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!

A “Toasty” Weekend

We had a HOT weekend here in Cleveland – it was 95ish or so degrees both days and humid. Or as FW says, “toasty!” So, we had to find some ways to keep 2 kids entertained and stay cool.

Friday night started off with a walk to get some ice cream at a nearby ice cream shop. It’s about a mile walk there (FW didn’t make it the whole way there or back on foot).

FW enjoyed sharing ice cream with both of us.

Also, this little lady turned 1 month old!

Saturday morning tarted orly – B and his dad were going to chop down a tree in our backyard. It was starting to grow and invade our neighbors’ house so they asked us to do something about it.

FW joined in – he watched over the chopping with donuts:)

And made sure the ladder was safe to use.

Then, we took a little family walk. It was HOT out so we didn’t make it too far.

That afternoon, B had plans and was out of the house for a few hours. It was my first extended time alone with the two kids … and to be honest – it was hard! They got along for some time, but there were a few meltdowns from both of them at some points. 

When B came home, I was READY to get out of the house. It was past dinnertime and FW (and B) were hungry. So, B went with the kids to pick up pizza, and I went for a short run. It was 90 and humid and I’m so out of shape from not running after giving birth, but it felt SO GOOD to be outside and moving!

And, my favorite local pizza – plus wine and soda! – for dinner.

Sunday morning, we watched some World Cup and went for a walk before it got too hot. We walked to some local lakes where FW likes to watch the fish.

The afternoon included trying to keep cool – hanging out in the AC, watching some World Cup inside, and relaxing on the porch. A perfect weekend for the summer!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you get out and run in the heat this weekend?
  • Do you have AC?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Celebrating FW

Wow, what a fun-filled jam-packed weekend. We packed so many activities into two days! Why? Because FW turned TWO on Saturday. So, we made sure to do as much fun things we could to celebrate him. It was great to make him feel special, especially since he now has a 1-month-old sister and he has to share the attention with!

Saturday morning we started the day with his favorite – pancakes!

They even brought out in muffin with a candle on it to blow out and sang Happy Birthday. He loved it!

After breakfast, we headed to the zoo. FW gets a membership from one of his uncles for his birthday and it’s such a perfect gift!

Francis LOVES animals, especially giraffes and elephants. So, the zoo was pretty much his ideal birthday location.

We even checked out the new Asian Highland’s exhibit.

We were there for several hours, and I discovered that they even have a nursing room for moms! It has two rockers, a privacy partition, children’s books and more. Yes, we may have spent some time in there.

At night, we all headed to the Indians game. FW seemed more interested in the mascot and music than the game. He did love “the baseball song” of course.

My parents also came in town to celebrate the birthday! They got in Saturday night, and we started off Sunday with a walk to breakfast.

That afternoon, we had people over to celebrate FW. B grilled, and my mom and I helped with the sides.

B’s mom made a great birthday cake – it was a bear with a soccer ball! FW loved it.

I know I had a good time – and I hope FW did, too. I can’t my little buddy is already 2 years old!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like zoos?
  • What is your favorite kind of cake?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Happy Birthday, FW

Happy Birthday to FW. I cannot believe that you are two years old today. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what life was like before you, and other days it feels like you just arrived.

This year held a lot of change for you. New school, new home, new sister, two new bedrooms, new bed – what else is there to change?

Yet (most of the time), you’ve stayed happy, giggly and (okay, I’m biased) so adorable.

This will be a big year for you. You’re already showing so many of the signs of being a “big boy” – both good and bad. The terrible twos have started to appear (yes, including tantrums, not listening to us and crying on demand), but you are also so caring and helpful, especially around your new little sister.  You’re saying sentences and not afraid to express your feelings, whether you’re happy or sad.

Every single thing they say about kids growing up too fast and time flying is true. I have to remind myself to take a step back and enjoy our time right now, because with the blink of an eye, I know these years will be over too soon.

Thank you for making me a Mom.

Summery Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Goat Cheese and Cherry Salad

Now that I’m no longer pregnant and I’m nursing, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to eat healthy again. What does this mean for me? It doesn’t mean cutting out sweets (sorry LM, but I have a sweet tooth!), but instead, it’s about balance. Which means finding ways to get my veggies in.

When I was pregnant, I was turned off by salads and a lot of veggies for some reason. But now that I’m not, I am happy to eat them again! There are only 2 things getting in my way:

  1. I’m turned off by boring food – if I’m going to have a salad, I want it to be FUN!
  2. I don’t have much free time lately. My hands are full literally most of the day (see: nursing a newborn) and then at night when I’m juggling 2 kids, one of whom is a needy and hungry toddler, I don’t feel like spending too much time preparing a meal.

That’s where this salad comes in. It’s anything BUT boring – look at it! It’s colorful! Doesn’t it just shout, “summer”?

AND it can be prepped in advance. I was able to prep all the ingredients throughout the day and then it only took 2 minutes to pull it together at dinner time. Plus, Half of the ingredients were things that I could put on FW’s plate, too, so we all could enjoy a similar dinner, which doesn’t happen often!

See FW’s food vs ours

I can barely call this a recipe because it’s just throwing a few foods together, but in case this inspires you – here it is.

Summery Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Goat Cheese and Cherry Salad

For us, this served 2

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup chopped grilled chicken – I got lucky and B had grilled the night before so we had leftover grilled chicken
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 4-6 cherries, pitted and sliced in half – I used Skylar Rae cherries* because of their sweetness, firm texture and beautiful color
  • 3 cups lettuce
  • 1/2 cup other veggies of your choosing – I did roasted sweet potatoes and sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup other protein of your choosing – I did chickpeas, hard-boiled egg and ham
  • Your favorite dressing – mine is an easy balsamic dressing with mustard (similar recipe, here)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Prepare your ingredients. Measure out your chicken, goat cheese, avocado and cherries. The Skylar Rae cherries are perfect for this salad because of their sweetness and nice crisp texture.
  2. Place on top of lettuce.
  3. Gather other ingredients of your choice – I also added roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, chickpeas, hard-boiled egg and ham. Some other toppings that would be good include tomato, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, edamame, etc. Also, this could easily be a vegetarian salad – simply swap out the chicken and ham for other proteins, such as lentils.
  4. Top with salad dressing.

See how easy that was? Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: Stemilt sent me some complimentary Skylar Rae cherries, and I loved them. I mostly just ate them, but also put them into this salad. All views are my own.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately

I can’t believe it, but it’s been more than three weeks since our family changed dramatically and LM entered this world. The days go by faster than fast, and weeks have flown by. But we definitely have been busy! And while I’m not cleared to run yet, I’v been trying to stay active as my body heals by walking nearly every day and working to heal my diastasis recti with some simple exercises. Here’s to hoping that in 3 more weeks, I’ll be running (or more like run/walking) again!

Anyway, here are some highlights of the past few weeks.

We took LM downtown and hit up one of the Cleveland signs. We took a similar picture with FW when he was just a few weeks old!

When we’re not walking too far (and it’s not too hot), I love wearing LM for walks. 

We also made B a Father’s Day gift. Nicole came over with her little girl and we did some crafting on the porch!

Trying to entertain FW while also nursing and taking care of LM is no joke, even with B around. So, we’ve been getting creative. Like visiting the fish at the library.

And playing with all the toys there.

And hanging out on our porch!

Heck, FW even enjoyed going to the store with me. Maybe because while we were getting groceries someone gave him a free milk?

When it’s been hot, FW has loved playing with his water table. 

And, of course, goofing around with his old bff Celia. Even though they no longer go to the same daycare, we still try to get them together!

I’ve enjoyed having summery drinks – like this mojito made with mint from my sister-in-law’s garden.

And food that I didn’t really indulge in during pregnancy – like pope!

Some days I’ve had time to bake. Our CSA gave us some strawberries and rhubarb, so I made a crisp with them. 

FW even got in on the fun and helped me make some of his favorite muffins

And we’ve been introducing LM to everyone in the family when we can – she loved meeting all her cousins!

Those are some of the highlights. Hopefully in the weeks to come, I’ll have some more activity-based ones to share. Until then, keep your fingers crossed we get some sleep soon!

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

LM’s Birth Story

Warning – what follows may be TMI for you. Before having kids, the though of reading anyone else’s birth story was foreign to me. I didn’t understand why people shared them and what the point of documenting them was. But now, I actually get it! So if that sounds like you, just don’t read any more.

I didn’t really capture FW’s birth story (minus introducing him here), and I somewhat wish I had. His was pretty “normal” as far as I can tell (minus the fact that I started sorta having contractions at the Cavs parade … ) – I had some contractions that started out small in the afternoon, but lasted through the night and got stronger until it was clearly time to go to the hospital, where he was born several hours later after less than an hour of pushing.

LM, on the other hand – well, she was almost born in our car. She came out fast and I want to remember the story, so here it is!

The Weeks Leading Up to the Due Date

LM’s due date was 5/24. About 10 weeks prior, I was having some issues and the dr. told me that she thought I may go early. So, as you may know, I had to refrain from any activity for a few weeks while I had some tests done (and repeated).

The Day Before My Due Date

Even after I was cleared to do normal activity (and I participated in the Cleveland Marathon 5k and 10k events), everyone seemed to think I was going to go early – even my dr. So when the night of 5/23 rolled around, I just assumed that I was going to go another few days. FW had been 2 days late, so I assumed LM had waited this long, she’d probably wait until 5/26. Wanting to make the last few nights we ha alone with FW special, we went out for ice cream and a walk before bed. B had a soccer game that night and had decided he wasn’t going to go – but I assured him it was okay, so he went. After the game, he even went out to watch the Cavs game at a nearby bar.

(video for humor … it has nothing to do with LM’s story)

The Due Date

I woke up around 1:45 a.m. having to go to the bathroom (story my life as a pregnant person), and noticed I was having some strongish (what I thought were) Braxton-Hicks contractions. I decided to get out of bed to see if they went away. They didn’t. I realized they may be the real thing, so I decided to time them for 30 minutes before calling the dr. at 2:30. The dr. told me to keep timing them, and call back probably in an hour or two.

B at this point woke up and heard me on the phone with the dr, so he decided to call his mom (she was going to come over and watch FW). I think he called her around 2:45 a.m. and told her to come over. Knowing that it may be likely another hour or two before we headed to the hospital, I texted her, telling her to take her time and that we likely wouldn’t be heading over anytime soon (keeping what the dr. had said in mind).

Luckily, however, B’s mom didn’t see the text and came over right away. She got to our house around 3:15 a.m. and B gave her the lay of the land – what to feed FW for breakfast, his morning routine, etc. We headed out to the hospital around 3:30 a.m. At this point, the contractions had gotten VERY strong. But, they were still not what I was expecting – they were lasting less than a minute but happening about every other minute or so.

The ride to the hospital is about 25 minutes without traffic. To be honest, I was not sure we would make it. I could barely talk through the pain of the contractions. But, part of me also believed that we’d get to the hospital and they would turn us home because of how irregular they seemed to be. B could tell I was in a lot of pain and drove there FAST. (side note-  it’s 45 -55 minutes to get there when it’s rush hour or traffic so thank goodness this was 3:30 AM and not PM!)

We got to the hospital a little before 4 a.m. and I got checked on at 4 a.m. to see if I could be admitted. They told me not to push and told me I was (I think?) 6 cm dilated. I asked for an epidural and they said that they’d admit me and get the process started.

I was in so much pain at this point during the contractions, that I could barely move. I told them that they didn’t need to put me in a hospital gown because I was wearing a sundress and it would be easier 🙂 Nevertheless, they got me in a gown and were about to admit me when my water broke. They checked me again, and I was 8 cm dilated. It was time!

There was no way I was walking, so they wheeled me into a labor/delivery room. By this time, it was 4:08 a.m. and they told me that it looked like I wasn’t getting an epidural – and it was time to push! I was fully dilated. I couldn’t believe it – it was all happening so fast. We had literally just gotten into the hospital less than 10 minutes earlier.

Lucille Marian was born at 4:13 a.m. She was 7 lb. 10 ounces.  Shortly thereafter, B nearly collapsed from the adrenaline rush/fall (I’m sure the cup of coffee he made for himself before we left the house and had on an empty stomach didn’t help either) and I had to put an arm out to catch him (my other arm was holding the new baby). After getting some fluids and resting for a few minutes, he was all better. He was so GREAT in helping me through the birth, even without the epidural.

I’m still in disbelief that we have a baby girl! Keeping the gender a surprise again was definitely worth it. I admit that I was a little in shock after she was born and they put her on me. It all happened so so so fast, that I was a little shaken – it felt a little traumatic. Traumatic may not be the right word – after all, we are all healthy and happy and everyone is fine, but it took me some time to start to realize what had just happened and feel okay again.

So far, we are doing well. LM is an eater and is gaining weight and eating well. Now, if only we could get her to sleep at night! But she’s a newborn and I know that will change in the future – though I’m not wishing time away. I know firsthand how fast it goes.

Here’s to our new family of four! We’re still adjusting to it all, including the lack of sleep, but all are so so so smitten with our newest lovely addition. ❤