Tuesday, 31 December 2013

In 2014 I...

happy new year 2014 fireworkslight-f22456

In 2014 I ...

Learn baby massage in January so that we can make it part of Weston's bedtime routine.

Implement a no swearing policy in the house (swear jar anyone??) to protect little ears from harsh words.

Run a 10k in May with Weston, J and the running stroller.

Run a 1/2 marathon with my sister in June in Winnipeg.

Run a PB 1/2 (1:45) by September.

Complete a duathlon by October.

Spend time meditating once a week.

I take the sewing machine out of the box and complete 1 sewing project.

Take a trip with Weston and J so we can all feel the sand between our toes.

Learn Spanish (Duolingo is my new down time activity)

Learn to cook 1 new recipe/week and write about it here.

What are your goals in 2014?

Where do you see yourself 12 months from now?


Monday, 30 December 2013

If you do just one thing



If you do just one thing in 2014, resolve to set goals. Why goals? Because unlike some lofty promise made at the stroke of midnight, goals are thought through. They are measurable. They have a path to achievement and a tangible result.

For example: in 2014 I am going to read more vs. In 2014 I am going to read 25 books and 5 have to be from a genre I don't usually read (biographies anyone?).

Another important question to ask yourself is why? Why read more? To relax and do something other than watch TV at night (also checking off 'watch less tv' at the same time).

I can give you a great example of a resolution I have had for the past two years that needs some work:

"I want to run faster in 2014".

Ok... why? How will I do that? Is there a metre stick to measure this by.

What I really want is a 1/2 marathon PR - 1:45 to be precise.

So for 2014 my goal becomes "I will run a 1:45 half marathon by September 2014".

Why? Because I am tired of pulling the same times and know I have more to give.

How? By building my run base then adding in speed and tempo work which I tend to drop off my training schedule first.

Time frame: 9 months (if you can make a baby in that time you can run 5 minutes faster right??

As you look forward to next year do you have any big goals in mind? Sharing them makes them real : )


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Making Progress

You know how people say you should sleep when the baby sleeps? That may be true for some people but when Westie sleeps I ride or run. These are the things that energize and centre me more than a 45 minute cat nap ever could.

This week with J home on holidays I have enjoyed a 45 minute spin on Christmas morning and a 5k run today in uncharacteristically warm temps for this time of year. The run was hard. I ran the first half down into the ravine and had to face a gradual climb on the way out. I took walk breaks when I needed them but was pretty proud to knock out 5k in 27 minutes the first time out post baby.

I am starting to piece together a fitness routine and it feels amazing. I also got some great gifts that motivated me to get out there!

I have been in desperate need of new earphones so I was pretty excited to get some blue yurbuds as one of my gifts! I don't know how anyone can wear the standard ipod earphones. My review from my first run is that the yurbuds are pretty fantastic. Great sound and they didn't budge. I usually fiddle with ear buds my entire run, especially when your ears get sweaty and they slip out.

I also got some new Lululemon socks in my stocking. Of all the Lulu items I own, I can't believe I have never tried their socks. They felt like silk on my feet and check out how cute they are!



Most importantly, I bought a new sports bra at MEC today. This may be TMI but breastfeeding has been causing some lopsidedness due to oversupply on one side. So, not only do my old bras not fit but the new one I bought doesn't fit in the morning (before I have nursed on that side a few times). I didn't want to size up too much because then the other side wouldn't fit. Oh the trials of breastfeeding. The solution, a moving comfort rebound bra that is adjustable. I can secure the velcro tabs a bit different on each side to tailor the fit.  I also nabbed one on sale!



I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season and are spending it doing things you love with your family and friends. Today we were talking about how amazing it will be to run with Weston in the stroller next year. For now I just run home to him ; )






 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Holiday wishes



There are some days that Westie is so peaceful and quiet I wonder whose baby he is. I call them his "growing days".  On these days he wakes to eat and during diaper changes but that is about it. He is so serene that I will often tip toe over and put my ear as close as I can to his chest without startling him, just to hear and see the little breath sounds.

Right now he is in dreamland sleeping in his bouncy the chair. It has become his napping chair because the vibrations and music never really did much for him. I am looking at him thinking about how he has no idea who this Santa fellow is. This is probably the last holiday season that we will be able to say that.  In fact, all he knows for sure right now is there are these two people who are always around him, and this mommy who will feed and change him whenever he needs. I hope he can feel the love that I feel for him. A love I never knew I could feel until the moment  I first felt him lay on my chest.

During the next few days I hope you all take a moment to feel the love around you.  Let your hearts be light.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Back in the saddle!

Weston will be 7 weeks old on Monday. We marked his 6 week milestone with a major event: mommy riding her bike on the trainer.

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I think I mentioned in a previous post (like MONTHS ago) that I use trainer road for my at home cycling workouts.  Last year before we found out the amazing news that we were expecting, I had been training for my first triathlon. I started to do trainer road workouts mostly for the motivation and the virtual power feature. If you have a road bike and a trainer and some sort of Garmin ant+ product you have to try this!

I road a total of 75 minutes but that was broken up into two block (23 minutes until Westie woke up, and the remainder later when J got home).  My tush is a bit sore despite the padded shorts, my lower back is fatigued and my neck is a bit sore but other than that it felt wonderful!

I am working on a training schedule for 2014. I know I will be leading a run group on Sunday morning and I also will be taking part in a one month challenge of 4 hours a week of HIIT classes (more on that later).  We also bought a used BOB stroller that I can't wait to take the little man out in once he has the head control needed.

What are your 2014 fitness goals?
Do you use any at home training tools to help motivate you or keep you on track?


 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Precious Moments

The other day after a harried day of trying to run errands with baby in tow I found myself getting more and more frustrated at how difficult things were now that I can't just pop out of the house in 30 minutes. Every trip takes careful planning around the sleep schedule, feeding times and ensuring the diaper bag is continuously stocked up.

Just as I was feeling especially down my mom called. As I vented to her she listened for a while and then said "don't wish these times away because they will be gone sooner than you know it".  Powerful words that I later reflected on with tears welling up. She is right.  We will never get these moments of infancy back.

I thought I would take a moment today to capture all the magical times shared with baby so that I can look back in the months to come and say remember when.


  • Weston is almost too big to lie on my tummy now. He squirms a lot to find the perfect position and I know that these tummy time moments are becoming fewer and fewer. 

  • When he nurses he makes the cutest little sounds almost like little moans of contentment. I have also noticed if I pat his back I will feel his tiny hand patting my back at the same time.

  • He smiles at me now. Not gassy smiles but smiles that are brought on by tickles or looking at him with wide eyes saying Hiya over and over.

  • The other day I had to pack up his newborn sleepers that no longer fit his little chubby legs. I cried a little bit as we passed this milestone.

  • He loves the sound of running water. When all else fails we can run the tap and it calms him down in seconds. We just need a way to recycle the water. 

  • I think his eyes will be blue. I know we can't know for sure at this point but somehow I see them becoming bluer and bluer every day. 

  • Last week when we were home to visit my four-year old niece followed my every move to be close to him. She would come over and pat him saying "Hey" and tucking the blanket around him. I showed her how to burp him by patting his back and she assisted with every diaper change. I am so happy we were able to travel home to see them together even though it gets harder and harder to say goodbye.


Those are just a few of the special little memories I can think of. There will never be enough pictures or videos to capture these times. Today Christmas can wait. Me and Weston are going to enjoy a day of cuddles and snuggles.

 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Getting Back to Exercise Post Baby

This is week 5 postpartum and I am so very happy to see exercise on the horizon! Normally, exercise is just a normal part of me and J's everyday lives but the arrival of our little fellow has forever changed that. Exercise will still be a family priority but we are negotiating new ways of fitting it in and compromising some goals in favour of others.

We also need to reach agreements on who does what when and how we can make sure that happen for one another. For example, we are thinking that it would make sense for Jay to run from home from work because a) it saves some change on transit b) it is probably faster than the bus and c) he can de-stress on the way home so he is ready to help out after our long day at home.

Here are some tips on what I think you need to make exercise happen postpartum:

A support system - can your partner watch the baby while you get out of the house for an hour? Can your parents babysit while you go for a run? These people will be vital in ensuring you get back to activity and have some moments just for you.

At home options - a treadmill would be really awesome right now but there are a number of other things I can do at home when leaving the house isn't possible.


  • Online yoga (yogadownload.com is a fave of mine)

  • Barre 3 (I purchased a $15/month online subscription)

  • Easy exercises like squats, lunges and push ups

  • DVDs (Jillian's 30 day shred comes to mind)

  • My bike trainer (once things feel 100% down there).


An Accountability Network - having a friend to make sure you get your butt to yoga once a week is a great gift! I also am part of a running community that I can't wait to rejoin. I may not make it out as often, but knowing we can set goals together is a great motivator.

A goal! - Whether it is gaining back the flexibility in your hips, running 5k or something more lofty, we all need a goal to strive for.  You may also choose to aim for a number of workouts/week (i.e. 3 days for 30 minutes). Checking off achievements is also a great motivator and feel good trick.

That said, here are my fitness goals for 2014:

  • 5/10 k race in March.

  • Yoga or x-training once a week.

  • Run 3x a week.


Do you have tips to share?

What are your 2014 fitness goals??

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Postpartum weeks 4 & 5

It is a strange feeling to realize you have no idea what day of the week it is let alone day of the month.  How did Christmas sneak up so quickly this year. I guess we have been busy. Busy in a cycle of diapers, eating, sleeping, playing and the occasional outing to the drugstore to buy more diapers, nursing pads and clif bars for those days when there is no free time to eat. Ahh the life of a new mommy!

Here are some updates on things:


Breastfeeding

After about 4 really tough days I finally cracked and sought help from the La Leche League help line. Based on my/our symptoms here is what we think is happening:

  • I have overactive let down and perhaps and oversupply. What clued me in was the spraying of milk when baby unlatched. I thought this was normal until I mentioned it to my sister. Another clue was the constantly soaked overnight breast pads. Doesn't lots of milk = a great thing?  Not if it causes choking, coughing, gas and a foremilk/hindmilk balance.

  • For now we are trying a couple of things: as soon as the milk lets down I let it spray into a towel or small cup. I am not yet coordinated enough to catch enough to save lol. I block feed on one side (in particular the left because it is always much more engorged) for 4-6 hours or 2-4 feed depending on the day.

  • I am still nursing on demand but have stopped pumping to build up a frozen supply.


Baby

He has been fussy. We have a good day and then a BAD day. Bad as in cries constantly between feeds and won't sleep for 8 hour chunks of the day. It's been a rough week around here but I think the feeding changes are helping and I have started massaging him 3 times a day to get the gas out. No weight check this week but I will take him in next week to the health centre.

Body

Since Sunday I have done one workout DVD, 2 10 minute barre3 classes and shovelled the walks twice. Things are looking up! I don't know if I have mentioned that I don't own a scale. I know I gained about 28 pounds during pregnancy from my admission forms but beyond that I go purely by how I feel, how my clothes fit and more by measurements.

Diet

I need to start paying some serious attention to my nutrition. The consumption of fast and easy foods is getting out of hand and even I tire of breakfast for dinner options. I am planning on adding smoothies back into my day as a way to get in greens, fruits and proteins. I have also made a conscious effort to drink warm glasses of almond milk for the added calcium. I also will be trying to add more healthy fats in (avocados, chia and hemp seeds and coconut oil) as I read that this helps the fat content of your breastmilk. The one positive thing is I am still on one cup of coffee a day despite the tiredness. I used to be a Starbucks regular!

That is a quick recap of how things are going. My December goals include putting together a running schedule and picking some races for the 2014 calendar year. Next week I am going home so my sister and her family can meet Weston. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Holiday Baby

It's that time of year when you receive invitations galore to holiday parties, lunch and brunch with friends and outings to tree lightings, choirs singing and more. How exciting to have anew baby for the world to meet!

Unfortunately it is also cold and flu season, and for me the though of all the airborne germs makes me want to keep Weston safe and snug in our little home. So what's a new momma to do?


  • Be selective - you don't need to attend anything and everything. Bring baby out to things that will be memorable and to meet people who are important to all of you.

  • Ask friends and family to wash their hands before holding baby - in a pinch offer them some hand sanitizer and model the behaviour first so they know you mean business when it comes to germs and your baby.

  • Limit exposure to big crowds - We have gone to the mall twice at 8am to pick up necessities and avoid the larger crowds at the same time. Avoiding peak times will also make for a more enjoyable experience (i.e. shorter lines and bathrooms are cleaner in the mornings).

  • Cover up baby - Our winter car seat cover comes into the mall for two reasons. It muffles the noise and bright lights and it protects baby from well-meaning strangers that want to coo in his cute little face. Yes this happens. Some people (strangers) may even touch your baby before your mommy reflexes can react.


Below are a few baby bag necessities for your outings:



  1. JJ cole car seat cover (similar here)

  2. Wipe clean changing mat (similar here)

  3. Avent Soother - these are Weston's favourite and trust me you do not want to forget this and resort to a finger in the mouth!

  4. Infinity Scarf - the stylish breastfeeding cover (just make sure it has plenty of fabric and a bit of stretch)

  5. L'occitane hand cream

  6. Water bottle - because you are constantly thirsty!

  7. Hand sanitizer - LOVE this one from Honest co.


What are your strategies for navigating the holiday season with baby?

Oh and p.s. breastfeeding mommies out there might find this article interesting! I stumbled upon it while researching how to get Weston to take at least ONE bottle : )

 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Fussy Mornings Bring Sleepy Nights

Yesterday was a rough day. Weston was fussy from about 10 to 2, slept for an hour and then fussed from 3 until 7 pm. It was hard on all of us. J was upset because he wouldn't take a bottle from him, which led to three hours of cluster feeding and comfort nursing. after 7 me and Weston both fell asleep exhausted and he didn't wake again until midnight. longest sleep stretch yet!

I will admit I was at my wits end, which leads me to my first aha moment of many: just because you baby doesn't fall into the perfect baby description you read about in all those prenatal books doesn't mean there is something wrong with him/her.

don't get me wrong. if your angel baby has text-book three-hour feedings day and night that is wonderful! if your baby has a cluster feeding block every day and you nurse on demand that is also wondeful. You are teaching him security and trust and that he can be comforted by you.

I think that over the past 4 weeks our biggest challenge has been letting go of how we thought our baby should be and embracing who he is. here are some ways I would describe our little man:


  • He gets overstimulated. too much talking, movement lights and sounds makes him on edge. I think he gets this from me. quiet yoga rooms and solitary running paths are my bliss.

  • He cluster feeds. I wanted him to eat on a schedule I really did. within three days I realized I needed to listen to and learn his rhythm.

  • He will have one good stretch of sleep at night (3-4 hours) followed by a few one or two-hour blocks. It helps to see the longer stretch as a gift.

  • He will take a 5-10 minute break during feedings. I have assumed he was finished feeding a few times and couldn't understand why he was hungry again. I now think this is more a continued feeding than feeling frustrated about why he is "eating again!!".


Did you feel frustrated by all the baby myths when you first brought your little one home?