Mele Kalikimaka!

Tropical Tree

Today might be a three post kind of day because I have so many drafts, that I am starting to get anxious about it.

Anxiety at Christmas? You don’t say!

Hah!

Who doesn’t have a little extra anxiety during the holidays? I don’t think I know a single person, actually.

However, I have vowed to not be that stressed out Mummy. No way. It’s no fun to be told Christmas is nothing but stress. Or worse, to think it. Especially when you have little eyes and ears watching and listening to everything you do and say. It’s simply not true, anyway.

Christmas is a wonderful season of perpetual hope, and if there is one thing I have learned in my years on this planet* it’s that hope floats. It’s always there and you have to hone your hope holding skills throughout your life, because it’s short. Really, really short. Even when it seems long.

Christmas is what you make it. You can make it all about stuff and spending and stress. Sure! Go right ahead. Seriously, fill your boots, but don’t blame your getting caught up in the commercialism on Christmas. Nope. Christmas didn’t make you do that. Santa didn’t point to the most expensive, elaborate, electronics and say, “By the powers of Comet’s Candy Cane, I command you to buy that!”. Not a chance.

Christmas is simple.

Humans make it complicated.

You have to be human, but you don’t have to be pressured into a holiday that stresses you out.

Cool your jets.

Take a breath.

Remember the wonder.

Breathe in the aromas.

Think back to a time when you believed in the magic.

Embrace the simplicity of an old fashioned Christmas, whatever that means to you.

Know that you are not alone.

Everyone is stressin’ a bit.

No one has *everything* done.

Martha Stewart has a team!

We just have each other.

Smile and know that even when people around you seem to have everything under control, there’s always an element of mystery in how the heck things get done.

For instance, we here at Chez Peady have been having the soggiest December I can ever recall and we have also been fighting a wicked cold, so we are very admittedly behind our typical December schedule. All the things that have not yet been done, were put on the back burner while the things that had to be done got done. School concerts, finding the lost trumpet, trumpet practice, finding the right shoes, making sure everyone was where they needed to be on time, getting a bit of shopping done, making sure I talked to my mother as often as possible, getting to a few charity eventseven one in my Jammies – these all took precedent over making sure the ornaments were in the perfect place.

It’s life and it’s messy.

Look!

Christmas Mess

 

Am I freaking out? Nope. Why should I? Why should I waste a single drop of my precious energy freaking out when it will get done, with or without a grown-up tinsel tantrum?

It always has. I have yet to miss a Christmas. *wink*

So, my best advice to you, as Christmas is festively, twinkling up on us, is to take a deep breath and embrace the merriment.

 

Don’t forget to take care of your own needs, too. You matter! We need you to be at your best**, of course.

This morning I went to Zumba – just so you know I really am practicing what I preach – and I almost jumped for joy when I heard this pop up in the middle of class.

Yes, we did a Hula this morning to Mele Kalikimaka***. It was so fun! Could my Zumba instructor be any cooler?

 

So, tell me, what stage of preparedness are you in for the upcoming Holidays?

Are you about ready to be Dasher and flee the scene?

Are you happily a Prancer ready to take on the task and dance your way through your cookie exchange?

Are you feeling Grinch-like and wondering what the heck is the big deal anyway?

Has your inner Ebenezer reared his Scrooge-y grumpiness?

What is your best advice for having a yule that’s cool?

Leave a comment and share your best tips for avoiding tinsel tantrums.

 

 

*No, I have never lived on another planet. Though there was that time last winter when it felt like we lived on Hoth.

**But we even like you when you are at your worst.

***Mele Kalikimaka**** has been a month-long mind-worm. Go ahead and ask my chicas! Ukuleles at Christmastime? Oh YES!

****Then there’s this, which I saw on Saturday, but wasn’t blogged out until today, hence the edit! COME ON!! This is hulu-arious! (Day #8) Zucchini is the sweetest doggie!

Moderation Contemplation

Everything in moderation, including moderation. ~Oscar Wilde

 

Saturdays are pretty casual at Chez Peady, but we have a few things we tend to do on any given Saturday when we are in town.

I have a regular Saturday morning Zumba class, which I would never (ever, ever, EVAR) miss, unless I was physically not present. I missed last weekend because I was away celebrating a very important birthday and though I missed baltering with my bestie, I am so glad I was able to be present to present the presents.*

The Things are not currently enrolled in any extracurricular activities on Saturdays, so they tend to have a fairly relaxing morning. They might read or have a bit of TV or CPU time for a little while and, after a while, typically the topic of cleaning will be brought up by Daddy-O and they vanish like, well – like clean in a kids room!

There are a million great reasons to tidy a Thing room. In that there are a million things that need to be picked up off that darn floor and put away, donated or tossed.

And yet, today just didn’t seem like the right day to push it.

Thing 2, clearly got wind of a forthcoming fumigation because she decided to sleep in. It was an avoidance tactic, obviously, but I know my kiddos and it was also a clear sign that she was feeling stressed about stuff. It’s funny, you know, stuff can really bog a person down. Even a teeny Thing-like person.

They are always so relieved and relaxed once the annual pre-Christmas purge happens, but there’s no need in stressing them to the max in order to create calm. It sort of defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.

Thing 1, was happy to hang out with Daddy-O and play some computer games while I went off to Zumba (which was awesome, by the way) to dance away my stresses. He has an interesting set of avoidance skills, himself, mind you. He can organize his books for hours, but the closet floor will remain carpeted with a week’s worth of clothes. It’s enough to make a mother consider a rather pricey investment in that caution tape the police use to keep people away from crime scenes.

No. Today was a day of doing as little as possible and doing it with enthusiasm.

 

Usually, Saturday’s lunch is left over pizza from Friday Family Fun Night, but last night’s was so yummy the Things ate the whole pie! It was a simple Pepperoni & Cheese pizza and they were hungry Things! So, leftover pizza was out.

It seemed the kind of day that a fun lunch was in order, so we came up with the following meal. Brace yourself. No really. I mean it. Go eat some kale and have some cucumber water to prepare yourself for the forthcoming information.

This is a Peanut Butter, Banana, and Nutella sandwich – on WHITE bread!

*faints*

With BBQ chiptonite on the side.

*dies*

The Things were thrilled.

 

IMG_9569

 

I didn’t even know there was white bread in the kitchen. I never buy it. I suspect it was purchased by mistake. But seriously, if you were a kid who typically eats lots and lots of healthy meals (especially on school days, by the way, because it really is important) wouldn’t this make you happy?

IMG_9570

BB looks like she might be saying, “Awe you sewious, wady?!”* (BB photobombs are the bomb, no?)

So, I guess what I am saying is …

moderation-garfield

 

Well, mostly.

 

everything-in-moderation

 

 

 

*Is it any wonder ESL students get confused?

**This is the way BB has started speaking. We have no idea why she started speaking, at all, actually, but the voice – hoo boy. The Things do a voice and well, this is what she sounds like. It’s “adowabow” and extremely irritating at once. BB often gets up to shenanigans at Chez Peady, but her breakfast capers are what drive the parents the absolute most bananas on any given day. Especially if BB speaks prior to the coffee pot *beep*.

 

 

Sourse: http://www.rick-miller.co.uk/site/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/everything-in-moderation.jpg

Source: http://lisas-life.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/moderation-garfield.gif

 

S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. (Silliness And Things. U R Dancing Again Yay!) (Hoo Boy!)

 

I bet you didn’t expect that?

I just did some serious chair dancing while I previewed the video. I know the quality is low, but the nostalgia-metre is extremely high! So …

It’s late! I must post this before midnight.

 

Today was a fabulous day.

I went to Zumba this morning with my NS BFF and I am *so* happy because not only have we found a new and brilliant instructor, but the location is terrific, too!

If you have ever been to a great Zumba class, the chair dancing needs no explanation.

If you have *never* been to a great Zumba class, I am sad for you.

You should totally go! Seriously. I mean it. Go sign up right now for a Zumba class.

(Oops! Heh heh! Sorry. I’m all enthusiastic and a little bit bossy because I have endorphins coursing through my veins. They are probably not just coursing, I’m willing to bet they are dancing. Just picture all those happy little mood enhancers doing a Salsa all the way to my brain. It’s pure joy, I tells ya!)

Back to the chair dancing. I am chair dancing because at the moment the rest of my body is jelly! I am sure I used new muscles today. Not just dormant ones, but brand new, never-been-used-ever, muscles.

And that is the glory of Zumba.

You really get out of the class what you put into it and when you have a great – enthusiastic – instructor with flawless cues, great music, and obviously easily modified “moves”, it is so much easier to work your butt off. Literally*.

 

After Zumba I immediately** jumped in my car and drove home to hop in the shower because I had a hair appointment to get to! (What?! Could this day get better?!) (Yes. Yes it could.)

My hair turned out great. I love it! I was way overdue for a cut (as one does) and I knew I needed a change and a lot less hair and because my stylist is actually an artist (magician?) I really didn’t have to say much. She had free reign***. That’s trust.

 

Later, I survived being trapped in the busiest <insert name of major brand name retailer> I have ever seen. I tried to convince myself that it was just the grocery section and went about my business, but no, it was in fact insane. I thought I would never get out! Every cash was open and operating and there was a long line at each one. I had four measly items, three of which were the same,so technically I had two measly items and yet it took me nearly 30 minutes to get checked out.

I had an over the shoulder tweet creeper**** behind me, to boot! *shudders*

 

By the time I actually got to my door, I was feeling pretty pooped.

Then I walked though the door and was greeted by this!

IMG_8909

 

Yup. Today was a fabulous day.

 

 

 

*Well, in all hopes, literally.

**After chatting with my NS BFF and our super new Zumba instructor and her BFF who was in the class because BFFs do these things. BFFs are the best, no?

***And now I have highlights! Whee!

****Just stop that.

 

 

Let’s get our “buts” in check, so we can get our “butts” in gear!

woman powerful fit fitness run walk running walking healthy

‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky!

Or eat some Ruffles.

Or don’t go for a walk.

Or maybe skip breakfast.

Or just sit here all day.

Winter has gone on far too long this year, but guess what! In a few weeks it will be warmer and sunnier and I will want to feel better than I do right now and ALL the aforementioned things that may or may not have happened (Who’s to say, really?) over the winter will come running back to me and haunt me with all the woulda, coulda, shoulda uselessness of hindsight. Oh, hindsight! Why must you be 20/20? You are such a jerk!

But! (No no…  it’s okay… this time. Really. I’m going somewhere here.)

It’s not too late! We have time to make a positive change*. You. Me. All of us! We have to start today, though. Right this minute, even.

I will use the body I have to get the body I want. I don’t need a gym. No one needs a gym. Right? I do have Peady Powers after all.

I know what to eat to fuel me. I know that being happy is a choice. I know that going outside as often as possible is good for my brain. I know that the ONE thing I can do today and everyday that I have been avoiding is moving. Oh sure, I can run and play with my kids and I can walk really, really far, but I want to be able to just move more and better as I get older. I don’t want to feel hindered by my age or attitude. I know age is inevitable. I know my attitude is a positive one. The trouble is, I lack confidence in my body and its ability to grow old gracefully.

For instance, right now I know I have committed to do something and I know it will be good for me and won’t take much time, but I am sore. Good sore, mind you, but sore nonetheless. So I have to talk myself into doing it**. Telling you is helping. (Thanks!) I am going to do it though. Right now. I’ll be back. (pfft As if you’d know! You just have to trust me… )

My friend Sheila is a licenced Zumba instructor and has a sincere interest in all things fitness. She is a great influence and a staunch supporter in my quest for better health. She wasn’t always the fitness enthusiast she is today. She has her own journey and reasons for taking charge of her health. We have been friends for a decade or so and we have been witness to lots of life’s ups and downs – including those of the scale variety. I asked her if I could use a quote of hers for this post and being the awesome person she is, of course, she said yes.

“My wake up moment was when I decided I was too young to feel that way. I was not willing to give in to all the little things. I wanted more out of life and I refused to accept all those little discomforts as just part of aging. Yes it’s part of aging if you don’t take care of your body.

I am hitting reboot on my eating habits and exercising. Don’t worry. I haven’t gone too bonkers. I just need to be healthier and there’s no time like the present, right? I am at a place in my life where I need to feel empowered and strong. I have some pretty amazing support. A best friend who will help me to get out and walk as often as possible, a group or two of like-minded people sharing ideas, successes and advice, and a faraway friend who is on her own mission to keep healthy, even as time keeps reminding us of its constant passing.

I am a firm believer of everything in moderation – including moderation!

Honestly, I am. Sort of. Wait. Do the Ruffles count? Oh, never mind. The point is there’s change in the air and I am ready to not only embrace it, but I am also willing and able to cheer you on, too!

So, maybe, just maybe we can get our buts in gear, get our butts in gear AND get our butts in gear! I say we give it a go! Who’s with me?

Have you been taking care of yourself this winter?

*There’s always time for positive change, by the way. Always.

**I did it. I promise.

[edited to add this encouraging Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash]