Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Both Sides Now

This song really resonates with me, moving into the new year, looking back on years past. Beautiful lyrics and song by Joni Mitchell. Very much a poem that I hold dear to my heart, looking at love and life from both sides now. I am thankful for that experience.

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and ferries wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud,
To say "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

But now old friends they're acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed

Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day.

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

Friday, December 11, 2015

Well Hello There

I miss my blog. I just spent an hour reading it and looking back on almost 9 years of blogging about my life. This little blog meant so much to me to share with friends and family about our little corner of the world. I'm changed though, of course after two kids and 9 years, I am a different person. Thinking of my next writing adventure. Being the extreme over-sharer communicative Gemini Rising Virgo that I am, I'm sure I will come up with something.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

8 Months

I have 8 months to train for my half marathon. My goal for 2015 is a half marathon. I am almost half way to my marathon goal in 2017. Since my Bolder Boulder 10K, I had only run a handful of times over the summer. I usually take the summer off, but it sometimes leaves me wondering if I have to build that running base again? My friend Annette visited in September and she is a marathoner, our dream is to run the Rotterdam marathon together in 2017. Dan and I want to visit for 2-3 weeks with the girls, see Rotterdam and also visit Oldenburg, Germany again, where we lived for a year in 2004-5. We would love to show the girls, albeit they will still be pretty young, like 3.5 and 7.5 years old. I am sure we will visit again when they are older since Annette lives so close.

I found a great half marathon to run. It sold me when it said it's "all downhill" LOL It's the Colorado Marathon Half Marathon May 2015. I have 8 months to train. I was feeling a little dismayed and lost about a plan until Annette visited in September. She motivated me again, we got to talk about running, challenges, gear, nutrition, plans, websites, podcasts. It was exciting to speak with someone that loves running so much. She suggested we run really early one morning. She likes to run in the morning, and that motivated me to see what it was like. I had never run that early before, the sun never even came up while we were out 5:30-6:15. Wow was it dark! We didn't bring head lamps, but ran mostly on the lit roads. On the path we did come across a few others with head lamps. The stars were so beautiful. She runs faster than I, which ultimately did push me well.

It got me excited. Excited to run again, to find a half marathon to sign up for. I run alone and it gets lonely sometimes not having a support base or someone to run with or talk to about running. I have another girlfriend who trail runs marathons and she has been great to speak with as well, but a little intimidating. Maybe I am also a little hesitant to talk about it since I don't "look" like a runner and my best mile is a 13 minute mile. Since Annette left I have thought a lot about my attitude towards that, I have opened up more, joined a group on facebook, bought a Garmin watch, and have been reaching out to running friends and opening up more. I want to share my experience and hear other's experience as well.

I know I can finish 13 miles. Be it running, walking, jogging, or crawling, I know it is doable for me. It's just getting through the training uninjured and healthy. I don't have a plan in mind yet, I have been looking online, I might even mash a few together. I'd like to document my progress here. I didn't document much for my 10K.

I ran this morning at 5:30-6, only 2.5 miles, but it was a huge step for me. I'm not used to running in the dark, I have a little anxiety running alone in the dark. It was awesome though. I wore a head lamp, when I got to a really dark part of a trail, I decided not to do it. I took a turn and ran on the lit street. As I headed west I saw the almost full moon set behind the mountains. It was amazing and really solidified for me that I am on the right path. The cold air filled my lungs, I saw my shadow in the street lights and I was proud. Proud of myself for getting up and tackling a fear. It was fun and lovely and exhilarating to be up so early.

I admit I was a bit tired around 2:30-3 this afternoon, drank a coffee, then jumped on the bike to go get Didi. Total round trip is only about 5.5 miles. So fun, which brings me to another possible goal for 2015: Venus de Miles. I've heard of this bike race for a long time, it's time to check it out!

La Sirena

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

So many challenges, so little time

I kind of failed the Whole30. Ok honestly, it was super tough. After 15 days of sticking to the rules completely, I weighed myself. I needed something to keep me going, motivate me. I lost 9 pounds and 2 inches. Wow! That motivated me to get going again. But then hubby got a job offer and we HAD to celebrate with champagne. Then Labor Day weekend arrived and we decided to take the kids camping. Lots of good yummy snacky foods. I didn't go too crazy, just had a bun with my hot dog and some drinks. Whole 30 is hard, I felt like I really had to avoid everything, yet still be the cook in my house. Sometimes I feel like I am running a restaurant and not because I am making separate meals for every person, but because we eat at home SO much and I make sure to have fresh stuff like fruits, veggies, homemade bread, sauces, almost everything from scratch, but of course it's super simple. At any rate, the kids eat mostly what I cook, but Ruby has some exceptions as she is still so young and doesn't have all of her teeth.

I tried new things like making cauliflower tortillas, which are super labor intensive, but tasted amazing. Having a toddler hanging off your leg screaming, a 4 year old bouncing off the walls after school and the dog barking at everything that moves in the backyard makes it tricky to want to follow the 100 steps to make a cauliflower tortilla and learn how to use a cheese clothe in the process. I about lost my mind. One really cool trick I learned was how to make Zoodles with a julienne slicer. It was awesome and Didi had no idea they were not real pasta.

One downfall for me was the lack of planning. Like I said I always have sort of a general idea of what I will make for the week, but I also have our normal go-to items like fresh fruit and veggies, bread, milk, organic oatmeal and cereal, dairy, eggs, tortillas, meat. Basics to make meals out of. Ugh, I have been in a rut making somewhat the same meals for a while because I just haven't had the time or inspiration it takes to plan, shop, prepare, clean, chop, etc. We are just barely surviving over here with a 1 year old, 4 year old, jobs and the transition of the seasons trying to wrap up the yard work and prepare the house for colder weather. That one hour we have in the evening to ourselves is usually spent laying on the couch. My brain power is zero at that time. Weekends you say? I could use weekends to research, plan, prepare, clean, chop, cook? Yes, but it's been a bit crazy around these parts for this past summer and any sense of new motivation has been left to actually clean the bathrooms. Ok that and make the lunches for the girls at night.

We're coming around. Whole 30 left me with some awesome changes I saw in my body and also some non-scale victories. My chin strap on my bike helmet was no longer snug. I had a lot more energy and the aches in my joints almost completely disappeared. My skin looked amazing, glowing and my concentration was awesome. Why the heck was I able to focus so much better? Hmmm. And of course my pants fits better, the bloating was gone, which is caused by dairy and grains. But it was a lot. I felt like I had to give up too much at once and it was a lot of pressure and concentration that I just didn't have honestly. Raising two such young kids, stressed by work and hubby changing jobs, stress from my job, and sleep deprivation that I just need an outlet like a glass of wine or chocolate. I pretty much have no will power, ok, that's a lie, I do have some. LOL

I got a new scale, which propelled hubby and I to think of a new challenge. This new scale measures weight, body fat, BMI, and hydration. We are going to weigh ourselves weekly and at the end of 4 weeks, whoever lost the biggest percentage total is awarded one whole weekend day alone to do whatever they want. This seems trivial, but one whole day to ourselves to do whatever we want SANS KIDS is like a dream come true. Of course we could do this for one another, but we really believe in spending the very short weekends together. We also both have amazing amounts of guilt leaving one another for a whole day to take care of the kids alone. It's a lot of work alone when they are this young. So this little award takes away that guilt (ok sort of, of course I always experience that tinge of mommy guilt LOL). Something we earned!

We're going to take it easy and slow. I can't handle too many changes at one time as I learned from the Whole 30. We're both exercising a little more and making changes in the diet, but we're doing our own thing and making our own decisions about the changes we want to make. We'll see where it takes us in 4 weeks. Will I win?

Side note, I got my Garmin 15 yay!!! I have 8 months to train for my half marathon, here we go!!  More on that to come.

To all a great night,
La Sirena

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Let's Have a Cuppa

Ah, let's sit and have a cuppa tea or coffee together. Let's chat and laugh and catch up on what's been happening this summer. By summer, I mean the end of May, even though summer really doesn't start until the end of June with the equinox and all. I'm having a kona blend coffee, hot, with unsweetened coconut milk. Doesn't sound too tasty, but it's worth it to have a little burst of energy for the rest of the day. No more sweetener for me for the next 24 days. I'm doing the Whole 30, which is a 30 day elimination diet; no dairy, no grains, no sugars, no processed foods, no alcohol, and no legumes. I read half the book It Starts with Food, but then had to return it to the library. I ordered it from Amazon, but I decided to jump right into the diet. Ok wait, let's back up. I actually read that in June and then "jumped in" last weekend. I just ordered the book this weekend. I am a little behind, but that doesn't matter. I needed something for myself, a goal, new intentions I set during the super moon.

Since the end of May, life has been a bit crazy, chaotic, challenging, yet also rewarding and altering all at the same time. It's in the hardest of times that I learn the most, not only about myself, but about my little family; the girls and Dan. There was a lot going on from Ruby starting day care, Didi changing schools, running the Boulder Bolder, saying good bye to Lacy for the summer, a bike accident, my mom coming to get treatment for her eyes, a vacation, and work changing so much for myself and for Dan. Just thinking of the past 3 months makes me tired, but I also feel an immense gratitude for the challenges we faced, because we emerged having learned so much about our core strengths, love, and support for one another, along with a renewed sense of compassion for ourselves and others. Last Saturday, Dan and I took the girls and drove to the top of Mt Evans. It was cathartic for us as it symbolized the largest mountain we had summitted this year ourselves. Mt Evans is the highest paved road in America, it was amazing to get to the top and say we did! We got through the past 3 months and have so much to show for it.

Now that the girls have settled into their new school, a new routine is in place, I felt it was time to start something for myself once again. The first half of the year I was training for the Boulder Bolder and right after that race, it has been difficult for me to sit and recap it. I am incredibly proud of myself for reaching this goal. The race was amazing, I had lots of energy and also lots of nerves. I will definitely recap it and explain my next race goal for 2015 soon. During that race though I realized that I can not take on my next race goal without losing weight. I need to lose 30 pounds before I can seriously start training for my next race. Since my race isn't until fall of 2015, I am taking it by baby steps. I haven't run in 2 months and my body is aching to get back to it. At mile 4.5 in the race, I had extreme knee pain, enough for me to fall over to the sidewalk. I was in tears, I may have been pushing myself too hard, but I also realized all the extra weight I am carrying from having two babies and not watching my diet is effecting my knee pain. That is not the only factor, but a good part of it.

I have been seeing this Whole 30 around the social media circuit and since I did something similar after Didi was born, I knew it worked well. When Didi was born she was allergic to the dairy proteins in my breastmilk and I couldn't have dairy. I dropped about 40 pounds in 3 months and I felt amazing. My energy was up and I felt healthy. Eventually however her digestive track matured and she could have dairy and therefore I started introducing dairy in my diet again. The weight slowly came back on, but of course there were also contributing factors. Looking at the Whole 30 diet, I knew it could be done. I always have that anxiety towards failure, but I am a goal reacher, so I know 30 days is not that difficult in the scheme of things.

Six days and counting now. I would say the only things I really miss are agave in my coffee, I like a sweet coffee and a drink Friday night. Either wine or a margarita is my vice of choice. I was usually eating a protein and veggies for lunch and dinner, plus a grain and dairy like cheese or yogurt, but it hasn't been difficult to turn down the noodles/bread/quinoa, etc. The only dairy I really like is cheese, so eventually I know I will have a craving for it. I would have eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, so not too tough adding a a protein like ham or bacon and dropping the oatmeal. I also added in more fruit, which has been a nice sweet treat. I am not a big fruit eater. I would rather eat an onion than a peach, weird I know.

After almost a week on the Whole 30 I have already seen some non-scale victories. I say non-scale victories because you are not supposed to weigh yourself for the 30 days. I weighed myself on day 1 and will weigh myself on day 30. I have been tempted though, but I won't! The non-scale victories thus far:
  • More energy - I haven't been thinking about 2-3 cups of coffee during the day. Sometimes I decide to have a tea, just to have a nice hot drink.
  • Less (if any) cravings - I was just telling Dan how I would eat breakfast such as coffee, agave, creamer (coconut or half & half), have oatmeal, then be so starving come 10am. I would actually eat lunch at that time and then would have a snack at like 1 or 2. One thing about eating more nutrient dense foods (veggies and fruits) and more protein, I have been staying full longer and not having cravings. If there are cravings, they aren't as crazy intense. Like last night, I really wanted some chocolate, but instead I had dried fruit (no sugar added) and almonds. It hit the spot.
  • I noticed a few shirts and pants fit better yesterday and today. 
I have been biking a little, it's been so terribly hot that it's been short rides. I rode one time to Didi and Ruby's new school, however since it is twice the distance, it's takes twice the amount of time (which isn't a bad thing, but it eats into the time for dinner and baths and bedtime). I took the trailer and Ruby really doesn't like wearing her helmet in the trailer (it pushes forward) so she cries a lot and for 10 miles round trip, that can drive a person batty. I want to try the trip with the stuck bike and Bobike (Ruby rides in front on handlebars), however there are some cons to this. The pros are that the whole set up weighs less than the trailer set up. The cons are that I have to ride mostly on road and no trails to get there. The ride used to be about 50% trail and 50% quiet roads, however since the flood took out the trails, there aren't any I can go on, just a little patch behind some stores, which really isn't helpful. They will fix them eventually, but I do fear getting hit by a car with the stuck bike and Bobike set up. I fear getting hit by a car with the trailer, but that thing is so big and I have so many lights and flags on it, it is hard to miss. We'll see.

Not sure if I told you, but I got into a bike accident in June. I was riding to Didi's old school to pick her up and head to swimming lessons. I had the trailer packed with dinner, swim stuff and of course Ruby.  I was in the bike lane heading south, then I rode over a small driveway curb to pop onto the sidewalk and I crashed. The cause was the old light system I had on my bike, the old generator was still on the bike as we had not yet removed it. It fell into the spokes, bending and twisting my front tire and my bike went crashing down to the right. My left thumb was crushed, bled under the nail, my right leg was torn up and bleeding and bruised. I was totally shocked. I layed there for a few minutes, then turned around to look at the trailer. Ruby was totally fine, the trailer didn't budge and didn't roll. That thing is built really well and is designed such that if the bike takes a spill, it should remain in place. It did just that and I was so thankful. The sad part is that I crashed in front of a houses on a well used road, at like 4:15 in the afternoon. Three cars drove by and no one stopped, no one even asked if I was ok. No one came out of their houses, nothing. It's pretty sad. I totally would have stopped. I have stopped before and asked people if they were ok. Geesh. At any rate, I made it back to my house and packed the van to pick up Didi and go to swim lessons. It took a month for Dan to fix my bike, it was so messed up from the crash. I was shaky the next few times I went out, but now I am fine. I love my bike(s).

We did go swimming a lot these past few months and one last time probably tomorrow. I can't wait for the weather to cool down, to take more hikes and ride more bikes. I think about the dream I have of owning one car one day and relying mostly on my bike. Could I do it? I think I could, it would be such a fun challenge! One goal and one step at a time though.

And the most important milestone that happened this summer? Ruby Alia turned 1 years old!!! She is such a joy in our life, always smiling, always babbling, always exploring. She is a little lovey, cuddly baby. Not walking yet, which I am thankful for as I soak up her last days of babyhood. She crawls like a quick little spider monkey and laughs when I fake like she is in trouble. She doesn't say any words, well, we think she is saying "hi" sometimes. She uses the sign "more" and loves to point and babble "eh eh eh ah ah ah" when she wants something. Sleeping great mostly through the night and naps everyday around 12:30-3:30 depending. She has 9 (!) teeth, where Didi only had like 4 or 5 at this age. She eats almost everything, but dislikes eggs, waffles, and avocado. She loves graham crackers, string cheese, all green veggies like peas, broccoli, green beans, and edemame. She really doesn't like white potatoes, but does sometimes like mashed sweet potatoes. She loves water and taking walks in her stroller or the backpack and especially likes going up and down the stairs. She scales those things like Spiderman. Her 1 year old pictures are scheduled for tomorrow, so excited. I will share when they are available. Oh little Ruby, we love you soooooo much, you complete our family :)

Off to enjoy this quiet time while Ruby is asleep and Dan and Didi are at the splash pad. What to do? What to do?
La Sirena

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Hi there. How are you? Good? Good.

Me? Tired. Very very very tired. Didi has decided never to sleep again even though we have used tons of bribes, threats, prizes, sticker charts, rules, crying, begging, pleading. I may have even offered a bath in ice cream and eat as much chocolate as she wants. Nope, didn't work.

We took away all TV, all movies, all toys, gymnastics, bike riding, swimming, play dates. Nope, she didn't care. Still got up and won't sleep.

I tried reasoning, explaining how sleep is good, how sleep is important, makes us grow, feel good, feel happy, we dream, we share, we relax, we snuggle in. Nope, nada, she still got up. She still gets up night after night, after night after night.

Tired. Zombie. Mombie. And to think I assumed it would be the baby that kept us up all night every night. Little Ruby does have her share of awakenings every once in a while, usually right before Didi and then again right after to make sure I am up 4 hours straight per night. The worst is getting to sleep for like an hour, then be woken up for an hour, then sleep 15 minutes, then be awake 2 hours, to fall asleep again for 30 minutes, then awake again for an hour, just to realize it's now morning.

This has been going on for oh, about 6 weeks now.

In the bath tonight, as Didi was playing with her Princess Anna doll, she said "I want a Kristoff doll". A light went off in my head!!! Sleep!! THIS could be the bribe for at least one blissfull full nights restful beautiful wonderful sleep.

"Didi, if you sleep ALL NIGHT, in YOUR BED, without getting up AND stay in there until mommy and daddy come get you, we will BUY you a Kristoff doll!!!"

Didi staring down at Anna, contemplating this arrangement.

"Didi, did you hear mommy? Do you want a Kristoff doll for Anna?!" (please god of all sleeping children, let this be our chance! Let this be that ONE special bribe that will make her stay in her bed ALL NIGHT so we can get some sleep for the LOVE OF GOD!)

"Didi, are you there?!"

Didi washing Anna's hair, "mommy I could wash Kristoff's hair and he and Anna could play with my in my room"

"YES Didi! That sounds like SO MUCH FUN! Sleep ALL NIGHT In your bed and you get a Kristoff doll!! Mommy and Daddy will buy you one!!! Ok, so what do you need to do to get a Kristoff doll?!" (please repeat what I just said, please god of the sleeping children, let this sink into her tiny beautiful head, please let that light switch go off that says "yes I will stay in bed to get what I want")


"Yah, mama?"

"What did I just say?"

"I can have a Kristoff doll if I stay in MY BED ALL NIGHT" (I swear she looked up at me with a sinister smile, knowing this is a pivotal point in mommy's sanity if she doesn't get to sleep soon)

"Yes Didi, let's do this, make mommy very happy"

Now let's all pray to the god of sleeping children that she stays in bed all night. Because at this point I would do anything just to be able to sleep at least 4 hours in a row.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Only Thing Constant

Change. The only thing constant is change. It is always around us, nothing stays the same, or at least not for long. I've had such a good path over the past eight months with my work and caregiver situation for Ruby to stay home. I've been blessed to have her home for as long as I've had, almost her whole first year! Didi was in the center starting around 5 months and of course, my work situation was much different back then. I started working from home when Didi turned one, then there was no commute and much more time with her as she was so close by in a center in town. Having Ruby home has meant the world to me, but now starting Monday she will be in a center. She was supposed to be watched by my mom starting Monday, but alas plans change and we must either fight against the universe or go with the flow. At first I was sad and then mad, and I allowed myself to be because it's healthy to experience my emotions as they roll past. But my decision to keep moving forward, go with the flow and see what the best options were for us presented themselves. It feels good to be grateful for options and know how blessed we are as a family, there are others with no such options and I remind myself of that.

My job has changed tremendously over the past month, I am still doing my current job, but also taking over a portion of a coworker's job as she has been promoted. Happy for her, but sadly this meant way more work and responsibility for me. There is always that few months of learning a new position that is tough, the training, the questions, the newness of it all. The anxiety of changing jobs again, fourth time in the last 1.5 years in the same department. It was disheartening, especially since I knew I couldn't keep a busy baby turning into a busy toddler at home with a caregiver, who knows mama is just working down the stairs or the next room. It was time for her to go to a center, where she can be with other babies, play and experience more. I love these centers, so I know she is safe and having fun, I am reminded of that daily with Didi and how well she does.

Another change is that Didi will be saying goodbye to her current school starting the 1st of July and going to the school where Ruby will be. Didi went there as a toddler and she is familiar with it and happy to "go to school" with Ruby. She will be a big help for me, carrying Ruby's things, putting her lunch away, writing her name on the daily sheet. I look forward to it, it will be nice having both girls in the same spot, just have to get through a few weeks apart. The other school is twice the distance than Didi's current school, it's 5 miles away instead of 2.5 miles. This means no more morning bike rides to school. I can probably still do pick up though, it will just take a little longer, and it's all uphill on the way there EEEPPP!! I won't do it everyday, but maybe a few days a week. I used to do that ride with Didi a lot when she was there and some of the trails are destroyed from the flood in September 2013, I'll need to do some exploring over the coming weekends for a safe route. This is definitely something fun to look forward to.

In a way the universe guides us towards decisions we need to make, steps we need to take, and if we hesitate and don't want to move forward and procrastinate, situations happen that force us in the direction that is best for us. A kind of kick in the rear. I knew with my job changing I would need full time child care outside of my home. My responsibilities are much different now, it's a good time to make this transition. Ruby will be one, dropping the morning nap, not nursing as much and transitioning to cow's milk, almond, coconut milk, eating more table foods. This is just the next step in our direction, the path we should be on.

To all a lovely week,
La Sirena