Monday, February 18, 2013

Jumping for joy

I blame it on the Zumba convention. A 3-day extravaganza held annually in Orlando, Florida, it's like catnip to a Zumba addict such as yours truly.

Pitbull performing at the 2011 Zumba convention

Imagine my extreme disappointment when I discovered that simple obsession with Zumba was not enough to procure a ticket to the party. You have to be certified as a Zumba instructor to go to the convention.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know where this is going.

On April 5, I will be licensing as a Zumba instructor, which consists of an 8-hour workshop. Never one to do anything half-assed, I decided a 1-day workshop without a test was not sufficient to be qualified to teach a fitness class and I should get my Canadian Fitness Professionals (Can Fit Pro) Fitness Instructor Specialist (FIS) certification too.

photo credit: mugley via photopin cc

This is how I ended up spending every waking non-child-care minute of the last week reading about bioenergetics and the anatomy of the heart, in frantic preparation for my three-day FIS course starting this Friday. The written exam is on March 14 and I go back to my actual job as an accountant on March 4, so I don't have much serious study time left.

Once the written exam is done, I have to design a fitness class and teach it to a bunch of my friends for my practical exam. It occurred to me I will need an iPod for this, so a few days ago I bought a very pretty red iPod touch. Swoon. I then further abused my credit card by having an input jack installed in my car, since apparently Mazda didn't feel a 2007 mid-level sedan needed to be compatible with an MP3 player.
Ooh la la!

These shenanigans haven't left much time for blogging, so I'm glad to be joining up with Stasha at Monday Listicles for a list of 10 little things that bring me joy. This week's topic was chosen by Wendy at Stamping Rules.

Here they are:

1)  The fresh smell of my baby's soft, downy hair against my face.

2)  Putting the next season into the DVD player right away after a cliff-hanger season finale, because I waited to watch the show until several seasons in (ahem, Dexter).

3)  My toddler's shriek of excitement and wild dash across the room to jump on me when she sees me for the first time in a few hours.

4)  When the bass kicks in, purring down my spine.

5)  Slowly waking up with the late-morning sun in my eyes to complete, blissful silence.

6)  Putting on a non-nursing bra for the first time since the baby was born.

7)  Seeing the first Christmas carton of Candy Cane Chocolate Fudge Crackle ice cream sparkling at me through the grocery store freezer door.

8)  Being so enthralled by a book that sleep seems unnecessary (Gone Girl or The Thirteenth Tale, anyone?).

9)  Moving in perfect time to the music.

10)  Sex. By myself, with my husband, it's all good.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Keep it inside

Last week we finally got some proper Canadian snow and a temperature below -5. I packed up Sass and Little Man for a trek over to my mom's house, since she had miraculously agreed to watch them for an hour so I could go to the gym. Both of them at the same time. For an entire hour! I couldn't believe it and knew I had to get over there quickly before she changed her mind.

The ice gleaming through the thick ruts of snow on the road had other plans. After slipping around a corner a little faster than I'd planned, I stopped looking at the clock and focused on keeping the car off the sidewalk. In the back seat, Sass scolded her Hello Kitty doll on points of etiquette: "No, Kitty! Unh unh! Be nice." Little Man peered around him in serene contemplation of the dirty cars sliding past his window.

As I turned the corner onto my parents' street, I noticed a mailman removing envelopes from a large green deposit box. He was decked out in full Canada Post winter gear: huge blue boots resembling fishing waders, snow pants and a navy hooded parka, complete with fuzzy ear flaps peeking out from the sides of his head. Sass started singing "Wheels on the Bus" while the mailman closed the box and shuffled through the snow toward the curb. Then time turned to sludge as, without looking and without hesitation, he stepped off the curb into my path.

Because I had been watching him, I had an instant to think, "He's not stopping. He's not actually going to walk right in front of me, is he?" before the car was careening across the road, steering wheel shuddering as I yanked it to the left and stomped the brakes to the floor. When no body thumped into the windshield, I slammed on the horn and yelled uselessly through the closed window at the guy, my heart pounding. Sass and Little Man were silent as I straightened out the car and crept down the street to my parents' house. In my rearview mirror, the mailman stood in the middle of the road and waved a glove at me, no doubt giving me the finger inside his cocoon.

It takes a long time to get an infant, toddler and their two diaper bags out of a car. I could see the mailman several houses away as I hurried the kids into my mom's warm kitchen. Hoping to leave before the mailman got any closer, I rushed through my drop-off instructions:
"Hejusthadabottlefreshdiapershe'shadtoastbebacksoonthanksbye!" I'd made it down the porch steps when I heard a gruff voice booming at me across the lawn. I ducked my head and pretended I hadn't heard it, jabbing at the car key fob in a staccato rhythm.

The voice thundered again, closer this time. "Sorry 'bout that!" Horrified, I looked to my right to find the jovial mailman grinning and nodding at me from the house next door. My cheeks heated around my weak smile as I nodded back and slid into the driver's seat, desperate to get away.

Driving down the street, anger swept over me again before cooling into confusion. I knew I'd done something wrong, but I wasn't sure what it was.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013



You'd think triggering would feel scary, out of control. It doesn't. It feels fantastic. Maybe because it's been so long and I can't remember the downsides? Right now all I can think of is the taut curve of skin and bracelets shimmering on a delicate wrist. All those dusty clothes sliding smoothly across my body again. That rush of power as I fall asleep, having fought off the snarl inside for another day. Taking control.

I'm going to be beautiful. So beautiful.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

She's a princess

I'm struggling with an overwhelming sense of failure in every aspect of my life. I feel the familiar curling in on myself that precedes a major depressive episode, a warning sign that I've overestimated my emotional and physical resilience, and the needle's in the red.

If I act fast, I should be able to ward this off, but it means treating myself like a petulant princess for a week or two. Ruthlessly slashing all non-critical obligations, getting enough sleep and moments of solitude, doing the minimum to get by until I get my emotional footing again. I hate that I'm this person who has to be babied just to cope with daily life, but ignoring this feeling leads to a bad place that my family doesn't deserve to have inflicted on them.

Over the last month, I'd already started cutting back on blogging activities that stressed me out and that felt so good that I thought I was ready for a daily posting challenge. Oops - four days in and I'm out. I need to spend some pressure-free time playing piano, reading (books, not blogs), writing for myself alone whether I post it or not, and exercising without my heart rate monitor smirking a score at me. I need to stop giving myself a report card filled with "Fs" at the end of every day.

I can't believe that after all this time, I still don't know how to do this.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Playing hooky

Jay took the kids downstairs this morning so I could sleep in. I went to a strength training class, picked up my copy of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (LOVE it already and I'm two pages in), came home and kissed my family, then went to a 3-hour zumbathon. It was so awesome! I burned at least 1500 calories and was so drenched in sweat when I got home that I could wring out my clothes. I was in the front row so I got to see some amazing instructors (including the people who teach the instructors) up close and personal. Wow!

This guy (Carlos Henriquez) was dancing 5 feet in front of me!

On the way home from the zumbathon, I used my last reserves of strength to grab groceries before collapsing into a nice hot bath. Next on the list was lounging on the couch with Jay, Sass and Little Man while enjoying some well-earned fajitas and ice cream, then laughing through America's Funniest Home Videos and You, Me and Dupree.

It was a perfect day and the next thing I knew, it was 9:30PM and I hadn't written the post I had planned for today's prompt at the We Work For Cheese February writing challenge. I'm not going to write it. I'm just going to sit here and keep smiling at my perfect day.

* * * *

Unless this counts? The prompt was "And the next thing I knew..."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A cold revenge

Yay!! I'm awake! I can read, I can play with my toys, I can have a peanut butter and apple butter sandwich, I can dance to Mommy's aerobics records in the living room. The possibilities are endless! I can't wait to get started.

Hold on. It's still dark outside. What did Mommy say again?

"Azara. You are NOT to get out of your bed before 7:00AM for any reason. Period. You may get up at 7:30AM if you play quietly in your room, but you may NOT get out of your bed before then."

But I want to get up. There's so much to do and I'm just lying here, missing it all! Maybe she won't notice if I just read in bed. How is that hurting anyone?
No. Last time I read in bed Mommy took my book away, right after the Pevensies found out Tumnus the Faun had been arrested, and I had to wait two days to get it back.

Grrr. I'm so BORED. Why doesn't Nicole wake up? At least then I could talk to her. I could kick my heels on the mattress until she wakes up, like last time.

Better not. I don't want to be banned from carob chips for the next week.

I'm bored. I'm bored. I'M SO BORED. What time is it?

7:07AM. ARGH!!!!

And I have to pee. I really have to pee.

Stupid Mommy. Why is she so mean? I'll show her...


That'll teach her to tell me what to do. It's not even that uncomfortable.

OK, now the pee's getting cold. Maybe this was a mistake. What time is it?



Ugh. I'm freezing cold, soaking wet and I smell like the recess washroom. Fourteen minutes to go.

Mommy's going to be SO mad.

* * * *

She was mad, alright. Whenever I talk about the antics of my 2.5 year old hooligan daughter, I can see my mom smirking beside me, no doubt remembering this moment among many others.

Karma's a bitch, y'all. A stubborn, pee-stained bitch.

* * * *

Day 2 of the We Work for Cheese writing challenge - the prompt for today was "hold on". Betcha thought I wasn't going to make it. Puh-leeze.

Friday, February 1, 2013

More than a couch potato

Once again, the stars have aligned so that I can be lazy and do one post instead of two. Woot woot! For the month of February, I'm participating in a daily posting challenge hosted by We Work For Cheese. The prompt for the first day is, of course, "cheesy".

photo credit: Aaron Landry via photopin cc

In a beautiful marriage of blog topics, one of my favourite linkys has chosen their prompt for this Friday as: "When it comes to reality TV shows, I..."

Finish the Sentence Friday

I need to get these prompts a hotel room right now, because baby, they were meant to be.

OK. I promise I'll stop. It's just so hard to resist a cheesy joke sometimes, like my favourite one ever:

"What do you call cheese that's not yours?"

"NACHO cheese!" (must be shouted with a head bob a la Honey Boo Boo)

When it comes to reality TV shows, I know everything there is to know. Except about Survivor, The Bachelor/ette or Toddlers and Tiaras. The adult cattle show bores me (plus they keep picking bachelors that are as hot as oatmeal), and I've boycotted Toddlers and Tiaras ever since I saw a picture of a poor pageant baby dressed as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, the hooker phase. Someone dressed up her three year old as a HOOKER!!! It's moments like these where I wish you had to be licensed to be a parent.
I know what I want everyone to think of when they see my little girl: a prostitute!
Out of curiosity, I decided to list all the reality TV shows I've watched over the years, not counting ones where I've seen only one or two episodes:

1) Real Housewives - all of them
2) The Lofters
3) Paradise Hotel
4) Storage Wars
5) Breaking Amish
6) Jersey Shore
7) America's Next Top Model
8) American Idol/Canadian Idol
9) My Strange Addiction
10) Hoarders
11) So You Think You Can Dance (US and Canada)
12) Temptation Island
13) Average Joe
14) The Swan
15) What Not to Wear
16) A Baby Story
17) Property Virgins
18) House Hunters
19) Property Shop
20) Flip This House
21) The Girls Next Door
22) Pawn Stars
23) Ink Master
24) Project Runway
25) Cake Boss
26) The Sisterhood
27) 16 and Pregnant
28) Teen Mom
29) Laguna Beach
30) The Hills
31) The City
32) Little People, Big World
33) The Little Couple
34) The Apprentice
35) Jon & Kate Plus 8
36) Sell This House
37) My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (UK and US)
38) Starter Wives Confidential
39) Billy the Exterminator
40) The Osbournes
41) Cops
42) The Simple Life
43) Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica
44) Wife Swap
45) Making the Band
46) Pop Stars
47) 8th & Ocean
48) Pioneer Quest
49) Cheer Perfection
50) The Crocodile Hunter
51) Blind Date
52) Meet My Folks
53) For Love or Money
54) Joe Millionaire
55) The Ex-Wives of Rock
56) Pimp My Ride
57) 30 Days
58) Rich Girls
59) My Super Sweet 16
60) House of Carters
61) The Search for the Next Doll
62) Extreme Cheapskates
63) Face Off
64) Millionaire Matchmaker
65) The Week the Women Went
66) Holmes on Homes
67) Python Hunters
68) Til Debt Do Us Part
69) Princess
70) Ballet Girls
71) The Baby Borrowers
72) Bethenny Ever After
73) Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
74) Denise Richards: It's Complicated
75) High Society
76) Shahs of Sunset
77) I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant This explains everything. No wonder my brain feels like moldy cheese. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I find it interesting to watch stories about lives that are different from mine. See, I'm not a vapid couch potato. I'm a cultural anthropologist.
photo credit: misterbisson via photopin cc