Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Randoms

I have a confession to make. I like getting up in the middle of the night with Elise. They are some of the only moments where I get to truly sit down and do nothing but enjoy nursing her. When she's done eating I lift her up so her body is pressed into my chest and her head is resting on my shoulder. She falls into such a heavy sleep after eating that she just melts into me. I feel like I could hold her like that forever and I want to but I know morning is coming. With Carter I liked getting up in the middle of the night because it gave me a few more precious moments with the baby I was going to have to pass off to someone else in the morning. I was surprised when I felt the same way about Elise. This time because those moments tend to be the only ones that include just me and her. It also helps that she smiles up at me so happily the moment she sees my face. Don't get me wrong, I would also love to sleep all night long. It would be glorious. I just don't mind the waking up. I never regret staying awake a few extra minutes to snuggle my sweet girl after she's passed into a milk coma. At Elise's 4 month appointment the doctor asked how she was sleeping and when I told him she usually wakes up only once but had randomly been waking up 2-3 times that week he responded with, "Oh no" and then looking at Elise said, "Mommy loves you but does not like you right now." And while I was tired and more than a little sleep deprived I smiled just to be nice because I did not agree. I like seeing her in the middle of the night and will happily greet her until she no longer needs that nourishment. By the way, we tried feeding her at dinner to see if she sleeps better with food along with milk in her belly and it didn't work.
These over the shoulder snuggles are the best!

Am I the only person sad to see summer go? Everyone's all excited for fall, for pumpkins and sweaters and soup. I'm over here like, don't go summer! Maybe it's because we had a pretty mild summer. It seemed like only weeks in the hundreds and above rather than months! I love the splash pad and sno cones and ice cream. I love more hours of daylight and the summer reading program. I love sidewalk chalk and bubbles. I think in part because when I still worked it was my time home with Carter there's just something magical about summer. What I won't miss is the hoard of mosquitoes in our backyard which have kept us from playing in it. But honestly we've been too busy and out and about to spend much time at all in our yard. I am looking forward to a fall learning theme. It was one of my favorites we've done so far!
The first day of fall last year.
I am so ready for days like this one, Carter's first trip to a pumpkin patch last year!
But I'll miss the splash pad.
And picnics at the park.
When Ty's mom comes to visit she takes over bath time. She loves it and it's special time for her and the kids. While she was visiting I had a dream she came out of the bathroom after bathing Elise and said, "I forgot to ask, am I supposed to comb her hair or style it." It was one of those dreams where I woke up giggling. There is no styling going on around here. Sister is bald. Baldy, bald, bald. I still giggle when I think about it. It doesn't help that she also appears to be blonde so what is there isn't very noticeable. After she gets a bath her hair sticks up in the back and I crack up because she looks silly. Then I'll tell Ty he needs to style sister's hair. That dream really tickled my funny bone!
Little Miss Baldy!

Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Months Postpartum

The past few months had been frustrating for me. I hadn't lost any more weight and I felt like I wasn't improving very much with my running. This month rolled around and I finally felt like things were coming together. The weight started coming off again, thank goodness! Now I just have 4 more pounds to go until I'm back down to pre-pregnancy weight! My runs have gotten faster too. Now I'm running 9-9:30 pace with the double stroller most days rather than the 10-10:30 pace I was running. I still have days that are slower, but I just feel so much stronger. I ran a really hilly course this past week and was able to maintain 10:00 pace with the double stroller. Pushing that beast uphill is no easy feat!

There have been a few changes that I feel have contributed to the success I am finally seeing. After my appointment last month I realized it was time to give my body a break to let it heal. The only explanation for my continued bleeding was I kept overdoing it physically. I stopped doing speed work and voilĂ , no more bleeding. Since doing that I've been running all my other runs so much faster! I also switched Elise to straight in the stroller rather than in the car seat and snapped in. That has made the stroller lighter and easier to navigate although it didn't immediately make me faster. We also moved Elise over to her crib in her room and I am sleeping so much better. The added rest has helped me in so many ways! 
Elise and Carter ready for Elise's first run strapped directly into the stroller.
Now that it has cooled off I can run pretty much whenever but when it was still 100+ degrees I got up early to go run before Ty left for work at least a couple times a week. It was nice to get my run in without the stroller and when it was cooler. I also liked that it gave me more time to play with Carter and Elise. Now that it has cooled off I just can't bring myself to get up before the kids, especially since little miss sporadically wakes up 2-3 times at night and I've dropped naps from my routine most days. I'm up to a 10 mile long run and was pumped to hit under 9 minute pace! So far I've been getting up at 5:40 to get my long run in before Ty leaves for work at 7:30. Now that we have a few less busy weekends coming up I'll probably start doing my long run early Saturday morning. It was stressful for me worrying that I wouldn't make it home in time and I'd make Ty late to work. One day Elise woke up hungry right as I was leaving so I fed her. Luckily I was able to hit a minute per mile faster than I had planned for so I didn't have to cut my run short. The last few weeks I added tempo runs back into my workout schedule. I've done a 3, 3.5, and 4 mile tempo run. My goal was under 8:00 pace and I was able to hit an average of 7:30 for the 3 miler, 7:35 for the 3.5 miler, and 7:41 for the 4 miler. I'm going to wait a little bit longer to add speed work back in since dropping it stopped my bleeding. I don't want to add it back in too soon!

When I stalled out with my weight loss I got discouraged. I'd have a week where I had ice cream twice a day and I remained the same weight. I'd have weeks where I ate really healthy and skipped dessert and I still stayed the same. For whatever reason no matter what I did that number on the scale didn't budge. Then we were in St. Louis visiting Ty's cousin, Megan, and I saw she was wearing a Fitbit. I asked her how she liked it and she ended up offering to sell me her old zip. I never would have tried a Fitbit otherwise. After the first couple days I was hooked. It was so much fun to push myself to hit a daily step goal. Instead of focusing on my weight I had a new set of numbers to focus on. Counting my steps was so rewarding because I had direct control of the numbers I saw. It also got me thinking about my day in a totally different way. I picked up little habits like walking around as I brushed my teeth and opened mail. Just little ways to add more activity into my day.
The most adorable running buddies ever!
Then a blogger who I follow and enjoy reading posted about a new app called wellcoin. You post healthy activities you partake in and receive points which you can later cash in for prizes. Seeing some of the ways to get points made me add in more healthy habits. You get points for parking far away so I started doing that everywhere I go. It also motivates me to eat a healthy snack rather than just grab something sitting out and easy because you get points for eating a healthy snack. I was gunning for a pair of shoes that were worth 20,000 wellcoins. I reached my goal in time to nab the last pair which just happened to be my size! Not a bad deal for just posting things I was doing throughout my day that were healthy. I'll post pictures of my shoes when they arrive.

As I started to feel better and less tired I was ready to be more active at naptime. I started using the first part of naptime to clean and then skipping a nap if I didn't have time. I've come up with a weekly schedule where I do one cleaning chore per day during naptime and it works out great. Monday I clean the bathrooms and do laundry. Tuesday I dust and finish laundry. Wednesday I scrub the kitchen counters (which I do every day with a sponge but Wednesdays I use cleaner) and sweep and mop the kitchen and playroom floors. Thursday I clean the windows and vacuum. Friday I clean the entryway and organize and catch up on any chores I was unable to get to earlier in the week. I usually have a couple days when Elise struggles to go down or wakes up right as Carter goes down which means I am not able to complete my chore for the day or I don't get to finish it.
The other day I pulled out a pair of capris to wear. They were previously the only pants with a button and zipper that had fit. I had other pants I could zip and button but the capris were the only ones I felt comfortable in and didn't leave me with a muffin top. I hadn't worn them in quite a while since it got so hot and was pleasantly surprised to find they were now loose and actually bagged off of me a little bit! It has been so nice to finally start seeing improvement with my midsection. I'm also feeling much stronger running and am enjoying my runs a lot more. There's something freeing about running fast and letting your legs fly, turning over at a rapid pace. I've missed it. There's also something about flying past someone out running by themselves when I'm pushing the double stroller that makes me feel pretty bad ass. I've been bad about comparing my running right now (August) to the August after Carter was born and I feel disappointed that I'm not there yet. I have to remind myself I was 3 months farther out from giving birth. At that point I was 8 months postpartum and that makes a big difference. I ran a 1:38 half marathon the October after Carter was born and I am working on being okay with not being anywhere near that this October. I'll only be 7 months postpartum compared to 10 months with Carter and those 3 months make a huge difference. My race pace for the 1:38 was sub-7:30 per mile. I'm barely holding onto that for a 5k right now. So I have to be realistic. Maybe 8:00 pace for the half is a realistic goal. I hit 8:52 pace for my 10 miler so I'm hopeful.
Finishing the Blue Moon, a 5k I ran this month. It was a blah race because the temps were out of hand and it was super humid.
1st overall in my age group and 2nd overall female at the Blue Moon in 23:14 despite extremely hot conditions.

It has been a huge month for me running wise, weight wise, and just feeling back to myself. It has also been a huge month for Elise as she's becoming less dependent on me. I can carry her on my hip, she can sit with support, she rides in the stroller without her car seat, she sleeps in her own room. And she smiles and laughs and generally just brightens the spirits of anyone she's around. I loved 5 months and I know it will only continue to get better!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

I was feeling brave and took Carter on a hike with Harper while I wore Elise. It was a lot of fun!
Pretending to be an elephant in her bath towel from Auntie Ang.
Elise playing at one of our playdates.
Carter had a blast during our playdate.
Elise trying out the rocking toy with Carter at the playground.
Carter loved the peaches Gma and Gpa brought for him.
This shows the size of the peach that he completely demolished.
Skippy was cracking me up. He loves Ty so much!
She is so proud that she can get her feet now.
Excited that we let him ride into the driveway in the car with Gma.
It's the Elise face!
Carter loves his circus bobble heads Gma and Gpa got him.
He said he had a beard like Uncie Taco (Uncie Taco is hairy but doesn't have a full beard)
From Gma's camera.
From Gma's camera.
Playing with pet surprises.
He has moved up to toothpaste he has to spit out and does a great job!
Dressing his cookie doll.
Oma and Opa bought him new shoes and he was desperate to try them out even though they were way too big. I let him wear them for one day before putting them up for later.
Doing exercises at the trails with daddy.
Comparison photo at 5 months, Carter on the left and Elise on the right.
I wanted to get a picture with her head turned for a better comparison.
She's just so sweet and social I couldn't for the life of me get her to look away from me.
Finally Carter stepped in and stood next to the chair so she'd look at him.
But she still wanted to look at me!
Carter was acting all crazy to get her attention and got this face, cracked me up!
Playing together at the Children's Museum while Carter played.
Picnic at the park outside the Children's Museum.
We had the exact same food but here's Carter trying to steal my sandwich, wild man!
I can't believe she wakes up this happy. I love my happy girl!
Sister loves to read and especially loves to turn the pages.
Elise's first time in a swing.
Carter wanted to take his bobble heads when we walked to Uncie J's house.