Nothing Tastes As Good As...

Once upon a time a supermodel was asked if she had a motto, and she replied, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."

For me, personally, that is utter garbage, because in my experience "skinny" feels pretty bad- weak and unhealthy type bad.  And I assure you, almost anything tastes better than not being able to lift half a couch feels.  But like most garbage, some good can be reclaimed from it- in my case by replacing the penultimate word:

"Nothing tastes as good as not-pain feels."

That, my friends, is a very true statement, and one I've been saying to myself recently, specifically in the wake of some particularly bad (sugar-induced) inflammation.  My joints have been shrieking with knife-sharp-agony (especially my left knee), so I just try to remember that feeling whenever I am tempted by tasty sugar-shelled chocolate eggs (just for random example...).  Sure, they're delicious, and I enjoy eating them, but not as much as I enjoy not being in agony.  Remember that, brain.

The phrase got morphed again today, as I tackled the physically hardest climbs I've done since returning to the gym: a 5.10- overhang, followed by a 5.10 overhang (I managed the first, but fell off the second multiple times until my grip was utterly shot and I had to be lowered).  I could feel my poor nutritional choices of the past week coming back to haunt me as I wrestled with those routes (joint pain, general tiredness), and I thought grimly to myself,

"Nothing tastes as good as climbing well feels."

My belay partner and I discussed how as we age, our bodies are less forgiving of inferior fuel, and that's something I need to keep in mind the next time I'm tempted to help myself to the chips Nathan is snacking on.  Especially if I'm serious about getting back into fighting trim, which I absolutely am.

All that aside, I left the gym feeling really good about my progress*, and really re-committed to climbing on a regular basis.  I want to up it to at least six times a month (and preferably twice a week), so that I can justify going back to a membership instead of a punch card.  That will be such a major victory for me, you guys, a huge step towards being the healthy Me I want to be.

*(finishing anything on overhang always makes me feel like a beast, and also a climber I really respect complimented me on my good technique, which was deeply appreciated)**

**(also my calluses are finally coming back!  Woo hoo!)


Strangers in a Gym

So I mentioned that I'm getting back to the gym.  With that comes conversations with people- some I know, some I don't- and the other day it included a conversation with an extremely pregnant woman who was hanging out, waiting for her friend to get off work.  We got to talking about pregnancy and how having a kid changes things in unexpected ways (it's her first) and I want you to know, Gentle Readers, that I am very proud of myself, because I didn't tell her one single Horror Story- not one!  I mean, I wasn't making it out to be All Magical Bliss, either, but I think I did a good job of being the kind of mom I liked to chat with while I was pregnant: realistic about the challenges, but positive overall.  Mostly I focused on how much I enjoy Neeps these days- how much I like him as a little person.

And, honestly, I think she found it encouraging to hear that I'd gained around 50lbs while pregnant- because obviously I am not still carrying that weight.  (Never mind the amount that I am still carrying- that's beside the point).

We humans have to support one another, eh?  And that means not adding to/embellishing upon the anxieties our brains are perfectly capable of manufacturing on their own, thank you very much.


Sharing My World(s)

My boss and I decided to change our office hours this year, and as a result I now get off early on Fridays (why yes, he is the best boss ever, why do you ask?).  As a result, I've been making it into the climbing gym once a week for the past five weeks or so, and I can definitely feel the difference.  Not just physically (although my goodness yes), but mentally and emotionally, as well.  Every time I solve a route, every time I push through trembling muscles to the next hold, I feel like me again.  Like my life has finally settled down enough that I can brush away all the dust that came from carving the new "mom" parts and re-reveal the old "pre-mom" parts.  Is that a simile that even makes sense?  I'm sticking with it, regardless.

Anyway, the past couple of weeks I've been there, there's also been a father with his young daughter.  She's about five, and he belays her while she top-ropes.  It's freaking adorable, and I can't wait until Neeps is old enough to try.  He's recently become very interested in climbing onto things, so I've been thinking that pretty soon now I'm going to take him in to the gym to see if he wants to do a little baby bouldering.  Heck, maybe I'll even take him in tomorrow morning- it's scheduled to rain, after all.

Today it did not rain, however, so my bike ride back from the gym was glorious, and once I got home I did what I've been dreaming of doing for months and months- installed a toddler seat.  (I finally used my Christmas money and ordered it earlier this week: it arrived last night.)  And then I went and picked my son up from daycare, brought him home, helmet-ed him up, and took him for a ride.
Please note the adorably ruffled jeans, borrowed from daycare after too much playing-in-puddles.

He loved it, but I don't know if he loved it as much as I loved it.  Because for him it was just a new, fun activity- for me it was fun and emotional.  My heart was swelling up and singing joyously, so happy to be able to share another beloved activity with him.  Now we have hiking and cycling that we can do together.  And soon?  Climbing.  And eventually?  Him being able to do all of those things independently.

It's funny how my life has become this combination of super-fast and so-much-waiting.  On the one hand, Neeps is developing at a crazy rate: I love watching him figure things out and use new words and identify connections and basically just self-program his little meat-computer brain.  But on the other hand, let's face it- the past fifteen months have been a lot of me putting aside things I used to do all the time, so that I can focus on what needs my attention right now (poops and meals and naps and stacking blocks and reading Goodnight Moon for the umpteenth time) until I could someday come back to those things- and introduce my son to them, as well.

That someday is getting closer and closer.  And I'm so excited.
Adventure Buddies.


Love Fest 2017

It's that time of year again, Gentle Valentines!


Ha ha ha ha hah who am I kidding?  It's Second Best Holiday time, and I can't even pretend to be coy about it.  I've been sitting on this blog entry for almost two weeks now, and I'm super excited to share it with you, because this year, for the first time ever, I exploited my child for my own nefarious crafting devices.

Behold!  The Valentine Process of 2017!

I got it into my head that I wanted to do something with Neeps's foot prints.  I didn't know what, exactly, but something.  So when my good friend Kayla came up for a visit the other weekend, I took advantage of her presence to create a scenario in which the adults actually out-numbered the toddler (true fact: a two-to-one adult-to-kid ratio is actually an equal match) so that we could wrangle him into walking about on some poster-board with painted-up feet.

Looking suspiciously like evidence in a crime scene...
It was a good call on my part, and you'll notice that there are no photos of the actual Event, because Gentle Readers it legitimately took all three of us to make it happen without too much of a mess (Kayla and I still ended up with paint on our pants.  But that's why I bought tempera.)

We cleaned up his adorable little feet...

...and then I hurried up and waited for things to dry.  Once that was done, I armed Neeps with a marker and let him (somewhat) loose:

Yes, yes, nice use of linework to bring visual flow to the piece.
And then Neeps and I had a bit of a disagreement over whether or not markers are for eating:
This is the face of Ultimate Betrayal, in case you were wondering.
At which point he rage-quit over Creative Differences, and I finished the project up on my own by creating a heart template and placing it with Intention...
Oh-so-faint pencil lines.
...and then cutting and cutting and cutting.
I MAY have gotten carried away.  Maybe.
Ooo, ARTISTIC shot.
Then I came out of my Crafting Trance and realized I'd literally made over 70 little paint-splotched hearts.  Which turned out to be a good thing in the long run, but that's another story.  For now, let's take a look at how some of the Real Actual Valentines turned out!
Glue sticks and card stock are our friends, kids.

So are clever little quips.
And now, of course, the Annual Sharing of What I Did for Nathan's Valentine!
I used one of the more abstract images- it kind of reminded me of leaves.

Kind of a little throw back to 2015's Valentine*.

Our House Motto is "Secrets and Lies".  We're a strange family.

So there you have it- another Valentine Triumph.  And who knows?  Later today I might actually have some more to share, like whatever Nathan does for me.

THIS awesomeness!!
(Nathan won Valentine's Day this year, the jerk.)

*In case you missed that year's entry