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? 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

All's Quiet on the [Coffee] Front

Okay, I'm racing to get this third post in before the end of the week. We are heading out to go camping with friends in an hour or so, so I wanted to get my third post in.

Also, Henry went back to sleep after his 5:00 am wake up, so I've been enjoying a little quiet time, but still have a list of THINGS TO DO! And first on that list was a quiet coffee sitting on the couch watching the sky brighten up. Ahhhh...

I thought for this morning's post I'd just talk about our little outdoor adventures this week. After prepping for several events at Run Hub (the running store I work at) and then 10 days of the Olympic Trials in town, it feels nice to have a bit more down time and get back to some of our outdoorsing [new word I just made up].


On Monday afternoon, we met up with our friend Heather and her baby Andrew for a little hike up Spencer Butte. It may be short (3 mi round trip), but what it lacks in distance, it makes up for in elevation and views.


I mentioned this on Instagram, but the butte is more terrifying now that Henry is walking everywhere. So many rocks to trip on and opportunities for him to fall off the side of the mountain.




Evidence that he sat for approximately 5 seconds at the top...



We also took a little ride with H in his trailer. Made a pit stop to stare at the ducks wading in the water. 


Thursday eve, he had taken a late nap, so I figured it would be a good opportunity to get out and enjoy the last bit of sunlight for the day. We hopped on the Ridgeline Trail and did an easy 45 minute hike, taking time to touch some of the trees along the way.



Henry and I were under the weather this week, so sleep was a bit rough for everyone, but I hope we're back on track. Crossing my fingers that tent camping goes well tonight! 

Okay, gotta run! Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon

Whoop! The Fueled by Fine Wine half has come and gone. It was a fun weekend with friends and a good opportunity to do something that reminded me of my old self again. Granted, doing these things are no small feat with a small child in tow, but thanks to my mom, it was possible.

Saturday morning, we picked up my mom and headed north to Domaine Drouhin for packet pick-up.



The winery and the views there were gorgeous.


We met my friend Stef and her mom and six month old at the winery. After grabbing our packets, we opted to take advantage of the 2-for-1 tasting special they had going on for race participants.

My mom graciously walked Henry all around for a good 45 minutes while we tasted two Chardonnays and three Pinot Noirs.


The final Pinot was by far my favorite, but at $75 a bottle, we passed on any purchases.


After lunch in the small town of Dayton, OR, we headed to the B&B (Abbey Road Farm) where we had rented the farm house for all of us to stay. Our friend Danielle also met us there. After getting settled, we walked around the property checking out the goats, sheep and chickens. 


View from our living room


We all brought fixings for chicken tacos and salad, which were yummy (and great for leftovers the next day). After cleaning up and getting Henry ready for bed, you know the rest of the story. Despite getting a bit less sleep, I felt pretty good when 5:00 a.m. rolled around. 

Around 6:20 a.m., we headed to Stoller Family Estate where the race started and hopped in the bathroom line. Happy and ready to race er, run long!


A few weeks ago I decided to hop on the snapchat wagon. If you want to follow me, my username is ljmoe. It's mostly Henry stuff, but I did snap a few things during the half marathon. 


The race had plenty of rolling terrain with 1,700 ft of total elevation gain taking us in, out and around several wineries. As you can see, there were some steep hills where walking was necessary and then some downhills where I really let loose (when we weren't in the vineyards). 


The course was about a 50/50 mix of asphalt vs rocky, dirt terrain. I didn't push super hard and stopped to take a few photos here and there. It was definitely cooler than I imagined for a July race (temps in the 50s I'd guess), but the cooler weather was nice for running.


I finished just barely over 2 hours, which is what I had predicted my time would be. Stef and Danielle finished in 1:43 and 1:52! Afterward, we changed into dry clothes, grabbed our wine glasses and did a bit of wine tasting from several of the Dundee Hills wineries that were stationed in the finish party. It was a fun way to end a race, for sure!


After a bit of hanging out, we headed back to the house, showered, grabbed some food and checked out. I ended the weekend feeling happy, tired and thankful. 


Now that the race is behind me, Pete asked what my next race was. Surprisingly, I didn't have anything lined up, but now that I've run long and slow(ish), I have the itch to run faster again. I'm thinking about signing up for a 10K in August. 

What are you looking forward to this weekend? What was your favorite workout of the week? Out of the blue, I decided to do the Fitnessista's summer shape up workout and it left me sweaty and tired in no time. 


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Patience

Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing on?

I want to stop just thinking about doing something and start doing it already. I'm talking small things at the moment, so let's start with blogging. I want to write more. It's cathartic. It's a creative outlet for me. I have things to say. And I miss doing it. So for now, I'm going to try and write three times a week even if it's short and sweet and accompanied by one photo.

Today I ran the Fueled by Fine Wine half marathon with a few good girlfriends. I'll do a race recap later this week, but today's post comes from the weekend.

My friend Stef (who has a six month old) and I brought our moms along this weekend so we could make the whole thing possible. At this point, I could probably leave Henry overnight with my parents, but he doesn't regularly sleep through the night and let's be honest, he's quite a lot of work.


Last night, we made dinner at the house we were staying at, did bath around 7:30 pm, I got Henry into his PJs and started reading books - all a part of our normal bedtime routine. After nursing him, I put him down in the travel crib (with his paci & chick blanket) only to have him stand up immediately and begin screaming. As much as I hate hearing him scream, I gave him a good 10 minutes hoping he'd give in as he sometimes does when he's really tired.

[We've had a rough go of it the last few times I've tried to put him down in the travel crib, so I'm hoping that he won't always fight it when we aren't at home.]

After that clearly wasn't working, I went in to soothe him. And while he calmed down, he was now not at all interested in drifting off to sleep. He wanted to crawl all over and off the bed, he wanted to read all the books, he wanted to leave the room, he wanted to scale the back of the bed frame. Yep.

In the not so pretty parts of momhood, when you're tired and angry, you clench your teeth, you cuss to yourself, you say "no" just a little too sternly and sometimes you tear up.

So at 9:00 pm we headed back out to the living room to play. By 9:45, I was feeling pretty weary and just wanting some quiet adult conversation. [Spoiler alert: I didn't get it.] We finally headed back to the room, I read a few stories, turned off the light and then sang him some songs until he gave in and fell asleep. [Halleluiah]

Because I wasn't going to risk another two hour baby sleep strike, I gently rolled him from my arms on to the King bed between my mom and I, where he slept pretty well the rest of the night. Sometimes motherhood leaves you feeling defeated, impatient and raw.

While my mom and friend D both mentioned how patient I was with him, I'll admit I felt nothing of the sort. It's a work in progress, but I want to get there. I want to find peace and patience in those frustrating moments because the gritting my teeth and getting angry doesn't serve me or anyone well.

Wishing you a peaceful, patient evening <3 b="">

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!