Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

The past year has been a great one, for sure. I was pregnant and had Henry, which were obviously HUGE life milestones. Here's a look back on some of my favorite moments.

Spending a Winter Weekend in Central Oregon with Family
Yep, you're hearing it again. I love Bend, I love the snow, I love talking and laughing with my family. We don't have a weekend planned for Bend this year and I'll admit that makes me a bit sad.



Warning: tubing at a ski resort is not as fun and carefree as it appears. #terrifying

Finding out Our Little One was Healthy
(and has long runner legs like his dad & mom). I may be short at 5'3", but I have pretty long legs paired with a child-size torso.



Being a Pregnant Runner
I always wondered what it would feel like and now I know. It was hard from the get go, but manageable (with walk breaks) until 30 weeks or so.

Running near campus in between classes

Going to School While Pregnant
I'll admit I'm disappointed that I've put my school dreams/aspirations/whatever on hold for now, but I know it's the right thing to do considering how much time and energy raising a baby requires. I also know I'm not passionate enough about the end goal (and all the hard work in between) to chase those R.D. dreams right now.

Coffee @ school needed when pregnancy insomnia hits

However, I think it was really interesting to take classes with 20 year olds being a non-traditional 32 year old sporting a baby bump around campus. It really gives you perspective on things. I also confirmed that organic chemistry is insanely hard and is a good part of why I might not continue on with the program. It's hard to feel smart when you struggle with an entire subject.

Setting up Baby Moe's Room
I'm not the greatest decorator, but with Baby Moe on the way, I had a vision of how I wanted his (or her) room to be and that was white and grey with a few pastels mixed in and pretty clean. It was nice to see everything come together and have a room to welcome the little one home to.

Four hours later, IKEA dresser success

Hiking While Pregnant
While my running definitely slowed down over the course of my pregnancy, my hiking picked up. It was a great way to get my heart rate up without being quite so jarring on the pelvis. It also provided a good opportunity for the manfriend and I to be active together on the weekends. Probably my most memorable hike was doing the 8+ mile loop with blog friend Elizabeth at Silver Falls.

34 weeks @ Silver Falls

31 weeks on top of Misery Ridge @ Smith Rock State Park

Starting a New Job at Nine Months Pregnant
I had the fun opportunity to help a couple friends open their new running store, including work on the marketing, designing and writing content for the website, plan the grand opening party and working with customers one month before Henry was born. It's continued to be a nice balance of providing a creative, work outlet as well as provide a little bit of income and keep me connected to running. 

Having a Baby
Preparing for Baby Moe's birth and actually having Henry was by far the most monumental thing I've ever done. And the birth was the most physically demanding thing I've endured, even considering I had an epidural about halfway through the labor. Twenty-four hours of labor, including three hours of pushing had me feeling like I had run a marathon, been run over by a truck AND done about 100 pull ups in the days following his birth. 


Seeing Pete Become a Dad
Not only were those initial father-son bonding moments so sweet to see, it's been fun to watch the manfriend become more confident and grow as a dad to Henry as the little guy grows and changes. I've also really appreciated that he gets to spend Sundays one-on-one with Henry as I work at the running store. 


Camping with Baby
This was our first big outing with Henry. It involved taking the dog to the boarder, packing up the car full of camping and baby gear and timing the drive right. It also happened to be crazy hot that weekend, so we were careful in keeping the little guy in the shade as much as possible. Henry did surprisingly well sleeping in the Rock 'n Play in our tent and I managed to nurse him in a camping chair in the middle of the night with no trouble several times. 


My Return to Running
While it took a while longer than six weeks for me to return to running after Henry was born, it felt really good to regain that part of my identity. And once I felt like I was solidly running again, it was exciting to sign up for my first postpartum race and then run the half marathon!



Watching Henry Grow 
While this will obviously continue, it has been incredible to see how much babies change exponentially in the first year of life. It's been a blast watching our happy little guy discover the world and we feel pretty lucky to share it with him.


Well, I'm sure I could go on and on, but I think I'll stop right there. These are definitely the highlights from what I can tell in scrolling back through my photos from 2015. 

Here's to an exciting and fulfilling 2016! Per the usual on New Year's Eve, I'm feeling pretty pumped for all the possibilities in 2016.

What were three of your biggest moments of 2015? Any exciting plans for tonight?

I think our plans involve dinner and some bubbly on the couch after the little man goes to sleep. And I've already declared we'll be celebrating an east coast NYE. ;)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dear Henry: six months

I was determined to post Henry's six month recap before he actually hit seven months. It's the little things, really. I'm also starting to think about 2016 and my personal goals and our little family goals as well. I love the fresh start of a new year. 


Dear Henry,

Six months, already! I know when we're out doing errands, strangers mention that you're a big baby, but I still see a small, curious little guy who relies on me (or dad) for nearly everything. Sure, you've grown a lot, but you're still a baby. It amazes me that at 18 lbs, my arms don't get tired like they did in the early days holding you or carrying you around most of the day.


Physically, you can sit on your own for a bit, but rarely do because you like to be moving. Army crawling is your favorite and you roll over all the time trying to grab something or maneuver yourself. Recently, you started reaching up to me with one hand when you're in your crib on all fours. It's so sweet to come in at night and feel your little hand reaching out to me.


We've been diving more into solids. So far, you've tried pureed butternut squash, peas, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, banana, a bit of my almond milk green smoothies, and gnawed on my peanut butter toast on occasion. Oh, and I let you share some oats with me one morning. Talk about a mess! I've been enjoying the Tyler Florence Start Fresh cookbook even just as general guidance for baby feeding.


You love your books and are especially obsessed with Corduroy Goes to the Doctor.  Lucky for you, you got a million (okay, maybe 30) new books for Christmas, so we have plenty of new ones to add to the rotation!


The whole fam got a cold over Christmas and while it sucked, you were still a trooper and mostly a happy little guy. Sleeping in new places is always hard, so you took four ergo naps on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I'm just thankful you were able to get a little sleep.

Mom's slowly realizing how to dress you to keep your legs warm (and covered). In short, you're wearing 12 month pants for their length even though 6 month size pants fit you better in every other way. I guess this is just a foray into your future of having a hard time finding pants that work for you. ;)


Well, I guess it's about time we started baby proofing and mopping a few times a week because before I know it you'll be crawling for real!

Lots of love,

Mom


Weight: 17.7 lbs

Height: 27 "

Sleep: Usually waking up 2x per night and taking longer naps!

Wearing: 9 and 12 month clothes

Dear Henry: five months

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dear Henry: five months

I know everyone is singing this tune right about now, but it's crazy to me that this is Christmas week! While most of my presents are bought and wrapped, our tree is half decorated (try hanging ornaments with a baby in your arm) and slightly leaning and we've yet to drive around looking at Christmas lights. #tistheseasonwithbaby

Miracle of miracles, I actually had drafted part of this post on my phone a month ago...


Dear Henry,

Five months! Almost half a year. Things sure do go quickly! It's hard to imagine that the average working American mom has already been back to work for TWO months! It makes me feel extremely lucky that I've been able to stay home with you for this long. Who knows what will happen in the future, but I know that right now I am trying to cherish this time even though it's exhausting and I rarely ever get a break.

But you're adorable, so I'll let it slide for now...

Lately, I've found myself dreaming of going to get a pedicure or massage mainly so I can get 90 min to myself to just zone out and be taken care of.

You are on the verge of being really mobile. You are currently doing nursing gymnastics (think down dog while attempting to nurse) and rolling over all the time in your crib, on your changing pad, etc. You are also getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth. It's so cute to come in your room in the morning or after a nap to find you just grinning while staring up at me and rocking on all fours.

I was thinking tonight about how lucky I am to be your mama. You are such a sweet little one and truly a gift.


And remember how last month I said we had done sleep training? Yeah, well, that was great while it lasted! About two weeks later you decided that the only way you would fall asleep is by nursing. I'm trusting that it's a phase and you're growing a lot right now so you need more food.

You've always liked books, but it seems that around month five you started really having a preference for certain books. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon and Little Blue Truck Leads the Way are a few of your favorites. You also like helping to turn the pages and close the book.


This month we took you over to Bend for a little overnight. It was your first time sleeping in the travel crib (& in a motel) and it went better than expected. But your dad and I sure realized life was different as we were watching the Duck football game on mute in a dark room at 7:00 p.m. as you slept. 


And how can I forget that this month I started giving you some real food?! You've tried pureed carrots, peas, broccoli and sweet potato as well as sips of my green smoothies and water. Oh how you love my water...

Okay, that'll do for now. I could probably write a letter to you every day because it seems like things change that quickly. 

Lots of love,

Mom


Weight: ~16 lbs

Sleep: all over the map. Waking every 1-3 hours through the night. Those three hour stretches feel glorious. 

Wearing: Some 6 month onesies, some 6-12 month stuff and 12 month PJs because anything smaller is too short for you. So thankful for all the hand-me-downs we've received from friends and family! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dear Henry: four months

So, it took going to our SIX month pediatrician appointment for me to finally get my rear in gear on these updates. I want to write them both for my own interest and because others might enjoy them as well. Luckily, I'm keeping a journal as well as notes on a baby calendar so I have a bit to reference back on.

My blogging has been slacking lately, but I'm really hoping to get back to writing regularly now that Henry is starting to take longer naps. Here goes...

Dear Henry,

Four months - holy moly! We are starting sleep training (The Baby Whisperer method) and it is hard. I hate hearing you cry, but we know it's in your best interest. Dad put you to sleep the other night and it took 35 minutes for you to stop crying and go to sleep. Luckily, you took well to sleep training and after 4-5 days, you were going down for naps and nighttime like a champ in maybe 5 minutes!

You are starting to rotate or spin when we put you down. It's not fast, but sometimes when I put you down on your mat or in the crib, when I come back a minute later you've already rotated yourself 90 degrees. I can see where this is headed...



You are already becoming pretty interested in our food, but we haven't given you anything just yet. A few times you've nearly dumped my entire cereal bowl on the ground because you wanted what was in it. You also love looking at and touching my water cup.


Your smiles are just the best. I noticed you've been "talking" a bit less lately, but I think that's because you're focusing on your motor skills. I can tell we're on the verge of a whole lot of movement, ready or not!

Lots of love,
Mom

What's not to love about a baby in jeans?

Height: 25.5" (63%)

Weight: 15.6 lbs (47%)

Sleep: Waking 2-3x per night

Clothes: Squeezing you into a few stretchy 3 month things, but mostly we're on to 6 month clothing and 9 month PJs

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Broken Sleep

I should be blogging about months four, five or six (whoa!) in terms of Henry's growth, new skills and personality in general, but I'll save that for another day. Today's post comes to you from the land of sleepy. In fact, I probably should be napping during this likely 30 minute nap, but I wanted to dust off the ole blog.

I will say that the first eight weeks or so of Henry's life were by far my sleepiest yet. There was plenty of crying between Henry wanting something all the time (milk or sleep) and my exhaustion and general feeling of overwhelm.


I remember once trying to rock him back to sleep in the middle of the night when I caught myself before falling over because I was so tired. In the early days, the only way to get him to sleep was to stand and rock and shush him. He never did like us sitting in the chair to do that.

As everyone tells you, things really do change constantly with babies. They are doing so much growing both physically and developmentally that it's bound to happen. But knowing that fact doesn't make it easier.

So just as soon as we had sleep trained him around 14 weeks, he decided to refuse to go to sleep without nursing. Talk about two steps forward and three steps back. And he's gone from waking up maybe 2-3 times per night to eat to sometimes 4-6. Needless to say, this mama is TIRED.

Aw, I miss my snuggly little six week old.

I think we'll be soon trying the Baby Whisperer sleep methods again (which involves plenty of crying and soothing them to let them know you're there) and I'll probably start waking up Pete to go in and try and put him back to sleep when I don't think he needs to eat. While I know he doesn't "need" food every few hours during the night, as a mom, it's hard to hear your baby cry (which often sounds pretty desperate) and not go in and solve the problem.

Anyway, this is all a long-winded way of saying that I'm tired, but I'm also continually surprised at how well I can function on very little sleep (usually 4-6 hours of broken sleep) and still want to go running several days a week. Yes, I probably should go to bed at 8:00 p.m. to snag a little more shut eye, but I can't seem to bring myself to go to bed that early. Plus, that's often time reserved for a bit of computer work for the running store or simply some chill out time.

What's your ideal amount of sleep? I operate much better with 8 hours, but I suspect that won't happen again for a few years.