Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rolling Over

Sometimes when peanut gets the hiccups and doesn't want to eat any more I put him down for some tummy time on the floor. The pressure on his diaphragm and his grunting and vocalizing usually clear up even the worst cases of hiccups. This morning, right after finishing eating, peanut came down with a pretty stubborn case and since he was all done with the boob, I put him on the floor. But no sooner did I law down next to him did he push himself up on his side and then over on to his back! He's 9 weeks old! Everyone that meets him comments on his physicality. I wouldn't know something remarkable from something typical in a newborn so itintrigues me. Apparently, peanut is quite the little athlete already!

In other news, I am still struggling with finding a time to get my runs in. If I wait until mrp gets home at 6:00 I don't have much time to squeeze in a run before peanut starts wanting to go down to bed. Unfortunately, I pretty much have to be there to put him down now. We're working on his routine and we want to get him very entrenched in our new bedtime routine before mixing it up. For now, as soon as peanut shows signs he is ready for bed (read: starts to fuss) mrp feeds him a bottle and then I nurse him for a minute or so (which he seems to still need to calm down) or I just nurse him and then I sing him lullabies and rock him for 10 minutes or so and then he's out. Meanwhile, mrp gets the room ready: turns on the white noise machine, fills the humidifier, arranges the blanket sleeper for easy dressing if it's not already on him, dimming the lights, etc. And lately he's been getting up a half hour after we put him down to eat more and sometimes a half hour after that! (I think he's growth-spurting--yikes! At almost 14 lbs he's already about to bust out of most of his 3-6 month clothes!)

Anyway, the point is that around 7:00 I have to be available or else there will be much crying! Half the time as it is if I wait until after mrp gets home and situated I run over into 7:15 or so (those are the runs I crank up the volume on the ipod! I know. I'm heartless!! Is it more mean to peanut or mrp? Ha.) When this happens as soon as I hit the 4 miles or whatever I fly off the treadmill, run upstairs and take off my sweaty clothes and immediately grab peanut and start to feed him and sing! It's ridiculous! So, last night I tried something different. Since peanut likes to play on his blanket on the floor in the evening before bedtime anyway, I brought the blanket downstairs about 15 minutes before mrp was supposed to get home and started my run as peanut played besides me. We listened to his nursery rhyme cd and I sang and danced along as I ran (which is kind of hard even when running slowly!) About 2 miles into my run, mrp came downstairs and spotted our content little peanut on the floor. It worked out great and I was able to get in 6 miles well before 7:00, when before I was eeking out 4 and finishing around 7:15.

I still wish I could run when peanut takes one of his two 2 hour naps a day! I just hate the idea of moving this giant swing all the way downstairs only for him to cry and complain and having to lug it all the way back up, besides the fact that it is much nicer up here for peanut to nap. I'm probably just a sucker! I have to admit that this is one reason I am almost looking forward to going back to work--so I can run with no guilt during my lunch hour! Hopefully, by the time I can work something out to be at home more peanut can come along with me for a run or be more entrenched in his napping routine and sleeping in his crib for his naps!

Here's last weeks numbers (not bad!)

Mo: 6 outside on horribly snowy roads as my mom watched the nut (no watch).
Tu: 4.25 on the mill (9:28)
We: off
Th: 8 miles outside (9:20)
Fr: 4 on the mill (9:19)
Sa: 6 outside (no watch)
Su: 10! outside with GP. Super nice run in the frigid morning air. (9:20's)

Total: 38.25

Friday, January 23, 2009

Good Morning!

Since last I left you, I lost 2 pounds, I put my rings back on, and ran 8-miles comfortably on a beautiful sunny Thursday afternoon. It always seems that just as I start feeling hopeless, things start improving. I should know better than to whine!

On a more disappointing note, my Friday date with my mother-in-law was canceled for the second week in a row due to unfortunately scheduled doctor's appointments for my father-in-law. Again, no whining as my own mother took off two afternoons this week to help me and watch the baby so I could get in a couple of good runs.

The first was Monday. Damn if the roads still weren't horrendous! I ran 6 outside on the snow anyway and feel very lucky I didn't hurt anything. The worst part is that it's so hard to enjoy the run when I am so focused on not slipping and finding traction to actually feel like I'm moving at a decent pace. And the uphills are the worst! Just like a car I feel like I'm spinning my wheels as I try to ascend the big hills in my 'hood on that slippery stuff. Yuck!

Well, this was more than made up for with yesterday's run. On our way home from the pediatrician (peanut is super healthy and weighs in at a hefty 13lb 10oz, or 90th percentile--I told him to lay off the boobs!) I noticed that the berms on the road to the park from my house were pretty clear. Normally I am a bit scared to run from my house to the park because that includes a mile on a very busy main road. However, last summer the city repaved it and made beautiful wide flat berms and since it was in the mid-30's and sunny yesterday enough snow melted that these beautiful berms were mostly clear. So, I took advanatage and ran up out of the valley and into the park. I ran all the way down the parkway and back for 8 miles or so. The milder temps felt so pleasant after the bitter bitter cold we've been having. And surprisingly the 8 miles came and went faster than I wanted them to. One of the days when I could have run forever!

So, today I will either have to try to cram in a run during a nap. It's too bad I am still half asleep and starving now or it would be a great time. Peanut wakes up, eats and goes down for his first nap within 1/2 an hour of waking up. Today he seemed extra tired so I put him down within 15 minutes and he was out within seconds. If I had an adult-sized swing I think I would have done the same! The one thing that makes it tough for me to get a run in when he naps is that he naps in his big swing. I can't leave him alone to go downstairs and I'm not sure I can lug it downstairs--not sure it will fit through the doorway. Plus, it is in front of our sliding glass door now looking out at our birdfeeders and the backyard and I'd hate to change the view to drywall and his mom's legs flailing around on that weird contraption! It's the only place peanut naps consistently well. Maybe I'll get desperate enough to try to lug it downstairs for his afternoon nap.

In the meantime, I need to go find some coffee!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Begrudgingly Responsible

Mrp let me use his laptop. It's his work laptop so I have to be extra extra nice to it. (e.g no coffee within 3 feet!) I am about 90% sure I am going to get a mac, but I am just not ready to bite the bullet. I am in the middle of my last 6 weeks of maternity leave and I am forgoing 3 paychecks in the process. I have a small savings, but I think it's best I wait at least until I'm getting paid again. I would gladly be less responsible in the past, but with peanut and my desire to at least pursue other career paths soon I have to be more careful.

In other news, I am still fat. I cannot stand it. I have held steady at 17 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight for 3 weeks now! It's killing me. I still can't fit into my fat clothes so I am going to have to get new clothes to go back to work in 3.5 weeks. I considered dieting, but I can't while nursing. Again, I would totally get all crazy with a diet before peanut, but the responsible thing is to eat healthfully when I'm hungry and that's what I'm doing. The only junk I'm eating are the occasional tofutti cutie or soggy life cereal with rice milk (which is my 3rd love!) Oh, too much dairy irritates the nut's tummy so I'm off that for a while (I can have small amounts of cheese with no repurcussions, but drinking milk or eating ice cream, sour cream, lots of cheese is totally off limits lest poor peanut writhes around in gassy agony). I cut out the cookies and any other junk. I have been snacking on roasted almonds and raisins and the occasional Kashi cheese cracker. I eat natural pb and j's on whole wheat or Amy's organic soups for lunch. I've been making lean fish for dinner a couple of times a week and serving it with sweet potato hash or whole grain pilaf and salad and the other nights are veggie burgers or whole wheat spaghetti.

Why am I still so fat?! Is it hormones? Mrp says my body is making muscle so it will take a while. Did I really lose that much muscle when I was pregnant? In all honesty, the one pair of nonmaternity jeans I own that I can fit in are getting loose, but still none of my other old clothes fit. And even worse, my wedding rings still don't fit! And the scale is still freaking me out!

Here's where I lay it all out. During the racing season I weighed 127 with occasional dips as low as 124 (probably dehydration!) Click here to see what I looked like at this weight. In the winter time I'd usually hover between 130-133 lbs. Click here to see what I looked like at this weight. My size 0 or 2 clothes still fit at that weight. I realize that these weight numbers seem high for those sizes, but I've always been a bit dense I guess--slavic genes? So, doing the math I now weigh 149! Yikes! I have never ever ever weighed this much. When I first went to the doctor for my 6 week appointment they had me at 156!!! I almost passed out when I heard that! Like I said, no matter what the number I refuse to deal with it irresponsibly. I am trying to have faith that it will melt off and that I will get back under 130 eventually. But being a type-A goal-oriented person it kills me to have to sit here and be patient about it! That is until I look at my adoreable little peanut. It's worth it. And it will come off and I will get back into those clothes if I keep eating healthfully and keep nursing and running--right?

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Dead.

My computer completely crapped out. I will have to blow some money on a new one. That's exciting, yet not exciting. New toy, less money :(

Anyway, here's what I did last week. The weather SUCKED! Tons of snow and below zero air temps (like -13!). This meant, a) I could barely get outside and b) babysitting wasn't as reliable so I missed my minimum mileage target by 1 mile. Oh well. Considering what I had to work with, I'll take it!

M: 4 on the mill (9:02)
W: 5 on the mill while my aunt watched peanut--she was only still at my house because her battery died. If she wasn't there there would have been no way for me to run that day because mrp got home almost 2 hours late because of a snow storm!(8:44--this felt easy that day, but I haven't cracked 9:00 since)
Th: 4 on the mill (9:19)
F: 3 on the mill (no time because it was in fits and starts. My m-i-l was supposed to come over to babysit but the weather was too bad so I had to cram in what I could while peanut stared at me from his swing. Needless to say his attention span isn't quite developed yet!)
Sa: 8 on the mill while I watched Big Love(9:40's)
Su: 5 outside (I don't have a watch so not sure on the pace--slow, I'm sure! I wanted to do 6 but the roads were so awful 5 was the absolute max I could do because the lack of traction was so irritating to me!)

Total: 29

In other news peanut is going to bed like a champ these past few days! Last night he was out from 7:00 - 11:00 and tonight he went down with no problem at 7:40. He still gets all stuffed up past 3:00 or so and I have a tough time keeping him asleep for more than an hour at a time, but we're on the right track so I can't complain.

Ok, I'll be back someday soon on a new computer!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

An Analogy

the treadmill : daycare :: running outside : hangin' with the 'rents.

This is the deep thought I had as I ran outside on a beautiful winter afternoon about a week ago. Unfortunately, with no day time babysitters and temps well below reasonable I was stuck on the mill all week. I don't mind really. I think the worst part is having to cram in a run right after mrp gets home from work or even worse having to cram it in while peanut swings and stares at me or takes a nap because invariably he fusses before I can get into a groove. I guess the part that stinks is always being in a rush. It's exacerbated by the treadmill because then I can micromanage the pace so I often feel obligated to push it as fast as I feel comfortable to go. The part of my brain that fears injury from doing too much too soon mitigates the rush rush part, but it still keeps me from just running a comfy pace and fully enjoying myself. I do enjoy running despite these minor annoyances, believe me! I cannot wait to head downstairs to my treadmill each day and when I'm on it you might catch me doing a little run/dance or singing along to a great song on my ipod.

When I run outside I don't have these annoyances. I can't hear peanut's cries in between songs. I can forget my need to hurry up and lose myself in the snow-covered river banks or wondering how I possibly made it up that hill without dying. I can also think about things more objectively, like whether to stay with my current job, what do I really want from my career and what would truly make my family and myself happy.

On Thursday, I took peanut to meet his babysitter--the woman who will be watching him when I go back to work in just 3 weeks and 6 days! She is a wonderful woman and she definitely has a magic touch. Peanut was so calm and content in her arms and the other little boy she watches (my cousin's one year old son) was so happy and cuddly with her. I feel this is the best set-up we can muster and the comfort I feel when I think about it makes it possible for me to go back even temporarily. But no matter how lovely a person the babysitter is, I can't help but think that peanut, mrp and me, the three of us, and me are being cheated of the all the beautiful scenery that a life less hectic and more togetherness breeds.

On Fridays my mother-in-law comes over to watch peanut so I can get a run outside in the daylight. Crappily, yesterday was -4 when she planned to come over so we decided she might as well stay home. I tried to squeeze in a run while peanut watched me in the swing, but he got bored pretty quickly and I was only able to piece together 3 miles in between soothing him and trying to get him to nap. I eventually gave up on the run, settling for the three but I only did so with the knowledge that I was going to get out today for 8 winding through the beautiful winter landscape outside.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Good Days and Not as Good Days

I broke my laptop! I accidentally picked it up by the screen instead of the base and broke the screen. Now I have a 1/4 screen sliver of comuter I am working with. So, if the typing sucks, that is why!

In other news I ran 32 miles last week! And even better, I felt great. Sure I am still slow and I am still heavy, but it was great to get some miles in! Over the weekend I got three great runs in outside. On Friday, mrp's mom came over and babysat while I ran 6 from home. Then on Saturday, E came over and ran 6 with me in the nasty snow (we had almost no traction the last 2 miles!) bfore heading back out with mrp for another 6 while I cooked banana pancakes for everyone. It was a fun morning!! The Sunday, GP came over for the secon Sunday in row and this time we made it 7. I felt sluggish and tired, especially at first but getting rthe miles in was no problem--I'm sure it was the good company that mmade it feel so effortless! Anyway, here are the numbers:

M: 4 on the treadmill 9:28 pace.
T: 5 on the treadmill 9:26 pace
W: off
R: 4 on the treadmill 9:28 pace
F: 6 outside no watch
Sa: 6 on very snowy roads (10:05--not bad considering how horrid it was out and the hills to boot!)
Su: 7 outside (9:40's or so based on GP's watch) which is not bad considering the ice and the hills!)

Today I am going to just do a nice short and easy treadmill run when mrp gets home. Hopefully peanut will be nice to him! It seems like he starts fussing 5 minutes before poor mrp gets home so the whole time I am downstairs on the treadmill, mrp is wondering whether our kid hates him! And then after I get upstairs we start trying to get him off to sleep and that can take a quite a long tearful time. It seems like peanut is one of those babies that when he gets tired gets a little hyper. He will start to fall asleep only to catch himself and open his eyes really wide and start to cry! It can be pretty frustrating, but at the same time it's very predictable at this point and we pretty much accept we're going to have some tears and fussing before he finally goes to sleep.

We had Monica and her husband over on Saturday for dinner and unfortunately peanut decided to start his bedtime routine early so they got to witness it first hand. They're expecting this spring so I really really hope we didn't scare them! Parenting really is a wonderful and amazing thing, I swear! And hopefully they won't be afraid to come back some day!

But just like with training, with parenting there are good days and bad days. Well, not bad--let's just say not as good days.

Oh, so back to my computer. Anyone out there use a mac? IS it worth the extra expense? ...which is totally what I need to be thinking about now that I'm trying to find a way to quit my job!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ch-ch-changes!

Nathaniel is waking up from his nap ever slowly, so I'll quickly take the opportunity to update you on my post-baby progress.

First order of business, I have lost 7 pounds since I was at the doctor's office. Sure some of that is that I don't wear clothes and shoes when I weigh myself at home, but I am confident my weight is trending downward and that's all I really want. Plus, this is corroborated by the one pair of non-maternity jeans I own that fit me now--they are getting looser every day. Still can't even fit into my prepregnancy fat clothes, but soon! So, I have 17 pounds to pre-pregnancy weight and 22 lbs to race weight. Sounds a lot better than 24 and 29!

Last week was as follows:

M: 4 miles outside with no watch while my mom watched N.
T: off--had an appt in the evening and it was too much to try to squeeze a run in too.
W: 4 miles on the treadmill. I didn't log the pace--probably around 9:40
Th: 4.25 on the mill (9:36 pace)
F: 3.6 miles crammed in while N napped. I wanted to do 4 but he woke up a little early. I forgot to log the pace of this run too!
Sa: 4 miles on the treadmill while my mom watched N. She had to go at 3 miles but N hung out and watched me from his blanket on the floor while I got in one more! (9:35 pace)
Su: 6 miles outside with GP! Felt great and we even conquered some megahills. No watch. I actually have lost both of my watches :(

Total: a hair shy of 26 miles for the week.

In other news, mrp and I arew contemplated a big change. I think I am going to start looking for alternatives to my current job. I am really struggling with the idea of going back to a full time inflexible job. I love being at home with Nathaniel, more and more so every day. I can't imagine both mrp and I only getting to see him for a couple of hours a day. I definitely want to pursue my career in the future, but for now I am really thinking about quitting and finding something part time. I just need to make enough to cover my student loan payments and groceries pretty much. If anyone has any advice in this area, please share! We are in full-on brainstorming mode and could use all the help we can get!!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Salty vs. The Stuffy Nose: Round 1

Poor Nathaniel has a stuffy nose. He's had it on and off for about a month. He is not sick, he is just stuffed up mostly at night. I have tried everything--saline drops in the nose, breast milk drops in the nose, humidifier, propping his head up a bit in the bassinet, nursing him in a steamy bathroom--only to get very temporary relief. Not only does it cause him discomfort but it keeps us all from getting a good night's sleep. Nathaniel's first three or so hours of sleep are good, but then after that when he's stuffed up we're lucky to get 2 hours at a time even after drops in the nose and aspirating. It's been two really stuffy nights in a row here and I am pooped! Both nights he started waking so often I just pulled him into bed with me so he could nurse ever 45 minutes or whatever and I didn't have to get out of bed. It stinks because just last week we had our best night ever: he only woke up 2 times during the night to eat (4 hrs, 4 hrs, 3 hrs). I don't even mind getting up every 2 or 3 hours but anything less than 2 hours and it hurts! Plus, Nathaniel sleeps in a co-sleeper hooked up next to our bed so it's tough to sleep well when he's snorting and rolling around all night. Poor baby!!!

I am fighting the problem from several angles: eliminating the causes, mitigate the causes, and treating the result. This means I am working to eliminate dust and potential environmental irritants. I am trying to humidify the dry air. And I am trying to treat the stuffiness with drops and steam. So far, I am winning a few battles but apparently losing the war.

I am studying what happens on good days and what on bad days. The difference between his best night and every other night was that we turned the gas fireplace on for a while so the forced air heat didn't come on until well into the night. I have since taken to turning down the heat at night and bundling Nathaniel a little more at night but that hasn't seemed to help at all. I smelled something funny in our room last night so I took apart the humidifier to clean it and it was so gunky! I was sure all the gunk was poisoning the poor kid! Mrp assured me it was just sediment from our hard water but I still feel bad that whatever that nast is was getting into the air and into my poor baby's nose! Also, yesterday evening I snuggled with Nathaniel for a while in our recliner cuddled under a fleece blanket. He seemed to be more stuffy after that. That could be because the recliner is next to a heat duct, but I am also worried that maybe it's because the fleece had attracted cat hair and he could be allergic to my cats! I don't think he's allergic to my cats because I think he would be a lot worse if he was. He has no other symptoms of any allergy or illness--just nasal congestion. This problem is totally stumping me!!!

So if any of you momma's have any experience with knocking out a stuffy nose, please let me know!

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Year of the Peanut

Some bandwagons are worth jumping on, like previous year highlight highlighting. This is so if for no other reason than to give me an excuse to treat my pregnancy induced amnesia and reread my posts for the past year. So without further ado:

- I struggled with downtime. My mind and body needed a break after training for 3 marathons in the span of 1 year (10/06, 4/07, 10/07). Yet, my sense of self had become so wrapped up in my running achievements that I really struggled taking it down a notch. I thought I could race and not really race and be ok with that, but I really struggled with that aspect of downtime in particular.

- I flirted with career change. When I was in law school I always had the fantasy of practicing constitutional law in some capacity--working in a federal court, for government, teaching, etc. Yet, somehow I ended up going into tax. I do occasionally get to practice constitutional law in my current job which is pretty rad. Nevertheless, when I received a tip about a job with my state's solicitor general I couldn't resist the temptation to apply and ultimately interview for it. A short time later the solicitor's office (more precisely the attorney general's office that the solicitor worked under) was wracked by scandal (not unlike this) and the job possibility fizzled out.

- I made peace with winter running. I managed to run through the harshest winter months without use of the treadmill and really enjoyed it courtesy of my newfound relationship with Cleveland's flats.

- I traveled to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Mrp and I had a late honeymoon out west. And yes, I can't resist saying what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas: see exhibit A.

- I worried I would never get pregnant while I was pregnant!

- I made lots of new friends! I met blog friends in real life (Chelle, Meghan, Mainers) and met friends in real life who have blogs (Christina, Monica, GP, Allenjel, Solar Squirrel, JenC, and TriSara). I was hoping to also meet Mindi, Joe Positive and Bridget too, but those plans did not pan out this year. Hopefully soon!

- A marathon invited me to run as an elite! Sure, it's local and on the small side and of course I have not earned a real elite running anything, but it was still one of the coolest days of my running life when I received that letter!

- When I was briefly sidelined from running I walked for my mom. I organized a big group of friends and family to surprise my mom at our local MS walk. We raised lots of money and even more importantly showed my mom how much we love and support her!

- I ran races with a Peanut on board. I even won one!

- My all pregnant chick relay dream became a reality! And we even got press and were on tv!

- I quit running. It was temporary of course, but it's funny how the year kind of came full circle. At first I was having a really hard time running less than 50 miles per week and by the end I had to scrap running all together and I didn't have a problem with it. Sure, I was 9 months pregnant at the time, but the pregnancy turned out to be something that helped me learn how to relax and go with the flow a little bit. I had to have faith that my fitness would come back eventually and I do. As I am now working to get back into shape and I am slow and can't run very far I feel happier with things now than I did back in January when I could still run a sub-20 5k on a bad day. Everything has a time and a place and there are natural ebbs and flows and when you go with it, it really can be pretty cool once you get past the scary part.

- I gave birth to a peanut! After initially not liking the nickname peanut, mrp and I adopted it for our baby whole-heartedly both in this blog and real life. In fact, everyone called the baby peanut from my grandparents to mrp's niece and nephew. Once born peanut was Nathaniel, but deep down he'll always be my peanut. Nathaniel is such a treasure. I know every mom says this stuff about her baby but he really is just an amazing little guy who has enriched our lives immensly. It's not always easy and sometimes I feel like I'm being hazed, but overall when I can take a step back I cannot believe how wonderful Nathaniel has made my life and mrp's life and our life together. We are one lucky family!

- I started running again! I eased into it, but I am running up to 4 miles by the end of 2008. As frustrating as being out of shape can be, I really am excited to see what happens in my running life in 2009. I suspect I will be able to get somewhat fast again, but the time off gave me a new perspective and a renewed sense of joy about just running. So, no matter what happens I will find some kind of satisfaction in my running assuredly. Remind me of this on those days when I feel fat and slow :)

So, that was my 2008 in a (pea)nut shell!

Happy New Year to you!