sleep by my spouse and my three your old was running laps, quite literally, around the washroom- offending some with noise as he slapped opened doors; terrifying others as he bent down to peer in curiously; humoring grandparents who delighted in his high energy squeals, echo experiments, and relentless questions; and irritating those without children who were used to navigating their lives, or at least their time in the facilities, without the nuisance of interruption.

it was an early ferry, full of other families who don’t consider having to arrive 1/2 an hour prior to an 8 am ride unrealistic. i don’t much mind. i was always a fan of the morning and at this point i’m well used to waking up 7 days a week to bright eyes and high needs. i was tired, though, and looking at myself straight on i was undeniably pale and weary appearing.

it was the first time since my husband went back to work after our baby had come home that we were all together with no frantic functional weekend hustle to contend with. just us, just space. baby was fed and was learning how warm and strong his dad’s arms were and our big boy son was trapped near me, given the too heavy door back out to the open boat. plus, he was happily terrorizing the public. i kept looking.

it had been a long and grueling 6 weeks with my spouse away from the home from dark to dark and with me having over scheduled myself and the boys in fear of feeling suffocated by home life. it showed.

i remember that i felt very calm and that i perceived the moment to be very quiet, something, i think, the other women who were around me would contest. i felt as though i had time, one of the few reasons i don’t resent the boat travel as many others do, and i stood there for awhile, taking myself in. scene was the same: black tights, black tunic, black boots, black cardigan, black purse. hair straightened, hair up. shira bracelet on. no make up. lip gloss applied.

i recall that on that day i had planned it so i could at least stand myself. i had chosen a comfortable travel outfit that was also cute enough to allow me an opportunity to run into any number of possible ex people i once shared life without wanting to cringe, or feel like i had to make excuses for my life. i smelt good, and that goes a long way in me recognizing myself.

it didn’t work. looking in the mirror i found that i hardly made sense. it got quieter. i blinked, shook my head a little, eyes still fixed. this calls for water, i thought, and i lowered myself to the sink. my body whined as i moved or, rather, my back screamed and my pelvis ached, moaned, and shifted with an audible clunk into another gear. my hands, stiff and clumsy from dehydration and the damp, found the faucet- an irritating push and receive with no option for agency- and they were soon filled with a safe tepid water. in a routine gesture, i applied to face, rubbed eyes, blinked some more. i fanned away the excess and rolled my spine up, neck and head having no choice but to obey. there she was again.

the woman looking back at me wasn’t old looking, per se, but she was so worn. she looked okay, if you knew the context, i suppose, but she didn’t look happy. i winced for the immediate pang of guilt.

it was too quiet, suddenly. i shifted focus to the external, again. feet planted, i cocked my head, listening for the sound of boy child. he was quickly located, making friends with a woman changing her baby. my eyes shifted down and i stood, listening. “i have a little baby too. he’s max, he’s so cute. mommy pushed him out her ‘gina. her bum hurts now”.

a smirk found my face and a chuckle bubbled in my throat. my eyes flicked up. gaze met gaze. there, i thought, she looks familiar.

January 27, 2013

half marathon, all of me

the rhythmic whir of the treadmill seemed to have a calming property. something, admittedly, i could benefit from. though i’ve never much liked running indoors- the fresh air and cold slap on my skin have always been as attractive to me as how i feel during and, especially, after a run- last night it turned out that i didn’t have the luxury of choice.
the day had escaped me, too much to do for my boys and our life, and i was unable to run with them, as we have begun to do they, of course, pushed along as i pant and wheeze from behind. today the daylight had vanished before i got hold of enough time and, regardless of whether i am accompanied, i no longer run in the dark.
so, feeling motivated and not wanting to waver from my training course for fear of losing the fragment of discipline the last few weeks of routine have inspired, i arrived at the gym rushed, anxious to complete a one hour session prior to closure. i made it but felt ungrounded when i began, desperate from having been largely confined by the four walls of my home and harassed, having fled from the house after performing the epic dinner, bath, and bedtime routine without any time to process or unwind.

i found myself pulsing, and not in the good way, like once a work out has been completed. instead i felt distractable, unharnessed.
it’s a strange thing running on a machine: no scenery. no stimulation. forced movement. given that it was night, and for that reason dark, there wasn’t even a view past the window in front of me, not even any static imagery to take in. the strangers running next to me provided some silent camaraderie but, ultimately, running on a treadmill is an even more of a solitary activity then running outside, where at least you are in a relationship with the space you traverse.
that’s when, with no alternative entertainment, i honed in to the hum on the machine. it pulsed too, but in a soothing, encouraging, manner. soon after, my breath was audible. my heart beat even. i relaxed. it’s then that i noticed that there was something to look at in the window.
i met the eyes of the woman looking back. she looked older and her jaw line was absent for the bloat but, i was in there somewhere and my gaze couldn’t be ignored. i looked challenging, competitive.

i felt focussed all of a sudden, and engaged. i felt ready for this undertaking. i felt great.

you’re on, i thought, and might have even said out loud.

January 16, 2013

tricks of the trade

to add insult to injury, i’m one of the lucky moms who needs to be hyper conscious of liquid and fiber intake whilst breastfeeding, if you get my drift. as if the constant leak from my bladder and mammary glands was not glamorous enough. alas, no one said being a mom was pretty.

anyhow, should you find yourself in a predicament like mine i highly recommend “grammy’s compote”. healthy, tasty, and the shit works like a hot damn (no pun intended). the only downside is your three your old may begin referring to you as a “tootie rootie girl”, not that i know anything about that.

the deets:

– chop 2 cups prunes and 2 cups dried apricots.
– throw them in a sauce pan with 1 cup sultana raisins, 2 tspns cinnamon, and 3 cups water.
– bring to a boil. reduce to low heat. cover. simmer / stew on low for about 45 mins.
– enjoy 2 tbspns daily w/ oatmeal, on toast, or with yogurt. or, satisfy your sweet tooth and down it straight (hardcore, right?).

it freezes great. oh, and it’s kid friendly too, though i would suggest reducing the serving size, unless you really wanna party.

good luck soldier.

p.s.- for those of you who find this irrelevant and/or unacceptable, i know, it’s true, i’ve hit a new low. lately i am guilty of smelling like milk, i have been known to pee myself, and i like to talk about bowel regularity. i also like tea and i prefer to go to bed at 8pm. pretty geriatric, yah? but, hey, my boobs might be considered perky if i began to hang with seniors and that sounds like a good plan, if you ask me.

January 14, 2013

focal point

“hey momma, we’re all together. see? we’re a team!”

January 14, 2013

focal point

“hey momma, we’re all together. see? we’re a team!”