Friday Free-For-All – 09/14/18

Friday Free-For-All

Our piano is here! You may remember a while back, I mentioned that we would be acquiring my Great Grammy Katherine’s piano. Well, it’s finally here! It needs some cleaning and a tuning, but we are very happy to have it. I’ve always wanted to learn to play, and Ben took lessons as a kid, so it will be lots of fun to play with. And who knows, maybe Vera will want to learn to play someday!

I ordered some new nursing clothes from Latched MamaAs I revealed in Wednesday’s post, I’m really struggling to dress myself in this postpartum, breastfeeding phase. Most of my current wardrobe either doesn’t fit, or isn’t nursing friendly. So far I’m really happy with what I got, including two dresses with POCKETS! WOO!

The infant yoga class I signed myself and Vera up for got switched up. The class at the location closer to us didn’t have enough enrollment, so we’ll now have to go to the further away location. I’m bummed, but glad we still have an option. And at least we can still do postnatal yoga at the closer location.

My knees are feeling better after some rest. I haven’t run at all this week, and have generally been taking it easy. I’m very happy my knees are feeling better, and I’m planning to try a walk/run tonight when Ben gets home. Fingers crossed the knee pain doesn’t return!

Do you play piano? Did you do infant yoga with your kid(s)?

Postpartum Rant: How the Hell Do I Dress My Postpartum Body?!

When a woman gets pregnant, she has a reasonable understanding that her body will be different post-baby. Stretch marks, saggy skin, and weight gain are all part of the bargain. While I am endlessly grateful and amazed by what my body has done in growing a tiny human, and providing nourishing breast milk to help her continue to grow, I definitely wasn’t prepared for the specific challenge of trying to dress my postpartum body.

For the first few weeks, it wasn’t really a problem. Unless we were leaving the house or company was coming over, I rarely wore more than underwear and a bathrobe. And when I did bother to leave the house for a doctor appointment or the like, comfort was paramount. I usually wore a stretchy skirt and a nursing tank. I didn’t even bother with a bra most of the time. But now that I’m ready to be out and about more, I’m starting to actually get dressed every day, which is proving to be kind of hard.

First things first, I’d say at least 50% of my wardrobe simply doesn’t fit. I’m about eight pounds above pre-baby weight, which, honestly, isn’t that much. In the grand scheme of things I’m not worried about that weight. It will come off in time. But having so much of my wardrobe out of commission is tough.

Of the 50% that does still fit, about 20% of it is incredibly unflattering because my body is shaped totally differently now. I have a “mum tum,” a pouch of loose skin on my lower belly. I have extra inches all over. Eventually, I will likely be able to wear these clothes again, but they’re out for now.

So let’s say 30% of my wardrobe both fits and looks decent enough that I don’t want to cry when I put it on; only a handful of tops are nursing friendly. Because I am exclusively breastfeeding Vera until she’s at least 5-6 months old, and will continue to nurse (hopefully) through her first year, I need clothes that I can comfortably breastfeed in. I have already spent a couple hundred dollars on nursing tops, dresses, and bras. I have enough that I can go an entire week without repeating, but there’s not a whole lot of variety.

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Pre-pregnancy shorts that are definitely too small, unflattering nursing tank

Also, my breasts are a lot bigger because of breastfeeding, so zero of my sports bras fit. Now that I’m trying to get back to running, this is a problem. I can just barely squeeze into one of them, but the others simply won’t do. I’m reluctant to buy larger bras that I won’t wear long term, but I’m gonna have to if I don’t want to have to do laundry every other day, or irreparably stretch out my existing bras and have to replace them eventually anyway.

I’m trying to just suck it up and buy clothes that fit me right now rather than feeling bad about what I have, but that’s expensive. Now that Ben and I are on a single income, I can’t exactly run out and buy a whole new wardrobe. I’m pretty much focused on items that are nursing-friendly, but it can be hard to find inexpensive, well-made, flattering nursing clothes. Much of what’s available is only available online, so it’s a gamble ordering things that may or may not work, and a lot of specialty breast feeding-friendly companies are kind of expensive.

Latched Mama Ruffle Sleeve Nursing Tee

$28 – Cute, but how will it look on me?

I know this is totally a first-world problem, but it feels really big and important to me. Dealing with postpartum body image is hard enough without having to buy a whole new wardrobe just to feel like I don’t look terrible.

Mamas, how did you deal with your wardrobe during the postpartum period? Did you buy a whole bunch of new clothes? What were your go-tos for breastfeeding tops?

 

Manic Monday Training Recap – 09/10/18

Manic Monday

Postpartum Recovery: Week of 09/03/18 – 09/09/18

Monday 09/03/18: 3 mile walk/run
This was another 3:1 walk/run outing, and despite my stomach being a little dodgy due to running too close to breakfast, it felt great!

Tuesday 09/04/18: Postnatal Core
Vera slept through the time we needed to leave for yoga class, so I did a quick postnatal core workout at home while she was napping.

Wednesday 09/05/18: Postnatal Core & Postnatal Full Body Workout
It was too hot to leave the house, so I did some workouts I found on YouTube: two postnatal core workouts (about 20 minutes total) and about 75% of a full body workout (Vera woke up from her nap and I didn’t get to finish).

Thursday 09/06/18: Rest
Vera had a doctor appointment, and after her shots she was VERY sad and sleepy, so we just did lots of snuggling.

Friday 09/07/18: Rest
Between Vera being extra sleepy and fussy from her shots, and a last-minute visit from my parents, I wasn’t able to get a workout in.

Saturday 09/08/18: 5k walk/run
My first walk/run with 2:1 intervals. I had my fastest post-baby 5k and my fastest post-baby mile!

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Before baby, I would have been ashamed of this “slow” pace. I probably would have beat myself up over it. But guess what? This was my fastest after-baby 5k, with my fastest after-baby mile. 2:1 walk/run intervals. • It’s so easy to worry that I’ll never hit my before-baby paces again, but here’s the thing: I truly believe that my strongest, fastest running days are AHEAD of me, not behind. After all, I was only a runner for six years before baby. I have the rest of my life to see what my after-baby body can do! • #runnergirl #vtrunner #motherrunner #womensrunningcommunity #postpartumfitness #postpartumjourney #returntorunning #instarunners #momswhorun #runnermom #nineweekspostpartum #lvrt #hokaahari2

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Sunday 09/09/18: 3 mile walk/run
Unfortunately, some knee pain surface during this run. Both knees. Which is new and different for me. I tried really hard to just focus on using good form and taking it nice and slow, but the soreness continued even after I was done. Boo.

So. Knee pain. I’m not sure if it’s due to the new shoes, lingering hormonal weirdness post-pregnancy, or maybe just irritation because I’m heavier than usual. Whatever the cause, I plan to take a few days off from my new walk/run schedule and focus on mobility and strength. Time to bust out the foam roller!

Any tips for dealing with knee pain?

My First Week As a Stay At Home Mom

I knew that being a stay at home mom would be challenging. Everything I’d read in magazines and online, every friend or acquaintance I’d talked to, indicated that being a full time mom was no walk in the park. As with so many things, however, knowing a thing and understanding a thing are very different.

My first seven weeks as a mom were a walk in the park compared to what many women go through. I had a husband who was able to be home with me, and we could divide and conquer. If I was fed up or having a tough day, it was no trouble to just hand Vera off to Ben and escape for an hour or an afternoon. If I really needed to use the bathroom or make a snack, there was another pair of hands to help out.

Now, though, it’s all me. From the time Ben leaves at 6:45 am until he arrives home around 4 pm, I’m on Vera duty. And it’s HARD. Don’t get me wrong; I love my daughter with my entire being. And I CHOSE this. I chose it before I knew what I was up against and I continue to choose every day now that I know what it really means. And I’m SO lucky and SO grateful that this is a possibility for our family. But that doesn’t change the fact that catering to the needs of a tiny person is challenging.

I won’t lie, I had a couple of tough days last week. It was super hot Tuesday and Wednesday, so I was reluctant to take Vera out in the stroller; folks, I didn’t leave the house at all for two days. Cabin fever is REAL. I’m an extroverted introvert, meaning I require equal parts quiet down time and socialization, but being home all day with an infant is the worst of both worlds; I’m neither alone nor getting adult socialization.

So then why not get out of the house and go places? Well, we love country living, but that presents its own set of challenges. Living an hour away from the closest city means that getting us out the door takes TONS of work. I have to time feeding just right so that she’ll sleep in the car. I have to make sure that I have the diaper bag stocked, my water bottle, snacks for me, the Boppy, and all the other attendant crap. And no matter how well-behaved your infant is, being outside of your house for long periods of time is taxing. Finding a comfortable place to breastfeed is hard. Being in a store with a crying baby is hard. Lugging the stroller in and out of the trunk at every stop is hard.

In order to stave off the cabin fever and keep myself sane, I’m planning to seek out at least one thing per day that Vera and I can do together outside the house. I’ve signed us up for an Infant Yoga and Massage class, plus I have my weekly postnatal yoga class. There’s story time at the library once a week, and I’m sure I can come up with a few other things. I’ve learned that I NEED to get out of the house every day, even if it’s just a stroll around the yard.

Aside from extreme cabin fever, I’m still delighted with my decision not to return to work. Vera is AWESOME. I don’t know how we got so lucky. Other than occasional gassy-ness she’s the happiest, calmest baby. Even at her most upset, she’s not even that loud. Sure, I wish I were getting more sleep, but her smiles and coos make everything worth it. I just remind myself that these challenging newborn days are temporary, and will give way to challenging baby days, which will give way to challenging toddler days, and so on until I have an adult on my hands (woah!). I’m determined to enjoy each phase as much as possible.

Stay at home parent friends, what are your favorite “stay sane” activities?

Friday Free-For-All – 09/07/18

Friday Free-For-All

I caved and ordered a pumping bra and it’s a game changer. I was reluctant to spend the money, but I am SO glad I did. Previously, in order to pump I’d have to hold the flanges to my body, meaning that for the 10 – 15 minutes I pump everyday, I couldn’t do anything with my hands. Now, the bra holds the pump flanges close up against me, and I can eat, drink my coffee, or play with Vera while pumping. That was twenty dollars well spent as far as I’m concerned. In case you’re wondering, I got this one in size Large (for reference, I’m a 34 G).

We transitioned Vera to cloth diapers this week. So far, so good. She’s just barely big enough to fit into them, and they give her a hilariously gigantic butt; it’s adorable! It remains to be seen how well I can keep up. We’re planning to still use disposables for travel and overnights, but using cloth diapers the majority of the time will significantly reduce the cost of having a baby, and the savings will increase twofold if we have another baby.

My return to running still seems to be going well. I’m determined not to get too hung up on numbers and speed and just get back into the swing of things in a healthy manner, because I’m just so happy to be back at it. I don’t want to go too hard and get injured and knock myself out of the game again. I’ll be doing a longer “run” of 4 miles this weekend, and it will be my first jaunt with 2:1 walk/run intervals. I’m excited to see what I can do!

Do you have any experience with cloth diapers?

Manic Monday Training Recap- 09/03/18

Manic Monday

Postpartum Recovery: Week of 08/27/18-09/02/18

Monday 08/27/18: Rest
I was very, very tired, and also feeling anxious about my repair surgery in the evening, so I just decided to spend the day relaxing at home with Vera.

Tuesday 08/28/18: 5k walk/run
It was a crazy hot day, but I desperately needed some alone time when Ben got home from work, so I just went out and got it done.

Wednesday 08/29/18: Rest
It was another stupid hot day, so I didn’t do ANYTHING except try to stay cool.

Thursday 08/30/18: Postnatal yoga, 5k walk/run
Yoga was GREAT. Vera was happy and smiling half the time, then the baby bouncer bounced her right to sleep for the second half, so I got a full workout. Then after Ben got home, I hit the rail trail for another walk/run.

Friday 08/31/18: 2 mile stroller walk
The weather was finally not so damn hot, so I took Vera for a nice walk on the rail trail.

Saturday 09/01/18: 3.5 mile walk/run
This was my first walk/run with 3:1 intervals instead of 4:1, and it was hard but good.

Sunday 09/02/18: Rest
We did a little bit of slacklining, but otherwise it was a quiet day around the house.

I’m excited to move forward with my return to running plan. I’m hoping to make 3-4 runs a week happen, plus stroller walks and yoga.

Do you still run when it’s super hot?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 08/31/18

Friday Free-For-All

Goodbye, August! I can’t believe summer is almost gone. Of course, our summer flew by in a bit of a new-parent haze, but still. Slow down, time!

Is it just me, or is everyone and their mother selling Beachbody plans? Don’t get me wrong, I understand woman wanting to find a side hustle to help provide for their families, but it just seems like you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a “coach” who wants to sign you up for her “team.” I’ve been trying to connect with people on my new blog IG handle, and it seems like every single person who has followed me so far is trying to get me to sign up for their next challenge group. I’m sorry, but last time I checked, selling superfood shakes and pushing someone else’s workout plan doesn’t make you a coach. Maybe I just don’t really understand how it works, but it feels icky to me. Unless you have some kind of legit certification, you are no more qualified than I am to be telling another person how to work out.

I have determined that I will only shop in the boys section for Vera from now on. The clothes are just so much better. Honestly. There are a lot more of what I would consider to be gender neutral options in the boys section. As far as I’m concerned, dinosaurs, robots, and woodland creatures are neither masculine nor feminine. Yeah, you can find that stuff in the girls section, but the animals have eyelashes and pink bows. I got these awesome pants for Vera in the boys section at Old Navy, and I can’t wait to put them on her.

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Do you stick to the “appropriate” gender section when shopping for your kid(s)?