Monday, May 27, 2013

Biking the front range

Big boy in the trailer!!!!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Grubby guy

Still trying to figure out why my photos are looking so crappy these days. Here are some evening shots. Heiko spent the afternoon grubbing around the yard, helping dad harvest a hat salad and rubbing food into his hair.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mother's Day, round II

Here's another thing that's been rattling around for a few weeks....
It is May 12, Mother's Day. It is also Heiko's 13 month birthday today.

Despite all this, or maybe because of this, I'm feeling like a big bundle of feels today. Feely feely feels, which is pretty unusual for me to be honest. Yoga school concluded yesterday, which was a beautiful and fun day but also pretty sad for me. Everyone describes yoga teacher training as transformational, and although I don't want to be that cliche, it was actually kind of true. I'm not really going to write more about that now, except to say that it was kind of amplified for me because it was the first real 'thing' that I did outside of the house, on my own, since Heiko was born.

So here I am today, reflecting on my identity as a mother, as a daughter, as a yogi and now as a teacher of yoga. I'd like to tell you that it all feels just so natural, and yet I have to say that just isn't true. Motherhood is still such an uneasy role for me. Thinking back a year to last Mother's Day it was all so new. And, I was then an even bigger bundle of feels. Like a towering and messy straw heap of postpartum ohmygods. I think today I'm more like a tumbleweed... my thoughts and feelings billowing around all over the place.

When I was pregnant, I created the "transition" tag for my blog posts. I wanted to write about this massive change that was happening. I thought that after becoming a mother that the "transition" would be complete, yet I still find myself wanting to label a lot of things that way. I don't think I can call myself a new mama any more, yet it still feels so very new. I suppose this goes with the territory of living with a human who has more than doubled in every dimension over the last year. A human who is in a constant state of rapid change. It actually literally is all so new, every single moment of every day, despite the tedium of many aspects of parenting an infant.

But this change is welcome, and being a mother to my little guy seems to get better and more fun by the day. I remember that in the beginning, stepping out of the house without Heiko was a disconcerting experience, even it was just to go to the 7/11 for a litre of milk. The greasy hair, barf/who-knows covered shirt and ill-fitting pants had no explanation without my new blob of a baby, not to mention my hyper-emotional state which made even buying milk a potentially tearful experience. Now it is different of course. For one thing, I'm more likely to be covered in almond butter (it's everywhere, people) than spit-up. But critically, I once again feel like I am something other than just Heiko's mum. You know, I'm like, me, and stuff? The same me that had interests and ideas and whatever else before H came along. So I don't know whether to say that I'm me again, or I'm still me, or maybe... it is just a brand new me.

Speaking of which, as for yoga, well, in a way that is an uneasy identity for me too. After all, I used to really really dislike yoga. And then things changed, I stopped dancing, caught the yoga vibe, bought some lululemon pants, and the rest is history. Well, kind of. Despite the whole teacher training thing, sometimes I just don't feel really on board with the whole yoga scene. There are problems. Maybe I'll tackle the subject some other time, but the point I'm making right now (can this even be called a point?) is that liking/doing/teaching(!!!!) yoga is still feeling new and sometimes uncomfortable for me.

OK, I better end off here. As I said, billowing bunch of thoughts. Coherence: not a feature of this mother/yogi/human just right now. Except apparently in the fash department. This dress has seen me through some interesting times.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I survived!

As you can see I've been having some trouble with the blog, in a couple of different ways. I'm still trying to figure out how to make pictures look un-shitty without using my computer. And, I'm still trying to figure out how to write anything with any kind of meaning. I have a lot of things floating around in my head, and a lot of half-drafts. It was the mothers day/ end of yoga time that got me all bloggily stopped up. I think the solution is just to share, even if it feels a little uncomfortable, imperfect or unpolished. So, ha. I'll apologize in advance then.

Here is something from a while ago, after living through a week few days of being a single mom.

I survived! That is how I feel about last week. Let me tell you the whole story.

Heiko was sick with a little runny nose. Nothing major. Then, about a week into it, he spiked a fever. This would have been fine, except that I had my final yoga evaluation, my 10K run, and (the worst part), Patrick was due to leave on Sunday morning (after my run) for a work trip to Banff. So we may have overreacted slightly, and in retrospect, we probably should have done more googling of fevers before heading down to the after-hours walk-in clinic. But H had never really had a fever before, and he seemed so very miserable. Down to the clinic we went, where we were seen by a doc who described Heiko's waxy right ear as "suspicious" and sent us home with a prescription for antibiotics. That is when things got really bad.

You see, it seems that wee H has a mighty gag reflex. So much so that the sticky, particulate, intestine-destroying cherry flavoured goop they gave us to cure his infected ear made him gag and barf immediately. I'm not talking about spitting up, I'm talking projectile barf. And not just barfing up the antibiotics, but absolutely e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g in his stomach. Did I mention that at his one year check up my marching orders were to "feed him all the time"? All the time! I am constantly trying to give him snacks, and get him to eat. Something other than cheese that is. Watching him barf makes my heart sink so so low, and then it goes lower when I think about all the extra nursing that will be required.

After several failed attempts to get the antibiotics into him, and a lot of should-we shouldn't-we deliberations, he was still a feverish little man, so we called the after-hours clinic again. They gave us a new script for antibiotics (twice a day for ten days -- "just imagine all the barfs!", I thought to myself), which we filled (AT THE DRIVE THROUGH PHARMACY! Yes, we are getting into the swing of the American lifestyle!). Sure enough that medicine caused the barfs too, though perhaps not as much as the first one. And then he got a rash from that antibiotic... so we'll add it to the list of meds he is possibly allergic to. Our options seemed to be running out, which was scary. But by this time, the weekend was over, I had run my big run, Patrick had delayed his departure for his conference (no one should sleep so little on their own), and I made an appointment with our regular doctor for Monday morning.  And when she looked in Heiko's ear, she saw nothing suspicious. No ear infection. Nothing. Just a little guy, with a little fever and a little runny nose.

So there we are. Once the stress of antibiotic administration was lifted, things improved dramatically from that point forward. As I said, in retrospect, we shouldn't have taken him to the after-hours clinic in the first place. But, he had a fever, and we didn't really know too much about that, having never experienced it before. It is amazing how miserable these little people can seem, and it can be hard to gauge the severity when they can't really communicate much other than a this-is-the-worst-thing-that-has-ever-happened-to-me kind of wail. Of course it feels good to walk out of a doctors office with some medication to try, something that might help our little guy feel better. But in this case, it caused a lot of unnecessary stress. Plus, some internet reading indicates that the US is actually one of the only countries that almost always uses antibiotics for ear infections. It turns out that a lot of ear infections will clear on their own, and that a wait-and-see policy is the standard practice in Canada and Europe. So even if he had had an ear infection, those antibiotics were probably unnecessary. It just doesn't fill me with confidence.

Anyway, Heiko improved slowly but surely. Patrick took a flight the next day, leaving me a single mom for four verrrry long days. How do people do this? How does anyone ever do this? It was hard. But I survived. Heiko survived. We were both verrrry happy to see Patrick/Dad home again.

So there we go, the woe-is-me story of a sick little guy and just a few days of solo parenting.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday, Monday

Yet another test in preparation for blogging on the road.

Soup! I say that a lot with Heiko. I pick him up, "soup." I put him down, "soup." Probably confusing.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Another beautiful evening

I'm trying to sort out some technical issues with my photos, so this post is kind of just a test. A ramble and a test. Here are some guys that I love. 
Sometimes when my the skin on my hands gets really dry I look at them and think, "this is what my hands will look like when I'm really old". And then I think, "shit, this is what my hands look like right now". Plus, I'm getting that weird white skinny finger thing from my wedding ring.
Um, tomorrow I teach my first ever real yoga class! Think of me at 5:30pm mountain time please. 
Goodnight everyone. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nothing, really

What a day. When a one year old doesn't nap all day (thank you noisy garbage trucks.... could start rant about private garbage collection and the never ending parade of trucks through the neighbourhood... no, will stop now) it is pretty crappy for everyone. Anyway, dinner! Yum!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My neighbours hate me

But aren't dandelions beautiful? Here is my dandelion meadow, nicely set off by our crabapple tree which is finally proving it is good for something, namely looking kind of pretty in the spring time.

We hired an environmentally friendly lawn care company, who came today for the first time. It is actually just like a dude with a bike trailer and a push mower. A little while later someone else showed up to help him. They are still here, actually. It is taking them a really really long time. It reminds me of that Portlandia sketch about the bicycle moving company.

The other day I saw my neighbour spraying his lawn with pesticides. Honestly! What is wrong with you people? The same people who love to get out of town and "into nature" also love to have complete control over their little patch of green. Let the wind come up and blow my dandelion puffs in your direction!

But ughhh, I should end this rant. I'm starting to sound like the lady I encountered yesterday who muttered at me ("I just don't understand people!") for not stopping at a stop sign. I was walking with the stroller, and there were no cars around. She stopped though, with her dog in his stroller. She was using arm signals. Awesome.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Yogic Free Fall

I was in an elevator after a yoga function, traveling up. Chatting with Nanda Devi about the summer plans. Suddenly the elevator shuddered and we heard a loud grinding sound. "Fun!", said Nanda Devi. I managed a tense smile, but I wasn't so sure. Our upward motion slowed to a rocky stop, and then we started to feel the elevator begin to travel smoothly downward, faster and faster, falling falling. Soon our feet were no longer on the floor of the elevator as we too were in free fall. My entire weightless body tensed to receive the impact of our crash, but the elevator simply continued to roar loudly down. All at once the situation transformed into a overbearing muffled quiet, complete stillness and brilliant bright white light. Is this sleep, I thought? Death? Enlightenment!? I couldn't move. Finally I managed to roll over in bed and feel my heart pounding.
Maybe it was the Mother's Day bison burgers on the first day of hot summer weather, but my night was full of supernaturally vivid dreams last night. I graduated from yoga school on Saturday, which was a moment of both happiness and sadness. I have a lot more to write and share, about yoga, about mother's day round II, about Heiko, about surviving four days of solo parenting, about flowers and weather and the rest of the little things. I'll try to be back this week with some of that, I just wanted to get things started. Summary: big bundle of emotions. Mostly love, and some tears. Lots of tears.

Bye for now.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Running around, averagely

Hey everybody.
Well, I ran a race. It was my first ever race, a 10km, which is kind of a funny thing in this strange land of imperial units, since they still insist on measuring it out in miles (6.2miles, which makes that last 1.2 miles verrrrrry long). Anyway. Considering that I slept only a few interrupted hours last night (a long story involving Heiko, a fever, dubiously diagnosed ear infection, several different antibiotics and the "elephant barfs" (photo is from healthier days)), and I did 2.5 hours of yoga asana yesterday afternoon, I guess it went OK. I didn't hit my goal pace, but I suppose my goal was kind of arbitrary when it comes right down to it. I should probably be pretty happy, since just a few years ago I couldn't even run for a full minute without stopping, and this morning I ran the whole 10km with no walk breaks. Woo. But here is the thing. I came in right in the middle. There were 599 runners, and I finished 301st. Similarly in my age/sex category (66 of 140... just a teeny bit better than average). It is funny in a way. If I were a lot slower than average, I suppose I could say "but I finished!", and if were much speedier then it could be "I went fast". But here I am, right in the middle.

So there we are. A personal record (by default)! And I suppose I have something to work on now. Yet, I'm not sure I'll ever run a race again. What a strange thing to do, don't you think? It is funny to me that running races has become so amazingly popular. Everyone seems to be running marathons and half marathons these days! Not in my future, I don't think.

Running is such a solitary and simple act, which is really what I love about it. Racing makes it social, sort of.  I didn't really socialize much on the course, which was beautiful by the way, winding along the Poudre river. And it was cool at the point where the 10K loop joined the marathon and half marathon tracks. Super muscular dudes loped by, their sweat and breath misting into the morning air. Hard to understand how they could make it look so easy when they were most of the way through their course, while I was wondering how I'd finish the second half of mine. "Isn't he pretty?" an older woman sighed beside me as one of these scantily clad visions of sinew and stamina breezed past.

Unfortunately, again due to the fever, dubiously diagnosed ear infection, several different antibiotics and the "elephant barfs", no one was there to meet me at the finish line. So I limped around the post race gatherings, and snacked on some orange slices before finding my bike and slowing cruising home.

So ends the story of my extremely average 10 kilometres. My overwhelming feeling is a big 'ol "meh". I'm glad to have trained for it, I'm in the best running shape of my life, but... I think I may just stick to going on my fun little runs with Heiko in the stroller, taking in the scenery and slowly working on getting faster and going longer. I'm not sure I'll bother to race again. This photo of Heiko is unrelated to this post obviously, except that my running shoes are somewhat visible in the background. And that Heiko rarely feels "meh" about anything.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

His favourite song

Heiko really really likes this song. And he will dance to it, completely of his own accord. I feel like this is direct proof that dancing is a natural state. At least, I don't think we taught him how to dance, all waltzing aside.

Anyway, here he is, though his attention is divided between the song and the big blue ball. Sweet moves, eh? And pardon my silly voice in the beginning.
And then here is the real deal. Um, so, this video is weird, and stuff? Be warned. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Science of jinxing

Did I mention that I thought we had seen the last of the snow for the season? Hmm. May 1, and we're getting 6 - 12 inches. Why? Whyyyyy? Two days ago it was 27 C, and we were dig-digging in the dirt. Now the blossomy branches are hanging low with all that wet weight. I guess this is Colorado. And we still don't own a snow shovel.