Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Calm Before the Storm

Just popping in for a brief chat. It's 10:00 pm, the house is quiet and all feels peaceful. Despite last week.

If we were having a late night coffee chat, I'd tell you... 

Pandora's Relaxation Radio is playing in my ears, but I've been tempted to switch over to Christmas music. And I'm not usually one of those let's celebrate early! types of people. Maybe it's the election or maybe it's seeing that other people have started decorating early on social media?

I don't know about you, but I've always done my best, most creative work late at night, and often on a deadline. Anyway, tonight, I know I must be tired, but I don't feel it. It's like my brain forgot to tell my body I'm running on 5.5 hours of broken sleep.

I'm toying with the idea of signing up for the Eugene Marathon this spring and training hard for it. But then again, that sounds like SO much work.



But I have already decided I'm running two long(ish) trail races in 2017 — Hagg Lake 25K and Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 miler (the manfriend will be running it too!). For whatever reason, the trail races don't get me all psyched out like a marathon does. I guess that's because the trail vibe always feels like "Hey, enjoy this beautiful scenery!" rather than "Don't stop for any reason whatsoever. Just keep going no matter how much it hurts."

Henry found my retainer I've been missing for a few years now, so I cleaned it and started wearing it again. Here's to hoping my teeth will go back to where they were.

While I know H is not yet able to do much crafting, I still want to do all the holiday crafts, even if that means I'm doing 99.9% of the work. Lindsey and I made turkeys with the boys last week. The only work they had to do was let us trace their hands and try to rip off the turkey's eyes.



Sitting here on the couch in quiet, flipping through the Stance holiday catalog feels so peaceful. And yet, in a week Thanksgiving will be here and thus the snowball to Christmas. No matter the quantity or size of gifts on my list, the holiday prep always catches me off guard. Breathe in. Breathe out. 

We have had a few (mostly) gorgeous weeks around here, which have been really nice. BUT I am secretly excited that it's getting colder and am already looking forward to bundling up for tomorrow morning's run (low 40s F).

H at the end of our little hike last week


Okay, so that quick chat turned into a bit more, but isn't that always how it works? Happy calm before the storm, friends. 

What's on your mind right now?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Days are Long But the Years are Short

I think we've all heard this phrase somewhere, but most often in the context of the early days, weeks and months of motherhood.

It's natural when you have a small child to notice how quickly the time passes with each growing inch, pound, tooth and milestone. It's pretty mind-blowing how one day things are status quo with your little one and then all of a sudden everything clicks and they're not just sitting, but crawling and then not just walking, but running!


As Henry neared a year, I started to see that glimmer of a day when I'd get myself back. He seemed to be weaning a bit, I could occasionally leave in the evening for a girls night or yoga class before he was in bed, and we were starting to get some pretty solid sleep. Oh and I felt like I could maybe, just maybe start pushing myself in my running to train for something a bit more seriously.

But then 4-6 weeks ago, something happened — teething or sickness, I don't remember. And we've had subpar sleep ever since. Several nights a week, I'm up for an hour at a time in the middle of the night in addition to 1-2 other wake-ups while I (or Pete) try and get him back to sleep. While I can live on 5-6 hours of sleep, my body much prefers 7-8.


So, it's not to dwell on the lack of sleep, but maybe just to remind myself that however tiring, it all goes by so fast. And despite feeling like I could use a nap almost daily, we're having a lot of fun.

And, I have to remind myself that even on the days I pine over the idea of heading off to yoga class or drinking an Americano at my favorite coffee shop, right now, sitting on the floor with my kiddo brings me more happiness than an hour alone often would.

On another note, November is here! For whatever reason, November always feels like fall has officially arrived for me and I start noticing the everyday things I'm thankful for in life.


This month, my goal is to write in my journal daily for a minimum of 5 minutes (keeping the expectations low over here) and jot down both the things I'm thankful for and general life happenings. There's something about saying you only have to do 5 minutes of anything that feels very doable.

On the running front, I've signed up for our local Turkey Stuffer 5K! As a result, I've been inspired to start doing some workouts and push the pace on some of my runs to break out of my usual 3-4 mile slog around the neighborhood.

While I don't usually race with the goal of clocking a PR, having a race on the books inspires me to step up my game, get out of my comfort zone and have something to be working toward. I want to feel strong yet challenged on race day, even if it's not my fastest time at that distance.

Happy fall! What are you looking forward to this month? 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dear Henry: Fifteen Months

Now that I'm a mom, I know how much these months actually matter. Before I'd think "why do these ladies need to say their kid's age in months after a year?" So now I'm that mom considering whether I should tell the grocery clerk my kid is 15 months or almost a year and a half.

Dear Henry,

At 15 months, it seems like so much is skyrocketing in your world. Your mobility, dexterity, vocabulary, and growth - heck, you grew TWO INCHES in three months. Your walk is often a run, which is both adorable and scary. One night you slammed straight into the door jam after bath; ouch!


You're getting so strong and are pretty fearless, so you now pull yourself on to the kitchen chairs and sometimes attempt to get on the table. We've taught you that's not okay, but there's no doubt you'll push the limits down the road.


One of my favorite things is the way you take your fork with two hands and really focus to try and get a small piece of food. If you can't do it with your fork, you'll often want mine to get a better spear. I also love how you like to say all the animal noises you can . You've learned now that shaking your head left to right is no, but you don't seem too fond of nodding yes, even though I'm trying to teach you to use that too.

You're still doing great with sign language and it's often a life saver when you're upset. Your go-to signs are: milk, please, all done, more, help, eat, drink, alligator &owl (we have an animal sign book)

I'll be honest that I'm sort of done with nursing. I have been slowly weaning you, but also don't want to totally upset you, so it's a balance. It has been great, very sweet and I feel so lucky that it was a fairly easy thing for us, but 15 months in, I am just feeling a bit tired of it at times.


As you're figuring out what you like in this world, you're also letting us know what you don't like. And you definitely don't like being told no at times. Tantrums are rough. And for a while, you were slapping me in the face, which was less than pleasant, but we started ignoring it and then talked to you later about how mom likes to be touched gently and that seemed to stop that.


LIKES
  • Animal books
  • Dancing
  • Climbing on chairs
  • Nursing w/ your baby dolls
  • Peek-a-boo
  • Carbs
  • Eating apples by yourself
  • Practicing walking on your tippy toes
  • Favorite book: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

DISLIKES
  • Getting face wiped
  • Having diaper changed (has become a real struggle again)
  • Not getting what you want

FIRSTS
  • Being watched by someone other than my mom or good friend Lindsey. Pete and I took our first bike date in quite a while and hit the road for almost 20 miles on Sunday on what turned out to be a gorgeous, 80 degree day. You handled it well for the most part. Only one little breakdown. 
  • I'll be adding a few more shifts a week at the running store, so you'll start hanging out with the sitter, which will be good, but hard for both of us at first.

WORDS
  • mama/dada
  • dog
  • ball
  • grandma/grandpa
  • clock
  • jeans
  • please
  • mmm

GROWTH 
  • 26lb 6oz (91st percentile)
  • 33.5" tall (99th percentile)
  • Teeth: you have 12 total, including the first four molars, which were really rough. Plenty of crankiness and crying on those days and weeks they were coming through.



SLEEP
  • You usually wake up once a night and nurse. We are working on getting you weaned off night nursing, but something always comes up that makes it really hard (sickness or teething). Dad can get you back to sleep, but you typically wake up again 15 minutes later crying if you don't nurse.
  • Naps now are usually just once a day for ~2 hrs. I dropped your second nap a few weeks ago because you were just playing in your crib most days even when you seemed tired. 

What I think has surprised me most about this age is that as independent and mobile as you are, you are still very clingy somedays. When you wake up early (6:00/6:30 am), I typically have to carry you around for the first 45 minutes while I make my coffee, get some food, water, etc. because you simply do NOT like to be put down. You will cry hard if I put you down to say pour my coffee water or spread PB on toast. Same goes for days that your teeth or who knows what, are bothering you. Ugh. 

We love you little guy. Each age is so fun, but this stage has been a blast. You are always watching and absorbing things around you.

Love you lots, 

mom

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Midwest Vacation

We returned home a few weeks ago from a highly anticipated trip to the midwest. It was a big deal - Henry got to meet his cousins and a few aunts for the first time, and we got to travel across the country with a toddler (cue noisemakers!).


We flew into Chicago, spent the night at a hotel near the airport, then Pete's brother picked us up to drive over to Michigan where their parents live.

Hotel dinner

Waiting for our ride and watching planes

Just slightly excited...

It was a lot of fun and as vacations go, it flew by. Pete's parents live on a lake, which makes for easy entertainment. Our little fish jumped into the water the second we let him loose.


We also took the boat out on to the sand bar in the middle of the lake a few times, which was great because the bottom was sandy, shallow and clear. It made it easy for the kids to walk and swim around without us having to worry too much.


There was plenty of cousin time,


diaper parties, and group hugs.


Pete's mom pulled out this old shirt of Pete's that fit Henry just perfectly.

Three generations of Moe boys


In the evenings, we did early dinners for the kiddos and then had a more relaxed adult meal around 8:30 p.m. once they were fast asleep. It was made for some fun downtime to have a drink on the deck and talk as dinner was finishing up and then go inside for food and more chatting. And the sunsets weren't bad either.


Our whole trip the humidity was at least 90%, so even early mornings when I expected it to be just a bit cool out, felt warm and damp. 

On the final morning at the lake, I headed out for a little walk/run and at least a mile from the house it started dumping on me, so my walk quickly turned into a run, carrying my phone under my shirt and taking off my glasses as they were pretty much pointless. 

#waterlogged

We were able to get a photo of most of the group, minus Pete's sister and partner before we hit the road. 


After five days at the lake, we drove back to Chicago for one last night at Pete's brothers and had fun letting the cousins play for a few more hours. 


Our flight home left us with a layover in Phoenix, AZ, which was not my favorite. Next time, I'd spend the extra few hundred $ to get us home pronto. 

I was especially annoyed that a) I forgot to pack a PB&J for the little man for the trip home and b) that airport food not only stinks for adults, but it REALLY stinks for little ones. 

Right before our trip, I realized that Henry has a bit of a sensitivity/allergy to dairy, so trying to find foods that were filling, not junk food and did not have dairy or some kind of sketchy meat in them was nearly impossible. The winner was this cup of Sabra hummus with some Life is Good chips. 

Love you, hummus face

We had a serious win when he decided to nap for nearly two hours on one of the flights home. And the only major bummer was his 15 minutes of screaming at the end of our last flight to Portland because of the pressure in his ears.


While I had been nervous about the flights before we left, Henry handled them pretty well. I did pull out some of the toys I had bought special for the trip, but the only one that really seemed to be a hit was a coloring book and crayons. Otherwise, he spent time looking at people around us, looking at the airplane magazine with me, eating, and napping. 

The trip was definitely worth the trouble of traveling with a toddler. Our next big trip will be to Hawaii at the end of November, so I'm crossing my fingers that Henry is equally as cooperative. 

Happy Fall! 

Things I'm ready for: pumpkins, leaves changing on the trails and the hills around us, sweaters, sweatshirts, puffy vests & jackets, long(er) runs, training for something, fall foods, yoga, college football. What about you?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What Surprised Me Most About Life with a One Year Old

Three posts a week. Well, I'm not quite doing that, but just saying that goal out loud has reminded me to get back here more often. So, let's get down to business.

What's surprised me most about life with a one year old:

He can walk and mostly understands what I'm talking about, but that doesn't mean his baby stage is gone. There are still plenty of days where he wants to be held for a good portion and cries from teething, being tired or just feeling clingy in general. And when I work in the store on Sundays, he is definitely ready for me to be home after 6-7 hours.

My arms are probably the strongest they've ever been. No, I'm not using dumbbells on the regular, nor do I have a ripped upper body, but strong it is! Hello, holding a 25+ lb toddler while doing many other things (making coffee, prepping dinner, doing laundry) leads to strength naturally.

As a parent, fourteen months is quite different than twelve months of age, so when strangers in the grocery store ask how old he is, despite my better judgement, I give Henry's age in months rather than saying "Oh, he's a little over one."


He understands and is capable of so much more than I ever expect. He will follow commands or go get something I'm talking about frequently. I love it when I tell him we're going to go on a walk and he goes to get his shoes from the front door.

He likes to help out. He really gets a kick out of putting clothes into the laundry basket. Unfortunately, these are usually the folded, clean clothes from my drawers. Henry also is really into what I'm cooking or baking and would like to help stir and such, but he's not quite old enough. I can see us getting one of those safety stools for him in the next year or so.

He is funny on a regular basis. Things he does that surprise and crack me up: says "Cheers" (in his own way of course) and likes to cheers our carrots, shakes his head vigorously to mimic the penguin in his book, insists on holding something (book, baby doll, beach ball, etc) 90% of the time while he's nursing, pretends to cough when Pete or I cough or sneeze (and thinks it's the funniest thing ever).

It's impossible to keep your kid protected from the sun during summer unless they're wearing long sleeves and pants around the clock. He even likes it when I put sunblock on him, but still has plenty of sun exposure from our outdoor activities. It's frustrating, but it is what it is.

Baby on a mission

I never thought it would be easier to make friends as a result of being a mom than it would be doing almost anything else. Athletics has definitely connected to me to a lot of people, but in terms of strong friendships that I try to keep up with regularly, the connection of parenthood seems to make the friendship side of things easier. There are so many things you can commiserate over whether or not your kids or interests are similar. Plus, there's the whole kiddo schedule. Basically, we don't leave the house after 6:00 p.m. 95% of the time.

I didn't expect it would take him over a year to really start saying "mama." Sure, he used to babble "mamamamama," but it wasn't until a week ago or so that he really started saying it on purpose. He's been saying "dada" on purpose now for many months.

And finally, I didn't expect each stage to be more exciting than the one before. Yes, mobility and independence comes with their own challenges, but having a spirited, interactive little toddler has been so much fun.

So, that's it for now. I didn't really have any idea what having a one year old would be like (let's be honest, when you think about having a baby, you primarily focus on that infant stage), but so far it's awesome.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Beginner All Over Again

It's funny how only a few weeks after the Fueled by Fine Wine Half, I found one of my usual 3.5 mile routes challenging to finish. I walked the big hill I had been jogging up before and I really had to work for every mile I completed.

A week off from being sick and no more long runs and all of a sudden what was easy before is a challenge. Anyway, I'm working back to feeling strong again on my 3-4 mile runs and occasionally adding another mile or two for bonus points.

It's just fascinating to see that even after YEARS at this running thing, I can feel like a beginner all over again. That's actually the cool thing about almost anything in life, really.


But it's okay, I'm still making the most of these runs. Like stopping to look at the pretty wildflowers weeds?


I haven't signed up for any other races, so I'm just going to stay in shape and hopefully pick something soon. I'd love to get back to Thursday night speed group on occasion, but the little guy's bedtime routine always makes that tough.

My right glute tells me pretty regularly that it's still the weak one, so I'm trying to remember to do a little something for it a few times a week. In addition to a few old PT exercises, the yoga pose warrior III always seems to light the fire where I need it most.

Beyond the miles, we're making the most of summer and trying to take advantage of these hot temps by going to the pool and meeting friends at parks with water features. We've had 90+ degree days lately, so water, popsicles and cold beverages are necessity.


How is your summer shaping up? What's left on your summer bucket list? Favorite read or listen lately?

We have a trip to the midwest booked in a few weeks, a visit to the Oregon Coast and a few more pool days on my mental list. Beyond that, I'd like to drive a ways to do a hike or two and maybe squeeze in one more camping trip, but we'll see.

What I've been enjoying lately...
How to Clean Out Your Closet by Jill of Good Life for Less
Mainly I love the idea of sticking to your "desired personal style." Now the real challenge though is figuring out WHAT that style is. 

The Lively Show podcast by Jess Lively
I've mentioned this one before, but Jess is always inspiring me with her work in personal growth, entrepreneurship and now, her worldwide travels. I'll admit that it does give me the international travel itch. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Fun

As it is everywhere it seems, it's hot here this week! Yesterday and today's high are 97F. Thankfully, our house has central AC, a modern convenience I haven't had in a house I've lived in before. Let me tell you, it's pretty nice to just flip that switch to cool.

Yesterday, I packed our bag and headed to the local pool that has a few shallow pools, a sandbox and water sprayers for kids. While Henry can't really partake much on his own, we still had fun as I bobbed us around the 2-3' pool for quite a while.


Afterward, I swung by the store to pick up some yogurt pops, fruit and beer and then went home to cook up a few Gardenburgers for dinner. It just felt like one of those quintessential summer days, ya know?

After Henry went to sleep, I grabbed my journal and a beer and sat on the front porch. 

Sometimes you buy things because the label is pretty.

It turns out that Henry had a pretty high fever in the middle of the night, so we had a bit of an off night with him waking up a few times, nursing, needing Motrin and then being up for the day by 5:45 am. 

I missed my early morning run with a friend, but still got in a short run before Pete left for work. This whole week has felt a bit off just reentering the running world after over a week of not running, but I managed to get in four runs so far and one more tomorrow as I'm helping to lead a group trail run through Run Hub. 

I'm also trying to do a bit of yoga at home since going to a studio rarely works out these days, so I'm considering it a win if I can even do 15-20 minutes here and there. It's something anyway. 


In other randomness this week...

Henry thought we needed five packages of crumpets while I picked out bread at Trader Joe's. I've never had a crumpet, but these looked like holey English muffins.


And the dog snapchat filter just doesn't get old. It's so cute. Henry, however is bored with it in about 2.5 seconds.


How's your week been? What's on deck for the weekend?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dressing My Postpartum Body

Last week was a bust for blogging. I got sick the weekend we went camping and slept a whopping 1.5 hrs in the tent, so last week was all about recovery via plenty of sleep and no running. Now let's get on to today's topic.

Being over a year postpartum, I didn't expect that I'd be wanting to dress much differently than I did before getting pregnant. But here I am, wanting something different.

There are a few things that contribute to wanting to dress differently. While I might weigh what I did before, I have extra skin hanging out in my tummy area (looking down during planks is humbling), my boobs are still bigger thanks to breastfeeding and I just don't want to have to fuss with clothes that are fitted and need constant adjusting. 


So, what have I noticed? 

I want longer shorts. I still own a few pair of 3" inseam shorts that fit fine, but just make me feel less than confident. Others might like showing off their inner thighs, but I'm not usually game unless I'm wearing running shorts. Trouble is, it seems that this season all denim shorts are around the 3" length so I've had a hard time finding a pair. I just ordered these and like them so far. They are a little loose in the legs, but not too loose and look better in person than in the photos.

My fitted V-necks seem too fitted now. And yet, the next size up shows too much cleavage. This is mainly thanks to my chest, which I know will eventually shrink back to its normal size, but that may be another six months. Who knows. 

I want more cute, casual shirts. Maybe some more fun colors and prints, but of the t-shirt variety. Working in the office world for nearly nine years, I was always searching for business casual, dressy(ish) tops and now I pretty much need just the opposite. Plus, it's quite common for my shirts to be used as a rag after meals (thanks, little man), so wearing nice things or the color white doesn't make a lot of sense. 

One piece swimsuits. I wasn't really a fan of them before other than for lap swimming, but now I'm slowly coming around and bought a cute, but simple one last week. While I like the way two pieces look, the thought of chasing a toddler around a pool or beach while making sure things aren't falling out of your suit doesn't sound very appealing. And that extra skin around my tummy area - just another thing to worry about. 

*Just a note that I was replacing a JCrew suit I bought at least 7 years ago that was finally wearing thin in the rear. A nice suit will last a while!

Slip on shoes are the best. Granted, it's summer so they make more sense, but my Birkenstocks have gotten so much love this spring and summer. Time is of the essence and again, toddler wrangling to go anywhere isn't the easiest. 

Seeking higher waisted jeans. I have a pair of Hudsons that I love that hit me mid-waist. But I bought them a size too big and constantly have to pull them up. While they worked great for the majority of my pregnancy, they are a bit too big now. I want another pair of soft, flattering denim that covers my hip and love handle area. Suggestions? 

I want to wear stretchy, pull over summer dresses. This is all about comfort, but unfortunately doesn't make a lot of sense for breastfeeding mamas unless the neckline is SUPER stretchy. 

I also struggle between wanting to look put together and feel comfy and then reminding myself that some days,  the only people who see me are Henry and a few people at the grocery store or on the hiking trail. 



What about you? What are you wanting to wear this summer or looking for as we get close to fall? Anyone else notice you are dressing (or dressed) your postpartum body much differently?