Monday, January 31, 2011
Recent Runs and Potential Races
Yesterday afternoon, we went for a "family run" and did 3 miles. Considering the cool mornings and evenings we've had for several weeks now, we discovered that the middle of the afternoon is surprisingly hot. So, our 3 miler had a few walk breaks, but I don't mind those these days, so it was a good run.
Then, this morning, I took advantage of those cool morning temps and went for a 2 miler with Norah, which was glorious. I feel as though I really have to soak up morning runs such as these because 6 months from now, at 8 am, it's gonna be sweltering and I'm gonna be sweating behind a stroller with TWO kids in it!
Looking ahead in terms of running, I'd really like to run at least one more preggo race (I ran the local Turkey Trot back on Thanksgiving when I was 13 weeks pregnant), and I'd like to do so soon. So, if I wanted to do a 5K this weekend, I have two good options: One race I've done several times before and I know the course, but the other one is a race I've never done before so it'd be fresh and new. There's advantages to each, but only one distinctive disadvantage to both: I'd actually have to get up and race!
Lazy excuse, I know, but hear me out.
See, Jerry and I trade off days when we get up with Norah, which means that we each always get one weekend morning to sleep in, and I mean really sleep in (like 8 or 8:30! the parents of small kids out there will appreciate how late that is). And, well, this Saturday would be MY day to sleep in! And if there's anything a pregnant lady loves more than a convenient bathroom and frequent meals, it's sleep.
So, do I compromise my ONE day of the week that I get to laze about in bed in order to rise and race? I'm sure that I'd feel all satisfied and happy (blah, blah, blah) after having completed the race, but at the same time -- sleep!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
This Was Messy
She loved it so much that when I finally said she'd had enough (near the end, she was out of paper and was just painting herself and the coffee table), she bawled and bawled. She's never cried in the bath before, but she cried the entire time I washed that very washable paint off her. Jerry promised her that he's gonna bring home some giant paper from work, so next weekend perhaps we'll just lay down some huge swaths of paper and let her fingerpaint to the point of exhaustion.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Day at the Fair
We had a beautiful day today with clear skies and comfortable temps, and the fair was wonderful -- several barns full of animals, a big petting zoo, a HUGE midway, and all kinds of fun shows. We had a great time, so here are a few pics of some of the highlights.
Here's Norah practically kissing a baby goat. She luh-ved the petting zoo barn; we must've fed those goats a pound of carrots! The petting zoo barn also had non-traditional fair animals, like a zebra, a tortoise, ostriches, and some kangaroos! Below is Norah feeding one of the kangas.
So, all in all it was a great Saturday!
Friday, January 28, 2011
I've always marveled that in a house of either tiled or wood flooring, Scooter always manages to hit the few rugs whenever he's sick. Now I have a bit more sympathy and understanding.
The wave of nausea that preceded the pukecident was so sudden, and for a moment I thought I could ride it out and it would pass, that I didn't get to the toilet in time. So, yeah, I barfed on the bathmat.
I haven't puked on a rug since I was in college, and that time it was a disgusting combination of Blue Maui Schnapps and chicken pizza, which ruined chicken pizza for me forever. This time it was just water and apples, and I've puked up apples plenty of times before -- they seem to be a food that rebounds for me just fine.
Just when I think the barfisodes have completely elapsed, one sneaks back up on me; it's almost as though my pregnancy mocks me: "You think you're done feeling gross?! Ha! Here ya go!" Oh well, at least the episode was singular and I've felt just dandy since then; I guess my body just likes to put me in place every once in awhile, show me who's boss.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
The Search for Motivation
I don't know why strangers' encouragement is so meaningful to me, but this woman's few words felt so good that I nearly cried! She had no clue that I really needed to hear that; she was just being friendly, but it really was touching to me, and suddenly: Mojo found!
Here we are near the end of our run -- I had to pause to pick up an ejected bear, so I snapped a quick pick of us near the end of our route.When we finished, I felt great, and I was so glad I had determined to just get out there and run even though I haven't been feeling like it the past few days.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
We all feel like good little hydrators when we note that our urine is basically a match for the water in the toilet bowl, and we've all noted the bright yellow pee first thing in the morning, or when we're dehydrated.
For me, for the past few months, I have been strangely entranced by what I refer to as the "prenatal vitamin pee." It occurs about 30 minutes after ingesting my monster prenatal vitamin (seriously, it feels as though it's the size of a T-Rex egg), and I can't help but wonder a bit about all the nutrients I'm potentially flushing down the toilet.
I have always had a contentious relationship with vitamins: I HATE swallowing them. I gag every time, and especially in my first trimester, I had to time them for just the right period of day -- otherwise, they were certain to make a re-appearance in the toilet, and I don't mean in the form of expensive urine. But, of course, it's advisable that pregnant women (and women who are trying to get pregnant, as well as breastfeeding women) take their prenatal vitamins. And, for me, with both my current pregnancy and with Norah, I was also prescribed an omega-3 vitamin, which is truly "the gagger" of the two. It's advisable because studies have conclusively shown benefits in the consumption of increased levels of iron, folic acid and omega-3 for both the mother and the development of the infant.
But, what about all those other vitamins that are a part of the prenatal, and which haven't demonstrated diddly for effectiveness? Am I peeing away just as much as I would with a regular multivitamin?
It's been demonstrated by THE INTERNET that a person only digests about 10-15% of the nutrients in a multivitamin (the problem isn't in the vitamins and minerals themselves, but in the method of delivery -- the body simply can't absorb those amounts in that way), and most doctors and dietitians say that supplements are just providing you with "expensive urine." And if you eat a sufficient number of calories and varied food, supplements are, essentially, a waste of money and gagging. Most people are better off spending their money on food, not supplements.
But, is this true for prenatal vitamins as well? I don't know. And certainly I don't want to experiment by not taking them, but I can't help but ponder, especially when I see that yellow vitamin pee, how much my gagging through these horse pills is necessary. Plus, in my professional research (i.e., Wikipedia), I have found nothing pertaining to prenatal vitamins except the authoritative directive of: TAKE THEM OR YOUR BABY WILL GROW UP TO BE A TERRORIST.
So, what are your thoughts on vitamins and supplements? Do you take a multivitamin? Are you enchanted by the color of your urine 30 minutes afterward?
Monday, January 24, 2011
For the past few days, I haven't had much desire to run, and haven't logged any running miles since last Wednesday. I don't have any particular reason for the lack of running mojo, except that I have just been feeling plain 'ole tired. Which seems, so far, to be a dominant feeling during this pregnancy.
Part of me is wondering if I am a wee bit anemic; I was a little iron deficient when I was preggo with Norah -- enough that I took an iron supplement alongside my regular prenatal vitamin -- so I could be a little low on the Fe. Or, perhaps, I'm just pooped from a full teaching schedule, keeping up with a toddler, and being 5 months pregnant. I think those factors may be enough to make a girl a little spent.
I'm sure I'll stumble back across my mojo at some point, and in the meantime, I've been satisfied with daily walks instead of runs.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
PSA: Skin Cancer
She's still waiting for biopsy results to confirm what kind of skin cancer it is, but it's most likely basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common and also the most easily treatable kind of skin cancer. My mother is a very optimistic, outgoing person who thinks that the world is nothing but rainbows and butterfly kisses, so in my recent conversations with her, she expressed no concern about the diagnosis and was making jokes about it.
In fact, after her biopsy on Monday, she didn't give it a second thought because she was chiefly concerned with studying for a test she has coming up in her flight lessons (yes, she's learning to fly, as a hobby).
While she is blithe about it, it does have me seriously thinking about my negligence with sunscreen, especially while running.
I have the sort of complexion that most often turns brown in the sun, not red. So, I have inadvertently adopted a rather careless approach to sun protection. Sure, I lather on the sunscreen for a day at the beach, but for everyday outdoor activities, including running, I mostly forgo it. Because I'm lazy.
I run year-round outdoors, and especially in the summer, I run in just shorts and a sports bra -- so, plenty of exposed skin. And it shows: By the end of the summer, I typically have very distinct tan lines. But, just because the sun is weaker in winter, and the temps are cooler, doesn't mean I should get a free pass for avoiding sunscreen.
But, I can't be the only one who's not paying attention to this. In this 2006 article, it discusses a study that demonstrated how runners are at an increased risk of skin cancer, particularly the most fatal form of it, melanoma, because of our increased outdoor time ad our forgetfulness in sunscreen application. Especially if you are training for a marathon, and you're outside for hours at a time (sweating much of that sunscreen off), you're putting yourself at considerable risk for skin damage if you're not applying sunscreen both before you run and re-applying every 2 hours while you run. In the article, it cites that only 56% of us are remembering our Coppertone.
So, while we may have hearts as strong as freight trains, we could be very susceptible to the insidious damage long-term sun damage can do to our skin.
As for me, I plan to purchase a body lotion and moisturizer that already have some sun protection in them, and then I need to set the sports-sunscreen out on my vanity's top so I remember to apply it before running. And while I feel like I have been vigilant with applying sunscreen to Norah for most outdoor activities, I would also like to get a lotion appropriate for her skin that already has some level of SPF so that I know she has at least some level of everyday protection for her skin.
Certainly, I don't think we should all scream and run for the indoor treadmills to escape the sun's rays; in contrast, a large part of my running enjoyment comes from doing it outside. However, there's no need to be reckless about our skin care. My mom's recent diagnosis has been enough to scare me into better care, and if you're not already vigilant about this, you may want to think about how you can take preventative measures to avoid a potentially fatal disease.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Thankfully, Norah has yet to have a public meltdown; in fact, in public and at school, she's like Miss America -- always smiling and waving and saying "hi" to people.
But at home?
There are times, and even whole days, where her inner-goblin seems to get the best of her and she's nuthin but naughty. Scooter is most often her victim of toddler-terrorism; she hits him, pulls his ears, pokes him, pinches him, she was even caught once sitting on him. But, he's not the only one who can fall with in her long shadow: Jerry and I have both had our share of bites, hits, and pinches.
Along with her mean-streak, she can suffer from the typical sort of tantrums that toddlers are famous for: if she is denied something she wants, or if she is forced to adhere to rules we have, she breaks down into the expected behavior that many toddlers exhibit at this stage: tears, dramatically throwing herself to the floor, and resistant "no"s.
So, our methods of handling this behavior so far?
- Diversion. She, like most kids her age, has an attention span that lasts about 30 seconds, so diverting her attention away from whatever caused the meltdown, has some margin of immediate success.
- Ignoring. Especially when it's something minor at home where she's throwing herself to the floor and acting pitiful.
- Being firm and consistent with our "no." "No" to pulling Scooter's tail always means "no" to pulling his tail.
- Giving her a task. Asking her to help with something has a marvelous effect. She likes "helping" with all kinds of small tasks -- unloading the dishwasher, putting things away, making the bed, etc.
But, aside from these methods, I'm kinda stumped about effective methods of discipline that are appropriate for a 17 month old. I don't know if she's old enough to understand a "time out" yet, and we've tentatively decided that we're not really the spanking type. Aside from shackling her inside a closet, I'm not certain if there are better ways to correct her when her behavior is unacceptable.
So, I turn to you guys, oh wise ones. Should we be whipping her with wet noodles or what?
Monday, January 17, 2011
On Saturday and Sunday, I ran with Jerry and Norah. Jerry has recently hopped back on the exercise wagon, and he wanted to resume running with me on the weekends. So, we thought it best to keep the runs short so he could ease himself back in to it, thus, 2 miles each day. The best part about running with him (aside from having someone to talk to) is that we split the stroller-pushing duty, so the runs felt really comfortable to me.
Today, then, I planned to run by myself and was hoping to do at least 3 miles, but it rained off and on all day, and in the window of opportunity that I chose, I only got a half mile into my run before heaven decided I was dry enough. So, again, I just stuck with 2 miles and figured that when I'm 21 weeks preggo, I get to be a wimp and cut a run short if I wanna.
So, 3 runs = 6 miles. Pitiful mileage, but I honestly don't care. Right now, I'm slow as snails so it takes me nearly 25 minutes to do those 2 miles, and I figure 25 minutes of strenuous exercise is a good showing for a preggo. Plus, I didn't major in math, but the last time I checked, 2 miles is more than 0 miles!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
A Week in Review
Scooter has been treading on my last nerve this week, and on Wednesday, he didn't help his cause when he rolled in duck poop. Then, he rubbed up against Norah. He had to get a bath, and Norah had to change her clothes.
Norah is sick with a cold, but it must be a slightly worse cold than the normal sniffles because yesterday morning she was a Grumpelstilskin. Very whiny, very clingy, very boogery. Last night, she woke up twice coughing and crying, and she really NEVER wakes during the night. But, she doesn't have a fever, and this morning, she seems to be in a better mood and she's running around terrorizing Scooter. Still lots of boogers.
Tonight, Jerry and I are going on our first date of the year. We traded friends for babysitting (they're going out tomorrow evening and we're going out tonight), so that works out well and we don't have to pay $12/hour for a babysitter. So, now our dilemma is what we'll do on our date. We'll for sure go out to dinner, but then we were thinking of a movie but aren't even aware of what's playing right now. Any movie suggestions?
That's about it for this week. Jerry and I both have Monday off for MLK day, so we have a long weekend ahead of us, yay! We need it after this one, full week of work :)
Got My Hairs Cut
- This is my natural color: dark brown.
- It's naturally straight. And a bit on the fine side.
- I have a few grays sprouting up, but they honestly don't bother me.
- I can't even manage the most simple styling techniques, like round-brushing. I literally let my hair air dry every day, and rarely ever use any product.
- I pay $55 for a haircut.
- Kinda pricey.
- But, I really like the stylist: She's fast, she's good, she always remembers specifics about me even though I'm an infrequent customer, and she keeps the chit-chat to a minimum.
- I tip the stylist $10 and her assistant $5.
- The tip I pay equals the total cost of the haircuts Jerry gets at Super Cuts or wherever he goes.
- But, I get my hair cut like twice, maybe three times, a year. His hair grows at a fast, bushy rate so he has to get his cut every 6 weeks or so. Therefore, over the long term, my expensive cuts are actually less expensive.
So, what's your comparison? Do you get your hair cut frequently to maintain its style? Color it? How much time/effort/product do you invest in your hair? How much do you pay for its maintenance? Are you loyal to a stylist or do you go anywhere?
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Difference a Little Air Makes
But speaking of running with Norah, I've been running with the BOB for nearly a year now, yet I've never once put air in the tires. Granted, for the past few months, every time I run, I look at the tires, and think, "Hmmmm, those tires look like they need a little air." However, then I'd return from a run and forget completely about it.
Then, over the weekend, Jerry went for a run with me and he pushed Norah in the stroller, and we weren't even a block down the road when he exclaimed, "These tires are almost entirely deflated!"
Me: "Yeah, they need a little air."
Jerry: "A little air? No, they need a LOT of air! These deflated tires make it a lot tougher to push the stroller."
Me: "Really? That makes a difference? I just thought Norah was getting really heavy."
Then, he gave me a classic "Jerry look" which is a look I get him from him more often than I'd like. It's a look of condescension that says, "I love you and I think you're cute, but sometimes I just can't believe how stupid you are."
So, he went out and bought a tire pump and inflated the tires, and OH. MY. GOD! what a difference! He was right! It was like night and day pushing the stroller with newly inflated tires -- so much easier! So, I guess, for months now I've been making this task of pushing Norah in the running stroller a whole lot harder than it needs to be simply because I ignored something as basic as tire inflation.
Lesson learned: Tires need air every once in awhile. And Jerry should be the one to remember that.
Monday, January 10, 2011
"No, I Don't Wanna!"
Apparently, Norah finds that my running interfers with her reading. Little does she know that there are many days I too would prefer to sit on the floor and read!
Sunday, January 09, 2011
So, I'm halfway through my pregnancy and here's the lowdown:
- I no longer feel nauseous on a daily basis. I have had a handful of pukecidents in the past weeks, but for the most part, the nausea began to subside around 16 weeks.
- Now it's the start of the heartburn. Although, that is nothing compared to the daily barfing of the 1st trimester, so I'll take it.
- I don't really have any specific cravings, but I do have THE HUNGER now that I'm not puking all the time. So, when I need to eat, I need to eat NOW. And I need to eat about every 2 hours, or else I get real cranky.
- My sense of smell is now acute, and I love the scent of my face wash and Norah's bath wash.
- I'm already beginning to have trouble sleeping. I have to sleep on my side, of course, and I have a pillow between my knees, but I can't sleep on one side all night because my hips ache, so when I roll over, I wake up to get re-situated. Then, I'm awake, so I have to pee. This happens about 4 times a night. It seems early to already feel restless and uncomfortable at night; I still have 5 months left!
- On the whole, this is the best part of pregnancy, though. I am no longer sick, and my appetite has returned. I actually look pregnant, but I don't feel ginormous and whale-like yet. And, I can stomach coffee again. Oh, sweet caffeine how I missed thee!
- Still all the caffeine I'm allowed to consume in a day couldn't make me less sleepy, and I still need at least 9 hours of sleep at night, and on the weekend (and most days over my recent break) I nap when Norah naps in the afternoon. What can I say? Baby-brewing makes me tired.
On a slightly-related note, I began sorting through all of Norah's outgrown clothes, and I separated them into 3 groups: those to keep, those to donate to charity, and those to give to people I know who are having baby girls. And I came to this conclusion: the amount of Norah's clothes borders on obscene. I kept a storage bin full of her stuff (things that we have sentimental attachment to or items we really like that we'd like to have just in case we decide to have more children and we have another girl); I am donating 3 huge garbage bags full of clothes, and I am giving away two Target-sized bags to one friend-of-a-friend, and am mailing 2 boxes worth of stuff to another. Phew!
It was a chore to go through all the clothes, but it also had a lot of other emotions tied to it: I loved seeing some outfits again, and ohhhing and ahhhing over their cuteness and fondly thinking back on her babyhood, but then, I also felt sad. Because, good lord, how could she have ever been SO small? Where did my baby go?
For comparison, here are two pics: One, the first, I took on Friday, when we went to the beach (she had mixed feelings about walking barefoot in the sand so her expression isn't one of being thrilled), and the other was taken exactly 1 year ago. My goodness, how fast they grow! *Sniff*
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Thanks for all of the "congrats" about our baby boy; we appreciate it. We would've been equally excited to hear that the baby is a girl, so it's just fun knowing.
During the ultrasound, he flashed us his boy-bits straight away, and even before the tech pointed out his winky, I knew what I was looking at. It was as though he was like, "Hey! Look at this! It's my weiner!" Typical boy -- so proud of what nature gave him.
We're going to name him Caleb.
The best part of "knowing," for me, is that I can now think of him as a "him" and because we already have a name and aren't keeping it secret, I can think and talk about it him like a person instead of simply as "the baby" or "the puke-inducer" or "the creature who's treating my bladder like a trampoline." I'm sure that those who wait for the surprise are able to think of their unborn babies as babies, but for me, it's like the baby is intangible until I know the sex -- then it's a baby. I felt the same way when I was preggo with Norah.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Monday, January 03, 2011
- It's hard to believe that my break is basically over. I say "basically" because classes don't actually resume until Thursday, but I was busy today getting my courses ready, so it was essentially back-to-work for me.
- The cool thing about being back at work today, though, is that I moved my office and I now have an office with a window! One faculty member retired after the fall term, and then there was a mass shifting of offices, and I was senior-enough to lay claim to an office with a view! And now it's mine, all mine! My precious...
- Tomorrow, my stepmom and sister are coming to visit us for a few days. This will be the first time they will meet Norah, so it should be fun to have them here.
- Tomorrow is also exciting, because in the morning, we have baby#2's anatomy ultrasound, which means...we get to find out the baby's sex! And, yes, we're totally the kind of people who can't wait for the surprise; we want to know! Although, that being said, it doesn't matter to us what sex the baby is -- we are happy with either -- but we're curious; plus, I want to be able to sort through all of Norah's stuff that I kept. If it's a boy, I'll be packing up a lot of stuff for Goodwill; if it's another girl, I'll be keeping nearly everything.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
- Enjoy the remainder of this pregnancy. With Norah, I was so excited and eager to have her born, I feel as though I willed that pregnancy to just be done with, and it wasn't until she was born, that I realized how special pregnancy is. This time around, I'm trying to appreciate it.
- Make more time for dates with Jerry. As parents, it's easy to lose track of time, and at the end of the week, it's often just easiest to order Chinese, rent a movie On Demand, and call that a date. But as nice as nights like that are, I need to make the time and effort to get a babysitter and actually go sit across a table from Jerry and eat real food and have real conversations.
- Read more books. I got a Nook for Christmas this year, and I'm eager to give e-reading a go! Plus, several friends got Nooks, so hopefully, we can take advantage of the lend option and save ourselves some book buying.
- Financially, I want to pay off our car loan.
- Serve on two committees, either departmental or college-wide.
- Put real effort into applying for either a Classroom Reasearch Award or the Endowed Teaching Chair. Both of these options offer professional recoginition and cash awards.
- Publish another short story.
- Run consistently for as long as I'm able during this pregnancy.
- Run some preggo races.
- Run a fall or early winter HM.
So, there ya go. 2011, here I come!