Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mother's Day Hike: Brice Creek Trail

I know Mother's Day was a while ago, but I got some great photos on this hike and wanted to share them. As Mother's Day was nearing, I told the manfriend that what I wanted to do for the day was go on a hike and have some good food. I took the day off working at the running store so we could have some much needed family time. 

While the weather that morning was rainy and grey in Eugene, I hoped our hiking weather would be more desirable. Henry slept in a bit and then we got him dressed and fed and loaded up the car to drive south about an hour to Brice Creek (30 min outside Cottage Grove) where we planned to hike. Thankfully, the weather down south was clear and perfect for hiking. <I busted my knee open
almost two years ago.>>


The trail has some gradual hills, but for the most part is pretty flat and goes along the creek and eventually lands you at Trestle Creek Falls about 3.1 miles later. 


Henry was starting to get fussy and hungry, so we actually turned around about 0.6 miles before the falls. While I had wanted to make it to the falls, I was already totally happy we were out hiking, seeing beautiful scenery and spending time together, so turning around made the most sense for a happy baby. About a mile after turning around (and handing the backpack over to the manfriend), Henry fell asleep and we quietly made our way back to the trailhead. 


It doesn't look comfortable, but it was pretty cute seeing his little head hanging off to the side as he snoozed away.



Just as we made it back to the final bridge to walk back to our car, the little guy woke up and was pretty cheerful for our family photo. :)


We got back to Eugene around 1:00pm and grabbed slices of wood-fired pizza and a salad from the local market for lunch. This is definitely an activity I'm putting on our summer list, at least once or twice. 

Father's Day is this weekend, so I better go get a card and some other goodies! H and I will be out of town Friday and Saturday, so I figure that's his gift, right?! A bit of solo time. 

On the running front, my half marathon is just a month away, so I need to stick to some regular running and maybe try and throw in a few speed workouts for kicks. This is a hilly half, so I have no intentions of being super speedy on race day, but I figure it can't hurt with all those hills.

Since I'll be out of town most of Friday and Saturday and will be working on Sunday, I'm going to try and make my Friday morning run a long one. The last two weekends we've been out of town and had family visiting, so a long run wasn't possible. Now I just need to get in a few more 10-12 milers and I figure I'm good to go. 

Any fun plans for your weekend? If you're training for something, give me the details!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dear Henry: eleven months

This Sunday Henry will turn 1 year old. In the last few weeks and now almost every day, I notice how much more of a little boy he's becoming and how much less of a baby he is. Before he turns one, let's look back on 11 months. 

Dear Henry,

At almost exactly 11 months old you decided to take your first few steps. Your balance has slowly improved and as you have realized you can move when vertical rather than only horizontal, you want to try anyway.


It's clear you're comprehending so many of the things we say to you and you are actually signing back to us now. Mostly more and all done. And sometimes when I sing "the more we get together", you even join in with your more sign.


Slowly but surely, you're deciding a bit more what you do and don't like food wise and are also showing your emotions via mini tantrums when you're mad.

LIKES
  • your baby doll
  • having all your stuffed animals in your crib with you after nap
  • books (many of them you want to read over and over again)
  • putting dirt in your mouth
  • emptying any and all drawers/cupboards
  • cake (you practically tackled me for it at your friend Parker's birthday party)
  • seeing your baby friends (lots of hugs)


DISLIKES
  • diaper changes
  • when a remote/ipad/cell phone is taken away from you

FIRSTS
  • Taking steps! Just a few at the beginning of the month and by the end, easily 20 at a time or halfway across a room
  • putting the rings back on your ring stacker
  • giving hugs & kisses (sometimes) when asked 

GROWTH
  • 23lb 8oz
  • 30.5"
  • Clothes: 18 months
  • Teeth: 6 (Drooling has been nonstop around here! In fact, I got one of your cute bibs back out because it's been useful again.)

SLEEPING
  • Taking 1-2 naps, ~2 hrs each (sometimes just 1 if we stretch the morning out with activities)
  • At night, 2 wake ups (usually 12 am and 5 am). I know that we could probably ween you off of those night feedings with some work and dad going in to try and soothe you, but I'd just prefer you ween yourself soon so we don't have to do that. 

I had drafted this post yesterday and then last night you had a cold that got worse with a fever leaving you whiny, shaking and screaming at points because you were just so uncomfortable. You didn't want to nurse or do much of anything and it was a good reminder for your dad and I that while you are growing up, you still are our baby.

Happy almost 1 year, little man!

Love,

mom

Dear Henry: ten months

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Taking a Total Rest Day

It feels like forever since I talked training, eh? Well, it's still happening. Last week I ran a little over 26 miles!

I was thinking last week about how I really needed a complete rest day after several days of exhausted feeling runs. I can't put my finger on one reason I felt so wiped during most of my runs, but I'm going to chalk it up to some shorter nights of sleep, a few warmer afternoon runs with H in the stroller and also working on strengthening my right hamstring (leaving it sore).


As the weekend approached, I knew I needed to do my long run on Saturday or Sunday, so I decided the other day would be a total rest day. Midweek if I take a rest day from running, I often do a hike with Henry or something that doesn't really afford for much rest.


So, Saturday morning when it was pouring and grey outside, I welcomed my rest day with open arms and yoga pants. Ahhh... My biggest activity that day was walking around the grocery store for 30 minutes. That's how you do rest days, friends.

And Sunday, my body felt just a bit more ready to tackle 9+ miles with hills thrown in.

In exercise routines and life, there are clear advantages for taking a step back and just relaxing for a day. Most days, Henry and I are running an errand or two and walking or hiking, so an entire day or afternoon at home feels almost luxurious.

But last week amidst a busy calendar and just feeling burnt out, I could tell we needed a life rest day as well. I nixed my plans for the afternoon and soaked up a few extra hours of playtime at home with the little man.

He loves having anything in his mouth, especially this plastic bug.

It was just a good reminder that the things I need or want to do often can wait. Henry is at a really fun age where he's starting to laugh at things out of the blue, plays independently and can even follow instructions if I ask him to bring me something, so it's not like staying at home is a bummer.  Plus, he's working on his walking skills so time spent at home is just extra practice time for him.


I probably sound like a broken record talking about rest days again, but I don't think enough of us really give ourselves appropriate recovery time from whatever it may be - work or workouts or life in general.

Do you have a regular rest or recovery day on your calendar? What do you typically do that day as part of your recovery? 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

First Flight with Baby

It's crazy to think that I didn't get on an airplane until I was in middle school for a band trip to Disneyland (nerd alert) and these days, it's not uncommon to have flown several times before the age of one. Ah, modern conveniences.

A few months ago, I threw the idea out to my college friend Laura (who also lives in Eugene and has a 2-year-old) that we should go visit our friend Audrey in California together with the kiddos. All of a sudden, the trip was here, the minivan was booked and we were off!


Some of my preparation was the same as it was pre-baby: I still packed too many clothes, was overanalyzing the weather and ran on the day of our flight.

And some things were different: I had to pack diapers and baby clothes as well as books, toys and snacks that would hopefully keep him entertained on the flight. And I didn't pack a single thing to entertain myself (i.e. books or magazines).

[Being the parent of a small human means you never have enough hands.]

TRAVEL
Henry did pretty well on his first flight considering he had barely napped all day and our flight left at 4:00 p.m. He was awake and active the first 45 min of the flight looking out the window, peaking at other passengers and grabbing the in-flight magazine, and then he finally nursed and fell asleep for the second half.

We picked up our baggage and sweet minivan with no trouble and grabbed a quick dinner at Chipotle before heading on to Audrey's house.

[Life with a busy baby means cleaning up approx. 20 black beans from the floor of the restaurant and nearly having your drink and food dumped on the floor multiple times.]

SLEEP
During our visit we stayed both in Santa Cruz and in Monterey. The key to sleeping success for us was bringing the sound machine from home (familiar sound, small, easy to just plug in), a few books he likes and as his cuddly chick blankie.


One morning, he woke up at 6:00 a.m. so I kept him entertained in our room waiting for everyone else to wake up. By 7:30 he was rubbing his eyes, so I just asked him if he wanted to cuddle and all of a sudden, he laid his head down on my arm and conked out. 

[These are the moments you just feel your heart exploding again and again. It really can't get much better than taking a nap with your little one, especially now that this type of thing is so rare.]


I tried to take it in stride when he didn't get his usual naps. Some of his naps were shorter car naps, but he stayed surprisingly happy even when he was tired.

THE FUN STUFF
The highlights of the trip for both Henry and I were beach time and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.


My favorite memory of the weekend was walking on the Monterey beach and seeing Henry digging in the sand. Then when he really noticed the ocean, he put his head down and crawled his little heart out toward it.


The Monterey Bay Aquarium is amazing and great for kids of all ages as well as adults. My favorite parts were seeing the penguins swim and toddle around and the huge fish tanks with all kinds of crazy fish in them.


I decided not to bring our stroller on this trip, so I carried Henry everywhere in the Ergo. Being that he's now over 23 lb., my shoulders were a bit sore by the end of the weekend.


When we weren't on the go, Henry loved exploring the house. Seriously, 9 times out of 10, kids will pick the most mundane thing to play with over some exciting toy. For example, he played with this drawer and an empty oatmeal box for at least 20 minutes straight.


The Santa Cruz boardwalk and beach is much busier than Monterey, but also fun. Henry was determined to shove handfuls of sand, sticks and other junk in his mouth while we were there, so I had to be on my game! 


I'm bummed we didn't get a group photo of all of us together, but I guess we were too busy having fun and keeping track of the kids. 


Who needs toys when you have sand and a measuring cup?


HEADING HOME
Our flight home left San Jose around 7:30 p.m. and security was a nightmare. Thank goodness we arrived a few hours early because it would have been awful to be rushing or have missed our flight with kids. Henry and I shared a Jamba Juice green & ginger smoothie for dinner and then he had about five minutes to crawl around before we had to board the plane. 

The flight itself was less than ideal and resulted in me basically wrestling Henry for 1.5 hrs because he wanted to crawl all over the plane and make a mess of everything. By the time we arrived in Eugene, Laura and I were both a bit delirious and I was relieved to hand Henry over to Pete. 

Would I do anything different? Next time I would bring a small travel stroller (we don't have one yet) as well as smaller luggage and fewer clothes. 

What are your keys to smooth travel with a baby/small child? 

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.