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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Marathon Training with an Infant (Week 1 Recap)

Week 1 of the official training program is in the books. I wanted to start off with low expectations, so I already skipped a workout. (Relax, Jack! I added a new one at the end.) So. Will (aka husband/FORMER training buddy) pulled a hammy at JAG School, so he is under doctor's orders not to "go out and run 5 miles or anything." First day of training? A 5 miler. Luckily, I have another training buddy who is at least equally as cute . . .

My sole running buddy (10 weeks old). I like him.

(Will is doing physical therapy now, so hopefully he can start joining me and little Will on runs within the next couple weeks. At a minimum, he got one of those big foam rollers for free at physical therapy. Holla.)

Anyway, training with an infant has its own set of challenges. I took to the fitness blogs for tips before we ventured out with our beloved companion, Robert (more commonly known as BOB Stroller), so I thought I'd share our routine. Maybe it will be helpful to other running mamas out there.

Our Routine:

(1) Nurse first and double down. This is going to be pretty intuitive for the newly nursing mom. Feeding the baby before a run kills two birds with one stone. You won't have painful, full breasts during your run and your babe won't go hungry or want food right after your workout when you are all sweaty and gross. Also, double down on the sports bras if your chesty is still kind of sensitive. Once your supply regulates, you probably won't feel the need to do this.

(2) Head for the door. When we're home, I just change into my workout clothes while he's napping. I'm still doing the EASY routine, so I'll wait until he wakes up (or wake him up) and nurse him. (I just pull everything right on up. No special nursing sports bras or anything.) When we finish, I stick him right in the infant car seat, into the stroller, and get everything ready.

(3) RUN. Duh. But I've actually found that running with the BOB is more difficult than I initially thought. It's hard to keep a good running form when you are pushing a heavy stroller with one hand, especially against the wind. I have a tendency to lean back, so I really have to focus on leaning forward into the stroller a little.

(4) Cool down = nap time. At least for us, as soon as the stroller stops, baby Will's eyes shoot open. If I want any sort of cool down, I have to keep walking around our culdesac until I'm ready to pull him out of the stroller and go back into mom-mode. If you have one of those super-sweet babies that will, like, sit still for any period of time, then you can disregard this advice.

Some Other Thoughts:

Timing. I like to run in the late afternoon and time it so that Will gets home just as I need to shower. As we head into summer, I will probably need to re-think this and go out first thing in the morning. I am still lobbying Will for a treadmill so I can just keep an eye on Will on the baby monitor.

Lactic Acid. I've read that the lactic acid from exercise can change the taste of breast milk and babies will refuse to eat. This has never been a problem for us.

Milk Supply. No issues at all, but I've been refueling with plenty of water and ice cream.

Weight Loss. My weight loss has plateaued and I still have about 7 pounds (of the 43+ gained during pregnancy) clinging to me that have been sticking around the past few weeks. I'm interested to see if running gets rid of them or if I'll actually have to wait until baby Will weans and diet (i.e., stop eating ice cream for a few days).

Leave me a comment if you have any other tips!

Week 1 Recap:

So here is Phase I of the program, the first 4 weeks: 

And here is what was actually accomplished: 


5 miles, 55:07.90, 11:02/mile (with BOB)


3 miles, 32:15.24, 10:45/mile (with BOB)


5 miles, 56:29.97, 11:18/mile (with BOB)


3 miles, 29:05.78, 9:42/mile (with BOB)


6 miles, my stinking watch ate my run, but it was completed in less than 1 hour. Last mile was sub 9-minutes! (no BOB)


3.1 miles, 25:25, 8:12/mile (no BOB)

Total: 25 miles

Overall, it was a good week. I'm starting to feel like I have my pre-baby legs back. (The entire abdomen area, however, is another story.)

Crazy duckfaced post-run mirror selfie complete with Jesus photobomb.
One week down, 21 to go!

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Babies in suits, feminist rants, & that water tower that looks like a butt (7 QT)

1. Jen Fulwiler's book Something Other than God is being released next week. Today, she announced that there will be a prize for the Most Epic Selfie Holding the Book. Yesterday, I discovered the craze that is #babysuiting.

You can see where my mind is headed. I ordered the e-book, so it won't be all that ideal, but be on the lookout on Insta anyway. 

2. I recently updated our "About" page. Friends, send me your feedback. I always feel like I am being too short and forgetting something, or just trying to be clever and not being clever, you know what I mean?

Elisabeth, my blog muse, I'm looking at you. Text me your thoughts for reals. I'd love to make it better.

3. This week was week 1 (of 22) of marathon training.

So far, it's going decent. I'll have a whole post with times, struggles, and updates, but on the whole I'm holding it together. One week down, 21 to go.

4. I've always considered myself a feminist, even though in, like, a hipster counter-counter-cultural way. (Obviously mom blogger just screams feminism.) But Simcha Fisher hit the nail on the head with recent piece "Yes, we still need feminism." She wrote: 
. . . Yes, some evil people call themselves feminists, and do dreadful things in the name of feminism. So what?  People do dreadful things in the name of democracy, and people do dreadful things in the name of beauty. People do dreadful things in the name of Christ our savior. That doesn’t mean we abandon the name. That means we rescue it, we rectify the misuse. 
When I call myself a feminist, I don’t mean that I break out in a cold sweat when McDonald’s asks me if I want a boy toy or a girl toy in my kid’s happy meal. Some people use “feminism” to mean “being upset all the time” or “getting revenge on men” or “stamping out everything that makes women seem feminine.”  So what? I don’t use it that way. Neither did John Paul II.
As my Grandma Nolan would say, "Amen, sistah Lou." The foundation of feminism is not about contraception, abortion, or even women in the workforce, it's about respect and the dignity of women. Simcha makes a strong case for reclaiming the feminist movement, but check out her post and read some of the comments. Really interesting stuff.   

5. Any House of Cards fans out there? I love me some political drama, but I'm just not sure if I can find the redeeming quality of this show a la Breaking Bad. We're on the second to last episode of the Season 2, aka the weirdest episode ever, and I'm still trying to figure out whether I like the show or not. So far the only objectively good aspect of the series is that it features my hometown stomping grounds of D.C. and Baltimore, and, more importantly, there is an entire episode devoted to the GAFFNEY PEACH. Belmont Abbey is located about 40 minutes from said peach and my sister graduated from Limestone College located in Gaffney, so I drove past the peachoid many a time in college.

Memories. (Source.)

I guess I'm just waiting for something very bad to happen to the Underwoods . . .

6. And now, because I have stuff to do, I'm going to cop out and just link you to Kendra's excellent post today in defense of Catholicism without comment. I've recently dusted off my Catechism (HA! It's an e-book version, so I totally made a funny joke without you realizing it), so I have this renewed zeal for the theological foundations of our faith. But you kind of have to be a lawyer to read it---so dense, you guys---and Kendra puts things in laymen's terms in the best way. I kind of love her. 

7. Go. Just go. Get off this rotten blog thing I've created.

Linking up with Jen on this very fine Friday.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Homecoming & an Easter Baptism

These two. 

Will finally arrived home on Good Friday! It took a couple days' adjustment---I'd gotten pretty used to having our bed all to myself (wink wink)---but I'd say we found our groove. At one point, I was worried that I'd be a control freak when Will got back, worried that he needed to change William's diapers just so, bathe him just so, hold him just so. Right. Flash forward a few weeks and I was so ready to hand that baby off . . .  not a concern. Laughable even! And Will was feeling pretty awkward that he asked how I did everything anyway. Just a few days later and he's wrangling this squirmy, bucking babe with the best of them so I'd say we're good. The other night, Will handled bath time and bed time by himself and I was just up in here like, "SO MUCH TIME FOR ACTIVITIES!!!!" I did laundry.

It was a bit of a hectic Easter weekend, with Will's homecoming and the baptism. We had grandparents and godparents in town for the blessed event. The baptism went off without a hitch. We got mad props from Sister Carolyn for our response to "What do you ask of God's church for William?"*, an old man complimented little Will's dress, and the baby did not cry nor puke on Father Jim or in the baptismal font. 

He is risen indeed.

A little glimpse of Friar William's receding hairline.

Now go ahead and try to tell me the dress is not ideal.

*I had to text Will because I couldn't remember his response. His text: "Welcome him into the church, celebrate his new life in Christ, and educate him in his faith. Holla back." Don't think he said that last part in front of the whole parish, but feeling particularly humbled that God let us become parents. 

Holla back.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Home Stretch

I know I said we could make it, but . . .

Hours after clicking "Publish" we saw hail. Flash floods. Lightening. Howling winds. TORNADOS! Etc. Et al. I don't know if the photo above captures the gravity of the weather situation, but, listen - I grew up in Maryland. A land of crab cakes and moderate weather. A land where there do not exist sirens to warn sleeping citizens of impending meteorological doom.

Will woke at 5:30am, probably from the sounds of the storm. I thought I heard sirens, but I wasn't completely sure because the soft breaking waves of the ocean (via sound machine) were drowning it out. I soothed him back to sleep and as soon as I crawled into bed, the ocean stopped. It took me a few seconds to realize the power went out. That was when I really heard the tornado sirens. Texting my mom, who was raised in Oklahoma as a child and saw many a tornado, seemed like a good idea at the time. I had gone to the upstairs hallway with the baby to get away from windows. Seemed like a nice spot to camp out and nod off.


Big Momma D called me immediately and implored me to get downstairs because "the whole top floor could be ripped off." Lots of deets like that in the pitch black power outage with howling winds outside. She proceeded to tell me things like how her mother would drag a mattress over them, would dress them in their winter coats, and told me that if I heard the tornado to go to the corner of our freezing cold garage. "It sounds like a freight train. When you hear it get in the corner of the garage by the stairs and make a triangle of life."

Thank you, mom, for your expertise, but I don't think I'll be calling you next time in my moment of terror.

Moving along.

We did, in fact, survive long enough to face our next life-threatening obstacle: cross-country travel with a two month old. 

After much hemming and hawing, I agreed to take baby Will down to Maxwell AFB to visit husband Will at JAG School. Shockingly, there are no direct flights from St. Louis to Montgomery and we had to stay in a hotel with the baby, who is not a great night sleeper. In a rare bout of first-time mom confidence (momfidence?... no), I bit the bullet and booked the flight. I then spent the next few weeks in terror at the thought of actually traveling alone with the poop machine that is Baby Brez. How would I carry everything and get through security??? Where would I park??? Would he cry from the air pressure??? Would people stare at me nursing in public??? Would he spit up on the passenger next to us??? Would he get sick from the airplane germs??? Does he need identification??? .... and so on and so forth.

The Mobester was clutch.

I guess you could say I over-prepared. I knew exactly which hand would carry what piece of luggage, what pockets my phone, ID, and tickets would go in, when I would feed him, etc., and honestly, the trip down went without incident. Momfidence points for Team Brez.

Will greeted us in Montgomery and we had a nice little reunion.

And the remainder of our trip was fantastic.

We showed off the babe to Will's JASOC buds and my college lax teammate, explored the three tiny streets that make up downtown Montgomery, and even went out to dinner sans baby.

On Palm Sunday we went to confession and Mass on base and it ruled. The weather was so nice by the end of Mass, baby Will decided to go shirtless (hubba hubba). And then we went brunching, which is one of my top 5 favorite activities. 

I got to see what JAG School life was all about. And although some of my resentment toward Will was well-founded (beautiful weather, adult interaction, free time for recreational activities), I saw the dungeon cell they put him up in to live in for two whole months. Shared bathroom and all! And the water pressure! Oh, the horrific water pressure! The grass is always greener . . .

Someone really enjoyed the free HBO and king-sized bed at our hotel.

The trip home was a little more hairy. It started out like this:

Censored a la Eve in the Garden of Eden. SINFUL, I say! 

Will had his first Stage 5 blowout before we were to board our flight. I was wearing him in the Moby and felt it happen. And, I just knew. I just knew. Luckily, I arrived at the airport with a ton of time to spare because I was still a little paranoid despite our easy trip down, and you know it was a good thing because it took me twenty minutes to give him the old diaper-wipe-baby-bath and get him changed. Unfortunately for him, I didn't bring a spare pair of pants, so baby Brez was pantsless for the rest of our trip. No big deal in the 80 degree Alabama weather, but we live in the polar vortex, so you can use that info for a very weak literary foreshadow . . .

The first flight was uneventful, however, we landed in Charlotte and had to do that walk/jog to our next flight across the airport. I knew I had to feed him, so I took him out of the Moby and he started screaming. There was a scream-match with another baby on the flight (everyone around was very entertained!), but luckily for us, Will lost. He nursed without incident and was happy. So happy that he puked allllll down the front of me. I was so momfident going into the day that I did not pack an extra shirt for myself. Fail. But I felt lucky that all the fluid stuck to our side of the armrest. Once we were in the air I again felt and heard the inevitable BM. I got up (from my window seat!!!) and could not find our diaper bag. It felt like an eternity I was searching for it. Finally I found it with the help of about five other passengers (where I left it, of course) behind some other bags. 

When we arrived in St. Louis we were greeted by 40 degree temps and horizontal rain. The wheel on my big piece of checked luggage had been damaged, so I was dragging it around in anger, shaking my one spare fist in the air. And of course the exit I needed was under construction, so I had to walk all the way around to my shuttle . . .  in the cold rain . . . with Will's bare legs hanging out of the Moby. (I tried unsuccessfully to cover him with a blanket.) He slept through it all! God bless him. When we got to our car, I fed him, heard another BIG BM (it never stops) and had to change him with the door open and the wind and rain whipping into the car. Baby Brez handled the trip like a pro. A true jetsetter.

Will is home for good TOMORROW! Dare I say we made it? I don't want a last-minute rogue hurricane headed for our direction, so I will just hold off. But I will wait with excited anticipation. 

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Two Months

The kid turned two months old on Saturday. I am simultaneously wondering where the time has gone and feeling like it's been the longest two months ever. The next couple of weeks should fly by, though. On the docket: Will's first flight (to Alabama, to see his dad) and Will's baptism. 

As of Monday, he weighed in at 12 pounds, 15 ounces and is 22.55 inches long. Short, stocky, and sturdy - like his motha. You'd think for someone so fat, he'd LOVE nursing, but no. He chugs and finishes every meal in under ten minutes, one and done. He spends less than an hour a day now eating. He much prefers flailing his arms and legs and looking around to nursing. His ultimate favorite activities are still pooping and farting. Making eye contact, giggling, and cooing at whoever will pay attention to him is a close second! 

He went from the 11th percentile at birth (13 inches) to 89th percentile (16 inches) in head circumference because he takes after his dad:

Just look at that round noggin.

Speaking of his head, despite its massive size, he can hold it up and move around to follow sights and sounds. A woman at Starbucks commented that he holds his head up really well for a two month old, so you know it is a legit talent. It also makes it easier to tote him around in a carrier. He loves hanging out in the Moby wrap, bouncing around, and puking all over it.

The dogs still ignore him for the most part, though they like to get a sniff in here and there. I think Daisy and Ace are in for a rude awakening when this boy becomes mobile. He's already started grabbing stuff (namely, his pacifier out of his mouth and proceeding to become angry when he wonders where his pacifier went). I know Daisy's hair will be irresistible to tug. (Luckily, Ace chomps her hair out by the mouthful, so she's used to the abuse already! Two points for deciding to get a second dog.)

Sleep. Once or twice, he's blessed me with only one night waking, going 5 hour stretches. He's usually up twice a night to eat and any other number of times per night to kindly request a fresh diaper. (Will may not know it yet, but he's on poop patrol when he returns - and I cannot be more excited.)

He's had four bottles this past month (i.e., in his whole life). The pedi recommended two per week, but I'm lazy. He's never rejected ye old bottle when offered, though. He is known to take 5+ ounces from the bottle even though conventional wisdom states he should only be taking 3. If there's one thing he knows, it's how to cultivate mass.

Hand in hand with eating, is the fact that this kid has more gas/bodily fluids than I could ever imagine coming from such a small package. I say to myself on a daily basis, "Where does he store all of it?" Just click through the past few posts and you will read all about it. No need to hash it out again and again over here. However, I will sum up my experiences with the word "projectile." I needn't extrapolate. 

We started our two month photo shoot in Samsula-esque overalls:

Love the overalls, but he needed a nap, so I didn't get many pictures. I kind of knew it was coming; he peed all over his outfit.

"Eh, forgettaboutit."

Hence, the wardrobe change.

He always appears to be winking in photos, but really he just has a clogged tear duct in his right eye. Eye boogers = baby winks. Tricks of the trade. 

Sometimes I look at him and think "stop growing!" Maybe it's the baby acne, but sometimes he gives me a look that takes my imagination on a fast forward spiral toward his teenage years. Please, William, stay a sweet baby forever. Though you do have permission to sleep more like a teenager. 

Little Will can't wait for his daddy to come home from JAG School as evidenced by his generally uncooperative attitude toward FaceTiming. He prefers face-to-face interaction, which makes me think he's an extrovert.

And as usual . . .

Spit marks the end of this installment.

God bless you, William Hugh.

William at One Month.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We Can Make It

Two more weeks! Two more weeks! TWO-POINT-FIVE-MORE-WEEKS! 

. . . until Lent is over and I can have my husband back. I wanted to do some other things during Lent, like make it to daily mass and exercise more, you know, things of my choosing, but really I think God sees my sacrifice of sleep and spousal companionship and sees that it is very good. Not quite Genesis status good, but good nonetheless. 

Two more weeks. (In times like these, we round down, amirite?) I'm choosing to see this as a glass-half-full thing today because I got a couple good nights of sleep. In. A. Row. Woot! Don't get me wrong. This past week saw some moments where I told Will, "you are getting out of the military! I can't do this ever again! HALP." But then I got four hours of sleep or something and all is well. I think I said last night something along the lines of, "when you become TJAG . . . ." So yeah. Tiger Wife is back. (However, note that tigers need sleep, too.)

Reflection Time: In general I don't feel like a "military spouse." I mean, I've seen a couple episodes of Army Wives. And their struggles - they aren't mine. I guess it's easy to feel that way when you're husband is a JAG. He doesn't carry a gun or get shot at. (Though he does get tazed, apparently.) If he ever were to deploy somewhere, he would probably never have to leave air conditioning. Those airmen and their climate control. And he's NOT deployed. There's that. That's a big one. But, hey. My husband has been away at training for seven straight weeks and I'm up in here with a newborn and two psycho poop-eating dogs, so I reserve the right to give myself a pat on the back. Or, like, an excuse to not have the most zealous Lent ever.

This experience has made me feel like more a part of the AF community, though. These are good people. And I'm not just saying that because the cashiers at the Commissary know way too much about my life. (I get a little chatty in the checkout line, what can I say?) Will's boss calls to check up on how things are going while he's away. His coworkers stop by to drop off food. There was the great cupcake mystery. And then, there was this . . . 

An old high school friend who is in the Air Force sent us this crocheted Air Force bomber jacket for the bambino, and dare I say, it's the cutest thing we've ever seen. As Will said when I texted him a picture . . . "THIS WINS EVERYTHING!" So thoughtful and so cute. Thank you, thank you, Jen! 

The Takeaway: (1) We can make it two more weeks; (2) the Air Force community is the best out there; and (3) if I have to shoulder all the sleep deprivation of our first baby's first two months of life, then, yeah, it doesn't hurt to watch Will B. get tazed a few (dozen) times just for kicks. (Just go watch it. You will laugh, too.)

"We can dooooo it. Bliggity blerg."

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