Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One thing I really have missed



I was in Baton Rouge weekend before last. Unless you live under a rock, you know the Saints are in the Super Bowl this year! Being raised in Louisiana, the Saints were our team. They were always our losing team. Until the last few years! When I landed in Baton Rouge on Friday, it was like being in a alternate universe! A black and gold one. Everyone is so excited about the Saints. One thing that is very different between the States and Canada seems to be a passion for football. In the States people are passionate about football.... college football, high school football, pro football. Up here, not so much. I miss that!

Everywhere we went this weekend there were people wearing black and gold clothing, with Mardi Gras beads in Saints colors, cars with Saints flags flying from them, the colors were everywhere. The papers were full of articles about the Saints. There was a palpable atmosphere of excitement for the NFC championship game on Sunday. And then they won! I had the pleasure of watching the game with true fans..... I miss doing that!
In attempt to bring a little of the south to Canada, I have decided to have a Super Bowl party, complete with Cajun food and plenty of New Orleans flavor. I have Mardi Gras beads and authentic Louisiana crawfish and plan to cook lots of southern favorites. Here is hoping the voodoo works! Who Dat!




Monday, January 18, 2010

Second Year Savasana


My life is a lot like my yoga. As I was attempting to do one of the more challenging poses today at yoga and the instructor was telling us to relax and not make it so hard and to just give in to the pose, I had a thought. Moving and living in a different place can be likened to going to yoga over time. How? Here goes....(my mind does wander a bit at yoga!)

My first yoga classes were very challenging. I was very sore after every class, for weeks. I kept wondering when it would get easier, surely after doing this 3 times a week I would be able to do all the poses and my body would not feel like it had been stretched like a rubber band afterwards. It has been a year and a half that I've been going to this class and I don't get sore after every class, only the particularly challenging ones, and I can do poses I could not do when I started. Still not a pro by any stretch, pun intended, but getting better.

When we move somewhere new the first year is like those first weeks of yoga class. Everything is unfamiliar and there are many challenges. Where to live, where to shop, find a doctor, find a dentist, where do you get your car repaired, building a new social network, learning the area and when will I feel like I belong? You are "sore" for a year just trying to make a new life. This is not to say there is no joy in the first year. There are countless victories that come through the year, just like the first time you can do the crow pose or a headstand. But these are firsts and not routine just yet, it takes time and practice for it to become part of you.

The second year is letting everything "set in". I had that thought as we were doing our final Savasana, corpse pose, today and the instructor said this pose helps the work of the class "set in" to our bodies... just like the second year. Everything is starting to feel familiar, and life is a little easier, just like some of those poses. The second year is when all of the work of the first year pays off. I sure do like the second year more than the first, can I just start on year two next time?
Namaste

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rain, Shine, Sleet or Snow

On Tuesday I was driving to a meeting, through the snow down the slippery streets and saw something that just baffles me. It was well below freezing and snowing.....and there she was, a mom taking a run pushing her running stroller with her child inside the stroller, covered by the plastic sheet of course. What was her thought process on this one? "Oh, look it's snowing, I guess I'll go out for a run...and take the baby. Maybe we can both wipe out on the icy sidewalk!" Or, maybe they were both just tired of being inside and getting a little cabin fever so they needed a little airing out.
I am constantly amazed in the winter up here to what lengths people will go to in order to get their excercise. Last night on my drive home there they were...the Running Room group taking their nightly run, all in dark clothing, on the slushy street in the sub freezing temps. That is dedication.
It is times like these that make me thankful for my hot yoga classes, inside and very warm!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Boomie"

video

This video was taken on Christmas morning. TJ had a blast playing with Daniel and building and booming all day! What a kid!

Daniel loved watching this video over and over and just cracked up at himself every time.

Pictures from Christmas 2009

Daniel and me sledding
Christopher's baptism


My girls on Christmas morning

Family photo, Christmas Eve




The Lee Family




Our winter wonderland




Katie made kolache, just like my grandmother used to make! YUM!



Matt teaching the Mahoneys how to open a can. We could not figure it out!




Gigi and Christopher after his first bath.




Sesame Time





How Did I Ever Do It?




I am finally home after 2 weeks in Madison, WI. I was there to help Rachel after the birth of Christopher on Dec. 18, 2009. Two weeks full of joy and activity!


Christopher's first photo shoot!


Let's just review...


Dec. 20, arrive in Madison. Meet Christopher, who is a joy. He looks very different than his brother, Daniel, did at birth. That is apparently not the only way he is different. Rachel had a smooth and easy delivery, also different than with Daniel. She was up and around in no time.




Dec. 22 and 23, TJ, Kelly and Katie arrive in Madison and things pick up. There was the gift wrapping, since we had all our gifts delivered to Rachel's house or brought them with us, un -wrapped. There was the baking to do, Rachel was busy having a baby remember? I flew in so no goodies in my suitcase. There are going to be 14 people in and out of this house on a regular basis, we need food!




Christmas Eve, 4:30 mass with 6 day old Christopher in tow. There is nothing more profound than attending Christmas mass with a newborn baby. It really brings the true meaning of Christmas to light. Then dinner at the house for 10 plus a toddler, provided by Matt's family. YUM! Time to get ready for Santa to arrive. So much fun to have Christmas with kids!



Daniel delighted in all of his new toys! His new favorite game is boomie. Grampy would build a house out of his wooden blocks and Daniel would "boomie" it. Over and over and over....The video is priceless.



The rest of the holidays were full keeping a 20 month old boy happy and out of trouble, cradling a new baby, cooking many meals, doing lots of laundry, washing thousands of dishes, walking the dog in the snow in the park, sledding with Daniel, enjoying time with my daughters, watching Sesame Street (the only time Daniel ever sits still), running errands and doing a little shopping (very little).



The Sunday after Christmas was the day Christopher was baptized. On the feast of the Holy Family. What a blessing, a perfect child.



One funny moment came when I looked at the indoor/outdoor thermometer and it said 30 degrees outside and I thought, "how can it be that hot, this thing must be broken." Have I really converted to Celsius? Like thinking in a different language. Of course the morning it said -5 I thought, yeah that seems right, really cold, Fahrenheit or Celsius!

In closing, after 2 weeks of taking care of a big family again, one with a toddler, I find myself wondering how I ever had 4 kids and raised them with relative sanity. My conclusion is that I am very glad I started young and did it all while I had youthful energy and naivety. I loved doing it, but it makes me appreciate my morning tea and oatmeal, and being able to read the newspaper without interruption too.



For some reason, I can't seem to move the pictures throughout the text today so I am posting all the pictures in the next post. Enjoy.




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