Saturday, December 1, 2007

Week 15

This pregnancy is whizzing past.

I bought a set of newborn cloth dipes to complement my existing set so I can use them right from the start. With Carmen, they didn't fit until 8 weeks and by then I was absolutely disgusted with disposables. These dipes are teeny tiny ones and just handling them brought me back to when Carmen was still a tiny handful under 6lbs. So small.

I can't believe we're doing this again. And it's all passing by so quickly! I haven't even taken a single belly shot yet - not ONE. Instead of excitedly going shopping for maternity clothes for my already popped-out belly, I just grab something oversize and frumpy since my sister reclaimed the mat clothes I used last time. Instead of poring over labels to make sure I am getting the right amount of calories and iron, I eat frozen perogies when I get a chance while running after my crazy active toddler.

So this weekend I decided to make a change. Went for a massage with my amazing RMT, got my hair cut and highlighted, and tomorrow I meet with my Mama Renew group for the second time to talk about self-care. Watching what I eat. Remembering to take my vitamins. Heck, maybe I'll even pull out the camera for a belly shot or two.

I remember in my first pregnancy thinking it was so hard, and that it was those 40 weeks that would be the hardest. Then Carmen arrived and I learned quickly that pregnancy is child's play compared to some of the hurdles of being a new mom! So now I am FREAKING OUT that while this pregnancy has been somewhat tiresome with running after Carmen, that being a mom of two is going to be impossibly exhausting!!!! Arg.

I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy this. I have to give myself pep talks that it's going to be all right once this babe enters the world to join her big sis. I have to be careful not to over-extend. Supermom can wait.

The second trimester has brought wonderful things. Sleep! Appetite! ENERGY! Teaching 6 classes a week between prenatal and postnatal fitness has been draining during my first trimester, but I am looking forward to a month off and a reduced schedule in January. I finally found a few people I feel comfortable contracting some classes to, and new facilities that I don't have to lug equipment around.

And for my birthday from my sis-in-law, I just got three months of someone coming in to clean my house!! MY HOUSE! Starting Monday! I am on cloud nine!

Now maybe I'll have time to buy a few shirts that cover my belly.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Master List

I figure I should capture this somewhere!!

Words Carmen can say:

1. Walrus
2. Purple, Blue, Green, Red, Orange, Yellow
3. Blueberries
4. Cheese
5. Please
6. Trees
7. One Two Three
8. Baby Beluga
9. Happy
10. Hippo
11. Dino(saur)
12. Cracker
13. Cookie
14. Pancakes (CANCakes!)
15. Mommy, Daddy, Bella, Baby, Callie
16. Strawberries (sounds an awful lot like blueberries...)
17. Apple
18. Bubbles
19. Puppy
20. Doggy
21. (Ba)nanas
22. Chocolate
23. Toast
24. Pee pee/poo poo
25. More!
26. Shoes
27. Eyes, Nose, Boobies, Chin, Elbow, Armpit, Arm, Toes, BUM BUM
28. Puffin
29. Muffin
30. Coffee
31. Call Me!
32. Damnit!
32. Enough!
33. NO
34. Kitty
35. Almost
36. Firetruck
37. Throw Ball
38. Cold
39. Water
40. Juice
41. Hummous
42. Owee, Bonk

Body Parts She Knows:

1. Eyes
2. Nose
3. Mouth
4. Cheek
5. Chin
6. Ears
7. Hair
8. Head
9. Arm/Armpit
10. Leg/Knee
11. Hands/Fingers
12. Feet/Toes
13. Boobies, Pee Pee (you know, all the scientific terms...)
14. Belly/bellybutton
15. Elbow

Sounds Carmen can make:

1. Cow Mooing
2. Chicken Clucking
3. Duck Quacking
4. Elephant Trumpeting
5. Sheep Baaing
6. Pig Snorting (sorta)
7. Bear/Lion/Tiger/Dinosaur/etc Roaring
8. Cat Meowing
9. Monkey Oo-oo-oo'ing
10. Dog Barking (obviously)
11. Crow Cawing
12. Wolf Howling
13. Owl Hooting
14. Fish blowing bubbles

Signs Carmen Still Uses:
1. Milk
2. Water (sticks her tongue in and out!)
3. More
4. Please

Obviously I'm forgetting a bunch. I'll have to keep editing this list...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Month Eighteen - Independence

Well it's been a whole year and a half. I see pictures of myself pregnant, pictures of Carmen as a newborn and it seems lightyears away. All of a sudden my teeny tiny baby is walking around, chatting, feeding herself, going up and down the stairs, singing... what is next, college?

Seriously. She is growing into a little girl right before my eyes and there's nothing I can do to stop it. At the same time, I am 'hurrah-ing' her newfound independence - she puts on her toque and brings me my shoes when she wants to go outside for a walk. She pitches a fit if we go past the playground without stopping. Every meal is a battle of wills - who will crack first? She is getting pretty good at pressing my buttons too. I can't decide which is more frustrating, the fact that she knows HOW to push my buttons, or the way I react? Time to do a little growing up myself!

Carmen is teaching her baby to potty train. She says "Baby, Pee Pee!" and we go into the bathroom, take the pants off the dolly and sit her down. I ask Carmen to get some paper for the baby (Mommy says only one piece, please!!!) and when she turns around, I grab a waterbottle sneakily and put a generous squirt of water into the potty! Then she turns around, excitedly wipes the baby and then grabs her savagely by the arm, throws her to the ground and exclaims "PEE PEE!!!" Then we flush the 'pee pee' (Bye-bye Pee Pee!), wash the baby's hands and put her pants back on. There are always plenty of kisses for the good baby!

We also feed the baby, put the baby to bed and walk the baby around in the stroller. I was pretty unprepared for her attachment to this poor little doll, who gets dragged all over the place, covered in food and dog hair, and manhandled repeatedly. I keep trucks and blocks and all sorts of other toys around, but she LOVES that baby.

And colours. She will lie on the ground with a pad of paper in front of her and her Crayola washable markers forever! She has figured out how to turn on the stereo and will start a CD and dance around. Jason and I never really went crazy with the child-proofing and so Carmen is really good at reprogramming our phone, getting dogfood for Bella and feeding it to her, kernel by kernal, as well as spreading the contents of my makeup kit all over the upstairs. I will often find her with my cell phone, bleeping away on the keypad and then talking to her peeps. It's pretty hard not to laugh!

I can't believe we are doing this all over again. I am pregnant again - 10 weeks and counting! I revisit my old blog posts from my first pregnancy and realize how much more quickly this one seems to be going by. I don't know if my baby is a chickpea or a grape this week! I don't know if he/she has eyelids. I just don't have TIME! And the reality of caring for a toddler, teaching my classes and getting through the first trimester nausea and fatigue is staggering. But we are SO HAPPY to have another, so happy that we will have a real baby for Carmen to help take care of, and so happy that we are able to give her a chance to be an older sibling, the same way we both were in our families. So yeah, life is good!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Month Fifteen - It's been ONE WEEK

It's been one week since Carmen nursed for the last time...

I never thought I'd be one of "those moms" - I remember when I was pregnant that I was really looking forward to breastfeeding for the requisite 12 months and thinking that people that breastfed for longer than that were kinda weird. I remember watching moms whose babies would reach into their shirts, thinking that babies that could ask for it, or would go after it themselves, were too old to continue breastfeeding. Even as a nudie myself, I remember thinking that breastfeeding in public without a a blanket over your breast was a bit exhibitionist. I remember knowing everything and being the perfect mother - before I became one.

I remember thinking about my breasts as they grew during my pregnancy. I was shocked at the way my nipples became bullseyes on my chest! I worried about stretch marks. I freaked out when my nipples leaked colostrum. I wondered if my breasts would ever look the same again.

But then I had Carmen. The first thing she did was squirm and struggle towards my breast and she latched on so hungrily, I was amazed that something so small could suck so hard! At the same time, a delicious sensation washed over me - I never thought breastfeeding would be *delicious*. The first time I felt my milk let down, I grabbed my breasts in pain and hugged them to my chest. And then the milk flowed in generous streams and I was amazed that my body was capable of such a feat. When Carmen cried, my letdown occurred almost instantly - the physical connection that I thought ended with my pregnancy continued as Carmen flourished outside my womb. I never read about this in books.

I never thought the Mama Bear inside me would emerge with such a vengeance. While my husband said "Sure, you can hold her", I thought frantically "LET GO OF MY BABY!!!" I began having intrusive thoughts about practically everything - imagining how I could throw my body in front of hers or turn the car just so to avoid her being hit. I made everything that went into her mouth from scratch - organic, pure, healthy... she ate better than Jason and I. I would do anything in my power to make sure she had the best.

As she's gotten older, I have relaxed my stranglehold on motherhood. I am comfortable leaving her in the care of others. I don't fret if the dog french-kisses her or if the sippy cup is coated in dog hair. The five-second rule has become the five-minute rule.

BUT. But I continued to breastfeed her past that 12 month mark. I never worried if she didn't eat every piece of avocado or every chickpea because I knew I was helping to sustain her. I was giving her the calcium from my bones. I was jump-starting her immune system.

I healed her bonks on the head with a few sips from my breast. I comforted her with my milk as she drifted to sleep. I thought nothing of popping my boob out, wherever and whenever Carmen needed it. I revelled in the skin-on-skin contact we shared in the bathtub when she would see both nipples at once and have a hard time choosing between the two! I shared something with her that nobody else could. I was her number one.

And just like one of "those moms", I secretly relished the way she would reach down into my shirt, much like a greeting! I loved when she signed for milk in times of distress. I loved the way she nursed to sleep without a problem. I loved the way I could nurse her in the lineup at the Sun Run, or over coffee with a friend, without skipping a beat.

And now... now it's over. It was a choice we both made. Hers, because she is becoming so independant. Mine, so that I can get pregnant again. My only consolation is that pregnancy might allow me to do it all again. That, and her recent need for kisses and hugs - maybe she is missing and craving the same closeness that I am?

My breasts ache. Carmen accidentally kicks me while we play and I reel in pain. In the shower, I knead them to relieve the pressure and small jets of milk escape. Although painful, I want to feel my letdown so badly, but to no avail. Each day my milk becomes less and less. I never knew that the last time she nursed would be "THE LAST TIME SHE NURSED". Like, somehow I would have captured every nuance in my brain and recorded it for those times when she becomes a teenager and tells me she hates me, or that I embarrass her. Now she signs for milk, but it's for the sippy cup that she drinks from with reckless abandon!

I know this is a stepping stone that I have to go through. I just never thought it would be so hard.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Month Thirteen and Fourteen - Time is Precious!

Well I hoped to be able to continue my monthly updates, but it just seems like we are always on the go! To the dog park, to the playground, to Stroller Fitness, to sleep!

Most things take longer these days, mostly because my baby is no longer a baby - she is a girl! An individual, an independant soul, a little fairy spreading her pixie dust and laughter all over the house like confetti. I can no longer feed her bits of banana, this girl wants to do everything by herself! That includes diaper changes, baths, getting dressed, snapping the buckle on the carseat and nursing!

Oh yes, the nursing. Ah, I remember the foolish post a while back about weaning. WEANING! HAHAHA! Not if Carmen can help it! Carmen's nursing has taken on a whole new, and acrobatic, dimension. She headstands, faceplants, downward-dogs and battering rams into my poor breasts. She flits from one side to the other capriciously, pulls away and smacks her lips, nuzzles some more, twiddles my nipples, crawls around and then comes back again. I am her jungle gym, her activity mat with refreshments. It is hilarious and aggravating at the same time! Nighttimes are the best time - the only time I can hold her in my arms for more than two seconds to nurse properly. But then the dog barks. Or Jason comes upstairs. Or the phone rings. Any small diversion and she is arching her back, trying to escape my lap to see what the hubbub is about! But if I decide enough is enough, she is either screaming in her crib, or back a few minutes later to nibble on my shoulder - the international sign for "I'm HUNGRY"...

Signing. I took a signing course. I sign to her all the time. I swear that at one point she was signing back "milk" but I must have been dreaming! Carmen has invented her own form of sign language. Biting my shoulder for milk. Arching her back and screaming for "I don't want ". Stink fumes wafting from her butt for "I just filled my dipes". Smacking the edge of the bed to call the dog.

But she does clap and wave. So maybe all hope is not lost. I'll keep trying.

I've been feeling the need to "let go" a bit. While I still make homemade organic meals for Carmen, it's okay if someone feeds her a Kraft Cheese Slice. It's okay if she is covered in dog hair for a good portion of the day. It's okay if I drink a beer while she's nursing (!), or if I let her taste a bit of chocolate. It's okay if she throws her food off the highchair table down to the dog...

Well, so long as the bowl isn't included next time...

I've been going out and doing a lot more fun things - most recently, three of my former clients with older babes showed up at my doorstep and (thank god) kidnapped Carmen and I to take over the Foundation for beer and natchos! The girls happily cruised around the (probably filthy) retro furniture while we ladies shared a pitcher and dove into a giant plate of natchos! Fun for all the girls! Jason and I have been active more, on walks and runs and to the doggy beach.

Maybe subconciously it's because Jason and I have officially pulled the goalie and are thinking about baby #2. Carmen enjoys other kids so much that I can't imagine her not having siblings. It's a scary prospect though when I think about how much our lives changed with just one! It seems that people are divided in their reactions - either we're crazy, or not crazy. Hmph. In any case, I feel like I need to live it up a bit, before I get pregnant again and give up my body to another lil'un for a few years.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Letter to Carmen - Baby Today, Toddler Tomorrow

I can't believe it's been a whole year. Sometimes the days were long, sometimes the months were short - all I know is that suddenly you are an independant little girl with an attitude and personality and charm and a wicked sense of humour!

Now you want to hold the spoon at breakfast. You crawl up to my feet and pull yourself up using my pantlegs to get my attention. You carry my keys around the house and try to open every drawer and cupboard by jingling them around the handle. The cuteness is astounding.

You clap your hands in the right parts of "If You're Happy and You Know It". You wave goodbye to your daddy when he heads off to school in the morning, or to me when you are leaving the room. In fact, if Daddy tries to leave without waving goodbye, you get downright angry! Every morning, you scramble to the edge of the bed and yell "Dahhgay" while whacking the mattreess to get Bella to come over. You are a creature of habit, just like me.

You and Bella have a love-hate relationship - you looooove Bella, but we can't be sure that the feeling is mutual. When we are out walking together, you reach for the leash from the stroller to hold on to her. When we are out giving her a ball huck, you want to hold the green chucker between throws. If I kick the ball to Bella, it sends you into peals of laughter and fits of giggles that are SO contagious! When we are home, you gravitate towards the tags on Bella's collar and yank on them, while Bella stares up at me, big brown eyes pleading, "Make her go away, puleeeeez?" Her food dish is a favourite spot for you, as is Bella's doggy bed, full of slimey dirty doggy toys that you insist on stealing and chewing on. I just hope it is serving your immune system well!

For your birthday, we decided to have a small party. Mostly I just wanted to make you a fabulous cake like all the other moms I know. Maybe an Elmo cake, or a Daisy flower or something ridiculous and fancy. I slaved over a Lemon Poppyseed Cake the night before, zesting organic lemons, limes and oranges. I beat eggs, sifted flour, fluffed butter, you name it. The morning of your party I found that it had turned into a Lemon Poopyseed Brick unfit for human consumption. Devastated, I trudged off to the grocery and bought an organic BOX o' cake. This cake called for milk, oil and eggs. This cake turned out superbly. This cake amazed the guests - even when coated in day-glo yellow frosting and bathtub rubber duckies. But you? Not you. As I set the blazing cake down in front of you, we blew out the candles and cheered. You smiled and pictures were snapped. I set a piece before you and... you barfed. Not a single morsel of cake entered your mouth! Apparently you have inherited your father's disinterest in sweets!

You are absolutely infatuated with other kids and love to be around others. Not that you aren't a bit of a bully - usually you stick your fingers into eyes and mouths or pull hair or bite - all in the name of love, I'm sure! One of the gifts you got on your birthday was a little stroller with a baby in it and it is definitely your favourite new toy. That poor baby has been dragged from one side of the house to the other, and I can hear you crawling around with the baby, your other little hand slapping the floor "THUNK slap THUNK slap THUNK!" Quiet, you are not.

Crawling up the stairs is now a piece of cake, and cruising around with the edge of the coffeetable turns into quite the bout of mischief if I have forgotten to pick up the opened mail, a glass of water or the diaper bag. You love banana pancakes and hummous with pita, Cheddar Bunnies and the lentil mush that your babysitter, Daniela, sends home with you every once in a while. I'm hoping that you are turning into a foodie like your Daddy and Mommy.

You are quite the acrobat and have hurled yourself headfirst off the diaper change table while my attention was on the "business end"... a few minutes and massive amounts of vomit later, your Daddy and I rushed you to the ER. Your daddy drove with a furious calm while I bawled and tried to keep you awake in the back of the car. Once we got there, you were fine. I think we lost years off our lives. I'm sure it won't be the last time!

You love books. You love dogs. You love books about dogs and will sit with your Baby Einstein "Dogs" book forever, turning the pages and saying "Gog gog gog". You love when I stick my tongue out and pant with the "Dogs pant when they are warm" page. You love when I count to four on the "There are many different kinds of dogs" page.

One of the cutest things about you is the way you will sit for half an hour in front of the buckle on your diaper bag, carseat, highchair or backpack carrier and try to put it together. You are obsessed with figuring things out and anything that keeps you IN you want OUT of. I hope you will be a problem-solver, a figurer-outer. I hope you will like math.

But whatever it is you blossom into, I know I will love you forever.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Month Eleven - The Transition


The last month has been a doozie. It seems like my little baby is quickly turning into a little girl and I don't know how to stop it! Life as we know it will never be the same.

Most importantly - Carmen says MAMA! I know there might come a day when her calling Mamamamamama at the top of her lungs might get nervewracking, but right now I can't get enough of it! Clapping is a lot of fun too!

We've been waiting for quite a while for Carmen to gain some purchase on the ground with her little legs and now she's finally done it. Carmen is crawling - EVERYWHERE. And it's like she's just discovered that the rooms in our house are connected together and she can travel from one to the other! She follows me from the nursery to the bedroom to the bathroom, collecting dust and dog hair along the way. Part of me wants to attach little clothes to her knees so she can be my little Swiffer and help out with the housework! She doesn't sit still for a minute and I have to watch her like a hawk. Thankfully she hasn't discovered Bella's food dish yet, but I know that is coming!

Along with this comes the reality of our sleep situation. I usually nurse Carmen before naps and bedtime in our big bed, then I leave her to fall asleep there. At nighttime Jason transfers her to her crib, but for naps I used to leave her there. Suddenly the afghan that used to keep her little body pinned no longer works and she is crawling around on the bed the minute I leave! So I just spent the last hour and a half trying to get Carmen to sleep in her crib for her afternoon nap. She kept getting up and crawling around, playing with the bars, singing and chatting away! She finally went to sleep - right at the time I would regularly get her up! ARG!

Two more bottom teeth have appeared, but they certainly don't rival the size of Carmen's giant front tooth - we call her Fangora! Seriously, we could use her mouth as a beer-bottle opener - BUT WE DON'T!!! Yet.

As for dinner table accomplishments, Carmen is able to grab a cup herself and drink out of it successfully 95% of the time! The other 5% of the time, she drinks out of the far side of the cup and pours the contents down her front. The learning curve is steep, I tell ya!

Over the past little while, I've been thinking about when is the right time to wean Carmen from breastfeeding during the day. So far, she's weaned herself down to 4 times a day - in the morning, before each nap and before bedtime. I think the morning and nighttime is fine, but continuing to breastfeed during the day is somewhat limiting. She was fine for my trip to Whistler, drinking pumped milk from a sippy cup or not at all for a few days... Aside from the obvious freedom, I wore a REAL BRA the other night for Date Night and thought about how good my girls looked! Maybe that sounds vain, but after having my body dedicated to a small being for nearly two years, it would feel great to feel more like a sexual being than a Free Range Organic Heifer!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

West Coast Mamas on the Weather Network

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*one of my moms was kind enough to save the segment while she had the news streaming on her computer...

Today for my outdoor Stroller Fitness class at Trout Lake, the Weather Network came to tape our workout and interview me - yay!!! A light dusting of snow, some sunshine and 24 of my favourite moms were out in full force to show Canada how great it is to be a new mommy in Vancouver!

I even wore mascara! You know, so my eyes would pop on TV!

If anyone wants to check us out, the segment on West Coast mamas getting active during the winter starts airing this Friday, and continues to air for 2 weeks! Yay!

And since I got such great free advertising, I thought it was prudent to invest in a nice Lululemon uniform for the event! Check out my pants!!! Sassy!

*editor's note: Unfortunately you cannot see my pants in the interview, nor did my eyes pop with my mascara... sigh. But trust me, the pants - they. ARE. HOT.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Month Ten - Big Bad Carmen

It's Carmen's tenth month and she is changing so quickly.

She got a tooth, which arrived with much fanfare the morning before her tenth monthiversary with us. And this tooth is not just any old tooth - this big pearly white shines like a beacon when she smiles and cuts like a saw when she eats! Every meal at the highchair is followed by a palate-clensing glass of water and playtime with the toothbrush. We have to watch her fairly carefully so that she doesn't gag herself, but she LOVES chewing on the soft bristles of the brush and waving the yellow plastic wand about her like she is casting spells! She also likes to brush OUR teeth with it, and when I brush my teeth with my electric brush, she insists that I come over to polish her new accessory as well, sans paste.

More and more often, when I turn my back while Carmen is sitting upright, I will turn back to find her still sitting but a foot or two from where she was before. She's getting around SOMEHOW, but I don't know how! Scooching on her heels and bum? Who knows? Eventually I will catch her in the act!

Carmen's interest in the world around her is growing - she is like a little sponge. She cheerfully chants "Duck Duck Duck" while attempting to gnaw a hole through her little rubber ducky's head. She constantly launches herself sideways in my arms or in the highchair so that she can see below whether or not Bella is around. She gets excited when she hears the telltale jingle-jangle of Bella's collar and the tick-tack of her claws on the hardwood each morning when Bella drags herself off the couch and into the bedroom to say hello. Carmen stares, transfixed by the wagging of her tail, and laughs if I get Bella to bark.

I've started a Friday knitting circle with many of the women from my different classes since we have babes of similar age. They play together (or konk each other on the head with toys) while we eat, knit and chat. It's amazing to see the way Carmen interacts with other kids! She loves being around other babies, and has started to get a bit aggressive in her toy-stealing! I guess being the non-mobile one for so long is making her compensate by being a bully? Not sure...

Before, I used to be able to vaccuum, use the electric mixer and the milk steamer on the coffee machine while Carmen was in the room. Not so much anymore! She freaks out at loud, unexpected noises and needs to be reassured that there isn't any danger. She is also developing quite the sense of humour. The other morning I was laying in bed beside her trying to fake sleep to get her to nap. She was doing everything in her power to make me laugh - sticking her fingers in my nose and mouth, plucking my bra strap, gurgling and cooing while conducting an imaginary orchestra with her arms! I was shaking, trying not to laugh, but I didn't fool her! Carmen 1, Mommy 0.

Monday, February 5, 2007


I bet you can't watch this without smiling!!!

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Month Nine - Doin' Just Fine

Ahhh, Nunuboo - what would we do without you?

To sum it up in one word, life has been busy. With Jason back at school and my classes back in session, our lives seem like a bit of a whirlwind and the month-long vacation feels like it was over months ago!

Carmen is still getting around the room backwards and has yet to make any forward progression... I would worry more, but I'm kind of enjoying this last bit of freedom before she becomes really mobile and tries to stick chopsticks into the electrical outlets that we have yet to childproof!

Besides, who needs to crawl when she gets the royal treatment while travelling? Carmen has gone cross-country skiing, enjoys regular jaunts with Bella and I in the stroller, and is quickly outgrowing her first carseat - she is 18lbs! Most of the babes in Carmen's playgroup are much larger, but I can still (barely) remember when she was under 6lbs!

Going to the grocery store is one of Carmen's favourite destinations. She finally fits in the grocery cart, sitting up all by herself and ready to pull anything off the shelf that her little paws can get hold of. I'm sure that one day I will find packages of teething biscuits inside her jacket, stolen from the Famous Foods when I wasn't looking!

Speaking of teething - it's all the rage again these days. Drooling, crying, refusing to eat... and yet, NO TEETH!!! Seriously. Many days, the only thing she will allow in her mouth is the nice cold yogurt I offer up when all other nutrient sources are refused. Carmen cops a bit of attitude in the high chair, banging her feet against the foot rest and her head against the back of the chair, holding her breath until her eyes bulge out and her face turns red. Clenching her gums together, if I manage to get any food in between her lips, she will forcefully spit it out in my face... THIS IS ORGANIC BUTTERNUT SQUASH, kiddo! Homemade with love and the sweat of my brow! THE NERVE!

But the sleeping - that's the payoff. Our kid can SLEEP, better than most I've heard of. I can always count on Carmen's punctuality with her morning and afternoon naps. And the nighttime! We sleep! Hours and hours! LOVE IT!

As a couple, Jason and I have become addicted to boardgames like Carcassone and Settlers of Catan or Texas Hold'em in order to preserve some semblance of a social life, since our little girl hits the hay at around 7:30pm! We've gone out for many dinners on our own, while our sleeping babe is looked after by family or friends. It's sad that I don't manage to connect with many of the people I used to see on a regular basis. Times change, I guess? It's not for lack of trying, but it's hard to do "nights" now, or pubs, or anything else that is not baby-friendly.

While I'm working, Carmen is now getting taken care of by another SAHM with a son the same age as Carmen - her Italian boyfriend Nico! Carmen loves to hang out with Daniela and Nico and it makes my teaching SO MUCH EASIER and less stressful! Now I don't need to worry about Carmen pulling the hair of 6-week-old babies in my class, and I know she's having fun with someone her own age, not to mention getting meals and naps on a proper schedule. Thankfully my classes are full, so I am making enough to make childcare feasible!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I was part of the high-tech industry for over 10 years and I worked my butt off.

Nearing the end of my pregnancy, it was really hard to drag myself into work each day - I hated my job. Well, not all of it. I liked the people I worked with and I enjoyed using my brain when interesting problems arose. But for the most part, the work I was doing became more and more tedious... add to it the instability my company and the fact that I dreaded beginning the start-up/buy-out/layoff continuum all over again... well let's just say my job satisfaction had hit an all-time low.

But now!

Now, instead of monitoring fires hazards in supercomputers, or helping people download porn faster - I have a REAL JOB!!!

I get to help these bellies...

Turn into these babies...

This past Monday, I had my very first class of Prenatal Fitness clients over to my house for a reunion with their brand new babies! And now my prenatal clients are my POSTnatal clients! I have former moms-to-be in my Stroller Fitness and Mom & Baby Fitness classes!

How cool is that???

From these moms, I got many gifts and thank-you cards, but my most favourite was the email I got from the wife of a former co-worker, who came to me as a client:

I really wanted to say thanks... for the beautiful handmade gifts, the great classes, all the advice and helping me to have more confidence to squat and lunge this baby out! I was really quite nervous at the beginning of this pregnancy about being fit and having the endurance to get through labour. My fear was that I would not make it, have to have lots of medical interventions and go down a birth path that I don't want. After lots of thinking, reading and learning, I now realize that I may in fact go down a path that I don't want/hadn't planned but I'm okay with that because I feel like I've made the effort to work towards the kind of birth that I want for me, my husband and our baby. (okay - I'm welling up now!!).

When I walked into your class, I was a tad nervous of what was ahead. You were wearing your one of your Tri shirts and I had heard lots of rumours of "super fit Callie" from my hubby... Through all your classes though, you kept the class at a level that everyone could accomodate to and there was never any judgement for the level of energy you had or how far you pushed on any one day. I walked away from class each night feeling great. It was also my first "mommy" contact. Soooo great to be around other pregnant moms to gab about stuff that I am sure is not on the priority list of other non pregnant people. So I am glad that we ran into each other again. Even though I didn't really know you before, I do remember you as one of the "cool kids" at the Alcatel Xmas parties...

Anyhew, I was just on the website and there is no section for "what are people saying about Fit 4 Two?"... so I don't know where you want to keep this, but please feel free to use this email however you wish...

Here is the more official testimonial...

Going to Fit 4 Two classes during my pregnancy was a blessing. Both Callie's prenatal classes (Balls and Bands and Prenatal Fitness) gave me a safe and supported way to work out and meet other Moms. Callie creates an environment of non judgement and fun in her classes and genuinely cares about the participants. Even though there are (many) days where my energy levels were low during this pregnancy, I always felt re-energized at the end of class and great about what I had accomplished for me and the baby. I attended classes from early in my second trimester until my 39th week. Callie provided ways to modify exercises as I grew and changed so that I could participate as fully as possible and get a great workout at whatever stage I was in. I would recommend Callie's classes to anyone looking for an informative, fun and inspiring place to exercise during pregnancy!

Looking forward to sending out that birth announcement!!!

Talk about validation. These moms & babes are the better than any performance review I've ever had!