Tuesdays on the Run: Final Step Challenge Week

The last week of my step challenge at work came and went. We ended at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, and I’m sad to say that my team did not win – we came in 3rd place. So no new Fitbit for me … guess I’ll need to save up and/or put it on my holiday wishlist! I did come in 7th overall, but that didn’t qualify me for a prize.

This week was a pretty strong week – I ran every day but Saturday and since I hadn’t taken any days off since our step challenge, it felt pretty good to rest and just go for a walk.

Here’s how the week looked:

The main highlight? Sunday, B and FW and I went for a stroller run to a local bagel shop to grab bagels for breakfast. It was chilly out but the bagels were warm and so good! It was the first time B and I had run together since probably June or July.   

Thursday it was sleeting when I woke up, so I walked around my house for a little while before it stopped and then only had time to get in 3.7 mi. And Friday I had to leave the house by 6:30 a.m., so I really only had time to get in 3.19 before getting FW ready for the day.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you ever go for “bagel runs” or run errands on your run?
  • How cold is too cold for you to run outside?

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

Advertisements

Early Turkey and Game Night

Happy short week!! I’m so excited for Thanksgiving and to see my family this week that I almost didn’t get a weekend update post up … but have no fear – here it is! Hope you all had a great weekend as well.

My Friday started a little early- FW had a Thanksgiving lunch at school so I decided to take a half day to stop by the lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon with him.  This meant enjoying some early turkey and stuffing (me – not FW.. he stuck to a banana, roll and cookie #pickyeater)

And then we spent part of the afternoon outside. It  was nearly 50 degrees so it was fun playing around in our backyard.

Friday night, the three of us went out to Aladdins and had some Lebanese food for dinner. FW loves hummus, so he was content for a little while.

And then after FW went to bed, B and I finally watched a movie that had been on our list forever- Get Out.

Saturday morning started with a walk to Stone Oven for pastries and Phoenix for coffee. FW has started liking croissants so we split three of them – forgot to take a photo until after the first few bites. They were delicious – cinnamon, ham & cheese and almond!

The day ended up being mostly rainy after that, so after a trip to the West Side Market to get some food, we pretty much hung out inside and read.

That night we had plans to head to B’s brother and sister-in-law’s house for a sibling family game night! We played Scattregories and Trivial Pursuit. My team won categories but didn’t win trivial pursuit. Believe it or not, the answer to last question in trivial pursuit was “Finland” and the question when to my Finnish sister-in-law. Needless to say, she knew the answer before the questions was fully read 🙂 What are the odds?!

FW hanging out with his cousins during game night

Sunday morning we slept in a little (even FW did after being out so late for game night!), and started the day with some pancakes. B made us pancakes on our new griddle, and I had one with an egg and toast. Sweet and savory breakfasts are the best, don’t you agree?

The rest of the day was pretty gloomy with rain and snow, so we stayed inside most of the day. We played hide and seek (okay, we really just played where FW hid in the cabinets) …

And did a lot of cleaning. It felt good to clean the kitchen and part of our bathrooms. And of course, there was a lot of reading and coloring. FW loves books so much- I think we ready at least 13 books this weekend (or at least a few of them 13 times!).

Even with the cold and less-than-stellar weather, it was a pretty good weekend. And now, the countdown to Thanksgiving!

Some questions for you:

  • What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you hosting? Traveling?
  • Have you ever played Scattergories?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Tuesdays on the Run: Step Challenge, Week 2

Week 2of my office step challenge is under way, and my team is in 3rd place. Third place! Ugh. I’ve really stepped up my mileage this week, running nearly 5 miles each day — the prize is money toward a fitbit and you know I need a new one! I’m hoping my team members are taking it as seriously as I am ..

This week’s running highlight:

A drizzly run with FW on Sunday, followed by watching the NYC marathon. As much as stroller runs are hard, it’s a nice tradition with FW if it’s not too cold out (the weather turned after the weekend and we had a cold rest of the week!). And sometimes he even falls asleep 🙂

And watching the marathon was great. I loved watching Meb and holy cow Shalane!! It was definitely emotional.

Also, this was my highest mileage week in months!! Guess that’s what being in a step challenge will do for you.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a Fitbit? If not, what do you have?
  • Did you watch the marathon?

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

Where Did Fall Go?

Okay, where the heck did fall go? I feel like we went from summer to winter in a week. And I’m not okay with that.

For example, here was the temperature when I woke up to go for a run Saturday morning.

Granted, it was earlier than I typically wake up on Saturdays but still – feels like 11? BRR! Still, I bundled up in two jackets (yes, 2), some running tights (Skirt Sports Go the Distance Tights were perfect!) and made it out the door.

Part of the way through my run I was greeted with this beautiful sunrise, so I can’t really  complain.

And when I got home, B and FW were just getting up. B made FW and I pancakes, so it was a pretty good start to my Saturday!

Shortly after breakfast, we bundled up (it was now closer to 26 degrees – much warmer!) and went for a walk.

Then, it was time for the activity that ended up taking most of my Saturday, a benefit for the Carmelite nuns. The event includes some holiday shopping, AND  a fashion show!

Two of my sisters-in-law participated in the fashion show – how fun 🙂 

The event went much longer than I thought, so by the time I got home and B and FW got home, it was pretty much dinner time! We ordered some local thin crust pizza. YUM.

And because my event fell through, the evening ended with watching some more of Season 2 of Stranger Things! I love the show.

Sunday morning, we decided to go on a literal bagel run! B, FW and I ran to the local bagel shop with FW. It was not nearly as cold as it had been on Saturday, but we still bundled up FW. Doesn’t he look so excited to be on the run?

We got some DELICIOUS doughy bagels. These bagels are probably the closest to NY bagels I’ve found in CLE.

That afternoon, I had Lulu’s baby shower! Her baby girl is coming in January and she had a beautiful shower with great decor, friends and games.

I even won one of the games!

That night ended with spaghetti and meatballs with B’s family. One of my favorite meals and perfect for a cold night!

So that was it! Another delicious, fun, but COLD weekend. Here’s to a good week!

Questions for you:

  • Did the weather get cold near you yet?
  • Do you like baby shower games?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

What Not To Say to Someone Returning from Maternity Leave

It’s been a year since I returned back from maternity leave. Yup, a little over a year ago, I was starting to figure out daycare drop off and pickups, our new routine, and how to juggle life as a now working mom.

So, now that I’ve been there – and survived – here are some tips on things NOT to say to someone returning from maternity leave:

How was your vacation?

Believe it or not, people have asked this. Or said something similar, like, “How was your time off?” While I was very grateful for my FMLA-esque time at home, it was hardly a vacation or time off. In the beginning, FW didn’t realize that he was supposed to sleep at night, so he’d be sleeping during the day and then up at night. And then when he finally did start sleeping at night, it would be for 2-4 hours at a time. Also, I was breastfeeding (and newborns eat about every 2 hours from the time they start eating), which meant that an average morning went like this:

  • 7 a.m. wake up when baby wakes up.
  • 7:15 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. feed baby.
  • 7:50 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. burp/dress/change baby.
  • 8:20 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. put in a load of laundry.
  • 8:35 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. change baby into new clothes because he spit up all over himself. Luckily, laundry just started, so I can throw the dirty onesie in there.
  • 8:50 a.m. – 8:55 a.m. think about eating breakfast … but am interrupted by hungry baby crying.
  • 9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. feedbaby. Repeat cycle. Except this time baby likely has a diaper blowout. 💩

Let’s just say it wasn’t much of a vacation 🙂

How are you planning on losing the baby weight?

Yes, I was also asked this. While not directly commenting on my new mom bod, it’s NEVER appropriate to ask a coworker this.  Or comment on anyone’s body- especially someone who has just given birth.

It must be so nice to be back and with adults again!

Sometimes, yes. But most days would I like to be home, snuggling with my little baby? Yes. Adults aren’t always as cracked up as they should be.

It must be so nice to get a break from the baby!

Wait, was that you said? I couldn’t hear you – I was halfway falling asleep at my desk and also thinking about the diapers, bottles, milk, etc. that I need to buy before heading to daycare pickup, while also calculating how much longer we can have this conversation before I can figure out a polite way to excuse myself to go pump. While I may not physically be with my baby, it didn’t really feel like I was  getting a break.

a selfie a few days before returning from maternity leave

I’m tired.

When I first went back to work, my average night’s sleep was awful. Some nights, FW would be up at 9, 11, 3, 5 and nurse for 30ish (at least) minutes each time …. Meaning I got 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time, if that. No, I’m not saying you’re not tired, I’m just saying I had no idea what tired meant until I had a newborn at night and then had to function as a working, professional adult during the day.

So glad you’re back – we’ve been waiting on you for [insert names of 7 projects].

While it’s nice to feel needed, it’s also nice to get back into the swing of things slowly. I’m not saying you need to give working moms a break and be easier on them, but the first few weeks I was back, were HARD. I was tired (see: aforementioned lack of sleep) during the day and it was hard for me to work on my couch at night like I often did before FW.  I had serious mom brain some days. And, weekends became much more precious – they were time I longed for to spend with my new family. So, when I had to some of the first weekends that I was back, it was hard. If you know a mom recently back from maternity leave, at least tell her how much you appreciate her being back and understand her new schedule – and priorities – may be a little different.

So what CAN you say to a mom who’s back from maternity leave? Here are 3 things I’d recommend:

  1. You look GREAT! (I don’t care if she hasn’t lost any baby weight or looks like she hasn’t slept since giving birth … we all need to hear it sometimes!)
  2. We missed you so much! It’s nice to feel the love at the office, especially when you’re missing your baby!
  3. Here’s _____ for you and your family! (where ___ = healthy dinner, gift card for dinner delivery service, diapers, a frozen dinner, etc. Basically anytime someone dropped off dinner – or diapers! – they were my new favorite people. )

Please note – I am INCREDIBLY lucky to have an amazing group of coworkers who for the most part are supportive and understanding. But not everyone is so lucky. AND note that I do not speak on behalf of all recently-returned-to-work women. All women are different. Some may enjoy talking about their post-baby bodies. Some may have felt like their time off was a vacation. So please take these as suggestions and think how you’d like to be treated as well.

Note: These random thoughts are part of the Thinking Out Loud linkup. 

Tuesdays on the Run: Step Challenge – Week 1

Well, I’m still in a running funk. BUT my mileage is up simply because I’m part of a step challenge at work that goes for another week. So, I kicked my running into gear on Wednesday (the day the challenge started), and have been running each day since. These week I almost got in 30 miles.

It’s still be hard waking up early to go run. The mornings are so dark and getting chilly – and my bed is sooo warm. I don’t remember feeling this way last winter/fall!

This week’s running highlight:

Saturday, B and me took FW on a stroller run! We went out with our niece for a few miles around a nearby lake. It was a fun time and first time I’d run with B in forever!

Some questions for you:

  • Tips for getting out of bed early? I’m definitely a morning worker-outer, but need some help!
  • What are you looking forward to most this week?

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

Another Rainy Weekend in the Burbs

It was another rainy weekend here in Cleveland. But we made the most of it and didn’t even stay inside the whole time!  After what felt like a long week, B and I decided to go out to dinner Friday night. We took FW to Tommy’s, a local restaurant known for their vegetarian food, meat pies AND milkshakes (I know, funny combo … but I guess it works).

I had a tempeh burger and fries (super large platter of fries not pictured).

We of course had to get one of their famous milkshakes. B and I split the amazing mocha shake. I’m not usually a milkshake lover, but this one was amazing. FW ha a sip and loved it- we had to pull it away from him!

Saturday morning we decided to out for a family run with the Bob. We picked up our niece and went for a run around the lakes.

In the afternoon, FW managed to only take a 15 minute nap — butI had plans to make brownies, so that’s what I did. They came out super chocolatey. 

We brought the brownies over to Dave and Anson’s house – they just had their second baby, a beautiful girl, Mara! It’s crazy how big FW looks compared to a newborn.

That night, we grabbed takeout at one of our favorite Little Italy places, Valentino’s. I’m a fan of their pizza. 

And after putting FW to bed, it was time to FINALLY watch some Stranger Things!

Sunday morning FW slept in again (until like 7:30), which was amazing. We started off the day with some French toast, made by B!

After breakfast, B got busy on some housework and FW and I went out for a run. He passed out just as we returned home, so we decided to go for a walk in the rain to Stone Oven to pick up a loaf of their bread.

When we got back, FW got to help B with some of the housework.

After running some errands, it was time to watch the NYC Marathon!

Watching Shalane win was amazing. I may have teared up when she crossed the finish. Such a great race to watch and such a great finish! And of course, Meb. Can you tell I love the race? It was a great end to my weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you watch the NYC Marathon?
  • What’s your favorite dessert?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!