Friday, December 10, 2010

Haven't left the house in 2 1/2 days

But dammit, it's ok!

In fact, Lorelei's pediatrician told me the other day, at her 2-month appointment, that "Mom should get some more rest." It's funny--this doctor is EXCELLENT--but she has this quirky way of talking to me through the baby. Examples:

"So little one, are you eating every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day?"
"Are you letting your parents get any sleep these days?"
"Are you smiling and cooing now?" (Uh, do I let her answer, or....)

And the latest one: "You know, lots of people expect mommies to just get back out there and into the swing of things, especially around the holidays! Yep! But you should tell mommy to just rest in bed because then she'll be able to be happier."

Ok, as long as Lorelei approves....!

So that's what I've been doing the past two days. Not resting in bed, but just lounging in PJs without feeling guilty about it. It definitely helped that we had a huge snowstorm on Wednesday so that was a no-brainer. And yesterday, I could have gone out...but that would have meant scraping off the car...nah.

Today though, I do have an appointment at 2pm, so I am going out! I'm dropping Lei (one of our nicknames for her--her initials are L.E.I.) off with Derek at work so I can get a full hour or so to myself. Then it's off to Target to get some stuff for Christmas cookies (Derek's sister Becca is coming this weekend so we'll be a-baking) and to get Lei a little dumb holiday dress for Derek's office party. Blah.

Happy face!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

BF: Not my Best Friend

So, Lorelei is almost 10 weeks old now. In a few more weeks, she'll turn 3 months old (crazy!).

My mother-in-law, "C," told me that when her daughter "M" had her two babies, that she breast fed them for 3 months. "That was enough for her," C said. "She was very committed to it, but 3 months was when she just said, "Okay, moving to formula."

When I first heard this, I have to say, I felt a little bit of pride (or maybe it was self-righteousness?) well up inside  of me. Three months!? HA! I'm doing a YEAR! Six months, at minimum. 3 months is NOTHING!

Um....can we make it to three months, already?!

It's not that I am wanting to quit nursing. It's just that I am...considering it. The most important reason is because after all this time, I'm still in pain. There are other reasons that I could add, and which I will add, when weighing the options of this decision. But the only reason I am even thinking about stopping is the pain.

Here's a pro/con list...

PROS: Continue Breastfeeding Because..

  • It's best for Lorelei
  • It's "easy" (no bottles to make or clean up)
  • It's portable
  • She gains immunity and will rarely get sick (I pass my antibodies on to her through the milk)
  • Easily digestible for Lorelei; fewer stomach problems (potentially)
  • Diapers are more "pleasant" (ha ha), less constipation
  • Weight-loss booster for me
  • Strong bonding sessions between us
  • It doesn't cost a cent
  • less spitting up/gassiness
CONS: Stop Breastfeeding at 3 Months Because...
  • Pain while nursing (left side only); excruciating at times, other times merely bearable (with Advil).
  • Recurring clogged ducts and nipple blisters/blebs
  • Mastitis - for me, the agony of this infection was worse than labor. I have to take Lecithin, a supplement which helps your milk flow easier, 3 times a day or else the clogs come back.
  • Freedom to go out and leave baby with Derek or sitter without having to pump.
  • Freedom to drink alcohol without worrying about it getting to the baby.
  • Freedom to eat anything I please without worrying about reactions/sensitivities (this was a huge problem before, but she has since outgrown the dairy allergy, THANK GOD!, so that's not really an issue. However, sometimes she has horrible gas/fussiness and we can't pinpoint whether it's something I've eaten that is troubling her.)
  • Can still bond with bottle, as long as I maintain eye contact and snuggle while feeding her.
  • Derek can have more of an active role in feedings (right now he feeds a bottle about 2x or 3x/week total). This is nice so he can spend more time with Lorelei, but also to relieve me "from my duties" and allow me some more sleep.
  • Unconfirmed - but theories are that formula-fed babies sleep longer because they are fuller longer, whereas breastfed babies wake more often to feed. Right now Lorelei is waking a minimum of 2x/night to eat and I am getting choppy, restless sleep because of it.
  • No more NIP (nursing in public). Oh, how I hate that. Or nursing in the car. Or in a public bathroom. God I hate that. I do have a nursing cover, but it's awkward and I am such a modest person that I really feel uncomfortable with NIP.
  • No more worrying about pumping. I am SO SICK OF PUMPING. Pumping to maintain or build supply, pumping to relieve clogs or PREVENT clogs, pumping to empty the breast if she falls asleep, pumping to have a bottle for Derek in case I have somewhere else to be. Plus I am having very little success while pumping. Not really getting a lot of milk. It's almost better sometimes if I hand-express it. Which is ridiculous and takes FOREVER. Thank god I don't have to go back to work now, because I have nothing saved up at all.
  • Which leads more feeling incompetent or like a failure. :( Of course, I WILL most definitely feel like a failure for probably a couple weeks when I do decide to stop BFing (provided it's before six months). But right now, I have so many questions. Is she getting enough? Is she gaining enough weight? Is she happy at the breast, or frustrated? Is she constantly hungry? Is she just comfort nursing? With formula (or at least with a bottle - even of expressed milk), I know what she's eating and it's not a guessing game. I know that "we produce what our baby needs" and that nature is a remarkable thing, but I can't help but wonder sometimes if she is unhappy because I am not giving her enough milk. Sometimes I feel as though my right side (which, luckily, never hurts while she nurses) hardly produces anything at all, whereas my left side, my super producer, is the one that KILLS when she nurses. I have seen an LC more than once, have attended multiple breastfeeding classes and groups, have seen a nurse from the OB-GYN's office who specializes in BFing, and have had a nurse come to the house to coach me with her. I have tried a nipple shield. And then a different nipple shield. The left side STILL HURTS. I am so frustrated and don't know what to do!!! Hence feeling like a failure.
  • Possibly, but maybe not - I will stop being a total bitch due to being overtired and cranky. Maybe I will have more energy and be nice to Derek instead of snapping at him. Maybe I will have more patience with Lorelei when she is screaming and crying, instead of crying myself and passing her off to Derek so I can cry in the shower.

As you can probably tell, this is a highly sensitive, emotional decision for me. It consumes most of my day. It's not an easy decision to make. And the question I guess becomes, whose health is more "important?" Mine, or Lorelei's? Yes, BFing provides her with everything she needs. It is the "perfect food." But is that more important than having a mom who is happy and well-rested? Who has more energy to take care of her and play with her because she is not throughly exhausted and both physically and emotionally drained every day?

I do want to wait until three months, though, because I have heard that things improved drastically at this point for most babies, even ones with colic (which I am pretty sure Lorelei has). Maybe once she starts sleeping more and being less irritable, I will relax, produce more milk, be less stressed, etc. Maybe the pain will subside, like so many BFing veterans have told me. Maybe.

I guess I'll just have to see what three months will bring.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Back from NY

I never thought I'd say this, but...I am glad to be back in Cleveland!

During our two weeks in New York, I kept thinking about all the places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do--back home. This is big for me. Since moving from NY 2 1/2 years ago, I have always missed it. I still do, but I never missed HOME when I was visiting, first home!

Lorelei did great in New York. Of course, she still had her incredibly fussy moments, but, considering we were in a new environment, she slept fairly well. And she even transitioned back to our own apartment nicely! (Except for the fact that since we had turned the heat off when traveling, our apartment was friggin' FREEZING for a few hours while it warmed up.) She's been giggling and smiling more often. She's napping now in her swing, which we both missed very much (mostly me, because it is a surefire way to get her to calm down and/or nap while I take care of chores and stuff).

Product PhotoWhile in NY, we visited a store called Waddle 'N Swaddle in Poughkeepsie (right near Vassar's campus -- we took a day trip there). We throughly spoiled Lorelei by getting her some really nice stuff, including two blankets from Tickety Bu and (for me AND her) a Beco baby carrier (the one pictured here is the design we got). I'll have to post some pictures soon (this is obviously NOT me! Ha ha).

We also visited Vassar's campus and ate at The Dutch Cabin...oh, the memories.

We saw a bunch of friends during this visit, including Trish, Eliza, Heather, and Mike (who came over the day after Thanksgiving); Matt and Sarah (who we visited in Brooklyn); Rob (with whom we met up for dinner); and Kristin and Wil (who had us over to their Washington Heights apartment this past Friday night.

All in all, we had a great time, but I was very glad to get back home last night.

Lorelei at almost 9 weeks
Today is a perfect day for just sitting around the apartment, as it has started snowing and it's supposed to continue! Hopefully Lorelei will continue to take good naps today so that I can get some stuff done around the house. But, as I've learned so far, never expect anything to happen...just take it as it comes. If cleaning doesn't get done, it doesn't.

We definitely have hardly any food in the house. I was going to go to the store, but with the snow, I think I may just do a makeshift meal in the crock pot instead!

Here's a picture of Lorelei in her car seat on our way to see Kristin. (This was BEFORE she started screaming her head off in the car...oy vey.)

Just a couple more weeks until Derek and I go to Michigan to spend time with his family! He's going to use the rest of his vacation days, so he'll be off as of December 18th. And I think Derek's sister Becca will be paying us a visit next weekend to hang out and give us a hand. Something to look forward to!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This run was made possible by the Glee Pandora station

I ran for the first time in six months yesterday!!

I am spending two weeks in New York with my family (we came out almost a week early for Thanksgiving, and then decided to extend our stay because Derek has a conference in the city this week and didn't want to travel back and forth). I packed not one, but two running outfits. I had such grand ideas about doing a crisp, sunny Thanksgiving morning run, reminiscent of the great one I did in 2007 in Riverside Park by the George Washington bridge--never forget that feeling!

But low and behold, stuff happened. Most notably that I got a bad cold and that the baby was not napping and was VERY cranky, making it nearly impossible to just feel okay about passing her off to someone and go running. So my plan for a Thanksgiving run came and went. I imagined all the Turkey Trots I was missing and got a little sad.

But then an amazing thing happened. Well, two amazing things. One: I started to feel better VERY quickly. That almost never happens. Actually, let me clarify: I used to never get over colds for like a week. Then I started running, and I virtually stopped getting colds, or if I got one, it was gone in about two days. (In fact, amazingly, the entire time I was pregnant, I only got sick once, right at the beginning, and it was very brief. I haven't had a cold since January.) When I stopped running due to being--well, humongous--and then stopped walking so much a couple months later, I dreaded getting sick because I thought that my immune system--previously protected by running--would be like, "WTF?" and leave me sick for a long time.

But no! Apparently I have trained my body to reject sickness. Nice! I must have residual runner's health. Either that, or the prenatal vitamins that I am still taking are actually doing more than giving me strong nails and hair.

Anyway, the second amazing thing that happened was that the weather...actually...stayed....sunny and beautiful for a few days! What?! (Now watch, now that I said it, it's going to snow.) But yesterday was the perfect opportunity. Derek was working, but my mom and Jack were both home on vacation. It was mid-day and about 50 degrees (perfect!). I fed Lorelei, then changed and was out! I took only my phone, which, with headphones, can double as a music player thanks to the Pandora app. My plan was to walk/run for one mile. Just one! I asked Jack for a route that was either about a mile or which would take me no more than 20-30 minutes to walk/run. I got the info, and was out the door!

The Glee station on Pandora, might I just mention, is awesome! I heard a few winners, including "Eye of the Tiger," which was just perfect because it was right as I was starting out.

To be honest, I was very happy with the amount that I was actually able to run. I thought I would start out all show-offy and strong, and then stop gasping for air after two minutes, clutching my side as I walked it off. Like I used to. (This is square one, isn't it?) But, amazingly, it wasn't like that at all. Not only did I retain all the "muscle memory" on how to maintain a good stride and run economically and all that, but I didn't lose my breath. Maybe that's because I didn't go off sprinting down the road like I had naively tried when I first attempted running five years ago. (Geez--has it really been five years?!) No, the reason I slowed to a walk three or four times during this mile was a combination of: 1) running stitch in my upper stomach - funny how those present themselves more when you're first starting out; 2) very rationally (ha ha) not wanting to "push it" too soon because I knew I'd probably be sorry. If there was an instance during the run where I was like, "Hmm. Should I keep running, or should I walk here?" and I was in mild to medium discomfort, I usually walked. Nobody needs to be sidelined even longer by a dumb injury. (Listen to me, all calm and mature. Yeah, right!)

I made it back as Jack was out walking the dog....and part of me thinks he might have gone out to check up on me because both he and my mom were a little bit nervous about it. That is so funny to me. But it's cute.

Here is the route I ran. (Actually, according to gmap pedometer, it was 1.6 miles!)

In other news, Derek's dad and grandpa want a picture of the three of us for their Christmas letter..but Lorelei was not having any of it! She cried the entire time. Here's a semi-decent one:

Anyway, that's all for now! Have a great Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Never leave home without these five things

1. Pacifier
2. Change of clothes for baby
3. Ziploc bags to put gross things in
4 and 5. Your boobs.

Today Lorelei had to have an ultrasound of her hip done. I made sure I nursed for as long as she wanted before leaving. However, low and behold, she was hungry again during the ultrasound! (growth spurt, probably).

Anyway, the technician could not get a good picture because of Lorelei's fussing and squirming. She asked if I had a pacifier, and I said no. I didnt think to bring a bottle of breast milk either since we were gone such a short time. I tried giving my pinky...nope, not good enough!

The technician said, "We have some sugar water. Can we give it to her?" I almost gave in, but then said, "This is gong to sound weird, but can I breastfeed while you give the exam?" to which she replied, "Of course!"

So I leaned over and nursed her and the tech got her pictures!!! LOL! It wasn't too comfortable to bend over, but oh well. It had to be done.

Of course, in true baby fashion, she dirtied not one, but TWO sheets, and three towels. Yep, she peed twice, and sharted twice. Nice job little one!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fussy Time: It's not just for babies

I was thinking about "Fussy time" today. Although most babies do have a few hours or so each night where they are acting extra...well...nuts, we all stress about it and sometimes even call it "colic." Even though babies cry! A lot! They're supposed to. But sometimes, adults get just as fussy about it.

Like me! I stress out at practically anything and everything. And, after a good day with (hopefully) 2-3 naps for Lorelei and one for me, a nice bath, changing, feeding, burping, and is stressful and confusing for parents when babies just act like a crazy baby has taken his or her place. "Why now?" we say. As adults, we want to relax at night. We've had a busy day, we've worked, ran errands, etc. and now we have cooking and dinner to accomplish. Yes, it IS an accomplishment to cook dinner with a whiny baby! Even bigger of an accomplishment is when we actually have a second to sit down and EAT said dinner. Derek and I often have to take turns soothing the baby while the other scarfs down dinner. And, even more often, even if Lorelei has ALREADY eaten, she'll have to have dinner #2 before I can even have dinner #1. So my dinner gets cold, and I'm cranky because of hunger. And Derek is probably getting work done, and even if he's not, he wants some time to unwind too and just enjoy the baby - not console her.

Enter adult fussiness! During the day, we adults expect to be annoyed at stuff. Daytime is for doing important stuff. Nighttime is for doing what WE want. Wait, what?! There IS no more "what we want?" Oh, right, I forgot. This pisses me off! Making my tolerance for baby's screams lower. Adult fussiness, I tell ya!

In other news...the question of the day for babywearing moms is...

How do I, like, go to the bathroom when my baby is sleeping in the Moby?

Very carefully.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A swing is not a boob (and other six-week musings)

Today marked Lorelei's six-week birthday (at 6:17 am! Hell yes I was awake). So many things have been going so much better, and others have been continuing to confuse and frustrate us.

Right now Lorelei is spending some time in her lambie swing, which she just loves! However, something strange has happened. The last few times she's been in there, she has craned her neck to one side and started to fake nurse on the pillow part of the swing! WTF!?! And I know she's not hungry, because I just fed her.

This, of course, worries me a bit due to the whole SIDS thing - is she going to smother in there? But the other part of me is just amused, because, well, she nurses probably 18 out of 24 hours every day, it's no wonder she is  always looking for a boob!

The other thing she's doing in the swing right now--and in general--is smiling, cooing, and making baby noises other than crying. That is a huge relief. Not only that she is somehow developing different types of communication skills, but also that I know that she's not really so unhappy all the time, which I had no way of knowing before.

Nursing is going "well," by which I mean it's still going. I've had a bunch of problems thus far, but luckily none of them have gotten in the way of our Little Miss getting enough to eat. Last week I got mastitis and had to go on antibiotics. :( Three weeks ago I also stopped eating dairy products because of "interesting" diaper colors and textures. However, I've also sorta stopped eating peanuts/peanut butter..and decided to try it out this morning (had a tablespoon of PB on bread). If she has a reaction, then it's possible it's peanuts and NOT dairy (because those two were the only two foods I really consumed on a daily basis). So I'll try a switch if that happens. OR, it could be both! Wonderful. Can you imagine if I had to go about my running life without eating peanut butter?! That's my go-to long run/race pre-snack. Well, I won't jump to conclusions yet...of course, I could always avoid this issue and give formula so that my diet doesn't have to change. But I'm not really interested in that option yet.

Sleeping is sort of better, but not great. For a while, she was only sleeping in the swing for extended periods of time (the longest being 4 or 5 hours overnight) and only like 30 minutes to an hour in the crib or bassinet (and that was if we could even get her to fall asleep--usually putting her down on a flat surface rouses her and she starts crying, even if she is in a deep sleep!). But the last two nights we have been trying harder with the bassinet, because we will be traveling next week for Thanksgiving and won't have the swing with us! She has been doing pretty well - I think she has gotten up to about 2 or 2 1/2 hours now in that. Maybe even 3 hours, although honestly, any times recorded between the hours of midnight and 6 am are quite fuzzy to me, so apologies for not remembering accurately!

Also, we've found this technique from The Happiest Baby on the Block which includes the 5 Ss: Swaddling, Side/Stomach position, Swinging, Shushing, and Sucking. It's pretty amazing how the "shushing" part works. You kind of have to do it loudly, and it sounds like waves crashing or something (and it's more like "shhhhh" than "shushhh"). It's supposed to mimic the sounds inside your uterus--in fact, all of the 5 Ss are supposed to recreate that. Dr. Karp (the creator of this technique) calls the first three months of life "The Fourth Trimester," where babies are really not used to life outside the womb yet. Makes sense!! And, while I cannot "shhhh" all night long, our Cloud B Sleep Sheep helps TREMENDOUSLY with this! There are four sounds: a heartbeat; whale sounds; rain, and ocean waves (which sounds like the "shhh"ing).

Other observations of the past couple of weeks:
1) Your baby will probably have more clothes in one drawer than you have in your entire closet.
2) Some burp cloths are meant to be thrown out. As in, the ones you have to mop up baby crap with.
3) A thank-you email is sometimes necessary instead of a thank-you card in order to maintain sanity (and still give you time to nap).
4) Despite the persistent advice to "avoid housework," you'll still feel self-conscious when a visitor comes, clearing the couch of baby blankets and discarded nursing bras in order to make them feel welcome.
5) A GOOD breastpump is essential! I just ordered the Ameda Purely Yours, which is due to arrive soon, because my manual pump wasn't exactly productive enough.
6) Do NOT skip coffee. Just don't.
7) Have water/snacks at a number of "stations" throughout the apartment, because you never know where you'll be nursing, and you want to be well-stocked wherever you are.

In other news: I had my first workout post-baby! I went to a yoga class called "Beginners and Beyond Ashtanga Yoga." Um, more like beyond beginners! Not too fun. And I'm not really a huge fan of the Astanga style, I realize now. It's ok! Just glad I got back out there. I have my six-week checkup tomorrow, so I'll ask the doctor when it's ok to resume running. Not like I have the time OR energy right now! We'll see.

Here's a recent pic of Lorelei in her crib!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Things I wish I'd been told about having a baby (part 1)

Here is a list (most likely, an ongoing one) of things I wish someone had told me beforehand about this baby business! I've organized them into categories. Enjoy! (Note: many things are TMI so read at your own risk...)

Labor and Delivery
1. You WILL poop on the delivery table.
2. But you really won't care!
3. In fact, all the crazy things you do and say during labor and delivery are in no way representative of how you'd "normally" act. This is imperative if you want to actually let labor progress. (See "letting your monkey do it.")
4. Even if you create a birth plan, things will probably go a little differently than you anticipate. Better to have a birth plan in your heart and head, and concentrate on that, in order to get the experience you want.
5. If you're using an OB, he/she will probably suggest you schedule an induction for around 41 weeks. You have the right to say no, though.

Recovery/Postnatal Care
1. The nurses will make you get up to pee soon after birth.  They'll even follow you into the bathroom. But they'll probably be nice and run the water in the sink and look away while you do it.
2. Remember these items: peri bottle, peri pad, sitz bath, perineal spray. These will be your best friends for roughly 2-3 weeks postpartum.
3. Even if you don't think you need it, TAKE IBUPROFEN for pain! You might also get a prescription for percoset - I don't really think that was necessary, but I'm sure those who had a c-section would probably want that. Oh, and they'll probably recommend you take stool softeners too. Good idea! (Btw, I was really scared about the first postpartum poop, but it was really ok.)
4. If you've had stitches, then burning, itching, etc. is all normal as the incision heals!!!!
5. Expect to wear humongous, mesh granny panties for a few days after birth. The hospital usually provides these (and more maxi-pads then you've seen since since middle school).
6. Go to Target and buy even more maxi pads. Seriously. You'll need 'em. Even if you don't actually (TMI warning!) soak through them, you'll want to change them often because..well, you know. Gross.

1. It is NOT easy! It takes time, for you and baby, to understand each other and to "sync up."
2. If you are BFing, start early. Try not to let the nurses take your baby from you until you get a chance to nurse for the first time.
3. For the first few days, you'll feel like your body is not producing anything, and that your baby isn't getting anything. Don't worry - it is and he/she is. The colostrum is highly rich in nutrients and is considered the "perfect food" for your baby. His/her stomach is so tiny at birth so he/she doesn't need a lot anyway. Just keep feeding, and your body will provide what your baby needs.
4. When your milk comes in, you'll feel totally weird! You might even get a low-grade fever (100s). Normal. A little massage, a warm washcloth and/or shower, and perhaps some pumping to relieve engorgement will work.
5. Even though a lot of "experts" will say that BFing shouldn't hurt if baby is latched correctly, IT DOES HURT! It can hurt for a number of reasons and on a scale spanning just weird and uncomfortable to sharp shooting pain. Be sure to be aware of certain conditions (mastitis, thrush), but if you don't have those, your boobs can often be heavy, sore, tender, warm to the touch, etc. You might feel like a knitting needle is being poked all the way through your boob when your baby latches. This will get better with time.
6. Also, the positioning will get easier as your baby learns to support his/her head better and gets bigger. At first, I couldn't do ANYTHING but support her with both hands as she fed. Now...typing one handed works!
7. FIND A GOOD LACTATION CONSULTANT you trust and/or (even better) a breastfeeding support group. These are invaluable. You meet other new moms, you have a quiet and respectful place to nurse and you get to share stories. Plus, the LC is there for advice and for "freebies" (last week she gave out free bottles the hospital didn't need and a recipe for oatmeal cookies to build supply; this week she had candy for Halloween). Even if you're not a joiner, try it.

Crying/Not Sleeping
1.As much as you think you "know" that babies will still break your heart when they do!
2.Your baby will probably be fussy every evening for no explained reason. This is not necessarily colic. All babies have a fussy time; you just have to figure out what that is for your baby.
3. Your baby might have gas and/or intolerances to foods you eat. You'll know this by, well, gasiness, EXTREME fusiness, and (gross) green/mucuosy diapers. You may have to cut out some things from your diet if your baby is reacting to something you eat and you want to continue to breastfeed. There are LOTS of support groups out there on the web, especially at Baby Center.
4. Another really wonderful, comprehensive site about BFing and parenting is Kelly Mom. 
5. There are a bunch of differing opinions on whether or not babies should be put on a schedule, letting babies cry it out, and sleeping through the night. Most everyone will recommend a book for you to read. I have read literature/articles from both the Cry-it-Out camp and the Attachment Parenting (AP) camp. I personally have discovered myself to be more of an AP parent myself. But you can and should decide for your family and your baby which is best for all of you. Many moms might tell you to read On Becoming Babywise. After reading that book and then The Baby Sleep Book by the Sears family, I think the latter is more comprehensive and more my style. That's just my opinion though!! :) Some other good methods I've heard about are The Baby Whisperer and Zen Baby.

Products We Can't Live Without
1. Moby wrap - stops crying/fussing within five minutes! Great to have on while you do other stuff so you can be hands-free. Also great for walks when you don't want to schlep carseat/stroller everywhere.
2. Baby swing - HELLO! Best thing ever! Baby will ALWAYS sleep in the swing (even if she won't always sleep in the crib..oy vey.)
3. Boppy - or some variation therof. Could not get through the BFing without it!!

And Finally..
1. Take a shower EVERY DAY! It's ok. Just put your baby in a safe place (crib, bassinet, pack n play, strapped in car seat/other seat) and give yourself some time!!!
2. Drink LOTS of water! This is something I have to force myself to remember to do. Also, eating at regular intervals so that you're not starving and as cranky as your baby.
3. I'm not going to tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps. That piece of advice is so overused and really like a "duh." However, I WILL tell you that for the most part, you WON'T sleep when the baby sleeps. In fact, you'll more likely SWEEP when the baby sleeps. At least I do, because I'd rather feel in control of the cleanliness of my apartment and keeping up with my stuff. Maybe after a little while I will sleep more. But it's nice to be up and around the apartment when the baby is sleeping because you have some "free time." I do try to get in one nap per day, though.
3. Basically, take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of your little one. And ask for help!!!!

Ok! Wow. I'm sure there will be more....but that's it for now!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Filed under the "Never to do again with a newborn" list

If you ever find yourself invited to a wedding less than a month after the birth of your child, and said wedding is far, far away (like a 7-hour car ride) JUST SAY NO! Hehe.

Well, it wasn't that bad. One of Derek's oldest friends, Nate, got married in Philly this Saturday. We had known about this wedding, had saved the date and RSVPed (all while I was knowingly pregnant). Derek wasn't IN the wedding, but there was also no wedding party, so he would have been if there had been one. Basically, he couldn't miss this wedding.

I was considering not going, but then I sorta got excited about seeing some old friends from New York there. Plus, my mom and my stepdad Jack were meeting there to take care of Lorelei during the wedding, and we had gotten the hotel rooms, and the pediatrician said it was ok, and...!! We were off!

It actually was very nice, once we were there. The wedding was in the hotel we were staying in; the festivities on Friday night were held only three blocks away; I was able to find a place to get my nails done within walking distance (and oh how nice that was!); our friends got to meet the baby; AND we got to see our friend get married. But man, those car rides sucked!

Not really for Lorelei. She slept pretty much the entire time. But we had to stop twice as much as normal to feed her, and change her, and then go to the bathroom ourselves, and then find something not too gross to was waaaay too much trouble. And way too much for just one weekend! We'll be driving to NY about a week before Thanksgiving, and staying with my family for that whole time. So, while that drive will be heinous too, at least we won't have to turn around and come back in two days.

That's about it for's an up-to-date picture of Lorelei, who just had her two-week birthday yesterday!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lorelei is here!

On October 3, 2010, at 6:17 in the morning, we welcomed our daughter Lorelei into the world!
Lorelei Evelyn Iris, 7 pounds 6 ounces, 19.5 inches long

Our family is doing great. We have gotten hardly any sleep (of course), but we are slowly but surely adjusting to life on "the other side!" And it's a great feeling!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Choosing Not to Lose

So, I am currently watching the season premiere of The Biggest Loser (DVRed) from Tuesday night, and I was rather shocked when I watched contestants in Portland, OR compete in a one-mile race and this happened:
Burgandy is first to finish. Tina passes Corey, who falls down after pushing himself too hard. It was painful watching Corey fall for everyone except Team Tina, who was like "yay!" 
Photo courtesy of
For anyone who saw this, how did you feel about Tina pushing past Corey for the final spot? One one hand, I know she was just trying to help herself, and she felt that coming in second place, and thus guaranteeing her entry onto the ranch, would help save her life. On the other hand, is there no compassion and sportsmanship even in a competition? I'm pretty sure if she and her crew would have stopped and tried to help Corey up, and then continued on, she still could have made it (Corey was in no way running any more after his second spill).

It made me think about this little clip in this past Runner's World (from the "What it takes to.." section) which talks about a woman who was aiming to win a race, and saw one runner ahead of her about to cross the finish line. When the woman in the lead collapsed suddenly, the other runner didn't just ignore that and run past to victory. Instead, she stopped, helped the other runner up, and they crossed the finish line together. (Can't find the story online, but it was in the October '10 issue I think.)

I know that personal gains are important in competitions, whether for weight loss or for PRs. But I couldn't just turn my head like that if someone were in trouble. Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Oh, joy. Now if it weren't 90 degrees, we'd be onto something....

So, what's different about this September? Well, for starters, I am not preparing for, nor am I looking for, a job. Which is a bit weird, but kind of refreshing.

Also...I am neither preparing for nor looking for any fall races. Even weirder.

Instead, I am in in full nesting mode, preparing for the arrival of our baby!!!! TOTALLY WEIRD!

It's hot, I'm cranky, but I'm happy. I'll be 37 weeks on Friday. Derek and I are going to take a short trip to Geneva on the Lake, OH (just an hour away) to stay at a nice hotel and just enjoy relaxing before the baby comes. Too bad I can't partake of the local wineries...or the running/bike trails...shoot.

I have been super busy cleaning, organizing, doing laundry, assembling baby gear...when I'd normally be running. Again, weird. Especially since I haven't raced at all in 2010 and probably won't (unless I aim to walk a Turkey Trot or maybe run (not race) a December 5k. I MISS IT!!!

Here's a recent pic of me (taken yesterday):

Not sure how much more I'll be posting until after the birth, but I can't wait to share the news with you all!

Friday, August 6, 2010

I suck

at posting lately! Geez.

Just wanted to put a note out there that all is well. I see Blogger has made some updates. Yikes, I guess it's been awhile!

Highlights of the past few weeks....
-33 weeks along today! Getting down to the wire. Big ol' bump!
-have been working (slowly but) steadily on the baby's room. Will post pics when it's done!
-only 2 more weeks of work until I have time off for the baby!
-went to the dentist...yay? Well, it needed to be done.
-lots of nesting, cleaning, organizing, etc. Sadly though, no running. At all. It's ok though. But seriously, can you moms out there assure me that it WILL happen again? 'Cause I can't even take a walk these days without feeling winded. I guess it's a combination of the oppressive heat as well as the fact that I feel like I have a bowling ball attached to my front. (a very sweet, cute, lovable bowling ball).

How are all of you? Summer rocks, right? Can't wait until next summer, when I can actually have a drink!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Off the face of the Earth

Yikes! It's been awhile since my last posting. I had sorta told myself that I was going to make a concerted effort to blog more often now that summer's here. Well, my intentions were good. My excuse (mainly) is that I have been traveling recently. My husband and I spent a little over a week in Walloon Lake, Michigan  at his family's lake house. Pure bliss! While we were there, we relaxed, read, grilled out, baked 2 pies, went to a Farmer's Market and a couple of small towns, and just had a really great time. I think our little one enjoyed it too!

Here's a calm, quiet view of the lake at sunset (which, in northern MI is at around 10 pm!)

Here's me after an "attempt" to go running (mostly just a brisk walk) at 28 weeks preg:

These are a couple of pictures of the Farmer's Market we visited in Boyne City:

(Handmade baby hats for $2 each!)

Now, I'm in NY visiting my parents. My cousin Josh's wedding is on Sunday in Big Indian, NY (yep, I'd never heard of this town, either, but it's somewhere upstate near Woodstock). Hopefully the hot and muggy weather will leave us for the time it takes for them to get married (outside)!

Anyway, that's about all. 29 weeks along today, and I feel pretty good! (Except our little girl keeps kicking me right in the ribs and has a body part kinda rammed up in there. Ouch!

Oh yeah, Derek started painting the nursery the other day...he finished today and it looks great! Here's the "unfinished" photo. I will post more when everything is all set up in there.

What a good man - he did it all by himself! :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I must be one of the only people in the world leaving a professional massage feeling worse then when she walked in!

My mom got me a bunch of Spa Finder coupons as a shower gift (so nice!) and I decided to use a couple of them at this local "petite salon & spa" nearby. (The place shall remain nameless, as I am about to bash them to bits online!) I had been craving a prenatal massage for quite awhile, and decided to treat myself yesterday.

I admit, when I walked in to book the appointment, what I saw was a tiny salon with a room in the back for massages. But I didn't let that deter me, thinking, a)"don't judge a book by its cover" and b) "it's so close by, you can walk there and then take a leisurely stroll home, you don't have to worry about parking or navigating a new neighborhood." I did ask specifically if they offered prenatal massage, and the salon owner said yes.

When I arrived for my massage yesterday, the masseuse was not there yet. I guess it was ok since I was a little early. I had a seat and started waiting. In the background was really LOUD and annoying be-bop type jazz - as well as some hip-hop that one of the manicurists decided to have playing from her phone on Pandora. I thought to myself, "Is there any way that I will NOT hear this music during my relaxation time?!?!"

The massage therapist arrived about five minutes late, and then had to "prep the room."  I was invited in by the salon owner, but was not offered a drink of water or anything else that one might expect before getting a massage - not to mention a prenatal massage on an 85-degree day! I mean, I've gone to hair salons that have offered me a drink before. I thought it was just par for the course. I mean, I wasn't expecting fresh cucumber water, but something. Oh well.

I go in an am not even greeted by the therapist - just instructed to undress and lie on my back (another sort of red flag - lying on one's back for an extended time in pregnancy isn't exactly recommended). I figured that it would just be for a little while to do the neck and scalp and then she'd have me lie on my side.

Well, the first thing I notice in the room is that there's a CD player playing - gag - smooth jazz. Ugh! Ok, maybe I've been spoiled in the past, but I have always had some kind of new-age music, or maybe ambient noise or nature sounds. But elevator music? That is not relaxing. Plus, I could hear the main room's music loud and clear. Also? You know how it's sorta supposed to be dim in a massage room? Well, the lights were off, but there happened to be a SKYLIGHT right above the table!!! Are you kidding me? And I guess they knew that was bad, because they TAPED a pillowcase over the skylight with blue tape. Wow.

The table was set up with what seemed like sheets from this person's home, complete with mismatched, stained pillowcases to bolster me up and make me "comfortable."

She asked me if I would like the table heated, and I said no. But it was anyway. When I mentioned this, she was like "Oh! I guess she plugged it in before I could check with you." I was starting to trickle sweat. And the lotion she was using was not really pleasing, especially when she went to war with my face (seriously! I felt like I had signed up for a facial!).

By the time she was done with my shoulders, neck, face, and scalp, I was about ready to change positions. But then she got to work on one of my legs and feet. And WHOOAAAA, for some reason I was not feeling good. At first I found myself a little short of breath. Then my head started to spin. I don't know if I was having a panic attack, or whether certain toxins were being released, but for the first time in my life I had to stop a massage. I said, "Excuse me, I'm sorry, but I am feeling really dizzy and nauseous. Do you think I could get some water?" I sat up at that moment and just felt like I was going to pass out. Wow, horrible! They didn't have any bottles of water so she got me a mug and filled it from the sink. Sweat was pouring down my body. I don't know what happened! Maybe I was just worried about things, like getting dehydrated, and being overly paranoid that maybe she was not experienced enough in prenatal and was going to do something weird like trigger contractions. Plus there was no air circulating in the tiny room and the lotion scent was making me queasy. In any case, I told her that I needed to lie on my side from that point on.

 After I finished the water, and lay back down on my side, I began to feel a lot better. Still, just as I started to get comfortable and into it, she would continue to make small talk with me. Like, I understand this when you're getting your hair or nails done, but I don't really think a massage is time to be having a conversation. Maybe it's just me.

She did ask me if I would like more water when we were done, which I happily took. I put on a fake smile when I went out to the main area and coughed up three of my coupons with regret. I did tip the masseuse, because most of this wasn't her fault and was just a result of working in a crappy place (though her bedside manner could use a little work.)

Walked home and felt alright, but then spent the evening feeling way too dehydrated and had a TON of Braxton-Hicks contractions, which got me worried. But I eventually felt like I was able to relax.

Bottom line: next time I will go to a place that ...

1- specializes in prenatal;
2- has a clean, professional environment; and/or
3- makes me feel pampered.

Because it's different if I go to get my nails done or something, and then I see that they also offer massages, and I know it's not going to be super great. But it's one thing to advertise yourself as a spa and then offer pretty much nothing more than a closed door, a lit candle, and some lotion. Not worth the 85 bucks for sure!!!

THANKS for listening to my rant!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hit Refresh to Reload.

Hi! I just spent about an hour re-reading some of my old posts from last summer and fall. I really did write a lot! I know that this was due to a few key factors:

  1. I was unemployed and looking for work. Hence, I sort of made updating my daily "job."
  2.  I was undergoing extremely rigorous training and therefore had many stories to tell.
  3.  I was getting used to a new city, with many new discoveries to write about each week.
Well, let's reassess with where things are now:

  1. I am not exactly unemployed at the moment, but after a full 8 months of working my tail off, my after-school program responsibilities have come to a close. Therefore, although I'm teaching on occasion, I am not a "9 to 5er" anymore. 
  2. No more marathon training, or really running either. :( However: training for parenthood! So much to say!
  3. I am used to Cleveland now, but there's always new stuff to write about and new things to see now that we are exploring more of the outskirts of the city.
 So, therefore: I really have no excuse not to blog more regularly now that my days are opening up a bit! And, as I've already learned, there are plenty of running moms out there (and/or pregnant runners) who I am sure won't find my constant pregnancy chatter annoying! ;)

Alright, let the new blogging year begin! And to leave you with a funny image...this was taken in NY (I recently visited for my baby shower) while indulging in my first real "slice" in almost a year. NOTHING compares to NY Pizza!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hot as _______________

Feel free to fill in the blank with whatever clean or vulgar phrase comes to mind!

Seriously, though, Ohio? What are you doing?!?!?!? I thought the midwest was supposed to be fairly mild until at least July. Well, I guess not. It's mainly the humidity, but that's a beast!!

Today marks the one-year anniversary of us moving to Ohio. It's pretty exciting and went by so fast! We actually have been here longer than I lived in Wisconsin.

We're about to go on a walk now, and I decided to wear my new running (well, I guess now it's walk/jogging) skirt! Nice stretchy waist...very comfy. Plus I decided to pair it with my NYC Half-Marathon t-shirt, partially because it actually covers my entire belly, but also to make myself feel extra good! That was my first half and I will always remember it...(as being Hot as _________ among other things!)

This is me at 25 (ish) weeks. Only three months 'til September!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

All things Prenatal

Ok, so I feel totally accomplished today!

I went to my first prenatal yoga class. It was so great! Wow. It was just what I needed. Any moms-to-be out there who haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. I went to Puma Yoga in Lakewood. It was the perfect blend of meditation, light stretching, relaxation, and a little bit of strengthening. Perfect! Plus, I also got to meet other Cleveland area moms-to-be, which was SUPER great because I really have not met any other women in my area who are pregnant! Maybe after a few classes with these women, we'll exchange numbers or something. That would be really nice, and helpful too.

Then, I registered myself and Derek for a bunch of classes that I've been meaning to sign us up for: A Birthing Preparation/Lamaze class in August; Infant and Child CPR in July; and a Breastfeeding Basics class in September. Wow, all this stuff is really happening now! It's a relief that I got that registration out of the way.

In other news....I decided to try a new layout! So different from the last one, but I kinda like it.

Finally, I am trying my best to avoid the World Cup madness. Sorry, I know I should be a "sport," but it is so boring! And my living room is hot! Ugh. Time to sit in my air-conditioned room and read awhile...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Coming to Terms

Ok, I think I have finally stopped feeling sorry for myself.

I'm feeling pretty great these days! Second trimester is pretty awesome. The only odd part is the whole round ligament/braxton hicks thing I'm still getting used to. Strange! It's funny how my body is changing. I'm not hating it that much though!

Of course, I was thrown for a loop when my doctor mentions that perhaps I gained too much weight at my last prenatal appointment....dammit! I knew I shouldn't have eaten Chipotle the night before! Well, even if it wasn't just me retaining water, I guess I haven't been "reeling it in" as much as I would have liked between weeks 16-20. But I am more aware of stuff now, so I'm hoping that my weight gain will be on target at my next appointment (at 23 weeks). Arg.

I watched my friend Claire run the Cleveland Half Marathon today. It was really exciting, because they ran right through a section of Tremont, my neighbhorhood. And it was easy to find a spot to cheer for about a half-hour because it's not a mob scene like NY or anything. Funny thing is, she saw me before I saw her! That figures. She was already passing me before I could shout, "Woohoo!"

It did get me a little emotional, though. I cannot lie. I couldn't help but think, "I should be running this!" But I quickly stopped that. Besides, Derek made me feel a lot better when he said that next year, he would bring our little girl out to that same spot to watch me if I wanted to run it. (Did I mention we're having a girl? YAY!). So I thought about stuff I can do, and how to make it work for me. After I was done watching, I went for a two-mile walk with a bit of "fartlek" (although not speedy fartlek, just regular running) thrown in for good measure. Like I'd walk for a couple blocks, then say, "Ok, now run to that mailbox," or "Run to the end of the next block." It was good, but for some reason my bladder was feeling it a lot today during the running parts! Oh well.

This afternoon I plan on seeing the movie Babies. Very excited for that! Other than that, just relaxing on this Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hitting the Wall, Part II

Ok, so I feel like I have hit a new kind of "wall" this week. The "I can't friggin run ONE MILE without stopping to walk" wall!!!

I'm not even that big yet. I'm showing, yeah, but really I just feel oaflike and sluggish on the road, not glowing and pregnant. Ugh!

And I don't want to stop running. I won't, not at least for another month or two. But I am seriously having to redefine my expectations of what I can do.

Yoga has been an enormous help. And walking is great too. But DAMMIT, I want to RUN! Forget that, I want to RACE!

There was a local 5k today (the Lakewood Hospital Ambulance Chase) that I thought I could possibly run...jog? Run/walk? But I didn't. I don't know why. There was even a 5k walk associated with it that I could have done. But I was afraid. Afraid of being disappointed in my time, in myself for not being fit. Which is ridiculous! But still. Eh, I probably should have gone, just so I could have participated in something and felt "the buzz" of race day once again. Haven't felt that since December.

Any suggestions? I really don't want to become "a walker" but I also want to be able to participate in local events. I could possibly lightly train for a 5k if I knew I had to go at least 1-2 min/mile slower than I used to. Well, maybe that would get me out of my non-running funk.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Join the Club

Hey all,

Well, I've gotta get something off my chest that's been bugging me.

I feel like I have left one "club" and have joined another. And I want to be a member of both!

What I'm talking about is "being a runner" vs. "being pregnant." Now, I know I can do both, but I am finding it so incredibly difficult to run these days! Whether it's because of my EXTREME exhaustion, making it impossible to get up an hour earlier for a morning run, or to drag myself out after work for an evening run....or because it is like my body feels like a ton of bricks WHILE I'm running..I just feel so out of it.

And out of the loop! Now that Spring is here, I am aware of all these great races around me, including half-marathons, 10-milers, and a slew of 5ks. In another other year, I would be signing up for them all.  Yesterday I went to (easy) yoga, and then to a diner where about twenty runners with medals were hanging out stuffing their faces because they had just done an awesome race! A race I was sad not to have run.

I know, I know - pregnancy is WONDERFUL. The thought of being a mom is awesome. And I am embracing the changes in my body as well as possible. But I cannot stand not running, and racing, the way I used to.

I realize this is not permanent; that once I feel up to it I will begin to run again the way I like. And it's not like I have completely stopped running now. It's just that I feel so incredibly tired and slow right now. And left out.

I make myself feel better by saying that running will always be there, and that it's not going anywhere. But pregnancy, and motherhood, are opportunities for growth and for giving life a greater meaning, and these things have presented themselves NOW. I am really happy about that! And Derek also knows that once I recover from childbirth, if I am not able to run to relieve stress or get a moment to myself, he will be the one hearing about it. :) So I am sure he will be more than willing to watch the little one while I run laps around the block.

In other news...we find out the sex of the baby tomorrow! I am so excited and nervous. I just want to make sure that everything is ok and that he or she is healthy.

Anyway, happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Big News!!

Derek and I are going to be parents!!!!!


I know I've been MIA from the blogosphere lately...but there has just been so much going on, plus I have been so tired, PLUS I didn't exactly know how to post when I had this big secret inside that I just wanted to share!

The short story is...I suspected this in January, and sure enough, the home tests did was really very amazing to see that on the "stick" - I have never been pregnant before, so I never got the "double line" (or, on the more high-tech tests, the "pregnant" readout). I have to admit, the first test I tried was from the dollar store, so I took that result with a grain of salt...but after two more, and then another three days later...I was like, OK! And of course the doctor confirmed it.

I've had a bunch of appointments so far, and am currently at 16 weeks and one day!! On April 26 we get to find out whether it's a boy or a girl...I can't say that I am definitely hoping for one or the other - all I care about is that he or she is healthy - but I am sorta thinking it's a girl. Just a hunch!

I am so excited to now hear from all you moms out there, especially running moms. Did your running take a hit like mine sorta has when you were expecting? I've been doing a lot of walking, some yoga, and have run some, but no longer than 4 miles (and that's only like once a week or so - usually I've been averaging 2-3 miles). After the horrendous nausea and fatigue of the first trimester, the second trimester feels like a dream. So much better! Plus, the weather is getting nicer, and I just got a new pair of running shoes... :)

In other news, I turned 30 yesterday.  It was very exciting, and not at all depressing (like I have heard), being that I really have everything I can ask for: a wonderful family, a great husband, good friends, my health, and now, a little person who will turn out to be the most important thing to us!!

(Due date is September 24, by the way...)

So happy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the thermometer climbs...

...into the 40s! YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!

Just had a great 4-mile run with my friend Claire. We ran around the neighborhood and loved every second of it, because the sun was SHINING (a rare thing to come by in Cleveland) and everything was melting. I swear, yesterday I acually SMELLED Spring coming. I wish I had a poem in mind that talks about the coming of Spring so I could quote it, but I'm drawing a blank. Oh well, no matter.

It's amazing how much a little sun and warmth can do for your mood.

By the way, question for you all...have any of you ever used a light therapy lamp? I was looking into maybe getting one for next winter. Last year in Wisconsin, and this year in Ohio, the cloudiness and lack of daylight in the winter is getting to be too much for me to bear!  I was just wondering if any of you who are affected by the seasons like I am have tried this type of lamp. Thanks for the feedback!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Me: 1, Winter Blues: 0

Hahahhaha! I made it out again today! Snow, you beautiful but annoyingly slushy and slippery beast, I have defeated you.

My run was not long, nor was it particularly special in any way, BUT: I completed it. I came out of my morning funk and decided to just get on with it and run. Because it's what I love!

I decided not to care if my feet got wet, or if I had to walk at certain times when the snow or ice was abundant.
I even decided not to care if I had to stop, or move to the side, when a car approached. Furthermore, I didn't care that I was practically running at a snail's pace. I was running!

And, during my last stretch, when I decided to take it a little faster, I knew I couldn't maintain it like I could in the fall. But it was nice to attempt a little speedwork.

I am happy.

Maybe March will mean...the end of my self-imposed hibernation?

Hopefully this crap melts away soon....I am itching to buy a new pair of running shoes and get out there consistently!

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Saturday, February 27, 2010's STILL February!

..But not for long!

I don't know about you, but March just sounds, and feels, so much better to me than (shudder) FEBRUARY. Ugh.

Highlights of the week:

  • it was actually really nice last weekend, so Claire and I went out for a 4-mile run in Rocky River! Yessss!
  • ...followed by blecchy flurries, followed by another huge snowstorm! (or maybe two? I can't count, but we definitely got over a foot of snow in the last few days).
  • So, my parents had scheduled a visit to good ol' Cleveland Thursday (which, by the way, is supposedly the "most miserable U.S. city" according to Forbes), but their flight got canceled. :(
  • Derek left on a business trip to NY Wednesday...and got stuck there too! Wah! Now, my whole family is in NY and I am here in Cleve-o.
  • Um, as if that wasn't bad enough, our heat went off late Thursday night and I had to sleep in like five layers!
  • Drove to work and back in a blizzard. The Cleveland schools were all actually closed for once, so it woulda been a good time to be a teacher.  Our office was open, so....oh well!
But, last night I went to dinner in the neighborhood with Rob and Claire, and then slept over there last night. Today, we went to "Skinny Bitch" class at Studio 11 (yikes! I feel so out of shape). Derek made it home today, and our heat is thankfully back on! Bring on the weekend!

And bring on March!

The 'rents rescheduled for the weekend of the 20th, so...I am crossing my fingers for good weather!

That's all for now.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Doing Fine!

That's all!

Weird that when I don't have an event to train for, I find myself with less and less to write.  Especially since I have been working more and working out less. Meh.

But I did get in a quality yoga workout yesterday, and ran 4 miles on the treadmill today. (Seems like the only option these days; we just got dumped with another 4-5 inches of snow this weekend....) I think the key to going to the "fake gym" is to just get up and go really early (i.e., whenever I wake up).  This way, I get it out of the way.  Somehow, I always find myself feeling more sluggish in the mid-afternoon and I'm more likely to skip out on a workout than if I just do it first thing in the morning.

So it felt great to run, even though it was all hot and...treadmilly.  No icy cool breeze, no flush in the cheeks (well there was, but it was because I was hot instead of because of the wind!), no seeing your breath in the crisp winter air.  Gee, it really sounds like I enjoy running outside even in the wintertime.  I guess I do!  I just don't want to risk slipping on ice and falling.

Superbowl plans are yet undefined...might go hang out with friends, might not.  And I'm really ok with either one, because I don't even like football!  Just doing it for the hubby.  Ah, the things we do for love.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Takin' it Easy....

Yeah, okay, I admit it. I am slacking.  (With regard to both blogging and running.)  But I'm tired! :)

This week was an okay one; nothing much to report.  Work was crazy as usual.  I used the crockpot pretty much every day to make our meals - thanks to this site (well, to be more specific, the book that was created out of the site, called Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O'Dea.

Here's a  list of the delicious, fool-proof (no, seriously, fool-proof) recipes I have tried thus far using my slow cooker:

  •  Basic chili
  • Vegetarian "No-Noodle" Lasagna (eggplant and yellow squash slices act as "noodles")
  • Chicken and dumpling soup
  • Pork stew with peppers and eggplant
  • Cranberry beef
  • Korean ribs (aaamaaaaaazzzzing!!)
  • Pineapple pork tenderloin
  • Pomegranate beef
Here are some pictures (I didn't capture all of them, but here's a sampling).

Vegetarian No-Noodle Lasagna

Cranberry Beef

Pineapple Pork Tenderloin

Pomegranate Beef

So, that's been making me really happy over the past few weeks.

Recipes on tap for this week include White bean and turkey sausage soup and Buffalo Chicken Lasagna.  Nom nom!!

In other activity-related news, I've been doing a lot of yoga lately.  It's suiting the winter blues just fine.  And running is still happening, just on a lesser scale. The weird thing is that I think I still haven't recovered physically from the marathon in November, not necessarily only because I trained hard and it was a tough course.  I realize that I have never truly taken a break from running, even when I knew it was best.  So it's not just this past race that has me all tired, it's years of running without a set period of recovery.  Hence, recurring injuries and overtraining blues. 

I am also finding myself, for the first time in the winter, without a gym membership (well, if you count the "fake gym," I guess I do), and it's forcing me to come to terms with the limitations I naturally want - need? to put on my body this season.  I have said this before, but I think that in the past I have never taken time off at all because I was always nervous that I would "lose it" and that I would never come back.  Well, I know better now.  But I'm still taking some time off from heavy training.

Hope you guys are having a great end to the weekend! :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Back from Vacation....

...and boy, did I need it!

Ok, I guess I always get the winter blues.  I try not to, but it always creeps up on me!

So I was extremely excited when my husband was sent on a business trip to Orlando, Florida and I was able to tag along for a few days!!!

Plus, we still haven't taken an official honeymoon (yet), so we kept calling this our mini-moon. :)

Here's the summary:

Thursday - flew down, felt warm sun on my body for the first time in months! Hung around the hotel and just soaked it all in while Derek was at a meeting.  At night, went to Trevi, an Italian restaurant inside the hotel.

Friday - ran at the hotel's fitness center in the morning (I would have definitely taken advantage of the warm weather and gone outside, but the path was around a golf course and I didn't want to get in anyone's way!), then went to Magic Kingdom

Afterwards, took a drive a bit north and went to BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse for dinner.  We also toasted our mini-moon with a mini bottle of champagne that Derek picked up for us!

Saturday - played tennis at the hotel with Derek, then had brunch at Trevi.  After a shower, tried golf for the very first time!  I sucked, but it was fun.  Then we took a drive to downtown Orlando midday and ate our fair share of fish and seafood (um, and drank a whole lotta beer) at Cityfish.  A nice, laid-back way to close out the weekend.

Sunday - ran on the treadmill again (man, I really dislike treadmill running now, which is ironic being that it's how I started running and how I almost always used to run), then packed up all our stuff and headed to the airport.

In the airport I listened (or, tried to listen because there was so much hustle and bustle around me) to Obama's speech at Vermont Avenue Baptist Church commemorating MLK Day and just commenting in general about all that's going on right now.  He closed his speech by reiterating that, though we are experiencing a "dark winter," his faith keeps him calm.  Interesting to think about.  Even though religion doesn't play a huge role in my life, I do occasionally think about faith and how trusting in the good of humanity can do wonders for your state of mind.  Although I'm mostly a cynic, I also hope for the best and try to stay optimistic about positive changes for the future.  And with this in mind, I think of Haiti and keep those who have suffered in my prayers.

Here's hoping this week is a good one for all.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winter Warriors of the Human and Auto Kind

Today, my husband and I did something amazing.  We both went out for a three-mile run in the snow!!!!

I say this is amazing because...a) we did it before 9 am.  b) we BOTH had the motivation and desire to get dressed in our warmest clothes and go out. and c) neither one of us complained the entire time!

In fact, we were going to do only 2 miles, because it was really coming down and the trail hadn't been cleared.  However, we went an extra half-mile or so in, making it 3 total.

I must admit that I have been really bad about exercising this week.  REALLY bad!  In fact, I kept thinking that I started the year off on a bad note by not running on January 1st.  However, I have been thinking lately that I always push myself, and never really give myself a "vacation" from running.  I've only ever been sidelined because of injury, not because I chose to take it easy for a month or two.  Not only that, but I have always beaten myself up about it.  I am trying not to do that anymore.  At first, I used to get worried that if I strayed from running for a few days or a week, I'd "lose the urge."  That's just not true.  I may lose fitness -- and I am prepared to deal with that while I take January as an easier month -- but it's finally hit me that I will not lose the runner I've become, because it's too important to me now to ditch!

The other VERY EXCITING NEWS...we got a new car yesterday!!  It was kind of unexpected.  We didn't really think we were going to drive it out of the lot, either!  But we did.  Of course, we're really going to have to cut corners now, but it's worth it because first of all, having only one car, in a city where you NEED to drive everywhere sucks.  Secondly, our Ford Focus, Sheila, is awesome and I love her, but only when the weather is nice.  I get a little frightened driving a small car like that in midwestern winters.  Derek and I have been saying that the next time we get a car, it'll be either an all-wheel drive vehicle, or at least a bigger car more equipped to handle snow and ice. it is!

A 2010 Toyota Rav 4!  As you can see, I am really excited.

And here I am getting nice and friendly with our new buddy.

2010 rocks so far.