Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's not often that I think of a GENIUS idea.

So today's brilliance calls for a blog post. Sure I've been running here and there... and I've returned to work, and gone on vacation again but nothing may be as life-changing as what I decided to do tonight. 

I bought one of these nifty Munchkin brand feeders when Oliver was about 8 or 9 months old.  (Target sells them - see here). I used to put berries, bananas, grapes, or anything too big into the mesh. Oliver could gnaw at it until tiny pieces came through the mesh for him to eat. I put frozen mango into it when his molars were coming in and that worked wonders. 

Backtrack.... Miles had his 4.5 month check-up this morning. Weighing in at 17lbs (75%ile) and 26.5" (90%ile), the kid is growing steadily and as both grandmas predicted... not-so-little man is teething. 

We've been battling with tethers all day. The fridge ones 'wear out' pretty quickly, and the freezer ones are just too darn cold. SofieGiraffe works for a while - until the dog comes to steal her away. What else to do? Hmmm.

Two bottom teeth moving their way upwards combined with two upper thigh vaccinations led to a pretty cranky young man come 5pm. So, I thought about that mesh thing... and whether or not I could put anything cold in it for him. What's the only thing he can have these days? Yep. So, I hit up the freezer stash, and let a small (2.5oz) baggie thaw for a few minutes before cutting/chiseling off a small slush/ice cube. After slipping it into the mesh part and locking it up, Miles was able to tuck in and probably consumed an ounce or so. Plus he seemed REALLY comfortable!

It's cut-able!

Easy to hold and gnaw.


A look inside before snapping the top on!

What a nice treat, mom!

That feels so nice and refreshing on my teeth!

Daddy helping out.
 I suppose despite the hand-me-downs (yes, he's wearing a Thanksgiving shirt in March, so what?) this is one of those (AWESOME) times when it pays to be a second child. Because mom sometimes has her you know what together and figures out pretty cool things. WIN!


Monday, February 3, 2014

9!

Sunday was the Super Bowl, and although the Broncos got their rear ends handed to them (booooo!) my day wasn't too bad. Ben and two friends went to the game which meant I got to head out for a nice, long run and leave Oliver at home before they left for NJ. Miles came, and he slept. Boy did he sleep. For three hours. I'm thinking that's why he didn't sleep too well last night? Maybe that was just a fluke. 

I met up with three friends (two have already signed up for the half) and we headed out to do what was the longest run any of us had done in a while. Probably since our kids were born! The weather was surprisingly nice - about 40 degrees at the start, and not too windy - even down at the beach! 

It was a great route if I do say so! We ran through Old Greenwich which has a fairly wide bike/running path seeing as we aren't supposed to run with strollers on the sidewalk (bike etiquette with wheels I think?). There were so many people who had the same idea as us - out walking their dogs (love the dogs on the beach in winter!), running, biking, or even a few rollerbladers. A group of middle-aged men ran by us and yelled, "nice job! you all look like a biker gang!" Thanks! I think?  

Our route and elevation/pace maps:

Mile breakdown:

DISTANCEPACEELAPSED TIME
1 mi10:50 min/mi10:49
2 mi09:39 min/mi9:38
3 mi09:47 min/mi9:47
4 mi10:22 min/mi10:21
5 mi12:16 min/mi12:14
6 mi10:42 min/mi10:42
7 mi10:38 min/mi10:36
8 mi12:35 min/mi12:34
9 mi09:56 min/mi9:54
At mile 5 we stopped for some blocks as well as snacks/toys/socks that had dropped.  At 8 we paused to discuss the final leg of our route, so I think we would've averaged about 10:00/miles. Not bad for what I dub "stroller pace."  

I tried two Gu Chomps in watermelon - one around mile 5 and one at 7. Despite the green packaging, they're a pretty shade of pinkish red. They were really good and easy to keep down. I let Oliver try one when we got home (as if he needs the energy!) and he loved it! Greeeeeeat!
We all agreed when we got back to the car that it didn't seem like we ran close to nine miles. NINE. When I am lucky enough to head out for a run alone, I enjoy it. But I don't run as far, and I don't learn as much about newly made friends. When I run alone, I download some Pitbull, Shakira and David Guetta and tune out the rest of the world. When I run with friends, I listen to myself more. I find that runners high sooner and don't push myself so hard that I can't rock my baby to sleep every hour when/if he needs it. The "talk test" was key, and kept me focused on my breathing. My nine miles allowed me to relax, destress, and approach the rest of the day more positively. Which, yesterday, was completely necessary as a Broncos fan. 

Bottom line:



Scale back run Sunday - hooray!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Two more training runs...

Last week, we went on our FIRST family vacation since Oliver was born (2/2011!) that didn't involve visiting at least one set of grandparents. We booked our flight one day when we had ten inches of snow falling… and I almost convinced Ben to stay a few more days. 

 We were down in Singer Island, FL and it was wonderful. The boys were angels on the flight - Miles slept both ways and Oliver was hanging out watching tv and eating (thanks, JetBlue!). It was 5 hours door-to-door thanks to a flight out of our local airport and despite a snafu at the rental car place. (Not surprisingly, only one employee works the midnight shift.)

I managed to sneak away for a nice long run one day. I was planning on going around Lake Worth (see map below), but when I got going I mapped it and realized that it would be about 14 miles. Oops. I guess it didn't seem that long driving around it? So I did an out-and-back that ended up being a little over 9 1/2 miles. I definitely walked the last bit to cool down and it helped me not feel as stiff or sore the next morning. 

The weather was beautiful although local Floridians claimed it was downright arctic. I ran in shorts, tshirt, hat and sunglasses. It was a perfect 65 degrees. Having traveled over 1,000 miles since its last use, my Garmin decided not to kick in until about mile 5. Awesome. I also left my iPod at home. Thank you, Pitbull Pandora station for keeping me company!


A nice long run in the sun! 

Happy, chunky baby soaking up the sunshine!

Just a giant sandbox...

This past Sunday, I managed to sneak out for an afternoon run with two friends who have a 4 month old and a 5 month old, so they know how treasured "me" time is!
We did a few really cold, snowy miles but they went by really quickly between the conversation and watching our step on the not-so-shoveled sidewalks. 

Up next - a long run (probably single stroller in tow) on Super Bowl Sunday before Ben goes to the big game. 

Go Broncos!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Newbie essentials

As I set out onto week 2 of our half marathon training, I find myself back in the "newbie" saddle trying to remember all of the necessities I relied on during previous trainings. Obviously this time around with two boys there are some others - but those will be discussed in a future post. Here are my top four items to consider purchasing as you transition from a casual runner to training for 13.1! 

First, and most importantly: BODY GLIDE. 
This is vital, especially for those larger chested women or those of us who are nursing. I put it around where my sports bra rubs (front, center, bottom) as well as under my arm pits because that's where chaffing is most likely to happen. When it gets raw and red (then scabby) it's pretty painful. Rub it on just like deodorant. Super easy. I've heard of people using it on their feet but never needed to myself - or never found the desire/need to. Not yet at least. 

 Secondly: gu/blocks. 
I picked up a bunch of these today at Sports Authority (had an Xmas exchange). I remembered that buying these were slightly intimidating last time, so I'm planning on bringing these to a long run to let the mommas try 'em out. The Gu energy gel is like a thin, frosting consistency - and you really have to like the flavor. Lemon and vanilla were my favorite - not sure about the chocolate… some of these have caffeine (20 mg) but I'll be avoiding those. The Gu chomps (similar to Shot Blocks) are gummies and they're BIG. I used to cut them up into quarters before putting them into a small ziploc bag.  The energy gel says "15 before every 45" along with hydration, although I always had it 5-6 miles into a run over 10 miles. I've used Swedish fish, candy corn, pretzels, gummy bears - whatever is lying around the house that would give me an extra burst of energy an hour into a run!

Third: hydration/fuel belt. 
I have a pretty pink and grey one but can't find a picture of it online. I haven't needed to use this as I've had the stroller (with all of its compartments and pockets…) but this is great to hold water/Gatorade (obviously!), fuel (shot blocks/gu) and keys/phone. Many of them have a few smaller bottles around the belt, I happen to like the way one bottle at the back feels. For some reason, it keeps me focused on my posture as I run. 

Lastly (for now): sleeves. 
These are probably the most intense appearing items but one of the most practical. Think about starting off a run in a long-sleeved shirt and warming up as you run. What do you do with the shirt? Tie it around your waist? Talk about annoying as you run. Sleeves achieve the same thing as a ls shirt without the bulk. Just slip 'em into your shorts (one end) and you barely notice them as you run. I've been known to roll them down (or up!) half way in transition. 

Any other must-haves I'm forgetting? 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

7 (yes, SEVEN!) mile run

Somehow (!) we managed a seven mile run this morning, although we were only aiming for 5-6. 

I met up with five awesome mommas (three with strollers) at Greenwich Point and we rocked our first group run. It was a general consensus that we each ran way farther than we intended, or than we would have alone. This is an example of when the "mob mentality" can be beneficial. 

My GPS watch ran out of batteries about a half mile into the run… fantastic… so, without iPod or pace monitor - we ran. We chatted and we ran. A firm believer in a good song to ramp up the running, it's sometimes nice to take a break from tuning out. As moms, we share some common experiences and it was really refreshing to talk about things that other friends might consider TMI (hence why I will not reference them here).  I didn't take any pictures, although I should have snapped one of the group before we each headed our own ways… here are some photos of the same route two years ago (Christmas trees and all) - it's definitely an old faithful.


Here's the training plan I'll be using: 
 I've found it best to do a three up/one back plan for long runs so I build but have light weeks to recover. That's what worked last time (even though that was two (gasp!) years ago. 



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Am I crazy?

Needing motivation to run for distance (plus lose those last 5lbs!), I signed up for the Greenwich Half Marathon on April 6th. Yes, that's TWELVE weeks away and I am eleven weeks post baby. Nuts. (Interested? Click here!)

Why? you might ask… I did it because I've been feeling great. I did a 4 mile run with the boys a few weeks ago - a 6 miler on the treadmill and a few kick @$$ tempo treadmill runs. Not going for a PR (although it would be nice, Mere….), just trying to get back into it.

The BEST part about it is that I ::somehow:: roped no less than six other moms into doing it with me! Not only will group runs be more fun but we'll have each other to motivate, pose questions to, and support each other as we go through this. Many of the moms will be running with strollers, so it's really important that we find stroller-friendly routes that aren't too repetitive (loops - yuck!).  There are six or seven of us going tomorrow, and four will be with stroller - although I think I'm the only one stuck with a double. After week 3 or 4, I'll be leaving one (if not both!) boys at home.

Most of the moms have done some races in the past (5Ks, 10Ks, Turkey Trots even a few halves and full marathons!) so I have a feeling it'll be an awesome group to run with. Friends are inviting friends, it should be super fun.

We're doing our first run tomorrow at Greenwich Point tomorrow morning, and this is where the race is come April. It looks like a fantastic course - most importantly flat! I think we'll try to run the majority of it towards the end of our training to familiarize ourselves with the roads and turns.

We're going to use an adjusted version of Hal Higdon's Novice 2 Training Plan. Speaking only for myself, I can only commit to running 2x/week especially through March when I'm back at work. We're also doing long runs on Sundays, not Saturdays. I'll post the updated version of our plan once I finalize it.


Off to get a good night's sleep (hopefully, c'mon Miles!) and rock 5-6 miles in the a.m.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Another fun post.

(Dad, sorry, again. Maybe there will be one for you to read next week.)

We bought an extra fridge/freezer combo on Black Friday. It's the FIRST Black Friday purchase I've EVER made. Ever. And I'm glad we did it. Because THIS is what it looks like now:


Contents:
- Costco bag of chicken breasts
- Costco bag of sockeye salmon filets
- Costco bag of tilapia loins
- Breast milk galore 
- Tupperware of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins 
(for an easy on-the-go breakfast)

When Oliver was an infant, I pumped 3-4x a day on the opposite side from feeding him. It got complicated to maneuver all of the parts while feeding him... I didn't yield a whole lot... and I think the noise put him to sleep most days.

I had to pump in the hospital this go 'round. After dealing with ice packs, it was the only way - much to the chagrin of the lactation consultants. She said NEEEEVER pump within the first three or four weeks let alone give the baby a bottle! Lady, I needed to relieve the pain. I was drowning the poor kid.


Here's an average day for us:
(much improved from infant #1)

7:00 both boys wake up. (Usually O is up first, comes into our room, and M is up shortly thereafter.)
7-7:30 make breakfast and lunch for O.  Bubble guppies or PAW Patrol on the tv or iPad.
7:30-7:45ish nurse Miles while Oliver is eating breakfast. (Usually just one side.)
8:00-8:10 pump (both), label and freeze.
8:10-8:30 get boys and self dressed and packed for the day.
8:30 leave the house, drop O off at daycare and head to Stroller Strides.
(M usually falls asleep on one of these two rides and stays asleep for his first nap).
9:00-10:00 (on good days, 9:45 on others) work out - yay!
10:00-10:20 nurse both sides briefly (I call this his mid-morning snack)
10:20-10:30 get coffee (decaf) and head home
11:00 shower, do laundry, straighten up (mostly putting away Oliver's cars), take out dishes, etc.
11:45/12 nurse (both) and pump
12:30-2 nap #2

The afternoons are a bit up in the air, depending on how the other naps go. Then 4-8pm is a shot in the dark. Miles is not a huge napper when Oliver is at home. Geeeeee.... I wonder why. Poor baby.

But I usually "bank" about 7oz per day between the two. I try to keep them in separate freezer bags, and occasionally leave one in the fridge if I know I'll need it. Example, Sundays I go to the gym during Oliver's nap and leave Ben a bottle to give to Miles so on Sundays, the first pump gets refrigerated for the afternoon.

Here's how it's all organized:

This is so when I go back to work, it will be easier to either 'top up' the bottles I pump at work or to take out a bigger bag to make a bottle in and of itself.

Here are the generally accepted guidelines for storing and using breastmilk in case anyone is curious! 


My suggestions would be to stay consistent. Initially, you might not pump a whole lot. Your body will adjust. The first few weeks I only yielded 2 or 3 oz (combined on both sides), but now I'm used to it and have upped the amount considerably. I don't give myself a day "off", not even on weekends. I will skip a pump if I think Miles is going through a growth spurt and needs the additional calories.

I've experimented with pumping before feeding and it seems to help sometimes, assuming I get the timing right and he's not ready immediately. Not only am I more comfortable, but the kid doesn't drown or gag and it seems to result in less gas. This has been especially helpful this week when his nose has been blocked. Darn boogers.

Am I forgetting any other suggestions?