Sunday, June 29, 2014

I'm not inspired

There's been a story in the news recently that we're all supposed to be ZOMG SO INSPIRED by. A woman ran the 800m dash in the US track and field championship in 2 and a half minutes (aka fast) at 34 weeks pregnant. I'm supposed to be particularly inspired by this, because I'm pregnant and have been known to enjoy running, although personally I'd take an ultra marathon over a 800m dash any day.

I'm not inspired.

I'm not going to link to the story or anything, because I'm not trying to specifically bash this woman (she's an Olympic athlete and this was actually slow for her). It's more this whole movement. As I've mentioned, I've been following a lot more pregnancy related social media accounts, and it's all over the place. @ionlyeatkale ran a marathon with her unborn baby! @sopregnantandsomuchfitterthanyou just ran her second pregnant half marathon at 36 weeks! Here's an Instagram of my baby bump and running shoes and double digit run that was almost my normal pace, yay! #fitfetus

I'm not trying to say any of these women are being neglectful or putting their babies in danger. I'm not a doctor, I don't know them, and I'm sure they're being safe and putting their unborn child's best interests first. My question is: what's the point?

I guess the answer is obvious - to brag on the internet and have strangers and friends alike compliment you and give you accolades. I'm obviously not above all that - I have a blog after all. I've taken post race medal pictures and proudly displayed PRs. But the #motherrunner attitude is just so foreign to me: in my mind, pregnancy and competitive running are like chocolate and blue cheese - both wonderful things, that should never ever be enjoyed togeher. For me, running races is about training hard and pushing yourself to your limit. Pregnancy is about taking it easy, and getting light exercise if possible to stay healthy. So not compatible. I had my first "running for two" experience within an hour of seeing that beautiful second line, and it already felt like a whole different ballgame.

Anyone can run a half marathon. I don't mean that in a condescending way, I mean that truly, anybody reading this without medical issues and with time on their hands to train, could build up the endurance and run a half marathon. Probably a lot of pregnant women could do it too, provided they are sadists and love pain and misery. I just don't get what's inspiring - yay, you are so addicted to exercise and defining yourself as a "runner" that you can't just give yourself 9 months to take it easy and create a person? Sure, I get that the 9 months can feel much, MUCH longer, and it's really closer to a year off exercise, but in the end, it's a limited and relatively short portion of your life. From what I can tell, races and running shoes aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

I ran a 10k race at 16 weeks because I'd signed up for it pre-pregnancy. It really wasn't that much fun. Seeing my running friends is always great, and I was lucky enough to have one friend kindly run my turtle prego pace with me. But I'm already running much slower, and taking walk breaks, which means running takes a lot longer now. Add in the time to park, get my bib, get back to the car after, etc, etc, and the race ate up my whole morning. And for what? A time that was 25 minutes slower than my 10k PR at the same race the year before?

I've gladly spent plenty of Friday nights going to bed early to race or train, and plenty of Saturday mornings (and afternoons) devoted to running. I knew getting pregnant would change all that, and it has, and I love it. I'm not going to grieve temporarily missing out on something that I gave up voluntarily in order carry a child that we desperately want, unless it's good parmesan cheese, which I just found out is made with raw milk, dammit.

I'll never get to enjoy relaxing during pregnancy like this again - next time around, I'll have this kid to play with! Now I'm spending Friday nights eating ice cream and binge watching TV shows with my husband's hand on my belly waiting for the baby to kick (although still going to bed early). Saturday mornings I relax in bed and read until I feel like getting up. If I decide to run that day, I'll do a run/walk combination on the treadmill for a 43 minute Buffy episode, when I get around to it. Sometimes I'll just take a walk with my husband instead of running, so we can discuss profound ideas like "holy crap, one day we'll have a teenager". Sometimes I'll take a nap instead, because I can.  Aren't you ZOMG inspired? I think I'll look back and cherish these times more than paying $95 to hate life while running a 3 hour half marathon.

Personally, I don't get why first time pregnant moms exercising is impressive at all. People say that to me, and I feel like such a fraud. I've been insanely fortunate to have had an easy pregnancy so far (in fact, I'm getting really concerned that it's been too easy and the universe is planning to make it up to me in labor and delivery). I have time on my hands. It doesn't seem that hard to get some low key exercise most days. What does seem pretty hard to me is exercising after the baby arrives. I seriously have no clue how that's going to happen. I gave it a little thought, and after getting him (and me) up and ready and fed in the morning, daycare drop off, working 9-10 hours, picking him up, dinner/feeding/household stuff/preparing for tomorrow, bath, and bedtime.... when does that even leave time for like.... just playing with him and hanging out, much less a workout?

Other random pregnancy thoughts/confessions:
  • Today is the last day of my second trimester. How did that happen so fast?
  • I cooked dinner last night then left the burner on the entire time I was eating. Genius.
  • I bought a $6 wedge of Brie on Saturday and it was gone on Sunday. I suspect that the real reason pregnant women aren't supposed to eat soft cheese is because it's too addicting and easy to waste all the diaper money on.
  • My glucose test is tomorrow. I've been prepping with random spoonfuls of Nutella throughout the day, in addition to the Brie - any other advice?
Thoughts on competitive running/exercising while pregnant?

Children of the 90s

Friday night, Eric and I enjoyed a classy date night out. We dined at Moes.

It's just like Chipotle, except way better and I had a free birthday entrĂ©e coupon. The only and only time I ate at  Moes was after my first 50k, so it's possible that I've been building it up in my mind for 3 years. But they give you free chips with your meal AND they have a salsa bar.

Eric and I returned to the establishment where we met 8 years ago. He worked there as a bouncer when I sucked him in with my good looks, wit, and charm. One of his fellow bouncers was in town for the weekend, so we had happy hour with him and his wife.


Funny how my face looks so much fatter in the old picture, but a first year teacher survival diet of cheap vodka, M&Ms, and tears will do that to you.
If you are a fellow child of the 90s (born in the 80s, obviously, but enjoyed most of my memorable childhood in the 90s), like me, and grew up in the heyday of TGIF, you might be shocked that I agreed to go out this past Friday, during such a momentous TV occasion.

But obviously I'd taken that into consideration and my friends and I had made viewing arrangements months ago. It aired at 9pm, clearly too late, so we DVD'd it and watched Saturday afternoon, because that's what you do in your 30s, at least if you have/are creating children.

Let's return to the children of the 90s thing, because I have a little "kids today" rant I'd like to discuss.

Friday night at the bar, there were two beautiful young women, probably in their early 20s sitting at the next table. They spent pretty much the entire "night" (we left at 9, so I can't comment on their activities after that) taking selfies, beautifying their selfies, posting selfies, and just generally on their phones. At one point, one girl went to the bathroom and the other girl started browsing Tinder.

Eric and most of my friends didn't know what Tinder was, as they shouldn't at our age, so I'll explain. You put in your distance radius, it shows you pictures of single people of the gender of your choice in that radius, and you swipe the people either right or left to show if you think they are attractive or not (modern day If you've both swiped each other the same way, you message each other and go hook up, at least that's how I understand it.

Ok, so this girl is in a bar, and on an online dating site. Do you see the problem here? JUST GO TALK TO A REAL LIVE MAN IN THE SAME ROOM AS YOU.

Back in 2006, when I was in my early 20s, my friends and I rolled into bars with just our flip phones and maybe a digital camera if it was a special occasion. We had to make our own fun by actually interacting with people. The word "selfie" didn't even exist. I don't have any pictures from the night I met Eric, so nowadays people probably wouldn't even believe it happened. The picture I posted is from about 2 months later, and it's one of the few pictures I have of our early dating years. We had to just use our memories to remember stuff. Except that wasn't a problem, because we were actually doing fun stuff and not just taking selfies and finding the perfect filter to post them to Instagram all night. /endrant

The next morning I woke up early to meet my BFF Casi for Waterfront bootcamp. Seriously, move here, this city is amazing. Free exercise classes outside with a gorgeous view every weekend all summer long. This one was led by a very easy on the eyes young man.

We started out with jump roping for 2 minutes. Except not really, because that's actually impossible. Try jump roping for 15 seconds as an adult, and I guarantee you'll be exhausted in about 8 seconds unless you're training for an ironman or something. Then we did all sorts of crazy exercises with bands and ladders and kickboxing and pushups and other hard stuff on the ground. I think my hands and forearms are the most sore.

Then we went to the Fell's Point farmers market.

I got these teeny tiny little baby mini strawberries, called Alpine strawberries. They taste nothing like strawberries but they are so good. Find a farmers market and try them asap.

Also, bacon chocolate corn bread. I haven't tried it yet because I'm waiting to surprise Eric with it. But obviously that can't be bad.

Everything should be made with bacon and chocolate
Then we went back to Casi's house to meet up with our third half and watch Girl Meets World. Casi brought back giant bagels from her recent trip to NYC, so life was pretty much perfect. Except that GMW was highly disappointing, not funny, and contained minimal amounts of Cory and Topanga.
I took a sexy picture for my Tinder profile. One on the outside, one on the inside. Should attract all the buff young men.

The one I'm holding isn't mine, but look how sweet and precious!

What's your "kids these days" rant? (Side note -  I know it's not all people in their early 20s, I know plenty of exceptions to the rule.) Is anyone else as OVER the selfies as I am?
Anyone else watch Girl Meets World and want to weigh in?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Let's talk exercise - pregnancy edition

Mondays can be really rough, generally people agree that it's the worst day of the week. You know what perks them up? Not going to work. Mondays are basically just as good as weekend days now! This is the first summer I've actually taken off work, so it's really exciting to me. Just so you don't hate me too much, I am going to work Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week.

I just got that Timehop app (it shows you all your social media posts on that date from years past) and started reminiscing about the olden days when I could run distances over 3 miles. I even used this blog to mainly discuss running and training for races. Insert photo montage of me happy and smiling at races past.

Mile 38 of the JFK 50 miler. Today I couldn't even run 4 miles.

It almost seems made up now. In fact, a year ago today I ran EIGHT MILES. I barely ran 8 miles all last week (actually, I think my total was ten). That's not a complaint though, in fact, it's quite the opposite, the fact that I could run at all after thinking it was all over at 23 weeks was the best birthday present I could get, other than Peeps.

I find it's pretty hard to stay motivated to exercise and eat healthy during pregnancy. The only real reason for it is be healthy. Theoretically this should be the most motivating thing there is, but we all know if that were true, drive through fast food options wouldn't exist. I prefer the external motivation like training for a race and not being a fatty. When those are both off the table, it's kind of hard to get to the gym, especially when you have a built in excuse to lay on the couch and no one will really question it.

In keeping with the pretense of the blog purpose, let's talk a little about some pregnancy exercise options and the pros and cons of each. I swear I didn't make graphics to be pinterest-y, I hate Pinterest, I just couldn't figure out how to do charts in blogger and have some extra time on my hands anyway.

That didn't work out exactly the way I thought because I also really like spinning and kickboxing and the elliptical but they didn't really have enough pros and cons to make a graphic. I've also only gone swimming twice. I keep telling myself to do it more so I have some sort of exercise I can cling to when I'm gigantic but it's just boring as hell.

I ran 3.3 miles on the treadmill today. I foresee the majority of whatever runs I have left in me being on the treadmill. It's hot and sticky and disgusting outside, and when running is this difficult, I really need Buffy the Vampire Slayer to distract me. It also means I'm never more than four seconds from a bathroom, which is of the utmost importance. In the interest of full disclosure, I consider any distance covered by more running than walking to be a "run", regardless of how slow the running and how small the difference in time between the two is. I've read a lot of blogs of runners while they are pregnant, and I definitely did not appreciate just how difficult it is. It's not just the extra weight making running tougher, that's for sure.

I mentioned returning to "race shape" postpartum - whatever that means, right now probably just to be able to run a few miles without walk breaks. I still have no race plans for the future. My goal continues to be to figure out life with an infant, and then figure out life with a full time job and an infant, and if I can fit some runs in there, great. I mean, ideally I'll be working out once I'm cleared, because, you know, health and all, plus I'm sure I'll be sick of being fat. I'll admit I'm lusting after the ultimate in running strollers, the B.O.B., after trying my friend's last week. But the idea of following a training plan....that might have to wait.

What's your main motivation for exercise?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Out of season candy and hormonal rage meltdowns

I really want to be in my bed right now, but I have to stay up until my Pioneer Woman iced coffee is done "brewing". First world pain, life is so hard. Especially since I have to be out of the house by like 11:30am tomorrow for a bridesmaid dress alteration appointment. It's tough being me.

This weekend I had big birthday plans. A girls night with my two BFFs, although technically one guy was invited.

Of the three of us, we had one breastfeeding a four week old, and one prego, so it was certainly a wild night. #birthdaysinyour30s We even went on a walk!

I had been fooling myself that my strength training workouts were preparing me for baby holding. So wrong.

I really don't think my hormones have been THAT out of control so far, but I suffered a serious rage stroke before our birthday celebration Saturday night. First of all, I was making my friend dairy free cookies, because apparently everyone who nurses now has to give up dairy, which is traumatic for me to think about. Eric forgot to take them out of the oven when I asked him to. My level of anger was more at the level of finding out he was cheating on me with my sister than finding out he made a simple mistake completely by accident.

Somewhere deep inside, I knew that I was being irrational, so I tried just quarantining myself in another room to calm down while I prepared for the evening. Our major wild plans were to get takeout from this place with amazing burgers and out of this world duck fat fries. I called the restaurant to place the order, and was informed that they didn't do phone orders, because they "didn't have the software".

This was where I nearly had a complete meltdown. I was somehow able to take phone orders at a restaurant at age 16, using the sophisticated software system of "paper and pen". It was actually pretty similar to taking order in person, except for that tricky part of holding the phone AND writing the order down. I'd also like to point out that it was 3pm, so it wasn't like I was bothering them with trying to give them our business in the middle of dinner hour.

I managed to calm myself down enough to keep my marriage intact and not get banned from any establishments. (So appropriate - the episode of Full House where Becky is pregnant and gets so mad that Jesse doesn't get her chips with ridges is on RIGHT NOW.)We reinvested our duck fat fry money toward falafel and all was well.

I got some awesome birthday gifts this year, but most notable was the fact that Carolyn is not only caring for an infant, but also found one of my favorite candies, Peeps, in JUNE. Unheard of.

Try not to be too jealous, but my exciting weekend didn't end there. I went through the many baby clothes we've generously received as gifts and hand-me-downs, and organized them by size. We also made an important purchase.

The car seat

We now, technically, are able to bring a baby home. At least in terms of possessing the equipment to legally transport one. Actually caring for him.... that's another story.

I also continued to read my breastfeeding book this weekend. It seems to have pretty solid advice (not like I would know, but seems scientific), or at least it did, until the chapter on what to do if the baby doesn't latch in the hospital. In addition to the normal suggestions, it said to lick the baby. LICK THE BABY. Like mammals in the wild do to their young. It didn't specify where to lick him.

What was the last incident that filled you with uncalled for rage?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Birthday cake porn

Remember back in the olden days when you had to actually call someone or go through the effort of mailing a card to wish them a happy birthday? Times sure have changed. Now, on my birthday, I got to enjoy all sorts of hilarious Facebook memes and birthday wishes before I even got out of bed. 

Since my birthday was on a Thursday, I wanted to post a #tbt picture from my 21st birthday - a DECADE ago. God, how depressing. I was living in the exciting city of Syracuse, NY that summer, getting ready for my senior year of college.

I had a lot of trouble finding an acceptable picture to post, but not for the reason you might think. It was because back in the olden days of 2004, digital cameras didn't exist. I'm sure they did, but not for college students supporting themselves with a full time Starbucks barista job. We had to take pictures with a regular old camera and then get them developed at Wegmans. The majority of the pictures taken that night were taken in front of a huge window with the sun pouring in, so all you can see is shadows. And now all we have are memories. 

The only ones where you can see anything are either me with a friend I lost touch with years ago, or my ex-boyfriend, so it's awkward to post, but I posted the friend one anyway. I found one taken the next day with my sister, where I look about as expected.

My birthday was all I hoped for and more. I slept, started a new book, and ate delicious food. I'm obsessed with the Thursday afternoon farmer's market (I swear I'm not a hipster), so I got to try it out for the first time this summer. I even played the birthday card and got some company (shockingly, he doesn't love the farmer's market like I do).

We tried homemade ginger lemonade. Best birthday drink I could ask for.
Then I came home and started baking. People have asked why I have to bake my own birthday cake. I don't have to, I just love baking.

Hopefully I don't get sued for copyright for posting this.
Eric helped peel caramels.
It starts with a homemade shortbread crust (in my world, because homemade shortbread smells and tastes incredible), then a layer of Nutella, then melted caramel

After that is a layer of chocolate mouse and then it's topped with shaved chocolate and (real, obviously) whipped cream. 

Nothing makes me happier than dealing with chocolate.

Amazing. I want it for breakfast now.

Then I went for a treadmill run. It was incredibly hard. My goal was to run include 31 minutes of running in my "run", which is really more like a jog/walk. First of all, the internet was being terrible and Buffy stopped streaming halfway through the episode. Second, I thought I was going to die more than the usual amount the entire time. A minute before I was done, I realized the incline was at 2.5. I don't know if that's high, but it's a lot higher than my usual zero.

I vainly took a picture to compare it to my running picture on my 30th birthday. Probably should have thought of it before the run so I wouldn't have horrible hair horns. 

Crazy that for my 32nd birthday I'll be holding a 9 month old.
Then we cleaned up and went to the most amazing Mexican restaurant to stuff ourselves with chips, cheese, and beef. It's conveniently located across the street. 

Don't mind the exercise bike behind us, we live with limited space.
Generally the food is so good that you stuff yourself beyond belief, so a walk was required before we could eat any cake.

This is what happens when Eric gets my phone. I find a million pictures of me just doing random stuff around the house.

Also sometimes I use the floor as a desk

Once we could finally handle it, we ate cake and finally restarted season one of Orange is the New Black. I'd say that constituted pretty much the perfect day - until next year when I get to celebrate with my baby! Still seems unreal!

What's your best birthday memory? My memory is terrible so I'll have to choose one from the past few years. Maybe my 26th when Eric surprised me with a weekend trip. But my 30th was pretty awesome too.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Things I've learned in my 30s

4th blog post this week. Isn't summer fun? You readers are all so lucky you get to enjoy so much of my wisdom.

I really appreciate all the great suggestions for how to spend my birthday! Unfortunately, they all seemed to require work and energy. It was also pointed out to me that my original plan of sleeping, reading, baking, and a quiet dinner with my husband are, in fact, things you can't do with a baby, so I'm sticking with that glorious plan. I'm one of those annoying people that asks for advice then ignores it and just does whatever she wants.

My infamous 27th birthday. Probably the last crazy one I'll have.

Today is my last day of being 30 years old, tomorrow I'll officially be "in my 30s".  I'll celebrate an entire year in this golden decade. Or, if you choose to look at it in the much more disturbing way, and entire decade into legal drinking territory. Since I'll ironically be celebrating sober, I plan to double down on cake (which really means quadruple down for me), and I would really appreciate as many people as possible having some delicious wine on June 19th for me.

Being a year in, I'm basically an expert, so here's some realizations I've come to in this golden decade, since I know many people, myself included, tend to fear it.

1. Decorating is overrated

At least for me. Some people truly enjoy it, and more power to them. I used to really wish I was one of them. But now, as I look around my home with builder grade white paint walls, adorned with a few framed pictures from 2009 and nothing else, I don't anymore. I just don't naturally have an "eye" for making things look good, or whatever. We have comfortable furniture and it's just more enjoyable to me to spend my free time reading books, or writing blog posts about how I don't care that I can't make rooms look pretty. So now I'm over it, and anyone who judges me probably wouldn't be invited over anyway.

2. Sometimes people don't like you

For some reason this year I found myself in situations where I had to spend a significant amount of time with a few people people who really couldn't stand me, and didn't try to make a secret of it either. Aside from the fact that it's clearly shocking, it can be a serious blow to the self esteem. I've never been terribly thick skinned. In my 20s, I probably would have cried every night and desperately tried to befriend everyone. But now that I'm a little older and wiser, I found it a lot easier to just stop giving a crap. In some cases we made nice and actually became friends, and in others, they still hate my guts and I still don't care. Although I do think it would be kind of funny if they read here.

3. Life is too short to spend with dumb people

I really like me, and I really don't like everybody. As I got a little older, I started only accepting social invitations if they are going to be more fun than staying home and reading or watching TV. That's a high bar, because I really enjoy that activity. I used to feel guilty about that, but now I'm over it. We have to waste enough time working, cleaning, paying bills, and doing other activities that suck, so in my down time, I want to enjoy it.

4. Don't ignore tooth pain

Seriously. It leads to more pain, and then way more pain when you finally treat it and get the bill, the worst part of all. I'll never make this mistake again.

5. Don't ever attempt to run a 50k in the snow, especially if you are unprepared, and really especially if you are pregnant and don't know it yet

Also, you truly never know who might be reading your blog, apparently even medics have down time to waste on Chocolate is my Life.

6. It is possible to have fun without alcohol

I never would have predicted this, and don't intend for it to be a continued lifestyle change, but it is actually true.

7. Stop comparing yourself to others

We have nothing but smart, successful friends, and sometimes it gets annoying, and we get tempted to cut all ties and start over with only people who live in their parents' basements. But as I've already explained, I'm pretty picky with who I spend my time with, so I doubt it would be easy to replace the people I've already found, and the basement dwellers probably wouldn't make the cut, so I've had to just get over it. From what I've heard, this will also serve me well as I enter the frightening mom world.

What important lesson would you add to this list? Being over 30 is not a requirement.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Perks to being pregnant

I actually began this post with the intention of complaining about pregnant running. However, as of yesterday I can officially say I have completed nine years of teaching, which also means I started teaching the year my students were born. I didn't learn much in all my higher education that has actually helped me in the classroom, but one thing I have used is always start with the positive. Also, we watched the Game of Thrones season finale last night, so now there's NOTHING to look forward to until April 2015, except I guess bringing life into this world and embarking on our journey as parents. But seriously even the baby was upset, he barely moved at all last night.

The main pregnancy perks I've discovered are that you suddenly have an excuse for some common life ailments, and everyone immediately forgives you for them.

Forgetfulness: Pregnancy brain is a real thing, and it makes life really hard. But I've learned that at least half the population (women) are very understanding. Last week I went to talk to my coworker about something that (I forgot) we had already sorted out through email earlier. She started to remind me of the email exchange, then just kindly said "oh, that's right, you're pregnant" and gave me some chocolate.

And, by the way, thanks to everyone for not pointing out that I had a stupid typo in my pregnancy rant post title. I know I never would have gotten away with that normally.

Tiredness: I've made it pretty clear on this blog that I had doing things and seeing people, and I finally have the perfect excuse not to. I mean, sure, growing a human can be pretty tiring, but I feel like I clearly remember a lot of times in my life where I felt tired before. Now though, there's no need to stay late, go at all, socialize, etc., and nobody bats and eye. Plus, after this, I'll have a baby, so I'm pretty sure I'm good in this area for years to come.

Saving money: Unlike the previous one, obviously this benefit is about to come to a screeching halt when the baby arrives, but we're focusing on the positive for now. It turns out that drinking is kind of expensive, and while I was no lush, I certainly handed my card to a bartender or two in my time. I haven't had a pricey Starbucks drink since January. I haven't been to for a race registration since 2013, and I don't need to replace my running shoes every other month. Yesterday, we went out for our end of the school year celebration. My five waters and meal came to a grand total of SIX DOLLARS. Plus, since I'm experiencing what I can only imagine lap band surgery feels like, I couldn't finish my half salad/sandwich combo (I know, who am I?) so the six dollars got me lunch AND dinner.

So the one downside to pregnancy - it's not conducive to running for me. I sort of got used to the fact that I was just constantly going to feel like I was about to pee my pants the entire time, but I didn't love it (who would?). I had other options for exercise, and another pregnancy perk is that you can keep doing the same exercise DVDs over and over, and they keep getting harder instead of easier, because you keep weighing more. Then I joined the YMCA, and discovered there was a whole bunch of fun group fitness classes that I could do and feel relatively normal. I could run, but it was just so uncomfortable compared to everything else, so it got relegated to 1-2 days per week.

Then it got really hot. I've found it's nearly impossible to stay hydrated. I've been known at work for years for my intense water consumption, I fill up my water cup 3-4 times per night, I drink nothing but my one coffee and water all day long, and I'm still constantly thirsty and dehydrated (runners know how we tell). Fine, hydrating for two, but I still don't get why I need like 9 times more water than my husband who's got nearly a foot and 100 pounds on me.

I was having to stop every run I attempted after a few minutes because of uncomfortable Braxton Hicks, which my doctor said was most likely caused by dehydration. Even though I never planned on running throughout the whole pregnancy, the idea of giving it up from Memorial Day to at least Thanksgiving made me want to cry (which is ok, another pregnancy perk, but still).

I "ran" 3.25 miles yesterday though (in quotes because I covered 3.25 miles and ran more of it than I walked), so maybe all is not lost! I doubled down on the hydration, even busted out the coconut water. Also, my BFF Carolyn was kind enough to loan me her running belt, which helped immensely with the overall uncomfortableness.

My $6 Ross Dress for Less XL not "running for two" shirt

It felt really, really hard, even at my shockingly slow pace. I don't know if that's the Relaxin or the three weeks with no running, but it made me really not want to be trying to pick it back up after a six month break. I'm hoping I can return to running once or twice a week at least for a bit longer.

Would you rather have a get-out-of-jail free pass for being dumb, or being lazy? I think I prefer the being dumb one, since I never really felt bad about being lazy socially.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Non milestone birthdays

This Saturday was my BFF Casi's birthday.

There are dinosaur candles on that cake.

Since our third musketeer just had a baby, we celebrated at her house with some delicious food and lawn games.

Her birthday falls on Flag Day. 'Murica
Has anyone out there played ladder ball? I tried it for the first time, and I'm a fan.

The  Oreo cake I baked her last year was such a hit that she requested it again. I think it tasted even better while sober and able to fully appreciate it.

My own birthday is on Thursday. 2013 was the exciting year of 30th birthdays in for my friends and me. After all that excitement, it's hard to muster up much for my 31st birthday, which just seems anticlimatic.

Last year, I ran 30 miles and then enjoyed much wine with friends. This year, I don't really have any celebration plans, other than Eric and I going to our favorite Mexican restaurant, and baking a delicious cake. I feel that we should obviously go somewhere that you couldn't possibly bring a child to, and take advantage of this adults only summer. But I don't have any other ideas and all I really want to do is sleep and bake and go to the Farmer's Market (it's the first Thursday of summer so I can go) and eat Mexican food.

The rest of the weekend was mainly spent with my favorite hobbies - reading and sleeping. In addition, I worked on my new favorite hobby, trying to get video of this kid contorting my stomach. It looks so weird but he stops every time I try to tape it. According to What to Expect, these next four weeks will be the most active. I love it, especially when I wake up in the morning and he's pushing on the side like he's trying to escape. That sounds sarcastic but it's not, I mean it.

I've been getting increasingly concerned because pregnancy is making me so incredibly clumsy. Apparently the Relaxin, which is the hormone responsible for loosening all the ligaments so the baby can come out, flows through your entire body, even your hands. I don't really understand why they need to be looser, but we can file that in the ever growing file of "weird pregnancy symptoms I never would have guessed". I actually almost took out the baby in the above picture while playing ladder ball on Saturday, despite the fact that he was nowhere near our game.

I drop everything, and I'm getting more and more nervous about dropping and cracking the most expensive item I own, my phone. I suspect my 7 month old Five and Below case won't protect it. I've wanted an Otterbox (the most protective case ever) for a while, but they are so expensive (read: more than $5).

All this was to say that I got a $15 groupon for an Otterbox today and it made me so happy. Except now I feel pretty positive that typing this all up ensures I drop my phone and shatter it just moments before the new case arrives in a hilariously ironic twist.

I don't really know how to ask for adults only birthday activities without sounding dirty. I mean, what should we do this year that we won't be able to do with a 9 month old next year?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

An incomplete list of how pregnant bloggers annoy me

Happy Father's Day! I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful father, stepfather, father-in-law, and husband soon to be baby daddy. But enough about that, I have some serious problems with things I've found on the internet that need to be addressed.

Now that I'm going through this wild pregnancy ride, I've started seeking out/actually reading blogs written by fellow pregnant women, because I like comparing experiences and whatever. It's made me really grateful that I have friends in real life who are/recently have been pregnant, because most of these blogs are annoying and full of insanity. If you haven't read any, I'll be happy to provide some links so you can also read with a WTF face and appreciate this post.  Here's a few of the more grievous offences I take issue with.

1. "The baby wanted it".

This justification is generally used for craving anything other than kale or broccoli and followed with a picture of something indulgent, like fries or a milkshake. The baby obviously didn't want it, but that's beside the point. You don't need a justification to eat something fattening. Just eat it. And shut up about it. Or post a picture to make others jealous. But stop acting like you need to remind people that you have some special permission.

2. The weekly check ins.

Is it really necessary to share that you have the same food aversions that you've had for the last 11 weeks? Or to use the word "constipation" referring to yourself on a public blog? Or include the sex of the baby every single week (I'm no scientist, but I was under the impression that it doesn't change throughout pregnancy).

This type of post reads to me like a list of complaints about the pregnancy. They used to really piss me off when I wanted to be pregnant and was consumed with jealousy, and they still do now that I'm here. Obviously there's plenty of stuff about pregnancy that's annoying but typing them all out together just seems a little much. Just whine to your husband and tell him to bring you some ice cream and eat it without posting on Instagram about how the baby wanted it along with 14 other hashtags.

I'll admit I wanted to do posts like this in some sort of private journal, just for myself, but I'm at week 25 and about 24 weeks behind on that.

3. The "I'm not fat, I'm knocked up!" workout attire

I think they usually actually say something like "running for two" or whatever. I've posted about this before, although I have a tiny bit more sympathy for them now. That's only because I'm a lot bigger now and I'm past the point of wearing all those unisex race shirts that were formerly way too big to exercise in (but seriously ladies, if you want a family, save those). I get the idea of wanting something long and stretchy to cover your belly. But some larger Ross Dress for Less tops are doing the trick for me for now, for a lot less money.

OMG I just looked it up and it's FIFTY FREAKING DOLLARS for one stupid tank top. Strangers can just think I'm fat and frumpy in my $6 discount bin XXL shirt that doesn't perfectly emphasize my bump and have writing explaining I'm with child in case that's not enough. Get real.

4. The five part series on "here's how I told everyone and anyone in my life the news!"

I swear that Pinterest is the downfall of our society. You can't just TELL people things anymore, or at least that's the impression the internet is trying so hard to get me to believe. All these blogs I read have these elaborate schemes of telling the husband he's about to be a father, most horrifyingly by attaching the positive pregnancy test to food, but plenty of other stupid ways sneak in there too. Here's how big life changes shake out in in the Lindsey household.

Engagement: Eric gave me a ring and asked me to be his wife.
Bridesmaids: I called them and asked them to be in my wedding.
Telling Eric I was pregnant: I told him I was pregnant.
Telling our families: Telling them they were about to have a grandchild/cousin/whatever the relation would be.
Sharing the sex: We said "IT'S A BOY!" on the phone or in a text.

Maybe I'm crazy, but these things are pretty exciting on their own, I don't think they need a scavenger hunt or craft or whatever to make them extra special. The NEWS ITSELF is the special part. Also, a lot of these blogs include video of telling the grandparents or whoever. We actually did take a video of telling my parents, but I would never share it on a blog, because it's not for strangers. It just seems way too over the top to share things that should be private anyway.

5. Saving pregnancy tests

This actually came to my attention from a Facebook post. Is this a thing? Tons of people commented how they still had their positive test, with kids who were like, 3. Sorry, but once I pee on something, that item becomes trash, not a memento. Look, I totally get that it signifies a life changing moment, I'm not a heartless monster. I think back on seeing that first positive test all the time and feel complete and utter joy, even if my first reaction was just to go tell my husband, not get out the laptop and search for cute ways to tell my husband on pinterest. But I don't actually need the test for that, I can just use this amazing thing called my memory.

6. "Baby X and I ran this race/saw this movie/did this thing"

No, you did that thing. You can say you did whatever activity with the baby when the baby arrives. Until then, you are just you.

7. The post about "How I handled my changing body" or some very similar title

Melodramatic whining/advice about how to be at peace with the big belly, higher number on the scale, clothes not fitting, etc, etc. These are not problems. You have another freaking person in you, so yeah, your size 2 pants won't fit. There's a lot of surprise pregnancy symptoms, as I'm discovering. These are not among them. Shut up.

8. The hashtags

Posting a picture of your belly and sneakers and Garmin with 12 variations of the #fitpregnancy hashtags is annoying enough. But now there seems to be a trend of posting random stuff on Instagram with all these hashtags that doesn't even make sense, it's not even a workout or anything. Also, you are not an "inspiration" for your baby by working out during pregnancy. Great for you if it works out to be active, but let's not pretend a fetus is impressed with your devotion to #healthy living #fitpregnancy #fitmama #mamalete #motherrunner #runningfortwo

This is clearly an incomplete list, I haven't even mentioned nursery tours or birth plans. But maybe I'll do a part two later this summer when I get working on those. Actually, my birth plan is already done, but I'll feel more qualified to comment on others once we take the childbirth class.

It appears it got wet - I'll be sure to laminate it and lock it in the safe from now on.

Please comment on any or all of these, because I'm sure we've all read a pregnant blog/had a pregnant Facebook friend/have known someone pregnant. And seriously, saving the pregnancy tests - is this a thing I don't know about?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Baby registry: it's happening right now

Only two more half days of school before summer break! Here's a funny ecard.

OBVIOUSLY this is just a joke and not really true at all. Reasons include, but are not limited to:

1. My classroom averages 85 degrees and wearing a cardigan would mean certain death.
2. Chalk is so 2006. Now we have smartboards.
3. No margaritas for me until summer 2015.

Today was a big day in my life. I finally created a baby registry at 25 weeks pregnant (is this early/late/normal? I don't know). I didn't go anywhere and use the code scanner gun or anything because that would be work and involve wearing real pants and being around people. But I do have amazing mom friends who emailed me amazon links to all the necessary baby products so I clicked some buttons and now those things are all on my registry. I had saved a few things along the way to my amazon wish list, because this whole thing still seemed pretty crazy and registering was just too real. But it's happening right now.

Apparently Eric got an email when I created it asked if he approved this "baby partnership". It really makes us wonder if there are a lot of problems with people creating registries with people who they do not have approved baby partnerships with.

That was one of my major tasks when school is out, so now I'll have to devote myself to binge watching Orange is the New Black exclusively. While I've been looking forward to season 2 coming out for quite some time now (it came out this past Friday), I decided to postpone watching it until Game of Thrones is over for another YEAR, WHY GOD WHY!?!?

This way I'll still have something to live for/look forward to, and I also plan to rewatch season 1 while I'm at it.

Read this amazing GoT buzzfeed my mom sent me. I read it on my phone today while waiting for my appointment in a bridal shop and really embarrassed myself laughing out loud. All was not lost though, as the seamstress assured me she could let out my maid of honor dress for my sister's wedding which is 3 weeks from tomorrow! It actually does still zip (I had to buy it before I even got pregnant) but it makes me feel like this:

I'm going to add watch Gone with the Wind again to my summer to do list. It's filling up fast.

I'm having a pretty good workout week. The YMCA membership has been life changing. I've been going to 3-4 group fitness classes a week, and aiming to work out in some way 5-6 days each week total. I try not to have too many workouts where I just chill on the elliptical with a magazine but sometimes it's just so tempting. Running is not so much happening. I plan to write a post about it, which makes it sound much more interesting than it is.

I think we should all aspire to push ourselves at the gym as hard as Eric does. He slept like this for about 2 hours after returning from his workout last night.

I realize most adults don't get summers off (and this is my first one ever, although I am still working sporadically and taking a grad class), but it's still a special time.

What's on your summer to do list? Mine also includes "read all the baby books", "create a nursery" (don't expect pictures or pinterest worthy anything), and "learn how to keep an infant alive".  I'm actually already making headway on these goals, I changed a two week old's diaper this week, and our blackout curtains for the baby's room just arrived.

Forgot to add: sorry, I turned on word verification for my comments. I hate myself for it but getting 30 spam emails per hour round the clock is too much for me. Hopefully it's just temporary. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I like to double down on sugar

Last weekend was a insanely fun, but also insanely busy, so I was ready to get back to my usual habits of spending my weekends with my husband, fictional characters, and possibly members of a very select group of people I bestow the honor of calling my friends.

Friday night we took in some theater.

This was put on by Eric's students, and it was pretty impressive, plus quite a bargain, as far as musical theater productions go. I could have gone for an air conditioned performance with possibly an upgrade from folding chairs, but life's not perfect.

Date night. Or something.

On the way there, Eric asked me if I wanted to get froyo after. I'm not sure why he felt he needed to ask me, like there was a possibility of me saying no. I had planned to eat my free National Donut Day donut for dessert, but this allowed me to save it for breakfast and double down on the sugar.

Somehow we've never been to this place ACROSS THE STREET with homemade chocolate dipped waffle cones.
On Saturday, I had plans to attend another free 8am boot camp downtown. But you know what's better than boot camp? Sleeping. I slept for a good 12 hours, until 10am. No regrets.
A significantly better start to my day
Then it really seemed best to just abandon the idea of exercise entirely. Eric and I went for a hot 2 mile walk to avoid bedsores. My fingers swelled to ten times their normal size and I couldn't enter it in daily mile for like 30 minutes because they were numb. Good times. I see a lot of treadmill walks in my future.
Saturday night, I engaged in an activity that I rarely do and generally feel opposed to: I watched a movie. In the theater. What's really shocking is that I didn't pee the entire time, probably because I cried it all out.
My friend Kristin and I both read the book and loved the movie. I highly recommend everyone go see it immediately. I realize I have probably tarnished my movie recommendation reputation by seeing only teen movie sensations and no other films for like the last six years, but seriously, this was good. It did fit my qualifications of being based on a YA novel, but it's no Twilight. I was constantly simultaneously sobbing and laughing out loud. And that's my impressive movie review. See it.
That will most likely be the last movie I see in 2014, although Eric and I really want to see The Maze Runner, which comes out 4 days before my due date. We'll play that one by ear.
On Sunday, I really wanted to just give in to my exhaustion and aching joints (side note - I tried to explain Relaxin to Eric, and he was convinced it was really the name of a date rape drug) and not move all day. I forced myself to go to the YMCA and do a weight lifting class. I've been doing a lot more "weight lifting" since running has gotten so uncomfortable. I put quotes because, does it count as weight lifting if it's a class or a DVD using 5lb hand weights? Anyway, it's hard to get used to workouts that don't result in being soaked in sweat counting as real workouts, even though my muscles are on fire.
The rest of the day was spent baking, doing grad work, and reading American Wife by the pool. Glorious.
Probably the most exciting event of this weekend was paying my LAST grad school tuition bill. Although it's not the last fee I'll have to pay to keep my job, it was still pretty exciting. Just 5 more weeks until I'm finally done with my master's degree.
What's your favorite type of theater? I'd take a Broadway musical over seeing a movie any day. Too bad that's not the most fiscally responsible choice.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pregnancy deprivation

Finally, some weekend plans that once again require me to hydrate in advance. I'm seeing The Fault in our Stars with my work bestie Kristin on Saturday. We're going to bring a box of tissues each. If you've read the book, you know that has nothing to do with pregnancy hormones, its just the saddest story of all time. It makes Stepmom look uplifting. It's going to be awesome.

In further exciting news about Kristin, she's the first person to see the baby kick. Staring at my stomach is now occupies about 57% of my time, and I can see a lot of tiny movements. She saw one of the major ones at work yesterday! I'm starting to think I'm in trouble once this kid weighs more than a pound, because he already seems pretty strong to me. This morning, he woke me up with what I swear had to be dancing. I love it so much. He continues to stop as soon as I call Eric over. Maybe I need to whisper?

There are only 7 school days left (and two are half days), or as I like to think of it, 7 days until I am free to pee any time I please. Which, incidentally, is every single second of my life. I was in a really good phase where my bladder seemed unaffected by a child on top of it, but that's over now. Everyone at work is seriously amazing with jumping in and watching my class so I can go, but the problem is they all have their own jobs to do and are sometimes unavailable.

I said yesterday that I didn't mind avoiding alcohol at my sister's bachelorette party at all this weekend, and I meant it. But of course, the universe took that to mean I needed to be hit hard with some pregnancy deprivation. Challenge accepted.

I had grilled chicken leftover from the slider bar at my sister's bridal shower Saturday, so I was all excited for us to have buffalo chicken sliders for dinner this week. I had to do a little grocery shopping, so I got some blue cheese. I'm a major cheese snob. I don't buy fat free, low fat, pre-sliced, pre-shredded, and usually I only buy it from the cheese shop, not the dairy section (fellow Wegmans shoppers know what I mean).

Before the mommy police break out the tasers and nightsticks for my blue cheese purchase, let me explain. According to my research, which has been extensive and started way before I even considered getting pregnant, because it's THAT important to me, pregnant women need to avoid unpasteurized cheeses. So for all those, like young me, who want children yet can't live without soft cheeses, you have nothing to fear. Go to the grocery store and try to find an unpasteurized cheese. They're pretty rare in my experience, at least here in the good old USA.

Since I do prefer my cheese fancy and pretentious and expensive, I've been pretty diligent with checking labels. But of course, on Tuesday I hit Trader Joes in the post work starving/tired/dying to get home state. When I actually did get home, I was just about to complete my slider after bathing my chicken in Frank's Red Hot.... and the freaking cheese was made from raw milk. DENIED.

I went right back to Trader Joes the next day to return the cheese, because I'm NOT about to just throw three dollars and fifty cents down the drain like some dumb sucker. While I was there I exchanged it for another, more expensive, pasteurized blue cheese, and was hungry after work again, so I bought like $12 worth of other stuff, so I still ended up in the red financially after all.

Contrary to what that story may have you believe, the week wasn't all pain and suffering. We got to meet this guy.

Some people wondered if this made me excited for September. UM HELL YES.

My BFF Carolyn had her precious baby boy, Nathan, two weeks ago. SO TINY AND PRECIOUS. I can't even stand it. Meeting a baby when you have one inside you is a horse of a different color.

Then, obviously, this was a highlight.

Please tell me someone else caught the hilarious/major foreshadowing Littlefinger quote. I actually laughed out loud. I just taught a lesson on foreshadowing so maybe it's just on my radar.

Only two episodes left. I can't even deal. On the bright side, Orange is the New Black season 2 comes out tomorrow.

What's your favorite kind of cheese? I swear this isn't a crap question, I really like talking about cheese.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A valuable life lesson, from me to you

June is my birthday month, and birthdays are a good time to reflect on your life. I think I am going to list staying out until 3:30am for my sister's bachlorette party while pregnant as one of my most impressive accomplishments. 

It was actually even more challenging than it sounds, in some ways. Let's take a look at the timeline.

Friday, 4:30pm: My BFF Casi and I drive from Baltimore to Rochester, NY.

I'm not good at geography. I like when bloggers include maps.
Here's how we looked on the drive - happy, fresh, and beautiful.

Friday, 10:30 pm: Arrive at my mom's house.
Friday, 10:30pm - 12am: Cook/prep for the shower.
Friday, 12am: Pass out. My mom and stepfather stayed up and cooked until THREE AM. Rockstars.

Saturday, 7:30am: Wake up. Actually that's a pretty impressive amount of sleep. I guess I have nothing to complain about, but I felt tired.
Saturday, 9am-12pm: Prep for shower at my sister's house. 
Saturday, 10am: My nephew gives me a hug. I hide in the bathroom and cry with joy because hormones. Crying now. 
Saturday, 12 - 3pm: Bridal shower! Let's look at all the adorable decorations and delicious food. My mom gets full credit for all of it. You might not care, but I do, and it's wedding season anyway, so someone must have a shower to plan.

The genius mastermind, as well as the bride and maid of honor (me).


Fruit salad, in a watermelon, IN AN ANT. 
Yes please. All homemade.
I want one right now.
 Unpictured: Blood orange lemonade, rhubarb lemonade, homemade iced coffee, and a million other things I want back in my mouth.

I've only ever played this game (shared by grandma)  at my own bridal shower, but trust me, it's way better than most stupid games you'll play at bridal showers. You spread cotton balls on the floor, blindfold people, and see who can scoop the most into a bowl using a spatula. Actually, it sounds like a pretty hilarious game for any gathering, especially one serving alcohol.

The bride
 Saturday, 3-6pm: Clean up from the shower, and reconvene at a hotel downtown to change into our wild bachlorette party outfits
Saturday, 6-9pm: Dinner - at the Wegmans restaurant! Best choice ever - we got a private room with couches and music and stuff (we just reserved it, no extra charge). 

Plus a disco ball (my mom wanted to comment this picture but blogger doesn't allow that. Yet.)

It was perfect for everyone to hang out and not worry about that awkward situation at a long table where you get seated next to someone you barely know that wants to tell you their boring life history. Everyone could mingle and hang out. Plus, it was perfect for our special event.

Personalized Cards Against Humanity

We created our own deck all about the bride, and it was a HUGE hit. I highly recommend it for anyone planning any sort of event centered around another person. We used this site

Saturday, 9pm: The limo arrives

 Saturday, 9pm - Sunday 3am: Debauchery, including dancing and wearing heels the whole time (that's just to brag about my accomplishments further).

My old college hangout. This was a different way to experience it. #Geneseo
Sunday, 8am: Wake up. I don't know why.
Sunday, 1-7pm: Drive back to Baltimore 

All in all, fairly busy, and I stayed awake the entire time, even on the drives (Casi did all the driving, love her). I've tried to think of a non - afterschool special way to say this, but there really isn't one. I had SO much fun, I didn't miss drinking at all (especially not Sunday morning). It works out pretty well that my 
sister has awesome friends, both in terms of helping me put together the party and being fun to hang out with while I'm sober. So, there's your life lesson: you CAN have fun even if you don't drink. That's a gift from me to you. I don't plan on adding bars to the regular pregnancy activity rotation, though. I'm happy to return to Saturday nights with the couch.

What's the stupidest shower game you've ever played? The one where someone smashes candy bars in diapers and you have to guess the type of candy. Full disclosure: I've never actually played this (obviously I'm not going to throw a shower I've attended under the bus on my own blog, but you should).

Edited to add: Happy National Running Day! I didn't run, because it's getting on my nerves lately.