Posted by: lauraldawn | August 25, 2009

And Life Goes On


That cleanse post was BLEAK. Sorry about that. Give me a stressful week and tell me I can’t eat chocolate, drink, and eat processed foods and you get me … in pieces.

I realized reading that – and talking to my trainer – that the cleanse wasn’t for me. I’m not knocking all cleanses. We’re now talking about doing it again – with more preparation. We’ll see. It was tough.

But, the week of cleansing gave me some insight on me. And I realized that I need to let some stuff go. I’m working hard to be strong and healthy. The extra couple of pounds on the scale … well who cares? Really. I do. But I don’t. I like what I see at the gym. So that’s fine.

As for my idea of going to WDW for a day – I’m not. I debated it far too much, and realized that I’d be away from my family too long – probably 5 nights. It’s not that I feel the horrible Mommy guilt. Trust me – I’d be on a plane in a second for a weekend away. It’s just that there’s sooooo much involved. And, I think what I’m asking of my husband is more than I’d want him to ask of me. Chloe is just not at a stage where we can really even sit her in front of Dora while I go to the bathroom. So, I think that leaving her to Mike, and also asking him to be in charge of Matt, in the first couple of weeks of school … it’s a lot.

So, I’ll wait till it makes more sense. Till I feel okay with it. Disney will still be there. And you can bet I’ll be there. When the time is right.

Posted by: lauraldawn | August 19, 2009

The Cleanse (dunh dunh dunh)

So this week has sucked.

Surprised? Forget that there’s some ridiculous hurtful drama that I’m trying to deal with outside of cleansing, there’s the cleanse itself.

I’m not sure what part of me thought it would be fun and/or easy. It’s not fun. It sucks. The food is restrictive, and I’m not seeing a huge difference when it comes to the cleansing pill. I had one unfortunate incident, but I was okay, and on I went with life.

My trainer isn’t exactly thrilled with the cleanse. In fact, it was more of  “please eat a protein bar you’re shaky” and we moved on. Apparently my colon is relatively clean. I haven’t lost a pound, and giving up sugar for a week is akin to scratching my eyes out. Seriously.

My husband turned a blind eye when I broke into the Oreos and chocolate chips. That’s just the way I roll and I can’t change that. Really.

I’m still doing the cleanse. I’m still keeping to it somewhat with the addition of another cup of a coffee (or 2). But, hey, I’ve avoided alcohol all week (partly cause, you know, my friends went out without me… nice) but there’s that. Thanks, friends, I’m so sure that you were looking out for the cleanse.

Okay. It’s a bad week.

Would I do a cleanse again? I don’t know. I think the way to make the cleanse effective would really be to go to an Ashram and be only given the food and do all the walks and all of that. And, really, am I an Ashram person? Nope. Maybe the Biggest Loser. If the Biggest Loser were a Canadian show I would so sign up. Because other than the challenges I would totally not have access to all the crap. Also I wouldn’t be working out at 4 am. Or maybe I would.

So, the cleanse – not my thing. And I have a few more days to go. Lucky lucky me.

Posted by: lauraldawn | August 15, 2009

The Cleanse

I’ve been thinkng a lot about this blog. Obviously I love all things Disney, but let’s be honest, it’s hard to only write about Disney when you just don’t go often enough! So, I’m going to make this all about my life – including my love of Disney. I hope we’re all cool about that.

So, one thing that I’ve wanted to do for awhile is a cleanse. You know, a colon or liver cleanse. Fun times, people, fun times. I have a lot of habits that I’d really like to NOT be addicted to – coffee and sugar being the 2 major culprits. I’m hoping that a cleanse may help wean me from these, at least a little. So, together with 2 friends from work (who happen to sit very close to me, and who also happen to feed my sugar addiction) I am going on a cleanse.

The one we chose is the Recleanse cleanse. We were going to go with the Wild Rose cleanse, but this one is 7 days, not 12, and I’m not sure I’m ready for 12 days. That is a commitment.

It’s basically some colon cleansing pills and a very little amount of food.

I mean, this looks like a lot of food, but really, I can’t eat a lot of it.DSCN1932DSCN1930Look at all that healthy spinach. Yes. It’s upside down, but really, it’s spinach and it looks the same from any angle. (and as I was duly reminded I’m not a designer, so I don’t give a crap … but I digress).

There’s also lots of water drinking involved.

Will I survive? Maybe.

I intend to blog about it this week. Fear not. I have read cleanse diaries where there are many many details about, well, poop. Trust me. I have no interest in filling you in on that stuff. But, stay tuned to see whether or not this sugar addict can survive a sugar free week.

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Posted by: lauraldawn | August 14, 2009

5 am

Most mornings I am at the gym a little before 5 am.
It baffles me when people are amazed by that. When the conversation comes up I try to be nonchalant and brush it off. The truth is, I love 5 am.
5am is my time.
By 5am I have had my coffee and I am ready to throw myself into a workout. Sometimes I meet with my trainer. The man is dedicated. He is as committed to my mornings as I am. He brings his coffee and as the caffeine hits him he pushes me to do stuff I have a hard time doing. And he listens when I say I can’t. But I do. Always I do.
And then there are the days I work out alone. Always I hear the “I can”ts” – and want to quit.
But I don’t.
I love 5 am too much.
It’s not about the gym, though I’m discovering I have fallen in love with the place. It’s not about my body. I will never have the thin limbs of a model or the grace of a dancer.
5 am is about me.
It’s about power. It’s about learning the difficult message that life comes one moment at a time, one rep at a time. One skipping rope jump at a time. One breath at a time.
5 am is not about becoming someone I am not.
Judy Garland once said “be a first rate version of who you are rather than a second rate version of someone else.”
That is what 5am is about.
I would love a six pack. Hell, I would love one body part I could look at think “my god I have sexy (fill in the blank)”. I don’t. But what I have is me. I am, and will always be, that short, chubby white girl. And that’s who I have top be. Instead of trying to be someone else.
5 am is the time when the people at the gym are there for themselves. As gregarious as I am in my daily life, at the gym I am alooof. I know the other morning people by appearance only. The occassional hi and what their workout routines are. I revel in the fact that I don’t have to be social. That they don’t know me.
5 am. I’m learning what I am all about.
I’m learning that I have an incredible strength both inwardly and outwardly. I’m learning that this body I have hated since I can remember is something I need to cherish. I’m learning that the more I ask of myself the more I can give.
I’m disappointed because I wanted to be the person who was a before and after picture. I feel like I’ve let my trainer down a bit.
But I haven’t let me down.
In my failure there has been success.
I walk taller and prouder. I have discovered that I really love what I can do. I have seen that when I refuse to give up and when I tell myself that I will like myself it’s beginning to come true.
And the more I like myself the more I like the people around me. I cherish some of the relationships in my life: my kids, my husband, my sister, my parents. Those people are a given. But it’s the others I cherish too – the colleague (and friend) who sees in me the stuff I can’t see in myself. The friend who checks in with me just cause she knows life is tough for everyone. The confident who listens. Without judgement. And helps me laugh without abandon.
I feel truly happy for other’s successes because every morning I celebrate my own.
The people who tell me I’m great.
And the not-so-great people? Instead of being angry and hurt I’m learning from them. It amazes me how when you start loving yourself you don’t accept the anger, the bitterness, the hurt of others. You just get through it, one breath, one step,one jump,one rep at a time.
And sometimes the stuff that seems so difficult seems less so when you step back and instead of looking at the whole situation you break it down and solve the problem bit by bit.
5 am
No. It’s not a pretty time for me. I don’t wear make up or do my hair and I wear (gasp) spandex.
And that is how I embrace the day.
Sometimes I’m on the elliptical rocking out to my favourite music. Sometimes I’m struggling with weights. Sometimes I am powering through push ups.
It’s about me. And I love it.



Posted by: lauraldawn | July 26, 2009

I Need Some Advice!

I know. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. What can I say? It’s summer. Home life is busy and work life is busy.

A big part of my job at work is writing. I am the webmaster for our intranet, and I’m also spearheading a social media project. It’s all exciting stuff, but iti means that a lot of my day is spent writing and thinking of posts. And, then I feel tapped out when it comes to my own blog. The added fact that it’s summer and I’m working and covering for people who are out the office means that the days go by so quickly.

And then there’s Twitter.

Anyway, life is good. I’m still working out a lot – at the gym at 5am most weekday mornings. At first I hated it, but now I kind of look forward to it. You know how most people hate Mondays? I don’t. In fact, Monday morning workouts are my favourite. To me it’s a fresh beginning. It’s the start of the new week, and health-wise I have to admit that there’s nothing better for me than opening a new page on a healthy week.

And as for Disney stuff. Well, here we go. I’d love some input on this because I’m really going back and forth on this one.

For work I have to go to conferences. I’m going to one locally (Toronto) and then the other one I should be going to is IzeaFest … in Orlando. It’s at Sea World. Which is pretty much down the street from Disney. Which means there is NO reason not to go to WDW. It’s not like I’m sneaking around on this. I have permission to take vacation days and go a little early. The trip is totally affordable since I’ll be flying down for work. I’d just pay for an additional hotel night at DISNEY.

But, I’m struggling with. I feel horribly guilty for leaving my kids. It’s not like I’m going to the spa or to wine tastings. It’s Disney. Even if it’s just a day.

Really, I’m struggling with being in a different country, a plane ride away. I’m worried about making friends/being alone at a conference. And the guilt. All of it.

At the end of the day, I chose the job I have because it didn’t involve travel. My last couple of jobs required extensive travel, and as great as that was when it was just Mike and I, with kids it’s just so much harder.

However, then there’s the whole idea of a hotel room. ON MY OWN!!!! A full night’s sleep. Quiet cups of coffee. Disney. I’m conflicted.


Posted by: lauraldawn | July 6, 2009

Our Monorail Memories

For anyone who is an avid Disney fan (like me) this weekend’s news of a monorail crash at epcot was stunning. And very, very sad.
If you haven’t heard, at about 2am on Sunday morning the pink and purple monorails crashed and one of the drivers, a Disney Cast Member was killed. He was 21. His name was Austin. From what I understand he wasn’t officially in Disney’s college program, but he was a college student set to graduate in 2010.
So often you hear a story about something sad that happens, you feel bad, and then move on. But in this case, my mind keeps wandering back to this, thinking about it.
The thing that really bothers me about it is that my son, Matt, loves the monorail. One of his favourite parts of going to WDW is riding the monorail. We had the amazing fortune of staying at the Polynesian the last time we were at Disney, this past May. It is one of the monorail resorts. It was such a privilege for us to walk from our hotel room to the monorail. And one of the amazing things about that was that Matt was allowed to ask about a million questions about the monorails. Some people dread a delayed train. Not my kid. It was his opportunity to learn more about the colours of the trains, the history, etc.
We also had the amazing experience of riding in the front car. I can’t tell you my son’s joy in riding up front. The cast member who was driving the monorail was so incredible with us. When Matt told him that he one day wants to drive a monorail, the driver told him all about the training involved, and totally encouraged his dream. In fact, we were so engrossed in the moment that we forgot to take a picture. And before we left the train the driver offered to take a picture for us. That’s one memory I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.
The day we rode was that cast member’s first day. Kind of cool.
When I saw the news of the crash and heard how young the driver was my first thought was that could have been our driver. (It wasn’t). And then the thought that our family (or any family) could have been in the front of that train with the driver (no one was).
I spent so much time at Disney trying to get my kids to have the best experience, to be colour coordinated, to enjoy every moment. And I think I forgot to appreciate the people who made it possible – the cast members. If nothing else, I hope this accident helps us all remember that the magic doesn’t *just* happen. There are so many people who make it happen.

There’s no way to wrap this up other than to say R.I.P. Austin.

Matt with his monorail driver's license

Matt with his monorail driver's license

Posted by: lauraldawn | June 23, 2009

Tip Tuesday … My Obsession

I’ll confess, when it comes to Disney Travel … and pretty much my entire life – I’m obsessed with Ziploc Bags!
When packing for Disney I read a tip to organize clothes in Ziplocs. The theory is you can get rid of the excess air and clothes stay less wrinkly. This is true.
Added bonus – if you have a Sharpie you can label the bags. And you can re-use them.
Admittedly, I use them all the time. For everything.

Posted by: lauraldawn | June 21, 2009

Run Run Run!

I haven’t been posting much this week.

I have a great excuse though. Work was/is insanely busy, and in my off time I was planning for and training for a 5k run.

At the starting line

At the starting line

I’m not a runner.

Let me qualify that. I don’t have the classic runner’s body. I don’t have the runner’s mind set. And, I don’t even really enjoy running. I mean, I kind of do, but you know those marathoners who talk about a runner’s high, getting a second wind and breaking through fatigue… that is not me.

A couple of years ago, before I was pregnant with my daughter, my friend and I made a New Year’s resolution to run a 5k. We knew our company raised a lot of money for the United Way, and that each year there was a 5k run in Toronto that people our company ran in – so that became our goal. I trained for it. I’d never run more than a block, really, so it took me 6 months to train. I was ready. And, when the race started I choked, my nerves got the best of me, and although I completed it and felt wonderful, I’ve always regretted that I walked a lot of it and struggled the whole time I was running.

I wasn’t sure this year if I would do it. Because I was really involved on the United Way Committee before my mat leave, and came back ready to be on it again, it was kind of expected I would do it again. So, I started working toward it again. I set that goal a few weeks ago. And I started personal training (not for the run), joined a new gym, etc. And then we came up with costume ideas.

Hawaiian costumes - why not?

Hawaiian costumes - why not?

Can you tell I have recently stayed at the Poly? When I was asked to come up with costume ideas of course I pushed for Hawaiian outfits, after all, we were one big ‘Ohana! (note that I’m runner #6)

Leading up to the race I trained, both running and weight training. But, I also did something equally important. I decided not to sell myself short! At work, one of my jobs is writing for our corporate intranet, and I interviewed someone who competes in a LOT of races. He gave me some incredible advice which was that if I wanted to succeed I had to make a goal for myself that pushed me. So, instead of my original goal which was to run to the halfway point before I let myself walk I made the goal that I was going to run my race. And then I refused to doubt it.

Just about to cross the finish line

Just about to cross the finish line

You know what? I did it.

I ran all 5k! I took 2 one-minute breaks (one to get water), and the rest I ran. I didn’t break any records. I probably could have done it faster. My official time was 35:27 (but I think I was a minute faster since we had to walk at the start). But, you know. It wasn’t about the speed I did it. It was about believing in myself, and knowing that if I believed it I could achieve it. Maybe that sounds dorky. But, it’s true.

The next day I got an e-mail from someone I ran with. She wanted to know if I would like to join her in her weekly running group. I’m not sure if I’m a runner, if I’ll join her, or if I want to pursue it. But, for now that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I did it, and I’m damn proud! Who knows … maybe I am a runner?

Oh, and tonight, I went for another run. Ouch!

My 'Ohana! Go team go.

My 'Ohana! Go team go.

Posted by: lauraldawn | June 16, 2009

Tip Tuesday

I had planned to blog way more than I have been lately. But, the combo of being sick, a busy workload, a lot of time at the gym … and Twitter – well, I’ve been a little remiss.
But, of course I have tips!! It’s tip Tuesday.
If anyone has travelled to Walt Disney World with a baby, you’ll know that it is a magical experience that is exhausting. Disney does a ton of stuff to make things easier for parents – the baby care centres are amazing. There are change tables everywhere, and cast members seem to love babies (even when they are screaming).
But, this tip is for before you go.
Plan to bring both a stroller (one that folds well) and also a baby carrier. I liked the Bjorn.
Here’s the tip.
If you are going to use a baby carrier, before you go PRACTICE!
I was very grateful that in the weeks leading up to our first family trip, we went for nightly walks. The purpose of this was to not only get Matt ready to do lots of walking, it was also to get my back muscles ready to cart the baby in a Bjorn. No matter how strong or fit you are, and no matter how ergonomic your baby carrier, your body needs to be used to carrying your baby in a carrier.
We went for nightly walks.
We discovered that not only did I get used to keeping Coco in the Bjorn, because we went for walks in the evening, putting her in the Bjorn lulled her to sleep.
When we went to the World Coco spent many many hours in the Bjorn and my back could manage it all. When we went back in May (Coco was 13 months) she again travelled in the baby carrier a lot.
Definitely worth the effort.

Totally manageable when you wear your baby!

Totally manageable when you wear your baby!

Posted by: lauraldawn | June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Matt or Grievous???

Matt or Grievous Boba Fett???

Oh how Matt loves the Star Wars stuff at DHS.

Thanks for the correction, Sci Fi Dad.

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