Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanks and Gratitude

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is all about warm kitchens, delicious food and most importantly time with those we love. Today we will go to my sister-in-laws house and celebrate with my husband's family. Tomorrow my parents will come to visit for the weekend.

Throughout November people have been posting the things they are thankful for on various social media platforms. While I was invited and tempted to join in on the posts, I can't commit to doing anything every day right now, but it did make me reflect on everything in my life I am thankful for. There are too many things to list, but here are just a few.

I am thankful for:
  • An amazing husband who is a wonderful father
  • A beautiful baby girl with a smile that can melt my heart
  • A wonderful family that is filled with love
  • My health
  • Those who I love being healthy
  • Being able to run
  • A job that I truly love and a group of amazing coworkers
  • The ability to purchase a house in the neighborhood I have loved for years
  • Being able to nurse my daughter
  • A daycare with a loving staff that take good care of my daughter
  • Coffee
  • Christmas lights
  • Living close to family
  • Adorable baby clothes
  • The sunshine and warm weather of Florida
It is amazing how much can change in a year. Last year at Thanksgiving I had just found out I was pregnant and I was scared that things would go wrong again. My Dad was also battling some health issues that had me really worried. This year I have a healthy baby girl and my Dad's prognosis is good.

Words cannot really express how grateful I am to have my life. I am very blessed and I thank God for the gifts he has given me. 

What are you thankful for this year?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Running After Baby

Now that Baby Marron is here, I have to say it was a good thing I didn't actually register for the races I had planned. To say that I was overambitious in my post baby running goals would be an understatement. It is funny to think about where I am compared to where I thought I would be. Both recovery from childbirth and the transition to being a mother were harder than I anticipated.

I was cleared for exercise the middle of September and was super excited to get out running agin. In fact I came home from the doctors office, fed Baby E and headed out the door for my first run. It was about 2 in the afternoon, in September, in Florida. Not really ideal running time, but I was so excited. It was hard, but felt so good to run again.

After that first day, I got a few runs in here and there, but didn't really get into a groove until after we moved at the end of September. Since then I have been getting about 3 runs in each week. Some weeks are better than others and my strength training is not where I want it to be, but all in due time.

I feel guilty leaving Baby E so I get get a run or other workout in, but I feel much more sane and less anxious on the days I do. Running helps me feel a little more like myself again. I am often up well before the sun, but I am trying to set a healthy example for my daughter without taking too much time away from her.

As far as races go, I am still deciding exactly what I want to do. We did the Run Nona 5k a couple of weeks ago and it felt good to race again. I am also doing the Best Dam Race Orlando half marathon in the spring. It is about the same time and far less expensive than the Princess Half Marathon I had originally had my eye on.

There are several other races tentatively on the calendar. Life with baby E changes so quickly that it is hard to commit to much. That said, 2014 will be about running and racing. There are several shorter local races I am planning for the first part of the year (Lady Track Shack 5k, the Winter Park Road Race, the Watermelon 5k). Breastfeeding and baby care make it hard to do anything real long or travel for races, but she is so worth it.

After that I am still up in the air between running another marathon (I have my eye on Marine Corps) or getting back into triathlons. If I am going to do another triathlon, I should really look at getting a new bike, which may be a little too spendy for this year.

What do you think...a tri or a marathon for the fall? Any good Orlando races I should add to my calendar?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

3 Months with Baby E

This post is only about a week late, but Baby E is now 3 months old. In some ways the time has flown and in others it seems like it has taken forever. It has definitely been memorable and we managed to survive the third trimester.

Baby E is doing great and growing a ton. She now smiles a lot and will giggle at you. I think my heart melts every time she giggles because it is so cute! 

Smiling and Laughing
She has also found her thumb and has started sucking it. I am glad she has figured out some self soothing, but I wish she would take one of the 7 different pacifiers we have given her. She likes to hug her wubanub while sucking her thumb...sigh.

Sucking her thumb is more and more common.

When I weighed her about 2 weeks ago she was at 13 lbs 1 oz. I don't know how long she is, but she is starting to grow out her 3 month clothes. A couple of days ago I dug out and washed some bigger clothes, but I am not quite ready for her to start wearing them yet.

She is rolling onto her side more and more and I think she is going to go all the way over one of these days. Baby E also has really good head control and likes sitting in her Bumbo seat and looking around. Thankfully she also still enjoys being in the Ergo carrier because that is my favorite way to carry her when we are out.

Loving the Bumbo

In the Ergo at the Halloween Party
Baby E's first Halloween was a lot of fun. We went to her youngest cousin's preschool Halloween party and then trick or treating with all her cousins. She didn't actually trick or treat, but we walked around and showed her off. Her Eeyore costume was ridiculously cute.

Costumes with ears are so cute.
Sleep at night is still going well and naps are still hit or miss. She has been doing better with naps since going to daycare. I know we need to transition her from being swaddled in the rock and play to sleeping without a swaddle in her crib, but I am not ready for that yet. The nursery is still a work in progress and her crib is still in a box. The goal is to have it together by Thanksgiving and then start the transition her to the room and eventually the crib.

There have been a couple of big milestones the past few weeks. I started back to work and Baby E started in daycare. Those first few days were rough....on me. Baby E has done really well. Daycare is close to work, so I go at lunch to visit and nurse her. I have also figured out my groove for pumping at work. 

Baby E also had her first cold last week week. The funny thing is that I can't even blame it on daycare. My husband brought it home from work, then passed it to me and we passed it to the baby. She has been a trouper through the whole thing. (The Nose Frida is also the best thing ever invented).

As for me, I am doing alright. Some days I feel like I have it together and others I feel like I am not doing anything very well. My brain is still a little foggy at work, but the fog seems to be clearing a little more each day. The transition back to work has been hard. I enjoy what I am doing, but I don't feel like I have enough time for anything. I think that is the fun of being a mom.

I am back running pretty consistently with 3 runs a week. My husband and I take turns in the morning with one of us running and the other staying home with the baby. I even did my first postpartum race. I have dreams of other work outs, but those have yet to happen. I am down to my pre-baby weight, but nothing seems to fit quite right and overall I feel pretty frumpy. I have managed to dry my hair a couple of times this week and that helps me feel a little more put together.

I am also still dealing with some pain in my wrists that is left over from pregnancy. Later today I go to an orthopedic doctor for further evaluation. Hopefully he will have some answers, because this really is not fun.

Any tips for transitioning a little one to sleeping in a crib? Any advice for postpartum wrist pain?

Run Nona 5K Race Recap

Yesterday was a big first race since Baby E joined our family and Baby E's first race.  My husband, Baby E and I all did the Run Nona 5k. We ran this race last year and had a good time, so figured we would do it again. This year's race was that it started at night which was a fun change.

I wan't sure what running with a baby would be like, but we didn't really have a babysitter, so figured we would give it a try. The night race time also helped with this because we didn't have to get Baby E up early to go. We headed down early and got to Lake Nona about an hour before the race. This was a good thing, because parking was a little difficult. Once we found a parking spot we unloaded the car, set up the stroller and grabbed a crash kit diaper bag. (It turns out the diaper bag was critically important.)

The race started and ended at Laureate Park. Once we got there, we took a look at some of the sponsor booths and then found a place to feed the baby. This served two purposes. First, I wanted to make sure that she was fed and content and second, I knew it would make the race a whole lot more comfortable for me. Whenever possible I prefer the baby to the pump.

Pre-race family photo.

About 15 minutes before the start, we headed over to the start line and lined up with the rest of the strollers. We joked that Baby E would poop on the course, and we were close in our prediction. About 3 minutes before the race start, something smelled funny and Baby E started squirming. We pulled over to the side and tag teamed the diaper change. This was probably the quickest diaper change we ever pulled off. Just as we were wrapping up we heard the horn that started the race. She had perfect timing and I was happy it happened before we started running.

Just before the pre-race diaper incident.

This is a pretty fun 5k course. It takes you past cow pastures, Nemours Children's Hospital and through the UCF Med School Campus. We also enjoyed a beautiful sunset. Between the course and the company, the miles really flew by. Baby E fell asleep about three quarters of a mile in and took a nice nap until we were back and the finish line party. We were lucky that the rain held of through most of the race.

I should have stopped to take this photo.
The sunset was pretty amazing.

I think the best part of this race was the finish line party that was catered by 4 Rivers. They have some of the best barbecue I have ever had. We grabbed our pulled chicken sandwiches and beers and found a place to eat. The lines for food were long, but they moved fast. As we were finishing up eating the rain picked up and we headed to the car to go home.

My official time was 39:59. Super slow, but only 50 seconds slower than last year's time. Since this year I am 3 months postpartum, I have only been back running for about 4 weeks and I was pushing a stroller, I am happy with that time. This also gives me a good starting place for my future race plans. I will have more on that soon. Given my time constraints and the challenge of traveling with a little one I think I may be doing more shorter local races than I have in the past. Running is good for me both mentally and physically and a race on the calendar helps keep me motivated.

What are some of your favorite Orlando area races?