OUR LIFE IN 3D

The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Guest Post: Taking The World On With A Smile!

In my whirlwind tour with some of my favorite bloggers I am honored to receive a post from one of my favorites, Karen at Taking The World On With A Smile! 

Honored? Taking The World On With A Smile! only comes out once a week. So this is a big deal to me! I follow a number of blogs for a number of reasons: funny, creative, motivational, athletic, and last but not least, parenting. I follow Karen’s for the parenting. She offers a lot of warm illustrations about her two kids and their growing up, that I can only hope for when my kids are their age. Her teens seem happy, level-headed and a joy to be around. I started reading her blog hoping to get some insight into parenting and now return for the pictures of what can be.

But I don’t want to give her style away in the intro but before I leave add “full of surprises” to the list describing her:

I’ve never guest posted before so when Andy asked me if I would, I was a little nervous. What would I write about? Usually, I write about people so in the end, that’s what I decided to do. OUR LIFE IN 3D is a versatile blog covering a wide variety of topics including finance, staying fit and raising kids. Mostly though, Andy writes about his girls. When I “met” Andy (and up until very recently) he was a stay-at-home-dad — “just trying to stay above water.”

Being able to stay-at-home and raise your children is not always a choice or a luxury that everyone can afford. Sometimes a spouse finds themselves in the position of being the stay-at-home-parent even though that wasn’t exactly what they’d envisioned when they were mapping out their career path. I was extremely fortunate and chose to stay-at-home. Whatever the circumstance, my hope is that every stay-at-home-parent ultimately finds their position to be the blessing that it’s meant to be.

When Andy stopped by my blog back in January, he mentioned he was looking for guidance; my kids are eleven and thirteen. I have a few more parenting-years under my belt, compared to his girls who are two and four-years old. There’s no rule book when it comes to raising children. They don’t come to you all pink or brown or beige-like with an instruction manual neatly tucked inside the perfect swaddle they’re usually handed to you in, and there’s a decent chance you’ll never be able to replicate that perfect swaddle again either. After a few lame attempts, I gave up — completely. It didn’t really look that comfortable to me anyway and my kids survived.

What I’ve noticed over the past few months is that, whether it’s a delayed nap, a derailed football game or an impromptu party during what should be “work-time”, Andy seems to take it all in stride with humor and gusto making the most out of some of those unplanned moments with his girls. As far as offering guidance, parenting for me, is all about trusting your instincts, getting to know your children, letting go every once in a while and having faith that all kids are capable. Each family dynamic has its own set of unique circumstances that effect and help to mold the personalities of our babies. Just like children, no two families are alike.

From what I can see, Andy’s got a great handle on the parenting-thing. He’s mastered the number one requirement as far as I’m concerned. It comes across crystal clear; Andy adores his girls – all three of them! He’s a true dad, in love with his family, happy to be wrapped around the precious fingers his little girls wag at him.

I have a son who’s awesome and a daughter, so here’s a little of what you might have to look forward to from those lovely lassies in the years to come, Andy….

Surprises! Lots and lots of surprises! Girls are full of funny, happy, tearful surprises. They are sensitive, loving, bossy beings who enjoy playing sports just as much as they enjoy playing house. They feel just as comfortable in soccer shorts and cleats as they do in their brand-new frilly dress although, they will expect you, dad, to notice their new-pretty-dress as you kick around the soccer ball with them. There is no one else that they want to notice them as much as you. When they go to school you will miss them and all the noise joy they used to make. Fear not, girls are chatter boxes and will tell you all about their day. And I mean, ALL about their day. If you think they like sparkly, feather-y, fur-y things now, just wait a few years. They can never have enough stuffed animals and they will never get rid of any of them. It’s a good thing you are financially savvy as you may need to build an addition onto your house. For certain, your girls will never cease to amaze you with their endless love for you and the uninhibited way they express it, so embrace it, enjoy it and savor the moments in it as I know you do. Your girls have the ability to be sunshine on a cloudy day. They are a blessing and I know that you know that, too.

Andy, you may have started out just staying above water but there’s no doubt, you’ve become the life-raft your girls will continue to cling too, for many years to come.

Warmly,

Karen

Taking The World On With A Smile!

Can I use you for a reference? Karen, thanks for that parenting accreditation! Its easy to parent when they are so cute like this. I see you still slipped in some advice too (well done! :)). I still feel like I am swimming up stream sometimes. And thanks for taking the time to write this, taking valuable time away from your clan. I know its a big week and weekend!

If anyone else has some time and something to say feel free to say it here as a guest blogger. I know you write better than me, have something to say and are just waiting for the right opportunity to say it.  Leave me a comment and I will get back with you. I may get my life in 3D back to some sort of normal in a few days but I & we would really love to hear from you…about anything!

Thanks again Karen. Check her blog out! Its better than a good book.

Guest Post: BreezyK’s Anatomy of a Treadmill Run

One of my favorite blogs from the beginning, here in WordPress, has been The Camel Life by BreezyK. Being a big fan of creativity and humor I always checked in to see what Breezy was up to. This was further enhanced by a picture of the girl having fun in purple hair. Her Camel Life theme come from finding funny things in the normal or mundane things in life all around us.  And she completes the trio of fantastic Toronto bloggers that I have been following. She’s fun, she’s 26ish ( I sooo hope I am right here), a lawyer, and very creative with her version of the English language that I can only envy aspire to emulate and you will never know what to expect next.

Today is my gym day with the tests I put myself through with the weights and treadmills. The following is  a normal day of Breezy’s escapades in the gym. Grab a towel. Have fun!

Anatomy of a Treadmill Run

Holla peeps! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m BreezyK of The Camel Life, where I blog about all sorts of ridiculous things most people are too afraid to admit.
Since Andy and I are both masochists heart-healthy, and like to stay in shape by running, when he asked me to write a guest post, I immediately knew I wanted to write about running on the treadmill. (Or, as I affectionately like to refer to it, the “DREADmill“).

Second only to the subway turnstile, the dreadmill is my #2 nemesis in life. This is only strengthened by the fact that due to the unpredictability/long hours of my job, most of my runs take place at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am. I know. I’m insane.
Anyway, I thought it would be fun to document one of my early morning torture rituals runs for you guys – from should-be-illegal wakeup time, to collapsing in a puddle of sweat, tears, and self-loathing at the end. So here goes!
5:45 am:

  • Alarm goes off
  • Ponder why God hates me.
  • Hit snooze.

6:15 am (aka: 3 snoozes later):

  • Finally drag my butt out of bed.
  • Log onto wordpress to see how many new comments I’ve received on my latest blog post.

6:20 am:

  • Find out the answer is none.
  • Sadness.

6:22am:

  • Procrastinate. (This may take the form of arbitrarily opening and shutting kitchen cupboards, fake-cleaning, eating handfuls of dry cereal, etc.)

6:30am:

  • Finally put gym clothes on.
  • Take a picture of myself in front of the mirror.. because what the world really needs is more of this 6:30am beauty:


6:45am:

  • Finally make it out the door after doing way too many takes of aforementioned beauty shot. Note to self: it is impossible to look hot in a grainy blackberry shot at 6:30am… put that one in the “Get over it” box.

6:50am:

  • The face-off:

It's just you and me, buddy

6:55-7:05 am:

  • Begin running.
  • Attempt to find a song on ipod that doesn’t increase my desire to strangle myself with the treadmill emergency cord.

Hint: it’s not this one:

Enjoy my sweat droplet on the right hand side? That's just for you guys.

or this one:

7:05-7:15 am:

  • Generally hate life. Continuously ask myself: WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?

7:15 am:

  • Channel my anger by hating every personality on morning television.
  • Come around a little when they show a video of a cute bear dancing.
  • Try to take picture:

  • Fail miserably.

7:16 am:

  • Field suspicious gazes of fellow gym-goers, who clearly think I am crazy for taking pictures of the TV while running on the treadmill. (Judy McJudgersons).

7:20am:

  • Think about all the delicious food I’m gonna eat once this horror show is over. (Who am I kidding- I’ve clearly been thinking about food this entire time)
  • Plan my outfits for the next week with such detail you’d think I worked at Vogue rather than a generic office building.

7:25 am:

  • Start to get sort of comfortable. Think to myself “hey, this actually isn’t so bad! I should do this every morning!!”
  • Develop false sense of confidence.
  • Visualize myself winning the Toronto Marathon
  • Form overly ambitious mental to-do lists.

7:30:

  • Temporary euphoria recedes, pain sets in once again.
  • Begin downward spiral.
  • Think, once again, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS YOU CRAZY WOMAN??”

7:35am:

  • FINISHED! Take victory shot:

x3, because extreme fatigue has caused me to have an unsteady hand

7:36 am:

  • Tend to atrophied muscles.
  • Retire to ab mat, where, in lieu of stretching, spend 2-3 minutes curled in fetal position.
  • take unnecessary second photo of myself, where I still don’t look hot.. and probably shouldn’t post on the internet:


And that’s it! Hope you guys enjoyed my little trip down the masochistic highway- and If you want more where that came from, come and visit me over at my blog!
Peace and love,
BreezyK

Guest Post: Lighten Up!

Seattle may be known for its coffee and Portland for the rebirth of microbrews. Well I’ve found a town bursting with great, interesting blog writers, Toronto Canada.

Yesterday’s post came from a young lady from Toronto. So I thought I would fish the Toronto pages again for another one of my (new) favorite bloggers, Alex from “Don’t Stop, Don’t Puke.”

Being a runner I knew exactly what she meant by her blog title. Sometimes, when I raced, I never stopped, ran as hard as I could and then….well, you saw the name of her blog. Its very honest.

Actually, Alex has just started this blog I believe. This blog journals her various workouts in preparation to compete in a marathon in October. True to her blog’s name, she and her legs aren’t talking to each other right now as she pushes them so hard.

But behind every driven athlete is a driven person, whether sports, professionally, or hobbies. And Alex is no different. She’s a Math major professionally racing ahead in the business world. The drive to start this quest to conquer a(nother) marathon stems from the urge to not sit on the side lines and get old and stressed as life went on without her.  So she pushes her fitness to stay sharp. She made a positive life change that she can live with.

Similarly, she she was thinking about making other positive changes in her life lately to help her happiness continue to prosper. She’s decided to Lighten Up! And with that idea I give you Alex from Don’t Stop, Don’t Puke, another great Canadian blogger:

 

Lighten Up:

I went to grab lunch at my favourite takeout restaurant yesterday.  It’s a little eatery where they cook everything in-house. It’s the only organic and vegetarian eatery that I’ve found that has flavour and you’re not hungry half an after you’ve eaten.  I eat healthy but I’m not a vegetarian and I rarely eat organic foods, but once in a while, I go here when I feel that my body needs nutrients. I was trying to order 2 of the items on the menu and scared of pronouncing their ethnic names (I live in Toronto after all), I pointed to the dishes in front of me and asked for the Perisian Stew and the Lentil Stew.  The server looked at me, smiled and said, “Why don’t you take a stab at pronouncing them”.  So I did…I asked for the “Ghorme Sabzi” and the “Gheyme Stew” (try saying them…) He congratulated me on my sort-of-accurate pronunciation, taught me how to pronounce them correctly and we smiled and chatted about the rest of the names on the menu.

Walking out of there with a smile on my face, I wondered what kept me back from pronouncing the names…and I figured it was being scared that I would get them wrong.  And that’s when it hit me that I need to loosen up a bit.  It’s a little sad but very true that we all take ourselves way too seriously.  Most of us can lighten up when we’re in the company of children or animals but what about the rest of the time?  Why do we find it so hard to let go, why not have a little bit more fun with life, even at the risk of looking foolish.

So, I’ve decided that I need to make an effort to lighten up and change some things in my life…

  1. Focus on the positive – Andy said this to me a couple of days ago and I think it’s brilliant.  He said that an old boss told him to try to find people doing things right instead of focusing on all the things they did wrong. I think that’s brilliant and probably one of the biggest keys to happiness…in relationships, at work and in general.  When I think of how much time I spend harping on the negatives during a day I’m exhausted! I can only imagine how the people around me feel having to listen to them.  So from now on, I’m going to try to keep quiet about the small things that aren’t done the way I would like and instead focus on the things that are done well!
  2. Relax – things never go as planned…EVER.  In fact, the only thing I can control is my attitude and how I react to what happens everyday.  The rest, try as I might, is out of my control and I need to relax and accept that.  Making a huge deal out of every little thing that goes wrong during the day doesn’t help make them right, it just causes more things to go wrong as I get distracted, frustrated and annoyed.  Instead, I’m going to let it go, not let what happened annoy me, stay relaxed and move on.  Hopefully the next thing I do in my day won’t go as badly as the first 🙂
  3. Laugh – there are so many times when I hold back my laughter.  When I’m reading something funny at work or on the subway and I don’t want to make a scene so I fight so hard to hold it in.  But what would happen if I just laugh.  At work I’m sure people would ask me what I was laughing at and come join me in watching it..and they’d laugh along.  On the subway, I might annoy a few crusty people, but anyone with a sense of humour would smile…
  4. Don’t get insulted – this is a hard one for me.  When people tell jokes about me or poke fun, my first instinct is to get my back up and I get upset.  I know it’s not logical as these people are my friends, care for me and are not out to get me.  I should be laughing along and having a good time, instead of getting upset and quiet or worse, confronting them about it.
  5. Try new things – New restaurants, new activities, pronouncing things…I’m going to try doing things that are out of my comfort zone.  This is an easy one in Toronto as we’re so multicultural and have a plethora of restaurants to choose from.  And most of these things are unpronounceable!  From a menu order, to a street name, to someone’s last name…I’m going to pronounce everything.  The next time I order out, I won’t use the numbers besides the items on the menu, I’m going to pronounce the full name of the meal.  I might end up ordering something completely different than I intended, but I was planning on trying something new anyways!

So that’s my plan, reading these 5 things over doesn’t sound that difficult, it’s not like I’m vowing not to eat chocolate or anything but I know that if I can do them, they’ll make a huge impact in my life and on those around me.

I’m sure there are a million more things I could add to this list, so I’d love to hear all your suggestions.

Alex

Don’t Stop, Don’t Puke

 

 

 

 

Thanks Alex! Great advice. I think we all know people that take themselves way too seriously. I was one of those until someone ‘urged’ me to lighten up. And they were right. I try to interject some self-deprecating humor to help keep my ego in check. Laughing, or laughing at one’s self  helps keep everyone ‘light’ and happier. I too get too insecure, hence, insulted when things are happening around me and I am not current on the idea. And, my wife will tell you, I have no idea on how to relax. So I am going to keep that point and all these other great points in mind. We can never be too happy after all.

Thanks again Alex. If writing makes you happy or know someone you know, let me know and leave a comment. Come on, lighten up! I welcome your good ideas here in 3D as well and you may be a guest blogger.

Guest Post: Cafe 23 ~ Confessions of a mom-to-be

With so much going on at home lately its been hard to sit down and write. Birthdays, family in town, going to work early, precious few hours with the kids and so on. I am sure you have seen it yourself. So before WordPress shuts me down for inactivity or lack of a pulse I wanted to enlist some help of a few of my favorite bloggers.

Cafe 23 was the first to help me out. I know I have bragged on her before but this girl is full of surprises and never disappoints. She’s a great read. When I first started trolling the WordPress waters I ran across her blog. It was about a Penitentiary Museum. I thought kinda scarey on a blog site, huh?

Well the article was really, really interesting and more surprises in store. Most recently we saw her doing a really good acoustic cover tune on Youtube. She also likes rare scotch, red wine, and big guns. She is not your average Canadian! She completely blew me away with her contribution here in 3D. And while I could not pay her I at least tried to repay her with this 30 second airtime.

So without further adieu, here’s Cafe 23:

When Andy asked if I’d like to write a guest post for My Life in 3D, I decided to write about something that I would probably never talk about on my own blog – parenting.

Because you are no doubt wondering: No, I am not a parent. Yes, I’m planning to be one in the future. So moving along .

Here I was, ready to go with writing down all of these thoughts I’ve had for some time now about what kind of future parent I was going to be, when Andy gave me the big newsflash: “Being a parent is rarely anything close to what we perceive beforehand.”

The post that was to be was no more.

So you mean I’m not going to be the greatest parent in the entire world? I won’t be the coolest mom that can both discipline and be fun with her kids with the greatest of ease and finesse? You mean that my plans of raising my brood to be A-students, good at sports, musically gifted and insightful little beings are going to be foiled by the powers that be? This was not looking good.

Once upon a time, I actually thought that I would never have kids. For some reason, I just assumed that I wouldn’t be a good mom. Then I eventually developed this notion that I would adopt a kid but never get married. So maybe I could do the mom thing, but men? Forget that shit (3D edit) crap.

I have grown up since then, found out that not all men should be forgotten about, and now find myself nearing the age where that internal clock starts ticking just a little bit louder. Now, believe me when I say, I’m in no rush at the moment. There are plenty of things that need to happen before I unleash my mini-me’s onto the world. Plus, I have not yet devised a strategy for how I am going to deal with the pregnancy caffeine and drinking ban that merely adds insult to the injury of back pain and morning sickness.

But I certainly do think about parenting and how difficult it must be to create this little person and how much effort it’s going to take. Not just the labor part of it, which is not going to be happy hour for all parties involved; but I mean shaping that child over the years, molding them into someone you hope will spread joy and laughter throughout the world. Do all of these grand plans that you have for your little ones before they are born eventually get lost in the day-to-day agenda of wailing babies and dirty diapers?
I hope not. Because if there’s one thing I plan on doing as a parent, it’s to not forget that kids model their parents’ behavior more than they realize, that kids look up to their parents for guidance and comfort, that whatever happens to them while growing up sticks around for a long time after they’ve left the nest. Hopefully if I keep that in mind, the rest will fall into place and at least part of my plan will materialize into some awesome people that I can call my kids.

 

 – Cafe

 

 

 

P.S. I’m sure that’s not exactly what Andy meant, but it sure got me thinking!

Many, many thanks Cafe! No, its not really what I meant. It was about all the love for a child that you never thought you could have for another human being and way more special than can be imagined. I hope I didn’t scare you!

If anyone else out there has some topic you want to explore and would like to be a guest blogger here on 3D please let me know via a comment and I will contact you. Maybe its another thought on parenting or something that doesn’t quite fit the material on you blog. Or if you haven’t done a blog before but would love a chance to put your two cents in here’s your chance. Anything, let me know. It would be very appreciated! And while Cafe set the bar pretty high here I know we all excel in our own ways. So flex your muscles and give it a try!

BIG Surprise!

One of the great things about kids is the simplest things make them so happy. Dylan just had a birthday for instance. The first gift she opened was a toy. The next three gifts she opened were clothing. She didn’t even open the clothes up to see what they looked like. She just moved on to the next present. Our youngest played with the boxes.

Then, last Thursday the greatest gift just appeared. I didn’t go shopping for it. She didn’t see it on TV. It wasn’t given by an awesome grandmother. I couldn’t even tell you what this spectacular gift is. Don’t even have a name for it! In fact this whatever-it-is just showed up in the back of a truck when we received a delivery at work. At work, we just looked at each other and asked, “what is that?” I just knew it would be a hilarious delight for both our kids; a kinda mid birthday-week month treat. It was big. It was fun. And it had indoor jump castle written all over it.

The BIG Surprise barely fit in the back of my car. We sat down to eat dinner and I told the girls I had a Big surprise for them if they finished there dinner. Right away the questions started.

“What is it?”

“It’s a surprise.”

“Is it a dog?”

“No. Bigger.”

“Is it a car?”

“No, bigger.”

“Is it a house?”

“Not that big.”

And so they ate their dinner without incident, just a flurry of questions. Afterwards, I asked them to gather in the living room and cleared some room for them. Here’s a blurry video from the ‘Sofa Cam’ of the craziness:


The BIG Surprise started out as a huge inflated pillow that was then covered with a thick brown paper bag material to keep it from getting punctured. It was used on the truck as a spacer to keep things packed close. You may have seen miniature versions of this in things you receive in the mail.

The kids hollered and laughed! Someone laughed so hard they  peed in their pants. Someone else got laughs as they did something else in their pants in the free for all. (Darn mommy and her Vulcan hearing!).

 
In the end a sweaty Dylan came over and gave me a hug and said, “Dad this is the best present ever!”

 

Score one for Dad.And on with the birthday-week month….

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