Jasper seems to love the binky…

Lately all my Jasper photos are of him with his binky because that’s when his eyes are open. Maybe I am creating a terrible addiction, but you do what you gotta do to keep a newborn happy.

I am happy today because I made it back to town lake. It felt incredible to feel like part of the running community again. I had not been down there in almost 2 months. I made it 7 miles, and I am up to an 8:45 pace. I felt like I could have run forever, but I don’t want to risk putting my progress to an end by doing something stupid, as I am not quite a month postpartum. It’s funny how now that runs are a little challenging to schedule, I savor every minute of them, and even a really sleepy, headachy run is something to enjoy. I plan on hitting the greenbelt soon with Pancake for her running nirvana. The last time I was there was probably last May, as the minute I found out I was pregnant, I quit the rugged trails. I cannot wait. If anyone who has been there recently could shoot me an email with a report on the water crossings, I would appreciate it. I won’t go if I can’t cross reasonably, and full body submersion in water while it is still cold out is not reasonable! It is actually kinda fun to get back into shape, as there is constant improvement, something I have not had in my running in years.
Jasper and I survived our first week home alone. There were some times it was hard and other times I thought it wasn’t too bad. I learned I have to schedule activities as just doing a lot of house work gets old. It is really easy to have dinner made every night, and we haven’t had to pick up food (which we try to limit, but some nights it would just be a necessity). Some tasks proved to be tricky and I am learning that when Jasper sleeps, I need to be productive, and throw in my yoga DVD, or vacuum, or take Pancake out, etc…basically do thing that are tough to do with him strapped to me. Even though it is tempting to sleep, I try and keep occupied.
Speaking of sleep…most the time it is not as bad as I thought it would be. I can sleep about an average of a 2 hour stretch, but I get 2-3 of those a night. It seems like my pattern is after a week or so, I start to feel it, and Mike will keep Jasper up with him until about 1am, and I’ll get in bed at 930-1000, which gives me a nice 3-4 hour stretch. Last night I got in bed at 1000, and Jasper stayed up with Mike until 100 and then slept until 3am, giving me 5 hours, and this morning I felt like a million bucks. It made a huge difference. I still am looking forward to when Jasper starts to eliminate at least one night feeding, but it could be worse (easy for me to say at 1100am after having coffee….not always easy for me to say at 3am).
Up next: aiming for a 10 mile run and greenbelt return.

Day 3 of project home alone, aka maternity leave. This self portrait is how I am now spending a lot of my time….with Jasper strapped to my chest. Life at home revolves around Jasper’s eating and times that he is content being strapped to me and I can move around freely. I am really looking forward to him getting just a little more neck control and then I can take him for a run. He already holds his head up on his own and if he’s on my chest he already makes crawling motions, but he’s not consistent enough for me to run with him. It will make things much easier on me and I won’t have to plan runs around Mike as much.

Which brings me to this morning. I did not make it out. Now one thing I am terrible about is taking off days. I do not want to get injured as I make my comeback, so I know they are important, but I always hate to take them. When I was pregnant I rarely took them because I was always afraid each run could be my last and I didn’t want to miss any chances I had to run. Now I fear each day something will come up preventing my run from happening, so I don’t want to miss a day. I have a very narrow window to get out the door between about 630-830 (this includes the actual run). I also need to get Jasper fed before I can head out, and then Pancake typically asks to eat too, and the little things preventing me from getting out the front door start adding up. This morning after I fed Jasper I tried to get him back asleep for Mike to take over, and I ended asleep too…I woke up and it just would have been cutting it too close to Mike’s 830 leave time. I figure the day off is a good thing in the long run, and today I get to go to yoga in the evening….yay! So, I do still get a workout, but those runs sure help the day seem better, so I hate to miss them. So, yes, running with Jasper is a big challenge. Feeding also figures in there too. Runs must be done right after a feeding as opposed to right before or the run can end up being quite painful. All I can do is stay positive. I am 3 weeks and 2 days postpartum, and I think considering that, the running comeback is not doing too bad.

Snow Day…

Well, for only the third time in my 15 years here it is snowing. It is very pretty out, and it sure beats cold rain, but it means Jasper won’t be going out today since it is so cold. I did get out and did my 6 miles in it this morning….it was NOT fun, and it meant coming home wet and cold, and then waiting a couple hours before the Little Owl was chilled out enough for me to get in the shower, but I guess these are the new choices I will have to make: Nice long shower, or go for my run. He is currently asleep on my chest in the Ergo carrier, so I am able to do stuff around the house. I’ve never done so much house work as I do since I’ve been home all the time.

It’s been a weird transition to being busy all the time, to being home all the time. I am busy, but in a different sense. I think what makes it challenging, is it happens overnight. There is no easing into it. I went to work on a Friday, and by Sunday I was no longer a part of the workforce and every 2 hours or so I had to feed a newborn who I am completely tethered to. I have read breastfeeding is a “lifestyle” and I am starting to believe it. It makes for a lot of planning. No activity can last longer than a couple hours unless there is a pumped bottle ready for Jasper, or a trip home to feed him. I hope this passing on my immunity stuff proves to true….it is a lot more work to breastfeed than making bottles of formula. Not to make it sound all bad…it isn’t. With Mike’s help I’ve gotten out at least one hour each day, and some days I’ve done 2 outings. In a couple weeks, it will be springlike all the time, and we can come and go as we please. Wearing Jasper in a carrier allows me to do most anything at home. It’s noon and so far today I have done laundry, dishes, vacuumed, make a couple beds, and made vegan cookies. All with Jasper strapped to my chest. It is challenging to change up my routine so much overnight…..I just wonder if I’ll make it until the end of April when I go back to work. On one hand, I love having the time with Jasper, and not having him in daycare, on the other hand, there are moments of feeling not entirely productive.
I am learning to compromise my old indulgences though….I did a hour long yoga DVD yesterday instead of going to class (DVDs are only good if you have prior yoga experience in my opinion, otherwise you can’t push yourself as hard), I’ve been trying to make the most of my 1 hour escape runs. Since my running time is limited, it forces me to make every run a tempo run….although my tempo isn’t very fast yet. Last night I got myself a glass of wine and watched to Olympics and enjoyed it every bit as much as “going out.” Also, I keep reminding myself Jasper won’t be a newborn forever. We are very close to him being old enough to be out more…..and just in time for the wonderful Texas spring. I also finally stashed enough milk in the freezer that I can leave him with Mike a little more. As long as my legs let me, I should be able to do a town lake run soon, and let Mike watch him for a couple hours.
So, we’re trying to our best to transition into a new life. I think we are doing pretty well. I don’t feel frazzled..just a little tired. I am good at taking on challenges and finding a way to make things work, so I am confident I can mesh my old life with my new life to find a balance. I have some tentative 2010 racing plans I’ll write about later that should be doable with Little Owl. So, life is good.

I am currently starring at Jasper in his bassinet, hoping he’ll take a little snooze so I can move from my spot on the couch and do a yoga DVD. He really is a mellow baby, and he’s not crying, just awake. I don’t always know what kinds of activities a newborn finds entertaining. Right now we’re listening to the Into the Wild soundtrack. I am not normally an Eddie Vedder fan, but this is a very good album. I also keep spinning around his black and white mobile, but he seems like he could care less. I have started carrying Jasper in the Ergo . Sometimes he loves it, sometimes not. I think its tragic flaw is it gets hot. And I suspect when he’s not loving it, it is because he is hot. It is nice to have him upright and for me to be handsfree while I am home though. Ok, he’s now on my chest and I am using my one handed typing. But, I see hints of sleep. One of our big activities is walks. So far we’ve just done Mueller, Hyde Park, and lots of circles around the block. This week, weather permitting, I hope to venture out a little more. There is a paved trail at McKinney Falls, so we may try that.

Yesterday we did our first shopping trip. His aunt Jodi and cousin McKenna came to visit and we went to the Steeping room and the Domain. I am not normally a shopper, but I was so happy to be out in warm weather, and looking at non-maternity clothes for the first time in about 10 months, that I was loving it. Jasper did pretty good. I brought a bottle, so I had my first outing where we needed to stop so he could eat. I know none of this sounds like a big deal, but each little thing I add to our agenda takes planning I’ve never had to do before, so there is a lot of trial and error.
Ok, now Jasper is in the Ergo, sleeping, still no chance of me doing my yoga, but at least I have 2 hands again, and we can walk around the block a few times. But, despite all of the new challenges in my life, I try and constantly remind myself I am pretty darn lucky and to savor these moments…Jasper won’t always be little enough to be strapped to my chest, fast asleep.
My running is going pretty good. My 6 mile loop seems a little easier, but I still am pretty slow. I feel a little stronger each day, and I am starting to envision a training plan. I don’t plan to increase my mileage until 6 miles seems a little easier. I spent about 10 months getting my body out of training mode, so I suspect it will take more than a couple weeks to get it back. The last couple days the weather has been much warmer and that helps motivate me to get out. The damp 30 degree mornings, took everything I had to get out the door.
This week’s goals are to get out a little more, and start re-stimulating my brain. I’ve successfully started exercising again, but since I am not working, my brain isn’t doing much, and the fact I watch a lot of the Olympics and a ton of Netflix instant watch and DVR stuff, isn’t helping. At work, I was a podcast junkie, so I am still listening to Morning Edition podcasts, so I have some some clue what is going on in the world, and I can think about something other than what is happening on Lost and The Office, but I need to start reading again and doing some activites that are a little mentally stimulating. I plan to hit the Blanton museum soon…maybe this week if the weather is bad. My booklist so far is the new Margaret Atwood, and then The Girl Who Played with Fire. Any book suggestions are welcome. I just gotta quit watching curling during the day…

Baby crack, 500 calories, more baby runs…

Here is a picture of Jasper and his “baby crack”. It is an all natural rubber pacifier. It’s made out of real rubber from a rubber tree, and supposedly has a good taste. It is also molded as one piece so there are not little crevices to fill with bacteria. It also costs $9 (plus shipping charges), which is outrageous for a pacifier. I need to find someone in town who sells them, because Jasper loves it. He sucks on it like Little Maggie Simpson. I have used to it put him to sleep on a couple late night occasions, and have used it when the “You’re not hungry” chant doesn’t seem to work to settle him down. So, go ahead and call me a yuppie parent for getting my kid a $9 pacifier, but $9 is money well spent to have something that a baby likes and can be added to the arsenal of tricks to calm him.

Well, he can usually be calmed by a feeding, but that is not always something I am up to. I won’t go into breastfeeding details, but it is kinda a pain in the butt, but I am seeing the benefits. One huge benefit is it allegedly burns 500 calories a day. Not sure if I totally believe that, but I will say I think it helped me lose my baby weight, and I am hungrier. Mike says I seem to eat a lot. I am still trying to eat just as good as I did when I was pregnant, and minimize the treats (well, I do treat myself with vegan cookies, and now an occasional glass of red wine). So, hopefully the weight will stay off….it is definitely a lot of work to be Jasper’s food source!
I have run 6 mile runs for the last few days. Still a little slow. My doctor gave me the go ahead “to run, but take it easy.” I had a few concerns about some postpartum running discomforts, and my doc said she’s never had someone start running at 2 weeks postpartum, so it is not really reasonable to expect everything to be just fine at this point. So, I am trying to be patient, and hope that things continue to progress well, and by the 6 week postpartum mark, hopefully running will be a little easier.

Jasper is cute too…

Pancake isn’t the only cute one in the house. Jasper is pretty cute too. Pancake still ignores him, but pays attention to me. Hopefully she’ll come around soon.

I ran 6 miles today!!!!! It was far from perfect, and my 9:30 pace isn’t quick enough to rejoin my friends for quite awhile, but it was a “real” run.

Running around Mr. Fuss-Fuss…

Here’s the latest round of Owl/ Fuss-Fuss/ Jasper pics. He met his honorary Uncle Steve yesterday for breakfast. Steve doesn’t believe me that he is ever awake, but he is. Jasper has been doing pretty good at night, with 2-3 stretches of sleep, so I don’t feel too sleep deprived.

Yesterday was a little tough to miss the marathon…we also had other things going on and never got to do Jasper’s first town lake trip, an it got too cold in the afternoon. But the good news is I’ve had some promising starter runs. 4 miles yesterday and 4.5 today. They are slow, but a run is a run. My goal is to make it around town lake by the end of the month. I have a dr appt this week, and if all goes well, I will start making some spring race plans!


Happy Due Date, Jasper!

The sun came out today…whew. So Jasper and I had a first…our first solo car trip. Granted it was not a long drive, but it was my first time to manage a car seat, stroller, and getting it all in and out of the car by myself. No SNAFUs, and Jasper and I met Meredith for a walk, and then continued on our own. This picture is of Jasper after his walk….it wore him out. I also did another solo outing this morning and went to yoga class again. So, hopefully I am keeping up fitness. Tomorrow I hope to get in a couple jogging miles, and we are planning a family walk at town lake. Life is much better when we can get out!

These flowers were a surprise Valentine’s present from Mike. We never do Valentine’s day, and I’ve been fine with that. I’m pretty thrifty and generally hate to have him spend money on gifts, but the flowers were a wonderful surprise. I’m in a strange happy and bummed out state at the same time. It’s hard to have this be marathon weekend, and I’m out for the first time in 10 years, but on the other hand I am very happy to finally have Jasper here. The flowers were a nice surprise and really cheered me up…plus they are gorgeous!
Today is Jasper’s official due date. I am so glad he decided to make his debut earlier.

I realize this is a much better shot of Jasper’s beautiful hand knit sweater. It is a definite keepsake item. Plus, I like that it has buttons and not zippers, as some of his jackets it seems like the zippers ride up and scratch his face. I am also realizing a lot of cute baby clothes are kinda a pain in the ass. Anything without snaps…forget it.

We continue to be a little bit stranded with the horrible weather. I know it will be warm before we know it, but I feel like’s it’s been cold and wet everyday since I left the hospital. I walked/ jogged/ trotted 4.5 miles this morning on my own. It went better yesterday, and I was a little frustrated. I am 11 days postpartum, which sometimes seems like a lot and sometimes it doesn’t. Remember, I rode my bike and did a yoga class while in labor, so I feel like I should be bouncing back fairly quick. While my energy level is great, sometimes I feel a little discomfort from my stitches, and I feel the aftermath of a very quick delivery (long labor, but a very quick session to get Jasper out to the world). I also still need to get my blood pressure lower, but it seems to be going in the right direction, minus a couple outlier readings. I did go on my first real solo outing last night, and went to my old yoga class. I went to a fairly difficult class, and after doing it and some stuff at home, I realize doing all the yoga with the limitations of pregnancy has vastly improved my yoga. I was pretty shocked. I am not going to complain I got a lot better at something, but I would rather it have been running! So yeah, I am still just itching to run, since overall I feel really good….and I’m frustrated my layoff has been this long. I would appreciate hearing anyone else’s experience with coming back. Especially if you were active the whole pregnancy…that is the hardest part, I feel like I am raring to go.
Anyhow, I have my fingers crossed for a little sun and temps above 40 degrees so Jasper can get out. He loved the one little walk I took him on, and it would be great if I could start him on some outings. Turns out tomorrow is his “due date”. I can’t imagine if I had to wait until tomorrow to have him!