Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Even Before Kids...

This is a birthday card I drew about five years ago for a longtime friend of mine, illustrating how NOT party animals we were now that we were in our thirties. Excited as we'd been about seeing the band Signal Hill again at our local pub on Friday night, we realized the idea of a productive Saturday was more appealing than sticking around for the second set-- whether or not we'd yet heard Barrett's Privateers.

And we didn't even have kids yet!

Fast forward to just a few years back: a few of us had a "Girls' Night Out", but we only got going once the kids were in bed. We commented on how LATE we were going out.

It was eight o'clock.

It was still DAYLIGHT. Look out, Ottawa, wild ones on the town! 

I was never that crazy, I'll admit, but once upon a time, going out at 10:30 was so early, we felt we had to explain our reasoning, as the strobe lights illuminated an otherwise empty room and dance floor-- it was so we could be sure to get a table!

This past New Year's Eve, we had a nice dinner with friends and kids, and we  all packed it in and went home around 8. I'm not sure if I'll ever see midnight on purpose again, especially given that we were apparently already like this before having kids as an excuse. Before the prospect of well-rested tykes raring to go before 7 a.m. threatened us. I appreciated sleep even before I knew what it was to go without it for months. 

So, there you have it. Can't totally blame the kids. I relate to that Friends episode where the guys all try to be party animals, and halfway through the night, they just notice how loud the music was and how tired they are, and just want to have hot water with lemon for their strained voices and call it a night.

Anyway, Happy Throwback Thursday. I must be off, or else I won't be able to fit in an episode of our latest Netflix show before our 9:30 bedtime. 

"Y'know what? We're not sad, we're not sad, we're just not 21 anymore. Y'know? I'm 29 years old, dammit, and I want to sit in a comfortable chair, and watch television, and go to bed at a reasonable hour!" -Chandler (Friends)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fitting In the Fitness

So, who out there resolved to be more physically active in 2015?

Though I rarely actually get to sit down in the run of a day, being active is something I'm always working on, specifically incorporating it into everyday life. Be healthy for myself, and for the family. Have more energy to do 20 reps of "Grand Old Duke of York" with a 25-lb. kid who doesn't tire of said game.

It's not easy in the winter, though. A few things can sabotage one's efforts:

- Insanely cold temperatures that limit outdoor activity to pulling muscles while ripping off a kid's coat and chucking him in the car seat as fast as possible
-Insanely cold temperatures and early darkness that tip the scales in favour of wrapping up like a burrito on the couch instead of, say, taking a bike ride to the playground
-Someone getting sick every week (see my post on The Endless Snot-Filled Winter from last January)

But, where there's a will, there's a way. So how do you do it?

Myself, each week I try to fit in a few 20-minute sessions on our elliptical machine in the evening, while the kids have some dad-and-sons time upstairs. Perfect.

In theory.

Aw. They just love their Mama so much. So much! And I love them too! If they'd just give me a few measly minutes to do some arm blasts, they could see some better hugs and higher-quality airplane rides the rest of the day instead of a mom sprawled bone-tired on the living room floor (although that can be fun for driving dinkies on...).

Well, anyway, it's more fun when physical activity is done as a family. Include the kids in on the fun! So, how about going to an indoor playgym (that doesn't have one of those lame age limits or "no adults on the trampolines" rules)?

Disclaimer: You will likely end up with one of the above-mentioned "sick every week" sicknesses afterward.

What about at home? How about a dance party, or maybe do some family yoga. The kids love doing yoga with me. Ever tried yoga with a toddler? I recommend it. Here are some basic poses to get you started.

 Here's to active living in 2015, however you fit it in!

Friday, January 09, 2015

If It Can Be Done, They'll Do It

The kids got a trampoline for Christmas- One of those little ones with the handle. I remember last year's stir-crazy January vividly and thought the kids would enjoy a trampoline to play with on the days it was too Polar Vortexy outside (such as this past week).

I couldn't get over the amount of warnings that came with this little 3-foot bouncy toy! Between the manual and the tags on the trampoline, I think about every possible behaviour or situation that could lead to any sort of unpleasantness was listed (and forbidden). Lots of exclamation marks and stick guys with red slashes through it.

Wear socks. One at a time. Humans only. Stay in the middle. Bounce on feet only. Get on and off calmly. Nothing in pockets. No food or drink. No sharp objects. Don't jump high. In fact, don't jump at all.

Good God, I thought to myself as I flipped through all the myriad admonitions, talk about taking all the fun out of it! Why don't we just envelop them in a blanket and helmet and sit on the trampoline quietly?! Why... IN MY DAY, they'd bring out the giant trampoline in gym class, and we'd flip on our necks willy-nilly with no nets and no padding over the pinchy pinchy springs, and someone would inevitably go leg-first through the gap... good kid fun! 

This is just a kiddie trampoline anyway. how wild can it get?

Then I was reminded how creative kids could get with even a little trampoline. OK, Little Tikes, I kind of see where you're coming from.

Far be it from a child to use a toy for what it was meant. If it can be done, they'll find a way to do it. Two at a time (or more!) is the only way to go, and why merely bounce when you can do headstands and chin-ups? How about jumping with all your toys around your feet to see if they'll bounce too? What about putting your hand on the surface when someone else is bouncing to see if they'll land on your hand (and then get all mad when they do)?

Good thing there's some common sense on our part as supervisors, at least, because I can't remember whether or not the safety booklet cautions against hanging upside down like a monkey from the handle. Maybe it needs to be added to the list.