Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring break 2017

Spring break is all about chugging.

In all forms. 
I'm currently imbibing in the wine form, drinking away my sorrows that spring break is pretty much over. Ten straight days with these guys was perfection.

We started strong as soon as school let out. My mom squad came over to our house, toddlers in tow, to let our kids go apeshit and stuff our faces with wine, guacamole, and pie. It was everything I dreamed of. There's no better feeling than hanging with your besties while your kids play happily, knowing you don't have to go to work for the whole. next. week. To top the night off, I turned off my weekday alarm and rejoiced. (Writing that just reminded me to turn it back on and sob.)

The next night, we celebrated as a family with pizza, Light City (a crazy light show downtown) and Rita's.

We didn't quite make it to sunset, but still fun. 
Being old and a mom and well over a decade in to my career and all, my body is conditioned to wake up for work regardless of an alarm clock, so I pretty  much kept the same hours all week. It worked out great because it meant I got some quiet time with my coffee before the kids were up, and I watched the Today show every single day. We normally leave about 7am for work, so sitting down and actually getting to enjoy some Savannah and Matt time brings me pure joy. Combine that with not having to pack lunches and I'm a happy camper. 

Actually, I did pack lunches for several days, but it was to hang out at various playgrounds with friends, so worth it. 

We met up with my friend Kandi - we were pregnant together both times and had our kids within weeks both times!
Did you know Maryland has a huge Wizard of Oz playground?
Carpooling with Dalton's bestie - they were in heaven.

We didn't do anything truly noteworthy - played, hung out with friends, went to the zoo, did some yardwork.

Gotta earn his keep.

He was all about the elephants.
STAHHHP my heart can't take it. 

Dalton had his second dentist visit and he was a ROCK STAR. He let the dentist examine and clean his teeth! Our dentist doesn't push so while it was technically his second, nothing really happened the first time because Dalton was too scared. I asked him if he wanted to sit in my lap, but he hopped right up in the chair by himself. 

I even got some adult time. Since we began using daycare, Eric and I have talked about having a lunch date during one of our breaks - only took us 2.5 years to actually do it! We went out for amazing Mexican food and then went to a lawn store to buy rosebushes because we are basic. I also stayed out super late seeing Beauty and the Beast with my girls - so good. 

We did the unthinkable - traveled (400+ miles each way!) with kids. 

We did a impromptu-ish trip to Ohio to see my inlaws. I was a bit nervous, but it went really well, we got some great family time and I only regretted lifting my travel moratorium a handful of times. We told Dalton it was an adventure, and he was super excited and in heaven staying in a hotel and getting to use the elevator multiple times a day.

They loved the Continental breakfast because who doesn't?

We got a suite, but it turned out to be just a larger room - it had a sitting area, but no doors separating the bedroom and living room like we had thought. It shockingly worked out though and everyone slept! Royce was happy as a clam with his crib halfway in the closet and a sheet draped over the doors. Dalton had never slept in a bed other than his little toddler bed with rails, but he loved his sleepover on the couch bed with Eric. As soon as he woke up, he would yell Daddy! Make it a couch again!

Glad I shoved a chair against it because he was all over the place!

And that left me solo in the king sized bed. Rough times.

Took one for the team there. 
I pretty much dropped the ball on Easter and Passover.

We drove home on Easter, but I have no excuse for Passover. However, this did mean that my Easter dinner was a quesarito - a burrito where the wrapping was a quesadilla. From Sheetz. I died of happiness. I also waited outside the doors for Target to open to get some discount candy this morning and got a few little gifts for the kids.

This gift "for Royce" was a huge hit and they kinda sorta played together with it!

Did you know they make markers that color on your windows and wash off? I DIDN'T.

First peep - huge fan.

I didn't totally fail - I found an egg decorating set I bought last year on clearance and set it up! Dalton threw all the eggs in the various cups immediately and then ate them.

Why decorate when you can EAAAAT?
I would have to say that this spring break was an improvement over the last one where I was hugely pregnant and freaking out about spending the "last" time I had with Dalton as a family of 3. Like probably most moms pregnant with #2, I had silly ideas that something was ending, but of course it wasn't, something even better was beginning. While Royce is still young, my boys are starting to really interact and occasionally kind of play together and it's the best! BRB sobbing about having to leave them for work tomorrow. At least it's only a four day week! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

#motherrunning ain't easy

This race recap comes with a bonus - I did my goal race, a ten miler, last Sunday, then ended up also doing a 10k the following Saturday. All the recaps!

When I posted my thoughts about postpartum running just a few months in to my first pregnancy, I talked about anticipating running no longer being the priority it once was for me. I could not have been more right. I know there are plenty of women who get faster after having babies and we all know that friend of a friend who won a triathlon while she was pregnant and all that, but that's not been my experience. I have no doubt that physically, it's probably possible but emotionally, it's been tough for me (and as a result I have no idea if it's physically possible).

Here's the story: My motivation for working out/running sucked. I could barely manage to get out of bed early enough to complete maybe 2 miles a couple times a week. I didn't really see anything wrong with that, since from a health standpoint, that's (barely) enough. However, I didn't feel good about it. My running friends were signing up for races, and I wanted to be part of things. I thought I could just join in for training runs without actually doing the races, but it turns out, I couldn't. So I signed up for one the the cheapest, best races: The Cherry Pit Ten Miler. You may have heard of the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, which takes place in DC's famed, beautiful cherry blossoms. This isn't it. It's on the same day, in Annapolis, not DC, and boasts of scenery like tiny little random farms, residential roads, and that's about it. But it's $10, and none of the logistical nightmare that is getting to our nation's capital for a huge race.

I trained for it. I bumped up my weekday runs to 3-4 miles, added in some T25 and weight lifting (that part was actually just to have less flabby arms for bathing suit season), and increased my long run distance until I made it to 9 miles.

On race day, I pushed it. I ran with my friend/training partner Casi, and while we did talk during the race and walk through water stations, we kept up a demanding pace.


The last mile, I truly felt I didn't have anything more in the tank. It's a hilly race and I'm glad I gave it my all. But, it's also the race where five years ago, I ran my fastest ever ten mile time - 1:20. This time, my time was 1:40. A full 20 minutes slower.

That's about what I expected, and certainly nothing different than I had any right to expect. To get my 1:20 in 2012, I was at the track at 5am, doing pitch black speed workouts. I worked for that. This time, I got my endurance up so that I was able to complete the distance, but I hadn't done a thing about my speed. I didn't work for a faster time, and I think the women who get faster after having a baby do something beyond just...having the baby. Like push themselves in training.

My results directly reflect the work I put in, as they should. There's just something about seeing those times in black and white. I do want to get faster, but I don't know if I'm at the place in my life where I'm ready to put forth the effort for that. I feel kind of tapped out. It's not that I don't have time, it's that I feel tapped out emotionally. Kids, work, cleaning, cooking - I'm certainly not doing anything special or above and beyond basic adulting, but I just want to zone out to a podcast or show when I run. So I guess the point of all this rambling is just wondering how I get back that drive to improve my running? Any #motherrunners out there want to fill me in?

Further questions - after the race, I felt really sick to my stomach. Couldn't really eat or drink. It's happened before, and it goes away eventually, but it's annoying and I want it to stop. By dinner time, I was back to normal, so we went out for burgers.

Baby's first burger (I think? Second kid probz. As usual.)

Gave him broccoli, he reached for fries.

The burgers exhausted Royce so much that he fell asleep on me while I was nursing him at bedtime. This is so rare these days and I was SO SO happy.

Next up: Sole of the City 10k. Quite the opposite type of race - gigantic, thousands of people, huge after party. I rolled in at the last minute and found my friends.

A fun part of this race was that I forgot my FitBit. I'm FitBit obsessed, so the fact that none of my steps counted was quite painful. I ran with Casi for about 2.5 miles, then I told her to go ahead since she had a time goal. My main goal was to just get a good run and NOT spend the day curled up in pain like the previous week. 

After Casi and I split up, I was excited to finish up S-Town (OBSESSED), but my headphones died. Womp womp. Luckily this race does have beautiful water views and there was plenty of people watching. This race is also where I got a PR several years ago, and I also ran quite a bit slower this time. Although, at least it was faster than the last time I ran it when I was 16 weeks pregnant?

Most importantly, on my walk back to my car from the race, I found a place that serves the best nitro iced coffee I've tasted (so far). 

My knee is kind of tight now so the past two days since race #2 I've been doing core/strength stuff. I'm currently on spring break, so expect/hope for another post this week! Exciting, right?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Moving away from the baby stage, slowly but surely

I just looked at the calendar. In less than 5 weeks, Royce will turn one. BRB SOBBING. When Dalton turned one, I wasn't really too sad about my baby not being a baby anymore, since I had recently found out I was going to have another baby. This time, we definitely going to be a baby free household. That's not a bad thing, but it's always going to be bittersweet for me (and pretty much every mom I know). There's just something really special and sweet about having a tiny baby around, and I'll always miss that stage, no matter how many kids I have. I can't deny that I'm sad about fully moving away from the baby stage for the first time in my parenting life.

Of course it's wonderful watching your kids grow up, and I can't wait for Royce to be able to walk and talk. Especially now that Dalton can talk, because I had no idea how much fun it truly is until I experienced it. Royce is at kind of an awkward stage right now, where he is really curious and excited and wants to be part of things, particularly as a second child who always is chasing his big brother. But he can't walk yet, so he's limited in how much he can join in. I try to let him crawl around at the playground or science center or whatever, but all the fun stuff is higher up, and plus he's at risk of getting trampled by the big kids. I'm in no rush to be chasing two fast little runners, but I do think Royce will have a lot more fun when he figures out the whole walking thing. He's standing all the time, and starting to cruise!

As I've extensively documented here, I'm an amazon prime mom, not a Pinterest mom, and I'll be applying that lack of effort and attention to detail to his birthday. Notice, I didn't say party. While I enjoy going to parties thrown by people who are crafty and motivated and all that, I'm way too lazy to throw one. I have a friend generously making him a little smash cake, I'll probably blow up some balloons, and if the weather is nice, we will grill. One thing I am really excited for is to take Dalton to the store to pick a little gift for Royce. He's obsessed with singing Happy Birthday lately, so he's prepared.

Speaking of birthdays, Dalton turned two and a half last week!

He looooves to help us cook, so he was in heaven making his birthday cake and frosting, and, of course, eating it. While I mentioned before that he was likely done with his speech therapy, he was officially evaluated by a speech/language pathologist and he is performing at his age level! Early intervention was a (mostly) wonderful experience for us and helped Dalton so much. A lot of it was teaching us strategies to use as parents, which was awesome, since we were clueless. Yes, we are both teachers, but trust and believe that teaching pre-teens how to analyze the theme of a novel or solve two step equations did nothing to prepare us for parenthood. If anything, it hurt us because we talked up a storm to Dalton, and his teacher taught us that even though he could understand us, he couldn't copy it so we had to start using two word phrases that he could mimic. Fun fact - when your kid is speech delayed, you will get a lot of random people telling you that you should try this awesome innovative strategy that they used with their super advanced special snowflake: talking to him! It's like how if you are having trouble TTC, everyone tells you it's super easy to make a baby, just relax! Now we have a little bag of tricks to use to help Royce (from actual professionals, things beyond "talk to him"). Who knows if it will help, but at least we know slightly more than nothing this time.

So, Dalton is basically ready for college. He's also 30 pounds and over 3 feet tall!

He continues to find new ways to melt my heart. Including, but not limited to, announcing "that's my mommy!" when he sees me, saying "no thank you" to everything ("It's time to wash your hair" "No THANK YOU", and saying "thank you Royce" whenever Royce finds a toy that Dalton previously had no interest in but suddenly needs immediately so he takes it away. He does always find a replacement toy for Royce, but I'm not sure how much longer we have with that. Royce is starting to catch on and he's not pleased.

Royce is becoming an actual little person who interacts with us and is starting to crudely communicate that he has wants beyond what keeps him alive. He plays peekaboo with us, claps, tries to mimic how we use toys, and gets MAD when he take things away from him or move him away from whatever he was trying to get to (usually, the stove). 

I love seeing Royce's personality come out more and more. However, I knew things were going to be tough when being a mother of two moved beyond just keeping them both alive, and we're headed in that direction, fast. We use so much of our mental energy on Dalton, since he is talking and wanting to play and asking for things. Royce just goes with the flow and is along for the ride. I've started to get really guilty when I go to bed and think "Did I even talk to Royce today? Did I do anything that was just for him, to engage with him?". My sister is kind enough to offer to make one of those pinterest-y signs for Royce's first birthday. Last night, we were looking at Dalton's, and realized we didn't even know what to put on Royce's - like we couldn't even think of what his favorite toys were.

#Secondkidprobz for sure. I was all excited today to get some one on one time with him while Eric took Dalton to Home Depot for the craft workshop (they have it free on the first of the month!) and...Royce was ready for a nap as soon as they left. Womp womp. He's so sweet and easygoing, but I really want to try to get better at giving him at least a little more of my attention, even if he's not trying to demand it. I feel like I need to get to know him better, if that even makes any sense. I'm sure it's the same thing every mom of 2+ experiences, but I'm certainly open to advice!

We use the divide and conquer strategy for the most part, although I'm taking some liberties with the word "conquer". 

It's possible we aren't completely ruining them.

An update on my non-mom life: I'm running my second post second baby race tomorrow! Makes total sense right? It's a ten miler, and I won't lie, I'm nervous. I've been running about 3 times during the week, and a long run on the weekends. Last weekend, my friend Casi and I ran 9 miles, and ended at this amazing doughnut shop. So, in theory, I'm prepared. We will see. Eric and I have also been trying to do an upper body weights workout in our basement twice a week, because vanity/bathing suit season. Dalton is obsessed with joining us using the one pound weights, so if we try to slack, he shames us. Best motivation ever.