Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dear Henry: ten months

So, I didn't post about Henry's nine month milestones because I had all intentions of catching up with months seven and eight first. Well, let's be honest, as I haven't made time for posting even once a week, I better just cut to the chase and get on with it. 

Dear Henry,

Since we last chatted, you've really been on the move. At seven months, you decided to really start crawling on all fours and immediately after, began pulling yourself up on anything and everything. Shortly after that, you started clapping and waving after I would demonstrate it.  So fun. And even though these are no longer new "tricks," I love it every time I see you clap or wave.


LIKES
  • bananas
  • plain yogurt
  • 10-spice vegetable soup
  • baths
  • using your walker across the living room
  • playing in all the kitchen cabinets
  • trying to launch out of my arms when being carried
  • being outside


DISLIKES
  • diaper changes (like, whoa!)
  • having your nose suctioned
  • being tired or hungry

FIRSTS
  • Standing and balancing unassisted
  • Giving mama something after I asked for it
  • Playing in the sandbox at the park (yum, sand)
  • Pointing
  • Dancing & twisting


GROWTH
  • 22 lb 4oz
  • 29.5" (@ 9 months)
  • Clothes: 12-18 months 
  • Teeth: four

SLEEPING
  • 2 naps per day (usually), 1-2 hours each
  • 1-3 wake ups per night (occasionally, none)
  • Usually nurse back to sleep, but sometimes go back to sleep on your own

Ah, geez. I know you're likely going to be tall like your dad, but it doesn't make dressing you any easier. Just when I think I've bought the right size of clothing, I go to get you dressed and everything either looks entirely too small or long and baggy on you.

And socks? I don't know what these manufacturers are thinking when they make socks, but none of them fit you. Good thing summer is almost here!


In the last few weeks, I've started really reflecting on the fact that you're almost ONE year old (how?!) and it makes me a bit sad to think that you're soon to be a toddler and not a baby much longer.


But then you have a rough day where you're sick or teething and all you want to do is be held. On those days, I'm quickly reminded that no matter how mobile, you're still my little baby.


Love you lots,

Mom


Dear Henry: six months

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mini Vacation: Sunriver

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that a few weeks ago we took a mini vacation with my parents, grandma and brother to Sunriver just about 20 minutes from Bend, OR. My parents have rented a house there once a year for several years now and it's a trip I always look forward to.

Sun. Mountains in clear view. The scent of fresh pine everywhere you go. Access to ski, hike and run to your heart's content. What's not to love?


My mom drove Henry, my grandma and I over, while Pete had to work. Luckily, despite only taking a short nap on the 3 hour drive over, H was still a happy camper. This year was slightly different having to pack for a baby and myself, so I tried to stick with the necessities.


The weather in March in Central Oregon can be winter or spring conditions, but we definitely experienced more of the spring side of things. We had one day of all sun and the rest were mostly cloudy with some showers.

Some of the highlights of the weekend included...

A 3 mile family hike along the Deschutes River Trail



A blissfully happy baby during a lunch at the local brewery (+epic naps). Dining out with Henry happens very rarely now that he's extremely active and wants to grab everything or be on the ground crawling all over. Also, Henry napped for 2 hours twice a day, every day we were there. Talk about a vacation.

Plenty of fresh air and beautiful scenery on our walks.


Cross country skiing with my brother. It was a full body 5K for sure!


This fox decided to say hi on our ski. He or she just stopped and stared at us for a few minutes, so we assume it gets fed by people regularly. It was pretty cool to see it so close for such a long time.


Morning coffee in the hot tub with the snow coming down

This is the life. 

Just as we were leaving, my mom thought to snap some family photos. I rarely think of it, so it's nice to get a few.

with grandma

After several wrangling a baby who wanted to crawl in the snow photos, we finally got a keeper. Waving and clapping are two of his favorite skills right now.


Ah... Even though vacation has a different meaning these days (and doesn't always mean a vacation from parenting), it was nice to go at a slower pace, have some good laughs with family and be in a place we love.

It's crazy that last year when we were in Sunriver I was just halfway through my pregnancy and now we have a 10 month old. How things change.

On that note, happy April! As Henry turns 10 months tomorrow, I already find myself thinking about his 1st birthday. Everyone tells you the first year flies, and it really does. As our little guy gets closer to walking, I'm a bit sad my baby is soon to become a toddler.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Running: Back in the Routine

It's been interesting to see that almost 10 months postpartum, I finally feel like I'm getting back into the routine of running and actually training. While those first three months really are the most exhausting and sleepless (for most parents), it has taken several more for us to get in a groove and frankly, for me to feel like I could leave the house guilt free on a regular basis for my runs. Tiny humans demand a lot.


While the mornings or late evenings are really my only guaranteed times to run, I don't mind being up before the sun {and missing an hour of sleep} to start my day in such a peaceful way. 


It also works out nicely that H seems to wake up for one feeding around 4:00 am and then is back to sleep for several hours so I can leave knowing he probably won't wake the manfriend up too early.

Last week, I started meeting up with a friend who lives nearby to run and it's been nice to have a running buddy to chat with for a few miles as the body wakes up. I'm currently getting in about 20-22 miles with 4-5 runs per week, but I know that will start to increase as my long runs get longer.

The benefit of living near hills: you actually get to run them regularly if you want to. 

Testing out the HOKA Cliftons as part of my running store gig

While I'm not someone who ditches out on exercise easily, it's nice to have the goal of a half marathon on the horizon to give me a little extra motivation to run a few more miles or actually do my speed workouts. I'm also trying to get back in the regular routine of strength training & yoga to keep any injuries at bay. Committing to my running also feels like I'm doing something to really fill up my tank before I take care of Henry.

And an added reward for these morning runs is ending them with watching the sun come up. I mean seriously, try to tell me there's a better time to run. And let's be honest, after 8-10 hours of chasing and lugging the little guy around, I'm pretty well spent.


 Good morning, world.


What's your favorite time to run or workout? What one thing really fills up your tank and allows you to be a great employee, friend, spouse, or parent?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Moved!

Thanks for all your positive feedback on the whole motherhood thing. I'm definitely learning as I go and trying to give myself grace when I have negative thoughts. And, I started taking Vitamin D, so we'll see if that helps.

I thought I'd update you all on our move and how Henry is liking his new space. So, by nature I am a procrastinator who likes to fill her days with more than is humanly possible to achieve.


We started packing slowly about two weeks prior to move day. Then I quickly realized how soon things were going to be happening and started picking up more boxes, scheduling a Uhaul, and trying to pack and organize during naps (or with Henry crawling around at my feet).


I haven't moved too many times, but it's definitely not a task I enjoy. I like to save things that are sentimental or that I think I might use someday (ahem, science books and notebooks) even though I know I don't need them, which means I get to see these fine things when I move. 

We currently have about 4 boxes in the garage of books and notebooks that I have yet to open. Instead of saving them, I think I will try to sell the text books online if possible. At least that way I'll feel that I'm getting something back from them. :)

We got our keys on a Wednesday and planned to move most of Saturday and Sunday. My dad and a few guy friends helped load things into the Uhaul on Saturday and my mom watched Henry, which was super helpful. By Saturday evening, we had 90% of our things in the new place and were able to go to sleep in our beds. Sunday was spent doing more cleaning and emptying of the old house.


Then last week we really had just a few little things to get and some cleaning to do before the buyer took possession of the house. While Henry isn't very patient these days, he actually really liked being on my back in the Ergo. This was his first time on my back, but I think he liked feeling like a little koala all snug on my back as we cleaned the fridge and freezer, mopped and scrubbed things.


After a week in the new house, life feels fresh and exciting. Our rental is bigger with plenty of room for Henry to crawl around and tons of cupboards and new space for him to discover.



The DVD player seems to be of particular interest to him, and of course, the cords behind the TV.


Outside the house, I've really enjoyed going on walks and runs in our new neighborhood. My first morning run gifted me with this nice sunrise over the nearby hill. 


And our new 'hood has some hills, which is probably good for my running (and my rear). A few friends and I are signed up for the Fueled by Fine Wine half in July, which takes place in Oregon wine country, so hill training is going to be necessary. 

I hope you're having a relaxing weekend! It's a rainy, stay indoors kind of weekend around here.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Season of Motherhood

Oy... I can't tell you the number of times I wanted to write here. And yet, sleep, dishes, zoning out and part time work won out. But I'll admit that as someone who loves to write, I've been missing this space and know I need to carve out the time for myself. Now on to motherhood...

When I first started this motherhood journey I'll admit I wasn't sure how I felt about the whole stay-at-home mom gig. I knew I wanted to stay home with our little one for a period of time, but I also had hopes I'd move on to a career or back to school within six months or a year at most. In hindsight, I know now that I was a bit naive in having such expectations without yet knowing just what taking care of a child would be like.


Since I was little, I have always valued career as highly important in the scheme of one's worth (although I know it certainly doesn't paint the whole picture). And in my career, I always felt I was several steps behind where I "should" have been. It's one of the first things I want to know about anyone I meet.

Over the past nine months, I've noticed my perspective shifting. I am still highly fascinated in the career and the story behind someone's career (how, what and why), but I'm realizing that not having a career path carved out can be okay too. Yes, it gives me mild panic attacks to realize I'm in my 30s and still don't know "what I'm doing with my life," but I trust I will figure it out.

As a mama, I'm now keenly aware of how many other stay-at-home mamas there are in our community, from women I meet through friends or moms we connect with at the birth center (where I received midwifery care) during a weekly baby weigh-in.

And these women certainly aren't sitting around eating cookies and watching movies all day. These women are taking care of their kids, feeding them, taking kids to doctors appointments, doing the majority of the dishes, laundry, cleaning, paying bills, often working part time/evening gigs and trying to find a moment for themselves on occasion.


By no means do I believe that a stay-at-home parent is somehow holier than the full time working parent. Both gigs are HARD. Both have advantages and sacrifices.

But I guess this is just a long winded way of saying that my perspective has shifted. Staying at home with a baby is as exhausting as it is awesome. I'm slowly giving myself a bit more credit for the work I'm doing to raise a happy, healthy and curious little boy.


In fact, until recently the guilt for staying home was really getting to me and I found myself apologizing in various ways. At one point I finally had to say to myself "What you are doing matters and so what if someone else doesn't think so." So I'm working on not negating my role. I worked full time before and I'll likely work full time again. But this time right now feels sacred and I feel humbled and thankful to get to spend my days chasing Henry around.

How's your week been? What's one thing you want to give yourself more credit for? 

Also, how is it already Friday?? We have been packing up slowly and are planning to move the majority of our stuff into our new place this weekend. I can't wait until we are moved and unpacked!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Jonah Bell

Pete brought Jonah home when she was eight weeks old, a year or so after he moved to Eugene in 2002.  She became his little companion going on hikes together, trips to the dog park and plenty of pheasant hunting.






When Pete and I started dating seven years ago, I coincidentally became a dog mama at the same time.

As black labs are, Jonah Bell was needy, had plenty of energy and loved people (at the dog park she would ignore all the other dogs and come right back to us). She loved being out on the trails and darting in and out of the woods across the path.

For several years, she would go running with me in the morning for maybe 20-30 minutes. But over time, she started slowing down and no longer wanted to run. So it turned into a morning walk, almost daily, for years.


This past Thanksgiving, Jonah had a scary episode while Pete was visiting his family where I was sure we were going to lose her. The vet did a blood test and said her red blood cell counts were low and white were high and we knew she had a tumor on her back. We didn't do any further testing, but assume it was likely cancer.

I regret that in the last two years as we focused on our growing family, she didn't get as much time or attention as she had before. She got fewer pets, shorter walks and some impatience from us.

When she passed away on Tuesday night, I was surprised how hard it hit me. There have been plenty of tears in our house, loss of sleep and general sadness for losing Jonah Bell. I already miss the things we were so accustomed to... the clicking of her paws running to the front door when we get home, seeing her head poking out the window curtains as we left the house, her grunts or scratching at night as she's getting comfortable, the way she would check on Henry after his naps, and her request for morning (or anytime) walks.


The house feels eerily quiet when we come home and I'm sad for the bond she and Henry were starting to have. So, this is a friendly reminder to appreciate what and who you have while you have it. We never know when it's going to be gone.


So yeah, I miss her. And while I don't think we'll get another dog for at least a year, I already know I want one. Jonah Bell, you will be so missed.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Day in the Life

I've never actually done one of these despite enjoying reading so many other peoples' day in the life posts. On top of that, I thought it might be fun to look back on this moment in time down the road when the memories of chasing an (almost) eight month old baby around start to fade. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

1:00 am Henry wakes up crying a bit. Diaper change, nurse, back to sleep

2:30 am H is up again. I think he's probably in a growth spurt because he has been eating 1-2x more at night than he was before. Nurse and back to sleep in the crib.

6:00 am H is fussing. When I go in he's standing in his crib. I'm hoping he's not up for the day because I have to go to the dentist and Pete would probably like a bit more sleep. Nurse, H seems to have energy but puts his head on my shoulder and let's me put him back in the crib and goes to sleep. Yay, 15 more min of snoozing for me!

6:50 am Alarm goes off, grab running clothes, change, out the door. If I don't go now, it's likely I won't get one in today.

7:25 am Back from a sopping 2 mile run, but happy to have got a little run in. Make coffee and cereal (Kashi GoLean + frozen blueberries + chia seeds + almonds), shower, get dressed.

7:45 am Out the door to head to my dentist appointment. Pete goes in to work a bit later, so early appointments are key.

9:00 am Teeth cleaned, home, nurse, play with Henry, feed him oat cereal w/ bananas + cheerios (great for working on his dexterity)

Just another day at the office.

10:30 am Baby down for nap. Whip up some banana bread while listening to Happier podcast.

11:15 am Friend Stef and new baby Austin come over to visit, Henry wakes up from nap, play/chat/keep H from falling

1:15 pm Take H and Jonah Bell on a walk around the neighborhood. It's randomly sunny and 60 or so (again) today, so we've got to take advantage of it!

1:40 pm Home and H is hungry & tired. Nurse and put him down for a nap.

2:00 pm Eat lunch (leftover quiche w/ greens + avocado and some chips), check emails and respond to some things re: running store events/to do's, check social media, wash dishes

3:15 pm H is up from nap and grinning. We play peek-a-boo as he stays in his crib rolling around laughing at me. Oh, my heart.  This is what life is all about. Read him some books & play.

Oh the excitement of kitchen gadgets

4:10 pm Head to mall to return something. Park across the river so we get another walk in both ways because hey, it's sunny out in January!

5:00 pm Talk to my mom on our walk back to the car, head home, nurse, attempt a short nap but he doesn't go for it, so we play

6:00 pm Feed H his "dinner" consisting of pureed veggies, peas and some mashed sweet potato. He likes it all.

6:30 pm Pete is home, plays with H, I do dishes, H has a messy diaper, so bath time it is!

7:00 pm Books, nurse, put H to bed

7:30 pm Pete and I eat chicken tacos and chat a bit, then browse social media, check email, look at rentals options.

9:00 pm Start this blog post

9:20 pm Get ready for bed

10:30 pm Henry wakes up to nurse, go to sleep

The End.


Happy Friday! What's on your agenda for the eve or weekend? I'm looking forward to a family coffee/treat outing in the a.m. and a haircut tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, January 25, 2016

New Year, New Watch

Oh how quickly time passes these days. I have intentions of writing in this space regularly and ideas for posts drift in and out of my head as I'm out on a morning run or going through my day, but I don't often make the time to put my hand to the keyboard for blogging purposes.

Alas, here goes. 

It's true that running doesn't require many fancy things. I could still be running just fine in my Nike tempo shorts, Target tech top, Ironman chrono watch and a decent pair of shoes (the most important piece of gear any runner needs). But new, technical running gear gets me excited to hit the pavement and trails, so I happen to have a few drawers full of the stuff. Some people have designer purses or shoes, others have running gear.

Simple, but useful Ironman chrono watch from Target

My last Garmin died a sad death about 1.5 years ago when a lovely digital arc became burned onto the screen and was never to work again. That being said, it was my second Garmin and I used it for several hundred runs and thousands of miles.

For my birthday, my parents surprised me with a new Garmin (the Forerunner 235) despite my assurance that my simple chrono watch was just fine. After all, I'm not gunning for any PRs right now or training for a marathon in the near future. But they know how much I use (and love) my Garmin when I have one, so new watch it was!

Yup, it was love at first run. The snow didn't hurt either. 

After my first (snowy) run out with the new watch, I was already in love. At any moment I could see my pace, distance covered and heart rate (max, min and average). On top of that, this watch is also a step counter, so it's been fun to see my steps too - something I've never tracked before. Pure runner bliss.

I've now had the watch for almost a month and have worn in for several runs, walks, and even as my everyday watch while I'm around the house with Henry or we're out doing errands and what not. I can tell you that I've loved every Garmin, but this one takes the cake.

While I always wanted to know my heart rate during runs, I rarely wanted to strap on the heart rate monitor I had for my old watch, so this one not requiring a strap is a-mazing. I can easily click over and see my current heart rate and my max and minimum in the last four hours. The battery life is also pretty darn impressive, not requiring me to charge it for at least 4-5 days with regular use.

And the only con for me is a minor one. There is a little green light on the back of the interface, which glows when it's not quite in tact with your wrist (like you shift it, or remove it and don't have it set down on a flat surface). A few times, I've been putting Henry to sleep and the darn thing starts glowing in a pitch black room. Not exactly the best thing when trying to put a baby to sleep, so I just try to remember to remove it before his bedtime or naps.

You can also sync the watch to your phone so you can see your incoming text messages, but I prefer to keep those things separate. ;)

Do you have a favorite piece of running gear? What is it and why?