5 And 3! Oh My!

If you’ve been a reader of my Ramblings for a while, you’ll know that my wonderful daughters share a birthday, 2 years apart. If you’re new to this little blog of mine, well, now you’re in the know as well! 😉

Today is the girls’ birthdays. They are turning 5 (Rina) and 3 (Béatrice). I have been busy trying to organize their special day, getting birthday and christmas presents done and finding a good paleo cake recipe.

I have managed to get the birthdays all done and under control and I still have a few items to pick up for the girls for Christmas. I have made a futile attempt at writing my Christmas cards with high hopes of sending them out later this week and I managed to only write up one so far! Man! I tell you, I feel like I’m somewhat organized in my day-to-day life, then December rolls around and all hell breaks loose! I get nothing done and stress levels go through the roof. Fortunately, the hubster has been pitching in a lot lately and I’m secretly hoping it will be a trend that lasts. 😉

We went to the truck light parade on Saturday evening and I think the girls enjoyed it very much. Rina was squealing like the most high-pitched piglet out there and Béatrice was dancing on my shoulders. Then, yesterday, we celebrated the girls since Rina had school today.


I'd say they managed a decent loot!

I’d say they managed a decent loot!

After we were done with lunch and it was time for me to bring out the less than impressive cake I made. I really don’t enjoy baking. To make it worst, I’m not really talented at it either. I’m just not crafty that way! I tried really hard to make them a cute birthday cake and it turned out more like a laughable mommy-fail of the year. I made a paleo cake from PaleOMG’s book and although I was told the cake and icing tasted good, the decorating was similar to Rina’s drawings… Not quite what I was going for. We sang “Happy birthday” twice and the girls blew their candles. BeZU even hugged me while she said: “Thank you for my cake Maman!” Bless her heart, that kid is simply amazing!

Once we were done eating lunch, cake and opening presents, we decided to go to the park atop the reservoir and have a little walk. We split up into two groups and somehow, lost Rina by doing so. I thought she was with the husband’s group and vice versa. A quick run along the trails surrounding the park and I found her sitting at the lookout, just waiting there. She got a quick scolding and I thing she was pretty scared off as she was all teary when she ran back to me. I told her she did good by waiting in one place and we went over other safety things before rejoining the rest of the group.

Before we lost Rina

Before we lost Rina

This morning, I went to Crossfit and even though I wasn’t feeling it at all (still sore from 1/2 Cindy on Friday), I was determined to get the juice flowing again in my sore body. Here’s what we did:

Skill: (1 Hang squat clean + 3 Front squats) x 5 E90s

I was aiming for 95# on my last set, with a realistic goal of 90#. I ended up doing this:


I was stripping my butt out of the squat and I really wanted to focus on NOT doing that in order not to screw up my sciatica even more. Also, I was using the slam ball as a guide as to how low to get to at the bottom and hoping to create muscle memory without going lower than I need to. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting better, I think. It’s so hard to have to re-program all my lifts and not dropping as low as I can go into them, but I know I’m taking a few steps back in order to keep moving forward injury-free.

WOD: Swing And Pop

That was my first attempt at this one and what was written on our white board is different from what’s written on our blog so I’m a little confused, but I ended up doing what was on our white board, FG:

8min AMRAP:

  • 5  DUs + 15 singles
  • 15 AKB @ 26#
  • 5 KB push press / arm @ 26#

I didn’t think I would be strong enough to do all my rounds with the 26# KB for the KB push press and I had the 18# on my mat as a back up, but I managed just fine. It was a lot of hard work and my reps were low compared to everyone else, but I am so skittish of injuring my sciatic again, that I really don’t mind. I’m still working hard and making the best of it all while remaining safe. So far, so good!

I came back home, showered, ate lunch with Béa and then I was off to finally deliver baby Bailey’s blanket. I finished it a while back and finally managed to deliver it today. She’s such a cutie and so friendly! She was singing and cuddling and just adorable! I could have squeezed her all day, but I had to go back to my chores. I made some food for dinner and then it was time to pick up Rina from school and our evening routine. Hopefully, I can get to my christmas cards tomorrow and get those done and over with! Here’s to hoping! 😉



Barbells and Princesses

I had such a full day yesterday!

Crossfit in the morning followed by more house cleaning (I’m almost done deep cleaning the kitchen), interrupted with a lovely at-home pedicure by a mobile pedicurist /fellow crossfitter, more cleaning and finally, falling asleep on the couch while “watching” TV.

After I made my way to my bed, I woke up at 0500 and got ready for Oly lifting class this morning, because it’s “just lifting”!

Photo 2015-08-27, 5 53 29 AM

The tall snatch was a struggle with just the empty bar and it’s still something I need to work on. Why is everything snatch-related such a struggle? I guess we all have our weaknesses and the snatch truly is one of mine.

Since I missed the last testing session, I’m still using 65# as my 1RM for the snatch and that meant I used 55# today for the Snatch EMOM x 10 @85%. I think it went well overall, but I was feeling fatigued on my last rep.

For the hang clean, I really wanted to attempt 90# on my last set, just to prove to myself that I could do it without catching it on my sternum. Coach Caleb wanted us to focus on not dropping the bar in-between reps and get back into the hook grip.


My “wings” (as Ben calls my bruise) are healing nicely. And yes, I know, I look exhausted!

Everything went peachy until my 6th set. I managed all my reps without hesitation and after a pointer from Coach Caleb, I reminded myself to keep my chest and elbows up in the catch. When I got to 90#, I was in my head and really afraid of failing the lift.

1st attempt: failed.

I came back to the bar and approached it. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd attempt: failed.

I walked away from the bar. Sat on the bench for about 30s, then approached the bar again. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

3rd attempt: failed.

This time, I sat down right away and had a chat with myself. I knew I could do it, I had managed 2 reps earlier this week. Yeah, I’m tired, but I can totally do this. Just get to the bar and DO IT! You just need to drop into the squat to catch it.

Approach the bar. Set my hands. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

4th attempt: 1st lift successful! I wanted to celebrate, but there was still another lift to do. I reset the bar on my hips and reset my hook grip. Dang! That bar is heavy. All you have to do is repeat what you just did! You got this. I can barely hold on to the bar! Just do it, don’t think about it. JUST DO IT!

Hook grip. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd lift caught very deep at the bottom of the squat and I was afraid I would crumple into the bottom, but I managed to push out of it and managed my 2nd lift! I threw that bar on the floor and was beaming! I had just done 2 reps at my 1RM C&J!!! Whoot! Whoot! Also, that was a 15# PR from my previous attempt at this only 3 short months ago!

Photo 2015-08-27, 7 17 19 AM

I couldn’t stop smiling! Looks like even though I’m exhausted, I can still find it in me to push hard and improve!

I came back home for a shower and a hearty breakfast before taking the girls to Hatley Castle for their surprise Princess Day! No cleaning today, I’m taking a break from being a housekeeper and I’m taking time to rest and enjoy my last few days off before my vacation is over! We went to pick up Nanny as I had asked her if she wanted to come with us (not to work, but to enjoy the day and be tourist in her new town).

The day had started a bit cloudy and cooler, but the sun came out and the heat did too. I chose to only pay for the garden tour as I highly doubted the girls’ attention span would last enough for the indoor guided tour. I think it was the best decision, even though I will have to go back one day to visit the inside of the castle.

We toured the Italian garden, the Japanese garden, the Rose garden and the green houses. The photographer in me had a blast taking some shot and editing them. Below is just a small sample of the 140+ shots I took today! 😉

Trust Your Body When You Have No expectations

I finished work yesterday morning and managed a little bit more sleep after that last night shift (5hrs instead of 4) and I woke up from my nap with a sore left shoulder. It felt like I pinched something in there which hurt when I did certain movements more than others. I applied a hot bag to it when the girls went to bed and was hoping it would feel better in the morning. It was still sore when I woke up, so I decided to still go to Oly lifting class, but I didn’t have much expectations as to what I would accomplish this morning.

Since our Box moved over the weekend, I made my way to the new digs and here’s what we did:

Photo 2015-06-04, 5 50 52 AM

The warm-up was challenging in itself for me. Those tall snatches did not feel natural and my head was struggling to grasp the movements required. I couldn’t really land this in the squat at all, but I kept trying.

Squat Snatch 5×2 E3M @ 87.5%

My 87.5% is 56.875# (my 1RM is 65, even though I didn’t succeed at 65#, Coach Caleb now wants me to use this as my 1RM in order to hopefully progress). Since there’s no way to accomplish that weight with the plates available to us, I went wit 55#. Throughout the rounds, I was really working on two things: my hook grip (see picture below and landing in the squat position (not hesitating at the top of the pull).

I can only wrap my index finger around my thumb (and very badly at that since my hands are small and my thumbs are ridiculously short. Source

I can only wrap my index finger around my thumb (and very badly at that since my hands are small and my thumbs are ridiculously short. Source

My 1st rep of every set was always better than the second one, but I managed ok on both my goals for most of the reps. On my 2nd round, I failed to drop into the squat completely so I reset my bar and was then successful at my 2 lifts. Overall, I’m really happy that I was able to get all 5 rounds in since, technically, these were all done at 92% of my real 1RM (60#). It felt a little more natural to drop right into the squat and I was happy I got to work on that. My shoulder was never an issue for any of the reps and I was happy about that too! 🙂

Hang Squat Clean 6×2 E3M @85%

My 1RM for these is 90# so my 85% = so I used 75#. I felt strong and confident doing these. Funny how the cleans and C&J come easy to me and the snatches are so challenging. I did 75# on all reps and didn’t fail once. Again, my shoulder wasn’t an issue and it actually feels a lot better now. It just goes to show that if you go in without any expectations, sometimes, your body will surprise you!

Once we were done, I had the luxury of sticking around and taking my time for once, chatting with people. Usually, I rush back home to help Ben get the girls ready for preschool or gymnastics, but on Thursdays, they have no preschool or activities which means it’s our “slow morning”. I got to stick around and chat to Tracey and it was nice to just take my time, for once.

I came back home to the usual laundry and a little more free time since we started using our dishwasher on a regular basis. I know, we have lived in the house for close to a year and I wasn’t using our dishwasher until about 2 weeks ago… Why? First of all, we were in the habit of washing everything by hand for the past 7 years. Second, it’s noisy as heck and we have a pretty open concept 1st floor, so it annoyed me to have it running when the girls nap or in the evening. I’m pretty sensitive to loud noises because of all the bing-bong-ing that goes on at my work place. When I get home, the last thing I want is loud noise and the house is noisy enough with 2 kids. I have, however, figured out that having the dishwasher run after breakfast is the logical thing to do and it frees me from having to do dishes after every meal. It is a bit noisy, but the house is usually noisy at that time anyway, so it gets noisier for about 1hr after breakfast! 🙂

I am slowly gearing up to my #Whole30 and trying to clean up my eating a bit and looking up recipes before I officially start on June 15. So far, the recipes I’ve tried are delicious!

I’ll leave you with this, normal life in our household and the girls love it when Daddy plays guitar:

Photo 2015-06-04, 9 49 57 AM

Music time with the girls. Yes, our house is messy, but there’s no way around it. I love the saying that goes: “Excuse the mess in our house, we’re busy making memories”!