Monday, July 11, 2016

We've known you for 18 months!

One and a half years. Years. Plural. Yikes.

I am writing this in bed next to you, because you still sleep snuggled in my armpit.

You have this big cheesy smile that just slays me. It takes up your whole face and it is amazing.

You are the best! You love to mimic us, whether it's using the nail clippers or cleaning up a spill, you're right there, being a big helper! It is amazing how quickly you learn. Related, you want to eat or drink everything we are eating. Ice cream and beer have to be consumed in secret.

You are always climbing. Whether something is meant for climbing or not, you try to scale it. Restaurants are for running circles in. Cars (parked) are jungle gyms. You are always exploring. 

Food is hit or miss. You'll be super interested in dinner and sign "eat" a million times but then have 2 beans and call it. You are 75th percentile for height and weight so I'm not worried (breastmilk ftw!) but, sweet baby, food is good too.

You have two chins and big strong legs and the cutest butt and the softest cheeks and the sweetest belly. You lean in for a hug and just rest sometimes. Sometimes. Other times you keep right on going going going.

You adore animals, especially dogs. You are pretty gentle with them, but you've been spoiled by Kiwi's unending patience. You love videos on the internet of dogs. They make you giggle. We live to make you giggle.

Still no words here, but that does not mean you are quiet! You babble and screech. You have signs for hat, more/again, milk, sleep, butterfly, car, cow (maybe?), fan, baby, potty, eat, drink and are learning new signs all the time. It's so important that you can communicate your needs even if you can't speak yet.

Taking care of you has been the greatest challenge of my life. Getting to love you has been my greatest joy. You are my little buddy, my sweet baby, my favorite person. You test me. You make me more patient, more stressed, more full of happiness than I ever thought possible.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

We've known you for 15 months!

I want to keep doing these updates because although lots of blogs seem to stop at 12 months, so much is still happening with you!

You are turning into such a little person. You are constantly moving and constantly getting into things. I understand the need for baby proofing a little more each day.

You have 12 teeth! The front 4 on top and bottom, plus 4 molars. The molars aren't all quite through yet, but they already look like big icebergs in your wee mouth. You love getting raspberries on your belly and when you throw your head back to laugh I can see those bright new teeth.

Your laugh... my sweet baby, it is so special. You squeal and squirm and cackle. It's loud and probably annoying to strangers but it's music to us.  You love being chased and if we give even a hint that we're going to chase you, you giggle. Love.

You don't walk consistently, but occasionally you take a string of steps across a room, so we know you're very capable. You prefer to use your push toy (walk-walk). Pushing that up the driveway to the street to watch cars has consumed many an afternoon. You still crawl like lightning and climb everything. With a little help you can get on all the furniture, which is worrisome. When you aren't confident enough to get down off something you make a hilarious "eh! Eh!" to get us to help you.

You know signs for more and again, and have your own sign for Kiwi. You drink water like a champ but still don't love eating. There are times when you surprise us and eat and eat but mostly you pick. You still nurse allllll the time. I have days when that is wonderful and days when I wish you'd just eat more solids already, but on the whole I love giving you comfort and nutrition so easily.

I never want you to stop nursing but I do want a moment to myself. The way you love and need me is flattering and exhausting. You are warming up to dad ("dat") but still get lonely for me. When I return from a long time away from you, like when I brush my teeth for 2 minutes, your face lights up briefly before you cry.

Things I never want to forget; the sweet way you purse your lips to have me put ChapStick on them every night (because you watched me do it and wanted it too), your silly "oooeeeooo" vowel sounds, how sweetly you'll sit and look at books, the look of anticipation when you're walking away and want to be chased, your smile of delight when you pet Kiwi, your calm snores after you've nursed to sleep and I'm still holding your ever-longer body in my arms. I want to memorize the click of your tongue after you've unlatched but are still sleepy nursing, the way you lean in when I ask for a kiss, and the way you sometimes thrash your way into my neck and burrow to sleep in the middle of the night.

Every day gets a tiny bit easier. You are so fun, so mischievous, and so sweet. You try my nerves but make me so happy.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Out of the running

Get it? Running. Because it's a running blog! I slay me.

No updates lately, which never bodes well for training. After a couple of disastrous long runs I've decided not to run the Alexandria half. I was registered and was really looking forward to it but it's not in the cards. D is still just a bit too needy to leave him for 2 hours at a time while I run. Maybe later this year? Maybe next year?

Those are the facts. Here are the feelings. I'm pissed. I'm angry that can't do this. Angry that my life is still so far from what I'd hoped. I had dreamed about qualifying for Boston this year and now I'm wondering when I'll get to run more than 5 miles at a time. I love D so much. He is the light of my life but it is so, so hard to be mommy every second of every day. He loves Nick but after 40 minutes or so he needs me again.

I am complaining. I sound ungrateful for this very wanted baby that we tried so hard for. I am well aware that I am lucky to have this baby at all. But... It is hard. Every day is hard.

Someday running will be a thing for me again. Until then, it's all D, all the time. I'm trying to be 100% ok with that.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Alexandria half week 5

Yeah .. So... About training..

I turned my ankle on a walk Monday morning and was limping by the evening. I took the next couple days off to ensure it adequately recovered. My self pity got an excellent workout, though.





Sunday, March 27, 2016

Alexandria half week 4

One third of the way through training whaaa?!? This week was the first of several busy weekends coming up. I knew it would be challenging to get all the workouts done. Success!

3.5 miles with the stroller around Solomons. Yippee.

Speed work! I did the last 400m repeats on the treadmill but because my husband loves me and wants to spend time with me, he convinced me we should go take the stroller and try to do some repeats out on the trail. I love the mindlessness of the treadmill for stuff like this, but with a 5k on the schedule for the weekend I need to remind myself how it feels to run fast with my own internal pacing. Splits were 1:42, 1:47, 1:46, 1:38, 1:41, 1:39, 1:40, 1:46. Fairly consistent! It felt hard and that pace is a bit ambitious for a whole 5k but it was good to get out and push ourselves.

3 miles with Nick. We got horrendous sleep and I was in a terrible mood but whatever. Run happened.

Tempo run. This time with stroller on nice flat, straight road. I warmed up and then sped up to harder pace that wasn't crazy hard and tried to maintain. That pace was a bit faster than 8 min miles and I maintained for 3 miles before doing a couple intervals and cool down. Not too shabby.

Rest. Hike with the baby.

5k. Fun fact, this was my return to racing last year after having D. The race is really convenient and supports a good cause so we decided to do it as our 3 "easy". Ha. Right. Obviously not going to be easy. It was raining and windy. Nick ran with the stroller. Turn out was pretty low because of the weather. There was only one runner in front of me the whole race, and unfortunately he was too far ahead for me to use as a motivator (he finished sub-20, I was aiming for low 21). Yeah... Started out too fast, finished in low 22:XX. Blah. Nick was shortly behind me because he's a beast with the stroller even in the wind. We got some sweet prizes for being first woman and second man, which sort of made up for my disappointment with my performance.

We went to a wedding in NJ Saturday night and had a long drive in the morning. We intended go run first thing in Jersey but the wind was *crazy* and it just wasn't happening. We got home to more wind and grumpy baby (poor kid spent a lot of car time over the weekend) so I opted for the treadmill. I did 10 miles/90 minutes and just chugged along.

Week total: 30.5 miles!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Alexandria half week 3

This week was designed sort of as a step back week. Instead of a long run, Hal wanted a 5k race, so the workouts were scaled accordingly. I needed this! My legs are already starting to fatigue a bit from the increased volume. I'm also randomly getting unbelievably hungry. We had pasta for dinner one night and I found myself chasing it with pistachios and black beans. Not together. I didn't do a total step back but did cool it on the long run so the weekly total didn't increase.

3 miles with my dad! Nice to have a buddy. He's training for a duathlon in a couple months!

Holy hills with the stroller. The plan said 7 this time, so I did the same hill as in week 1, but this time with tired legs. I was struggling by the end but did all 7 repeats.

Nick came home early so I got 3+ solo miles. It was hot but glorious and I cruised at 8 min pace comfortably sans stroller.

As part of the step back week, 30 minutes tempo was on the schedule. Since I had Nick home again and I'm not racing this weekend, I did 40 minutes on the treadmill instead. Why the treadmill? I've normally thought of tempos as xx minutes at a "fast" pace, but Hal actually calls for a warm-up, gradual increase to fast, hold a bit and cool down. I wanted to try that in the controlled environment of the treadmill. I did 7 minutes warm up at 6.4, increased slowly to 8.1, held and cooled down. It was hard but not as impossible as the tempos I've been attempting. 5.75 miles done.

3.5 miles on a slightly different trail with Nick. I'm getting spoiled by all these running buddies.

Rest day. Went hiking with the family.
Nick again! We went to a trail and set out for a while. Nick hasn't been able to do a long run yet between illness and work, so we sort of eased into it with an hour long run, 7 miles total. Fit into the step back week theme perfectly and so nice to have someone to take the stroller half the time.

Week total:  26.8 miles

Monday, March 14, 2016

Alexandria half week 2

2 weeks down, 10 to go!

3 hilly, annoying miles done on a back road by the grocery store. Annoying because I'd have sidewalk on one side of the street for a quarter mile, then it would switch. Because that makes sense.

Speed work! Yippee? 7x400 at 5k pace. I did this on the treadmill because it was wet out and Nick is finally back on a normal schedule so I got to run solo. I feel like my form suffers from constant stroller running so it was nice to have a break from that but o.m.g. these were hard. I did the 400s at 6:38 pace (9.1 on the treadmill) with 400 recovery. I felt like I was going to puke a little at the end. In a good way.

Three miles done by the house. I was racing against naptime so I had a grumpy kid but he hung in there.

I really really suck at tempo runs. Really. This week was 45 minutes total so I warmed up for 10 minutes and then took off.  The first mile felt comfortably hard but then my brain broke thinking about how much longer I had. After finishing the second mile I started alternating fast/slow to finish out the workout. Boo. Not my best effort.

3 miles with Nick! Yay! He had a random day off and we got to run together and most importantly, he pushed D half the time. Wins all around.

Rest day. Busy life day.

Longtime readers (hi dad!) will remember my love for the treadmill. Despite that love, I was sort of dreading doing this long run inside, but the weather was icky so it was my best choice. I did 90 minutes for a total of 9.8 miles (I run slower inside). My legs felt fine but my stomach was off most of the time. I sipped water every mile and took a GU halfway through to try out some fuel options.

Week total: 28.3 miles. That'll do.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Alexandria half week 1

One week down, 11 to go! That countdown might depress some but every workout feels like a victory right now and I'm scared of the actual race so I'm a little glad it's still over 2 months away.

3 miles? Thanks, Hal Higdon, for starting things off easy. Did 3 miles around Solomons with the stroller.

Hills? With stroller? That sounds like a terrible idea. It was also about 75 degrees this day, so that didn't help. I did 6 hill repeats by my house and it was ridiculous.

3 miles again! Knocked these out by my house.

Tempo run with stroller? Again, what was I thinking trying to do this? Things started off ok, with a nice warm-up then started the tempo. I did about 15 minutes at what I hoped was my tempo pace (7:30ish) but was waaay hard. I then rode (ran?) the strugglebus, alternating tempo effort with slower stuff to reach my 40 minute goal. Rough.

Rest! I actually had a not very busy day and thought I'd want to run but after 5 days in a row I was ready for a day off. Walked Kiwi and that was sufficient.

3 miles done by the house.

The nice (?) thing about running with a baby is that it's not about me. My 90 minute first long run of this cycle was daunting for baby endurance reasons. I didn't really think about myself except to get pretty excited by cake on Saturday because of its carb-loading properties (actual dinner on Saturday was 2 pieces of cake, one cupcake, and a piece of cheesecake. Yum). How would D do? How long could he hang in there?

I brought my whole arsenal- Apple, carrots, Cheerios, veggie straws, and many toys. He played with this silly little remote for the first 30 minutes of the run! Then I rotated various foods and he started relatively happy. He is a wonderful distraction, if I look down through the stroller window and get his attention I get a big smile. He's the best. I ended up stopping me for me than for him at 9 miles/80 minutes. I felt tired and hungry but overall not terrible at all, which surprised me.

Week total: 26.5ish miles. Yay!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

That time I started training

I've been running- really! Not frequently, and not for very long, but consistently. So I thought it would be a good idea to hop into half marathon training. The Alexandria half is 12 weeks away. It's s flatish, fast race and I'm hoping to PR. Totally unrealistic? Maybe, but I'm aiming high.

Hal higdon's advanced half plan starts tomorrow. There are 2 challenges to following it: 1) running frequency and 2) long runs. I've been running 4-5x a week but some runs have been quite short because they were done when D was on a timer for being amused by something. That's related to the second challenge, the long run. The advanced plan has runs starting at 90 minutes long! D has never done longer than 60ish minutes in the stroller, understandably, so it'll be interesting to strategize how to make those runs work.

I'm excited and hopeful but also trying to be realistic and flexible. If nothing else, I should get to the end of May ready to run 13.1 miles, whether they're a PR or not.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Breastfeeding- the first year

I wish I had started writing this post when D was  tinier so I could accurately detail how the early days of breastfeeding went for us. I don't remember specific dark days, but I do remember sitting in the rocker one night when he was wee, feeding my tiny baby for hours on end. We were both crying, my nipples ached, and I was exhausted. I remember thinking I wanted to make it 6 months of breastfeeding, and counting the days until I could stop. Six months seemed impossible. Day by day, with a visit from a lactation consultant, things started to look up.

He was not the best latcher at the start, but he was enthusiastic and I was determined. When nothing else soothed him, boob did. That remained true for many, many months. I sometimes have a sinking feeling he'll be 10, scrape his knee and ask for boob.
(Note to any new parents out there: come up with a better thing to call it than "boob" because he'll be asking for it in public. It's too late for us, but maybe others can be smarter.)

Our marathon nursing sessions shortened as D aged, of course, and we both got better at nursing. I fed him everywhere because he was so fussy- Target, the grocery store, the mall, on hikes, doctor's offices, friend's homes, restaurants. I stopped using a cover pretty early on. It was unwieldy and made the whole thing an ordeal. I never thought I'd be comfortable whipping out my boob in public, but feeding a hungry baby changes things. Learning to nurse in the baby carrier was essential. Nursing plus walking soothed him asleep many times.

There were random hard times, like when D stopped being able to focus and eat in public, and I spent hours at friends homes sitting in a dark room, willing him to nurse so he'd calm down, but he was unable to nurse because he was too riled up. Then when he learned to stand around 8 months and suddenly nursing sessions became an effort to wrangle my not-so-tiny-anymore rascal enough to keep him from climbing all over my body while latched (ouch). His latch quality suffered while teething, but he also soothed teething pain with lots of nursing, so I endured a few bites along the way. Gentle corrections helped nip (pun!) that in the bud pretty quickly.

I have no idea what breastfeeding looks like for us going forward, but I know he's not quitting anytime soon, and I'm not keen to stop. Breastfeeding is my most useful parenting tool, by far. It soothes him to sleep and when he's hurt or grumpy. I'm beyond proud of myself to have nourished this sweet little guy for a year. I couldn't have made it this far without my supportive husband and family who have sat in the car or nursing room with me many times while D ate, brought me food and drink,  waited patiently for us to finish nursing so we could go somewhere, and generally made sure things were going ok. This hasn't always been easy but it has been so, so worth it. Nurse on, Little Man.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hey, remember running?

I really do run! Let's talk about it. A friend of mine encouraged me to join a "run the year" group. Talk about commitment- the goal is to run 2016 miles this year. I'm fudging it a bit by including my walking miles because I cover a lot of ground with D. To run 2016 miles, you have to average 5.5 a day, or about 6.4 with a rest day. That has proven challenging so far. I'm at 99 miles as of today, for an average of 4.5, but there's still tons of time to catch up, especially with half or full marathon training later this year.

I've been trying to mix up my runs to be more well rounded  (aka so I don't die on hills). Since I often only have 15 or 20 minutes to run while D plays independently, I try and make the most of those minutes. I've been doing intervals and hills on the treadmill. It's fun to challenge myself on the treadmill and feel like I'm increasing my fitness, and it also makes the treadmill less boring. Win win!

It's hard to stay motivated when I don't have a training plan or any races in sight- the next 5k for our running club's Grand Prix isn't until April- so the mileage goal keeps me running. Once I get back to more structured training I will post more!

Bonus picture of me and D post walk just because he's crazy cute.

Friday, January 1, 2016

We've known you for 11 months!

I'm late. And only posting one picture. Life is hard.

D is for Danger Baby. This month you turned into quite the little adventurer! You learned to climb the stairs and descend them as well. Not so confident on the descent, but you charge into it with lots of enthusiasm. Walking is imminent, and your favorite pastime is opening and closing cabinets.

You are full of noises, including an ear piercing shriek that really gets our attention. I could do without that, but along with the shriek you're getting other little "talking" noises, which is amazing. I'll take all the sounds as you find your little voice.

The theme of your life continues to be intensity. You seem to get intensely tired, sad, angry, happy. You kick your legs with joy and your whole face lights up when you smile. When you're focused on something even your toes get in on the focusing action. Cutest toes ever. When you know you're being cute or doing something you're not supposed to (like overturning Kiwi's water dish one hundred times a day), you get the funniest little smirk, like "come on parents, be mad at this adorableness." When we say "no" you shake your head and smile. Sweet little devil.

You learned to share food with us which has to be my favorite parenting moment, ever. I cry a little every time you do it. This parenting thing is tough, but moments like that make it all so worth it. You get joy from giving your food to us, how cool is that?

Sleep is still not easy. Not at all. I wonder if you'd be happier if you slept better. I worry you're chronically tired and grumpy.

Every day feels like a new discovery with you. Watching you find your shadow and play with it, joyfully chow down on broccoli, take tentative steps, give hugs (!!!!), and generally turn into a real live person instead of a very cute potato is just the best thing ever. How lucky we are to watch you grow and learn.