tbt: are you ready?

This is a post I wrote as we prepared for the big one to go off to school. Now, in what feels like a blink, we’re about to do the same for the wee one.

IMG_3246To my almost five year old as he prepares for his first day of big-kid school,

I could open with a cliché about how time has flown by. How it seems like only yesterday that you were taking your first steps. All of that is true, of course, but the passage of time is obvious. What isn’t so inherent is the mixed bag of emotions that come with this new stage in your life. Our life.

At your primary orientation, I’ll admit that I was a bit teary-eyed, though not because I was sad, but because I’m excited. I’m almost giddy with anticipation about the memories you’ll make, the wealth of knowledge you’ll absorb and the experiences you’ll have over the next 12-plus years that will help shape who you will become. (Because I’m sure you’re not actually going to be the Hulk when you grow up).

I’ll take a picture of you on the first day, sporting your specially selected blue, green and orange school bag. I’ll see you onto the bus and follow behind as you make your way to school for the first time. And I’ll come to your classroom and give you a high five instead of the emotional farewell I might be tempted to make.

I love that when I ask you what makes you feel excited about school, your reply is always “I can’t wait to meet all of my new friends!” I can’t wait either. I hope you pick ones that will treat you with as much joy and enthusiasm as you will bring to the playground. Share your confidence, kindness and humour with everyone you meet, and always be yourself.

I hope that we’ve prepared you well for this new stage. You can write your name and recite our phone number. You can count to 100 and pride yourself in carefully colouring inside the lines.

Over the years, we have answered your millions of toddler and preschooler questions to the best of our abilities and now look forward to hearing all about what you’ll learn in a classroom with a teacher and a couple dozen other curious minds.

But what about all of the questions I still have?

When I’m not there to give you a knowing glance, will you remember your manners?

Will you be shy or will you be as engaging, bright and funny as I know you to be?

Will you eat your sandwich before your dessert?

Will you confide in us when something worries you or someone bullies you?

Did we prepare you enough?

Are you ready?

Am I ready?

This article originally appeared in Family Matters. For more family related content shared on a daily basis, click here.

on the wagon


For clarification, I’m not sure I’ve ever weighed just 128.2 lbs.


I weighed myself yesterday. It’s my new start weight. I could tell you what it is, but I won’t. I’m definitely more of a how-do-my-pants-fit kind of person when it comes to weight and not so fixated on the number, but it’s heavier than I’ve ever been (aside from when I was pregnant, and that doesn’t count). It’s actually 23.8 lbs. heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight (which happened to be the same number both times). After Isaac, I lost a little, then gained a lot. It’s time to get back on the proverbial wagon.

And what better time? I just spent 10 days eating and drinking non-stop during my vacation, and it was oh so good, but now it’s time (long overdue, actually) to get back into a better routine.

During the summer, when I’m not on lunch-packing duty, it’s easy to be lazy and default to buying lunch, which is inevitably something calorie-laden. I don’t have breakfast as regularly either because I’m not in my get-everyone-fed-and-out-the-door mode, so that plays a role in my eating for the rest of the day. It’s summer, so I tend to justify more casual eating and drinking at odd hours. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

Part of me feels inclined to just wait and align my new leaf with the return of the new school year, but I know I can’t put it off. I’m guilty of being the type of person who loves a fresh start on a Monday. Meh, can’t start dieting on a Thursday; might as well wait until the start of a new week. Oh, can’t start dieting this week; I’m on vacation next week. I’ve already eaten one “bad” meal today so the rest of the day is a write-off anyway. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

I’ve eaten great all day, I can justify a treat. I ran at lunch so I can get away with some extra calories. I work hard and I’m tired so I deserve takeout. Oh, the excuses! I seem to have a mental excuse for just about everything. I’m my own worst enemy.

I love food. I can’t diet that away. I just need to start making better, more balanced choices and enjoy more reasonable portions. Calories in, calories out. I know how simple it is; I just need to be accountable.

So I’ll start here, writing about it weekly with a few key areas of focus:

  • Nutrition: Out with the junk and in with the healthy, whole foods. I need to focus on creating a more balanced vegetarian diet that includes more protein, B12 and iron. Part of this will also be visiting my GP for updated blood work.
  • Activity: I really need to be accountable to just myself on this one. While I love the accountability of exercising with others, but I really want to get into a routine in which I’m exercising for me. I’m going to try walking while listening to podcasts, yoga before bed and creating the ideal circumstances to make exercise a habit.
  • Overall health: I need to drink more water, reduce stress, go to bed earlier, limit caffeine and alcohol, find my zen … all of it. A big part of this for me are routines. Be in bed with the lights out by a certain time, keep my water bottle with me at all times, take breaks from my desk during the day. It’s not hard; it’s just a matter of conscious participation.