Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Journey Back, the next installment

I've been working my hiney off.  Literally.
Last update wasn't too long after I had Emily, but I have been better at taking pictures unlike last time.  And yes, I'm including those here.

How goes the attempt to get my body back after baby 9?

Not too bad.
Actually, I'm going to toot my horn a little ("toot!"), it's going pretty darn well.

I picked running back up at 3 weeks postpartum, and at 6 weeks after the official clearance from the doc, I jumped back in with P90x.  Ah, Tony Horton, the Michael Scott of the workout world.  Love it!

I p90x-ed faithfully for the first five weeks of the schedule, along with running, but then when the opportunity to do that half marathon popped up I pushed Tony Horton aside so my legs weren't quite so spent and I wasn't quite as tired.
That worked out pretty well, and after being lazy nice to my body to recover from the race (and the stomach flu that hit me the night after...hello?!  we did the stomach flu last month!  not fair!), I'm ready to be back to hanging with Tony 6 days a week.  That means two-a-days on my running days again, but as long as the body holds up I'm ok with that.
Uh, starting next week of course.

I am within a few pounds of my official pre-pregnancy weight, and only one pound from my "I'm ok with weighing this because it's what I weighed back in the day" weight.  I gained 35 during this pregnancy (yes, even with all the running.  dang.).  My hope was to hit that "back in the day" weight by my birthday at the end of October, so I'm thrilled with the progress I've made!  I've NEVER been able to do that so quickly!  Of course I've never worked this hard on getting back in shape so soon after having a baby.  Last time around I didn't see the weight I'm currently at until Sam was almost 6 months old, and then I rebounded back up another 5 pounds and held on to that till he was 9 months old.  I'm hoping to not do that whole rebound back up thing again this time.  I'm working to find the right balance of eating enough to fuel workouts appropriately, but not eating too much.  It's tricky sometimes.  I realized two weeks ago that I wasn't eating quite enough-I was dragging a little through workouts and feeling more tired in general, so I've been trying to up my intake a bit more and focus on good foods instead of just getting enough calories from whatever I might grab when I'm hungry.  I've maintained the same number on the scale for two weeks and been feeling better during and after my workouts so I think I'm finding a good balance, and now that my energy is back up I can bump up the intensity of the workouts a little more I hope.  We'll see.

It will be interesting to see if my body will hold on to these last few pounds until I finish nursing (as it usually does), or if I really will be able to get them off in the near future.  Making sure that I am able to exclusively breastfeed Emily is priority number one for me, so if the pounds stick around for a while I can deal with that.  Most of my clothes fit again (even if it isn't quite the way I prefer them to), so if I stay here for the next 9ish (or more) months I'll be ok.   And even if I do put a couple back on-and with fall baking and the holidays coming up, that is probably the most likely scenario-well, so be it.  I'd rather not get too strung out about that number on the scale.  My preferred route is to keep up on workouts and make sure that treats get shared with all the kids so I don't eat too many by myself.

And now (....drumroll....) all that blabbing from above in picture form.
No, I didn't bother to edit these except for the merging.  Sorry, I'm photoshop illiterate so I used some online thing.  Close enough.


Nice to see a big change over the past little while.  These pictures are good for me to see when I feel like I'm not making much progress.   And can you tell when I'm due to see my chiropractor?  yikes!
Yes, the pictures are getting further apart.  There isn't so much change going on over a week anymore so the pictures are now out to four weeks.  Emily is 16 weeks old now (where the heck did that time go?!), so I'll take another pic in two weeks, and keep up in four week increments for a roughly once a month picture till I hit the one year mark.  I'm interested to see how it compares to last time around.  And I'm anxious to get my abs back.  I feel like they held up pretty well and that I've got a decent start, but on nights like tonight where I'm all bloated and just....blah, I have to remind myself to be patient, that I'll be back there soon enough.  Time to tighten and tone!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Treating my kids like strangers

There's been some head butting going on at our house lately.
Kids are having some cranky moments.  It's bound to happen I suppose, especially with this many people and this many different personalities all under one roof and breathing the same air.   Throw whole tween/teen thing into the mix (hormones anyone?), and the fun things that come with the rest of the age spread, and the crazy of preschooler, toddler and baby, and obviously there are going to be some disagreements along the way.

Most of the time we make them work it out on their own, and almost every time it is within minutes that we find the affected parties have gone from worst enemies back to best buds.
But man, the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth before they get back to being bff's again is just not pleasant.
I find myself frequently pointing out that they would never treat their friends that way.  They would never treat complete strangers the way they treat each other sometimes.

I understand why; this is the safe place.  Family is where you know you will always be loved no matter what you do or say.  Home is where you can let your guard down, let your insecurities out, vent your frustrations...and I'm glad that it is that way.  I'm glad that they feel like we can talk about things and hash things out no matter what they are.  I hope that they always feel like home is that safe place.  Obviously I'd prefer there be a little less hashing of each other along the way, but it seems par for the course with siblings for the most part.

Well, despite the fact that I feel like I'm usually pretty good with the kids, fairly patient with whatever issues they may happen to come up with, I've found that my patience is wearing a little thin lately.  I'm sure it's due partly to the back-to-school changes and having to make sure everyone is out the door on time every day, in bed on time every night, getting the assigned reading/spelling/math/etc homework done each night and the process of keeping easily distracted kids focused on said homework,  and keeping all those dang papers in order!  And the emails now too.  (While email is my preferred line of communication, middle school teachers times 16 (8 for each kid), plus 4 grade school kids, plus papers coming home can be a tad bit overwhelming some days!)  There are many mornings I get up and really miss homeschooling.
(Also there are 161 school days left till next summer vacation, but who's counting?)

But now I've found that I'm getting snippy with the kids.  I hate it when I do that.

So I issued myself a challenge.
Treat my kids like strangers.  Or anyone else really.
Would I snap at someone else for doing what my kid just did?  Would I let that choice get to me if it was a stranger who made it and not one of my kids?  Would I lose patience while helping with homework if it was some other kid sitting here and not one of mine?  Hmm...the answer is almost always no.  Interesting food for thought.

Of course taking into account the fact that it is my job as their parent to guide them and teach them and correct them whereas that is not my responsibility with some random person I don't know, I've still realized that I could be doing better as their mom.  I could be more patient, I could correct more gently, I could speak more kindly.

I did great yesterday.  I did pretty darn good today until that universal witching hour of roughly 6pm when it all came crashing down like it does so many nights.  Tomorrow evening I hope to do much better than I did tonight.

For now I'll reflect on where I went wrong and what I can do to fix it.  Then I will go look at my sleeping little angels, and (hopefully) sleeping not-so-little angels and remind myself of how much I love them and why I want to do better tomorrow.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Adventure Thursday

Summer was awesome this year, despite being a little crazy with new baby, older kids actually having a life now, things like that.
But not wanting it to just go by wasted, we started Adventure Thursdays.  And since I was too busy enjoying Summer (and eating up every minute with a newborn before she turned into the chunky little wild woman that she already is) to blog any of it, you get to see it now.  Plus this way when next Summer rolls around I can see what we did and use it for a jumping point for ideas for new adventures.

For the first rewind, ZigZag.

I mentioned ZigZag when I finally got around to running it back in the Spring.  I had been dying to get hubby and the kids up there since that day and we finally got around to it in July.

Adventure mode with the whole fam means I have Emily wrapped up

And Aaron gets Sam in the backpack.

Everyone else gets to burn off their energy.

They are troopers and I love it!

It's really a pretty short little hike, but a tad steep for little legs in a couple of spots.  Still, check out Charli who at this point was actually running.  Love.

Highlights on the way up were this pile of sticks that the kids were sure was an eagle nest,

and a pile of bones. Bones always stir up excitement, especially when you've been to the museum the week before and you have a couple of boys.  These provided a good ten minutes of conjecture on exactly which type of dinosaur they may have come from.

Lincoln was thrilled when he made it to the top.

And the view from the top is awesome.
The other side of our city
(those are houses on the left side.  really.)

If you look far enough  you get Utah Lake over the hills

Our side of of the city and the fields that surround us

This would be the "mid-valley" field and the spot where they are building the new middle school.

And look at the back side of this hill-trails galore!

I did some running through there last year and can't wait to really get back down in there to explore again next year.  It's like a whole new world back in those little valleys.

No traipsing through the wilderness would be complete without a bazooka

Or a lightsaber.

The one drawback on timing this little excursion was the heat.  100ish degrees means plenty of red faces at the end, a sweaty baby
(Malia really was with us, she wanted to take this picture)

And sweaty mom and dad from carrying the babies.

Nothing a round of popsicles couldn't fix.


Monday, September 10, 2012

The Beast

I have a new running buddy.
It has been dubbed "The Beast".


It's huge!
Look, it scares my dogs.

They were trying to hide between my feet from the minute I got it out of the box and started putting it together.

Ok, really not THAT much bigger than my amazing double, but hello, an extra kid!  This beauty allows me to go running during the day again.  Hallelujah!

I did have to say goodbye to my double, it's beautiful 20inch wheels that rode as smooth as will be missed.

But I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth this sucker is, and that it navigates quite well for all it's enormity.
It arrived late Thursday night (who knew FedEx was still delivering at 7:30?), and first thing Friday morning we took it out for a spin.

5 miles with three kids.  Awesome.

My new view:


Emily's first run.
Well, her first run while not housed inside my body.
She slept peacefully through the whole thing, completely snug.  Perfect.  Just like old times.

This morning we took it out for round two, a little over 6 miles.  Sam has perfected his chant of "ready, set, go!" followed a few minutes later by "go, go, go! Go fast!".  Nothing like a built in cheering crew.

The official verdict is two thumbs up.

Loving the new routine of walking the kids to school and immediately heading out to run.  Taking full advantage of every morning of good weather before we have to face winter and our little excursions come to an end for a while.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Only Half Crazy, Not Half Bad

The race Saturday was great.
I took the advice of a very wise friend who told me to "Run it because you LOVE it...lose the number.".

Though I tried to get to bed early on Friday night, I was woken up by an incredible storm around 11, and poor Emily had a rough night, up nearly every hour until I brought her to bed with me around 2. The alarm ringing at 3:45 wasn't the thrill it usually is on race day. But at least it wasn't raining when I woke up.

We had decided to try something new this time around-race day solo. Aaron is always so awesome about being there with me at races, but the poor guy rarely sleeps in, and I wanted to give him that chance (as much as is possible with a 3 month old), as well as being there to do breakfast with the kids.
So the plan was to feed Emily, pump, then head out with her sleeping soundly for most of the hours I'd be gone.  I'd be done by 9am, and home not too long after 9:30.  And Saturday continues happily ever after.
I love plans.

They didn't work.
After a rough night, once Emily finally conked out, she was OUT. I tried about every five minutes for nearly and hour to wake her before I left. Nothing. So I pumped as much as possible.

That rain that had stopped when I woke up? Downpour by the time I left.

Still-carry on!  It's race day!

As I drove out, the lightening started. Huge, unbelievable, light up the entire sky like the middle of the day bright, completely stunning lightening. It was seriously amazing. Not something I wanted to be out running in though.
Oh yeah, and that sleepy baby? I heard her start crying though my open bedroom window as I got in the car.  doh!
Thankfully I had left a bottle ready to go right next to her so Aaron didn't even have to get up, just roll over and snuggle with her while she ate, after which she promptly went back to sleep.

I got an incredible lightening show the entire drive to the race, and the rain let up a little.

The race was small, less than 200 people, which was well under half of what I expected.  I loved it!  While there are awesome things about big races, I really do love small ones.
There were only four busses needed to get everyone to the start, and since there was no shelter at the start we all got to sit on nice warm dry busses until it was closer to start time.
The rain stopped, the lightening stopped, and we were left with a perfectly cool overcast morning.
Running paradise.

I was so glad that I hadn't decided to bail due to the storm!

We started up Rose Canyon, an absolutely beautiful view.  Start was delayed about 15 minutes, but oh well.  It happens.

Gorgeous first three miles.  Awesome descent.  And some fun scenery, with a couple of small ranches that housed quite the assortment of animals-the standard horses, goats, sheep, pigs, and the not so standard llamas and emus.  And that one random house on the corner with one cow in the yard.  There were a few people who ventured out of their houses to watch, so it was fun to pass some friendly smiles.
Good news: apparently my running skirt is now too big.  Better news:  It didn't fall all the way off.
Not so great news: The sport beans and pieces of gum in the pockets were enough to pull it down and yanking it up every 30 seconds wasn't working for me, so everything went in my sports bra. (I had pumped sufficiently, there was room.  Moms understand.) Packages of sports beans plus car key in ziploc bag all stuffed in there equals little cuts and chafing.  Not so fun.  Lesson learned.

On the advice of that wise friend of mine I had decided to not worry about the Garmin.  I still wore it, but didn't look at it.  Worked out nicely.  Mostly.
Downhill plus race excitement equalled that fast start.  But I just ran by feel so maybe it wasn't too fast??  All I know is that in miles 7-9 I paid for it on the uphill.   I even walked that for a minute.  (but my ego remained in tact as it was a small enough race that no one passed me)

In the end?  I ran my heart out.  I hate the pace of those middle miles, but I did it.
I did beat that first half time but almost 8 minutes-and that was all downhill, so that's awesome.  I didn't hit that number I wanted to, which is not so awesome, but I'm ok with that.  Especially when I look at my later miles once I was up that very (VERY) long hill, and even more so when I look at what my splits were like running 13.1 last time I was three months out from delivering a baby.  Pace anywhere near 9min wasn't even on my radar then, so logging mileage in the 8:xx range, especially on mile 13 makes me happy.

Finish time: 2:02:07.
Yep, missed the sub 2 by two minutes and eight seconds.  Ouch.
It's conflicting to me to see that half of my race was run under 9min miles-including the last two-and know that I still didn't hit sub 2.  I know exactly where those two minutes went, and I played the "if I only would've kept running instead of walking!" game, and the "if I'd only pushed a little harder up that dang hill!" game, but in the end, I ran exactly how I needed to.  I ran by feel and I ran for fun.

I'd love to do this one again next year, I have a little stretch of hill I'm going to need to revisit....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Macy's blogger competition, round 2!

Round two is this week, Pinterest Style Boards!

If you want to check it out, go HERE.

If not, then just pretend you never read this.

(insert penguins)
You didn't see anything....