Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Myra at Four.

Myra turned four on January 22, 2017.  Here are the links to her other birthday posts:
Myra's Birth Story
Myra's FPIES Friendly First Birthday Party
Myra at Two
Myra at Three

Sofia Noethe Photography

Sofia Noethe Photography

Wow, I just looked at those posts briefly and it's incredible how much bigger Myra seems now.  She looks so much more like a big kid, especially now that she's got a bunch more hair!  She's got so much more control of her body from running, swimming, and gymnastics to writing and drawing.  The things she thinks of and says blow my mind.  Not too long ago, Myra asked if we could watch Daniel Tiger later that day.  I said "we'll see..." and she said "but si means yes in Spanish!"  She's always observing and thinking which I mostly appreciate ;)  Myra absolutely loves school and it has been so fun to watch her grow, learn, and make new friends completely on her own.

We're still rocking a 7pm bedtime, though she doesn't always go to sleep right away.  She has books and her babies/stuffed animals in her room to keep her busy if she isn't tired right away.  Myra has mandatory quiet time which almost always results in an actual nap.  The last two days she has actually initiated that herself and crawled into bed after lunch.  She's in a twin sized bed (made that switch a couple months ago) but has been sleeping on an ottoman at the end of her bed this week (???).

When I ask Myra who her best friend is, she consistently says, "Niko!" and sometimes adds, "and Rowdy."  They really are best buds.  Whichever kid wakes up first, they demand the other right away.  This morning Niko woke up and immediately started saying, "yaya" over and over.  Myra usually wakes up from her nap first, and she is always bugging me about when Niko will wake up.  They have their moments of wanting the exact same toy at the exact same time, of course, but for the most part they adore each other and are incredibly thoughtful towards each other.  They each have a lovey, Myra has Baby and Niko has a blankey, and they bring them to each other often.

Still happily rear facing

On Myra's birthday, we opened presents in the morning and played with her new Magformers until it was time to go to Pizza Ranch for lunch.

After that, we came home for naps, then went to Eagle's Nest to play.  My dad, Saira, Emaan, and Aydin joined us there.  We went home and played poop potatoes (HILARIOUS).  You hold a potato between your legs and waddle across the room to "poop" it into a bucket.  Then finally, we had chicken nuggets for supper followed by pink star cake as requested.

Myra got into the "curly stuff" and did it all by herself LOL
I interviewed Myra on her birthday (interview from Your Birthday Book) and this is how it went:

What were some of your favorite gifts you got this year? Crayons, yoga mat, Magformers

Tell me what immediately comes to mind when I say these words:
Home: bone.  Favorite color: pink and purple.  School: paint and color.  Brother: monster eating boogers (that was on his shirt).  Magic: when my clock turns blue (this fantastic clock).  Bedtime: when I have my story and song.  Love: up above.

What's the last thing you were sad about? When I got a ouchie on my heel.

What makes you really happy? When Niko doesn't take one of my Magformers.

Are you scared of anything? Uh huh.  I'm scared from when Niko takes my formers.  "When he takes my formers I feel angry."

If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would it be? Elephant pet!

What do you think you'd like to be when you grow up? Dentist!

Do you like your name?  Mmmhmmm.  My name is Dwani.

Who's the last person you kissed? Parker.

At what age is a person a grown up?  The one right by 6.  6 and 6.  Two grown ups are 6.  Some grown ups are 6, some grown ups are 7, some grown ups are 8, (etc. to 20+).

What does mom or dad do at work all day? TAAAAALK.  (I said who does?) You do... talk all day.  (I said what does Daddy do all day?) Sleep (then she closed her eyes).

If you could always get everything you want, do you think you'd always be happy? (nod yes) Like when I want to eat

What do you think heaven is like? She has brown skin.

We love you so, so much, Punkin!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ditch the Attitude.

Staged running selfie to go along with tonight's running-life metaphor. I'm a week into training with a running coach, more on that later. Today's task was 1mi warm up/cool down with a 1mi time trial ("as fast as you can go!") in between-didn't want to do that on a treadmill. Babysitter, check! Freezing rain kept me off the roads, so I headed to our hockey rink's walking track (runners allowed). GPS wasn't working so pacing my warm up was interesting, too fast I'm sure, and I ultimately just shut off GPS and went old school with a stopwatch.
The track is wide enough for two, passing is okay, except there was one (very sweet) couple walking together so once every lap I had a pretty substantial interruption jogging in place behind them until I could scoot around them, usually an aisle in the bleachers. SARCASTIC BONUS: website says 7 laps=1 mile, posted sign says 7.75 (probably truly 7.75), so who really knows what went down today, huh? What I wanted was a clear start, a clear finish, and nothing in my way. Didn't think I needed a reminder, but I guess I did... All things considered, I truly believe I did the best I could, I explored a new running/walking space, had a full hour ALONE outside my own house, and I got off the treadmill! All things I wish I could do EVERY day, so I'm trying to ditch the attitude and feel good about today. Coach gave me more credit for my time than I was willing to give myself and I'll have plenty more opportunities to see what I'm made of.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Make February Fabulous.

2016 was weird. difficult. yet still, awesome in so many ways. I learned and did a lot. for 2017, I decided I wanted more of the awesome, less of the weird. as for the difficult, bring it on, I'll play the cards I'm dealt. so, I put a lot of thought into how to actually make that happen, what I needed to prioritize to have the kind of year I want, regardless of my life situation. then we had january. some good, some setbacks, and some more weird. I tried a new daily habit tracking system that did not work for me at all. life may be chaotic, but yes I realize it is not quite february yet ;) my whole point here is this: while there's nothing magical about jan 1, it can be a great benchmark to get yourself situated and off to a good start. the same can be said for a new month. but it takes effort and intention. nothing changes if nothing changes. if I want to hit the ground running in feb, I have to figure out my game plan in advance. I read the feb chapter in The Happiness Project, reviewed what was working for me and what wasn't, made my new habit tracker, reviewed my calendar, etc. ain't no way I'll let the month I turn 30 be anything but fabulous. ✨✨what will your feb look like? really, I want to know!
To be clear, everyone, some (most) of the things I am prioritizing and focusing on are not exactly "big things." You know the saying "don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff"? All the big stuff boils down to small stuff. When going through my 2017 Power Sheets prep I discovered a whole new way of thinking through goals -- a month/year from now, I want to be able to say I have accomplished ________. I want to be the kind of person who ________. Whatever gets filled into those blanks become my goals. All the big stuff gets broken down into small stuff (think Commit30), and my word of the year is patience. I want to be able to do the splits, but it takes time, so I'm taking a step back and focusing on doing yoga on some level every single day (sometimes that means 2 minutes of a couple poses). I want to be the kind of person who brushes my teeth and washes my face right away every morning before the chaos begins. When I get coffee for myself and milk for the kids, I want all my favorite cups to be clean and ready to be used, so I'll be washing them every night. Being intentional doesn't have to mean big, huge, earth shattering accomplishments every month. Baby steps towards becoming the kind of person I want to become (the kind with a clean mug and a dog whose mouth doesn't smell like his butt) is where it's at. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Give Back.

I have butterflies writing this I'm so excited about it! I recently posted saying I'm going to start rambling more on here (and cross post on the Instagram), so here goes. Many of you know, some do not, I have spent over 11 years in the field of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. I started as a crisis volunteer in 2005 during college, interned, then was asked to be interim director of a sexual violence center. After that, I spent five years working at a non-profit for victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence and child abuse. When Myra was born, I couldn't keep that up logistically for a few different reasons, though I remained a volunteer for the same place. When Myra was 10 months old, the stars aligned and the perfect part time opportunity came up, so I pounced on it. I had an incredible chance to help people who were fleeing abusive situations get into safe housing and back on their feet. When we moved an hour away, it got tricky, and I made it work as long as I could (11 months). Trevor often gets asked, "how do you do it? dental school...the Guard...AND a family?" I'll tell you all the same secret he tells I'm going to go right ahead and toot my own horn here. Trevor works his ass off at school and sacrifices a lot. But I do everything else. Like, every thing. Bills, cooking (including food for trevor at school), cleaning (LOLOLOLOL), all errands and shopping, snow removal/lawn, sending birthday cards, you name it. This whole dental school thing is definitely a team effort. I really am happy to do it as it will get us all to a place we want to be as a family. BUT, there just isn't room for me to be working right now, beyond the awesome kiddos I babysit. I am so grateful I get to be with my kids so much, but there's definitely a part of me that misses advocacy work. It's important and I'm good at it. we are, my whole point. I'm constantly telling people there is always a way to help. Time, talent, treasury, there *is* a way to give back, make your community a better place. So, here I am, doing just that. Last week I met with some super fantastic women at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center and I'm going to be volunteering with them on their crisis phone line. I'm incredibly passionate about their mission to end all forms of child maltreatment and advocating for and serving children, survivors, and communities. Volunteering in this way is perfect right now-I can use my background, knowledge, and skills in a flexible way from my home. When life settles a little, I have high hopes to do more. If you've been looking for a way to make a difference and haven't figured out how just yet, I'd love to help! Big and small, it all adds up.

Friday, January 13, 2017


I've had some urges lately to spill my mind onto Instagram, which has led me to two conclusions.  One: I should be writing here more.  Two: I should spill my mind onto Instagram.  So, for the time being, I'm going to kill two birds with one stone.  I'll dump a little more there, and post the same message here.  I like to go back and read these sometimes and it's far easier to find and reflect here than on Instagram.  Though I sure do love them both.  Here are today's thoughts on my latest accidental science experiment

Word of the week: knowledge. It's my number one coping tool. With any stressful situation (deployments, parenting, dental school chaos, illness, anything), give me all the information that's out there and I can handle it. So, big shocker to no one, I've been doing a lot of reading about running and talking to people with far more experience, even following other random runners on Instagram. It's been so helpful and given me the confidence I need to push myself. But you know what information just can't be found? Information about my own body. The only way to get that is by trial and error and LISTENING to it. I've been doing everything right (shoes, strength, yoga/stretching, incredibly gradual increases, following a plan, etc.) and I still developed some shin pain in December. I'm still not convinced it was shin splints, but rather than be stubborn, I took two weeks off. When I started back, I did so very slowly. I added compression and ice to the mix, too. My runs felt great, and so did my shins afterwards. Until they didn't. I realized the only difference was skipping the ice. So, yesterday I ran again and made sure to ice afterwards. Voila - no pain. Hopefully it really is as simple as that. And if so, no amount of Googling or book reading could have told me that. Sometimes the knowledge we're seeking just isn't "out there," but we can still find it by listening. And yes, I'll still be doing everything "right" and listening in case it isn't that simple after all. PS: pretty sure the photo timer went off when I was actually walking so don't read into my form too much.
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