Resolution Checkin: Book Four

How is it already 9 March?! My life is passing me by.

Anyway, I finished my fourth book last night with not a moment to spare (it was due at the library today). Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe was easy to select because it was about mental illness, Lithuanian heritage and weird family dynamics. Cha-ching! Thorpe’s writing style grabbed me right away and the novel was great in so many ways. I highly recommend it.

In other news, I set my best pace ever for a mile the other day: 8:46. I am going to be running the Duck Waddle 5k in a couple of months and am trying to prepare by increasing my mileage each week by ten percent. The race course is going to be a little difficult, so I’m hoping to get out on it at least a couple of times before race day to show myself that I can do it.

I’m dealing with bad body image issues again. And with my breastfeeding supply beginning to dwindle, I think it’s time to start watching what I eat again and work on getting to the weight I want to be. It’s a weight I haven’t seen since I started dating Erik, but it’s doable!

Spring fever has turned into summer fever for me. I can’t wait for the farmer’s market to come back, and I’m already planning Adalynn’s first birthday party. Lord help me.

Resolution Checkin: Book Three

Book three was Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer. I’m not sure if I had trouble with it because it followed Lily and the Octopus or if I just didn’t like it. Either way… meh. I had trouble connecting with the wishy-washy main character. I had trouble believing the 15-year-old’s character. I had trouble believing most of the story itself – and not in a fun-loving way, like Lily and the Octopus managed to do. Well, back to the library today to pick another one! You win some, you lose some, right?

I made it out the door with the Bob the other day. The weather has been ridiculously nice here and all the snow and ice have finally melted, leaving me with clear sidewalks. Even if the wind is blowing, it’s not as harsh as it was when the air was colder. I completed my longest stroller run ever (3.22 miles)! Even more impressive – to me, at least – was my time for each mile. I took a lengthy walking break each mile, and still managed to get my best stroller run pace ever! I don’t know why. Maybe it was a fluke! At any rate, I’m enjoying my spring fever feeling.

You know what though? I’m glossing over my biggest triumph this week: sleep training. Adalynn just stopped sleeping the other week. She was waking up, realizing we weren’t there, and wasn’t having it. After pulling her into our bed every night for a week or two I had enough. I wanted my bed back, and I wanted my baby sleeping again. Sleep deprivation is no joke. That’s why they use it to torture people. So even though I had been staunchly against sleep training and letting your baby cry it out*, I decided that’s what needed to be done.

*For the record, cry it out (a.k.a. extinction) is not what most people are doing when they tell people they let their baby cry it out. Most of us are “Ferberizing” (a.k.a. check and console).

The first night sucked. She did pretty well – she went down to bed easily, and at her 9:30pm wakeup cried for about an hour and twenty minutes. At the time, it was horrible. Looking back though, it wasn’t so bad. I didn’t sleep a wink. I was hypervigilant, listening for any noise. The second night, her longest cry was about twenty minutes.

And after that – so far – we haven’t had to check and console at all. We put her to bed awake and she puts herself to sleep and I either hear one peep from her if she’s hungry in the middle of the night or no peeps at all. I know, I have a magical unicorn baby. Don’t throw tomatoes at me. I’m really really really trying hard not to brag.

Furthermore, we all know babies teethe and grow and have developmental leaps so trust me, I know that we are still in for rough nights. Regardless, I’m proud of Adalynn for learning how to put herself to sleep so easily.

Thank God for sleep. That’s all I have to say.

Moving My Body

I decided last weekend that it was time to start moving my body again after a hiatus of a week or two.

It’s easy to talk yourself out of exercise when your baby suddenly decides she won’t sleep in her crib anymore and ends up in your bed. It sounds so easy to say she ended up in our bed, but my resistance was so great that this was a several-day-long battle of her waking up every 30 minutes to an hour each night. Cue exhaustion. Cue anger. Cue depressing thoughts.

Now, with the overwhelming prospect of having to sleep train (gulp!) looming, and trying to figure out what that even means, and wondering how long it will be until my husband gives in and screws up any progress we make… I have to move my body to relax. I have to move my body to relieve my stress. I have to move my body to gain energy.

After a couple of weeks without running at all, I forced myself to go to work early on Sunday and hop on the treadmill for a speed workout. Instead of holding at a steady speed, I decided to do an interval workout: 7.5mph for 1 minute, 6.0mph for 2 minutes. It was interesting to see that these recovery intervals felt easy, whereas running a mile at 6.0mph the other week felt hard!

I ran a mile in 9 minutes (yay!) and felt refreshed and motivated again. It’s still hard to get outside with the baby because the damn mountain wind is back, but my goal is to run outside before Sunday and complete an upper body workout.

Resolution Checkin: Book Two

The fact that I’m writing this post so quickly after my last one should immediately indicate that the following book was thoroughly enjoyable!

It was an easy one to select from the library: there was a dachshund on the cover. It took me longer to get into the library with baby than it did to find my next book.

Lily and the Octopus, written by Steven Rowley (his first novel, in fact), gripped me from the very first page. Obviously I’m a sucker for dachshunds, but it was more than that. His easygoing writing style, coupled with empathic stabs at anxiety and depression, made me feel like the story was about Lady and I. I found myself reading 50 pages a night – not always a brilliant idea when your baby is on a sleeping strike.

I bawled at the end, trying to keep quiet so my husband could sleep. I cuddled my dog. And once more I’m reminded that dogs die before we do, and it just isn’t fair. But still! Sad as it is, this book is a great story, and even with the heavy emotions, it’s a read that’s easy to enjoy. I was sad to see it end. I’ll be looking for more novels from Mr. Rowley, that’s for sure!

Resolution Checkin: Book One

I finished my first book of the year a week or so ago but true to form, I haven’t had the time to talk about it! Momming is busy.

Now let me remind anyone who may not know that I am not a book review type person. I can merely say if I liked it and why. These checkin posts are more about keeping me on track than recommending books.

Anyway! Book one was The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett. I found it by going to the new book section of the library, which is what I’ve been doing now that I can’t spend an hour perusing the shelves. It sounded really interesting, and it was. Essentially, you’re taken on a journey of three different versions of what could have happened between a couple. I give major kudos to Laura Barnett, because she wrote three different books and managed to string them together into one relatively seamlessly. It was easy to keep track of the different characters, even the children, who are different in each versions because they have different parents and different circumstances.

Today I’m hauling baby to the library to get another book. I haven’t had anything to read in a few days and I’ve been climbing the walls!

As for my other resolutions, I haven’t had a chance to run in a week or two. It’s been snowy and icy, and while the snow usually melts between storms here, it hasn’t been doing so, and I don’t feel comfortable pushing the stroller and running on ice. Wimpy, I know. It can be hard to find a few moments to get on the treadmill before or after work, too! A couple of weeks ago I ran a mile at 6.1mph, but that was the last time I did anything resembling a run.

Upper body strength is going a little better, because that’s easier to do at home with a baby. I’ve also been hitting heavy bags at the gym, which is amazingly fun! I’m planning on keeping myself on track with tiny goals each week.

2017 Goals

Happy new year! I’m glad that NYE is over. It’s one of my least favorite holidays, mostly because I have built it up in my mind every single year and have been disappointed in the outcome 90% of the time. Anyhow, like most people, I enjoy creating resolutions to welcome in the new year. Here’s a sampling of what I’d like to accomplish in 2017. I have a lot of other more personal goals that I’m not sharing, but hopefully what I’m sharing here is going to influence those goals as well!

  1. Read 13 books. That’s one book every four weeks. I’m counting the book I’m currently reading in this total because I’m only halfway through – it would be nice if I made it to 14 instead! Last year, new baby in tow, I would have thought this was an impossible goal; ever since we moved Adalynn into the nursery, I’ve been able to read for enjoyment again.
  2. Run sub-10-minute miles. As I’ve written many times before, I run slowly. Since taking months off due to pregnancy and postpartum recovery, along with time constraints due to said baby, I’m currently somewhere between 11-12 minutes per mile (doing a 4-1 walk-run), depending on the day and route and mood and weather and everything else life throws at you. I’ve been running about one day a week lately. My goal is to run two or three days a week (two is realistic right now, with winter weather). Another little challenge I’m doing now that I have consistent access to treadmills is running a mile at a sustained (current) speed of 6mph. My plan is to increase the speed by 0.1mph every few weeks or so and really push myself to complete a mile without slowing down.
  3. Climb ropes/monkey bars. I remember watching the other kids scramble up the rope in gym class, wondering how the hell they did it. I never understood how, nor did I have the upper body strength. Well, no more! There are short ropes and monkey bars in the functional fitness room at work and I’m going to be able to clamber up them with ease by the end of this year. Upper body strength is the key, as I mentioned, and I’m going to continue the regimen I’ve recently started to get there. Now that I’m back at a gym, I’m reminded of how much I love strength training. The world of barbells, battle ropes and heavy bags is my habitat.

I’ll update my progress periodically, holding myself accountable to achieve success. Remember, sometimes it’s easier to focus on creating good habits rather than eliminating bad ones. That simple flip in thinking may be exactly what you need to reach your goals!