Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Long Live the Bike Date!

By now, you probably know about my love for bike dates. The manfriend and I have always loved a good bike adventure paired with good food and/or beverage and I'm so happy that hasn't been lost forever. Yes, there is hope for life after baby (with the help of a grandparent or babysitter)!

Last Friday, my mom came down to watch the little man while we headed out for what I believe was our second date since Henry was born. 

Downtown Eugene is only a few miles from our house, but just enough that it makes the journey exciting and I can poke fun at the manfriend, sing random songs, or say silly things. -->There's something about being on a bike that just makes me act like a kid. 

Our plan was to head to the Whiteaker neighborhood for beer and then move on to ice cream so we would have a few different stops rather than going out to dinner and coming right home.  So, we had a quick dinner at home and then hopped on the bikes and headed straight for Ninkasi. I had the Dawn of the Red and he had the Quantum Pale. 

As usual, we bumped into a few friends (Eugene is small like that), had some good conversation and tasty beer, and jumped back on the bikes with our sights set on Red Wagon Creamery

If you ever visit Eugene, you should definitely check out Red Wagon. They use high quality, locally sourced products and the flavors do not disappoint. After tasting their specials, I opted to go with the Pumpkin King, which just so happened to have Ninkasi's Pumpkin Sleigh'r Ale in it + a pumpkin butter swirl. Yuuuum.

Because the manfriend likes his beer (and I like him), we popped next door to the First National Taphouse so he could have one more beer before we hit the road for home. I sipped on water thanks to my lightweight status. ;)

And then we got back on the bikes and headed home to this little fellow. 

Thanks, mom for watching Henry so we could have a fun little date night! It was a good reminder that making dates (and plenty of laughter) a priority is important, even when raising a wee one. 

P.S. How funny does he look in these tight little jammies sitting in the bumbo chair? He is currently wearing 9 month PJ's because he's so long!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Week in Workouts + A Goal

Since the last trimester of my pregnancy, I've been itching to sign up for a race. You know, just to have something motivating to look forward to. But, it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I finally felt like my body finally caught up with my brain.

Over the last several weeks I have been slowly increasing my run intervals by doing "wogs" or walk/jogs. I started with :30 of each and slowly increased my running time until I was running 4 minutes at a time and then walking for :30. And finally, I felt strong enough to just GO for 10 minutes straight.

Shortly after that, I was able to knock out a few 3 mile runs without stopping, so I knew I was back in business!

hello, fall

Well, that was all the confidence booster I needed to put down the $$ and register. Okay, well that and the fact that our local EWEB Run to Stay Warm half marathon is affordable, proceeds go to a great cause, and it's in Eugene so I can realistically nurse Henry right before and after the race without too much hassle.

So, November 22, I have a little date with 13.1 miles of pavement!

And that goal, in case you hadn't guessed, is to simply finish the race and enjoy it. If I have to walk a bit, so be it. I definitely won't be setting a PR this year. --> Just looked this up -- the last time I PR'd the half was in 2010.

Last week's workouts:

Monday - 4 mile headlamp run (you do what you gotta do to fit in your miles)

Tuesday - 25 min yoga flow @ home

Wednesday - 3.5 mi a.m. run (before the manfriend left for work) + 20 min strength training

Thursday - 5 mi w/ speed work (.5 mile warm up, 4 x 800m @ 10K pace, 6 x 100m @ 5K pace + jogging 100m between each, 1 mile cool down). This was my second speed workout after having Henry and boy does it hurt, but I know it will help remind my legs how to run fast again.

Friday - 25 min full body strength + 1hr stroller walk

Saturday - 5.3 morning miles - First long run in a while; whoa hammies and quads.

Sunday - Rest

Thoughts on Training
I will say that training now is definitely an afterthought rather than the priority it used to be, and that's okay. However, the manfriend and I have agreed to try and make it work so that I can do the speed workouts every other Thursday. It requires him to meet me at the workout and do the baby swap, but it's nice to be able to do a group workout again and see my running buddies.

Also, this getting back into running shape thing really makes me wonder how in the world I ran on a trail for six hours in 80 and 90 degree temps. These days, a mile feels hard. Perspective.

Happy Friday, friends!

And good luck to Lisa who is running the Twin Cities Marathon tomorrow!

Sidenote: You probably heard about the shooting yesterday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, OR, just an hour or so south of Eugene. I can't even imagine what those families are going through. But I do know that now having a little one, it means something different. 

As I put Henry to sleep last night, I said a little prayer that he never experiences such violence. Yes, I want gun laws to change, but until then, I can only hope that putting good out into the world (in whatever capacity) makes some kind of difference.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Little of This and That

You may have noticed I haven't found much time these days to blog. I know you're probably sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for another post. ;)

Just for fun (and ease, and because baby is napping), I thought I'd do a quick little round up of what's been going on the last few days based on the photos on my phone.

I've been experimenting with putting Henry down for nap in his crib drowsy to help him learn how to put himself to sleep. Sometimes it works and other times it's a total bust.

On Tuesday, it was a bust resulting in a 5 minute morning nap, so around noon at a playgroup we go to with other mamas and babies, he fell asleep sitting up in my arms.

The weather really felt like fall last week, which was a little depressing, but meant we had to bundle up for our walks. One day the little guy just kept staring up at me with these big adorable eyes. 

I've been working at the running store on Sundays, which is a nice little break from mamahood. Things were really hopping yesterday, so it was nice to wind down a bit with H and the manfriend at the 5th Street Market afterward. 

I can't seem to escape the wood fired pizza when hungry and within walking distance of Marche Provisions. Manfriend, sorry about eating the huge piece, but I figured you had the beer so we were even.

Before this morning, it had been at least two months since I last painted my toenails. This Sally Hansen polish always goes on really nicely and is bit cheaper than Essie or OPI.

Polish name: Commander in Chic. How fun would it be to name polishes or write copy for greeting cards?

Smoothie success today = not too sweet and not too earthy

Ingredients: frozen banana, orangelo watermelon (this was so good fresh), mixed greens, oats, almond milk, sliced almonds, goji berries, cinnamon and ginger.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dear Henry: three months

As usual, this is a little late, but better late than never! Henry is now almost 15 weeks old. And yes, it's hard to keep track of the weeks once you hit three months, but it still seems necessary.

Dear Henry,

Three months! You are officially not a newborn anymore, although let's be serious, after about eight weeks I don't think I considered you a newborn any longer. Everyone tells me you look like a "mini Pete", which I can understand, but you definitely have your mama's blue-green eyes.

At just over two months, you took your first trip to the cabin where you met great grandparents Jean and Art and got to dip your toes in the Puget Sound. Grandpa Art reminded me you are the sixth generation to use our family property on the sound. I was already imagining you up there in a few years from now playing on the raft with your cousins and rowing the little dingy around in the water. So much fun to come.

All that time on your tummy is helping because your neck is getting stronger and you have even rolled from your tummy to your back a few times. Although, after you did it a few times at the beginning of this month, you've yet to do it again. I think you're focused on other things right now.

Your dad told me one night while watching you sleep that he doesn't want you to get any bigger. And I can't lie, you seem pretty perfect as you are. But I also can't wait to see your little personality as you begin to really move, talk, and laugh.

You are really discovering your voice and sometimes we can't tell if it's a scream of joy or sadness because of the way it comes out. It feels like you really woke up this month and are telling us what you like and dislike.

Highlights this month
  • all of your "talking"
  • starting to hold on to toys
  • putting your hands and fingers together and really staring at them
  • looking at mom and dad like you really know who we are (and you think we're pretty awesome)

Likes: "walking" up mom (apparently I make a good jungle gym), looking all directions to make sure you're not missing anything, kicking the toys on the play mat, "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" song, reading books

Dislikes: being put down when you're tired or hungry, having your diaper changed in the middle of the night

Wearing: 3 month (just barely) and 6 month clothes. It's been so nice to have a summer baby and only have to dress you in onesies, but it's starting to get chilly where we need to put pants and socks on you some days.

I LOVE your long legs, feet and fingers.

I will say that while this is a really fun stage, we are entering sleep training, which has already proven to be challenging. There's so much time and patience needed to get you in a routine and I feel like we're flying by the seat of our pants regardless of how many books I read about the topic. But we'll persist because I know that getting you to be able to fall sleep on your own will be highly beneficial for all of us in the long run.

Lots of love,


Dear Henry: two months
Dear Henry: one month

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thoughts on My Post Baby Body

It's hard for me to believe that Henry is already three months old. Where did the time go? I find myself scrolling back through my phone every once in a while looking at his itty bitty self thinking man, he was small!

I thought it would be interesting to write about my thoughts on my body post pregnancy. I know I enjoy reading and talking about body image, so you might too.

From the beginning of my pregnancy, I made a point to tell myself that the journey back to my pre-baby body would be gradual as I was going to be gentle with myself both physically and mentally.
I have a tendency to want to do all the things and have everything a certain way as soon as possible in most realms of my life. But we know that's not very realistic.

As a result, I made a pact with myself to wait the full six weeks until I started any kind of exercise beyond walking. By six weeks, the bleeding had finally stopped (yep, there's a lot of post birth bleeding for most women), and the midwife gave me the go ahead to start exercising. But as I mentioned before, my body wasn't quite ready to get back into running and weight lifting that soon.

Luckily, I wasn't even interested in exercising for those first six weeks and I didn't feel guilty at all about still wearing my maternity shorts and tops all summer long.

A week or so after having Henry, I was down about 10 lbs from my final pregnancy weight (I gained 30 lbs in total). Every month or so, it seems I had lost another 5 lbs likely from breastfeeding, plenty of walking, and carrying a baby around all day.

While the weight has gradually been coming off, I'm still about 5-7 lbs above my pre pregnancy weight and who knows if the extra lbs will stick around or continue to come off. Either way, I'm not too concerned. I can fit into at least one pair of my regular jeans, so I'll be just fine for fall.

Around eight weeks postpartum, I decided to try on some of my old shirts to find a non maternity shirt I could wear to switch things up a bit. Unfortunately, thanks to breastfeeding, nothing fit like I had hoped. But instead of feeling depressed about it, I simply headed to Target and sized up on my favorite vintage tees.

While I might be lacking a toned, flat stomach, honestly, it's refreshing to feel less body conscious in my new role as mama. Sure, I could do without the stretch marks or extra skin hanging out around my mid section, but I'm not giving it near the amount of worry my old self would have.

Seven weeks pregnant

I look back on the girl who thought she still needed to lose an extra 5-10 lbs to look good running in just a sports bra and think "Geez, really? I'd love to have those abs now." 

But rather than wish for the body I had, I'm embracing the fact that my post pregnancy body is different as a result of growing a human for 41 weeks. And not only that, I'm now breastfeeding and caring for a baby, which is my #1 priority and requires a lot of energy.

So, I'm eating well, indulging in treats regularly, and staying hydrated.

And yeah, I'm still wearing my maternity tops and shorts because they're comfy and fit (gotta love the stretchy midsection).

Have you ever had a shift in your body image and if so, what brought it on? And tell me something you're looking forward to this fall.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week in Workouts

Hi, friends. I have a 'body after baby' themed post I'm working on, but I just can't seem to find the right words or motivation to finish it the way I want to. Anyway, I always enjoy recapping the week in fitness and it's easy enough, so here goes.

Last week was a great one in terms of workouts. I told myself I needed to run 3x during the course of the week, which sounds easy considering I used to workout twice daily several times a week and run about 5x, but the whole baby thing throws a wrench into that old lifestyle. Anywho, 3 runs - I did it!

Monday - 15 min run/walk (alternating 1 minute running & :30 walking) + naptime upper body work (Sarah Fit arm & upper body workouts)

Tuesday - p.m. yoga stretch + handstand work (Just had to see if my body still remembered how to do that. Thankfully, it does and not too terribly.)

Wednesday - 24 min run/walk (alternating 1-2 minutes running & :30 walking)  + 3 mile stroller walk

Thursday - 20 minute naptime yoga + quick strength session

Friday - 3 mile stroller walk + 10 min yoga

Saturday - 27 min run/walk (alternating 2-3 minutes running & :30 walking) Wahoo! Progress! + 15 min walking warm up and cool down

This run was especially awesome because I made a point to ask the manfriend to watch Henry so I could drive to the river and run. These days all of my runs are done around the neighborhood, which frankly gets really boring and doesn't feed my soul the way running along the river or on a trail does.

Sunday - rest (worked at the running store)

How I Felt
The pelvis still feels weird. Like it's a bit loose and the muscles supporting it are weak. Every two minutes of running feels hard and makes me think getting back to those double digit runs is going to be no joke. 

This week I had to remind myself that it's okay to ask for time for me. While taking care of Henry is currently my main "job," I need opportunities to clear my head and do something for my own well being too. 

A few Sundays ago, I told the manfriend around 5:00 p.m. that I needed to get out of the house for a little bike ride. While I felt guilty doing it, I so needed it. And 35 minutes of cruising down the bike path with a podcast playing had me feeling refreshed and happy, even if I did return home to a screaming, hungry baby.

I also had days this week where I just kept eating non stop. Nursing + exercise really requires a lot of extra calories, so I fueled as necessary. It was a good reminder that I should work on upping the size of my meals so I'm not snacking on granola bars, cereal, and tortilla chips to feed the hunger monster.

How is your week going? Best thing you did for yourself last week? 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Henry's First Trip to the Cabin

Let's catch up a bit...

A few weeks ago my mom and I made the trek up to the Puget Sound to my grandparents' cabin for a little visit. Myself and many others in our family have been visiting the cabin every summer since we were born and Henry was the sixth generation of our family to use the property (my grandfather's grandparents purchased the land). 

The manfriend recently started a new job, so he wasn't able to make the trip, but we still had a great visit. Not only was it Henry's first time at the cabin, but it was his first time meeting great grandparents Jean and Art. 

While we were there, I made sure we did all the cabin requirements, including...

walks to the ferry dock.

time spent lounging on the deck.

He just started rolling from his tummy to his side

enjoying a little beach time.

incredible sunsets.

serious naps.

He took two, 3 hour wrap naps while we were there!

grandpa's berry pancakes (okay, I had those).

and quality family time. 

While it wasn't easy taking a 10-week-old on a long car trip and caring for him without some of our usual stuff and in the heat, I'm glad we did it. I got a lot of good walks in while trying to get him to sleep and soaked in the peaceful mornings and incredible sunsets. It was definitely nice to have my mom there as I needed the extra set of hands at times.

On a related note, I can hardly believe that summer is almost over. Perhaps that's because I had a baby at the beginning of summer and my legs have just started to get sun-kissed. But because we likely have another good month of summer weather here, I'm ignoring everyone's comments of summer being over. After all, I still have a summer bucket list to check off.

Best thing you've done this summer? Favorite casual thing to do for a date night (in or out)?*

*I'm trying to brainstorm some easy date night ideas that the manfriend and I could enjoy after the little guy is asleep for the night (like Netflix + takeout or a board game + ice cream). Eventually, we'll get back to actually going out on dates, but for now that isn't likely to happen. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Dear Henry: two months

Dear Henry,

Whoa, where has the time gone? You're now two and a half months old, but that's okay. I don't want to forget this stuff.

At exactly two months, you weighed 12 lbs 9 oz and you've been steadily gaining ~1/2 a pound per week. As a result, my arms and back are sure having to get stronger in a hurry. With each day it seems you are getting more of a fun little personality.

This month you really started noticing things on our morning walks: the trees, the wind, and your surroundings in general, which has been fun to see. You went on your first hike this month and slept the entire time in the Ergo. We also took you camping for the first time, which was a lot of work, but worth it. It was so cool to see how mesmerized you were by the treetops.

Highlights this month:

  • your coos and babbling just keep getting better
  • seeing you stare at the treetops

Around six weeks, we finally gave into the pacifier and have been using it when you are simply too fussy to settle down without sucking on something - in the car at times, for some naps, and bedtime.

You have been working on getting your fist to your mouth quite a lot. In fact, one morning at 5 a.m. you just propped one elbow on your other arm and got your hand to your mouth no problem. Since then, you've been using one fist to help guide the other. It's pretty cute.

Mama had her first shift back at the running store this month, which was good, but definitely made me realize how lucky I am to be able to spend so much time with you. I could not imagine having to be back at a full time desk job when you are this tiny. Luckily, however, you do take a bottle no problem, which is nice for when I have to work or just need some alone time.

Sometimes I look at you and think you look SO big, but then I see the pictures of you and realize you are still very small. I can't wait to see what the next few months bring, but I have a feeling lots of changes are on the horizon.



Dear Henry: one month