7 Weeks Postpartum and Getting Back into Running

Well, it’s been 7+ weeks since LM was born and last week I got the official okay to start running again from my doctor. And let me tell you something – it has been hard. For some reason, this time around it is much harder to get back into running than it was after I had FW. I’m trying not to compare myself to last time, but I can’t help but feel a little discouraged that I’m not getting in the mileage or times I was with him.

That being said, I had the most miles this week than I’ve had in a while. That’s thanks to getting in some treadmill walk/runs while LM sleeps in the morning (and after FW goes to school) M-W, and then a family run on Saturday! Here’s how the week looked:

The 3.33 miler on Saturday kicked my butt! It was hot (but not as hot as it had been).

I pushed FW while B pushed LM and he took a pic of the three of us afterwards. 

I did stop to walk twice, but made it up one of our hills without walking.

LM was ready for her first run 🙂

I hope that this week is just as good and I’m able to get in some more runs. It’s going to be a busy one – we have B’s sister’s wedding on Friday and Thursday is the rehearsal and my parents are coming into town again, so I don’t know how much free time I’ll have for runs. It’s hard enough as it is with 2 kids now, so we’ll see!

Some questions for you:

  • How many days a week do you typically run?
  • Parents with multiple kids – did you find your recovery after each kid different?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

 

Weekends with Sushi, Pizza, Running, Soccer and Then Some

Well, what a weekend. For having nothing really planned, we got in a lot of fun! Friday night included sushi and a family walk. Yup, we keep things simple these days as a family of four. But I am LOVING sushi right now and can’t get enough of it now that I’m no longer pregnant!

Saturday morning started off with our first run as a family of four! B took LM in the stroller and I took FW in the stroller and the four of us went for a run around our neighborhood. We live about a half a mile from some paved trails and it makes running with a stroller so much easier.

It was semi-hot and I was tired afterwards. I don’t know how I bounced back so quickly after FW – it’s harder this time around for sure!

LM may be going through a growth spurt, because I spent the rest of the day feeding her on and off, while B did some work around the house and yard.

That night we got pizza! A weekend with pizza and sushi is a pretty good weekend 🙂

Sunday morning we took a walk around our neighborhood before it got too hot. And then it was time for the World Cup! My friend Stephanie was having people over to watch the game for a brunch at her place. There was so much good food – and soccer – and babies!

Sunday afternoon, after doing some more yard work and work around the house, FW hung out with his cousins for a little. They had been on a vacation in Spain and brought back matching soccer jerseys!

FW and I also got in a short walk – it was HOT but nice to walk around the lakes.

Per usual, Sunday night ended with dinner with B’s family. FW got in more cousin time and it was a nice end to a nice weekend.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite pizza topping?
  • Did you get n any runs or walks this weekend?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Making A Memory

Recently, when my parents were in town, my mom said something that for some reason has stuck with me.

She was holding LM, and had a strange look on her face. I asked her if she needed me to hold her, and she just shook her head. So I asked her if she was okay.

“Yes,” she said. “I’m making a memory.

I didn’t ask her what she meant. But her comment has been sticking with me. Because as I near the halfway point of my not-nearly-long-enough unpaid maternity leave, I know exactly what she meant. And I felt my stomach sink somewhat, as I realized that I need to stop and capture the moments more than I’m already doing.

I treat maternity leave like I treat everything. Each week I make a to-do list of things I want to get done. I’ve started making daily lists, and crossing things off makes me feel accomplished. For example, here was yesterday’s list:

(full disclosure: Looking at this list makes me feel somewhat crazy. And yes, I did accomplish all of the list yesterday …)

So, her comment has had me wondering – is this really how I should be spending my leave? Is this really how I want to be spending my time? If I can’t just relax and enjoy the moments on my maternity leave, will I ever be able to?

Then, last night, it was raining, so in lieu of our usual nightly walk, we were all sitting on the porch watching the storm. FW was on B’s lap and I was holding LM. I found myself thinking about what I should put on the next day’s list, and I stopped myself. I took a deep breath in and looked around. I closed my eyes, picturing how the four of us must look – a dad and his son, a mother with her newborn daughter. I immediately thought, I am so lucky. With my eyes opened, I started to take it all in. The smell of the rain. The sound of the storm. FW’s face and long eyelashes. LM’s chubby cheeks. I thought about taking a picture of the four of us to capture what we looked like, but stopped myself. I didn’t have to – I was making a memory. And with slight tears in my eyes, I realized exactly what my mom meant and what she’d been doing.

The days and weeks go by too fast. I can’t stop time or change how many minutes are in an hour or hours are in a day. And there’s nothing I can do about it. But maybe if I stop each day and look around, the memories will last a little longer.

Chunky Chocolate Cherry Bars

I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, especially blondies. They’re one of my favorite things to bake because they not only taste delicious, but they’re so easy – just pour into a pan and bake!

So when once again Northwest Cherries reached out and asked if I’d like to try some of their cherries, I of course said yes.  I mean, look at these beauties.

This time, I was planning on doctoring up some blondies to include some of their delicious cherries. I used one of my favorite blondie recipes (found here) to come up with a chocolate cherry blondie. Because chocolate and cherries not only look good together – but they taste good, too!

And, I chose today to share these with you. Do you know why? Because it’s National Rainier Cherry Day! Did you know that was a holiday?

That’s right,  July 11 marks National Rainier Cherry Day, commemorating this sweet treat named after Washington state’s famous volcanic peak. Nutrient-rich volcanic soil along with more sunlight in the Northwest creates an optimum growing environment making for high-quality and extra sweet cherries. (So, maybe that’s why when I toss cherry seeds into our garden, they don’t grow into cherry trees?)

To celebrate, I highly suggest you make these. The chocolate + cherry combo is PERFECT.

Chunky Chocolate Cherry Bars

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips – I like to do half chocolate and half white chocolate chunks
  • 1 heaping cup of cherries, pitted and cut in half  – I used this to pit the cherries and it works SO much better than doing it by hand!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 8×8 baking pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter. When we first moved into our new home, we didn’t have a microwave, so I had to do this on the stove. Now, it’s even easier because I can do this in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Add brown sugar to butter (if you did this in the microwave, use the same bowl – just add the brown sugar to this bowl!).
  4. Add in egg and vanilla.
  5. Incorporate the flour and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in cherries and chocolate and white chocolate chips/chunks.
  7. Spread mixture into prepared baking pan. I like to set aside a few cherries and chocolate chunks to place on top of the batter because it looks nice 🙂
  8. Place in oven and bake for 32-38 minutes. (Mine were done in 37 minutes)
  9. Let them cool in pan for about 10-15 minutes. Then, let them cool completely outside the pan – I like to let them cool for at least 1 hour.  Cut them up into bars and enjoy!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like the chocolate+cherry combo?
  • What’s your favorite cherry dessert? Least favorite? Believe it or not, I do NOT like cherry pie!

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Tuesdays on the Run – HOT Out There

Happy Tuesday! This week started out as another HOT one, but once again, I got in a few walk/runs, walks and one run! Wish me luck as I hopefully get approval from my doctor this week to resume regular running now that it’s been six weeks since LM was born.

Here’s a bit how the week looked:

Monday: 3.9 mi walk/run on the treadmill

Tuesday: 3.65 mi walk/run on the treadmill

Wednesday: 2.5 miles run with FW in the stroller outside! It was the first time I’ve run with FW in the stroller in several months – B typically pushed FW while I was pregnant with LM. It was 4th of July and we all were home, and it was fun to get outside with him. Plus, now that he’s older, I think he may have even enjoyed the ride!

I was pretty proud of my pace considering this is the longest I’ve run at once (in terms of walk/run breaks) and I was pushing a stroller … AND it was hot!

Wish me luck as I go see the dr this week and hopefully some more runs to come!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you do a 4th of July run or race?
  • Did it cool down near you this week?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

Summer Weddings and Grandparent Time

We had a good weekend. It included a wedding, some berry picking and some family time. Pretty much all things I enjoy!

Friday night started with some sushi! B is pretty skilled – he was able to eat some sushi with his chopsticks AND have FW and LM on his lap.

We got in a lot of playing and reading.

And time with Grandpa and Donna.

 

They were in town to watch the kids while B and I went to one of my friend’s weddings.

FW came to the church ceremony – they even had coloring book programs for the kids!

B and I stayed solo at the reception and it was our first date since L had been born. It was the first night out AND my longest time away from LM since she was born!

It was a TON of fun. My friend Cuoghi, who is in my Ladies Craft Beer Society, got married and we had a BLAST. I love these ladies and can’t believe this is the first wedding we have all been to together!

It was a late night (for me), but thanks to having two kids, Sunday still started early (LM got up at 4 am to eat … and again several times before FW woke up at 8). After my parents left, we got to go raspberry picking at my brother and sister-in-law’s house!

LM wasn’t much help but she came along.

FW enjoyed picking …

… and eating the berries

It was a pretty great way to wrap up the weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s the last time you picked berries/fruit/vegetables? What was it?
  • Do you have any weddings coming up? Yes! We have 2 more this summer. 

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Getting Back Into Running After a Baby

Getting back into running after having a baby is HARD. And I know that it’s going to be harder for me this time around because I wasn’t as active. Yes, I still ran/walked throughout the entire pregnancy, but with FW, I was literally running up until the day before he was born. With LM, the runs were much more walk/runs, so I expect that my return to running will be somewhat similar.

With B and FW after “running” the Cleveland Marathon 5k. I looked a little rougher after the next day’s 10k! Both were done while 39 weeks pregnant.

After running a 5k while pregnant with FW. I ran much more with him!

That being said – I’m getting ready to be back! The weather for the most part has been nice and I am seeing people out running all the time while I’m on maternity leave. And I yearn to be them – running, outside and free!

This week, I did a few walk/runs on the treadmill, in addition to my daily walks with LM outside. I was able to do them on the treadmill while she napped beside me, and were all taken VERY easy, as I’m still a few weeks out from my 6 week check-up. How easy? Let’s say that my first day my goal was to run a mile at a 12 min/mile pace. And it felt HARD.

Here’s how the week looked. In terms of steps:

Monday: 4.3 miles – ran/walk on treadmill

Tuesday: 3.6 miles – ran/walk on treadmill

Wednesday: 3.6 miles – ran/walk on treadmill

Saturday: 1.92 miles total … 95+ degree temps and me being alone with the kids for the afternoon meant not much activity during the day. But when B got home at night, I was really feeling the urge to get out there. Was it super hot and humid? Yes. But after being home alone with the 2 kids for the afternoon, it felt GREAT to run outside for the first time in more than a month! I only did just under 2 miles, but was happy to be out there.

As you can see, it’s not much. BUT – if I can keep it up and continue to run/walk a few times a week, I hope to be back running running soon!!

Some questions for you:

  • How long after you gave birth did you start running again?
  • Was it super hot and humid near you this weekend?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!