Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Health v. Body Image

I have been struggling lately in a way that I didn't expect to return after Addie was born. It seems as though I have thoughts in my head that have resurfaced. I mean, I suppose it is something that is everywhere, it truly is all over the news right now, at least the kinds of news that I enjoy reading about...

We have all seen the No Make Up on the TODAY show, Lauren Fleshman's Keeping It Real blog post and the flood of posts that followed, my own post from September shows up on a google search for body image, and this article showed up just last week regarding a mom's changing body image after her own baby was born. So obviously, as a woman who has given birth in the last year, whose body has changed, I would take notice of all of these articles that are so prevalent in the media.

There is a lot of focus on being positive about the body you have, how strong you are to give birth to a healthy baby, etc. And I know that is the truth. However, it is also making me hyper critical of myself. It is not yet impacting me in a way that is causing me to adjust my food or exercise habits more, however, I am well aware of my intake and output.

I am back to my "normal" pre-baby self, and I was able to finally completely reach that following my finishing nursing. I think that it took that in order to get to the place where I actually was comfortably back in my pre-baby jeans.

With all of this focus on body image, and having a positive one, you would think it would be rubbing off on me. But in reality, can't we just take that focus away? Can't we just focus on being healthy?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Running Errands + House Update

Welcome back to the work week! I am actually a little bit relieved to be back at work. The weekend honestly took a lot out of me. J, Addie and I ran a lot of errands and tried to get a lot done, all crammed into one lovely weekend.

On Saturday, I slept in, planning to run on Sunday, and then got up with my dogs and Addie, taking care of all of them and getting everybody ready for the day. Just before 9 am, J and I loaded Miss A up into the car and headed out for what we anticipated to be a long day of errands. First on the agenda, IKEA. Now, J and I do not have a very good track record with IKEA, having a huge fight the only other time we have gone there together. In fact, that day was the first time our moms had met each other, so obviously we did well at making a good impression on everyone.

We spent a long time talking about what we were going for prior to this trip, in order to mitigate any trouble that we might have since our trouble was about the fact that we did not necessarily plan for the last trip, we just went and then I enjoyed looking around, and J was on a mission.

This trip, we knew we wanted to get a storage piece for Addie's toys, a desk for J's office, and potentially some decor type items, but we knew what we wanted for any large pieces, so that was good.

Addie's piece was figured out in my head. I knew based on the previous trip that I took there with my dad that I was going to get her one of those cube units. I had previously bought the cubes in the colors that I liked, and I just needed to shell out the money for the unit itself. We just had to decide how many cubes we wanted in the unit. We settled ourselves with 8 and picked this particular fixture.
But we actually have it set up horizontally rather than the vertically shown in the picture. I put the fabric cubes in there and filled it up with lots of toys. It is in the loft of the new house, which is likely going to be a playroom kind of place.

J found a desk that he liked as well.
He purchased a few accessory pieces that matched this desk as well, including a filing cabinet and another little cupboard. That all will be used for file storage, etc, that should help to keep us organized. We also got a few smaller items, and are feeling pretty good about the purchases that we made.

After this trip, we went and had lunch all together, we went out for wings and Addie took a nap for the majority of our lunch, which was good because by the end of the IKEA trip, she was definitely feeling tired and fussy. After lunch, we went home and got to work putting our new items together. The office is pretty much done, finally, which is very exciting. We are nearly there with the house!

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Day in the Life

Somehow it is already Friday. Admittedly, I am thrilled that it is here already, because I am looking forward to a few days away from the office (and a few days with J, Addie and the pups!), but at the same time it was one of those weeks at work when I feel like I accomplished nothing. I am sure that is not the case, however, it was one of those weeks where things were flying around in 1 million directions which left me feeling a little bit lost. I just did a whole lot of things, and none of them have very visible results.

This week was a difficult one. Since I have kind of turned this space into a place where I am trying to focus on balance as a working mom (so many of the healthy living blogs I ready are about SAHMs - or work-at-home moms who have their own businesses, not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just a very different reality from mine!) I want to talk about that a little bit more. Let's look at a day in my life, especially this week, since J was out of town and I tried to make life happen on my own.

At 5:45 am my alarm goes off. I check Addie's monitor to ensure that she is still asleep, and head downstairs with the dogs (they know that mom's alarm means "time to get up"). I let them out and get to work making bottles for Addie to take to school with her and her breakfast bottle. I usually get them filled with water (no formula yet) before Teek is standing at the back door getting antsy for her breakfast. That little dog is a piggie. I let them in, get their food, and finish getting the bottles ready - 2 for school, one for the morning.

I head upstairs while they eat and get dressed. I have been making a consistent effort to dress business casual Monday-Thursday, so I pull a pair of Ann Taylor pants off their hanger, and then try and look for a top that doesn't have black in it. Since having all of my clothes in this closet, which they never were at our old house, I have seen the shortfalls in my wardrobe and hope to work on remedying them. My next Stitch Fix (<--- referral link) is scheduled to arrive in less than 2 weeks! After getting dressed, washing my face, brushing my teeth and braiding my hair, I head into Addie's room. It is about 10 after 6.

It was very warm this week, so I have been trying to dress Addie for that. She has kind of a 9 month clothes hole in her wardrobe, so we are mixing 6 month and 12 month pieces, and in general that seems to work out just fine. I just have been keeping her in short sleeves and no socks usually with leggings, because I am not into shorts. After getting her into a clean diaper and clothes, we went downstairs and I got Addie settled in with a bottle. The doctor told us at her 9 month appointment that we can and should start using her sippy cup for formula so she gets used to it. But honestly, we give it to her at least once a day with water, and her bottle is still easier for her. So... we aren't doing that all that frequently.

But seriously, how adorable is this little peanut?
(Our friend at Green Faerie needed some updated baby pics for her walls)

We loaded into the car and headed out to get our long commute underway. I listen to Bob & Tom in the car, and Addie takes a nap. I drop her at school and arrive at work by 7:30, pour my first cup of coffee (of two) and get down to work. In general, work this week has been hectic and I have been in and out of projects, feeling like nothing is getting done, as mentioned above. Around 11:30 am, I have been leaving my desk to get out and get my run done (or on Wednesday, have lunch with the boss!) so I changed by clothes and headed to the gym for a run. The afternoon was simply more work, more projects, and more feeling like I got nothing done.

I have been getting out of work at 4:30 pretty much every afternoon, which I am pleased with. That allows me to pick up Addie and hit the highway around 5 pm, which although it takes me a half hour to get that far, makes a big difference in how long it takes to get to my house, that is now 30 miles away. Addie usually stays awake for the drive home and she likes to play with my keys. I have taken my house keys and removed the car key so I can drive and she can have something to play with. I can hear them jingling in the backseat, which makes me smile. Sometimes dancing keys are also funny, so you can hear her laugh at them.

We get home, let the dogs out and get them dinner and get started on dinner for us. By that time, it is already usually close to 6. I tend to cook with Addie playing nearby, or sometimes I put her in her highchair and give her a cheerios appetizer. I like to have her playing more, so I usually bring a pile of toys into the kitchen. I try and make us something easy and try and include fruits and veggies, because I obviously want her to be eating those regularly, so that forces me to have some too. We ate a cantaloupe in 2 days between the two of us. This week consisted of a lot of simple meals. Leftover pancakes from Mother's Day breakfast, leftover mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and fruits and veggies.

Around 7, after dinner, I took Addie up to start working on bedtime. She had her bath (in the big girl tub! No more infant tub for my little miss!), got a clean diaper and onesie (too hot for pajamas), and I brushed her teeth (a wet washcloth with a teeny bit of toothpaste on it). Then we settled into the loft (which is turning into a sort of playroom space for Addie) and read a few books before bed. We have been reading "What Makes a Rainbow?" pretty often recently. Addie likes to grab (and often shove in her mouth) the ribbons on each page. After a few books, we move into her room, and she gets a bottle and we snuggle for a few minutes before I put her into bed.

Addie going down without me rocking her all the way to sleep is a new thing, but we are getting there. Usually I put her in her bed when she is still awake, but then sit in the glider so she can see me for a little bit. At least, that is where we are in the process currently. So after a few minutes of cuddles, I set her down, make sure she has her bink and her blankie, and then set myself down to play candy crush or read blogs on my phone while she gets settled. It is quite the process some nights. I no longer pick her up at all, even if she starts to fuss, but she REALLY starts screaming if I leave the room. So we are working on it. We will get there. This week there was more than one night that took more than an hour. Ugh.

Typically, I had the best of intentions at getting something else done after Addie was done, but with as long as it was taking I was definitely struggling to find the motivation. So usually it was back downstairs to wash bottles so they were ready for the morning, put all toys back in their baskets, and clean up the kitchen from dinner, at least most of the way. However, if you looked into my house you would definitely think I had more work to do (I do.) But I have just been feeling ROUGH, so getting anything accomplished was a pretty big deal, I think.

Then I would take a shower and hit the hay for the night. I have been beat!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Race Recap: The Flying Pig 10K

Ok, it is finally time for the second race recap of Flying Pig weekend! I didn't want to do them all at once, because I felt like three race recaps in a row might be a little bit uninteresting.

Saturday morning, May 3, I ran the Flying Pig 10K. As I previously stated, I signed up for this race simply so I can now state that I ran with Ryan Hall. (albeit, a good bit slower, but we ran the same race, crossed the same start and finish lines on the same day)
In my haste to get to the expo with my team for the relay the previous day, I completely forgot to pick up my packet for the 10K, which meant I had to get downtown a little bit earlier to take care of that in the morning. Luckily, since we had been downtown just the night before, J had given me some insight on the best way to get downtown from our new house, since it was not quite as straightforward as our old house. Let's just say J's new commute is definitely better than mine. It is shorter and way less traffic!

I parked in J's garage (perks to a husband that works downtown? parking pass that works on weekends/race days) and walked down to the river/ballpark area where the starting line and packet pick up were all set up. As I got closer to the ballpark, you could see them getting ready to raise the start line.
Now this is amazing to me. Because as soon as all of us 10K participants are through the start, they take this down and put up the 5K start. So that is a completely different starting line as there is a different sponsor and everything. You can see that start line in my Pig weekend recaps entry from last Spring. (Also, you get to see me in my last preggo race, definitely feeling worse for wear at that point.)

I had set myself a goal to PR in the 10K. I have only run 6 10K ever, and most of them were before I was really experienced running, pregnant, or just coming off of injury. My 10K PR actually came from a race that I ran when 22 weeks pregnant, and starting to slow down, so I knew that a PR was doable. I was not sure what kind of shape my legs would be in, in all honesty because I had just run my goal race the previous weekend, but I knew a PR was there.

This was a course I had not officially run before, but I knew it was similar to the Thanksgiving Day Race going into NKY with the bridges, etc. The course immediately heads over the Taylor Southgate bridge into Newport, running past the aquarium, through Newport, over a bridge into Covington, and then through the main bar section of Covington. There is ALWAYS a crowd outside of Molly Malone's, no matter what day, no matter what time, and that morning was no exception.

We then headed back to Ohio via the Clyde Wade Bailey Bridge, which is my least favorite bridge to run. It just feels REALLY LONG and the climb seems to last forever. Once back in Ohio, were ran through downtown and back by the casino to add the other 3-ish miles to the race. A lot of downtown Cincinnati races follow similar paths, so honestly, I enjoy running these familiar streets. I was still feeling pretty good, running without a watch or app, and knowing as I passed each mile marker that the PR was going to happen. As I cruised down Pete Rose Way toward the Finish Swine, I was smiling and kicking it into high gear.
(Marathon Foto)

I was clearly pretty pleased with myself (and showing off Oiselle's spring race kit!) finishing with a PR, and feeling pretty happy. I finished in 52:05 for a more than 3 minute PR.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My First Mother's Day

So this past weekend included my first official mother's day. J got me a card last year, but obviously, little Addie was not here yet, so we did not actually celebrate the day. But now that the little peanut is 9 months old, and so I had my very first Mother's Day.

Unfortunately for both Addie and I, J is travelling this week, so that involved him leaving very early on Sunday morning to get to his destination, so we actually spent Mother's Day solo. But they did not forget about me.

Moving into the new house, I told J that I didn't actually want anything for Mother's Day, or the bookshelves that we bought for the office would be my gift, as we really just need to focus on getting our new house in good order. That really is what I have wanted for this Mother's Day.

And J made good on that, yes, we did buy the bookshelves (I got two of them assembled on Sunday during Addie's naptime!) but that was not my present.

So, there is an extra bedroom, a fifth bedroom, in our basement. We obviously have no need (or furniture!) for a 5th bedroom, so it was determined early on that we were going to use that as a room for the treadmill. We had tentatively talked about what, if anything, we were going to do to that room other than add the treadmill. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about because that was my Mother's Day gift.

My Flying Pig posters, medals, other running posters, including this one from Oiselle which is new and was a gift, all of the weights and foam roller type stuff, there is a shelf to put DVDs on (from the old house, but relocated) and a TV and DVD player (for netflix when on treadmill, or workout DVDs other times). There is also a large, unpictured whiteboard, because apparently J was sick of me leaving post-its with workouts written on them on the treadmill.

I am THRILLED with this new room, and although yes, J will use the space as well, this is kind of going to be my home in our new home. :)

And Addie and I had pancakes for a Mother's Day breakfast.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Addison Rose: 9 Months

Sorry for the complete lack of posting last week. I have high hopes that now that I feel like the new accountant here at work has gone through his first close, we will have a little bit smoother sailing. There will be more time for me to get my projects that I have done, and I will also have more time to get some stuff done that I want to do personally.

I am always saying that, aren't I?

Anyway. Friday was kind of a big day in my house. A little peanut turned 9 months old! I have no idea how on earth we are already to that point. Nine months seems like a really long time, but at the same time, I am struggling to remember what life was like before 9 months ago.
Eating a blueberry muffin with me for Mother's Day at school.
Selfie at the doctor for 9 month checkup
Examining the daffy duck bandaid on her toe after getting a toe prick.
Getting dressed for a vintage-y photo shoot with Green Faerie Photography.

The little lady is getting to be so big, I can hardly stand it. I don't know how I managed to get so lucky to have such a pretty little lady in my life.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Race Recap: The Little Kings Mile

Ahh, Little Kings. A terrible beer that was Cincinnati's PBR in it's time. But it is a Cincinnati classic, and I think it is fun that they are part of the Beer Series.
J and I also ran this race last year. You can see a bit about that here. (That also includes my Flying Pig 5K recap.)

This year, I had gone to the expo during the day with my relay team, so I didn't have that evening stop. J and I met at home and handed Addie off to her Grandma, she was spending the night. We drove downtown and walked over to the Lagerhouse to pick up our bibs, shirts, and whatever else we needed before walking the mile up Main Street to the start. There were shuttles, but let's be real, it was a mile away, and that extra bit of exercise was not going to hurt us at all.

The race is a point-to-point course starting at Main and Liberty in OTR, downtown Cincinnati. It takes you right through the newly renovated bar district of OTR, down the hill, over Fort Washington Way (highway) and ends right next to Great American Ballpark (where the Reds play).

A couple followed us as we walked up to the starting line, letting us know that they were following us, so they hoped we knew where we were going! J and I were assigned to different waves, because you are assigned based on predicted finish time. Each wave was a 1 minute interval.
Wave A: 9+ minutes
Wave B: 8-9 minutes
Wave C: 7-8 minutes
Wave D: 6-7 minutes
Wave E: 5-6 minutes
I was in wave C, and J in wave A. I ran this race in 8 minutes flat last year, and was 24 weeks pregnant, so I knew I could fit into wave C. Jason's goal was to get to the finish line, mine was to run faster than last year, but save my legs for the 13+ miles I had on tap for the rest of the weekend.
(Sorry, I know that is tiny - screen shot from my phone!)
Look! We both accomplished our goals! Also - age group top 5 out of more than 100? Awesome.

More recaps to come!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Weekend: an Overview

Sorry for the lack of weekend posting. With all of the racing that I had planned for the weekend, there was not much time for updates!

I have a lot to post recaps about, but for now, I will just stick with generalities.

I ran a one mile race on Friday night. It was the second race of the beer series. Jason ran this one as well.
I ran the Flying Pig 10K on Saturday morning. I wanted to run this because I have a very outdated 10K PR, and I knew I was well capable of updating this. I also wanted to say that I ran with Ryan Hall. He won the 10 K by the way.
(source: Cincinnati.com)
Yesterday was the Flying Pig Marathon. I had several friends who were running and my coworkers and I had big plans for the relay. It was the first race for several of them, but I think it is safe to say that they have the running bug.

Recaps on all of these to come!

But I have had a long 8 days of racing.
And those are the fruits of my labor. 4 races in 8 days. 3 PRs and one relay.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April (and March) Look Bank

Wow, May. How did it get to be May already? I guess that means we should do a recap of the month (and also March, because I think I skipped a goal recap then.) So let's take a look at what I wanted to accomplish this year, shall we?
Since I get to report on 2 months, I can say that I made SOME progress.

I cooked one new recipe.
I ran a few miles.
I PR'd the half.
Addie is weaned.
I read one more book.
Jason and I had 3 (!!!) date nights. Well, one was a date day (I ran a race and he worked in the morning, then we went to lunch and a brewery for a few hours. We went and had dinner alone at our favorite restaurant the day before we moved. The weekend we moved we went and had dinner alone.
I finished off my ambassadorship for the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon, and that was a lot of blogging.

So, annual progress?
Recipes: 2/12
Annual Mileage: 307.28/1200
Half Marathon PR!
Blog Campaigns: 3/4
Baby is Weaned!
Books: 2/15 (third in progress)
Date nights: 4/12

Overall, I would say things are looking up!