To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Little Update on a Little Girl

Here I am, finally with a moment to write this blog post that I've written in my head many times, and I suddenly have writer's block. Of course! I'd say I blame the baby, but really I should blame the dog that wakes me up every hour to potty at night and my boobs that wake me up feeling like solid boulders desperate to be pumped.

So a baby update! 

<-- Our hand prints, part of our Mother's Day gift to my mommy!

At the last appointment we were at, days before my return to work, we were given permission to let Katura sleep through the night. Finally an end to having to feed her every two to three hours! And what a gift it was that Katura went along with it and has no problem sleeping through the night. She and I are pretty much on the same schedule in the morning, with her waking up after I finish my final pre-work pumping. But still I sleep maybe 4 hours a night, thanks to my old dog and pumping milk whenever I wake up feeling like I'm about to explode. My alarm used to go off at 6:20am before becoming pregnant. I switched it to 6am once pregnant because I had to allot some time for my daily bout of morning sickness. Now my alarm goes off at 5am, but usually I am awake before it. And I use every single minute to get myself ready, feed Katura and get all of my gear ready for work. 

Work ... first off, the "gear"... I go every morning with a big cup for my ice water and my bag that contains my breast pump and small cooler. Farewell to the days of just walking out the door! I was up and down about my feelings on returning to work after maternity leave, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised! It was great to be back with the girls again. Shortly after my return I had my annual evaluation, which was the best one I've ever received. It was such a relief and really helped me transition back to working every day. I only work 4 hours each morning, Monday through Friday, which I imagine also helps me transition. If I had an 8 hour work day, ugh, that would be too hard to be away from her that long!

With work I have a whole new outlook. If we back up, a few years ago we had a different roster of people working in our department. Work was awful. I chose to go part time to at least maintain some sanity and minimize my time around the incredibly hostile environment. Things have improved with people leaving and the addition of two new faces. Those faces have really turned the atmosphere around. Now I go to work and it is almost as if it's my social hour. My four hours a day to visit with friends while having fun organizing things and playing around with numbers. After my daily free time (i.e. work) I then go home to what is now my real job, my job as a mom!

Child care is pretty awesome in our family. We are fortunate to never have to have anyone babysit Katura. Between my mom, husband and myself we have her covered thanks to our variety of work schedules. My mom and Katura have fun enjoying the outdoors, Uncle Buddy (my "brother", and mom's lab puppy), and reading books together. I suspect Katura will be bossing Buddy around in no time at all! 

My time with Katura is always busy and an adventure! She still loves bath time and floating around in the big sink. Now that she's holding herself up better she's been really into sitting up and watching anything that is happening around her. The cats and dog catch her attention often at home, and we've recently had the discovery of Disney Junior cartoons when I'm getting ready for work. Another discovery... her voice. This girl is a "talker"! I've been getting ready for work listening to her carry on conversations with herself. So adorable!

Everything is going in her mouth now.... burp cloths, blankets, Sofie the giraffe, and mostly Mickey Mouse. Often I grab things and find them to be all slimy from being in a little girl's mouth. She doesn't really take her pacifier as often now because she realized she has little fingers and hands and they are sure tasty and always available! I was a thumb sucker myself, so I understand the appeal!

I keep expecting people to unfriend me on social media because I'm that annoying mom that always shares photos of a happy baby doing things. I imagine everyone must be hiding me instead because seriously, how do you put up with me?? Instead I've done unfriending actually. When people start getting a little too creepy and sharing my posts all the time and just giving off a vibe, well, it's time to go. Or those that I used to be very close with now absolutely have nothing to do with me once I announced I was pregnant and can't even say a quick hello ... good bye. My life is so dang happy right now that I just don't even bother to let in anything or anyone that is a downer. So if that means shifting my friends and my relationships with them, so be it.

I'll wrap it up now. Last thing, I'm finally physically able to run again, so I'm gradually working it back into my life. Katura loves her stroller, so I imagine she and I will be spending a lot of time in the great outdoors together. I've also been inspired to start doing the whole Zumba thing again in my basement. I just need to keep figuring out what works for Katura and myself so then I can work in these things and not just always be a zombie after my four hours of work. Oh yeah, by the end of my 4 I'm pretty much walking around with glazed eyes and ready to feed and snuggle with a little girl! Feeding ... uh, it's possible she and I have both fallen asleep while she was nursing more than one time. Just a couple days ago I woke up and my husband had loaded garbage, gone to the dump, and come home and I didn't even know because she and I had fallen asleep together. Oops!

That's it. Done. If I remember what I had actually meant to write about I'll be back!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Track Town 5K, With a Twist

Here's a first.... The first race report I have written on my phone while a baby sleeps on my lap!

In 2010 I ran the 5k from Eugene Marathon weekend for the first time. I was immediately sucked into that race weekend, only missing 2013 due to my wedding reception. There is something about running in Eugene that just makes you run better .... probably all of those crazy fast people you're surrounded by! The next 3 times I raced that weekend it was for the half marathon. Last year I planed to do the half and set a new goal for myself, but life had other plans. I ended up with doctor's orders to not do 13.1, but I could do 3.1 if I ran easy and took walk breaks. All of this was to keep my body in a safe and happy state since I was recovering from egg retrieval and preparing for my embryos to be implanted. It was a very worthy reason to run a 5k versus a half marathon! 

This year I had a pretty good reason again! I finally felt able to resume running after having my precious little baby, but that was only a week before the race. I want to start early being a good example to Katura and showing her how fun it is to be active, and prove that if you want to do something, you can. So I decided that less than 3 months after giving birth I was going to "race" again! I asked my mom to join me as I entered the Track Town 5K as one of those stroller people pushing a baby. I was prepared to be a stroller person!?!

Friday we ladies went up to Eugene for the expo, and frankly it was rather blah for all the hype of it being the 10th year. I maybe had too high of expo expectations. Getting our packets was a breeze though and we even won some free boxes of pancake mix! Most of our day was spent shopping, and I did find Katura her first race day outfit pants and a onesie that says "Team Mommy", which is very fitting since she was with her mommy and I was with mine!

Race day started extra early for me since now I have to be prepared with a diaper bag and milk for my girl, as well as my regular race gear. Around 6am we were on the road and heading to my usual parking spot a few blocks from the start line.

It was pretty chilly at first, so Operation Baby Bundle was in effect! No way would she be cold during this race! After her breakfast we made our way to the start area for last minute potty trips, start line photos and bonding with the other stroller people. We are certainly the minority, but didn't mind all mingling with each other at the very back of the pack. 

Once we hit the start line, however, we began running and set ourselves apart from the slow walkers and hand holders. That is a big race pet peeve of mine. Hold hands on a walk in the park, but don't get all cozy and attached during a race when inevitably you end up being a sort of wall that people have to weave around. So my pet peeve helped us get moving and in a safe pocket of fast walkers. 

The plan was basically to quickly walk and then run once we hit the track. Plans change. My legs feel better running, so any time they got cranky we would do a light run. Going down hills with a stroller is a totally new thing for me, and I learned it is easier to run that as well since the stroller is already wanting to go faster. Oh man, my arms! My legs felt it a little bit, but my arms are what got the real workout on that course. I had to do a lot of diverting around potholes and nasty parts of the street. Plus I had a death grip on it because that was my sleeping baby in it after all!

Coming up to the Hayward Field entrance we were cheered on by spectators rooting for those of us pushing our babies. That was fun and obviously very new to me! We hit the track and I told my mom we were running it in to the end. What I neglected to tell her was I always practice a finishing kick and use it in every race. Those people we were back and forth with during the race now became targets for me to pick off one by one. And I did. And then the real sprint happened and I confess I did ditch my mom in the last 10 or so yards. I always have to give my all at the end!

I was completely stunned when we were given medals! (They've never done this before!) And not a rubber cartoon-like medal like at a Disney race, but real, super nice medals! As we exited the race area we were given reusable water bottles with the race logo on them, already filed with water. Plus we got reusable tote bags, also with the logo, filled with snacks. Nice work, Eugene!! For the first time in all of my Eugene races I actually took advantage of the free pancakes. It was kind of fun to sit and have breakfast outside in the grass with my mom and daughter! Heck the whole weekend was fun!

On the way to the car we had to get some post race photos by Steve Prefontaine, as per usual. It felt great! I am so glad I signed up on a whim and that my mom joined me. So now I am looking forward to more training runs and building back up to my happy 13.1 distance, picking out some half marathons, and many more shorter races with my little girl and her stroller!